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IAEA chief vows support for Armenia’s nuclear energy sector

"IAEA will continue to support Armenia in safely realizing these plans," Grossi said on social media.

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Moscow: IAEA head Rafael Grossi pledged the UN nuclear watchdog’s support for Armenia on Wednesday as it looks to step up nuclear energy production.

Grossi inspected the country’s only nuclear power plant in Metsamor on Tuesday and met with President Vahagn Khachaturyan and Infrastructure Minister Gnel Sanosyan on Wednesday to discuss Armenia’s plans to extend the plant’s lifespan and possibly build a third reactor.

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“IAEA will continue to support Armenia in safely realizing these plans,” Grossi said on social media.

President Khachaturyan emphasized the significance of nuclear energy for Armenia’s economy, Grossi said, adding they had an open exchange on the need to strengthen the country’s nuclear sector.

“Armenia’s economy relies on Metsamor NPP, and IAEA will continue to offer support, to help the plant provide low-carbon energy safely and securely. Pleased to see the safety and security improvements made to Metsamor,” Grossi said.

The site runs two Soviet-built WWER-440 pressurized water reactors. Armenia paused Metsamor in the late 1980s after a strong quake rocked the region and restarted it amid an energy crisis in 1995. Russian atomic giant Rosatom has recently upgraded the second reactor.

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