Recently, the State Security Service (SSS) of Georgia at the Sadakhlo checkpoint detained an Armenian citizen who tried to transport 72 kg of the radioactive isotope Thorium 232, which belongs to the category of nuclear materials with a half-life of more than 14.05 billion years old, in a cargo minibus.
This fact shows how immense the danger of the large-scale illegal transit of radioactive substances through the territory of Georgia is. It is terrible to even think what would happen if this deadly cargo were scattered or thrown throughout Georgian territory.
Georgian society should understand that if 20% of the country's territory is occupied today, these territories of Georgia will return sooner or later, and with all the natural resources. But if Georgia becomes a settler for radioactive waste and radioactive substances falling from the territory of the Republic of Armenia, then the Georgians risk losing their lands for billions of years - forever and ever.
It's not news to anyone that radiation is an extremely dangerous thing. Contaminated areas become uninhabitable. Not to mention tourism, the development of which is exactly what the Georgian government is counting on.
If hypothetically spray not even 72 kg, but only a few grams of radioactive substance, in some area of Tbilisi, for example, in Avlabar, then this area becomes a “dead zone”. It is strange why Georgian ecologists do not understand this and do not sound the alarm.
The last blatant case of detention at a Sadakhlo checkpoint of an Armenian citizen with 72-kilograms of a dangerous radioactive substance shows what a huge threat to Georgia presents an almost catastrophic situation with radiation safety in the neighboring republic of Armenia. Moreover, there were a lot of cases of detection of radioactive materials exported from the Republics of Armenia even before that. Here are just some of them:
1. In December 2001, 300 g of uranium from Armenia was discovered in Samtskhe-Javakheti;
2. In July 2003, they tried to transport 170 g of highly enriched U-235 across the Armenian-Georgian border;
3. In December 2003, a container with strontium-90, taken from the Metsamor nuclear power plant, was seized at the Meghri checkpoint of the Armenian-Iranian border.
4. In October 2007, a consignment of substance Lawrence-103 was detained on the Georgian-Turkish border, the investigation showed that it entered Georgian territory from Armenia.
5. In September 2010, a member of the Armenian criminal gang carrying plutonium and enriched uranium was detained at the Tbilisi airport;
6. In August 2014, an attempt to transport cesium-137 to Georgia was prevented on the Georgian border.
7. In January 2016, Georgian customs officers detained three Armenians with cesium-137.
8. In mid-April 2016, an entire group of three citizens of Georgia and three citizens of Armenia was detained in Kobuleti, with the intention to sell radioactive uranium (238 and 235).
9. At the end of April 2016, another 8 people were detained with two kilograms of uranium (enough to poison all of Tbilisi with radiation), who tried to sell this radioactive uranium for $ 3 million.
10. In May 2016, a nephew of a deputy from the then Republican Party of Armenia Arakel Movsisyan - Mihran Movsisyan was arrested on the Georgian border. He tried to smuggle a batch of uranium across the border with Georgia, estimated at $ 200 million dollars.
11. In March 2017, a scandal erupted after a plane from Armenia landed at the airport of the Belarusian city of Gomel and transit preceded to one of the EU countries (claimed to be in Bulgaria). Dosimetric control conducted by representatives of the State Border Committee of Belarus, found an extremely high radioactive background of the cargo transported by plane. Radiation background of the cargo was exceeded 250 times.
Radioactive danger from Armenia today threatens not only the neighboring countries of the region, but also quite remote states. If radioactively dangerous goods from Armenia are found even in faraway Belarus, what is happening with cargoes from Armenia that move across the land Georgian-Armenian border? And how many unaccounted radioactive materials are among them?
At the same time, the investigation into the facts of the detention of persons illegally transporting and selling radioactive materials revealed that many of the detained Armenian smugglers in the past worked at the Metsamor NPP.
The Metsamor NPP operating in Armenia has long since exhausted its resources and is obsolete, both physically and morally. It is located in a seismically dangerous zone and represents a threat to the new Chernobyl for the entire region. But in addition to this, Armenia has become a hotbed of uncontrolled proliferation of nuclear substances that terrorists can freely acquire.
International terrorist groups can easily create so-called “dirty bombs” from Armenian smuggled nuclear materials. Recall that the “dirty bomb” refers to radiological weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which use ionizing radiation of radioactive materials as a striking element. Weapons are made on the basis of radioactive materials.
The main corridor through which the deadly radioactive substances crawl from Armenia around the world is Georgia. It should be understood that the facts of the detention of Armenian citizens on the border with radioactive substances or major cities of Georgia are only “the visible tip of the iceberg”. In addition to the Sadakhlo checkpoint, radioactive substances can get into Georgia through the less busy checkpoints of the Akhkerpi, Guguti and Ninotsminda. The attackers from Armenia can use the fact that, firstly, the data of the checkpoint are considered “secondary”, and secondly, from the Georgian side, many ethnic Armenians work at the same Ninotsminda checkpoint, which may well be associated with smugglers. In the framework of so-called "national solidarity".
It should also be borne in mind that the border between Georgia and Armenia is very poorly guarded and it can be “moved” by Armenian border guards into Georgia’s territory with impunity. It cannot be ruled out that there are illegal channels of radioactive substances through this border.
The world community is beginning to focus on the circulation of radioactive substances due to the danger that Iran has started producing nuclear weapons, but from the same Republic of Armenia, radioactive substances may also be uncontrolled imported into Iran, including enriched uranium.
Considering the transcendent corruption in the Armenian nuclear power industry and in the sphere of radioactive substances circulation, it can be stated that the Armenian authorities themselves are not only failing to prevent the illegal diversion of radioactive substances outside the country, but do not want to. It is possible that the illegal trade in radioactive substances is controlled by the Armenian special services. And this trade goes through the territory of Georgia, putting it under a mortal blow.
Recent political scandals may temporarily create problems with the tourist flow from the same Russia. But it will take several months for political scandals to be forgotten, and tourists will go again. But what to do if the territory of Georgia is contaminated with radioactive substances imported from Armenia? It will be useless to invite tourists. They can simply turn on dosimeters - and their testimony will become a guaranteed “anti-advertisement” of trips to Georgia.
These facts speak for themselves - today the question of the radiation safety of Georgia and the countries of the South Caucasus is most acute. And if the Armenian authorities cannot ensure the protection of radioactive substances and nuclear facilities, the international community should assume this role. And first of all the country interested in the nuclear security of the region more than others - Georgia. And Georgia, in which case, will have the first blow of a nuclear catastrophe emanating from Armenia.
Today, everyone can agree - Armenia is far from Japan. Japan almost did not cope with a nuclear disaster at nuclear power plants.
If Armenia does not want to see on its territory and security forces the same Turkey (which is also concerned about the danger emanating from Armenian territory), if Russia does not cope with ensuring the nuclear security of an “ally”, then Georgia should assume this role.
Within the framework of the general Caucasian radioactive safety, Georgian special units must be deployed at the Metsamor NPP and at all facilities in Armenia where radioactive substances are stored, and take their turn under the strictest control. Because only in the current situation can a rapidly approaching deadly nuclear catastrophe be prevented for the entire region, including Armenia and the Armenian people. After all, “playing around” with smuggling and illegal trafficking of radioactive substances, exploiting the most dangerous Metsamor NPP “on the last gasp”, irresponsible Armenian functionaries themselves are preparing the genocide of their own Armenian people.