Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Rosatom Director General Alexey Likhachev have held talks in Yerevan on the possible construction of a new NPP in Armenia. Pashinyan emphasised the importance of cooperation between the Armenian government and Rosatom, which are successfully implementing a number of joint projects.

The currently operating Armenian NPP at Metsamor was built in the 1970s with two Soviet-supplied VVER-440-V230 units, but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. However, unit 2 was recommissioned with Russian help in 1995 following severe energy shortages. In March 2014, the Armenian government decided to extend the plant’s service life to 2026. Most of the overhaul (until 2019) was funded by an interstate loan from Russia. Construction of a new nuclear plant has long been part of Armenia’s overall plan, although finance has proved to be an obstacle.

Likhachev confirmed Rosatom’s continued support for co-operation. Further extension of the operating life of ANPP was viewed as a priority. Rosatom said Pashinyan and Likhachev “agreed on specific steps for the near future, which will allow the re-extension work to be launched by the end of this year”.

Construction of new nuclear power units in Armenia was also discussed and Likhachev said Rosatom is ready to offer Russian-designed NPPs with VVER reactors. At the end of the meeting, the parties “agreed to continue work on joint projects in the field of the peaceful use of atomic energy and in related high-tech areas”.

Image courtesy of Rosatom