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Thursday, March 20, 2008

New nuclear power plant to be built in Armenia by 2016

During a round-table discussion, dedicated to Dr. Gerd Rosenkratz’s "Nuclear Energy. Facts and Fiction" book, Deputy-Minister for Power Engineering of Armenia Areg Galstian told the reporters that Russia, the USA and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) not only approve the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Armenia, but are also working out a strategy of preferential deliveries of nuclear fuel to the country, which will help develop Armenia's nuclear power engineering more actively,

According to the Deputy-Minister, the feasibility study of the new NPP in Armenia will be completed by September-October 2008. He also reminded that the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) is to be shut down by 2016; therefore the new one is to be ready before that. "Economic estimations show that there is no alternative to the nuclear power engineering in Armenia. Estimations on creation of alternative generation sources have been made over the past 8 years. For this purpose, well-known foreign firms were involved in the process, however, their estimations showed that the most optimal variant is developing of the nuclear power engineering", Galstian said.

At present the Metsamor NPP generates 45% of total electricity in Armenia. Armenia and Russia have already set up a joint venture for prospecting of uranium in Armenian territory. Earlier Armenia ratified an agreement on active participation in the work of the international uranium enrichment center in Angarsk. The participation in this project will help Armenia not only to supply its NPP with fuel but also to export uranium (provided that the present prospecting expedition finds sufficient uranium resources). Armenia's total uranium resources are estimated at 60,000 tons. Experts say that the construction of a new 1,000 MW NPP will cost $1.5bln.

(Source: AZG Armenian Daily)

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