The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

Oh goody! It’s a rosy time coming for investors, (such as Donald Trump) in nuclear weapons!

What It Would Cost to Modernize the U.S. Nuclear Arsenal — and Who Would Benefit, Yahoo Finance Lou Whiteman, The Motley Fool, Motley Fool, January 28, 2019  The United States would have to spend $494 billion over the next decade to enact its plan to modernize its nuclear arsenal, a figure that highlights the opportunity before contractors as the Pentagon seeks ways to pay for one of its top priorities. The total, which comes from a biannual report put out by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), is 23% higher than the $400 billion price tag in the 2017 estimate. It comes at a delicate time for the Pentagon, which, after enjoying two years of steady budget increases, is facing a much less certain fiscal 2020 allocation.

……..Here’s who stands to benefit from the push to renew the nuclear triad.

Next-generation bombers

Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) in late 2015 beat a team including Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Lockheed Martin to design and build a new long-range bomber. The Pentagon is expected to purchase at least 100 aircraft, with deliveries expected to begin in the mid-2020s and extend for a decade.

The plane, now known as the B-21, has been a near-casualty of Congressional budget battles in recent years, but the Pentagon continues to spend upwards of $2 billion per year on development. Overall, the CBO expects the Pentagon to spend $49 billion on bomber acquisition between now and 2028, which would easily make the B-21 Northrop’s most important platform……….

America’s most important deterrent

The Columbia-class submarine, designed to take over for the Ohio-class ballistic missile sub and house the nation’s stockpile of Trident sub-launched ballistic missiles, features a stealth electric drive propulsion system and improved maneuverability. The sub, to be built by General Dynamics’ (NYSE: GD) Electric Boat subsidiary with support from Huntington Ingalls (NYSE: HII), is due to be operational by 2028 to ensure second-strike capability should the U.S. be hit by a catastrophic attack………

A new rocket competition

The only major piece of the triad renewal still up for grabs is the task of replacing the nation’s arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles. …….In August 2017, the Air Force awarded Boeing and Northrop Grumman $349 million and $329 million, respectively, to develop competing new designs, with a goal of selecting a winner next year. The government is expected to spend more than $60 billion on ICBMs over the next decade, meaning the award would be a needle-mover for the eventual winner.

The stakes are also high for the two potential manufacturers of the solid-propellant rocket engines that will be used to power the missiles. Northrop brought one of the two contenders in-house last year with its $9.2 billion deal for Orbital ATK. The other, Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE: AJRD), has warned the Air Force and lawmakers it needs to win at least part of this procurement to remain a viable supplier.

Given the Pentagon’s priority to nurture a healthy and competitive supply base, it would not be a surprise to see both Aerojet and the former Orbital business split the ICBM engine award.

How to invest

…….for long-term investors who have seen defense holdings battered by near-term budget concerns, the longer timeline should provide some peace of mind.

January 29, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

France’s government snidely changes law to avoid paying compensation to Polynesian victims of atomic bomb testing

Dismay in Tahiti over changed nuclear compensation law French Polynesia’s nuclear test veterans organisations are dismayed to find out that a planned change to the compensation law for test victims was quietly altered last year.

It emerged that in the finance act passed in France in the week before Christmas, a provision of negligible exposure for compensation claimants was included.

This was against the recommendation of a commission set up in 2017 which advised for the reference to negligible risk to be removed as a way to improve the 2010 compensation law.

There had been widespread clamour to change the law because most applications had been thrown out.

The head of the Moruroa e tatou organisation Roland Oldham told the public broadcaster that the situation was simple.

He said the French state refused to compensate the test victims by playing for time.

Father Auguste Uebe-Carlson of the Association 193 also condemned this change, saying the fight was continuing.

The 12-member commission which advised the French legislature was headed by a French Polynesian Senator Lana Tetuanui, who is yet to comment.

France tested 193 nuclear weapons in the South Pacific over a 30-year period, with some of the atmospheric blasts irradiating most islands.

January 29, 2019 Posted by | France, Legal, OCEANIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Scotland kow tows to UK and Australian govts – rejects courageous Aboriginal appeal against nuclear waste transport

Last ditch aborigine appeal to Scotland to stop nuclear waste transfers to Australia,    By Martin Williams  29 Jan 19, SOME of the Aborigines who live in and around a sacred burial place in South Australia can still remember the clouds of poison that were the result of Britain’s nuclear bomb tests in the 1950s.

Many of the indigenous population claimed they were exposed to radiation as a result of the post-war atomic weapons tests in the desert and received compensation from the Australian government.

But a new kind of radiation could be heading to the remote sacred area of Wallerberdina – nuclear waste. The concerns are centred over a spot 280 miles north of Adelaide, which has become a potential location for Australia’s first nuclear dump.

The movement of waste is part of a deal that returns spent fuel processed at the nuclear facility currently being decommissioned to its country of origin.

Despite campaigners’ efforts it has emerged that David Peattie, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), has insisted that there can be no change.

And now Aboriginal elder Regina McKenzie has made a last-ditch direct appeal to the First Minister for help to halt Dounreay’s dumping plans, calling for her “not to be part of the cultural genocide of Australian Aboriginal people”.

Mr Peattie said in a letter to UK campaigners who are fighting against the dumping: “The NDA does not have an option of retaining the waste in the UK.”

The Dounreay Waste Substitution Policy, agreed in 2012, sees waste from Australia, Belgium, Germany and Italy processed at the Scottish facility to make it safe for storage being returned to its country of origin.

The UK Government has previously confirmed that “a very small quantity of Australian-owned radioactive waste” is currently stored in the country.

Scottish Government policy allows for the substitution of the Dounreay nuclear waste with a “radiologically equivalent” amount of materials from Sellafield in Cumbria.

The proposed dump site is next to an indigenous protected area where Aborigines are still allowed to hunt, and is part of the traditional home of the Adnyamathanha people, one of several hundred indigenous groups in Australia. And Ms McKenzie, an Adnyamathanha woman who lives at Yappala in South Australia and leading campaigner against any dump, has told the Nicola Sturgeon in a letter that the substitution policy is “culturally inappropriate”.

Ms McKenzie, who has been trying to get a meeting with the First Minister since the start of last year, said: “Adnyamathanha people have lived and practised culture in our country since the beginning of time. We understand and have connections with our land in a way the Australian Government does not. It is our duty to care for our country, song/storylines for future generations.

“We know we have friends in Scotland and in the UK. My great grandfather was Joseph Thomas McKenzie from Aberdeen, so we have a great respect for our Scottish heritage. We ask that you do all in your power to cancel the agreement made with the British Government and send a message of support to our people that Scotland stands with us in our fight to protect our country.

“We have previously offered to crowdfund money to travel to Scotland to raise our concerns with you in person, and we extend the offer for you to visit us here on our country at the sacred women’s waterhole Pungka Pudinah so you can hear why we must protect our country, for all of our futures.

She has said the UK should not make the mistakes they did when the nuclear tests were conducted between 1956 and 1963 at Maralinga, part of the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia.

“Please do not be a part in cultural genocide of Australian Aboriginal people, the past atrocities that were practiced on all the nations of Aboriginal people, must be something of the past and not committed further,” she told Ms Sturgeon.

“This waste facility is just that, cultural genocide, it will stop future generations’ access to a significant site.

“Again I ask please listen with your ears and heart, be a voice for my people and help stop cultural genocide on a minority group only trying to keep our culture strong and survive.”

The local Aboriginal people claimed they were poisoned by the tests and, in 1994, the Australian Government reached a compensation settlement with Maralinga Tjarutja of $13.5 million in settlement of all claims in relation to the nuclear testing.

Despite the governments of Australia and the UK paying for two decontamination programmes, eight years ago concerns were expressed that some areas of the Maralinga test sites are still contaminated 10 years after being declared “clean”.

Campaigner Gary Cushway, a dual Australian-British citizen living in Glasgow, said the new appeal came after the reached deadlock on any movement in ditching the substitution policy. He said: “My argument remains the same, that the material shouldn’t be returned, at least until the final destination is known.”

the Aborigines from supporters in the UK was turned down by the First Minister. Rory Hedderly, the diary team manager, wrote back: “Unfortunately, due to considerable diary pressures, the First Minister is unable to meet with Ms McKenzie at this time.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The Scottish Government believes any concerns expressed by indigenous people must be addressed and we sympathise with concerns relating to the location of the planned radioactive waste facility in Australia.

“However, this issue is a matter for the Australian authorities, who are responsible for waste arising from historic reprocessing of Australian spent fuels, carried out under contract at Dounreay.”

January 29, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, indigenous issues, opposition to nuclear, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

A bit of good news – Radioactive Cesium-137 diminishing in 2 Fukushima rivers, after close to 8 years

January 29, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | 1 Comment

Genetic effects of radiation, and other pollutants, in children of Gulf War veterans

January 29, 2019 Posted by | children, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Aldermaston – Britain’s bomb factory – it’s a slow motion train crash

Times 27th Jan 2019 The AWE bomb factory starts to implode. Protesters wanted to shut Aldermaston in the 1960s. Today, it may have become its own worst enemy. Budget blow-ups and project delays, along with safety concerns aired repeatedly by the nuclear watchdog, have turned AWE into a slow-motion car crash.
Last year the National Audit Office (NAO), which polices government spending, confirmed what many in the industry had long feared: crucial projects to upgrade the facilities are in trouble. Pegasus, a £634m plan to replace a tired building at Aldermaston that handles and stores enriched uranium, is suspended with no clarity on when work will restart.
Mensa, a facility being built at Burghfield to assemble and dismantle nuclear warheads, has ballooned in cost from £734m to £1.8bn. It was due to open in 2017 but that has been delayed to 2023.

January 29, 2019 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear disarmament, non proliferation, “peaceful use” on the agenda as France, Russia, Britain and the United States meet in China

World’s nuclear weapons club to meet in China as trade talks and Meng Wanzhou extradition deadline loom
Eyes will be on Beijing, Washington and Vancouver in week of high-stakes diplomatic meetings,
 SCMP, Lee Jeong-ho   Liu Zhen, 26 January, 2019 China will host a key nuclear weapons meeting in Beijing next week, the outcome of which could affect efforts to stop the spread of nuclear arms around the globe.

The meeting on Wednesday of five major nuclear powers – China, France, Russia, Britain and the United States – will coincide with the start of a new round of high-stakes trade talks between China and the US in Washington.

In Beijing on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying confirmed “nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and peaceful uses of nuclear energy” would be on the agenda of the nuclear club known as the “P5”.

“The theme will be strengthening coordination of the five nuclear-weapon states and safeguarding the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons mechanism,” Hua said.

……..Zhao Tong, from the Carnegie-Tsinghua Centre for Global Policy’s nuclear policy programme, said the Beijing gathering would also lay the groundwork for a five-yearly conference in 2020 to review the non-proliferation treaty.

At the last review conference in New York in 2015, member countries failed to reach agreement on how to advance the treaty. …….

Zhao said Hua’s remarks suggested that next week’s meeting would also be a crucial chance for the US and Russia to discuss their differences over the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), which US President Donald Trump said the US would withdraw from.

“The US and Russia should take this important opportunity to discuss ways to ease the INF dispute. If INF is abandoned, the New START that remains between them will also suffer … which will be a very dangerous trend,” Zhao said.

New START is a nuclear arms reduction treaty Moscow and Washington signed in 2010. The INF Treaty was signed by the US and the then Soviet Union to eliminate short and intermediate-range missiles.

Meanwhile in Washington, all eyes will be watching to see whether US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin can reach a trade deal with the Chinese delegation led by Vice-Premier Liu He. ……..

January 29, 2019 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | 1 Comment

North Korea’s Nukes and the ‘Forgotten War’

Hampton Sides, author of a new book about a turning point in the Korea war, explores the state of the Koreas and Trump’s forthcoming visit.  Interview, Bloomberg, By Tobin Harshaw, January 28, 2019,

“……It is a cliche that the so-called police action in Korea from 1950 to 1952 is America’s “forgotten war.” But, like most cliches, there is a lot of truth to it. American ignorance about the Korean War is a shame, and not only because it devalues the sacrifices of those who fought in it. With North Korea’s nuclear arsenal now threatening the U.S. mainland (not to mention Hawaii, Japan and the folks on the southern end of the peninsula), and President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un set to meet again next month, a little historical perspective might be helpful.

………. HS: Be mindful of the fact that North Korea’s fear and loathing of the U.S., however warped it seems, does have legitimate historical roots. During the Korean War, the U.S. bombed that country back to the Stone Age: Every building, every bridge, every village. The stated goal was to not leave a single brick standing upon another brick. That air campaign was gratuitous and cruel. We killed hundreds of thousands of civilians. We’re a country that has a habit of bombing people and then wondering why those people hate us. As we parse the madness that is the Kim regime, we should always keep in mind that this underlying history of “terror from above” figures into that madness.

Kim strikes many as a lunatic, but his nuclear strategy has actually been quite rational and effective in achieving his goals. So coaxing him to give up his nukes will take some extremely creative and forceful negotiating. The Hermit Kingdom desperately needs many, many things from the outside world — food, medicines, capital, technology, expertise and so on, and Kim knows this. A big question is whether he would really allow his own people to benefit in any meaningful way from the flow of goods and amenities that a removal of sanctions would usher in. Another question is whether he’d actually allow outside experts to come in and closely monitor his regime’s nuclear compliance. Caveats aside, we can only hope the talks continue. I’m highly skeptical of Trump’s much-avowed skills as a deal-maker, but a deal is certainly in the interest of the whole wide world.

……….. HS: It was repeatedly said during the 2016 campaign that Douglas MacArthur is Trump’s “favorite general.” I don’t get the sense that Trump reads history — or anything else, for that matter — but it’s a telling detail. Because with Douglas MacArthur you had a grandiose and vainglorious autocrat who had surrounded himself with sycophants and yes-men. He was a colorful and interesting character — in narrative terms, a gift that keeps on giving. But he was a thoroughgoing narcissist. It was said that he didn’t have a staff; he had a court. He didn’t want to hear inconvenient information. He didn’t like experts — he was the expert. He was in love with the vertical pronoun. It was all about him.This sounds extremely familiar to me.

………. Of course, Korea should never have been divided in the first place — drawing that line created one of the great geopolitical tragedies of modern times. Many thousands of families were torn apart and never allowed to see each other again. Historically speaking, there’s no difference between northern and southern Korea. It’s one country, one language, one culture, one people.

Or at least it was. After more than 70 years of living apart, a reunification, if by some miracle it ever happened, would be a wrenching and doubtless violent process. It’s not clear how a brainwashed and traumatized people from an impoverished police state integrates into the dynamic capitalist society that is modern South Korea. Still, I believe it’s destined to happen one day.

January 29, 2019 Posted by | history, North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Germany phasing out coal, but will not import nuclear power as replacement

Do not want imported nuclear power to make up for coal phase-out: German minister,‘s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier on Jan. 28 said that he did not want Germanyto compensate for a planned phase out of coal-fired power by 2038 by importing nuclearpower from neighboring countries.

“We want energy security to be provided at all times,” the minister told broadcaster ZDF, but added: “We do not want to import cheap nuclear power from other countries.”

Germany‘s coal commission on Jan. 26 said the country should shut down all of its coal-fired power plants by 2038 at the latest, proposing at least 40 billion euros ($45.7 billion) in aid to regions affected by the phase-out.

January 29, 2019 Posted by | climate change, Germany | Leave a comment

USA hoping to profit from nuclear power, by exporting waste clean-up technology

US to Offer Nuclear Waste Technology to Other Countries  Susan Shand.  The U.S. Department of Energy’s nuclear security office is developing a project to help other countries deal with nuclear waste. The information comes from two sources who spoke to the Reuters news agency. They asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.The sources say the plan aims to keep the United States competitive against other countries that are developing their own waste technology. For example, both Russia and France offer services to take care of nuclear waste.

Dov Schwartz is the spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration. He confirmed the group is thinking about how to help other countries reduce nuclear waste. However, Schwartz did not give details.

The NNSA also declined a Reuters request for an interview with Brent Park, who is leading the effort.

What would the technology do?

The unnamed sources say the technology could involve crushing, heating or sending an electric current through nuclear waste to reduce its size.

The machinery to do so would be put in a “black box” the size of a shipping container. It would be sent to other countries with nuclear energy programs; however, it would remain owned and operated by the United States, the sources said.

The sources did not name countries to which the service would be offered. They also did not say where the waste would be stored after it is run through the equipment. But they said they were worried the processes could increase the risk of dangerous materials reaching militant groups or nations unfriendly to the United States.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter banned nuclear waste reprocessing in 1977. The reprocessing opens pure amounts of uranium and plutonium, both of which could be used to make nuclear bombs.

NNSA spokesperson Dov Schwartz said the plans under consideration do not involve reprocessing. But he did not say what technologies could be used.


The government of U.S. President Donald Trump has made promoting nuclear technology abroad a high priority. The U.S. Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, visited Saudi Arabia this month for talks on a nuclear energy deal with the kingdom. And the American business Westinghouse hopes to sell nuclear power technology to countries from Saudi Arabia to India.

But a top arms control officer during the Obama administration questions the direction of the Trump government. Thomas Countryman said the U.S. should improve its ability to get rid of its own nuclear waste before helping other countries.

A nuclear expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists also expressed some doubt about the NNSA plan. Edwin Lyman said NNSA should not be focused so much on reducing the size of nuclear waste. Instead, it should be concerned about the dangers of nuclear waste that make it hard to store.

Lyman said even a small amount of nuclear waste gives off radioactivity and heat. It “remains dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years,” he said.

January 29, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Rapid Arctic Warming Linked To Mid-Latitude Weather Extremes — Mining Awareness +

“The polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. It ALWAYS exists near the poles, but weakens in summer and strengthens in winter. The term “vortex” refers to the counter-clockwise flow of air that helps keep the colder air near the Poles. Many times during […]

via Rapid Arctic Warming Linked To Mid-Latitude Weather Extremes — Mining Awareness +

January 29, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

January 28 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “What Would Australia Look Like Powered By 100% Renewable Energy?” • At least nine studies conducted during the decade show how Australia can move from an electricity system based on polluting coal and gas to one powered by the sun, wind, and waves. Each has a different pathway towards 100% renewable energy. [The Guardian] […]

via January 28 Energy News — geoharvey

January 29, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment