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Activity report 2023 of the Nuclear Safety Committee presented to PM Pashinyan


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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the Nuclear Safety Committee to participate in the discussion of the activity report 2023 of the latter.

Khachatur Khachikyan, acting chairman of the Nuclear Safety Committee, and his deputies reported on the activities carried out during the reporting period.

In particular, the work of state regulation of the field of atomic energy use were presented to the Prime Minister, which was aimed at ensuring the safety of the population, atomic energy use facilities, protecting the population and the environment from the possible harmful effects of ionizing radiation.

It was noted that measures to increase the safety of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant and to fulfill the conditions and requirements of the operation license of the 2nd power unit continued within the framework of the control over nuclear subjects. Inspections were carried out, reports were analyzed, project documents for the introduction of modifications of systems important for safety were studied, including the implementation of the measures provided by the National Stress Test Plan.

In 2023, on the basis of the tripartite agreement signed between the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Nuclear Safety Committee and the ANPP, the seismic monitoring observation works were continued, using for this purpose the seismic recording devices received from the IAEA, which are connected to the National Seismic Protection Service network.

It was reported that the Committee continues to carry out state registration and licensing of ionizing radiation sources. Within the scope of regulatory control of health, scientific and industrial facilities, inspections, studies of the fulfillment of license requirements were carried out in 2023, radioactive sources were neutralized, permits for their safe transportation were issued, etc. The work carried out in the framework of radiation monitoring of the environment, which is carried out using modern systems introduced with the support of the European Union, was presented.

The sequence of analysis and further steps for the purpose of constructing a new nuclear power unit in Armenia, deploying small modular reactors, as well as selecting the necessary technologies was presented. Nikol Pashinyan noted that, even though not having mastered professional nuances, he considers the option of modular reactors politically interesting. "The accident of the latter does not require emergency response zones. In other words, if there is an accident, we will not apply measures to protect the population within a radius of a hundred kilometer," said Nikol Pashinyan. In response, the officials stated that the accident is classified as an internal accident. the concept of external accident disappears for these reactors.

It was noted that legislation in the field of atomic energy use is regularly reviewed taking into account changes in IAEA safety standards, new standards, international and domestic experience. Taking into account the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement signed with the European Union, the Committee began to bring the legislation of the Republic of Armenia into compliance with the directives of the European Union. At the first stage, the law “On the Use of Atomic Energy for Peaceful Purposes”, which was developed in 1999 and has undergone many changes, is being revised; at the second stage, in accordance with the new law, the “Norms and Rules of Radiation Safety” will be revised and finalized, which will regulate radiation safety.

Speaking about the next steps in the construction of the new nuclear power unit, the Prime Minister noted. “We were thinking about creating an organization that would implement the new nuclear power plant. I think this is very important because first of all it will show our determination that we are not only talking, but also moving in this direction. Of course, here, as elsewhere, the issue of ensuring a strong personnel base will arise, because the construction of a new nuclear power plant is a megaproject, and this organization, in fact, will become the office for the implementation of this project. Here we have very active work to do to attract the necessary personnel to this work. As part of the decision on diferring military service, a big emphasis needs to be placed on nuclear energy, and secondly, again the same logic, we need to think about how to promote the involvement of women in this field, in their case there is no such problem, i.e. deferment issues, etc.”

The programs of technical cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency and their goals were presented, as well as the works carried out in the field of the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

The research activities carried out by "Scientific and Technical Center of Nuclear and Radiation Safety" CJSC during 2023 were also presented.

A discussion was held on the topics presented in the report, the participants exchanged ideas on what to do in order to increase the effectiveness of state regulation in the field of atomic energy use.

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