Director of Power Plant Sure of its Safety

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The director of the Armenian nuclear power plant–Azatian reported that the uninterrupted operation of the plant and absence of any accidents since the resumption of its operation three years ago are evidence of the high safety level.

He added that there had not been a single halt in the power plant’s operation since November 1997 when charging was made. According to the TACIS criteria–the Armenian nuclear power plant received the highest estimation–2200 marks.

The program aimed at ensuring the safety of the nuclear power plant is currently being implemented. Azatian pointed out that the countries which were against resuming the operation of the power plant–worrying about the safety of its operation–are currently rendering big financial assistance on ensuring the day-to-day operation. Thus–the American government rendered $7 million in assistance last year. The US is expected to provide $5 million for purchasing necessary equipment and implementing relevant works.

Azatian reported that 6 billion kilowatt hours energy are produced and consumed yearly in Armenia–1 billion of them being produced by the Armenian nuclear power plant.

The debt of the plant makes up about 23 billion drams.

For ten years fuel waste has been stored in water according to special technology of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant–reported NPP director Souren Azatian.

He also said that to take the fuel waste out of Armenia is currently in that it costs $1000 to take out one kilogram of fuel. $100 million will be required to take out all the fuel waste.

The waste is scheduled to be disposed of in the dry depository which is being built in the Nuclear Power Plant by the French "Framatom" firm. The project will finish in two and a half years. The French government allocated 40 million French fran’s for the realization of the project–in particular–15.5 million fran’s as assistance and 24.5 million as a long-term loan. The guarantee period for storing the wastes in the depository is 50 years.

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