YEREVAN (ARKA .am) — Before the end of 2014 Armenia and Russia will sign an intergovernmental agreement to extend the service life of the Armenian nuclear power plant in Metsamor until 2026, deputy minister of energy and natural resources Ara Simonyan said today during a parliamentary discussion of the 2015 draft budget.

He said under the agreement, Armenia and Russia’s state nuclear agency Rosatom will implement a set of measures to extend the service life of the facility until 2026.

The Metsamor plant located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan, was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988 that killed some 25,000 people and devastated much of northern Armenia.

One of the plant’s two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. The government wants to build a new facility that is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility. Metsamor currently generates some 40 percent of Armenia’s electricity. But the government has yet to attract funding for the project that was estimated as much as $5 billion.

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