Lab opened in Armenia to fight nuclear material smuggling

2013-01-18 13:07:08 GMT2013-01-18 21:07:08(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

YEREVAN, Armenia, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- A laboratory aimed at fighting the smuggling of nuclear materials was opened here at Armenia's Metsamor nuclear power plant, officials said Friday.

The lab, which would examine nuclear and radioactive materials, was established as part of a cooperative project between the power plant and the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Armenia said.

The lab will perform examinations and technical analyses of possible nuclear and radioactive pollution to assist criminal prosecution of nuclear material smugglers.

The Metsamor plant is located some 40 km west of Yerevan and has one nuclear reactor, built in 1976. It was shut down by the Soviet government after the deadly Spitak Earthquake in 1988, but was put back into service in 1995 by the Armenian government.

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