Tuesday, September 19 2017 19:21
David Stepanyan

Armenian Minister of Energy underlined at IAEA conference importance of ensuring high level of safety of ANPP

Armenian Minister of Energy underlined at IAEA conference importance  of ensuring high level of safety of ANPP

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.

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