YEREVAN—Security at the Medzamor Nuclear Power Plant is on par with European and US standards, announced the chairman of the Atomic Energy Security Council, Adolf Berghoffer, adding that recent misinformation by Turkey and Azerbaijan on the safety of the plant do not “correspond with reality.”
Speaking at the conclusion of the AESC meeting, Berghoffer said: “Such statements have always been made. There have been similar statements about the German Nuclear Power Plant, but this does not correspond to reality.” He was making a direct reference to Turkish and Azeri statements that the Medzamor plant poses a threat to the region. These allegations were recently vocalized after the devastating earthquake in Van last month.
“The Armenian president personally participates in the discussions and is well informed about the results and the state of nuclear safety,” said Berghoffer, commending President Serzh Sarkisian’s involvement in the fate of Medzamor.
“Armenia has a strategic program of energy development, where the nuclear energy development program plays a pivotal role. Only the existence of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant in the structure of basic energy production will ensure the necessary energy security level in the country,” said Sarkisian during the AESC session.
Sarkisian also told the council, that the planned decommissioning of the plant, which was slated to begin in 2017, would not be on track. Armenia’s the State Committee on Nuclear Safety, Ashot Martirosian, called the target date “not realistic.”
“It is obvious that in case of a delay in the introduction of the new [nuclear] power-generating unit, we will have to solve the issue of extending the operations of the Armenian Nuclear Power Station’s [functioning] second power-generating unit,” said Sarkisian during his presentation to the council.
Russia’s Rossatom Nuclear Energy Corporation has pledged to invest half the cost of the construction of a new, more powerful, nuclear plant at the current site of the Medzamor plan. Yerevan, however, has not been successful in attracting investors in the project, Armenia’s share of which is estimated at $4.5 billion.