Expert: Economic problems to occur while constructing new Armenian nuclear power plant
Azerbaijan, Baku, June 16 / Trend E. Tariverdiyeva /
There will be a number of economic problems while constructing a new Armenian nuclear power plant (NPP), scheduled for 2012-2013, a Russian source, an expert-nuclear scholar, who worked for 20 years in the nuclear field said.
"The second operating unit of the Armenian NPP must be closed until 2016," the expert told Trend.
"According to the decision of the G8, more stringent test standards test must be established. They must apply to the Armenian NPP, and Russia supports the decision of G8."
This decision was taken before the accident at "Fukushima-1", the first units of which were also old, he said. The Metsamor NPP was built in 1970.
After the devastating Spitak earthquake the activity of this plant had been suspended, but in 1995, despite international protests, the work of the station was reactivated, and in addition, the second reactor was launched.
Given the large number of minor earthquakes in the past 10 years in this area, a disaster would hurt the entire South Caucasus and the Middle East would be seriously affected.
Several European countries have adopted a plan of abandoning nuclear energy amid the nuclear crisis in Japan, where a large-scale accident occurred at the nuclear power plant "Fukushima-1 after a devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11.
The accident at the nuclear power plant "Fukushima" in Japan can not lead to Armenia's denial from the project of building a new nuclear unit at the Armenian nuclear power plant, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisyan said in an interview with "Interfax".
"At present, Armenia has no alternative to building a new nuclear power station. It is planned to begin constructing in the second half of 2012-2013. The Minister expressed hope that a new nuclear power unit will be built by 2017.
It was earlier reported that in late April, Chairman of the State Committee on Nuclear Safety Regulation under the Armenian government Ashot Martirosyan said that the construction project of a new nuclear power was temporarily frozen. "All the issues relating to the construction of a new nuclear power plant in Armenia were temporarily frozen," he said.
The expert said that the security requirements are also tightened to build a new nuclear power plant.
The Russian design standards correspond to the highest international standards. Of course, all the necessary procedures must be carried out and have a positive result when making decisions about the construction, the expert said.
"I think that this problem can be reasonably resolved, but there is an economic problem," he said.
A source said that it is necessary to build two units of the nuclear power plant for reliable energy supply.
"One should periodically stop the stations for prophylactic repair. However, the power of almost 2.5 GW is clearly abundant for Armenia. About 1.5 GW of installed capacity would be sufficient even in the long-term-prospect. I do not know whether the opportunity of selling excess electricity were calculated."
Of course, there is an open question who can act as a guarantor on the possible nuclear damage, the expert said.
"A joint campaign and Armenia are unlikely to be such a guarantee," he said. "Russia? But it is not clear whether there is a document obliging it to do it."