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TODAY. The Times got it right about 5 reasons for hope on climate action, but very wrong on one

I wonder why journalists do this? Presumably, this Times writer is not ignorant, not stupid. And yet, slipped in amongst some genuine factors about clean energy sources and energy efficiency, – we come to his uncritical admiration for nuclear fusion and small nuclear reactors.

The writer does mention the “prototype nuclear fusion” planned for 2040. A fat lot of good that would be – we need action now – not promises for the nebulous far-off future!

As always – I am stunned at the corporate journalists’ complacency – in trotting out the military-industrial-corporate-government line on matters nuclear.

The connection here is that small nuclear reactors have only one genuine use – to assist and promote the nuclear weapons industry


Six reasons to be cheerful about the climate’s future. Times 9th Nov 2022

Growth in emissions is slowing, clean energy is cheaper and electric cars are denting oil, Adam
Vaughan writes.

Between warnings from the Cop27 climate conference in Egypt
that the world is on a “highway to climate hell” and “the planet has
become a world of suffering”, it can be easy to think that no absolutely
no progress has been made on curbing global warming.

It is certainly true
that the world is falling wildly short of its 1.5C climate goal target. But
it is simultaneously true that great strides are being made in the world of
science, business and technology, as the following six examples show.

(1) Global carbon emissions growth has slowed; The emissions from humanity’s
cars, factories and power stations are still going up, when scientists say
they need to have fallen 45 per cent by the end of this decade if the world
is to rein in warming to 1.5C. The silver lining is there are signs that
emissions are hitting a plateau.

(2) Renewable energy is rapidly getting
cheaper. Most authorities, including the International Energy Agency (IEA)
and leading scientists, think that wind and solar power will be the two key
technologies for decarbonising the world’s electricity supplies. Between
2010 and 2019, the costs for solar energy fell by 85 per cent. Wind energy
fell costs fell by 55 per cent. Investment is pouring into renewable energy
at a record rate, with $226 billion invested in the first half of 2022
according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which tracks clean energy
spending.

Global energy demand growth will now “almost entirely be met by
renewables, the IEA said recently. In the UK, the cost of offshore wind and
solar has fallen by 80 to 90 per cent over the past decade. “Wind and
solar are now the cheapest way to generate electricity in most of the world
and, in the UK, we get as much electricity from renewables as we do from
gas,” said Evans. In July, five new offshore wind farms due online from
2026 won a government auction to deliver power to consumers at £37.35 per
megawatt hour, a fraction of the cost of gas-fired power plants now.

(3) High gas prices have made cutting emissions cheaper. The UK’s Climate
Change Committee, an independent body which advises the government on how
to meet its carbon targets, said in June that soaring gas prices meant that
meeting net zero would flip from a 0.5 per cent cost to GDP by 2035, to a
0.5 per cent saving by 2035.

(4) Technology can be seen as a breath of
fresh air. Energy efficiency improvements have delivered huge gains, with
better appliances and LED bulbs saving the average UK household £290 a year
between 2008 and 2017. Typical household energy bills today would have been
£40 a year lower if David Cameron hadn’t cut insulation programmes in 2013.


(5) Other countries are passing climate laws: President Biden came to Cop26
in Glasgow with a promise of halving his country’s emissions by 2030, but
no domestic plan to deliver the cuts. This time John Kerry, his special
climate envoy, can boast that America recently passed legislation that
commits the country to spending £318 billion on clean energy. The package,
which largely consists of incentives for key technologies such as wind and
solar power, electric cars and hydrogen, is expected to deliver a 40 per
cent emissions cut by 2030, not far off Biden’s target.

(6) Innovative new
technology is gaining traction: Previously far-off ideas are nearing
commercial reality, and the UK is pioneering many of them. The UK is
planning to build the world’s first prototype nuclear fusion power station
by 2040. A new generation of new nuclear power stations backed by
Rolls-Royce, much smaller and hopefully easier to build than conventional
ones, are working their way through the UK’s nuclear regulatory approval
process. Giant electrolysers are being built next to an offshore wind farm
in northeast England to split water and produce a clean supply of hydrogen.
The UK government is even taking seriously the prospect of space-based
solar power, where solar panels in Earth’s orbit beam a steady stream of
electricity back to the planet’s surface.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/six-reasons-to-be-cheerful-about-the-climate-s-future-9s0wgddkq

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November 9, 2022 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

U.S. House Intelligence Committee questioned about alleged surveillance of WikiLeaks founder

A Spanish judge has asked the US House Intelligence Committee to provide information regarding the alleged surveillance of Julian Assange and his visitors during his seven-year-long stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London

El Pais, JOSÉ MARÍA IRUJO, Madrid – NOV 05, 2022  Judge Santiago Pedraz of Spain’s National High Court has filed a request for judicial assistance with the United States House Intelligence Committee. He is asking the committee – charged with overseeing the US intelligence community – to provide his office with information pertaining to a Spanish firm that may have surveilled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

While Assange was protected by the Ecuadorian embassy in London – in an attempt to avoid extradition to the United States to face charges over leaking thousands of classified documents – he was allegedly subjected to espionage by the Spanish security firm Undercover Global SL. Pedraz has pointed out that the CIA may have been a possible recipient of the material that was collected on Assange.

In October of 2021, Adam Schiff – a Democratic congressman and Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee – demanded that all American security agencies inform him about espionage activity that took place concerning Assange during his seven-year-long stay (2012-19) in the Ecuadorian embassy, before he was turned over to British police. Schiff’s initiative came after Yahoo News published a report, in which unnamed former US officials acknowledged the existence of a plan to kidnap Assange from the embassy in 2017. They also claimed that US spies had been monitoring the communications and movements of numerous WikiLeaks personnel.

Undercover Global SL is a Cádiz-based security firm, owned by retired Spanish military officer David Morales. It was hired by the Ecuadorian embassy to the United Kingdom to provide security.

An investigation by EL PAÍS revealed that, in 2019, Morales and his employees may have recorded several months worth of private conversations between Assange and his lawyers, while spying on dozens of his visitors, including medical personnel, politicians and journalists.

The publication in this newspaper of the audios and videos of the alleged espionage led to the arrest of Morales. Since 2019, Spain’s National High Court has been investigating him for crimes against privacy and for violating the confidentiality of attorney-client privilege. Morales is currently out on bail……………………….

In his formal legal request for information, Pedraz describes, in detail, the espionage to which he believes Assange was subjected to at the Ecuadorian embassy. He notes that some of the alleged victims of espionage include former US congressman Dana Rohrabacher and former-president Correa.

Pedraz has also previously requested the testimony of Mike Pompeo. A Trump appointee, Pompeo was the Director of the CIA from 2017 until 2018, before being appointed Secretary of State. William Evanina’s testimony has also been requested: he was the Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center from 2014 until 2021, serving under a portion of the Obama administration and the entirety of the Trump administration.

This is not the first time that the National High Court of Spain has requested judicial assistance from the US government to investigate this case. Retired judge José de la Mata – Pedraz’s predecessor – previously asked American authorities to provide him with the IP addresses from which the UC Global SL server had been accessed. But the US Justice Department demanded that De la Mata first reveal the identities of the whistleblowers within UC Global SL, who gave him the details about the alleged espionage……………….

Pedraz continues to ask US authorities for the same data and testimonies that De la Mata requested. He has explained to the House Intelligence Committee that, after three years of investigations, all signs point to US intelligence agencies having been the recipients of whatever UC Global SL gathered while surveilling Assange.

This past August, a group of US citizens who visited Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy sued former CIA director Mike Pompeo for alleged espionage. The lawsuit was filed by lawyers Margaret Ratner Kunstler and Deborah Hrbek, as well as journalists John Goetz and Charles Glass, both specialists in national security issues.

The suit claims that all four plaintiffs – along with dozens of other individuals – were spied on while visiting Assange during Pompeo’s tenure at the CIA. It cites statements made by Pompeo, in which he said that the WikiLeaks founder was a “target.”

The lawyers and journalists suing Pompeo believe that the CIA hired David Morales and his company to spy on Assange, his communications and his visitors, in order to learn his defense strategy in the face of the US extradition request. https://english.elpais.com/international/2022-11-05/house-intelligence-committee-questioned-about-alleged-surveillance-of-wikileaks-founder.html

November 9, 2022 Posted by | election USA 2020, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

At COP27 Climate Summit the International Atomic Energy Agency joins all those paid nuclear lobbyists in pushing the lie that “nuclear solves the climate problem”

At COP27, nuclear power industry vies for bigger role in decarbonizing planet

 https://www.reuters.com/business/cop/cop27-nuclear-power-industry-vies-role-decarbonizing-planet-2022-11-09/ By Richard Valdmanis,  Sarah Mcfarlane and Valerie Volcovici

HARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 9 (Reuters) – Nuclear energy supporters including politicians and activists sought to polish the industry’s spotty image on Wednesday, using the COP27 climate summit in Egypt to argue that atomic power offers a safe and cost-efficient way to decarbonize the world.

Rising concerns about the swift pace of climate change and tight power supplies around the globe have softened some policy makers view of nuclear energy, an industry that has struggled for years to draw investment because of worries about safety, radioactive waste, and huge costs for building a reactor.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, an intergovernmental organization that seeks to promote nuclear power, opened an exhibit at the U.N. climate gathering of global leaders in Egypt – its first time doing so in 27 years of the annual international climate negotiations. The showcase expounded the technology’s potential in the fight against climate change.

When you talk about nuclear, you’re talking about a confirmed energy producer which is not part of the problem, but rather part of the solution,” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi told Reuters in an interview.

“You will see that that nuclear energy has a really solid, very consistent safety record,” he added.

U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry, meanwhile, pumped up the industry on Tuesday at a news conference at the summit announcing the U.S. Export-Import Bank (EXIM)’s formal interest in providing $3 billion in financial support for a nuclear plant in Romania.

“We have a viable alternative in nuclear … This is one of the ways in which we can achieve net-zero,” he told reporters, referring to an international target of cutting net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. “We don’t get to net zero by 2050 without nuclear power in the mix.”

The United States has already earmarked billions of dollars toward keeping existing nuclear power plants open as part of a broader strategy to decarbonize the economy and is hoping to encourage new projects.

The nuclear power industry has had trouble raising money in recent years, having taken a huge public relations hit following the 2011 reactor meltdown at the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has further raised concerns about nuclear safety with sporadic fighting and power cuts at the site of the Zaporizhzhia plant.

Oleksii Riabchyn, advisor to the Ukraine government on green energy, told Reuters at the summit that he thought the country’s reactors required a missile shield to protect them.

AEA’s Grossi said the security concerns in Ukraine should not dissuade countries from building nuclear plants: “The big problem is war, is not nuclear energy or any other industrial activity.”

He added he was in the midst of “very complex” negotiations with Russia and Ukraine over a proposed no-combat zone around the plant and hoped for an agreement soon.

Hannah Fenwick, the co-lead of Nuclear for Climate which represents a network of 150 associations advocating for governments to embrace nuclear power, said her organization was lobbying policy-makers at COP27 to consider nuclear energy investments and was getting decent feedback.

“We have been saying that nuclear is a solution for climate for many years and the geopolitical climate has changed and people are now listening,” she said.

Reporting by Richard Valdmanis, Sarah McFarlane and Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Katy Daigle, Frank Jack Daniel and Deepa Babington

November 9, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defense cooperation,”

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defense cooperation,” said Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. “The TPNW offers the best chance for lasting global peace and security and a clear road map for nuclear disarmament.”

So Irresponsible’: US Condemned for Warning Australia Against Joining Anti-Nuclear Treaty.

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defense cooperation,” said one advocate. https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/11/08/russia-us-eye-nuclear-arms-reduction-talks-in-coming-weeks-kommersant-a79313 JULIA CONLEY, November 9, 2022, Anti-nuclear weapons campaigners rebuked the Biden administration on Wednesday over its opposition to Australia’s newly announced voting position on the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which could signal the country’s willingness to sign on to the agreement.

As The Guardian reported, the U.S. Embassy in Canberra warned Australian officials that the Labour government’s decision to adopt an “abstain” position regarding the treaty—after five years of opposing it—would obstruct Australia’s reliance on American nuclear forces in case of a nuclear attack on the country.

Australia’s ratification of the nuclear ban treaty, which currently has 91 signatories, “would not allow for U.S. extended deterrence relationships, which are still necessary for international peace and security,” the embassy said.

The U.S. also claimed that if Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government ratifies the treaty it would reinforce “divisions” around the world.

Australia “should not face intimidation from so-called allies under the auspices of defense cooperation,” said Kate Hudson, general secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. “The TPNW offers the best chance for lasting global peace and security and a clear road map for nuclear disarmament.”

The TPNW prohibits the development, testing, stockpiling, use, and threats regarding the use of nuclear weapons.

The Australian chapter of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) noted that Albanese’s vocal support for achieving nuclear disarmament puts him in line with the majority of his constituents—while the U.S., as one of nine nuclear powers in the world, represents a small global minority.

According to an Ipsos poll taken in March, 76% of Australians support the country signing and ratifying the treaty, while only 6% are opposed.

Albanese has won praise from campaigners for his own anti-nuclear advocacy, with the prime minister recently telling The Australian that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear saber-rattling “has reminded the world that the existence of nuclear weapons is a threat to global security and the norms we had come to take for granted.”

“Nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane, and indiscriminate weapons ever created,” Albanese said in 2018 as he introduced a motion to commit the Labour Party to supporting the TPNW. “Today we have an opportunity to take a step towards their elimination.”

Labour’s 2021 platform included a commitment to signing and ratifying the treaty “after taking account” of factors including the development of “an effective verification and enforcement architecture.”

Australia’s decision to change its voting position comes as the U.S. is planning to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the country, where the weapons will be positioned close enough to strike China.

Gem Romuld, Australia director of ICAN, said in a statement that “it’s no surprise the U.S. doesn’t want Australia to join the ban treaty but it will have to respect our right to take a humanitarian stance against these weapons.”

“The majority of nations recognize that ‘nuclear deterrence’ is a dangerous theory that only perpetuates the nuclear threat and legitimizes the forever existence of nuclear weapons, an unacceptable prospect,” Romuld added.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of ICAN, called the U.S. embassy’s comments “so irresponsible.” “Using nuclear weapons is unacceptable, for Russia, for North Korea, and for the U.S., U.K., and all other states in the world,” said Fihn. “There are no ‘responsible’ nuclear armed states. These are weapons of mass destruction and Australia should sign the TPNW!”

November 9, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

AUKUS and nuclear submarines: Defence Minister Richard Marles sets Australia’s course in lockstep with USA-UK’s animosity to China.

the United States wants to build the first several nuclear-powered submarines for Australia and provide it with a submarine fleet by the mid-2030s in response to China’s growing military power.

Australia Sets New Defense Course To Establish Nuclear Submarines Fleet – Defense Minister

 https://eurasiantimes.com/australia-sets-new-defense-course-to-establish-nuclear-submarines/By EurAsian Times Desk November 8, 2022

Australia has set the course of its next defense strategy, which includes the development of nuclear-powered submarines to repel attacks far from the country’s shores, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles said on Tuesday.

“Increasingly, we are going to need to think about our Defence Force in terms of being able to provide the country with impactful projection, meaning an ability to hold an adversary at risk much further from our shores across the full spectrum of proportionate response,” Marles said, delivering a speech at a university in Canberra, as quoted by the Australian Financial Review newspaper.

The minister also said that the new defense strategy relies on the establishment of a submarine fleet in cooperation with the United States and the United Kingdom within the AUKUS trilateral partnership.

Australia, the US, and the UK announced the AUKUS defense partnership in September 2021. The first initiative announced under the AUKUS pact was the development of nuclear-powered submarine technology for the Royal Australian Navy, which prompted the Australian government to abandon a $66 billion agreement with France’s Naval Group company for the construction of diesel-electric submarines.

Earlier, the Wall Street Journal had reported that the Biden administration is in the middle of discussions to expedite the construction of Australia’s first nuclear-powered submarines as guaranteed in the AUKUS defense pact.

The report said on Friday, citing Western officials, that the United States wants to build the first several nuclear-powered submarines for Australia and provide it with a submarine fleet by the mid-2030s in response to China’s growing military power.

The United States’ recommendation has not yet been formally approved, but a final decision on this matter is expected in March, the report said.

The report also highlighted the challenges the United States would face to complete the task, including the need to secure billions of dollars to expand its submarine-production capacity and a contribution from Australia to back the effort.

The White House said in a press release that Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States – the countries that comprise the AUKUS security pact – have made significant progress toward ensuring that Australia would acquire conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines. The AUKUS allies will provide the submarines at the earliest possible date, the release said.

In September, the three allies announced the new trilateral security partnership, forcing Australia to abandon its $66 billion contract with France to receive 12 state-of-the-art conventionally-powered attack submarines from the United States.

In May, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said the AUKUS security pact is provoking an arms race in the South Pacific without any consultation with island countries of the region.

China believes that the AUKUS partnership escalates the arms race in the region and urges the US, the UK, and Australia to commit to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Tan Kefei had said earlier.

“The trilateral security partnership and cooperation on nuclear submarines between the US, the UK and Australia create serious risks of proliferation of nuclear weapons, escalate the regional arms race, undermine regional peace and stability as well as threaten global peace and security,” Tan had said.

The official noted that China had always believed that any regional cooperation should strengthen mutual trust among countries in the region and pose no threat to others.

“We urge the US, the UK, and Australia to abandon the Cold War mentality and ‘zero-sum game’ ideas and fulfill its obligations in good will regarding non-proliferation of nuclear weapons,” the spokesman had added

November 9, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear risk: How does Zaporizhzhia compare with Chernobyl?

DW, Clare Roth, 10 Nov 22,

“……………………………….Although it’s impossible to say for sure what consequences an accident at a nuclear power plant might have on human health in the environment nearby, experts can make some predictions.

When people think about nuclear threats and the war in Ukraine, most consider two possibilities: What would happen if an accident occurred at a Ukrainian nuclear plant? And what would happen if a nuclear weapon were deployed?

For this article, we talked to experts about the health impact the Fukushima and Chernobyl disasters had on surrounding populations, and asked them to explain the degree to which those disasters might provide a framework for our current understanding of risk at Zaporizhzhia.

………………… Over 30 plant workers died in the three months following the disaster at the Soviet power station as a direct result of the meltdown. A report published by the Chernobyl Forum, a group of UN agencies formed in 2003 to assess the health and environmental consequences of the accident, suggested in 2006 that it will cause at least 4,000 cancer deaths in the long term, although that estimate is hotly debated.

Understanding of Chernobyl’s health effects contested

Some experts say the actual impact of the disaster was concealed by Soviet officials in an attempt to downplay its severity. One of them is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor Kate Brown. She has conducted extensive research on the impact radiation has had on people’s health in Ukraine and surrounding countries since the 1986 accident.

In a Greenpeace report published in 2006, researchers estimated the predicted death toll at around 90,000 — nearly 23 times the number suggested by the Chernobyl Forum report.

Edwin Lyman, a physicist and director of Nuclear Power Safety with the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists, said he, “doesn’t consider the Chernobyl Forum report to be authoritative.”

Lyman said the Forum’s report based its cancer death predictions only on cases within the former Soviet Union, ignoring exposure to populations in other parts of Europe and the Northern Hemisphere. The original Chernobyl health impact report conducted by UN agencies and published in 1988, did address the global exposure to radiation in response to the accident, and estimated it would ultimately correspond to 30,000 or more cancer deaths, Lyman said.

“The fundamental issue is whether one believes that low-level exposures will cause cancer or not — and the worldwide expert consensus is that they do. The Chernobyl Forum essentially assumed otherwise,” he said, calling the study a “highly political document with conclusions that were carefully massaged to minimize the impacts of the accident.”

Studies following the survivors of the Chernobyl disaster have shown an increase in cases of thyroid cancer. In the decades following the accident, researchers detected rates of that particular condition in young people in the former Soviet Union that were around three times higher than expected. This increase is partly attributed to the consumption of tainted milk, studies reported.

However, according to Lyman, the large studies outlining overall cancer risk were published in the early 2000s, at a time when many cancers that could have been triggered by the Chernobyl disaster may not yet have started showing up. And nearly 20 years later, there hasn’t been any comprehensive follow-up to these reports.

Reports on the disaster’s health impact also note high rates of depression and anxiety in the surrounding population.

Fukushima — a better comparison

According to Lyman, any fallout from a possible accident at the Zaporizhzhia power plant would likely have more in common with the fallout of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.

“The consequences that led to such a large and wide dispersal of radioactive activity [at Chernobyl] are probably less likely to occur at the reactors at Zaporizhzhia, which are light water reactors more similar to the reactors in Germany or elsewhere in the West,” he said………………….

Today, researchers say the Fukushima incident has left only a negligible mark on the surrounding environment, because much of the radiation was released into the nearby sea.

“Zaporizhzhia is obviously landlocked, so that wouldn’t be the case. But still, you would expect probably less radioactive material released and dispersed less widely,” Lyman said.

Lyman added that the level of radiation a potential accident at Zaporizhzhia could release would depend on whether the accident was technical (i.e., a response to the facility losing power for multiple days) or related to combat, in which case the radiation would be released more quickly. In a situation like that, the severity of any consequences would probably fall somewhere inbetween of what happened at Chernobyl and what happened at Fukushima, he said.

“I think the likelihood of another Chernobyl-like event affecting Germany is lower,” he said. “There would probably be measurable impacts, but not as great as what was experienced in 1986.”

Ukraine’s other reactors also present a risk

Zaporizhzhia has drawn a lot of attention because it’s currently the only Ukrainian nuclear plant under direct Russian control. But Lyman said he is also concerned about the other plants in Ukraine, which are older. That makes them even more susceptible to catastrophic failure in the event of an accident.

“There are three other nuclear plants in Ukraine that are actually closer to the Western border. So they’re away from the front, but they’re still within range of Russian rocket fire or drones,” he said.

He said that although none of those reactors are the same model as those at Chernobyl, some are older Soviet light-water reactors that wouldn’t be as resistant to an attack as the plant at Zaporizhzhia.

“If things unravel, and they become more affordable to attack, that could be a greater concern to Western Europe,” he said. https://www.dw.com/en/nuclear-risk-how-does-zaporizhzhia-compare-with-chernobyl/a-63686362

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In Suttsu, Japan, residents don’t want nuclear waste

At a time when Japan announces the restart of seventeen nuclear reactors by 2023, the question
of the management of radioactive waste arises. In Suttsu, a landfill project is under study, to the great despair of the inhabitants. “We don’t want our village to become a village of garbage cans”, protest Kazuyuki
Tsuchiya and his wife, Kyoko.

This couple in their seventies runs an inn in Suttsu, located on the island of Hokkaido, in northern Japan. Composed of 78% forest, this village of 2,800 souls, landlocked between mountains and the seaside, is picturesque.

It is here that a nuclear waste storage project has been taking shape since 2020 . The only ones to have applied to the Radioactive Waste Management Company (Numo), created by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

Ouest France 3rd Nov 2022

https://www.ouest-france.fr/monde/japon/a-suttsu-au-japon-les-habitants-ne-veulent-pas-des-dechets-nucleaires-b38548b8-1fbc-11ed-b73d-c186b65f3ccb

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Cracks found in feedwater pumps at Finland’s OL3 nuclear plant

by Kerry Hebden, 9 Nov 22

CRACKS of a few centimetres have been identified in all four of the feedwater pumps of the Olkiluoto 3 EPR nuclear power plant in Finland, less than a year after the facility attained first criticality. 

Owned and operated by TVO, the Olkiluoto plant consists of two boiling water reactors, each producing 890 MW of electricity, and a third EPR (Evolutionary Power Reactor), dubbed Unit 3 or OL3. The EPR is a “Generation III+” nuclear reactor, “that benefits from significant technological advances in nuclear and occupational safety”, said Framatome (formerly known as Avera NP), the plant’s main contractor. 

Unit 3 started construction in 2005, however it only began generating electricity in March 2022 after construction was repeatedly delayed. It was expected to begin commercial operation in September, but after the unit’s boron pumps started unexpectedly during a routine shutdown in April, and following the discovery of material in the turbine’s steam reheater that had detached from the steam guide plates in May, the firm pushed back the start date to December.  

Now though, the further damage that has been observed in the inner parts of the feedwater pumps of the OL3 turbine plant, could delay progress further.  

The large feedwater pumps are used to pump water from the feedwater tank into the steam generators. TVO said the cracks detected in the impellers of the pumps have no impact on nuclear safety, but so far the cause of the damage, which is currently being investigated in several different laboratories, has yet to be determined. …………………………….

One of Finland’s two nuclear power plants, the other being the VVER Loviisa plant, the Olkiluoto facility has been plagued by issues for years. Built by Areva NP for a fixed price of €3bn (US$3bn), the firm estimated in 2012 that the full cost of building the OL3 reactor would amount to around €8.5bn due to the frequent setbacks encountered during its construction.  

The delays led to a bitter dispute between Areva and TVO, with each seeking compensation from the other through the International Court of Arbitration – a scenario which resulted in Areva paying hundreds of millions of euros in compensation to TVO. 

Meanwhile the facility’s other reactors have also experienced problems. In July, OL1 was also temporarily shut down due to damaged fuel elements, and in December 2020, the OL2 reactor automatically shut down when a valve failure caused hot water to reach filters in the reactor’s cleaning system. “The plant’s safety systems functioned as planned, and the disturbance did not pose a danger to people or the environment,” TVO said in a statement at the time. 

TVO did have plans to build a fourth unit at the Olkiluoto facility, and in 2008 submitted an environmental impact assessment in preparation of applying for a construction license. However delays to OL3 has led the company to put its plans on hold. https://www.thechemicalengineer.com/news/cracks-found-in-feedwater-pumps-at-finland-s-ol3-nuclear-plant/

November 9, 2022 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

How the CIA Front group National Endowment for Democracy Laid Foundations for Ukraine War

In the hours following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NED hurried to remove any and all trace of its funding for organizations in Ukraine from its website.

A search of the NED grants database today for Ukraine returns “no results,” but a snapshot of the page captured February 25th reveals that since 2014, a total of 334 projects in the country have been awarded a staggering $22.4 million. By NED President Duane Wilson’s reckoning, Kiev is the organization’s fourth-largest funding recipient worldwide.

NED’s expurgation of records exposing its role in fomenting and precipitating the horror now unfolding in southeast Ukraine not only protects de facto CIA agents on the ground. It also reinforces and legitimizes the Biden administration’s fraudulent narrative, endlessly and uncritically reiterated in Western media, that Russia’s invasion was entirely unprovoked and groundless.

Substack, Kit Klarenberg, Jul 2, 22

Obvious examples of Central Intelligence Agency covert action abroad are difficult to identify today, save for occasional acknowledged calamities, such as the long-running $1 billion effort to overthrow the government of Syria, via funding, training and arming barbarous jihadist groups.

In part, this stems from many of the CIA’s traditional responsibilities and activities being farmed out to “overt” organizations, most significantly the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Founded in November 1983, then-CIA director William Casey was at the heart of NED’s creation. He sought to construct a public mechanism to support opposition groups, activist movements and media outlets overseas that would engage in propaganda and political activism to disrupt, destabilize, and ultimately displace ‘enemy’ regimes. Subterfuge with a human face, to coin a phrase.

Underlining the Endowment’s insidious true nature, in a 1991 Washington Post article boasting of its prowess in overthrowing Communism in Eastern Europe, senior NED official Allen Weinstein acknowledged, “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

It Begins…

Fast forward to September 2013, and Carl Gershman, NED chief from its launch until summer 2021, authored an op-ed for The Washington Post, outlining how his organization was hard at work wresting countries in Russia’s near abroad – the constellation of former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact states – away from Moscow’s orbit.

Along the way, he described Ukraine as “the biggest prize” in the region, suggesting Kiev joining Europe would “accelerate the demise” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Six months later, Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in a violent coup.

Writing in Consortium News not long before that fateful day, investigative legend Robert Parry recorded how, over the previous year, NED had funded 65 projects in Ukraine totaling over $20 million. This amounted to what the late journalist dubbed “a shadow political structure of media and activist groups that could be deployed to stir up unrest when the Ukrainian government didn’t act as desired.”

NED’s pivotal role in unseating Yanukovych can thus be considered beyond dispute, an unambiguous matter of record – yet not only is this never acknowledged in the mainstream press, but Western journalists aggressively rubbish the idea, viciously attacking those few who dare challenge the established orthodoxy of US innocence.

As if to assist in this deceit, NED has removed many entries from its website in the years since the coup, which amply underline its role in Yanukovych’s overthrow.

Read more: How the CIA Front group National Endowment for Democracy Laid Foundations for Ukraine War

For example, on February 3rd 2014, less than three weeks before police withdrew from Kiev, effectively handing the city to armed protesters and prompting Yanukovych to flee the country, NED convened an eventUkraine’s lessons learned: from the Orange Revolution to the Euromaidan.

It was led by Ukrainian journalist Sergii Leshchenko, who at the time was finishing up an NED-sponsored Reagan–Fascell Democracy Fellowship in Washington DC.

Alongside him was Nadia Diuk, NED’s then-senior adviser for Europe and Eurasia, and graduate of St. Antony’s College Oxford, a renowned recruiting pool for British intelligence founded by former spies. Just before her death in January 2019, she was bestowed the Order of Princess Olga, one of Kiev’s highest honors, a particularly palpable example of the intimate, enduring ties between NED and the Ukrainian government.

While the event’s online listing remains extant today, linked supporting documents – including Powerpoint slides that accompanied Leshchenko’s talk, and a summary of “event highlights” – have been deleted.

What prompted the purge isn’t clear, although it could well be significant that Leshchenko’s oratory offered a very clear blueprint for guaranteeing the failure of 2004’s Orange Revolution – another NED-orchestrated putsch – wasn’t repeated, and the country remained captured by Western financial, political and ideological interests post-Maidan. It was a roadmap NED subsequently followed to the letter.

Along the way, Leshchenko highlighted the importance of funding NGOs, exploiting the internet and social media as “alternative [sources] of information,” and the danger of “unreformed state television.”

So it was that on March 19th, representatives of the far-right Svoboda party – which has been linked to a false flag massacre of protesters on February 20th, an event that made the downfall of Yanukovych’s government a fait accompli – broke into the office of Oleksandr Panteleymonov, chief of Ukraine’s state broadcaster, and beat him over the head until he signed a resignation letter.

That shocking incident, motivated by the station broadcasting a Kremlin ceremony at which Vladimir Putin signed a bill formalizing Crimea as part of Russia, was one of many livestreamed by protesters that traveled far and wide online.

Panteleymonov’s savage defenestration notwithstanding, much of this livestreamed output served to present foreign audiences with a highly romantic narrative of the demonstrations, and their participants, which bore no relation to reality.

The Revolution Will Be Televised

Writing in NED’s quarterly academic publication Journal of Democracy in July that year, Leshchenko discussed in detail the media’s fundamental role in the Maidan coup’s success, drawing particular attention to the work of “online journalist” Mustafa Nayyem.

Nayyem personally kickstarted the protests the previous November, rallying hundreds of his Facebook followers to protest in Kiev’s Independence – now Maidan – Square, after Yanukovych scrapped the Ukrainian-European Association Agreement in favor of a more agreeable deal with Moscow.

Nayyem was no ordinary “online journalist”. He had by that point worked alongside Leshchenko for many years at Ukrainska Pravda, an opposition media outlet funded by NED, and also USAID, another CIA front, which likewise played a key role in the Maidan coup.

This may account for why, in October 2012, Nayyem was one of six Ukrainians whisked to Washington DC by Meridian International, a State Department-connected organization that identifies and grooms future overseas leaders, to “observe and experience” that year’s Presidential election………………………………………….

only 40 – 45 percent of Ukrainians were in favor of European integration, Yanukovych remained “the most popular political figure in the country,” and no poll conducted to date had ever indicated mass support for the uprising.

In fact, “quite large majorities” opposed “takeover of regional governments by the opposition,” and the population remained bitterly divided on the future of Ukraine, Darden and Way wrote. Such hostility stemmed from “anti-Russian rhetoric and the iconography of western Ukrainian nationalism,” rife among demonstrators, “not [playing] well among the Ukrainian majority.”

…….. “Anti-Russian forms of Ukrainian nationalism expressed on the Maidan are certainly not representative of the general view of Ukrainians. Electoral support for these views and for the political parties who espouse them has always been limited,” Darden and Way concluded. “Their presence and influence in the protest movement far outstrip their role in Ukrainian politics and their support barely extends geographically beyond a few Western provinces.”

‘Pro-Ukrainian Agenda’……………………………. an objective analysis of what actually happened and why, in which NED is completely central. Still, the organization didn’t need to rely purely on Leshchenko to keep the Minsk Accords moribund. Its extensive network of assets in the country, and Washington’s dark alliance with Ukraine’s far-right, was more than sufficient to ensure that Zelensky’s overwhelmingly popular mission of restoring relations with Russia would and could never be fulfilled.

‘In Solidarity’

In the hours following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NED hurried to remove any and all trace of its funding for organizations in Ukraine from its website.

A search of the NED grants database today for Ukraine returns “no results,” but a snapshot of the page captured February 25th reveals that since 2014, a total of 334 projects in the country have been awarded a staggering $22.4 million. By NED President Duane Wilson’s reckoning, Kiev is the organization’s fourth-largest funding recipient worldwide.


An archive
 of NED funding in Ukraine over 2021 – which has now been replaced with a statement “in solidarity” with Kiev – offers extensive detail on the precise projects backed by the CIA front over that fateful 12-month period.

It points to a preponderant focus on purported Russian misdeeds in eastern Ukraine. One grant, of $58,000, was provided to the NGO Truth Hounds to “monitor, document, and spotlight human rights violations” and “war crimes” in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Another, of $48,000, was provided to Ukraine’s War Childhood Museum to “educate the Ukrainian public about the consequences of the war through a series of public events.” Yet another received by charity East-SOS aimed to “raise public awareness” of “Russia’s policies of persecution and colonization in the region, and document illustrative cases,” its findings circulated to the UN Human Rights Council, European Courts of Human Rights, and International Court of Justice.

There was no suggestion this wellspring would be used to document any abuses by Ukrainian government forces. UN research indicates 2018 – 2021, over 80 percent of civilian casualties were recorded on the Donbas side. Meanwhile, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe reports show that shelling of civilian areas in the breakaway regions intensified dramatically in the weeks leading up to February 24th, potentially the precursor of a full-blown military offensive.

As such, NED’s expurgation of records exposing its role in fomenting and precipitating the horror now unfolding in southeast Ukraine not only protects de facto CIA agents on the ground. It also reinforces and legitimizes the Biden administration’s fraudulent narrative, endlessly and uncritically reiterated in Western media, that Russia’s invasion was entirely unprovoked and groundless.

Ukrainians now live with the mephitic legacy of that reckless, unadmitted meddling in the most brutal manner imaginable. They may well do for many years to come. Meanwhile, the men and women who orchestrated it rest comfortably in Washington DC, insulated from any scrutiny or consequence whatsoever, every day cooking up fresh schemes to undermine and topple troublesome foreign leaders, hailed as champions of liberty by the mainstream press every step of the way.  https://kitklarenberg.substack.com/p/anatomy-of-a-coup-how-cia-front-laid

November 9, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Russia, U.S. Eye Nuclear Arms Reduction Talks in Coming Weeks – Kommersant

 https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2022/11/08/russia-us-eye-nuclear-arms-reduction-talks-in-coming-weeks-kommersant-a79313 9 Nov 22, Russia and the United States are discussing resuming nuclear arms reduction negotiations in the coming weeks in the first face-to-face contact since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, the Kommersant business daily reported Tuesday, citing three unnamed sources.

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) talks could take place in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, instead of their traditional venue of Geneva, in late November or early December, Kommersant reported.

The report follows weeks of concern over a possible Russian nuclear escalation in Ukraine fueled by President Vladimir Putin’s thinly veiled threats. Moscow later tamped down its rhetoric following reported talks with U.S. officials.

The last remaining arms reduction pact between the Cold War foes, New START is one of the few areas where Moscow and Washington have said they were open to cooperation despite tensions over the invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions.

According to Kommersant, Washington is expected to raise the resumption of on-site inspections under New START.

Moscow formally suspended physical inspections by the U.S. in August 2022 after President Joe Biden called on Russia and China to demonstrate their commitment to limiting nuclear weapons. 

Russia’s Foreign Ministry indicated at the time that Western sanctions, visa restrictions and airspace closures over the war in Ukraine made it difficult for Moscow to carry out inspections on U.S. soil.

According to Kommersant, Russia and the U.S. have continued to hold remote discussions on New START in lieu of in-person talks.

At one of these remote talks last month, Kommersant reported that Moscow accused Washington of skirting the treaty’s terms by withholding weapons and sites that Russia suspects are still nuclear-capable despite their announced conversions and reclassifications.

Moscow and Washington last year extended New START, which caps the number of deployable nuclear warheads at 1,550, until Feb. 5, 2026.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

Ever the optimists… Rolls-Royce chooses four sites for reactor that’s yet to be built

 https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/ever-the-optimistsrolls-royce-chooses-four-sites-for-reactor-thats-yet-to-be-built/ 9 Nov 22, Rolls Royce SMR, the company behind the development of so-called Small Modular Reactors, has today announced its ambitious plans to deploy new reactors at four sites in England and North Wales by the early 2030’s, but there is a fly in the ointment – it is a reactor that has yet to be built.

Rolls-Royce has been visiting sites in recent months and number-crunching existing data to identify their preferred locations for any future SMRs, and Wylfa and Trawsfynydd in North Wales; Sellafield in West Cumbria; and Oldbury in Gloucestershire have been selected based on ‘existing geotechnical data, adequate grid connection and because each site is large enough to deploy multiple SMRs’.

But the announcement leapfrogs several crucial challenges Roll-Royce will first need to overcome before their SMR vision becomes reality.

Councillor David Blackburn, Chair of the UK/Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities, explained: “Rolls-Royce may sound optimistic, but the history of British civil nuclear power is littered with projects delivered late, over budget, whilst compromising safety, or with sub-standard power output. And the SMR concept has its own set of problems.

“For one the design has not even received regulatory approval from the Office of Nuclear Regulation, and it may not, and this is a process expected to take until at least mid-2024.

“It is also conceived to be prefabricated and assembled on site, but factories still have to be built to fabricate the parts; the process of fabrication has to be mastered; all the necessary approvals and permits will have to secured to build on each site, possibly in the teeth of significant public opposition; and the assembly of pre-fabricated reactors on site is still not a perfected art – just think of the challenge of building an IKEA furniture set and multiply that a million fold.”

The NFLA also has real concerns about the radioactive waste future SMRs will bring, with a recent study by the University of Stanford and British Columbia identifying that fission in these smaller reactor types could produce between two and thirty times as much radioactive waste as that produced by a ‘conventional’ larger reactor per unit of electricity generated.[1]

Added Councillor Blackburn: “That is an awful lot of radioactive waste to add to the stockpile Britain has already accumulated from almost seventy years of civil nuclear power generation; toxic waste that must be managed safely at vast public expense and for which a long-term totally safe storage solution has yet to be found. Do we really want to produce more when we can generate our electricity safely and more cheaply using renewables?”

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, UK | Leave a comment

Israeli nuclear arsenal condemned by world’s govts in overwhelming UN vote

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/global-majority-leads-way-nuclear-disarmament-time-reflect-reality-here, Sameena Rahman,November 9, 2022,

In an overwhelming vote, the United Nations General Assembly declared last week that apartheid Israel must immediately cease operations of all its nuclear weapons, get rid of the ones that exist, and place all its nuclear sites under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency. 

These stipulations against Israel were outlined in a resolution submitted by Egypt on behalf of the UN-member countries that are also a part of the Arab League, including the Palestinian Authority, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

The resolution was approved by 152 countries — 79% of UN member states — with five votes against, unsurprisingly the United States and Israel, and also Canada, Micronesia and Palau. Some 24 abstentions were composed of European Union members, NATO allies and India.

Resolution calling for an end to Israel’s illegal nuclear stockpile

The resolution, titled “The risk of nuclear proliferation in the Middle East,” highlighted the risks of unsafeguarded nuclear facilities in the Middle East and demanded that Israel follow the principles of universal adherence to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, adopted in the region in 1995. Since then, Israel has been the only entity in the region that has repeatedly refused to sign the treaty and has spent the last few decades hypocritically denying the existence of its nuclear weapons.

A recent United Kingdom Parliamentary report states “that Israel possesses a nuclear weapons capability, outside of the framework of the NPT,” after specific details were revealed by whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu in 1988. Israel is believed to have at least 90 nuclear warheads, according to the report, and continues to produce weapons-grade plutonium.

Israel, hiding behind its imperial backer, the United States, continues its stockpiling of nuclear weapons in an extensive threat to the geopolitical stability in the Middle East. Documents from the early 1960’s, revealed in 2014, show that Washington played a key role in building Israel’s nuclear arsenal in secret while publicly denying any knowledge and adopting a line of ambiguity on nuclear power and weapons. Numerous reports since then established that the United States knew of and supported Israel’s nuclear capabilities in gross violation of international law and while punishing countries like Iran and North Korea for having or developing defensive weapons.

U.S. and Israel’s hypocritically label Iran as a nuclear threat

In the last few decades, the United States and Israel consistently labeled Iran as a nuclear threat to peace and stability in the Middle East despite Israel itself invading all bordering countries. Of note, Iran has no nuclear weapons, and signed on to the NPT as well as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the United States pulled out of. Meanwhile, Israel remained in flagrant violation of international law.

Israel violated international law on numerous occasions by blatantly attacking Iran’s nuclear power plants used to generate energy, plunging the many areas of the country already suffocated by sanctions into darkness. In April last year, senior Israeli officials hinted at Mossad’s culpability for an attack on Iran’s key nuclear site Natanz, a heinous act of nuclear terrorism. Israel has also carried out the targeted assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadh and other Iranian scientists. Israel also admitted to attacking what it called “suspected” nuclear reactors in other neighboring countries, like Syria in Operation Outside the Box.

Nasser Kanaani, spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign ministry, said in a social media post, “The advanced nuclear military program of the apartheid regime of Israel and the regime’s continued reluctance to put its nuclear facilities under comprehensive safeguards and not to join the non-proliferation treaty is a serious threat to international security and the non-proliferation regime.”

Environmental fallout in Palestinian Occupied Territory

Israel’s criminal behavior is also significantly harming Palestinians in the West Bank. In 2021, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused Israel of storing lethal radioactive waste in the West Bank and sickening Palestinians living in the area. He also linked high cancer rates in Hebron to the nearby Israeli Negev nuclear reactor, Dimona. Palestine currently suffers from major climate issues due to Israel’s seven-decade long occupation and the fallout from Israel’s military proliferation.

U.S. corporate media silence

While the UN and the international community have repeatedly pointed to and labeled Israel as a major threat to geopolitical stability in the Middle East, there has been a critical lack of coverage by the western mainstream corporate media. It is clear that the fog of fear of the United States and Israel is lifting in the international community as governments are more empowered to label Israel for what it is: an apartheid state and a gross violator of human rights in Palestine and elsewhere. The recent vote is an important recognition that Israel is the major threat to peace and stability in the Middle East.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | Israel, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Global majority leads the way on nuclear disarmament: time to reflect that reality here

It is the South that has forged the path towards banning the bomb, and people of colour who have paid the greatest price from nuclear testing, writes RACHEL EARLINGTON, of CND, 10 Nov 22  https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/global-majority-leads-way-nuclear-disarmament-time-reflect-reality-here

IN THE fight for global nuclear disarmament — which has never been more necessary — it is important that our movement mobilises and unifies all sections of society, together with the international community that overwhelmingly wants peace and disarmament.

Whether through the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), or nuclear weapons-free zones, it’s the states and peoples of the global South who have created the treaty architecture for a nuclear weapons-free world.

It’s high time that states — and movements — from the global North recognise that and put the communities most affected front and centre of their campaigns and priorities.

It is crucial for us to remind ourselves who has nuclear weapons, who has used them and who have suffered most from their consequences.

It is people of colour across the planet that are overly affected by these crimes against humanity that have been perpetrated, largely by white Western countries.

In 1945, the United States air force dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki — hundreds of thousands of people died right away.

Others died soon afterwards from burns and many, many more from the impact of radiation in the months and years that followed. By 1950, an estimated 340,000 people had died as a result of the two bombs.

It was reported that in 1964 human rights activist Malcolm X told a group of Hibakusha — Japanese survivors of the nuclear bomb — “You have been scarred by the atom bomb. You just saw that we have also been scarred. The bomb that hit us was racism.”

This is exactly right. Look no further than where Western governments have chosen to carry out their nuclear testing.

In the British-colonised islands of Kiribati, the British government undertook nuclear weapons testing between 1957-62.

They also tested at Monte Bello Island, then at Emu Field and Maralinga, all in Australia, between 1952 and 1958.

From 1946-58 the United States detonated 67 nuclear weapons test explosions over the Marshall Islands in the Pacific.

The US’s Nevada Test Site, appropriated by the US government in 1951, is on the traditional lands of the Western Shoshone and South Paiute peoples.

Around 928 nuclear tests have been carried out on Western Shoshone land since 1951, 100 in the atmosphere and the rest underground.

In the 1960s the French colonial government detonated bombs in the Algerian Sahara desert and tested another 41 nukes in French Polynesia, between 1966 and 1974.

All other nuclear weapons states have conducted tests on their own territories or underground.

In their disgusting pursuit of nuclear weapons, Britain, the United States and France have caused long-lasting humanitarian and environmental destruction.

They have vaporised entire islands, many people have died, babies have been born with birth defects never seen before, and generations of families are still battling with cancers and other radiation-related diseases.

And running alongside throughout, has been the terrible risk of nuclear use in war. Today it’s clear that little has changed in this respect.

The brinkmanship between those governments with the most nuclear weapons is at its highest for decades. We are all facing the worst-case scenario.

But when we discuss the terrifying consequences of nuclear war and weapons, it is important to understand that the creation of these weapons has already had horrific consequences for many black and indigenous people.

Nuclear weapons states are increasing and modernising their arsenals — including Britain. This is in opposition to what so many countries are fighting for, through signing and ratifying the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

It’s no surprise that those leading that struggle are the countries of the global South – including those who have suffered so grievously as a result of nuclear testing.

But nuclear weapons don’t just appear, there is a lead-up to their manufacture which often includes the decimation of sacred and indigenous lands through uranium mining.

The First Peoples of Australia know this all too well. The Australian government has prioritised uranium mining, ignoring the protests and rights of the First Peoples, whose living standards remain so far below those of their white counterparts.

Our fight against nuclear weapons here has to be in solidarity with those people who are losing their sacred lands, cultures and history, so that a tiny minority of powerful countries can create devastation globally. And that recognition and solidarity must be mirrored in the way we work here, in Britain.


We will only get stronger the more our movement looks like all the people on this globe that are fighting for survival — and the more it looks like our society.

We must reach out to all communities not just our traditional areas of support.

Rachel Earlington is parliamentary officer for Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (cnduk.org).

November 9, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Maryland Nuclear Engineer and Wife Sentenced for Espionage-Related Offenses

A Maryland man and his wife were sentenced today for conspiracy to communicate Restricted Data related to the design of nuclear-powered warships.

USA Department of Justice, 9 Nov 22.

Jonathan Toebbe, 44, of Annapolis, was sentenced today to 232 months, over 19 years, of incarceration. His wife, Diana Toebbe, 46, was sentenced to 262 months, more than 21 years, of incarceration. The Toebbes pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in August 2022.

…………………………………. According to court documents, at the time of his arrest, Jonathan Toebbe was an employee of the Department of the Navy who served as a nuclear engineer and was assigned to the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, also known as Naval Reactors. He held an active national security clearance through the Department of Defense, giving him access to “Restricted Data” within the meaning of the Atomic Energy Act. Restricted Data concerns design, manufacture or utilization of atomic weapons, or production of Special Nuclear Material (SNM), or use of SNM in the production of energy – such as naval reactors. Jonathan Toebbe worked with and had access to information concerning naval nuclear propulsion including information related to military sensitive design elements, operating parameters and performance characteristics of the reactors for nuclear powered warships.

According to court documents, Jonathan Toebbe sent a package to a foreign government, listing a return address in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, containing a sample of Restricted Data and instructions for establishing a covert relationship to purchase additional Restricted Data. Jonathan Toebbe began corresponding via encrypted email with an individual whom he believed to be a representative of the foreign government. The individual was really an undercover FBI agent. Jonathan Toebbe continued this correspondence for several months, which led to an agreement to sell Restricted Data in exchange for thousands of dollars in cryptocurrency.


On June 8, 2021, the undercover agent sent $10,000 in cryptocurrency to Jonathan Toebbe as “good faith” payment. Shortly afterwards, on June 26, Jonathan Toebbe serviced a dead drop by placing an SD card, which was concealed within half a peanut butter sandwich and contained military sensitive design elements relating to submarine nuclear reactors, at a pre-arranged location. After retrieving the SD card, the undercover agent sent Jonathan Toebbe a $20,000 cryptocurrency payment. In return, Jonathan Toebbe emailed the undercover agent a decryption key for the SD Card. A review of the SD card revealed that it contained Restricted Data related to submarine nuclear reactors. On Aug. 28, 2021, Jonathan Toebbe made another “dead drop” of an SD card in eastern Virginia, this time concealing the card in a chewing gum package. After making a payment to Jonathan Toebbe of $70,000 in cryptocurrency, the FBI received a decryption key for the card. It, too, contained Restricted Data related to submarine nuclear reactors. The FBI arrested Jonathan Toebbe and his wife on Oct. 9, 2021 after he placed yet another SD card at a pre-arranged “dead drop” at a second location in West Virginia.

The FBI and NCIS are investigating the case……. https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/maryland-nuclear-engineer-and-wife-sentenced-espionage-related-offenses

November 9, 2022 Posted by | legal, USA | Leave a comment

Austria holds the anti-nuclear line

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/austria-to-continue-anti-nuclear-stance-against-its-neighbours/ 9 Nov 22, Austria, described as “Europe’s most fervent anti-nuclear country,” is now planning protests and blockades in opposition to major nuclear build-out plans in neighboring Czech Republic that would threaten the health and safety of Austrian citizens.

Austria is a nuclear-free country and is currently suing the European Commission for including nuclear power under its so-called “green” taxonomy, allowing nuclear power to benefit from funding that should be going exclusively to truly green energy such as renewables. The law suit is being led by Austrian environment minister Leonore Gewessler, (pictured) who is a member of the Green Party.

The Czech Republic has six reactors in current operation but is chasing after the small modular reactor phantom. It is also planning to build two new full size reactors at Temelin, just 100 kilometers from Linz, Austria’s third largest city. “We will have to take to the streets again to raise awareness and make a difference,” said the mayor of one Austrian village close to the Czech border.

November 9, 2022 Posted by | EUROPE, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment