Armenia asks IAEA to help raise safety level of Metsamor nuclear power plant

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YEREVAN, September 23. /ARKA/. Armenia’s Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Suren Papikyan and the Deputy Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Juan Carlos Lentijo discussed in Vienna, Austria, prospects for expanding IAEA’s technical assistance to the Armenian NPP.

Minister Papikyan is in Vienna attending the 63rd session of the IAEA General Conference, slated for September 21-25.
“The ongoing and planned programs aimed at improving the safety and the level of physical protection of the Armenian nuclear power plant were discussed,” the press service of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure reported.

The two men were said also to have spoken about the results of various IAEA missions being implemented in Armenia. The importance of ensuring their consistency was noted. In this connection Papikyan suggested that the IAEA increase the programs of additional assistance to improve the safety of the ANPP. They also discussed a program designed to extend the service life of the facility.

In March 2014, the Armenian government decided to extend the service life of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant until 2026. The modernization and extension of the plant’s life cycle was to be financed by a Russian state export loan in the amount of $270 million and a grant of $ 30 million. The modernization started in 2019 and is to be completed by the end of 2021.

The general contractor of the project is Rosatom Service JSC (a specialized service company within the state corporation Rosatom).

Earlier this year, Armenia said it would refuse part of the Russian loan. The government said it will finance the remaining work on modernizing the facility using its own funds.

The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. One of its two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995.

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