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Time to transfer funds from weapons to making vaccines — IPPNW peace and health blog

Scientists and medical professionals have warned from time to time about various diseases and cautioned about the imminent health emergencies. They have also guided about the steps to be taken to prevent such happenings. IPPNW has warned the global community about a highly grave threat to humanity for which we have no remedy. The use of nuclear weapons would be the final epidemic. Prevention is the only way out as we do not have any remedy to offer in such an eventuality.

via Time to transfer funds from weapons to making vaccines — IPPNW peace and health blog

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The week in nuclear, climate, pandemic news

The media’s, politicians’ and the public’s gaze has now shifted from the health aspects of coronavirus, to the economic effects of the pandemic, and of the response to it.

Which brings us to the question of – what should governments be doing with tax-payers’ money?

Well, one thing they shouldn’t be doing is wasting it.  Yet, in the case of the nuclear industry, that is what’s happening, and especially in the cause of nuclear weapons.   Alex Smith, of Radio Ecoshock covers not only the shocking economics of the nuclear industry, but its unsafety in this time of pandemic, the associated secrecy and bungling in America, Russia, Japan, China, Canada, Europe and beyond. And this includes the vulnerability of nuclear facilities to the effects of global heating.

Eminent Persons Warn Against Any Demonstration Nuclear Test Explosion. – “grave challenge to global peace and security” – Nuclear watchdog on potential U.S. nuclear test.

The Environmental Legacy of Nuclear Weapons Production: Five Case Studies — HUMAN WRONGS WATCH

The Triumph of Doubt‘ – corporations’ war on science.

Research is needed into health effects of 4G and 5G [electromagnetic] radiation.

SOUTH ASIA Extreme heat, humidity, air pollution – combined threat to South Asia.

EUROPE. European Union’s recovery plan promotes renewable energy, omits nuclear

FINLAND. Finland’s new nuclear reactor hit by valve leak.

LUXEMBOURG. New Luxembourg law allows claims over nuclear accidents.

BELARUS. Lithuania, Belarus sign nuclear incident notification agreement.

SWEDEN. Sweden gets a new Nuclear Emergency Plan.

USA.

CANADA. Ontario’s nuclear re-build postponed due to pandemicOpposition in Canada to nuclear waste dump on agricultural land.  Canadian farming community not happy about taking on nuclear wastes.

RUSSIA.  Oleg Bodrov on the status of the Russian nuclear industry.

UK.

JAPAN. Green light for Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant, but is it viable?  Coronavirus pandemic hampers Japan’s nuclear regulators’ probe into Fukushima disaster.

FRANCEResistance developing to EDF’s plan to store nuclear waste at Belleville-sur-Loire. Safety lapses at France’s nuclear reactors, new delays at EDF’s Flamanville 3 nuclear reactor .  Radioactive pollution at the Bugey nuclear power plant in France : EDF condemned.  Court set-back to France’s EDF nuclear supply contracts.

IRAN. Iran tops the list of countries which accepted inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2019.     Britain, France, Germany not happy that USA will end waivers for Iran civilian nuclear projects .  Iran envoy says that Trump has pulled the final plug in violating nuclear deal. Trump administration to remove almost all sanctions relief to Iran.

CHINA. The way that China plans its nuclear weapons strategy.

UKRAINE.  Ex-president Kravchuk estimates compensation for Ukraine’s nuclear weapons at US$250 bln.

FIJI. Fiji ratifies the TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

AUSTRALIA. Australian nuclear dump decision trashes indigenous peoples’ rights. The Australian government has officially given up on climate action.

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Now with the pandemic, it is a free-for-all for the nuclear operators 

COVID Infects World Nuclear Plants, May 27, 2020, by Alex Smith,  Radio Ecoshock, “……….During this pandemic, the nuclear industry is another disaster not just waiting to happen, but already dancing with it. Some reactors have been shut down due to the pandemic. But most atomic companies demanded to stay open.

They call themselves essential services, despite a glut of electricity priced well below what the nuclear industry can match. In many countries, taxpayers are paying billions for mal-investments in nuclear power. In America, the private operators and their investors demanded the federal government top up user bills in order to compete with electricity from cheap wind and natural gas. They want safety regulations cut back, inspections and rules developed after major nuclear accidents to be relaxed.

In America, the Trump Administration is ready to help. Three of the 5 commissioners of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission were nominated by President Trump. Along with other environmental protection rules, the Trump Administration has been dropping safety requirements at nuclear plants. Now with the pandemic, it is a free-for-all for the nuclear operators – as they struggle to avoid painful bankruptcies across the nation.

In just one small example, the former on-site nuclear plant inspectors, found in all nuclear power plants by law, are now making their “inspections” over the phone. There is fear of massive absenteeism of nuclear employees as the pandemic infects workers and their families or contacts. In Georgia, 120 nuclear plant workers had to quarantine. American companies admit they have plans to keep emergency staff, thousands of them, at the reactors in a 24/7 lock down, sleeping on cots. But they won’t say if that is already happening or where. During this pandemic, a nuclear reactor in the United States is sunk down in ground flooded in Michigan. You probably did not hear about that. We will ask big questions about nuclear safety during the pandemic with our guest Grant Smith, Senior Energy Policy Advisor with EWG, the Environmental Working Group.

But it is not just America. The international scene is just as scary. Many companies said they had pandemic plans, but few did, or no plan on this scale. A few reactors in the UK and France were closed down because they could not be operated safely during a pandemic. Almost all the rest stay on, full power, despite workers getting infected, and essential supply chains in doubt. The Russian state atomic company Rosatom brags “Nuclear Is Not Afraid of COVID-19”. Construction on the first nuclear power plant in impoverished Bangladesh is continuing, they say, even though a few hundred Russian nuclear construction experts were called home during the pandemic. I guess it is up to the Bangladeshis to build it completely safely. Rosatom reports construction of new reactors in Egypt and Turkey continues through the pandemic.

Russian nuclear operators have been infected with this virus. Probably every country with a reactor or nuclear weapon has these infections and risks, without reporting it. What could go wrong? I summarize carefully worded reports that explain so much. A nuclear accident during a pandemic would be a dire twist in history. Maybe with a bit of sunlight and public voice, we can avoid that?

The industry reports terrorists threatened to attack nuclear facilities during this plague. Experts point to spikes in attempts to hack nuclear control systems, even while some reactor employees work from home computers. I hope they are not using Windows 10 with botched and hackable updates.. In all countries, from Finland to Canada to Australia, the problems or policies meant to cope with nuclear-sized risks during this pandemic are shrouded in secrecy.

A watchdog group reports major decisions approved by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission require, by law, public consultation and information. The pandemic has excused all that, the brakes are off, the deregulators are not regulating. The NRC claims it rules the operation of nuclear plants, but not worker health. The NRC has not provided a public plan for nuclear plants during COVID-19. Other national governments are distracted. They are already politically and financially enmeshed in the nuclear game. That leaves safety up to nuclear plant owners and investors, the unseen wealthy and their CEOs, the ones already facing oblivion as dangerous aging reactors shut down one after another, and wind power blows them away.

I’m Alex Smith. This is Radio Ecoshock. Before I cover the convergence of a pandemic, climate change, and grave nuclear risks in many countries, let’s start out with our guest in America. …… https://www.ecoshock.org/2020/05/covid-infects-world-nuclear-plants.html

June 1, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, health, politics, safety, USA | 1 Comment

The claim that nuclear power is needed for national security is a masked money-grab

 that price won’t only be paid by emptying our wallets . It will also be paid in health and safety. State senators with dollar signs twinkling in their eyes are lining up for relief handouts that will do nothing to fix our healthcare crises — laid bare under the coronavirus crisis — nor our economy. But they are playing the Russia card to get the money.

Make Nuclear Great Again?   https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2020/05/31/make-nuclear-great-again/, May 31, 2020 by beyondnuclearinternational  By Linda Pentz Gunter

The claim that nuclear power is needed for national security is a masked money-grab

The US Department of Energy’s assertions about Russian and Chinese supremacy in the nuclear sector is reminiscent of the “Commie plot” rhetoric of the 1950s. But it’s a thinly disguised ploy to feed at the federal subsidies trough and revive a moribund industry.

A few years ago I attended two days of the Nuclear Deterrence Summit, held just outside Washington, DC. In my defense, I’ll say it was a necessity. I really wanted to get inside how these people think. There was plenty of talk about the need for nuclear weapons, their range and potency, all done with a calm equilibrium devoid of conscience. It was chilling.

But it was also the theatre of the absurd. At one point there was actually talk about a “missile gap.” The Russians were getting ahead. This must be stopped. Was I on the set of a remake of Dr. Strangelove? Was this General ‘Buck’ Turgidson railing about “commie plots” and “mineshaft gaps”?

Life, as it turns out, is routinely stranger than any fiction. Turgidson is still with us, and he has extended his brief to include “civilian” nuclear power plants in the competition with the “Ruskies” and now, the Chinese. Continue reading

June 1, 2020 Posted by | politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Oleg Bodrov on the status of the Russian nuclear industry

Oleg Bodrov: Rosatom has agreements to build 36 nuclear power plants outside of Russia  https://www.pressenza.com/2020/05/oleg-bodrov-rosatom-has-agreements-to-build-36-nuclear-power-plants-outside-of-russia/    31.05.2020 – St Petersburg, Russia – Abolition 2000, On the 23rd of May, 2020, the Abolition 2000 Global Network to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons held its Annual General Meeting online for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic.  A large part of the meeting was dedicated to reflecting on the implications of covid-19 on the work of nuclear abolition.  Oleg Bodrov of Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland, near St Petersburg, Russia shared his views in a pre-recorded interview.  We share it here for readers of Pressenza.

Transcript below
Dear colleagues, my name is Oleg Bodrov, I am a physicist, ecologist and peace movement activist from the south coast of the Gulf of Finland, in the Eastern Part of the Baltic Sea Region, close to St. Petersburg, Russia.  I am the Chairman of the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland.

I worked in the Russian nuclear industry for 17 years but left it after the Chernobyl disaster.  For the past 30 years, I have been working on issues of environmental protection, nuclear safety and the prohibition of nuclear weapons.  I live on the border of the confrontation between NATO and Russia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland.

So, the point which I will present just now, will be based on my personal experience and activities in the last years.

First of all I’d like to say something about the status of the Russian nuclear industry in the context of nuclear weapons and the export of “civil nuclear technologies” before the NPT Review Conference.First of all Russia, according to the official doctrine, could be the first to use nuclear weapons.  It is a very important message.  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation declared that: “The prohibition of nuclear weapons is contrary to our national interests”.  And the president of the Russian Federation has demonstrated his psychological readiness to use nuclear weapons. He has personally launched four transcontinental missiles from submarines, air and ground-based facilities.  Last but not least, the Russian state corporation, Rosatom, has agreements to build 36 nuclear power plants outside of Russia in different countries.  Consumers of the nuclear electricity from these nuclear power plants outside of Russia may be investors in Russian military programs.

So the top level of Russian politicians are already ready to use nuclear weapons and develop the nuclear infrastructure outside of Russia which is possible to support Russian military programmes.  This is number 1 of my message to my colleagues.

Some lessons after the pandemic Covid-19.

All countries, including nuclear weapons countries, have been powerless against the new virus.

Covid19 has stimulated the development of the economic crisis, and leaders of nuclear countries are using the crisis to find enemies outside of their counties.  Thus, instead of joining forces against the virus, the political confrontation between countries deepens. What can we do, our international peace movement?

First of all I’d like to say that we have a SICK planet and we have no planet B!  So now we need to not only protect our planet from nuclear weapons, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, stop “civil nuclear” expansion, which is part of military nuclear industry. We need to provide safe decommissioning of the more 400 nuclear power plants on our planet, and we need to promote sustainable development of our countries.

 
What is reasonable to do in this case?

think, first of all, we need to develop cooperation with our colleagues from non-governmental organisations working in the field of protection of traditional lifestyles of indigenous peoples, NGOs against climate change, and NGOs against the export of nuclear power plants.

It is reasonable to stimulate transboundary cooperation between NGOs, municipal and regional authorities close to the border between NATO and non-NATO countries.

I think that the politicians of NATO and Russia are trying to make us enemies 75 years after the Second World War.  I think let’s hold hands, friends, in Russia, Europe, China and USA.  We are friends and not enemies!

June 1, 2020 Posted by | marketing, politics, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

RUSSIAN NUCLEAR INDUSTRY STRUGGLES WITH PANDEMIC, also threatened by climate change

June 1, 2020 Posted by | climate change, health, Russia, safety, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Estimated costs of Uk’s nuclear power projects – Sizewell C £18 billion ($22bn), Hinkley Point C £22.5bn

Nuclear Engineering International 28th May 2020, The cost of Sizewell C is put at £18 billion ($22bn), while the estimated cost of Hinkley Point C is between £21.5bn and £22.5bn. The application for a Development Consent Order for Sizewell C follows four rounds of public consultation which began in 2012. More than 10,000 residents and organisations in Suffolk contributed their views.

https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsplans-for-sizewell-c-submitted-to-uk-planning-inspectorate-7943163

June 1, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

The soaring costs of Trump’s nuclear weapons’ spending – the new arms race

Trump Boosts Nuclear Weapons Spending, Fueling a New Arms Race, Jon Letman, Truthout, – 31 May 2020, Spending by the world’s nine nuclear nations climbed to nearly $73 billion in 2019, nearly half of it by the United States alone. At the same time, the Trump administration has prioritized nuclear weapons in its defense budget while abandoning nuclear treaties, fumbling negotiations and confounding allies. The administration’s lack of coherent goals, strategies or polices have increased nuclear dangers, leaving the U.S. “blundering toward nuclear chaos with potentially disastrous consequences.” Those are the findings of two separate reports published in May that examine nuclear spending and strategy under Trump.

The findings of the reports lay bare the soaring costs and dangers of the Trump administration’s pursuit of more nuclear pits; the fast tracking of a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles; and the deployment of new, low-yield submarine-launched nuclear weapons. In May, The Washington Post reported that Trump officials are in ongoing discussions about resuming explosive nuclear weapons testing.

The first report, titled “Enough is Enough: Global Nuclear Weapons Spending 2019,” published by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is a densely-packed 12-page snapshot of how the world’s nuclear-armed nations collectively spent $72.9 billion on nuclear weapons last year, an increase of more than $7 billion over 2018. That worked out to almost $200 million per day in 2019.

Among the nine nations that collectively (but very unevenly) possess over 13,000 nuclear weapons, in 2019 four countries (Russia, China, France and India) increased nuclear spending modestly, three remained flat (the U.K., North Korea and Israel), and one cut spending slightly (Pakistan). Only the United States sharply increased nuclear expenditures over the previous year, from $29.6 billion to $35.4 billion.

According to Alicia Sanders-Zakre, ICAN policy and research coordinator and lead author of the report, the modernization of existing weapons and the expansion of arsenals is likely to drive further increases on nuclear spending in coming years……..

Sanders-Zakre calculated that total nuclear spending among the U.S., France and U.K. in a single year could cover all their respective shortfalls in “ICU beds, annual salaries for doctors and nurses, and ventilators … and [they would] still have just enormous amounts of money left over.”……

“Blundering Toward Nuclear Chaos”

A second report, “Blundering Toward Nuclear Chaos: The Trump Administration After Three Years,” published by the American Nuclear Policy Initiative (ANPI), an independent project of Global Zero, takes a sweeping look at how the U.S. is navigating the complex nuclear landscape under the undisciplined and unpredictable rule of Donald Trump.

Calling for broad changes, the report’s authors present a disturbing triptych of instability, inexperience and incompetence, making a powerful case for the urgent need to correct and redirect the U.S.’s approach to nuclear weapons policy. …….

The authors also closely examine how Trump has played a disruptive — even destructive — role in dismantling international agreements and nuclear treaties, most notably the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or Iran nuclear deal, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, while acting in a manner that runs counter to arms control and nonproliferation………

This comes as Trump has vowed to cut financial support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and stop funding for the World Health Organization, even as Trump’s special presidential envoy for arms control recently said the U.S. was prepared to “spend China and Russian into oblivion” in order to win a new arms race.

Under Trump, nuclear spending and tensions are sharply increasing, but U.S. allies are anxious and uncertain and adversaries are antagonized. At a time when more than 100,000 Americans have been killed by a virus that can’t be stopped with a bomb, both the ICAN and ANPI reports illustrate how Trump’s unrestrained embrace of nuclear weapons is not making a U.S. that is safer, only a U.S. that is alone…… https://truthout.org/articles/trump-boosts-nuclear-weapons-spending-fueling-a-new-arms-race/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=830d2f87-01bf-4442-abdf-acad5127c85e

June 1, 2020 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Green light for Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing plant, but is it viable?

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Aomori’s Rokkasho nuclear plant gets green light but hurdles remain,   Japan Times, BY ERIC JOHNSTON, STAFF WRITER, MAY 31, 2020, OSAKA – On May 13, the Nuclear Regulation Authority announced that the nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, had met new safety standards created after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

The NRA’s approval means the long-troubled and controversial plant has moved closer to going into operation. Here’s a look at the Rokkasho plant and the problems it has faced.

What is the Rokkasho reprocessing plant?    The plant at Rokkasho is a 3.8 million square meter facility designed to reprocess spent nuclear fuel from the nation’s nuclear reactors.

Construction began in 1993. Once in operation, the plant’s maximum daily reprocessing capacity will be a cumulative total of 800 tons per year.

During reprocessing, uranium and plutonium are extracted, and the Rokkasho plant is expected to generate up to eight tons of plutonium annually. Both are then turned into a mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX) fuel at a separate MOX fabrication plant, also located in Rokkasho, for use in commercial reactors. Construction on the MOX facility began in 2010 and it’s expected to be completed in 2022.

The Rokkasho reprocessing plant can store up to 3,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel from the nation’s power plants on-site. It’s nearly full however, with over 2,900 tons of high-level waste already waiting to be reprocessed.

Why has it taken until now for the Rokkasho plant to secure approval from the nuclear watchdog?  Decades of technical problems and the new safety standards for nuclear power that went into effect after the 2011 triple meltdown at the power plant in Fukushima Prefecture have delayed Rokkasho’s completion date 24 times so far. It took six years for the plant to win approval under the post-3/11 safety standards.

There has also long been concern and unease over the entire project — and not just among traditional anti-nuclear activists — which the government has been forced to address. Japan is the only non-nuclear weapons state pursuing reprocessing. But as far back as the 1970s, as Japan was debating a nuclear reprocessing program, the United States became concerned about a plant producing plutonium that could be used for a nuclear weapons program.

The issue was raised at a Feb. 1, 1977, meeting between U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale and Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda.

“Reprocessing facilities which could produce weapons grade material are simply bomb factories,” noted a declassified U.S. State Department cable on the meeting. “We want to cooperate (with Japan) to keep the problem under control.”

…….. technical mishaps led to plans being made and then scrapped for many years, while arms control experts continued to worry that Japan could end up stockpiling plutonium that could lead to proliferation problems.

After the 2011 disaster, the NRA created tougher measures to minimize damage from natural disasters, forcing more construction and upgrades at the plant, leading to higher costs.

The Tokai plant halted operations in 2007. The decision to scrap it was made in 2014, as it was judged to be unable to meet the new safety standards. But little progress is being made, due to uncertainty over where to store all of the radioactive waste.

Safety concerns over the Rokkasho plant have remained, especially since 2017 when it was revealed that Japan Nuclear Fuel had not carried out mandatory safety standards for 14 years

By the time of the NRA announcement on May 13, the price tag for work at the Rokkasho plant had reached nearly ¥14 trillion.

What happens next?  The NRA is soliciting public comment on its decision until June 12, but the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry is expected to formally approve the decision. After that, the Aomori governor would be asked to give his approval, though that is not a legal requirement. The last bureaucratic hurdles would then have been cleared to start operations at the plant by the spring of 2022.

However, there are other issues that could force a delay to the start of reprocessing. Japan had originally envisioned MOX fuel powering between 16 and 18 of the nation’s 54 commercial reactors that were operating before 2011, in place of conventional uranium.

But only four reactors are using it out of the current total of nine officially in operation. MOX fuel is more expensive than conventional uranium fuel, raising questions about how much reprocessed fuel the facilities would need, or want…….

Japan finds itself caught between promises to the international community to reduce its plutonium stockpile through reprocessing at Rokkasho, and questions about whether MOX is still an economically, and politically, viable resource — given the expenses involved and the availability of other fossil fuel and renewable energy resourceshttps://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/05/31/national/social-issues/aomoris-rokkasho-nuclear-plant-gets-green-light-hurdles-remain/#.XtQfrTozbIU

June 1, 2020 Posted by | Japan, Reference, reprocessing | Leave a comment

PANDEMIC STRIKES NUCLEAR WORKERS IN AMERICA

June 1, 2020 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Coronavirus pandemic hampers Japan’s nuclear regulators’ probe into Fukushima disaster

Nuclear regulators’ Fukushima crisis probe hit by coronavirus,   https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200530/p2g/00m/0na/054000c May 30, 2020 (Mainichi Japan)  TOKYO (Kyodo) — A probe by nuclear regulators into the causes of the March 2011 Fukushima crisis has been hampered by the coronavirus pandemic, with the dispatch of staff from Tokyo postponed for fear of spreading infection among the some 4,000 on-site decommissioning workers.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority had resumed its investigation last October, deeming radiation levels in some areas of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had lowered sufficiently enough, nearly a decade since the disaster.

NRA officials had repeatedly traveled to the site from Tokyo and succeeded last December in filming scattered debris and a damaged ceiling on the third floor of the No. 3 reactor building, where a hydrogen explosion occurred during the crisis triggered by the quake-tsunami disaster.

In late March, the watchdog set seven priorities in conducting the probe for the time being, including checking the radiation levels on the fourth floor of the No. 3 reactor building, and radiation contamination levels at the No. 2 reactor facility.

The NRA originally intended to send its staff to the plant every one or two weeks in April and May, but the plan came to a halt following the government’s declaration of a state of emergency over the coronavirus on April 7 for Tokyo and six other prefectures, which was expanded nationwide on April 16.

“It would be impermissible should the virus be brought from Tokyo in any case” to the Fukushima complex, NRA Chairman Toyoshi Fuketa said.

The nuclear watchdog was compelled to cancel the planned dispatch of its staff for the probe because any coronavirus infection among the employees at the plant could stop their decommissioning work.

The state of emergency declaration was lifted on Monday for the entire nation, but the NRA fears it may take even more time before staff can enter the site again.

Further delays in the resumption of the probe could affect the NRA’s goal of compiling a report by the end of the year.

“We can’t do it during the summer period,” a senior NRA official said, as it will be impossible to carry out an investigation under the summer heat wearing heavy radiation protection gear.

The NRA is looking to restart sending the staff from the fall, according to sources close to the matter.

June 1, 2020 Posted by | health, Japan, safety | Leave a comment

Trump’s ominous creation of the U.S. Space Force – for the purposes of war

How much will it cost?  The vast costs will be shouldered by taxpayers, likely by slashing funding for essential social needs. The aerospace industry has suggested defunding “entitlement programs” to pay for “everything space.” That would likely include cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid among other social and welfare programs. In his proposed fiscal year 2021 budget, Trump is recommending $15.4 billion for the Space Force. The Space Force, if it is allowed to continue, will clearly be a multi-billion dollar annual affair. 

Who will profit?
Raytheon is emerging as a major beneficiary of Space Force work. Perhaps not uncoincidentally, Mark Esper, Trump’s U.S. Secretary of Defense at the time the Space Force was announced, is a former lobbyist for the corporation. Other major contractors for the Space Force will be Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed-Martin, the world’s biggest military contractor.

Space Force is no laughing matter,  May 31, 2020 by beyondnuclearinternational   

What started as “a joke” his now deadly serious; and just plain deadly Continue reading

June 1, 2020 Posted by | space travel, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Resistance developing to EDF’s plan to store nuclear waste at Belleville-sur-Loire

Nuclear: EDF plans Belleville-sur-Loire to store nuclear waste, resistance is getting organized  https://france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/centre-val-de-loire/cher/nucleaire-edf-envisage-belleville-loire-stocker-dechets-nucleaires-resistance-s-organise-1835296.html   EDF has not yet chosen the site that will host the project for a national radioactive waste storage center, but the Belleville-sur-Loire plant is expected. The project will be formalized before the end of 2020. The mobilization is organized.

n 2018, the Reporterre information site revealed that EDF plans to create a radioactive waste storage pool in Belleville-sur-Loire (Cher) to relay the center of La Hague which will soon reach saturation. The affair had then aroused the hostile reaction of the regional council whose president François Bonneau (PS) declared: “the Center-Loire Valley does not have vocation to become the nuclear dustbin of France! ”

Since then, EDF has not said more about its intentions, since transparency is not the main quality of the nuclear industries. But we know that the project to create this new site is a priority, according to the Nuclear Safety Authority. The principle and (important) dimensions of the project have been established. It only remains to choose the most suitable place and for that Belleville has several advantages.

Geographically, the Cher is located in the center of France and several major roads are connected near Belleville. The site also has large land reserves allowing the construction of other nuclear installations since only two reactors out of four possible have been built there. It could therefore easily welcome this vast project which, according to Sortir du nuclear, plans to store 10,000 tonnes of used fuel, including MOX, a highly radioactive product in which uranium and plutonium mix. This pool would be installed on the banks of the Loire for about a century before its hypothetical and distant dismantling.

La région s’oppose à un éventuel projet de stockage des déchets nucléaires

The inhabitants of the Center-Loire Valley usually accept everything The region also presents a political interest for the State and EDF. Its nuclear opponents are usually not very virulent. This is why four plants were installed there when the Bretons, after accepting Brennilis, led the fight with granite stones against the ultimately abandoned Plogoff project.

To change this image, a collective of 15 associations in the Belleville area (Loiret, Cher, Nièvre and Yonne) were formed in late March in the hope of embodying local resistance if the site was chosen. There are resolutely anti-nuclear movements like “Sortir du nuclear” but also environmental defense associations like “Vivre notre Loire”, ADENY or ATTAC. Grouped under the name “Stop Nuclear Pool” the movement is coordinated by activist Catherine Fumé:

“We want to inform local people, especially elected officials who will soon take office, and start creating a balance of power before it is too late. It should be noted that EDF is making the most dangerous choice by centralizing all waste. There are other possibilities such as dry storage in other countries. But for that, France would have to give up producing MOX, this extremely dangerous fuel that must be stored for at least 50 years before final storage, as it is radioactive. ”

Activists are concerned about this choice, which poses a threat to the environment for an indefinite period while the Loire Valley is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the vineyards of Sancerre and Pouilly are not far away. “We know the financial difficulties of EDF today,” continues Catherine Fumé. With this huge deficit will they have the means to maintain these facilities? Will they still exist in a century? ”

Piscine Nucléaire Stop is asking these questions today when EDF has not yet answered the ones we want to ask it on the subject. But we’ll know more about its intentions in a few months.

June 1, 2020 Posted by | France, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Nationally important – to stop the dumping of radioactive mud off Cardiff coast

Western Mail 28th May 2020, A COALITION of high-profile environmental groups has urged First Minister Mark Drakeford to insist on the further testing of mud from a nuclear power
station in Somerset before it is dumped in the Severn Estuary off Cardiff.
In 2018 around 120,000 tonnes of mud from adjacent to Hinkley Point power
station were dumped in the face of significant public opposition amid
concerns that it could be radioactive and pose a threat to health. This was
denied by Natural Resources Wales, which licensed the dumping, the Welsh
Government and EDF, the French company which owns the power station.
Now there are plans to dump a further 600,000 tonnes of mud in the same
location. A letter signed by 34 NGOs, policy analysts, experts and
campaigners, including Greenpeace UK, the leading environmentalist Sir
Jonathon Porritt, the Welsh Anti-Nuclear Alliance, the Low Level Radiation
Campaign, Nuclear Free Local Authorities and the Nuclear Consulting Group,
was yesterday delivered to First Minister Mark Drakeford.
The letter seeks his assurance that he will respect the requirements of the Environment
(Wales) Act 2016, ensure that the mud sampling programme aimed at
establishing whether there are radioactive substances present is expanded,
and appoint an expert group which includes members nominated by
environmental groups when conducting the assessment of the mud.
Low Level Radiation campaign secretary Richard Bramhall said: “The law requires
Natural Resources Wales and the Welsh Government to take full account of
uncertainties. There is abundant evidence in the scientific literature that
uranium and plutonium particles are blown ashore and cause cancer,
leukaemia and birth defects, yet Westminster’s advisory committee COMARE
refuses to address them and EDF’s tests can’t detect them.
If this isn’t an uncertainty, what is?” Pete Wilkinson, an associate of the Low
Level Radiation Campaign and chair of Together Against Sizewell C, said:
“The number and diversity of those who have been willing to put their
name to this letter indicates that this issue is of national importance.
The evidence points to the fact that the relationship between radioactive
dose and risk is not necessarily linear and this letter seeks recognition
of that uncertainty and a considered, science-based approach to the EDF
application.” A Welsh Government spokesman responded: “We have received
the letter and will respond in due course.”

https://www.pressreader.com/uk/western-mail/20200528/281767041433492

June 1, 2020 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear emissions cause cancer

Irvine Community News 30th May 2020, While we agonize over the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps it is also appropriate to consider another medical enigma which kills far more. Cancer is the number one killer in California. This year, cancer deaths are expected to
exceed 60,000 in California and 600,000 nationwide.

Radioactive discharges from nuclear power plants are viewed by many as a contributing factor. Over 100 million Americans live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant. Our
very own San Onofre has been regularly releasing low-level radiation into
the ocean and atmosphere for more than a half-century.

Although it is listed as “low-level,” the destructive biological effects of radiation
are cumulative. According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, even small
doses of ionizing radiation increase risks to humans.

Air ejectors blast dozens of radionuclides into the prevailing winds which generally blow over
the populated cities of Orange County. Giant pipes that are 18 feet in
diameter discharge liquid releases into the ocean, up to a million gallons
per minute. Radionuclides are mixed with sea water in discharges that can
go on for more than a day. The theory is simple: The solution to pollution
is dilution.

Do these emissions increase cancer risk? The shocking answer
is that no one knows for sure, mainly because of lack of research. The
public would like to know more but nuclear industry wants to know less. The
Nuclear Regulatory Commission likes to cite a heavily flawed study from 30
years ago which failed to find an answer. It studied only where people
died, not where they lived or worked. It also failed to study cancer in
children, the most vulnerable group.

More recently, scientific studies in Europe have reported an increase in cancer risks, especially in children.

https://irvinecommunitynewsandviews.org/guest-article-do-emissions-from-nuclear-power-plants-cause-cancer/

June 1, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children | Leave a comment