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Trump administration and Israel helping Saudi Arabia towards getting nuclear weapons

 

Concerns over Saudi plan to build nuclear plants after US deal | Al Jazeera English

Trump Admin Complementing Israeli Effort to Give Nuclear Weapons to Saudi Arabia   https://www.mintpressnews.com/israel-saudi-arabia-nuclear-weapons-2/256761/  

Already seven of the 10 countries in the world with the highest military budgets are in the Middle East. The development of nuclear weapons in Saudi Arabia has many speculating that it could mark the beginning of an even more dangerous era for the war-torn region.  March 29th, 2019, By Alan Macleod

WASHINGTON — U.S. President Donald Trump’s energy secretary, Rick Perry, has secretly approved the sale of nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, Reuters revealed this week. Saudi Arabia is reportedly attempting to construct at least two nuclear power plants as part of its effort to diversify its energy sector and its economy as a whole. As part of this plan it has accepted bids from Russia, South Korea and the U.S. for the lucrative contract. Perry’s approval is known as a Part 810 authorization, which allows energy companies to begin the process of planning and starting preliminary work in anticipation of the closing of a formal deal in the future.

While the Saudi proposals are presented as civilian and do not mention nuclear weaponry, U.S. approval and sale of nuclear technology has been seen by many as a prelude to the development of a Saudi nuclear weapon, which could potentially spark anuclear arms race in the region. Riyadh has long coveted atomic weaponry and has considered developing its own in its quest to maintain military dominance in the region. “If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit” Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the United States, told the Guardian in 2011, noting that the kingdom may feel “compelled” to pursue the option in the future, if tensions with Iran remain high.

In reality, Iran does not have, nor is it trying to acquire, nuclear weapons technology (something quietly conceded by both the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and the CIA), and has lived up to its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, any such move from Saudi Arabia might provoke a response in kind from Iran, its chief adversary in the region and would sound a death knell for the hopes of the establishment of a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East. The United States has long accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons technology and has placed sanctions on the country.

The Israeli connection

An important nuclear player in the region is Israel, one of the few nations in the world that has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Israel is estimated to possess 100 to 200 nuclear weapons and has taken a strongly adversarial position towards Iran. In 2015, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared before a joint session of Congress with a cartoon image of a bomb to give a speech denouncing Iran and warning of an Iranian military threat. Israel has been key in pushing the United States into a more confrontational stance on Iran through a continuous public-relations drive to present the country as a menace.

Last year Mint Press News reported that the Israeli government had begun selling Saudi Arabia nuclear weapons secrets. Ami Dor-on, a senior official and nuclear specialist at the organization Israel’s Homeland Security, blew the whistle on the clandestine practice. The Israeli actions were the latest evidence of a growing cooperation between the two nations. However, the prospect of a nuclear Saudi Arabia has many concerned.

The threat of a nuclear Saudi Arabia

For some time, Saudi Arabia has been making its presence felt in the Middle East, leading to the destabilization of the entire region. In 2011 Saudi tanks rolled into Bahrain to crush the Arab Spring uprising in the island country, and it continues to be a primary driver of the war in Yemen, labeled by some as genocide. At least 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the Saudi bombardment of the country.

Riyadh also continues to fund various jihadist groups in Syria and is one of the largest financiers of terrorism in the world. Before his election, Trump claimed Saudi Arabia was behind the 9/11 attacks and the White House more recently insisted it would hold the kingdom responsible for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. However, as with unabated American support for the Saudi war in Yemen, these proclamations have fallen short.

The Saudi armed services are already a formidable force. Saudi Arabia spends the third most of any country in the world on the military, behind only the U.S. and China, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. The Saudi military’s size is estimated at nearly a quarter-million active personnel, who are equipped with the most advanced weapons available.

Already seven of the 10 countries in the world with the highest military burden are in the Middle East. The development of nuclear weapons in Saudi Arabia has many speculating that it could mark the beginning of an even more dangerous era for the war-torn region.

Top Photo | U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One for Israe from Saudi Arabial, the next stop in his international tour, at King Khalid International Airport, Monday, May 22, 2017, in Riyadh. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Alan MacLeod is an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Israel, politics international, Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

40 Years Ago: US President Jimmy Carter Pushed For Renewable Energy Funding After Three Mile Island Nuclear Disaster — Mining Awareness +

Probably because he knew so much about nuclear power from the US nuclear Navy; had helped clean-up the Chalk River Nuclear Disaster in Canada, while serving in the US Navy, and was US President during the Three Mile Island Nuclear Meltdown, Jimmy Carter tried to get massive investment in renewables research (NREL). He even had […]

via 40 Years Ago: US President Jimmy Carter Pushed For Renewable Energy Funding After Three Mile Island Nuclear Disaster — Mining Awareness +

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Proof now clear with evidence that Canadian government lied about the SNC Lavalin corruption case

Corbella: Wilson-Raybould’s version behind scandal is indisputable and nuclear, Calgary Herald, LICIA CORBELLA  March 29, 2019   Was she or wasn’t she (inappropriately pressured?) That is the central question behind the SNC-Lavalin controversy. All other questions are peripheral.

Licia Corbella is a Postmedia opinion columnist. lcorbella@postmedia.com

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March 30, 2019 Posted by | Canada, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

U.S. Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, approved 6 secret nuclear technology companies’ sales to Saudi Arabia

March 30, 2019 Posted by | marketing, Saudi Arabia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

US: Republican Senate Rejects Green New Deal

Mining Awareness +

Trump and Putin are part of a dirty everything coup: dirty energy (fossil fuels and nuclear); dirty money; dirty old men. You can’t call yourself an environmentalist and support or condone either one of them, nor their Congressional lackeys.

From VOA News:
Republican-led US Senate Rejects Green New Deal
March 27, 2019 0:58 AM VOA News

The Republican-led Senate Tuesday night voted against consideration of the Democratically-supported New Green Deal — the outline of an ambitious plan to get the U.S. off climate-changing fossil fuels.

The vote was 57 to zero against the green proposal. Forty-three Democrats only said “present” when their names were called, refusing to participate in what they say was a Republican sham vote and stunt.

The Green New Deal is a non-binding proposal to shift the United States away from oil, natural gas, and coal to renewable energy sources, including wind and solar power.

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March 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia announces 2.6GW solar project near Mecca — RenewEconomy

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy announces signing of Memorandum of Understanding with Prince of Makkah Region to start developing a 2.6GW solar project. The post Saudi Arabia announces 2.6GW solar project near Mecca appeared first on RenewEconomy.

via Saudi Arabia announces 2.6GW solar project near Mecca — RenewEconomy

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Unanswered qestions about the decommissioning of Pilgrim Nuclear Plant

With Pilgrim Nuclear Plant Set To Retire, There Are Questions About Decommissioning Trust Fund WBUR,March 27, 2019, Miriam Wasser
As Plymouth’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station prepares to shut down for good, questions are emerging about its nuclear decommissioning trust fund. This is money set aside for “decommissioning” the plant — removing the spent fuel and making the land safe for eventual unrestricted use.The trust fund is like a 401(k) for retired nuclear plants; ratepayers contribute money into a conservatively managed account that accrues interest over time. Pilgrim’s fund was worth about $1.05 billion in October 2018. It cannot be accessed until the plant permanently shuts down.

The big questions about the trust fund: What can plant owners spend the money on? And will there be enough to cover the cost of decommissioning?

Surprisingly, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has no specific regulations on how plant owners can spend trust fund money, only guidelines.

Also surprising: A plant owner also needs an exemption from the NRC to use the money for “spent fuel management” and “site restoration” — the bulk of the decommissioning work — but not for paying the host community what essentially amounts to property taxes.

This all came to light at recent public meetings in Plymouth about Pilgrim, which is supposed to shut down by June 1. The state-appointed Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel (NDCAP) questioned a representative of Holtec International, the New Jersey-based company that wants to buy Pilgrim from its current owners, Entergy Nuclear Operators, about the company’s finances. …….

Everybody who’s a resident of Plymouth, including all of our town meeting members, should understand that the intention of both Entergy and Holtec is to take ratepayer money to pay their taxes,” said NDCAP Chairman Sean Mullin. ……. https://www.wbur.org/earthwhile/2019/03/27/pilgrim-decommissioning-trust-fund-pilot-taxes-plymouth

March 30, 2019 Posted by | decommission reactor, USA | Leave a comment

 Chelsea Manning back in prison after refusing to cooperate with a grand jury investigating Wikileaks

On March 8, former U.S. Army intelligence analyst and whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. Charged with contempt of court, her imprisonment can extend through the term of the grand jury, possibly 18 months. Manning was placed in administrative segregation after she arrived at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. She has been kept in her cell for 22 hours a day, and can’t be out of her cell while any other prisoners are out. She has no access to books or reading material.

On March 6, Manning had appeared before a Federal Grand Jury and refused to answer questions from prosecutors regarding information she had already disclosed during her 2013 court martial. She responded to each question with the following statement: “I object to the question and refuse to answer on the grounds that the question is in violation of my First, Fourth, and Sixth Amendment, and other statutory rights.” Manning objects to the secrecy of the grand jury process, and said she already revealed everything she knows during her court martial.

In 2010, Chelsea Manning was arrested and jailed without bond for exposing atrocities committed by the U.S. military. She was later sentenced to 35 years in prison, and released after nearly seven years behind bars when President Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

Read more here (https://nukeresister.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5e793916f1979bfc73458af19&id=a00c105d3e&e=e8c4dedfda) .

March 30, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear Resisters – in Ireland, Belgium, California, and DesMoines on St Patrick’s Day

** Two U.S. Veterans for Peace released after 12 days in Irish prison for peace action at Shannon Airport
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Two members of U.S. Veterans For Peace – Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers – were arrested on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day after cutting the fence and entering the airfield at Shannon Airport in Ireland to inspect and investigate a plane on contract to the U.S. military. They carried a large banner that said “U.S. Veterans Say: Respect Irish Neutrality – U.S. War Machine Out of Shannon Airport”. The men were refused bail by Ennis District Court on March 18 and jailed at the Limerick Prison, charged with trespass and causing criminal damage. At a preliminary hearing on March 28, the men were granted bail and released on March 29 pending trial. Their passports were taken and they were ordered to stay away from airports. They may not be able to leave Ireland before their trial. Shannon Airport is used for refueling troop and equipment transport planes bound for Middle East wars.

Read more here (https://nukeresister.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5e793916f1979bfc73458af19&id=81d2ae10b5&e=e8c4dedfda) .

Members of European Parliament among 16 arrested at Belgian air base where U.S. nuclear weapons are stored
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Three Green Party politicians from Luxembourg, England and France were arrested with four Agir pour la Paix activists on February 20 after climbing a fence to enter a military base in Belgium where U.S. nuclear weapons are stored. After entering the Kleine Brogel base, they blocked the runway used by F-16 fighter jets. The Members of European Parliament – Molly Scott Cato, Tilly Metz and Michele Rivasi – held a banner that read, “Europe Free of Nuclear Weapons”. The group was soon detained and taken into custody. Nine supporters standing outside the base were also arrested, and authorities erased photos and videos from their cameras and phones.

Read more here (https://nukeresister.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5e793916f1979bfc73458af19&id=bac6bd3950&e=e8c4dedfda) .

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Eleven nuclear resisters arrested during blockade of Lockheed Martin, California
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Eleven nuclear resisters with the Pacific Life Community were arrested on March 18 during a blockade of the main gate of Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California. The group held a banner across the road reading, “Lockheed Weapons Terrorize the World”. They carried with them copies of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to inform Lockheed workers and management that when the treaty is ratified, building nuclear weapons and their delivery systems will be in violation of international humanitarian law.

Read more here (https://nukeresister.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5e793916f1979bfc73458af19&id=a7997992be&e=e8c4dedfda) .

Eight arrested during St. Patrick’s Day blockade of Des Moines drone command center
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Veterans for Peace and Catholic Workers from across the Midwest converged on the Iowa Air National Guard Drone Command Center in Des Moines on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. After a rally, protesters walked onto the base. Eight activists blocked the main entrance gate, holding a banner with a message from St. Patrick: “In Christ There is No Killing”. The blockaders were arrested and taken to the Polk County Jail. One of them bailed out, and the other seven spent the night in jail before pleading guilty on Monday morning. They were fined $100-$1000 and then set free.

Read more here (https://nukeresister.us6.list-manage.com/track/click?u=5e793916f1979bfc73458af19&id=5efb6d6624&e=e8c4dedfda) .

March 30, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Japanese people have turned away from nuclear power

Post-Fukushima, Japan turns against nuclear power,  Witf,  by Susan Phillips/StateImpact Pennsylvania | Mar 29, 2019  In Fukushima, farmers and residents put their stock in solar

(Futaba, Japan) — The partial meltdown at Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in central Pennsylvania 40 years ago in March did not lead to large releases of radiation, but it helped turn public opinion away from nuclear energy. In Japan, an even more catastrophic nuclear disaster occurred eight years ago this month. And like many Pennsylvanians, the Japanese have largely turned against nuclear.

The earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown is known in Japan as simply “March 11.” And everyone knows where they were on March 11, 2011.

Yuji Onuma was in the town of Futaba, where he grew up and was living with his wife, who was pregnant with their first child. Their home was about 3 or 4 kilometers from the Daiichi nuclear power plant.
But right now, he’s living away from the coast in another prefecture, and he says he wants to settle in a town that is about as far away from any of Japan’s 54 nuclear power plants as he can possibly be.

During an interview, Onuma showed a picture of when he was about 12 years old and getting an award from the Mayor of Futaba. A teacher had asked the kids to come up with a town slogan. In a place where everyone depended on the nearby nuclear plant for work, Onuma’s entry won:

“Atomic power: energy for a bright future” became the slogan on an archway over Futaba’s main street.

“I was very proud because this is my first ever award by the town,” Onuma said through a translator. “And all the town people praised me and said, you are very great. So I was so proud of that.”

Then he showed another photo. It’s only a few months after the accident, and no one is left living in Futaba. This time, he’s wearing a protective Tyvek suit and mask, he’s standing below the sign holding up a placard that changes his slogan to:

“Atomic power: energy for a destructive future.”……….  https://www.witf.org/news/2019/03/i-am-the-witness-post-fukushima-a-japanese-mans-regrets-mirror-his-countrys-turn-against-nuclear-pow.php

March 30, 2019 Posted by | Japan, PERSONAL STORIES | Leave a comment

Government funding for dodgy Westinghouse “micro-reactor”

Bagging DOE Support, Westinghouse Eyes Demonstration for Nuclear Micro-reactor by 2022, Power, 03/28/2019 | Sonal Patel   The Department of Energy (DOE) is funding a project that would prepare Westinghouse’s 25-MWe eVinci micro-reactor for nuclear demonstration readiness by 2022. The agency on March 27 said it will provide $12.9 million of the estimated $28.6 million Westinghouse needs for a project to prepare the micro-reactor for a demonstration, including for design, analysis, licensing to manufacture, siting, and testing. eVinci is one of three small modular reactors (SMRs) and the first micro-reactor whose first-of-a-kind development the DOE is subsidizing under a December 2017–issued “U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development” funding opportunity announcement (FOA). (Details of other projects that have won funding awards under previous rounds of the FOA are at the end of this article.)

The funding announcements are part of a recent ramp up in attention and efforts by the U.S. government to boost development of advanced nuclear technologies. Also on March 27, a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to bolster innovation for advanced reactors. Lawmakers said the U.S., which once led efforts to invent and commercialize key nuclear technologies, has “slipped” in leadership, and it risks losing out to Russia and China. 

…… According to Westinghouse, the eVinci reactor is an innovative combination of nuclear fission and space reactor technologies ……

However, Westinghouse admits that it is fielding a number of challenges related to the deployment of the micro-reactor. While the eVinci will use fuel enriched to 19.75 weight %, the industrial scale amount of uranium enriched to more than 5% is limited.  …….

Westinghouse also notes that while eVinci reactors will be manufactured and assembled in a factory, first reactor startup should also happen at that site, which means the factory will need to be equipped with radio protection equipment, safety and security systems, and have a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Transportation must also take into account safety and security. And because the reactor will be operated autonomously, Westinghouse will need to field first-of-their-kind challenges in licensing, instrumentation, remote reactor monitoring, and logistics…..https://www.powermag.com/bagging-doe-support-westinghouse-eyes-demonstration-for-nuclear-micro-reactor-by-2022/

March 30, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

The huge financial risks of nuclear incidents

March 30, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | Leave a comment

USA Dept of Energy just keeps on giving finds to the nuclear industry

Department of Energy Further Advances Nuclear Energy Technology through Industry Awards of $19 Million,, Office of Nuclear Energy,  MARCH 27, 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced funding selectees for multiple domestic advanced nuclear technology projects. Four projects in two states will receive varying amounts for a total of approximately $19 million in funding. The projects are cost-shared and will allow industry-led teams, including participants from federal agencies, public and private laboratories, institutions of higher education, and other domestic entities, to advance the state of U.S. commercial nuclear capability.

The awards are through the Office of Nuclear Energy’s (NE) funding opportunity announcement (FOA) U.S. Industry Opportunities for Advanced Nuclear Technology Development. This is the fourth round of funding through this FOA. The first group was announced on April 27, the second group was announced on July 10, and the third group was announced on November 13, 2018. The total of the four rounds of awards is approximately $117 million. Subsequent quarterly application review and selection processes will be conducted over the next four years.
“The Trump Administration is committed to reviving and revitalizing the U.S. nuclear industry, and these private-public partnerships are needed to help successfully develop innovative domestic nuclear technologies,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry.  ……..https://www.energy.gov/ne/articles/us-department-energy-further-advances-nuclear-energy-technology-through-industry-awards

March 30, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear Bailouts – A Radioactive Cost to Taxpayers

     https://www.cagw.org/thewastewatcher/nuclear-bailouts-radioactive-cost-taxpayers  March 29, 2019 – 10:11 — Allen Johnson

On March 22, 2019, the Trump Administration took another step to act on the president’s campaign promise to financially support coal and nuclear power.

The Department of Energy announced that it would be providing a $3.7 billion loan guarantee to the Vogtle Electric Generation Plant located in near Waynesboro Georgia.  That brings the total government financing on this project to $12 billion.

President Obama allocated an $8.3 billion loan to complete the Vogtle facility back in 2010 with the goal of constructing of the first new nuclear plant in the U.S. in 30 years.  However, since President Obama’s initial loan, cost increases and delays (in part due to a contractor’s bankruptcy) have left the plant unfinished.  Yet, taxpayers will now be forced to throw further good taxpayer money after bad.

Our March 22, 2019, blog highlighted how state-level bailout plans for failing nuclear power generation plants are gaining steam in several states, with the administration’s encouragement.  The saga at Vogtle Electric underscores the hefty risk taxpayers would incur as bailouts continue across the country.  For an administration keen on cutting wasteful government spending, an additional $3.9 billion loan undercuts that commitment and could be the first step toward a larger grid-intervention policy that will cost taxpayers dearly.

A July 19, 2018, report by the Brattle Group estimated it will cost taxpayers $34 billion over two years if every coal and nuclear plant in the country were bailed out as the administration originally proposed. That is a steep price to pay when those funds could be used for more practical measures like strengthening the nation’s energy grid, investing in cyber-protection technologies, or upgrading general infrastructure to bolster the nation’s natural gas supply.

To bailout a power plant that a private corporation has failed to keep within budget and on schedule brings this flawed policy to a new level.  The latest announcement from Secretary Perry signals unnecessary political interference in energy markets.  A corporation that cannot manage its projects properly doesn’t deserve a federal bailout by taxpayers. Taxpayer dollars are intended to serve the public, not support corporate irresponsibility.

March 30, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

$77 billion for U.S. Strategic Command for its NC3 – part of $494 billion nuclear weapons update

STRATCOM to design blueprint for nuclear command, control and communications, Space News, by Sandra Erwin — March 29, 2019   U.S. Strategic Command was handed the responsibility last fall to solve one of the Defense Department’s most sensitive and complex technology problems: the modernization of the nation’s nuclear command, control and communications system, known as NC3. This job previously belonged to the Air Force Global Strike Command, but following the completion of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review last May, the Defense Department decided to give it to STRATCOM, the combatant command that oversees the nation’s nuclear forces.

The NC3 system includes terrestrial and space-based sensors that monitor the globe for threats, and a communications architecture that connects the nation’s decision makers to nuclear forces under any conditions. It is a classified system designed in the 1960s and 1970s during the height of the Cold War and is projected to stay in service for years to come. The technology is aging, however, and needs to be modernized so it can connect to the next generation of nuclear platforms the Pentagon is developing and expects to start deploying in the mid to late 2020s: the B-21 stealth bomber, the Columbia-class strategic ballistic missile submarine and the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Congressional Budget Office projects the United States will spend $494 billion over the next decade to maintain and update its nuclear forces. Some $77 billion of that total is for the NC3 system………. https://spacenews.com/stratcom-to-design-blueprint-for-nuclear-command-control-and-communications/

 

March 30, 2019 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment