20 Aug 2010 13:11

Russia, Armenia sign deal on NPP reactor construction

YEREVAN. Aug 20 (Interfax) - Russia and Armenia have signed an agreement on the construction of a new power unit at an Armenian nuclear power plant.

The document was signed by Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko in the presence of the two countries' presidents.

The construction of a new power unit on the grounds of the operational Armenian nuclear power plant will start in 2012. The project is estimated at approximately $5 billion. The new power unit will have a Russian 1060-megawatt reactor with a 60-year service life and a European safety certificate. The facility is due to be commissioned before 2017.

The only power unit with a 404-megawatt capacity operating at the Armenian nuclear power plant, which generates about 40% of the electricity nationwide, is due to be shut down before that.

The 'nuclear island' for the new power unit for the Armenian nuclear power plant will be built in Russia within the next few years years, Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisian told journalists on Wednesday.

Rosatom chief Sergei Kiriyenko said earlier that Russia plans to not only build the nuclear power plant in Armenia but also be one of its investors.