Armenian government extends nuclear plant operation

Thu 19 Apr 2012 06:01 GMT | 10:01 Local Time

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The Armenian government has decided to extend the term of operation of its nuclear power station at Metsamor.

Under the decision, the station will operate for another four years after its operating licence expires on 1 September 2016, Energy Armen Movsisyan said, according to PanARMENIAN.Net.

The extension is needed because of a delay in building a new reactor, the minister said.

Commenting on "media speculation" on the issue, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said that "the government’s functions in this area are quite transparent”.

He said that the the government had officially asked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for assistance in extending the term of operation of the current reactor and construction of a new one.

“An IAEA delegation is in Armenia now, with these issues on the agenda,” Sargsyan said, adding that Armenia would receive the necessary support from the international agency.

The Armenian Metsamor nuclear power plant is located some 30 kilometres 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. Metsamor currently generates some 40 percent of Armenia's electricity.




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