IAEA: Armenian nuke plant poses no danger

IAEA: Armenian nuke plant poses no danger

“There is no industrial activity that does not pose any risk, but I think the results of our inspection show that this risk at Metsamor is acceptable,” Gabor Vamos said.

The IAEA's 11-member Operational Safety Review Team (OSART) for Armenia, which inspected the Armenian nuclear power plant (NPP) safety from May 16 to June 2, concluded that the plant does not pose any danger. “There is no industrial activity that does not pose any risk, but I think the results of our inspection show that this risk at Metsamor is acceptable,” Gabor Vamos, head of the OSART, said upon completion of the monitoring.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Vamos said his team has already submitted its preliminary findings to the Armenian government and will issue a final report within three months. According to him, the findings included 16 recommendations¸ 14 proposals and 7 “good plant practices” for consideration.

“This unique approach resulted in staff acquiring deep knowledge and skills to successfully operate and maintain new equipment,” the IAEA said in a statement issued earlier this week. “The plant has developed a specific, comprehensive system supported by procedure to mitigate the consequences of a station blackout by providing power to systems and components necessary for cooling the reactor in emergency conditions.”

“The Metsamor administration expressed a determination to address all the areas identified for improvement and requested the IAEA to schedule a follow-up mission in approximately 18 months,” the statement said.

Vamos noted, however, that Metsamor technicians “do not quickly identify all equipment deficiencies that require urgent repairs.” He said that the Armenian authorities should “work out a more rigorous mechanism for keeping the plant's equipment in an “ideal state.”

As to seismic stability, according to expert assessments, the plant can stand an 8 magnitude earthquake.

Besides, works to improve the seismic stability are under way and are expected to be finished by December. In the coming two years, investments amounting to about UD$25 million will be made. In all, US$130 was allocated for implementation of various security measures, through the assistance of the United States, Russia European Union and IAEA.

Thus, the nuke plant safety arouses no concerns while the plant management expressed willingness to meet the IAEA recommendations and invite international experts in 18 months for a new inspection.

Victoria Araratyan / PanARMENIAN News
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