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Will Armenia close down its nuclear power station?

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, March 22
The future of the nuclear power station in Armenia is being discussed intensively. Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia believe the station to be a threat to the region. After the recent horrifying events in Japan, concerns about Armenia were expressed as well. However the plans of Armenian leadership are as yet unknown concerning the active nuclear power plant as well as any plan to build a new one. The first nuclear power plant was launched at the end of 1976, the second block in the beginning of 1980. Both of them were very similar to the station in Chernobyl. The explosion of this plant on April 26, 1986, saw plans to launch a third and fourth block of the Armenian nuclear power station stopped. After the devastating earthquake in Armenia in 1988, the nuclear power station stopped functioning.

Due to the hardships in electricity supply after the war with Azerbaijan in 1995, independent Armenia resumed the functioning of the second block of the nuclear power station which currently produces 40% of Armenia's electricity. The EU has offered Euro 200 mln to the Armenian government to close down this power station. The Armenian government meanwhile takes steps to construct a new nuclear power station and only after that will they close down the first station. There are voices in Armenia expressing serious concern over the Armenian nuclear power station. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that Armenia is in an active seismic zone and there are prognoses that serious earthquakes are to be expected in the region in the near future. The Armenian nuclear power station is situated 175 km from Tbilisi.