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Russia to continue managing Armenia power plant

By M. Alkhazashvili
Thursday, May 22
Russian company INTER RAO UES will continue managing the Metsamor nuclear power station in Armenia after its initial contract expires later this year, according to company officials.

Since 2003 Metsamor has been operated by Unified Energy Systems, part of INTER RAO UES, in a five-year arrangement to help Armenia pay off its USD 40 million debt to Russia for providing uranium.

Head of the INTER RAO board of directors Andrey Rapoport said that the company plans to build a new power plant to replace the Soviet-built Metsamor plant, which supplies the country with around 40 percent of its electricity supply.

Armenia is under pressure from the EU to shut down Metsamor due to safety concerns over its lack of a containment system to deal with potential radioactive leaks.

Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsesyan has said that if a new plant is built Metsamor can be shut down before it is due to in 2016.