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

January 6 Energy News



¶ “China cementing global dominance of renewable energy
and technology” • China is cementing its global dominance of renewable energy and supporting technologies, aggressively investing in them both at home and around the globe, leaving countries including the US, UK, and Australia at risk of missing the growing market. [The Guardian]

China, leading the world in renewable energy  (Photo: Tyrone Siu / Reuters) China, leading the world in renewable energy
(Photo: Tyrone Siu / Reuters)


¶ The International Finance Corporation will invest $125 million (€119 million) in Hero Future Energies, an Indian producer of renewable power that aims at adding 1 GW of greenfield solar and wind capacity in the next 12 months. The investment will allow Hero Future Energies to expand its portfolio and create jobs. [SeeNews Renewables]

¶ Following an earlier decision by the South Korean government to ban the sale of some Volkswagen models (following emissions testing irregularities), authorities in the country have…

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January 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Facing The Anthropocene #auspol 


Human activity has given rise to a new geological epoch. | NASA

Scientific researchers studying climate change have come to the conclusion that the effects are so great that the earth has entered a new geological epoch, which they have named the Anthropocene. Ian Angus, in this book, sets out to explain the reason why.

The existence of global warming and the threat of catastrophic climate change is now generally accepted as fact. Governments, as represented at international conferences, have reluctantly recognized the need for action – not that they ever fulfilled their commitments. The Paris conference in 2014 was hailed as a breakthrough, as it appeared at last that they were getting serious.
Even so, the commitments made there are certainly too little and possibly too late. There continues a well-financed campaign of climate change denial, which featured largely in Trump’s election campaign and threatens to derail even the…

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January 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Will Putin Renew Plans to Drill the US Gulf of Mexico if Tillerson is Appointed Secretary of State? And, West Texas? And, the Arctic?

Mining Awareness +

In 2013, less than a year prior to sanctions imposed against Russia:
Vladimir Putin is encouraging Exxon and Rosneft to start their new partnership off with a bang and head for the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If any company knows how to one up BP on oil spills, its Rosneft.“.–Russian-oil-spill-disaster/ Former BP CEO Tony Hayward led Glencore and BP actually have minority ownership in Russian State-owned Rosneft!
Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley, Oil beach feather BP
US Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Emily F. Alley, Oil beach feather BP
BP Disaster Oiled Turtle
BP oiled turtle

Only the sanctions against Russia are holding back the creation of what is effectively a mega-conglomerate monster of ExxonMobil and Russian State owned Rosneft. Trump nominee for Secretary of State, ExxonMobil CEO (until 30 Dec. 2016) Rex Tillerson is a Putin buddy and wants to stop sanctions against Russia (in place subsequent to Russian annexation of Crimea). Just imagine…

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January 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Claims global warming is on “pause” are wrong. #auspol 


A wounding blow for global warming denialists
Claims that global warming is on “pause” are wrong, new research has found.
Many researchers have long thought that there had been a slowdown in the rate of global warming in recent years. It was a claim often made by those who doubt or downplay the effects of man-made climate change, who argued that the slowdown showed that warming was happening less quickly or extremely than claimed.
But new research published in the journal Science Advances supports previous studies that find scientists have been underestimating the rise in ocean temperatures for decades.

After the re-evaluation, scientists have suggested that what looked like a pause in temperatures between 1998 and 2014 didn’t seem to have happened at all.
The study finds that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was right when it challenged the pause in a major paper published in Science in…

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January 6, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taro Yamamoto asks important questions

truthyogarhythms, 6 Jan 17 Taro Yamamoto, has a voice and mind connected to his heart. Taro is asking questions of the powerful, the state agencies, large corporations. Who will answer? Why is Taro’s question important? Taro’s question is asking for the answer which is to painful for Japan and the world to answer. The failure of our generation to protect the future has to be admitted. Thousands of tons of molten melted nuclear reactor fuel rods and nuclear reactor core assembly inside three Fukushima Nudlear Reactor Vessels are totally unrecognizable. Unrecognizable! Unrecognizable as former unique designed elements used to boil water to create steam to generate electricity.

Now 5 years 8 months after 11MAR11 there are no fuel rods, no reactor core pipes, cooling water tubes, just a molten melted radioactive moving puddle at the bottom of three reactor vessels. When will the reactor vessels breach? When will the China Syndrome begin? Has the China Syndrome begun as the radioactive plume of Pacific Ocean water reaching West Coast of USA 30DEC16 suggests? Will TEPCO and Japan Government release Muon Energy Location Technology (MELT) findings verifying location of Fukushima Unit 1,2,3, reactor core meltdown locations after 11MAR11. Everyone knows where TEPCO Fukushima Unit 1,2,3, reactor cores were located 10MAR11. – This post refers to

January 6, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

China’s $493 billion plan for renewable energy

text-relevantflag-ChinaChina to spend $493 billion on green power by 2020$493-billion-on-renewable-fuel-by-2020/8164434    China will plough 2.5 trillion yuan ($493 billion) into renewable power generation by 2020, the country’s energy agency says, as the world’s largest energy market continues to shift away from dirty coal power towards cleaner fuels.

The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration (NEA) said in a blueprint document that lays out its plan to develop the nation’s energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period.

The NEA said installed renewable power capacity including wind, hydro, solar and nuclear power would contribute to about half of new electricity generation by 2020.

China’s Green Energy Push

The agency did not disclose more details on where the funds — which equate to about $98 billion each year — would be spent.

The investment reflects Beijing’s continued focus on curbing the use of fossil fuels, which have fostered the country’s economic growth over the past decade, as it ramps up its war on pollution.

Last month, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s economic planner, said in its own five-year plan that solar power would receive 1 trillion yuan of spending, as the country seeks to boost capacity by five times.

The spending comes as the cost of building large-scale solar plants has dropped by as much as 40 per cent since 2010. China became the world’s top solar generator last year.

Concerns about the social and economic costs of China’s air pollution have increased as the northern parts of the country, including the capital Beijing, have battled a weeks-long bout of hazardous smog.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | China, renewable | Leave a comment

Israel now making a solar energy leap forward

text-relevantIsrael to build world’s tallest solar tower in symbol of renewable energy ambition, Independent, 5 Jan 17  With Israel traditionally running its economy on fossil fuels, renewable energy has long been hobbled by bureaucracy and a lack of incentives. In sunny Israel, solar energy supplies only a small percentage of the nation’s power needs, leaving it far behind countries with cloudier and colder climates.

Now the fledgling solar industry is trying to make a leap forward with a large-scale project boasting the world’s tallest solar tower, as a symbol of Israel’s renewal energy ambitions.

 The country is starting to make an effort, setting a goal of generating 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, up from the current 2.5 percent. 

The Ashalim project, deep in the Negev desert, is made up of three plots, with a fourth planned for the future, each with a different solar technology. Together, the fields will be Israel’s largest renewable energy project when completed by 2018. They are set to generate some 310 megawatts of power, about 1.6 percent of the country’s energy needs — enough for about 130,000 households, or roughly 5 percent of Israel’s population, according to Israel’s Electricity Authority. …….

Another solar-thermal plot at Ashalim will be able to store energy even when the sun goes down. A third plot will use photovoltaic solar technology to produce energy.

Yaron Szilas, CEO of Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy, the lead developer of the second solar-thermal plot, said combining the three technologies was a wise move because each has its own advantage. The amount of electricity it produces will be comparable to large-scale solar fields in California and Chile……..

Israel has developed some of the world’s most advanced solar energy equipment and enjoys a nearly endless supply of sunshine. But Israeli solar companies, frustrated by government bureaucracy, have mostly taken their expertise abroad.

Countries with cooler climates have outpaced Israel. Germany, for example, gets nearly 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

“Israel has a potential to be a sunshine superpower,” said Leehee Goldenberg, director of the department of economy and environment at the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, a non-governmental organization. Despite some steps in the right direction, “Israel’s government hasn’t really been pushing to reach its small goals regarding solar energy.” ……..


January 6, 2017 Posted by | Israel, renewable | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear company AREVA in a state of collapse – taxpayers to the rescue!

Hollande-salesFrance ready to save nuclear group Areva, regardless of election outcome, Globe and Mail, GEERT DE CLERCQ, PARIS — Reuters, Jan. 04, 2017 A government-led rescue of French nuclear group Areva and the wider atomic-energy industry may cost the state as much as €10-billion ($13.94-billion Canadian), but political support is almost certain whoever wins the presidential election in May.


January 6, 2017 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

USA’s EPA ( Nuclear Industry Protection Agency) confirms dramatic increase in radiation will be permitted in drinking water

text-EPA-Nuclear-ProtectionRADICAL DRINKING WATER RADIATION RISE CONFIRMED IN EPA PLAN EPA Hid Planned Exposure Levels 1,000s of Times Safe Drinking Water Act Limits PEER, Dec 22, 2016 Washington, DC 

— In the last days of the Obama Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is about to dramatically increase allowable public exposure to radioactivity to levels thousands of times above the maximum limits of the Safe Drinking Water Act, according to documents the agency surrendered in a federal lawsuit brought by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). These radical rollbacks cover the “intermediate period” following a radiation release and could last for up to several years. This plan is in its final stage of approval.

The documents indicate that the plan’s rationale is rooted in public relations, not public health. Following Japan’s Fukushima meltdown in 2011, EPA’s claims that no radioactivity could reach the U.S. at levels of concern were contradicted by its own rainwater measurements showing contamination from Fukushima throughout the U.S. well above Safe Drinking Water Act limits. In reaction, EPA prepared new limits 1000s of times higher than even the Fukushima rainwater because “EPA experienced major difficulties conveying to the public that the detected levels…were not of immediate concern for public health.”

When EPA published for public comment the proposed “Protective Action Guides,” it hid proposed new concentrations for all but four of the 110 radionuclides covered, and refused to reveal how much they were above Safe Drinking Water Act limits. It took a lawsuit to get EPA to release documents showing that –

  • The proposed PAGs for two radionuclides (Cobalt-60 and Calcium-45) are more than 10,000 times Safe Drinking Water Act limits. Others are hundreds or thousands of times higher;
  • According to EPA’s own internal analysis, some concentrations are high enough to deliver a lifetime permissible dose in a single day. Scores of other radionuclides would be allowed at levels that would produce a lifetime dose in a week or a month;
  • The levels proposed by the Obama EPA are higher than what the Bush EPA tried to adopt–also in its final days. That plan was ultimately withdrawn; and
  • EPA hid the proposed increases from the public so as to “avoid confusion,” intending to release the higher concentrations only after the proposal was adopted. The documents also reveal that EPA’s radiation division even hid the new concentrations from other divisions of EPA that were critical of the proposal, requiring repeated efforts to get them to even be disclosed internally.
  • “To cover its embarrassment after being caught dissembling about Fukushima fallout on American soil, EPA is pursuing a justification for assuming a radioactive fetal position even in cases of ultra-high contamination,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has called for the PAGs to be withdrawn on both public health and legal grounds. “The Safe Drinking Water Act is a federal law; it cannot be nullified or neutered by regulatory ‘guidance.’”

    Despite claims of transparency, EPA solicited public comment on its plan even as it hid the bulk of the plan’s effects. Nonetheless, more than 60,000 people filed comments in opposition.

    “The Dr. Strangelove wing of EPA does not want this information shared with many of its own experts, let alone the public,” added Ruch, noting that PEER had to file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to force release of exposure limits. “This is a matter of public health that should be promulgated in broad daylight rather than slimed through in the witching hours of a departing administration.”

January 6, 2017 Posted by | politics, Reference, USA, water | 1 Comment

Crisis in Toshiba, major owner of NuGen, but NuGen says its “committed” to Moorside nuclear project

moorside-nugen-cumbria-planNuGen ‘remains committed’ to Moorside nuclear plant  by Duncan Bick  January 5, 2017 NUGEN says it “remains committed” to plans for a nuclear power station in Cumbria, despite the crisis affecting its majority shareholder Toshiba. Forty per cent was wiped off the Japanese company’s value in the last week of 2016 after it said that its US subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, may have overpaid by several billions of dollars for another nuclear construction and services business.

To compound matters, the company is embroiled in an accounting scandal.

Its shares plunged to 259 yen (£1.81) on Thursday before staging a modest recovery on Friday. Yesterday they settled at slightly more than 277 yen when the Tokyo stock exchange closed.

Toshiba holds a 60 per cent stake in developer NuGen, alongside ENGIE of France.

They are due to decide next year whether to proceed. If the do, a £10bn power station will be constructed at Moorside, Sellafield. The credit agency Moody’s has downgraded Toshiba’s ratings and warned that the writedown could affect the company’s ability to pay its debts.

But a spokesman for NuGen said: “NuGen’s shareholders [Toshiba and ENGIE] remain committed to the development of our Moorside project.

“NuGen is actively engaged in exploring a universe of investment opportunities to bring in additional investments, including debt and equity, to help fund the construction of Europe’s largest new nuclear power station.”

He added: “NuGen welcomed the recent signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the UK and Japanese governments.

“The agreement shows confidence in the progress and deliverability of Moorside and commitment to nuclear as a solution to meeting the UK’s low carbon electricity requirements.”

NuGen has been seeking further backers for the scheme and is understood to have held talks about investment from the Korea Electrical Power Corporation.

If Moorside does go ahead, Westinghouse, once owned by British Nuclear Fuels, would supply three reactors.

They would have a capacity of up to 3.8GW, enough to supply 7.5 per cent of the UK’s electricity.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Tesla starts mass production of solar battery cells

Tesla Flips the Switch on the Gigafactory Musk meets a deadline: Battery-cell production begins at what will soon be the world’s biggest factory—with thousands of additional jobs. Bloomberg, by Tom Randall January 5, 2017 The Gigafactory has been activated.

Tesla’s solar roofs could revolutionize the industry

Hidden in the scrubland east of Reno, Nev., where cowboys gamble and wild horses still roam—a diamond-shaped factory of outlandish proportions is emerging from the sweat and promises of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. It’s known as the Gigafactory, and today its first battery cells are rolling off production lines to power the company’s energy storage products and, before long, the Model 3 electric car. 1

The start of mass production 2 is a huge milestone in Tesla’s quest to electrify transportation, and it brings to America a manufacturing industry—battery cells—that’s long been dominated by China, Japan, and South Korea. More than 2,900 people are already working at the 4.9 million square-foot facility, 3 and more than 4,000 jobs (including temporary construction work) will be added this year through the partnership between Tesla and Panasonic. 4

By 2018, the Gigafactory, which is less than a third complete, will double the world’s production capacity for lithium-ion batteries and employ 6,500 full-time Reno-based workers, according to a new hiring forecast from Tesla. The company’s shares, having touched their highest point since August, closed up $10 at $226.99 in New York trading.

The full activation of the Gigafactory carries existential significance for Tesla, representing a new sense of urgency at a company known for its unreachable deadlines. After missing almost every aggressive product milestone it set for itself over the last decade, Tesla must prove to investors and customers that it can stay on schedule for its first mass-produced car.

There are promising signs. ………

The storage products fit into Musk’s long-term vision of transforming Tesla from an an electric car company to a clean-energy company. That’s the same motivation behind his recently concluded deal to acquire SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S. rooftop solar installer. Last week, Tesla reached a deal with Panasonic to expand its relationship to produce solar cells in Buffalo, N.Y., bringing some 1,400 jobs to the region.

At a time when President-elect Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to skewer manufacturers for moving jobs to Mexico or China, Tesla stands apart as an all-American carmaker, battery maker, and solar producer. About 95 percent of the Model 3’s components will be made in the U.S., and 25,000 of the company’s 30,000 employees are based there. Musk, who visited Trump recently in New York City, was named to a strategy group to advise the new Republican president. …….

January 6, 2017 Posted by | energy storage, USA | Leave a comment

Mutually Assure Destruction – a MAD danger that might be increased by Donald Trump

The “madman theory” of nuclear war has existed for decades. Now, Trump is playing the madman. VOXby  Jan 4, 2017, Is Donald Trump a madman? Or, at least, would he like foreign leaders to think he might be just a little unstable? Such questions are being batted around in papers like the Boston Globe and the Washington Post in response to the president-elect’s foreign policy moves: his provocations toward China, his attacks on NATO and the UN, his warm overtures toward Rodrigo Duterte and Vladimir Putin.

Across the pundit-sphere, analysts are asking, is he crazy, or crazy like a fox?

In no context is the question more pertinent than Trump’s position on nuclear weapons. His comments both as candidate and president-elect show a more cavalier attitude toward their proliferation and use than any president in the past 30 years. “You want to be unpredictable,” Trump said last January on Face the Nation when asked about nuclear weapons. More recently, he tweeted that it was time for the US to start stockpiling nukes again. The comments prompted instant parallels to Richard Nixon’s “madman theory” of foreign relations: the idea that the president couldn’t be controlled — including where America’s nuclear arsenal was concerned — so foreign leaders should do everything in their power to appease him.

The madman question is so important here because madness has been a mainstay of nuclear culture since the atomic age flashed into being in the Jornada del Muerto desert in 1945. The bomb, carefully engineered by some of the 20th century’s most brilliant scientists, able to raze cities and civilizations, has always spanned rationality and irrationality, logic and madness.

The brightest minds created the most destructive force, and then leaders spent years working out rationales for its world-ending use. It was a madness begot by logic. But that madness doesn’t always present in the same way, which is why the history of nuclear madness has to precede our understanding of the Trump-as-madman debate…….

A brief, terrifying history of America’s nuclear mishaps

 four years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviets tested their own nuclear bomb, and the race was on for more powerful bombs, for better strike capability, for the ability to annihilate the other side before it could return fire. By the mid-1950s, the arms race had reached its illogically logical endpoint: If one side struck, everyone would be wiped out. Mutual assured destruction. MAD.

The acronym stuck, perhaps because of the horrific absurdity of it all. The logical conclusion, the position to which the world had been brought by the combined education and expertise of scientists and strategists, was the verge of obliteration………

As time passed, Mutually Assured Destruction came to seem — MAD……….

Maybe it was the exhaustion of the arms race, or the terror of the missile crisis, or the apocalyptic consequences of MAD, but by 1964 the idea of ever using nuclear weapons was considered insane. If the outcome truly was mutual assured destruction, then it would take an act of self-destructive madness to press the button………

World leaders understand that nations with nuclear weapons are treated differently than those without, and so there is a rational reason for pursuing nuclear technology. At the same time, the use of nuclear weapons against an enemy would make a nation-state into a global pariah. It would be insane.

Enter Donald Trump. The president-in-waiting is schooled in none of these particulars, claiming to believe only in strength and the desire to use it. His loose talk about nukes has re-raised the long-dormant question: Is he crazy enough to actually press the button?

Here, the history of nuclear madness may be as much a trap as a guide. Because the questions now shouldn’t be about Trump’s madness but his impulsivity and ignorance. Whatever one thinks of Nixon and Kissinger’s madman theory, it was a calculation. Kissinger was steeped in game theory and Nixon had a deep knowledge of international affairs. Reagan was a foreign policy autodidact with experienced ideological advisors. Their administrations could tell a hawk from a handsaw. (Admittedly, some of these comforting thoughts were only fully evident in hindsight.)

Trump doesn’t share his predecessors’ considered strategic thinking and mastery of geopolitics, but that doesn’t make him a madman. The madness is in the weapons themselves, powerful enough to obliterate entire countries, entire peoples, and in the logics that grew up around them to govern their disuse. The only hope is that, as with Nixon and Reagan before him, Trump’s time in office makes clear how badly things can go in an atomic age, and how important it is to continue the push to contain, if not eliminate, the madness in our midst.

Nicole Hemmer, a Vox columnist, is author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American PoliticsShe is an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and co-host of the Past Present podcast.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | politics, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

  Nuclear power reactors are NOT CLEAN

Fukushima Radiation Looms. No Nuclear Power Plant On Planet Earth! “The Incompatibility of Radiation with Human Life” By Eiichiro Ochiai Global Research, January 05, 2017.…………… Approximately 450 nuclear power reactors are presently on this earth.  In the nuclear power production of electricity, only one third of the heat produced in a reactor is converted into electricity, and the remainder two third of heat is released into the surrounding.  A typical 1giga watt reactor will release 4.7 x 1016 joule of heat into the environment per year.  This much heat will bring 100 million tons of water at zero degree to boiling.  This is with a single nuclear reactor.  The nuclear power reactors are excellent environmental heaters.  Hundreds of such reactors are operating on this earth.  But this fact is ignored in the argument of the nuclear power being environmentally clean.  This is not the only reason for the nuclear reactors being unclean.


In addition, this typical reactor of 1 giga (thousand mega) watt of capacity (electricity) produces in a year radioactive material equivalent to about 1000 Hiroshima atomic bombs.  In 2015, the total amount of electricity produced by nuclear reactors was 2,441 BkWh (billion kilo watt hours: data [7]), which is 8.79 x 1018 joule.  It was produced by about 280 nuclear reactors of 1 giga watt capacity.  So they produced radioactive material approximately equivalent to 280,000 Hiroshima bombs.  In addition, they released 1.3 x 1019 joule of heat into the environment.  These are the values for just one year.  Nuclear power reactors have been operating the last forty years, though not always this many.

Anyway, an enormous amount of radioactive material has been made on the earth.  How much of it has been released into the environment is not easy to estimate.  They have come out into the environment through the tests of the nuclear weapons, use of depleted uranium bombs, the routine release of some radioactive material from the nuclear facilities under normal conditions and others, in addition to the accidents at nuclear facilities.  The effects of the released radioactive material have been amply observed and reported, and yet are not shared with the majority of humankind.  We mention here only a few cases, and refer them to a few major sources.  The nuclear weapon explosion tests in the atmosphere affected the people in the eastern side, Utah, of the test site in Nevada (1951-1960, ref [8]).  Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident in the present Ukraine (1986) was one of the worst nuclear facility accidents, and people are still suffering  [9]. Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster (2011) cause by the huge earthquake along with tsunami is far from settled, and health effects are only now becoming manifest [10]. These incidents represent the notion that the nuclear power is “not clean” at all, rather it is the dirtiest……

January 6, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, environment, Reference | Leave a comment

China criticises India’s nuclear weaponry, says Pakistan should have the same nuclear “privileges”

Pak should have privileges as India in nuclear development: Chinese state media   Hindustan Times,  Jan 05, 2017 India has “broken” UN limits on nuclear arms and long-range missiles and Pakistan should also be accorded the same “privilege”, state-run Chinese media said on Thursday as it criticised New Delhi for carrying out Agni-4 and 5 missile tests whose range covers the Chinese mainland.

“India has broken the UN’s limits on its development of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missile,” the ruling Communist Party-run tabloid Global Times said in its editorial.

“The US and some Western countries have also bent the rules on its nuclear plans. New Delhi is no longer satisfied with its nuclear capability and is seeking intercontinental ballistic missiles that can target anywhere in the world and then it can land on an equal footing with the UN Security Council’s five permanent members,” it said.

………At this time, Pakistan should have those privileges in nuclear development that India has,” it said, indicating that China which shared all-weather ties with Islamabad will back it if it develops long-range missiles.

“In general, it is not difficult for India to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles which can cover the whole world. If the UN Security Council has no objection over this, let it be. The range of Pakistan’s nuclear missiles will also see an increase. If the world can adapt to these, China should too,” it said.

The references to violation of UN rules by the daily were significant as the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying while reacting to India’s Agni-5 missile test said on December 27 that ”on whether India can develop this ballistic missile that can carry nuclear weapons, I think relevant resolutions of the UNSC have clear rules”.

January 6, 2017 Posted by | China, India, Pakistan, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Accounting scandal at Toshiba – ruinous overpayment for an American nuclear firm

corruptionToshiba admits to a ruinous overpayment for an American nuclear firm Its share price plunged by 40% in three days as investors worried about its financial viability, The Economist, Jan 7th 2017 | TOKYO THE probe in 2015 into one of Japan’s largest-ever accounting scandals, at Toshiba, an electronics and nuclear-power conglomerate that has been the epitome of the country’s engineering prowess, concluded that number-fiddling at the firm was “systemic”. It was found to have padded profits by ¥152bn ($1.3bn) between 2008 and 2014. Its boss, and half of the board’s 16 members, resigned; regulators imposed upon it a record fine of $60m.

Now its deal-making nous is in doubt too. In December 2015—the very same month that it forecast hundreds of billions of yen in losses for the financial year then under way, as it struggled to recover from the scandal—Toshiba’s American arm, Westinghouse Electric, bought a nuclear-construction firm, CB&I Stone & Webster. One year on, on December 27th, Toshiba announced that cost overruns at that new unit could lead to several billions of dollars in charges against profits.

 Its shares fell by 42% in a three-day stretch as investors dumped them, fearing a write-down that could wipe out its shareholders’ equity, which in late September stood at $3.1bn. Moody’s and S&P, two ratings agencies, announced credit downgrades and threatened more. Toshiba’s explanation for how it got the numbers so wrong on a smallish purchase is woolly. But it is clear that missing construction deadlines on nuclear-power plants can send costs skyrocketing. Its projects in America, and in China, are years behind schedule. Mycle Schneider, a nuclear expert, says that in America, as elsewhere, engineering problems are compounded by a shortage of skilled manpower. Few plants have been built there recently.

Part of the $229m that Westinghouse paid for CB&I Stone & Webster included $87m of goodwill (a premium over the firm’s book value based on its physical assets). It is that initial estimate that is now being recalculated.

Toshiba had looked to be bouncing back from its accounting nightmare………

Toshiba’s central part in a plan by the government of Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, to pep up growth by exporting nuclear-power technology to emerging countries may help. In June Westinghouse clinched a deal in India to build six new-generation AP1000 reactors, Toshiba’s first order since the triple meltdown at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in 2011. Toshiba is also involved in that site’s costly and complex clean-up. Some think that Japanese banks, known for keeping zombie firms on life support, will stand behind it, come what may. Shares in Toshiba’s two main lenders, Sumitomo and Mizuho, slid last week after the profit warning. Investors expect more big bank loans or a debt-for-equity swap, which allows a bank to turn bad loans into shares.

The consensus on Toshiba’s latest screw-up is that a long-standing culture of poor management is to blame…..

January 6, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment