The FINANCIAL — YEREVAN. A group of experts from the International Atomic energy Agency (IAEA) will arrive on August 2 in Armenia to inspect the site for the construction of a new power unit at the Armenian nuclear power plant, RIA Novosti informs.
Ashot Martirosyan, chairman of the State committee on nuclear security, said the IAEA officials will study the results of geological, seismological and other surveys conducted at the site since 2009.
Armenia plans to build a new 1,000-mWt power unit at the existing Armenian nuclear plant. The construction is scheduled to start in 2011 and the new unit is expected do become operational by 2017.
The only currently operational unit at the NPP must be shut down by that time, the official said.
The Armenian NPP, which is located 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) from the capital, Yerevan, was put in service in 1980 and shut down in March 1989 following a powerful earthquake in December 1988 that killed at least 25,000 people.
The NPP became operational again in 1995 to provide electricity during a severe energy crisis in the country. At present, only one out of two power units remains active, producing up to 50% of all electricity in the former Soviet republic.
Experts estimate that the unit could work safely until at least 2016