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New USA national security adviser John Bolton wants to bomb Iran and tear up the nuclear deal

Trump’s new top security adviser wants to bomb Iran and tear up the nuclear deal, Business Insider BEN BRIMELOW, MAR 24, 2018,  

  • Former US ambassador to the UN and noted foreign policy hawk John Bolton has been selected by President Donald Trump to become his newest national security advisor.
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March 25, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

President Trump’s new national security adviser brings the world closer to the nuclear brink

Yes, John Bolton Really Is That Dangerous, NYT   By THE EDITORIAL BOARD, MARCH 23, 2018

The good thing about John Bolton, President Trump’s new national security adviser, is that he says what he thinks.

The bad thing is what he thinks.

There are few people more likely than Mr. Bolton is to lead the country into war. His selection is a decision that is as alarming as any Mr. Trump has made. His selection, along with the nomination of the hard-line C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, as secretary of state, shows the degree to which Mr. Trump is indulging his worst nationalistic instincts.

Mr. Bolton, in particular, believes the United States can do what it wants without regard to international law, treaties or the political commitments of previous administrations.

He has argued for attacking North Korea to neutralize the threat of its nuclear weapons, which could set off a horrific war costing tens of thousands of lives. At the same time, he has disparaged diplomatic efforts, including the talks planned in late May between Mr. Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. He not only wants to abrogate the six-party deal that, since 2015, has significantly limited Iran’s nuclear program; he has called for bombing Iran instead. He has also maligned the United Nations and other multilateral conventions, as Mr. Trump has done, favoring unilateral solutions.

Over a 30-year career in which he served three Republican presidents, including as United Nations ambassador and the State Department’s top arms control official, Mr. Bolton has largely disdained diplomacy and arms control in favor of military solutions; no one worked harder to blow up the 1994 agreement under which North Korea’s plutonium program was frozen for nearly eight years in exchange for heavy fuel oil and other assistance. The collapse of that agreement helped bring us to the crisis today, where North Korea is believed to have 20 or more nuclear weapons. ……….

Mr. Bolton is certain to accelerate American alienation from its allies and the rest of the world. Congress may not be able to stop his appointment, but it should speak out against it and reassert its responsibilities under the Constitution to authorize when the nation goes to war.https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/opinion/john-bolton-trump-national-security-adviser.html

March 25, 2018 Posted by | politics, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Edward Snowden Interview March 2018 – Norwegian Students Q&A

Screenshot from 2018-03-25 17:15:56.png
Published on 19 Mar 2018

Edward Joseph Snowden’s first 2018 appearance from Russia. Snowden does a Question & Answer Interview with Students from Norway.

Edward Snowden covers a number of topics people have been asking for including internet censorship, Facebook, Twitter, Google, YouTube’s role and far more aggressive approach over the last few years.

Explaining the history of Obama, Kim Dot Com, Wikileaks, Five Eyes, the Russian Doping scandal, his views on Russian interference, the Election of President Donald Trump and even more!

What do you think about Snowden’s Views?

What is you’r view on Edward Snowden now? has it changed over time?

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March 25, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Intensive campaign from Japanese diplomats to push other countries to lift their ban on Japanese contaminated produce

they say that food
Japan requests Hong Kong to lift ban on food from Fukushima, vicinity
March 25, 2018
HONG KONG (Kyodo) — Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Sunday and requested the territory lift a ban on imports of agricultural products from Japanese prefectures near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
 
Hong Kong has banned imports of fruit and vegetables from Fukushima Prefecture and four surrounding prefectures, citing the nuclear disaster at the plant triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
 
The Japanese government hopes to enhance economic ties with the territory by paving the way for Hong Kong to lift the import ban. Tokyo also hopes Hong Kong’s action would lead China to relax similar restrictions, as Beijing has banned food imports from 10 Japanese prefectures.
 
Kono and Lam also affirmed cooperation in preventing North Korea from evading sanctions through ship-to-ship cargo transfers in international waters.
 
A Hong Kong-flagged vessel is believed to have secretly transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in October in a ship-to-ship transfer prohibited by the U.N. Security Council.
 
It is the first time in 21 years that a Japanese foreign minister has visited Hong Kong apart from international conferences. During their meeting, Kono and Lam also agreed to accelerate cooperation on tourism.
 

March 25, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima disaster interest payments to be shouldered by taxpayers now estimated to US$ 29,3 billion, up 58% from previous estimate

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Workers are flanked by bags of radioactive debris along a road in the town of Tomioka, Fukushima Prefecture, In July 2016.
Estimated cost of Fukushima disaster might balloon to ¥218 billion
March 24, 2018
In more bad news for taxpayers, the Board of Audit says the cost of the Fukushima nuclear disaster could balloon to ¥218.2 billion, up 58 percent from the previous estimate of ¥126.4 billion.
The board released the latest estimate Friday in light of the government’s adoption of a Cabinet decision in December 2016 to raise the upper limit on financial assistance for Tokyo Electric to ¥13.5 trillion from ¥9 trillion.
The government is borrowing funds from financial institutions for delivery to Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. through a public-private body to help it deal with compensation and other costs related to the triple core meltdown in March 2011.
The principal of the funds will be repaid from contributions by Tepco and other power companies to the body, called Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp., and from proceeds from the sale of Tepco shares it owns.
But the interest payments will be shouldered by taxpayers.
According to the latest estimate, if Tepco uses up the ¥13.5 trillion assistance limit, it will take 17 to 34 years for the government to finish repaying the funds, and interest payments will balloon to between ¥131.8 billion and ¥218.2 billion.

March 25, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Reactor at Saga’s Genkai nuclear plant back online after seven-year hiatus

To have a nuclear plant running in an earthquake prone area is equivalent already to a death wish. To have that nuclear plant running on MOX is equivalent to a double death wish.
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A protester holds up a sign saying ‘Let’s create a society without nuclear power plants!’ in front of the Genkai plant in Genkai, Saga Prefecture, on Friday as its No. 3 reactor was put back online.
 
SAGA – A nuclear reactor at the Genkai power plant in Saga Prefecture resumed operation Friday for the first time in over seven years, despite lingering concerns from residents about evacuation plans from nearby islets in the event of a serious accident.
 
Kyushu Electric Power Co.’s No. 3 unit at the plant was halted for a regular inspection in December 2010, three months before a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.
Capture du 2018-03-24 10-50-56.png
 
The reactor cleared a safety screening by the Nuclear Regulation Authority in January 2017 under stricter, post-Fukushima crisis regulations and was later approved for reactivation by the Genkai Municipal Government and Saga Prefectural Government. It became the seventh reactor in the nation to restart under the tougher regulations.
 
The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which views nuclear power as an “important base-load power source,” is promoting the restart of reactors considered safe by the regulator.
 
Local residents, particularly those living on 17 islands within 30 kilometers of the Genkai plant, are concerned about how to evacuate in the event of an accident, as there are no bridges connecting the islets with the main island of Kyushu.
Capture du 2018-03-24 10-51-19.png
 
Industry minister Hiroshige Seko welcomed the resumption saying, “(The restart) holds significance from the point of promoting so-called pluthermal power generation and recycling nuclear fuel.”
 
The Genkai plant’s No. 3 reactor generates power using mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel, which is created from plutonium and uranium extracted from spent fuel.
 
Early Friday, a group of about 100 citizens gathered in front of the Genkai plant, protesting against the resumption and calling for the shutdown of all nuclear plants in Japan.
 
Chuji Nakayama, a 70-year-old man who lives on Iki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture, within a roughly 30-km radius of the plant, expressed anger, saying, “How can islanders escape if an accident occurs?”
 
Kenichi Arakawa, the deputy chief of an anti-nuclear group who lives in Munakata, Fukuoka Prefecture, said, “An accident could deprive nearby residents of everything in their lives. We should not operate a nuclear plant that threatens our lives.”
 
In contrast, a 70-year-old man from the town of Genkai said, “The town will finally become vibrant again because the nuclear plant helped set up roads and create jobs while bringing in more people.”
 
Kyushu Electric plans to start commercial operation of the No. 3 unit in late April. It is the third reactor reactivated by the utility, following the Nos. 1 and 2 units at the Sendai complex in Kagoshima Prefecture, which came back online in 2015.
 
The operator also plans to restart the No. 4 unit at the Genkai plant in May, after that unit passed an NRA safety assessment in January 2017.
 
Nuclear reactor in southwestern Japan back online after 7-yr hiatus

March 25, 2018 Posted by | Japan | , , , | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear deal hangs in the balance

 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/03/iran-nuclear-deal-hangs-balance-180324140424213.html  Many Iranians say they won’t miss the deal if it is scrapped.
25 Mar 2018  

The addition of John Bolton to Trump’s national security team is another boost for critics of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Bolton is in favour of killing the deal and has previously supported the idea of bombing Iran.

Many Iranians say they won’t miss the deal if it is scrapped, as small businesses feel it hasn’t helped them much.

Al Jazeera’s Zein Basravi reports from Tehran, Iran.

March 25, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

4 firms on International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons list now ban nuclear arms investment

4 firms on ICAN list ban nuclear arms investment  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180324_11/  NHK has learned that at least 4 Japanese financial institutions listed by a nuclear-weapons watchdog as investing in firms involved in the production of nuclear weapons have internal policies forbidding such ties.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN, says 329 banks and asset management firms in 24 countries and regions invested in companies involved in nuclear weapons production over a 3-year period starting in 2014.

NHK contacted 7 Japan-based banks and other institutions listed by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning group. Asked about ICAN’s findings, 3 of the firms said they do not currently deal with such companies. Four institutions did not reply.

At least 4 said their internal regulations restrict them from investing or providing loans to businesses related to nuclear weapons production.

ICAN says 30 non-Japanese companies have suspended such investments following the adoption last year of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Yuki Tanabe, an official at the Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society, says banks and other institutions could be accused of lacking social responsibility by doing business with such companies — even when they have no direct deals with them, or have policies against such investments.

March 25, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

“Fukushima Pride” – publicity event to promote Fukushima food in Paris

Fukushima food promoted in Paris  https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20180325_07/  The governor of Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture is in Paris to promote farm products that are suffering from a damaged reputation following the 2011 nuclear accident.

Masao Uchibori is visiting Europe following the 7th anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that triggered the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Uchibori organized the “Fukushima Pride” tasting event on Saturday at a shopping mall near Paris. Rice and fruit products were handed out to shoppers.

One visitor said she likes the dried peaches a lot and is not concerned about the safety of Fukushima produce now that it is widely circulated.

France has seen Japanese cuisine surge in popularity, which is pushing up the import of luxury foodstuffs and sake rice wine.

Uchibori expressed hope that France will help Fukushima overcome lingering concerns about the safety of its food and make inroads into the global market.

The Japanese government has been calling on other countries to lift import restrictions on its food products, after they cleared radiation screening.

In December, the European Union lifted import controls on some produce and seafood from regions affected by the nuclear accident.

March 25, 2018 Posted by | France, spinbuster | Leave a comment

UK nuclear regulator has raised concerns with EDF Energy over management failings

Nuclear watchdog raises Hinkley Point C concerns  Management failings could affect safety at EDF power station if unaddressed, says inspector, Guardian,  Adam Vaughan, 26 Mar 18, 

The UK nuclear regulator has raised concerns with EDF Energy over management failings that it warns could affect safety at the Hinkley Point C power station if left unaddressed, official documents reveal.

Britain’s chief nuclear inspector identified several shortcomings in the way the French firm is managing the supply chain for the £20bn plant it is building in Somerset.

Though not serious enough alone to raise regulatory issues, together they “may indicate a broader deficiency” in the way the company is run, concluded Mark Foy, chief inspector at the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)………https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/25/nuclear-watchdog-raises-hinkley-point-c-concerns

March 25, 2018 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Radiation contamination of 45 Hanford nuclear workers

42 Hanford workers contaminated with radiation, Seattle Times, March 24, 2018  The final results of worker tests after a December spread of contamination found that 11 Hanford workers had inhaled or ingested radioactive particles from demolition of the nuclear reservation’s Plutonium Finishing Plant.  By Annette Cary Tri-City Herald ioactive contamination from demolition of the nuclear reservation’s Plutonium Finishing Plant.

March 25, 2018 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Can nuclear power be used to balance renewables? – “Nuclear Load Following”

Environmental Research Web 24th March 2018, Dave Elliott: Nuclear plants are designed to run flat out, in part to
recoup their large construction costs. Their output can be varied a bit,
but this entails thermal stresses and potential safety issues with the
build up of active Xenon gas that is released when fission reactions are
reduced. It needs time to decay. That limits how often and how quickly the
plant can be ramped down and then back up- so as to match changes in energy
demand (‘load following’) and the varying output of renewables.

So basically nuclear plants are inflexible. So do they have any role for
balancing variable renewables? Renewables will continue to expand of
course- by 2035 there might be 45GW.

But just in case you though that balancing some of that with nuclear might be possible in future, the
Hinkley nuclear EPR plant is not scheduled to load follow. And it seems
unlikely if any of the other proposed new large nuclear plants (Wylfa,
Olbury, Moorside, Sizewell, Bradwell) would do – it would undermine their
already precarious economics. Though as now, they may be added to the
capacity market, to be there for background support, if that makes any
sense. A more cynical view is that, as now, this inclusion is just a way to
provide nuclear with an extra subsidy, which, like the rest of the
contracted capacity, is paid for by a surcharge on consumers bills.
http://blog.environmentalresearchweb.org/2018/03/24/can-nuclear-be-use-to-balance-renewables/

March 25, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Increased UV radiation brings increased skin cancer risk

Going to extremes: UV radiation is on the way up, https://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/going-to-extremes-uv-radiation-is-on-the-way-up-20180308-p4z3cp.htmlSMH, Nigel Gladstone 

The combination of a thinning ozone layer and farming practices in India may add up to more days of extreme ultraviolet radiation across Australia.

Sun-Herald analysis of daily UV index readings since 1997 in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane found the number of days when ultraviolet radiation reached or passed extreme levels had risen slightly.

The amount of UV that hits Australia is influenced by fluctuations in cloud cover, ozone levels and the solar cycle.

In Sydney, four of the 10 highest UV index days since 1996 have been recorded since December 2016.  While the ozone layer is recovering over the poles, it is thinning in mid-latitudes from Russia to the Southern Ocean below Australia, a study published last month in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics found.

“Decreases in ozone are less than we saw at the poles before the Montreal Protocol was enacted [in 1987], but UV radiation is more intense in these regions and more people live there,” said report co-author Joanna Haigh, from Imperial College London.

The weather bureau studied UV radiation in Australia between 1959 and 2009 and found an annual increase of 2 to 6 per cent since the 1990s, above a 1970-80 baseline. The bureau found these changes were related to ozone depletion.

Associate Professor Clare Murphy, from the school of chemistry at Wollongong University, said ozone trends were not fully understood.

“The largest factor involved in mid-latitude ozone depletion is the nitrogen cycle, which operates by nitrous oxide turning into reactive nitrogen in the stratosphere,” Dr Murphy said.

Nitrogen fertiliser is converted into nitrous oxide by soil microbes, creating a stable greenhouse gas that can reach the stratosphere, where the ozone layer protects the earth from most of the sun’s UV radiation,” she said. “However, once in the stratosphere, nitrous oxide is broken down by high energy radiation from the sun to become reactive nitrogen, which can deplete ozone.”

Dr Murphy said that last century, concerns about ozone depletion centred on “chlorine chemistry” (CFCs) because of the massive hole over the poles. “Now it’s nitrous oxide, which almost stopped the Concord from flying because they were worried about reactive nitrogen in the stratosphere.”

Nitrous oxide damage to ozone is ubiquitous, whereas damage from CFCs creates a hole during extreme weather years over the Antarctic, Dr Murphy said.

Nitrous oxide was identified as the most damaging substance to the ozone layer in the 21st century by a 2009 study published in Science. That study also suggested one of the best ways to address the problem was to give insurance to Indian farmers.

“In India, particularly, they’re putting in 10 times more nitrogen fertiliser on their crops than they need to because if a crop fails they may starve,” Dr Murphy said. “Insurance could pick up the loss.”

Robin Schofield, director of Melbourne University’s environmental science hub, said UV in Australia should be trending downwards because factors such as surface ozone, which is contained in smog, is on the rise and there is evidence of a recovery of stratospheric ozone.

The UV Index and skin cancer

The UV index relates to the intensity of sunburn-producing UV radiation. Sun protection is recommended when the UV Index is above 3 in clear sky conditions. The higher the number, the more severe.

11+ = Extreme. Avoid sun exposure between 10am and 4pm due to extreme risk of harm.

8-10 = Very High. Unprotected skin and eyes may be damaged and can burn quickly.

6-7 = High. Protection against skin and eye damage is needed. Reduce time in the sun between 10am and 4pm.

3-5 = Moderate. Stay in the shade near midday when the sun is strongest. Moderate risk of harm.

1-2 = Low. There is a low danger from the sun’s UV rays for the average person.

Note: UV intensity can nearly double with reflection from snow or reflective surfaces such as water, sand and concrete.

Heather Walker, Cancer Council Australia’s skin cancer committee chair, said UV is the most common cause of skin cancer but the council has not seen any evidence of a trend of more extreme or high UV days.

“Queensland is the skin cancer capital of Australia and they get more UV all year round,” Ms Walker said. “Skin cancer rates continue to rise but look like they may be stabilising over the next few years in all age groups except for the under 40s.”

The continued high rate of skin cancer in Australia is partly due to the ageing population, because cancer is a disease of ageing, Ms Walker said.

Brisbane average monthly maximum UV index.
Brisbane average monthly maximum UV index.Photo: Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency

But skin cancer rates are falling for people under 40, she said, because they have had the benefit of Sunsmart messages [slip, slop, slap, seek shade and slide on sunglasses], which started in the 1980s.

“This is a message we need to keep reinforcing, because as it was put to me: ‘you don’t tell your children to brush their teeth once and expect them to do it for the rest of their lives’.”

Because UV and heat are not related, people often get sunburnt when there is no sun.

“The heat will rise and continue to rise in the afternoon, whereas UV is more of a bell curve shape that peaks in the middle of the day. And that’s why the advice is to avoid being outside in the middle of the day.

“Cool and cloudy days when the UV is high, that’s when people are most likely to be caught out because they don’t think they need sun protection.”

March 25, 2018 Posted by | radiation | Leave a comment

Radioactive wastes – thousands of years before it is safe

Another Voice: Nuclear power, part 2, waste http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/article/NP/20180324/LOCAL1/180329966, By Crispin B. Hollinshead 

March 25, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Proposed new European energy laws could hamper community and renewable energy

Energy Post 23rd March 2018,The European Commission has proposed new European legislation that could
put Europe’s distribution system operators in a powerful position to bend
market rules to their own advantage, writes Julie Finkler of NGO
ClientEarth. According to Finkler, this could seriously hamper other market
players, like community energy initiatives, renewable energy producers and
aggregators. She calls on the European Parliament and the Member States to
ensure this will not happen.  http://energypost.eu/eu-electricity-distributors-should-not-be-allowed-to-police-themselves/

March 25, 2018 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment