New Nuclear Power Plant Only Alternative Says Armenian Official

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–A senior member of Armenia’s trade and economy ministry told high-ranking government officials that the Armenian nuclear power plant could not be shut down until an alternative energy generating facility with the same capacity is built–emphasizing that the only alternative is to build a new–safer and a more reliable nuclear power plant.

The head of the ministry’s industrial development department Meruzhan Hakobian–said that the alternative energy sources suggested–wind–solar–or hydro-electric energy to substitute the nuclear power plant’s production–would be insufficient in meeting the growing demand for power.

"Hydro-electric power resources in Armenia are restricted. The most efficient would be the prospective hydro-electric power plant on the border of the Arax river–currently being assessed by Armenian and Iranian officials. Nevertheless–hydro power cannot replace the nuclear power plant that accounts for forty percent of the overall power generated."

Hakobian also argued that thermal power plants that run on imported natural gas may close in the future for environmental reasons–and that solar energy is able to meet only consumer needs.

"If the Armenian nuclear power plant were to shut down–the country would lose a huge army of physics and nuclear power specialists. Many would travel abroad–especially to Iran–where a nuclear power plant is being built," he said.

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