Armenia closely cooperates with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in ensuring the safety of its nuclear station through consistent implementation of the requirements set by the body, President Serzh Sarkisian said on Tuesday, responding to relevant concerns voiced by his Azerbaijani counterpart.
In his statement at the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague, the Armenian leader also addressed allegations about problems related to radioactive waste.
“Today the president of Azerbaijan raised the issue of the safety of the Armenian Metsamor nuclear power plant. I would like to note that we closely cooperate with the IAEA in ensuring the safety of the Armenian nuclear power plant via consistent implementation of the requirements set by the Agency’s technical document 640. The results of the OSART mission attest to that,” Sarkisian emphasized.
“What refers to the voiced rumors as if we have had troubles related to radioactive waste, such a lie is first and foremost a demonstration of non-confidence towards international structures, since we coordinate all our programs with the IAEA.”
In his speech at the same summit Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, in particular, said that Armenia’s nuclear power plant was located in an active seismic zone and was already worn out, which, according to him, made it a source of serious threat to the entire region.
In his statement in The Hague disseminated by the presidential press service Sarkisian also said: “Armenia is actively engaged in the international processes for finding solutions to nuclear security issues. Following the Seoul Summit Armenia took steps towards implementation of the agreed objectives. In May 2013 Armenia ratified the 2005 amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. The ratification instruments for both Conventions were deposited with the IAEA. Moreover, we have consolidated the legal tools for the accounting and control of nuclear material by amending the Law on the safe exploitation of the nuclear energy for the peaceful purposes.”
The Armenian leader further reported that in order to neutralize the threat of nuclear terrorism a nuclear and radiological forensics laboratory was established in Armenia with the U.S. assistance in January 2013. The laboratory, according to him, has significantly contributed to the improvement of Armenia’s capacity to respond to the threat of transnational nuclear smuggling.
“I believe regional cooperation is pivotal in prevention matters. In June 2012 we conducted a joint cross-boundary exercise with our neighbor, Georgia, on countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” Sarkisian said. “Armenia has initiated development of a national action plan on the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540 with the engagement of the OSCE, UN Security Council Resolution 1540 Committee and European Union experts.”