Decommissioning promises

1 January 2003

The European Commission will allocate E100 million for substitute capacity and for cleanup once the Armenia plant in Metsamor plant is shut down, it was announced at a recent meeting in Armenia. Euratom will also contribute E138 million towards decommissioning costs.

The amounts were confirmed at a meeting including representatives from the UK, Germany, USA, Russia, Italy, Greece and India, as well as organisations including the IAEA, the World Bank, the EU and the UN development programme.

The Armenians have previously said they hope to operate the Metsamor plant until 2016 and at the meeting they said that closure would depend on the existence of "energy alternatives" and that the country must retain energy independence.

Meanwhile, the single operating VVER-440 unit at the plant is still being upgraded (a second unit is shut down). The US representative said his government would provide financial assistance to improve safety while the IAEA representative said seismic upgrades were underway and would be completed by 2003.



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