YEREVAN (AP)–A nuclear plant that produces 40 percent of Armenia ‘s power supply returned to full-capacity operation Monday after being closed for three months for maintenance work and refueling.
The Medzamor nuclear power plant–32 kilometers west of Yerevan–and 11 kilometers from the Turkish border–was restarted Jan. 3 and has gradually been brought up to its 380-megawatt capacity–chief engineer Gagik Markosyan said.
The plant was built in 1979–then closed in 1989 as a precaution after a devastating 1988 earthquake in northern Armenia that killed 25,000 people. Armenia ‘s neighbors consider the plant unsafe because of its proximity to a geological fault line.
The London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has called on Armenia to close the plant by the end of 2004 as a condition for a $57.4 million credit extended in 1994 for construction of a new power station that is to use natural gas and fuel oil.