Development of Nuclear Energy in Armenia: Problems and Search for Solutions

Development of Nuclear Energy in Armenia: Problems and Search for Solutions


The second extension of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant operation after 2026 and then the construction of a new nuclear power plant: these issues were discussed during the panel discussion on "Prospects for Nuclear Energy Development in Armenia" held in Yerevan on February 28.
According to Nune Alekyan, Acting Head of Nuclear Energy Department of Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures, one of the key directions in the development strategy of Armenia's energy development until 2040 is the lifetime extension of the ANPP up to 2026.
Gera Sevikyan, Deputy Director of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, informed about the ongoing works at Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, underlining that the electricity productivity has increased by 10-15% due to the modernization and works aimed at increasing security have been carried out. If the construction of the new NPP starts in 2022, the process will take another 10-15 years. In 2026 we won't have a replacing power, a second/double extension of the ANPP lifetime will be needed by 2026,” he said.
The report by Ara Marjanyan, UN National Expert on Energy, a member of the Eurasian Expert Club, is entitled "The Prospects of Nuclear Sector Development in Armenia. Minimum-Cost Strategy vs. Plan”. The second Chapter of CEPA says, “The closure and safe decommissioning of Medzamor nuclear power plant and the early adoption of a road map or action plan to that effect, taking into consideration the need for its replacement with new capacity to ensure the energy security of the Republic of Armenia and conditions for sustainable development..”
At the same time, Marjanyan said that the main scenario of energy development in terms of minimum costs is the closure of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant in 2027, after which nuclear energy in Armenia is missing. Instead, it is planned to develop solar and wind energy, which are recognized minimum cost-generating sources. Four out of 16 scenarios have a nuclear component, which takes into account the second extension of the ANPP lifetime by 5 and 10 years.
But according to Marjanyan, none of these four scenarios was recognized as a minimum-cost scenario. When asked by EcoLur Informational NGO what government decisions are developed to implement the roadmap for the closure of the ANPP, Nune Alekyan said they are primarily programs related to the burial and management of radioactive waste. At the same time, the issue of drastically lowering the water levels of Sevjur River and Aknalich was raised, from which ANPP carried out water intake.
The answer to replacing surface water with shallow wells is not satisfactory for us, as at the expert and governmental level the groundwater balance of the Ararat Valley, where the ANPP is located, is considered to be disrupted, deep wells are dry and cannot be considered as a sustainable water resource. No other optimal solutions were suggested.

16:05 March 10, 2020


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