The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

This week in nuclear news – France and more

Miles too long again this week  – sorry.  I put the most interesting bits in  bold.

Nuclear. The interesting thing right now is France’s struggle to get Europe to agree that nuclear power is ”clean” and ”green”. The background to this is that France’s nuclear industry is in a pretty bad state. Debts, scandals and safety problems. Most reactors getting near their use-by date. Strangely, the prestigious and independent Court of Audits has reported that nuclear power has a dubious future, but President Macron is ignoring that report, and promising a global nuclear revival, led by France.
Coronavirus –  it’s all still happening.Climate: COP 26 is over – but global heating is all still happening, too.
Some bits of good news:   The EU drafted legislation to tackle deforestation.   The UK’s largest urban rewilding project was approved. Refugees in Cameroon Have Turned aTreeless Desert Camp Into a Thriving Forest.

The consumerism that destroys life is also the cause of the environmental emergency.

The 2015 Paris climate agreement – a weak ‘treaty’, but it is working up to a point.  Nuclear energy: a distraction on the road to climate solutions. 

Global agreements against the dumping of nuclear waste into the world’s oceans.

America’s relentless pursuit of Australian Julian Assange is a threat to any journalist who might expose a USA massacre of civilians.

Gorbachev: claims that nuclear weapons guarantee peace are a delusion. The elimination of nuclear weapons a moral imperative – Vatican. New film: The ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ Who Stared Down Nuclear Weapons. Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Takes a New Approach With Informative Videos for Children and Young Adults.

Low dose radiation has its medical benefits, but has harmful effects on the immune system.

Use Less Stuff Day-Thursday November 18th

ANTARCTIC. Antarctic ice sheet changed alarmingly quickly in past – and may be happening again now.


GERMANY. Germany’s Chancellor Merkel maintains stand against nuclear power being classified as sustainable. German banks sceptical about nuclear and gas inclusion in green taxonomy.l

EUROPE. Over 100 European non government organisations urge the European Commission to block nuclear power from being accepted as a clean green investment . EU Council stresses the need to fully implement and universalise the NPT treaty.

AUSTRIAAustria prepared to sue European Union if it includes nuclear in green finance taxonomy.

SWEDEN. The growing unsolved problem of nuclear waste – becoming desperate in Sweden.

FINLAND. Finland’s nuclear power project collapsing – unprofitable and unnecessary.

BELARUS. Belarus’ new nuclear power station has further problems, shut down at present . Belarus leader says he wants Russian nuclear-capable missile systems.

RUSSIA. Russian diplomat calls for coordinated global efforts to enact Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. ‘The graveyard of the Earth’: inside City 40, Russia’s deadly nuclear secret.

CANADADisastrous floods intensified by climate change.


JAPAN. Japan’s PM Kishida resolved to achieve nuclear-free world . Japanese municipalities are finding resistance to hosting nuclear waste dump, despite substantial government bribes. 

Temperature of Fukushima Daiichi’s “frozen earth wall” rises again. Japan’s nuclear regulator inspecting seismic risks at Shika nuclear power station..
U. N. nuclear agency team to review plans for release of Fukushima water.


MARSHALL ISLANDS“Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders” 

NORTH KOREA. North Korea replaces, punishes 14 cadres and technicians working on nuclear-powered submarine program. The Central Committee criticized the technicians for failing to follow party policy to “localize” production . No North Korea nuclear, ICBM tests for the time being.

KENYA. Kenya’s $5billion nuclear power dream is delayed by 10 years.

EGYPTCOP 27: Growing concern that civil society groups will have restricted access.

NEW ZEALAND. The global nuclear weapons race is back on: New Zealand needs to continue its stance for disarmament.

AUSTRALIA. New files expose Australian govt’s betrayal of Julian Assange and detail his prison torment. Australian TV blatantly advertises weapons sales, in absurd claims about China invading Australia. Morrison’s tactless belligerence towards China, while USA moves to mend relationship to China.

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

“Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders” 

Biggest US nuclear bomb test destroyed an island—and this man’s life, By Eric Spitznagel   The US bomb tested near John Anjain’s (right) home in the Marshall Islands in 1954 was 1,000 times stronger than at Hiroshima, and left his wife and kids with debilitating and deadly health problems, as detailed in a new book. November 20, 2021

Just before dawn on March 1, 1954, John Anjain was enjoying coffee on the beach in the South Pacific when he heard a thunderous blast, and saw something in the sky that he said “looked like a second sun was rising in the west.”

Later that day, “something began falling upon our island,” said Anjain, who at the time was 32 and chief magistrate of the Rongelap atoll, part of the Marshall Islands. “It looked like ash from a fire. It fell on me, it fell on my wife, it fell on our infant son.”

It wasn’t a paranormal experience. Anjain and his five young sons, along with the 82 other inhabitants of Rongelap, were collateral damage from a “deadly radioactive fallout from a hydrogen bomb test… detonated by American scientists and military personnel,” writes Walter Pincus in his new book, “Blown to Hell: America’s Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders” (Diversion Books), out now.

In 1946, the US started testing atomic weapons began in Bikini Atoll, 125 miles west of Rongelap. Known as Operation Crossroads, the tests were moved to the islands from the US because officials feared “radioactive fallout could not be safely contained at
any site in the United States,” writes Pincus.

During those early tests, the Rongelapians were relocated to another island a safe distance away.

But the 1954 test was different. Not only were there no evacuations, but “Castle
Bravo,” as it was dubbed, was also the largest of the thermonuclear devices detonated during the military’s 67 tests, “a thousand times as large as the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima,” writes Pincus.

It took just hours for fallout to reach the shores of Rongelap, where it blanketed the island with radioactive material, covering houses and coconut palm trees. On some parts of the isle, the white radioactive ash was “an inch and a half deep on the ground,” writes Pincus.

The natives, who often went barefoot and shirtless, were covered in the toxic debris. It stuck to their hair and bodies and even between their toes.

“Some people put it in their mouths and tasted it,” Anjain recalled at a Washington DC hearing run by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to investigate the incident in 1977. “One man rubbed it into his eye to see if it would cure an old ailment. People walked in it, and children played with it.”

Rain followed, which dissolved the ash and carried it “down drains and into the barrels that provided water for each household,” writes Pincus.

It took three days before American officials finally evacuated the island, taking the natives to nearby Kwajalein for medical tests. Many Rongelapians were already suffering health effects, like vomiting, hair loss, and all-over body burns and blisters. Tests showed their white blood cell counts plummeting, and high levels of radioactive strontium in their systems. No one died, at least not immediately. That would come later.

After three years, the Rongelapians were allowed to return home, assured by officials that conditions were safe. But by 1957, the rate of miscarriages and stillbirths on the island doubled, and by 1963 the first residents began to develop thyroid tumors.

Though they continued to conduct annual medical tests, the US military admitted no culpability, other than awarding each islander $10,800 in 1964 as compensation for the inconvenience.

In fact, some — including the islanders — have speculated that the US government had used the Rongelapians as “convenient guinea pigs” to study the effects of high-level radiation.

For Anjain and his family, the effects were devastating. His wife and four of his children developed cancer. A sixth child, born after the fallout, developed poliomyelitis and had to use a crutch after one of his legs became paralyzed.

But the biggest tragedy befell his fifth child Lekoj, who was just one year old when Castle Bravo covered their island in nuclear dust. As a child, he was mostly healthy, other than the occasional mysterious bruise. Soon after his 18th birthday, Lekoj was flown to an American hospital, where doctors discovered he had acute myelogenous leukemia.

Anjain stayed at his son’s bedside for weeks as he underwent chemo, holding his dying son’s hand and watching him disappear.

He recounted Lekoj’s final days in a letter to the Friends of Micronesia newsletter in 1973. “Bleeding started in his ears, mouth and nose and he seemed to be losing his mind,” Anjain wrote of his son. “When I would ask him questions he gave me no
answer except ‘Bad Luck.’”

Lekoj passed away on November 15, 1972, at just 19. Newsweek called him “the first, and so far only leukemia victim of an H-bomb,” and said his death was proof that nuclear fallout “could be even more lethal to human life than the great fireball itself.”

After burying his son at a spot overlooking Rongelap Lagoon, Anjain continued to battle for financial restitution for his family and other Rongelapian survivors. In 2004, just months before his death (of undisclosed causes) at 81, he marched with 2,000 people in Japan to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1954 hydrogen bomb test that slowly killed his son.

In 2007, a Nuclear Claims Tribunal awarded Rongelap more than $1 billion in damages, but not a penny of it has yet been paid. And according to a 2019 Columbia University study, radiation levels on Rongelap are still higher than Chernobyl or Fukushima.

For Anjain, it was never really about the money. “I know that money cannot bring back my son,” he once said. “It cannot give me back 23 years of my life. It cannot take the poison from the coconut crabs. It cannot make us stop being afraid.” 

November 22, 2021 Posted by | children, environment, OCEANIA, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Austria prepared to sue European Union if it includes nuclear in green finance taxonomy

Austria ready to sue EU over nuclear’s inclusion in green finance taxonomy
, By Nikolaus J. Kurmayer |, 18 Nov 2021

Austria’s energy and climate minister Leonore Gewessler told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview that her country was ready to go to court if the EU decides to include nuclear power into the bloc’s taxonomy on sustainable finance.

In October, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU executive would soon table proposals on gas and nuclear as part of the bloc’s sustainable finance taxonomy, a set of rules designed to provide investors with a common definition of what is green and what is not.

A group of twelve EU countries, led by France and Finland, want nuclear energy included, arguing it is a low-carbon energy source and that radioactive waste can be handled safely if appropriate measures are taken.

But Austria would be ready to challenge that decision in front of the European Court of Justice said Leonore Gewessler, the Austrian minister for climate protection and energy.

“There is no legal basis for including nuclear power in the EU taxonomy,” Gewessler said adding that, “Yes, if the EU taxonomy includes nuclear energy, we are ready to challenge that in court.”

Austria is at the centre of a five-country alliance bringing together Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal, which seeks to prevent the inclusion of nuclear energy in the EU’s green finance rules. The alliance was launched during the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Legal analysis

For Gewessler, “the credibility of the taxonomy is at stake” when deciding how to classify nuclear under the EU’s green finance rules.

The Austrian energy and climate ministry commissioned a legal analysis earlier this year, which found that “that the inclusion of nuclear energy is not compatible with the legal basis of Article 10 of the Taxonomy Regulation,” she said.

“We have a great responsibility here, in terms of taxonomy, to remain consistent and coherent”  with the ambitions of the European Green Deal and maintain trust in the financial markets, she argued.

“The considerable damage caused by nuclear energy is well documented historically,” she explained, citing “the dangers of nuclear power itself” as evidenced by the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters.

The safe disposal of spent radioactive fuel is also a matter of concern. “We have not yet found a global solution for…the question of final storage,” she said.

Besides, nuclear power “is much too expensive and much too slow to make a contribution” to the bloc’s climate goals, Gewessler continued.

The next-generation French reactor currently being built at Flamanville, whose construction started in 2007, has been massively delayed, with completion now scheduled in 2023 while costs have increased fivefold, she remarked.

Earlier this month, leading French EU lawmaker Pascal Canfin proposed letting nuclear energy and gas in the taxonomy as “transition” energy sources while the bloc pursues its long-term switch to renewable energy sources.

Canfin’s suggestion is to label gas a “transition” investment when it replaces coal and provided strict emission thresholds are met.

But Gewessler rejected that proposal too. “Just because something is less bad than coal doesn’t make it good or sustainable. It is still fossil energy,” she said………..

Austria’s neighbour Germany can always be counted on in the fight against nuclear power.

“Nuclear power cannot be a solution in the climate crisis, it is too risky, it is too slow, it is too expensive,” explained her German counterpart Svenja Schulze, caretaker minister of the environment, on 11 November.

“No climate activist should rely on nuclear power,” she added.


November 22, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

Humboldt nuclear reactor is dead and gone, but its highly radioactive wastes live on.

Is this the final chapter? The NRC will soon revoke the operating license for PG&E Unit #3, formally ending its official existence. But the waste is still on-site. The NRC considers cask storage a temporary solution and suggests a 40-year life span. Some hope the casks can last up to 100 years but even this is far shorter than the time needed to safely store high-level waste.

Lori Dengler | Decommissioning a nuclear power plant is a long slow process, LORI DENGLER |November 20, Nothing happens quickly with a nuclear plant. Power is generated through fission, a process of splitting atoms in a controlled way. Once fission begins, it can be slowed or increased, but there’s no on-off switch and a controlled shutdown takes 6-12 hours. The radioactive byproducts last for millennia.

The fuel at PG&E’s former nuclear facility at King Salmon was small ceramic uranium oxide pellets compressed into fuel rods. A single new rod is only mildly radioactive, but when groups of rods (assemblies) are brought closely together in a reactor core, fission commences. PG&E’s Unit #3 was a boiling water reactor (BWR), where water pumped into the core was brought to a boil and steam produced electricity.

All first-generation nuclear reactors were BWRs. Built in the late 1950s to mid-1960s, seven became operational in the US and none are operating today. In the late 1960s, the second generation BWRs came online with improved efficiency, lifespan, containment, and safety features. The Fukushima-Daichi Nuclear Power Plant that failed during the 2011 Japan tsunami was this type. Of the 93 operating reactors in the US today, 31 are BWRs.

During its 13-year operational history, the Humboldt nuclear facility generated most of the county’s electricity. It was shut down yearly for refueling and maintenance and the spent fuel rods were placed in a cooling pool on the site. The pool was within the containment structure and made of steel-lined reinforced concrete several feet thick.

Spent fuel and reactor waste has been and continues to be the Achilles heel of the nuclear industry. In the early decades of the nuclear era, it was often glossed over as something that science and technology could solve. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) classifies nuclear waste as high level or low level depending upon how long-lived the radioactive material is.

Low-level waste is produced by medical facilities, research labs, commercial facilities and in reactor operations. Often short-lived, it has radioactivity levels only slightly above background and can be safely handled with simple precautions. Small amounts can be disposed as ordinary trash and larger amounts moved on highways to approved low-level waste repositories.

It’s the high-level waste that is the big problem. High-level waste is predominately spent nuclear fuel rods. “Spent” is a misnomer as it still contains a substantial amount of energy. Unlike the new, unused fuel rods, they are now highly radioactive and very hot. That’s because once fission starts, can’t be totally stopped. Not all the uranium has been used up; it’s just no longer concentrated enough to be economically worthwhile. Fission is a complex process and creates toxic daughters such as cesium-137 and strontium-90. Fission releases neutrons which may be captured by other uranium atoms to form heavier elements such as plutonium. They aren’t as hot as the daughters but take much longer to decay. Plutonium-239 has a half-life (the time for half to be used up) of 24,100 years.

I admit to much ignorance when it comes to nuclear reactors. In talking about the Humboldt plant, I used to remark how silly it seemed that new fuel rods could be transported on highways and used ones could not. Now I understand why. There is no fission going on in the new ones and emissions are very low.

PG&E announced intentions to decommission Unit #3 in 1983. Three years later, the company requested a SAFTOR license amendment from the NRC. SAFSTOR means “possess-but-not-operate” so that the plant is maintained and monitored and much of the waste can decay before dismantling begins. In 2003, PG&E submitted an application to the NRC to begin transferring the spent fuel rods into dry cask storage.

The Humboldt plant produced 390 spent fuel assemblies in its lifetime. After several years in a storage pool, the NRC considers the waste cool enough to be moved into a dry cask storage facility on site. High-level waste repositories are known as ISFSIs (independent spent fuel storage installation). Finding an ISFSI spot on Buhne Point was problematic in many ways.

The biggest problem was that the ISFSI had to be on the PG&E site. Buhne Point site is exposed to earthquake and tsunami threats, erosion, and sea-level rise. Many people were involved with environmental and hazards studies over the years including a number of HSU geology grads. A site was selected at an elevation of 44 feet just to the west of Unit #3 with the capacity to store 37 tons of high-level waste in six casks.

I attended a community meeting about the ISFSI plan in the early 2000s. It was well attended with scientists, environmental organizations, and other community representatives. What surprised me most was that everyone agreed it was the best solution to a problem all of us wish we never had. Oh, if only time travel were possible – PG&E would be the first in line to reverse the decision to build the Humboldt nuclear facility. But given the legal realities, this was the best option.

NRC issued the Humboldt SAFSTOR license to PG&E in November 2005. By 2008, all of the spent fuel had been moved to the dry casks. The active decommissioning of the site began in 2009 and included removal of the reactor vessel, nuclear systems, containment structure, and other infrastructure. Even the soils at the site were removed. The final step was site restoration and soil remediation. It’s unclear what the footprint of the former nuclear facility may eventually become; at present, it is a parking lot.

Is this the final chapter? The NRC will soon revoke the operating license for PG&E Unit #3, formally ending its official existence. But the waste is still on-site. The NRC considers cask storage a temporary solution and suggests a 40-year life span. Some hope the casks can last up to 100 years but even this is far shorter than the time needed to safely store high-level waste.

Note: The Humboldt ISFSI is covered at If anyone wants to get into the weeds with nuclear reactor technology, see

Lori Dengler is an emeritus professor of geology at Humboldt State University, an expert in tsunami and earthquake hazards. Questions or comments about this column, or want a free copy of the preparedness magazine “Living on Shaky Ground”? Leave a message at 707-826-6019 or email

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Heritage Foundation – murky think tank funded by the nuclear weapons industry, wants weapons-makers to be exempt from climate and pandemic regulations

“Defense industrial base” is a buzzword that has picked up steam during the pandemic: It sends the message that, whatever happens with the economy and pandemic, we need to make sure we are in “fighting shape” — by keeping military contractors afloat. This concept was invoked to explain why, at the beginning of the pandemic, factories that produce bombs and tankers should be allowed to stay open, even amid the outbreak risk to workers. And it was also used to justify subsidies to contractors during the hardship of the pandemic.

Lockheed Martin is just one of numerous weapons manufacturers that has directly funded the Heritage Foundation. According to a report by the think tank Center for International Policy (CIP), the Heritage Foundation ranks ninth among the top think tanks that received funding from military contractors and the U.S. government from 2014 to 2019. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon were two of those major funders, both of which are among the largest weapons companies in the world and would be impacted by the new regulation.

This case provides a window into the murky world of think tanks, which are often viewed as academic and above-the-fray institutions but operate more as lobbying outfits.

Think Tank Funded by the Weapons Industry Pressures Biden Not to Regulate Military Contractors’ Emissions

Sarah Lazare/In These Time
s   19 November 21T
he Heritage Foundation has received considerable donations from the arms industry. And now it’s trying to shield that industry from climate regulations targeting military contractors.

The Heritage Foundation, a prominent conservative think tank, is publicly opposing a new Biden administration regulation that would force the weapons industry to report its greenhouse gas emissions related to federal contracts. It turns out the Heritage Foundation also receives significant funding from the weapons industry, which makes the case worth examining — because it reveals how the arms industry pays supposedly respectable institutions to do its policy bidding at the expense of a planet careening toward large-scale climate disaster.

The regulation in question was first proposed in an executive order in May. It would require federal contractors to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and their “climate-related financial risk,” and to set “science-based reduction targets.” In other words, companies like Lockheed Martin would have to disclose how much carbon pollution its F‑35 aircraft and cluster bombs actually cause.

In October, the Biden administration started the process to amend federal procurement rules to reflect these changes. “Today’s action sends a strong signal that in order to do business with the federal government, companies must protect consumers by beginning to mitigate the impact of climate change on their operations and supply chains,” Shalanda Young, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, said at the time.The Department of Defense is the world’s biggest institutional consumer of fossil fuels and a bigger carbon polluter than 140 countries. Yet its emissions (and those of other armed forces) are excluded from UN climate negotiations, including the recent COP26 talks. The Biden administration itself supports a massive military budget, initially requesting $753 billion for the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, a number that has since ballooned, with the Senate set to vote on a $778 billion plan. Organizers and researchers argue that, to curb the climate crisis, it is necessary to roll back U.S. militarism and dismantle the military budget.

But according to the Heritage Foundation, even this modest proposal is a bridge too far.

Continue reading

November 22, 2021 Posted by | climate change, politics, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

New film: The ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ Who Stared Down Nuclear Weapons

The ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ Who Stared Down Nuclear Weapons,   The doc ‘Mothers of the Revolution’ chronicles the women who spent years protesting the nukes at RAF Greenham Common. One of those brave women, Rebecca Johnson, tells their story.   Daily Beast, Rebecca Johnson Nov. 21, 2021  In September 1981, a ten-day walk from Wales under the banner of Women for Life on Earth arrived at the main gate of RAF Greenham Common, sixty miles west of London. Home to the 501st Tactical Missile Wing of the U.S. Air Force, this nuclear base was designated by NATO to deploy nuclear-armed cruise missiles in Europe. We called for this decision to be publicly debated.

When ignored, Women for Life on Earth grew into the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp. I began living there in 1982 and stayed until the 1987 U.S.-Soviet Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty banned and eliminated all land-based medium-range nuclear weapons from Europe, including Cruise, Pershing and SS20s.

After years of being airbrushed out of histories of the Cold War, Greenham’s actions, struggles and legacy are being spotlighted in a new film, Mothers of the Revolution, from acclaimed New Zealand director Briar March. Showing contemporaneous news footage from the 1980s along with dramatized vignettes and reflections from women who got involved with the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp in the 1980s, the film weaves an illustrative narrative from the experiences of a small cross section of activists—not only from Britain, but Russia, East and West Europe, the United States, and the Pacific.

Though it’s taken a long time for our contribution to the INF Treaty to be publicly recognized, other treaties have been influenced by Greenham’s feminist-humanitarian activism and strategies, most notably the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into international law in January 2021.

While living at Greenham for five years I came to understand what we really need: Not weapons and power over others, but communities that are empowered to love, question and create. We took forward new theories and practices of nonviolence that were feminist and assertive. We didn’t suppress deep human emotions like fear, love and anger, but channelled them into power for change. We needed to be activist and analytical, passionate and diplomatic, stubborn and flexible, courageous and truthful—no matter who tried to silence us.

The cruise missiles arrived in November 1983, which felt like a bitter defeat at first. Yet we refused to give up. …………….

Were we mothers of a revolution? If anything, I think we were part of a long continuum of struggles for women’s rights and safety, following in the footsteps of the women who fought so hard to vote and live free from oppression, slavery, and misogyny. Not mothers but daughters—of all those brave feminist revolutionaries.

I’m so glad Mothers of the Revolution ends with such an inspiring call to action showing the faces and voices of a new generation of fierce Daughters who are campaigning for girls’ education, climate justice, peace, and women’s rights to live free of patriarchal perpetrators and their greedy, oppressive systems of violence. Together we can stop the destroyers and strengthen the naturally diverse, interdependent lives that share and protect our beautiful Mother Earth. That’s our revolution, and we are not finished yet.

November 22, 2021 Posted by | Reference, Resources -audiovicual, UK, weapons and war, Women | Leave a comment

No greenwashing in Europe to save the nuclear industry!

No “greenwashing” to save nuclear power! While several states of the
European Union support atomic energy, a collective of associations
dismantles clichés on nuclear power and reminds us that in 2020, renewable
energies (excluding hydraulic) have exceeded the nuclear energy production.

 Liberation 19th Nov 2021

November 22, 2021 Posted by | climate change, France, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

The 2015 Paris climate agreement – a weak ‘treaty’, but it is working up to a point.

 In many ways, the landmark climate accord, agreed to at a U.N. summit in 2015, is a weak treaty. Despite the fanfare that accompanied its signing, the agreement has no binding limits on emissions, relies on countries to set their own goals for slashing pollution, and rests on an assumption that they can be shamed into living up to their promises.

It’s not even a real treaty: To get the U.S. on board, the architects of the accord crafted it as an “executive agreement” — no Congressional approval needed.

And yet, somehow, the Paris Agreement is working. To a point. The most recent U.N. climate conference, which wrapped last weekend in Glasgow, Scotland, showed signs of progress that would have seemed unthinkable only a few years ago. Under the Paris Agreement, nations have to submit pledges (or
promises, or wishful thinking, depending on who you ask) for how much they will reduce emissions every five years.

That’s the core of the agreement:
Voluntary pledges enacted and reviewed in a soup of international peer pressure that, ideally, will push countries to steadily do more and more.The goal is to use this system of “pledge and review” to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius — or, ideally, 1.5 degrees Celsius.

 Grist 17th Nov 2021

November 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

The fairy tale of cheap French nuclear power.

 The fairy tale of cheap French nuclear power. “Bread and Games” (Panem et circenses) were the strategies used in the Roman Empire to maintain power. “Cheap gasoline, inexpensive electricity and football” are election campaign strategies that are often propagated in a democracy.

In France, the nuclear industry is in decline and the nuclear company EDF is heavily indebted. At the same time, President Macron is once again promising cheap nuclear power and wants to have new small nuclear power plants built.

A small part of the financial problems of the French nuclear industry is to be solved with EU money. In this context, the fairy tale of cheap French nuclear power is popular in France and Germany, and the use of nuclear energy is praised as a miracle weapon in the lost war against nature and the environment.

 Sonnenseite 18th Nov 2021

November 22, 2021 Posted by | France, spinbuster | Leave a comment

COP 27 in Egypt: growing concern that civil society groups will have restricted access

Concern is growing over plans to host a UN climate conference in Sharm
el-Sheikh next year, in what will be a crucial summit if the world is to
limit global heating to 1.5C. Several green experts and human rights
activists have told the Observer they fear the ability of civil society
groups to protest at the summit will be curtailed by Egypt’s
authoritarian regime, reducing the pressure that can be brought to bear on
leaders and ministers from the nearly 200 countries expected to take part.

 Guardian 21st Nov 2021

November 22, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Egypt | Leave a comment

German banks sceptical about nuclear and gas inclusion in green taxonomy.

German banks sceptical about nuclear and gas inclusion in green taxonomy.
Eight German banks have said there is “limited room” for nuclear and
gas power in the EU’s list of sustainable economic investments, warning
that the ‘green taxonomy’ should only include genuinely
climate-friendly activities.

 ENDS Europe 19th Nov 2021

November 22, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, Germany | Leave a comment

The global nuclear weapons race is back on: New Zealand needs to continue its stance for disarmament.

Nuclear weapons back ‘in’ as countries up stakes in complex global tussle, Stuff, Lucy Craymer, Nov 22 2021  China is believed to be building missile silos and accelerating its nuclear programme; the UK has increased the cap on its overall nuclear weapon stockpile; and the US is undertaking a multibillion-dollar nuclear modernisation programme. Are we seeing a new weapons race, and what is nuclear-free New Zealand doing to cool the situation? National Correspondent Lucy Craymer reports.

A worrying global trend is emerging that indicates disarmament is stalling and in some cases countries are now accumulating more weapons. In 2020, despite an overall decline in the number of nuclear warheads, more have been deployed with operational forces, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) year book.

Furthermore, earlier this month a US Pentagon report found China was accelerating its nuclear armament programme and is on track to have 1000 warheads by 2030. This follows the release of satellite imagery of north-central China that shows, according to analysts, the appearance of at least three vast missile silo fields under construction. China has not confirmed the facilities or increases in arsenal.

The build-up is against a backdrop of geopolitical competition. Rivalry between the US and China continues to simmer; tensions between China and India are getting worse, with skirmishes reported at their border; and the relationship between India and Pakistan remains volatile.

“The risk of nuclear warfare is as bad – if not worse – now than at any time since the Cuban Missile crisis,” says Phil Twyford, Minister for Disarmament and Arms Control.

Renewed interest in nuclear weapons heralds a shift away from a period little more than a decade ago when US President Barack Obama spoke publicly about his deep interest in reducing nuclear arms, and broadly there was an appetite for disarmament.

Maria Rost Rublee, associate professor in international relations at Monash University says in the past decade geopolitics have shifted. Now, the likes of Russia are relying more heavily on their nuclear stockpiles for military security.

“What’s different today [from during the Cold War] is that we don’t just have two countries facing off, we have a lot more countries with nuclear weapons, including countries that might be more willing to use them,” Rublee says.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon estimated China will have up to 700 deliverable nuclear warheads by 2027. It currently has around 350, according to the Pentagon estimates.

However, Russia and the US continue to own over 90 per cent of the world’s nuclear weapons.

The US and Russia had more warheads in operation in January 2021 than a year earlier, even though they had reduced the overall number of weapons they had, according to SIPRI, an independent institute that does research in disarmament.

This year, the UK reversed a policy of reducing the country’s nuclear arsenal and increased the planned cap on nuclear warheads; and there are reports that India, Pakistan and North Korea are expanding their capabilities……………..

Tanya Ogilvie-White, senior research adviser at the Asia-Pacific Leadership Network, says China’s decision to expand its nuclear arsenal is a worrying development. But, she says, it’s partly a response to the nuclear modernisation going on in the likes of the US and Russia. Beijing has refrained from fielding some of the riskiest nuclear weapons, such as nuclear-capable cruise missiles, even though it has the capability to do so.

Ogilvie-White adds there has been a shift recently in the thinking of some decision makers globally, who now think actually firing a small nuclear weapon could de-escalate a situation as it would show a willingness to use such weapons.

“It’s deeply troubling,” says Ogilvie-White, who studies nuclear deterrence. “You don’t need many nuclear weapons to cause total havoc and kill millions of people. The idea that you could use them to win wars is a dangerous fallacy.”…….

How does Aukus fit within this?

Australia, the US and the UK have announced a new strategic partnership. As part of the agreement, Australia will get the technology required to build nuclear-powered submarines.

These are not nuclear weapons. However, it does raise concerns. Accidents happen. An increase in nuclear-propelled submarines boosts the risk that something could go wrong. It also raises questions about whether other countries could reach agreements for similar types of hardware.

It’s not all bad news

In January, a United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons came into force. The treaty has been ratified by more than 55 countries – none of the nuclear powers have signed it.

Angela Woodward, who is deputy executive director of non-profit Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (Vertic), says while the treaty applies only to those who sign it, it makes nuclear weapons less acceptable and will hopefully create pressure in the same way treaty bans on chemical weapons and cluster munitions did.

According to an ICAN report, 127 financial institutions stopped investing in nuclear weapons this year, many due to the pressure that came about as a result of the treaty.

“The power of this treaty is only just starting to be realised,” says Woodward, who specialises in arms control and disarmament………………..

But is there more New Zealand can do?

New Zealand remains globally respected on nuclear issues due to its strong, and long-standing, stance against such weapons. Analysts say that New Zealand needs to continue to add its voice to concerns about non-proliferation and to speak out against activities by all nuclear-powered countries.

Twyford says he also believes New Zealand needs to continue to call out the nuclear weapon states for what they’re doing and not allow the diplomatic niceties or friendships and alliances to mute our voice. We do this, he says, in both multinational and bilateral forums.

“We are trying to build a renewed commitment to disarm. We’ve got to get out of this downward spiral.”

November 22, 2021 Posted by | New Zealand, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Takes a New Approach With Informative Videos for Children and Young Adults

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons Takes a New Approach With Informative Videos for Children and Young Adults, 01, 2021,

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, recently launched three nuclear disarmament videos for children and young adults. They are inviting educational institutions, religious communities, nuclear disarmament groups, and other grassroots organizations to post these videos on their websites and social media platforms.

“We realized there was a lack of educational videos about the threats of nuclear weapons for children and young adults. So, the Education Team at Voices decided to take it on. We produced videos that would inform children in an age-appropriate manner, as well as the general public, on this important topic.” said Carolyn MacKenzie, Voices Education Team Lead.

“Many children and young adults know nothing about nuclear weapons. Yet, they pose one of the greatest threats to all life on earth. We wanted to inform youth about nuclear weapons, and also inspire them to get involved by taking simple actions that will allow them to be the change that is needed,” said MacKenzie.

Voices’ goal is for these videos to be widely shared around the world. We recognize we cannot do this alone which is why we are inviting other nuclear disarmament and grassroots groups to give these videos a permanent home on their websites.

The Threat of Nuclear Weapons – A Call to Action Video = 10:54 minutes
Appropriate for young adults and the public.
Description: Brief summary of nuclear weapons history and why we all need to work to eliminate these weapons. Also includes a call to action and a description of what interested individuals can do help the cause.

Captain No-NukesAnimation = 3 minutes
Appropriate for children ages 8 and under.
Description: Short animation of Captain No-Nukes working to rid the world of nuclear weapons with concrete suggestions about how children can help.

The Evolution of Weapons in the World Animation = 1:15 minute
Appropriate for children of all ages.
Description: Brief animation on the history of conflicts and how to solve problems non-violently.

Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons is part of United Religions Initiative (URI), the largest grassroots interfaith network in the world. URI builds bridges by encouraging members to work together on practical projects that enhance civil communities and promote understanding between people of different religious and cultural traditions.

Contact : Julie Schelling
P: 347.719.1518

November 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment