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The Fires of History Yet Rage — Climate Change and the Authoritarian Assault on Liberal Democracy

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR: Robert Scribbler writes about history and the forces prompting a downward spiral of modern civilization. He is writing about the greed and politics that I believe will lead to a collapse that is far greater than the regional falls over the past thousands of years. In western India, the Middle East, and north Africa, local societies destroyed their forests, soils, and water and then they faded away. The danger we are in now is not regional, it is global.

Critics called the 1972 book Limits to Growth, which predicted our civilisation would collapse this century, a doomsday fantasy. Back in 2002, self-styled environmental expert Bjorn Lomborg consigned it to the “dustbin of history.” It doesn’t belong there. Research from the University of Melbourne has found the book’s forecasts are accurate, 40 years on. If we continue to track in line with the book’s scenario, expect the early…

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April 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reactors from Russia are Unsafe and Unreliable, Says Russian Environmentalist

Mining Awareness +

The Russian nuclear giant, Atomstroyexport, has been clearly unwilling to abide by the Indian liability law which has a clause on suppliers liability in case of an accident. What does it say on their claims of safety?“(From the interview with Vladimir Slivyak by Dianuke). Atomsroyexport is majority owned by Rosatom, and minority owned by Gazprombank Group. All are Russian State owned. The US, Japan, Romania, Morocco, Argentina and the UAE have also agreed to protect suppliers from being sued through the “Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear Damage.” (See: http://state.gov/md5951.htm) There continue to be suppliers, even after construction (e.g. nuclear fuel).

From Dianuke.org:
JAN 9 2015
Reactors from Russia are unsafe and unreliable, India shouldn’t buy them: Russian environmentalist Vladimir Slivyak

DiaNuke.org interviewed the eminent environmentalist Vladimir Slivyak whose group EcoDefense has been facing repression in Russia for exposing the lack of nuclear safety and…

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Stop Koodankulam Nuclear Reactor Expansion: Modi-Putin Nuclear Tango

Mining Awareness +

Koodankulam Nuclear Power Protest - PMANE, - Dianuke.org
Photo: Koodankulam Nuclear Power Protest, PMANE, Dianuke.org
Via Dianuke.org:
Stop the Koodankulam NPP Expansion Now!: PMANE’s Statement on Modi-Putin Nuclear Tango OCTOBER 15, 2016
People’s Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMANE) 
National Alliance of Anti-nuclear Movements (NAAM)
Press Release | October 14, 2016

It has just been announced that the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and the Russian President Mr. Valdimir Putin will do the “Base Concreting Work” for the Koodankulam nuclear power plant units 3 and 4 at 1:05 pm on October 15, 2016, Saturday through video-conferencing. It may be remembered that these two leaders dedicated the first unit to the nation a few months back through video conferencing. But the same first reactor is going to be shut down again in December this year for two months for re-fuelling. It must be noted that the same unit was shut down for seven months for re-fuelling earlier this…

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South Africa – Zuma’s Late Night Cabinet Reshuffle: Putin-Rosatom Nuclear Coup?

Mining Awareness +


One plausible reason for the aggressive push for an expanded nuclear fleet is a political union between Russian President Vladimir Putin and South African President Jacob Zuma, who is whispered to be at the core of the nuclear drive. The evidence that the odds are focused at Russia’s favor in the bidding process is overwhelming; with the Intergovernmental Framework Agreement with Russia being concluded first and in far more detail than the other agreements.” (Excerpt from Dominique Doyle of EarthLife Africa in https://safeenergy.org/2015/08/17/south-africas-russian-nuclear-dream-boat )

Rosatom is a State Corporation and thus is subordinate to the Russian President, rather than the government.


Link: https://youtu.be/QrjnbK9daLI

Last year: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/south-africa-civil-society-contests-nuclear-environmental-impact-report-minister-speaking-against-nuclear-axed/

From Greenpeace Africa:
Greenpeace reacts to Zuma’s late night cabinet reshuffle
Press release – March 31, 2017
31 March 2017, Johannesburg: Reacting to the late night cabinet reshuffle undertaken by President Zuma, Greenpeace Africa had the following to say:

“Greenpeace Africa…

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Russia: Web Censor Crackdown Ahead of April 2nd Anti-Corruption Protests

Mining Awareness +

From Ad Vox-Global Voices:
Russian Web Censor Cracks Down Ahead of Next Anti-Corruption Protests, by Isaac Webb, Posted 31 March 2017 12:34 GMT     
Russia’s prosecutor general requested on Friday that Roskomnadzor, the state agency responsible for censoring media, block websites it said are inciting public disorder by inviting people to join a rally scheduled be held in central Moscow on Sunday.

In a written request, Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin asked Roskomnadzor to block five websites “calling for participation in mass (public) events on April 2, 2017 on Red Square in Moscow and in all other major cities of the Russian Federation.”

The request comes in the wake of the largest opposition demonstrations held in Russia since 2011-12, when protesters rallied against the results of the allegedly fraudulent 2011 parliamentary elections and President Vladimir Putin’s decision to run for a third term in 2012. Sixty thousand people gathered in cities across Russia last Sunday to protest state…

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April 2 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

Trump is on the losing side of history on coal, climate change • Trump’s executive order does not fundamentally change the economics of power production. The natural gas boom, fueled by fracking, is a huge factor. But renewable power has surged. There for every job in US coal mines, there are almost 10 in renewable-energy. [Corpus Christi Caller-Times]

250-ton coal truck (Photo: Matthew Brown, AP)

Why business is greener than Trump • Since Trump’s election, nearly 900 companies and investors have signed an open letter, “Business Backs Low Carbon,” calling on the administration not to withdraw the US from the Paris agreement. These companies believe that failure to build a low-carbon economy would hurt America’s prosperity. [Gulf Times]

Science and Technology:

¶ A team of researchers from Kaneko, a company operating in Japan, has recently announced breaking the efficiency record of solar panels…

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No April Fools’ Joke: Russia-Trump-Tillerson-NATO

Mining Awareness +

Senator Merkley to now US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson:

On March 22nd, Congresswoman Kaptur remarked: “Mr. Speaker, years from now, history books could well describe entrapment of a United States President by a foreign adversary. Allow me to update my colleagues on the Trump administration’s foreign policy. Recently, the State Department avoided committing Secretary Rex Tillerson to a NATO meeting next month with our tried and true allies in Europe. Yet, the administration has no problem flying Secretary Tillerson to Moscow to meet with Putin in April. This is no April Fools’ joke. Since when is the Kremlin more important than our NATO partners? Never.” Tillerson finally went, but, according to Reuters, Friday, 31 March, during his brief stop in Brussels“, Tillerson failed to “hold one-on-one meetings with countries, which is customary during such gatherings.

Part of Greenpeace graphic. See entire graphic at…

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Toothless! Lapdog! Nukiller! Regulators Rubberstamp Moorside Plan

If you believe this rhetoric from the industry and their government “regulator” lapdogs then you believe that black is white, that habitats can be replaced, that Nukiller is safe, that Cumbrians are immune from radiation linked diseases.

Read this and weep, and then get active, organise and RESIST!!

“In 2011 the Environment Agency published its decision document setting out its detailed assessment of environmental aspects of the UK AP1000 nuclear power station design. It used the comments and issues raised in the 2010 consultation to help inform its decisions. Since December 2011, the Environment Agency has been assessing the further information Westinghouse provided. The environmental regulators have now issued a full SoDA. This supplement to the 2011 decision document explains developments since 2011 and why they have issued a SoDA. The regulators conclude that the environmental aspects of the design would meet the high standards they expect, and have decided…

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Politics, Nature-Conservation, and Pipelines

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

Abandoning Fossil Fuels for Nature Conservation

GR: Fossil fuels are harmful during their extraction, delivery, refinement, and use. Alternative energy sources are available that are safer and offer tangible benefits for people. More employment opportunity is an example. It is imperative for the survival of nature, wildlife, and humanity that we close the door on the fossil-fuel industry and its disastrous impact. The first step is replacing all the kleptocrats who serve in our governments with progressive politicians able to resist the financial incentives for destroying the Earth. To do this with a balanced integration of human and nature concerns, we must form an alliance of progressive political parties and nature-conservation organizations.

Though the political alliance is the primary strategy, we can have some influence over our kleptocrats by showing them the strength of our numbers. Here’s a petition to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau that focuses on the delivery part…

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April 1 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

While Trump promotes coal, other countries are turning to cheap sun power • Last year when the Chilean government invited utility companies to bid on public contracts. The auction was dominated by solar producer offering to supply electricity at about half the cost of coal-fired plants. It wasn’t because of a government subsidy. [Prince George Citizen]

Concentrating solar power in Chile
(Tamara Merino for The Washington Post)

Toshiba debacle highlights huge risks in nuclear power business • The high-profile bankruptcy of Toshiba’s US nuclear subsidiary is graphic evidence of the gargantuan risk involved in the business. Westinghouse filed for bankruptcy under the weight of huge cost overruns at four nuclear reactors it has been building in the US. [Asahi Shimbun]

World:

¶ The top court in India has gone ahead and banned the sale of vehicles running on Euro III standards (and older)…

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The Aegis 9: Nine activists with Maine Veterans for Peace and the Global Network Against Weapon and Nuclear Power in Space arrested

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The Aegis 9: Nine activists with Maine Veterans for Peace and the Global Network Against Weapon and Nuclear Power in Space were arrested during a snow storm at Bath Iron Works in Maine on Saturday morning, April 1 after blocking the ceremony entry gate to the “christening” of a warship. Read more at http://www.nukeresister.org/2017/04/01/nine-activists-arrested-during-a-snow-storm-after-blocking-gate-to-christening-of-warship/

April 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

UK regulators give design acceptance to the AP1000 nuclear power station design

SNIP “….In seeking protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy act, Westinghouse could still finish building those plants. Westinghouse said it has arranged $800 million in financing so that it can continue to serve customers while restructuring its business…..” Source March 29 2017 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/westinghouse-files-for-bankruptcy-in-a-blow-to-nuclear-power-industry/2017/03/29/4a64b6f2-1338-11e7-833c-503e1f6394c9_story.html?utm_term=.23077a83b016

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Press release from the UK Environment Agency 1 April (not an April fools joke unfortunately)

As regulators of the nuclear industry we are working with the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and Natural Resources Wales (NRW) to ensure that any new nuclear power stations built in the UK meet high standards of safety, security, environmental protection and waste management.

Yesterday we announced that the AP1000® nuclear reactor, designed by Westinghouse, is suitable for construction in the UK following completion of an in-depth assessment of the nuclear power station design.

We are satisfied that the reactor meets expectations on safety, security and environmental protection at this stage of the regulatory process.

Our documents have been published on GOV.UK

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/gda-decisions-and-soda-ap1000-nuclear-power-station-design-by-westinghouse-electric-company

Press release

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/regulators-give-design-acceptance-to-the-ap1000-power-station-design

Further information about our decision, interim SoDA and consultation can be found on GOV.UK

Information about the Office for Nuclear Regulation’s decision and documents are on the ONR website

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Fukushima nuclear disaster aftermath cost now estimated at Y70 tril (626 billion dollars)

TOKYO — Apr. 02, 2017

https://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/fukushima-nuclear-disaster-aftermath-cost-estimated-at-y70-tril

The total cost to deal with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster has been estimated at 70 trillion yen ($626 billion), over three times more than the government calculation, a study by a private think tank showed Saturday.

The Japan Center for Economic Research said total costs at the Fukushima nuclear complex operated by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc could rise to between 50 trillion and 70 trillion yen. It compares with the roughly 22 trillion yen a government panel estimated in December.

“If costs rise, the public burden could greatly increase. The country’s nuclear policy needs to be reviewed,” the JCER said.

Initially in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the government expected the costs to total 11 trillion.

But a study by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed the figure could be double the sum estimated in 2013.

Following that, the government decided to raise electricity rates to secure the money necessary to cover compensation payments, increasing the national burden.

Among the costs, the bill for compensation has been estimated at 8 trillion yen by the ministry. The JCER also adopted the figure.

The JCER, however, estimated costs for decontamination work at 30 trillion yen, compared with the government’s figure of 6 trillion yen, after the think tank made a calculation under a presumption that radioactive substances are disposed of at a facility in Rokkasho village in Aomori Prefecture.

The government is seeking a way to treat waste in Fukushima Prefecture, including radioactive soil, of which the amount could add up to roughly 22 million cubic meters, but where and how it will be disposed of has yet to be decided. Costs related to the procedure are not included in the government’s calculation.

Costs for decommissioning crippled reactors, which is expected to take 30 to 40 years, were estimated by the center at 11 trillion yen, compared with the government’s 8 trillion yen.

Expenses to treat contaminated water that remains in tanks at the plant were estimated by the center at 20 trillion yen unless the toxic water is released in the ocean after being diluted as nuclear regulation authorities recommend.

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Nuclear battle fears: Saudi Arabia trying to pay money for ‘nukes to fight Iran’

The Saudi Government has accelerated research into nuclear programmes and has begun building a team of experts, according to a new report by.

Labelled a nuclear ”newcomer” the Saudi Kingdom is pushing to arm itself with new technologies, the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said.

The Washington DC-based group wrote since nuclear action was scaled back in Iran, it has increased in the Saudi kingdom.

Iran signed a landmark nuclear deal with world powers including the US, the UK, France and Russia in 2015.

Huge economic sanctions on Iran were lifted as a result of it restricting its sensitive nuclear activities.

The deal limited Iran’s sensitive nuclear program and subjected it to greater international monitoring.

But in nearby Said Arabia, a new threat is growing, it is claimed.

The organisation which monitors global proliferation issues (ISIS) said: “Saudi Arabia is in the early stages of nuclear development.

It is also claimed Saudi will “more actively seek nuclear weapons capabilities” in retaliation to the situation in Iran.

But currently it is focused on civilian nuclear uses.

Former US President Barrack Obama’s administration claimed the nuclear deal would calm tensions in the area

However, this is not the case.

Saudi Arabia has already stated its intention to build at least 16 nuclear reactors in the coming years.

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/786768/Nuclear-war-fears-Saudi-Arabia-nuclear-deal?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+daily-express-news-showbiz+%28Express+%3A%3A+News+%2F+Showbiz+Feed%29

April 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Pakistan, India taking rival steps ‘to advance nuclear arsenals’

NEW YORK –  India and Pakistan have in recent months adopted duelling steps to test new nuclear weapons aimed at gaining strategic advantage over each other, according to a US media report.

“The nuclear arms race between India and Pakistan is intensifying, with new weaponry and more aggressive doctrines that are stoking tensions between two powers at growing risk of confrontation,” The Wall Street Journal reported from Islamabad.

Each has more than 100 nuclear warheads and new ways to deliver them from land, air and sea, with India appearing to be considering changing its nuclear doctrine to allow a first strike against Pakistan, correspondent Saeed Shah said, citing analysts.

Among rival developments, India tested interceptor missiles twice this year as part of its plan to develop a ballistic missile-defence shield, the report pointed out. Pakistan in January tested a missile with multiple warheads capable of evading it.

India said last year it began testing its first homemade nuclear-powered submarine at sea and a nuclear missile capable of striking all of Pakistani territory from far offshore. Then Pakistan this year said it had tested its own undersea nuclear missile capable of carrying out a retaliatory strike, the report said.

India’s army chief said for the first time this year that it devised a plan for a rapid, shallow, conventional invasion of Pakistan that some analysts say could be unleashed in response to a cross-border terror attack like the Mumbai assault of 2008.

India has calibrated such an invasion so as not to provoke Pakistan to retaliate with its big, strategic nuclear weapons, the report said citing current and former officials from both sides.

Pakistan, in response, has developed a capability to strike such an advance with tactical nuclear weapons-which have a smaller detonation-that it calculates wouldn’t trigger a massive retaliation from India, it said.

“We assess that these types of attacks and the potential reactions increase the likelihood for miscalculation by both countries,” warned the head of US Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, in congressional testimony in March. “A significant conventional conflict between Pakistan and India could escalate into a nuclear exchange.”

The US State Department declined to comment, the report said. The foreign ministries of Pakistan and India didn’t respond to requests for comment. Both countries say they are developing a “credible minimal” nuclear deterrent.

While Pakistan races to keep pace with India, India is vying with the larger nuclear programme of Pakistan’s ally China, according to the report. China, meanwhile, is in competition with the US, which has drawn close to India in recent years.

International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, an advocacy group, said even a limited nuclear conflict between India and Pakistan would have such a devastating impact on global climate that it would put two billion people at risk of famine.

Pakistan says the driver of the current round of nuclear competition is the US move in 2005 to legitimize India’s nuclear programme and allow it to buy fissile material on the international market. The US claims the deal strengthened non-proliferation.

That accord was intended to cement US ties with India to help contain a rising China, it said, citing analysts. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s relationship with the US has suffered as the two nations blamed each other for chaos in Afghanistan.

“With the US closer to India and an untested president in the White House, some nuclear strategists question whether Washington can still play its former honest-broker role to defuse India-Pakistan tensions,” correspondent Shah wrote.

Pakistan is increasingly relying on its nuclear deterrent against a neighbour that has a five-time bigger defence budget and twice the military manpower, it was pointed out. Pakistan is out producing India’s nuclear weapons by four to one, according to the Stimson Center, a Washington research group. Islamabad disputes that assessment.

India’s bigger stockpile of nuclear fuel and new reactors set to soon start producing substantial amounts of plutonium give New Delhi the potential to overtake Pakistan’s production of nuclear weapons in the future, it said, citing experts.

Pakistan’s recent development of tactical devices raises the risk of a nuclear weapon being used and of them falling into the hands of militants, the report cited “some experts” as claiming.

Another risk, they say, is India’s stated belief that a limited conventional war with Pakistan is possible despite nuclear arms on both sides.

India seems to be rethinking its declared policy of not using nuclear weapons first, Vipin Narang, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was quoted as saying.

If India believes Pakistan is about to use its tactical weapons, it would need to hit them first-and take out Pakistan’s strategic arsenal with nuclear strikes before Pakistan could retaliate against Indian cities, the report said.

To destroy Pakistan’s arsenal, India would need many more nuclear weapons; Pakistan would need to dramatically increase numbers to have a good chance of some weapons surviving an Indian first strike.

“Pakistan would have to go first and with everything because it can’t afford to lose. And the Indians would have to go even earlier. Iteratively, it is very destabilising. No side could afford to go second,” Prof Narang said.

India, now led by a Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government, will respond to any terror attacks in a more determined manner, as demonstrated with its special forces [so-called] incursion into Pakistani territory after an attack against an Indian base at Uri last year, Rajeswari Rajagopalan, a former Indian National Security Council official now at the Observer Research Foundation, a think tank in Delhi, was quoted as saying.

As neighbours, India and Pakistan would have just 10 minutes to react to the launch of a missile by the other side and judge whether it is nuclear armed.

Though the two have diplomatic ties, no dialogue exists to rein in the nuclear rivalry, the report said.

“If this kind of arms competition continues between India and Pakistan, the rhetoric continues to increase, and non-state actors continue to run amok, sooner or later we’ll have a crisis,” Feroz Khan, a former senior official in Pakistan’s nuclear programme, who now teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School, California, said. “South Asia sits on a tinderbox.”

http://nation.com.pk/national/02-Apr-2017/pakistan-india-taking-rival-steps-to-advance-nuclear-arsenals

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 02-Apr-2017 here

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