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New Zealand PM says Australian nuclear subs will NOT be welcome in country’s waters

New Zealand PM says Australian nuclear subs will NOT be welcome in country’s waters,  https://7news.com.au/politics/federal-politics/australian-nuclear-subs-not-welcome-in-nz-c-3978704 7 News, Ben McKay, 16/09/20

Australia’s planned nuclear submarine fleet won’t be welcome in New Zealand, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The new submarines are the centrepiece of the new AUKUS security tie-up of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

NZ has been left out of the AUKUS alliance, despite being a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, along with AUKUS members and Canada.

The country has been staunchly nuclear-free for decades, earning the ire of treaty partner US by declining visits from its nuclear-powered ships.

“We weren’t approached by nor would I expect us to be,” Ardern said.

“Prime Minister Morrison and indeed all partners are very well versed and understand our position on nuclear-powered vessels and also nuclear weapons.

Australia’s planned nuclear submarine fleet won’t be welcome in New Zealand, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

The new submarines are the centrepiece of the new AUKUS security tie-up of Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

NZ has been left out of the AUKUS alliance, despite being a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, along with AUKUS members and Canada.

The country has been staunchly nuclear-free for decades, earning the ire of treaty partner US by declining visits from its nuclear-powered ships.

“We weren’t approached by nor would I expect us to be,” Ardern said.

“Prime Minister Morrison and indeed all partners are very well versed and understand our position on nuclear-powered vessels and also nuclear weapons.

That of course means that they well understood our likely position on the establishment of nuclear-powered submarines and their use in the region.”

Ardern said by law, and by a consensus of NZ’s major political parties, nuclear-powered vessels would not be welcome. 

“Certainly they couldn’t come into our internal waters,” she said.

Ardern declined to say whether it would be appropriate for Australia’s new fleet to sail in the Pacific but welcomed interest from the US and the UK in the “contested region”.

“I am pleased to see that the eye is being tuned to our region, from partners that we work closely with.”

Some Kiwi experts believe the AUKUS formation shows an Australian acquiescence to US foreign policy.

“It highlights that much deeper level of Australian integration into US defence and security planning and thinking,” Victoria University professor David Capie told The Guardian.

“New Zealand and Australia were in a different space to begin with and this has perhaps just made that look sharper again.”

Ardern said the new alliance “in no way changes our security and intelligence ties with these three countries”.

NZ’s opposition is less sure, with leader Judith Collins saying other aspects of the defence alliance would be worth involvement.

September 18, 2021 Posted by | New Zealand, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US President Joe Biden appears to forget Scott Morrison’s name (it doesn’t really matter)

US President Joe Biden appears to forget Scott Morrison’s name in embarrassing blunder, Aamer Madhani and Jonathan Lemire, AAP/7NEWS : Thursday, 16 September 2021 

(ED. Biden only wants to sell USA nuclear stuff to any willing buyer. Poor old #ScottyFromMarketing just wants a bit of military glory, leading upm to the Australian election

“”…………Thank you Boris, and I want to thank that fellow Down Under,” Biden said.“Thank you very much, pal! Appreciate it, Mr Prime MinisterAttempting to backtrack, Biden quickly addressed the PM by his name – but unfortunately for Joe, the damage was done …. https://7news.com.au/politics/joe-biden/biden-hails-new-aukus-defence-pact-c-3977425

September 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear-powered submarines have ‘long history of accidents

Nuclear-powered submarines have ‘long history of accidents’, Adelaide environmentalist warns,  ABC By Daniel Keane 17 Sept 21,

The plan to build nuclear-powered submarines in South Australia has alarmed anti-war and environmental campaigners, one of whom says the vessels have a “long history” of involvement in accidents across the globe.

Key points:

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the nuclear submarines would be built in Adelaide
  • The Greens and other environmental groups say that raises serious public safety concerns
  • SA’s former nuclear royal commissioner says the risks can be managed

Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled a deal to construct the new fleet of at least eight submarines, declaring a new era of strategic alignment with the United States and United Kingdom, and a new trilateral security partnership called AUKUS.

All Australians benefit from the national interest decisions to protect Australians and to keep Australians safe,” Mr Morrison said.

But Friends of the Earth Australia’s anti-nuclear spokesperson Jim Green said the plan was more likely to compromise public safety than enhance it.

I’m worried about the security and proliferation aspects of this, I’m deeply concerned as an Adelaidean. A city of 1.3 million people is not the place to be building nuclear submarines,” he said.

“North-western Adelaide could be a target in the case of warfare. Of course, that’s a very low risk but if it does happen, the impacts would be catastrophic for Adelaide.

“You should build hazardous facilities away from population centres, partly because of the risk of accidents and partly because of the possibility that a nuclear submarine site could be targeted by adversaries.”

Dr Green said the question of what would become of the spent fuel remained unanswered, and there was “a long history of accidents involving nuclear submarines”.

Many — but not all — of those occurred in submarines built in the former Soviet Union, including the infamous K-19, which was subsequently dubbed “The Widowmaker” and became the subject of a Hollywood film.

After its reactor suffered a loss of coolant, members of the crew — more than 20 of whom died in the next two years — worked in highly radioactive steam to prevent a complete meltdown.

Two US naval nuclear submarines — USS Thresher and USS Scorpion — currently remain sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, at depths of more than two kilometres, after sinking during the 1960s.

More than 200 mariners died in the disasters, and neither vessels’ reactors, nor the nuclear weapons on board the Scorpion, have ever been recovered.

Two years ago, 14 Russian naval officers were laid to rest after they were killed in a fire on a nuclear-powered submersible in circumstances that were not fully revealed by the Kremlin.

Dr Green said Australia’s “nuclear power lobby” had “been quick off the mark”, and was already using the Prime Minister’s announcement to push for further involvement with the nuclear fuel cycle, including atomic energy and waste storage.

“The South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle [Royal] Commission, in its 2016 report, estimated a cost of $145 billion to construct and operate a nuclear waste repository,” he said.

“No country in the world has got a repository to dispose of high-level nuclear waste, and the only repository in the world to dispose of intermediate-level nuclear waste, which is in the United States, was shut for three years from 2014 to 2017 because of a chemical explosion.”…………….https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-17/nuclear-submarines-prompt-environmental-and-conflict-concern/100470362

September 18, 2021 Posted by | incidents, oceans, technology, weapons and war | Leave a comment

For Australia Buying nuclear-powered submarines now doesn’t make sense strategically, and it doesn’t make sense operationally.

White says Australia is now tied more closely to the US strategy against China, which is aimed at stopping Beijing from challenging American primacy. Australia’s eventual acquisition of eight nuclear-powered submarines is not going to make any difference to Xi Jinping’s calculations.

And if deterrence fails, and we end up going to war, will eight Australian submarines make any difference to the outcome? I don’t think it will,” White says.

Nuclear family: Setting a new course in submarine policy

The acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines promises to transform the Australian navy, but there are some uncomfortable realities Australia must also confront. AFR Andrew Tillett correspondent  ’17 Sep 21
, ‘……………. n Thursday, the Prime Minister unveiling plans to build nuclear-powered submarines in Adelaide with the help of the United States and United Kingdom.

Morrison, who places a high premium on secrecy, had explored the proposal with a tight-knit circle of aides and officials for 18 months. So classified was their work that officials in Defence’s Capability, Acquisition and Sustainment Group, including those overseeing the $90 billion French submarine project, found out the dat before. Morrison effectively destroyed one of the shibboleths of Australian public policy – that nuclear technology falls in the “too hard” basket.

…………….. “This is a big policy shift in Washington, DC,” says Hugh White, Australian National University emeritus professor of strategic studies.

Buying nuclear-powered submarines now doesn’t make sense strategically, and it doesn’t make sense operationally.

The acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines promises to transform the navy – just a handful of countries operate them – but there are some uncomfortable realities Australia must also confront.

…….. A Defence-led taskforce will spend up to 18 months assessing whether the British or American submarine is the best option, along with workforce, shipyard and training needs. The government maintains construction can still start in the latter part of this decade, but the new submarine will be delivered a couple of years later than the French one would have been.

But this is predicated on the project going well. If Australia wants to tinker with the design, that will add time. There are also capacity constraints in the US and UK. Their shipyards are busy and the construction of Australian reactors will need to be squeezed into production schedules.

And despite assurances that reactors will be sealed and Australia effectively just has to “plug” them in, it goes without saying this is technology that has never been used here before. So even a 2040 delivery date may be optimistic.

China challenge

By then, it may be too late. “The challenge we face from China is not a challenge that is going to emerge in the 2050s. It’s happening now. The timeframe is wrong,” White says. “[Buying nuclear-powered submarines now] doesn’t make sense strategically, and it doesn’t make sense operationally.”

White says Australia is now tied more closely to the US strategy against China, which is aimed at stopping Beijing from challenging American primacy. Australia’s eventual acquisition of eight nuclear-powered submarines is not going to make any difference to Xi Jinping’s calculations.

And if deterrence fails, and we end up going to war, will eight Australian submarines make any difference to the outcome? I don’t think it will,” White says.

…… White says he is not against eventually acquiring nuclear-powered submarines but the question Morrison should be asking is what boats best suit Australian objectives, not American.

White says the navy’s priority should be using submarines closer to Australian shores to protect shipping lanes. He says for the cost of 12 French submarines, or eight nuclear-powered ones, Australia could buy 24 Collins class size conventionally powered subs.

“The reason we have been driven towards a big boat is we have decided our most important role is helping the US to hunt Chinese submarines in the South China Sea and East China Sea,” he says. “You would sink more enemy ships with 24 boats than you would with eight nuclear-powered ones.”…………… https://www.afr.com/policy/foreign-affairs/nuclear-family-setting-a-new-course-in-submarine-policy-20210916-p58s9t

September 18, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

The Australian submarine agreement: Turning nuclear cooperation upside down


The Australian submarine agreement: Turning nuclear cooperation upside down, Bulletin By Ian J. Stewart | September 17, 2021
 The UK and US have announced they will support Australia in development of a nuclear submarine fleet and will provide (conventionally armed) Tomahawk cruise missiles. This is one of those exceedingly rare and exceedingly significant announcements that come along only every decade or so. The announcement literally turns existing precedence and practice on their heads in order to extend traditionally northern hemisphere cooperation to Australia and bolster its role in countering an increasingly assertive China. While much is not yet known, some of the ramifications and implications of this development are discernable.

Before considering the announcement’s specific implications, it is worth reiterating how exceedingly rare and significant it is. Many in the nonproliferation and strategic studies field will draw a parallel between this announcement and the 2005 announcement that the United States would renew civil nuclear cooperation with India. The so-called AUKUS declaration, like the other, was made with the grand purpose of securing an additional strategic ally against the rising China. However, neatly associated with both is also an expectation that domestic industries will benefit from access to a new market.

…. In this announcement, the United States and UK are overturning decades of accepted practice to support the transfer of a strategic capability to another country. The decision is sure to irk China and accelerate the spiral towards a Cold War-style standoff, with renewed strategies of containment against the revisionist power. The initiative has also offended France, which had become closer to the UK and, to a lesser extent, the US on nuclear matters in the last decade or so.

…….  The Australian breakup with France is clearly not a happy one, with the French Embassy tweeting its contempt for how the announcement was made. On Friday, France announced it was recalling its ambassadors to the United States and Australia, calling the US-Australia agreement “unacceptable behavior between allies and partners.”

A second implication is for the nonproliferation regime itself. Much like the announcement of the US-India deal, AUKUS is already dividing the international security community. Many nonproliferation practitioners call foul, on the basis that, on the face of it, the announcement appears to cut across several norms, agreed rules, and accepted practices. The cooperation may be used by non-nuclear weapons states as more ammunition in support of a narrative that the weapons states lack good faith in their commitments to disarmament……..

A third implication involves precedence. There has been constraint in terms of naval nuclear reactor exports for many decades. However, several countries have been working to acquire naval nuclear reactors. Brazil is perhaps the first country that comes to mind. It will be argued by many that AUKUS reaffirms Brazil’s legitimacy in pursuing nuclear-powered submarines.

……….  the British government is almost certainly thinking about it as a means to bolster Rolls Royce. The United States by law and by practice is particularly protective of its reactor technology. As such, the prospect of an independently designed UK reactor being sold to Australia could check a number of boxes.

The agreement may have an additional casualty in UK/French nuclear cooperation. …….. https://thebulletin.org/2021/09/the-australian-submarine-agreement-turning-nuclear-cooperation-upside-down/

September 18, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S. generals planning for a space war they see as all but inevitable

U.S. generals planning for a space war they see as all but inevitable, Space News, by Sandra Erwin — September 17, 2021 A ship in the Pacific Ocean carrying a high-power laser takes aim at a U.S. spy satellite, blinding its sensors and denying the United States critical eyes in the sky.

This is one scenario that military officials and civilian leaders fear could lead to escalation and wider conflict as rival nations like China and Russia step up development and deployments of anti-satellite weapons.

If a satellite came under attack, depending on the circumstances, “the appropriate measures can be taken,” said Lt. Gen. John Shaw, deputy commander of U.S. Space Command.

The space battlefield is not science fiction and anti-satellite weapons are going to be a reality in future armed conflicts, Shaw said at the recent 36th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

U.S. Space Command is responsible for military operations in the space domain, which starts at the Kármán line, some 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the Earth’s surface. This puts Space Command in charge of protecting U.S. satellites from attacks and figuring out how to respond if hostile acts do occur…………

A key reason why the space race is accelerating is that technology is advancing so rapidly, Smith said. A second reason is the absence of “binding commitments on what the operating norms are going to be in space,” she said. “And without that, we’re very likely to have a space war.”

The only foundation of international space law that currently exists, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, is outdated and doesn’t address most space security issues that could set off a war, Smith noted.

The treaty bans the stationing of weapons of mass destruction in outer space, prohibits military activities on celestial bodies and contains legally binding rules governing the peaceful exploration and use of space. But a new set of rules is needed for the current space age, Smith said. “We really haven’t addressed some of the very difficult questions. Can a nation tailgate another nation’s satellite? Is preemptive self defense going to be permissible? Are we going to ban any form of weapons in space?”…….

September 18, 2021 Posted by | space travel, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

France: questionable rush to start Flamanville nuclear reactor despite its defects

 By a decree of August 30, 2021, EDF was authorized to operate the Flamanville EPR, under an extremely questionable consultation procedure. This is just one of the many administrative authorizations that the company
must still receive to commission the reactor, but this decision is nonetheless irresponsible. Even though the reactor is still affected by numerous defects, EDF continues its forced march to prepare for its start-up at all costs. We strongly denounce this irresponsible headlong rush.

 Sortir du Nucleaire 9th Sept 2021

https://www.sortirdunucleaire.org/EPR-de-Flamanville-une-scandaleuse-autorisation-d

September 18, 2021 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Generals Should Not Have to Break the Rules to Prevent Nuclear War

Generals Should Not Have to Break the Rules to Prevent Nuclear War, Rather than criticizing Milley, we need to change the policy that put him in an impossible spot. Defense News,  BY TOM Z. COLLINA, POLICY DIRECTOR, PLOUGHSHARES FUND, SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 

Just after the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Gen. Mark Milley faced an impossible choice: should he allow President Trump to retain sole authority to start nuclear war, or should he intervene to block such an order?

Convinced that Trump had suffered “serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election,” Gen. Milley decided to intervene, ordering his staff to come to him if they received a strike order from the president.

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” Milley told the officers, according to Peril, a new book by journalist Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. “You never know what a president’s trigger point is.”But Gen. Milley—though chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president’s chief military advisor—is not formally part of that procedure. As former Defense Secretary Bill Perry and I explore in our book The Button, policy established during the Cold War puts decisions about the use of nuclear weapons are solely in the hands of the civilian president, not Congress and above all not the military. All the president needs to do is call the Pentagon’s War Room—using the nuclear “football” or some other means—then identify himself and give the order to launch. The president may choose to consult with senior advisors such as Gen. Milley but is not required to.

If the Woodward-Costa report is accurate, therefore, Gen. Milley was breaking the rules and his actions were likely illegal and unconstitutional. (His spokesperson has said that the general “continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution.”) And his efforts might not have worked anyway, since his staff could still have chosen to honor the president’s orders over the general’s………

Even so, it was the right thing to do. Should Gen. Milley have let a clearly unstable president start nuclear war just to follow protocol? Of course not. .. https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2021/09/generals-should-not-have-break-rules-prevent-nuclear-war/185398/

September 18, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New Mexico backs Texas in opposing nuclear fuel storage


New Mexico backs Texas in opposing nuclear fuel storage
,
APN News, By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, 17 Sept 21, ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Top New Mexico leaders say they’re open to “most anything” that would prevent spent nuclear fuel and other high-level waste from being stored indefinitely in the state, including legislation like a measure recently adopted by Texas to prevent the shipping and storage of such waste.

The renewed criticism this week of planned temporary storage facilities in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico came as federal regulators just granted a license for the proposed operation in Texas.

Interim Storage Partners LLC plans to build a facility in Andrews County that could take up to 5,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel rods from power plants and 231 million tons of other radioactive waste.

In New Mexico, Holtec International is awaiting approval of its license application for a facility that initially would store up to 8,680 metric tons of uranium. Future expansion could make room for as many as 10,000 canisters of spent fuel over six decades.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, and other top officials already have submitted comments in opposition to the multibillion-dollar proposal on their side of the state line and to the Texas project. New Mexico also is suing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, claiming it hasn’t done enough to vet Holtec’s plans.

Lujan Grisham’s office said it would be open to exploring legislation and to seeking funding that could boost efforts by New Mexico regulators to push back administratively……..

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, has a similar stance and tweeted this week that “’Texas will not become America’s nuclear waste dumping ground.”……..https://apnews.com/article/business-environment-and-nature-texas-new-mexico-5963107ed241ad5e1a07c8217e691117

September 18, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Climate change is the overriding danger to UK’s Bradwell nuclear power plan

Bradwell & Sizewell**

 THE chair of a group against the proposed Bradwell B site says climate change is the “overriding” issue facing the future of the nuclear power plant project. Prof Andrew Blowers, chairman of Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), has said new east coast nuclear power stations such as Bradwell B are likely to become victims of the “inevitable, imminent and irreversible consequences” of global warming. Speaking at a hearing
at the Sizewell C examination, Prof Blowers said climate change was the “transformative issue” of policy and should be at the heart of the discussion about building nuclear power stations on the east coast.

 Maldon & Burnham Standard 16th Sept 2021

https://www.maldonandburnhamstandard.co.uk/news/19582726.change-climate-new-nuclear-sites-biggest-issue/

 Maldon Nub News 16th Sept 2021

https://maldon.nub.news/n/professor-says-climate-change-is-the-39overriding-issue39-for-the-proposed-bradwell-b-nuclear-site

September 18, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment