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Climate change driving California’s wildfires to worse levels

California wildfires: Climate change driving ‘horror and the terror’ of devastating blazes, say scientists

Fires are not new, but their severity is, The Independent, Andrew Buncombe, Seattle @AndrewBuncombe 3 Nov 19,

The words from California’s former governor could barely have been more stark.

“I said it was the new normal a few years ago,’’ says Jerry Brown. “This is serious, but this is only the beginning. This is only a taste of the horror and the terror that will occur in decades.”

As firefighters in California continue to confront a three-week spate of blazes that has reached across the state, attention has also turned to why this year’s wildfires have been so severe. The reason, according to scientists, is climate change.

“It’s warmer weather, more evaporation, and drier conditions. They just burn more,” says Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University.   The words from California’s former governor could barely have been more stark.

“I said it was the new normal a few years ago,’’ says Jerry Brown. “This is serious, but this is only the beginning. This is only a taste of the horror and the terror that will occur in decades.”

As firefighters in California continue to confront a three-week spate of blazes that has reached across the state, attention has also turned to why this year’s wildfires have been so severe. The reason, according to scientists, is climate change.

“It’s warmer weather, more evaporation, and drier conditions. They just burn more,” says Park Williams, a bioclimatologist at Columbia University. “And we expect this trend to continue. We can’t say if it will happen every year – there are natural variations as well. But we know that when things are drier, a larger area burns.”

Speaking from New York, Williams adds: “We’ve always had the fires. But things are now two or three degrees hotter. That’s enough to make a major difference.”

As Donald Trump continues to refuse to acknowledge the existence of man-made climate change, and as Jay Inslee, the only Democrat running for president on a ticket to address climate change, dropped out of the race this autumn, residents of California and other western states are trying to figure out how to confront the challenge, not just this year but in the years and decades ahead.

The editorial writers at the Los Angeles Times have echoed the words of the former governor, who spoke to Politico, by declaring: “Climate change has set California on fire. Are you paying attention?”

“Nobody can honestly say this is a surprise, given the devastating fires of recent years. Yet it feels surprising all the same. How did things get so bad in California, so quickly,” they write. “The answer is climate change. It is here and our communities are not ready for it.”……..

Michael Mann, a climate expert and professor of Earth sciences at Penn State University, says in the American west climate change has increased the risk of fire weather fivefold and doubled how much land has burned. Wildfire frequency, he says, has quadrupled since the 1980s……..

Asked how such fires could be countered, he replies: “As long as we continue to emit carbon into the atmosphere, and create warmer, drier conditions in California, there is little question that we’ll see a worsening of wildfires.

“The only true solution is to stop burning fossil fuels, generating greenhouse gases, and warming the planet.”

Last year, the world’s leading climate scientists said the world had barely a dozen years to act to make massive changes to global energy infrastructure to limit global warming to moderate levels. “There is no documented historic precedent,” said the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change……. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/california-wildfire-climate-change-evacuation-santa-ana-winds-devil-diablo-a9181886.html

November 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

The human species at threat of wipeout – nuclear war in space

 Bruce Gagnon ‘War in Space’ interview

Nuclear space war ‘would wipe out humans in days with Earth becoming Hiroshima’
https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/weird-news/nuclear-space-war-would-wipe-20765135   A fierce critic of the Space Force says the Earth would “burn” and turn into a Hiroshima-style landscape should a nuclear war erupt,  By  Katy Gill, Video News Reporter, 3 NOV 2019, 

A nuclear war in space would be catastrophic for the human civilisation as Earth would transform into a Hiroshima-style landscape with humans being wiped out in a matter of days.

That’s according to Bruce Gagnon, the co-founder and coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly said he is hoping to create the sixth branch of the US military – the Space Force – in 2020 to, among other things, protect satellites in space from other nations.

There are those that believe new fleets of military craft are already being built, pointing to various UFO sightings across the US in recent months.

But Bruce thinks it could open the doors for a new domain of warfare – with the consequences being devastating.

He explained to Daily Star Online that if a nuclear war erupted above Earth, “everything would burn”.

“The cities are burning, the forests are burning, the planet is burning,” he added.

“There’s no food, you can’t grow anything, everything poison, everything radioactive, we all die.” Bruce spoke of how food production will immediately halt because of the atmosphere burning up and affecting crops.

This will lead crowds of people to raid their local supermarkets.

“How long is that going to last? How long do we have after that?” he asked.

“Probably a few days. Not much longer than that. It’s going to happen fast.Who wants to be alive when the whole world looks like Hiroshima?”

Bruce said after the fire’s smoke and debris floods into the atmosphere it will block the sun.

This would eventually see the Earth freeze because the sun is no longer visible to the planet.

“So the Earth freezes and you have whatever is left after this nuclear war is finished,” he added.

In the past, Bruce told the site that USAF is “creating a new generation of space soldiers by indoctrinating kids“.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s bushfire risks – threat to planned 1700 km transport of nuclear wastes

Kazzi Jai    Fight To Stop Nuclear Waste In The Flinders Ranges, 4 Nov 19 In an inquiry tabled with the NSW Parliament in 2004, asserting exactly the same containers for the transport of the Nuclear Waste from Lucas Heights as proposed now….

“The Fire Brigade Union contradicted this view stating that everything burns under the right conditions and that an accident, particularly with a fuel tanker, could generate enough heat to burn concrete and steel containers and vaporise the waste. This would transform the waste into a form in which it presents the greatest risk to human health.

“Concrete burns, it spalls, it expands and it explodes. That is what happens to it if it is subject to fire for long enough. You can put it in concrete and you can have steel mesh holding the whole thing together, but when you apply heat, the granules grow and things start spalling, just throwing out bits of itself everywhere until, in the end, that concrete or the integrity of the structure that encases it is broken.
Steel burns as well. It does not surprise many firefighters but steel burns. Anything burns, distorts, warps, breaks and spalls. Maybe that is why we have a fascination with it, but in our society nothing is safe from fire. There is nothing in this world that is safe from fire” https://www.facebook.com/groups/941313402573199/

November 4, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, safety | Leave a comment

A Global Review : Threats o f Nuclear Conflict:

Threats of Nuclear Conflict: A Global Review – Part 1, Global Policy

By Scott L. Montgomery and Thomas Graham, Jr. – 31 October 2019 

Beginning with South Asia, Scott L. Montgomery and Thomas Graham, Jr. introduce a two-part essay taking stock of contemporary prospects of nuclear conflict.

Our world in the second decade of the 21st century approaches the abandonment of cooperation in the realm of nuclear arms control. We have entered a new era of threat that is real, growing, and not in the least accidental. Nor is it due to the dark gods of human nature or the unfavorable fate of having freed the nuclear genii from its bottle.

The new era must be counted part of a deteriorating international order. Within the past five years, this situation has tended to elevate conflict above collaboration, risk above security, and, above all, new weapons above arms agreements. Rising hostility between the U.S. and Russia, the U.S. and China, Russia and NATO, Pakistan and India, North Korea and its neighbors, has effectively brought the risk of nuclear conflict to its highest level in many decades. Efforts by warhead states today to strengthen their arsenals on their own nationalist terms are proving not to dissuade but encourage thoughts of proliferation elsewhere.

Greatly adding to this troubling climate have been actions by the Trump Administration, which has withdrawn and threatened to withdraw from alliances around the world and from multiple non-proliferation treaties. This global retreat has torn holes in what was once considered an essential nuclear umbrella for Europe and parts of East Asia. Most of all, though, open hostility among warhead states makes the world fearful, less secure, and more likely to find reasons for nuclear “self-protection.” After 25 years of post-Cold War progress in reducing nuclear weapons, warhead states are altering course. Ignoring a look in the mirror, they perceive the global landscape as more menacing and are therefore making it so.

Facts and Numbers

At present, the world has approximately 13,890 nuclear warheads. Of these, 9,300 are in military stockpiles, with perhaps 3,600 deployed by operational forces. Half of these are kept on high operational alert.

Though still large, these figures represent an immense reduction from Cold War numbers, whose total went as high as 70,000 in the late 1980s. Such reduction happened because of arms control agreements, mainly between Russia and the U.S., but also involving the post-Soviet nations of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine, all of which gave up the weapons that remained on their territory after dissolution of the USSR. One example of a successful agreement was the Megatons to Megawatts program, which, between 1995 and 2013, recycled fuel for as many as 20,000 Soviet weapons so it could be burned in U.S. nuclear power plants. Similarly, the New START treaty between Russia and the U.S., signed by Presidents Obama and Medvedev in 2010, continued reductions into 2019.

The hopeful message of such programs was, and is, crystal clear: though built for reasons of security, nuclear weapons are a massive threat to human life and society. Reducing their number defines the only true path to increased security in a world where such weapons exist.

Yet that lesson now appears to be unheard. Efforts to continue scaling back the size and lethality of arsenals have ceased. They have even begun to reverse. This is a direct result of nations having launched programs to “upgrade” and “modernize” their weapons. Such are terms that tend to sanitize work that will replace older bombs and missiles with more reliable and precise versions, while adding new, low-yield nuclear weapons that risk lowering the threshold of actual use, especially in battlefield situations. Russia and the U.S., with over 90% of the global stockpile, have been the target of related media attention in the past two years. But a focus here can hide similar efforts underway in China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and France.

Yet the rationality here can, and should, be reversed. At higher reliability and accuracy, significantly fewer weapons are needed, not an equal or greater number. Such would be a potentially effective step toward still further reductions and a less threatening global environment. As non-proliferation experts have long argued—and as President Reagan and Soviet Premier Gorbachev both agreed at their 1986 Reykjavik arms control meeting—nuclear weapons are misunderstood as purely a deterrent, being instead the makers of an endangered world where such protection can seem legitimate. 

Working directly against such thinking, however, the U.S. in August 2019 officially walked away from one of the most important arms control treaties in existence. This was the Intermediate Nuclear-Forces Treaty (INF) between the U.S. and Soviet Union signed in 1987, eliminating all ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 km. Destruction of these weapons was a major achievement, eliminating an entire class of nuclear weapons for the first time and marking a real improvement in security for both European and Soviet-Warsaw Pact countries……….

It is not only the U.S., therefore, that is driving the new era of nuclear insecurity. Though the Trump Administration is especially outstanding in raising the level of hostility and uncertainty, it is not alone in doing so. ……..

South Asia

India and Pakistan sit at the top of concerns about nuclear conflict. The countries have fought three major wars since partition in 1947 and have come close to others at least a dozen times. It is no exaggeration to say that mutual fear and hatred bind these nations as much as separating them. Tensions have continued to rise, especially since the deadly 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which were followed by a string of other attacks by Islamic militants, killing many hundreds of Indians and wounding thousands. Antagonism has also grown with the rise to power of the Hindu nationalist BJP party and election of its candidate, Narendra Modi, as prime minister. While Modi sought talks with Pakistan in his first term, these were derailed by the terrorist attack at Pathankot airbase in 2016 and simultaneous assault on India’s consulate in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Confrontation intensified in 2019, when a suicide bombing in Kashmir killed at least 40 Indian security personnel and ignited a military exchange involving air strikes and a dogfight, with an Indian plane shot down and its pilot captured (later released unharmed by Pakistan).  Several months later, tens of thousands of Indian troops entered Kashmir and established what amount to martial law, placing a number of opposition political leaders under house arrest. The government of Prime Minister Modi then announced it was ending the special, semi-autonomous status of Kashmir and adjacent Jammu, revoking nearly all of Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and therefore claiming the two disputed territories as part of India. This was done without any negotiation involving Pakistan, which reacted with outrage and threats of violence.

Pakistan

Recent study shows Pakistan has been increasing its nuclear stockpile very rapidly. This is partly due to a “domino” situation that involves China expanding its weapons capability, with India responding to this increase, thus adding a sense of urgency in Pakistan. Neither South Asian country has been forthcoming about how much fissile material it actually has, posing questions about safeguards. Pakistan is known to have  four heavy-water plutonium-producing reactors, three of which have been built since 2009. It also now has two reprocessing plants for removing plutonium from spent civilian reactor fuel.

……. India

India, meanwhile, is countering nuclear build-up on two fronts and building new plutonium production reactors for the purpose. Like Pakistan’s facilities, India’s are not under international safeguards, as the country is not a member of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. According to officials at the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, as many as six new fast-breeder reactors will come online by the early 2030s, greatly increasing the country’s ability to produce weapons-grade fuel……

Though confidential, India’s long-range plans might well involve doubling its current stockpile of 130-140 warheads to create what it considers a reliable deterrent to both Chinese and Pakistani nuclear forces…………

Conclusion

South Asia can thus be described as a delicate imbalance with regard to nuclear threat. While a potential nuclear exchange between the U.S. and Russia continues to be a nexus of attention, India and Pakistan must be viewed as being in a far greater state of tension and risk………

Today is a new era of political conflict, arms races, and growing tension around the globe. It is an era in which defense officials speak in terms of “usability” and “escalate to deescalate” with respect to nuclear weapons on the battlefield. As we know, however, modern battlefields are not in distant, isolated places. Military bases and facilities, including those with nuclear weapons, are rarely far removed or somehow shielded from populated areas. And, as studies have repeatedly shown, any exchange that involves the destruction of buildings, towns, or cities, would have massive environmental impacts for the entire globe.

A greatly weakened environment for nuclear arms control should be a concern to everyone. At a time when nation-states are becoming less cooperative with one another, more typified by both internal and external political conflicts, the possibility for miscalculation rises no small amount. While Pakistan and India are the focus of related worry at present, they are only part of a larger landscape of nuclear uncertainty whose outlines have again grown dark. https://www.globalpolicyjournal.com/blog/31/10/2019/threats-nuclear-conflict-global-review-part-1

November 4, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

United Nations adopts Japan’s nuclear disarmament resolution

November 4, 2019 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The first New Deal inspires the Living New Deal Project

THE FIRST “NEW DEAL” CAN HELP US AGAIN, Radio Ecoshock ,  October 30, 2019, 

Huge crowds of young people are rebelling against climate extinction. They have been promised a “Green New Deal” for 11 years. Opponents say a Green New Deal isn’t possible and government planning is always evil. This is partly what caused Gray Brechin to create the Living New Deal Project. But he was also looking for good news in our past ability to act together – to help his own sanity in the face of our rush toward catastrophe.

I think we need citizens to document their surroundings, so we can remember changes. Things change so fast we lose our memory. Or is it because the machine and the media compete to replace our memory with something that benefits the oligarchy?

Gray Brechin chronicles, literally from the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper “the murder of the public sector” – which is going on every day. There are signs and victims of that war against the public good. We privatize things and then make them too expensive for the common person.

Brechin is creating a new memory bank, with maps of what can be done when a government and a people are ready to be doers. His map of New Deal accomplishments shows the basis of American highways, power systems, public buildings, refurbished National Parks and so much more. Maybe President Roosevelt’s New Deal from 90 years ago can help America with the Green New Deal she needs so badly now.

I encourage people to visit the interactive map of more than 15,000 sites across America built by the New Deal. Find it at livingnewdeal.org. And check out Gray’s master work “Imperial San Francisco: Urban Power, Earthly Ruin”.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Over 60 organisations across the nation oppose USA’s bailout of the nuclear industry

Groups oppose “massive new subsidy” for nuclear industry in tax extenders, https://foe.org/news/groups-oppose-massive-new-subsidy-nuclear-industry-tax-extenders/. October 30, 2019 WASHINGTON, D.C. A coalition of over 60 local, state and national environmental groups today voiced their disapproval of a proposed bailout of the nation’s nuclear power industry.In a letter sent to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, the groups called on Congressional tax writers to oppose an industry-backed proposal to subsidize existing reactors with a new 30 percent tax credit. Specifically, the letter urges that this tax credit be excluded from a potential extenders package expected this Fall.

A recent analysis indicates that the nuclear industry proposal would cost the treasury $23 billion in lost revenue. Separately, the indirect cost to ratepayers would be $33 billion over 20 years, as regular consumers shoulder the burden of aging, uneconomic reactors.

“Sticking taxpayers with an astronomical bill to bailout the failing nuclear industry is simply unconscionable,” said Lukas Ross, senior policy analyst at Friends of the Earth. “Nuclear power doesn’t deserve another subsidy. This dirty tax credit has no place in a clean energy package.”

“We have a chance right now to expand and extend tax incentives for clean renewable energy like wind and solar and even more nascent industries like energy storage, offshore wind, and electric vehicles,” said Matthew Davis, the League of Conservation Voters’ legislative director. “The nuclear industry already gets billions in subsidies, and has for decades, and we cannot take our eyes off the ball of advancing renewable energy for a 100% clean energy future.”

“Taxpayer subsidies for nuclear power make as much sense as trying to revive the whale-oil industry,” said Grant Smith, senior energy policy advisor at the Environmental Working group. “After six decades of throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at a fundamentally flawed and dangerous technology, we should have learned our lesson. Instead, the government should be investing in clean, safe, money-saving renewable energy.”

“Creating a new subsidy for old nuclear reactors is wasteful and counterproductive,” said Tim Judson, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. “Wind and solar are now the most cost-effective electricity sources, yet nuclear power has only gotten more and more expensive over the decades. It’s time to stop shoveling taxpayer dollars into a nuclear pit, and put our money to work building the clean, safe, healthy energy economy this country needs.”

The national signers include: Friends of the Earth, National Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Clean Water Action, Food and Water Watch Action, Environmental Working Group, Greenpeace, Center for Biological Diversity, Environment America and Nuclear Information and Resource Service.

Contacts: Patrick Davis, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0744, pdavis@foe.org

November 4, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA | Leave a comment

Greta Thunberg and Leonardo Di Caprio join forces in climate crusade

November 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Radiation map of Fukushima now launched in English, in lead-up to Olympic Games

Citizens’ group in Fukushima puts out radiation map in English, Asahi Shimbun, By SHINICHI SEKIN E/ Staff Writer, November 3, 2019    FUKUSHIMA—A citizens’ group here has released an English radiation-level map for eastern Japan created with input from 4,000 volunteers in response to requests from abroad ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

“We want people outside Japan to understand the reality of radioactive contamination following the nuclear accident,” said Nahoko Nakamura, a representative of Minna-No Data Site (Everyone’s Data Site), which published the map……

Titled “Citizens’ Radiation Data Map of Japan,” the 16-page booklet summarizes the content of the original Japanese map, released in November last year. It also shows projected declines in radiation levels by 2041.

The Japanese version was based on results of land contamination surveys conducted over three years at the request of Everyone’s Data Site.

About 4,000 volunteers took soil samples at 3,400 locations in 17 prefectures in eastern Japan, including Fukushima and Tokyo, and measured radiation levels. The map was compiled with advice from experts…… http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/AJ201911030001.html

November 4, 2019 Posted by | Japan, radiation | Leave a comment

UK launches review of net zero emissions

Treasury 2nd Nov 2019, The Net Zero Review, the first of its kind, will assess how the UK can maximise economic growth opportunities from its transformation to a green  economy. At its heart is a priority to ensure a fair balance of contributions from all those that will benefit, including considering how to reduce costs for low income households. This review is a major step
towards the UK achieving net zero emissions by 2050, after becoming the
world’s first major economy to legislate to do so earlier this year.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/net-zero-review-launched-to-support-uks-world-leading-climate-commitment

November 4, 2019 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear waste storage? There’s no real money in it for Wyoming.

Kessler: Nuclear waste storage provides no benefit for Wyoming, https://trib.com/opinion/columns/kessler-nuclear-waste-storage-provides-no-benefit-for-wyoming/article_4267cc9f-a2f8-54e5-a2d6-7ebe2fe9f9eb.html, Nov 2, 2019 

There’s no doubt that Wyoming needs to find new revenue sources to fund our schools and state budget, but storing nuclear waste is not the answer. It’s a far-fetched proposal riddled with legal roadblocks. And even if we ignore those roadblocks — along with the many safety and political risks of storing high-level radioactive waste — there’s no real money in it for Wyoming.

For starters, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, which regulates the storage of spent fuel rods from commercial nuclear reactors, makes available just $5 million per year to states willing to host a “monitored retrievable storage” facility during the construction phase. Once such a facility starts accepting the waste, that amount increases to just $10 million per year. This is a far cry from the $1 billion per year proponents claim Wyoming would see.

That’s assuming such a facility can even legally be constructed. The act also prohibits building a temporary facility until a permanent disposal repository, such as the one proposed for Yucca Mountain in Nevada, starts construction. But licensing work on Yucca Mountain has stalled; Congress hasn’t authorized any funding for it in recent years.

To build a storage facility in Wyoming, we’d have to get Congress to change the law in our favor and give us 100 times the amount of cash authorized in the act. That’s not likely. In the last three years, more than a dozen bills have been introduced in Congress to amend the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and address this topic. They’ve all failed. Nuclear utilities are likely the biggest opponents: Fees collected for the act’s Nuclear Waste Fund are predominantly meant to fund a permanent disposal solution — not something temporary.

But assume we could actually convince Congress to change the law to allow a monitored retrievable storage site here. Then what? Chances are we’d be stuck with those spent fuel rods for good. That’s because there are no legal, political or financial mechanisms to ensure that, once accepted, high-level radioactive waste would ever be removed. Wyoming would likely become the new Yucca Mountain – not a place to hold nuclear waste temporarily, but a de facto permanent disposal site.

The proposal also ignores serious transportation safety concerns. At no time in our nation’s history would so much high-level radioactive waste be on our roads and rails — and traveling such great distances. So far, the federal government has failed to adopt the enhanced transportation safeguards suggested by the Western Governors’ Association, the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission on American’s Nuclear Future, the National Academy of Sciences and the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. There is much work to be done ahead of any attempt to safely ship spent fuel rods across the country. As a recent government report concluded: “The transportation of large amounts of spent fuel to an interim storage or permanent disposal location is inherently complex and the planning and implementation may take decades to accomplish.”

It’s especially curious that our legislators suddenly seem so trusting of the federal government in this matter. Our nation’s nuclear waste policy has a 50-year history of broken promises, missed timelines, shifting policies, unreliable funding, changing scientific criteria and running roughshod over states’ rights. In fact, when Gov. Mike Sullivan vetoed this same proposal in 1992 he wrote:

“Can we trust the federal government or the assurance of negotiation to protect our citizens’ interests? To do so would disregard the geographical voting power in Congress and 100 years of history and experience… Are we willing to ignore the experience history would provide us for the siren song of promised economic benefits and a policy that is clearly a moving target? As Governor, I am not.”

In Wyoming, we need a vision for our future that embraces the assets that truly make us a place where people want to live, move to and do business: our strong public schools, workforce, wildlife, open spaces, livable communities, agricultural legacy and outdoor way of life. This is what makes Wyoming the envy of many other places. Instead of jeopardizing our heritage and tarnishing our state’s image, we need to protect and build upon these assets. Storing nuclear waste invites regulatory, political, safety and economic diversification risks — while providing Wyoming no real benefits. We urge the Legislature to reject spending any more time or resources on such a misguided idea.

November 4, 2019 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Wyoming’s Governor Gordon OK with the idea of nuclear waste dump

November 4, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

: The nuclear dimension of US security assistance to Ukraine

November 4, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine | Leave a comment

U.S. renews support for foreign companies working with Iran’s nuclear program 

U.S. renews support for foreign companies working with Iran’s nuclear program  CBS News, 1 Nov Washington — The Trump administration is keeping alive one of the last remaining components of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by extending sanctions waivers that allow foreign companies to work with Iran’s civilian nuclear program without U.S. penalties.

The waivers had been due to expire Tuesday but were extended by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for another 90 days. The extensions were not announced until Thursday.

Pompeo has been a champion of President Trump’s maximum pressure campaign on Iran.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said the move “will help preserve oversight of Iran’s civil nuclear program, reduce proliferation risks, constrain Iran’s ability to shorten its ‘breakout time’ to a nuclear weapon, and prevent the regime from reconstituting sites for proliferation-sensitive purposes.”

Pompeo also announced new sanctions on Iran’s construction sector, which he determines to be under the control of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The IRGC was designated earlier this year as a “foreign terrorist organization.”

Mr. Trump withdrew last year from the nuclear deal and has steadily ramped up sanctions on Iran that had been eased under the agreement. But the so-called “civilian nuclear cooperation” waivers will permit European, Russian and Chinese companies to continue to work at Iranian civilian nuclear facilities……https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-renews-support-for-foreign-companies-working-with-irans-nuclear-program/

November 4, 2019 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Judge declines to stop fuel transfer at San Onofre nuclear plant,

Judge declines to stop fuel transfer at San Onofre nuclear plant, 

Environmentalists sought interruption following violations by plant owner Edison, San Diego Union Tribune, By JEFF MCDONALD, NOV. 2, 2019

 A San Diego Superior Court judge has rejected a request from environmental activists to halt the transfer of spent fuel at the San Onofre nuclear plant from wet to dry storage.

In a ruling Thursday, Judge Timothy B. Taylor said majority plant owner Southern California Edison was in compliance with a 2017 settlement agreement that requires the utility to make “commercially reasonable” efforts to move the waste……..https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/watchdog/story/2019-11-02/judges-declines-to-stop-fuel-transfer-at-san-onofre-nuclear-plant

November 4, 2019 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment