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

Long-Term Exposure to Low-Dose Radiation and Cancer: Dr. David Richardson at the Hiroshima Peace Institute (EN & JP)

 

The initiation of the Manhattan project in 1943 marked the emergence of the discipline of health physics and an expansion of research on the health effects of ionizing radiation. The health effects of occupational exposure to radiation were viewed from different perspectives by different members of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). There were those with immediate concerns and a focus on issues related to wartime production and health effects which were definite biological changes which are immediately evident or are of prognostic importance to health. Others had an interest in a more general understanding the effects of radiation on human health, including long term and genetic consequences. There were also managerial concerns, which persist today; Stafford Warren, medical director of the program, encouraged health research to help strengthen the government’s interest in case of lawsuits or demands for workers’ compensation. These concerns motivated a large scale epidemiological program of research on nuclear workers. Beginning in the mid-1980’s, numerous publications on cancer among workers at nuclear facilities appeared, mostly in the US and UK. Risk estimates from individual studies were uncertain, with wide confidence intervals; and, positive associations between radiation and cancer were observed in some, but not all cohorts. To summarize results across studies and improve statistical precision, pooling projects were undertaken. This lecture reviews the history of these pooled studies and then presents results from the most recent, largest, and most informative of these analyses, known as INWORKS. This is a combined study of 308,297 nuclear workers from the United Kingdom, France, and the United States of America. Quantitative results are presented and the strengths and limitations of INWORKS are discussed. (Lecture at Hiroshima Peace Institute, 30 November 2017)

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January 19, 2018 Posted by | radiation | , , , | Leave a comment

TEPCO claims to have found ‘fuel debris’ in No. 2 reactor

reactor 2 melted fuel spotted 2018-01-19.png
TEPCO finds ‘fuel debris’ in No. 2 reactor
 
The operator of the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it has found what looks like fuel debris in the plant’s No. 2 reactor.
The nuclear accident occurred in March, 2011.
 
Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, on Friday looked inside the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor.
 
TEPCO confirmed, for the first time, the existence of chunks that are believed to be a mixture of melted nuclear fuel and parts of bindings.
 
The company plans to determine how to remove the debris based on the results of the investigation.
 

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

End nuclear weapons and nuclear power – we owe this to our children

We owe it to our children to end the nuclear age http://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/369535-we-owe-it-to-our-children-to-end-the-nuclear-age As nuclear tensions increase, dangerous times have raised legally-loaded questions about nuclear weapons. Should the U.S. violate or undermine the Iran nuclear deal? Does the president have unfettered power to launch a preemptive nuclear strike on North Korea? What’s the legal status of the Trump administration’s intention, telegraphed in the newly leaked Nuclear Posture Review, to expand U.S. nuclear capabilities and arsenals when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty supposedly commits us to cutting and eventually eliminating them?

But there’s an even broader legal dilemma looming over production, testing and threatened use of nuclear weapons: how they affect the human rights of future generations. Those threats to the future are also compounded by nuclear energy, which generates radioactive waste we’re manifestly unable to control, and by destabilizing the climate that has enabled and sustained human civilization.

Can such crimes against the future be legal? How can we respect the human rights of future generations in view of them? International symposia at the University of Basel (Switzerland), University of Caen (France) and Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) recently grappled with those questions. The Basel conference produced a declaration on human rights and trans-generational crimes resulting from nuclear weapons and nuclear energy.

Protecting future generations from the threat of nuclear weapons was an important consideration in the International Court of Justice’s 1996 affirmation that threat or use of nuclear weapons is generally illegal, given their long-term and indiscriminate impact. But despite the Court’s decision, most nuclear-armed states retain (illegal) policies to use nuclear weapons, including in a first, pre-emptive strike.

In general, current law fails to safeguard the rights of future generations. But that doesn’t make failure defensible, sustainable or in accord with legal principles. Evolution of this area of law is necessary and inevitable.

Some 2000 nuclear weapons were detonated for “testing” since 1945, releasing millions of curies of radiation. This impacted human health globally, and will continue to do so for generations.  Most nuclear testing victims live in remote areas like the Pacific islands, the Kazakhstan steppe, or the North African Sahara. They have largely been forgotten; today’s younger generations are unaware of their sacrifice. Yet forgetting is perilous, because today’s youth will be tomorrow’s victims unless the cycle is broken.

There are some legal efforts to break it. For example, the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons obligates signatories to provide environmental remediation and assistance for nuclear testing victims. But the provision is unenforceable, because none of the nine nuclear weapons states signed the treaty.

Like nuclear weapons, nuclear energy also poses enduring threats to human health. The Chernobyl explosion caused widespread contamination across the region and the whole European continent. High volumes of radiologically contaminated water from Fukushima continue to leak into the Pacific.

These, too, are crimes against the future. Some lethal isotopes in nuclear waste have half-lives of thousands of years. Waste repositories will need to be guarded for unimaginable time periods, with associated financial, logistical and security implications for future societies, an enormous burden we leave to our descendants.

Like the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) asserts a human right to health, applicable to nuclear contamination. But in practice that right isn’t respected.

For example, Japan ratified the covenant, and the Japanese constitution even defends the trans-generational principle of human rights in articles 11 and 97. But despite those legal principles being articulated, the Japanese media is still prevented from reporting on current events in Fukushima, and medical research on the effects of the meltdown is still restricted. The Japanese government maintains that small amounts of radiation are harmless, so limits for public radiation exposure could be increased from 1 to 20 millisieverts per year, the same as for radiation workers.

That’s unconscionable and untenable, not to mention discriminatory against young women and children who are much more susceptible to radiation exposure than men, with higher risks of cancer and non-cancerous diseases. Radiation exposure may present mutations and diseases in their offspring decades later. That’s why Japan’s handling of the Fukushima fails to accord with its own constitution as well as the ICESCR.

Failing to combat climate change effectively is also a crime against the future. The chances of meeting the Paris goal of limiting global warming to 2°C are receding since the U.S. withdrew and financial contributions of many signatories remain out of scale with the problem. Greenhouse gas emissions have risen in the two years since the Paris accord. If we stay on this too-little, too-late trajectory, we’ll not only fail to protect human rights, but much of life on earth.

Can all this be considered legal? Not for long. The dawn of the nuclear age marked the acquisition of unprecedented human power over the earth and all forms of life, as the Caen symposium pointed out. Many legal experts believe that in this new anthropocene era, a new code of medical and legal ethics is necessary. Trans-generational impacts of nuclear war, nuclear catastrophes and climate change must now be seriously considered, and require a paradigm shift in our legal thinking about the future.

The District Court of Hague took a step in that direction in 2015 when it affirmed in Urgenda Foundation v. the Dutch State that the government had a responsibility to protect future generations by limiting greenhouse gas emissions. A similar case in the United States — People v Climate Change — was granted jurisdiction and is proceeding to consideration of its merits.

There remains a long way to go to adapt the current legal framework to the realities of nuclear threats and climate change. Current laws need better implementation, and new laws need to be established. But those changes are vital to protecting the human rights of future generations.

Emilie Gaillard is an Assoc. Professor of law and a researcher at the University of Caen Normandy (France). She is a member of the Pôle Risques, Qualité et Environnement Durable at Maison de la recherché et des Sciences de l’Homme (Caen).

Andreas Nidecker MD is a Professor Emeritus of Radiology at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Board member and past president of PSR / IPPNW Switzerland and member of the organizing Committees of the symposium “Human Rights, Future Generations & Crimes in the Nuclear Age.”

Alyn Ware is a member of the World Future Council and consultant for the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

As Facebook fiddles with its publishing methods, visibility of free news posts might be threatened

The testing of a new Facebook news feed worries news sites and businesses http://www.lefigaro.fr/secteur/high-tech/2017/10/24/32001-20171024ARTFIG00214-le-test-d-un-nouveau-fil-d-actualite-facebook-inquiete-sites-d-information-et-entreprises.php, By Elsa Trujillo  24/10/2017

Facebook is testing in six countries the separation into two separate threads of friends’ posts and advertisements on the one hand and media, association or business posts on the other. Consequence: the free visibility of the pages is in danger.

Facebook is currently testing a feature that can be highly detrimental to content creators online. The company is experimenting in six countries (Sri Lanka, Bolivia, Slovakia, Serbia, Guatemala and Cambodia) a new formula in which it divides its newsfeed in two. On the one hand, your friends’ posts, advertisements and sponsored posts. On the other hand, posts sent by news sites, business pages, associations and native content such as non-sponsored videos for example.posts, advertisements and sponsored posts. On the other hand, posts sent by news sites, business pages, associations and native content such as non-sponsored videos for example.

In Slovakia, the change quickly translated into a significant drop in the country’s media interactions, according to Filip Struharik, a Slovak journalist who first spotted this test. Less exposed to these contents, Facebook users were in fact less inclined to share them

“The reach of several Facebook pages dropped between Thursday and Friday last two-thirds from previous days,” he says. According to him, the Facebook pages of the sixty main Slovakian media have generated four times fewer interactions since the beginning of the test. The analyst firm Crowdtangle, acquired by Facebook in November 2016, has similar results in Cambodia and Guatemala.

Network dependence The deployment of such a feature worldwide threatens both small sites and large news sites, which have become partially dependent on social networks for their traffic. In France, some media even bet on a diffusion exclusively based on social networks.
For example, Brut, Explicite or Minute Buzz online media. The change would also cause Pages publishers to pay for advertising in order to reach their audience. The organic reach of their content, namely reaching readers without paying distribution, would be considerably reduced.

Aware of the intense emotion provoked in the media and community managers by the discovery of this test, Facebook said Tuesday evening in a statement: “The purpose of this test is to understand if users prefer to have two separate spaces for personal publications and public posts. People tell us that they want easier access to the publications of their friends and family, “says Adam Mosseri, head of Facebook’s news feed.

“We do not currently plan to extend this test to other countries or ask pages to pay Facebook to appear in the newsfeed,” says the social network. He added that he will take into account the results of the tests in the six countries, to understand if it is an “idea that deserves to be continued”.For several months, Facebook has been trying to renew its news feed and get rid of filter bubbles, this algorithmic straitjacket that only offers users of its network content recommended according to their tastes. In early August, the network tested the introduction of political content in the news feed. The company intends to put forward publications, images and videos of politicians to allow users to see messages on a political edge different from theirs. Since the US presidential election, the social network is struggling with the problem of “fake news”, or false information, which are shared on its pages and can influence voters.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons a poor choice for defense against cyber attacks

Nuclear weapons are a risky defence against cyber attacks  https://www.ft.com/content/d2241b68-fc31-11e7-9b32-d7d59aace167The new US policy risks increasing the chance of a conflict, writes  

The world has been living with the threat of a nuclear apocalypse since the 1950s. Over the past decade, intelligence experts have increasingly warned about the threat of a catastrophic cyber attack. Now the two fears appear to have merged, with the US on the point of revising its defence policy — to allow the use of nuclear weapons, in retaliation for a devastating cyber attack. The Trump administration has not yet released America’s revised, “Nuclear Posture Review”. But the draft document has leaked to the press. According to the New York Times, it would change US policy to allow the first use of nuclear weapons, in response to “attempts to destroy wide-reaching infrastructure, like a country’s power grid or communications, that would be most vulnerable to cyberweapons”.

Developed nations are now almost completely reliant on the internet and functioning computer systems. That, however, increases their vulnerability to cyber warfare. Security experts lose sleep worrying about a range of nightmarish scenarios — including viruses that shut down transport infrastructure, such as air-traffic control; or that disrupt the operations of banks, causing the financial system to seize up. Among the most common horror scenarios are fears for the vulnerability of power generation and distribution.
In recent years, there have been some indications that these scenarios are moving from the pages of science fiction into reality. A computer virus that disrupted Britain’s National Health Service last year, seems to have originated in North Korea. As long ago as 2007, operatives in Russia unleashed a “denial-of-service” attack on Estonia, disrupting the operation of the internet there. A really concerted cyber attack, targeting critical infrastructure, could cause social turmoil and mass casualties. Experts have considered a number of responses to this threat. There are frequent calls for a new international treaty to establish some rules for cyber space. Intelligence agencies have also considered the possibilities for cyber-retaliation — and the balance between offensive and defensive capabilities. Introducing nuclear weapons into the equation is, however, a new departure. It demonstrates how seriously the US is now taking the threat of cyber warfare; and is clearly designed to massively increase America’s deterrence capacity.
At the same time, however, the policy shift carries considerable risks. By lowering the bar to the first use of nuclear weapons, it makes nuclear war more thinkable. The dangers of such a move are increased because concerns about nuclear proliferation are mounting — with North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme making rapid progress, and both Pakistan and Russia incorporating the early use of nuclear weapons into their war-fighting plans. Another danger is that any nation contemplating a cyber attack, may now also have to consider efforts to disable an adversary’s nuclear capability. The US, for example, has almost certainly considered whether, in the event of a war, there are cyber or electronic means of taking out North Korea’s nuclear missiles. Other nations will now have to make similar calculations about the US. gideon.rachman@ft.com

January 19, 2018 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pentagon suggests nuclear weapons to counter cyber attacks

Pentagon Suggests Countering Devastating Cyberattacks With Nuclear Arms, NYT,

查看简体中文版   查看繁體中文版 By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD JAN. 16, 2018  WASHINGTON — A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

For decades, American presidents have threatened “first use” of nuclear weapons against enemies in only very narrow and limited circumstances, such as in response to the use of biological weapons against the United States. But the new document is the first to expand that to include attempts to destroy wide-reaching infrastructure, like a country’s power grid or communications, that would be most vulnerable to cyberweapons.

The draft document, called the Nuclear Posture Review, was written at the Pentagon and is being reviewed by the White House. Its final release is expected in the coming weeks and represents a new look at the United States’ nuclear strategy. The draft was first published last week by HuffPost.

It called the strategic picture facing the United States quite bleak, citing not only Russian and Chinese nuclear advances but advances made by North Korea and, potentially, Iran.

………the biggest difference lies in new wording about what constitutes “extreme circumstances.”

In the Trump administration’s draft, those “circumstances could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks.” It said that could include “attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.”

The draft does not explicitly say that a crippling cyberattack against the United States would be among the extreme circumstances. But experts called a cyberattack one of the most efficient ways to paralyze systems like the power grid, cellphone networks and the backbone of the internet without using nuclear weapons.

……….It is relatively easy for presidents to change the country’s declaratory policy on the use of nuclear arms and quite difficult for them to reshape its nuclear arsenal, which takes not only vast sums of money but many years and sometimes decades of planning and implementation.

The price tag for a 30-year makeover of the United States’ nuclear arsenal was put last year at $1.2 trillion. Analysts said the expanded Trump administration plan would push the bill much higher, noting that firm estimates will have to wait until the proposed federal budget for the 2019 fiscal year is made public.

“Almost everything about this radical new policy will blur the line between nuclear and conventional,” said Andrew C. Weber, an assistant defense secretary during the Obama administration who directed an interagency panel that oversaw the country’s nuclear arsenal.

If adopted, he added, the new policy “will make nuclear war a lot more likely.”

One of the document’s edgiest conclusions involves the existence of a deadly new class of Russian nuclear torpedo — a cigar-shaped underwater missile meant to be fired from a submarine……..https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/us/politics/pentagon-nuclear-review-cyberattack-trump.html

January 19, 2018 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Risky tax-payer funding for Britain’s Wylfa nuclear power venture

FT 16th Jan 2018, The British and Japanese governments have agreed to explore options for
joint-financing of a nuclear power station in Wales, a softening of the
UK’s previous refusal to commit public funds to construction of new
reactors.

Letters have been exchanged between London and Tokyo in which the
governments expressed support for the Wylfa nuclear project on Anglesey and
agreed to consider contributing to its financing, according to several
people involved in the process.

Wylfa is being developed by Horizon, a subsidiary of Hitachi, the Japanese conglomerate whose reactor technology
will be used by the plant. Partial public financing for Wylfa would
represent a new approach to nuclear construction in the UK by drawing on
the government’s access to cheap debt to reduce capital costs.

But it would also expose taxpayers to some of the associated heavy expense and
high risk. Ministers have been rethinking policy after heavy criticism of
the £20bn Hinkley Point C plant under construction in Somerset. The full
cost of that project is being met by its French and Chinese investors and
recovered through a levy on consumer bills.

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported last week that the UK and Japanese governments were
willing to work with financial institutions to extend as much as $20bn in
loans to finance Wylfa, and also to acquire a stake in Horizon. Several
people involved in the project said no such details had yet been agreed but
the exchange of letters between the two governments late last month had
“increased confidence on all sides”.
https://www.ft.com/content/dd916c18-facd-11e7-9b32-d7d59aace167

January 19, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Murder of top nuclear scientist: did British government fail to protect him?

UK Government Denies Failing To Protect Nuclear Scientist Stabbed To Death In Suspected Kremlin Hit
The British government has denied that it failed in its duty of care towards a state scientist who was found stabbed to death after his research helped connect the Kremlin to a high-profile assassination on British soil.
 Heidi Blake, BuzzFeed News Investigations Editor, Jim WatersonBuzzFeed UK Political Editor  A top nuclear scientist found stabbed to death after returning from a research trip to Russia was given an official briefing before he travelled and was not judged to be in any danger, the British government has declared.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Richard Howson, fresh from the scandal of Carillion’s disastrous failure, now to head inspections at Hinkley nuclear

Disgraced Carillion chief now director of firm in charge of inspections at  Hinkley Point C nuclear power station https://tompride.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/disgraced-carillion-chief-now-director-of-firm-in-charge-of-inspections-at-hinkley-point-c-nuclear-power-station/15 Jan 2018 by Tom Pride in cynicism Carillion – the firm handed millions in contracts by the Tories – has just gone into liquidation leaving thousands of employees and small businesses facing bankruptcy and redundancy.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

NASA’s great plan for tax-payer funded nuclear reactors on Mars

U.S. tests nuclear power system to sustain astronauts on Mars – #SCIENCE NEWS, JANUARY 19, 2018, Will Dunham, WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Initial tests in Nevada on a compact nuclear power system designed to sustain a long-duration NASA human mission on the inhospitable surface of Mars have been successful and a full-power run is scheduled for March, officials said on Thursday.

Officials from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and U.S. Department of Energy, at a news conference in Las Vegas, detailed the development of the nuclear fission system under NASA’s Kilopower project.

Months-long testing of the system began in November at the energy department’s Nevada National Security Site, with an eye toward providing energy for future human and robotic missions in space and on the surface of Mars, the moon or other solar system destinations………..

“Mars is a very difficult environment for power systems, with less sunlight than Earth or the moon, very cold nighttime temperatures, very interesting dust storms that can last weeks and months that engulf the entire planet,” said Steve Jurczyk, associate administrator of NASA‘s Space Technology Mission Directorate…….

President Donald Trump in December signed a directive intended to pave the way for a return to the moon, with an eye toward an eventual mission to Mars.

 The new system could potentially supply the power human crews on the Martian surface would need to energize habitats and run processing equipment to transform resources such as ice on the planet into oxygen, water and fuel, NASA said………Reporting by Will Dunham; Editing by Tom Brown https://www.reuters.com/article/us-space-nuclear/u-s-tests-nuclear-power-system-to-sustain-astronauts-on-mars-idUSKBN1F72T8

January 19, 2018 Posted by | technology, USA | Leave a comment

Russia rejects Trump allegation it violating U.N. sanctions on North Korea: Ifax

 https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-korea/russia-rejects-trump-allegation-it-violating-u-n-sanctions-on-north-korea-ifax-idUSKBN1F70UN     MOSCOW (Reuters) 18 Jan 18– Moscow regards an allegation by U.S. President Donald Trump that it is in breach of U.N. sanctions on North Korea as absolutely groundless, the Interfax news agency cited an unnamed source at the Russian Foreign Ministry as saying on Thursday.

Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that Russia was helping North Korea evade international sanctions and was probably helping supply Pyongyang with anything that China had stopped giving it. Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Andrew Osborn

January 19, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

See what a nuclear bomb would do to your city – example Bellevue USA

Here’s What A Nuclear Bomb Would Do To Your City https://patch.com/washington/bellevue/heres-what-nuclear-bomb-would-do-your-city Would you survive a nuclear attack? A new tool lets you see what a nuclear bomb would do to your city. By Neal McNamara , Patch Staff BELLEVUE, WA – With the unfortunate nuclear false-alarm in Hawaii still fresh in our minds, aren’t you a little curious to see what would happen if a real nuclear weapon did strike the U.S.? A professor at the Stevens Institute of Technology has created a pretty scary tool that shows you the blast radius and an estimate of deaths in the event of an attack.

For a demonstration, we used the tool to look at what a nuke would do if it landed in downtown Bellevue. According to professor Alex Wellerstein’s “Nuke Map,” a 150 kiloton nuke – about the size most recently tested by North Korea – would kill about 56,000 people and leave 175,000 people injured.

The area in a 1,500-foot radius around the impact site would be incinerated by a fireball, while anyone within a 3-1/2 mile radius would suffer third-degree thermal radiation burns. The thermal radius includes residents of Mercer Island, Kirkland, Redmond, and Medina. And that doesn’t include nuclear fallout, which would affect a significantly larger area.


Find out what a nuclear bomb would do to your city here


But take the “Nuke Map” with a grain of salt because it’s just a model. And take heart that nuclear confrontation with a country like North Korea is extremely, highly unlikely.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

India again test-fires a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile

India successfully test-fires a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile

  • The nuclear-capable Agni-V ICBM was fired from Abdul Kalam island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha at around 9:53 a.m. local time (11:23 p.m. ET on Wednesday)
  • The same missile has been tested five times over the past six years, with the most recent test prior to Thursday’s launch coming in December 2016
  • Relations between China and India deteriorated significantly in 2017, following a protracted border dispute in the western Himalayas
Sam MeredithIndia successfully launched a long-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Thursday.

The nuclear-capable Agni-V ICBM was fired from Abdul Kalam island off the coast of the eastern state of Odisha at around 9:53 a.m. local time (11:23 p.m. ET on Wednesday).

India’s Defense Ministry said the test was a “major boost” to the country’s defense capabilities. The same missile has been tested five times over the past six years, with the most recent test prior to Thursday’s launch coming in December 2016. That test prompted exasperation from two of New Delhi’s most important continental rivals, China and Pakistan.

Relations between China and India deteriorated significantly in 2017, following a protracted border dispute in the western Himalayas. And given the world’s two biggest emerging economies are both equipped with nuclear weapons, observers were fearful of escalating geopolitical tensions……….https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/18/india-missile-new-delhi-successfully-tests-a-nuclear-capable-icbm.html

January 19, 2018 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Indigenous Canadians oppose “insanity” of planned nuclear waste disposal near Ottawa River

‘Insanity’ to allow nuclear waste disposal near Ottawa River, Indigenous groups say http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/chalk-river-nuclear-waste-indigenous-1.4492937
Canadian Nuclear Laboratories facility in Chalk River, Ont., could be up and running in 2020, CBC News  Jan 18, 2018 Indigenous groups say a plan to dispose of nuclear waste near the Ottawa River in eastern Ontario is “insanity” and want the federal government to intervene.

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, a private company, wants a 10-year licence to keep running the Chalk River nuclear labs in eastern Ontario.

In 2014, the federal government gave Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) control over nuclear operations at Chalk River. The government continues to own the nuclear assets.

CNL has plans for a permanent nuclear waste disposal site at Chalk River, plans that have been criticized by a concerned citizen’s group as being “cheap, dirty, unsafe and out of alignment with International Atomic Energy Agency guidance.”

Nuclear waste in Chalk River will cost billions to deal with and leave a legacy that will last centuries, opponents say.

“Trying to build this giant mound of radioactive waste … is insanity,” said Patrick Madahbee, grand council chief of the Anishinabek Nation, which advocates for around 40 communities representing around 65,000 people across Ontario.

He said CNL has an obligation under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to consult Indigenous people about storing hazardous materials in their territory, but CNL hasn’t talked to them about it.

The waste facility could be operational by 2020.

“We understand this is a complex file, but clearly the risks here are to people’s drinking waters and traditional territories,” said Patrick Nadeau, executive director of the Ottawa Riverkeeper.

CNL’s licence to run the Chalk River labs expires on March 31 and the consortium has asked the regulator, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, for a 10-year licence agreement, rather than the usual five-year term.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will hold public hearings in Pembroke, Ont., from Jan. 23 to 25 to consider CNL’s licence.

Dozens of delegations have registered to comment at the hearings. But Mark Lesinski, president of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories said among those posed to present submissions at the hearings, there are a number of “misunderstandings.”

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Canada, indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging nations not to damage Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement

UN Chief Warns Against Endangering Iran Nuclear Deal  https://www.rferl.org/a/un-chief-guterres-warns-against-endanger-iranian-nuclear-deal-unrelated-issues-ballistic-missile/28982016.html  UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging nations not to damage Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers because of concerns they may have with Iran’s nonnuclear military activities in the Middle East.

“Issues not directly related to the [nuclear deal] should be addressed without prejudice to preserving the agreement and its accomplishments,” Guterres said in a statement on January 17.

The deal is a “major achievement of nuclear nonproliferation and diplomacy, and has contributed to regional and international peace and security,” he said.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized Iran’s ballistic-missile development as well as support for Syria’s government in a six-year civil war and its backing of Yemeni Huthi rebels, while demanding major changes in the nuclear deal.

On January 12, Trump threatened to pull out of the deal unless it is changed to clearly prohibit ballistic-missile development, among other changes he is seeking.

Trump said he was waiving U.S. nuclear-related sanctions for another 120 days, as required under the deal in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear activities.

But he said was doing so for the “last time” to give U.S. and European negotiators a “last chance” to enact measures to fix what he called the deal’s “disastrous flaws.”

Iran has ruled out any changes in the agreement, maintaining that Trump’s demands violate terms of the deal sealed by the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama and signed by Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia.

While the Trump administration insists that Iran’s testing of ballistic missiles that are capable of carrying nuclear weapons violates the “spirit” of the nuclear accord, Guterres noted that the International Atomic Energy Agency has repeatedly concluded that Iran is fulfilling its side of the agreement.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters

January 19, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Iran, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment