Armenia has started the process to extend the life of the Metsamor nuclear power plant beyond September 2016, when its current operating license expires.

Armenia’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources has been told to develop a programme of activities that would be required to extend the plant’s operating life by 5 May 2013, together with a cost estimate by 1 August 2013.

An action plan for the project should be ready to be submitted to the government by September 2013, the cabinet concluded at a meeting on 19 April.

At the same meeting, the cabinet decided on a procedure for allocation of welfare packages to nuclear power plant staff. The decision seeks to introduce a unified system of social guarantees for the staff working in most hazardous conditions.

The Russian-designed VVER-440 plant at Metsamor began operation in 1979 and currently supplies around 40% of Armenia’s electricity. The country aims to build a new nuclear power plant to replace Metsamor by 2020.

FilesReactor-by-reactor Fukushima Daiichi restoration progress summary as of 12 April, from JAIF