YEREVAN (Arka) — First measures are already taken to extend Armenia’s nuclear power plant’s life, the press office of the Armenian ministry of energy infrastructures and Natural Resources reports.

Ashot Manukyan, the energy minister, met Friday with Kirill Komarov, the first deputy director of Russia’s Rosatom, and Yevgeny Salkov, CEO of Rosatom Service, who came to Armenia to attend the third session of a joint coordination committee set up to extend the plant’s lifetime.

They placed it on record that the first stage has been implemented successfully and necessary preparations for the second stage are under way now.

The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant is located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. One of its two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. Armenian authorities said they will build a new nuclear power plant to replace the aging facility.

The new plant is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility. The plant currently generates some 35 percent of Armenia’s electricity.

In March 2014, Armenian government decided to extend the plant’s service life because of delay in building a new unit. The service life extension has become possible thanks to Russia’s financial resources. The country will provide $270 million to Armenia as loan and $30 million in grants.

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