Nuclear Power Plant to Be Halted for Repairs

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–On July 29–the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant will be halted for 3-4 months for scheduled preventive repairs. Talking to journalists–Director of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant Souren Azatian said that during this period the reactor will be overhauled–used up fuel will be removed and taken to the radioactive waste storage designed by the French Framatom firm. A number of measures are aimed at raising the level of safety of the Nuclear Power plant. The reactor will be overhauled on the internal funds.

Head of the Nuclear Power Plant Press Service Vachagan Ghazarian said that this year the plant does not have to purchase the fuel. Since it is not operating at full capacity now–the Nuclear Power Plant will be provided with fuel until the next scheduled preventive repair in 2001.

We would remind you that the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant was halted in March 1989–after the earthquake. After a six-and-a-half-year-long closing–in Nov. 1995–the second bloc with a capacity of 400 megawatts was re-started. Since Nov. 1995–the plant generated over 9,000,000,000 kwt/h of energy.

Currently the Nuclear Power Plant generates 2,000,000,000 kw/h a year. To generate such quantity of energy–a thermal power plant needs 2,000 tons of mazut a day. Over 2,000 people are currently employed at the Nuclear Power Plant–their average monthly salary being 55,000 to 60,000 drams.

The director–Suren Azatian–has been named among the top ten businessmen of Armenia. On July 6–President of the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia Aram Vardanian awarded the ANPP Director with a diploma of honor and a gold medal of the UMBA.

Aram Vardanian said that there are very few enterprises in Armenia that function normally and in this aspect the ANPP acquires particular importance. Besides–the plant is a major strategic facility that supplies Armenia with electric power. For many years "the plant has also been the face of Armenia’s school of nuclear engineers." Suren Azatian also announced that the fifth anniversary of the re-commissioning of the ANPP will be marked this December.

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