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

Mainstream media needs to stop regurgitating nuclear spin about climate change

Plenty of carbon used in nuclear energy April 14 https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/plenty-of-carbon-used-in-nuclear-energy/2017/04/14/055e9262-1e1e-11e7-bb59-a74ccaf1d02f_story.html?utm_term=.a0219255a149 Paki Wieland

The April 2 editorial “Nuclear energy in peril” referred to nuclear energy as carbon-free. It is not carbon-free.If we look at nuclear power in whole, from the uranium mining to the dismantling of nuclear power plants, there is an extraordinary use of energy, from the initial devastation of the environment where the uranium is mined to the costly cleanup.

The impact on the environment continues through every phase of nuclear-energy production. A deep look into the issue of nuclear power would lead to overwhelming evidence to support ending nuclear power as a source of energy.

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April 14, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Scott Pruitt, Anti Environment Chief, states that USA should exit Paris climate deal

EPA chief Scott Pruitt tells ‘Fox & Friends’ U.S. should exit Paris climate deal, Think Progress, 14 Apr 17 
He then left the interview to give the coal industry a boost. 
Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt said Thursday during an appearance on Fox and Friends that the United States should exit the Paris climate agreement because the accord only serves the interests of Europe, China and India.

“Paris is something that we need to really look at closely because it is something we need to exit, in my opinion,” Pruitt told the Fox News show hosts. “It’s a bad deal for America”

Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general with close ties to the state’s oil and gas industry, has labeled the agreement a “bad deal” in the past but had not previously called for the United States to withdraw from the accord……

President Donald Trump reportedly is expected to meet with his senior advisers to decide whether the Unites States should stay in the Paris climate agreement. It remains to be seen whether Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, will attend the meeting. Ivanka Trump reportedly favors the country meeting its Paris climate agreement obligations. https://thinkprogress.org/scott-pruitt-calls-for-exit-of-paris-agreement-cd3d04a5f780

April 14, 2017 Posted by | climate change, politics, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Requiem

The Nuclear Requiem  Bob Frye’s The Nuclear Requiem is now airing on PBS nationwide. WYCC has a broadcast scheduled for 8 p.m.on April 30th, with WTTW airing it on the same day at 6 p.m. Or watch online anytime at PBS. Check out the film’s website or Facebook page for more details.

April 14, 2017 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Take part in April 22nd Earth Day and global March for Science

The Bulletin supports the March for Science  April 22nd is not just Earth Day, it’s the global March for Science. Find out everything you need to know about attending in your area, or about attending digitally through an online stream. The Bulletin will be present at the March for Science Chicago, and we’ll have a booth at the Science Expo at the end of the march route. Stop by and visit. And be sure to catch theBulletin‘s Rachel Bronson, Sonny Garg, and Daniel Holz in a “Fireside Chat,” hosted by the March for Science Chicago, onTuesday, April 18th.

April 14, 2017 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Scientists can be advocates and maintain scientific credibility

https://skepticalscience.com/scientists-can-march-maintain-credibility.html13 April 2017 by dana1981

Scientists are often hesitant to engage in what might be considered “advocacy,” for fear of losing credibility with the public. But a recent study led by John Kotcher at George Mason’s Center for Climate Change Communication found that “climate scientists who wish to engage in certain forms of advocacy have considerable latitude to do so without risking harm to their credibility, or the credibility of the scientific community.”

The study found that the perceived credibility of a hypothetical scientist did not decline when that scientist advocated for generalities such as a “strong effort” to curb the impacts of climate change—nor did credibility decline if the scientist called for more specific and concrete actions such as “strict limits on carbon emissions from coal power plants.” But perceived credibility did decline when the hypothetical scientist advocated building more nuclear power plants, which are relatively unpopular amongst the American public.

These results suggest that as long as scientists don’t advocate for specific unpopular policies, a range of advocacy positions are available that won’t harm their credibility. For example, polling has shown that most Americans—including Trump voters—support policies to combat climate change. They also think it’s a bad idea to cut scientific research funding, they support clean energy, and they want the government to do more to mitigate climate change risks.

Additionally, there’s been no more important time in recent history for scientists to engage in advocacy on behalf of our science, which is under attack from the current administration. According to the March 16 issue of the journal SciencePresident Trump proposed a federal budget that would cut funding to the Environmental Protection Agency’s science programs by 40 percent, the Energy Department’s Office of Science programs by 20 percent, grants to the main research arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) by 26 percent, NOAA satellites by 13 percent, the National Institutes of Health by 20 percent, and so on. Trump’s EPA administrator rejects the expert consensus and overwhelming scientific evidence that human carbon pollution is the dominant cause of recent global warming, and has been filling EPA positions with like-minded individuals. President Trump has still only moved to fill one out of 46 key government science and technology positions, and reports indicate that the candidates he’s considering for the position of his science advisor all deny human-caused climate change.

The House of Representatives recently passed two bills that would severely limit the EPA’s ability to issue scientifically-justified regulations. And of course President Trump signed an executive order to roll back a slew of science-based government climate policies.

This month, we have two opportunities to engage in activism to push back against these anti-science policies, in the form of marches.

Click here to read the rest

April 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Delay in Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) planned underground storage facility for nuclear waste

OPG nuclear waste site remains on hold, pending more studies http://www.ecolog.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?aid=1003960830&PC=EN&issue=04132017&utm_content=bufferc4714&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer by Mark Sabourin EcoLog, 4/13/2017 

Progress remains stalled on Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG’s) planned underground storage facility for nuclear waste following review of its latest submission to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). The CEAA has told OPG that the additional information it supplied at the CEAA’s request is not good enough and has asked for more about alternatives to OPG’s preferred site 680 metres below the surface and 1.2 km from the shore of Lake Huron.

The report and recommendation of the Joint Review Panel on the project have been on the desk of the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change since May 2015. Though the report found that, with certain mitigation measures, the project was not likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects, it remains widely unpopular on both sides of the Canada-US border. The minister has so far avoided making a decision by requesting studies on technically and economically feasible alternative sites and an updated analysis of cumulative environmental effects of OPG’s recommended site.

OPG submitted its new analysis in December 2016 but, following a technical review and public comment period, the CEAA has declared it inadequate. The CEAA says that OPG’s selection of alternative locations is based on limited criteria, and that differences among locations have not been clearly described. It also takes issue with OPG’s analysis of cumulative environmental effects and its proposed mitigation measures. It has raised 21 specific issues and asked OPG to report on each.

OPG is proposing a deep geologic repository for low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in a geologically stable rock formation 680 metres below the site of its Bruce nuclear power plant. According to OPG, the bulk of the waste, which is currently stored aboveground, will decay within 300 years, though a portion will remain radioactive for another 100,000 years. It argues that entombment deep below ground in geologically stable rock is the safest long-term option.

However, opponents argue that a site near the shore of one of the Great Lakes, the source of water for more than 40 million people, is the wrong choice.

April 14, 2017 Posted by | Canada, wastes | Leave a comment

Almaraz nuclear incident sparks calls for probe, halt to storage plan

 Portugal news Online, BY TPN/ LUSA   12-04-2017   Environmental campaigners have called for an investigation into an unplanned stoppage at the nuclear plant at Almaraz, near the border with Portugal, while a member of the European parliament for Portugal’s governing Socialist Party said such incidents should prompt an “immediate halt” in the construction of a waste storage facility on the site.

“These incidents should prompt the Spanish authorities to immediately halt construction of the waste storage and to plan, in consultation with Portugal and the European Union, for the plant’s closure”, said EU MP Carlos Zorrinho, in a statement sent to Lusa News Agency.
While the incidents “are apparently without systemic risk (…) in the case of nuclear energy the precautionary principle and that of zero tolerance should apply”, he concluded.
Zorrinho’s comments came following an incident at the plant earlier this week, on Monday, when an unplanned stoppage occurred in one of the main pumps…….

In February, Spain and Portugal agreed to settle a dispute involving plans to build a nuclear waste storage facility at Almaraz with the help of European Union mediators.
That was after Portugal lodged a formal complaint because of Spain’s failure to carry out a full environmental impact study before advancing with the plan. http://www.theportugalnews.com/news/almaraz-nuclear-incident-sparks-calls-for-probe-halt-to-storage-plan/41642?utm_content=buffer6ac89&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

April 14, 2017 Posted by | Spain, wastes | Leave a comment

The Fukushima Evacuees Future

 

End of March 2017 the Japanese government pretends that the Fukushima disaster is over, ending the compensation and housing programs, forcing the evacuees to return to the contaminated towns close to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster site.

Masahiro Imamura, the reconstruction minister, while asked multiple questions about the plight of those classified as voluntary evacuees did expose the government opinion about the disaster’s victims, shocking all the journalists by his insensitivity. During that interview the reconstruction minister got angry with a reporter, ordering him to get out and to never come there again.

The government is encountered wide criticism for its handling of evacuees issue. To raise the radiation exposure limits for all people included children to that of nuclear plant workers has been condemned worldwide.

Those classified as voluntary evacuees are the people who evacuated from the regions of Fukushima that were not under official evacuation orders. Plus as more towns are now reopened, their evacuation orders lifted, those people who do not return are now becoming considered voluntary evacuees as well. The government provided housing assistance for voluntary evacuees ended in March. Asked about the government position on evacuees choosing to not return home Imamura sais that if they chose to not return to their home town they should take full responsibility for their own actions.

Japan’s government has done everything possible to remove all possible other options for evacuees, to force the evacuees to return to live in their contaminated towns. Compensation was ended for many. Housing programs have also ended, and temporary housing units are scheduled for closure, while at the same time many of the reopened towns lack sufficient services and many homes are heavily damaged, abandoned as they were since 2011.

Decontamination efforts to reduce radiation levels have not been very successful. With maybe a low radiation level only in the town center, with a radiation monitor set on concrete, but around town still many locations with unsafe levels. Many of those towns close to Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant still have no evacuation plan in case of further events.

The nuclear plant site remains a considerable risk. Work to dismantle sections of the damaged reactor buildings can release radioactive dust to the wind. Risks of hydrogen explosions, radiation releases or criticalities will remain as long as the site exists in its current state or has highly radioactive materials on site. To force the people back to live in close proximity to the site just puts them at further risk.

Imamura faced with a petition calling for his resignation tried to apologized in a more nuanced tone but the government policy remains. Prime Minister Abe dismissed calls for Imamura to resign.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/nhknewsline/quotesoftheday/20170405/

April 14, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , | Leave a comment

Under the Arctic Dome — Brutish High Pressure System is Wrecking the Already Thinned Sea Ice | robertscribbler

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR: Arctic warming and polar ice cap melting are proceeding as predicted. The predictions should have alarmed our governments. The reality is going to be painful. Our governments and elected leaders chose to ignore the warnings in return for handouts from the fossil-fuel industry. The voters are beginning to catch on, but our politicians probably think their bag of loot guarantees them a happy future. However, they are not going to like the unavoidable extreme weather events they’ve helped lock in to our future.

“There’s a real atmospheric brute towering over the Arctic’s Beaufort Sea at this time. A high pressure system that would put shame to most other anti-cyclonic phenomena that bear the name. It is sending out a broad, clockwise pattern of winds. It is pulling up warm air from the Pacific to invade the Bering, Chukchi, East Siberian and Laptev Seas. And its torquing motion is shattering…

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April 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Our Health and Safety and the Doubling of Sellafield

Letter to Tim Farron MP sent today….

Dear Tim,

Following correspondence with you regarding questions about the Moorside Health Impact Assessment we have been sent a message from Dr Ian Fairlie. Dr Fairlie has generously offered a briefing to your team on the health impacts of Moorside. His letter is below..

“Hello Tim

I write as a scientist on the causation of the raised incidences of childhood leukemias observed near Sellafield, but also at many nuclear facilities world-wide. Some people take the view that these may be due to a theoretical virus and population-mixing as proposed by a Professor Kinlen many years ago.

However this hypothesis has many problems. Perhaps the most relevant is that it moots an incoming population which carries some kind of virus or agent which “infects” the existing population and results in increased rates of childhood leukemia among them. However almost all the increased leukemias observed…

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April 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

April 14 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “Nuclear plant shutdown divides Great Lakes community” • There are nine nuclear plants on the US side of the Great Lakes, but cheaper energy sources are forcing some to shut down. About half of the funding for Covert Public Schools, in Covert, Michigan, comes from taxes on Palisades Nuclear Plant, but many residents want to see it close. [WBFO]

Palisades Nuclear Plant (NRC image)

¶ “EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s claim that China and India have ‘no obligations’ until 2030 under the Paris Accord” • The EPA administrator denounced the Paris Climate Accord as a “bad deal for America,” claiming China and India had no obligations until 2030. We have good news for him. That problem is solved! [Washington Post]

Science and Technology:

¶ A research paper examines a previously unknown influence of humans on extreme weather. Carbon emissions lead to warming of the atmosphere…

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April 14, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Have U.S. President Donald Trump’s missile strikes brought us closer to nuclear war?

Could Syria Spark a Nuclear War Between Russia and America?, National Interest, Geoff Wilson Will Saetren, 12 Apr 17, On April 6, 2017, the 100th anniversary of the United States entering World War I, American warships launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at regime targets in Syria. The base that absorbed the attack, Al Shayrat air base in Homs province, houses both Russian and Syrian troops, who are allies in Syria’s bloody civil war.

It was a flawless military operation, popular with American politicians, media and the public. And it is a serious problem.

Syria’s war: Who is fighting and why

Much like the geopolitical environment in Europe preceding World War I, Syria is home to a complex web of alliances and support structures. More than a century ago, the assassination of an archduke in Bosnia ignited a chain reaction that saw two blocks of alliances explode into a devastating global world war. The realities in Syria are even more complex and the stakes have never been higher.

Among the myriad of opposing factions in Syria, there are two goliaths. Russia, allied with the Assad regime and provider of troops, warplanes and sophisticated equipment to the pro-Syrian effort — and the United States, which has sided firmly with rebel and Kurdish factions committed to Syrian president Bashar Al Assad’s ouster. Between them, they possess 94 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

It is in this environment that U.S. president Donald Trump’s missile strikes have brought us one step closer to a scenario in which two nuclear superpowers could engage in direct combat operations against each other.

U.S. commandos have been carrying out missions in Syria since at least 2014, and over the past year, the United States has been steadily ratcheting up its involvement in the Syrian civil war……..

Keeping news of U.S. troop deployments in Syria from the Russians might sound good to Trump’s chest-thumping style of military planning, but it is vital that the Russians have at least a somewhat clear picture of where U.S. forces are operating.

If they don’t, the prospect of U.S.-Russian violence becomes very real.

Without proper channels of communication in place, it is entirely possible that U.S. and Russian forces could find themselves in a firefight. With both sides rapidly increasing their presence and commitment to the Syrian conflict, the situation could quickly escalate beyond either party’s control.

This is already happening. Hours after the strike, Russia announced that it is withdrawing from a 2015 memorandum that has significantly decreased the risk of in-flight incidents between U.S. and Russian aircraft operating in Syrian airspace. The Russian withdrawal comes as a direct result of the U.S. missile strikes on its ally, which Russia sees as a “grave violation of the memorandum.” The only reason that Russian troops weren’t killed in the attack on Al Shayrat is that the United States notified Russia in advance, using a hotline that was part of the now-defunct memorandum.

The danger should be readily apparent. With U.S. and Russian forces operating on opposing sides of a very contentious and complicated struggle, the risk of a catastrophic mishap is alarmingly high.

Sleepwalking toward nuclear war………

….with a combined active military stockpile of some 8,300 thermonuclear weapons, this is not a guessing game that anyone should want to play.

Official Russian military doctrine calls for the use of tactical nuclear weapons to control the escalation of a conventional conflict. In other words, if Russia finds itself in a fight that it can’t win, a real nuclear option is on the table. Some in the U.S. have mirrored this first-use strategy.

Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top acquisition chief told Congress in 2014, that low-yield nuclear weapons provide the President with “uniquely flexible options in an extreme crisis, particularly the ability to signal intent and control escalation.”

This is becoming a trend. Just this year, the Pentagon’s defense science board issued a report urging, “the president to consider altering existing and planned U.S. armaments to achieve a greater number of lower-yield weapons that could provide a ‘tailored nuclear option for limited use.’” But those weapons already exist, and some are already deployed in theater.

Some 50 B61 gravity bombs are based at the Incirlik air force base in Turkey, just 68 miles north of the Syrian border. Each one is fitted with a “dial-a-yield” nuclear warhead that can be set to explode with a force anywhere between 300 and 50,000 tons of TNT. It could be set to be 3 times more powerful than the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, or 98 percent less powerful than the bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

These weapons go beyond deterrence. These are weapons that are tailored for use on a battlefield. And they are right next-door.

In 1914 Europe’s monarchs thought they understood battlefield strategy. They quickly lost control of the situation, resulting in a war that lasted 4 years and killed close to 20 million people.

Miscalculating in Syria could have far greater consequences.

Geoff Wilson is a policy associate at The Ploughshares Fund, where he focuses on U.S. nuclear and military strategy, and is a co-editor of the report “Ten Big Nuclear Ideas for the Next President.” Will Saetren is the author of Ghosts of the Cold War: Rethinking the Need for a New Cruise Missile, and is an alumnus of the Roger L. Hale Fellowship at The Ploughshares Fund.

This first appeared in WarIsBoring herehttp://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/could-syria-spark-nuclear-war-between-russia-america-20137

April 14, 2017 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | 2 Comments

U.S. Won’t Strike North Korea Pre-emptively: South Korea Tries to Reassure Citizens

South Korea Seeks to Assure Citizens U.S. Won’t Strike North Pre-emptively APRIL 11, 2017 SEOUL, South Korea — Reacting to worries and conjecture spreading in South Korea of a possible pre-emptive American military strike on nuclear-armed North Korea, the government sought to reassure citizens on Tuesday that there would be no such attack without its consent.

April 14, 2017 Posted by | politics international, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

American nuclear power industry prospects down the drain, after Westinghouse bankruptcy

A Bankruptcy That Wrecked Global Prospects Of American Nuclear Energy, Forbes, Kenneth Rapoza , 13 Apr 17  ……The bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric Company (WEC) has ruined its global ambitions. While the Pennsylvania-based company asserts that its March 29 filing for creditor protection doesn’t impact its businesses globally, very few seem to believe it as its Japanese parent company Toshiba Corp. warned on Tuesday that WEC may have nuked its future…….

On Tuesday, Toshiba dimmed hopes when it reported third quarter earnings losses of $5.2 billion for the 9 months ending Dec. 31. They still cannot get their earnings properly audited, prompting rumors of a delisting on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). Bloomberg reported that Toshiba’s continued write-down of Westinghouse nuclear power plants, all of them delayed by years and some of them being suspended outright, could hurt the company’s balance sheet so severely that it gets sentenced to second-class status on the TSE. That would trigger a deeper sell off of index funds mandated to hold the stock. If you have to point fingers, WEC’s nuclear power plant is where to aim……..
At this point, building new AP1000 nuclear power plants seems like wishful thinking.

“I see enormous difficulties ahead for Westinghouse,” says Simon Taylor, director of the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge. Westinghouse was working on an over $20-billion Toshiba-controlled project in the north of England called Moorside, intending to build three of its pressurized water reactors known as the AP1000.  Following the bankruptcy announcement, Engie, a French utility, exercised its option to sell its 40% interest to Toshiba, and quit the project. Now Toshiba is desperate to sell the fully-owned site to competitors as it doesn’t stand a single chance to raise money needed to build the plant.

Taylor thinks Westinghouse, one of the oldest names in U.S. electric power, will now have a harder time. China was their biggest hope.

“The Chinese, so far as I can tell, will never buy another AP1000 again,” Taylor says…….

[In India] . Experts doubt that any commercial contract could be signed until there is a clarity about Toshiba’s exit and Westinghouse’s own future while the calls to scrap the project altogether are gaining momentum…..

In Eastern Europe, Westinghouse prospects look even bleaker. Westinghouse has always relied in the U.S. geopolitical clout to get business there. In order to weaken Russia’s influence in the region Washington would all but force former communist countries into choosing WEC’s often untested offering or even scrapping competitors’ projects. But with all that political support the problem has always been in Westinghouse’s inability to finance its projects.

Westinghouse signed a contract in Bulgaria in 2014 for the construction of an AP1000 power plant at the Kozloduy site. There has been little progress since then as neither the client nor the vendor are capable of finding money for the project.

Back home, both of the two nuclear power plants being built in the U.S are AP1000s. Both are a combined $17 billion over budget.

Over the next 12 years, the U.S. has around 15 nuclear power plants on paper. Of those 12, five have been suspended, including Westinghouse’s planned 2029 project with Duke Energy in Florida to build two reactors. Their other Duke project, in South Carolina, is now delayed by at least three years and with this bankruptcy, will probably never get built. WEC’s two new AP1000 projects are licensed by Duke. “We’ve been monitoring Westinghouse and their other projects here and across the world…but we are not making any decisions to build and not going to speculate on that right now,” says Rita Sipe, a spokesperson for Duke Energy.

The Economist magazine speculated on April 1 that there would be ugly lawsuits in South Carolina and Georgia, adding that the future of the AP1000 “looks bleak”. Sadly, it was not an April Fool’s joke.

While it is certainly common in nuclear power plant construction to witness delays and cost over-runs, WEC seems to have carved out a niche of notoriety here. It’s finally bankrupted them.

“It’s hard to see who would be able, willing and permitted to buy WEC,” says Taylor. The Trump Administration says it is seeking a non-Chinese owner of Westinghouse. WEC is not yet talking about selling assets……https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2017/04/13/a-bankruptcy-that-wrecked-global-prospects-of-american-nuclear-energy/#608e8b7e17a1

April 14, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Cautious and problematic negotiations at at U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty meeting

Big debates at U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty negotiations Alicia Sanders-Zakre and Steven Pifer Brookings, April 12, 2017
The negotiation at the United Nations on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons began on March 27 with a bit of drama: U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley gave a press conference explaining the U.S. decision to boycott the proceedings……

……..The participating states generally agreed on several core prohibitions to be included in the treaty, such as the prohibition of use, possession, acquisition, transfer, and deployment of nuclear weapons. They disagreed over other provisions.

Some states advocated for the prohibition of the threat of use of nuclear weapons, claiming that it would serve to delegitimize nuclear deterrence doctrine. Others thought this prohibition was unnecessary, as the U.N. Charter already outlaws the threat of use of force. Moreover, a ban on the use of nuclear weapons would also ban the threat of their use.

Prohibiting the testing of nuclear weapons was also a contested question. Several states, including Kazakhstan, which continues to suffer the effects of having hosted the major Soviet nuclear test site, argued that testing should be explicitly prohibited. Others expressed concern that such a prohibition could come into conflict with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty or undermine its entry into force.

The participating states came down differently on the issue of the transit of nuclear weapons. While some stressed that transiting nuclear weapons through the territory of signatory states should be illegal, others pointed out that verifying this provision would be very challenging.

As to institutional arrangements, the participating states were in general agreement that the treaty should include a provision for regular meetings of states parties and use existing international organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and perhaps the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization to help implement verification measures.

While states generally agreed that the treaty should be universal, they disagreed on the process for accession of nuclear weapons states. Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies presented three options for accession: Nuclear weapons states could eliminate their arsenals before signing the treaty, sign the treaty with a clear plan for elimination, or negotiate a plan for elimination upon signing. Many states supported the second option while others advocated for the first.

All of these questions will require further discussion when the participating states gather for the second round of the negotiation in June.

LOOKING AHEAD

It is not clear that any of the issues where differences have arisen will prove deal-breakers for some participating states. How they resolve those differences—and whether in the end they can come to consensus on a ban treaty—will shape their ability to mobilize pressure on the nuclear weapons states.

And that is what this negotiation is all about. The non-nuclear weapons states have already committed in the NPT not to acquire nuclear arms. The question is whether they can push the nuclear weapons states to accelerate their disarmament efforts.

None of the specific resolutions will change the views of the nuclear weapons states on whether or not to take part in the ban treaty negotiation. They continue to regard the enterprise as disconnected from reality. But a successful negotiation that results in a treaty could up the pressure. The nuclear weapons states should pay attention. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/04/12/big-debates-at-u-n-nuclear-weapons-ban-treaty-negotiations/

April 14, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment