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Strikes on Syria. What may happen next between Russia and USA?

Syria strikes: The real impact is in Moscow, April 14, 2018  After nearly a week of tension that sometimes verged on the surreal, the US and its allies finally carried out strikes against regime targets in Syria on Friday night. The strikes, more limited than once seemed likely, were designed to deter the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons once and for all.


April 14, 2018 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US, British and French forces launch air strikes on chemical weapons sites in Syria

Syria: US, British and French forces launch air strikes in response to chemical weapons attack, 

US, British and French forces have pounded chemical weapons sites in Syria with air strikes in response to an alleged poison gas attack that killed dozens in the rebel-held town of Douma last week.

Key points:

  • US, UK and France hit three chemical weapons sites in Syria
  • US Defence Secretary says strikes were a “one-time shot”
  • Strikes biggest intervention yet by Western powers against Assad regime

In a televised address to the nation, US President Donald Trump said the three nations had “marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality”.

The strikes were the biggest intervention by Western powers against President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s seven-year-old civil war, which has pitted the US and its allies against Russia.

The Pentagon said the strikes targeted a research centre in Damascus, along with a chemical weapons storage facility and command post west of Homs……

British Prime Minister Theresa May said the strikes were not about intervening in a civil war nor were they about a regime change.

“We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised within Syria, on the streets of the UK or anywhere else in our world,” Ms May said…….

Russia’s Defence Ministry said the majority of missiles fired during the attack were intercepted by Syrian air defence systems using Soviet-produced hardware, including the Buk missile system.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | France, politics international, Russia, Syria, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

American Geographical Society awards medal to author of “The Legacy of Nuclear Power”

BANNG 11th April 2018 , Professor Andy Blowers, OBE, Chair of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear
Group (BANNG), has been awarded the Alexander and Ilse Melamid Medal theAmerican Geographical Society.

The medal was created to honour ‘those who examine the influence of humans on the natural world.’ It is awarded in
recognition of ‘outstanding work on the dynamic relationship between human culture and natural resources.’

Prof. Deborah Popper, of Princeton  University, said that Professor Blowers has been addressing some of the most significant and difficult environmental issues with great thoughtfulness, stamina, and grace. Mike Pasqualetti, Professor of Geographical Sciences, Arizona State University and former winner of the award, commented: ‘I know of no-one more deserving of this recognition.’

Professor Blowers has had a long career as an academic at The Open University, as a County Councillor, as a Government adviser, as anauthor and as a campaigner. He has been published widely and his most recent book, The Legacy of Nuclear Power, adresses communities living with radioactive waste. The medal will be presented at Columbia University, New York, in November.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Donald Trump to demand “full denuclearisation” of North Korea, in exchange for US embassy in Pyongyang’

Donald Trump ‘to tell Kim Jong-un to scrap nuclear arsenal within year in return for US embassy in Pyongyang’ ,  

President Donald Trump is expected to demand that Pyongyang abolish its nuclear weapons capability within a year when he sits down for talks with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean dictator, but will offer to open an embassy in the North’s capital and provide humanitarian assistance as an incentive.

The details offer a sense of the rapid pace of progress towards talks although analysts suggest the timetable may be overambitious.

Quoting sources in Washington, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper said Mr Trump rejected Pyongyang’s proposals for “phased and synchronised” steps to eliminate the North’s nuclear arsenal and will instead insist that full denuclearisation is completed within 12 months of their meeting. …….

April 14, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Human-caused global warming has contributed to extraordinary change in warm Atlantic current

Guardian 11th April 2018 , The warm Atlantic current linked to severe and abrupt changes in the
climate in the past is now at its weakest in at least 1,600 years, new research shows.

The findings, based on multiple lines of scientific evidence, throw into question previous predictions that a catastrophic
collapse of the Gulf Stream would take centuries to occur. Such a collapse
would see western Europe suffer far more extreme winters, sea levels rise
fast on the eastern seaboard of the US and would disrupt vital tropical

The new research shows the current is now 15% weaker than around
400AD, an exceptionally large deviation, and that human-caused global
warming is responsible for at least a significant part of the weakening.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan

Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment, Science Direct

Author links open overlay panel MarcoKaltofenaArnieGundersenb

April 14, 2018 Posted by | environment, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

India’s Modi government drastically cutting back on nuclear power plans.

India Slashes Plans for New Nuclear Reactors by Two-Thirds, April 11, 2018 The Energy Collective The Financial Express, one of India’s major newspapers, reports that the Narendra Modi government, which had set the ambitious 63,000 MW nuclear power capacity addition target by the year 2031-32, has cut it to 22,480 MW, or by roughly two thirds.

…….. The drastic reduction in planned construction of new reactors will diminish India’s plans to rely on nuclear energy from 25% of electrical generation to about 8-10%.

…. It appears that India’s long list of nuclear reactors, which at one time it aspired to build, is now in the dust bin. Instead, a much shorter list of 19 units composed of indigenous 700 MW PHWRs and Russian VVERs will be completed for an additional 17 GWE……..

The list of 57 cancelled reactors also includes  700 MW PHWRs and Russian VVERs. In addition it includes future plans for Areva EPRs and Westinghouse AP1000s.  Four fast breeder reactors are part of this list which raises questions about India’s policy commitment to its three phase plan for nuclear energy. …….

While the Department of Atomic Energy did not specify the reasons for the change, it is likely that India has come face-to-face with the same reality that other developing nations seeking rapid construction of nuclear power plants. The challenges are the lack of funding, a reliable supply chain that can handle a huge increase in orders, and a trained workforce to build and operate the plants at the planned level of activity.


Modi government cuts nuclear power capacity addition target to one-thirdThe Narendra Modi government, which had set the ambitious 63,000 MW nuclear power capacity addition target by the year 2031-32, has cut it down to 22,480 MW, a Lok Sabha answer has revealed.Financial Express, By: Pragya Srivastava   April 5, 2018 The Narendra Modi government, which had set the ambitious 63,000 MW nuclear power capacity addition target by the year 2031-32, has cut it down to 22,480 MW, a Lok Sabha answer has revealed.  “With the completion of the under construction and sanctioned projects, the total nuclear power installed capacity in the country will reach 22480 MW… by the year 2031,” Jitendra Singh, MoS, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) said……….

April 14, 2018 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

Helicopter to monitor radiation ahead of Boston Marathon – precaution in view of terrorism risks

Chopper will measure radiation ahead of Boston Marathon, With the Boston Marathon around the corner, more security efforts are underway. Metro US News By  Statehouse News ServiceApril 11, 2018 

A helicopter equipped with radiation-sensing technology will make several low passes over the Boston Marathon route later this week to measure naturally occurring background radiation ahead of the 122nd Boston Marathon next week.

Between Thursday and Sunday, the National Nuclear Security Administration will use the chopper to measure background radiation along the 26.2-mile marathon route and slightly beyond, flying a twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter in a grid pattern at about 150 feet above the ground at speeds of about 80 miles per hour, the agency said.

The NNSA said measuring baseline levels of radiation is “a normal part of security and emergency preparedness for major public events”

According to the United States Government Accountability Office, “the surveys can be used to compare changes in radiation levels to (1) help detect radiological threats in U.S. cities more quickly and (2) measure contamination levels after a radiological attack to assist in and reduce the costs of cleanup efforts.”…….

April 14, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Radioactive Sludge Barrel Ruptures at Idaho Nuclear Site

U.S. News U.S. officials say a barrel of radioactive sludge has ruptured at an Idaho nuclear site., April 12, 2018, By KEITH RIDLER, Associated Press, 

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A barrel containing radioactive sludge ruptured at an Idaho nuclear facility, federal officials said Thursday, resulting in no injuries and no risk to the public but possibly slowing progress in shipping waste out of the state.

The U.S. Department of Energy said the 55-gallon (208-liter) barrel ruptured late Wednesday at the 890-square-mile (2,305-square-kilometer) site that includes the Idaho National Laboratory, one of the nation’s top federal nuclear research labs.

The rupture triggered a fire alarm, and three Idaho National Laboratory firefighters extinguished the smoldering barrel and pulled it away from a dozen other barrels nearby.

When the firefighters left the building, emergency workers detected a small amount of radioactive material on their skin, said department spokeswoman Danielle Miller………

Federal officials said it’s the first known rupture of a barrel containing radioactive sludge at the site but might not be the last.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | 1 Comment

Nuclear subsidy approved, could cost New Jersey ratepayers $billions

North Nicholas Pugliese, State House Bureau, @nickpugz  April 12, 2018  

April 14, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point C – the world’s most financially radioactive energy project

Times 11th April 2018 , One Flamanville is quite enough: The 1,650 megawatt European pressurised
reactor is a mere six years late and three times over budget. And all the
more exciting for it being the prototype for an even bigger nuclear
disaster: the £20 billion, 3,200MW Hinkley Point C.

Still, forget about that for a sec. At least the French nuclear guinea pig is finally on its
home run, due to be loaded up with nuclear fuel in the last quarter of this
year. Always assuming one thing: that EDF can sort out the dodgy welding on
the cooling pipes and stuff.

Anyway, it’s another EDF success story, up
there with the carbon spots on the steel for Flamanville’s nuclear dome,
the ones that potentially weakened it. Or the lost safety records from its
Creusot Forge supplier. And it does make you think. It’s bad enough
Theresa May signing us up to the world’s most financially radioactive
energy project, without monthly reminders of EDF’s technical ineptitude.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia wants nuclear power, WITHOUT the restrictions against making nuclear weapons

Saudi Arabia And The Nuclear Temptation. Lobe Log 

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman, seems to have gotten what he wanted from his long glad-handing tour through the United States and several European capitals. He met President Trump and brand-name business tycoons and potential investors, and took home some actual deals, including a commitment by the giant French oil company Total to invest billions in a new petrochemical complex.

What he should have gotten but did not were stern lectures excoriating his glib, casual attitude about acquiring or developing nuclear weapons. Asked by Norah O’Donnell of CBS what Saudi Arabia would do if Iran obtained such weapons, he replied, “Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.” 

Either the young prince was badly briefed or his knowledge of history and international security affairs is thin. He does not seem to realize that his grand plans for modernizing his country and restructuring its economy, which are based on full integration into the global industrial and financial system, would fall apart if the United States and its allies thought that Saudi Arabia was pursuing nuclear arms. He could forget those big investments and deals, and most of his country’s sources of military equipment and training would dry up. The damage to his country that pursuit of nuclear weapons would cause would far outweigh any conceivable strategic gain. Does he not know why Iran was subjected to crippling economic sanctions for all those years before the multinational agreement of 2016 curtailed its nuclear program? Does he not know why North Korea is a pariah state?

Saudi Arabia is a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which prohibits signatories other than the five recognized nuclear powers from acquiring or developing a nuclear arsenal. Israel, India, and Pakistan have gotten away with their weapons programs because they are not parties to the NPT and thus have no legal obligation to abide by its terms. Even so, Pakistan did not escape the wrath of the U.S. Congress when it tested nuclear weapons in the 1990s, as bipartisan majorities enacted laws that authorized Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton to impose stiff sanctions, which they did.  

Saudi Arabia, which has few friends in Congress, would be unlikely to escape the same fate. The kingdom cannot afford to become an international outlaw, like North Korea, or to see its oil sales curtailed and its access to global financial markets cut off, like Iran. That would put an end to the grand development plan the prince has styled “Vision 2030.”  ………..

According to many reports, the Saudis are asking that a bilateral deal, known as a “123 Agreement” for the section of the law that requires it, permit them to control both ends of the nuclear fuel cycle. In that way, they could enrich their own uranium and reprocess fuel once it is used up to extract the plutonium generated by the chain reaction. An existing agreement between the United States and Saudi Arabia’s neighbor Abu Dhabi permits neither. That agreement is known in the industry as the “gold standard.” But Saudi Arabia does not want to accept the “Abu Dhabi model” because the international agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program does not prohibit enrichment. 

Enriched uranium fuel for nuclear reactors is plentiful in world markets, but Prince Mohammed has said that Saudi Arabia wants to take advantage of its own domestic resources by doing its own enrichment. Even if there is a valid argument to be made for enrichment, however, the Saudis cannot make a legitimate argument for reprocessing to capture plutonium, which has limited civilian uses but is primarily a fuel for nuclear weapons. 

Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), who has long opposed nuclear energy in any form, can be expected to lead congressional opposition to a 123 agreement that allows reprocessing. “Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has confirmed what many have long suspected—nuclear energy in Saudi Arabia is about more than just electrical power, it’s about geopolitical power,” Markey said in a statement last month. “The United States must not compromise on nonproliferation standards in any 123 agreement it concludes with Saudi Arabia.” He said Saudi Arabia is interested more in “megatons than megawatts.” 

The Saudis could obtain civilian nuclear power reactors from other countries—South Korea provides those in Abu Dhabi—and it would not need an agreement with the United States to do that. But if it rejects a 123 agreement because it insists on retaining the right to reprocess, it will be sending an unmistakable and ill-advised signal.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Poor financial results for thorium power industry

Thorium Power (NASDAQ:LTBR) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 15th. The energy company reported ($0.18) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter. Thorium Power had a negative net margin of 4,060.00% and a negative return on equity of 118.29%. The company had revenue of $0.01 million during the quarter.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, thorium | Leave a comment

Informational tour by groups opposing construction of spent nuclear fuel facility

New Mexico Political Report 11th April 2018 , Groups opposed to construction of a storage facility for spent nuclear fuel
from the nation’s commercial reactors are on a tour this week to make sure people know what’s being proposed for southern New Mexico.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a proposal from Holtec International to build and transport the waste, now stored in casks at various nuclear power plants around the country, to southern New Mexico.

Don Hancock, director of the Southwest Research and Information Center’s nuclear-waste program, said New Mexico shouldn’t be the repository for 60
years’ worth of nuclear waste generated on the East Coast.

April 14, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Massachusetts State Presses Pilgrim Nuclear Station Owners On Radiation Standards

State Presses Pilgrim Plant Owners On Radiation Standards, By STEVEN WITHROW , 13 Apr 18

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health submitted a request Tuesday, April 10, to the Entergy Corporation, operator of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, that they reach a specific agreement on cleanup standards related to the decommissioning of the power station, according to a statement from State Senator Viriato M. (Vinny) deMacedo (R-Plymouth).

Specifically, the department has requested that Entergy comply with the commonwealth’s unrestricted release level of residual radioactivity of less than 10 millirems per year for all pathways, the statement said.

 “I want to thank the Department of Public Health for their leaderships on this issue,” the senator said. “As we draw closer to the decommissioning of Pilgrim, it is important that the commonwealth assert its rights and protect its residents in every way possible. Reaching agreement on this release standard is an important first step in making sure our residents are protected after the plant closes.”

Limiting the amount of radiological activity at the site of Pilgrim after decommissioning is completed was identified as one of the priorities of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel, the statement said. The panel was formed by the Legislature to research decommissioning activities at other nuclear power plants and identify ways the commonwealth could protect itself before the plant entered decommissioning.

The panel identified an issue at Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon, Vermont—that the federal standard for radiological release at a former nuclear power plant is currently 25 millirems per year—the statement said. The state of Vermont reached an agreement limiting the site to a radiological dose limit of 15 millirems per year from all pathways combined, with no more than 5 millirems per year from liquid effluents.

“I appreciate the work done by the NDCAP in identifying this issue,” said Sen. deMacedo, who sponsored the language creating the panel. “Pilgrim is situated in an ideal location in our community, and it is important that site be cleaned to the highest possible standard. I look forward to continuing to work to ensure that it is.”

April 14, 2018 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment