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Holding ground, losing war

Zelensky’s strategy of defending territory at all costs has been disastrous for Ukraine.

The American Conservative, Douglas Macgregor, Sep 22, 2022,

At the end of 1942, when the Wehrmacht could advance no further east, Hitler switched German ground forces from an “enemy force-oriented” strategy to a “ground-holding” strategy. Hitler demanded that his armies defend vast, largely empty and irrelevant stretches of Soviet territory. 

“Holding ground” not only robbed the German military of its ability to exercise operational discretion, and, above all, to outmaneuver the slow, methodical Soviet opponent; holding ground also pushed German logistics to the breaking point. When holding ground was combined with endless counterattacks to retake useless territory, the Wehrmacht was sentenced to slow, grinding destruction.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, (presumably with the advice of his U.S. and British military advisors), has also adopted a strategy of holding ground in Eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian forces immobilized themselves inside urban areas, and prepared defenses. As a result, Ukrainian forces turned urban centers into fortifications for what became “last stands.” Sensible withdrawals from cities like Mariupol that might have saved many of Ukraine’s best troops were forbidden. 

 Russian forces responded by methodically isolating and crushing the defenders left with no possibility of either escape or rescue by other Ukrainian forces.

Moscow’s determination to destroy Ukrainian forces at the least cost to Russian lives prevailed. 

 Ukrainian casualties were always heavier than reported from the moment Russian troops crossed into Eastern Ukraine, but now, thanks to the recent failure of Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kherson region, they’ve reached horrific levels that are impossible to conceal. Casualty rates have reached 20,000 killed or wounded a month.   

Despite the addition of 126 howitzers, 800,000 rounds of artillery rounds, and HIMARS (U.S. rocket artillery), months of hard fighting are eroding the foundations of Ukraine’s ground strength. In the face of this disaster, Zelensky continues to order counterattacks to re-take territory as a means of demonstrating that Ukraine’s strategic position vis-à-vis Russia is not as hopeless as it seems. 

The recent Ukrainian advance to the town of Izium, the link between Donbas and Kharkiv, seemed like a gift to Kiev. U.S. satellite arrays undoubtedly provided Ukrainians with a real-time picture of the area showing that Russian forces west of Izium numbered less than 2,000 light troops (the equivalent of paramilitary police, e.g., SWAT and airborne infantry). 

The Russian command opted to withdraw its small force from the area that is roughly 1 percent of formerly Ukrainian territory currently under Russian control. However, the price for Kiev’s propaganda victory was high—depending on the source, an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 Ukrainian troops were killed or wounded in a flat, open area that Russian artillery, rockets, and air strikes turned into a killing field. 

Given Washington’s inability to end the war in Ukraine with the defeat of Russian arms, it seems certain that the Beltway will try instead to turn the ruins of the Ukrainian state into an open wound in Russia’s side that will never heal. From the beginning, the problem with this approach was that Russia always had the resources to dramatically escalate the fighting and end the fighting in Ukraine on very harsh terms. Escalation is now in progress. …………………………..

The defense establishment has a long record of success in tranquilizing American voters with meaningless clichés. As conditions favorable to Moscow develop in Eastern Ukraine and the Russian position in the world grows stronger, Washington confronts a stark choice: Talk about having successfully “degraded Russian power” in Ukraine and scale back its actions. Or risk a regional war with Russia that will engulf Europe. ……………………………… more  https://www.theamericanconservative.com/holding-ground-losing-war/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Brainwashed for War With Russia

 https://original.antiwar.com/mcgovern/2022/09/21/brainwashed-for-war-with-russia/ by Ray McGovern ,

Thanks to Establishment media, the sorcerer apprentices advising President Joe Biden – I refer to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jacob Sullivan, and China specialist Kurt Campbell – will have no trouble rallying Americans for the widest war in 77 years, starting in Ukraine, and maybe spreading to China. And, shockingly, under false pretenses.

Most Americans are oblivious to the reality that Western media are owned and operated by the same corporations that make massive profits by helping to stoke small wars and then peddling the necessary weapons. Corporate leaders, and Ivy-mantled elites, educated to believe in U.S. “exceptionalism,” find the lucre and the luster too lucrative to be able to think straight. They deceive themselves into thinking that (a) the US cannot lose a war; (b) escalation can be calibrated and wider war can be limited to Europe; and (c) China can be expected to just sit on the sidelines. The attitude, consciously or unconsciously, “Not to worry. And, in any case, the lucre and luster are worth the risk.”

The media also know they can always trot out died-in-the-wool Russophobes to “explain,” for example, why the Russians are “almost genetically driven” to do evil (James Clapper, former National Intelligence Director and now hired savant on CNN); or Fiona Hill (former National Intelligence Officer for Russia), who insists “Putin wants to evict the United States from Europe … As he might put it: “Goodbye, America. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

Absent a miraculous appearance of clearer heads with a less benighted attitude toward the core interests of Russia in Ukraine, and China in Taiwan, historians who survive to record the war now on our doorstep will describe it as the result of hubris and stupidity run amok. Objective historians may even note that one of their colleagues – Professor John Mearsheimer – got it right from the start, when he explained in the autumn 2014 issue of Foreign Affairs “Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West’s Fault.”

Historian Barbara Tuchman addressed the kind of situation the world faces in Ukraine in her book “The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam.” (Had she lived, she surely would have updated it to take Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine into account). Tuchman wrote:

“Wooden-headedness…plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.”

Six Years (and Counting) of Brainwashing

Thanks to US media, a very small percentage of Americans know that:

  • 14 years ago, then US Ambassador to Russia (current CIA Director) William Burns was warned by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that Russia might have to intervene in Ukraine, if it were made a member of NATO. The Subject Line of Burns’s Feb. 1, 2008 Embassy Moscow cable (#182) to Washington makes it clear that Amb. Burns did not mince Lavrov’s words; the subject line stated: “Nyet means nyet: Russia’s NATO enlargement redlines.”Thus, Washington policymakers were given forewarning, in very specific terms, of Russia’s redline regarding membership for Ukraine in NATO. Nevertheless, on April 3, 2008, a NATO summit in Bucharest asserted: “NATO welcomes Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO.”
  • 8 years ago, on Feb. 22, 2014, the US orchestrated a coup in Kiev – rightly labeled “the most blatant coup in history’, insofar as it had already been blown on YouTube 18 days prior. Kiev’s spanking new leaders, handpicked and identified by name by US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland in the YouTube-publicized conversation with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, immediately called for Ukraine to join NATO.
  • 6 years ago, in June 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Western reporters of his concern that so-called antiballistic missiles sites in Romania and Poland could be converted overnight to accommodate offensive strike missiles posing a threat to Russia’s own nuclear forces. (See this unique video, with English subtitles, from minute 37 to 49.) There is a direct analogy with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when Moscow put offensive strike missiles in Cuba and President John Kennedy reacted strongly to the existential threat that posed to the US.
  • On December 21, 2021, President Putin told his most senior military leaders:

  • “It is extremely alarming that elements of the US global defense system are being deployed near Russia. The Mk 41 launchers, which are located in Romania and are to be deployed in Poland, are adapted for launching the Tomahawk strike missiles. If this infrastructure continues to move forward, and if US and NATO missile systems are deployed in Ukraine, their flight time to Moscow will be only 7–10 minutes, or even five minutes for hypersonic systems. This is a huge challenge for us, for our security.” 
    [Emphasis added.]
  • On December 30, 2021, Biden and Putin talked by phone at Putin’s urgent request. The Kremlin readout stated:
  • On February 12, 2022, Ushakov briefed the media on the telephone conversation between Putin and Biden earlier that day.

Unprovoked?

The US insists that Russia’s invasion was “unprovoked”. Establishment media dutifully regurgitate that line, while keeping Americans in the dark about such facts (not opinion) as are outlined (and sourced) above. Most Americans are just as taken in by the media as they were 20 years ago, when they were told there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. They simply took it on faith. Nor did the guilty media express remorse – or a modicum of embarrassment.

The late Fred Hiatt, who was op-ed editor at the Washington Post, is a case in point. In an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review [CJR, March/April 2004] he commented:

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine.


“If you look at the editorials we wrote running up [to the war], we state as flat fact that he [Saddam Hussein] has weapons of mass destruction.” “If that’s not true, it would have been better not to say it.”

(My journalism mentor, Robert Parry, had this to say about Hiatt’s remark. “Yes, that is a common principle of journalism, that if something isn’t real, we’re not supposed to confidently declare that it is.”)

It’s worse now. Russia is not Iraq. And Putin has been so demonized over the past six years that people are inclined to believe the likes of James Clapper to the effect there’s something genetic that makes Russians evil. “Russia-gate” was a big con (and, now, demonstrably so), but Americans don’t know that either. The consequences of prolonged demonization are extremely dangerous – and will become even more so in the next several weeks as politicians vie to be the strongest in opposing and countering Russia’s “unprovoked” attack on Ukraine.

THE Problem

Humorist Will Rogers had it right:

“The problem ain’t what people know. It’s what people know that ain’t so; that’s the problem.”

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

September 22, 2022 Posted by | media, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

26 September – International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons: dismantle the warheads and build a common security

Recent events have shown that humanity is closer than ever to nuclear catastrophe. ‘Nuclear deterrence’ means a world permanently on the brink of catastrophe.

 https://www.ituc-csi.org/International-Day-for-the-Total-Elimination-of-Nuclear-Weapons

There is no alternative to eliminating these horrible weapons and creating a sustainable peace based on common security.

On the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons, 26 September, there are around 12,705 nuclear bombs ready to be deployed. More than half of all people live in countries that have these weapons or are members of nuclear alliances. Everyone lives with the threat of nuclear destruction.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised the spectre of a nuclear disaster. Life on this planet will not be safe until the last warhead has been dismantled and nuclear weapons have been totally eliminated.

Glimmers of hope

In 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons entered into force. During the first meeting of the states in June this year, 66 countries adopted the “Vienna Declaration” reaffirming their determination to realise the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

With the looming threat of a new cold war, the trade union movement has amplified its campaigning for peace. The ITUC, the International Peace Bureau and the Olof Palme International Center launched a call to action to set the world on a path to peace based on the concept of common security.

Common Security 2022 states that “international security must rest on a commitment to joint survival rather than a threat of mutual destruction.” It urges world leaders to return to the path of disarmament and peaceful progress and cooperate to overcome contemporary security risks and causes of conflict.

Trade unions have a role to play in building a future without nuclear weapons by demanding and working for just transition plans that move money away from the arms industries and into peaceful economic activity, liberating resources to meet vital economic and social needs.

The elimination of nuclear weapons is an important step on the road to building a new social contract that can deliver a world that is fairer, safer and has a bright future.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s nuclear waste cleanup operation could cost £260bn

“While we are clear about the current legacy of waste which already exists, a GDF would have to handle additional waste from new facilities being developed,” the NWService said. “The actual cost will … depend on the number of new nuclear projects that the UK develops in future and any additional waste from those stations.”

Cost of safely clearing waste from ageing power stations is soaring, say experts,

 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/23/uk-nuclear-waste-cleanup-decommissioning-power-stations Sandra Laville Environment correspondent

The cost of decommissioning the UK’s 20th-century nuclear waste could rise to £260bn as the aged and degrading sites present growing challenges, according to analysis presented to an international group of experts.

As the government pursues nuclear energy with the promise of a new generation of reactors, the cost of safely cleaning up waste from previous generations of power stations is soaring.

Degrading nuclear facilities are presenting increasingly hazardous and challenging problems. Ageing equipment and electrical systems at Sellafield, which is storing much of the country’s nuclear waste and is one of the most hazardous sites in the world, are increasing the risk of fire, according to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. They require increasing maintenance and present growing risk. Last October a faulty light fitting started a blaze at a Sellafield facility which led to its closure for several weeks.

Analysis by Stephen Thomas, a professor of energy policy at the University of Greenwich, estimates the total bill for decommissioning the UK’s nuclear waste mountain will grow to £260bn.

Thomas told a conference of international experts the cost of decommissioning Sellafield had risen from to £110bn, according to freedom of information requests.

Other sites that need decommissioning are the 11 Magnox power stations, built between the 1950s and 1970s, including Dungeness A in Kent, Hinkley Point A in Somerset and Trawsfynydd in north Wales, and seven advanced gas-cooled reactors built in the 1990s, including Dungeness B, which closed last year, Hinkley Point B and Heysham 1 and 2 in Lancashire.

Deterioration of one of the Magnox stations, Trawsfynydd, which shut down in 1991, is such that substantial work is needed to make it safe, according to the NDA. “Work that would then need to be undone to complete reactor dismantling,” the agency said.

Thomas told the International Nuclear Risk Assessment Group similar problems are expected at other Magnox sites. The timetable for decommissioning the old nuclear power stations has been abandoned, with no new timescale yet published.

The Nuclear Waste Service has said deferring decommissioning for 85 years from shutdown, which was previous policy, is not suitable for all the reactors because of their different ages and physical conditions. Decommissioning of some Magnox stations will have to be brought forward, the NWS has said

Attempts to speed up the decommissioning would only add to the growing bill, Thomas said, which he estimated had increased to £34bn.

In 2005, the cost for decommissioning and disposing of the radioactive waste from nuclear power stations built in the 1950s, 70s and 90s was put at £51bn.

Last year the NDA estimates rose to £131bn, and its latest annual report said £149bn was needed to pay for the clear up. But Thomas said rising costs meant the total bill was on track to reach £260bn.

Part of the soaring increase is the cost of building a large underground nuclear waste dump or geological deposit facility (GDF) to safely store the 700,000 cubic metres of radioactive waste – roughly the volume of 6,000 double decker buses – from the country’s past nuclear programme.

The mammoth engineering project was initially predicted to cost £11bn but the bill is now estimated to be up to £53bn because of uncertainty about where the site will be located, and the need to provide space for an unspecified amount of waste from the new generation of nuclear reactors which the government wants to build.

Four areas of the country are being considered for the GDF but no decision on where it will be located has yet been made.

“While we are clear about the current legacy of waste which already exists, a GDF would have to handle additional waste from new facilities being developed,” the NWService said. “The actual cost will … depend on the number of new nuclear projects that the UK develops in future and any additional waste from those stations.”

The cleanup of past nuclear waste will take more than 100 years, the NDA has said. Highlighting the challenges of the degrading and hazardous facilities, the authority said in its annual report that robots and drones were increasingly being used to carry out site inspections.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

64 years later, the Golden Rule takes to the water again to challenge nuclear arms

A crew will sail down the Mississippi, up the East Coast and through the Great Lakes to back the prohibition of nuclear weapons.  

By Randy Furst Star Tribune, SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 ,

In the spring of 1958, four pacifists including David Gale,who grew up in Carver, Minn., set sail from California to the Marshall Islands to protest nuclear tests conducted there by the United States. Their 34-foot boat was named the Golden Rule.

Gale, then 25, became gravely ill and the boat developed mechanical problems, and a huge storm on the Pacific Ocean forced the crew to turn back. A second trip was launched, this time with another pacifist replacing Gale. But the crew was arrested by the U.S. Coast Guard near Honolulu and went to jail.

On Sunday, the newly refurbished Golden Rule will set sail again to protest nuclear weapons, this time setting out from St. Paul down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. It’s the start of a 15-month, 11,000-mile journey sponsored by Veterans for Peace that will eventually take the crew up the Eastern Seaboard, through the Great Lakes and back to the Gulf of Mexico, with stops in 100 towns and cities.


“We want to put pressure on the United States to sign the United Nations treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons,” said Helen Jaccard, the trip’s project manager.

Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa of Hawaii will captain the boat for the first five months, taking it as far as Jacksonville, Fla. He was working last week on some rigging lines at the St. Croix Marina in Hudson, Wis. “I’ve been interested in peace work and nuclear disarmament since I was 15,” he said.

Mike McDonald, past president of the Twin Cities chapter of Veterans for Peace, which is sponsoring Golden Rule events in the metro area, will be on the boat for the first leg of the trip. “If somebody starts a nuclear war, it isn’t going to be good for anybody,” he said.

The 1958 voyage of the Golden Rule to the Marshall Islands was a national news story. During the previous 12 years, the U.S. had dropped 67 nuclear bombs at Bikini and Enewetak atolls, equaling the energy yield of 7,000 Hiroshima bombs, according to Scientific American.

Gale died in 2016 at 83, but his family remains enthusiastic that the Golden Rule is still making a splash — and carrying the anti-nuclear message.

“I’m thrilled it is being renewed,” said his widow, Margaret Gale of Princeton, Ill., also a committed pacifist. “I still believe in what that boat stands for.”

“This is who he was,” said Andy Gale of San Diego, one of David’s sons. “He was a pacifist and felt strongly against war his whole life………………………………………………………………………………….

There will be a Golden Rule Project program at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at Crosby Farm Regional Park in St. Paul, with a potluck and an opportunity to meet the crew before the boat departs.  https://www.startribune.com/sixty-four-years-later-the-golden-rule-takes-to-the-water-again-to-challenge-nuclear-arms/600209583/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Sizewell C: Planning shake-up – getting rid of environmental assessment ‘runs roughshod over objectors’.

A government shake-up of planning which could bring forward the building of Sizewell C is “deeply dismaying”, campaigners said.

BBC News 24 Sept 22,

New legislation aims to cut planning rules and get rid of environmental assessments to speed up construction.

The nuclear power station in Suffolk is among projects to be “accelerated as fast as possible”, the Treasury said.

Stop Sizewell C said the plan “rode roughshod over the ability to fight damaging projects”.

The scheme, currently estimated to cost £20bn, was given government approval in July, against the advice of the Planning Inspectorate.

The new plant would be built by French-owned EDF next to the existing Sizewell B, which is still generating electricity, and Sizewell A, which has been decommissioned.

Fellow campaigners Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) has instigated a judicial review process over the planning approval, claiming it was illegal.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Kwasi Kwarteng, who gave Sizewell the go-ahead when he was business secretary, made the latest announcement as part of his Autumn statement.

New legislation would be brought forward to “address barriers by reducing unnecessary burdens to speed-up the delivery of much-needed infrastructure”, the Treasury said………………………….. more https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-suffolk-6301233.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | environment, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Fukushima: Japan attempts to safely remove nuclear fuel from crippled reactors

DW 22.09.2022, Julian Ryall (Tokyo)

More than a decade after the second-worst nuclear disaster in history, engineers want to construct a huge water-filled tank around one of the damaged reactors and carry out underwater dismantling work.

Nuclear experts pondering the safest way to decommission the three crippled reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic energy plant have devised a new plan to recover highly radioactive debris at the site, with even anti-nuclear campaigners giving the proposal their qualified support.  

They warn, however, that the situation at the plant — on the northeast coast of Japan— remains precarious more than a decade since three of the six reactors suffered meltdowns after an offshore earthquake of magnitude 9 triggered a series of powerful tsunamis.  

In their latest annual strategy report on progress at the plant, experts at the Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Office (NDF) have proposed the construction and filling with water of a massive concrete tank to completely enclose one of the reactor buildings. ………………………………………. more https://www.dw.com/en/fukushima-japan-attempts-to-safely-remove-nuclear-fuel-from-crippled-reactors/a-63200659

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Marshall Islands calls off talks after no US response on nuclear legacy plan

The freely associated states stretch across an ocean area in the north Pacific that is larger than the continental United States and are seen by Washington as a key strategic asset. Photo: United States Institute of Peace.


Giff Johnson, Editor, Marshall Islands Journal / RNZ Pacific correspondent, Editor, Marshall Islands Journal / RNZ Pacific correspondent 24 Sept 22,

On the eve of the US Pacific Islands Summit in Washington, a key ally in the region called off a scheduled negotiating session for a treaty Washington views as an essential hedge against China in the region.

The Marshall Islands and the United States negotiators were scheduled for the third round of talks this weekend to renew some expiring provisions of a Compact of Free Association when leaders in Majuro called it off, saying the lack of response from Washington on the country’s US nuclear weapons testing legacy meant there was no reason to meet.

Marshall Islands leaders have repeatedly said the continuing legacy of health, environmental and economic problems from 67 US nuclear tests from 1946-1958 must be satisfactorily addressed before they will agree to a new economic package with the US.

Washington sees the Compact treaties with the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau, which stretch across an ocean area larger than the continental US, as key to countering the expansion of China in the region.

“The unique security relationships established by the Compacts of Free Association have magnified the US power projection in the Indo-Pacific region, structured US defense planning and force posture, and contributed to essential defense capabilities,” said a new study released September 20 in Washington, DC by the United States Institute of Peace, “China’s Influence on the Freely Associated States of the Northern Pacific.”

China’s naval expansion is increasing the value of the US relationship with the freely associated states (FAS)………………………..

US and Marshall Islands negotiators have both said they hope for a speedy conclusion to the talks as the existing 20-year funding package expires on September 30, 2023. But the nuclear test legacy is the line in the sand for the Marshall Islands.

“The entire Compact Negotiation Committee agreed – don’t go,” said Parliament Speaker Kenneth Kedi, who represents Rongelap Atoll, which was contaminated with nuclear test fallout by the 1954 Bravo hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll and other weapons tests.

“It is not prudent to spend over $100,000 for our delegation to travel to Washington with no written response to our proposal. We are negotiating in good faith. We submitted our proposal in writing.” But he said Friday, “there has been no answer or counter proposal from the US.”

US and Marshall Islands officials had been aiming to sign a “memorandum of understanding” at the summit as an indication of progress in the discussions, but that now appears off the table…………………

Marshall Islands President David Kabua, while affirming in his speech at the UN that the Marshall Islands has a “strong partnership” with the US, added: “It is vital that the legacy and contemporary challenges of nuclear testing be better addressed” (during negotiations on the Compact of Free Association). “The exposure of our people and land has created impacts that have lasted – and will last – for generations.”

The Marshall Islands submitted a proposed nuclear settlement agreement to US negotiators during the second round of talks in July. The US has not responded, Kedi and other negotiating committee members said Friday in Majuro.

……………………………… “We live with the problem (from the nuclear tests),” said Kelen, a displaced Bikini Islander. “We know the big picture: bombs tested, people relocated from their islands, people exposed to nuclear fallout, and people studied. We can’t change that. What we can do now is work on the details for this today for the funding needed to mitigate the problems from the nuclear legacy.”

Kedi said he was tired of US attempts to argue over legal issues from the original Compact of Free Association’s nuclear test settlement that was approved 40 years ago before the Marshall Islands was an independent nation.

That agreement, which provided a now-exhausted $150 million nuclear compensation fund, was called “manifestly inadequate” by the country’s Nuclear Claims Tribunal, which over a two-decade period determined the value of claims to be over $3 billion.

“Bottom line, the nuclear issue needs to be addressed,” Kedi said…………………..

President Kabua is scheduled to participate in the White House-sponsored US Pacific Islands Summit on September 28-29.

Meanwhile, the members of his Compact negotiating team are in Majuro waiting for a response from the US government to their proposal to address the nuclear legacy.  https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/475398/marshall-islands-calls-off-talks-after-no-us-response-on-nuclear-legacy-plan

September 22, 2022 Posted by | OCEANIA, politics international | Leave a comment

A Nebraska county of only 625 people contained nearly 100 deep underground nuclear missiles, so the US Air Force halted a green-power project that would have revitalized its economy

MSN lvaranasi@insider.com (Lakshmi Varanasi) 22 Sept 22,

  • There are hundreds of underground nuclear missiles across Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana. 
  • The US Air Force says wind turbines can’t be constructed within a 2-mile radius of these missiles.
  • Due to underground missiles, a wind turbine project in Banner County, Nebraska, was limited in scope.

The Democrats’ new climate and tax bill will invest billions in clean energy. Here are 21 high-paying green careers for people who want to save the planet. (Business Insider)

  • There are many occupations out there that help the environment, such as wind turbine service technician.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act could mean more clean energy jobs created.
  • Here are the 21 fastest-growing green jobs that also have an annual pay greater than the overall median pay.

Saving the earth and having a lucrative career aren’t always mutually exclusive, and the Democrats’ big climate and tax bill that just passed could mean even more investment in green jobs.

The Inflation Reduction Act could mean many more workers will be needed to fill various clean energy and other jobs in the coming years. The bill also says it will cut carbon emissions by about 40% by 2030……………………………… (Read the original article on Business Insider)

In Nebraska’s Banner County, the remains of Cold War America are buried right below the surface. 

During the 1960s, when the US was locked in a nuclear stalemate with the then-Soviet Union, it began planting hundreds of nuclear missiles across rural swaths of the country like Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana in case it needed to shoot them into the enemy camp at a given moment. 

Now, those missiles are preventing the region from harnessing its most valuable resource: strong, gusty winds.

The Flat Water Free Press, an independent news outlet in Nebraska, reported last week that in 2019, the US Air Force began to thwart a wind turbine project in the state’s southwest Banner County. 

Two renewable energy companies, Invenergy and Orion Renewable Energy Group, had singled out Banner for its “world class winds,” the Flat Water Free Press reported. They were ready to construct a combined 300 turbines across the region. 

Each turbine would have brought in an additional $15,000 in annual income to the landowner whose property it would be built on. The capital from the turbines would have flushed into Banner’s school system and revitalized the 625-person county. 

But the Air Force contended that the turbines would pose a “significant safety hazard” to pilots — especially during storms or blizzards. The Air Force decided that the turbines needed to be constructed 2.3 miles away from each other to ensure that pilots had enough space to land without potentially digging their wheels into a missile. Until then, a quarter mile between each turbine was had been sufficient.

 “The new guidelines, explained to residents earlier this spring, significantly cut the number of possible turbines that could be constructed.”

Banner’s residents have been left frustrated and disillusioned by the Air Force’s new guidelines. “This resource is just there, ready to be used,” one Banner landowner said. “”How do we walk away from that?” Read the full story by The Flat Water Free Press here.  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-nebraska-county-of-only-625-people-contained-nearly-100-deep-underground-nuclear-missiles-so-the-us-air-force-halted-a-green-power-project-that-would-have-revitalized-its-economy/ar-AA126fRl?li=BBnbcA1

September 22, 2022 Posted by | renewable, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

World powers must take Putin’s threat seriously, stop the escalation and seek a diplomatic solution.

Beware the prospect of a nuclear calamity

Marwan Bishara, Senior political analyst at Al Jazeera. 22 Sept 22,

The world’s indifference to the prospect of a nuclear disaster, today, is frankly insane.

For the past few months, Western experts have downplayed the probability that the Ukraine war would lead to nuclear escalation between Russia and the West. Since Putin first put Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert back in February, many experts have argued that he was merely posturing in a bid to throw his “adversaries off balance”.

However, Putin’s most recent threats of using such weapons — made in a televised speech on Wednesday morning — must not be taken lightly, regardless of his motivation or intention. He said that Western officials have threatened Russia with nuclear weapons, a charge that US President Joe Biden denied during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly hours later. Putin also announced a partial mobilisation and his support for upcoming referendums in four Russian-controlled regions of Ukraine that could pave the way for their annexation by Moscow.

It’s one thing for the West to dismiss as irrelevant the threat of Putin firing, for instance, a secretary. However, any chance he may fire his nukes should be taken seriously, regardless of how remote the possibility is.

In fact, the West has so far avoided imposing a no-fly zone over Ukraine or transferring long-range missiles and other weapons that may threaten Russian territory for fear of the Kremlin’s retaliation against Europe…………………………………

as past Russian and American wars have shown – whether in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq or elsewhere – a troops surge may win him time but won’t necessarily win him the war. That’s why he coupled his decision for a military surge with a nuclear warning, putting the West on notice: back off or face the consequences.

Hence the seriousness of Putin’s threat to use weapons of mass destruction. The threat is “not a bluff” as he put it, nor a bluster; it rather sounds desperate and deliberate. It is also the biggest escalation since the invasion began seven months ago and the biggest troop mobilisation since the end of the Cold War.

Some are now sounding a warning about Putin’s potential use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield. …………………..

In theory, the use of these weapons, which are short-range and designed for limited strikes, sounds implausible considering Ukraine’s geographic proximity and Russia’s nuclear doctrine which underlines the defensive use of nuclear weapons or when the very existence of Russia is threatened……………………..

In short, the danger of a nuclear calamity is real if the war continues to escalate, whether by design or default; whether stemming from strategic or tactical use of nuclear weapons, or from the bombing of a nuclear plant.

None of it is inevitable and all of its totally avoidable. Nuclear powers have lost or ended conventional wars in the past without resorting to nuclear weapons. That’s why world powers have a duty to stop the escalation and to seek a diplomatic solution sooner rather than later.

Putin may be directly responsible for this war of aggression against Ukraine, but the West’s insistence on NATO’s expansion to Russia’s border and its sabre rattling in Ukraine have also been terribly provocative and reckless.

The war has been a disaster for all, especially Ukraine. It will get worse. That’s why cooler heads must prevail. Before it is too late. Those still hoping to win must remember that there is no winning a nuclear war. https://www.aljazeera.com/opinions/2022/9/22/beware-the-prospect-of-a-nuclear-calamity

September 22, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NuScale Faces Class Action Lawsuit Brought by Former Employees

  https://www.wweek.com/news/courts/2022/09/20/nuscale-faces-class-action-lawsuit-lawsuit-brought-by-former-employees/   By Lucas Manfield, September 20, 2022

Former employees of NuScale, a Tigard company that designs nuclear reactors, have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Portland, alleging the company denied them $100 million in proceeds when it went public earlier this year.

NuScale began trading under the ticker symbol SMR after a merger with a Special Purpose Acquisition Company in May. It was valued at nearly $1.9 billion, thanks to its innovative nuclear reactor design, which was recently greenlit by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The company emerged from research at Oregon State University.

The lawsuit is being brought by 13 former employees who allege that the company diluted the value of their stock without their approval using an “unlawful amendment” to an agreement between them and company. It’s similar to a lawsuit filed earlier this year, before NuScale went public, but this version is a class action on behalf of at least 600 shareholders.

They’re asking for $200 million in damages, along with the return of the money lost in the dilution.

After nearly going broke, NuScale’s founders sold a majority of the company to the Texas-based multinational conglomerate Fluor Corporation for $3.5 million in 2011. Fluor is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

“They’re screwing the employees of the company,” says Timothy DeJong of the Stoll Berne law firm, who represents the former employees, most of whom were once NuScale executives.

NuScale released a statement to WW saying the “claims are without merit” and promised to defend itself in “the appropriate forum.” Fluor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Is UK government’s nuclear power policy scientifically feasible? – asks House of Commons Science and Technology Committee .

The deadline to submit to the Commons Science and Technology Committee’s
inquiry on the Government’s approach to developing new nuclear power is
fast approaching. The Committee of MPs is accepting written evidence
submissions until Friday 30 September.

The Committee’s inquiry is looking
for evidence from experts on what is required for the Government to achieve
its aim to approve up to eight new nuclear fission reactors by 2030, as
committed in its energy security strategy, and for nuclear to supply 25% of
electricity by 2050.

More than half of the UK’s 11 nuclear reactors are due
to be retired by 2025 with no immediate replacements, an approach which was
criticised in a recent Public Accounts Committee report. The Science and
Technology Committee’s inquiry is examining how the gap in nuclear
generating capacity, which currently accounts for around 15% of the UK’s
electricity, will be filled and energy supply protected.

Other issues in
scope of the Committee’s inquiry are: the funding and regulation of nuclear
power, including provisions in the Energy Security Bill introduced into
Parliament this year; the status of the different nuclear power
technologies, including fusion, and their role in achieving the net zero by
2050 target; the technical challenges facing the next generation of nuclear
power plants; what further research and development is required to build
capacity and how the management of nuclear waste can be improved.

The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee scrutinises the Government and
exists to ensure that policies and decision-making are based on solid
scientific evidence and advice.

HoC Science & Technology Committee 22nd Sept 2022

https://committees.parliament.uk/work/6864/delivering-nuclear-power/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

US Media Held Murdered Russian Journalist to a Dangerous Standard

Whether or not one agrees with what they are saying, journalists of every nationality deserve protection from those who would use violence to silence them.

FAIR, LUCA GOLDMANSOUR, 23 Sept 22

After the August 20 car-bomb assassination of Darya Dugina, the daughter of a Russian ultranationalist political philosopher, US media outlets quickly branded the 29-year-old as an agent in Russia’s “disinformation war.” Rather than treating her as a member of the civilian press, they seemed to downplay her death as a casualty of war.

CNN (8/27/22) ran an article to this effect, failing to characterize her murder as an assassination, instead stating Dugina was “on the front lines” of Russia’s war effort, linking her to “Russia’s vast disinformation machine.” NPR (8/24/22) reported that  Dugina was a “Russian propagandist” whose killing signaled the war was coming to Russian elites in their own territory. Foreign Policy (8/26/22) called Dugina a “dead propagandist” whose “martyrdom” did more to achieve her goals in death than she could have hoped for in life.

It is certainly true that during her life, Dugina, who espoused the philosophy of Russian Eurasianism, an expansionist political doctrine veiled as an objective analysis of Russian interests, had very little impact on Western audiences. This is true of most Russian journalists, despite the frequent warnings in US corporate media about the threat posed by Russian media messages. For instance, RT, often considered the foremost Russian outlet in the West, accounted for only 0.04% of Britain’s total viewing audience in 2017 (New Statesman2/25/22), and reached about 0.6% of the UK’s online population from February 2021 to the start of 2022—and this was before Western media platforms sharply restricted access to RT and other pro-Moscow outlets in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

Far more prevalent for Western viewers is the constant barrage of pro-NATO, pro-Western propaganda that vastly overstates the significance of Russian disinformation. Such was the case when CNN noted that Dugina ran a “disguised English-language online platform that pushed a pro-Kremlin worldview to Western readers.” By “disguised,” CNN is suggesting that the site she worked for, United World International, engaged in outright deception by not disclosing its Russian origins—much like CNN does not describe itself as a US-based outlet, but rather as a “world leader in online news and information.”

Whether UWI is purposefully misleading or not, CNN‘s underlying assumption is that Western audiences are so fickle that the most minimal exposure to pro-Kremlin viewpoints represents a threat to national security. It’s this stance that turns journalists with foreign ideologies into the equivalent of enemy combatants.

If CNN thinks disclosure is what separates journalism from propaganda, it might have disclosed the biases of the sources it used to contextualize Dugina’s murder. The article mostly relied on information from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab and the Center for European Policy Analysis, both of which are “used to promote the information interests of the US-centralized power alliance in Europe and North America” (Transcend.org9/5/22) and are funded by the US government, European allied nations and weapons manufacturers.

Whether or not one agrees with what they are saying, journalists of every nationality deserve protection from those who would use violence to silence them. So when CNN or other Western media downplay the assassination of Dugina on the grounds that she spread Russian propaganda, or even disinformation, that supported a war of aggression and other war crimes, they are setting a standard that puts their own colleagues at risk. (The exceptionalism that holds that US institutions can avoid the consequences faced by others is, of course, a central pillar of US propaganda.)

US corporate media have a long track record of advocating for illegal US aggression while knowingly parroting their government’s false pretenses. The New York Times, for instance, hasn’t opposed a US war since its tacit disapproval of Ronald Reagan’s invasion of Grenada in 1983 (FAIR.org8/23/17). The Times advocated for the illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (8/8/012/12/03); the CIA’s attempted regime change in Syria (8/26/13); and US drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia (2/6/13). With the body count from these conflicts far surpassing that of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, how would the assassination of a New York Times editorial board member differ from Dugina’s murder? Aside, of course, from the fact that Dugina supported Washington’s geopolitical adversary…………………….. more https://fair.org/home/us-media-held-murdered-russian-journalist-to-a-dangerous-standard/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, media, USA | Leave a comment

Moscow unlikely to use nuclear weapons, say ex-Russian generals

Former Russian generals tell Al Jazeera that while the prospect of nuclear war remains slim, the situation could quickly escalate.

Aljazeera, 24 Sept 22,

Russia is unlikely to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine unless NATO puts boots on the ground, two retired Russian generals have told Al Jazeera.

“If the collective West attacks Russia with its conventional armed forces, then Russia’s response could very well be nuclear since there is no comparison between the West’s conventional military potential and that of Russia,” said Evgeny Buzhinsky, a retired lieutenant general who served as the Russian military’s top arms control negotiator from 2001 to 2009.

However, Buzhnisky stressed that Russia had little to gain from using nuclear weapons in Ukraine under the present circumstances.

He argued that the Russian military did not need nuclear weapons to achieve its strategic objectives, such as destroying transport infrastructure used to deliver Western arms shipments or damaging the country’s electricity network.

Mutual destruction

At the same time, Buzhinsky warned that initiating a nuclear attack would almost certainly put Moscow and Washington on a dangerous escalating spiral.

“There can be no limited use of nuclear weapons – to think otherwise is an illusion,” he said.

“Any nuclear conflict between Russia and the United States will lead to complete mutual destruction.”

A similar assessment was given by Leonid Reshetnikov, a retired lieutenant general who spent more than 40 years working in the Soviet and Russian foreign intelligence services.

Reshetnikov told Al Jazeera that the prospect of Russia using tactical nuclear weapons in Ukraine was “impossible and would make little military sense” right now.

He argued that such a move would be a sharp deviation from the risk-averse strategy that Russia has pursued in Ukraine so far, noting that the Kremlin waited nearly seven months before declaring a partial mobilisation.

NATO troops becoming directly involved in the conflict could change Moscow’s calculus, however.

“The United States and practically all of Europe are already participating in this conflict by providing Ukraine with weapons, intelligence, instructors, and volunteers,” Reshetnikov said………………………………………….

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the Reuters news agency that the security bloc would “make sure that there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about the seriousness of using nuclear weapons,” while adding that it had not observed any changes in Russia’s nuclear posture.

In an interview with Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior aide to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, urged other nuclear powers to commit to “swift retaliatory nuclear strikes” against Russia if Moscow attempted to use its weapons in Ukraine.  https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/23/little-military-sense-for-nuclear-weapons-ex-russian-.

September 22, 2022 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Poland distributes iodine pills as fears grow over Ukraine nuclear plant

WARSAW, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Poland, concerned about fighting around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, has distributed iodine tablets to regional fire departments to give to people in the event of radioactive exposure, a deputy minister said on Thursday…………………………………… (subscribers only) more https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/poland-distributes-iodine-pills-fears-grow-over-ukraine-nuclear-plant-2022-09-22/

September 22, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, safety | Leave a comment