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Thyroid cancer at ages 0 and 2 at the time of the nuclear accident-Health survey in Fukushima Prefecture January 2021

Thyroid cancer at ages 0 and 2 at the time of the nuclear accident-Health survey in Fukushima Prefecture Posted by: ourplanet Posted on: Thu, 01/14/2021 –00:46 http://ourplanet-tv.org/?q=node/2537 (Japanese only)

(Translated from Google) The “Prefectural Health Survey” Review Committee was held in Fukushima City on the 15th to discuss the health survey of Fukushima citizens following the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. For the first time, it was discovered that two infants, a 0-year-old girl and a 2-year-old girl at the time of the accident, were diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Material https://www.pref.fukushima.lg.jp/site/portal/kenkocyosa-kentoiinkai-40.html

This time, the result of the fourth round of thyroid examination until June last year was newly announced. The number of children diagnosed with suspected thyroid cancer by fine needle cytology increased by 6 from the previous time to 27, and the number of children who underwent thyroidectomy increased by 3 from the previous time to 16 children. Up to now, 252 patients have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer or suspected thyroid cancer from prior examination, of which 203 have undergone thyroid surgery. 202 people, excluding one, were confirmed to have thyroid cancer.

In the fourth round of examination, it was found for the first time that a girl who was 0 years old and a girl who was 2 years old at the time of the accident were diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Since the age of the examination is not the actual age but the grade, the ages at the time of the examination are 9 years old (3rd grade of elementary school) and 11 years old (5th grade of elementary school), respectively. According to the previous test results of 27 patients, 5 patients had “A1 judgement” without nodules or tumors, and 16 people had “A2 judgement” with nodules of 5 mm or less or cysts of 2 cm or less, 5 mm or more. 5 people had a “B-judgement” with nodules or cysts of 2 cm or more, and 1 had not been examined. He had the smallest tumor size of 6.1 mm and the largest tumor was 29.4 mm.

What stands out in the results of the fourth round of examination is the high dose of radiation for people diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Of the 27 patients diagnosed as suspected of being malignant by fine needle cytology, 11 patients (40.7%) who submitted the basic survey questionnaire had an exposure dose of less than 1 mSv in 2 patients (18.1%) 4 months after the accident. The number of children exposed to 2mSv or more was the highest, with 4 (36.3%) from 1mSv to 2mSv and 5 (45.5%) from 2mSv to 5mSv. In particular, the two boys who were five years old at the time of the accident were both over 2mSv.

According to the results of the basic survey of all Fukushima residents, 62.2% are less than 1mSv, 31.6% are from 1mSv to 2mSv, and 5.5% are from 2mSv to 3mSv. Very different.

To review the mass examination at school At this review committee, a major shift was made to reviewing simultaneous examinations at schools. The test, which has found more than 200 people with thyroid cancer, raises the theory of “overdiagnosis” among experts who deny the effects of radiation exposure, saying that they are finding thyroid cancer that they do not have to find. There is a growing opinion that the mass examination at school should be reviewed.

Based on these opinions, the review committee decided to conduct an interview survey at schools in the prefecture on August 31st last time. This time, there was a report on the results of a survey conducted by the prefecture at 26 elementary and junior high schools and high schools in the prefecture.

At many schools, thyroid examinations were performed during class hours, criticized by Shoichiro Tsugane, a member of the National Cancer Center, saying, “You can’t take this without a strong will.” “The benefits of the test are not except that you can be reassured when you get negative. The discovery of thyroid cancer has little benefit in avoiding death or poor quality of life, especially when you are diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “I think it will be a huge disadvantage for those who do,” he said. “Thyroid examination in a group of asymptomatic healthy people is not desirable. I asked him to stop the mass examination at school. ..

In addition, Professor Toshiya Inaba of Hiroshima University also cut out at the school examination that “they are left behind” and said, “Parents are not worried. The school rents the venue. The prefectural medical college has an inspection. I understand each position well, but in the end, it is the people who are left unattended. ” He emphasized that the prefectures and medical colleges that are the subjects of the survey should explain more to children and students the significance of the test and the fact that it can be rejected.

Screenshot of Zoom chat from the meeting 2021

In response, Professor Satoshi Tomita of Fukushima University argued head-on. He criticized that “many Fukushima residents have anxiety about their health” and that members of the Prefectural Health Investigation Committee, especially members outside Fukushima Prefecture, are calling for the cancellation or reduction of examinations. He said that thyroid examination is a way to relieve the anxiety of Fukushima residents, “the anxiety of Fukushima residents, especially those with children, is left behind.” “It is dangerous to go in the direction of reduction easily.” “Thinking” was pointed out.

Ikuko Abe, chairman of the Fukushima Clinical Psychologists Association, who also lives in Fukushima Prefecture and has a close relationship with schools, agrees with this, saying, “I agree with Professor Tomita’s opinion.” “Given the anxiety about radiation that Fukushima residents have, thyroid examinations are very reassuring,” she said. “Reducing or eliminating the examinations still takes the opposite position. I want you to do it. “

What caught my eye in the discussion was the presence of Katsushi Tahara, director of the Ministry of the Environment’s Health and Welfare Department. The members of the review committee from the Ministry of the Environment have not said much, but have played a role in important aspects of policy change. This time too, Mr. Tahara considers the fact that the school is cooperating with the implementation of the examination, such as encouraging households whose delivery to Fukushima Medical University is delayed to submit again when the deadline has passed. About 30% of the children undergoing medical examinations at school were asked intensively about this point, such as confirming that the school side took over the collection of consent forms.

To conduct hearings with the person to be inspected Following a survey of the school, the prefecture proposed to have a place to hear directly from the children and students who had been inspected. Questions were raised about the representativeness of the interviewees, and there was an opinion requesting a quantitative survey such as a questionnaire, but the prefecture’s proposal was approved because the survey took too long.

Regarding this “interview survey,” there was a harsh debate over the neutrality of the content, such as the opinion that a pilot study was unavoidable and that the voices of patients diagnosed with thyroid cancer should also be heard. With the strong push back of the constellation chairman, it was decided that the selection of the target audience and the holding method would be left to the chairperson and the prefecture. The results will be reported at the next meeting.

In response to the further shift to reviewing mass screening at school in this “interview,” Chiba parent and child of the “thyroid cancer support group Hydrangea Association” that supports families with thyroid cancer said, “Accident Among the 0-year-old and 2-year-old children at that time, a child with thyroid cancer appeared and my chest hurts. Thyroid cancer also has recurrence and metastasis, and early detection and early treatment are beneficial for the child. Given that the cancer was found in a school test, there can be no argument to eliminate the school test. ” The group has made offers to the prefecture three times in the past and opposes the reduction of inspections.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | children, Fukushima continuing, Reference | 2 Comments

STOP MAKING NUCLEAR TRASH – theme for February 2021

With the drastic global health crisis, and the inexorable progression of global heatinng – where are the big Nations tax-payer funds going?     Oh, to nuclear weapons, including nuclear weapons in space, nuclear-powered travel to Mars,  – and to non-existent, non economic, useless ”Small Modular Reactors”.  (The  last mentioned are a cover for weapons spending, and for a convenient lie about fixing climate change)

BUT – there is still the problem of radioactive trash.

It’s such a simple idea  – so simple that our clever experts, politicians, academics, media can’t grasp it.

With religious fervour, the nuclear lobby tells us there’s nothing to worry about, as with the help of God, our descendants will cope with the toxic radioactive mess that nuclear activities are building up around the world.

Simple people think – “It would be best to bury deeply the toxic wastes that now exist, and to stop making any more”.

And they are right.


It’s like climate change –   do all the smart people think that their own children and grandchildren will thank them for making money, while pretending that they have no responsibility about this?

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Christina's themes | 11 Comments

”Small Modular Reactors”’- governments are being sucked in by the ”billionaires’ nuclear club” 

SNC-Lavalin   Scandal-ridden SNC-Lavalin is playing a major role in the push for SMRs.

Terrestrial Energy…..  Terrestrial Energy’s advisory board includes Dr. Ernest Moniz, the former US Secretary of the Dept. of Energy (2013-2017) who provided more than $12 billion in loan guarantees to the nuclear industry. Moniz has been a key advisor to the Biden-Harris transition team, which has come out in favour of SMRs.

The “billionaires’ nuclear club”  …“As long as Bill Gates is wasting his own money or that of other billionaires, it is not so much of an issue. The problem is that he is lobbying hard for government investment.”

Going after the public purse

Bill Gates was apparently very busy during the 2015 Paris climate talks. He also went on stage during the talks to announce a collaboration among 24 countries and the EU on something called Mission Innovation – an attempt to “accelerate global clean energy innovation” and “increase government support” for the technologies.

Gates’ PR tactic is effective: provide a bit of capital to create an SMR “bandwagon,” with governments fearing their economies would be left behind unless they massively fund such innovations.

governments “are being suckers. Because if Wall Street and the banks will not finance this, why should it be the role of the government to engage in venture capitalism of this kind?”

It will take a Herculean effort from the public to defeat this NICE Future, but along with the Assembly of First Nations, three political parties – the NDP, the Bloc Quebecois, and the Green Party – have now come out against SMRs.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Canada, investigative journalism, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, spinbuster | Leave a comment

13.7 million sign petition urging all nations to ban nuclear weapons

13 million sign petition urging all nations to ban nuclear weapons,  http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14106594, By RYO SASAKI/ Staff Writer, January 14, 2021    A petition by an organization of survivors of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki urging all nations to sign the U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons has garnered a whopping 13.7 million signatures.

The Appeal of the Hibakusha association made the announcement during an online news conference on Jan. 13 after submitting the petition to the United Nations on Jan. 8.

The treaty goes into effect on Jan. 22.

The association collected the signatures on the streets, internet and elsewhere before finishing the effort at the end of December.

A total of 1,497 incumbent and former prefectural governors and mayors in Japan added their names to the petition. The petition also drew support from numerous people in countries other than Japan.

The campaign association, comprised of members of Nihon Hidankyo (Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations) and other organizations, began their activities to achieve a nuclear-free world “while we still live” in April 2016.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was adopted in July 2017. Since then, the campaign has been asking all nations to join the treaty and advocating for it to take effect as early as possible.

The campaign to collect signatures was initially to end by September 2020, but was extended after it appeared that the treaty was likely to go into effect in the near future.

The association collected more than 1 million signatures over the additional three months, mainly online.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Far-right extremists and nuclear terrorism

January 16, 2021 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

Why Japanese people should say ‘Sayonara’ to nuclear energy- a nun’s voice for nuclear victims

A Voice for Nuclear Victims Catholic Outlook, By David Aquije, 15 January 2021.   Maryknoll sister advocates for victims of Japan’s triple disaster caused by an earthquake, a tsunami and a nuclear accident. After Japan lifted its state of emergency, due to the coronavirus, on May 31, Maryknoll Sister Kathleen Reiley expressed relief that COVID-19 was settling down in the country. But, she said, “The problem with the nuclear accident and what to do with nuclear waste will be around for hundreds of years.”

Sister Reiley, who has served as a missioner in Japan since 1968, was referring to the accident at Fukushima-Daichi Nuclear plant, which occurred on March 11, 2011. The accident was triggered by a devastating tsunami that followed a powerful 9.0 earthquake that hit a large part of Japan’s northern coast.

The quake and tsunami left more than 18,000 people dead or missing and hundreds of thousands of houses and businesses destroyed, according to Japan’s National Police Agency. More than 160,000 people fled the region near the nuclear plant because of the meltdown and more than 40,000 are still unable to return home due to radiation contamination.

Last June, Sister Reiley took the 3.5-hour train ride from Tokyo, where she lives, to Fukushima to give this Maryknoll reporter a tour around Haramachi, a town near where the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear accident happened.

The area had the feeling of a sci-fi apocalyptic movie: A ghost town with abandoned farmlands that could not be used; streets blocked with fences and no-trespassing signs; decaying houses damaged by the earthquake that cannot be repaired because they are contaminated; Geiger counter boxes under the street signs to measure the level of radioactivity; thousands of huge black vinyl bags filled with radioactive dirt; security guards wearing masks and radioactive protective gear at checkpoints, only allowing entrance to radioactive waste cleaning crews—many of them immigrants who are temporarily hired to do a job that could harm their health. …….

Sister Reiley has striven to show God’s love for the people by speaking out against nuclear energy in a country whose 52 nuclear plants, she believes, pose an enormous threat to human life.

After the triple disaster in 2011, Sister Reiley responded to the Japanese Catholic Church’s call for volunteers. “Initially I went several times a year to several different Japan Caritas bases wherever the need was at the time,” says Sister Reiley. “But gradually towns far away from the reactor returned to normal, (except) Haramachi where the need is still great for the elderly, differently abled and those people in a low economic bracket. They don’t have the means to move away from the reactor area.”

…….. Her concern about nuclear energy began in 1979 in her native Schuylkill County, Pa. She was visiting home from her mission in Japan when there was a reactor meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant in nearby Dauphin County. It is considered the most serious nuclear accident in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“We’re poisoning our earth,” Sister Reiley remembers her father saying shortly after the nuclear accident.

“In 1999, there was a nuclear accident at the Tokaimura [nuclear facility] in Ibaraki Prefecture,” Sister Reiley says. “About two years after that accident happened, I asked the families [at the cancer hospital], ‘Where are you from?’ ‘Ibaraki.’ ‘Where are you from?’ ‘Ibaraki.’”

Out of the 24 beds for children with cancer at the hospital, at the time, seven children were from Ibaraki, explains the missioner. “But nobody can document that and say absolutely, ‘that’s why [the nuclear accident] they got cancer’.”

Still, the missioner works tirelessly to raise awareness about the dangers in nuclear energy   Nearly 25 years after the 1986 nuclear accident in Chernobyl, in the former Soviet Union, Sister Reiley read an article, in a Japanese newspaper, about the high incidences of cancer linked to the nuclear accident. The report cited a study conducted by an international team of researchers led by the National Cancer Institute. That gave the Maryknoll sister an opportunity to question what happened at the nuclear facility in Japan. She visited the newspaper headquarters to speak to the editors.

“Won’t you please do some research about Tokaimura? About the accident that happened in Ibaraki?” she asked. The paper did not respond to her request. She was undaunted.

That sombre day in June in Haramachi, as we drove back to the train station, we saw a farm with cattle and stopped for a lesson from Sister Reiley. She explained that the government had asked the owner to kill the cattle. The cows’ milk could not be sold nor could the cows be slaughtered to sell their meat because they were contaminated. The cows, she continued, were innocent victims of problems caused by human beings.

“But this wonderful man asked the government to let the cows live a natural life and die a natural death,” says Sister Reiley.

Then she translated a sign at the cattle ranch. “We lived here with no fear of nuclear energy and now we realise that we lost something that can never be returned to us and we want people to understand that we have to say sayonara, goodbye, to nuclear energy.”  https://catholicoutlook.org/jana-voice-for-nuclear-victims/

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear, PERSONAL STORIES, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Big doubts on small nuclear reactors – on economics, on waste problems

Former U.S. regulator questions small nuclear reactor technology,   Business case for small reactors ‘doesn’t fly,’ says expert on nuclear waste, Jacques Poitras · CBC News Jan 15, 2021   A former head of the United States’ nuclear regulator is raising questions about the molten-salt technology that would be used in one model of proposed New Brunswick-made nuclear reactors.

The technology pitched by Saint John’s Moltex Energy is key to its business case because, the company argues, it would reuse some of the nuclear waste from Point Lepreau and lower the long-term cost and radioactivity of storing the remainder.

But Allison Macfarlane, the former chairperson of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and a specialist in the storage of nuclear waste, said no one has yet proven that it’s possible or viable to reprocess nuclear waste and lower the cost and risks of storage.

“Nobody knows what the numbers are, and anybody who gives you numbers is selling you a bridge to nowhere because they don’t know,” said Macfarlane, now the director of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia.

“Nobody’s really doing this right now. … Nobody has ever set up a molten salt reactor and used it to produce electricity.”

Macfarlane said she couldn’t comment specifically on Moltex, calling information about the company’s technology “very vague.”

But she said the general selling point for molten-salt technology is dubious.

“Nobody’s been able to answer my questions yet on what all these wastes are and how much of them there are, and how heat-producing they are and what their compositions are,” she said.

“My sense is that all of these reactor folks have not really paid a lot of attention to the back end of these fuel cycles,” she said, referring to the long-term risks and costs of securely storing nuclear waste.

Moltex is one of two Saint John-based companies pitching small nuclear reactors as the next step for nuclear power in the province and as a non-carbon-dioxide emitting alternative to fossil fuel electricity generation.

Moltex North America CEO Rory O’Sullivan said the company’s technology will allow it to affordably extract the most radioactive parts of the existing nuclear waste from the Point Lepreau Generating Station.

The waste is now stored in pellet form in silos near the plant and is inspected regularly.

The process would remove less than one per cent of the material to fuel the Moltex reactor and O’Sullivan said that would make the remainder less radioactive for a much shorter amount of time.

Existing plans for nuclear waste in Canada are to store it in an eventual permanent repository deep underground, where it would be secure for the hundreds of thousands of years it remained radioactive………..

Shorter-term radioactivity complicates storage

Macfarlane said a shorter-term radioactivity life for waste would actually complicate its storage underground because it might lead to a facility that has to be funded and secured rather than sealed up and abandoned.

“That means that you believe that the institutions that exist to keep monitoring that … will exist for hundreds of years, and I think that is a ridiculous assumption,” she said.

“I’m looking at the United States, I’m seeing institutions crumbling in a matter of a few years. I have no faith that institutions can last that long and that there will be streams of money to maintain the safety and security of these facilities. That’s why you will need a deep geologic repository for this material.”

And she said that’s assuming the technology will successfully extract all of the most radioactive material.

“They are assuming that they remove one hundred per cent of the difficult, radionuclides, the difficult isotopes, that complicate the waste,” she said.

“My response is: prove it. Because if you leave five per cent, you have high-level waste that you’re going to be dealing with. If you leave one per cent, you’re going to have high-level waste that you’re going to be dealing with. So sorry, that one doesn’t fly with me.”

Macfarlane, a geologist by training, raised doubts about molten-salt technology and waste issues in a 2018 paper she co-authored for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists……….  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/nuclear-waste-reactors-new-brunswick-allison-macfarlane-moltex-arc-1.5873542

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, wastes | Leave a comment

Trump’s behavior demonstrates that Biden must change US nuclear policy

Trump’s behavior demonstrates that Biden must change US nuclear policy,
Trump’s behavior demonstrates that Biden must change US nuclear policy, Defense News, By: Lisbeth Gronlund and David Wright,  15 Jan 21,  President Donald Trump’s role in inciting the shocking events at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and concerns about his state of mind highlight the grave risks posed by the policy that gives presidents the sole authority to order the use of nuclear weapons — without the need for consultation or agreement by anyone. This danger is heightened by a second policy that allows the United States to use nuclear weapons — not just in response to a nuclear attack, but also first during hostilities.

While this arrangement appears especially risky now, giving any one person the authority to order the use of nuclear weapons is inherently risky and completely unnecessary. Any use of nuclear weapons would be devastating and should require both a presidential order and the agreement of two other officials.

Unlike decades ago, when sole authority was first established, there is a straightforward way to include other officials in a launch decision. President-elect Joe Biden should make this long-overdue change once in office by limiting his own authority to order a nuclear attack……………….

President Biden should move quickly to implement these two policy changes — requiring the assent of two other officials to any nuclear launch order and eliminating the option of using nuclear weapons first. Doing so would make the world safer and demonstrate that the United States is committed to reducing the risk of nuclear use and to moving away from its reliance on nuclear weapons. https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/commentary/2021/01/14/trumps-behavior-demonstrates-that-biden-must-change-us-nuclear-policy/

January 16, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia eager to salvage nuclear weapons treaty, once Biden is USA president

January 16, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Church leaders call on UK to sign nuclear weapons ban treaty

UK is urged to sign UN nuclear-weapons treaty  https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2021/15-january/news/uk/uk-is-urged-to-sign-un-nuclear-weapons-treaty by PAT ASHWORTH, 15 JANUARY 2021   But there is resistance to change, say peace campaigners.

CAMPAIGNERS are urging the UK to sign the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which will come into effect on 22 January.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York, with more than 30 Church of England bishops, called on the Government in November to accept the treaty, which, they said, would “give hope to all people of goodwill who seek a peaceful future” (News, 20 November 2020).

It has been signed by 51 states. They will now be required to stop producing, developing, testing, or stationing nuclear weapons, and will be required to help any victims of their testing and use. Their financial institutions will be expected to stop investing in companies that produce nuclear weapons.

The UK, the United StatesFrance, and Russia have not signed the treaty. Clergy and church leaders were reminded in a briefing by the Network of Christian Peace Organisations (NCPO), on Tuesday, of the overwhelming support given to a Lambeth Conference resolution in 1998, which called on the Government and the UN to press for an international mandate for all member states to prohibit nuclear warfare.

Now was the time to fulfil that, Rebecca Johnson, one of the architects of the treaty and a founder member of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), said. Nuclear weapons must be known for what they really were — weapons of mass destruction — and the phrase “nuclear powers” must be replaced with “nuclear-armed states”.

The treaty was a legal one, but it would work by persuasion and not by coercion; it was normative in taking away any status attached to hanging on to nuclear weapons, and in labelling as pariahs those who did. “We all need to think about what we can do to bring this treaty into force in our own countries. There is an important job here for faith leaders to do,” she said.

Although the C of E had a blanket policy of not investing in companies with an interest in nuclear weapons, everyone should examine investment practice in their churches, the policy adviser on international affairs for the ecumenical Joint Public Issues Team, Steve Hucklesby, said.

The treaty brought “a very real possibility of a new norm on nuclear weapons across the whole finance and business sectors; but be clear: there is resistance to change,” he continued. Pressure could be applied to banks and pension providers if individuals saw this as something relating to their own lives. “The issue now becomes compliance with an international treaty, to be applied across the whole of an institution’s business.”

An international meeting to be held in Vienna later this year will establish mechanisms for compliance. It will be open to observers from nuclear-armed states, who will not be able to vote but who should be urged to “attend, listen, and learn,” Ms Johnson said. “It is so important for the UK to join sooner rather than later . . . to be at the table.”

Russell Whiting, who chairs Christian CND, described a world in which President Trump, or even Joe Biden, had their finger on the nuclear button, as “an incredibly dangerous place”. The treaty has been declared dangerous by the Prime Minister, and by the former Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond. These governments had “misrepresented” the treaty wherever they went, saying that it would undermine the existing non-proliferation treaty, Ms Johnson said.

The General Synod called for the elimination of nuclear weapons in July 2018, but it stopped short of urging the Government to sign the treaty. The Government’s refusal to do so was described by the Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cotrrell, then Bishop of Chelmsford, as “hugely disappointing” and “a decision that looks like complacency”. He questioned the billions of pounds spent on Trident (News, 13 July 2018).

The general secretary of the Roman Catholic peace movement Pax Christi, Pat Gaffney, said on Tuesday that RC bishops had issued a statement asking the Government to support the treaty — a move that she described as “a huge step forward, because they have habitually said it undermined the existing non-proliferation treaty. Catholics need to write to their bishops affirming what they are doing.”

The NCPO is holding a service online at 11.30 a.m. on 22 January, to mark the treaty. It will conclude with the ringing of the peace bell at Coventry Cathedral.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Religion and ethics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Global nuclear policy is stuck in colonialist thinking. The ban treaty offers a way out.

January 16, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

How will Entry Into Force of the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty impact non weapons states parties, including Australia?

January 16, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

21 And 22 January New Zealand Celebrates Global Nuclear Weapons Ban, 2021 

January 16, 2021 Posted by | ACTION | Leave a comment

Leeds and Brighton cities pass resolutions supportint the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

NFLA 14th Jan 2021, With just 9 days to go before the entry into force of the Treaty on theProhibition of Nuclear Weapons, Leeds and Brighton pass resolutions
supporting the Treaty.

https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/nine-days-before-entry-into-force-treaty-prohibition-nuclear-weapons-leeds-brighton-pass-resolutions-supporting-treaty/

January 16, 2021 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A clean return to the Iran nuclear deal should be Biden’s first option

A clean return to the Iran nuclear deal should be Biden’s first option Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist By Eric Brewer | January 11, 2021  Of all the international agreements President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin upon taking office, perhaps none is more controversial than the Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Although the deal was containing Iran’s program until Trump withdrew in mid-2018a move that led Iran to ramp up its nuclear activities—some are now arguing that returning to the deal isn’t a good idea or is too difficult given developments over the last four years.

This is unfortunate. Returning to the deal is not only viable but also presents the best chance of preventing an Iranian bomb. It is the best path toward building on the agreement and addressing some of the shortfalls that critics deride. Moreover, with a bit of planning, the Biden team could address several key concerns about the US return.

Arguments against rejoining the deal: Sorting the good from the bad. Some of the arguments and policy prescriptions offered by skeptics of returning to the deal are not realistic and should be dismissed. For example, some favor increasing pressure on Iran until that country’s leaders make more concessions on nuclear and non-nuclear activities. But no amount of pressure alone will cause Iran to abandon its ballistic missile program entirely or cease its support to terrorist groups, militias, and other malign non-state actors. Those policies are central to Iran’s concepts of national security and defense and ending them would require dramatic changes to the region and Iran’s threat perceptions, at a minimum.

The past four years has demonstrated that extreme pressure and unrealistic demands only cause Iran to increase its nuclear program and regional aggression. 

But other critiques of returning to the deal have some merit and deserve consideration. A well-planned attempt at a “clean return”—in which the United States and Iran follow a series of agreed steps that bring them back into compliance to the deal’s original terms—would address many of them.

These objections can be broken down into three categories—strategy, process, and politics. 

Objections to strategy. Some argue that it makes little sense to rejoin the deal because restrictions on Iran have already expired or would expire in the next few years, and that giving Iran significant sanctions relief would yield important leverage that could help secure a follow-on deal.

In fact, rejoining the agreement would put the United States in a stronger position to address both of these concerns. By returning, Washington would immediately cease to be the problematic actor—global attention would shift back toward Iran. This would make it easier for the United States to work with the international community to limit the fallout from the expired conventional arms embargo and to plan for the lifting of restrictions on Iran’s missile program, slated to occur in October 2023. A Biden team would then have the remainder of its first term to make progress toward a new deal (or deals) that addresses Iran’s nuclear and non-nuclear activities—long before the most important sunsets kick in. (The limits on enrichment levels and Iran’s stockpile of uranium, which are key to maintaining longer breakout timelines, don’t expire until 2031 and many of the monitoring provisions last even longer).

The United States still has ample incentives it can offer Iran in negotiations for a follow-on deal. These range from further assistance for Iran’s civil nuclear program, to relaxing the US trade embargo, to taking steps to help Iran actually reap the economic benefits of sanctions relief. (Recall that Iranian officials were quite dissatisfied that the removal of sanctions under the deal did not translate into the economic gains they expected or advertised.) And if and when talks expand to include missile and other regional issues, this will likely involve other players in the region that can put additional incentives on the table .

Concerns about process. Another set of concerns focuses on the process of returning to the agreement. Skeptics claim there simply just isn’t enough time. Biden will be inaugurated January 20, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will be out of office less than six months later, likely replaced by a more hardline successor. Potentially further complicating a swift return by both sides, Iran has hinted that it may insist on  US compensation for its withdrawal from the deal; and it will expect Washington to remove sanctions first before dialing back its program.

 True, the United States and Iran would have to act quickly to agree on the process by which both come back into compliance, but there are reasons to believe it might work. Both sides want to get it done. Iranian officials have been fairly consistent that they would be willing to return to compliance if the United States does the same………… https://thebulletin.org/2021/01/a-clean-return-to-the-iran-nuclear-deal-should-be-bidens-first-option/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=MondayNewsletter01112021&utm_content=NuclearRisk_IranReturn_01112021 

 

January 16, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment