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

May 5 Energy News

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that, having lain dormant, are springing back to life. The worry is that diseases that have been absent for millennia could reappear, infecting people who have lost resistance to them. [BBC]

Melting Permafrost (Gertrud & Helmut Denzau | naturepl.com)

¶ In the UK, Tokamak Energy says it activated its newest fusion reactor, the ST40, and it has already managed to achieve “first plasma” within its core. The reactor’s developers believe it will be safe and inexpensive to run, once they demonstrate that they can handle plasma successfully, at a temperature of 100,000,000° C. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ Oil prices are down by about 15% since the start of the year, despite OPEC’s agreement in November which cut…

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May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Worrisome first quarter of 2017 climate trends – Yale Climate Connections

GarryRogers Nature Conservation

GR:Here’s a handy summary of global temperature, sea ice, and coral reef changes so far in 2017.

“With the first quarter of 2017 now past, the year is shaping up to be one of climate extremes: high temperatures, low sea ice, and coral bleaching.

“The year is shaping up to be one of #climate extremes: high temps, low sea ice, and coral bleaching.”

“Global surface temperatures continue to increase in-line with climate model predictions, and the world has now experienced an increased global temperature of about 0.8 degrees C (1.5 degrees F) since 1970. Temperatures for the first three months of the year were actually warmer than the 2016 average, and there is a reasonable chance that 2017 for a fourth consecutive year will be the warmest on record.

“Global sea ice extent is near historic lows in the Arctic and Antarctic, and Arctic sea ice volume has also…

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May 5, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

North Korea readying for another nuclear weapons test: China is worried.

Meanwhile satellite images indicate activity has resumed at North Korea’s nuclear test site, US-based analysts said Tuesday, as tensions remain high over fears of an sixth atomic test by the reclusive state.

Monitor group 38 North warns North Korea is ready to conduct another nuclear weapons test, news.com.au 4 May 17  Beijing regularly calls for parties to avoid raising tensions — remarks that can apply to both Washington and Pyongyang — and in February it announced the suspension of coal imports from the North for the rest of the year, a crucial foreign currency earner for the authorities.

Chinese state-run media have called for harsher sanctions against the North in the event of a fresh atomic test, urged Pyongyang to “avoid making mistakes”, and spoken of the need for it to abandon its nuclear programmes.

The KCNA commentary denounced the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist party, and the Global Times, which sometimes reflects the thinking of the leadership, as having “raised lame excuses for the base acts of dancing to the tune of the US”.

Chinese suggestions that the North give up its weapons crossed a “red line” and were “ego-driven theory based on big-power chauvinism” said the article, bylined “Kim Chol” — believed to be a pseudonym.

 

May 5, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | 1 Comment

America tests nuclear capable missile that could reach North Korea

Projectile blasts off just after midnight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles – the second in a week, The Independent, Tom Batchelor  @_tombatchelor , 5 May 17 The US has test-fired a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile from a site in California, the second such launch in a week, amid rising tensions with North Korea.

The unarmed Minuteman 3 missile has a range of around 8,000 miles, putting it within striking distance of Pyongyang.

It blasted off just after midnight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, and delivered a single projectile to a target approximately 4,200 miles away at Kwajalein Atoll in the Pacific Ocean, US Air Force Global Strike Command said……..

Meanwhile, China has called on all parties in the standoff to stay calm and “stop irritating each other”.”We again urge all relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint, stop irritating each other, work hard to create an atmosphere for contact and dialogue between all sides, and seek a return to the correct path of dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang,

Rising tensions are also pushing Japan to consider dropping its pacifist charter.http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-nuclear-missile-tests-north-korea-range-reach-pyongyang-california-site-a7715331.html

May 5, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Brexit will mean that Britain will be stuck with Europe’s nuclear waste

Brussels plans to saddle UK with EU nuclear waste  Britain’s impending split from Euratom indicative of complexity of Brexit, Ft.com by: Arthur Beesley in Brussels and Andrew Ward in London, 4 May 17  Britain will be on the hook for large volumes of dangerous radioactive waste — some of it imported from the rest of Europe — under proposals by Brussels to transfer ownership of a range of nuclear materials to the UK after it leaves the EU.

Almost 130 tonnes of plutonium stored at Sellafield in Cumbria is among the nuclear material that would formally shift to UK control, according to draft documents issued by Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. All “special fissile material” — forms of uranium and plutonium used in nuclear fuels and some of the resulting waste — within the EU are technically owned by Euratom, the pan-European regulator of civilian nuclear activity.
Mr Barnier’s provisional negotiating position calls for a Brexit agreement to “ensure, where appropriate, the transfer to the United Kingdom” ownership of “special fissile material” currently controlled by Euratom within the UK. Such an agreement would make the UK legally responsible not only for its own nuclear material but also reprocessed spent fuel imported over several decades from Germany, Sweden and elsewhere for recycling at Sellafield. “What was a joint European legacy now becomes a UK home brew, with potentially dire economic consequences for the UK given the sheer expense and weight of this radiological inventory,” said Paul Dorfman, honorary senior researcher at the Energy Institute at University College London……..
Mr Barnier’s proposal for the UK to assume “all rights and obligations associated with the ownership of [fissile] materials or property transferred” is seen in Brussels as a necessary housekeeping exercise to remove Euratom’s claim on nuclear fuel used in UK power stations as well as uranium isotopes used in radiotherapy. But it highlighted the uncertainty facing Britain’s nuclear industry — responsible for about a fifth of domestic electricity generation — in the run-up to Brexit. Euratom is a separate legal entity to the EU but is governed by EU institutions and the UK government says it has no option but to leave both at the same time. A UK government spokeswoman said: “Leaving Euratom is a result of the decision to leave the EU as they are uniquely legally joined.”
As well as nuclear fuel and reprocessed waste, the UK would also take ownership of Euratom property used to safeguard the material, such as inspection and monitoring equipment, according to the EU proposals. The negotiation directives, which are subject to the agreement of the 27 remaining member states, were published on Wednesday as Mr Barnier set out his hardline opening position for talks with London…….https://www.ft.com/content/4cd8a146-3039-11e7-9555-23ef563ecf9a

May 5, 2017 Posted by | politics international, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Even the fake charity Weinberg Next Nuclear recognises the link between Small Modular Nuclear Reactors and Weapons

Breaking the cycle of indecision: nuclear report by the House of Lords, The Weinberg Foundation,  May 3rd, 2017,  Suzanna Hinson

This week the House of Lord’s Science and Technology Committee published its report “ Nuclear research and technology: Breaking the cycle of indecision”. Weinberg Next Nuclear welcomes the report and agrees with many of its conclusions.

Nuclear has undoubted potential in the UK, but indecision for many years, through successive governments, has impaired progress. Continual delays have damaged both short and long term opportunities, as well as tarnishing the reputation for nuclear in the UK and limiting investor confidence.

Instead, the report argues that the Government “must act now to provide underpinning strategic support to the nuclear industry”. This action can and should be chosen strategically, and the Government can decide to either be a designer, manufacturer and operator of nuclear power itself, or be a destination to operate nuclear reactors designed and potentially manufactured overseas…….

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are one of the areas that have particular potential, with the report recognising they are likely to be “globally important for the future of nuclear energy”. The UK’s experience in this sector, through defence application expertise, gives it the potential to be a world leader……

Weinberg Next Nuclear hope the Government heed this report, and its recommendations. Following the General Election in June, nuclear power policy should come off of hold and onto fast track.  http://www.the-
weinberg-foundation.org/2017/05/03/breaking-the-cycle-of-indecision-nuclear-report-by-the-house-of-lords/

May 5, 2017 Posted by | technology, UK | Leave a comment

Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron – very different views on nuclear power

French Presidential Election: Nationalism Meets Environmentalism From International Environment Reporter Bloomberg, By Rick Mitchell, 5 May 17  “………..While the campaign commitment documents of both candidates set out environmental and energy policies, independent candidate Macron—a former Rothschild banker who was minister of economy, industry and the digital economy in outgoing President Francois Hollande’s Socialist government when the country hosted global climate talks in 2015—offers more detail than does National Front candidate Le Pen…….

Divergence on Nuclear Energy

Le Pen, by contrast, “promises to preserve the environment by breaking with an economic model based on wild trade globalization,” asserting that “real ecology” consists in producing, processing and consuming close to home.

On energy, she promises to modernize and secure the country’s aging fleet of nuclear reactors, in particular through a program proposed by flagship energy company Electricite de France (EDF) that would spend tens of billions of euros through 2025 to extend reactors’ lives beyond 40 years.

Macron said a strategic decision on extending reactors’ lives should wait for a report by the country’s Nuclear Safety Authority (l’Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire), expected in 2018.

Le Pen says she would reassert state control of EDF, which until 2004 was fully state owned, and would not allow the closing of the troubled Fessenheim nuclear power plant.

Closing Fessenheim is an unkept promise by Hollande that Macron has vowed to carry out. But Macron said he would wait until after the next-generation Flamanville European pressurized reactor (EPR) plant comes online.

Originally meant to be in operation by 2012, the Flamanville plant has suffered several construction delays and cost overruns due to safety and other problems.

Macron would continue the Hollande government’s plan, set out in the framework 2015 law on energy transition related to green growth, to reduce nuclear energy’s share of French electricity generation from the current 75 percent down to 50 percent 2025.

Renewables 

Both candidates vow to continue the country’s ban on shale gas exploration, with Le Pen saying the ban would remain until “satisfactory conditions” for the environment, safety and health are met.

Macron vows to wean France off fossil fuels, including by closing the country’s remaining coal-fired power plants within five years, and says he would carry out the energy transition law’s schedule to gradually increase the carbon tax to 100 euros ($109) per ton by 2030, from the current 30.5 euros.

Le Pen said she would reduce France’s dependence on oil by developing capacity for hydrogen energy, through state support for research and development. She would make support for home insulation a budget priority.

Both candidates profess strong support for renewable energy, with Le Pen promising “massive” development of French capacity for solar, biogas, wood and other sources, “through an intelligent protectionism, economic patriotism, public and private investment and through orders made by EDF.” However, she would “decree an immediate moratorium on wind energy.”

Land-based wind energy has for several years faced strong public resistance and big regulatory hurdles in some parts of France.

‘30 Billion Euros in Private Investment’

Macron said he would cut red tape for deployment of renewable projects, calling for a doubling of wind and solar photovoltaic capacity by 2022, and government policies to encourage 30 billion euros ($32.7 billion) in private investment, including for research and investment in energy storage and smart grids.

He proposes a special bonus to encourage people who have automobiles made before 2001 to buy “more ecological” cars, whether used or new, and he would accelerate deployment of electric cars…..

Paris Agreement

Le Pen said would she simplify urbanization standards to ease a housing shortage, while maintaining rules to protect the environment and natural habitat.

Macron would push for European trade sanctions against countries that don’t respect environmental clauses in trade agreements with the EU and said France should make a priority of getting the Paris climate agreement implemented.

“Considering the U.S. president’s expressed intentions, France should in particular push for Europe to pressure the United States to face up to its responsibilities,” Macron said.

The candidates meet for a two-hour televised debate May 3, their only one-on-one debate of the campaign.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris atcorrespondents@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Greg Henderson atghenderson@bna.com

For More Information

Emmanuel Macron’s program of campaign commitments for the environment and ecological transition is available, in French, athttp://src.bna.com/osa.

Marine Le Pen’s 144 presidential commitments are available, in French, at http://src.bna.com/osbhttps://www.bna.com/french-presidential-election-n57982087546/

May 5, 2017 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

2,397,863 registered Chernobyl-related health victims. 453,391 ARE CHILDREN

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/04/17/clinic-ukraine-chernobyl-30th-anniversary-health-impact/82892592/  THERE ARE 2,397,863 PEOPLE REGISTERED WITH UKRAINE’S HEALTH MINISTRY TO RECEIVE ONGOING CHERNOBYL-RELATED HEALTH TREATMENT. OF THESE, 453,391 ARE CHILDREN.  Kim Hjelmgaard , USA TODAY There are 2,397,863 people registered with Ukraine’s health ministry to receive ongoing Chernobyl-related health care. Of these, 453,391 are children — none born at the time of the accident. Their parents were children in 1986. These children have a range of illnesses: respiratory, digestive, musculoskeletal, eye diseases, blood diseases, cancer, congenital malformations, genetic abnormalities, trauma. 

KIEV, Ukraine — Daryna Bizilya, 10, wants to be a singer. During a visit with her and about a dozen other children at Ukraine’s largest medical clinic for people living with the consequences of Chernobyl, that’s what she did: She sang.

Bizilya walked directly into the middle of the room, signaled to her friend in the corner holding a cellphone to crank up its digital beatbox, and just went for it. She sang with feeling, dramatic facial expressions and large, sweeping arm gestures that occasionally ended with a clenched fist.

This clinic had an elaborate name, even by former Communist-bloc standards — the Institute of Specialized Radiation Protection of the Ukraine Population. It was full of sick children whose entire lives had only known illness.

The halls were long and dark and seemed, however improbably, to be lit chiefly by fading avocado-colored paint. The children’s bedrooms were neat but gloomy. Textbook orphanage-interior. Not every room was heated, and it was cold outside.

The number she performed was by Ukrainian artist Ani Lorak, a hero of Bizilya’s. On her website, Lorak describes herself as the “singer who became the idol of Ukrainians.”

Bizilya, whose favorite subjects are math and English, said she admired Lorak mostly because she “sings from her heart, and she feels her songs with her heart.”

Bizilya has a heart condition brought on by eating contaminated food, her doctors said. Too much physical exercise makes her condition worse.

“They told us at school that some children were left without a home, and that they were very ill,” she said when asked to explain what she knew about Chernobyl. “I would like to help those children who are without parents. There are children in our village like this,” she added.

Daryna does not think of herself as especially ill.

Artemchuk also has ambitions to be a singer.

“Probably a pop singer, like Michael Jackson,” he said.

He had some other things to say: Favorite food (meatballs), soccer team (Dynamo Kiev) and player (Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo).

“The doctor says I have very bad blood circulation,” he suddenly volunteered. “My parents say that Chernobyl was a big disaster and many people perished because of it.”

A girl named Alina Aponchuk, also 14, was too nervous to speak and fiddled with the sleeves of her dress. There was something on her mind. After a few minutes, she said she was going home the next day.

Aponchuk’s doctor said she had two left kidneys, both twice the normal size. She had chronic gastroduodenitis, which produces sharp stomach pains, lethargy and headaches. She also had “vegetative dysfunction,” a nervous system syndrome that causes anxiety, depression and other emotional stresses.

Vadim Bozhenko, the doctor who runs the clinic, said children stay at the institute from a few days to several weeks and all come from areas located on radioactive land.

“The (children) eat and drink contaminated milk products because cattle that live there eat that grass,” he said, adding that the clinic was underfunded by at least 30%.

Looking around the grounds that evoked a disheveled college campus, it was hard to believe the shortfall was that modest.

“Tell them we need beds and blankets,” Bozhenko said. “Tell them the Institute of Specialized Radiation Protection of the Ukraine Population needs this and a lot more.”

May 5, 2017 Posted by | children, PERSONAL STORIES, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Can the American President think or speak clearly? Unfortunately – NO

Americans have placed vast military power at the discretion of this mind, a presidential discretion that is largely immune to restraint by the Madisonian system of institutional checks and balances. So, it is up to the public to quarantine this presidency by insistently communicating to its elected representatives a steady, rational fear of this man whose combination of impulsivity and credulity render him uniquely unfit to take the nation into a military conflict.

Trump has a dangerous disability May 3 It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either. This seems to be not a mere disinclination but a disability. It is not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence.

In February, acknowledging Black History Month, Trump said that “Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice.” Because Trump is syntactically challenged, it was possible and tempting to see this not as a historical howler about a man who died 122 years ago, but as just another of Trump’s verbal fender benders, this one involving verb tenses.

Now, however, he has instructed us that Andrew Jackson was angry about the Civil War that began 16 years after Jackson’s death. Having, let us fancifully imagine, considered and found unconvincing William Seward’s 1858 judgment that the approaching Civil War was “an irrepressible conflict,” Trump says:

 “People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

Library shelves groan beneath the weight of books asking questions about that war’s origins, so who, one wonders, are these “people” who don’t ask the questions that Trump evidently thinks have occurred to him uniquely? Presumably they are not the astute “lot of,” or at least “some,” people Trump referred to when speaking about his February address to a joint session of Congress: “A lot of people have said that, some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber.” Which demotes Winston Churchill, among many others.

What is most alarming (and mortifying to the University of Pennsylvania, from which he graduated) is not that Trump has entered his eighth decade unscathed by even elementary knowledge about the nation’s history. As this column has said before, the problem isn’t that he does not know this or that, or that he does not know that he does not know this or that. Rather, the dangerous thing is that he does not know what it is to know something.

The United States is rightly worried that a strange and callow leader controls North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. North Korea should reciprocate this worry. Yes, a 70-year-old can be callow if he speaks as sophomorically as Trump did when explaining his solution to Middle Eastern terrorism: “I would bomb the s— out of them. . . . I’d blow up the pipes, I’d blow up the refineries, I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left.”

As a candidate, Trump did not know what the nuclear triad is. Asked about it, he said: “We have to be extremely vigilant and extremely careful when it comes to nuclear. Nuclear changes the whole ballgame.” Invited to elaborate, he said: “I think — I think, for me, nuclear is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.” Someone Trump deemed fit to be a spokesman for him appeared on television to put a tasty dressing on her employer’s word salad: “What good does it do to have a good nuclear triad if you’re afraid to use it?” To which a retired Army colonel appearing on the same program replied with amazed asperity: “The point of the nuclear triad is to be afraid to use the damn thing.”

As president-elect, Trump did not know the pedigree and importance of the one-China policy. About such things he can be, if he is willing to be, tutored. It is, however, too late to rectify this defect: He lacks what T.S. Eliot called a sense “not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence.” His fathomless lack of interest in America’s path to the present and his limitless gullibility leave him susceptible to being blown about by gusts of factoids that cling like lint to a disorderly mind.

Americans have placed vast military power at the discretion of this mind, a presidential discretion that is largely immune to restraint by the Madisonian system of institutional checks and balances. So, it is up to the public to quarantine this presidency by insistently communicating to its elected representatives a steady, rational fear of this man whose combination of impulsivity and credulity render him uniquely unfit to take the nation into a military conflict.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Author Stephen King sees Trump as a having dangerous personality disorder

Stephen King: Trump’s nuclear ability ‘worse than any horror story I ever wrote’, The Hill, Author Stephen King slammed President Trump on Wednesday, saying Trump’s tweets show that “he’s an almost textbook case of personality disorder.” King also signaled fear over Trump’s ability to launch a nuclear attack.

“That this guy has his finger on the nuclear trigger is worse than any horror story I ever wrote,” King said…..King’s comments come as lawmakers are pushing a bill that would deny Trump the authority to launch a first strike with a nuclear weapon without congressional approval. http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/331865-stephen-king-trumps-nuclear-ability-worse-than-any-horror-story

May 5, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Lacking nuclear expertise, United Arab Emirates postpones start-up pf nuclear reactors

UAE delays launch of first nuclear power reactor, REUTERS By Jane Chung and Geert De Clercq | SEOUL/PARIS, 4 May 17  The commercial start-up of the first of four nuclear reactors that South Korea’s KEPCO is building in United Arab Emirates is set to be delayed because the local operating company is not ready to run the reactors, a nuclear industry source said.

Barakah is one of the world’s few major nuclear newbuild contracts, which Korea Electric Power Corporation(KEPCO) won in 2009, beating a rival consortium led by more established French reactor maker Areva……

a source familiar with the situation said that Nawah – the joint venture between the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (ENEC) and KEPCO that will operate the plant – is struggling to get an operating license, which could delay the start-up of the first plant by several months, possibly to the end of this year……

construction of Shin Kori No.3 reactor [in South Korea] was delayed three years due to a safety scandal in late 2012, and the reactor only became operational in December 2016.

A source with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters that because of the delay on Shin Kori No.3, UAE nuclear regulator FANR was not ready to give Nawah its operating license and wanted to postpone this “regardless of the construction schedule.”…….

Low oil prices are also making the start-up of the plant less urgent from the UAE perspective, the source added.

ENEC and Nawah did not respond to several requests for comment. KEPCO declined to comment.

A second source in the nuclear industry who is not directly involved in the Barakah project, said nuclear fuel had been shipped to UAE but was not being loaded into the reactor as Nawah does not yet have a license.

For years, Nawah has been training staff in power plant operation, but to get an operating license it needs to demonstrate it has the necessary management skills and can master all the systems needed to operate the reactors.

“It is not a simple undertaking. There will be some Korean staff, but they can only be in the back seat, not the front seat. The reactor has to be operated by the licensee’s staff,” the industry source said.

For KEPCO, a delay of the project increases its indirect costs, as it will force it to keep its staff of about 21,000 in the UAE for longer, the first source said……..(Reporting by Jane Chung in Seoul, Geert De Clercq in Paris and Stanley Carvalho in Abu Dhabi; Writing by Geert De Clercq, editing by David Evans) http://www.reuters.com/article/us-kepco-emirates-nuclearpower-exclusive-idUSKBN1801ZD

May 5, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, employment, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

China tells its citizens – Get out of North Korea

GET OUT: North Korea ‘ready’ for new nuclear test, Northern Star, 4th May 2017 CHINA has called for all of its citizens to return from North Korea immediately as a US citizen is detained for allegedly trying to overthrow the country’s regime……https://www.northernstar.com.au/news/get-out-north-korea-ready-new-nuclear-test/3173765/

May 5, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

World’s nuclear experts forming a Nuclear Crisis Group to Advise World Leaders on Avoiding Nuclear War

Nuclear Experts Team Up to Advise World Leaders on Avoiding Nuclear War Veritable who’s-who of “nuclear priesthood” say they have grown concerned over Trump and Putin’s rhetoric, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/05/04/nuclear-experts-team-advise-world-leaders-avoiding-nuclear-war May 04, 2017, byCommon Dreams, by Nadia Prupis, staff writer 

Nuclear experts are creating a global coalition to advise President Donald Trump and other world leaders on preventing nuclear war, Politico reported Thursday.

The Nuclear Crisis Group is expected to launch in Vienna on Friday. The coalition assembled in response to Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s rhetoric, which the experts say is increasing the risk of a nuclear conflict.

One of the group’s leaders is Richard Burt, former U.S. ambassador to Germany and chief negotiator of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. He said Thursday, “Not only is the U.S.-Russia relationship on much more shaky ground but the whole political environment has deteriorated.”

“The issue of nuclear weapons has strangely kind of receded from people’s consciousness,” Burt said. “We must remind people in these different crisis situations that there is a nuclear danger and it needs to be addressed.”

According to Politico, the coalition includes “nearly two-dozen members of the nuclear priesthood of at least eight major nations—including a former commander of the U.S. atomic arsenal; the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Pakistan; a retired admiral who was in charge of India’s nukes; the ex-heads of the Chinese military’s strategic studies and science institutes; and Russia’s former foreign minister and chief atomic weapons designer.”

The group came out of Global Zero, a disarmament campaign organization.

Global Zero’s executive director Derek Johnson said the chill in U.S.-Russia relations required the anti-nuclear movement to change its focus to “what we can do to stop one of these things from going off.”

Trump has advocated for expanding America’s nuclear stockpile and hinted that a conflict with North Korea could happen. His rhetoric, and volatile temperament, prompted lawmakers to introduce legislation that would prohibit the president from launching a nuclear strike without approval by Congress. A petition in support of the bill acquired nearly half a million signatures.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Vatican says nuclear weapons “provide a false sense of security”

Vatican: Nuclear weapons give “false sense of security”, Crux, Charles Collins, May 3, 2017  Monsignor Janusz Stanisław Urbańczyk, says the efforts of the international community to utilize the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons to make the world safer “have not been sufficient.” The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is preparing for the review conference on the treaty, which happens every five years.

The Vatican representative to the world’s nuclear body on Tuesday said nuclear weapons “provide a false sense of security” and added he is “concerned” about the situation on the Korean peninsula.

Monsignor Janusz S. Urbańczyk, the Vatican representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was speaking at the first meeting preparing for the 2020 Review Conference of the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) taking place in Vienna.

The treaty, considered the main international nonproliferation tool, went into effect in 1970, and a review process is conducted every 5 years.

Urbańczyk said the Vatican, which signed the NPT in 1971, was taking part in the preparatory meeting “to lend its moral authority” to the process.

“The Holy See cannot but lament the fact that the potential devastation caused by the use of nuclear weapons so clearly identified over 40 years ago has not been relegated to history,” the diplomat said. “In other words, the efforts of the international community to utilize the NPT to make the world safer have not been sufficient.”

He said the preparatory meetings and the 2020 review conference itself should “make concrete and consensus-based progress” to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and work towards “the ultimate goal of abolishing all nuclear weapons……

  • In March, the United Nations General Assembly hosted a conference in New York to work towards a treaty banning nuclear weapons, which was boycotted by all the nuclear powers.Francis wrote a personal letter to that conference, offering his support, and calling for a “collective and concerted multilateral effort to eliminate nuclear weapons,” adding that international peace and stability “cannot be based on a false sense of security, on the threat of mutual destruction or total annihilation, or on simply maintaining a balance of power.”

    Urbańczyk on Tuesday acknowledged nations have “a right and an obligation” to protect their own security, but said this is “strongly linked” to the promotion of collective security, the common good, and peace…….https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2017/05/03/vatican-nuclear-weapons-give-false-sense-security/

May 5, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Growing trade between Iran and European Union following implementation of the nuclear deal

A New Era for Iran: Trade With EU Grows 79 Percent on Nuclear Deal Implementation http://www.albawaba.com/business/new-era-iran-trade-eu-grows-79-percent-nuclear-deal-implementation-970660  May 4th, 2017 Iran’s exports to the European Union have increased by over 300 percent after the implementation of the historic 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, European Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete says.

Speaking at the first-ever Iran-EU Business Forum on Sustainable Energy in Tehran on Saturday, Canete added that trade between Iran and the union showed 79 percent boost following the implementation of the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), IRNA reported.

According to figures released by the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat in February, Iran’s exports to the EU stood at €5.494 billion in 2016 as compared to €1.235 in 2015 due to the EU resuming oil imports from Iran following the nuclear deal.

Canete expressed the 28-nation bloc’s keenness to cooperate with Iran in the nuclear energy sector and said the JCPOA prepared the ground for the resumption of Iran-EU cooperation.

The commissioner reiterated the EU’s support for the nuclear agreement and said Iran and the union started to cooperate with each other in different sectors in 2016 and managed to sign many agreements.

He urged both sides to continue to upgrade their cooperation and expressed hope that the ongoing forum in Tehran would lay the ground for interaction in clean energy. He noted that he would help European firms make more investment in Iran.

Under the agreement, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against the Islamic Republic.

Following the conclusion and implementation of the JCPOA, Iran and EU member states launched cooperation and signed several agreements in various fields.

More than 50 European companies and business associations and some 40 Iranian energy companies are participating at the Tehran forum with the purpose of enabling business relations and partnerships between Iran and the EU and laying the ground for further cooperation and joint partnerships in the energy sector.

It will provide a platform for investors and businesses to look into investment opportunities for clean energy, renewable energy efficiency and energy conservation actions in Iran.

May 5, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE, Iran, politics international | Leave a comment