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Armenia and US in talks to build new nuclear power plant

4 July 2024
Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant. Image via Iravban.

The head of Armenia’s Security Council has said that Yerevan and Washington are in ‘substantive’ negotiations to build a new nuclear power plant in Armenia.

On Wednesday, Security Council Secretary Armen Grigoryan said the two countries were now discussing a legal framework for the proposed power plant’s construction.

‘Without a legal framework, we cannot move forward. At this moment, I can say that the ball is in the US’ court’, he said, adding that work on the power plant would begin after the US carries out its ‘internal processes’, without elaborating further.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated in October 2021 that Yerevan was in talks with Russia to construct a new facility to replace the ageing Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant — the only nuclear power plant in the Caucasus.

In December 2023, Armenia contracted the Russian state nuclear agency, Rosatom, to extend the life of the Metsamor until 2036, with talks ‘ongoing’ about building a new reactor at the ageing facility.

However, a few months later, a joint statement of an Armenia–US–EU summit revealed that Washington intended to support Armenia with diversifying its energy production and sources and to ‘explore the feasibility of new civil nuclear power options’.

The US and Armenia had previously signed a memorandum of understanding on Civil Nuclear Cooperation ‘to deepen’ strategic cooperation in 2022. 


Despite continuously deteriorating relations with Russia, Armenia’s Ministry of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure told RFE/RL earlier this year that they were negotiating with the US, Russia, and South Korea on building a new power plant.

Metsamor, whose current only operational reactor came online in 1980, produced 26% of Armenia’s electricity in 2021. 

Environmental campaigners, Turkey, and the EU have all expressed concerns about the safety of the plant, urging the government to shut it down.

Read in Georgian on On.ge.
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