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Strong protest movement opposes restart of Kagoshima reactors, Japan

protestor-JapanAnti-nuclear activists ratchet up pressure to block restart of Kagoshima reactors June 14, 2014 Asahi Shimbun By MASANOBU HIGASHIYAMA/ Staff Writer KAGOSHIMAMore than 1,000 protesters assembled before the prefectural government building here June 13 to oppose moves to restart a local nuclear power plant.

If the Sendai nuclear plant in Satsumasendai, Kagoshima Prefecture, were to go back online, it would mark the nation’s first restart under new safety standards brought in after the March 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima Prefecture.

The rally, which organizers deemed a “critical phase” in their anti-nuclear efforts, coincided with the start of the prefectural assembly session.

“Governor, why don’t you pick a fight with the central government like the Hakodate mayor has done to protect the life and health of residents?” Satoshi Kamata, a noted nonfiction writer who has written extensively about labor and environmental pollution issues, barked through a loudspeaker.

Kamata, 76, was referring to a lawsuit filed in April by the Hakodate municipal government in Hokkaido to demand a halt to the construction of a nuclear power plant across the Tsugaru Strait in Oma, Aomori Prefecture.

“After serious problems of pollution in the 1970s, Japanese learned that their lives are more important than the nation’s economy. Why are we regressing to the same situation in the question of nuclear power?” asked Kamata, who flew in from Tokyo, where he regularly participates in a weekly anti-nuclear protest held outside the prime minister’s office.

Among the other participants were evacuees from the disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The rally was organized by about 90 groups, including a local co-op.

The protesters submitted to prefectural officials a petition signed by about 120,000 people from across Japan in protest to the restart of the plant, which is operated by Kyushu Electric Power Co…….http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201406140025

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Anti-nuclear movement in India – active and determined

india-antinukeWe are fighting against entire global nuclear industry: S P Udayakumar  Q&A with anti-nuclear activist and convenor of PMANE Business Standard, India , Gireesh Babu  |  Chennai   June 14, 2014  S P Udayakumar, anti-nuclear activist and convenor of the People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), has been at the forefront of protests against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant as well as the nuclear power policy of the government. A report filed by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to the Prime Minister’s Office allegedly says Udayakumar has “deep and growing connections with US and German entities” and has an unsolicited contract with Ohio State University Institute, US, to submit “fortnightly reports” for a financial consideration.

Are you receiving any foreign funding and what are the sources of funding for the operations of your movement?
The movement, as I have said umpteen number of times, is funded by the local people and by contributions from the neighbouring villagers and college and school students. We absolutely have not received even a rupee from any Indian or international organisation for our struggle.
You are saying that the leakage of the IB report which named you as a receiver of huge foreign funds is a conspiracy. In general, authorities in India do not want anyone to pose problems in their proposed development projects and if anyone decides to stand up and speak for the poor people, they want to discredit them by saying that they are working for foreign countries. The government has every mechanism to go into the villages and find out for itself if we are giving any money or other incentives to people to join the protests. The media too have not gone to the villages to find out whether Udayakumar is paying the people to join the struggle. The whole thing is orchestrated by the authorities. Authorities include the state government, central government and the officialdom. I would also include the media.

How do you see the government and its policy? You earlier said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to prefer renewable energy rather than nuclear power.
If Modi cares for the people of India, and if he thinks that Indian lives have value, he should go for renewable energy because all over the world, countries are shunning nuclear power and going for the renewable energy sources.

Do you think that the the IB report has been “leaked” on the instigation of foreign powers?
It could well be because we are not fighting against just the state government and the central government.  We are fighting against the global nuclear industry. Americans, Russians and the French – they are all out there to get us. For them, it is a multi-billion business. They don’t want a few individuals and groups like us damage the prospects………http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/we-are-fighting-against-entire-global-nuclear-industry-s-p-udayakumar-114061400793_1.html

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Michigan Senate unanimously rejects nuclear waste dumping near lake huron

Lake-Huron,-Bruce-County,-OMichigan Senate unanimously passes legislation opposing Canadian nuclear waste dump June 13, 2014 By Jim Bloch Voice Reporter The Michigan Senate has unanimously passed a bill and a series of resolutions that effectively call for a halt to the nuclear waste dump proposed for Kincardine, Ontario, less than a mile from Lake Huron, about 100 miles north-northwest of Port Huron.

“Today’s vote shows the Michigan Senate is united in its opposition to this proposed facility,” said Sen. Phil Pavlov in a statement. “We’ve heard from residents all across the state about this flawed plan, and it needs to be stopped. Not only would this nuclear dump threaten the health of natural resources in Michigan, it could critically damage the ecosystem of the entire Great Lakes basin.”……..http://www.voicenews.com/articles/2014/06/13/news/doc539b16df20107562245555.txt#.U52lwPiq0rY.twitter

June 16, 2014 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Conflict of interest as new Commissioners joing Japan’s nuclear regulator

conflict-of-interestNRA conflict rule ignored by Abe administration

When the Democratic Party of Japan established the NRA, then–prime minister Naoto Kan implemented a rule to prevent conflicts of interest. It stopped anyone from becoming an NRA commissioner who had been employed by a nuclear organization in the three preceding years, which was defined as someone receiving $5,000 per year from the nuclear industry during that time period.

It appears that the Liberal Democratic Party has ignored that rule.

 

in-bedPost-Fukushima nuke watchdog outrages Japanese, Straight,com  NRA appointee Satoru Tanaka’s financial ties to the nuclear industry provoke howls from environmentalists and opposition politicians by MARTIN DUNPHY on JUN 13, 2014 JAPAN’S PARLIAMENT, THE Diet, approved a controversial government appointee to the country’s nuclear watchdog agency on Wednesday (June 11).

Satoru Tanaka, a 64-year-old professor of nuclear engineering, will start his job as commissioner with the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) in September.

The staunch supporter of nuclear power has deep ties to the nuclear industry and has accepted tens of thousands of dollars from affiliated companies over the years. Continue reading

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

Opposition to nuclear power is strengthening in South Korea

logo-NO-nuclear-Smflag-S-KoreaS. Korea faces strong opposition to nuclear power  SEJONG, June 15 (Yonhap) — The South Korean government is facing a renewed opposition against nuclear power plants sparked by the recent tragic sinking a passenger ferry while the need for what is considered the cheapest source of power is growing, government officials said Sunday.

The opposition against nuclear power plants gained a new momentum on raised public awareness for safety following the April 16 sinking of the passenger ferry, Sewol, in which 292 people have been confirmed dead with 12 still unaccounted for.

Those who have long opposed nuclear power are again pointing their fingers at nuclear power plants as the most hazardous facilities, which, they claim, could cause a far greater and more devastating tragedy than the ferry sinking should there be any accident, according to the government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Such a sentiment was also seen in recent remarks by Rep. Park Young-sun, floor leader of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, who said, “Nuclear power plants are now said to be the largest threat to safety in our society after the sinking of the Sewol.”

Already, environmental groups are demanding the government decommission a nuclear reactor at Wolseong Nuclear Power Plant, which is currently undergoing review for a possible extension of its lifespan. The initial 30-year lifespan of the reactor located some 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul expired in November 2012……

June 16, 2014 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, South Korea | Leave a comment

USA planning a nuclear attack on Russia?

Atomic-Bomb-SmFlag-USAIndications that the U.S. Is Planning a Nuclear Attack Against Russia By  (about the author)  OpEdNews Op Eds 6/14/2014  On Wednesday, June 11th, CNN headlined “U.S. Sends B-2 Stealth Bombers to Europe,” and reported that “they arrived in Europe this week for training.” Wikipedia notes that B-2s were “originally designed primarily as a nuclear bomber,” and that “The B-2 is the only aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.”

In other words, the primary advantage of the newer, “Stealth,” version of B-2, is its first-strike (or surprise-attack) nuclear capability. That’s the upgrade: the weapon’s ability to sneak upon the target-country and destroy it before it has a chance to fire off any of its own nuclear weapons in response to that “first-strike” attack. The advantage of Stealth is creating and stationing a nuclear arsenal for the purpose of winning a nuclear war, instead of for the goal of having continued peace via “Mutually Assured Destruction,” or MAD.………

That old system — “Mutually Assured Destruction” or MAD, but actually very rational from the public’s perspective on both sides — is gone. The U.S. increasingly is getting nuclear primacy. Russia, surrounded by NATO nations and U.S. nuclear weapons, would be able to be wiped out before its rusty and comparatively puny military force could be mustered to respond. Whereas we are not surrounded by their weapons, they are surrounded by ours. Whereas they don’t have the ability to wipe us out before we can respond, we have the ability to wipe them out before they’ll be able to respond. This is the reason why America’s aristocracy argue that MAD is dead. An article, “Environmental Consequences of Nuclear War” was published in the December 2008 Physics Today, and it concluded that, “the indirect effects [‘nuclear winter’] would likely eliminate the majority of the human population.” (It would be even worse, and far faster, than the expected harms from global warming.) However, aristocrats separate themselves from the public, and so their perspective is not necessarily the same as the public’s. The perspective that J.P. Morgan and Co. had in 1915 wasn’t the perspective that the U.S. public had back then, and it also wasn’t the perspective that our President, Woodrow Wilson, did back then, when we were a democracy. But it’s even less clear today that we are a democracy than it was in 1915. In that regard, things have only gotten worse in America……..

Obama isn’t only beefing up our first-strike nuclear capability, but is also building something new, called “Prompt Global Strike,” to supplement that nuclear force, by means of “a precision conventional weapon strike” that, if launched against Russia from next-door Ukraine, could wipe out Russia’s nuclear weapons within just a minute or so……..

Certainly, Obama means business here, but the big question is whether he’ll be able to get the leaders of other “democratic” nations to go along with his first-strike plan.

The two likeliest things that can stop him, at this stage, would be either NATO’s breaking up, or else Putin’s deciding to take a political beating among his own public for simply not responding to our increasing provocations. Perhaps Putin will decide that a temporary embarrassment for him at home (for being “wimpy”) will be better, even for just himself, than the annihilation of his entire country would be. And maybe, if Obama pushes his indubitable Superpower card too hard, he’ll be even more embarrassed by this conflict than Putin will be. After all, things like this and this aren’t going to burnish Obama’s reputation in the history books, if he cares about that. But maybe he’s satisfied to be considered to have been George W. Bush II, just a far better-spoken version: a more charming liar than the original. However, if things come to a nuclear invasion, even a U.S. “victory” won’t do much more for Obama’s reputation than Bush’s “victory” in Iraq did for his. In fact, perhaps Americans will then come to feel that George W. Bush wasn’t America’s worst President, after all. Maybe the second half of the Bush-Obama Presidency will be even worse than the first. http://www.opednews.com/articles/Indications-that-the-U-S–by-Eric-Zuesse-Nuclear-Weapons_Obama-Administration_PNAC-Neocon-Project-For-A-New-American-C_President-Barack-Obama-POTUS-140614-352.html?show=votes

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Legal case against UK’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

money-in-nuclear--wastesUK nuclear body faces £200m damages claim from Energy Solutions. Ft.com By Gill Plimmer 15 June 14,Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is facing a £200m damages claim from one of the bidders who lost out on a £7bn deal to clean up Britain’s oldest nuclear power plants.

Energy Solutions, a Salt Lake City-based company, filed a High Court writ last week after losing the 14-year contract to engineering company Babcock and Texas-based Fluor. The deal is one of the largest and most sensitive government contracts ever put out to tender.

The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the government-funded body responsible for Britain’s state-owned nuclear sites, started the competition two years ago and work is expected to start by Babcock in September.

But Energy Solutions, which has been managing the nuclear sites for the past 14 years, has alleged in documents filed to the High Court last week that the NDA’s point scoring system is flawed and that it didn’t follow its own procedures. It competed for the contract in partnership with the US company Bechtel but is taking legal action alone……..http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d7394394-f483-11e3-a143-00144feabdc0.html#axzz34qaWV0UC

 

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Detailed study shows that Iran would take years (not months) to build a nuclear weapon

flag-IranBuilding Nuclear Weapon Would Take Years, Not Months, Iran Says in Report NYT, By JUNE 12, 2014 WASHINGTON — The Iranian government this week published its first detailed study of how long it estimates it would take its scientists and engineers to assemble a nuclear weapon, saying that with its current infrastructure, “the required time span is in years.”

Iran described the estimate as entirely hypothetical, and it was clearly intended to allay fears that Iran has the ability to race for a bomb. ……http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/13/world/middleeast/iran-building-nuclear-weapon-would-take-years-not-months-us-disputes-estimate.html?_r=0

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Iran, weapons and war | Leave a comment

CT scans as a cause of cancer

Patients have a part to play as well. Consumers can go to the Choosing Wisely [www.choosingwisely.org] website to learn about the most commonly overused tests. 

Before agreeing to a CT scan, they should ask: 

■ Will it lead to a better treatment and outcome? 

■ Would they get that therapy without the test? 

■ Are there alternatives that don’t involve radiation, like ultrasound or MRI? 

■ When a CT scan is necessary, how can radiation exposure be minimized?

Neither doctors nor patients want to return to the days before CT scans. 

But we need to find ways to use them without killing people in the process. 

CT-scanAre we giving ourselves cancer with CT scans?  PENINSULA POLL BACKGROUNDER: By Rita F. Redberg and Rebecca Smith-Bindman  14 June 14, DESPITE great strides in prevention and treatment, cancer rates remain stubbornly high and may soon surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States.

Increasingly, we and many other experts believe that an important culprit may be our own medical practices: We are silently irradiating ourselves to death.

The use of medical imaging with high-dose radiation — CT scans in particular — has soared in the past 20 years.

Our resulting exposure to medical radiation has increased more than sixfold between the 1980s and 2006, according to the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements.

The radiation doses of CT scans (a series of X-ray images from multiple angles) are 100 to 1,000 times higher than conventional X-rays.

Of course, early diagnosis thanks to medical imaging can be lifesaving. But there is distressingly little evidence of better health outcomes associated with the current high rate of scans.

There is, however, evidence of its harms.
The relationship between radiation and the development of cancer is well-understood:

A single CT scan exposes a patient to the amount of radiation that epidemiologic evidence shows can be cancer-causing.  The risks have been demonstrated directly in two large clinical studies in Britain and Australia.

Continue reading

June 16, 2014 Posted by | radiation, USA | 1 Comment

Historical background to USA-Russia nuclear stand-off

Indications that the U.S. Is Planning a Nuclear Attack Against RussiaBy  (about the author)  OpEdNews Op Eds 6/14/2014  “………Some historical background is necessary here, so that a reader can understand why this is happening — the switch to an objective of actually winning a nuclear war (as opposed to deterring one). One cannot understand what’s happening now in Ukraine without knowing this bigger picture.

(This account is written under the assumption that the reader already knows some of the allegations it contains, but not all of them, and that the reader will click on the link wherever a given allegation requires documentation and support.) I have previously reported about “How and Why the U.S. Has Re-Started the Cold War (The Backstory that Precipitated Ukraine’s Civil War),” and, “Do We Really Need to Re-Start the Cold War?” I pointed out there that we don’t really need to re-start the Cold War, at all, since communism (against which the Cold War was, at least allegedly, fought) clearly lost to capitalism (we actually won the Cold War, and peacefully) but that America’s aristocracy very much does need to re-start a war with Russia — and why it does. (It has to do withmaintaining the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, something that benefits America’s aristocrats enormously.)

Consequently, for example, a recent CNN Poll has found that Americans’ fear of Russia has soared within just the past two years. Our news media present a type of news “reporting” that places Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, into a very bad light, even when it’s unjustified by the facts.

The situation now is thus rather similar to that right before World War I, when the aristocracy in America decided that a pretext had to be created for our going to war against Germany. That War had already started in Europe on 28 July 1914, and President Wilson wanted to keep the U.S. out of it, but we ultimately joined it on the side of J.P. Morgan and Company. This was documented in detail in an important 1985 book,Britain, America and the Sinews of War, 1914-1918, which was well summarized in Business History Review, by noting that: “J.P. Morgan & Co. served as Britain’s financial and purchasing agent, and the author makes especially good use of the Morgan Grenfell & Co. papers in London to probe that relationship. Expanding British demand for U.S. dollars to pay for North American imports made the politics of foreign exchange absolutely central to Anglo-American relations. How to manage those politics became the chief preoccupation of Her Majesty’s representatives in the United States,” and most especially of Britain’s financial and purchasing agent in the U.S…………http://www.opednews.com/articles/Indications-that-the-U-S–by-Eric-Zuesse-Nuclear-Weapons_Obama-Administration_PNAC-Neocon-Project-For-A-New-American-C_President-Barack-Obama-POTUS-140614-352.html?show=votes

 

June 16, 2014 Posted by | history, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Independent Scotland would ban hosting Trident nuclear missile base

Nicola Sturgeon: Ban on nuclear weapons in Scotland will go ahead with Independent vote Daily Record Jun 15, 2014 08:25 By  TRIDENT will be removed by 2020 with a Yes vote, promises the Deputy First Minister, as part of a newly written constitution for Scotland.SCOTLAND will be a nuclear-free zone for good if the country votes for independence, Nicola Sturgeon has vowed.

The SNP have vowed that the Trident nuclear defence system would be removed from its Clyde base by 2020.

And the Deputy First Minister will promise to enshrine a ban on nuclear weapons in a written constitution after a Yes vote when she gives a speech at Edinburgh University tomorrow.

Sturgeon said: “Scottish taxpayers have been paying to have one of the largest concentrations of nuclear weapons in Europe on our doorsteps. It’s high time that comes to an end.

“The people of Scotland now have the opportunity to remove Trident before we are hit with a share of the further £100billion in costs for a new generation of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde.

“The Scottish Government will propose a constitutional prohibition on nuclear weapons being based in Scotland. This way they would never return.”……http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-ban-nuclear-weapons-3698075

June 16, 2014 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

San Onofre rate payers get ripped off!! – 20140514 CPUC Tries to Bully Ratepayers for $3.3Billion

The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) will hold a public meeting regarding the San Onofre proposed settlement, Monday, June 16, 2014, at the Costa Mesa Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Ave., Costa Mesa, CA 92627, 4pm to 7pm, (MAP).
There are many reasons to be concerned about a secret deal that resulted in jubilation from Edison. They left ratepayers holding the bag for huge risks taken by senior management which led to the permanent shutdown at San Onofre. The agreement avoids an investigation into wrongdoing that should have taken place before any settlement talks began. It is time to reject this deal and get the facts established in an open and public manner. Don’t let them place responsibility on consumers for their mistakes while they take huge profits.
Many have worked hard to bring this next public meeting about, especially Ray Lutz who is leading the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO), which includes San Clemente Green. Please do your part by attending this meeting if at all possible. It is not just about money, although billions of ratepayer’s money is on the line. It is about holding people accountable and protecting ratepayer’s interests. If we don’t stand up for our rights, no one else will.
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/DON-T-GET-RIPPED-OFF-BY-EDISON.html?soid=1109660143359&aid=nEdR3vXjdy8

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Moderate quakes hit near Fukushima 5.7 and 5.6

http://news.msn.co.nz/worldnews/8860400/moderate-quakes-hit-near-japans-fukushima

12:39 Mon Jun 16 2014
AAP

Two moderate earthquakes have struck off Japan’s eastern coast near Fukushima, but officials say there’s no immediate risk to the stricken nuclear power plant.

The epicentre of the first quake, with a magnitude measuring 5.7, was located some 91km off the coast of Honshu, Japan’s largest and most populated island, at a depth of 22km shortly after 3am local time (0400 AEST).

The US Geological Survey said a second, 5.6-magnitude quake struck two hours later, slightly closer to shore at a depth of 39km. Cities nearest to the epicentre included Iwaki, Kitaibaraki, Namie and Hitachi.

The same coastline was struck by a devastating quake and subsequent tsunami in 2011 that killed more than 18,000 people and sparked a meltdown at the Fukushima power plant – the world’s worst nuclear accident in a generation.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), which runs the Fukushima plant, said in an email that it had found no anomalies at the site following the quakes. Two other plants in the region also reported no problems.

Trains continued to operate normally and no damage or injuries were reported, the NHK broadcaster reported.

The Japan Meteorological Agency put the magnitude of the first quake on Monday slightly higher at 5.8, adding that there was no immediate risk of a tsunami.

Japan is situated at the conjuncture of several tectonic plates and experiences a number of relatively violent quakes every year.

But thanks to strict building codes, even powerful quakes that might wreak havoc in other countries frequently pass without causing much damage.

Overnight on Sunday, a moderate 5.6-magnitude quake struck northern Honshu with no damage reported. Last month a strong 6.0-magnitude earthquake shook buildings in the Japanese capital Tokyo, injuring 17 people.

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

West Texas site seeks to bury depleted uranium, expand capacity

Environmental groups have long worried about the local geology and contamination of underground water sources near the site, which can accept low-level waste from compact members Texas and Vermont as well as 36 other states.

The site could soon be the resting place for hotter material that’s being stored at Texas’ four commercial nuclear reactors.

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional/west-texas-site-seeks-to-bury-depleted-uranium-exp/ngLqt/

By Betsy Blaney

Associated Press

LUBBOCK —

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The company operating Texas’ only radioactive waste dump site is asking state regulators to allow disposal of depleted uranium and triple the capacity of a burial site that accepts waste from dozens of states.

Although Waste Control Specialists says the uranium stored at its West Texas site would have only low-level radioactivity, opponents say the proposal would get the company another step closer to handling more dangerous material that wasn’t part of the original license. The company has already been in talks with county officials about high-level waste disposal.

Meanwhile, the Dallas-based business has also asked the state to reduce the money it’s required to have available to fund potential liability at the site — to about $86 million from $136 million.

“The public should be paying attention, but they’re not,” said state Rep. Lon Burnam, a Fort Worth Democrat who has taken an active role in monitoring how the state handles radioactive waste. “We have less and less financial assurances and greater threat for more harm.”

The depleted uranium, a byproduct of enriched uranium that fuels nuclear power plants, would come from U.S. Department of Energy facilities, said company spokesman Chuck McDonald.

Although the uranium would still be classified as low-level, experts say the substance gets more radioactive as time passes and if disposed of improperly could pose health risks such as cancer.

To ensure safety, the depleted uranium would have to be disposed of at the greatest depth possible, said Andrea Morrow, a spokeswoman for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Continue reading

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fewer bombs, but nuclear states ‘determined’ to keep arsenals: SIPRI

Jun 15, 2014 , 22:04 PM , from Reuters
http://www.online-listing.com/news/view/fewer-bombs-nuclear-states-determined-keep-arsenals-sipri-220457157
Khalil Bendib Iran-and-israel-nukes-cartoon
Image source ; http://peoplesgeography.com/2009/05/03/neocon-hq-launches-anti-iran-propaganda-site/

By Fredrik Dahl VIENNA (Reuters) – Nuclear-armed states are modernizing their arsenals and appear determined to keep sizable numbers of such weapons of mass destruction for the foreseeable future, the SIPRI think-tank said in its annual report on Monday. Five years after U.S. President Barack Obama set out a vision of a world without nuclear weapons, the findings by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute made clear just how distant that goal remains.

While there has been a steady decline in the number of nuclear warheads in the world over the past five years, nine countries still had a total of 16,300 such weapons in early 2014 – down by around 5.6 percent from the previous year – of which some 4,000 were operational. “Once again this year, the nuclear weapon-possessing states took little action to indicate a genuine willingness to work toward complete dismantlement of their nuclear arsenals,” wrote SIPRI researchers Shannon Kile and Phillip Patton Schell.

Arclight note .. I was unable to get the full SIPRI report but i got some more from here  ; From Euronews

http://www.euronews.com/newswires/2552550-fewer-bombs-but-nuclear-states-determined-to-keep-arsenals-sipri/

VIENNA (Reuters) – Nuclear-armed states are modernising their arsenals and appear determined to keep sizable numbers of such weapons of mass destruction for the foreseeable future, the SIPRI think-tank said in its annual report on Monday.

Five years after U.S. President Barack Obama set out a vision of a world without nuclear weapons, the findings by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute made clear just how distant that goal remains.

While there has been a steady decline in the number of nuclear warheads in the world over the past five years, nine countries still had a total of 16,300 such weapons in early 2014 – down by around 5.6 percent from the previous year – of which some 4,000 were operational.

And the pace of reductions seems to be slowing compared with a decade ago, the Swedish think-tank said.

“Once again this year, the nuclear weapon-possessing states took little action to indicate a genuine willingness to work toward complete dismantlement of their nuclear arsenals,” wrote SIPRI researchers Shannon Kile and Phillip Patton Schell.

The Cold War-era enemies United States and Russia together hold about 93 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons and their reductions under the New Start treaty ratified in 2011 were the main factor behind the decline in global numbers.

SIPRI identified seven other nuclear weapon states – Britain, France, China, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea.

The United States, Russia, France, Britain and China are the world’s five officially recognised nuclear weapons states. The four others are outside the global Non-Proliferation Treaty, designed to prevent the spread of atomic arms.

Non-nuclear weapon states often criticise the five for not sufficiently living up to their part of the central bargain of the 1970 NPT, when nations without atomic bombs pledged not to seek them and nuclear states agreed to pursue disarmament talks.

The United States and Russia “have extensive modernization programs under way for their remaining nuclear delivery systems, warheads, and production facilities”, the SIPRI report said.

The nuclear arsenals of the others are considerably smaller, but they are “either developing or deploying new weapons or have announced their intention to do so”.

NORTH KOREA’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS

Israel is widely assumed to be the Middle East’s only nuclear-armed power, drawing frequent Iranian and Arab condemnation. Israel for its part accuses Iran of developing a capability to assemble such arms, a charge Tehran denies.

Obama gave new impetus to the often halting process of disarmament in his 2009 speech in Prague, and last year he proposed further cutting nuclear arsenals by a third.

However, his aim has produced mixed results so far, not least because of a plan by the United States and NATO to build an anti-missile shield around Western Europe, which Russia has said could erode its nuclear deterrent.

Moscow has frequently said it is unlikely to go for further cuts in its nuclear arsenal unless its concerns are addressed.

“Russia is in the middle of a broad upgrade of its strategic nuclear forces that over the next decade will retire all Soviet-era inter-continental ballistic missiles,” SIPRI said.

Of the nine states covered in its report, SIPRI estimated that North Korea – which has carried out three nuclear tests since 2006 in defiance of international sanctions and condemnations – had the fewest weapons, with six to eight.

“There is an emerging consensus in the expert community that North Korea has produced a small number of nuclear weapons, as distinct from rudimentary nuclear explosive devices,” it said.

While North Korea has long boasted of making strides in acquiring a “nuclear deterrent”, there had been general scepticism that it could master the step of miniaturising a nuclear warhead to mount on a ballistic missile.

But there has been a shift in thinking since it conducted a nuclear test in February last year. There have been on-off indications that it is preparing another, and some experts now say it may be closer than previously thought to putting a nuclear warhead on a missile.

However, SIPRI said there was “no public evidence to date that it has developed a sufficiently compact nuclear warhead or other key technologies for a nuclear-armed ballistic missile”.

(Editing by Kevin Liffey)

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment