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3.8 McSv/h HOT DRAIN NEAR TOKYO – Normal Background radiation for the Olympics? OK for children?- Nothing to see here, please move along!

Photo: Residential are near Tokyo May 2014

h/t Janet Saxon Pleck FB

2nd May 2014


May 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

“Nuclear fuel fragments” from Fukushima found in Europe — 10,000+ kilometers from reactors — Study: Plume “directly from N. America” — Hot particles a “significant part” radioactive releases — Quickly spread over entire hemisphere — Film shows core material on Norway air filter (PHOTO)

Published: May 6th, 2014 at 11:31 am ET

From the comments



May 6, 2014 at 12:32 pm

“Consequently, there was a rapid melt-down of the reactor cores and
a massive injection of radionuclides into the atmosphere.
During the accident, the whole inventory of the noble gas 133Xe was set free from
the reactors.”

ENENews Admin
May 6, 2014 at 12:48 pm

From 5 months ago:

Report reveals highest level of radioactive xenon-133 to hit Canada after Fukushima over 6,000% more than gov’t website claims

Canadian Study: Those lacking wisdom expected Fukushima plume to disperse before hitting West Coast — In reality “sharp features” were detected even after several days travel (PHOTO)

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, Atmospheric removal times of aerosol-bound radionuclides, May 2012: Hot particles (e.g., fragments of the nuclear fuel) were present in the FD-NPP plume.Screenshot from 2014-05-07 11:23:58

Elsevier (academic publisher) — Fukushima Accident: Radioactivity Impact on the Environment, 2013: Paatero et al. (2012) estimated that a significant part of the Fukushima-derived radioactivity is in hot particles from autoradiogram of a filter sample from 1 to 4 April 2011 at Mt. Zeppelin, Ny-Alesund, Svalbard.

Poster for Alaska Marine Science Symposium (Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands), Jan. 20, 2014: Exposure to fallout while on ice in 2011 […] Models suggest pinnipeds may have been exposed while on ice to the following: […] Hot particles, nuclear fuel fragments, were detected in air samples taken in Svalbard, Norway (Paatero et al. 2012).Screenshot from 2014-05-07 11:24:23

(Paatero et al. 2012) Airborne fission products in the High Arctic after the Fukushima nuclear accident: The plume arriving in Svalbard did not come from Europe but directly from North America […] [Hot particles are] either fragments of the nuclear fuel or particles formed by the interactions between condensed radionuclides, nuclear fuel, and structural materials of the reactor […] a significant part of the activity related to Fukushima was in hot particles. So far the authors are not aware of any other reports concerning hot particles from the Fukushima accident. […] radionuclides emitted into the atmosphere were quickly dispersed around practically the whole northern hemisphere within a couple of weeks.

See also: Gundersen: This video “confirms our worst fears” — Scientist: Reactor core materials found almost 500 km from Fukushima plant — 40,000,000,000,000,000,000 Bq/kg — Can travel very, very significant distances — Hot particles found in 25% of samples from Tokyo and Fukushima (VIDEO)

Poster for the 2014 Alaska Marine Science Symposium here

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

“Bringing Nuclear to Life” – new PR campaign to hit Britain

for the money being thrown at new nuclear you could scrap the bedroom tax, double renewable energy and take every household on Britain out of fuel poverty. 

It would still, of course, be public money. But it’s use would be far more effective in saving lives and cutting carbon than in bailing out a near bankrupt corporation.

So, while other countries are racing into demand reduction or decentralised energy generation, distribution and storage, and while Europe looks at the energy security to be found in increased interconnection, us Brits can expect to be “normalised” into acceptance of clapped-out claims about an energy source that never was and never will be economic.

flag-UKChuggers For Nuclear Take Us For Mugs Tuesday 6TH  by Alan Simpson, Morning Star  In the sleazy world of energy politics, prepare to be groomed – or even ‘normalised,’  AT A high-powered PR summit in London, energy giant EDF’s head of communications proudly reported that sponsoring the Olympics had “added value to the nuclear brand.” 

Flushed with this success, EDF now plans to harness a new team of company volunteers who will “go out into the community and schools to tell the story.” Their Bringing Nuclear to Life initiative will unleash hundreds of volunteer EDF joggers onto the streets, each carrying the torch for new nuclear. Their stated objective will be to “normalise nuclear to consumers.”


So, just when you thought it might be safe to step out a bit more — when double glazing salesmen, charity fundraisers and energy company “swappers” might be taking a breather — a new sort of “chugger” is about to hit the streets. 

You don’t have to fear being Saved for God or tapped for a standing order.

These chuggers will just want to normalise you. ……….. Continue reading

May 7, 2014 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment

Large earthquake felt across wide area of Japan

Tokyo hit by worst quake since 3/11 — Felt throughout more than half of Japan prefectures — Expert: “People should take precautions for next several days” — AP: ‘Unusual’ quakes shake Alaska

Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2014: The quake, which struck at about 5:18 a.m., measured lower 5 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo […] the strongest seismic intensity level measured in central Tokyo since the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011. […] Yohei Hasegawa, a Japan Meteorological Agency official in charge of monitoring earthquakes and tsunami, said at a news conference: “The earthquake is believed to have occurred inside the Pacific plate and it doesn’t seem to be related to an earthquake that could occur directly beneath Tokyo, which would have a different mechanism. It is unlikely to be followed by active aftershocks, but people should take precautions for the next several days.”

AP, May 4, 2014: It was the strongest earthquake since the 9.0 quake in March 2011. […] The quake was felt across a wide area of Japan […] There were no reports of damage or other abnormalities from the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant […] Reuters reported a magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck in the Pacific Ocean […] a second earthquake of magnitude 6.1 about 10 minutes later, further south. […] On Saturday, a series of small earthquakes and aftershocks has rattled northern Alaska. […]  the earthquakes are unusual, because the region isn’t a seismically active part of Alaska.

Standart News, May 5, 2014: jolts were felt in 26 out of 47 prefectures of Japan.

See also: Expert in 2010: Megathrust quake predicted to hit Fukushima around Nov. 2013… Recurrence interval of 75 years with last rupture Nov. 1938 — Planet’s most powerful type of seismic event

May 7, 2014 Posted by | incidents, Japan | 1 Comment

The ever rising cost of nuclear weapons and their plutonium wastes

Destroying and building nuclear weapons have something in common: high missile-moneyoverruns By WP

May 5 There is a budget crisis, but the truth is we’re still planning to spend tens of billions of dollars to eliminate plutonium from thousands of dismantled, surplus nuclear weapons built during the Cold War.

Not to worry. We also are spending hundreds of billions on building newer nuclear warheads and bombs, and 21st-century submarines, bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles to keep more than 1,000 nuclear weapons at the ready.

One thing that building and destroying the weapons have in common: Their cost overruns are way beyond original estimates…….With all these complaints about wasted spending in domestic programs that help the less fortunate, why aren’t the excessive costs of nuclear weapons activities being debated in Congress?

May 7, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Uranium industry has a poor short term future and a poor long term future Predictions of the rise in price of uranium are unjustified; they do not fully appreciate the segmented nature of the market. Steve Kidd 6 May 14 

The world uranium market has fallen back substantially from the highs it sustained in the period around 2005-2010, when the spot price peaked at over $130 per pound in summer 2007. After the Fukushima accident in 2011, the price drifted down further and has been stable at the $35 per pound level since last summer. Although this is well above the $10 per pound that prevailed for the long period from the late 1980s up until 2003, it is universally agreed that very few (if any) new mines can be developed at today’s price level. The suggestion is therefore made (particularly by uranium producers and their financial sector backers) that with rising demand, there will be shortages of supply in future unless we soon have much higher prices to encourage new production. On the demand side, a lot of attention is currently being to the upcoming Japanese reactor restart programme, in terms of timing and number of reactors.

A recent report from my company (East Cliff Consulting, ‘The Fifth Age of Uranium’) shows why the case made by the uranium bulls is in reality full of holes. We are now more likely to see a long period of relatively low prices, in which uranium producers will find it hard to make a living.


Substantial oversupply in the Fourth Age

Continue reading

May 7, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Uranium | Leave a comment

No questions allowed at San Onofre nuclear waste storage meting

civil liberties USASan Onofre: No questions allowed at next public workshop on nuclear waste storage Joyce | May 6th, 2014, Members of the public won’t get a chance to comment or question experts on nuclear waste storage at the next public workshop on the decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear plant, which takes place Tuesday night.

And that’s not sitting well with some anti-nuclear activists.

“It’s disappointing we won’t be allowed time for public comments on the storage issue,” said Gary Headrick with San Clemente Green. “But this will be a really good eye-opener for the people on the panel to get educated on the uncertainty on how we store nuclear waste.”

The second meeting of the Southern California Edison Community Engagement Panel is set for 6-9 p.m. Tuesday at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center in San Juan Capistrano.

The panel was created to give the public input into the ongoing decommissioning process for the closed nuclear plant.

Headrick said he’d like to see a “broader variety” of experts at the storage workshop.

The panel chairman, David G. Victor, a UC San Diego professor and expert on energy markets, told Headrick in a letter that the technical workshop is designed to maximize the panel’s time with the waste storage experts, allowing the panel to ask questions and for the experts to offer their views.

“It’s going to be really important for the public to be there [at the storage workshop] even if they won’t have a chance to speak. There’s a lot to be learned,” said Headrick, who added that spent fuel wasn’t intended to be stored permanently at closed nuclear plants.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and other senators sent a letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on May 2, calling on the agency to stop the “unwise policy” of issuing exemptions for emergency response requirements to decommissioning nuclear reactors that house spent nuclear fuel, such as San Onofre.

The decommissioning of the San Onofre nuclear plant  is expected to take decades. The highly radioactive nuclear waste will be stored at the seaside location indefinitely, since there is no national nuclear waste repository. (High-level nuclear waste from operating and decommissioned plants is stored at the plant locations).

On its website, the NRC states that its current storage options — steel and concrete casks and spent fuel pools — “provide adequate protection of the public health and safety and the environment. Therefore there is no pressing safety or security reason to mandate earlier transfer of fuel from pool to cask.

May 7, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

High Burnup nuclear fuel , San Onofre, – Storage and Transportation issues

san-onofre-deadfISSUES INVOLVING STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION OF HIGH BURNUP NUCLEAR FUEL DECOMMISSION SAN ONOFRE By Marvin Resnikoff, Ph.D.SCE Community Engagement Panel (CEP)  San Juan Capistrano Community Center May 6, 2014 “……… I’m going to briefly discuss transportation and storage of nuclear fuel, and I’m going to focus on high burnup nuclear fuel (HBF). What and why is HBF? NRC has not fully investigated the technical issues and implications, which in my view, are major and should have required careful study and an EIS. This is work that should have been done before the NRC allowed utilities to go to high burnup, not after. By high burnup, I mean fuel greater than 45 GWD/MTU, but in clearer terms, allowing each assembly to remain in the reactor longer. The implications are the radioactive inventory in HBF is greater.

NRC staff have focused on the heat in HBF, which is greater. But heat will decline over time. One implication is decommissioning will take longer. Fuel will sit in fuel pool for 20 years or more. San Onofre has high burnup fuel. The implication of a longer decay time is that the workers at the site will not be available for the decom process. Putting more fuel into the same space, moving from 24 fuel assemblies to 32, as Southern California Edison intends to do, will further the cooling off period. However, while heat is an important consideration, but perhaps of greater import is the impact on fuel cladding. It may surprise you to know that the NRC does not know how much HBF exists across the country. While the NRC has the power and the ability to identify how much HBF is at each reactor. The NRC has inspectors at each reactor. They simply have not made the effort. The Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting a survey which should be released in September. HBF has major implications for decommissioning, storage, transportation and disposal.

Storage Issues………….These are my takeaways on the HBF and storage issue:

• Little technical support for NRC approval of high burnup fuel (HBF). Experiment taking place in the field.
• Total amount of HBF unknown. At a minimum, the NRC should survey utilities.
• HBF will postpone storage up to 20 years; 32 PWR canister extends cooldown period.
• Cladding defects are a major problem for HBF; HBF may not be retrievable. HBF should be canned.
• Because of corrosion, long-term storage may not be possible in a salt environment.

Transportation Issues
Brittleness is important when considering transportation and disposal. One utility, Maine Yankee, has taken the important step of canning the HBF, that is, individually enclosing each fuel assembly in a stainless steel container. Concern is vibrations when transported, and potential shattering of cladding in a transportation accident. Transportation casks must satisfy regulatory accidents. Casks must withstand 30 foot drop onto an unyielding surface……….
Another type of accident involves fire. Several major train fires have occurred recently. 140 ton casks would be shipped by train, on the same routes used by oil tankers. Right now, nuclear fuel has nowhere to go, no final repository. But NRC has not done the statistical analysis to determine the statistical likelihood of a nuclear shipment caught in an oil tanker fire…………
Here are my takeways on the transportation issue:
• Realistic low probability, high consequence accidents should be examined.
• Side impact rail accidents may shatter HBF cladding.
• Long duration, high temperature fires may involve oil tankers that travel the same tracks. NRC has not properly quantified the statistical likelihood.

May 7, 2014 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Paypal decided to close Fukushima Diary’s Paypal account for no reason, lost one year living expense

It was just a matter of time before the kinds of people who vandalized brand symbols at world economic summits resorted to brand cyber-vandalism. The Wikileaks hacktivists have targeted and threatened global brands like Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, Amazon, Twitter and Shell.

Posted by Mochizuki on May 6th, 2014

Today I refunded all the supports (up to 60days ago) that people expected to change the world.

The Paypal account of Fukushima Diary has been suspended since last week.

Today, they decided to close it.

The only “reason” was this (From their last email)




Important information:

We regret to inform you that we’re initiating the closure of your Paypal account because of certain activity that took place relating to your account. This measure is necessary to protect us from potential financial losses.”

In short, they will hold up the balance for 180 days. Meanwhile, I cannot withdraw / send / accept any money.

Because it was a business account, it’s impossible to have another account though I actually don’t want to open another account. I cannot use a personal one cause I pay tax as Fukushima Diary SRL.

so I lost “our” money, and lost the means of accepting your supports.

It started with one phone call.

This day of last week, I was at a lawyer’s office in Cyprus. I and a few other Japanese people are trying to incorporate in Cyprus and Netherlands, and I went there to make a contract.

Exactly when I held the pen, I received the call. It was from Paypal. The guy said my account was under review.

So I couldn’t make a contract that day. I apologized to other Japanese people and also explained the situation to Paypal.

They required me some documents, but these were shipping proof, supplier invoice, profit and loss & Balance sheet of Fukushima Diary. Also the proof of company registration.

The only document that I could send was the proof of company registration.

I’m not the type of “merchant” to send box. Because this is still the first year, Fukushima Diary hasn’t published P/L or B/S yet. and I submitted the proof of company registration last year when I opened the account.

I did my best to get it fixed before I left Cyprus but it didn’t work.

Their treatment was far from being organized. I called them several times a day, but some of the agents say the reviewing takes 24 ~ 72 hours. Others say it’s 4~5 business days. One of the agent even sent me an email so say “I’m glad to know your case was resolved.”. and it wasn’t resolved actually.

When the first 72 hours passed, they called me to say ”it takes up to 14 days.”

The reason of “reviewing” and suspending my account wasn’t clear. They picked up 5 transactions for the ”shipping proof” but because I refunded them immediately, they mustn’t have any reason to investigate it anymore.

They said it doesn’t lead to closure of an account or anything, everything is ok, it was just a routine investigation, until this week.

I came back from Cyprus to Bucharest last night though I couldn’t make a contract with the lawyers.

Just before the flight, I called them again. and the agent said,

“The case wasn’t under review.”

I had called them more than everyday, and they always said the case was under review, they even escalated it.

I asked the agent “so were you telling a lie ?”. They started saying “I don’t know, I don’t have an access to the information.”.

Today I had a meeting with my Romanian lawyer and accountant. I called Paypal again and asked the lawyer to have a say on the phone. The agents sounded scared.

The email was sent 1 hour after the phone call to say they are initiating to close the account.

This is not just a loss of a Paypal account.

In addition to the fact that I cannot make alternative account, I lost my first salary until April of 2015.

I have been receiving donations from many people since I left Japan.

I “donated” it to the business account to start up the company, and I wasn’t paid anything from my own company through 2013.

Because I’m supposed to be a sole shareholder, my only income is “dividend”. It’s paid only in April.

Today, 5/6/2014, was supposed to be my first “payday”, and the dividend was supposed to be my one year living expense until April of 2015.

Paypal is going to hold the fund up to 180 days. I can’t survive that long.

I don’t even trust that Paypal would release “our money” then, from the communication since last week.

People say I should have moved money to the bank.

Easier said than done.

I thought I shouldn’t put too much money in the bank from looking at the financial crisis.

The reason why they put the account under review suddenly is not clear.

In the beginning, I thought that was because I receive larger sum of money for the capital of new company in Cyprus and their algorithm detected it.

Anyway, their sudden decision to close the account has no reason.

One of my readers said, ”You were Assanged.”

Unfortunately, I have no evidence to deny it.

You read this now because we’ve been surviving until today.

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Amnesty International or Amnesia International concerning Fukushima?


Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law, former Amnesty board member: I was involved in trying to prevent their publication of the dead babies report on Iraq that was so warmongering. I couldn’t do it. Certainly, Amnesty works as an adjunct to the State Department.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which tries to make it appear as if they’re the “high holy priesthood” of human rights movements – the ex-CIA agent Ralph McGehee he established they were penetrated by the CIA, I myself found them ferrying guerrillas in then-south Sudan to work against the government of Sudan. I sent them a demarche, they never bothered to respond.Likewise,Médecins Sans Frontières, again Ralph McGehee proving that they were penetrated by French intelligence agents. So I think it’s fair to say that that’s true for all of them.



Arlight20111 notes this extract from the Amnesty website has no mention of the new secrets law or the measures the Japanese government is taking to force people back into the contaminated areas to live, no mention of the childrens thyroid cancers nor any health effects, forcing the homeless, unemployed and disabled to work in hazardous conditions at the destroyed  nuclear power plant site nor do they mention any of the imprisoned citizens that rescued animals in the contaminated zones etc etc;

Extract from Amnesty Internationals Japan website reads like the pro nuclear UNSCEAR report on Fukushima…???


It remains to be seen how the government will rebuilt its trust with people in Japan. But there are specific actions the government can take. First, it must ensure that oversight of private industry, including the nuclear power industry, is truly independent and effective. Second, it can commit to transparency in the evaluation of the current nuclear plans and commission studies by truly independent experts on the potential impact of the plants and any possible accidents on the people in the area and the environment. Based on these studies the government should take appropriate action to prevent negative impacts. Third the government can set up a system for sharing information in a crisis that facilitates timely communication from the state to the local government and to the people. Finally, the government can support vigorous debate in government and promote the freedom of expression in civil society, including for people who challenge the government and corporate actors.

Amnesty International
Secretary General
Salil Shetty

15 March 2012

Download video (94.76 MB)

NGO documents plan Ukraine war (E35)

March 09, 2014 04:50

NGOs caught forging documents for war, insider warns all NGOs infiltrated; ‘Independent military observers’ for EU-based group OSCE again turned away in Crimea, OSCE branded one more ‘vulgar instrument’ for foreign interests; and CNN buys the latest State Department hoax.

Seek truth from facts with Illinois University Professor of International Law and former Amnesty board member Francis Boyle; Infowars Editor Paul Joseph Watson; Eric Draitser of Boiling Frogs Post; Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams; Ukraine protest organizers; Sliman Bouchuiguir, whose NGO fabricated the claims against Libya; and Asst. Secretary of State Vic Nuland.

Watch live on RT:

Sunday March 9 at 0445, 0845, 1245, 1645, 2045 GMT.
Monday March 10 at 0045 GMT.

For more information, please visit

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

RT: Groups meant to bring peace are running the scams that start war. Coming up.

Announcer: NGOs accused of the hoaxes pushing Ukraine to war.
Former Amnesty board member warns all human rights groups have been infiltrated.
And CNN buys the latest State Department scam.

I Am A Ukrainian viral video: I am the Ukrainian, the native of Kiev.

RT: This viral video hyped by the mainstream is the latest exposed as a State Department hoax. The opposite of the stated ‘grassroots’ expression by Ukrainians, it’s actually by a California firm and produced by a man called Larry Diamond of the US State Department and its NGO the National Endowment for Democracy.

The video’s designed notes Activist Post to con the public to back more foreign intervention, by associating Ukraine’s shockingly violent coup with some peaceful, fragrant girl called Julia, instead of Nazi insurgents who’ve murdered their way to power, or Assistant State Secretary Vic Nuland, caught revealing she’d plotted this coup against the elected government, long before the protests started.

Investigative reporter Paul Joseph Watson notes CNN’s Anderson Cooper for some reason is often the point-man for these State Department hoaxes.

Paul joins us, great to speak to you. What’s going on?

Paul Joseph Watson, Infowars Editor: So you could look at the example of Anderson Cooper, he sold the Kony 2012 scam, which was similar to this I Am A Ukrainian scam, and he quickly had to abandon that once in became obvious that that was a contrived agenda to justify US military intervention in Africa.

And then even after that he sold the Syria Danny scam, which was the situation involving a, quote, “Syrian activist”, who was in fact staging YouTube videos to blame atrocities on the Assad regime as a mean to discrediting demonizing the Syrian government and justifying US military intervention.

And what’s interesting is the mainstream media interviews of Yulia that occurred in the past couple of weeks credit her with being the creator of the video, when in fact it was created by a production company linked directly to the US State Department. So the key man behind the video, according to the production company itself, was Larry Diamond.

Continue reading

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I Dreamed a Dream : Save Kids Japan

Mari Takenouchi

This is an anti nuclear video by Journalist Mari Takenouchi who is trying to let people know about the plight of the children living in the contaminated areas of Japan..

This is her investigative blog in Japanese and English ;

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Lady Alba – Nuclear Love


Published on 4 May 2014

Lyrics/Vocals/Guitar by Zara Gladman
Animation by Greg Moodie
Sound editing by Steven Gladman
Camera by Jeremy Kelly
Styling by Gemma Jennings
With special thanks to Clare and Grace Cooney from Progressive Broadcast

Music by The Beatles (no copyright infringement intended).

In the town where I was born
Live some weapons beside the sea
I was told about their lives
In our yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines

We all live in a yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine

It’s gonnae cost a bob or two
To buy new missles for me and you
You can’t afford to feed the weans
But their priority is in Faslane

We all live in a yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine

A hundred billion of our pounds
Ignore the misery that’s all around
Let’s buy some nukes! Prepare for war.
While child poverty is one in four.

We all live in a yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine
Yellow nuclear powered ballistic missile submarine

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2014 may begin the slide into WW3- time to review the MAD theory

Atomic-Bomb-SmNuclear game theory: time for a review, News 24 2014-05-06 Clem Sunter 

“……….The MAD logic

The reason I am giving these statistics is that classic game theory examines every possible strategy a player must consider when taking into account all the possible responses of his or her adversary. It obviously applies to nuclear conflicts as well.  Right now you have the two nations most heavily armed with nuclear weapons locking horns over Ukraine – Russia and America.  They did so in 1962 over the Cuban missile crisis and narrowly missed a full-scale nuclear exchange as a result of mutually misunderstanding each other’s position. Once again, they are eyeball to eyeball like two chess players poring over the next move.

John von Neumann, a US Hungarian mathematician, was the founder of game theory in 1928. He later coined the acronym MAD which stands for “mutually assured destruction” in the nuclear game. The argument was that neither of two players would resort to nuclear conflict if a first strike by either one triggered a response by the other which caused an overwhelming loss to the initial aggressor. Thus, a second strike capability on both sides guaranteed peace between them according to the principle of minimising your maximum potential loss. The latter is a core element of optimising your strategy under game theory (known as the minimax theorem).

The current state of the nuclear game  

In 1985 there were estimated to be 68 000 active nuclear warheads around the world. As a consequence of disarmament treaties since then, the figure is now put at 4 100 with the bulk being fairly equally distributed between Russia and America. The remainder are in the hands of the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. To keep the equilibrium demanded by MAD, treaties between the two principal nuclear players have also limited the numbers of strategic launchers, heavy bombers and anti-ballistic missile systems owned by each. However, a destabilising factor is that while 17 300 warheads are reckoned to have been decommissioned, they have yet to be destroyed. Equally, a single inter-continental ballistic missile can deliver as many as 10 separate warheads at a time. It can also be accompanied by 40 decoys meaning that 50 rockets are required to neutralise an incoming missile. Secrecy means outsiders have no idea of the latest technical advances in attack or defence systems………
If John von Neumann were alive today, I would want to ask him the following questions. Maybe someone from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, where von Neumann was based, is sufficiently well versed in game theory to act as a substitute:

1.    Is MAD still a valid concept which makes a nuclear conflict highly improbable?
Does the Doomsday scenario still predominate? Or do military strategists now play nuclear war games where they examine less apocalyptic aftermaths? If so, do they look at a conventional war preceding a nuclear exchange, or the other way around?

2.    What would be the estimated damage and loss of life today caused by a nuclear conflict between the US and Europe on the one hand and Russia on the other? What harm would be done to the environment in the short and long term?

3.    What would be the impact on the rest of the world and would the whole world recover from such a global war as quickly as it did after 1945?

4.    What are the probabilities of the current game in Ukraine remaining localised or deteriorating into a direct military conflict between the major players with potential nuclear consequences?

5.    Does the chance of terrorist groups acquiring nuclear weapons nullify MAD since they belong to no fixed abode which can be destroyed if they attack first?

6.    How does emotion feature in the mathematical models of game theory since patriotism as much as logic can be responsible for the onset of nuclear war?


I have not come across a single word in the printed/social media, on the internet, on television or radio or anywhere in the public domain addressing this issue. As a scenario planner, you always look at the end game to decide what your next move should be. That is why Herman Kahn wrote his famous book On Thermonuclear War in 1960, followed by Thinking about the Unthinkable in 1962.

Neither Putin nor Obama talk about a quantum leap in confrontation; but they wouldn’t, would they? Every step will be calibrated so that it does not cause too much anger between the Russian bear and the American buffalo. In the end, a compromise may be reached which is classified as neither appeasement nor victory, but which for the time being is a solution.

Alternatively, 2014 may go down in the history books as the beginning of an unanticipated slide into a third world war. Hence, it is now time to review nuclear game theory before the rivalry between Russia and America becomes unstoppable in its progress towards a nuclear showdown.

May 7, 2014 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA signs up to Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty

Flag-USAUnited States Signs Protocol to Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty

Office of the Spokesperson

Washington, DC
May 6, 2014
 Today in New York on the margins of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Preparatory Committee Meeting, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China, and Russia signed the Protocol to the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone (CANWFZ) Treaty. The CANWFZ Treaty complements the NPT and enhances the international nonproliferation regime by prohibiting, among other things, the development and testing of nuclear weapons within Central Asia. Under the CANWFZ Treaty, the five Central Asian zone states may not allow the stationing of nuclear weapons within their territories. The Central Asian states are also required to adopt the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol, which provides the IAEA with expanded access and authorities to ensure that all nuclear activities are used only for peaceful purposes.

The United States is not eligible to be a party to the CANWFZ Treaty itself, but as an NPT nuclear weapons state is eligible to join the Treaty’s Protocol. The Protocol provides legally-binding assurances not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against CANWFZ Treaty parties. The United States understands the importance of such negative security assurances to states that have foresworn nuclear weapons and abide by their nuclear non-proliferation obligations.

The Administration is satisfied that the CANWFZ Treaty is consistent with U.S. and international criteria for such zones. The United States believes that such zones, when fully and rigorously implemented, contribute to our nonproliferation goals and to international peace and security. The United States has concluded that the CANWFZ Treaty and its Protocol will not disturb existing U.S. security arrangements or military operations, installations, or activities. The CANWFZ Treaty and its Protocol will also promote regional cooperation, security, and stability and provide a vehicle for the extension of legally-binding negative security assurances, consistent with the strengthened negative security assurance announced in the 2010 U.S. Nuclear Posture Review.

The United States previously signed similar protocols to the Treaties of Pelindaba and Rarotonga concerning nuclear-weapon-free zones in Africa and the South Pacific, respectively, and has ratified the protocols to the Treaty of Tlatelolco, which established a nuclear-weapon-free zone for Latin America and the Caribbean. With respect to the nuclear-weapon-free zone treaty in force in Southeast Asia, the United States looks forward to continuing consultations with zone parties to explore possible U.S. support for signature and ratification of the applicable protocol.

May 7, 2014 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s contract with EDF to build Hinkley nuclear station may not be valid

justiceHinkley Point nuclear power contract ‘may be invalid’ BBC News 6 May 14 The contract for building the UK’s first nuclear power station in a generation might not be “valid”, a leading legal academic has warned.

Former Liberal Democrat MP David Howarth, who lectures at Cambridge, said the deal with EDF over a plant at Hinkley Point could be seen as an “unjustifiable subsidy” under EU law.

flag-UKThe contract fixes a price for energy provided if the scheme goes ahead.

The government said the deal was “robust” and would give a “fair deal”.

The government announced last autumn that EDF, a French firm, would lead a consortium to build the Hinkley Point C station in Somerset, expected to supply around 7% of the UK’s electricity.

The company and ministers agreed a “strike price” of £92.50 for every megawatt hour, almost twice the current wholesale cost of electricity.

But Mr Howarth told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme there was a “problem with whether this is a valid contract at all”.

He argued that, under EU law, its terms could be described as an “unjustifiable subsidy” and that “because the system doesn’t allow for non-British generators to come within it, it might be a violation of the basic principle of EU law of freedom of movement of goods”. Mr Howarth added that English law could also be violated, as “the contract simply says what price it will get if it happens to supply a nuclear power station”, rather than compelling the company to build one.

Setting the price paid for the energy produced could also undermine the “long-standing legal doctrine that contracts which unduly bind the future discretion of governments to act in the public interest are void as being against public policy”.

“It’s quite possible that a contract of this size, over a period of 40 years, might find itself being caught by it,” he added…….

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment