Despite the complexity of nuclear power plants, the processes related to their operation are straightforward and transparent. There are established standards and specialized groups of experts tasked with assessing whether a plant meets these standards or not. Based on this assessment, a decision is made regarding the plant's operation. On October 4, during a question-and-answer session in the National Assembly, Gnel Sanosyan, the Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure of Armenia, addressed the recent demand from Turkey to close Armenia's Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, citing safety concerns.
Sanosyan assured the assembly that extensive projects and ongoing efforts have been dedicated to ensuring the safe operation of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant since 1993, in compliance with international standards. Currently, the plant holds a license to operate until 2026, with certain aspects licensed until 2031. The government recently made a decision to undertake additional work in the coming years, already planned, to extend the plant's operational lifespan until 2036.
He emphasized, "Sometimes I say that virtually everything at our nuclear power plant is new, except for the employees. When it comes to the employees, they should not be new; they should be experienced, competent professionals who are knowledgeable about their work."
Sanosyan recalled hosting the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency last year, who toured the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. The minister shared the IAEA head's statement who said he was happy to see the safety and reliability improvements that have been made at the station. The IAEA head was impressed by the dedicated work of the station's staff.
Sanosyan also noted that construction is underway for a new power unit at the plant. "We are actively studying global experiences, available technologies, and their compatibility with our energy system. In essence, we are engaged in intensive work, and I believe we will find solutions to ensure the plant's continued safe operation."