ArmInfo. Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia Ashot Manukyan in his speech at the 61st session of the main IAEA conference emphasized the importance of ensuring a high level of safety of the ANPP.
According to the press service of the Ministry, in his speech Manukyan also touched upon the issues of safe use of nuclear energy, the fulfillment of the terms of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
In this connection, the minister focused the attention of the forum participants on the results of expert missions of international organizations, according to which the safety of the Armenian NPP meets international standards.
Manukyan highly appreciated the long and productive cooperation of Armenia with the IAEA aimed at improving the safety level of the ANPP.
Within the framework of the forum, the Armenian delegation held a number of working meetings, including with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.
Earlier, the head of the Energy in of the RA Ministry of Energy Hayk Badalyan told ArmInfo that the ANPP is under the control of the IAEA. "The results of the stress test, and the conclusions of the IAEA experts indicate that the functioning of the unit in its current state meets all safety standards, after upgrading the security level of the unit will be raised to a higher level." Armenia pays great attention to safety when using any station, depending on whether it is an atomic power plant, a thermal power plant or a hydro power plant," he said.
At the ANPP, continuous work is carried out to analyze and improve the safety parameters. So, since the second power unit was restarted in 1995, more than 1,400 measures have been taken to improve its safety. Armenia accepts regular expert missions and international inspections, incl. as part of the IAEA's integrated regulatory review services (the IRRS program). The results of the latest inspections confirm the high level of safety at the ANPP. The IAEA, during its mission to Armenia in June 2015, noted the high level of development of the regulatory and legal framework in the field of nuclear and radiation safety. IAEA experts also positively assessed the work of the Nuclear Energy Safety Council under the President of the Republic of Armenia, calling it among the best international practices for regulating the security of the nuclear sphere.
As the Director of the IAEA Division for the Safety of Nuclear Facilities Greg Rjentkovsky noted, the invitation of IAEA specialists by Armenia and the organization of a series of expert inspections testifies to the country's real commitment to ensuring the highest possible level of nuclear safety. Since the work of the Armenian NPP since 1995, there have been no recorded cases of emergency situations or emergency situations. Normally there is also a radiation background around the station. Given the location of the station, perhaps, the most attention is paid to its seismic stability. The ANPP is an object capable of withstanding a 9-point earthquake, while the reserve level of safety is much higher. In 2015, an expert mission of the IAEA conducted an examination of the probabilistic safety analysis (PSA) for the seismic of the second power unit of the Armenian NPP. The International Commission came to the conclusion that the parameters of the seismic safety of the ANPP are fully consistent with IAEA standards.
The safety standards of the ANPP ensure that radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel from the plant do not pose any danger to anyone. The principles of ensuring safety at the ANPP mean that even the theoretical possibility of exporting nuclear fuel or substances from the territory of the station is completely excluded. Regarding radioactive waste, based on the IAEA recommendations for the ANPP, a "Strategy for the Management of Radioactive Waste and Spent Nuclear Fuel" was developed. The purpose of the program is to bring the level of radioactive waste management at the Armenian NPP to modern requirements. A phased implementation of the program is planned in the period 2016 - 2019, using the loan funds of the life extension project.
The Armenian nuclear program is aimed exclusively at the peaceful use of atomic energy, and any accusations of the development of nuclear weapons technologies or the illegal trade in radioactive materials are no more than speculations of the political opponents of the RA. Armenia acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as early as 1993, which means that the country is covered by IAEA safeguards on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. Given the number of IAEA inspections in the territory of Armenia, in case of any suspicion of any activity related to the creation or proliferation of nuclear weapons, this would be the property of the international community.