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Russia- South Africa secret deal exposed: details are fearful ones for South Africa

secret-dealsRussian-Bearflag-S.AfricaExposed: Scary details of SA’s secret Russian nuke deal, Mail & Guardian  13 FEB 2015 00:00 LIONEL FAULL The secret nuclear deal our leaders have signed with Russia carries many risks for South Africa. Shocking details of the secret nuclear deal that Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson signed with Russia last year can, for the first time, be revealed. The text, which has been jealously guarded by her department and Russian nuclear company Rosatom, holds many dangers for South Africa.

It creates an expectation that Russian technology will be used for South Africa’s trillion-rand fleet of new nuclear power stations. And by laying the groundwork for government-to-government contracting, it appears designed to sidestep the constitutional requirement for open and competitive tendering.

Once the agreement comes into force, the Russians will have a veto over South Africa doing business with any other nuclear vendor. And it will be binding for a minimum of 20 years, during which Russia can hold a gun to South Africa’s head, in effect saying: “Do business with us, or forget nuclear.”

The agreement confirms the government’s intention to make “Atomic Tina’s” energy department the procuring agent for the nuclear programme rather than Eskom – where the country’s nuclear expertise lies, despite the utility’s travails. Joemat-Pettersson signed the agreement in Vienna on September 21 last year, three weeks after President Jacob Zuma held talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at the latter’s country estate.

It led to an immediate outcry as it appeared that Russia was being favoured over other vendor countries………..

The terms of the agreement lean heavily in Russia’s favour. They:

  • Indemnify the Russians from any liability arising from nuclear accidents during the reactors’ life. The agreement says South Africa is “solely responsible for any damage both within and outside the territory of the Republic of South Africa”;
  • Hand the Russians a host of regulatory concessions and “special favourable treatment” in tax and other financial matters, but offer South Africa no such incentives; and
  • Require Russia’s permission if South Africa wants to export nuclear technology it develops locally as a result of learning from the Russians, thereby hindering government’s aim that the nuclear new-build programme will develop a globally competitive local nuclear industry………..
How we got the secret documentThe supposedly confidential agreement is published among the list of bilateral treaties on the website of the legal department of the Russian foreign ministry.

It was first obtained by South African environmental organisation Earthlife Africa Johannesburg by Russian anti-nuclear activist and head of Ecodefense Vladimir Slivyak, who got it from a source in the Russian foreign ministry. It is in Russian, and includes the signatures of Rosatom’s director general Sergey Kirienko and South African energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

A Russian translator commissioned by Earthlife to translate the agreement into English subsequently also found it publicly available on the ministry’s website. amaBhungane has compared Joemat-Pettersson’s signature on the document with her signature on a current document; they are identical. amaBhungane has also commissioned its own translation of the agreement, which is available to download by clicking on the link at the top of this story. – Lionel Faull

The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources. http://mg.co.za/article/2015-02-12-exposed-scary-details-of-secret-russian-nuke-deal

February 14, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, politics international, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

Russia cracks down on environmental group Ecodefense – classed as “foreign agent”

censorshipflag_RussiaReactors from Russia are unsafe and unreliable, India shouldn’t buy them: Russian environmentalist Vladimir Slivyak DiaNuke.org, 9 Jan 15  “……….You were termed anti-national and had to face govt repression for raising voice on nuclear safety and environmental impacts in Russia. What is the status now? Why do the industry and govt go so hand-in-glove?

highly-recommendedRussia approved the “Foreign agent” Act in November 2012 which was an instrument to punish civil society criticizing the government. By Summer 2014, Ministry of justice started to forcibly include human rights and environmental groups to official list of “foreign agents” published on the ministry’ web-site. My organization – Ecodefense – was one of the first 10 non-governmental groups included to this list. And first environmental organization on this list.

It is probably symbolic that anti-nuclear group became the first environmental organization on the list of “foreign agents”. Sort of main enemy of the state among environmental movement. We never had any foreign influence on our decisions, and never had foreign people in our organization. Ironically, our work was to big extend focused on stopping the import of foreign radioactive waste to Russia, and also on stopping foreign money for new reactors in Russia. We also did campaigns on education, on climate issues, on coal. But according to official statement by the Ministry of justice, Ecodefense was put on the list of “foreign agents” for specific campaign against construction of nuclear plant near the city of Kaliningrad, my hometown.

We responded to governmental action by declaring that we will not accept the status of “foreign agent” and we will not follow legal requirements for “agents”. For one simple reason – Ecodefense is not anyone’s agent. Our work aims to stop nuclear danger, and not to benefit any government, Russian or foreign. We were openly criticizing Kudankulam project and many other projects of Rosatom, and we were criticizing European company Urenco (and its shareholders RWE and E.On) for sending radioactive waste to Russia.
It’s 6 month already since government declared us a “foreign agent”. We were fined for quite big amount of money for resisting to register as “foreign agent”. We have another lawsuit filed by the Ministry of justice for not following legal requirements for “agents”, this one is in court now. We got 4 other fines, both personal and organizational. We had three branches of Ecodefense legally registered in Russia. Two are closed down by the court in December. And we are struggling in court for our third organization in court. Unfortunately, we spend now a lot of time in courts. Expectations are not good, our last organization may be closed down this year, likely……….http://www.dianuke.org/russian-reactors-are-unsafe-and-unreliable-india-shouldnt-buy-them-russian-environmentalist-vladimir-slivyak/

January 14, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, Reference, Russia | Leave a comment

The fight against the Trans Pacific Partnership gets more serious in 2015

 It Was a Pivotal Year in TPP Activism but the Biggest Fight Is Still to Come: 2014 in Review  https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2014/12/it-was-pivotal-year-tpp-activism-biggest-fight-still-come  JANUARY 4, 2015 | BY MAIRA SUTTONA draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s (TPP) Intellectual Property chapter from May 2014leaked this past fall, confirming what previous leaks had suggested: this so-called trade agreement would bring copyright enforcement provisions that threaten users’ right to free expression, privacy, and unfettered access to knowledge online.
texy-TPP

This leaked text also revealed new terms on the misuse of trade secrets. These are dangerously vague and could be used to enact harsh criminal punishments against anyone who reveals or even accesses information through an allegedly confidential “computer system.” This language could have alarming consequences if it obligates nations to enact new laws that could be used to crack down on journalists and whistleblowers. I

t’s no wonder TPP negotiations continued to be as secretive as ever this year—policymakers are taking advantage of back-room policymaking to criminalize the very people who help public interest groups like EFF understand what’s contained in these agreements.

The major fight in the US was a campaign to defeat “fast track.” Fast track authority, also known as trade promotion authority, is a legal mechanism whereby Congress hands its Constitutional mandate to set the agenda and negotiate the terms of trade agreements over to Obama and the US Trade Representative. If fast track passes, the US Trade Representative could pass agreements like TPP and other deals like the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with even less public oversight. In January, two of the most Hollywood-friendly Senators introduced it in a bill called the “Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act.

Following a joint effort with various public interest groups and individuals across the country, we collectively sent hundreds of thousands of messages to US lawmakers, calling on them to oppose fast track. We helped convince some leading Senators to come out against it and the bill eventually fizzled. But another fast track bill was inevitable, so we continued our campaign.Digital rights organizations were joined by over 25 technology companies to call on US lawmakers to oppose the passage of fast track authority. Then in September, we delivered a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden to fix the secretive, Hollywood-captured trade process.

2014 was a major year in our fight against TPP, but we’re expecting it will all come to a head in the new year. Public statements from the White House and Republican lawmakers have reiterated their resolve to introduce and pass new fast track legislation in the coming months. At the same time, the US Trade Representative has hinted that it plans to finalize the TPP in 2015.

While we keep the pressure on lawmakers to oppose fast track next year, we’re going to continue our call to TPP negotiators to follow the EU’s lead to bring transparency to trade negotiations once and for all. Stopping TPP is about stopping what has, up until this point, seemed like an endless cycle of corporate-dominated back-room policy laundering. We’ve so far been successful in slowing down the progress of TPP, but when the ultimate showdown arrives, we‘ll all need to be ready to fight.

January 5, 2015 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

For the nuclear industry & India’s government, a US citizen’s life is 1030.5 times more valuable than an Indian’s

Nuclear Liability in Indiahttp://leondelhi.blogspot.com.au/ Diogenes Syndrome,   by   14 Dec 14  Irrespective of the circumstances, directly or indirectly in their control, the suppliers and operators of nuclear plants could not shun the responsibilities for any destruction caused to human life, property or environment in the course of their operation in India.
Risk mitigating is always preferred by any intelligent investors; however, it comes with a premium: but here the scenario is altogether different. The risk-reward ratio seems acutely tilted. Almost all of the US nuclear operator and suppliers group are stanch advocates of this bill; while other NSG [Nuclear Suppliers Group] members (mainly Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, USSR, UK) are watching the development, with crossed figures, expecting a favorable outcome.

The history of nuclear mis-happenings can be traced back since the invention of nuclear technology. With the growing concern for environment and better life conditions, the public pressure has compelled the companies and government of the advance countries to spend huge amount of money, time and resources in inventing safer and environment friendly technologies to replace the obsolete one.
In order to get rid of the obsolete technologies with outdated equipment and apparatus, the developed countries are notorious to export it to the poor nations, just like the ‘stock clearance sale.’ The receiver countries mainly comprise of nations where human development index is low (as India). Due to apathy, ignorance, lack of awareness and absence of public participation in policy making these deals are hardly come into limelight, until media or any NGO cry foul. The outdated technology is one of the biggest causes of nuclear accidents.

The main reason for such export, as quoted by the rich nations, is that developing countries could not afford the price of the latest know-how. Whereas, the developed countries artificially keep the price of the specific technology so high, that it becomes commercially nonviable in the third world nations.

All inventions or innovations cost lot of time and money and involve great risk of failure, so the inventor should have a right to decide the price for his innovative end product as an incentive to encourage entrepreneurship. I deeply abide to this notion. My point is: You want to maximize the profits and assets, but want a cap on the liabilities? Can you practice such economics in advance countries like US or in Europe?

In US, with the population density of 32.08 person per square km., the liability is Rs. 46,000 crore ($10 billion); in India, with population density of 358.485 person per square km., NSG wants a cap of just Rs. 500 crore, (the rest is borne by Indian Government, through taxpayers’ money.) By this calculation the cost of India life or one square kilometer of land is Rs. 1.4; however, the cost of American’s life or one square kilometer of US land is Rs.1437.5. For Indian government, a US citizen is 1030.5 times more valuable than the life of an Indian citizen.

December 15, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, India | Leave a comment

Three religious peace activists still in prison in USA

Angela 9 Dec 14 Please remember that there are three people in prison.

Rice,-Megan-etc

“Two years after Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed and Michael Walli entered the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN to issue an indictment against the continuing production of nuclear weapons components there and to oppose plans for a multi-billion dollar Uranium Processing Facility which would produce thermonuclear cores for US weapons… ”

http://transformnowplowshares.wordpress.com/

From Madrid, with love to Tohoku and, also, to Megan, Greg and Michael.

December 9, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

In a secret program US Government Injected Citizens with Uranium

exclamation-secret-agent-SmFlag-USAUS Government Injected Citizens with Uranium Under Secret Program: Flashback Files reveal feds posing as doctors experimented on public By Anthony Gucciardi Global Research, November 19, 2014 If you still think the United States government would never harm its own citizens for the benefit of federal agencies, then I would direct your attention to a formerly classified black ops program launched by the US government starting way back in 1945. With the goal of testing highly radioactive substances on overall healthy patients through secret injections administered by government agents, the program has still been widely ignored since being released to the public in recent years.

In the covert program that is now admitted to be true, the United States government injected unknowing human ‘participants’ with highly toxic substances like plutonium. It sounds like a bizarre torture scenario that you’d expect to see blamed on illegal terror organizations, but the individuals behind this crime are actually doctors working for the United States government. Disregarding the health of innocent citizens, the government testers were eager to see how unknowing participants suffered as a result of the injections.

That’s right, they were testing the lethal effects of radioactive isotope injection on citizens. And not that it would make it any more ethical, but they didn’t even choose terminally ill patients who were most likely going to pass away anyway. Instead, they chose patients who sometimes were only suffering from ailments like broken bones.

Injecting Unknowing Patients With Uranium

It began in 1945, when an employee at the Oak Ridge Nuclear Facility was in a car accident. Ebb Cade survived, but was taken in as a human participant in a disturbing study he did not consent to. It is important to note that this man was a fifty-three-year-old African American, as previous government trials have singled out African Americans and other minorities. The racist sterilization programs occurred between 1929 to 1974 under an admitted eugenics programs that officials claimed were ‘creating a better society’. Most victims were poor, black women who were ‘deemed unfit to be parents’. Individuals as young as 10 were sterilized simply for not getting along with schoolmates or being promiscuous, and many parents were misled into sterilizing their children……… http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-government-injected-citizens-with-uranium-under-secret-program-flashback/5414983

November 22, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

In deference to its climate denialist P.M, Australia censors G20 protest about climate change

Abbott-fiddling-global-warmBrisbane G20: Airport vetoes #onmyagenda climate change billboard, Brisbane Times November 3, 2014  brisbanetimes.com.au senior reporter Brisbane Airport Corporation has vetoed a “political” billboard asking for climate change to be added to this month’s G20 conference.

The billboard – backed by nine national and international conservation groups – was planned for Brisbane International Airport.

A second billboard is being unveiled in Peel Street at South Brisbane on Monday.

The groups wanted world leaders and their delegates to see the billboard as they arrived in Brisbane. The #onmyagenda campaign encourages people to tweet G20 leaders asking them to include climate change as a stand-alone item on the G20 agenda.

Climate change issues have been on the agendas at eight previous eight G20 summits.

It is not on the agenda in Brisbane.

G20-censorship

The decision comes as the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Sunday released its most recent report on the impact of climate change.

The report found that the world must stop almost all greenhouse gas emissions through a phased elimination of fossil fuels by 2100 if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged companies to disinvest from fossil fuel-based industries.

In broad terms, the UN IPCC report finds there are “multiple pathways” available to keep global warming below two degrees.

All of these pathways require “substantial” cuts to greenhouse gas emissions over the next few decades, and “near zero” emissions by the end of the century, the report’s authors concluded.

BAC told Fairfax Media the billboards were rejected last Wednesday because they were  deemed to be “political”.http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-g20/brisbane-g20-airport-vetoes-onmyagenda-climate-change-billboard-20141103-11fzdm.html#ixzz3I9Xt6bP9

November 4, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Australia sets up military style preparedness for G20 Summit

Commandos and Black Hawk helicopters stage operations in Brisbane CBD as G20 security ramps up http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-03/g20-security-ramps-up/5861514 By Francis Tapim G20 security preparations are ramping up in Brisbane, as commandos and Black Hawk helicopters flooded the Eagle Street Pier area in a counter-terrorism training operation last night.

Around 50 personnel dressed like commandos, armed with semi automatic rifles and wearing body armour staged the training exercise on Sunday.

Courier Mail photographer Marc Robertson stumbled on the operation, and said there were four helicopters “only a few feet from the buildings”.

G20-security-1`

“I counted about 50 blokes wearing paramilitary uniforms, combat pants, and wearing body armour carrying full automatic weapons,” he said.

“They are not wearing any insignia at all… there was a lot of action in amongst the buildings.

“There were guys with night vision goggles running around the boardwalk, it was obvious that it was a training exercise and it had been left until after midnight before any of this action took place.”

There was no official information about the operation, but Queensland police confirmed they had been assisting with traffic control for a G20 training exercise in the CBD.

Meanwhile, the RAAF said the public would notice increased activity in the skies over south-east Queensland in the lead-up to the summit.

It said fighter jets, Black Hawk helicopters and surveillance planes would increase patrols, and conduct training exercises. Commander of ADF support to the G20 Major General Stuart Smith said the training period would allow the military to sharpen their response skills.

November 4, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Japanese doctors intimidated against linking Fukushima cancers, illnesses to nuclear radiation

radiation-warningTruly Frightening”: Doctors being threatened for linking illnesses to Fukushima — Strange tumors, kids dying, pets dying — Much higher incidences of whole range of health problems reported — Experts: 1,000,000 cancers, plus many other ailments possible (AUDIO & VIDEO) http://enenews.com/frightening-doctors-being-threatened-telling-patients-illnesses-related-fukushima-radiation-strange-tumors-kids-dying-pets-dying-higher-incidences-range-health-problems-being-reported-experts

Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Energy Education on Radio Ecoshock, released Oct 29, 2014:

  • Alex Smith, host of RadioEcoshock (at 10:30 in): We’ve heard almost nothing about the impacts [of the Fukushima catastrophe] on people in that region. There are accounts coming out of there of strange tumors, kids dying, pets dying — what have you heard? Can we ever expect an honest accounting from Japanese authorities?
  • Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer (emphasis added): That’s a pretty good summary, frankly. We continue to get information from people who live there about cancer rates — and illnesses in general, not just cancer. We think of radiation as a cancer causing thing, but it also causes many other ailments. Much higher incidences of a whole range of illnesses than they had in 2010, the year before the accident… We’re also working with doctors in Japan, and some brave doctors are saying that they’ve been threatened — that their hospital rights have been threatened — if you tell your patient this illness is radiation related you’ll lose your right to practice and things like that. So there’s enormous pressure on the medical community to tell the patients that what they’re experiencing is not at all related to radiation. The key is statistics, and the question is when will the statistics be released for mortality, morbidity, and general illnesses… We’re not seeing the data. The medical community now has to file every report that it writes with the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, before it’s issued. So if you’re a hospital, and you’ve got mortality data, you’re not allowed to issue that to the public until those reports have been cleared by the IAEA. Well, Article II of the IAEA charter is to promote nuclear power. So even if the hospital was conscientious — there’s a lot of political pressure not to be — but even if it was conscientious, there’s another step in the process, and they’ve got to clear an IAEA hurdle before those numbers are released.It’s truly frightening, the pressure the medical community is undergoing in Japan. Very few of them are willing to tell the truth.

Arnie Gundersen, nuclear engineer, Oct. 20, 2014 (at 15:00 in): There’s experts out there like me – independent experts – who are saying that as many as a million cancers may result.

Sneak peek of Oct. 29 broadcast here | Watch Oct. 20 presentation here

October 29, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, health, Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Los Alamos nuclear weapons lab ‘s efforts to shut up a critic of nuclear war

civil-liberty-2smFlag-USADid Los Alamos fire a researcher for questioning U.S. nuclear doctrine? Michael Hiltzik LOS ANGELES TIMES michael.hiltzik​@latimes.com 15 Aug 14    Los Alamos may be a government laboratory with lots of classified secrets, but it also guarantees its researchers intellectual freedom on a par with that enjoyed by university professors. Political scientist James Doyle says that freedom was violated when he was fired last month after questioning U.S. nuclear weapons doctrine in a published article.

The New Mexico lab maintains that Doyle, a 17-year veteran of Los Alamos, wasn’t fired, but laid off “due to the lack of available or anticipated funding in his area of expertise.” (Virtually all the lab’s funding comes from congressional appropriations.) According to an email from lab spokesman Kevin Roark, “the separation was unrelated to his publications or professional writings.”
But the lab has also asserted that Doyle’s article contained classified information he wasn’t authorized to divulge. It has classified the article itself, so its voluminous paperwork on the case doesn’t even refer to the piece by name, and Doyle and his attorney, Mark Zaid, can’t discuss it with one another. (But you can read it here, on the website of Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, where it was published originally.)

Doyle’s case was laid out in a lengthy piece by Douglas Birch of the Center for Public Integrity. A follow-up appears in the current issue of Science. Zaid says he’ll be appealing Doyle’s termination to the secretary of Energy and bringing it before other Washington officials who investigate allegations of retaliations against whistleblowers. So you can expect to hear more about it.

We’ve asked for a comment from the University of California, which is a major partner in the consortium that manages Los Alamos for the government and has three representatives on its board, including the board chairman, UC Regent Norman J. Pattiz, but haven’t received an answer.

Zaid, who says he represents other government whistleblowers, doesn’t buy the lab’s explanation. “It’s very easy for a government agency to independently justify any personnel action against someone,” he told us. But he questions how “someone with Doyle’s expertise, long-standing history with the lab, and stellar personal evaluations can suddenly be [laid off] as ‘non-essential.'”

The 8,100-word article at the center of the case appeared in Survival in February 2013 under the title, “Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons?” Written on Doyle’s own time and presented explicitly as the author’s own views, it’s a sober and closely argued analysis of the postwar doctrine of “deterrence.”……

On the surface, Doyle’s argument that “nuclear weapons should be eliminated” parallels the Obama administration’s stated goal of “a world without nuclear weapons.” But it’s at odds with the defining mission of Los Alamos, which is devoted to weapons development……..

Doyle’s analysis should be heeded. The U.S. government’s nuclear doctrine must be updated to the 21st century. Mutually assured deterrence doesn’t work against the nonstate groups that pose the greatest threat to national security. More than ever, a world awash with nuclear weapons is in peril. http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-antinuclear-article-20140815-column.html#page=1

August 16, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Los Alamos officials have not silenced Jim Doyle’s thoughtful plea for debate about nuclear weapons

Los Alamos, Freedom of Speech, and Nuclear Disaster  physicist & co-director, Global Security  Union of Concerned Scientists August 4, 2014

As every high school student learns, the first amendment to the U.S. constitution guarantees the right to freedom of speech. That’s why government employees have the right to express their opinions as long as they make clear that their opinions do not represent those of their employer.

Apparently some folks at Los Alamos National Laboratory—one of the two labs that design and help maintain U.S. nuclear weapons—missed that day in class.  Last year, Jim Doyle, then a nuclear security and non-proliferation specialist who had been at the Lab for 17 years, published an article in the journal Survival titled Why Eliminate Nuclear Weapons? Doyle included the requisite disclaimer: “The views presented in this article are the author’s own and do not represent those of the Los Alamos National Laboratory or the US government.” So far, so good.

But soon Los Alamos officials claimed the article contained classified information. Then they docked Doyle’s pay, took away his security clearance, and ultimately fired him. Not subtle.

FreedomOfSpeech

The shameful tale of Los Alamos and Jim Doyle is thoroughly detailed in an article by Douglas Birch, an investigative journalist who works at the Center for Public Integrity. Among other things, Birch interviews several experts with security clearances who say that Doyle’s article contains nothing classified……..

An informed public debate about U.S. nuclear weapons policies is essential. That Los Alamos Lab officials went out of their way to stifle such debate is especially disturbing. Ironically, their actions have now brought Doyle’s article to the attention of a much larger group of people. http://blog.ucsusa.org/los-alamos-freedom-of-speech-nuclear-disaster-612

August 7, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear safety specialist fired from Los Alamos for pushing Obama’s Nuclear Agenda

exclamation-civil liberties USAFired From Los Alamos for Pushing Obama’s Nuclear Agenda, The Daily Beast, 31 July 14 The President says he wants to get rid of the world’s A-Bombs. But when an employee at the nation’s premier nuclear lab suggested the same thing, he got axed. By Douglas Birch, Center for Public Integrity

James E. Doyle’s ordeal with Washington began one morning in early February last year, when his supervisor stopped by his desk at Los Alamos National Laboratory and told him that senior managers wanted copies of all his publications.

The 55-year-old political scientist asked the reason for the request, and he eventually was told that someone at the House Armed Services Committee wanted to see the publications. But Doyle said officials refused to tell him who it was or why.

Later that day at the lab’s New Mexico campus, he said, two members of a Security Inquiries Team abruptly arrived with a special, silver-colored briefcase for secure documents, and pulled out an article he published a few days earlier on the website of a London nonprofit group.

They claimed that the article, an impassioned critique of the political theories undergirding the nuclear arms race and a defense of President Obama’s embrace of a nuclear weapons-free future, contained classified information.

The assertion astonished Doyle, since the laboratory’s security authorities had already reviewed the article and declared it unclassified. But it was the start of a series of events in which Doyle first had his pay docked and his security clearance withdrawn, and then eventually was fired.

He got that final news on July 8, a day after the Center for Public Integrity asked the Energy department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which runs the nation’s nuclear labs, about the dispute over his article. “I was shocked,” he said, shortly afterward. “I am still shocked.”

Experts say Doyle’s treatment raises questions about the commitment of the nuclear weapons labs—which face increased competition for resources amid declining military interest in their key product—to intellectual independence in their workforce………..

Doyle, who holds a doctorate in international studies from the University of Virginia, has been at Los Alamos for the past 17 years. Before he joined the lab, he said, he wrote the Department of Energy’s strategic plan for keeping weapons-grade uranium and plutonium stored at hundreds of sites scattered across the former Soviet Union from falling into the wrong hands. He referred to this risky state of affairs as “the babushka-with-uranium-in-the-chicken-shed” problem.

As a nuclear safeguards and security specialist in the lab’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Division, which has 250 employees and an annual budget of about $185 million, Doyle has studied ways to verify reductions in United States and Russian nuclear weapons stockpiles beyond the current levels. He also edited a textbook, Nuclear Safeguards, Security and Nonproliferation: Achieving Security with Technology and Policy, which, he said, is used in three dozen universities in the U.S. and abroad. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/31/fired-from-los-alamos-for-pushing-obama-s-nuclear-agenda.html#sthash.o3ZKvqHu.dpuf

August 1, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | 1 Comment

Belarus anti nuclear critic presses on, despite harassment

Belarus anti-nuclear activist fears for ‘another Chernobyl’ on her doorstep theguardian.com, Friday 25 July 2014 “…………The proposed new plant in Belarus will be funded by Russia. Belarus’s official cost estimate is 9.4 billion US dollars, with one third of this to be spent by 2015. Its reactors would be constructed by the Russian company AtomEnergoMash.

Novikova is critical of the EU for not clamping down on nuclear power in the wake of the Fukishima nuclear disaster of 2011, and points out that some countries are steering away from nuclear energy. “Germany is phasing out of nuclear power; it produced 50% of all electricity generation from more renewable sources last year. The Italians said no in their nuclear referendum.”

Like many Belarusian activists, Novikova has faced severe harassment. She was detained in her own home in Minsk during anti-nuclear protests. Her elderly mother has received prank calls which the police confirmed came from the KGB. In Russia, she was arrested and jailed for five days for trying to hand in an environmental petition to the Russian embassy.

She was also was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2011, and can’t tell if she was contaminated from radiation exposure from Chernobyl. The WHO says the disaster will cause 50,000 new cases of the cancer among young people living in the worst-affected region. Increased rates ofthyroid cancer are also being reported in Japan, post-Fukushima.

But she refuses to dwell on her own problems: “I’m still alive. Mine is not the worst case of persecution of people.”

“What should I do? Stop my fight? I lost my health, now I have lost my house,” she says. “Why should I run from this problem? I could go to the US or Europe, but it won’t change if I run – maybe I will, if my life will be in danger. Nobody knows. Right now, I have an opportunity to do something.”http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/25/belarus-anti-nuclear-chernobyl-on-her-doorstep

July 26, 2014 Posted by | Belarus, civil liberties | Leave a comment

A plea for support for anti uranium protesters arrested in Niger

Dear South African Fellows of the SALT
text-Please-NotePlease note that it was agreed by common consent this year
that the campaign to end uranium mining in Niger with regard
would be a primary focus of the African Uranium Alliance,
founded in Tanzania in 2010.
Now our comrades in Niger have been arrested for their dissent
and need our active support in South Africa, through BRICS,
through the Department of International Relations and through
the African Union, not to mention  Amnesty International and the
United Nations.
Remember how much we were supported in our struggles against
Apartheid by foreign governments, by overseas donors, and by
ordinary citizens of the global Anti-Apartheid Movement.
Now let us return the favour by standing by our leaders in Niger.
Contact your local press, your radio stations, and television stations.
Write to your local Member of Parliament, your leaders in Faith and
your union leaders. Raise the matter on Facebook, Twitter and by way
of public speaking.
The citizens of Niger cannot be held accountable for resistance to the
unjust and unacceptable system of uranium exploitation. Rather should
they be listened to with respect and their basic human rights to free speech
and free association afforded by the State of Niger and its allies in France.
The French Government would never be allowed to get away with
such a breach of human rights in their own country. They should not be
given any right to do so in their former colonies abroad.
After all, they are the architects of the slogan, “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite”.
Let them practise today what their ancestors did before them.
Let the NIGER TEN go free.

July 23, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, Niger, opposition to nuclear, Uranium | Leave a comment

Hanford nuclear workers scared to speak out on safety issues

censorshipSurvey finds employees at contaminated nuclear site wary of challenging managers Times Colonist, Nicholas K. Geranios / The Associated Press  June 24, 2014 SPOKANE, Wash. - Few of the U.S. Department of Energy workers who are helping build a plant to treat the most dangerous radioactive wastes at a nuclear site in Washington state feel they can openly challenge decisions made by management, according to a report obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The survey conducted by the department shows only 30 per cent of its employees at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation feel they can question their bosses……..

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said the study shows recent allegations of retaliation against Hanford workers who raised safety concerns made other employees less likely to come forward.

Hanford, near Richland in south central Washington, is engaged in a multi-decade cleanup of the nation’s largest collection of nuclear waste.

Two people who recently raised concerns about the design and safety of the unfinished Waste Treatment Plant at Hanford lost their jobs. Donna Busche was fired earlier this year, while Walter Tamosaitis, a 40-year Hanford employee, was laid off last year.

The U.S. Department of Energy has asked its Office of Inspector General to investigate Busche’s firing.

– See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/ap-newsbreak-survey-finds-employees-at-contaminated-nuclear-site-wary-of-challenging-managers-1.1155848#sthash.oj0wQeBF.dpuf

June 26, 2014 Posted by | civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

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