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Pentagon Cries Poor, Starts $10 Billion Nuclear Weapon Upgrade -Wired.com

 

A 1954 nuclear test on the Bikini Atoll. Photo: Wikimedia

 

The Pentagon is facing its worst cash crunch in more than a decade, with potential cuts of up to a half-trillion dollars over the next decade if Congress doesn’t act soon. Yet the U.S. military still somehow found the money on Tuesday to put a down payment on a $10 billion upgrade of its nuclear weapons in Europe — y’know, just in case there’s another Cold War.

The $178 million, three-year contract with Boeing is for a prototype “tail kit” for the B61 nuclear weapon. The fins and control systems will be similar to the ones on today’s conventional, GPS-guided bombs, potentially making this enhanced version of the B61 the most accurate weapon of mass destruction ever. It’s one part of a bigger package of improvements to the B61 that the Pentagon insists it needs in order to keep this slice of its nuclear arsenal ready for war, if needed. Everything from the spin rocket motors to the electronic neutrongenerators will be refreshed. Total cost: an estimated $10 billion.

Just about the only thing that won’t change is the weapon’s nuclear “pit,” and who the U.S. military plans on dropping the thing on. “Who’s the target? The Red Army. The Red Army that’s sitting in East Germany, ready to plunge into Europe,” explains. Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear weapons expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “No, I’m serious.”

The U.S. has other, bunker-busting nuclear weapons that might be employed if, God forbid, there was ever an atomic showdown with North Korea or Iran. These so-called “B61 mod 12s” are meant to replace the 180 or so earlier models that are currently deployed in Western Europe. And those weapons are meant to assure our allies that if Russia is ever in the mood to invade, America will be there with a capital-B Bomb. “Continued funding support is essential to the long-term safety, security, and effectiveness of our nation’s nuclear deterrent force,” Gen. Robert Kehler, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, told Congress last year.

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November 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear generation drops for the 3rd year in a row in the USA

Plants At Undercapacity
The declines however should be limited due to reduced nuclear power generation. A large number of nuclear plants have been down unexpectedly and it may take time to bring them online. U.S. nuclear generation is materially below normal for this time of the year, which should provide a floor to natural gas prices.

Daily Nuclear Generation

http://www.forexpros.com/analysis/weak-nuclear-power-output-may-support-u.s.-natural-gas-145550

November 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

2,500 year old declaration of human rights goes to the USA, on a visit -Video

Published on Nov 28, 2012 by 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PBES8oy-FMU

The Cyrus Cylinder

Cyrus Cylinder

From Babylon, southern Iraq. Babylonian, about 539-530 BC

A declaration of good kingship.

This clay cylinder is inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform with an account by Cyrus, king of Persia (559-530 BC) of his conquest of Babylon in 539 BC and capture of Nabonidus, the last Babylonian king.

Cyrus claims to have achieved this with the aid of Marduk, the god of Babylon. He then describes measures of relief he brought to the inhabitants of the city, and tells how he returned a number of images of gods, which Nabonidus had collected in Babylon, to their proper temples throughout Mesopotamia and western Iran. At the same time he arranged for the restoration of these temples, and organized the return to their homelands of a number of people who had been held in Babylonia by the Babylonian kings. Although the Jews are not mentioned in this document, their return to Palestine following their deportation by Nebuchadnezzar II, was part of this policy.

This cylinder has sometimes been described as the ‘first charter of human rights’, but it in fact reflects a long tradition in Mesopotamia where, from as early as the third millennium BC, kings began their reigns with declarations of reforms.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/me/c/cyrus_cylinder.aspx

November 30, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment