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In USA 100 women elected to Congress- could they challenge the nuclear status quo?

Newly-Elected Women Should Challenge U.S. Nuclear Posture, International Policy Digest,   Cassandra Varanka  08 NOV 2018 On Tuesday night, women made history. For the first time the United States elected more than 100 women to serve in the United States House of Representatives. These women are diverse in so many ways – the first Native women, the first Muslim women, the youngest woman. They bring incredibly different backgrounds – from military veterans to teachers.

As these newly-elected women converge on Capitol Hill and are sworn in January, they have the opportunity to challenge the nuclear status quo and usher in a new era of nuclear nonproliferation. Many of our nuclear policies have been the same since the invention of the atomic bomb. The president’s nuclear posture review touts “escalate to de-escalate” and relies on the Cold War tactic of mutually assured destruction. The president maintains the sole authority to launch a nuclear weapon and can do so at any time without further authorization. Right now, the United States is risking a return to the Cold War by trashing international agreements regarding nuclear weapons (INF, JCPOA) and building “more usable” nuclear weapons.

Women have played a crucial role in ending dangerous nuclear policies in the past. They led the way in demanding that the United States government put an end to atmospheric nuclear testing after their organizing efforts revealed radioactive isotopes in baby teeth. They led the nuclear freeze movement of the 1980’s. Today, Beatrice Fihn is leading the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize winner, in their work to advance the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which has now has 69 signatories.

While men have been caught up in the need to build bigger, better weapons regardless of the monetary, health, or environmental costs, women have understood the existential threat these weapons pose. Women have and continue to push back on the assumption that we cannot survive without our nuclear arsenal.

Right now, there’s a small but growing women’s movement against nuclear weapons taking place across the United States. Women in state legislatures from Georgia to California have introduced resolutions in nine states calling on Congress to end the president’s sole authority to launch a nuclear weapon. The president has the power to unilaterally decide to launch a nuclear first strike against another country, and no one can stop the president once that order has been issued. …….

History was made on Tuesday, but it was only a first step. The incredible women who have been newly elected to serve in the 116th Congress now have the opportunity to champion policies that have been ignored by those in power for too long. Women have played an important role in reforming reckless nuclear policies in the past, and it is time for them to do it again.

November 10, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Russia warns that USA’s “limited nuclear operations” strategy could spark Word War 3

World War 3 alert: US nuclear weapon strategy will spark CATASTROPHE warns Russia, RUSSIA has warned a proposed US strategy involving the “limited” use of nuclear weapons would spark World War 3 if it is ever put into practice., Express UK,  By HARVEY GAVIN, , Nov 8, 2018 |Elbridge Colby, who served as a high ranking official in Donald Trump’s administration, recently advocated the use of tactical nukes in targeted attacks to repel an attack by Russia or China. But Moscow today branded the plans “irresponsible and dangerous”, warning: “Using nuclear weapons in pinpoint attacks is tantamount to playing with the devil.” Mr Colby, a former deputy assistant secretary of defence for strategy and force development, explained the thinking behind his strategy in an article for Foreign Affairs magazine entitled ‘If you want peace, prepare for nuclear war’………

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said any use of nukes, regardless of their size, would lead to global catastrophe.

Addressing reporters today, she said there are growing calls in Washington to “increase the role of nuclear weapons and expand the possibilities of the US nuclear arsenal” to counter the “mythical Russian threat”, according to the Moscow-based TASS news agency.

Ms Zakharova went on to demand answers on the proposed “limited nuclear operations” strategy.

She said: “I want a clarification: where would these limited operations be carried out?

“On what continent would this strategy be fulfilled, if it was fulfilled?”………

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Africa: leaked report shows Zuma government’s secret plans for nuclear power

GORDHAN’S LEAKED REPORT DETAILS BEHIND-THE-SCENES PLAN TO PROCURE NUCLEAR ENERGY– Lindsay  Dentlinger  9 Nov 18  Former President Jacob Zuma was insistent the country needed to enter into a nuclear deal.   CAPE TOWN – Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has detailed the behind-the-scenes machinations for government to procure more nuclear energy.

It’s contained in a statement that Gordhan is expected to deliver to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture next week.

It was leaked to the media overnight.

In it, Gordhan says former President Jacob Zuma was insistent the country needed to enter into a nuclear deal.

As the Finance Minister at the time, Gordhan says he warned Zuma that the process had to be above board to avoid another arms-deal scandal.

Gordhan says it was at a meeting at the presidential residence with Zuma and one of his advisors Senti Thobejane in 2013, that the former president made it clear he wanted South Africa to procure nuclear power.

Gordhan says he was not told ahead of the meeting what would be discussed, but he impressed on Zuma that costs, choice of supplier, due process and likely challenges should all be considered.

He says Treasury raised concerns with a draft agreement with Russia because of the firm fiscal commitments it aimed to enforce.

During his tenure as Finance Minister, Gordhan says Treasury officials insisted that proper evaluations of the true cost of nuclear power, and financial risks to the country be carried out.

He says once he was moved to the portfolio of Cooperative Governance, he was no longer privy to discussions around the nuclear deal.

Gordhan says he was also not present at the Cabinet meeting in December 2015 when the deal was approved.

But he points out that it was on the same day that Zuma announced Gordhan’s successor as Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene, would be replaced by Des van Rooyen. A move that sent markets and the local currency into a tailspin and culminated in Gordhan’s reappointment to the post just three days later.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

November 10, 2018 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Africa | Leave a comment

NuScale and Ontario Power Generation (OPG) trying to make Small Nuclear Reactors happen in Canada

NuScale partners with Ontario Power Generation to bring small nuclear reactors to Canada, The Chemical Engineer Amanda Doyle, 9 Nov 18, NUSCALE has signed a memorandum of understanding with Ontario Power Generation (OPG) in a bid to bring NuScale’s small modular reactors (SMRs) to the Canadian market.
OPG has agreed to support NuScale in its vendor design review with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. The review will ensure that the design meets Canadian nuclear regulatory requirements and expectations. OPG will also assist in the evaluation of development, licensing, and deployment of NuScale’s first facility in Canada.  ………

November 10, 2018 Posted by | business and costs, Canada | Leave a comment

Prisoners in New York will learn about their radiation exposure due to body scans

November 10, 2018 Posted by | radiation, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear disaster – whiteboard reveals the chaos in March 2011

Chalkboards at Fukushima base for nuke accident tell of the chaos, Asahi Shimbun , By HIROSHI ISHIZUKA/ Staff Writer, November 9, 2018 OKUMA, Fukushima Prefecture–As if frozen in time, unerased chalkboards still carry the scribblings of emergency officials closely monitoring the catastrophic nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.A whiteboard carries the poignant communications between an emergency headquarters of the Fukushima prefectural government and teams working outside at the moment a hydrogen explosion blew apart the No. 3 reactor building on March 14, 2011.

“Stop monitoring, evacuate now,” an order said.

The next line follows, “1F3 (No. 3 reactor of Fukushima No. 1 plant) hydrogen explosion.”

“Don’t return here, head west,” another directive said.

Media representatives were invited on Nov. 8 for the first time to the emergency headquarters that was set up at the prefecture-run Environmental Radioactivity Monitoring Center of Fukushima here to monitor the radiation levels around the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant when a massive tsunami crippled the power supply on March 11, 2011.

The center was originally constructed as a facility to monitor radiation levels in the area as well as serve as an education center for nuclear power generation.

The headquarters were abandoned on the night of March 14, 2011, after the evacuation order was issued following the explosion at the No. 3 reactor building. No one since then has returned to use or tidy up the site………

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

One British nuclear build fiasco ends – Moorside. More to Come?

 9th Nov 2018 , How radioactive can you get? “The British government has blood on its
hands”. Really? Lucky it hasn’t declared war or anything – because Justin Bowden might run out of words. Who he? The GMB union’s national secretary for energy, giving his measured response to the implosion of Moorside’s
nuclear dreams: the ones looking nightmarish ever since the Nugen project’s champion, Japan’s Toshiba, went into financial meltdown.

And maybe it will mean fewer jobs in Cumbria building a £10 billion-plus nuclear white elephant. But even so, here’s an alternative view: axing the project is a let-off for Britain.

We’ve got one nuclear fiasco already: the £20 billion Hinkley Point C, forcing consumers to pay twice the wholesale price for its electricity, or £92.50 per megawatt hour, for 35 years.

And one look at how Toshiba got into its mess shows why we don’t need another one. It was bl own up by Westinghouse, the nuclear developer Britain sold for $5.4 billion in 2006. It set about building four reactors in America with its whizzy AP1000 technology. The upshot? $10 billion of cost overruns and Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Such was the carnage that Toshiba was forced to flog its prized memory chip unit for $17.7 billion.

So, no great shock it’s gone cold on a repeat affair in Cumbria. Indeed, EDF would be in a similar pickle after the cost overruns on its Hinkley prototypes in France and Finland if it wasn’t 84 per cent-owned by the French government.

All the same, Toshiba’s decision to shut down Nugen raises key issues for Britain’s
energy policy. Moorside was meant to provide 7 per cent of our energy needs. So two key questions spring to mind. What’ll replace it? And should it be nuclear?

As the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit points out, offshore wind and solar power is already cheaper – as is gas. Throw in smart grids, energy saving and battery technology and the case for overpriced nukes vanishes. Toshiba is proof of the dangers.


November 10, 2018 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Britain’s Bradwell nuclear project under scrutiny- risks of flooding, water overuse, environmental degradation

BANNG 7th Nov 2018 , BANNG’s visit to the Bradwell B site (reported on in the October edition)
gave an opportunity to discuss the early site assessment undertaken by the

The question in all our minds was: ‘is this a suitable site for
the Bradwell B nuclear complex?’ At this stage the developer’s answer
is nuanced: a case of we hope so but we are a long way from knowing.

The Bradwell project is currently under scrutiny by the regulatory authorities
in a process known as Generic Design Assessment. Taken together the site
assessment and the GDA provide an opportunity for BANNG to press concerns
about three key issues which, we believe, make the site wholly unsuitable
and unsustainable.

The first is the high probability risk of flooding
‘especially during the later stages of operation and decommissioning of a
potential nuclear power station’. Second, is the issue of providing the
vast quantities of water needed to cool the reactors. The third issue is
the environmental destruction this project would cause.

November 10, 2018 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

? Canada’s nuclear regulator wants Small Nuclear Reactors exempted from full Environmental Assessment

Federal nuclear regulator urges government to exempt smaller nuclear
reactors from full Environmental Assessment panel review, Globe and Mail 6th Nov 2018 -(subscribers only)

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Canada, environment, politics, safety | Leave a comment

Small scale solar surge continues to reshape Australia’s grid — RenewEconomy

AEMO report shows big surge in rooftop solar, eating away at demand, displacing coal and depressing prices. The post Small scale solar surge continues to reshape Australia’s grid appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Small scale solar surge continues to reshape Australia’s grid — RenewEconomy

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Over 20 Times More Americans Die Of Cancer Per Year Than Gun Violence; Why No Uproar About Pollution? — Mining Awareness +

Why is there no uproar about cancer causing pollution, especially radioactive materials, discharged into the environment? Trump’s EPA has but worsened the situation, and is trying to make it worse still. Already, twenty times more Americans die per year from cancer than from gun violence. Trump’s toxic legacy will be seen in the coming decades. […]

via Over 20 Times More Americans Die Of Cancer Per Year Than Gun Violence; Why No Uproar About Pollution? — Mining Awareness +

November 10, 2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment