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

Today. Alien observers astonished that earthings now promoting nuclear power as catastrophe threatens Ukraine’s nuclear reactors

Christina Macpherson, 2 Apr 22, The International Atomic Energy Agency and the nuclear lobby (they’re the same thing) are having a bit of a nervous breakdown.

On the one hand, they’re flat out pushing their subservient and apparently rather thick Big Power governments to press on as fast as possible with fleets of all sorts of nuclear reactors – which are ”clean” ”green” ”cheap” and above all ”SAFE”

On the other hand – the chief of IAEA is hot-footing it over to Ukraine, to check on whether there might be a few problems with the wrecked old Chernobyl nuclear reactor, and all the other reactors, in view of a few shootings, shellings, missiles, and in view of Russian soldiers reported as sick with radiation, and in view of wildfires out of control in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.


April 2, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Chernobyl: radiation sickness in soldiers, theft of radioactive materials, wildfires – a frightening case of the multiple dangers of nuclear power.

Russian soldiers in Chernobyl suffering from radiation poisoning, Several Russian soldiers in Chernobyl have fallen sick with radiation sickness after digging trenches in contaminated  forests, , Katie Davis and The Sun, 1 Apr 22,

 Dozens of Russian troops stationed at the Chernobyl nuclear site in Ukraine have reportedly been struck down with radiation sickness after digging trenches in the contaminated forests.

Seven buses of soldiers suffering from acute radiation syndrome were taken from the exclusion zone to a hospital across the border in Belarus, The Sun reports.

Chernobyl was captured in the opening days of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops. However it was the site of a nuclear disaster in 1986 when a reactor exploded, contaminating the surrounding area.

As Russian soldiers took hold of the site, it sparked fears of a major radioactive disaster as a result of heavy fighting around the plant

Already, just three days after entering the area, the disturbing of soil by military vehicles saw radiation levels spike.

It also has been alleged Russian troops dug trenches in the highly toxic Red Forest zone, according to UNIAN News Agency.

And according to workers at the site, Russian soldiers drove their tanks and armoured vehicles without radiation protection through the area – kicking up clouds of radioactive dust.

A Chernobyl employee branded their actions as “suicidal” because the dust they inhaled was likely to cause internal radiation in their bodies.

The two Ukrainian sources said soldiers in the convoy did not use any anti-radiation gear while in the Red Forest – the most contaminated part of the zone around Chernobyl.

Dozens of Russian troops stationed at the Chernobyl nuclear site in Ukraine have reportedly been struck down with radiation sickness after digging trenches in the contaminated forests.

Seven buses of soldiers suffering from acute radiation syndrome were taken from the exclusion zone to a hospital across the border in Belarus, The Sun reports.

Chernobyl was captured in the opening days of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s troops. However it was the site of a nuclear disaster in 1986 when a reactor exploded, contaminating the surrounding area.

As Russian soldiers took hold of the site, it sparked fears of a major radioactive disaster as a result of heavy fighting around the plant.

Already, just three days after entering the area, the disturbing of soil by military vehicles saw radiation levels spike.

It also has been alleged Russian troops dug trenches in the highly toxic Red Forest zone, according to UNIAN News Agency.

And according to workers at the site, Russian soldiers drove their tanks and armoured vehicles without radiation protection through the area – kicking up clouds of radioactive dust.

A Chernobyl employee branded their actions as “suicidal” because the dust they inhaled was likely to cause internal radiation in their bodies. The two Ukrainian sources said soldiers in the convoy did not use any anti-radiation gear while in the Red Forest – the most contaminated part of the zone around Chernobyl.

Yaroslav Yemelianenko, an employee at the Public Council at the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management, said Russian troops were taken to the Belarusian centre of radiation medicine in Gomel.

“Digging the trenches in the Rudu forest?” he wrote on Facebook. “Now live the rest of your short life with this.

“There are rules of handling this territory. They are mandatory to perform because radiation is physics – it works regardless of status or chases………………

Radioactive material stolen from Chernobyl

Earlier this week, it was reported that radioactive material was stolen from the site of the damaged nuclear power station…………………….

Ukraine’s State Agency blamed Russian troops for stealing “unstable” nuclear samples from Chernobyl after ransacking a lab.

They are believed to have then destroyed the November Central Analytical Laboratory which was full of nuclear waste and located in the radioactive exclusion zone.

The agency said the stolen radionuclides are “highly active”…………

Just last week, wildfires around Chernobyl sparked by Russian shelling scorched 10,000 hectares of forest.

Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk accused Russia of “irresponsible” acts around the Chernobyl power station as she urged the United Nations to dispatch a mission to assess the risks.

She claimed Russian forces were preventing firefighters from bringing large numbers of fires in the zone under control……….

Ukraine’s human rights commissioner Lyudmila Denisova warned an increased level of radioactive air pollution could threaten neighbouring countries.

“Control and suppression of fires is impossible due to the capture of the exclusion zone by Russian troops,” she wrote on Facebook.

“As a result of combustion, radionuclides are released into the atmosphere, which are transported by wind over long distances. This threatens radiation to Ukraine, Belarus and European countries.”

The politician warned that failing to intervene could see “irreparable consequences” for “the whole world”.

“Catastrophic consequences can be prevented only by immediate de-occupation of the territory by Russian troops,” Ms Denisova said…………

April 2, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Caitlin Johnstone: The Target is China

 One thing that does seem clear is that the only way the empire has any chance of stopping the rise of China is by maneuvers that will be both highly disruptive and existentially dangerous for the entire world. If you think things are crazy now, just you wait until the imperial crosshairs move to Beijing.

On the empire’s grand chessboard, Russia is the queen piece, but China is the king April 1, 2022 The Pentagon’s current strategy document clearly identifies Enemy No. 1. And it’s not Russia. By Caitlin Johnstone,

The Pentagon has produced its latest National Defense Strategy (NDS), a report made every four years to provide the public and the government with a broad overview of the U.S. war machine’s planning, posturing, developments and areas of focus.

You might assume with all the aggressive brinkmanship between Moscow and the U.S. power alliance this year that Russia would feature as Enemy No. 1 in the 2022 NDS, but you would be assuming incorrectly. The U.S. “Defense” Department reserves that slot for the same nation that’s occupied it for many years now: China.

Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp writes the following:

The full NDS is still classified, but the Pentagon released a fact sheet on the document that says it “will act urgently to sustain and strengthen deterrence, with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as our most consequential strategic competitor and the pacing challenge for the Department.”

The fact sheet outlines four priorities for the Pentagon:

-Defending the homeland, paced to the growing multi-domain threat posed by the PRC

-Deterring strategic attacks against the United States, Allies, and partners

-Deterring aggression, while being prepared to prevail in conflict when necessary, prioritizing the PRC challenge in the Indo-Pacific, then the Russia challenge in Europe

-Building a resilient Joint Force and defense ecosystem”

“The Pentagon says that while China is the focus, Russia poses ‘acute threats’ because of its invasion of Ukraine,” DeCamp writes, showing the empire’s view of Moscow as a second-tier enemy.

Ahead of a meeting with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has made some comments which clearly illustrate the U.S.-centralized empire’s actual problem with Moscow.

“We, together with you, and with our sympathisers will move towards a multipolar, just, democratic world order,” Lavrov said to the Chinese government on Wednesday.

And that right there, ladies and gentlemen, is the real reason we’ve been hearing so much hysterical shrieking about Russia these last five or six years. It’s never been about Russian hackers. Nor about a Kremlin pee tape. Nor about Trump Tower. Nor about GRU bounties in Afghanistan. Nor about Manafort, Flynn, Bannon, Papadopoulos or any other Russiagate Surname of the Week. It’s not even actually about Ukraine. Those have all been narrative-shaping constructs manipulated by the U.S. intelligence cartel to manufacture support for a final showdown against Russia and China to prevent the emergence of a multipolar world.

The U.S. government has had a policy in place since the fall of the Soviet Union to prevent the rise of any powers which could challenge its imperial agendas for the world. During the (first) Cold War the strategy promoted by empire managers like Henry Kissinger was to court China out of necessity to pull it away from the U.S.S.R., which was when we saw business ties between China and the U.S. lead to immense profits for certain individuals in both nations and the influx of wealth which now has China on track to surpass the U.S. as an economic superpower.

Once the U.S.S.R. ended, so too did the need to remain on friendly terms with China, and subsequent decades saw a sharp pivot into a much more adversarial relationship with Beijing.

In what history may one day view as the U.S. empire’s greatest strategic blunder, empire managers forecasted the acquisition of post-soviet Russia as an imperial lackey state which could be weaponized against the new Enemy No. 1 in China. Instead, the exact opposite happened.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Bloomberg New Economy Forum last year that she’d “heard for years that Russia would become more willing to move toward the west, more willing to engage in a positive way with Europe, the U.K., the U.S., because of problems on its border, because of the rise of China.” But that’s not what occurred.

“We haven’t seen that,” Clinton said. “Instead what we’ve seen is a concerted effort by Putin maybe to hug China more.”

The empire’s expectation that Moscow would come groveling to the imperial throne on its own meant that no real effort was expended trying to establish goodwill and win over its friendship. NATO just kept on expanding and the empire got increasingly aggressive and belligerent in its games of global conquest.

This error has led to the strategist’s ultimate nightmare of having to fight for global domination against two separate powers at once. Because empire architects incorrectly predicted that Moscow would end up fearing Beijing more than it fears Washington, the tandem between China’s economic power and Russia’s military power that experts have been pointing to for years has only gotten more and more intimate.

And now here we are with Russian and Chinese officials openly discussing their plans to create a multipolar world while Chinese pundits crack jokes about the U.S. empire’s transparent ploys to turn Beijing against Moscow over the Ukraine invasion:

On the empire’s grand chessboard, Russia is the queen piece, but China is the king. Just as with chess it helps to take out your opponent’s strongest piece to more easily pursue checkmate, the U.S. empire would be well advised to try and topple China’s nuclear superpower friend and, as Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria recently put it, “ultimately restore a Yeltsin-like puppet to Moscow.”

Basically, all we’re looking at in the major international news stories of our time is the rise of a multipolar world crashing headlong into an empire which has espoused the belief that unipolar domination must be retained at all cost, even if it means flirting with the possibility of a very fast and radioactive third world war.

This is the Hail Mary pass of the U.S. hegemon; its last-ditch effort to secure control before forever losing any chance at it. Many anti-imperialist pundits I read regularly seem quite confident that this effort will fail, while I personally think those forecasts may be a bit premature. The way the chess pieces are moving it definitely does look like there’s a plan in place, and I don’t think they’d be orchestrating that plan if they didn’t believe it had a chance to succeed.

One thing that does seem clear is that the only way the empire has any chance of stopping the rise of China is by maneuvers that will be both highly disruptive and existentially dangerous for the entire world. If you think things are crazy now, just you wait until the imperial crosshairs move to Beijing.

April 2, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Anxieties at Varash nuclear power station, and other ones in Ukraine – ”town smells of fear”

Ukraine worries about disaster as Russia targets nuclear power plants, WP, By Max Bearak, 1 Apr 22, VARASH, Ukraine — The director of the largest nuclear power plant still under Ukrainian control was exhausted, curt with his replies and fidgeting with his glasses, which he turned around and around in his hands.

In the past two weeks, Ukraine’s military said it has shot down two Russian drones that approached as close as three miles from the plant in the northwestern city of Varash, which supplies 12 percent of the country’s electricity — but that wasn’t even the biggest of Pavlo Pavlyshyn’s concerns.

…………..  Chernobyl, while decommissioned, houses thousands of spent cooling rods that if not properly cared for could lead to an increase in radioactive leaking at the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster 36 years ago……………

…………Militarization wasn’t the only threat. Ukrainian staff at the plant haven’t had a day off since March 20 and are barely getting sleep. A power outage could disrupt the ventilation system and lead to overheating.

……………At Europe’s biggest nuclear plant, near Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine — which has been under Russian occupation since March 4 — Galushchenko said between 300 and 500 Russian soldiers and as many as 100 heavy vehicles including tanks were stationed within the plant’s perimeter. To take control of that plant, Russian forces fired artillery shells into one of the cooling units.

Besides the one in Varash, two other smaller Ukrainian plants are still under Ukrainian control. More than half of Ukraine’s electricity is provided by nuclear plants, and despite being under Russian control, the plant in Zaporizhzhia is still supplying the Ukrainian grid, though at a reduced capacity. Electricity consumption is also down across the country ……………

Varash, on the other hand, is carrying on much as usual. The town’s 8,000-plus plant workers are exempt from conscription into the military. Few have fled. Buses carrying workers to and from the plant, which looms over the whole city, bounce along wide boulevards while their families go about their daily lives.

The plant, which was built by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, is the entire reason for the city’s existence. About 30 miles south of the border with Belarus, Varash is otherwise relatively secluded and in one of the few areas of Ukraine that is still largely forested.

Here, residents worry about a reckless Russian attempt to take over the plant or even an errant shell causing a release of radiation.

City officials are already taking steps to prepare, including giving 50,000 residents potassium iodide tablets — which can help block the absorption of radioactive iodine in humans during prolonged exposure.

The mayor, Oleksandr Menzul, 49, worked for 25 years as a safety adviser at the plant, planning for various scenarios that could trigger a meltdown.

“We never estimated risk of Russian shelling,” he said. “Because it’s nonsense, right? Varash doesn’t even have bomb shelters, because who would bomb a city with a nuclear facility? But for Russia, an international disaster is just one mistake away…..

Menzul calms himself with the possibility that in the event of a disaster in Varash, prevailing winds might carry the worst of the radioactive steam from a blast into nearby Belarus or areas of Ukraine now occupied by Russia.

“If it blows in the enemy’s direction, at least there is some benefit to us,” he said, nervously chuckling.

This week, the chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in Ukraine to offer technical assistance, meeting with Galushchenko and other top officials.

“There have already been several close calls. We can’t afford to lose any more time,” Rafael Mariano Grossi, the agency’s head, said in a statement. “This conflict is already causing unimaginable human suffering and destruction. The IAEA’s expertise and capabilities are needed to prevent it from also leading to a nuclear accident.”

But Ukrainian officials have criticized the IAEA for not directly calling out Russia, which they say would bring more attention to the risks at nuclear facilities that, if shelled or otherwise damaged by Russia, could lead to a disaster with regional and potentially global implications.

The recent shooting down of two Russian drones over Varash — which was confirmed by Vitaly Koval, the regional military administrator — has raised questions about Russia’s possible surveillance of plants that are far from the front line.

The city is on edge. Despite being accompanied by a minder from the local government, visiting reporters were questioned by law enforcement. Citizens were apparently worried that the journalists could be Russian saboteurs.

It also is a city filled with memorials to past disasters. A monument to the Chernobyl victims stands prominently in the city center. Not far away is one to the victims of World War II. And a memorial to those killed in the ongoing war is already being planned.

“It should be a peaceful town, but it smells of fear,” the local minder said.

April 2, 2022 Posted by | safety, social effects, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Media coverage of the nuclear dangers in Ukraine often poorly informed and downplayed due to the influence of the pro nuclear lobby

There has been some media coverage of these dangers, but most has been poorly informed by proponents of nuclear energy who either downplay the actual risks or seem unfamiliar with them

It is increasingly urgent to do all we can to end Russia’s war on
Ukraine and achieve a peaceful withdrawal of Russian forces from the

Untold thousands of civilians have now been killed. Over
one-fourth of Ukraine’s population–more than 10 million people–have
been displaced from their homes and cities, many of which have been
completely devastated by deliberate targeting of residential areas,
schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and government buildings where people
have sought shelter. T

he suffering and destruction being wrought by Russia
is as awful as anything we have seen in recent history: the US war on and
occupation of Iraq, the proxy civil war in Yemen, the Syrian civil war and
Russia-led devastation of Aleppo, and others.

But there is a glaring complication in this war: the very real and immediate risk of its
escalating to nuclear devastation. Russia possesses the world’s largest
arsenal of nuclear weapons, and has had them on high alert since February
28. An even more immediate danger has been explicit from the very first
day. The presence of civilian nuclear power plants and Russia’s decisions
to attack and occupy those sites with its military.

Russia’s direct attacks on and occupation of the Chornobyl and Zaporizhzhia sites are among
the most reckless acts of the war. They threaten to unloose disasters which
Russia has literally no means of controlling, with effects that would not
only encompass the whole of Ukraine but much of Europe and Asia. There has
been some media coverage of these dangers, but most has been poorly
informed by proponents of nuclear energy who either downplay the actual
risks or seem unfamiliar with them.

April 2, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Head of IAEA to visit Chernobyl, as Russians withdraw from the site

UN nuclear watchdog to head mission to Chernobyl as Russians withdraw from site

Russians leaving Chernobyl have taken Ukraine soldiers with them, say officials      Jon Henley, Fri 1 Apr 2022 22

The head of the UN atomic watchdog has said he aims to lead a mission to Chernobyl as soon as possible, after Russian troops were reported to have largely withdrawn from the decommissioned nuclear power station.

Rafael Grossi tweeted on Friday that he would head an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “assistance and support” mission to the highly contaminated site of the world’s worst nuclear accident in the first of a series of such visits to Ukrainian nuclear plants.

The announcement came after Ukrainian officials said the Russian soldiers who had occupied the highly contaminated plant since 24 February – the first day of the invasion – had left taking several Ukrainian service personnel with them. Some Russians remained in the surrounding exclusion zone, they said.

The Ukrainian state power company Energoatom alleged that the pullout followed a number of Russian soldiers receiving “significant doses” of radiation from digging trenches in the forest in the exclusion zone, a claim the IAEA said it could not independently confirm but would investigate.

Energoatom said the troops had “panicked at the first sign of illness”, which “showed up very quickly”. Chernobyl’s No 4 reactor exploded on 26 April 1986, killing hundreds and spreading radioactive contamination west across Europe.

The IAEA said earlier on Friday Kyiv had informed it that Russia had transferred control of the site back to the Ukrainians charged with overseeing the safe storage of spent fuel rods and maintaining the concrete-encased ruins of the reactor.

But the UN agency said it could not independently confirm the claim that the Russian soldiers, whose capture of the plant raised fears around the world of increased radiological risks, had been exposed to radiation.

Energoatom did not say how many soldiers were involved and gave no details of how they had been affected. The Ukrainian deputy prime minister Iryna Vereshchuk also said Russian troops were exposed to radiation after digging trenches in the forest.

Some Ukrainian reports have suggested the soldiers were taken to a special medical facility in nearby Belarus after driving tanks through the exclusion zone, kicking up radioactive dust. The Kremlin has not commented on the claims.

Edwin Lyman, a nuclear expert with the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists, told the Associated Press on Friday it seemed unlikely a large number of troops would develop severe radiation illness, but added that it was impossible to know for sure without more details.

Citing plant workers, Energoatom said in a statement on Friday that the “Russian occupiers, as they ran away from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, took members of the national guard, whom they had held hostage since 24 February, with them”.

The Ukrainian government had repeatedly expressed safety concerns about Chernobyl and demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Russian troops, whose presence prevented the normal rotation of personnel for several weeks.

Russian forces also retreated from the nearby town of Slavutych, where Chernobyl workers lived, Energoatom said, and the IAEA said it was preparing to send its first assistance and support mission to Chernobyl within the next few days.

Grossi was due to hold talks with senior Russian officials in Kaliningrad on Friday after visiting a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine on Wednesday on his first trip to the country since the invasion.

The IAEA chief, who has repeatedly warned of the dangers of the conflict – Ukraine has 15 reactors at four active nuclear power plants, as well as stores of nuclear waste at Chernobyl and elsewhere – was expected to hold a press conference at the IAEA’s headquarters in Vienna later on Friday.

April 2, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Weapons corporations infiltrate Australian schools and charities, promoting war-mongering to our youth

REPUTATION LAUNDERING, DeclassifiedAUS2 The weapons companies spruiking the ‘benefits and opportunities’ of the wars in Ukraine and Yemen and tensions in the South China Sea are infiltrating our schools., MICHELLE FAHY, 31 MARCH 2022

A Lockheed Martin missile blows up a school bus in Yemen, while in Australia the company gains kudos by sponsoring the National Youth Science Forum.

BAE Systems supports the education of kids in Australia, while being complicit in the killing of thousands of children in Yemen.

Lockheed Martin, the world’s largest weapons-maker, is raking in billions from ongoing wars like the four-week Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the eight-year long Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Lockheed Martin laser-guided bomb blew up a bus full of Yemeni school children in 2018, killing 40 children and injuring dozens more.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Lockheed Martin was busy cultivating kudos with kids as major sponsor of the National Youth Science Forum, a registered charity originally set up by Rotary.

Then there’s US missile-making giant Raytheon which now has a significant new manufacturing facility in Australia. It has continued to supply the Saudi-led coalition with weapons for the Yemen war, despite extensive evidence pointing to war crimes arising from its missiles being used to target and kill civilians. 

In January 2022, a Raytheon missile killed at least 80 people and injured over 200 in a so-called precision strike in Sa’adah in Yemen.

Within days of this horrific incident, Raytheon’s CEO was telling investors that rising tensions represented “opportunities for international sales” and he fully expected to “see some benefit” from “the tensions in Eastern Europe [and] the South China Sea”.

There’s no mention in Australia’s media of the big profits Raytheon is making from the Yemen war, which has now entered its eighth year, killed or injured at least 19,000 civilians, and possibly many more, and also caused the deaths of tens of thousands of children through starvation, due to disruption of food supplies and militarily-enforced trade blockade.

Instead, we’ve seen pictures of Aussie school kids having fun with the Australian snowboarding Paralympian who Raytheon Australia hired to front the launch of its Maths Alive! educational exhibition.

And we also heard about Raytheon’s sponsorship of Soldier On and the Invictus Games, despite the irony of a weapons company using its support of injured military personnel as a public relations exercise.

There’s a name for this cynical behaviour by corporations: ‘reputation laundering’.

Weapons companies are now ‘Innovators’

The world’s weapons producers have also taken to promoting themselves as ‘innovators’ in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths, called STEM. 

This enables them to target children and young people as future employees (see, for exampleBAE Systems AustraliaBoeing Defence Australia, and Saab Australia), often with the willing partnership of respected institutions. Many Australian universities now have MOUsjoint venturesstrategic partnerships, or other forms of collaboration with the weapons industry.

This enthusiastic support of STEM serves a double purpose: reputation laundering, and a socially acceptable way to promote the weapons industry as a future employer directly to children and their parents.

Promoting STEM education is essential to creating a well-trained workforce for key industries of the future, particularly those that can tackle the existential risks associated with climate change. The concern with the weapons industry’s activities in this domain is the way it is using STEM to target children as young as primary school age for weapons-making careers, often with the support of government. 

The spin and glamour being associated with Australia’s increased militarism is a concern on several levels, particularly as the marketing omits pertinent information: weapons and warfare aren’t mentioned.

Nor is there information about how children might use their STEM skills to enhance the ‘lethality’ of their employer’s products.

Nor about a future in which the need for human involvement in the ‘kill chain’ is eliminated by creating autonomous robots to make life and death decisions instead. (This is not science fiction, these research and development programs are already happening.)

Working for companies involved with nuclear weapons isn’t discussed, either.

Instead, a world of euphemism has been created: ‘advanced technology systems, products and services’, ‘high end technology company’, ‘leading systems integrator’, ‘security and aerospace company’, ‘defence technology and innovation company’. 

It is also likely to be weapons company marketing material if the phrase ‘solving complex problems’ appears, especially if accompanied by claims of ‘making the world safer.

None of these euphemisms conjures up realistic images of the bloody and brutal destruction the world is witnessing in the world’s latest war in Ukraine.

The ways global weapons giants have cultivated relationships with organisations of good purpose in Australia is highlighted in the following examples.

Lockheed Martin and the National Youth Science Forum

The National Youth Science Forum was created by Rotary, which remains involved. The Forum, now a not-for-profit organisation overseen by a board, has numerous programs, the flagship program being for Year 12 students interested in a career in science.

“The ban treaty embodies the collective moral revulsion of the international community,” according to the Director of the Centre for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament at the Australian National University, Professor Ramesh Thakur.

Lockheed Martin and the Gallipoli Sponsorship Fund

In 2020, Lockheed Martin Australia became the first corporate sponsor of the Gallipoli Scholarship Fund and provides $120,000 to fund 12 Lockheed Martin Australia bursaries for the educational benefit of descendants of Australian military veterans.

Lockheed Martin is providing these Australian educational bursaries through to the end of 2023, with an opportunity to extend.

Referring to Lockheed Martin as a “defence technology and innovation company”, the Gallipoli Sponsorship Fund’s website also does not disclose Lockheed’s status as the world’s dominant weapons-maker nor its position as a major nuclear weapons producer.

BAE Systems and The Smith Family

This example illustrates that public pressure can and does make a difference.

The UK’s largest weapons-maker, BAE Systems, has been working inside Saudi Arabia supporting the Saudi-led coalition’s role in Yemen since the start of the war.

A BAE maintenance employee was quoted in 2019 saying, “If we weren’t there, in 7 to 14 days there wouldn’t be a jet in the sky.” BAE Systems has sold nearly £18 billion worth of weaponry to the Saudis since the war in Yemen started in 2014.

Yet in Australia, BAE Systems started a $100,000 partnership with The Smith Family in August 2020, sponsoring a STEM education program for under-privileged children.

BAE’s role helping the Saudis prolong one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises in Yemen was pointed out numerous times to The Smith Family, a children’s charity, after news broke of its BAE sponsorship.

The Smith Family initially resisted but after increasing pressure and activism from peace organisations and many complaints from the public, The Smith Family soon dropped its controversial ‘partnership’ with BAE Systems Australia, mere months after it had started.

Morally indefensible positions

Benign-sounding sponsorships of Australian school children such as these might appear less self-serving if weapons companies behaved consistently and stopped supplying weapons to those nations known to be serial abusers of human rights. 

Saying they are merely doing the bidding of their governments in supplying the Saudis, and other abusive and repressive regimes, as these companies have, is not a morally defensible position.

It is particularly not defensible in the face of evidence of ongoing war crimes being committed using their weaponry.

MICHELLE FAHY is an independent writer and researcher, specialising in the examination of connections between the weapons industry and government, and has written in various independent publications. She is on twitter @FahyMichelle, and on Substack at  An earlier version of this article was published in Michael West Media in November 2020.

April 2, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Education | Leave a comment

BAE shipyard – home to nuclear submarine construction ‘set to flood’ due to impact of climate change

BAE shipyard in Barrow ‘set to flood’ due to impact of climate change 31st March DAN TAYLOR, CHIEF REPORTER   BARROW’S shipyard is at ‘very great’ risk of flooding in the near future, according to a report. 

Findings by the Nuclear Consulting Group suggest BAE’s shipyard would be left ‘profoundly vulnerable’ to flooding from sea-level rises due to the impact of climate change. 

It claimed the shipyard was among nine nuclear sites that are threatened by the possibility of increased rainfall and a rise in sea levels.

The report is based on models predicting sea levels in 2050 following the effects of climate change. 

……..   Writing in the report Dr Paul Dorfman, the chair of the Nuclear Consulting Group think tank, said: “Present UK coastal military nuclear infrastructure is profoundly vulnerable to flooding from sea-level rise, storm intensity and storm surge – with inland nuclear facilities also facing inundation and flooding.

“Ministry of Defence and nuclear regulatory mitigation efforts will become obsolete, and sooner than planned.

“In other words, UK nuclear military bases are set to flood.”

The next generation of Trident nuclear submarines are being built in Barrow, alongside the Astute hunter-killer boats.

And raising concern about the shipyard, Dr Dorfman warned: “Despite the key role the shipyard plays in the UK nuclear military enterprise, climate change (even in lower-mid range projections) will challenge the utility and viability of the facility due to the combined impact of future sea-level rise, storm surge and flooding.”…………

April 2, 2022 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Growing resistance to EU proposal to label gas and nuclear as ”sustainable” energy

Resistance has been growing to an EU proposal to label gas and nuclear
energy as sustainable investments, officials said this week.

The European Commission last month proposed including both in the EU’s sustainable
finance taxonomy, a system for labelling climate-friendly investments. The
proposal split opinion among the European Parliament and EU countries,
which disagree on the fuels’ green credentials and could also still
reject it.

Two groups of lawmakers – the Greens and the Socialists and
Democrats – confirmed that they would file a motion to reject the rules.
German Green lawmaker Michael Bloss had confirmed the Greens’ objection
earlier in the week. “Nuclear power and fossil gas are not
‘sustainable’, far too dangerous and not a bridge technology,” he
said in a tweet.

The move is the opening salvo in a months-long process of
negotiations, which would culminate in Parliament voting by July on the
potential motions to reject the gas and nuclear proposal. 

Emerging Risks 1st April 2022 

April 2, 2022 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Wide reporting on Russian soldiers affected by radiation, leaving Chernobyl

The UN atomic watchdog is investigating Ukrainian claims that Russian
soldiers occupying Chernobyl nuclear power station left after receiving
high doses of radiation. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said
it could not confirm the claims by Ukrainian state power company Energoatom
and was seeking an independent assessment.

Energoatom said the Russians dug
trenches in the forest inside the exclusion zone at the site of the
world’s worst nuclear disaster, and that the troops “panicked at the
first sign of illness” which “showed up very quickly” and began
preparing to leave.

The Ukrainian deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk,
also made the claim that Russian troops who dug trenches in the forest were
exposed to radiation, but it has not been independently verified. Some
reports have suggested the soldiers are being sent to a special medical
facility in Belarus after driving tanks through the “dead zone” around
the nuclear plant, kicking up radioactive dust.

 Guardian 1st April

Russian forces that occupied the Chernobyl nuclear power station after
invading Ukraine have left the defunct plant, and suggested radiation
concerns had driven them away. Chernobyl is back under Ukraine control
after Russians forces formally give up the nuclear site.

The Ukrainian
state nuclear company said on Thursday most of the Russian forces that
occupied the Chernobyl nuclear power station after invading Ukraine have
left the defunct plant, and suggested radiation concerns had driven them

Energoatom said it had also confirmed information that Russian troops
had built fortifications including trenches in the so-called Red Forest –
the most radioactively contaminated part of the zone around Chernobyl. As a
result of concerns about radiation, “almost a riot began to brew among the
soldiers,” it said in the statement, suggesting this was the reason for
their unexpected departure.

 Mirror 31st March 2022

Energoatom also said reports were confirmed that the Russians dug trenches
in the Red Forest, the 10-square-kilometer (nearly four-square-mile) area
surrounding the Chernobyl plant within the Exclusion Zone, and received
“significant doses of radiation.” The Russian troops “panicked at the first
sign of illness,” which “showed up very quickly,” and began to prepare to
leave, the operator said. The claim couldn’t be independently verified.

 Daily Mail 31st March 2022

Energoatom said the pullout at Chernobyl came after soldiers received
“significant doses” of radiation from digging trenches in the forest in the
exclusion zone around the closed plant, although there was no independent
confirmation of that.

 Independent 1st April 2022

April 2, 2022 Posted by | health, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Biden’s Reckless Words Underscore the Dangers of the U.S.’s Use of Ukraine As a Proxy War

The U.S. is, by definition, waging a proxy war against Russia, using Ukrainians as their instrument, with the goal of not ending the war but prolonging it.

 UK officials similarly told him that “the U.K.’s No. 1 option is for the conflict to be extended and thereby bleed Putin.”

As grave of a threat as deliberate war is, unintended escalation from miscommunication and misperception can be as bad. Biden is the perfect vessel for such risks. Glenn Greenwald, 28 Mar 22,

The central question for Americans from the start of the war in Ukraine was what role, if any, should the U.S. government play in that war? A necessarily related question: if the U.S. is going to involve itself in this war, what objectives should drive that involvement?

Prior to the U.S.’s jumping directly into this war, those questions were never meaningfully considered. Instead, the emotions deliberately stoked by the relentless media attention to the horrors of this war — horrors which, contrary to the West’s media propaganda, are common to all wars, including its own — left little to no space for public discussion of those questions. The only acceptable modes of expression in U.S. discourse were to pronounce that the Russian invasion was unjustified, and, using parlance which the 2011 version of Chris Hayes correctly dismissed as adolescent, that Putin is a “bad guy.” Those denunciation rituals, no matter how cathartic and applause-inducing, supplied no useful information about what actions the U.S. should or should not take when it came to this increasingly dangerous conflict.

That was the purpose of so severely restricting discourse to those simple moral claims: to allow policymakers in Washington free rein to do whatever they wanted in the name of stopping Putin without being questioned. Indeed, as so often happens when war breaks out, anyone questioning U.S. political leaders instantly had their patriotism and loyalty impugned (unless one was complaining that the U.S. should become more involved in the conflict than it already was, a form of pro-war “dissent” that is always permissible in American discourse).

With these discourse rules firmly implanted, those who attempted to invoke former President Obama’s own arguments about a conflict between Russia and Ukraine — namely, that “Ukraine is a core Russian interest but not an American one” and therefore the U.S. should not risk confrontation with Moscow over it — were widely maligned as Kremlin assets if not agents. Others who urged the U.S. to try to avert war through diplomacy — by, for instance, formally vowing that NATO membership would not be offered to Ukraine and that Kyiv would remain neutral in the new Cold War pursued by the West with Moscow — faced the same set of accusations about their loyalty and patriotism.

Most taboo of all was any discussion of the heavy involvement of the U.S. in Ukraine beginning in 2014 up to the invasion: from micro-managing Ukrainian politics, to arming its military, to placing military advisers and intelligence officers on the ground to train its soldiers how to fight (something Biden announced he was considering last November) — all of which amounted to a form of de facto NATO expansion without the formal membership. 

And that leaves to the side the still-unanswered yet supremely repressed question of what Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland referred to as the Ukrainians’ “biological research facilities” so dangerous and beyond current Russian bio-research capabilities that she gravely feared they would “fall into Russian hands.”

As a result of the media’s embracing of moral righteousness in lieu of debating these crucial geopolitical questions, the U.S. government has consistently and aggressively escalated its participation in this war with barely any questioning let alone opposition. U.S. officials are boastfully leading the effort to collapse the Russian economy. Along with its NATO allies, the U.S. has flooded Ukraine with billions of dollars of sophisticated weaponry, with at least some of those arms ending up in the hands of actual neo-Nazi battalions integrated into the Ukrainian government and military

It is providing surveillance technology in the form of drones and its own intelligence to enable Ukrainian targeting of Russian forces. President Biden threatened Russia with a response “in kind” if Russia were to use chemical weapons. Meanwhile, reports The New York Times, “C.I.A. officers are helping to ensure that crates of weapons are delivered into the hands of vetted Ukrainian military units.”

The U.S. is, by definition, waging a proxy war against Russia, using Ukrainians as their instrument, with the goal of not ending the war but prolonging it. So obvious is this fact about U.S. objectives that even The New York Times last Sunday explicitly reported that the the Biden administration “seeks to help Ukraine lock Russia in a quagmire” (albeit with care not to escalate into a nuclear exchange). Indeed, even “some American officials assert that as a matter of international law, the provision of weaponry and intelligence to the Ukrainian Army has made the United States a cobelligerent,” though this is “an argument that some legal experts dispute.” Surveying all this evidence as well as discussions with his own U.S. and British sources, Niall Ferguson, writing in Bloombergproclaimed: “I conclude that the U.S. intends to keep this war going.” UK officials similarly told him that “the U.K.’s No. 1 option is for the conflict to be extended and thereby bleed Putin.”

In sum, the Biden administration is doing exactly that which former President Obama warned in 2016 should never be done: risking war between the world’s two largest nuclear powers over Ukraine. Yet if any pathology defines the last five years of U.S. mainstream discourse, it is that any claim that undercuts the interests of U.S. liberal elites — no matter how true — is dismissed as “Russian disinformation.”

As we witnessed most vividly in the run-up to the 2020 election — when that label was unquestioningly yet falsely applied by the union of the CIA, corporate media and Big Tech to the laptop archive revealing Joe Biden’s political and financial activities in Ukraine and China — any facts which establishment power centers want to demonize or suppress are reflexively labelled “Russian disinformation.” Hence, the DNC propaganda arm Media Matters now lists as “pro-Russian propaganda” the indisputable fact that the U.S. is not defending Ukraine but rather exploiting and sacrificing it to fight a proxy war with Moscow. The more true a claim is, the more likely it is to receive this designation in U.S. establishment discourse.

That there are few if any risks graver or more reckless than a direct U.S./Russia military confrontation should be too obvious to require explanation……………………………..

Speaking to U.S. troops in Poland on Friday, a visibly exhausted and rambling President Biden — after extensive travel, time-zone hopping, protracted meetings and speeches — appeared to tell U.S. troops that they were on their way to see first-hand the resistance of Ukrainians, meaning they were headed into Ukraine:      

It seems clear that this was not some planned decision to have the U.S. president casually announce his intention to send U.S. troops to fight Russians in Ukraine. This was, instead, an old man, more tired, unpredictable and incoherent than usual due to intense overseas travel, accidentally mumbling out various phrases that could be and almost certainly were highly alarming to Moscow and other countries.

……………………….  “Major nuclear actors are on the cusp of a new arms race, one that will be very expensive and will increase the likelihood of accidents and misperceptions.”

That Biden’s “gaffe” about U.S. troops headed into Ukraine could generate exactly this sort of “misperception” seems self-evident. So do the grave dangers from Biden’s sudden yet emphatic declaration on Saturday that Putin “cannot remain in power” — the classic language of declared U.S. policy of regime change: 

That clear declaration of regime change as the U.S. goal for Putin was quickly walked back by Biden’s aides, who absurdly claimed he only meant that Putin cannot remain in power in Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe, not that he can no longer govern Russia. But this episode marked at least the third time in the past couple weeks that White House officials had to walk back Biden’s comments, following his clear decree that U.S. troops would soon be back in Ukraine and his prior warning that the U.S. would use chemical weapons against Russia if they used them first.

That Biden seems to be stumbling and bumbling rather than following scripted recklessness seems likely in some of these cases but not all. The White House’s vehement denial, in the wake of Biden’s speech, that regime change in Russia is its goal was contradicted by Ferguson’s reporting in Bloomberg last week:

Reading this carefully, I conclude that the U.S. intends to keep this war going….I have evidence from other sources to corroborate this. “The only end game now,” a senior administration official was heard to say at a private event earlier this month, “is the end of Putin regime”…..I gather that senior British figures are talking in similar terms. There is a belief that “the U.K.’s No. 1 option is for the conflict to be extended and thereby bleed Putin.” Again and again, I hear such language. It helps explain, among other things, the lack of any diplomatic effort by the U.S. to secure a cease-fire.  It also explains the readiness of President Joe Biden to call Putin a war criminal………………………….

How does growing U.S. involvement in this war benefit the people of the United States, particularly as they were already — before this war — weighed down by the dual burdens of pandemic-based economic depravations and rapidly escalating inflation?

These are precisely the questions that a healthy nation discusses and examines before jumping head-first into a major war. But these were precisely the questions declared to be unpatriotic, proof of one’s status as a traitor or pro-Russia propagandist, as the hallmark of being pro-Putin. These are the standard tactics used to squash dissent or questioning when war breaks out. That neocons, who perfected these smear tactics, are back in the saddle as discourse and policy leaders — due to their six-year project of ingratiating themselves back into American liberalism with performative anti-Trump agitprop — makes it inevitable that such sleazy attacks will prevail…………

April 2, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Low-lying Dungeness threatened by climate change – sea level rise.

Dungeness could find itself underwater within 30 years, threatening both a
tourist hotspot and a vital conservation area. Dungeness and its nature
reserve are low-lying, which means that they are particularly vulnerable to
climate change and rising sea levels.

Climate Central is an organisation
dedicated to researching the impact of global warming. The organisation
uses UN-approved data to predict which areas of the world could be most
threatened by rising sea levels, with variables concerning pollution levels
and extreme weather events. Here’s an example of one of Climate
Central’s maps, [on original] showing what Dungeness could look like in 2050 should
global warming continue at its current rate. The red parts show areas
beneath the tide level.

 Time Out 30th March 2022

April 2, 2022 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Sizewell new nuclear will not solve the government’s energy problems, but will punish the poorest.

 Nick Butler: Spending £4bn on a new nuclear station at Sizewell will not
solve the government’s energy problems. Instead of sensible short-term
measures to help those facing energy poverty, the government is focusing on
a technology with a track record of failure.

In the face of surging energy
prices and the prospect of more problems as Europe turns off Russian gas
supplies, the UK government is struggling to find a coherent energy policy.
The latest move, a £4bn investment in the proposed new nuclear station at
Sizewell, is both a mistake and an irrelevance.

Private investors who are
being asked to stump up the majority of the £20bn total cost should
politely decline the offer. The current energy challenge—driven first by
the surging post-Covid economy around the world, and now by fears of a
fight for supplies as Europe reduces its use of Russian gas by two-thirds
by 2023—is not the fault of the British government. The UK is not
dependent on Russian supplies, which account for less than 5 per cent of
British consumption. We do, however, import half our gas, and are therefore
vulnerable to whatever happens on the world market.

The government is
responsible for the response to a crisis which will raise retail bills in
April, and again in the autumn. The burden of these sudden increases will
hit the poorest hardest, adding to cost of living pressures already
evident. The Bank of England talks of inflation of 8 per cent by the end of
the year. Many commentators think 10 per cent is more likely. The answer to
the challenge has to begin with welfare support for those who cannot cope.
A temporary removal of some of the taxes on energy supply, including VAT,
would also offer some relief.

The £2bn being given to the developers of
Sizewell would have made a material difference to those facing energy
poverty. The choice of EDF’s European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) technology is the worst from
any perspective. In the face of an energy crisis and soaring bills, the
government needs solutions which are practical and affordable.

There is no way of insulating the UK from developments in the world market. The poorest
can and should be protected but the rest of us will undoubtedly have to pay
more. What matters now is that the short-, medium- and longer-term
solutions to limit that exposure are deliverable and affordable. Sizewell
is neither. 

Prospect 30th March 2022

April 2, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, UK | Leave a comment

Russian troops pull out out of Chernobyl after suffering ”acute radiation sickness”

Russian troops have pulled out of Chernobyl and handed control back to
Ukrainian authorities after soldiers suffered acute radiation sickness from
digging trenches in contaminated soil. Energoatom, Ukraine’s state
nuclear energy company, said that soldiers had received “significant
doses of radiation” after they constructed trench fortifications in the
Red Forest, a highly toxic area surrounding the defunct plant.

 Times 1st April 2022

April 2, 2022 Posted by | health, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Urgent need to bring about new arms control agreements

The last remaining U.S.-Russian arms reduction agreement, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, expires in 2026. Without commonsense arms control guardrails, the dangers of unconstrained global nuclear arms racing will only grow.

New Approaches Needed to Prevent Nuclear Catastrophe,  Arms Control Association,  April 2022
By Daryl G. Kimball 
 Instead of reverting to destabilizing Cold War-era behaviors, leaders and concerned citizens in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere need to embrace new thinking and strategies about nuclear weapons and disarmament that move the world from the shadow of nuclear catastrophe.

Putin and other Russian officials have made implied nuclear threats and put their strategic nuclear forces on a heightened state of readiness to ward off a direct U.S. or NATO military intervention in Ukraine. It is not a new or uniquely Russian idea. U.S. officials also claim that U.S. strategic nuclear forces create “maneuver space” to “project conventional military power.”…………..

Biden wisely has not matched Putin’s nuclear taunts, but the risk of escalation is real. A close encounter between NATO and Russian warplanes, which could result if NATO imposed a no-fly zone in Ukraine, could lead to a wider conflict. Because Russian and U.S. military strategies reserve the option to use nuclear weapons first against non-nuclear threats, fighting could quickly go nuclear.

Russian nuclear doctrine states that nuclear weapons can be used in response to an attack with weapons of mass destruction or if a conventional war threatens the “very existence of the state.” Right now, these conditions do not exist. But if the Kremlin believes a serious attack is underway, it might use short-range, tactical nuclear weapons to tip the military balance in its favor.

Unfortunately, U.S. President Joe Biden’s new Nuclear Posture Review states that the “fundamental role” of the U.S. arsenal will be to deter nuclear attacks while still leaving open the option for nuclear first use in “extreme circumstances” to counter conventional, biological, chemical, and possibly cyberattacks.

There is no plausible military scenario, and no legally justifiable basis for threatening or using nuclear weapons first, if at all. Once nuclear weapons are used between nuclear-armed states, there is no guarantee it will not lead to an all-out nuclear exchange.

New thinking is needed. The adoption of policies prohibiting the first use of nuclear weapons would increase stability. But even that would not eliminate the dangers of nuclear deterrence strategies and arsenals, which depend on maintaining the credible threat of prompt retaliation in response to a nuclear attack.

U.S. and European citizens need to mobilize and press their leaders to pursue even bolder initiatives to steer the nuclear possessor states away from nuclear confrontation and arms racing.

For example, UN General Assembly members, particularly those who negotiated the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, should consider a “uniting for peace” resolution in response to the immediate threat of nuclear use. Such resolutions have been used in rare cases when the UN Security Council, lacking unanimity among its five permanent, nuclear-armed members, fails to act to maintain international peace and security.

Such a resolution could build on the March 2 vote in the General Assembly condemning Russia’s invasion and Putin’s decision to increase the readiness of his nuclear forces and would recall the assembly’s declaration of November 1961 that said that “any state using nuclear…weapons is to be considered as violating the Charter of the UN, as acting contrary to the laws of humanity and as committing a crime against mankind and civilization.”

An updated resolution could declare that the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is contrary to international law and mandate negotiations on legally binding security guarantees against unprovoked attacks from states possessing nuclear weapons.

The resolution could mandate that any state that initiates a nuclear attack shall be stripped of its voting privileges at the United Nations and recommend collective measures to restore the peace under Chapter VII of the UN Charter. Such an initiative would reinforce the nuclear weapons taboo at a critical juncture.

Responsible states must also come together on a meaningful disarmament plan at the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in August. Although Putin’s war has derailed U.S.-Russian talks for now on further cuts in their bloated strategic arsenals and new agreements to limit short- and intermediate-range nuclear weapons systems, they are still bound by their disarmament obligations under Article VI of the NPT.

The last remaining U.S.-Russian arms reduction agreement, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, expires in 2026. Without commonsense arms control guardrails, the dangers of unconstrained global nuclear arms racing will only grow.

Putin’s war on Ukraine is a sobering reminder that outdated nuclear deterrence policies create unacceptable risks. The only way to eliminate the danger is to reinforce the norm against nuclear use and pursue more sustainable path toward their elimination.

April 2, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment