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Nuclear Radiation – Incompatible with Life

Eiichiro Ochiai – from  Nuclear Issues  in the  21st Century  – Invisible Radiation Effects on Life,As argued in this whole book, the basic reason for “NO NPP on the Earth” is “Radiation is Not Compatible with Life”.  What this means is that life cannot defend itself against the damaging effects of radiation.   This has been true throughout the whole history of life on earth, though such effect by the naturally occurring radiation is minimal, and cannot be identified as such unless careful and systematic studies are conducted.  This issue is discussed in chapter 11. 

The radiation effects on human health have increased since the human started to add radioactive materials artificially to the environment.  This is a fact, and needs to be recognized by the entire human race,

Very Small Quantity of Radioactive Nuclides can be Lethal 

It was argued in section xxx why external exposure of such a small energy (10 Gy) is lethal. This energy is to raise the body temperature by only 0.0024 degrees.  The following is an example of lethal internal radiation caused by a much smaller radiation exposure.

 One of the Bandazhevsky investigations showed that the Cs-137 Bq value in the heart was 200 Bq/kg on average in those died from heart failure after Chernobyl accident [Fig. 8.x on original].  This radioactivity is caused by 6 x 10-11 g of Cs-137.   If the body (heart) was exposed to this radiation activity for a year, the exposure dose would have been about 1 mGy/kg.  In terms of ICRP and other such organizations’ estimate, this low level exposure should have no significant health effect.  The fact is that it was lethal.  This radiation source emitted 6.3 x 109 radioactive particles. Assuming 1 MeV per particle, the exposure would have destroyed about 1 x 1014 molecules in the heart cells.  Some critically important molecules for heart activity could have been destroyed; hence heart failure and death.

This is to illustrate how small quantities of radionuclides can be lethal.  If this argument is reasonable, even smaller quantities can be supposed to be able to cause serious diseases, including cancers.

he operation of NPP inevitably produces a large amount of radioactive material.  Typically 3-4 kg of U-235 will be burned per day at a NPP, so that a NPP burns about 1 tons of U-235 per year.  The basic problem is to dispose safely the radioactive nuclides.

     The wastes we produce, whether biological or industrial, can be dealt with.  The biological wastes can be thrown into “toilet”, after which they are processed chemically, biologically, otherwise and eventually returned in harmless forms back to the environment.  They can be used as manure, as well.  Or animals’ wastes are collected and dried, and then used as fuel without any harm to people in certain regions.  These ways of dealing with the wastes are possible because they are chemicals.  Of course the problems are not simply theoretical matters, and are big problems in reality, as exemplified by the “plastic wastes”.

NPP have no toilet for its radioactive wastes; the spent fuel rods are typically stored in cooling pools.  The radioactive wastes produce both heat and radiation through decaying processes.  When the fuel rods become sufficiently cool after certain period of time (years), they would be transferred into sturdy containers being cooled by air, and no further treatment.  Well they are supposed to be deposited in deep caves where they would be left in forever.  The basic problem with radionuclides is that we, chemical means, cannot change them to the non-radioactive.  Therefore, they are left radioactive; some of them last million years (see Fig. 24.1).  How safely they are stored in such places (deep cave, etc) is a good question.  Geological activities may damage the containers or radioactivity may be enough to damage the containers for such a long period (may feel forever for human race).

October 5, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation | Leave a comment

Independent scientists speak the truth about ionising radiation.

How monolithic institutions decide what is safe for the rest of us, Beyond Nuclear, By Christine Fassert and Tatiana Kasperski, 12 Sept 21,

”………………..The condemnation of this [ Fukushima area radiation] threshold came first of all from within: the special adviser on radiation protection of the Prime Minister’s Office, Professor Toshiso Kosako, resigned in tears on April 30, 2011:

“I cannot accept such a threshold, being applied to babies, children, and elementary school students, not only from an academic point of view, but also because of my humanistic values,” he said.

Many critiques

At the international level, the decision to raise the threshold was also criticized by the two successive UN Special Rapporteurs, Anand Grover and Baskut Tuncak. Moreover, the two experts question the very foundations of radiation protection, which rely on the ALARA principle: As Low as Reasonably Achievable.

This “reasonably” indicates that criteria other than health are taken into account, which Grover criticizes, referring to the “right to health”. Indeed, the rapporteur points out that “the ICRP recommendations are based on the principle of optimization and justification, according to which all government actions should maximize the benefits over the detriments. Such a risk-benefit analysis is not in line with the framework of the right to health, because it gives priority to collective interests over individual rights”.

Tuncak echoes Grover’s criticism in his October 2018 report, stating that “the Japanese government’s decision to increase what is considered the acceptable level of radiation exposure by a factor of 20 is deeply troubling.”

Better protecting individuals

Similar arguments were also used by Belarusian and Ukrainian scientists who, in the late 1980s, opposed the lifetime dose limit of 35 rem (350msv) over a maximum period of 70 years from the time of the accident — a limit that Soviet experts in Moscow, with the support of ICRP representatives, including the head of the French Central Service for Protection against Ionizing Radiation, Pierre Pellerin, were trying to impose as the basis for all post-accident response measures. 

The Belarusian and Ukrainian researchers considered the 35 rem criterion to be unacceptable not only from a scientific point of view but also, and above all, from an ethical point of view.

They pointed out that under the conditions of scientific uncertainty about the effects of ionizing radiation, it was dangerous to underestimate the risks that radioactivity represented for the inhabitants of the affected territories, and they considered that the country’s authorities had a moral obligation to devote all the necessary means to greater protection of the inhabitants of the affected regions, especially the most vulnerable individuals.

The danger of low doses

The protagonists of the optimization of radiation protection in the post-accident context insist on the absence of studies proving significant health effects below these thresholds.

For a long time, the arguments for and against these thresholds have been discussed in the public arena and by social scientists in terms of scientific and medical “controversies” — opposing scientists connected to the nuclear sphere who have long denied the harmfulness of low doses, to scientists outside this sphere who consider that the risks were underestimated.

The question of the level of danger of low doses of radioactivity is one of the best known examples of such controversies, which regularly resurface despite the development of scientific knowledge about these risks.

This debate did not arise at the time of the Fukushima accident, but has been going on for a long time and is part of the “motives” also found in the debates about Chernobyl as well as other nuclear accidents such as Kyshtym, in Russia, in 1957…………………

October 5, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Will all submarines even nuclear ones, be obsolete and ‘visible’ by 2040?

Will all submarines, even nuclear ones, be obsolete and ‘visible’ by 2040?

Technologies could render the ocean transparent by the time Australia’s new submarines are ready, some experts say, Guardian, Tory Shepherd, 5 Oct 21,
 Australia’s proposed nuclear-powered submarines could be obsolete by the time they hit the water in the 2040s due to new technologies making underwater vessels “visible”, some experts argue.

One of the controversies over the federal government’s decision to ditch the $90bn deal to build conventional submarines in favour of nuclear boats is the timeline for getting them battle-ready.

The navy will have to stretch out the lifespan of the existing Collins-class fleet and possibly hire submarines to fill the gap before the new ones are on the horizon.

But even before the deal to buy 12 submarines from France’s Naval Group was made, military analysts warned that submarines of all types would be rendered obsolete by new technology including submersible drones and new weapons systems.

There are also warnings that different technologies will render the ocean “transparent”, so even the stealthiest submarines could be spotted by an enemy force.

The Australian National University’s National Security College report Transparent Oceans? found that transparency is “likely or “very likely” by the 2050s, a decade after Australia’s new fleet of nuclear-powered subs is due to enter service.

A multidisciplinary team looked at new sensor technology, underwater communications and the possibility of tripwires at choke points. They also examined new ways to detect chemical, biological, acoustic and infra-red signatures, finding that even with improvements in stealth submarines will become visible.

The report found “future technologies will make the oceans broadly transparent and counter-detection technologies will not have the same salience in the decades ahead as they have had previously”.

China has already developed submarine-spotting lasers.

CSIRO is working with a Chinese marine science institute that has separately developed satellite technology that can find submarines at depths of up to 500 metres.

That collaboration is due to end next year. The Australian has reported that Asio warned it could help the Chinese navy to hunt down Australian submarines but CSIRO said making that connection was “alarmist and irresponsible reporting”.

The defence analyst Albert Palazzo, writing for the Lowy Institute, said China’s technology will be advanced enough that “any Australian submarine that attempts to do something in these waters, such as launch a tomahawk missile, will reveal its position and shortly thereafter be destroyed”.

Others say submarines are just a base platform for a range of new and evolving technologies…………….

According to the taskforce set up under Aukus, the new submarines will have “superior characteristics of stealth, speed, manoeuvrability, survivability, and almost limitless endurance”, with better weapons, the ability to deploy drones and “a lower risk of detection”.

