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Metsamor NPP threatens environment of whole region

3 August 2016 13:55 (UTC+04:00)
Metsamor NPP threatens environment of whole region

By Rashid Shirinov

A significant part of the water we drink every day is extracted from rivers. However, the issue of its pureness is called into question. This is especially relevant for transboundary rivers which enter Azerbaijan from neighboring countries, namely Armenia and Georgia.

The Kura river keeps being the main source of water for household and agriculture in Azerbaijan. However, recent tests of its water showed that the river is over-polluted.

The main reason for this is dumping of untreated sewage of the industrial enterprises and household waste in the part of Kura which flows through the territory of Georgia. Although, the Georgian government applies penalties from $93 to $140 to those who pollute the water of the river.

The problem of Araz river is even worse – it enters Azerbaijan from Armenia, where the river is constantly being polluted through the nuclear waste of the outdated Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant (NPP).

Ecologist Telman Zeynalov told Region TV that the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant should be closed as it is too terrible and risky project. Nobody can guarantee its safety.”

The Metsamor NPP, located in a high-seismic active zone, began to operate in 1976. The license for the exploitation of the station will expire on September 1, 2016. Nevertheless, the Armenian government has made the decision to prolong the date of exploitation of the plant for additional 10 years.

A number of international experts repeatedly urged that due to its deplorable state, the Armenian Metsamor NPP could repeat the fate of Chernobyl NPP, threatening lives of Armenians and citizens of 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.

The European Union insists on closing the NPP offering 200 million Euro. Despite this, the NPP is still functioning as no alternative sources of energy exist in Armenia.

In order to prevent possible escalation of the situation on the river, Armenia should be forced for taking appropriate actions. Therefore, all countries of the region have to take the problem on their account.

Zeynalov mentioned that Iran should also be involved in the problem. “The issue should be risen up primarily by Iran because the river flows to the country. Then, it comes to Azerbaijani territory. When they raise the question, we will join them.”

Azerbaijan in 2000 joined the Convention on the protection and use of transboundary watercourses and international lakes. However, the neighboring countries still did not follow the example of Azerbaijan. This indicates that they try to evade from their responsibility on keeping the waters of the region pure, particularly Armenia with its exploitation of the Metsamor NPP.

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Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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