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Armenia

(updated on Dec. 2006)

1. ENERGY, ECONOMIC AND ELECTRICITY INFORMATION

1.1.  General Overview

The Republic of Armenia, the smallest of the three Transcaucasian republics, is a landlocked mountainous country bounded on the north by the Republic of Georgia, on the east and southwest by Azerbaijan, on the south by Iran and on the west by Turkey (FIG 1). The northern border is 196 km long, the border with Azerbaijan is 913 km, the southern border has a length of 42 km and the western 280 km. The land area of the republic is 28 400 km2. The terrain is defined by the high Armenian Plateau with mountains, little forest and fast flowing rivers. The average height above sea level is about 1 800 meters.


figure 1

FIG. 1. Map of the Republic of Armenia


The climate is highland continental with hot and dry summers and cold winters. Annual average temperature varies from -2.7°C to 13.8°C. The coldest month is January (from 1.2°C to -12.8°C) and the hottest months are July and August (from 25.8°C to 8.7°C). Summer temperatures may rise up to 42°C, winter cold has maximum of 46°C below zero. Summer relative wetness is 32-45% (July-August), winter relative wetness is 80-90%. Annual rainfall varies from 220 mm (in winter) to 900 mm (May- June). The annual maximum sunshine is 2 780 hours (Lake Sevan area), and minimum 1 930 hours (Idgevan). The average intensity of solar radiation on the aclinic plane on a cloudless day is 700 kkal/m2. The annual average wind velocity varies from 7.7 m/sec to 1.0 m/sec.

1.1.1.  Population

The population of Armenia, according to the 2001census of population, is about 3.21 million, of which 70% lives in urban areas. Armenia is a densely populated country with a density of 113 person/km2. The historical population information is shown in Table 1. 

TABLE 1. POPULATION INFORMATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rate (%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1979

 

 

1970a

1979a

1989 a

1990

2000b

2001a

2002 b

2003

2004

2005

to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2005

 Population (millions)

2.49

3.03

3.52

3.58

3.8

3.21

3.21

3.21

3.21

3.22

0.23

 Population density (inhabitants/km)

88

107

121

126

134

113

113

113

113

113

0.21

 Urban population as percent of total

59

65

67

67

70

64

64

64

64

64

-0.06

  Area (1000 km)                               28.4 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a Formal data of the census of population.                             b Data & Statistics/The World Bank

Source:  IAEA Energy and Economic Database; Data & Statistics/The World Bank; Country Information.

The population average growth rate from 1979 to 2005 is about 0.23% . The concentration of population is not equal in different areas of the republic. The Ararat Valley is the most populated territory of the country with the density of 245 person/km2. Its area makes about 26.7% of the total territory and its population reach to 58.8% of the total population. Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia, lays in the Ararat Valley and is home to 1.2 million people, which is about one third of the total population. The highland areas have much less population with the density of 35 person/km2.

1.1.2.  Economic Indicators

After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, an economic crisis broke out, and Armenia suffered from sharp decline in production during the period 1990-1994. The country undertook great efforts to overcome it. Since then, the situation has been gradually stabilized, and the republic is coming out of the crisis following the transition to a market economy. During the period 2000-2003, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased on 43 %, and the average growth rate was 12.6 % per year. The historical GDP information is shown in Table 2.

TABLE 2. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Growth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rate (%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1990

 

1990

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

to

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2005

 GDP(a)

4098

1912

2118

2376

2807

3577

4903

1.2

 GDP(b) per capita

1145

515

558

737

874

1111

1523

1.9

 GDP by sector (%) :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Agriculture

17

25

26

23

22

23

19

 

-Industry(c)

52

36

37

38

41

44

46

 

-Services(d)

31

39

37

39

37

33

35

 

 (a) Millions of current US$ at market prices                         

(b) Current US$ per capita at market prices

(c) Industry includes also construction, transport and communication

      (d) Services include trade, net taxes and other                   

Source:  IAEA Energy and Economic Data Base; Data & Statistics/The World Bank; Country Information.

 Armenia is not rich in mineral raw materials. There are only a few items of considerable industrial value: copper, bauxite, molybdenum, precious metals, perlite, diatomite and coal. This factor mainly determines the economic structure of the republic. There has traditionally been very little heavy industry. The manufacturing sector has a prevailing share in GDP.

1.1.3.  Energy Situation

The main sources of energy, traditionally used in Armenia, are: oil products, natural gas, nuclear energy, hydropower and coal. Hydro and a small amount of brown coal are the only domestic sources of energy, which are exploited. The republic has no oil and some gas reserves (not exploited). There are no uranium resources either. The energy reserves are shown in Table 3. Primary energy sources, in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent, are summarized in Table 4. To meet its energy requirements, Armenia has to import gas, oil products and nuclear fuel.

TABLE 3. ESTIMATED ENERGY RESERVES

  Estimated energy reserves in (*) (Solid and Liquid in million tons, Uranium in metric tons, Gas in billion cubic metres, Hydro in TWhr per year)
  Solid (1) Liquid (2) Gas (3) Uranium (4) Hydro (5)
Amount .. .. 176 .. 8,000
 

(*) Sources: 20th WEC Survey of Energy Resources, 2004 and Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand ("Red Book")
(1) Coal including Lignite: proved recoverable reserves, the tonnage within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology
(2) Crude oil and natural gas liquids (Oil Shale, Natural Bitumen and Extra-Heavy Oil are not included): proved recoverable reserves, the quantity within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology
(3) Natural gas: proved recoverable reserves, the volume within the proved amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology
(4) Reasonably Assured Resources (RAR) under < USD 130/kgU
(5) Hydropower: technically exploitable capability, the amount of the gross theoretical capability that can be exploited within the limits of current technology
Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Data Base.

TABLE 4. PRIMARY ENERGY SOURCES

Year

Coal and Wood

Petroleum Products

Gas (Natural + LPG)

Nuclear

Hydro

Electricity    (Imp-Exp.)

Total

1996

113 a)

411

900

606

135

N/A

2.165

1997

105a)

437

1.137

418

119

-5

2.211

1998

129

477

1.220

415

132

-32

2.341

1999

151

380

1.053

542

103

-21

2.208

2000

73 a)

322

1.247

521

108

-40

2.231

2001

85 a)

325

1.141

518

83

-103

2.049

2002

99 a)

333

881

596

143

-94

1.958

2003

102 a)

324

1.004

521

170

-73

2.048

2004

100 a)

366

1091

574

172

-65

2129

2005

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

a)  approximate information

n/a data is not available

Source: Country Information.

Hydropower is based on the water resources of the republic, including Lake Sevan, one of the largest highland fresh-water lakes in the world (1900 m above sea level), and the rivers: Arax, Arpa, Hrazdan, Debet and Vorotan. During the last period of time, beginning from 1991, 40 new small hydro power plants with the total capacity of 51 MW have been built. Hydro power plants of the Sevan-Hrazdan cascade are operating at a low level capacity, because, after the intense use of the lake water during the last crisis, the Government of Armenia decided to reduce releases from Lake Sevan to restore its potential. The water from the lake can be taken only for the irrigation needs.

Two HPPs cascades and small HPPs have the total installed capacity of 1036 MW, of which

At the same time, Armenia has still an unused hydraulic potential of about 300 MW (or 1248 millions kWh of electric energy) that can be developed economically.

The total Termal Power Plants (TPPs ) have the installed capacity of 1744 MW, of which:

Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) has a designed capacity of 815 MW, of which Unit 2 only with 407.5 MW is in operation. Nuclear energy played a crucial role during the period of recovery from the economical crisis. Unit 1 is not operating and unit 2 has been re-commissioned in 1995, after 6.5 years of outage. The fuel is supplied by the Russian Federation.

The high-voltage transmission network of Armenia consists of 220-110 kV lines. There are 14 substations of 220 kV and 119 substations of 110 kV. The capacity of the existing high voltage network is considered sufficient for the current and forecasted loads. The high-voltage transmission network has the interconnections with all neighbouring countries: Azerbaijan: 330, 220 and 110 kV, Georgia: 220 and 110 kV, Turkey: 220 kV, Iran: 220 kV.

Natural gas is the most important source of energy covering up to 80% of the total energy supply. It is imported from Russia and used to operate two thermal power plants. The designed capacity of the high-pressure gas transportation network of Armenia is 17 billions m3/year. In 1980, the maximum demand for natural gas in Armenia was above 5-6 billions m3/year. There have been five main gas pipelines built, which ensured the gas delivery from three sides: Georgia, North and West Azerbaijan. Today, only the first one is operating. In 2005, the natural gas demand was 1.7 billions m3, but the expected demand by the year 2015 will be 5.5 – 6.2 billions m3/year depending on the ANPP status (shut down or in operation). There are underground storage facilities for natural gas with a maximal gas storage volume of 180 million m3. Nowadays, the available gas storage volume is 90 million m3.  After the refurbishment planned on 2008, the volume of the gas storage will be 150 million m3. Gas distribution in Armenia is performed through high, medium and low-pressure distribution networks. In the end of 2006, it is planned to put into operation the gas pipe-line from Iran with the capacity of 0.3 billions m3/year.

Oil products are imported from the neighbouring countries, mostly utilized for transport, industry, residential sector (heating) and as secondary fuel (mazut) in thermal power plants. During the last several years, mazut was not imported into the Republic.

As to the renewable sources of energy (geothermal, wind, solar and waste burning), they are under study. Armenia has a considerable potential of geothermal energy, but a programme has to be developed to explore the geothermal resources and to carry out drilling activities.

The most worth-while regions suitable for the construction are: Vanadzor, Aragats, Lake Sevan basin and Sisian, where the wind velocity reaches 7 m/s. In December 2005, the first wind power plant was put into operation in Pushkin pass (Vanadzor region) with the installed capacity of  2.6 MW. The total capacity of the site is estimated to be 20 MW. Its energy production is expected to be 60 MWh per year.

 Armenia is a sunny republic with a high level of solar radiation. Nevertheless, it is too expensive to utilize the solar energy, and the republic, which appears to have very good solar radiation potential, cannot afford using it. A waste burning facility project (the construction of a station with a capacity of 10 MW in Yerevan) is under discussion as well.

In Armenia, the primary energy per capita is around 0.65 toe/capita. The energy statistics are shown in Table 5. The country total energy consumption shows a steady increase at a rate, which is significantly greater than the increase of GDP.

TABLE 5. ENERGY STATISTICS

Exajoule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Energy consumption

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       - Total (1)

0.09

0.10

0.10

0.09

0.09

0.09

0.09

0.09

0.09

       - Solids (2)

0.005

0.004

0.005

0.006

0.003

0.004

0.004

0.004

0.004

       - Liquids

0.018

0.02

0.02

0.016

0.013

0.015

0.015

0.016

0.015

       - Gases

0.037

0.048

0.05

0.04

0.047

0.047

0.036

0.04

0.048

       - Primary electricity (3)

0.03

0.023

0.023

0.027

0.026

0.025

0.031

0.029

0.025

 Energy production

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       - Total

0.035

0.027

0.028

0.033

0.029

0.029

0.035

0.033

0.03

       - Solids

0.005

0.004

0.005

0.006

0.003

0.004

0.004

0.004

0.004

       - Liquids

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

       - Gases

N/A

N/A

N/A

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

       - Primary electricity (3)

0.03

0.023

0.023

0.027

0.026

0.025

0.031

0.029

0.025

 Net import (import - export)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       - Total

0.06

0.07

0.07

0.06

0.06

0.06

0.05

0.06

0.06

       - Solids

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

0.00

       - Liquids

0.018

0.02

0.02

0.016

0.013

0.015

0.015

0.016

0.015

       - Gases

0.037

0.048

0.05

0.04

0.047

0.047

0.036

0.04

0.048

(1) Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net import (Import - Export) of secondary energy.

(2) Solid fuels include coal, lignite and commercial wood.

(3) Primary electricity = Hydro + Geothermal + Nuclear + Wind.

Source:  IAEA Energy and Economic Database and Country Information.

Table 6 shows the historical energy consumption data.

TABLE 6. TOTAL FINAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION

 

 

 

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005(1)

Total final consumption

ktoe

984

1 087

1 186

1 009

1122

1177

1152

1304

1488

-

Consumption increase

%

 

10.6

9.0

-14.9

11.2

4.9

2.1

13.2

14.1

-

GDP increase

%

5.8

3.1

7.2%

3.3

6.0

9.6

13.2

14.0

10.5

14.0

Source: Country Information.

(1) Information is not available


The data on energy consumption by sector (Table 7) do not show the major changes during the years shown. The energy consumption of Yerevan city is about 50% of the total energy consumption in Armenia.

TABLE 7. ENERGY CONSUMPTION BY ECONOMY SECTOR

ktoe

Economy Sector

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Industry

240

295

291

203

276

428

422

503

559

Transport

310

350

379

319

280

271

255

243

254

Agriculture

59

62

65

77

74

54

40

45

51

Commerce and public service

84

84

118

132

216

20

25

26

28

Residential

261

250

295

229

223

145

156

164

152

Non–specified

-

-

10

-

-

236

254

323

436

Non-energy use

30

45

29

49

54

22

-

-

9

Total energy consumption

984

1 087

1 186

1009

1123

1177

1152

1304

1488

 Source: Country Information.

1.2.  Energy Policy

Before the disintegration of the USSR, Armenia, as a part of the Soviet Union, was under the unified All-Union energy policy. The electricity generated by Armenian Power Plants joined the Transcaucasien Energy System before being distributed to the consumers in accordance with the existing plans. After becoming an independent state, Armenia had to meet the open market requirements in all the branches of the industry. The energy sector and the nuclear sector in particular were deeply affected by the economic difficulties during the market transition and were in need of reorganization and de-regulation.

In 1998, a new energy policy was developed by the Government of Armenia, with the evaluation of the National Energy Balance as a main factor and a starting point for a National Energy Strategic Plan elaboration. It was further developed when, in the frame of the IAEA TC project, the document “ Energy and Nuclear Power Planning Study for Armenia, covering the period up to 2020 ” was accomplished (2002). The document includes the future energy demand forecast for Armenia and the capacities which will be needed to cover that demand. On 23 of June 2005, the document titled “A Proposed National Energy Strategy for the Republic of Armenia” was adopted by the Government of RA. In that document, the energy development plan up to 2025 was prepared, and the approximate dates for the implementation of new capacities were pointed out. According to that document, taking into consideration the country energy independence, the preference is given to the 1000 MW nuclear power units.

During the period of 1999 – 2005, changes were made in the Armenian legislation with respect to the country’s energy policy. In March 2001, the National Assembly adopted the new edition of Law “On Energy of the Republic of Armenia” which replaced the previous one being in use since 1997. According to this Law, the main principle of the Government policy in the Energy sector is the separation of functions of economic activity, state management and regulation. According to the main regulating principle, the inequality of conditions between the licensee and consumer is excluded.

 

According to the Law “On Energy of the Republic of Armenia”, the functions of regulation were   given to the Energy Regulatory Commission which was established in 1997 and was to establish the tariffs in the Energy sector. Now it is called the Commission on Public Service. The level of electricity average tariff increased from 12 drams in 1995 to 25 drams in 1998 that is the same by nowadays. The energy sector cost analysis has shown that in short-term perspective it is possible to stabilize the level of costs and restrain the increase of tariffs through promotion of the efficiency of power generation, transmission and distribution, extension of the electricity market, loss reduction and other measures.

In March 2000, the National Assembly adopted the Law “On Amendments and Additions to the Law On safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes”. In particular, one of the amendments reads: “Those objects which are of safety importance shall be constructed and decommissioned by the law, which draft should be submitted to the Government”.

In November 2004, the National Assembly adopted the Law “On Amendments and Additions to the Law On safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes” according to which the ANRA powers have become more enlarged, and the new constructed nuclear power facilities in Armenia can be owned by all kinds of owners. The radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel remain state owned. The Operators of nuclear facilities cannot be declared bankrupts. The similar amendment was made also in the “Law on Energy”.

On 16 of March, 2004, the amendments were made in the “Law on Licensing”, according to which it is necessary to have the license for the following activities: design, site selection, construction, operation, decommissioning, etc. of nuclear facilities, radioactive wastes storages and disposals, as well as for nuclear materials and radioactive wastes processing, transportation and other activities.

On 8 of December, 2005, the amendment was made in the “Law on Population Protection in the Emergency Situations” according to which, in the case of nuclear or radiation emergency at the nuclear power plant, the functions of operation organization shall be determined by the Government decree. On 22 of December, 2005, the Government decree N 2338 “National Plan for the Population Protection in case of Nuclear and/or Radiation Emergency at the Armenian NPP” which is to regulate the ANPP operation functions in case of such kind of emergencies was issued.

In the district heating sector, a number of problems concerning physical wear of heating network equipment, lack of industrial heat consumption and low level of payment collection in the residential sector exist. The Government of the Republic of Armenia, together with the WB, developed the Strategy  on district heating rehabilitation that was endorsed by the Government decree “On Reforming the District Heating System in Armenia”  N 1384, 05.09.2002.

The results of asset revaluation show that the sector’s main assets resources have already expired. The equipment is worn out and requires major overhaul, 38% of installed capacities are already over 30 years old. It is necessary to take all due measures to renew the energy sector of Armenia. In order to attract the investments into the Energy Sector of the Republic of Armenia, the following laws were adopted:

Armenia ratified the Convention on Climate change on 8 of May 1993, and the Kyoto Protocol on 26 of December 2002.

1.3.  The Electricity System

1.3.1.  Policy and Decision Making Process -Including Planning the Electricity System

A special attention was paid by the Government on restructuring the Electricity sector. A number of laws in energy were adopted to achieve that target. A program for improvement of metering, billing and collection of payments for electricity, heat and natural gas is being implemented, together with the transfer of accounting to international norms and standards and annual auditing of the company's financial reports by independent auditors. A program has been implemented to organize collections through banks. Though there are difficulties in the whole economy of the country, the Government gives priority to budget payments for the electricity provided to budget organizations, as well as compensation for the electricity consumed by irrigation, drinking water, industry and electrical transport companies.

Several small HPPs have been privatized. The implementation of a stabilization policy with the crucial role of restarting the ANPP allowed the country to overcome the electric energy crisis of the post-Soviet period. Now Armenia is covering its electricity demand completely and can ensure the export of electric energy to neighbouring countries. In the nearest future, however, additional energy sources may be required as the economy of the republic is recovering and the living standard is increasing steadily. Mechanisms related to the electrical system expansion, economic management and regulation with mitigating impact on the environment have not been defined.

1.3.2.  Structure of Electric Power Sector - Generation, Transmission and Distribution System

The Ministry of Energy is responsible for the sustainable electric energy supply to the consumers. It is also under its responsibility to define the policy for the whole Energy sector development.

The ANRA duties are: to perform the State nuclear energy regulation and supervision over the nuclear power objects. Its main objective is to secure the protection of the population, the personnel involved into the nuclear industry, and environment.

The Commission for Public Services is responsible for the antimonopoly regulation. The key functions of the antimonopoly regulation are tariff regulation and licensing of entities in the energy sector.

The structure of management of the Energy Sector in Armenia is shown in Figure 2.


figure 2

FIG. 2. Structure of management of the Energy Sector


Previously, the “Armenergo” organization was a wholesale buyer-reseller of generated electricity and takes responsibility to realize dispatching with the purpose of efficient delivery of the electricity. In October 2004, “Armenergo” was liquidated, and now the Operator of the Electric Energy Network is responsible for the  dispatching, and Calculation Centre is in charge of organizing the wholesale trade of electric energy. It also approves the balance between the participants of the trade.

1.3.3.  Main Indicators - a Table on Electricity Production and Installed Generating Capacity and a Table on Energy Related Ratios

In 2005, the total installed capacity of the generating stations in Armenia was 3 050 MW. This year, electricity production was 6.21 billion kWh. Table 8 shows the historical statistics of the electricity production and its distribution by plants types, as well as capacities of those plants. Table 9 - the energy related ratios. In addition, Figures 3 to 5 show the total electricity production, the electrical energy balance, the annual electrical energy consumption per capita and the share of the electricity in the total energy consumption.

TABLE 8. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION AND INSTALLED CAPACITY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1988

1992

1993

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Electricity production (TWh)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       - Total (1)

15.28

9.00

6.29

5.72

5.96

5.74

5.48

5.44

5.94

6.21

       - Thermal

8.94

5.96

2.00

2.44

2.69

2.79

1.58

1.52

1.61

1.83

       - Hydro

1.52

3.04

4.29

1.20

1.26

0.97

1.61

1.92

1.92

1.66

       - Nuclear

4.82

-

-

2.08

2.01

1.98

2.29

2.00

2.41

2.72

 Capacity of electrical plants (GW(e))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       - Total

3.51

2.75

2.75

3.13

3.05

3.05

3.05

3.05

3.05

3.05

       - Thermal

1.75

1.75

1.75

1.75

1.67

1.67

1.67

1.67

1.67

1.67

       - Hydro

1.00

1.00

1.01

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

1.00

       - Nuclear

0.76

0.0

0.0

0.38

0.38

0.38

0.38

0.38

0.38

0.38

(1) Electricity losses are not deducted.

Source:  IAEA Energy and Economic Database; Country Information.

TABLE 9. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS

 

 

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

 Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita)

23.6

24.9

22.9

24.2

27.4

25.3

26.5

28.6

-

 Electricity per capita (MWh/capita)

1.62

1.64

1.53

1.58

1.51

1.71

1.69

1.85

1.93

 Electricity production/Energy production (%)

111

108

75

81

82

77

68

69

-

 Nuclear/total electricity (%)

26.5

25.7

36.4

33.7

34.5

42

37

40.5

43.7

 Ratio of external dependency (%) (1)

74.5

75.6

67

68

72

62

66

66

-

 Load factor of electricity plants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       - Total (%)

22.6

22.6

20.8

22.3

21.4

20,4

20.4

22.2

23.2

       - Thermal

20.8

20.0

15.9

18.4

19.1

11

10

11.8

12.5

       - Hydro

15.9

17.4

13.6

14.3

11.0

18

22

18.3

19.0

       - Nuclear

48.5

48.2

63

61

60

69

61

72.2

82

(1) Net import / Total energy consumption.

Source:  IAEA Energy and Economic Database; Country Information.

FIG. 3. Total Electricity Production

FIG. 4. Electrical Energy Balance

FIG. 5. Electrical Energy Consumption

2.  NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION

2.1.  Historical Development and current nuclear power organizational structure

2.1.1.  Overview

A decision to construct a nuclear power plant in Armenia was made by the former USSR Council of Ministers, and the appropriate decree was issued in September 1966. In 1968, the Armenian Branch of ‘’Electrosetproject’’ institute completed the pre-feasibility study for constructing the Armenian NPP (ANPP) under the project “The Scheme of NPP Contribution to Power Grid”. That document included a schedule to commission Unit 1 in 1973, and Unit 2 – in 1974.

The technical specification to design the ANPP was developed by “Teploelectroproject” in 1968 and approved in August 1969 under decree No. 1624 R.C. of the USSR Ministry of Energy.

More than 20 potential sites were considered for the ANPP construction, and finally a site was selected in the western part of Ararat valley, 16km far from Turkish border, 10km to the north-east of region centre – Hoktemberyan (Armavir), and 28 km far (to the west) from  Yerevan. Location of ANPP is shown in Figure 7.

figure 7

FIG.7. Map of locations of all electricity generating power plants and main high voltage interconnections with the neighbouring countries


In accordance with that specification, the capacity of the ANPP (first stage of construction) with WWER-440 type reactors was to be 815.0 MW, with each unit of 407.5 MW. The ANPP design life-time was specified to be 30 years.

The comprehensive studies and analyses showed that seismic conditions of the ANPP site were characterized by the level that corresponded to the eight-point intensity according to MSK-64 scale. That was the first nuclear power plant in the USSR intended to be constructed in the region of high seismicity.

The specific nature of the ANPP site - its seismicity - caused significant changes in           WWER-440/230 design, not only in construction but also in design of reactor facility in the whole, and the reactor was assigned with the new identification – V-270. It was based on the project of Unit 3 of the Novovoronezh NPP.

The reactor building, auxiliary building, air chimney, as well as the buildings and structures containing equipment and instrumentation of safety systems or safety-related on-line systems and communications connecting these structures were assigned with category of High Importance. They were considered to have one point more seismic resistance than that of the ANPP site.

The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant was commissioned in 1976, with achieving the initial criticality for Unit 1 on 22 December 1976, and for Unit 2 - on 5 January 1980. The units were put into commercial operation on 6 October 1977 and on 3 May 1980, respectively.

In 1981, the technical-economic background was developed for the further expansion of the ANPP (the second stage of the plant) taking into consideration the needs of Yerevan city in a central heating. The technical-economic background was approved and coordinated with all the relevant organizations. In 1985, the Gorky Department of “Atomteploelectroproect” Institute prepared a project: “Armenian NPP. Its expansion, taking into consideration the Yerevan city central heating”. The excavation work was started. The foundation pits for two new units (Unit 3, Unit 4) were dug through. But it was the Chernobil disaster of 1986 that served a reason for the Government of the Republic to make a decision to refuse further   expansion of the ANPP. The work was stopped.

After the 1988 earthquake, though the Power Plant was not damaged, the Council of Ministers of the USSR decreed to shut down the ANPP as a precautionary measure. Unit 1 was shut down on 25 February 1989 and Unit 2 on 18 March 1989. The units were not decommissioned but kept in prolonged shut down condition.

Apart from the short period of regaining independence, there have been no strong antinuclear movements in Armenia. The current sentiment of the public can be explained not by lack of awareness of the risks involved by the utilization of nuclear energy, but, in the face of the difficult economic conditions, by the considerably lower price of “nuclear electricity” which outweighs its possible risks

In April 1993, the Government of Armenia decided to restart Unit 2 of the ANPP in order to overcome the severe economic crisis taking into account the lack in national energy resources. After 6.5 years of outage, with the technical and financial help of the Russian Federation, Unit 2 of the ANPP was restarted in November 5, 1995. Unit 1 remained in a stand-still regime.

After the ANPP restart, 16.2 billion kWh of electric energy has been generated by January 1, 2004, keeping the load schedule of Armenian power system.

2.1.2.  Current Organizational Chart

Following organizations, institutions and state bodies are currently involved in activity related with the operation of ANPP:

The Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (the ANRA) - was established in 1993. The ANRA was authorized to be a regulation body in the area of nuclear and radiation safety, to perform inspection activity and issue the licenses for the appropriate applications (See more detailed information in Section 3.1.).

The Ministry of Energy - during the period of preparation for the ANPP restart (1993-1996), the Armatomenergo was established under the Ministry of Energy. Armatomenergo was authorized with the functions of Operator of the ANPP. On 4 of April 1996, by the Government decree N 98, the operation of the "Armatomenergo" was ceased, and the CJSC "Armenian NPP" was given the functions of Operator. At the same time the Department of Atomic Energy was established at the Ministry of Energy. The Department participates in the elaboration of Armenian energy and nuclear energy development strategy, organizes the development of list of measures on the ANPP safety upgrading and decommissioning program; collaborates with the IAEA and other international nuclear energy organizations.

The "Armatom" institute - was created in 1973. Having been providing an engineering support to the ANPP, the institute includes in its activity such works as: implementation of diagnostic systems; implementation of Safety Parameters Display System (SPDS), creation of a compact simulator, and then of a multi-functional one. Now "Armatom" is participating in development of "Deterministic Analysis of ANPP Unit 2" and "Probabilistic Safety Analysis of ANPP Unit 2".

CJSC "Atomservice" - was created in 1987. The company took active part in the plant systems adjusting and testing programs implementation during the period of preparation for the ANPP Unit 2 restart. It continues to perform the same activity nowadays.

CJSC "Atomenergoseismoproject" - was created in 1983. During the period of preparation of Unit 2 of the ANPP for its restart in 1993-1995, a set of works on finishing investigations of the plant seismic conditions was performed by CJSC "Atomenergoseismoproject" for final resolution of all the issues and approval of the possibility of the plant restart and further operation. The whole processes of work and final resolution were considered and discussed by the IAEA experts. One of the major results of conducted investigations was the proving that the ANPP has been erected on a whole (non-destructed) basalt block, i.e. absence of a tectonically active break under the ANPP site was proved.

There are several construction, repair, mounting and other organizations also related with the operation of the ANPP.

2.2.  Nuclear Power Plants: Status and Operations

2.2.1.  Status of nuclear power plants in operation, under construction, closed down.

The ANPP consists of two nuclear power units of WWER-440 type. Since 1989, Unit 1 is in a state of stand-still. Since its restart (1995), Unit 2 of the ANPP has been in operation. Unit 2 installed gross capacity is 407.5 MW.

Table 10 shows the status and some other indicators of the nuclear power units of the ANPP.

TABLE 10. STATUS OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS

Station Type Net Operator Status Reactor Construction Criticality Grid Commercial Shutdown
    Cpacity (Mwe)     Supplier Date Date Date Date Date
ARMENIA-2 PWR   376 ANPPJSC Operational FAEA 01-Jul-75 01-Jan-80 05-Jan-80 03-May-80  
ARMENIA-1 PWR   376 ANPPJSC Permanent Shutdown FAEA 01-Jan-73 22-Dec-76 28-Dec-76 06-Oct-79 25-Feb-89

Source: IAEA Power Reactor Information System as of 31 December 2006.


There is no nuclear power unit under construction in Armenia nowadays.

2.2.2.  Performance of NPPs.

The total production of electricity in Armenia during 2005 amounted to 6.21 billion kWh, with the nuclear share – 2.72 billion kWh. This is the maximal indicator for the nuclear share since the ANPP restart.

The main organizations and institutions involved in nuclear energy in Armenia are: the Ministry of Energy, the Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority, CJSC “ANPP”, CJSC “Armatom”, CJSC “Atomservice” and CJSC “Atomenergoseismoproject”. Besides, some technical support has been providing by such organizations of Russian Federation as: OKB “Hydropress” - main reactor designer; “NIIAEP Nizhnii Novgorod” - main  NPP designer; RNC “Kurchatov Institute” – scientific management, and others.

In 1995, Unit 2 of the ANPP had five emergency events of level “0” on the International Nuclear Event Scale (INES). In 1996, there were 8 emergency events occurred at the ANPP, including: 1 – of level “1”, 7 of level “0” on the INES scale. In 1997, there were 5 emergency events occurred at the ANPP, including: 2– of level “1”, 3 of level “0” on the INES scale. In 1998,  there were 7 emergency events occurred at the ANPP, including: 2– of level “2”, 1– of level “1” and 4 of level “0” on the INES scale. In 1999, had one emergency shutdown and one event of level “1”. In 2000, there were 3 events reported, one event was rated level “1”, and two events were rated level “0”. In 2001, there were 8 emergency events occurred at the ANPP, including: 3 – of level “1”, 5 of level “0” on the INES scale. In 2002, there were 8 emergency events of level “0” on the INES scale occurred at the ANPP. There were 2 emergency shutdowns. In 2003, there were 2 emergency events, 1 of level “0” and 1 of level “1” on the INES scale. There was 1 emergency shutdown in 2003. In 2004, there were 2 emergency events of level “1” on the INES scale. In 2005, there was  not  emergency events on the INES scale.

2.2.3.  Plant Upgrading and Plant Life Management

The issues of the ANPP safety upgrading are of much importance for the Armenian Ministry of Energy being first–rate priority. The safety level of the ANPP during the times of very limited financial resources was one of the main concerns of the Armenian Government. After numerous consultations with the experts from the USA, Western Europe countries and Russian Federation, being also assisted by the experts from the IAEA, Armenian specialists developed a new programme of the ANPP safety-upgrading. It was called “List for safety upgrading technical activities of Unit 2 of the Armenian NPP for the period of 2004 - 2010”, and was introduced to replace the previous one. The safety upgrading process, having been permanently implemented at the ANPP, is being realized according to the provisions of that program.

US DOE and EC TASIC took great part in assistance for these measures implementation. Those activities enabled the ANPP to have the safety level much increased, so that the plant could withstand emergency situations without failures. Since the restart of the ANPP, up to 01.01.2006, there have been completed more than 120 engineering activities and 1100 safety improvement measures. 

In November 2003, the IAEA Expert Mission was conducted at the ANPP with the aim to review and assess the ANPP design safety and its deficiencies elimination status. According to the IAEA TECDOC-640, 62 design safety deficiencies were indicated. After the acquaintance with the report submitted by the Armenian specialists, the experts came to the following conclusion about the level of the required measures implementation:

Implementation level*

1

2

3

4

Number of issues sheets

none

6

38

18

*  level 1 means that there is no progress, and 4 – that the measures has been completely implemented. 

In Summer of 2005, the DG of the IAEA, Mr. El Baradey, came to visit Armenia. During the high-level meeting he assured the Armenian side that the IAEA would assist to coordinate the activities with the donor countries on the upgrading of the ANPP. In December 2005, the representatives of donor organizations and Armenian authorities had a meeting in Vienna. They discussed the items of the “List for safety upgrading technical activities of Unit 2 of the Armenian NPP for the period of 2004 - 2010”, and their terms of implementation arranging them according to their importance.

2.2.4.  Nuclear power development projections and plans.

The Energy Policy of Armenia is focused on realization of the strategy program for providing the country with the required quantity of electric energy.

The experience Armenia had during 1993 -1995 can show that to prevent new energy crises, it is necessary for the country to ensure its energy safety and energy independence. The most important object of the national energy sector, contributing much to this goal achievement, is Armenian NPP which is under the policy of upgrading its safety continuously. The development of the legislative and regulatory basis for the nuclear safety is the centre of attention of the Armenian Government.

In 2001 -2002, in the frame of the IAEA Program on Technical Cooperation, there was developed the project titled “Energy and Nuclear Power Planning study for Armenia” which was published in July 2004 as TECDOC -1404. The document includes the future energy demand forecast for Armenia and the capacities which will be needed to cover that demand. During the study, two options of the development of the Energy Sector of Armenia were considered:     

1.                  with the use of the thermal power plants only;

2.                  with the use of both the thermal and nuclear power plants.

The second option of the Energy sector development, taking into account the criteria of energy safety and energy independence, ecology, as well as from the social point of view, is preferable.  According to the study, it will be needed to put into operation two new medium size nuclear units, one in 2015, the other – in 2017. In the future, it would also allow to decommission the ANPP safely and economically effectually. 

The ANPP generates 35 -40% of all electric energy produced in Armenia, and its share in the primary energy totals to 22 -25 %. The power plant can be decommissioned before its design life-time expiry date (2016) if the following requirements are met:

Ÿ                     The level of the country’s energy safety should not be lower than that of the current one;

Ÿ                     The electric energy produced by the ANPP should be replaced with the energy equal both in quantity and production regime;

Ÿ                     The decommissioning of the ANPP should not lead to the worsening of the social conditions for the population, which may be caused by the rise of the electric energy cost.

It is envisaged that in 2007 Armenia will initiate, in the framework of the IAEA TC project, the program called “Feasibility Study For Nuclear Energy Development In Armenia”. In the result of this program implementation, it wll be possible for the decision-makers to determine the options for types and capacities of nuclear units to be constructed.

2.2.5.  Decommissioning: Information and Plans

The approved decommissioning program for the ANPP has not yet been developed. In the frame of the U.S. DOE and EU TACIS assistance programs, there were implemented projects in which several various options for the power plant decommissioning were considered with the estimation of the decommissioning cost for each of them.  Nowadays, the new TACIS Program is under implementation,  and, in the frame of this project, it is planned to accomplish the following items:

       preparation of Decommissioning Strategy for discussion and adoption by Government of RA;

       preparation of Decommissioning Action Plan;

       purchase of the Specific  Software for estimation of  Decommissioning cost;

       preparation of comprehensive prioritised list of legal documents;

       preparation of the Draft of the first-priority legal documents for the Decommissioning.

2.3.  Supply of NPPs.

Both units of the ANPP with the WWER- 440 (V-270) type reactors were designed and constructed by organizations of the former Soviet Union under the supervision of the Ministry  of Energy and Electrification of the USSR. The design of the first stage of the plant was developed in 1969-1970. The chief scientific supervisor was Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy (Moscow). Now it is called RNC  “Kurchatov Institute”. The chief design organization was Thermoelectroproect (TEP), Gorki. Now it is called NIAEP, Nizhny Novgorod. The main reactor construction organization was OKB “Gidropress”, Podolsk. The “Izhora Factory” Leningrad Enterprise was the manufacturer of the reactors and systems. The turbines were manufactured by the Kharkov Turbine Plant (KHTP). The electric generators were supplied by the “Electrosila” plant of Leningrad.

The building-construction work was performed by the  “Gidroenergostroy”, Yerevan.

All the nuclear fuel necessary for the ANPP operation was delivered in the past and has been delivering now by the “TVEL” concern of Russian Federation.

2.4.  Operation of NPPs

In Armenia, the objects of Nuclear Energy are under the State ownership according to the Law on "Safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes".

According to the Governmental decree N 98, 04.04.1996, the CJSC "Armenian NPP" was created and authorized to be the operator of nuclear installation. For other purposes, such as liability to foreign countries, the State is assumed to be the operator.

During the past years of operation, the ANPP had money debt for the fresh nuclear fuel deliveries from the fuel supplier (Russian Federation). To cover that debt and in order to have the fresh nuclear fuel supply to the ANPP without delays, on 17 of September 2003, the Government Decision N 1211 was made "On Transfer into the Trust Management of the Rights Certified by the Shares". According to this decree, the agreement was signed between the Inter RAO EES and the Ministry of Energy of RA on transfer, for 5 years, of 100 % of shares of the ANPP to the Inter RAO EES of Russia, and the latter is to fulfill the financial management of the ANPP. Inter RAO EES is obliged to deliver fresh nuclear fuel to the ANPP in time. Russian side is responsible for the management of the plant financial flows. The nuclear power plant remains the property of the Republic of Armenia.

This agreement will allow to upgrade the operational level of the ANPP because the regular delays in the fresh nuclear fuel delivery to the plant were resulting in low load factor of the ANPP.

2.5.  Fuel Cycle and Waste Management

Armenia has no fuel cycle industry. Up to now, all the nuclear fuel has been supplied by Russia. Originally, the spent nuclear fuel generated by the ANPP was managed by the Soviet Union central agencies of reprocessing and final disposal of the spent nuclear fuel. The recovered uranium and plutonium were retained by the central agencies in the Soviet Union. However, with the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Armenia had to find other solutions.

The ANPP is operating with the three-year fuel cycle. The spent nuclear fuel, before its transfer to the dry storage, is being kept within the wet nuclear fuel storages - fuel ponds.

In 2000, the construction of the first stage of spent fuel dry storage was completed. The construction was commissioned by the French firm Framatom and financed by the French Government. The spent fuel dry storage facility has been put into operation, and all the transportations of spent fuel were performed according to the requirements of the license given by the ANRA. Now, all the volume of the storage is filled with the spent fuel. It is envisaged to construct the second stage of the dry storage facility.

According to the ANPP design, the annual Unit 2 radioactive waste (radwaste) generation is: 308 m3 of solid LLW; 1,5 m3 of solid MLW; 0,3 m3 of solid HLW; 108 m3 of liquid radwaste. At the ANPP, there are storages for both solid and liquid radwaste.

High-level waste is stored in a special room of the Reactor building. The storage area consists of 380 cells. The storage capacity is 78.34 m3.

Medium-level radwaste is stored in the Special Building. Storage capacity is 1001,22 m3. Also, the deep evaporating facility containers are stored temporarily on the upper unheated floor of the Special Building. Its effective storage volume is 655 m3 (3000 containers).

The storage facility for low-level radwaste consists of two compartments, each measuring 27x36x8.9 m. The total storage volume is about 17050 m3.

Liquid radwaste is stored in the Special Building. Liquid wastes (evaporator residues) generated in the evaporators during drain water reprocessing are collected in the evaporator residue tank.

The final spent fuel and radwaste treatment and disposal concept will be developed and included into the ANPP Decommissioning Program.

2.6.  Research and Development Activities

The Government is financing the R&D work "Energy Generation and Transmutation Radwaste by Using the Energy Amplifier" which began in 1998 and will be finished in 2005. The investigation has been performing by the staff of the Physical Department of the Yerevan State University.

In 2004, Armenia joined the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), IAEA initiative, in order to address the needs of economic, safety, non-proliferation and waste management aspects of nuclear energy and its fuel cycle with innovative technology.

2.7.  International Co-operative Projects and Initiatives

Armenia has bilateral cooperation, mostly concerning safety of the ANPP, with such countries as Argentina, France, Italy, Russian Federation, UK and USA. Armenia also participates in several international projects developed in framework of co-operation under the aegis of IAEA, TACIS (EC) and USAID.

Very close co-operation is established with the IAEA. Armenia has become a member of this organization since 1993. IAEA experts have been participating in many various assistance projects since then. When in April of 1993 the Government of Armenia made the decision to restart Unit 2 of the ANPP, the IAEA experts participated actively in pre-commissioning investigations and evaluation of the condition of plant equipment. Moreover, they elaborated the whole concept of Unit 2 re-commissioning. Armenia has also collaborated with the IAEA in the field of nuclear safety upgrading. At present, several national programmes of the ANPP Unit 2 safety upgrading are in different phases of implementation. The IAEA is permanently assisting the ANRA providing them with the appropriate support and recommendations.

Since 1996, the EC started, within the framework of TACIS Assistance Programs, the implementation of projects aiming at technical assistance in upgrading a level of the ANPP operation, as well as modernization of the plant technological equipment, construction of a multifunctional simulator for the ANPP, etc. In 2000, the second TACIS program was launched. In the frame of the program the following activities will be accomplished: implementation of the Leak before break project; I & C system improvement; modernization of chemistry for both 1 and 2 circuits of the ANPP, and other.

Armenia cooperates with Argentina in the frame of bilateral project "Creation in Armenia of a Center for training and qualification in Non-Destructive Metal Testing Techniques" with the assistance of the IAEA.

French experts from FRAMATOM were involved in a joint project of construction of the first stage of the spent fuel dry storage facility. The work started in 1996, and the storage has been now in operation.

In 2001, the Italian firm SOGIN together with the CSJCs Armatom and Atomservice began the development of a part of the Probability Safety Analysis for the ANPP, and now this work has been completed.

The Russian Federation is also an active partner of Armenia. There are many joint projects within the framework of the Nuclear Safety Assistance Program, realized in close co-operation with the Russian experts. They also took active part in pre-commissioning and restart of Unit2 of the ANPP. In 1996, an agreement was signed between the ANPP and ROSENERGOATOM on industrial and technical-scientific co-operation. In 2000, the agreement was signed between the Governments of RA and RF on "Cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy".

There are a number of projects financed by the US Department of Energy (US DOE). Since 1996/97, in the framework of a Nuclear Safety Assistance Program for Armenia, the USA specialists have implemented many technical assistance projects at the ANPP aiming to improve the plant's safe operation. The programs are being implemented by nowadays with the annual investment of $US 4-5 mln.

In the frame of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, in 2001, within the "Armatom" institute of RA, the International Nuclear Safety Center of Armenia was created. The Joint Statement on cooperation between International Nuclear Safety Centers of Armenia and USA was signed on 07.02.2001.

Since 2000, the implementation of joint projects with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the United Kingdom started. They covered an assistance programme relevant to the ANPP safety upgrading. This includes, in particular, the elaboration of plant operational procedures and development of a quality assurance programme. The cooperation related to the establishment of an emergency centre for the ANPP is under way, and the development of some parts of the Probability Safety Analysis for the ANPP has been continuing.

Since 1996, the ANPP is a member of World Association of Nuclear Operators (WANO). The Moscow Centre of WANO has commissioned two inspections relevant to the ANPP operational safety.

The ANRA has agreements for co-operation with Nuclear Regulatory Authorities of the following countries: Russia, USA, Argentina and Ukraine. The ANRA is a member of the FORUM organization, which members are the nuclear regulatory authorities from the countries operating WWERs. The ANRA participates also in the CONCERT Group work.

2.8.  Human resources development

The nuclear energy sector in Armenia is not only an important branch of industry providing the country with the electric energy, but also ensures the employment for the population of the republic. Nowadays, more than 2000 employees are involved into the nuclear energy sector activity being occupied both at the ANPP and in the sphere of nuclear sector supporting services. All of them are the Armenian citizens, and the majority of them were graduated from the Armenian State Engineering University and Yerevan State University. The above mentioned institutes continue to prepare specialists for the nuclear energy branch.

3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS

3.1. Safety Authority and the Licensing Process

The state authority for supervision on nuclear and radiation safety was established by the Governmental decree N573, 16.11.1993. It was called the State Department for Supervision on Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Utilization of Nuclear Energy at the Government of RA. By the same decree, the Department Statute was approved and the authority was charged with the functions of inspections.

By the Governmental decree N70, 19.02.2000, the Department was authorized to have also the regulating functions, and, according to that decree, it prepared a new Statute which was approved by Governmental decree N385, 22.06.2000. The Department had a new name - Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ANRA). The ANRA was under a direct subordination of the Armenian Government and independent from those organizations responsible for development and utilization of atomic energy. According to its new Statute, the ANRA was to organize and perform state supervision and inspections over utilization of nuclear energy, as well as its regulation.

On 24 of May, 2001, according to the Government decree N 452, the ANRA was awarded with the authorization of State regulation on protection against the irradiation from ionisation sources and their safety.

The status of the ANRA was changed again on 27 of June 2002 according to the Governmental Decree N 912 in order to respond to the reforming principles implemented into the Armenian System of Government Management. The ANRA was included into the Ministry of Environmental Protection of RA. On 26 December 2002, the new Statute of the ANRA was approved by the Governmental Decree N 2183. The ANRA was renamed and now it is called the Inspection for State Supervision on Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Utilization of Nuclear Energy under the Ministry of Ecology of RA. According to the new Statute, the ANRA is authorized with the following key duties: to perform the State regulation within the field of nuclear energy utilization with the main objective to secure the protection of the population, the personnel involved into the nuclear industry, and environment.

Armenia has a single stage licensing process for NPPs, and the licensing authority is the ANRA. The licensee is responsible for the safety of the NPP. The licensee is obliged by the license to:

On 25 of April, 2001, according to the Government decree N 342, the Science-Research Centre of Nuclear and Radiation Safety was established at the ANRA with the aim to enable the ANRA to carry out an independent expertise activity.

On the base of the Governmental decree N 389, 22.08.1994, all the rules and norms applicable to nuclear power in Russia have been accepted in Armenia. The ANRA is aware of the fact that some of those regulations need revision. This process is constantly underway.

3.2.  Main National Laws and Regulations in nuclear power

The following laws and governmental decrees concerning the activities in the field of atomic energy use are in force in Armenia:

On 16 of March, 2004, the amendments were made in the “Law on Licensing”, according to which it is necessary to have the license for the following activities: design, site selection, construction, operation, decommissioning, etc. of nuclear facilities, radioactive wastes storages and disposals, as well as for nuclear materials and radioactive wastes processing, transportation and other activities. In order that the  requirements of the Law on Licensing  could be met, more than 30 of Government decrees were adopted for the above mentioned activities.

4.  CURRENT ISSUES AND DEVELOPMENT IN NULEAR POWER

4.1.  General

Nuclear power plays a crucial role in a country's electric energy supply. In Armenia, the share of nuclear electricity generation reaches 40 % of all electricity production. Therefore, to achieve the top level of safety in operation of the ANPP is the central issue of concern for the Government of Armenia and attracts the attention of all the responsible bodies of the RA.

Since 1996, the Nuclear Energy Safety Council of the President has been acting in Armenia. Its general duty is to report annually to the President on the real situation with the nuclear energy safety at the ANPP. The members of the Council observe thoroughly the relevant documents and appropriate specialists reports before reporting to the President. The Council consists of the internationally acknowledged specialists well known within the world nuclear energy.

The Ministry of Energy, defining the policies for the whole energy sector; is, in particular responsible for the development of the ANPP safe operation programs in close cooperation with other responsible bodies.

4.2.  Privatization and deregulation

In June 1999, the Government of Armenia in accordance with the common strategy of transfer of the country to the market economy and law in force (Law "About the Plan of Privatization of State Property of the RA during the years 1999 - 2000" approved by the National Assembly of the RA on 17.01.1999) decided to privatize 4 Electricity Distribution Companies (ESCs) by the competitive international tender. Privatization of state companies was implemented to encourage market competition. The tender was declared, but it failed. In order to make Armenian Electricity Distribution System more attractive for the potential investors, those 4 Companies were united into one Company including also 110 kV Transmission Lines. The new Company was called CJSC "Armenian Electric Networks" (ArmElNet).

On 26 of July 2002, a new tender for privatization of ArmElNet was announced. The deadline for presentation of proposals was established on 9 of August 2002. The only one proposal was submitted by the Midland Resources Holding LTD, so the company was recognized the winner and recommended for the award. On 26 of August 2002, the company became an owner of ArmElNet.

On 5 of November 2002, the protocol was signed on a transference of the Hrazdan TPP to be the Russian Federation property as an Armenian State loan debt covering.

As to the ANPP, according to the acting laws of the Republic of Armenia - "Energy Law" and Law on "Safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes", the nuclear power plant is not subject to privatization.

4.3.  Nuclear Energy and Climate Change

Nuclear power plant in Armenia, like those in other countries using this way of electricity generation, is the most ecologically preferable electric energy generating facility from the view of clean keeping the environment and cleanliness of the natural wealth of the republic. Unlike the most thermal power plants emitting the CO2 gas, the ANPP makes it possible to keep the country's air purity within the limits of the internationally adopted norms and regulations.

4.4.  Other issues

In Armenia, All-Armenian Atomic Power Engineers Association has been established. The founders of the Association are specialists from such organizations as the Ministry of Energy of RA, Armenian NPP, Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ANRA), State Engineering University (SEUA), and other nuclear power specialists.

The main objectives of the Association are as follows:

REFERENCES

[1]

"Armenian Economic Trends" issued by the European Commission, DGIA, NIS/TACIS services.

[2]

Investment Guide of Armenian Development Agency (1998).

[3]

Specifics and Phases of the Economic Reforms in Armenia in 1991-1998, Ministry of the State Statistics.

[4]

Manual on the Climate Data for the Construction Design in Armenia.

[5]

Data & Statistics/The World Bank, www.worldbank.org/data.

[6]

IAEA Energy and Economic Database (EEDB).

[7]

IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).

[8]

EC TASIC Project N Europe Aid /112/135/C/SV/Multi " Energy Consumption Forecast"

[9]

Reports 2000, 2001, 2002, 20003, National Statistical service of the RA .


 

Appendix

DIRECTORY OF THE MAIN ORGANIZATIONS, INSTITUTIONS AND COMPANIES INVOLVED IN NUCLEAR POWER RELATED ACTIVITIES

NATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AUTHORITIES

Ministry of Energy
Government House
2, Republic Square
375010 Yerevan, Republic of Armenia

Tel: 374 10 52 19 64
Fax: 374 10 15 16 87
E-mail: [email protected]

Atomic Energy Department

Tel: 374 10 56 27 76
Fax: 374 10 505 439
E-mail: [email protected]

Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority
Tigran Mets av. 4
375010 Yerevan, Republic of Armenia

Tel: 374 10 58 19 62; 56 31 24
Fax: 374 10 90 68 74
E-mail: [email protected]

MAIN POWER UTILITY

Armenian Nuclear Power Plant
Metsamor, 377766
Armavir region 6
Republic of Armenia

Tel: 37410 28 85 80
Fax: 37410 15 85 80
E-mail: [email protected]

MANUFACTURES AND SERVICES

Armatom
Admiral Isakov, 50
375114 Yerevan, Republic of Armenia

Tel: 374 10 74 21 30
Fax: 374 10 15 16 87
E-mail: [email protected]

Atomservice
Metsamor, 377766
Armavir region 6
Republic of Armenia

Tel/Fax: 37410 28 55 32

HIGH ENERGY RESEARCH INSTITUTES, UNIVERSITIES AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

Institute of Energy
Amaranotsayin, 127,
375147 Yerevan, Republic of Armenia

Tel: 374 10 52 25 73

Atomenergoseysmoproject
Hrazdan Defile, YerGes-2
375015 Yerevan, Republic of Armenia

Tel 374 10 58 06 49
Fax: 374 10 151 805

Yerevan Physics Institute

http://www.yerphi.am

Yerevan State University

http://www.ysu.am

National Academy of Sciences of Armenia

http://www.sci.am

 

Appendix 2

AGREEMENTS WITH THE AGENCY

  • NPT related agreement INFCIRC No: 455

Entry into force:

5 May 1994

  • Additional protocol GOV/2948

Entry into force:

September 2004

  • Improved procedures for designation of safeguards inspectors

 

No reply

  • Supplementary agreement on provision of technical assistance by the IAEA

Signed:

30 September 1999

  • Agreement on privileges and immunities

 

Non-Party

RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL TREATIES OR AGREEMENTS

  • NPT

Acceded:

15 July 1993

  • Convention on the physical protection of nuclear material

Entry into force:

23 September 1993

  • Convention on early notification of a nuclear accident

Entry into force:

24 September 1993

  • Convention on assistance in case of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency

Entry into force:

24 September 1993

  • Vienna convention on civil liability for nuclear damage

Entry into force:

24 November 1993

  • Joint protocol

 

Non-Party

  • Protocol to amend the Vienna convention on civil liability for nuclear damage

 

Not signed

  • Convention on supplementary compensation for nuclear damage

Not signed

  • Convention on nuclear safety

Entry into force:

20 December 1998

  • Joint convention on the safety of spent fuel management and on the safety of radioactive waste management

 

Not signed

  • ZANGGER committee

 

Non-Member

  • Nuclear export guidelines

 

Not adopted

  • Acceptance of NUSS codes

 

No reply

  • Comprehensive nuclear-test-ban treaty

 

1 October 1996

BILATERAL AGREEMENTS

  • Agreement with the Russian Federation on restarting operation of ANPP

Entry into force:

17 March 1994

  • Agreement with Republic of Argentine on co-operation for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy

Entry into force:

22 April 1999

  • Agreement with the Government of the Russian Federation on co-operation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy

Entry into force:

10 January 2001