Armenian Government Ready to Support CIS Countries in Case of Nuclear Accidents, Whereas Not Ready for Protection of Own Residents

Armenian Government Ready to Support CIS Countries in Case of Nuclear Accidents, Whereas Not Ready for Protection of Own Residents

EcoLur

On November 28, 2019, the Executive Board approved RA draft law "On Ratification of the Agreement on Cooperation of CIS Member States to Ensure the Readiness of Mutual Assistance to Eliminate Their Consequences in the Event of Nuclear Accident or Radiation Emergency".

According to the document, the ratification of the agreement provides for the conditions of operational awareness and exchange of information in case of nuclear accident or radiation accident, as well as to simplify procedures for rescue operations, equipment, transportation of vehicles, medical treatment for accident victims and medical assistance.

The agreement was signed on November 2, 2018 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan (now Nursultan).

EcoLur conducted a study on the impact of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant in 12 communities of Armavir 5-10 km from the ANPP and found out:

•   The safety guarantees of the residents of the ANPP safety zone against possible accidents are not provided.

•  Residents' knowledge of radiation and environmental safety requirements is superficial, often contradictory, even diametrically opposite.

•  The overwhelming majority of respondents, 95%, were unaware of the new government's nuclear energy policy.

•  There is no cooperation between the ANPP and the impact-zone communities. The public is not involved in ANPP programs, further re-equipment of the plant, decision-making in the field, and no such discussions were held in the communities studied in the ANPP impact zone.

•  The ANPP and the government have no social programs for the communities and do not support them.

•  The local population has no information on the monitoring of air, water and soil contamination in the ANPP impact zone, as well as on the qualitative composition of agricultural products produced; their progress and final outcomes. Even if analyses are performed, the population is not aware of it.

•  Residents are insufficiently aware of the potential hazards of radiation, and there is no adequate means to prevent and respond to it.

•  Community-based health facilities and residents lack stable iodine preparations for thyroid blockage.

•  Personal protective equipment intended for population protection, masks, did not have 100% of the surveyed residents.

•  There are no community-based shelters and other protective facilities in the national plan. The basements and sports halls designated as temporary hideouts do not meet the elementary requirements for areas and structures to be protected from radiation hazards. There are no guiding posters for community evacuation, evacuation plans in the communities, no danger alarms.

•  Electricity tariffs for ANPP residents are the same as for all RA citizens. Impacted communities do not have a subsidy mechanism. Seventy percent of locals use firewood for heating because electricity and gas tariffs are high.

•  ANPP is not included in the list of organizations envisaged by Law on Targeted Use of Environmental Taxes Payable by Companies. Communities do not have the status of an “impacted community”. The residents of communities are deprived of the right to receive an environmental tax exemption from the ANPP for implementation of environmental improvement projects. They cannot also dispute any decision in court.

12:56 November 28, 2019


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