Tuesday, December 10 2019 17:57
Alina Hovhannisyan

Papikyan: Concern of our neighbors, calling into question the safety  of the ANPP, is groundless

Papikyan: Concern of our neighbors, calling into question the safety  of the ANPP, is groundless

ArmInfo. "The concerns of our neighbors, who question the safety of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP), are unfounded," RA Minister of Territorial  Administration and Infrastructure Suren Papikyan told reporters on  December 10 during a visit to the ANPP, commenting on Azerbaijan's  demand to close the ANPP during the Euronest meeting " "Our NPP  operates in accordance with all international standards. All measures  taken to improve safety were highly appreciated by international  structures.

I consider it necessary to emphasize that the safety of  the operating unit of the Armenian NPP is recognized as a priority  and is in the focus of close attention of the country's leadership,"  he stressed.

At the same time, the Minister noted that the issue of operation and  licensing of nuclear power plants should be discussed with  international partners, including the IAEA and the EU. In this  regard, the Minister emphasized that the nuclear power plant is of  strategic importance for Armenia.  <Armenia should set itself the  task not only to be self-sufficient from the energy point of view,  but also to continue

Remain an electricity exporting country. A nuclear power plant  provides up to 40% of all electricity produced in the country, but in  case of reaching full capacity, these volumes can increase up to 50%,  "Papikyan noted. At the moment, in his words, Armenia is not able to  completely switch to alternative energy sources, which is why the  minister noted that the partners should be sympathetic to the  peaceful use of nuclear energy , since for Armenia this issue is of  vital importance.  At the same time, he noted that the capabilities  of nuclear power plants allow extending the service life to 2036.  However, continuing the idea, Papikyan emphasized that this period is  a matter of future discussions.  "I do not want to run ahead of time,  but its capabilities (ANPP - ed.) Allow this," he concluded.   Earlier, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and  Infrastructures of the Republic of Armenia Hakob Vardanyan in an  interview with ArmInfo reported that the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant  has the resource to continue its activities after 2026.  Recall that  a project is underway at the ANPP to extend the life of the station  until 2026. This year, it is planned to replace the second  turbogenerator at the station, the automatic control system, and  carry out repair work on the cooling towers. In addition, work will  be carried out to prepare for the treatment of the reactor dome,  which will be heat treated (annealed) in order to increase its  strength to resist neutron fluxes.  Annealing itself will be carried  out in 2020. All work on the project will be completed by the end of  2021.  In this regard, Armenia intends to raise before the Russian  government the issue of postponing the terms of work and payments on  the loan from 2019 to 2021.  According to the deputy minister, the  VVER-440 reactor operates at the station. Many states using similar  reactors are on the path to extending their life. For example, at the  Kola NPP, this period was extended to 60 years. Based on the fact  that in 2026 it will be 40 years of operation of the unit, and also  taking into account the six-year downtime of the second power unit,  it is theoretically possible to allow the possibility of extension  not only until 2040, but also until 2046.  "But for now, at this  stage we are talking about a deadline until 2026. In 2022-2023, new  large-scale studies will be carried out at the station, the results  of which will make a final decision>," said the deputy minister,  adding that the Armenian The nuclear power plant played and continues  to play an important role in the country's energy balance. One day of  downtime costs AMD 230 million. And bearing in mind the initial  proposal of the Russian partners to shut down the station for three  years in order to implement the program, it's not difficult to  calculate which This would lead to consequences for the entire  economy of the country.  For this reason, and also taking into  account no one tariff from nuclear power plants, the stage-by-stage  stage of modernization was chosen.  In turn, the ANPP Director  General Movses Vardanyan emphasized that in 2021 the station intends  to obtain a regulator license to continue generating electricity.  About $ 16 million worth of measures are being taken only to obtain  this permission at the ANPP. In addition, one of the most important  work to be done in 2020 will be the temperature treatment (annealing)  of the reactor dome; this work must be done very carefully so as not  to damage the reactor otherwise, the station will have to close.  The  Armenian NPP consists of two units with Soviet (Russian) VVER  reactors. The first unit was commissioned in 1976, the second - in  1980. In March 1989, after the Spitak earthquake, which killed 25  thousand people, the station was stopped. In November 1995, in  connection with the most acute energy crisis, the second power unit  of the station with a capacity of 407.5 MW was activated. In March  2014, the Armenian government decided to modernize the station and  extend the life of the second power unit. A loan of the Government of  the Russian Federation of $ 270 million and a grant of $ 30 million  were raised for these purposes. 

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