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U.S. Democratic Party not really interested in reducing the bloated military spending

War, Peace and the Democrats, Common Wonders,  Wednesday, August 19th, 2020   By Robert C. Koehler

“There’s something happening here/What it is ain’t exactly clear . . .”

Or is it?            “……………………………Yes, there are progressive, antiwar Democrats out there, gaining power, getting elected to office, almost winning presidential primaries — scaring the bejesus out of the Democratic establishment — but the party itself still stands firmly in the middle of nowhere, fully in favor of empathy and compassion and yet, somehow, fully supportive of the endless wars most of its own voters hate and utterly unwilling to challenge the bloated and ever-expanding defense budget.Citing the analysis of William Hartung and Many Smithberger, the Milwaukee Independent described that budget thus: “As of 2019, the annual Pentagon base budget, plus war budget, plus nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, plus military spending by the Department of Homeland Security, plus interest on deficit military spending, and other military spending totaled $1.25 trillion . . .”

This is untouchable money — not just to Trump and the Republicans but to most congressional Democrats.

Indeed, as Alexander Sammon points out in the American Prospect, Democratic majorities were crucial this summer to the defeat of three separate bills, introduced by progressive Democrats, to reduce military spending and/or undo the militarization of police departments. These included amendments in both the Senate and the House to the National Defense Authorization Act, diverting 10 percent of the Department of Defense budget to health care, education and jobs; as well as a Senate proposal to end the 1033 Program, which allows the Pentagon to transfer military gear to the police. The amendment’s defeat in the House was especially an outrage, Sammon notes, in that the Dems hold a majority in the House and could have passed it.

“If Democrats are going to enact anything that resembles their own agenda,” Sammon writes, “they’re going to have to aim way higher than cutting defense to near Obama-era highs. Taking military spending not to pre-Trump but to pre-9/11 levels should be a starting point. Democratic voters abhor the War on Terror; it’s what helped deliver Obama the presidency back in 2008. It’s incumbent on Joe Biden to deliver on that preference, not just to end engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan but to bring an end to the bloated defense budgets of the War on Terror era. His silence on the proposal even in the thick of a campaign against Trump sends a troubling message.”

War, militarism and the insanely bloated defense budget are never — never! — addressed with serious political pragmatism. Thus to see a peace symbol, the icon of a world beyond war, flicker meaninglessly for ten titillating seconds at the Democratic convention, was . . . well, discombobulating.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | election USA 2020 | Leave a comment

Climate, weather extremes, threaten nuclear reactors, and costs of preparing for them are increasing

Dozens of US nuclear power plants at risk due to climate change: Moody’s, S and P Global, Author Steven Dolley     Washington Editor,  Keiron Greenhalgh 19 Aug 20


37 GW of nuclear capacity at risk from flooding

48 GW at risk from heat, water stress

Merchant plants have fewer options to recover mitigation costs

Washington — Dozens of US nuclear power plants, comprising nearly half the country’s operational nuclear generating capacity, “will face growing credit risks” in the next 10 to 20 years due to flooding, hurricanes, heat stress and other predicted impacts of climate change, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report Aug. 18.

“The consequences of climate change can affect every aspect of nuclear plant operations – from fuel handling and power and steam generation to maintenance, safety systems and waste processing,” the report said, noting that “the severity of these risks will vary by region, with the ultimate credit impact depending on the ability of plant operators to invest in mitigating measures to manage these risks.”

Moody’s did not specify mitigation measures that are being, or should be, taken.

Water cooling needs expose plants to the risk of flooding, sea-level rise and hurricanes, and “about 37 gigawatts (GW) of US nuclear capacity [have] elevated exposure to flood risk,” Moody’s said.

Also, the report noted, “rising heat and water stress can have an adverse impact on plant operations,” with “about 48 GW of nuclear capacity [having] elevated exposure to combined rising heat and water stress.”

“Regulated or cost-based nuclear plants,” comprising about 55 GW of capacity in the US, “face elevated heat and water stress across most locations, with moderate to high risk of floods, hurricanes, and sea level rise for certain coastal plants,” Moody’s said. However, it added: “The credit impact of these climate risks is likely to be more modest for operators of these nuclear plants, relative to market-based plants, because they have the ability to recoup costs through rate recovery mechanisms.”

By contrast, “market-based plants,” with a total of about 44 GW of capacity, “face elevated heat stress and more water stress than regulated/cost-based plants, with fewer plants at risk of floods and hurricanes,” it said.

The highest risk, or “red flag,” category includes plants that are “highly exposed to historical and/or projected risks, indicating high potential for negative impacts,” Moody’s said.

According to the report, five plants with a combined capacity of about 9.1 GW are in the red flag category for floods. Some 13 plants with a combined capacity of about 23.8 GW were found to be at red-flag risk for heat stress. The categories of hurricanes, sea level rise and water stress each had one plant expected to be at red-flag risk.

Because some US nuclear units “are seeking to extend their operations by 20, or even 40 years,” Moody’s said, “operators will have to consider these risks when implementing resilience measures.”……….

August 20, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Climate change a problem for nuclear waste dumps

Climate change included in nuclear waste study, Dryden now, August 2020 by Mike Aiken    

Experts with the Nuclear Waste Management Organization are adjusting their forecasts for the Ignace area, so they include the possibility of more rainfall. The adjustment will allow for climate change, including the possibility of extreme weather and increased flooding.

“This is the first time this modelling work has been done for a potential repository location and any assessment of sites for the safe storage of used nuclear fuels must take into account the potential future impact of climate change on its infrastructure,” said Kelly Liberda, who is a senior engineer with Golder Associates, who are working on the site selection process.

“While it’s difficult to project the extent to which precipitation could fluctuate in specific geographic areas, the NMWO is taking steps to anticipate the most likely scenarios,” Liberda added.

Based on a multi-model assessment of publicly available data, the Golder Associates study found that both one-day probable maximum precipitation and one-day rainfall events in the Ignace study area are projected to increase in the 2050s and 2080s. …….

August 20, 2020 Posted by | climate change, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Global heating now posing physical and financial risks to U.S. nuclear reactors

August 20, 2020 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Bill McKibben not sure that Kamala Harris will be strong on addressing climate change

August 20, 2020 Posted by | climate change, election USA 2020 | Leave a comment

NuScam’s not so small nuclear reactors need $1.4 billion subsidy, and might not be so safe

Smaller, cheaper [?] reactor aims to revive nuclear industry, but design problems raise safety concerns, Science, By Adrian Cho, Aug. 18, 2020  Engineers at NuScale Power believe they can revive the moribund U.S. nuclear industry by thinking small. Spun out of Oregon State University in 2007, the company is striving to win approval from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the design of a new factory-built, modular fission reactor meant to be smaller, safer, and cheaper than the gigawatt behemoths operating today. But even as that 4-year process culminates, reviewers have unearthed design problems, including one that critics say undermines NuScale’s claim that in an emergency, its small modular reactor (SMR) would shut itself down without operator intervention.The issues are typical of the snags new reactor designs run into on the road to approval, says Michael Corradini, a nuclear engineer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “I don’t think these things are show-stoppers.” However, M. V. Ramana, a physicist who studies public policy at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and has been critical of NuScale, says the problems show the company has oversold the claim that its SMRs are “walk-away safe.” “They have given you the standard by which to evaluate them and they’re failing,” Ramana says.

Passive safety?

Normally, convection circulates water—laced with boron to tune the nuclear reaction—through the core of NuScale’s reactor (left). If the reactor overheats, it shuts down and valves release steam into the containment vessel, where it conducts heat to a surrounding pool and condenses (center). The water flows back into the core, keeping it safely submerged (right). But the condensed water can be low in boron, and reviewers worried it could cause the reactor to spring back to life………..

NuScale’s likely first customer, Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS), has delayed plans to build a NuScale plant, which would include a dozen of the reactors, at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Idaho National Laboratory. The $6.1 billion plant would now be completed by 2030, 3 years later than previously planned, says UAMPS spokesperson LaVarr Webb. ………        The delay will give UAMPS more time to develop its application for an NRC license to build and operate the plant, Webb says. The deal depends on DOE contributing $1.4 billion to the cost of the plant, he adds. 

………  A NuScale reactor—which would be less than 25 meters high, hold about one-eighth as much fuel as a large power reactor, and generate less than one-tenth as much electric power—would rely on natural convection to circulate the water

……….. In March, however, a panel of independent experts found a potential flaw in that scheme. To help control the chain reaction, the reactor’s cooling water contains boron, which, unlike water, absorbs neutrons. But the steam leaves the boron behind, so the element will be missing from the water condensing in the reactor and containment vessel, the NRC’s Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) noted. When the boron-poor water re-enters the core, it could conceivably revive the chain reaction and possibly melt the core, ACRS concluded in a report on its 5–6 March meeting.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | safety, technology, USA | Leave a comment

Greta Thunberg on the global inaction on climate change

Another two years lost to climate inaction, says Greta Thunberg   Two years on from her first school strike, activist attacks ‘ignorance and unawareness’

Greta Thunberg: the world is still in a state of climate crisis denial,   Damian Carrington Environment editor @dpcarrington, Wed 19 Aug 2020   Two years on from Greta Thunberg’s first solo school strike for the climate, she says the world has wasted the time by failing to take the necessary action on the crisis.

Thunberg’s strike inspired a global movement, and on Thursday she and other leading school strikers will meet Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany, which holds the rotating presidency of the European council. They will demand a halt to all fossil fuel investments and subsidies and the establishment of annual, binding carbon budgets based on the best science.

“Looking back [over two years], a lot has happened. Many millions have taken to the streets … and on 28 November 2019, the European parliament declared a climate and environmental emergency,” Thunberg said in an article for the Guardian with fellow strikers Luisa Neubauer, Anuna de Wever and Adélaïde Charlier.

“But over these last two years, the world has also emitted over 80bn tonnes of CO2. We have seen continuous natural disasters taking place across the globe. Many lives and livelihoods have been lost, and this is only the very beginning.”

They said leaders were speaking of an “existential crisis”, yet “when it comes to action, we are still in a state of denial. The gap between what we need to do and what’s actually being done is widening by the minute. Effectively, we have lost another two crucial years to political inaction.”

Thunberg and her colleagues said fighting the climate emergency must involve rich nations stopping some of their polluting activities.

  • “However, it’s a fact which most people refuse to accept. Just the thought of being in a crisis that we cannot buy, build or invest our way out of seems to create some kind of collective mental short-circuit. This mix of ignorance, denial and unawareness is the very heart of the problem,” they said.

    The trillions of dollars being spent by governments in response to the coronavirus pandemic are seen as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put the world on course to halt global heating, with economists, scientists and health experts all saying the benefits would outweigh the costs.

    However, G20 governments’ rescue packages are giving significantly more support to fossil fuels than to low-carbon energy. Germany’s recovery plan includes €40bn for climate measures such as electric vehicles, public transport and energy efficiency, and has been praised by green groups. But elsewhere, too little is being done, Thunberg and colleagues said.

    “Even a child can see that the policies of today are incompatible with the current best available science,” they said.

  • Scientists calculate that global carbon emissions must be cut by half by the end of this decade if humanity is to have a reasonable chance of keeping temperature rises to below 1.5C, the limit set in the Paris climate deal. Drops in emissions during coronavirus lockdowns are only a small blip in a long-term rising trend and will have a “negligible” effect on the climate crisis, researchers say.

    “We understand the world is complicated and that what we are asking for may not be easy or seem unrealistic,” said the school strikers. “But it is much more unrealistic to believe that our societies would be able to survive the global heating we’re heading for. We are inevitably going to have to fundamentally change, one way or another. The question is: will the changes be on our terms, or on nature’s terms?”

August 20, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Biggest bribery and money-laundering bust in Ohio history, but the crooked pro nuclear law still stands!

Opinion: How bad nuclear plant bailout legislation got passed  Jigar Shah

It’s not often a law about power plants and electricity rates leads to a federal raid – let alone the biggest bribery and money-laundering bust in state history. But Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, once forced to resign in 2004 due to “corrupt activity,” managed to outdo himself when he was charged as a ringleader of a $60 million bribery case tied to the 2019 taxpayer-funded bailout of the state’s decrepit coal and nuclear plants.
Householder and four others stand to trade their Brooks Brothers and Rolexes for jumpsuits and bracelets. Gov. Mike DeWine, a fellow Republican, called on the speaker to resign. But plenty of others were also complicit in passing a law that, even without charges of federal corruption, stank to high heaven. And it’s a law that’s still on the books.
Just how bad is it? What was then called House Bill 6 is so toxic that it united the American Petroleum Institute and environmentalists last year to oppose it. The law is designed to prop up ailing nuclear plants, but it’s so radioactive even the nuclear industry’s main trade group declined to support it. And even as ad campaigns swamped Ohio airwaves like the height of election season, it ultimately took President Trump swooping in from Washington to convince state lawmakers, who even then knew better, to close their eyes, hold their noses and vote for it.

Now the law is forcing Ohio taxpayers to cough up $1.3 billion in subsidies to prop up two aging nuclear plants – quashing cheaper natural gas and zero-emissions renewables like wind and solar. It also memorialized taxpayer subsidies for ailing coal plants – including, because Householder and his alleged co-conspirators were apparently feeling neighborly, for a coal plant across the border in Indiana.

But let’s not lose sight of FirstEnergy. The opaque electric utility had already long shirked accountability for its actions, cloaking itself in expendable subsidiaries and opposing virtually any measure to improve Ohio’s air and water, which the utility has long been responsible for befouling. This time, to protect its toxic nuclear and coal assets, the company apparently happily engaged in what even the scheme’s conspirators allegedly openly referred to as “pay to play,” buying Ohio lawmakers for a song compared to the $1.3 billion the utility now stands to skim from Ohioans’ pockets.

We have yet to see how many more dominoes fall. There’s Sam “The Randazzler” Randazzo, the supposed ex-lobbyist and current public utilities commission chair, who seems to have much to answer for in the scheme. And FirstEnergy, it appears, didn’t stop at allegedly buying Ohio politicians. Even after the law passed, it spent another $38 million in an apparent dark-money campaign to make sure it’d stopped Ohio’s vital transition to a clean energy economy – the prospect of thousands of new clean jobs, not to mention saving the Earth, apparently not enough when compared to FirstEnergy profit margins and executives’ Christmas bonuses

Even as the feds continue following the money, we know what must happen: Gov. DeWine, who unenthusiastically signed the bill, is now calling for its repeal – a crucial first step toward righting this eye-popping wrong. As we now know, courtesy of the FBI and Justice Department, supporting these ailing power plants was nothing more than a successful bid to line executives’ pockets – and, it seems, buy the house speaker a vacation home in Florida. As we continue to learn who knew what when, erasing this law will clear the way for cleaner, far cheaper, truly market-competitive resources like natural gas and renewables to power our homes and businesses.

Ohioans deserve better – more honest politicians, truly transparent electricity providers, cleaner air and water. Repealing this law, and holding our officials to account, is the way to get there.

Jigar Shah is president of Generate Capital, a San Francisco-based finance company that builds, owns and operates renewable energy infrastructure.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

High financial risks in nuclear power – from global heating

Climate change poses high credit risks for nuclear power plants, Moody’s says,    (Reuters)   Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Steve Orlofsky, 19 Aug 20

– Credit risks associated with climate change for nuclear power plant operators in the United States will rise over the next 10 to 20 years, Moody’s Investor Service said on Tuesday.Climate change can affect every aspect of nuclear plant operations like fuel handling, power and steam generation, maintenance, safety systems and waste processing, the credit rating agency said.

However, the ultimate credit impact will depend upon the ability of plant operators to invest in mitigating measures to manage these risks, it added.

Close proximity to large water bodies increase the risk of damage to plant equipment that helps ensure safe operation, the agency said in a note.

Moody’s noted that about 37 gigawatts (GW) of U.S. nuclear capacity is expected to have elevated exposure to flood risk and 48 GW elevated exposure to combined rising heat and water stress caused by climate change.

Parts of the Midwest and southern Florida face the highest levels of heat stress, while the Rocky Mountain region and California face the greatest reduction in the availability of future water supply, it said.

Nuclear plants seeking to extend their operations by 20, or even 40 years, beyond their existing 40-year licenses face this climate hazard and may require capital investment adjustments, Moody’s said.

“Some of these investments will help prepare for the increasing severity and frequency of extreme weather events.”

August 20, 2020 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Book Review- Tempting Fate


BOOK REVIEWS   Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from “Book Review Roundtable: Tempting Fate” from our sister publication, the Texas National Security Review. Be sure to check out the full roundtable.

Paul Avey, Tempting Fate: Why Nonnuclear States Confront Nuclear Opponents (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2019)

With Tempting Fate, Paul C. Avey makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of nuclear politics. Written in clear and accessible prose, Avey explains why some non-nuclear weapons states have challenged and resisted nuclear weapons states despite the existential risks involved. …………..

Avey claims that the non-nuclear state’s leaders do not abide by the nuclear taboo while challenging a nuclear-armed adversary. These leaders believe that amoral strategic reasons — and not moral misgivings — will constrain the adversary from launching nuclear weapons. ………

August 20, 2020 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Is the £20 billion Sizewell C project right for the region and country?

East Anglia’s nuclear option – is the £20 billion Sizewell C project right for the region and country?  ANGLIA

Thursday 20 August 2020,  It’s one of the region’s most talked-about and controversial projects – Sizewell C nuclear power station.

The electricity company EDF plans to build a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast, but what will that mean for our region?

How will it impact local people and the environment? And what role does nuclear power play in the East as the country moves towards zero carbon emissions by 2050?

    • EDF proposes building a twin nuclear reactor at a cost of £20 billion pounds. .
    • ………………..It’s expected to operate for 60 years.
    • The whole project will take around 10-12 years to build with a construction site covering 620 acres.
  • also a fear that it will come at a cost to existing businesses – especially the tourism industry.

    One of those concerned is local brewery Adnams.

    Andy Wood from Adnams said: “The tourism industry employs nearly 100,000 people, the value of tourism in Norfolk and Suffolk is about £5.4 billion, and all of these things are going to be impacted by a large construction infrastructure project.”

    The impact on wildlife is also raising concerns.

    At RSPB Minsmere – an internationally important wildlife reserve – there are serious concerns about how noise and pollution would irrevocably damage rare wildlife habitats and species.

    Adam Rowlands, from RSPB Suffolk, said: “We’re concerned about the direct impact, so the noise, the visual disturbance, in essence that could change the patterns of the birds and the other species that use the area.”

    …… People have until September 30 to give their views before a decision is made.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

U.S. Air Force mulls getting hypersonic nuclear weapons

US Air Force may have accidentally revealed interest in hypersonic nuke, Defense News By: Valerie Insinna 19 Aug 20, WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has issued, and quietly revoked, a solicitation to industry seeking technologies that would support a hypersonic glide vehicle capable of traversing intercontinental ranges, potentially signaling the military’s interest in a hypersonic nuclear weapon.

According to an Aug. 12 request for information first reported by Aviation Week, the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center sought ideas for potential upgrades to intercontinental ballistic missiles, including a “thermal protection system that can support [a] hypersonic glide to ICBM ranges.”

The items listed as potential ICBM upgrades were all marked “unclassified/for official use only,” which notes information that — while not secret — is not normally released to the public. The RFI was then withdrawn after Aviation Week began inquiring about it, the report noted.

Asked about the RFI on Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, the Air Force’s deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration, said the service’s next-generation ICBMs — known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent — will not be available as a hypersonic variant when it is fielded in the late 2020s…………

As the sole bidder in the GBSD competition, Northrop Grumman is expected to win an estimated $85 billion over the life of the program. A contract award is slated to occur by September, although Northrop CEO Kathy Warden said in April that she expected a decision this month.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Greenland’s meltdown taking flight

Greenland Succumbs , CounterPunch,   by ROBERT HUNZIKERAUGUST 19, 2020, Since the turn of the new century, every aspect of climate change has gone ballistic, up, up, and away, not looking back, leaving the 20th century fairly harmless, but only on a relative basis, especially as compared to the rip-snorting 21st century. It’s a whole new ballgame, starting with this new century.Society is witnessing a great acceleration of climate change way above and beyond modeling by climate scientists, and it can be frightening.

This century is shaping up to be designated an inflection point of radical change with solid evidence of trouble down the line found most recently in a rapid meltdown phase of the Greenland Ice Sheet, a target way too big to miss. It’s melting fast and faster beyond the scope of climate models, which, for reasons not fully explained, cannot keep up with the cascading ice mass.Starting with this decade, Greenland’s meltdown took flight. This is indisputable as its acceleration has a familiar ring found amongst all major ecosystems, planet-wide. In short, climate change acceleration is universal. It’s a horrifyingly dangerous threat to the integrity of life-sourcing ecosystems, like the Great Barrier Reef, three massive unprecedented bleaching events in only five years; all the result of rising ocean temperatures driven by global heat, up to 90% mortality in some locations. (Source: Australian Academy of Sciences).

Greenland represents 23 feet of sea level encased in ice up to two miles thick and will likely require hundreds or thousands of years to completely melt-down, but for current purposes that doesn’t count! What counts are the upcoming years on the way to 23 feet. And, that’s a dicey proposition when consideration is given to how far off scientists’ models have been. It’ best to brace for the worst.

In time, sea levels will surpass 1-2-3-4-5 feet, and more, but within an unknown time frame. Keep in mind even one-foot of an increase spells worldwide coastal disasters. A Noah’s Ark scenario is not needed to upend coastal cities throughout the planet………..
A “constant state of loss” means: There is no effective solution to the big meltdown. Still, according to the scientists, by curbing greenhouse gas emissions, like the CO2 emitted from automobile tailpipes and other fossil fuel consumption devices, the meltdown process could be delayed, thus giving people much more time to build seawalls as the 21st century ushers in a new genre, “The Seawall School of Architecture.”

After all, there is no chance that emissions will be curbed. In today’s real world, it is simply not on the docket. Greenhouse gases have been accelerating ever since China decided to mix a cocktail of High-end Capitalism and the Communist Party of China; thereafter, building a brand spanking new coal-burning power plant every week like clockwork to meet capitalistic demands for cheaper products for America and the world, starting in the late 1970s.

For perspective purposes on how soon the weekly build-out of Chinese coal plants impacts climate change, keep in mind the 10/yr-to-20/yr lag effect between emissions spewed into the atmosphere and climate change impact, e.g., record high temperatures in the Arctic and Greenland and Antarctica coinciding with conspicuous acceleration of climate change over the first two decades of this century on the heels of China’s build-out of a new coal plant every week, starting 20 years prior to the new century. The dots connect……..

Not only China but also Japan plans to build 20 new coal-powered plants and India is planning numerous new coal-powered plants. And, that’s only half of today’s fossil-fuel renaissance, looking ahead thru this decade, oil barons, like Saudi Arabia and the U.S., intend to increase oil and gas production by up to 130% by 2030, meaning substantially higher CO2 emissions leading to hotter temperatures leading to higher sea levels leading to increased flooding of coastal cities.

Where’s the IPCC when it’s really needed or is it hopelessly feckless?

In truth, the underlying Greenland message is not subtle; it’s simply build seawalls, thus protecting hundreds of millions of people, businesses, and urban environments from massive flooding, and soil contamination and aquifer spoilage via salt water. Coastal cities across the world need to start constructing enormous seawalls, in some cases extending for miles beyond the city’s limits, possibly as far as an entire coastline, as rising waters find voids in structures.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

China feels India’s nuclear weapons programme driven by prestige: US report

China feels India’s nuclear weapons programme driven by prestige: US reportThe Carnegie report stressed China’s views on the issue are largely unknown

Web Desk August 19, 2020  The continuing tension over the Line of Actual Control near Ladakh between India and China has shown few signs of abating. Both China and India maintain large numbers of troops and equipment in the region.

The Chinese state-run media continues to play up deployment of new artillery and other weapon systems near the border with India. However, despite the tension, references to nuclear weapons have been subdued in both nations.

A US think tank, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on August 19 published a report on the Chinese perspective on nuclear weapons in the context of ties with India.

The Carnegies report noted while India’s perspectives on nuclear weapons are “relatively well documented,” China’s views on the issue are largely unknown.

The Carnegie report is based on interviews with “dozen Chinese academics, researchers, and military officers who work either on South Asia or on nuclear policy” and review of Chinese literature published in the last decade……..

Nukes for prestige?

On the issue of India’s nuclear weapons, the Chinese experts interviewed in the Carnegie report felt the systems are “for general deterrence and not for actual employment”……….

The experts interviewed in the Carnegie study felt a border conflict between India and China was unlikely to escalate into a nuclear exchange. Both India and China have declared ‘no first use’ of nuclear weapons.

……….   The US factor

A point of concern expressed by the Chinese analysts was the possibility of India and the US strengthening strategic ties.

“While Chinese analysts largely dismiss India’s homegrown development of new military capabilities, they express concern about the prospect of US-India collaboration on defence projects. Chinese experts are particularly wary of US-India missile defence cooperation and the possibility that it could create a networked system. If such a system was to emerge, they would see India as a de facto security ally of the United States,” the Carnegie report noted.

August 20, 2020 Posted by | China, India, politics international | Leave a comment

Hitachi waiting for tax-payer funding, to start nuclear projects in UK

Horizon waiting for chance to restart new-build projects, WNN 19 August 2020  Horizon Nuclear Power has been holding “detailed conversations” with the UK government in recent weeks to persuade ministers that the proposed Wylfa Newydd plant on Anglesey could be quickly re-mobilised if they can produce a new financing model for large nuclear power plants in Britain, according to an article in the Financial Times on 16 August. A decision on Wylfa’s planning application is expected by the end of next month.Horizon announced the suspension of its new-build projects in January 2019. The UK subsidiary of Japan’s Hitachi said it had made substantial progress with its plans to provide at least 5.4 GWe of new capacity across two sites – Wylfa Newydd, in north Wales, and Oldbury-on-Severn, in southwest England – by deploying Hitachi-GE UK advanced boiling reactors.

The UK government is currently considering the Regulated Asset Base (RAB) model for new nuclear projects. This would allow investors to start making a pre-determined return as they invested, but any new policy would require primary legislation and the whole process of developing and then enacting a new policy would likely take a minimum of 18 months…….

August 20, 2020 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment