Russia to provide Armenia with $270M for extending nuke plant’s operation
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 26
Russia's government approved granting of a $270 million loan to finance the extension of the operation life of the Armenian nuclear power plant, Russia's Cabinet of Ministers said Dec. 26, RIA Novosti agency reported.
Earlier, Russia and Armenia signed an intergovernmental cooperation agreement on extension of the operation life of the second power unit at the nuclear power plant.
The parties agreed that the works will be funded through a loan, which will be provided to Armenia by Russia.
"The draft order stipulates providing Armenia with state export loan of up to $270 million for a 15-year period to finance the extension of the operation life of the Metsamor nuclear power plant in Armenia," a message on the website of the Cabinet of Ministers said.
The operation life of the second power unit of the Armenian power plant will expire in Sept. 2016. The agreement, signed Dec. 20, stipulates holding works on the extension of its operation life.
The agreement on assistance in the works on extending the service life of the only nuclear power unit active in Armenia was reached in 2013.
As part of these agreements, the specialists of Rosatom, Russia's state atomic energy corporation, have conducted a preliminary examination of the power unit and drafted a plan of further actions.
The Metsamor (Armenian) nuclear power plant was built in 1970. After a devastating earthquake in 1988 in the town of Spitak it was shut down, but in 1995, despite international protests, the plant's operation was reactivated, moreover, a second reactor was launched.
Environmentalists and scientists from all over the region say the seismic activity in the region turns the operation of the Metsamor nuclear power plant into an extremely dangerous undertaking, even in case of building a new model reactor.