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Hiroshima survivor ‘horrified’ by Donald Trump’s nuclear weapons stance

A survivor of the 1945 Hiroshima bombing has said she is “horrified” by Donald Trump’s suggestion that Japan might benefit from nuclear weapons and has urged the president to visit the site of the tragedy so he can “educate” himself.

Keiko Ogura was an eight-year-old schoolgirl when US forces flattened Hiroshima with an atomic bomb which slaughtered hundreds of thousands and brought Japan’s role in the Second World War to an abrupt end.

Since then, she has devoted her life to telling her story to future generations so that the inhumane cruelty of nuclear weapons is never forgotten.

Speaking to the Telegraph after a lecture at the Hiroshima Peace Museum, she spoke of her horror at discovering that America’s new president had raised the idea of Japan acquiring nuclear weapons.

“I was horrified by what he said and it made me afraid of what could be happening to Japan,” said Ms Ogura, who is now 79 and the director of Hiroshima Interpreters for Peace.

“I think he does not know the difference between conventional and nuclear weapons, and that horrified me also.”

“He said, ‘why not have one yourself?’ As if he did not even know what happened here.” “He should come to Hiroshima. He should see it, stand in front of it, and try to imagine what it is like to see the burning faces of children.” Ms Ogura was referring to a controversial interview in which Mr Trump said he was in favour of Japan acquiring nuclear weapons to act as a deterrent to threats from North Korea.

“If Japan had that nuclear threat, I’m not sure that would be a bad thing for us,” he said during an interview with the New York Times in March.

The president has since claimed his remarks were misinterpreted. and his current stance on nuclear weapons remains unclear.

“It shows how important it is that everyone, including the president of the United States, is educated on what happened at Hiroshima,” Ms Ogura added.

“Since he became president we have tried to accelerate our process of educating people on what happened- we are speaking to more people, in high schools, in lectures and at the museum.”

Ms Ogura escaped some of the worst effects of the atomic bomb – dubbed “Little Boy” by the Americans – as her father told her to stay at home on August 6 1945.

“My father had a kind of inspiration. He suspected something major was about to happen because there had been so many air raid warnings,” she said.

Their home was situated in Ushita Town, which was roughly one and a half miles away from the hypocenter of the atomic bomb.

She remembers a blinding flash of light, and a huge blast that threw her to the ground. When she returned to her house she found it all but destroyed, with thousands of shards of glass scattered through the rooms.

“My father was so lucky,” she recalled, “he was behind a pine tree and because of that he survived.”

Ms Ogura left the house and climbed a hill to try and see what happened to the city. On the way she passed a shrine that had become a makeshift medical centre for the bomb’s horrifically burned victims, though no doctors were in sight.

“I felt someone grab my leg,” she said. “They said please give me water.”

As a young girl in second grade, she had no idea she was not supposed to give water to severe burns victims. She rushed home to fetch a container of water, in the honest belief she was helping people, and passed it around.

Within minutes, everyone who drank the water “slumped over” and died.

“For 20 years I had nightmares about that, because I killed those people,” she said, her voice trembling with emotion.

Ms Ogura is among around 180,000 Hiroshima survivors still alive today. Many kept their identities as “hibakusha” – atomic bomb survivors – a secret, as victims often faced discrimintion in Japanese society.

This was usually linked to fears that those exposed to the bomb’s radiation would pass on illnesses to their children, and that they were therefore undesirable.

Whereas some of her family members kept their identities as “hibakusha” a secret, Ms Ogura chose to embrace hers, and made it her life’s work to ensure that Hiroshima is never forgotten.

When Barack Obama laid a wreath at the cenotaph at Hiroshima last year – the first sitting president to do so since Jimmy Carter – it marked a major milestone in the efforts of Ms Ogura and her fellow survivors.

Hirotaka Matsushima, the director of Hiroshima’s International Peace Promotion Department, said he would urge Mr Trump to make the same gesture.

It is unclear if Mr Trump will follow the former Democratic president’s lead. When Mr Obama travelled to Hiroshima, Mr Trump attacked him for not mentioning the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour during the visit.


February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Japanese urge govt. to shut down nuclear power plants

Japanese protesters have rallied outside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office in the capital, Tokyo, urging him to shut down nuclear power plants in the country, which was hit by one of the world’s worst nuclear incidents nearly six years ago.

Carrying anti-nuclear signs, the demonstrators on Friday also called on Abe to quit his policy of restarting the country’s nuclear reactors.

The Japanese government sought to greatly reduce the role of nuclear power since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011.

On March 11 that year, a huge tsunami caused by a nine-magnitude earthquake wreaked heavy damage on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant’s cooling systems that led to three meltdowns and the release of vast amounts of radiation into the surrounding environment.

The incident, considered the world’s worst nuclear accident since the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, also prompted the evacuation of 160,000 people from areas near the power plant.

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Amnesty International – Corrections to the report on Syria: a response from a Syrian dissident

Wednesday, February 08, 2017
Of course, the Syrian regime committed and is committing and will continue to commit human rights violations but this is about the Amnesty International report on Syria.  Western human rights organizations–specifically Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch–don’t have any credibility among most Arabs about human rights.
Their reputation has sunk far lower ever since the Arab uprisings in 2011, where they have been rightly perceived as propaganda arms of Western governments.  So I saw the report yesterday and read the Methodology section and immediately felt that it is not credible: given the mention of unnamed sources (not one of them willing to be identified and the reference to countries which host Syrian opposition groups).
But I am not an expert on those details and specifics.  I don’t trust the Syrian regime (and its sponsors) and I don’t trust the Syrian rebels and their sponsors in the West and East.  How to judge the report? I asked a well-known Syrian dissident who, due to his leftist underground activities, served years in Syrian jails and was subjected to torture by the regime.  His name is Nizar Nayouf.  He wrote me those responses, and I can’t judge the validity of the specific answers but given that there is no scrutiny by Western media to anything coming out which is in sync with Western government propaganda on Syria, I thought it would be useful.  These are my (rush) translations (edited) of his answers: ” The white prison is the one in the shape of a Mercedes.
 It is the main building (the old and big).  As for the red prison, it is the new and small [structure], and contrary to what is contained in the report–which it seems does not distinguish between the two.
The first was inaugurated in 1988 while the second was not inaugurated until 2001.  As for the main White building, it is quite impossible for it to accommodate 10,000 prisoners.  We know it inch by inch, and know how much it can accommodate, at maximum, and assuming you put 30 prisoners in a cell like pickles (or Syrian style pickles, makdus), it can’t accommodate more than 4500 prisoners (in fact it was designed for 3000 prisoners).
The red building is much smaller and is exclusive to public defendants among the military members (traffic, desertion, various criminal offenses, etc), and can’t accommodate more than 1800 prisoners, and even if you put 3 on top of one another.  Yes, paying money to achieve release is true.  I personally documented tense of cases, in which `Ali Haydar (minister of national reconciliation) was the mediator.
The talk of rape is lie on top of lie.  It has no basis in truth.  I challenge them…to show once case, not only now but also from the beginning of the era of Hafidh Al-Asad, whether with women or with men.  Yes, there were rape cases with tools (like raping around ten young women from Communist Action Party, and others, with soft drink bottles.  There is nothing in official papers which prisoners sign something called Sidnaya prison. This is the popular name and not the official name*.   And this reveals the lies about them signing papers indicating that they were “from Sidnaya prison”.
Prisoners are not moved from prisons to On-site Courts in Al-Qabun.  The on-site courts move to prisons and hold its trials there, especially now as the Al-Qabun area is targeted by the fire of the rebels and is not safe at all.  As for the length of the trials, it is one minute or two, and that is true since the 1980s till now.  They admit that on-site trials’ rulings require the signature of the president or the Minister of Defense and yet they say in another section that execution is approved only by the members of the court and officers with it.
They claim that the second on-site court was formed to accommodate after the crisis, and this is a lie and show ignorance or fabrication.  The on-site court (first and second) have been in existence since 1968, and the Palestinian colonel, Salah ad-Din Al-Ma`ani, was chief of the second on-site courts since the 1980s.  He was the one who was in charge of trial of Muslim Brotherhood, along with Sulayman Al-Khatib.
As for the requirement of confessions by prisoners while they are blindfolded, this was ended by an order from Hafidh Al-Asad in 1998 or 1999, as far as I can remember, but I don’t know if this practice was resumed.  There is no representative of the mukhabarat in the Hay’at Al–Mahkamah Al-Maydaniyyah, and thus he does not sign on any ruling, contrary to what is claimed by the report.
There is a mess in what they say that the head of the on-site court is the military prosecutor, (p. 20) and this is real rubbish.  The military prosecutor job is quite different from the chief of the on-site court, and is the chief military prosecutor in the military district administration.
They say that those who are on death row are gathered in the red building (section B).  But they said that the red boiling (p. 12) which is on the shape of a Mercedes, which is in fact the old building, and is thus baseless as I indicated above.
And in the old building there are no cells except solitary confinement cells (one meter by two meters) under ground.  And they are for punishment and is limited in numbers. As for the section B, it is like other sections (10 beds on the right and 10 on the left, three stories over ground).  The thing that most got my attention was “the transfer of the prisoners form the red building and white building in trucks and cars”.
When one hears this one thinks that the distance between the two buildings is in kilometers when they are less than 120 meters apart.  The report says (p. 2) that the “commander of the southern front group (firqah) attends the executions.  There is nothing in the Syrian Army which is called “commander of the Southern Group 13 or northern or Western or any other direction.  On page 32, it says that the picture is of the cemetery of  martyrs south of Damascus.
The report says that it was expanded substantially between 2014 and 2016 and that long tunnels were dug in them, implying that they were used to bury those who were executed.  This is silly beyond silly.  In the martyrs cemetery no one can be buried there except the martyrs of the army, even if there is an intercession by Muhammad or Jesus or Hafidh Al-Asad himself.  And contrary to what they say, and the picture damns them, because it shows the increase in the number of victims of the army.  On p. 35, and elsewhere, they talk about forcing “prisoners to rape one another”.
This is despicable fabrication which is baseless, and is psychologically impossible under those conditions.  (Is it possible for any person in the world to get an erection to rape another person who is tied and is under torture?)  If the lying witness were too say that he was raped with sticks, i would have believed it because this happened sometimes with public defense prisoners as I indicated above.
On page 43, there is a copy of certificate of death which reveals that it belongs to the Minister of Interior, but the certificate says that death was in “Military Tirshrin Hospital”, which belongs to the Ministry of Defense.  This didn’t happen, and can’t happen.  In cases of death in a military hospital or in detention centers belonging to Military Intelligence, the certificates show “Army or Armed Forces, Directorate of Military Medical Services”, or hospital x.
One of the most amusing–if there is amusement in tragedies–contents of the report is what appears on page 44, where it talks about “tens of thousands” (i.e. over 30,000 or at least 18,000) who died under torture or for other reasons in Sidnaya prison in five years but it says: “but we only were able to obtain the names of 375 people only”.
What the report says about the kinds of mistreatment and torture and criminality is generally true.  The world has not seen more savage prisons than the 18 prisons of the Iraqi (Saddamist) and Syrian prisons since the times of Nazism and Fascism in WWII.  And anything which is reported in this context can be simply believed.  We have seen it with our own eyes and lived it personally, although there were orders to–to be fair–that the torture of leftists and nationalists be less severe than the savage torture of Islamists.”

* I pointed to Nizar this morning that the official Syrian regime statement issued today used the name of Sidnaya prison, and he said that it was the first time as they did not want to use the official name of First Military Prison.

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment



Published on 9 Feb 2017



0.09 –…

0:20 — “Possible artefacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus” Karl et. Al, Science 2015



3:39 — Why don’t they adjust the ship data down? Because it makes absolutely no difference to the result but takes a lot more man hours. I wrote to Dr. Zeke Hausfather with this question and he replied: “NOAA adjusted buoys up to match the ship record in version 4 of their ocean temperature record simply because ships make up 90% of our ocean record, with buoys only available in recent years. In response to folks getting confused about this, NOAA will be adjusting ships down to buoys in their upcoming version 5, but this makes no difference on the resulting temperature trends.”

4:13 – “Extended Reconstruction Sea Surface Temperature Version 4 (ERSSTv4). Part 1: Upgrades and Intercomparisons” – Huang et al, Journal of the American Meteorological Society 2015

6:00 — David Rose’s previously challenged “quote” was from Murari Lal in 2010.




8:38 – “Assessing recent warming using instrumentally homogeneous sea surface temperature records” – Hausfather et al., Science 2017


February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Sleeping Giant Stirs: Russia Revs Up Renewable Tech

TriplePundit is in Abu Dhabi this week where global energy leaders are meeting for the seventh IRENA Assembly and the World Future Energy Summit.

The gathering provides an up-close look at the challenges involved in accelerating the pace of decarbonization. The two-day event is packed with activity, so it’s difficult to pick out just one bit of standout news. But so far it looks like the contribution of the Russian Federation could be among the most interesting in terms of future impact.

TriplePundit had an opportunity to speak with Russia’s First Deputy Energy Minister Mr. Alexey Teksler, who laid out the country’s plans for the renewable energy field. Setting aside other news involving the U.S. and Russia, our conversation revolved around the growth of global demand for innovative energy technology.

A head start for Russia on renewables…

In terms of energy resources, Russia has been in the public eye mainly on account of its vast fossil fuel reserves. However, the country’s energy profile also includes a healthy dose of renewable energy, primarily in the form of hydropower.

The former USSR cemented Russia as a global hydropower leader in the 1960s, Mr. Teksler explained, and hydro now accounts for 17 percent of the country’s energy mix. (For those of you interested, the International Hydropower Association provides a handy timeline of global hydropower development.)

The latest global hydropower rundown from the International Energy Agency places Russia as one of the top five producers in the world. The other four are China, U.S., Brazil and Canada.

Interestingly, Russia and the other top hydro producers far outstrip the next five by a wide margin in terms of hydropower potential. EIA puts the hydro potential for the top five countries at 8,360 terawatt hours per year. The next five — DR Congo, India, Indonesia, Peru and Tajikistan — only hit a combined total of 2,500 TWh annually.

Russia has ample room to expand its hydro sector, but an increase in output is also possible without building new hydro dams. The country’s hydro power generator, RushHydro, has embarked on a modernization initiative that includes a number of innovative R&D projects to boost efficiency.

Mr. Teksler also mentioned that the USSR was an early adopter of wind energy, but those former efforts involved technology that has been surpassed by the turbines available in today’s market.

As a side note, the USSR was host to one striking example of very early wind turbine technology. The turbine began operating near Yalta in 1931. It was designed with a horizontal axis and had a capacity of 100 kilowatts with a 32 percent load factor — not shabby by today’s standards!

…and a new push

At several points during our conversation, Mr. Teksler emphasized that Russia has sufficient capacity to fulfill its needs through its traditional power sources.

Mr. Teksler said, though, that in global terms the world is entering “a new period of energy, a new history of new energy.”

“We see growth globally … technology growth is driving the decision to develop renewable resources.”

Although Russia does not need the additional capacity from renewables, the country’s policymakers have recognized that the global demand for renewable energy is accelerating, Mr. Teksler claimed. For countries with the expertise, that translates into new opportunities to develop and export renewable energy technology.

In that regard, it’s worth noting that RushHydro’s recent R&D efforts have resulted in several patents, including improvements in spillway technology, geo-technical materials (aka clay or bentonite mats) for hydropower structures, and monitoring systems.

Russia is now embarking on a new push for solar and wind, Mr. Teksler told us, in order to develop its own supply chain and expertise with an eye toward technology export. He estimated that approximately 6 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity would be enough to launch a viable domestic supply chain.

In 2015, PV Magazine reported on several new developments in Russia — including an advanced, high-efficiency photovoltaic cell and the construction of a wind and solar microgrid to enable a remote village in the Bashkortostan region to go off the central grid. The project was undertaken as a more economical alternative to replacing aging power lines.

Mr. Teksler noted additional large-scale renewable energy projects Russia will soon deploy. Two major onshore wind farms are slated for development in the next two years. In a demonstration of how new wind turbine technology has matured commercially, these are no small potatoes. A 35-megawatt wind farm is getting under way this year in the Volga region, and next year a 150-megawatt farm is on the table in the south.

Offshore wind could also be in the works. A proposed wind farm off the coast of Karelia has made the news recently, though Mr. Teksler said plans for this project have not yet firmed up.

Our conversation also touched on two areas closely related to renewable energy technology: energy efficiency and advanced manufacturing. These sectors also provide Russia with opportunities to develop and export new technologies.

New opportunities for business

A statement Mr. Teksler contributed to the IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) Assembly underscores Russia’s historical perspective on the demand for renewable energy technology:

“… The world is changing rapidly. Today renewables should stop being seen as an “alternative,” should be developed side by side with traditional energy and become mainstream instead.”

The statement also emphasized Russia’s interest in applying its technology sector to renewables:

“… The Russian Federation is a huge country with great technologic potential. Not only are renewables crucial in terms of supplying energy to isolated and remote areas of the country, but it is also extremely important for us to build up our own competencies in the area of ‘energy of the future,’ to develop and test technologies and equipment.”

That could translate into a significant new employment sector for Russia. Last year, TriplePundit noted that renewable energy employment in some countries was beginning to show signs of slowing. That hitch was evident in countries that have already developed a renewable energy sector large enough to shrink. With the exception of its hydro sector, Russia is just getting started, so it has room to grow even when other countries experience cutbacks.

As for the potential impact of Russia’s new technology initiative, consider that the last time Russian scientists embarked on a cutting-edge mission with global, historic implications, the result was the first satellite launched into space, the Sputnik in 1957.

That event galvanized the U.S. scientific community into action, resulting in the creation of NASA, the planting of the U.S. flag on the moon and the routine deployment of solar technology in aerospace, a niche dominated by the U.S. solar industry for many years.

The “space race” also lead directly to the establishment of the International Space Station, which kicked off in 1998 with the launch of Russia’s Zarya control module, funded by an international coalition representing the U.S., Europe, Canada and Japan.

In terms of private-sector opportunities, the space station supported numerous innovations that have steadily trickled into commercial use.

That brings us back to IRENA and its mission of supporting the transition to renewables.

One key takeaway from the IRENA Seventh Assembly in Abu Dhabi is nations and businesses are moving too slowly toward decarbonization. Part of the slow pace has to do with regulatory environments, financial markets and other structural factors, but an equally important factor is the technology gap between what exists and what is needed.

If the story of international cooperation in space is any guide, Russia’s decision to compete in the global renewable energy marketplace could be the spark that helps accelerate another historic transformation.

Image (screenshot): International Space Station via NASA

Readers please note: This interview took place with the help of translators.

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Renewable Supergrid in Russia

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US Residents air concerns over borehole project

“I’m one of those who are skeptical about this project. I think the facts on this project are pretty well established. We don’t know for sure what DOE has in mind for Otero County,” Coffman said. “We don’t know for sure what this project entails. I can tell you what drives this project, and that is a huge problem with nuclear waste that’s building up in power plants and nuclear waste from bomb making that is in the various labs in this country.”

ALAMOGORDO — Otero County residents voiced their concerns and opinions on the controversial Salt Basin Deep Borehole Research Project proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in conjunction with TerranearPMC (TPMC), an environmental company that works across the country.

TPMC C.E.O. Kenneth T. Fillman along with Program Manager and Senior Geologist Peter Gram were at Thursday’s County Commission meeting to brief Commissioners on the project once again and answer any questions.

According to Fillman, TPMC was awarded one of four research contracts from DOE to conduct deep borehole research on private property in Otero County. The research is to determine if the geology would be suitable for evaluating the feasibility of the concept of deep borehole disposal of nuclear material.

Fillman reassured Commissioners and the public that it’s merely a research project only and TPMC has secured a land lease with the private property owner, Greg Duggar, which states that no nuclear waste material will be stored or disposed at the site now or in the future.

He also stated that the DOE will also enter into an agreement with Otero County that no waste will be stored or disposed at the site now or in the future as well.

Fillman explained the DOE phased schedule of the project.

He said phase I is public outreach which would occur now until May. The DOE may eliminate a site at any time during this time. Phase II is permitting and draft work planning which would occur from May through August. At this point, the DOE may eliminate up to three sites. Phase III is the final work planning which is from August through November. The DOE will have a site selected and possibly keep another one for backup for up to six months. Phase IV is the drilling and testing stage which will occur from January 2018 through April 2019. Phase V would be the site closure and restoration or continuation phase which may possibly close up the borehole or use it for further scientific research.

Several residents stood up and asked questions about the projects. Some were in full support of the project while others were skeptics.

Concerned resident Walt Coffman said although he believed the project’s intentions was truly for research purposes, he still had some doubt about DOE’s motives.

Continue reading

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oklahoma and Cherokee discuss nuclear waste disposal

SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) — The state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation are working together in court to stop the permanent disposal of radioactive waste near the Arkansas and Illinois rivers.

The pair obtained a temporary restraining order against the owner of a long-out-of-business uranium plant on Thursday, the Tulsa World ( ) reported.

Statements from the Cherokee Nation said the Sequoyah Fuels facility, which converted yellowcake uranium into fuel for nuclear reactors, left tons of “uranium-contaminated sludge” in many “basins, lagoons and ditches at the site” when it closed in 1993.

Cherokee officials said the company agreed in 2004 to spend about $3.5 million to remove the waste and dispose of it off-site. But Sequoyah Fuels recently told the tribe that it couldn’t find a suitable site to dispose of the waste. The company said it intended to put the waste into a permanent disposal cell on-site.

The restraining order will temporarily keep the company from disposing of the waste at the site. Court records said tribal and state officials want their own experts to review options for off-site disposal.

“The safety of the environment, our citizens and all people in and around Gore is our highest priority,” said Sara Hill, the Cherokee Nation’s secretary of natural resources.

According to reports, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ordered the plant to close after an accidental release of toxic gas caused about 34 people to seek medical treatment in 1992.

Sequoyah Fuels and the company’s law firm didn’t respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.


Information from: Tulsa World,

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

While the world talks about N Korea nukes Pakistan rattles some real nuclear nerves!


Image source;  (From 2012 but the USA and UK charts could be lowered in many states if updated, especially the USA)

PAKISTAN on Thursday drew attention of world community towards India’s nuclear ambitions and the threat they pose to regional security and stability. During his weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesman Nafis Zakaria referred to building of a secret nuclear city by India, huge stockpile of nuclear weapons and testing of inter-continental ballistic missiles and warned that these threaten to undermine strategic balance in the region.

It was in December 2015 that a prestigious American magazine published details of the secret nuclear city being developed by India at Challakere and its strategic implications especially for Pakistan and China. Again in September 2015, an investigative report by Al Jazeera television confirmed that India was building a huge nuclear complex to produce highly enriched uranium and allow the country to produce thermonuclear bombs, one thousand times more powerful than those used against two Japanese cities in World War-II. These reports were not taken as seriously by the world media as they should have been but it was strange enough that there was also no worthwhile reaction from Pakistan, which is directly threatened by such dangerous developments across its Eastern borders.

Possession of nuclear and thermonuclear devices as well as inter-continental ballistic missiles by a country that has extremist and narrow-minded coterie at the helm of affairs should be a matter of deep concern not only for Pakistan but for the region and beyond. Pakistan has reasons to be alarmed as India has a cold start doctrine, its Army Chief boasts of surgical strikes, its Prime Minister takes pride in being part of the conspiracy to dismember Pakistan and is willing to repeat the episode, and its Home Minister had the audacity to suggest referendum in Pakistan to determine whether its people want to join India – a country worst than a jail for minorities.

In this backdrop it is regrettable that a country, with proven aggressive agenda, is being doled out all sorts of technological, diplomatic and political cooperation by some western countries to become a monster. Pakistan has no other option but to take credible measures to safeguard its security interests.

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Leonard Perroots, General Who Defused Nuclear Crisis With Soviets, Dies at 83 NY Times

In early November 1983, after President Ronald Reagan denounced the Soviet Union as the “evil empire” and unveiled his so-called Star Wars missile defense strategy, Kremlin leaders were growing convinced that war games planned by the United States and NATO in Western Europe were, in fact, a disguised prelude to a nuclear first strike on Russia.

Their fear was almost palpable. On Sept. 27, a Soviet early warning station had received signals that five incoming Minuteman intercontinental missiles had been launched from American bases. The duty officer, Col. Stanislav Petrov, made a split-second gut decision that proved correct: He concluded that a satellite glitch had triggered a false alarm.

Six weeks later, as the war games began with realistic precision, fully armed Soviet fighters were placed on alert at Polish and East German bases for the first and only time in the Cold War. Soviet helicopters began ferrying nuclear weapons from storage sites to launching pads. Civilian aircraft in Warsaw Pact nations were grounded while the Soviets launched three dozen spy-plane flights over Western Europe to assess whether the mobilization presaged a sneak attack.

At Ramstein Air Base in West Germany, where the United States Air Force had its European headquarters, Lt. Gen. Leonard H. Perroots, the deputy chief of staff for intelligence there, faced, like Colonel Petrov, a quandary — one with profound potential consequences.

Continue reading the main story

The war games had already made Moscow jumpy. NATO planes visibly armed with what turned out to be dummy nuclear warheads were seen leaving their hangars. A further tit-for-tat escalation could have provoked war.

But General Perroots, making his own quick judgment call, defused the situation. He saw the signs of an elevated Soviet military alert but decided not to respond.

Conflict was averted, but more than 30 years would pass before his pivotal role in the episode was disclosed. A top-secret presidential advisory board analysis released in 2015 concluded that he had made a “fortuitous, if ill-informed” decision during the training exercise, designated Able Archer 83.

General Perroots died on Jan. 29 in Lake Ridge, Va. He was 83.

“Had Perroots mirrored the Soviets and escalated the situation, the War Scare could conceivably have become a war,” Nate Jones wrote last year in “Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War.”

He added, “Fortunately, Perroots trusted his gut, and Able Archer 83 ended without nuclear incident.”

Mr. Jones is director of the Freedom of Information Project of the National Security Archive at George Washington University, a nongovernment group that focuses on transparency. The organization had sought the declassification of the report, written in 1990.

General Perroots went on to direct the Defense Intelligence Agency from 1985 to 1988 under President Reagan. He also oversaw efforts to find American military veterans still missing in action in Southeast Asia more than a decade after the Vietnam War ended.

Leonard Harry Perroots Sr. was born on April 24, 1933, in Morgantown, W. Va., the son of Phillip Perroots, an Italian-born stone mason, and the former Alma Perrini….

  More on link;

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Germany says NO to the European nuclear bomb despite reports


In the wake of President Trump’s comments that NATO is “obsolete”, and European ‘leaders’ renewed calls for a European army, Angela Merkel has been forced to deny Germany is interested in acquiring nuclear weapons amid calls for it to lead a European “nuclear superpower.”

As we noted previously, calls for an EU Army pre-exist current trends among Europeans and Americans to reject international institutionalism for a more nationalistic, sovereign state oriented model of governance. The Guardian was reporting in 2015 that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker was calling for an EU Army to show Russia that the bloc was “serious about defending its values.” The shock result of Brexit merely accelerated plans within the EU that were already in progress.

But with Trump’s NATO comments, chatter picked up further in recent weeks of the need for the European Union to invest in its own nuclear deterrent.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of Poland’s ruling party, told a German newspaper this week he would “welcome an EU nuclear superpower”.

A senior MP from Mrs Merkel’s Christian Democrat party (CDU) has called for Germany to press for a European nuclear deterrent.

Spiegel magazine has questioned whether it is time for Germany to acquire its own nuclear weapons.

And the Financial Times has called for Germany to “think the unthinkable” on the issue.

As The Guardian reports, the German Government has moved quickly to stymie those rumors…

“There are no plans for nuclear armament in Europe involving the federal government,” a spokesman for Angela Merkel said.

Leading voices in Germany have warned that the country acquiring its own nuclear weapons is not the solution.

“We would open Pandora’s box and start an arms race,” General Hans-Lothar Domröse, a former Nato commander, said. “It would make it even more difficult to prevent other countries like Iran from getting the bomb.”

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Funding offering for the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s Regulatory Oversight Report for Canadian Nuclear Power Plants: 2016

February 10, 2017 – Ottawa, ON

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is offering participant funding to assist members of the public, Indigenous groups and other stakeholders in reviewing its Regulatory Oversight Report for Canadian Nuclear Power Plants: 2016 (2016 NPP Report) and in submitting comments to the Commission. This report provides CNSC staff’s assessment of the Canadian nuclear power industry’s safety performance during 2016 and details the progress of regulatory issues and initiatives up to April 30, 2017.

The CNSC will hold a public meeting on August 16 or 17, 2017 in Ottawa, where CNSC staff will present the 2016 NPP Report to the Commission. The report assesses how well plant operators are meeting regulatory requirements and program expectations in areas such as human performance, radiation and environmental protection, and emergency management and fire protection.

Participant funding of up to $35,000 is being offered for the provision of new, distinctive and valuable information, through informed and topic-specific written submissions to the Commission.

The deadline for submitting a completed participant funding application form to the CNSC is April 28, 2017.

The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.

For more information, view the notice of public meeting or visit the Participate in a public Commission hearing and Participant Funding Program sections of the CNSC website.

Quick facts

  • The CNSC publishes a report on the safety performance of Canada’s nuclear power plants each year.
  • The report highlights emerging regulatory issues pertaining to the industry at large and to each licensed station.
  • The CNSC evaluates how well licensees meet regulatory requirements and its expectations for the performance of programs in 14 safety and control areas.


Aurèle Gervais
Media Relations
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reactor # 2: the cleaner robot had to turn around after two hours


Guiding pipe camera (before the removal

As announced, TEPCO has inserted a cleaner robot onto the gangway in the Reactor 2 containment enclosure. It is equipped with a snowplow at the front, two cameras and a jet of pressurized water.

The robot was able to clean only one meter instead of the 5 expected. According to the Japanese document put online by TEPCO, in some places deposits were more adherent than expected, which slowed down the robot’s progress.

There are areas where the robot could not move forward. There are up to 2 cm of deposits that can be insulation and paint that have melted before sticking to the bridge. On a first attempt, the water pump did not work.

After two hours of activity, the cameras became obscured and the robot was quickly removed. TEPCO believes this is due to extremely high radiation levels.

The camera can only withstand a cumulative dose of about 1000 Sv. The analysis of the images gives an approximate dose rate of 650 Sv / h. This is even more than the recorded dose few days ago (530 Sv / h).

The company is reluctant to send the scorpion measuring robot because it could only take data for two hours.

It is not under the reactor vessel that the dose rates are the highest and TEPCO does not understand why.

TEPCo has released a new series of photos and a video. The video shows the magnitude and the difficulty of the task expected for this small robot.

TEPCO issued a press release in English, accompanied by the same photos and video and the technical note.

February 11, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment