23 Mar 2023 17:01

Utilization period of Armenian NPP extended until 2036

YEREVAN. March 23 (Interfax) - The Armenian government decided on Thursday to extend the timeframe for utilizing the Armenian (Metsamor) nuclear power plant until 2036.

The country's Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure was instructed to organize operations to develop a program to extend the NPP's utilization period beyond 2026 until 2036, according to the decision published on the government's website.

The program must include calculations for work and financial resources required, information on sources, and financing mechanisms. The document must be submitted to the government within four months.

Armenia's Finance Ministry estimates that $150 million should be required to conduct operations in order to extend the NPP's utilization period.

The Armenian NPP was launched in 1980, and two power units of the NPP are equipped with first-generation Soviet VVER-440 reactors. The first unit ceased operations in 1989. The NPP generates up to 45% of all electricity produced in the country. TVEL supplies the fuel.

Russia and Armenia in 2014 signed an intergovernmental agreement on extending the life of the NPP until 2026. Russia provided a state loan and a grant totaling $189 million for these purposes, and Armenia allocated AMD 63.2 billion from the state budget.

Armenia and Russia's Rosatom state nuclear energy corporation in November 2022 signed a memorandum on the construction of a new NPP in Armenia that should be launched once the currently functioning NPP ceases operations in 2036.

The official exchange rate as on March 23, 2023, is AMD 388.17/$1.