Armenia confirms its intention to develop nuclear energy, President says

President Serzh Sargsyan had a meeting today with the President of the Presidential Council for Nuclear Energy Safety, Adolf Berghoffer, at the Government Reception House, who has arrived in Armenia to take part in the 14th regular session of the RA Presidential Council for Nuclear Energy Safety (PCNES).

The Armenian president and the PCNES president touched upon the scheduled works aimed at increasing the level of ANPP security, the events envisioned by the program for extension of the ANPP second energy block’s operation terms, talked about issues concerning the construction of the ANPP new energy block and about the cooperation with the IAEA, including within the frames of the OSART mission.

Following the meeting, Serzh Sargsyan and PCNES President Adolf Berghoffer took part in the session of the Presidential Council for Nuclear Energy Safety at the Government Reception House where the president delivered opening remarks.
During the session, ANPP CJSC Acting Director-General M. Vardanyan presented to the council members the activities of the ANPP.

A. Martirosyan, chairman of the RA State Nuclear Safety Regulatory Committee by the Government, presented the report of the Armenian nuclear safety regulatory body for the 2013-2015 period which was followed by discussions on the presented reports.

Opening Remarks by RA President Serzh Sargsyan at the 14th Session of the Presidential Council for Nuclear Energy Safety

Dear chair,

Dear council members and participants,

Opening the 14th session of nuclear energy safety council I’d like to express sincere gratitude to all the council members for their professional support in the implementation of the national program for the improvement of safety level of the operational unit of the Armenian NPP.

The Armenian NPP plays a special role in uninterrupted power supply of the republic of Armenia and therefore your work is very important for us. Thank you very much.

Over the period that has elapsed since the previous session some changes took place in the composition of the council. Due to mr Bezzubov’s transfer to another post we included Mr. Alexey Ferapontov. Thank you for your agreement to join our council. Thank you very much.

Alexey Victorovich we wish you successful and fruitful work.

In a week, on November 5, it will be 20 years after the restart of unit 2 of the Armenian NPP after 6 years of conservation. It is a unique project in many aspects. An unprecedented amount of rehabilitation work was performed utilizing numerous original engineering solutions. Since unit-2 restart, over 1400 measures have been taken to raise its safety level.

On September 17, this year, in Vienna the 7th technical session on coordination of international aid to raise the Armenian NPP’s safety was held. The priority program of measures was discussed at the session to raise the safety of unit-2.

I want to avail myself of the opportunity to thank the IAEA, the governments of the USA, RF, Czech Republic, the UK, France, Italy and the European Commission for technical support over these years.

Dear participants

In December 2014, and February 2015 the governments of the Republic of Armenia and Russian federation signed agreements on cooperation in the project for extension of operation of unit-2 and extension of a state export loan to the government of the Republic of Armenia. Both agreements have come into force and the work has commenced.

The program for extension of operation of unit-2 will be implemented in two stages:

First, integrated research program for systems, equipment, components and structures of the NPP.

Second, necessary replacement of and upgrade for obtaining a license for operation within additional deadline, and measures to raise the safety level of the Armenian NPP, including the ones suggested in the report based on stress test under technical support of the European commission.

Under the 1st stage, the research of 4500 units of equipment, systems and components has been finalized. The report for stage 1 will be finalized in March 2016.

In parallel, we have started to work on stage 2. We hope despite short deadlines Russian specialists with active involvement of Armenian specialists will implement the whole amount of work on time and with high quality.

On October 7, this year, the first session of the joint coordination committee to extend the operation of unit-2 of the Armenian NPP was held. Within the framework of this session, the governments of Armenia and Russian federation signed an agreement on rapid notification about nuclear accident and information exchange in nuclear and radiation safety.

In accordance with government decree of July 31, 2014 on the approval of the action plan for 2014-2020, the commission date of the new nuclear unit is synchronized with the decommissioning date of the operating unit. Thus Armenia confirms its intention to develop nuclear energy and this domain occupies a key position in energy development program.

Detailed information on the implementation of recommendations of the previous session of the safety council will be presented by the heads of the Armenian NPP and the State Committee for Regulation of Nuclear Safety. I’d like you to focus on a number of fundamental issues.

Under EU technical support, the drafting of the document “Strategy for Nuclear Waste Management and Waste Nuclear Fuel” is almost over. The analysis of current situation and of the acting legislation is over. After approval of the strategy, the government will develop and approve the Implementation Plan.

According to the provisions of the Unified Convention for Safe NW Management and Waste Nuclear Fuel, in May 2015 Armenia submitted its first national report to the IAEA.

To rectify the comments of OSART mission to the Armenian NPP, a document called Program and management plan for RW at the Armenian NPP was developed.

The purpose of the program is to bring RW management at the Armenian NPP in compliance with modern requirements. Stage by stage implementation of the program is planned in 2016-2019, using loans for operation extension project.

IAEA mission assessed the probabilistic safety analysis (PSA) for the seismic stability of unit-2 of the Armenian NPP. IAEA’s recommendations have been completely implemented and reflected in the final report, and today we can state that seismic safety of the Armenian NPP meets modern safety requirements and target indicators for existing nuclear plants.

To improve personnel training at the Armenian NPP, it is necessary to elevate the current simulator to its full potential. This year, the NPP will allocate its own funds to implement this work.

The Armenian plant shall concentrate its efforts, both financial and technical, on successful completion of work.

Now, I will say a few words about the personnel training situation at the ANPP.

Last year, some heads of the ANPP were relieved of their posts for the improper performance of their duties. I would like to urge the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources to use our financial resources effectively to ensure the security and safety of plant operations and fulfill the tasks on time. We have agreed with the leadership of the energy ministry and with the new leadership of the ANPP to fully rule out negative phenomena.

I think that the human resource management policy is of primary importance to Armenia’s all nuclear energy branches. It is important to improve and keep skilled specialists both at the plant and all the specialized agencies.

Additional information

The RA Presidential Council on Nuclear Power Safety was created in 1996 by the decree of the President of Armenia. This independent advisory body was established based on the need to ensure safe operations of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant.

The Council comprises scientists and experts of international recognition and repute.

The Council carries out its functions through the annual meetings of the body.
The Charter stipulates that the Council’s main objectives are:

 • formation of the priority directions for the nuclear power safety and development, drafting of the tasks pertinent to the existing problems
• analysis and expertise of the drafts of the normative legal acts related to the peaceful and safe use of the nuclear power which are being presented to the President of the Republic of Armenia.

The members of the Council are:

• Adolf Birkhofer – Chairman of the Council (Germany)
• Vahram Petrossian – Executive Secretary of the Council (Armenia)
• Robert Avagian (Armenia)
• Alexander Lokshin (RF)
• Vladimir Asmolov (RF)
• Aleksey Ferapontov (RF)
• Robert Badnits (US)
• Bernard Gesdont (France)
• Gerald Ouzunian (France)
• Christopher Watson (Great Britain)
• Miroslav Lipar (IEAE, Austria)
• Jozeph Mishak (Czech Republic)

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