They relate to the Mutual Defence Agreement (MDA) first signed in 1958, which, according to the government, enables the UK and the US “nuclear warhead communities to collaborate on all aspects of nuclear deterrence including nuclear warhead design and manufacture”.
One amendment refers to potential threats from “state or non-state actors”. But the amendments are for the most part arcane and their significance cannot be understood in the absence of information which is kept secret.
The MDA does not have to be debated or voted on in parliament, as I have remarked before. Though the agreement is incorporated in US law, it has no legal status in Britain.
Yet the matters covered by the treaty, which is renewed only at 10 year intervals, are hugely important. Successive British governments have made clear a proper debate on the issues involved would not be welcome.
“A debate on the renewal of the MDA would be used by some as an opportunity to raise wider questions concerning the possible renewal of the nuclear deterrent…and our obligations under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty,” notes an internal MoD paper, dated 2004. The paper was released only earlier this year through a freedom of information act request by the independent Nuclear Information Service……….
Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) says the UK-US agreement flew in the face Britain’s commitments as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“It is appalling that David Cameron is signing secretive nuclear deals behind Parliament’s back. In no other area of government would such a sinister sidestepping of democratic process be tolerated.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/defence-and-security-blog/2014/oct/20/nuclear-weapons-uk-us
Contractor Submitted False Radiation Data at Hunters Point, NBC Bay Area In an internal report uncovered by the Investigative Unit, Tetra Tech says it provided the Navy false soil samples while working on the radiological cleanup of the Hunters Point shipyard By Vicky Nguyen, Liz Wagner and Felipe Escamilla Monday, Oct 13, 2014
A Navy contractor tasked with cleaning radioactive soil at the Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco admitted in an internal report obtained exclusively by the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit that it mishandled soil samples and submitted false data.
Tetra Tech, a multinational engineering, construction and environmental corporation details in an April 2014 report how it was caught submitting false soil samples to the Navy in an apparent effort to declare the soil free of radiological contamination when it may not have been. The Pasadena-based company is a $2.7 billion per year business that has won more than $300 million worth of contracts for cleanup work at Hunters Point………
“If the Navy had not caught this,” Bowers said, “there would be very, very high levels of contaminated soil, radioactive soil in the ground, where the plans are in place to build homes for the general public to live in, with yards for children to play in.”
Bowers is one of four radiation specialists who blew the whistle on Tetra Tech’s practices and are now suing the company for retaliation, claiming they were fired after questioning the company’s actions. Bowers first spoke with the Investigative Unit earlier this year saying the cleanup of Hunters Point had been compromised and that Tetra Tech cut corners on safety to save money……..http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Contractor-Submitted-False-Radiation-Data-at-Hunters-Point-279025911.html
Bid to stem fallout from nuclear ‘deal’ IOL. October 12 2014 By Wiseman Khuzwayo The apparent deficiencies in how the nuclear deal with Russia was handled have sent President Jacob Zuma’s office into overdrive in trying to contain the fallout from indications proper procedures had not been followed.
The nuclear build from this agreement reportedly will cost South Africa a record R3 trillion.
To stem the tide of criticism, Zuma’s spokesman, Mac Maharaj, said on Friday that the president had granted Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson authority to sign a similar agreement with the French government.
This is obviously the administration’s attempt to mitigate the fallout. Maharaj said Zuma had granted the same authority to the energy minister to sign the earlier controversial agreement with Russia.
On Wednesday, Beeld newspaper reported that Joemat-Pettersson had been alone when she signed the “mysterious” agreement with Russia.
According to the report, the rest of the South African delegation attending the general conference of the International Atomic Agency in Vienna was told to go and wait somewhere else because the meeting with Russia was “private”.
The announcement on September 22 followed a secretive trip to Moscow by Zuma and prompted allegations that the government was dodging procurement policies.
This then prompted officials from the Department of Energy to call a press conference to placate the critics………
Lance Greyling, DA spokesman on energy, said on Friday that Joemat-Pettersson and officials of Rosatom must, with urgency, appear before the energy portfolio committee.
He said they must account for what appeared to be a deal riddled with irregularities.
Greyling said in a bizzare attempt to deflect criticism regarding the secret agreement, Rosatom had blamed a poor translation of its statement as the cause of misunderstanding behind the agreement, disavowing its earlier claim of having been awarded the contract.
“The desperate move comes as South Africans express clear dissatisfaction with the lack of transparency surrounding the ‘agreement’, which is set to cost the fiscus nearly R3 trillion.”
The National Union of Mineworkers does not support the agreement. Its national executive committee said it believed there had to be transparency and a tendering process. http://www.iol.co.za/business/news/bid-to-stem-fallout-from-nuclear-deal-1.1763840#.VDyy_GddUnk
Senators cite concerns with nuclear investigations, Houston Chronicle KEVIN FREKING, ASSOCIATED PRESSOctober 9, 2014 WASHINGTON (AP) — Two U.S. senators have told the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that they are troubled by reports of an agency reorganization that would make safety investigations less independent. The NRC said no such reorganization is in the works.
Currently, investigations of nuclear plants and other NRC license holders are conducted through an independent office established in 1982. Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Edward Markey of Massachusetts said in a letter to NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane on Thursday that they have been told the NRC’s general counsel is recommending changes that would in effect place it in charge of every stage of an investigation and limit the types of investigations the independent office could undertake.
“This proposal removes the independence that is essential to an effective investigative office,” the senators wrote……..The lawmakers called on the NRC to provide all correspondence, including notes and emails that discuss a reorganization of the office. They also say a congressional hearing will be held in December that looks into a possible reorganization.
Earlier this week, an NRC inspector general concluded that the agency had missed opportunities to spot potential troubles that led to the installation of faulty machinery in a Southern California nuclear power plant. http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/Senators-cite-concerns-with-nuclear-investigations-5812466.php
Report: ISIS plots to seize Iran’s nuclear secrets http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2014/10/05/ISIS-plots-to-seize-Iran-s-nuclear-secrets-.htmlAl Arabiya News Sunday, 5 October 2014
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group is planning on seizing Tehran’s nuclear secrets and urging its fighters to plan for war with Iran, UK weekly newspaper The Sunday Times reported.
The group urged its members to help them reach their ambitions in a manifesto which was allegedly written by Abdullah Ahmed al-Meshedani, a member of the group’s highly secretive six-man war cabinet.
In the document, which has been examined by western security officials – who believe it to be authentic – Meshedani wrote that ISIS is aims to get hold of nuclear weapons with the help of Russia, to whom it will offer access to gas fields it controls in Iraq’s Anbar province in return for the Kremlin to give up “Iran and its nuclear program and hands over its secrets.”
The manifesto said that Moscow would also have to abandon support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and back the Gulf States against Iran. The document also includes 70 different plans to launch a new campaign of ethnic cleansing aimed at consolidating the new “Islamic Caliphate,” stripping Shiite Iran of “all its power” and destroying the Shiite authorities in Iraq.
ISIS considers Shiite Muslims as traitors and accuses them of “perverting” Islam in the same manifesto, which called for the assassination of Iranian diplomats, businessmen and teachers as well as Iraqi military chiefs, Shiite officials and Iranian-backed militias fighting for the Iraqi government.
The document, which is believed to be a policy manifesto prepared for senior members of ISIS, was supposedly obtained in March by an Iraqi special forces unit during a raid on the home of an ISIS commander.
Experts involved in safety review were receiving company’s pensions, documents reveal Nuclear experts receiving EDF pensions were involved in the official safety review of the company’s planned Hinkley Point C plant in Somerset, sparking concerns about a conflict of interest over the approval of the project.
The involvement senior executive grade officers at the Office of Nuclear Regulation (ONR) made it “very difficult” for the regulator to take a critical eye, warned another independent industry consultant.
The revelations, obtained via a series of freedom of information (FoI) requests, raise wider concerns about the use of consultants due to a lack of experienced staff inside the ONR and come a week after the Hinkley project got a go-ahead from the European competition directorate for a proposed UK subsidy scheme.
Building new reactors is a key part of the coalition’s plan to keep the lights on in the medium term when old coal and atomic power plants are coming to the end of their lives.
EDF, the French state energy group, plans to use a new European pressurised reactor (EPR) design for the Somerset plant that was successfully submitted for approval to the ONR, a statutory body which boasts of holding the nuclear industry to account on behalf of the public.
But the standards of the safety and regulatory sign-off of the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant has been called into question by experts, who believe the construction will run over budget or fail.
Critics argue that vital safety issues highlighted in the regulatory process were ignored, which may have happened to ensure the project’s approval met the deadline set out by the UK government. Continue reading
4 more utilities stop signing contracts for purchasing renewable energy, Manichi, 3 Oct 14TOKYO (Kyodo) — Four more regional utilities said Tuesday they will stop signing contracts to buy renewable energy from mega solar power plants and other suppliers, citing transmission network capacity limitations.
The move by the regional utilities serving Shikoku, Hokkaido, Tohoku and Okinawa follows Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s announcement last week that it was suspending acceptance of applications from renewable energy suppliers.
The suspension by Kyushu Electric has already prompted the government to review the incentive scheme introduced in July 2012 for renewable energy, which it has been encouraging since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster heightened safety concerns about nuclear power.
Under the so-called feed-in tariff scheme, power utilities are obliged to purchase electricity generated from renewable sources at fixed prices. The costs are passed on to consumers in their electricity bills.
But the five utilities have said they can no longer sign power-purchasing contracts as blackouts could occur if all output from renewable energy suppliers is transmitted to the utilities’ grids, causing overcapacity…….http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20141001p2g00m0bu040000c.html
NHK changed their TV program about Fukushima radioactive particle to dinosaur with no explanation http://fukushima-diary.com/2014/09/nhk-changed-tv-program-fukushima-radioactive-particle-dinosaur-explanation/ Iori Mochizuki 25 Sept 14, NHK cancelled their TV show about radioactive particle scheduled for 9/21/2014.The title of the show was “Nuclear accident – Follow the unidentified radioactive partile !”. It was scheduled to be broadcast at 23:30 of 9/21/2014, but instead, they rebroadcast the show about dinosaur, which was originally broadcast only 5 weeks ago.
About the sudden change of the TV program, NHK has made no announcement though it’s public broadcasting.
Economy & Ecology: The Inconvenient Truths The Global Calcuttan September 21, 2014 “Capitalism, as it’s conceived and conducted today; capitalism that relies on globalization, unbridled consumerism, deregulation and perpetual economic expansion, is irreconcilable with a livable climate.” – Naomi Klein, Capitalism vs. The Climate
Economy and Ecology: Disclosing the Inconvenient Truths By SB Veda CALCUTTA – This week we feature two articles on the conflict between capitalism and the environment: One describes the mysterious set of illnesses affecting children in the village of Jadugora in Jharkand, India, the sight of India’s first major uranium mine (now closed); and the second is an interview with left-wing author and thinker, Naomi Klein on her new book, which was published, yesterday called Capitalism vs. The Climate……..
Nuclear Poisoning in Jharkand
It is already too late for many of the children of Jadugora, born with birth defects, destined to develop cancer. The story is one of ignorance, lack of adequate regulation, and finally a total breakdown of institutional responsibility within the Indian republic.
In fact, the owner of the Uranium mine situated in the village, The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) is owned by the Government. UCIL, instead of acting in the people’s interests, systematically dumped nuclear waste, ending up in Jadugora’s water supply. This is water used to drink and wash, water that grows the vegetation consumed by the villagers and their livestock. They are literally consuming and bathing in nuclear poison.
It is no wonder that the defeated UPA government under Manmohan Singh, sought to export liabilities from nuclear mismanagement to potential foreign suppliers after India became a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). In India, the government seems to have abdicated its responsibility to effectively regulate the civil nuclear industry to safeguard the people.
The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) owns UCIL and its operations are covered under Atomic Energy Act, which makes accurate information about the mine extremely arduous to obtain. There is no requirement for public participation at any stage of the process of sighting, designing or building nuclear facilities. In an article for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (1999), T.S. Gopi Rethinaraj writes: “The department [of atomic energy] has happily exploited the ignorance of India’s judiciary and political establishment on nuclear issues. In the past, it has even used the Atomic Energy Act to prevent nuclear plant workers from accessing their own health records. While nuclear establishments everywhere have been notorious for suppressing information, nowhere is there an equivalent of India’s Atomic Energy Act in operation. Over the years, in the comfort of secrecy, India’s nuclear establishment has grown into a monolithic and autocratic entity that sets the nuclear agenda of the country and yet remains virtually unaccountable for its actions.” (Source:http://jadugoda.jharkhand.org.in).
Even lawyers at the legal aid society whose responsibility it was to advise the victims of the environmental calamity of their rights and recourse are named as defendants in the public interest suit brought on behalf of the afflicted. Everybody, it seems, was bought and paid for in the oligarchic legacy left by Jawaharlal Nehru that is The Republic of India.
Nehru’s views on the nuclear industry are revealing. The former Gandhian Satyagrahi, wrote to his defence minister shortly after independence that not only did the “future belong to those who produce atomic energy”, but “Defence (was) intimately connected with this.” He was at the ready to fund atomic research – the first Asian government to do so, and his surreptitious plan for a nuclear defence was carried to the next generation and revealed in the misuse of civilian nuclear technology imported from Canada by Indira Gandhi for purposes of defence. This caused all nuclear cooperation between the two nations to cease until recently.
The BJP may have taken the nuclear defence programme out of the darkness, making India a declared nuclear power but it also did little to clean up the civilian nuclear power industry.
Getting back to bribery – though more flagrant in India, is also present in Western democracies as Klein pointed out in her interview: ‘Both by . . . bribing politicians and serving as (an election-campaign) disciplinary force for politicians — you get the money if you do the right thing. But if you don’t do the right thing from the perspective of the oil companies then that same money is used to attack you in television ads and so on.’…
Do Governments Really Conduct Secret Research on their Own People? BNTVA http://bntvachair.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/do-governments-really-conduct-secret.html by Nige Heaps
From 1945 to 1947, 18 people were injected with plutonium by Manhattan project doctors. This experiment was under the supervision of Harold Hodge. Other experiments directed by the United States Atomic Energy Commission and the Manhattan Project continued into the 1970s. The Plutonium Files chronicles the lives of the subjects of the secret program by naming each person involved and discussing the ethical and medical research conducted in secret by the scientists and doctors. Albert Stevens, the man who survived the highest known accumulated radiation dose in any human, 4-year-old Simeon Shaw sent from Australia to the U.S. for treatment, and Elmer Allen are some of the notable subjects of the Manhattan Project program led by Dr. Joseph Gilbert Hamilton.
In Nashville, pregnant women were given radioactive mixtures. In Cincinnati, some 200 patients were irradiated over a period of 15 years. In Chicago, 102 people received injections of strontium and caesium solutions. In Massachusetts, 57 developmentally disabled children were fed radioactive oatmeal in an experiment sponsored by MIT and the Quaker Oats Company. In none of these cases were the subjects informed about the nature of the procedures, and thus could not have provided informed consent.
In the book these stories are interwoven with details of more well-known radiation experiments and accidents. These include: U.S. soldiers deliberately exposed to nuclear bomb blasts; families who lived downwind from atomic tests; radiation exposure in the Marshall Islands; and the Japanese Lucky Dragon trawler caught in the fallout from a massive hydrogen bomb blast in 1954. The government covered up most of these radiation mishaps until 1993, when President Bill Clinton ordered a change of policy and federal agencies then made available records dealing with human radiation experiments. The resulting investigation was undertaken by the president’s Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, and it uncovered much of the material included in Welsome’s book. The committee issued a controversial 1995 report which said that “wrongs were committed” but it did not condemn those who perpetrated them. The final report came out on October 3, 1995, the same day as the verdict in the O.J. Simpson case, when much of the media’s attention was directed elsewhere.
Jonathan D. Moreno was a senior staff member of the committee. He wrote the 1999 book Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans, which covers some of the same ground as The Plutonium Files.
Nuclear Conspiracies And Pacific Radiation Activist Post, Richard Wilcox, PhD September 10, 2014
“……….While speculation about controversial topics in the SNS sphere should be taken with a large grain of salt, there is a theory that the government has used the dengue scare to shut down Yoyogi Park in order to block what was supposed to be a “huge” September 27, anti-nuclear protest. Before you laugh and shout “conspiracy theory” (although you might be right in this case) read on.
Given that practically everything many Western (including Japan) governments say these days are lies, dutifully parroted by the Media, it does make one wonder. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. ……….
this year is Japan Prime Minister Shinzo “I Love Nukes & Military Spending” Abe’s big push to restart the country’s idling and costly nuclear reactors. The timing is interesting. Not only did Abe recently appoint a pro-nuclear woman to his cabinet (to soft peddle the cute and cuddly image of nuclear power) but it was recently announced that the first nuclear restart has been approved in Kagoshima prefecture in the far south of the country (2). This is despite the fact that “more than 60 percent of local governments that host or surround a nuclear power plant are cautious about restarting idled reactors even if they meet new safety guidelines” (3).
According to the dengue conspiracy theory, this year the government manipulated the data to make it look like the dengue cases were specifically emanating from the park. There is also a theory that the fevers are caused by the spraying of chemicals and pesticides in the area, that mimic the symptoms of dengue. The motive: Where a huge anti-nuclear demonstration was to occur on Sept. 27, in order to combat the push for reactor restarts — now the park has been CLOSED! The canceled anti-nuke event will muzzle the opposition and pave the way for nuclear restarts.
In the summer of 2012, tens of thousands, upwards of 100,000 demonstrators or more, gathered in just that park, Yoyogi Park, in order to protest the government’s nuclear policy (4).
Considering the anti-constitutional and dictatorial leanings of the Abe administration, it is not a ridiculous hypothesis to consider that The-Powers-That-Be took advantage of the dengue scare to manipulate data for furthering administration goals.
Of course the lapdog media is always on hand to play its role in furthering such myths, as happened in the granddaddy conspiracy of all time, the 911 “terror attacks” (5). Incredibly, the man who wrote his college thesis about the creation and maintenance of state myths is also the one man who was in charge of the 911 investigative committee (6; 7). That’s what we simple folks call putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.
The report in the Hamshahri daily said the “Ukrainian expert” was affiliated with a Russian contractor that works in Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant, which went online in 2011 with Russian aid.
The report did not elaborate on the timing or nature of the alleged sabotage. Iran has long accused the United States, Israel and European countries of working to sabotage its nuclear program.
International sanctions force Iran to buy Western-made parts for its nuclear program from third parties. Hamshahri suggested such parties are involved in sabotaging parts before they arrive in Iran, without elaborating.
Hamshari also quoted Asghar Zarean, deputy head of Iran’s nuclear department in charge of security, as saying that Sandia National Laboratories, a New Mexico-based subsidiary of defense contractor Lockheed Martin, has been involved in manipulating parts that Iran needs for its nuclear facilities.
In 2010, the so-called Stuxnet virus temporarily disrupted the operation of thousands of centrifuges, key components in nuclear fuel production, at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility. Iran says it and other computer virus attacks are part of a concerted effort by Israel, the U.S. and their allies to undermine its nuclear program through covert operations…….http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/iran-arrests-suspected-nuclear-plant-saboteur-25323907
Top Official: “Really concerned” over radiation release at US nuclear site; Feds “have put a noose around scientific personnel”… they refuse to reveal crucial information about WIPP disaster — Investigators becoming suspicious — Nuclear Expert: “It sure seems like there’s a cover-up” (AUDIO) http://enenews.com/top-official-really-concerned-nuclear-leak-investigation-feds-put-noose-around-scientific-personnel-refusing-reveal-crucial-information-about-radioactive-release-nuclear-expert-sure-like-cover-a?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ENENews+%28Energy+News%29
New Mexico Environment Department Secretary Ryan Flynn, Sept 6, 2014: “The problem is that Department of Energy headquarters back in Washington, D.C., is looking at this situation through a political or (public relations) lens, so they’ve put a noose around the scientific personnel who can answer our questions… there’s a willingness (by LANL personnel) to provide information [but] someone back at headquarters decides that no, they’re not going to provide that information to the state… it happens repeatedly, that’s when you start to get really concerned… they don’t provide certain information [or] make staff available… The more we investigate, the more we’re discovering at Los Alamos… the Department of Energy headquarters refuses to provide certain information.”The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sept 6, 2014: Flynn accuses feds of blocking WIPP probe — New Mexico’s top environmental regulator lashed out at the U.S. Department of Energy this week, accusing it of impeding the state’s investigation into [the WIPP] radiation leak… Secretary Ryan Flynn warned [about] Energy Department roadblocks that have protracted the probe… Increasingly in recent weeks, the federal Energy Department has thwarted attempts by the state… Flynn accused the Energy Department of muzzling scientists with crucial information about the waste…. [They] asked for documentation supporting the scientists’ observations [but] the Energy Department has repeatedly refused… his frustration with the Energy Department grew as its denials… became more frequent… The Energy Department’s refusal to provide information raised suspicions among Flynn’s investigators…
Greg Mello, Los Alamos Study Group, Sept 6, 2014: “[Not sharing this information] could be a danger signal for workers and the public. Mislabeling drums and withholding information can be criminal.”
The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sept 3, 2014: Review, relabeling of LANL waste raises questions about scope of problem… [Los Alamos National Laboratory's] review of the incident has led to uncertainty over the volatility of hundreds of other drums… The lab notified state environment officials late last month that it was re-evaluating and relabeling as “ignitable” or “corrosive” the contents of 86 drums at LANL… The Department of Energy also is reviewing and relabeling more than 300… stored in WIPP’s underground… [This] raises questions about the scope of the problem that led to the leak at WIPP.
Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator & engineer, Aug 28, 2014 (at 22:15 in): “It sure seems like that there’s a combination of a cover-up, and a combination of slip-shot record keeping. Now there’s talk of whether they ditched those records after the fact or before the fact, but those records are nonexistent. One would expect really good records as to what is being stored, where it’s being stored, when it was put away, when it was stored, all that – every bit of information that one would expect to have in a nuclear storage facility and these are missing, there’s a lot of information.
Kan seeks full disclosure of testimony on nuclear crisis http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/08/26/national/kan-seeks-full-disclosure-testimony-nuclear-crisis/#.U_5HVMVdUnk CANBERRA – Former Prime Minister Naoto Kan called Tuesday for the full disclosure of testimony regarding the Fukushima nuclear crisis, including that of plant chief Masao Yoshida.
Kan, prime minister during the March 2011 disaster, welcomed the Abe administration’s decision to release Yoshida’s testimony in September.
“It is the most important material to understand the cause of the accident and how it developed,” he said.
Kan, known for his opposition to nuclear power, is currently visiting Australia at the invitation of an environmental group.
“It is necessary to re-examine all the facts” related to the nuclear crisis, he said.
The government had resisted releasing Yoshida’s testimony. Before he died of esophageal cancer in July 2013 at age 58, he signed a statement preventing the release of interviews, citing concerns that he would be misinterpreted. Yoshida was interviewed for more than 20 hours from July to November 2011 by a government panel examining the crisis.
The government is also preparing to disclose testimony by others involved in the disaster as soon as it obtains consent from the interviewees.
“Since public interest of the examination of the accident is extremely high, I believe testimony by then senior executives of Tokyo Electric, including the chairman and president, as well as records of its teleconferences, should be disclosed,” Kan said.
He said he has approved the release of his own testimony.
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