nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

South Korea prepared a plan to destroy Pyongyang

flag-S-Koreaflag-N-KoreaS Korea draws up plan to destroy Pyongyang https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/32588140/s-korea-draws-up-plan-to-destroy-pyongyang/#page1 AAP on September 11, 2016, 

South Korea has devised a plan to destroy North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, through intensive bombing if the communist regime shows signs of launching a nuclear attack.

“Every Pyongyang district, particularly where the North Korean leadership is possibly hidden, will be completely destroyed by ballistic missiles and high-explosive shells as soon as the North shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon. In other words, the North’s capital city will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map,” reported South Korean news agency Yonhap, citing a military official.

The details of the operation came to light after the South Korean Defence Ministry unveiled the Korea Massive Punishment and Retaliation (KMPR) plan in front of the National Assembly in response to the latest nuclear test by North Korea.

The plan is to carry out pre-emptive strikes against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the country’s military leadership if any signs of an imminent use of nuclear weapons is detected or in case of a war, the official explained.

In such a scenario, South Korea will deploy its Hyunmoo 2A and Hyunmoo 2B ballistic missiles, with a range of between 300 and 500 kilometres as well as the Hyunmoo-3 cruise missiles with a range of 1000 kilometres.

In mid-August, Seoul announced its intention to significantly boost its arsenal of missiles to counter the growing military threat from North Korea.

Another source cited by Yonhap said Seoul recently set up a special unit in charge of targeting North Korea’s top military leadership and “launching retaliatory attacks on them.”

North Korea conducted its fifth and largest-ever nuclear test on Friday, claiming it had tested a nuclear warhead that can be fitted onto missiles.

September 12, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Haunting new documentary “Command and Control”

FilmAn Accidental Nuclear Detonation “Will Happen”

Atomic weapons are just machines, as this harrowing new film demonstrates, and machines inevitably fail. Mother Jones, MICHAEL MECHANIC SEP. 11, 2016 It would be impossible to fully replicate the depth of dread and disbelief tha tCommand and Control—Eric Schlosser’s 2013 book chronicling the Air Force’s history of nuclear weapons mishaps—bestows on its readers. This is not to say thatthe haunting new documentary of the same name, co-written by Schlosser and director Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.), doesn’t pack a punch. While the film’s producers were forced to simplify and trim from the book’s deeper content, any viewer who has not read the original or who, like most Americans, pays little heed to our modern nuclear arsenal, is due for a fine scare.

An Accidental Nuclear Detonation “Will Happen”

Atomic weapons are just machines, as this harrowing new film demonstrates, and machines inevitably fail. Mother Jones, 

MICHAEL MECHANICSEP. 11, 2016 It would be impossible to fully replicate the depth of dread and disbelief thatCommand and Control—Eric Schlosser’s 2013 book chronicling the Air Force’s history of nuclear weapons mishaps—bestows on its readers. This is not to say thatthe haunting new documentary of the same name, co-written by Schlosser and director Robert Kenner (Food, Inc.), doesn’t pack a punch. While the film’s producers were forced to simplify and trim from the book’s deeper content, any viewer who has not read the original or who, like most Americans, pays little heed to our modern nuclear arsenal, is due for a fine scare.

The contextual backdrop of Schosser’s book incudes plenty of the kind of Cold War insanity that many Americans have relegated to the attics of our memories:………

chlosser’s coup de grâce was a list he obtained (via freedom of information requests) detailing a litany of nuclear fuckupsby the Air Force. Although the brass typically blamed human error, the record in its totality suggested that America’s systems for safeguarding its nuclear weapons were profoundly broken, were they ever working in the first place. Some incidents were fairly minor and others reflected organizational ineptitude………

A film, of course, delivers something a book cannot. We get to see real footage from nuclear detonations, from the actual Damascus Incident, and from some of the past nuclear mishaps, the worst one involved the accidental release of two H-bombs over Goldsboro, North Carolina, in 1961—such an insanely close call that I still shudder to contemplate it. ………

The military screws things up routinely, of course, even if the public seldom hears about it. “Nuclear accidents continue to the present day,” Harold Brown, who was defense secretary under Jimmy Carter at the time of the Damascus Incident, says in the film. “The degree of oversight and attention has if anything gotten worse, because people don’t worry about nuclear war as much.”…….

It’s not just the US arsenal we need to worry about, however……..Command and Control rolls out in selected theaters starting on September 14 in New York City. Click here for dates, cities, and venues. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2016/09/eric-schlosser-command-control-movie-documentary-nuclear-weapons-accidents

The contextual backdrop of Schosser’s book incudes plenty of the kind of Cold War insanity that many Americans have relegated to the attics of our memories:………

chlosser’s coup de grâce was a list he obtained (via freedom of information requests) detailing a litany of nuclear fuckupsby the Air Force. Although the brass typically blamed human error, the record in its totality suggested that America’s systems for safeguarding its nuclear weapons were profoundly broken, were they ever working in the first place. Some incidents were fairly minor and others reflected organizational ineptitude………

A film, of course, delivers something a book cannot. We get to see real footage from nuclear detonations, from the actual Damascus Incident, and from some of the past nuclear mishaps, the worst one involved the accidental release of two H-bombs over Goldsboro, North Carolina, in 1961—such an insanely close call that I still shudder to contemplate it. ………

The military screws things up routinely, of course, even if the public seldom hears about it. “Nuclear accidents continue to the present day,” Harold Brown, who was defense secretary under Jimmy Carter at the time of the Damascus Incident, says in the film. “The degree of oversight and attention has if anything gotten worse, because people don’t worry about nuclear war as much.”…….

It’s not just the US arsenal we need to worry about, however……..Command and Control rolls out in selected theaters starting on September 14 in New York City. Click here for dates, cities, and venues. http://www.motherjones.com/media/2016/09/eric-schlosser-command-control-movie-documentary-nuclear-weapons-accidents

September 12, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Resources -audiovicual, weapons and war | 1 Comment

A reminder that the World Health Organisation is subservient to International Atomic Energy Agency

Dissolving the WHO-IAEA agreement is a necessary first step to restoring the WHO’s independence to research the true health impacts of ionising radiation and publish its findings.

it is time the WHO regained the freedom to impart independent, objective advice on the health risks of radiation.

IAEA-and-WHOToxic link: the WHO and the IAEA, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/may/28/who-nuclear-power-chernobyl Oliver TickellA 50-year-old agreement with the IAEA has effectively gagged the WHO from telling the truth about the health risks of radiation. F

Fifty years ago, on 28 May 1959, the World Health Organisation‘s assembly voted into force an obscure but important agreement with theInternational Atomic Energy Agency – the United Nations “Atoms for Peace” organisation, founded just two years before in 1957. The effect of this agreement has been to give the IAEA an effective veto on any actions by the WHO that relate in any way to nuclear power – and so prevent the WHO from playing its proper role in investigating and warning of the dangers of nuclear radiation on human health.

The WHO’s objective is to promote “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health”, while the IAEA’s mission is to “accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world”. Although best known for its work to restrict nuclear proliferation, the IAEA’s main role has been to promote the interests of the nuclear power industry worldwide, and it has used the agreement to suppress the growing body of scientific information on the real health risks of nuclear radiation.

Under the agreement, whenever either organisation wants to do anything in which the other may have an interest, it “shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement”. The two agencies must “keep each other fully informed concerning all projected activities and all programs of work which may be of interest to both parties”. And in the realm of statistics – a key area in the epidemiology of nuclear risk – the two undertake “to consult with each other on the most efficient use of information, resources, and technical personnel in the field of statistics and in regard to all statistical projects dealing with matters of common interest”.

The language appears to be evenhanded, but the effect has been one-sided. For example, investigations into the health impacts of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine on 26 April 1986 have been effectively taken over by IAEA and dissenting information has been suppressed. The health effects of the accident were the subject of two major conferences, in Geneva in 1995, and in Kiev in 2001. But the full proceedings of those conferences remain unpublished – despiteclaims to the contrary by a senior WHO spokesman reported in Le Monde Diplomatique.

Meanwhile, the 2005 report of the IAEA-dominated Chernobyl Forum, which estimates a total death toll from the accident of only several thousand, is widely regarded as a whitewash as it ignores a host of peer-reviewed epidemiological studies indicating far higher mortality and widespread genomic damage. Many of these studies were presented at the Geneva and Kiev conferences but they, and the ensuing learned discussions, have yet to see the light of day thanks to the non-publication of the proceedings.

The British radiation biologist Keith Baverstock is another casualty of the agreement, and of the mindset it has created in the WHO. He served as a radiation scientist and regional adviser at the WHO’s European Office from 1991 to 2003, when he was sacked after expressing concern to his senior managers that new epidemiological evidence from nuclear test veterans and from soldiers exposed to depleted uranium indicated that current risk models for nuclear radiation were understating the real hazards.

Now a professor at the University of Kuopio, Finland, Baverstock finally published his paper in the peer-reviewed journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival in April 2005. He concluded by calling for “reform from within the profession” and stressing “the political imperative for freely independent scientific institutions” – a clear reference to the non-independence of his former employer, the WHO, which had so long ignored his concerns.

Since the 21st anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster in April 2007, a daily “Hippocratic vigil” has taken place at the WHO’s offices in Geneva, organised byIndependent WHO to persuade the WHO to abandon its the WHO-IAEA Agreement. The protest has continued through the WHO’s 62nd World Health Assembly, which ended yesterday, and will endure through the executive board meeting that begins today. The group has struggled to win support from WHO’s member states. But the scientific case against the agreement is building up, most recently when the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) called for its abandonment at its conference earlier this month in Lesvos, Greece.

At the conference, research was presented indicating that as many as a million children across Europe and Asia may have died in the womb as a result of radiation from Chernobyl, as well as hundreds of thousands of others exposed to radiation fallout, backing up earlier findings published by the ECRR in Chernobyl 20 Years On: Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident. Delegates heard that the standard risk models for radiation risk published by the International Committee on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and accepted by WHO, underestimate the health impacts of low levels of internal radiation by between 100 and 1,000 times – consistent with the ECRR’s own 2003 model of radiological risk (The Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses and Low Dose Rates for Radiation Protection Purposes: Regulators’ Edition). According to Chris Busby, the ECRR’s scientific secretary and visiting professor at the University of Ulster’s school of biomedical sciences:

“The subordination of the WHO to IAEA is a key part of the systematic falsification of nuclear risk which has been under way ever since Hiroshima, the agreement creates an unacceptable conflict of interest in which the UN organisation concerned with promoting our health has been made subservient to those whose main interest is the expansion of nuclear power. Dissolving the WHO-IAEA agreement is a necessary first step to restoring the WHO’s independence to research the true health impacts of ionising radiation and publish its findings.”

Some birthdays deserve celebration – but not this one. After five decades, it is time the WHO regained the freedom to impart independent, objective advice on the health risks of radiation.

September 12, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Linear No Threshold Theory (LNT) of ionising radiation is backed by new research

Gamma radiation at a human relevant low dose rate is genotoxic in mice, Anne GraupnerDag M. EideChristine InstanesJill M. AndersenDag A. BredeStephen D. DertingerOle C. LindAnicke Brandt-KjelsenHans BjerkeBrit SalbuDeborah OughtonGunnar Brunborg & Ann K. Olsen  Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 32977  September 21016

Abstract

Even today, 70 years after Hiroshima and accidents like in Chernobyl and Fukushima, we still have limited knowledge about the health effects of low dose rate (LDR) radiation. Despite their human relevance after occupational and accidental exposure, only few animal studies on the genotoxic effects of chronic LDR radiation have been performed. Selenium (Se) is involved in oxidative stress defence, protecting DNA and other biomolecules from reactive oxygen species (ROS). It is hypothesised that Se deficiency, as it occurs in several parts of the world, may aggravate harmful effects of ROS-inducing stressors such as ionising radiation.

We performed a study in the newly established LDR-facility Figaro on the combined effects of Se deprivation and LDR γ exposure in DNA repair knockout mice (Ogg1−/−) and control animals (Ogg1+/−). Genotoxic effects were seen after continuous radiation (1.4 mGy/h) for 45 days. Chromosomal damage (micronucleus), phenotypic mutations (Pig-a gene mutation of RBCCD24−) and DNA lesions (single strand breaks/alkali labile sites) were significantly increased in blood cells of irradiated animals, covering three types of genotoxic activity.

This study demonstrates that chronic LDR γ radiation is genotoxic in an exposure scenario realistic for humans, supporting the hypothesis that even LDR γ radiation may induce cancer……..

radiation-causing-cancer

In the present study we demonstrate that exposure to a human relevant LDR γ radiation induces genotoxic effects in mouse blood cells assessed with three separate but complementary assays. These effects were expressed as increased levels of chromosomal damage (micronuclei), phenotypic mutations (RBCCD24−) and DNA lesions (ssb/als). The absolute measured changes were small, but significant. The formation of MN was observed in all irradiated groups independent of genotype or diet, and significant changes were seen in both immature and mature erythrocytes. This is an expected result given the chronic exposure and lack of splenic filtration of circulating MN-containing erythrocytes18……..In summary, exposure to chronic LDR of ionising radiation is indeed genotoxic with potential implications for cancer development, and the response is modified by the availability of Se, an element involved in the antioxidative defence report http://www.nature.com/articles/srep32977

September 12, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | 2 Comments

Trans Pacific Partnerships’ major problem – Investor-State Dispute Settlements

the easiest way to fix ISDS is to throw it out. Several countries, including India,Indonesia and Ecuador, have told their trade partners they’re considering terminating bilateral treaties because of ISDS. Some experts question whether the system is necessary even in the situations it was originally designed for
 
texy-TPPThe Big Problem With The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Super highly-recommendedCourt That We’re Not Talking About,
Huffington Post, David Dayen Financiers will use it to bet on lawsuits, while taxpayers foot the bill. August 30, 2016 A secretive super-court system called ISDS is threatening to blow up President Barack Obama’s highest foreign policy priority.

Investor-state dispute settlement — an integral part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal — allows companies to sue entire countries for costing them money when laws or regulations change. Cases are decided by extrajudicial tribunals composed of three corporate lawyers. Buzzfeed, in a multi-part investigation launched Sunday, called it “the court that rules the world.”

 Although the ISDS process has existed for years, TPP would drastically expand it. The most common criticisms of the system are that it’s secret, that it’s dominated by unaccountable big-firm lawyers, and that global corporations use it to change sovereign laws and undermine regulations. That’s all true.
 But here’s what most of the coverage and the critics are missing.

The ISDS system ― which is now written into over 3,000 international trade treaties, including NAFTA ― was designed to solve a specific problem. When corporations invest abroad, they fear that their factories might be nationalized or their products expropriated by governments that also control the local courts. ISDS is meant to give companies confidence that if a country seizes their accounts or factories, they’ll have a fair, neutral place to appeal.

 But instead of helping companies resolve legitimate disputes over seized assets, ISDS has increasingly become a way for rich investors to make money by speculating on lawsuits, winning huge awards and forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.

Here’s how it works: Wealthy financiers with idle cash have purchased companies that are well placed to bring an ISDS claim, seemingly for the sole purpose of using that claim to make a buck. Sometimes, they set up shell corporations to create the plaintiffs to bring ISDS cases. And some hedge funds and private equity firms bankroll ISDS cases as third parties — just like billionaire Peter Thiel bankrolled Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker Media.

It’s the same playbook that hedge funds were following when they bought up Argentine, Puerto Rican and other U.S. housing debt for pennies on the dollar. As The Huffington Post reported in May, the financiers were betting they could use lawsuits and lobbying to influence the political system in favor of the creditors like them and reap huge rewards.

Indeed, the damage of ISDS goes far beyond the money that investors manage to extract from public coffers and extends to the corruption of a political system by investors who buy off scholars, economists and politicians in pursuit of whatever policy outcome leads to a payoff. And there’s nothing stopping plutocrats with agendas that go beyond profit-making from getting involved ― again the way Thiel did with Gawker. That alone changes the power dynamic: If you’re the government of Thailand, the billionaire you’re negotiating with has one extra threat at his disposal.

If these investors are able to cement ISDS as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the opportunities for hedge funds to do what they’ve already done to Argentina will be endless ― possibly even in cities and states under financial pressure in the U.S., like Detroit and Illinois.

So-called third-party funding of “international arbitration against foreign sovereigns” has been expanding quickly, according to Selvyn Seidel, a pioneer in the litigation finance industry and now CEO of the advisory firm Fulbrook Capital Management.

“You can get an award for billions of dollars when that award would never come out in domestic law,” said Gus van Harten, a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in Toronto. “It’s just a jackpot for speculators.”……….

Third-party funding shields corporations from the upfront costs of litigation, making it easier to sue. Since companies generally don’t have to disclose that they’ve received third-party funding for an ISDS case, and since international arbitration usually proceeds in comparative secrecy, pursuing a claim through ISDS can shield companies from the public criticism that accompanies challenging a law in regular courts. “You can actually ask for enormous amounts of money without anybody criticizing you,” said Verheecke of Corporate Europe Observatory.

With ISDS permitted under some 3,000 treaties, there are a huge number of opportunities to sue. And “unlike some other legal systems, the default remedy is a cash payment,” said Todd Tucker, a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute with a decade of experience researching trade and investment policy. The awards are also uncapped, meaning they can be enormous. If a corporation sought damages on future profits in perpetuity and the arbitrators agreed, the sovereign would have no recourse. Dozens of cases have resulted in awards of over $100 million, according to a 2016 report from van Harten, the law professor.

Those possibilities have the ISDS claim-financing industry booming. Hedge funds, private equity firms and institutional investors are flocking to fund lawsuits as they would any other speculative asset, according to experts in the field. And the lack of transparency means that lawyers acting as arbitrators or advocates in one case could be unnamed investors in other cases, and nobody would ever know.

Defenders of ISDS argue that the outcome of any case is uncertain and that companies win only about one-quarter of the time. But that’s only the cases that have been publicly identified and it doesn’t include settlements, where the corporation can also extract a monetary award. If funding ISDS suits was really such a bad bet, the industry probably wouldn’t be expanding so quickly.

Fulbrook Capital Management’s primer on the litigation finance industry, updated this year, includes a section entitled “International, the name of the game.” It lists numerous big-city hubs for arbitration: London, New York, Paris, Toronto. About ISDS in particular, the primer reads, “Investment claims against Sovereigns are often subject to Treaty and, within the Treaty, subject to arbitration. This promotes investments. … While investors are known to shy away from financing claims in ‘third world’ courts, particularly claims against the host court’s sovereign, they view international arbitration in a far more favorable light.”

Between 2009 and 2015, rulings in 16 ISDS cases have noted the existence of third-party funding, according to a report from Jean-Christophe Honlet, a partner at the global law firm Dentons. But the scale of third-party funding for ISDS cases is probably significantly larger than that number suggests. The International Council for Commercial Arbitration suggests that at least 60 percent of ISDS cases “enquired about (but not necessarily sought or obtained) third-party funding before their cases were lodged.” Just this month, Canadian gold mining company Rusoro won a $1.2 billion claim against Venezuela that was “third-party funded,” according to Global Arbitration Review………..

Giving financiers the ability to extract taxpayer dollars from around the globe transfers wealth upwards. It’s another way the rich get richer by accessing tools unavailable to most citizens. That has massive follow-on effects for economic and political power worldwide, including right here in the U.S.

Now, upcoming trade agreements would dramatically expand this system. Public Citizen estimates that 9,000 new companies would gain ISDS rights to sue the United States under TPP alone. That’s 9,000 new opportunities for financiers to reach down into state and local coffers, in addition to the federal government, to grab cash. TPP would also expand the “minimum standard of treatment” clause, which sets up the most flexible type of ISDS claim, to cover financial services companies, meaning almost any change in the expected future profits of a bank could be challenged. “TPP was a win for the banks on ISDS,” said van Harten, the law professor……..

the easiest way to fix ISDS is to throw it out. Several countries, including India,Indonesia and Ecuador, have told their trade partners they’re considering terminating bilateral treaties because of ISDS. Some experts question whether the system is necessary even in the situations it was originally designed for……http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/isds-lawsuit-financing-tpp_us_57c48e40e4b09cd22d91f660

September 12, 2016 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Legal, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Clinton Asserts USA Will Not Allow North Korea To Have Deliverable Nuclear Weapon

Atomic-Bomb-SmUSA election 2016US Will Not Allow North Korea To Have Deliverable Nuclear Weapon: Clinton, News 18.com September 11, 2016 Washington: The US will not allow North Korea to have deliverable nuclear weapons, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said on Sunday.

“I absolutely believe that it has to be made very clear we will not allow North Korea to have a deliverable nuclear weapon, and we will approach this from a number of perspectives,” Clinton said.

 President Barack Obama had earlier said that the US will never accept Pyongyang as a “nuclear state”. Responding to a question, Clinton said she has had conversations in the past with the Chinese about North Korea…….

we have got to make it clear missile defense is going in as quickly and broadly as possible,” Clinton said.

“Our message to the North Koreans and everyone else listening, they will not be permitted to acquire a nuclear weapon that has a deliverable capacity on a ballistic missile. And we have got to start intensifying our discussions with the Chinese, because they can’t possibly want this big problem on their doorstep,” she said……..http://www.news18.com/news/world/us-will-not-allow-north-korea-to-have-deliverable-nuclear-weapon-clinton-1291551.html

September 12, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, USA, USA elections 2016, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea’s claims as a nuclear power

flag-N-KoreaNorth Korea demands recognition as legitimate nuclear state, Guardian, 11 Sept 16  Pyongyang spokesman says threat of further sanctions is ‘laughable’ and country will work to increase its nuclear force North Korea has demanded the US recognise it as a “legitimate nuclear weapons state” following its fifth and largest atomic test, adding that threats of further sanctions against the country were “laughable”.

The dictatorship set off its most powerful nuclear explosion to date on Friday, saying it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile and ratcheting up a challenge to rivals and the UN……….

The UN security council denounced North Korea’s decision to carry out the test and said it would begin work immediately on a resolution. The US, Britain and France pushed for the 15-member body to impose new sanctions.

Obama said after speaking by phone with the South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on Friday that they had agreed to work with the security council and other powers to vigorously enforce existing measures and to take “additional significant steps, including new sanctions”……..https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/11/north-korea-demands-recognition-as-legitimate-nuclear-state-pyongyang

September 12, 2016 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Strange ethics in USA media – about weapons sales to Saudi Arabia

weapons1The War Economy: CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Warns About Job Loss If US Stops Arming Saudi Arabia   http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-09-09/war-economy-cnns-wolf-blitzer-warns-about-job-loss-if-us-stops-arming-saudi-arabia  by Tyler Dur   Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg,

Ladies and gentlemen, it appears the long anticipated moment of peak mainstream media stupidity may have finally arrived.

This is what passes for journalism in America today.

The Intercept reports:

  Sen. Rand Paul’s expression of opposition to a $1.1 billion U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia — which has been brutally bombing civilian targets in Yemen using U.S.-made weapons for more than a year now — alarmed CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Thursday afternoon.

Blitzer’s concern: That stopping the sale could result in fewer jobs for arms manufacturers.

“So for you this is a moral issue,” he told Paul during the Kentucky Republican’s appearance on CNN. “Because you know, there’s a lot of jobs at stake. Certainly if a lot of these defense contractors stop selling war planes, other sophisticated equipment to Saudi Arabia, there’s gonna be a significant loss of jobs, of revenue here in the United States. That’s secondary from your standpoint?”

Paul stayed on message.  “Well not only is it a moral question, its a Constitutional question,” Paul said. “Our founding fathers very directly and specifically did not give the president the power to go to war. They gave it to Congress. So Congress needs to step up and this is what I’m doing.”

Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen in March 2015, and has since been responsible for the majority of the 10,000 deaths in the war so far. The U.S.-backed bombing coalition has been accused of intentionally targeting civilians, hospitals, factories, markets, schools, and homes. The situation is so bad that the Red Cross has started donating morgue units to Yemeni hospitals.

The Obama administration has sold more weapons to the Saudis than any other administration, pledging more than $115 billion worth of small arms, tanks, helicopters, missiles, and aircraft.

But hey, the Saudis aren’t really that bad, right. No, they’re just one of the most barbaric, inhumane terrorist supporting states on planet earth.

Need some proof?

Here you go:

U.S. Government Reaffirms Total Support for Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

Saudi Arabia Forces the United Nations to Remove it from a List of Child Killers

Record Beheadings and the Mass Arrest of Christians – Is it ISIS? No it’s Saudi Arabia

Additional Evidence Emerges That U.S. Government Officials Intentionally Whitewashed the Saudi Role in 9/11

“Getting Things Done” – The Brother of Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Chair is a Major Lobbyist for Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Sentences Journalist to Five Years in Prison for Insulting the Kingdom’s Rulers

German Intelligence Warns – Saudi Arabia to Play “Destabilizing Role” in the Middle East

And yes, I could go on — and on and on and on.

Finally, let’s end with the clip referenced in the article at the top. [on original]

September 12, 2016 Posted by | media, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

After 40 years to build – nuclear power plant never worked, now for sale at peppercorn price

cliff-money-nuclearUS Nuclear Plant up for Sale at Fraction of Cost, abc news, By JAY REEVES, ASSOCIATED PRESS HOLLYWOOD, Ala. — Sep 11, 2016  After spending more than 40 years and $5 billion on an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeastern Alabama, the nation’s largest federal utility is preparing to sell the property at a fraction of its cost.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has set a minimum bid of $36.4 million for its Bellefonte Nuclear Plant and the 1,600 surrounding acres of waterfront property on the Tennessee River. The buyer gets two unfinished nuclear reactors, transmission lines, office and warehouse buildings, eight miles of roads, a 1,000-space parking lot and more………

The sale is bittersweet for site manager Jim Chardos, who went to work at Bellefonte in 1994 expecting it to be finished as a nuclear power plant. All these years later, he commutes 90 minutes each way to work to oversee a plant that has never been stocked with radioactive fuel or used either of its reactors to generate a single watt of electricity.

Work began at Bellefonte in the mid-’70s on the backside of the nuclear energy boom in the United States, Chardos said. The utility initially planned to construct four reactors at the site, but demand for power in the region never met those early expectations and work halted in 1988. A series of starts and stops preceded TVA’s decision earlier this year to sell Bellefonte……….http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-nuclear-plant-sale-fraction-cost-42010576

September 12, 2016 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

South Korea trying to get in on the frenzy of nuclear marketing to Britain

Buy-S-Korea-nukesKoreans near investment in new Cumbrian nuclear plant   http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/573d713e-7833-11e6-a0c6-39e2633162d5.html#axzz4Jz1Iolbo   Financial Times, 12 Sept 16, Jim Pickard and Andrew Ward in London A South Korean energy group is closing in on a multibillion investment in a new nuclear power station near Sellafield in the latest sign of Asian interest in Britain’s energy industry.
Korea Electric Power Corporation (Kepco) is in talks about joining the NuGen consortium planning a £10bn plant at Moorside on the Cumbrian coast alongside existing owners Toshiba of Japan and Engie of France.

The deal, if it goes ahead, would add momentum to Moorside at a time when the rival Hinkley Point nuclear power project in Somerset has been thrown into doubt by concerns about its high cost and the role of Chinese investors in the scheme.

Theresa May, prime minister, is expected to decide this month whether to go ahead with Hinkley, led by EDF of France with Chinese backing, after ordering a review of the £18bn project.

NuGen sees the uncertainty as a chance to leapfrog Hinkley in the race to build the first new nuclear reactor in the UK for more than two decades. However, it is still years behind EDF in securing financing and regulatory approval for its project.

For Kepco, an investment in Moorside would be a chance to gain a foothold in the UK as it builds its presence in the global nuclear industry.

The Cumbrian plant — designed to provide power for 6m homes — would be supplied with reactors by Westinghouse, the US subsidiary of Toshiba. But Kepco sees the UK as a potential future market for its own technology.

South Korea has set a goal to become the world’s third-largest exporter of nuclear reactors by 2030 and has already won a $20bn contract in Abu Dhabi. Tom Samson, chief executive of NuGen, is former chief operating officer of the Abu Dhabi company, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation, which struck that deal.

Kepco is not without controversy, having been rocked by a domestic safety scandal three years ago. The country’s atomic watchdog said safety certificates for thousands of components procured by Korean reactors over the previous nine years had been forged. An ally of Kepco said the scandal was behind it and the group was now seen as “a first division player” in nuclear power.

The group, 51 per cent owned by the South Korean government, first entered talks with NuGen three years ago, but no deal was reached. Four people with knowledge of the situation said talks had since resumed and made progress over a potential equity stake in NuGen as well as a possible role in construction.

NuGen declined to comment on Kepco but said it had a “universe of options for financing” and was talking to a variety of potential investors and contractors. Kepco could not be immediately reached for comment.

The UK government has put nuclear power at the heart of its energy policy, with a target for 14GW of generating capacity from new reactors by 2035. However, its refusal to inject public money has left ministers dependent on foreign investors to finance the programme.

As well as Hinkley and Moorside, Hitachi of Japan also has plans for reactors at Wylfa in Anglesey and Oldbury-on-Severn in Gloucestershire. EDF and its Chinese state-backed partner CGN are planning further reactors at Sizewell in Suffolk and Bradwell in Essex.

The latter project has been the focus of close scrutiny from Downing Street since Mrs May became prime minister because Bradwell would involve Chinese rather than French reactor technology.

New nuclear power stations are seen as crucial to UK energy security in the coming decades as dirty coal-fired power stations and old nuclear reactors are phased out. But critics say nuclear is too expensive and believe a mix of renewables and natural gas could keep the lights on at a lower cost while still reducing carbon emissions.

September 12, 2016 Posted by | marketing, South Korea | Leave a comment

Iran building nuclear plant, estimated cost $10 billion – Russia helping

Iran Starts Construction On Second Nuclear Plant With Russian Help  Radio Free Europe, September 10, 2016 Iran has begun building a second nuclear power plant with Russian help, Iranian and Russian media are reporting.

The project, known as Busherh-2, was officially launched on September 10 in the southern port city of Bushehr. The project will cost around $10 billion and produce 1,057 megawatts of electricity. The project is expected to be completed in 10 years.

It’s Iran’s first nuclear power project since the country reached a landmark nuclear deal with world powers in July 2015. It will be built by Rosatom, the Russian state nuclear power company.

Iran’s sole operational nuclear reactor — also built with Russian assistance in Bushehr — produces 1,000 megawatts. It went online in 2011, and the two countries have agreed to cooperate on future projects.

The Bushehr plant is not considered a proliferation risk because Russia supplies the fuel for the reactor and takes away spent fuel that could otherwise be used to make weapons-grade plutonium….http://www.rferl.org/content/iran-bushehr-2-nuclear-power-plant-russia/27978982.html

September 12, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics | Leave a comment

Serious safety problems at Finland’s Fennovoima nuclear project

Economic Affairs minister: Fennovoima nuclear project safety severely lacking http://yle.fi/uutiset/economic_affairs_minister_fennovoima_nuclear_project_safety_severely_lacking/9157634, 10 Sept 16

The Fennovoima nuclear power plant project has to develop its safety culture if it wants to secure a building permit, says Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn. The Fennovoima nuclear power plant project faces severe problems in its safety culture, according to Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn.

Rehn met with the top echelon of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) to talk about safety and other issues relating to the Fennovoima project. Rehn says that the project is seriously lacking in its attention to project management and subcontractor resourcing.

“Big changes have to be made this autumn if the project’s credibility is to be regained,” Rehn told Yle.

On Wednesday Yle reported that Fennovoima has not delivered the planning documents for the Russian-backed plant within the time frame agreed upon with STUK.

Rehn stressed that Fennovoima’s safety concerns have to be fully in hand before any building permit can be issued.

Rehn spoke with the STUK top brass on Friday about the booted chief of main Fennovoima owner Voimaosakeyhtiö SF. The company fired its manager after he had brought up safety concerns with STUK.

“I consider it very serious that problems of this magnitude have arisen in Fennovoima,” Rehn says. “It is now the company’s duty to solve them and reinstitute trust in the project.”

September 12, 2016 Posted by | Finland, safety | Leave a comment

Geothermal power in use in Japan

After Fukushima, Japan turns to geothermal power for energy, By Michiyo Ishida, Japan Bureau Chief, Channel NewsAsia 11 Sep 2016 “…….. Japan’s largest geothermal plant – the Hatchobaru Geothermal Power Station – is located in Oita, southern Japan. Its total output is 110,000 kilowatts, and it powers about 37,000 households.

“Normally, you would utilise the steam straight from the source. But if there is energy left in the hot water, steam is drawn from there and it is used to generate energy. By doing that, we can increase power output by 20 per cent,” said the power station’s Vice-Director, Seiki Kawazoe.

The Kyushu Electric Power Company said this is an original technology known as the double flash system, which helps to raise energy efficiency.

The Hatchobaru plant generates the largest geothermal energy output in Japan, and it is able to do so as it is located in Oita, home to about 4,400 hot springs.

Geothermal energy can provide a stable supply of electric power. Kyushu Electric Power Company said it is still not ready to replace nuclear power altogether. The main constraints are the cost and the time to build the full infrastructure…….http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/after-fukushima-japan-turns-to-geothermal-power-for-energy/3116858.html

September 12, 2016 Posted by | Japan, renewable | Leave a comment

Bulgaria has to quickly pay up for cancelled Belene nuclear project

Russia demands swift payment for canceled Bulgarian nuclear plant  , Reuters, 10 Sept 16 Russian nuclear company Rosatom has asked Bulgaria to swiftly pay 620 million euros ($696 million) in compensation over the canceled Belene nuclear project, it said on Saturday.

An arbitration court ruled in June that Sofia must pay for the equipment produced by Rosatom for the project, which Bulgaria abandoned in 2012 due to financial constraints and concerns in Brussels and Washington over its energy dependence on Russia…….Bulgaria’s prime minister has said that the compensation, estimated by Sofia at about 560 million euros, will be paid in full and quickly, to avoid paying interest of 167,000 euros a day.

Bulgaria is considering selling the 2,000 megawatt nuclear project to private investors, keeping a small state stake in it, after its attempt to sell the equipment to Iran did not succeed.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova; Editing by Alexander Smith) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-bulgaria-idUSKCN11G0D7

September 12, 2016 Posted by | Bulgaria, business and costs | Leave a comment

Norway’s green energy from hydropower

hydro-powerBeauty and power: how Norway is making green energy look good, , Guardian, 8 Sept 16 
On the edge of a forest in northern Norway, an unusually handsome hydroelectric plant is generating a buzz 
Ovre Forsland is a big departure from the hulking power stations that traditionally served our energy needs. It looks more like an elegant, custom‑built home from TV show Grand Designs.

Located in the Helgeland district in northern Norway, it’s a small hydroelectric power station capable of supplying 1,600 homes with power.

Designed by Norwegian architecture firm Stein Hamre Arkitektkontor, it sits on a riverbed at the edge of a forest, with an exterior that aims to reflect the irregular shapes of the spruce trees forming its backdrop.

“It’s a small plant. The biggest stations in this region were built in the late 50s and 60s to serve industry, but in the last 15 years it has been much smaller projects,” says Torkil Nersund, production manager at the plant’s owner, energy company HelgelandsKraft.

“It’s the perfect place; the environment is fantastic. This region is known for its spectacular nature, so we thought the building should try to live up to the surroundings.”

The station benefits from a 157-metre drop in the Forsland river, and uses two Francis water turbines to turn the flow of water into electricity for the surrounding community. It produces about 30 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of power, with the flexibility of its storage system ensuring it can meet surges in demand.

“Øvre Forsland does not only serve hydropower to people in the region. Its purpose is also to bring attention to hydropower, the history around it and the benefits,” says Nersund.

“You can say that hydropower will play a main role in renewable society in the future, so we want more attention on the hydropower business.”………https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/08/norwegian-power-station-ovre-helgeland-hydroelectric-renewable-energy

September 12, 2016 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment