Azerbaijan may appeal to IAEA to conduct extensive examination of Metsamor NPP

Azerbaijan may appeal to IAEA to conduct extensive examination of Metsamor NPP

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 6 /Trend, T.Hajiyev/

Azerbaijan may send a request to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to conduct an extensive examination of the Metsamor nuclear power plant (NPP), Director of the Radiation Problems Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan Adil Garibov told Trend on April 6.

He said there should be a scientific ground to prepare such a document. Scientifically-based documents prepared by the Radiation Problems Institute have been submitted to relevant governmental agencies.

The IAEA commission will arrive in Armenia on May 14 to carry out inspections at Metsamor, said Garibov. A series of inspections related to restarting the reactor, fuel and security will be conducted at the NPP.

Garibov said Metsamor NPP has been build based on old technologies, and therefore, there are serious assumptions about the presence of defects at this plant.

"The fault, which arose in the technology of the cooling system in a country such as Japan, shows that this problem can occur in any country. Japan was able to get out of this extreme situation due to its technologies. If the same case would happen in Armenia, it is unknown what events would occur at the reactor of the neighboring state," said Garibov.

9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan on March 11 caused the tsunami with a height of 10 meters. According to latest official figures, the disaster killed more than 11,000 people, about 18,000 people were missing. After the earthquake, there were recorded a series of accidents connected with the failure of cooling systems at Fukushima-1 NPP. As a result of incidents at NPP, radiation leak was detected, forcing authorities to evacuate people within a radius of 80 kilometers around the plant.

Garibov said the Armenians themselves must first be interested in the matter.

"If failure occurs at this station, it will affect primarily the territory of Armenia. Therefore, international organizations should approach this matter carefully. This question should be raised not as the position of Azerbaijan, but as a question which can create problems for the whole humanity," he said.

Garibov said Metsamor NPP was designed 40 years ago.

"The presence of defects at this station is inevitable. Since that time, there could be a number of problems related to security. Today, the world approaches the issue of nuclear power in a new context. The most important issue here is the safety," he said.

The disadvantage from a security point of view is the location of the Metsamor NPP in Armenia.

Since the plant is located in the highlands, during the accident, there could be a problem of lack of water for emergency cooling of the reactor core. After the earthquake on Dec. 7, 1988 in Armenia, the reactor in the Spitak city was mothballed. Two power-generating units of the plant were launched Nov. 5, 1995. The EU insists on mothballing the NPP.

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