Investigation of incidents at Metsamor nuclear plant approved

Armenia has approved the procedure for investigation of incidents at the Metsamor nuclear power plant, ARKA reports.

Ashot Martirosyan, Chairman of the State Committee for Regulation of Nuclear Security, said that the project was developed taking into account the standards of the IAEA.

Armenia has the only nuclear power plant in South Caucasus. It is located near Metsamor, 30 km south of Yerevan. The power plant was launched in 1980 and stopped in March 1989, after the Spitak Earthquake in December 1988, killing 25,000 people. It was relaunched in November 1995.

It uses VVER-400 reactors. The first block was stopped. The second produces 407.5 MW, covering about 40-50% of demand for electricity. The power plant should function until 2016.

Vladimir Yevseyev, Director of the Russian Center for Socio-Political Studies, told Vestnik Kavkaza that the energy blocks at Metsamor are similar to the Kolskaya nuclear power plant. The automatic shutdown mechanism worked fine, but the staff ran out of the facility during the Spitak Earthquake. The reactor was producing 15 MW even when shut down.