By Rashid Shirinov
Armenia disregards proposals of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regarding the closure of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Chairman of Azerbaijan’s National Nuclear Research Center Adil Garibov told Trend on April 23.
He noted that after the disaster at Fukushima, the IAEA sent proposals to all countries on the closure of all the reactors whose service life had expired.
“The activity of a NPP must correspond to local conditions. It is necessary to develop scenarios in the event of any cataclysms. Unfortunately, the document of the first importance in this sphere depends on the decision of each state,” Garibov said.
He noted that in 2015 Armenia’s Cabinet of Ministers issued an order to extend the life of the Metsamor NPP and sent it to the IAEA. Therefore, the agency has no legal rights to challenge this decision. The IAEA can only propose, and it did so, but Armenia disregards these proposals, Garibov added.
He supposes that Armenia will never close the Metsamor NPP, as it is a strategic facility and a source of energy. In addition, having the NPP, Armenia gets the status of a nuclear country, which it can use in conflict situations.
“Furthermore, Armenia possesses technologies for handling nuclear and radioactive materials, their storage and transportation. This is Armenia’s strategic goal, and it will never give up the existing technologies,” Garibov said, adding that Armenia and Russia are planning to build a new nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1,060 megawatts.
He further mentioned that Azerbaijan should continue to inform the world community about the fact that the Metsamor NPP is a threat to the region.
“It is very important that our executive bodies raise this issue at all international meetings. It remains in question whether Armenia will react to it, given that this country does not comply with the UN resolutions,” Garibov added.
The construction of the Metsamor NPP 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 Armenian 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.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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