France Denies Plans to Store Nuclear Waste in Armenia

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The French Embassy in Yerevan on Friday denied claims by a local environmentalist group that it will transport radioactive waste from its nuclear stations to Armenia as part of a secret deal between the two governmen’s. A press communiqu issued by the embassy said the allegations made by Armenia’s Union of Greens are "devoid of any grounds."

Hakob Sanasarian–leader of the Union–alleged on Tuesday that French nuclear waste will be stored in a special facility at the Medzamor nuclear power station. He said permission to do that was obtained in exchange for the participation by France’s Framatome company in the reactivation process of Medzamor.

But the French communiqu said France has been processing all of its nuclear waste exclusively on its own territory–at a facility near the town of La Hague. It said France helps Armenia to build a similar facility–designed to accept waste from Medzamor–in "strict compliance with norms set by the International Agency for Atomic Energy."France thereby actively promotes environmental safety and protection in Armenia," the communiqu concluded.

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