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#ScottyFromMarketing’s propaganda triumph -nuclear submarines

September 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, marketing of nuclear, politics, spinbuster, weapons and war | Leave a comment

New Australia, Britain, and U.S. military alliance—AUKUS— a serious escalation of the new Cold War on China.

‘Anti-China’ Military Pact ‘Threatens Peace and Stability’ in Pacific, Groups Warn

“The announcement of the new Australia, Britain, and U.S. military alliance—AUKUS—represents a serious escalation of the new Cold War on China.”  Common Dreams , KENNY STANCIL, September 16, 2021
 Anti-war advocates are denouncing Wednesday’s formation of a trilateral military partnership through which the United States and the United Kingdom plan to help Australia build a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines—a long-term initiative broadly viewed as a challenge to China by Western powers determined to exert control over the Pacific region.

Although Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and U.S. President Joe Biden did not mention Beijing during their joint video announcement of the so-called AUKUS alliance, “the move is widely seen as a response to China’s expanding economic power, military reach, and diplomatic influence,” the Washington Post reported. “China is believed to have six nuclear attack submarines, with plans to increase the fleet in the next decade.”

The Guardian noted that it could take more than a decade for AUKUS to develop submarines propelled by enriched uranium—which allow the attack vessels to operate more quietly and remain deployed for up to five months—”but once at sea, the aim is to put Australia’s currently diesel-powered navy on a technological par with China’s navy, the world largest.”

In addition to “cooperation on naval technology,” the newspaper reported, “the partnership will involve closer alignment of regional policies and actions, and greater integration of the militaries and the defense industries of the three allies,” which “also intend to work together on cyberwarfare and on artificial intelligence capabilities.”

In response to the development, the British chapter of the No Cold War coalition said Thursday in a statement that “the new anti-China military alliance forged between Australia, Britain, and the U.S.—AUKUS—is an aggresive move which threatens peace and stability in the Pacific region.”

According to the coalition of nearly two dozen peace groups, the creation of AUKUS “follows the recent sending of a British warship to the South China Sea in an aggressive and provocative gesture of support for the U.S.’s massive military build-up against China.”

“It should be noted,” the coalition continued, “that New Zealand is not participating in this aggressive military alliance and it’s no nuclear policy means that Australian nuclear-powered submarines will be banned from New Zealand’s ports and waters.”

“It is against the interests of the British people, the Chinese people, and all of humanity for Britain to join the U.S. and Australia in racheting up aggression against China,” No Cold War added. “The world needs global cooperation to tackle shared threats of the pandemic and climate change, not a new Cold War.”

Anti-war progressives from Australia and the U.S. have also condemned the new military alliance.

“It was only a few weeks ago that a generation-long war in Afghanistan came to an end,” Alison Broinowski of the Independent and Peaceful Australia Network, said in a statement shared prior to the official launch of AUKUS. “Instead of reflecting on the pointlessness and horror of U.S. militarism, Australia and the U.S. are already talking about their next military adventure.”

“How can Australia assert an independent and peaceful foreign policy with a military that is so integrated into the U.S.?” Broinowski asked.

During his remarks publicizing the pact, Biden claimed that “we need to be able to address both the current strategic environment in the region, and how it may evolve, because the future of each of our nations, and indeed the world, depends on a free and open Indo-Pacific enduring and flourishing in the decades ahead.”

China Is Not Our Enemy, a project of U.S.-based peace group CodePink, responded by asserting that “if Biden and the Pentagon really want to ‘ensure peace and stability’ in the region, they could simply stop dealing missiles, weapons, [and] nuclear tech to Australia, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan that escalate conflict and threaten global safety.”

Officials in Beijing also criticized the agreement, with China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian reportedly calling the U.S. and U.K.’s decision to export extremely sensitive nuclear technology to Australia an “extremely irresponsible” move that exposes “double standards.”

AUKUS “seriously undermines regional peace and stability, aggravates the arms race, and hurts international nonproliferation efforts,” Zhao added.

Describing AUKUS as a “disastrous” deal, CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin tweeted Wednesday that Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. “are ratcheting up the tension that could easily lead to a nuclear war with China.”

Amid growing concerns that Washington’s increasingly hostile approach to China could escalate into a full-blown military conflict, nearly 50 advocacy organizations in July sent a letter to Biden and members of Congress in which they argued that “nothing less than the future of our planet depends on ending the new Cold War between the United States and China.”

September 19, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

France angry about nuclear submarine cancelleation – recalls ambassadors to Australia, USA.

France vents subs anger with recall of Australian, US envoys, AFR Hans van Leeuwen, Europe correspondent Sep 18, 2021 –London | France has issued a diplomatic slap in the face to Canberra and Washington, recalling its ambassadors to vent its displeasure at the cancellation of Australia’s $90 billion submarine contract with state-controlled defence company Naval Group.

The move signals a potentially serious rupture in Franco-Australian relations, after Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian publicly described Australia’s switch to a maritime security pact with the US and Britain as “a stab in the back”.

This exceptional decision is justified by the exceptional gravity of the announcements made on September 15 by Australia and the United States,” Mr Le Drian said in a statement on Friday (Saturday AEST).

“The cancellation of the Attack class submarine program binding Australia and France since 2016, and the announcement of a new partnership with the United States meant to launch studies on a possible future cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines, constitute unacceptable behaviour between allies and partners.”

Mr Le Drian said the “consequences directly affect the vision we have of our alliances, of our partnerships and of the importance of the Indo-Pacific for Europe”………

Although Australia’s French embassy has issued a statement arguing that the decision was made purely on technical grounds, the French government and commentariat has interpreted it as a political decision – and it will potentially rankle for years to come……

September 19, 2021 Posted by | France, politics international | Leave a comment

AUKUS military agreement – bad timing ahead of Glascow Climate Summit.

 The timing of the new defence deal between the US, UK and Australia has dismayed climate experts, who fear it could have a negative effect on hopes of a deal with China on greenhouse gas emissions ahead of vital UN climate talks.

The Aukus trilateral security partnership has been interpreted as seeking to counterbalance Chinese power in the Asia-Pacific region, and has been likened to a new cold war by China. A Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson warned the three countries to “respect regional people’s aspiration and do more that is conducive to regional peace and stability
and development – otherwise they will only end up hurting their own interests”.

Tom Burke, founder of the E3G environmental thinktank, said: “This [Aukus announcement] is bad timing ahead of Cop26, as Glasgow is time-critical and it’s hard to see what was critical about the timing of this announcement. It does not appear to suggest that the prime minister is taking Glasgow very seriously. And it exposes the fact that he has not gotmuch to offer ahead of Glasgow.”

 Guardian 16th Sept 2021

September 19, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Nuclear-powered submarines a ‘terrible decision’ which will make Australia ‘less safe – Australian Greens

Nuclear-powered submarines a ‘terrible decision’ which will make Australia ‘less safe’

Greens leader Adam Bandt has raised concerns over Australia’s acquisition of technology for nuclear-powered submarines from the US and UK, calling it a “terrible decision” which will make “our country less safe”.

While there have been no serious incidences with the UK and US nuclear-powered submarines in their history, Mr Bandt pointed out New Zealand will not allow the nuclear vessels in their waters.

“Australia will be writing a blank cheque, we will be spending untold billions on a fleet of floating Chernobyls,” Mr Bandt told Sky News Australia.

Mr Bandt said Australia was buying “a nuclear reactor in a box” and noted if the US decides to change the technology or withhold support, “we are at their mercy”.

“It’s really concerning the Prime Minister is calling this ‘a forever partnership’, because it means if another Donald Trump comes back in the United States, we are now … a small arm of their nuclear capacity.”

September 19, 2021 Posted by | culture and arts, politics international | Leave a comment

The AUKUS deal and nuclear submarine plan ties Australia in to any American engagement against China

This pact ties Australia to any US military engagement against China,

The announced agreement between the United States, Britain and Australia for Australia to move to a fleet of US-supplied nuclear submarines will amount to a lock-in of our military equipment and forces with those of the US, with only one underlying objective: the ability to act collectively in any military engagement by the US against China.

This arrangement would witness a further dramatic loss of Australian sovereignty, as materiel dependency on the US would rob Australia of any freedom or choice in any engagement it may deem appropriate.

Australia has had great difficulty in running a bunch of locally built conventional submarines. Imagine the difficulty in moving to sophisticated nuclear submarines, their maintenance and operational complexity. And all this at a time when US reliability and resolution around its strategic commitments and military engagements are under question.

If the US military, with all its might, could not beat a bunch of Taliban rebels with AK-47 rifles in pickup trucks, what chance would it have in a full-blown war against China, not only the biggest state in the world but the commander and occupant of the largest land mass in Asia? When it comes to conflict, particularly among great powers, land beats water every time.

It has to be remembered that China is a continental power and the US is a naval power. And that the US supply chain to East Asia would broadly need to span the whole Pacific from its base in San Diego and other places along the American west coast. Australia, by the announced commitments, would find itself hostage to any such a gambit.

There is no doubt about the Liberals: 240 years after we departed from Britain, we are back there with Boris Johnson, trying to find our security in Asia through London. Such is the continual failure of the Liberal Party to have any faith in Australia’s capacity, but, more particularly, its rights to its own independence and freedom of action.

September 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia’s new nuclear submarines will have dangerous Highly Enriched Uranium, not the Low Enriched Uranium of the French ones.

The United States and UK operate naval reactors in their submarines that are fueled with 93.5 percent enriched uranium (civilian power plants are typically fueled with three to five percent uranium-235) in quantities sufficient to last for the lifetime of their ships (33 years for attack submarines).Having resisted domestic efforts to minimize the use of HEU and convert their naval reactors to LEU fuel, the United States and UK have no alternative fuel to offer. France, on the other hand, now runs naval reactors fueled with LEU. The new Suffren-class submarine, from which the French conventional submarine offered to Australia was derived, even runs on fuel enriched below 6 percent.

Until now, it was the US commitment to nonproliferation that relentlessly crushed or greatly limited these aspirations toward nuclear-powered submarine technology. With the new AUKUS decision, we can now expect the proliferation of very sensitive military nuclear technology in the coming years, with literally tons of new nuclear materials under loose or no international safeguards.

It is difficult to understand the internal policy process that led the Democratic Biden administration to the AUKUS submarine announcement.  It seems that just like in the old Cold War, arms racing and the search for short-term strategic advantage is now bipartisan.

The new Australia, UK, and US nuclear submarine announcement: a terrible decision for the nonproliferation regime

By Sébastien Philippe | September 17, 2021 On September 15, US President Joe Biden, United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison launched a new major strategic partnership to meet the “imperative of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific over the long term.” Named AUKUS, the partnership was announced together with a bombshell decision: The United States and UK will transfer naval nuclear-propulsion technology to Australia. Such a decision is a fundamental policy reversal for the United States, which has in the past spared no effort to thwart the transfer of naval reactor technology by other countries, except for its World War II partner, the United Kingdom.  Even France—whose “contract of the century” to sell 12 conventional submarines to Australia was shot down by PM Morrison during the AUKUS announcement—had been repeatedly refused US naval reactor technology during the Cold War. If not reversed one way or another, the AUKUS decision could have major implications for the nonproliferation regime.

In the 1980s, the United States prevented France and the UK from selling nuclear attack submarines to Canada. The main argument centered on the danger of nuclear proliferation associated with the naval nuclear fuel cycle. Indeed, the nonproliferation treaty has a well-known loophole: non-nuclear weapon states can remove fissile materials from international control for use in non-weapon military applications, specifically to fuel nuclear submarine reactors. These reactors require a significant amount of uranium to operate. Moreover, to make them as compact as possible, most countries operate their naval reactors with nuclear-weapon-usable highly enriched uranium (HEU) fuel.

With tons of weapons-grade uranium out of international safeguards, what could go wrong?

The United States, UK, and Australia are giving themselves 18 months to hammer out the details of the arrangement. This will include figuring out what type of submarine, reactors, and uranium fuel will be required. Similarly, questions about where to base the submarines, what new infrastructure will be needed, how maintenance will be conducted, how nuclear fuel will be handled, and how crews will be trained—among many others—will need to be answered.

Australia has no civilian nuclear power infrastructure beyond a 20 megawatt-thermal research reactor and faces a rough nuclear learning curve. It will need to strengthen its nuclear safety authority so it has the capability to conduct, review, and validate safety assessments for naval reactors that are complex and difficult to commission. 

How long this new nuclear endeavor will take and how much it will cost are anyone’s guesses. But the cancelled $90 billion (Australian) “contract of the century” with France for conventionally powered attack submarines will most likely feel like a cheap bargain in retrospect. Beyond these technical details, the AUKUS partnership will also have to bend over backwards to fulfill prior international nonproliferation commitments and prevent the new precedent created by the Australian deal from proliferating out of control around the world.

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September 19, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, safety, Uranium | Leave a comment

Bipartisan House group asks Biden to stop Canada’s Great Lakes nuclear storage plans

Bipartisan House group asks Biden to stop Canada’s Great Lakes nuclear storage plans, The Hill, BY SHARON UDASIN – 09/17/21 01:20 PM EDTRep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) is calling on the Biden administration to stop the Canadian government from storing nuclear waste in the Great Lakes Basin. 

 The Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), a nonprofit established by the Canadian government, recently unveiled plans to construct a site that “would permanently store more than 50,000 tons of high-level nuclear waste” in the town of South Bruce, Ontario, Kildee’s office said.

South Bruce, located within the Great Lakes Basin, is about 30 miles east of Lake Huron.

Kildee in a release from his office described high-level nuclear waste as “the most dangerous form of nuclear waste,” and said that if an accident involving such waste occurred in the Great Lakes region, it could take a catastrophic toll on public health in surrounding U.S. and Canadian communities.

“The Great Lakes are central to our way of life, and permanently storing nuclear waste so close to our shared waterways puts our economies and millions of jobs at risk in the fishing, boating and tourism industries,” Kildee said. “People in both the U.S. and Canada depend on the Great Lakes for drinking water, which could be contaminated if there ever was a nuclear waste incident.”

Kildee is offering a bipartisan resolution asking President Biden to work with the Canadian government to stop the plans for the storage. The resolution is co-sponsored by 11 Democrats and nine Republicans from states surrounding the Great Lakes.

“From recreational activities to economic opportunities, the Great Lakes are integral to our daily lives, and a spill of hazardous materials would be devastating to communities across the state,” one of the co-sponsors, Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.), said in a statement. “We must continue to urge our Canadian allies to find an alternative storage site for nuclear waste.”

Tribal Chief Tim Davis, of the Michigan-based Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, added his concerns, noting his community’s ongoing work “to eliminate the continuing threat of nuclear waste being deposited into Mother Earth so close to the largest fresh water repository on Earth.”……….

September 19, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, politics international, USA, water | Leave a comment