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Metsamor nuclear power station – a vital threat to Europe in the present and the future

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 12580 | 12 April 2011

Mr Rafael HUSEYNOV, Azerbaijan, ALDE ; Mr Joseph FALZON, Malta, EPP/CD ; Mr Stanislav FOŘT, Slovak Republic, ALDE ; Mr Ljubo GERMIČ, Slovenia, ALDE ; Mr Zbigniew GIRZYŃSKI, Poland, EDG ; Ms Ana GUŢU, Republic of Moldova, ALDE ; Mr Mike HANCOCK, United Kingdom, ALDE ; Mr Gábor HARANGOZÓ, Hungary, SOC ; Mr Jean HUSS, Luxembourg, SOC ; Mr Željko IVANJI, Serbia, EPP/CD ; Mr Younal LOUTFI, Bulgaria, ALDE ; Ms Kerstin LUNDGREN, Sweden, ALDE ; Ms Christine MARIN, France, EPP/CD ; Mr Bernard MARQUET, Monaco, ALDE ; Sir Alan MEALE, United Kingdom, SOC ; Ms Assunta MELONI, San Marino, ALDE ; Mr Dimitrios PAPADIMOULIS, Greece, UEL ; Ms Ganira PASHAYEVA, Azerbaijan, EDG ; Mr Geir POLLESTAD, Norway, ALDE ; Mr Andrea RIGONI, Italy, ALDE ; Mr Samad SEYIDOV, Azerbaijan, EDG ; Mr Joan TORRES PUIG, Andorra, ALDE

The issue of the immediate shutdown of Metsamor nuclear power station, which is located in a seismically active zone and has been described as the “Armenian Chernobyl” by world media and experts, has repeatedly been raised in the Parliamentary Assembly.

Both the location in a seismically active zone and also the use of first-generation Soviet VVER technology mean Metsamor is a serious threat.

Following the Spitak earthquake in 1988, Metsamor was shut down. However, in spite of widespread international protests, it was put back into operation in 1995, with the second unit being restarted.

Armenia has turned down the EU’s call for Metsamor to be shut down by 2011 at the latest and its offer of 100 million euros to help meet the country’s energy needs.

According to seismologists, a significant number of small earthquakes of increasing intensity have occurred in the region over the last decade. In the event of a major incident at Metsamor, there would inevitably be destruction both in Armenia and also in all the countries of the South Caucasus, as well as the Near and Middle East. In the worst-case scenario, not only the region but also large parts of Europe would become a disaster zone.

For the sake of the present and future safety of the region and of Europe, and considering that Metsamor nuclear power station in Armenia does not meet modern requirements in terms of location and technical standards, the Assembly recommends the following:

  • the appointment of a special rapporteur to conduct urgent and detailed investigations regarding the issue;
  • the setting up of a fact-finding team comprising properly specialised parliamentarians;
  • the holding on an urgent basis of a colloquy involving recognised experts on the issue from the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture, Local and Regional Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.