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TODAY: With the macho hawks in charge of Ukraine strategy there may be no hope for our species, unless women take over

I’m sure they’ll be mansplaining it to us until the bitter end.

The pretense continues, that the war in Ukraine is between Russia and Ukraine. Putin and Russia’s macho hawks will rave on about ”special military expedition” or whatever they like to call it.

USA’s and NATO’s macho men will rave on about ”saving democracy” and ”Ukraine’s proud national identity” – but it is becoming crystal clear that they want to drag this slaughter on as long as possible, with an orgy of weapons that will leave Ukraine utterly wrecked, and hoodwinked with the pretense that Ukraine can win.

Not a peep out of the macho men of the West about diplomacy, a negotiation that could end this horror. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin now makes it quite clear that this IS a war between USA and Russia.

Have you ever wondered why these men do themselves up with medals and braid? That’s part of the effort to convince us that they really know what they’re doing.


April 30, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | 1 Comment

Stella Assange: Boris Johnson and Priti Patel can now stop the extradition of Julian Assange

April 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This Is How the United States Could Help Bring Peace to Ukraine

Decisions by the U.S. will have a critical impact on whether there will soon be peace in Ukraine, or only a much longer and bloodier war.


On April 21st, President Biden announced new shipments of weapons to Ukraine, at a cost of $800 million to U.S. taxpayers. On April 25th, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced over $300 million more military aid. The United States has now spent $3.7 billion on weapons for Ukraine since the Russian invasion, bringing total U.S. military aid to Ukraine since 2014 to about $6.4 billion.

The top priority of Russian airstrikes in Ukraine has been to destroy as many of these weapons as possible before they reach the front lines of the war, so it is not clear how militarily effective these massive arms shipments really are. The other leg of U.S. “support” for Ukraine is its economic and financial sanctions against Russia, whose effectiveness is also highly uncertain.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is visiting Moscow and Kyiv to try to kick start negotiations for a ceasefire and a peace agreement. Since hopes for earlier peace negotiations in Belarus and Turkey have been washed away in a tide of military escalation, hostile rhetoric and politicized war crimes accusations, Secretary General Guterres’ mission may now be the best hope for peace in Ukraine. 

This pattern of early hopes for a diplomatic resolution that are quickly dashed by a war psychosis is not unusual. Data on how wars end from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) make it clear that the first month of a war offers the best chance for a negotiated peace agreement. That window has now passed for Ukraine.

An analysis of the UCDP data by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) found that 44% of wars that end within a month end in a ceasefire and peace agreement rather than the decisive defeat of either side, while that decreases to 24% in wars that last between a month and a year. Once wars rage on into a second year, they become even more intractable and usually last more than ten year.

CSIS fellow Benjamin Jensen, who analyzed the UCDP data, concluded, “The time for diplomacy is now. The longer a war lasts absent concessions by both parties, the more likely it is to escalate into a protracted conflict… In addition to punishment, Russian officials need a viable diplomatic off-ramp that addresses the concerns of all parties.”

To be successful, diplomacy leading to a peace agreement must meet five basic conditions:

First, all sides must gain benefits from the peace agreement that outweigh what they think they can gain by war.

U.S. and allied officials are waging an information war to promote the idea that Russia is losing the war and that Ukraine can militarily defeat Russia, even as some officials admit that that could take several years.     

In reality, neither side will benefit from a protracted war that lasts for many months or years. The lives of millions of Ukrainians will be lost and ruined, while Russia will be mired in the kind of military quagmire that both the U.S.S.R. and the United States already experienced in Afghanistan, and that most recent U.S. wars have turned into.

In Ukraine, the basic outlines of a peace agreement already exist. They are: withdrawal of Russian forces; Ukrainian neutrality between NATO and Russia; self-determination for all Ukrainians (including in Crimea and Donbas); and a regional security agreement that protects everyone and prevents new wars.

Both sides are essentially fighting to strengthen their hand in an eventual agreement along those lines. So how many people must die before the details can be worked out across a negotiating table instead of over the rubble of Ukrainian towns and cities?

Second, mediators must be impartial and trusted by both sides.

The United States has monopolized the role of mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian crisis for decades, even as it openly backs and arms one side and abuses its UN veto to prevent international action. This has been a transparent model for endless war. 

Turkey has so far acted as the principal mediator between Russia and Ukraine, but it is a NATO member that has supplied drones, weapons and military training to Ukraine. Both sides have accepted Turkey’s mediation, but can Turkey really be an honest broker?

The UN could play a legitimate role, as it is doing in Yemen, where the two sides are finally observing a two-month ceasefire. But even with the UN’s best efforts, it has taken years to negotiate this fragile pause in the war.

Third, the agreement must address the main concerns of all parties to the war.

In 2014, the U.S.-backed coup and the massacre of anti-coup protesters in Odessa led to declarations of independence by the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. The first Minsk Protocol agreement in September 2014 failed to end the ensuing civil war in Eastern Ukraine. A critical difference in the Minsk II agreement in February 2015 was that DPR and LPR representatives were included in the negotiations, and it succeeded in ending the worst fighting and preventing a major new outbreak of war for 7 years.

There is another party that was largely absent from the negotiations in Belarus and Turkey, people who make up half the population of Russia and Ukraine: the women of both countries. While some of them are fighting, many more can speak as victims, civilian casualties, and refugees from a war unleashed mainly by men. The voices of women at the table would be a constant reminder of the human costs of war and the lives of women and children that are at stake.   

Even when one side militarily wins a war, the grievances of the losers and unresolved political and strategic issues often sow the seeds of new outbreaks of war in the future. As Benjamin Jensen of CSIS suggested, the desires of U.S. and Western politicians to punish and gain strategic advantage over Russia must not be allowed to prevent a comprehensive resolution that addresses the concerns of all sides and ensures a lasting peace.    

Fourth, there must be a step-by-step roadmap to a stable and lasting peace that all sides are committed to.

The Minsk II agreement led to a fragile ceasefire and established a roadmap to a political solution. But the Ukrainian government and parliament, under Presidents Poroshenko and then Zelensky, failed to take the next steps that Poroshenko agreed to in Minsk in 2015: to pass laws and constitutional changes to permit independent, internationally-supervised elections in the DPR and LPR, and to grant them autonomy within a federalized Ukrainian state.

Now that these failures have led to Russian recognition of the DPR and LPR’s independence, a new peace agreement must revisit and resolve their status, and that of Crimea, in ways that all sides will be committed to, whether that is through the autonomy promised in Minsk II or formal, recognized independence from Ukraine.

A sticking point in the peace negotiations in Turkey was Ukraine’s need for solid security guarantees to ensure that Russia won’t invade it again. The UN Charter formally protects all countries from international aggression, but it has repeatedly failed to do so when the aggressor, usually the United States, wields a Security Council veto. So how can a neutral Ukraine be reassured that it will be safe from attack in the future? And how can all parties be sure that the others will stick to the agreement this time?

Fifth, outside powers must not undermine the negotiation or implementation of a peace agreement.

Although the United States and its NATO allies are not active warring parties in Ukraine, their role in provoking this crisis through NATO expansion and the 2014 coup, then supporting Kyiv’s abandonment of the Minsk II agreement and flooding Ukraine with weapons, make them an “elephant in the room” that will cast a long shadow over the negotiating table, wherever that is.

n April 2012, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan drew up a six-point plan for a UN-monitored ceasefire and political transition in Syria. But at the very moment that the Annan plan took effect and UN ceasefire monitors were in place, the United States, NATO, and their Arab monarchist allies held three “Friends of Syria” conferences, where they pledged virtually unlimited financial and military aid to the Al Qaeda-linked rebels they were backing to overthrow the Syrian government. This encouraged the rebels to ignore the ceasefire, and led to another decade of war for the people of Syria.

The fragile nature of peace negotiations over Ukraine makes success highly vulnerable to such powerful external influences. The United States backed Ukraine in a confrontational approach to the civil war in Donbas instead of supporting the terms of the Minsk II agreement, and this has led to war with Russia. Now Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavosoglu, has told CNN Turk that unnamed NATO members “want the war to continue,” in order to keep weakening Russia.


How the United States and its NATO allies act now and in the coming months will be crucial in determining whether Ukraine is destroyed by years of war, like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen—or whether this war ends quickly through a diplomatic process that brings peace, security, and stability to the people of Russia, Ukraine, and their neighbors.

If the United States wants to help restore peace in Ukraine, it must diplomatically support peace negotiations and make it clear to its ally, Ukraine, that it will support any concessions that Ukrainian negotiators believe are necessary to clinch a peace agreement with Russia.

Whatever mediator Russia and Ukraine agree to work with to try to resolve this crisis, the United States must give the diplomatic process its full, unreserved support, both in public and behind closed doors. It must also ensure that its own actions do not undermine the peace process in Ukraine as they did the 2012 Annan plan in Syria.

One of the most critical steps that U.S. and NATO leaders can take to provide an incentive for Russia to agree to a negotiated peace is to commit to lifting their sanctions if and when Russia complies with a withdrawal agreement. Without such a commitment, the sanctions will quickly lose any moral or practical value as leverage over Russia and will be only an arbitrary form of collective punishment against its people, and against poor people everywhere who can no longer afford food to feed their families. As the de facto leader of the NATO military alliance, the U.S. position on this question will be crucial.

So policy decisions by the United States will have a critical impact on whether there will soon be peace in Ukraine, or only a much longer and bloodier war. The test for U.S. policymakers, and for Americans who care about the people of Ukraine, must be to ask which of these outcomes U.S. policy choices are likely to lead to.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Girl’s Cancer Leads Mom to ‘Overwhelming’ Discovery of More Than 50 Sick Kids Near Closed Nuclear Lab By Johnny Dodd, 29 Apr 22,

“Pediatric cancer is rare — you’re not supposed to have neighbors whose children also have it,” says Melissa Bumstead, who “knew I had to do something”  

Melissa Bumstead made a terrifying discovery in 2014 as her four-year-old daughter Grace lay in a hospital bed battling a rare form of leukemia. While keeping vigil at the Los Angeles medical center where Grace was receiving treatment, Bumstead began meeting the parents of more than 50 children with equally rare cancers and was horrified to learn that they all lived near one another.

“I just kept meeting people who lived down the corner or around the block or behind the high school,” she tells PEOPLE during an interview in this week’s issue. “And that’s when the panic started to set in.”

Even more alarming, Bumstead soon learned that all their homes were located in a circle around a 2,850-acre former top-secret rocket engine and nuclear energy test site—built in 1947—that had long been contaminated with radioactive waste and toxic chemicals.

And for the past seven years the 41-year-old mother of two, who lives 3.7 miles west of the facility, has helped lead the fight to finally get the Santa Susana Field Laboratory property — run chiefly by the Department of Energy, Boeing and NASA before its closure in 2006 — cleaned up.

“This is a hugely contaminated site that contains a who’s-who of chemicals toxic to human health,” says Dr. Robert Dodge, a Ventura, Calif., family doctor and board member of the group Physicians for Social Responsibility. “They can cause cancers, leukemias, along with developmental, genetic, neurologic and immune system disorders.”

While caring for her daughter, whose acute lymphoblastic leukemia has been in remission since a bone marrow transplant five years ago, Bumstead and her group — Parents Against the Santa Susana Field Lab — has pressured California state officials to enforce a 2007 cleanup agreement, scheduled to have been completed in 2017, that they say has remained stalled. That agreement, among other things, called for the removal of contaminated topsoil that residents allege gets blown from the site into surrounding communities by high winds or washed offsite during rains.

Since 2015 Bumstead has immersed herself in scientific studies on the site, testifying at countless public meetings, launching a Facebook page (now with nearly 5,000 members) and creating a petition on the issue (that has attracted over 750,000 signatures).

“It was frightening,” says Bumstead, who is featured in the 2021 documentary In The Dark of the Valley, “to read studies about how adults who lived within two miles from the lab had a 60 percent higher cancer rate than those living more than five miles away or that over 1,500 former workers at the site received federal compensation after being diagnosed with cancer.”

Even more frightening for Bumstead was learning that the lab was the location of one of the nation’s largest — and least known — nuclear accidents that occurred 1959 when one of the facility’s ten sodium nuclear reactors experienced a partial meltdown, releasing enormous amounts of radiation into the surrounding environment.   

“It’s exhausting, depressing and often overwhelming,” says Bumstead of her crusade to get the contaminated site cleaned up. “But the cancer was all around us. And I realized that kids are just going to keep getting sick. So I need to do something to make the situation better.”         

April 30, 2022 Posted by | health, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

USA and NATO pursuing a ”winnable war” to the ultimate end – World War 3

Ukraine is a pawn in this conflict, and its population is cannon fodder.

The Guns of April, WSWS Editorial Board 27 April 2022

The United States and the NATO powers of Europe have set into motion a chain of events that is leading to World War III. 

In her famed work on the outbreak of World War I, The Guns of August, Barbara Tuchman detailed how miscalculations, the ubiquitous belief in a brief and winnable conflict, and irreversible tactical maneuvers—the “ifs, errors, and commitments”—accumulated as the imperialist powers dragged the workers of Europe into the snarl of the trenches and the slaughter of the Great War.

A similar dynamic is unfolding in the US-NATO conflict with Russia. The US-supplied howitzers and massive deployment of weapons into Ukraine are sounding the Guns of April. 

In mid-March, US President Joe Biden repeatedly stated that he would not allow direct conflict between the United States and Russia, because “that would mean World War III.” A month later, this is precisely what the Biden administration is doing.

On Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin presided over a meeting of the representatives of forty nations in a council of war assembled by Washington on its Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the headquarters for the US Air Force in Europe and the NATO Air Command. 

Austin, fresh from a visit to war-torn Kiev, confirmed that the war in Ukraine is a war between US and NATO, on the one hand, and Russia, on the other. He announced that Washington would be assembling every month going forward a comparable international gathering of high-ranking military figures—which he termed the Ukrainian Contact Group—to “focus on winning” the conflict with Russia.

The aims of the war are now clear. The bloodshed in Ukraine was not provoked to defend its technical right to join NATO, but rather was prepared, instigated and massively escalated in order to destroy Russia as a significant military force and to overthrow its government. Ukraine is a pawn in this conflict, and its population is cannon fodder.

The Ramstein war council was organized to plot the next stage in this scheme. Prior to and in the aftermath of the meeting, the US and other NATO powers announced the deployment of advanced weaponry to Ukraine, including anti-tank missiles, tanks and tactical drones. 

The Contact Group, Austin declared, must “move at the speed of war.” In accordance with this direction, Germany announced Tuesday that it would deliver an unspecified number of Flakpanzer Gepard “anti-aircraft cannon tanks,” while Canada reported that it would be sending M777 howitzers, anti-tank munitions and armored vehicles. “The distinction limiting escalatory weapons,” which existed in the first weeks of the war, Air Force Magazine noted, “appears to have melted away.”

The pretense that the US and NATO are not at war with Russia has also “melted away.” Former US Army Europe Commander Ben Hodges stated on Sunday that the US aim in the conflict was “breaking the back” of Russia. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded, accusing the United States of pressuring the Ukrainian government to sabotage peace talks and of conducting a proxy war in Ukraine. He warned that there was a “serious, real” danger of nuclear war. Austin dismissed Lavrov’s warning as “dangerous and unhelpful.” 

What nonsense! Washington assembles a war camp and states that it aims to “break the back” of Russia. When Russia responds that such language and goals raise the danger of nuclear war, Washington declares this to be … unhelpful. 

The United States has made clear that it aims to crush Russia and topple its government. Faced with such an existential threat, the use of nuclear weapons becomes a tactic the Russian ruling class will weigh. Washington is determined to win the war, the Putin government is determined to prevent that from happening. There is no way out for either side but escalation. Lavrov is in fact correct: nuclear war is a real and serious danger.

The real driving forces behind the war have emerged in the course of the conflict. The US and NATO powers goaded Russia into invading Ukraine, refusing to negotiate over Russia’s demand that Ukraine not be made a member of NATO. Russia termed its invasion a special operation, signaling that it intended a contained, tactical maneuver to stabilize its position in the region.

The US, however, would not allow such a rearrangement and sought either to sink Russia in the quagmire of a “grinding occupation,” or to organize its defeat. To this end, Washington worked to undermine all efforts at a negotiated settlement. The rhetoric of Washington justifying this policy has deepened the conflict. Biden accused Putin of war crimes, then of genocide, and called for regime change in Moscow. Each new formulation had an irreversible, escalatory character, a click in the ratchet of war.  

Despite the massive and mounting infusion of military equipment into Ukraine—Washington has shipped more than $3.7 billion worth of weaponry since the beginning of the war—the regime in Kiev has not been able to orchestrate the decisive defeat of Russia. The danger, seen from the standpoint of the US and NATO, is that Russia will be able to consolidate its control over Eastern Ukraine and the Black Sea coast. If the Ukrainian forces do not drive forward, then the advantage, at least from a military standpoint, shifts to Russia.

The development of the conflict, set in motion in the Oval Office and deliberated in the Kremlin, is increasingly in the hands of military men and it is reaching a point of no return. A decisive defeat of Russia in the conflict requires the ever more direct involvement of the NATO powers themselves, up to and including the deployment of troops.

With its arms shipments, sweeping declarations and councils of war, the United States has staked its entire credibility on the defeat of Russia in this conflict. “The stakes reach beyond Ukraine and even beyond Europe,” Austin declared on Tuesday. The fate of American hegemony, including the credibility of its threats against China, hangs in the balance. The reckless decisions made by Washington have thus become the major premise in the logic of further escalation. 

Washington drags behind it the major powers of Europe, as it assembles, with the hubris of empire, a war camp on the continent. Britain has been deeply complicit in every escalatory step, and Germany and France are taking up their assigned roles. Washington gathers the military conspirators on a US airbase in Germany, the country which once launched Operation Barbarossa, holds the Germans as virtual bystanders, and plots its war with Russia…………. more

April 30, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

IAEA probing Ukraine report that a missile flew over a nuclear power plant. Reuters April 28  Reporting by David Ljunggren Editing by Chris Reese  – The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Thursday it was probing a Ukrainian report that a missile had flown directly over a nuclear power station, saying this would be “extremely serious” if true.

 IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi said Kyiv had formally told it on Thursday the missile flew over the south Ukraine plant on April 16. The facility is near the city of Yuzhnoukrainsk, some 350 km (220 miles) south of Kyiv.

“Had such a missile gone astray, it could have had a severe impact on the physical integrity of the plant, potentially leading to a nuclear accident,” he said in a statement.

Grossi did not say who had fired the missile but Kyiv had earlier accused Moscow of sending rockets directly over nuclear plants.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Safety concerns about NuScam’s much touted ”small nuclear reactor”

U.S. nuclear power agency seeks staff documentation of NuScale’s quake protection,   By Timothy Gardner,   WASHINGTON, April 27 (Reuters) – An official with the U.S. nuclear power regulator has ordered staff to supply documents that could lead to a review of a 2020 approval of a new type of nuclear power reactor after an engineer raised concerns about its ability to withstand earthquakes, documents showed on Wednesday. Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Chris Reese, Kenneth Maxwell and Lisa Shumaker .

 Dan Dorman, the executive director for operations at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), reviewed a complaint by John Ma, an engineer at the agency, about its approval of the design of NuScale’s nuclear power plant.

NuScale, majority owned by construction and engineering company Fluor Corp (FLR.N), which got approval for the design of a 50-megwatt small modular reactor (SMR), is hoping to build the Carbon Free Power Project with multiple reactors at the Idaho National Laboratory, with the first coming online in 2029 and full plant operation in 2030.

Some see SMRs such as NuScale’s as a way to cut emissions from fossil fuels and to potentially reduce Europe’s dependency on Russian oil and gas. NuScale also wants to build the plants in Poland and Kazakhstan.

In an internal document Ma wrote to NRC officials soon after the 2020 approval, he alleged the design of the building intended to enclose the reactor units and its spent fuel pool did not provide assurance it could withstand the largest earthquake considered without collapsing and may be vulnerable to smaller earthquakes.

“Collapse of the reactor building … could potentially cause an early and large release of radioactive materials into the atmosphere and ground, which could kill people,” Ma wrote.

In February, Dorman wrote to Ma that he concluded the NRC’s basis for accepting NuScale’s measure of strength for the reactor’s building design “was not sufficiently documented,” documents posted on the NRC website on Wednesday showed.

Dorman ordered the agency’s Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation to document its evaluation of NuScale’s “stress averaging approach” and, if necessary, to update the application and evaluate whether there are “any impacts” to the 2020 design approval.

It was uncertain whether the additional actions would affect the project’s timeline which has been delayed several times………….

A science advocacy group said the concerns Ma raised were troubling.

“NuScale’s business case is based on its assertion that it is a safer nuclear reactor. Now it’s time to prove it by addressing these safety concerns,” said Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | safety, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Is France really the poster boy for nuclear power? Nearly half of its reactors are shut down for maintenance and safety reasons

Nearly half of France’s nuclear reactors taken offline, adding to
electricity demand on European grid. France’s problems have raised
questions about the UK’s big bets on nuclear, which the government calls a
“necessity, not a luxury”.

Currently 27 of France’s 56 reactors have been
shut down due to routine maintenance or defects, forcing EDF to buy
electricity from the European grid instead, at a time of soaring demand
amid the gas crisis. France’s problems have raised questions from critics
about the reliability of nuclear, and about Britain’s recent big bets on
the energy source.

 Sky News 29th April 2022

April 30, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

Photovoltaics vs. nuclear power on Mars

Photovoltaics vs. nuclear power on Mars

Solar might be more efficient than nuclear energy to supply power for a six-person extended mission to Mars that will involve a 480-day stay on the planet’s surface before returning to Earth, according to new US research.

APRIL 29, 2022 EMILIANO BELLINI   Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have compared how PV or nuclear energy could power a crewed outpost for an extended period on Mars and have determined that solar offers the best performance.

“Photovoltaic energy generation coupled to certain energy storage configurations in molecular hydrogen outperforms nuclear fusion reactors over 50% of the planet’s surface, mainly within those regions around the equatorial band, which is in fairly sharp contrast to what has been proposed over and over again in the literature, which is that it will be nuclear power,” said UC Berkeley researcher Aaron Berliner, noting that two energy sources were compared for the power supply of a six-person extended mission to Mars involving a 480-day stay on the planet’s surface before returning to Earth.

The US team considered four different scenarios: nuclear power generation with the miniaturised nuclear fission Kilopower system, PV power generation with battery energy storage, PV power generation with compressed hydrogen energy storage produced via electrolysis, and hydrogen generation with compressed hydrogen energy storage (PEC).

In our calculations, we assumed a capacity factor of 75% to account for the solar flux deviation throughout the Martian year and sized energy storage systems to enable 1 full day of operations from reserve power,” the group explained. “We then calculated the carry-along mass requirements for each of the power generation systems considered.”

The scientists found that, of the three PV-based power generation options, only the photovoltaics-plus-electrolyser system outcompetes the nuclear system based on carry-along mass. They also said that the optimal absorber bandgaps for the PV systems depend heavily on the location on the surface of Mars, the total depth of the air column above a given location, gradients in dust and ice concentrations, and orbital geometry effects that cause different effective air column thicknesses for locations near the poles.

In our calculations, we assumed a capacity factor of 75% to account for the solar flux deviation throughout the Martian year and sized energy storage systems to enable 1 full day of operations from reserve power,” the group explained. “We then calculated the carry-along mass requirements for each of the power generation systems considered.”

The scientists found that, of the three PV-based power generation options, only the photovoltaics-plus-electrolyser system outcompetes the nuclear system based on carry-along mass. They also said that the optimal absorber bandgaps for the PV systems depend heavily on the location on the surface of Mars, the total depth of the air column above a given location, gradients in dust and ice concentrations, and orbital geometry effects that cause different effective air column thicknesses for locations near the poles.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable, space travel | Leave a comment

For the first time, U.S. renewable energy output exceeds nuclear generation, EIA finds

Utility Dive, By Elizabeth McCarthy. 28 Apr 22,      

Dive Brief:

  • The growing number of large solar and wind energy projects resulted in renewable generation beating out nuclear energy last year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday. 
  • The nation has seen a steady rise in renewable generation, with the biggest share from solar, which is expected to continue because of the lower cost and greater safety of this intermittent power resource, clean energy advocates say. That is despite the Biden administration’s multi-billion dollar program to keep online baseload nuclear power plants scheduled to retire.
  • Natural gas supplies the biggest share of electricity in the county but its share is also expected to decrease over the next three decades. EIA projects solar will replace it as the dominant source of generation in the U.S. by 2050.
  • Dive Insight:Utility-scale renewable generation in the U.S. reached 795 million MWh in 2021, compared to 778 million MWh of nuclear generation.“This is a ‘good news’ story,” said Ralph Cavanagh, Natural Resources Defense Council energy program co-director.
  • The news gets better for renewables when considering that private investments in clean technology rose to over $27 billion in 2021, up from about $20 billion in 2020, according to a report by the American Investment Council released last week. Private equity companies over the last decade have invested close to $150 billion and backed more than 1,000 clean technology companies in the U.S., it added.
  • The biggest mover on the U.S. generation front has been solar as installation costs have dropped 70% over the last decade. That has led “the industry to expand into new markets and deploy thousands of systems nationwide,” according to a Feb. 11 joint statement by the Edison Electric Institute, NRDC and the Solar Energy Industries Association. Supply chain issues pushed up prices last year “but did not eliminate solar power’s competitive advantages in retail and wholesale markets,” the organizations wrote in their joint statement to the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. EIA’s April 26 analysis does not include rooftop solar or other smaller renewables serving predominantly onsite demand. Factoring in just “end-use solar, the milestone for surpassing nuclear generation would have been reached earlier,” said Syne Salem, an EIA engineer. The tally also excludes small-scale wind and some industrial and commercial combined-heat-and-power systems.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | renewable, USA | Leave a comment

Poor outlook for Joe Biden’s $6 billion effort to keep old nuclear reactors going

Biden’s $6B nuclear plan hits ’24th hour’ roadblock

By Peter Behr, Hannah Northey | 04/28/2022  The Biden administration’s $6 billion effort to keep struggling nuclear plants operating is facing a barrier in Michigan and California.

A top energy executive yesterday confirmed that one of the first plants poised to qualify for financial support under the Energy Department’s newly unveiled lifeline — Michigan’s Palisades plant — remains on schedule to close May 31, throwing the Midwestern state’s climate goals into question.

Leo Denault, CEO of Entergy Corp., owner of the Palisades plant, told security analysts yesterday that a buyer who succeeded in acquiring the generator would also bear refueling costs and other expenses.

“We will work with any qualified party,” he said. But he added, “I do want to be very clear. Entergy is exiting the merchant nuclear business. The plant will have to stop operating in May. We’ll be out of fuel.”………………….

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., the Diablo Canyon owner, has also said the DOE offer does not change its intention to close the California facility. Diablo Canyon’s reactors 1 and 2 have planned closing dates of November 2024 and August 2025, respectively……….

A spokesperson for DOE said yesterday they were unable to speak about the unique challenges and closure decisions facing various nuclear plants, nor could they provide a precise number of struggling plants potentially eligible for financial assistance……………………………

April 30, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Climate change is increasing the likelihood of another pandemic, researchers warn

Climate change is increasing the likelihood of another pandemic, researchers warn

Global warming is pushing species to find new geographic locations in which to live, causing interactions with humans and elevating the risk of zoonotic diseases.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Huge solar storm once almost triggered nuclear war between USA and Russia

ED BROWNE , NewsWeek 29 Apr 22, ON 4/29/22  In May 1967, a solar storm brought the world to the brink of what could have been a nuclear war. With the sun now entering a period of increased activity as part of its 11-year solar cycle, experts have discussed whether or not we should be wary of a second such incident.

The world was in the grips of the Cold War in 1967 when the sun belched out one of the largest solar storms ever observed at the time, releasing a colossal radio burst that interfered with communication services here on Earth………………………

April 30, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, incidents | Leave a comment

Japan prepares to dump water ignoring nuclear safety fears

China Daily April, 2022  The Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun construction work to prepare for the discharge of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean next spring, Japanese media reports say.

The Japanese government and TEPCO are advancing this plan made by the Japanese government on April 13 last year, in spite of strong opposition at home and abroad.

Given that the water was used to cool the fused reactors at the nuclear plant after the Fukushima region was devastated by a tsunami in March 2011, and contains radioactive material, its potential to cause harm to the marine ecological environment, food safety and human health cannot be underestimated……………………

Japan should earnestly respond to the legitimate concerns of the international community, and reverse its decision to discharge the contaminated water into the ocean, thus fulfilling its international obligations.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia Just Tested the World’s Largest Nuclear-Tipped Missile

Putin claims the weapon can hit any target on Earth, but there’s less than meets the eye.

BY KYLE MIZOKAMI, APR 29, 2022 Russia has tested the world’s largest and heaviest nuclear missile, the RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). The missile, which lifted off from northern Russia last week, weighs 458,000 pounds, or as much as 11 F-22A Raptor fighters.

Sarmat can deliver up to ten thermonuclear warheads and has the range to strike anywhere on Earth. But as powerful as it is, the missile has distinct trade-offs that could make it less impressive than it sounds……………

April 30, 2022 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment