Armenia and US in Talks for New Nuclear Power Plant

Armenia is in “substantive” negotiations with the United States to build a new nuclear power plant, according to Armen Grigoryan, the head of Armenia’s Security Council. The talks are currently focused on establishing a legal framework for the project, with Grigoryan indicating that further progress awaits action from the US side.

‘Without a legal framework, we cannot move forward. At this moment, I can say that the ball is in the US’ court’, Grigoryan said but did not provide more details.

This development marks a shift from Armenia’s previous plans. In 2021, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan announced discussions with Russia about replacing the aging Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant, the sole nuclear facility in the Caucasus region. Armenia subsequently contracted Russia’s Rosatom in 2023 to extend Metsamor’s operational life until 2036.

A joint statement from an Armenia-US-EU summit revealed American intentions to support Armenia in diversifying its energy production, including exploring new civil nuclear power options. This aligns with a 2022 memorandum of understanding between Armenia and the US on civil nuclear cooperation.

If the project moves forward, it will represent a pivotal shift in Armenia’s energy landscape and diplomatic relationships. This initiative could significantly reduce Armenia’s reliance on Russian energy resources while strengthening ties with Western allies. The new nuclear power plant would not only modernize Armenia’s energy infrastructure but also potentially reshape its geopolitical position in the Caucasus region.

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