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Will the Japanese people agree to their government welcoming American nuclear weapons inside Japan?

The Pain and Politics of Hiroshima

Nuclear Weapons in the Reiwa Era   https://allthingsnuclear.org/gkulacki/nuclear-weapons-in-the-reiwa-era, GREGORY KULACKI, CHINA PROJECT MANAGER AND SENIOR ANALYST | APRIL 11, 2019 Japan will soon have a new emperor and a new dynastic name to mark the traditional Japanese calender: Reiwa (令和). Interminable commentary on the significance of the name is just beginning, but in the end it will be defined not by words but by deeds. One of the most important acts the Japanese people may be compelled to take as the new era begins is to decide whether to allow their government to introduce US nuclear weapons into Japan. They may have to choose between continuing to honor the LEGACY OF HIROSHIMA and the warnings of the HIBAKUSHA or abandoning Japan’s longstanding role as a leading voice for peace and nuclear disarmament.

Prime Minister Abe and the foreign policy elite of his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are pushing the United States to increase the role of US nuclear weapons in Asia. They told US officials they want to alter Japan’s Three Non-Nuclear Principles to permit the introduction of US nuclear weapons into Japan. They also want to revise Article 9 of Japan’s post-war constitution, in which the Japanese people “forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as a mean of settling international disputes.” The Abe government’s desire to re-write the constitution and re-arm Japan is well known and hotly debated. But its efforts to bring US nuclear weapons into Japan are a closely guarded secret, known only to a small group of officials in Japan’s foreign policy establishment.

UCS obtained a document that contains a detailed description of the Japanese foreign ministry’s requirements for US nuclear weapons. Multiple conversations with the Japanese official who presented this document to his US counterparts not only confirmed its content, they also revealed this small group of hawkish officials wants to train Japanese military personnel to deliver US nuclear weapons. They would even like the United States to grant Japanese leaders the authority to decide when to use them. Japanese officials refer to this arrangement as “nuclear sharing.”

This information is not being kept from the Japanese people for security reasons. The responsible officials believe it is important for China to know Japan has the authority to make such a decision and the capability to carry it out. Preparations to make “nuclear sharing” a reality are being kept secret because these officials are afraid the Japanese public would oppose it. Their covert nuclear weapons wish list blatantly violates both the letter and the spirit of Japan’s constitution and the Three Non-Nuclear Principles.

Public opinion polls indicate many Japanese people would like to make the use or threat to use nuclear weapons illegal, which is the purpose of the recently adopted UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW). A large majority of their elected representatives, even within Abe’s ruling LDP, want to uphold Japan’s Three Non-Nuclear Principles, which forbid “nuclear sharing.” Many Japanese people take pride in the belief that their country plays a leading role in advancing nuclear disarmament.

The gap between the public’s aspirations and the private machinations of its current leaders is difficult to reconcile.
Prime Minister Abe, like US President Trump, governs his country with a mix of nationalism and authoritarianism. His political opponents seem incapable of mounting a serious challenge to his leadership or his policies. But the absence of effective opposition is not an indication of popular support. Abe’s approval rating is not that much better than Trump’s. And like the current US president, he holds on to power with a dedicated minority of loyalists, disingenuous manipulation of the mass media and the resignation of a dispirited majority who see no compelling alternative.

Abe appears to have injected his nationalist agenda into the selection of the name for the new era. Press reports highlight that Reiwa (令和) is the first Japanese dynastic name not taken from the Chinese classics. The collection of Japanese poetry that inspired Abe’s selection was popular among the military officers of Imperial Japan who led their nation into World War II. Critics panned Reiwa as a cold expression of Abe’s authoritarian tendencies, but it seemed to be well-received and gave an immediate lift to the popularity of a man on track to become the longest serving prime minister in Japanese history.

Abe told the press Reiwa suggests a period when “culture is born and nurtured as the people’s hearts are beautifully drawn together.” His cabinet secretary told the world that Reiwa should be translated into English as “beautiful harmony.” So it may be that the initial appeal of the new name is more in line with the widespread public support for Japan’s pacifist constitution and the spirit of international cooperation than with Abe’s atavistic appeals to the chauvinist ambitions that led to Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima.

Only time will tell. Japanese attitudes towards nuclear weapons may be the most important window into the ultimate meaning of Reiwa. Making sure the Japanese people know what their government is saying and doing about nuclear weapons may be the best way to ensure that window is clear.

Also: today we’re releasing a short documentary that we filmed in Hiroshima last year. It covers some of the issues around the Japanese Foreign Ministry and US nuclear weapons, as well as firsthand accounts of the bombing.
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April 13, 2019 Posted by | politics, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

50 countries ban Japanese seafoods from Fukushima region, South Korea will maintain the ban

Seoul Welcomes WTO’s Ruling on Fukushima Seafood Ban  by Korea Bizwire  SEOUL, Apr. 12 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea on Friday welcomed the World Trade Organization’s decision to rule in favor of Seoul’s import restrictions on Japanese seafood in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster and said it would keep the ban in place going forward.The WTO appellate body overturned several points of the 2018 verdict earlier in the day, saying the Seoul government’s measures are not unfair trade restrictions and do not fall into the category of arbitrary discrimination.

The appellate body, however, sided with Japan on one point, saying that Seoul has not provided enough information to Tokyo in terms of the import ban measures.

“The government has been making all-out efforts to follow the principle of making the health and safety of the people a priority, and the government highly appraises the WTO’s decision,” the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Energy said in a statement.

The South Korean government said it hopes that there would be no further trade dispute with Japan.

In 2015, Japan officially lodged a complaint at the WTO to challenge South Korea’s import bans and additional testing requirements on fish caught after 2013. Tokyo argued that radioactive levels of its fishery product were lower than those from a number of other nations.

The WTO’s dispute settlement body ruled in favor of Japan in February 2018.

South Korea has been placing import restrictions on 28 kinds of fish caught from eight prefectures near Fukushima since the nuclear power plant accident.

The South Korean government said it will keep the existing import ban on all seafood from the eight prefectures. All Japanese seafood companies will be required to hand in safety certificates when any traces of radiation are found, it added.

About 50 countries have maintained bans on imports since the nuclear disaster, but Japan has complained to the WTO about only one country — South Korea.

“Currently, 19 more countries have implemented an import ban (on Japanese seafood) at different levels,” said Yoon Chang-yul, the head of the social policy coordination office under the Office for Government Policy Coordination……..http://koreabizwire.com/seoul-welcomes-wtos-ruling-on-fukushima-seafood-ban/135802

April 13, 2019 Posted by | environment, Japan, South Korea | Leave a comment

World Trade Organization approves South Korea’s right to ban Fukushima seafoods

SOUTH KOREA WTO APPEAL SUCCEEDS IN JAPANESE FUKUSHIMA FOOD DISPUTE, https://www.agriculture.com/markets/newswire/update-2-south-korea-wto-appeal-succeeds-in-japanese-fukushima-food-dispute GENEVA, April 11 (Reuters) – South Korea won the bulk of its appeal on Thursday in a dispute at the World Trade Organization over import bans and testing requirements it had imposed on Japanese seafood in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Last year a WTO dispute panel supported Japan, saying South Korea was wrong to keep its initial trade restrictions in place. But Thursday’s ruling overturned several key points of that verdict, saying South Korea’s measures were not overly restrictive and did not unfairly discriminate against Japan.

The appeal looked solely at the panel’s interpretation of the WTO rules, without going into the facts about the levels of contaminants in Japanese food products or what the right level of consumer protection should be.

“The South Korean government highly appreciates the WTO’s ruling and welcomes the decision,” South Korea’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said in a statement.

Following the ruling, South Korea’s current trade restrictions on Japanese seafood will stay in place, the ministry statement added.

South Korea widened its initial ban on Japanese fishery imports in 2013 to cover all seafood from eight Japanese prefectures including Fukushima.

Japan launched its trade complaint at the WTO in 2015, arguing that radioactive levels were safe and that a number of other nations, including the United States and Australia, had lifted or eased Fukushima-related restrictions.

South Korea imported 10.9 billion yen ($102 million) worth of Japanese seafood in the year to August 2013 before it broadened its restrictions. Those imports then fell to 8.4 billion yen the following year, according to the Japanese government. (Reporting by Tom Miles; additional reporting by Jane Chung in SEOUL; Editing by Keith Weir and Hugh Lawson)

April 13, 2019 Posted by | environment, Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Extradition of Julian Assange must be opposed. USA govt wants to silence all reports of govt atrocities

I’ve been told that Julian Assange is in favour of nuclear power – with the suggestion that we should not support him. Also that his revelations about Hilary Clinton helped to get the abominable Trump elected.

But does this matter? Assange revealed the truth. And what will happen to the next whistlebower, perhaps one that reveals the corruption in the nuclear industry?

Whatever you think of Julian Assange, his extradition to the US must be opposed, Owen Jones, Guardian, 12 Apr 19, States that commit crimes in foreign lands depend on at least passive acquiescence. This is achieved in a number of ways. One is the “othering” of the victims: the stripping away of their humanity, because if you imagined them to be people like your own children or your neighbours, their suffering and deaths would be intolerable. Another approach is to portray opponents of foreign aggression as traitors, or in league with hostile powers. And another strategy is to cover up the consequences of foreign wars, to ensure that the populace is kept intentionally unaware of the acts committed in their name.

It is Manning who is the true hero of this story: last month, she was arrested for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks, placed in solitary confinement for four weeks, and now remains imprisoned. We must demand her freedom.

These leaks revealed some of the horrors of the post-9/11 wars. One showed a US aircrew laughing after slaughtering a dozen innocent people, including two Iraqi employees of Reuters, after dishonestly alleging to have encountered a firefight. Other files revealed how US-led forces killedhundreds of civilians in Afghanistan, their deaths otherwise airbrushed out of existence. Another cable, which exposed corruption and scandals in the court of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the western-backed then-dictator of Tunisia, helped fuel protests, which toppled him……..

Assange must answer the  allegations of sexual assault   in Sweden without the threat of extradition to the US………. That Swedish case must be entirely disentangled from the US extradition attempt. And while opposing Assange’s rightwing libertarian politics is perfectly reasonable, it is utterly irrelevant to the basic issue here of justice……….

Assange’s extradition to the US must be passionately opposed. It is notable that Obama’s administration itself concluded that to prosecute Assange for publishing documents would gravely imperil press freedom. Yes, this is a defence of journalism and media freedom. But it is also about the attempt to intimidate those who expose crimes committed by the world’s last remaining superpower. The US wishes to hide its crimes so it can continue to commit them with impunity: that’s why, last month, Trump signed an executive order to cover up civilian deaths from drones, the use of which has hugely escalated in Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan.

Silence kills, because a public that is uninformed about the slaughter of innocent people by their own government will not exert pressure to stop the killing. For the sake of stopping crimes yet to be committed, this extradition – and the intentionally chilling precedent it sets – must be defeated. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/12/julian-assange-extradition-wikileaks-america-crimes

April 13, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, media, USA | Leave a comment

Trump and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in meet, as USA-North Korea stalemate continues

Trump, South Korea’s Moon look for way to curb North Korea nuclear weapons, Syracuse.co,  By The Associated Press,12 Apr 19,  WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in comes amid uncertainty over whether the leader of North Korea is considering backing out of nuclear negotiations or restarting nuclear and missile tests.

Trump, in his first meeting with Moon since the unsuccessful U.S. summit with Kim in Hanoi, said the U.S. wants to keep economic sanctions in place to pressure Kim to denuclearize. But Trump said he retains good relations with Kim and didn’t rule out a third summit or taking steps to ease food or other shortages in the repressive nation.

“We want sanctions to remain in place,” Trump said Thursday at the White House. “I think that sanctions right now are at a level that’s a fair level.”

Moon, for his part, has called for an easing of sanctions, including those holding back joint economic projects between North and South Korea. But he didn’t speak to the sanctions issue as he and Trump spoke with reporters at the start of their talks.

……… Negotiations on Pyongyang’s nuclear program appear to be stalled, and there is uncertainty over whether Kim is considering backing out of talks or restarting nuclear and missile tests. The Korean Central News Agency on Thursday said that at a party meeting on Wednesday, Kim stressed “self-reliance” in his country to “deal a telling blow to the hostile forces” that “go with bloodshot eyes miscalculating that sanctions can bring” North Korea “to its knees.”

Moon said it’s important to maintain the “momentum of dialogue” and express a positive outlook to the international community that a “third U.S.-North Korea summit” will be held.

…….. Trump walked away from making a deal with Kim at their meeting in late February. Trump said Kim was asking for sanctions relief without wanting to fully dismantle all his nuclear weapons programs. There is ongoing debate over whether harsh sanctions can pressure Kim to denuclearize or will keep him away from the negotiating table.

……… North Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said last month that Kim would soon make clear his post-Hanoi position. She said her country might pull out of the nuclear negotiations with the United States, citing a lack of corresponding steps to some disarmament measures North Korea took last year. She also hinted that Kim was considering whether to continue the talks and his moratorium on nuclear and missile tests. https://www.syracuse.com/politics/2019/04/trump-south-koreas-moon-look-for-way-to-curb-north-korea-nuclear-weapons.html

April 13, 2019 Posted by | politics international, South Korea, USA | Leave a comment

Wikileaks has won many awards for fine journalism

Hervé Courtoi13 Apr 19  Via Karl Wunder  Snowden points out that the WikiLeaks team has won many awards for its reporting. These include:

The Economist New Media Award (2008)
The Amnesty New Media Award (2009)
The Sam Adams Award for Integrity (2010)
The National Union of Journalists Journalist of the Year (Hrafnsson) (2011)
The Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal (2011)
The Walkley Award for Most Outstanding Contribution to Journalism (2011)
The Voltaire Award for Free Speech (2011)
The International Piero Passetti Journalism Prize of the National Union of Italian Journalists (2011)
The Privacy International Hero of Privacy (2012)
The Global Exchange Human Rights People’s Choice Award (2013)
The Brazilian Press Association Human Rights Award (2013)
The Kazakhstan Union of Journalists Top Prize (2014)   
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April 13, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Wikileaks | 1 Comment

Tepco makes first effort to remove nuclear fuel debris from Fukushima’s No. 3 reactor

TEPCO to start removing fuel at Fukushima’s No. 3 reactor,THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, April 12, 2019 The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will start removing nuclear fuel from the No. 3 reactor as early as next week through equipment controlled remotely due to high radiation levels inside the building.

This will mark Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s first attempt to remove spent fuel from one of the three reactors that experienced a meltdown during the 2011 nuclear accident.

All spent fuel has already been removed from the No. 4 reactor.

TEPCO workers will use remote control to remove nuclear fuel assemblies kept in the pool on the upper floors of the No. 3 reactor building.

Utility officials acknowledge that the process will not be easy, as they have no experience conducting such a dangerous task remotely.

The 566 nuclear fuel assemblies in the storage pool will be removed under a plan expected to take two years to complete.

TEPCO wants to remove the assemblies as quickly as possible owing to concerns that another major earthquake or tsunami could further damage the reactor building and equipment. The No. 3 reactor will also serve as a test case for eventually removing spent nuclear fuel from the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings.

Under the plan, workers will be stationed in a control room about 500 meters from the reactor building and use remote control equipment while observing the process through monitors.

Each nuclear fuel assembly will be lifted and transferred to a special transport container that can hold up to seven such assemblies in water. The container will then be carried out of the reactor building by crane, which will then lower the container outside of the building to a trailer about 30 meters below at ground level.

As a hydrogen explosion blew off the roof of the No. 3 reactor building in the wake of the 2011 nuclear accident, a semi-cylindrical copper covering has been placed over the building to prevent radioactive materials from spreading when the spent nuclear fuel is being removed……….

Government and TEPCO officials have said they will consider a detailed plan for removing spent nuclear fuel from those two buildings after reviewing the work done at the No. 3 reactor building.

The two other reactor buildings present different hurdles for workers.

The top floor of the No. 1 reactor building is covered with debris from a collapsed ceiling and damaged crane, the removal of which has proved difficult. Workers have also confirmed that the lid on top of the containment vessel has shifted, meaning radiation levels inside the building are likely even higher than in the No. 3 reactor building.

It thus remains to be seen if the same equipment to be used for the No. 3 reactor can be used for the No. 1 building. To prevent leaking of radioactive materials, the lid for the containment vessel will first have to be moved back into place.

While the No. 2 reactor building did not suffer major structural damage, large amounts of radioactive materials are believed to be trapped inside the building, meaning radiation levels are also very high there.

The level at the top floor is so high that any worker remaining there for one hour would quickly exceed the annual radiation exposure level. After decontamination, the upper part of the No. 2 reactor building will have to be taken apart to remove the spent fuel. However, this poses the major problem of preventing the spewing of radioactive materials during that process.

“To be honest, it will be difficult to say that no problems will emerge that will force a change in plans,” said Toyoshi Fuketa, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority.    This article was written by Hiroshi Ishizuka and Chikako Kawaharahttp://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201904120036.html

April 13, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | Leave a comment

Youth climate change protests across Britain

Youth climate change protests across Britain – as it happened

Tens of thousands of young people in Britain and abroad are demonstrating for climate action in the latest wave of strikes,  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/live/2019/apr/12/youth-climate-change-protests-across-britain-live   Sarah Marsh 13 Apr 19, 

  • Students across the UK took to the streets on Friday to call for the government to act to tackle the climate change crisis. Protests took place everywhere from Birmingham, to Newcastle and beyond. Jake Woodier, from the UK Youth Climate Coalition, who took part in London, said: “It’s been a really fantastic day, with thousands and thousands of students protesting across the country, and continuing to build the movement.”
  • A further 30 countries across the globe also held events today. Many shared their experiences over social media. It included activity in New Delhi in India, Istanbul in Turkey and Helsinki, Finland’s capital.
  • Politicians, broadcasters, scientists and artists showed their support for young activists. David Attenborough was asked about the young people who have been marching all over the world. The Washington Post asked: when you look at that, what do you see, as someone generations ahead of them? Attenborough said: “I mean, strikes are a way of expressing a strong feeling that you have, but they don’t solve it. You don’t solve anything by striking. But you do change opinion, and you do change politicians’ opinions. And that’s why strikes are worthwhile.”
  • The march in London brought Oxford street to a standstill. Organiser Cyrus Jarvis, 16, a year 11 student from London Academy school in Barnet, North London, said: “The police tried to frighten us with arrests but we just moved on. “We are really sorry for anyone who did have issues because of us, but unfortunately this is what we have to do to get our point across to the government.”
  • On 22 April, the Guardian is hosting an event with Greta Thunberg and Anna Taylor, from the UK Student Climate Network, with an introduction from Caroline Lucas MP, and chaired by the Guardian’s Zoe Williams.     You can find out more about this event here.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Okuma residents reluctant to return : much of the area still highly radioactive

Fukushima Japan nuclear fallout: Okuma residents encouraged home  https://www.dw.com/en/fukushima-japan-nuclear-fallout-okuma-residents-encouraged-home/a-48272491 12 Apr19

Eight years after a triple meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, part of nearby Okuma has been declared safe for residents to return. But there has been no rush to go home as radiation levels remain high. The evacuation order for parts of Okuma was lifted by the Japanese government on Wednesday.

But just 367 of the town’s pre-2011 population of 10,341 have registered to go home, according to local media reports in Japan.

Okuma sits alongside the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and 40% of the town has been declared safe for a permanent return. But a survey last year found only 12.5% of former residents wanted to do so.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to attend a ceremony in Okuma on Sunday to mark the occasion. But the government has been accused of promoting the return of residents to showcase safety ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next summer.

“This is a major milestone for the town,” Mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe said in a written statement. “But this is not the goal, but a start toward the lifting of the evacuation order for the entire town.”

Lingering radiation

There are plans to open a new town hall in May to encourage more people to go back to their town which was devastated by the earthquake, tsunami and triple meltdown at the plant in March 2011. But the town center near the main train station remains closed due to high radiation levels which exceed the annual exposure limit. There will be no functioning hospital for another two years.

Much of Okuma still records high radiation levels and is off-limits. All of nearby Futaba remains closed, with the former 40,000 residents unable to return home. In a report from an investigation published last month, environmental campaign group Greenpeace said “radiation levels remain too high for the safe return of thousands of Japanese citizen evacuees.”

Reluctance to return

The government lifted the evacuation order for much of neighboring Tomioka two years ago. But only 10% of Tomioka’s population has so far returned. Some 339 square kilometers (131 square miles) of the area around the plant are designated unsafe.

Fears of exposure to radiation remain high among former residents, especially those with children. In its report, Greenpeace accused the government of failure: “In the case of workers and children, who are in the frontline of hazards resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, the Japanese government continues to ignore international radioprotection recommendations.”

Part of the Okuma is being used to store millions of cubic meters of toxic soil collected during the decontanimation operation. Authorities say it will be removed by 2045 but no alternative storage site has yet been found.

In all, 160,000 people were evacuated out of the area when three of Fukushima’s six reactors went into meltdown, leading to radiation leaks.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

As WHO upholds South Korea’s ban, Japan promotes Fukushima food exports

Japan pitches safety of food from Fukushima and Tohoku in wake of WTO ruling for South Korea, Japan Times ,12 Apr19, KYODO Japan will seek to reassure other countries about the safety of food produced in areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, officials said Friday, after the World Trade Organization supported South Korea’s import ban on some Japanese seafood.Fishermen in Tohoku, the region hit hardest by the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami that triggered the triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, expressed disappointment with the WTO’s decision, saying their catches clear strict safety checks before shipment……….

Japan has been promoting its agricultural and seafood exports, which have been growing in recent years and reached ¥906.8 billion ($8.1 billion) in 2018, putting the government’s target of ¥1 trillion for this year in sight.

By holding baseball and soccer games in the disaster-hit region, Japan hopes to present the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020 as a symbol of reconstruction.

“I will promote the high quality of food products (in the disaster-hit areas),” Olympics minister Shunichi Suzuki said at a news conference held just a day after he was reappointed to his role.

The WTO’s appellate body for dispute settlement on Thursday ruled in favor of South Korea’s import ban on fishery products from Fukushima and seven other prefectures, reversing an earlier decision.

Thursday’s ruling is final as the appellate body is the highest authority in the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism.

Due to fears of radioactive contamination, South Korea expanded its initial ban to include all fishery products from Fukushima and the seven other prefectures in 2013.

A total of 54 countries and regions introduced import restrictions following the meltdowns. The number has since declined, but South Korea is among 23 that are keeping the restrictions in place, according to the Japanese government. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/04/12/national/japan-pitches-safety-food-fukushima-vicinity-wake-wto-ruling-south-korea/#.XLEUO4kzbGg

April 13, 2019 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

USA Dept of Labor’s program changes delay health care for Cold War nuclear workers (hoping they die first?)

Department of Labor adds dozens of steps that may delay healthcare for Cold War nuclear workers https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/health/2019/04/12/cold-war-nuclear-workers-say-red-tape-delaying-critical-medical-care/3399814002/

Brittany Crocker, Knoxville News Sentine  April 12, 2019 Sick and injured Cold War nuclear workers are likely to see delays in their health care claims because the Department of Labor has added dozens of steps to the process, according to a home care provider that helps the workers.

The program provides medical care to former nuclear and uranium mine workers who were exposed to radiation and other toxic substances without their knowledge was established by Congress in 2000.

 New rule changes to the program — called the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program — will increase the nine-step home health care preauthorization process to 36 steps, said Emily Baker, a spokeswoman for Professional Case Management, a home care provider for nuclear and uranium workers. Those additional steps could add two months to the process, she said.

Baker said the changes also prevent health care providers from helping patients submit the paperwork.

The Department of Labor has not responded to requests made Thursday and Friday for information regarding the purpose of the changes.

Professional Case Management sued the Department of Labor last month to try to stop the changes from going into effect, and more than 2,000 wrote and called the Department to protest the changes, according to the provider.

“These sick people can’t navigate all this red tape,” said Harry Williams, a 73-year-old former Oak Ridge nuclear security officer who helped lobby for the program’s creation.

“We’re old and dying and sick and they expect us to accurately fill out and navigate all these forms and send them to the right places by ourselves. It’s wrong to put these workers through that after all we sacrificed.”

Williams, a military veteran, went to work in 1976 at the K-25 Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Oak Ridge because it offered good pay and benefits.

He stayed there until 1994, when he moved to the Y-12 National Security Complex. Two years later he had to go on disability.

“I never realized I was being poisoned all the time I was working in Oak Ridge,” he said. “If someone had told me how hazardous it was I never would have worked there.

Harris has chronic beryllium disease, an incurable illness common among nuclear workers who inhaled dust or fumes of beryllium, a material that was commonly used at Y-12 and less often at K-25.

Harris said he developed heart disease, asthma, sinusitis and hypothyroidism because of the disease.

He has diabetes, has had six heart attacks, and has brain lesions he believes are also related to his work at the Oak Ridge nuclear sites. “I’m fortunate because I’ve never smoked or drank and have stayed fairly active with this illness, but I’ve been sick for a long time,” Harris said.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | employment, health, USA | Leave a comment

The Threat of Nuclear War Is Still With Us

The U.S. must re-engage with Russia to ensure the ultimate weapon doesn’t spread and is never used. By

George P. Shultz,
William J. Perry and
Sam Nunn

The U.S., its allies and Russia are caught in a dangerous policy paralysis that could lead—most likely by mistake or miscalculation—to a military confrontation and potentially the use of nuclear weapons for the first time in nearly 74 years. A bold policy shift is needed to support a strategic re-engagement with Russia and walk back from this perilous precipice. Otherwise, our nations may soon be entrenched in a nuclear standoff more precarious, disorienting and economically costly than the Cold War. The most difficult task facing the U.S. is also the most important—to refocus on America’s most vital interests even as….. (subscribers onlyhttps://www.wsj.com/articles/the-threat-of-nuclear-war-is-still-with-us-11554936842

April 13, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Protect and Survive – 1970’s UK Public infommercials On Nuclear War Preparation

RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT & FALLOUT IN THE AFFECTED AREA BRITISH CIVIL DEFENSE FILM 72592  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xjX_aoRUTQ

WW3 fears: How Britons were warned ‘NO ONE is safe’ during nuclear announcementBRITONS were told to “stay indoors” as “no place in the United Kingdom is safe” from the deadly threat of a nuclear bomb striking the nation during a broadcast intended to educate the population.

Express UK, By CALLUM HOARE Apr 12, 2019   Chilling video footage reveals how the UK was seriously preparing for a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union more than 40 years ago. It came as part of the “Protect and Survive” guide that was handed out during Margaret Thatcher’s Government during the Cold War in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Its purpose was to advise the public on how to act in the event of an imminent nuclear threat.

BRITONS were told to “stay indoors” as “no place in the United Kingdom is safe” from the deadly threat of a nuclear bomb striking the nation during a broadcast intended to educate the population.

Chilling video footage reveals how the UK was seriously preparing for a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union more than 40 years ago. It came as part of the “Protect and Survive” guide that was handed out during Margaret Thatcher’s Government during the Cold War in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Its purpose was to advise the public on how to act in the event of an imminent nuclear threat.

One part of a video, which was broadcasted on state TV, discussed nuclear fallout – the residual radioactive material propelled into the upper atmosphere following a nuclear blast. It explained how this toxic dust and ash can be carried by the wind and therefore poses a threat to everyone in the UK.  The narrator says: “Fallout is dust that is sucked up from the ground by the explosion

Fallout can kill and since it can be carried for great distances by the wind, it can settle anywhere – so no place in the United Kingdom is safe.

“The risk is as great in the countryside as in the towns, nobody can tell where the safest place will be.”

The documentary went on to reveal the Government’s safest advice of “stay at home” in the event of an attack.

It added: “You are just as safe in your own home as anywhere else.

“In fact, you are far better off in your home because it is the place you know and are known. So stay where you are – if you leave, your local authority may take it over for homeless families.

“And if you move, the authorities in the new place will not help you with food, accommodation or other essentials.”

The “Protect and Survive” campaign was released at a time when tensions between the Soviet Union and the Western Bloc were at an all-time high.

US President Ronald Reagan’s election victory in 1980 brought the world the closest it had been to nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, as his “evil empire” narrative proved to be particularly antagonising to the Soviet Politburo.

The Soviets racked up their defence and placed SS-30 missiles across eastern Europe as a show of force.

However, the US retaliated by convincing its allies in Europe to host its Pershing 2 ballistic missiles and ground-launched cruise missiles.

The fate of the world hung in the balance and Mrs Thatcher’s determination to make sure Britons were prepared for the worst is a testament to how seriously the situation was taken at the time.

The guide also taught families how to create a fallout room and, within that, an inner refuge.

It said families may have to stay inside there for at least two weeks, so stocking up on food and supplies was essential. Britons were urged to store three-and-a-half gallons of water each, keeping it in the bath or basins.

They were also given advice should they not be at home when a nuclear bomb struck.

The public was advised to “lie flat in a ditch and cover exposed skin”.

In the event of someone dying in a fallout room, their family should “place the body in another room and cover it as securely as possible”.

April 13, 2019 Posted by | history, safety, weapons and war | Leave a comment

What Does Julian Assange’s Arrest Mean for Journalists?

April 13, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

The Flamanville EPR risks a new delay , catastrophic for EDF

Liberation 11th April 2019 The Flamanville EPR risks a new catastrophic delay for EDF. The group ofexperts of the Nuclear Safety Authority considers that the electrician must
“repair” eight large defective welds on the Flamanville reactor. The work
could last until 2022 at the risk of ruining the reputation of the EPR,
which is already years behind schedule.

https://www.liberation.fr/france/2019/04/11/l-epr-de-flamanville-risque-d-accuser-un-nouveau-retard-catastrophique-pour-edf_1720782

April 13, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment