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TODAY. All quiet on the Fukushima front? The global nuclear lobby sure likes it that way.

The video above is from last year. I could find only one up to date video about the 11 March 2011 Fukushima nuclear catastrophe. The newest video is at and for this one, it is not permitted to be re-shown on other websites.

Why is it not to be made widely available? Is it because that video shows the sadness, and the courage, of young Japanese university students who are dedicated to tell the story of the nuclear disaster – to the younger generation.

I guess that the Japanese government, all the other pro-nuclear government, and the despicable global nuclear lobby are only too pleased to have the Fukushima nuclear story fade into the background. After all, these worthy entities, having pocketed their fat salaries, with a bit of luck, will be dead and gone when the nuclear shit really hits the fan, world-wide.

It is the young and their children, who will cop the results of this toxic industry.

Meanwhile do we just all pretend that the Fukushima nuclear disaster is over and done with?


March 10, 2023 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

Twelve years after 3/11, dispute grows over Fukushima’s radioactive soil


OKUMA, FUKUSHIMA PREF. – On the surface, everything seems to be under control at the expansive site storing radioactive soil collected from across Fukushima Prefecture in the aftermath of the 2011 core meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Since 2015, the Interim Storage Facility, which straddles the towns of Okuma and Futaba and overlooks the crippled plant, has safely processed massive amounts of radioactive soil — enough to fill 11 Tokyo Domes — in an area nearly five times the size of New York’s Central Park. The soil was collected during decontamination procedures in Fukushima’s cities, towns and villages that were polluted by the disaster.

Here, black plastic bags full of contaminated soil are put on conveyor belts and unpacked. The contents are sifted through to remove plastic, leaves, twigs and other nonsoil waste. Then the soil is taken to dump zones, where it’s buried in 15-meter-deep pits with protective sheeting and a drainage pipe at the bottom so that radioactive cesium won’t leak into the ground. Finally, the soil is covered with noncontaminated soil and topped with a lawn. Areas where the work has been completed look like soccer fields.

The level of radiation here is about 0.2 microsieverts per hour (uSv/h), explained Hiroshi Hattori, an official at the Environment Ministry’s local office, during a recent tour of the areas where the polluted soil is buried. The radiation level there is harmless to humans, though higher than an average of 0.04 uSv/h elsewhere in Japan.

“It’s higher not because of the soil, but because of surrounding forests (which have not been decontaminated).”

The problem is that, as smooth and orderly as its operations are, the site is only a temporary home for the radioactive soil. Nobody knows where this massive pile of dirt will eventually end up. All that is certain is that the central government has pledged to — and is legally obliged to — move all of the soil out of Fukushima Prefecture by 2045.

This unresolved soil issue — along with the lingering dispute over the planned ocean release of tritium-laced wastewater from Fukushima No. 1 — is a sour reminder of the enormous toll the nuclear disaster in Fukushima has inflicted on the country and beyond.

Opposition from residents

The soil is a product of years of state-funded measures to bring radiation levels down in communities affected by the disaster. The government drew up a “decontamination road map” soon after the accident, in the hopes of a speedy return of residents to their hometowns.

The desire to avoid moving the massive amount of soil again — and to make it easier to find a final destination for it — has also led the Environment Ministry to try to reduce its volume first by reusing some of the less contaminated mud for public works projects across the nation. That way, only a quarter of the total amount that contains over 8,000 becquerel per kilogram of cesium will be subject to final disposal, the ministry says.

But it’s a tough sell. In December, the ministry held its first round of meetings with residents in areas of greater Tokyo where pilot projects to utilize the soil under the 8,000 Bq/kg threshold are planned: the Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo, the National Environmental Research and Training Institute in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, and the National Institute for Environmental studies in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.

Nearby residents vehemently opposed the plan. Last month, they formally demanded that the ministry cancel the pilot projects, under which the ministry plans to bury radioactive soil underneath a 50 cm layer of cover soil, for flower beds and parking lots.

Roads, tidal walls and dams

Though little known until recently, the ministry released a policy document in 2016 that outlined the “safe use” of radioactive soil with radiation levels of 8,000 Bq/kg or less. According to the document, the government will divert such soil to embankments in public works projects “whose management entities and responsibilities are clearly defined.”

Roads, tidal walls, seaside protection forest and earthfill dams are some of the projects where use of the soil is envisioned, the document says.

The plan has raised the eyebrows of not just residents but also experts.

“Japan is very seismic and we have (harsh) weather and typhoons,” said Azby Brown, architect and lead researcher for Safecast, a citizen science group that has independently measured and publicized radiation levels in Fukushima and elsewhere.

“The half-life of cesium-137 is 30 years. It’s going to stay radioactive for a long time. What happens when these embankments get old?… It is not a very rational or sound decision, from the sense of certainly the perception of safety.”

Kenichi Oshima, professor of energy policy at Ryukoku University in Kyoto, questions the rationale of treating the soil of 8,000 Bq/kg or less as safe, pointing to a “double standard” between the ministry’s policy and the rigorous control of waste required for other nuclear power plants under the Nuclear Reactor Regulation Law. That law states only waste with radiation levels under 100 Bq/kg is considered safe enough to be reused.

All of the radioactive waste produced by the Fukushima disaster is covered by a separate “special law” that went into force in 2012. This says that Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings (Tepco), the operator of Fukushima No. 1, is responsible for the handling of the radioactive waste and soil within its property, while the Environment Ministry is responsible for the disposal of the 3/11-borne radioactive waste outside the plant, though the law itself does not mention the reuse of soil that has been decontaminated.

The ministry has explained that the 8,000 Bq/kg threshold keeps it consistent with the level of “designated waste materials” stipulated in that special legislation. When people are exposed to waste below 8,000 Bq/kg, the additional radiation exposure is limited to less than 1 millisievert per year, not a level that causes health concerns, according to the ministry.

“Granted, soil with 8,000 Bq/kg of radioactive materials is not one that immediately kills people who touch it,” Oshima said. “But it is low-level radioactive waste nonetheless, and so should be managed properly as such, just like low-level radioactive waste from other nuclear power plants is. It’s just inconceivable that it would be utilized as materials for infrastructure that people will be using often.”

Public support elusive

On Feb. 24, Environment Minister Akihiro Nishimura reiterated the ministry’s stance, telling a news conference that utilization of soil outside the prefecture is “important to realize its final disposal outside the prefecture (of Fukushima).”

“We would like to continue explaining our stance in detail so as to nurture public understanding,” he said.

But to nurture this understanding about an issue as serious as radioactive waste, everyone who has a stake should be involved in the decision-making process, Brown says.

“The strong consensus internationally regarding where to put things like radioactive waste requires full agreement and participation by all of the stakeholders, all of the citizens, everyone who’s involved,” Brown said. “What we usually see often in Japan in general, and certainly regarding the Fukushima issues, is that a decision is made at the top. It’s decided, it’s announced and then they try to persuade people to go along with it. This is the case with the water release issue (as well as) the soil issue.”

Around this spring or summer, the government and Tepco hope to begin discharging water that has all the radioactive nuclides except tritium removed. Construction work is already under way at the seaside plant to install an undersea tunnel, through which the water will be released 1 kilometer offshore.

The so-called JESCO law, which went into effect in 2014, gives legal grounds for the creation of the government-funded entity that runs the interim storage site, as well as the obligation for the central government to move the soil out of Fukushima by 2045. The obligation was written into law following a political compromise with the Fukushima Prefectural Government, with officials from the national government saying they “considered the excessive burden” being shouldered by the people of Fukushima.

Both Oshima and Brown, however, say they find the government’s plan to recycle the dirt out of line.

In fact, Oshima says the best solution would be to set aside an area and make it a controlled zone for all the polluted soil for 50 years until the radioactive cesium decays, which is how waste from other nuclear plants is handled, and is what the final disposal site is going to look like.

He cites a 2017 report by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency that estimated the size of the area needed for final disposal, which should be ready by 2045. If the volume of the soil is estimated at 20 million cubic meters, a subsurface ground facility for its final disposal will need to measure about 1.3 km by 1.3 km, the report concluded.

“It may sound like a huge space, but both the national government and Tepco have vacant land plots of that size,” Oshima said. Once the soil’s use as construction materials is greenlighted, however, it would be transported nationwide, and it would be impossible to track and measure its radiation doses, he argued.

“If the soil is properly stored in a controlled area, it would make the public feel so much more at ease.”

March 10, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, Reference, wastes | Leave a comment

“Thermal fatigue” is causing flaws in the cooling pipes of France’s nuclear reactors

Electricite de France SA discovered new defects at two of its nuclear
reactors that were halted for maintenance and repairs, raising fresh
concerns that its electricity output will remain largely constrained this
year after plunging in 2022.

Flaws tied to so-called thermal fatigue have
been found on the pipes of the Penly-2 and Cattenom-3 reactors, the utility
said in a statement. The pipes have been replaced as part of broader
repairs related to “stress corrosion” cracks — a different type of
faults — that are affecting emergency cooling pipes of some of the EDF’s
atomic plants, according to the nuclear safety authority.

The nuclear giant has been forced to halt more than a dozen of its 56 reactors for months of repairs since it first found signs of such stress corrosion phenomenon in
late 2021. The announcement comes just days after the country’s nuclear
safety authority asked EDF to revise its program of reactor checks
following the utility’s discovery of a “significant” stress corrosion
crack earlier this year on its Penly-1 reactor. EDF said it will propose an
update of its reactor check strategy to the watchdog in the coming days.

The fresh setbacks could force EDF to carry out more extensive checks on
its atomic plants, reviving concern that France will have to import large
amounts of power this year. Last year, worries about electricity shortages
combined with dwindling deliveries of Russian gas pushed European energy
prices to records.

Bloomberg 10th March 2023

March 10, 2023 Posted by | France, safety | 1 Comment

British government poised to label nuclear as “green”, but investors are not impressed

The British government is poised to redefine nuclear power as “green”
as it seeks to drum up more private investment in the sector to improve
domestic energy resilience. Ministers are set to consult on proposals to
change the so-called “taxonomy” — or financial classification system
— of energy in order to redefine nuclear projects as sustainable
investments. It is expected to lead to a reversal of the decision by the
Treasury as recently as 2021 to exclude nuclear power from the so-called
green investment framework.

The move echoes a decision last year by the
European Commission to label both nuclear and some forms of gas as
“green” investments, which prompted legal challenges from Greenpeace
and a coalition of WWF and Client Earth.

The consultation comes as thegovernment is set to provide about £80mn

in seed funding for the launch ofGreat British Nuclear, a new body which will

oversee plans to build a new
generation of nuclear power stations in the UK, according to two people
familiar with the negotiations. Ministers are anxious to accelerate the
programme which has been dogged by delays and cost overruns on the only new
nuclear plant under construction at Hinkley Point in Somerset. The
government, together with French state-backed utility EDF, are trying to
raise £20bn in private finance for the next power station at Sizewell in

But investors have shown little interest in backing greenfield
nuclear projects, because of the construction risks in the highly
regulated, safety- critical sector. All new nuclear projects across Europe
have been hit by delays and big cost overruns.

Nick Stansbury, head of
climate solutions at Legal and General Investment Management, warned that
the changes to the taxonomy were unlikely to drive investment. Ministers
will also update their strategy for reaching net zero by 2050 after a judge
ruled last July that the original document provided insufficient detail and
gave the government a deadline to rewrite it by the end of this month. The
energy department refused to comment.

FT 9th March 2023

March 10, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

On anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, Australia must stand firm against nuclear

Many Australians are unaware of our country’s direct connection with this disaster.

In October 2011 it was formally confirmed to the federal parliament that Australian uranium was fuelling the Fukushima complex at the time of the disaster.

Dave Sweeney 10 March 2023

It is now a dozen years since the world held its breath and learned to pronounce the word Fukushima.

On March 11, 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated large areas along Japan’s eastern coastline.

It also breached the safety and back-up systems of the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO’s) Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power stations, leading to a meltdown, mass evacuations, hundreds of billions of dollars in economic loss and the release of large volumes of radioactive contamination to the ocean and air.

More than $A120 billion has already been spent stabilising the stricken site, but the crisis continues today.

Following the disaster large volumes of radioactive water were collected and stored. This includes water used to cool nuclear fuel rods along with contaminated groundwater, rainwater and seepage water.

Between one and three hundred tonnes of water are collected each day and there are more than 1000 large tanks holding around 1.3 million tonnes of contaminated water on site.

TEPCO proposes to directly discharge this waste to the Pacific, starting later this year.

TEPCO intends to treat the water prior to discharge to remove some contaminants using a process known as the Advanced Liquid Processing System (ALPS).

This pumping and filtration process is meant to remove and dilute radioactive isotopes from the liquid, but some remain, in particular tritium.

There are concerns the proposed treatment also fails to deal adequately with other contaminants, including strontium, iodine and cobalt.

The proposed ocean dumping has horrified coastal and fishing communities in Japan and in Korea and China.

It is also a cause for growing concern and heartache among the wider Pacific community, given the adverse environmental and cultural impacts and the tension between the planned action and the prohibition of radioactive waste dumping in the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty (1985).

The Pacific Islands Forum engaged an independent expert advisory panel to undertake a detailed assessment of the dumping plan.

This criticised the assumptions, data analysis and modelling underpinning TEPCO’s approach.

In August 2022 the advisory panel told the forum the plan was premature, lacked a sound scientific basis and should be postponed until there had been a detailed consideration of alternative options.

ACF, the Medical Association for Prevention of War and other civil society groups are urging the federal Labor government to add Australia’s voice to those calling for a halt to the current plan in favour of an evidence based and agreed approach to this pressing transboundary and transgenerational issue.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General Henry Puna said the ultimate goal must be ‘to safeguard the Blue Pacific – our ocean, our environment, and our peoples – from any further nuclear contamination. This is the legacy we must leave for our children.’

The Pacific is a place of richness, life and culture. It is not a sewer.

Many Australians are unaware of our country’s direct connection with this disaster.

In October 2011 it was formally confirmed to the federal parliament that Australian uranium was fuelling the Fukushima complex at the time of the disaster.

The then head of the Australian Safeguards and Nuclear Safety Office – a unit of DFAT charged with tracking Australian uranium – told a Senate Committee, “we can confirm that Australian obligated nuclear material {uranium} was at the Fukushima Daiichi site and in each of the reactors.”

Australian radioactive rocks are the source of Fukushima’s fallout and waste.

And large volumes of this waste are now planned to be directly released into the Pacific Ocean.

We cannot change the past, but we can act to shape the future.

The time is right for the Albanese government to join with the wider Pacific community and formally ask Japan to defer the planned direct ocean dumping of contaminated and instead look at alternative waste management options.

While our federal government has been quick to emphasise that Australia’s involvement in AUKUS does not signal a move towards domestic nuclear power or nuclear weapons, the partnership’s promise of nuclear-powered submarines poses new environmental and security risks to Australian ports, shipyards and seas – including the seas we share with our Pacific neighbours.

And nuclear power enthusiasts in the Coalition and on Sky News after dark continue to push for unpopular and unnecessary nuclear electricity.

Against the shadow of Fukushima, the latest pro-nuclear push in Australia is ill-judged, insensitive and wholly inappropriate.

Our future must be renewable, not radioactive.

Dave Sweeney is the Australian Conservation Foundation’s nuclear free campaigner

March 10, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Britain’s “Regulated Asset Base” funding method for nuclear power is deemed not likely to work

National Infrastructure Commission model spells trouble for nuclear RAB
funding. Dr Jim Cuthbert questions whether the government’s funding method
for its nuclear power programme provides value for money, given it now
expects the plants to take nearly twice as long to build.

A major part of
the government’s energy strategy is a programme of eight new nuclear power
stations, to be funded by the Regulatory Asset Base (RAB) funding method.
One of the main features of RAB is that it involves consumers paying from
the start of construction for benefits they will only begin to receive when
construction is completed, and the plant is producing electricity.

One of
the key questions that should be answered in assessing whether a RAB-funded
project should go ahead is whether the eventual benefit consumers could
receive, in this case through cheaper electricity charges in the long run,
is enough to compensate them for the opportunity cost of the payments made
while receiving no benefit.

Given the long construction periods now
anticipated for new nuclear plants, it is unlikely that RAB financing will
be able to attain a sufficient cost advantage to do so. In 2019, the
National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) produced a paper on the
application of the RAB approach to nuclear energy, illustrating a
methodology including an approach to answering the above key question.

The NIC paper set out the results of illustrative calculations of the impact of
a range of factors on the likely value for money of RAB projects.
Unfortunately, it is something of a mixed bag. On the negative side, the
results in the paper are not presented in a way that allows the impact of
different factors to be separately identified: and, critically, the NIC
makes a central assumption about the likely length of the construction
period for new nuclear projects only about half of what the government now
assumes. On the plus side, having clarified with the NIC what methodology
it was using in the opportunity cost component of their model, their basic
approach seems sensible.

Although not clear from the original NIC paper,
the length of the construction period has a critical effect on the likely
value for money of a RAB-funded nuclear project. If the NIC’s basic model
is applied to a project with the government’s current assumption of a
13-to-17-year-long construction period, instead of the NIC’s central
assumption of eight years, then RAB nuclear is unlikely to achieve a
sufficient cost advantage over alternative approaches to compensate
consumers for the opportunity cost of their initial payments.

Public Finance 9th March 2023

March 10, 2023 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Low-dose radiation linked to increased lifetime risk of heart disease

by British Medical Journal, 8 March 23,

Exposure to low doses of ionizing radiation is associated with a modestly increased excess risk of heart disease, finds an analysis of the latest evidence published by The BMJ today.

The researchers say these findings “have implications for patients who undergo radiation exposure as part of their medical care, as well as policy makers involved in managing radiation risks to radiation workers and the public.”

A linked editorial suggests that these risks “should now be carefully considered in protection against radiation in medicine and elsewhere.”

It’s well recognized that exposure to high dose radiation can damage the heart, but firm evidence linking low dose radiation to heart disease (e.g., scatter radiation dose from radiotherapy or working in the nuclear industry) is less clear.

To address this knowledge gap, an international team of researchers examined scientific databases for studies evaluating links between a range of cardiovascular diseases and exposure to radiation (mostly radiotherapy and occupational exposures).

They excluded uninformative datasets or those largely duplicating others, leaving 93 studies, published mainly during the past decade, suitable for analysis. These studies covered a broad range of doses, brief and prolonged exposures, and evaluated frequency (incidence) and mortality of various types of vascular diseases.

After taking account of other important factors, such as age at exposure, the researchers found consistent evidence for a dose dependent increase in cardiovascular risks across a broad range of radiation doses.

For example, the relative risk per gray (Gy) increased for all cardiovascular disease and for specific types of cardiovascular disease, and there was a higher relative risk per dose unit at lower dose ranges (less than 0.1 Gy), and also for lower dose rates (multiple exposures over hours to years).

At a population level, excess absolute risks ranged from 2.33% per Gy for a current England and Wales population to 3.66% per Gy for Germany, largely reflecting the underlying rates of cardiovascular disease mortality in these populations.

This equates to a modest but significantly increased excess lifetime risk of 2.3-3.9 cardiovascular deaths per 100 persons exposed to one Gy of radiation, explain the authors.

Substantial variation was found between studies, although this was markedly reduced when the authors restricted their analysis to higher quality studies or to those at moderate doses (less than 0.5 Gy) or low dose rates (less than 5 mGy/h).

The authors suggest that mechanisms for these cardiovascular effects are poorly understood, even at high dose.

They also acknowledge that few studies assessed the possible modifying effects of lifestyle and medical risk factors on radiation risk, particularly major modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease like smoking, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and say further research is needed in this area.

In conclusion, they say their findings support an association between acute high dose and (to a lesser extent) chronic low dose radiation exposure and most types of cardiovascular disease and suggest that “radiation detriment might have been significantly underestimated, implying that radiation protection and optimization at low doses should be rethought.”

This view is supported by Professor Anssi Auvinen at Tampere University in Finland in a linked editorial, who points out that while inconsistencies and gaps remain in the evidence linking vascular disease to low dose radiation exposure, “evidence for cardiovascular disease will soon need to be added to the existing list of radiation-induced health risks.”

This will involve revisiting concepts and standards in radiological protection, while more stringent standards for justification and optimization, especially for high dose procedures, will have to be considered, he explains.

Their implementation will also require training to improve awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the risks associated with specific procedures and cumulative exposure, as well as risk communication for patients and the public, he concludes.

March 10, 2023 Posted by | radiation, Reference, UK | Leave a comment

Australian corporate papers call for war with China, nuclear weapons and mass conscription

Oscar GrenfellSEP candidate for NSW Legislative Council, 10 Mar, 2023,

In a militarist barrage, Nine Media and its main mastheads—the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age—published a major series this week insisting that Australia must prepare to fight an imminent war against China.

“Red alert” called for the stationing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles in northern Australia, the introduction of mass conscription and preparations for the country to host as many as 200,000 US military personnel.

The articles are a demand for total war, not far off in the future, but as an immediate practical order of business. The series stressed that a war will be fought in the Indo-Pacific, not in twenty years or a decade, but within the next three years.

The multi-part series was not published in response to any specific development. Over the past week, there has not been a major geo-political occurrence in the region. China has not carried out any acts of aggression.

Instead, “Red alert” is part of a coordinated onslaught by those sections of the US and allied media that speak directly for the American military-intelligence apparatus. In concert, publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have published frothing condemnations of China. It is as though someone in the White House, the Pentagon or both flicked a switch that sent out an alert to their lackeys in the media.

The provocative attacks on Beijing come as the US and NATO escalate their proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. It is becoming ever more open that the war effort in Eastern Europe is one prong of a far broader militarist project. The US is seeking to inflict a crippling military defeat on Russia, as the essential prelude to war with China, which is viewed as the chief threat to American imperialist interests.

“Red alert” was couched as an “independent” review by five “experts” of Australia’s capabilities to fight a major war over the coming years. It was timed to precede the release of an official review commissioned by the federal Labor government, due out later this month. The claims of “independence” are a violation of the most basic journalistic ethics and standards related to disclosure.

One is employed directly by the Australian government, four are employed by or contribute to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, one of the most hawkish government-funded think tanks, or the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, which is among the most militaristic Washington think tanks.  In other words, they could not be any less independent. They are mouthpieces of the state apparatus, as well as of private arms manufacturers that are making a fortune on the back of the military build-up.

The contents of the “Red alert” review are no less false than its purported independence. The series is a compendium of the lies, double speak and incendiary accusations used by Washington and its allies in the Australian political establishment to justify an aggressive military encirclement of China.

The timeline featured by “Red alert,” of a war with China within three years, comes straight from the American military. It is simply a promotion of views advanced by US Air Force General Michael Minihan, who earlier this year forecast an American war with China by 2025.

The supposed cause of such a war advanced by “Red alert” is identical to that put forward by Minihan. The Chinese government would purportedly launch an invasion of Taiwan, compelling US intervention and rapidly spiralling into an all-out war.

“Red alert” tries to present the US, as well as its allies, such as Australia, as engaging in a defensive effort on behalf of “little Taiwan,” as they have supposedly done in defence of “little Ukraine.” This depiction is a fraud on every level.

The US has been carrying out a vast military build-up throughout the Indo-Pacific since it unveiled the “pivot to Asia” in 2011. The Pentagon has outlined an “Air Sea Battle” plan as to how an aggressive US war against China would be waged. Chief US strategists have openly acknowledged that this is motivated by fears of China’s economic rise, and American imperialism’s relative decline.

Taiwan is simply a pretext. The US and its allies have sought to transform it into a flashpoint. Successive US governments, beginning with Obama, have undermined the status quo. Since the 1970s, the international community, including American administrations, de facto acknowledged the Chinese Communist Party as the sole legitimate government of all of China, including Taiwan, located just 160 kilometres from mainland China.

But now, Biden has repeatedly declared that the US would fight a war to defend Taiwanese “independence.” His administration has tripled US forces on the island, while directly providing military aid and expanding diplomatic ties with Taipei. The aim is to provoke a Chinese response, which would serve as the justification for longstanding US war plans.

“Red alert” asserts that such a war would immediately become region-wide. Australia would be involved from the outset and within 72 hours of such a conflict, there would be Chinese attacks on Australian cyber networks and critical infrastructure. The US Pine Gap spy and military coordination base in central Australia would be a target, as would other Australian-US installations.

The series declares that in the event of such a war, as many as 200,000 American troops would descend on Northern Australia. That is, 47,000 less than the entire population of the Northern Territory, meaning the entire region would be transformed into a massive US base.

“Red alert” links this scenario to a call for the acquisition of major missile systems and other offensive weaponry. This is in line with a rapid build-up already underway, which is being dramatically accelerated by the Labor government. Virtually every week, there is a new announcement of military acquisition, be it sea mines, US HIMARS or naval strike missiles.

Conscious of the historic opposition to war among workers and young people, the document cites the necessity to break the “taboos” of conscription and nuclear weapons.

Perhaps the one note of truth in the series is its description of what a major war in the Indo-Pacific would involve. It would be a “whole of nation” effort, essentially requiring the militarisation of the entire society.

Along these lines, the “Red alert” series calls for the introduction of conscription. This would involve not only teenagers and young adults, but potentially anyone required for the war effort in what would be a war economy and the militarisation of society.

The series also advocates the stationing of US nuclear weapons in Northern Australia, on long-range missile systems that could fire them into the Indo-Pacific. As is the case whenever such proposals are made, the “experts” assert that this would serve as a “deterrent.” But they contradict themselves because in the previous parts of the series, the “experts” insisted that war is inevitable. The inescapable conclusion is that they are calling for nuclear war.

“Red alert” serves several purposes. It comes amid a debate within the Australian ruling elite, over Australia’s full alignment with the US war drive against China. A minority wing has voiced concerns over the implications of this. It is not anti-war or anti-imperialist, but fears that war with Australia’s largest trading partner will devastate the economy while provoking mass social and political upheavals.

The dominant sections of the political establishment, however, are all the way with the US. Australia, as a middle-order power, has always functioned under the umbrella of the dominant power of the day to prosecute its own imperialist interests. Australia, moreover, is completely integrated into the US war machine, meaning its participation in a conflict with China would be automatic.

This integration is only deepening. Next week, Labor Prime Minister Albanese will stand alongside President Biden in San Diego, as they announce that Australia will purchase US nuclear-powered submarines. The Labor government has already permitted nuclear-capable American B-52 bombers to “rotate” through northern Australia, meaning American nuclear weapons may already be stationed here.

The primary target of the “Red alert” series is the population itself. Its authors write about the need to change Australian “psychology.” They know that their mad plans for war are deeply opposed by the vast mass of workers and young people.

Conscription provoked massive social upheavals, both in World War I and during the Vietnam War. There is likewise a long history of broad opposition to nuclear weapons.

The propaganda blitz is aimed at bulldozing these popular sentiments by asserting that there is no alternative but to fight a war. A conflict is inevitable, so the population will simply have to accept it.

But the response to “Red alert” itself shows that this will not happen. The series has received a torrent of hostile commentary on social media. The Sydney Morning Herald posted the final part, containing the recommendation for nuclear weapons and conscription, to its Twitter account yesterday. The tweet has been viewed by 161,000 people. But only 20 of them hit the like button. While proclaiming the need for an “open” and “bold” discussion, the Herald has hidden all responses to its Twitter post.

The type of war that “Red alert” advocates is incompatible with democracy. That is the real meaning of the comments by the “experts” on the “Zelensky test.” They are referencing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a front man for the US and NATO. The “Zelensky test” is a willingness to place the entire country on a war footing. In Ukraine, this has involved the banning of all opposition parties and the promotion of fascist and Nazi forces.

The working class must take a sharp warning from the “Red alert” series and the broader turn to war with China. Longstanding plans for a catastrophic conflict are being activated. Governments and their mouthpieces are not only asserting that war is near. They are making it so.

This is a product of the deepest crisis of the profit system since the 1930s. The alternative to the catastrophe that is being prepared is the fight to build an international anti-war movement of the working class directed against the capitalist system itself and fighting for the socialist reorganisation of society.

March 10, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Meet the man who uncovered the scandal of nuclear testing in South Australia

In the 1950s and ’60s, the British government conducted nuclear tests in Maralinga, a remote region of South Australia, with little understanding or forethought of the public health problems the fallout might cause. The harmful, sometimes deadly impact of these tests not only affected military conscripts, roped in without any real warning of the potential dangers, but private Australian citizens as well – and especially Indigenous peoples. Accounts of a Nuclear Whistleblower details this dark, somewhat forgotten chapter in Australia’s history via a firsthand account from Avon Hudson who, as a member of the Royal Australian Air Force, was stationed in dangerous proximity to these detonations, and later worked to expose their devastation and enduring threat. Hudson’s activism would ultimately help to precipitate the establishment in 1984 of the Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia.

Via Director’s Library Director: Naveed Farro 7 March 2023

March 10, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fake ‘nuclear bomb’ alert on TV and radio scares Russians

Moscow viewers and radio listeners spooked by fake warning

William Mata

Hackers took over Russian state media on Thursday to tell listeners to rush to nuclear bomb shelters and take anti-radiation pills.

Radio and television broadcasts in Moscow and the western Sverdlovsk area were interrupted with a phony warning of a missile strike on the country.

The Kremlin blamed the false alarm, which told listeners to take potassium iodine, put on gas masks and seek shelter, on a cyber attack.

“Urgent message. There was a strike,” a Russian voice boomed, while television viewers were presented with a map of Russia being covered in red.

“Urgently go to a shelter,” the voice declared. “Seal the premises. Use gas masks of all types.”

The Telegraph reported that after the message was broadcast, screens displayed a black and yellow radiation warning symbol.

“A false air raid alert was broadcast in Moscow after servers of radio stations and TV channels were hacked,” said the Kremlin’s emergency ministry.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the latest cyber attack with it possibly originating from Ukraine dissidents or potentially Russian

It was the third time in the past month that Russian broadcasters have been targeted. Last month a false warning was released in the Crimea urging caution against an incoming missile attack. For this event, Ukraine was blamed. A similar broadcast was run a week later during Vladimir Putin’s state of the union address.

Ukraine has not taken responsibility for any of the alleged cyber attacks……………………….

March 10, 2023 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Nuclear reactor: a deep crack discovered at Penly 1 risks destabilizing EDF

Nuclear reactor: a deep crack discovered at Penly 1 risks destabilizing
EDF. A new “stress corrosion” problem found by the the company on a
shutdown reactor in Seine-Maritime could have significant repercussions,
due to its size and location.

The discovery could have serious consequences
for EDF. The company detected a major crack on a weld of an emergency
circuit of a shutdown reactor, Penly 1, in Seine-Maritime, a new problem
for the energy giant whose nuclear fleet is heavily disturbed since 2021 by
these phenomena.

In a note, which went unnoticed until its media coverage
on Tuesday by the Context site , EDF mentioned having detected a
“significant stress corrosion defect” on an emergency pipe used to cool
the reactor in an emergency. For Yves Marignac, ” the fact that larger
cracks are possible raises the question of keeping the 6 reactors of the
same type P’4″ in operation while awaiting their preventive repair” ,
announced in December by EDF for the current year 2023.

Liberation 8th March 2023

March 10, 2023 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

What´s happening at Fukushima plant 12 years after meltdown? Massive amounts of fatally radioactive melted nuclear fuel remain inside the reactors.

Japan is preparing to release a massive amount of treated radioactive wastewater
into the sea. Japanese officials say the release is unavoidable and should
start soon.

Dealing with the wastewater is less of a challenge than the
daunting task of decommissioning the plant. That process has barely
progressed, and the removal of melted nuclear fuel hasn´t even started.
TEPCO needs a safety approval from the Nuclear Regulation Authority.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, collaborating with Japan to ensure the
project meets international standards, will send a mission to Japan and
issue a report before the discharge begins………………………..

Massive amounts of fatally radioactive melted nuclear
fuel remain inside the reactors. Robotic probes have provided some
information but the status of the melted debris is largely unknown. Akira
Ono, who heads the cleanup as president of TEPCO´s decommissioning unit,
says the work is “unconceivably difficult.” Earlier this year, a
remote-controlled underwater vehicle successfully collected a tiny sample
from inside Unit 1’s reactor – only a spoonful of about 880 tons of melted
fuel debris in the three reactors.

That’s 10 times the amount of damaged
fuel removed at the Three Mile Island cleanup following its 1979 partial
core melt. Trial removal of melted debris will begin in Unit 2 later this
year after a nearly two-year delay. Spent fuel removal from Unit 1
reactor´s cooling pool is to start in 2027 after a 10-year delay. Once all
the spent fuel is removed the focus will turn in 2031 to taking melted
debris out of the reactors.

Daily Mail 9th March 2023

March 10, 2023 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

NATO fighter jets, U.S. nuclear bombers run combat drills over Romania — Anti-bellum

NATOAllied Air CommandMarch 10, 2023 Allied fighters and heavy bombers conduct NATO mission over Romania United States Air Force B-52s and Allied fighters conducted coordinated combined air-to-ground drills over Romania further improving Allied capabilities on March 9. Allied Air Command led a dynamic long-range operation above Romania with the Combined Air Operations Centre at Torrejón […]

NATO fighter jets, U.S. nuclear bombers run combat drills over Romania — Anti-bellum

March 10, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The narrow field of options for safely managing Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant

By Mark Hibbs | March 10, 2023 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,

One year after Russia’s assault and takeover of the Zaporizhzhia plant, Russians and Ukrainians face decisions about the operation status of the six reactors that will significantly impact nuclear safety and security. Decision makers might mothball the reactors, or instead elect one or more of a range of modes for operating them, on a scale from cold shutdown to resumed criticality and low-power operation…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 the safest option for the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant would be to shut all reactors down, depressurize the circuits, and remove their fuel until the end of the war. As an IAEA peer reviewer in one European country with similar reactors said: “There would be no heat, no pressure, no radioactivity, and no severe accident.”

But the plant’s fuel inventory is another key consideration in decisions about how or if the Zaporizhzhia reactors are to be run. If removed from reactor cores, hot, highly radioactive fuel must be safely stored and contained. 

Ukraine regulations require that the spent fuel storage pool at each reactor accommodate a full core of fuel in an emergency. As part of EU post-Fukushima upgrades, Zaporizhzhia reactors were outfitted with portable equipment to supply water in an emergency to spent fuel pools and to reactor cores. But moving a core of fuel into a pool would significantly increase the heat load, and safe storage margins might be limited following previous re-racking to pack more fuel in the pools.

Safety authorities may ultimately decide that the fuel would be better protected if left in the reactors, since they were designed to protect and cool the fuel including in an emergency. Separately, the owner/operator may not want to undertake prolonged outages of de-fueled reactors in the interest of limiting restart authorization requirements…………………………………

March 10, 2023 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia Seeks U.S. Security Pledges, Nuclear Help

Agreement could upend Middle East geopolitics but faces daunting obstacles

Saudi Arabia is asking the U.S. to provide security guarantees and help to develop its civilian nuclear program as Washington tries to broker diplomatic relations between the kingdom and Israel, people involved in discussions between the two countries said.

Striking a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia has become a priority for President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid a looming confrontation with Iran over its nuclear program and military aid to Russia during the Ukraine war. The Biden administration is deeply involved in the complex negotiations, the people said, and any deal would reshape the Middle East’s political landscape……………(Subscribers only)

March 10, 2023 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia | Leave a comment