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

Nuclear news this week- (too long: pick out bits)

Some bits of good news. Not much of it aboutBut I did find, in nuclear history, a story that can give some hope. From 2000 to 2012, 47 nations co-operated, in a clean-up, led by Kazakhstan, Russia and USA, of ”Plutonium Mountain” – showing that it is possible for countries to work together, to heal this wounded world.  Small island communities – pioneers for sustainability and climate action.  Renewable energy: The past decade has seen stunning change. Australia -the next 10 years will be breathtaking.  

Coronavirus. In the USA  case numbers are dropping. In other countries mounting numbers are breaking records

Climate change.  Fixing the Climate: Hopes and Hazards.

 
UK court should slap down the US Justice Department
 in the Assange case.

Claims Over Broken Promises About NATO Simmer at the Heart of the Ukraine Crisis.

Can Space Tourism Co-exist with Space being turned into a War Zone?

The nuclear future and the dread factor. Time to start stopping the wars: No war in Ukraine, then no war anywhere. How giving AI bots control over nuclear weapons could spark World War III.

Electromagnetic radiation, said by telecom companies to be harmless, could be hurting wildlife..

UKRAINEStop the lies about Ukraine. Claims Over Broken Promises About NATO Simmer at the Heart of the Ukraine Crisis. Lake animals near Chernobyl have mutations.

FRANCEThe nuclear power dilemma: where to put the lethal wasteCracks found in Civaux nuclear reactors, both 1 and 2. French nuclear capacity low in February, need for vigilance remains .

EUROPE. 

THE ILLEGALITY OF NATO    

The European Commission declares nuclear power to be green, but the devil is in the detailInclusion of nuclear and gas is ”attempted robbery”. European Taxonomy – more like Fakeonomy – now including coal and nuclear. Despite scientific objections, the European Commission sticks to its draft plan to include nuclear and gas in “taxonomy for sustainable finance”. Austria, Luxembourg to take green label for nuclear and gas to EU courts. ‘Nuclear is neither green nor sustainable” – Austria to sue European Commission if it approves nuclear power for financial incentives.

FINLAND. Electricity production at the new Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor in southwest Finland has been hit by yet further delays.

UKWastes  A big pile of Plutonium – UK reprocessing ceases, leaving deadly waste and no plan. Community Partnership” alerted to surveillance and “intimidation” by Radioactive Waste Management . The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) of the UK and Ireland call for truly green energy on old nuclear sites. Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) of the UK and Ireland call for clear commitment to employ LOCAL nuclear decommissioning workers. Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) demands deadly plutonium stockpile be placed ‘out of use’ BBC Inside Science Nuclear Waste Podcast Kicks Off With a Big Fat Lie – Fact Check!?

 Predictions of technical problems for Hinkley nuclear design turn out to be well founded.Sizewell C nuclear project issues have been glossed over. Sizewell nuclear developers co-opting Suffolk New College. UK close to opening coal mine under Marine Conservation Zone just 5 miles from Sellafield nuclear facility!

USA.US created Ukraine mess, now it must repair Russia relationshipEven the right-wing Cato Institute wants USA to deal with Ukraine crisis by diplomacy, not weaponry.America’s military leaders reassure their staff ”We will win a nuclear war!” Raytheon and Lockheed Martin boast to investors that Ukraine-Russia crisis is a boon for their business

. Chomsky: US Approach to Ukraine and Russia Has “Left the Domain of Rational Discourse” . As Ukraine Crisis Raises Specter of Nuclear War

 Veterans Call for Disarmament and Peace. 

terans Call for Disarmament and Peace. 

NORTH KOREA. North Korea, Perpetual Victim of the US Military-Industrial Complex. North Korea isn’t going to give up nuclear weapons, but that’s not a crisis.

RUSSIA. Russia calls for USA to remove its nuclear weapons from European countries.

JAPAN. Japan to renew subsidies for plutonium nuclear recycling . After the hibakusha: the future of Japan’s anti-nuclear movement. 

Fukushima.  Doubts grow on water-release schedule at Fukushima plant. Japan’s Bid to Dump Tons of Radioactive Water From Fukushima Into Sea Hits Snag. I couldn’t tell anyone for 10 years, Kishida says statement by five former prime ministers ‘inappropriate’:. Thyroid cancer caused by Fukushima nuclear accident. A Step Toward Fuel Debris Removal: Robotic Arm Arrives at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant “debris” storage method to be reconsidered – Chairman of the Regulatory Commission, Mr. Sarada. Homesick. Russia, China concerned over Japan’s plans to dump Fukushima radioactive water.    

IRAN. Iran says nuclear talks have made ‘significant’ headway. US Grants Sanctions Relief To Iran,Inches Closer To Nuclear Deal Renewal. A nuclear end game as 2 stubborn nations dig in . Movie on assassination of nuclear scientist Dariush Rezainejad premieres at FajrCulture.

SOUTH AFRICA. Fight Over Africa’s Sole Atomic Plant Entangles Energy Minister Mantashe.

ISRAELIsrael Simulated Attack On Iran’s Nuclear Facilities In Recent Drills.

RUSSIA. Russia, China call on nuclear powers to abandon Cold War mentality.

KAZAKHSTAN. Kazakhstan calls on CANWFZ states parties to join Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons 

AUSTRALIA. The coming Khaki election: will Labor join in the belligerence against China?   Nuclear waste dumping.  Channel 10’s ”The Project” had the guts to show Australia the Kimba nuclear waste dump story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGwsbGufXc0 

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

Five successive prime ministers saying that “many children suffer from thyroid cancer”

February 4, 2022

Environment Minister Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi has complained about five successive prime ministers saying that “many children suffer from thyroid cancer.” However, pediatric thyroid cancer is a rare disease that only occurs in one million people, but after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident, 266 people (10 years) have been diagnosed out of 38,000 people. Why don’t you say a lot of this?” (Attorney Takayuki Fujioka)

We received a letter of protest from Mr. Yamaguchi, Minister of the Environment, regarding the joint statement by five former prime ministers compiled and released by JAERI. In response to this, JAERI has released a rebuttal and questions. In this video, Hiroyuki Kawai, the secretary general of JAERI, talks about the issues involved. Click here for the full text of the rebuttal and questions

https://twitter.com/genjiren2017/status/1489409614248497154

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , | Leave a comment

Entry restrictions eased in Tomioka despite high radiation

February 7, 2022

Via Takuya Saito

While entry restrictions were eased, residents were sent home with parents and children. There was a kid running around the house looking happy for the first time in a while, so I tried to measure the scale around it, but there was 8.5( μSv/h) pollution in the high area near the ground. Sad but yet again this is reality.

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , | Leave a comment

UK court should slap down the US Justice Department in the Assange case

UK court should slap down the US Justice Department in the Assange case  https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/591776-uk-court-should-slap-down-the-us-justice-department-in-the-assange-case?fbclid=IwAR1FwC11pSY_hGdiCvIdBqIj6mttfTheEDtcNR3EUpQG38xWS3-ZRC6TLhw

BY JAMES C. GOODALE, 6 Feb 22,   As the lead attorney for the New York Times in the “Pentagon Papers” case in 1971, I’ve been doing a slow burn ever since over the government’s behavior in that instance: lies, disregard of court rules, arrogance, destruction of documents. All of this was brought to mind earlier this week when a British court hinted in the Julian Assange case that the U.S. government has acted in the same way once again.

It asked Britain’s supreme court to determine the appropriateness of a late filing by the government that completely undercut a ruling that Assange could NOT be extradited to the U.S. This followed British trial court Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who was hearing Assange’s extradition case, ruling that Assange might commit suicide if held in a U.S. prison in solitary confinement under what is called Special Administrative Measures (SAMs) and, so, he could not be extradited. 

As soon as she announced her decision, the U.S. government filed assurances that Assange would not be held in that kind of detention, although it reserved the right to revoke the assurance if circumstances changed.

The judge was unmoved by this assurance, but she was reversed on appeal. The U.K.’s supreme court has now asked to consider the timeliness of this filing.

I do not believe the U.S. government’s assurances are worth the paper on which they have been written. Its behavior in this case has been rampant. Most outrageously, the CIA discussed a plot to kidnap Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was holed up, and to kill him. The CIA also tapped into conversations in the Ecuadorian Embassy, including those with Assange’s lawyers.

There is not much question whether all of this is true. There was testimony about it in open court, and Mike Pompeo, the CIA director at the time and later secretary of State during the Trump administration, has conceded that there is “some truth” in the foregoing.

I do not pretend to be particularly familiar with the extradition laws of the U.K. But common sense tells me that you deliver highly important documents about a case — such as government assurances — before the case begins, not after it has been decided. U.K. counsel representing the U.S. disagrees, saying he can deliver documents when he wants and if he loses the appeal, he will start the extradition proceedings all over again.

This is the very same arrogance that was on display in the Pentagon Papers case, in which then-U.S. Solicitor General Erwin Griswold said the usual rules of evidence did not apply. His view of the law manifested itself in his introduction of new evidence in the case anytime the government was so moved. The claims were always extravagant: Publication of the new evidence would be a disaster for the country’s national security, etc., etc. They never were. Indeed, most of them turned out to be previously published.

The other principal fallacious claim made by the government back then was that the Times had revealed that the United States had broken the Vietnamese code. This also proved to be so much hogwash.

The government also destroyed — or, in its words, “lost” — New York Times briefs in the case. It prevailed upon me to give them these briefs to protect national security and to be returned if the government indicted the Times. A later research request evoked the response “they were lost.”

We do not know if the U.K.’s supreme court will take the Assange case to determine the issue of the timing of the U.S. government’s filing. Let’s hope that it does and then decides the U.S. government should not get away with the latest example of its less than appropriate behavior in a national security case.

James C. Goodale is the former general counsel and vice chairman of the New York Times and the author of “Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles.”

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Legal, UK | 1 Comment

The nuclear power dilemma: where to put the lethal waste?

The nuclear power dilemma: where to put the lethal waste
France is exploring new ways to dispose of radioactive materials but public opposition is as fierce as ever, Ft.com 
Anna Gross in Chooz and Sarah White in Bure 6 Feb 22, 
Every morning, Benoit Gannaz places a small black device in his breast pocket to make sure his work is not killing him. Like every worker at the Chooz A nuclear power facility in northern France, he carries a detector that measures ionising radiation levels at all times. The reactor was turned off more than three decades ago and the most hazardous materials removed soon after, but nobody here is taking any chances — least of all the project manager overseeing the challenging and lengthy process of decommissioning Chooz A. Gannaz’s job is to ensure the remaining hazardous materials on site are removed and stored away safely now that the lifecycle of the reactor is at an end. ………….

…………….. as momentum grows for a new generation of nuclear power plants in Europe and elsewhere, there is little discussion of the huge costs and complexity of dismantling the plants at the end of their approximately 50-year lifespan. And nobody has yet given a satisfactory answer to the question of what to do with thousands of metric tonnes of high-level nuclear waste, some of which can remain radioactive, and thereby lethal, for up to 300,000 years.

A quarter-million metric tonnes of spent fuel rods are believed to be spread across 14 countries worldwide, mostly collected in cooling pools at closed-down nuclear plants, as engineers and waste specialists puzzle over how to dispose of them permanently. Many believe these are sitting ducks for terrorist organisations and that they could potentially cause catastrophic spills or fires. The cost of maintaining these sites can be extraordinary, and last for decades. Sellafield in the UK, for example, contains the largest stock of untreated nuclear waste on earth, including 140 tonnes of plutonium. Though the plant was shut down in 2003, it remains the biggest private employer in Cumbria. More than 10,000 people continue to undertake a colossally expensive clean-up that is expected to take more than 100 years and cost above £90bn.

“Nowhere in the world has anyone managed to create a place where we can bury extremely nasty nuclear waste forever,” says Denis Florin, partner at Lavoisier Conseil, an energy-focused management consultancy in Paris. “We cannot go on using nuclear without being adult about the waste, without accepting we need to find a permanent solution.” With the Chooz A reactor, France is attempting to do just that — and in the process create a prototype for how decommissioning could be done more efficiently. If it succeeds, it could help convince environmentalists that nuclear power has a part to play in creating a greener planet. But there is still a heavy dose of popular opposition to the best option there is on the table for the waste: burying it.

The legacy of a spent reactor The challenge with cleaning up Chooz A is not so much the site itself as the materials once contained within. The facility was shut in 1991, and within three years 99.9 per cent of the most highly radioactive materials had been evacuated to a specialist plant 620km away in La Hague, in the north-west of France. According to French law, the most highly radioactive elements of a plant, the fuel and the rods, should be removed as quickly as possible once the plant has been shut down — in stark contrast to policy in most other parts of the world, where the most hazardous products are handled last.

Decommissioning a reactor

Click on the numbers to see the process in sequence (Interactive graphic on original)

Some of these products have since been recycled. In a process pioneered by France, many of the uranium, plutonium and fission chemicals have been reprocessed into new fuel at the La Hague site, while waste chemicals that cannot be reused have been vitrified, or turned into glass, for short-term storage in shallow sites underground. Though EDF says the 23,000 tonnes of spent fuel it has reprocessed at La Hague are enough to power France’s nuclear fleet for 14 years, critics point to the fact that the fuel can only be reused once and the process itself creates yet more radioactive waste, without providing a long-term solution.

The dismantling of the rest of Chooz A began in 2007, after it received legal permission from the state, and is due to be completed by 2024, at a total cost of €500mn. But the most hazardous waste removed from the site will remain radioactive for centuries to come, and perhaps millennia. “Only a state or a religion will live as long as the waste, and maybe not even them,” says Florin. Countries have toyed with ejecting such waste into space or burying it deep under the seabed, but these ideas were eventually deemed either impossible or too dangerous. Only one long-term solution is broadly considered safe and feasible: deep geological repositories, where radioactive material can be stored several hundred metres below ground in formations of clay, rock salt and granite that have not moved for millions of years.

But no one has yet managed to do it. The US has come close; it pumped $15bn into a project to bury waste beneath Yucca Mountain in Nevada, but the initiative was eventually abandoned in the face of intense and sustained public backlash. Similar opposition from local communities has dogged attempts to find burial sites in Germany, the UK and Japan. Some countries have earmarked provisional sites to try again. After a decades-long planning and negotiation process with a remote island community, Finland will bury its radioactive waste in copper tubes in a tomb 1,400 feet below the granite bedrock in Olkiluoto island. The burial site is expected to begin operation in 2023.

France has identified its own site, just outside Bure, 300km east of Paris, in which radioactive waste might be entombed. Consisting of a research centre sitting above a web of tunnels and vaults almost 500 metres below ground, the Cigeo project has so far cost €2.5bn and involved 25 years of research.

The French government is due to decide this year whether to declare the site officially viable as a storage option, setting in motion another sequence of construction and authorisation stages that would lead to the first toxic samples being deposited between 2035 and 2040. The ambition is to seal all the tunnels irreversibly from 2150, with residues encased in blocks of cement or steel within the ultimate barrier — a subterranean layer of clay with the ideal properties to entrap any material that eventually seeps out. This seeping material should lose its radioactive qualities within the 100,000 years it would take them to permeate other strata,,,………………https://www.ft.com/content/246dad82-c107-4886-9be2-e3b3c4c4f315?segmentid=acee4131-99c2-09d3-a635-873e61754ec6

February 7, 2022 Posted by | France, wastes | Leave a comment

A big pile of Plutonium – UK reprocessing ceases, leaving deadly waste and no plan

in the end, reprocessing became a commercial venture rather than producing anything useful. Nine countries sent spent fuel to Sellafield to have plutonium and uranium extracted for reuse and paid a great deal of money to do so. In reality, very little of either metal has ever been used because mixed oxide fuels were too expensive, and fast breeder reactors could never be scaled up sufficiently to be economic.

UK reprocessing ceases, leaving deadly waste and no plan

A big pile of PU — Beyond Nuclear International https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2022/02/06/a-big-pile-of-pu/120 tons of plutonium is legacy of Britain’s dirty decades of reprocessing, By Paul Brown, The Energy Mix

Seventy years after the United Kingdom first began extracting plutonium from spent uranium fuel to make nuclear weapons, the industry is finally calling a halt to reprocessing, leaving the country with 120 tons of the metal, the biggest stockpile in the world. However, the government has no idea what to do with it.

Having spent hundreds of billions of pounds producing plutonium in a series of plants at Sellafield in the Lake District, the UK policy is to store it indefinitely—or until it can come up with a better idea. There is also 90,000 tons of less dangerous depleted uranium in warehouses in the UK, also without an end use.

Plans to use plutonium in fast breeder reactors and then mixed with uranium as a fuel for existing fission reactors have long ago been abandoned as too expensive, unworkable, or sometimes both. Even burning plutonium as a fuel, while technically possible, is very costly.

The closing of the last reprocessing plant, as with all nuclear endeavours, does not mean the end of the industry, in fact it will take at least another century to dismantle the many buildings and clean up the waste. In the meantime, it is costing £3 billion a year to keep the site safe.

Perhaps one of the strangest aspects of this story to outside observers is that, apart from a minority of anti-nuclear campaigners, this plutonium factory in one of prettiest parts of England hardly ever gets discussed or mentioned by the UK’s two main political parties. Neither has ever objected to what seems on paper to be a colossal waste of money.

Continue reading

February 7, 2022 Posted by | reprocessing, UK, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

THE ILLEGALITY OF NATO


THE ILLEGALITY OF NATO
, By John Scales Avery, Popular Resistance.6 Feb 22, Recent threats of war over Ukraine.

Russia understandably fears the eastward expansion of NATO. Recently NATO countries, led by the United States, have supplied arms to  Ukraine. There is a threat that the tensions building up in the region will lead to war. Such a development would be catastrophic for the entire world. Against this backdrop, let us examine the question of NATO’s illegality.

Violation of the UN Charter and the Nuremberg Principles

In recent years, participation in NATO has made European countries accomplices in US efforts to achieve global hegemony by means of military force, in violation of international law, and especially in violation of the UN Charter, the Nuremberg Principles.

Former UN Assistant Secretary General Hans Christof von Sponeck used the following words to express his opinion that NATO now violates the UN Charter and international law: “In the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, the Charter of the United Nations was declared to be NATO’s legally binding framework. However, the United-Nations monopoly of the use of force, especially as specified in Article 51 of the Charter, was no longer accepted according to the 1999 NATO doctrine. NATO’s territorial scope, until then limited to the Euro-Atlantic region, was expanded by its members to include the whole world”

Article 2 of the UN Charter requires that “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.” This requirement is somewhat qualified by Article 51, which says that “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

Thus, in general, war is illegal under the UN Charter. Self-defense against an armed attack is permitted, but only for a limited time, until the Security Council has had time to act. The United Nations Charter does not permit the threat or use of force in preemptive wars, or to produce regime changes, or for so-called “democratization”, or for the domination of regions that are rich in oil. NATO must not be a party to the threat or use of force for such illegal purposes.

In 1946, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously affirmed “the principles of international law recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the judgment of the Tribunal”. The General Assembly also established an International Law Commission to formalize the Nuremberg Principles. The result was a list that included Principles VI and VII, which are particularly important in the context of the illegality of NATO:

Principle VI: The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:

a) Crimes against peace: (I) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances; (ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (I).

b) War crimes:……………….

Violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

At present, NATO’s nuclear weapons policies violate both the spirit and the text of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in several respects:…………………………………..  https://popularresistance.org/the-illegality-of-nato/

February 7, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, Legal | Leave a comment

Nuclear baloney in today’s media

Majority support for nuclear energy — which does not appear to be the case publicly, even if it is so politically — is a clear testament to the power of well-funded propaganda campaigns and the deep pockets of lobbyists. None of us engaged on this subject have missed the saturation media campaign, on-going now for months if not years, that sows the erroneous notion in the heads of politicians that nuclear power is an answer — even the answer — to climate change.

Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it. Today’s media has become especially guilty of this. I recently had to correct a Financial Times reporter who, in an otherwise perfectly good article, described nuclear power as having “no carbon footprint.” There is no stop-and-think going on here. After all, even renewable energy does not have “no” carbon footprint.

Nuclear waste risks can be “minimized” and other myths

Nuclear baloney — Beyond Nuclear International AP story on states’ nuclear choice fails to point out key realities
By Linda Pentz Gunter, 6 Feb 2,
There are geniuses amongst us. We just didn’t know it. They are the supporters of nuclear power, who, according to the Associated Press, “say the risks can be minimized” when it comes to the perpetual and unsolved problem of long-lived, high-level radioactive waste — the main by-product of generating electricity using nuclear power. 

This observation comes within an AP story headlined: “Majority of US states pursue nuclear power for emission cuts”, and which has garnered significant pickup in numerous media outlets. (However, we never do learn the secret to precisely how nuclear waste risks can be “minimized”.)

The agency surveyed “the energy policies in all 50 states and the District of Columbia,” finding that “about two-thirds” plan to use nuclear power to replace fossil fuels.

The mantra about solving the nuclear waste problem has been repeated since the dawn of the Nuclear Age, coming up on 80 years this December. That was when, on December 2, 1942, the first cupful of radioactive waste was generated, a result of the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction achieved at the Chicago Pile-1 by Enrico Fermi and his team.

At that time, scientists knew that radioactive waste was a problem, but assumed it would be solved later. Well, here we are at “later” and it’s still unsolved. Now, “minimizing” rather than solving the problem is apparently justification enough to keep using this dangerous technology.

The AP reporters chose Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) President and CEO, Jeff Lash (no vested interest there), as the spokesperson for the continued use of nuclear power and says he,“puts it simply” when stating: “You can’t significantly reduce carbon emissions without nuclear power.” 

But, of course, it’s not that simple. It’s also arguably dead wrong. As Stanford University’s Amory Lovins and others have demonstrated repeatedly:

“To protect the climate, we must save the most carbon at the least cost and in the least time, counting all three variables – carbon and cost and time. 

“Costly options save less carbon per dollar than cheaper options. Slow options save less carbon per year than faster options. Thus even a low- or no-carbon option that is too costly or too slow will reduce and retard achievable climate protection. Being carbon-free does not establish climate-effectiveness.

“To compare nuclear power with other potential climate solutions we should start with two criteria – cost and speed – because if nuclear power has no business case or takes too long, we need not address its other merits or drawbacks.”

The three TVA plants are at Browns Ferry in Alabama, and Sequoyah and Watts Bar, both in Tennessee. The two Watts Bar reactors produce tritium for the nuclear weapons sector — a clear crossing of the supposedly inviolable line between the civilian and military nuclear sectors.

Sequoyah 1 and 2 have also been licensed to produce tritium but, so far, TVA has chosen not to use them for that purpose.

TVA is also, right now, pushing federal regulators to allow it to increase its output of tritium, an essential radioisotope used in thermonuclear warheads to boost the explosive power of an atomic bomb. 

As Tom Clements, executive director of the Savannah River Site Watch, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

“Using commercial nuclear reactors to produce nuclear weapons materials is a violation of the international nonproliferation agreements.”

Watts Bar 1 has been involved in tritium production for close to 20 years. Meanwhile, Watts Bar 2 holds the unenviable record of taking the longest time ever — a staggering 42 years — between the start of construction and actual operation. It is the poster child for the argument against trying to deliver new nuclear plants as some sort of answer to an urgent climate crisis already upon us that must be addressed today.

Nevertheless, when Watts Bar 2 came on line in October 2016, TVA actually heralded it as “the first new nuclear generation in 20 years.” If a 42-year old reactor is the definition of “new”, then maybe we should all go back to driving Chevrolet Monte Carlos.

The unnamed survey respondents from the state of Georgia apparently told AP that their “nuclear reactor expansion will provide ‘ample clean energy’ for 60 to 80 years”.

But again, there is no context to this bold prediction. In reality, that “expansion” consists

of the only two survivors of another nuclear myth, the U.S. “Nuclear Renaissance”, always an aspiration and never a reality. 

The Georgia reactors, Vogtle 3 and 4, have now been under construction since 2013. Their completion dates have been repeatedly pushed into the future — 2024 is the current, optimistic prediction, but it’s equally possible that both reactors will never achieve operational status.

Meanwhile, the costs for Vogtle 3 and 4 are predicted to balloon to $30 billion, while ratepayers, already paying more to cover these excesses, will see their monthly bills double if and when the reactors come on line. Imagine the “ample clean energy” that might have already been producing electricity in Georgia, if a renewable energy program had been initiated in 2013 instead of the nuclear boondoggle.

Majority support for nuclear energy — which does not appear to be the case publicly, even if it is so politically — is a clear testament to the power of well-funded propaganda campaigns and the deep pockets of lobbyists. None of us engaged on this subject have missed the saturation media campaign, on-going now for months if not years, that sows the erroneous notion in the heads of politicians that nuclear power is an answer — even the answer — to climate change.

Repeat a lie often enough and people will believe it. Today’s media has become especially guilty of this. I recently had to correct a Financial Times reporter who, in an otherwise perfectly good article, described nuclear power as having “no carbon footprint.” There is no stop-and-think going on here. After all, even renewable energy does not have “no” carbon footprint.

As John Le Carré wrote in his 1996 book, The Tailor of Panama, paraphrased from the mouth of one of his more cynical characters: 

Nothing is more predictable than the media’s parroting of its own fictions and the terror of each competitor that it will be scooped by the others, whether or not the story is true, because quite frankly dears, in the news game these days, we don’t have the staff, time, interest, energy, literacy or minimal sense of responsibility to check our facts by any means except calling up whatever has been written by other hacks on the same subject and repeating it as gospel”.

Fortunately, there remain some good investigative reporters amongst the lapdogs. But our task is made all the harder by that constant parroting of nuclear propaganda as if it is gospel. We have an uphill climb to change it, but we must keep climbing.

This article first appeared on Counterpunch.

February 7, 2022 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

US created Ukraine mess, now it must repair Russia relationship

But the US and NATO’s interest in Ukraine is not really about resolving its regional differences, but about something else altogether. The US coup was calculated to put Russia in an impossible position. If Russia did nothing, post-coup Ukraine would sooner or later join NATO, as NATO members already agreed to in principle in 2008. NATO forces would advance right up to Russia’s border and Russia’s important naval base at Sevastopol in the Crimea would fall under NATO control.

Underlying all these tensions is NATO’s expansion through Eastern Europe to the borders of Russia, in violation of commitments Western officials made at the end of the Cold War. The US and NATO’s refusal to acknowledge that they have violated those commitments or to negotiate a diplomatic resolution with the Russians is a central factor in the breakdown of US-Russian relations.

US created Ukraine mess, now it must repair Russia relationship  https://johnmenadue.com/us-created-ukraine-mess-now-it-must-repair-russia-relationship/ By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. DaviesFeb 5, 2022  Western media accounts of the current Ukraine crisis are forgetting the US’s role in the 2014 coup, which forced the then-president to flee.

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. DaviesFeb 5, 2022  Western media accounts of the current Ukraine crisis are forgetting the US’s role in the 2014 coup, which forced the then-president to flee.

Feb 5, 2022  Western media accounts of the current Ukraine crisis are forgetting the US’s role in the 2014 coup, which forced the then-president to flee. So what are Americans to believe about the rising tensions over Ukraine? The United States and Russia both claim their escalations are defensive, responding to threats and escalations by the other side, but the resulting spiral of escalation can only make war more likely. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is warning that “panic” by US and Western leaders is already causing economic destabilisation in Ukraine.

By Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. DaviesFeb 5, 2022  Western media accounts of the current Ukraine crisis are forgetting the US’s role in the 2014 coup, which forced the then-president to flee.

US allies do not all support the current US policy. Germany is wisely refusing to funnel more weapons into Ukraine, in keeping with its long-standing policy of not sending weapons into conflict zones. Ralf Stegner, a senior Member of Parliament for Germany’s ruling Social Democrats, told the BBC on January 25 that the Minsk-Normandy process agreed to by France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine in 2015 is still the right framework for ending the civil war.

“The Minsk Agreement hasn’t been applied by both sides,” Stegner explained, “and it just doesn’t make any sense to think that forcing up the military possibilities would make it better. Rather, I think it’s the hour of diplomacy.”

By contrast, most American politicians and corporate media have fallen in line with a one-sided narrative that paints Russia as the aggressor in Ukraine, and they support sending more and more weapons to Ukrainian government forces. After decades of US military disasters based on such one-sided narratives, Americans should know better by now. But what is it that our leaders and the corporate media are not telling us this time?

The most critical events that have been airbrushed out of the West’s political narrative are the violation of agreements Western leaders made at the end of the Cold War not to expand NATO into Eastern Europe, and the US-backed coup in Ukraine in February 2014.

Continue reading

February 7, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

France is exploring new ways to dispose of radioactive materials but public opposition is as fierce as ever

There may be a price [communities] are willing to accept in order to stomach the waste and its risks, but we don’t know what that price is yet,” … “If it’s high enough, it will ultimately add to the cost of disposal.”  Local authorities have poured millions of euros of subsidies and compensation into the area to support the project

The nuclear power dilemma: where to put the lethal waste
France is exploring new ways to dispose of radioactive materials but public opposition is as fierce as ever, Ft.com Anna Gross in Chooz and Sarah White in Bure 6 FEB 22, 

”………………….Resistance is fissile  Cigeo has attracted the same kind of vocal opposition found at other potential burial sites. And, as a result Bure, a village of fewer than 100 inhabitants, has become a battleground where protesters have regularly clashed with police over the future of the site. Demonstrators have set up a “house of resistance” in Bure that has become a magnet for anti-nuclear protesters around the country. The former barn is equipped with a projection room, mattresses to welcome guests and a cosy communal kitchen.

Campaigners say the Bure site has become representative of a broader cause. “Beyond the waste, it’s nuclear production above all else that worries us,” says a 29-year-old jurist who gave his name as Antoine, one of a handful of campaigners manning the fort on a snowy February morning. “It’s a supposedly low carbon source of energy, but you’ve got to build the reactors . . . it is such a dangerous and destructive solution.” Yet the state holds that the undeniable risks of nuclear energy are outweighed by its potential benefits as a cost-effective way of cutting CO2 emissions. According to a report last year from French grid operator RTE, France’s cheapest way to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 would involve building 14 new reactors. Under the scenarios RTE presented, if France built no new nuclear reactors and relied exclusively on expanding renewables and extending the lifespan of existing nuclear, this would cost €10bn more per year than other options including new reactors, with the cost of decommissioning factored into the final bill.

But that may not factor in the costs of convincing French citizens to host such facilities in their backyards. Bure resident Anne-Marie Henn, a retiree, says the project has forced her and her artist husband Jacques to give up on their dream of creating a painting atelier in an annex to their home. “We’d like to leave, but our house isn’t worth anything any more,” she says. Ed Lyman, senior global security scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, who has spent decades researching nuclear power safety, says the science behind burying waste is robust, and the dangers of corrosion or leakage minimal. But there remain real risks for the public, he says, such as accidents happening when materials are transported to the site.

“There may be a price [communities] are willing to accept in order to stomach the waste and its risks, but we don’t know what that price is yet,” he adds. “If it’s high enough, it will ultimately add to the cost of disposal.”  Local authorities have poured millions of euros of subsidies and compensation into the area to support the project and residents. In Bure, that has translated into snazzy lampposts lining every street alongside the barns and stone houses; households have also got fibre optic internet connections and sanitation networks have been improved. “We’ve got to deal with this crap,” Henn says. “At the very least we can benefit a bit from [subsidies].”

But the concerns of many communities go way beyond immediate dangers to more existential questions: how can we ensure that not just our children and grandchildren, but people living thousands of years in the future have the knowledge and understanding to handle it responsibly? And how can we be sure that the storage containers we have developed now will stand the test of time? “What we’ll be getting here is the really dangerous core of the waste,” Henn says, adding that it was “the generations to come” that worried her.

Andra, the French state agency responsible for nuclear waste management, is considering ways to warn future generations of what lies below Bure — perhaps by inscribing microscopic information on a hard disk of sapphire, designed to withstand erosion, should the site be forgotten. “Even if we lose our collective memory, the storage site will be safe,” says spokesperson Audrey Guillemenet. If these kinds of innovations fail to impress French lawmakers and the site does not win approval, that leaves the government with a problem that goes far beyond the billions spent on construction. “Some 50 per cent of the [nuclear] waste destined to come here eventually already exists,” says Guillemenet. Forget the next generation of power plants; the decades-old materials Gannaz and his predecessors have removed from Chooz A are a problem that needs a solution. If it is not Bure, then what is it?  https://www.ft.com/content/246dad82-c107-4886-9be2-e3b3c4c4f315?segmentid=acee4131-99c2-09d3-a635-873e61754ec6

February 7, 2022 Posted by | France, opposition to nuclear, wastes | Leave a comment

International commitments preclude NATO states from admitting Ukraine as a NATO member.

Francis A Boyle 7 Feb 22, Under basic principles of international law, high level government officials acting within the scope of their official  authority can bind a State under international law. It does not have to be in writing. Over the years I have dealt with some of the top  Soviet/Russian International Lawyers. They know these Rules as well as I do.

Clearly, these commitments would preclude the concerned NATO States from admitting Ukraine as a NATO Member. It is time for them to put this binding  commitment into writing as Russia has demanded in order to solve this matter.

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Can Space Tourism Co-exist with Space being turned into a War Zone?

Can Space Tourism Co-exist with Space being turned into a War Zone?, By Karl Grossman, Space 4 Peace, Presented at the Space Tourism: Legal Dimensions Conference, 29 January 2022

The push to turn space into a war zone could spell goodbye to space tourism. The space tourism drive that is underway, led by billionaires Jeff Bezos with his Blue Origin company, Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic, and Elon Musk and his SpaceX operation, is seen as only a start. As Dylan Taylor wrote in 2021 on www.space.com in an article headed “The Future of space tourism,” it’s a “a growing market expected to be worth at least $3 billion by 2030.” Space.com identified Taylor as an “entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist” and “cofounding patron of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.” https://www.space.com/future-of-space-tourism-op-ed……………………………

Meanwhile, there’s the push, led by the United States, to turn space into a war zone—and this, despite the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 that sets space aside for peaceful purposes.

As then U.S. President Donald Trump declared in 2018 as he advocated for formation of a U.S. Space Force, “it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space.”  https://www.space.com/40921-trump-space-traffic-policy-american-leadership.html

The following year, he signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 establishing the Space Force as the sixth branch of U.S. armed forces and said: “Space is the world’s newest warfighting domain.” The Space Force, Trump said, would “help” the U.S. “control the ultimate high ground.” https://www.space.com/trump-creates-space-force-2020-defense-bill.html

Then, at the unveiling of a Space Force flag at the White House, Trump said: “Space is going to be…the future, both in terms of defense and offense.” https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/trump-unveils-space-force-flag-ceremony-says-space-future-n1208021

Trump’s successor, U.S. President Joe Biden, has not rolled back the U.S. Space Force………………….

As to the impacts of war in space, Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, in an interview in 2021 related the projection of the late Edgar Mitchell, in 1971 the sixth U.S. astronaut to walk on the moon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow8c7LbPvuI&feature=youtu.be

Gagnon said:

In 1989 during one of our campaigns against NASA plutonium launches [NASA’s launching of plutonium-powered space probes], we had a rally at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and our keynote speaker that day was Apollo astronaut Edgar Mitchell, one of the moonwalkers. And he came and said if there is one war in space, it’ll be the one and the only. He said because we will create so much space debris or space junk from all the destroyed satellites and things like that in space that there would literally be a minefield encircling the planet – he called it a piranha-laced river—and we would not be able to get through. A rocket would not be able to get off this Earth through that minefield. So, it’s insane to think about having a war in space.

Gagnon has also spoken of how space warfare would “mean activity on Earth below would immediately shut down—cell phones, ATM machines, cable TV, traffic lights, weather prediction and more—all hooked up to satellites, would be lost. Modern society would go dark.” https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/12/18/the-very-bad-space-force-deal/

Also pointing to the generation of space debris resulting from warfare in space was Alexander Chanock in section titled “Problems With Weaponizing Space” in an article published in 2013 in Journal of Air Law and Commerce titled “The Problems and Potential Solutions Related to the Emergence of Space Weapons in the 2lst Century.” https://scholar.smu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1327&context=jalc

Chanock, then a candidate for a law degree, now a legislative counsel in the U.S. House of Representatives, wrote that a major problem “is the amount of space debris that space weapons would produce….The fear is that destroying in space could generate extremely dangerous debris with a long orbital life.”

Chanock quoted Dr. Joel Primack, professor of physics and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and “one of the premier experts on space debris, noted Chanock, as saying “the weaponization of space would make the debris problem much worse, and even one war in space could encase the entire planet in a shell of whizzing debris that would thereafter make space near the Earth highly hazardous for peaceful as well as military purposes.”……………………

U.S. interest in war in space has deep roots: back to the former Nazi rocket scientists and engineers brought to the U.S. from Germany after World War II under the U.S.’s Operation Paperclip. They ended up at the U.S. Army’s Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama—to use “their technological expertise to help create the U.S. space and weapons program,” wrote Jack Manno, a professor of environmental studies at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science & Forestry, in his 1984 book Arming the Heavens: The Hidden Military Agenda for Space, 1945-1995https://www.abebooks.com/9780396082118/Arming-heavens-hidden-military-agenda-0396082114/plp

“Many of the early space war schemes were dreamt up by scientists working for the German military, scientists who brought their rockets and their ideas to America after the war,” he wrote. Many of these scientists and engineers “later rose to positions of power in the U.S. military, NASA, and the aerospace industry.” Among them were “Wernher von Braun and his V-2 colleagues” who began “working on rockets for the U.S. Army,” and at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal “were given the task of producing an intermediate range ballistic range missile to carry battlefield atomic weapons up to 200 miles. The Germans produced a modified V-2 renamed the Redstone….Huntsville became a major center of U.S. space military activities.”

Manno told the story of former German Major General Walter Dornberger, who had been in charge of the entire Nazi rocket program, and how he “in 1947 as a consultant to the U.S Air Force and adviser to the Department of Defense…wrote a planning paper for his new employers. He proposed a system of hundreds of nuclear-armed satellites all orbiting at different altitudes and angles, each capable or reentering the atmosphere on command from Earth to proceed to its target. The Air Force began early work on Dornberger’s idea under the acronym NABS (Nuclear Armed Bombardment Satellites).”……………………………………..

This is pessimistic forecast need not be. The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 was—and is—a visionary documentary. “Let Us Beat Our Swords Into Plowshares” is the title of a statue by Evgeniy Vutetich in the sculpture garden of the UN in New York. It is based on the Book of Isaiah and its call that nations “shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

War on Earth is terrible enough. It must not be brought up to the heavens.

This will take continued take political will and international pressure—to preserve and extend the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and its setting aside space for peaceful purposes. Especially in the United States, this will require action at the grassroots because the two major political parties in the U.S. have joined in a bellicose stance on space, supporting it becoming a war zone. Every year, the grassroots organization Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space, founded in Washington, D.C. in 1991 and the leading group internationally challenging the weaponization of space, holds a “Keep Space For Peace Week” with actions around the world. Meanwhile, there are nations around the globe that have, unlike the U.S., adopted a peaceful stance—as reflected in their support for the proposed PAROS treaty.

We must, indeed, keep space for peace.

Can space tourism co-exist with space being turned into a war zone? The answer is no.

And with a shooting war in space, it will not only space tourism that would be kissed goodbye. http://space4peace.org/can-space-tourism-co-exist-with-space-being-turned-into-a-war-zone/

February 7, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology, weapons and war | Leave a comment

COMMENTS OF PRINCIPAL MAN, IAN ZABARTE OF THE WESTERN BANDS OF THE SHOSHONE NATION OF INDIANS, TO THE WHITE HOUSE ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ADVISORY COUNCIL,

JANUARY 27, 2022 THESE COMMENTS CHARACTERIZE THE ONGOING ABUSE SUFFERED BY THE WESTERN SHOSHONE PEOPLE AS A RESULT OF US MILITARY AND COMMERCIAL NUCLEAR DEVELOPMENT. THERE HAS BEEN NO EXPLICIT ACT OF CONGRESS TO DIMINISH OR EXTINGUISH INDIAN TITLE TO 30 MILLION ACRES OF LAND OWNED BY THE WESTERN SHOSHONE NATION DEFINED BY ARTICLE 5 OF THE TREATY OF RUBY VALLEY. WE SEEK CREATION OF A RESERVATION BY THE PRESIDENT UNDER ARTICLE 6 OF THE TREATY AS A REMEDY FOR THE SAFETY, PROTECTION AND BENEFIT OF THE WESTERN SHOSHONE PEOPLE.

Consultation is not consent but when done, should be according to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People with free, prior informed consent of Indigenous people affected–a right of self-determination, and in the planning and implementation of projects on our lands. The law needs to be enforced and resources directed to indigenous communities for clean-up efforts and proper enforcement.

Our nation has, and is, being destroyed by nuclear weapons testing and nuclear material disposal. The pattern and practice of the Department of Energy and cooperating agencies inflict conditions intended to bring about the destruction of Shoshone Nation, violating peremptory norms in International Law that the United States has acceded to under the Proxmire Act in 1988 (18 USC 1091–GENOCIDE).

In 1990, the Department of Energy created “cultural triage” used in the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project defined as, “the forced choice decision-making by and ethnic group to a development project” claiming Indians were involved in Yucca Mountain development. Cultural triage features are it is forced upon ethnic Native Americans for development.”

Federally recognized Indian tribes are deemed by the US Supreme Court as incompetents under the superintendence of the Secretary of the Interior and therefore cannot consent. It is the US that is wholly responsible for the outcomes. The systematic use of cultural triage is genocide.

Origin is important. Shoshone individuals must be followed for health consequences. We need collaborative research funding, monitoring, surveillance and registries for Shoshone down-winders affected by radiation from nuclear weapons. We need radiation exposure compensation re-authorization (RECA). We need the President to create a Shoshone homeland under Article 6 of the Treaty of Ruby Valley. All federal actions must be required to prove ownership of federally funded project sites.

Finally, nuclear weapons are illegal under the new International law, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, that entered into force January on 22, 2021. We can protect our environment, our Mother Earth, by ending our obsession with nuclear weapons of mass destruction and join the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear of Weapons.

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

 Electromagnetic radiation, said by telecom companies to be harmless, could be hurting wildlife.

EMFs’ toxic effects on an animal’s cells, DNA and chromosomes have been observed in laboratory specimens — and thus would apply to wildlife, according to the report.

Many types of wildlife are exposed to EMFs from wireless sources, such as deer, seals, whales, birds, bats, insects, amphibians and reptiles, the report said. Many species have been found more sensitive to EMFs than humans in some ways.

Report says wireless radiation, said by telecom companies to be harmless, could be hurting wildlife Source: Environmental Health TrustSanta Fe New MexicanBy Scott Wyland swyland@sfnewmexican.com, Feb 5, 2022

Health researchers raised concerns in the 1990s about the possible harmful effects of wireless radiation from cellphones and towers, and their warnings met pushback from telecommunications companies on the verge of growing a mega-industry.

Industry-backed researchers assured federal agencies health concerns — especially those centered on the possibility of low-level microwaves causing cancer — lacked conclusive evidence.

Regulators accepted their assessments, and the alarm bells went silent.

Now a trio of researchers have compiled a report saying the widespread installation of cell towers and antennas is generating electromagnetic fields — EMFs for short — that could be physiologically harmful.

The report focuses on potential impacts on wildlife, trees, plants and insects, such as bees, because there are no regulations protecting them from EMFs emanating from wireless antennas. Wildlife protections are becoming more vital as this radiation — known more specifically as radiofrequency EMFs — escalates through 5G technologies, the researchers warn.

“There needs to be regulatory standards to address EMFs affecting wildlife,” said Albert Manville, a retired U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and one of the paper’s authors.

Manville also is an adjunct science professor at Johns Hopkins University.

He said he provided the Federal Communications Commission with some research on how the electromagnetic pollution can hurt wildlife and the steps that could be taken to lessen the impacts.

But the FCC has been unresponsive, Manville said, arguing the agency tends to accommodate the industry it’s supposed to regulate.

“That’s unfortunate, but that’s just the way it is,” he said.

The FCC did not respond to questions about whether it would consider making efforts to reduce animals’ EMF exposure.

The three authors drew from 1,200 peer-reviewed studies to compile a three-part, 210-page report titled “Effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on flora and fauna.” It was published in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health.

Science journalist Blake Levitt, who also co-wrote the report, said they dug up overlooked studies that contained compelling research on how living organisms react to low-level EMFs. Their compilation invalidates any claims that the EMFs don’t cause biological effects, she said.

We just blew the whole thing out of the water and took it to the ecosystem level, which is really where it needed to go,” Levitt said. “Nobody had done that before. We need a whole lot more scrutiny put to the low-intensity stuff.”

Ambient EMFs have risen exponentially in the past quarter-century, as cellphones were widely adopted, to become a ubiquitous and continuous environmental pollutant, even in remote areas, the report said, adding studies indicate EMFs can affect animals’ orientation, migration, food finding, reproduction, nest building, territorial defense, vitality, longevity and survival.

EMFs’ toxic effects on an animal’s cells, DNA and chromosomes have been observed in laboratory specimens — and thus would apply to wildlife, according to the report.

Many types of wildlife are exposed to EMFs from wireless sources, such as deer, seals, whales, birds, bats, insects, amphibians and reptiles, the report said. Many species have been found more sensitive to EMFs than humans in some ways.

The report recommends new laws that include the redesign of wireless devices and infrastructure to reduce the rising ambient levels.

It comes several months after a federal court in Washington, D.C., ordered the FCC to review its guidelines for wireless radiation and justify why it should retain them, as the standards haven’t been updated since 1996. This radiation should not be confused with radioactivity, the court noted, adding microwaves used in transmitting signals are low enough to not heat tissues in what are known as “thermal effects.”

But medical studies suggest the lower-level radiation could cause cancer, reproductive problems, impaired learning and motor skills, disrupted sleep and decreased memory.

These studies and others were submitted to the FCC after it opened a notice of inquiry in 2013 under the administration of former President Barack Obama to probe the adequacy of the 1996 guidelines, which were geared toward avoiding thermal effects, the court said.

In 2019, the Trump administration’s FCC deemed the inquiry unnecessary, saying the 1996 rules were sufficient and required no revision.

Two judges called that FCC action “arbitrary and capricious,” saying the FCC made the decision out of hand, ignoring all the science presented and offering no reasonable, fact-based argument to back it up.

The agency also failed to look at the technological developments in the past 25 years and how they’ve changed the degree of exposure, the judges wrote. And they said it refused to examine possible health effects from EMFs that fall below the threshold set in 1996………………………………..     https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/report-says-wireless-radiation-said-by-telecom-companies-to-be-harmless-could-be-hurting-wildlife/article_1ae80fc0-7d5d-11ec-8c13-4f3411ea8ea1.html

February 7, 2022 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Claims Over Broken Promises About NATO Simmer at the Heart of the Ukraine Crisis


Claims Over Broken Promises About NATO Simmer at the Heart of the Ukraine Crisis,  
https://truthout.org/articles/claims-over-broken-promises-about-nato-simmer-at-the-heart-of-the-ukraine-crisis/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=c66419ef-902d-4088-8be5-ed3ee17ca2bf BYDavid N. GibbsTruthout February 6, 2022 In the continuing conflict between the United States and Russia, the central issue has always been the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from its original boundaries in Central Europe during the Cold War. Recent efforts to incorporate Ukraine into NATO have greatly aggravated Russian suspicions, contributing to Russia’s rationale for their massing of troops on Ukrainian borders.

It is true that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a repressive leader with a poor human rights record, but that is no reason for the U.S. to risk undertaking a war. On the issue of NATO expansion, Putin has a legitimate complaint. If Ukraine were to join NATO, it would establish a U.S. ally on Russia’s southern border with the potential of U.S. military bases being aimed against Russia. We must consider this counterfactual: How would the U.S. respond if Russia were planning a military alliance with Mexico or Canada? There is no way of getting around the fact that NATO’s expansion has been profoundly destabilizing.

It is important to consider the historical context of Russian grievance: It is a matter of record that in 1990, the U.S. Secretary of State James Baker promised Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that it would not expand NATO into the formerly communist states of Eastern Europe. In exchange, Gorbachev agreed not to oppose the upcoming reunification of Germany. Gorbachev fulfilled his part of the deal — Germany was reunified without Soviet objection — but then the U.S. promptly began laying plans to expand NATO. By 1999, the former communist states of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic all joined NATO, disregarding the promises made to Gorbachev. Then, NATO continued expanding into most of Eastern Europe, as well as three former Soviet states, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Russian officials have repeatedly objected to what they describe as U.S.’s bad faith regarding its past promises not to expand NATO………………………..

The real reason for preserving NATO — and ultimately expanding it — was to promote U.S. prestige and power, and also to benefit vested interests associated with what President Dwight D. Eisenhower once termed the military-industrial complex. In 1993, retired U.S. Admiral Eugene Carroll spoke with remarkable frankness about NATO’s real purpose:

Let me tell you one of the reasons you keep hearing so many contrived arguments for continuing the NATO alliance. It has been very, very good for the militaries of the countries involved…. If NATO goes away, all those jobs go away; all those lovely chateaus, and chauffeurs and railroad cars go away. It’s something that has been very enjoyable for a good many years, and the fact that there is no longer any requirement for it doesn’t mean they don’t want to keep a good thing going.

NATO’s expansion benefited the U.S. military, U.S. weapons manufacturers, and their counterparts in Western Europe. Eastern European states were eager to join what many viewed as a “prestigious” organization as a symbol that they had finally arrived on the world stage.

None of this had anything to do with security in any meaningful sense, since Russia was, for the most part, acting in accord with U.S. and Western interests. …………………

U.S. officials cannot go back in time to correct past mistakes; in all probability, they will never regain Russia’s trust. However, we do have an opportunity to deescalate tensions. The key Russian demand is a firm U.S. guarantee that Ukraine will not be allowed to join NATO. U.S. officials should be open to this demand, as a basis for a full settlement, and should forgo their obsession with relentlessly projecting U.S. power through NATO. Surely this outcome would be better than a new Cold War with a nuclear-armed Russia, which is becoming a serious risk. https://truthout.org/articles/claims-over-broken-promises-about-nato-simmer-at-the-heart-of-the-ukraine-crisis/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=c66419ef-902d-4088-8be5-ed3ee17ca2bf

February 7, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment