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Sound reasons for USA not to replace Land-Based Nuclear Missiles,

No Need to Replace U.S. Land-Based Nuclear Missiles, National Interest, James E. Doyle, 21 Mar 17, As former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry has argued there are sound strategic reasons to phase out America’s fleet of 400 silo-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).  Primary among these is the fact that these missiles are vulnerable to attack because our potential nuclear adversaries such as Russia know their precise locations.

Because of their vulnerability, ICBMs are the weapon system most likely to spark an inadvertent nuclear war.  If U.S. commanders believed mistakenly (as has happened repeatedly in the past) that our ICBMs were under attack, they will face immense pressure to launch them at the perceived attacker before they are destroyed in their silos. Once they are launched if the warning of attack was false, it is too late.  Our ICBMs cannot be recalled and will destroy their targets, prompting certain nuclear retaliation on U.S. cities.

 Now recent revelations regarding the rapidly inflating cost of replacing the ICBMs and dramatic improvements in the capabilities of the other two legs of the U.S. nuclear triad make crystal clear that phasing out the ICBMs is the right choice for American security.

Pushing forward with deployment of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) as the Minuteman III replacement is called will deplete resources needed for other vital defense programs from cyber defenses to naval shipbuilding to conventional forces readiness and other nuclear modernization programs including new strategic submarines and aircraft.  Estimated cost for the 15-20 year GBSD program have increased by more than 60% from $61 billion in 2016 to over $100 billion in early 2017. No clear plans have emerged that can support this cost without forcing dramatic cuts elsewhere within the defense budget.

Fortunately, there is no need to make the painful national security trade-offs that deploying the GBSD would require.  The U.S. can safely retire the Minuteman III ICBMs as they reach the end of their service lives in the 2030s without replacing them.  This is because recent modernization programs are dramatically increasing the accuracy, and thus the effectiveness of U.S. submarine and aircraft-launched nuclear weapons. …….

A decision to cancel replacement of the Minuteman III force would have other benefits as well.  It is the most efficient way to reach the 1,000-1,000 deployed warhead level that the Department of Defense asserted was sufficient for deterrence in 2013 and it would achieve additional cost savings because ICBM warheads could be retired instead of modernized.

Finally, it would create opportunities for reaching new arms control agreements with Russia and China and demonstrate to the world that the United States was serious about meeting its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and taking a leadership role toward an eventual world without nuclear weapons.

James E. Doyle is an independent Nuclear Security Specialist. From 1997-2014 he was on the technical staff of the Nonproliferation Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory.


March 24, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Campaign groups mobilise against UK’s Bradwell nuclear power project

‘Take Bradwell off the nuclear list now’ – Campaigners call for review of Government proposed sites Rebecca Creed, Chief Reporter / ,  21 Mar 17 A CAMPAIGN group fighting against a new power station at Bradwell has called for the proposed site to be removed from a Government list.

In 2011 the Government revealed a list of eight sites deemed “potentially suitable” for new nuclear stations, including Bradwell.

But Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), which has campaigned against a new power station, believes the list should be reviewed. It comes as the group, along with other campaigners, submitted their response to a pre-application consultation for Sizewell C in Suffolk.

Andy Blowers, chairman of BANNG, said: “The policy for new nuclear power stations is out of time and out of order and safer, less expensive and environmentally-sustainable alternatives need to be put in place.”

In January, it was announced the Government had asked nuclear regulators to begin the process of approving a Chinese-designed reactor for a new power plant.

EDF Energy signed a deal with China General Nuclear Power Corporation for Bradwell B, a greenfield site next to the former station.

The Chinese company will provide two thirds of the development costs of Bradwell B and hopes to begin construction by 2023..Up to 25,000 jobs will be created during construction, although it is unclear how many vacancies will be filled by residents.

Mr Blowers added: “In the coming months BANNG will continue its campaign to oppose the Chinese nuclear project at Bradwell, which threatens to destroy a precious environment and inflict harm on present and future generations.

“At the local level we will work with the communities around the Blackwater to thwart the project in its early stages.

“At regional level we will back Together Against Sizewell C’s legal challenge to the Government’s nuclear policy.

“And, at the national level, with other protest group leaders, we shall fight to have both Bradwell and Sizewell removed from the list of nominated sites for new nuclear power stations. The Government’s policy is misguided and in need of urgent review.”Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin has said a new power station could threaten the eco-system of the Blackwater estuary at Mersea.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Nearly 70 locally elected officials in New York call to stop pro nuclear subsidies

Local leaders join opposition to New York nuclear plant aid, TIMES HERALD,  Press ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nearly 70 locally elected officials in New York are calling on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to halt a tax subsidy program that would allow three aging nuclear power plants to remain open upstate.

Legislators, town supervisors and councilmembers from more than two dozen counties signed a letter Monday to Cuomo requesting the state pause the program set to begin April 1 and publicly reassess clean energy options. Cuomo has said keeping the plants open would provide reliable energy as New York transitions half its power to renewable sources by 2030.

Some environmental advocates who oppose the program estimate its cost at up to $7.6 billion over 12 years.

The Public Service Commission says the program will cost about $1 billion in the first two years but cannot predict additional costs.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, opposition to nuclear, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Some US Republicans are worried about President Trump’s mental state

Republicans Close To Trump Say President Is Showing Signs Of Mental Illness By  , Mar 20th, 2017 
Republican strategist and MSNBC contributor Nicolle Wallace said that people outside of the administration who have spent time with Trump said that the president is showing signs of paranoia and delusion over his belief that Obama wiretapped him.

Wallace said, “I sense that they have no plans today of walking away from this claim. This is still the president’s belief. Some folks still close to the president, but not on the White House staff said it’s a word I can’t say on family-friendly TV, but the initials are B and S. Another person who spent time with the president this weekend in Florida said it was signs of paranoia and delusion around this idea that he’s so right. Interestingly, he has sought to have people outside the government corroborate this wiretapping claim, which either suggests this observation of paranoia and delusion is in fact operation or extreme ignorance of all the powers at his disposal and all the investigative powers of the federal government.”

These are Republicans close to Trump who claimed that the President Of The United States is paranoid, delusional, and believes that Obama wiretapped him. Wallace’s comments on MSNBC were a statement that the President might be mentally ill.

Before anyone asks, the constitutional standard for the removal of a president contains no discussion of mental fitness. It would be difficult to nearly impossible to remove Trump from office due to mental illness. It would have to be demonstrated that Trump is physically unable to perform the job of president.

The Trump claim that Obama wiretapped him was not some brilliant diversion. Trump’s belief that Obama spied on him is the mark of a paranoid, and mentally ill president.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | politics, psychology - mental health, USA | Leave a comment

Grid scale storage for power reliability – 2 Australian States choose this energy method

Two Australian states embrace grid-scale storage for power reliability, Dive Brief:

  • Two Australian states are ramping up energy storage to address rising electricity costs and rolling blackouts, according to media reports.
  • In South Australia, the government says it will hold a competitive solicitation for a 100 MW battery storage installation and construct a 250 MW gas plant, according to Energy Storage News reports.
  • The state of Victoria is also investing $20 million in an effort to boost energy storage to 100 MW by the end of next year, ABC News reports.
Dive Insight:The government announcements come days after Tesla told South Australia officials that it could install a 100 MW battery system in 100 days that would solve the state’s power problems.South Australia has been suffering from rolling blackouts brought about by high heat and a lack of baseload power. The situation has attracted developers like ZEN Energy and Tesla, who say that battery storage could go a long way toward integrating renewables into the state’s grid and solving grid instability problems.

South Australia officials also announced plans for a 250 MW gas-fired generator to act as backup for intermittent renewables.

Officials said the gas plant would be turned on only when power shortfalls are forecasted, according to ABC. A bill is reportedly in the works to give the state energy minister more control over power dispatch, after criticisms of the Australian grid operator stemming from the power outages.

Victoria, meanwhile, is looking at a range of energy storage solutions, including batteries, pumped hydro storage and solar thermal technology. The $20 million investment will come on top of a separate $5 million solicitation for a 20 MW energy storage system issued last month.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, energy storage | Leave a comment

Time for Malaysia to reject nuclear energy

Time to reject nuclear energy , The Star, DR R.S. MCCOY Petaling Jaya, 21 Mar 17  I REFER to the report “Expert: There is rising resistance to nuke option” (The Star, March 15) where Prof Ramesh Thakur warned of “rising public opposition towards nuclear energy due to its many risks.” He emphasised that the Malaysian Government “must weigh all the potential risks, including the possibility of a nuclear accident, smuggling and theft of nuclear components.”

It was noted that the final report of the Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) Mission Phase 1 would soon be tabled for discussion by Cabinet, and claimed that Malaysia is thoroughly prepared to make an informed decision about introducing nuclear power.

But there are many convincing reasons why nuclear energy is not a viable option for Malaysia. The global nuclear industry has continually failed to contain escalating costs and delays in the construction of nuclear power plants. There will always be the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation and nuclear terrorism……….

Historically, a Russian nuclear power plant was the first to be connected to an electricity grid in Obinsk in 1954. Nuclear power plants soon mushroomed across the developed world, based on the deceptive slogan that nuclear-generated electricity was “too cheap to meter”. But global nuclear power capacity has stagnated ever since the catastrophic nuclear meltdown in Chernobyl in 1986 and the realisation that nuclear power is not cheap, clean or safe.

Today, only 24 countries operate 388 nuclear power plants, compared with 438 nuclear reactors in 2002, producing less than 2% of the world’s total electricity. Only 14 countries have plans to build new reactors.

Cheap nuclear power is a myth. Forbes magazine has called it “the biggest managerial disaster in history.” As recently as May 2009, two financial reports in the business section of the New York Times highlighted the incredible economics of building a nuclear power plant. The reports revealed two fiascos involving the construction of a new reactor in Olkiluoto in Finland by the French company, Areva, and the virtual collapse of the once touted global flagship, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. Both companies were overtaken by cost overruns amounting to billions of dollars caused by decades-long delays in completing construction schedules.

The nuclear industry’s history of financial disasters is lamentable. It includes the loss of more than US$1tril in subsidies, abandoned projects and other public misadventures. Amory Lovins, an energy expert, has called it “the greatest failure of any enterprise in the industrial history of the world.”………

On June 21, 2009, the then Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia said the Government would not consider the production of nuclear-generated electricity before exploring alternative renewable energy resources such as biomass, solar, wind and hydro power. So what is the Government’s justification for resorting to nuclear power when national electricity reserves are still substantial?

Malaysia would do well to emulate and learn from Denmark, where new technologies have made energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy feasible. Denmark derives most of its renewable energy from biomass and a fifth of its electricity from five thousand wind turbines. Denmark has no hydroelectric or nuclear power and has secured a high level of growth without an increase in greenhouse gas

emissions. It has achieved this through a strong political focus on energy policy and a unique cooperative relationship between researchers, business people and politicians.

Denmark’s ethos of social solidarity, transparency, accountability and common purpose shines an environmental beacon of light for Malaysia……

The issue of nuclear energy is too important to be decided by partisan politics and business interests. It must not be turned into a money-spinner for some politically-connected company or a career-builder for those connected to the nuclear industry. It is not good enough to “engage” with the public by holding politically predetermined seminars and conferences where pro-nuclear groups with vested interests tout the false benefits of nuclear energy to an unsuspecting public.

The energy path to a sustainable future lies elsewhere……..

we must not be deceived by the false propaganda of the nuclear industry. We must reject nuclear energy and avoid the grievous dangers of nuclear devastation and lethal radioactivity that will last for thousands of years. It would be immoral and unethical to leave future generations with such a legacy. t


March 24, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Doubtful futute for Perry Nuclear Power Plant: First Energy wants it to be classified as “clean”

As Perry Nuclear Power Plant continues its shutdown for refueling future remains up in the air , 5 .com  Mar 22, 2017 “.….. Owner FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company though announced in February they’re looking to get out of the competitive generating business.

“That could be selling the plant, it could be finding some type of solution that would bring it into a more regulated like environment or it could mean closing,” said FirstEnergy Spokesperson Jennifer Young…….

FirstEnergy would like to see the state adopt a Zero Emissions Nuclear Program which the state legislature is expected to consider. It’s a measure that would recognize nuclear as a clean energy source much like credits provided for wind and solar…..

March 24, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment