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Imagine a world with US-China cooperation — IPPNW peace and health blog

On September 10, 2021, during an important diplomatic meeting that occurred by telephone, US President Joseph Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping affirmed the necessity of a better relationship between their two nations.  According to the official Chinese summary, Xi said that “when China and the United States cooperate, the two countries and the world […]

Imagine a world with US-China cooperation — IPPNW peace and health blog

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Industry minister vows to promote scrapping of Fukushima plant as top priority

Japanese government’s hard-headed obstinacy toward unsafe release of radioactive water, in complete denial of the consequences on the environment and on the health of the people, and totally ignoring the majority of the Japanese people against such sea dumping….

Industry minister Koichi Hagiuda (right) and Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori hold talks at the Fukushima prefectural government office on Sunday.

Oct 11, 2021

Fukushima – Industry minister Koichi Hagiuda pledged Sunday to promote the decommissioning of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and recovery of the area as a top priority during his first visit to the prefecture since assuming office.

Hagiuda also told Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori and the mayors of municipalities hosting the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant that his ministry will make its “best efforts” to release treated radioactive water from the facility hit by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is also arranging a trip to the Fukushima No. 1 complex over the next weekend as part of his first visit to the Tohoku region as leader of the country, government sources said.

Uchibori requested in his meeting with Hagiuda at the prefectural government office that the central government tackle issues such as the lifting of an evacuation order for residents near the crippled power plant.

Futaba Mayor Shiro Izawa and Okuma Mayor Jun Yoshida later jointly asked the minister that the state take effective measures against the reputational damage associated with the planned discharge of treated water.

The mayors also warned Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (Tepco), the operator of the plant, against sloppy management of radioactive waste at the power facility.

“The state, instead of Tepco, will lead the decommissioning of (Fukushima No. 1) reactors,” Hagiuda told reporters after the meetings.

Japan is planning to begin discharging treated water into the sea from around the spring of 2023.

Water pumped into the ruined reactors at the Fukushima plant to cool the melted fuel, mixed with rain and groundwater that has also been contaminated, is treated using an advanced liquid processing system, while a low level of tritium remains in the water.

Tepco Chairman Yoshimitsu Kobayashi, who accompanied Hagiuda on his tour of the power plant, met with Uchibori on Monday as part of his first visit to Fukushima since assuming his post in June.

Local fishermen remain opposed to the planned discharge of treated water as it could harm the reputation of Fukushima seafood, and Kobayashi told reporters after the meeting that he will “hold further dialogue (with locals) to enhance their understanding toward the safety steps.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/10/11/national/fukushima-plant-decommissioning/

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Deathly Silence: Journalists Who Mocked Assange Have Nothing to Say About CIA Plans to Kill Him

Deathly Silence: Journalists Who Mocked Assange Have Nothing to Say About CIA Plans to Kill Him  https://fair.org/home/deathly-silence-journalists-who-mocked-assange-have-nothing-to-say-about-cia-plans-to-kill-him/, JOHN MCEVOY,YAHOO! NEWS (9/26/21) A BOMBSHELL REPORT DETAILING THE US CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY’S “SECRET WAR PLANS AGAINST WIKILEAKS,” INCLUDING CLANDESTINE PLOTS TO KILL OR KIDNAP PUBLISHER JULIAN ASSANGE WHILE HE TOOK REFUGE IN THE ECUADORIAN EMBASSY IN LONDON.

Following WikiLeaks‘ publication of the Vault 7 files in 2017—the largest leak in CIA history, which exposed how US and UK intelligence agencies could hack into household devices—the US government designated WikiLeaks as a “non-state hostile intelligence service” (The Hill4/13/17), providing legal cover to target the organization as if it were an adversarial spy agency.

Within this context, the Donald Trump administration reportedly requested “sketches” or “options” for how to kill Assange, according to the Yahoo! expose (written by Zach Dorfman, Sean D. Naylor and Michael Isikoff), while the CIA drew up plans to kidnap him. (Assange was expelled from the embassy in 2019 and has since then been in British prison, fighting a demand that he be extradited to the US to face charges of espionage—FAIR.org11/13/20.)

Shortly after publication, former CIA director Mike Pompeo (Yahoo! News9/29/21) seemed to confirm the report’s findings, declaring that the former US intelligence officials who spoke with Yahoo! “should all be prosecuted for speaking about classified activity inside the CIA.”

Ghoulish indifference

   It would seem that covert plans for the state-sanctioned murder on British soil of an award-winning journalist should attract sustained, wall-to-wall media coverage.

The news, however, has been met by Western establishment media with ghoulish indifference—a damning indictment of an industry that feverishly condemns attacks on press freedom in Official Enemy states.

BBC News, one of the most-read news outlets in the world, appears to have covered the story just once—in the Somali-language section of the BBC website (Media Lens on Twitter9/30/21).

Neither the New York Times or Washington Post, two of the world’s leading corporate news organizations, have published any articles about Assange since July 2021.

To its credit, since the story first broke on September 26, the Guardian has reported twice on the CIA-led conspiracy to kill or kidnap Assange. But to offer perspective, during the week after Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was reported to have been poisoned by the Russian government, the Guardian published 16 separate pieces on the issue, including video reports and opinion pieces.

Similarly, a Nexis search of British newspapers for the word “Navalny” brings up 288 results from August 20–25, 2020. The same search for “Assange” between September 26–October 1, 2021, brings up a meager 29 results—one of which, a notable exception, was a Patrick Cockburn piece in the Independent (10/1/21).

Crucial relief

As is typical of stories that embarrass the Western intelligence services, independent media provided crucial relief to the backdrop of chilling indifference, with the Grayzone’s Aaron Maté (YouTube9/30/21) conducting a rigorous interview with one of the report’s authors, Michael Isikoff.

Indeed, the Grayzone (5/14/20) was the first outlet to provide evidence of a CIA-linked proposal to “kidnap or poison Assange” in May 2020. The story, however, was almost universally ignored, suggesting that, as Joe Lauria wrote in Consortium News (10/2/21), “until something appears in the mainstream media, it didn’t happen.”

One thing the corporate media cannot be accused of with regards to Assange, however, is inconsistency. After a key witness in the Department of Justice’s case against the publisher admitted to providing the US prosecution with false testimony, a detail that should

ordinarily turn a case to dust, the corporate media responded by ignoring the story almost entirely. As Alan MacLeod wrote for FAIR.org (7/2/21):

The complete uniformity with which corporate media have treated this latest bombshell news raises even more concerns about how fundamentally intertwined and aligned they are with the interests of the US government.

Even after it was revealed that the UC Global security firm that targeted Assange had also spied on journalists at the Washington Post and New York Times, neither outlet mounted any

protest (Grayzone9/18/20).

Perhaps most remarkably, UK judge Vanessa Baraitser relied on a falsified CNN report (7/15/19)  to justify the CIA’s spying operation against Assange (Grayzone5/1/21). Now, CNN’s website contains no reports on the agency’s plans to kill or kidnap Assange.

The prevailing silence has extended into the NGO industry. Amnesty International, which refused in 2019 to consider Assange a prisoner of conscience, has said nothing about the latest revelations. Likewise, Index on Censorship, which describes itself as “The Global Voice of Free Expression,” hasn’t responded to the story.

The establishment media’s dismissal of Assange supports Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s framework of “worthy” and “unworthy” political dissidents, with Assange situated firmly in the latter camp.

The present circumstances become even more deplorable upon consideration of the corporate journalists who arrogantly diminished, or even delighted in, Assange’s concerns for his own safety.

Continue reading

October 11, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

The facts contradict the pro nuclear spin of the Minerals Council of Australia’s report, written by Ben Heard.

“a smaller reactor, at least the water-cooled reactors that are most likely to be built earliest, will produce more, not less, nuclear waste per unit of electricity they generate because of lower efficiencies.”

Due to the loss of economies of scale, the decommissioning and waste management unit costs of SMR will probably be higher than those of a large reactor (some analyses state that between two and three times higher).”

Small nuclear reactors, huge costs   Dr. Jim Green 11 October 2021  Even by the standards of the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), the new report published by the country’s most influential coal lobby on the subject of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) is jiggery-pokery of the highest order.

Why would a mining industry body promote SMRs? After mining for some years — or at most decades — no company would want to take on the responsibility of decommissioning a nuclear reactor and managing high-level nuclear waste for millennia. No companies are cited in the report expressing interest in SMRs to power their mining operations.

Perhaps the MCA – which infamously provided the lump of coal for Scott Morrison to wave around in parliament – thinks that promoting nuclear power will slow the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, and believes that it is in the interests of some of its member companies to slow the transition.

If so, the timing of the report isn’t great, coming in the same week as the Business Council of Australia’s report which argues for a rapid, renewables-led decarbonisation, and Fortescue’s announcement that it plans to build the world’s largest green energy hydrogen manufacturing facility in Queensland.

Perhaps the MCA is doing the bidding of the (mostly foreign-owned) uranium mining companies operating in Australia? The MCA’s CEO Tania Constable said: “Australia should take advantage of growing international interest in nuclear energy and look to expand its already significant uranium sector.”

Perhaps … but there’s no evidence that the two companies mining uranium in Australia — BHP (Olympic Dam) and Heathgate Resources (Beverley Four Mile) — are lobbying for nuclear power. And Australia’s “already significant” uranium industry could hardly be more insignificant — it accounts for about 0.2 percent of Australia’s export revenue and about 0.01 percent of all jobs in Australia.

Bob Carr’s atomic bombshell

The MCA report also came in the same week as Bob Carr’s striking about-face on nuclear power. Having previously supported nuclear power, Carr wrote in The Australian: “In 2010 one enthusiast predicted within 10 years fourth-generation reactors and small modular reactors would be commonplace, including in Australia. None exists, here or abroad.”

The MCA report says SMRs are an “ideal fit” for Australia, citing their enhanced safety, lower cost than large-scale nuclear reactors or equivalent energy production methods, and lower waste production than current reactors.

It’s all nonsense. The safety claims don’t stack up. Nor do the claims about waste. Academic M.V. Ramana notes that “a smaller reactor, at least the water-cooled reactors that are most likely to be built earliest, will produce more, not less, nuclear waste per unit of electricity they generate because of lower efficiencies.”

And a 2016 European Commission document states: “Due to the loss of economies of scale, the decommissioning and waste management unit costs of SMR will probably be higher than those of a large reactor (some analyses state that between two and three times higher).”

SMRs have a similar capacity to many existing coal and gas-fired power plants in Australia, the MCA report states, so would make an ideal replacement. Back to Bob Carr:

“Where is the shire council putting up its hand to host a nuclear power plant? Harder to find than a sponsor for a high-temperature toxic waste incinerator.

“Nobody in the Hunter Valley has urged nuclear for the Liddell site, even on the footprint of this coal-fired power plant scheduled to close. And not even invoking the prospect of a small modular reactor that 10 years back was the vanguard of the nuclear renaissance. About to be planted across the Indonesian archipelago and the rest of Asia, we were promised.  Today they exist only on the Rolls-Royce drawing boards they have adorned since the 1970s.”

Economics

The MCA said in June 2020 that SMRs won’t find a market unless they can produce power at a cost of A$60-$80 per megawatt hour (MWh). That’s a big problem for enthusiasts because there’s no chance whatsoever that SMRs will produce power in that cost range.

An analysis by WSP / Parsons Brinckerhoff, prepared for the 2015/16 South Australian Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, estimated a cost of A$225 / MWh for a reactor based on the NuScale design, about three times higher than the MCA’s target range.

CSIRO estimates SMR power costs at A$258-338 / MWh in 2020 and A$129-336 / MWh in 2030.

Russia’s floating nuclear plant is said to be the only operational SMR in the world, although it doesn’t fit the ‘modular’ definition of serial factory production.

A 2016 OECD Nuclear Energy Agency report said that electricity produced by the Russian floating plant is expected to cost about US$200 (A$273) / MWh, about four times higher than the target range cited by the MCA and more expensive than power from large reactors (US$129-198 / MWh).

Completion of Russia’s floating plant was nine years behind schedule and construction costs increased six-fold.

Yet, despite a mountain of evidence that SMRs won’t come close to producing power in the A$60-80 / MWh range, the new MCA report asserts that “robust estimates” using “conservative assumptions” suggest that SMRs will produce power at a cost of A$64-77 MWh by 2030.

One wonders who the MCA think they’re kidding.

The MCA report was written by Ben Heard, who recently closed his ‘Bright New World’ nuclear lobby website, just before taking up a full time role with consultancy Frazer-Nash. Heard promotes Canadian SMR-wannabe Terrestrial Energy in the MCA report but does not disclose his role on the company’s advisory board.

Heard also contributed two chapters on nuclear power to a 2020 book titled ‘An Australian nuclear industry: Starting with submarines’.

Dr Jim Green is lead author of a 2019 Nuclear Monitor report on SMRs and national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth Australia.

October 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

US and UK begin jostling to supply Australia with nuclear submarine fleet

US and UK begin jostling to supply Australia with nuclear submarine fleetABC By defence correspondent Andrew Greene10 Oct 21, ‘……….In 2021, the Australian Defence Force is again considering what role the Royal Navy could play in developing its next submarines, or whether like many modern acquisitions, it will focus on interoperability with American technology.

Under the AUKUS partnership struck in September, the leaders of the United Kingdom and the United States have agreed to work with Australia on how to build a new class of nuclear-powered submarines.

Over the next 18 months, the Nuclear-Powered Submarine Task Force inside the Department of Defence will lead a study into the numerous regulatory issues involved in the ownership and operation of nuclear-powered boats.

While the design is not yet known, or what the criteria will be, for many commentators the existing British Astute-class is emerging as an early favourite for Australia to replace the Collins-class fleet

Others inside the defence industry believe any nuclear-powered Australian submarine will need to be an American boat, based on the Virginia-class so that it can be serviced at nearby US bases in Guam or Japan.

Both the British and US options have various advantages and disadvantages, which highlight the extraordinarily complex process the ADF faces to select a nuclear-powered submarine — which may never actually eventuate.

Already the regulatory challenges appear significant, as nothing is more complex and costly in the military world than nuclear-powered submarines, particularly for a country with no domestic nuclear industry.

In the United States, an eminent group of former officials and experts has written to President Joe Biden warning the AUKUS deal could threaten national security by encouraging hostile nations to obtain highly enriched uranium (HEU).

Australia insists it will uphold its commitments under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but the engineering sector warns it will be a steep learning curve for the Defence Department.

The now dumped Attack class submarine being designed by France’s Naval Group was based on the Barracuda class, which lost three years in development because of less complex regulatory issues associated with low enriched uranium (LEU).

“This is a very long-term effort that’ll be decades, I think, before a submarine goes in the water,” US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday predicted last month…………    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-10/us-and-uk-begin-jostling-for-nuclear-submarine-contract/100525756   

October 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, marketing | Leave a comment

Nuclear submarine deal needlessly raises tensions — Highly Enriched Fuel a particular danger

World needs to work together, not provoke further conflict

Nuclear submarine deal needlessly raises tensions — Beyond Nuclear International 10 Oct 21, s

Proposed US/UK nuclear-powered submarines for Australia jeopardise health while escalating an arms race no one can win
Joint statement by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and its affiliates in Australia, UK and USA: Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia); Medact (UK); Physicians for Social Responsibility (USA)
Physicians in the countries involved in the proposal announced on 16 September for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines with UK and US assistance are concerned this plan will jeopardise global health and security. Under this proposal, Australia would become the seventh country to use nuclear propulsion for its military vessels, and the first state to do so which does not possess nuclear weapons, or nuclear power reactors. These submarines are to be armed with sophisticated long-range missiles including US Tomahawk cruise missiles. These submarines would increase tensions and militarisation across Asia and the Pacific region, fuel an arms race and risk deepening a new cold war involving China.

The wrong decision at the wrong time

Humanity is in the midst of a major pandemic, and facing twin existential threats of dire urgency — global heating and the growing danger of nuclear war. People everywhere desperately require our leaders to work together to address these major challenges, which can only be solved cooperatively.

Beginning on November 1, the UN Climate Change Conference will be held in Glasgow, when leaders have a choice to condemn humanity to cascading climate catastrophe, or step up and take the decisive and ambitious actions needed to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep warming within 1.5 degrees. COVID vaccines are still out of reach for most of the world’s poor people. If ever there was a time to build goodwill and focus on cooperation to complex global problems rather than escalate military confrontation, that time is now.

Our leaders should be focussing their energies not on escalating a new cold war arms race with China, but on building peaceful cooperation to address urgent shared threats with the government of the world’s most populous and largest greenhouse gas emitting nation.

Instead, this plan will raise tensions, make cooperation more difficult, drive proliferation of ever more destructive weapons, divert vast resources needed to improve health and well-being and stabilise our climate, and increase the risks of a slide to armed conflict between the world’s most heavily armed states, risking nuclear escalation in which there can be no winners.

Spreading nuclear bomb fuel

Commendable international efforts over decades to reduce production, use and stockpiles of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) worldwide have been supported by Australia, UK and US, including through the Nuclear Security Summits led by President Obama. In its role as G7 president, the UK has committed to ‘reinvigorate the aim of minimising production and use of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)’.

UK and US nuclear-powered submarines use HEU as fuel, which is directly usable in nuclear weapons, including those of the simplest design easiest for terrorists to build. Indeed their current naval reactor fuel is enriched to 93% and was originally produced for use in nuclear warheads. They have resisted and delayed efforts to convert their naval reactors to much less proliferation-prone low-enriched uranium fuel, as France and China have done, and any conversion to LEU is not likely before the late 2030s at the earliest.

So it seems very likely that any Australian nuclear submarines built with US or UK naval reactors over the next 20 years will also use HEU. Precisely because of the proliferation dangers of naval reactor fuel, the US has previously gone to considerable lengths to thwart the spread of naval reactors, such as in the 1980s blocking Canada from buying nuclear attack submarines from France and the UK.

A loophole exists in the international safeguards required under the nuclear Non- proliferation Treaty (NPT): states without nuclear weapons can remove fissile materials (which can be used to build nuclear weapons) from safeguards for a temporary period for use in military applications short of nuclear weapons. No nation has yet done this in relation to naval nuclear reactors.

The quantities of HEU involved are large. As Sebastien Philippe from Princeton University has estimated, a fleet of between 6 and 12 nuclear submarines as proposed, operated for about 30 years, will require between 3 and 6 tons of HEU. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stipulates that 25 kg of HEU would enable a nuclear weapon, even though US nuclear weapons are known to contain an average of only 12 kg of HEU.

So HEU fuel for the proposed Australian submarines would involve 120 to 240 times the amount of HEU as the IAEA stipulates is sufficient to build a nuclear weapon, and it could be out of international safeguards for decades. Philippe has aptly characterised this as “a terrible decision for the non-proliferation regime”. It discredits all three nations’ claims to support a treaty curbing fissile materials, and would make such a treaty harder to verify.

The Australian government proclaims its support for strong nuclear safeguards, while falsely claiming that the safeguards obligations in the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) are weaker than those under the NPT 3 (they are, in fact, stronger). Its plan to drive large amounts of HEU in reactors roaming the oceans for decades through a loophole in its safeguards does not indicate good faith on safeguards and non-proliferation.

This proposal needs careful independent scrutiny and strong new safeguards provisions to ensure Australia fulfills its obligations under both the NPT and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty. The latter goes further than the NPT in prohibiting the stationing of any nuclear explosive device in the territory of a state party.

The UK announcement in March of a planned 40% increase in its nuclear arsenal is in breach of its NPT obligations, as the UN Secretary-General has stated. The UK and US are modernising their nuclear arsenals, both in breach of their now 51-year-old legally binding NPT commitment to disarm.

Australia acquiring nuclear-powered submarines could well encourage other states, such as South Korea, Japan and Iran to pursue a similar path. Proliferation of submarines or other vessels with lifespans of several decades that are fuelled by weapons-grade HEU will encourage uranium enrichment, wider use and storage of HEU, and will set back and make more difficult control and elimination of fissile materials…….. https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/10/10/nuclear-submarine-deal-needlessly-raises-tensions/

October 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Uranium, weapons and war | Leave a comment

It’s unfortunate that the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal looks like weakening global nuclear non proliferation.

Limiting the nuclear-proliferation blowback from the AUKUS submarine deal, The Strategist, 21 Sep 2021|Anastasia Kapetas  If the  If the architects of the AUKUS pact and its headline initiative to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines imagined it would be seen as proliferation neutral, the reality might not be so straightforward. The announcement was extremely sketchy on many critical details, particularly from a non-proliferation perspective.

Of course, how nuclear non-proliferation issues are addressed isn’t the sole test of this deal, but it will be part of managing its future trajectory. It’s notable that the State Department doesn’t seem to have been in the loop on negotiations. It has carriage of US non-proliferation commitments, so some of the proliferation consequences may not have been front of mind.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the deal will comply with Australia’s international non-proliferation commitments. That’s true, as there’s a massive loophole in Article III of the United Nations Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons that exempts naval reactors from nuclear safeguards. However, the non-proliferation community has long seen the loophole as a major threat to one of the treaty’s key aims—to limit the production and use of highly enriched uranium (HEU), which can be used to make nuclear weapons………

There could also be implications for negotiations on the proposed fissile material cut-off treaty, historically supported by Australia, which aims to strictly limit the amount of fissile material that nucelar-weapon states can manufacture. Negotiations are locked in a stalemate, largely thanks to Pakistan. Nonetheless, the treaty’s goals have broad international support and the manufacture of more weapons-grade uranium to power Australia’s submarines will likely also set those goals back.

There seems to be an emerging consensus in the global arms-control community that the AUKUS submarine deal could have a hugely negative effect on non-proliferation norms and practices. Depending on how Washington responds, this could have an impact on how the program unfolds.

Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, says that the deal ‘will further intensify the arms race in the region and dynamics that fuel military competition’. Pointing to the sparse strategic rationale offered so far, he adds, ‘Other than fielding more and better weapons, does anyone have a plan?’

Similar views have rippled across non-proliferation and arms-control circles, driven by fears that the deal will set a precedent ushering in a dangerous era of loosened nuclear restraints.

Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association, points out that if Australia gets a HEU submarine like the US Virginia class, it will be the first non-nuclear-weapon state to have such a capability.

What will Washington say to other allies, such as Israel, that might want the same technology? ………..

The US and Australia both recognise the importance of strengthening global rules and the institutions that allow existential nuclear-proliferation issues to be mediated. Conventional nuclear and military deterrence might make state adversaries think twice before using nuclear weapons, but it’s of little use in stopping acquisition and the attendant risks of catastrophic miscalculation.   https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/limiting-the-nuclear-proliferation-blowback-from-the-aukus-submarine-deal/?fbclid=IwAR2TrXJx7UbCJUDBUCMzhGJ0i_RFC188XE1Xotq9b-hP

October 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australians for Assange call for help – save our failing democracy, as USA continues, by despicable means, their case against him.

Australians for Assange 11 Oct 21

Dear Friends, John [Julian’s father] is headed back to London for Julian’s appeal trial to be held on the 27th & 28th of October.

Despite the incredible admission of lying by the US key witness, AND also revelations of a CIA plan to kidnap and assassinate Julian in London…the US is continuing with the case…this beggars belief.

We now know the US has been spying, plotting to kill and colluding with a known criminal to manufacture evidence.In John’s own words, “there is a Mount Everest of criminality surrounding Julian…and right at the very peak they even plotted to put poison in his cup…it makes you feel sick.”Everyone’s rights are being crushed and so to our “Justice” systems.

We must act to save what little is left of our democracy.Please help support John through this dark time in our history. Many thanks to those who have contributed already and even several times. The cost to Julian’s family is both emotional and financial…everyone’s help is critical to continue the campaign. WE MUST WIN! https://au.gofundme.com/f/saving-julian-assange
https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=australians%20for%20assange

October 11, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Jacinda Ardern warned twice Rocket Lab’s launches could break Nuclear Free Law


Revealed: Jacinda Ardern warned twice Rocket Lab’s launches could break Nuclear Free Law
, News Hub, 07/10/2021 Mitchell Alexander   Rocket Lab is one of New Zealand’s success stories, but what satellites it’s sending into orbit for the United States Military is raising concerns.Former Defence Minister Wayne Mapp is the Deputy Chair of the Public Advisory Committee on Disarmament and Arms Control (PACDAC) which advises the Government on weapons control.”It’s not that the payloads themselves are nuclear but rather they could facilitate the command and control of nuclear weapons,” he says.

Documents obtained by Newshub show PACDAC raised those concerns with the Prime Minister last year and again in March.

“It is the judgement of the appointed members of PACDAC that allowing the launch of certain space satellites that belong to certain branches of the US Military could, prima facie, result in improved communications for the control of a nuclear explosive device,” it wrote.

“We did not have enough information to exclude the possibility that they could be a part of that chain of command and it’s our view that the nuclear free legislation means New Zealand cannot facilitate such things,” Mapp says.

Fellow PACDAC member Kennedy Graham says “it can’t be ruled out. . You’ve got three or four different branches of the US Military. We’re not slamming the US Military, it’s just New Zealand has a different national security and arms control policy”.

It advised that the Economic Development Minister, who signs off on payload permits, could be liable for criminal charges under the Nuclear Free Act.    “It is important because there’s criminal liability involved,” says Graham………

The committee is seeking independent legal advice about their concerns. For now it wants the Government to get better assurances from the US that future space launches comply with our nuclear free law.   https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2021/10/revealed-jacinda-ardern-warned-twice-rocket-lab-s-launches-could-break-nuclear-free-law.html

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Delay and huge cost in refuelling UK nuclear submarine

A Scottish-based submarine is still covered in scaffolding in a dockyard in southern England six years after the start of a multimillion-pound refurbishment, raising fears that taxpayers could be hit with a bill
topping half a billion pounds — more than twice the original estimate — and putting Britain’s nuclear deterrent at risk.

The Trident missile-armed HMS Vanguard was supposed to return to the Faslane naval base on the Clyde in 2018 after a three-year-long refuelling and refit but the Ministry of Defence has confirmed that it is still being worked on in Devonport dockyard. Defence sources say the £3.75 billion submarine is not expected to rejoin the fleet until the middle of next year at the earliest — four years late — raising fears about the ability of the Royal Navy to sustain Britain’s continuous at sea nuclear deterrent.

 Times 10th Oct 2021

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/millions-sunk-into-seven-year-refurb-of-trident-submarine-9qj5x2zxm

October 11, 2021 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US navy engineer charged with trying so sell nuclear submarine secrets


US navy engineer charged with trying so sell nuclear submarine secrets

Jonathan Toebbe and wife arrested in West Virginia after nuclear engineer makes ‘dead drop’ to undercover FBI agent,     Guardian,   Associated Press in WashingtonMon 11 Oct 2021 
A US navy nuclear engineer with access to military secrets has been charged with trying to pass information about the design of American nuclear-powered submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government – but who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

In a criminal complaint detailing espionage-related charges, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) said Jonathan Toebbe sold information for nearly a year to a contact he believed represented a foreign power. That country was not named in the court documents.

Toebbe, 42, was arrested in West Virginia on Saturday with his 45-year-old wife, Diana Toebbe, after he placed a removable memory card at a prearranged “dead drop” in the state, according to the DoJ. The Toebbes are from Annapolis, Maryland………………………

The FBI paid Toebbe $20,000 for the transaction and provided the contents of the SD card to a navy subject matter expert, who determined that the records included design elements and performance characteristics of Virginia-class submarine reactors, the justice department said.

Those submarines are sophisticated and nuclear-powered “cruise missile fast-attack submarines”, according to the complaint…………..

The complaint alleges violations of the Atomic Energy Act, which restricts the disclosure of information related to atomic weapons or nuclear materials.

The Toebbes are expected to have their initial court appearances on Tuesday in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Jonathan Toebbe has worked for the US government since 2012, holding a top-secret security clearance and specializing in naval nuclear propulsion, the FBI says. He has also been assigned to a laboratory in the Pittsburgh area that officials say works on nuclear power for the US navy……. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/10/us-navy-engineer-charged-with-trying-so-sell-nuclear-submarine-secrets

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Developing countries demand action on climate from the polluting rich countries

 Developing countries are calling on the G20 group of advanced economies to
come forward urgently with stiffer targets on greenhouse gas emissions, and
financial aid, to make this month’s UN Cop26 climate summit a success.
Simon Stiell, climate and environment minister of Grenada, said: “All
eyes are now on the G20. They must step up. There is a significant gap
between what has been pledged [on cutting emissions] and what is needed –
the big question is how we treat that gap.”

 Observer 9th Oct 2021

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/oct/09/give-us-action-on-climate-not-just-words-say-developing-nations-ahead-of-cop26

October 11, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Pakistani nuclear weapons scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan dies aged 85

Pakistani nuclear weapons scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan dies aged 85

PM pays tribute to ‘national icon’ who turned country into atomic power but later admitted smuggling nuclear secrets, Guardian, Agence France-Presse 10 Oct 2021

Abdul Qadeer Khan, considered to be the father of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme and later accused of smuggling technology to Iran, North Korea and Libya, has died aged 85.

The atomic scientist, who spent the last years of his life under heavy guard, died in the capital, Islamabad, where he had recently been hospitalised with Covid-19……

Khan was hailed as a national hero for transforming Pakistan into the world’s first Islamic nuclear weapons power and strengthening its clout against rival and fellow nuclear-armed nation India.

However, he was declared by the west to be a dangerous renegade for sharing technology with rogue nuclear states…….

He confessed in 2004, after the International Atomic Energy Agency placed Pakistani scientists at the centre of a global atomic black market. Pardoned by Pakistan’s military ruler Pervez Musharraf, he was instead put under house arrest for five years…………..   https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/oct/10/pakistan-nuclear-weapons-scientist-abdul-qadeer-khan-dies-aged-85

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Pakistan, PERSONAL STORIES, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Israel May Accept Iran As Nuclear Power According To Secret Talks

Israel May Accept Iran As Nuclear Power According To Secret Talks, GREATGAMEINDIA/ October 9, 2021

Israel, Iran, the US and Russia are engaged in secret talks for Israel’s acceptance of Iran as a nuclear threshold power in return for a US-Russian guarantee that Tehran will not cross the threshold to make a nuclear bomb.

Kremlin sources say that reports of a forthcoming summit between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, possibly on Oct. 22, attest to those talks making progress towards a deal.

A strong clue to this secret ploy also came from Washington. Last week, an Israeli delegation led by National Security Adviser Eyal Hulata met with his US counterpart Jack Sullivan for what was officially billed as a discussion of Plan B, should President Joe Biden’s bid to revive the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran fail.

This presentation was meant to distract from the secret track afoot brokered by the two big powers on the Iranian nuclear issue……………..  https://greatgameindia.com/israel-accept-iran-nuclear/

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

October 10 Energy News — geoharvey

Science and Technology: ¶ “Scientists Aim To Improve Solar Cells With Nanomaterials” • NREL researchers are discovering (or creating) what may be key materials for tomorrow’s energy systems in the weird world of nanomaterials. “When you go down to the nanoscale, you often endow materials with properties they wouldn’t otherwise have,” an NREL group leader […]

October 10 Energy News — geoharvey

October 11, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment