Armenia ignores IAEA proposals to close Metsamor NPP
Baku, Azerbaijan, April 23
By Huseyn Veliyev, Trend:
Armenia disregards proposals of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on closure of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Chairman of Azerbaijan's National Nuclear Research Center CJSC Adil Garibov told Trend.
Garibov reminded that following the disaster at the Fukushima Plant in Japan, the IAEA sent proposals to all countries to close down all the reactors, whose operation was completed.
"Activity of the NPP should correspond to local conditions. It is necessary to develop scenarios in case of cataclysms. Unfortunately, the document, which is utmost importance in this sector, depends on the decision of each state. As you know, Armenia's Cabinet of Ministers issued an order in 2015 to extend the life of the Metsamor NPP. Theretofore, the IAEA has no legal rights to challenge this decision. The IAEA can only propose, and it did, but Armenia disregards these proposals," Garibov said.
Armenia, according to Garibov, will never close the Metsamor NPP, as it is a strategic facility and a source of energy. In addition, having the NPP, Armenia gets the status of a nuclear country, which it can use in conflict situations, he noted.
"Furthermore, Armenia possesses technologies for handling nuclear and radioactive materials, their storage and transportation. This is Armenia's strategic goal, and it will never give it up. Today, Armenia together with Russia are planning to build a new nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1,060 megawatts," Garibov said.
Azerbaijan should continue to inform the world community about the Metsamor NPP's threats to the region, he said.
"It is very important that our executive bodies, together with the country's leadership raise this issue at all international meetings. Whether Armenia will react to it, it is a question, given that this country does not comply with the UN resolutions," Garibov said.
Construction of the Metsamor NPP started in 1970. After the devastating earthquake in Spitak city in 1988, the plant was shut down, but in 1995, despite international protests, the nuclear power plant’s operation was resumed, and moreover, the second reactor was launched.
Ecologists and scholars from the whole region think seismic activity in the area turns operation of the Metsamor NPP into an extremely dangerous undertaking.