Armenia NPPRussian nuclear utility Rosenergoatom (part of state nuclear corporation Rosatom) said on 21 January that it had completed the transfer of regulatory and technical documentation for the Armenian nuclear plant under the pilot contract signed with the plant in spring 2018.

The document provides the regulatory and technical basis for commissioning, operation, service life extension and decommissioning of the nuclear plant. They “facilitate the transfer of critical knowledge important for the further development of the entire Armenian nuclear industry”, Rosenergoatom said. This will be a blueprint for other customers constructing NPPs using Russian technology.  It ensures:

  •  safe operation of power plants with VVER-type reactor facilities at all stages of the life cycle;
  • reduction of the time and cost of the nuclear-plant construction project implementation by removing  the need for the development of a separate regulatory framework;
  • optimisation of the process for issuing relevant licences and permits by the national regulatory body.

The Armenian NPP was handed 26 documents required for the safe operation of the plant, as well as for the renewal of the operating licence. It is the first step in updating the regulatory framework of the Armenian NPP. The work will continue after the launch of the electronic sales support system for Rosenergoatom’s technical documentation scheduled for July 2019.

 The two-unit Armenian NPP, located at Metsamor, was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. However, one of its two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors (unit 2) was restarted with Russian assistance in 1995 after severe energy shortages, and currently generates some 35% of Armenia's electricity. Upgrading of Metsamor 2 began in 2018 and will increase the capacity of the plant by 10%, raising the average annual output to about 2.9TWh of electricity. Russian specialists have completed the modernisation of the first turbine as well as replacing separators, steam superheaters, the excitation system, conductors and the block transformer. The second turbine generator will be replaced later this year.

Photo: Metsamor 2