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

November 2 Energy News

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ The burning of biomass in the Amazon releases particulate matter air pollution that causes oxidative stress as well as severe DNA damage in human lung cells – primarily through the actions of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon known as retene – according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. [CleanTechnica]

Deforestation in the Amazon (NASA image)

¶ Even when they are powered exclusively by the “dirtiest” grid-provided electricity in the world, plug-in electric vehicles are responsible for a smaller greenhouse gas footprint than that of diesel cars, according to a new lifecycle analysis from Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the nonprofit research organization Transport & Environment. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ As of November 1st, the sale of high-sulfur content diesel fuel – that is, diesel fuel with more than 10 ppm of sulfur – will be banned nationwide in China, the government in…

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November 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BBC on Nuclear Decommissioning (DUMPING) – What a clever piece of misdirection

file on 4.jpg Listen Here

There is so much wrong with the BBC’s File on 4 programme that it is difficult to know where to begin.

The narrrator takes us to “Moorside” which is described a a “barren agricultural land” what nonsense this land, ancient hedgerows, river, floodplain and what would be affected coast line/sea has several special designations (including international ones) Marine Conservation Zone, RAMSAR, SSSI, Habitats Directive, All of no consequence apparently when it comes to nuclear who can override such piffling considerations with ‘Imperative Reasons of Overriding Public Interest’ 

According to the nuclear industry spokesman Moorside would produce 20% of the UKs electricity – WHAT!!!  This went unchallenged by the BBC.  Moorside would produce a mere 7% of the UKs electricity and that is a stretch.

The only downside of new build according to the BBC is the finance – what utter nonsense – the profligate finance is the least…

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November 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Extreme Warming at the Poles this Week — Arctic and Antarctic Temperatures to Rise to 20-30 C Above Average in Some Locations

robertscribbler

Human-caused climate change via fossil fuel burning produces a number of stranger things. And some of the weirdest happen to occur in the polar regions of our world.

One of the foremost of these odd impacts is called polar amplification. Under polar amplification, the warming effects of elevated greenhouse gasses are concentrated at the poles. This is due to reduced reflectivity (albedo) from smaller snow and sea ice concentrations, due to the increased intensity of the greenhouse effect in colder and darker regions, and due to increased energy transfer from lower latitudes into upper latitudes due to weakening of the polar Jet Stream.

Over the next week, this kind of polar amplification is predicted to generate very extreme warm temperatures for both poles of our world.

(Warm winds blowing into the Arctic will produce far above average temperatures this week. Image source: Global and Regional Climate Anomalies.)

In the…

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November 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 1 Energy News

geoharvey

Science and Technology:

¶ Scottish Association for Marine Science researchers predict that cod, herring and haddock could migrate out of the local ecosystem by 2100, most likely to colder waters further north, because of global warming. Waters off Scotland’s west coast are already nearing the highest temperatures cod and herring can tolerate. [Aberdeen Evening Express]

Fishing boat

¶ A record loss of global tree cover in 2016 – totaling around 297,000 square kilometers (114,672 square miles) – was driven partly by increasingly common wildfires worsened by rising temperatures and drought, according to the Global Forest Watch, based on data from the University of Maryland. The area was a rise of 51% on 2015. [CleanTechnica]

World:

¶ During the weekend starting October 28, so much energy was created by German windstorms, that it was being given away for free. Output equivalent to that of 40 nuclear power…

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November 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Predicted Record 94 Degree (F) November Temperatures for Dallas as Globe Warms Despite Trend Toward La Nina

robertscribbler

The globe should be cooling relative to recent and near record warm summer temperatures. But it isn’t. La Nina like conditions, the Pacific Ocean pattern that generally precipitates globally cooler weather, is again spreading across the Equatorial Pacific. Yet if you’re living in Dallas, Texas, or many other places across the globe, you wouldn’t know it.

For this week, temperatures in Dallas are expected to exceed all previous records since monitoring began back in 1898.

(Record warm temperatures predicted for Dallas later this week. Image source: Euro Model.)

According to meteorologist Ryan Maue, and to reanalysis of Euro weather model data, Dallas is expected to see temperatures between 90 and 94 degrees Fahrenheit by Friday of this week. Readings that would be considered pretty hot for a normal summer day occurring on November 3rd. That’s really odd. Especially when you consider the fact that Dallas has never…

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November 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

France To Decide By End 2018 How Many Nuclear Plants To Shut Minister.

4061_7454.jpg

October 28, 2017

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-nuclearpower/france-to-decide-by-end-2018-how-many-nuclear-plants-to-shut-minister-idUSKBN1CX0KP

PARIS (Reuters) – France will detail at the end of 2018 how many nuclear reactors will close to meet a target on reducing atomic energy, Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot told French daily Le Monde on Saturday.

France aims to cut the share of atomic energy in power generation to 50 percent by 2025 from 75 percent now.

Nuclear plant closures represent a touchy topic, as the sector employs thousands of people and renewable energy alternatives struggle to grow fast enough to ensure energy needs are fulfilled.

According to France’s National Council of Industry, the nuclear sector supports about 220,000 jobs, directly and indirectly.

Hulot will lay out his so-called “green deal” on energy transition in the first half of 2018, he told Le Monde in an interview.

“In order to reduce to 50 percent the share of nuclear power, we will have to close a number of reactors,” he said, adding that he would detail the exact figure under a multi-year plan to be presented at end of 2018.

Hulot said in July that as many as 17 of France’s 58 reactors may need to close to meet the target, but he did not stick to that forecast in later comments on the subject.

The minister said he would take into account the need to avoid any electricity shortage during that transition, given the country’s dependence on nuclear power.

France briefly faced the prospect of power cuts last winter, as power supply had then been hit by the closure of a third of country’s ageing nuclear reactors for security checks.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Stephen Powell

November 2, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia AND the US send nuclear bombers near North Korea

Russia AND the US send nuclear bombers to North Korea as tensions with Kim Jong-un soar

The US sent a nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri on a long-range mission to the Pacific this weekend, The Sun, By Sam Webb, 31st October 2017,

RUSSIA and the US have flown nuclear bombers near North Korea as tensions grow over tyrant Kim Jong-un’s atomic threats.

President Donald Trump sent a nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri on a long-range mission to the Pacific this weekend.

And the Russian Defence Ministry today announced that US and Japanese jets escorted Russia’s missile-carrying Tupolev-95MS strategic bombers during flights over the Sea of Japan and the Pacific.

A spokesman said: “Two strategic bombers Tupolev-95MS of Russia’s Aerospace Force have carried out routine flights over international waters of the Sea of Japan and the western part of the Pacific Ocean.

At certain sections of the route the Tupolev-95MS crews were accompanied by a pair of F-18 fighters (of the US Air Force), and a pair of F-15, F-4 and F-2A fighters (of the Japanese Air Force).”

The threat of nuclear missile attack by North Korea is accelerating, US defence secretary Jim Mattis warned at the weekend……https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4801531/us-and-russia-send-nuclear-bombers-to-north-korea-as-tensions-with-kim-jong-un-soar/

November 2, 2017 Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

America’s $1.2 trillion nuclear weapons industry

US nuclear arsenal to cost $1.2tn over next 30 years, independent CBO report finds https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/31/us-nuclear-arsenal-cost-cbo-report CBO finds total price tag marks 25% increase from previous estimate
Nuclear Posture Review under way and expected by end of the year, Guardian, 
Julian Borger 1 Nov 17, The cost of the US nuclear arsenal over the next 30 years will be over $1.2tn, even before any new weapons ordered by the Trump administration, and is unlikely to be affordable without cuts elsewhere in the defence budget, according to a independent congressional report.

The total price tag marks nearly a 25% increase from previous estimate, taking in the modernisation programme established under the Obama administration, which account for $400bn, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found. The costs would peak in the 2020s and the 2030s.

A new Nuclear Posture Review is under way and expected around the end of the year. Trump has repeatedly vowed to bolster the nuclear stockpile, and the defence department is reportedly considering the development of a low-yield warhead for a ballistic missile, and reintroducing a sea-launched cruise missile, among a variety of new options.

The CBO report warns that such new capabilities would increase the total bill for the US arsenal yet further.

“If these plans reach fruition, it would be the largest nuclear build-up since the Reagan administration. This is not affordable,” said Stephen Schwartz, an independent nuclear analyst and editor of the book, Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of US Nuclear Weapons Since 1940.

Pursuing nuclear modernization will be challenging in the current environment,” the report said, adding that it would compete with parallel ambitions to upgrade the navy and the air force, and increase the size of the army.

It is the first comprehensive costing of the US nuclear weapons programme. The report offers three approaches for cost reductions to make it affordable. One would keep the programme as is currently planned but delay elements of it, bringing potential savings of 5%.

The second looks at ways of reducing the programme but keeping to the existing ceiling agreed with Russia of 1550 deployed strategic warheads. One variant of that approach examined by the CBO would be to do without one leg of the nuclear ‘triad’, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and keeping air-launched and sea-launched weapons. That would generate savings of 10%, the report said.

The third approach would incorporate a reduction of the deployed strategic stockpile to 1000 warheads, a cut the defence department under the Obama administration said could be made without affecting the US nuclear deterrent, which would save 5% to 11% of the total.

“The report blows apart the “do everything or do nothing” false choice repeatedly posited by Pentagon officials,” Kingston Reif, the director for disarmament and threat reduction policy at the Arms Control Association, said. “But perhaps the biggest contribution of new CBO nuclear cost study is the evaluation of options to manage and reduce the mammoth price tag.”

Reif added: “Meanwhile, the Trump administration is reportedly considering adding new weapons to the arsenal, which would increase the budget train-wreck odds, and undermine US security.”

November 2, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Examining the hype in Australia about space exploration

Australia’s international space agency hype https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/australias-international-space-agency-hype,10876  s the current hype about space travel justified, and what of the human and environmental cost? Noel Wauchope reports.

ENTHUSIASM for space travel has been mounting since Australia hosted the recent International Astronautical Congress (IAC), held in Adelaide in September.

Then there was the announcement that Australia is getting a space agency!

We are informed by space scientist Dr Megan Clarke:

“ … more than 3000 of the world’s top space experts wildly cheered [and] all aspects of Australian society were united on the need for a national agency.” 

In November, the very brilliant and appealing space travel and nuclear power enthusiast, Professor Brian Cox is to tour Australia! Champion astronaut Scott Kelly has just published his exciting bookEndurance: a Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery.

Dare anyone throw cold water on all this joy?

Intriguingly, the Australian Government, while proudly hyping up this initiative, has not yet come up with a title for the new agency. However, someone else has and they have set up an elegant and professional-looking website for it: Australian Research and Space Exploration (ARSE).

Let’s start with that most important consideration — money

Although everyone says that space exploration is going to be an economic bonanza, I can’t see how it’s actually going to bring in money. There are some vague suggestions about finding mineral resources on other planets. Even NASA seems hard-put to find any real commercial benefits.

They discuss a few useful scientific and medical technologies — for example, water purification techniques and advanced eye surgery. These are side benefits of space research but surely could have been developed more cheaply with research on Earth directly intended for the purpose. I am reminded of the “benefits” of man walking on the moon in 1966 – we got Teflon – and even that didn’t turn out so well.

What about the costs of space exploration, space travel and sending a man to Mars? It is very hard to locate actual figures. Even three years ago, NASA’s space travel research cost taxpayers US$17.6 billion (AU$22.9 billion) — and costs have surely risen by now.  A huge part of the cost is in fitting and fuelling the space rockets’ thermoelectric generators with the production of the plutonium fuel being the most costly part of the expense.

Plutonium fuel

Plutonium 238 fuelled Voyager 1, which is expected to keep going until 2025, the New Horizons trip to Pluto and Cassini, which recently crashed into Saturn. NASA is sanguine about risks of a space exploration accident, claiming that it’s a low probability.

Karl Grossman has described a previous accident, dispersing plutonium widely and the risks involved in the Cassini project thus:

‘ … the Plutonium-238 used in space devices is 280 times more radioactive than the Plutonium-239 used in nuclear weapons.’ 

A very small amount of Plutonium-238, that cannot be seen, felt, or measured with a Geiger counter is enough to kill you. One nanoparticle inhaled and lodged in the lungs is enough to give anyone lung cancer. In experiments with dogs, there was no dose low enough to NOT cause the death of these animals. Just one nanoparticle the size of dust (1 microgram) that could not even be seen, was enough to kill every dog tested.

There is a long list of space travel accidents, including 19 rocket explosions causing fatalities, as well as nine other crashes/accidents causing fatalities. There seems to be no published research on rockets and space debris that have ended up in the oceans. We can assume that such ocean debris does exist, including the long-lasting radioactive particles of plutonium, to be carried thousands of miles by ocean currents.

Ocean crashes are sometimes reported, but the public is generally unaware of the space junk and the plutonium that goes into the oceans. NASA is very coy about publicly stating that the rocket’s rockets’ thermoelectric generators are, in fact, fuelled by plutonium.

NASA continues research on solar-powered space flights, but that idea seems out of fashion at the moment.

The human toll of space travel

The human toll of space travel is not emphasised. However, Scott Kelly, who holds the U.S. record for time spent in space, has been quite frank about this in his new book. As an identical twin, Scott is an especially useful person for studying the effects of space on the body.

He became, in fact, a laboratory research animal — a sacrificial lamb, perhaps, in the cause of space research:

‘I lost bone mass, my muscles atrophied and my blood redistributed itself in my body, which strained and shrank the walls of my heart. More troubling, I experienced problems with my vision, as many other astronauts had. I had been exposed to more than 30 times the radiation of a person on Earth, equivalent to about ten chest X-rays every day. This exposure would increase my risk of a fatal cancer for the rest of my life.’

Despite Scott’s extraordinary health problems, which linger to this day, he is optimistic and keen about human travel to Mars.

Which brings us to the biggest consideration: the ethics of all this.

I am fascinated that it is stated in Wikipedia, in assessing the cost of sending humans to Mars (over US$500 billion or AU$651 billion), that:

‘The largest limiting factor for sending humans to Mars is funding.’

I think that the human cost should be a bigger “limiting factor”. There’s still the problem of lethal radiation on the trip and on Mars. Plus it’s a one-way trip. Scott Kelly has detailed, especially, the mental distress of being stuck in a spacecraft for months, isolated from human society and from loved ones, as well as the physical problems. Despite all this, Scott is keen on space travel and humans going to Mars. He is carried along, it seems, by a love of adventure, of risk, of achievement and fame.

Comfortable old white men in suits are planning the Mars trip; Younger, enthusiastic young men and women, like Scott Kelly, are mesmerised by the adventure and perceived “glory”. Should we be encouraging them on this suicide mission?

We are constantly being told of the benefits to come, in space travel. What benefits? Are they greater than the huge environmental and personal risks? And the financial costs – the US$500 billion (AU $651 billion), paid for by the tax-payer? That money could go to meet real human needs. There’s something wrong with our priorities when we mindlessly accept enthusiasm for technology, innovation, and so on, as better than healing the health of this planet and its populations.

Nuclear power

And there is one other issue — nuclear power. The space hype coincides with the current drastic downturn in the fortunes of the nuclear industry. To continue with space research/travel, plutonium is needed. And the only way to get it is from nuclear reactors. Space science could be a lifeline for the failing nuclear industry.

It’s no coincidence that the International Astronautical Congress was held in Adelaide — Australia’s hub of nuclear ambition. It’s no coincidence that Professor Brian Cox is visiting, hot from his recent pep talks to the nuclear industry in Wales.

The uncritical hype about space travel ties in well with the pro-nuclear hype, especially in South Australia.

November 2, 2017 Posted by | - plutonium, AUSTRALIA, technology | Leave a comment

Collapsed tunnel at North Korea nuclear weapons site – report of hundreds killed

Hundreds killed at North Korea nuclear base: Report http://www.news.com.au/world/asia/hundreds-killed-at-north-korea-nuclear-base-report/news-story/455c8b425e9fa6df84bb07384f28f6ee  AT LEAST 200 people have reportedly died at Kim Jong-un’s nuclear test site, and there are fears of a radioactive leak. A TUNNEL at an underground North Korea nuclear site has collapsed with up to 200 people killed, according to reports.

The collapse happened at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the northeast of the country on October 10, according to Japan’s TV Asahi.  The disaster has prompted fears of a massive radioactive leak which could spark a Chernobyl- or Fukushima-style disaster, The Sun reported.

A North Korean official said the collapse happened during the construction of an underground tunnel, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reports.

Some 100 people are said to have been trapped by the initial tunnel collapse, with a further 100 lost in a second collapse during a rescue operation, Asahi reported.

Lee Eugene, a spokeswoman at South Korea’s unification ministry, said: “We are aware of the report but do not know anything about it.”

The accident is believed to have been caused by Kim Joing-un’s sixth nuclear test which weakened the mountain, according to the report.  It was reported earlier this year that the mountain under which the base is believed to be hidden was at risk of collapsing and leaking radiation into the region.

Experts said if the peak crumbles, clouds of radioactive dust and gas would blanket the region, the South China Morning Post reported.

The Punggye-ri test site is carved deep into the side of Mount Mantap.  Geophysicist Wen Lianxing and his team at the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei, Anhui province, said they were “confident” underground detonations were occurring underneath the mountain.

They posted an analysis of data collected from more than 100 seismic monitoring sites across China.

This has narrowed down the location of Pyongyang’s nuclear tests with a margin of error of just 100m. They’ve all been under the same mountain.

Seismic data showed the underground test triggered an earthquake of magnitude 6.3, around 10 times more powerful than the fifth test a year ago.

Satellite images showed the blast caused numerous landslides around the Punggye-ri test site, according to the Washington-based 38 North monitoring project.

But Chinese nuclear weapons researcher and chair of the China Nuclear Society Wang Naiyan told the Morning Post a collapse could spark a major environmental disaster.

He said: “We call it ‘taking the roof off’. If the mountain collapses and the hole is exposed, it will let out many bad things.

“A 100 kiloton bomb is a relatively large bomb. The North Korean government should stop the tests as they pose a huge threat not only to North Korea but to other countries, especially China.”

Satellite photos taken just a day after the blast reveal new gravel and scree fields shaken loose by the blasts at an elevation of about 2205m.

Analysts said these appeared more numerous and widespread than those caused by previous detonations — which would be in keeping with the increased size of the bomb.

Wang said there are limited mountains in North Korea that are “suitable” to conduct a nuclear test.

He said if the North had simply drilled into the side of the mountain, this increased the risk of “blowing the top off”.

News of the tunnel collapse comes after it emerged Russia and the US have both flown nuclear bombers near the country as tensions grow over Kim’s nuke threats.

Nuclear devices are often tested underground to prevent radioactive material released in the explosion reaching the surface and contaminating the environment.

This method also ensures a degree of secrecy.

A test site is carefully geologically surveyed to ensure suitability — usually in a place well away from population centres.

The nuclear device is placed into a drilled hole or tunnel usually between 200-800m below the surface, and several metres wide.

A lead-lined canister containing monitoring equipment is lowered into the shaft above the chamber.

The hole is then plugged with gravel, sand, gypsum and other fine materials to contain the explosion and fallout underground.

The release of radiation from an underground nuclear explosion — an effect known as “venting” — would give away clues to the technical composition and size of a country’s device.

November 2, 2017 Posted by | incidents, North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

United Nations Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017

Emissions Gap Report, http://www.unenvironment.org/resources/emissions-gap-report  [good graphs] , Authors: UN Environment, November 17 The goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as agreed at the Conference of the Parties in 2015, is to keep global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also calls for efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The UN Environment Emissions Gap Report 2017 presents an assessment of current national mitigation efforts and the ambitions countries have presented in their Nationally Determined Contributions, which form the foundation of the Paris Agreement.

The report has been prepared by an international team of leading scientists, assessing all available information. The governments of countries mentioned specifically in the report have been invited to comment on the specific assessment findings; independent experts have also been invited to review the different chapters.

What’s new in this year’s report?

Update on global greenhouse gas emissions
This year, the Emissions Gap Report includes an assessment of the emissions associated with the Nationally Determined Contributions and current policies of each of the G20 members, including the European Union. This is in addition to presenting an update on global greenhouse gas emissions and national actions to meet the earlier Cancun pledges.

Exploring “negative emission technologies”
This year’s report explores removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as an additional way to mitigate climate change, over and above conventional abatement strategies.

An analysis of global carbon dioxide emissions from energy and industry

The Report includes a new systematic assessment of how various economic sectors can reduce their climate-warming emissions, focusing on the potential eductions from the wide application of already-known and cost-effective technologies.

The role of short-lived climate pollutants

The report describes the opportunities offered by limiting emissions of the so-called short-lived climate pollutants. Reductions of these pollutants will limit the rate of short-term warming, and when sustained and combined with reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, they help to limit long-term warming, which is the ultimate aim of closing the emissions gap.

Phasing out coal

This year’s report includes a detailed assessment of global developments in the coal sector. This also examines the options and barriers for a gradual coal phase-out.

November 2, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Reference | Leave a comment

Chaotic situation at Los Alamos National Laboratory -secrecy about plutonium danger

Birthplace of the atomic bomb in chaos as National Nuclear Security Administration calls for help   http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/birthplace-of-the-atomic-bomb-in-chaos-as-national-nuclear-security-administration-calls-for-help/news-story/c47b70e5ac22e27891d8d9f52daca324

IT’S known as the birthplace of the atomic bomb. But a letter written to the bomb’s laboratory has us all extremely concerned.   Matt Young@MattYoung, IN 2011 something alarming happened at a United States nuclear weapons laboratory that was deliberately kept quiet.

According to The Centre for Public Integrity, a pair of workers with “cavalier attitudes” at the Los Alamos National Laboratory stuffed “so much plutonium into a small space that they came close to triggering an accidental nuclear chain reaction, all to get some photos”.

Their actions “nearly doomed a room full of colleagues”, according to a CPI report.

Plutonium is the unstable, radioactive, man-made fuel of a nuclear explosion, and it isn’t amenable to showboating,” it said. “When too much is put in one place, it becomes ‘critical’ and begins to fission uncontrollably, spontaneously sparking a nuclear chain reaction, which releases energy and generates a deadly burst of radiation.”

And it gets much, much worse.

Los Alamos National Laboratory in Santa Fe, New Mexico — responsible for the design of nuclear warheads — was a top secret facility during World War II and the birthplace of the atomic bomb.

But it is in a state of chaos — in fact, it has been for years.

A damning letter by the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, released this week and seen by news.com.au, said it had found “numerous weaknesses” in the lab’s safety standards dating back to 2014.

It had also failed recent safety tests indicating how it would respond to an emergency including radioactive leaks or earthquakes.

Referred as Project Y after it was established in 1943, the laboratory was one of a series of top secret labs in the United States given codewords to maintain secrecy at the time.

It was known as the “heart” of the nuclear project and was primarily responsible for the Manhattan Project, which developed the first ever nuclear weapons. The scientists within its labs were responsible for the creation of several atomic bombs, including the Fat Man, which was detonated in the Japanese city of Nagasaki in August, 1945.

It is also responsible for the hydrogen bomb.

Since the end of WWII, the lab continued its focus on bomb designs. It is still open today and is one of the largest science and technology institutions in the world with a focus on national security, space exploration and nuclear fusion, among other “non-war” technology.

Though the world is rapidly changing, this essential responsibility (nuclear) remains the core mission,” it states on its website.

It is also “responsible for the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nuclear explosive packages in the stockpile”.

But over the years, more and more mistakes have begun to leak from its labs, with critical, radioactive material breached, dumped and mishandled.

Last week, the US Department of Energy, which is responsible overseeing the United States’ nuclear arsenal, put out a final request for proposals to manage the site.

Currently, the lab is operated by a private consortium known as Los Alamos Security LLC but the National Nuclear Security Administration announced it would not renew the more than $2 billion annual contract in 2015, citing “subpar performance and safety and security reviews under the group’s leadership”.

November 2, 2017 Posted by | safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano says ‘no problems” in checking Iran’s nuclear facilities

UN Nuclear Inspections Chief Sees No Problems Checking Facilities In Iran, Radio Free Europe, 1 Nov 17, United Nations nuclear inspectors have encountered no problems in checking facilities in Iran to determine whether Tehran is complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, the head of the UN’s atomic energy agency has said.

“Our inspectors are discharging their responsibilities without problem,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano told reporters in Abu Dhabi on the sidelines of a conference on nuclear power on October 30…….

Amano on October 30 repeated his assessment that Tehran is keeping its commitments under the agreement one day after stating that conclusion after meeting with Iranian leaders in Tehran.

“I requested that Iran…fully implement the nuclear-related commitments. This [was] the main thrust of the meeting in Iran,” Amano said. “The IAEA can state that such nuclear-related commitments are being implemented.” https://www.rferl.org/a/un-nuclear-inspections-chief-amano-sees-no-problems-checking-facilities-iran/28825431.html

November 2, 2017 Posted by | Iran, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Global public health emergency is already upon us -climate change

Climate change isn’t just hurting the planet – it’s a public health emergency https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/31/climate-change-public-health-emergency-doctors-lancet-countdown, Christiana Figueres
Doctors have revealed that millions are already suffering the effects, in the spread of infectious diseases, uneven crop yields and longer allergy seasons

Christiana Figueres is chair of the Lancet Countdown advisory board. When the doctor tells you that your cholesterol is too high, you tend to listen and change your diet. When the world’s climate scientists tell us that temperatures are rising to dangerous levels, we should heed their advice. It’s time to give up climate change, it’s bad for our health.

I’m not talking about the health of our planet or the health of species such as the polar bear, so often associated with climate change – though they are suffering. I’m talking about human health. The health of you, your family, your neighbours – each and every one of us.

A report just published in the Lancet from the specially created Lancet Countdown initiative, reveals just how bad climate change is for public health. The diagnosis reveals that hundreds of millions of people are already suffering the health impacts of climate change. Its insidious creep is being felt in multiple ways: rising temperatures are hastening the spread of infectious diseases; crop yields are becoming uneven and unpredictable, worsening the hunger and malnourishment for some of the most vulnerable people on the planet; allergy seasons are getting longer; and at times it is simply too hot for farmers to work in the fields.

Typhoons and hurricanes, such as Harvey, feed off unnaturally warm waters to deliver more forceful threats to human health, including to life itself. The attribution of climate change as a contributing factor in such events is of course complex. The Lancet report’s analysis – that there has been a 46% increase in extreme weather disasters since 2000 – helps to cut through any confusion.

Then there is the heat, which might be the most widespread and dangerous of all. In 2015 alone, according to Lancet Countdown findings, heatwaves affected the lives of 175 million more elderly people worldwide, following a strong trend over the last two decades. The list goes on. The most vulnerable – including elderly people and children – are most exposed to the risks, but everyone is affected and no country is immune. We are only just beginning to witness the manifestation of very concerning trends. Unavoidable increases in global temperature are set to further exacerbate a host of health challenges.

 Here’s the good news. While the Lancet’s report lays bare the many ways that climate change impacts on our health, it also shows that tackling climate change directly, unequivocally and immediately improves global health. It’s as simple as that. Tackling the looming global medical emergency is also an unprecedented opportunity to improve public health around the globe. Let’s get to it.

Consider this: local air pollution around the world – much of it coming straight out of exhaust pipes – kills about 6.5 million people annually. In response, many cities – including London and Oxford – countries and major automotive companies have declared an end to the internal combustion engine and are working towards emissions-free transport. They see the market is moving, because it must, and expect it to be profitable. More can follow: getting ahead of the electrification wave that is exciting investors and delivering extraordinary benefits to our air, our lungs and our hearts is in all of our interests.

I learned a long time ago that success is more likely when we take on challenges with determination and stubborn optimism. That’s how parties to the United Nations climate talks regrouped after disappointing outcomes in Copenhagen and even more dire predictions from climate scientists, coming together to adopt the Paris agreement. It’s why I know that we can take this critical diagnosis from climate scientists – of a climate change-fuelled public health emergency – and accelerate solutions that improve the health and wellbeing of billions.

We are already finding the remedies. The UK has pledged to phase out coal by 2025, a process that will save thousands of lives each year, save the NHS up to £3.1bn a year in health costs and accelerate the modernisation of our electricity sector.

Our scientists have been telling us for some time that we’ve got a bad case of climate change. Now our doctors are telling us it’s bad for our health. The Lancet Countdown report is an important climate health check-up and prescription for the action we need. The benefits of getting climate fit are too good to resist: safer, cleaner air and water, more energy independence, more jobs and vastly improved land use. We can all support our governments to do more on this. The G7 meeting of health ministers later this week is as good an opportunity as any to ensure they are heeding the sage advice of our medical experts.

 Christiana Figueres is chair of the Lancet Countdown advisory board and convener of Mission 2020

November 2, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Record high greenhouse gas emissions in atmosphere- highest for 3 million years

Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high, UN warns that drastic action is needed to meet climate targets set in the Paris agreement, Guardian, Jonathan Watts, 31 Oct 17, The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed last year to hit a level not seen for more than three million years, the UN has warned.

The new report has raised alarm among scientists and prompted calls for nations to consider more drastic emissions reductions at the upcoming climate negotiations in Bonn.

“Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event,” according to The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN weather agency’s annual flagship report.

This acceleration occurred despite a slowdown – and perhaps even a plateauing – of emissions because El Niño intensified droughts and weakened the ability of vegetation to absorb carbon dioxide. As the planet warms, El Niños are expected to become more frequent.

The increase of 3.3 ppm is considerably higher than both the 2.3 ppm rise of the previous 12 months and the average annual increase over the past decade of 2.08ppm. It is also well above the previous big El Niño year of 1998, when the rise was 2.7 ppm……. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/30/global-atmospheric-co2-levels-hit-record-high

November 2, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment