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Los Alamos Study Group outlines a clear solution to the Ukraine war

Understanding why Russia invaded is not condoning the invasion. Russia’s view is that of existential dangers to its very existence. …… Russia’s view has to be respected, whether or not we agree with it. Failure by the U.S. and NATO over the course of decades to respect Russia’s position, and to provide a humane and reasonable provision for Russia’s security needs is the main if not the only material cause of the present conflict.

An end to the invasion and war in Ukraine can only be guaranteed if Russia’s security is itself guaranteed. …… The fundamental cause of the current conflict is the desire of the U.S. to weaken or “break”Russia.

A Proposed Solution to the Ukraine War

 An end to the invasion and war in Ukraine can only be guaranteed if Russia’s security is itself guaranteed. Security is largely indivisible. Security for one state requires security for others, says the Los Alamos Study Group.

Consortium News By Greg Mello, March 7, 2022 
Los Alamos Study Group  Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, what was a regional conflict has become a global hybrid war with ever-greater stakes, not least the risk of nuclear war.

Perhaps the greatest danger lies in the difference of motives between parties, which is also the fundamental cause of this war: Russia seeks security, while the U.S. and its NATO allies have been using Ukraine to deny that security — to “break Russia,” in Henry Kissinger’s 2015 phrase. The U.S. does not want peace, unless it be the peace of a conquered Russia. That is why there is no obvious end to the escalations and counter-escalations. The U.S. and NATO see opportunity in the war they have been trying so hard to provoke.

The tragedy is that few people seem to understand that at the root of the Ukraine crisis is a specific strategy known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine, named after Paul Wolfowitz who, as under secretary of defense in the administration of George H. W. Bush, was one of the authors of a 1992 document that laid out a neo-conservative manifesto aimed at ensuring American dominance of world affairs following the collapse of the Soviet Union………….

The Wolfowitz Doctrine triggered the post-Cold War use of NATO as an instrument of bloody aggression against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. It declared, in effect, that diplomacy was dead and that American power ruled by violence if necessary. A resurgent Russia led by Vladimir Putin was next, and on the horizon, a risen China.

The 2014 Washington-engineered coup in Ukraine that removed an elected leader who sought to reinforce his country’s relationship with neighboring Russia, was a product of the 1992 Doctrine and the extremism it represented. Victoria Nuland, a neo-conservative ideologue and President Barack Obama’s “point person” in Ukraine, has played the same role in President Joe Biden’s State Department.

The 1992 Doctrine is elaborated in an infamous RAND study on how to overextend and, in Kissinger’s words, “break Russia.” This is U.S. foreign policy today: a fact well understood by the Russian leadership who regard their country as effectively under siege by the United States.

The potential of American missiles pointed at Moscow from former Soviet satellite countries, together with NATO troop deployments, is the reality they see. A militarized and virulently anti-Russian Ukraine being used as a tool by the U.S., with an expressed wish for nuclear weapons, on the brink of invading Russian-sympathizing provinces on the Russian border — all that was too much for Russia. What, do you suppose, the U.S. would do if such a situation arose in Mexico or Canada?The potential of American missiles pointed at Moscow from former Soviet satellite countries, together with NATO troop deployments, is the reality they see. A militarized and virulently anti-Russian Ukraine being used as a tool by the U.S., with an expressed wish for nuclear weapons, on the brink of invading Russian-sympathizing provinces on the Russian border — all that was too much for Russia. What, do you suppose, the U.S. would do if such a situation arose in Mexico or Canada?

Since 2014, the Las Alamos Study Group has made it part of our business to understand the conflict in Ukraine and its significance for the world. In that year we held public meetings and teach-ins discussing it and since then have tried to examine developments as we could. In the Obama Administration, we took our concerns to the offices of the National Security Council — and were appalled by the lack of knowledge and understanding we found there.

Many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have taken positions on this conflict. In our view, most (not all) of their statements are superficial, and/or omit the causes of the invasion as Russia understands them, or are in lock-step with U.S. and NATO propaganda.

The Study Group’s Basic Conclusions

  • Understanding why Russia invaded is not condoning the invasion. Russia’s view is that of existential dangers to its very existence. The sincerity of that view is evident in the grave risks Russia is taking in this invasion which, again, we need neither justify nor condemn. Russia’s view has to be respected, whether or not we agree with it. Failure by the U.S. and NATO over the course of decades to respect Russia’s position, and to provide a humane and reasonable provision for Russia’s security needs is the main if not the only material cause of the present conflict.
  • Telling Russia what to do is the problem, not the solution. We in NATO countries and in the West more broadly, and in peace-oriented groups, should confine our imperatives and judgments to what we ourselves can do, in our own countries and in relation to NATO. It is imperative to bring peace to Ukraine as best we can and to not inflame or broaden this conflict further. Our words can kill, or heal.
  • An end to the invasion and war in Ukraine can only be guaranteed if Russia’s security is itself guaranteed. Security is largely indivisible. Security for one state requires security for others. This is a core principle of European security which Russia rightly insists upon. The U.S. should honor that. The fundamental cause of the current conflict is the desire of the U.S. to weaken or “break”Russia.
  • Human rights, including the right of political self-determination, are pillars of Western values and institutions. The government of Ukraine has denied human rights and political self-determination to the peoples of the Donbass. Some 13,000 people have died during the eight years since the 2014 coup, according to the United Nations. The Ukrainian government has overtly genocidal policies toward Russian minorities. Since the 2014 U.S. sponsored coup, the U.S. and its European allies have used Ukraine to undermine Russian security.
  • Nazi and neo-Nazi formations and ideologies in Ukraine present a clear danger to human rights and human life everywhere.
  • Peace and nuclear disarmament organizations should be alarmed by NGO support for U.S. efforts to demonize and destabilize Russia.

What the Study Group Wants

1. We want a negotiated peace at the earliest possible time. In our own countries, every effort should be made to achieve this. We do not see those efforts.

2. We want an end to further escalation and broadening of the conflict, which threatens the well-being and security of the whole world. None of our countries should be introducing or transporting arms or conducting military activities or providing training or support of any kind in Ukraine. Peace groups should oppose all such escalation. “Helping Ukraine” with military “aid” is just a way of getting more people killed in the service of long-term U.S. aims to destroy the Russia.

3. Weapons should not be provided to civilian individuals, gangs, criminals, children, and “stay-behind,” guerrilla, or Volkssturmgroups. This only inflicts needless suffering and damages prospects for peace now and in the long run. There is no honor or legitimacy in such tactics in the present circumstances.

4. All economic sanctions – which hurt ordinary citizens more than elites – should be lifted. Economic sanctions are weapons of mass destruction, with global effects.

5. We want measured, just, de jure de-nazification of the Ukrainian government and laws.

6. The independence of the Donbass region within pre-conflict administrative boundaries should be accepted by all peace organizations and states.

7. The democratic decision of Crimea to rejoin Russia should be accepted by all peace organizations and states.

8. Peace groups should support a neutral, demilitarized (i.e. without heavy weapons or force projection capability) Ukraine, which is similar if not identical to the outcome sought by Russia.

9. Civilian areas must not be used as military staging or artillery bases. This is illegal, in fact. There is evidence that the Ukrainian Armed Forces are engaging in this odious practice.

10. Ukraine should not be allowed to join NATO. That was a capital demand of Russia and one that we should all support.

11. NATO should disband. The largest military alliance in the world, NATO consumes more resources than all the world’s militaries combined, and has conducted multiple wars of aggression, in violation of the U.N. Charter and Nuremberg principles. NATO is also a nuclear weapons alliance.

12. The U.S. and the five states that host U.S. nuclear weapons should, jointly or individually, end nuclear hosting arrangements, as well as end the training of non-U.S. pilots in nuclear weapons use and the prospective use of non-U.S. dual-capable aircraft for nuclear missions.

13. Clearly, all of the above is urgent if the killing is to end, and there is to be a lasting peace in Europe.

Greg Mello is the executive director of the Los Alamos Study Group in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  https://consortiumnews.com/2022/03/07/a-proposed-solution-to-the-ukraine-war/

March 10, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, Reference, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Lies leave the Assange case exposed – this is a political persecution

Lies leave the Assange case exposed – this is a political persecution,  https://www.counterfire.org/articles/opinion/22480-lies-leave-the-assange-case-exposed-this-is-a-political-persecution

John Rees on how a false testimony has further confirmed that the Assange case is a political attack against critical journalists

Watching the US government’s case against Julian Assange is like watching a levitation act at the music hall. You can see that the object floats, but you’ve no idea how. If normal gravitational laws applied, the Assange case would have crashed to the ground already.

After all, a leading prosecution witness has admitted lying in his evidence to the court and the defendant and his lawyers have been spied on by the intelligence agency of the government attempting to extradite him. In any other case, the mere facts of these revelations would be enough to halt court proceedings, but the detail makes the case for abandonment of the extradition even more compelling.

The most recent bombshell is that Sigurdur ‘Siggi’ Thordarson has admitted to Icelandic journalists at Stundin that he lied when he gave evidence alleging that Julian Assange had instructed him to hack US government accounts. Thordarson’s evidence is not marginal to the US case: it’s woven all through the prosecution’s argument, and it is specifically referred to by the judge in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in those parts of her judgement which are hostile to Assange.

Indeed, when the Trump administration realised that their case was weak, they specifically sought out Thordarson in Iceland and reissued their charges against Assange so that it would be, they imagined, strengthened by his evidence. They should have known better.

To say that Thordarson is an unreliable witness is a very considerable understatement. His allegations had been reviewed by the Obama administration and found too problematic to be taken seriously. Trump’s administration re-animated Thordarson in an attempt to breathe life into their flagging case.

Thordason had been a volunteer for WikiLeaks, working to raise funds. He stole some $50,000 from WikiLeaks and he misrepresented himself to the outside world in order to embezzle money. He was also convicted of sexual abuse of children. On both counts, Julian Assange helped put him in jail. His motive for lying once again for the Trump administration is plain: revenge. And his false evidence is meant to bolster a central contention of the US case: that Julian Assange is a hacker, not a journalist.

Quite what has now convinced this serial liar to admit that he invented the material on which the US case so heavily relies we cannot know. But his decision to do so blows a hole through the centre of the case for extradition.

Thordarson admitted to the Stundin investigative team that Assange never asked him to hack anything. In fact, he now says that his previous claim that Assange had instructed or asked him to access computers is false.

Yet this is precisely the evidence on which the US prosecution relies. Indeed, it was so important to them that they tore up their original indictment of Assange on the very eve of the extradition hearing so that they could reissue a second indictment specifically including Thordarson’s evidence – evidence now admitted to be a total fiction.

At this point most cases which had been exposed as relying on perjured testimony would collapse. Not so the Assange case, which is now heading to the Appeal Court where the US will try to overturn the decision of the Magistrates’ Court at the start of this year, which found that the US prison system is so ‘oppressive’ that Assange would be a suicide risk were he committed to it.

It’s not even as if the Thordarson revelations are the first time that evidence has emerged which would normally halt court proceedings in their tracks. It is already a matter of record that Assange and his legal team were spied on by a Spanish security firm reporting to the CIA. The firm, UC Global, were employed by the Ecuadorean embassy to protect Assange when he was granted asylum. They were suborned by the CIA and then supplied them with both audio and video recordings of Assange and his legal team in the embassy. All this has been revealed in an ongoing court case in Spain.

Again, in any normal trial, the revelation that attorney-client privilege had been abused in this way would have been grounds for dismissal. But not in the Assange case. The court seems content to accept the US government’s argument that the CIA would respect departmental boundaries and never tell the Department of Justice any information obtained from the spying operation on Assange. This excuse beggars belief, since the exact function of the CIA is to tell the US government about the threats to national security, as they see it.

And there is the whole core of the problem: the US government under Trump allowed the fiction to develop that the fundamental business of investigative journalism is a threat to national security. Accordingly, Julian Assange became reclassified as a ‘cyber-terrorist’, not a journalist.

In pursuit of this dangerous fantasy, the US government is keeping a multiple award-winning journalist banged-up in a high security jail specifically used for terrorists, in spite of the Magistrates’ Court decision against them.

It’s time that both the US government and the British government brought this embarrassing farce to an end. Every major human rights organisation on the planet has said it is wrong. Journalists’ unions across the globe say its wrong. Parliamentarians in Italy are protesting in their legislature to says its wrong. German MPs are demanding Angela Merkel tells Joe Biden its wrong. Australian MPs are campaigning for Assange’s release in unprecedented numbers. British MPs have been protesting outside Belmarsh because they are not even being allowed a briefing with Assange.

As the Assange case goes to the High Court, we are reaching a critical moment. This is the crucial freedom of the press case of the twenty-first century. If it is lost, the shadow of authoritarian government will be cast longer and darker over the body politic. We should not allow that to happen.

March 10, 2022 Posted by | legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Russia’s disinformation machine, (and Trump’s, in USA)

Russia’s Disinformation Machine Runs So Deep, Some Don’t Know War Is Happening,   William Rivers PittTruthout , March 7, 2022  

Imagine that you, as a refugee from extreme violence in Ukraine, called your family across the border for help — and were flatly told they did not believe you, that there was no war. You’ve witnessed the indiscriminate shelling of your city, including your own apartment building. You have been hiding in a train station with a thousand others as the crash and smash of an artillery bombardment shakes the rubble from the cracked ceiling. You’ve seen dead people, soldiers and civilians, left in the street. If this is not real, “real” does not exist. How can your relatives in Russia not know this is happening?

The Washington Post explains:

As Ukrainians deal with the devastation of the Russian attacks in their homeland, many are also encountering a confounding and almost surreal backlash from family members in Russia, who refuse to believe that Russian soldiers could bomb innocent people, or even that a war is taking place at all.

These relatives have essentially bought into the official Kremlin position: that President Vladimir V. Putin’s army is conducting a limited “special military operation” with the honorable mission of “de-Nazifying” Ukraine. Mr. Putin has referred to the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, a native Russian speaker with a Jewish background, as a “drug-addled Nazi” in his attempts to justify the invasion.

Those narratives are emerging amid a wave of disinformation emanating from the Russian state as the Kremlin moves to clamp down on independent news reporting while shaping the messages most Russians are receiving.

It is estimated that there are approximately 11 million people in Russia with relatives in Ukraine. It would be an act of stupendous hubris for Russian President Vladimir Putin to believe he could keep so many in the dark about the reality of Ukraine, but this is exactly what he has endeavored to do. Most of what passed for an independent press in Russia has been swept away, and overwhelmingly, the information being provided comes from Russian state media. There is no war, they preach, no mass civilian displacement. This is a limited act of liberation to free Ukraine from Nazi control by way of precision strikes on military targets only, they say, with Russian soldiers bringing food and warm clothes to all affected civilians.

It is an absolute wonder, however thoroughly horrifying, that Putin is attempting to pull off a gaslighting of such magnitude. ………….

However, Russia’s disinformation campaign should not look entirely unfamiliar to us in the United States. Let us not forget that, not so long ago, we were led into a long and bloody war under the false pretenses of “weapons of mass destruction,” which reverberated across mainstream media. In certain media sectors, those official lies echo strongly to this day.

And then, there is the lie-based future Donald Trump and his allies have been striving to construct for the U.S. for the last seven years. Any story not in praise of Trumpism is immediately labeled false, backed by an anti-logic that mangles civic discourse beyond recognition. Even trying to deconstruct a Trumpist’s “fake news” charge is a victory for the one leveling it, because it means you have accepted the premise that it could be fake news, thus giving partisans just enough of a peg to hang their hat on.

With a tight enough media bubble, reinforced by the long-espoused idea that other viewpoints stem from evil sources and must be shunned as a moral imperative, a segment of any population can be manipulated and even controlled in ways that leave those outside looking in astonished and stunned. While Trump likely would not have been able to hide a whole war with a neighbor, he has painted a masterwork of disinformation about COVID-19, masks, vaccines and basic safety measures. Tens of millions have bought what he is peddling, to the ongoing detriment of the COVID fight, leaving the country badly fractured and unable to escape the gravity well of the pandemic.

Yet, we in the U.S. independent media know well that state attempts to manipulate public opinion cannot easily quell grassroots movements. Where there is war and repression, there is resistance, and the same is true in Russia in this moment. More than 13,000 antiwar protesters have been arrested in Russia, and still they come.

And resistance to the tyranny of the outside invaders is a touchstone of the Ukrainian ethos. They will not surrender it lightly.

Meanwhile, those of us in the United States, confronting Putin’s disinformation machine, must not assume that it can be torn down by sanctions, our own military and state mechanisms of information warfare. Rather, we must take note of the fact that if many thousands of Russians are protesting in the face of massive state repression, grassroots channels of information are being used and new ones created. We must work our hardest to amplify our own channels for truth, particularly those that lift up grassroots resistance movements. As Khury Petersen-Smith writes in Truthout, “Our challenge is to build protest across borders that stands in solidarity with those facing the violence of war, and is independent — and defiant of — the governments where we reside.”  https://truthout.org/articles/russias-disinformation-machine-runs-so-deep-some-dont-know-war-is-happening/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=fcdefd4d-3561-4da4-9d86-8e4a6ec8a93a

March 10, 2022 Posted by | media, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, spinbuster | Leave a comment

New IPCC Report Calls for Adapting Today to Ensure Tomorrow’s Climate Security

By Brigitte Hugh and Sofie Bliemel  “The future depends on us, not the climate,” said Dr. Helen Adams from King’s College London, a lead author of the Working Group II (WGII) contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), published on February 28, 2022. In this article we discuss its…

New IPCC Report Calls for Adapting Today to Ensure Tomorrow’s Climate Security — The Center for Climate & Security

March 10, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chernobyl’s radiation monitoring system has stopped sending readings to IAEA

Systems that broadcast radiation levels from Chernobyl stop sending
signals: Atomic energy chiefs issue warning over site seized by Russian
troops two weeks ago as Ukraine says staff trapped there need to be allowed
out. The International Atomic Energy Agency said the safeguards system shut
down. The safeguarding system keeps track of nuclear material and waste
products. But it the system today stopped sending readings to the UNs
nuclear watchdog. The IAEA also urged Russian forces to allow 210 staff
trapped at the site to leave.

 Daily Mail 9th March 2022

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10591545/Systems-broadcast-radiation-levels-Chernobyl-stop-sending-signals.html

March 10, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Chernobyl nuclear workers ”exhausted and desperate”

Chernobyl workers are reportedly “exhausted and desperate” and surviving
on one meal of bread and porridge a day, sparking fears over their ability
to look after the nuclear plant safely.

The plant, where the world’s worst nuclear disaster happened in 1986, was taken by Russian forces at the start of the invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of workers and guards have been
trapped for nearly two weeks, having not been able to leave since Feb 23.

The plant is not configured for workers living there, and they are sleeping
on floors, tables and camp beds. Communication with the Chernobyl workers
is currently limited to emails. Rafael Grossi, director general of the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), called on Russia to allow
Chernobyl staff to be relieved by colleagues. Mr Grossi has offered to
travel to the Chernobyl plant where 200-plus staff have been on-site for 12
days straight.

 Telegraph 8th March 2022

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/03/08/fears-exhausted-desperate-workers-trapped-chernobyl-nuclear/

March 10, 2022 Posted by | employment, Ukraine | Leave a comment

”Save the Severn Estuary” fights to stop EDF dumping Hinkley Point’s nuclear mud into this Marine Protected Area.

oinPlans by energy firm EDF to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of sediment
from the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in the Severn Estuary are
facing a backlash. A campaign group called Save the Severn Estuary,
supported by a Welsh pop star, has launched a crowdfunding site to finance
a legal challenge.

The estuary is a designated Marine Protected Area and
campaigners, including Cian Ciaran of rock band Super Furry Animals, fear
the dumped waste, including chemical and radioactive materials, will spread
on the strong tidal currents all around the Estuary, depositing on its mud
banks and beaches. EDF, with its UK base in Gloucester, is planning to
start its second phase of sediment dumping at Portishead, near Bristol.

 Punchline Gloucester 8th March 2022

https://www.punchline-gloucester.com/articles/aanews/edf-faces-backlash-over-severn-estuary-mud-dumping

Plans by energy firm EDF to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of sediment
from the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in the Severn Estuary are
facing a backlash. A campaign group called Save the Severn Estuary,
supported by a Welsh pop star, has launched a crowdfunding site to finance
a legal challenge.

The estuary is a designated Marine Protected Area and
campaigners, including Cian Ciaran of rock band Super Furry Animals, fear
the dumped waste, including chemical and radioactive materials, will spread
on the strong tidal currents all around the Estuary, depositing on its mud
banks and beaches. EDF, with its UK base in Gloucester, is planning to
start its second phase of sediment dumping at Portishead, near Bristol.

 Punchline Gloucester 8th March 2022

https://www.punchline-gloucester.com/articles/aanews/edf-faces-backlash-over-severn-estuary-mud-dumping

March 10, 2022 Posted by | oceans, opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Research reactor in Kharkiv has been completely destroyed

A Ukrainian nuclear facility and research reactor in Kharkiv that was
reportedly damaged by Russian shelling has, in fact, been completely
destroyed, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a briefing late
Monday. IAEA head Rafael Grossi said that the relatively new the Kharkiv
Institute of Physics and Technology, which had been built with the help of
the United States, was considered “subcritical” and had “a very small
inventory of material ,” and added that there had been no release of
radiation. 
Bellona 8th March 2022 https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2022-03-ukrainian-research-reactor-reported-as-damaged-actually-destroyed-iaea-says

March 10, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Ukraine | Leave a comment

USA cheers Ukrainian fighters on, makes sure to keep Americans out of it.


US Policy: Cheer Ukrainians On – and Keep Us Out!
Anti War.com by Patrick J. Buchanan March 08, 2022

After Friday’s NATO summit refused to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said the allies’ failure to “close the skies” to Russian military aircraft gives “a green light for further bombing of Ukrainian cities.”

“All the people who will die starting from this day will … die because of you,” said Zelensky to NATO, “because of your weakness.”

Zelensky’s indictment of NATO for cowardice came after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ruled out a no-fly zone:

“NATO is not party to the conflict. NATO is a defensive alliance. … We don’t seek war, conflict with Russia. … We should not have NATO planes operating over Ukrainian airspace or NATO troops on Ukrainian territory.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed Stoltenberg:

“Ours is a defensive alliance. We seek no conflict. … President Biden has been clear that we are not going to get into a war with Russia.”

Sunday, Blinken expanded:

President Joe Biden has “a responsibility to not get us into a direct conflict, a direct war with Russia, a nuclear power, and risk a war that expands even beyond Ukraine to Europe. … What we’re trying to do is end this war in Ukraine, not start a larger one.”

U.S. policy in summary: Ukrainians should keep fighting and dying, killing Russians, while we stay out – and cheer them on.

In the greatest European military crisis since NATO was founded, U.S. actions and inaction speak louder than its words.

Simply put, establishing a no-fly zone over Ukraine would entail U.S. planes and pilots shooting down Russia’s planes and pilots. This would mean war between Russia and America. Given Russian military doctrine, such a war could swiftly escalate to the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

Bottom line: We are not willing to risk war with Russia over Ukraine, as that nation of 44 million is not a vital interest nor a member of NATO.

We will not establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as that would mean war with Russia. But had Russia attacked Estonia, not Ukraine, we would be at war with Russia, because Estonia is a member of NATO……………….

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been clear and convincing.

Any attempt to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine will be treated as an act of war. And Russia reserves the right to attack any nation whose planes are enforcing this no-fly zone.

As for the transfer from former Warsaw Pact countries like Poland of older MiGs to Ukraine, for use against Russian troops, says Putin, this would be an act of war, and Russia would retaliate against the nations putting the MiGs into the fight.

Biden also met last week with President Sauli Niinisto of Finland, a neutral nation that shares an 833-mile border with Russia. Niinisto may be considering membership in NATO.

Yet, this presents problems, among them the warning Friday from the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Maria Zakharova:

“We regard the Finnish government’s commitment to a military non-alignment policy as an important factor in ensuring security and stability in northern Europe. … Finland’s accession to NATO would have serious military and political repercussions.”……………….

Did Ukraine’s trolling for membership in NATO trigger Putin’s war?

Friday’s Wall Street Journal writes:

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine resulted from two immense strategic blunders, (Russian historian) Robert Service says. The first came on Nov. 10, when the U.S. and Ukraine signed a Charter on Strategic Partnership, which asserted America’s support for Kyiv’s right to pursue membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The pact made it likelier than ever that Ukraine would eventually join NATO – an intolerable prospect for Vladimir Putin. ‘It was the last straw,’ Mr. Service says. Preparations immediately began for Russia’s so-called special military operation in Ukraine.”

An alliance established to prevent war may have just ignited one. https://original.antiwar.com/buchanan/2022/03/07/us-policy-cheer-ukrainians-on-and-keep-us-out/

March 10, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

European countries report a rush in sales of iodine tablets, in fear of nuclear war.

Iodine Demand Surges Across EU Due To Nuclear Fear, Forbes, Alex Ledsom, 9 Mar 22,
”………………………………………………………   Tensions have been heightened so much that many European countries are reporting a huge increase in the number of people asking pharmacists for iodine tablets, for fear of a nuclear disaster.

Euronews reported that at least nine EU countries had reported a sharp increase in demand across their pharmacies. And France Inter reported this phenomenon was happening from Romania to Croatia, Poland to Belgium.

In Belgium, for instance, the pharmacists union reported that over 30,000 boxes of iodine were distributed last Monday alone–they are free to anyone with a Belgian identity card.

Bulgaria has also seen a surge in demand. On Wednesday, the chair of the country’s pharmacies union reported that “in the past six days Bulgarian pharmacies have sold as much [iodine] as they sell for a year.”

In France, the production of iodine tablets is are controlled by the army and the stock and sale of them are heavily protected by the government. The French authorities were quick to point out this week that there is enough stock in France for the entire population and plans were in place to supply every resident with enough tablets required, should the need arise.

…………..   Anyone living within 20 kms (13 miles) from a nuclear facility in France can ask for iodine tablets at their local pharmacy, with identification and proof of address.

The French government also pointed out that the tablets that could be bought over the counter have a very weak dosage of potassium iodide and would, therefore, not be as effective against a radioactive leak……….

However, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission confirms that the best form of protection from radioactivity is evacuation–the use of potassium iodide should only be seen as a supplementary measure.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexledsom/2022/03/09/iodine-demand-surges-across-eu-due-to-nuclear-fear/?sh=4f78586f5f80

March 10, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, health | Leave a comment

European Union won’t be including nuclear power in its plan to get off Russian gas

Why the EU didn’t include nuclear energy in its plan to get off Russian gas

CNBC, MAR 9 2022 ” ………………………………….Nuclear power is a polarized source of energy in the EU………………….    Public sentiment around nuclear power affects local politics and in the EU, those sentiments change country by country. When the European Commission suggested in February that nuclear and coal could play a role in the transition to clean energy, it drew ire from many European leaders…………….

nuclear has always been a difficult topic for the EU as certain countries, like France and Finland, are pro-nuclear and other countries, like Germany and Sweden, are against nuclear,” explained Kim Talus, a professor of energy law at Tulane University.

Public sentiment aside, ramping up nuclear power takes time, which Europe does not have in its plan to lessen its dependence on Russian gas.

………………..  https://www.cnbc.com/2022/03/09/why-eu-didnt-include-nuclear-energy-in-plan-to-get-off-russian-gas.html

March 10, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Cumbrian campaigners’ strong opposition to nuclear waste dump in the Lake District

 Campaigners will be holding a demonstration outside the Geological
Disposal Community Partnership “Drop In” at Drigg and Carleton Village
Hall this Friday from 11am to 12pm. Lakes Against Nuclear Dump say “The
Nuclear Industry are looking for somewhere to dump their hot wastes in deep
and not so deep silo’s.

The West Cumbrian Coastal Plain on the edge of
the Lake District is squarely in the frame once again. On Friday we will be
showing opposition to this plan and handing out information exposing the
fact that 16 boreholes 120 metres deep have already been drilled at the Low
Level Waste Repository to look at the possibility of Near Surface Disposal
of Intermediate Level Wastes. The Near Surface Disposal Plan for
Intermediate Level wastes is say the industry being looked at in order to
“co-locate” with the Geological Disposal plan for High Level wastes.
Near Surface Disposal would be delivered far faster – within 10 years
according to the nuclear industry.

Twenty five years ago the rejected plan
for geological disposal was limited to low and intermediate level wastes,
now it is for High Level Nuclear wastes. Its fairly obvious that nuclear
wastes would migrate even faster from a shallower grave. The Community
Partnership is a farce.”

 Radiation Free Lakeland 9th March 2022

March 10, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

German government concludes that it is unwise to extend the life of its remaining nuclear power stations

Germany’s government has concluded that prolonging the runtime of its
remaining nuclear power plants is not advisable even in the current energy
crisis sparked by the Russian invasion on Ukraine. “Following a
cost-benefit analysis, a longer runtime for the three remaining nuclear
plants is not advisable even in light of the current gas crisis,” a
report drafted by the two Green Party-led ministries for climate and
economy (BMWK) and for the environment and nuclear safety (BMUV) found.

Extending the remaining plants’ runtime could only make a rather small
contribution to energy security and increase costs elsewhere, the
ministries said. “The state would have to shoulder immense risks. This
would not be appropriate.”

It further found that even if the runtime is
extended, refueling problems would mean the plants could only deliver
additional electricity by autumn 2023. The plants would have to run
somewhere between three and five years longer to make investments in staff
and infrastructure pay off and necessary security checks would further
complicate relying on the nuclear plants as a quick fix. Within that time
frame, “other options will be available to guarantee a secure power
supply despite a shortage of natural gas,” the report said.

Moreover, lawsuits against changes to the current nuclear phase-out plan would likely
be successful, the ministries added.

 Clean Energy Wire 8th March 2022

https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/extending-nuclear-plants-runtime-not-advisable-german-govt-concludes

March 10, 2022 Posted by | Greece, politics | Leave a comment

Chernobyl workers still stranded at the power station

 More than 210 workers remain trapped at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant
as all its facilities continue to be controlled by the Russian military
troops. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said that it has been
informed by Ukraine’s nuclear regulator that the shift of around 210
technical staff and guards has still not been able to rotate as of Monday
7th February. That means that the same staff have been on the site for 12
days.

 Energy Live News 8th March 2022

March 10, 2022 Posted by | employment, Ukraine | Leave a comment

The dangers of uncontrolled releases of the vast amounts of radioactivity contained in the Ukrainian reactors and their unprotected fuel stores should not be underestimated.

CND’s scientific adviser Dr Ian Fairlie writes a guest blog on the
dangers presented by Ukraine’s nuclear power stations: “For many years,
NGOs and nuclear critics have warned that nuclear power stations pose
dangerous threats during wars, as they provide tempting targets for
military attacks.

These concerns were routinely fobbed off by the
government as being unrealistic and unthinkable. But now the unthinkable
has actually happened. On March 3 and 4, Russian troops shelled and
occupied the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Apparently,little damage was done to the reactors as, thankfully, radioactivity levels
were not increased. The shelling caused a fire in a nearby administrative
building that was later extinguished. Two people were reported injured.

The dangers of uncontrolled releases of the vast amounts of radioactivity
contained in the Ukrainian reactors and their unprotected fuel stores
should not be underestimated. The explosion and 10-day fire at Chernobyl in
1986 resulted many thousands of cancer deaths and in 42% of the land area
of Western Europe (including most of the UK) being contaminated with
radioactivity. Although Ukraine’s reactors are dissimilar in type to the
RBMK reactors at Chernobyl, this is of little comfort in view of the quite
different threats of indiscriminate shelling, aerial bombardment (including
by nuclear weapons), and sabotage that may occur during the current war in
Ukraine. CND 8th March 2022

March 10, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment