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Madeleine Allbright on Donald Trump and the threat of fascism

Will We Stop Trump
Before It’s Too Late? https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/06/opinion/sunday/trump-fascism-madeleine-albright.html  Fascism poses a more serious threat now than
at any time since the end of World War II.  

April 6, 2018 Posted by | general | 2 Comments

NATO versus the Russia and China! April 2018 – The last Days?

Answering a question about Taiwan – Will there be a war with the USA? “We will see what will happen” said the Chinese Ambassador to the USA

werebuggered

Posted to nuclear-news.net by Shaun McGee 6th April 2018

Following up on the video posted by Chris Busby concerning the threat of nuclear war looming where he mentions the issue of xenophobic and threatening rhetoric from the UK and USA, he mentioned the Chinese Petro Yuan.

For your information there are some serious issues occurring, that might explain the ramping up of the rhetoric to both Russia and China concerning the blame game from NATO partners. The situation today is on a par with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Print

Firstly, in the UK and USA there is the mid term elections coming up and the local elections in the UK. This rhetoric will help the Governments of both countries pander to their home audience and distracting citizens from various embarrassing matters.

Secondly, The Chinese have made some incredibly strong statements not widely reported and have made some very public tactical moves. The Russian angry statements in recent weeks are well reported and I will not cover them here.

China`s head of the military went to Moscow in a very public way a couple of days ago;

Chinese defence chief says his visit to Moscow is a signal to the US General Wei Fenghe said his talks with Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu reflected the growing military cooperation between the two former Communist rivals PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 April, 2018 http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2140182/chinas-defence-chief-calls-his-moscow-trip-signal-us

A recent statement (2 days ago) on Trumps latest threat against China has just been responded too by a Chinese official;

Answering a question about Tawain – Will there be a war with the USA? “We will see what will happen” said the Chinese Ambassador to the USA (@19 mins approx) 4th March 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giBRQ1q1yJg

In a stunning revelation China has made clear that the USA has not held any talks for some time now on trade. The recent Chinese officials statement (2 hours ago) from China is here;

MOFCOM: No bilateral talks held recently over trade friction between China, US https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9Wfe9hL410

Thirdly, behind the scenes and not very well reported have been recent moves within the EU to clamp down on Tax evasion and other more corrupt financial practices which much of the main stream media are not discussing in any great detail. It seems as though the USA Petro- Dollar model and UK financial industries are heavily under attack;

EU efforts to clamp down on tax evasion and financial corruption in the UK NOT being reported by the BBC etc , we see more reasons for a distraction from the real issues outlined on this article https://nuclear-news.net/2018/04/02/the-problem-with-the-bbc-and-brexit-response-to-scientists-for-the-eu/

And to support Chris Busby and other scientists from around the world that say radiation is far worse than the US Pentagon and the UK Ministry of Defence would ever admit thus rendering the outcome of a nuclear war far more disastrous (as much as 10,000 times more) than military planners have projected, this might be worth a read. How they cover up the real effects of radiation on the environment and human health;

“…So our new case is based on Uranium; it entirely by-passes all the argument about “dose” on which previous appeals were fought. It is the chemical composition and genetic effects of the internal Uranium which is now the issue. The Blake Determination is therefore irrelevant, except insofar as we can employ previous reports by both our experts and other experts to argue that there was Uranium contamination. And there is plenty of evidence for that U-235, the fissile isotope in the bombs was even measured in the south west coastal area by the New Zealand surveys in the 1980s, but was wrongly characterised as Radium dial material, a cover-up that continues. I trekked down to the Case management hearing in London on 31 st January, presided over by a new Judge, Fiona Monk. The MoD began by asking that Blake’s decision about what cancers could not be caused by radiation should be accepted by any new Tribunal. Amazingly, she refused: saying that each case must be re-heard on its merits. Then I said that we were bringing in a new argument—radiochemical genotoxicity….” https://nuclear-news.net/2018/04/05/british-nuclear-test-veterans-update-fissionline-54/

 

 

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

#Secrecy breeds distrust – Chris Busby comments on the #Skripal incident – #Nuclear war an option?

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Dr Busby says a few words about the Russian Nerve Agent issue. He speaks as an expert in this area. Chris worked for several years at the famous Wellcome Research laboratories in Beckenham, London as a Senior Scientist in the Department of Physical Chemistry. His job, at the basic level, was to help determine the structure and origin of pharmaceutical compounds. So, he is an expert in this area. He also carried out similar work at Queen Mary College London for his first PhD and synthesised complex organic chemicals. From that, he relates that the synthesis of a specific small organic chemical like the supposed Novichoks is not very difficult. Most synthetic organic chemists could knock up small quantities of the 234 compound, given the structure.

Mainly, there is no way that the compound that was detected in the Skripal attack could be traced to a Russian laboratory (or any laboratory) by any lab unless the lab already had a sample known to come from the Russian laboratory (or the source laboratory).

The determination and identification methods mainly depend on mass spectrometric fragmentation patterns, and include the spectrum of stray molecular fragments from impurities associated with the synthesis route. This is how Wellcome located Patent jumping, and took this evidence ( from Busby and colleagues) into the courts. All chemists know this, and that is why the Porton head said what he said, as any chemist would have been able to raise this issue and show that he was lying, if he said anything else. It is basic physical chemistry.

So, the new headline in the Times, about a secret Russian laboratory is also bogus. What is also clear is that the mass spectrum of the A234 compound was put on the NIST database in 1998 by a worker from the USA chemical warfare laboratory. Chris therefore concludes that this whole affair is a tissue of lies and misdirection, rather like the WMD Iraq scenario and is aimed at creating a war with Russia that no one can win and where all life will lose. Why is this being done?

Because the only way for the rich and powerful to escape the coming US Economic catastrophe caused by the destruction of the petrodollar is to pull the house down and hope to escape in the general confusion and disaster from the wreckage.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Recovery of poisoned former Russian spy should help the police investigation

Sergei Skripal poisoning: Former Russian spy recovering rapidly, hospital says, ABC News, 7 Apr 18 The hospital treating former Russian spy Sergei Skripal says he is no longer in a critical condition and his health is improving rapidly, more than a month after he was poisoned with a nerve agent in England.

Key points:

  • Mr Skripal’s recovery could help British police solve the case, an affair diplomats have compared with Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie mysteries
  • His daughter Yulia is also recovering well, issuing a statement yesterday thanking people for their help
  • Moscow has asked for an explanation as to why Mr Skripal’s niece was denied a British visa to take Yulia to Russia

Mr Skripal, 66, who as a colonel in Russian military intelligence betrayed dozens of agents to Britain’s foreign spy service, was found slumped unconscious on a bench in the city of Salisbury along with his daughter Yulia on March 4.

Britain blamed Russia for the poisoning, the first known offensive use of such a nerve agent on European soil since World War II.

Moscow denied any involvement and suggested Britain had carried out the attack to stoke anti-Russian hysteria.

After weeks of no reported change in his condition, the hospital confirmed that Mr Skripal, who had been treated under heavy sedation, was now making fast progress………

A British judge said last month that the attack might have left them with compromised mental capacity, with an unclear effect on their long-term health.

The hospital did not say whether either Mr Sergei or his daughter would suffer long term effects……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-04-07/sergei-skripal-poisoning:-former-russian-spy-recovering-rapidly/9628922

 

April 6, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Could new U.S. tactical missile projects trigger a new nuclear arms race?

Are the U.S. Army and DARPA Trying to Start a Nuclear Arms Race? National Interest,  Michael Peck, 6 Apr 18,   Could new U.S. tactical missile projects trigger a new nuclear arms race?

Recent comments by U.S. Army leaders, and a new project from Pentagon research agency DARPA, point to the United States developing new long-range battlefield missiles.

 The Pentagon believes that it needs the missiles because its field artillery is inferior to Russian guns that have a longer range than their American counterparts. “We need cannons that fire as far as rockets today, we need rockets that fire as far as missiles, and we need missiles that push out to 499 kilometers and beyond,” Gen. Robert Brown, commander of U.S. Army Pacific, told an Association of the U.S. Army audience in Huntsville, Alabama last month.

“499 kilometers and beyond” is a very significant phrase, because the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Force Treaty (INF), signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, banned nuclear and conventional missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometers (or about 300 to 3,400 miles). The agreement came in the midst of an arms race after the Soviets deployed SS-20 intermediate-range nuclear missiles which threatened Western Europe, to which the United States responded by deploying Pershing II and ground-launched cruise missiles.

The conventional weapons provision pointed to an uncomfortable fact: there is no way to peek inside a nose cone to be sure the missile isn’t carrying a nuclear warhead. So while conventional intermediate-range missiles could have many uses (attacking airfields, command centers, etc.), a missile launched from, say, Germany could hit Moscow with a nuclear weapon.

Indeed, the INF treaty obligated both sides to dismantle a lot of expensive hardware: 2,692 weapons, from short-range tactical missiles to long-range cruise missiles. It also established mechanisms for both sides to verify compliance. The treaty has been assailed in recent years, with the United States accusing Russia ofviolating the agreement by deploying a new ground-launched cruise missile. Putin’s recent speech, in which he boasted of Russia developing a nuclear-powered cruise missile, isn’t likely to reduce tensions.

However, General Brown suggested that the U.S. Army wouldn’t mind breaching the INF treaty. “‘I know there’s the INF treaty…but we need to push beyond that,’” Brown said, according to Politico.

At the same time, DARPA is pursuing its OpFires missile program. “The United States ground-based forces are currently limited in effective range of surface-to-surface precision fires,” according to DARPA. “The OpFires program seeks to provide operational/theater level commanders with flexible capabilities to strike time sensitive targets while providing persistent standoff from unpredictable land launch positions.”

DARPA says “the overarching goal of the OpFires program is to develop and demonstrate a novel ground-launched system enabling advanced tactical weapons to penetrate modern enemy air defenses and rapidly and precisely engage critical time sensitive targets.”……….http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/are-the-us-army-darpa-trying-start-nuclear-arms-race-25231

 

April 6, 2018 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Experts reject Japanese claim about North Korea preparing for a new nuclear weapons test

Experts push back at Japanese claim on North Korean nuclear work, American monitoring website contends satellite imagery does not support foreign minister, Nikkei Asian Review, 

TOKYO — The recent assertion by Japan’s top diplomat that North Korea is preparing for a new nuclear weapons test has drawn a rebuttal from a U.S.-based monitoring website maintaining that such activity is not confirmed by satellite imagery.

Pyongyang appears to be “working hard to get ready for the next nuclear test,” Foreign Minister Taro Kono said at a Saturday lecture in the western Japanese city of Kochi. He cited the removal of soil from a tunnel at the site.

But Johns Hopkins University’s 38 North blog, which monitors the reclusive state, said in an analysis dated Monday that “commercial satellite imagery from March 23 shows quite a different picture: namely, that activity at the test site has been significantly reduced compared to previous months.”

 “Tunneling at the West Portal, a site not associated with any of North Korea’s previous tests, had been active earlier this year but has slowed down significantly as has other personnel and vehicular movement around the site,” the post continued……..https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-Relations/Experts-push-back-at-Japanese-claim-on-North-Korean-nuclear-work

April 6, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The end for Japan’s expensive Monju nuclear fast breeder dream

Japan prepares to shut troubled ‘dream’ nuclear reactor https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/Japan-prepares-to-shut-troubled-dream-nuclear-reactor

Decades-old plant has cost almost $10bn and hardly ever operated    

TOKYO — Japan is set to start decommissioning its troubled Monju fast-breeder reactor after decades of accidents, cost overruns and scandals. It is the beginning of the end of a controversial project that exposed the shortcomings of the country’s nuclear policy and the government’s failure to fully explain the risks and the costs.

In July, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency will begin decommissioning what was hailed as a “dream” reactor that was expected to produce more nuclear fuel than it consumed. The government has so far spent more than 1 trillion yen ($9.44 billion) on the plant, which has barely ever operated.

The plan approved by the Nuclear Regulation Authority on March 28 to decommission the reactor, located in central Japan’s Fukui Prefecture, calls for the extraction of spent nuclear fuel to be completed by the end of the fiscal year through March 2023. Full decommissioning is expected to take about 30 years.

 Total costs to shut down the reactor are currently estimated at 375 billion yen, but that could climb, as the full technical requirements and the selection of the nuclear waste sites are not well understood.

Japan does not have the technological ability to manage the decommissioning process on its own, and must enlist the help of France, which has more experience with fast-breeder reactors. Among the technical challenges is handling the plant’s sodium coolant, which is highly reactive and explodes on contact with air.

Many of the problems with Japan’s nuclear policy were brought to light by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster caused by the tsunami and earthquake of March 2011. Such problems have included the high costs of plants, the selection of nuclear disposal sites, and the threat of shutdowns due to lawsuits. Japan’s nuclear policy has largely been gridlocked since the disaster.

But the Monju project had many problems before the Fukushima catastrophe.

Planning for the project began in the 1960s. Its fast-breeder technology was considered a dream technology for resource-poor Japan, which had been traumatized by the oil crisis of the 1970s. The reactor was supposed to generate more plutonium fuel than it consumed.

The reactor finally started operating in 1994, but was forced to shut down the following year due to a sodium leak. It has been inoperative for most of the time since. The decision to decommission it was made in December 2016 following a series of safety scandals, including the revelation that many safety checks had been omitted.

Recent experience suggests the government’s estimated cost of 375 billion yen to decommission Monju could be on the low side. In 2016, the estimate for decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi plant ballooned to 8 trillion yen from an initial 2 trillion yen in 2013, largely due to inadequate understanding of the decommissioning process.

While “the JAEA will try to keep costs down,” said Hajime Ito, executive director with the agency, the process of extracting sodium, the biggest hurdle, has yet to be determined. Future technical requirements will also involve significant costs.

The Monju reactor is not the only example of failure in Japan’s nuclear fuel cycle policy — the cycle of how nuclear fuel is handled and processed, including disposing nuclear waste and reprocessing used fuel.

Central to this policy is a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in the village of Rokkasho in northern Aomori Prefecture that was supposed to extract plutonium and uranium by reprocessing spent nuclear fuel to be reused at nuclear plants.

More than 2 trillion yen has been spent on the plant so far. Construction was begun in 1993, but completion has been repeatedly postponed due to safety concerns. On Wednesday, the NRA decided to resume safety checks on the plant, but if it chooses to decommission it, the cost would be an estimated 1.5 trillion yen.

Had Japan taken into consideration the costs of decommissioning plants and disposing of spent nuclear fuel, it probably would not have been able to push ahead with its nuclear policy in the first place, said a former senior official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, who was involved in formulating the country’s basic energy plan.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | Leave a comment

Nuclear energy is not coming to Turkey quickly

 https://ahvalnews.com/akkuyu/nuclear-energy-not-coming-turkey-quickly – 5 April 18, Nuclear technology is, no doubt, one of the hallmarks of state power and prestige.   That is certainly the case with Russia. Aside of the nuclear arsenal, which President Vladimir Putin bragged about during his “state of the union” address last month, Moscow takes pride in being a global leader in nuclear energy.

In an economy overwhelmingly reliant on hydrocarbons and other raw materials, apart from the arms industry, nuclear energy is one technology-intensive sector where Russia is among world leaders.

Turkey likewise has its eyes set on nuclear energy. Since 1970, it has been pursuing plans to build a nuclear power plant. But Turkey has lagged behind neighbours, including Armenia, whose Metsamor station is kilometres away from the Turkish border, Bulgaria, which has been the top exporter of electricity to Turkey in 2017, Romania and Iran.

Turkey’s economic growth and expanding population is expected to drive up demand for electricity in the next decade. Nuclear also promises to facilitate to the transition to a low-carbon economy. Not only does it displace coal, but it also makes renewables (hydropower, solar, wind, geothermal) more appealing. When the sun does not shine or the wind is low, there is a need for back-up. Government officials in Ankara have been making plans for two or even three nuclear power plants on both the Mediterranean and the Black Sea coasts.

So Russia and Turkey look like a perfect match. One has the goods, the other – the market. And on top of that, the two former rivals have been getting diplomatically and politically closer.

Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met once again in Ankara this week, joined later by Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. The Russian and Turkish leaders oversaw  – via video conference – the groundbreaking ceremony of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant, near the Mediterranean city of Mersin.

Started in 2010 and implemented by Russia’s state-owned conglomerate Rosatom, the project’s first unit should be completed by 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic. Once all four units become operational, they will generate about 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity – enough to keep a huge city like Istanbul running.

The start of construction carries huge political symbolism. The Akkuyu project was frozen when Russia and Turkey fell out in late November 2015. Its restart in October 2016, when Putin was guest of honour the World Energy Congress in Istanbul, signalled a turnaround in relations between the two countries.

Yet behind the grand political façade, it is not all roses and sunshine. For starters, Russia managed to twist the Turkish government’s arm and obtain tax breaks to the tune of $3 billion before the relaunch. Moscow has good reason to drive a tough bargain. Akkuyu follows the Build-Operate-Own (BOO) model where Rosatom shoulders the financial risk from the $20 billion venture. The Turkish Electricity Trading and Contracting Company (TETAS) has committed to buy electricity from the power plant at fixed prices, but without a quota.

Rosatom, for its part, is in no position to find the cash to fund the project. That is why it transferred 49% of the venture to a Turkish consortium set up by Cengiz, Kolin and Kalyon (CKK) in June 2017. But last February, the three firms pulled out. Sources inside Rosatom said the decision was driven by disagreements. The Russians were unhappy about CKK’ choice of a Chinese consultant. More importantly, the Turks wanted to have a say in managing the projects before securing the financing for their shares.

As experts familiar with the Turkish energy sector point out, these are companies that have no experience and technical expertise with long-horizon projects. They are accustomed to state-funded construction and infrastructure development where there are quick bucks to be made. Akkuyu is a very different kettle of fish. Yet, there is a consolation prize: Cengiz is getting a $465-million hydrotechnical engineering contract with Akkuyu.

Whether Akkuyu moves according to schedule therefore depends on how quickly the Turkish side finds a strategic investor. Ultimately, it might turn out that direct or indirect budget transfers would be required. Like anywhere in the world, nuclear energy is not feasible without some form of state support or even direct payments. In other words, Turkey would end up propping up Rosatom, BOO model notwithstanding. The Russian company has already signed contracts to the tune of $4.2 billion. That is well beyond the $3 billion Rosatom has chipped in so far.

Raising money on global capital markets is a tough proposition, beating in mind the sanctions against Russia. It would not be surprising at all, in that sense, if the Kremlin is pressuring the Turkish government to pay up or bring in another minority shareholder to replace CKK. The question whether this is the most effective way to spend public resources may become pertinent, especially if more clouds start gathering over the Turkish economy.

What we saw this week was not the first launch of Akkuyu. There was already one such ceremony held in December last year. Who knows, there might be more such ceremonies in the future.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, Turkey | Leave a comment

Massive subsidy plan for New York’ s nuclear power could be stymied by new evidence

New Evidence Might Bolster Case Against Massive NY Bailout of Nuclear Power Plants http://waer.org/post/new-evidence-might-bolster-case-against-massive-ny-bailout-nuclear-power-plants,  , 6 Apr 18

Opponents of the massive subsidy plan for New York’s struggling nuclear power plants say there’s new evidence that supports their case to repeal the 2016 bailout.  Two Oswego County plants owned by Exelon were among those granted $7.5 billion in taxpayer money over 12 years by the New York Public Service Commission. Executive Director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service Tim Judson expressed his disappointment in the PSC not serving the public’s interest.

The Public Service Commission was supposed to be making a rational decision for the benefit of New Yorkers across the state.  It appears based on what actually happened,  this was a decision to benefit the owners of nuclear power plants.  The PSC didn’t consider more cost-effective alternatives for meeting the state’s energy goals.”

Opponents  say their evidence includes a presentation made by a former lobbyist from Exelon in which he bragged about the $7.5 billion subsidy.  Judson says the presentation is a prime example of the huge profits companies can make via lobbying and political spending. However, he acknowledges its legality.

“It’s not clear that there’s anything illegal in terms of Exelon lobbying state government for financial assistance.  Companies have the right to do that.  But the PSC doesn’t need to be swayed by companies trying to protect their private interests.”

Judson says the PSC violated the rights of the public by not giving them enough notice or time to understand how their money would be spent.  He also notes how the closing of the nuclear plants would not have mattered much in the long run.

Before the whole proceeding that resulted in the subsidy was undertaken, the agency that runs the state’s electricity system had done an evaluation and determined the two reactors scheduled to close, plus several other power plants scheduled to close around the same time, could turn off and there wouldn’t be any need for additional power plants or energy sources to be developed.  There was plenty of power on the grid.”

Judson says the PSC should have looked into clean energy options that would have helped the state meet its Clean Energy Standard goals. A hearing for this case is expected this summer.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

New Jersey’s Nuclear Subsidy Bill heads for uneasy passage in Houses

AMID ARGUMENTS AND WARNINGS, NUCLEAR SUBSIDY BILL CLEARS COMMITTEE New Jersey Spotlight,  | APRIL 6, 2018

Clean-energy measures also voted out, but nuclear bill looms large — particularly when it comes to costs to ratepayers.

After months of contentious debate and false starts, a package of bills increasing the state’s reliance on renewable energy, as well as subsidizing nuclear power plants, won approval yesterday from a pair of legislative committees.

The passage sets the stage for final approval by both houses on Thursday to legislation that likely will impose billions of dollars in new costs on utility customers to support those programs.

If signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy as expected, the measures will begin implementing key parts of the new administration’s clean-energy agenda, while averting the threatened closing of nuclear power plants, operated by Public Service Enterprise Group.

……..The mounting public demand to address climate change and the difficult choices facing an unregulated energy sector have thrust those decisions before a Legislature largely oblivious of the implications of its actions, according to some. A key provision of the deal calls for subsidizing PSEG’s three nuclear power plants for as long as 10 years at a cost of $300 million annually.

“The proposed nuclear bailout will make it difficult to ramp up a clean-energy future,’’ argued Doug O’Malley, director of Environment New Jersey, who backed a clean-energy bill.

The nuclear bill (S-2313) has proven very controversial due to its cost. Critics, including many business groups, consumer advocates, and environmentalists, argue the company has never demonstrated the plants are in financial jeopardy.

No room for rate counsel

Under the bill, the plants would only be awarded the subsidies in certain circumstances. The state Board of Public Utilities would have to initiate a proceeding and find the plants are in financial distress. But the bill may leave the state’s Division of Rate Counsel, the agency representing consumers, out of the review process.

Rate Counsel director Stefanie Brand said the subsidies could end up costing consumers more than $3 billion over a decade, even though the company has not proved they are losing money. “They are making money, but not as much as the company wants,’’ Brand told the Senate Budget Committee.

……. “It is abundantly clear by now that ratepayers cannot afford a multibillion dollar tax hike, paid to bail out demonstrably profitable nuclear plants, just so PSEG shareholders can make some money,’’ said Matt Fossen, of the New Jersey Coalition for Fair Energy…….http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/18/04/06/amid-arguments-and-warnings-nuclear-subsidy-bill-clears-committee/

April 6, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Turkey’s nuclear ambitions might not be feasible

With a political regulator, Turkey’s nuclear ambitions could go kaboom https://ahvalnews.com/nuclear-energy/political-regulator-turkeys-nuclear-ambitions-could-go-kaboom

In a symbolic gesture after years of not seeing eye to eye, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended via teleconference a ground-breaking ceremony for a Russian-built nuclear power plant near the Mediterranean coast on Tuesday.

However, the $20 billion project may not rest on firm foundations, as despite years of promises by the government to bring in a new law governing the regulation of nuclear power, the project is beginning construction before that legal framework is in place.

Until Turkey’s nuclear law is redrafted, the regulation of nuclear energy will be carried out by an institution controlled by the Turkish prime ministry. That means it will not be insulated from political pressure.

Turkey’s media environment means that it cannot air serious criticism of the safety risks, and the plant’s stakeholders – the Turkish government, the Russian government, and possibly businessmen known to be close to Erdoğan – have ample incentives to cut corners in terms of plant safety in order to speed up construction.

For one thing, the plant is likely to be a loss-leader for the Russian side: a goodwill gesture towards Turkey and a subsidy for its ailing industrial sector. But the sooner the plant comes online, the fewer losses the Russian state will have to bear.

In Turkey’s eyes, the project is a matter of prestige. Having a nuclear power plant operative by the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the republic in 2023 will be one of the crowning achievements of the government’s dash to prove itself worthy of the legacy of founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Rosatom, the Russian company behind the project, says it is committed to meeting the 2023 deadline, despite the technical difficulties that speeding the project up might pose. And it only begins recouping its capital once the plant is producing money. Any overruns or extra costs will push further into its bottom line.

It is still trying to sell a 49 percent share in the project after foreign investors turned their noses up at the idea and a consortium of companies close to Erdoğan pulled out of the deal in February.

And Russia’s reserve fund, which was formerly used to subsidise the country’s export of civilian nuclear technology, has dried up as a result of drops in the price of oil.

Turkey is also seeking to ease Rosatom’s financial burden by promising generous tax exemptions for the entire duration that the plant is in operation.

Amid all this pressure to cut corners, the need for a strong, independent nuclear regulator that can ensure that the plant is properly built is overwhelming.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has been pushing Turkey to create one for many years.

Its recommendations to Turkey in 2014 included “enacting a law on nuclear energy which establishes an independent regulatory body and putting a national policy in place that covers a wide range of issues, as well as further developing the required human resources”.

But in the present circumstances, the costs associated with careful construction and operation may render unfeasible the completion of the project in time to act as a symbol of the present government’s achievements as Turkey hits its centenary.

April 6, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

UK Inspector General’s report on Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection 2017

The Inspector General’s report on Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection 2017 NuClear News April 18 Published on 2nd March 2018, a report written by François de Lastic, EDF Group Inspector General for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection, for the Chairman of EDF is available in French and English on the EDF – French website here: https://www.edf.fr/sites/default/files/contrib/groupe-edf/producteurindustriel/nucleaire/enjeux/securite-des-installations/securite-dessalaries/rapport_igsnr_2017_-_uk.pdf

It aims, amongst other things, to identify any early warning signs and recommend areas for improvement. It therefore focuses on difficulties and weaknesses rather than strengths and progress. Continue reading

April 6, 2018 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

In 2017 global investment in renewable energy outstripped thatn in coal, gas and nuclear combined

World invested more in solar energy than coal, gas and nuclear combined in 2017, UN report revealsNew figures show ‘how much can be achieved when we commit to growth without harming the environment,’ says UN Independent UK, Josh Gabbatiss Science Correspondent @josh_gabbatiss

Global investment in renewable energy shot up last year, far outstripping investment in fossil fuels, according to a UN report.

As the price of clean energy technology plummets, it has become an increasingly attractive prospect for world governments.

China was by far the world’s largest investor in renewable energy in 2017, accounting for nearly half of the new infrastructure commissioned.

This was mainly a result of its massive support for solar power, which globally attracted nearly a fifth more investment than in the previous year. Other countries including Australia, Sweden and Mexico more than doubled the amount of money they pumped into clean energy projects……..https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/solar-energy-world-investment-higher-coal-gas-nuclear-combined-2017-un-report-a8290051.html

April 6, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

Satellite imagery of North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center

North Korea’s Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center: Construction Progressing Rapidly Near Reactors; No Signs of Reprocessing   BY: 38 NORTH  [EXCELLENT SATELLITE PHOTOS] APRIL 6, 2018   SATELLITE IMAGERY  A 38 North exclusive with analysis by Frank V. Pabian, Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., and Jack Liu.  Commercial satellite imagery of the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center from April 4 shows significant progress in the modifications underway associated with the 5 MWe reactor’s secondary cooling system. (Figure 1)   [on original]  Over the past five days, a rectangular, concrete-walled, vault-like foundation has been erected.[1] (Figures 2 and 3) [on original] The purpose of this new structure remains unclear, but it could be for a new pump house comparable to the one serving the ELWR. Given recent efforts to dam the river below this point to create a reservoir, this could be part of a larger effort to provide a steady flow of water into that reactor allowing it to run more continuously and safely in the future. Alternatively, since its location is near where the reactor cooling water used to be expelled during previous reactor operations, it could be part of a new cooling water outflow system to enhance the overall efficiency and potentially the cooling capacity of the secondary cooling loop………. https://www.38north.org/2018/04/yongbyon040618/

April 6, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics | Leave a comment

The Skripals and the unusual timing of Chemical warfare exercises near Salisbury

Bdjio

Troops from 40 Commando, based at Norton Manor, near Taunton, joined the country’s leading experts in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear warfare to make sure they could cope in a worst-case scenario. February 2018 to March 2018

A couple of links and snips for you to peruse;

“Toxic storm for Royal Marines in major chemical exercise. 06/03/2018. Royal Marines donned gas masks for three weeks as they tested Britain’s ability to fight in the event of a … Which is where Exercise Toxic Dagger – the largest of its kind in the UK – comes in, involving Public Health England, the Atomic Weapons ..”

” The three-week exercise included company-level attacks and various CBRN scenarios based on the latest threats for ultimate realism, such as a raid on a suspected chemical weapons lab.

It climaxes with a full-scale exercise involving government and industry scientists and more than 300 military personnel, including the RAF Regiment and the RM Band Service – casualty treatment was a key part of the Salisbury Plain exercise.

A chemical decontamination area was set up not merely to treat ‘polluted’ commandos, but also any wounded prisoners they may have brought in; once cleansed, casualties can be treated in field/regular hospitals….” https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/news-and-latest-activity/news/2018/march/06/180306-toxic-storm-for-royal-marines-in-major-chemical-exercise

And the wording on the whole article is in the past AND present tense but here is the past Exercise TOXIC DAGGER – the sharp end of chemical warfare – GOV.UK

Feb 20, 2018 – 40 Commando Royal Marines and The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have staged the UK’s biggest annual exercise to prepare troops for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) operations. Exercise TOXIC DAGGER is supported by Dstl, along with Public Health … https://www.gov.uk/government/news/exercise-toxic-dagger-the-sharp-end-of-chemical-warfare

April 6, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment