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Gov’t to strengthen inspection of products from Fukushima

Oceans and Fisheries Minister Moon Seong-hyeok speaks during a government audit held at the National Assembly in Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap

October 8, 2021

By Kim Hyun-bin

Oceans and Fisheries Minister Moon Seong-hyeok vowed to strengthen monitoring of water and marine products for possible radioactivity from Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

“We will thoroughly establish a safety net to better secure the safety of marine products and prevent accidents,” Minister Moon during the National Assembly’s annual inspection of the ministry, Thursday. “We will expand radioactivity monitoring at our shores to prevent contaminated water coming from the Fukushima plant and strengthen inspections of marine safety tests and check the origin of country products are imported from.”

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also plans to strengthen related measures. This month, the agency will inspect the contamination being released at unit 1 of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and its effects on the ocean.

One of the most anticipated issues was the possible revision of the country’s Marine Transportation Act, aimed to prevent the Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) from investigating issues regarding collective actions taken by domestic shipping companies.

However, this plan was postponed due to growing opposition from importers and exporters.

According to a survey the Korea Federation of SMEs conducted of 174 mid-size companies related to exports and imports, 85.1 percent were against the revision to the Marine Transportation Act, with 14.9 percent in support.

Since 2018, the KFTC has been investigating allegations that HMM and others colluded to boost freight rates for a Southeast Asian sea route.

After expanding its investigations of foreign firms in May, the regulator informed 23 local and foreign shippers that they may face fines totaling 800 billion won if they are found in violation of the Fair Trade Act.

Local shippers have protested fiercely against the regulator’s move. They claimed they had no choice but to take collective action to compete with global shipping powerhouses, and that their collective actions on freight costs and other contract conditions were permissible under the country’s Maritime Shipping Act.

Late last month, the Agriculture, Food, Rural Affairs, Oceans and Fisheries Committee passed a revised bill stating that collective actions by shippers will not be subject to the antitrust act.

“We are trying to clarify that the collective actions taken by marine shipping companies is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries,” Minister Moon said during a press conference, Tuesday. “We are not giving the shipping companies a break. We are pushing for stricter consequences.”

The ministry said it is focusing on reconstructing the domestic marine shipping industry by providing more support and creating helpful policies in import and export logistics.

Marine shipping sales are expected to reach 40 trillion won, and major freight rate indexes have recovered to levels prior to the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, the ministry said.

“We are planning to provide effective support measures including operating mega container ships, expanding national flag carriers and providing around 6 trillion won in liquidity to stabilize shippers’ management to better reconstruct the marine shipping industry,” Moon said. “Late last year, we deployed 74 temporary vessels for 17,000 TEU freight transportation support and worked hard to reduce import- and export-related difficulties for local firms.”

October 7, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Chris Busby on the truth about black rain, radiation and cancer

the major cause of cancer in the low and medium dose groups (0-100mSv) in the Hiroshima lifespan study was not the immediate radiation from the detonation, the external gamma radiation and neutrons, but was in fact exposure to Uranium 234 particles from the bomb itself which rained out over the city in the black rain. Torrential black rain fell over the city and surrounding areas from 30 minutes to several hours after the atomic explosion.

Hiroshima Black Rain and the Test Veterans,     Chris Busby, 13th Sept 2021
    The absolute key study of the effects of radiation on cancer risk is the Lifespan Study (LSS) of the survivors of the Hiroshima bomb. It provides the evidence used by the Secretary of State for Defence (the MoD) to refuse pensions in all the UK Test Vet cases. Groups were assembled in 1952 some 7 years after the bomb and divided into high, medium and low doses on the basis of their distance from Ground Zero, with a No Dose group consisting of those who were outside the City and came in later. They were thrown out in 1973 as using them as a control gave too many cancers. This study continues today and the risks of different cancers after exposures are obtained from the excess risk of any type of cancer in each dose group. The risk factors for cancer which are currently the basis for all laws relating to exposure are based on this study. You have to get a Dose of about 1000mSv to get a 40% excess risk of cancer on the basis of the LSS results. Naturally, since no Test veteran got anywhere near this dose, all the pension applications (and appeals) are refused.

But on Sept 9th a scientific report I wrote was published in the peer-reviewed Journal Cancer Investigations. My paper The Hiroshima A-Bomb black rain and the lifespan study—a resolution of the Enigma shows that the LSS was dishonestly manipulated and that its results are totally unsafe. It spells the end of the radiation risk model and the beginning of justice for the test veterans. How?

What it shows, is that the major cause of cancer in the low and medium dose groups (0-100mSv) in the Hiroshima lifespan study was not the immediate radiation from the detonation, the external gamma radiation and neutrons, but was in fact exposure to Uranium 234 particles from the bomb itself which rained out over the city in the black rain. Torrential black rain fell over the city and surrounding areas from 30 minutes to several hours after the atomic explosion. Doses from the inhalation and ingestion of the Uranium particles in the black rain were very low. Since the Christmas Island vets were also exposed to rainout after the bombs, they are in the same category of victims as the Hiroshima low dose LSS victims (<5mSv). The Japanese government lost a court case in July on this issue, one which it will not appeal. Those living in the black rain areas who developed cancer will get compensation and attention in the same way as those who received an external dose from the detonation, even though the black rain victims’ dose was zero. The separation of external radiation from internal in terms of risk also shows that the types of cancers believed in the model to result from radiation must also be reassessed.

Of course, the MoD knew all this. It is the biggest secret of all, since it supports everything nuclear: bombs, energy, naval propulsion, Depleted Uranium, winnable nuclear war and raises the issue of enormous amounts of compensation. It had to be kept out. In 2013, during the run-up to the big test veteran appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice, I obtained from the late Major Alan Batchelor in Australia an official British document which was submitted to the Australian National Commission test vet hearings. It listed the quantity of Uranium isotopes in the Enriched Uranium used by the British in their bombs. I also had obtained a copy (when I was advising Rosenblatts in 2009 in the Foskett case) of a memo from 1953 on the dangers of Uranium 234 at the test sites. But these documents were suddenly made subject to the Official Secrets Act.

In 2013 after Rosenblatts had pulled out, Hogan Lovells removed all my 4 years of evidence and reports, 12 documents, and also removed me from the case without consulting any of the veterans they represented. In 2014 Judge Charles in the Upper Tier ruled that I could not act as an expert witness (I was biased) and anything I had written or argued previously had to be ignored. I neatly reverted from expert to representative and argued in 2016 before Judge Blake in the RCJ that the exposure of interest at Christmas Island was to Uranium from the material of the bomb. We flew in Professor Shoji Sawada all the way from Japan to make the same point. But Blake either ignored him or pretended to. In Blake’s final judgement he wrote:

14. . .it is submitted that prolonged exposure to radiation by inhalation or ingestion of radioactive particles deposited on the land or in the sea off CI is a real possibility. . .

15. In the appeals relating to Messrs Battersby and Smith Dr Busby, on their behalf, advances a more radical submission that the guidance issued by the International Commission on Radiological Protection in the UK and EU is flawed and underestimates the risk to health from internal exposure to radiation, and in particular radiation from Uranium.

What the new paper shows, is that we were exactly right and Blakes judgement exactly wrong; he listened to the experts brought in by the MoD, who did not (or they say they were told by MoD lawyer Adam Heppinstall) not to address our experts or their evidence; to keep the evidence out. The Scots Upper Tier has now reversed the Charles decision on my expertise, Judge DJ May QC calling it “Unlawful”. The British Tribunals, however, ignore the Scottish UT decision and persist in keeping my evidence out.

The Lifespan Study was dishonestly manipulated to provide support for the continued radioactive contamination of the environment by atmospheric bomb testing. The evidence is that this stitch-up has resulted in the biggest public health scandal in human history. The internal radiation effects on the children born at the peak period, 1959-63 caused genetic damage, infant deaths and the cancer epidemic which began in 1980. The effect is also in the children and grandchildren as new data clearly show. My study of the BNTVA also found a 10-fold congenital malformation rate in the children and 9-fold in the grandchildren. The Black Rain paper proves that the risk model that permitted this is wildly wrong. For those who are interested, read the paper: it is easy to understand. Then get angry and do something.

Meanwhile, I do what I can: I have two test vet cases ongoing: Trevor Butler and Christopher Donne, and also a Nuclear submarine sailor in Scotland who died from lymphoma. Here I am up against twisty Adam Heppinstall once more. He has begun, in true style, by removing all our evidence from the Bundle.

October 7, 2021 Posted by | radiation, Reference, weapons and war | 1 Comment

The CIA Plot to Kidnap or Kill Julian Assange in London is a Story that is Being Mistakenly Ignored   

The CIA Plot to Kidnap or Kill Julian Assange in London is a Story that is Being Mistakenly Ignored BY PATRICK COCKBURN  5 October 21,  Three years ago, on 2 October 2018, a team of Saudi officials murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The purpose of the killing was to silence Khashoggi and to frighten critics of the Saudi regime by showing that it would pursue and punish them as though they were agents of a foreign power.

It was revealed this week that a year before the Khashoggi killing in 2017, the CIA had plotted to kidnap or assassinate Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who had taken refuge five years earlier in the Ecuador embassy in London. A senior US counter-intelligence official said that plans for the forcible rendition of Assange to the US were discussed “at the highest levels” of the Trump administration. The informant was one of more than 30 US officials – eight of whom confirmed details of the abduction proposal – quoted in a 7,500-word investigation by Yahoo News into the CIA campaign against Assange.

The plan was to “break into the embassy, drag [Assange] out and bring him to where we want”, recalled a former intelligence official. Another informant said that he was briefed about a meeting in the spring of 2017 at which President Trump had asked if the CIA could assassinate Assange and provide “options” about how this could be done. Trump has denied that he did so.

The Trump-appointed head of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, said publicly that he would target Assange and WikiLeaks as the equivalent of “a hostile intelligence service”. Apologists for the CIA say that freedom of the press was not under threat because Assange and the WikiLeaks activists were not real journalists. Top intelligence officials intended to decide themselves who is and who is not a journalist, and lobbied the White House to redefine other high-profile journalists as “information brokers”, who were to be targeted as if they were agents of a foreign power.

Among those against whom the CIA reportedly wanted to take action were Glenn Greenwald, a founder of the Intercept magazine and a former Guardian columnist, and Laura Poitras, a documentary film-maker. The arguments for doing so were similar to those employed by the Chinese government for suppressing dissent in Hong Kong, which has been much criticised in the West. Imprisoning journalists as spies has always been the norm in authoritarian countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt, while denouncing the free press as unpatriotic is a more recent hallmark of nationalist populist governments that have taken power all over the world.

It is possible to give only a brief precis of the extraordinary story exposed by Yahoo News, but the journalists who wrote it – Zach Dorfman, Sean D Naylor and Michael Isikoff – ought to scoop every journalistic prize. Their disclosures should be of particular interest in Britain because it was in the streets of central London that the CIA was planning an extra-judicial assault on an embassy, the abduction of a foreign national, and his secret rendition to the US, with the alternative option of killing him. These were not the crackpot ideas of low-level intelligence officials, but were reportedly operations that Pompeo and the agency fully intended to carry out.

This riveting and important story based on multiple sources might be expected to attract extensive coverage and widespread editorial comment in the British media, not to mention in parliament. Many newspapers have dutifully carried summaries of the investigation, but there has been no furor. Striking gaps in the coverage include the BBC, which only reported it, so far as I can see, as part of its Somali service. Channel 4, normally so swift to defend freedom of expression, apparently did not mention the story at all.

In the event, the embassy attack never took place, despite the advanced planning. “There was a discussion with the Brits about turning the other cheek or looking the other way when a team of guys went inside and did a rendition,” said a former senior US counter-intelligence official, who added that the British had refused to allow the operation to take place.

But the British government did carry out its own less melodramatic, but more effective measure against Assange, removing him from the embassy on 11 April 2019 after a new Ecuador government had revoked his asylum. He remains in Belmarsh top security prison two-and-a-half years later while the US appeals a judicial decision not to extradite him to the US on the grounds that he would be a suicide risk.

If he were to be extradited, he would face 175 years in prison. It is important, however, to understand, that only five of these would be under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, while the other 170 potential years are under the Espionage Act of 1917, passed during the height of the patriotic war fever as the US entered the First World War.

Only a single minor charge against Assange relates to the WikiLeaks disclosure in 2010 of a trove of US diplomatic cables and army reports relating to the Iraq and Afghan wars. The other 17 charges are to do with labeling normal journalistic investigation as the equivalent of spying.

Pompeo’s determination to conflate journalistic inquiry with espionage has particular relevance in Britain, because the home secretary, Priti Patel, wants to do much the same thing. She proposes updating the Official Secrets Act so that journalists, whistle-blowers and leakers could face sentences of up to 14 years in prison. A consultative paper issued in May titled Legislation to Counter State Threats (Hostile State Activity) redefines espionage as “the covert process of obtaining sensitive confidential information that is not normally publicly available”.

The true reason the scoop about the CIA’s plot to kidnap or kill Assange has been largely ignored or downplayed is rather that he is unfairly shunned as a pariah by all political persuasions: left, right and centre.

To give but two examples, the US government has gone on claiming that the disclosures by WikiLeaks in 2010 put the lives of US agents in danger. Yet the US Army admitted in a court hearing in 2013 that a team of 120 counter-intelligence officers had failed to find a single person in Iraq and Afghanistan who had died because of the disclosures by WikiLeaks. As regards the rape allegations in Sweden, many feel that these alone should deny Assange any claim to be a martyr in the cause of press freedom. Yet the Swedish prosecutor only carried out a “preliminary investigation” and no charges were brought.

Assange is a classic victim of “cancel culture”, so demonised that he can no longer get a hearing, even when a government plots to kidnap or murder him.

In reality, Khashoggi and Assange were pursued relentlessly by the state because they fulfilled the primary duty of journalists: finding out important information that the government would like to keep secret and disclosing it to the public.

Patrick Cockburn is the author of War in the Age of Trump (Verso).

October 7, 2021 Posted by | media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Russia’s perilous job in raising sunken nuclear submarines

In both cases, experts fear that a nuclear chain reaction could occur should water leak into the submarines’ reactor compartments.  Russian scientists have kept a close eye on the K-159, launching regular expeditions to monitor for potential radiation leaks. According to their data, should the submarine depressurize, radionuclides could spread over hundreds of kilometers, heavily impacting the local fishing industry.

Yet the subs represent just a fraction of the radiation hazards that the Soviet Navy dumped at sea. Between 1959 and 1992, the Soviets carried out 80 missions to sink radioactive debris in Arctic water. In total, some 18,000 objects considered to be radioactive waste were plunged to Arctic depths. Aside from the K-159 and the K-27, the Soviet Navy scuttled reactor compartments, solid radioactive waste, a number of irradiated vessels, as well as old metal structures and radioactive equipment.

Rosatom official puts deadline on raising old nuclear submarines

An official with Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, has announced a deadline for raising two Soviet-era nuclear submarines that have been lying for decades at the bottom of seas in the Arctic over fears their reactors could contaminate fertile international fishing grounds.  October 6, 2021 by Charles Digges

An official with Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, has announced a deadline for raising two Soviet-era nuclear submarines that have been lying for decades at the bottom of seas in the Arctic over fears their reactors could contaminate fertile international fishing grounds.

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 late last month.

The announcement confirms what unnamed officials had earlier told Russian state media more than a year ago. Since then, Bellona has urged Russia, during its two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council, to pursue retrieving the submarines to avoid the contamination risk their reactors, and the spent nuclear fuel they contain,  pose to the ocean environment.

Grigoriev’s remarks concerned the K-27 and K-159, both of which went down still loaded with their uranium fuel. Both submarines, say experts, are in a precarious state. But the submarines sank under different circumstances.

Continue reading

October 7, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

The “No Militarization of Space Act” has been introduced in the U.S. Congress.

No Militarization of Space Act, CounterPunch BY KARL GROSSMAN, 6 Oct 21,

Finally, there’s some good news about the U.S. push to turn space into a war zone. The “No Militarization of Space Act” has been introduced in the U.S. Congress. It would abolish the new U.S. Space Force.

It is being sponsored by five members of the House of Representatives led by Representative Jared Huffman. In a statement announcing the September 22nd introduction of the measure, Huffman called the U.S. Space Force “costly and unnecessary.”

The arms and aerospace industries, which have a central role in U.S. space military activities, will no doubt be super-active in coming weeks working to stop movement of the legislation.

Representative Huffman, with a background as a consumer attorney specializing in public interest cases, was elected in 2012 to represent the 2nd Congressional District in California which covers the state’s North Coast up to the Oregon border. He resides in San Rafael.

In his statement announcing the introduction of the bill, Huffman said the “long-standing neutrality of space has fostered a competitive, non-militarized age of exploration every nation and generation has valued since the first days of space travel. But since its creation under the former Trump administration, the Space Force has threatened longstanding peace and flagrantly wasted billions of taxpayer dollars.” And, he continued: “It’s time we turn our attention back to where it belongs: addressing urgent domestic and international priorities like battling COVID-19, climate change, and growing economic inequality. Our mission must be to support the American people, not spend billions on the militarization of space.”

Co-sponsors of the “No Militarization of Space Act” are Representatives Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; Maxine Waters of California; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; and Jesus Garcia of Illinois. All are Democrats.

Alice Slater, a board member of the organization World BEYOND War, commented that Trump, “in his besotted hunkering for hegemonic glory,” established the Space Force as “a brand new branch of the already gargantuan military juggernaut….Sadly, the new U.S. President Biden has done nothing to ratchet down the warmongering. Fortunately, help is on the way with a group of five sane members of Congress.”

But not only has Joe Biden stuck with the U.S. Space Force, but most Democrats in both the House of Representatives and Senate voted for its creation as championed by Trump. All Republicans in Congress voted for it…………….

October 7, 2021 Posted by | politics, space travel, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Organised crime highly active in the nuclear industry

 “A stunning number of revelations in recent years on irregularities, fraud, counterfeiting, bribery, corruption, sabotage, theft, and other criminal activities in the nuclear industry in various countries suggest that there is a systemic issue of ‘criminal energy’ in the sector. …

Organised crime goes nuclear Ecologist, Creative Commons , Dr Jim Green , 4th October 2021 Fraud, counterfeiting, bribery, corruption, sabotage, theft, and other criminal activities are rife in global nuclear industry.

“As prime minister of Japan at the time of the [Fukushima] disaster, I now believe that the time has come for Japan and the world to end its reliance on nuclear power,” Naoto Kan writes in the introduction of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2021 (WNISR).

“Around once a year, I still visit the remains of the Fukushima Daiichi site. Even though ten years have passed, progress in the decommissioning process remains frustratingly slow, driving home to me the importance of avoiding any repeat of such an event.

“The large quantities of radioactive debris that remain within the stricken reactors continue to release alarming levels of radiation. We already know from the example of Chernobyl that the timescale needed for this nuclear waste to drop to safe radioactivity levels will be measured in terms of centuries.”


This year’s WNISR is the work of 13 interdisciplinary experts from across the world. For nearly 30 years, these annual reports have provided important factual antidotes to industry promotion and obfuscation.

In broad terms, nuclear power has been stagnant for 30 years. WNISR notes that the world’s fleet of 415 power reactors is 23 fewer than the 2002 peak of 438, but nuclear capacity and generation have marginally increased due to uprating and larger reactors being built.

There is one big difference with the situation 30 years ago: the reactor fleet was young then, now it is old.

The ageing of the reactor fleet is a huge problem for the industry, as is the ageing of the nuclear workforce ‒ the silver tsunami. The average age of the world’s reactor fleet continues to rise, and by mid-2021 reached 30.9 years. The mean age of the 23 reactors shut down between 2016 and 2020 was 42.6 years.

The International Atomic Energy Agency anticipates the closure of around 10 reactors or 10 gigawatts (GW) per year over the next three decades. Reactor construction starts need to match closures just for the industry to maintain its 30-year pattern of stagnation.

Renewables………… Nuclear power’s contribution to global electricity supply has fallen from a peak of 17.5 percent in 1996 to 10.1 percent in 2020 – a 4.3 percent share of global commercial primary energy consumption.

Renewables reached an estimated 29 percent share of global electricity generation in 2020, a record share. Non-hydro renewables at 10.7 percent in 2020 overtook nuclear in 2019 and the gap grew in 2020 with non-hydro renewables generating 16.5 percent more electricity than nuclear reactors.

Total investment in new renewable electricity exceeded US$300 billion in 2020, including US$142 billion investment in wind and US$149 billion in solar. Investment in renewables was 17 times greater than nuclear investment of around US$18 billion.


In 2020, a record 256 GW of renewable capacity were added to the world’s power grids, including 111 GW of wind and 127 GW of solar. There was a net gain of 0.4 GW of nuclear capacity in 2020.

Despite the marginal increase in nuclear capacity in 2020, nuclear generation fell by 3.9 percent. That compares to a 21 percent increase in solar generation, and 12 percent for wind power……….


In the European Union, renewable power generation at 38 percent overtook fossil fuels at 37 percent in 2020 while nuclear power accounted for 25 percent. Last year was the first year that non-hydro renewables generated more power than nuclear in the EU……………..


WNISR details the slow and unsteady progress of small modular reactors. The report notes that “so-called advanced reactors of various designs, including so-called Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), make a lot of noise in the media but their promoters have provided little evidence for any implementation scheme before a decade at the very least.”

WNISR notes that previous reports have covered irregularities, fraud, counterfeiting, corruption, and other criminal activities in the nuclear sector. This year’s report dedicates a chapter to nuclear criminality and includes 14 case studies with serious implications – including safety and public governance – that came to trial in the period 2010-2020.

The report states: “A stunning number of revelations in recent years on irregularities, fraud, counterfeiting, bribery, corruption, sabotage, theft, and other criminal activities in the nuclear industry in various countries suggest that there is a systemic issue of ‘criminal energy’ in the sector. …

“Although not comprehensive, this analysis offers several noteworthy insights: Criminal activities in the nuclear sector are not new. Some major scandals date back decades or have been ongoing for decades.

“Organized crime organizations have been supplying workers to nuclear sites – e.g. the Yakuza in Japan – for over a decade.


“Serious insider sabotage has hit major nuclear countries in recent years – like a Belgian nuclear power plant – without ever leading to arrests.

“There is no systematic, comprehensive, public database on the issue. In 2019, the IAEA released a report on cases of counterfeit or fraudulent items in at least seven countries since at least the 1990s.

“In Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index about half of the 35 countries operating or constructing nuclear power plants on their territory rate under 50 out of 100.

“In the Bribery Payers Index (BPI, last published in 2011), seven out of the ten worst rated countries operate or are building nuclear power plants on their territory.”

The discussion about whether safe nuclear power can be generated in the right circumstances remains white hot. However, we clearly do not live under the right circumstances. The risks from nuclear – both energy and weapons – remains existential.

This Author

Dr Jim Green is the national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia and an organiser of a global NGO statement on nuclear power and climate change to be released ahead of COP26.

October 7, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce wants to supply data centres with their massive energy needs, by small nuclear reactors

Rolls-Royce said to be pitching small nuclear reactors to power data centers … while Boris Johnson proposes more big nuclear power stations for the UK, October 05, 2021 By Peter Judge 

Rolls-Royce is planning to offer small nuclear reactors to US-based cloud operators so their hyperscale data centers can have net zero emissions and be independent of the electric grid, according to media reports.

Small modular reactors (SMRs) are under development by a consortium led by Rolls-Royce, and could potentially power data centers or other infrastructure that needs a steady supply of low-carbon energy, which may not be available from the local electricity grid. However, they will not be available until at least 2030………….

October 7, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

A-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow hopes Japan’s new PM can lead nuclear disarmament debate

A-bomb survivor Setsuko Thurlow hopes Japan’s new PM can lead nuclear disarmament debate, October 6, 2021 (Mainichi Japan) Japanese original by Isamu Gari, Hiroshima Bureau) HIROSHIMA — The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) Fumio Kishida was elected prime minister on Oct. 4, the first time in 30 years a politician from a Hiroshima Prefecture constituency has assumed the office.

In a telephone interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, Setsuko Thurlow, 89, welcomed the appointment of a prime minister from Hiroshima and shared a message for Kishida, who is a distant relative. Now a resident of Canada, Thurlow was exposed to the atomic bombing in Hiroshima, devoted herself to the campaign for nuclear abolition for many years, and was the first A-bomb survivor to deliver a speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 2017.

Thurlow has engaged in activism with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), an international NGO that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017, and has continued to relay her experience of the atomic bombing. She was invited along with ICAN’s executive director to the Nobel Prize ceremony, where they received a medal and certificate.

In December 2018, Thurlow went to LDP headquarters in Tokyo to meet with Kishida for the first time, when he was chair of the party’s Policy Research Council. On her impressions of him, she said, “I was worried he might have a politician’s arrogance, but when I met him, we were able to talk openly.”

The Japanese government does not participate in the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which bans the possession and use of nuclear weapons and came into force in January 2021. It does however consider it its duty to be a bridge between nuclear-weapon and non-nuclear-weapon states.

Thurlow dismissed this stance, saying, “There’s no explanation as to how this role will be accomplished, it’s just an excuse.” From her overseas vantage on the Japanese government’s response to nuclear issues, she said, “Japan has lacked a leader who can lead the discussion. This has prevented the voices of the people and A-bomb survivors from being heard, and stopped discussion of important issues such as nuclear disarmament and nuclear abolition.”

As a politician from Hiroshima, Kishida has a strong commitment to nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. During his tenure as foreign minister starting in 2012, he established the “Group of Eminent Persons,” a group of experts from both nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states, and has worked on nuclear disarmament. In 2016, when then President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Kishida provided explanations to the president at Peace Memorial Park.

Thurlow does not believe that just because Kishida has become prime minister, the Japanese government’s stance on the TPNW and other issues will easily change. But she noted that “the fact he is a prime minister from Hiroshima means the world will watch him more closely than ever.”………….

October 7, 2021 Posted by | weapons and war | Leave a comment

Terrorists trying to get secrets on production of nuclear weapons

Terrorists try to get secrets on production of nuclear weapons — Security Council

Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yuri Kokov pointed out that Russia registered terrorists’ attempts to gain access to information on the production of means of nuclear, chemical and biological damage
, MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/.
Terrorists are trying to obtain information on the production of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yuri Kokov said in an interview Wednesday.”We register terrorists’ attempts to gain access to information on the production of means of nuclear, chemical and biological damage, as well as their heightened attention to possible use of biological agents and toxic chemicals. To that extent, they deliberately recruit industry specialists, including professors and students of chemical and biological universities,” Kokov said………

October 7, 2021 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear executive to go to prison for fraud

Former exec readies for 2 years in prison in nuclear debacle, abc, By Jeffrey Collins, Oct 5, 2021  Associated Press  COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)
— An executive who spent billions of dollars on two South Carolina nuclear plants that never generated a watt of power, lying and deceiving regulators about their progress, is ready to go to prison.

Former SCANA Corp. CEO Kevin Marsh has agreed with prosecutors that he should spend two years in prison. He goes before a federal judge Thursday who will decide whether to accept that deal…..

Marsh is the first executive to go to prison for the nuclear debacle. A second former SCANA executive and an official at Westinghouse Electric Co., the lead contractor to build two new reactors at the V.C. Summer plant, have also pleaded guilty. A second Westinghouse executive has been indicted and is awaiting trial.

Marsh in February pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in federal court, and obtaining property by false pretenses in state court. Prosecutors agreed to his request to serve his entire sentence on both sets of charges in a federal prison.

Marsh already paid $5 million in restitution. SCANA had paid Marsh $5 million in 2017, the year the utility abandoned the hopelessly behind-schedule project in Fairfield County

Marsh lied and presented rosy projections on the progress of the reactors that he knew was false in earning calls, presentations and press releases. The CEO wanted to keep investors pumping money into the project and the company’s stock price up, prosecutors said.

His actions took more than $1 billion from the pockets of ratepayers and investors, authorities said in an 87-page Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit filed against them in 2020…………..

October 7, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Call the U.S. Defense Budget what it is – the War Budget

Stop Calling the Military Budget a ‘Defense’ Budget, To call the Pentagon’s massive and escalating budget a “defense” budget is nothing less than internalized corruption of language that undermines our capacities to think clearly and talk straight.

NORMAN SOLOMON, October 5, 2021  It’s bad enough that mainstream news outlets routinely call the Pentagon budget a “defense” budget. But the fact that progressives in Congress and even many antiwar activists also do the same is an indication of how deeply the mindsets of the nation’s warfare state are embedded in the political culture of the United States.

The misleading first name of the Defense Department doesn’t justify using “defense” as an adjective for its budget. On the contrary, the ubiquitous use of phrases like “defense budget” and “defense spending”—virtually always written with a lower-case “d”—reinforces the false notion that equates the USA’s humongous military operations with defense.

In the real world, the United States spends more money on its military than the next 10 countries all together. And most of those countries are military allies.

What about military bases in foreign countries? The U.S. currently has 750, while Russia has about two dozen and China has one. The author of the landmark book “Base Nation,” American University professor David Vine, just co-wrote a report that points out “the United States has at least three times as many overseas bases as all other countries combined.” Those U.S. bases abroad “cost taxpayers an estimated $55 billion annually.”

As this autumn began, Vine noted that President Biden is “perpetuating the United States’ endless wars” in nations including “Iraq, Syria, Somalia and Yemen” while escalating “war-like tensions with China with a military buildup with Australia and the UK.”

All this is being funded via a “defense” budget?

Calling George Orwell.

As Orwell wrote in a 1946 essay, political language “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” In 2021, the hot air blowing at gale force through U.S. mass media is so continuous that we’re apt to scarcely give it a second thought. But the euphemisms would hardly mean anything to those in faraway countries for whom terrifying and lethal drone attacks and other components of U.S. air wars are about life and death rather than political language.

You might consider the Pentagon’s Aug. 29 killing of 10 Afghan civilians including seven children with a drone attack to be a case of “respectable” murder, or negligent homicide, or mere “collateral damage.” Likewise, you could look at numbers like 244,124—a credible low-end estimate of the number of civilians directly killed during the “war on terror” in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq—and consider them to be mere data points or representing individuals whose lives are as precious as yours.

But at any rate, from the vantage point of the United States, it’s farfetched to claim that the billions of dollars expended for ongoing warfare in several countries are in a budget that can be legitimately called “defense.”

You might consider the Pentagon’s Aug. 29 killing of 10 Afghan civilians including seven children with a drone attack to be a case of “respectable” murder, or negligent homicide, or mere “collateral damage.” Likewise, you could look at numbers like 244,124—a credible low-end estimate of the number of civilians directly killed during the “war on terror” in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq—and consider them to be mere data points or representing individuals whose lives are as precious as yours.

But at any rate, from the vantage point of the United States, it’s farfetched to claim that the billions of dollars expended for ongoing warfare in several countries are in a budget that can be legitimately called “defense.”

You might consider the Pentagon’s Aug. 29 killing of 10 Afghan civilians including seven children with a drone attack to be a case of “respectable” murder, or negligent homicide, or mere “collateral damage.” Likewise, you could look at numbers like 244,124—a credible low-end estimate of the number of civilians directly killed during the “war on terror” in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq—and consider them to be mere data points or representing individuals whose lives are as precious as yours.

But at any rate, from the vantage point of the United States, it’s farfetched to claim that the billions of dollars expended for ongoing warfare in several countries are in a budget that can be legitimately called “defense.”

Until 1947, the official name of the U.S. government’s central military agency was the War Department. After a two-year interim brand (with the clunky name National Military Establishment), it was renamed the Department of Defense in 1949. As it happened, that was the same year when Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” appeared, telling of an always-at-war totalitarian regime with doublespeak slogans that included “War Is Peace.”

Today, the Department of Defense remains an appropriately capitalized proper noun. But the department’s official name doesn’t make it true. To call its massive and escalating budget a “defense” budget is nothing less than internalized corruption of language that undermines our capacities to think clearly and talk straight. While such corroded language can’t be blamed for the existence of sloppy thinking and degraded discourse, it regularly facilitates sloppy thinking and degraded discourse.

Let’s blow away the linguistic fog. The Pentagon budget is not a “defense” budget.   


Norman Solomon is co-founder and national coordinator of His books include War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death (2006) and Made Love, Got War: Close Encounters with America’s Warfare State” (2007). 

October 7, 2021 Posted by | politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The risks of a catastrophic spent nuclear fuel fire near the Persian Gulf.

How to reduce the risk of a catastrophic spent nuclear fuel fire near the Persian Gulf, Bulletin, By Tara BurchmoreTom SpenceAli Ahmad | October 6, 2021 
 The 2021 operational launch of two reactors at the Barakah power plant in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) demonstrates the growth of nuclear energy in the Middle East. Over the next two years, there will be five reactors operating in the Persian Gulf­—four reactors at Barakah and Iran’s Bushehr reactor, which has been running since 2013. If Iran and Saudi Arabia fulfill their proposed plans to build new nuclear reactors, the number will rise to at least eight reactors in the gulf by 2030.

There are many reasons for concern about the safety of nuclear facilities in the gulf. Particularly in the region where Bushehr is located, Iran is prone to seismic activity. The UAE has limited experience in operating nuclear facilities. And terrorist groups have identified energy infrastructure as a key target—and even attacked nuclear installations.

It is in this context we raise an alarm about the possibility of a severe nuclear accident in the gulf, driven by a fire in one of the spent nuclear fuel pools of the Bushehr or Barakah power plants. As we explain in detail in our recent paper in Science and Global Security, the local and possibly global economic implications of such an accident are huge.

Since the Fukushima Daiichi disaster more than a decade ago and the “near miss” catastrophe of a fire at the unit 4 spent fuel pool, higher attention has been given to the long-overlooked risks of such densely packed pools, which typically have less fortified containment than a reactor core but may contain much larger amounts of radioactivity. Frank von Hippel and his colleagues have since produced important analyses revising the risks of spent nuclear fuel fires and highlighting their human and economic costs.

Cities at risk. In our paper, we modelled what might happen if a spent nuclear fuel fire was to start at either the Barakah or Bushehr nuclear power plants, using an atmospheric modeling program to simulate how the plume of radioactive smoke from the fire would spread over the gulf region based on probable weather patterns.

Based on thousands of dispersion simulations using real historical weather data, the results show that several major cities in the gulf region could be contaminated by cesium 137 fallout if a spent fuel fire occurred at Barakah or Bushehr. The cities at the highest risk from fires at Barakah are those centered around the Gulf of Bahrain: Doha, Manama, Dammam, and al-Hofuf…………………………

Recommendations. The safest way to mitigate the risk of spent nuclear fuel fires in the Persian Gulf region would be to end the deployment of nuclear energy in the Middle East and rely instead on the region’s natural gas and renewable energy resources. This, of course, will not happen.

However, risks can be reduced by not adding new nuclear capacity beyond what is currently built. Additionally, governments could reduce risks by timely transfer of spent fuel into dry cask storage and ultimately into geological storage, limiting the dense packing of spent fuel pools. Iran has agreed to transfer Bushehr’s spent nuclear fuel to Russia and could seek to do so as soon as it has cooled sufficiently. States also should work to prevent attacks on nuclear facilities. One model could be a multilateral arrangement similar to the bilateral one reached between India and Pakistan. Finally, gulf states should bolster their emergency preparedness and management plans for nuclear accidents and incidents involving potential radiation release in the region.

October 7, 2021 Posted by | MIDDLE EAST, safety | Leave a comment

2022 French Presidential candidates divided over nuclear energy

2022 French Presidential candidates divided over nuclear energy,  
 Candidates on the left and right have spoken out about the future of energy in France, and whether nuclear energy should still be used. Connexion, By Joanna York, 6 Oct 21

Six months ahead of the French Presidential elections, and with energy prices rising steeply this month, the future of nuclear energy in France is becoming a key issue.

President Emmanuel Macron has previously spoken out in favour of using nuclear energy, saying during a 2019 European summit that use of nuclear power would help France transition towards carbon neutral energy sources.

In mid-October the president is expected to announce the creation of small-scale nuclear plants, or SMRs, which are said to be affordable, safer and to produce emission-free, carbon-free energy.

According to EDF
, nuclear energy is the primary source of electricity production in France. 

There are 56 nuclear reactors of varying sizes located throughout France, with those in l’Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Grand Est, Centre val-de-Loire and Normandie providing 80% of electricity produced by nuclear power.

Candidates on the right for increasing nuclear production

Candidates on the right have so far said they support expanding use of nuclear energy in France

Xavier Bertrand, current regional president of Hauts-de-France, told FranceInfo on October 4 he was in favour “of laws bringing nuclear energy back to producing 50% of energy” in order for France to remain an “independent” energy producer.

Diverse opinions from candidates on the left

In contrast, some candidates on the left have spoken out strongly against continued use of nuclear energy.

EELV (centre-left, green) candidates Yannick Jadot and Sandrine Rousseau have both said that they wish to see an end to the use of nuclear energy.

Paris Mayor and Parti Socialiste (centre-left) candidate Anne Hidalgo agrees. In her recently-released book she wrote: “we need to stop using nuclear energy as soon as the development of renewable energy allows it.”

However, Olivier Faure, also from the Parti Socialiste, told FranceInfo he “did not believe” in ending use of nuclear power in France by 2030, because “as long as we have not fully developed renewable energies, we have to continue using nuclear plants”.

As in previous presidential campaigns in 2012 and 2017, Mr Mélenchon has said that use of nuclear energy should be stopped before 2023, in favour of 100% renewable energies.

He has previously campaigned for abandoning nuclear plants, the burial of nuclear waste and the closure of France’s oldest nuclear power station Fessenheim, which happened in June 2020.

Parti Communiste (far left) candidate, Fabien Roussel, spoke out against the closure of the power station at the time.

In an interview with Le Point in May 2021 he said he was “in favour of maintaining use of nuclear power in France”.

October 7, 2021 Posted by | France, politics | Leave a comment

US Reveals Nuclear Bomb Numbers After Trump Blackout

US Reveals Nuclear Bomb Numbers After Trump Blackout

Last week, Russian and US diplomats held talks in Geneva to determine controls on conventional weapons. The Defense Post, 6 Oct 21
, The US State Department published on Tuesday the number of nuclear warheads the country stockpiles for the first time in four years, after former president Donald Trump placed a blackout on the data.

As of September 30, 2020, the US military maintained 3,750 active and inactive nuclear warheads, down by 55 from a year earlier and by 72 from the same date in 2017.

The figure was also the lowest level since the US nuclear stockpile peaked at the height of the Cold War with Russia in 1967, when the total was 31,255 warheads.

The numbers were released Tuesday amid an effort by the administration of President Joe Biden to restart arms controls talks with Russia after they stalled under Trump………….

Biden, who came in to office on January 20, immediately proposed a five-year extension to New Start, which Russian President Vladimir Putin quickly agreed to.

The deal caps at 1,550 the number of nuclear warheads that can be deployed by Moscow and Washington.

Last week, Russian and US diplomats held talks behind closed doors in Geneva to begin discussions on a successor to New Start and also controls on conventional weapons.

A US official called the talks “productive,” but both sides said the mere fact of holding the talks was positive.

According to a January 2021 tally by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which includes retired warheads — not counted in the State Department’s numbers — the United States had 5,550 warheads, compared to 6,255 in Russia, 350 in China, 225 in Britain, and 290 in France.

India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea have together around 460 nuclear warheads, according to the institute.

October 7, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Rep. Burgess Owens and Rep. Chris Stewart sponsor a Bill to ensure compensation for health effects of nuclear bomb testing

Too many ‘downwinders’ are still suffering     We are sponsoring a bill that would make sure the government’s responsibility to those who were harmed by nuclear testing does not get swept under the rug. By Burgess Owens and Chris Stewart  Oct 4, 2021, ‘ Any objective study of American history brings us to the realization that there are many Americans who quietly made, and continue to make, great sacrifices for our national security. Many of these women and men willingly give of themselves to ensure that our country remains free. 

 Tragically, under the banner of national security the United States government exposed Americans to radioactive uranium ore and radioactive dust — subjecting them to lung cancer and other respiratory illnesses.

On July 16, we marked the 76th anniversary of the detonation of the first nuclear weapon — code-named Trinity — in the desert of New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin. Three weeks after the Trinity detonation, the United States exploded the Little Boy bomb over Hiroshima and, three days later, the Fat Man bomb over Nagasaki. Six days later, Japan surrendered. In the aftermath of World War II, a nuclear arms race began that reached its zenith with over 60,000 nuclear weapons worldwide in 1986.

Many lives were lost or severely altered by the nuclear weapons program. Thankfully, the world stockpile of nuclear weapons has steadily declined since 1986 and will, hopefully, continue to do so in the future. Yet, the effects of detonating over 1,100 nuclear weapons since the Trinity test in 1945 continue to mar the lives of Americans to this day.

Through atmospheric weapons tests, as well as mining, transporting and milling of uranium ore, many Americans have been slowly killed by radiation exposure. Thousands of Utahns were infected by radiation exposure simply by living “downwind” of the federal government’s nuclear weapons testing sites. Additional Utahn miners were affected as they worked the uranium necessary for these weapons. These “downwinders” and miners and their families friends, and communities often suffered excruciating illness, loss and devastation.

In response to this malfeasance, Congress rightly enacted (and later amended in 2000) the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) in 1990. This legislation was a good first step in making recompense to those who mined and hauled uranium ore and those who processed the ore at a mill. The RECA legislation also addresses those exposed to radiation downwind from nuclear test sites.

It has been more than 20 years since any meaningful reform to RECA has been made for those whose lives have been taken or irreversibly altered by our foray into the arms race. Several classifications of workers such as core drillers and ground workers have been denied justice by being excluded completely from the process.

Some diseases that should have been compensable have been excluded. Numerous geographical locations exposed to downwind radiation have been left out. Uranium miners continued to mine after the United States stopped buying uranium for its nuclear weapons programs in 1971. These so-called post-1971 workers were excluded from accessing benefits since the original RECA legislation had an arbitrary cutoff date of Dec. 31, 1971 — even though the federal government continued to regulate uranium mines long after 1971. To make matters worse, RECA is scheduled to sunset in July 2022 — potentially leaving all classifications of exposure victims without redress.

We are honored to represent some of these “downwinders” and their family members and want them to know their suffering — and the sacrifices they made for our nation — are not forgotten.

That is why we are pleased to be the lead Republican members of the House of Representatives on the “RECA Amendments Act of 2021,” legislation that will reauthorize RECA for those still suffering the consequences of nuclear testing.

The tragic consequences of the nuclear arms race cannot be swept under the rug of history. We urge our colleagues in Congress to support the “RECA Amendments Act of 2021.” Our country must act now to address the injustices of those who have been forgotten by their own government.

Rep. Burgess Owens represents Utah’s 4th Congressional District. Rep. Chris Stewart represents Utah’s 2nd Congressional District.

October 7, 2021 Posted by | health, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment