First, about analogues of the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the Armenian or Metsamor nuclear power plants in Armenia. Few people know that the main radioactive “cloud” after the Chernobyl explosion went north east. The main area of radioactive fallout is at the junction of the Mogilev and Gomel regions of Belarus and the Bryansk region of Russia. Many settlements here are resettled as unsuitable for living due to the increased level of radiation.
It is approximately 180-200 km north-north-east of Chernobyl. Approximately the same distance between the Metsamor NPP and the district of the capital of Georgia - Tbilisi.
That is, in the event of an accident at the Metsamor NPP, the capital of Georgia can turn into a life-threatening radioactive desert. And unlike even the so far occupied Abkhazia and the Tskhinvali region, it will be forever lost to the Georgian people. Indeed, Georgian refugees will return to Abkhazia and Tskhinvali with the restoration of the territorial integrity of the country. But Tbilisi, which has become a radioactive desert, will be unsuitable for life for millennia.
If the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant were eliminated by the entire huge superpower of the USSR, then there will simply be no one to fight the consequences of the accident at the Metsamor NPP. Awareness of the "grandeur, antiquity and cultural" of Armenians in the fight against a nuclear disaster is unlikely to help.
Wandering Armenia from one century to another will simply migrate to the already new North Caucasian version of Armenia, which covers Abkhazia, Sochi and the entire Stavropol Territory.
The poor Armenia does not have the opportunity to extinguish even the banal forest and steppe fires. But the accident at the Metsamor NPP is possible as a result of an earthquake. The object is located in a dangerous 8-9-point zone! Every few decades, similar earthquakes occur here. And unlike Chernobyl, where only the power unit was damaged, everything in the vicinity of the nuclear power plant can be destroyed by an earthquake and it will be impossible to prevent a catastrophe.
It is strange why no one in Georgia, having a similar “time bomb” mortally dangerous for the future of the country, does not sound the alarm, doesn’t demand to close the Metsamor nuclear power plant, which is deadly dangerous for Georgia and the Georgian people? Moreover, this NPP, which only miraculously did not explode after the Spitak earthquake (personnel left it), was already closed during the Soviet era. And only after Armenia gained independence, this nuclear power plant, in violation of all safety requirements, was put back into operation.
At the same time, a massive illegal placement of radioactive substances has been going through the Georgian-Armenian border for many years. Some of the smugglers were detained from time to time, but how many managed to carry the deadly cargo? Nobody knows that.
But for the security of the region, it is dangerous not so much the movement of nuclear materials from Armenia across the Armenian-Georgian border as through the Armenian-Iranian.
Recall that the world community is very concerned about Iran’s nuclear program. Especially the USA. But for some reason, the most influential Armenian American diaspora in all these long years has never said even a minimal concern about the prospects of Iran developing nuclear weapons. Strange ...
However, the American Armenian Diaspora welcomes the economic cooperation between Yerevan and Tehran in every way, seeing it as an “alternative” to cooperation with Russia. Those. even the US Armenians are “super-pro-Iranian” despite Washington’s unequivocal hostility towards Tehran.
As for the authorities of the Republic of Armenia, they have long been looking at Iran’s nuclear programs “positively”. So back in 2006, then-Prime Minister of Armenia Andranik Markaryan stated that “the Islamic Republic of Iran has the legal right to develop and use peaceful nuclear technologies in compliance with the non-proliferation regime of nuclear weapons.”
But how much this framework is respected is a big question. Moreover, there are big suspicions that Armenia will be able to “expand the scope” and essentially acquire Iran’s own nuclear weapons, and to which the nuclear potential of the Metsamor NPP is available.
This, apparently, explains a somewhat strange attitude - the extremely friendly, almost allied, official Tehran to Yerevan.
An important point: the Islamic Republic of Iran positions itself as a defender of Muslims, especially Shiite Muslims. Iran helps Shiites in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and for this we can say, many thanks from the local Shiite population.
But the question arises, but 1 million Shiite Muslims expelled by Armenian aggressors from occupied Azerbaijani Karabakh and more than 200 thousand Shiites expelled by Armenian nationalists from the Republic of Armenia itself? Didn’t they deserve at least the minimal sympathy of the Iranian authorities, since they are such an “Islamic Republic”? Or does Iran divide Muslims, including Shiite Muslims, into “varieties”?
One way or another, but the fact remains. Not a single demand was made for the de-occupation of Karabakh and the return of Azerbaijani refugees from Tehran to Yerevan. Even in mild form, Armenia’s trade with Iran is in full swing. Moreover, it is difficult to track the turnover and movement of goods. How many “unaccounted for” passes through the Armenian-Iranian border - no one knows. Including nuclear materials. And the fact that recently the nuclear smugglers from Armenia have become less detained on the Georgian-Armenian border may well indicate that the main "radioactive stream" has moved southward.
It should be noted that in the USSR almost all nuclear power plants had a dual purpose: peaceful and military. In particular, weapons-grade plutonium was enriched at nuclear power plants. That is, the nuclear reactors installed at Soviet-designed nuclear power plants were part of the military industry for the production of nuclear weapons. Metsamor NPP was no exception.
Of course, formally, after the collapse of the USSR outside the Russian Federation, all military work at nuclear power plants was curtailed. Formally, this was supposed to happen in Armenia. However, nobody really knows how to build things up. After all, formally, as you know, Armenia should not occupy Azerbaijani territories, but it does.
In addition, spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste at the Metsamor nuclear power plant have accumulated more than one dirty bomb. Therefore, the close cooperation of Armenia and Iran in the nuclear sphere occurs with varying intensity with a "high degree of probability", as does the internship at the Metsamor NPP of Iranian nuclear specialists involved in the development of Iranian nuclear weapons.
For Iran, this is beneficial because, in fact, it uses "ready-made" Soviet capacities that have already been used to produce nuclear weapons. Thus, it is not clear why, but the United States and Israel do not pay attention to the main channel through which Iran can become the owner of raw materials for the production of nuclear weapons, namely “Armenian”, associated with the Metsamor NPP.
Georgia should sound the alarm and demand the intervention of its Western allies in order to eliminate the threat in the immediate vicinity of the country's borders. After all, any nuclear conflict, or the conflict with the use of "dirty" bombs in the region will inevitably affect Georgian territory. This is not to mention the fact that the Metsamor NPP is hopelessly outdated and is the most dangerous nuclear facility on the globe.
A catastrophe can happen at any time, even if you do not take into account the risk that nuclear weapons are being worked on at the Metsamor NPP.
The issue of regional security requires the immediate closure of the Metsamor NPP and taking all radioactive materials under strict control. In addition, it is necessary to investigate nuclear materials that have already "left" Metsamor NPPs to Iran, given that in exchange for participating in the Iranian nuclear program, Tehran has allowed and is allowing Yerevan a lot.