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    New nuclear power unit proposed by Rosatom for Armenia to have lifespan of 100 years


    November 22, 2022 - Armenpress News Agency

     

      SOCHI, NOVEMBER 22, ARMENPRESS. The Rosatom-proposed nuclear power plant unit would have an exploitation term of 60 years with the possibility of extension for another 40 years, the Director of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant Eduard Martirosyan told reporters during Atomexpo 2022 in Sochi, Russia.

      “We are engaged in active works in this direction with the Russian side for around half a year. And at this stage we can say that we’ve recorded successes. The Armenian nuclear power plant is implementing a preliminary technical-economic calculation. At this moment, Rusatom Energy Projects, which is part of the Rosatom state corporation, is engaged in these works parallel with us. We’ve provided them with the preliminary data, they are making the calculations. And I think in December we will already have outlined the approximate price of building the nuclear power plant,” Martirosyan said, adding that the figures will be highly approximate.

      The option under discussion is a rather tested model with a very high level of safety. Martirosyan said that the 1000 or 1200MW power unit proposed by Rosatom is rather safe and that’s why this is their preliminary choice. Martirosyan said the capacity storage and distribution issue could be solved in case of expanding the energy system, i.e. in case of possible sale or construction of new power lines with neighbors.

      Speaking on the lifecycle, Martirosyan said: “Stations of Russian designs are exploited for 60 years with the possibility of extension for another 40 years. Meaning, we are speaking about a station of 100 years. We will build it for our generations.”

      The new power unit will be built in the same location. If the contract gets signed in 2024, the construction will last 10 or 12 years. A massive construction project will take place: nearly 10,000 people will work simultaneously in the construction site encompassing 60-70 hectares. Workers from Armenia and Russia will be involved. There are highly trained workers in Armenia who can be involved in the possible construction, he said.

      Armenia is now using the VVER-440 reactor. Martirosyan said that Armenia is the only country to have exploited the station after a long pause. Therefore, he said, there is a potential to continue the exploitation also in the new station. “We are used to the Russian. I think we will continue the work with the Russian one,” he said.

      Meanwhile, the work continues for extending the second power unit of the Armenian NPP for another term, until 2036. “Meaning, after 2026 we are going for another extension by 10 years. But this doesn’t mean that we can stop in 2036,” Martirosyan said, adding that everything depends on various clusters, elements and the auxiliary equipment of the plant.

      Martirosyan said that according to Rosatom subsidiary Gidropress the reactor has sufficient resources until 2039.

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