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TAEK: Armenia nuclear radiation leak poses no threat to Turkey

26 January 2011 [12:35] - TODAY.AZ
The Turkish Atomic Energy Authority (TAEK) dismissed allegations on Monday that a radiation leak from Armenia's dangerous and controversial Metsamor nuclear power plant poses a danger to Turkey, saying that changes in radiation levels have not been detected by any of its numerous detectors.

Turkish media recently expressed concerns that Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power plant, labeled by the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) as one of the five most dangerous nuclear facilities in the world, is leaking high levels of radiation and may be affecting the provinces of Turkey bordering Armenia. While Kars is 100 kilometers away from Metsamor, Iğdır is only 10 kilometers from the nuclear plant.

Speaking to Cihan news agency, TAEK officials confirmed that a leak had occurred recently at Metsamor but Turkish provinces bordering Armenia did not detect levels of radiation that would be considered harmful to human health. TAEK also said it has dispatched three inspectors to Armenia to investigate the matter.

The EU has long pressed the Armenian leadership to shut down the nuclear plant but Armenia rejected the proposal because it was not satisfied with compensation that the EU had offered. The nuclear plant was shut down in 1988 following a devastating earthquake in southern Armenia and but was reopened in 1995 due to a severe energy shortage.

In a statement released on Monday, TAEK said it was closely monitoring the situation on the ground with 100 Early Warning Environmental Radiation Monitoring System Network (RESA) detectors, which automatically alert the TAEK Crisis Center in Ankara if airborne gamma radiation levels increases above the threshold.

/World Bulletin/

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