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This week in nuclear news

The news about events in Ukraine is just coming in. Vladimir Putin would have us believe that it is at last the end of the 8 years of war in the two self-proclaimed rebel republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.  But it could be the beginning of something worse.

Russia-Ukraine live updates: United States and UK expected to announce sanctions against Kremlin

Some bits of good news:   Replacing environmental despair with hope and action   ECUADOR’S SUPREME COURT: NATURE WINS OVER MINING  .

The Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger a Nuclear Catastrophe – Tilman Ruff   Media forecasting on Russian invasion is just like religious cult leaders predicting the apocalypse.

Western Democracies Have Mutated Into Propagandists for War and Conflict. Headlines that cause wars.

Antarctica and Greenland’s polar ice shelves are melting from below

Public Opposition to Nuclear Power.

 Terrifying “nuke map” reveals danger zone if nuclear bomb dropped on YOUR city.

The supposed new rise in nuclear power and the uranium business is doubtful!

Reality check: The green inflation myth

Highest Number of Reactor Closures in a Decade.

ANTARCTICA.  Antarctica will likely set a record for lowest sea ice extent this year

  UKRAINE. Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian forces to ‘maintain peace’ in eastern Ukraine‘s two breakaway regions. Nuke Power at the Brink of Bankruptcy, War, Apocalypse. Standoff ending, Ukraine and Russia both claim victory? Today’s Crisis Over UkraineUkrainian Pacifists Say US, NATO and Russia Share Responsibility to Avoid War.  ACURA ViewPoint. Ambassador suggested that Ukraine might drop its bid for NATO membership – but he was quickly corrected. UK trained Ukraine military, including a thousand-strong neo-Nazi unit.     Aspects of the Ukraine crisis and some suggested solutions for de-escalation.

JAPAN. 

UK.

CANADA. Michigan Senators Oppose Canadian Nuclear Waste Site Near Great Lakes. MPs and groups oppose hearings to license Canada’s first permanent radioactive waste dump. Proposed license for the NSDF includes no enforceable requirements for “waste characterization” — Concerned Citizens of Renfrew County and Area. In-Depth: Dangers of Burying Nuclear Waste.

USA. 

IRAN. Why the Iran nuclear talks have stalled.

ISRAEL. The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t a Threat, and Israel Must Find a New Approach.

RUSSIA. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov informs UN chief about Russia’s talks with NATO on security guarantees.

EUROPE. Any missile launch may be perceived as nuclear strike amid tensions. EU greenwashing nuclear power: Short sighted &  counterproductive.  Europe’s nuclear power plants will need investments of EUR 500 Billion, so they need to be labelled ‘green” !   The EU’s ‘green taxonomy’ classification system – no longer fit for purpose, if nuclear and gas are included.

FRANCE . French government to subsidise EDF nuclear power company by another €2.1bn, to prop up its failing share price. French utility EDF will check auxiliary cooling circuits, or RRAs, at its 56 domestic reactors, after faults found. No end in sight as the French nuclear industry reduces its output.

BULGARIA. Nuclear project with Russian reactors shakes Bulgarian politics.

NORTH KOREA. Radiation fears after earthquakes at North Korea nuclear test site.

INDIA. Tamil Nadu people’s lives are more important than Kudankulam nuclear reactors: PMK.  Concern in Tamil Nadu over spent nuclear fuel storage at Kudankulam site .

BELGIUM. ENGIE Doubles Down On Renewables And Reaffirms Closure Of Belgian Nuclear Industry.

GERMANY. How dare Germany oppose USA over nuclear power !

AUSTRALIA.  Early closure of coal plant, battery and renewable developments – all spell the end for nuclear power hopes in Australia . 

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian forces to ‘maintain peace’ in eastern Ukraine’s two breakaway regions.

On Monday, local time, a Biden administration official said, however, the area was already controlled by Russian-backed separatists and Moscow, in practice, and that Mr Putin’s decision to send troops he called peacemakers into the breakaway regions of Ukraine did not as yet constitute a further invasion that would trigger a broader sanctions package.

This isn’t a further invasion since it’s territory that they’ve already occupied,” the official said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin orders Russian forces to ‘maintain peace’ in eastern Ukraine’s two breakaway regions.

President Vladimir Putin has ordered his Defence Ministry to dispatch Russian forces to “maintain peace” in eastern Ukraine’s two breakaway regions, the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, after he said Moscow would recognise their independence.

Key points:

  • Vladimir Putin, joined by Russia-backed separatist leaders, signed a decree recognising the independence of the breakaway regions
  • In his address, Mr Putin delved into history as far back as the Ottoman empire and as recent as the tensions over NATO’s eastward expansion
  • French President Emmanuel Macron earlier said the US and Russian leaders had agreed in principle to hold a summit

The Kremlin decree, spelled out in an order signed by Mr Putin, did not specify the size of the force to be dispatched, when they would cross the border into Ukraine nor exactly what their mission would be.

Hours later, a Reuters reporter witnessed unusually large columns of military vehicles and hardware, including tanks, moving through Donetsk, the largest city of the self-proclaimed republic.

Mr Putin earlier signed decrees to recognise the two breakaway regions as independent statelets………………………

On Monday, local time, a Biden administration official said, however, the area was already controlled by Russian-backed separatists and Moscow, in practice, and that Mr Putin’s decision to send troops he called peacemakers into the breakaway regions of Ukraine did not as yet constitute a further invasion that would trigger a broader sanctions package.

“This isn’t a further invasion since it’s territory that they’ve already occupied,” the official said.

But, the official added, that a full invasion could come at any time.

The United States will continue to pursue diplomacy with Russia until “tanks roll,” another official said.

“Russian troops moving into Donbas would not itself be a new step. Russia has had forces in the Donbas region for the past eight years … They are currently now making decisions to do this in a more overt and … open way,” the official said……………………

In his lengthy televised address, Mr Putin, looking visibly angry, described Ukraine as an integral part of Russia’s history and said that the regions in eastern Ukraine were ancient Russian lands and that he was confident the Russian people would support his decision. 

Russian state television showed Mr Putin, joined by Russia-backed separatist leaders, signing a decree recognising the independence of the two Ukrainian breakaway regions, along with agreements on cooperation and friendship.

Under the two identical friendship treaties — submitted by Mr Putin for ratification by parliament — Russia has the right to build bases in the separatist regions and they, on paper, can do the same in Russia.

The parties committed to defend each other and signed separate agreements on military cooperation and on recognition of each other’s borders.

Their 31-point treaties also say Russia and the breakaway statelets will work to integrate their economies. Both regions are former industrial areas in need of massive support to rebuild after eight years of war with Ukrainian government forces.

The 10-year treaties are automatically renewable for further five-year periods unless one of the parties gives notice to withdraw. 

Defying Western warnings against such a move, Mr Putin had announced his decision in phone calls to the leaders of Germany and France earlier, both of whom voiced disappointment, the Kremlin said.

The UN Security Council will meet publicly on Ukraine at 2am GMT (1pm AEDT) on Tuesday, a Russian diplomat said, following a request by the United States, the United Kingdom and France………………………..

EU will respond to ‘illegal act’ with sanctions against Moscow

According to another White House statement, Mr Biden had also discussed with France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Olaf Scholz “how they will continue to coordinate their response on next steps”. ………………..

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called out Mr Putin’s decision to recognise the separatist regions as independent as “a violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine” in a statement read by his spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric.

“The Secretary-General urges all relevant actors to focus their efforts on ensuring an immediate cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure, preventing any action and statements that may further escalate the dangerous situation in and around Ukraine, and prioritising diplomacy to address all issues peacefully,” Mr Dujarric said.

…………….

With his decision to recognise the rebel regions, Mr Putin brushed off Western warnings that such a step would be illegal, would kill off peace negotiations and would trigger sanctions against Moscow.

“I deem it necessary to make a decision that should have been made a long time ago: to immediately recognise the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic,” Mr Putin said.https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-02-22/putin-orders-russian-peacekeepers-ukraine/100849964

February 22, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Aspects of the Ukraine crisis and some suggested solutions for de-escalation

DC AREA PEACE ACTIVISTS DISCUSS UKRAINE TENSIONS, By John Zangas,DC Media Group. February 20, 2022.

Washington DC—Local Peace Activists spoke about the growing crisis in East Europe, characterized the crisis as avoidable, and recommended solutions to avoid conflict. As tensions between world powers reached a climax not seen since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, and diplomatic efforts between stakeholders seemed all but doomed to fail, the activists drew on years of experience and understanding of global issues to draw their recommendations. Despite ominous developments they still held out hope that war could be averted.

Their recommendations came as President Joe Biden spoke to the nation on Friday afternoon, saying that diplomacy was still an option. His optimism however, was eclipsed by media reports of shelling in Eastern Ukraine from rebel-held territory, pipeline explosions, a car bomb explosion in Donesk, and the evacuations of most Western Nation embassies from Kiev. Another report flashed that Ukraine separatists had evacuated Ukrainians to Russia from rebel held territory, further complicating efforts to unwind regional tensions.

Superpowers are Responsible for Arms Reduction

David Swanson, Executive Director, World Beyond War, said that both Russia and the United States have played roles in the crisis.

“I think we’re dealing with a situation in which all the momentum is toward escalation. You just can’t line up two armies in front of each other, swear to each one that the other is about to attack them, commit each one to counter-attacking, throw in nationalistic and ethnic hatred, and then hope for peace. Both sides are guilty of this , not because they are equal in all ways, but simply because they are guilty of this. The main way in which they are not equal is that this is happening on the border of Russia, whereas the U.S. instigator is thousands of miles away.

Russia’s demands for months have been perfectly reasonable and exactly what the U.S. would demand if the roles were reversed. Evacuating people to safety is a good thing, though unfortunate and not a complete solution.”

Swanson pointed out that the U.S. had already derived benefits from the situation by arms sales and the establishment additional military bases in Eastern Europe. He also offered possible solutions to deescalation.

A complete solution would be to begin a reverse arms-race, a deescalation. But the reason Biden and gang don’t much care about their predictions of imminent invasions making them look dumb is the other purposes of such a crisis that are rarely talked about. The U.S. has gotten out of this already: new bases in Slovakia, billions in tank sales to Poland, billions more in other weapons to Ukraine and Eastern Europe, and along with all of that, more U.S. influence in a Europe kept at odds with Russia—plus a proposal to Congress for record military spending without the slightest murmer of diaspproval from anywhere.

 A success in moving toward peace would require undoing all of those successes for the military industrial congressional “intelligence” media academic thinktank complex. But if we can make it through 50 days of an invasion being imminent, we can make it through 100.“

Sustain Peace By Supporting International Monitoring Groups Like the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Michael Beer, Director of Nonviolence International, an Internationally recognized organization dedicated to building a global culture of nonviolence, said, “We need all governments to beat the drums of peace.” Beers further elaborated that the U.S. could do more to support peace monitoring support by strengthening the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine.

“While the US is concerned about the safety of its OSCE personnel it is at moments such as these when we most need peace monitors. It is critically important to maintain the personnel, who are currently involved in monitoring the situation along the line of contact and to take every possible measure to expand their capacity. Strengthening the Peace Monitoring Mission in Ukraine is something everyone can agree on.”

Michael Beer recently published his first book, Non-Violent Tactics in the 21st Century, which is a free update of Gene Sharp’s seminal text training the world in the value of nonviolent tactics, and is available online here.

Reduce Conflict Scenarios by Disbanding NATO and Cutting Military Expenditures

Medea Benjamin, co-founder and peace activist at CODEPINK! Women For Peace, said in a video that the roots of the current situation were tied up in continuing support for expanding NATO, while at home both parties in the Congress continued to green-light massive military spending. This along with silence among the voices of progressives has led to the present situation in Ukraine.

“Parties In the House and Senate fast-tracked bills calling for massive [amounts] of weapons to be sent to Ukraine. It just shows us once again that we have two war parties. We’ve seen this before and we’re seeing it now. The progressives in the meantime, are much more focused on domestic issues and you don’t hear them in Congress coming out and screaming ‘what the heck is going on’ and ‘what we need now is deescalation, diplomacy, and not to antagonize Russia’.”

Benjamin also said that progressives needed to discuss disbanding NATO and pointed to recent historic facts to explain why Ukraine’s intent to joint NATO led to Russia’s reaction

At the time of the breakup of the Soviet Union there were guarantees given to then President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not move eastward and instead NATO move easteard and now NATO is on Russia’s border. So instead of progressives in Congress saying now is the time to talk about NATO there is all this talk about shoring up NATO.”

Benjamin discussed the limited role peace groups have in projecting a peace narrative because mainstream media was a much longer reach…………

Commitments made During the Glasgow Climate Conference Demand Solutions for De-escalation

Margaret Flowers, Director of Popular Resistance, said that Western nations made a pact with the planet to preserve the environment for future generations but the signors of the COP26 agreements were sidestepping their commitments by posturing and moving towards conflict.

“The U.S. military is the greatest user of fossil fuel as a single institution and it is also the greatest polluter on the planet. There is a growing awareness in the climate justice and anti-war movements that these things are closely interconnected and we can’t deal with the climate crisis if we don’t address the U.S. military and the wars it wages.”

American Empire, Exceptionalism, and the Flames of Global Conflict….

February 22, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment

”Green nuclear” is a FRAUD

calling nuclear power green or sustainable is plain simple fraud on the world and an attempt to equate something that is as harmful as nuclear reactor with a solar power panel or a windmill.

The nuclear industry lobby says that the cost of running a nuclear power plant is minimal and that over a life-cycle nuclear power is competitive. However, this is false again as decommissioning of a nuclear power plant can be more expensive than building one and that too, leaving a great deal of doubt over how safely the nuclear waste has been stored and whether it would not leak into the ground water or contaminate the soil over the course of tens of thousands of years that the nuclear waste will be radioactive.

EU greenwashing nuclear power: Short sighted &  counterproductive  https://mediaindia.eu/environment/eu-greenwashing-nuclear-power/  Extravagantly expensive, long gestation to mount & ever-present aftereffects. Media India, February 21, 2022By Ranvir Nayar /  New Delhi  In its rush to meet the carbon emission targets, European Union has adopted a highly controversial approach of wholehearted backing for nuclear power and the European Commission’s move to give green tag to nuclear power sets a wrong & dangerous precedent.

After nearly half a century of being home to the world’s most high profile anti-nuclear movement, it is fashionable to be nuclear in Europe again. From Heads of States to the bureaucrats sitting in Brussels, everyone seems to have new-found love for nuclear power.

Last week, French President announced that the French nuclear power giant EDF will build six new nuclear power plants at a cost of over EUR 52 billion, with the options for eight more. This decision marks the biggest investment plans in any European country for the nuclear power production in several decades.

The announcement came days after the European Commission announced new draft rules for certifying energy sources as per their carbon emissions in order to facilitate its transition to carbon-neutral future. Under the provisional rules, the EC has given a green label for nuclear and gas power plants. It sets out the criteria for classifying investments in nuclear or gas-fired power plants for electricity generation as ‘sustainable’, with the aim of directing ‘green finance’ with lower costs for the borrowers, towards activities that contribute to reducing greenhouse gases.

The third bit of news from the nuclear domain in the recent weeks was that Electricité de France (EDF), one of the biggest nuclear power producers in the world, was struggling to stay afloat. The firm had announced yet another delay in commissioning of its much-hyped and extremely controversial EPR, the so-called new generation of nuclear reactors that it has been trying to build at Flamanville in France, besides a couple of other sites in other countries. EDF said now the plant would be ready only in 2023 and the cost would go yet again up to EUR 12.7 billion.

Barely had the stock markets digested this bit of bad, but not entirely unexpected news, since EPR has proven to be the bete noire of EDF ever since it was conceived over a decade ago, than the French government announced that EDF ought to cut its electricity price down to the same level as rivals in the French market. This news sent EDF stock plunging by 20 pc.

This led the French government, which holds 84 pc equity in the troubled giant, to lend a big helping hand and last week, EDF unveiled a plan for injection of EUR 2.5 billion of fresh capital in order to avoid bankruptcy. The French government will provide EUR 2.1 billion for the same. In addition, to stay afloat, EDF will also sell about EUR 3 billion in various assets to raise cash for operations.

The recapitalisation is demonstration of a strong support by the French government to the nuclear powerhouse that has been struggling for survival over the past few years as it has overshot the cost and timelines of its projects.

But even with recapitalisation, 2022 will be especially difficult for EDF as it has to tackle corrosion issues in numerous reactors and with its debt already touching the skies at EUR 43 billion, EDF has to make heavy investments in new reactors as well as maintenance of its remaining ones. The problem of maintenance reflects in its forecast for power production this year as EDF has cut its estimates by nearly 15 pc.

Nuclear Power is anything but green 

The EDF saga is one of the many very good reasons why the EU erred in putting nuclear power in its green energy, even if provisionally. This has been opposed by several EU members, notably Germany and Austria, which have both forsaken nuclear power. The anti-nuclear lobby in the EU was also horrified by the manner in which the EU had handled the issue. It was on the eve of the New Year that the European Commission tried to slip in a major modification in how various power sources are labelled, by according the green investment tag to nuclear power.

If officials in Brussels had hoped that the media and others would be busy welcoming 2022 and hence its trick would get little attention, within hours they were proven wrong as the new government in Germany as well as numerous environmental groups rebuked the EC’s tag and asked for a withdrawal.

The EC’s tag had been in the offing for a while, especially as the European Union as well as rest of the world, struggles to meet the ambitious levels of cut in carbon emissions needed in order to achieve their targets under the Paris Agreement.

Not surprisingly, driving the move towards green tag for nuclear power is France, which is not only the biggest user of the power source, but also began its 6-month rotating presidency of the EU on January 1, 2022. However, French and EC officials ought to have realised that such a controversial move could not just be slipped in, especially as it came days after a new government in Germany, which for the first time has the Green Party as a major partner and which had actively campaigned for a total phase out of nuclear power in the country.

Continue reading

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Captured by climate propaganda — Beyond Nuclear International

Sunrise Movement should sunset any support for nuclear power

Captured by climate propaganda — Beyond Nuclear International

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Time is running out — Beyond Nuclear International

New radioactive mud dump threat looms

Time is running out — Beyond Nuclear International

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Concern in Tamil Nadu over spent nuclear fuel storage at Kudankulam site 

Tamil Nadu flags concern over spent nuclear fuel storage at Kudankulam site   https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/tamil-nadu-flags-concern-over-spent-nuclear-fuel-storage-at-kudankulam-site-7780809/

Chief Minister M K Stalin flagged the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter about the issue pertaining to the power plant located in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday opposed the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited’s proposal to store spent nuclear fuel (SNF) at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) site and suggested it be sent back to Russia, according to an earlier agreement or store it in an uninhabited area.

Chief Minister M K Stalin flagged the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter about the issue pertaining to the power plant located in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.

Six nuclear power reactors of 1000 MW each are envisaged in this project.  Out of the six, units 1 & 2 have already been commissioned, while 3 & 4 are under construction and units 5 & 6 are yet to be established, Stalin said.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. proposes to construct Away from Reactor (AFR) facilities in the nuclear power plant site itself for the storage of the SNF generated from all six reactors,” the Chief Minister said.

In this regard, I wish to inform that when the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had earlier accorded permission to Units 1 & 2, the agreement was to collect and store the spent fuel temporarily within the unit’s premises (At Reactor) and then send it back to the country of origin, Russia,” he said.

However, it was subsequently decided to store the SNF permanently in the AFR facility to be located within the unit premises. “This decision was taken without consulting the state government,” he said.

Stalin told the Prime Minister that there was “deep concern and apprehensions” among the people of Tamil Nadu, including various political parties, regarding the hazards and potential danger of the AFR storage facility of the SNF within the plant premises.

Several such facilities across the world have faced accidents leading to “disastrous impacts” on the environment and the people residing in and around such plants, he said.

The local people are apprehensive of the fallouts and have been protesting against the AFR facilities within the complex.

“Therefore, I request that in the interest of public safety, health and welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu, action may be taken to transport back the SNF to Russia. This must not only be for units 1 & 2, but also for the subsequent four units. In case this is not a feasible option, the spent fuel may be permanently stored in a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) in an uninhabited and ecologically non-sensitive area,” the Chief Minister told Modi.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | India, wastes | Leave a comment

With nuclear weapons, the Nazi idea of total war is alive and flourishing

With nuclear weapons, the Nazi idea of total war is alive and flourishing  https://www.thenational.scot/community/19938923.nuclear-weapons-nazi-idea-total-war-alive-flourishing/

Brian M Quail, Feb 20,2022 -VLADIMIR Putin is overseeing exercises involving the launching of ballistic missiles, according to the RIA news agency. This news comes with a numbing inevitability. From the very beginning of the nuclear arms race this was predictable.

At the end of 1945, in Operation Paperclip, more than 1,600 rocket scientists, engineers, and technicians were sneaked away from Germany to the US. These unrepentant Nazis (notably Werner Von Braun) all received US citizenship and gave America dominance in the nuclear arms race. Four years later, the Soviet Union responded by developing their own Bomb in 1949, and our race to nuclear extinction began.

This was a terrible fulfillment of the prophetic words of Hitler’s minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, who said: “Even if we lose, we will win, because our ideas will have penetrated the hearts of our enemies.” The Nazi idea of total or genocidal war is alive and flourishing in our nuclear war plans. Faslane is our superBelsen.

We rabbit on about deterrence. But there is a fatal flaw in the theory of deterrence. The enemy must feel genuinely threatened by us. So I must develop characteristics in my weaponry that make this fear real. Greater kill power, stealth delivery systems, undetectability etc are thus inevitable. But if I develop characteristics of usability, the weapons become more, er, usable, and just another tool in the box.

The only escape from this nightmare is to not play the mad game. “No” is the hero’s word. I referenced World War Two when sourcing our woes. In truth, our problem is older, much older. We read in Deuteronomy: “I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that you and your children may live.”

Our progress in the technology of industrialised killing is mind-blowing. When I was young, a bomb could be dropped from a plane. Now you can rain guided missiles from outer space. We have hypersonic weapons, drones that kill without human involvement, all sorts of new ways of killing people. So every day we are choosing death.

At this, the eleventh hour, can we not repent and choose life? We must stop blaming the other because “I have seen the enemy, and he is us.” We can renounce our gods of metal and abandon our nuclear idolatry. We could join the non-nuclear majority, sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and have a future – if only we have the courage to change.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear project with Russian reactors shakes Bulgarian politics

Nuclear project with Russian reactors shakes Bulgarian politics By Emiliya Milcheva and Krasen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg 21 Feb 22, Leading figures in the Bulgarian government are looking for a way out of a 40-year project to build a second nuclear power plant near the Danube island of Belene. The Belene project, which is to be implemented with two Russian nuclear reactors, is creating serious political tensions between liberal pro-European ‘Change Continues’ and ‘Democratic Bulgaria’ and the pro-Russian Bulgarian Socialist Party, which are coalition partners. President Rumen Radev has also insisted on a swift decision on the nuclear project.

Currently, Bulgarian energy is dependent on Russia. About 70% of the gas Bulgaria uses is Russian, the nuclear reactors at the Kozloduy power plant are filled with Russian nuclear fuel, nuclear waste is exported to Russia, and the largest oil refinery in the Balkans – near the Bulgarian city of Burgas – is owned by Lukoil.

‘Change Continues’ wants to change that.

Amid the crisis in Ukraine, Prime Minister Kirill Petkov has twice said he will not build the Belene project with two Russian reactors already purchased and delivered.

Using Russian nuclear reactors at Belene also means orders from Bulgaria for the Russian state-owned company Rosatom. Prime Minister Petkov stressed that Bulgaria had nuclear fuel for two years and there is no immediate threat to Bulgaria’s nuclear energy, but energy experts say the country must make a long-term decision

Prime Minister Petkov’s comments immediately provoked a reaction from the Socialist Party. Under pressure from the socialists, Bulgaria will launch a new analysis of the viability of the Belene nuclear project. Belene’s status is also being used by the pro-Russian far-right Vazrazhdane party, which supports Bulgaria’s exit from the EU and NATO.

Last week, a large Bulgarian delegation visited the United States, led by influential Deputy Prime Minister Asen Vassilev. Nuclear energy was one of the main topics discussed, with Bulgaria exploring whether it can use US nuclear fuel at the current Kozloduy power plant instead of Russia’s.

As early as January 2021, the government of Boyko Borissov approved a report supporting the construction of a new nuclear power unit at Kozloduy with a Russian reactor, but American technology. However, for such a hybrid to work, the participation of Rosatom is required. Such a Russian-American partnership now seems impossible.

EURACTIV understands that leading figures in the Bulgarian government are considering the possible benefits of the American small modular reactors or the Westinghouse reactor – AP1000.

Bulgaria has enough time to decide

Martin Vladimirov from the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) told EURACTIV that the Belene project is currently used as a carrot by politicians. Surveys show that 70% of Bulgarians want the Belene project to be built.

Vladimirov says the nuclear project should be talked about economically, not politically. He says that American interests in the export of modular nuclear reactors are visible, as they are trying to launch the technology in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine……………………..   https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/nuclear-project-with-russian-reactors-shakes-bulgarian-politics/

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Bulgaria, politics international | Leave a comment

Maryland Couple Conspired to Sell Nuclear Secrets

Maryland Couple Conspired to Sell Nuclear Secrets  Sarah Coble News Writer, Info-Security Magazine, 21 Feb 22, A married couple from Maryland has admitted conspiring to steal nuclear secrets from the United States and sell them to a foreign nation. 

Annapolis residents, Jonathan and Diana Toebbe, were arrested by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service on October 9 2021 after placing an SD card containing stolen restricted data at a pre-arranged ‘dead drop’ location in Jefferson County, West Virginia.

At the time of his arrest, Jonathan Toebbe was employed as a nuclear engineer by the Department of the Navy, who had assigned Toebbe to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, also known as Naval Reactors.

Toebbe used the national security clearance he had obtained through the Department of Defense to access restricted data. Among the data Toebbe worked with and had access to was information concerning naval nuclear propulsion, which included data on military sensitive design elements, operating parameters and performance characteristics of the reactors for nuclear-powered warships………

On February 14, 43-year-old Jonathan Toebbe pleaded guilty to conspiracy to communicate Restricted Data related to the design of nuclear-powered warships. Diana Toebbe, 46, pleaded guilty on February 18 to the same offense. …….. https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/maryland-couple-conspired-nuclear/

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t a Threat, and Israel Must Find a New Approach

Editorial | The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t a Threat, and Israel Must Find a New Approach, https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/.premium-the-iran-nuclear-deal-isn-t-a-threat-and-israel-must-find-a-new-approach-1.10624130 The latest reports on the issue of Iran’s nuclear program have sown fear in the hearts of Israeli decision makers. There has apparently been significant progress in the talks between Iran and the Western powers in Vienna, and they may soon sign a new nuclear agreement. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was quick to warn that “two things have happened” since the original deal was signed in 2015 – “the Iranians have made great strides in building their enrichment capability and time has passed. If the world signs the agreement again – without extending the expiration date – then we are talking about an agreement that buys a total of two and a half years, after which Iran can and may develop and install advanced centrifuges, without restrictions.”

Bennett forgot to mention that Iran began to violate the agreement only about a year after the United States withdrew from it unilaterally in 2018. He also forgot to mention that Israel made a big contribution to that American decision. Israel invested all its diplomatic efforts and military capabilities into torpedoing the agreement before it was signed, and now, it’s complaining that the new agreement will freeze Iran’s nuclear program for too short a time.

This complaint is inaccurate. The supervision and most of the restrictions will remain in place for many years, and in any case, Iran won’t be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. Moreover, had the agreement still been in force, the reduced sanctions and Iran’s increased profits would have made it possible to scrutinize its intentions more seriously, so there would be no need to automatically continue nurturing the idee fixe of an existential threat.

After the negotiations with Iran were frozen last June due to the election of a new Iranian president, Israel rushed to market the theory that Iran didn’t intend to return to the negotiating table. When the negotiations did resume, Israel predicted that Tehran would try to buy time and that its goal was to further develop its nuclear program under cover of the talks. Both of these prophecies proved wrong. Iran is negotiating aggressively – and while the negotiations haven’t been free of ups and downs, Tehran has demonstrated seriousness and appears determined to sign a deal.

If the deal is signed, it won’t allay all of Israel’s fears. Iran will still be able to continue developing ballistic missiles, and it’s not expected to stop supporting Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis in Yemen or militias in Iraq. At the same time, Tehran is seeking to repair its relationships with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the other Gulf states that are considered Israeli allies.

Israel’s government must view the agreement with suspicion, participate in the international supervisory effort to ensure that all its provisions are indeed upheld and work to thwart any Iranian threat against Israelis. But when the government views the agreement itself as a threat, it is undermining its aspiration to neutralize the existential threat Iran poses to Israel’s citizens.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Concerns over proposals for nuclear power in Nebraska and Iowa

Could Nebraska and Iowa go nuclear as part of shift away from fossil fuels?    Omaha World-Herald Feb 21, 2022,  As the world shifts away from fossil fuels, Nebraska and Iowa utilities are among those preparing for the possible use of nuclear power to supplement renewable energy. ………

state and federal governments are reworking regulations and incentives to encourage the revival of nuclear power.

However, critics say the new technology is unproven and presents fresh risks of cost overruns, nuclear accidents and opportunistic terrorist actions.

……………… a seismic shift toward renewable energy is under way. Over the last 10 years, more than half of the new electric power added to the grid came from wind or solar, according to the Edison Electric Institute.

………………………….   The environmental community is united on the urgency of climate change but divided over the issue of nuclear energy.

David Corbin, chairman of the Missouri Valley Sierra Club’s energy committee, pointed to the costs and dangers associated with nuclear power and said the industry lacks sufficient oversight.

Corbin said nuclear power costs two to three times more per megawatt than solar or wind, and it creates deadly waste with no permanent storage solution.

Additionally, Corbin pointed to last week’s report by the Inspector General of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that found that counterfeit, fraudulent or suspect parts were being used in some of the nation’s nuclear plants.

High level nuclear waste from Nebraska’s nuclear power plants is stored about 20 miles north of Omaha at the shuttered Fort Calhoun Nuclear Station and about 70 mile south of Omaha at the Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville. If small reactors are built in rural Nebraska, then resulting nuclear waste may likewise be stored at those scattered sites.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Damage limitation and US nuclear strategy 

if America is able to target all of Russia’s missiles, this creates an incentive for the United States to try a damage‑limiting preventative attack that otherwise it would never have attempted.

It is within this situation that the Kremlin’s concern over even limited BM can be placed

the current situation demonstrates how damage limiting capabilities driven by the intent to save lives can lead to unwanted results – including not only Russia’s new weapons, but potentially also novel systems and more missile silos in China. As such, the recent recommitment of world leaders to the notion that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought provides a small but welcome step on the path to maintaining the uneasy peace.

Damage limitation and
US nuclear strategy  
https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/damage-limitation-and-us-nuclear-strategy VICTOR ABRAMOWICZ 20 Feb 22,

In an atomic world, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.    Almost four years ago, I argued in The Interpreter that Vladimir Putin’s decision to pursue a range of weapons specifically designed to defeat America’s Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) system was irrational behaviour, being an expensive solution to a problem which did not exist.

In particular, while the Kremlin worried that BMD might make Washington immune to Moscow’s existing missiles, in turn opening Russia to coercion or destruction, I observed that America’s 44 interceptor missiles could not hope to defeat Russia’s 1,700 warheads. And while the United States could potentially manufacture hundreds more, there was no indication that Washington planned to do so – and if this occurred, Russia’s existing countermeasures including chaff and jammers represented more cost-effective solutions.

Yet in the years since, having learned more about American nuclear warfighting policies, I’m forced to conclude that there may be more sense to Russia’s actions than first meets the eye – and they do not even require a view of Washington as a villain.

In particular, while the United States and Russia’s primary aim is to avoid a nuclear war, should this arise both of course still seek to minimise harm to themselves, including by saving the lives of millions of their citizens. In turn, both sought to achieve this imperative in many common ways – such as storing medicines or building civil bunkers.

Yet one key means, referred to as “damage limitation” appears to have only been pursued by America, perhaps because of its extraordinary expense. Damage limitation refers to the vastly complex task of seeking to be able to destroy (mainly by atomic attack) most and ideally all of Russia’s missiles before they are launched, including fixed silo-based and mobile land and sea-based weapons.

Washington’s interest in being able to pre-emptively ruin all these types of rockets is obvious and arguably even benign: they present a threat to millions of US lives. But by potentially successfully seeking such a capability it has also dramatically increased, from Moscow’s perspective, the risk of nuclear war.

This outcome reflects that both sides’ mobile assets in particular have been the crux of stability by enabling an “assured second strike”. That is, by being moveable and hence hard to destroy in an atomic first strike, such weapons helped ensure such an attack would never come as they promised obliteration in return.

Yet if America is able to target all of Russia’s missiles, this creates an incentive for the United States to try a damage‑limiting preventative attack that otherwise it would never have attempted.

It is within this situation that the Kremlin’s concern over even limited BMD can be placed, as any such defences further-increase the imperative to attack. So, while some Russian rockets would almost certainly survive a first strike, their reduced numbers are much more likely to be defeated by even a handful of interceptors. And should Washington manufacture more, even out of purely defensive intent, the appeal of a pre-emptive attack increases in turn.

In this light, Moscow’s novel weapons appear much more rational. They do not require unreasonable American malevolence, simply a recognition of Washington’s aim to save US lives.

After all, in a real nuclear crisis, what would a future president do if advised that America had a possibly fleeting fix on all of Russia’s weapons? What if, in such a scenario, Washington realised that Moscow had detected – and might at any moment fire upon – an American attack submarine that had been trailing a Russian missile‑sub, noting such vessels each hold enough warheads to wipe out the United States?

In such situations the incentives to strike first would be enormous. And to offset this grim calculus, even small numbers of BMD-immune weapons can disproportionately rebalance the scales and thus present a sensible investment.

Of course, Russia’s developments are only one means to address the evolving nuclear dilemma, and a variety of more peaceful measures have been suggested also. Yet the current situation demonstrates how damage limiting capabilities driven by the intent to save lives can lead to unwanted results – including not only Russia’s new weapons, but potentially also novel systems and more missile silos in China. As such, the recent recommitment of world leaders to the notion that nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought provides a small but welcome step on the path to maintaining the uneasy peace.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Antarctica and Greenland’s polar ice shelves are melting from below

Antarctica and Greenland’s polar ice shelves are melting from below

The largest ice masses on the planet contain so much water that they’re increasing sea levels around the globe as temperatures rise. Satellites can see these drastic changes from space.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In-Depth: Dangers of Burying Nuclear Waste

Burying nuclear waste deep in the earth is an experiment. And once it is
done, it will be very difficult to undo. caution-radioactive sign image.
The nuclear industry in Canada likes to point to all the other countries
that have been exploring the ideas of deep geological repositories for
decades, as if this is evidence of success.

But in fact, it would be more
accurately viewed as evidence of failure. After more than forty years of
study and massive amounts of spending there is no operating deep geological
repository for nuclear fuel waste anywhere in the world. There is no
success story. But, there are examples of failure.

 We the Nuclear Free North (accessed) 20th Feb 2022

February 22, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment