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Ukraine Narrative Fraying, But Weapons Will Continue To Flow


Some truth from official sources has begun leaking out: Ukraine is losing in the NATO proxy war against Russia. Two Polish officials said so, Condoleeza Rice in the Washington Post said so, and the mainstream/lamestream press began admitting it as well. The wrong conclusion is that more weapons will ensure Ukrainian victory, but that did not stop the U.S. and NATO from pledging more weapons.

Ukraine’s government has come a bit unraveled this week with key advisor Oleksiy Arestovych resigning and then being arrested and put on the Mirotvorets kill list for (accidentally?) admitting that Ukraine caused a Russian missile to go off course and fall on an apartment building killing 44 civilians in Dnipro. 

Then there was the mysterious crash of a helicopter carrying all the top officials of the Ministry of the Interior, an accident which killed all aboard plus some children from the kindergarten it fell on.

Next, the president of Ukraine addressed the World Economic Forum at Davos looking pale and strained and claiming to be uncertain whether the president of Russia is actually alive……

But some things remain unchanged. Western cheerleaders of the war effort are falling all over themselves to pledge their support for “democracy” in a country that banned opposition parties and “free speech” in a country that banned the use of Russian, the first language spoken by many of its citizens. …..

So, as part of a week of anti-imperialist and anti-war actions organized by members of UNAC for Martin Luther King, Jr. week (see the full list here) a hardy band of the unconfused stood in Portland, Maine yesterday at the evening commute.

We were on the second shift after a mid-day vigil in nearby Brunswick that occurs weekly. At that event a surprising number of passersby had expressed agreement with our anti-NATO stance remarking “Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe” or “Ukraine is full of Nazis” before the light changed and they drove away. This felt like a shift in public opinion, barely discernible but distinct from our past experiences with the public around this issue…………….

I’m not sure when we’ll be back in Portland, but the hour-long vigil at 11:30am in front of the Tontine Mall in Brunswick will continue weekly for now.


January 22, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Plutonium Pit Bomb Plans Excoriated by General Accounting Office

Lost in all the nuclear equations, appropriations and performance scandals is the consideration that the U.S. is treaty bound by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1968, to reduce and eventually eliminate its nuclear arsenal, as are the other nuclear armed signatories of the NPT.

The great majority of the world’s nations oppose nuclear weapons and expect nuclear armed countries to eliminate their nuclear weapons per Article VI of the NPT. Reviving plutonium pit production and redesigning new nuclear warheads that use these pits cannot fulfill the U.S. obligation to reduce and eliminate its nuclear arsenal

CounterPunch, BY MARK MUHICH, 20 Jan 23,

The independent General Accounting Office (GAO) issued a scathing report last week about the plan underway to refurbish plutonium pit triggers for nuclear weapons decades into the future. The GAO gave the National Nuclear Safety Administration a failing grade for its master plan to build “pit” factories in Los Alamos N.M. and Savannah River Site S.C., warning that costs, safety and quality controls could not be confidently verified by NNSA’s  current management strategies.

NNSA is a semiautonomous branch of the Department of Energy tasked with maintaining the potency of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. NNSA is also described by the GAO as an agency “at high risk of fraud, financial waste, abuse, and mismanagement”.

What does it mean when GAO issues a scathing report about the National Nuclear Safety Administration?

It means NNSA has already spent $3 billion at Los Alamos National Laboratory  with little or nothing to show for the cost. It means that preliminary plans for plutonium pit bomb production at two sites designated to manufacture “pits”, Savannah River Site in South Carolina and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, have already committed up to $24 billion, before a single pit would be manufactured. It means NNSA has disregarded standard accounting procedures and best management practices required of such giant federal projects.

It means that NNSA has failed to estimate a final cost of the manufacture of eighty plutonium bomb pits per year by the year 2030 mandated by Congress in 2016.

Congress can share the blame as it has ignored the best advice from the Institute for Defense Analysis: “No available productive options considered by NNSA could be expected to provide capacity to produce 80 plutonium pits per year by 2030”. Fabricating 80 plutonium pit triggers per year by the year 2030 “is impossible, regardless of how much money Congress spends on the pit project”.

The former commander of U.S. Strategic Command, Commander Charles Richard, testified in 2022 that “No amount of funding will allow NNSA to achieve 80 plutonium pits per year by 2030”.

Congress has also neglected and ignored its own pit aging studies that demonstrate the dependability of existing plutonium pits in the U.S. nuclear arsenal far into the future.  The JASON advisory group calculated that plutonium pits currently installed in U.S. nuclear war heads could reliably last another 60 years. The Livermore National Laboratory demonstrated that the pits in use today have a functional life of 150 years.

Plutonium, Pu94, is a metallic element. It is entirely man-made, not occurring in nature. Plutonium can be purified, molded, melted, cast, welded and annealed like other metals. It is pyrogenic, igniting in oxygen, as has occurred in several serious fires at LANL. Plutonium is one of the most carcinogenic substances on Earth.  Plutonium is radio-active, fissile, meaning it can sustain a nuclear fission reaction causing a nuclear explosion. The U.S. currently has 50 metric tons of surplus plutonium in storage.

Plutonium pits are the trigger mechanisms for nuclear weapons.  Developed during World War II at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico by the leading minds in physics, chemistry, and engineering, “pits” are the fundamental component in any nuclear weapon. A plutonium pit is a hollow sphere the size of a grapefruit with the explosive potential of 200 thousand tons of TNT (200K)……………………………………………………………………

If Congress hopes to decrease spending by cutting programs this year and avoid a default on the nation’s debt, pausing the plutonium pit bomb projects at Los Alamos and Savannah River Site should be a prime candidate for cost cutting. Pausing the pit production fund would save tens of billions of dollars. These projects received failing scores, 7 out or 20 points in the recent GAO report, and deserve no more funding at this time.

Instead Congress should reinstitute the pit aging research at LANL and Livermore and halt any new plutonium pit production until a certifiable need exists. As the Department of Defense calculated, a nuclear arsenal of 1,000 war heads would provide a sufficient nuclear deterrent, then reducing the number of warheads in the U.S. arsenal by nearly half could save hundreds of billion dollars more.

Much of the momentum to build new plutonium pits seems to involve a drive to design nuclear war heads. The Air Force’s new fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles based in the Midwest U.S., the Sentinel, costing $250 billion over the next 30 years, could carry a new W 87-1 warhead with multiple target capabilities (MIRV).  The W 87-1 would require a new and untested plutonium pit trigger.

Lost in all the nuclear equations, appropriations and performance scandals is the consideration that the U.S. is treaty bound by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1968, to reduce and eventually eliminate its nuclear arsenal, as are the other nuclear armed signatories of the NPT. The great majority of the world’s nations oppose nuclear weapons and expect nuclear armed countries to eliminate their nuclear weapons per Article VI of the NPT. Reviving plutonium pit production and redesigning new nuclear warheads that use these pits cannot fulfill the U.S. obligation to reduce and eliminate its nuclear arsenal.

Should President Biden and the 118th Congress decide to adhere to its nuclear treaty obligation to reduce nuclear weapons, save hundreds of billions of dollars and avoid the renewal of a nuclear arms race it has embarked upon, then defunding the NNSA’s plutonium pit bomb projects at Los Alamos and Savannah River Site is the perfect first step.

Previous Congresses and presidents have defunded or cancelled  numerous nuclear weapons projects in the past. The plutonium pit bomb project should be the next.

January 22, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

US may assist Ukrainian strikes on Crimea – NYT 20 Jan 23, Publicly, Washington has so far avoided endorsing Kiev’s attacks inside Russian territory

The US government is weighing whether to supply Ukraine with the capability to attack the strategically important Crimean Peninsula, according to the New York Times. The discussions highlight a gradual shift among US officials toward more brazen support for Kiev, even as Washington insists it does not seek confrontation with Moscow.

Following months of hesitation, the White House is now warming to the idea that Ukraine may “need the power” for strikes deep inside Russian territory, namely military targets in Crimea, the Times reported on Wednesday, citing several unnamed US officials. 

“American officials are discussing with their Ukrainian counterparts the use of American-supplied weapons, from HIMARS rocket systems to Bradley fighting vehicles, to possibly target … Crimea,” the outlet said, adding that Washington “has come to believe that if the Ukrainian military can show Russia that its control of Crimea can be threatened, that would strengthen Kiev’s position in any future negotiations.”

Despite Moscow’s heavy fortifications on the peninsula, which hosts Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and other military bases, Crimea remains a “major focus” of Ukrainian battleplans, according to the Times. It is unclear exactly how Washington hopes to assist attacks on the region, but the outlet suggested the decision to supply Kiev with Bradley infantry fighting vehicles showed willingness to help Ukraine “go on the offense – including targeting Crimea.”

Alongside troop transports provided by France and Germany, the military vehicles “could be the vanguard of an armored force that Ukraine could employ in a counteroffensive this winter or spring,” unnamed “government and independent analysts” told the Times. 

However, even as the White House allegedly considers supporting attacks on Russian soil, President Joe Biden continues to refuse Ukrainian requests for longer-range missiles and heavy battle tanks that could be used in a future offensive. He has previously warned that such aid could provoke direct hostilities with Moscow and even kick off a nuclear war, though such concerns appear to be slowly waning as the conflict drags on.  

“The fear of escalation has changed since the beginning,” an unnamed US defense source told a British newspaper last month, suggesting the Pentagon had “given a tacit endorsement of Ukraine’s long-range attacks on targets inside Russia.” 

While State Department spokesman Ned Price insisted on Wednesday that the US is not placing any “limits” on Ukrainian strikes or “making targeting decisions” on Kiev’s behalf, the latest discussions at the White House may indicate a shift in opinion among some officials.

Historically a Russian territory from the late 18th century until its transfer to Ukraine under Soviet authorities in 1954, Crimea held a referendum to reunify with Russia following the Euromaidan coup of 2014. Kiev and its Western backers have refused to recognize the vote, however, and say the peninsula is still rightfully Ukrainian land, with President Vladimir Zelensky reiterating hopes for the reconquest of the region last month.

Russian officials have repeatedly stated that the goals of the military operation in Ukraine would be completed no matter how long it takes. Amid Kiev’s repeated requests for longer-range weapons, Moscow warned Washington and other NATO states that such supplies would cross a “red line” and make them “a direct party to the conflict.”

President Vladimir Putin made it clear, following referendums in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions in September, that Moscow would defend not only Crimea but all new territories “with full force and all means at our disposal.”

January 22, 2023 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The Disastrous Downsides of South Korea Building Nuclear Weapons


Is South Korea Willing to Lose Its World-leading Nuclear Power Program to Build the Bomb?

In a wide-ranging interview on January 11, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol warned Pyongyang that if North Korea’s nuclear threat continues to advance, South Korea would consider building nuclear weapons of its own or ask the United States to redeploy them on the Korean Peninsula. Although President Yoon walked back these comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos, they were published in the South Korean press and reinforced by some Republic of Korea (ROK) defense analysts. Cheon Seong-whun said, “President Yoon’s comment could turn out to be a watershed moment in the history of South Korea’s national security.”

A South Korean decision to build its own bomb could, indeed, be a watershed. Threatening Pyongyang does little besides give it a stronger justification to enhance its own nuclear arsenal. I believe that such a move would trigger a tsunami that would wipe out Seoul’s remarkable economic miracle and destroy the soft power it has established around the world……………………….

The National Burden of a Nuclear Arsenal

Whereas President Yoon’s comment, “…we can have our own nuclear weapons pretty quickly, given our scientific and technological capabilities” is true, it doesn’t come close to capturing the national redirection, expense, and immense burden that Seoul would have to shoulder to field not just one bomb, but a nuclear arsenal to counter Pyongyang’s.

It is true that with its advanced technological capabilities, South Korea could probably build the bomb quickly. But a few bombs don’t make a nuclear deterrent, particularly if Seoul will have to go it alone. And let’s be clear, if Seoul were to go down this path, Washington could, and likely would, withdraw its nuclear umbrella. Building a nuclear arsenal to counter Pyongyang’s would require a major national redirection of its economy and diplomacy that would negatively affect nearly all facets of South Korean life for decades.

For nearly fifty years, South Korea has pursued a civilian nuclear energy program. It wisely focused on the middle of the fuel cycle—that is, reactor fuel fabrication, reactor construction and operation, and electricity production. It has built neither enrichment nor reprocessing facilities. Consequently, South Korea has no inventory of bomb-grade plutonium or uranium currently stockpiled. To build nuclear weapons, it would have to repurpose some of its civilian reactors to produce the plutonium bomb fuel (combined with using its laboratory-scale pyroprocessing facilities to extract plutonium) or construct a centrifuge facility to make highly enriched uranium. Either path would take at least two years to produce enough bomb fuel for even a few bombs. In the longer term, an effective nuclear deterrent would require new, dedicated nuclear weapons facilities, requiring substantial time and financial commitments.

The next step in building a bomb is weaponization—that is, designing, building and testing the nuclear devices. South Korea could surely master all scientific and engineering challenges of building a bomb—as it has demonstrated so convincingly in mastering civilian nuclear power generation. Some of the purely military aspects could be accomplished in concert with its conventional military technical complex. But to prove the design and fabrication, there would need to be nuclear testing, but where? Neighboring countries—China and Japan—would certainly object strongly, and there would undoubtedly be strong domestic opposition to tests from every South Korean province.

The nuclear warheads will also have to be integrated into delivery vehicles—such as ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, submarine-launched missiles or bombers. South Korea has all the basic building blocks, but it would still have substantial work to do to integrate the nuclear warheads into the delivery systems. Moreover, these requirements will continue to evolve as North Korea upgrades its offensive and defensive capabilities. The assembly, disassembly and fielding of nuclear devices pose serious safety and security risks and would have to be learned without help or advice from current nuclear powers. Seoul will also have to develop a command-and-control structure that is more stringent than anything it has done so far for its conventional military.

Another consequence of building a nuclear arsenal is that it will compete for resources—financial, personnel, and technical—with the South’s conventional military…………………………………………………………………………

Seoul Would Deal a Serious Blow to the Nonproliferation Regime

South Korea would be the first democratic country to withdraw from the NPT, dealing a blow to decades of US leadership in preventing nuclear proliferation. As serious as the North Korean nuclear threat is, I believe Washington would have no choice but to condemn and counter the South’s decision to build the bomb. The nonproliferation regime is a complex fabric of treaties, agreements, assurances, practices, and international organizations. North Korea’s bomb and Iran’s pursuit of the bomb have already stressed the regime. The negative impacts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are playing out now. South Korea should not join these countries in undermining the regime……………………………………………………………

Shooting Itself in the Foot

South Korea’s decision to build the bomb will be widely condemned…………………………..

The irony is that an indigenous nuclear arsenal will make South Korea less secure. It is likely to draw an escalatory response from the North, and Seoul may then have to face that threat on its own. ………………………………. more

January 22, 2023 Posted by | South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Biden Regime Announces Massive $2.5 Billion Weapons Package for Ukraine By Cristina Laila January 19, 2023

The Biden Regime on Thursday announced ANOTHER massive weapons package for Ukraine. The US pledged a $2.5 billion package of military aid for Ukraine which includes 59 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, missiles, Avenger air defense systems and more!

Joe Biden has already sent tens of billions of dollars to Ukraine in the last year.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky recently visited the White House where he got a red carpet welcome. Zelensky also delivered an angry speech in the House chamber where he demanded more American taxpayer money.

It’s one giant scam.

CBS released a documentary titled “Arming Ukraine.”

The documentary looks into what has happened to the military weapons that have been given to Ukraine. The documentary exposed that only “like 30%” of weapons given to Ukraine reached their final destination. The Biden Regime is just laundering money in plain sight.


January 22, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Push in US Congress to exempt Australia from International Traffic in Arms Regulations, so that it can import nuclear submarines

Democrat push to grant Australia a waiver to import nuclear subs earlier than expected

SMH, ByFarrah Tomazin, January 21, 2023 —

Washington: A maze of US regulations and export control laws stand between Australia and the multibillion-dollar AUKUS submarine agreement, prompting a key ally of the pact in Congress to propose a blanket exemption to accelerate delivery of the nuclear-powered fleet.

Democratic congressman Joe Courtney, who recently spearheaded a bipartisan defence of the Australia-UK-US pact amid jitters from some of his Washington colleagues, wants Australia to be given a waiver from strict US export controls that could otherwise derail the agreement.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations is one set of rules which could delay for years the transfer of crucial technologies at a time when Australia is racing to bolster its submarine capacity before the retirement of its Collins-class fleet.

Defence Minister Richard Marles has said the government will announce by March which type of submarine it will acquire, after receiving a recommendation from Jonathan Mead, the head of the Nuclear Powered Submarine Taskforce.

The announcement is expected to provide the first concrete insights into the cost, timing and procurement of the AUKUS deal. The modelling so far has suggested that if the submarines are produced in Australia, as the government has suggested, the earliest possible delivery date would be 2055.

While President Joe Biden supports AUKUS, he needs the backing of a divided Congress to make good on his promise to share American submarine secrets with Australia.

Courtney, who co-chairs the bipartisan “AUKUS caucus” and is regarded as one of Congress’ top navy experts, said a potential solution to the difficulties posed by US law would be to pass an exemption, with the support of the Pentagon, allowing Australia to bypass rules such as the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and related nuclear submarine laws, for the strict purpose of advancing AUKUS……………………………….

Australian officials have for years been pushing their US counterparts to reform their treatment under arms regulations, and the issue was front and centre of the December Australian-US Ministerial consultations between Marles and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin…………

In response to questions from this masthead, a spokesman for the Australian Department of Defence said it was anticipating that export arrangements would need to change “to ensure technology and expertise could be transferred seamlessly and effectively among AUKUS partners, as well as their respective industrial bases, within a suitably designed protective framework”…………

At a seminar last week, Democratic congressman Adam Smith, a ranking member of the House of Representatives armed services committee, also warned that while AUKUS was “a great idea, with a lot of promise” it “could also go bloop” unless some regulatory restrictions were eased.

And Mark Watson, the director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Washington office, suggested that “an AUKUS express lane is what we need” to avoid delaying or derailing the project due to the maze of red tape and complex US laws surrounding it.

But the regulatory hurdles are not the only difficulty the alliance faces.

One of the concessions Republican congressman Kevin McCarthy made this month to secure the speakership of the House of Representatives was a vote on a framework that caps discretionary spending at fiscal 2022 levels. Some fear that this could result in the US defence budget being cut in real terms, which Courtney warned “could have a very negative effect on AUKUS”.

Helping Australia acquire nuclear submarines will also test America’s submarine manufacturing industry, which has already been strained by the COVID pandemic.

January 22, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Diluted plutonium disposed of at Carlsbad nuclear waste site as program draws controversy

“DOE decided to do this before they did any of the analysis,” Hancock said. “All these documents are to give legal cover and justify decisions already made.”

Adrian Hedden, Carlsbad Current-Argus

Federal nuclear waste officials announced a shipment of diluted surplus, weapons-grade plutonium was disposed of using a repository near Carlsbad last month, after it was sent to New Mexico from South Carolina, amid criticism from nuclear watchdog groups in the state.

The shipment contained plutonium diluted using a process known as “downblending” that lowered its radioactivity to meet requirements at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, where the U.S. Department of Energy disposes of transuranic (TRU) nuclear waste in an underground salt deposit.

It was brought to WIPP from the DOE’s Savannah River Site, a laboratory where the federal government develops nuclear weapons.

After the downblending, the waste meets the definition of TRU waste, read an announcement from the DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), and can be legally disposed of at WIPP.

Disposal at WIPP was in response to a 2020 agreement between the DOE and State of South Carolina that called for the removal of 9.5 metric tons (MT) of plutonium waste from the state, reached after years of negotiations and litigation.

The waste was initially brought to Savannah River to be irradiated at a mixed-oxide (MOX) facility, converting the nuclear waste into fuel…………………………………………………………

The initial shipment was announced as the DOE was underway with a public comment period on using the same “dilute and dispose” method for 34 metric tons (MT) of plutonium waste, most of which is at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas.

But this would entail shipping waste from Pantex to Los Alamos, then to Savannah River Site for final packaging before going to WIPP, meaning the waste would cross through New Mexico three times.

Opponents of this proposal in New Mexico feared the repeated trips through their state would increase the risk of exposing their communities to radiation.

Critics oppose use of New Mexico site to dispose of plutonium

Don Hancock, nuclear waste program manager at Albuquerque watchdog group Southwest Research and Information Center said the group and others in the state opposed the project and its use of WIPP.

He said DOE’s practice of seeking approval for separate segments of the plutonium waste, rather than for all of the waste at once was intended to protect decisions already made without public input.

“DOE decided to do this before they did any of the analysis,” Hancock said. “All these documents are to give legal cover and justify decisions already made.”…………………………………………

Hancock argued using WIPP as the disposal site for the plutonium, even after its diluted to meet the requirements of TRU waste, marked an undue expansion of WIPP’s mission beyond what the people of New Mexico agreed to when the facility was sited in their state.

“We don’t oppose geologic disposal. We don’t think WIPP is the right place,” he said. “WIPP has a limited mission. It was never intended for surplus plutonium. It’s already been decided. The public should be outraged.”

January 22, 2023 Posted by | - plutonium, USA | Leave a comment

France issues a 10,000-page dossier to convince people of the safety of the Cigeo nuclear waste site


Nuclear waste: a 10,000-page dossier to convince people of the safety of
the Cigeo landfill site.

The National Agency for the Management of
Radioactive Waste has submitted a creation authorization application which
opens the way to an investigation phase lasting several years.

This is a major step in view of the possible burial underground in the east of
France, on a still distant horizon, of the most dangerous nuclear waste.

The National Agency for Radioactive Waste Management (Andra) announced on
Tuesday, January 17, that it had officially sent the Ministry of Energy
Transition its request for authorization to create (DAC) for the Cigéo
deep geological disposal center on Monday. This file, heavy with 10,000
pages, opens the way to several years of investigation which could lead to
a green light from the authorities for the construction of infrastructures,
on land located on the border of the departments of Meuse and Haute- Marl.

Le Monde 17th Jan 2023

January 22, 2023 Posted by | France, wastes | Leave a comment