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Pashinyan: Negotiations underway over new nuclear power plant

7 October 2021
Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. Photo via Wikipedia.

Negotiations over building a new Nuclear Power Plant in Armenia are underway, Pashinyan said on Wednesday during a parliamentary Q&A session․ 

According to Pashinyan, the offer to build the plant was made to Armenia by one of the owners of GeoProMining, one of the largest industrial companies in the country, which will also build a new large scale copper smelter in the country.  

‘Armenia will no longer export copper concentrate and import ready-made copper’, Pashinyan said, adding that the whole supply chain for copper production would be located in the country. ‘Second, the construction of a new nuclear power plant is part of this programme.’ 

‘Negotiations’ on the construction of the plant ‘have already started’, he said. 

According to the Armenian Prime Minister, the new plant would not be fully privately-owned and operated as ‘the government should have active participation in it’.

If everything goes according to plan, construction would begin by June 2025. 

At present, the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant is Armenia’s only operational atomic energy station. 

Metsamor was commissioned in 1976, and decommissioned in 1989 following public pressure in the wake of the Spitak earthquake. Metsamor is located in an active seismic zone. 

The plant was made operational again in 1995 due to widespread energy shortages throughout the country. As of 2015, Metsamor provided 40% of Armenia’s electricity. 

Metsamor has been under renovation in recent years, and is expected to be operational at least until 2026. 

Since 2019, the Pashinyan government has repeatedly stated that Armenia and Russia have been negotiating over the construction of a new atomic energy station to replace Metsamor, and the topic was again brought up during Pashiyan’s visit to Moscow last April. 

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