03 May 06

The head of the American party of the U.S.-Armenia Task Force on
Economic Cooperation Tom Adams stated this May 2 in Yerevan. The energy
security of Armenia and the question of closing the nuclear power plant
were discussed in the meeting in Yerevan. The minister of finance
and economy of Armenia Vardan Khachatryan said the Armenian party
presented our approach towards closing the nuclear plant of Armenia.

"The deputy minister of energy stated clearly that one of the
preferable options in our strategy is to launch the second nuclear
plant on the day when this generating unit closes down, and the
government is trying to raise funds for its construction," says Vardan
Khachatryan. Official Yerevan says if the 44 megawatt generating unit
of the nuclear plant is closed down, a new 1000 megawatt generating
unit should be constructed.

"There was a broad discussion, and the American party made a very
correct observation, that closing the plant also requires funds,
and these funds should be raised beforehand because it is a big sum,
and we need to raise them first," says Vardan Khachatryan, adding
that it is at the same time a small and a big problem. The head of
the U.S.-American delegation Tom Adams says closing down a nuclear
plant is an important question for the government of Armenia, as it
is essentially related to people. Tom Adams reminded the disaster in
Chernobyl. Armenia has to make an important decision in the upcoming
several years, and there are questions of safety and security, which
concern both Armenia and its neighbors, as well as huge economic and
macroeconomic consequences, says Tom Adams.

He stated that the standpoint of the United States on this issue
is the same; the United States will aid Armenia with research to
enable Armenia to make the right decision. However, Tom Adams says,
much more data is needed to make a final decision. U.S. Ambassador
to Armenia John Evans confirms this standpoint. According to him,
it is necessary to think on the future choice of energy capacity.

Ambassador Evans says today we must make a choice for tomorrow. John
Evans also urges to conduct a research to express an opinion on the
future of atomic energy in Armenia. The Americans, nevertheless,
do not endorse a new nuclear plant, and Tom Adams stated this. The
head of the American delegation to the U.S.-American Task Force on
Economic Cooperation stated that the United States believes there is
a better alternative to a second nuclear plant in Armenia. Tom Adams
says considering that Armenia is in a seismic zone it would be wiser
to find an alternative to a second nuclear plant. According to him,
the United States does not endorse the construction of a second nuclear
plant in Armenia, and no American company would build a second nuclear
plant in Armenia.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress