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They’re Just Outright Telling Us That Peace In Ukraine Is Not An Option

Caitlin Johnstone, 25 May 22, US Senator Joe Manchin said at the World Economic Forum on Monday that he opposes any kind of peace agreement between Ukraine and Russia.

Manchin, who at the moment is one of the most powerful elected officials in Washington, added that only the complete forcible ejection of Russia from all of Ukraine is acceptable, that the war should ideally be used to remove Putin from power, and that he and the strategists he talks to see this war as an “opportunity”.

…………………………… Manchin’s comments fit in perfectly with what we know about the US-centralized empire’s real agendas in Ukraine. 

Earlier this month Ukrainian media reported that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the nation’s president Volodymyr Zelensky on behalf of NATO powers that “even if Ukraine is ready to sign some agreements on guarantees with Putin, they are not.”

Last month US Secretary of “Defense” Lloyd Austin acknowledged that the goal in this war is not peace in Ukraine or the mere military defeat of Russia but to actually weaken Russia as a nation…………

Last week The New York Times reported that the Biden administration is developing plans to “further choke Russia’s oil revenues with the long-term goal of destroying the country’s central role in the global energy economy.”

………… Two months ago Biden himself acknowledged what the real game is here with an open call for regime change, saying of Putin, “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.”

Statements from the Biden administration in fact indicate that they expect this war to drag on for a long time, making it abundantly clear that a swift end to minimize the death and destruction is not just uninteresting but undesirable for the US empire.

This is not a proxy war with peace as an option anywhere within sight. It’s not about saving Ukrainian lives. It’s not even about beating Russia in Ukraine. It’s about achieving regime change in Moscow, no matter how many lives need to be destroyed in the process.

Peace is not on the menu.  https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/theyre-just-outright-telling-us-that?s=w

May 26, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Are Americans Prepared To Fight A Nuclear War Over Taiwan?

1945, By Doug Bandow, 25 May 22,

The consequences of a U.S.-China war over Taiwan need to be understood: A president suffering from an occasional case of verbal diarrhea about political infighting is an embarrassment. A president repeating loose comments about international affairs is dangerous.

For the third timePresident Joe Biden declared a new U.S. policy toward Taiwan, only to have his officials insist that nothing has changed. That might mollify the public, but other nations, especially the People’s Republic of China, aren’t fooled.

On his trip to East Asia, intended to convince friends and allies that Uncle Sam can walk and chew gum at the same time, the president’s statement roiled the region. When asked if he would defend Taiwan, he responded “yes,” adding that “it’s a commitment we made.” His words circled the globe at warp speed, appearing to yet again repudiate the policy of “strategic ambiguity,” by which Washington refused to clarify its position toward a Chinese attack on Taiwan.

Since the Carter administration dropped diplomatic ties with Taiwan, legally the Republic of China, and recognized the PRC, America’s defense ties with Taipei have been ambiguous. Washington retains unofficial diplomatic ties with the island state and is committed by law to sell the latter defensive weapons. However, Taiwan enjoys neither a defense treaty, as possessed by Japan and South Korea, nor any other formal military commitment. Making U.S. policy a straightforward “maybe.”

The Strategy of Strategic Ambiguity 

In theory, the uncertainty and possibility of forfeiting U.S. support are supposed to deter Taipei from recklessly challenging Beijing. At the same time, the PRC is supposed to avoid taking military action, lest Washington decides to intervene. Voila, America achieves the best of both worlds. However, the opposite result also is possible. The Taiwanese might believe eight decades of cooperation in war and peace mean the U.S. would intervene on the former’s behalf. And the Chinese might decide that no rational American president would risk Los Angeles for Taipei.

In fact, strategic ambiguity looks like an excuse to avoid deciding. As long as policymakers need not give a clear yes or no, they need not clearly decide yes or no. And they can simply hope the contingency never arises.

China is Not Ambiguous About Reunification

However, this strategy is becoming increasingly untenable. There is no sign of an imminent Chinese military action, but noted by the Quincy Institute’s Michael Swaine: “this possibility cannot be discounted over the longer term if present trends continue.” Beijing’s patience appears to be diminishing:……………….

of the many possible lessons of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the most important for Xi might be the importance of a quick victory.

…………………….   Is America Ready for Strategic Clarity?

However, the American people should be consulted, starting now, Admitted Rep. Michael McCaul, ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “I don’t know how many Americans would want to go to war over a tiny island they know nothing about,” he said. And if they fully understood the cost of defending Taiwan from China – the possibility of conventional defeat and nuclear disaster – they might firmly oppose doing so.

………………………….  Alas, fighting the PRC over Taiwan would be nothing like America’s recent military experience. Iraq and Afghanistan were cakewalks compared to high-intensity war against the well-armed and highly motivated People’s Liberation Army, generously stocked with missiles and an expanding nuclear arsenal. At its worst, air and naval combat between the U.S. and PRC would take Americans back to World War II’s Pacific war, which surely no one wants to relive, with a possible nuclear twist if such weapons were used against America.

And Beijing appears ready for war, if necessary, though that certainly is not its preference. …………………………………

In short, the American people could find themselves risking national bankruptcy and destruction to confront this one contingency: defending Taiwan from China.

The more than 23 million people of Taiwan deserve to set their own destinies. They have created a democratic policy, market economy, and vibrant society. However, risking their homeland is a high price for Americans to pay, too high. War with China means personnel killed, planes downed, ships sunk, and bases bombed. War with China also means the possibility of nuclear-tipped missiles hitting American cities. And even a U.S. victory likely would be transitory, as China could retreat and prepare for another round, rather like Germany between World Wars I and II.

Better to seek a regional modus vivendi, which ensures that Taipei eschews claims of independence and military relationships with other nations, while Beijing reduces military threats and affirms peaceful reunification. 

Washington also should consider the lessons of Ukraine: arming and training Taiwanese forces, preparing global sanctions in response to an attack, and developing asymmetric military responses. The goal should be to put the greatest responsibility on Taiwan while raising the price more for China than for America.

The president’s inability to control his mouth is dangerous. Failing to consider the full consequences of war with China over Taiwan is worse. And expecting Americans to accept without debate the costs and risks of full-scale combat with the PRC is a political crime. The Biden administration should address all three issues before the Taiwan Strait becomes the world’s latest crisis. https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/05/are-americans-prepared-to-fight-a-nuclear-war-over-taiwan/

May 26, 2022 Posted by | Taiwan, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Twenty-Two House Republicans Demand Accountability on Biden’s $40b War Spending

The aid package approved by Congress provides unprecedented funding for a foreign conflict in which the United States is not fighting, while there have been no significant hearings or substantive briefings on the use of the money and weapons being provided at taxpayer expense.” The lawmakers raised the prospect of sophisticated weaponry falling into the hands of terrorist organizations, citing a documented history of illicit arms-trafficking within Ukraine, a market which is one of the largest in Europe: 

A cohort of Republicans, part of the dissenting vote on Biden’s Ukraine war package, seeks oversight and specifics about the destination of U.S. money and weapons.

Glenn Greenwald and Anthony Tobin, May 25

The House of Representatives, on May 10, approved President Biden’s $33 billion package for the war in Ukraine, and then, on its own initiative, added $7 billion on top of it. That brought the new war spending authorization to $40 billion, on top of the $14 billion already spent just 10 weeks into this war, which U.S. officials predict will last years, not months. The House vote in favor was 368-57. All 57 NO votes were from GOP House members. All House Democrats, including the Squad, voted YES.

A similar scene occurred when the Senate, “moving quickly and with little debate,” overwhelmingly approved the same war package. All eleven NO votes were from Senate Republicans. All Senate Democrats, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), voted in favor, seemingly in direct contradiction to Sanders’ February 8 op-ed in The Guardian warning of the severe dangers of bipartisan escalation of the war. Efforts by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to delay passage of the bill so that some safeguards and accountability measures could be included regarding where the money was going and for what purposes it would be used were met with scorn, particularly from Paul’s fellow Kentucky GOP Senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who condemned Paul as an “isolationist.” Following the Senate vote, a jet was used to fly the bill across the world to President Biden in South Korea, where he signed it into law.


But the lack of any safeguards over the destination of the money and weapons prompted close to two dozen House Republicans, led by Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM), to send a letter to the Biden White House on Monday demanding greater specificity and assurances about legal requirements on how weapons are used. The letter urges a public reckoning on the dangers of the U.S.’s bankrolling of the war in Ukraine: “We write today to express grave concern about the lack of oversight and accountability for the money and weapons recently approved by Congress for Ukraine,” it began.

“The aid package approved by Congress provides unprecedented funding for a foreign conflict in which the United States is not fighting, while there have been no significant hearings or substantive briefings on the use of the money and weapons being provided at taxpayer expense.” The lawmakers raised the prospect of sophisticated weaponry falling into the hands of terrorist organizations, citing a documented history of illicit arms-trafficking within Ukraine, a market which is one of the largest in Europe: 

“According to a 2017 Small Arms Survey briefing on arms trafficking, over 300,000 small arms disappeared from Ukraine between 2013 and 2015 and only 13 percent were recovered. Criminal networks, corrupt officials, and underpaid military personnel can make a profitable business from the sale of arms from Ukrainian military stockpiles. For example, in 2019, the Ukrainian Security Service uncovered a plot by Ukrainian soldiers to sell 40 RGD-5 grenades, 15 grenade launchers, 30 grenade detonators, and 2,454 rounds of ammunition for 75,000 Ukrainian hryvnia or around $2,900.”

Indeed, the relentlessly war-supporting CNN last month acknowledged that “the US has few ways to track the substantial supply of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and other weaponry it has sent across the border into Ukraine.” Biden officials admitted the “risk that some of the shipments may ultimately end up in unexpected places.” ……………………… more  https://greenwald.substack.com/p/twenty-two-house-republicans-demand?s=r

May 26, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear is already well past its sell-by date

As construction costs and delays ramp up, it is clear that renewables will do the heavy lifting of our energy transition.

https://www.newstatesman.com/spotlight/energy/2022/05/debate-nuclear-already-well-past-sell-by-date
By Paul Dorfman, 25 May 22,

Boris Johnson hopes his dream of “a new nuclear plant every year” will be aided and abetted by the recent publication of the government’s Energy Security Strategy. But with little interest from the investment market, and the fact that utility-scale solar and onshore wind cost less than a quarter of new nuclear, perhaps the Treasury’s concerns should be taken more seriously.

Here’s why. Hinkley Point C, the only new nuclear construction in town, where energy giant EDF is building two nuclear reactors, is overdue and over budget. Costs have ramped up from an original estimate of £18bn to £26bn, and the Somerset project is not due to open until at least June 2027, and more than likely quite a few years later.

Next in line is Sizewell C in Suffolk, which is supposed to be paid for via the “fiscally dextrous” Regulated Asset Base mechanism, a new funding model that transfers risk from developers to consumers to bring in more investors. This places great financial liability unfairly and squarely on the shoulders of UK taxpayers and electricity consumers, who will be paying for huge upfront costs, inevitable delays and further cost hikes.

And there’s more. The EDF European pressurised water reactor (EPR) design, currently being built at Hinkley C and planned for Sizewell C, may have a generic fault with its most important safety feature: the reactor pressure vessel. As a result, a Chinese EPR has now been shuttered for ten months.

This is not forgetting the horrible mess across the channel, with half of EDF’s nuclear reactor fleet offline, many due to progressive corrosion. The French nuclear regulator is warning a “large-scale plan” lasting “several years” is needed.

Nuclear’s climate-friendly unique selling point (USP) is also up for grabs. Sea-level rise will increase coastal flooding, storm surges and erosion, making current coastal nuclear infrastructure increasingly obsolete. This means even more expense for any nuclear construction, operation, waste management and decommissioning – and, according to the UK Institute of Mechanical Engineers, even relocation or abandonment.

Happily, help is on the way – 256 gigawatts (GW) of non-hydro renewables were added to the world’s power grids in 2020 (nuclear added only 0.4GW). Last year, solar and wind made up three-quarters of all new generation – and with other renewables, the total figure is 84 per cent.

Even the UK investment minister recently concluded that wind farms in the North Sea will be more valuable to the UK than the oil and gas industry. There is no one left to dispute the fact that the heavy lifting of the net zero transition will be done by renewable energy.

Nuclear isn’t just slow and expensive – it’s far too inflexible to ramp up and down with the swings of demand. When the wind fails to blow and the sun doesn’t shine, that’s when grid upgrades, interconnection (which enables power to be shared between neighbouring countries), energy efficiency management, and rapidly evolving storage technology steps in to make up the difference. Nuclear’s contribution has, can and will only ever be very marginal. The reality is, it’s already well past its sell-by date.

May 26, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics | Leave a comment

USA Energy Department nuclear waste backlog goes as far back as WWII

Federal News Network, Tom Temin@tteminWFED, May 25, 2022 The Energy Department has a backlog of nuclear waste clean up responsibilities, with material dating back to World War II. But continuing turnover in program leadership means things just aren’t happening. For more, Government Accountability Office natural resources and environmental team Director Nathan Anderson spoke with the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Interview transcript:

Tom Temin: So what is going on here, the Energy Department says it needs something like a half a trillion dollars to do the cleanup of nuclear waste. Give us the scope of what it is they’re trying to do here in the first place?

Nathan Anderson: Well, you’ve got the dollar figure, right, in terms of the best estimates that we can give to this point. It is looking like almost a half a trillion dollar future financial responsibility of the federal government. I want to take it back a little bit to how we got here. You know, for decades, we were in the Cold War. And we were producing nuclear weapons. And we had sites across the country that were engaged in the Manhattan Project, and ultimately in the arms race that we were involved in until the late 1980s. And then around that time, the switch was flipped, if you will. And all of a sudden, we had to embrace the cleanup responsibilities that came with the end of the Cold War and kind of embracing both environmental and moral responsibilities of cleaning up the waste. And that’s where we’re at now, you know, we’ve been at this for a little more than 30 years, in a way trying to figure out the best way forward in terms of addressing the environmental and human health risks. And also, you know, the financial risks.

Tom Temin: And what is the scope of the issue geographically is there material that needs to be dealt with all over the place?

Nathan Anderson: There are 15 active cleanup sites that the Department of Energy is responsible for addressing. The biggest site in terms of financial risk and scope of waste is probably the Hanford Site out in southwestern Washington. There’s also a massive cleanup operation at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, there’s a nuclear repository down in New Mexico at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. DOE recently kind of completed some of their activities at the Brookhaven Lab in New York. But as I’m kind of going through this list, you can see it really is all across the country, where we have these sites and have these cleanup responsibilities.

Tom Temin: And what does cleanup actually entail? It has to be removed and put somewhere else and buried in concrete or what?

Nathan Anderson: Well, I think one of the best ways to describe this is you’ve got nuclear waste, and radioactive waste that is in a tank, a couple sites around the country. There are 177 underground tanks at the Hanford Site, these tanks are massive, I’ve stood in a mock up of one. They hold, you know, up to a million gallons of waste. You’ve also got contaminated soil and groundwater. Decades ago during the nuclear weapons production mission, not as much as understood about the risks that some of these liquids and some of these contaminants contained, and so some of it was dumped directly into the ground. And that has permeated into the groundwater at certain sites. And then you’ve also got contaminated facilities that need to be demolished and that contamination needs to be dealt with appropriately. So I would say the three big cleanup activities are addressing the waste that’s in the tank. That’s the really nasty stuff, the soil and groundwater that needs to be remediated. And then also the excess facilities that need to be demolished, and that contamination needs to be remediated.

Tom Temin: And does that put the Energy Department in the position of being a buyer of contracted services to actually do this? Are there companies that handle this type of thing?

Nathan Anderson: Yes, it does. DOE is one of the largest contracting departments out there, probably right behind DoD (Department of Defense) in terms of the percentage of money that is put out the contracts. And now you’ve got companies around the country that are technically equipped to do this. And what DOE needs to do is ensure that for the taxpayer, you get the benefits of competition at each one of these sites. And then you also have the kind of like the accountability frameworks that are embedded within the contracts themselves, to make sure that cleanup is happening in a risk informed way. I like to say that contractors can do anything we ask them to do in this country. It’s up to the Department of Energy, and specifically the Office of Environmental Management to make sure that what they are asking the contractors to do is aligned with the risks that some of this waste poses. You recently commented about cement. That’s a perfect example. There are opportunities to take some of this tank waste like out of Hanford and put it in cement rather than glass because it’s very low levels of risk and cement, or grout as a term in the industry is significantly cheaper than the alternatives.

Tom Temin: We’re speaking with Nathan Anderson, a director in the Natural Resources and Environmental Team at the GAO. And the thesis of your report this time around is not really though how big the task is. But the fact that a revolving door of leadership at the Environmental Management Office of DOE is one of the hindrances to steady progress here. Tell us more about what you found.

Nathan Anderson: You’re hitting the nail on the head in terms of what this most recent report does touch on. We’ve just spoken about kind of the size and complexity of the issues. And what you’ll see across government oftentimes when you have a set of issues that are technically challenging and huge in scope, and long lasting and enduring is you have a leader of those federal responsibilities who has either a fixed term appointment, and in many cases, also an elevated level within the department. And that’s what we are leaning towards in this new report is that Congress should take those two actions to address the frequent turnover by having like a fixed term appointment of four to five years, to make sure that you’ve got a strong signal inside and outside government that this is a position that requires stability, and then also, that there should be an undersecretary position within the Department of Energy to again, provide that signal that there needs to be a high level of organizational clout that these are issues that are long lasting, and require stability and commitment from the senior leader within the department.

………………………. Nathan Anderson: We do have a very dedicated cadre of technicians and public servants that serve in the Office of Environmental Management, you know, there have been tremendously capable senior leaders, assistant secretaries at the Department of Energy that are responsible for this mission. But at the end of the day, resources are scarce. At the end of the day, priorities need to be set. Not everything can be done. And what we’re seeing is an increase in cost, substantially increasing costs for the long term mission of environmental cleanup within the Department of Energy. And I think it’s over the last seven or eight years, it’s almost doubled in terms of what we call the environmental liability, that total cost to the government for the cleanup mission. And that is a kind of a strong prompt or a catalyst to say, OK, is the status quo working? I would argue that the status quo needs to change.

………………………. I would say that GAO has identified a handful of options that could really fly down that half a trillion dollar cost estimate that you kind of lead with, there are opportunities and I would submit that while those opportunities are tens of billions of dollars or more, it will require like elevated leadership attention to be able to get there. And yet another reason why a fixed term appointment and an undersecretary position could really help here. https://federalnewsnetwork.com/agency-oversight/2022/05/energy-department-nuclear-waste-backlog-goes-as-far-back-as-wwii/

May 26, 2022 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Anthony Albanese has the power to save Julian Assange. But will he?

We’re all enormously relieved that the corrupt #ScottyFRomMarketing has gone.

And we like Albanese, I think.

But – will he have the guts to help our Australian hero, Julian Assange?

Albanese had the perfect opportunity in Tokyo on Tuesday, meeting the U.S. president. He could have raised the matter with Biden.. But he didn’t.

When will he? Will he speak up for Assange at all?

Now is the time for Australia to intervene, and to demand the repatriation of Julian and an end to his persecution. It’s about time our mealy-mouthed and pathetic media and politicians broke their silence and cringing subservience to the USA.

May 26, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, politics international | Leave a comment

Nuclear tragedy in the Marshall Islands

The Bulletin, By Sally Clark | May 25, 2022, We were innocent 21-year-olds entering an organization called the Peace Corps in 1969………..  Young, naive Americans, we knew little about the area, other than, perhaps, fleeting thoughts that we might find the remains of Amelia Earhart or artifacts from her plane there……….

Our naivete began to diminish when we were told the Atomic Energy Commission was coming to check out the health of the children and adults and of course to give out candy and show a dated movie. We asked questions and learned about the nuclear test over Bikini and the fallout coming down over a neighboring island, whose residents thought it was snow. We were told that the Marshallese ran outside, allowing the fallout to land on their skin, with some children putting it to their eyes. Luckily many residents sensed danger and ran to the ocean, saving themselves from a future road of at least some fallout ailments.

As we spent more time in the islands, little by little more detailed stories emerged—of still births, high cancer rates, and other radiation-related health issues. Islanders had been moved from Bikini before nuclear tests were conducted; some of the explosions were so great that one of the small islands simply vaporized, leaving a deep cavern. Many Marshallese had to endure being relocated from their blessed atoll to Kili, an island in the middle of the ocean with no lagoon.

Over the years, more and more people spoke out about such atrocities and such disregard for the Marshallese, who were actually called “savages” by a US paper in the 50’s. My heart wept as I learned more information about the scope of nuclear testing in the Marshalls.

Between 1946 and 1958, the Marshall Islands region was the site of the testing of nuclear weapons equivalent to the explosive power of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for 12 years—67 in all at the Bikini and Enewetak atolls—a fact that is impossible for me to comprehend.

A resolution is now in front of the Congress asking the United States to prioritize nuclear justice in its negotiations with the Marshall Islands on an extended Compact of Free Association between the countries. The resolution recognizes that the United States nuclear testing program and radioactive waste disposal, including not just contaminated debris from the Marshalls but also material transported from the Nevada Test Site, caused irreparable material and intangible harm to the people of the Marshall Islands.

 We believe this harm continues to this day. Within this resolution is a call for an apology for what the United States did to the Marshallese and to raise awareness about the need for more action to undo this harm. US Rep. Katie Porter of California and senators Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Edward Markey of Massachusetts are spearheading this effort, which would formally apologize for the US nuclear legacy in the Marshall Islands and raise public awareness of the issue. Please write or call your representatives and senators, asking them to support House Joint Resolution 73 and Senate Joint Resolution 40.

What happened in the islands is simply incomprehensible to me. The toll on the Marshallese and the environment is impossible for me to grasp. And I have another nagging thought: Why as Peace Corps volunteers were we not warned about the radioactive fallout and the social issues we were being dropped into? Of course, there’s the implication that we were being used as pawns to smooth the relationship between the Marshall Islands and the United States and to continue to have the islanders as our friends for strategic reasons.

Who makes these decisions to drop bombs on such beautiful, pristine islands? Who sends 20-year-olds into a potentially radioactive area without warning them? When can we as a human race honor peoples around the world and get out of building weapons and gaining lands for strategic reasons? Please stop. I’m sad and weep and write letters asking for an apology. So sad. Where is our soul?  https://thebulletin.org/2022/05/nuclear-tragedy-in-the-marshall-islands/

May 26, 2022 Posted by | OCEANIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s new Prime Minister backs the UN Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty

 https://icanw.org.au/new-prime-minister-backs-the-ban/?fbclid=IwAR0PloEtGAvJE3z3fK3Lvb01JmlIbIJ2MXeAoT4KBjIBe3AMTGretVOISV8 24 May 22, The election of the Albanese Labor Government heralds a new era in Australia’s approach to nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. While the previous government shunned the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Australian Labor Party has committed to sign and ratify it in government. Recent polling demonstrates ¾ of the Australian public support this action. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is a long-term champion of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, inspired by his late mentor Tom Uren, a former Labor Minister who witnessed the atomic bombing of Nagasaki as a prisoner of war. In proposing the resolution committing to the treaty in 2018, he said the new policy is “Labor at its best” and that “nuclear disarmament is core business for any Labor government worth its name”. In 2016 Albanese launched the Tom Uren Memorial Fund with ICAN, and has spoken out in support of the treaty in parliament, at public events and demonstrations since its negotiation in 2017.  

A majority of the new government members have signed the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge to work for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty. It has been backed by two dozen unions, including the national peak body, the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The Victorian, Tasmanian, Australian Capital Territory, South Australian, Northern Territory and Western Australian Labor branches, as well as over 50 local branches have passed motions declaring their support and calling upon Australia to join the ban without delay. Many have called for signature and ratification to be completed in the first term of the new government.

Following a decision of the Australian Parliament, signature and ratification of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons can now proceed under the Albanese Labor Government. 

In addition to the incumbent signatories of the ICAN Parliamentary Pledge, we are delighted to welcome the following new parliamentarians that have committed to work for Australia to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons:

Boothby, SA         Louise Miller-Frost, Labor

Bennelong, NSW          Jerome Laxale, Labor

Chisholm, VIC          Carina Garland, Labor

Cunningham, NSW          Alison Byrnes, Labor

Goldstein, VIC         Zoe Daniel, Independent

Higgins, VIC         Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, Labor

Hunter, NSW          Daniel Repacholi, Labor

Kooyong, VIC          Dr Monique Ryan, Independent

North Sydney, NSW         Kylea Tink, Independent

Pearce, WA          Tracey Roberts, Labor

Robertson, NSW          Gordon Reid, Labor

Wentworth, NSW          Allegra Spender, Independent

ENATE, ACT          David Pocock, Independent

SENATE, QLD          Penny Allman-Payne, Greens

SENATE, NSW          David Shoebridge, Greens

SENATE, SA          Barbara Pocock, Greens

SENATE, VIC          Linda White, Labor

May 26, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Global heating is affecting France’s nuclear reactors, as water temperatures rise in the rivers

Warming French rivers could take more nuclear supply offline,    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/warming-french-rivers-could-take-more-nuclear-supply-offline-2022-05-25/ 26 may 22,   PARIS, May 25 (Reuters) – An unseasonably warm May has led to high water temperatures in several rivers throughout France, putting some nuclear plants’ output at risk during a period of historically high unavailability, Refinitiv Eikon data showed on Wednesday.

Reporting by Forrest Crellin Editing by David Goodman  River water is often used for cooling reactors before being returned to the the river at a higher temperature.

Regulations are in place that limit reactor production during times of high heat to prevent the process from damaging local wildlife.

The exposed nuclear plants are the 1.8 gigawatt (GW) Bugey plant, the 2.6 GW Saint-Alban plant and the 3.6 GW Tricastin plant on the Rhone river in the south east, as well as the 3.6 GW Blayais plant on the Gironde river in the south west.

Because river temperature is closely correlated to air temperature, the recent heatwave in France would need to abate to reduce the risk of environmental outages.

Most rivers with power plants have an upper limit between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius for cooling, so critical supply losses would only take place if daily average temperatures are above the river’s maximum for at least a couple of weeks, the Refinitiv analysts said.

However, even with a spell of cooler weather, the situation is unlikely to simply disappear as we head into a warmer season, they added.

“The latest forecasts indicates that temperatures at Bugey and Tricastin will be below warning levels later this week, while Blayais will stay above warning levels and risk needing to down-regulate, if at nominal power,” said Refinitiv analyst Stefan Soderberg.

The current warning levels at the Blayais plant indicate that it is still lower than the maximum allowed temperature but above the level where supply reduction is needed to comply with regulations, he added.

The Blayais plant is operating at limited capacity, data from nuclear provider EDF (EDF.PA) showed.

French nuclear supply stood at a much reduced 50% of available capacity on Wednesday, with a slew of reactors having gone offline in recent months owing to issues with corrosion found in the welding of reactor safety circuits. 

May 26, 2022 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

A 5.5 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Area Near the Fukushima Disaster Site

NatureWorld News, By Rain Jordan May 25, 2022  Scientists believe a significant earthquake was reported off the coast of Japan, near Fukushima, the location of a nuclear disaster precipitated by a quake a decade ago.

The 5.5-magnitude quake struck off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture in northeastern Japan on Sunday, but no damage or casualties were reported. A tsunami warning was not issued.

The epicenter of the quake, according to the USGS, was 82 miles southeast of Shizunai, Japan, at a depth of 19 miles. The Japanese Meteorological Agency raised the magnitude to 6.0.

After the earthquake, the JMA warned locals about the danger of landslides.

Because Japan is located in the seismically active “Pacific Rim of Fire” area, earthquakes occur often.

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit off the shore of Fukushima in March, killing one person and wounding scores of others.

The 2011 earthquake caused a tsunami, which resulted in an accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant…………………..   https://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/51000/20220525/a-5-5-magnitude-earthquake-shakes-area-near-the-fukushima-disaster-site.htm

May 26, 2022 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

South Korea to keep import ban on Japan seafood due to Fukushima concern.

South Korea to keep import ban on Japan seafood due to Fukushima concern   https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/05/d973d7db8578-s-korea-to-keep-import-ban-on-japan-seafood-due-to-fukushima-concern.html

 KYODO NEWS   26 May 22, South Korea will maintain an import ban on Japanese seafood from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, a minister said Wednesday, denying any plan to lift it in a bid to secure Tokyo’s support to join a regional free trade accord.

“We’ve taken a resolute stance on the issue. We aren’t considering allowing imports of Japan’s Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join” the Trans-Pacific Partnership accord, Oceans Minister Cho Seung Hwan said during a meeting with reporters, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Japan is one of the leading members of the 11-nation TPP, which also includes Australia, Singapore and Mexico. Consent of all members is required for new membership.

South Korea has been working on domestic procedures to submit an application, Yonhap said.

China and Taiwan are also seeking to join the TPP.

Taiwan in February lifted an import ban on food products from Fukushima and some other Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.

Amid radiation concerns, South Korea has banned Japanese seafood imports from eight prefectures, including Fukushima.

May 26, 2022 Posted by | environment, South Korea | Leave a comment

Pretense in UK that Wylfa and other new nuclear stations are affordable – investors are staying away in droves.

A new Wylfa will cost between £14 and £17bn to build and won’t be up
and running until the 2030s, the UK Government have been told. Sources told
the Times newspaper that the 2.3-gigawatt plant would take six years to
build, on top of a lengthy planning and regulatory process, meaning that it
would not be operational until the early years of the next decade.


Westinghouse and Bechtel, the reactor maker and engineering group, are
hoping to win UK Government backing for their plan to build two reactors at
Wylfa on Anglesey. Their AP1000 reactor design has already completed
initial safety approval for use in Britain. However, Bechtel were hoping to
secure £20m from the UK Government before being able to provide a full
breakdown of the total costs of the project. Ivan Baldwin, head of the UK
civil nuclear market for Bechtel, told the Times that this taxpayer funding
would enable the developer to “provide to the government an estimated
project cost” and “to determine the optimum construction schedule at
the site”.

Hitachi, of Japan, currently own the rights to the Wylfa site
after giving up on their own plans to build a nuclear power plant there.


Dylan Morgan from People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) responded to the
announcement to say that Boris Johnson was just “shooting from the
hip”. “All his bluster about possible new nuclear reactors displays an
astounding level of economic and environmental illiteracy,” he said.
“Firstly, where is the strong economy coming out of Covid and post
Brexit? No nuclear companies will go it alone and invest heavily in
building new nuclear reactors.

“As in the case of Rolls Royce and their
modular reactor which isn’t small at all at 475 MW, bigger than the old
Magnox reactors at Trawsfynydd, they want government public handouts for
designing the reactors, more astronomic handouts financed through our
already vastly inflated electricity bills to construct these radiotoxic
monstrosities, and then even more handouts for an agreed price for
electricity produced, and last but not at all least, the massive
decommissioning costs over thousands of years of reactors and all the
problems with storage of hazardous nuclear wastes.

“There is little wonder that no corporations have come forward in droves to get a nuclear
renaissance much promised from the Blair/Brown era going. “Labelling
Wylfa and Trawsfynydd as possible new sites for this most dangerous, dirty,
radiotoxic, health-threatening and expensive technology is an insult to the
people of Wales. “It is the totally wrong path to tread and it may be the
case that Johnson will not be in office for too long to realise his madcap
nuclear ambitions.”

 Nation Cymru 24th May 2022
 https://nation.cymru/news/new-wylfa-will-cost-14-17bn-to-build-and-wont-be-ready-until-2030s/

May 26, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s new ‘green economy’ bond may fund nuclear projects    

Japan plans to use its new type of sovereign debt to fund a wide range of projects designed to reduce emissions, possibly including nuclear power.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week proposed a “green economy transformation bond” to raise as much as ¥20 trillion ($157 billion) to help meet climate goals. The government decided not to issue green bonds because the more standard instruments also constrain the use of proceeds, according to people familiar with the matter.,………… https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/05/25/business/green-economy-bond-nuclear/

May 26, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, Japan | Leave a comment

Europe remains economically dependent on Russia as long as it has nuclear energy

As long as nuclear power plants are operated in Europe, the EU will be
dependent on Russian uranium supplies, BUND’s new uranium atlas makes
clear.

Neither economically nor ecologically does nuclear power still make
sense. The new edition of the Uranium Atlas makes it clear that Europe will
not be able to detach itself economically from Russia as long as the states
continue to use electricity from nuclear power.

After all, both Germany and other European states obtain a large part of the uranium needed for this
purpose from mines in Russia and Kazakhstan. The Uranium Atlas (in German),
released last week, is published by the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz
Deutschland (BUND) together with the Nuclear Free Future Foundation, the
Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the environmental foundation Greenpeace and
“.ausgestrahlt”. According to the report, around 40 per cent of
European uranium imports come from Russia and Kazakhstan. Thus, in addition
to fossil energy imports, European countries are significantly dependent on
Russia.

 Posteo 28th April 2022

https://posteo.de/en/news/uranium-atlas-2022-nuclear-power-increases-europes-dependence-on-russia

May 26, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Philippines’ Marcos in nuclear plant revival talks with S.Korea

  France 24 Manila (AFP) – Philippine president-elect Ferdinand Marcos signalled his determination to adopt nuclear power Monday, holding talks with South Korea’s envoy on possibly reviving a mothballed $2.2 billion plant built during his father’s dictatorship.

The 620-megawatt Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was left dormant after the elder Marcos was toppled in 1986…..

He left open the possibility of resuscitating his father’s failed venture — an idea he is now pushing ahead of his June 30 inauguration.

Marcos said he met South Korean Ambassador to Manila Kim Inchul on Monday to discuss a proposal on reviving the Bataan plant.

…………………….  

upgrading an ageing facility fitted with outdated analogue technology could take at least four years and cost another $1 billion.

There are also question marks on its design and location.

A monument to the greed and graft of the elder Marcos’s era, the plant sits 80 kilometres (50 miles) west of Manila, near several volcanoes in a part of the Philippines regularly shaken by earthquakes…………….  critics argue that renewable sources, such as wind and solar, are cheaper and safer to produce in a country hit by earthquakes, typhoons and volcanic eruptions.   https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220523-philippines-marcos-in-nuclear-plant-revival-talks-with-s-korea

May 26, 2022 Posted by | Philippines, politics | Leave a comment