Armenian NPP to be connected to power network on Monday

October 3, 2004 Sunday

By Tigran Liloyan


The Armenian nuclear power plant will be connected to the national
power network on Monday, October 4, after 65 days of repairs.

The power plant was stopped in the small hours of July 31 for the
longest repairs it ever had, Armenian NPP General Director Gagik
Markosyan said.

He said the Russian Research Institute for Nuclear Power Plants and
the Czech-based Skoda Company unloaded spent nuclear fuel and examined
the reactor's metal hull. InterRAO UES, the managing company,
purchased and delivered 100 fresh fuel assemblies with the total cost
of $12 million.

The replacement of the NPP head computer was the most important part
of the repairs. $1 million from the assistance program of the
U.S. Department of Energy was spent on that operation. Eur550,000 from
the TACIS program went to replace 37 oil switches. That was done to
upgrade the power plant safety, Markosyan said.

The Armenian NPP was commissioned in 1979. It was halted in 1989
following a devastating earthquake. Russian specialists helped to
restart the power plant's second unit in 1996.

Last year the Armenian NPP supplied 38% of national electricity. A
Russian-Armenian intergovernmental agreement made InterRAO-UES, a
subsidiary of the Unified Energy Systems of Russia (UES), the managing
company of the Armenian NPP.

Meanwhile, the European Union insists on closure of the Armenian NPP,
which is 40 kilometers west of Yerevan. The Armenian authorities say
that is possible only if the country gets alternative sources of