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It’s All About the Bomb. Civilian nuclear power is merely a cover for producing more nuclear weapons.

Presenting civilian nuclear power as the answer to climate change, as clean and safe electrical generation, or as energy “too cheap to meter” is simply a sales pitch. What is actually delivered by a robust nuclear energy fleet is the capacity for nuclear weapons and a nuclear Navy.

It does not matter if nuclear power can really solve climate change, it just has to be seen as an essential part of the solution to attract bright, young talent into what is made to appear as the cutting edge of technology and climate solutions, even though the civilian nuclear power industry worldwide has been in decline since 2002.

Why civilian nuclear power is merely a cover for producing more nuclear weapons. BY ALFRED MEYER , NOVEMBER 25, 2022

“……………………………………………………………………. the United States wanted to be recognized as the leader of the “free world” in the postwar years. In the early 1950s, the military needed to recast nuclear enterprise activities to appear to be peaceful, beneficial parts of our modern life, very distant from the wartime horrors.

…………….In a now famous speech on December 8, 1953, titled “Atoms for Peace,” Eisenhower proposed to the U.N. General Assembly an international program of sharing “peaceful” nuclear materials and know-how for untold bounty, to encourage development of nuclear programs around the world.

……… one should also recognize that the IAEA’s bluntly stated mission is to promote nuclear technology. The first leaders of the IAEA were from the United States, to ensure that U.S. interests were protected.

Nuclear enterprise infrastructure is an outgrowth of World War II. These new endeavors drew international interest in creating the huge nuclear marketplace now in existence. Atoms for Peace—a plan to share nonmilitary nuclear technology with other countries to “win hearts and minds”—placed nuclear materials and reactors in more than forty countries, including Iran. This generated ongoing business for many American nuclear enterprise companies while supporting and expanding the U.S. military’s nuclear infrastructure and capacity in the United States.

Having nuclear activities under the auspices of the United Nations conferred upon them the legitimacy and respect of that international body………………………………….

The generally favorable response to Atoms for Peace was a trifecta for the nuclear enterprise. U.S. nuclear activities were repackaged as the “peaceful” atom and given the patina of social acceptance through United Nations oversight. Eisenhower was lauded as a good leader for sharing the atom with the world, and the U.S. nuclear infrastructure got new business and growth, which supported more U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear Navy programs.

Atoms for Peace also served geopolitical ends. For instance, one reason the United States provided Iran with a research reactor in 1967 was to saddle that country with significant financial obligations, including paying for ongoing parts, services, and technical support from American companies. 

The Atomic Energy Commission was created in 1946 to promote and regulate the development of this new industry. With the commission led by Wall Street banker Lewis Strauss for five critical years, it is not surprising that the scales heavily favored promotion over regulation. Encouraging private investment in these risky reactor projects was assisted by minimizing regulatory safety and operational demands upon the private operators.

But why was it so important for the U.S. government to develop and subsidize civilian nuclear power? Because it allowed the military, in essence, to spin off its nuclear reactor activities to private financing and corporate operations. Like Atoms for Peace, this repackaging of a military activity as a civilian one succeeded in making the endeavor socially acceptable and somewhat self-funding—although government subsidies are still perennially needed to carry on, and taxpayers are still covering the liability insurance costs of the private corporations.

Most importantly, as detailed in a 2017 report by former U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, civilian nuclear power is an “essential enabler” of our national security. The Atlantic Council calculates the value of this contribution to national security to be $42.4 billion a year. Businesses contributing to the nuclear Navy’s supply chain are in forty-four U.S. states.

……………. Being the biggest nuclear enterprise on earth encourages the circular, self-sustaining dynamic of the nuclear arms race. The United States is busy modernizing its nuclear weapons infrastructure to be “strong enough” to negotiate the elimination of nuclear weapons. This is presented as official doctrine in the nonproliferation world. In reality, the United States is actually driving the growing international nuclear arms race.

…………… Presenting civilian nuclear power as the answer to climate change, as clean and safe electrical generation, or as energy “too cheap to meter” is simply a sales pitch. What is actually delivered by a robust nuclear energy fleet is the capacity for nuclear weapons and a nuclear Navy.

Over the decades, there have been numerous expert critiques of nuclear power, authoritatively debunking these misleading and false promises, yet these critiques seem to have no effect on the trajectory of the nuclear enterprise. I suggest that these sales pitches are diversionary techniques aimed at sapping our energy.

It does not matter if nuclear power can really solve climate change, it just has to be seen as an essential part of the solution to attract bright, young talent into what is made to appear as the cutting edge of technology and climate solutions, even though the civilian nuclear power industry worldwide has been in decline since 2002.

To protect ourselves from the dangers of the nuclear enterprise, we need to stop the nuclear weapons and nuclear power reactor programs—a tall order, for sure. But if we seek success in our efforts, we are well advised to understand the forces we are engaging with. It is all about nuclear weapons.


December 18, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

The folly of the proxy war in Ukraine and how the military-industrial-complex has become the enemy from within

The Chris Hedges Report 18 Dec 22

There was once a wing of the Democratic Party that stood up to the war industry. J. William Fulbright. George McGovern. Mike Gravel. William Proxmire. But that was decades ago. The new Democrats, especially with the presidency of Bill Clinton, became shills not only for corporate America but the arms industry. No weapons system is too costly. No war, no matter how disastrous, goes unfunded.

The massive military budget, with $858 billion in military spending allocated for Fiscal Year 2023, an increase of $45 billion over the Biden administration’s budget request, and nearly $80 billion over the amount appropriated by Congress for the current fiscal year, keeps growing.

When 30 members of the party’s progressive caucus recently issued a call for Joe Biden to negotiate with Vladimir Putin they were forced by the party leadership and a war mongering media to back down and rescind their letter. What happened to the Democratic Party? Why has it become impossible to question war and the massive expenditures on arms? Why is such questioning political suicide? Why can’t a Democrat ask, especially at a time of economic hardship and huge deficits, how much we are going to divert to the war in Ukraine which has already consumed some $ 60 billion – as much as we spend on the State Department and AID — with no end in sight? Joining me to discuss the extinction of anti-war Democrats in Dennis Kucinich, a former presidential candidate, who served eight terms in the House of Representatives before the Democratic Party gerrymandered his district to ensure his defeat.


…………Dennis Kucinich:……………………. what’s happened with the Democratic Party, I think as soon as the Democratic Party made a determination, could have been 35, 40 years ago, that they were going to take corporate contributions, that wiped out any distinction between the two parties. Because in Washington, he or she who pays the piper plays the tune, and that’s what’s happened.

So, there isn’t that much of a difference in terms of the two parties when it comes to war except, notably, partisan reasons or not, there were over 50 Republicans who voted against the last tranche of money that went to fuel the war in Ukraine. And I felt that was notable, and of course, the potential speaker of the house should the Republicans win will be Kevin McCarthy, who has made it a point to say that he’s going to look at that funding.

….  Right now, the arms industry is making money hand over fist with the expansion of war. That’s how they make their money.

……..  And so, with respect to the Democratic caucus, this event, a retraction of the letter by a significant caucus within the Democratic Party, is a new benchmark of a slavish obeisance to the status quo within the party, which then supports war. And a majority of Republicans at this point are supporting war. So you have Congress supporting a war, and this is the way it’s been.

…… when the Pentagon budget comes up, there is a parade of various businesses, small and large, who will make appointments with the congressperson or staff and lay out how many jobs are in the district and how important it is to a district business to have this budget passed……….

………  I went to as a member of the government oversight committee in which an inspector general testified there are over $1 trillion worth of accounts in the Pentagon that couldn’t be reconciled. That they had over 1100 different accounting systems, deliberately, I suppose, constructed so as to make obfuscation rule the day.

So, from that moment on, I just said, wait a minute. They’re not keeping track of how this money’s spent. Why in the world should I vote for this budget? So from that point on, right through to the conclusion of a 16-year service in the United States Congress, I didn’t vote for a single budget of the Pentagon or any of the supplemental appropriations to keep wars going because I knew it was a racket

………….. the truth is the members of Congress are always under enormous pressure locally from their constituents, from contractors within their constituency, from the mediated environment, and the party. And so, it’s a rare individual, and I’m not doing this to elevate myself, but it’s a rare individual who will go against that, because you risk, at times, you may risk your political career.

…………………………………….. The truth of the matter is that we’re in a heavily militarized society driven by greed, lust for profit, and wars are being created just to keep fueling that. It moves right into this idea, this old idea of a manifest destiny. And then you leap into the 21st century where there are still people who believe, as in the Project for the New American Century, that it has to be that America must rule the world, that it is our destiny. I mean, that is such old thinking, but that’s where we are.

…..I see the world as one. I think that human unity is the truth that surrounds all of us. And when we start separating ourselves, and we engage in this polarized thinking, polarized thinking is a precursor of war……….  I’ve gone away from the orthodoxy which is now part of politics that says, well, keep that war going for whatever reason. We’re going to beat the Russians. We’re going to beat the Chinese. What? We’re beating ourselves.

………. NATO  has become now a kind of sock puppet for Western powers, notably my own dear country the United States. 

….from 2014 how the US engineered a coup and knocked out the Ukrainian government and put in one that would serve the US interest, which was to nullify the power of the constituency in Eastern Ukraine, which was Russian-speaking. 

And they wanted to basically, by any means necessary, keep that out of influencing the policies of the region, which they did. I mean, 14,000, by some estimates, Russian-speaking Ukrainians were killed from 2014 until 2021. Most Americans have no idea about that.

But anyhow, once the US, once the intelligence started to say, hey, we can knock Russia out like that, okay? We’ll crush Russia economically. These sanctions are going to put Russia away. And the EU bought into it. What’s the result? Well, the war goes on. But in the meantime, the sanctions have created a dramatic increase in the cost of energy. Plus they blew up the pipeline. That’s another increase in the cost of energy.

…… This is going to cause a lot of problems with the EU. And NATO is there as a cat’s paw for war………  they’re paying an economic price right now for the misjudgment of the European officials who were coaxed into it by the US.

….. And this ends up being a nightmare. Not only for Europe though, but we’re getting visited with it somewhat here. 

……………………. suddenly Ukraine becomes a bloodbath of a chess board where these innocent people are just being used as pawns in a game of nations. 

Chris Hedges:  Let’s talk about the press, because you spoke about going back to your constituents as an anti-war candidate and feeling blowback. But isn’t that because, essentially, we have a press that has locked out anti-war critics?

Dennis Kucinich…………………………………. And so, I’ve seen this dynamic before. And the media, we have a heavily mediated society, even more so today than 20 years ago. And we also know that the government can have legions of people working computers, sending out messages that praise those who are for the war and attack those who aren’t. We’re living in a hall of mirrors here when it comes to trying to find out what is really going on……………. , I’m also concerned that things could spin out of control, even now with respect to Russia, with respect to China, North Korea. And what a tragedy…………

Chris Hedges:  I want to ask about these pimps of war, these shills for war……  now they’re beating the drums, of course, for endless war with Ukraine. It doesn’t matter how mistaken they were in the past, they are perpetuated, their think tanks are perpetuated. They never lose their purchase on the cable talk shows. You’ve dealt with these people. I know some of them, Abrams and others. They are truly human mediocrities. And I would include the generals like Petraeus and others.

Dennis Kucinich:  …………. Well, if there ever was a country that was in need of a process of truth and reconciliation, it’s America. 

…………..  What Gore Vidal calls the United States of Amnesia just takes place, where people forget the mistakes. Not mistakes, the misdeeds of the past. And unless we have some measure of accountability we’re always going to be wearing the stain of war waged against innocent people around the globe.

……………………………… We should also be clear, we’ve lost almost all these wars going back to Vietnam, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

That was Dennis Kucinich, former presidential candidate, served eight terms in the House of Representatives before the Democratic Party pushed him out. I want to thank the Real News Network and its production team: Cameron Granadino, Adam Coley, and Kayla Rivara. You can find me at

December 18, 2022 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia building giant dome over Europe’s largest nuclear plant’s spent fuel stores, to shield them from Ukrainian attacks

The structure will shield stores of spent radioactive fuel from Ukrainian attacks. 18 Dec 22

Russia is constructing a protective dome over spent radioactive fuel stores at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as Ukrainian forces continue to target the facility, senior regional official Vladimir Rogov has said.

He took to Telegram on Saturday to post a short video of the work that’s taking place. It showed technicians setting up shields over the tanks that hold spent nuclear fuel.

The dome is designed to protect the storage facilities from shrapnel and improvised explosive devices carried by drones, the official explained, adding that it would be reinforced further at a later period.

Russia’s nuclear energy corporation Rosatom had earlier warned that damage to the spent-fuel containers risks a release of radioactive material into the atmosphere, with unpredictable consequences.

The construction of the dome comes amid continued attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and the nearby town of Energodar, which Moscow blames on Kiev. Russia has repeatedly said that such strikes could result in a nuclear disaster that would eclipse the 1986 Chernobyl incident and affect many countries in Europe.

Ukraine initially claimed that the Russian military had been hitting the plant itself as part of “false-flag” operations to make Kiev look bad. However, Ukrainian general staff eventually admitted to striking the area around the nuclear facility.

The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, which is the largest on the continent, has been under Russian control since February 28. All of the reactors at the facility are currently shut down due to the security situation.

Zaporozhye Region, together with three other former Ukrainian territories – Kherson Region and the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Lugnask – joined Russia in autumn after holding referendums.

December 18, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Exaggerated fusion breakthrough is for military purposes.

The claims for a breakthrough in fusion power are not only exaggerated but in reality concerned principally with military objectives.

By Ian Fairlie and David Toke, 18 Dec 22

This test, carried out by the National Ignition Facility at US Government’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), was mainly to facilitate the testing of nuclear weapons. This fact was missed in almost all the hyperbole surrounding the test.

The claims for a breakthrough in fusion power are not only exaggerated but in reality concerned principally with military objectives.

This test, carried out by the National Ignition Facility at US Government’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), was mainly to facilitate the testing of nuclear weapons. This fact was missed in almost all the hyperbole surrounding the test.

Although it is correct that nuclear fusion was achieved, albeit for a trillionth of a second, it was not a first. Ignition has been achieved before in other countries including the UK using a different technology (magnetic confinement) for a few seconds. And the claim that more energy was produced than consumed in the process is specious, as the various reports put out by LLNL compared heat output with electricity input which is like comparing apples and oranges. A true comparison would have taken into account the vast amount of energy consumed to produce the electricity to drive the lasers. And the actual amount of excess heat energy produced (about 20 kettles of boiling water) was paltry.

As Tom Hartsfield, who has been following the progress of the tests by the National Ignition Facility (NIF), put it:

‘the input energy to the laser system is somewhere between 384 and 400 MJ. Consuming 400 MJ and producing 3.15 MJ is a net energy loss greater than 99%. For every single unit of fusion energy it produces, NIF burns at minimum 130 units of energy…….In terms of electrical power, 3.15 MJ would not quite power one 40-watt refrigerator light bulb for a day.’

As Amory Lovins has commented, even if fusion power was free, it would still be uncompetitive with other energy sources. That is because there would be very big capital costs involved, including paying for 19th century steam generator technology to use the fusion power to boil water to drive steam powered electricity generators.

In fact the main purpose of the NIF has not been about advancing civil fusion research, but in advancing the US nuclear weapons programme. A paper in the top science journal Nature published in 2021 discussed an earlier breakthrough, but the main breakthrough described was about nuclear weapons:

‘Housed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, the US$3.5-billion facility wasn’t designed to serve as a power-plant prototype, however, but rather to probe fusion reactions at the heart of thermonuclear weapons. After the United States banned underground nuclear testing at the end of the cold war in 1992, the energy department proposed the NIF as part of a larger science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program, designed to verify the reliability of the country’s nuclear weapons without detonating any of them……..With this month’s laser-fusion breakthrough, scientists are cautiously optimistic that the NIF might live up to its promise, helping physicists to better understand the initiation of nuclear fusion — and thus the detonation of nuclear weapons. “That’s really the scientific question for us at the moment,” says Mark Herrmann, Livermore’s deputy director for fundamental weapons physics. “Where can we go? How much further can we go?”

Looking on the bright side, could we say this was a technological breakthrough for mankind?  Not really. It is better to examine what its real impact will be for our energy futures – and the answer is precious little.  This one test cost around $1.5 billion according to the New York Times, and involved 192 of the world’s largest and most expensive lasers. The disparity in scale and the mismatch with what we really need (inexpensive, practical sources of heat and electricity) are massive.

Another useful yardstick would be how much it would contribute to dealing with climate change. Again nothing. Fusion is not mentioned once as a climate mitigation option in the last IPCC report.

December 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, technology | Leave a comment

Watchdog estimates civilian death toll from Ukrainian attacks on Donbass 14 Dec 22, More than 4,500 people have been killed since mid-February, with supplies of NATO weapons resulting in a surge of deaths, observers claim.

Weapons supplied to Ukraine by NATO countries have allowed Kiev’s military to significantly ramp-up attacks on civilian targets in Donbass, a local watchdog has said.

The group claims that over 4,500 civilians have been killed and 4,000 injured since Ukrainian forces escalated shelling in mid-February.  

Military terror has escalated beyond all limits after NATO members started supplying weapons to Ukraine,” the Joint Center for Control and Coordination (JCCC), a monitoring group that tracks attacks on the Lugansk and Donetsk People’s Republics, said on Wednesday.  

“We have recorded a four-fold increase in the number of victims among the civilian population,” Natalya Shutkina, a representative from the Donetsk People’s Republic at the JCCC, said as quoted by TASS.  

The JCCC held a press conference on Wednesday during which it showed fragments of Western shells and rockets collected after Ukrainian strikes in Donbass and explained the toll these attacks had taken.  

Since February 17, 4,527 civilians have been killed, including 154 children, Shutkina stated. Another 4,317 civilians, including 274 children, have been injured, she said, adding that Ukrainian attacks have damaged over 12,000 homes, 128 medical facilities, and 67 sites required for providing basic utilities, such as water and heating.  

The record-keeping begins in mid-February when the Donbass republics reported a significant escalation of strikes by Kiev in the lead-up to Russia having recognized the DPR and LPR as sovereign states and pledged to defend them. The two regions have since been incorporated into Russia following referendums in September.    

Shutkina pointed out that the weapon systems provided by the US and its allies are supposed to be more accurate than the Soviet-era artillery guns and rocket launchers that Ukraine possessed previously. This leads the JCCC to believe that the Ukrainian attacks on civilian facilities have been intentional rather than being part of indiscriminate strikes, she stressed.  

READ MORE: Children injured in Ukrainian shelling of Donetsk – authorities

Darya Morozova, the human rights ombudsman for the DPR, urged international organizations to acknowledge Kiev’s actions, arguing that “if the world community didn’t encourage the Ukrainian leadership with its inaction, the war in Donbass would have stopped a long time ago.” She called on Kiev’s sponsors to stop sending heavy weapons to Ukraine.

December 18, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Weapons delivered to Ukraine ‘beginning to filter’ to Africa: Nigeria By Al Mayadeen English , Source: Agencies, 3 Dec 22

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari urges heads of states from neighboring states participating in the Lake Chad Basin Commission to confront the issue of Western arms smuggling from Ukraine.

Weapons supplied to Ukraine from Western countries are “starting to flow” into the Lake Chad basin region, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari warned this week.

Addressing the heads of states from neighboring states participating in the Lake Chad Basin Commission on Tuesday in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, the president said, “Regrettably, the situation in the Sahel and the raging war in Ukraine serve as major sources of weapons and fighters that bolster the ranks of the terrorists in the region.”

Buhari then urged his counterparts to increase security cooperation in order to confront the issue of arms smuggling

The Nigerian president agreed to step up military coordination in their countries’ war against Boko Haram and ISIS terrorists, who are now apparently receiving weapons from Ukraine, alongside the leaders of Benin, Chad, Niger, and the Central African Republic.

Last month, Finnish police said that some of the “huge quantities” of weapons being shipped to Ukraine had made their way to Finland, where “three of the world’s largest motorcycle gangs” now operate, including Bandidos MC, which “has a branch in every major city in Ukraine.”

In August, an American news outlet unmasked that a shockingly large amount of weaponry heading for Ukraine was untraceable. “Like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” said a tweet that was later deleted after a swarm of online trolls attacked it.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had previously said the arms supplied by the West to Ukraine were ending up on the black market and spreading across West Asia.

Similarly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had pointed out that Stingers and Javelin missiles, supplied by the West to Kiev, were already being sold at a discount on the black market and have surfaced in Albania and Kosovo, which Russia has warned for so long.

Ukraine has received billions and billions of dollars in donated arms from the United States and its allies such as the United Kingdom and other NATO states in the past few months.

December 18, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US prolongs Russia-Ukraine conflict for three aims, aggravates nuclear war risk: experts at GT annual forum

Global Times, By Hu Yuwei Dec 17, 2022

A prolonged and expanded Russia-Ukraine conflict will have a far-reaching impact and damage the future of the globe, and increase the risk of a runaway control and nuclear crisis, Chinese foreign affairs experts and scholars warned at the 2023 Global Times Annual Conference on Saturday.

“The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is a typical ‘proxy war.’ The prolonged conflict in Ukraine is inevitable, and its troubles and shocks will further spill over to other parts of the world,” Zhu Feng, a professor of international relations at Nanjing University, said, addressing the 2023 Global Times Annual Conference, held both online and off-line.

The US and the EU have not made substantial efforts to ease Russia-Ukraine conflict, and have even moved in the opposite direction by providing weapons and ammunition. The key to solving the crisis lies in the hands of the US and EU, Zhou Li, former vice minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, noted at the conference.

There are three major uncertainties in the future development of the Russia-Ukraine conflict – direct military confrontation between Russia and NATO members, nuclear contamination in Ukraine, and Russia being forced to use nuclear weapons, Zhu said.

“It is fair to say that the prolonged conflict between Russia and Ukraine is the most important strategic challenge and the most serious uncertainty facing the world today,” Zhu stressed.

Both sides of the Ukraine conflict are locked in a stalemated battle of attrition, which could set the stage for a new round of escalation, the Associated Press reported recently.

Scholars have analyzed the future direction of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and underlined that currently the willingness of the parties to negotiate is far from sufficient.

For Ukraine, it is still in a military stage of counter offensive; for Russia, it hopes to adjust and regain its battlefield advantage; as for the US, it continues military support to Ukraine through advanced military equipment, so all parties are more willing to continue their military moves, according to Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University.

Wu Dahui, deputy dean of the Russian Institute of Tsinghua University, also believes that there is no overlap between the negotiating goals of Russia and Ukraine.

The US has three goals in the Ukraine conflict: to comprehensively weaken Russia, to stabilize the regime in Ukraine, and to push Europe to follow US policies, Wu Xinbo said.

He believes that it will be hard to find a clear solution to the Russia-Ukraine conflict any time soon. But 2024 could be a critical timing for resolving the conflict, given that both US and Russia will have presidential elections in 2024.

Having been drawn into the protracted and intense Russia-Ukraine conflict, and having to deal with inflation and skyrocketing energy costs, more people in the EU have realized how they have been caught in a US trap. Top European officials are furious with the Biden administration and have accused the US of profiting from the Ukraine crisis by selling gas at high prices and selling arms, Politico reported in early December…………….. more

December 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Costs of France’s Flamanville nuclear reactor blow out to over $14 billion as project delayed again.

Nuclear: the Flamanville EPR is another six months late and 500 million
euros in additional costs, EDF announced. The new delay is due to the
necessary revision of treatment procedures for some 150 “complex”
welds, within the main secondary circuit of the reactor, explained to the
press the director of the Flamanville 3 project,

The delay is now twelve years. EDF announced, Friday, December 16, six months of additional delay
for the commissioning of its EPR nuclear reactor in Flamanville (Manche),
which must now start by mid-2024 instead of the end of 2023. These six
additional months result in a new additional cost of 500 million euros,
increasing the total cost of the project, under construction since 2007,
from 12.7 to 13.2 billion euros.

Le Monde 16th Dec 2022

Electricite de France SA said Friday that the schedule for the Flamanville
3 nuclear reactor project in northern France has been further delayed and
that its estimated cost has increased. The French state-controlled utility
said nuclear fuel loading is now scheduled for the first quarter of 2024
from the second trimester of 2023.

The estimated cost of completion has
risen to 13.2 billion euros ($14.04 billion) from EUR12.7 billion. The
revised scheduled is mainly due to additional studies needed to establish a
new process for the stress-relieving heat treatment of some welds that have
been upgraded in the last two years, EDF said.

Market Watch 16th Dec 2022

December 18, 2022 Posted by | safety | Leave a comment

At the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant new areas begin to be filled with radioactive debris

Underground nuclear waste repository begins filling new disposal area . OUT WEST ROUNDUP, The Associated Press, ALBUQUERQUE — Workers at the nation’s only underground nuclear waste repository have started using a newly mined disposal area at the underground facility in southern New Mexico.

Officials at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant made the announcement late last month, saying the first containers of waste to be entombed in the new area came from Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee — one of the many labs and government sites across the country that package up waste and ship it to WIPP.

Known as Panel 8, the new area consists of seven separate rooms for placing special boxes and barrels packed with lab coats, rubber gloves, tools and debris contaminated with plutonium and other radioactive elements.

Each room measures 33 feet wide, 16 feet high and runs the length of a football field minus the end zones.

Carved out of an ancient salt formation about half a mile deep, the subterranean landfill located outside of Carlsbad received its first shipment in 1999. The idea is that the shifting salt will eventually entomb the radioactive waste left from decades of bomb-making and nuclear weapons research.

In 2014, a fire and separate radiation release forced a nearly three-year closure of the repository and a costly overhaul of the policies and procedures that govern WIPP and the nation’s multibillion-dollar cleanup program for Cold War-era waste.

December 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kiev’s Worst Attack Against Donetsk In Eight Years Is A Desperate Attempt To Save Face

Andrew Korybko, Dec 15 2022

Kiev’s latest war crime was also a psychological operation aimed at manipulating domestic, Russian, and Western perceptions of the conflict at this pivotal moment when its dynamics are once again trending in Moscow’s favor. It’s too early to predict whether this hybrid military-infowar provocation will succeed in obtaining its desired results, but there’s no doubt that more will likely follow as Kiev becomes more desperate.

Mayor of Donetsk Alexey Kulemzin wrote on Telegram Thursday morning that “Another war crime was committed this morning by Ukrainian fascists. Today, at exactly 7:00 a.m. [04:00 GMT], they subjected the center of Donetsk to the most massive strike since 2014.” Kiev’s worst attack against that newly incorporated Russian city in eight years was undertaken out of desperation in an attempt to “save face” amidst the American Ambassador to NATO admitting that the bloc can’t keep up the pace of its aid.

Julianne Smith dropped that bombshell while speaking at an event hosted by the CSIS think tank on Tuesday, but it shouldn’t have been surprising for objective observers. After all, it was already obvious by as early as last spring that NATO couldn’t indefinitely sustain the scale and scope of its military support for Kiev. That anti-Russian alliance’s stockpiles are dwindling yet its military-industrial complex can’t replace its lost supplies fast enough to reverse this trend.

This development is to the detriment of Kiev’s offensive and defense capabilities. It’ll struggle to maintain its on-the-ground momentum after reconquering the right bank of Russia’s newly reunified Kherson Region simultaneously with struggling to fend off Moscow’s reportedly planned offensive early next year. This isn’t speculation either but is proven by two recent statements from Ukrainian officials that strongly hint about those disadvantageous aforementioned consequences.

Defense Minister Reznikov’s announcement on Monday that his side will supposedly resume its “active counteroffensive actions” after the ground freezes can be interpreted as a tacit admission that the expected decline in NATO’s military aid hampered Kiev’s plans. Likewise, Foreign Minister Kuleba’s warning the day after that Russia is supposedly planning a “large offensive” by late January or early February can be seen as hinting that Kiev risks being crushed if NATO scales back its aid as expected.  

Taken together, it’s clear that the military-strategic dynamics at this phase of Russia’s special operation are trending in Moscow’s favor, with the decisive variable being that NATO’s military-industrial complex exhausted its capabilities after ten months of contributing to this proxy war. Reading the writing on the wall, it’s therefore understandable why Kiev is panicking since it’s increasingly being coerced by circumstances into moderating its maximalist goals in this conflict and thus considering a ceasefire.

That’s politically unacceptable for its leadership though and they’re thus desperate to distract the public from this emerging trend, ergo why they authorized the most massive strike on Donetsk in eight years in order to “save face”. Kiev hopes to terrorize the local Russians there, boost pro-war sentiment at home, and convince NATO to sacrifice the rest of its dwindling stockpiles at the expense of its members’ minimum national security needs in order to maintain the pace of its proxy war support.

Analyzed from this angle, it can therefore be concluded that Kiev’s latest war crime was also a psychological operation aimed at manipulating domestic, Russian, and Western perceptions of the conflict at this pivotal moment when its dynamics are once again trending in Moscow’s favor. It’s too early to predict whether this hybrid military-infowar provocation will succeed in obtaining its desired results, but there’s no doubt that more will likely follow as Kiev becomes more desperate.

December 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ukraine Crisis Highlights Security Needs Of Civilian Nuclear Power

[[Ed – “a secure environment for the proliferation of nuclear energy.”? Pigs might fly?]

Ariel Cohen, Forbes, 16 Dec 22,

On November 27-28 a conference in Paris addressed a broad spectrum of challenges humanity is facing. Renowned thinkers, including Nuriel Roubini and Jacob Frenkel, the former Chairman of JP Morgan International, and three central bankers from Iceland, Tunisia, and Armenia, warned about inflation and the growing mountain of debt threatening the global economy. The panel at which this author addressed civilian nuclear security was organized by Dialogue of the Continents, a project of the Astana Club, the brainchild of the Nazarbayev Foundation. The panel was chaired by the veteran nuclear policy expert Ambassador Kairat Abusseitov, the former First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan.

Today the planet shudders at the prospect of Russia’s first use of nuclear weapons and its military attacks on Ukrainian nuclear reactors. The world faced nuclear crises before. On October 27th, 1962 Vasili Arkhipov, a former Vice Admiral in the Soviet Navy, prevented a nuclear war when he countermanded the orders of two other officers and prevented a nuclear attack against the US Navy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. In September 1983 Soviet Airforce Colonel Stanislav Petrov manually overrode a missile launch system that erroneously detected an American attack. Two months later in November 1983 the NATO military exercise Able Archer almost triggered World War III when the Soviets believed it to be a real attack. In 1995 a Norwegian weather missile almost triggered a Russian massive strike on the U.S., which President Yeltsin canceled.

In every instance, nuclear war was prevented by the judgment of individuals where systems had failed. This was possible as adversarial powers recognized the “rules of the game” and created an atmosphere of cooperation to avoid nuclear confrontation amidst other profound disagreements. 

That atmosphere is gone, and the next time a Russian alert system goes off we may not have a Colonel Petrov to save us. And it won’t be the ballistic missiles that may be the cause of a massive nuclear disaster.

International law explicitly provides for the immunity of nuclear power plants during war. There are even measures that specifically plan for their safety. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for instance has promulgated 16 legally binding conventions rand protocols under the international legal framework for nuclear security to prevent, detect and respond to threats to nuclear security within one state. Nevertheless, the international community has proven unable to stymy Russian actions [and Ukrainian] around Chernobyl and the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plants that amount to nuclear blackmail and flagrantly violate these laws.

Enforcing the existing international law is easier said than done. International law presupposes an agreement between state actors, which is sorely lacking today. Calling counter-terrorism instruments into action requires UN approval, created by an ad hoc committee……………..

Being a nuclear state under the non-proliferation treaty Russia is under no obligation to place the Zaporizhzhia plant under IAEA safeguards and given the likelihood that it will not recognize that the plant comes under Ukraine’s comprehensive safeguards agreement, IAEA may find access to the plant completely denied next fall.

This is not just a Russian or Ukrainian problem; this is an emerging structural problem of the international energy security system that will reoccur if nothing is done now……………………………………. The future ubiquity of civilian nuclear power means that currently lacking international frameworks must be overhauled – or civilian nuclear power would be un-investable and too risky.

…………….  A false sense of security after the Cold War has dangerously numbed many to the existential threat that nuclear weapons represent, with polls repeatedly showing an alarming lack of concern towards these tools of extinction………………………………………………. more

December 18, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | 1 Comment

Alliance of Pacific organisations condemns Japan’s decision to discharge nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean

NZ and Pacific urged to ‘step up’ against Japan’s nuclear plan, Stuff NZ, Christine Rovoil, Dec 17 2022,

Japan’s decision to discharge nuclear wastewater into the Pacific Ocean for the next 30 years has been condemned by a Pacific alliance.

And the group of community members, academics, legal experts, NGOs and activists is calling on New Zealand and the Pacific to act to stop Japan.

Three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant had meltdowns after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 which left more than 15,000 people dead.

The Japanese government said work to clean up the radioactive contamination would take up to 40 years.

Following the Nuclear Connections Across Oceania Conference at the University of Otago last month, a working group was formed to address the planned discharge.

Dr Karly Burch at the OU’s Centre for Sustainability said many people might be surprised to hear that the Japanese government has instructed Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) to discharge more than 1.3 million tonnes of radioactive wastewater into the ocean from next year.

Burch said they had called on Tepco to halt its discharge plans, and the New Zealand Government to “step up against Japan”.

In June, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called for nuclear disarmament during her speech at the Nato Leaders’ Summit in Madrid.

“New Zealand is a Pacific nation and our region bears the scars of decades of nuclear testing. It was because of these lessons that New Zealand has long declared itself proudly nuclear-free,” Ardern said.

Burch said the Government must “stay true to its dedication to a nuclear-free Pacific” by taking a case to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea against Japan.

“This issue is complex and relates to nuclear safety rather than nuclear weapons or nuclear disarmament,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement on Friday.

“Japan is talking to Pacific partners in light of their concerns about the release of treated water from Fukushima and Aotearoa New Zealand supports the continuation of this dialogue.

…………….. In Onahama, 60km from the power station, fish stocks have dwindled, said Nozaki Tetsu, of the Fukushima Fisheries Co-operative Associations.

“From 25,000 tonnes per year before 2011, only 5000 tonnes of fish are now caught,” he said. “We are against the release of radioactive materials into our waters. What worries us is the negative reputation this creates.”

………………………. Burch said predictive models showed radioactive particles released would spread to the northern Pacific.

“To ensure they do not cause biological or ecological harm, these uranium-derived radionuclides need to be stored securely for the amount of time it takes for them to decay to a more stable state. For a radionuclide such as Iodine-129, this could be 160 million years.”

………… Burch said the Japanese government was aware in August 2018 that the treated wastewater contained long-lasting radionuclides such as Iodine-129 in quantities exceeding government regulations.

She has called for clarity from Tokyo, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Pacific Oceans Commission, and a Pacific panel of independent global experts on nuclear issues on the outcome of numerous meetings they have had about the discharge.

“We want a transparent and accountable consultation process which would include Japanese civil society groups, Pacific leaders and regional organisations.

“These processes must be directed by impacted communities within Japan and throughout the Pacific to facilitate fair and open public deliberations and rigorous scientific debate,” Burch said.

The Pacific Islands Forum secretary-general, Henry Puna, has been approached for comment.

December 18, 2022 Posted by | OCEANIA, wastes | Leave a comment

Nuclear blow for EDF, the Flamanville EPR delayed again by six months

While the previous reorganization of the schedule brought the commissioning
of the Flamanville EPR to the end of 2023, it has now been postponed to
mid-2024. At a time when the President of the Republic is relaunching the
nuclear industry in favor of the energy crisis with the start of
construction of 6 new EPRs, the first of which is expected from 2035, this
new delay is bad timing because it emphasizes the technical puzzle that the
construction of an EPR represents.

La Tribune 16th Dec 2022

December 18, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Media enthuses over “sexy”high tech nuclear energy, but ignores the really effective one – energy saving.

It’s that time of year when editors seem happy to let a few dubious stories
through. Most of the media ran with this one on yet another nuclear fusion
breakthrough- this one at the Lawrence Livermore labs in California, at the
National Ignition Facility.

Well, with the climate change threat looming,
non-fossil energy is a big issue just now- and its certainly cold out! So
is help at hand? Well no, not for some time at least. And at unknown cost.

Even if this laser based system, which was designed primarily for
replicating the physics of H-bomb ignition, can be made to deliver energy
on a large scale reliably and safely, it’s going to take a while- it’s a
very long shot.

An equally familiar but arguably much more welcome
newspaper article was this one on energy saving. As seems to be said almost
every week now, saving energy saves money. And it’s available now. But no
one seems to notice.

Energy conservation is just not sexy. Not like high
tech fusion or hydrogen- which also these days regularly gets star billing.
Well hydrogen may have some applications, but in a wide ranging critique,
Michael Liebreich, BNEF founder, says not that many.

It’s not the
wonder-fuel it’s been billed as. He is not happy: ‘we are going to waste
huge amounts of money on the wrong use cases for hydrogen and the wrong
infrastructure in the wrong places’. Few seem happy either about the
proposed new coal mine in Cumbria, but support for solar farms seems to be
missing in Tory UK, although, in the EU, there seems to be support for
putting solar in space…What an odd world. With Russia still calling many
of the shots: according to a new Parliamentary Briefing Note, ‘it is
currently the only country capable of commercially providing the more
enriched fuel needed for Advanced Modular Reactors’, which some look to the
replace the current type of nuclear technology.

Renew Extra 17th Dec 2022

December 18, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

Russia installs sheild over Zaporizhzhia nuclear storage site

A shield is being set up over a storage site for spent nuclear waste at the
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine to protect it from
shelling and drones, a Russian-installed official said on Saturday. Video
footage published by Vladimir Rogov, a Russian-appointed official in
Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia province, showed workers mounting a screen of what
appeared to be some kind of transparent sheeting on wires above dozens of
concrete cylinders about 5 metres (16 feet) high.

Reuters 17th Dec 2022

December 18, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment