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Plutonium secretly shipped to Nevada removed sooner than expected

By Gary Martin Las Vegas Review-Journal, September 16, 2022

WASHINGTON – A half-metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium secretly shipped into Nevada has been removed four years early under federal court order and an agreement reached by U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and former Energy Secretary Rick Perry, officials said Friday.

Cortez Masto, D-Nev., first announced the removal of the plutonium, stored at the Nevada National Security Site north of Las Vegas.

She was notified by the National Nuclear Security Administration late Friday………………….

The NNSA shipped the plutonium from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina to Nevada in 2019 under federal court order.

Nevada officials, while notified it would happen, were incensed when efforts to stop the transfer through federal courts became moot after the Department of Energy disclosed the plutonium had already been shipped into the state.

Four years ahead of schedule

“When I heard that the Trump administration secretly shipped weapons-grade plutonium to our state, I acted immediately to ensure it was removed,” Cortez Masto said in a statement.

Cortez Masto also secured in writing a pledge by Perry not to send any more plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada.

“I’m proud to announce the removal has been completed four years ahead of schedule,” Cortez Masto said.

A federal judge ordered the Department of Energy to remove weapons grade plutonium from the Savannah River Site in South Carolina after a facility to turn the radioactive material into fuel for nuclear power plants was terminated.

Some of the material was sent to the Nevada facility, and some to the Pantex Plant in Texas until pits to accommodate the material at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico were completed, according to NNSA.

The material from Nevada now has been shipped to Los Alamos, a congressional aide confirmed.

Secret shipment from South Carolina draws ire

Former Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, was furious that the Energy Department shipped the plutonium to Nevada when the state in May 2019 had notified the federal government of its intent to seek an injunction to prevent the transfer.

Sandoval directed then-state Attorney General Adam Laxalt to file a lawsuit in federal court in Reno to block the shipment.

But the lawsuit was dismissed after Energy Department lawyers in 2020 disclosed in court papers that the shipment had already occurred, making the state’s lawsuit moot.

Gov. Steve Sisolak and state Attorney General Aaron Ford, both Democrats, filed another lawsuit and won a ruling that would force the federal government to eventually remove the plutonium.

………. the danger of exposure to the materials prompted the federal judge to order the plutonium moved from South Carolina.

‘Beyond outrage’

The secret shipping of the plutonium, because of federal national security concerns, drew the ire of Nevada officials of both major political parties who accused Perry and the Energy Department of lying to the state about its intent…………………………….

The shipment heightened tensions between Nevada and the Trump administration, which also sought to open Yucca Mountain as a permanent nuclear waste repository, just 60 miles north of Las Vegas.  https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/plutonium-secretly-shipped-to-nevada-removed-sooner-than-expected-2641314/

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September 19, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment

Russian state firm signs $9.1bn loan deal to fund nuclear plant in Turkey

Rosatom, which has been wiring money to Ankara to shore up Turkey’s depleted foreign currency reserves, signs deal with Gazprombank, Ragip Soylu, Antalya, Turkey, 16 September 2022

Russian state-owned company signed a $9.1bn loan deal with Gazprombank in August to fund the construction and development of Turkey’s Akkuyu nuclear power plant, according to the official documents. 

In a public announcement on Wednesday, Rosatom Corp published the deal signed on 3 August, which opens a line of credit to finance Akkuyu Nuclear JSC, its subsidiary in Turkey………………………..

Bloomberg reported last month that Rosatom had decided to wire $15bn to Turkey for the construction of the $20bn Akkuyu nuclear power plant, citing officials who said that an initial $5bn had already been received…………………

The Turkish government is in dire need of foreign funding as a result of its rapidly evaporating foreign currency reserves.

Rosatom is expected to rapidly spend up to $2bn on overdue payments to subcontractors. The company told Bloomberg that it would indeed transfer some funds to Turkey, but an amount much lower than that declared by Turkish officials………….more https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/russia-turkey-gazprombank-akkuyu-plant-loan-fund

September 19, 2022 Posted by | marketing, Turkey | Leave a comment

General: Supply chain problems are hurting nuclear modernization

Defense News, By Joe Gould, 16 Sept 22,

WASHINGTON ― The nominee to lead the U.S. nuclear arsenal said Thursday that supply chain snags that are pummeling the defense industrial base are also hurting Washington’s plans to modernize its aging nuclear arsenal.

“I would venture to say that it’s probably being seen across the Department of Defense, but in particular for the nuclear portfolio,” Air Force Gen. Anthony Cotton, nominated to lead U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, at his confirmation hearing.

…………  It’s taking some nuclear programs up to 90 days to source certain U.S.-made components that would have typically taken 10 days, he said.

Operating and modernizing the nuclear force will cost $634 billion in the 2021-2030 period, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said last year. Along with the expense of the Energy Department managing nuclear stockpiles, the Defense Department is modernizing the sea, air and land-based legs of the nuclear triad.

………………………………………… Looming over the hearing was Strategic Command’s scramble to reimagine nuclear deterrence theory that simultaneously faces Russia and China……………………. more https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/2022/09/15/general-supply-chain-problems-are-hurting-nuclear-modernization/

September 19, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A new window into France’s nuclear history

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists By Austin R. Cooper | September 16, 2022, Access to French nuclear archives has increased dramatically during the past year. Since October 2021, French officials have declassified thousands of documents about the development of French nuclear weapons, an arsenal of roughly 300 warheads today.

This work marks a sea change in France, for decades one of the most difficult nuclear-armed democracies to study. Unlike the United States and the United Kingdom, France does not have Freedom of Information laws, which allow the public to file declassification requests. French archives do consider special access requests (dérogations), but these requests cannot compel a declassification review, which limits their utility in making nuclear weapons documents available for research.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in the wake of prize-nominated journalism and scholarship on the development of French nuclear weapons, launched a significant declassification initiative last year. This process has focused on Polynesia, the semi-autonomous French territory where French forces conducted nearly 200 atmospheric and underground explosions from 1966 to 1996. The scope does not include Algeria, the former French colony where French authorities built and operated their first nuclear test sites between 1960 and 1966, during the Algerian War for Independence (1954–62) and the construction of the postcolonial Algerian state.

New French transparency could help settle debates about environmental contamination and health effects from radiation exposure, especially in Polynesia. French law has promised to compensate victims of French nuclear weapons development who become sick or die from radiation-linked illness but has made only slow progress since 2010. Other nuclear-armed democracies, including the United States and the United Kingdom, have established similar compensation programs.

…………………………. Yet crucial gaps remain in access to French nuclear archives, especially records from the earliest years of the weapons testing program—when it took place in Algeria—and records concerning foreign affairs.

………………………. A report in February 2022 indicated that Macron’s declassification review had withdrawn only 59 documents out of nearly 35,000.

The global stakes. French nuclear history does not only concern France. France became the world’s fourth nuclear weapon state by building test sites and conducting atmospheric and underground explosions in two former French colonies: Algeria and then Polynesia. These blasts drew criticism from Algerian and Polynesian leaders, and from many neighboring countries in Africa and the Pacific.

Before becoming one of the world’s top nonproliferation cops, France served as a global nuclear supplier. During the Cold War arms race, the French government was among those that provided IsraelIndiaSouth AfricaIran, and Iraq with nuclear technologies. Except for possibly Iran, all these states endeavored to build nuclear weapons; so far, only Iraq has failed to do so.

……………………. President Richard Nixon and his National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger secretly reversed US policy and launched unprecedented Franco-American cooperation on weapons design and safety procedures.

………………………………… . The publication in March 2021 of the French-language book Toxique, by the physicist Sébastien Philippe and investigative journalist Tomas Statius, created a media firestorm surrounding French nuclear history.

Toxique showed that French authorities underestimated and overlooked the extent of radioactive contamination—and the health risks—from the atmospheric explosions conducted in Polynesia until 1974. This finding relied on dozens of French documents declassified in 2012–13, following a decade of court battles fought by associations of nuclear test victims and anti-nuclear organizations.

……………………………………………….. Limits to French nuclear transparency. Recent French declassifications indicate real progress, but three shortcomings have become clear.

First, archival documentation of France’s first nuclear explosions in the Algerian Sahara (1960–66) falls outside the Declassification Commission’s mandate. This recent work, as well as the CEA-DAM process, have incidentally declassified a few documents about the two test sites in the Algerian desert. But most of these records remain unavailable for research.

This split in French nuclear history—between Algeria and Polynesia—is artificial. Similar French entities, and often the same French officials, directed the Algerian and Polynesian sites.

The reason for French transparency about the Polynesian sites, but not the Algerian ones, stems from French politics. Polynesia, and its semi-autonomous government, are part of France. Algeria won its independence in a bloody war of decolonization that coincided with the first French nuclear explosions. Algeria remains a touchy subject in France……………………………………………………….

Insights from the archives. French President Macron’s shift in declassification policy opens a new window into the development of French nuclear weapons. Researchers can now look to France for resources to understand the nuclear dimensions of European security during a moment when these dimensions have become all too obvious.

What makes France so important? Now the only nuclear weapon state in the European Union, France’s nuclear history has key quirks. It also has global reach.

In contrast to their British neighbors, French officials endeavored to build their nuclear weapons program as independently of the United States as possible. Franco-American technological cooperation improved during the Cold War, but Paris remained committed to charting its own strategic course. France provides a case study of trying to go it alone.

The French case also demonstrates deep entanglement with French colonial policies in Africa and the Pacific. A similar point holds true for the US use of the Marshall Islands as a nuclear test site and tribal lands for uranium mining, or for UK nuclear testing in Australia. As the only country not merely to plan but actually to conduct nuclear explosions on the African continent, and given the longevity of its nuclear presence in the Pacific, France offers a unique vantage point on broader intersections between the Cold War arms race and decolonization struggles.

French nuclear archives have as much to do with today’s politics as with 20th-century history. Macron’s policy shift demonstrates the impact of executive action and the power of civil society to shape nuclear weapons governance when researchers, journalists, activists, and other stakeholders work together. The French case has unique features—namely the legal status of Polynesia—but it holds broad lessons for nuclear-armed democracies.

Building on recent strides, the French declassification effort can expand in ways that do not threaten nonproliferation goals. Two places to start: documentation of the Algerian test sites and the rich nuclear collections in the Diplomatic Archives.  https://thebulletin.org/2022/09/a-new-window-into-frances-nuclear-history/

September 19, 2022 Posted by | France, history | Leave a comment

Nuclear power making a comeback in Europe? Not really

Nuclear Power Makes A Comeback In Europe , Eurasia Review, By Arab News, By Zaid M. Belbagi 17 Sept 22, “……………………………………………………………… Despite the crisis, it would seem that large-scale investment in the power sectors of the past is challenging, as countries strive to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Though the shortcomings of an overreliance on Russian gas have been exposed, only a committed effort to generate power from renewable sources will offer a long-term solution. However, fully replacing gas and nuclear energy with renewables will take years and such sources are themselves greatly impacted by climate change. The severe drought this summer, believed to be the worst in 500 years, led to a drop in hydropower generation across Europe, while repeated heat waves forced the closure of nuclear reactors over environmental concerns.

For the next two decades, Europe will remain exposed to global energy shocks until sustainable ways of generating renewable power, alongside a change in consumption, can be guaranteed.

• Zaid M. Belbagi is a political commentator and an adviser to private clients between London and the GCC. Twitter: @Moulay_Zaid

September 19, 2022 Posted by | politics, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Tepco to revise power prices for industry, factoring in nuclear restart

TOKYO, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) (9501.T) said on Friday it will revise its pricing for high-voltage industry customers next year to reflect soaring costs, but will take into account the assumed restart of the No.7 unit of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant.

Tepco President Tomoaki Kobayakawa told a news conference of the new pricing policy, including the impact of an assumed restart, although Japan’s nuclear regulator is continuing inspections after barring Tepco, operator of the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, from restarting its only operable atomic power station last year due to safety breaches.

“We plan to revise the pricing scheme next business year as we can’t reflect soaring power procurement cost in the electricity price,” Kobayakawa said.

“But we are factoring in that the No.7 unit will be 75% operational next year, or operating nine months out of 12, in calculating the new electricity price to reduce the burden on customers,” he said, adding that the company itself is not forecasting the unit’s resumption next year.

“We do hope to restart the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa as soon as possible, but we can’t say when it will happen,” he said.

Tepco plans to announce details of the new price scheme for industry customers by the end of this month……..

Tepco had been hoping to restart the world’s biggest atomic power plant, with capacity of 8,212 megawatts, in a quest to slash the utility’s operating costs.

But it drew criticism last year when failings at the plant came to light, including security breaches that led to an unauthorised staff member accessing sensitive areas of the plant.

Japan’s industry minister said at the time the plant would not be restarted any time soon.
 https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/tepco-revise-power-prices-industry-factoring-nuclear-restart-2022-09-16/

September 19, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

Extreme hunger is soaring in the world’s climate hotspots – Oxfam

Extreme hunger is closely linked to the climate crisis, with many areas of
the world most affected by extreme weather experiencing severe food
shortages, research has shown.

The development charity Oxfam examined 10 of
the world’s worst climate hotspots, afflicted by drought, floods, severe
storms and other extreme weather, and found their rates of extreme hunger
had more than doubled in the past six years.

Within the countries studied,
48 million people are currently suffering from acute hunger, up from about
21 million people in 2016. Of these, about 18 million people are on the
brink of starvation, according to the Oxfam report published on Thursday.

Guardian 16th Sept 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/16/extreme-hunger-soaring-in-worlds-climate-hotspots-says-oxfam

September 19, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Tory Minister Zac Goldsmith, who actually cares about the environment, sacked as Environment Minister

Boris Johnson ally Zac Goldsmith has been axed as an environment minister
and told he will no longer be attending Liz Truss’s cabinet, it has
emerged. The Conservative minister has been stripped of his brief
overseeing animal welfare at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (Defra), government sources confirmed to The Independent. Mr
Goldsmith appeared to issue a warning to Ms Truss in an exit letter to
Defra staff, saying the government has “so much more to do to turn the
tide” on the environment, according to The Guardian, which first reported
on his sacking.

Independent 15th Sept 2022

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/zac-goldsmith-sacked-liz-truss-b2168250.html

September 19, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Fast transition to renewables will save the world up to $12tn (£10.2tn) by 2050

Switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world as
much as $12tn (£10.2tn) by 2050, an Oxford University study says. The
report said it was wrong and pessimistic to claim that moving quickly
towards cleaner energy sources was expensive. Gas prices have soared on
mounting concerns over energy supplies. But the researchers say that going
green now makes economic sense because of the falling cost of renewables.

“Even if you’re a climate denier, you should be on board with what we’re
advocating,” Prof Doyne Farmer from the Institute for New Economic Thinking
at the Oxford Martin School told BBC News. “Our central conclusion is that
we should go full speed ahead with the green energy transition because it’s
going to save us money,” he said.

BBC 13th Sept 2022

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-62892013

September 19, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs, renewable | Leave a comment

Plunging costs of renewable energy – as nuclear power costs increase

The tumbling cost of renewable energy means transitioning away from fossil
fuels over the next 30 years will save the world “at least $12 trillion”,
according to researchers at the University of Oxford.

The decarbonisation
of the energy system will not only see a major reduction in the cost of
producing and distributing energy, but will also allow for greater levels
of energy to be produced and therefore help expand energy access around the
planet.

The faster the transition to renewables occurs, the greater the
potential for savings, the team found, and urged governments to recognise
the enormous boost to the global economy, that abandoning fossil fuels will
bring about.

“There is a pervasive misconception that switching to clean,
green energy will be painful, costly and mean sacrifices for us all – but
that’s just wrong,” said Professor Doyne Farmer, who leads the team that
conducted the study at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the
Oxford Martin School. The research team analysed thousands of transition
cost scenarios produced by major energy models and examined data on: 45
years of solar energy costs, 37 years of wind energy costs and 25 years for
battery storage.

They said the research reveals that the real cost of solar
energy dropped twice as fast as the most ambitious projections in these
models, revealing that, over the past 20 years, previous models “badly
overestimated the future costs” of renewable energy technology compared to
the reality of cheap renewables we are already seeing today.

The research also suggests nuclear power will play a diminishing role in the future
global energy mix due to the rising costs of building reactors. “The costs
of nuclear have consistently increased over the last five decades, making
it highly unlikely to be cost competitive with plunging renewable and
storage costs,” the researchers said. Meanwhile, the study showed the costs
for storage technologies, such as batteries and hydrogen electrolysis, are
also likely to fall dramatically.

Independent 13th Sept 2022

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/energy-economy-carbon-renewables-cost-b2166361.html

September 19, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, renewable | Leave a comment

Russia’s uranium exports can continue – exempt from sanctions imposed on other commodities

The German government said Monday that it can’t stop a shipment of Russian uranium destined for French nuclear plants from being processed at a site in Germany because atomic fuel isn’t covered by European Union sanctions on Russia.

Environmentalists have called on Germany and the Netherlands to block a shipment of uranium aboard the Russian ship Mikhail Dudin — currently docked in the French port of Dunkirk — from being transported to a processing plant in Lingen, close to the German-Dutch border.

“We have no legal grounds to prevent the transport of uranium from Russia, because the sanctions imposed by the EU due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine exempt the import of nuclear fuel … to the EU from import bans,” said a spokesman for Germany’s Environment Ministry, Andreas Kuebler. Safety requirements for the shipment had been examined and foundto meet requirements, meaning German authorities had to approve it, he added.

Washington Post 12th Sept 2022

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/germany-no-option-but-to-permit-russian-uranium-shipment/2022/09/12/8e645808-32a4-11ed-a0d6-415299bfebd5_story.html

September 19, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Continued drop in France’s nuclear power energy production

Nuclear power generation at EDF’s (EDF.PA) French reactors in August fell
by 37.6% year on year to 18.1 terawatt hours (TWh), mainly due to the
impact of the discovery of stress corrosion, the utility said on Tuesday.
EDF said on its website that total nuclear generation in France since the
start of the year was 191 TWh, down 20.2% compared with January-August
2021.

Reuters 13th Sept 2022

https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/edf-reports-376-drop-french-nuclear-output-august-2022-09-13/

September 19, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

Scotland, with its renewable energy success, has no need for nuclear power

the reason the UK Government has backed nuclear so completely is less to do with net zero, and more to do with military needs.

Holyrood, 14 Sept 22, “………………………………………………………………….Torness nuclear power station is now coming to the end of its life. It is expected to shut down in 2028. Forrest explains: “The life-limiting factor of Torness – and it was the same at Hunterston [B, a nuclear power plant in North Ayrshire which ceased operations in January] – is our graphite core. The graphite core, as it gets older, we get a thing called keyway root cracks. Now, operationally we don’t see them, we don’t feel them, it doesn’t affect the plant in how it operates safely. How it does affect the plant is that we are required to demonstrate that we can withstand a Californian-style seismic event… As the onset of keyway root cracking progresses, that becomes more difficult and therefore at some point, because of the seismic input motion, we will choose to shut this power station down.”

It’s been clear since the 80s that we don’t have to have nuclear

The Scottish Government’s opposition to nuclear means that once Torness closes, that will be the end of nuclear power in Scotland. It is in stark opposition to the approach of the UK Government, which is backing the installation of eight new nuclear reactors by the end of the next decade…………………

Andy Stirling, a professor of science and technology policy at the University of Sussex, has been working in this field for over three decades. He says: “Simply looking at the government’s own assessments – albeit often hidden away in the grey literature – it’s been clear since the 80s that we don’t have to have nuclear. …………

A paper published last month by LUT University in Finland, supported by academics from 14 other institutions, confirms Stirling’s view. Taking evidence from hundreds of studies, it concluded: “In the early 2020s, the consensus has increasingly become that solar PV and wind power will dominate the future energy system and new research increasingly shows that 100 per cent renewable energy systems are not only feasible but also cost effective.”…………………….

Chief executive of the Nuclear Industry Association, Tom Greatrex says” “……………the UK Government’s decisions mean Scotland will be able to access nuclear power from the grid. “In one sense, the Scottish Government position – whilst I think it’s not particularly robust in terms of science or logic, I can understand the politics behind it – it doesn’t matter because other bits of the GB system will be able to provide the bits that there’s no political appetite in Scotland to do,” he says.

The Scottish Government, for its part, argues a mixture of renewables, storage and hydrogen offer “the best pathway to net zero by 2045”. The leaps made in renewables in recent years strengthen that argument. Phil Johnstone, a research fellow also at Sussex University’s Science Policy Research Unit, says it is “staggering” that the UK as a whole is “not shouting from the rooftops more about what has happened in Scotland”.

He adds: “It’s gone from less than 30 per cent renewables electricity to nearly 100 per cent in 10 years. And it’s just amazing that you have people in Westminster and the [UK] Government saying Scotland is being very irrational in not having nuclear. I mean, the comparison could not be more stark – what Scotland has done with renewables and what’s happened in 10 years [versus] what has happened with the nuclear renaissance in 10 years.”

He continues: “If you’re looking at net zero and you’re looking at speed and you’re looking at the urgency of the situation and you’re looking on the grounds of cost, if you use these criteria, which are the things you evaluate energy policy from, then it would suggest to me that Scotland is a doing a sensible thing.”

Both he and Stirling say the reason the UK Government has backed nuclear so completely is less to do with net zero, and more to do with military needs. When this argument was put to a senior civil servant by MPs during an inquiry on Hinkley Point C in 2017, they were told: “We have at some point to renew the warheads, so there is very definitely an opportunity here for the nation to grasp in terms of building up its nuclear skills. I do not think that that is going to happen by accident; it is going to require concerted government action to make it happen.”

Indeed, the SNP’s position on nuclear power is linked to their long-standing opposition to Trident. But Stirling says using the civil sector to maintain the nuclear deterrent is “a feasible way of funding it,” if the government so chooses. However, he says there needs to be more transparency, particularly when ultimately the cost of building nuclear plants falls to consumers via energy bills………………………………………… more https://www.holyrood.com/inside-politics/view,is-the-scottish-governments-antinuclear-stance-the-right-one

September 19, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

Study shows ‘unprecedented’ changes to world’s rivers

Study shows ‘unprecedented’ changes to world’s rivers

In the past 40 years, humans have caused unprecedented, consequential changes to river sediment transport, according to a new study by scientists at Dartmouth, supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation and published in Science.

September 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

After U.N. conference, nuclear disarmament advocates look to new strategies

Dennis Sadowski, Catholic Review, 11 Sept 22,

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Four weeks of debate — during a review conference for a treaty widely viewed as a cornerstone of nuclear disarmament — resulted in no consensus on how to move forward despite the efforts of the Holy See, disarmament advocates and non-nuclear nations

Russia blocked agreement on a final document late Aug. 26, the review conference’s final day, by objecting to paragraphs raising concerns about military activity around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

The 10th Review Conference for the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) at the United Nations headquarters in New York led to widespread consensus on numerous issues related to nuclear safety, but could not satisfy the Russian delegation’s objection even though the document did not mention Russia by name.

Maryann Cusimano Love, associate professor of international politics at The Catholic University of America, attended the conference as an expert consultant to the Holy See Mission at the U.N.

She told Catholic News Service that the Holy See’s participation in the review conference and its consistent voice in urging the world to abolish nuclear weapons was critical, especially at a time when fears remain that nuclear weapons may be introduced to the war in Ukraine

Early in the war, Russian President Vladimir Putin put his country’s nuclear forces on alert, but has since backed off any suggestion that he would authorize the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

The review conference brought delegations from around the world to New York to discuss next steps toward fulfilling the treaty’s goal of the eventual abolition of nuclear weapons. Originally scheduled for 2020, it was delayed three times because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the treaty’s provisions is a requirement that parties to it “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament.”

Disarmament advocates say that not enough has been done to achieve that goal…………………………………..

Maryann Cusimano Love also said that while the Russian objection was the main focus coming out of the meeting, the 35-page draft document offered numerous other steps related to nuclear safety, reducing nuclear arsenals and protecting human life that conference delegates can pursue going forward.

………………………………. the 65 states that have signed the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, including the Holy See, released a statement voicing their disappointment over the outcome. They pledged their support for the treaty, saying it was a necessary step toward an eventual ban on nuclear weapons.

The ban treaty went into force in January 2021, but has not gained the support of any nuclear-armed nations.

Supporters of the ban treaty also expressed concern that the risk of the use of nuclear weapons in the world today remained high, “and the possibility of the catastrophic humanitarian impact … is looming ominously over us.”

“We are dismayed that this very fact has been used at the NPT review conference deliberations as reason against the urgently needed progress on nuclear disarmament, and to uphold an approach to security based on the fallacy of nuclear deterrence. This approach relies on the threat of the actual use of nuclear weapons and, hence, the risks of the destruction of countless lives, of societies, of nations, and of inflicting global catastrophic consequences,” the statement said…………………………………………… more https://catholicreview.org/after-u-n-conference-nuclear-disarmament-advocates-look-to-new-strategies/

September 19, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics, weapons and war | Leave a comment