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Armenia: An Environmental Debate with Nuclear Implications Flares

Environmentalists in Armenia are opposing a uranium mine project, the development of which has been linked to the upcoming overhaul of the Metsamor power station.

Carrying photos of animals and children, mutilated by exposure to uranium, roughly 3,000 protestors gathered November 11 in the central square of the town of Kapan, some 350 kilometers to the south of Yerevan, calling for the suspension of the mine project.

A petition drive has already gathered roughly 11,000 signatures in support of halting development of the mine, claimed Khoren Harutiunian, chairperson of a Karabakh war veterans committee that opposes the project. “People are very indignant about this. They all joined us,” Harutiunian recounted. “We don’t need uranium mines. We don’t want either to open the mines or endanger the fate of future generations.”

Added one local protestor, 43-year-old Kapan resident Armine Nahapetian: “If uranium extraction starts, we can say our region would be wiped off the map.”

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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance journalist based in Yerevan.

Armenia: An Environmental Debate with Nuclear Implications Flares

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