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TODAY. To ramp up militarism, (and the USA weapons corporations) the US Congress might decide to dump Regulations on Traffic in Nuclear Weapons

What a great idea – not!

So that Australia (big in size but small in population, and even smaller in political brains) can pay $squillions to USA companies – for nuclear submarines that are useless for Australia, – well the US Congress could just change the rules.

Oh heck – Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Syria , Ukraine, ………who knows who else – would be happy to know that these rules have been dumped.

After all, who cares about the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty?

First you buy your nuclear-powered submarines from the USA. Then you put weapons on them. Then later – as your nuclear activities develop (to support your submarines) – then just add nuclear weapons to your subs.

Easy peasy – and it’s sort of democratic. Why shouldn’t everybody have a right to nuclear weapons?


January 21, 2023 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Ukraine war boon/boondoggle for U.S. arms makers, Pentagon’s warfighting capabilities

Anti-Bellum  January 20, 2023 Author: Rick Rozoff

Stocking Ukraine could generate foreign military sales boom

Replacing the military equipment transferred to Ukraine by the United States’ NATO allies could lead to roughly $21.7 billion in foreign military sales or direct commercial sales for American industry, according to research by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Military and Political Power.

….It would also enhance the quality of the weapons U.S. warfighters wield and strengthen U.S. defense industrial base capacity.

In addition to the $24.2 billion worth of security assistance the United States has committed (as of Jan. 6) to Ukraine since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, other NATO members have contributed billions of dollars’ worth of equipment. It is difficult to calculate precisely the cumulative value because many countries, unlike the United States, do not publish detailed lists.

NATO countries (not including the United States) have cumulatively increased their real defense spending each year since 2015, and those levels of defense spending are likely to increase further….Poland, for example, is raising its defense spending from 2.2% of its gross domestic product to 3%, which will help Warsaw purchase more military equipment…………..

January 21, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, Ukraine, weapons and war | 1 Comment

The US has a new nuclear proliferation problem: South Korea

The US has a new nuclear proliferation problem: South Korea. Last week,
Seoul officially put its nuclear option on the table, for the first time
since 1991. South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol declared the country would
consider building its own arsenal of nuclear weapons if the threat it faces
from nuclear-armed North Korea continues to grow. It will.

Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 19th Jan 2023

January 21, 2023 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Jeremy in nuclear wonderland

Tim Ambler, Adam Smith Institute 20 Jan 23

MPs on the Commons’ science and technology select committee heard yesterday that the establishment of Great British Nuclear has been delayed due to friction between the business department and the Treasury over the budget for new projects. Given we know that all of the UK’s eight nuclear power plants are due to shut by 2028, apart from Sizewell B, which is closing in 2035, the need for new nuclear power is imperative.[really?] Especially when five of these are still providing about 13% of the UK’s electricity.

A new one (Hinkley Point C) is under construction but “reports surfaced this week suggesting that the nuclear power station in Somerset will not be operational until 2036, 11 years after its original 2025 completion date.” The other new one (Sizewell C) is a replica of Hinkley Point C and has been under consideration for 12 years and the government hopes to make a final decision by 2025. Being a replica should make Sizewell C easier and cheaper to build but, unfortunately Hinkley Point C has technical problems and duplicating Sizewell B would have been a better bet.

Britain’s chaotic approach to nuclear energy can all be laid at the door of HM Treasury. Prime Minister Johnson recognised the need to action and, in March 2022, grabbed a target of 24GW for nuclear out of the air which, he claimed, would be 25% of electricity demand – a not unreasonable baseload given the volatility of renewables. Unfortunately, then-Chancellor Sunak forgot to mention that electricity met only 20% of our energy demands and would have to supply nearly 100% by 2050.  So 25% of demand needs more like 56GW than 24GW and, furthermore, someone seems now to have cunningly inserted “up to” before the 24GW.

Johnson also announced that a new organisation would take charge of delivering this nuclear programme pronto, Great British Nuclear (GBN). Apparently GBN has a shopping list of what it needs to get going but the public are not allowed to see it. HM Treasury is concerned that GBN wants to spend money.

So the current plans are to decide (maybe) to add two more Sizewell Bs or Cs in the next Parliament, i.e. by 2030, and hope they are up and running by 2050.  So we’ll have four operational 2.3GW plants by 2050, i.e. 13.2 GW – well they only said “up to”. Note that the plans only encompass when decisions might be made – not when the plants might be generating electricity………..

The Treasury nuclear wonderland has two stand-out features: delaying the commissioning of nuclear generators, ostensibly to save taxes, as discussed above, and ensuring users pay twice as much as the French or Americans to restrain our enthusiasm for buying electricity at all.  It does that in three ways. The first is fixing the way wholesale electricity prices are set so that everyone pays the most expensive tender price to the National Grid rather than (as other auctions work) the lowest.

Then it adds the “Green Levy” alongside other taxes so that today’s consumers pay for the electricity used by the next generation of consumers. Never mind renewables being cheaper, today’s consumers have to pay a premium for it.

The third way today’s consumers are hit with future costs is the “Regulated Asset Base” (RAB) model HM Treasury will use to finance Sizewell C and all future nuclear power plants. This is the successor to the Private Finance Initiative which financed £12 billion of English hospital building at a cost to the taxpayer, by the time the idea was dropped in 2018, of £79 billion in repayments. Only it is worse. The idea, like the Green Levy, is that today’s electricity user pays for tomorrow’s consumption inflated by City profits. Someone seems to have conceived the idea that if we all pay a lot more for our electricity today, it won’t hurt when the zero carbon costs hit us in 2050.

The bottom line of all this is that the Treasury’s ducking and diving is hugely damaging for today’s and future electricity users and preventing any sane nuclear policy being implemented.

January 21, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

The ‘all-of-the-above’ story used to sneak nuclear power in as a climate-action technology along with renewables .

“These claims are almost entirely misleading as you start looking at the facts”

Nuclear power gets another look in ‘all-of-the-above’ energy approach as climate worries mount

But critics cite safety concerns, costs and say widespread use of reactors is decades away.

Utility Dive. Jan. 20, 2023, Nuclear energy is increasingly getting another look by federal and state officials seeking to cut greenhouse gas emissions and bolster energy security………

A federal zero-emission nuclear power production credit, state legislation ending bans on nuclear plant construction and state policies easing development of small modular reactors, defined by the International Atomic Energy Agency as advanced nuclear reactors with a capacity of up to 300 MW, are among the recent developments spurring renewed interest in the industry.   

Detractors cite safety risks, rising costs and other concerns. Critics also caution that a significant increase in nuclear generation in the U.S. is years, maybe even decades, away……….

In the U.S…..nuclear electricity generation declined for a second consecutive year in 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Output from nuclear power plants totaled 778 million MWh, or 1.5% less than in 2020. Nuclear’s share of U.S. electricity generation across all sectors in 2021 was similar to its average share in the previous decade: 19%.

As of November, seven units with a net summer capacity of 5,505 MW had retired since 2018, according to the EIA. The agency listed four Entergy plants: Palisades in Michigan; Indian Point 2 and Indian Point 3 in New York; and Pilgrim in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Also retired were two Exelon plants: Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania and Oyster Creek in New Jersey and NextEra Energy’s Duane Arnold facility in Iowa.

In addition, California’s Diablo Canyon, which is slated to retire a unit in 2024 and another in 2025, could remain open with funding conditionally approved by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Federal money, state policies induce nuclear investment

The Inflation Reduction Act, which commits $369 billion for climate efforts, includes a zero-emission nuclear power production credit. It provides up to $15 a MWh for electricity produced, assuming labor and wage requirements are met.

The credit will be available for plants in service in 2024 and would extend through 2032, according to the DOE.

However, the fiscal year 2023 omnibus spending measure enacted last month cut funding for the DOE’s Office of Nuclear Energy by $182 million from fiscal year 2022, to $1.47 billion. The FY 2023 spending includes $85 million for the Advanced Reactor Demonstration Program, $322 million for fuel cycle research and development, $114 million for accident tolerant fuels and $259 million for reactor research and development. 

Maria Korsnick, president and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute, said the $1.7 trillion spending bill includes “robust funding” for public-private partnerships and support for nuclear energy education and research infrastructure. But she said it “fell short” of $2.1 billion needed to bolster the domestic nuclear fuel supply.

Federal spending to provide incentives for nuclear energy development began before Congress and President Joe Biden approved the omnibus spending bill last year.

The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that Biden signed into law in November 2021 includes $62 billion for clean energy projects. Spending was directed at advanced nuclear projects, preventing the premature retirement of nuclear plants and considering how nuclear power may produce hydrogen for other energy applications. 

In addition, states are looking to bolster nuclear power. Christine Csizmadia, senior director of state government affairs and advocacy at the NEI, said several states are broadening policies that aim to advance nuclear energy. Legislation supports studies of small modular reactors, providing tax incentives for nuclear power plant construction and ending moratoriums on new plants…………………………………………………………………………………..

The U.S. is not a ‘great market’ for new nuclear plants

Policies giving nuclear energy a boost have their limits. 

Bret Kugelmass, CEO of Last Energy a manufacturer of what it calls micro modular reactors that generate about 20 MW, is active in European markets. It’s announced 10 projects in Poland, two in Romania and has “some activity” in the U.K. that has yet to be publicly detailed, he said in an interview……………………………………

Next nuclear technology is seen as a decade away

Avi Brenmiller, president and CEO of Brenmiller Energy, a thermal energy storage manufacturer, said the next nuclear technology is 10 years away “to be safe and clean, and I don’t see the move yet.”…………………………………………………………

Critics say nuclear power is potentially dangerous and that its promoters are overly optimistic about construction schedules. 

Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said during the forum that nuclear power has the potential for a “catastrophic accident that could lead to large scale radiological contamination of the environment, massive economic damages and the potential for significant human health impacts.”

The industry cannot easily estimate the risks associated with storms, earthquakes and tidal waves as climate change makes weather more unpredictable, he said.

Even if a reactor is safe against accidents, it’s vulnerable to terrorists or military attacks as in Ukraine at the hands of Russia, Lyman said.

He questioned whether SMRs are easier to cool and are less radioactive than light water reactors “and therefore we don’t have to worry about it as much.”

“These claims are almost entirely misleading as you start looking at the facts,” he said.

Developers looking to reduce capital expenses and operating costs are cutting “rigorous requirements” for sites in or near populated urban centers or towns, Lyman said.

David Schlissel, director of resource planning analysis at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, cited cost overruns and schedule delays in the nuclear power industry.

“We don’t need a transition from coal to nuclear,” he said at the Dec. 15 forum. “We’re already pretty far along a transition from coal and natural gas to renewables.”………………………

January 21, 2023 Posted by | climate change, USA | Leave a comment

Ukraine: Is the Hammer About to Fall?


The plan to engage Russia militarily is a tacit admission that the United States can no longer maintain its global dominance through economic or political means alone. After exhaustive analysis and debate, western elites have settled on a course of action aimed at dividing the world into warring blocs in order to prosecute a war on Russia and China. The ultimate strategic objective of the current policy, is to tighten the grip of western elites on the levers of global power and to prevent the dissolution of the “rules-based international order.”

But after 11 months of nonstop warfare in Ukraine, the US-backed western coalition finds itself in a worse position than when it began. Aside from the fact that the economic sanctions have severely impacted Washington’s closest European allies, the West’s control of Ukraine has plunged the economy into a protracted slump, destroyed much of the country’s critical infrastructure and annihilated a sizable portion of the Ukrainian Army.

More importantly, Ukrainian forces are now suffering unsustainable casualties on the battlefield which is laying the groundwork for the inevitable splintering of the state. Whatever the outcome of the conflict may be, one thing is certain: Ukraine will no longer exist as a viable, independent, contiguous state.……………………………………………………………….

 The level of incompetence in the planning of this war is beyond anything we’ve ever seen before. It appears that all the preparation was focused on provoking a Russian invasion, not on the developments that would happen soon afterwards. What’s clear, is that the Pentagon never “gamed out” the actual war itself or the conflict as it is presently unfolding. Otherwise, how does one explain these glaring errors in judgement:

  1. They never thought the sanctions would backfire
  2. They never thought they’d run out of weapons and ammo
  3. They never thought Russia’s oil receipts would skyrocket
  4. They never thought that the majority of countries would maintain normal relations with Russia
  5. They never figured they’d actually need a coherent military strategy for fighting a ground war in eastern Europe.

Is there anything they got right?

Not that we can see…………………………………………………………………………………………

Let’s summarize:

  1. The media is “overestimating the (effect of) Ukrainians’ regionally limited offensives”. In short, the Ukrainians are losing the war.
  2. The Russians are winning the war. (“The Russians are clearly advancing. They will probably have completely conquered the Donbass before long.”)
  3. Weapons alone will not change the outcome of the war. (“the martens and leopards are not enough.”)
  4. There is no evidence that the west has clearly defined strategic objectives. (“Do you want to achieve a willingness to negotiate with the deliveries of the tanks? Do you want to reconquer Donbas or Crimea? Or do you want to defeat Russia completely? There is no realistic end state definition. And without an overall political and strategic concept, arms deliveries are pure militarism…Military operations must always be coupled with attempts to bring about political solutions.”)

This is not just an indictment of the way the war is being conducted, but of the strategic objectives which remain murky and poorly-defined. NATO is being led around by the nose by Washington, but Washington has no idea what it wants to achieve. “Weakening Russia” is not a coherent military strategy. It is, in fact, an aspirational phantasm nurtured by hawkish neocons playing armchair generals. But that is why we are in the predicament we are today, because the policy is in the hands of deranged fantasists. Does anyone seriously believe that the Ukrainian army will recover the territories in east Ukraine that have been annexed by Russia?

No, no serious person believes that. And, yet, the illusion that the “plucky Ukrainians are winning” persists, even while the casualties mount, the carnage increases and millions of Ukrainians flee the country. It’s beyond belief…………………………………………

Remember the Powell Doctrine? “The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:

  1. Is a vital national security interest threatened?
  2. Do we have a clear attainable objective?
  3. Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
  4. Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
  5. Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
  6. Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
  7. Is the action supported by the American people?
  8. Do we have genuine broad international support?

The former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell developed his Doctrine to avoid any future Vietnams. And while the Biden administration has not yet committed US combat troops to Ukraine, we think it’s only a matter of time. After all, the media is already beating the war drums while demonizing all-things Russia. That is traditionally how they prepare the public for war. (“Russophobia … is all about dehumanizing one’s opponents to make killing more acceptable (and destroying) all the mental restraints that keep men from barbarism.” Gilbert Doctorow)

Meanwhile, the US continues to pump Ukraine full of weapons while the Pentagon has begun training Ukrainian servicemen in Germany and Oklahoma. It looks like the decision has already been made to embroil the US in another conflict for which there is no vital national security interest and no clear path to victory. In other words, the Powell Doctrine has been shrugged off and replaced with another lunatic neocon plan aimed at dragging Russia into a bloody “Afghanistan-type” quagmire that will drain its resources and prevent it from blocking US expansion into Central Asia.

And how is the neocon plan working so far?

Here’s what Colonel Douglas MacGregor said in a recent interview:

“There are now 540,000 Russian troops stationed around the outskirts of Ukraine preparing to launch a major offensive that I think will probably end the war in Ukraine. 540,000 Russian troops, 1,000 rocket artillery systems, 5000 armored fighting vehicles including at least 1,5000 tanks, hundreds and hundreds of tactical ballistic missiles. Ukraine is now going to experience war on a scale we haven’t seen since 1945.”

And if that wasn’t bleak enough, here’s more from a recent video with Alexander Mercouris and Alex Christoforou:……………………………..more

January 21, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

US Installs New Nukes in Europe: As Destructive as 83 Hiroshima Bombs

By Baher Kamal

MADRID, Jan 20 2023 (IPS) – As if the 100 billion dollars that the United States has so far provided to Ukraine in both weapons and aid were not enough, the US has now started to install in Europe its brand new, more destructive nuclear warheads.

The US 100 billion dollars are to be added to all the weapons and aid that 40 Washington’s ‘allies’ –Europe in particular– have been sending to Ukraine since it was invaded by Russia in February 2022.

The US spending on the Ukrainian war in less than a year amounts to the desperately needed funding that the United Nations require to partially alleviate some of the horrifying suffering of over one billion human beings over two long years.

n a further escalation, the United States began in December 2022 to ship new nuclear warheads to Europe: “the B61-12 warhead is a more advanced warhead from the ones currently deployed in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey,” according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

Boeing designed the bomb’s new guided-tail kit, giving it additional manoeuvrability and the appearance of more precision.But, it’s a nuclear weapon, and has different yields, from 0.3kt to 50kt, ICAN reports.

Much more destructive


These bombs can detonate beneath the Earth’s surface, increasing their destructiveness against underground targets to the equivalent of a surface-burst weapon with a yield of 1,250 kilotons––the equivalent of 83 Hiroshima bombs.”

