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Very unwise for USA to pull out of the nuclear pact with Iran

World Leaders Urge Trump Not To Pull Out Of Iran Nuclear Pact, NPR September 21, 20177: 
Heard on Morning Edition Mary Louise Kelly talks to former Obama adviser Ben Rhodes, who warns if President Trump pulls out of the deal, it will alienate allies, and Iran may restart its nuclear program.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:President Trump says he has made up his mind what to do about the Iran nuclear deal. He wouldn’t tell reporters what he’s decided, but he’s made no secret in past of how he feels about Iran and in particular how he feels about the nuclear deal reached in 2015 under Barack Obama
………KELLY: What would be the consequences of the U.S. exiting the nuclear deal?

RHODES: Well, we would be totally isolated from the rest of the world including our closest allies. The constraints on Iran’s nuclear program would no longer be enshrined in a deal. And essentially Iran could restart its nuclear program, precipitating a second nuclear crisis in the Middle East to the one we have with North Korea, and we could be left with the decision, the United States, as to whether to allow Iran to go forward with its nuclear program or to start another war in the Middle East. And we thought this was the best way to prevent a nuclear weapon and to prevent another war………

The judgment of the U.S. intelligence community, the IAEA, the monitoring mechanism, our closest allies, even the Trump administration itself has certified twice that Iran is complying with this deal. That is a matter of fact. It’s not a subjective matter. And so therefore to be threatening to decertify Iranian compliance, as President Trump has done, flies in the face of the facts and, frankly, alienates us from our closest European allies and, frankly, gives international opinion – pushes it in the direction of Iran, which is exactly what we don’t want……..
KELLY: One quick development – one development to quickly ask you about, which is this. Some news organizations are reporting today that President Trump may decide to throw the matter to Congress, let Congress decide whether to reimpose sanctions. Is that a good idea? Is that one way forward?RHODES: No. I – you know, I think that creates some degree of chaos. If he doesn’t certify, the matter does go to Congress. And the fact of the matter is you’ll have the rest of the world wondering where the United States is on this question. And I think that’s a very dangerous thing, especially when he’s trying to deal with the same countries, Iran – with Russia and China to deal with North Korea. He should be – focus his attention on North Korea now, not creating a second crisis with Iran………http://www.npr.org/2017/09/21/552548128/world-leaders-urge-trump-not-to-pull-out-of-iran-nuclear-pac

September 22, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

US and Other Nuclear Powers Refuse to Sign Historic UN Treaty to Ban Atomic Weapons

Treaty banning nuclear weapons opened for signatures at United Nations, but key nations won’t take part, by UN News Centre , 21 Sept 17, 

The world’s first legally-binding treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons opened for signature on Wednesday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York at a ceremony at which speakers from international organizations, governments and civil society hailed this milestone in achieving a world free of such arsenals as well as the work that remains to be done……
..nuclear-armed States and most of their allies stayed out of the negotiations. Immediately following its adoption, the United States, the United Kingdom and France issued a joint press statement saying that they “have not taken part in the negotiation of the treaty… and do not intend to sign, ratify or ever become party to it.”
The Treaty will enter into force 90 days after it has been ratified by at least 50 countries.

At Wednesday’s ceremony, chaired by UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu, 42 countries signed the Treaty, with more expected. The Holy See and Thailand not only signed but also ratified it.

The President of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajčák, noted at the ceremony that the Treaty demonstrates the will of Member States to bring about change.

“It will raise public awareness about the risks of nuclear weapons. It will keep us on track for achieving our goal of a world in which nuclear weapons exist only in movies or books. But we need to do more to get the whole way there.” https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/09/21/us-and-other-nuclear-powers-refuse-sign-historic-un-treaty-ban-atomic-weapons

September 22, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

All proposed nuclear sites in UK are vulnerable to flooding

Nuclear is not the way to a clean energy future, Guardian, Emeritus Professor Sue Roaf, Oxford 21 Sept 17 In Agneta Rising’s defence of nuclear generation (Letters, 19 September), she claims that nuclear plants have to occasionally stop for repair and maintenance. But jellyfish also get into seawater inlets, as at Torness in 2011, causing week-long shutdowns. Seaweed can block inlets shutting reactors, and operator incompetence shuts reactors and compromises radioactive cores. Torness was even narrowly missed by a crashing RAF Tornado jet. Most worrying are not such transient manageable events but risks of systematic flooding of nuclear sites.

Nine UK plants are assessed by Defra as currently vulnerable to coastal flooding (Report, 7 March 2012), including all eight proposed new UK nuclear sites and numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities. EDF claims on its website that “to protect the Hinkley Point C station from such events, the platform level of the site is set at 14 metres above sea level, behind a sea wall with a crest level of 13.5 metres”. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 produced a maximum storm surge of 8.5 metres. It is predicted that sea levels may rise by a metre by 2100. The UK government cannot actually have believed in climate change or surely they would not put future generations at such risk?  I bet they believe in it now. The question is: do they care? Is it really too late to stop a retrograde, potentially catastrophic and already unaffordable UK nuclear future? https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/20/nuclear-is-not-the-way-to-a-clean-energy-future

September 22, 2017 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Anti-nuclear civil disobedience is ramping up

Truthout 17th Sept 2017, As the threat of nuclear war triggers anxiety not seen since the Cold War,
peace groups and those committed to the elimination of nuclear weapons are
entering the public debate with renewed calls for dialogue and a reduction
in nuclear arsenals in both North Korea and the US.

Meanwhile, anti-nuclear civil disobedience is ramping up. On September 6, six nuclear resisters
were found guilty of trespass after crossing the marked property of Naval
Base Kitsap earlier this year. Charley Smith — a resident of Eugene,
Oregon, and a member of the Catholic Worker movement — carried a copy of
the Nuremberg Principles when he crossed the line, as did the others.

Many of those active in the Catholic Worker movement, which was founded in 1933
during the Great Depression, have been jailed for acts of protest against
war, social injustice, racism and unfair labor practices. Asked to explain
the Nuremberg Principles by the judge, Smith replied, “Very simply, if we
remain silent or do not challenge the evils of society, we are complicit in
those evils just as much as those giving the orders to commit crimes
against peace, war crimes or crimes against humanity.”
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41961-anti-nuclear-groups-redouble-efforts-to-prevent-unimaginable-human-catastrophe

September 22, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Westinghouse’s future ownership shrouded in doubt

FT 17th Sept 2017, Westinghouse will emerge from bankruptcy protection “very soon” but its
future ownership remains shrouded in doubt as Toshiba mulls a potential
sale of its US nuclear business. José Gutiérrez, chief executive of
Westinghouse, said the company “was in a much better situation” than
many people imagined and hoped to emerge from the US Chapter 11 process
once a restructuring plan was agreed “in the next few months”.

However, he acknowledged that Toshiba must first decide what it wants to do with the
company, with options including a sale of the whole business or parts of
it. Toshiba has said it is “actively considering” a sale of
Westinghouse as it battles to prevent the business from dragging down the
rest of the Japanese conglomerate.

Analysts say political barriers will narrow down an already limited field of potential buyers, with Chinese and
Russian companies almost certainly unacceptable to Washington. Europe’s
biggest nuclear companies, Areva and EDF of France, are facing their own
financial turmoil and competitors such as General Electric in the US,
Hitachi in Japan and Kepco in South Korea are not rushing to rescue their
rival.
https://www.ft.com/content/a9bb6e08-9a19-11e7-b83c-9588e51488a0

September 22, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Terrorism danger, as weapons grade nuclear material flown from UK to USA

Energy Voice 18th Sept 2017, A plane carrying weapons-grade nuclear waste to the US left the Highlands
the day after the UK’s terror threat level was raised to “critical”.
Armed police and anti-terrorism specialists stood guard at Wick John
O’Groats Airport as the enriched uranium was loaded onto a US Air Force
C-17 Globemaster transporter jet.

But last night opponents slammed the decision to go ahead with the flight on Saturday, just a day after the
London tube bomb attack. Highlands and Islands MSP (Green) John Finnie
said: “Every avenue should have been considered, including the current
threat level, and it would have been appropriate to set that flight aside.

It is the third such flight under a deal agreed between the UK and US
governments to transfer nuclear material in exchange for a medical grade
uranium from the US used to diagnose cancer. The plane firstly travelled to
RAF Lossiemouth on Saturday – before heading for a nuclear facility in
Tennessee – as the runway at Wick is 1,712ft too short for a fully
fuelled Globemaster to get airborne. Wick’s runway was strengthened, but
not lengthened in preparation for the flights in an £8million upgrade. Up
to 10 more flights are expected in the future as the decommissioning at
Dounreay continues.

Mr Finnie added that terrorists would be seeking
“prestigious targets” such as these flights and that the consequences
of a disaster would be “unthinkable”. Tor Justad, chairman of Highlands
Against Nuclear Transport (HANT), said: “I think everyone is aware of the
heightened security and it does not seem to be an appropriate time to be
adding to the risks when these risks are avoidable. There is no reason why
this flight had to happen on Saturday, just after the third terrorist
incident in London in a few months.”
https://www.energyvoice.com/otherenergy/nuclear/150794/nuclear-waste-flight-takes-off-despite-attack

September 22, 2017 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Leonardo DiCaprio: Trump Ignoring Climate Change Has Devastating Consequences

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio said climate change is making storms like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma stronger and more destructive. By Rich Scinto (Patch Staff) – Updated NEW HAVEN, CT — Actor and longtime environmental advocate Leonardo DiCaprio closed a two-day climate change conference at Yale University with a plea for people to think long-term when it comes to the environment, both for the sake of the planet and for the future of America’s economy.

“While climate change didn’t cause these storms we are seeing right now it is without a doubt, in the scientific community, making them more extreme and more destructive,” he said, referencing Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and soon Maria that have caused untold billions in damage over the past few weeks.

The Kerry Initiative at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University hosted a two-day climate change conference. Speakers and panelists included former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, California Gov. Jerry Brown, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, General Electric Chair of the Board Jeffrey Immelt and actor Leonardo DiCaprio……https://patch.com/connecticut/newhaven/leonardo-dicaprio-speak-yale-climate-change-conference

September 22, 2017 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Surprising rebuke to Donald Trump in Federal court decision on greenhouse gas emissions

A conservative-leaning court just issued a surprise ruling on climate change and coal mining

In a rebuke to Trump, the federal court said greenhouse gas emissions need to be considered in lease approvals. Vox by Late last week, a federal court knocked down plans to expand coal mining in the Western US, adding to a growing body of rulings against the Trump administration’s efforts to push climate change off the agenda.

The surprising decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, which has jurisdiction in Colorado, Kansas, Utah, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, told the Bureau of Land Management to redo its math on greenhouse gas emissions from coal leases and sent the approval of these leases back to a lower court.

Under the National Environmental Policy Act, federal agencies have to consider how a given proposal both affects climate change and is affected by climate change.

The 10th Circuit is the highest court to rule on climate change accounting so far, and its opinion undercuts President Donald Trump’s efforts to resuscitate the dying US coal industry.

“It’s reaffirming what a lot of people already knew: Government has to take a hard look at what their environmental impacts are,” said Sam Kalen, a law professor at the University of Wyoming. “Cases like this are sending signal that regardless of what the administration wants to do, the law says you have to take a look at these issues.”

In March, President Trump lifted President Barack Obama’s moratorium on coal leasing and stopped a comprehensive review of federal coal policy, with the goal of spurring more coal mining.

However, the courts are once again standing in the way of Trump’s agenda.

A massive coal mining expansion is at stake

At issue are four proposed leases in the Powder River Basin, a 14-million-acre region spanning Wyoming and Montana containing 40 percent of US coal deposits and responsible for 13 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Sierra Club, one of the groups joining the lawsuit against BLM………

 the coal industry as a whole is suffering from intense competition from other energy sources, and fighting for new mining rights doesn’t solve any of its root problems, like its cost relative to natural gas. So as these leases work their way through the courts, the market is likely to continue to be the much bigger threat to the future of coal.https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2017/9/19/16332952/court-ruling-coal-climate-change

September 22, 2017 Posted by | climate change, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear war fears – very good for the underground bunker marketers

WAR WITH NORTH KOREA? PEOPLE ARE BUILDING NUCLEAR BUNKERS AND SHELTERS AGAIN BECAUSE OF TRUMP AND KIM JONG UN http://www.newsweek.com/nuclear-fallout-shelter-bunker-north-korea-japan-667680 BY MAX KUTNER 

September 22, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Spectre of Chernobyl nuclear disaster rises again, regarding new nuclear power station in Belarus

Russian-built nuclear plant revives Chernobyl fears,  Power station taking shape on Belarus border feeds anxiety in Lithuania and beyond, Ft.com  by Richard Milne in Buivydziai and Vilnius and Henry Foy in Ostrovets, 20 Sept 17  Buivydziai is a typical Lithuanian village. A sleepy place with fewer than 300 inhabitants, it has a church, a couple of shops and a school that takes in children from the surrounding countryside. But three years ago, a new neighbour began to take shape. Looming on the horizon just 20km away are the massive cooling towers of a nuclear power station being built near the small Belarusian town of Ostrovets. In a region still scarred by the complex legacy of the Soviet Union and the devastating human consequences of the Chernobyl disaster three decades ago, Belarus’ decision to build a Russian-financed power station on its border with the EU has become a source of deep anxiety. In Buivydziai, Zenobija Mikelevic, the school’s deputy head, says unease about the power plant and changing demographics have already taken their toll, with some families packing up and leaving. “Every year, our school gets fewer and fewer children. I’m a mother of three and my children don’t want to live here,” she says.

Even before the plant is scheduled to open in 2019, the village is preparing for the worst. A small blue triangular sign on a wall outside the school marks the muster point if there is a serious incident. The cellar contains a makeshift shelter to be used by the teachers and 130 children, aged six-18, as they wait to be evacuated. Ana Gricevic, a theology teacher and mother of three who lives in a neighbouring village, says: “My generation [lived through] Chernobyl’s consequences. We saw the birth defects, people dying . . . It’s what I think with Ostrovets: my children might be in danger.” The plant has become a fierce and emotional battleground on the eastern edge of Europe, a region riddled with divisions and suspicion between those inside and outside the EU. It comes at a time of increasing friction between the Brussels-led bloc and Nato allies on the one hand, and Russia and its friends on the other.
Anxiety about the Ostrovets plant is all-encompassing in Lithuania, where the government deems it a threat to national security, public health and the environment. Assertions from Belarus that the facility will be one of the safest in the world cut little ice. The project has fed deep geopolitical fears in Lithuania, a country of fewer than 3m people that in 1990 became the first republic to declare independence from the crumbling Soviet Union. The plant is financed by a $10bn loan from Moscow, and is being designed and built by Rosatom, Russia’s state-owned nuclear power monopoly……….
Across the border in Belarus, the Ostrovets plant is viewed as a source of national pride and a guarantor of energy security. Minsk, which says the facility will use the most sophisticated technology available, rejects Lithuania’s allegations that it has broken international rules and hushed up accidents throughout construction..
………The spectre of Chernobyl, the worst nuclear accident in history, is ever present. The 1986 disaster struck in neighbouring Ukraine but the wind meant that 70 per cent of the nuclear fallout landed on Belarus. The effects were worsened by the secrecy of the Soviets, who did not organise an evacuation of the nearest city — just 3km away — until 36 hours after the blast………https://www.ft.com/content/a98322de-96f7-11e7-b83c-9588e51488a0

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Belarus, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

China considers rescuing problematic UK Moorside nuclear station project

China mulls Moorside nuclear rescue deal to deepen roots in UK plants http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/09/19/china-mulls-moorside-nuclear-rescue-deal-deepen-roots-uk-plants/  China’s state-backed nuclear company is hoping to take an equity stake in the troubled £10bn Moorside new nuclear project being developed by debt-hit Toshiba.

The Japanese conglomerate is on the hunt for a project partner to safeguard Europe’s largest planned new nuclear plant after France’s Engie abandoned its support of the venture in the wake of Toshiba’s spiralling financial woes.

China General Nuclear (CGN) confirmed that it is in the running to shore up the 3.8GW project in exchange for an equity share, in a move which would also deepen its stake in the UK’s nuclear ambitions. “We are willing to utilise our experience in nuclear design, construction and operation for more than 30 years to support the development of Britain’s nuclear industry,” CGN confirmed in a statement to Reuters.

CGN joins South Korea’s Kepco which voiced an interest in the project earlier this summer.

The South Korean state-backed utility has harboured an interest in Moorside since 2013, but said it would want to use its own nuclear design rather than one made by Toshiba’s Westinghouse nuclear business.

Westinghouse plunged into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US earlier this year after amassing losses of $9bn (£6.6bn) for Toshiba due to a string of struggling US projects.The deal would hand CGN access to a fourth nuclear project in the UK. It has already teamed up with EDF Energy to finance a third of the Hinkley Point C project and a fifth of its Sizewell B nuclear plans.

 In the future CGN also plans to lead the plans to build the Bradwell C nuclear plant in Essex with a 66pc stake in the venture.

At Moorside CGN is also likely to want to use its own reactor design, in order to prove its mettle to other prospective new markets. However, it will take at least four years before CGN’s reactor design could be approved by the nuclear authority for use in the UK.

A lengthy approval process would also be required of a Kepco reactor design which could derail the 2025 start date by at least two years in a further blow to the UK’s new nuclear ambitions.

EDF admitted earlier this year that the start-up date for Hinkley Point C is likely to be two years later than first thought at 2027 and pile a further €1bn (£870m) to €3bn euros on to the construction costs of the £18bn project.

The delays to new nuclear projects raises questions over the UK’s energy supplies in the middle of the next decade. More than two thirds of the country’s power generation capacity will have retired between 2010 and 2030.

September 22, 2017 Posted by | China, marketing, UK | Leave a comment

RadNet or SadNet? The EPA’s Failed Radiation Detection System

PSTUPH

NO-BID MAINTENANCE CONTRACT TO FORMER DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE UNDER-SECRETARY

SYSTEM NOT READY ON 3/11

RadNet – the EPA’s front-line, radiological detection network is severely flawed and suffers from maintenance and reliability issues.

The lack of consistent data and the number of units offline (a techie term for broken) at the time they were most needed shows that the EPA was not prepared for this emergency.

Besides that fact the broken system left us all unprotected; the confusion, apprehension and fear witnessed as people try to wade through the incomplete and inaccurate data online is evidenced by an exchange on the UC Berkely website over this RadNet graph:

The graph shows that this monitoring station was one of the units actually running on  3/11 . The readings were significantly higher prior to 3/11 and drop to a much lower level  afterwards. This is an indication that the units were running…

View original post 283 more words

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment