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Environmental Sustainability Division

Projects & Programs

Armenia Nuclear Power Plant Decomissioning Planning

Objective

The objective of this project is to develop the planning basis for the eventual decommissioning of the Armenia Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) located in Metzamor, Armenia. To date, this has included development and analysis of viable decommissioning strategies for the Armenia NPP and providing technical support to the Armenia Nuclear Regulatory Administration (NRA) in the development of decommissioning regulations for Armenia. Still ongoing is the development of a radioactive waste tracking system for the Armenia NPP and, potentially, conducting a treatability study of Armenia NPP intermediate-level high-salt-content radioactive waste.

Approach

PNNL contracted with Armenian engineers and experts having intimate knowledge of Armenia NPP systems and facilities and having well-established relationships with key Armenian government agencies and officials. Armenia, through subcontracts to PNNL, developed the possible decommissioning options and provided much of the plant-specific data needed to evaluate each option. PNNL staff scoped and managed the project and provided technology and expertise as required to fulfill the project objectives. This included developing the estimate of the cost to decommission the Armenia NPP for five different options and providing the technology and training for the radioactive waste tracking system.

Results

The results of these analyses yielded decommissioning costs ranging from $170 million to $340 million (constant 1999 dollars) for the Armenia NPP. Similarly, occupational radiation doses ranged from 13 to 34 person-sv. Selection of a preferred decommissioning option and development of a detailed decommissioning plan is awaiting promulgation of necessary regulations by the Armenia NRA. PNNL is currently in the process of procuring a gamma spectrometry system and radwaste tracking software needed to quantify radioactive source term and classify radioactive wastes that have been generated and accumulating at the Armenia NPP site since startup of the plant in the mid-1970s.

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