Deputy: If Armenia loses nuclear power, it will become a banana republic

ARMINFO News Agency, Armenia

Deputy: If Armenia loses nuclear power, it will become a banana republic

Yerevan October 24

Alexander Avanesov. Statements by Armenian officials on the
possibility of replacing the nuclear power plant with alternative
sources of energy can not but cause concern. With such a statement on
October 24 from the rostrum of the National Assembly of the republic
made a former Prime Minister of RA, MP from the opposition faction
"Elk" ("Exit") Aram Sargsyan.

According to him, Armenia's nuclear power industry has no alternative.
The WWER reactor at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is guaranteed to
provide the republic with electricity at an affordable price. Neither
wind nor solar energy has such capabilities, and hydropower requires
large areas that the country does not have. Thermal energy gives such
an opportunity, but it is too expensive. Even Iran, possessing serious
reserves of hydrocarbon raw materials, builds atomic blocs. Moreover,
official Tehran sets itself the task of becoming a country that
produces nuclear fuel. "Armenia should have not only a nuclear power
plant but also a country that has its own uranium. There are all
technical, material, and political opportunities for the republic.
There are 34 uranium deposits in Armenia, mainly in Syunik and Vayots
Dzor. The country's participation in the International Center in
Angarsk in Russia also gives this opportunity," Aram Sargsyan said,
urging the ruling Republican Party to address this issue. "If we lose
nuclear power, we will turn into a banana republic," the deputy said.

The Armenian nuclear power plant consists of two units with Soviet
(Russian) WWER reactors. The first unit was commissioned in 1976, the
second - in 1980. In March 1989, after the Spitak earthquake, which
killed 25 thousand people, the station's work was stopped. In November
1995, in connection with the most acute energy crisis, the second
power unit of the station with a capacity of 407.5 MW was involved. In
March 2014, the Armenian government decided to extend the life of the
second power unit by 10 years - until 2026. The project is coordinated
by the subsidiary structure of the State Corporation Rosatom - JSC
Rusatom Service. Completion of work is planned for 2019. The
Government of the Russian Federation allocated a state export credit
for this purpose to Armenia for $ 270 million and a grant of $ 30
million. In March 2015, a Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) was
established to implement the program. Up to now, five meetings of the
JCC were held.

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