YEREVAN, September 26. / ARKA /. Khachatur Meliksetyan, the head of volcanology laboratory of the Institute of Geology, an affiliation of the National Academy of Sciences, said today Armenia’s new nuclear power plant will meet all the safety standards of the IAEA.
"As part of a feasibility study together with American colleagues, we studied in detail the volcanic risks of the site where it will be built, and I can say that the new plant will meet all the safety standards of the IAEA," he said.
At the same time, the volcanologist said the risk of volcanic activity on the territory of Armenia is low.
The last powerful earthquake in the area occurred in 1840.
The Armenian Metsamor nuclear power plant is located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan. It was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988. One of its two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. Armenian authorities say they will build a new nuclear power plant to replace the aging facility. The new plant is supposed to operate at twice the capacity of the Soviet-constructed facility. Metsamor currently generates some 40 percent of Armenia's electricity. But the government has yet to attract funding for the project that was estimated by a U.S.-funded feasibility study to cost at as much as $5 billion.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said September 3 after talks with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan in the Russian capital that experts from Russian state nuclear company Rosatom and their Armenian peers agreed to work on a project to extend the service life of the current Armenian nuclear power plant in Metsamor for another 10 years until 2026. M.M.-0-