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NBC News poll shows that three quarters of Americans fear that Trump is leading them into war

Three-quarters of Americans think Trump is going to lead them into war http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-war-poll-americans-think-president-lead-conflict-a8009401.html

Unlike the President, most Americans don’t think diplomacy is a waste of time, Andrew Buncombe New York ,@AndrewBuncombe

  • Almost three-quarters of Americans fear the US is to become involved in a “major conflict” in the next few years, according to a new survey.Amid escalating tensions with North Korea over its aggressive missile tests and development of nuclear warheads, combined with sabre-rattling from Donald Trump, 72 per cent of the population fears the country will become embroiled in such a war within four years.Most people believe the greatest threat to the US is from North Korea, followed by Isis and Russia. Only two per cent of people believe Iran is the greatest threat.
  • The NBC News/SurveyMonkey National Security poll also found that people are evenly divided on what represents the greatest form of threat – nuclear weapons, a cyber attack or terrorism.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | public opinion, USA | Leave a comment

Pacific islanders and other vulnerable groups working to raise awareness and action on climate change

Climate Weekly: the vulnerable raise their voices Climate Home News, By Megan Darby

Portuguese kids, Fijian financiers and developing country scientists are among the movers and shakers just weeks before UN talks in Bonn.

The youth hit their initial crowdfunding target for a climate lawsuit against European governments; the Pacific island – and presidency of next month’s UN climate talks – issued a $50 million green bond; and a fund was launched to support research into the potential impacts of solar geoengineering on poor regions.

These are a few of the ways vulnerable constituencies are confronting the risks global warming throws at them.

And on Friday, the Philippines Commission on Human Rights set a date to interrogate 47 carbon majors on their climate impact. Companies including ExxonMobil, Shell and BP have been called to a preliminary meeting on 11 December, as part of an ongoing investigation.

Zero carbon NZ

Jacinda Ardern became the world’s youngest female leader after her Labour Party brokered a coalition with the populist New Zealand First on Thursday.

High on the agenda is an act to make New Zealand carbon neutral by 2050, a goal supported by both parties and the Greens, whose votes it will rely on in parliament…….http://www.climatechangenews.com/2017/10/20/climate-weekly-vulnerable-raise-voices/

October 20, 2017 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

U.S. threats of war with North Korea are ‘dangerous and short-sighted’ – Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton says US threats of war with North Korea are ‘dangerous and short-sighted’, Express UK, 19 Oct 17,  HILLARY Clinton has declared that “cavalier” threats to start war on the Korean peninsula were “dangerous and short-sighted”, urging the United States to get all parties to the negotiating table.

The former US presidential candidate also called on China to take a “more outfront role” in enforcing sanctions against North Korea aimed at curbing its missile and nuclear development.

Mrs Clinton told the World Knowledge Forum in the South Korean capital of Seoul: “There is no need for us to be bellicose and aggressive (over North Korea).”

Tension between Pyongyang and Washington has soared following a series of weapons tests by North Korea and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Mrs Clinton said, without mentioning Mr Trump by name: “Picking fights with Kim Jong Un puts a smile on his face.”

Ms Clinton also indirectly referred to Trump’s social media comments on North Korea, saying, “The insults on Twitter have benefited North Korea, I don’t think they’ve benefited the United States”…….. http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/868114/Hillary-Clinton-US-threats-of-war-North-Korea-dangerous-short-sighted

October 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

ICAN calls on Nobel Foundation to cease indirect nuclear arms investments

TRANSPARENCY CALL Nobel Foundation accused of indirect nuclear arms investments https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/transparency-call_nobel-foundation-accused-of-indirect-nuclear-arms-investments/43614160 The Swiss-based winner of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize has called on the Nobel Foundation

external link to be more transparent about how it invests its money. This follows allegations that the body has indirectly invested in companies linked to the United States’ nuclear arms programme.

Last month, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weaponsexternal link (ICAN) received the Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts in the process to bring about a global treaty to ban nuclear arms.

But the German NGO Facing Finance, together with Norwegian environmental organisation Framtiden and German television channel ZDF, have uncovered evidence that the Nobel Foundation has invested in an index fund that includes Lockheed Martin, Textron and Raytheon. All three companies have been active in US nuclear weapons manufacturing.

Geneva-based ICAN has its own investment tracker called Don’t Bank on the Bomb, which encourages investors to publicly divest from companies associated with the production of nuclear weapons. But this system looks specifically at financial sector investments, and does not reveal individual investors.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn called on the foundation to open its books more fully to public scrutiny.

“There are public reports that the Nobel Foundation has an ethical investment policy not to invest in weapons prohibited by international treaty, and we encourage the Nobel Foundation to be more public and transparent about how they implement this policy,” she said in an email to swissinfo.ch.

New direction

ICAN will officially receive the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10. Fihn said that ICAN would use the prize “to strengthen the work of prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons”.

In an emailed response to swissinfo.ch, the Nobel Foundation said it invested in funds rather than picking specific companies. Since the beginning of the year, it has changed its investment policy to find “more sustainable alternatives to our equity index funds”.

“Today, the Nobel Foundation has clear guidelines regarding ethics and sustainability. No new investments are made in funds that invest in companies that violate international conventions regarding, for example, land mines or cluster bombs, or who have investments in nuclear weapons,” Nobel Foundation Executive Director Lars Heikensten told swissinfo.ch.

“Our current investments are being investigated based on these guidelines. In addition, we have joined the UN initiative Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI), and have thereby incorporated environmental, social and governance factors into our investment decisions.”

He added that the foundation was “considering using our position to make active investments in sustainable projects and in this way, make a real difference”.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, Switzerland, weapons and war | 1 Comment

UK annual inflation pushes up the already high costs of Britain’s Hinkley and Sizewell nuclear power projects

Platts 17th Oct 2017, UK annual inflation hit 3% in September for the first time since March
2012, up from 2.9% in August, the Office for National Statistics said
Tuesday. Monthly CPI as published by the ONS is used as an input in strike
prices awarded to low-carbon projects under the Contracts for Difference
regime. One of the early commercial agreements was for the Hinkley Point C
nuclear power station. LCCC data show the initial GBP89.50/MWh ($118/MWh)
strike price for the plant (2012 money) has risen GBP7.64/MWh to
GBP97.14/MWh. This initial strike price assumes a second EDF project at
Sizewell C proceeds. If not, the initial strike price rises to
GBP92.50/MWh. https://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/london/uk-inflation-hits-3-in-september-strike-price-26822470

October 20, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear fusion won’t be able to compete with solar, wind power

Nuclear Fusion Unlikely to Challenge Solar, Wind Power https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-20/nuclear-fusion-unlikely-to-challenge-solar-wind-power

Even if it works, it will be expensive relative to alternatives, By Anna Hirtenstein, 21 Oct 17, 
The world’s biggest and most expensive science experiment is likely to be threatened by the advance of renewable energy. Questions remain about whether the ITER nuclear fusion project will work at all, let alone provide electricity at anything like the cost of more traditional forms of clean energy. Solar power has plummeted 62 percent in the past five years, wind has followed a similar trend and even the best-case scenario would result in fusion being significantly pricier than renewables.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, technology | Leave a comment

Dubious future for Armenia’s aging nuclear power station

The Uncertain Fate of Armenia’s Nuclear Power Plant, The Armenian Weekly, By Weekly Staff on October 20, 2017 YEREVAN (A.W.)—The fate of the 41-year-old Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP), commonly known as Metsamor, is up for debate yet again as reports have emerged questioning whether the Armenian government will abandon plans for renewal or replacement altogether.

Metsamor, which is the only nuclear energy plant in the South Caucasus and one of the five remaining Soviet nuclear reactors of its kind, provides energy to 40% of Armenian consumers. Despite its critical role in Armenia’s modern energy economy, its aging design and proximity to earthquake-prone areas make it among the most dangerous nuclear plants in the world.

Built in 1976, the plant was shut down in 1989 by Soviet officials, following the devastating Spitak Earthquake. However, the economic difficulty and energy scarcity in Armenia after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, motivated the new Armenian government to relaunch the second of the plant’s two units.

Since then, the reactor’s operations have been a contentious issue both domestically and internationally. The issue was even addressed in an impending EU-Armenia trade agreement, where a 350-page, publicly-released draft text stipulated the reactor should be closed and replaced (though practical measures in enforcing this were notably vague)………https://armenianweekly.com/2017/10/20/uncertain-fate-armenias-nuclear-power-plant/

October 20, 2017 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

October 20 Energy News

geoharvey

How can I help the people of Puerto Rico?
One way is to donate at [this crowdfunding website].

Opinion:

¶ “Pollution’s Annual Price Tag? $4.6 Trillion and 9 Million Dead” Pollution in all its forms killed 9 million people in 2015 and, by one measure, led to economic damage of $4.6 trillion, according to a new estimate by medical researchers who hope to put the health costs of toxic air, water and soil higher on the global agenda. [Yahoo News]

Inner Mongolian landscape (Photo: Kevin Frayer | Getty Images)

¶ “There’s a Dangerous Bubble in the Fossil-Fuel Economy, and the Trump Administration Is Making It Worse” • Investors have increasingly recognized the long-term instability of high-carbon industries. We must limit our use of carbon, if we are to avoid destroying our civilization, and that means not using 80% of the reserves. [The New Yorker]

¶ “Turnbull’s energy…

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October 20, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear news to 21st October

I know that it’s becoming a tedious subject, but, unfortunately, the risk of war, a nuclear war, is creeping up inexorably. The general consensus of expert opinion is that North Korea’s Kim Jong Un does not want, or intend to start, a war. His quite rational aim is the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon to the USA. and thus prevent an American attack, and ensure the survival of his regime.  Russia and China, have achieved this ability, and USA and the world have learned to live with this reality.

Expert opinion seems completely confused as to the real aims of USA’s Donald Trump, and this is making for a scary scene. – And, it is hard to dismiss the opinion of the 27 psychiatrists who warned  about Trump’s mental state.

2017 – a catastrophic year for the nuclear industry – downturn in China, USA, and globally.

The growing threat of cyber attacks on nuclear weapons systems.

North Korea’s belligerant response to USA-South Korea military drills.  South Korea developing missiles to destroy North Korea nuclear facilities.

European Union statement on the Iran nuclear Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Quitting Iran nuclear agreement would ruin 12yrs’ work, threaten nuclear war – says ICAN

JAPAN. Kobe Steel scandal and mismanagement is especially bad news for the nuclear industry. World Trade Organisation ruling on  Korea’s ban on Japanese seafood. Japan attempting to force contaminated food products onto the market.  Kansai Electric Power Co. to permanently close 2 nuclear reactors in Fukui Prefecture.  Japan’s solar powered smart communities.

Court rulings show Fukushima relief falls short of reality of victims. Robots are central to Fukushima’s highly dangerous nuclear radioactivity clean-up.

SOUTH KOREA. Secrecy surrounding meeting of World Association of Nuclear Operators in South Korea.

RUSSIA. Russia positions itself as mediator on North Korean nuclear crisis.

USA.

UK. UK Labour warns that nuclear safety laws post Brexit could damage Britain’s democracy. Hinkley nuclear white elephant: Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) warns UK govt against further loan guarantees.  Part of the giant Hinkley Point nuclear plant will have to be demolished and rebuilt. Britain’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) likely to create a new agency, after cancelling Cavendish Fluor Partnership.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa’s President Zuma now has a new (Nuclear) Energy Minister: David Mahlobo praises nuclear energy. Kickbacks, procurement irregularities, at EskomFatal flaws in Eskom’s plan for new nuclear power at Koeberg, South Africa.

FRANCE. In 20 French cities, Greenpeace activists highlight the vulnerability of nuclear spent fuel pools.     29 French nuclear reactors at risk, warns France’s Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN).     Nuclear wastes – a divisive problem for the French, that could mean the end of the industry.  Electricite de France (EDF) keen to market nuclear power to Asia. 100 employees evacuated from office of French nuclear station , due to mysterious package found.

CHINA.  Chinese slowdown may end nuclear’s last hope for growth.  China forced to close top skiing area, due to earthquake concerns about North Korea’s nuclear tests.  China looks to a second record breaking year in solar power installations.

UKRAINE. £1.3bn Chernobyl New Safe Confinement planned for completion this year.

CZECH REPUBLIC. Czech Republic breaking its legal obligations in building nuclear facility, with neighbouring countries not participating.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

WTO panel rules on Korea’s ban on Japanese seafood

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September 28th. Banners and calls for government action at Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square: “We oppose imports of radioactive, contaminated Japanese seafood.”
 
A dozen civic groups are protesting the lifting of an import ban on Japanese seafood.
“It’s been more than six years since the Fukushima nuclear disaster, but radiation-tainted water is still being released into the sea. If the government lifts the restrictions, contaminated Japanese seafood will enter Korea.”
 
Following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, the Korean government slapped a temporary import ban on Japanese food. It then extended the ban to all fishery products from eight Japanese prefectures around Fukushima in September 2013, citing safety concerns.
 
In mid-2015, Tokyo lodged a complaint with the World Trade Organization against the restrictions.
After several bilateral meetings, a dispute resolution panel was set up in Feburary 2016, and this weekthe WTO panel sent its first dispute resolution report.
 
“Yes, both Seoul and Tokyo received the panel’s interim decision on Tuesday. For now, we cannot reveal the outcome as the concerning party’s duty. The result will be made public next spring, after it’s translated into three languages. What we can say now is that we will take measures if we think the panel’s ruling poses a risk to public health.”
 
In the complaint, Japan argued the Korean government lacked an explanation and scientific proof to back its restriction measures, adding Seoul had failed respond to Tokyo’s requests to answer its questions.
 
“In 2014 and 2015, Korea dispatched experts to conduct inspections in Fukushima. But, according to what I’ve found through information disclosure requests, under pressure from the Japanese government, the team didn’t conduct inspections in deep water, oceanfloor deposits as originally planned. Such inspections are critical to finding levels of contamination.”
 
The inspection team was disbanded in 2015 without a clear reason, and there was no final report on the inspection.
Experts believe it’s highly likely Korea lost the first panel ruling.
Once the outcome is made public next year, Korea has 60 days to hold discussions with Japan, and 15 months of appeal process, if it decides to do so.
 
“The Korean government needs to see how Japan is controlling its radiation tainted water, and conduct a thorough inspection in Fukushima, including of deep seawater, to show the import ban is fair. Secondly, the Korean government needs to take active measures to release whatever the inspection team found in 2014 and 2015 to restore people’s trust.”
 
Importing food is a matter of a nation’s sovereign rights.
A number of other countries, including China, Russia, Singapore and the U.S. all have some sort of import restriction measures, with China banning imports from ten prefectures in Japan, and Russia banning not just fresh seafood, but processed seafood.
Thus, the WTO ruling could have a broader impact and give Japan the basis to claim that food produced in the Fukushima region is 99 percent safe.
 
“There’s no safety level. Food safety standards differ according to the scientific research methods and the machines you use. No matter how small, radioactive material like Cesium, which stays in a natural state for a long time, accumulates in fish. If consumed by people, there’s a possibility it can cause cancer.”
 
Following the import ban in 2011, Japanese seafood imports to Korea have slumped to less than half the level they were at before the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Many Koreans are worried about the possible resumption of seafood imports from Japan.
 
“Then, people won’t be conscious or cautious of food from Fukushima, and I’m worried my child will eat Japanese seafood. The government should protect the public’s health.”
 
“With concerns about radioactive contamination in seafood imports from Japan, and a lack of transparency from the government, the Korean public is calling on the administration to take the necessary measures that guarantee the safety of the nation’s food supply.
Kim Hyesung, Arirang News. ”

 

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan attempting to force contaminated food products onto the market

A World Trade Organization panel has apparently ruled in Japan’s favor in a dispute over South Korean restrictions on imports of Japanese seafood imposed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Both sides had been informed of the panel’s decision as of Tuesday. Tokyo declined to reveal the outcome but said it was “consistent with Japan’s position.” A final report is expected to be made public by next spring.
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WTO panel said to back Japan on Fukushima fish ban

Tokyo has called South Korean restrictions on seafood imports unfair
GENEVA/SEOUL — A World Trade Organization panel has apparently ruled in Japan’s favor in a dispute over South Korean restrictions on imports of Japanese seafood imposed after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Both sides had been informed of the panel’s decision as of Tuesday. Tokyo declined to reveal the outcome but said it was “consistent with Japan’s position.” A final report is expected to be made public by next spring.
The WTO dispute settlement process lets parties appeal panel decisions. Ryu Young-jin, South Korea’s minister of food and drug safety, told lawmakers in the National Assembly on Tuesday that the country would appeal any ruling against it by the panel “in the interest of public health.”
For Tokyo, a victory would mark progress on rolling back restrictions on imports of fish and other seafood from waters off eastern Japan. The South Korean ban, which Japan claims is unfair under WTO rules, was imposed in 2013. Japan tried and failed to talk the matter out with South Korea in 2015, prompting Tokyo to request the establishment of the dispute resolution panel.
What happens next remains unclear. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported that the import ban would stay in place until at least 2019.
A number of other countries have imposed similar restrictions on Japanese seafood for fear of radioactive contamination, so the ruling could have a broader impact.

Seoul considers appeal against WTO ruling on Fukushima seafood ban

SEOUL, Oct. 18 (Yonhap) — South Korea is considering appealing the World Trade Organization (WTO) panel findings that its import restrictions on Japanese seafood after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster were unfair, the country’s trade ministry said Wednesday.
Japan lodged a complaint at the WTO in 2015 to challenge South Korea’s import bans and additional testing requirements on fish caught from eight prefectures near Fukushima since 2013.
On Tuesday, WTO’s dispute settlement panel in Geneva ruled in favor of Japan and notified the two sides of the result.
“We will appeal in accordance with the WTO procedures if (its decision) is considered unfair and affects the government’s ability to safeguard the health of our people,” the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a release. “Public health concerns are our top priority.”
Under WTO rules, South Korea has 60 days to appeal to an appellate body, which could delay imports of Fukushima-related seafood for another two years during the deliberation period.
Details of the final result will be available to WTO member nations in January and will be open to the public afterwards, the ministry said.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Rulings show Fukushima relief falls short of reality of victims

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A recent district court ruling on a damages lawsuit over the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident must have reminded many people of the serious consequences of the disaster.
The meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant shattered the happy and peaceful lives of local residents.
A huge number of people born and raised in the surrounding communities can no longer hope to continue their lives there, including working and developing their personalities through interactions with others.
In the lawsuit filed by around 3,800 plaintiffs, the Fukushima District Court on Oct. 10 held the government and the electric utility responsible for the nuclear accident and ordered them to pay compensation to about 2,900 evacuees.
It was another court ruling that represents a “legal defeat” for the government over the disaster, following a decision made in March by the Maebashi District Court in Gunma Prefecture.
For many years, the government has been promoting nuclear power generation as a national policy. Policymakers involved should revisit the lessons from the severe accident, which should be blamed on their blind faith in the “safety myth” of nuclear power.
They should also start making fresh efforts to enhance the safety of nuclear plants and provide effective relief to victims.
One key issue in the around 30 similar lawsuits that have been filed across the nation is whether it was possible to foresee the massive tsunami that triggered the meltdowns.
So far, three district courts have handed down rulings, all of which acknowledged that the tsunami was foreseeable. Their decisions were partly based on a related view announced in 2002 by a government agency.
Last month, however, the Chiba District Court denied the government’s legal responsibility for the accident, saying the disaster might not have been prevented even if presumed safety measures had been taken.
The ruling was based on a lenient judgment that showed insufficient sensitivity to the consequences of the accident.
In contrast, the Fukushima court delivered a well-reasoned, convincing ruling that describes in detail possible measures that could have been taken. It was based on a wide range of evidence, including courtroom testimonies by experts and facts and data concerning the situation when the accident unfolded.
Nuclear safety regulators and nuclear plant operators have the grave responsibility to constantly update their scientific knowledge and adopt safety measures of the highest possible level.
This is a vital imperative whose importance has become even clearer since the Fukushima accident.
Another key issue in the Fukushima disaster-related lawsuits is the way relief should be provided to victims.
All three rulings ordered compensation payments beyond government-set standards to a considerable number of plaintiffs.
The Chiba District Court ruling amply recognized the mental damages from the loss of hometowns caused by the accident. The Fukushima court granted compensation to a wide range of people, including residents in areas in Fukushima Prefecture that were not ordered to evacuate by the government, as well as in neighboring Ibaraki Prefecture, for their suffering from anxiety about radiation exposure.
The court rulings differed in their views about certain issues and damages granted.
But they all acknowledged that the government’s guidelines for compensation and TEPCO’s payments based on the guidelines do not adequately reflect the reality of the victims’ suffering.
The government’s Dispute Reconciliation Committee for Nuclear Damage Compensation, which crafted the guidelines, should scrutinize the rulings to determine if the guidelines have any shortcomings or other problems.
The nuclear accident cannot be undone. Obviously, the government and TEPCO are obliged to provide quick and appropriate relief to victims from the viewpoint of people suffering the consequences of the disaster.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

North Korea’s belligerant response to USA-South Korea military drills

North Korea warns US of ‘unimaginable’ nuclear strike http://thehill.com/policy/defense/356166-north-korea-warns-us-of-unimaginable-nuclear-strike, North Korea is warning that the United States will face an “unimaginable” nuclear strike for conducting ongoing joint naval drills with the South Korean military on the Korean peninsula.

“The U.S. is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones,” the state-controlled news agency KCNA warned Thursday, Newsweek reported. “The U.S. should expect that it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time.”

KCNA also reportedly blamed the U.S. for “creating tension on the eve of war” by participating in civilian evacuation drills in South Korea over the weekend.

The remarks come amid escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

President Trump has recently stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea and leader Kim Jong Un, whom he’s dubbed “Little Rocket Man.”

During his first address to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Trump threatened to “totally destroy North Korea” if it continued to threaten the U.S. and its allies.

The high-stakes war of words comes after North Korea conducted a series of intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear tests to display its progress toward developing a nuclear missile capable of striking the U.S.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, South Korea, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea developing missiles to destroy North Korea nuclear facilities

 https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/10/19/South-Korea-developing-missiles-to-destroy-North-Korea-nuclear-facilities/3121508418413/, By Elizabeth Shim   South Korea is preparing for full-scale war with North Korea by developing missiles that could destroy North Korea nuclear and missile facilities in the event of a conflict.

Gen. Kim Yong-woo, chief of staff of the South Korean army, said a plan to reduce to ashes North Korea’s weapons facilities, has been created, local newspaper Segye Ilbo reported Thursday. Kim, who submitted his report for an annual parliamentary audit by the National Assembly’s defense committee, said the objective of the plan is to decimate Pyongyang’s weapons of mass destruction while minimizing casualties.

“We will develop the concept of operations that suppresses North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction in the early stages, while minimizing damage,” Kim said Thursday.

The concept of operations includes the development of three types of all-weather, ultra-precise, high-power missiles, the formation of a special maneuvering unit, a combat bot and drone system, and “game changers” or cutting-edge military systems.

The three types of missiles include a tactical surface-to-surface missile, the Hyunmoo-2, and the Hyunmoo-4 missiles, according to local news network YTN. The Hyunmoo-4, capable of carrying a 2-ton nuclear warhead and of targeting North Korea’s underground military facilities, will begin development once U.S.-South Korea missile guidelines are revised.

Included in the plan is an air-ground task force that includes airborne and mechanized troops, that would be deployed to make a push into enemy territory and to neutralize nuclear and missile facilities, Seoul said.

In a separate statement on Thursday, the South Korean navy said the Korea-based three-axis system that includes Kill Chain, Seoul’s pre-emptive strike system, is under review.

October 20, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump administration set to unravel protection rules on ionising radiation?

EPA Says Higher Radiation Levels Pose ‘No Harmful Health Effect’Bloomberg, By Ari Natter, 

  • Trump administration guidelines may be  prelude to easier rules
In the event of a dirty bomb or a nuclear meltdown, emergency responders can safely tolerate radiation levels equivalent to thousands of chest X-rays, the Environmental Protection Agency said in new guidelines that ease off on established safety levels. The EPA’s determination sets a level ten times the drinking water standard for radiation recommended under President Barack Obama.
It could lead to the administration of President Donald Trump weakening radiation safety levels, watchdog groups critical of the move say. “It’s really a huge amount of radiation they are saying is safe,” said Daniel Hirsch, the retired director of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s program on environmental and nuclear policy.
“The position taken could readily unravel all radiation protection rules.” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-16/epa-says-higher-radiation-levels-pose-no-harmful-health-effect

October 20, 2017 Posted by | politics, radiation, USA | Leave a comment