by Arthur Yernjakyan
US Department of State is satisfied with safety level at Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP), Jeffrey Adlam, head of the US department of state unit combating nuclear terrorism, said in an interview with the Armenian Service of the RFE/RL.
A delegation headed by Adlam met in Yerevan April 3-4, 2014 with Armenian authorities to discuss ways to further strengthen cooperation to counter nuclear smuggling."We are very pleased with the security level at the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant that uses low-enriched uranium, which is under very strict control," Adlam said.
Jeffrey Adlam said that during his visit to Yerevan he suggested that the US side could conduct training for Armenian law enforcement agencies and help create a special laboratory to be used in the fight against nuclear smuggling.
The Metsamor plant located some 30 kilometers west of Yerevan, was built in the 1970s but was closed following a devastating earthquake in 1988 that killed some 25,000 people and devastated much of northern Armenia. One of the plant's two VVER 440-V230 light-water reactors was reactivated in 1995. In 2013 the government of Armenia decided to extend the service life of the facility which accounts for around 40 percent of produced power until 2026. Till March 2012 the plant was managed by the Russian "Inter RAO UES". The authorities of Armenia also study an opportunity of building a new nuclear energy bloc at ANPP with a capacity 1 thsd megawatt that costs $5 billion.