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Caring about Cancer? A UK and Irish perspective

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Support Cancer Research UK. Not the corporations!

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“This means that no new research projects will be funded for at least the first 6 months of this financial year.” Cancer Research UK statement 16th April 2020

In these turbulent financial times many NGO`s and charities are straining at the hilt. Our hearts and minds are with the health workers, world wide that are dealing with this epidemic.

Especially thank you to the Chinese Nurses and Doctors who lost their lives as they negotiated the first complicated month of the pandemic and drew up the first protocols that saved so many western health workers lives. Namaste!

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Picture courtesy of the Express UK

One such Charity is Cancer Research UK who have a shortfall in their annual funding. Here is what they had to say on the matter;

Our shops have closed, our mass fundraising events have stopped, legacies have reduced. We expect our fundraising income to fall by at…

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June 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Trump wants a nuclear test – adding to the sickness of the world

Trump apparently wants a nuclear test. It could be bad for your health. https://thebulletin.org/2020/06/trump-apparently-wants-a-nuclear-test-it-could-be-bad-for-your-health/#Sara Z. Kutchesfahani

June 5, 2020  In recent weeks, the Trump administration reportedly discussed the possibility of doing something the United States has not done since 1992: resuming explosive testing of nuclear weapons. Since the creation of the nuclear bomb, at least eight nations have detonated 2,056 nuclear test explosions at test sites around the world. Ten years ago, Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto created an informative but scary time-lapse map depicting all of these explosions. In it, each nation gets a flashing dot on the map whenever it detonates a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen.

While the story begins in 1945 with the first ever nuclear weapon test (code-named Trinity), the real action comes in 1962, when there were 178 tests globally, more than in any other year. Not only is the rapid rate alarming, but where they happened—mainly on the lands of indigenous people—is also shocking.

A US resumption of nuclear tests would send a bad signal to other countries and prompt them to test and create their own nuclear weapons. Moreover, innocent bystanders could be exposed to the radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion. Tens of thousands of people have been afflicted by leukemia, thyroid cancer, miscarriages, and severe birth defects as a result of past nuclear testing in the United States alone.

Half of the 2,056 nuclear tests were conducted by one country alone: the United States. Yes, that’s right: the total number of US-conducted tests stands at 1,030, which is more than the number of tests done by the other seven nuclear testing countries combined. Most of the explosions took place at the height of the Cold War in a series of tit-for-tat exchanges between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Even before the banner year of 1962, nuclear testing was already out of control. In 1954, the United States carried out Castle Bravo, the most powerful US nuclear weapon test (and its first thermonuclear weapon, also known as an H-bomb). The 1961 Soviet Tsar Bomba (“King of Bombs”) detonation, though, remains the most powerful human-made explosion in history. Tsar Bomba created an explosion equivalent to 50 megatons of TNT. Let’s pause for a moment for a mathematical intermission to put this yield into perspective.

1 ton = 1,000 kilograms, or 2,200 pounds of explosives

1 kiloton = 1,000 tons, or about 2,200,000 pounds

1 megaton = 1,000,000 tons, or about 2,200,000,000 pounds

The biggest conventional bomb in the US arsenal = 11 tons of TNT

Little Boy (Hiroshima) = 16 kilotons of TNT

Fat Man (Nagasaki) = 20 kilotons of TNT

Castle Bravo = 15 megatons of TNT (roughly 1,000 times more powerful than the Little Boy bomb)

Tsar Bomba = 50 megatons of TNT (roughly 10 times the total explosive power unleashed in all of World War Two, including both the Little Boy and Fat Man bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki)

Each and every above-ground nuclear explosion spread radioactive materials throughout the atmosphere. Once the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty took effect in 1963, many of the tests moved underground, but those still sometimes leaked radioactive materials into the atmosphere. The overall effect was the contamination of the air and soil where people live and work—some of which is still around today.

While testing continued throughout the Cold War, it came to a gradual halt by 1992, such that by 1993, negotiations for a Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty began. The Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is an international treaty banning all nuclear explosions for both civilian and military purposes, in all environments, but it has yet to enter into force. Although the United States has not ratified the treaty, it and all other nuclear weapon states (apart from North Korea), have honored the test ban. Perhaps maybe until now.

Why should the average person care about all this? Well, because there was and is an enormous human cost of nuclear weapons testing. If you go back and watch the Hashimoto video, you’ll notice none of the 1,030 US tests were conducted anywhere near Washington, DC. Likewise, none of the Soviet, French, or British tests were carried out around Moscow, Paris, or London. Instead, the explosions took place mainly on the lands of indigenous people, such as in the Marshall Islands, or in some cases, in the country’s own backyard, such as in New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada.

Nuclear testing ignores the voices of those who are tangibly affected by it. The human cost of nuclear weapons testing, from environmental contamination to the exploitation of powerless communities, has largely been overlooked. When the United Sates opened a nuclear testing site near Las Vegas, the people who lived downwind of the test site were assured that only a safe level of radiation could reach them. Yet, sheep started getting sick. They had burns on their faces and lips and blisters on their bodies. Ewes miscarried. Many lambs were born deformed or too weak to nurse. Around 20,000 sheep in total—a quarter of the herds in southern Utah and Nevada—died.

If that was the effect on sheep, imagine the effect on humans. Cancers associated with radiation exposure (including leukemia and thyroid cancer) were all too common. Women suffered from miscarriages. Those who didn’t miscarry gave birth to babies with severe birth defects, some of which were so severe that the infants didn’t look human. In 1990, US Congress created the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act to help rectify these injustices. To date, over 36,000 people have claimed benefits from the fund, giving a sense of the scale of the harm. But this is a lower limit. An independent study has estimated that radiation from testing caused more than 340,000 excess American deaths between 1951 and 1973.

The harms are not just a thing of the past: Utah “downwinders” are still suffering and dying as a result of health effects from nuclear tests conducted upwind in Nevada decades ago. One such downwinder is Mary Dickson, who has seen friends and family die of cancer, and has even had her own battles with it. In 2007, she wrote Exposed—an unpublished screenplay based on a true story about her sister, a fellow downwinder, and her deteriorating health due to the effects of the above-ground nuclear tests.

I’ve had the privilege of reading Exposed, and it is superb. Dickson pieces together the historical nuclear nuggets in such a compelling way that it not only deserves a thorough and careful read, but also a viewing, with tissues at hand. It is extremely powerful and personal, so much that anyone reading or watching it would be outraged by the Trump administration’s latest proclamations to resume nuclear testing. (The Players Club in New York had planned to stage a reading of the play in May 2020 on the sidelines of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, but unfortunately these plans were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.) One of the most dramatic lines of the play reads, “The hardest thing is not the dying. It’s that the dead are so easily forgotten. We’re fighting for all of them. So their lives will serve as a warning. So it won’t happen again.”

June 6, 2020 Posted by | Reference, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals

Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals [Full Report 2020]  

Produced by RSEU’s program “Against nuclear and radioaсtive threats”

Report “Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals” Produced by RSEU’s program “Against nuclear and radioaсtive threats”

Published: Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2020
Authors: RSEU experts edited by Tatyana Pautova
Editor and translator: Vitaly Servetnik
English editor: Anna WhiteCover
illustration: Anastasia Semenova
Layout: Sergey Fedulov
The Russian Social Ecological Union (RSEU)/ Friends of the Earth Russia is a non-governmental, non-profit and member based democratic organization,established in 1992. RSEU brings together environmental organizations and activistsfrom across Russia. All RSEU activities are aimed at nature conservation, protection ofhealth and the well-being of people in Russia and around the world.In 2014, RSEU became the Russian member of Friends of the Earth International.http://rusecounion.ru/eng
Saitnt Petersburg 2020
Table of Contents
Introduction…………………………………4
Nuclear energy: failures and lies…….5
Expired reactors……………………………6
Decommissioning problems…………..7
Uranium mining protest………………..8
Rosatom Importing uranium waste..9
The Mayak plant: Rosatom’s dirty face………10
Struggle against nuclear repository……………11
Rosatom’s ‘death plants’…………………………..12
A road through a radioactive graveyard……..14
Conclusion: nuclear power is a problem, not a solution….14
References……15
Introduction
Rosatom
is a Russian state-owned corporation which builds and operates nuclear power plants in Russia and globally. The state-run nuclear industry in Russia has a long history of nuclear crises, including the Kyshtym disaster in 1957 and Chernobyl in 1986. Yet Rosatom plans to build dozens of nuclear reactors in Russia, to export its deadly nuclear technologies to other countries, and then to import their hazardous nuclear waste.This report is a collection of events and details about the resistance to Russian state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, and other activities that have led to the pollution of the environment and violation of human rights. Social and environmental conflicts created by Rosatom have been left unresolved for years, while at the same time, environmental defenders who have raised these issues, have consistently experienced reprisals.

Nuclear energy: failures and lies

Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, is heir to the Soviet atomic industry, despite all attempts to appear otherwise. Nuclear disasters still affect us and many of their long-term problems have been left unresolved. Upon review of the recent accidents that have occured at nuclear facilities in Russia,it is clear that few improvements have been made. We see this again and again in the examples mentioned in this report.
• In the autumn of 2017, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) discovered a concentration of the technogenic radionuclide ruthenium–106 in the atmosphere of several European countries.
(1) A number of experts linked the ruthenium release to the Mayaplant in the Chelyabinsk Region (2-3), but Rosatom continues to deny this.• On the 8th of August 2019, an explosion occurred during a test of a liquid rocket launcher at a marine train-ing ground in Nenoksa Village of Arkhangelsk Region. The administration of the city of Severodvinsk, 30 km from the scene, reported an increase in radiation levels, but later denied the claim. The Ministry of Emergency registered an increase of 20 times (to2 µSv/h) around Severodvinsk (4), while the Ministry of Defense reported the radiation level as normal. Only two days later,
Rosatom reported that five employees were killed and three were injured at the test site. According to media reports, two employees of the Ministry of Defense were also killed and three were injured, and medical personnel who helped the victims were not informed about the riskof radiation exposure (5).
Expired reactors
More than 70% of Russian nuclear reactors are outdated. They were developed in the 1970 s and were designed to operate for only 30 years. The lifetimes of such reactors have been extended by twice the design limit (6).
Rosatom’s strategy also includes a dangerous increase of the reactor’s thermal power.
Rostekhnadzor (Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service)
grants licenses for lifetime extensions without an environmental impact assessment and without public consultations.
Especially worrying are the lifetime extensions of reactor-types with design flaws. Chernobyl–type (RBMK)reactors in Leningrad, Smolensk and Kursk regions are still in operation after exceeding their lifetimes, as well as VVER–types, such as at the Kola nuclear power plant (NPP) in Murmansk region. Neither type has a sufficient protective shell to contain radioactivity in case of an accident or to protect the reactor from an external impact or influence. (7)……
References
7 https://www.dw.com/en/every-type-of-reactor-poses-a-threat/a-1974231 (Eng.)
8 https://www.tol.org/client/article/23174-nucle-ar-strength-kola.html
9 https://barentsobserver.com/en/sections/nature/ kola-reactor-3-runs-overtime (Eng.)
10 https://barentsobserver.com/en/nature/ ice-cold-swimming-nuclear-protest (Eng.)
11 http://pim.org.ru/old/2005–04–28–answer–mur-manproc.pdf (Rus.)
12 https://profile.ru/society/ekolog–znachit–vrag–13271/
13 https://kec.org.ru/organisation/histrory/
14 http://rusecounion.ru/eng/nuclearstatusre-port2019 (Eng.)
15 http://rusecounion.ru/eng/node/2994 (Eng.),http://rusecounion.ru/eng/node/2991 (Eng.)
16 https://www.rbc.ru/spb_sz/29/12/2018/ 5c2633749a7947f8833fc99817 http://decommission.ru/2019/06/14/laes_sos-nobyl/
18 http://decommission.ru/2017/12/21/yad-news_1_201217/
19 http://rusecounion.ru/eng/node/2993 (Eng.)
20 http://rusecounion.ru/eng/node/2992 (Eng.)
21 http://greenworld.org.ru/?q=human_right_21111622 https://shtab.navalny.com/hq/kurgan/3687/
23 https://novayagazeta.ru/arti-cles/2019/11/08/82647–strana–uraniya
24 https://youtu.be/irqY75jSnA8
25 https://vk.com/wall–141292704_3351
26 https://45.ru/text/gorod/53533571/
27 https://ovdinfo.org/express–news/2020/04/15/v–kurgane–fsb–vozbudilo–ugolovnoe–delo–protiv–ekoaktivistki
28 http://chng.it/xHgMmwkPq5
29 http://rusecounion.ru/ru/no–uf6
30 http://activatica.org/blogs/view/id/8619/title/ pochemu–nuzhno–ostanovit–uranovyy poezd
31 https://www.zaks.ru/new/archive/view/195957
32 http://rusecounion.ru/ru/decomatom_19320
33 https://66.ru/news/society/226814/
34 https://greenpeace.ru/blogs/2019/12/17/peter-burg–ne–hochet–radioaktivnyh–podarkov/
35 https://foeasiapacific.org/2019/07/01/ russia-must-stop-criminal-persecu-tion-of-ecodefense-director-alexandra-koroly-ova-repeal-the-foreign-agent-law-and-promote-envi-ronmental-justice/ (Eng.)
36 https://ecodefense.ru/2019/12/30/alexandra–koroleva–political–refuge/
37 http://rusecounion.ru/ru/decom_mayak_2018
38 http://nuclear.tatar.mtss.ru/fa230907.htm
39 http://chelportal.ru/enc/dvizhenie_za_yader-nuyu_bezopasnost
40 http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-103084(Eng.), http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-158136(Eng.)
41 https://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=949087
42 https://theins.ru/confession/81445
43 https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/941081
44 https://www.rbc.ru/poli-tics/18/03/2015/550812909a79475f79d367cc
45 https://novayagazeta.ru/ news/2016/12/13/127413–sud–v–chelyabinske–likvid-iroval–priznannyy–inostrannyym–agentom–fond–za–prirodu
46 https://zaprirodu.ru/page/ekspansija–neve-zhestva
47 http://babr24.com/kras/?IDE=198678
48 http://www.change.org/mogilnik
49 https://youtu.be/WTKfCnXt58Q?t=1729
50 https://meduza.io/news/2016/08/25/krasnoyarsk-ogo–aktivista–obvinili–v–razzhiganii–nenavisti–k–at-omschikam
51 http://greenworld.org.ru/sites/default/greenfiles/ Mariasov_doklad_int.pdf
52 https://vk.com/@pitsunova–filkina–gramota–ros-rao
53 https://news.sarbc.ru/main/2019/07/25/235566.html
54 https://regnum.ru/news/polit/2867802.html
55 http://chng.it/5RsJDQfkxq
56 https://ovdinfo.org/express–news/2020/03/11/ kirovskie–vlasti–ne–soglasovali–miting–ni–na–odnoy–iz–31–ploshchadok–no
57 http://rusecounion.ru/ru/horda_msk
58 https://youtu.be/R9_9phYaWBE
59 https://youtu.be/bMKfYD1SLdc
60 https://youtu.be/l5K8agywCNw
61 https://youtu.be/iXOyT0qPUi0
62 http://activatica.org/blogs/view/id/9759/title/ na–sklon–v–moskvoreche–vernulsya–simvol–obo-rony–sob

https://www.facebook.com/notes/rna-international/antinuclear-resistance-in-russia-problems-protests-reprisals-full-report-2020/3498100043537008/

June 6, 2020 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics, Reference, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Czech Fiscal Council warns on the long-term risk of financing a new nuclear reactor

 

Even the World Nuclear News, voice of the global nuclear industry, admits that nuclear reactors are just too costly

Czech budget council warns of Dukovany cost  https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Czech-budget-council-warns-of-Dukovany-cost 05 June 2020 

The Czech Fiscal Council, Národní rozpočtová rada (NRR), has warned that financing a new nuclear power unit could have a long-term impact on the country’s budget and could be “a lot higher” than current estimates.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said last week that the government will provide a loan to ČEZ to cover 70% of the cost of building a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant, with the majority state-owned utility funding the remaining 30%. The project cost is estimated to be about EUR6.0 billion (USD6.7 billion).

In its latest quarterly report, published on 3 June, the NRR said it was outside its remit to comment on the country’s choice of energy mix, but that it considered it necessary to comment on aspects of policy that significantly affect public budgets.

“In May 2020, the government presented a proposal to provide a loan to ČEZ covering up to 70% of the funds needed for the completion of the Dukovany nuclear power plant, while the costs of project implementation are expected to be around CZK160 billion. It’s obvious that such an amount would have to be secured by the state on the capital markets and thus the share of public debt in GDP would increase,” it said.

v”In addition, experience from the construction of nuclear power plants abroad in recent years has shown that the budgeted amounts are generally significantly exceeded. In the end, the fiscal costs of completing a nuclear power plant may be significantly higher than current estimates. Decisions of similar importance should therefore, in the NRR’s view, be taken on the basis of careful analysis and after a more detailed discussion.”

ČEZ applied to the State Office for Nuclear Safety on 25 March to construct two new reactors at its Dukovany nuclear power plant. Four VVER-440 units are currently in operation at the site, in Vysočina Region.

June 6, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Russian city Severodvinsk, (near site of nuclear accident) sealed off due to Covid-19

Coronavirus seals off city near secret Russian nuclear accident site, https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/2020/06/coronavirus-seals-city-near-secret-russian-nuclear-accident-site The Moscow Times 05, 2020, Authorities have blocked access to Severodvinsk, the north Russian city located near the site of last year’s mysterious nuclear testing accident as the coronavirus outbreak there intensified.The governor of the Arkhangelsk region signed an order to close public access to Severodvinsk this Saturday, the city’s press service said Thursday. Severodvinsk is near the Nyonoksa testing site where an August 2019 explosion during a rocket engine test killed five Russian nuclear workers and led to a radiation spike.

Severodvinsk will set up checkpoints Friday and restrict entry and exit starting midnight Saturday to everyone except workers and people attending funerals, going to country houses or transiting through the city.

“The measure remains in effect until special orders,” the city’s press service said in a statement.

Around 700 people have been infected with Covid-19 at two of the city’s major shipyards since April, an unnamed shipbuilding industry source told the Vedomosti business daily. The Sevmash and Zvezdochka shipyards reportedly saw more than 200 new cases in the past week alone.

The outbreak has prompted federal health officials last week to order enterprises in Severodvinsk to limit their activities.

The Arkhangelsk region has confirmed 2,496 coronavirus infections since the start of the outbreak. Severodvinsk accounts for roughly half of the region’s overall cases.

Last August, a missile exploded during what is believed to have been a recovery operation. The secrecy surrounding the accident has led outside observers to speculate that the explosion involved the Burevestnik nuclear-powered intercontinental cruise missile, dubbed the SSC-X-9 Skyfall by NATO.

President Vladimir Putin later said the accident occurred during testing of what he called promising new weapons systems.

June 6, 2020 Posted by | health, Russia | Leave a comment

Beyond Nuclear Files Federal Lawsuit Challenging High-Level Radioactive Waste Dump

June 6, 2020 Posted by | Legal, opposition to nuclear, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Radioactive waste imported from Estonia for iconic Bears Ears, Utah?

Radioactive Waste May Be Dumped Near Bears Ears—Public Comments Requested https://www.adventure-journal.com/2020/06/radioactive-waste-may-be-dumped-near-bears-ears-public-comments-requested/    BY JUSTIN HOUSMAN   |   JUNE 3, 2020

June 6, 2020 Posted by | reprocessing, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

The Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant: Rosatom’s dirty face- and the courageous opposition

Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals [Full Report 2020]    Report “Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals” Produced by RSEU’s program “Against nuclear and radioaсtive threats”
Published: Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2020
“………The Mayak plant: Rosatom’s dirty face
The Mayak plant in the Chelyabinsk region is a nuclear waste reprocessing facility, arguably one of the places most negatively affected by the Russian nuclear industry. Firstly, radioactive waste was dumped into the Techa river from 1949 to 2004, which has been admitted by the company. According to subsequent reports by the local organisation For Nature however, the dumping has since been ongoing. (37)
 As a result, 35 villages around the river were evacuated and destroyed. Secondly, the explosion at the plant in 1957, known as the Kyshtym tragedy, is among the 20th century’s worst nuclear accidents. (38)
• One of the first organisations that raised the problem of radiation pollution in the Ural region was the Movement for Nuclear Safety , formed in 1989. During its work, the Movement was engaged in raising awareness, social protection of the affected population, and publishing dozens of reports. (39)
After unprecedented pressure and persecution, the organisation’s leader, Natalia Mironova, was forced to emigrate to the United States in 2013.
• Since 2000, another non–governmental organisation, Planet of Hope, has held thousands of consultations with affected citizens. Nadezhda Kutepova, a lawyer and head of the organisation, won more than 70 cases in defence of Mayak victims, including 2 cases in the European Court of Human Rights (40). However, some important cases have still not been resolved. These include 2nd generation victims, cases involving pregnant women who were affected during liquidation, as well as the many schoolchildren of Tatarskaya Karabolka village who were sent to harvest the contaminated crop after the accident. (41)
The state and Rosatom have reacted against the actions of Nadezhda Kutepova, persecuting both her and Planet of Hope. The organisation survived arbitrary inspections in 2004 and 2009, but was labelled a Foreign Agent in 2015 and closed in 2018. /42)
After being accused of ‘industrial espionage’ under the threat of criminal prosecution, Nadezhda was forced to flee the country with her children. She nevertheless continues her struggle to bring justice for the victims of Mayak
.• Since 2002, the public foundation For Nature has been disputing nuclear activity in the region. The organisation appealed to the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation on the import of spent nuclear fuel from the Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary. The court declared the Governmental Decree to be invalid, thus preventing the import of 370 tons of Hungarian radioactive waste. (43)
In March 2015, For Nature was also listed as a Foreign Agent and fined. (44)
In 2016, the court shut down the organisation. (45)
In its place, a social movement of the same name was formed, and continues to help the South Ural communities. (46)
11Struggle against nuclear repository

In the city of Krasnoyarsk, Rosatom plans to build a national repository for high–level radioactive waste. A site has been selected on the banks of Siberia’s largest river, the Yenisei, only 40 km from the city. Environmental activists consider this project, if implemented,to be a crime against future generations and violates numerous Russian laws. Activists are also concerned that waste from Ukraine,Hungary, Bulgaria (and in the future from Belarus, Turkey, Bangladesh, and other countries) could be transported there as well. (47)

The community is understandably outraged, as no one wants to live in the world’s nuclear dump.Since 2013, for more than 7 years, the people of Krasnoyarsk have been protesting. To date, more than 146,000 people have signed the petition tothe President of the Russian Federation protesting against the construction of this federal nuclear repository. (48)
Most of the producing nuclear power plants are located in the European part of Russia, but the waste is going to be sent for ‘the rest of its lifetime’to Siberia. Local activists refer to this, with good reason, as Rosatom’s “nuclear colonisation” of Siberia. (49)
• In 2016, Fedor Maryasov, an independent journalist and leader of the protest, was accused of inciting hatred against ‘nuclear industry workers’as a social group. A criminal case was initiated under the article on extremism. (50)
The basis for thisaccusation was 125 publications on social networksand the press about nuclear topics. The activist’s apartment was searched and his computer seized,along with a printed report on Rosatom’s activities in the Krasnoyarsk region. (51)
The federal security service also issued Maryasovan official warning for treason. Only wide publicity in the media and the active support of human rights lawyers has thus far prevented further criminal prosecution of the activist. ……….”   https://www.facebook.com/notes/rna-international/antinuclear-resistance-in-russia-problems-protests-reprisals-full-report-2020/3498100043537008/

June 6, 2020 Posted by | environment, opposition to nuclear, Reference, reprocessing, Russia | Leave a comment

Nuclear submarine accidents contaminating Russia’s Far East

In 1985, A Nuclear Submarine Explosion Contaminated Russia’s Far East,

Kyle Mizokami, The National Interest•June 5, 2020  
Here’s What You Need To Remember: The explosion blew out the reactor’s twelve-ton lid—and fuel rods—and ruptured the pressure hull. The reactor core was destroyed, and eight officers and two enlisted men standing nearby were killed instantly. A the blast threw debris was thrown into the air, and a plume of fallout 650 meters wide by 3.5 kilometers long traveled downwind on the Dunay Peninsula. More debris and the isotope Cobalt-60 was thrown overboard and onto the nearby docks.

In 1985, a Soviet submarine undergoing a delicate refueling procedure experienced a freak accident that killed ten naval personnel. The fuel involved was not diesel, but nuclear, and the resulting environmental disaster contaminated the area with dangerous, lasting radiation. The incident, which remained secret until after the demise of the USSR itself, was one of many nuclear accidents the Soviet Navy experienced during the Cold War……

The explosion blew out the reactor’s twelve-ton lid—and fuel rods—and ruptured the pressure hull. The reactor core was destroyed, and eight officers and two enlisted men standing nearby were killed instantly. A the blast threw debris was thrown into the air, and a plume of fallout 650 meters wide by 3.5 kilometers long traveled downwind on the Dunay Peninsula. More debris and the isotope Cobalt-60 was thrown overboard and onto the nearby docks.

According to Nuclear Risks, the accident scene was heavily contaminated with radioactivity. Gamma ray radiation was not particularly bad; at an exposure rate of five millisieverts per hour, it was the equivalent of getting a chest CT scan every hour. However, the explosion also released 259 petabecquerels of radioactive particles, including twenty-nine gigabecquerels of iodine-131, a known cause of cancer. This bode very badly for the emergency cleanup crews, especially firefighters who needed to get close to the explosion site, and the nearby village of Shkotovo-22. Forty-nine members of the cleanup crew displayed symptoms of radiation sickness, ten of them displaying acute symptoms…….

While the Chazhma Bay region appears contaminated to this day with radiation, it is unknown how much of it is the result of the K-431 incident and how much the result of the many nuclear-powered submarines that were junked and forgotten in the area.

The K-431 incident was one of several involving Soviet submarine reactors. Ten Soviet submarines experienced nuclear accidents, and one other, K-11, also suffered a refueling criticality………. https://news.yahoo.com/1985-nuclear-submarine-explosion-contaminated-213000521.html

June 6, 2020 Posted by | incidents, Russia | Leave a comment

USA nuclear-missile program data leaked, as contractor hit with Maze Ransomware

U.S. Nuclear Contractor Hit with Maze Ransomware, Data Leaked,   Tara Seals
June 4, 2020  Threat Post, Westech International provides maintenance for the Minuteman III nuclear-missile program and runs programs for multiple branches of the military.

A U.S. military contractor involved in the maintenance of the country’s Minuteman III nuclear arsenal has been hit by the Maze ransomware, according to reports – with the hackers making off with reams of sensitive information.

The company, Westech International, has a range of contracts with the military for everything from ongoing evaluation for the ballistic missile defense system in Colorado, to a role as a sub-contractor for Northrup Grumman. In the latter capacity it provides engineering support, repair and maintenance for ground subsystems components involved in the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program.

The U.S. has about 440 of the ICBMs, which have been around since the 1970s and which are stored in U.S. Air Force facilities in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. They make up the country’s long-range land-to-air nuclear stockpile, and each can travel up to 6,000 miles with a payload of several thermonuclear warheads on board, according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The cyberattackers first compromised the contractor’s internal network, the company confirmed to Sky News, before encrypting files and exfiltrating data. Maze has a quirk not found in most ransomwares: In addition to encrypting files and offering the decryption key in exchange for a ransom payment, it also automatically copies all affected files to the malicious operators’ servers.

The Maze operators thus often carry out  “double extortion” attacks, in which they leak information on an underground forum unless victims pay up. In fact, researchers said in April that the Maze gang has created a dedicated web page, which lists the identities of their non-cooperative victims and regularly publishes samples of the stolen data. This so far includes details of dozens of companies, including law firms, medical service providers and insurance companies, that have not given in to their demands……..  https://threatpost.com/nuclear-contractor-maze-ransomware-data-leaked/156289/

June 6, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia will now allow use of atomic weapons against non-nuclear strike

New Russian policy allows use of atomic weapons against non-nuclear strike  https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2020/06/02/new-russian-policy-allows-use-of-atomic-weapons-against-non-nuclear-strike/

By: Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press   5 June 20 MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday endorsed Russia’s nuclear deterrent policy, which allows him to use atomic weapons in response to a conventional strike targeting the nation’s critical government and military infrastructure.

By including a non-nuclear attack as a possible trigger for Russian nuclear retaliation, the document appears to send a warning signal to the U.S. The new expanded wording reflects Russian concerns about the development of prospective weapons that could give Washington the capability to knock out key military assets and government facilities without resorting to atomic weapons.

In line with Russian military doctrine, the new document reaffirms that the country could use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack or an aggression involving conventional weapons that “threatens the very existence of the state.”

But the policy document now also offers a detailed description of situations that could trigger the use of nuclear weapons. They include the use of nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction against Russia or its allies and an enemy attack with conventional weapons that threatens the country’s existence.

In addition to that, the document now states that Russia could use its nuclear arsenals if it gets “reliable information” about the launch of ballistic missiles targeting its territory or its allies and also in the case of ”enemy impact on critically important government or military facilities of the Russian Federation, the incapacitation of which could result in the failure of retaliatory action of nuclear forces.”

U.S.-Russia relations are at post-Cold War lows over the Ukrainian crisis, the accusations of Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election and other differences.

Last year, both Moscow and Washington withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The only U.S.-Russia nuclear arms control agreement still standing is the New START treaty, which was signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The pact limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers and envisages sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance.

Russia has offered to extend the New START, which expires in February 2021, while the Trump administration has pushed for a new arms control pact that would also include China. Moscow has described that idea as unfeasible, pointing at Beijing’s refusal to negotiate any deal that would reduce its much smaller nuclear arsenal.
In a call with members of his Security Council over the weekend, Putin warned that the New START treaty is bound to expire, but “the negotiations on that crucial issue, important not just for us but for the entire world, have failed to start.”

June 6, 2020 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Uranium mining protests in Russia

Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals [Full Report 2020]    Report “Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals” Produced by RSEU’s program “Against nuclear and radioaсtive threats”
Published: Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2020

“……..Uranium mining protest
In the Kurgan region, Rosatom’s subsidiary company, Dalur, has been mining uranium and the local communities fear an environmental disaster. In the summer of 2019, the state environmental appraisal revealed a discrepancy between Dalur’s documentation and the Russian legislation

requirements, but the company started the deposit’s development anyway at the end of 2019.(22)
• The ‘Dobrovolnoe’ uranium deposit is located in a floodplain of the Tobol river basin. This means that all the water that flows into the river will pass through the aquifer, flushing out radioactive and toxic compounds into the surrounding environment. (23)
• Since 2017, Kurgan activists have been protesting against the development of the deposit. They have appealed to the authorities and begun protests. One of their videos, ‘Uranium is Death for Kurgan’, has already reached 50,000 views. (24)
Several times, activists have tried to start a referendum and demand an independent environmental review, but so far, have received only refusals from the local officials.In February 2018, Natalia Shulyatieva, the spouse of activist Andrey Shulyatiev and mother of three children, died after falling into a coma. (25)
Activists believe this occurred in reaction to learning that Dalur had filed a lawsuit against her husband, accusing him of undermining the company’s reputation. The lawsuit was withdrawn following Shulyatieva’s death. (26)
In March 2020, the Federal Security Service in the Kurgan Region initiated a criminal case against local eco–activist Lyubov Kudryashova for her ‘public justification of terrorism using the Internet’. (27)

Activists attribute her persecution to her work at the Public Monitoring Fund for the Environmental Condition and the Population Welfare which she led back in 2017. The Foundation has repeatedly published information on the possible environmental damage resulting from Dalur’s mining activity. (28)

9

Rosatom Importing uranium waste
In the fall of 2019, environmentalists revealed that radioactive and toxic waste (uranium hexafluoride, UF6)were being imported from Germany through the port of Amsterdam into Russia. This is the waste from the uranium enrichment process which will be sent to the Urals or Siberia and stored in containers above the ground. Thus, under the auspices of a commercial transaction, the German uranium–enriching enterprise, Urenco, avoids its nuclear waste problem, while Rosatom profits by taking the hazardous waste into Russia.
• In response to this transaction, the groups Russian Social–Ecological Union, Ecodefense and Greenpeace Russia called on Russian civil society to protest. More than 30 organisations and movements joined the common statement (29), and various demonstrations have taken place in Russia, as well as in Germany and the Netherlands. (30)
As a result of protests, the question of importing radioactive waste was taken up by the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg (31) and the transportation of the waste was delayed for three months.However, in March 2020, when people in Russia were further restricted from protests during the Covid–19 virus quarantine, the import of radioactive waste was resumed through the port of the less populated town of Ust–Luga in Leningrad Region. Additional organisations and residents of the Leningrad region then decided to join the earlier anti–nuclear statement and protest. (32)
• Following these protests, a number of activists have faced persecution. Like Sosnovy Bor, Novouralskis a nuclear industry–dominated and closed city of Sverdlovsk region, and is the end destination of the transported uranium hexafluoride. The city has rarely seen protests before. In response to a series of one–person protests, authorities have initiated legal cases against three pensioners in the beginning of December 2019 (33). Charges were later dismissed. Another example is Rashid Alimov, an expert from Greenpeace Russia, who protested in the center of Saint Petersburg. Later the same day, two police officers together with six other people without uniform detained Alimov from in front of his house. He then faced charges and a substantial fine. (34)
Charges were later dropped.Environmental organisations that had previously opposed the import of uranium waste were listed as Foreign Agents.
Ecodefense was the first of such, listed in 2014. In 2019, the pressure continued and the organisation’s leader, Alexandra Korolyova, was targeted. (35)
Five criminal cases were initiated against her, which forced her to leave the country. (36)…..”

https://www.facebook.com/notes/rna-international/antinuclear-resistance-in-russia-problems-protests-reprisals-full-report-2020/3498100043537008/

June 6, 2020 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Uranium | Leave a comment

Activists, despite government oppression, campaign for decommissioning of Russia’s aging nuclear reactors

Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals [Full Report 2020]    Report “Anti–nuclear resistance in Russia: problems, protests, reprisals” Produced by RSEU’s program “Against nuclear and radioaсtive threats”
Published: Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2020

“………..For many years, Murmansk regional environmental groups have opposed the ageing Kola NPP reactor’s lifetime extension. They have participated in public hearings, have organised many demonstrations (8-9-10), appealed to and received support from the prosecutor’s office(11), but this was all ignored by Rosatom. Activists also called on the governor to shut down the old NPP, but environmental organisations were shutdown instead. One such organisation is Kola Environmental Center (KEC) – listed as a Foreign Agent in 2017– and was subject to two trials and fined 150,000 rubles (12). KEC was forced to close down as a legal entity in2018, but has continued its environmental work as a public movement(13). Another organisation in the region –Nature and Youth – made the decision to close down in order to avoid prosecution, but continues its work as an unregistered initiative

Decommissioning problems
Most of the Russian nuclear power plants, despite their lifetime extensions, are approaching inevitable closure. Over the next 15 years, the NPP decommissioning process will take place. Currently, 36 power units are in operation at 11 NPPs in Russia, and 7 units have been shut down. While the fuel was removed from 5 of these units, the NPPs have not yet been decommissioned(14). This process will lead to enormous amounts of nuclear waste. Moreover, sufficient funds for the decommissioning process have not yet been earmarked. (15)
• In 2018, after 45 years of operation, the first power unit of the Leningrad NPP was finally shut down.The second one scheduled for shutdown is in 2020, the third in 2025 and the fourth in 2026. However,decommissioning projects have not yet been clearly developed for the reactors.
Rosenergoatom, Rosatom’s subsidiary, will develop them in the years following the shutdowns. (16)
• The public organisation, Green World, has worked for many years in Sosnovy Bor, Leningrad Region, a city dominated by the nuclear industry and closed to outsiders. Since 1988, activists of the organisation have opposed dangerous nuclear projects in the Baltic Sea region(17) and have provided the public with independent information on the environmental situation. (18)
Green World has consistently called for the decommissioning of Leningrad NPP and took an early lead in collecting and preparing information on how decommissioning should take place, studying the experience of other countries. (19)
They have paid particular attention to information transparency and to wide participation indecision–making, including, for example, former employees of the nuclear industry. (20)
Rather than be met with cooperation, the organisation and its activists have, since the beginning, experienced pressure from the authorities and the dirty nuclear industry. Activists faced dismissal, lawsuits and even attempts on their lives.In 2015,
Green World was listed as a Foreign Agent and forced to close. (21)
In its place, another organisation was opened – the Public Council of the South Coast of the Gulf of Finland. Activists have continued their work as before under this new name…….”

June 6, 2020 Posted by | decommission reactor, Reference, Russia | Leave a comment

French state-controlled utility EDF has to inspect valve leaks at Flamanville, Taishan, Finland nuclear sites

Reuters 3rd June 2020, French state-controlled utility EDF will make more inspections at its
Flamanville and Taishan nuclear sites after valve leaks were reported at
Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 (OL3) nuclear reactor, a company’s spokesman said
on Wednesday. EDF was unaware of any major issues at Flamanville and
Taishan sites similar to the valve leaks in Finland, the spokesman also
said. Finland’s nuclear watchdog reported on May 25 valve problems in a
component involved in the cooling process at the long-delayed OL3 nuclear
reactor.

June 6, 2020 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Deep concern over environmental  cost of planned Sizewell C nuclear station

East Anglian Daily Times 5th June 2020 Councillor David Blackburn: Deeply concerned over the environmental  cost of Sizewell C. I share the ‘deep concerns’ of the National Trust to
the potential environmental costs of the proposed Sizewell C new nuclear
reactor project (EADT, 25th May).

They tally with those made at our recent
Saxmundham seminar from environmental representatives including the
naturalist Simon Barnes, the Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Suffolk Coastal
Friends of the Earth. At that meeting it was made clear that Sizewell C
could have major and long term negative effects on highly sensitive sites
like Minsmere, and as the National Trust notes, Dunwich Heath.

And we know as well that Coronation Wood is to be removed in the interim plans for the
site. The natural environment around Sizewell includes some rare and unique
habitats, and clearly an industrial development on the sheer scale of
Sizewell C can’t possibly be able to mitigate all of these issues.

It should also be noted that, in the past few months, renewable energy has
delivered the bulk of UK electricity needs and it is reported that EDF may
be paid £50 million just to turn Sizewell B off due to a lack of demand.
With longer-term concerns over climate change, coastal erosion and rising
sea levels there is a lethal combination of factors that make it much more
sensible not to develop new nuclear reactors in Suffolk. The concerns of
local environmental groups need to be heeded for this and future
generations so that we can continue to enjoy these beautiful landscapes and
their rare wildlife.

https://www.eadt.co.uk/home

June 6, 2020 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment