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A dangerous idea to abandon nuclear arms treaties with Russia

Abandoning nuclear arms treaties with Russia is bad idea  https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/opinion/contributors/2019/07/22/op-ed-abandoning-nuclear-arms-treaties-russia-bad-idea/1795240001/

Ivo Daalder, Chicago Tribune  July 22, 2019  For more than 50 years, the United States and Russia have agreed that their own security required negotiating agreements limiting their nuclear weapons deployments and capabilities. In that time, the two countries have successfully concluded seven major agreements to reduce their nuclear arsenals. The last of these, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, was signed in 2010 and capped each side’s deployed warheads at 1,550.

Yet, the nuclear arms control edifice that was built up over half a century is in danger of coming apart. The Trump administration has decided to withdraw from one major agreement, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, citing Russian violations. And it has shown no interest in extending New START before it expires 18 months from now.

Behind both decisions is the idea that U.S.-Russian arms control has become an anachronism, and that future arms control efforts must now also include Chinese capabilities. While Russia’s apparent deployment of a banned ground-based nuclear missile provided the formal reason for abandoning the INF Treaty, President Donald Trump also cited China’s unconstrained deployment of intermediate-range missiles as a justification for ending the agreement. And rather than extending New START for five years, administration officials suggest that any future accord must also limit Chinese nuclear weapons.

After more than 50 years of U.S.-Russian arms control negotiations and agreements, there is scope for thinking anew about how best to reduce nuclear dangers. But abandoning long-standing agreements and conditioning any new negotiations on including China are not the best way to do that.

It took the United States and Soviet Union standing at the very brink of nuclear war, at the height of the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, to understand the importance of managing their nuclear capabilities through negotiations.

After the crisis, both countries instituted a hotline so they could communicate to avert misunderstandings. They agreed to ban above-ground nuclear testing and negotiated a treaty to limit the spread of nuclear weapons. And they began the effort to limit and ultimately reduce the number and type of weapons each side could deploy. As important, both accepted intrusive inspection regimes designed not only to verify compliance with the terms of the agreements but to enhance mutual confidence that neither side was seeking a decisive nuclear advantage.

The true lesson of the Cuban missile crisis was that countries could miscalculate each other’s actions and intentions, raising the very real risk of nuclear confrontation. The commitment to dialogue, to engage in extensive talks on strategic stability and negotiate real limits on capabilities, and to open each country up to foreign inspectors, helped create confidence that for all the differences between them, the United States and Russia shared an overriding need to avoid a nuclear war.

That effort has proven exceedingly successful. Nuclear arsenals, though still far too large, have been sharply reduced. Nuclear crises like Cuba have been avoided. And while there have been questions about compliance, none of the violations ever constituted a threat so dire as to heighten the risk of nuclear confrontation.

U.S.-Russian arms control has worked in its most fundamental aim — to reduce the chance of war, especially nuclear war. That is why the decision to withdraw from the INF Treaty next month is a mistake. The new Russian missile deployment is a violation and has to be addressed, and the treaty contains procedures for doing so. If the violation persists, there are ways to punish Russia, through sanctions and other means. But withdrawing from a treaty that has served the United States and its European allies well for decades risks an arms race that is destabilizing and unwinnable.

The same is true for New START. Russia has indicated it is willing to extend its terms for five years. The United States has nothing to lose by agreeing to its extension, thus limiting Russian nuclear deployments and extending the highly intrusive inspection measures that provide real insight into Russian capabilities.

There is a case to be made for including China in future nuclear negotiations, though its nuclear deployments of some 200 weapons is but a small fraction of what the United States and Russia still possess. Russia, moreover, will no doubt also insist on including the similarly-sized French and British nuclear forces in such a multilateral negotiation, a prospect that neither Paris nor London is likely to welcome.

It will no doubt take time, and real effort, to decide on a new negotiating framework beyond the two major nuclear powers. Until such time, both Washington and Moscow will be much better off if the nuclear framework they have developed over the past 50 years remains in place.

— Ivo Daalder is the president of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and a former U.S. ambassador to NATO.

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July 23, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

40 years, $2.5bn costs as 4 Fukushima Daini nuclear reactors to be shut down

Tepco to retire remaining reactors in Fukushima  https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Tepco-to-retire-remaining-reactors-in-Fukushima  Decommissioning is expected to take 40 years and cost $2.5bn JULY 20, 2019  TOKYO — Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings will scrap the four Fukushima Prefecture reactors that escaped damage in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, moving to decommission all of the nuclear power plants the public utility owns in the disaster-stricken region.

The shutdown of the Fukushima Daini plant, which is located just 12km away from the Daiichi Plant crippled by fuel meltdowns, will be formally authorized at the company’s board meeting at the end of the month. This marks the first decision by the utility, known as Tepco, to decommission nuclear reactors apart from the Daiichi facilities.

Costs for decommissioning Fukushima Daini are estimated to exceed 270 billion yen ($2.5 billion). While Tepco’s reserves are not enough to cover them, the government adopted new accounting rules allowing operators to spread a large loss from decommissioning over multiple years. The company also believes it has secured enough people with necessary expertise to move forward.

Tepco soon will inform Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori of its decision. The utility intends to submit the decommissioning plan to Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority by March next year.

The decision means all 10 reactors in Fukushima will be scrapped. The Daini reactors will be decommissioned in roughly 40 years, sharing the same timetable as the Daiichi site. Tepco owns one other nuclear plant, the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa facility in Niigata Prefecture.

The Daini plant, where each reactor produced 1.1 gigawatts of power, served the Tokyo area for about three decades. Japan’s central government sought to restart the complex but faced withering opposition from local residents in Fukushima.

Including the Fukushima Daini facilities, a total of 21 reactors across Japan are now slated for decommissioning. Recent additions include two units at the Ikata plant in Ehime Prefecture and one reactor at the Onagawa facility in Miyagi Prefecture.

July 23, 2019 Posted by | decommission reactor, Japan | Leave a comment

Climate change continues to affect France’s nuclear power industry

EDF could extend Golfech nuclear power plant outage because of heatwave,  https://www.euronews.com/2019/07/22/edf-could-extend-golfech-nuclear-power-plant-outage-because-of-heatwave

July 23, 2019 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

Vote about to happen on subsidising Ohio nuclear power stations

July 23, 2019 Posted by | politics, USA | Leave a comment

Swedish climate champion Greta Thunberg has received the first Freedom Prize in France

Greta Thunberg awarded first Normandy Freedom Prize

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg wins France’s first Freedom Prize,  SBS News, A 16-year-old Swedish climate champion has received the first Freedom Prize in France, and has urged people to recognise the link between climate change and “mass migration, famine and war.”

Swedish teen climate change activist Greta Thunberg, whose Friday school strikes protesting government inaction over climate change helped spark a worldwide movement, has received the first Freedom Prize in France.

Flanked by two WWII veterans who sponsor the prize, the 16-year-old accepted the award at a ceremony in the northwestern city of Caen, Normandy, on Sunday.

“This prize is not only for me,” Greta said. “This is for the whole Fridays for Future movement because this we have achieved together.”

She said she would donate the AU$28,000 prize money to four organisations working for climate justice and helping areas already affected by climate change.

The prize was awarded before an audience of several hundred people and in the presence of several D-Day veterans, including France’s Leon Gautier and US native American Charles Norman Shay.

Greta said she had spent an unforgettable day with Mr Shay on Omaha Beach, one of the sites of the 1944 Normandy landings that launched the Allied offensive that helped end World War II.

Paying tribute to their sacrifice, she said: “the least we can do to honour them is to stop destroying that same world that Charles, Leon and their friends and colleagues fought so hard to save for us.”

Mr Shay said that young people should be prepared to “defend what they believe in.”………

She said the “link between climate and ecological emergency and mass migration, famine and war was still not clear to many people” and urged change.

The Freedom Prize was set up to honour the values embodied by the Normandy landings. Its winner is chosen by a worldwide online poll of respondents aged between 15 and 25……https://www.sbs.com.au/news/teen-climate-activist-greta-thunberg-wins-france-s-first-freedom-prize

July 23, 2019 Posted by | climate change, France | Leave a comment

UK Consumers face financial burden of future nuclear projects even before they are built

New UK nuclear plants could be paid for upfront through energy bills, Consumers face financial burden of future projects even before they are built Ft.com, David Sheppard and Harry Dempsey, 22 July 19, 

 The UK government has thrown its backing behind proposals to finance new nuclear plants by having taxpayers pay upfront through their energy bills as it looks to reinvigorate a sector beset by cancellations and high costs. The consultation on the new financing model, which aims to lower overall costs by having consumers fund future nuclear projects before they are built, comes as the government targets cutting carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

Half of all new nuclear projects planned in the UK have collapsed in the past year after failing to secure the necessary private financing, including Hitachi’s decision to suspend the £20bn Wylfa plant in north Wales and Toshiba’s cancellation of its development in Moorside, Cumbria. Seven of the UK’s eight existing nuclear plants are set to close by 2030.

But the proposal is likely to face criticism for loading risks on to consumers and the government at a time when renewable alternatives to nuclear like wind and solar are rapidly becoming cheaper. Boris Johnson, who is widely expected to become prime minister later this week, has in the past supported nuclear projects but also criticised their high costs.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which is launching a three-month consultation on the proposals, said it believed the new financing model had the “potential to reduce the cost of raising private finance . . . thereby reducing consumer bills”.

France’s state-backed EDF Energy has been a vocal champion for the proposed model, known as Regulated Asset Base or RAB, after the cost of its Hinkley Point project in Somerset was heavily criticised for its cost to consumers.

BEIS said using an RAB model for future projects was suitable as companies such as EDF would look to replicate the Hinkley Point design in future plants. EDF said on Monday that its proposed Sizewell C plant would be a “near replica” and therefore “cheaper to construct and finance”. …..

Greenpeace UK’s chief scientist Doug Parr criticised the proposal saying it would shift liabilities from private investors to taxpayers. “The nuclear industry has gone in just 10 years from saying they need no subsidies to asking bill payers to fork out for expensive power plants that don’t even exist yet, and may never,” Mr Parr said.

The government is expected to release its highly anticipated energy white paper in summer, which will indicate future electricity generation plans, with the UK’s 2013 energy strategy widely seen as defunct due to the faltering nuclear projects. https://www.ft.com/content/e2cf07ae-acaa-11e9-8030-530adfa879c2

July 23, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

WHAT MAKES IRAN STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND AGAINST A SUPERPOWER LIKE THE USA? — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

Posted on 17/07/2019 by Elijah J Magnier By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s the Islamic Republic of Iran deployed the slogan “Karbala, Karbala we are coming” ( كربلا كربلا ما دارييم مياييم) to “defend the value of Islam”. In Syria the battle cry “Zeinab shall not be abducted twice” helped mobilise Shia allies and […]

via WHAT MAKES IRAN STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND AGAINST A SUPERPOWER LIKE THE USA? — Uprootedpalestinians’s Blog

July 23, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

July 22 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “US Shale Is Doomed No Matter What They Do” • As financial stress sets in for US shale companies, some are trying to drill their way out of the problem, while others are cutting costs. The problems they face, however, include the continually falling prices of renewables, which are already out-competing them, and […]

via July 22 Energy News — geoharvey

July 23, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A final vote soon on a $billion bailout for Ohio’s nuclear power stations

July 23, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

ACTIVISTS WALK “CEASE AND DESIST” ORDER INTO NUCLEAR WEAPONS BASE

ACTIVISTS WALK “CEASE AND DESIST” ORDER INTO NUCLEAR WEAPONS BASE  https://riseuptimes.org/2019/07/22/activists-walk-cease-and-desist-order-into-nuclear-weapons-base/ July 22, 2019 · by Rise Up Times 

BÜCHEL, Germany — Eleven international peace activists entered the Büchel Air Base southwest of Frankfurt early this morning to deliver what they called a “Treaty Enforcement Order” declaring that the sharing of US nuclear weapons at the base is a “criminal conspiracy to commit war crimes.”

Upon entering the base’s main gate with a printed “cease and desist order,” they insisted on seeing the base commander to deliver the order in person.

“We refuse to be complicit in this crime,” said Brian Terrell of Voices for Creative Nonviolence in Chicago, Illinois. “We call for the nuclear bombs to be returned to the US immediately. The Germans want these nuclear weapons out of Germany, and so do we.”

The group included people from Germany, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. All eleven were detained by military and civilian authorities and were released after providing identification. This is the third year in a row that a delegation of US peace activists has joined Europeans and others in protesting the US nuclear weapons at Büchel. The local group Nonviolent Action for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (GAAA) convenes the International Action Week, demanding permanent ouster of the US nuclear weapons, cancellation of plans to replace today’s B61s with new hydrogen bombs, and Germany’s ratification of the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

“Delivery of the ‘Cease and Desist Order’ is an act of crime prevention,” said John LaForge, of the US peace group Nukewatch and coordinator of the US delegation. “The authorities think the entry is a matter of trespass. But these nuclear bomb threats violate the UN Charter, the Treaty on Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, and the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.” he said, adding, “Interrupting government criminality is a duty of responsible citizenship.”The activists included: (from the United States) Susan Crane, Richard Bishop, Andrew Lanier, Jr., Brian Terrell, Ralph Hutchison, and Dennis DuVall; (from the UK) Richard Barnard; (from The Netherlands) Margriet Bos, and Susan van der Hijden; and (from Germany) Dietrich Gerstner, and Birke Kleinwächter.

Susan van der Hijden of Amsterdam, who is just back from the US where she visited the Kansas City, Kansas site of a factory working on parts of the new replacement bomb, known as the B61-12. “The planning and training to use the US H-bombs that goes on at Büchel cannot be legal, because organizing mass destruction has been a criminal act since the Nuremberg Trials after WWII,” van der Hijden said.

July 23, 2019 Posted by | Germany, opposition to nuclear, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australia’s government doesn’t mention climate change: it’s not happening in Australia

We are now in a place we’ve never been before https://southwind.com.au/, 

23 July 2019 by Peter Boyer    Australia’s big dry is now its worst drought on record. Which is pretty much the way it is everywhere.  Following a lead from our state and federal governments, today I’m going to avoid the delicate matter of future climate. Instead I’ll focus on what’s happening around us now.

Weather records tell us that June in Australia was 0.26C warmer than average and 31 per cent drier. The first half of 2019 produced the continent’s second warmest and seventh driest conditions in 120 years of records.

In those six months the Murray-Darling Basin had about half its normal rainfall. Basin residents might have coped with this in normal times, but these are not normal times. Dry, warm, high-evaporation weather since January 2017 has left them with conditions they’ve not seen before.

Now it’s official. Rainfall records reveal that today’s Murray-Darling experience is Australia’s worst drought on record – more severe than the Federation, the World War II, the Millennium or any other drought in our recorded history.

Bureau of Meteorology climatologist David Jones told a BOM seminar last week that proxy evidence indicates Australia hasn’t been as dry as this for two or three million years, long before humans existed. This puts the current state of our weather in a completely new place.

Numerous NSW and southern Queensland towns now have emergency water restrictions in place. Many towns in upper Darling catchments calculate their water storage as a few months at most. In Tenterfield they’re pumping already-depleted groundwater to try to keep storage levels stable.

Water is now being carted to the small town of Guyra, 150 km away, but for Tenterfield that’s not an option – at least not a sustainable one. Its businesses and 4000 residents would need 1400 B-double truckloads a month, or nearly 50 each day, to sustain even minimal water use.

The list of towns threatened with losing their water supply is growing, including Warwick and Stanthorpe in Queensland. The larger centres of Tamworth, Armidale, Orange and Dubbo are lining up to join them if good rain doesn’t come this year. The Bureau is not hopeful of that happening.

Running out of water is a nightmare for any community. Cape Town almost ran out a year ago and is still in a tenuous position. In much-larger Chennai on India’s southeast coast, where it hasn’t rained for six months, the situation is dire. Monsoon rain is not expected for another month or two.

This city of 10 million people consumes over 500 million litres a day. The provincial government is now using trains to transport water every day from a half-full storage over 300 km away, but if the city were to run out completely that supply would have to increase 50-fold. That won’t happen.

Early monsoonal downpours in India’s Assam along with Nepal and Bangladesh have brought the opposite problem: too much water, displacing millions of people and killing over 100.  Not far away in the high Himalayas, the rate of glacier melt has been found to have doubled in less than 20 years to more than eight billion tonnes a year. A scientific assessment published in June is a very bad omen for downstream communities depending on glacial meltwater.

Meanwhile America’s Pacific north-west is preparing for another nasty fire season. A scientific wildfire survey has just informed Californians, after their worst season ever last year, that the state’s summer fires have increased five-fold since the 1970s, with rising temperature the key cause.

Wildfire anxiety has spread northward, to the dark, dank forests of British Columbia. The Canadian province’s wildfire service has warned that abnormally high fire conditions will be experienced in coastal regions including Vancouver Island at least till the end of summer.

This comes after several summers of intense wildfires up and down the Canadian west coast, mostly started by lightning strikes. They have been especially devastating in new-growth forests, where less genetic diversity and lower tree density allows higher moisture loss.

Things are hotting up in the far north. Alert, a Canadian military base on Ellesmere Island in the high Arctic, normally has a daytime maximum around 7C in July, but it’s currently experiencing an unprecedented heatwave that has seen temperatures climb above 20C.

Canada’s chief climatologist, David Phillips, says this heatwave is just the latest indicator of what will be a long, hot Arctic summer. The main trigger, say scientists, was a dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice over the past decade that allowed the ocean to absorb much more heat from the sun.

Smoke has become a regular contributor to Arctic weather, and this year is no exception. These are not forest fires so much as peat fires. The dried-out tundra itself is now burning in Alaska and across wide Siberian expanses, sending choking black smoke into the air.

Among the many things I’ve left out are Darwin’s groundwater crisis, depleted Great Barrier Reef coral, Europe’s unprecedented June heat, vanishing Antarctic sea ice, chronic drought in Africa and the Americas and floods in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Did I mention climate change?

VICTIM of a chronic decline in government support, Hobart’s venerable environment and sustainability body, Sustainable Living Tasmania, has been forced to close its doors after nearly 50 years of quiet achievement. It will continue as a volunteer-run organisation with no office

July 23, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change | Leave a comment

Australia cracks down on climate activism. French journalists arrested while filming anti-coal activities

Adani protest: French journalists arrested while filming anti-coal activities, Guardian
Journalists charged with trespassing after filming Frontline Action on Coal activists include Hugo Clément, 
Ben Smee @BenSmee, Mon 22 Jul 2019 Four journalists working for the public television network France 2 have been charged with trespassing for filming a protest near the Abbot Point coal terminal, in north Queensland, targeting the operations of the Adani group.

July 23, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, civil liberties, climate change, media | Leave a comment

NuScale, realising there’s no real market for small nuclear reactors, pins its hopes on mass orders from tax-payer funded military

Advanced US nukes need a boost; is the Pentagon the answer? As proponents for the fuel seek to establish a commercial domestic market, federal PPAs are seen as key to unlocking private investments. Utility Dive By Catherine Morehouse  July 19, 2019 “……  the large-scale reactors that are the norm across the U.S. don’t fit in with the growing trend toward smaller, decentralized power.

Small, advanced nuclear reactors better fit that mold, but have yet to enter the market. So the key question, say stakeholders, is how to spur that initial investment and establish a commercial domestic market, with a loftier goal of establishing the U.S. as a nuclear power export leader.

“……..you really are going to need to have that public involvement to persuade the private sector to roll along,” – Daniel Poneman, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy, and current president and CEO of nuclear developer Centrus

One potential solution floated at the conference was federal power purchase agreements between the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE). 

A public-private partnership

“I think that the Department of Defense is a logical first customer for these reactors, especially micro reactors that are under development that can be deployed in remote regions,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, who chairs the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, told the New Nuclear Capital audience on Tuesday……..

DOD’s ability to purchase in bulk and “underwrite an investment that may not have an immediate commercial appeal,” makes it an ideal first customer, said Poneman. And that initial investment is key.

It “really helps to have that, frankly, that initial investment from an investor that is looking at their returns not in quarterly earning statements but in the long-term security payoffs,” said Poneman. “Then when they make that initial major investment, it’s the cost of the very first one that’s always very, very high. And sometimes you find a cost curve that declines really quite steeply as you make more.”

Currently, a lot of capital being invested in the nuclear space comes from “eccentric billionaires who want to save the world,” Managing Director of Private Equity at Growth Capital Services James Magowan said at the conference. This poses a problem when trying to bring in “real venture capitalists,” whose first question is “Who’s your customer? Do you have a customer?” 

To that end, “the suggestion that the DOD could step up and be a customer is a great one, I think that solves an initial customer problem,” he said. But in order to establish a domestic market, more players need to be involved.

The DOD has shown interest in advanced nuclear technology, Murkowski told reporters, making them a “likely candidate” for investment. DOD did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Building a domestic market

Many in the nuclear industry argue that establishing the U.S. as a nuclear export leader is essential to both national security as well as global decarbonization. While the Pentagon can get things rolling for small-scale nuclear, utilities will be essential to building out the market as buyers.

“I think you see utilities, particularly in Canada, stepping up with the Canadian government to take on that market-making role and we look forward to similar discussions here in the U.S.,” Donald Wolf, president and CEO of Advanced Reactor Concepts, a U.S.-based developer, said at the New Nuclear Capital Conference. “Before we, in effect, push these new designs on foreign countries, it really helps to say we built it here first. We’ve improved it at home, and it’s safe for us.”

And some developers are moving to establish those markets for small reactors with municipal power systems, which make for more attractive first customers than IOUs, according to Colbert. Municipal power systems have access to a lower weighted cost of capital, around 3%-4%, compared to IOUs’ approximately 8%-10%. 

NuScale has jointly pursued both DOD and the Utah Associated Municipal Power Association (UAMP) as first customers. ……

“If you look at nuclear, the market for energy … is pretty well known,” said Chris Colbert, Chief Strategy Officer at nuclear developer NuScale  . “What’s not so well known is how do you get through the nuclear regulatory process, the [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] process.”

While safety remains a paramount concern for nuclear power, many in the industry say they no longer view public perception as a major problem.

“How do we tell the masses the progress we’re making? …….https://www.utilitydive.com/news/advanced-us-nukes-need-a-boost-is-the-pentagon-the-answer/559088/

 

July 23, 2019 Posted by | marketing, USA | Leave a comment

UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano dies at 72

UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano dies at 72, Aljazeera, 22 July 19

The longtime Japanese diplomat held the IAEA’s top job since December 2009.  Yukiya Amano, the Japanese diplomat who led the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for a decade and was extensively involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme, has died at 72.

Amano, who had wide experience in disarmament, non-proliferation diplomacy and nuclear energy, had been chief of the key United Nations agency that regulates nuclear issues worldwide since 2009…..

The announcement was made on the day Amano was expected to announce his decision to step down due to an illness that had visibly weakened him over the past year.

His third term had originally been due to expire in November 2021.

The IAEA said its flag over its headquarters in Vienna had been lowered to half-mast.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, expressed sadness and called Amano “a man of extraordinary dedication and professionalism”. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/07/nuclear-watchdog-chief-yukiya-amano-dies-72-190722085355832.html

July 23, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

A cry from a poet, survivor of Hiroshima bombing – give up nuclear weapons!

Give back peace, give up nuclear weapons   https://www.recorder.com/my-turn-hynes-elson-Aug6NeverMoreCommeration-27101649

Published: 7/22/2019 Give back my Father,

Give back my Mother.

Give Grandpa,

Grandma back;

Give my sons

and daughter back.

Give me back

myself.

Give back

the human race.

As long

as this life lasts,

this life,

Give back Peace

Peace that will never end.

Poet Sankichi Toge survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; his loved ones did not. He voices the anguish and grief of atomic bomb survivors who lost forever their families and friends, who live in the shadow of death themselves, and who long for the world to reject the madness of nuclear weapons and choose lasting peace.

He is not alone.

The non-nuclear nations of the world are clamoring for the abolition of nuclear weapons. They have held high-profile conferences on the catastrophic global consequences of accidental or deliberate detonation of nuclear weapons on human health, food and water, climate change “by fire and ice” and the economy. And they have taken a major step for humanity toward lasting peace.

On July 7, 2017, nearly two-thirds (122 in all) of the world’s countries adopted the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons banning nuclear weapons. The nine countries possessing nuclear weapons boycotted the UN vote. Among them, the United States lobbied hardest against this treaty, contending these weapons of mass destruction keep us secure.

Despite this morbid logic, we learned recently that our government’s leaders have a set of fortified sites constructed to save themselves in the event of nuclear catastrophe while the rest of us fend for ourselves (See Garrett Graff’s book, “Raven Rock: The Story of the Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself While the Rest of us Die”).

Mayors of U.S. cities are equally alarmed about the extreme danger of these weapons and the theft of resources away from cities and towns. Under presidents Barack Obama and now Donald Trump, our government has authorized more than $1.7 trillion to upgrade and replace nuclear weapon delivery systems, bombers, missiles and submarines over the next 30 years. This death money comes from the coffers of our taxes and should be used more sustainably for renewable energy, high-speed rail, a living wage, affordable housing and eliminating child poverty — in short the Green New Deal.

Opposition to nuclear weapons has been unfailingly bipartisan since 1945. Key World War II military leaders from all branches of the armed forces, including generals Eisenhower, Arnold, Marshall and MacArthur; and admirals Leahy, Nimitz and Halsey strongly dissented, for both military and moral reasons, from President Harry Truman’s decision to drop the bombs on two civilian Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At their 40th anniversary reunion in Los Alamos, N.M., 70 of 110 physicists who had worked on the atomic bomb signed a statement supporting nuclear disarmament.

In February 1998, retired Air Force General Lee Butler, who had overseen the entire nuclear arsenal, urged his government to take the lead in abolishing all nuclear weapons. “Nuclear weapons have no politically, militarily or morally acceptable justification. … They expunge all hope for meaningful survival.”

Fewer than four months ago (April 11), George Schultz, Republican secretary of state under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and Democrat William Perry, defense secretary under President Bill Clinton, co-authored an article in the Wall Street Journal urging for a world without nuclear weapons. They quoted Reagan’s 1984 State of the Union Address: “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Underlying the 2017 UN Treaty are decades of activism in the U.S. and globally: “ban the bomb,” “nuclear weapons freeze,” nuclear test ban campaigns, “nuclear-free zones,” and most recently and significantly, the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

In Northampton, NuclearBan.US, an ICAN partner, has just published “Warheads to Windmills: How to Pay for a Green New Deal.” The report is a detailed analysis of what it will take to adequately address the climate crisis and where the needed money and scientific and engineering expertise could come from: namely, the nuclear weapons program.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that these weapons threaten our very existence as a species,” says author Timmon Wallis. “And so does the climate crisis. But if we eliminate nuclear weapons, we can convert an industry of death to an industry of life. We can shift massive amounts of money and scientific talent to green technologies we need to survive — and we can create millions of jobs.”

On Aug. 6, join us at Unity Park Riverfront, Turners Falls, at 5:30 p.m. to commemorate the atomic bomb victims and to resolve “never more.”

Patricia Hynes directs the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice. Vicki Elson is co-director of NuclearBan.US.

July 23, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment