nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

American companies might make fuel for small nuclear reactors, except that there seems to be no market for them.

Russia’s Uranium Dominance Threatens America’s Next-Gen Nuclear Plans, By Tsvetana Paraskova – Oct 23, 2022, 10:00 AM CDT

  • The United States has ambitious plans for its nuclear power industry.
  • Russia’s stranglehold on the uranium market threatens to delay progress in nextgen nuclear power projects. 
  • U.S. companies are scrambling to develop the domestic uranium supply chain needed to fuel nuclear power ambitions.

……………………..

there is one major hurdle to the construction of most advanced reactors under development in the United States—the uranium type of fuel on which those reactors are designed to run is currently sold commercially by only one company in the world. And that company is a subsidiary of Russia’s ROSATOM, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation.

The federal government and U.S. companies developing advanced nuclear reactors—including Bill Gates’ TerraPower—recognize the urgent need to eliminate reliance on a Russian state corporation for nuclear fuel for America’s next-generation nuclear reactors.  

The association Uranium Producers of America noted during a Senate committee hearing after the Russian invasion of Ukraine that “almost none of the fuel needed to power America’s nuclear fleet today comes from domestic producers, while U.S. nuclear utilities purchase nearly half of the of the uranium they consume from state-owned entities (SEO) in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.”

“We estimate that there is more than $1 billion in annual U.S. dollar purchases of nuclear fuel flowing to ROSATOM,” said Scott Melbye, president of the association and Executive Vice President at Uranium Energy Corp.

ROSATOM is not under Western sanctions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine because of the Russian state firm’s importance in the supply chain of the global nuclear power industry. But the U.S. firms developing the next generation of more efficient, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly nuclear reactors don’t want to do business with Russia anymore.

Hence, the need for a commercially viable and stable domestic supply chain of the fuel for those advanced reactors—HALEU, or high assay low enriched uranium. ……………………………………….

 the U.S. government faces the “chicken and egg” dilemma in HALEU supply, Matt Bowen, Research Scholar at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA, and Paul M. Dabbar, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the same center, wrote in a paper in May this year/ 

“Existing enrichment companies, such as Urenco, Orano, GLE, and Centrus, could make HALEU, but these companies would likely be hesitant to invest too much in building HALEU infrastructure and completing NRC licensing without being confident there will in fact be a profitable market for the product,” they say.   

Advertisement

October 23, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, Uranium | Leave a comment

The West Has Failed: North Korea Is a Nuclear State

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/the-west-has-failed-north-korea-is-a-nuclear-state/2022/10/23/e1511926-531e-11ed-ac8b-08bbfab1c5a5_story.html Analysis by Gearoid Reidy | Bloomberg, October 24, 2022,

The world might not want to hear it, but Kim Jong Un might be right. 

“There will never be such a thing as our abandonment of the nuclear weapons or denuclearization,” Kim declared last month. “The position of our state as a nuclear nation has become irreversible.” 

Decades of pursuing the “denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula has failed. After North Korea last month declared itself a nuclear weapons state, it’s time for the US and its allies to accept this reality — and learn to live with it. That’s the first step to reducing the risk of accidental confrontation that could lead to all-out nuclear war.  

The idea is reaching the mainstream. Jeffrey Lewis, a leading nuclear weapons expert, has called on Washington to “contemplate the unthinkable” and accept North Korea’s nuclear statehood, citing the increasing risks of a flashpoint as South Korea and Japan talk up first-strike capability.

Washington should think “about the return we’re seeing on our stubborn continued insistence on denuclearization as the desired near-term end-state,” agrees Ankit Panda, a senior fellow in the nuclear policy program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “We have a far more acute interest on the Korean peninsula, which is averting the use of nuclear weapons by North Korea.” 

A rethink is needed. For one thing, the US administration has already shown an admirable willingness to abandon the failed policies of previous administrations. From ending the war in Afghanistan, casting off decades of naive Democratic party China policy or de-escalating the War on Drugs with a reform of cannabis policy, President Joe Biden has discarded ideas he previously promoted. 

And to describe the goal of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as a bust would be generous. Beyond condemning millions to poverty after 30 years, the US has little to show for its punishing economic sanctions. Pyongyang has built itself a formidable arsenal: enough fissile material for dozens of nuclear bombs, and a demonstrated capacity for its missiles to hit US bases in Guam or the American mainland itself. More nuclear tests are feared soon, which would be the first in five years. Kim said last month he won’t budge even after 100 years of sanctions.

Absent a very dangerous policy of regime change, Kim is going to remain in charge, and in any event doesn’t have a way to climb down from nuclear weapons. The window for military action against North Korea closed during the Clinton administration, when the US considered a preemptive strike. It chose negotiation instead, which Pyongyang used as cover to  speed development of its nuclear and missile programs. 

North Korea’s new nuclear doctrine, unveiled in September, has further upped the ante, pledging automatic nuclear strikes on its enemies if its command-and-control leadership is threatened. Such a doctrine is a “logical reaction” to South Korea talking up its ability to deal a fatal blow to the North’s leadership, Panda says. 

Indeed, far from the stereotype of the crazy North Korean leader, Kim is being perfectly logical in seeking to keep his regime in one piece. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has put that in stark relief. Ukraine famously agreed to give up the nuclear weapons on its territory (though they were not under its control) after the fall of the Soviet Union, in exchange for security guarantees from the US, UK and Russia. Time has shown how valuable those assurances were. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Al Qaddafi are other examples of leaders who abandoned their nuclear pursuits, only to meet gruesome ends.

Kim could not be sure of any guarantee that Washington might give in return for denuclearization — especially when it’s US policy that has been most inconsistent. Flipping between dovish Democratic and hawkish Republican positions on Pyongyang (or in the case of Donald Trump’s administration, between “fire and fury” and love letters in the space of a few years) has resulted in head-snappingly inconsistent carrot-and-stick approaches. 

Meanwhile, through a cycle of bait-and-switch negotiations and threats, Kim has managed to keep the US and South Korea distracted enough to complete his nuclear state. He’s on his fourth South Korean leader and third American president. He’s less than half Biden’s age; time is on his side, assuming he can avoid the heart problems that felled his father and grandfather. 

Of course, there are significant risks. Pyongyang has proven not to be a trustworthy negotiating partner. Being seen to reward its obstinacy might embolden rogue regimes elsewhere. Even a tacit acceptance of North Korea’s position could also lead to another bout of proliferation. The South Korean public is already roundly in favor of also possessing nuclear weapons. Japan is understandably far more opposed but how might it react surrounded by four nuclear-armed states?

But doggedly pursuing a failed policy that has only become more unrealistic over the years isn’t getting the US and its allies anywhere — and the risk of accidental confrontation is only running higher

October 23, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, politics international | Leave a comment

Zelensky denies ordering attack on Crimean Bridge

 https://www.rt.com/russia/565053-zelensky-crimea-bridge-attack/-22 Oct 22

Officials in Kiev have taken credit for the blast, with the postal service even issuing a commemorative stamp

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has denied “ordering” the bombing of the Crimean Bridge, earlier this month. The president made the remarks during an interview with the Canadian broadcaster CTV, aired on Wednesday.

Asked to comment on the “spectacular attack” on the bridge, as the broadcaster put it, Zelensky said Kiev was not involved.

lensky said Kiev was not involved.

“We definitely did not order that, as far as I know,” he told the reporters.

The bridge was hit by a massive explosion on October 8, which severely damaged its road traffic section and killed three civilians, as well as setting a passing freight train on fire. Several top Ukrainian officials openly celebrated the attack, while the country’s postal service issued a stamp commemorating the blast, just hours after it happened.

Moscow has directly blamed Kiev for the incident, branding the explosion a “terrorist attack.” Russian law enforcement claims to have established how the bomb, which was disguised as construction materials, made it to the bridge from the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, via multiple transit countries.

Russian investigators believe the plot was hatched by Ukrainian military intelligence. Moscow has identified 12 individuals as suspected accomplices in the plot and has arrested eight of them, the FSB said.

The list of people in custody includes five Russians and three foreign nationals, who hold passports of Ukraine and Armenia. A spokesman for Ukrainian military intelligence told the media that the FSB was a “fake structure,” and that the report was unworthy of comment.

Days after the attack, Moscow ramped up its aerial bombing campaign against Ukraine, targeting its critical infrastructure with cruise missiles and suicide drones. Kiev reported on Tuesday that 23 people were killed and over 100 injured in the barrage.

October 23, 2022 Posted by | politics, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Nuclear is on the front-line of climate change – and not in a good way.

 Presentation at the SGR Responsible Science conference, 19.10.2022, by Dr.
Paul Dorfman (University of Sussex). Climate models have run hot. As
knowledge of enhanced climate sensitivity and polar ice melt-rate evolves,
it has become clear that sea-level rise is significantly faster than
previously thought, resulting in more frequent and destructive storms,
storm surge, severe precipitation, and flooding. With rare extreme events
today becoming the norm in the future, existing risk mitigation measures
become increasingly obsolete. The corollary to this analysis is that
present and planned UK coastal nuclear installations will be at significant
risk. In other words, nuclear’s lower-carbon electricity USP sits in the
context of the much larger picture – that UK coastal nuclear will be one
of the first, and most significant, casualties to ramping climate impact.
Put simply, UK nuclear is quite literally on the front-line of climate
change – and not in a good way. UK civil nuclear infrastructure is
profoundly unprepared for climate impact and there is a very high
probability that reactors and their associated high-level spent fuel stores
will become unfit for purpose, and much sooner than expected.

 Scientists for Global Responsibility 20th Oct 2022

October 23, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Noisy support for an obvious failure — Beyond Nuclear International

One impact of this continuing official nuclear support is that climate action is being diminished and slowed. As a paper in Nature Energy (which one of us co-authored) showed in 2020, in worldwide data over the past three decades, the scales of national nuclear programmes do not tend to correlate with generally lower carbon emissions. The building of renewables does.

worldwide substantive picture that shows nuclear power overwhelmingly to be slower, less effective and more expensive at tackling climate disruption than are renewable and storage alternatives.

As nuclear power sinks, its supporters crow louder. Why do media and governments insist on nuclear for climate?

Noisy support for an obvious failure — Beyond Nuclear International
By Andrew Stirling and Phil Johnstone, 23 Oct 22
At Edinburgh’s Haymarket station, on the route used by COP26 delegates hopping across to Glasgow last November, a large poster displayed a vista from the head of Loch Shiel. In the foreground, a monument to the Jacobite rebellion towers from the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard. From there, the water sweeps back to a rugged line of hills.
This is one of Scotland’s most iconic views, famous for both its history and its role in the Harry Potter films.
On the poster, written in the sky above the loch are the words: “Keep nature natural: more nuclear power means more wild spaces like these.” At the bottom is a hashtag – #NetZeroNeedsNuclear – with no further mention of who might be behind this advert.

But it’s not hard to find a website for this group, which claims to be run by “a team of young, international volunteers made up of engineers, scientists and communicators”, all with the engagingly smiley profile pictures to be expected from citizen activists.

Only when you scroll to the end do you see these activities are ‘sponsored’ by nuclear companies EDF and Urenco. At the bottom, it is explained that Nuclear Needs Net Zero is part of the Young Generation Network (YGN) – “young members of the Nuclear Institute (NI), which is the professional body and learned society for the UK nuclear sector”. The website asserts that the Nuclear4Climate campaign – described as “grassroots” both on the site and in a presentation to an International Atomic Agency conference in 2019 – is in fact “coordinated via regional and national nuclear associations and technical societies”……………………………………………

Of course, all this is par for the course in the creative world of PR. But there are more substantive grounds why nuclear advocates might wish to avoid too much public scrutiny at the moment. One reality, which can be agreed on from all sides, is that this is by far the worst period in the 70-year history of this ageing industry. So how come it is benefitting from growing and noisy support in mainstream and social media? Why are easily refuted arguments still being deployed to justify new nuclear power alongside renewables in the energy supply mix? And why has the media seized so enthusiastically on a few prominent converts to the nuclear cause?

Nuclear loses out to renewables

At current prices, atomic energy now costs around three times as much as wind or solar power. And that’s before you consider the full expense of waste management, elaborate security, anti-proliferation measures or periodic accidents. For more than a decade, nuclear has been plagued by escalating costsexpanding build times and crashing orders. Trends in recent years are all steeply in the wrong direction.

So the rising clamour of advocacy seems to be in inverse proportion to performance. Whatever view one takes, nuclear power is in a worse position than it’s ever been compared with low-carbon alternatives – and a position that is rapidly declining further.

In fact, despite misleading suggestions to the contrary by senior figures, background government data has for decades shown that the massive scale of viable UK renewable resources is clearly adequate for all foreseeable needs. Even with storage and flexibility costs included, renewables are available far more rapidly and cost-effectively than nuclear power.

So, for all the breakdancing, it really is a conundrum why persistently bullish government and industry claims on nuclear power remain so seriously under-challenged in the wider debate. It is becoming ever more clear that nuclear plans are diverting attention, money and resources that could be far more effective if used in other ways.

One impact of this continuing official nuclear support is that climate action is being diminished and slowed. As a paper in Nature Energy (which one of us co-authored) showed in 2020, in worldwide data over the past three decades, the scales of national nuclear programmes do not tend to correlate with generally lower carbon emissions. The building of renewables does.

In fact, this study found “a negative association between the scales of national nuclear and renewables attachments. This suggests nuclear and renewables… tend to crowd each other out.”

The issues are, of course, complex. But this finding supports what the dire performance picture also predicts: that nuclear power diverts resources and attention away from more effective strategies, increasing costs to consumers and taxpayers. So it is even odder that loud voices continue to make naïve calls to ‘do everything’ – that nuclear must on principle be considered ‘part of the mix’ – as if expense, development time, limited resources and diverse preferable alternatives are not all crucial issues.

Despite the urgency of the climate emergency, there is strangely little discussion about this evidence that nuclear power may be impeding progress with options that clearly work better.

The media loves nuclear power

In fact, the British media has developed a habit of doggedly repeating claims by the nuclear industry that are, at best, somewhat wishful thinking.

One would not guess from all the noise about ‘small modular reactors’ (SMR), for instance, that the record of new nuclear designs has consistently been one of delayed schedules and escalating prices. One might easily miss that efforts at nuclear cost reduction have always depended more on scaling up than scaling down. And new SMR programmes do not even claim to address pressing current carbon targets. With debate persistently dominated by naively optimistic projections, it is oddly neglected that these familiar claims and sources have all repeatedly been falsified in the past.

Likewise, UK media debate remains unquestioningly locked into sentimental attachments to old ideas of ‘base load’ nuclear power – a notion now recognised by the electricity industry to be outdated. Far from being an automatic advantage, the inflexibly steady ‘base load’ output of a typical nuclear power reactor can present growing difficulties in a modern dynamic electricity system. It often seems to be forgotten that frequent unplanned nuclear closures pose their own kinds of intermittency risks, made worse by the massive unit sizes of nuclear reactors……………………………………

It is against this substantive background that the persistent intensity of UK government support for nuclear power is so odd – and the rising clamour of UK pro-nuclear PR and media articles so striking. Nor is it just the media. Among campaigners, it is strange, given resolute government nuclear commitments, that even some of the previously most critical voices (like Friends of the Earth), seem to be growing strangely quieter…………………………………………………………………………………..

What remains more interesting is why parts of the press should so often and loudly repeat this ‘repentant critic’ trope in aid of such a struggling industry.

One more recent example is that of Zion Lights, whose billing in the Daily Mail as “the former XR [Extinction Rebellion] communications head” has been countered by that organisation. Lights’ shift of position – leaving the Extinction Rebellion to campaign in favour of nuclear power – was featured between June and September 2020 in City AM, the Daily Mail (twice) and the Daily Telegraph, as well as in an article on the BBC News website. Then, in a second round of attention in October, the story was again covered by the Mail, with Lights also featuring in The Sun, this time with a spin (since debunked) targeting wind power…………………..

What is even more notable about this specific instance of a general syndrome is that Lights – the individual at the heart of this story – has (to her credit) made no effort to conceal that she was employed for a period by a high-profile industry-supporting public relations outfit with a long track record of unashamed advocacy of nuclear power – the US Environmental Progress organisation……………

A lack of voices for renewables

The implications here go beyond any individual. What is strange is that media attention is so strong on these kinds of arguments, while counter-commentary is so relatively quiet. After all, whilst not infallible, environmental concerns about nuclear power have over the years generally been broadly vindicated……………………………….

Nor are these odd patterns restricted to traditional media. Social media also seems susceptible. At the same time as Lights’ oddly prominent personal journey was garnering so much unquestioning news attention, other striking developments were under way on Twitter. Here, the Friends of Nuclear Energy set up shop in December 2019, the UK Pro Nuclear Power group (UKPNPG) in April 2020, and Mums for Nuclear UK in July 2020.

In an especially intriguing example, Greens For Nuclear Energy has been active on Twitter since May 2019, spending considerable effort promoting nuclear power and attempting to change the position of the Green Party. Then Liberal Democrats for nuclear power (LDs4nuclear) set up on Twitter in October 2020. In taking up our invitation to respond to core questions raised in this article, GreensForNuclearEnergy pointed to its website, on which it emphatically urges “no compromise to combat climate change”.

This Green Party case is particularly noteworthy, since it is (strangely given underlying patterns of public concern on nuclear issues), the only organised political force in England collectively offering a consistently sceptical position about nuclear power in Parliament. With the longstanding Green grounding on this issue so strong over a half-century, it is especially strange that this development should come at a time when – at least for the Greens – the argument is more over than it has ever been.

What remains particularly striking about all the instances we cite is that none engage substantively with the real-world performance of nuclear power as it is. Despite vivid rhetorics around needs for ‘science-based’ policy – and occasionally colourful fear-mongering about intermittency ‘putting the lights out’ – none of these prolific voices address (let alone refute) the worldwide substantive picture that shows nuclear power overwhelmingly to be slower, less effective and more expensive at tackling climate disruption than are renewable and storage alternatives.

UK government policy

Despite the surface commitment, we see this trend in UK government energy policy too. Dig into more specialist civil service policy papers and you find spiralling prices and little in the way of an energy-related case for nuclear power. But – in a remarkable departure from the normally diligent attention to costs – the most recent energy white paper ignored all that boring economic detail. Official UK nuclear attachments are treated as an unquestionable given.

If a persuasive explanation is sought for this persistent intensity of UK government support for nuclear power, then the real picture seems clear behind the distractions. Official UK defence documentationmany unanswered national and international media reports, brief admissions to Parliament and explicit statements in other nuclear-armed countries all make it pretty clear that the reasons are actually more military than civilian.

So, it might be understood why deep-rooted nuclear interests are seeking to hide these inconvenient facts behind pretty pictures of the West Highlands. But why is the media so keen to help, squirrelling realities away from view behind tales of repentant environmentalists? Why is so much new noise building up behind nuclear power in formerly critical political parties, just when the case has grown weaker than ever?

Profound issues are raised here, not only concerning the cost and speed of climate action, but about the independence and professionalism of the UK media and the health of British democracy as a whole. Whichever opinion we each take on nuclear issues – and whatever the undoubted uncertainties and ambiguities – we should all care very deeply about this.

Andy Stirling is Professor of Science and Technology Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex. Dr. Phil Johnstone is Senior Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit at the University of Sussex.

October 23, 2022 Posted by | climate change | Leave a comment

Would the use of a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine lead to all-out nuclear war?

The idea of using a single tactical nuclear weapon is starting to be dangerously downplayed as maybe not all that bad, thus normalizing something that should instead be outlawed. Just hide in your basement for a few days while the radiation dissipates and it’ll be OK.

tactical” is a term that covers a whole panoply of so-called “short range” weapons armed with a nuclear warhead. Such weapons can be launched from the ground, air, or sea, and even from a truck bed.  A single weapon has a typical explosive yield of between 10 and 100 kilotons. The Hiroshima bomb was 15 kilotons. So that’s not exactly small.

Our fears would vanish if nuclear weapons did too

Edging toward Armageddon? — Beyond Nuclear International By Linda Pentz Gunter, 23 Oct 22, https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2022/10/23/edging-toward-armageddon/
As we mark 60 years since the Cuban Missile Crisis, it’s truly horrifying to realize that our present times are considered to be the closest to nuclear war we have been since those 13 terrifying days in 1962.
What saved us then was cooler heads prevailing, as our stories last week described. But can we be assured that those with the power to press the proverbial button — whether at the pinnacle of leadership or lower down the chain of command — will act with similar sense and restraint?

With Kennedy and Khrushchev in command, there was a willingness on both sides to pull back from the brink, not only rhetorically, but through meaningful actions. Khrushchev removed his nuclear missiles from Cuba while the US publicly declared it would not invade the island. Privately, the US also agreed to dismantle its ballistic missiles stationed in Turkey.

And, as we have seen over the years — and in last week’s article by Angelo Baracca — sometimes it takes a person of more humble position to restore rationality and act with restraint. These near-misses ought to have put the halt on nuclear weapons development many decades ago

Instead, that most obvious of lessons was never learned: that nuclear weapons serve only one purpose; the mutual destruction of all of us. Instead, the nuclear arms race escalated to obscene heights and there are still at least 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world, leaving us perpetually on the edge of Armageddon.

And it was that word, “Armageddon,” that current US President Joe Biden used recently when he said at a Democratic gathering, “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis.” 

Kennedy had met Khrushchev prior to the 1962 standoff and Biden described Russian president, Vladimir Putin, as “a guy I know fairly well”. But so far, that familiarity hasn’t relieved the current atomic tensions around Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Instead, the news is full of alarm bells, warning that yes, Putin might just be mad enough to push the nuclear button and take us all down with him.

Pundits have cautioned that we are “not there yet,” which should not be taken as comfort. It should be taken as an opportunity to ensure that we never, ever get there. And it’s certainly not encouraging that Russia’s new top commander of the war in Ukraine. General Sergei Surovikin, is nicknamed “General Armageddon” for his command of Russia’s Syria bombardments. But, in the meantime, when we talk about Russia “using” nuclear weapons, what could happen?

Russia could use a single tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine, although “tactical” is a term that covers a whole panoply of so-called “short range” weapons armed with a nuclear warhead. Such weapons can be launched from the ground, air, or sea, and even from a truck bed.  A single weapon has a typical explosive yield of between 10 and 100 kilotons. The Hiroshima bomb was 15 kilotons. So that’s not exactly small.

The idea of using a single tactical nuclear weapon is starting to be dangerously downplayed as maybe not all that bad, thus normalizing something that should instead be outlawed. Just hide in your basement for a few days while the radiation dissipates and it’ll be OK.

But it’s that kind of thinking that prompted Biden to use the word “Armageddon” in the first place. “I don’t think there is any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon,” Biden said.

Because of course it wouldn’t be OK at all. Even after the radiation levels drop, the soil and water, and therefore food sources, would be contaminated. Essential infrastructure would be destroyed. There would be countless fatalities and many sick and dying. To use any nuclear weapon would be an abomination.

The White House has also said it would deliver what it described as a “decisive response”, should Russia use nuclear weapons. Again, it’s unclear what this means. Would the US reply with a nuclear attack of its own?

But what all of this does prove is that the possession of nuclear weapons isn’t deterring anything. What we are most frightened of right now is the possibility that Russia will use nuclear weapons and the US and/or NATO might retaliate.

Those fears would vanish if nuclear weapons did too.

That is why continuing to push for signatures and ratifications of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is so important, because it’s the one treaty that spells out the immorality of nuclear weapons and the devastating humanitarian impacts that would result even from their so-called limited use.

Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear and writes for and curates Beyond Nuclear International.

October 23, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Group of 7 condemn Russian kidnapping of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant leadership

 The Group of Seven industrialised nations condemned Russia’s kidnapping
of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant leadership and called for the
immediate return of full control of the facility to Ukraine.

 Guardian 23rd Oct 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/oct/23/russia-ukraine-war-live-g7-condemns-russian-kidnapping-of-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-leaders

October 23, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment

The US Government Sees Silicon Valley As Part Of Its Propaganda Machine

how revealing is it that someone could be forbidden by the White House from purchasing a giant social media company on the grounds that they’re not sufficiently hostile toward Moscow?

 As far as the US empire is concerned, Silicon Valley is just an arm of the imperial propaganda machine. 

 the White House summoned top social media influencers to a briefing in which they were instructed how to talk about the Ukraine war.

Silicon Valley is being used to manipulate the way people think about world events via algorithm manipulation, censorship, and sophisticated information ops like Wikipedia in an entirely unprecedented way that is becoming more and more important to imperial control as the old media give way to the new. 

 https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/the-us-government-sees-silicon-valley Caitlin Johnstone, Oct 22

The Biden administration is reportedly considering opening a national security review of Elon Musk’s business ventures which could see the plutocrat’s purchase of Twitter blocked by the White House, in part because Musk is perceived as having an “increasingly Russia-friendly stance.”

Bloomberg reports:

Biden administration officials are discussing whether the US should subject some of Elon Musk’s ventures to national security reviews, including the deal for Twitter Inc. and SpaceX’s Starlink satellite network, according to people familiar with the matter.

US officials have grown uncomfortable over Musk’s recent threat to stop supplying the Starlink satellite service to Ukraine — he said it had cost him $80 million so far — and what they see as his increasingly Russia-friendly stance following a series of tweets that outlined peace proposals favorable to President Vladimir Putin. They are also concerned by his plans to buy Twitter with a group of foreign investors.

The “group of foreign investors” the Biden administration is reportedly worried about oddly includes Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, who has already been a massive Twitter shareholder for years. The White House certainly never had a problem with foreign investors there before.

“Officials in the US government and intelligence community are weighing what tools, if any, are available that would allow the federal government to review Musk’s ventures,” Bloomberg writes. “One possibility is through the law governing the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States [CFIUS] to review Musk’s deals and operations for national security risks, they said.”

“Musk, the world’s richest person, has taken to Twitter in recent weeks to announce proposals to end Russia’s war and threaten to cut financial support for Starlink internet in Ukraine,” says Bloomberg. “His tweets and public comments have frustrated officials in the US and Europe and drawn praise from America’s rivals.”

“If the Twitter acquisition was to be reviewed by CFIUS for national security reasons, the agency could recommend to President Biden that he nix the deal — something Musk himself has tried and failed to do in recent months,” writes Business Insider’s Kate Duffy on the Bloomberg scoop.

Indeed Musk has already indicated that he’d find it funny if the Biden administration blocked his purchase of Twitter, a $44 billion buy that the Tesla executive has made every legal effort to back out of. But how revealing is it that someone could be forbidden by the White House from purchasing a giant social media company on the grounds that they’re not sufficiently hostile toward Moscow?

Neither Bloomberg nor any other mainstream members of the imperial commentariat appear to take any interest in the jarring notion that the US government could end up banning the purchase of an online platform because it views the purchaser as having an unacceptably “Russia-friendly stance.” Not only is it uncritically accepted that the US government mustn’t allow the purchase of a social media company if the would-be buyer isn’t deemed adequately hostile to US enemies, many mainstream liberals are actively cheering for this outcome:

This just says so much about how the US government views the function of Silicon Valley megacorporations, and why it has been exerting more and more pressure on them to collaborate with the empire to greater and greater degrees of intimacy. As far as the US empire is concerned, Silicon Valley is just an arm of the imperial propaganda machine. And empire apologists believe that’s as it should be.

None of this will come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to things like the drastic escalations in online censorship since the war in Ukraine began, including on Twitter, or the ongoing expansion of internet censorship protocols that were already well underway before this war started. It will also come as no surprise to people whose ears pricked up when the White House summoned top social media influencers to a briefing in which they were instructed how to talk about the Ukraine war. It will also come as no surprise to those who paid attention to the public outcry when it was discovered that the Biden administration was assembling a “disinformation governance board” to function as an official Ministry of Truth for online content, or when the White House admitted to flagging “problematic posts” for Facebook to take down, or when Mark Zuckerberg admitted that the censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop October surprise in the last presidential race was done in conjunction with the FBI.

It is abundantly clear to anyone paying attention that Silicon Valley tech companies are a major part of the imperial narrative control system. The US empire has invested in soft power to an exponentially greater degree than any other empire in history, and has refined the science of mass-scale psychological manipulation to produce the mightiest propaganda machine since the dawn of civilization. Silicon Valley is being used to manipulate the way people think about world events via algorithm manipulation, censorship, and sophisticated information ops like Wikipedia in an entirely unprecedented way that is becoming more and more important to imperial control as the old media give way to the new. 

Narrative control centers like Silicon Valley, the news media and Hollywood are just as crucial for US imperial domination as the military. That the US government is weighing intervention to stop the purchase of an online platform, because it lacks confidence that the would-be owner would reliably advance US information interests, is just the latest glimpse behind the veil at the imperial agenda to control human understanding and perception. 

October 23, 2022 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

How the pro-Ukraine “North Atlantic Fellas Organization” (NAFO) troll operation crowd-funds war criminals.

 https://thegrayzone.com/2022/10/20/ukraine-nafo-troll-war-criminals/ ALEXANDER RUBINSTEIN, OCTOBER 20, 2022

Celebrated in mainstream US media for its anti-Russian trolling, the Twitter operation known as NAFO was founded by a Polish antisemite to raise money for a militia that has hosted war criminals, white nationalists and wanted murderers.

Whether they know it or not, anyone who has checked Twitter for recent coverage of the Ukraine proxy war has likely encountered at least one of the thousands of trolls that comprise NAFO, or the “North Atlantic Fellas Organization.” Thanks to the efforts of NAFO and its “fellas,” any journalist or prominent figure critical of Ukraine or NATO on Twitter is likely to receive hundreds of replies accusing them of being paid by Russian President Vladimir Putin (or even performing fellatio on him) from accounts with Shiba Inu dog avatars.

Since its inception several months ago, NAFO has earned gushing praise from the Washington Post, which hailed it for “show[ing] that the tables could be turned on Russia, when it came to trolling.” The arms industry-funded, Washington DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), meanwhile, hosted an online panel highlighting NAFO as an instrumental weapon in the Russia-Ukraine infowars.

One NAFO founder explained that he chose the Georgian Legion as a funding recipient precisely because of the unit’s reputation as a band of “mercenaries and criminals” that was willing to carry out barbarous acts which could cause foreign governments to shy away from supporting it. Another NAFO founder has praised the Georgian Legion’s leader for “killing Russians since the ’90s.”

Among the Georgian Legion’s most notorious members are US fugitive and murderer Craig Lang, as well as Paul Gray, an American whose past involvement in several neo-Nazi organizations was never mentioned during the friendly primetime interviews he was granted by Fox News and its local affiliates. 

While providing a financial feeding tube to a militia that revels in its own atrocities, NAFO continues to attract effusive support from mainstream US journalists and think tankers who portray the operation as little more than a grassroots expression of online solidarity with Ukraine.

Obsessively online interventionists find meaning and purpose as “fellas”

Read more: How the pro-Ukraine “North Atlantic Fellas Organization” (NAFO) troll operation crowd-funds war criminals.

Employing cartoon memes of the Shiba Inu dog breed, NAFO’s postmodern aesthetic, irreverent style and dedication to viciously trolling any critic of the Ukraine proxy war has garnered the adulation of Western media and interventionist government officials alike.

To outsiders, the lingo that flows through internal NAFO chats might seem unintelligible: “fellas” refers to members; “nafoarticle5” is a call to action that urges “fellas” to dog-pile on a particular social media post; “vatnik” serves as a pejorative for Russians and virtually anyone critical of the US-backed proxy war. Phrases such as “NAFO expansion is non-negotiable” and sarcastic claims that they are funded by the CIA (which they simultaneously claim “doesn’t exist”) are also ubiquitous.

Behind the anonymously named Twitter accounts of NAFO members lies a base of extremely online, mostly male civilians seeking a sense of purpose and community. Some participants have tattooed Shiba Inu avatars onto their bodies while others have published photos of their newborn babies in the arms of an adult sporting a NAFO shirt.

One member of the troll operation tweeted a photo of an elaborate NAFO tattoo emblazoned on his arm, but has since deleted it.

In public, NAFO leaders market the image of a charity-focused community of do-gooders, however, many posts by its fellas reflect the kind of psychologically deranged outbursts familiar to young adult men who spend endless hours ranting on a messaging platform built for gamers……………

While US corporate media have declared that within NAFO “there is no command structure,” effectively releasing the group’s founders from accountability for the fellas’ behavior, this reporter found all the hallmarks of an organizational hierarchy. The group’s Discord server is run by founders, assigned administrators, moderators, and “forgers” who make memes used for harassing people on social media. “Verified fellas” are granted access to otherwise locked channels, while regular “fellas” are assigned more mundane roles.

“It’s preferred that people who are not heavily involved in the day to day do not speak on behalf of NAFO or what NAFO is to the press,” one administrator wrote in the server’s announcement’s channel.

Inside NAFO’s social media crowdfunding nexus

There are three ways to obtain a NAFO avatar and become a verified “fella.” The first is to make a donation to the Georgian National Legion through an email address attached to PayPal and belonging to Taras Reshetylo, a field commander of the Georgian Legion. Another way to join is by donating to an organization called “Protect Ukraine Defenders,” or a merchandise purchase from a website called Saint Javelin. Saint Javelin’s logo depicts the Virgin Mary bearing a US-manufactured Javelin missile.

Though distinct from NAFO at its foundation, Saint Javelin sold merchandise for the organization and recently incorporated NAFO into its brand. For months, all of Saint Javelin’s proceeds from NAFO merchandise went directly to the Georgian Legion, according to its website. Like NAFO, Saint Javelin estimates that it has raised huge sums for the war — more than a million dollars. 

Besides fundraising for the Georgian Legion, Saint Javelin passes on proceeds to United24, an initiative launched by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky “as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine.” It also channels money to the Ukrainian World Congress, an organization which has defended the legacy of World War Two-era Nazi collaborator and mass murderer Stepan Bandera, branding him “the undisputed symbol of Ukraine’s lengthy and tragic struggle for independence.” 

Saint Javelin’s partnership with Zelensky’s United24 aims to help raise funds to build an “army of drones.”

The Saint Javelin website was launched by a former journalist named Christian Borys whose employment history spans NATO state-funded outlets including Canada’s CBC and Britain’s BBC. Borys has also authored articles for the US government-sponsored outlet Radio Free Europe. 

One of Borys’ most notorious journalistic escapades consisted of a night of bar-hopping in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, where he patronized an antisemitic restaurant and returned with a review for Vice News portraying it as one of the city’s many weird and wonderful haunts. 

The restaurant converts anti-Jewish tropes into a marketing gimmick; its waiters dress as Orthodox Jews who haggle with patrons over the prices of menu items. “If you play your cards right [it’s] ridiculously cheap,” Borys gushed in his review.

Noting that Lviv “was home to around 220,000 Jewish people,” Borys wrote that “the population now only hovers around 1,100,” Strangely though, he neglected to explain how the genocidal rampage of Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists helped violently extinguish the local Jewish population. He merely stated that the restaurant “pays homage [to the local Jewish population] in a weird way.”

The Ukrainian ethnic-owned restaurant contains a terrace that overlooks the ruins of  “one of the most important synagogues in Eastern Europe.” 

In the same 2015 article, Borys described going to a bar where “you’re served by little people,” visiting another that forces you to recite ultra-nationalist slogans before entering, and emptying an AK-47 clip in a target depicting Putin’s face at a local shooting range.

On Twitter, Borys erupted with glee when a member of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was spotted wearing a Saint Javelin patch. He seemed equally thrilled when his former employer published photographs from an unstated source of Ukraine’s Defense Minister Olekseii Reznikov handing President Zelensky a Saint Javelin t-shirt.

In the NAFO Discord chat, Borys suggested paying protesters to hold NAFO demonstrations outside Russian embassies.

A retired Marine and amateur conflict pundit named Matt Moores claimed to have established the relationship between NAFO and Borys after co-founding the former organization. On October 7, NAFO was incorporated into the Saint Javelin brand, with the latter becoming the former’s parent company, according to a post by a NAFO administrator in the Discord server’s announcement channel.

The third organization for which NAFO fundraises, Protect Ukraine Defenders, was launched by a well-connected functionary of the Brussels-based intelligentsia named Ievgen Vorobiov. Vorobiov started as an intern for the European Union state-funded Centre for European Policy Studies think tank, then moved on to gigs at the Polish government-founded Polish Institute of International Affairs and Foreign Policy magazine. Before founding Protect Ukraine Defenders, Vorobiov spent nearly four years at the European Union Advisory Mission in Ukraine.

An anchor for amplifying pro-proxy war Twitter accounts

While Twitter has responded to NATO state pressure to suppress accounts associated with Russian state media, and has banned numerous other users for simply questioning the official Western version of events in Ukraine, organizations connected with NAFO have seen explosive growth since the Ukraine proxy war began. Saint Javelin, for its part, has received verification from Twitter and amassed nearly 70,000 followers since launching an account this February.

A NAFO founder who operates under the pseudonym “Kama Kamilia” had less than 200 Twitter followers in April 2022; today they broadcast to an audience of over 22,000. NAFO co-founder Christian Borys had less than 5,500 followers in February 2022 and now boasts more than 36,000. Similarly, Matt Moores’ Twitter account grew by more than 16,000 followers since January.

“Kama Kamilia” has explicitly linked the Georgian Legion’s follower count to the popularity of his NAFO organization: “I think they had 4,000 followers when we started [now] they have… more than 20,000.” As of early October, that number is more than 110,000

Yet NAFO’s beltway boosters often gloss over its role as a fundraising machine for the Georgian Legion, a US-backed Ukrainian fighting group that stands accused of gruesome battlefield atrocities. Several former members of the Legion have produced first-hand testimony documenting its perpetration of war crimes, including the torture and execution of POWs and civilians. 

One NAFO founder explained that he chose the Georgian Legion as a funding recipient precisely because of the unit’s reputation as a band of “mercenaries and criminals” that was willing to carry out barbarous acts which could cause foreign governments to shy away from supporting it. Another NAFO founder has praised the Georgian Legion’s leader for “killing Russians since the ’90s.”

Among the Georgian Legion’s most notorious members are US fugitive and murderer Craig Lang, as well as Paul Gray, an American whose past involvement in several neo-Nazi organizations was never mentioned during the friendly primetime interviews he was granted by Fox News and its local affiliates. 

While providing a financial feeding tube to a militia that revels in its own atrocities, NAFO continues to attract effusive support from mainstream US journalists and think tankers who portray the operation as little more than a grassroots expression of online solidarity with Ukraine.

Obsessively online interventionists find meaning and purpose as “fellas”

Employing cartoon memes of the Shiba Inu dog breed, NAFO’s postmodern aesthetic, irreverent style and dedication to viciously trolling any critic of the Ukraine proxy war has garnered the adulation of Western media and interventionist government officials alike.

To outsiders, the lingo that flows through internal NAFO chats might seem unintelligible: “fellas” refers to members; “nafoarticle5” is a call to action that urges “fellas” to dog-pile on a particular social media post; “vatnik” serves as a pejorative for Russians and virtually anyone critical of the US-backed proxy war. Phrases such as “NAFO expansion is non-negotiable” and sarcastic claims that they are funded by the CIA (which they simultaneously claim “doesn’t exist”) are also ubiquitous.

Behind the anonymously named Twitter accounts of NAFO members lies a base of extremely online, mostly male civilians seeking a sense of purpose and community. Some participants have tattooed Shiba Inu avatars onto their bodies while others have published photos of their newborn babies in the arms of an adult sporting a NAFO shirt.

One member of the troll operation tweeted a photo of an elaborate NAFO tattoo emblazoned on his arm, but has since deleted it.

In public, NAFO leaders market the image of a charity-focused community of do-gooders, however, many posts by its fellas reflect the kind of psychologically deranged outbursts familiar to young adult men who spend endless hours ranting on a messaging platform built for gamers. In mid-October, for example, an administrator complained that she was forced to ban two members of the NAFO Discord for publicly plotting the murder of a third member of the community. 

While US corporate media have declared that within NAFO “there is no command structure,” effectively releasing the group’s founders from accountability for the fellas’ behavior, this reporter found all the hallmarks of an organizational hierarchy. The group’s Discord server is run by founders, assigned administrators, moderators, and “forgers” who make memes used for harassing people on social media. “Verified fellas” are granted access to otherwise locked channels, while regular “fellas” are assigned more mundane roles.

“It’s preferred that people who are not heavily involved in the day to day do not speak on behalf of NAFO or what NAFO is to the press,” one administrator wrote in the server’s announcement’s channel.

Inside NAFO’s social media crowdfunding nexus

There are three ways to obtain a NAFO avatar and become a verified “fella.” The first is to make a donation to the Georgian National Legion through an email address attached to PayPal and belonging to Taras Reshetylo, a field commander of the Georgian Legion. Another way to join is by donating to an organization called “Protect Ukraine Defenders,” or a merchandise purchase from a website called Saint Javelin. Saint Javelin’s logo depicts the Virgin Mary bearing a US-manufactured Javelin missile.

Though distinct from NAFO at its foundation, Saint Javelin sold merchandise for the organization and recently incorporated NAFO into its brand. For months, all of Saint Javelin’s proceeds from NAFO merchandise went directly to the Georgian Legion, according to its website. Like NAFO, Saint Javelin estimates that it has raised huge sums for the war — more than a million dollars. 

Besides fundraising for the Georgian Legion, Saint Javelin passes on proceeds to United24, an initiative launched by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky “as the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine.” It also channels money to the Ukrainian World Congress, an organization which has defended the legacy of World War Two-era Nazi collaborator and mass murderer Stepan Bandera, branding him “the undisputed symbol of Ukraine’s lengthy and tragic struggle for independence.” 

Saint Javelin’s partnership with Zelensky’s United24 aims to help raise funds to build an “army of drones.”

The Saint Javelin website was launched by a former journalist named Christian Borys whose employment history spans NATO state-funded outlets including Canada’s CBC and Britain’s BBC. Borys has also authored articles for the US government-sponsored outlet Radio Free Europe. 

One of Borys’ most notorious journalistic escapades consisted of a night of bar-hopping in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, where he patronized an antisemitic restaurant and returned with a review for Vice News portraying it as one of the city’s many weird and wonderful haunts. 

The restaurant converts anti-Jewish tropes into a marketing gimmick; its waiters dress as Orthodox Jews who haggle with patrons over the prices of menu items. “If you play your cards right [it’s] ridiculously cheap,” Borys gushed in his review.

Noting that Lviv “was home to around 220,000 Jewish people,” Borys wrote that “the population now only hovers around 1,100,” Strangely though, he neglected to explain how the genocidal rampage of Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists helped violently extinguish the local Jewish population. He merely stated that the restaurant “pays homage [to the local Jewish population] in a weird way.”

The Ukrainian ethnic-owned restaurant contains a terrace that overlooks the ruins of  “one of the most important synagogues in Eastern Europe.” 

In the same 2015 article, Borys described going to a bar where “you’re served by little people,” visiting another that forces you to recite ultra-nationalist slogans before entering, and emptying an AK-47 clip in a target depicting Putin’s face at a local shooting range.

VICE News publishes a “supplied” photograph of President Zelensky being handed a Saint Javelin t-shirt by the country’s Minister of Defense

On Twitter, Borys erupted with glee when a member of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion was spotted wearing a Saint Javelin patch. He seemed equally thrilled when his former employer published photographs from an unstated source of Ukraine’s Defense Minister Olekseii Reznikov handing President Zelensky a Saint Javelin t-shirt.

In the NAFO Discord chat, Borys suggested paying protesters to hold NAFO demonstrations outside Russian embassies.

A retired Marine and amateur conflict pundit named Matt Moores claimed to have established the relationship between NAFO and Borys after co-founding the former organization. On October 7, NAFO was incorporated into the Saint Javelin brand, with the latter becoming the former’s parent company, according to a post by a NAFO administrator in the Discord server’s announcement channel.

The third organization for which NAFO fundraises, Protect Ukraine Defenders, was launched by a well-connected functionary of the Brussels-based intelligentsia named Ievgen Vorobiov. Vorobiov started as an intern for the European Union state-funded Centre for European Policy Studies think tank, then moved on to gigs at the Polish government-founded Polish Institute of International Affairs and Foreign Policy magazine. Before founding Protect Ukraine Defenders, Vorobiov spent nearly four years at the European Union Advisory Mission in Ukraine.

An anchor for amplifying pro-proxy war Twitter accounts

While Twitter has responded to NATO state pressure to suppress accounts associated with Russian state media, and has banned numerous other users for simply questioning the official Western version of events in Ukraine, organizations connected with NAFO have seen explosive growth since the Ukraine proxy war began. Saint Javelin, for its part, has received verification from Twitter and amassed nearly 70,000 followers since launching an account this February.

A NAFO founder who operates under the pseudonym “Kama Kamilia” had less than 200 Twitter followers in April 2022; today they broadcast to an audience of over 22,000. NAFO co-founder Christian Borys had less than 5,500 followers in February 2022 and now boasts more than 36,000. Similarly, Matt Moores’ Twitter account grew by more than 16,000 followers since January.

“Kama Kamilia” has explicitly linked the Georgian Legion’s follower count to the popularity of his NAFO organization: “I think they had 4,000 followers when we started [now] they have… more than 20,000.” As of early October, that number is more than 110,000.

In September, the Discord tech company granted NAFO “partnered” status, meaning it now serves as a corporate “role model” and is considered one of “the best servers out there.” Yet it is composed of just over 3,000 members, raising questions about the tens of thousands of new followers NAFO has suddenly accumulated on Twitter.

NAFO’s expansion has also driven the growth of hundreds, if not thousands, of otherwise insignificant Twitter accounts which have participated in online harassment and used the group to push crowdfunding efforts. 

One NAFO-stylized account which the Georgian Legion follows and at least one administrator of the NAFO Discord boasted that they were able to purchase gear for a Ukrainian soldier named “Igor.” In the photographs attached to the Tweet, Igor can be seen wearing a Nazi Sonnenrad patch.

The war crimes of the Georgian Legion

Behind the goofy Shibu Ina avatars and rambunctious chat sessions lies a mission that defines NAFO: to raise as much money as possible for the Georgian National Legion. One administrator of the official NAFO discord put it succinctly: “NAFO has always been about supporting the Georgian Legion first and foremost.” 

Another administrator stated on July 2 of this year that “$43,000 (USD) has been raised by the fellas for the Georgian Legion.” Three months later, a NAFO member estimated the figure to be “likely totaling over $1 million,” a metric of the explosive growth of the group. “It is the most organic movement I’ve been involved with,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

While NAFO fundraises for several allied organizations, supporters are most frequently directed to donate to the Georgian Legion. Matt Moores, the US Marine veteran who co-founded NAFO and describes himself as “very online,” has explained in interviews that NAFO “started as a fundraiser really.” 


“Beyond the memes, beyond the jokes, beyond the humor, there is a real component of it with, you know, fundraising. These little cartoon dog avatars that they have, each one of them is made by a volunteer, a fella forger, in our community and these little small donations have raised close to $300,000 so far,” Moores explained.

With an existing Twitter following, Moores reached out to someone who posts online under the Kama Kamilia in May. It was then that NAFO was born.

“I was looking and saw that someone was posting these little cartoon dogs and using them to, you know, mock and to belittle these, you know, propaganda statements and the supposed achievements of the Russian military and just trying to throw these little jabs wherever you could get them in,” Moores said. “One day someone asked Kamil ‘how do I get one of these?’ And he said ‘if you send $20 or whatever it is to the Georgian Legion we’ll make you one of these.’ So from there it has really gotten quite out of hand.”

Little is known about the NAFO co-founder “Kama Kamilia,” as corporate media outlets hyping them as a pro-Ukraine influencer extraordinaire have refused to disclose his real name. However, this reporter and researcher Moss Robeson have determined that he is Kamil Dyszewski, a 29-year-old Polish national and failed criminologist-turned-video game reviewer living somewhere near London.

 The NAFO founder has posted a number of antisemitic memes, including some mocking Jewish victims of the Holocaust, seemingly glorifying Adolf Hitler, and calling for the deportation of President Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to Tel Aviv.

“I just stumbled my way through life, now into this. What fuels it for me is the absolute hatred and vitriol I have towards the Russians,” Dyszewski has said. “I just found a way which we could expedite the process of getting them [the Russian government] removed.”

Dyszewski explained that he chose the Georgian Legion to be the recipients of the funds he raised because he believed their reputation as “mercenaries and criminals” would preclude them from receiving support from foreign governments.

The fighting group, which was incorporated into the official Ukrainian military, is led by Mamuka Mamulashvili, a Georgian-born veteran of several conflicts against Russia who swore to execute Russian POWs, an act which constitutes a war crime under the Geneva Convention. 

“We will not take Russian soldiers… we will not take prisoners, not a single person will be captured,” Mamulashvili has said. “Yes, we tie their hands and feet sometimes. I speak for the Georgian Legion, we will never take Russian soldiers prisoner. Not a single one of them will be taken prisoner.”

Mamulashvili’s comment came in response to a viral video which depicted one of his fighters casually executing wounded Russian POW’s.

Mamulashvili is a key suspect in the massacre by snipers of 49 protesters in Maidan square in 2014, a likely false flag attack designed to intensify opposition to the elected government of Ukraine. At the same time, he has been awarded the National Hero of Ukraine recognition, the highest national title in the country.

In a March 2022 interview with this reporter, Henry Hoeft, an American veteran named who volunteered with the Georgian National Legion, described witnessing war crimes committed by members of his unit. According to Hoeft, two men “blew a checkpoint” after members of the Georgian Legion accused them of being Russian spies. His fellow soldiers “shot their car up [and] black-bagged them.”

Georgian Legion fighters then “fucking slit their throats in the basement of the fucking building,” Hoeft recalled. “We don’t even know if they were actually spies or just people who ran a checkpoint.”

Another former American volunteer in Ukraine known only by the alias Benjamin Velcro described witnessing fellow Georgian Legion volunteers torture and execute a captured teen whom he estimated was “about 18.” 

Velcro remarked, “We’d been told to take no prisoners.”

The Georgian Legion veteran continued: “We made a lesson to him. We fucking cut his achilles heels and made him swim across the Severdonetsk river and he drowned. Or he was shot. We were all taking kind of like practice shots at him to see how well our shot was as he swam without achilles heels… either way he’s dead,” Velcro said.

“Of course those fucking Georgian Legion guys did that stuff because they’re Georgians and they’re retards,” Velcro remarked.

The Georgian Legion has hosted two other notorious US foreign fighters profiled by The Grayzone: Craig Lang and Paul Gray. Lang was a member of the group before he returned to the United States, where he is wanted for robbed and murdering a married couple to finance his return trip to Ukraine. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has obtained video showing Lang participating in war crimes in eastern Ukraine, including “beating and drowning a girl after a fellow fighter injected her with adrenaline so that she would not lose consciousness as she was drowned.”

Gray, who is still active with the Georgian Legion, has been involved with multiple US-based neo-Nazi organizations, including Atomwaffen, which is listed as a terrorist organization by several countries. On its Twitter account, the Georgian Legion promoted a Fox News appearance by Gray. Similarly, Mamulashvili has posted Lang’s photograph on his Facebook page.

The Georgian Legion boss, Mamulashvili, has enjoyed close ties to Washington throughout years of low-intensity conflict in the eastern Ukraine, junketing to Capitol Hill for meetings with lawmakers with seats on foreign affairs committees in the House and Senate.

Though NAFO co-founder Moores speaks only infrequently about the Georgian Legion, he makes no secret of his support for the outfit: “Anywho, how about those Georgians,” he has written on Discord. “Boy they sure do kill Russians good, I’ll tell you what.” Similarly, Moores has praised the warlord Mamulashvili, marveling that “this dude has been killing Russians since the 90s.”

On Twitter, Moores posts under the handle “@iAmTheWarax,” where he has discussed Mamulashvili’s surprised reaction to the fact that “cartoon dogs” were raising thousands of dollars for his legion.

Moores, a former banker who joined the Marine Corps to “pursue his childhood dream” of becoming a tank operator, was first deployed to Libya in 2011, where the US and NATO overthrew and murdered the country’s longtime leader, Muammar Gaddafi, instantly transforming a once prosperous African country into a despotic hellhole. Moores has described his experience in Afghanistan, a country occupied, destabilized, and abandoned by the US military, as “based.”

For his part, Kamil Dyszewski – or Kama Kamilia as he is known online – has promoted the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion and celebrated the Ukrainian government’s October 8 suicide bombing attack on the Kerch bridge, retweeting several posts from fellow NAFO members that photoshopped Shiba Inu dogs into the scene of the attack. In the Discord server, Dyszewski wrote, “I need Russia to apologize for its audacity to exist. It can do so by ceasing to exist.”

The Grayzone has closely reviewed NAFO’s Discord server and gained access to channels accessible only to verified members. As the second part of this two part investigation will show, the server is a cesspool of hatred, with fellas delighting in videos of wounded and dying Russians and cracking gay jokes at their expense. Prominent journalists can also be found in the chats colluding with NAFO leaders on how to spin their coverage of the troll farm and cultivate support from DC power-brokers.

October 23, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Russian language should become extinct in Ukraine – security chief

According to the 2001 census, approximately 14.3 million Ukrainians (29% of the population) speak Russian as their first language. Some other estimates put that number even higher.   

The language is particularly widespread in the eastern and southern regions of the country.

Rt.com 21 Oct 22,

The language is part of Moscow’s propaganda, Defence Council boss claims

The Russian language should be eradicated in Ukraine as it is allegedly being used as a tool by Moscow to wield influence on Ukrainians, one of the country’s key security officials has claimed.

The Russian language is nothing but an “element of enemy propaganda and brainwashing of our people,” Alexey Danilov, the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said on the ‘Big Lviv Talks’ show on Friday.  

The official also spoke in favor of Ukrainians learning English instead.  ………

The senior official went on to criticize pundits and experts who speak Russian while appearing on Ukrainian TV.   

According to the 2001 census, approximately 14.3 million Ukrainians (29% of the population) speak Russian as their first language. Some other estimates put that number even higher.   

The language is particularly widespread in the eastern and southern regions of the country. Ever since the Maidan coup back in 2014, Moscow has been consistently accusing the Ukrainian government of systematically discriminating against Russian-speakers.

The perceived violations of the linguistic minority’s rights were also cited by the secessionist movements in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions, parts of which went on to become the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, respectively.  ………………………. more https://www.rt.com/russia/565118-ukrainian-official-russian-language-eradication

October 23, 2022 Posted by | civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment

The Nuclear Site That Can’t Be Cleaned Up

‘Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America’ exposes the story of a Washington state complex that poses dangers that—like the nuclear industry itself—cannot be contained.

 https://portside.org/2022-10-23/nuclear-site-cant-be-cleaned October 23, 2022 Ron Jacobs , In what I consider to be something between coincidence and synchronicity, I began reading journalist Joshua Frank’s newest book on the dangers of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Atomic Days: The Untold Story of the Most Toxic Place in America, the day after the California state legislature extended the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant’s license to operate for another five years. 

Back in 1981, I spent a few days in jail for protesting the opening of the Diablo plant as part of a direct action initiative called by the Abalone Alliance, an anti-nuclear advocacy group. We were reasonably concerned about the dangers it could pose: For starters, it was built on an earthquake fault. Then there’s the question of nuclear waste disposal, the impacts these sites have on the water sources, and the industry’s relationship to the building and stockpiling of nuclear weapons.

Frank’s in-depth reporting of the Hanford site illuminates similar threats to those posed by Diablo and other nuclear plants. Constructed beginning in the spring of 1943, the Washington state nuclear production complex was built to create and stockpile plutonium and purified uranium for weapons of war. The site was chosen for its remoteness and ease of access to one of North America’s great rivers, the Columbia. Empowered by the War Powers Act of 1941, the United States government took the land from residents who lived, fished, and farmed there—descendants of settlers and Indigenous people alike—and developed it to serve as a plutonium processing plant for the Manhattan Project.

Like so much of the nuclear bomb project in its early years, the construction of the Hanford site involved dangerous shortcuts. The rationale given had to do with the war engulfing the world and the United States’ rush to develop a nuclear weapon, the desire to cut costs in that development, as well as the lack of practical knowledge among the scientists and engineers involved. Naturally, like virtually every other industrial element of war-making in the United States, the bulk of the research, development, and construction of nuclear weapons, even at these early stages, was privatized.  

In fact, as Frank describes in his book, the Army Corps of Engineers lieutenant general in charge of the Manhattan Project, Leslie Groves, contracted with the DuPont Corporation to find a suitable site for the processing plant that ended up in Hanford. As Frank explains, a consistent theme is the sacrificing of safety for the sake of profit. Even so, many if not most of the contracts exceeded the original contract costs by millions.

Atomic Days also discusses the cleanup of the Hanford Reservation; a process that officially began in 1989. As Frank carefully documents, not only has this cleanup been less than successful, it has often created a bigger mess than that which it was supposedly cleaning up. In addition, the way the process is being done almost guarantees cost overruns and a task that will never be complete. Much of this is traceable back to the original construction of the site, especially of the nuclear waste storage containers. Once they started leaking, the task became one of how to stop the leakage and prevent more from occurring. In response, plans were designed to create a waste treatment plant. Like so much else associated with the nuclear industry, and Hanford in particular, this led to more dangers. Once again, many of these risks could have been avoided if profit were not the primary motive. 

Frank relates tales of scientists being ignored after warning management that the fixes it preferred were not workable in the long term. He writes about a culture of fear inside the project—a culture fed by the employees’ sense of allegiance to their nation and the importance of their role in defending that nation. It is this allegiance that is manipulated by corporate interests into something close to its opposite. It is also a part of the basis for employees ignoring safety protocols at their own risk and poisoning themselves and the environment surrounding Hanford. As is the case in many government and corporate cultures, whistleblowers are punished and silenced. This allegiance was not always limited to the workers inside, many residents of nearby towns refused to believe reports of radioactive material being released and accidentally leaking when the reports first came out.

As if to verify Frank’s assertions, I lived in western Washington for seven years (1985-1992) and knew very little of the dangers. With the exception of a couple friends who were scientists and antinuclear activists, most locals knew less than I did. A friend who grew up in Kennewick, Washington, a town just a few miles away from Hanford, would argue with me, convinced that the site was completely safe, even though people he knew who had worked there were diagnosed with cancer in their thirties. 

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation is testament to the war machine’s inhumanity. The fact that its primary purpose was the production of an element that remains deadly poisonous to humans and other life forms for tens of thousands of years is a damning testament to the suicidal nature of too many human pursuits. In writing Atomic Days, author Joshua Frank has done a great public service. The fact that he has done so in a narrative style that is both accessible and instructive makes one hope his story will be read by many.  

October 23, 2022 Posted by | environment, USA | Leave a comment

US could directly intervene in Ukraine – ex-CIA chief

Rt.com 23 Oct 22, The US and its allies may join the conflict between Moscow and Kiev even if there is no threat to NATO, David Petraeus believes.

The US and its allies might directly intervene in the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, even if there is no threat to any NATO member states, retired US Army general David Petraeus told France’s L’Express weekly on Saturday.

Washington might form a new coalition of the willing in such a scenario and use it instead of NATO, Petraeus, who also briefly served as the CIA director, believes.

Russia could take some actions in Ukraine that would be “so shocking and so horrific” that it would prompt a response from the US and other nations, he said, adding that they “might react in one way or another, but as a multinational force led by the US and not as a NATO force.”

The military alliance would still likely be bound by its treaty and would only join the conflict if Article 5 is invoked, i.e. if one of its members is attacked, the general believes. Petraeus also said that Moscow is not interested in escalating the conflict and turning it into a global war. A wider conflict is “the last thing” Russian President Vladimir Putin needs right now, he added……………………………. https://www.rt.com/news/565160-petraeus-us-intervene-ukraine-conflict/

October 23, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

France’s Nuclear Reactors Malfunction as Energy Crisis Bites

B1 The linchpin of France’s energy security faces maintenance and pipe-corrosion problems plus labor unrest

WSJ, By Matthew Dalton Oct. 23, 2022

PARIS—France is falling behind in its plans to return the country’s fleet of nuclear reactors to full power this winter after a rash of outages, raising fears that one of Europe’s key sources of electricity won’t be ramped up to counter Russia’s squeeze on the continent’s energy supplies.

The nuclear fleet was designed to act as the front line of France’s energy security. Since Moscow cut the flow of natural gas to Europe—plunging the continent into its biggest energy crisis since the 1970s oil shock—France’s vaunted nuclear fleet has been about as effective as the Maginot Line, the French fortifications that did little to stop the German invasion during World War II…………….. (subscribers only) more https://www.wsj.com/articles/frances-nuclear-reactors-malfunction-as-energy-crisis-bites-11666517581

October 23, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

‘Whistleblower’ says legal battle with nuclear site owners ‘almost broke me’

A consultant who claims she was dismissed by Sellafield for exposing failures to address a “toxic” working culture has been granted an appeal against her employment tribunal loss.

Yorkshire Post, By Nathan Hyde, 23 Oct 22,

Equality and diversity consultant Alison McDermott said her contract at the nuclear processing plant ended after she wrote a damning “whistleblowing” report about the human resources (HR) leadership team, claiming they had failed to address complaints about bullying and harassment.

After refusing a £160,000 settlement, she took her case to an employment tribunal. But Employment Judge Philip Lancaster dismissed her claim and ruled she was not a whistleblower, following a hearing in Leeds.

She was then ordered to pay £40,000 to help cover the legal costs of Sellafield Ltd and its parent company – the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

Ms McDermott, from Burley in Wharfedale, has been granted an appeal and she is now raising money to cover her legal costs, ahead of the next hearing in January.

Her legal team have challenged the ruling, but also criticised the judge for refusing to look at the alleged “toxic culture” at Sellafield and alleged failure of the HR team. They said this provides vital context, as it explains Ms McDermott’s decision to become a whistleblower.

“I am doing everything I can because I’m really concerned about what’s going on at Sellafield,” she said………………………………

Ms McDermott signed a two-day-a-week contract with Sellafield Ltd to work as a consultant in equality and diversity at the nuclear fuel reprocessing and decommissioning site in September 2018.

After taking on the role, looked into allegations of sexual harrasment and homophobic abuse.

She also recieved an anonymous letter claiming “serious problems” about sexual harassment “are being ignored”.

The following month, she compiled a report on the HR leadership team, saying they were viewed as “broken and dysfunctional”

 by some staff and failing to effectively deal with allegations of harassment and bullying.

Shortly after filing the report, she was told her £1,500-a-day contract would be terminated due to “funding constraints”.

But during the tribunal, Sellafield’s lawyers said it was because the report, which had cost around £12,000, was “questionable and insubstantial” and “lacked any meaningful analysis”.

According to the ruling, the judge accepted the funding constraints excuse was used to allow Ms McDermott to leave “with her head held high”.

He ruled she was not a whistleblower, because she could not make any “disclosures” which are protected under UK employment law.

Sellafield Ltd, which has previously stated it is committed to eradicating bullying and harassment, has been approached for comment. https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/people/whistleblower-says-legal-battle-with-nuclear-site-owners-almost-broke-me-3889870

October 23, 2022 Posted by | Legal, UK | Leave a comment

Rishi Sunak’s Richmond constituency is one of the potential locations for a small nuclear reactor factory

Second Welsh location shortlisted for siting of new nuclear reactor
factory. Shotton has been added to the list of potential locations for one
of the three factories across the UK which will manufacture Rolls-Royce’s
fleet of new SMR reactors.

Deeside was confirmed as the first Welsh
location when the initial round of six potential sites were announced in
July. Redcar in the northeast of England has also been added to the
shortlist of candidates list alongside Shotton.

The Rolls-Royce-led
consortium developing the new technology has confirmed the eight locations
following a bidding process which was launched in January and involved
several English regional development bodies and the Welsh Government.

The eight sites also include Tory leadership candidate – and former
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Richmond constituency in North Yorkshire, along
with Sunderland, Ferrybridge in West Yorkshire, Stallingborough,
Lincolnshire, and Carlisle. The winning bid has been promised investment of
up to £200m and the creation of up to 200 jobs.

 Nation Cymru 22nd Oct 2022

https://nation.cymru/news/second-welsh-location-shortlisted-for-siting-of-new-nuclear-reactor-factory/

October 23, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment