The Government of Armenia approved the signing of the Armenian-Belarusian intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy at its meeting held on Thursday, News-Armenia reported.
According to the draft agreement, the parties will cooperate on issues of construction, safe operation and technical and economic improvement of nuclear power in Armenia and Belarus, and provision of security to nuclear power plants.
The document also provides cooperation in the processing and storage of nuclear waste, radioactive waste management and environmental protection.
Armenian authorities are actually going to build a new station at the place of the current nuclear power plant near Metsamor city (about 20-30 kilometers south of Yerevan). The station was commissioned in 1976; only the second unit with a 407.5-MW capacity functions now, generating on average 40-50 percent of the electric power produced in Armenia.
Now it is planned to build one additional power unit with a 1,000-MW capacity. According to the Nuclear Control Service, the construction cost of the new unit will comprise about $ 5 billion. In February 2012, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Armen Movsisyan said that it is planned to build the unit in 2019-2020.