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Hiroshima, Nagasaki – Never Again Nuclear War! No to Nuclear Weapons

This is perhaps the saddest photograph of the time of America’s August 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The dignity of this boy, as he waits, with his small dead brother strapped to his back, to include the brother in a mass grave in Nagasaki..

We know that the bombing of people is unethical, immoral, and simply wrong.

We know that chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction are inhumane and immoral. The global human society knows this, too, and they are illegal under the United Nations Ban –  the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)  and United Nations Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons(TPNW), or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination. 66 nations have ratified the treaty, and it was passed by 120 countries at the United Nations in July 2017.

The nuclear lobby, and the “hawks” may scoff, but this Treaty is clear evidence that the world is coming to see that considering the humanitarian effects of nuclear war, – the treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement to the prohibited activities.

The goal is the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Sounds too extreme to be taken seriously?   It is not as extreme as the goal of using them, which is still actively being considered by the Pentagon.

It’s rarely mentioned that USA’s original plan was to explode a nuclear bomb on the moon. It’s rarely mentioned in the current hype about Mars exploration, that the Trump administration’s plan is for nuclear weapons in space .

The humanitarian, the “emotional” side, of discussing nuclear weapons is now taken seriously, much as the nuclear proponents will pontificate about “strategy”, “security” etc. With the UN nuclear ban treaty –   nuclear weapons are no longer “respectable”, and are headed towards eventual elimination.


August 8, 2022 Posted by | Christina's themes | 7 Comments

Nagasaki A-bomb survivor told German foreign minister to spurn ‘nuclear umbrella’

August 9, 2022 (Mainichi Japan) NAGASAKI — Nagasaki A-bomb survivor Shigemitsu Tanaka, 81, used German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s July visit to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to share his experience of the bombing and ask her to abandon the U.S. “nuclear umbrella.”

Germany, a NATO member, participated as an observer in the first meeting of parties to the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons held in Vienna in June, despite being covered by the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal. Although Germany has not signed the treaty, the European nation stressed that it will participate in constructive dialogue with the countries and regions that have ratified the treaty.

The 41-year-old foreign minister, who came to Japan for talks with her Japanese counterpart, visited the A-bomb museum on July 10. Tanaka is the chairman of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council and was invited to the museum for the visit.

Baerbock looked Tanaka in the eye, and as if in reply, Tanaka shared his experience of the atomic bombing and his subsequent suffering. He hoped that his wish that there should never be another “hibakusha,” or person exposed to the atomic bombings, reached the foreign minister.

On Aug. 9, 1945, a flash of light engulfed 4-year-old Tanaka in his yard in the Nagasaki Prefecture village (now town) of Togitsu, about 6 kilometers north of the hypocenter. He rushed into an air-raid shelter to escape the noise and the blast. When he went outside again, he found his home’s tatami mats and shoji sliding doors blown away and the windowpanes shattered.

The next day his father, an Imperial Japanese Navy unit member stationed in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, was sent to the bombed city to do rescue work. When he returned home, he complained of physical discomfort and other symptoms. His mother also treated the injured at a national elementary school in the village, and a few days after the bombing, she went to an acquaintance’s home about 1 km from the hypocenter to check if they were all right.

His mother developed diarrhea and rashes on her legs, and later liver and thyroid problems. His father became frustrated with his mother’s many hospital visits, and he turned into a violent alcoholic. Twelve years later, he died of liver cancer…………………………..

When the foreign minister left the museum, she left a comment in the visitors’ book that read, “This is a place that conveys the madness of nuclear war and the terrible suffering caused by the atomic bombs. As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is a danger that such a horrific reality will occur again. That is why our commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons will never weaken.”…………………………………

Tanaka had strong words for the Japanese government: “If we say that we are ‘the only country to have experienced atomic bombings’ but do nothing, we will lose the world’s trust. Since Japan claims to serve as a bridge between the nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, now is the time for Japan to take a stance like that of Germany, which participated in the meeting (of parties to the U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty) even though it did not sign or ratify the treaty.”

(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Takahashi, Nagasaki Bureau)

August 8, 2022 Posted by | health, Japan, PERSONAL STORIES, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactors at Bugey, Blayais, Saint-Alban-Sanit-Maurice, Golfech and Tricastin allowed to release hotter water into rivers

New thermal discharge limits applicable to the reactors of the Bugey,
Blayais, Saint-Alban-Saint-Maurice, Golfech and Tricastin power plants have
been set and will be valid until 11 September. The nuclear power plants of
Blayais, Saint-Alban-Saint-Maurice, Golfech, Bugey and Tricastin will
benefit until September 11 from environmental exemptions concerning water
discharge temperatures due to high temperatures, despite impacts possible
negative effects on the environment.

A decree published on Saturday in the
Official Journal sets ” new thermal discharge limits applicable to the
reactors of the nuclear power plant of Bugey, Blayais,
Saint-Alban-Saint-Maurice, Golfech and Tricastin “. It is specified that
the implementation of these measures will be “associated with a
reinforced environmental monitoring program”.

Le Figaro 6th Aug 2022

August 8, 2022 Posted by | France, water | Leave a comment

Taiwan not worth a mushroom cloud

Many talk about “national interest”; the need for security; and standing up for principles. But with Taiwan the choice may be more stark: allow the Chinese Communist Party to take it over or engage in a nuclear war.

Principles are meaningless amid nuclear devastation, and so is national interest and security. Crispin Hull 8 Aug 22,

The odd thing about the visit by the Speaker of the US House of Representatives to Taiwan was that it was done by a woman, Nancy Pelosi. Usually, women in government tend to be the negotiators and compromisers, not the aggressors and agitators.

Why not just leave well alone?

Why create for future schoolchildren (if there are any survivors) one of the “Ten Causes of the Third World War”: Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Just as we learned that the 10 causes of World War I and World War II included equally trivial misjudgments.

And, take note, as far as the Chinese leadership is concerned, Pelosi is not a legislator, separate from the executive government, making a visit off her own bat, because they could not conceive of such a thing. For them, she is part of the US Government. So, to them, the trip was a deliberate provocation.

The other puzzling thing about Taiwan is the way the US, on the one hand, talks the talk of defending democratic Taiwan against the bully China, but on the other hand officially accepts that Taiwan is part of China.

The US did that on January 1, 1979, when it recognised the People’s Republic of China and established diplomatic relations with it as “the sole legitimate government of China”. On the same day, the United States withdrew its recognition of, and terminated diplomatic relations with, the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the government of China.

In 1979, of course, Taiwan was not a democracy so it did not really matter in principle which of the two autocracies was the “sole legitimate government of China”. At the time, the US “national interest” suggested that the trade opportunities with mainland China were too good and democracy was not being undermined by the de-recognition of semi-autocratic Taiwan.

After Taiwan evolved into a democracy in 1996 with the first free, open, and fair election for the presidency, the US had a “whoops” moment, followed by nearly three decades of juggling three balls in the air: the principle of supporting democracy; supporting US national trade interests; and opposing ever-growing Chinese influence.

The three are hopelessly incompatible, even as the first and the third become ever more urgent. The solution for the US could have been dreamt up by the Chinese communists themselves: “deliberate ambiguity”.

The US should go back to that. More importantly, Australia should go back there, irrespective of what the US does. The west should play the long game with China and wait for it to go the way of the Soviet Union caused as the economic cost of not playing by the rules results in unsustainable pressure on the regime.

Already China is paying a penalty for its trade trashing of Australia. Australia has now found other markets. China has come back cap in hand for some of those goods and Australia has said, “No thanks, you are too unreliable because you do not follow the rules and legal principle.”

In any event, we should not, in the perspicacious words of defence expert Hugh White, “sleepwalk into war”.

If democratic Taiwan is so important to defend, why doesn’t the US officially recognise it as a nation? And if it does not recognise Taiwan as an independent democratic nation, why threaten military action if the central government of the nation that the US does recognise as exercising sovereignty over Taiwan sends in its army and police forces to physically exercise that sovereignty?

Not being a democracy is not a cause for war, nor is the overthrow of democracy in one part of a country a cause for war. If they were, the world would be in a constant state of war.

Pelosi’s visit coincided with the Rim of the Pacific naval exercise (RIMPAC), but to Chinese Communist Party chiefs it was not a coincidence. 

Twenty-six nations, 38 surface ships, four submarines, nine national land forces, 170 aircraft and 25,000 military personnel took part.

From a Chinese perspective this is a tad threatening. To us it is benign. To Taiwan and Australia firing rockets over Taiwan and the seas around it is a tad threatening, To the Chinese it is a benign military exercise in its own back yard

Of course, China is jealous as well as threatened by RIMPAC. China has no friends, just nations it bribes or debt-burdens into military co-operation.

But the danger point comes when the US goes beyond seeking voluntary co-operation with allies and friends and aims for full military integration and interoperability.

The trouble here is that the US military exerts influence verging on control over the US Government. Its top military officer has a seat on the National Security Council (not just an advisory role). Both General Douglas MacArthur (Korea) and General Curtis Le May (Cuba) urged the use of nuclear weapons.

Mercifully, Presidents Truman and Kennedy stood up to them, but Biden is no Truman or Kennedy. Moreover, a change in Administration usually means little change in the military-industrial complex’s way of doing things.

In Australia, a change of Government has also meant very little change to the lock-step American Alliance – until now.

The new Defence Minister, Richard Marles, has ordered a Defence Forces Review. Maybe it will start questioning the pattern of blindly joining every major US military folly (Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq, for example), irrespective of whether it has anything to do with us.

Many talk about “national interest”; the need for security; and standing up for principles. But with Taiwan the choice may be more stark: allow the Chinese Communist Party to take it over or engage in a nuclear war.

Principles are meaningless amid nuclear devastation, and so is national interest and security.

It is unfortunate that 23 million people would go under the Chinese Communist jackboot, but that is better than going under a nuclear mushroom.

We allowed them to imprison, murder, and torture the Uyghurs and Tibetans and did nothing. What is the difference with Taiwan? Maybe it is just a good case to bolster a profitable arms race.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hisashi Ouchi Suffered an 83-day Death By Radiation Poisoning By: Patrick J. Kiger  |  Aug 8, 2022

On the morning of Sept. 30, 1999, at a nuclear fuel-processing plant in Tokaimura, Japan, 35-year-old Hisashi Ouchi and two other workers were purifying uranium oxide to make fuel rods for a research reactor.

As this account published a few months later in The Washington Post details, Ouchi was standing at a tank, holding a funnel, while a co-worker named Masato Shinohara poured a mixture of intermediate-enriched uranium oxide into it from a bucket.

Suddenly, they were startled by a flash of blue light, the first sign that something terrible was about to happen.

The workers, who had no previous experience in handling uranium with that level of enrichment, inadvertently had put too much of it in the tank, as this 2000 article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists details. As a result, they inadvertently triggered what’s known in the nuclear industry as a criticality accident — a release of radiation from an uncontrolled nuclear chain reaction.

Ouchi, who was closest to the nuclear reaction, received what probably was one of the biggest exposures to radiation in the history of nuclear accidents. He was about to suffer a horrifying fate that would become a cautionary lesson of the perils of the Atomic Age.

“The most obvious lesson is that when you’re working with [fissile] materials, criticality limits are there for a reason,” explains Edwin Lyman, a physicist and director of nuclear power safety for the Union of Concerned Scientists, and co-author, with his colleague Steven Dolley, of the article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

If safeguards aren’t carefully taught and followed, there’s potential for “a devastating type of accident,” Lyman says.

It wasn’t the first time it had happened. A 2000 U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report noted that before Tokaimura, 21 previous criticality accidents had occurred between 1953 and 1997.

The two workers quickly left the room, according to The Post’s account. But even so, the damage already had been done. Ouchi, who was closest to the reaction, had received a massive dose of radiation. There have been various estimates of the exact amount, but a 2010 presentation by Masashi Kanamori of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency put the amount at 16 to 25 gray equivalents (GyEq), while Shinohara, who was about 18 inches (46 centimeters) away, received a lesser but still extremely harmful dose of about 6 to 9 GyEq and a third man, who was further away, was exposed to less radiation.

Internet articles frequently describe Ouchi as ‘the most radioactive man in history,’ or words to that effect, but nuclear expert Lyman stops a bit short of that assessment.

“The estimated doses for Ouchi were among the highest known, though I’m not sure if it’s the highest,” explains Lyman. “These typically occur in these kinds of criticality accidents.”

What Does a High Dose of Radiation Do To the Body?

The radiation dose in a criticality accident can be even worse than in a catastrophic accident at a nuclear power plant, such as the 1986 reactor explosion at Chernobyl in Ukraine, then a part of the Soviet Union, where the radiation was dispersed. (Even so, 28 people eventually died from radiation exposure.)

“These criticality accidents present the potential for delivery of a large amount of radiation in a short period of time, though a burst of neutrons and gamma rays,” Lyman says. “That one burst, if you’re close enough, you can sustain more than a lethal dose of radiation in seconds. So that’s the scary thing about it.”

High doses of radiation damage the body, rendering it unable to make new cells, so that the bone marrow, for example, stops making the red blood cells that carry oxygen and the white blood cells that fight infection, according to Lyman. “Your fate is predetermined, even though there will be a delay,” he says, “if you have a high enough dose of ionizing radiation that will kill cells, to the extent that your organs will not function.”

According to an October 1999 account in medical journal BMJ, the irradiated workers were taken to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba, just east of Tokyo. There, it was determined that their lymphatic blood count had dropped to almost zero. Their symptoms included nausea, dehydration and diarrhea. Three days later, they were transferred to University of Tokyo Hospital, where doctors tried various measures in a desperate effort to save their lives.

Ouchi’s Condition Continued to Deteriorate

When Ouchi, a handsome, powerfully built, former high school rugby player who had a wife and young son, arrived at the hospital, he didn’t yet look like a victim of intense radiation exposure, according to “A Slow Death: 83 Days of Radiation Sickness,” a 2002 book by a team of journalists from Japan’s NHK-TV, later translated into English by Maho Harada. His face was slightly red and swollen and his eyes were bloodshot, but he didn’t have any blisters or burns, though he complained of pain in his ears and hand. The doctor who examined him even thought that it might be possible to save his life.

But within a day, Ouchi’s condition got worse. He began to require oxygen, and his abdomen swelled, according to the book. Things continued downhill after he arrived at the University of Tokyo hospital. Six days after the accident, a specialist who looked at images of the chromosomes in Ouchi’s bone marrow cells saw only scattered black dots, indicating that they were broken into pieces. Ouchi’s body wouldn’t be able to generate new cells. A week after the accident, Ouchi received a peripheral blood stem cell transplant, with his sister volunteering as a donor.

Nevertheless, Ouchi’s condition continued to deteriorate, according to the book. He began to complain of thirst, and when medical tape was removed from his chest, his skin started coming off with it. He began developing blisters. Tests showed that the radiation had killed the chromosomes that normally would enable his skin to regenerate, so that his epidermis, the outer layer that protected his body, gradually vanished. The pain became intense. He began experiencing breathing problems as well. Two weeks after the accident, he was no longer able to eat, and had to be fed intravenously. Two months into his ordeal, his heart stopped, though doctors were able to revive him.

On Dec. 21, at 11:21 p.m., Ouchi’s body finally gave out. According to Lyman’s and Dolley’s article, he died of multiple organ failure. Japan’s Prime Minister at the time, Keizo Obuchi, issued a statement expressing his condolences to the worker’s family and promised to improve nuclear safety measures, according to Japan Times.

Shinohara, Ouchi’s co-worker, died in April 2000 of multiple organ failure as well, according to The Guardian.

The Japanese government’s investigation concluded that the accident’s main causes included inadequate regulatory oversight, lack of an appropriate safety culture, and inadequate worker training and qualification, according to this April 2000 report by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Six officials from the company that operated the plant were charged with professional negligence and violating nuclear safety laws. In 2003, a court gave them suspended prison terms, and the company and at least one of the officials also were assessed fines, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Japan, radiation, Reference | 2 Comments

New Mexico’s ’s nuclear waste dump could be open ‘forever’ despite 2024 closure date. 

WIPP leaders also want approval for plan to increase waste storage


Shipments of nuclear waste to the nation’s only deep geological repository for the hazardous material show no signs of slowing in the coming years, despite the current permit calling for the plant to begin closing in 2024. 

The future of shipments to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant east of Carlsbad was the subject of debate and scrutiny during a meeting among a state legislative committee Friday in Clovis. The site stores waste like clothing, rags, soils and tools contaminated with radioactive elements due to nuclear weapons research and assembly in places like Los Alamos National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory. 

WIPP leaders are seeking renewal of the 10-year permit that allows the site to continue receiving shipments, plus the state’s approval of an expansion of the plant to store more waste.

But advocates closely watching the plant for decades say such approval could open the door to an unending stream of radioactive waste transported across the country into New Mexico.

So far this fiscal year, WIPP has received 190 shipments. The material arrives from about 10 sites across the country, shipped in large drums on semi-trailers along state roads and interstates. The site has received more than 13,000 such shipments since 1999. When the waste arrives, and if it meets meets WIPP’s safety standards, the material is “emplaced” for permanent disposal in one of eight large panels a half-mile below ground that are sealed when full.

The 1990 federal law that allowed WIPP to be created and an agreement between the state of New Mexico and United States Department of Energy permits the site to permanently hold up to 175,000 cubic meters of the waste. 

But WIPP needs more space to fulfill that mission, said Reinhard Knerr, manager of the DOE Carlsbad Field Office. Six of the eight panels are sealed, despite the facility having only disposed of 40% of the 175,000 cubic meters it can receive. …………………………………..

But Don Hancock, who runs the nuclear waste program at the Southwest Research and Information Center, said WIPP leaders are seeking to abandon the principles set out when WIPP began. He also fears the DOE is trying to prime the site to become the nation’s only recipient of this kind of radioactive waste for years to come. 

Hancock testified Friday that WIPP was meant to be a site that would permanently dispose of waste only until new repositories would be opened up across the country. The legislation creating WIPP says it would store “up to” 175,000 cubic meters, he noted, and he said lawmakers at the time fully expected that the site could be decommissioned without being filled completely. 

But instead, other potential sites across America have been identified but not opened in the intervening years, Hancock said, and an official told him recently at a public meeting that the DOE currently had “no plan” for a waste repository elsewhere. 

“WIPP is the only repository. It was supposed to be the first, but not only. Other repositories are necessary for legal reasons, agreements with the state of New Mexico, technical reasons,” Hancock told lawmakers. “But now the Department of Energy is saying they have no plan for any other… waste repository.”

Hancock said the state should use its role to push the Department of Energy to open up other sites elsewhere and should push for specific closure dates when the permit comes up for renewal. He also is asking the state Legislature to push for more transparency from the DOE and more public involvement.

The state is hoping to have a revised permit for WIPP by May of 2023, a state official told the panel. 

Hancock said the DOE has no longer even offered a potential closure date for WIPP in any of its recent permit applications. That’s another tell, he said, that shows the DOE no longer has any interest in finding an alternative to WIPP. 

The New Mexico Environment Department recently asked the feds to provide a potential closure date. The DOE said it could take as long as 2083 for WIPP to dispose of all current and projected waste being produced across the country. 

Hancock, speaking to Source New Mexico after the meeting, said the fact that DOE is being coy about the eventual closure of WIPP should concern generations of New Mexicans.

“When you’re supposed to be from 1999 to 2024 and are now say 1999 to 2083, that looks like forever,” he said. “Because if you go 60 years more, why are you not going to say again, ‘Oh, well, we don’t have any other place. So guess what?’”………………….

A 2020 analysis by the National Academies of Sciences found that all waste that has been generated or is planned to be, will exceed WIPP’s legal capacity by at least 10%. That’s another issue the DOE has not responded to publicly, Hancock said. 

The bi-partisan legislative committee, made up of state senators and representatives, ultimately voted to send a letter to the Department of Energy asking questions about shipments and seeking more transparency.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Regional security threat haunts nuclear power debate in Australia

we cannot ignore when weighing up these arguments that recent events at Zaporizhzhia help bolster the case against nuclear power. We would not want any future nuclear facilities to become hostage to the vagaries of war. Editorial, August 8, 2022, The alarm sounded by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Mariano Grossi, that fighting between Russian invaders and Ukrainian forces near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant carried “the very real risk of a nuclear disaster” is one with relevance far beyond the war raging within Ukraine’s borders.

The conflict has already served as a grim warning for powers such as Germany and the United States of the costs of relying on fossil fuel-producing nations with despotic leaders for energy supply. But Russia’s seizures of Zaporizhzhia and the defunct power plant at Chernobyl in the early days of the war – though Chernobyl later returned to Ukrainian control – have highlighted that a decision to increase reliance on nuclear power would carry risks even beyond the familiar ones.

As Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic pointed out during Grossi’s recent visit to this country, Australia has an exemplary record on nuclear safety. But one of the most important reasons for this is that we have a ban on using nuclear fission for power generation and have committed not to develop a nuclear arsenal under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

In recent times both these bans have returned to the spotlight, as the Coalition in opposition has raised the possibility of domestic nuclear power plants to address our energy needs. This followed the Morrison government’s signing of the AUKUS deal with London and Washington last year. The deal envisions Royal Australian Navy submarines being fuelled with weapons-grade uranium.

Peter Hartcher reported for The Agethat the first question US President Joe Biden raised when the AUKUS proposal was put to him was whether it breached non-proliferation commitments. The key to addressing this question has been paragraph 14 of the IAEA’s safeguards agreement with Australia, which creates a loophole allowing weapons-grade material to be used without the usual safeguards in “non-proscribed military activity”. Concerns were raised earlier this month, at the latest meeting to review the treaty, that regardless of Australia’s good intentions, this would set a precedent for further transfers of highly enriched nuclear material to other nations.

Grossi has pointed out that Iran, which first informed the IAEA of its interest in naval nuclear propulsion in 2018, cited the AUKUS deal to argue for its own plans at meetings in 2021.

Some argue that this is a form of proliferation, and even our allies and neighbours, from New Zealand to Indonesia, have expressed strong reservations about the AUKUS arrangement. Australia has said that the nuclear material in its submarines will be handled only by existing nuclear states. Nevertheless, the deal could lead to a perception that nuclear “haves” will simply ignore “have-nots”.

The case for nuclear power more broadly – replacing coal and gas with another non-renewable resource in uranium – faces its own hurdles, from the cost, to the emissions involved in mining and waste management to the question of where highly radioactive waste might be stored.

As The Age has pointed out, nuclear power generation globally is declining. One major reason is the expense. A recent CSIRO report underlines that renewables are far cheaper, even after transmission and storage are taken into account.

All sides of politics agree that Australia faces an increasingly complex and challenging security environment, from talk of Chinese bases in Cambodia and Solomon Islands to cyberattacks by rogue international actors targeting key infrastructure, while general-turned-Coalition senator Jim Molan has outlined an even more apocalyptic scenario, a “second Pearl Harbour” aimed at establishing Chinese supremacy in the western Pacific.

The Age has agreed in the past that Australia should be prepared to have another look at the arguments for nuclear power. That remains our position. But we cannot ignore when weighing up these arguments that recent events at Zaporizhzhia help bolster the case against it. We would not want any future nuclear facilities to become hostage to the vagaries of war.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Fukushima water dumping plan triggers fresh anger from South Korea

As water-dumping moves advance, S. Koreans seek firm regional stance, By YANG HAN in Hong Kong |2022-08-09

Japan’s plan to dump radioactive wastewater from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant will endanger the lives of people in the Asia-Pacific region, say experts who want to see stepped-up efforts against the ocean disposal from the countries most at risk.

South Koreans have been among those expressing their opposition to the plan, and voices have again been raised after Japan moved a step closer to implementing its planned discharge of the nuclear-contaminated water from next year, following the recent approval of the plan’s details by the nation’s nuclear regulator.

“The discharge of wastewater from Fukushima is an act of contaminating the Pacific Ocean as well as the sea area of South Korea,” said Ahn Jae-hun, energy and climate change director at the Korea Federation for Environment Movement, an advocacy group in Seoul.

“Many people in South Korea believe that Japan’s discharge of the Fukushima wastewater is a wrong policy that threatens the safety of both the sea and humans,” Ahn told China Daily.

Last month, Japan’s nuclear regulator approved the plan to discharge wastewater into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, after it built up a huge amount of radiation-tainted water. The water has been collected and stored in tanks following efforts to cool down the reactors after an earthquake and tsunami struck Japan in 2011.

The dumping plan has drawn fierce opposition from government officials and civic groups in South Korea, one of the world’s major consumers of seafood.

On Aug 1, South Korea’s Minister of Oceans and Fisheries Cho Seunghwan said the government is considering whether to take the issue to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Yonhap News Agency reported. Cho said the government’s primary plan is to prevent Japan from releasing the contaminated water. “We do not accept the release plan”, he said.

Ahn said radioactive materials can generate long-term effects and it remains unclear how they will affect the marine ecosystem.

Though the South Korean government is considering taking the issue to the international tribunal, Ahn said it will be difficult to quantify the potential damage.

South Korea has said it will conduct a thorough analysis and revision of the impact of Japan’s plan, but the government has not received enough data from Japan to conduct such research, South Korea’s Hankyoreh newspaper reported in June.

After Japan’s nuclear regulator approved the Fukushima discharge plan, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said Tokyo needs to transparently explain and gain consent from neighboring countries before releasing the contaminated water.

Potential impact

Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany, said the environmental group is concerned about the potential impact of the water’s release on the wider Asia-Pacific region.

The level of exposure depends on multiple variables including the concentration in seawater and how quickly it concentrates, disperses and dilutes, forms of life, and the type of radionuclide released and how that disperses or concentrates as it moves through the environment, Burnie said.

“The concentrations are of direct relevance to those who may consume them, including marine species like fish and, ultimately, humans,” Burnie told China Daily.

Noting that the Fukushima contaminated water issue comes under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as it is a form of pollution to international waters, Burnie said there are strong grounds for individual countries to file a legal challenge against Japan’s plan.

Ahn said joint expressions of opposition in the region could force the Japanese government to choose a safe method to deal with the wastewater instead of dumping it into the sea. China is also among the neighboring countries that have voiced opposition to the Fukushima discharge plan.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Japan, oceans, South Korea, wastes | Leave a comment

70% of Western weapons sent to Ukraine don’t reach troops – CBS 8 Aug 22, Report suggests US appears to be repeating the mistakes of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

With the US and its allies pledging unprecedented levels of military support to Ukraine, a recent CBS News report suggested that only around 30% of the weapons sent by the West actually make it to the front lines. The report adds to ongoing rumors of waste, corruption, and black market profiteering. 

The US has approved more than $54 billion of economic and military aid to Ukraine since February, while the UK has committed nearly $3 billion in military aid alone, and the EU has spent another $2.5 billion on arms for Kiev. An entire spectrum of equipment, from rifles and grenades to anti-tank missiles and multiple launch rocket systems have left the West’s armories for Ukraine, with most entering the country through Poland.

However, this rarely goes smoothly, CBS News revealed this week.

“All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” Jonas Ohman, the founder of a Lithuania-based organization supplying the Ukrainian military, told the American network. Ohman said that getting the weapons to the troops involves navigating a complex network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players.”

The new CBS Reports documentary, “Arming Ukraine,” explores why much of the billions of dollars of military aid that the U.S. is sending to Ukraine doesn’t make it to the front lines: “Like 30% of it reaches its final destination.” Stream now:

— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 5, 2022

“There is really no information as to where they’re going at all,” Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis adviser with Amnesty International, told CBS. “What is really worrying is that some countries that are sending weapons do not seem to think that it is their responsibility to put in place a very robust oversight mechanism.”

Ukraine insists that it tracks each and every weapon that crosses its borders, with Yuri Sak, an adviser to Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov, telling the Financial Times last month that reports to the contrary “could be part of Russia’s information war to discourage international partners from providing Ukraine with weaponry.”

However, some officials in the West have sounded alarm bells. A US intelligence source told CNN in April that Washington has “almost zero” idea what happens to these arms, describing the shipments as dropping “into a big black hole” once they enter Ukraine. Canadian sources said last month that they have “no idea” where their weapons deliveries actually end up.

Europol has claimed that some of these weapons have ended up in the hands of organized crime groups in the EU, while the Russian government has warned that they are showing up in the Middle East. An investigation by RT in June found online marketplaces where sophisticated Western hardware – such as Javelin and NLAW anti-tank systems or Phoenix Ghost and Switchblade explosive drones – was apparently being sold for pennies on the dollar.

Ukraine is consistently ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, scoring 122/180 on Transparency International’s 2021 ‘Corruption Perceptions Index’, where 180 represents the most corrupt and 0 the least.

In Washington, drawing attention to this corruption is frowned upon by both parties in Congress. Representative Victoria Spartz, a Ukrainian-born lawmaker, has reportedly been cautioned by her colleagues and the White House for suggesting that Congress should establish “proper oversight” of its weapons shipments due to the alleged corruption within Vladimir Zelensky’s government. ………………………. more

August 8, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sizewell C nuclear station approval faces legal challenge

Campaigners have begun a legal challenge against the government’s decision to give the Sizewell C nuclear power station the go-ahead amid warnings that UK nuclear plants will be on the frontline of climate breakdown.

Citing the threat to water supplies in an area officially designated as seriously water stressed, the threats to coastal areas from climate change and environmental damage, the challenge is the first step in a judicial review of the planning consent.

The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, overruled the independent Planning Inspectorate to grant permission for the new nuclear reactor in Suffolk in July. Kwarteng is pushing ahead with
government plans to approve one new nuclear reactor a year as part of an energy strategy that aims to bolster the UK’s nuclear capacity, with the hope that by 2050 up to 25% of projected energy demand will come from it.

But Sizewell C has faced stiff opposition from local campaigners, and environmental groups both for its cost and the environmental impact. In a letter to Kwarteng outlining their legal challenge Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) argues that the permission by the government for the plant was given unlawfully. Represented by Leigh Day solicitors and supported by Friends of the Earth, the group says there was a failure to assess the implications of the project as a whole, by ignoring the issue of whether a permanent water supply could be secured, a failure to assess the environmental impact of that project and the suggestion that the site would be clear of nuclear material by 2140, which was not upheld by evidence showing highly radioactive waste would have to be stored on site until a much later date.

The Planning Inspectorate had rejected the scheme saying “unless the outstanding water supply strategy can be resolved and sufficient information provided to enable the secretary of state to carry out his obligations under the Habitats Regulations, the case for an order granting development consent for the application is not made out”.

Pete Wilkinson, chair of TASC, said: “The case against Sizewell C is overwhelming, as has been carefully documented throughout the inquiry stage and was found by the planning inspector to have merit. “Even to consider building a £20bn-plus nuclear power plant without first securing a water supply is a measure of the fixation this government has for nuclear power and its panic in making progress towards an energy policy which is as unachievable as it is inappropriate for the 21st-century challenges we

Guardian 8th Aug 2022

August 8, 2022 Posted by | climate change, Legal, opposition to nuclear, UK, water | Leave a comment

UK tax-payers face £billions of costs for the indefinite future in the clean-up of closed Hinkley Point B nuclear power station

‘End of an error’, say protesters as nuclear plant is shut down. LAST
week’s closure of Hinkley Point B after 46 years was described by
anti-nuclear campaign group Stop Hinkley as ‘the end of an error’. Stop
Hinkley spokesman Roy Pumfrey said Monday (August 1) was not a day to
celebrate the life of Hinkley Point B.

He said Monday was a day to mourn
the production of radioactive waste that would need to be carefully and
expensively managed and monitored for many generations to come. Mr Pumfrey
said: “Some of these timescales for managing the legacy of waste left
over by Hinkley B are truly staggering. EDF’s jamboree on Monday
conveniently ignores the nuclear waste which has been generated over the
past 46 years.

“Under current plans it will be at least another 100 years
before all this dangerous waste is under the ground. “And the costs are
staggering, too. “EDF’s most recent £23.5 billion estimate for
decommissioning advanced gas-cooled reactors (AGRs) suggests it could cost
around £3-4 billion to decommission Hinkley B.

“The taxpayer has been
asked to top up the decommissioning fund by over £10 billion. “Past
experience suggests these costs will continue rising.” Mr Pumfrey said
the UK was left with Hinkley’s legacy of nuclear waste for thousands of
years and even after 46 years, nobody yet knew for sure what would happen
to it other than a ‘vague promise’ to bury it in a geological disposal
facility – a site for which had still not been found.

West Somerset Free Press 7th Aug 2022

August 8, 2022 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

Ukraine calls for demilitarised zone around the shelled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

International alarm over shelling attacks on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex has grown with Kyiv warning of a Chornobyl-style catastrophe and appealing for the area to be a demilitarised zone.

Key points:

  • Ukraine and Russia have traded blame for attacks on the Zaporizhzhia plant 
  • Russia says it is ready to enable UN watchdog visit to the plant 
  • Twelve grain ships have left Ukrainian ports since last week 

The United Nations chief called for UN nuclear inspectors to be given access to the plant as Kyiv and Moscow traded blame for the shelling.

“Any attack (on) a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.

Petro Kotin, head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom, called for a team of peacekeepers to be deployed at the Zaporizhzhia site which is still run by Ukrainian technicians………………………………………………………. more

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Free Local Authorities Briefing to Local Councils – Energy Minister responds to NFLA concerns over Nuclear Liabilities Fund.

Richard Outram, 8 Aug 22. In response to Parliamentary concerns that the cost of decommissioning redundant nuclear power stations was out of control, and after hearing news that a further £10.7 billion of public money has been made available by the UK Government to bolster the finances of the Nuclear Liabilities Fund, the public – private sector body responsible for managing finances of approximately £15 billion to meet the long-term cost of decommissioning (, in early June the Chair of the NFLA Cllr David Blackburn wrote to the Energy Minister Greg Hands to urge him to give the NLF Board more latitude to invest in green energy to make the fund sustainable. On 25 July, Minister Hands replied. This briefing includes our initial media release, Cllr Blackburn’s letter to Minister Greg Hands and the Minister’s response.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Risk of death rises as climate change causes nighttime temperatures to climb

Excessively hot nights caused by climate change are predicted to increase the mortality rate around the world by up to 60% by the end of the century, according to a new international study.

Risk of death rises as climate change causes nighttime temperatures to climb

Excessively hot nights caused by climate change are predicted to increase the mortality rate around the world by up to 60% by the end of the century, according to a new international study.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) oppose plans for a nuclear fusion plant in North Ayshire, on environmental and other grounds

Anti-nuclear campaigners have accused organisations supporting plans for a
nuclear fusion plant in North Ayrshire of having promoted the project with
“half truths” and warned it would be “dangerous” for the

A consortium, which includes Glasgow University and North
Ayrshire Council, is backing a prototype fusion energy plant at Ardeer,
capable of providing what they claim would be an environmentally-friendly
source of electricity. The plant would create an estimated 3,500 jobs
during construction and 1,000 jobs when the site begins operating,
according to the project’s backers.

However, Ayrshire CND argued that
fusion is a nuclear technology with radioactive risks since it requires
tritium – a radioactive isotope of hydrogen – during the process. The group
also claimed the plant would “create a considerable carbon footprint”.

Environmental groups are calling for the Ardeer peninsula to be given
special status to protect its diverse wildlife. Ayrshire CND has accused
North Ayrshire Council of committing to supporting the £222m project
without having a full council discussion. The campaign group’s Richard Leat
also questioned what the public has been told. “We are told that this is
not really a nuclear plant,” he claimed. “We are being sold this plant
with half truths.” Leat pointed to a poll by the Ardrossan Herald which
found the majority of 502 responses – 69 per cent – were against the plant.
“Furthermore, outwith the general risks from nuclear energy, the site
would require monitoring and tight security for many, many decades, which
will restrict public access to the peninsula and beach,” Leat continued.

The Ferret 7th Aug 2022

August 8, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, technology, UK | Leave a comment