EcoLur continues presenting the series of materials on the residents of impacted residential areas, local active civil society and local government bodies on safety measures related to awareness, preparation in emergencies, and participation in decision-making processes.
We are presenting the results of the monitoring carried out in Aknalich community in the ANPP-impacted zone, Armavir Region.
Aknalitch Community adjacent to ANPP has no privileges:
Aknalitch is located at a distance of 5 km from the ANPP and has a population of 3500 people. According to Community Head Gevorg Misakyan, the largest concern related with the ANPP is the close vicinity to the ANPP. 'I have always said that there should be a green safety zone. All the areas adjacent to the nuclear power plant are completely desertified. In the past, we used to have a forestry enterprise near the nuclear power plant, a forest on 350 ha, there used to be a brigade which took care of the trees. There was a special pumping station to irrigate the forest operated by the nuclear power plant. After 2000, the irrigation pipelines were dismantled, taken away, while the forest dried out. The NPP used to give water to us, but now they don't and we can't grow trees so as to have some form of greens: we can cultivate only 380 ha out of 1700 ha of the administrative area,' Aknalitch Community Head said.
Under Gevorg Misakyan, the communities located next to the ANPP should have privileges but now they are deprived of them. 'We, as the closest community, want to be not neglected. The government shall pay attention to such communities and to support in solving problems with irrigation water, sewage discharge, and other problems, while the nuclear power plant shall take part in these processes,' the community head outlined.
'We live in a dangerous zone, in the first zone, if something happens we won't be able to run away. Taking it into consideration our electricity and gas shall be free of charge. A nuclear power plant is constructed just next to us, but we haven't been granted any privileges. Naturally, the nuclear power plant impacts us: diseases have increased, especially cancer, vegetation has dried out and we don't have any water,' Aknalitch community residents complained.
Very Close to APP But Not Protected
Aknalitch community residents, who reside very close to the ANPP, are not protected from the potential risks of the ANPP. There are no shelters in the community, no special anti-radiation shelter, protective technical means, first aid kits in case of radiation alarm signals, No analyses of agricultural products are carried out.
In case of radiation danger, the residents should hide in the basements of the school and culture house, which are technically not equipped and are small and humid areas.
There are no guiding posters on radiation safety designed for the population. The evacuation plan in case of a radiation danger is not available for the residents in the public places. School Evacuation Plan Available.
The last training sessions were last carried out in 2017. The legal acts on ensuring the ANPP nuclear safety are not discussed with the community representatives. They learn about the news from the press. The level of awareness on nuclear dangers is low in Aknalitch. They are against the lifetime extension of the second power unit of the ANPP.
Heating with Gas and Wood Near Nuclear Power Plant
Out of 3500 people in Aknalitch only 40 are employed in the nuclear power plant mainly as a worker. People earn their money with gardening, cultivation of vegetables and cattle breeding.
The winter is accompanied by a tense social period: heating costs high for the residents. They almost don't use electricity for hearing, mainly using gas and wood. Gas price is relatively high as compared with the received income, while wood is getting more and more expensive year by year. In the winter, they monthly pay 20,000, 50,000 and even 80,000 AMD for gas. If they heat with hood, they need 10-12 cum in the season. Under the residents, they pay 23,000 AMD for one cum this year.
15:42 February 01, 2019