Atomic Security Council Holds Recurrent Session

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–President Kocharian received January 9 Adolph Birkhofern–the chairman of Atomic Security Council.

According to presidential press office–the two exchanged viewpoints regarding the safe operation of the Armenian nuclear power plant (Medzamor). Kocharian said–"the recurrent session of the Council will serve as an impetus for further raising of the plant’s safe operation."

The fifth session of the Atomic Security Council was held January 9 at Tsakhkadzor. The session was presided over by the chairman of the Council Adolph Birkhofern–who is also the director of the German Institute of Nuclear Security.

Kocharian noted that due to the permanent attention of the Council–Medzamor has seen a significant improvement in safety operations.

The Armenian leadership attaches special importance to invigorating the current industrial potential and the opening of new jobs–stressed Kocharian. Many chemical and metallurgy enterprises have resumed their operation and are expanding their activities–he said. According to the president–special importance is given to new investmen’s. Kocharian underlined the fact that all the economic programs are based on the viability and security of the energy sector. He said crucial reforms have been approved by the government and are being consistently implemented. The privatization of energy distributing companies–scheduled for spring–will undoubtedly raise the efficiency of the energy sector–said Kocharian.

Referring to environment protection and safe operation of nuclear objects–Kocharian said that changes had been made in the Armenian law on the peaceful use of atomic energy. The Armenian parliament has also been granted the right to make decisions on the construction and stoppage of atomic energy sources.

Kocharian said that an agreement had been concluded with Russia on the peaceful use of atomic energy. The president stressed the role of the international community in providing funds for raising the safety of the Medzamor plant.

He said a new program–worth 10 million Euro–had been developed with the European Union–within the TASIS program. A number of projects on providing funds for restoring the capacities of old hydro-power stations and the construction of new ones are being discussed with the European Union.

Kocharian said the agreement on the construction of the Iran-Armenia gas pipe-line was one of the biggest successes of the 2000.

Energy Minister Karen Galustian–and Medzamor Director Souren Azatian also delivered speeches at the session.

The Atomic Security Council is an independent advisory body–formed of internationally recognized scientists and experts. The Council was set up by the Armenian president in 1996–to deal with securing Medzamor’s safe operation.

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