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While neighboring Iran suffers to prove its right to Nuclear power, Russia, and now also USA not only support the idea of building a new reactor for the Armenian power plant, but also compete with each other on providing grants and assistance for the project. Is this one of the cases when “complimentarism” in Armenia’s foreign policy is actually working? RFE/RL has this to say:
In the most explicit endorsement yet of Armenia’s plans to build a new nuclear plant, the United States pledged on Wednesday to help the Armenian government conduct feasibility studies needed for the implementation of the multimillion-dollar project.
Joseph Pennington, the U.S. charge d’affaires in Yerevan, said Washington, which has long been pressing for the closure of Metsamor’s sole reactor, supports the ambitious idea and will help Yerevan put it into practice.
“The U.S. government supports the building of a new plant not only to improve Armenia’s energy security but also because of continuing concerns regarding the safety of the existing nuclear plant,” Pennington said. “We look forward to the rapid replacement of the Metsamor facility with a more modern and safer plant.”
The diplomat spoke as he signed a memorandum of U.S.-Armenian cooperation on the issue with Energy Minister Armen Movsisian. The document envisages that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Armenian government will work together in preparing a feasibility study for the project and an assessment of the new plant’s impact on environment.
“This is an enormously complex and challenging task. But today’s gathering here marks the first significant step in that process,” Pennington said. The US government will spend $2 million on financing the planned studies, he added.
The Armenian government is already looking for foreign investors interested in financing the project estimated to cost at least $1 billion. A top executive of a Russian atomic energy firm said last month that it is already discussing with Yerevan the possibility of building a new 100 Megawatt nuclear reactor at Metsamor.