The construction of the burial for radioactive wastes has caused public concerns. According to Anzhela Stepanyan, President of “Armavir Press Club” NGO, the construction of the burial site for radioactive wastes is a new challenge for the society, “Establishing a new radioactive nidus in small Armenia with seismic risks can have disastrous consequences.”
The Armenian Government has approved “Strategy on Safe Management of Radioactive Wastes and Spent Nuclear Fuel in the Republic of Armenia” protocol resolution, which envisages the construction and operation of the burial site of radioactive wastes with a further opportunity of its expansion. During the natural operation of the ANPP the expected amounts of annual solid radioactive waste generation are as follows: very low activity - 0 m3, low activity - 150 m3, medium activity - 3 m3, high activity – 1 m3. High activity wastes are stored in the reactor building, while low activity wastes are stored in the building of the nuclear power plant in special equipment.
In reply to EcoLur’s question, to what extent the construction of a new burial site for the radioactive wastes is necessary, Deputy Director on ANPP Lifetime Extension Gera Sevikyan said, “As of today, Armenia doesn’t have such amounts of radioactive wastes. Today’s technologies are developing: already there are methods which allow eliminating these wastes on the spot. I personally oppose to the construction of the burial site for the radioactive wastes in Armenia. Russia has offered use to transport both the spent nuclear fuel and the radioactive wastes to Russia, but it is still a non-official offer.”
In reply to EcoLur’s question, what Gera Sevikyan the main risks of the ANPP connects with, he said, “The most dangerous processes are leaks of radioactive air or radioactive water. So far no radiation-related accident has occurred at the ANPP. The corpus of the reactor is checked every year and so far no defect has been recorded. We don’t have any background at all, our background is low as 100 times as the background, which is considered to be high. Diseases have no relation to the nuclear power plant.”
In reply to the question, whether shelters are designed for the residents of Metsamor and Armavir in case of emergencies, Sevikyan said, “We have shelters for the employees in the ANPP itself.”
Another problem is related with the water deficit of the ANPP. The groundwater resources of Ararat Valley are overexploited. These springs partially supply water to the Sevjur River, which, in its turn, supplies water to the ANPP. “The cooling of the ANPP reactor is carried out in the closed cycle, we have a dedicated separate pool. The safety of the reactor doesn’t affect the low-water state of the Sevjur River, as we take water for the turbine not from the Sevjur River, but from an artesian basin. We have planned to drill out 11 wells and to pump water to the ANPP: three wells have already been drilled out,” Gera Sevikyan said.
14:46 May 08, 2018