On May 2, a meeting was held in Yerevan between Alexei Likhachev, Director General of Rosatom State Corporation, and Nikol Pashinyan, Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. The main issues of comprehensive cooperation between Russia and Armenia were discussed with the participation of Rosatom State Corporation.
The task of re-extension of operation life of the operating power unit of the Armenian NPP was designated as a priority. The head of the Government of the Republic of Armenia and the head of ROSATOM agreed on specific steps for the near future, which will allow the re-extension works to be launched by the end of this year.
Particular attention was paid to the issue of eliminating the accumulated environmental damage at the Nairit industrial site. ROSATOM has unique technologies for bringing complex industrial facilities to a safe state and is ready to take part in neutralization of hazardous waste at the site of Nairit plant.
Alexei Likhachev noted that ROSATOM is currently implementing a similar project to eliminate the accumulated environmental damage in Usolye-Sibirskoye. The work is being carried out ahead of schedule, waste of II, III and IV hazard classes has been removed from the Usoliekhimprom area and transferred for disposal.
During the meeting, a topic of construction of new nuclear power units in Armenia was also touched on. Alexei Likhachev emphasized that ROSATOM is ready to offer a nuclear power plant of Russian design with VVER reactors distinguished by increased safety and economic efficiency.
At the end of the meeting, the parties agreed to continue work on joint projects in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy and in related high-tech areas.
In 2021, ROSATOM has completed work to extend the operation life of the Armenian NPP, as a result of which a permit was obtained for plant operation until 2026. As part of the project, the unit's emergency cooling system, engine room, turbines, steam generators were modernized, and a unique operation was carried out to anneal the reactor vessel. As a result of modernization, the plant's capacity increased by almost 10%.
Currently, Armenia and ROSATOM conduct further consulting on the construction of new power units. A preliminary feasibility study of the project was handed over to the Armenian side. It is assumed that the construction will be organized at the site of the operating Armenian nuclear power plant located in Metsamor.