Friday, September 9 2016 12:58
Naira Badalian

Ecological Consequences of Constructing Nuclear Power Station in Armenia`s Metsamor to be Discussed in Geneva

Ecological Consequences of Constructing Nuclear Power Station in  Armenia`s Metsamor to be Discussed in Geneva

ArmInfo. This week a Committee  session will be held in Geneva which will supervise "Environmental  Impact Assessment of Transboundary Context" European ESPOO  Convention's implementation. Metsamor nuclear power station is among  the discussed issues. The members of the committee will analyze  actions taken by Armenia in the assessment of ecological consequences  of constructing Metsamor nuclear power station, according to UN.org.

The convention was started by the UN Economic Commission for Europe,  according to which the parties should do the assessment of certain  actions' impact on environment in earlier stages. The members of  Convention have agreed on consulting on those big recycling projects  which can have dangerous transboundary influence on the environment.

The Espoo (EIA) Convention sets out the obligations of Parties to  assess the environmental impact of certain activities at an early  stage of planning. It also lays down the general obligation of States  to notify and consult each other on all major projects under  consideration that are likely to have a significant adverse  environmental impact across boundaries (see some examples).

The Convention was adopted in 1991 and entered into force on 10  September 1997 (see which countries are Parties to the  Convention).Read more about the history of the Convention > The sixth  session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention took place in  Geneva in June 2014.

First amendment to the Convention was adopted in 2001. It entered  into force on 26 August 2014 (see status). It has thus opened the  Convention to accession by UN Member States that are not members of  the UNECE Second amendment to the Convention was adopted in 2004.  Once in force (see status), it will -    Allow, as appropriate,  affected Parties to participate in scoping -    Require reviews of  compliance -    Revise the Appendix I (list of activities) -    Make  other minor changes

The Espoo Convention and the Rio Declaration on Environment and  Development (1992)

-    Principle 17: Environmental impact assessment, as a national  instrument, shall be undertaken for proposed activities that are  likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment and  are subject to a decision of a competent national authority.  ?   Principle 19: States shall provide prior and timely notification and  relevant information to potentially affected States on activities  that may have a significant adverse transboundary environmental  effect and shall consult with those States at an early stage and in  good faith.  To note, the Armenian NPP consists of two power units  with the capacity of 400 megawatt each. But only one of these two  power units is operating at present. The first unit was commissioned  in 1976, the second one in 1980. At the beginning of 1989, the plant  was decommissioned following the Spitak earthquake in December 1988.  In early 1995 the second unit was re-launched. The ANPP's power  output makes up nearly 40% of the total power generated in the  republic. In March 2014, the Government adopted a decision to extend  the lifetime of the unit No.2 of the NPP in view of the delay with  the construction of the new power unit.  At the current stage, the  Lifetime Extension Project of unit No.2 of Armenian NPP is being  implemented with the participation of Rusatom Service's specialists.   The NPP will be modernized at the expense of the Russian  $270 mln  loan and the Russian $30 mln grant funds.  The project will be  implemented by the late 2019.   The power supply problem in the  country will be finally settled after the construction of the new  nuclear power generating unit that will cost the country $5 billion. 

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