Baku, Azerbaijan, May 20
A campaign recently launched by a group of bloggers against Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power plant successfully continues, said Azay Guliyev, Azerbaijani MP, deputy chairman of the Committee on Political Affairs and Security of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Guliyev added that this is not only an environmental problem, but also a source of real threat to everyone's life and health.
"The campaign, launched by Azerbaijan, is very important for the sake of humanity and security," Guliyev said.
Guliyev stressed that NGOs must take an active part in this campaign.
"I think that all expert conclusions, reports of international organizations must be compiled," he said. "The specialists believe that any failure at the Metsamor nuclear power plant can cause consequences that may be even harder than those of the Chernobyl tragedy. This must concern not only Azerbaijan."
"An anti-Metsamor international network, a social movement consisting of NGOs, social activists and media representatives must be established," he added. "First of all, Armenia's other neighbors must join this process. This international network must be then extended to cover other countries. The official requests must be made to the IAEA."
He stressed that some countries issue loans for the future activity of the Metsamor nuclear power plant, support it by other means, rather than call for the suspension of operation of the plant.
"This is a wrong approach," he added. "The nuclear waste of the Metsamor nuclear power plant falls into the Caspian Sea through the Kura and Araz rivers. The violation of the Caspian Sea's ecosystem will also have an impact on other regions. First of all, the NGOs must be active in resolving this problem."
"The citizens must also support this initiative through social networks," Guliyev said, adding that this campaign must turn into an international one by attracting various human rights organizations, environmental structures.
"It would be good if the "NGO International Coalition against Metsamor nuclear power plant", consisting of NGOs of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Iran - the countries covered by the possible tragedy consequences, were established at the initial phase and other countries and organizations were involved in the coalition in the future," he said.
"If the Armenian NGOs join this coalition, they will contribute to the cause of eliminating the source of a real threat," he said.
Armenia has a nuclear power plant, Metsamor, built in 1970. The power plant was closed after a devastating earthquake in Spitak in 1988. But despite the international protests, the power plant's operation was resumed in 1995. Moreover, a second reactor was launched there.
According to the ecologists and scholars all over the region, seismic activity of this area turns operation of the Metsamor nuclear power plant in an extremely dangerous enterprise, even if a new type of reactor is built.