U.S. financed upgraded ANPP Physical Security System

PanARMENIAN.Net - On April 10, 2007, the staff of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant dedicated an improved and upgraded Physical Security System. As PanARMENIAN.Net came to know from the U.S. Embassy, this new system, developed with $3.5 million in technical and financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, includes upgraded physical access infrastructure, badges and video monitoring. Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Robin Phillips presented the remarks below at the dedication ceremony.

"It is a pleasure to be here today to mark another milestone in the long-standing cooperation between Armenia and the United States on improving safety at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant.

We appreciate the Armenian government's commitment to promoting safer operations at the plant while at the same time working towards plant decommissioning. Since 1996, the USG has provided more than $35 million to upgrade the plant and to ensure the safest possible operation until its closure.

We are here today to dedicate an upgraded physical security system at the plant. New access and badge policies, improved security infrastructure and video surveillance are all tools which we are proud to provide to help you maintain high levels of security. Strong nuclear security is particularly important given the current threat environment and the risk that terrorists and others will try to use nuclear material against innocents.

In addition to improved security, it is critical that the Armenian government continue to build a culture of safety at the plant, by completing IAEA identified safety upgrades, and reinvesting a sufficient portion of the cash flow obtained from the energy sector into plant safety and maintenance.

As Armenia follows through on its commitment to a culture of safety and a comprehensive decommissioning plan, we will continue to work with Armenia to develop safer and more sustainable alternatives to the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant including providing technical assistance to support plans for a new nuclear power plant.

The U.S. government will not, however, be able to fund plant construction directly and any proposal for U.S. assistance would have to compete for scarce development assistance funds.

I thank you for our excellent and on-going cooperation on nuclear safety issues and urge you to make the most of this new equipment to better protect this plant and the Armenian people," he said.
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