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South Korean President Moon Jae-in warns USA against military action on North Korea

Moon says even slight conflict on Korean Peninsula may threaten many lives, SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in again urged the United States Monday to refrain from taking any action against North Korea that could start an armed conflict on the peninsula, saying even the slightest conflict here may cost the lives of many South Koreans and U.S. troops.

“President Moon said he understands why the United States has traditionally said all options were on the table to push North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions. But he said even the slightest military action will lead to a clash between the South and North, and it will threaten many lives of not only South Koreans but foreigners, including U.S. forces stationed in South Korea,” Park Soo-hyun, a spokesman for Seoul’s presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, said at a press briefing.

Moon made the remarks at a meeting at Cheong Wa Dae with a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers including Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and two members of the House of Representatives, Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Ann Wagner (R-MO).

Moon’s remarks followed a heated war of words between the communist North and the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly hinted at possible military action against the reclusive North after Pyongyang said it may consider launching ballistic missiles toward the U.S.-controlled island of Guam……

“President Moon noted the need to continue sending a clear message to the North that a brighter future will be guaranteed should it choose to come to the negotiations table, while continuously increasing pressure and sanctions on the North,” the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.

Moon also stressed the importance of China’s role in bringing the North back to the dialogue table, noting Pyongyang nearly entirely depended on its major ally, Beijing, for its exports.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | politics international, South Korea | Leave a comment

According to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, North Korea May Soon Be Ready for Talks

Tillerson Suggests North Korea May Soon Be Ready for Talks, NYT, AUG. 22, 2017, WASHINGTON — In some of the most conciliatory remarks to North Koreamade by the Trump administration, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson complimented the government in Pyongyang for going more than two weeks without shooting any missiles or blowing up any nuclear bombs.

I’m pleased to see that the regime in Pyongyang has certainly demonstrated some level of restraint,” Mr. Tillerson said, suggesting that the brief pause in testing may be enough to meet the administration’s preconditions for talks.

We hope that this is the beginning of the signal we’ve been looking for,” he said, adding that “perhaps we’re seeing our pathway to sometime in the near future of having some dialogue. We need to see more on their part. But I want to acknowledge the steps they’ve taken so far.”

That was the carrot. As for the stick, the Trump administration announced new sanctions against China and Russia on Tuesday as part of its campaign to pressure North Korea to stop its development of nuclear weapons and missiles.

The two moves are part of the Trump administration’s dual-track strategy for taming the nuclear threat from North Korea — ratcheting up economic pressure on the government through sanctions while simultaneously offering a diplomatic pathway to peace…….

Mr. Tillerson’s remarks Tuesday were particularly noteworthy because they were made in a news conference that was otherwise devoted to discussing the Trump administration’s new approach to the war in Afghanistan. ……

August 23, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Climate change could be shrinking the world’s fish

Because warmer seas speed up their metabolisms, fish, squid and other water-breathing creatures will need to draw more oxygen from the ocean. At the same time, warming seas are already reducing the availability of oxygen in many parts of the sea.

A pair of University of British Columbia scientists argue that since the bodies of fish grow faster than their gills, these animals eventually will reach a point where they can’t get enough oxygen to sustain normal growth.

“What we found was that the body size of fish decreases by 20 to 30 percent for every 1 degree Celsius increase in water temperature,” says author William Cheung, director of science for the university’s Nippon Foundation—Nereus Program.

These changes, the scientists say, will have a profound impact on many marine food webs, upending predator-prey relationships in ways that are hard to predict.

Lab experiments have shown that it’s always the large species that will become stressed first,” says lead author Daniel Pauly, a professor at the university’s Institute for the Ocean and Fisheries, and principal investigator for the Sea Around Us. “Small species have an advantage, respiration-wise.”

Still, while many scientists applaud the discovery, not all agree that Pauly’s and Cheung’s work supports their dramatic findings. The study was published today in the journal Global Change Biology…….

August 23, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

Fukushima aftermath: General Electric and Tokyo Electric Power Co sued by Navy families for wrongful death

Navy Families Sue Fukushima Operators for Wrongful Death, Courthouse NewsSAN DIEGO (CN)— Families of five Navy service members who died after responding to the Fukushima nuclear meltdown have sued Tokyo Electric Power Co., blaming the deaths on radiation illnesses contracted from the March 2011 disaster.

The families wish to join a lawsuit from 152 other members or survivors of members of the 7th Fleet who performed humanitarian response from March 11, 2011 until March 14, when the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier was moved away from Fukushima due to detection of nuclear radiation in the air and on helicopters returning to the ship.

The new plaintiffs want to join in the third amended complaint Cooper, et al. v. TEPCO, et al., originally filed in the same court in 2012. They say it is only recently that they discovered the extent of the injuries, real and/or expected, due to exposure to radiation from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

The federal lawsuit was filed Friday and made available Monday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California. They sued General Electric in addition to Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO.

SAN DIEGO (CN) — Families of five Navy service members who died after responding to the Fukushima nuclear meltdown have sued Tokyo Electric Power Co., blaming the deaths on radiation illnesses contracted from the March 2011 disaster.

The families wish to join a lawsuit from 152 other members or survivors of members of the 7th Fleet who performed humanitarian response from March 11, 2011 until March 14, when the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier was moved away from Fukushima due to detection of nuclear radiation in the air and on helicopters returning to the ship.

The new plaintiffs want to join in the third amended complaint Cooper, et al. v. TEPCO, et al., originally filed in the same court in 2012. They say it is only recently that they discovered the extent of the injuries, real and/or expected, due to exposure to radiation from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

The federal lawsuit was filed Friday and made available Monday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California. They sued General Electric in addition to Tokyo Electric Power Co., or TEPCO.

The Navy servicemen and -women want a $5 billion survivor fund for medical expenses.

They say General Electric designed defective the GE Boiling Water Reactors at Fukushima, which was run by TEPCO, Japan’s largest electric utility. The 7th Fleet’s Operation Tomodachi provided humanitarian relief after the tsunami and ensuing nuclear disaster. The sailors say they will need medical monitoring for life, payment of medical bills, and health monitoring for their children, including for possible radiation-induced birth defects.

“These harms include, but are not limited to, the following: illnesses such as leukemia, ulcers, gall bladder removals, brain cancer, brain tumors, testicular cancer, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, thyroid illnesses, stomach ailments, birth defects, death, and a host of other complaints unusual in such young adults and victims,” the complaint states…….

The families say the prime minister of Japan has effectively admitted the negligence of TEPCO. “This negligence was underscored on December 12, 2013, by admission of the former Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, who was in office when the Fukushima disaster took place. It was at that time that he admitted, for the first time: ‘People think it was March 12th (2011) but the first meltdown occurred 5 hours after the earthquake.’

“Unaware of either the meltdown or any potentially harmful radioactive release, the U.S. Sailor First Responders arrived off the coast of Fukushima during the afternoon of March 12, 2011 in order to carry out their mission of providing humanitarian aid to the victims of the earthquake and tsunami disaster. At no time did this mission include, nor expand into a response to a meltdown or a nuclear emergency at the FNPP. Rather, plaintiffs were carrying out their mission to provide humanitarian aid to the people of Japan by coming to their aid by delivering clean water, blankets, food, and other aspects of providing other humanitarian relief to the inhabitants of Fukushima Prefecture.”

The plaintiffs claim that though the nuclear meltdown was induced by a natural disaster, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission found in July 2012 that the meltdown was manmade because GE and TEPCO did not take adequate precautions for earthquakes and tsunamis.

They claim TEPCO ignored warnings of risk of damage by a tsunami, dismissed the need for better protection against seawater flooding, and failed to inspect, maintain and repair critical pieces of equipment……

August 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Scott Pruitt has turned America’s Environment Protection Agency into a nerve-wracking mess

turning the agency into a hollow shell by whacking its budget, overturning rules based on bogus reportand keeping employees in the dark allows Pruitt and his allies to claim publicly that all they are doing is restricting the EPA to its original purpose, not demolishing it.

In fact, the damage that Pruitt is inflicting will take years to repair.

Scott Pruitt’s EPA Is Crazyland, Clean Technica , August 22nd, 2017 “…..By Meteor Blades     Coral Davenport and Eric Lipton at The New York Times report that Pruitt has injected a sense of paranoia at the agency, making career employees feel as if they are the enemy. Those staffers say floors at EPA HQ are frequently locked, and if they wish to see Pruitt, they must have an escort. They are often told to leave their cellphones behind and not to take notes in meetings with him:“Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied, even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security.

“A former Oklahoma attorney general who built his career suing the E.P.A., and whose LinkedIn profile still describes him as ‘a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda,’ Mr. Pruitt has made it clear that he sees his mission to be dismantling the agency’s policies — and even portions of the institution itself.

 “But as he works to roll back regulations, close offices and eliminate staff at the agency charged with protecting the nation’s environment and public health, Mr. Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former agency employees.”…….

Among the examples of Pruitt’s moves to undermine the agency’s mission is what was done to the analysis of the Waters of the United States rule put in place during the Obama administration to expand EPA’s oversight of large bodies of water to the streams and rivers that feed them. This attempt to preserve wetlands and clean up polluted tributaries was widely attacked by farmers, real estate developers, and rightist ideologues.

Pruitt was determined to dump the rule. So he ordered a rewrite of a lengthy analysis that had shown that the rule’s economic benefits far outweighed its costs. The EPA’s staffers dutifully complied, and when their report emerged, more than half a billion dollars in benefits from the rule had been erased:

Jeffrey Ruchs, the executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, an organization representing government employees in environmental fields, said the E.P.A. could not allow changes like this to take place, or expect its employees to follow such directives.

“‘This is a huge change, and they made it over a few days, with almost no record, no documentation,’ Mr. Ruchs said, adding, ‘It wasn’t so much cooking the books, it was throwing out the books.’ […]

“’The mere fact they are telling people not to write things down shows they are trying to keep things hidden,’ said Jeffrey Lubbers, a professor of administrative law at American University.”

The secrecy extends to the most mundane matters. Unlike previous agency administrators, he doesn’t post his schedule and makes it difficult for top staffers to even know where he is traveling on government business……

turning the agency into a hollow shell by whacking its budget, overturning rules based on bogus reports and keeping employees in the dark allows Pruitt and his allies to claim publicly that all they are doing is restricting the EPA to its original purpose, not demolishing it.

In fact, the damage that Pruitt is inflicting will take years to repair.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | employment, environment, politics, USA | 2 Comments

Mysterious forest explosion a year ago- now revealed to have been a failed Russian missile launch

Mysterious forest flash was failed test of new nuclear missile

Remember the huge circular impact zone in the forest outside Arkhangelsk last August? Well, now it is confirmed to be the first test launch of Russia’s new Yars-M intercontinental ballistic missile.

Locals in the village of Ust-Pocha in the Pinega district (Arkhangelsk Oblast) were all shocked by two huge explosions on August 25th last year. The powerful blasts could be heard from several tens of kilometers away and caused strong vibration in their houses.

When walking into the forest, one and a half kilometers from the village, people were met by a scene that could have been from the James Bond movie GoldenEye. Trees were scattered in a circle several hundred meters in diametre.

There was no meteor or metal scrap to be found in crater in the middle. No visible burns. Some Russian media reported it could have been a rocket launch that failed. Plesetsk, the northern cosmodrome, lies only some 170 kilometers, and locals in the villages in the Pinega district are used to see rockets launched from Plesetsk flying into orbit over their houses.

But, strangely enough, no rocket launched were listed that day. Officials from Plesetsk didn’t either provided any information afterwards. Until now, nearly a year later.

In July, the third book in the serie «Russia’s Northern Cosmodrome» were presented, and there, in the list of launches from Plesetsk, a short line reviled it all; on August 25th, 2016, the very first test-launch of the Yars-M ICBM took place.

The information was soon republished at a Russian discussion blog-site for strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. Pavel Podvig, an independent analysts who runs the research project «Russian Nuclear Forces» picked up the info and linked it to last year’s infamous forest flash outside Arkhangelsk.

Yars-M is a smaller and lighter version of the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile. Making it smaller, the Russian strategic missile forces can base the new missile into the new so-called Barguzin ICBM-carrying railway missile train, like Deputy Prime Minister DMitry Rogozin announced would be developed by 2018, RIA Novosti reported last month.

According to several British media, like the Daily Mail, a successful test-launch of the Yars-M missile was done from Plesetsk in early November, just over two months after the launch of the missile that crashed in the forest 170 kilometers from the launch-pad in August.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

Solar panel capacity will soon overtake nuclear worldwide for the first time

Solar panel capacity to overtake nuclear energy next year in historic landmark, Solar still generates less electricity than nuclear but it is growing rapidly, Independent, Ian Johnston Environment Correspondent , @montaukian, 22 Aug 17, Solar panel capacity is set to overtake nuclear worldwide for the first time within the next few months, according to expert predictions.

The total capacity of nuclear power is currently about 391.5 gigawatts but the total capacity of photovoltaic cells is expected to hit 390 gigawatts by the end of this year with demand growing at up to eight per cent per year, according to GTM Research

Stephen Lacy, writing on GTM’s website, said: “It’s still going to be a record-breaking year for new solar capacity additions – yet again…..

Mr Lacy said: “In the last three years, growth rates and cost reductions for solar have far exceeded projections. Meanwhile, high costs, slow construction and competitive renewable alternatives are causing the global nuclear industry to falter.

“The trend lines are becoming clearer every year.”

The Sun delivers enough energy to the Earth in an hour to provide humans with everything they need for an entire year.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Donald Trump ready to use ‘full range of capabilities’ against North Korea, says US ambassador

Robert Wood says tackling Pyongyang threat is US President’s ‘top priority’, Independent 22 Aug 17 , Ben Kentish   @BenKentish 

Donald Trump is ready to use the “full range of US capabilities” in response to North Korea, according to a US envoy.

Robert Wood, the country’s disarmament ambassador, said responding to missile tests by Kim Jong-un‘s regime was Mr Trump’s “top priority”.

It comes amid mounting tensions between the two states after the secretive communist state carried out several intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) tests, prompting fears that parts of the US could now be within range of a nuclear strike……

August 23, 2017 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

“There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it – Steve Bannon

Contrary to Trump’s threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: [to “There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”

August 23, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

TEPCO now freezing the last section of Fukushima nuclear site’s underground wall

Daily Mail 22nd Aug 2017, The Fukushima nuclear plant’s operator Tuesday started freezing the last
section of a $320 million ice wall designed to cut down on vast amounts of
contaminated water at the site of the worst atomic accident in a

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) began pumping coolant into the
remaining seven metres (23 feet) of its 1.5-kilometre underground wall
which encircles four reactors along Japan’s northeast coast. Underground
pipes circulate the coolant and freeze soil around the buildings. The
30-metre deep wall is designed to block underground water from nearby
mountains from flowing into the shattered complex and then seeping into the

It is reportedly expected to take more than two months until the
wall is completely frozen. The huge utility has been building the barrier
since March 2016 with the government picking up its 34.5 billion yen ($320
million) price tag. Even now, with the ice wall almost complete, about 140
tonnes of underground water flows into the plant daily, forcing the company
to pump it out and store it in on-site tanks.

“When the ice wall is completed, we estimate that the amount of underground water flowing into
the complex will be less than 100 tonnes,” a company spokesman said. But
some experts have cast doubt on the ice wall’s effectiveness in containing
the problem.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Aggressive approach of French police to anti nuclear protestors

Anti-Bure website 18th Aug 2017, In Bure on the 15 August 2017, around 800 people set off on a demo (numbers
like this had never been seen before for a non-declared demo in Bure). The
prefecture deliberately chose a strategy of aggression and asphyxiation
that led to a number of injured people.

The police deployed were twice the number deployed for the demo of the 18 February 2017, 15 riot cop vans and
a water cannon were counted. The route of the demo headed towards Saudron
and not the “laboratory”, chosen to avoid the fortified red zone and
all the blue team.

The objective was to arrive in a big field between the
village of Saudron the “Espace Technologique” (an Andra Building) to
highlight a very important Neolithic site discovered by archaeologists and
ignored by Andra

August 23, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Public review of EDF’s record of nuclear components made in the Le Creusot forge, which is owned by Areva.

Nuclear Street 18th Aug 2017, The national nuclear power regulator in France, Autorite de Surete
Nucleaire (ASN) has opened a public review of an order that would force
utility giant EDF to review records involving any of the components in
active nuclear power plants that were fabricated at the Le Creusot forge,
which is owned by Areva.

The forge is at the center of a controversy that
began in April 2015, when the ASN revealed that metal-weakening anomalies
created by areas of high-carbon concentrations in the steel, had been found
in two of the already installed major structural components of the pressure
vessel head at the Flamanville nuclear power plant expansion project.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear problem – an industry in disarray

Les Echos 21st Aug 2017, Stephane L’Homme: In his recent column published by the Circle, Mr.
Prudhomme lists various arguments to try to rehabilitate nuclear energy and
challenge the announced closure of many reactors. The problem is that the
author argues as one could still do 15 or 20 years ago, invoking a mythical
atom: “France is a nuclear giant”, “Our considerable nuclear know-how”, and
so on. Mr Prudhomme thus seems to be unaware that the nuclear industry in
France and in the world is in a catastrophic situation, illustrated by the
bankruptcy of the two of its emblematic companies, French Areva and
American Westinghouse, Choke its main shareholder, the Japanese Toshiba.

If it is impossible to know today what other bad surprises – counted in
billions – reserves the Areva case, what about the EDF file? The national
electrician is not only confronted with the advanced disintegration of the
58 current reactors, whose ruinous renovation is certainly impossible to
finance, but also the disaster of his own EPR in Flamanville (Manche).

The situation is so dramatic that the Nuclear Safety Authority is being urged
to validate the reactor vessel despite the serious defects it presents. It
is also an opportunity to remind Mr. Prudhomme that, by way of
“Considerable nuclear know-how”, the French atom is involved in one of the
worst industrial scandals of all time: thousands of nuclear parts –
including the famous tank of the EPR – were poorly manufactured in Areva
forges At Le Creusot, and often covered by falsified security certificates.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Danger of a nuclear weapons accident on Scotland’s roads

Scotland ‘wholly unprepared’ for nuclear weapons accident on its roads – report, 22 Aug, 2017 Nuclear warheads surrounded by explosives are regularly transported on British roads, yet authorities are “wholly unprepared” to handle an accident, a damning report has revealed.

A “critical gap” in the protection of Britons has been identified by Nukewatch UK, amid claims public safety is being put at risk by the Scottish Government. The report, ‘Unready Scotland’, reveals weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) are driven across the country around eight times every year, without police accompanying them and without public knowledge.

The convoys travel with a potentially-deadly cocktail of explosives and nuclear weapons packed inside – yet those traveling alongside the huge trucks remain blissfully unaware of the dangerous cargo. Scottish councils have failed to carry out individual assessments of the routes taken by the massive convoys. This means vital evacuation time could be lost and the number of casualties could rise rapidly should there be an incident.

The potential contamination zone for an accident involving nukes is 24 miles, according to some experts, meaning entire villages and towns could be engulfed.

“The radioactive material in the warheads includes both plutonium and uranium, with a potential dispersal range of at least 5km,” Nuke Watch reports. “In addition to this, warhead materials include a number of toxic and hazardous substances.”

Unready Scotland suggests there is “no evidence” that authorities would be able to cope with a disaster on the route between the Aldermaston and Burghfield atomic weapon plants in Berkshire and RNAD Coulport on Loch Long.

In the event of nuclear fallout, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) would prioritize the mobilization of troops to secure the weapons – and the safety of the public would fall squarely on the shoulders of local authorities and emergency responders. Yet the frightening report shows that those who would be first on the scene would be “unprepared” and unable to launch into action. Although some claim an accident involving a convoy is unlikely, there have already been underreported incidents. In May, a military convoy of nuclear warhead carriers was left stranded on the side of the M40 motorway when the escort broke down. Fortunately in this instance there were no live warheads onboard.

Despite authorities claiming potential terrorist plots make it impossible for them to reveal details of the convoys to the public, activists claim the information is already in the public domain.

The report claims there is “no justification for not informing the public about the existence of the convoy traffic and its attendant risks.”

“The simple fact that these trucks carry nuclear bombs on public roads is enough to cause very serious concern, amounting to alarm,” said Nuke Watch. The report says the police officers manning the convoy “very frequently” have no idea what they are protecting – and would be unable to react in an emergency, the report says.

Astonishingly, some authorities “rely on generic risk assessments conducted within their Resilience Partnerships.”

Practice runs have been carried out on a small scale, according to Local Authority and Emergency Services Information (LAESI) reports, but nowhere close to the scale of the potential damage.

In 1990 it was predicted by nuclear engineer John Large that an accident involving nuclear warheads could spread contamination “at least 40 kilometres.”

Nuke Watch has called for an urgent review into the country’s response to a nuclear accident.

It claims since community safety is wholly devolved to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, the Scottish National Party (SNP) Government has failed in its duty to put adequate plans in place.

RT has contacted the SNP for comment.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Before bailing out Three Mile Island – some facts to consider

 The real numbers behind Three Mile Island, Eric Epstein, Three Mile Island Alert, Inc. Aug. 22, 2017 Exelon has been targeting the media, elected officials and the public with doomsday predictions regarding the closure of Three Mile Island Unit-1.

August 23, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment