YEREVAN, April 7. / ARKA /. The security level at the Armenian nuclear power plant is very encouraging, Jeffrey Adlam, , head of the US department of state unit combating nuclear terrorism, said in an interview with the Armenian Service of the RFE/RL.
A delegation headed by Adlam met in Yerevan April 3-4, 2014 with Armenian authorities to discuss ways to further strengthen cooperation to counter nuclear smuggling.
“These discussions continued the ongoing bilateral cooperation initiated in December 2007 to advance Armenia’s capabilities to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear and other radioactive material smuggling incidents,” the U.S. embassy said in a statement.
"We are very pleased with the security level at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant that uses low-enriched uranium, which is under very strict control,” Adlam said.
The US embassy news release said cited a plan of joint U.S.-Armenian actions on nuclear nonproliferation signed in 2008.
“Within this framework, both sides shared information on current nuclear smuggling threats and trends, and discussed best practices in the areas of nuclear detection, nuclear forensics, law enforcement investigations, and other tools to prevent, detect, and respond to incidents of nuclear smuggling,” it said.
Jeffrey Adlam said that during his visit to Yerevan he suggested that the U.S. side could conduct training for Armenian law enforcement agencies and help create a special laboratory to be used in the fight against nuclear smuggling.
The Metsamor plant located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan, was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988 that killed some 25,000 people and devastated much of northern Armenia.
One of the plant’s two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. In 2013 the government of Armenia decided to extend the service life of the facility which accounts for around 40 percent of produced power until 2026