YEREVAN, August 8 / ARKA /. Russia will provide Armenia with "nuclear island" as its contribution to the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Armenia, Armenian energy and natural resources minister Yervand Zakarian said today.
He said the “nuclear island” makes approximately 35% of the total cost of construction of a new facility. The remaining funding is to be secured by the Armenian government, he added, speaking to a news conference.
According to him, the construction of a new nuclear reactor will take 7-8 years, and it is due to be completed until 2026, when the service life of the Metsamor nuclear power plant expires.
Metsamor NPP, located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan, 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----