October 5, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

October 27 – Julian Assange’s extradition appeal hearing

Dan Monceaux, 5 Oct 21 Julian Assange’s extradition appeal hearing is approaching on October 27 this year. The Americans (at least the CIA) are hoping to win the right to pluck him from the maximum security Belmarsh Prison in the UK, try him before a Grand Jury in Virginia with no permitted defence… then ultimately incarcerate him for 175 years. He will be committed to a slow, torturous death. This is the most horrendous case of “shooting the messenger” one could ever imagine. Assange is being punished for daring to publish documentary evidence of imperial transgressions to the interested public.October 27 will be a turning point in history… for better or worse.

October 5, 2021 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Russia aims to lift old dead nuclear submarines from the bottom of the Barents and Kara Seas by 2030

Russia to Lift Radioactive Time Bombs From Ocean Floor in 2030, Two rusty nuclear submarines will be raised from the sea beds of the Barents and Kara Seas and brought to a shipyard for safe decommissioning. By The Barents Observer  4 Oct 21,  The November-class K-159 submarine sank in late August 2003 while being towed in bad weather from the closed naval base of Gremikha on the eastern shores of the Kola Peninsula toward the Nerpa shipyard north of Murmansk.

Researchers have monitored the wreck ever since, fearing leakages of radioactivity from the two old nuclear reactors onboard could contaminate the important fishing grounds in the Barents Sea. A joint Norwegian-Russian expedition examined the site in 2014 and concluded that no leakage has so far occurred from the reactors to the surrounding marine environment.

However, the bad shape of the hull could eventually lead to radionuclide leakages. A modeling study by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research said that a pulse discharge of the entire Caesium-137 inventory from the two reactors could increase concentrations in cod in the eastern part of the Barents Sea up to 100 times current levels for a two-year period after the discharge. While a Cs-137 increase of 100 times in cod sounds dramatic, the levels would still be below international guidelines, but tell that to the market buying the fish.

Now, Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom has announced the date for lifting the K-159 to 2030.

“As indicated in the strategy for the development of the Arctic, 2030, not earlier,” Anatoly Grigoriev, head of Rosatom’s international technical assistance project, told Interfax.

Grigoriev said Atomflot, the state operator of civilian nuclear-powered icebreakers whose technical base is just north of Murmansk, could become the contractor for the lifting.

The Rosatom official added that the K-27, a submarine dumped in the Kara Sea in 1982, is also included on the list of nuclear objects on the Arctic seabed to be salvaged by 2030.

The submarine was dumped at a depth of 33 meters in the Stepovogo fjord on the eastern shores of Novaya Zemlya.

Last month, divers from the Center for Underwater Research of the Russian Geographical Society conducted a survey of the submarine’s hull. Metal pieces were cut free and the thickness of the hull was measured, along with other inspections of the submarine that has been corroding on the seabed for nearly 40 years. 

Based on the examination, a detailed plan will be worked out on how to conduct the salvage with destabilizing the uranium fuel in the reactors in such a way that a new chain reactor could be restarted with a worst-case scenario of triggering direct contact between the uranium fuel and seawater. 

October 5, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Norway led the way in 25 years of clean-up of Russia’s dead nuclear submarine radioactive trash

Andreyeva Bay evolved into a dumping ground for 22,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies offloaded from hundreds of Soviet submarines. Cracks in storage pools made worse by the hard Arctic freeze threatened to contaminate the Barents Sea. At one point, experts even feared the radioactive morgue might spark an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction.

Norway has led the pack by far, contributing some $220 million over the past 20 years toward safely removing Andreyeva Bay’s spend nuclear fuel – a national movement spawned when Bellona published its first report on Northwest Russia’s nuclear hazards in 1996.

Norway and Russia mark 25 years of cooperative work on radiation security 4 Oct 21

Two and a half decades ago, a green four-car train would make the rounds every few months of Russia’s icy Kola Peninsula to cart nuclear fuel and radioactive waste 3,000 kilometers south to the Ural Mountains. October 4, 2021 by Charles Digges

Two and a half decades ago, a green four-car train would make the rounds every few months of Russia’s icy Kola Peninsula to cart nuclear fuel and radioactive waste 3,000 kilometers south to the Ural Mountains.

At the time, that lonely rail artery was the center of a logistical and financial bottleneck that made Northwest Russia – home of the once feared Soviet nuclear fleet – a toxic nuclear dumping ground shrouded in military secrecy.

Nearly 200 rusted out submarines bobbed in icy waters at bases throughout the region, their reactors still loaded with nuclear fuel, vulnerable to sinking or worse. Further from shore and under the waves laid other submarines and nuclear waste intentionally scuttled by the Soviet navy. Still more radioactive spent fuel was piling up in storage tanks and open-air bins on military bases and in shipyards.

One of those places was Andreyeva Bay, a run-down nuclear submarine maintenance yard just 55 kilometers from the Norwegian border.

Since the birth of the nuclear navy in the 1960s, Andreyeva Bay evolved into a dumping ground for 22,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies offloaded from hundreds of Soviet submarines. Cracks in storage pools made worse by the hard Arctic freeze threatened to contaminate the Barents Sea. At one point, experts even feared the radioactive morgue might spark an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction.

Infrastructure, technology and the Kremlin were failing to keep up with the mushrooming catastrophe. That green nuclear fuel train could only bear away 588 fuel assemblies at a time three or four times a year – little more than the contents of one nuclear submarine per trip. Even if the train ran on schedule, removing broken or deformed nuclear fuel elements at Andreyeva Bay was still seen as impossible

In the bleak and politically chaotic late 1990s, many feared that the carcinogenic remains of the Cold War would lie neglected at Andreyeva Bay for decades more.

“Now, after more than two decades of international effort spearheaded by Bellona, nearly all of those threats are already – or nearly – the stuff of history,” says Oskar Njaa, Bellona’ general manager for international affairs.

Those efforts have been backed by more than $200 million in funding from Norway, which, in 1996, became the first western government to recognize the new Russia’s emerging crisis over its radioactive legacy.

Norway’s financial foray into northwest Russia paved the way for yet more funding from the West, as numerous other European nations pitched in to help.

Last week, officials from both sides of the border gathered at Andreyeva Bay ­– now the flagship project between the two nations – to mark the 25th anniversary of the Norwegian-Russian Commission on Nuclear Safety.

“Bellona became the first organization in the world to publish such a name ‘Andreyeva Bay,’ and also told about the facility itself and its condition, ”said Alexander Nikitin, who directs Bellona’s St Petersburg offices, and was the first to sound the alarm.
“It was in 1996. After that, the object drew the close attention of the international community and international projects began.”

The first containers of Andreyeva’s accumulated waste were packed up in 2017 and borne away on a specially outfitted ship called the Rossita ­– itself a bit of expertise donated by Italy under the Northern Dimensions Environmental Partnership, an enormous Russian nuclear cleanup fund managed by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.

To date, the Rossita has made 15 trips, bearing away 10,000 spent nuclear fuel assemblies for reprocessing in the Urals, representing 45% of the total assemblies at the site.

According to Anatoly Grigoriev, who heads up the international projects division of Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, the cleanup will continue for another six to seven years.

“Andreyeva Bay has been a daunting task for Norway,” said Per Einar Fiskebek, an advisor to the governor of Tromsø and Finnmark Counties, the Norwegian border region closest to Andreyeva Bay. “It is especially important for us that the work be carried out absolutely safely for the personnel, who have been professionally coping with it even in a pandemic. Norway and Russia are good neighbors with a common border and nature. I can assure you that Norway will remain with Russia until the end, until Andreeva Bay becomes absolutely clean.”

Cracks and contamination

Andreyeva Bay had been piling up spent nuclear submarine fuel for more than two decades when its troubles began in earnest in 1982.

That year, a crack developed in its now-notorious Building 5, a storage pool for thousands of spent fuel assemblies. The ensuing leak threatened to dump a stew of plutonium, uranium and other fission products into Litsa Fjord, fouling the Barents Sea.

The water was drained and the fuel painstakingly moved, but that revealed other problems. The fuel elements from Building 5 needed somewhere to go, so they were rushed into hastily arranged storage facilities that were meant only to be temporary.

Technicians stuffed the fuel elements into three dry storage buildings and cemented them in. The temporary storage solution has now spanned the last 30 years. . Meanwhile the leaking radioactive water contaminated much of the soil around Building 5.

It took the government years to catch up to the problem. In 1995, the Murmansk regional government paid it first visit to the secretive military site and, based on what it saw, shut down its operations. Five years later Moscow finally got involved, taking Andreyeva Bay out of the military’s hands, and giving it to the mainly civilian Ministry of Atomic Energy, now Rosatom.

Rosatom helped create a nuclear waste-handling agency in Murmansk, called SevRAO, to deal with the problem. Yet even in 2000, SevRAO was essentially working from scratch. Rosatom officials noted that there weren’t even documents detailing what waste and fuel was stored where at the site, much less an infrastructure to help safely get rid of it.

Bellona leads the charge

Norway, at Bellona’s urging, led the charge to pitch in.

Finally, in 2001, an enclosure was built over the three storage buildings to prevent further contamination while technicians worked to remove the spent fuel and load it into cases. Roads were built and cranes were brought in. Personnel decontamination posts went up, along with a laboratory complex and power lines.

A host of nations pumped funding into the burgeoning city whose central industry was safely packing up decades of nuclear fuel from Russia’s past nuclear soldiers. Starting in 2003, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and Great Britain, joined by Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and the European Commission pooled resources for a total contribution of $70 million over several years.

But Norway has led the pack by far, contributing some $220 million over the past 20 years toward safely removing Andreyeva Bay’s spend nuclear fuel – a national movement spawned when Bellona published its first report on Northwest Russia’s nuclear hazards in 1996.

“I hope that the system will take care of the future nuclear legacy without waiting for it to be accumulated,” Nikitin told The Independent Barents Observer. “Nuclear and radioactive waste should be dealt with before it reaches a situation as we had in Soviet times.”

As the project continues, Nikitin said he is pleased to see how the work has progressed.

“Bellona started it, and we have to finish it,” he told the portal.

October 5, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, media, politics international, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Renewables winning bigtime, as nuclear power stagnates.

We simply don’t have the time to waste attention, intelligence, manpower and funding for fantasy technologies that might or might not work, more likely, some time in the 2030s or 2040s, while affordable concepts from efficiency to renewables are readily available,” Schneider said, referring to the fourth-generation of nuclear power plants that several governments across the planet are presenting as a viable option. “Gen IV designs are PowerPoint reactors – they don’t exist. And the best example is Bill Gates, who started a company in 2006 to develop and promote a new design. Fifteen years later, he has nothing to show – no licensed design anywhere, no site, no prototype.”

Renewables vs. Nuclear: 256-0 PV Magazine,   SEPTEMBER 28, 2021 EMILIANO BELLINI

The latest World Nuclear Industry Status Report shows that the world’s operational nuclear capacity grew by just 400 MW in 2020, with generation falling by 4%. By contrast, renewables grew by 256 GW and clean energy production rose by 13%. “Nuclear power is irrelevant in today’s electricity capacity market,” the report’s main author, Mycle Schneider, told pv magazine.

Global nuclear power capacity including grew by just 400 MW in 2020, according to the latest annual edition of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report, published by French nuclear consultant Mycle Schneider. The lackluster results for nuclear compare to 256 GW of newly deployed renewable energy capacity last year, including 127 GW of PV and 111 of wind power.

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October 5, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

Taiwan not to get nuclear submarines, calls on Australia for help against China

Taiwanese Foreign Minister warns his country is preparing for war with China, asks Australia for help, ABC,  by defence correspondent Andrew Greene and Stan Grant 4 Oct 21,  Taiwan’s Foreign Minister warns his nation is preparing for war with China and urges Australia to increase intelligence sharing and security cooperation as Beijing intensifies a campaign of military intimidation.

Key points:

  • Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu warns of looming war with China and urges closer cooperation with Australia
  • Dozens of Chinese military aircraft have flown into Taiwanese airspace in recent days
  • Mr Wu has also thanked Australia for supporting Taiwan’s bid to join a new trade pact

Dozens of aircraft from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have flown sorties into Taiwan’s Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) since Friday, prompting the self-ruled island to scramble its own military jets.

Speaking to the ABC’s China Tonight program, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu declared that if the PLA were to launch an actual strike, his democratic state would be ready to repel it……………

Australia does not formally recognise Taiwan diplomatically, but the federal government regularly calls for a “peaceful resolution” of differences between China and the small independent nation through dialogue and without the threat or use of force or coercion.

A communique issued after last month’s AUSMIN meetings between Australia and the United States declared that “both sides stated their intent to strengthen ties with Taiwan, which is a leading democracy and a critical partner for both countries”.

Taiwan endorses new AUKUS pact, won’t seek its own nuclear submarines

Taiwan has also welcomed the recent establishment of the AUKUS strategic partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as the growing activity between the Quad allies, the US, India, Australia and Japan.
……………….The Taiwanese Foreign Minister said that unlike Australia, his nation would not be trying to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, because it has a “different war strategy”.

Defence analyst Professor Clinton Fernandes from the University of New South Wales warns it would be difficult for the US and allies to prevent any invasion attempt by China………..

October 5, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Taiwan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Why China sent a record number of fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwan’s defence zone

Why China sent a record number of fighter jets and nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwan’s defence zone, ABC, By Max Walden and Joyce Cheng  4 Oct 21
, Beijing has sent a record number of fighter jets into Taiwan’s defence zone over its National Day weekend, amid a surge in nationalism on the mainland.

The numbers rose again on Monday with 56 Chinese aircraft entering Taiwan’s air defence identification zone before Taiwan scrambled fighter jets and deployed missile systems to monitor the Chinese planes.

The latest sortie included 34 J-16 fighters and 12 nuclear-capable H-6 bombers, which all flew in an area in the vicinity of the Pratas Islands, according to a map provided by Taiwan’s Defence Ministry.

Later, four more Chinese J-16s flew toward the southwestern part of Taiwan’s air defence zone — a buffer outside a country’s airspace. 

The show of force over four consecutive days is part of a longer-term trend described by many as a campaign of intimidation targeting the self-governing island………………

Wen-Ti Sung, an expert on China’s foreign policy from the Australian National University, said Beijing’s show of force was for international and domestic audiences.

He said it could be a response to the new AUKUS pact between Australia, Britain and the United States. “It (the pact) is a big deal that signals Australia’s greater willingness to be engaged with security [issues] in Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea,” Mr Sung said.

It will be increasing deterrence against China, and China does not look upon [that] very favourably.”

Mr Sung added that Taipei’s talks with the US to change the name of Taiwan’s representative office — its de facto embassy in the US — from Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office to Taiwan Representative Office was likely to have also irked China.

Taiwan’s diplomatic offices can only be addressed with “Taipei” rather than “Taiwan” as most countries do not recognise the island as a sovereign country.

“It’s natural that China will want to show some muscle at this point to signal to the other actors internationally, for example the US and Australia, that if they make further moves in this direction, then China may risk serious escalated military tension, potentially conflict,” Mr Sung said……………..

What do China and Taiwan want?

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has seen the transformation of China into an economic and geopolitical superpower, while also wielding tight control over every aspect of social, cultural and political life on the mainland.

It views Taiwan as part of its territory and wants to reclaim it as part of the People’s Republic of China.

President Xi Jinping pledged reunification of China and Taiwan during a speech to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the CCP in July………………

Taiwan’s government responded by noting China’s economic success under the CCP, but decrying it as a dictatorship that suppressed human rights.  The CCP should abandon its aggressive political claims on Taiwan as well as the diplomatic suppression and military threats towards Taiwan,” a statement said at the time…..

While previously a military dictatorship, Taiwan has evolved into one of the Asia Pacific’s few liberal democracies.

For example, it’s the only place in Asia where same-sex marriage is legal…….   

The annual Taiwan National Security Survey showed in late 2020 that only 1 per cent of the population supported reunification with the mainland, while 60 per cent opposed adopting Beijing’s “one country, two systems” framework for Hong Kong……….

China’s coercion of Taiwan has become increasingly economic as well as military………

 China has begun to impose trade sanctions against Taiwan……….

October 5, 2021 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A powerful contradiction to Australia’s planned AUKUS and nuclear submarine developments

Ed. note. Here I summarise the points in this well-researched letter: Diplomatic Repercussions –  Geopolitical Tensions and Australian National Security(Why the decision makes Australias national security worse not better)  – We now have No Submarine Program at All.  – But Is Nuclear the Best Stealth? – Can we Build them at Osborne?  -Time to re-evaluate our Submarine Program? –The worst option is to do as we have now done. – Conclusion – This decision  should be re-visited


The submarine decision, especially within the context of the new ‘AUKUS’ grouping, but even taken on its own:

Worsens rather than improves Australias own national security, making us (more of) a nuclear target than we have ever been, and extending the targeting potentially from joint facilities to Australian cities and naval bases.

Worsens rather than improves regional security, adding impetus to regional arms racing, and increasing the likelihood that other Governments may decide they would like to have submarines fueled by HEU 

Leaves Australia currently with no replacement program for the Collins Class submarines

Makes no sense even within its own restricted terms of reference because it does not offer a submarine with the best stealth

—Requires a submarine  that may not be possible to construct even in part at Osborne. 

Letter Sent 5 October to Cabinet Security Cttee, Senate, Reps, DFAT, re Nuclear Subs, AUKUS,



Dear Prime Minister Scott Morrison, other decision-makers on the Australian nuclear submarines project, Cabinet National Security Committee, AUKUS:


The decision to establish a new diplomatic/military grouping, AUKUS, deepens confrontational tendencies in the Indo-Pacific region and is hence destabilizing, and worsens rather than improves Australia’s national security. It helps to ‘paint nuclear targets on Australia’s backside’.

The decision to equip Australia with nuclear submarines fueled with highly enriched uranium is both destabilizing and proliferative even if technically within the letters of the NPT.  The decision to go with HEU fueled subs in particular opens a proliferation ‘pandoras box’.

The decision to ‘go nuclear’ with submarines has been justified on the supposed technical superiority of nuclear over conventional subs. However a look in detail at the real – world technical and operational characteristics of advanced conventional and nuclear subs shows clear technical superiorities on the part of advanced conventional submarines exactly where we are being told nuclear subs are superior – in the area of quietness and non-detectability. The technical case for nuclear over conventional submarines is not established.

No analysis, and no thought, has been given as to what are Australia’s real security needs, and into whether submarines of any description fit into it.

The decision leaves Australia with currently NO replacement program for the Collins Class subs.        

The Submarine Decision and AUKUS

The decision to cancel an existing, well – established, contract with the French Naval Group for a diesel version of the Suffren class attack submarine has not met with universal acclaim, particularly from the French.

At the same time, the  closely related decision to establish a new military/diplomatic grouping to be known as ‘AUKUS’ (Australia-UK-US) has also raised questions as to its  geo-strategic impact, and contributed further to the deterioration of our relations with China, and possibly with Russia, with potentially catastrophic implications for Australias national security and the safety of all Australians.

It has quite reasonably been suggested that the establishment of ‘AUKUS” cements Australia into an ‘Anglo-sphere’ that is intrinsically limited in scope (how for example, does it relate to the ‘quad’ of India, Australia, Japan, US?), that excludes other nations that have strong Indo-Pacific interests and are allies (including France itself, now snubbed and smarting), and above all, that deepens confrontational attitudes in the region, especially with China.

It is by no means clear that the decision to substitute nuclear powered submarines is even the best decision on technical grounds, or that nuclear powered submarines are necessarily superior in the respects that might be important to Australia and particularly in extreme stealth – to conventionally powered submarines, either the existing Collins class, the erstwhile projected French submarine, or to an evolutionary successor to Collins.

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October 5, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker, activists oppose spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Kudankulam

Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker, activists oppose spent nuclear fuel storage facility in Kudankulam, India Today, 4 Oct 21, 

Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Speaker M Appavu and activists have opposed the spent fuel storage facility located on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project site.

Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Speaker M Appavu and several activists have raised objections against the setting up of a spent fuel storage facility on the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project site.

Appavu, who is also the MLA from Radhapuram district, stated that if there is any mishap, southern parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala will face severe impact and requested the Centre to create the ‘Away From Reactor’ storage facility at the unused Kolar Gold Mines in Karnataka or Thar desert.

“The facility should be located in an area that is uninhabited”, stated Appavu while cautioning about increasing Chinese presence in Sri Lanka posing a threat.

Once Sri Lanka was a friendly nation, now China has a port there and its dominance is increasing with the port being used for military purposes. So, I request the Union government to use the abandoned Kolar mine fields”, said Appavu.

Environmental activist Soundarrajan claimed that the issue is of far more importance as AFR is not the solution here but construction of Deep Geological Repository.

However, to construct a DGR itself will take a minimum of 20 years of study and construction. A DGR must be built in such a way to withstand 24,000 years of geological impact as the amount of time taken for the nuclear waste to decay.

Activists are worried that Kudankulam having 6 nuclear plants and 3 AFR storage would become a ticking bomb and cause a much bigger disaster than Fukushima or Chernobyl…………..

October 5, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

Security lapses at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata

TEPCO execs keep heads in the sand on nuclear security issue, Asahi Shimbun, 
October 4, 2021  Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s report on security lapses at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata Prefecture casts doubts on the utility’s will to reinvent itself.

TEPCO submitted the report on problems with anti-terror measures at the plant’s No. 7 reactor to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Sept. 22. It described the causes of the problems and measures to prevent a recurrence.

The report underscored a lack of commitment to safety as indicated by the utility’s tendency to ignore warnings about problems from front-line workers. The bitter lessons from the accident at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2011 have apparently been lost.

In response to revelations of nuclear security failures, the NRA in April issued an order that effectively banned TEPCO from restarting the reactor, which had been cleared for operation through the watchdog’s safety inspection.

In one incident, a TEPCO employee had entered the central control room without authorization by using another employee’s identification card.

In addition, security devices installed to detect unauthorized entry had failed to function properly at the plant.

As reasons behind the security lapses, the report cited poor recognition of risks among rank-and-file employees, the failure of executives to keep on top of front-line operations and the entire organization’s inability to rectify problems.

The report pointed out the need to improve communications within workplaces and between organizations, change the top-down and control-oriented culture, which tends to discourage workers from pointing out problems, and ensure more respect for security personnel.

It proposed measures to review the organization and establish an effective safety culture within the company.

The findings indicate TEPCO’s propensity to prioritize cost reduction over safety.

The company cut costs by buying intrusion detectors it used to lease. Malfunctions increased as these devices aged, but the company dealt with glitches only after several cases occurred.

Nuclear security is vital for protecting nuclear materials from terrorism and should never be compromised. Any flaw would undermine the international community’s trust in Japan.

We wonder how seriously TEPCO’s management has taken the situation.

A survey of TEPCO employees conducted by an outside fact-finding committee received many harsh opinions against management……………

October 5, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Extinction Rebellion climate activists vow to cause disruption at Glasgow COP26

EXTINCTION Rebellion activists have said they have “no choice” but to
cause disruption in Glasgow during COP26. Thousands of delegates, world
leaders and media will descend on the city during the first two weeks of
November for the climate summit, which is being held at the SEC.

 Herald 4th Oct 2021

October 5, 2021 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Time to find more realistic options than complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling of the North Korean nuclear program

Lessons From North Korea: Once You Go Nuclear, You Don’t Go Back, algemeiner, by Alon Levkowitz ,4 Oct 21, The Biden administration has accepted the fact that CVID — the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling of the North Korean nuclear program — will not occur under the Kim Jong-un administration. The time has come to find other realistic options.

In a 2021 survey by the Korea Institute for National Unification on South Korean attitudes toward North Korea, a majority of South Koreans expressed the belief that North Korea will never give up its nuclear weapons. Does this mean the concept of CVID is no longer relevant? Are the South Korean people more realistic than leaders who assert that the North Korean regime will give up its nuclear weapons if it gets sufficient security assurances and economic benefits?

The Singapore Summit of June 12, 2018, between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un created euphoria on the US side that Kim had made the strategic decision to give up his nuclear weapons in exchange for a lifting of sanctions and subsequent improvement in the North Korean economy.

This euphoria was based on a misunderstanding between Washington and Pyongyang that was revealed a few months later at the Hanoi Summit on February 27-28, 2019. Did President Trump fail to convince Kim to give up North Korea’s nuclear program? Was it realistic to expect him to give up his leverage for economic benefits?  One can argue that Kim was never willing to fully dismantle the North Korean nuclear weapon program, but only to give up those parts of the tactical nuclear program that would be required to lift the sanctions without giving up strategic nuclear capabilities……..

The ongoing sanctions on North Korea have not led to any change in Kim’s nuclear and missile policy. Washington needs to understand that as long as Kim Jong-un is in power, the CVID is a declarative policy without any essence, because Kim will not give up the nuclear and missile card. He might be willing to give up some tactical elements to ease the sanctions, but he will never agree to CVID.

Dr. Alon Levkowitz, a research associate at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is an expert on East Asian security, the Korean Peninsula, and Asian international organizations.

October 5, 2021 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Surprise surprise. USA Justice Dept drops charges against Michael Flynn.

In surprise move, US Justice Department drops case against Michael Flynn,  SMH, 8 May 20, Washington: The Justice Department says it is dropping the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, abandoning a prosecution that became a rallying cry for the President and his supporters in attacking the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.

The move is a stunning reversal for one of the signature cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. It comes even though prosecutors for the past three years have maintained that Flynn lied to the FBI in a January 2017 interview about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Flynn himself admitted as much, pleading guilty before asking to withdraw the plea, and became a key cooperator for Mueller as the special counsel investigated ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

In court documents being filed on Thursday, the Justice Department said it is dropping the case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.” The documents were obtained by The Associated Press………

Flynn himself admitted as much, pleading guilty before asking to withdraw the plea, and became a key cooperator for Mueller as the special counsel investigated ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

In court documents being filed on Thursday, the Justice Department said it is dropping the case “after a considered review of all the facts and circumstances of this case, including newly discovered and disclosed information.” The documents were obtained by The Associated Press………

Flynn pleaded guilty that December, among the first of the President’s aides to admit guilt in Mueller’s investigation. He acknowledged that he lied about his conversations with Kislyak, in which he encouraged Russia not to retaliate against the US for sanctions imposed by the Obama administration over election interference.

He provided such extensive cooperation that prosecutors said he was entitled to a sentence of probation instead of prison……

October 5, 2021 Posted by | Legal, politics, USA | Leave a comment