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Friday, 17 May 2013

Armenian atomic scientists invited to Belarus for experience sharing

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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko invited Armenian atomic scientists to Belarus for sharing experience in the use and safe operation of nuclear power plants as he visited the Armenian nuclear power plant on 14 May, BelTA has learnt.

“We need a dozen of qualified specialists that are ready to share their experience with Belarus,” Alexander Lukashenko said. According to the President, Belarus is following the path of the latest technology development. The launch of its satellite and the construction of a nuclear power plant testify to the fact. Earlier in Yerevan the sides had signed an intergovernmental agreement on information sharing and cooperation in nuclear security and radiation protection. Alexander Lukashenko visited the second reactor of the Armenian nuclear power plant, got familiar with the operation of the station and saw a number of process plants. Today the nuclear power plant generates about 40% of electricity consumed in Armenia. The plant was put into operation in 1976. It includes two generating units of the Russian design VVER-440 with the total output of 815MW. The first generating unit was placed into service in 1976, the second was commissioned in 1980. The nuclear power plant survived the 1988 earthquake in Spitak and continued its full operation. In August 2010 Russia and Armenia signed an agreement on the construction of a new generating unit at the Armenian nuclear power plant with a 1060MW reactor and a 60-year service. The main designer and general contractor of the project is Russia’s Atomenergoproekt. The construction of the third generating unit will be launched in 2014-2015. Director General of the Armenian nuclear power plant Gagik Markosyan believes that without diversification of energy resources it is impossible to ensure security of energy supply in the country, and that nuclear energy is one of the most important steps in addressing this task. As for the Belarusian NPP project, the Armenian official expressed confidence that the station would comply with the present-day security requirements.

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