Armenia Nuclear Power Plant
Size: 11,500 square miles (slightly smaller than Maryland)
Population1: 3.4 million (1999 est.)
Gross Domestic Product1: $9.2 billion (1998 est.)
(purchasing power parity)
Gross Domestic Product per Capita: $2,700 (1998 est.)
Electricity Production1: 5.7 billion kWh (1998)
Electricity Consumption per Capita: 1,700 kWh (1998)
Total Installed Generating Capacity (1998)2: 3,070 MW
Thermal-Fired Plants: 1,630 MW (53%)
Nuclear Plants: 440 MW (14%)
Hydroelectric Plants: 1,000 MW (33%)
1 CIA Fact Book.
2 Energy Information Administration, 1999. www.eia.doe.gov.
Armenia's Nuclear Power Program
The Armenia nuclear power plant is located at Medzamor. The plant consists
of two modified VVER?440/230s. The units have been modified with seismic upgrades and are sometimes referred to as Model V270s. Seismic reinforcements have been made to the reactor building and structures, electrical cabinets, and cooling towers. In addition, the Model V270s have primary coolant pumps with longer coast-down time, an additional emergency feedwater system, and a backup residual heat removal system.
Both units were shut down in early 1989 following an earthquake. In 1993, the government decided to restart the plant and, in late 1995, Unit 2 was placed back on line. Unit 2 was selected for restart because it is the newer of the two units. Armenian officials have said Unit 1 will not be restarted.
Armenia's first priority is to ensure the safe operation of Unit 2 and bring
it closer to international safety practices. In 1999, Unit 2 supplied 36 percent of the country's electricity.
In 1995, the Armenian government documented its energy program to the year
2005, which included a two-stage plan for nuclear energy development. The first
stage entails operating the plant until 2005, and the second stage calls for
bringing a new nuclear power plant on line between 2005 and 2010. The Armenian
government has committed to the permanent shutdown of Unit 2 when a new nuclear
power plant is brought on line. The government's long-term program calls for
nuclear energy to provide 38 percent of the country's electricity.
Armenia's Key Nuclear Organizations
Armenia Nuclear Power Plant
Plant Manager: Souren G. Azatian
Chief Engineer: Gagik Markosyan
Utility: Armenian Nuclear Power Plant Company
Telephone No.: 374-259-2377
VVER-440, Model 230
Shut Down 1989
VVER-440, Model 230
Scope and Status of Activities
DOE's cooperative efforts at Unit 2, the only operating reactor at Armenia
nuclear power plant, have focused primarily on fire safety improvements and
safety systems upgrades-two of the most critical safety deficiencies at the
plant. Projects associated with these efforts were initiated in late 1996 and
are scheduled to be completed during 2001. Projects to address needs in operational safety, safety maintenance, and safety analysis capability were initiated in 1998. Their completion is scheduled for 2003. In 1999, a decommissioning planning project was initiated. The plant is scheduled for shutdown in 2004. As shutdown approaches, the support for decommissioning activities will increase. The U.S. Agency for International Development is providing the funding for the safety work in Armenia.
Management and Operational Safety
- A U.S. expert is serving as a member on the Armenian President's Nuclear
Safety Advisory Committee that meets several times a year to review safety
at the plant and advise the Armenian president.
- Training courses for the Control Room Reactor Operator, Radiation Protection
Technician, and Reactor Equipment Maintenance Shop Foreman positions were
developed and implemented. A workshop to improve management and supervisory
skills was also completed.
- Ultrasonic testing, vibration monitoring, motor shaft alignment, thermographic
and valve repair equipment was delivered to the plant and associated training
- A draft preliminary decommissioning plan was completed and is under review.
The final version will be issued in 2000.
Engineering and Technology Upgrades
- As part of the fire-safety upgrade project, the United States supplied fire-resistant
floor-coating material to replace the flammable plastic floor covering at
the plant. The coating was applied to all of the critical floor area in the
reactor building (12,000 m2). Installation was conducted by U.S.-trained plant
personnel. A fire-detection and alarm system was provided to the plant and
installation was completed. The system will be programmed and commissioned
before the end of 2000. One hundred and forty fire doors have been manufactured
and installed at the plant. Double fire doors (20), which failed the fire
test in Russia, were redesigned and will be installed by the end of 2000.
A new air-charging station for self-contained breathing apparatus was provided
to the fire department.
- The United States provided equipment to complete a seismic-resistant, spray
pond cooling system to remove safety system heat loads. Construction of the
three ponds, two pump stations, and concrete tunnels for electric power lines
was completed. The pumps that provide the motive force for the system were
procured, delivered, and installed. Tie-in to the plant, integral testing,
and commissioning of the system will occur during the autumn outage in 2000.
- The United States provided a diesel-driven emergency water pumping system
to serve as a backup to the emergency feedwater system. The emergency feedwater system will be installed while
the plant is at power, prior to the spring outage in 2001.
- Seven replacement main steam-isolation valves were manufactured and delivered
to the plant and installed. The actuators for the valves will be installed
and the system tested and commissioned for operation during the autumn outage
Plant Safety Evaluations
- Training was provided to the plant for the seismic evalu-
ation of plant safety equipment. A seismic inspection of the plant was conducted
in September 2000 that identified safety equipment requiring corrective action
or further structural analysis to determine its seismic reliability. The walkdowns
involved international seismic safety experts, who examined the seismic robustness
of critical plant safe-shutdown equipment and trained plant personnel in the
identification of seismic deficiencies.
- A plan was developed and approved that maps out DOE projects to support
the development of safety analysis capability in Armenia. As a first step,
training was provided to the plant and Armatom, the Armenian technical support
organization, in the use of the RELAP5 thermohydraulic code that will be used
for safety assessments of plant operations.
- The draft decommissioning plan for the plant was completed and is under