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Nuclear news this week

Some  bits of good news. New plan to accelerate clean energy access for millions globallyBrush-tailed bettongs doing well after reintroduction to SA mainland.

A busy week –    here are the headlines

BUT- let’s not forget the appalling toll that climate change heat is bringing to Pakistan and India

Reducing Tensions, Building Trust, De-escalating.                Is Russia increasingly likely to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine?      Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand may attend NATO summitExpansion into Asia-Pacific: NATO military bloc is poison, not antidote.       Ukraine reveals split in ASEAN .       Nuclear War Threat Drives Greater Divide Between U.S., China.

Propaganda During Times of War.

Russian Uranium NOT Sanctioned – Why?

Climate change could introduce humans to thousands of new viruses

Pope Francis reiterates complete opposition to the possession and use of nuclear weapons. Pope says NATO may have led to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A new propaganda film to jolly up the pro nuclear enthusiasts. Nuclear power is a HUGE water guzzler – so why are we guzzling the lie that nuclear is good for climate?

Diseconomics and other factors mean that small nuclear reactors are duds ( part of larger article)

They suck your electricity while you sleep. What you need to know about vampire appliances

Climate sceptic thinktank received funding from fossil fuel interests

UKRAINE. Ukraine seeks Russia’s total defeat – top officials.           UN nuclear watchdog says situation at Russian-occupied Ukrainian nuclear plant is ‘unsustainable’.     Ukraine’s nuclear power plants caught in the Crossfire of War With Russia.    Ask me about … the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster and its lingering effects.    Chernobyl radiation is not stable after Russian invasion. UK PM scuttled Kiev-Moscow peace talks – Ukrainian media.

JAPAN. Asahi Shimbun – Japan’s nuclear industry needs to be more aware, more careful about terrorism risks. Private equity firms eyeing Toshiba buyout face nuclear dilemma.        [Book review] Documenting the tragic aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster,

EUROPEEnergy saving actions by EU citizens could save enough oil to fill 120
super tankers and enough natural gas to heat 20 million homes. Czech state looking for place to store nuclear waste as EU deadline shortens.

FRANCE. The poisoned environmental legacy of France’s ”Nuclear Park”.


FINLAND. Russia’s Rosatom unit seeks compensation, as Finland tears up nuclear power plant contract.Finnish consortium abandons Fennovoima nuclear power project.

UKWhat is REALLY driving Britain’s seemingly illogical push for small nuclear reactors and nuclear megaprojects? UK government’s reckless spending on nuclear submarines is really getting out of control.   In the UK ”a disarmament week of actions against nuclear threats- ‘Faslane Action for Bomb Ban ‘ starting June 6

  Boris Johnson’s Bold Nuclear Bet Has Echoes of Thatcher Failure. UK Greens the party on the rise – a ‘tectonic shift’ among voters. UK Nuclear Waste Services to airgun blast the Irish Sea – the public not consulted.

CANADA. Why shoreline nuclear power plants pose problem for Great Lakes. Green Party speaks out persuasively against small nuclear reactors.

SOUTH AFRICA. Five years after the illegal nuclear deal was nuked, we are still struggling with a broken energy system.

NORTH KOREA. North Korea fires ballistic missile amid growing nuclear threat.

GUAMWar and some unusual developments regarding nuclear-related topics – Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.


Dissecting Vice Admiral Jonathon Mead’s Nuclear submarine zealotry. This black smoke rolling through the mulga’: almost 70 years on, it’s time to remember the atomic tests at Emu Field .

May 10, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Is Russia increasingly likely to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine?

Reasserting independence from Ukraine for the separatist regions — backed up by troops on the ground — could be presented by Putin as a Russian win. He could then declare his “special military operation” over.

Ukraine could subsequently reach some sort of peace agreement with Russia involving loss of territory — one that probably wouldn’t be much different from the sort of agreement that could be negotiated today.
Alexander Hill, Professor of Military History, University of CalgaryMay 10, 2022  At the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vladimir Putin reminded the West that Russia had nuclear weapons by putting them on “special combat readiness.”

Putin’s actions suggested that Russia was considering their use, even though actually launching them was a remote possibility. In precisely what circumstances Russia might use nuclear weapons was left vague — Putin’s intent was presumably to frighten NATO and discourage its intervention on behalf of Ukraine.

Since then, much has changed — and not for the better in terms of the risk of nuclear war.

Although NATO hasn’t sent troops to fight in Ukraine, the West has implemented increasingly tough economic sanctions against Russia and provided Ukraine with military equipment like tanks

NATO is now involved in what is, in essence, a full-fledged proxy war against Russia. Not only have NATO nations — particularly the United States — provided Ukraine with an array of different weapons, but they are clearly helping Ukraine with other elements of its war effort, including intelligence — some of which has been used to target Russian generals.

Ukraine emboldened

From the failure to take Kyiv to the plodding pace of Soviet gains in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, the war has not gone according to plan. Russia has taken heavy losses due to the intense Ukrainian resistance.

Russian troops will likely dig in and seek to consolidate their gains in the east. Reasserting independence from Ukraine for the separatist regions — backed up by troops on the ground — could be presented by Putin as a Russian win. He could then declare his “special military operation” over.

Ukraine could subsequently reach some sort of peace agreement with Russia involving loss of territory — one that probably wouldn’t be much different from the sort of agreement that could be negotiated today.

Currently there is no sign of Ukrainian inclination to negotiate over the Donbas region. Nor is Ukraine willing to formally give up Crimea, seized by Russia in 2014 after the pro-western and anti-Russian Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made clear his war aim is to liberate all Ukrainian territory in Russian hands, including Crimea. His NATO backers — most vocally the U.S.the U.K. and Canada — are willing to provide Ukraine with the means to do so.

These countries hope to see Russia come out of this war significantly weakened as a regional power.

The Russian nuclear threat

While committing NATO forces directly to Ukraine is unlikely, some hawkish western commentators have suggested NATO could do so without Russia retaliating with nuclear weapons.

Even though Russia raised the spectre of nuclear weapons at the beginning of the war, as it progressed, Russian sources suggested that nuclear weapons would only be used in the event of an existential threat to Russia.

Recent Russian nuclear sabre-rattling — such as the testing and deployment of more advanced missiles or Russian TV segments showing the impact of a nuclear attack on the U.K. — is undoubtedly cause for concern, but it doesn’t make the use of nuclear weapons significantly more likely in the short term.

What would?

If the war were to turn in Ukraine’s favour and Ukrainian forces started not only to recapture swaths of territory in the east, but to threaten the separatist regions — or Crimea.

Some western observers have suggested that Russia might employ an “escalate to de-escalate” strategy in such circumstances, using tactical nuclear weapons. Launching them in territory likely to be held by the enemy, instead of where Russia hopes to retain control, makes a lot more sense.

If the war escalates to the point where a western-backed Ukraine threatens territory Putin considers to be Russian, then the chances of nuclear weapons being employed would increase dramatically.

The problem of Crimea

Zelenskyy has suggested that Ukraine will not stop fighting until Crimea is in Ukrainian hands. But for Putin and many Russians, Crimea is Russian.

Crimea’s Tatar population was largely displaced by ethnic Russians — not Ukrainians — and it has a long history as Russian. From Leo Tolstoy’s Sevastpol Sketches, for example, to Vasily Aksyonov’s 1970s novel The Island of Crimea, Crimea is widely represented in Russian literature.

A credible western-backed threat to Crimea would undoubtedly constitute the sort of existential threat to Russian territory that would dramatically increase the risk of nuclear weapons being used.

A distant but increased nuclear threat

Putin’s frustration over Ukrainian resilience and western support is clearly increasing — recent nuclear posturing is evidence of that. The nuclear threat has been increasing since February, even if the use of nuclear weapons probably isn’t imminent.

Even the use of low-yield tactical nuclear weapons by Russia would likely provoke some sort of western response. Such a response would then increase the likelihood of further escalation. Informed estimates suggest Russia has more than 1,900 non-strategic or tactical nuclear weapons. The threshold for their use is lower than for larger nuclear weapons.

The sort of scenarios that might lead to the use of nuclear weapons are outside the immediate confines Putin’s war in Ukraine. It would require a significant deterioration in Russian fortunes — and greater western involvement in the conflict.

Nonetheless, not since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 or nuclear tensions in the early 1980s has the spectre of potential nuclear war loomed so large in the future.

Back in 1962, politicians on all sides ultimately showed their statesman-like qualities and stepped back from their threat to employ nuclear weapons. We can only hope that their successors will do the same over Ukraine.

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

UK government’s reckless spending on nuclear submarines is really getting out of control.

(But let’s not worry – they’re being careful with our tax-payers’ money – not wasting any more of it on health, education, welfare – and soft stuff like that)

Barrow: Contracts of £2bn to build nuclear submarines BBC News, 9 May 22,

Contracts worth more than £2bn have been awarded to BAE Systems and Rolls Royce to build the Royal Navy’s largest ever submarines.

It marks the start of the third phase of Britain’s nuclear deterrent submarines project Dreadnought.

Four new submarines with a lifespan of 30 years will be built in Barrow, Cumbria, and introduced from the 2030s…..    Dreadnought submarines will carry the UK’s nuclear weapons and replace the Vanguard class which is currently operating.

The delivery phase three will see the first of the new submarines, HMS Dreadnought, leave the Barrow shipyard to begin sea trials……..

Four Dreadnought class submarines are being built, each weighing about 17,000 tonnes

The Dreadnought Class is the largest submarine ever built for the Royal Navy. Each is the length of three Olympic swimming pools and built to operate in hostile environments.

Eighteen months ago an upgrade at BAE Systems’ shipyard was criticised by the National Audit Office for being nearly two years behind schedule, but the MoD maintained the nuclear deterrent programme was “on track”…….

May 10, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Canada’s Green Party speaks out persuasively against small nuclear reactors

Sask. government criticized over exploration of SMR technology, David Prisciak, CTV News Regina Digital Content Producer,  May 10, 2022 Saskatchewan Green Party Leader Naomi Hunter accused the government of “kicking the climate crisis down the road,” by exploring small modular reactor (SMR) technology in a press conference Monday.

Hunter was present for a Monday morning event in front of the legislature, where she called on the provincial government to scrap its bid to explore SMR technology.

“We do not have the time for fairy tales that take us far into the future,” she said. “We don’t have 10 years to come up with a solution. (Premier) Scott Moe and the Sask. Party, they’re just kicking the climate crisis down the road like they always do.”

Hunter argued that the government’s move towards nuclear energy is not aiding the fight against climate change.

They claim that this is because they suddenly care about the climate crisis and are looking for solutions,” she said. “If that was the case, we would be installing immediate solutions of green energy: solar, wind, geothermal.”

“This province has the best solar gain in all of Canada and we have some of the best opportunities for wind energy.”…………………

Amita Kuttner, the interim leader of the Green Party of Canada, also attended the event in front of the legislature, and criticized the proposed move to SMR technology as the wrong approach.

What you are trading it for is again corporate power,” they explained. “Which is not solving the underlying causes of the climate emergency.”

Saskatchewan is currently in a partnership with British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario to collaborate on the advancement of SMR technology. ……..

May 10, 2022 Posted by | Canada, politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | 1 Comment

Vitrification of Hanford’s nuclear waste is plagued with problems, would emit toxic vapours

Turning Hanford’s nuclear waste into glass logs would emit toxic vapors, says document,

By Allison Frost (OPB) May 10, 2022  The Hanford nuclear reservation in south central Washington state holds 56 million gallons of radioactive waste. The facility produced plutonium for U.S. atomic bombs in WWII, and it kept producing for the country’s nuclear weapons through the late 1980s.

The plan to contain that waste by turning it into glass logs, or vitrification, has been plagued with problems for decades. Some of the waste contained in underground tanks is leaking into the Columbia River. Workers have sued over exposure to toxic waste, and the current federal funding for cleanup is less than federal and state lawmakers say is needed.

Now, an internal Department of Energy document says that the vitrification process would create a toxic vapor. The next public hearing on the nuclear plant will be held Tuesday, May 10, and public comments are being accepted through June 4. We’re joined by freelance reporter John Stang who’s been covering Hanford for three decades and obtained the internal DOE document.

May 10, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment

Plutonium contamination in Ohio, USA

Russian nuclear warheads bought, processed and material shipped to Southern Ohio, by DUANE POHLMAN, 9 May 22,


The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PORTS) is a massive facility, dominating the landscape in Pike County. It was also a massive fixture in America’s front lines during the Cold War.

For nearly five decades, from 1954 to 2001, PORTS processed uranium, critical to making America’s nuclear arsenal and fueling its nuclear navy.

Now closed and partially dismantled, PORTS is considered “ground zero” for claims of radioactive contamination in nearby communities, now riddled with rare cancers that are claiming children.

“We’ve got alarming cancer rates,” said Matt Brewster, noting Pike County is number one in Ohio for cancer rates, as compiled by the state health department.


The US Department of Energy (DOE) which continues to oversee PORTS, insists radiation around the plant is at safe levels.

However, some of the radioactive particles in the air around PORTS are not the uranium you would expect to find, but something much more deadly: plutonium.

“The chemical and radiological toxicity associated with plutonium is many, many times worse than uranium,” notes Dr. David Manuta, who was the chief scientist at PORTS from 1992 to 2000.

Plutonium and plutonium-related particles are being picked up around Ports, both by the DOE’s own instruments and by independent studies.

In 2017, a DOE air monitor across from the now-closed Zahn’s Corner Middle School, picked up Neptunium-237. The following year, the same monitor found Americium-241. Both elements are byproducts of plutonium.

Ketterer Report by Local12WKRC on Scribd   AT TOP

May 10, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment