Armenian government decides to extend Metsamor NPP service life
The Armenian government has approved a decision to extend the service life of the second power unit of the Armenian NPP on April 19. In this regard, Armenian Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisyan said that the service license of the unit will expire on Sept.1, 2016, and given the delay in the construction of new power unit, there is a need to extend service life of existing power unit up to 4 years, Panarmenian.net reported.
Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said the government has officially asked the IAEA to assist in extending service life of the existing unit and construction of new one. He added that recently an IAEA delegation has visited Armenia. Within the visit above-mentioned issues were discussed, and Armenia will receive the relevant help from this international organization, "and one should not contrast these two issues".
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, a second reactor was launched.
Given the great number of minor earthquakes in the past 10 years in this zone, as well as the intensification of seismic processes indicated by seismologist researches, in case of a big accident in Metsamor NPP, not only Armenia, but also all countries in the Southern Caucasus and the Middle East would be seriously affected.