YEREVAN, July 2. / ARKA /. A major repair of the Armenian nuclear power plant estimated to cost around $300 million is scheduled to start in 2017 in order to extend its service life until 2026, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yervand Zakaryan told reporters today.
Earlier this year the Armenian government reconfirmed its 2012 decision to extend the service life of the nuclear power plant in Metsamor by another ten years ‘because of the delay in the construction of a new nuclear facility.”.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of “Energy Week – 2014" the minister said today the major reconstruction of the Metsamor plant is to be over in 2017 “because the deadline for building a new nuclear power plant is 2026.”
According to him, the major repair, according to preliminary estimates, may take as long as 6 months, ‘although this timeframe may be revised.”
According to him, the government is negotiating now with Russia and some other countries to attract financing for the construction of the new plant that may start in 2017 or 2018.
He said construction of a new nuclear facility is ‘simply inevitable’ and necessary for Armenia to participate in regional integration processes and also in terms of its economic benefits.
On May 30 Armenia’s premier Hovik Abrahamyan told reporters he had agreed with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev about a $300 million loan for repair of the Metsamor NPP, located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan.
The plant was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. One of its two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. Armenian authorities want to replace the aging Metsamor facility by a new plant that is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility, generating currently some 40 percent of Armenia's electricity. But the government has yet to attract funding for the project that was estimated by a U.S.-funded feasibility study to cost at as much as $5 billion. --0----