1. GENERAL INFORMATION
1.1. Country Overview
1.1.1. Governmental System
The referendum for independence of Armenia was held on 21 September 1991. Based on the results of the referendum (99% voted for independence), the parliament (The Supreme Soviet of the Armenian SSR) adopted the Declaration of Independence and announced the independence of the Republic of Armenia.
Constitution: The Constitution was adopted on 5 July 1995, via a popular referendum. Amendments were adopted by referendum on 27 November 2005.
System of Government: The Republic of Armenia has a presidential system of government. In accordance with the Constitution, the President ensures compliance with the Constitution, and the normal operation of the legislative, the executive and the judiciary branches, and serves as the guarantor of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of the Republic. The President is elected by the citizens of the Republic of Armenia for a five-year term.
Executive Power: The executive power in the Republic of Armenia belongs to the Government of the Republic. The Government is composed of the Prime Minister and the Ministers.
Legislative Power: Legislative power in the Republic of Armenia belongs to the National Assembly. The National Assembly is a 131-seat body.
Judicial Power: In the Republic of Armenia, justice is carried out by Courts in accordance with the Constitution and the Laws of the Republic of Armenia.
1.1.2. Geography and Climate
The Republic of Armenia, the smallest of the three Transcaucasian republics, is a landlocked mountainous country bordered on the north by the Republic of Georgia, on the east and southwest by the Republic of Azerbaijan, on the south by the Islamic Republic of Iran and on the west by Turkey. The northern border is 196 km long, the border with the Republic of Azerbaijan is 913 km; the southern border has a length of 42 km and the western border, 280 km. The land area of the republic is 29 743 km2. The terrain is defined by the high Armenian Plateau with mountains, little forestation and fast flowing rivers. The average height above sea level is about 1800 meters.
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 28.7°C). Summer temperatures may rise to 42°C, winter temperatures reach a minimum of - 46°C. Summer relative humidity is 32-45% (July-August), winter relative humidity is 80-90%. Annual rainfall varies from 220 mm to 900 mm. Maximum precipitation usually occurs during May-June and minimum precipitation is in winter. The annual maximum sunshine is 2780 hours (Lake Sevan area), and minimum annual sunshine is 1930 hours (Ijevan). The average intensity of solar radiation on the aclinic line on a cloudless day is 700 kcal/m2. The annual average wind velocity varies from 1.0 m/sec to 7.7 m/sec.
The population of Armenia, according to the country statistical data, is about 3.014 million (as of 01.01.2014), of which 63.3 % live in urban areas. Armenia is a densely populated country with a density of 101.3 people/km2. The historical population information is shown in Table 1.
TABLE 1. POPULATION INFORMATION
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|Year||1970a||1979a||1989a||2001a||2005b||2011a||2013b||2014b||2001a to 2014b|
|Population density (inhabitants/km2)||83.8||101.9||116.0||108.1||108.2||101.5||101.4||101.3||-0.46|
|Urban Population as % of total||59.5||65.7||68.7||64.3||64.1||63.3||63.3||63.3||-0.11|
|Area (1000 km2)||29.743|
a Formal data of the census of population.
b Country Statistic Information.
Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Database; Data & Statistics/the World Bank; National Statistical Service of RA.
The population average growth rate from 2001 to 2014 is about -0.46%. 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 a density of 245 people/km2. Its area constitutes about 26.7% of the total territory, and its population accounts for 57.4% of the total population. Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia is situated at the Ararat Valley and is home to more than 1 million people, which is about one third of the total population. The highland areas have a much lower population with a density of 24 people/km2.
1.1.4. Economic Indicators
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, an economic crisis broke out, and Armenia suffered from a sharp decline in production during the period 1990-1994. The country undertook great efforts to overcome it. Since then, the situation has gradually stabilized, and the republic is coming out of the crisis following the transition to a market economy. During the period 2000-2014, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased 446%, and the average growth rate was 12.88% per year. The historical GDP information is shown in Table 2.
TABLE 2. GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (Millions US$)
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|1990||2000||2005||2010||2013||2000 to 2013|
|GDP (millions of current USD)||4098||1912||4900||9260||10432||13.94|
|GDP (millions of constant 2005-USD)||2820||1910||3400||5918||6642||10.06|
|GDP per capita (current USD/capita)||1145.0||594.9||1522.7||3068.2||3457.7||14.50|
|GDP per capita, PPP* (current $/capita)||2416.8||2313.3||4715.9||6376.3||7776.3||9.77|
* PPP: Purchasing Power Parity
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.
1.2. Energy Information
1.2.1. Estimated Available Energy
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 of Armenia has some gas (not exploited) and no oil reserves. The geological forecast says that some quantity of uranium may exist in Armenia, which is why in July 2008 a Russian–Armenian joint venture was established for uranium geological exploration and mining. Within the framework of this project, the collection and analysis of the archival material relevant to uranium mining was completed. The document Geologic Exploration Activity for 20092010 focussing upon uranium ore exploration in the Republic of Armenia was developed and approved. According to this document, in the spring of 2009 the field work related to uranium ore exploration commenced close to Lernadzor in the province of Syunik and was ongoing as of mid-2012. Since it had not met with promising results by the end of 2013 the Russian–Armenian Joint Venture Company was closed.
The energy reserves are shown in Table 3. To meet its energy requirements, Armenia has to import gas, oil products and nuclear fuel.
TABLE 3. ESTIMATED ENERGY RESERVES
|Estimated available energy sources|
|Solid (1)||Liquid (2)||Gas (3)||Uranium (4)||Hydro (5)||Other Renewable(5) (Wind)|
|Total amount in specific units*||-||-||176.0||-||7.0||1.1|
|Total amount in
* Sources: 20th WEC Survey of Energy Resources, 2004 and Uranium 2005: Resources, Production and Demand ("Red Book"), IAEA Energy and Economic Data Base, Country Information.
Estimated energy reserves in (Solid and Liquid in million tons, Uranium in metric tons, Gas in billion cubic m3, Hydro and Renewable in TWh per year),1 Coal including Lignite: proven recoverable reserves, the tonnage within the proven 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): proven recoverable reserves, the quantity within the proven amount in place that can be recovered in the future under present and expected local economic conditions with existing available technology 3 Natural gas: proven recoverable reserves, the volume within the proven 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/kgU5 Hydropower and Renewable technically exploitable capability, the amount of the gross theoretical capability that can be exploited within the limits of current technology.
1.2.2. Energy Statistics
Primary energy sources, in ExaJoule (EJ), are summarized in Table 4. To meet its energy requirements, Armenia has to import gas, oil products and nuclear fuel.
TABLE 4. ENERGY STATISTICS (EJ)
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|2000||2005||2010||2011||2012||2000 to 2012|
|- Other Renewables||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|- Other Renewables||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00|
|Net import (Import - Export)|
* Energy consumption = Primary energy consumption + Net import (Import - Export) of secondary energy.
** Solid fuels include coal, lignite.
Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Database and Country Information.
1.2.3. 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 Trans Caucasian Energy System. 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 energy sector in particular, were deeply affected by the economic difficulties during the market transition and were in need of reorganization and de-regulation.
According to the Law “On Energy” of the Republic of Armenia, 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 rights of the consumers and economic interests in the energy sector are to be balanced. According to this Law, the functions of regulation were given to the Commission on Public Services. On 7 July 2013 the following tariffs were established for electricity:
TARIFF FOR ELECTRICITY (AMD/kWh)
|Groups of final consumers||Unit||Tariff rate,|
|1||consumers using 35 kV and above connection (night-time rate)||AMD/kWh||29 (25)|
|2||consumers using 6(10) kV connection (night-time rate)||AMD/kWh||35 (25)|
|3||consumers using 0.38 kV connection (night-time rate)||AMD/kWh||38 (28)|
|4||residential customers (night-time rate)||AMD/kWh||38 (28)|
In March 1999, the National Assembly of RA adopted the Law on Safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes”.
In March 2000, the National Assembly of RA 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 newly 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 declare bankruptcy. A similar amendment was also made to the Law on Energy.
On 30 September, 2013 the National Assembly of RA adopted the Law on Amendments and Additions to the Law on Safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes. The amendments and additions in the Law On safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes were associated with the nuclear material accounting and control items.
On 16 March 2004, amendments were made to the Law on Licensing, according to which it is necessary to have a license for the following activities: design, site selection, construction, operation, decommissioning, etc. of nuclear facilities, radioactive waste storage and disposal, as well as for nuclear materials and radioactive waste processing, transportation and other activities. The rules for obtaining licenses for these activities were established with the use of a number of appropriate government decrees.
On 8 December 2005, an amendment was made to the Law on Population Protection in Emergency Situations according to which, in the case of nuclear or radiation emergency at the nuclear power plant (NPP), the functions of all involved responsible organizations shall be determined by Government decree.
On 22 December 2005, Government decree N 2328 “National Plan for Population Protection in case of Nuclear and/or Radiation Emergency at the Armenian NPP” was issued. As a result of the exercises on nuclear or radiation emergency at the nuclear power plant conducted for checking the real possibilities to use that decree, a new edition of the “National Plan for Population Protection in case of Nuclear and/or Radiation Emergency at the Armenian NPP” was created, and this was adopted by the Government decree N 194 on 17 January 2008.
The radiation safety and protection requirements for the plant workers and population (including critical groups and the population in general) are stated in Government decrees N 1219, “Radiation Safety Norms”, 2006 and N 1489 “Radiation Safety Rules”, 2006.
By Government decree N1296 of 1 November 2007, the Armenian Ministry of Energy Action Programme was adopted according to the National Security Strategy. According to this programme, it was envisaged that the new nuclear power unit (s) be put into operation immediately after the shutdown of the existing one to cover the lack of capacity. According to that document, taking into consideration the needs of country energy independence, the preference is given to a 1000 MWe nuclear power unit.
According to protocol decision No. 14 “On Approval of the Concept for Ensuring Energy Security in the Republic of Armenia” of the RA Government session No. 50, of 22 December 2011, the importance of increasing the safety level of Unit 2 and based on the importance of national energy security and independence, the necessity of constructing a new unit was restated. This decision also discussed the possibility of continuing the operation of ANPP unit 2 after 2016.
The “Energy Security Ensuring Concept of the Republic of Armenia” was adopted by the President of RA on 23 October 2013 according to which Armenia will continue to exploit the existing nuclear unit until the construction of the new one.
On 19 April 2012 RA Government decision No. 461-N “On Extension of Service Life of Unit 2 of Armenian NPP” was issued. According to this decision the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources was assigned to organize activities on development of the programme on extension of service life of ANPP Unit 2 and to estimate the amount of financial resources required for implementation of activities on extension of service life of ANPP Unit 2, as well as to submit them to the RA Government for discussion in September 2013.
The requirements for the extension of design lifetime regarding the operation of Armenian NPP Unit 2 were confirmed by the RA Government in its decision No1085-N which was adopted on 23 August 2013.
The RA Government legislation N 12 point 11 adopted “The programme for the design lifetime extension of “Haykakan Atomayin Electrakayan” Closed Joint Stock Company Unit 2 operation on 27 March 2014. The government assigned the Minister of Finance to take actions for the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the RA and RF Governments on the involvement of credit resources for the implementation of the programme developed under the 1st point of the decision by 1 May 2014.
The Law of the RA “On Construction of a New NPP in the Republic of Armenia” was adopted on 27 October 2009, which will serve as a legal basis for construction of a new NPP in Armenia.
The Company “Worley Parsons” was selected in May 2009 by international tender as a management company for the construction of the new nuclear power unit. Currently “Worley Persons” Company has finalized the development of “Bankable Feasibility Study” document, which is necessary for the involvement of investors.
As a result of “Bankable Feasibility Study” document, under Decree N1458 of the Government RA dated 3 December, 2009 for the nuclear island of a new NPP, the Russian NPP-92 (AES-92) design (capacity – 1060 MW; operation lifetime – 60 years), which has a European safety certificate, was approved. The turbine island and control system of the new nuclear unit will be selected based on a tender.
The decree “On Establishment of a Closed Joint-Stock Company Aimed at Construction of a New NPP in the Republic of Armenia” was adopted by the Government of Armenia on 3 December, 2009. “Metsamorenergoatom” CJSC was established with the involvement of the RA Government and “Atomstroyexport” CJSC, which was delegated by “Rosatom” Russian State Corporation. The established “Metsamorenergoatom” CJSC is open for other investors as well. “Metsamorenergoatom” CJSC has already received the license for selection of the site for the construction of the new unit.
On 26 March 2010 the “Rosatom” State Corporation and the RA Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources signed an agreement on nuclear island equipment reservation aimed at equipping the new nuclear unit in the RA.
An agreement between the RA and RF Governments was signed on 20 August 2010 to envisage the nuclear island equipment supply provisions and is already ratified. Other nuclear unit components of the project, i.e. Turbine Island and I&C systems are subject to negotiations with suppliers.
The design safety requirements for NPP unit(s) were adopted by RA Government decision No1411-N on 8 November 2012.
The Method on Seismic Hazard Assessment for new nuclear unit site safety requirements for NPP unit(s) was adopted by RA Government in decision No1546-N on 13 December 2012.
Site safety requirements for new NPP unit(s) were adopted by RA Government in decision No708-N on 4 July 2013.
The list of internal legal acts applied in the field of atomic energy utilization in Russian and in English was adopted by RA Government in decision No709-N on 4 July 2013.
1.3. The Electricity System
1.3.1. Policy and Decision Making Process
Special attention was paid by the Government to restructuring the electricity sector. A number of energy Laws were adopted to achieve that target. A programme for improvement of metering, billing and collection of payments for electricity, heat and natural gas has been implemented, together with the conversion of the accounting system to international norms and standards and annual auditing of the company's financial reports by independent auditors. A programme 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.
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 near future, however, additional energy sources may be required as the economy of the republic is recovering and the living standard is increasing steadily.
For Armenia, it is critical to be involved in the regional power market that is currently in the process of formation and which foresees the establishment of a circular power system of Black Sea countries, as well as the creation of North – South parallel operation relations.
So, in future the leading role in the provision of services to the regional power market will be given to a country which is able to produce base-load electricity from the nuclear unit with minimal emissions of green-house gases.
1.3.2. Structure of Electric Power Sector
In May 2008, the Ministry of Energy of RA was re-named and became the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of RA. It is responsible for the sustainable electric energy supply to the consumers, natural resource economic potential determination and other tasks relevant to those areas. It is responsible for defining policy for development of the whole Energy sector.
The duties of the Nuclear Safety Regulation State Committee under the Government of RA are: performing nuclear energy regulation and supervision of nuclear powered objects, issuing licenses and controlling the fulfilment of license requirements. Its main objective is to secure the protection of the population, the personnel involved in the nuclear industry, and the environment.
The Public Services Regulatory Commission of the RA is responsible for the antimonopoly regulation. The key functions of antimonopoly regulation are tariff regulation and licensing of entities in the energy sector.
The Operator of the Electric Energy Network is responsible for the dispatching activity, and the Settlement Centre is in charge of calculation of wholesale trade of electric energy. It also approves the balance between the participants of the trade.
The structure of management of the Energy Sector in Armenia is shown in Figure 1.
1.3.3. Main Indicators
On January 1, 2014 the total capacity of the electric energy generating plants in Armenia was 4.06 GW(e). In 2014, electricity production was 7.75 billion kWh. Table 5 shows the historical statistics of electricity production and its distribution by plant types, Table 6 - the energy related ratios. In 2014, the electricity consumption was around 2037 kWh/capita in Armenia. The electricity consumption of Yerevan city is about 34% of the total electricity consumption in Armenia.
FIG 1. Structure of management of the Energy Sector
TABLE 5. ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION, CONSUMPTION AND CAPACITY
|Average annual growth rate (%)|
|1988||2000||2005||2010||2013||2014||2000 to 2014|
|Capacity of electrical plants (GWe)|
|- Hydro (incl. Small HPPs &Wind)||1.00||1.00||1.00||1.10||1.23||1.25||1.16|
|Electricity production (TWh)|
|- Hydro (incl. Small HPPs &Wind)||1.52||1.26||1.66||2.59||2.18||2.00||3.36|
|- Total (1)||15.28||5.96||6.21||6.49||7.71||7.75||1.89|
|Total Electricity consumption (TWh)||12.39||4.77||4.89||5.21||6.08||6.14||1.82|
(1) Electricity losses are not deducted.
Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Database; Country Information.
TABLE 6. ENERGY RELATED RATIOS
|Energy consumption per capita (GJ/capita)||24.2||33.9||38.9||33.6||32.19||35.13||42.8||n/a|
|Electricity per capita (MWh/capita)||1.49||1.52||1.65||1.49||1.60||1.72||2.01||2.04|
|Electricity production/Energy production (%)||81||63||66||59||64||73||85||n/a|
|Nuclear/total electricity (%)||33.7||43.7||40.3||43.4||38.4||34.3||30.6||31.7|
|Ratio of external dependency (%) (1)||68||67||74||69||66||74||74||n/a|
Source: IAEA Energy and Economic Database; Country Information.
(1) Net import / Total energy consumption.
2. NUCLEAR POWER SITUATION
2.1. Historical Development and current organizational structure
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 the ‘’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 N 1624 R.C. of the former 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 the Ararat valley, 16 km from Turkish border, 10 km to the north-east of region centre – Hoktemberyan (Armavir), and 28 km (to the west) from Yerevan. Location of the ANPP is shown in Figure 2.
In accordance with that specification, the capacity of the ANPP (first stage of construction) with VVER-440 type reactors was to be 815.0 MW, 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 an intensity level of eight-point s according to MSK-64 scale. It was the first nuclear power plant in the USSR intended to be constructed in a region of high seismicity.
The specific nature of the ANPP site - its seismicity - caused significant changes in the design of VVER-440/230, not only in construction, but also in the design of the reactor facility as a whole, and the reactor was assigned with the new identification – V-270. The design of the reactor was based on the project of Unit 3 and 4 of the Novovoronezh NPP.
FIG 2. Map of locations of all electricity generating power plants and main high voltage interconnections with the neighbouring countries. The ANPP’s location is indicated by a white box with red circle
The reactor building, auxiliary building, ventilation stack, 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 a category of High Importance. They were considered to have one point more seismic resistance than that of the ANPP site.
The ANPP was commissioned in 1976, achieving 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 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 central heating needs of Yerevan city. The technical-economic background was approved and coordinated with all the relevant organizations. In 1985, the Gorky Department of “Atomteploelectroproject” Institute prepared a project: “Armenian NPP: Its expansion, taking into consideration the central heating in Yerevan city”. The excavation work was begun and the foundation pits for two new units
(Unit 3, Unit 4) were dug through. However following the Chernobyl accident of 1986 the Government of the Republic made a decision to refuse further expansion of the ANPP. The construction work was stopped as a result.
After the 1988 earthquake, although the ANPP 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 those which occurred during 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 in 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. Following 6.5 years of outage, with the technical and financial help of the Russian Federation, Unit 2 of the ANPP was restarted on 5 November 1995. Unit 1 remained in a state of stand-still.
According to the decision of the RA Government minutes on 27 March 2014 the works for the extension of the Armenian NPP Unit 2 design lifetime have been launched. After the execution of the work the relevant documents will be submitted to the Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority to receive the Unit’s exploitation license for the period beginning September 2016.
Following the ANPP restart, 38.31 billion kWh of electric energy had been generated by 1 January, 2015, keeping to the load schedule of the Armenian power system.
2.1.2. Current Organizational Chart
The following organizations, institutions and state bodies are currently involved in activity related to the operation of ANPP:
According to the Governmental decree N 98, 04.04.1996, the CJSC "Armenian NPP" was created and authorized to be the operator of the nuclear power plant. For other purposes, such as liability to foreign countries, the State is assumed to be the operator.
In Armenia, the ANPP is under state ownership according to the Law on Safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes.
In the past, the ANPP had 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 September 2003, Government decree N 1211 was issued "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, with the former to fulfil the financial management of the ANPP. Inter RAO EES has the obligation of timely delivery of fresh nuclear fuel to the ANPP. The Russian side was responsible for the management of the plant financial flows. The nuclear power plant remains the property of the RA. On 4 December 2008, Government decree N 1411 was issued "On Transfer into the Trust Management of the Rights Certified by the Shares", according to which the financial management of the ANPP by Inter RAO EES was extended for 5 years.
However, taking into account the fact that OJSC Inter RAO EES applied to the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources for early termination of the trust management agreement, the Government of the RA (by decision No. 227 of 1 March 2012 “On Early Termination of Agreement on Trust Management of the Rights of “Armenian Nuclear Power Plant” CJSC Certified by Shares and Making Supplements to the Government Decision No. 1694 of 6 November 2003”) authorised early termination of the agreement.
The Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (the ANRA) – was established in 1993. The ANRA was authorized to be the regulatory body in the area of nuclear and radiation safety, to perform inspection activities and issue the licenses for the appropriate applications (See more detailed information in Section 3.1)
The Ministry of Energy of RA was established in 1992 and on 18 April 2008 became the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of RA by presidential order. 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 Armenian NPP. On 4 April 1996, by Government decree N 98, the operation of the "Armatomenergo" 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 of RA. The Department participates in the elaboration of Armenian energy and nuclear energy development strategy; organizes the development of a list of measures on the ANPP safety upgrading and decommissioning programme; and collaborates with the IAEA and other international nuclear energy organizations.
The "Armatom" Institute - was established in 1973. Having provided engineering support to the ANPP, the Institute undertakes work such as: implementation of diagnostic systems; implementation of the Safety Parameters Display System (SPDS), and development of compact and multi-functional simulators within the ANPP. "Armatom" is participating in the development of "Deterministic Analysis of ANPP Unit 2" and "Probabilistic Safety Analysis of ANPP Unit 2" documents.
CJSC "Atomservice" - was established in 1987. The company took active part in the plant systems adjusting and testing programmes implementation during the period of preparation for the ANPP Unit 2 restart. It continues to perform the same activity nowadays.
CJSC "Atomenergoseismoproject" - was established in 1983. During the period of restart preparation of Unit 2 of the ANPP, a set of works on finishing investigations of seismic conditions at the plant was performed by CJSC "Atomenergoseismoproject" for final resolution on all the issues relevant to the plant restart and its further operation. One of the major results of conducted investigations was 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 proven. At present the CJSC "Atomenergoseismoproject" is part of the “Scientific Research Institute of Energy” CJSC.
There are several construction, repair, mounting and other organizations also related with the operation of the ANPP.
In Armenia, the 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, ANPP, ANRA, the State Engineering University (SEUA), and other nuclear power specialists.
The main objectives of the Association are as follows:
to promote scientific idea development in nuclear engineering;
to support nuclear energy promotion and further development;
to conduct testing in the field of atomic energy according to the established procedures;
to organize public discussions of problems relevant to nuclear energy;
to ensure the promotion of nuclear energy by:
publishing articles, magazines, books, dictionaries, reference books;
organizing scientific seminars;
creating radio-programs, documental and scientific films, video cassettes devoted to nuclear energy;
creating computer training and demonstration programs.
2.2. Nuclear Power Plants: Overview
2.2.1. Status and Performance of nuclear power plants
The ANPP consists of two VVER-440 type nuclear power units. Both units of the ANPP with the VVER- 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 Teploelectroproject (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.
Since 1989, Unit 1 remained in a stand-still regime. Since its restart (1995), Unit 2 of the ANPP has been in operation. Unit 2 has an installed gross capacity of 407.5 MW.
All the nuclear fuel necessary for the ANPP operation was delivered in the past and is currently being delivered by the “TVEL” Concern of Russian Federation.
Table 7 shows the status and some other indicators of the nuclear power units of the ANPP.
TABLE 7. STATUS OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS
|Data source: IAEA - Power Reactor Information System (PRIS).|
|Note: Table 7 is completely generated from PRIS data to reflect the latest available information and may be more up to date than the text of the report.|
In 2005, the ANPP generated 2.72 billion kWh, which is its maximum generation since the ANPP restart.
The main organizations and institutions involved in nuclear energy in Armenia are: the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, The Nuclear Safety Regulation State Committee under the Government of RA (still referred to as “ANRA”), CJSC “ANPP”, CJSC “Armatom”, CJSC “Atomservice” and CJSC “Atomenergoseismoproject”. Some technical support has been provided by organizations of the Russian Federation, e.g. OKB “Gidropress” - 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) (below scale, deviation). In 1996, 8 emergency events occurred at the ANPP, including: one of level “1” (anomaly), seven of level “0” on the INES scale. In 1997, five emergency events occurred at the ANPP, including: two of level “1”, three of level “0” on the INES scale. In 1998, seven emergency events occurred at the ANPP, including: two of level “2”, one of level “1” and four- of level “0” on the INES scale. In 1999, one emergency shutdown and one1 event of level “1” occurred. In 2000, there were three events reported, one event was rated level “1”, and two events were rated level “0”. In 2001, eight emergency events occurred at the ANPP, including: three of level “1”, five of level “0” on the INES scale. In 2002, eight emergency events of level “0” on the INES scale occurred at the ANPP. There were two emergency shutdowns. In 2003, there were two emergency events, one of level “0” and one of level “1” on the INES scale. There was one emergency shutdown in 2003. In 2004, there were two emergency events of level “1” on the INES scale. In 2005, 2006 and 2007 no emergency events on the INES scale occurred. In 2008, during the operation of Unit 2 of the ANPP, one event of "1" by INES was registered, and the reactor was scrammed which was caused by an accident in the grid. In 2009, there were five recorded events in the plant operation, four events were classified according to INES level “0” and one event was classified as safety significant level “1”event on the INES scale. In 2010, there were seven recorded events in the plant operation and all events were classified according to INES level “0”. In 2011, there were four recorded events in the plant operation and all events were classified according to INES level “0”. In 2012, during the operation of Unit 2 of the ANPP, two events of "0" by INES were registered. The reactor was not scrammed. In 2013, there were five recorded events in the plant operation, four events were classified according to INES level “0” and one event was classified according to INES level “1”, and the reactor was manually scrammed. In 2014, during the operation of Unit 2 of the ANPP, five events of "0" by INES were registered.
Figure 3 shows the dynamics of the significant safety events based on INES scale.
FIG 3. Significant safety events dynamics based on INES scale
2.2.2. Plant Upgrading, Plant Life Management and License Renewals
The issues of the ANPP safety upgrading are of great importance for the Armenian Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. The safety level of the ANPP during times of very limited financial resources was one of the main concerns of the Armenian Government. After numerous consultations with experts from the USA, Western European countries and the Russian Federation, and being also assisted by the experts from the IAEA, Armenian specialists developed a new programme of the ANPP safety-upgrading. The Programme was called “List of safety upgrading activities for the period of 2009 – 2016 of Unit 2 of the Armenian NPP”. The safety upgrading process, was previously permanently implemented at the ANPP, and is being realized according to the provisions of that programme. Since the restart of the ANPP and up to 1 January 2015 more than 208 safety upgrading activities and 1467 safety improvement measures (modifications according to technical decisions, improving safety and reliability of NPP equipment and systems) have been completed, so the plant can withstand emergency situations without failures. Historical annual upgrading measures are shown in Figure 4.
FIG 4. Historical annual upgrading measures
In the summer of 2005, the Director General of the IAEA, Mr. El Baradei, came to visit Armenia. During the high-level meeting, he assured the Armenian side that the IAEA will assist to coordinate the activities on the upgrading of the ANPP with the donor countries. On 18-19 May 2010, the 4th IAEA working meeting was held on Coordination of International Assistance to the ANPP safety upgrading in Yerevan. The decision was made to review the existing “List of safety upgrading activities for the period of 2009 – 2016 of Unit 2 of the Armenian NPP” on the base of the SAR and PSA documents. The 6th IAEA working meeting for co-ordination of international technical assistance to Armenian NPP will be held in September 2014 in Yerevan.
18-19 April, 2012, Yukiya Amano, Director General of IAEA, had meetings with the President of RA, the Prime Minister of RA, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of RA. During the meetings, the issues concerning the cooperation between RA and IAEA in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy were discussed. In particular:
the issues related to the continuation of coordination works for increasing the safety level of ANPP #2, technical assistance aimed at increasing its safety level and strengthening its security through physical protection. Technical assistance for decommissioning the ANPP was also discussed.
the issues concerning various implementation stages of construction of a new nuclear power unit in RA, including creation of appropriate infrastructure, reviewing and proofreading of documents prepared for the licensing, and specialised training.
the issues related to strengthening the capacity of RA State Nuclear Safety Regulatory Committee by the Government, technical assistance in activities during various stages of the licensing process of the new nuclear power unit in RA.
the long-term development projects in radiation therapy were also discussed.
The IAEA delegation visited the ANPP and made a tour of its operating unit. Activities, according to the programme, for increasing the safety and security level of ANPP #2 and future plans for the unit were presented to them.
Since 1996, the Nuclear Energy Safety Council under the President of RA has been acting in Armenia. Its general duty is to report annually to the President on the state of nuclear energy safety at the ANPP. The members of the Council thoroughly observe the relevant documents and appropriate specialists reports before reporting to the President. The Council consists of internationally acknowledged specialists, well known within world nuclear energy. In November 2013, the 13th Council Conference took place in Yerevan.
The Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, which defines policy for the whole energy sector, is responsible for the development of the ANPP safe operation programmes in close cooperation with other responsible bodies.
The IAEA assembled an international team of experts at the request of the Government of the Republic of Armenia to conduct an Operational Safety Review (OSART) of the NPP. Under the leadership of the IAEA, Division of Nuclear Installation Safety, the OSART team performed an in-depth operational safety review in May 2011. The OSART team conducted an “in-depth review” of the aspects essential to the safe operation of the ANPP. The conclusions of the review are based on the IAEA Safety Standards and proven good international practices. The OSART team has made 14 recommendations and 12 suggestions related to areas where operational safety of ANPP could be improved. Also, the OSART team has identified good plant practices which will be shared with the rest of the nuclear industry for consideration of their application. ANPP has already developed a detailed plan of action for implementation of these recommendations and assignments, which has already started. In June, 2013, IAEA review mission will visit ANPP to revise the implementation of assignments and recommendations of the OSART mission. The mission noted the high level of the works performance towards fulfilling its suggestions and recommendations and, at the same time the mission pointed out certain issues concerning RAO management that should be addressed. Currently, the corrective actions aimed at the implementation of IAEA OSART Follow-up Mission recommendations and suggestions are under the implementation until their fully completion (elimination of comments). The expected completion date for the entire improvement plan is the year 2019. The main scope of activities is included into “The Program for ANPP Unit 2 Lifetime Extension”.
Full-scale Peer Review Mission of WANO MC was carried out at Armenian NPP 13-19 June 2013, and the Corporate Peer Review of WANO MC was carried out on 21-29 June 2013.The previous WANO MC PR was carried out at HAEK CJSC in 2004 and the follow-up PR Mission of WANO MC was carried out in 2007. The CPR of WANO MC was carried out at HAEK CJSC for the first time. During preparation to the mission there were performed self-assessments of various activity types to check the compliance with WANO requirements, and also quality audits and inspections. Based on their results corrective measures were implemented aimed at the elimination of identified deficiencies. In total, there were more than 1000 corrective measures. In June, 2015, WANO review mission will visit ANPP to revise the implementation of assignments and recommendations of the WANO MC PR.
After the earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, in 2011, Armenia expressed readiness to conduct "stress tests" at the ANPP in accordance with the approach of Western European Nuclear Regulation. By means of the EU fund and with the assistance of Belgian company Traktebel, the ANPP is carrying out the "stress test". The first revision of the Stress-Test Report developed in compliance with the Consortium methodology was submitted to ANRA for consideration to ANRA at the end of May 2013. ANPP submitted the final report to ANRA at the end of 2013. The final report of the “Stress-test" of the ANPP will be transferred to the EU after approval by the Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority.
The preliminary results of stress-tests and assessment of safety margins allow the safety of ANPP to be stated. At the same time the weaknesses and areas for improvement have been identified along with specific recommendations which ANPP should implement to receive the ANRA’s license for Unit 2 lifetime extension.
In May 2013 the IAEA team reviewed Armenian Integrated Nuclear Security Support Plan (INSSP). The INSSP identified the needs, responsible entities and organizations within the state as well as the timeframe for the implementation of agreed activities.
The IAEA assembled an international team of experts at the request of the Government of the Republic of Armenia in December 2014 to conduct an International Physical Protection Advisory Service (IPPAS) Mission. Under the leadership of the IAEA, Division of Nuclear Security, the IPPAS team reviewed physical protection legislation and regulations, and were performed survey of facilities implementation of physical protection measures. Some recommendations were provided by the IAEA team.
2.3. Future Development of Nuclear Power
2.3.1. Nuclear Power Development Strategy
The Energy Policy of Armenia is focused on realization of the strategy programme for providing the country with the required quantity of electric energy and gas.
In 2001 - 2002, in the frame of the IAEA Programme on Technical Cooperation, the project titled Energy and Nuclear Power Planning study for Armenia was developed, and the details of which were published in July 2004 as TECDOC -1404. The document included 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:
the use of the thermal power plants only;
the use of both the thermal and nuclear power plants.
The second option for development of the Energy sector was preferable, taking into account the criteria of energy safety and energy independence, ecology, as well as the social point of view. On the basis of this study, the Least Cost Generation Plan and The Comprehensive National Energy Strategy and Energy Sector Improvement Action Plan were developed in 2006. Based on these two documents, The Armenian Ministry of Energy Action Programme According to the National Security Strategy was adopted by Government decree N1296 of 1 November 2007. This programme was envisaged to put the new nuclear power unit (s) into operation immediately after the shutdown of the existing one, to cover the lack of capacity. According to that document, taking into consideration the needs of country energy independence, the preference was given to 1000 MW nuclear power units.
At present, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia, assisted by the USAID Project for assistance to the energy sector of Armenia for Energy Security and Regional Integration, is reviewing the Environmental Background Information Document with the aim of establishing a new document, namely the Armenia New Nuclear Unit Environmental Report.
Public hearings on the Armenia New Nuclear Unit Environmental (Environmental Impact Assessment) Report were conducted on 17 May 2011, in Armavir and on 24 May 2011 in Gyumri. Based on the comments and recommendations made during those hearings, the report was expanded and submitted to the Ministry of Nature Protection of the RA. The Ministry of Natural Protection offered the information that it does not have principle comments about the Armenia New Nuclear Unit Environmental (Environmental Impact Assessment) Report and will provide a final conclusion after the results of design activities are incorporated in the final report.
The Law of the Republic of Armenia On Construction of a New NPP in the Republic of Armenia was adopted on 27 October 2009. The law serves as the legal basis for construction of a new NPP in Armenia; according to the Armenia Law “On Safe Usage of Nuclear Energy in Peaceful Purposes”, construction in the republic of a new NPP or decommissioning of the existing NPP are possible only after adoption of a relevant law.
2.3.2. Project Management
Decree “On Establishment of a Closed Joint-Stock Company Aimed at Construction of a New NPP in the Republic of Armenia” was adopted by the Government of Armenia on 3 December, 2009. “Metsamorenergoatom” CJSC was established with the involvement of RA Government and “Atomstroyexport” CJSC, which was delegated by “Rosatom” Russian State Corporation. The established, “Metsamorenergoatom” CJSC is open for other investors as well.
2.3.3. Project Funding
According to the Intergovernmental Agreement between RA and RF on “Cooperation on construction new nuclear unit(s) on the territory of RA” the Russian portion of investment will be equal to the cost of the nuclear island; the rest has to be covered by the Armenian side or by the other investor(s). The Armenian government is currently in the negotiation process with potential investors for the project.
2.3.4. Electric Grid Development
Investigations of development of a new 400 kV network in Armenia (new Voltage level in the country), as well as its expansion to neighbouring power systems have been conducted by Energy Network Design Institute of Armenia in the project “Development of the Armenian electrical grid scheme (2010, 2015, 2020)”.
Some of the principle conclusions of this study are formulated as follows:
To ensure the admissible voltage level and to reduce active power losses in the electrical grid, it is desirable to construct a new 400/220 kV substation, “Noravan,” with input/output of double circuit “Iran-Armenia” HVL of 400 kV.
It is necessary to install a reactance in the Hrazdan TPP 400 kV substation to ensure the allowable voltage levels and adjust reactive power flow.
Calculations of short circuit currents show that there is no need to replace any equipment in existing substations, or any extraordinary additional equipment in a new 400 kV network.
Connection of a new 400 kV OHL and increasing of electricity export to the neighbour power systems will highly reduce the risk of unstable operation of the ANPP and power system as a whole.
2.3.5. Site Selection
A seismic hazard assessment of the ANPP site has been performed with funds of the RA. The terms of reference for the seismic hazard assessment of the ANPP site were developed and agreed with IAEA. The draft report of the site seismic hazard assessment was submitted for expert review to IAEA in August 2010. The IAEA Mission reviewing the seismic hazard assessment provided a number of comments and recommendations for completion of the seismic hazard assessment.
The “Seismic Hazard Assessment for the Construction Site of a New Power Unit at the Armenian NPP – Final Report” was completed in February 2011 based on the latest IAEA guidance. The report also includes a “Volcanic Hazard Assessment of the Armenia Nuclear Power Plant Site”. IAEA made a positive review of the final report.
The final report of IAEA experts on the final version of the seismic and volcanic hazard assessments was provided to the Armenian party in December 2011. The IAEA Second Mission provided comments of editorial nature and recommended to carry out additional investigations regarding the Yerevan fault.
“Metsamorenergoatom” CJSC has received the license for selection of the site for the construction of the new unit.
2.4. Organizations Involved in construction of NPPs
Tender will be invited in the circumstances of the appropriate funding, and construction firms will be identified. RA construction firms will be heavily involved in the construction works of the new nuclear power plant with their capabilities.
2.5. Organizations Involved in operation of NPPs
"The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant" CJSC is the Armenian nuclear power plant's operating organization.
“Metsamorenergoatom” CJSC will be the operational organization for the Armenian New Nuclear Unit.
2.6. Organizations Involved in Decommissioning of NPPs
A number of Government decrees have been adopted with regard to decommissioning of the ANPP:
Special fund for decommissioning of ANPP was created under the Ministry of Finance of RA, and the ANPP regularly makes allocations to that Fund from the amount included in the ANPP electricity tariff. The ANPP Decommissioning Fund is functioning properly;
The Management Board of the Fund was created, the Chairman of the Board was elected - the Deputy Prime Minister of RA, the Board includes a number of Government members;
The ANPP Decommissioning Strategy was adopted by the Government of Armenia in November 2007.
Under the framework of Action Plan of EU Neighbourhood Policy, negotiations are being carried out on the matter of providing technical assistance for development of the ANPP Decommissioning Plan, as well as development of a Radioactive Waste Strategy. Further progress will mostly depend on the ANPP Decommissioning Plan.
2.7. Fuel Cycle and Waste Management
Armenia has no nuclear fuel cycle industry and uses an open nuclear fuel cycle scheme. 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 spent nuclear fuel. The recovered uranium and plutonium were retained by the central agencies in the Soviet Union. Since the restart of Unit 2, spent nuclear fuel has been retained on the ANPP site.
The ANPP is operating with a three-year fuel cycle. The spent nuclear fuel is kept in wet nuclear fuel storage in the reactor building in fuel ponds before it is transferred to dry storage.
In 2000, the construction of the first stage of the 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 transportation of spent fuel is performed according to the requirements of the license given by the ANRA. Now the total volume of the first stage of storage is filled with spent fuel.
In 2005, an agreement was signed with French company TN International for construction of the additional three stages of the dry storage facility. The financing was allocated from the State budget of RA. The second stage was completed and put into operation in spring 2008. The first part of the spent nuclear fuel has been transferred into dry storage. The third stage of spent fuel dry storage construction is planned to be started in 2014.
By Protocol Decision 19 of the Government of Armenia, Session No. 43 of 4 November 2010, “The Concept for Safe Management of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel in the Republic of Armenia” was adopted. According to the Concept, the significant activities anticipated in that area are regulated and distributed between the departments of the Republic of Armenia.
Currently, the ANPP is developing a programme for management of radioactive waste at ANPP, which will be used in the course of development of document A4.01/09 “Strategy for Radioactive Waste Management in the Republic of Armenia” provided for the programme of the Republic of Armenia and European Commission “Nuclear Safety Activities for 2009”.
“The Radioactive Waste and Spent Fuel safety management strategy development for Armenia” are currently being developed with the assistance of ITER Consult Consortium (ITER, Sogin, Iberdrolla, STUK and others organisations) within the framework of the EU assistance programme. Development of the strategy have been started in 2013 and planned to be finalized by the end of 2015. After the strategy approval the action plan will be developed for implementation.
The first National report under the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management has been presented during the 5th review meeting in May 2015.
The final spent fuel and high-level radwaste treatment and disposal concept will be developed and included in the ANPP Decommissioning Programme.
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 MLW. 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 m2 (3000 containers).
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 storage facility for low-level radwaste consists of two compartments, each measuring 27 x 36 x 8.9 m. The total storage volume is about 17050 m3.
In March of 2007, the “Radioactive Waste Decontamination” CJSC was transferred under the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. Currently, the medical and industrial ionizing sources are kept at the facility. The work is under way to modernize the “Radioactive Waste Decontamination” CJSC storage facility to also keep the middle-level liquid radwaste generated by the ANPP.
2.8. Research and Development Activities
2.8.1. R&D organizations
The main organizations and institutions involved in nuclear energy in Armenia are: CJSC “ANPP”, CJSC “Armatom”, CJSC “Atomservice”, CJSC “Nuclear and Radiation Safety Centre”, CJSC “Tekatomenergo” and CJSC “Scientific Research Institute of Energy”.
2.8.2. Development of advanced nuclear technologies
No information available.
2.8.3. International Co-operation and Initiatives
In 2004, Armenia joined the International Project on Innovative Nuclear Reactors and Fuel Cycles (INPRO), an 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. Armenia fulfilled the Collaborative Project (CP) entitled “Implementation Issues for the Use of Nuclear Power in Smaller Countries”. The project was supported by a number of countries. The results of this CP are providing small countries with the opportunity to discover problems that could arise with the construction of new nuclear units in their countries. Currently, another INPRO “SMALL” CP was performed and the report has been submitted to IAEA for publication.
Armenia was invited to join the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP). On 1 October 2008, the agreement was signed, and Armenia became a member of the GNEP which would provide significant benefits to Armenia’s nuclear programme. (A change of name to the International Framework for Nuclear Energy Cooperation was adopted in June 2010.)
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 the framework of co-operation under the aegis of IAEA, EC and USAID.
Very close co-operation is established with the IAEA. Armenia has been a member of this organization since 1993. IAEA experts have been participating in many 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 is collaborating 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 US DOE, in the framework of the International Nuclear Safety Program, and EC, within the framework of TACIS Assistance Programs, started the implementation of projects aiming at technical assistance in upgrading a level of the ANPP operation, as well as modernization of technological equipment in the plant.
Over the years, several countries, France, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Italy and Russian Federation (since 2008), have joined the Assistance Programmes.
Armenia cooperates with Argentina within the frame of the bilateral project Creation in Armenia of a Center for training and qualification in Non-Destructive Metal Testing Techniques with the assistance of the IAEA.
There are many joint projects with the Russian Federation within the framework of the Nuclear Safety Assistance Program. 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".
In the frame of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, Armenia and USA, 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 7 Feb 2001.
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, whose members are the nuclear regulatory authorities from the countries operating VVERs. The ANRA also participates in the CONCERT Group work.
In 2007, the Government of Armenia made the decision for the RA to join the agreement between the Governments of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Russian Federation on the establishment of the International Uranium Enrichment Center in Angarsk.
2.9. Human resources development
In view of energy security and energy independence, Armenia gives special attention to development of nuclear energy in the country.
Activities towards the construction of a new nuclear unit in Armenia began in 2008. A Law of the RA on Construction of a New NPP in the Republic of Armenia was adopted on 27 October2009, which serves as the legal basis for construction of a new NPP in Armenia.
The need for qualified specialists is becoming an ultimate necessity for Armenia with regard to construction of new nuclear units as well as for operation, continuous safety improvement and decommissioning of the ANPP.
Armenia is the only country in the entire Caucasus region that has operated a nuclear power plant for over 30 years. Qualified specialists are required for the already existing ANPP, ANRA, Nuclear and Radiation Safety Centre, ARMATOM and other research institutes to address issues and challenges in view of new developments of nuclear energy in Armenia.
Armenia has two main institutions preparing nuclear experts: the State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA-Polytechnic) and Yerevan State University. Armenian specialists from ANRA, the nuclear power plant and support organizations participate in scientific visits and training in Europe, the US and other countries. This is conducted under IAEA Technical Cooperation projects and international aid programmes.
To increase the quality of nuclear specialists, currently, two departments of the Yerevan State University and the State Engineering University of Armenia provide specialized education in the field of nuclear energy. However, enhancement of Integrated Education System for the Nuclear Sector in Armenia is essential. Therefore, a Concept on human resources management is approved by the Government of the RA. Implementations of Knowledge Management for all phases, including design, construction and commissioning, operation and decommissioning, both for the existing and future NPP units, are the main parts of the Concept.
An evaluation of human resource needs in conjunction with the new NPP in Armenia was conducted under IAEA Technical Cooperation Project ARM-005. The report of that evaluation feasibility study of nuclear energy development in Armenia titled “Evaluation of Human Resource Needs in Conjunction with New NPP Build” was completed in 2008 and was published as an IAEA TECDOC-1656 “Evaluation of Human Resource Needs for a New Nuclear Power Plant: Armenian Case Study” in 2011. The analysis, which covers all stages of construction of the new nuclear power unit, relates both to the sponsoring organization and to the regulatory agency dealing with nuclear power in Armenia.
Armenia is currently engaged in the following activities:
Item 11 of the Protocol of GoA Session No. 26 dated 8 July 2010, approved a programme of subsidies intended to encourage attendance and academic achievements by students in the nuclear field.
Under IAEA Technical Cooperation Project ARM-006, IAEA is providing laboratory equipment and training to strengthen educational programmes at the State Engineering University of Armenia (SEUA) and Yerevan State University (YSU). At SEUA, IAEA installed a VVER-1000 unit simulator for training purposes.
Under USAID Armenia project Aid to the Energy Sector to Strengthen Energy Security and Regional Integration, a task has been completed in support of curriculum development at SEUA and YSU to restructure and improve the curricula in nuclear engineering and nuclear physics and increase the knowledge level of university graduates entering the nuclear workforce.
A new IAEA Technical Cooperation Project is being initiated to provide IAEA assistance in reviewing relevant permission/license documents and in creation of corresponding infrastructure for new nuclear unit.
Curricula for the Bachelor and Master levels of specialties re-established at SEUA and YSU according to the above mentioned Government decision were developed.
Significant expansion of staffing at the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and CJSC “MetsamorEnergoAtom” to support new unit design and procurement is expected after selection of strategic partners and investors. RA’s contract with Worley Parsons (as the Management Company for the new NPP) requires that they develop specific training plans for personnel working at the preconstruction phase and construction phase of the project and for personnel responsible for project safety.
Enhancement of Armenian nuclear educational system and comprehensive development and upgrade of the Training System for personnel within the nuclear power sector will include the development and upgrade of the following aspects of the Training System:
Management of Training System development and operation
Organizational structure and staffing of Training System
Training programmes and material using Systematic Approach to Training (SAT) for various categories of personnel
Simulators (full-scope, compact)
Multi-functional multimedia Computer-Based Training (CBT) Systems for various jobs and activities
Training and development of Instructors
Training and development of Nuclear Power sector managers
2.10. Stakeholder Communication
In Armenia, the information support activities are performed within the framework of stakeholder communication plans, which deal with continuous provision of information related to the development of nuclear power programme to the public.
2.11. Emergency Preparedness
On 8 December 2005, an amendment was made to the Law on Population Protection in Emergency Situations according to which, in the case of nuclear or radiation emergency at the nuclear power plant (NPP), the functions of all involved responsible organizations shall be determined by Government decree. On 22 December 2005, Government decree N 2328 “National Plan for Population Protection in case of Nuclear and/or Radiation Emergency at the Armenian NPP” was issued. As a result of the exercises on nuclear or radiation emergency at the nuclear power plant conducted for checking the real possibilities to use that decree, a new edition of the “National Plan for Population Protection in case of Nuclear and/or Radiation Emergency at the Armenian NPP” was created, and this was adopted by the Government decree N 194 on 17 January 2008.
3. NATIONAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS
3.1. Regulatory Framework
3.1.1. Regulatory Authority(s)
The state authority for supervision of nuclear and radiation safety was established by the Government 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.
Government decree N70, 19.02.2000 authorized the Department to also have 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 was given a new name - Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority (ANRA) in accordance with that decree. The ANRA was under direct subordination to 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 May 2001, according to Government decree N 452, the ANRA was awarded with the authorization of State regulation on protection against irradiation from ionizing radiation sources and their safety.
The status of the ANRA was changed again on 27 June, 2002, according to Government decree N 912, in order to respond to the reforming principles implemented into the Armenian System of Government Management. The ANRA was included in the Ministry of Environmental Protection of RA.
On December 26, 2002, the new Statute of the ANRA was approved by Government decree N 2183. The ANRA was re-named the Inspectorate for State Supervision on Nuclear and Radiation Safety of Utilization of Nuclear Energy under the Ministry of Environmental Protection of RA. According to the new Statute, the ANRA was authorized with the following key duties: to perform State regulation within the field of nuclear energy utilization with the main objective to secure the protection of the population, the personnel involved in the nuclear industry, and the environment.
In accordance with the Ordinance of the President of Armenia adopted on 20 May 2008, the ANRA was reorganized into the State Committee on Nuclear Safety Regulation under the Government of the RA. Now, ANRA’s task is the state regulation of atomic energy utilization (safety of nuclear facilities, the safe use of ionizing radiation sources, the safe management of radioactive waste, and the safe transport of radioactive and nuclear materials) aimed to ensure the safety of population and personnel, environmental safety and to defend safety interests of the RA.
Armenia has a licensing process for NPP, and the regulatory authority for nuclear safety is the ANRA. The licensee is responsible for the safety of the NPP. The licensee is obliged by the license to:
Guarantee the keeping of principles, criteria and requirements on the nuclear and radiation safety, as well as the conditions or acts of the temporary operation permission
Inform ANRA on the deviations of the conditions of the temporary operation permission, as well as the incidents and emergencies during NPP Unit operation
On 25 April 2001 the Science-Research Centre of Nuclear and Radiation Safety was established at the ANRA, according to Government decree N 342, with the aim to enable the ANRA to carry out an independent expertise activity.
On the basis Government decree N 389, 22.08.1994, all the rules and norms applicable to nuclear power in Russia were accepted in Armenia. The ANRA is aware of the fact that some of those regulations need revision. This process is constantly underway.
According to Government decree N 252, 7.04.2007 “On Abrogation of the Government Decree N 389, 22.08.1994 and Item 2 of the Government Decree N 239, 20.04.1999” the Government decrees No. 389, 22.08.1994 “On Nuclear Power Plant Safety Norms and Rules” and N 239, 7.04.2007 “On the List of Normative Decisions Adopted by Council of Ministers of the Armenian Soviet Socialistic Republic and Effective Before 23 August 1990” became ineffective. Appropriate governmental bodies in Armenia are in the process of developing internal norms and standards for the nuclear sector.
3.1.2. Licensing Process
The licensing process of the nuclear field is regulated by the Law on “Licensing” and the appropriate decisions of Government of RA.
3.2. Main National Laws and Regulations in nuclear power
The following laws concerning the activities in the field of nuclear energy use are in use in Armenia:
Law on "Implementation of modifications and additions both in the Code of RA on administrative and criminal legal violations", entered into force on 30 November 1996.
Law on “Energy of the Republic of Armenia” came into force on 1 July 1997.
The new Law on "Energy of the Republic of Armenia" entered into force in March, 2001, and replaced the previous law.
Law on "Safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes" came into force on 1 March 1999. A significant amendment to the Law on "Safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes" entered into force on 21 March 2000 and additional amendments and additions are now effective. Law on “Licensing” entered into force on 27 June 2001.
The new Law "On the Export Control for the Goods of Dual Purpose and Technologies and their Transit Transportation through the Territory of Armenia" entered into force in April 2010 and replaced the previous law on the same topic.
On 30 September 2013, the National Assembly of RA adopted the Law “On Amendments and Additions to the Law On safe Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes”.
The above mentioned Laws, as well as Government decrees and all other legislative and regulative documents are presented in the official web-sites of the National Assembly of RA (www.parliament.am), Government of RA (www.gov.am), Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of RA (www.minenergy.am) and of ANRA (www.anra.am).
ENERGY UNITS 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. Since 1991, 154 new small hydro power plants with a total capacity of 231 MW (680 million kWh of electric energy annually) have been built. Hydro power plants of 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. Water from the lake can be taken only for the irrigation needs.
Two HPP cascades and small HPPs have a total installed capacity of 1229.3 MW, of which:
Sevan-Hrazdan HPP cascade has an installed capacity of 562 MW;
Vorotan HPP cascade has an installed capacity of 404 MW;
Small HPPs have an installed capacity of 263.3 MW.
At the same time, Armenia still has an unused hydraulic potential (both small and big rivers) of about 500 MW (or 2000 million kWh of electric energy), with development being economically reasonable.
The Thermal Power Plants (TPPs) have an installed capacity of 2426 MW, of which:
Hrazdan TPP has an installed capacity of 1100 MW. Its 4 condensation turbines, each of 200 MW, may be operated, but now only two of them are in operation because of the lack of demand. Now, the Gas- and Steam Turbines Units of Hrazdan TPP with a capacity of about 440 MW were put into operation in April, 2012.
Yerevan TPP has an installed capacity of 550 MW, including: 2x150 condensation turbines, and 5x50 heating turbines. Now, only 2x50 MW turbines are in operation because there is no need demand of heat consumption. The Gas Turbine Combined Cycle Unit of Yerevan TPP, with a capacity about 242 MW electrical and 30 MW thermal, was put into operation in April, 2010.
Vanadzor TPP has an installed capacity of 94 MW, with different capacity heating turbines. Now, none of them are in operation because there is no need for heat consumption.
The results of asset revaluation show that the sector’s main assets resources have already expired. The equipment is worn out and requires a 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.
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 economic crisis. Unit 1 is not operating, and unit 2 was 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 (not in operation), Georgia: 220 and 110 kV, Turkey: 220 kV (not in operation), Iran: 2x220 kV. The high-voltage lines Armenia - Iran and Armenia–Georgia of 400 kV are currently under construction.
Natural gas is the most important primary energy source, and it is imported primarily from Russia. The designed capacity of the high-pressure gas transportation network of Armenia is 17 billion m3/year. In 1980, the maximum demand for natural gas in Armenia was above 5-6 billion 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 2013, the natural gas demand was 2.36 billion m3, but the expected demand by the year 2017 will be 5.5 – 6.2 billion m3/year, depending on the ANPP status (shut down or in operation). The gas pipeline Iran –Armenia is now fully constructed and is in operation since spring 2009, which has the capacity of 2.3 billion m3. 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 130 million m3.Gas distribution in Armenia is performed through high, medium and low-pressure distribution networks. In 2014, the natural gas demand was 2.45 billion m3 (2.06 billion m3 was imported from RF and 0.39 billion m3 was imported from Iran), but the expected demand by the year 2017 will be 5.5 – 6.2 billion m3/year, depending on the ANPP status (shut down or in operation).
Oil products are imported from foreign countries, mostly utilized for the transport and industry sector. During the last several years mazut is barely imported into the Republic.
The renewable energy sources (geothermal, wind, solar and waste burning), are under examination. Armenia has considerable potential for 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 of wind power plants 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 an installed capacity of 2.6 MW. The total capacity of the site is estimated to be 20 MW. Now, investigations are carried out for the construction of wind power plants at other sites, too.
Armenia is a sunny country with a high level of solar radiation. Nevertheless, it is too expensive to utilize solar energy, and the country, which appears to have very good solar radiation potential, cannot afford to use it.