Unit 2 at the Armenian nuclear power station could operate until 2036. Courtesy Adam Jones/Flickr. Armenia is planning to extend the operating lifetime of Armenian-2, its only operating commercial nuclear power plant, for another 10 years beyond the current shutdown date of 2026, said Gnel Sanosyan, minister of territorial administration and infrastructure.

Armenian-2, a 415-MW VVER-440/V270 pressurised water reactor supplied by Russia, was reconnected to the national grid last month after a major retrofitting and refurbishment programme carried out by Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

The modernisation, which began in 2015, included replacement of power supply systems, automation and control systems, turbine hall equipment, and reactor pressure vessel annealing.

The work meant the plant’s electricity generation could be increased by 10-15% without additional fuel consumption.

Rosatom said examinations of Armenian-2 have shown the unit could potentially be operated for 10 years beyond 2026.

Mr Sanosyan said Armenia would “not stop at this point, but rather set new goals” of extending the plant’s operating lifetime and potentially building a new nuclear plant.

According to reports earlier this year, Armenia was planning to invest $330m in the lifetime extension, which will see the plant operate until at least 2026. A further $150m will be needed to keep the plant operating until “at least 2036”.

According to International Atomic Energy Agency statistics, Armenian-2 provided about 34% of the country’s electricity generation in 2020, up from 27.8% in 2019. Armenian-1 was permanently shut down in 1989.

Date: Tuesday, 23 November 2021
Original article: nucnet.org/news/nuclear-plant-could-operate-for-additional-10-years-to-2036-says-minister-11-1-2021