Even if the bombs are American and the US retains launch authority, they would most likely be dropped by Europeans. If the US decides to use its nuclear weapons located in Germany, the warheads are loaded onto German planes and a German pilot drops them, ICAN further explains.

This Geneva-based coalition of 652 non-governmental partner organisations in 107 countries, promoting adherence to and implementation of the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, received the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

The ‘brutal struggle for power’

The production, testing, and use of nukes is one of the reasons why the biggest powers are now pushing the world into the abyss of lawlessness. In fact, the UN chief has once more sounded the alarm bell.

“From illegally developing nuclear weapons to non-sanctioned use of force, States continue to flout international law with impunity”, said the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres.

The rule of law stands between peace and ‘brutal struggle for power,’ he warned in his 12 January message to the UN Security Council – where five countries: US, Russia, China, UK and France– hold a self attributed authority to override the well of over 190 states, members of the UN.

‘Grave risk’ of lawlessness

The UN chief painted a grim picture of civilians around the world suffering from devastating conflicts, rising poverty, and surging hunger, warning that “we are at grave risk of the Rule of Lawlessness”.

The rule of law “protects the vulnerable; prevents discrimination; bolsters trust in institutions; supports inclusive economies and societies; and is the first line of defence against atrocity crimes.”

Guterres cited Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; unlawful killings of both Palestinians and Israelis; gender-based apartheid in Afghanistan; the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s unlawful nuclear weapons programme; violence and severe human rights violations in Myanmar; and a deep institutional crisis in Haiti.


Meanwhile, the world is falling apart, witnessing an “ongoing collision of crises for which traditional response and recovery are not enough,” warns the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

“Our future is at stake, as wars, epidemics, the climate emergency and economic upheaval leave almost no country untouched.

From the war in Ukraine that sparked a global cost of living crisis to the climate emergency, the floods in Pakistan, the global pandemic, hunger in the Horn of Africa, to the crisis in Yemen — we face never before seen challenges to our future, adds UNDP.

Developing economies accounting for more than half of the world’s poorest people need urgent debt relief as a result of “cascading global crises. Without action, poverty will spiral and desperately needed investments in climate adaptation and mitigation will not happen.”

Also meanwhile, millions of children under armed conflicts

The UN Children Fund (UNICEF) reports that more than 400 million children live in areas under conflict; an estimated 1 billion children – nearly half the world’s children – live in countries at extreme vulnerability to the impacts of climate change…

… And at least 36.5 million children have been displaced from their homes; and 8 million children under age 5 across 15 crisis-hit countries are at risk of death from severe wasting.

Today, there are more children in need of humanitarian assistance than at any other time since the Second World War. Across the globe, “children are facing a historic confluence of crises – from conflict and displacement to infectious disease outbreaks and soaring rates of malnutrition.”

UNICEF has appealed for 10.3 billion US dollars to reach more than 110 million children with humanitarian assistance across 155 countries and territories.

January 21, 2023 Posted by | EUROPE, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pentagon can’t account for $220 billion in govt property, fails fifth audit

Pentagon can’t account for $220 billion in gov’t property, fails fifth audit | 18 Jan 2023 | A Tuesday report by the Government Accountability Office revealed that the Department of Defense failed its fifth audit in a row after it could not account for at least 220 billion in government-furnished property, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

The DOD has been mandated by federal law to complete audits since 1994; however, the mandate was ignored for decades due to the agency’s massive size, according to Military dot com. Since launching its first independent audit, in 2017 the Pentagon has never passed.

The Pentagon failed its fifth audit in November after the agency could not prove expenditures for 61% of its 3.5 trillion in assets. To perform this year’s overall audit of the DOD, which was expected to cost 218 million, the agency aggregated 27 separate audits conducted by approximately 1,600 auditors. According to, the auditors performed 220 in-person site visits and 750 virtual site visits.  

MICAELA BURROW, January 17, 2023

he Department of Defense (DOD) has neglected to address its inability to keep track of at least 220 billion in equipment provided to government contractors, according to a Tuesday report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Auditors first reported the Pentagon’s failure to account for government-owned equipment or material offered up for use to contracting agencies, also called government furnished property, in 2001, according to the report. DOD has made little improvement since then, increasing the risk that the Pentagon could accidentally overlook errors in the books.

“This long-standing issue affects the accounting and reporting of GFP and is one of the reasons DOD is unable to produce auditable financial statements,” GAO said. Of all the major federal agencies GAO is obligated to review, DOD is the only one unable to receive an opinion on its financial statements.

January 21, 2023 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Suffolk: Sizewell C ‘should not get licence’ due to erosion

Campaigners opposed to the new Sizewell C nuclear power station have
written to a nuclear industry regulator calling for it to reject the new
plant due to coastal erosion.

Together Against Sizewell C (TASC) has sent a
letter to the Office for Nuclear Regulation calling for Sizewell C’s
nuclear operating licence to be ruled out after photos emerged showing the
extent of coastal erosion near to where the new facility will be sited,
raising safety concerns.

Pete Wilkinson, from TASC, said: “This
generation’s inactivity on climate change has already compromised future
generations. To proceed with Sizewell C while being fully aware that it is
highly vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surges and flooding, only adds
to the inter-generational burden we pass on.” However, a spokesperson for
Sizewell C said: “The design of the power station, including its sea
defence and the raised platform it will be built on, will protect Sizewell
C from flooding. “Our plans take account of the effect of climate change
and the predicted rise in sea levels over the coming decades.”

East Anglian Daily Times 18th Jan 2023

January 21, 2023 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

Germany Says US Must Lead Way On Tanks For Ukraine, As Republican Party Also Piles On Pressure TYLER DURDEN, THURSDAY, JAN 19, 2023 –

Germany just upped the pressure on the Biden administration regarding growing calls to send Ukraine M1 Abrams tanks, which the White House has thus far resisted, fearing further escalation with Russia.

It comes as Germany just appointed a new defense minister, Boris Pistorius, after scandal-plagued Christine Lambrecht resigned the day prior, after also long being accused of representing weakness on arming Ukraine. The Scholz government said it will be up for the new defense minister to mull the question of tanks for Ukraine, as Kiev’s pleas grow louder.

“Germany won’t allow allies to ship German-made tanks to Ukraine to help its defense against Russia nor send its own systems unless the U.S. agrees to send American-made battle tanks, senior German officials said on Wednesday,” according to fresh Wall Street Journal reporting.

The timing of the WSJ’s German tank story is interesting, also given the same day top Republican committee chairs in Congress are ramping up the pressure on Biden, demanding that the US approve what are widely seen as ‘weapons needed to win’ against Russia.

Leopard 2 tanks, ATACMS, and other long-range precision munitions should be approved without delay,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said in a statement reported by Bloomberg. The pair of lawmakers at the same time criticized the “current indecision and self-deterrence” which they say will only prolong the conflict.

But Germany’s Scholz has consistently expressed a desire to avoid potential direct military escalation with Russia at all costs. Approving tanks would likely plunge Germany deeper in right alongside the US as things continue sliding toward direct confrontation.

Meanwhile, sabotage from Scholz?…

January 21, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

“Great British Nuclear “- it’s high time that they came clean on what this will cost.

Bowen is right to think Britain’s nuclear plans will require “substantial” taxpayer support.

It’s high time the government spelt out how much financial fuel it’s willing to burn.

Maybe Great British Nuclear will prove as successful as Great British
Railways: another government invention still stuck in the sidings while the
strike-bound network grinds to a halt.

But at least Simon Bowen is after an
improvement on that. Who he? The industry adviser picked by ministers to
make their nuclear nirvana a reality. He’s setting up GBN, the “flagship
body” to corral the construction of up to 24 gigawatts of new capacity by
2050: a shopping list, he says, that will involve at least three more
mega-nukes on top of Hinkley Point C, plus a litter of small modular

As he told MPs on the science committee, the new body will be the
“glue within the industry to drive the nuclear programme”. Always
assuming it gets set up, of course — because you can already sense
Bowen’s frustration with the government.

In a post-Ukraine war push for
energy security, it was Boris Johnson who declared that Britain should
“go nuclear and go large”, not that he spelt out the eye-popping costs
to the taxpayer. But Bowen’s report into how the new body should work,
complete with 25 recommendations, has since been passed from Liz Truss to
Rishi Sunak and deemed top secret.

