YEREVAN, November 17 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union intends to fund the search for alternative sources of power in Armenia since it is going to close the only Armenian nuke facility. The money is supposed to be included into the budget of the EU new programme of cooperation with CIS commonwealth.
On Wednesday Levon Vardanyan, in charge of the main board for technical development and external relations at the Armenian Energy Ministry, said that the project will be carried out irrespective of the EU other programmes regarding the Armenian nuclear power facility.
“We are well aware that the Armenian facility will eventually be put out of service. The problem is under what conditions this whether there is an alternative might be”, Vardanyan siad.
The European Union insists on mothballing the Armenian nuke and is ready to allocate 100 million euros. Armenian experts say that the creation of alternative generating capacities will cost almost a billion euros.
The Armenian nuclear power plant was put into operation in 1980 and shut down in March 1989. The energy crisis in Armenia restarted it in November 1995.
Having the Russian VVER-440 power reactor of the first generation, the Armenian facility’s second unit accounts for an average of 30 to 40 percent of the national electricity output. Experts say the plant can remain in use until 2016.
In September 2003 the Armenian nuclear power plant was passed in trust management for five years to INTER RAO UES, a subsidiary of the RAO Russia’s Unified Energy Systems and the Rosenergoatom concern.