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TODAY. Constant wars are essential to keep America’s only big industry (weapons sales) going

Arundhati Roy says, “Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured to sell weapons”

But what would Arundhati Roy know about anything?

After all – she’s only a woman. And she’s a brown person, not white. But, most damning of all – she’s not a weapons expert – i.e in the pay of America, corporations, military, or government.

Bruce Gagnon comments about –

“we won’t make ‘consumer products’ anymore because it was cheaper to send those jobs overseas. Our role in the US, Barnett said, would be ‘security export’. Thus it should be no surprise that the #1 industrial export product of the US today is weapons. When weapons are your #1 industrial export product, what is your ‘global marketing strategy’ for that product line?

The USA doctrine of endless war is a bipartisan economic plan. Washington and its NATO allies are now planning for war with Russia and China.

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August 26, 2022 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Imperiled Ukrainian nuclear power plant has the world on edge – a safety expert explains what could go wrong

The Conversation, Najmedin Meshkati, 26 Aug 22, “…………………………………… What are the risks to a nuclear plant in a conflict zone?

Nuclear power plants are built for peacetime operations, not wars.

The worst thing that could happen is if a site is deliberately or accidentally shelled. If a shell hit the plant’s spent fuel pool – which contains the still-radioactive spent fuel – or if fire spread to the spent fuel pool, it could release radiation. This spent fuel pool isn’t in the containment building, and as such is more vulnerable.

Containment buildings, which house nuclear reactors, are also not protected against deliberate shelling. They are built to withstand a minor internal explosion of, say, a pressurized water pipe. But they are not designed to withstand a huge explosion.

As to the reactors in the containment building, it depends on the weapons being used. The worst-case scenario is that a bunker-buster missile breaches the containment dome – consisting of a thick shell of reinforced concrete on top of the reactor – and explodes. That would badly damage the nuclear reactor and release radiation into the atmosphere, which would make it difficult to send in first responders to contain any resulting fire. It could be another Chernobyl.

What are the concerns going forward?

The safety problems I see are twofold:

1) Human error……….

2) Power failure

The second problem is that the nuclear plant needs constant electricity, and that is harder to maintain in wartime.

Even if you shut down the reactors, the plant will need off-site power to run the huge cooling system to remove the residual heat in the reactor and bring it to what is called a cold shutdown. Water circulation is always needed to make sure the spent fuel doesn’t overheat.

Spent fuel pools also need constant water circulation to keep them cool, and they need cooling for several years before they can be put in dry casks. One of the problems in the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan was the emergency generators intended to replace lost off-site power got inundated with water and failed. In situations like that, you get “station blackout” – and that is one of the worst things that could happen. It means no electricity to run the cooling system.

In that circumstance, the spent fuel overheats and its zirconium cladding can create hydrogen bubbles. If you can’t vent these bubbles, they will explode, spreading radiation.

If there is a loss of outside power, operators will have to rely on emergency generators. But emergency generators are huge machines – finicky, unreliable gas guzzlers. And you still need cooling waters for the generators themselves.

My biggest worry is that Ukraine suffers from a sustained power grid failure. The likelihood of this increases during a conflict because power line pylons may come down under shelling, or gas power plants might get damaged and cease to operate. …………………….

How else does a war affect the safety of nuclear plants?

One of the overarching concerns about the effects of war on nuclear plants is that war degrades safety culture, which is crucial in running a plant……………………..

War adversely affects safety culture in a number of ways. Operators are stressed and fatigued and may be scared to death to speak out if something is going wrong. Then there is the maintenance of a plant, which may be compromised by lack of staff or unavailability of spare parts.

Governance, regulation and oversight – all crucial for the safe running of a nuclear industry – are also disrupted, as is local infrastructure, such as the capability of local firefighters. In war, everything is harder……………..  https://theconversation.com/imperiled-ukrainian-nuclear-power-plant-has-the-world-on-edge-a-safety-expert-explains-what-could-go-wrong-189429

August 26, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia-Ukraine war: Ukraine announces mandatory evacuations

Guardian 27 Aug 22, Residents near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine have reportedly been given iodine tablets, amid mounting fears that the fighting around the complex could trigger a catastrophe. It comes after the plant, Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant, was temporarily disconnected from Ukraine’s national grid after all lines to it were cut on Thursday.

……………..

  • By Friday afternoon, Energoatom, Ukraine’s state nuclear agency, said one of the two working reactors had been reconnected to the grid. The one reactor is building up capacity, the agency said, thanking the plant’s working for “tirelessly and firmly” keeping “the nuclear and radiation safety of Ukraine and the whole of Europe on their shoulders”.
  • ………………………….A team of inspectors from the UN nuclear watchdog are poised to make an emergency visit to the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, according to reports. Sources have told the Wall Street Journal that it is “almost certain” that a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will visit the plant early next week, although details are still being completed.
  • EU energy ministers will gather for an urgent meeting as soon as possible to discuss the current energy crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Czech prime minister said. The Czech Republic currently holds the presidency of the European Council.
  • Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, has announced plans to expand mandatory evacuations for civilians living on the war’s front lines. Speaking on national television, Vereshchuk said evacuating women with children and elderly people would be a priority from some districts of the eastern Kharkiv region and the southern Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv regions.
  • …………………………………….. The German ambassador to the UK has acknowledged that there is a risk that public support for Ukraine could wane this winter as the energy crisis intensifies. 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/aug/26/russia-ukraine-war-un-determined-to-visit-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-russia-turning-site-into-active-war-zone-says-us-live-news

August 26, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Bruce Gagnon Interview: An Objective Look at U.S. Foreign Policy

“Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured to sell weapons”.

BY JOHN RACHEL, 26 Aug 22,

Events continue to unfold at a quickening pace. Facing an alarming escalation in tensions around the world, we asked Bruce Gagnon for his most current thoughts.

Bruce Gagnon is the Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, and was a co-founder of the Global Network when it was created in 1992………………. He is currently an active member of Veterans for Peace.

……………Here is what Bruce had to say.

Q. We hear a lot of terms and acronyms bandied about. ‘Deep State’ … ‘MIC’ … ‘FIRE sector’ … ‘ruling elite’ … ‘oligarchy’ … ‘neocons’. Who actually defines and sets America’s geopolitical priorities and determines our foreign policy? Not “officially”. Not constitutionally. But de facto.

A. The banksters in London and Wall Street are the essential movers and shakers of US-UK-NATO foreign policy. The CIA is their primary arm of control. Add to them the burgeoning global military industrial complex and the political ‘mis-leaders’ they generously contribute to. The corporate controlled mainstream media are also accessories to the present day crimes. Together they add up to a formidable crew of what I call ‘pirates’ who are stealing the national treasures throughout the western capitalist world and using them to supress and colonize others across the Global South and here at home.

Q. We’ve had decades of international tensions. Recent developments have seen a sharp escalation in the potential for a major war. ………………..  war inevitable and peace impossible?

A. During the reign of George W. Bush in Washington, at the time of the US ‘shock and awe’ attack in Iraq, I was watching C-SPAN one evening. They introduced then Naval War College instructor Thomas Barnett (author of a book called ‘The Pentagon’s New Map’) and they announced that in the audience were hundreds of top-level Pentagon officers and CIA bigwigs. During his talk Barnett told the assembled that due to globalization of the world economy every nation would have a specific role to fill. In the US he said we won’t make ‘consumer products’ anymore because it was cheaper to send those jobs overseas. Our role in the US, Barnett said, would be ‘security export’. Thus it should be no surprise that the #1 industrial export product of the US today is weapons. When weapons are your #1 industrial export product, what is your ‘global marketing strategy’ for that product line?

Barnett (introduced as Rumsfeld’s ‘strategy guy’) also told the leading brass that the Pentagon would be endlessly fighting to take control of the ‘non-integrating gap’ around the globe – those parts of the world that were not submitting to the authority of corporate globalization. He instructed the audience to go and teach these ‘new concepts’ to those under their authority if they hoped to get promoted within the system in the years ahead.

For more than a year after this Barnett presentation I witnessed him being squired around Washington speaking to Republican and Democrat audiences on C-SPAN. It was evident to me that his ‘new doctrine’ was a bi-partisan plan. Since that time it has become quite clear that this is true as we now see the Democrats leading the proxy war on Russia – using Ukraine as the hammer in this dangerous and provocative attempt to force regime change in Moscow. Pelosi’s recent ill-fated trip to Taiwan also indicates the plan to force regime change in Beijing.

Imagine that Washington and its NATO allies, who limped out of Afghanistan after 20 years of brutal occupation there, are now planning for war with Russia and China. The absurdity is beyond imagination. It reveals much about their psychopathology.

As long as this reality persists then we will move from one war to another. Arundhati Roy says, “Once weapons were manufactured to fight wars. Now wars are manufactured to sell weapons”. She is right on the money…………………..

Q. Our leaders relentlessly talk about our “national interests” and our “national security”, warning that both are under constant assault. Yet, we spend more than the next nine countries combined on our military. Why does such colossal spending never seem to be enough?


A.
 When they talk about ‘national interests’ they are actually talking about the interests of the banksters. When they talk about ‘freedom’ they are talking about their freedom to steal the national wealth from nations with resources and the people around the world. Washington claims that Russia wants to re-create the former Soviet Union and take control of Europe. In 2022 Russia is spending $66 billion on their military. It is a defensive military to protect their vast border regions. The US this year is spending $800 billion plus. When you add up the hidden military spending in the other pots of gold – like the nuclear weapons spending inside the Department of Energy budget – the US total is around $1.2 trillion this year. They are robbing us blind and we keep handing over our hard-earned tax dollars. Why?………………………………………………….  

  •   We need to convert the military industrial complex (the war machine) to build public mass transit systems, tidal power systems, solar, wind power and the like – all of which would create more jobs than weapons manufacturing does.
  • We need to ban corporate funding of elections. We need to open up a multi-party system so that more voices can be heard by the voters.
  • We need to end the massive poverty that exists (which will be worsening in the near future) by taxing the rich and corporations. 
  • Stop the massive corporate subsides – welfare for the rich.
  • We need to close down the more than 800 US military bases around the world and cut the Pentagon budget by at least 80%. 
  • We only need a defensive military that protects our borders.
  • Do all these things and we might have a chance if we don’t first perish from a red-hot nuclear war or climate crisis.We don’t have time to fool around. 
  • Folks need to get off their arses and speak out NOW.  ………..

https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/08/23/bruce-gagnon-interview-an-objective-look-at-u-s-foreign-policy/

August 26, 2022 Posted by | politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Biden Pledges Nearly $3 Billion To Ukraine In Largest U.S. Military Aid Package Yet

U.S. President Joe Biden has announced nearly $3 billion in new U.S. military aid for Kyiv as Ukraine marked its independence day six months after Russia invaded the country.

“On behalf of all Americans, I congratulate the people of Ukraine on their Independence Day,” Biden said in a statement on August 24.

“The United States of America is committed to supporting the people of Ukraine as they continue the fight to defend their sovereignty. As part of that commitment, I am proud to announce our biggest tranche of security assistance to date: approximately $2.98 billion of weapons and equipment to be provided through the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative,” Biden said.

The financial package will allow Kyiv to obtain air-defense and artillery systems, ammunition, counter-unmanned aerial systems, and radars, the statement said…………….

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, the United States has provided $10.6 billion in military assistance to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s government.

On August 23, Germany said it will soon ship more than 500 million euros’ ($499.3 million) worth of weapons to Ukraine.  https://www.rferl.org/a/biden-pledges-3-billion-military-aid-ukraine/32002639.html

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

All About Groundwater – Hanford part 2

In Part 1 we covered the basics of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory report, Adaptive Site Management Strategies for the Hanford Central Plateau Groundwater, that outlines an innovative strategy to tackle the challenge of groundwater cleanup. In Part 2 we’ll cover the history of Hanford’s soil and groundwater contamination, current cleanup strategies, and the various challenges to cleaning up the soil and groundwater.

Hanford’s history of soil contamination

The Hanford Site has a history of dumping radioactive and chemical waste directly into the ground on site. About 450 billion gallons of nuclear and chemical waste were dumped directly into the soil during the plutonium production years—the equivalent of more than 680,000 Olympic-size swimming pools. Manhattan Project workers dumped waste in unlined cribs, ponds, ditches, and trenches—four different types of holes in the ground used for disposing of waste. Injection wells pumped the toxic waste directly into the soil to dispose of it.

Workers constructed 177 underground tanks (149 single-shell tanks and 28 double-shell tanks) to hold the most dangerous, high-level waste. However, the soil contamination didn’t stop there. These enormous underground tanks were connected in a row of three or four tanks. The Manhattan Project workers used a process called cascading—which allowed them to fill up one tank with waste, and while the waste solids settled to the bottom, the liquids would flow from one tank to another. If too much waste was added to the final tank, it would overflow to the soil. “From 1944 through the late 1980s, Hanford generated nearly 2 million cubic meters (525 million gallons) of high-level tank waste. Liquid evaporation, discharge to the ground, chemical treatment, and tank leakage reduced this volume by 90%—to 204,000 cubic meters (54 million gallons).”[1]

Cascading wasn’t the only way that waste reached the soil from the tanks. The tank farms were backfilled under an 8-to-10-foot layer of soil before waste was added. Workers built the single-shell tanks between 1943 and 1964. As their name suggests, they only have one liner of carbon steel to contain the waste. Sixty-seven single-shell tanks are known or suspected to have leaked 1 million gallons of waste into the surrounding soil. Two single-shell tanks—B-109 and T-111—are currently leaking. The single-shell tanks were designed to contain the waste for 20-25 years, and they are now more than 40 years past their design life. As these tanks get older and older, they are more likely to fail—causing the waste to leak out into the soil. Once the waste gets into the soil it may remain there—making it very hard to remove—or it may travel with water through the soil and reach the groundwater.

Current cleanup of the groundwater

Today, the soil at the Hanford Site (particularly in the Central Plateau) remains heavily contaminated. Some radioactive and chemical contaminants are more mobile in water, which means a rainstorm may cause those contaminants to move with the water through the soil—reaching the groundwater and ultimately the Columbia River.

One of the cleanup methods to prevent contaminants from spreading and reaching the groundwater is to remove contaminated soil by digging it up and disposing of it in the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility. Hanford Challenge is concerned that USDOE will decide that it doesn’t need to dig up all of the contaminated soil and will leave it in place—which would increase the risk of harm to future generations.

USDOE implements specific strategies for cleaning up the groundwater. One of those strategies is pump and treat. Pump and treat is the process of pumping contaminated water to the surface, filtering out some of the contaminants, and injecting the water back into the ground. Monitoring wells, extraction wells, and injection wells are interspersed throughout the Hanford Site to implement the pump and treat process. There are six pump and treat facilities on site.

Soil flushing is one strategy used to enhance the pump and treat process. Some contaminants remain in the soil and may take a long time to reach the groundwater. Until the contaminants hit the groundwater, they are impossible to capture with the pump and treat system. Soil flushing speeds up the process by using 225 gallons of water per minute to force—or flush—these hard-to-reach contaminants down to the groundwater where they can be brought up to the surface with the pump and treat system. USDOE has found success using soil flushing to push hexavalent chromium to the groundwater to treat it.

An additional strategy for meeting water quality standards is monitored natural attenuation. Contamination is left to naturally attenuate, which means letting the radiation decay over time. It sounds like a do-nothing approach, and it basically is.

Challenges to groundwater cleanup

USDOE faces many challenges when pursuing groundwater cleanup. As previously mentioned, there are hundreds of contaminated soil sites at Hanford due to past dumping practices and leaking underground tanks. The extent of groundwater contamination is vast.

  1. There are significant data gaps regarding the number of contaminants in the vadose zone (the area of soil between the ground surface and the water table), the depth and location of the contamination, and the risk the contamination poses to groundwater.
  2. Some hard-to-control, persistent contaminants, such as technetium-99, iodine-129, uranium, nitrate, and chromium, are located in the deep vadose zone and pose a long-term risk to the groundwater.
  3. There are extensive groundwater plumes with intermixed contaminants (or contaminants located together), making it difficult to accurately measure the total amount in the aquifer and the contaminant distribution.

  4. Depending on the contaminant, one specific treatment may work better than another. When contaminants are intermixed, the treatment process becomes more complex. Multiple technologies used in tandem or various treatment methods may need to be used to effectively treat intermixed contaminants.
  5. The soil underneath the tank farms is contaminated by tank leaks, accidental spills, and intentional releases, which creates an additional pathway for contaminants in the soil to reach groundwater. As tanks leak—potentially more frequently—they become an additional complexity in groundwater cleanup.
  6. A borehole is a circular hole drilled into soil or rock that draws samples from deep below ground. USDOE uses boreholes to characterize, or identify, the physical and chemical properties of the contaminants in the vadose zone. Unfortunately, deep borehole characterization is limited in certain areas due to the high price of drilling—contributing to the lack of information regarding the amount, location, and strength of contaminants in the soil.

Geological challenges to groundwater cleanup

Hanford’s geology poses unique challenges to groundwater cleanup. Manhattan Project managers chose the site partially for its geology and proximity to the Columbia River. The reprocessing facilities were sited in certain areas at Hanford because the gravelly soil allowed them to dump waste into the ground, where it percolated down and vanished without a trace. It was a handy way of disposing of the waste—it just disappeared—but the dumped waste now requires a complicated cleanup strategy.

The 200 Area in the Central Plateau contains a high hydraulic conductivity zone that consists of porous soils and rocks that allow contaminants to quickly move through the soil to groundwater and eventually to the Columbia River. USDOE doesn’t know the exact size and location of the hydraulic conductivity zone in the 200 Area, which means that the underground movement of liquids between the Central Plateau and the Columbia River is still an area of considerable uncertainty. On the other hand, some places at Hanford’s Central Plateau have less permeable soils that trap specific contaminants, making it difficult to separate the contaminants from the soil and treat them using the most common cleanup strategies.

Ancient lake beds are hidden underneath the surface and cause contaminants to move laterally (horizontally) instead of vertically down to the groundwater. Lake beds cause contaminants to take longer to reach the groundwater because they aren’t taking the most direct route straight down, and are instead moving sideways. USDOE uses models to predict when specific contaminants will reach groundwater. USDOE bases its models on the assumption that contaminants move vertically to the groundwater. However, ancient lake beds and the lateral flow of contaminants challenge that assumption and highlight the need for USDOE to update its models to better account for the geologic conditions underneath the site.

Perched water also complicates groundwater cleanup. Imagine a bird’s nest that is perched or sitting in a tree. Now, imagine that bird’s nest perched in a tree underground and filled with water. As contaminants move through the soil they can get caught and trapped in that underground bird’s nest. The underground nest creates a pocket of contaminants that is hidden and hard to reach. USDOE is aware of several contaminated perched water areas at Hanford, but lacks information about the size, what contaminants they hold, and how full the perched water areas are. USDOE must incorporate perched water areas into its strategies to ensure a comprehensive cleanup plan for groundwater.

Groundwater cleanup at Hanford is incredibly complex due to the history of waste disposal, the inherently dangerous nature of the contaminants, and the challenges created by the site’s geology. Hanford Challenge urges USDOE to update its groundwater models to include the intricacies of Hanford’s geology, such as ancient lake beds and perched water. Hanford Challenge also encourages USDOE to recognize, investigate, and resolve the uncertainties present in groundwater cleanup.

If you are interested in learning more about Hanford’s geology, check out Tim Connor’s presentation on the cataclysmic floods that shaped the Hanford Site and Vince Panesko’s presentation on the ancient lake beds that impact cleanup.

 

This blog post is funded through a Public Participation Grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology. The content was reviewed for grant consistency, but is not necessarily endorsed by the agency.

[1] Gephart, Roy. E. (2003). A Short History of Hanford Waste Generation, Storage, and Release. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PNNL-13605.

August 26, 2022 Posted by | Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Russia says it destroyed howitzer used to shell Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Aug 26 (Reuters) – Russia’s Defence Ministry said on Friday that its forces had destroyed a U.S.-made M777 howitzer which it said Ukraine had used to shell the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

In its daily briefing, the Defence Ministry said that the howitzer had been destroyed west of the town of Marganets, in Ukraine’s Dnipropetrovsk region.

Reuters could not immediately verify the report.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, Europe’s largest, was captured by Russian forces in March. It remains near the frontline, and has repeatedly come under fire in recent weeks. Both Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling the facility.

 https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-says-it-destroyed-howitzer-used-shell-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-2022-08-26/

August 26, 2022 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A Crucial Week For The Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran Nuclear Deal Has Never Been Closer,  https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/A-Crucial-Week-For-The-Iran-Nuclear-Deal.html 26 Aug 22, Indirect talks between the United States and Iran are moving closer to a final stage as both Tehran and Washington have responded to the European Union’s final draft, with further talks expected next week.
-It remains to be seen if the Iranian authorities would drop demands such as scrapping the IRGC from the US terrorist list or demanding written guarantees there would be no sudden US snapback on the JCPOA.
-Iranian crude exports have averaged approximately 800,000 b/d so far this year, the highest level since the Trump administration quit the JCPOA, as oversight turned laxer.
-There have been no exports to Europe since November 2018, whilst almost all of Asian demand is coming from China which takes in cargoes either directly or via ship-to-ship transfers in Malaysia.

August 26, 2022 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran’s UN envoy slams Israel refusal to join NPT, urges nuclear-weapon-free zone in Middle East

Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to possess 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, making it the sole possessor of non-conventional arms in West Asia.

Friday, 26 August 2022,

A senior Iranian diplomat has denounced Israel’s continued refusal to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), stressing that establishing a Middle East region free of nuclear weapons is of utmost importance.

Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Friday on the sidelines of the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons held at the UN headquarters in New York.

“The issue of the Middle East as a region free of nuclear weapons is one of the important discussions… because the Israeli regime, as the only possessor of hundreds of nuclear warheads, is not ready to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and place its nuclear facilities under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” he said.

He added that Israel’s refusal to join the NPT comes as some countries are cooperating with the regime and have always supported it.

The Iranian delegation attending the tenth NPT review conference played a constructive role in highlighting the significance of a Middle East region free of weapons of mass destruction, he said

As documents relating to the NPT review conferences in 1995, 2000, and 2010 have explicitly announced that the Israeli regime must join the treaty, the Iranian team emphasized that the issue should also be included in the final statement of the 10th NPT review meeting, Takht-Ravanchi added.

He emphasized that during the current conference, the Islamic Republic clearly announced that it would not back down from its stance on the importance of a Middle East without any weapons of mass destruction.

“We said that this issue is one of the red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran and if they want to act honestly and constructively, the literature used in the statements of previous conferences should also be used in this conference in order to move towards a Middle East without nuclear weapons,” the senior Iranian diplomat pointed out.

He noted that Iran seeks to reach a consensus with the participants at the current NPT review conference but it has principles and certain measures must be carried out.

n a Monday address to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Takht-Ravanchi expressed concern over the lack of progress in the implementation of the 1995 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) resolution and the 2010 action plan on the Middle East, saying the Israeli regime must eliminate its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Takht-Ravanchi also slammed the US double standards, saying Israel’s accession to the NPT “without precondition and further delay” and the placement of all of its nuclear activities and facilities under the comprehensive IAEA safeguards are “essential in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East and the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East.”

Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to possess 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal, making it the sole possessor of non-conventional arms in West Asia.

The illegitimate entity has, however, refused to either allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.

What has emboldened Tel Aviv to accelerate its nuclear activities, according to observers, is the support from the US and Europe, the two countries most critical of Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

The regime has assassinated at least seven Iranian nuclear scientists and conducted a series of sabotage operations against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.

August 26, 2022 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Robot issue delays fuel removal from Fukushima nuclear plant

The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant says it is postponing the start of the removal of highly radioactive melted fuel from its damaged reactors because of delays in the development of a remote-controlled robotic arm

abc news, By, MARI YAMAGUCHI Associated Press, August 25, 2022, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings had originally planned to begin removing melted fuel from the Unit 2 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi plant last year, 10 years after the disaster triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

That plan was postponed until later this year, and now will be delayed further until about autumn next year because of additional work needed to improve the performance of the robotic arm, TEPCO said.

The giant arm, jointly developed by Veolia Nuclear Solutions of Britain and Japan‘s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, has been transported to Japan and is being adjusted at a testing facility south of the Fukushima plant…………………… https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory/robot-issue-delays-fuel-removal-fukushima-nuclear-plant-88839281

August 26, 2022 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Why Dr Jane Goodall is still hopeful about the Earth’s future

Why Dr Jane Goodall is still hopeful about the Earth’s future

The world-leading primatologist says poverty and unsustainable lifestyles are among the main drivers of environmental destruction.

August 26, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The west’s false narrative about Russia and China

 https://johnmenadue.com/the-wests-false-narrative-about-russia-and-china/ The Western narrative about the Ukraine war is that it is an unprovoked attack by Putin in the quest to recreate the Russian empire. Yet the real history starts with the Western promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not enlarge to the East, followed by four waves of NATO aggrandisement:

At the core of all of this is the US attempt to remain the world’s hegemonic power, by augmenting military alliances around the world to contain or defeat China and Russia. It’s a dangerous, delusional, and outmoded idea.

There is only one country whose self-declared fantasy is to be the world’s dominant power: the US.

 https://johnmenadue.com/the-wests-false-narrative-about-russia-and-china/ By Jeffrey Sachs, Aug 24, 2022, The world is on the edge of nuclear catastrophe in no small part because of the failure of Western political leaders to be forthright about the causes of the escalating global conflicts. The relentless Western narrative that the West is noble while Russia and China are evil is simple-minded and extraordinarily dangerous. It is an attempt to manipulate public opinion, not to deal with very real and pressing diplomacy.

The essential narrative of the West is built into US national security strategy. The core US idea is that China and Russia are implacable foes that are “attempting to erode American security and prosperity.” These countries are, according to the US, “determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their. militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

The irony is that since 1980 the US has been in at least 15 overseas wars of choice (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Panama, Serbia, Syria, and Yemen just to name a few), while China has been in none, and Russia only in one (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union. The US has military bases in 85 countries, China in 3, and Russia in 1 (Syria) beyond the former Soviet Union.

President Joe Biden has promoted this narrative, declaring that the greatest challenge of our time is the competition with the autocracies, which “seek to advance their own power, export and expand their influence around the world, and justify their repressive policies and practices as a more efficient way to address today’s challenges.” US security strategy is not the work of any single US president but of the US security establishment, which is largely autonomous, and operates behind a wall of secrecy.

The overwrought fear of China and Russia is sold to a Western public through manipulation of the facts. A generation earlier George W. Bush, Jr. sold the public on the idea that America’s greatest threat was Islamic fundamentalism, without mentioning that it was the CIA, with Saudi Arabia and other countries, that had created, funded, and deployed the jihadists in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere to fight America’s wars.

Or consider the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, which was painted in the Western media as an act of unprovoked perfidy. Years later, we learned that the Soviet invasion was actually preceded by a CIA operation designed to provoke the Soviet invasion! The same misinformation occurred vis-à-vis Syria. The Western press is filled with recriminations against Putin’s military assistance to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad beginning in 2015, without mentioning that the US supported the overthrow of al-Assad beginning in 2011, with the CIA funding a major operation (Timber Sycamore) to overthrow Assad years before Russia arrived.

Or more recently, when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recklessly flew to Taiwan despite China’s warnings, no G7 foreign minister criticised Pelosi’s provocation, yet the G7 ministers together harshly criticised China’s “overreaction” to Pelosi’s trip.

The Western narrative about the Ukraine war is that it is an unprovoked attack by Putin in the quest to recreate the Russian empire. Yet the real history starts with the Western promise to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not enlarge to the East, followed by four waves of NATO aggrandisement: in 1999, incorporating three Central European countries; in 2004, incorporating 7 more, including in the Black Sea and Baltic States; in 2008, committing to enlarge to Ukraine and Georgia; and in 2022, inviting four Asia-Pacific leaders to NATO to take aim at China.

Nor do the Western media mention the US role in the 2014 overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych; the failure of the Governments of France and Germany, guarantors of the Minsk II agreement, to press Ukraine to carry out its commitments; the vast US armaments sent to Ukraine during the Trump and Biden Administrations in the lead-up to war; nor the refusal of the US to negotiate with Putin over NATO enlargement to Ukraine.

Of course, NATO says that is purely defensive, so that Putin should have nothing to fear. In other words, Putin should take no notice of the CIA operations in Afghanistan and Syria; the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999; the NATO overthrow of Moammar Qaddafi in 2011; the NATO occupation of Afghanistan for 15 years; nor Biden’s “gaffe” calling for Putin’s ouster (which of course was no gaffe at all); nor US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stating that the US war aim in Ukraine is the weakening of Russia.

At the core of all of this is the US attempt to remain the world’s hegemonic power, by augmenting military alliances around the world to contain or defeat China and Russia. It’s a dangerous, delusional, and outmoded idea. The US has a mere 4.2% of the world population, and now a mere 16% of world GDP (measured at international prices). In fact, the combined GDP of the G7 is now less than that of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), while the G7 population is just 6 percent of the world compared with 41 percent in the BRICS.

There is only one country whose self-declared fantasy is to be the world’s dominant power: the US. It’s past time that the US recognised the true sources of security: internal social cohesion and responsible cooperation with the rest of the world, rather than the illusion of hegemony. With such a revised foreign policy, the US and its allies would avoid war with China and Russia, and enable the world to face its myriad environment, energy, food and social crises.

Above all, at this time of extreme danger, European leaders should pursue the true source of European security: not US hegemony, but European security arrangements that respect the legitimate security interests of all European nations, certainly including Ukraine, but also including Russia, which continues to resist NATO enlargements into the Black Sea. Europe should reflect on the fact that the non-enlargement of NATO and the implementation of the Minsk II agreements would have averted this awful war in Ukraine. At this stage, diplomacy, not military escalation, is the true path to European and global security.

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

Fears of a radiation leak mount near Ukrainian nuclear plant

WHSV3 By PAUL BYRNE, Aug. 26, 2022 ,

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Authorities began distributing iodine tablets to residents near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant Friday in case of a radiation leak, amid mounting fears that the fighting around the complex could trigger a catastrophe.

The move came a day after the plant was temporarily knocked offline because of what officials said was fire damage to a transmission line. The incident heightened dread of a nuclear disaster in a country still haunted by the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl.

Continued shelling was reported in the area overnight, and satellite images from Planet Labs showed fires burning around the complex — Europe’s biggest nuclear plant — over the last several days.

Iodine tablets, which help block the absorption of radioactive iodine by the thyroid gland in a nuclear accident, were issued in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia, about 45 kilometers (27 miles) from the plant. A woman and her small daughter were among those receiving the pills……………..

In Thursday’s incident, Ukraine and Russia blamed one another for the transmission-line damage that knocked the plant off the power grid………

The plant requires power to run the reactors’ vital cooling systems. A loss of cooling could lead to a nuclear meltdown.

Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s transmission system operator, reported Friday that two damaged main lines supplying the plant with electricity had resumed operation, ensuring a stable power supply.

 https://www.whsv.com/2022/08/26/atomic-energy-agency-seeks-visit-ukraine-nuclear-power-plant-amid-concerns/

August 26, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Worst Places to Be If There’s a Nuclear Attack on America

247mellyMichael B. Sauter, August 26, 2022 Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has included battles in or near nuclear power plants. The recent shelling at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant has raised alarm bells worldwide. The recent grandstanding by Russia, China, and North Korea [ed: what about USA and UK?], including several intercontinental ballistic missile tests, has further raised global tensions.


In the unlikely scenario of a nuclear attack on America – an all-out nuclear war – very few places would be safe, though no doubt less populated, remote areas would be safer.

An enemy nation would first aim to neutralize the U.S. nuclear capabilities by targeting strategic military installations, many of which are near large urban centers.

Stephen Schwartz, author of “Atomic Audit: The Costs and Consequences of US Nuclear Weapons Since 1940,” identified 15 such targets. The targets, mapped by Business Insider, include command centers, ICBM bases, communication stations, and air force and submarine bases. In addition, Dr. Irwin Redlener, a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, identified six economic centers most likely to be attacked.

To find the worst places to be if there’s a nuclear attack on America, 24/7 Wall St. constructed an index consisting of several measures to rank major U.S. cities likely to be targets based on both Schwartz’s and Redlener’s lists. The measures in the index include population density; city preparedness for emergency; economic significance; city preparedness plans; distance to the strategic military target; proximity to nuclear power plants; and ease of evacuation based on commute time as a proxy to congestion and the percentage of a city area that is water. We also added projected fatalities and injuries assuming a 1 megaton bomb, using Nukemap

Click here to see the worst places to be if there’s a nuclear attack on America.

Click here to see our detailed methodology.…………..  https://247wallst.com/special-report/2022/08/26/worst-places-to-be-if-theres-a-nuclear-attack-on-america/

August 26, 2022 Posted by | election USA 2020, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hungary approves construction of two Russian-built nuclear reactors

Work to begin in coming weeks in move that emphasises ties between Viktor Orbán and Vladimir Putin.

Agence France-Presse in Budapest,Sat 27 Aug 2022 

Hungary has announced that the €12.5bn (£10.6bn) construction of two nuclear reactors by Russia’s Rosatom will begin in the coming weeks after regulators approved the project.

The war in Ukraine has not deterred Hungary’s interest in the project to add to the four reactors already operating at the Paks plant outside Budapest.

The fact it is moving forward is another indication of the close ties between Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin.

“This is a big step, an important milestone,” the Hungarian foreign minister, Péter Szijjártó, said on Facebook after the national regulator issued a permit on Thursday after numerous delays.

………………………….Russia is financing most of the project with a €10bn loan to Hungary, which is paying the remaining €2.5bn.

………… Hungary has obtained exceptions and has negotiated extra deliveries of natural gas………………………. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/26/hungary-approves-construction-two-russian-built-nuclear-reactors

August 26, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment