NEW YORK - Euroatom is ready to provide Armenia with a EUR 200m preferential loan to close down the Armenian nuclear power plant, said Gunnar Wiegand, of the European Commission’s on department for Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia told reporters in Yerevan Thursday, Eurasia.org reported.
He said that the issue of shutting down the Armenian nuclear power plant was discussed Thursday during the eighth session of the Armenia-European Union Cooperation Committee. He said that the European Union continues to insist on the soonest closure of the plant in Armenia based on security considerations, as it was built during Soviet times and does not comply with contemporary nuclear security requirements.
Wiegand said that the loan will be a targeted one and cannot be used for building a new nuclear power plant in Armenia.
He believes that alternative sources of power should be created in the republic before the nuclear power plant is closed down, and the EU welcomes the Armenian government’s policy of diversifying sources of electricity.
Asked about the EU’s position on the Armenian government’s intention to build a new nuclear power plant, Wiegand said that the EU is concerned with security issues in the region, and is not ready to stimulate the implementation of a project on the construction of a new nuclear plant.
Previously, the EU said it was ready to provide a EUR 100m grant for the closure of the Armenian nuclear power plant. The term of the operation of the second power block of the Armenian nuclear power plant expires in 2016. By that time, the Armenian government intends to build a new contemporary nuclear power plant with a capacity of 1,000 MW.