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‘Critical issues’ with Sizewell C plans to be discussed at public hearings 

‘Critical issues’ with Sizewell C plans to be discussed at public hearings Papworth0 August 26, 2021   “Critical issues” with plans for a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast – including the impact building work would have on residents – are to be discussed at public hearings.

The Planning Inspectorate is holding a series of Issue Specific Hearings on EDF Energy’s bid to build Sizewell C as part of its formal examination of proposals for a new twin-reactor.

Hearings have been taking place this week, with another four days of hearings scheduled to take place at Snape Maltings in mid-September.

The first day on Tuesday, September 14 will look at flood risk and water supply issues, while the following day will examine the “potential adverse effects on human health and living conditions of local residents during construction”.

The hearings on Thursday, September 16 will look at landscape and heritage issues, including “potential adverse effects on heritage assets forming part of the Heveningham Hall estate and National Trust Coastguard Cottages”.

The code of practice for the construction of the site will be assessed on Friday, September 17.

A spokesman for EDF Energy said: “We are pleased the hearings are going ahead, as they will allow the examining authority to continue to explore all our proposals and enable all interested parties to participate.”

But  Paul Collins, chairman of the Stop Sizewell C campaign group, said: “We are well over two-thirds of the way through the Sizewell C examination, which has exposed many serious failings in EDF’s application.

“There are still a  number of critical issues to be heard.

“Whether or not the Planning Inspectorate will agree with our MP’s recommendation that the examination is extended remains to be seen, although we note EDF’s latest financial report is now hinting that a secretary of state decision is due ‘mid-2022’ as opposed to April 2022, which suggests that they at least are expecting this.”

Once the examination process is concluded, an inspector will make a recommendation to government as to whether the nuclear plant should go ahead or not.

Sizewell C had delayed the original submission of the planning application by two months and extended the period of public registration due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This had followed eight years of public consultation to form the proposals for the new power station.

The meetings will be live-streamed and also available to watch afterwards.

To watch the hearings, click here.


August 30, 2021 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Anti-nuclear campaigners slam plans to install new nuclear reactors in Wales

Anti-nuclear campaigners slam plans to install new nuclear reactors in Wales, NATION CYMRU, 27 Aug 2021  Anti-nuclear campaigners in Wales have criticised the Welsh Government for supporting “flawed and outdated” technology amid plans to install new reactors in Wales.

It was revealed on Wednesday that Mike Tynan, former head of UK operations at US nuclear engineering group Westinghouse, has been recruited by the Welsh Government to head up their nuclear company Cwmni Egino with the aim of resurrecting the Trawsfynydd site.

Both Trawsfynydd and the Wylfa site on Anglesey are being discussed as possible locations for small modular reactors at existing nuclear sites.

But anti-nuclear campaign groups PAWB and CADNO said that the nuclear power station at Trawsfynydd should be a focus for the development of renewable and sustainable technologies.

Trawsnfynydd is already the site of the decommissioned Magnox nuclear power station that ran between 1965 and 1991.

PAWB and CADNO said that once again hopes for work for local people will be raised, with few substantive promises.

“There is not enough proof that the technology will have been developed enough to make a difference in the critical fight against climate change in time,” they said.

“In addition, limited public resources that support nuclear mean that those resources are not available to truly green and sustainable technologies.

Climate change, homelessness, poverty, inequality – these are the complex problems of our time. The nuclear obsession does nothing to solve these problems; it adds to them. ”………………..

August 30, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Don’t Expect Real Climate Solutions From COP26. It Functions for Corporations.

Don’t Expect Real Climate Solutions From COP26. It Functions for Corporations.  Simon PiraniTruthout August 29, 2021  

n the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in the U.K. in November — the 26th session of the talks that were launched in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 — the governments of the world’s richest countries are making ever-louder claims that they are effectively confronting global warming. Nothing could be more dangerous than for social, labor and environmental movements to take this rhetoric at face value and assume that political leaders have the situation under control

There are three huge falsehoods running through these leaders’ narratives: that rich nations are supporting their poorer counterparts; that “net zero” targets will do what is needed; and that technology-focused “green growth” is the way to decarbonize.

First, wealthier countries claim to be supporting poorer nations — which are contributing least to global warming, and suffering most from its effects — to make the transition away from fossil fuels.

But at the G7 summit in June, the rich countries again failed to keep their own promise, made more than a decade ago, to provide $100 billion per year in climate finance for developing countries. Of the $60 billion per year they have actually come up with, more than half is bogus: analysis by Oxfam has shown that it is mostly loans and non-concessional finance, and that the amounts are often overstated.

Compare this degrading treatment of the Global South with the mobilization of many hundreds of billions for the post-pandemic recovery. Of $657 billion (public money alone) pledged by G20 nations to energy-producing or energy-consuming projects, $296 billion supports fossil fuels, nearly a third greater than the amount supporting clean energy ($228 billion).

Meanwhile, the impacts of climate change are magnified by poverty. This year’s floodswildfires and record temperatures in Europe and North America have been frightful enough. The same phenomena cause far greater devastation outside the Global North.

In 2020, “very extensive” flooding caused deaths, significant displacement of populations and further impacts from disease in 16 African countries, the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO’s) annual climate report recorded. India, China and parts of Southeast Asia suffered from record-breaking rainfall and flooding, too……………….

The political leaders’ second fiction is their pledge to attain “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (the U.S., U.K. and Europe) or 2060 (China).

“Net zero” signifies a point at which the amount of greenhouse gases being pumped into the atmosphere is balanced by the amount being withdrawn. Once, it may have been a useful way of taking into account the way that forests, in particular, soak up carbon dioxide. But three decades of capitulation to fossil fuel companies, since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in 1992, have turned it into a monster of deceit.

Thanks to corporate capture and government complicity, many of the greenhouse gas emissions projections in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report factor in huge levels of carbon removal by dubious technologies that do not, and may never, work at scale (e.g., carbon dioxide removal, carbon capture and storage, and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage). Governments have drawn up “net zero” targets reliant on these myths………….

The politicians’ third and more complex deception is in the technology-centered “decarbonization” measures they embrace in the name of “green growth.” These rely on tweaking, rather than transforming, the big technological systems through which most fossil fuels are consumed — transport networks, electricity grids, urban infrastructure, and industrial, agricultural and military systems………………

In the U.S., community groups advocate zero-carbon energy systems as part of an integrated approach to a “just transition” away from fossil fuels.

Governments resist because the corporations resist. Energy corporations fear decentralized electricity generation outside of their control; property developers despise regulation that compels them to use zero-carbon building techniques; gas distributors hate electric heat pumps. Just as oil companies and car manufacturers dread radical decarbonization of transport, petrochemical giants fear plastic-free supply chains, big agribusiness is terrified by low-carbon food systems, and so on.

Climate researchers have shown that absolute zero (not “net zero”) emissions is entirely achievable, by reducing energy throughput and living differently. The path is blocked not by technological factors, but by political ones: by the dynamics of wealth and power that constitute capitalism — the same dynamics that force the burden of climate change on the Global South.

Tackling climate change involves overcoming those dynamics. It is not so much about replacing bad government with good government, as it is about subverting, confronting, confounding and defeating corporate power. It is about developing a vision of our collective future that goes beyond capitalism………….

The most powerful response to looming climate catastrophe will come not from within the COP26 process, but from outside it, in the actions of grassroots organizers, communities, social and labor movements, and of society as a whole.

August 30, 2021 Posted by | climate change, politics international | Leave a comment

August 29 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Louisiana Hasn’t Yet Recovered From Two Major Hurricanes In 2020. Now Another Is Taking Aim” • Five named storms struck Louisiana in 2020. Two of them were major hurricanes, doing a total of $18.75 billion in damages. As the state still reels from the destruction, another major hurricane is now barreling toward the […]

August 29 Energy News — geoharvey

August 30, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reaffirm commitment to ban nuclear tests, UN chief says in message for International Day, 

Nuclear weaponss test crater Kazakhstan

Reaffirm commitment to ban nuclear tests, UN chief says in message for International Day,  UN News 29 Aug 21  Countries which have not yet ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) are urged by UN Secretary-General António Guterres to do so without delay.
The UN chief made the appeal in his message for the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, observed on Sunday, 29 AugustThe UN chief made the appeal in his message for the International Day Against Nuclear Tests, observed on Sunday, 29 August

The date marks the 30th anniversary of the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in Kazakhstan, the largest of its kind in the former Soviet Union, where more than 450 nuclear devices were exploded over four decades.

Terrible consequences

Mr. Guterres said nuclear tests caused enormous human suffering and environmental damage.

They had terrible consequences on the health of people living in affected areas.  Many were relocated from their ancestral lands, disrupting their lives and livelihoods.  Pristine environments and ecosystems were destroyed, which will take decades, if not centuries, to heal.”

The closure of the Semipalatinsk test site signaled the end of the era of unrestrained nuclear testing, said Mr. Guterres.  Soon afterwards, countries began negotiating the CTBT.

The treaty bans all explosive nuclear weapons tests anywhere, by any country, he added, effectively “putting a brake on the nuclear arms race and providing a powerful barrier to the development of new nuclear weapons.”

No excuse

The CTBT was adopted in 1996 and has been signed by 185 countries, and ratified by 170, including three nuclear weapon States.  However, it must be signed and ratified by 44 specific nuclear technology holder countries before it can enter into force……………….

Threat still real: Kazakhstan Ambassador

The threat that nuclear weapons pose to the world remains “as realistic as ever”, said Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the UN, Magzhan Ilyassov, speaking to UN News ahead of the International Day (interview here and at right). 

“For us, the 29th of August is not a day in the calendar. It is a reminder about how traumatic nuclear tests can be for humankind because in Kazakhstan alone, 1.5 million people still suffer, and will unfortunately suffer for future generations, from genetic diseases, cancer, leukaemia, which were caused by exposure to nuclear tests.”

Mr. Ilyassov said the total impact of the nuclear explosions carried out at the Semipalatinsk site was “1,200 times more” than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during the Second World War.

“The test site itself is of the size of Israel, so it’s a big chunk of the territory of Kazakhstan and that cannot be used for any other purpose like agriculture for many, many decades now,” he said, adding “so with that, we can also project what was the damage caused by other nuclear test sites around the world which were eventually closed.”

August 29, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

29 August 2021 International Day Against Nuclear Tests

August 29, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Vulnerability of Louisiana’s Waterford 3 nuclear plant to storm surge

Intensifying Hurricane Ida a significant threat to key infrastructure.   Ida is forecast to hit the industrial corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, site of three key ports, petrochemical sites, and a nuclear power plant. Yale Climate Connections, by JEFF MASTERS and BOB HENSON, AUGUST 29, 2021

Vulnerability of Waterford 3 nuclear plant to storm surge. Although it lies 65 miles inland from the south coast of Louisiana, the Waterford 3 nuclear generating station, located at an elevation of 10-15 feet on the south shore of the Mississippi River, is vulnerable to storm surge from a major hurricane. Hurricane Betsy, a category 4 storm that hit Louisiana in 1965, brought a storm surge to the edge of the plant’s location (Figure 3 on original).

According to a 2019 analysis by Bloomberg, the Waterford 3 plant is designed to withstand a maximum storm surge of 23.7 feet above sea level, or about 10 feet higher than the plant’s elevation. According to NOAA’s National Storm Surge Hazard database, a worst-case category 3 hurricane could flood the plant to a depth of 3’, while a worst-case category 4 hurricane could flood the plant to a depth of more than 9’ – near its design limit. Fortunately, storm surge modeling by Louisiana State University using the 11 a.m. EDT Saturday NHC forecast showed Ida’s storm surge stopping just short of the plant (Figure 4 on original)

After the 2011 disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Waterford 3 plant moved to store all of its emergency generators, pumps, and other essential safety equipment in a 30-foot flood-proof concrete bunker – a system called Flex, for Flexible Mitigation Capability. The bunker has manually operated and powered sump pumps to remove water in the event of a flood.

After the 2011 disaster at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Waterford 3 plant moved to store all of its emergency generators, pumps, and other essential safety equipment in a 30-foot flood-proof concrete bunker – a system called Flex, for Flexible Mitigation Capability. The bunker has manually operated and powered sump pumps to remove water in the event of a flood……………………..

August 29, 2021 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Hurricane Ida threatens 2 nuclear power stations in Louisiana

Two Nuclear Plants In Ida’s Path As Storm Expected At Cat 4, Simply Info,   [excellent pictures and maps]

Hurricane Ida is expected to hit the US as a category 4 storm. The Weather Channel projects Sunday night landfall and a direct hit on Louisiana. Storm surges in the area range from the Texas border to Mobile Alabama.

Two nuclear power plants are in the direct storm path. River Bend and Waterford. Waterford sits near the mouth of the Mississippi and in the zone of the highest expected storm surge. Current estimates have a 10-15 foot surge expected for that area. This could be potentially more severe as the storm pushes water up the Mississippi River. Waterford sits about 24 miles from the mouth of the river and is next to Lake Pontchartrain……………..more

August 28, 2021 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Military Contractor CACI Says Afghanistan Withdrawal Is Hurting Its Profits. It’s Funding a Pro-War Think Tank.

But this outcry didn’t materialize out of nowhere. Think tank “experts,” whose organizations are financed by the very companies profiting from the war, play a key part.

They are trotted out in front of cameras and quoted in major media outlets, presented as above-the-fray observers. They are well-financed, polished and groomed precisely for moments like these. And the companies financing them get to launder their own objectives through institutions that are seen as respectable, academic and rigorous. It’s a grotesque system that is functioning as it was designed.

Military Contractor CACI Says Afghanistan Withdrawal Is Hurting Its Profits. It’s Funding a Pro-War Think Tank.

By Sarah Lazare, In These Times

26 August 21   

What CACI reveals about the feedback loop between military contractors and think tanks.

n August 12, the military contractor CACI International Inc. told its investors that the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is hurting its profits. The same contractor is also funding a think tank that is concurrently arguing against the withdrawal. This case is worth examining both because it is routine, and because it highlights the venality of our “expert”-military contractor feedback loop, in which private companies use think tanks to rally support for wars they’ll profit from.

The contractor is notorious to those who have followed the scandal of U.S.-led torture in Iraq. CACI International was sued by three Iraqis formerly detained in Abu Ghraib prison who charge that the company’s employees are responsible for directing their torture, including sexual assault and electric shocks. (The suit was brought in 2008 and the case is still ongoing.)

In 2019, CACI International was awarded a nearly $907 million, five-year contract to provide “intelligence operations and analytic support” for the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.

During an August 12 earnings call, CACI International noted repeatedly that President Biden’s withdrawal from the 20-year Afghanistan War harmed the company’s profits. John Mengucci, president and CEO of CACI International, said, “we have about a 2 percent headwind coming into FY 2022 because of Afghanistan.” A “headwind” refers to negative impacts on profits.

Afghanistan was mentioned 16 times throughout the call — either in reference to the dent in profits, or to assure investors that other areas of growth were offsetting the losses. For example, Mengucci said, “We’re seeing positive growth in technology and expect it to continue to outpace expertise growth, collectively offsetting the impact of the Afghanistan drawdown.”

Similar themes were repeated in an April 22 earnings call, where the company lamented the “headwinds” posed by the Afghanistan withdrawal. (Industry and defense publications have picked up on this them, but framed it in the company’s terms, by emphasizing the offsets to its losses.)

Despite CACI International’s clear economic interest in continuing the war, on the August 12 call, company officials were careful not to editorialize about the Biden administration’s decision. The closest they came was a cautious statement from Mengucci: “At least as of today we’ve watched the administration make the decision to completely exit Afghanistan by 9 – 11 and all I can say is they’re executing on that decision.”

But CACI International does not have to broadcast its positions on the war: Instead, it is funding a think tank that has been actively urging the Biden administration not to leave Afghanistan.

CACI International is listed as a “corporate sponsor” of the Institute for Study of War, which describes itself as a “non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.” Dr. Warren Phillips, lead director of CACI International, is on the board of the think tank. (Other funders include General Dynamics and Microsoft.)

When it comes to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, however, the think tank is extremely partisan. In an August 20 paper, the think tank argued that “Russia, China, Iran, and Turkey are weighing how to take advantage of the United States’ hurried withdrawal.”

Jack Keane, a retired four star general and board member of the Institute for Study of War, meanwhile, has been on a cable news blitz arguing against the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, as reported by Ryan Grim, Sara Sirota, Lee Fang and Rose Adams for The Intercept.

Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War, told Fox News on August 17 that the U.S. withdrawal could cause Afghanistan to become the “second school of jihadism.” She warned, “It is not clear that the Taliban, which seeks international recognition and legitimacy, is going to want to tolerate or encourage direct attacks on the U.S. from al Qaeda or other extremist groups based in Afghanistan.”

The think tank’s backing from a military contractor was not discussed in these media appearances.

The case of CACI International is not unique. The Intercept notes, “Among the other talking heads who took to cable news segments or op-ed pages without disclosing their defense industry ties were retired Gen. David Petraeus; Rebecca Grant, a former staffer for the Air Force secretary; Richard Haass, who worked as an adviser to then-Secretary of State Colin Powell; and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.”

This cacophony of voices matters because Biden is facing a media uproar over the withdrawal. Pundits and mainstream press outlets that have been ignoring civilian deaths for years are suddenly expressing moral outrage at their hardships now that the war is ending. While there are legitimate concerns about the fate of Afghans as the Taliban seizes control, the vast majority of the firestorm stems from a reflexively pro-war perspective, in favor of the indefinite extension of an occupation that has proven brutal and lethal for civilians. The overwhelming effect is to send the message to Biden, and any future presidents, that they should think twice before withdrawing from a war, lest they have a media revolt on their hands.

But this outcry didn’t materialize out of nowhere. Think tank “experts,” whose organizations are financed by the very companies profiting from the war, play a key part. They are trotted out in front of cameras and quoted in major media outlets, presented as above-the-fray observers. They are well-financed, polished and groomed precisely for moments like these. And the companies financing them get to launder their own objectives through institutions that are seen as respectable, academic and rigorous. It’s a grotesque system that is functioning as it was designed.

In its August 12 call, CACI International simply acknowledged the company’s economic interests out loud.

August 28, 2021 Posted by | media, politics, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

International Atomic Energy Agency doubts the ability of Japan to clean up Fukushima nuclear wreck by intended date 2051

UN team: Unclear if Fukushima cleanup can finish by 2051,   MARI YAMAGUCHI, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT, ASSOCIATED PRESS, August 27, 2021,

TOKYO — Too little is known about melted fuel inside damaged reactors at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, even a decade after the disaster, to be able to tell if its decommissioning can be finished by 2051 as planned, a U.N. nuclear agency official said Friday.

“Honestly speaking, I don’t know, and I don’t know if anybody knows,” said Christophe Xerri, head of an International Atomic Energy Agency team reviewing progress in the plant’s cleanup.

“We need to gather more information on the fuel debris and more experience on the retrieval of the fuel debris to know if the plan can be completed as expected in the next 30 years,” he told reporters.

The cleanup plan depends on how the melted fuel needs to be handled for long-term storage and management, he said.

The IAEA team’s review, the fifth since the disaster, was mostly conducted online due to the coronavirus pandemic. Only Xerri and another team member visited the plant this week before compiling and submitting a report to Japan’s government on Friday.

In the report, the team noted progress in a number of areas since its last review in 2018, including the removal of spent fuel from a storage pool at one of the damaged reactors, as well as a decision to start discharging massive amounts of treated but still radioactive water stored at the plant into the ocean in 2023……….

August 28, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

We’re Number One in Weapons Sales, by Polly Mann — Rise Up Times

The main recipient region in 2016–20 was Asia and Oceania (accounting for 42 percent of global arms imports), followed by the Middle East (33 percent), Europe (12 percent), Africa (7.3 percent), and the Americas (5.4 percent).

We’re Number One in Weapons Sales, by Polly Mann — Rise Up Times

August 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DN! Afghanistan: Interviews with Jeremy Corbyn, Sarah Chayes, and Obaidullah Baheer — Rise Up Times

Chayes: ” … the behavior of those Afghan leaders that we, the United States, kind of put forward toward their own citizens, and the role of U.S. officials and U.S. development organizations in reinforcing and protecting and enabling, I mean, just an unbelievably corrupt and abusive governmental system, so that, you know, my Afghan friends, who were not in university — they were ordinary villagers in and around Kandahar — they just didn’t know what to make of it. It was like, ‘Look, the Taliban shake us down at night, but the government shakes us down in the daytime’”

DN! Afghanistan: Interviews with Jeremy Corbyn, Sarah Chayes, and Obaidullah Baheer — Rise Up Times

August 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Experts say that the government’s measures against harmful rumors are “an extension of what we’ve been doing for 10 years.

We have been reporting in this series about the ripple effect of the release of tritiated water into the ocean.

Many people concerned about the release of tritium into the sea are concerned about the reputational damage.

On the 24th, the government presented an interim summary of the immediate measures to deal with the reputational damage.

First of all, as a measure to prevent reputational damage, fish should be raised in treated water and information should be disseminated in an easy-to-understand manner.

The measures include monitoring by international organizations and ensuring transparency.

In the event of reputational damage, a new fund will be set up to temporarily purchase frozen marine products, and sufficient compensation will be provided to match the actual damage.

Looking at it this way, it seems to be a continuation of the previous measures. We examined whether these measures are really effective.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato
“We will create an environment in which we can overcome rumors and continue our business with peace of mind, even if rumors should arise.

A meeting of relevant ministers on March 24.
The government has put together a list of immediate measures to deal with the reputational damage caused by the release of treated water.

The government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) plan to release treated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the sea by the spring of the following year.

One of the fishermen in the prefecture commented on the measures taken.
“One of the fishermen in the prefecture said, “The decision was made without any discussion or explanation.
“One of the fishermen in the prefecture severely criticized the measures, saying, “We can’t accept it and this way of proceeding is unacceptable.

The prefectural fishermen’s federation also said, “We haven’t received an explanation from the government yet, and we want to wait for that before considering our response.

There is a strong opposition to the release of radioactive materials both inside and outside of the prefecture.

“They have not yet fulfilled their promise not to release the radioactive materials without the understanding of the people concerned.

Professor Ryota Koyama of Fukushima University, who has studied reputational damage in the prefecture and served as a member of the government’s subcommittee, points out that the latest measures to curb reputational damage are “almost the same” as the previous measures.

Professor Ryota Koyama, School of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Fukushima University
“I’m concerned that if this is the case, it’s just an extension of what we’ve been doing for the past 10 years, and if we say we’re going to release the pollutants two years from now under the same conditions, the problem will get bigger.

Another problem is the assumption that reputational rumors will occur, according to Professor Koyama.

Professor Ryota Koyama, School of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Fukushima University
“If we assume that harmful rumors will occur, then we cannot agree to that, and I think the whole premise is that we should not create a situation two years from now where the price of (marine products) falls to the point where we have to buy them, or where trading is suspended.

He also said that we need to analyze the current situation and rethink what we should do to prevent harmful rumors.

Professor Ryota Koyama, School of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Fukushima University
Professor Ryota Koyama of Fukushima University’s Department of Food and Agricultural Sciences said, “Consumers and distributors in Tokyo do not have a good understanding of the situation. I would like to see a process of analyzing this lack of progress and then formulating countermeasures based on the current situation.

August 27, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Good Riddance to the War on Terror

August 27, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Weaponising space -the high road to World War 3, but profitable for weapon and space companies

Insane U.S. Plan to Spend Billions on Weaponizing Space Makes Defense Contractors Jump for Joy—But Rest of World Cowers in Horror at Prospect of New Arms Race Leading to World War IIICovertAction Magazine  By Karl Grossman – August 25, 2021 Imagine this scenario from the year 2045: The U.S. and China, after years of belligerence, go to war over control of the Taiwan straits; most of the battles are fought through cyber-attacks and space-based weapons systems that had been perfected over the previous decades.

In a desperate maneuver, the U.S. activates its “rods from God”—a scheme developed in Project Thor involving telephone-pole-sized tungsten rods being dropped from orbit reaching a speed ten times the speed of sound [7,500 miles per hour] hitting with the force of nuclear weapons—and Beijing’s military command centers and other significant targets are destroyed.

The above scenario looks increasingly plausible given a) the growing prospect of war between the U.S. and China; and b) the growing militarization of space by the U.S.—in violation of the landmark Outer Space Treaty of 1967 that sets aside space “for peaceful purposes.”

U.S. Space Force and the Evisceration of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty

Donald Trump declared at a meeting of the National Space Council of the U.S. in 2018 that “it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space, we must have American dominance in space…. I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces … It is going to be something.”

Indeed, the U.S. Space Force, established in December 2019, is something—and can, if not will, destroy the visionary Outer Space Treaty of keeping space for peace.

The Outer Space Treaty
 of 1967 was put together by the U.S., Great Britain and the former Soviet Union and has wide support from nations around the world. 111 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.

As Craig Eisendrath, who as a young U.S. State Department officer was involved in the treaty’s creation, told me—and I quote him in my book Weapons in Space—“we sought to de-weaponize space before it got weaponized … to keep war out of space.”

This foundational treaty has allowed for half a century of ever expanding peaceful activity in space, free from man-made threats,” writes Paul Meyer, in his chapter “Arms Control in Outer Space: A Diplomatic Alternative to Star Wars” in the book Security in the Global Commons and Beyond.[1]

The Outer Space Treaty bars placement “in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction or from installing such weapons on celestial bodies.”

Biden Signs Off on Space Force

Republican Trump’s successor as U.S. president, Democrat Joe Biden, has not pulled back on the U.S. Space Force. As Defense News headlined in 2021: “With Biden’s ‘full support,’ the Space Force is officially here to stay.”

Its article opened: “U.S. President Joe Biden will not seek to eliminate the Space Force and roll military space functions back into the Air Force, the White House confirmed.” It continued: “White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters during a Feb. 3 briefing that the new service has the ‘full support’ of the Biden administration.” And it went on: “‘We’re not revisiting the decision,’ she said.”

Most Democrats in the U.S. Congress voted for the legislation providing for formation of the U.S. Space Force as pushed by Trump. All Republicans in the U.S. Congress voted for it.

False Pretext

For decades there has been an effort to extend the Outer Space Treaty and enact the Prevention of an Arms Race, the PAROS treaty, which would bar any weapons in space.

China, Russia (and U.S. neighbor Canada) have been leaders in seeking passage of the PAROS treaty. But the U.S.—through administration after administration, Republican and Democrat—has opposed the PAROS treaty and effectively vetoed it at the United Nations.

Although the PAROS treaty has broad backing from nations around the world, it must move through the UN’s Conference on Disarmament which functions on a consensual basis.

A rationale for the U.S. Space Force now being claimed is that it is necessary to counter moves by China and Russia in space, particularly development of anti-satellite weapons.

That is what a CNN report in August 2021, titled “An Exclusive Look into How Space Force Is Defending America,” centrally asserted. There was no mention in the six-minute-plus CNN piece of how China and Russia (and Canada) have led for decades in the push for PAROS, and how China and Russia in recent times have reiterated their calls for space to be weapons-free.

We are calling on the international community to start negotiations and reach agreement on arms control in order to ensure space safety as soon as possible,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, in April 2021. “China has always been in favor of preventing an arms race in space; it has been actively promoting negotiations on a legally binding agreement on space arms control jointly with Russia.”

A day earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for talks to create an “international legally binding instrument” to ban the deployment of “any types of weapons” in space.  Lavrov said: “We consistently believe that only a guaranteed prevention of an arms race in space will make it possible to use it for creative purposes, for the benefit of the entire mankind. We call for negotiations on the development of an international legally binding instrument that would prohibit the deployment of any types of weapons there, as well as the use of force or the threat of force.

Onward and Upward!

Meanwhile, the U.S. Space Force drives ahead.

It has requested a budget of $17.4 billion for 2020 to “grow the service,” reports Air Force Magazine. “Space Force 2022 Budget Adds Satellites, Warfighting Center, More Guardians,” was the headline of its article. And in the first paragraph, it adds “and fund more than $800 million in new classified programs.” (“Guardians” is the name adopted by the U.S. Space Force in 2021 for its members.)

A recruitment drive is under way.

The U.S. Space Force “received its first offensive weapon … satellite jammers,” reported American Military News in 2020. “The weapon does not destroy enemy satellites, but can be used to interrupt enemy satellite communications and hinder enemy early warning systems meant to detect a U.S. attack,” it stated…………

“US Space Command—dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment. Integrating Space Forces into war-fighting capabilities across the full spectrum of conflict,” trumpeted Vision for 2020……….

I displayed the comments of U.S. Space Command Commander-in-Chief Joseph W. Ashy in Aviation Week and Space Technology in 1996: “It’s politically sensitive, but it’s going to happen,” said the general.

Some people don’t want to hear this … but—absolutely—we’re going to fight in space. We’re going to fight from space and we’re going to fight into space…. We will engage terrestrial targets someday—ships, airplanes, land targets—from space.”  U.S. Space Command Commander-in-Chief General Joseph W. Ashy……………


August 26, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Reference, space travel, weapons and war | 1 Comment