Markey Files Bill to Cut $100 Billion in Nuclear Arms Fundshttp://www.nationaljournal.com/global-security-newswire/markey-files-bill-to-cut-100-billion-in-nuclear-arms-funds-20140228 By Rachel Oswald February 28, 2014
A high-profile U.S. Senate critic of nuclear-weapons spending on Friday introduced a bill that would cut $100 billion over the next decade in arsenal outlays.
The Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures — or “SANE” — Act, filed by Senator Edward Markey (D-Mass.), is co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.). Companion legislation has been introduced in the House by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).
“America faces a real choice: spend billions on nuclear weapons we no longer need or fund programs that educate our children and help find cures to deadly diseases,” Markey said in provided comments. Continue reading
Bruce waste site radiation understated, says former OPG scientist A scientist who formerly worked for OPG says the company has understated radiation levels in waste destined for a storage site near Kincardine Stzar.com By: John Spears Business reporter, Feb 28 2014 A former research scientist with Ontario Power Generation says the company has “severely underestimated” the level of radioactivity of material destined for a waste storage site near Kincardine.
Nova Scotia set to exceed renewable energy targets: minister http://globalnews.ca/news/1108849/nova-scotia-set-to-exceed-renewable-energy-targets-minister/ By Brett Ruskin Global News HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy says the province is on track to exceed its renewable energy goals.
In 2010, the government passed a law requiring 25 per cent of the province’s power to come from renewables — like wind and hydro — by 2015. The law’s second target is set at 40 per cent by 2020.
“We have no concerns about meeting that 25 per cent,” said Andrew Young, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Energy.
“In fact, we expect that that will be exceeded.”
A more accurate measure of how much renewable energy Nova Scotia generates is expected in two to three weeks.Nova Scotia’s 40 per cent renewable target for 2020 should be easily met as well. “The fact that we have the Maritime Link coming on stream,” said Younger, “we’re not concerned about meeting the 40 per cent target.”
Younger’s comments come the same week the government announced plans to reinvigorate Nova Scotia’s tidal power opportunities. Companies looking to sell tidal power to the grid can now apply for feed-in tariffs, outlined by a Utility and Review Board decision.In March, the government will grant access to two undersea berths for companies to test tidal technology and possibly begin feeding small amounts of tidal power to the grid.
WWII vet exposed to radiation wins fight with VA http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/WWII-vet-exposed-to-radiation-wins-fight-with-VA-5173107.php Kevin Fagan , January 24, 2014 MILLBRAE – John Brenan rolled his Jeep into freshly bombed Hiroshima in 1945 on a reconnaissance mission to see if there was any enemy left to fight. The only enemy the Army sergeant found in the miles of rubble pulverized by America’s atomic attack was the one he couldn’t see - radiation.
The fallout surrounded his body, and that is almost surely why he got colon cancer four decades later, his doctors told him. Brenan managed to beat the disease, but then came the follow-up battle – filing a disability claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
I wonder if they are thinking of people like Sr Megan Rice
Defense Dept. Calls For Expanded Nuclear Monitoring, Information Week, 22 Jan 14 US must ramp up surveillance and big data analytics tools to meet challenge of global nuclear proliferation monitoring, warns DOD Defense Science Board report. The world’s nuclear future looks a lot different than its past. As access to nuclear knowledge widens, so does the need to monitor nuclear proliferation globally. But that’s not something that the US government is fully equipped to address, according to a report released by the Defense Department’s Defense Science Board this month.
The report, “Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies,” argues that the lines between intelligence and traditional monitoring are blurring, therefore technologies for battling terrorism should also be used to address the threat of proliferation.
The report lists two types of proliferation of equal concern: “vertical,” the increase in capabilities of existing nuclear states; and “horizontal,” the increase in the number of states and non-state players owning or attempting to own nuclear weapons.
Future “monitoring will need to be continuous, adaptive, and continuously tested for its effectiveness against an array of differing, creative, and adaptive proliferators,” Dr. Paul Kaminski, chairman of the Defense Science Board, said in a memo included in the report.
The report argues that the standard for monitoring nuclear activity should happen as early in the planning and acquisition process as possible.
“New intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) technologies, demonstrated in recent conflicts, offer significant promise for monitoring undesirable nuclear activity throughout the world,” the report said. However, the “advances in persistent surveillance, automated tracking, rapid analyses of large and multi-source data sets, and open source analyses to support conventional warfighting and counterterrorism have not yet been exploited by the nuclear monitoring community.”…..
The report’s big technical conclusion centers on the importance of overhauling the monitoring framework used to find groups that represent a nuclear threat before they act……http://www.informationweek.com/defense-dept-calls-for-expanded-nuclear-monitoring/d/d-id/1113521
Global Nuclear Insecurity http://majiasblog.blogspot.jp/2014/01/global-nuclear-insecurity.html 20 Jan 14
A story reported in The New York Times stopped me cold:
N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computershttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/15/us/nsa-effort-pries-open-computers-not-connected-to-internet.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20140115&_r=0
WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks. While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks, the N.S.A. has increasingly made use of a secret technology that enables it to enter and alter data in computers even if they are not connected to the Internet, according to N.S.A. documents, computer experts and American officials.
The technology, which the agency has used since at least 2008, relies on a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into the computers. In some cases, they are sent to a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.
Majia here: Holy Cow! Computers now can be hacked by radio waves that are miles from the target!I’m sure the technology must not be new since its being reported in the mainstream press.
What it does explain is why cybersecurity is now such a pressing issue. Remember when Richard Clark was warning about cyber-security threats? See here.
Think about it. Anyone with this technology could hack NUCLEAR PLANTS and CHEMICAL PLANTS and cause them to explode entirely remotely.
Both the Chinese and the Americans have the technology so no doubt Russia and Israel also have it.
We think we are so smart with our toys but all we’ve done is feed our most base and anti-social instincts.
Nuclear Death, Warmed Over, HUFFINGTON POST, Jon Wolfsthal Deputy Director, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies 01/08/2014 ”……….The Nuclear Song Remains the Same The cold war is over is long gone, but the nuclear triad remains……..Atomic Pork Politics Elected officials are the ones pushing these expensive and unnecessary programs. The six senators from states where long-range missiles are deployed — Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota — are all pushing for the U.S. to build a new long-range missile. Congressional representatives from Georgia, Connecticut and Washington, where submarines are built and deployed — guess what — all support a new submarine. Same with the new bomber. They all want to ensure their slice of the nuclear pie stays the same, even without someone to point the weapons at.
Yet it appears no elected officials are aware that the full cost of replacing the nuclear arsenal will cost this much money. The Bomber will cost upwards of $100 Billion, not including the bombs and cruise missiles to go with it. The Submarine about as much, the missiles could cost even more. And the nuclear weapons that go on top — build and maintained in California, New Mexico, South Carolina and Nevada, will cost over 350 Billion over 30 years. U.S. budgets are prepared annually and the defense department only provides formal budget projections five years out. Yet these systems take 30 years to build and deploy. The situation is similar to the balloon mortgages that almost sank the U.S. economy, where it looks like we can afford the house but in year ten the monthly payments skyrocket.
For those who support maintaining a large nuclear arsenal, the fact that this number is not known or understood in Congress or the White House is a major danger……..http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-wolfsthal/nuclear-death-warmed-over_b_4560521.html
Conservatives Form Group Favoring Renewable Energy http://detroit.cbslocal.com/2014/01/01/conservatives-form-group-favoring-renewable-energy/January 1, 2014 LANSING (AP) – Conservative leaders and activists in Michigan have formed a group to support basing energy policy on the use of renewable resources and energy-efficiency programs.
The recent launch of the Michigan Conservative Energy Forum comes as Gov. Rick Snyder and legislators consider updating Michigan’s electricity law in 2014 or 2015.
Group executive director Larry Ward says the organization supports an “all-of-the-above” energy policy. He says it’s time for Republicans to lead on energy policy.
Michigan law sets a 10 percent renewable power standard that must be met by the end of 2015. A recent report to Snyder says 15 percent renewable electricity in 2020 and 30 percent in 2035 are achievable.
The forum says Michigan gets more than half its electricity from other states’ coal.
30 years on || Israel claims nuclear whistle-blower Vanunu still a security threat Mordechai Vanunu’s attorney admits his client is a ‘provocateur’ but has no intention of revealing state secrets. Haaretz,By Revital Hovel | Dec. 26, 2013
Twenty-eight years after he left his job at the nuclear reactor in Dimona, the state still maintains the information that whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu possesses is still relevant, and that its revelation would endanger Israel’s security.
On Wednesday, the High Court of Justice discussed the seventh petition to be filed by Vanunu against the court order prohibiting his exit from Israel, even to the occupied territories. Vanunu is also forbidden to talk to foreigners, even in Israel, without receiving advance permission…..
Vanunu was convicted in March 1988 of treason and espionage, and sentenced to 18 years in jail. He served 11 and a half years in isolation for fear that he would disclose information to unauthorized sources. In April 2004, he was released but forbidden to leave the country…..
“We are talking about information gathered about the nuclear reactor in Dimona,” Vanunu’s attorney, Avigdor Feldman, said during the proceedings Wednesday. “The work ended in 1985 – in other words, [nearly] 29 years ago. This is information which has expired. To come and say today, ‘This man cannot leave the country’ – that doesn’t want him and that he doesn’t want – ‘and live in another country and complete his life’ – although he isn’t old, he has a partner and wants to marry her – ‘because we are afraid that he will disseminate secrets’? What proof is there of that?
“The state is presenting us,” Feldman continued, “with the fact that Mordechai Vanunu writes online that he is willing to speak to any foreigner who will talk to him, referring to the other restriction – namely the fact that Mordechai Vanunu is not permitted to speak on any subject in the world, not necessarily about nuclear weapons, with foreigners. This is Vanunu’s way of fighting against this prohibition. Perhaps this way is not acceptable to us, and in effect constitutes a violation, but it’s his way of fighting back.”
Feldman added that although Vanunu is being provocative, “he doesn’t cross the red line.
“There isn’t a single case in the course of all the years of his release where it was claimed that he revealed some secret, or that he harmed state security,” Feldman told the court. “It’s true that he’s a provocateur and he behaves cynically. But he is still committed to his promise not to harm state security.
“….. If he violated the court orders, why isn’t he put on trial?
“He says he’s willing to be tried, but they aren’t doing that. I don’t know why. Maybe there’s a negative impact if he’s returned to prison again.
“You should be aware that interest in him in Israel is very limited. There’s an organized group that thinks he’s a serious person, that he’s a person who should be hea..rd. They see him as someone who expresses opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the State of Israel also supports that position.”….
Part of the proceedings took place only in the presence of the judges and state representatives, with Vanunu and the public asked to leave the courtroom. The petition continues. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.565612
Watchdogs criticize nuclear storage study; A.G. says NRC didn’t focus on Indian Point lohud.com, 26 Dec 13, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and his counterparts in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont have given a thumbs-down to the federal government’s draft study on the long-term storage of used nuclear fuel.
A 143-page document filed late last week detailed their concerns, along with those of a Minnesota Native American tribe.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s review, they maintain, was incorrectly focused at the industry level and not individual plants.A federal court in 2012 found the NRC didn’t fully consider the hazards of on-site storage of old fuel at the nation’s nuclear plants, including Indian Point in Buchanan. The court ordered the commission to evaluate the environmental effects of such storage.
Old fuel at Indian Point is kept in spent-fuel pools and dry casks. Both are reinforced against attacks or other calamities but critics have called for moving more old fuel at a faster pace into the casks.The draft study “fails(s) to address these core issues as required by (federal law) and the Court,” the attorneys general and the general counsel for the Prairie Island Indian Community wrote. The study also fails to provide the states, the tribe and the public with plant-by-plant reviews and wrongly relies on a generic approach, they wrote.
The tribe’s reservation is next to the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, which was the subject of litigation in the 1970s that lead to how the NRC regulates the storage of old nuclear fuel……..http://www.lohud.com/article/20131225/NEWS/312250023/Watchdogs-criticize-nuclear-storage-study-A-G-says-NRC-didn-t-focus-on-India
US uranium laser enrichment technology threatens Nuclear Non-Proliferation TreatyVoice of Russia, 26 Dec 13, The uranium laser enrichment technology that has been given a new impetus in the US is capable of knocking the bottom out of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). The technology consists in uranium isotope separation with laser stimulation (SILEX). Optimists put a great deal of trust in this and pessimists warn about negative consequences……..
IMPROPER LOBBYING IN SAN ONOFRE PROBE? ONOFRE LOBBYING RAISES QUESTIONS UT San Diego, By Morgan Lee DEC. 25, 2013 The operator of the recently retired San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station may have engaged in lobbying the California Public Utilities Commission without proper public notice as the agency weighs multimillion-dollar customer refunds in the plant breakdown, an administrative judge overseeing the investigation said…….
The utilities commission is currently considering a proposed $94 million refund to Southern California utility customers of charges related to the San Onofre plant, which broke down in January 2012 and was retired in June. Further and potentially larger refunds are still under review.
“It has come to my attention that SCE (Southern California Edison) and possibly other parties may have engaged in ex parte communications with Commissioners and/or their staff which have not been reported,” wrote Melanie Darling, an administrative law judge overseeing the San Onofre investigation, in an email to the utility Monday. “It is improper and unfair for parties to have such communications without disclosure to other parties in a rate-setting proceeding.”…… http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/dec/25/tp-improper-lobbying-in-san-onofre-probe-onofre/
Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, a Poulsbo, Wash.-based anti-nuclear group. Ground Zero has accused the Navy of withholding facts that would have fully informed the public of the second wharf’s potential dangers, as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.
Anti-Nuclear Groups Wary of Navy’s Planned Wharf Seattle Times | Dec 26, 2013 | by Kyung M. Song WASHINGTON — In September 2012, the Navy began in-water work at Naval Base Kitsap Bangor to build an explosives-handling wharf, a $650 million project anti-nuclear activists criticized as an unneeded vestige of the Cold War. Continue reading
Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park Comes Online Renewables BIZ HONOLULU, Dec 23, 2013 — BUSINESS WIRE HONOLULU, Dec 23, 2013 Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park, one of Hawaii’s largest solar energy generation facilities, ceremoniously opened today and will immediately begin generating electricity for Hawaiian Electric customers on Oahu. Following four years of development and construction, the 5MW, utility-scale solar park was successfully tested and commissioned on November 22.
The renewable power plant, which sits on a 20-acre property adjacent to the Barbers Point Golf Course in the community of Kalaeloa, is expected to reduce the fossil fuel consumption on the island. ……
“In Hawaii, utility-scale projects like the Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park provide direct benefits to all ratepayers through clean and low cost energy,” said Luigi Resta, CEO of Scatec Solar North America. “More than ever, solar power is able to provide utilities an efficient and cost effective way to both meet environmental goals and maintain a reliable power supply for consumers.”……. http://www.renewablesbiz.com/article/13/12/kalaeloa-renewable-energy-park-comes-online
6-foot tsunami that hit near New Jersey nuclear plant may be first of its kind in U.S. — People injured, swept out to sea by wave detected as far as Puerto Rico — NOAA said continental shelf may have slumped, now suspects ‘atmospheric event’ (VIDEO) http://enenews.com/6-foot-tsunami-that-hit-near-new-jersey-nuclear-plant-may-be-first-of-its-kind-in-u-s-people-injured-swept-out-to-sea-by-wave-detected-as-far-as-puerto-rico-noaa-said-continental-shelf-may-hav
2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting — CODAR Ocean Sensors & Rutgers University, Dec. 14, 2013: Tsunamis are generally thought of as low-frequency waves that are generated by an underwater disturbance be it an earthquake or landslide. A tsunami can also be generated by an atmospheric disturbance such as a rapid pressure change. These tsunamis are referred to as meteotsunamis because of their meteorological origin. A meteotsunami was detected and tracked off the coast of New Jersey on June 13, 2013. [...]
NOAA Tsunami Simulation (Published Dec. 9, 2013)
CODAR Newsletter, Fall 2013: A strange series of blogs and anecdotal community gossip described people getting swept off breakwaters and out to sea in New Jersey on June 13. It received only local attention for several days. Later someone put these together with an unusual storm system [...] and proposed it may have launched a “meteotsunami” [...] rarely mentioned in the U.S. [NOAA] stepped in to investigate this 13 June event, and put forward another possible origin besides meteorological: an undersea landslide in the Hudson Canyon. The fact that it was indeed a tsunami was confirmed by 30 tide gages [sic] along the East coast up through New England, and as far away as Puerto Rico. [...] A panel of scientists was convened by NOAA to study this event [...] A number of tentative conclusions were reached [...] The tsunami was definitely spawned by the “derecho” atmospheric event depicted in the first figure, not an undersea landslide. [...] this event is considered a “first” in the U.S., supported by extensive observations and modeling [...]
Red marker: Oyster Creek nuclear power plant — Hand: Barnegat Inlet
NPR report from two weeks after the event: NOAA: A Rare Tsunami Hit The East Coast [...] The West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said the source of the wave is “complex and under review,” but they believe it was caused by a strong storm and perhaps even the “the slumping at the continental shelf east of New Jersey.”
NOAA’s National Weather Service:: A first-hand description was provided by Brian Coen who observed the event at Barnegat Inlet in New Jersey: Around 3:30pm on Thursday June 13, 2013, Brian Coen was spear fishing near the mouth of Barnegat Inlet [...] At approximately 3:30, the outgoing tide was amplified by strong currents which carried divers over the submerged breakwater (normally 3-4 feet deep). This strong outrush continued for 1-2 minutes and eventually the rocks in the submerged breakwater were exposed. Brian backed his boat out before being sucked over as well. At this point, Brian noticed a large wave coming in, approximately 6 feet peak-to-trough and spanning across the inlet. The upper 2 feet of the wave was breaking. This wave occurred in conjunction with a reversal of the current such that even though the tide was going out, a strong surge was entering the inlet. This surge carried the divers back over the submerged reef and into the inlet from where they were picked up. On the south jetty three people were swept off the rocks which were 5 to 6 feet above sea level at the time. At least two were injured requiring medical treatment. [...]
Watch NOAA’s latest simulation of the tsunami published Dec. 9, 2013 here
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