To boot, from the latest PM he sees no
“overarching strategy” on what’s needed for energy security: the
“quantum of nuclear” or other technologies. That’s crucial because
“the investment required in nuclear is substantial”, he says, with the
same stuff underpinning successful international projects: “A substantial
amount of government leadership and fiscal support, not just in terms of
financing but who bears the risk.”

No private financier can see how
Sizewell gets built without the government injecting £5 billion-plus equity
and insulating investors from most construction risk. Build three big nukes
and you treble that problem before taking on small modular reactors — an
untried technology to which Rolls-Royce’s new boss, Tufan Erginbilgic,
seems disinclined to bring blue-sky finance. Add it up and Bowen is right
to think Britain’s nuclear plans will require “substantial” taxpayer
support. It’s high time the government spelt out how much financial fuel
it’s willing to burn.

Times 19th Jan 2023

January 21, 2023 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

U.S. approves design for NuScale small modular nuclear reactor, but significant problems remain.

By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON, Jan 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. nuclear power regulator has certified the design for the NuScale Power Corp’s (SMR.N) small modular reactor, the first such approval in the country for the next generation technology.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s approval, published in the Federal Register late on Thursday, clears a hurdle for NuScale. The company plans to build a demonstration small modular reactor (SMR) power plant at the Idaho National Laboratory. NuScale says the six-reactor, 462 megawatt Carbon Free Power Project will be fully running in 2030.

There are significant questions about rising costs of the demonstration plant, expected to provide electricity to the Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS). NuScale said this month the target price for power from the plant is $89 per megawatt hour, up 53% from the previous estimate of $58 per MWh.

Backers of next generation reactors including President Joe Biden’s administration and many Republican lawmakers, say they are crucial in curbing climate change. NuScale says they will be safer than today’s far larger conventional reactors, but the reactors, like conventional nuclear plants, are expected to produce highly toxic waste, for which no permanent fix has been developed.

The U.S. Department of Energy has provided more than $600 million since 2014 to support the design, licensing and siting of NuScale’s power plant and other small modular reactors. NuScale and other companies that succeed in building next generation reactors could receive for the first time lucrative production tax credits contained in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act signed by Biden……………..

NuScale also hopes to build SMRs in Romania, Kazakhstan and Poland, despite concerns from nuclear safety experts who say Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and occupation of the Zaporizhzhia plant should make the industry think seriously about developing plants in the region.

January 21, 2023 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Call to end practice of transporting nuclear warheads through Cumbria

A CAMPAIGN group have called for an immediate end to the practice of
transporting nuclear warheads by lorry along motorways and roads in Cumbria
and elsewhere. Their renewed call comes in response to news that the
Ministry of Defence has admitted that 40 safety incidents involving convoys
transporting nuclear warheads were logged during 2019, 2020 and 2021,
following a freedom of information request.

Carlisle News & Star 18th Jan 2023

January 21, 2023 Posted by | safety, UK | Leave a comment

Many years for removal and disposal of radioactive waste from historic subterranean vaults at Berkeley nuclear power station.

Work is underway to remove intermediate level radioactive waste (ILW) from
historic subterranean vaults at Berkeley nuclear power station. The removal
and transfer of this ILW into newly designed concrete boxes before moving
it into an interim on-site storage facility is a milestone step in the
decommissioning of the site.

This is part of Magnox’s strategy for dealing
with legacy waste in a consistent and cost-effective manner across its
different sites. The first concrete box of radioactive waste has now been
filled and safely stored at the Gloucestershire site, pending long-term
disposal in a future Geological Disposal Facility (GDF).

It is expected to take between four and five years to remove the full inventory of waste from
the vaults at Berkeley. ONR has maintained regulatory oversight throughout
the planning phase and will continue to do as the retrieval phases

ONR 17th January 2023

January 21, 2023 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

European Council calls for rallying Africa, Latin America, C. Asia for rules-based int’l order, “victory for Ukraine” — Anti-bellum

Interfax-UkraineJanuary 20, 2023 European Council President notes importance of involving Latin American, African and Central Asian countries in implementation of Zelensky’s Peace Formula President of the European Council Charles Michel has said that the countries of the whole world should be involved in the implementation of the Peace Formula proposed by President of Ukraine Volodymyr […]

European Council calls for rallying Africa, Latin America, C. Asia for rules-based int’l order, “victory for Ukraine” — Anti-bellum

January 21, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment