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TODAY. Nuclear toys for the boys. What fun!

I’ve just been trawling through this weighty article – Nuclear Notebook: United States nuclear weapons, 2023. Yes, it’s quite an ordeal, trying to follow the machinations of the American nuclear-weapons-toys-boys, as explained in excruciating detail by Hans M. Kristensen and Matt Korda..

It all boils down to the fact that these tiny male brains think that it’s great fun to have these toys, play with them, tease and intimidate other boys with them, but of course, never use them.

Of course, it’s not just the Americans – it’s the Russians, Chinese, French, and oh boy, aren’t the Israelis itching to scare Iran? Mohammed Bin Salman? Wow – those Middle East boys are so ready to play this infantile, but suicidal, game.

Is it too late for women to take over this world, before the ecocide happens?

On January 24, 2023 at 10 a.m. EST, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will make the 2023 Doomsday Clock announcement.


January 16, 2023 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

CNN: Ukraine Has Become a ‘Weapons Lab’ for Western Arms

“We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here,

Ukraine’s defense minister previously offered his country as a ‘testing ground’ for Western weapons makers by Dave DeCamp ,

Ukraine has turned into a “lab” for Western arms as the war has given the US and its allies an opportunity to see how their weapons fare in a conflict with a major military power like Russia, CNN reported on Monday.

A source familiar with Western intelligence on the war told CNN that Ukraine is “absolutely a weapons lab in every sense because none of this equipment has ever actually been used in a war between two industrially developed nations.” The source described it as “real-world battle testing.”

Back in July, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov offered his country as a “testing ground” for Western arms makers. “We are interested in testing modern systems in the fight against the enemy and we are inviting arms manufacturers to test the new products here,” he said.

Reznikov got his wish as the US, and its allies have significantly stepped up military aid since then, and the war has escalated as Russia began large-scale strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure in October. Russia’s success in its use of cheap kamikaze drones in the infrastructure attacks has influenced plans for Western arms makers.

The British arms maker BAE Systems has announced that it’s developing a new armored vehicle with added protection to defend it from kamikaze drone attacks from above. Multiple intelligence and military officials told CNN that making cheap single-use drones has become a priority of many defense contractors.

The CNN report said that for the US military, the war has become an “incredible source of data on the utility of its own systems.” For example, the US has seen that its HIMARS rocket launch system has been effective against Russian forces, while the

M777 howitzer has become less effective and less accurate over time.

The war in Ukraine has also created a demand for weapons that were beginning to become obsolete, such as the Stinger shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles. Raytheon stopped producing Stingers for years but now has been asked by the Pentagon to ramp up production as thousands have been shipped to Ukraine.

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Diplomatic Cables Show Russia Saw NATO Expansion as a Red Line

Ukraine was the “line of last resort” that would complete Russia’s encirclement, said one defense expert, and its entry into NATO was universally viewed by the Russian political elite as an “unfriendly act.” 

ACURA VIEWPOINT, Branko Marcetic, January 16, 2023

Nearly a year in, the war in Ukraine has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and brought the world to the brink of, in President Joe Biden’s own words, “Armageddon.” Alongside the literal battlefield has been a similarly bitter intellectual battle over the war’s causes.

Commentators have rushed to declare the long-criticized policy of NATO expansion as irrelevant to the war’s outbreak, or as a mere fig leaf used by Russian President Vladimir Putin to mask what Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates recently called “his messianic mission” to “reestablish the Russian Empire.” Fiona Hill, a presidential advisor to two Republican administrations, has deemed these views merely the product of a “Russian information war and psychological operation,” resulting in “masses of the US public … blaming NATO, or blaming the US for this outcome.” 

Yet a review of the public record and many dozens of diplomatic cables made publicly available via WikiLeaks shows that US officials were aware, or were directly told over the span of years, that expanding NATO was viewed by Russian officials well beyond Putin as a major threat and provocation, that expanding it to Ukraine was a particularly bright red line for Moscow, that it would inflame and empower hawkish, nationalist parts of the Russian political spectrum, and that it could ultimately lead to war. 

In a particularly prophetic set of warnings, US officials were told that pushing for Ukrainian membership in NATO would not only increase the chance of Russian meddling in the country, but risked destabilizing the divided nation — and that US and other NATO officials pressured Ukrainian leaders to reshape this unfriendly public opinion in response. All of this was told to US officials in both public and private by not just senior Russian officials going all the way up to the presidency, but by NATO allies, various analysts and experts, liberal Russian voices critical of Putin, even, sometimes, US diplomats themselves. 

This history is particularly relevant as US officials now test the red line China has drawn around Taiwan’s independence, risking military escalation that will first and foremost be aimed at the island state. The US diplomatic record regarding NATO expansion suggests the perils of ignoring or outright crossing another military power’s red lines, and the wisdom of a more restrained foreign policy that treats other powers’ spheres of influence with the care they treat the United States’ own.

An Early Exception

NATO expansion had been fraught from the start. The pro-Western Boris Yeltsin had told Bill Clinton he “saw nothing but humiliation for Russia if you proceed” with plans to renege on the verbal promises made years earlier not to enlarge NATO eastward, and warned it would be “sowing the seeds of mistrust” and would “be interpreted, and not only in Russia, as the beginning of a new split in Europe.”………………………………………………………………………….

Almost Complete Consensus

The thinkers and analysts that US officials conferred with likewise made clear the Russian elite’s anxieties over NATO and its expansion, and the lengths they might go to counteract it. Many were transmitted by then-US Ambassador to Russia William Burns, today serving as Biden’s CIA director. 

Recounting his conversations with various “Russian observers” from both regional and US think tanks, Burns concluded in a March 2007 cable that “NATO enlargement and U.S. missile defense deployments in Europe play to the classic Russian fear of encirclement.” Ukraine and Georgia’s entry “represents an ‘unthinkable’ predicament for Russia,” he reported six months later, warning that Moscow would “cause enough trouble in Georgia” and counted on “continued political disarray in Ukraine” to halt it. In an especially prescient set of cables, he summed up scholars’ views that the emerging Russia-China relationship was largely “the by-product of ‘bad’ US policies,” and was unsustainable — “unless continued NATO enlargement pushed Russia and China even closer together.”

………………… “Ukraine was, in the long term, the most potentially destabilizing factor in US-Russian relations, given the level of emotion and neuralgia triggered by its quest for NATO membership,” went the counsel of Dmitri Trenin, then-deputy director of the Russian branch of the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in a Burns-authored February 2008 cable. For Ukraine, he said prophetically, it would mean that elements within the Russian establishment would be encouraged to meddle, stimulating US overt encouragement of opposing political forces, and leaving the US and Russia in a classic confrontational posture.

Indeed, opposing NATO’s enlargement eastward, particulary in Ukraine and Georgia, was “one of the few security areas where there is almost complete consensus among Russian policymakers, experts and the informed population,” he cabled in March 2008. Ukraine was the “line of last resort” that would complete Russia’s encirclement, said one defense expert, and its entry into NATO was universally viewed by the Russian political elite as an “unfriendly act.” Other experts cautioned “that Putin would be forced to respond to Russian nationalist feelings opposing membership” of Georgia, and that MAPs for either would trigger a cut-back in the Russian military’s genuine desire for co-operation with NATO. 

From Liberals to Hardliners

These analysts were reiterating what cables show US officials heard again and again from Russian officials themselves, whether diplomats, members of parliament, or senior Russian officials all the way up to the presidency, recorded in nearly three-dozen cables at least………………………………………………………………..

Selling NATO to Ukraine……………………………………………………..

“Experts tell us that Russia is particularly worried that the strong divisions in Ukraine over NATO membership, with much of the ethnic-Russian community against membership, could lead to a major split, involving violence or at worst, civil war,” Burns wrote in February 2008. Russia, he wrote, would then “have to decide whether to intervene; a decision Russia does not want to have to face.”………………………………

By December 2016, with fears of invasion ramping up, Putin told Biden personally that “the eastward expansion of the Western alliance was a major factor in his decision to send troops to Ukraine’s border,” the Washington Post reported

…………..  claims that Russian unhappiness over NATO expansion is irrelevant, a mere “fig leaf” for pure expansionism, or simply Kremlin propaganda are belied by this lengthy historical record. Rather, successive US administrations pushed ahead with the policy despite being warned copiously for years — including by the analysts who advised them, by allies, even by their own officials — that it would feed Russian nationalism, create a more hostile Moscow, foster instability and even civil war in Ukraine, and could eventually lead to Russian military intervention, all of which ended up happening. 

“I don’t accept anyone’s red line,” Biden said in the lead-up to the invasion, as his administration rejected negotiations with Moscow over Ukraine’s NATO status. We can only imagine the world in which he and his predecessors had.

January 16, 2023 Posted by | politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Nuclear Notebook: United States nuclear weapons, 2023

The United States is modernizing its nuclear bomber force by upgrading nuclear command-and-control capabilities on existing bombers, developing improved nuclear weapons (the B61-12 and the new AGM-181 Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), and designing a new heavy bomber (the B-21 Raider).

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists By Hans M. KristensenMatt Korda, January 16, 2023

t the beginning of 2023, the US Department of Defense maintained an estimated stockpile of approximately 3,708 nuclear warheads for delivery by ballistic missiles and aircraft. Most of the warheads in the stockpile are not deployed but rather stored for potential upload onto missiles and aircraft as necessary. We estimate that approximately 1,770 warheads are currently deployed, of which roughly 1,370 strategic warheads are deployed on ballistic missiles and another 300 at strategic bomber bases in the United States. An additional 100 tactical bombs are deployed at air bases in Europe. The remaining warheads — approximately 1,938 — are in storage as a so-called hedge against technical or geopolitical surprises. Several hundred of those warheads are scheduled to be retired before 2030. (See Table 1. on original)

In addition to the warheads in the Department of Defense stockpile, approximately 1,536 retired — but still intact — warheads are stored under the custody of the Department of Energy and are awaiting dismantlement, giving a total US inventory of an estimated 5,244 warheads. Between 2010 and 2018, the US government publicly disclosed the size of the nuclear weapons stockpile; however, in 2019 and 2020, the Trump administration rejected requests from the Federation of American Scientists to declassify the latest stockpile numbers (Aftergood 2019; Kristensen 2019a, 2020d). In 2021, the Biden administration restored the United States’ previous transparency levels by declassifying both numbers for the entire history of the US nuclear arsenal until September 2020 — including the missing years of the Trump administration.

 This effort revealed that the United States’ nuclear stockpile consisted of 3,750 warheads in September 2020 — only 72 warheads fewer than the last number made available in September 2017 before the Trump administration reduced the US government’s transparency efforts (US State Department 2021a). We estimate that the stockpile will continue to decline over the next decade-and-a-half as modernization programs consolidate the remaining warheads.

The Biden administration’s declassification also revealed that the pace of warhead dismantlement has slowed significantly in recent years. While the United States dismantled on average more than 1,000 warheads per year during the 1990s, in 2020 it dismantled only 184 warheads (US State Department 2021a). …………………

In the past, the Obama and Biden administrations often declassified the warhead stockpile and dismantlement numbers around the time of major arms control conferences. That did not happen in 2022, however, and the Biden administration has so far not acted on requests from the Federation of American Scientists to disclose the numbers for 2021 or 2022. A decision to no longer declassify these numbers would not only contradict the Biden administration’s own practice from 2020, but also represent a return to Trump-era levels of nuclear opacity. Such increased nuclear secrecy undermines US calls for Russia and China to increase transparency of their nuclear forces.

The US nuclear weapons are thought to be stored at an estimated 24 geographical locations in 11 US states and five European countries (Kristensen and Korda 2019, 124). The location with the most nuclear weapons by far is the large Kirtland Underground Munitions and Maintenance Storage Complex (KUMMSC) south of Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Most of the weapons in this location are retired weapons awaiting dismantlement at the Pantex Plant in Texas. The state with the second-largest inventory is Washington, which is home to the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific and the ballistic missile submarines at Naval Submarine Base Kitsap. The submarines operating from this base carry more deployed nuclear weapons than any other base in the United States.

Implementing the New START treaty

The United States appears to be in compliance with the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) limits. ………………………………

If New START expired without a follow-on treaty in place, both the United States and Russia could upload several hundred extra warheads onto their launchers. This means that the treaty has proven useful thus far in keeping a lid on both countries’ deployed strategic forces. Additionally, both countries would lose a critical node of transparency into each other’s nuclear forces. As of December 8, 2022, the United States and Russia had completed a combined 328 on-site inspections and exchanged 25,017 notifications (US State Department 2022b)……………………………….

The Nuclear Posture Review and nuclear modernization…………

Just like previous NPRs, the Biden administration’s NPR rejected policies of nuclear “no-first-use” or “sole purpose,” instead preferring to leave the option open for nuclear weapons to be used under “extreme circumstances to defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners” (US Department of Defense 2022b, 9)…………………….

The most significant change between the Biden and Trump NPRs was the walking back of two Trump-era commitments — specifically, canceling the new sea-launched cruise missile and retiring the B83-1 gravity bomb……………………………………….

The complete nuclear modernization (and maintenance) program will continue well beyond 2039 and, based on the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate, will cost $1.2 trillion over the next three decades. Notably, although the estimate accounts for inflation (Congressional Budget Office 2017), other estimates forecast that the total cost will be closer to $1.7 trillion (Arms Control Association 2017). Whatever the actual price tag will be, it is likely to increase over time, resulting in increased competition with conventional modernization programs planned for the same period. …………

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Department of Defense have also proposed developing several other new nuclear warheads, including the W93 navy warhead. The NNSA’s Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP) of December 2020 doubled the number of new nuclear warhead projects for the next 20 years compared to its 2019 plan (National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) 2020b).

Nuclear planning and nuclear exercises

In addition to the Nuclear Posture Review, the nuclear arsenal and the role it plays is shaped by plans and exercises that create the strike plans and practice how to carry them out…………….

OPLAN 8010–12 consists of “a family of plans” directed against four identified adversaries: Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. Known as “Strategic Deterrence and Force Employment,” OPLAN 8010–12 first entered into effect in July 2012 in response to Operations Order Global Citadel signed by the defense secretary. ……………………

OPLAN 8010–12 is a whole-of-government plan that includes the full spectrum of national power to affect potential adversaries. ……………………………..

This year’s Global Thunder exercise was delayed but will probably happen in early-2023.

These exercises coincide with steadily increasing US bomber operations in Europe since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 and again in 2022…………………………………………….

the mission of the Bomber Task Force is to move a fully combat-ready bomber force into the European theater. “It’s no longer just to go partner with our NATO allies or to go over and have a visible presence of American air power,” according to the commander of the 2nd Bomb Wing. “That’s part of it, but we are also there to drop weapons if called to do so” (Wrightsman 2019). These changes are evident in the types of increasingly provocative bombers operations over Europe, in some cases very close to the Russian border (Kristensen 2022a)……………………………..

The close integration of nuclear and conventional bombers into the same task force can have significant implications for crisis stability, misunderstandings, and the risk of nuclear escalation because it could result in misperceptions about what is being signaled and result in overreactions…………………………………

Land-based ballistic missiles

The US Air Force operates a force of 400 silo-based Minuteman III ICBMs split across three wings: the 90th Missile Wing at F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming; the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota; and the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana………………………………

The Minuteman III missiles completed a multibillion-dollar, decade-long modernization program in 2015 to extend their service life until 2030. Although the United States did not officially deploy a new ICBM, the upgraded Minuteman III missiles “are basically new missiles except for the shell,” according to Air Force personnel (Pampe 2012)………………………………………………………………….

To produce the new W87-1 warhead in time to meet the Sentinel’s planned deployment schedule, the NNSA has set an extremely ambitious production rate of at least 80 plutonium pits per year by 2030. 

In October 2019, Lockheed Martin was awarded a $138 million contract to integrate the Mk21 reentry vehicle into the Sentinel, beating out rivals Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and Orbital ATK (which Northrop Grumman now owns and has been renamed to Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems) (Lockheed Martin 2019

………………………………………………….. In May 2021, the US Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of acquiring and maintaining the Sentinel would total approximately $82 billion over the 2021–2030 period — approximately $20 billion more than the Congressional Budget Office had previously estimated for the 2019–2028 period (Congressional Budget Office 2021, 2019)……………………………………

Nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines

The US Navy operates a fleet of 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), of which eight operate in the Pacific from their base near Bangor, Washington, and six operate in the Atlantic from their base at Kings Bay,…………………………………………………….

Design of the next generation of ballistic missile submarines, known as the Columbia-class, is well under way……………………………………

Strategic bombers

The US Air Force currently operates a fleet of 20 B-2A bombers (all of which are nuclear-capable) and 87 B-52H bombers (46 of which are nuclear-capable)……………………

Each B-2 can carry up to 16 nuclear bombs (the B61-7, B61-11, and B83-1 gravity bombs), and each B-52 H can carry up to 20 air-launched cruise missiles (the AGM-86B)……………………..

The United States is modernizing its nuclear bomber force by upgrading nuclear command-and-control capabilities on existing bombers, developing improved nuclear weapons (the B61-12 and the new AGM-181 Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO), and designing a new heavy bomber (the B-21 Raider).

Upgrades to the nuclear command-and-control systems that the bombers use to plan and conduct nuclear strikes include the Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal. This is a new, high-altitude, electromagnetic pulse-hardened network of fixed and mobile nuclear command-and-control terminals………………

Another command-and-control upgrade involves a program known as Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals, which replaces existing terminals designed to communicate with the MILSTAR military satellite constellation operated by the US Space Force. …………………………………………….

The missile itself is expected to be entirely new, with significantly improved military capabilities compared with the air-launched cruise missile, including longer range, greater accuracy, and enhanced stealth (Young 2016). This violates the 2010 White House pledge (White House 2010) that the “United States will not … pursue … new capabilities for nuclear weapons,” though the 2018 NPR and 2022 NPR eliminated such constraints……………………..

Upgrades to the nuclear command-and-control systems that the bombers use to plan and conduct nuclear strikes include the Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal. This is a new, high-altitude, electromagnetic pulse-hardened network of fixed and mobile nuclear command-and-control terminals. ………..

Another command-and-control upgrade involves a program known as Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals, which replaces existing terminals designed to communicate with the MILSTAR military satellite constellation operated by the US Space Force. ……………….

The heavy bombers are also being upgraded with improved nuclear weapons. This effort includes development of the first guided, standoff nuclear gravity bomb, known as the B61-12, which is ultimately intended to replace all existing gravity bombs……………………………… The Air Force is also developing a new nuclear air-launched cruise missile known as the AGM-181 Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO).

……………………………………………………… The conversion of the non-nuclear B-1 host bases to receive the nuclear B-21 bomber will increase the overall number of bomber bases with nuclear weapons storage facilities from two bases today (Minot AFB and Whiteman AFB) to five bases by the 2030s (Barksdale AFB will also regain nuclear storage capability) (Kristensen 2020c).

Nonstrategic nuclear weapons

The United States has only one type of nonstrategic nuclear weapon in its stockpile: the B61 gravity bomb……………………

The Belgian, Dutch, German, and Italian air forces are currently assigned an active nuclear strike role with US nuclear weapons……………………………….

NATO is working on a broad modernization of the nuclear posture in Europe that involves upgrading bombs, aircraft, and the weapons storage system (Kristensen 2022c)……………………………

NATO is life-extending the weapons storage security system, which involves upgrading command and control, as well as security, at the six active bases (Aviano, Büchel, Ghedi, Kleine Brogel, Incirlik, and Volkel) and one training base (Ramstein). ………………………  it appears that an air base in the United Kingdom — believed to be RAF Lakenheath — has been quietly added to the list of bases receiving nuclear weapon storage site upgrades (US Department of Defense 2022e). …………………………….. more

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK govt to tighten anti-protest restrictions, despite criticism from human rights groups 16 Jan 23

Rishi Sunak will on Monday propose new measures to help the police stop disruptive public protest in Britain, heading further down a route that has drawn heavy criticism from civil rights groups.

The prime minister wants to broaden the legal definition of “serious disruption” in a new public order bill, to help police stop what he calls a “disruptive minority” who use tactics such as blocking roads or slow marching.

Sunak believes the public and business will support the government’s efforts to stop protesters causing serious disruption following a series of high-profile protests by groups such as Just Stop Oil and Insulate Britain. But Human Rights Watch, the international NGO, last week criticised the government for a series of recent measures, including restrictions on protest………

The government will this week table an amendment to the bill, currently in the House of Lords, which it says will give police “greater flexibility and clarity” over when to intervene to stop a “disruptive minority”.

Police have already been given additional powers to prevent protesters using what Downing Street calls “guerrilla tactics”, but police chiefs say there is uncertainty over what reaches the threshold of “serious disruption”.

The changes would mean that police will not need to wait for disruption to take place and can shut protests down before any “chaos” is caused, Downing Street said.

Police would not need to treat a series of protests by the same group as standalone incidents but would be able to consider their total impact; they would also be able to consider the cumulative effect of long-running campaigns over a number of weeks intended to cause repeat disruption. Sunak said: “The right to protest is a fundamental principle of our democracy, but this is not absolute.

A balance must be struck between the rights of individuals and the rights of the hard-working majority to go about their day-to-day business.” Recommended Extinction Rebellion Extinction Rebellion abandons disruptive climate protests in UK Sir Mark Rowley, Metropolitan Police commissioner, said: “Increasingly police are getting drawn into complex legal arguments about the balance between that right to protest and the rights of others to go about their daily lives free from serious disruption. “The lack of clarity in the legislation and the increasing complexity of the case law is making this more difficult and more contested.” But Hassan said last week: “A slew of legislation was passed last year where fundamental human rights are being challenged.

The protest law is something we are deeply concerned about. “When you talk about civic space and about people’s right to participate in a democratic society, the right to peaceful assembly and the right to protest are key pillars of that. We’ve seen an outright assault from this government on that.”

HRW also criticised government measures including a new elections act which will require voter identification in polls and the plan to allow offshore processing of asylum claims in Rwanda.

January 16, 2023 Posted by | civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

The IAEA expands mission in Ukraine to prevent nuclear accident European Pravda reports, referring to the Director General of the IAEA Rafael Mariano Grossi’s statement, that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is expanding its presence in Ukraine to help prevent a nuclear accident during the ongoing war.

Earlier it was reported that Grossi would visit South Ukraine and Rivne NPPs, as well as the Chornobyl NPP, this week to announce the launch of missions consisting of two IAEA experts at each facility.

The IAEA already has a permanent presence of up to four experts at Zaporizhzhia NPP. Additionally, a team of two experts will also be deployed to Khmelnytsky NPP in the coming days.

The total number of the Atomic Energy Agency’s experts in Ukraine will increase to 11-12.

January 16, 2023 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Slovenia Extends Nuclear Plant Operation Until 2043

Barron’s By AFP – Agence France Presse January 16, 2023

Slovenia’s sole nuclear plant has been granted the environmental and safety approval needed to extend its operations until 2043, the government said Monday……..

The Krsko nuclear plant, built in 1983 and located 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the capital Ljubljana near the border with Croatia, had been scheduled to be switched off next year…….

Activist groups including Greenpeace have demanded the plant’s dismantling because of its age and earthquake risks in the region, but the government insists the plant has been upgraded to meet the highest safety and environmental requirements.

Monday’s authorisation “shows that there is no safety risks related to the plant’s operation,” Environment Minister Uros Brezan said.

Slovenia is planning the construction of a second nuclear reactor in Krsko, but the centre-left government has said the final investment decision will be adopted only if its two million citizens back the move at a referendum.

No date for the referendum has been set yet. …..

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

China urges Japan to safely dispose of nuclear-contaminated water

China Daily, Xinhua 2023-01-16

BEIJING — China once again urges Japan to take the reasonable concerns of relevant parties seriously and dispose of its nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open, transparent and safe manner, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday.

Wang made the remarks at a daily news briefing here in response to reports that Japan would pipe nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power station into the ocean during the spring and summer this year.

Wang said that over the past two years, the international community has strongly questioned and opposed the unilateral and erroneous decision of the Japanese government to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, and expressed grave concerns over the impact such an action would have on the marine environment and public health.

Wang said the majority of the Japanese public is also opposed to this irresponsible approach. When polled, 55 percent of respondents opposed the disposal of contaminated water into the ocean.

“It is regrettable that the concerns of all parties have yet to be given due attention or be addressed by Japan,” Wang said, adding that Japan has failed to provide scientific and credible explanations concerning the legitimacy of its plan, the accuracy of data on the nuclear-contaminated water, the effectiveness of the treatment system, and the uncertainties about the environmental impact.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has sent three technical task forces to Japan and so far, there has been no conclusive resolution on Japan’s proposal, Wang said, noting that the agency has also issued many requests to Japan, seeking clarifications or making recommendations for improved disposal plans………. more

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Japan, wastes | Leave a comment

Germany aims for faster expansion of wind energy, not nuclear

Germany Targets Three New Windmills a Day for Energy Reboot. Chancellor
Scholz says faster expansion of renewables needed. He rules out further
nuclear power extension to ease crunch.

Bloomberg 14th Jan 2023

January 16, 2023 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

40 safety incidents with UK nuclear weapons convoys over past 3 years

The nuclear bomb convoy that regularly criss-crosses the UK by road has
logged 40 safety incidents in the last three years, according to
information released by the Ministry of Defence.

Convoy vehicles crashed
twice and got caught up in other road accidents five times. They also
suffered multiple brake faults, breakdowns and power losses. The convoy,
which carries nuclear warheads, caused the closure of roads or motorway
lanes 11 times. It was delayed by lorry fires, a spillage and two outbreaks
of Covid.

In one case the convoy had to deal with an “erratic driver
interfering with the convoy”. In another, it closed a road after a
motorist caught using a mobile phone tried to run away.

described the safety lapses as “concerning” and argued that small
incidents could easily escalate into something more serious. They said that
the risks being taken by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) were unjustified. An
SNP MP criticised the MoD for keeping the locations, dates and other
details of the incidents secret.

The Ferret 15th Jan 2023

January 16, 2023 Posted by | incidents, UK | Leave a comment

Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences after uranium found at Heathrow

Traces of the potentially lethal chemical element were found
within a cargo package on Dec 29. A businessman has been arrested on
suspicion of terrorism over an alleged attempt to import radioactive
uranium into the UK.

The British citizen was detained by counter-terrorism
police after the discovery of traces of uranium at Heathrow Airport just
after Christmas, in a consignment of scrap metal intended for an Iranian
registered business based in the UK.

He was questioned under section nine
of the Terrorism Act 2006, which created an offence “of making or
possessing a radioactive device or possessing radioactive material with the
intention of using it” in the commission or preparation of an act of
terrorism. The use of the section is incredibly rare.

Telegraph 15th Jan 2023

Man arrested on suspicion of terror offence after Heathrow uranium nuclear

Mirror 15th Jan 2023

January 16, 2023 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear (and climate) news to 16 January

Some bits of good news.  Here are all the positive environmental stories from 2023 so far.  How the world fixed the ozone layer. The hole over the pole will be closed by 2066.

Coronavirus. Covid cases in China touch 900 million – study.

Climate. Look –  this whole issue is mind-boggling. Glaciers are melting fast. It’s probable that the cleanup of atmospheric pollution by China and others will, for a while, contribute to global heating. I recommend that everyone follow RADIO ECOSHOCK. It’s the best place for getting the most up-to-date and thorough analyses of what is going on with our heating planet.

Nuclear. This week, I’m a bit overwhelmed with the climate stuff – actually more terrible than nuclear. But hey!  the big tennis is on in my country  – so nobody seems to care. (Except perhaps the flooded-out people).  Christina’s notes. NO – Sir Keir Starmer – nuclear power is NOT clean. Strange and contradictory messages from the global nuclear authority IAEA.


CIVIL LIBERTIES.  Julian Assange denied permission to attend Vivienne Westwood funeral

CLIMATEEurope recorded its hottest ever summer in 2022. Worlds oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022. Extreme weather is pushing more people to flee their homes.

DECOMMISSIONING REACTORS. Lithuania deal to dismantle Soviet-era nuclear reactors could be world first.


Small nuclear reactors:  Eye-popping new cost estimates released for NuScale small modular reactor. The PG and E plan to sell non-nuclear generation assets could improperly increase rates, groups tell FERC. UK should not be building Sizewell C, and rollout of small nuclear reactors will be a nightmare – energy boss. Uncertainty over government funding for Rolls Royce’s small nuclear reactors . 

The Delusion of Infinite Economic GrowthSlew of companies keeping watch on DOE nuclear cleanup work for small biz. Team Korea to bolster exports of nuclear energy systems.

EMPLOYMENT. The renewable energy transition is creating a green jobs boom.

HEALTHAn unacceptable risk to children.

LEGALPacific states entitled to claims against Japan for discharge of radioactive nuclear wastewater.

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY. Shouldn’t a new and experimental reactor deserve a federal impact assessment? Adam Tooze: Why Nuclear Fusion Is Not the Holy Grail. How close are we to developing commercial nuclear fusion reactors? The problem with nuclear energy advocatesJapan and USA to develop small nuclear reactors “within each country and third countries.”

OPPOSITION to NUCLEARScottish campaign groups hit back over claims nuclear power is cheaper and more reliable. Significant environmental victory for Savannah River Site Watch in stopping import of high level nuclear waste from Germany.



SAFETYDeal on safe zone for Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant getting harder -IAEA. IAEA plans “continuous presence” at all Ukraine nuclear power plants “to help prevent a nuclear accident” amid Russia’s war . Irish Republic monitoring nuclear risk as a consequence of fighting in Ukraine. Nuclear convoys: 40 safety reports in three years. Terror police investigate after uranium found in package at Heathrow airport. Georgia’s Vogtle nuclear plant startup delayed due to vibrating pipe.

SPACE.  Space junk cowboys are ruining our night sky.


WAR and CONFLICT.The Ukraine War Should Alert Us to The Need to Ban Nuclear WeaponsUkraine on ‘NATO mission’ – defense minister. NATO to train hundreds of Ukrainian troops in US and Germany, in operating Patriot missile system . Ukraine legalizes foreigners in AZOV neo-Nazi regiment. Gordon M. Hahn: The West has been reckless with Vladimir Putin Britain sending first NATO nation tanks to Ukraine .


January 16, 2023 Posted by | Christina's notes | 2 Comments