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This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize winners are deeply connected to the CIA

The entire Nobel Peace Prize ceremony this year seemed to be part of a public relations spectacle whose purpose was to mobilize public opinion against Russia and to support a military escalation of the war in Ukraine.

Whereas at one time genuine peace activists—like Emily Greene Balch, Linus Pauling and Martin Luther King, Jr.—were awarded the prize, now it is being conferred on war propagandists and national traitors in the pay of foreign masters who are using them merely as pawns in a deadly game in which there are no winners.

By Covert Action magazine, Jeremy Kuzmarov, December 21, 2022

Far-fetched as it sounds, this year’s winners are all connected to a CIA offshoot, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and parroted CIA / State Department / Pentagon talking points about Ukraine and Russia in their acceptance speeches

The Nobel Prize Committee has five judges, appointed by the Norwegian parliament, who are tasked with choosing Nobel Prizewinners.

But people are starting to wonder if there is a 6th Nobel Prize judge, not appointed by the Norwegian parliament, but by the CIA, who is tasked with making sure that winners of the coveted Nobel Peace Prize advance the agenda of U.S. policy makers.

Although the idea may seem far-fetched, this year’s winners all have connections to a CIA offshoot, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Oleksandra Matviichuk, for example, who accepted this year’s Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the Ukraine Center for Civil Liberties (CCL) on December 10, had received the NED’s annual Democracy Award on behalf of the CCL six months earlier.[1]

The NED was founded in the 1980s to promote propaganda and regime-change operations in the service of U.S. imperial interests. Allen Weinstein, the director of the research study that led to creation of the NED remarked in 1991: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

The two other recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, Ales Bialiatski, a Belarusian dissident, and Memorial, a human rights organization expelled from Russia for violating its foreign agent law, have also received NED awards and probable financing.

While the Nobel Peace Prize has previously gone to warmongers like Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Kissinger and Barack Obama,[2] never before has it gone to organizations that were intricately associated with a foreign intelligence agency specializing in political skullduggery and psychological warfare.

The entire Nobel Peace Prize ceremony this year seemed to be part of a public relations spectacle whose purpose was to mobilize public opinion against Russia and to support a military escalation of the war in Ukraine.

In their victory speeches, all three Peace Prize recipients ritually denounced Russian war crimes and aggression and issued support for the war in Ukraine. Oleksandra Matviichuk also directly asked the Norwegian government for more air defense for Ukraine and other types of weapons.

Promoting a Fairy Tale Version of Reality

Matviichuk’s speech was notable for its overt Russophobia and Manichaean view of world affairs that showed a fundamental naiveté about the character of Western governments.

Matviichuk said that the West had turned a blind eye to Russia’s “destruction of its own civil society,” and “shook hands with the Russian leadership, built gas pipelines and conducted business as usual” when, for decades, “Russian troops had been committing crimes in different countries.”

In Matviichuk’s telling, the “innocent” West is complicit in appeasing Russia—though for the last few decades, it was U.S. troops and its proxies that rampaged across the Middle East and committed massive war crimes.

All while Russia has often intervened in self-defense against U.S.-NATO aggression—like in Georgia in 2008—or at the request of a besieged ally, like in Syria, where it saved the country from the fate of Libya which had been destroyed by the 2011 U.S.-NATO intervention.

Matviichuk claimed in her speech that the war in Ukraine is “not a war of two states—but of two systems—authoritarianism and democracy.”

If that is the case, it is not clear which side she is on as her president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has banned eleven opposition parties, including the communist party, which is legal in Russia, and mounted a Phoenix-style operation to silence dissidents.

Matviichuk suggested earlier in her speech that the world had not adequately responded to “the act of aggression and annexation of Crimea, which were the first such cases in post-war Europe.”

Crimea, however, had historically been part of Russia and was never invaded. Its people voted to rejoin Russia in a referendum after the U.S. and EU had backed a right-wing coup in Ukraine that represented a vital security threat to Russia on its border.

Matviichuk presented more false history when she claimed that “the Russian people were responsible for this disgraceful chapter in their history [the invasion of Ukraine] and their desire to forcefully restore their former empire.”

Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, however, was not an attempt to restore the Russian empire, but was carried out in response to genuine national security threats that Russia faced as a result of the right-wing coup in Ukraine and NATO advancement on its border.

Matviichuk further omits that Russia was carrying out a genuine humanitarian intervention by trying to save the people of eastern Ukraine who had been the target of an ethnic-cleansing operation by the Ukrainian military, which left 14,000 civilians dead.

Matviichuk concluded part of her speech by stating:

People of Ukraine want peace more than anyone else in the world. But peace cannot be reached by the country under attack laying down its arms. This would not be peace, but occupation. After the liberation of Bucha, we found a lot of civilians murdered in the streets and courtyards of their homes. These people were unarmed. We must stop pretending deferred military threats are ‘political compromises.’ The democratic world has grown accustomed to making concessions to dictatorships. And that is why the willingness of the Ukrainian people to resist Russian imperialism is so important. We will not leave people in the occupied territories to be killed and tortured. People’s lives cannot be a ‘political compromise.’ Fighting for peace does not not mean yielding to pressure of the aggressor, it means protecting people from its cruelty.”

It is astounding that someone would use the platform accorded to her by winning a major world peace prize to try to rationalize a war that her country had started—in 2014 when it attacked the people of eastern Ukraine who voted for more autonomy after a foreign-backed coup in Ukraine, and after the post-coup government imposed draconian language laws.[3]

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (2014-2019) has even disclosed that Ukraine had no intention of abiding by the Minsk peace agreements, which could have prevented a full-scale conflict with Russia. Instead, Ukraine signed those agreements as a stalling tactic to give it more time to build up its military power and accrue more weaponry and support from the U.S. so it could fight Russia from a position of strength.

Matviichuk promoted more disinformation by suggesting that the Russians had killed all the civilians in Bucha, as in-depth investigations have determined that many civilians were killed in Bucha by the Ukrainians after Russian forces were expelled…………………………………………

Honoring a Propaganda Agency That May Well Help Ignite World War III

While the Nobel Peace Prize has not always honored true peace activists, a truly ominous precedent has been set in giving it to a propaganda agency that may well help ignite World War III.

A key part of CCL’s current mission is to document Russian war crimes in Donbas—though Ukraine has been responsible for the majority of human rights crimes there since the war started after the U.S.-backed coup in 2014—when CCL started this work.[4]

Residents from towns in eastern Ukraine have reported on widespread rapes and torture of captured prisoners by Ukrainian troops and constant shelling of civilian centers and terror bombing over an eight-year period.

This is ignored by the CCL, which instead has tried to spotlight the stories—real or imagined—of victims of sexual violence by Russian troops in Ukraine and women abducted by Russian troops and taken into captivity in Russia.

Further, the CCL has mounted an international campaign to release the Kremlin’s political prisoners, and aims to raise awareness about political persecution in what it calls Russian-occupied Crimea—which is not “occupied” since its people voted to rejoin Russia in a referendum.

The CCL fashions itself as a particular champion of the Crimean Tatars, some of whom had collaborated with Nazi Germany in World War II and who had long been used by outside powers to try to destabilize Russia and foment ethnic conflict as part of a strategy of divide and conquer.

Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemilev, who received an award from the NED in 2018, travelled to the NATO headquarters in Brussels after the Russian annexation of Crimea in March 2014 agitating for an armed intervention by the UN to return Crimea to Ukrainian control, and has been a militant proponent of sanctions against Russia……………………..

Belarusian Winner Also Has NED Connection

The politicized nature of this year’s Nobel Prize ceremony was apparent in the selection of a Belarusian dissident, Ales Bialiatski, as co-winner of the Peace Prize.

Jailed for “financing group actions that disrupted public order,” Bialiatski was part of an NED-sponsored uprising and color revolution in 2020-2021 that failed to overthrow Belarus’s socialist ruler, Alexander Lukashenko, who had saved his country in the 1990s by rejecting Western-imposed privatization and shock therapy programs and sustained a strong social safety net.[5]…………………………..

By helping to paint Lukashenko as a monster in national and international media, Bialiatski’s organization and others of his kind serve U.S. imperial interests by helping to mobilize popular support for a regime-change operation directed against Europe’s last true socialist government.

Yet Another NED Connection

The third winner of this year’s Nobel Peaze Price is a banned Russian human rights organization, Memorial, whose work includes preserving the memory of the victims of Soviet gulags and Joseph Stalin’s reign, and documenting political repression and human rights violations in Russia.[6] In 2004, its director, Arseny Roginsky, was awarded the 2004 NED Democracy Award………………………………………

Should It Be Renamed the Nobel War Prize?

The Nobel Peace Prize has tarnished its reputation through many of its past selections; but this year seems worse then ever with the Nobel ceremony providing a platform for anti-Russia war incitement.

In the future, all pretenses should be thrown aside and the prize finally renamed the Nobel War Prize.

Whereas at one time genuine peace activists—like Emily Greene Balch, Linus Pauling and Martin Luther King, Jr.—were awarded the prize, now it is being conferred on war propagandists and national traitors in the pay of foreign masters who are using them merely as pawns in a deadly game in which there are no winners.


January 1, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

More weapons to Ukraine “to bring peace” – says NATO chief.

NATO chief suggests ‘weapons for peace’ in Ukraine 30 Dec 22

NATO chief suggests ‘weapons for peace’ in Ukraine. Jens Stoltenberg has told German media that continuing to arm Kiev will help bring the conflict to an end more swiftly.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that Western military aid to Ukraine is what is needed to bring peace to the Eastern European country in the shortest time possible.

He claimed that Russia will only agree to peace talks when it faces a situation in which it cannot achieve its goals militarily.

In an interview with German news outlet DPA, parts of which were published on Friday, Stoltenberg said: “It may sound paradoxical, but military support for Ukraine is the quickest way to peace.

The Western military bloc’s chief claimed that for the conflict to end, Russian President Vladimir Putin has to come to the conclusion that his forces are unable to take over Ukraine. It is only then that the Kremlin would be ready to negotiate a settlement.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rejected out of hand a ten-point “peace formula” floated by Ukrainian president Zelensky that envisages the withdrawal of Russian troops from Crimea, Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Kherson Regions.

Lavrov told reporters that Moscow will “not talk to anyone” under the conditions previously proposed by Ukrainian president.

He stressed, however, that the Kremlin has not refused in principle to engage in negotiations with Ukraine, adding that Kiev must first recognize the new reality on the ground.

Stoltenberg also defended recent Ukrainian strikes on military targets deep inside Russian territory. He argued that “every country has the right to defend itself,” insisting that the attacks were justified.

When asked whether Ukraine should be given intermediate-range ballistic missiles, Stoltenberg revealed that individual NATO member states and Ukraine are engaged in dialogue regarding specific systems, which he declined to name. He also pointed out that several members of the military bloc have already supplied Kiev with weapon systems that have a longer range, such as US-made M142 HIMARS multiple launch rocket systems and drones.

On Thursday night, US President Joe Biden signed off on a massive $1.7 trillion spending bill, which earmarks $45 billion for “crucial assistance to Ukraine.” Of this amount, $9 billion will go directly toward training and equipping the Ukrainian military.

Russia insists that Western weapon deliveries only serve to prolong the conflict, warning Ukraine’s backers that these shipments could potentially result in an all-out military confrontation between Russia and NATO.

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Marie Curie’s Belongings Will Be Radioactive For Another 1,500 Years


Marie Curie, known as the ‘mother of modern physics’, died from aplastic anaemia, a rare condition linked to high levels of exposure to her famed discoveries, the radioactive elements polonium and radium.

Curie, the first and only woman to win a Nobel Prize in two different fields (physics and chemistry), furthered the research of French physicist Henri Becquerel, who in 1896 discovered that the element uranium emits rays.

Alongside her French physicist husband, Pierre Curie, the brilliant scientific pair discovered a new radioactive element in 1898. The duo named the element polonium, after Poland, Marie’s native country.

Still, after more than 100 years, much of Curie’s personal effects including her clothes, furniture, cookbooks, and laboratory notes are still radioactive, author Bill Bryson writes in his book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Regarded as national and scientific treasures, Curie’s laboratory notebooks are stored in lead-lined boxes at France’s Bibliotheque National in Paris. Wellcome Library

While the library grants access to visitors to view Curie’s manuscripts, all guests are expected to sign a liability waiver and wear protective gear as the items are contaminated with radium 226, which has a half life of about 1,600 years, according to Christian Science Monitor.

Her body is also radioactive and was therefore placed in a coffin lined with nearly an inch of lead.

The Curie’s are buried in France’s Panthéon, a mausoleum in Paris which contains the remains of distinguished French citizens – like philosophers Rousseau and Voltaire.

January 1, 2023 Posted by | France, radiation, Reference, women | Leave a comment

Russia Adds ‘Unrivaled’ Nuclear-Powered Missile Cruisers To Its Arsenal; Putin Says Has No Analogs In The World By Ashish Dangwal, January 1, 2023

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated at a naval commissioning ceremony on December 29 that Russia’s latest nuclear-powered missile cruisers have no counterparts anywhere else in the world. 

Regarding the Sevmash Shipyard and Rubin Design Bureau’s contributions to the production of the nation’s nuclear submarines, Putin stated that “the latest nuclear-powered missile carriers being designed and built there have no analogs in the world in many characteristics.”

He stated the vessels have advanced underwater acoustics, navigation, and communication systems in addition to high-precision weapons and robotic systems. 

The flag hoisting signifies that the ships have been accepted into the Russian Navy. Defense Sergey Shoigu announced at the end of the ceremony that “the ships have been accepted into the Navy.” 

The President of Russia also thanked the designers, engineers, and employees of the Sevmash, Zelenodolsk, and Sredne-Nevsky shipyards for their diligent work and timely, high-quality completion of duties.

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Growing urgency and intensity — Weather extremes won’t be solved by nuclear power

Growing urgency and intensity — Beyond Nuclear International . By Antony Froggatt 1 Jan 2023,

Urgent climate action is needed and nuclear power is not the answer

Just as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has highlighted Europe’s dangerous dependence on fossil fuels, increasingly frequent and intense climate-driven weather events are highlighting the death and destruction that fossil-fuel dependence has wrought. 
Understandably, political and public pressure to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, move away from insecure primary energy supplies, and develop new, reliable, secure, and affordable energy sources is at an all-time high. 

But rather than rushing ahead, we need to consider carefully which options are most realistic, and how they will be deployed and operate in the real world.

Consider nuclear power. With many countries and companies now giving this option a second (or even a third) look, the 2022 World Nuclear Industry Status Report (WNISR) offers valuable insights into how the sector is faring.

While the last 12 months may be remembered as a turning point for the broader energy sector, it won’t be because of the nuclear industry. Nuclear energy’s share of global commercial gross electricity generation in 2021 dropped to 9.8%, which is its first dip below 10% in four decades, barely more than half its peak of 17.5% in 1996. 

Meanwhile, wind and solar surpassed nuclear for the first time in 2021, accounting for 10.2% of gross power generation.

These diverging trajectories can be seen clearly across every indicator of investment, deployment, and output. According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, operating reactors peaked in 2018, both in terms of their number (449) and total capacity (396.5 gigawatts). The IAEA reports that 437 reactors were “in operation” globally at the end of 2021, including 23 reactors that have not generated power for at least nine years, and which may never do so again.

In 2018, when installed nuclear power peaked below 400 GW, solar and wind capacity rose above 1,000 GW, on its way to reaching 1,660 GW by the end of 2021. In just three years, solar and wind added two-thirds more capacity than nuclear at its last peak. Even if nuclear plants usually generate more electricity per unit of installed capacity than wind and solar, the divergence in these numbers is staggering.

In 2021, total investments in non-hydro renewables hit a record $366 billion, adding an unprecedented 257 GW (on net) to electricity grids, whereas operating nuclear capacity decreased by 0.4 GW. Only six new reactors were connected to the grid that year, and half of these were in China. Then, in the first half of 2022, five new reactors went online, two of which were in China. But while China has the most reactors under construction (21, as of mid-2022), it is not building them abroad.

Until recently, that role was taken up by Russia, which is dominating the international market with 20 units under construction, including 17 in seven countries as of mid-2022. Sanctions and potential other geopolitical developments have cast doubt on many of these projects, with a Finnish consortium already canceling construction of a facility based on a Russian design.

Only 33 countries operate nuclear power plants today, and only three – Bangladesh, Egypt, and Turkey – are building reactors for the first time (all in partnership with the Russian nuclear industry). Twenty-six of the 53 construction projects around the world have suffered various delays, with at least 14 reporting increased delays, and two reporting new delays, just in the past year.

For the first time, the WNISR also assesses the risks of nuclear power and war. There has been significant international concern about Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which has been occupied by Russia forces since March 4, 2022. Owing to repeated shelling in and around the area, the plant has frequently lost external power, prompting warnings from the IAEA that the situation is “untenable.” Operating a nuclear facility requires motivated, rested, skilled staff; but Zaporizhzhia’s Ukrainian personnel are under severe stress.

The key challenge now is to maintain continuous cooling for the reactor core and the pool for spent fuel, even after the reactor is shut down. The failure to evacuate heat from residual decay would lead to a core meltdown within hours, or a spent-fuel fire within days or weeks, with potentially large releases of radioactivity.

World leaders should focus on the technologies that can be deployed rapidly and universally to replace fossil fuels. As consecutive editions of the WNISR have shown, nuclear power is too slow and too expensive to compete with energy-efficiency measures and renewable energy.

Antony Froggatt is a founding author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report.

January 1, 2023 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change | Leave a comment

Europe shows how to cut demand for energy use

 Europe’s energy sacrifices: the winter test of resolve. From Finland to
France, citizens are reducing their power consumption. Can a drop in
temperatures break that collective resilience? Prices across the bloc have
been sky high, even if they have come down since a sharp rise in August

Entire swaths of industry — notably steel and chemical manufacturers —
have cut production, while governments have poured more than €700bn into
subsidies and financial support, according to the Brussels-based think-tank

Data from Eurostat show that household gas bills dramatically
increased in almost all of the EU’s 27 member states in the first half of
the year with some, such as Estonia and Bulgaria, shouldering more than
double last year’s cost.

Broad estimates for the reduction in gas use
across Europe hover at around 15 per cent in the second half of this year,
in line with a commitment by EU governments in July to voluntarily cut
demand by that amount. Much of the savings have come from “demand
destruction” among industrial users that have shut down production but
that should not negate household and community efforts, says Henning
Gloystein, director of energy, climate and resources at Eurasia Group.

Even if consumer demand is “super volatile across Europe, depending almost
entirely on the weather”, he says, “the heating of households and small
businesses is the biggest part of gas consumption each winter and if we
can’t solve that we are screwed.”

In Germany, which received more than
half of its gas from Russia in 2021, a concerted government campaign to cut
energy consumption has filtered down through city authorities. Lights in
public buildings have been dimmed, temperatures in sports facilities
lowered to 17C, hot water has been switched off in public buildings and
heating of municipal buildings in major cities cut to a minimum.

In France, where the situation is made more challenging by the closure of almost half
of its nuclear power fleet for maintenance, monuments such as the Eiffel
Tower and the Palace of Versailles now stand in darkness for most of the
night and the shop windows of luxury stores belonging to the LVMH
conglomerate, including Louis Vuitton on the Champs Elysées, are now
dimmed from around 10pm.

 FT 30th Dec 2022

January 1, 2023 Posted by | ENERGY, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Hot water — radiation in drinking water

Tighter controls called for as radiation contaminates US drinking water

Hot water — Beyond Nuclear International

Radioactive contamination is creeping into drinking water around the U.S. By Lynne Peeples, Ensia 1 Jan 2023

When Jeni Knack moved to Simi Valley, California, in 2018, she had no idea that her family’s new home was within 5 miles of a former nuclear and rocket testing laboratory, perched atop a plateau and rife with contamination. Radioactive cesium-137, strontium-90, plutonium-239 and tritium, along with a mix of other toxic chemicals and heavy metals, are known to have been released at the industrial site through various spills, leaks, the use of open-air burn pits and a partial nuclear meltdown.

Once Knack learned about the Santa Susana Field Laboratory and the unusual number of childhood cancer cases in the surrounding community, she couldn’t ignore it. Her family now only drinks water from a 5-gallon (19-liter) jug delivered by Sparkletts water service. In August of 2021, she began sending her then 6-year-old daughter to kindergarten with two bottles of the water and instructions to not refill them at school, which is connected to the same Golden State Water Company that serves her home.

A federal report in 2007 acknowledged that two wells sourced by the water company were at risk of contamination from the site. “The EPA has said we’re at risk,” says Knack. And Golden State, she says, has at times used “possibly a very hefty portion of that well water.” To date, radioactivity above the natural level has not been detected in Golden State’s water.

Concerns across the country

All water contains some level of radiation; the amount and type can vary significantly. Production of nuclear weapons and energy from fissionable material is one potential source. Mining for uranium is another. Radioactive elements can be introduced into water via medical treatments, including radioactive iodine used to treat thyroid disorders. And it can be unearthed during oil and gas drilling, or any industrial activities that involve cracking into bedrock where radioactive elements naturally exist. What’s more, because of their natural presence, these elements can occasionally seep into aquifers even without being provoked.

The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG, a partner in this reporting project) estimates that drinking water for more than 170 million Americans in all 50 states “contains radioactive elements at levels that may increase the risk of cancer.” In their analysis of public water system data collected between 2010 and 2015, EWG focused on six radioactive contaminants, including radium, radon and uranium. They found that California has more residents affected by radiation in their drinking water than anywhere else in the U.S. Yet the state is far from alone. About 80% of Texans are served by water utilities reporting detectable levels of radium. And concerns have echoed across the country — from abandoned uranium mines on Navajo Nation lands, to lingering nuclear waste from the Manhattan Project in Missouri, to contaminants leaching from phosphate mines in Florida.

While ingesting radioactive elements through drinking contaminated water is not the only route of human exposure, it is a major risk pathway, says Daniel Hirsch, a retired University of California, Santa Cruz, professor who has studied the Santa Susana Field Laboratory contamination. “One thing you don’t want to do is to mix radioactivity with water. It’s an easy mechanism to get it inside people,” he says. “When you drink water, you think you excrete it. But the body is made to extract things from what you ingest.”

Strontium-90, for example, is among elements that mimic calcium. So the body is apt to concentrate the contaminant in bones, raising the risk of leukemia. Pregnant women and young kids are especially vulnerable because greater amounts of radiation are deposited in rapidly growing tissue and bones. “This is why pregnant women are never x-rayed,” says Catherine Thomasson, an independent environmental policy consultant based in Portland, Oregon. Cesium can deposit in the pancreas, heart and other tissues, she notes. There, it may continue to emit radioactivity over time, causing disease and damage.

Scientists believe that no amount of radiation is safe. At high levels, the radiation produced by radioactive elements can trigger birth defects, impair development and cause cancer in almost any part of the body. And early life exposure means a long period of time for damage to develop.

Health advocates express concern that the government is not doing enough to protect the public from these and other risks associated with exposure to radioactive contamination in drinking water. The legal limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for several types of radioactive elements in community water systems have not been updated since 1976. Further, many elements are regulated as a group rather than individually, such as radium-226 plus radium-228. And water system operators, if they are required to monitor for radioactive elements, only need to do so infrequently — say, every six or nine years for certain contaminants.

Meanwhile, private wells generally remain unregulated with regard to the elements, which is particularly concerning because some nuclear power plants are located in rural areas where people depend on private wells. More than one out of every 10 Americans use private wells or tiny water systems that serve fewer than 15 residences.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory was rural when it was first put to use about 70 years ago. Today, more than 700,000 people live within 10 miles (16 kilometers). Recent wildfires have exacerbated these residents’ concerns. The 2018 Woolsey fire started on the property and burned 80% of its 2,850 acres (1,153 hectares). Over the following three months, the levels of chemical and radioactive contamination running off the site exceeded state safety standards 57 times.

Hirsch highlights several potential avenues for drinking water contamination related to nuclear weapons or energy development. Wind can send contamination off site and deposit it into the soil, for example. Gravity can carry contaminants downhill. And rains can carry contamination via streams and rivers to infiltrate groundwater aquifers. While vegetation absorbs radioactive and chemical contaminants from the soil in which it grows, those pollutants are readily released into the environment during a fire.

While no tests have detected concerning levels of radioactivity in Golden State’s water, advocates and scientists argue that testing for radioactive elements remains inconsistent and incomplete across the country. Federal and state regulations do not require monitoring for all potential radioactive contaminants associated with the known industrial activity on the site. For some of the regulated contaminants, water companies need only test once every several years.

“This is not an isolated matter,” says Hirsch. “We’re sloppy with radioactive materials.”

“We need stricter regulations”

In 2018, around the same time that fires stirred up radioactive elements in and around the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, drinking water concerns arose just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Guy Kruppa, superintendent of the Belle Vernon Municipal Authority, had been noticing major die-offs of the bacteria in his sewage treatment plant. The bugs are critical for breaking down contaminants in the sewage before it is discharged into the Monongahela River. About 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) downstream is a drinking water plant.

Kruppa and his colleagues eventually linked the low bacteria numbers to leachate they accepted from the Westmoreland landfill. The landfill had begun taking waste from nearby fracking sites — material that included bacteria-killing salts and radioactive elements such as radium.

The Belle Vernon Municipal Authority subsequently got a court order to force the landfill to stop sending its leachate — the liquid stuff that flows off a landfill after it rains. “We sealed off the pipe,” Kruppa says. 

Today, radiation is no longer discharging from his plant. Yet he remains concerned about where the leachate might now be going and, more broadly, about the weak regulation regarding radioactive waste that could end up in drinking water. The quarterly tests required of his sewage treatment plant, for example, do not include radium. “The old adage is, if you don’t test for it, you’re not going to find it,” adds Kruppa.

Concerns that radioactive elements from fracking could travel into community drinking water sources have been on the rise for at least a decade. A study led by Duke University researchers and published in 2013 found “potential environmental risks of radium bioaccumulation in localized areas of shale gas wastewater disposal.” Kruppa’s actions in 2018 drove widespread media attention to the issue.

In late July 2021, the state of Pennsylvania announced it would begin ordering landfills that accept waste from oil or gas drilling sites to test their leachate for certain radioactive materials associated with fracking. The state’s move was a “good step in the right direction,” says Amy Mall, a senior advocate with the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council, which published a report on radioactive waste from oil and gas production in July. “We do need more data. But we don’t think monitoring alone is adequate. We need stricter regulations as well.”

The EPA drinking water standard for radium-226 plus radium-228, the two most widespread isotopes of radium, is 5 picocuries per liter (0.26 gallon). The California Office of Environmental Hazard Assessment’s public health goal, set in 2006 and the basis of EWG’s study, is far more stringent: 0.05 picocuries per liter for radium-226 and just 0.019 picocuries per liter for radium-228. “There is a legal limit for some of these contaminants, like radium and uranium,” says Sydney Evans, a science analyst with EWG. “But, of course, that’s not necessarily what’s considered safe based on the latest research.”

“We don’t regulate for the most vulnerable,” says Arjun Makhijani, president of the nonprofit Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. He points to the first trimester in a pregnancy as among the riskiest windows of development.

The known toxicities of radioactive contaminants, as well as technology available to test for them, have evolved significantly since standards were established in the 1970s. “We have a rule limited by the technology available 40 years ago or more. It’s just a little crazy to me,” says Evans. Hirsch points to a series of reports from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on health risks from ionizing radiation. “They just keep finding that the same unit of exposure produces more cancers than had been presumed,” he says. The most recent version, published in 2006, found the risk of cancer due to radiation exposure for some elements to be about 35% higher per unit dose than the 1990 version.

The EPA has begun its fourth review of national primary drinking water regulations, in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. The results are anticipated in 2023. While advocates hope for stricter standards, such changes would add to the difficulties many drinking water providers already face in finding the finances and technology necessary to meet those regulations.

Seeking solutions

The aquifer beneath Winona, Minnesota — which supplies drinking water to residents — naturally contains radium, resulting in challenges for the city water department to minimize levels of the radioactive element.

Tests of Winona’s drinking water have found levels of radium above federal standards. In response to results, in April 2021 city officials cautioned residents that low-dose exposure over many years can raise the risk of cancer. However, they did not advise people to avoid drinking the water.

The city is now looking to ramp up their use of a product called TonkaZorb, which has proven effective in removing radium at other drinking water plants, notes Brent Bunke, who served as the city’s water superintendent during the time of the testing. The product’s active ingredient is manganese, which binds to radium. The resulting clumps are easy to sift out by the sand filter. Local coverage aptly likened it to kitty litter. Bunke notes that the city also plans to replace the filter media in their aging sand filters. Of course, all these efforts are not cheap for the city. “It’s the cost of doing business,” says Bunke.

Winona is far from alone in their battle against ubiquitous radium. And they are unlikely to be the hardest hit. “Communities that are being impacted don’t necessarily have the means to fix it,” says Evans. “And it’s going to be a long-term, ongoing issue.” Over time, municipalities often have to drill deeper into the ground to find adequate water supply — where there tends to be even larger concentrations of radium.

Some are looking upstream for more equitable solutions. Stanford University researchers, for example, have identified a way to predict when and where uranium is released into groundwater aquifers. Dissolved calcium and alkalinity can boost water’s ability to pick up uranium, they found. Because this tends to happen in the top six feet of soil, drinking water managers can make sure that water bypasses that area as it seeps into or is pumped out of the ground.

The focus of this research has been on California’s Central Valley — an agricultural area rich in uranium. “When you start thinking about rural water systems, or you think about water that’s going to be used in agriculture, then your economic constraints become really, really great,” says Scott Fendorf, a professor of earth systems science at Stanford and coauthor on the study. “You can’t afford to do things like reverse osmosis” — a spendy form of filtration technology.

In general, radiation can be very difficult to remove from water. Reverse osmosis can be effective for uranium. Activated carbon can cut concentrations of radon and strontium. Yet standard home or water treatment plant filters are not necessarily going to remove all radioactive contaminants. Scientists and advocates underscore the need for further prevention strategies in the form of greater monitoring and stronger regulations. The push continues across the country, as the issue plagues nearly everywhere — an unfortunate truth that Knack now knows.

Why doesn’t her family simply move? “I’m not saying we won’t. I’m not saying we shouldn’t,” she says. “But I don’t even know where we’d go. It really looks like contaminated sites are not few, but all over the country.”

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Reference, USA, water | Leave a comment

France’s nuclear headache – Macron on the brink of rationing electricity

 France’s nuclear headache leaves Macron on brink of rationing
electricity. The threat of power cuts has been looming over France —
curious considering that it is normally a significant exporter of
electricity, thanks to its 56 nuclear reactors, by far the largest number
of Europe.

This same dependence on nuclear has proved to be its Achilles
heel, however, as a result of a crisis prompted by the discovery of cracks
in the pipes of a number of its reactors which, at its height, forced the
closure of almost half of its nuclear power stations.

The resulting cut in
output to a 30-year low has added to the energy supply problems across
Europe caused by Russia’s war on Ukraine. Some of the problem reactors
have since been restarted, but last week 39 per cent of France’s 61,370
megawatts of nuclear generation capacity remained offline, according to
analysis by Reuters of data provided by RTE, which operates the country’s

 Times 1st Jan 2023

January 1, 2023 Posted by | ENERGY, France | Leave a comment

Europe’s nuclear industry heavily dependent on Russian fuel and technology – no sanctions there.

 Western countries are being urged to stop buying Russian nuclear fuel amid
fears the trade is funding the war in Ukraine. Russia is one of the
world’s largest uranium suppliers with around 40pc of global capacity for
uranium enrichment.

While Europe has been weaning itself off Russian fossil
fuels, its nuclear sector is still heavily dependent on Russian imports.

“We need to escalate our collective pressure against the Kremlin, and the
nuclear industry is exactly one of the arenas that needs to be
considered,” said Tobias Ellwood, chairman of Parliament’s defence
committee. Russia’s dominance in the market, and the reliance of
countries including Hungary and Bulgaria on the fuel, has so far helped it
escape sanctions.

Russian state-owned uranium supplier Rosatom claims 17pc
of the global nuclear fuel market. It expects its 2022 exports growth to
reach 15pc, according to reports. It now has $200bn (£135bn) of orders.
Western countries have been stepping up their efforts to restrict
Russia’s revenues from oil as its war on Ukraine drags on. Companies such
as EDF in the UK have sought other suppliers in the wake of the war, but
there are concerns that Russia’s control of the market will return when
the conflict ends.

 Telegraph 30th Dec 2022

January 1, 2023 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

Ukraine became de facto member of NATO in 2022: Defense Minister

UkrinformDecember 31, 2022 This year, Ukraine de facto became part of NATO – Reznikov Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov has said that this year, Ukraine de facto became part of NATO, and this cooperation will continue. *** According to him, the spirit of the Ukrainian people and their invincibility demonstrated that Ukraine is the real […]

Ukraine became de facto member of NATO in 2022: DM — Anti-bellum

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

In the Pacific, Outcry Over Japan’s Plan to Release FukushimaWastewater.

The proposal has angered many of Japan’s neighbors,
particularly those with the most direct experience of unexpected exposure
to dangerous levels of radiation. Tanks are storing radioactive water at the
Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

The government plans to
release the water, treated, but still slightly radioactive, into the
Pacific starting in spring 2023. Every day at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
plant in Japan, officials flush over a hundred tons of water through its
corroded reactors to keep them cool after the calamitous meltdown of 2011.
Then the highly radioactive water is pumped into hundreds of white and blue
storage tanks that form a mazelike array around the plant. For the last
decade, that’s where the water has stayed.

But with more than 1.3 million
tons in the tanks, Japan is running out of room. So next year in spring, it
plans to begin releasing the water into the Pacific after treatment for
most radioactive particles, as has been done elsewhere.

 New York Times 30th Dec 2022

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Japan, oceans, wastes | Leave a comment

Increasing kill chain speed: Pentagon augments HIMARS for Ukraine, Latvia, Taiwan

Defense PostDecember 29, 2022 US Army Seeks HIMARS Fire Control Systems for Ukraine, Taiwan The US Army has sought information on M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) fire control systems for partner nations Ukraine, Taiwan, and Latvia. The US Army Contracting Command issued a “source sought” notification last month for International Field Artillery Tactical […]

Increasing kill chain speed: Pentagon augments HIMARS for Ukraine, Latvia, Taiwan — Anti-bellum

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

3,000 civilians dead in Mariupol – Russian officials investigating – and claim that Ukrainian troops are responsible

Over 3,000 bodies of civilians recovered in Mariupol – investigators- 30 Dec 2022

Russian officials blamed the deaths on Ukrainian troops who are said to have forced residents to remain in the city .

The criminal actions of Ukrainian troops during the battle for Mariupol resulted in thousands of civilian deaths, Russian investigators have claimed. Local authorities have reportedly recovered over 3,000 bodies of people who were allegedly forced by Kiev’s troops to remain in the city while the conflict raged. 

The figure was revealed in a statement by Russia’s Investigative Committee on Friday, after committee chief Aleksandr Bastrykin held a meeting in Mariupol with officials investigating alleged Ukrainian crimes. 

The port city, located in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), saw intense fighting between February and May, as Ukrainian troops were pushed back and encircled by Russian and DPR forces. Russia created humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to leave the city, but the Ukrainian side would not allow them to use the escape routes, Russian officials claimed. 

“With no opportunity to leave the city, civilians moved around in search of food and became living targets for the Ukrainian punishers, who murdered them using various kinds of weapons,” the statement said. 

In April alone, the bodies of 51 civilians were found at positions previously held by Ukrainian forces, while the total number of civilians found in the city was over 3,000, according to the prosecutors. 

Russia has opened criminal cases targeting the people directly involved in the alleged transgressions as well as those above them in the Ukrainian chain of command. The list includes Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, the head of the country’s armed forces, according to the Investigative Committee. They are being probed for offenses related to the use of banned methods of war, with prosecutors collecting evidence of possible criminal orders to kill civilians and prisoners of war. 

Officials remarked that identifying many of the victims was challenging. They suggested that people searching for missing relatives in Mariupol be urged to donate their DNA so that the samples could be compared against a database of samples collected from the recovered bodies.

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

German residents told to prepare for nuclear emergencies

German Residents must make preparations for nuclear emergencies, the
President of the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Inge Paulini,
warned on Wednesday. In an interview with Funke media group newspapers,
Paulini pointed out that “radiation does not stop at the borders,” and
claimed that the ongoing military conflict between Moscow and Kiev has
“made it clear to the German residents that we have to be and remain
prepared for a wide variety of nuclear emergencies.”

Russia has repeatedly insisted that it does not intend to use atomic weapons in
Ukraine and has referred to its nuclear doctrine which only allows the use
of such munitions in a retaliatory fashion or in the case the country is
faced with an existential threat from conventional warfare.

 Global Village Space 29th Dec 2022

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Germany, safety | Leave a comment

Japan’s Rokkasho nuclear reprocessing project delayed again – for the 26th time

The completion of a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Aomori Prefecture
will be delayed by two years, the 26th postponement since the project
started three decades ago.

Senior officials with Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd.,
operator of the facility under construction, said the new completion date
will be in the first half of fiscal 2024. The officials visited the Aomori
prefectural government and the village hall of Rokkasho, the site of the
plant, on Dec. 26 to explain the situation.

An earlier completion timeframe
was listed as in the first half of fiscal 2022. But the company in
September postponed this deadline without giving a new date. It said
prolonged safety checks of the facility by the Nuclear Regulation Authority
made it difficult to do so and pledged to announce the new deadline by the

According to Japan Nuclear Fuel’s latest estimate, the NRA’s
screening of the detailed design of the plant will take about a year, while
checks of the plant will take four to seven months after it clears the
safety standards. The company said it will work hard to move up the
completion to an early date of the first half of fiscal 2024.

 Asahi Shimbun 27th Dec 2022

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Japan, reprocessing | 1 Comment