Armenia's Energy Minister Arur Grigoryan told reporters last week that the government had permission from the European Union to proceed with refurbishment projects that would extend the life of the country's nuclear power plant until 2026, according to news reports.
“We have agreed the extension of the service of the nuclear power plant with the European Union and today this issue does not worry us,” said the minister, who explained the agreement was part of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) that was signed in November 2017 and goes into effect when all 28 European Union member states ratify it.
The Metsamor NPP, constructed in the 1970s, includes two VVER 44-V230 light water reactors that are scheduled for extensive repairs and upgrades.
The plant was closed after an earthquake in 1988, but one reactor was reactivated in 1995 while the country experienced severe energy shortages, according to Nuclear Engineering International.
The projects, which are already underway, are contracted to Rosatom subsidiary Rustatom Service. Partial upgrades on turbine 4 at Metsamor 2, including condenser and separator replacement) was begun in April. On June 1, work will begin on turbine 3, which will include upgrades of the high and low cylinders and replacement of a generator., leads and main transformer, as well as the auxiliary systems equipment.
The reactor is expected to be restarted in early August after a partially upgraded turbo system. When completed, work in 2018 is expected to add 10 percent more capacity due to increased turbine efficiency.
With new Russian made generators (made by OJSC Power Machines of St. Petersburg), the output is expected to jump to 3.0-3.3 TWh from the current output of 2.3-2.5TWh.
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