Armenia nuclear power plant to be shut down for major repair

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YEREVAN, November 4. /ARKA/. The Armenian nuclear power plant will be brought to a halt in 2021 for long-term repairs and modernization, Garegin Baghramyan, Chairman of the Public Services Regulatory Commission , told reporters on Tuesday.

According to him, in 2021 the nuclear power plant will be shut down for 140 days in connection with the planned large-scale work.

“We are approaching the final stage of extending the service life of the plant and a large amount of work is envisaged for 2021, and therefore the shutdown will be longer compared to the usual one,” Baghramyan said.

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.

In March 2014, Armenian government decided to extend the plant’s service life up to 2026 because of delay in building a new unit. The service life extension has become possible thanks to Russia’s financial resources. The country provided $270 million to Armenia as a loan and $30 million as a grant.

In 2019 the Armenian government announced it decided to use only 60 percent of the $270 million Russian loan.
The modernization work, led by Russia’s Rosatom nuclear energy agency, was due to be completed by the end of 2019, but the process fell behind schedule, preventing the full disbursement of the Russian funds.

Armenia’s infrastructure minister Suren Paikyan on June 11 said the country had used only $107 million of the Russian money.

Papikyan said Moscow had offered to extend the loan agreement by two years under the condition that Armenia agreed to use 80 percent of the money to commission equipment and services from Russian companies.

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