Expert: Most acceptable option for construction of new nuclear power unit for Armenia is Russian-deigned projects։ ArmInfo

Expert: Most acceptable option for construction of new nuclear power  unit for Armenia is Russian-deigned projects։ ArmInfo

Armenia will not give up nuclear energy; this is a requirement of the country's Energy  Security Strategy until 2040. UN National Expert on Energy Ara Marjanyan expressed such a belief in a conversation with the ArmInfo correspondent, commenting on yesterday's statement by RA Prime  Minister Nikol Pashinyan during the live broadcast.

In particular, the head of the Armenian government noted that Armenia  is negotiating with partners from the Russian Federation, the USA,  and South Korea regarding the construction of a new nuclear power  plant unit. "Armenia is faced with the task of building a new power  unit of a nuclear power plant, and today we are negotiating with  partners from Russia, the USA, Korea and are trying to understand  what proposals will be beneficial for us from a commercial point of  view and from an efficiency point of view," PM Pashinyan said, adding  that the Armenian side, in particular, is interested in new  technologies for modular reactors. He recalled that back in June,  representatives of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and  Infrastructure of Armenia visited the United States to discuss these  issues. "We should decide which option is beneficial for us and we  will choose the most acceptable option," PM  Pashinyan said

In this regard, Mr. Marjanyan recalled that recently the American  NuScale Power company, with which negotiations were actually held,  announced the abandonment of plans to build the first nuclear power  plant of its kind in Idaho, the VOYGR-6 project, consisting of 6  units of 77 MW each, with a total capacity of 462 MW. However, Mr.  Marjanyan believes that even despite this circumstance, he pressure  on Armenia to abandon Russian-designed projects will continue. "As  for small modular stations, they are only on paper, they are  practically not in operation, and, as a result, there is no way to  assess the level of their safety and efficiency," the expert noted.

Mr. Marjanyan emphasized that the most acceptable option for the  construction of a new nuclear power unit for Armenia, is the  Russian-designed projects, which have proven their safety and  efficiency not only in the post-Soviet space, but also in many  countries of the world, including Europe. "I should note that  recently a round table was held in Yerevan on the problems of  Armenian nuclear energy, in which prominent scientists and  specialists in this field took part. Based on the results of the  discussions, the effectiveness of the Russian VVER-type power unit,  which is familiar to Armenian specialists and which is capable of  operating for 100 years, was proven," the expert noted.

Answering the question of how a Russian reactor with a capacity of  1200 MW will fit into the energy system of Armenia, the installed  capacity of which does not exceed the same 1200 MW, t Ara Marjanyan  noted that experts also touched upon this problem during the round  table. It was proven that with the construction of the  Iran-Armenia-Georgia power line, these capacities will not become a  hindrance, since it will be possible to carry out direct flows and  sell excess electricity.

The expert believes that the price of a new 1,200 MW reactor will not  be a hindrance. There are numerous possibilities to resolve this  issue, including the units financing scheme in Belarus.

Earlier, Advisor to the General Director of the Armenian Nuclear  Power Plant, Gera Sevikyan, reported that a fundamental decision had  been made to build a new unit in the country using the Russian TOI  reactor with a capacity of 1200 MW. But, as Minister of Territorial  Administration and Infrastructure of the Republic of Armenia Gnel  Sanosyan subsequently noted, the construction of a unit of such power  is fraught with problems, since the capacity of the entire energy  system of Armenia is still the same 1200 MW. "We should make a  decision on the type of reactor by the end of 2023," the minister  emphasized.

Currently, only the second power unit of the ANPP is currently  operating. The program of the Armenian government provides for the  extension of its service life until 2036, as well as the phased  commissioning of new units.