Monday, September 10, 2007

New Armenian nuclear power plant to cost $2 billion

RIA Novosti, Russia - Sep 7, 2007

YEREVAN, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - A new nuclear power plant (NPP) being built in Armenia on the site of an existing facility will end up costing about $2 billion, Armen Movsisyan, the Armenian energy minister, told parliament Friday.

"The project's feasibility study is being carried out by Armenia, Russia, the U.S. and the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA]. The old NPP is to be rebuilt within four and a half years," the minister said.

Movsisyan said the construction of the new plant, located in the town of Metsamor, near the Turkish border, would require a complex refit, including the installation of seismic safeguards.

He added that Armenia must have a permanent source of nuclear power, and that the Armenian NPP must be operational until alternative sources are found.

Movsisyan said that thanks to the Armenian government efforts "many foreign countries now understand that Armenia must have a NPP."

"Only a new Armenian NPP can become an alternative to the one now in use," he said.

Specialists believe the existing Armenian NPP will remain operational until 2016. It was commissioned in 1976, and includes one VVER-440 Soviet-designed reactor that generates 40-50% of Armenia's electricity.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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