The Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP), also known as the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, is the only nuclear power plant in Armenia, located 35 kilometers west of Yerevan, the capital of the country.
Metsamor lies on some of Earth's most earthquake-prone terrain and after Fukishima, the seismic risk to the aging power plant has become a
significant concern. Several international NGOs and governments have attempted to persuade Armenia to shut the plant down, without success .
Although the nameplate capacity is 407.5 MWe, only 92 percent of this total capacity (376 MWe) is in use since 1995. In 2016, the power plant supplied over 30 percent of the total electricity produced in the country. The plant is operated by ANPP is operated by CJSC HAEK (Closed Joint Stock Company Armenian Atomic Power Plant).
The power plant is originally built with two units of VVER-440 (Model V-270) reactors, the first one started production in 1976, 10 years before the Chernobyl disaster, and the second unit started production of electricity in 1980. Plans for the third and fourth units were abandoned after Chernobyl.
Similar to the early VVER-440 model reactors of the era, these units, like Chernobyl, do not have containment buildings found in the western reactors. Coupled with the issues related to the age and earthquake risks, the power plant is heavily criticized by the governments and civil society of the neighboring countries, namely Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
Even though the reactors’ lifetime was originally planned as 30 years, the second unit is still in operation, since it still contributes to an important share in country's total electricity supply. There are several proposals by the neighboring countries and the EU to close down the reactor, however, the Armenian government chose to operate the plant until the new unit (expected to connect to grid in 2026) is built .