Gurban Yetirmishli: "A 10-point active tectonic fault zone passes near the Metsamor NPP”

# 11:40
29 April 2021

“Nuclear Power Plants are always a source of life threat to humans. In particular, the location of such facilities in seismically active areas maximizes the danger,” said  Director of the Seismological Service Centre of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), Gurban Yetirmishli, APA reports. 

He noted that discussions are expanding in Azerbaijan and other neighboring countries demanding the closure of the Metsamor nuclear power plant in Armenia, which has long expired and is now unusable. Sudden earthquakes in the Gyumri seismogenic zone Ani earthquakes in 1046 (intensity I0 = 8 points) and in 1132 (intensity I0 = 7 points), in 1926 (intensity I0 = 8-9 points) Gyumri, consisting of three seismic shocks, in 1935 (intensity I0 = 8 points) strong earthquakes occurred in Digor. 139th year (intensity I0 = 8 points) in Ararat seismically active zone Ararat, 893rd year (intensity I0 = 8-9 points) Dvin, 971st year (intensity I0 = 7-8 points) Aruch, 1679th years (intensity I0 = 8 points) Garni and 1840 (intensity I0 = 8-9 points) strong earthquakes of Ararat caused great destruction and disasters. Destructive earthquakes of 1931 (intensity I0 = 8-9 points) and 1968 (intensity I0 = 7-8 points) are known in Zangazur seismically active zone.” 

According to G. Yetirmishli, deterministic and genetic methods were used in the preparation of seismic zoning maps in the former USSR, including the Armenian SSR, in other words, seismic hazard assessments were based on historical and earthquakes written via instrumental ways in earthquake catalogs:  “There are two 7-point and 8-point zones on the 12-point MSK-64 scale according to the level of seismic hazard caused by possible strong earthquakes on the seismic zoning map of the territory of the Armenian SSR prepared in 1980.”

Note that the construction of the Metsamor NPP operating in Armenia has started long before this map was drawn up - in 1973 and has put into operation in 1979- before the approval of this map. It shows that while the plant was constructing, its seismic resistance has been calculated at 8 points on the 12-point MSK-64 scale at best.