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EU strongly demands from Armenia to close Metsamor NPP

24 May 2018 [16:28] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews


By Rashid Shirinov

The current Armenian authorities, which are trying to make the population believe that the EU is eager to enhance relations with the country, are hiding an important detail – the demand to close the outdated Armenian nuclear power plant near the town of Metsamor.

This requirement was clearly stated in the EU-Armenia agreement signed last year. The part of the document concerning the nuclear safety notes the importance of compliance with high level standards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and specifically the need for closure and safe decommissioning of the Metsamor NPP. It also notes the need to replace the plant with new ways of ensuring Armenia’s energy security.

The EU did not demand to close the NPP immediately, but made it clear that it wants to know when Armenia is going to do it.

Nevertheless, a wave of discontent rose in the Armenian in society because of this paragraph of the agreement. The authorities claimed that people just misunderstood this part of the document. However, the Armenian media have found out that last week the government received an ultimatum from the EU about the closure of the nuclear power plant.

“The new government of Armenia is obliged to solve the issue of the future of the Armenian NPP in the context of national interests,” chairman of the Union of Consumers Armen Poghosyan told reporters in this regard.

He added that the fate of the plant has not been decided yet, but the agreement on a comprehensive and expanded partnership with the EU requires the Armenian authorities to tell a precise date for its closure.

Poghosyan considers it necessary to proceed immediately to the development of the program of Armenia’s energy security bearing in mind the ultimatum of the EU.

“If the issue of the NPP or alternative sources of electricity is not resolved, one day Armenia may be at risk of energy collapse,” he noted.

This statement by Poghosyan is quite right – for decades, Armenia has not been able to find alternative sources of energy, and therefore, the government has always refused to close the Metsamor NPP.

The construction of the plant started in 1970. The plant was shut down after a devastating earthquake of 1988 in the town of Spitak. However, in 1995, despite numerous protests of international community, the Armenian government resumed the operation of the NPP, and moreover, the second reactor was launched.

A number of international experts have repeatedly urged that due to its deplorable state, the Metsamor NPP could repeat the fate of the Chernobyl NPP, thus threatening the lives of the Armenians and inhabitants of the adjacent countries. The possible tragedy will also jeopardize the environmental state of the region. Moreover, its consequences will be felt in Europe and the Middle East.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/170366.html

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