Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 142

Personnel from Russia’s Atomic Energy Ministry have begun examining the first (oldest) power-generating block of Armenia’s nuclear power plant at Medzamor, with a view to reactivating it. The work proceeds under a Russian-Armenian agreement signed earlier this month, and which also provides for the plant’s two Soviet-era VVER-440 reactors to be replaced by the year 2000 when they will have exhausted their operating lifespan. The already obsolete and potentially hazardous reactors are to be replaced with a new type of reactor currently being created by a joint German-Russian project. (12)

The plant was idled as unsafe in the wake of the 1988 earthquake. Russian technical and financial assistance made possible the reactivation last month of the plant’s second (relatively newer) power block, which is already producing electricity although still below capacity. Russian and Armenian specialists assert that this is the first case in international practice in which a nuclear power plant would be reactivated after such a long time. Medzamor can cover more than half of Armenia’s electricity needs when fully operational.

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