Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom's fuel company, TVEL, agreed to supply nuclear fuel in 2019 and 2020 to Armenia's Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Rosatom announced Wednesday.
This supplementary agreement to the general fuel contract between TVEL and Haykakan Atomayin Electrakayan will see the provision of fresh nuclear fuel as well as the replenishment of its existing fuel stock, Senior Vice-President for Commerce and International Business at TVEL, Oleg Grigoriyev said.
The general fuel contract is valid for the entire working life of the unit, including its life extension, the company said.
The Metsamor plant, located 30 kilometers from the capital Yerevan, comprises two Russian-built units, which started operating in 1976 and 1980, respectively. The plant provides about 40% of the country's electricity.
However, both units were taken off line in 1988 due to safety concerns. Unit 2 was restarted in 1995 and is subject to ongoing safety improvements, while Unit 1 is now being decommissioned.
"TVEL traditionally offers its Armenian partners nuclear fuel supplies with favorable conditions. Along with other matters, we take into account the ongoing life extension works at the only nuclear power unit in the country, as the project currently limits power generation output of the facility," Grigoriyev said.
Despite calls to stop operations at the nuclear plant in March 2014, the Armenian government decided to extend the lifespan of the plant up to 2026.
In December 2014, the government agreed that Rosatom would upgrade the facility providing a $270 million loan and a $30 million grant to Armenia.
By Firdevs Yuksel