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EU repeats call for Armenia to close power station

By M. Alkhazashvili
Tuesday, June 10
The EU repeated an offer last week to provide financial support to the Armenian government in shutting down the Metsamor nuclear reactor.

Hugues Mingarelli, the deputy head of the European Commissionís Directorate-General for External Relations, said the EU would provide EUR 100 million to help close the plant down when he visited Yerevan last week.

ďArmenia should search for alternative energy sources. We understand that itís not an easy decision but the [Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant] is outdated and represents a danger for the country and the entire region. The EU can also help Armenia with diversification of energy sources,Ē Armenian news agency PanArmenian quoted him as saying.

Metsamor provides around 40 percent of Armeniaís electricity. In recent years Yerevan has been under pressure from the EU to close the power station down as soon as possible, due to safety concerns over its lack of a containment system to deal with potential radioactive leaks.

Last month officials from the Russian company INTER RAO UES, which manages the plant, said they would continue managing it after their initial contract expires later this year. They also said INTER RAO plans to build a replacement plant.