Armenia Plans To Mine First Metsamor Unit For Parts

The government of Armenia will send to the country's parliament a draft of a law that would allow for dismantling of the country's first nuclear power reactor, which has been shut down since 1988, when the country was rocked by a major earthquake.

Metsamor NPPThe Russian-built unit was constructed in the 1970s. The country's second VVER 440-V230 light-water reactor, which was shut down temporarily after the earthquake, remains in operation and produces about 30 percent of the country's domestically produced electricity.

The second unit, which was designed with a 30-year life expectancy and was reactivated in 1995, is in need of refurbishment, ARKA News reported Thursday.

The plan is to dismantle the first reactor and mine it for parts for the second unit. At the same time, the government has already approved plans for the country's third nuclear reactor, which has a tentative completion date of 2023. A prior plan for two new units was scrapped after the accident at the Cherynobyl plant in April 1986.

The Aremenian Nuclear Power Plant, also known as the Metsamor NPP, is in the northwestern portion of the country about 20 miles west of the capital Yerevan.

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