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World’s nuclear warheads: USA and Russia reducing them

Atomic-Bomb-Smantinuke-worldSmNuclear slashed Today the number of nuclear weapons has been dramatically reduced – down by nearly three quarters to 17,000, according to data from the Federation of American Scientists. Bombs away! How have nuclear stockpiles changed since 1983? ”….Channel 4 News looks at the size of atomic arsenals now. 1 Aug 13

 In 1983, the five states that had signed up to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) of 1978   – the United States, the Soviet Union/Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China) had an estimated 60,000 nuclear warheads between them…………..The reason for the fall is huge cuts in the arsenals belonging to the two largest nuclear powers, the US and Russia. During a speech in Berlin in June, President Barack Obama called for further cuts to nuclear stockpiles – and said the US would work with Russia to achieve this goal.

Some 4,000 of Russia’s 8,500 warheads and 3,000 of the United States’ 7,700 warheads are currently waiting to be dismantled.

Unknown elements

More difficult to quantify, however, are the nuclear arsenals of non-NPT members such as North Korea and Pakistan.

The Federation of American Scientists estimates that there are less than 320 nuclear warheads across four non-NPT states – Israel, Pakistan, India and North Korea.

North Korea, which in February conducted the third nuclear test in its history, is likely to have less than 10 nuclear weapons, figures say.

Israel is estimated to have 80, Pakistan between 100 and 120, and India between 90 and 100.


August 2, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Atomic bombing of Japanese cities was wrong and unnecessary

hiroshimaIn a Newsweek interview, Ike would add: “…the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

Countdown to Hiroshima, for July 31, 1945: Top Truman Aide Opposes Use of Bomb Greg Mitchell, HUFFINGTON POST, : 07/31/2013 For the past several days here, and for more to come, I am counting down the days to the atomic bombing of Japan (August 6 and August 9, 1945), marking events from the same day in 1945. I’ve written hundreds of article and three books on the subject: Hiroshima in America (with Robert Jay Lifton), Atomic Cover-Up (on the decades-long suppression of shocking film shot in the atomic cities by the U.S. military) and Hollywood Bomb (the wild story of how an MGM 1947 drama was censored by the military and Truman himself).

Here are previous daily pieces this month in this unique series.

July 31, 1945: The assembly of Little Boy is completed. It is ready for use the next day. But a typhoon approaching Japan will likely prevent launching an attack. Several days might be required for weather to clear.

  • In Germany, Admiral William D. Leahy, chief of staff to Truman–and the highest-ranking U.S. military officer during the war–continues to privately express doubts about the bomb, that it may not work and is not needed, in any case. He would later write in his memoirs:

    “It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.”The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.”…………… Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | history, Japan, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Fukushima radioactive water tanks may not last long

Fukushima-water-tanks-2013‘Water Storage Nightmare’: Bolts in Fukushima tanks will corrode in just a few years, plant workers reveal — “Tepco says it doesn’t know how long tanks will hold” –
Title: Fukushima clean-up turns toxic for Japan’s Tepco
Source: Reuters
Authors: Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito
Date: July 31, 2013
Experts say Tepco is attempting the most ambitious nuclear clean-up in history, even greater than the Chernobyl disaster […]

[…] radioactive water that cools the reactors […] mixes with some 400 tonnes of fresh groundwater pouring into the plant daily.

Workers have built more than 1,000 tanks […]

With more than 85 percent of the 380,000 tonnes of storage capacity filled, Tepco has said it could run out of space.

The tanks are built from parts of disassembled old containers brought from defunct factories and put together with new parts, workers from the plant told Reuters. They say steel bolts in the tanks will corrode in a few years.

Tepco says it does not know how long the tanks will hold. […]

See also: Gundersen: “We could easily have a situation where 700 tanks spring leaks, it runs across the surface of the site and into Pacific” after quake (VIDEO)

August 2, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Columbia River gets radioactive wash from Hanford nuclear site

text ionisingRadio: Uranium-contaminated plume covers 125 acres at U.S. nuclear site — Over 300 lbs. of uranium a year flowing into Columbia River (AUDIO) #Hanford

Northwest News Network (NPR),, July 29, 2013: Cleanup Options For Hanford’s 300 Area Going Public […] Federal officials are trying to figure out what to do about radioactive materials that remain at a place near the Columbia River known as the 300 Area. […] The 300 Area was where workers milled uranium rods and tested ways to process plutonium during WWII and the Cold War. They poured about 2 million gallons of radioactive liquid waste a day into sandy ponds and trenches right next to the Columbia River. […] One of the remaining jobs is to work on a 125-acre groundwater plume contaminated with uranium. 

Uranium-contaminated groundwater plume at Hanford (SOURCE: Proposed Cleanup Plan for Hanford’s 300 Area)
Tri-City Herald,, July 29, 2013: […] The 300 Area was used for fabricating uranium into fuel pieces for the Hanford reactors that produced plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program. It also was used for research, including testing processes for chemically removing plutonium from irradiated uranium fuel. […] About 330 pounds of uranium per year is released to the Columbia River from the Hanford 300 Area, according to DOE. […] The public may comment at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. today at the Richland Public Library, 955 Northgate Drive, Richland. An open house will start an hour earlier. Additional public meetings will be held Wednesday in Seattle and Aug. 8 in Hood River.

Listen to the broadcast here

August 2, 2013 Posted by | USA, wastes | 1 Comment

Nuclear power ambitions fade, as Duke Energy’s plans delayed

radiation-sign-sad“The latest delay in Duke Energy’s bid to build a nuclear plant in South Carolina puts its embattled nuclear ambitions even further behind cost and over budget,” 

Flag-USADuke nuclear plans delayed Greenville Online 31 July 13 Hearing on 2 reactors on hold until 2016 Duke Energy’s plans to build a new nuclear power station in the Upstate have been delayed by federal regulators who say limited resources and changes to the construction plans require more time.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission told Duke in a letter that a final hearing on plans to build two reactors at the W.S. Lee site outside Gaffney would have to wait until 2016.

The original target for a final hearing had been this past March…………..

Nuclear watchdogs say the delay shows that Duke isn’t sure about the future of nuclear power and construction of a plant the company has never said for sure it will complete. Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Human sperm damaged even by low doses of radiation

sperm-and-radiationAnimal studies have shown serious consequences in the offspring when DNA-damaged sperm fertilizes the egg,

the genetic and epigenetic abnormalities observed in the sperm are serious concerns,” said Adiga.

Epigenetic abnormalities are abnormalities induced by the effect of environment on the expression (functioning) of genes, which in this study refers to the prolonged exposure to radiation.

Radiation exposure affects sperm quality: Study, Daijiworld    Manipal, August 1 (IANS):  Manipal, August 1 (IANS): Long-term exposure to radiation at the workplace may play havoc with your sperm quality, says new research by Indian medical scientists.

A team of fertility experts, led by Manipal University professor of clinical embryology Satish Adiga, analysed sperm quality of 83 men working for three to 18 years in diagnostic or radiation units at various hospitals.

The results were compared with 51 men, also working in hospitals with a similar lifestyle but not exposed to radiation, US journal Public Library of Science ONE reports.

The men’s semen quality was tested for sperm number, vitality, shape and its DNA quality. The amount of radiation absorbed by health workers was also correlated with sperm quality.

Manipal researchers found more abnormal characteristics in the sperm of men exposed to the radiation, such as decrease in sperm motility, altered shape and vitality. Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Radiation’s genetic effects

  1. sperm-and-radiationRadiation is Threatening The Formation of Sperm, Cancer Health Centre, 

    Nuclear radiation: nuclear radiation on the testis, the most powerful destructive effects can easily lead to male infertility. In the testis is the organ most sensitive organ to radiation is one of low doses of radiation are sufficient to significantly lower sperm quality, can cause temporary or even no sperm. 200 to 300 roentgen radiations can cause impaired spermatogenesis, 600 to 800 roentgen doses will enable the complete loss of spermatogenesis, loss of normal fertility.

  2. X-ray: Studies show that high-dose X-ray can cause sperm abnormalities, reducing the number of low quality, affecting germ cell genes, so that future generations have a serious genetic effects, which cause fetal malformations, miscarriage , premature delivery, mental retardation and so on.

August 2, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Nuclear company switching to renewable energy in USA

sun-championFlag-USAEDF exits US nuclear, focuses on renewables, Climate Spectator  31 Jul, French utility EDF, the world’s biggest operator of nuclear plants, is pulling out of nuclear energy in the United States, bowing to the realities of a market that has been transformed by cheap shale gas.

Several nuclear reactors in the US have been closed or are being shuttered as utilities baulk at the big investments needed to extend their lifetimes now that nuclear power has been so decisively undercut by electricity generated from shale gas.

“The spectacular fall of the price of gas in the US, which was unimaginable a few years ago, has made this form of energy ultra competitive vis a vis all other forms of energy,” EDF Chief Executive Henri Proglio told a news conference.

EDF agreed with its partner Exelon on an exit from their Constellation Energy Nuclear Group (CENG) joint venture, which operates five nuclear plants in the United States with a total capacity of 3.9 gigawatts………

International Energy Agency analyst Dennis Volk said CENG’s eastern US power plants were located in some of the most competitive power markets in the country, with high price competition, growing wind capacity and cheap gas.

“It is simply not easy to invest in nuclear and recover your money there,” Volk said.

Focus on renewables in US

Proglio said EDF would now focus on renewable energy in the United States. EDF employs 860 people in US solar and wind, and since 2010 its generating capacity has doubled to 2.3 gigawatts. It manages another 7 gigawatts for other companies………

August 2, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Unsustainable deal – Paladin’s uranium scam in Malawi

In the wake of the Kayelekera scam, Malawi needs to realise that tax is a governance issue. …. The cost of tax incentives given to Paladin is enormous. We can’t sustain it.

secret-dealsMalawi gov’t and Paladin: Act on Kayelekera uranium raw deal now!  Nyasa Times, By Veronica Maele-Magombe July 30, 2013  Since last week’s stinging observation by UnitedNations (UN) Special Raportuer on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter regarding Malawi’s Kayelekera Uranium Mine deal, two elusive culprits remain pretty much intact in their hard shells. It is as if the country’s most guarded contract between government and Australian company, Paladin Africa Ltd has not been unravelled as the worst possible swindle. Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | Malawi, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Uranium | Leave a comment

Exempt from normal market rules – the nuclear zomby industry

It’s a testament to how exempt nuclear power appears to be from ordinary market rules. 

Nuclear Infant Zombies?   City Watch by Peter Dykstra 30 Jul 2013
Perhaps the oddest thing about nuclear power’s journey through American history is that we can’t seem to decide whether nukes are dying, being reborn, or walking around as zombies.

On the one hand, nuclear plants have had a bad-news few years. In June, Southern California Edison announced that it would permanently shut its trouble-plagued reactors at San Onofre, which powered 1.4 million homes in the region. By September, the plant will have laid off nearly two-thirds of its 1,500 workers. (The plant was already doomed by a legacy of breakdowns and failed fixes when the Fukushima disaster in Japan persuaded many Californians it posed a threat to the 8.5 million people who live within 50 miles of it.)

This spring, Dominion Resources closed its Kewaunee nuclear plant south of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The plant was in good working order, but falling energy prices made Kewaunee not worth the trouble. (Ironically, Dominion had just received a hard-fought renewal of its operating license for the plant.)   …….

The industry’s origins date to the 1950s, when “too-cheap-to-meter” nuclear energy was touted as a sidekick to the H-bomb and a mascot for the Cold War. …..

, Wall Street also noticed that nuclear plants were not the financial performers they were cracked up to be. After the near-disaster at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island, financial interests in new nukes went into cold shutdown.

As Forbes put it in 1985, “The failure of the U.S. nuclear power program ranks as the largest managerial disaster in business history, a disaster on a monumental scale. … It is a defeat for the U.S. consumer and for the competitiveness of U.S. industry, for the utilities that undertook the program and for the private enterprise system that made it possible.” Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Punishing Bradley Manning to deter other whistleblowers

text-Manning,-Bradley“It seems clear that the government was seeking to intimidate anyone who might consider revealing valuable information in the future,”

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange says Bradley Manning’s spy convictions are ‘national security extremism’ 31 July 13 ” ….. From the courtroom to world capitals, people absorbed the meaning of a verdict that cleared the soldier of a charge of aiding the enemy, which would have carried a potential life sentence, but convicted him on other counts that, together, could also mean a life behind bars.

Manning faces up to 128 years in prison if given maximum penalties in a sentencing hearing that starts Wednesday…….Assange, whose WikiLeaks website served as the conduit for exposing Manning’s spilled US secrets to the world, saw nothing to cheer in the mixed verdict.

“It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism,” he told reporters at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, which is sheltering him. “This has never been a fair trial.” Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | civil liberties, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

UK secrecy on nuclear veterans’ radiatiom in order to protect nuclear industry

the MoD’s position is further evidence of a “cover-up” to protect the civilian nuclear industry.

radiation-warningflag-UKflag-New-ZealandFife nuclear veteran denied information on radiation The Courier UK, By Michael Alexander, 30 July 2013   A Christmas Island veteran from Fife has been denied access to information about the levels of radiation received by New Zealand research ships during nuclear testing in the 1950s because it “may harm international relations” between the UK and New Zealand.

Dave Whyte, 76, of Kirkcaldy, recently placed a freedom of information question on the level of radiation the New Zealand Royal Naval ships Pukaki and Rotoiti received whilst patrolling Christmas Island during the British nuclear tests.

A scientific study carried out for the New Zealand Nuclear Test Veterans Association in 2007 concluded that the crews of these ships received three times the normal level of “chromosomal translocation”, leading to long term genetic damage.

However, the Ministry of Defence has now told him that while it does hold the exposure information, it is to be withheld because the request “requires consultation with a foreign government and disclosure would prejudice international relations”. Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | New Zealand, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Drain radioactive water from underground tunnels – TEPCO is ordered


Japan’s nuclear regulator ordered Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to drain all underground radioactive water from the underground tunnels of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The measure is taken after the authorities made public the fact that radioactive water leaked into the sea at the Fukushima nuclear plant site.

High levels of radioactivity have been detected in wells in the plant site and an adjacent port since May, the media reports.

The operator says it will start injecting chemicals into the gravel layers to block the water and that it will also decontaminate the water in the tunnels from September by circulating it through a purifier.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said Saturday it has detected 2.35 billion becquerels of cesium per liter from water in an underground passage at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that is leaking into the sea. This is roughly the same level as the level of radiation measured in April 2011, shortly after the nuclear disaster the preceding month.

The water sample taken Friday from a trench contained 750 million becquerels of cesium-134 and 1.6 billion becquerels of cesium-137 per liter, while 750 million becquerels of other radioactive substances were detected, according to TEPCO, quoted by Kyodo.

The trench is located below the No. 2 reactor turbine building and is hypothetically the source of the latest leakage into the ocean.

The operator of the Fukushima nuclear power plant admitted for the first time, last week,  that the radioactive underground water leaked into the ocean. Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) was studying radioactive water in its monitoring wells since May and recently observed a drop in the radioactivity. This can only mean that the tainted water leaked into the Pacific Ocean.

August 2, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013 | Leave a comment

Secrecy over the REAL state of Fukushima nuclear plant

secret-agentflag-japan“They say everything’s fine until bad data comes out.”

Japanese utility, and the public, in dark about crippled nuclear plant  -Japanese utility, and the public, in dark about crippled   

 * Tokyo Electric Power confronts many unknowns at crippled plant

* Japanese public also in the dark over clean-up, say critics

* Utility says radiation makes it hard to reach all parts of facility

* Says trying to explain clean-up problems to the public

* Chair of third party panel blames incompetence, not deliberate policy

By Antoni Slodkowski and Mari Saito TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) – Two and a half years after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, the operator of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima plant faces a daunting array of unknowns.

Why the plant intermittently emits steam; how groundwater seeps into its basement; whether fixes to the cooling system will hold; how nearby groundwater is contaminated by radioactive matter; how toxic water ends up in the sea and how to contain water that could overwhelm the facility’s storage tanks.

What is clear, say critics, is that Tokyo Electric Power Co is keeping a nervous Japanese public in the dark about what it does know.

The inability of the utility, known as Tepco, to get to grips with the situation raises questions over whether it can successfully decommission the Fukushima Daiichi plant, say industry experts and analysts. Continue reading

August 2, 2013 Posted by | Fukushima 2013, Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

EDF abandons USA nuclear power project, turns to renewable energy instead

sun-championEDF to exit US nuclear power over impact of shale gas FT, By Hugh Carnegy in Paris  , 31 July 13, 

EDF, the world’s biggest producer of nuclear-powered electricity, is to pull out of nuclear production in the US, citing the “revolution” in US energy markets caused by the advent of shale gas……

EDF, majority owned by the French state, announced that it was pulling out of CENG, its joint venture in the US withExelon which operates five nuclear plants. Exelon will take over operation of the CENG plants while EDF will exercise a put option to sell its 49.9 per cent stake in the venture between 2016 and 2022. EDF will also receive an immediate special dividend of $400m…….

Mr Proglio said the prospects for nuclear power in the US had been hit by “a true revolution” caused by the exploitation of shale deposits, which had “completely reshaped the landscape of electric power generation in favour of gas”.

Mr Proglio said EDF would switch its focus in the US to renewable energy sources.

August 2, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, USA | 1 Comment