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How social media is censored by algorithms to effectively throttle dissent

ED note: This article is very personal for me. I’ve had the experience in the last few days of Facebook suppressing my post (posted as Noel Wauchope). The post was a transcript of a Youtube item ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5lVN03U6P0) by prestigious Australian journalist Michael West

It was an important article, showing up the hypocrisy of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, in this case , shamefully and inaccurately promoting nuclear power as ”cheap”

I can dispute this censorship – but that could take months – even if I succeed, it would be too late to matter.

Censorship By Algorithm Does Far More Damage Than Conventional Censorship, Caitlin’s Newsletter, Caitlin Johnstone Jan 25 2022

”…………………………………………………….’And Silicon Valley did eventually admit that it was in fact actively censoring voices who fall outside the mainstream consensus. In order to disprove the false right-wing narrative that Google only censors rightist voices, the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet admitted in 2020 to algorithmically throttling World Socialist Website. Last year the CEO of Google-owned YouTube acknowledged that the platform uses algorithms to elevate “authoritative sources” while suppressing “borderline content” not considered authoritative, which apparently even includes just marginally establishment-critical left-of-center voices like Kyle Kulinski. Facebook spokeswoman Lauren Svensson said in 2018 that if the platform’s fact-checkers (including the state-funded establishment narrative management firm Atlantic Council) rule that a Facebook user has been posting false news, moderators will “dramatically reduce the distribution of all of their Page-level or domain-level content on Facebook.”…………………….

That’s the biggest loophole the so-called free democracies of the western world have found in their quest to regulate online speech. By allowing these monopolistic megacorporations to become the sources everyone goes to for information (and even actively helping them along that path as in for example Google’s research grants from the CIA and NSA), it’s possible to tweak algorithms in such a way that dissident information exists online, but nobody ever sees it.

You’ve probably noticed this if you’ve tried to search YouTube for videos which don’t align with the official narratives of western governments and media lately. That search function used to work like magic; like it was reading your mind. Now it’s almost impossible to find the information you’re looking for unless you’re trying to find out what the US State Department wants you to think. It’s the same with Google searches and Facebook, and because those giant platforms dictate what information gets seen by the general public, that wild information bias toward establishment narratives bleeds into other common areas of interaction like Twitter as well.

The idea is to let most people freely share dissident ideas and information about empire, war, capitalism, authoritarianism and propaganda, but to make it increasingly difficult for them to get their content seen and heard by people, and to make their going viral altogether impossible. To avoid the loud controversies and uncomfortable public scrutiny brought on by acts of overt censorship as much as possible while silently sweeping unauthorized speech behind the curtain. To make noncompliant voices “disappear from view so slowly you won’t even notice,” as Cook put it

The status quo is not working. Our ecosystem is dying, we appear to be rapidly approaching a high risk of direct military confrontation between nuclear-armed nations, and our world is rife with injustice, inequality, oppression and exploitation. None of this is going to change until the public begins awakening to the problems with the current status quo so we can begin organizing a mass-scale push toward healthier systems. And that’s never going to happen as long as information is locked down in the way that it is.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. And as more and more people get their information about what’s happening in the world from online sources, Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation has already become one of the most consequential forms of narrative control.

 https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/censorship-by-algorithm-does-far

July 13, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

This proxy war has no exit strategy – the West’s desired outcome – a long and gruelling war?

In short, there is no exit strategy to this proxy war. There are no plans in place to deliver Putin a swift defeat, and the Biden administration remains steadfastly dismissive of even the slightest gestures toward diplomacy with Moscow. Boris Johnson has reportedly been buzzing around admonishing Ukraine’s President ZelenskyFrance’s President Macron and who knows who else not to work toward peace in Ukraine. The doors to ending this war quickly by either winning it or negotiating a peace settlement are both bolted shut, all but guaranteeing a long and bloody slog. 

Which as it turns out suits Washington just fine. Biden administration officials have stated that the goal is to use the Ukraine war to “weaken” Russia, ……….. And since this is the course of action that has been taken by the empire, we can only assume that this is its desired outcome: not victory, not peace, but a long and gruelling war.


Caitlin Johnstone, 15 July 22. The International Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America has released a statement opposing the US government’s ongoing proxy war in Ukraine, saying the billions being funneled into the military-industrial complex “at a time when ordinary Americans are struggling to pay for housing, groceries, and fuel” is “a slap in the face for working people.” The statement advocates a negotiated settlement for peace, saying continuing to pour weapons into the country will “needlessly prolong the war, resulting in more civilian deaths” and that it “risks escalating and widening the war – up to and including nuclear war.” 

In response to this entirely reasonable and moderate position, the DSA is currently being raked over the coals with accusations of Kremlin loyalty and facilitation of murder and bloodshed by blue-checkmarked narrative managers on Twitter. This is because the only acceptable positions for anyone of significant influence to have about this war range from supporting continuing current proxy warfare operations to initiating a direct hot war between NATO and Russia.

That’s how narrow the permissible spectrum of debate has been shrunk regarding this conflict: status quo hawkish to omnicidal hawkish. Anything outside that spectrum gets framed as radical extremism. As Noam Chomsky said: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum — even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”

This spectrum of debate has been shrunk on the one hand by imperial spinmeisters continually hammering home the message that any support for de-escalation and diplomatic solutions is “appeasement” and indicative of Russian sympathies, and on the other by hawkish pundits and politicians pushing for the most freakishly aggressive responses to this war possible. By forbidding the spectrum of acceptable debate to move toward peace while shoving it as hard as possible in the direction of warmongering extremism, imperial narrative managers have successfully created an Overton window wherein the only debate permitted is over how directly and forcefully Russia should be confronted, with calls for peace now falling far outside that window.

Which is a problem, because both direct NATO hot war with Russia and continuing along the empire’s current course of action in Ukraine are stupid. Direct conflict between nuclear powers likely means a very fast and very radioactive third world war, and the status quo proxy warfare approach isn’t stopping Russia as more and more territory is taken in the east in cool defiance of western claims that Ukraine is bravely vanquishing its evil invaders. Biden administration officials have told the press that they doubt Ukraine will even be able to reclaim the territory it has lost already. Unless and until something significant changes, Ukraine has no apparent path to victory in this war anytime soon.

In short, there is no exit strategy to this proxy war. There are no plans in place to deliver Putin a swift defeat, and the Biden administration remains steadfastly dismissive of even the slightest gestures toward diplomacy with Moscow. Boris Johnson has reportedly been buzzing around admonishing Ukraine’s President ZelenskyFrance’s President Macron and who knows who else not to work toward peace in Ukraine. The doors to ending this war quickly by either winning it or negotiating a peace settlement are both bolted shut, all but guaranteeing a long and bloody slog. 

Which as it turns out suits Washington just fine. Biden administration officials have stated that the goal is to use the Ukraine war to “weaken” Russia, ………………. And since this is the course of action that has been taken by the empire, we can only assume that this is its desired outcome: not victory, not peace, but a long and gruelling war. ………………………….  https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/this-proxy-war-has-no-exit-strategy?utm_source=substack&utm_medium=email

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

French Nuclear Cuts Extend to Next Week as Temperatures Soar

  • Reactor availability has shrunk to just 46%, pushing up prices
  • Paris is set to see temperatures of almost 40 degrees Celsius

Lars Paulsson, Priscila Azevedo Rocha, and Todd Gillespie July 15, 2022 Electricite de France SA’s nuclear-output cuts are expected to stretch into next week as a heat wave sweeping across Europe pushes up river temperatures, restricting EDF’s ability to cool its plants………… (Subscribers only)   https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-15/french-nuclear-cuts-stretch-to-next-week-as-temperatures-soar#xj4y7vzkg

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NASA, Russian space agency sign deal to share space station flights – Roscosmos

Yahoo News, Joey Roulette July 15, 2022 (Reuters) -NASA and Russia’s space agency Roscosmos have signed a long-sought agreement to integrate flights to the International Space Station, allowing Russian cosmonauts to fly on U.S.-made spacecraft in exchange for American astronauts being able to ride on Russia’s Soyuz, the agencies said Friday.

NASA and Russia’s space agency Roscosmos have signed a long-sought agreement to integrate flights to the International Space Station, allowing Russian cosmonauts to fly on U.S.-made spacecraft in exchange for American astronauts being able to ride on Russia’s Soyuz, the agencies said Friday.

“The agreement is in the interests of Russia and the United States and will promote the development of cooperation within the framework of the ISS program,” Roscosmos said in a statement, adding it will facilitate the “exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes.”

NASA and Roscosmos, the two-decade-old space station’s core partners, have sought for years to renew routine integrated crewed flights as part of the agencies’ long-standing civil alliance, now one of the last links of cooperation between the United States and Russia as tensions flare over the war in Ukraine.


The first integrated flights under the new agreement will come in September, NASA said, with U.S. astronaut Frank Rubio launching to the space station from the Moscow-leased Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan alongside two cosmonauts, Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin.

In exchange, cosmonaut Anna Kikina will join two U.S. astronauts and a Japanese astronaut on a SpaceX Crew Dragon flight to the orbital laboratory, launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The two agencies had previously shared astronaut seats on the U.S. shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

After the shuttle’s retirement in 2011, the U.S. relied on Russia’s Soyuz for sending American astronauts to the space station until 2020, when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule revived NASA’s human spaceflight capability and began routine ISS flights from Florida……………………….. more https://www.yahoo.com/news/nasa-russian-space-agency-sign-132725285.html

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Russia, space travel, USA | Leave a comment

Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster: Court slaps 94 billion dollar fine on ex-Tepco bosses

Four former executives failed to fulfil their duty to implement the utmost safety precautions despite knowing the risks of a serious accident in case of a major tsunami, the court said.

 New Indian Express15th July 2022 By Express News Service

TOKYO: A Tokyo court on Wednesday ordered four former executives of the utility operating the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant to pay 13 trillion yen ($94 billion) to the company, holding them liable for the 2011 disaster.

In the closely watched ruling, the Tokyo District Court said the former chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (Tepco), Tsunehisa Katsumata, and three other former executives failed to fulfil their duty to implement the utmost safety precautions despite knowing the risks of a serious accident in case of a major tsunami.

It said they could have prevented the disaster if they had taken available scientific data more seriously and acted sooner………………………………………………….  https://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2022/jul/15/fukushima-nuclear-power-plantdisaster-court-slaps-94-billion-dollarfine-on-ex-tepco-bosses-2476787.htm


July 13, 2022 Posted by | Japan, Legal | Leave a comment

Increasingly economical renewables mean now’s no time for South Korea to cling to nuclear power

In these changing times, it is unfortunate that Korea is choosing to cling to the nuclear industry, the marketability of which is becoming increasingly unclear.

    https://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/english_editorials/1051124.html Jul.15,2022
The new administration’s nuclear power advocacy runs counter to global trends toward renewables.

A new report released by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has revealed that global solar and wind power generation costs are down 13%-15% compared to one year ago.

According to IRENA’s “Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2021” report released on Wednesday, the global weighted average levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of new onshore wind projects added in 2021 fell by 15% year on year while that of new utility-scale solar PV and offshore wind both declined by 13%.

The report explains that the LCOE of a given technology is the ratio of lifetime costs to lifetime electricity generation; it is used as a measure to compare the economic feasibility of the various methods of generating electricity.

In 2021, renewables’ share of total power generation capacity growth reached 81%. It seems that these figures continue to improve as the economy gets stronger.

In Korea, however, the perception that nuclear power equals cheap energy is still strong. This is despite the fact that globally, renewable energy dominates nuclear power in terms of economic feasibility.

According to a report released by Lazard, a global asset management company, in October of last year, the average cost of electricity per megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar power fell by 90%, from $359 in 2009 to $36 last year. Wind power also fell 72% from $135 to $38.

Comparatively, nuclear power saw a 36% increase in cost from $123 to $167 during the same period. In fact, nuclear power has already become 4.5 times more expensive than renewable energy.

This is because, while technology is developing day by day as investment into renewable energy increases in step with the global trend of transitioning to cleaner energy sources, construction costs for nuclear power plants are increasing as safety regulations are strengthened after the Fukushima incident.

Advanced economies, particularly those in Europe, are scrambling to come up with energy policies centered on renewable energy. To this end, the EU announced in May that it would increase the share of renewable energy from the current 22% to 45% by 2030. This is an upward revision of the 40% target set a year ago.

The change is reportedly aimed at quickly getting rid of Europe’s dependency on Russian energy. In other words, Europe seems to be choosing to expand its use of renewable energy as a solution to its current energy crisis.

South Korea, however, is running counter to this trend by advocating to become a leader in the nuclear power field. By 2030, the proportion of Korea’s energy mix derived from nuclear power will increase to more than 30% while the proportion of renewable energy will reportedly be adjusted to a “reasonable” level.

The plan is to lower the existing renewable energy target, which stands at 30.2% by 2030, because it is perceived as being too high.

In the near future, whether or not companies use renewable energy is likely to act as a new trade barrier. In these changing times, it is unfortunate that Korea is choosing to cling to the nuclear industry, the marketability of which is becoming increasingly unclear.

July 13, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, South Korea | Leave a comment

Ukraine reveals negotiation ‘end point’

Foreign Minister warns of Kiev’s red lines before any talks.

Ukraine will not agree to any territorial concessions as part of a peace agreement with Russia, its Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told journalists on Wednesday. Talks between Moscow and Kiev have been in a deadlock since March.

“The objective of Ukraine in this war… is to liberate our territories, restore our territorial integrity, and full sovereignty in the east and south of Ukraine,” Kuleba said, as reported by Reuters. “This is the end point of our negotiating position.”

Moscow recognized the independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics in the Donbass region shortly before the military operation in Ukraine was launched in late February. Crimea, which was also once part of Ukraine, voted to join Russia in a referendum in 2014 after the Maidan coup in Kiev led to the overthrow of the democratically elected government.

In the southern part of Ukraine, Russian forces and Donbass militias seized Kherson Region and the majority of Zaporozhye Region. In the East, allied forces wrested control of the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) from Ukraine in early July. Russian troops and militias also control parts of the Ukrainian Kharkov Region bordering the LPR. The two sides are now fighting for control over the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

Peace talks between Moscow and Kiev remain stalled at the moment, Kuleba said, adding that Kiev sees no reason to engage in negotiations. “Currently there are no [peace] talks between Russia and Ukraine because of Russia’s position and its continued aggression against our country,” he told journalists. 

The US and Germany have also said they see no point in negotiating with Russia. Moscow accused the West of preventing Kiev from even thinking about peace talks, previously saying Ukraine could end the conflict if it agrees to Moscow’s demands………………  https://www.rt.com/russia/558942-ukraine-end-point-negotiating-position/

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US, Israel sign joint anti-Iran nuclear declaration – US will use “all elements of national power”

Aljazeera, 14 July 22, US President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Lapid sign joint declaration during meeting in Jerusalem.

United States President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid have reiterated their anti-Iran positions in a joint declaration committing to preventing Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

The two leaders signed the statement earlier after holding a one-on-one meeting on Thursday morning in West Jerusalem on the second day of Biden’s four-day Middle East tour, followed by a virtual summit with the leaders of India and the United Arab Emirates.

The statement says that the US will use “all elements of national power” available to it to deny Iran the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons.

The joint declaration also includes a pledge by Washington to continue US military aid to Israel.

A record 10-year $38bn aid package was signed in 2016 under the administration of former US President Barack Obama when Biden was vice president.

Speaking at a news conference following the signing, both Biden and Lapid spoke of their support for the US-Israeli relationship, and the perceived threat from Iran.

“The only way to stop a nuclear Iran is if Iran knows the free world will use force,” Lapid said……………………………………………….  https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/7/14/us-israel-to-commit-to-stopping-iran-nuclear-ambitions

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Israel, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear: Doel 3 and Tihange 2 cannot be extended for safety reasons

 15 July 2022 By The Brussels Times with Belga,

Operations at the Tihange 2 and Doel 3 reactors cannot be extended for technical and safety reasons, Engie Electrabel, which runs Belgium’s nuclear power plants, said on Thursday.

The Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC) has not commented on the issue since neither the government nor Engie has requested a risk analysis.

The Doel 3 power plant will be shut down on the night of September 23 to 24 in accordance with the nuclear phase-out law. Tihange 2 will close in February…………………………..

Engie was asked earlier this month whether the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 reactors could be maintained until after winter, but the company said that solution could not be implemented for technical and safety reasons, an opinion confirmed by experts from Minister Van der Straeten’s office.

 https://www.brusselstimes.com/belgium/255515/nuclear-doel-3-and-tihange-2-cannot-be-extended-for-safety-reasons

July 13, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment

YES! Experimental nuclear reactors (SMRs) DO need an impact assessment: Speak Out!

 https://www.cleanairalliance.org/yes-smrs-need-assessment/ 15 July 22 The nuclear industry plans to build experimental nuclear reactors (SMRs) in New Brunswick, aiming that one day they can be used in different towns and remote communities across Canada.

Pressure from the nuclear industry lobby changed our federal environmental assessment law in 2019, exempting many nuclear projects like SMRs from undergoing a full environmental impact assessment (IA)

The exemption not only erodes public involvement and oversight of the project but also means there will be no full reckoning of the alternatives to the energy project and its impacts to social, economic, Indigenous and environmental values.

The Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB) is challenging the exemption for the “SMR Demonstration Project” planned for Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy.

CRED-NB is asking the federal government to order an impact assessment for this project which could have profound and lasting impacts on the Bay of Fundy and the coastal communities and marine life it supports.

For more information about why an impact assessment is required, please read the full request by CRED-NB to federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault,HERE

Please join us in this effort. Use our action tool to write Minister Guilbeault to support the CRED-NB request for a full impact assessment for the SMR Demonstration Project.

Your message will be sent to Minister Guilbeault, other relevant members of the federal Cabinet, your MP, leaders of the federal opposition parties, and provincial representatives in New Brunswick.

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Say “yes” to an impact assessment for nuclear experiment on the Bay of Fundy.

This is not just a New Brunswick issue. If successful, these SMRs could be deployed in hundreds of communities across the country, their radioactive waste added to our existing stockpiles for which no solution currently exists. 

Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB) 15 July 22, To learn what this nuclear project on the Bay of Fundy is all about, read our request to federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault HERE. (French version HERE.)

Once again, NB Power wants to limit public input on their latest experiment. But this time it’s a nuclear experiment! We need to have a say!

The nuclear industry wants to build experimental nuclear reactors (SMRs) at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. They want to do it without a federal impact assessment!

This means the public will have limited input, it’s not fair and it’s not right.

Pressure from the nuclear industry lobby changed our federal environmental assessment law in 2019, exempting SMRs from undergoing a full environmental impact assessment (IA). 

We’re asking the federal government to order an impact assessment for this nuclear experiment which could have profound and lasting impacts on the Bay of Fundy and the coastal communities and marine life it supports.

Click here to use our action tool to write to Minister Guilbeault to support our request – it takes less than a minute! We’re working with the Ontario Clean Air Alliance to gather support across the country. Please use it and share!

The Coalition for Responsible Energy Development in New Brunswick (CRED-NB) is challenging the exemption for the “SMR Demonstration Project” at Point Lepreau on the Bay of Fundy. and asking asking the federal government to step in and order the project undergo a full, IA under the Impact Assessment Act. 

For more information about why an impact assessment is required, read the formal request to federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault HERE. (French version HERE.)

The current exemption not only erodes public involvement and oversight of the project but also means there will be no full reckoning of the alternatives to the energy project and its impacts to social, economic, Indigenous and environmental values.

In contrast, an IA is a “look before you leap” process allowing the public to weigh in on alternatives to the project, risks emanating from all stages of the project (from building to eventual decommissioning and oversight of the radioactive materials) and the project’s cumulative social, economic and environmental impacts. 

CRED-NB is asking people across Canada to support the campaign. This is not just a New Brunswick issue. If successful, these SMRs could be deployed in hundreds of communities across the country, their radioactive waste added to our existing stockpiles for which no solution currently exists. 

Please join us in this effort. Use our action tool to write Minister Guilbeault to support the CRED-NB request for a full impact assessment for the SMR demonstration project.……. more https://crednb.ca/dr/

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Canada, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Noam Chomsky: Biden’s Middle East Trip Contains Echoes of Trump’s Policies

C.J. PolychroniouTruthout,15 July 22, After 18 months in office, President Joe Biden decided to pay a visit to the Middle East region. Oil is most likely what is dragging him back to the Middle East, and why for months now he had been warming up to Saudi Arabia, despite having said as a presidential candidate that he would make the Saudis “pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are,” while saying that there was “very little social redeeming value in the present government in Saudi Arabia.”

As Noam Chomsky notes in this exclusive interview for Truthout, Biden is carrying on a U.S. tradition: Relations with Saudi Arabia “have always proceeded amicably, undisturbed by its horrifying record of human rights abuses, which persists.”

 Security also likely figures in the equation of Biden’s trip, particularly with regard to Israel. He will also visit the West Bank and meet with Palestinan leaders, but it’s hard to say what he hopes to accomplish there. As Chomsky points out, “Palestinian hopes lie elsewhere.”…………………………………………………….more https://truthout.org/articles/noam-chomsky-bidens-middle-east-trip-contains-echoes-of-trumps-policies/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=d682ca02-74e2-4ef3-a856-28d3b4293907

July 13, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA | Leave a comment

We need a safer interim storage solution for Ontario’s nuclear wastes.

– Angela Bischoff, Ontario Clean Air Allance. 15 Jul 22. The International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board is calling for Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) nuclear waste storage facilities to be “hardened” and located away from shorelines to prevent them from becoming compromised by flooding and erosion.

According to a report prepared for OPG, the total capital cost of building above-ground, attack-resistant, reinforced concrete vaults at the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce Nuclear Stations would be approximately $1 billion. This safer interim storage solution can be fully paid for by OPG’s nuclear waste storage fund, which has a market value of $11.3 billion.

We need a safer interim storage solution for Ontario’s nuclear wastes

The International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board is calling for Ontario Power Generation’s (OPG) nuclear waste storage facilities to be “hardened” and located away from shorelines to prevent them from becoming compromised by flooding and erosion.

According to a report prepared for OPG, the total capital cost of building above-ground, attack-resistant, reinforced concrete vaults at the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce Nuclear Stations would be approximately $1 billion. This safer interim storage solution can be fully paid for by OPG’s nuclear waste storage fund, which has a market value of $11.3 billion.

As our new report, A Safer Interim Storage Solution for Ontario’s Nuclear Wastesreveals this is urgent for multiple reasons:

–        The total radioactivity of the nuclear wastes stored at the Pickering, Darlington and Bruce Nuclear Stations is 700 times greater than the total radiation released to the atmosphere by the Fukushima accident in 2011.

–        OPG is currently storing these wastes in conventional commercial storage buildings.

–        According to OPG, a new off-site facility for the storage of these wastes will not be in service until 2043 at the earliest. 

       Above-ground, attack-resistant, reinforced concrete vaults will provide much greater protection against deliberate attacks and greater radioactivity containment in the event of leaks, ruptures or other incidents than conventional commercial storage buildings.

–        Building safer interim storage facilities will also create good jobs.

In Germany, six nuclear stations have hardened storage facilities. The concrete walls and roofs on these facilities are 1.2 to 1.3 metres thick. This is the kind of much safer design that Ontario should be copying as we wait for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization to find a “willing host” community to take these dangerous wastes.

What you can do

Please contact Premier Ford and Energy Minister Todd Smith and tell them that we need a safer interim storage option for OPG’s nuclear wastes. Ask them to order OPG to store its high-level radioactive wastes in above-ground, attack-resistant, reinforced concrete vaults at its nuclear stations.

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Canada, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

The prohibition of nuclear weapons: a public health priority

The Lancet. July 16, 2022, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(22)01203-X

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine confirms how wars and armed conflicts are a serious threat to public health and environmental integrity. The crisis has made clear that nuclear war is closer than ever.

As people working in the biomedical field, we are urged to stress that any reasoning about just causes of war loses any hypothetical meaning when compared with the destructive potential of modern nuclear technology. The very concept of defence is not applicable to nuclear weapons, which, by their very nature, clearly violate all of the principles enshrined in international humanitarian law and the protocols of the Geneva Conventions.

Nuclear weapons cause immediate damage by death and injury that far exceeds the capacity for health care even in well organised settings. Global health-care infrastructure is not, and cannot, be prepared for the humanitarian catastrophe that would result from the use of these weapons.

The long-term damage to the health of the population and the environment could easily be beyond the resilience, not only of individual countries or territories, but of the entire world. As long as these weapons of mass destruction exist, humanity’s survival is under threat.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force on Jan 22, 2021, and the first meeting of state parties took place in June, 2022. In an open letter to the Italian Government, the Italian Association of Epidemiology urged the Italian government to attend the meeting, with the ultimate goal of signing and ratifying the treaty as soon as possible.

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As the Italian historian of medicine, Giorgio Cosmacini, opportunely pointed out in reference to the two world wars: “The fact that no one—or very few—among the protagonists of medicine…has posed the problem of the prevention of one of the deadliest pandemics in the history of human societies should make us reflect on the actual coherence of a medical science that, while professing to be at the service of life, refuses to take sides and declares itself neutral…………………   https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(22)01203-X/fulltext

July 13, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, health, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Archbishop Wester embarks on the long path to end the nuclear threat

In 2017 the Holy See became the first government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty entered into force in January 2021

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Jul 14, 2022, by Dennis SadowskiCatholic News Service,

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, thinks it’s time for serious conversations about how to achieve nuclear disarmament — not just for the United States but for all countries of the world.

And he’s trying to initiate such discussions, beginning in his own archdiocese, home of two national laboratories — Sandia and Los Alamos — where nuclear weapon research and development continues.

The archbishop hopes the pastoral letter he released in January, “Living in the Light of Christ’s Peace: A Conversation Toward Nuclear Disarmament,” can be a starting point.

The document is the most recent and perhaps most heartfelt from a U.S. bishop seeking to end the nuclear arms race. His concern is that after decades in which arms control treaties led to reductions in nuclear armaments, a new arms race is already underway as the U.S. and Russia, the world’s primary nuclear powers, develop new weapons systems.

“I think we’ve been lulled into a false sense of complacency. I think it’s important as the archbishop of Santa Fe that I say something, that the archdiocese has a seat at the table on this discussion, because this is the birthplace of the nuclear bomb,” Wester told Catholic News Service…………………

His concern is that in any future nuclear exchange, however limited, Earth will never be the same and it’s likely the planet — and virtually all life — will be destroyed.

Pope Francis also had a role in Wester’s decision to issue the pastoral letter.

Throughout his papacy the pope has appealed to the world’s nine nuclear weapons-possessing nations to dismantle their arsenals for the good of humanity. In 2017 the Holy See became the first government to sign the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The treaty entered into force in January 2021.

But it was the pope’s comments during a November 2019 visit to Hiroshima that stayed with Wester.

“The use of atomic energy for purposes of war is immoral, just as the possessing of nuclear weapons is immoral, as I already said two years ago,” the pope said. “We will be judged on this.”…………………….. more  https://www.ncronline.org/news/justice/archbishop-wester-embarks-long-path-end-nuclear-threat0

July 13, 2022 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment