Kocharian Meets With IAEA Chief

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenian Prime Minister Robert Kocharian met with a delegation of the International Atomic Energy Agency Friday led by the agency’s Director General–Hans Blix to discuss prospects for the development of Armenia’s power system.

The sides stressed the need for cooperation between the IAEA and the government of Armenia. Blix said Armenia had made considerable progress in creating a legislative field in the energy field. He said his agency was ready to continue assisting in developing laws as well as training and improving the skills of specialists in the field of atomic energy.

Kocharian was grateful for the IAEA’s assistance–stressing the importance of continuous reforms in the energy field.

During the meeting–the sides emphasized the safe operation of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant–as well as problems related to seismic safety.

The International Atomic Energy Agency is planning to implement programs covering not the nuclear energy field–but also agriculture–health care and others in Armenia.

The IAEA gives technical assistance to Armenia on the laws concerning nuclear power which is to be brought up for consideration at the parliament before it’s too late. Blix stressed the necessity of conducting inventory–registration and control over the work of radioactive materials in Armenia.

He drew attention to the problems discussed by IAEA representatives and the Armenian government. Blix also emphasized the necessity to strengthen control over issues related to nuclear fuel.

By the end of this year Armenia’s government is planning to sign a protocol on increasing control in this field. He also reported that Armenia asked for IAEA’s assistance in purchasing special equipment for the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant.

Armenian Foreign Minister Alexander Arzoumanian and Blix discussed the development of atomic energy and its use for peaceful purposes–cooperation with IAEA in updating the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant and its safe use.

Arzoumanian emphasized that Armenia’s authorities–realizing the importance of atomic energy production and its exclusive role for the Republic are interested in regional cooperation.

Blix spoke about the IAEA’s work aimed at establishing areas free of nuclear weapons. Blix noted that since the reactivation of Armenia’s nuclear power plant–the IAEA experts noticed considerable progress in updating the safety and technical equipment. He emphasized that IAEA will continue helping Armenia’solve problems associated with their nuclear power plant.

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