YEREVAN, May 20. / ARKA /. Armenian authorities continue negotiations with the Russian side on attracting a credit for extending the life service of the Armenian nuclear power plant in Mestamor, Lusine Harutynyan, a spokeswoman for the ministry of energy and natural resources, told ARKA.
On March 27 the Armenian government decided to extend the life service of the facility for ten years due to delays in the construction of a new nuclear reactor. The government also instructed the ministry of finance to take steps towards signing an intergovernmental agreement with Russia on attracting a credit for securing the extension of the nuclear power plant’s service life.
Ms. Harutyunyan said once the talks were over the ministry would report the results.
Former prime minister Tigran Sargsyan said the extension of the life service of the plant would cost at least $ 150 million.
The Metsamor plant located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan, was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988 that killed some 25,000 people and devastated much of northern Armenia.
One of the plant’s two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. The government wants to build a new facility that is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility. Metsamor currently generates some 40 percent of Armenia's electricity. But the government has yet to attract funding for the project that was estimated as much as $5 billion.
After last September 3 talks with Armenian president Serhz Sargsyan Russian president Vladimir Putin said experts from Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and Armenian experts agreed to extend the service life of the Armenian nuclear power plant until 2026. In February 2013 Armen Movsisyan said the new nuclear power unit is planned to be built in 2019-2020. -0-