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Trump talks tough in preparation for summit with Kim Jong Un

Trump warns that ‘weakness gets you nuclear war’ ahead of Kim Jong Un summit
The president earlier announced the U.S. and North Korea had settled on a time and place for the historic meeting.
Politico, By QUINT FORGEY, 05/04/2018 

President Donald Trump on Friday suggested only a strong commander in chief like himself could avert the possibility of atomic conflict with Kim Jong Un’s regime, saying “being weak is what gets you nuclear war.”

“With respect to North Korea, remember how strong it was and they were saying, ‘This is going to be nuclear war?’” said Trump, raising his voice and waving his hands before a receptive audience at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention in Dallas……..

“The trip is being scheduled. We now have a date. And we have a location. We’ll be announcing it soon,” Trump told reporters assembled on the White House South Lawn. “We’re having very substantive talks with North Korea. And a lot of things have already happened with respect to the hostages. And I think you’re going to see very good things.” https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/04/trump-nuclear-war-kim-jong-un-569167

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May 5, 2018 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Iran’s moderate Rouhani government in danger, if U.S. President Donald Trump scraps Tehran’s nuclear deal

Nuclear deal a challenge for Rouhani as Iran hardliners close in, Parisa Hafezi, ANKARA (Reuters) 4 May 18 – Iran’s hardliners are preparing to bring President Hassan Rouhani to heel if U.S. President Donald Trump scraps Tehran’s nuclear deal with major powers, officials and analysts believe.

Trump has threatened to abrogate the 2015 agreement by not extending sanctions waivers when they expire on May 12, if Britain, France and Germany do not “fix” its “terrible flaws”.

This sets the stage for a resurgence of political infighting within Iran’s complex power structure, Iranian officials said.

Annulment of the accord could tip the balance of power in favor of hardliners looking to constrain the relatively moderate Rouhani’s ability to open up to the West.

While the spotlight is on Trump’s eventual decision there will be a display of unity in Tehran, a senior Iranian official told Reuters, on condition of anonymity.

“But when the crisis is over, hardliners will try to weaken and sideline the president,” the official said.

Nor can the president expect any weakening of Iran’s system of clerical rule as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the nuclear deal, meaning “Rouhani will be in a no-win situation”, said a relative of Khamenei.

For Rouhani the stakes are high. If the deal falls apart, he could become politically vulnerable for promoting the 2015 accord, under which non-nuclear sanctions were lifted in return for Tehran curbing its nuclear program.

“It will also lead to a backlash against the moderates and pro-reformers who backed Rouhani’s detente policy with the West … and any hope for moderation at home in the near future will fizzle out,” said political analyst Hamid Farahvashian.

It is a delicate balance. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei knows that Iranians, many of whom took to the streets earlier this year to protest against high food prices, can only take so much economic pressure.

….. The internal politics will make it difficult, if not impossible, for Rouhani to pursue detente with the West and make concessions in return for economic gains,” said another Iranian government official. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-politics-analysis/nuclear-deal-a-challenge-for-rouhani-as-iran-hardliners-close-in-idUSKBN1I51P0

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Iran, politics | 1 Comment

Israel, Too, Lied About Its Nuclear Capabilities

Yes, Iran Lied About Its Nuclear Capabilities. But So Did Israel

Netanyahu’s arrogant theatricals exposed Israel’s lack of current incriminating evidence on Iran – and Israel’s hypocrisy about its own nuclear capabilities, Haaretz,  Avner Cohen and Ben McIntosh  

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

The world needs to hear, repeatedly, the simple message on urgency of climate change (and of nuclear threat, too)

SELLING THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE , Climate One, 4 May 18, The scientific consensus is that human activity is cooking the planet and disrupting our economies. Yet many people still don’t  believe that climate change will affect them personally. Or they deny that the problem is urgent enough to take action that would disrupt their lifestyles. Why has communicating the facts about climate change to the public been such a challenge?

“Facts don’t work by themselves,” says David Fenton, founder and chairman of Fenton Communications. “Facts only really work when one, they’re embedded in moral narratives.  Secondly, facts don’t work unless they’re embedded in stories. And third, the brain only absorbs messages that are simple and that are repeated.”…….

“Part of my job,” he explains, “is to help scientists speak English and acceptable accurate drama.”

Fenton believes in exploiting the findings of cognitive science to deliver otherwise complex messages. “Only campaigns work,” he stresses, “Only the repetition – I’m repeating myself I know – of simple messages changes public opinion and affects the brain.”

Fenton notes that while it’s hard to be optimistic when you hang out with climate scientists, he remains so because the climate movement has never really tried to reach the general public at a scale similar to a national advertising campaign – let alone the disinformation campaign of the fossil fuel industry…….    Climate One is presented in association with KQED Public Radio.   https://climateone.org/audio/selling-science-climate-change

 

May 5, 2018 Posted by | climate change, media | Leave a comment

Donald Trump reassures National Rifle Association (NRA) that he’s governing on their behalf

We are fighting for you, Trump tells NRhttp://www.news.com.au/world/breaking-news/we-are-fighting-for-you-trump-tells-nra/news-story/ff8f78766f5d8e9917e2ca27ef48c463 4 May 18

Donald Trump has told the NRA convention in Dallas that Second Amendment rights ‘will never, ever be under siege’ as long as he remains in the White House.

Jeff Mason and Daniel Trotta President Donald Trump has enthusiastically embraced the National Rifle Association, vowing not to tighten US firearms laws despite suggesting after a Florida school shooting that he would take on the powerful gun-rights group.

At the NRA’s annual convention in Dallas, Trump called again for arming teachers and increasing school security to head off future mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida in February that killed 17 people. Such measures are supported by the NRA.

With Republican control of Congress up for grabs in November’s midterm elections, Trump used the NRA platform to return to rhetoric he used in 2016 to excite pro-gun voters, warning that Democrats are determined to take away Americans’ guns.

Trump made no mention of gun-control proposals he tentatively floated in the past, such as raising the age limit for buying rifles. The NRA opposes that and other limits on gun sales as a violation of the right to gun ownership under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.

Democratic lawmakers generally support tighter gun laws, but specific proposals that they favour, such as universal background checks and a ban on military-style “assault” rifles, would not alter the Second Amendment.

“Your Second Amendment rights are under siege. But they will never, ever be under siege as long as I’m your president,” Trump told the cheering crowd. “We’ve got to get Republicans elected.

“The one thing that stands between Americans and the elimination of our Second Amendment rights has been conservatives in Congress.

The Parkland massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14 seemed to have marked a turning point in America’s long-running gun debate, sparking a youth-led movement for tighter gun controls.

Days after the shooting, Trump promised action on gun regulation and at a gathering of state officials, he said of the NRA: “We have to fight them every once in a while.”

But since then, no major new federal gun controls have been imposed, although the administration is pursuing a proposed regulatory ban on “bump stocks,” which enable a semi-automatic rifle to fire a steady stream of bullets. The devices were used in an October 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people.

May 5, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Hitachi asks Prim Minister May to provide funding for nuclear power project in Wales

Hitachi requests British PM’s support for nuclear plant construction,  (Mainichi Japan)

Meeting with May at her office in London, Hitachi Chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi requested more support from the British government, including direct investment, the sources said. ……

In 2016, Japan and Britain signed a memorandum of understanding to closely cooperate in the nuclear field, a move that would help Japanese companies build nuclear reactors in Britain.

The memorandum covers four areas — reactor decommissioning and decontamination, research and development, security and construction of new reactors. https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20180504/p2g/00m/0bu/073000c

May 5, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

UK financial grant for research to develop self-learning robots to decommission nuclear waste

Lincoln University 4th May 2018 , Researchers have secured £1.1 million in grant funding to develop
artificial intelligence systems to enable self-learning robots to be
deployed in place of humans to hazardous nuclear sites.

It is estimated that up to £200 billion will be spent on the clean-up and decommissioning
of nuclear waste over the next 100 years.

Now, a team of computer scientists from the University of Lincoln will create machine learning
algorithms to increase capabilities in several crucial areas of nuclear
robotics, including waste handling, cell decommissioning and site
monitoring with mobile robots.

Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) which enables systems to collect data and use
it to inform automated decision-making and make improvements based on
experience without being explicitly programmed.

The Lincoln team will create algorithms for vision-guided robot grasping, manipulation and
cutting, mobile robot navigation, and outdoor mapping and navigation. The
aim is to build systems which can use machine learning to adapt to the
unique conditions of nuclear sites, including locations contaminated by
radiation.

The Lincoln project is part of the National Centre for Nuclear
Robotics (NCNR), a multi-disciplinary EPSRC RAI (Robotics and Artificial
Intelligence) Hub led by the University of Birmingham, and also involves
Queen Mary University of London, the University of West England, University
of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, and Lancaster University.

http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/news/latestnews/

May 5, 2018 Posted by | decommission reactor, technology, UK | Leave a comment

About the International Atomic Energy Agency

The world’s nuclear energy watchdogs: 4 questions answered, The Conversation,  Scott L. Montgomery Lecturer, Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, May 4, 2018 

North Korea has promised to get rid of its nuclear weapons, but how will the world know if it actually follows through?

There is only one international agency in the world that could verify their compliance, the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, North Korea canceled its membership to the organization in 1994. When the IAEA demanded to inspect certain facilities in North Korea, they backed out and eventually expelled all nuclear inspectors in 2009.

Since then, North Korea has remained outside the IAEA’s jurisdiction. While it isn’t clear whether the agency will be called upon if a deal on denuclearization is reached, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano has said the agency is prepared to send a team of inspectors should a diplomatic agreement be reached.

So, with that possibility in mind, let’s look at how the agency operates and all the other nuclear energy challenges it faces beyond North Korea.

1. What is the International Atomic Energy Agency? 

The IAEA was founded in 1957, inspired by U.S. President Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” speech promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. From the beginning, its task has been to spread and monitor the application of nuclear technology for non-military uses and make sure that such technology is not diverted to build weapons.

…..Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, the agency is a membership organization that reports annually to the United Nations, but is independent of it. Member nations must obey its rules and requirements in order to receive the knowledge and technology it provides.

Currently, 169 countries are members.

2. What are the agency’s main responsibilities?

The agency is best known for its work in two areas. The first is nuclear safety: protecting people and the environment from harmful radiation. The second is nuclear security, which focuses on preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, including threats of nuclear terrorism.

This watchdog role requires determining whether any member country might be developing nuclear weapons – specifically nations that have signed international treaties. For example, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the world’s most important legally binding agreement for preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. At present, a total of 191 states have joined the treaty. Three nuclear weapons states – Israel, India and Pakistan – have not signed and North Korea withdrew from it in 2003.

The IAEA evaluates compliance with other treaties including those governing nuclear free zones and important safeguard agreements with as many as 181 nations……..

3. How does the agency verify how nuclear material is being used?

Among the more than 2,500 people who staff the IAEA, only about 385 are inspectors. They come from 80 nations and mainly hold backgrounds in physics, chemistry and engineering.

Routine inspections involve verifying whether a member’s report about its nuclear facilities and material is accurate. Depending on the size of the facility, this might take a few hours for one or two people or two weeks for 10 inspectors. They do this in a number of ways, including the collecting of samples of nuclear material, measuring levels of radioactivity, checking plans and blueprints against actual construction, and interviewing officials, engineers and others involved in nuclear work.

Over time, the agency has had to make changes in its inspection processes. For example, before 1997, inspectors were limited to examining only facilities that member states had declared. After discovering that Iraq had lied about the true extent of its nuclear program, the IAEA board of governors approved a protocol to allow inspectors to access undeclared sites that might be involved in nuclear work.

Inspectors have also found themselves in the line of political fire. For example, between 2002 and 2003, the Bush administration wanted evidence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had an active nuclear weapons program. U.S. attempts to pressure the agency did not alter IAEA findings that such evidence could not be found.

Similarly, the agency has stood its ground in favor of the Iran nuclear deal and Iran’s compliance in the face of President Trump’s continued criticism of the agreement.

4. What are the main challenges facing the agency?

There are myriad challenges facing the IAEA.

Expanding demands on the agency have come from developing nations with growing economies such as Thailand and Chile that want to use nuclear science in medicine, agriculture and industry. Growth of nuclear power into new areas of the world is bringing concern about the development of weapons and terrorist groups acquiring nuclear material.

North Korea, whose weapons program may or may not be halted by talks with the U.S., has plutonium and uranium that could be sold without international approval or safeguards.

Then there is the Trump administration’s threat to abandon the Iran nuclear deal, a move that would dismiss years of effort by the IAEA to head off an arms race in the region. At the same time, any future need to verify that Iran is not building a weapon would almost certainly rely on IAEA inspectors. Similarly, it seems likely that a deal between the U.S. and North Korea would require the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to rejoin the agency and have any denuclearization efforts confirmed by it as well.

Such realities only heighten the importance of the IAEA. …….https://theconversation.com/the-worlds-nuclear-energy-watchdogs-4-questions-answered-93690

May 5, 2018 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, Reference | Leave a comment

The nuclear weapons that USA lost in the 1950s and 60s

The US Has Lost Six Nuclear Weapons. So Where The Hell Are They? http://www.iflscience.com/technology/the-us-has-lost-six-nuclear-weapons-so-where-the-hell-are-they/ Tom Hale, 4 May 18  Keys, phones, headphones, socks, thermonuclear weapons – some things just always seem to go missing. Believe it or not,

the US has lost at least six atomic bombs or weapons-grade nuclear material since the Cold War.

Not only that, but the US is responsible for at least 32 documented instances of a nuclear weapons accident, known as a “Broken Arrow” in military lingo. These atomic-grade mishaps can involve an accidental launching or detonation, theft, or loss – yep loss – of a nuclear weapon.

February 13, 1950

The first of these unlikely instances occurred in 1950, less than five years after the first atomic bomb was detonated. In a mock nuclear strike against the Soviet Union, a US B-36 bomber en route from Alaska to Texas began to experience engine trouble. An icy landing and stuttering engine  meant the landing was going to be near-impossible, so the crew jettisoned the plane’s Mark 4 nuclear bomb over the Pacific. The crew witnessed a flash, a bang, and a sound wave.

The military claim the mock-up bomb was filled with “just” uranium and TNT but no plutonium, so it wasn’t capable of a nuclear explosion. Nevertheless, the uranium has never been recovered.

March 10, 1956

On March 10, a Boeing B-47 Stratojet set off from MacDill Air Force Base Florida for a non-stop flight to Morocco with “two nuclear capsules” onboard. The jet was scheduled for its second mid-flight refueling over the Mediterranean Sea, but it never made contact. No trace of the jet or the nuclear material was ever found again.

February 5, 1958

In the early hours of February 5, 1958, a B-47 bomber with a 3,400-kilogram (7,500-pound) Mark 15 nuclear bomb on board accidentally collided with an F-86 aircraft during a simulated combat mission. The battered and bruised bomber attempted to land numerous times, but to no avail. Eventually, they made the decision to jettison the bomb into the mouth of the Savannah River near Savannah, Georgia, to make the landing possible. Luckily for them, the plane successfully landed and the bomb did not detonate. However, it has remained “irretrievably lost” to this day.

January 24, 1961

On January 24, 1961, the wing of a B-52 bomber split apart while on an alert mission above Goldsboro, North Carolina. Onboard were two 24-megaton nuclear bombs. One of these successfully deployed its emergency parachute, while the other fell and crashed to the ground. It’s believed the unexploded bomb smashed into farmland around the town, but it has never been recovered. In 2012, North Carolina put up a sign near the supposed crash site to commemorate the incident.

December 5, 1965

An A-4E Skyhawk aircraft loaded with a nuclear weapon rolled off the back off an aircraft carrier, USS Ticonderoga, stationed in the Philippine Sea near Japan. The plane, pilot, and nuclear bomb have never been found.

In 1989, the US eventually admitted their bomb was still laying in the seabed around 128 kilometers (80 miles) from a small Japanese island. Needless to say, the Japanese government and environmental groups were pretty pissed about it.

?, 1968

At some point during the Spring of 1968, the US military lost some kind of nuclear weapon. The Pentagon still keeps information about the incident tightly under wraps. However, some have speculated that the incident refers to the nuclear-powered Scorpion submarine. In May 1968, the attack submarine went missing along with its 99-strong crew in the Atlantic Ocean after being sent on a secret mission to spy on the Soviet navy. This, however, remains conjecture.

May 5, 2018 Posted by | history, Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The strategies for secrecy in America’s Manhattan nuclear bomb project

How the Manhattan Project’s Nuclear Suburb Stayed Secret, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, once home to 75,000, went up fast and under the radar. But it was built to last, too. Atlas Obscura ,  , MAY 03, 2018  “…… Oak Ridge isn’t like most of the country’s other suburbs. The town was conceived and built by the United States government in the early 1940s as base for uranium and plutonium work, as part of the Manhattan Project. As the nuclear effort marched along, the town grew, too. By 1945, a dense suburb had taken shape, home to roughly 75,000 people. At war’s end, Oak Ridge was the fifth-largest city in the state—and all along, it was supposed to be a secret.

May 5, 2018 Posted by | history, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Coalition of diverse groups call on Governor to veto New Jersey nuclear subsidy bailout

Murphy asked to conditionally veto nuclear bailout bill, Press of Atlantic City MICHELLE BRUNETTI POST Staff Writer 4 May 18

A coalition of business, consumer, labor and environmental groups have asked Gov. Phil Murphy to conditionally veto the nuclear subsidy bill that passed the New Jersey legislature last month.

The bill, which passed both houses of the Legislature and now sits on the governor’s desk, gives the Board of Public Utilities a set amount of time to examine the finances of the owners of nuclear power plants in the state. If the owners can show subsidies are needed to keep the plants open, they will receive $300 million a year from ratepayers.

Public Service Enterprise Group, which owns the Salem and Hope Creek nuclear power plants in Salem County, has said the plants will soon become unprofitable because of competition from cheaper natural gas plants.

The groups said S2313 “fails to strike a proper balance between utility consumers and the nuclear power industry, fails to protect New Jersey’s economy from unfair competition, is counter to the principles of open and transparent government and will compromise New Jersey’s clean energy future,” in a May 2 letter to the governor.

………The amount of subsidy is set in the legislation, and critics have questioned how lawmakers can know what level of subsidy is needed when they don’t have documentation of the companies’ financial status.

Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station in Lacey Township, owned by Exelon Corp., is the oldest operating nuclear plant in the country and is set to permanently close in October.

The state’s remaining two nuclear power plants in operation are in Salem County and owned by Public Service Enterprise Group, the parent company of Public Service Gas & Electric. One is co-owned by Exelon.

The groups that signed the letter opposing the subsidies are AARP New Jersey, NJ Working Families Alliance, Health Professionals & Allied Employees, New Jersey Large Energy Users Coalition, NJ Citizen Action, the Main Street Alliance, Blue Wave NJ, NJ Policy Perspective, GreenFaith, Clean Water Action, Environment New Jersey, NJ Sierra Club, Koubiadis Anti-Poverty Network, UU Faith Action, Banking on New Jersey and the Chemistry Council of New Jersey.

  • They oppose the bill as written because the plant owners have not proven subsidies are needed and the amounts were “established behind closed doors by the interested parties and without ratepayer participation,” the letter said.

    They want these changes in the legislation:

    • Require nuclear power corporations to satisfy a burden of proof of financial distress rather than allowing considerations of “cost of capital,” “market risk” and assumed minimum returns on equity to determine whether a bailout is appropriate.

    • Guarantee the full inclusion and participation of the state Division of Rate Counsel to protect ratepayers and avoid setting an anti-consumer precedent.

    • Establish a process for an annual financial review, with ratepayer refunds as needed, of each nuclear plant receiving subsidies. S2013 could provide windfall profits to PSEG over a 10-year period or longer.

    • Require a ten-year sunset provision similar to the ones includes in both the New York and Illinois Zero Emission Credit programs.

    • Deduct from the subsidy any payments the plants may receive from PJM, FERC, DOE, RGGI or other entities for fuel diversity, baseload, reliability value or other things. S2313 does not ensure such deductions will be made.

    • Credit back to ratepayers any financial gain to the plants or increases in market prices due to the pricing of carbon that result from the state rejoining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

    • Include clawback provisions to protect consumers. The subsidies should not be irrevocable as the bill provides.

    • Ensure that no state-funded subsidies are paid to out-of-state nuclear facilities owned by PSEG or Exelon, such as the Peach Bottom, Limerick or Three Mile Island facilities.

    • Protect workers against layoffs or contractors being brought in to replace them through the life of the subsidy. http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/breaking/murphy-asked-to-conditionally-veto-nuclear-bailout-bill/article_79f90135-1693-5270-9749-71ce7eab9737.html

May 5, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Duke Energy’s Levy County nuclear licenses ended by regulators: Duke will switch to solar

Regulators terminate Duke Energy’s Levy County nuclear licenses, Malena Carollo, Tampa Bay Times staff writer, 4 May 18

ST. PETERSBURG — Regulators have finally closed the books on the Levy County nuclear project that never was. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission terminated Duke Energy Florida’s licenses last week for the proposed nuclear reactors at the utility’s request — more than a decade after the project was first proposed.

“Southern Alliance for Clean Energy applauds Duke Energy Florida for formally terminating the licenses for the Levy site,” said Sara Barczak, regional advocacy director for the alliance, in a statement.

The action comes nine months after Duke announced it would no longer make customers pay for the nuclear facility. Duke customers had already paid $800 million on the plant that was never built. The St. Petersburg utility decided to shoulder the remaining $150 million for the project instead of passing it on to customers, saving rate payers about $2.50 on their monthly bills.

Instead of nuclear, the utility will turn its focus to solar and natural gas

We anticipate an increase in solar energy in Florida and have included plans for the addition of over 700 megawatts of solar capacity in the next 10 years,” Ana Gibbs, spokesperson for Duke, said in an email. …..Progress Energy had asked customers to pay up front for the facility, promising the plant would reduce energy costs down the line. But after nearly $1 billion was sunk into the nuclear project, it was never built. In 2013, the venture was canned.

The site where the nuclear plant was supposed to be built is now approved for “unrestricted use.”http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/energy/Regulators-terminate-Duke-Energy-s-Levy-County-nuclear-licenses_167941619

 

May 5, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Israel’s nuclear weapons

Welcome to Israeli Nuclear Weapons 101 The National Interest,  Daniel R. DePetris,  September 20, 2015

1.    The Number is in Doubt:

While everyone believes that the Israelis possess a sizable nuclear arsenal, no one really knows how big that arsenal is.  In 2008, President Jimmy Carterestimated that Israel probably had a minimum of 150 weapons in stock ready to use if the most dire circumstances warrant.  Six years later, the former President revised that estimate and put the figure in the 300 range, which—based on Carter’s calculations—would mean that Israel doubled its arsenal from the 2008-2014 time-period.  Iranian foreign minister Mohammad JavadZarif told reporters at the United Nations at the height of the P5+1-Iran nuclear talks that Israel is “sitting on 400 nuclear warheads.”  The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists believes Zarif’s figure is far too large and unrealistic given the fact that Israel’s weapons are designed for deterrence purposes rather than actual hire-trigger use.  A better figure, the board writes, is “sixty-five to eighty-five warheads” as cited in a Rand Corporation study.

To put it bluntly, the world doesn’t have a clue about how many nukes Israel possesses.  And that’s precisely the point for the Israelis: the guessing game swirling over the proliferation community keeps Israel’s enemies in the region on their toes.

2.  Israel Fooled the U.S. to Get Its Program Off the Ground:

The Iranian Government has been caught building enrichment facilities by western intelligence agencies twice before.  In 2002, a dissident Iranian group provided information to the United States pointing to a large-scale enrichment facility at Natanz.  In 2009, U.S. and European intelligence uncovered another enrichment facility at Fordow buried deep into a mountain.  But Iran isn’t the only country that has deliberately deceived the United States and the international community in order to provide time for a full-on nuclear program; the Israelis, as Walter Pincus wrote in a Washington Post storyearlier this year, “blazed [the] trail decades ago.”

In the 1950s and early 1960s, the Israeli Government repeatedly stonewalled U.S. requests for information on possible weapons development and at times purposely lied to their U.S. allies in the hope of giving the nuclear program more room to breath.  In 1960, Israel referred to its Dimona reactor both as a “textile plant” and as a “metallurgic research installation” to the U.S. State Department.  Foreign minister Shimon Peres assured President John F. Kennedy in a 1963 meeting in the Oval Office that Israel would “not introduce nuclear weapons to the region.”

President Kennedy was so concerned about a possible Israeli nuclear weapons program that he demanded Israel admit American inspectors into Dimona to snoop around.  The Israelis agreed to those requests, but made sure that those visits would not lead to anything incriminating: U.S. inspectors, according to a long-read investigative report in The Guardian, were not permitted to bring their own equipment or collect samples at the site.

3.    Why Israel Wanted a Bomb in The First Place:….

4.    The World Has Long Wanted Israel to Join the NPT:

Ever since 1995, when signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty officially called for the “establishment by regional parties of a Middle East zone free of weapons of nuclear and all other related weapons of mass destruction,” the United Nations has attempted to convince Israel that signing the NPT and allowing IAEA inspectors into its facilities is the best way to accomplish that objective.  Israel, however, has refused to grant those requests and has long argued that Israel’s nuclear weapons program (which the country continues to neither confirm nor deny) is not nearly the biggest threat to the Middle East’s security.

This hasn’t stopped parties to the NPT and the U.N. General Assembly from pressing the point and trying to force compliance. ……http://nationalinterest.org/feature/welcome-israeli-nuclear-weapons-101-13882 

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Israel, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

Chairman of nuclear panel adamantly opposed’ to Yucca Mountain as waste dump

Nuclear panel chair: ‘I remain adamantly opposed’ to Yucca Mountain  Las Vegas Sun, By Sun Staff (contact) May 3, 2018

The chairman of the state interim legislative Committee on High-Level Radioactive Waste says he’ll continue to support a 2017 legislative resolution stating opposition to the proposed national nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

“I remain adamantly opposed to the development of Yucca Mountain as a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, as well as the storage or disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste anywhere in the state of Nevada,” the chairman, Assemblyman Edgar Flores, D-Las Vegas, said in a statement. “I will continue to monitor the actions taken on the federal level to ensure that Nevadans’ voices are heard.” …..

Funding for the project was cut off during the Obama administration, but President Donald Trump signaled support for restarting the licensing process by including funding for it in his proposed budget last year. Congress rejected the funding, opting not to include it in the omnibus spending bill, so the project remains in limbo. However, opponents remain concerned that Trump and congressional delegates from other states that support Yucca Mountain will continue trying to revive it. https://lasvegassun.com/news/2018/may/03/nuclear-panel-chair-i-remain-adamantly-opposed-to/

 

May 5, 2018 Posted by | politics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Congress may vote to resume Yucca Mountain licensing process

Vote likely next week on bill to resume Yucca Mountain licensing process , By Gary Martin May 4, 2018, PAHRUMP — Legislation that would allow the Department of Energy to resume its license application process to store nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain could see a House vote this week — a prospect that was met Thursday with mixed reaction in Nevada.

A bill approved last year by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to jump-start the licensing process is being reviewed by the Rules Committee, and the legislation will move to the floor next week when Congress returns from a weeklong recess.

The legislation would streamline the process to open Yucca Mountain to store nuclear waste and address the stockpile of spent fuel being stored at power plants across the country……..

The legislation authorizes spending to restart the licensing process. The Senate blocked the spending last year.

Federal plans to store spent fuel rods and other nuclear waste have been met with stiff opposition in Nevada from most elected officials, except those from rural counties, including Nye County, where Yucca Mountain is located……

Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, has vowed to spend millions in state money to stop the nuclear repository from opening. He is backed by most lawmakers in the state’s congressional delegation.

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., said nothing has changed since the delegation testified against the bill last year.

“Bringing this legislation to the floor is nothing more than a show for the nuclear industry and its campaign cash recipients in Congress,” Titus said.

Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., has filed legislation that would prohibit the DOE from taking any action to license Yucca Mountain as a nuclear repository until the federal government studies alternative uses for the Nevada site.

……..Sens. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., have worked through the committee process to halt licensing of Yucca Mountain.

 Heller specifically asked Senate appropriators not to include funding for licensing sought by the Trump administration and the House…….https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/nevada/vote-likely-next-week-on-bill-to-resume-yucca-mountain-licensing-process/

May 5, 2018 Posted by | politics, wastes | Leave a comment