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What will it take for the U.S. to go to the negotiating table with North Korea amid continuing nuclear threats?

Originally published: ‘ADAM BROINOWSKI. Picking up the pieces amid the U.S.–North Korea nuclear stand-off’, https://johnmenadue.com/adam-broinowski-picking-up-the-pieces-amid-the-u-s-north-korea-nuclear-stand-off/

North Korea is often righteously condemned for being the only nation to have conducted five nuclear tests and a barrage of missile tests in the 21st century. Led by a young chubby dictator with a bad haircut, we have long been told that the paranoid hermit kingdom known for its undeniably bombastic, intensely patriotic and anachronistic rhetoric is evil, unhinged and dangerous.

While not to advocate for family dynastic rule in any way, the way in which North Korea has been mediated for mainstream audiences in advanced industrial democratic countries over decades demonstrates a consistent narrative pattern of Orientalist imagery that play on variants of immaturity, cunning and treachery in a legacy going back to Fu Manchu. Complexities tend to be reduced to a simplistic ‘us or them’ binary and seem to trigger intuitive reactions hard-wired by more than enough movies and sensationalist media journalism. No further discussion or reading required.

In the significant amount of digital space recently awarded to speculation on North Korea’s purported nuclear-capable ICBM tests on 4 and 28 July that could strike parts of continental U.S.A., few mainstream media reports bothered to include that since May 2017 the U.S. military tested 4 ICBMs from Vandenberg Air Force base to Kwajalein Atoll and conducted 11-12 drills over the Korean peninsula  involving B-1B, B-2 and B-52 bombers (the latter two are nuclear capable). The current Ulchi Freedom Guardian reiteration on 21-31 August 2017 and the previous Foal Eagle Key Resolve operation  involving 67,000 troops in March 2017 are based on years of biannual U.S.-ROK military drills, giving substance to the recent statement by Secretary of Defense James Mattis: “combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.”

Certainly, North Korea staged the longer reach of a new Hwasong-14 missile which demonstrated staged rocketry, better re-entry cladding and guidance systems. Yet we were expected to take at face-value a Washington Post report of claims by unnamed US Defense Intelligence Agency officials that North Korea had achieved sufficient warhead miniaturisation to fit on ICBMs. This was supposed to support US President Trump’s apparently unprompted threat of ‘fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen’, holding much of the population of North Korea hostage as he sat down to lunch. Yet days earlier Senator Lindsey Graham had stated that he had discussed a plan with the President to “destroy the North Korean nuclear program and North Korea itself”. Moreover, National Security Adviser McMaster had already declared that United States could launch a ‘preventive war’ to prevent North Korea from attaining nuclear weapons cabability – a paradoxical pursuit if ever there was one.

Mainstream channels continued to interpret this ‘tough line’ corrective to the former Obama administration’s ‘strategic patience’, as necessary to force North Korea to the negotiating table. Incidentally, preventive war was the defence used by lawyers at the Nuremberg Trials in their attempt to justify Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland.

In response, the North Korean Strategic Force stated that it was calculating an operational plan to create an ‘enveloping fire’ with 4 IRBM (Hwasong-12) missiles in areas 30-40 km off Guam which had to be approved by leader Kim Jong-un. Subsequently Kim suspended the operation for the meantime. Clearly intended to demonstrate credible intention to strike Guam’s huge U.S. naval and airforce installations from where pre-emptive strikes could be launched and which include 8,000 U.S. troops, anti-ballistic missile defence systems, and signals intelligence infrastructure, this was aimed at military targets. Media reports did not emphasise this point, ignoring the North Korean caveat that this launch would be a warning not an attack. It remains unclear whether or not the IRBMs would be nuclear-tipped. The Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho at the recent ASEAN meeting stated that North Korea was not prepared to negotiate with its nuclear weapons and ballistic rockets unless “the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the U.S. against the DPRK are fundamentally eliminated”. The Korean People’s Army (KPA) listed U.S. hostile actions as: ‘decapitation operations’ and ‘pre-emptive’ attack (as rehearsed in U.S.-ROK drills); ‘preventive war’; and/or ‘secret operations’ for stealthy regime change (CIA coordinated Special Operations).

While indicating its preference for de-escalation and negotations toward de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, China declared it would defend North Korea if it was pre-emptively attacked by the United States and it would not do so if North Korea struck first. Determining who exactly fired first may be difficult, however, if it was a matter of minutes between detection of a pre-emptive attack (such as B-1B bombers firing missiles at distance) and North Korea launching conventional attacks on U.S. bases in South Korea and IRBM missiles to Guam (nuclear or non-nuclear).

From a North Korean strategic perspective informed by decades of various forms of hostility from the U.S. and some of its allies including the refusal to negotiate and preparations for regime change, such missile capability would seem to provide a desperately needed means of self-defence. In fact, with regard to these latest U.S. nuclear threats listed above (which are not new), North Korea could invoke Article 51 of the UN Charter which maintains the right to self-defence when a sovereign state is under direct attack by a foreign power. It could also invoke the Caroline standard of pre-emptive self-defence in the case of likely attack being ‘instant, overwhelming and without other means, and no moment for deliberation’.

As it would be suicidal for North Korea to provoke U.S.-led retaliation with a pre-emptive strike and considering its historical context, it is reasonable to see the North Korean nuclear program as intended to achieve a second-strike retaliatory capability. Although the U.S. would be unlikely to strike if China (and possibly Russia) was to intervene, North Korea would still seek such a deterrent as a means to negotiate its security terms with the United States and others and to protect its fundamental sovereignty which it regards under threat.

It has been official U.S. policy to refuse to countenance a North Korean nuclear weapons state and to negotiate with it on these terms which it now frames as threatening the lives of millions of ordinary Americans in continental U.S.A.. Yet U.S. leadership does not hesitate from threatening millions of lives in North Korea and on the Korean peninsula. This is not very strategic, as it undermines South Korean sovereign agency and perceptions of and trust in the U.S.-ROK alliance as a deterrent and to the contrary that it might drag the South Korean population into a destructive conflict.

In short, with China’s ‘dual suspension’ suggestion as the most sensible and statesman-like so far, North Korea conceivably would suspend its nuclear program in return for a freeze in U.S. military hostile actions to create the mechanism for direct negotiations to begin. North Korea would then seek an end to the Armistice Agreement of 1953, the terms of which the U.S. never honoured in full, and the establishment of a formal Peace Treaty. North Korea would also seek independent negotiations with South Korea for increased trade, exchange and communications.

Compared to the spike in stocks in Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Boeing and as some U.S. allies push for increased military spending, including anti-ballistic missile systems and ‘pre-emptive strike’ capabilities, the potential losses of millions of lives in a conventional and/or nuclear confrontation on the Korean peninsula and to the global economy in trade would not seem to be worth it. Diplomacy and dialogue between North Korea and the United States and/or other concerned parties toward demilitarisation and de-nuclearisation would seem the safest and cheapest form of defence to be investing in. Perhaps a normalised Korean peninsula which would benefit China’s economic plans, are what the U.S. and its allies fear most, and so they are starting fires to revivify a military containment policy.

Dr Adam Broinowski is a visiting research fellow  and recent ARC DECRA fellow at the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University. His research and teaching are in contemporary history, politics and society in Japan and Northeast Asia. He is the author of Cultural Responses to Occupation in Japan: The Performing Body during and after the Cold War (London and Sydney: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016).

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November 19, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | 6 Comments

Reassurance from USA top nuclear general that he would resist an ‘illegal’ Trump strike order

US nuclear general says would resist ‘illegal’ Trump strike order, CNBC, 19 Nov 17  The top U.S. nuclear commander said on Saturday that he would resist President Donald Trump if he ordered an “illegal” launch of nuclear weapons.

Air Force General John Hyten, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM), told an audience at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada that he had given a lot of thought to what he would say if he received such an order.

“I think some people think we’re stupid,” Hyten said in response to a question about such a scenario. “We’re not stupid people. We think about these things a lot. When you have this responsibility, how do you not think about it?”

 Hyten, who is responsible for overseeing the U.S. nuclear arsenal, explained the process that would follow such a command.

As head of STRATCOM “I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do,” he said in his remarks, retransmitted in a video posted on the forum’s Facebook page.

“And if it’s illegal, guess what’s going to happen? I’m going to say, ‘Mr. President, that’s illegal.’ And guess what he’s going to do? He’s going to say, ‘What would be legal?’ And we’ll come up with options, of a mix of capabilities to respond to whatever the situation is, and that’s the way it works. It’s not that complicated.”……. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/19/us-nuclear-general-says-would-resist-illegal-trump-strike-order.html

November 19, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

China’s ambassador says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that diplomacy will succeed with North Korea

China Optimistic Diplomacy Will Solve North Korea Nuclear Issue.  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-19/china-optimistic-diplomacy-will-solve-north-korea-nuclear-issue Sarah Jones, November 19, 2017

  • Ambassador to U.K. Liu Xiaoming speaks in interview with ITV
  • China has “done everything” it can to resolve crisis

China’s Ambassador to the U.K. Liu Xiaoming says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that a diplomatic solution can be found to stop North Korea from developing further nuclear weaponry.

 Liu, who was China’s ambassador to North Korea for more than three years, said that his government “had done everything” it could to persuade the country to halt its nuclear program. He spoke in a television interview with ITV.
 “I am still cautiously optimistic,” Liu said in the interview that was broadcast on Sunday. “I still believe that if all parties engage with each other and we encourage North Korea to return to the negotiating table, we can still find a diplomatic solution to this problem.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping recently sent Song Tao, head of the Communist Party’s International Liaison Department, to North Korea a week after hosting U.S. President Donald Trump, stoking speculation that Song may carry a message from the Xi-Trump talks. South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency reported there was a good chance that the Chinese envoy would meet leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday, citing unidentified diplomats in Beijing.

 Liu said Sunday that North Korea had “legitimate concerns” about trust and security and blamed South Korea’s close relationship with the U.S. as the “root cause” of the problem. While China “strictly abides” by United Nations sanctions against North Korea, resolutions must also be about negotiations, he told ITV.

November 19, 2017 Posted by | China, North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear arms industry controls public discussion on weapons – funding “think tanks”

The Sway of the Nuclear Arms Industry Over Donald Trump and Congress Is Terrifying  “The devastation is very important to me.”  Mother Jones his story originally appeared on TomDispatch.com. “……..Another way the nuclear weapons industry (and the rest of the military-industrial complex) tries to control and focus public debate is by funding hawkish think tanks. The advantage to weapons makers is that those institutions and their “experts” can serve as front groups while posing as objective policy analysts. Think of it as intellectual money laundering.

One of the most effective industry-funded think tanks in terms of promoting costly, ill-advised policies has undoubtedly been Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy. In 1983, when President Ronald Reagan first announced his Strategic Defense Initiative (a.k.a. “Star Wars”), the high-tech space weapons system that was either meant to defend the country against a future Soviet first strike or—depending on how you looked at it—free the country to use its nuclear weapons without fear of retaliation, Gaffney was its biggest booster. More recently, he has become a prominent purveyor of Islamophobia, but the impact of his promotional work for Star Wars continues to be felt in weapons contracts to this day.

Just as George W. Bush was entering the White House, another industry-backed think tank, the National Institute for Public Policy, released a report on nuclear weapons policy that would be adopted almost wholesale for the new administration’s first key nuclear posture review. It advocated such things as increasing the number of countries targeted by US nukes and building a new, more “usable” bunker-busting nuclear weapon. At that time, NIPP had an executive from Boeing on its board. Its director was Keith Payne, who would become infamous in the annals of nuclear policy for co-authoring a 1980 article at Foreign Policy entitled “Victory Is Possible,” suggesting that the United States could actually win a nuclear war, losing “only” 30 million to 40 million people. This is the kind of expert the nuclear weapons complex funded to promulgate its views.

Then there’s the Lexington Institute, a think tank that never met a weapons system it didn’t like. Lexington front man Loren Thompson is frequently quoted in news stories on defense issues, but it is rarely disclosed that he is funded by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and other nuclear weapons contractors.

Just as George W. Bush was entering the White House, another industry-backed think tank, the National Institute for Public Policy, released a report on nuclear weapons policy that would be adopted almost wholesale for the new administration’s first key nuclear posture review. It advocated such things as increasing the number of countries targeted by US nukes and building a new, more “usable” bunker-busting nuclear weapon. At that time, NIPP had an executive from Boeing on its board. Its director was Keith Payne, who would become infamous in the annals of nuclear policy for co-authoring a 1980 article at Foreign Policy entitled “Victory Is Possible,” suggesting that the United States could actually win a nuclear war, losing “only” 30 million to 40 million people. This is the kind of expert the nuclear weapons complex funded to promulgate its views.

Then there’s the Lexington Institute, a think tank that never met a weapons system it didn’t like. Lexington front man Loren Thompson is frequently quoted in news stories on defense issues, but it is rarely disclosed that he is funded by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and other nuclear weapons contractors.

Examples include Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a former board member at General Dynamics; White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, who worked for a number of defense firms and was an adviser to DynCorp, a private security firm that has done everything from (poorly) training the Iraqi police to contracting with the Department of Homeland Security; former Boeing executive and now Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan; former Lockheed Martin executive John Rood, nominated as undersecretary of defense for policy; former Raytheon Vice President Mark Esper, newly confirmed as secretary of the Army; Heather Wilson, a former consultant to Lockheed Martin, who is now secretary of the Air Force; Ellen Lord, a former CEO for the aerospace company Textron, who is undersecretary of defense for acquisition; and National Security Council Chief of Staff Keith Kellogg, a former employee of the major defense and intelligence contractor CACI, where he dealt with “ground combat systems” among other things.

Keep in mind that these high-profile industry figures are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the corporate revolving door that has been installed in the Pentagon for decades, as journalist Lee Fang has documented in the Intercept.

Given the composition of his national security team and Trump’s love of all things nuclear, what can we expect from his administration on this front? In addition to the $1.7 trillion nuclear build-up, Trump’s impending nuclear posture review seems to include proposals for dangerous new weapons like a “low-yield,” purportedly more usable nuclear warhead. He’s spoken privately with his team about expanding the arsenal in a staggering fashion—the equivalent of a 10-fold increase. He’s wholeheartedly embraced missile defense spending, pledging to put billions of dollars more into that overfunded, under-producing set of programs. And of course, he is assiduously trying to undermine the Iran nuclear deal, one of the most effective arms control agreements of recent times, and so threatening to open the door to a new nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

 Unless the nuclear spending spree being pushed by President Trump as the best thing since the invention of golf is stopped thanks to public opposition, the rise of an antinuclear movement, or congressional action, we’re in trouble. The nuclear weapons lobby will again have won the day—just as it did almost 60 years ago, despite the opposition of a popular president and decorated war hero.

And Donald Trump, “bone spurs” and all, is no Dwight D. Eisenhower.

This article was adapted from the author’s essay “Nuclear Politics” in the collection Sleepwalking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation, edited by Helen Caldicott. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/11/devastation-very-important-nuclear-weapons-industry-donald-trump-1/

November 19, 2017 Posted by | media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, USA | 1 Comment

Illinois nuclear reactors – continuing radioactive leaks

Problems persist a decade after discovery of chronic radioactive leaks Chicago Sun Times, 11/19/2017, Brett Chase and Madison Hopkins | Better Government Association More than a decade after the discovery of chronic leaks led to national outrage, a $1.2 million government settlement and a company vow to guard against future accidents, an investigation by a government watchdog group found.

Since 2007, there have been at least 35 reported leaks, spills or other accidental releases in Illinois of water contaminated with radioactive tritium, a byproduct of nuclear power production and a carcinogen at high levels, a Better Government Association review of federal and state records shows.

No fines were issued for the accidents, all of which were reported by the company.

The most recent leak of 35,000 gallons occurred over two weeks in May and June at Exelon’s Braidwood plant, southwest of Chicago. The same facility was the focus of a community panic in the mid-2000s after a series of accidents stirred debate over the safety of aging nuclear plants.

A 2014 incident at Exelon’s Dresden facility in Grundy County involved the release of about 500,000 gallons of highly radioactive water. Contamination was later found in the plant’s sewer lines and miles away in the Morris, Ill., sewage treatment plant……..

Industry watchdogs and government whistleblowers contend oversight is compromised by a cozy relationship between companies and the NRC.

Government regulators concede they must balance the safety needs of aging plants, which require more maintenance, versus ordering cost-prohibitive upgrades at facilities that inherently are just a slip-up away from catastrophe.

No player in the nuclear industry is bigger than Exelon, the Chicago-based energy company that last year reported $31 billion in revenue and operates 14 nuclear plants in Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Five of the six Illinois plants reported leaks over the last decade, records show. Clinton, in DeWitt County, had no leaks and Byron, in Ogle County, reported only one that contained low levels of radioactivity…….

At least seven of the 35 documented accidents since 2007 involved contamination of groundwater. Other contamination was found in sewers and other water systems where it isn’t supposed to be………

The BGA investigation also found:

  • Of the 35 documented incidents, 27 occurred at Dresden. Following the big 2014 leak, which emanated from an aboveground storage tank, Exelon asked a state inspector whether the public would have access to the incident report under open records laws, a state report showed.
  • An NRC report on the 2007 Quad Cities leak noted radiation levels went “well beyond that seen anywhere else in the industry” and that plant staff estimated the leak had been active for years before it was discovered.
  • In 2010, Exelon’s Marseilles generating plant in LaSalle County reported a spill from a storage tank, initially estimated at more than 150 gallons but later classified as “unknown.” Groundwater tritium tests later showed levels 59 times the EPA’s drinking water limit. Exelon said no tritium left the plant’s boundaries, but records show plant workers continued to monitor a body of highly contaminated groundwater sitting on plant property at least five years after the accident.
  • In 2009, Dresden reported another hole in a storage tank led to a leak of as much as 272,000 gallons of radioactive water. Onsite groundwater testing showed levels of tritium 160 times higher than allowed under federal standards for drinking water.

This story was provided to The Associated Press by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Better Government Association of Chicago: http://www.bettergov.org   https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/investigation-radioactive-leaks-at-illinois-nuclear-plants/

November 19, 2017 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

TEPCO and Japanese govt hope to portray Fukushima nuclear clean-up as a success, as robots find molten fuel.

Six Years After Fukushima, Robots Finally Find Reactors’ Melted Uranium The Japanese government and companies used radiation-hardened machines to search for the fuel that escaped the plant’s ruined reactorsNY Times 19 Nov 17 “……As officials became more confident about managing the disaster, they began a search for the missing fuel. Scientists and engineers built radiation-resistant robots like the Manbo and a device like a huge X-ray machine that uses exotic space particles called muons to see the reactors’ innards.

Now that engineers say they have found the fuel, officials of the government and the utility that runs the plant hope to sway public opinion. Six and a half years after the accident spewed radiation over northern Japan, and at one point seemed to endanger Tokyo, the officials hope to persuade a skeptical world that the plant has moved out of post-disaster crisis mode and into something much less threatening: cleanup……..

Tepco is keen to portray the plant as one big industrial cleanup site. About 7,000 people work here, building new water storage tanks, moving radioactive debris to a new disposal site, and erecting enormous scaffoldings over reactor buildings torn apart by the huge hydrogen explosions that occurred during the accident…….

The government admits that cleaning up the plant will take at least another three to four decades and tens of billions of dollars. A $100 million research center has been built nearby to help scientists and engineers develop a new generation of robots to enter the reactor buildings and scoop up the melted fuel.

At Chernobyl, the Soviets simply entombed the charred reactor in concrete after the deadly 1986 accident. But Japan has pledged to dismantle the Fukushima plant and decontaminate the surrounding countryside, which was home to about 160,000 people who were evacuated after accident.

Many of them have been allowed to return as the rural towns around the plant have been decontaminated. But without at least starting a cleanup of the plant itself, officials admit they will find it difficult to convince the public that the accident is truly over.

They also hope that beginning the cleanup will help them win the public’s consent to restart Japan’s undamaged nuclear plants, most of which remain shut down since the disaster……..

Engineers are developing the new radiation-resistant robots at the Naraha Remote Technology Development Center. It includes a hangar-sized building to hold full-scale mock-ups of the plant and a virtual-reality room that simulates the interiors of the reactor buildings, including locations of known debris.

“I’ve been a robotic engineer for 30 years, and we’ve never faced anything as hard as this,” said Shinji Kawatsuma, director of research and development at the center. “This is a divine mission for Japan’s robot engineers.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/19/science/japan-fukushima-nuclear-meltdown-fuel.html?smid=tw-nytimesscience&smtyp=cur

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | 1 Comment

GEOLOGICAL DUMPING OF NUCLEAR WASTE – WHERE? WHY? —

West Cumbria was ruled out as a site to bury nuclear waste 20 years ago because the geology was unsafe. The plan this time round is ten times as big and to include high level nuclear wastes, so not surprisingly Cumbria County Council said NO in January 2013. However, in order to build new nuclear […]

via GEOLOGICAL DUMPING OF NUCLEAR WASTE – WHERE? WHY? —

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reactor Shutdowns due to Accident

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences UNEP.

Nuclear Exhaust

Original Link: https://na.unep.net/geas/getUNEPPageWithArticleIDScript.php?article_id=70

Design and Distribution
Most nuclear power plants (NPPs) around the world were designed and constructed before the problem of how to eventually dismantle them had been solved, or was even seriously considered. NPPs were initially designed to function for a term of 30 to 40 years with some granted a 20-year extension to 60 years. Newer plants are now designed to operate for up to 60 years. Notably, extended operating lives are likely to generate more irradiated hardware. Moreover, prospective plans for new construction are on the rise, with a reported investment from China to acquire approximately 30 new reactors, and five planned plus 16 proposed in Central Europe.

Currently, there are nearly 150 reactors still operating that are over 30 years old, 13 of which are over 40 years old (IAEA 2011). These figures do not include military and research reactors. In the coming years, many…

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November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors

Nuclear Exhaust

https://www.nei.org/Master-Document-Folder/Backgrounders/Fact-Sheets/Decommissioning-Nuclear-Energy-Facilities original link

source: Nuclear Energy Institute.

August 2016

“Ten reactors have completed decommissioning safely to either the point of license termination or the point where the remaining activities are limited to management of an Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI). Currently, 18 commercial power reactors are in decommissioning, and several more will transition to this process over the next few years.”

“After closure of a nuclear power plant, the licensee has to reduce the residual radioactivity to safe levels. This will allow the NRC to release the property and permanently terminate the facility’s license. The site must be decommissioned within 60 years of the plant ceasing operations. The decommissioning process involves removing the used nuclear fuel from the reactor, placing it into the used fuel pool, and eventually into dry storage containers (which can be stored on-site or transported off-site); dismantling systems or components containing radioactive products (e.g., the…

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November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IAEA Estimates of Global Inventories of Radioactive Waste

Nuclear Exhaust

Original Link for  full text download http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/te_1591_web.pdf

Selected short quotes:

 

“It was considered worthwhile to produce a set of worldwide data that could be assessed to evaluate the legacy of the nuclear activities performed up to the transition between the twentieth and the twenty first century.

The assessment tries to cover the inventory of all the human produced radioactive material that can be considered to result from both military and civilian applications. This has caused remarkable difficulties since much of the data, particularly relating to military programmes, are not readily available. Consequently the data on the inventory of radioactive material should be considered as order-of-magnitude approximations. This report as a whole should be considered as a first iteration in a continuing process of updating and upgrading.

The accumulations of radioactive materials can be considered a burden for human society, both at present and in the future, since they require continuing…

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November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Progress of Fukushima Cleanup and Interim Storage Oct 2017 Gov. of Japan

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 19 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “The energy transition – A threat or an opportunity?” • South Africa’s long-awaited Integrated Resource Plan is to be released for public comment next week. But two facts are undisputable from the IRP 2016 update: A least cost scenario cannot include nuclear, and 27.5 GW of coal-fired power stations must be decommissioned by 2040. [Fin24]

Power plant near Capetown (Photo: Simisa, Wikimedia Commons)

Science and Technology:

¶ A cost-effective catalyst has been developed to recycle two of the main causes behind climate change – carbon dioxide and methane. In a study, published in the journal Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, scientists have described how they created an advanced nickel-based catalyst to create synthesis gas for fuel or chemical feedstock. [The Indian Express]

World:

¶ The Volkswagen board has just approved a plan to invest $40 billion by 2022 to develop electric cars, autonomous cars…

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November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear propagandist Ben Heard, and “Generation Atomic” , fail at Bonn, so fall back on the “banana” argument

Above: Ben Heard at Bonn, 16 November Ben Heard and the pro nuclear lobby group “Generation Atomic” were not very successful at the Bonn climate talks. A member of the group ‘marraskuu’ explains: “we ran around Bonn, trying to secure a permission for a side event that our group would like to organize on Monday, […]

via Australia’s nuclear propagandist Ben Heard, and others, fail at Bonn, so fall back on the “banana” argument — Nuclear Australia

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 18 Energy News

geoharvey

Opinion:

¶ “If we act on climate change now, the economic prize will be immense” • Climate negotiators are meeting in Bonn. Beyond the intricacies of the climate negotiations, here is one key thing to remember: about $1 trillion is already being invested in climate solutions, ranging from renewables and energy efficiency to public transport. [The Guardian]

Installing panels (Photo: Mike Kemp | Corbis via Getty Images)

COP23:

¶ China, through statements made in official speeches, active participation in the Bonn talks, and various side events the country organized to exchange ideas and practices, has reasserted itself a responsible player in global battle against climate change at COP23 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. [ecns]

¶ Delegates to COP23 say they are pleased that the rulebook for the Paris climate agreement is finally coming together. But these technical discussions took place against the backdrop…

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November 19, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment