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Increased NATO military exercises in Ukraine are preparation for war with Russia: military analyst — Anti-bellum

Complete from today’s TASS. As reported here two days ago: DM: Ukraine to host 10 NATO exercises, participate in 16 abroad next year Izvestia: NATO approaching Russia’s borders Ukraine plans ten large-scale military drills with NATO’s participation in 2022, which obviously raises serious alarm bells in Russia. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that the alliance’s […]

Increased NATO military exercises in Ukraine are preparation for war with Russia: military analyst — Anti-bellum

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This week in nuclear news

Just when we thought it was safe to go out again, along comes the Omicron variant of Covid-19.  It’s almost comic, watching our (Australian) politicians twisting themselves into knots telling us to go out and rejoice, while the medical experts are more quietly advising us to wear masks and steer clear of crowds.Meanwhile more populous countries struggle with the sheer numbers of infections, and the load on health services.

While the pandemic swamps the news –  weather extremes keep happening.  


On the nuclear scene, all seems quiet, BUT, there’s something of a crisis brewing in France, where climate effects and aging technology are causing problems in nuclear power supply, cracks both real and symbolic, are appearing as Macron gallantly pushes for a new ‘nuclear renaissance’.

 COVID-19:
 What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 20 December,   Fauci warns Omicron COVID variant ‘raging through the world’       Top US infectious diseases expert warns hospitals in the country could face stresses in coming weeks as COVID-19 infections surge.

CLIMATE.  2021: when the link between the climate and biodiversity crises became clear.

INTERNATIONAL

Chris Hedges on the Execution of Julian Assange.   Classified Documents Invalidate United States‘ Appeal Against Assange — Richard Medhurst. The disgraceful case mounted against Assange by a corrupt U.S. Department of Justice and their hired guns in Britain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trzrUK_fmZI

Nuclear power’s economic failure – a ”renaissance in reverse”. Dr Jim Green dissects the hype surrounding Small ”Modular” Nuclear Reactors. Why Nuclear Power Is Bad for Your Wallet and the Climate.

Small nuclear reactors for military use would be too dangerous – excellent targets for the enemy.

15 minutes to save the world’: a terrifying Virtual Reality journey into the nuclear bunker.

Climate change has crashed Earth’s ”air – conditioners” – the North and South polesWarmer winters are happening across the globe.Adapting to climate change will only get more expensive 

  Nuclear Energy Can­not Meaningfully Contribute to a Climate-Neutral Energy System . Energy economics – getting the fuel -oil and nuclear -for continued expansion of capitalism – is costing more all the time.

Understanding cobalt’s human cost

PFAS ‘forever chemicals’ constantly cycle through ground, air and water, study finds

Anti-5G’ necklaces are radioactive and dangerous, Dutch nuclear experts say.

Some bits of good news – 10 inspiring environmental victories of 2021 Don’t Look Up: A movie about climate change that is actually good

ANTARCTICAAn Antarctic glacier the size of Britain could ”shatter like a car windscreen” in the next 5 to 10 years. Humanity should not test whether Antarctica’s ice will hold out.

ARCTIC. U.N. sounds alarm bells over highest Arctic temperature on record. Fukushima toxins in Arctic add to pressure on Japan.

CANADA. Nuclear Plants Masquerading as Climate-Friendly Shouldn’t Qualify for Green Finance.

JAPAN.Fukushima.    Steel Pipes to be Driven into Thawed Parts of Frozen Earth Wall at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Japan’s Fukushima water set to be dumped as critics attack ‘flawed’ Tepco report. Greenpeace says that TEPCO ignored risks to South Korea when assessing radiological impact of releasing Fukushima nuclear water waste. TEPCO starts offshore drilling to release Fukushima water Japan urged to revoke decision to dump nuclear wastewater after study finds Fukushima radioactive material reaches Arctic Ocean

EUROPE. European Union’s rift over nuclear power. EU countries at odds over green investment label for nuclear energy. Accepting nuclear and gas as ”green” (or even ”amber”) would jeopardise the credibility of the entire European Green DealFrench nuclear plants out of operation, exacerbating Europe’s energy crisis.

USA

FRANCE. France’s Association for the Control of Radioactivity in the West (ACRO) reveals plutonium pollution in La Hague.

  Uncertainties persist, as France shuts down the 4 largest nuclear reactors, because of corrosion and cracks. EDF shares slide after faults found at nuclear plant. EDF shuts down nuclear reactors on safety concerns. France’s EDF takes more nuclear reactors offline after faults foundLower output from France’s nuclear power stations is causing electricity prices to soar. French Environment Minister asks EDF to conduct audit on nuclear power availability, following safety shutdowns. EDF to delay maintenance outages at 3 nuclear reactors in France, to avoid a supply shortage.

 To obtain authorisation to commission the Flamanville EPR nuclear reactor, EDF must get full infomation on the incident at the Taishan EPR reactor

 France’s Court of Audits demands information on the costs of future EPR nuclear reactors, and cost implications for waste management. 

 ”Green” taxonomy.  Protesters denounce French push to label nuclear as sustainable energy. French President says discussions continue with Germany about nuclear power as ”green”. France ready to join forces with fossil fuel promoters, in order to put nuclear at the heart of European environment policy. 

RUSSIA. Russia is offering to USA and NATO an alternative way out of the present Ukraine crisis.

UK. UK’s nuclear test veterans ‘were victims of a crime. 

 Natalie Bennett, a Green member of UK Parliament deftly separates nuclear facts from nuclear fantasy. 

 Call to halt Hinkley Point C new EPR nuclear reactor until problems at similar reactor in China resolved. Independent advice to British government said that no further nuclear plant is needed, beyond Sizewell C. Cracks cause Torness nuclear plant to close early.   Heysham 2 nuclear power station to close earlier than planned,

Nuclear Free Local Authorities call for ”no watering down” of safety regulations regarding future nuclear fusion reactors . 

INDIA. Prominent Indian activist Medha Patkar urges Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister to close down Kudankulam nuclear power station.

IRAN. Because Trump left the nuclear deal, we might have to learn to live with a nuclear Iran . Iran nuclear talks to resume ‘soon’ after modest gains in Vienna. Iran and UN inspector reach agreement on reinstalling camera’s at Karaj nuclear facility.

FINLAND. Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear plant to power up 12 years late.

SWEDEN. Sweden’s Non Government Organisations want the government to reject nuclear repositary plans, on safety grounds.

CHINA. China to lead in global wind power.

TAIWAN. Residents on Taiwan’s Orchid Island hope that the nuclear waste storage facility will now be closed . Taiwan rejects nuclear power in referendum

SOUTH AFRICA. Call to rally against extending the lifespan of ageing Koeberg Nuclear Power Station.

GERMANY. German experts argue that high costs, delays and toxic wastes mean that money for nuclear power would be better spent elsewhere.

VIETNAM. Vietnam set to restart nuclear power project, with Russia’s help.  

AUSTRALIA.

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

TEPCO starts offshore drilling to release Fukushima water

14-Dec-2021

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) began offshore drilling operations on Monday for the undersea tunnel that will implement its plan to release radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean, local media has reported.

TEPCO is scheduled to initiate the release in the spring of 2023.

The Japanese operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has decided to release treated wastewater from the ruined facility in an area roughly 1 kilometer offshore from the site, reported Nikkei.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings plans to discharge the wastewater through a pipeline, which will be contained in a tunnel to be drilled within the seafloor, said the report.

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-12-14/TEPCO-starts-offshore-drilling-to-release-Fukushima-water-15YY7KhjzoI/index.html?fbclid=IwAR2a1-kZZLpficE4sO7iCfbf1LJLWPDufuyu-OlFbPmf8VkHGYpOb0KS_hQ

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , | Leave a comment

Greenpeace: TEPCO assessment of Fukushima water dumping lacks analysis of impact on S. Korea

The international environmental organization called TEPCO’s radiological impact assessment “highly selective” in its use of IAEA guidelines

Contaminated water is currently being stored in roughly 1,000 tanks located at the Fukushima Daiichi site.

Dec.18,2021

The international environmental group Greenpeace sent an opinion to the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) on Thursday stating that the company’s radiological impact assessment of contaminated water from the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant made convenient use of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidelines without considering the potential damages to residents of neighboring countries such as South Korea.

The opinion from Greenpeace was based on its review of the draft version of a contaminated water radiological impact assessment report released by TEPCO last month.

In that draft report, TEPCO claimed that the release of contaminated water into the ocean would have a “very limited” impact on the marine environment. The company has announced that it plans to issue a final report Saturday after gathering outside opinions on the draft.

Commenting on the report, Greenpeace East Asia senior nuclear specialist Shaun Burnie called it a piecemeal radiological assessment that was intended to legitimize the discharge of radioactive water into the ocean.

He also said that TEPCO failed to give an adequate scientific basis for its conclusion that the discharge would not cause damage to the waters or marine ecosystem beyond a range of 10 square kilometers.

In its release of the report, TEPCO said it had been drafted in compliance with IAEA guidelines.

But Greenpeace said that an examination showed that TEPCO not only set a “far too narrow” scope of radiological impact assessment targets, but also that it is “highly selective” in its use of IAEA guidelines.

“Ultimately, the potential damages to residents in South Korea and other neighboring countries were not considered in the scope of the current radiological impact assessment,” it explained.

The IAEA General Safety Guide No. GSG-9 document states that radiological impact assessments should take into account the effects of natural radioactivity, nuclear weapons testing, and nuclear power plant accidents, with measurements of radioactivity concentrations in various environmental areas such as water, soil, plants, and grains around the nuclear power plant site.

Greenpeace explained that TEPCO did not perform the kind of comprehensive environmental impact assessment stipulated in the guidelines, nor did it explain about the long-term radiation damage to the maritime ecosystem as the contaminated water is released over a period of at least 30 years.

“It is deliberately vague,” Greenpeace wrote of Japan’s draft. “It does not conclude there will not be adverse effects on species, on the marine environment, on biodiversity or on fish or fisheries or tourism.”

The organization also criticized the report’s omission of the radioactivity contamination pathways identified to date, including study results published by Japan’s Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) last March.

This indicates that TEPCO did not follow the IAEA’s recommendation to reflect the discovery of new contamination pathways for radioactive substances in its assessment, the organization said. Cesium-bearing particles were detected in all seven samples taken by CRIEPI from sediment along the Fukushima coast.

Greenpeace further said that the report did not offer an explanation on why the ocean discharge of contaminated water was unavoidable, nor did it deal at all with the effect that decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi site would have on the contaminated water.

“The TEPCO radiological impact assessment presumes only that the secondary purification of contaminated water will undoubtedly be successful, which is far from the reality,” said Chang Ma-ri, an anti-nuclear power campaigner with Greenpeace.

“For years now, the ALPS multi-nuclide removal equipment has been failing to fully process highly toxic radioactive substances. Korea and the rest of the international community need to demand that TEPCO examine whether the release of the contaminated water into the ocean is actually unavoidable in scientific and technical terms,” she said.

https://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_international/1023823.html?fbclid=IwAR0iNXt4twCSMA2y5m3C6Pi2wuehO4UEXf6mU0Yz_HVYtBDKP3lgBpj7LV4

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Japan urged to revoke decision to dump nuclear wastewater after study finds Fukushima radioactive material reaches Arctic Ocean

Tanks at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant store nuclear-contaminated wastewater.

Dec 15, 2021

Research shows that radioactive substances that flowed into the ocean due to the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011 have reached the Arctic Ocean and a Chinese expert warned against the danger of the spread of the radioactive substances in the ocean and called on Chinese authorities to collect data on radioactive substances as evidence to defend its maritime interests while the Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Japan to revoke its decision to release contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

According to the latest study of Yuichiro Kumamoto, a senior researcher from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, radioactive Cesium-134 has reached the Arctic Ocean eight years after it leaked into the ocean due to the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday. Cesium-137 also arrived in the Arctic Ocean, according to the researcher.

A small amount of the radiocesium was detected and Yuichiro speculated that it had spread to the center of the Arctic Ocean.

The tritium in the contaminated water that Tokyo Electric Power Company plans to discharge will likely follow the same path, Kyodo News said.

Zhang Yancang, director of the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea Research Institute of Dalian Maritime University told the Global Times that the possibility exists that the radioactive material was brought through the ballast water in ships, which would be horrible.

Zhang explained that the ballast water in ships needs to be replaced regularly. If the ship takes in new ballast water in a port near Japan, it might carry water with radioactive material and release it somewhere around the world, which is unpredictable.

Zhang who didn’t expect the radioactive material to reach the Arctic Ocean so quickly said that it remains to be seen if the ocean current could speed up the spread of the radioactive material.

China should start collecting data of the amount of radioactive substances before and after Japan dumps the radioactive water in 2033 as evidence to help defend its maritime interests, he said.

“This is not the first report that confirmed that radioactive substance from the Fukushima nuclear accident had been detected in the Arctic Ocean. The research results of researchers at Tsukuba University released in November also found that Cesium-137, a radioactive substance that flowed into the sea in the Fukushima nuclear accident, was detected in the Arctic Ocean,” Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at Wednesday’s media briefing.

These findings of Japanese scholars clearly illustrate the fact that the radioactive substances leaked from the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant have spread to the Pacific Ocean and the Arctic Ocean and may affect waters around the globe, he said.

“If the more than 1.2 million tonnes of nuclear contaminated water is discharged into the Pacific Ocean as planned by Japan, it will have an impact on the marine environment in the whole region and even the world. Is this the kind of consequence that can be born by Japan alone?” Zhao said, urging Japan to take a responsible attitude toward the marine environment and humanity’s health, revoke its wrong decision of ocean release and stop the preparatory work for the discharge. 

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202112/1241599.shtml?fbclid=IwAR3eYjIgR-ZRQYc5WPcrQcjO8vw8AuvCCTIsy0UD9SI4D7N1f8NZk2uDiCk

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | 1 Comment

A free press, a free Julian Assange – would be the best gift for the world

Cartoon by Badiucao, in The Age 20 December 21.

December 20, 2021 Posted by | media, PERSONAL STORIES, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear Plants Masquerading as Climate-Friendly Shouldn’t Qualify for Green Finance

Nuclear Plants Masquerading as Climate-Friendly Shouldn’t Qualify for Green Finance

https://www.theenergymix.com/2021/12/17/opinion-nuclear-plants-masquerading-as-climate-friendly-shouldnt-qualify-for-green-finance/

December 17, 2021 Gaye Taylor,

Bruce Power’s recent issuance of C$500 million in green bonds to help extend the life of Ontario’s biggest nuclear power plant is being touted as a critical step toward decarbonization. But it could also be seen as a dangerous and time wasting dead-end, a corruption of the very notion of green financing.

According to Jonathan Hackett, head of sustainable finance at BMO Capital Markets and co-lead green structuring agent for Bruce Power, nuclear is necessary to the net-zero transition, writes the Globe and Mail.

According to Hackett, the urgent need to green the energy and power sectors means nuclear power is a worthy recipient of green finance.

But confronting the notion that nuclear power is “green” are unresolved concerns about what to do with reactor waste products, as well as the acute dangers inherent in nuclear power plants, with the tragedy at Japan’s Fukushima plant the most recent example.

As for the claim that nuclear is essential to avoiding climate meltdown, independent experts say the world has neither the time, the funds, nor the expertise to bring the expensive and notoriously slow sector to bear in time to shift the climate crisis in any meaningful way.

And this reality doesn’t change as the hype around small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) ramps up. “There is no SMR promoter suggesting a prototype could be licenced, built, and operating by the end of this decade,” said Mycle Schneider, author of the annual World Nuclear Industry Status Report, at a webinar hosted by University of British Columbia in October. “That means—if ever, likely not—a commercialization could start only in the second half of the 2030s.”

Noting that “the industry has never kept its promises on schedules and budgets,” Schneider added, “we have no time, money, and brainpower to waste on fantasy PowerPoint designs.”

Early this month, Ontario Power Generation and GE Hitachi triumphantly announced plans to bring an SMR into service at the Darlington nuclear generating station “as early as 2028”. But even if they managed to bring the project in on time and on budget—a practice that has never been the industry’s strong suit—the project would just be one expensive generation source in a decarbonizing economy that needs far more electricity, and vastly more energy efficiency, far faster than SMRs can deliver.

And this year’s WNISR report was only the latest to conclude that the nuclear industry outside China is already in decline, with its output in the United States dropping to its lowest level since 1995. In France, a former nuclear leader, atomic generation dropped to 1985 levels.

Faced with such an implosion in the prospects of its traditional reactors, the nuclear industry has seized upon SMRs as a ticket to a new revenue track. But SMRs will never be ready in time to shift the trajectory of the climate crisis. Even if they worked, “it would take centuries to build enough to make a difference,” Schneider said.

Schneider is not alone that view.

“Betting on nuclear as a climate solution is just sticking our heads in the sand because SMR technology is decades away, extremely expensive, and comes with a nasty pile of security and waste headaches,” Ontario Clean Air Alliance Chair Jack Gibbons wrote last year, responding to then-natural resources minister Seamus O’Regan’s full-throated endorsement of the SMR storyline.

“That our government would be this gullible is distressing, especially given the havoc already being wreaked by a changing climate,” he added.

Jonathan Porritt, founder of the UK’s Forum4theFuture, echoed Gibbons’ view in a March opinion piece for The Guardian. He warned of a nuclear sector now “straining every sinew to present itself as an invaluable ally” in the global push for net-zero by 2050.” Yet the problems that have long dogged the industry remain unchanged: “ever-higher costs, seemingly inevitable delays, no solutions to the nuclear waste challenge, security and proliferation risks.”

December 20, 2021 Posted by | Canada, climate change | Leave a comment

The reasons for the USA’s persecution of Julian Assange : Glenn Greenwald spells it out

“much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely — and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do.”


Julian Assange Loses Appeal: British High Court Accepts U.S. Request to Extradite Him for Trial

Press freedom groups have warned Assange’s prosecution is a grave threat. The Biden DOJ ignored them, and today won a major victory toward permanently silencing the pioneering transparency activist.

Glenn Greenwald  11 December   In a London courtroom on Friday morning, Julian Assange suffered a devastating blow to his quest for freedom. A two-judge appellate panel of the United Kingdom’s High Court ruled that the U.S.’s request to extradite Assange to the U.S. to stand trial on espionage charges is legally valid.

As a result, that extradition request will now be sent to British Home Secretary Prita Patel, who technically must approve all extradition requests but, given the U.K. Government’s long-time subservience to the U.S. security state, is all but certain to rubber-stamp it. Assange’s representatives, including his fiancee Stella Morris, have vowed to appeal the ruling, but today’s victory for the U.S. means that Assange’s freedom, if it ever comes, is further away than ever: not months but years even under the best of circumstances…………

In response to that January victory for Assange, the Biden DOJ appealed the ruling and convinced Judge Baraitser to deny Assange bail and ordered him imprisoned pending appeal. The U.S. then offered multiple assurances that Assange would be treated “humanely” in U.S. prison once he was extradited and convicted. They guaranteed that he would not be held in the most repressive “supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado — whose conditions are so repressive that it has been condemned and declared illegal by numerous human rights groups around the world — nor, vowed U.S. prosecutors, would he be subjected to the most extreme regimen of restrictions and isolation called Special Administrative Measures (“SAMs”) unless subsequent behavior by Assange justified it. American prosecutors also agreed that they would consent to any request from Assange that, once convicted, he could serve his prison term in his home country of Australia rather than the U.S. Those guarantees, ruled the High Court this morning, rendered the U.S. extradition request legal under British law.

What makes the High Court’s faith in these guarantees from the U.S. Government particularly striking is that it comes less than two months after Yahoo News reported that the CIA and other U.S. security state agencies hate Assange so much that they plotted to kidnap or even assassinate him during the time he had asylum protection from Ecuador. Despite all that, Lord Justice Timothy Holroyde announced today that “the court is satisfied that these assurances” will serve to protect Assange’s physical and mental health.

The effective detention by the U.S. and British governments of Assange is just months shy of a full decade. ……………………….. Assange has been imprisoned in the high-security Belmarsh prison, described in the BBC in 2004 as “Britain’s Guantanamo Bay.” He has thus spent close to seven years inside the embassy and two years and eight months inside Belmarsh: just five months shy of a decade with no freedom………..

……….  In May 2019,the British government  unveiled an 18-count felony indictment against him for espionage charges, based on the role he played in WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of the Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs and diplomatic cables, which revealed multiple war crimes by the U.S. and U.K. as well as rampant corruption by numerous U.S. allies throughout the world. Even though major newspapers around the world published the same documents in partnership with WikiLeaks — including The New York TimesThe GuardianEl Pais and others — the DOJ claimed that Assange went further than those newspapers by encouraging WikiLeaks’ source, Chelsea Manning, to obtain more documents and by trying to help her evade detection: something all journalists have not only the right but the duty to their sources to do.

Because the acts of Assange that serve as the basis of the U.S. indictment are acts in which investigative journalists routinely engage with their sources, press freedom and civil liberties groups throughout the West vehemently condemned the Assange indictment as one of the gravest threats to press freedoms in years. In February, following Assange’s victory in court, “a coalition of civil liberties and human rights groups urged the Biden administration to drop efforts to extradite” Assange, as The New York Times put it.

That coalition — which includes the ACLU, Amnesty International, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and the Committee to Protect Journalists — warned that the Biden DOJ’s ongoing attempt to extradite and prosecute Assange is “a grave threat to press freedom,” adding that “much of the conduct described in the indictment is conduct that journalists engage in routinely — and that they must engage in in order to do the work the public needs them to do.” Kenneth Roth, Director of Human Rights Watch, told The New York Times that “most of the charges against Assange concern activities that are no different from those used by investigative journalists around the world every day.” ………………

But the Biden administration — led by officials who, during the Trump years, flamboyantly trumpeted the vital importance of press freedoms — ignored those pleas from this coalition of groups and instead aggressively pressed ahead with the prosecution of Assange. The Obama DOJ had spent years trying to concoct charges against Assange using a Grand Jury investigation, but ultimately concluded back in 2013 that prosecuting him would pose too great a threat to press freedom. But the Biden administration appears to have no such qualms, and The New York Times made clear exactly why they are so eager to see Assange in prison:

Democrats like the new Biden team are no fan of Mr. Assange, whose publication in 2016 of Democratic emails stolen by Russia aided Donald J. Trump’s narrow victory over Hillary Clinton.

In other words, the Biden administration is eager to see Assange punished and silenced for life not out of any national security concerns but instead due to a thirst for vengeance over the role he played in publishing documents during the 2016 election that reflected poorly on Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. Those documents published by WikiLeaks revealed widespread corruption at the DNC, specifically revealing how they cheated in order to help Clinton stave off a surprisingly robust primary challenge from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). WikiLeaks’ reporting led to the resignation of the top five DNC officials, including its then-Chair, Rep. Debbie Wassserman Schultz (D-FL). Democratic luminaries such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Al Gore’s 2000 campaign chair Donna Brazile both said, in the wake of WikiLeak’s reporting, that the DNC cheated to help Clinton……………………………

It is difficult at this point to avoid the conclusion that Julian Assange is not only imprisoned for the crime of journalism which exposed serious crimes and lies by the west’s most powerful security state agencies, but he is also a classic political prisoner. When the Obama DOJ was first pursuing the possibility of prosecution, media outlets and liberal advocacy groups were vocal in their opposition. One thing and only one thing has changed since then: in the interim, Assange published documents that were incriminating of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, and Democrats, as part of their long list of villains who they blamed for Clinton’s defeat (essentially everyone in the world except Clinton and the Democratic Party itself), viewed WikiLeaks’ reporting as a major factor in Trump’s victory.

That is why they and their liberal allies in corporate media harbor so much bloodlust to see Assange imprisoned. Julian Assange is a pioneer of modern journalism, a visionary who was the first to see that a major vulnerability of corrupt power centers in the digital age was mass data leaks that could expose their misconduct. Based on that prescient recognition, he created a technological and journalistic system to enable noble sources to safely blow the whistle on corrupt institutions by protecting their anonymity: a system now copied and implemented by major news organizations around the world.

Assange, over the last fifteen years, has broken more major stories and done more consequential journalism than all the corporate journalists who hate him combined. He is not being imprisoned despite his pioneering journalism and dissent from the hegemony of the U.S. security state. He is imprisoned precisely because of that. The accumulated hostility toward Assange from employees of media corporations who hate him due to professional jealousy and the belief that he undermined the Democratic Party, and from the U.S. security state apparatus which hates him for exposing its crimes and refusing to bow to its dictates, has created a climate where the Biden administration and their British servants feel perfectly comfortable imprisoning arguably the most consequential journalist of his generation even as they continue to lecture the rest of the world about the importance of press freedoms and democratic values.

No matter the outcome of further proceedings in this case, today’s ruling means that the U.S. has succeeded in ensuring that Assange remains imprisoned, hidden and silenced into the foreseeable future. If they have not yet permanently broken him, they are undoubtedly close to doing so. His own physicians and family members have warned of this repeatedly. Citizens of the U.S. and subjects of the British Crown are inculcated from birth to believe that we are blessed to live under a benevolent and freedom-protecting government, and that tyranny only resides in enemy states. Today’s judicial approval by the U.K. High Court of the U.S.’s attack on core press freedom demonstrates yet again the fundamental lie at the heart of this mythology. https://greenwald.substack.com/p/julian-assange-loses-appeal-british

December 20, 2021 Posted by | civil liberties, politics, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

France’s Association for the Control of Radioactivity in the West (ACRO) reveals plutonium pollution in La Hague.

14 Dec 21, Plutonium pollution in La Hague revealed by ACRO. As part of its Citizen’s Observatory of Radioactivity in the Environment, ACRO regularly monitors radioactive pollution around the nuclear installations in La Hague, which enabled it, in 2016, to highlight unusual pollution. in the Ru des Landes
area, with the notable presence of americium-241 and plutonium, which are particularly toxic.

Areva, now Orano, has pledged to take back the contaminated land. But, as of December 2021, no sanitation work has yet been carried out and cows continue to graze there.

 ACRO 14th Dec 2021

December 20, 2021 Posted by | environment, France | Leave a comment

Taiwan rejects nuclear power in referendum

REFERENDUMS 2021 /4th Nuclear Power Plant referendum defeated, Focus Taiwan ,     By Wang Hung-kuo, Chang Hsiung-feng and Lee Hsin-Yin   Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) A referendum seeking to unseal and restart work on Taiwan’s Fourth Nuclear Power Plant failed to pass Saturday, the first time people have been allowed to directly vote on the facility that has been debated and under construction for more than two decades.

A total of 4,262,451 people (52.3 percent) voted “no” in the referendum that asked if they agreed that the power plant should be unsealed and operated commercially to generate electricity, while 3,804,755 people (46.7 percent) voted “yes.”

But even if the totals had been reversed, the referendum still would not have passed because it did not meet the turnout threshold.

Under Taiwan’s Referendum Act, the referendum question would have needed at least 4,956,367 “yes” votes to pass, or at least one-quarter of all eligible voters, and the “yes” votes to exceed the “no” votes.

Among the four referendum questions, which also covered trade, algae reef conservation and future referendums, that were rejected in Saturday’s vote, the 5.7 percent margin by which “no” votes outnumbered “yes” votes (52.84-47.16 percent) was the highest.

The government has argued that unsealing the power plant would be unfeasible due to cost and safety issues and require years before it could actually generate power……..

Rejection of the referendum, initiated by nuclear advocate Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修), means that the same referendum question cannot be proposed again for another two years.

December 20, 2021 Posted by | politics, Taiwan | Leave a comment

Independent advice to British government said that no further nuclear plant is needed, beyond Sizewell C

In July 2021, the Commission was asked to offer advice to government on whether an additional new nuclear plant, beyond the proposed Sizewell C project, is needed to deliver the sixth Carbon Budget. The advice not linked to below concludes that such a new plant is not necessary to achieve the rapid deployment of new low carbon capacity over the next 15 years.
This advice was provided to government ahead of the Budget and Spending
Review in autumn 2021.

 National Infrastructure Commission 19th Nov 2021

https://nic.org.uk/studies-reports/national-infrastructure-assessment/advice-note-on-nuclear-power-plant-deployment/

December 20, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

EU countries at odds over green investment label for nuclear energy

EU countries at odds over green investment label for nuclear energy, CNA, 19 De 21,  BRUSSELS: European Union countries disagreed ahead of a summit on Thursday (Dec 16) over whether the bloc should label nuclear energy as a climate-friendly investment, as leaders await a decision on the matter from Brussels.

The European Commission is considering whether to include nuclear and natural gas in its “sustainable finance taxonomy”, a rulebook that will restrict which activities can be labelled as climate-friendly investments.

“We are against a greenwashing of nuclear energy … We have allies, among them Luxembourg, but of course also powerful opponents who are supporters of nuclear energy,” Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on his arrival at the summit of EU leaders.

“Poland very strongly supports the possibility of financing investments in gas and in nuclear power,” Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.

“Others have doubts about that and Poland clearly calls for it and I will be saying that strongly today to adopt that in the conclusions,” Morawiecki said.

The Commission has said it aims to decide this month on whether nuclear and gas are labelled green, but has struggled to resolve in-fighting between the bloc’s countries – including France and Germany, who are split over the fuels……………

The taxonomy does not ban investments in activities not labelled “green”. But by limiting the green label to those activities deemed truly climate-friendly, the EU aims to steer cash into low carbon projects and stop companies or investors from making unsubstantiated environmental claims.  https://www.channelnewsasia.com/sustainability/eu-nuclear-energy-clean-green-investment-2384321

December 20, 2021 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE | Leave a comment

How to keep US-China rivalry from starting a nuclear arms race

The US needs to understand the Chinese government’s deeply anxious view of its own nuclear and wider geostrategic vulnerability.

China’s strategic culture is deeply realist. Moral appeals to China about doing the right thing will not get American negotiators anywhere, but cold, pragmatic arguments can.

The deepening US-China rivalry might itself create an incentive for Beijing to come to the table. That is provided the US can convince China it would be less vulnerable with an arms-control agreement than without one.


How to keep US-China rivalry from starting a nuclear arms race,   
https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion/article/3159963/how-keep-us-china-rivalry-starting-nuclear-arms-race

With tensions threatening to undermine strategic nuclear stability, talks are urgently needed to prevent the situation from spinning out of controlEven if the relationship is destined to be marked by mutual suspicion, establishing strategic transparency is still possible  Kevin Rudd

19 Dec, 2021  China’s recently reported tests of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in July and August, though officially denied, are threatening to undermine strategic nuclear stability. They have already added to escalating tensions between the United States and China.

Throughout the summer, satellite images revealed that China was in the process of building as many as 300 new missile silos in its northern deserts. Some of these silos are likely to be used merely as empty decoys. But, if even half of them become sites for nuclear-armed missiles, it would represent a near-tripling of China’s nuclear arsenal.

China’s recently reported tests of a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile in July and August, though officially denied, are threatening to undermine strategic nuclear stability. They have already added to escalating tensions between the United States and China.

Following these revelations, the US State Department warned that, “This build-up is concerning. It raises questions about the PRC’s intent … We encourage Beijing to engage with us on practical measures to reduce the risks of destabilising arms races and conflict.”

China’s ambassador for disarmament affairs, Li Song, responded the same day. He described the new Aukus pact between Australia, Britain and the US to help Australia acquire nuclear submarines as a “textbook case” of nuclear proliferation spurring a regional arms race.

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December 20, 2021 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Vietnam set to restart nuclear power project, with Russia’s help


Vietnam poised to resume nuclear project a decade after Fukushima, Free Malaysia Today Nikkei -December 19, 2021 –HANOI
: Vietnam says it will proceed with a project to build a 10-megawatt nuclear research reactor with Russian help, a move seen as a new step toward reviving plans to build nuclear power plants a decade after the Fukushima disaster.

Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc was escorted by Vietnamese nuclear experts when he visited Moscow for four days starting Nov 29………..

Unlike in democratic countries, where there is criticism of nuclear power programmes and public opinion tends to be divided, such criticism cannot easily surface in Vietnam with its single-party political system, making it possible to resume the nuclear programme……………………..

Political and nuclear energy experts in Vietnam agree that if Hanoi resumes the plan for using nuclear power, Russia could be an initial partner in the projects.https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2021/12/19/vietnam-poised-to-resume-nuclear-project-a-decade-after-fukushima/

December 20, 2021 Posted by | politics, politics international, Vietnam | Leave a comment

France ready to join forces with fossil fuel promoters, in order to put nuclear at the heart of European environment policy.

To put nuclear power at the heart of European environmental policy, France
is ready to join forces with countries which promote fossil fuels.

European taxonomy is a register classifying the different energies with a more or
less green label. Obtaining it may in particular make it possible to
benefit from grants or funding.

For its part, France is pushing for nuclear
power to be recognized by the European Commission as sustainable energy. To
achieve its ends, it is not excluded that it ally with other countries
which, for their part, support natural gas – fossil energy – as shown by a
note revealed by the newspaper Context relayed by many NGOs.

 France Inter 17th Dec 2021

https://www.franceinter.fr/environnement/le-grand-jeu-d-influence-autour-du-label-vert-energetique-europeen

December 20, 2021 Posted by | climate change, environment, France | Leave a comment