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Ruthless and relentless – USA-UK destruction of Julian Assange

The charge against Julian is very specific; conspiring with Chelsea Manning to publish the Iraq War logs, the Afghanistan war logs and the State Department cables. The charges are nothing to do with Sweden, nothing to do with sex, and nothing to do with the 2016 US election; a simple clarification the mainstream media appears incapable of understanding.

The campaign of demonization and dehumanization against Julian, based on government and media lie after government and media lie, has led to a situation where he can be slowly killed in public sight, and arraigned on a charge of publishing the truth about government wrongdoing, while receiving no assistance from “liberal” society.

Unless Julian is released shortly he will be destroyed. If the state can do this, then who is next?

The Annihilation of Julian Assange,  https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-annihilation-of-julian-assange/, Craig Murray  “In Defense of Julian Assange,” edited by Tariq Ali and Margaret Kunstler, is now available for OR Books.

I was deeply shaken while witnessing yesterday’s events in Westminster Magistrates Court. Every decision was railroaded through over the scarcely heard arguments and objections of Assange’s legal team, by a magistrate who barely pretended to be listening.

Before I get on to the blatant lack of fair process, the first thing I must note was Julian’s condition. I was badly shocked by just how much weight my friend has lost, by the speed his hair has receded and by the appearance of premature and vastly accelerated aging. He has a pronounced limp I have never seen before. Since his arrest he has lost over 15 kg in weight.

But his physical appearance was not as shocking as his mental deterioration. When asked to give his name and date of birth, he struggled visibly over several seconds to recall both. I will come to the important content of his statement at the end of proceedings in due course, but his difficulty in making it was very evident; it was a real struggle for him to articulate the words and focus his train of thought.

Until yesterday I had always been quietly skeptical of those who claimed that Julian’s treatment amounted to torture – even of Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture – and skeptical of those who suggested he may be subject to debilitating drug treatments. But having attended the trials in Uzbekistan of several victims of extreme torture, and having worked with survivors from Sierra Leone and elsewhere, I can tell you that yesterday changed my mind entirely and Julian exhibited exactly the symptoms of a torture victim brought blinking into the light, particularly in terms of disorientation, confusion, and the real struggle to assert free will through the fog of learned helplessness. Continue reading

November 2, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

EDF – a nuclear business financial meltdown

The world’s largest nuclear power producer is melting down MSN, Bloomberg, Francois De Beaupuy, 1 Nov 19, 
On the shores of the English channel in Normandy, engineers are struggling to fix eight faulty welds at a plant that’s supposed to showcase France’s savoir faire in nuclear power.As they consider sending in robots to access hard-to-get-to areas between two containment walls, for Electricite de France it’s just the latest setback in a project that’s running a decade late and almost four times over budget.

“We hear every year that there’s a new problem,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday. It is not acceptable that one of the most prestigious and strategic sectors for our country is facing so many difficulties.”

The Flamanville plant is now slated to be completed in 2022 at a price tag of 12.4 billion euros ($13.8 billion), with the latest glitch costing a whopping 1.5 billion euros. Bemoaning the loss of France’s edge in the sector because of a 15-year gap between the start of construction at the plant and that of the previous reactor, Le Maire has given EDF a month to come up with an action plan to restore the industry’s know-how before the country can determine whether it will build any new atomic plants.

For the world’s largest producer of nuclear power producer, Flamanville is just one of many challenges. Across the channel, delays at two U.K. reactors have upped the cost to as much as 22.5 billion pounds ($28.9 billion), 2.9 billion pounds more than previously estimated. EDF also faces mounting costs of maintaining 58 domestic nuclear plants that provide more than 70% of France’s power.

Add to the mix the fact that the former electricity monopoly is losing market share among French corporate and residential clients as rivals buy a part of the electricity it generates at below-market prices, and it’s easy to see why investors are bearish about the company. EDF’s stock has lost 34% this year, making it the second worst-performing utility in the Stoxx 600 Utilities Index of European companies.

A year ago, EDF was Europe’s biggest utility by market value. Now, its market capitalization stands at 28 billion euros, less than half that of Italy’s Enel SpA, which has swelled to 69 billion euros on the success of its renewable business. RWE AG, the German utility planning to shut down its nuclear plants and progressively phase out coal-fired plants, is up 43% this year and Orsted A/S, the Danish champion in offshore wind, whose revenue is about a sixth of EDF’s, has surpassed the French giant.

“Investors are staying away because of current uncertainties following the strongly negative news flow on the reputation of the nuclear industry,” said Auguste Deryckx, an analyst at AlphaValue. “The CEO’s stubbornness in pursuing nuclear, which is limiting potential growth in renewables that are better valued by the market, remains a black spot.”

EDF is struggling to cover the 15 billion euros it needs annually to maintain its aging nuclear reactors, build new atomic and renewable projects, upgrade its electricity network and roll out smart meters, even after cutting 1.1 billion euros in cost cuts in the past four years. Profits have been hit not only by falling power prices, but by safety issues that have forced reactors to be shut for several months in France and the U.K. Other clouds on the horizon—the decommissioning of two of its oldest reactors next year and a dozen more by 2035, and the treatment of nuclear waste.

The one-time monopoly—now about 83% owned by the state—needs some drastic measures, says Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Levy, who’s pushing the state for an increase in the regulated prices at which rivals buy the company’s nuclear power……..https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/world/the-worlds-largest-nuclear-power-producer-is-melting-down/ar-AAJEHRZ?li=AAgfYrC&fbclid=IwAR2c-xzdRQS6grHOpiPYl5e7lEPRCPkPIQCGEWCP3vT5mxgDkH4sfc9alJo

November 2, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Legal action on The Marshall Islands’ leaky radioactive nuclear waste dome?

This Concrete Dome Holds A Leaking Toxic Timebomb | Foreign Correspondent

Leaking nuclear waste dome: Marshalls consider legal action https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/402002/leaking-nuclear-waste-dome-marshalls-consider-legal-action

 29 October 2019  Mackenzie Smith  MackSmithNZ mackenzie.smith@rnz.co.nz  The Marshall Islands is exploring legal action against the US over a leaking nuclear-waste filled concrete dome. The Runit Dome on Enewetak atoll was used to store radioactive materials left over from US nuclear weapons testing during the 1940s and ’50s.

But according to the Marshall Islands Nuclear Commission, more than 99 per cent of the waste has seeped into the atoll’s lagoon.

Commission’s chair Rhea Moss-Christian said the Marshall Islands was exploring legal remedies to obtain compensation from the US government.

“The political environment is always changing. We don’t know what the future brings. But as a nation that is still dealing with the impacts, we can’t afford to sit back and accept that there’s nothing further that can be done.”

The Runit Dome on Enewetak atoll was used to store radioactive materials left over from US nuclear weapons testing during the 1940s and ’50s.

But according to the Marshall Islands Nuclear Commission, more than 99 per cent of the waste has seeped into the atoll’s lagoon.

Commission’s chair Rhea Moss-Christian said the Marshall Islands was exploring legal remedies to obtain compensation from the US government.

“The political environment is always changing. We don’t know what the future brings. But as a nation that is still dealing with the impacts, we can’t afford to sit back and accept that there’s nothing further that can be done.”

The Pacific Islands Forum Chair, Dame Meg Taylor, has called for an independent audit into the Runit Dome. Her UN counterpart, Antonio Guterres, has also raised concerns about the potential radioactive fallout.

The Nuclear Commission is due to start work in November on an impact study of the dome which will take up to three years.

The commission’s report highlighted a number of ongoing impacts of American nuclear weapons testing, including forced migration and high rates of cancer it said had been exacerbated by US refusal of requests for assistance with cancer treatment facilities.

“The absence of cancer care facilities and its link to forced migration are deplorable, and it means that the violence of the testing program continues despite the cessation of weapons testing,” the report said.

It also called for broader support with compensation for victims of nuclear testing, adding that Marshall Islands officials would raise nuclear justice in all official discussions with the US government.

According to the report, a US-funded Nuclear Claims Tribunal ended payments in 2009, leaving more than $US2.2 billion in unpaid compensation.

The Marshall Islands will also request UN agencies conduct its study of radiation levels in nuclear testing sites and their impact on communities.

Establishing a National Nuclear Archive would also be explored, as well as a memorial or monument “commemorate the hundreds of Marshallese who sacrificed their health and homeland for the U.S. nuclear weapons testing program”.

Ms Moss-Christian said the Marshall Islands’ election to the UN Human Rights Council earlier this month provided a new platform for seeking assistance.

“Compensation is definitely a priority for affected communities. There are also other forms of nuclear justice, and some of those areas are where the UN can step in and provide assistance,” she said.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | legal, OCEANIA | Leave a comment

A USA Bill to make sensible but significant cuts to “nuclear weapons and delivery systems.”

New Bill Renews Debate on Nuclear Modernization,  https://www.cato.org/blog/new-bill-renews-debate-nuclear-modernization  November 1, 2019 By Eric Gomez 

On Tuesday, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) reintroduced bicameral legislation that would save U.S. taxpayers $75 billion on nuclear modernization costs over the next decade. The “Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures Act,” or SANE Act, proposes sensible but significant cuts to “nuclear weapons and delivery systems.”

According to a press release from Sen. Markey’s office, the SANE Act will include the following:

  • Reduce the purchase of Columbia-class submarines from 12 to 8, cut the existing ICBM fleet from over 400 to 150, and reduce deployed strategic warheads from approximately 1,500 to 1,000 – saving $13.1 billion
  • Cancel the development of a new air-launched cruise missile and an associated warhead life extension program – saving $13.3 billion
  • Reduce to 80 the purchase of new B-21 long-range bombers – saving $11.6 billion
  • Cancel the development of new ICBMs and a new nuclear warhead – saving $13.6 billion
  • Cancel the development of a new submarine-launched cruise missile – saving $9 billion
  • Limit the plutonium pit production target to 30 per year – saving $9 billion

Sen. Markey stated that “The United States should fund education, not annihilation; that is our future…We need sanity when crafting America’s budget priorities, and more and improved nuclear weapons defies common sense.”

Rep. Blumenauer added that “these disastrous weapons will never be the answer to solving our complex and ever-changing national security threats…We should not be investing trillions of dollars of our budget on an outdated and irresponsible nuclear arsenal.”

At the time of the press release, the SANE Act was co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and by eight members in the House. It has also been endorsed by several prominent organizations, including the Ploughshares Fund, Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND), Peace Action, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Global Security Institute, and World Future Council.

Caroline Dorminey, policy director of WAND and my former colleague here at Cato, stated, “With defense budgets skyrocketing and a bow wave of costs bearing down on the Pentagon in upcoming years, now is the time for hard choices. Senator Markey, Representative Blumenauer, and cosponsors offer a clear alternative that will keep Americans safe without wasting their tax dollars on weapon systems that serve our past, not our future.”

Dorminey, who also co-edited Cato’s recently released America’s Nuclear Crossroads: A Forward-Looking Anthology with me and whose recommendations from her chapter on how best to manage nuclear modernization echo many of the proposals within the bill, also noted that “the SANE Act demonstrates [that] there are ample opportunities to craft a revised nuclear modernization plan that better reflects the shifting strategic priorities and evolution of threats facing the United States.”

Sen. Markey and Rep. Blumenauer have introduced various versions of the SANE Act in past years without success. Given current fiscal and political realities, perhaps this time will be different. Yet, whether the SANE Act passes or not, the legislation highlights the need for policymakers to have a robust debate on the merits of the modernization plan, if not America’s nuclear posture more broadly.

You can read the full bill here. To learn more about this and other pressing issues in nuclear deterrence and arms control, download a copy of America’s Nuclear Crossroads.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Exelon wants tax-payer subsidies for nuclear reactors – threatens to close 4, otherwise.

Exelon threatens to close four nuclear plants in Illinois if Springfield doesn’t act https://www.thecentersquare.com/illinois/exelon-threatens-to-close-four-nuclear-plants-in-illinois-if/article_b4d2cc7e-fbff-11e9-9619-ab5ee6984f21.html, By Cole Lauterbach | The Center Square, Oct 31, 2019 

Exelon’s CEO said Thursday that four of the company’s nuclear facilities in Illinois could be shuttered if state lawmakers don’t take action to make them more profitable.

Exelon President and CEO Christopher Crane said in an earnings call Thursday that the company “can’t sit here for years and bleed cash and build up debt” by keeping four of our nuclear plants operating in the absence of legislation from Springfield that would make those plants more profitable.”

The company had previously said the Byron, Braidwood and Dresden plants were in danger of being shuttered. On Thursday, the company said the LaSalle plant also was at risk of closure.

“Some are more dire than others at this point and we need to move forward with the legislation to prevent the loss for the state from an environmental perspective and an economic perspective,” Crane said.

The four Illinois plants represent a significant portion of Exelon’s nuclear fleet.

At issue is the interaction between federal regulators and Exelon’s Illinois-based facilities that get green-energy credits, allowing those facilities to sell energy on the wholesale market at more competitive rates than other energy providers, such as coal plants.

Crane’s comments came two weeks after one of the company’s former executives, Exelon Utilities CEO Anne Prammagiore, abruptly retired and the corporation disclosed that it had been served with multiple subpoenas in connection to a federal probe involving state Sen. Martin Sandoval and the company’s lobbying practices. This week, Prammagiore also resigned as chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, according to media reports.

A veteran legislator told Crain’s Chicago Business last week that it would be difficult for Exelon to get much done in Springfield until lawmakers know more about the federal investigations.

Two of Exelon’s nuclear facilities benefit from legislation that Crane said kept them open, which included rate increases on consumers.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Residents of Gillingham UK unaware of proximity of nuclear waste dump

Kent Live 30th Oct 2019, Gillingham Asda shoppers have no idea they’re parked metres away from a  nuclear waste dump. Householders in Gillingham might be surprised to know that they live, work and sleep in the vicinity of vast tonnes of nuclear waste.
Just off Pier Approach Road lies a small, unmarked and fenced-off
wooded area where the Ministry of Defence deposited more than 3,000 cubic
metres of radioactive waste between 1968 and 1986. That’s enough to fill
an Olympic swimming pool. Householders in Gillingham might be surprised to
know that they live, work and sleep in the vicinity of vast tonnes of
nuclear waste. Just off Pier Approach Road lies a small, unmarked and
fenced-off wooded area where the Ministry of Defence deposited more than
3,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste between 1968 and 1986. That’s
enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool.

https://www.kentlive.news/news/kent-news/gillingham-asda-shoppers-no-idea-3484975 

November 2, 2019 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

10th International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro, May 2020

Marcia Gomes de Oliveira shared a link. 2 Nov 19

Next year, May 2020, we’re celebrating the 10th birthday of the International Uranium Film Festival in Rio de Janeiro.

These filmmakers and producers have already agreed to come to Rio 2020: Peter Kaufmann (Australia), Kim Mavromatis (Australia), Laura Pires (Brazil), Angelo Lima (Brazil), Miguel Silveira (USA/Brazil), Cris Uberman (France), Marcus Schwenzel (Germany), Rainer Ludwigs (Germany), Michael von Hohenberg (Germany), Peter Anthony (Denmark), Michael Madson (Denmark), Lise Autogena (Denmark), Masako Sakata (Japan), Maurizio Torrealta (Italy), Alessandro Tesei (Italy), Amudhan R.P. (India), Tamotsu Matsubara (Japan), Tamiyoshi Tachibana (Japan), Tineke Van Veen (Netherlands), Mafalda Gameiro (Portugal), James Ramsay Cameron (Scotland), José Herrera Plaza (Spain), Marko Kattilakoski (Sweden), Edgar Hagen (Switzerland),Tetyana Chernyavska (Ukraine), Brittany Prater (USA), Ian Thomas Ash (Japan/USA).

Rio’s 10th International Uranium Film Festival is scheduled for May 21st to 31st. Do not miss it!

November 2, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, culture and arts, media, Resources -audiovicual | Leave a comment

UN climate talks to take place in Madrid December 2-13.

UN climate talks to take place in Madrid  https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/un-climate-talks-to-take-place-in-madrid/news-story/49630507277946754406e42af4685d2c, Australian Associated Press

November 2, 2019, The United Nations has confirmed Spain will host the organisation’s annual climate conference after Chile pulled out following weeks of violent unrest.

UN Climate Change head Patricia Espinosa said in a statement that the conference, known as COP25, will now take place in Madrid on the same dates – December 2-13.

Weeks of violent unrest led Chile to cancel the COP25 and its hosting of the APEC trade talks that Prime Minister Scott Morrison was due to attend in mid-November.

The high-profile climate summit is slated to finalise negotiations around rules for the Paris emissions reduction targets – to which Australia has agreed.

Countries were going to be encouraged to improve their pollution reduction goals.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Britain’s Dungeness nuclear reactors -extended outages, since corrosion found in pipes

November 2, 2019 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Wyoming legislators and their secret vote about nuclear waste dump

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Beware of secrecy over Russian Nuclear explosion, and of American nuclear dangers

Last Summer’s ‘Mysterious’ Nuclear Explosion in Russia  https://obrag.org/2019/11/last-summers-mysterious-nuclear-explosion-in-russia/, by MICHAEL STEINBERG  NOVEMBER 1, 2019 · Nuclear Shutdown News October 2019By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry and highlights the efforts of those working to create a nuclear free world.

Last Summer’s “Mysterious” Nuclear Explosion

As this year winds down a nuclear weapons explosion last summer still begs for our attention.

What does this incident, half way around the world in another country, have to do with the nuclear power plants in this country?

Let’s remember though, the “Atoms For Peace” program wherein the federal government encouraged (and heavily subsidized) the development of civilian nuclear reactors to produce electricity. The idea was to try to overshadow the images of the nuclear holocaust in Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused by the US.

So it is far from ironic that the nuclear explosion in question occurred on August 8, the 74th anniversary of Nagasaki’s immolation.

Novaga Gazeta also reported that an anonymous hospital worker said that “traces of Cesium 137 (which remains dangerously radioactive for 300 years) were detected in the emergency room area an hour after the patients were brought in.” Doctors and nurses  had only face masks for protection, and nothing but soap solutions to decontaminate the ER.

The nearby city of Serevdinsk’s 183,000 residents were initially told to evacuate because of the radiation released by the explosion, but then the evac order was abruptly canceled. Instead they were told to stay inside and close their windows.
Authorities later claimed the disaster wasn’t as bad as the 1986 nuclear disaster in the Ukraine at Chernobyl in 1986, then ruled by the USSR.

More Fallout

Later in August it emerged that there may have been two nuclear explosions, and that actually seven people had died in the blasts.

The debacle supposedly happened while testing a new type of long range Russian nuclear powered cruise missile. Or, as unnamed US intelligence sources claimed, as reported by CNBC on August 28, it may have occurred while trying to recover one such missile from the bottom of the White Sea.

Post Script  Many people are not aware that US nuclear power reactors regularly release radiation into our air and water in order to operate. You may have heard about this at the Three Mile Island plant in 1979 in Pennsylvania (whose remaining reactor just  shut down) or the Millstone nuke in my home state of Connecticut.

Although this happens all the time at the nation’s 90-some nuclear plants, the public is usually not informed of these potentially carcinogenic releases. As with nuclear weapons operations, US nuclear power doings are largely carried on in secret.

After all, we wouldn’t want the enemy to find out, would we? Except, all too often, the”enemy” is us!

Sources: Fox News, foxnews.com; Moscow Times, moscowtimes.com; CNBC, cbnbc.com; Nuvaya Gazeta, nugayagazeta.ru.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Get the facts straight on nuclear energy

  To Editor of the Reformer, I was disturbed by the letter written by Kendall Neutron of San Diego, CA (“Nuclear waste can be dealt with safely”) and published in the Oct. 19-20 Reformer. Neutron claims to be a nuclear engineer who also claims to have a simple solution to the problem of safe storage and disposal of nuclear waste.I question the cost and safety of the solutions that are described.

Over 140 scientists from all over the world collaborated to write the book “Drawdown” edited by Paul Hawkin and published in 2017. They rank nuclear energy at No. 20 in the top 100 strategies to reduce or reverse global warming and describe these warnings:

Gen. 1 and 2 nuclear reactors (which include those built at Chernobyl and Fukushima and all those in the U.S.) use water to slow down nuclear chain reactions and use enriched uranium fuel. These are all located near major rivers or oceans making them capable of spewing nuclear radiation into major water supplies should any accident occur. The world watched this happen in Chernobyl and Fukushima, and to say that “nuclear energy is already the safest, cleanest, most eco-friendly, and least resource intensive way of generating constant power” is UNTRUE.

In addition to this, “Drawdown” reports this fact: “While virtually every other form of energy has gone down (in cost) over time, a nuclear power plant’s (cost) is four to eight times higher than it was four decades ago. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, advanced nuclear is the most expensive form of energy besides conventional gas turbines, which are comparatively inefficient. Onshore wind is a quarter of the cost of nuclear power.”

This is why the U.S. and Germany are closing down their older nuclear facilities and not planning new ones. China has 33 nuclear plants in operation and about 22 under construction as they move away from coal fired plants due to air pollution and global warming. China is also building solar and wind power at a very fast rate and producing electric vehicles of all kinds and is committed to reaching peak carbon dioxide in 2030 with a reduction of its carbon footprint from that day forward.

Let’s get the facts straight and continue to implement all kinds of less costly and less dangerous ways of producing and storing energy. In New England let’s work on replacing our last few aging nuclear plants with large offshore wind arrays such as Vineyard Wind which could produce at least 400 megawatts of power in its first stage of development.

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approves Westinghouse atomic fuel factory despite its leaks and spills

November 2, 2019 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear costs escalate as wind prices keeps falling,

WindEconomics: Nuclear escalates as wind prices keeps falling, WindPower monthly, 31 October 2019 by David Milborrow

Nuclear power is too expensive. That is the implicit conclusion of the UK government, which has issued a consultation document on possible ways of reducing the electricity price.

This would be possible if the government — which can borrow money cheaply –shouldered some of the risks and/or provided some finance.

The consultation focuses on “regulated asset base” models. The document describes these models as “typically used for funding UK monopoly infrastructure” and involving “an economic regulator who grants a licence to a company to charge a regulated price to users of the infrastructure”.

One of the advantages for developers is that charges can be levied before the project is completed.

The range of possible prices quoted in the consultation document, shown in the top below, bears out the maxim that “prices are what you want them to be”.

They range from a minimum of -£6/MWh, when the state shoulders all the risks and the rate of return for the government is 2%, to £137/MWh, when the investors demand a 12% rate of return and bear all the risks. In the first case, the cost to the taxpayer would be £18 billion.

The present contract for the under-construction Hinkley Point C power station, which has been widely criticised, is based on a 9% rate of return and an electricity price of £92.5/MWh (2012 prices). That is about £106/MWh (€119/MWh on 1 October) in 2019 prices.

It was announced on 25 September that the estimated cost of the project had risen by nearly 10% — to £21.5-22.5 billion.

The price of electricity to the consumer will not increase, but the profitability for developer EDF will be reduced. This gives a new benchmark price for nuclear of £6,750/kW, as the facility’s output will be 3.26GW.

The effects of moving away from state funding can be illustrated by looking back to the first public inquiry for Hinkley Point….. https://www.windpowermonthly.com/article/1663433/windeconomics-nuclear-escalates-wind-prices-keeps-falling

November 2, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Turkey Has Long Had Nuclear Dreams

Ankara has been contemplating developing nuclear weapons since the 1960s.  Foreign Policy,  BY COLUM LYNCH,  NOVEMBER 1, 2019, 

In September, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told members of his party that it is time for his country to acquire its own nuclear bomb.

Such a move would mark a sharp break from previous obligations by Turkey, a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which bars non-nuclear states from acquiring nuclear weapons. But this is not the first time that Turkey—which has played host to U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1950s—has craved its own nuclear weapons program.

As part of our Document of the Week series, Foreign Policy is posting a copy of a Sept. 26, 1966, memo describing to then-Ambassador Parker T. Hart a troubling conversation Clarence Wendel, the U.S. minerals attache at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, had with a “reliable” Turkish scientist on Turkey’s nuclear ambitions.

The memo, one of 20 previously declassified documents on nuclear weapons in Turkey compiled this week by the National Security Archive, claims the source disclosed that officials from Turkey’s General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration “had been asked to cooperate with General [Refik] Tulga and Professor Omer Inonu (Professor of Physics at METU) [Middle East Technical University] in a Turkish program to develop an ‘Atomic Bomb.’”

Wendel, according to the memo, had flagged a number of developments suggesting the claim may be credible, including: “Repeated Turkish assertions that a 200 mega-watt nuclear reactor is planned for Istanbul”; the stockpiling of reserves of 300 to 600 tons of uranium in low-grade ore deposits; and the “delaying and haggling tactics of the Turkish negotiators during discussions of the extension of the bilateral agreement on peaceful uses of atomic energy which primarily concerned the transfer of safeguards responsibility from the U.S.A. to the International Atomic Energy Agency.”……..https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/01/turkey-long-nuclear-dreams-erdogan-bomb/

November 2, 2019 Posted by | politics, Turkey | Leave a comment