Nuclear Energy in Armenia: Risks, Responsibility and Safety

Nuclear Energy in Armenia: Risks, Responsibility and Safety


The European Union and the Republic of Armenia have developed Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, where one of the clauses covers the closure of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant. This clause doesn’t contradict the governmental resolution of the ANPP lifetime extension, but it makes the nuclear policy of the country uncertain, which mostly depends on Russian, Armenia’s partner on this matter, and large Russian corporations such as the State Atomic Energy Corporation ROSATOM, the TVEL Fuel Company etc. The uncertainty is also due to the fact that the official information on the ANPP is limited, which makes the comparison of data more difficult.

Below EcoLur present the brief policy “Nuclear Energy in Armenia: Risks, Responsibility and Safety” carried out in the frames of "Toward Energy Paradigm Changes in South Caucasus" project supported by Protestant Agency for Diakonie and Development for Bread for the World Protestant Development Service in partnership with Green Alternative NGO (Georgia).
The outline considers the object of nuclear power in Armenia, the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, and all related processes of operation safety and spent nuclear fuel, burial of radioactive wastes, safety of accompanying infrastructures, as well as responsibility for ensuring safety measures.

The brief policy gives assessments to ANPP risks, particularly, related to the own risks of construction and technologies of nuclear reactor, accident situations, seismic risks, insufficient water risks for cooling reactor equipment and other needs of the ANPP, taking into consideration the risks of leaks from the pool designed for the storage of spent fuel, dense population near the ANPP, the absence of regular monitoring of radiation background of water, soil, atmospheric air, agricultural crops in the territories beyond ANPP, worn-out equipment, drain of qualified staff, dependence on nuclear fuel supply, news risks related with ANPP lifetime extension, search for new platforms for the burial of radioactive wastes.

The conclusion says, “The sector of nuclear energy in Armenia needs complex decisions based on the protection of interests of population, national and regional safety. In the resolutions and strategies on the development of nuclear strategy sector in Armenia, the government only proposes partial assessment of risks and partial outcomes. But the alternative decisions on each of the aforementioned problems are missing. There are no assessments of energy safety for a long-term period, the experience of the countries having refused from the operation of NPPs and not having carbon resources have not been taken into consideration. There are no economic assessments on the feasibility of replacing nuclear energy with alternative energy taking into consideration all the factors - financial, human, economic and natural resources. The participation of the EU in increasing the safety of the ANPP should be expanded, but not only in the development of risk assessment in ANPP operation, but also in the process of withdrawing ANPP out of operation and international experience should be referred to for this purpose. And only after receiving these assessments and having visions of probable alternatives, a common concept of nuclear safety in energetic sector of Armenia should be developed in exchange of the Development Strategy in this sector. The full version is available here

November 10, 2017 at 19:37