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International Atomic Energy Agency very concerned at dangers at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex.

Atomic agency: Danger signs at ‘occupied’ nuclear site in Ukraine

Rafael Grossi tells AP the Zaporizhzhia facility requires repairs and the current situation there is ‘not sustainable’.  Aljazeera, 

The International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) director-general says the level of safety at Europe’s largest nuclear plant, which is currently under Russian military occupation in Ukraine, is like a “red light blinking” as his organisation tries in vain to gain access to the site.

Rafael Grossi said that the IAEA needs access to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine so its inspectors can, among other things, reestablish the site’s connections with the Vienna-based headquarters of the UN agency.

Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors gives it one of the largest nuclear power capacities in the world, and Russia’s invasion has essentially turned parts of country into a nuclear minefield.

Again and again since the invasion, nuclear experts have watched in alarm as Russian forces have come uncomfortably close to multiple nuclear plants in Ukraine.

Grossi said the Zaporizhzhia plant requires repairs.

“There are two units that are active, in active operation … others that are in repairs or in cool down. And there are some activities, technical activities and also inspection activities that need to be performed,” Grossi said.

“So the situation as I have described it, and I would repeat it today, is not sustainable as it is,” he said.

“So this is a pending issue. This is a red light blinking.”…………

The IAEA chief said he is continuing to press Russia’s government for access to the Zaporizhzhia plant………

“There cannot be any military action in or around a nuclear power plant,” Grossi said, adding that he has appealed to Russia about this.

“This is unprecedented to have a war unfolding amidst one of the world’s largest nuclear infrastructures, which, of course, makes for a number of fragile or weak points that could be, of course, exploited wittingly or unwittingly,” he added.

“So this requires a lot of activity on our side and cooperation. Cooperation from the Russian side. Understanding from the Ukrainian side so that we can avoid an accident.”…………..

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, along with US and European support for Ukraine in the conflict, have increased tensions between Russia and the West, but it’s “imperative for us to look for common denominators in spite of these difficulties”, Grossi said.

“We cannot afford to stop. We have to continue. It’s in the world’s interest,” he said of global nuclear safety.


April 28, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Despite deteriorating situation, Ukrainian parliament still insisting on NATO accession

RT, Tue, 26 Apr 2022   The Rada’s chair says accession to the military alliance is Ukraine’s “prospective vision of its future”
The Ukrainian parliament will not vote to remove the passage about the country’s ambition to join NATO from the constitution, the Rada’s chairman, Ruslan Stefanchuk, has revealed.

n an interview with Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainska Pravda published on Monday, Stefanchuk was asked whether Ukrainian lawmakers were going to amend the country’s constitution with respect to Kiev’s ambition to become a NATO member state. The official replied in the negative, adding that “changing the constitution is not an end in itself.” He went on to say that just because some changes are made does not necessarily mean that they have an effect in real life. Stefanchuk warned against “declaratory norms.

The official emphasized that at this point the Ukrainian authorities’ main focus is on ensuring the security of each and every Ukrainian citizen. “Real guarantees are important to us,” Stefanchuk noted.

“For me as a representative of the political leadership of the state precisely this is a priority, so that people no longer die and pay with their lives for the European dream, for the dream of security and the rest,” the Rada’s chairman said.

However, Kiev would not settle for just any kind of guarantees, according to Stefanchuk, who cited the 1994 Budapest Memorandum as an example of empty promises that have failed to materialize. He called for a well-defined agreement which would be able to put Ukraine at ease.

Going back to “what is written in our constitution regarding NATO and the EU,” Stefanchuk described accession to the two organizations as Ukraine’s “prospective vision of its future.”

On March 29, during the last in-person meeting between the Ukrainian and Russian negotiators in Istanbul, Kiev proposed penning an international agreement on security guarantees for Ukraine.

Ten days prior, Stefanchuk indicated that he did not rule out removing the passage on NATO membership from Ukraine’s constitution, depending on “what path the negotiators will take.” The official added that the Rada could start looking for a “model that will either not contradict the constitution or we will change the constitution in this respect.”

The amendment in question, which was added to the Ukrainian constitution back in February 2019, obliges the country’s government to stick to the goal of NATO membership, with the president being the senior guarantor.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.  AT TOP

April 28, 2022 Posted by | politics, Ukraine | Leave a comment

The 1983 Military Drill That Nearly Sparked Nuclear War With the Soviets

Fearful that the Able Archer 83 exercise was a cover for a NATO nuclear strike, the U.S.S.R. readied its own weapons for launch

Smithsonian, Francine Uenuma, History CorrespondentApril 27, 2022  In November 1983, during a particularly tense period in the Cold War, Soviet observers spotted planes carrying what appeared to be warheads taxiing out of their NATO hangars. Shortly after, command centers for the NATO military alliance exchanged a flurry of communication, and, after receiving reports that their Soviet adversaries had used chemical weapons, the United States decided to intensify readiness to DEFCON 1—the highest of the nuclear threat categories, surpassing the DEFCON 2 alert declared at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis two decades prior. Concerned about a preemptive strike, Soviet forces prepared their nuclear weapons for launch.

There was just one problem. None of the NATO escalation was real—at least, not in the minds of the Western forces participating in the Able Archer 83 war game.

A variation of an annual military training exercise, the scenario started with a change in Soviet leadership, heightened proxy rivalries and the Soviets’ invasion of several European countries. Lasting five days, it culminated in NATO resorting to the use of nuclear weapons. Soviet intelligence watched the event with special interest, suspicious that the U.S. might carry out a nuclear strike under the guise of a drill. The realism of Able Archer was ironically effective: It was designed to simulate the start of a nuclear war, and many argue that it almost did.

“In response to this exercise, the Soviets readied their forces, including their nuclear forces, in a way that scared NATO decision makers eventually all the way up to President [Ronald] Reagan,” says Nate Jones, author of Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War and a senior fellow at the National Security Archive.

Perhaps most concerning is that the danger was largely unknown and overlooked, both during the exercise and throughout that precarious year, when changes in leadership and an acceleration in the nuclear arms race ratcheted up tensions between the two superpowers. A since-declassified 1990 report by the President’s Foreign Intelligence Review Board (PFIAB) concluded, “In 1983 we may have inadvertently placed our relations with the Soviet Union on a hair trigger.”

Almost 40 years later, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has evoked comparisons with the Cold War, particularly when it comes to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vaguely worded threats. At the onset of the war, Putin warned of “consequences you have never seen”—a declaration interpreted in some quarters as a nod to his country’s nuclear capabilities. More recently, U.S. President Joe Biden’s announcement of new weapons for Ukraine elicited an admonition from Moscow about “unpredictable consequences.” Biden has declined to send American troops and cautioned that “direct confrontation between NATO and Russia is World War III.”………………………………………

The Cold War is now three decades in the rearview mirror, and the invasion of Ukraine is a far cry from a fictional exercise. But while history doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, it does mutate—and once again, nuclear-tinged rhetoric is making headlines.

Geist considers the nuclear threat low risk at present but acknowledges that the mere specter of it still carries great influence. “It’s framing what is considered possible for basically all … foreign governments, including our own,” he says. “The idea of direct intervention would be much more seriously considered against a non-nuclear power.”

Common to this or any other chapter of the post-World War II nuclear world is the fact that no nuclear threat, whether vague or explicit, comes without a degree of risk. As Jones point out, “The danger of brinksmanship”—a foreign policy practice that pushes parties to the edge of confrontation—“is it’s easier than we think for one side to fall into the brink.”

April 28, 2022 Posted by | incidents, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Effort to stop banks financing nuclear weapons industry

PNC shareholders defeat proposal on nuclear weapons lending for second time

PATRICIA SABATINI, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 27 Apr 22,

Like the threat of nuclear war, the “Stop Banking the Bomb” campaign aimed at getting banks to stop financing companies involved in the nuclear weapons industry refuses to go away.

For the second year in a row, a proposal backed by a group opposed to such financing was defeated at PNC Financial Services Group’s annual shareholders meeting Wednesday.

Presented by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood in New York, the proposal asked that Pittsburgh-based PNC issue a report on the risks associated with lending to companies involved in making nuclear weapons.

The campaign has been targeting the bank for several years, demonstrating outside of PNC offices and shareholder meetings.

PNC faces significant legal, financial and reputational risks if it continues to be linked to the nuclear weapons industry,” according to the proposal.

In addition, it said, the bank has a moral responsibility to address “adverse human rights impacts that it may cause, contribute to, or be directly linked to its business.”

PNC’s board recommended voting against the proposal, saying a review of the bank’s lending business concluded it did not pose a “material credit, legal or reputational risk to PNC,” and was properly vetted for potential environmental and human rights risks……………………

The proposal was defeated by a majority of shareholders. The exact vote count was not immediately available. ……………….

April 28, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

Net zero by 2050 will hit a major timing problem technology can’t solve. We need to talk about cutting consumption

Net zero by 2050 will hit a major timing problem technology can’t solve. We need to talk about cutting consumption

Mark Diesendorf

Many climate activists, scientists, engineers and politicians are trying to reassure us the climate crisis can be solved rapidly without any changes to lifestyle, society or the economy.

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Clean” Nuclear is a Fraudulent Scam

Clean” Nuclear is a Fraudulent Scam, Trading Standards Told by
Hundreds on Anniversary of Chernobyl Disaster. Hundreds of people have
signed a PETITION calling on Trading Standards to enforce removal of the
word “Clean” from the UK’s nuclear fuel manufacturing plant.

Cumbriannuclear safety group Radiation Free Lakeland started the petition to
counter the “clean” claims of the nuclear industry. The petition will
be delivered to Trading Standards at Lancashire County Council on the
anniversary of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster on 26th April. The nuclear fuel
factory is three miles from Preston City Centre and in what campaigners
call a “blatant fraud” has in the last couple of years been calling
itself the “Clean Energy Technology Park (CETP).

 Radiation Free Lakeland 26th April 2022

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Solar beats nuclear at many potential settlement sites on Mars

Thanks to today’s light, flexible solar panels, photovoltaics may be more practical for long stays,

Science Daily April 27, 2022, Source:University of California – BerkeleySummary:While most missions to the moon and other planets rely upon solar power, scientists have assumed that any extended surface mission involving humans would require a more reliable source of energy: nuclear power. Improvements in photovoltaics are upending this calculus. A new study concludes that a solar power system would weigh less than a nuclear system, and would be sufficient to power a colony at sites over nearly half the surface.

The high efficiency, light weight and flexibility of the latest solar cell technology means photovoltaics could provide all the power needed for an extended mission to Mars, or even a permanent settlement there, according to a new analysis by scientists at the University of California, Berkeley………………………………

April 28, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, space travel | Leave a comment

Severe Indian heatwave will bake a billion people and damage crops.

 Severe Indian heatwave will bake a billion people and damage crops. An
unusual heatwave forecast across much of India will see temperatures in the
mid-to-high 40s°C. More than a billion people are facing a severe heatwave
across India this week, which will have wide-ranging consequences for the
health of the most vulnerable and will damage wheat harvests. Temperatures
in the mid-to-high 40s°C are forecast for much of the country in the
coming days, with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing
heatwave warnings for several states. The UK Met Office says that
temperatures are currently above average in India and that this will
probably continue into the coming week. India is entering a season ahead of
the monsoon’s arrival when heatwaves are common, the Met Office says, but
this year it follows a period of unusually early sweltering conditions in

 New Scientist 26th April 2022

April 28, 2022 Posted by | climate change, India | Leave a comment

NATO pulls Switzerland deeper into its meshes — Anti-bellum

ReutersApril 27, 2022 Swiss OK agreement on classified information exchange with NATO Switzerland’s government approved on Wednesday an agreement that forms the basis for exchanging sensitive information with NATO, it said. Such agreements make it possible, among other things, for Swiss companies to apply for contracts with classified content that are advertised by the NATO […]

NATO pulls Switzerland deeper into its meshes — Anti-bellum

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Britain’s foreign secretary calls on global NATO to defend Taiwan, Ukraine — Anti-bellum

PoliticoApril 27, 2022 UK’s Liz Truss: NATO should protect Taiwan tooBritish foreign secretary also urges Western allies to supply Ukraine with warplanes NATO should seek to boost security in the Indo-Pacific region, Britain’s foreign secretary said, as she singled out Taiwan’s need for protection against China. In a speech on the U.K.’s foreign policy Wednesday […]

Britain’s foreign secretary calls on global NATO to defend Taiwan, Ukraine — Anti-bellum

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A new coal mine in Cumbria makes no sense for the climate – or Britain’s energy security — Inside track

A flurry of newspaper articles has speculated that Michael Gove, the UK minister responsible for planning, will shortly approve the long debated proposal for a new deep coal mine in Cumbria, northern England. Look closer, and this speculation is based on one unnamed source who told The […]

A new coal mine in Cumbria makes no sense for the climate – or Britain’s energy security — Inside track

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Do Not Underestimate the Links Between Climate Change and Conflict, Experts Warn — The Center for Climate & Security

General Tom Middendorp, Chair of the IMCCS: “I would sacrifice my life for a world where we wouldn’t need a military…But in reality, there is friction. And especially in fragile states when security levels and security institutions are poor, you see that friction easily flame up into conflicts. And climate is accelerating that.” – Munich…

Do Not Underestimate the Links Between Climate Change and Conflict, Experts Warn — The Center for Climate & Security

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Renewables to be “the new baseload” by 2030, says McKinsey — RenewEconomy

Solar and wind power are on track to become the new baseload electricity supply for global energy markets as early as 2030, McKinsey says. The post Renewables to be “the new baseload” by 2030, says McKinsey appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Renewables to be “the new baseload” by 2030, says McKinsey — RenewEconomy

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment