The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

On the brink: nuclear news – week to 31 January

Some bits of good news. What went right this week: ‘positive tipping points’. England got a new rewilding site.        Cancer Plummets, Guinea Worm Eradicated, Bye-Bye Ebola—3 Huge Wins for Humanity.

The polycrisis is upon us……. pandemic, global heating, nuclear fear, plastic and chemical pollution, biodiversity loss,  overpopulation, water shortage ….. all these are interrelated. As Alex Smith shows us, in Radio Ecoshock – this all might develop into a permacrisis. My own thought  is that it’s no wonder that many young people have  problems of anxiety and depression – in our culture focussed on individualism, money, and endless growth.

Nuclear. This newsletter is miles too long. But it’s a critical time- teetering on the brink of nuclear war. Tanks going into Ukraine – a futile symbol for Zelensky’s dream of conquering Russia, – while underneath it all, rumblings of a cease-fire deal between USA-NATO and Russia, before it all gets a lot worse.

Christina notes:  World War 3 danger – it’s getting so like pre World War 1 – can it get any worse? Nuclear toys for the boys. What fun!      Nuclear fusion – here’s where history, culture, and nuclear annihilation technology collide.


CLIMATE. The first breach of 1.5°C will be a temporary but devastating failure. Absurd that we listen to those causing the climate crisis’ in Davos, says Greta Thunberg  The ‘all-of-the-above’ story used to sneak nuclear power in as a climate-action technology along with renewables . Suffolk: Sizewell C nuclear ‘should not get licence’ due to coastal erosion.

CIVIL LIBERTIESJulian Assange and the US government’s war on whistleblowers . The Belmarsh Tribunals Demand Justice for Julian Assange. UK police powers increased, to shut down climate protestsUK govt to tighten anti-protest restrictions, despite criticism from human rights groups .

CULTUREThe dirty secret of US nuclear energy.

ECONOMICSAs the war rages on and military spending booms, the US arms industry is a big winner in Ukraine. 

Marketing: South Korea keen to market nuclear technology to United Arab Emirates, and missile technology, too. Poland’s energy company agrees to buy France’s NOT YET DESIGNED so-called “small” Nuward nuclear reactor! 

The British government’s Regulated Asset Base – the test case for reviving its nuclear power dream. “Great British Nuclear “- it’s high time that they came clean on what this will cost. 

As SMR developer X-energy moves to go public, merger partner Ares cautions investors about risks of small nuclear reactors.   David Schlissel: Small modular reactor project likely to end badly for Utah utilities.

EMPLOYMENT. The French nuclear sector up against the wall in terms of recruitment.

ENERGY. Germany aims for faster expansion of wind energy, not nuclear.  Prolonged outages of France’s nuclear reactors.  Renewable energy is the only credible path forward -António Guterres.  Four separate reports show that the UK could save over €120 bn by 2050 by switching to a renewable energy strategy.

ENVIRONMENT. Campaigners fear changes at Hinkley Point C ‘could kill millions of fish every day’. Japan’s Plan To Discharge Water From Fukushima Nuclear Plant Faces Pacific Opposition

HEALTH. Julian Assange’s Biggest Fight in Notorious Prison Isn’t Over Extradition.     The WHO is urging countries to start stockpiling medicines for ‘nuclear emergencies’ after the EU’s latest warning on Ukraine war. WHO updates critical medicines list for radiological and nuclear emergencies.         Investigation underway after nine nuclear missileers develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphomaNuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of launch officers.

 LEGAL. Fukushima: court upholds acquittals of three Tepco executives over disaster.       UK High Court to hear challenge against plans for Sizewell C nuclear station.            The Ohio nuclear scandal: Davis-Besse and Perry power plants in northern Ohio couldn’t cover costs, let alone make a profit.            Appeals Court Tosses Suit from Environmentalists, Midland Oil Company Contesting Nuclear Waste Storage Permit.

MEDIANew documentary film ‘Downwind’ explores why testing, using nuclear weapons makes deadly mistakes .

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGYNuclear Fusion Won’t Save the Climate But It Might Blow Up the World. The Nuclear Fallacy: Why Small Modular Reactors Can’t Compete With Renewable Energy.    U.S. approves design for NuScale small modular nuclear reactor, but significant problems remain.

OPPOSITION to NUCLEARDemonstrators gather in Hamburg against threat of nuclear confrontation in Ukraine.

PERSONAL STORIES. ‘The day the desert wind cried‘: French nuclear tests cast long shadow in Libyan Sahara.


POLITICS INTERNATIONAL and DIPLOMACY.  Documents show no sign Albanese government lobbied the US to bring Julian Assange home. The Problem With Primacy – America’s Dangerous Quest to Dominate the Pacific. “Chinese Aggression” Sure Looks An Awful Lot Like US Aggression. Can Talks with China about Nuclear Weapons Be Constructive? 

USA tries to prevent a Russian offensive in Ukraine by offering a sort of war endgame deal to Russia. Diplomatic Cables Show Russia Saw NATO Expansion as a Red Line. WikiLeaks cables reveal NATO intended to cross all Russian red lines

Pacific islands urge Japan to delay release of nuclear plant waste waterFrance promises to speed up handover of colonial archives and clean up nuclear test sites in Algeria.


SECRETS and LIESIn Just Under Three Weeks, Ukrainian-Fired Prohibited “Petal” Mines Maim At Least 44 Civilians, Kill 2, in Donetsk Region.    Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences after uranium found at Heathrow.

SPACE. EXPLORATION, WEAPONS. Geopolitics’ New Frontier in SpaceNATO activating space war center in France. New NASA Nuclear Rocket Plan Aims to Get to Mars in Just 45 Days. Nuclear-powered rockets to Mars – there are serious safety risks. NASA partners with the military to test nuclear fission-powered spacecraft engine by 2027.

SPINBUSTER. A bit of panic in the UK small nuclear reactor lobby?

TECHNOLOGY. Canadian MP Charlie Angus Questions the Claims of SMRs (Small Modular Reactors)   

WASTES.  Don’t dump on us. China urges Japan to safely dispose of nuclear-contaminated water.          France’s nuclear waste agency applies to create a long-term underground storage in Eastern France. France issues a 10,000-page dossier to convince people of the safety of the Cigeo nuclear waste site.              US sweetens pot to study siting for spent nuclear fuelDiluted plutonium disposed of at Carlsbad nuclear waste site as program draws controversy. Many years for removal and disposal of radioactive waste from historic subterranean vaults at Berkeley nuclear power station.


WEAPONS and WEAPONS SALES. SCOTT RITTER: The Nightmare of NATO Equipment Being Sent to Ukraine. CNN: Ukraine Has Become a ‘Weapons Lab’ for Western Arms . Ukraine Narrative Fraying, But Weapons Will Continue To Flow. AP: NATO powers, Ukraine in “fast-track” talks for long-range missiles, warplanes Ukraine war boon/boondoggle for U.S. arms makers, Pentagon’s warfighting capabilities.  

 Biden to send 31 Abrams tanks, Germany 14 Leopards for war in Ukraine — . Germany Says US Must Lead Way On Tanks For Ukraine, As Republican Party Also Piles On Pressure Ukraine: Germany spearheads delivery of 90 tanks from NATO allies, partners .    Finnish arms to Turkey in NATO quid pro quo, tanks to Ukraine next.    Ukraine intensifies pressure on Georgia to enter war: ruling party leader .  German foreign minister: “We are fighting a war against Russia”

Nuclear submarines deal for Australia, an exercise in futility and should be sunk.  Push in US Congress to exempt Australia from International Traffic in Arms Regulations, so that it can import nuclear submarines. 

Nuclear Notebook: United States nuclear weapons, 2023.  Pentagon can’t account for $220 billion in govt property, fails fifth audit. It comes down to weapons.

Plutonium Pit Bomb Plans Excoriated by General Accounting Office.

 Cost Estimate for Plutonium Pit Project at Savannah River Site Hits $16.5 Billion, $5 Billion above Current Estimate . 

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

The US has a new nuclear proliferation problem: South Korea. The Disastrous Downsides of South Korea Building Nuclear Weapons


January 30, 2023 - Posted by | Christina's notes


  1. My own govt. Plotting nuclear war in front of me. Flaunting and Flogging me with it.
    Using me all these years
    We were all guineas pigs
    The thirty other little kids on the cancer unit with me in downwinders, uranium hell. The.
    Permanently maimed
    In phoney dog eat dog usa, they’ll make sure things get worse for ya
    The military bullies
    The thug bullies
    The politician bullies
    The nazi bullies
    The pig cop, police state bullies.
    Why even bring up the fuk Trump
    Who openly threatened that he was about to nuke n Korea in 2017 and would have.
    Trumps was destroying the world . He almost destroyed social security and medicare
    suko Joe only shoots for the world
    Caught between a rock and a hard place

    Comment by Jr | January 31, 2023 | Reply

  2. It’s what the democrats and republicans want
    A prolonged cold war
    Melvin Goodman

    No one knows how the war in Ukraine will end, but there is one post-war certainty: there will be a prolonged and costly Cold War between the United States and Russia. In an interview with David Ignatius of the Washington Post, who has been doing the bidding of the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency for several decades, Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized the importance of a “long-term goal of deterrence.” Ignatius took this to mean that the Biden administration will make sure that Russia “should not be able to rest, regroup and reattack.”

    Ignatius is joining the likes of such Cold Warriors as former secretary of state Condi Rice, former secretary of defense Bob Gates, journalists such as Max Boot and scholars such as Angela Stent and Leon Aron who believe that Russia’s war is not directed only against Ukraine, but against the larger idea that European states can peacefully cooperate. Yale historian Timothy Snyder goes further, arguing that the rule of law can have a chance in Russia only if “Russia loses this war,” and that Russia’s defeat will reverse the “trend…towards authoritarianism, with Putinism as a force and a model.” It is naive to think in terms of “rule of law” coming to Russia.

    We have been accustomed to politicians who blithely talk about the “war to end all wars,” but it is unusual to have a distinguished historian argue that the “Ukrainians have given us a chance to turn this century around, a chance for freedom and security that we could not have achieved by our own efforts, no matter who we happen to be.” Snyder argues that “if Russia loses” it would mark an “end to an era of empire,” marking the “last war fought on the colonial logic that another state and people do not exist.” According to Snyder, a Ukrainian victory would “teach Beijing that such an offensive operation [against Taiwan] is costly and likely to fail.” Snyder believes that “this is a once-in-lifetime conjuncture, not to be wasted.”

    In addition to this year’s record defense budget that found the Congress providing $45 billion more than the Pentagon requested, a so-called “emergency” provision will lay the foundation for adding scarce resources to defense spending in the coming year. This provision will allow multiyear, noncompetitive agreements to produce such ordinary weaponry as rockets and munitions. According to the Washington Post, the Pentagon will now have a way to replenish its stockpiles that will provide a “new golden age” for military contractors.

    The Biden administration’s gift to the military-industrial complex rivals what the Reagan administration provided in the 1980s and ensures the country’s rich market for weapons sales. Nearly half of the record defense spending of $858 billion goes to military contractors. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees made sure that these spending spigots remain open by naming individuals with ties to the weapons industry to a commission that will review the Biden National Defense Strategy. The chairwoman of the commission, former Representative Jane Harman, protected Lockheed-Martin when she served on the Hill and currently is on the board of a military contractor that recently received a seven-year $800 million contract from the Pentagon.

    The increased defense spending and the new emergency provision coincide with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s creation of a new committee—the House Select Committee on Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party! McCarthy appointed the requisite number of China hawks, including its chairman, Mike Gallagher. George Will, writing in the Post, predictably praised the creation of the committee, and lauded a new book by scholars from Johns Hopkins University and Tufts titled “Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China,” which may become a tragic self-fulfilling prophecy. In view of the recent rise in anti-Asian violence in the United States, It can only be hoped that Democrats appoint members to the committee who understand the domestic consequences of hyping the threat from China at this particular time.

    Our China policy is not working, and the exaggeration of the China threat comes just in time for the hawks in the political aviary who fear that the severe deficiencies of the Russian military in Ukraine is making it more difficult to exaggerate the Russia threat. I’ve been calling attention to the exaggeration of the Russian threat for the past 50 years, and the collapse of the Soviet Union, which included the implosion of the Red Army, should have provided political ammunition to downplay the Russian threat. I had a distinct advantage from 1966 to 1990 as a Soviet analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, which had intelligence that documented Soviet deficiencies.

    But the policy community, the bipartisan congressional community, and the pundit community can’t let go of the idea that the Soviet Union and Russia present a threat to the national security of the United States. The dysfunctional, but superficially successful, Russian military performances in Georgia (2008); Crimea (2014); and Syria (2015) were misread as a demonstration of a strong Russian military. It took the unsuccessful Russian efforts against Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Kherson to fully demonstrate the deeply rooted dysfunction of the “new” Red Army and its inability to sustain offensive and combined arms operations. Instead, Russia must rely on a campaign of military terrorism to hold its own against Ukrainian forces.

    The Biden policy ensures a robust military presence on the Russian border that will worsen Cold War 2.0. There will be prolonged and unnecessary increases in defense spending, and the absence of a diplomatic dialogue in those important areas where there is Russian-American agreement. These areas include a variety of arms control and disarmament issues, such as stopping the proliferation of nuclear weaponry and limiting the use of space in the military competition as well as dealing with insurgencies and terrorism; environmental degradation; and future pandemics. It is hard to imagine any Russian regime willing to pursue diplomatic solutions with a United States that has sponsored a NATO with more than 30 members; a military base in Poland; a regional missile defense in Poland and Romania; and the use of Romanian military facilities close by Russian forces and the Black Sea. This serious turning point is being ignored by the policy community as well as the pundit and academic communities.

    Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and a professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. A former CIA analyst, Goodman is the author of Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA and National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism. and A Whistleblower at the CIA. His most recent books are “American Carnage: The Wars of Donald Trump” (Opus Publishing, 2019) and “Containing the National Security State” (Opus Publishing, 2021). Goodman is the national security columnist .

    But how long can it last with ice shelves melting, 400 reactors on the brink. How much more delusional can people get before failure

    Comment by Amy sharp | January 31, 2023 | Reply

    • Amy Sharp
      Thank you – a valuable comment. I shallput it up as a post – later today.

      Comment by Christina Macpherson | January 31, 2023 | Reply

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