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French and German anti nuclear campaigners block uranium transport

Reporterre 1st Sept 2018  [Machine Translation] Since the morning of Saturday, September 1, several anti-nuclear Franco-German militants block a uranium transport.

They climbed a bridge 140 m high near Koblenz, Germany, blocking the railway on the Moselle, informs us the group Contratom Deutschland. The blocked train carries ” Yellow Cake ” from Namibia ; it left Hamburg on Thursday for the Orano uranium conversion plant in Narbonne Malvesi, in the south of France.
In Narbonne, uranium is transformed into UF4 and then used, after several transformations and enrichment, in nuclear power plants around the world. According to Orano, the Narbonne plant processes 25% of the world’s uranium.

“If we want to get out of the nuclear industry, ” says Cécile, a French climber living in Germany who takes part in the action, ” we must stop these transports and prevent them from reaching the Orano factory in
Narbonne Malvési, the gateway to European nuclear energy.

Germany, a net exporter of electricity, unlike political discourse, does not come out quite nuclear. The transports supplying the nuclear facilities continue and the Framatome Nuclear Fuel Plant in Lingen (Lower Saxony) and Urenco’s uranium enrichment plant in Gronau (North Westphalia) continue to operate. That’s why we want to stop nuclear transport. ”

https://reporterre.net/Un-train-d-uranium-a-destination-de-Narbonne-bloque-en-Allemagne

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Germany, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Westinghouse nuclear fuel factory – more leaks discovered

More leaks discovered at troubled SC nuclear fuel factory; feds investigating, The State.com BY SAMMY FRETWELL, sfretwell@thestate.com  August 31, 2018 HOPKINS 

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission will take a closer look at a troubled nuclear fuel factory on Bluff Road as information surfaces about leaks that date back at least a decade, federal officials said.

NRC officials said they have learned about leaks from 2008 that were not reported to the agency by Westinghouse, the owner and operator of the 49-year-old atomic fuel assembly plant. The NRC said it should have been told about the pollution leaks, even though notice was not always legally required.

To learn more, the NRC will reopen an environmental study of whether the Westinghouse facility poses a danger to Richland County if the company receives a new operating license, agency officials said at a community meeting Thursday night in Hopkins.

Westinghouse is seeking a 40-year license, but the NRC must satisfy federal concerns before the agency can make a decision on the Westinghouse request. The NRC completed an environmental study in June that said the plant does not pose a major hazard to the surrounding environment, even though the facility has had past problems.

“We are going to be asking for additional information from Westinghouse on the various leaks,’’ said Brian Smith, a deputy director for safety and environment at the NRC’s Maryland headquarters.

After the meeting, Smith told The State the decision to reopen the environmental study “was based on new information,’’ including leaks tied to a 2011 uranium spill beneath the plant. The NRC has said it did not know about the 2011 uranium spill until the fall of 2017.
Now, it has learned of pipe breaks in the same area beneath the plant that occurred in 2008, said Smith and Tom Vukovinsky, a senior fuel facility inspector with the NRC in Atlanta. Westinghouse disclosed this information to the NRC amid growing questions about the 2011 leak, officials said.

“They identified a couple of previous leaks,’’ Smith said. “Westinghouse, in responding to all the recent events, has started going back through their records and made us aware of this.’’

The 2008 pollution leaks are the third to surface publicly this summer. In July, the NRC learned that uranium drained through a hole in the floor of the plant building. The NRC’s environmental report in June mentioned the 2011 uranium leak that had not been reported. In examining the circumstances surrounding the 2011 spill, leaks from 2008 were discovered, according to the NRC.

A consultant’s letter, obtained Friday by The State, indicates that a broken pipe spilled radioactive material into the soil in 2008. The letter said Westinghouse found “elevated radionuclide concentration’’ in both process wastewater from the plant and the soil. The company then fixed the pipe, the letter said. Three years later, contamination was found in the soil after Westinghouse discovered pipes were “highly corroded,’’ according to the May 31 letter from consultant AECOM to DHEC.

Uranium is a radioactive material used in the production of nuclear fuel. People exposed to significant amounts of uranium can suffer kidney damage or other ailments. A key unanswered question about all the spills is how much leaked into the ground.
The NRC’s decision to reopen the environmental study is significant because it delays an agency decision on whether to grant the new license, which would keep the plant operating another 40 years. Depending on what the agency learns about leaks, the NRC could shorten the time the license is good for or take enforcement action against Westinghouse.

Thursday’s announcement was welcome news to many in the crowd gathered at a county building adjacent to Lower Richland High School………..

The plant, however, has had plenty of troubles through the years. It has had dozens of run-ins with the NRC over nuclear safety issues and has polluted groundwater on the site. Some of the groundwater pollution has existed since the 1980s. Efforts to clean up groundwater have not succeeded in ridding the site of contamination. …….

Citizens have since formed their own committee to monitor Westinghouse. The area near the site is composed of a mixture of modest homes and exclusive hunt clubs. The site is on Bluff Road between Congaree National Park and Interstate 77, just outside Columbia. https://www.thestate.com/latest-news/article217622890.html

September 3, 2018 Posted by | incidents, USA | Leave a comment

USA negotiations with North Korea may be on the verge of breakdown

The current US negotiating strategy with North Korea is doomed, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Perry World House, August 30, 2018 US negotiations with North Korea over the latter’s nuclear weapons program appear to have hit a major roadblock. While North Korea has temporarily suspended nuclear and missile testing and partially destroyed its nuclear test site, both steps are reversible, and North Korea has largely balked at US President Donald Trump’s demand for “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.” Consequently, negotiations with Pyongyang may be on the verge of breakdown. Trump recently cancelled his secretary of state’s planned trip to the country, and the administration has gone back and forth in the last few days about whether Washington will continue to suspend joint military exercises with South Korea, a concession Trump made to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their historic summit in June. Given this critical juncture in negotiations, it is time to reevaluate what talks can actually achieve. It would be great if Kim agreed to hand over all of his nuclear weapons, but the reality is that North Korea will not be completely, verifiably, or irreversibly denuclearizing anytime soon. Therefore, if the Trump Administration wants to salvage the negotiations, it needs a new strategy.

Why North Korea won’t denuclearize. The first step to a successful negotiating strategy is understanding how your opponent thinks. So why does North Korea want nuclear weapons in the first place? For the same reason Israel, France, India, and others wanted them—security. Specifically, security against the United States.

North Korea’s murderous dictator has good reason to worry about an American intervention to overthrow his regime. First of all, the United States is much more powerful than North Korea. While the size of North Korea’s entire economy is about $40 billion at most, America spends over $700 billion on its military alone. Second, this fact, combined with Washington’s long history of military interventions, is enough to make any despot shake in his shoes. Finally, the specific history between the United States and North Korea is not reassuring to Kim. The two countries fought against each other in the Korean War, President George W. Bush branded North Korea part of the “axis of evil,” and Trump threatened Pyongyang with “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

Like many relatively weak countries facing a threat, North Korea turned towards nuclear weapons not because its leader is crazy, but to deter a stronger power. By threatening to punish the United States and its allies with a nuclear response if it is attacked, North Korea is able to effectively dissuade Washington from such attempts. Since Kim’s top priority, like most autocrats, is regime security, he will only give up the protection of his nuclear weapons if he is very confident that he can retain his power without them. Though Trump committed to guaranteeing North Korea’s security in the Singapore Declaration, a number of recent historical episodes will make it difficult to convince Kim he can remain safe if he surrenders all his nuclear weapons.

One example involves Libya. In 2003, Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi agreed to give up his nascent nuclear weapons program and permit international inspections. In return, US President George W. Bush promised that Libya could “regain a secure and respected place” among nations. However, just eight years later, in 2011, the United States led a NATO military intervention in Libya that resulted in the brutal killing of Gaddafi. In recent months John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, has repeatedly said that Washington has the “Libya model” in mind for North Korea, probably the least reassuring example that could be communicated to Kim.

A second leader who did not do well after suspending his nuclear weapons program was Iraq’s Saddam Hussein. While states that possess nuclear weapons can almost always effectively deter military intervention, states that do not, like Iraq in 2003, are vulnerable. In a fate not much better than Gaddafi’s, Saddam was removed from power by an American military intervention in 2003 and ultimately hung in 2006…….

Trump personally undermined American negotiating credibility in two ways; one indirect and one direct. Indirectly, he hurt Washington’s credibility by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, even though, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Iran was complying with its terms. The Trump Administration has now moved to severely punish Iran for its compliance by instituting tough sanctions………..

Given this record, North Korea is very unlikely to agree to fully denuclearize in the short or medium-term, and demanding that it do so is only likely to lead to negotiation failure. To make real progress on this issue, the White House will need to take a different tack.

What Washington’s strategy should be. The Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck said, “politics is the art of the possible, the attainable.” If North Korea will not be handing over its entire nuclear stockpile anytime soon, what possible, attainable options might curtail the threat? The most extreme option, of course, would be to launch a massive military attack against North Korea in an effort to destroy all of its nuclear weapons and infrastructure—the “fire and fury” Trump threatened. However, such an operation would be reckless to the point of insanity. North Korea has the ability to deliver nuclear missiles to South Korea, Japan, and American military bases in the Pacific. If even one or a handful of nuclear missiles survived an American first strike, hundreds of thousands could die beyond those killed in the initial US attack. Furthermore, even if the United States could reliably locate and destroy all of North Korea’s nuclear weapons in a first strike, Pyongyang would still be able to inflict tens of thousands of casualties daily using conventional and chemical weapons. Given that there is no imminent threat from North Korea’s nuclear program, a preventive war of this type would be nonsensical.

The most sensible option to address the nuclear threat from North Korea would be to pursue an approach dubbed “less for less” by nuclear scholar James Acton. Rather than demanding total denuclearization, the United States should seek a smaller-scale deal that puts significant restrictions on North Korea’s nuclear program in return for moderate sanctions relief and other limited concessions. ……….

Though the prospect of living with a nuclear-armed North Korea for the foreseeable future may seem unacceptable, the world has survived with a nuclear-armed Russia for the last 69 years, China for the last 54 years, Pakistan for the last 20 years, and, yes, North Korea for the last 12 years. Just as North Korea’s nuclear weapons have effectively deterred the United States from a major military intervention, America’s vastly superior nuclear arsenal and conventional capabilities will almost certainly deter North Korea.

This column was written by Joshua A. Schwartz, a PhD candidate in political science at the University of Pennsylvania. https://thebulletin.org/2018/08/the-current-us-negotiating-strategy-with-north-korea-is-doomed/?utm_source=Bulletin%20Newsletter&utm_medium=iContact%20email&utm_campaign=August31

September 3, 2018 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Will we do anything to protect our children and grandchildren from uncontrolled climate change?

Uncontrolled climate change could result in disaster for our kids. Will we do something?

USA Today, Mike Hoffmann,    Aug. 31, 2018
 Would you put your child or grandchild on a plane that has a one chance in 20 of a disastrous crash?

It’s hard imagining anyone doing that, but it is essentially what we are doing to our kids and grandkids by not raising our voices about climate change and the 1-in-20 chance that disaster lies ahead for them. It is bad enough that we are likely on the path to exceed the 3.6 degree Fahrenheit goal stated in the Paris Agreement, which will result in dire consequences such as increasing droughts and wildfires and inundation of low lying coastal areas because of sea level rise.

If we continue on that path without taking the necessary actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, there is a 5 percent chance of catastrophic consequences — even an existential threat to humanity by mid-century, according to experts at the Scripps Institute.

We can see the change is happening

We all take chances, but few would board a plane with a 5 percent chance of crashing. In reality, air travel is incredibly safe because we trust those who design, build and test aircraft and manage the flow of thousands of flights a day.

A lot of engineering and science has made aircraft and air travel safe. The same holds for the science behind climate change — a lot of smart and dedicated people who have their own children and grandchildren, working hard to understand what is happening now and what the future holds, and find solutions.

Think of one person who is much younger than you whom you care deeply about — a son, daughter, grandchild, sibling, niece, nephew — and whisper their name and put them on that plane and watch them take off on their journey. Then consider what their future holds given what is happening all around us — it’s getting warmer, large wild fires are more frequent in California, it’s getting too hot to fly planes out of Phoenix, there are more downpours hitting New York City and Boston, and Alaska is melting. And then consider what that younger person’s life journey looks like in a changing climate: It’s not going to get better. By attaching the name of someone you care about, it becomes personal and for many, strikes home.

We care about our kids and grandkids. In the USA, there are an estimated 49 million children under the age of 12, and more than 70 million who are under 18. They can’t vote, and few contribute to political causes or participate in political debates. They don’t have a lot of power, although they are gaining ground on their own in the courts. They are depending on us to ensure a safe and prosperous future, like that air traffic controller who is keeping your loved one safe, but let’s take a look at what lies ahead for them. Ask yourself, what course, what flight plan, are we setting for their future?

Our kids face the consequences of our choices

Let’s fast-forward to the year 2048, when today’s under-12 crowd will be in their early 30s and 40s. Most of them will be settled into careers, with young families, and relatively secure — or maybe not. It all depends on the path we choose to take now…………

So today, those who won’t accept the truth about climate change are messing with our children and grandchildren — their life journey. For the vast majority who do believe we face a grand challenge, raise your voice, get involved, and whisper that name again. It’s personal, very personal. What will they say about us in 2048? Did we try?

Mike Hoffmann is executive director of the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions, faculty fellow at Cornell University’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, and a professor in the Department of Entomology. See also his TEDx Talk, Climate Change: It’s time to raise our voices

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to letters@usatoday.com.  

September 3, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Bangkok Climate Talks: time to deliver on Paris rulebook — RenewEconomy

New round of UN climate talks in Bangkok this week will focus on politically and technically complex issues of creating a “rule-book” for the Paris climate treaty. The post Bangkok Climate Talks: time to deliver on Paris rulebook appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Bangkok Climate Talks: time to deliver on Paris rulebook — RenewEconomy

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

More Cumbria fudge — daryanenergyblog

Before breaking up for their summer, the government revealed how it planned to complete its search for a suitable site at which to store the UK’s nuclear waste. They could put it anywhere, under the sink, behind the dresser….under the lake district national park (where they’ve always wanted to put it, but long denied this […]

via More Cumbria fudge — daryanenergyblog

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Will These Lords Leap to Cumbria’s Defence? Will They Shout About the “Implementation” of Geological Dumping of Nuclear Wastes. —

On the 6th September the House of Lords will be debating the Government’s cunning plan to implement Geological Disposal of Nuclear Wastes. Radiation Free Lakeland have sent a letter to all of the Cumbrian Lords to urge them to tear up this policy which seeks to force a geological nuclear dump on Cumbria and instead […]

via Will These Lords Leap to Cumbria’s Defence? Will They Shout About the “Implementation” of Geological Dumping of Nuclear Wastes. —

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The woman who tore up the curtain of silence — Beyond Nuclear International

Darlene Keju brought the truth about US atomic tests to her fellow Marshall Islanders

via The woman who tore up the curtain of silence — Beyond Nuclear International

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

An A-Z against nuclear power — Beyond Nuclear International

The uranium fuel chain explained

via An A-Z against nuclear power — Beyond Nuclear International

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

News media keep the lies going on the “harmlessness” of ionising radiation

Ken Raskin, 3 Sept 18, I see at enenews the code (code  and the other trolls) continue to keep the health physics and background radiation, harbingers and lies going.
It is all such nonsense. If you breathe or ingest any radionuclides, you might be screwed.  If a nuclear- radiation, detector is going off, there is too much radionuclides in the soil and it is getting in the air.

It only takes 100 billionths of a gram of cesium 137 or radioactive iodine to biocummulate and kill u.  They are teratogenic.

Fukushima spewed hundreds of tons of uranium, plutonium, and radioactice isotopes like cesium 137 into the environment. A fuel pool caught fire too. Cobalt 60, cesium134/137, strontium 90, plutonium and many more of the worst radionuclides are omnipresent in northern Japanese soil, water, food air.  Typical health physics nonsense. It is used as misinformation, lies, propaganda to distract from the real problem: any radionuclides in the environment.

The k40 obsession is misdirection too. It shows the psyops nature of the arguments and meme generating propaganda. Inet has a lot of manipulative mind-games.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Japan might sue journalist over his coverage of Fukushima, in Dark Tourist series

Japanese authorities mulling legal action over Kiwi journalist David Farrier’s Fukushima coverage in Dark Tourist series, https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/entertainment/japanese-authorities-mulling-legal-action-over-kiwi-journalist-david-farriers-fukushima-coverage-in-dark-tourist-series  Kiwi journalist David Farrier has come to the attention of authorities in Japan a segment of his Netflix series Dark Tourist, filmed in Fukushima.

The Fukushima Prefectural Government and the Reconstruction Agency are looking to take legal action over the video over concerns it will stoke “unreasonable” fears of radiation in the Fukushima Prefecture, the Japan Times reports.

A senior official from the prefecture said they were “examining the video content”.

In the episode, Farrier is filmed taking a tour of areas affected by the 2011 meltdown of a nuclear plant in Fukushima where he suspects a meal served from a restaurant in Namie, a town in Fukushima Prefecture, has been contaminated by radiation.

It also shows the journalist enter a no-go zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant without permission from authorities, reporting from an abandoned game arcade, and tourists on a bus becoming distressed over rising radiation levels without information about the vehicle’s location.

The show has the journalist travel to different locations around the world associated with grim historical events, including the footsteps of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Milwaukee, and voodoo rituals in Benin, West Africa.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | civil liberties, culture and arts, Japan, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

Scientists in the Arctic, monitoring weather

What’s happening to our weather? The answers are hiding in Arctic air, Guardian,  Helen Czerski, 1 Sept 18, Dozens of scientists, Helen Czerski among them, are at work in the Arctic, seeking answers to questions that profoundly affect the future of everyone on the planet …….. For two months, the Swedish icebreaker Oden is home to 74 of us, living and working at the top of the world to tap into the stories that the blue and the white have to tell.


…….on this trip, the desire to go one step further is merged with self-preservation. The Arctic may be a long way from most of us, but what happens here matters to all of us. The weather up here is intimately connected to the patterns of weather further south, particularly the jet stream that feeds endless British conversations about the weather. As the sea ice melts, shipping routes are opening up across the Arctic, bringing questions about regulation and control over this previously inaccessible region. And this is an important area for many species, providing summer feeding grounds for visitors from the south. The Arctic may be a long way away, but it is woven into all our lives.
This scientific expedition was funded by the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat and the American National Science Foundation to answer a specific question: how does the ocean affect the weather in the high Arctic? It’s thought that material produced by life beneath the ice reaches and influences the clouds, but how does that happen and when?

Answers to those questions are essential to improve the weather forecasts for this region, and to allow us to predict the effects of the substantial changes in temperature and sea ice that have been observed.

Sea ice doesn’t just matter for its own sake. It has a strong influence on both the ocean and atmosphere, and the consequences tweak our planet’s energy budget. The solar energy that flows into the Earth system is mostly absorbed in the tropics, transported northwards by the atmosphere and ocean, and eventually re-emitted into space as infra-red radiation.

The Arctic balance sheet controls the final part of that process, and the keys to the energy flow through this vast icy wilderness are held by the clouds. Oden is a tiny speck in the white, drifting with the sea ice only a few miles from the north pole, perfectly positioned between the clouds and the ocean to watch and sample and learn………

Understanding this environment is slow work, but the need is urgent. This region is already changing very rapidly, and we cannot understand the importance of a change if we don’t understand the starting point. Expeditions like this are difficult and expensive to run, but the data they produce is essential. In the next couple of weeks, there will be plenty of news stories about the annual sea ice minimum, but less discussion about the specifics of why it might matter. If the ice changes, many other things will also change, and we need to predict the consequences. ……..https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/sep/01/whats-happening-weather-answers-arctic-air-oden-helen-czerski

September 3, 2018 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Ecological risks of China’s floating nuclear power plants in South China Sea

China’s Floating Nuclear Power Plants Pose Risks in South China Sea, VOA, August 31, 2018  Ralph Jennings, 

September 3, 2018 Posted by | China, oceans, safety | Leave a comment

New documentary claims that Hitler had nuclear weapons ambitions, only thwarted by an accident

NUCLEAR NAZI How Adolf Hitler’s plan to build an atomic bomb and destroy London was only thwarted when ferry carrying key ingredients sunk https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/7150860/how-adolf-hitler-atomic-bomb-london-only-thwarted-by-ferry-ride/

The discovery shines light on Hitler’s ambitions to become a nuclear power and nuke Britain,By Harvey Solomon-Brady 1st September 2018

September 3, 2018 Posted by | Germany, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How a UK submarine could carry out a nuclear strike, depending on a radio programme

How a 60-year-old BBC radio show may be one of the only things keeping the world from nuclear war https://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/How-a-60-year-old-BBC-radio-show-may-be-one-of-13198577.php Sinéad Baker,, August 31, 2018  
  • The UK’s nuclear arsenal is housed on four submarines, with one of those submarines on patrol at all times.
  • During their isolated missions, crews watch for signals that the UK still exists — and may launch a counter-attack if they believe their country has been destroyed.
  • One of these signs is whether BBC Radio 4 is still broadcasting the “Today” programme, Britain’s flagship news and politics show.
  • If the submarine commander believes Britain has been destroyed, he may be under orders to launch a nuclear strike.

Deep underwater, on submarines equipped with nuclear missiles, British crews are constantly prepared to fire their weapons, and potentially play a part in bringing about the end of the world. Sailors on the four Vanguard-class submarines which patrol the waters and hold the UK’s nuclear deterrent operate under strict protocol for working out when to act and what to do — part of which is said to include listening to BBC radio.

According to a prominent British historian, the broadcast of BBC Radio 4’s “Today” programme is one of the official measures the Royal Navy uses to prove that the United Kingdom still exists. “Today” has been broadcast at around breakfast time since 1958 and is the highest-profile news programme in British media.

Lord Peter Hennessy, a history professor who joined the UK’s House of Lords in 2010, said that if it can’t be heard for three days in a row, then it could signify Britain’s demise, and trigger their doomsday protocol.

According to Politico, Hennessy says: “The failure to pick up the BBC Today program for a few days is regarded as the ultimate test.”

If no sign comes through, the commander and deputy will open letters that contain instructions from the prime minister and execute their final wishes.

These letters, each known as a “Letter of Last Resort’ are secret instructions, written when a prime minister enters the office and sealed until an apocalypse. They tell the UK’s submarine commanders what to do with the country’s nuclear weapons if the country has been destroyed.

Writing these letters is one of the first tasks undertaken by any new prime minister. They are locked inside a safe inside another safe, and placed in the control rooms of the nation’s four nuclear submarines, Politico reports. The safes will only be accessible to the sub’s commander and deputy.

Matthew Seligman, Professor of Naval History at Brunel University, told BBC Newsbeat that there are “only so many options available.”

“Do nothing, launch a retaliatory strike, offer yourself to an ally like the USA, or use your own judgment.

“Essentially, are you going to use the missiles or not?”

The UK has four submarines that are capable of carrying the country’s Trident nuclear missiles. At least one of these has been on patrol at all times since 1969, the government says.

There are 40 nuclear warheads and a maximum of eight missiles on each submarine.

Only the prime minister can authorize the launch of the country’s nuclear weapons.

September 3, 2018 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment