Armenia may choose an American power unit for its nuclear power plant

The government commission in Armenia is studying three options for building a new nuclear power plant in the republic - Russian, American and South Korean. Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures Hakob Vardanyan spoke about this in an interview with ARKA news agency. According to him, a decision on a new nuclear power unit has not yet been made.

This is a very complex and responsible decision, which should be as thoughtful as possible. Three options are currently being intensively studied and compared. There are many factors to consider, starting with power, flexibility, production cycles, operating costs, fuel supply issues and others.

Vardanyan said.

The official noted that Russia had already handed over to Armenia a preliminary feasibility study for a variant of a 1200 MW power unit. But in parallel, Yerevan is studying two more feasibility studies sent by the United States and South Korea.

Upon completion of the study of the three options, we must develop a specific feasibility study in relation to our power system, assess the impact in terms of tariffs. We must not make a hasty decision, because the new nuclear power plant will be the key engine of our economics

- said the Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructures of Armenia.

According to him, there is one problem in the project proposed by Russia - the capacity of 1200 MW, which is excessive for the small energy system of Armenia.
  • Photos used: Adam Jones/
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  1. Valera75 Offline Valera75
    Valera75 (Valery) 5 September 2023 16: 59
    We cannot make a hasty decision, because the new nuclear power plant will be a key driver of our economy.

    choose the states and be happy. Then you will find out what construction is for 20 years, the annual increase in the estimate. Koreans and Russia are the best options, but the Armenians want to extort some bonuses from Russia.
    1. Sergey Tokarev (Sergey Tokarev) 7 September 2023 07: 33
      already once gypsied through Azerbaijan ... laughing Karabakh left as a bonus ...
  2. nikanikolich Offline nikanikolich
    nikanikolich (nikola) 5 September 2023 18: 38
    Respect to the Armenians, finally their cunning streak has given them permission to live long. And with the ratification of the ICC decision, I would generally ban all citizens with Armenian passports from staying in Russia unless they are tourists. Good luck Armenians, you still have everything ahead.
  3. slice7000 Offline slice7000
    slice7000 (Anatoly) 6 September 2023 07: 54
    0 the project proposed by Russia, there is one problem - the capacity of 1200 MW, which is excessive for the small energy system of Armenia.

    And how did it happen that Russia presented a feasibility study for 1200 MW? Maybe there was such a technical task? Or did Russia simply propose such a powerful power unit on its own? Or did the Armenians say - send what comes to hand?
    1. Sergey Tokarev (Sergey Tokarev) 7 September 2023 07: 16
      could be such a project. Armenians could then just change their minds and traditionally lie to the public. not a word about the power of the American project. it may not be less
  4. Sergey Tokarev (Sergey Tokarev) 7 September 2023 07: 12
    there is one problem in the project proposed by Russia - the capacity of 1200 MW, which is excessive for the small energy system of Armenia

    The project proposed by Russia provides for the development of production - future consumers of electricity. But when all "production" is shawarma trade .... laughing

    Until 2023, the last successful experience of building a nuclear power unit from scratch in the United States was in 1996, but even then it was a question of completing construction of an almost finished (only frozen in the 1980s) facility. In 2007, amid high oil prices, an attempt was made to complete another frozen nuclear power reactor, Vogtl-2. Despite the fact that it was 80% ready back in the 1980s, the remaining 20% ​​was completed only by 2016.

    All of this created big problems for the industry, since the average age of the 92 power reactors in the United States, whose construction began deep in the 40th century, exceeds 60 years. They can extend their service life up to 80-0,8 years, but even in this case, around the middle of the century, a situation will arise in the country when power plants, which today produce XNUMX trillion kilowatt-hours per year, will be stopped due to age, and there will be nothing to replace them.

    By local standards, the commissioning of the new Vogtl-3 power unit is a great success: the construction period and the price exceeded the design by only two times, by seven years and $8,5 billion per reactor. This is not a bad result compared to a previous attempt of this kind in the United States, which ended several years ago in the closure of a project in South Carolina after wasting nine billion dollars on it.

    It is also important that the AP1000 reactor, designed by Westinghouse and used in the new power unit, is the first such reactor in the United States, and in a sense, the first in the world. Although formally China put the first AP1000 reactor into operation back in 2018, it was mainly an American project there - the hardware was made in Asia. American builders, according to local customs, could not use large components from Asia, so in fact the new reactor has many design differences from the "Chinese" AP1000 and a much higher price.

    Nevertheless, the AP1000 has retained its key features in the United States as well - a power of 1,1 gigawatts (slightly weaker than the VVER-1200) and the dominance of passive safety systems over active ones. A reactor of this type in the event of a loss of power supply (that is, a shutdown of the cooling pumps) can be passively cooled due to the flow of water into it from a large, a couple of thousand tons, supply tank with water, which provides heat removal without pumping for 72 hours. It is believed that this is enough to restore power to the cooling pumps or replenish the water supply in the passive cooling tank.

    An important point: the Vogtl-3 power unit will not be an isolated success. Already in 2024, a similar Vogtl-4 should begin work. Many industry observers in the US are therefore hoping for a resurgence of nuclear power in that country.

    Their hopes are based on the fact that nuclear power plants - the main source of carbon-free electricity in the US and the world today - can operate 24 hours a day, and solar and wind farms, although carbon-free, are not able to ensure the operation of the power system without blackouts with any economically realistic amount of lithium or other energy storage devices. In such a situation, investments in the atom for the States look like a more realistic way of a carbon-free transition.

    However, to implement it, it is necessary to move from the construction of one power unit over several decades, as in the USA today, to serial construction, as in China or Russia. While the commissioning of blocks is rare, there are no experienced personnel for their construction, which is why the time and cost grow twice as high as designed (and in Europe - even more).

    It looks like Pashinyan is rubbing his little hairy hands in anticipation of big kickbacks.