Armenia opts for medium-size PWR reactors

13 September 2016

Armenian Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Areg Galstyan, an interview with Trend, that any new power reactor built in Armenia would be a dual-circuit unit of up to 600MWe a pressurized water reactor (PWR) because operating personnel have accumulated a lot of experience with such units. He added that such reactors are built using the most reliable technology. Armenia currently operates one Russian-designed first generation VVER-440 reactor at unit 2 of the Armenian NPP in Metsamor.

Galstyan said the new unit would be built by 2027, when the life extension period of unit 2 at Metsamor comes to an end. The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is continuing to monitor the world market for new PWR technology, he noted, adding that it was not yet decided whether to build one new unit or two. 

In December 2014 and February 2015 agreements were signed between the governments of Armenia and Russia to cooperate in the project to extend the life of unit 2, with Russia providing a $30m grant and state export credit of $ 270m with a maturity of 15 years at an annual interest rate of 3% to finance the extension programme.

The two-unit Armenian NPP was commissioned in 1980 but was shut down in March 1989 after the Cpitakskogo earthquake in December 1988. In face of a severe energy crisis, unit 2 was re-commissioned with Russian assistance in November 1995. Work is currently underway to extend the service life of the unit until 2027.  The work is being carried out by "Rusatom service", part of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, and will be completed by the end of 2019.  The plan is to build a new unit, expected to cost $5bn, before 2027 to ensure a continuing power supply. 



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