nuclear-power-plant-metsamor-armenia-yerevanYEREVAN, June 18. /ARKA/. Ashot Martirosyan, the head of the State Nuclear Safety Committee, finds construction of a new 1000-megawatt nuclear power plant in Armenia unreasonable.

He told journalists today that construction of such a plant is estimated to cost more than $5 billion.

«And it is natural that we are searching for other opportunities – a nuclear plant of 500-600 megawatt,» he said.

«The nuclear power plant life extension to 2026 will give us additional time – new projects of construction of mid-productivity reactors may appear during that time.»

Martirosyan said that disorders in a 1000-megawatt plant’s operation can pose threat to the country’s entire energy system. There are also economic problems, he said.

The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is located in Metsamor, some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. Now only one, 407.5-megawatt unit operates.

Armenian authorities said they will build a new, 1000-megawatt unit. The new unit is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility. Its construction is estimated to cost $5 billion. The plant currently generates some 40 percent of Armenia’s electricity.