Need for nuclear power

After the break-up of the USSR and the start of a full scale war in Karabakh, led Armenia isolated in the region. From 1991 to 1994 Armenia endured terrible energy crisis which regularly left the population with no electricity supply to their homes at all. “There were severe power shortages during the winter months,” Ara Tadevosyan recalled in a telephone interview from Yerevan. “We had a situation where you had one hour of power a day, and sometimes no power at all for a week. You can imagine—it was as cold in the apartment as it was in the street.” The government built a pipeline in 1995 to import Russian natural gas through neighboring Georgia in the north, but it was regularly interrupted by sabotage and separatist strife. By 1995, the government of Armenia decided to restart the younger of the two reactors.

“When the unit of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant restarted, it became not only a source of energy, but also a source of hope for Armenia. It was a symbol that dark times are over: ‘We have electricity.’ And it is still seen as such today.”

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