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General Electric (GE) apparently quite ignorant about Fukushima nuclear disaster

questionGE Designed the Faulty Fukushima Nuclear Reactors… And Their Official Response May Surprise You  THE MIND UNLEASHED on 11 December, 2013 By: Ethan Indigo Smith, Guest Contributor, General Electric were the designers of the flawed reactors that blew up in Fukushima Japan.

I called General Electric Corporate headquarters in Fairfield, Connecticut today to find out what they had to say. The phone number there is 203 373 2211. I initially spoke with Linda who, to my absolute astonishment, knew nothing of Fukushima. ……..the reaction speaks volumes to me……..

……….It was obvious I was the first reporter/living, breathing human being to call there and inquire about this mess; their representatives were completely clueless……… And they apparently have nothing to say about it.

Please assist me in inquiring of GE what they think about the ongoing disaster in Japan. As the designer of the faulty nuclear reactor, their silence about its ongoing effects on planet Earth is not good enough.

Call their corporate office on 203 373 2211 and/or specifically Christopher White from GE corporate communications on 910 819 6121.

Peace on Earth, only for real.





December 11, 2013 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

UN-Iran deal a modest, but positive, step forward

diplomacy-not-bombsIran Nuclear Accord Is a Good DealBU TodayCritics of agreement miss the lessons of history 12.09.2013 By Robert Loftis  Strip away all the rhetoric, and the November 23 agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear program emerges as an exercise in realism. It recognizes that three decades of enmity and distrust will not be erased overnight, nor can the knowledge of how to make a nuclear weapon be destroyed. This interim agreement represents a first step in verifiably ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program can be strictly limited to peaceful purposes. It is definitely a path worth pursuing.

The outlines of the agreement are simple: in return for a six-month halt to certain construction and enrichment activities, conversion and dilution of an existing 20 percent of enriched uranium stocks, and intrusive inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United States and other powers will offer limited relief from crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy.

In essence, it deprives Iran of the opportunity to readily further enrich uranium to levels of purity necessary for nuclear weapons. Over the course of this six-month agreement, the sides will explore the possibility of a comprehensive pact that will ensure Iran’s nuclear program is limited to civilian purposes and that treats Iran as any other signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. If, during the next six months, it becomes clear that the Iranians are cheating or trying to hide a military program, then the sanctions can be reimposed immediately and further steps considered. It is worth highlighting that the Iranians made this agreement not just with the United States and its European allies, but also with the Russians and the Chinese. The Iranians would have to weigh the costs of crossing its most sympathetic global powers by failing to live up to the agreement.

Far from being the “historic mistake” that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contends, the accord is the first step toward a goal that we all claim to share: an Iran that does not pose a nuclear threat to our friends and allies. …………….

December 11, 2013 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Israel puts pressure on Australia, to disrupt UN-Iran nuclear accord

flag-Israelflag-AustraliaIsrael wants Australia to use its influence in UN Security Council to amend nuclear deal with Iran SMH, December 11, 2013  Hartcher, Israel has urged Australia to use its new found influence to force a much tougher deal on Iran over its nuclear program.

Israel’s Minister for the Economy, Naftali Bennett, told Prime Minister Tony Abbott that Israel ”badly wants a deal” to halt Iran’s nuclear progress, Mr Bennett said.

Israel is deeply unhappy with the terms of the interim deal negotiated by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the so-called P5 –   plus Germany on November 24.               ……..Australia can be an important factor in shaping the final deal, due in six months, Mr Bennett said, because it is a member of the UN Security Council next year and also the chairman of the council’s sanctions committee on Iran.

Iran has agreed to freeze parts of its nuclear program and dilute its most highly concentrated uranium in return for a partial easing of the international sanctions that have forced it into recession.

Israel’s essential demand is that Iran be forced to surrender its nuclear fuel-making machinery. Where the P5+1 deal has allowed Iran to keep its centrifuges for concentrating uranium into nuclear fuel, Israel wants them removed. :

December 11, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear deal – “delicate” diplomacy needed

diplomacy-not-bombsJohn Kerry defends Iran nuclear deal to Congress sceptics BBC News 10 Dec 13, US Secretary of State John Kerry has defended the six-month nuclear deal struck with Iran to a sceptical panel of congressmen.

Mr Kerry said if the US Congress imposed new sanctions against Iran, it would risk the “delicate” diplomatic effort needed for a larger deal.

The US and other world powers have promised no new sanctions in exchange for a curb of Iran’s nuclear programme.

But US critics of the deal say it gives Iran cover to expand the programme.

And they have called for even tougher sanctions now, saying they would strengthen the hand of the so-called P5+1 group of nations engaged in negotiations with Iran…………

“I would state to you unequivocally, the answer is yes, the national security of the United States is stronger under this first-step agreement than it was before,” Mr Kerry said…….

During the hearing in the House foreign affairs committee, Mr Kerry was accused of grovelling to the Iranian government and letting down allies, the BBC’s Jonny Dymond reports.

But our correspondent says Mr Kerry pushed back against every suggestion of weakness on Iran, stressing that without a deal, the country would be closer to developing nuclear weapons.

“We are asking you to give our negotiators and our experts the time and the space to do their jobs and that includes asking you while we negotiate that you hold off imposing new sanctions,” Mr Kerry told the panel……

December 11, 2013 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | 1 Comment

South Korea cutting back on nuclear expansion plans

flag-S-Koreathumbs-downS. Korea scales back nuclear expansion plans The West Australian, 11 Dec 13, Seoul (AFP) – South Korea is scaling back its commitment to nuclear energy after safety concerns prompted a series of reactor shutdowns, officials said Tuesday……The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said it has accepted recommendations from a government advisory group in September to scale back the nuclear expansion plans…..

Safety concerns that were already high in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima crisis in Japan have been heightened by revelations of widespread corruption and faulty equipment.

Nuclear reactors have been abruptly shut down 128 times over the past decade because of malfunctioning parts, officials admitted in October. Public prosecutors have charged about 100 people after discovering that documents relating to some parts in 20 working reactors, and eight under construction, had been forged…….

December 11, 2013 Posted by | politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

A caution to investors, about Thorium

thumbs-downThoriumThorium Reactors: Nuclear Redemption or Nuclear Hazard?, The Energy Collective 10 Dec 13,“….Thorium does not resolve nuclear power’s proliferation and waste issues, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research President Dr. Arjun  Makhijani responded to Martin on the NPR program last year. Pure uranium-233 can be derived from the molten salt coming out of thorium reactors “which is easier to make bombs with than plutonium.” And the waste, Makhijani added, contains carcinogenic radioactive materials…….

My reactor is free. It’s in the sky, 93 million miles away. You can store its energy in molten salt. It is being done today. You can generate electricity for 24 hours a day,”

Even with extensive investment in thorium technology, he said, it would take ten years to build the infrastructure and ten more to put regulation in place. “I did an honest, unbiased look, not thinking we could do renewable energy. And I found out that my hunch was wrong: We can do 100 percent renewable energy.”……

Let them raise venture capital and do it,” said Vermont Law School Institute for Energy and the Environment nuclear economics researcher Mark Cooper. “I have low carbon and no carbon technologies whose costs have been coming down and they can keep the lights on. In 25 years I am likely to have a whole range of cost effective ways to keep the lights on that evolve from the current set of technologies.”…

December 11, 2013 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

BHP pessimistic about future of uranium market?

Where Olympic Dam is concerned, it’s the outlook for the main commodity—uranium—rather than potential investors that it mostly dislikes.

BHP Warms to Partnerships, But Olympic Dam Remains in the Cold WSJ 10 Dec 13BHP Billiton Ltd. wants to share the love to get its $10 billion Jansen potash project in Canada off the ground. But the world’s biggest mining company is being a determined single when it comes to another costly development: Australia’s Olympic Dam…….

BHP’s reluctance to seek a partner for an expanded Olympic Dam project in South Australia may surprise as it’s stuck on the back burner, squeezed by low commodity prices and high development costs estimated by analysts at around $30 billion. In August last year, BHP said it would look for a less costly design for the Olympic Dam mine, which had been expected to bring in billions in tax dollars and create thousands of jobs. Up to now, it hasn’t announced any new plans for the site.

At first glance, finding a competitor to share development costs and risks with BHP makes sense. If they also bring in new technology then so much the better.

The problem for BHP is that a partner might actually want to get the project moving, even at a much-reduced scale. That would test BHP’s desire to keep annual spending below $15 billion in future, down by a third from last year’s bill totaling $21.7 billion. With uranium prices continuing to hover near eight-year lows, and several countries debating nuclear power in their energy mix, BHP can avoid such tough decisions by keeping full control of the asset.

“We like partnerships,” Mr Mackenzie told U.S. investors. Where Olympic Dam is concerned, it’s the outlook for the main commodity—uranium—rather than potential investors that it mostly dislikes.

December 11, 2013 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, business and costs | Leave a comment

Libya’s uranium stockpile a cause of anxiety

Concerns Grow Over Libyan Uranium Stockpiles, VOA, Jamie Dettmar, 10 Dec 13, December 10, 2013 WASHINGTON — Inspectors from the United Nations nuclear agency will soon begin an assessment of the adequacy of security arrangements for thousands of barrels of yellowcake uranium stockpiled in Libya. The inspection comes amid rising anxiety among Western powers and Libya’s neighbors at the lawlessness disrupting the transition from dictatorship to democracy since the ouster two years ago of Moammar Gadhafi.

 A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, will arrive in the troubled North African country later this month to “verify existing stockpiles and conditions of storage,” the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative to Libya, Tarek Mitri, told the Security Council on Monday.

According to Mr. Mitri, 6,400 barrels of yellowcake uranium are stored in a facility near Sabha, a desert town in the south that has witnessed episodic clashes between Tubu and Abu Seif tribesmen. Libyan intelligence officials say Al Qaida-linked Tuareg fighters fleeing the French intervention in Mali have moved into Libya’s south to set up camps.

The barrels of uranium are under control of a Libyan army battalion, Mitri told the 15-nation UN Security Council. In a closed-door meeting Russian Deputy U.N. Ambassador Alexander Pankin warned of the dangers of the Libyan uranium and also of weapons going astray and falling into the hands of terrorists.   ………

December 11, 2013 Posted by | Libya, safety, Uranium | Leave a comment

Distrust growing over secret Trans Pacific Partnership deal

logo-anti-TPPOne of the most controversial provisions in the talks includes new corporate empowerment language insisted upon by the U.S. government, which would allow foreign companies to challenge laws or regulations in a privately run international court.

Previously leaked TPP documents have sparked alarm among global health experts, Internet freedom activists, environmentalists and organized labor, but are adamantly supported by American corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Obama administration has deemed negotiations to be classified information — banning members of Congress from discussing the American negotiating position with the press or the public. Congressional staffers have been restricted from viewing the documents

Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal HUFFINGTON POST  12/09/2013 WASHINGTON –– The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations, increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos obtained by The Huffington Post. Continue reading

December 11, 2013 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

“Fallout” a film for today, about an old film on nuclear war

Back then we were closer to WWII and the bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We knew the destructive power. Now, time blurs memories and people don’t realize how devastating those weapons are. The kilotons in nuclear bombs today dwarf the power of nuclear bombs when we grew up. ……..

Thanks Kat for bringing awareness in an industry that is more prone to “Hangover III” than hard-hitting documentaries. 

When ActivistsMake Movies: The Nuclear Arms Race is Relevant Again With ‘Fallout’  The Wrap,  HOLLYBLOGS | ByRichard Stellar on December 10, 2013 The documentary details the making of Stanley Kramer’s epic “On the Beach”

Below – Lily Tomlin, Dr Helen Caldicott, Kat Kramer, Karen Kramer

Lily.Tomlin.Dr_.Helen_.Caldicott.Kat_.Kramer.Karen_.Sharpe.Kramer 13You wouldn’t know that Kat Kramer was an activist. The daughter of director Stanley Kramer (above, second from right) looks as if she’d be more comfortable on the cover of Vogue than she would in a cramped editing room, poring over footage of films that, in her estimation, “change the world.”

One such film that efforts to do just that premiered a few weeks ago at the famed Sunset-Gower Studios lot,……  “Fallout” details the making of Stanley Kramer’s epic “On the Beach” — adapted from the fertile mind of Nevil Shute’s novel of a post-apocalyptic world ……..“Fallout” is about a movie about “the bomb” — and its relevance to today is staggering. Continue reading

December 11, 2013 Posted by | media, Resources -audiovicual | 2 Comments

Maralinga nuclear tests case rejected by Human Rights Commission

“These men deserve the peace of mind to know that the government that wronged them will now finally look after them.”

Commission says it does not have jurisdiction to hear case of veterans exposed to radiation from British nuclear testing

Australian veterans deliberately exposed to British nuclear bomb testing have had their case rejected by Australia’s Human Rights Commission, which says it does not have the jurisdiction to hear their complaint.

The ruling was the last legal avenue available to the surviving 300 veterans, who argued the Menzies government violated their human rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by exposing them to harmful radiation from nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s at Maralinga, South Australia.

“This decision marks the end of the road for our nuclear veterans, and I would say that the only recourse they have available to them now is a plea for an act of grace by the Australian government to take responsibility for the events involving nuclear testing on Australian soil,” said Joshua Dale, a human rights law specialist from the law firm Stacks/Goudkamp, which represented the veterans.

He said the decision was a failure to recognise the rights of military veterans.

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UK pledges £28m to nuclear research

BusinessGreen  |  December 10, 2013
Funding will help establish new Nuclear Fuel Centre of Excellence and work to reduce cost of decommissioning
More here..

December 11, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Two Billion People Could Starve After a ‘Limited’ Nuclear War


“Even a limited use of nuclear weapons essentially is an act of suicide,” Helfand said. “These weapons simply have to be understood to be completely useless. From the U.S. perspective, if we were to use even a tiny fraction of our own arsenal against an adversary on the other side of the planet, we would end up causing this global catastrophe that would have terrible repercussions here at home.”

Douglas P. Guarino Global Security Newswire

A hypothetical nuclear war in South Asia could trigger worldwide famine and “probably cause the end modern industrial civilization as we know it,” the lead author of a new report tells Global Security Newswire.

Published by the watchdog group Physicians for Social Responsibility, the report, titled “Nuclear Famine: Two Billion People at Risk,” updates prior studies on the potential impacts that a “limited” nuclear war between India and Pakistan could have on the global climate, and consequently on food supplies.

The prior research, published in 2012, predicted that corn and soybean production in the United States would decline 10 percent on average for 10 years. It also projected a decline in Chinese middle-season rice production — on average by 21 percent during the first four years and on average 10 percent in the following six.

At the time, Physicians for Social Responsibility said these effects could “put more than one billion people at risk of starvation.” The new forecast released on Tuesday indicates the number of people at risk of starvation would actually be double that figure, the group says.

The fresh analysis includes a study completed this fall showing there could be even larger drops in Chinese winter wheat production. These crops could decline by 50 percent during the first year and by more than 30 percent over 10 years.

Increasing prices would exacerbate the shortage of available food, according to the report, which goes on to call for the elimination of nuclear weapons “as quickly as possible.”

“Significant, sustained agricultural shortfalls over an extended period would almost certainly lead to panic and hoarding on an international scale as food exporting nations suspended exports in order to assure adequate food supplies for their own populations,” the report says. “This turmoil in the agricultural markets would further reduce accessible food.”

Ira Helfand, a medical doctor from Northampton, Mass., who served as the lead author of the report, told GSN the data shows that the equivalent of 100 Hiroshima-size bombs could “probably cause the end modern industrial civilization as we know it.”

A conflict of this size would represent the use of about half the nuclear arsenals that India and Pakistan possess, or a “tiny portion” of the U.S. and Russian stockpiles, according to Helfand.

“This is an unbelievably huge shock to the international system,” Helfand said. “We saw what happened to the world’s economy when the housing bubble collapsed in the United States — [here] we’re talking about a shock to the international economic-social system orders of magnitude larger than that. I think it’s quite hard to imagine how this much-more-fragile-than-we’d-like-to-think system can survive that.”

According to Helfand, the chain of events that would lead to such catastrophe is as follows:

Firestorms caused by nuclear detonations would launch more than 6 million metric tons of soot into the Earth’s atmosphere — blocking out sunlight and causing a sort of global cooling effect commonly referred to as “nuclear winter.”

The cooling and other anticipated climatological impacts — such as decreased precipitation — substantially reduce crop yields, which in turn causes disrupted markets and famine.

“Even a limited use of nuclear weapons essentially is an act of suicide,” Helfand said. “These weapons simply have to be understood to be completely useless. From the U.S. perspective, if we were to use even a tiny fraction of our own arsenal against an adversary on the other side of the planet, we would end up causing this global catastrophe that would have terrible repercussions here at home.”

Helfand argued that, in light of such information, President Obama and other world leaders are not pursuing aggressively enough efforts to reduce and eliminate nuclear arms.

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Japan aims to double farm exports by 2020



Dec 10, 2013

The Abe administration says it will double agricultural exports to ¥1 trillion by 2020, strengthening the farm industry despite the threat of fierce competition once Japan opens its markets more to foreign products under free trade accords.


The target is part of a policy package approved by a government panel that includes measures aimed at facilitating large-scale farming by intensifying the use of farmland, supporting farmers engaging in processing and distributing their produce, and doubling incomes in the agricultural sector as a whole over the next decade.


“I will achieve drastic reforms in agricultural policy by steadily implanting the policies under this plan,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a meeting of the panel in his office Tuesday.


The move signals that the administration is serious about making Japanese farmers more globally competitive as the country negotiates with 11 other nations, including the United States and Australia, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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Germany – Learning lessons from Fukushima?

…”The high-risk end phase is still ahead for the nuclear plants still running in Germany,” Stay said. “Which means it’s time to turn our attention to it now.”

Stay says the government is playing with fire…

Two years after the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, measures are being taken to protect the German population from accidents. But their implementation could take years, and some critics are concerned.

When in March 2011 images of the Fukushima nuclear accident were shown on German TV, Chancellor Angela Merkel reacted quickly. She promised to review the safety of all German nuclear plants, and not long afterwards eight reactors in Germany were shut down. Then the government announced that Germany would be nuclear-free by 2022.

But did the German government draw all the right conclusions? Experts from the Radiation Protection Commission, which advises the government on these issues, point out that in case of a nuclear accident in Germany significantly more people could be affected than previously expected. They want more measures to be imposed to better protect the population in case of an emergency.

300 Tonnen radioaktives Wasser versickert in Fukushima August 2013 The Fukushima accident prompted Germany’s nuclear shutdown

Among other recommendations, the commission wants to see the radius of the evacuation zone increased from 10 to 12 kilometers. Furthermore, the commission advises to government to build up national stocks of iodine tablets. If the iodine is taken in time it prevents the thyroid from taking in radioactive iodine.

Far too late, some say…

These additional precautions should have been implemented a long time ago, said Jochen Stay of the anti-nuclear campaign “Ausgestrahlt” (radiated). It has been known for more than two years that radiation spreads much further than previously thought. The precautions proposed by experts do not reach far enough, Stay claims. “They are thinking about reducing limits for resettlement from 100 to 50 millisieverts,” he told DW. “That sounds good at first, but in Japan the limit is actually set at 20 millisieverts for the zone around Fukushima.”

…not that urgent, others say

By now it is not clear which recommendations will be implemented. The Environment Ministry does not want to comment on details because the consultations are not finished. “At this point, when we don’t even know the entire framework, it would not be appropriate to say we will do this and we won’t do that,” said Katharina Reiche, state secretary at the ministry.

She does not see any urgent need for action because all German nuclear power plants were carefully checked after the Fukushima accident, and international experts came to the conclusion that the country’s nuclear power plants meet the highest safety standards. “Therefore I’m convinced that what we are planning now are additional measures for an event which we common sense almost rules out,” Reiche said.

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