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Seda Hergnyan

Armenia to Pay Russian Company $65M to Prolong Life of Metzamor Nuclear Plant

Armenia is set to pay US$65 million to Rusatom Service, a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom, to extend the life of the Metzamor nuclear power plant’s second unit until 2036.

Metzamor is the only nuclear power plant in the South Caucasus, located 36 kilometers west of Yerevan. The plant consists of two units, activated in 1976 and 1980. The plant was shut down after the 1988 Spitak earthquake. Unit 2 was restarted in 1995.

The plant generates 32%% of Armenia's electricity.

Unit 2 was supposed to shut down in 2016 but was technically upgraded for operation until 2026.

For the modernization of Metzamor, according to the loan agreement signed between Armenia and Russia in 2015, Moscow allocated a loan of $270 million and a grant of $30 million.

Earlier this month International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said Metzamor is safe enough to continue operating. Grossi inspected the plant last October.

The Armenian government intends to build a new nuclear power plant or a new block on the site of the existing nuclear power plant. According to different estimates, it takes 6-10 years to build a new nuclear power plant or a new block of a nuclear power plant. In other words, to have a new nuclear power plant in 2036, it is necessary to start the works 6-10 years in advance.

See: Armenia Provides 20-30% of Its Energy Needs with Domestic Resources

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