EU Makes Promises for Decommissioning

YEREVAN (Nuclear Engineering International)–At a recent meeting in Armenia–the European Commission said it would allocate EUR100 million for substitute capacity and for cleanup once the Armenia plant in Medzamor plant is shut down. Euratom (European Atomic Energy Community Treaty) will also contribute EUR138 million towards decommissioning costs.

The amounts were confirmed at a meeting including representatives from the UK–Germany–USA–Russia–Italy–Greece and India–as well as organizations including the IAEA–the World Bank–the EU and the UN development programme.

Although Armenia has previously said it hopes to operate the Medzamor plant until 2016–representatives at the meeting said that closure would depend on the existence of "energy alternatives" and that the country must retain energy independence.

Meanwhile–the single operating VVER-440 unit at the plant is still being upgraded (a second unit is shut down). The US representative said its government would provide financial assistance to improve safety while the IAEA representative said seismic upgrades were underway and would be completed by 2003.

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