Armenia to dismantle first power unit at its nuclear power plant

Armenia to dismantle first power unit at its nuclear power plant

YEREVAN, October 12. /ARKA/. The Armenian government approved today a draft law on the dismantling of the first power unit of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant and will send it to the parliament’s approval. Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources Minister Ashot Manukyan said the passage of the law stems from Armenia’s commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. Its second VVER 440-V230 light-water reactor  was reactivated in 1995 and is still operating. 

The minister said tens of millions of US dollars have been spent to increase its reliability and safety, and today it meets all international safety requirements. The Minister noted that the first power unit, which has been de-jure in use, has not been restarted to this day, and it is obvious that its further operation is impossible because of safety and reliability reasons. 

"A study found out that the first power unit may become a" donor "for the operating unit, and, consequently, its dismantling will allow to reduce the expenses on extending the service life of the second unit," Manukyan said.

Armenian authorities said they will build a new nuclear power plant to replace the aging facility. The new plant is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility.  The plant currently generates some 35 percent of Armenia's electricity. 

In March 2014, Armenian government decided to extend the plant’s service life because of delay in building a new unit. The service life extension has become possible thanks to Russia’s financial resources. The country was to provide $270 million to Armenia as loan and $30 million in grants. --0---

16:14 12.10.2017





 

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