Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept.27 / Trend, A.Taghiyeva /
Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant in Armenia poses a great threat to the whole region, Turkish Haberturk newspaper quotesthe country's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, as saying on Thursday.
Yildiz said the Metsamor NPP has been already functioning for more than forty years and it is unreliable.
Armenia plans to build more powerful nuclear power plant than a plant in Metsamor. The project is expected to cost $ 1 billion. Operation life of Metsamor NPP expired in 2010, but Armenia and the IAEA experts have agreed to continue the operation of the plant until 2016.
The Nuclear Power Plant is located in a seismically active zone, about 30 miles west of the Armenian capital of Yerevan, which has a population of over one million people.
As a result of the devastating earthquake in Spitak in 1988, Armenian authorities decided to close the Metsamor NPP. But the difficulties related to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict (particularly the economic blockade by Azerbaijan's ally, Turkey) forced country's leadership to restart the plant in 1993.
According to environmentalists and scientists from all over the region, seismic activity of the area makes operation of the nuclear power plant in Metsamor in an extremely risky venture, even if new type of reactor is constructed.