Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the development of nuclear technology, Director of the Institute of Radiation Problems of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Adil Garibov said on June 5.
A governmental order to establish a National Nuclear Research Center under the Ministry of Communications and High Technologies was signed by the president of Azerbaijan on May 8, 2014.
"Alternative sources of energy particularly solar and wind are not able to meet the needs of the growing industry of Azerbaijan in comparison with the nuclear technology," he believes.
According to Garibov, today Azerbaijan relies on nuclear energy and this is the foresight strategy of the head of state.
"Our goal is not merely limited to rapid constructions of some nuclear power plants. Work in this direction should be carried out in several stages. Primarily, Azerbaijan should become a nuclear country that has the ability to control nuclear technology. Human resources development is equally important in this regard. It is necessary to evaluate raw stock and see, which kind of raw materials should be used. Should they be produced inside or imported from abroad," he noted.
"Research works in the field of nuclear research are planned to expand in Azerbaijan," Garibov said.
"Azerbaijan needs a research reactor and other related equipment (particle accelerators for research) for the nuclear searches," he said, considering development of human capacity as an important and integral part of the project in this area.
"There are countries that are experiencing a shortage of personnel in the field of nuclear technology. For example, Iran and Armenia have resorted to Russian specialists in nuclear power plants. In this regard, Azerbaijan will use both internal and external opportunities.
"Works for training staff in this area started three or four years ago. Human capacity of the country is planned to increase by using the experiences of leading nuclear states, and to develop the current experiences through educational institutions. I guess this issue is of strategic importance for Azerbaijan," he said.
Regarding the safety of the research reactors, Garibov said they do not pose a threat. "There are over 600 research reactors in the world, 90 percent of which are located on the territory of universities and academic parks," he added.
"Research reactors have low power, and so far not an even single accident has been registered at research reactors across the globe. Thus, there is no reason to talk about their negative impact on the environment," he stressed.
Garibov also stressed that the reactor in Azerbaijan will be equipped with the necessary protection systems in accordance with the norms of International Atomic Energy Agency.