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Armenian NPP and Biodiversity


Investigation of the Influence of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant on the Environment Biodiversity During Regular Production and During Malfunction

Tech Area / Field

  • BIO-DIV/Biodiversity/Biotechnology
  • BIO-RAD/Radiobiology/Biotechnology
  • ENV-EHS/Environmental Health and Safety/Environment
  • ENV-MRA/Modelling and Risk Assessment/Environment

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Yerevan State University, Armenia, Yerevan

Supporting institutes

  • Scientific Foundation "International Center Garni", Armenia, Yerevan\nScientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology, Armenia, Yerevan


  • The Institute for Molecular Medicine, USA, CA, Huntington Beach\nSELOR eeig, The Netherlands, Amsterdam\nUnited States Department of Agriculture / Agricultural Research Service, USA, MD, Beltsville\nPacific Northwest National Laboratory / Battelle, Putting Technology to Work, USA, WA, Richland\nLawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore

Project summary

From the very beginning of development of nuclear technologies the problem of their environmental impact arose. Studies in this area have been carried out both in the former Soviet Union and in Armenia. All of them had strongly pronounced academic character. Environmental investigations and examinations on influence of wastes and emissions from the station on biopersity of Ararat valley were not spend in USSR at the time of construction of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP) (the beginning of 1970-s). There were the departmental rules based on results of laboratory studies, not connected with the actual state of affairs (studies were carried out in laboratories instead of field conditions).

In process of development of a science more advanced methods of researches are developed, techniques of examinations are specified and supplemented. In particular, with the support and funding of the ISTC realized (A-773: " Net Effect of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant on Environment and Population in the Background of Global Radioactive Fallouts ") and is in progress (A-1368: " Development of on-line radiation monitoring system in the impact zone of the Armenian NPP”) projects on the environment in the area of the Armenian. ANPP. These projects mainly studied the radiological situation. Investigation of the influence of ionizing radiation on the biopersity of the area of Armenian NPP has not been carried out.

Taking into consideration the profound interest of region countries in the health protection of human beings and animals, preservation of biopersity, as well as the fact that environment do not recognize state borders and undesirable changes in fauna and flora can moves in neighboring countries, the presented Project is extremely important and actual.

The main goal of the project proposed is determination of direct connection between emissions from nuclear power plant, a doze generated by these emissions and environmental biopersity in a mode of regular operation of station and at emergency conditions.

The following objectives should be solved to achieve the goal posed:

  1. The study of induced radionuclide content in various objects of fauna and flora permanently living in monitoring zone of ANPP and outside of the influence zone.
  2. The study of current meteorological, hydro-geological and geochemical conditions at the ANPP location.
  3. Definition of the dependence of induced ionizing radiation to the growth and development of various objects of fauna and flora (doze-effect) at the ANPP location on the base of experimental data
  4. Development of principles and methods of environmental regulation for NPP observation zone and for territories of newly planned and constructed NPP.
  5. Development of the model of environmental impact of nuclear power plant in the mode of normal operation and emergency situation.
  6. Creation of meteorological, hydrological, geochemical and ecological database in GIS format. Visualization of the scenarios of nuclear power plant’s impact on environment.

Scientific novelty of the project is obvious, because any target in situ study of action of an ionizing radiation on flora and fauna of area under ANPP practically was not carried out.

Both scientific and practical results are supposed after the project realization.

The main scientific result of the project is creation of database of biopersity of the ANPP location area and in situ study of influence of an ionizing radiation in monitoring zone of ANPP. Interrelations between different fauna and flora species from the area of the ANPP will be studied.

Practical results of the project are as follows:

  • Data acquisition on biopersity of the ANPP location area, obtained by field expedition. More precise definition of the quantity of species of flora and fauna living on this territory
  • Database creation in GIS format, including meteorological, hydrological, geochemical and ecological data on the environment of the ANPP location area.
  • Precise definition of the existing principals of ecological expertise.
  • Precise definition of the criteria of ecological standardization at the time of site selection, operation, decommission and construction of the new NPP.
  • Development of the mathematical model of ecosystem function in ANPP monitoring zone during normal exploitation and in emergency.
  • Animation of model execution using GIS

Created scientific-technical basis will allow conducting fundamental researches on action of an ionizing radiation to flora and fauna, develop and examine the models of ecosystem function, and will be the basis of training for young specialists.

Scientific and practical results obtained during implementation of the Project in useful and adjusted forms will be handed to appropriate government and private organizations, which are involved in:

  • research and development in the area of radiation protection of environment;
  • construction, exploitation and deactivating of NPP;
  • research and development in the area of ecological regulation;
  • research in the area of radiobiology;
  • research in the area of mathematical modeling of ecosystems and GIS application.

The implementation of the Project will help the scientists and specialists in Armenia and who were dealing with the military problems to use their knowledge for solving peaceful matters.

The following organizations will be involved in the process of implementation of this Project:

  1. Yerevan State University (Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology);
  2. Scientific Foundation “International Center Garni”
  3. Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology of the National Academy of Science, Republic of Armenia

The above mentioned organizations have a broad experience and well known with up-dated methodic of investigations (both in laboratory and in field conditions), and on analysis of obtained results. They possess of methodic of calculation of radiation dose, mathematical modeling of data processing, much experience in the field radiobiological and ecological studies. The mentioned groups have major part of equipment necessary for project implementation, license software for working in GIS format.

The technical approach and methodology consist of a combination of several experimental techniques (ecological, morphological, spectrometric, radiometric, cytogenetic, etc.) with theoretical modeling (both analogous and numerical). This combination of the specified techniques will allow executors to develop practical recommendations which can be used in the field of radioecology at operation and during decommission of nuclear power plants as well as during construction of the new stations.

The foreign collaborators will cooperate with participants of the Project within the framework of the following issues:

  • exchange of information during the Project implementation and comments for reports;
  • assistance in identifying appropriate sources of special materials and equipment to be used in projects;
  • assistance in obtaining of the new methods and technologies;
  • exchange of information, consulting, and creation of data bank in order to look for potential collaborators, partners, funds, donor organizations, private companies and people interested in the results of the Project;
  • participation in organization of training courses for young specialists, seminars and business meetings;
  • providing opportunities to host project participants at western universities and laboratories


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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