Armenia, USA Sign Accord On Fighting Nuclear Trafficking


Mediamax News Agency
July 15 2008

Yerevan, 15 July: Armenian Foreign Minister Edvard Nalbandyan and
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have signed a joint action
plan on fighting trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials
in Washington.

A statement of the [US] Department of State says that this "political
agreement expresses the intention of the two governments to cooperate
in the development of the capacity of the Republic of Armenia in the
sphere of prevention, disclosure and efficient response to attempts
to traffick nuclear or radioactive materials".

According to the signed document, the sides will take 28 steps to
achieve the set goals.

The USA previously signed similar documents with Ukraine, Kazakhstan,
Georgia and Kyrgyzstan.

In May 2007 the Armenian government announced its decision to become
a partner-state for the Russian-US Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism. [Former] Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President
George Bush announced the launch of the Global Initiative to Combat
Nuclear Terrorism in St Petersburg on 15 July 2006.

Commissioner Peter Lyons of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
visited the Armenian nuclear power plant in January this year.

The visit was aimed at getting acquainted with the Armenian nuclear
power plant and the plans of the Armenian government for the
construction of a new nuclear power unit. Lyons discussed with his
Armenian colleagues the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s possible
assistance in the establishment of a regulating infrastructure
necessary for licensing the new nuclear power plant.

Armenia and the USA signed a cooperation agreement on the feasibility
study of the construction of a new nuclear power unit of the Armenian
nuclear power plant and its [possible] impact on the environment on
21 November 2007. The Armenian government will use the results of
the 2m-dollar worth studies to select the best technical solutions
and principles of organizing a programme for the construction of the
new nuclear power unit.