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Guest post: 5 reasons to talk about adaptation — The Earthbound Report

By Dr. Morgan Phillips – Co-Director, The Glacier Trust Many in the environmental and climate movement remain reluctant to talk about climate change adaptation. This is slowly changing, but if you are still sceptical, it pays to remember that the adaptation story is not, and does not have to be, in opposition to the mitigation […]

Guest post: 5 reasons to talk about adaptation — The Earthbound Report

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

September 22 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Honest Australian Government Ads And The Great Australian Coverup” • Here is a series of ads created to show the truth about the Australian government’s approach to climate change. Don’t watch them if you are easily offended. They are intelligent and honest, but full of Aussie bawdy humor and satire. Each ad is […]

September 22 Energy News — geoharvey

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Proposed US/UK nuclear-powered submarines for Australia: jeopardising health and fueling an arms race — IPPNW peace and health blog

Summary of joint statement by IPPNW and its affiliates in Australia, UK and US Health professionals in Australia, the UK and the US have expressed their deep concerns at Australia’s proposed acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines with UK and US assistance, stating that the plan will jeopardise global health and security.  Their concerns are set out […]

Proposed US/UK nuclear-powered submarines for Australia: jeopardising health and fueling an arms race — IPPNW peace and health blog

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s nuclear submarines will be obsolete before they are ever in use

Why will they be obsolete?

Because of the rapid advances in artificial intelligence (AI), detection systems and signal processing, combined with swarming autonomous unmanned systems – by 2040 these present USA and UK models will probably be too easily detectable, and so, effectively useless.

Why does Australia want nuclear submarines?

  • So that America can use them to patrol South China Sea as part of uSA’s increased military presence
  • So that Scott Morrison can push the fear of China message heading for the khaki election.
  • Other reasons – helping the USA by buying these very costly submarines which are not particularly useful for monitoring our coastline, but good for long distance. Helping Scott Morrison to look important on the world stage.

    September 22, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, Christina's notes, technology, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    This week – nuclear submarines overwhelm the news

    Well, Australia’s top marketing specialist, Scott Morrison, this week excelled himself, marketing his favourite product, himself for re-election in Australia’s coming khaki Liberal Coalition campaign.  World-wide fame – to play with the big toys of the big boys, even if President Biden couldn’t remember his name.  I did find the coverage of nuclear submarines and AUKUS quite overwhelming – hence this too-long news summary.

    AUSTRALIA

    TODAY’S NUCLEAR SUBMARINE NEWSUS nuclear submarines: a dangerous nonsense. One white elephant submarine deal replaced with a worse one. French ambassador says Scott Morrison gave no warning on the nuclear submarine deal. Maritime Union of Australia calls for government spending on health, not nuclear submarines. Transparency needed so nuclear-powered subdon’t turn into nuclear power subsidies What is Scott Morrison doing in New York? Nothing on climate, it seems. 

    NUCLEAR SUBMARINE  AND AUKUS NEWS  OVER PAST FEW DAYS 

    What does the nuclear submarines announcement mean for Australia?

     Politics.   Scott Morrison’s AUKUS deal designed to win election, not make Australia safe. We need a full and transparent Inquiry in the nuclear submarine deal. Nuclear good, batteries bad: Morrison’s subs deal is thin edge of wedge . Nuclear submarines may never eventuate; it’s just Scott Morrison’s giant new election ploy. Nuclear submarine deal – the start of Morrison’s election campaign.   Minerals Council quick to see nuclear submarines as step to nuclear Australia.  #ScottyFromMarketing’s propaganda triumph -nuclear submarines – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuP4jOc4ibo  

    Opposition to submarines and AUKUS.  Australia’s anti-nuclear movement ready for a big battle. Greens pick anti-nuclear candidate to challenge Treasurer Josh Fraudenberg. Australian Greens blast nuclear submarine deal. Nuclear powered submarines for Australia. Nuclear by stealthSenator Rex Patrick calls for Inquiry before Australia moves to buy USA nuclear submarines. anger grows over Australia’s submarine deal . Australia’s nuclear-powered submarine deal is fuelling anger in the country.  Concerns grow over nuclear submarine plan. Too slow, too expensive: Why nuclear power makes no sense for Australia 

    Safety. Nuclear-powered submarines a ‘terrible decision’ which will make Australia ‘less safe – Australian Greens.  Doubts about the nuclear submarines, do they make Australia less safe? Hugh White wonders. Australia’s new nuclear submarines will have dangerous Highly Enriched Uranium, not the Low Enriched Uranium of the French ones. The AUKUS deal and nuclear submarine plan ties Australia in to any American engagement against China.

    Cost Big questions remain about Australia’s nuclear submarines, but it’s a massive financial gain for nuclear corporations. How much will Australia’s nuclear submarines cost the taxpayer? Australia to lease nuclear submarines from USA, UK?.A nuclear explosionof taxpayers’ money in the new nuclear submarine plan.

    (Earlier)   Morrison to tear up the submarine deal with France. Too late to pull out of Australia’s botched super-expensive submarines purchase?  

    On a lighter note  $90 Billion Nuclear Powered Subs To Bring Australia Out Of Lockdown In Time For Christmas.

    Napandee radioactive waste dump plan – a nuclear waste of money.

    Ballarat Council considers supporting the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

    Review of book: Long Half-life – The Nuclear Industry in Australia 

    INTERNATIONAL

    New Australia, Britain, and U.S. military alliance—AUKUS— a serious escalation of the new Cold War on China. Nuclear-powered submarines have ‘long history of accidents.

    New research shows drastic climate effects of even a ”limited” nuclear war.

    Nuclear submarines and their disadvantages,

    A bit of good news – Animal Doctor: Good news from Europe for farmed animals.

    ANTARCTICA. Scientists still don’t know how far melting in Antarctica will go – or the sea level rise it will unleash.

    JAPAN. TEPCO not informing the Regulation Agency for 2 years about the 25 damaged filters at Fukushima Daiichi NPP. Tepco technicians ignored Fukushima filters leaking radioactive water. Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuke plant reactor lid. New radiation scrubber begins cleaning water at Fukushima plant.

    FRANCE. France angry about nuclear submarine cancelleation – recalls ambassadors to Australia, Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row. USA. questionable rush to start Flamanville nuclear reactor despite its defects . Nuclear submarine deal planned for 18 months – French ambassador says this is treasonous

    CHINA. China fears that the nuclear-powered submarines could be armed with nuclear weapons at short notice.

    INDIA. Is AUKUS pact a signal to India to go for nuclear attack submarines? Aukus fallout: for years, US told India it couldn’t share nuclear submarine technology. ‘And now this.

    USA. 

    Tragically, Biden continues same nuclear weapons ”modernization” budget as Trump’s . China still way behind USA in nuclear weaponry: time for diplomacy and negotiations on arms control. Top U.S. general feared that Trump might start a nuclear war.  . Generals Should Not Have to Break the Rules to Prevent Nuclear War. Don’t Let Presidents Start Nuclear Wars on Their Own. Nuclear Modernization Casts Budget Shadow Over Air Force Plans.USA developing space-based electromagnetic warfare. U.S. generals planning for a space war they see as all but inevitable.  Latest on America’s plutonium ”pits” costly fiasco Illinois nuclear stations kept alive as Senate approves Bill to subsidise Exelon. Illinois approves $700 million in subsidies to Exelon, prevents nuclear plant closures. Turkey Point nuclear station vulnerable to hurricanes, sea level rise, as climate change continues.Bipartisan House group asks Biden to stop Canada’s Great Lakes nuclear storage plans.   NRC issues license to store’spent nuclear fuel‘ in Andrews  . Texas to fight on against dumping of spent nuclear fuel in Andrews County. New Mexico backs Texas in opposing nuclear fuel storage. Samuel Lawrence Foundation loses court case to keep spent fuel pools as safety backup at San Onofre nuclear station. Push for nuclear power in Pueblo unlikely to succeed: renewables win favour.

    UKRAINE. Chernobyl nuclear zone is becoming more radioactive: they don’t know why..

    CANADA. Nuclear power: Why molten salt reactors are problematic and Canada investing in them is a waste. Responses to Candidate Questionnaire: Radioactive Waste in the Ottawa Valley.

    UK.

    MALAYSIA. Malaysia and Indonesia warn Australia’s Indo-Pacific pact could trigger nuclear arms race.

    IRAN. The new AUKUS pact may have paved the way for Iran to move to a nuclear weapon. Iran appoints harsh critic of the nuclear deal to the Foreign Ministry. Iranian Guards Physically Harassed Female U.N. Nuclear Inspectors, Diplomats Say .

    NORTH KOREA. North Korea says Australia’s submarine deal could trigger ‘nuclear arms race. N.Korea tests first ‘strategic’ cruise missile with possible nuclear capability . North Korea, nuclear proliferation and why the ‘madman theory’ is wrong about Kim Jong-ung.

    RUSSIA. Russia urges IAEA monitoring, ‘transparency’ on US-Australia nuclear sub pact, Nuclear ballistic missile submarine meltdown, 1961. Russia developing more floating nuclear power plants.

    ITALY. Italy launches national debate on nuclear waste disposal.

    SPAINNuclear power companies threaten to shut down plants if Spanish government takes action on soaring bills.

    ISRAEL. Nuclear reactor worker wins NIS one million cancer compensation. Mossad assassinated Iran’s top nuclear scientist using an artificial-Intelligence-powered, remote-controlled machine gun.

    CZECH REPUBLIC.. Czech government will subsidise nuclear power.

    POLAND. Poland’s nuclear folly 

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes | Leave a comment

    US nuclear submarines: a dangerous nonsense for Australia and the region

    A third reason concerns the continued use of military might as the way to address conflicts. Bellicose, top-down exercise of power demonstrates a fascination with violence and a corresponding illiteracy about non-violence

    . You have to ask whether men in suits, in politics, corporations and in association with media acolytes, ever learn.

    US nuclear submarines: a dangerous nonsense   https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/us-nuclear-submarines-dangerous-nonsense, Stuart Rees,September 20, 2021Issue 1320Australia   Unless you think that force of arms gives security and that revival of alliances with far away governments makes sense, the decision to own and operate United States nuclear submarines should be judged a dangerous nonsense.

    There are four reasons for making this claim.

    Foreign policy in search of an enemy — in this case China — looks like a guarantee of conflict if not war. Polarisation with little room for dialogue only benefits the arms industry, United States corporations and those in the US, Britain, Australia and China who think a taste for militarism and masculinity will show the benefits of violence. Capacity to learn from the devastation of the past is once again shoved aside.

    A second reason concerns Australia’s geography: as though days of empire must not be forgotten, a country located in South East Asia and the Pacific chooses an alliance with elderly friends in Washington and London underscores my submarine despair.

    Such a decision reeks of cultural disdain for diverse countries. Even if dialogue with China seems currently blocked, it should make diplomatic sense to communicate about security by being at coffee tables and in tea houses in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines, as well as Pacific Island nations.

    Such communication would be about Millennium goals, COVID-19 vaccinations and the future of planet Earth. Alliances with those countries about those issues would make sense.

    A third reason concerns the continued use of military might as the way to address conflicts. Bellicose, top-down exercise of power demonstrates a fascination with violence and a corresponding illiteracy about non-violence. You have to ask whether men in suits, in politics, corporations and in association with media acolytes, ever learn.

    At a time when surveys of young people record their fear of the future and their despair that powerful, inaccessible men refuse to hear them, they are offered a massive bill for nuclear operating submarines.

    Indifference to contracts and derision about trust is a fourth and final reason for disdain about the nuclear submarine alliance.

    Whatever the merits of building even one submarine, at least there were years of agreement with French companies to undertake that ship building task. I understand there are up to 60 Australian naval personnel in Cherbourg, France, who have been taken by surprise at US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement.

    Who cares? Trust is of no consequence. Contracts can be torn up. Promises were never meant to be kept. Besides, in Morrison’s case, an election looms and boasting about national security by having US submarines gives a potential war-like platform for winning.

    There are and there will be no winners.

    Can anyone forget the very recent US betrayal and refusal to consult friends and allies in Afghanistan? To distract from that debacle, just pretend that Washington will provide strength and trust in submarines. This is a dangerous nonsense.

    [Stuart Rees OAM is Professor Emeritus, University of Sydney, recipient of the Jerusalem (Al Quds) Peace Prize and author of Cruelty or Humanity. He is also the founding Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation. This article was first published at The New Bush Telegraph.]

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    One white elephant submarine deal replaced with a worse one

    Australia’s submarine policy has previously eschewed nuclear propulsion. Now, as a dowry for receiving such largesse, Canberra is offering up Australia as a confirmed US asset in policing the Indo-Pacific. US Navy commanders will be smacking their lips at maintaining attack vessels in Australia as part of the arrangement……

    Nuclear white elephants: Australia’s new submarine deal, Green Left, Binoy KampmarkSeptember 16, 2021Issue 1319Australia  Few areas of public expenditure are more costly and mindlessly wasteful than submarines. Australia’s effort is particularly impressive.

    Pick a real winner by signing a contract for a yet-to-be-designed attack class submarine, supposedly “necessary” in an “increasingly dangerous” region. Ensure the submarine design is based on a nuclear model, but remove that attribute and charge at least twice as much for a less capable weapon. Make sure the order is for 12 of these yet-to-be-designed-and-built systems. And make sure that they are only ready sometime in the 2030s (by which time they risk being obsolete).

    The dubious honour for this contract, initially costing $50 billion, went to the French submarine company DCNS (now called Naval Group), which nudged out German and Japanese contenders with pre-existing designs………

    The French military establishment praised it as the “contract of the century”. Le Parisien’s editorial lauded the prospect of thousands of jobs. French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian proclaimed a “50-year marriage” had begun……..

    On September 15, the Canberra press gallery was awash with rumours that a divorce was being proposed.

    The following day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a security ménage à trois with the United States and Britain, with Australia as the subordinate partner. The glue that will hold this union together is a common suspicion: China.

    Replacing the Attack Class submarine will be a nuclear-powered alternative with Anglo-American blessing, based on the US Virginia class or British Astute class.

    The joint statement announcing the creation of AUKUS said the three countries were “guided” by “enduring ideals and shared commitment to the international rules-based order”. They resolved “to deepen diplomatic, security, and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, including by working with partners, to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.”

    AUKUS, they said, would be a new “enhanced trilateral security partnership” to further such goals.

    The agreement is nothing less than an announcement to the region that the Anglophone bloc intends to police, oversee and, if necessary, punish…….

    The first initiative is a “shared” ambition “to support Australia in acquiring nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy”. US and British expertise will be drawn on to “bring an Australian capability into service at the earliest achievable date” from the submarine programs of both countries…..

    Australia’s submarine policy has previously eschewed nuclear propulsion. Now, as a dowry for receiving such largesse, Canberra is offering up Australia as a confirmed US asset in policing the Indo-Pacific. US Navy commanders will be smacking their lips at maintaining attack vessels in Australia as part of the arrangement……

    The enduring problem of Australia being able to build these submarines will have US lawmakers pushing for their construction on home soil, a situation that  could mirror the Naval Group contract headaches. Australia also lacks a shipyard able to build or maintain such vessels.

    In helping create AUKUS, Canberra has exchanged one white elephant of the sea for another. It has also significantly increased the prospects for a potential nuclear conflict in the Indo-Pacific region. The warmongers will be ecstatic.

    [Dr Binoy Kampmark lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email bkampmark@gmail.com.]  https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/nuclear-white-elephants-australias-new-submarine-deal

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, technology, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    Chernobyl nuclear zone is becoming more radioactive: they don’t know why.

    Chernobyl’s Blown Up Reactor 4 Just Woke Up. Scientists don’t understand why. https://historyofyesterday.com/chernobyls-blown-up-reactor-4-just-woke-up-74bedd5fc92d
    Andrei Tapalaga 

    The nuclear disaster that occurred in 1986 will forever be remembered, but the world will soon have a reminder of the event as the zone for some reason (yet unexplained by scientists)is becoming more radioactive. For those who may not be aware of the incident here is an article to get you up to speed.

    “Chernobyl will never be a problem”

    Underneath reactor 4 there is still nuclear fuel that is active and which will take around 20,000 years for it to deplete. The uranium is too radioactive for anyone to live in the city and since the incident, the European Union had created a shield around the reactor which should not allow for the radioactive rays to come out.Chernobyl officials presumed any criticality risk would fade when the massive New Safe Confinement (NSC) was slid over the Shelter in November 2016.”

    “The €1.5 billion structure was meant to seal off the Shelter so it could be stabilized and eventually dismantled.”

    However, many other parts around Chernobyl have also been affected due to prolonged exposure, some more than others, and many of them have not been contained as they were not presenting any major radioactive activity until now. Neil Hyatt, a nuclear chemist from the University of Sheffield had mentioned that there is a possibility for the uranium fuel to reignite on its own.

    Hyatt also offered a simple explanation on how this is possible, just like charcoal can reignite in a barbeque, so can nuclear materials that have once been ignited. He as well as a handful of nuclear chemists have mentioned previously the possibility of the uranium from Chernobyl to reignite, but the scientists from Ukraine that are responsible for managing the nuclear activity within the vicinity never really listened, until now.

    Scientists from Ukraine have placed many sensors around reactor 4 that constantly monitor the level of radioactivity. Recently those sensors have detected a constant increase in the level of radioactivity. It seems that this radioactivity is coming from an unreachable chamber from underneath reactor 4 that has been blocked since the night of the explosion on the 26th of April, 1986.

    What could be causing this?

    The experts from Ukraine don’t really understand why this is happening although they do have a hypothesis. Water is used to start the fission process within nuclear materials, this makes the nuclear material release energy that within a nuclear reactor can be maintained under control, but in this instance, the experts are afraid they will not be able to control it.

    Another hypothesis is that since reactor 4 has been completely shielded, no water from the rain was able to reach the nuclear fuel. The water from rain may have been what kept the nuclear material under control. With no water, the nuclear fuel may be at risk of overheating, leading to another nuclear disaster.

    There may be another reason for this constant increase in radioactivity, what has been mentioned above are only hypotheses, maybe something totally different is occurring under reactor 4 or within the nuclear material left inside. This is something that definitely should ring some alarm bells in order to prepare for the worst sort of situation and hopefully the world’s smartest in the field of nuclear chemistry can come together to identify the problem and come up with a potential solution.

    Sources:…………

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | environment, radiation, Ukraine | Leave a comment

    Tragically, Biden continues same nuclear weapons ”modernization” budget as Trump’s

    Biden’s Nuclear Weapons Commitments: Dangerous Continuities Tragically, despite widespread high hopes for change, in the existential realm of potentially omnicidal nuclear war preparations, the Biden administration has signaled more continuity than change.

    Common Dreams, JOSEPH GERSONSeptember 18, 2021   ”…………………………….. The sad and dangerous truth is that the nuclear weapons budget President Biden submitted to Congress differs little from Trump’s nuclear weapons “modernization” commitments. Despite Biden’s election year and earlier statements that the “sole use” of nuclear weapons that he could imagine was in response to a nuclear attack against the United States, the budget he submitted to Congress includes funding to replace the country’s entire arsenal of first-strike—use them or lose them—ground based ICBMs. So too the budget Congress will be voting on includes funding to produce 80 plutonium pits (the fissile core of a nuclear warhead) per year—each one of which with the destructive capability to devastate cities as large as Shanghai, Karachi and Moscow. Biden and his Pentagon also expect to win funding for the extremely destabilizing “more usable” tactical (roughly Hiroshima sized) B-61-12 bound for Europe, the nuclear air-launched cruise Long Range Standoff Weapon, and new warheads for submarine launched missiles, all designed to hold China hostage to a U.S. first-strike attack. 

    What is driving China’s anticipated increase in the size of its nuclear arsenal and fears that it might abandon its no first use doctrine? The answer is those standoff cruise missiles and U.S. missile defenses that are being deployed along China’s periphery that Chinese officials and analysts fear could make first-strike nuclear war fighting attractive to U.S. leaders.

    Days prior to the Congressional budget debate and on the eve of the launching of the Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, the Defense Intelligence Agency stoked elite panic with the release of photographs which convincingly demonstrate that Beijing has initiated construction of 250 missile silos for Chinese land-based strategic intercontinental nuclear missiles. 


    Yet,former lead U.S. arms control negotiator and Deputy NATO Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller warns that the silo holes being dug in northern China are a simply a “great distraction”.  As an arms controller, he is committed to nuclear deterrence and strategic stability and unwilling to press for what Noam Chomsky calls the “obvious solution” to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons: “getting rid of them.”  She is willing to concede that China’s nuclear buildup is designed to reinforce its “second strike deterrence posture”, which is threatened by U.S. nuclear and missile defense forces. Rather than panicking and wasting limited U.S. resources, she urges policymakers to remember that even if China quadruples the size of its nuclear arsenal by placing an ICBM armed with multiple warheads in each of those silos, it will still have fewer nuclear weapons than the United States or Russia. She urges lawmakers to focus on economic and technological competition and not to be panicked into funding the Pentagon’s wish list of Strangelovian nuclear weapons     former lead U.S. arms control negotiator and Deputy NATO Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller warns that the silo holes being dug in northern China are a simply a “great distraction”.  As an arms controller, he is committed to nuclear deterrence and strategic stability and unwilling to press for what Noam Chomsky calls the “obvious solution” to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons: “getting rid of them.”  She is willing to concede that China’s nuclear buildup is designed to reinforce its “second strike deterrence posture”, which is threatened by U.S. nuclear and missile defense forces. Rather than panicking and wasting limited U.S. resources, she urges policymakers to remember that even if China quadruples the size of its nuclear arsenal by placing an ICBM armed with multiple warheads in each of those silos, it will still have fewer nuclear weapons than the United States or Russia. She urges lawmakers to focus on economic and technological competition and not to be panicked into funding the Pentagon’s wish list of Strangelovian nuclear weapons  former lead U.S. arms control negotiator and Deputy NATO Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller warns that the silo holes being dug in northern China are a simply a “great distraction”.  As an arms controller, he is committed to nuclear deterrence and strategic stability and unwilling to press for what Noam Chomsky calls the “obvious solution” to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons: “getting rid of them.”  She is willing to concede that China’s nuclear buildup is designed to reinforce its “second strike deterrence posture”, which is threatened by U.S. nuclear and missile defense forces. Rather than panicking and wasting limited U.S. resources, she urges policymakers to remember that even if China quadruples the size of its nuclear arsenal by placing an ICBM armed with multiple warheads in each of those silos, it will still have fewer nuclear weapons than the United States or Russia. She urges lawmakers to focus on economic and technological competition and not to be panicked into funding the Pentagon’s wish list of Strangelovian nuclear weapons.

    At the policy making level there are four theaters of political struggle: 1) Congress and its debates over Biden’s $634 ten-year nuclear weapons funding proposal and No First Use legislation; 2) the Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review; 3) January’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the U.N., and 4) the March 2022 governmental First Meeting of States Parties of the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in Geneva.

    The Congressional Progressive Caucus has called out the Biden administration for failing to propose a nuclear weapons spending that “does not reflect your longstanding efforts to reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons.” They oppose funding for new submarine launched nuclear warheads, to maintain the B83 gravity bombs with an explosive yield of up to 100 times the Hiroshima A-bomb, and for the Long-Range Standoff Weapon described above. And, while not calling for the total elimination of first-strike land-based ICBMs, they oppose funding for the creation of a new generation of these omnicidal weapons. They also urge that the Biden Nuclear Posture Review, which will be conducted with little public or Congressional input by the Pentagon and senior administration “national security” officials, mandate reduction of the nation’s reliance on nuclear weapons. 

    Internationally, pressure for nuclear weapons abolition will manifest itself at the NPT Review Conference and TPNW First Meeting early in the new year. With the world’s nuclear powers upgrading, and in many cases expanding,  their nuclear arsenals, there is little hope that progress will be made to fulfill the nuclear powers’ Article VI Treaty commitment to engaging in good faith negotiations for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals. And, with the Biden administration’s embrace of Israel’s new right-wing (and racist) government, it is unlikely that it will voice support for or take action to implement Washington’s earlier NPT commitment to co-convene an international conference for the creation of a Middle East Nuclear and WMD-Free Zone.  

    Dim as prospects are for a successful NPT Review, it remains important for activists and international civil society to press as hard as we can for the full implementation of this seminally important treaty. Silence, being consent, would leave the nuclear powers with an open field. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/09/18/bidens-nuclear-weapons-commitments-dangerous-continuities

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

    Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row

    Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row, BBC, By Alex Therrien, 21 Sep 21,
    BBC News France’s defence minister has cancelled talks with her UK counterpart as the row continues over a new security deal between Britain, the US and Australia.

    Paris is angry after Australia signed the Aukus pact to build nuclear-powered submarines, pulling out of a major contract with France in the process.

    UK PM Boris Johnson said France had nothing to worry about from the deal.

    But Florence Parly’s meeting with UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace in London this week has been called off.,,,,,,,,,,, Lord Ricketts, a former British ambassador to France who was due to co-chair the two days of talks, confirmed the meeting between Mr Wallace and Ms Parly had been “postponed to a later date”.

    ……… In a rare step among allies, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the recall of the French ambassadors to Washington and Canberra.

    The European Union has said it was “analysing” the impact of the Aukus agreement on its trade negotiations with Australia, which are due to resume in October.

    BBC Brussels correspondent Jessica Parker said it appeared the EU had hardened up its position over the weekend, as the extent of France’s anger became clear.

    She said the European Commission wouldn’t elaborate on what “analysing” the impact of Aukus could actually mean for the trade talks with Australia – but the language might lead to speculation that negotiations could even be suspended…

    The agreement means Australia will become just the seventh nation in the world to operate nuclear-powered submarines.

    The pact will also see the allies share cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and other undersea technologies.

    But it has been criticised by China, which has accused the three powers of having a “Cold War mentality”………….  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-58620220

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | France, politics international | Leave a comment

    French ambassador says Scott Morrison gave no warning on the nuclear submarine deal


    ‘Maybe we’re not friends’: French Ambassador claims ScoMo offered no warning about AUKUS deal   A powerful French official has slammed Scott Morrison, accusing the Prime Minister of one thing to do with the submarine deal. news.com.au , Helena Burke, 20 Sep 21   
    The former French Ambassador to Australia has ripped into Scott Morrison for his defence of the AUKUS submarine deal, claiming the Prime Minister lied about warning France about it.

    Jean-Pierre Thebault, who had been the French Ambassador in Canberra since 2020, was recalled last week after France expressed outrage at being left out of the new nuclear submarine deal between the US, UK, and Australia.

    Speaking to Radio National on Monday, Mr Thebault said France had been completely blindsided by Mr Morrison’s decision to accept the new deal.

    “We discover(ed) through the press that the most important person in the Australian government kept us in the dark intentionally until the last minute and was not willing to at least have the decency to enter conversation about the alternative,” Mr Thebault said.

    “This is not an Australian attitude towards friends.”

    Maybe we’re not friends.”

    Mr Morrison had previously rejected that he had not warned France about the new deal, insisting he told French President Emmanuel Macron in June that Australia might scrap its original submarine agreement,,,,

    But the French Ambassador insisted France had never been warned about the potential for a new deal which would exclude them.  https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/maybe-were-not-friends-french-ambassador-claims-scomo-offered-no-warning-about-aukus-deal/news-story/467293b479eca4741c116ba5ced54751

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, politics international | Leave a comment

    Scientists still don’t know how far melting in Antarctica will go – or the sea level rise it will unleash

    Scientists still don’t know how far melting in Antarctica will go – or the sea level rise it will unleash

    Chen Zhao and Rupert Gladstone

    The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest mass of ice in the world, holding around 60% of the world’s fresh water. If it all melted, global average sea levels would rise by 58 metres. But scientists are grappling with exactly how global warming will affect this great ice sheet.

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment

    Poland’s nuclear folly

    Government pursues six reactors while blocking opportunities for renewables

    Alternatives in the form of citizen energy projects struggle within a capitalistic scheme based on nuclear energy or offshore energy sourcing. Despite the enormous potential of solar and wind energy, the Polish government blocked developing this infrastructure in 2016 – the so-called Distance Act was adopted.  The law stipulates that wind turbines with a capacity of more than 40 kW can only be built at a distance of at least 10 times their height (including the rotor with the blades) from residential and mixed-use buildings, as well as areas of high environmental value. In effect, only large, off-shore wind farms can be built on the Baltic sea. There is a hope in increasing interest in solar citizen energy, with the government starting the “My electricity” programme, financing photovoltaic installations.

    The European Green Deal is also concerned with energy security and independence. Although it does not include the aspect of nuclear energy in decarbonisation, an official letter to Ursula von der Leyen was recently written as part of an initiative by several countries, including Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Malta and Poland, to include nuclear and gas in green investments as a strategy for fighting global warming.

    In Poland, it is hard to break through to the public discussion with anti-nuclear arguments. The government maintains its willingness to invest in nuclear energy despite its unprofitability, high costs, risks and lack of public support in order to replace coal-fired power plants with nuclear ones. 

    Few people in Poland are interested in discussing the sourcing of the uranium and connect this problem with energy security. Few people care about radioactive waste. We need more discussions, focusing not only on the costs and time of building a nuclear power plant, but also energy security, the consequences of failure and the non-sustainability of uranium. We need anti-nuclear rhetoric. Will we learn our Chernobyl lessons?


    P
    oland’s nuclear folly,  https://beyondnuclearinternational.org/2021/09/20/polands-nuclear-folly/ Refusing to learn the lessons from Chernobyl, Poland embarks on a rash nuclear power program

    By Beata Cymerman,

    It was April 28, 1986, early morning in Poland. The radiation monitoring station in Mikołajki, Mazury area (north-eastern region of Poland) showed that the radioactivity in the air was 550,000 times higher than the day before. The radioactive cloud from Chernobyl had travelled to Poland. The story of the catastrophe began here.

    The Chernobyl disaster in Poland

    The government of Poland didn’t immediately release an official statement regarding the catastrophe. Poland was a satellite state of the Soviet Union. After the day of the explosion, April 26, no information was presented by the Polish media. One of the first people informed about the catastrophe was Prof. Jaworowski – Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection (CLOR) in Warsaw. He obtained information about the catastrophe from BBC radio and connected it to the unusual measurements from the Mikołajki station.  

    Together with the President of Polish National Atomic Agency, he set out to monitor the situation. After taking several more measurements on the same day, it became clear that they were dealing with a high radiation risk. Despite the obstacles presented by the Soviet bureaucratic system and with the help of Jaworski’s wife, who was affiliated with the Polish Academy of Science, they managed to directly inform the Prime Minister of their findings.

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    September 21, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

    UK’s nuclear industry decline is a permanent process

    Cash-strapped nuclear industry has no answers to Britain’s energy shortages. While the issues limiting the UK’s nuclear power plant capacity may be temporary, its broader pattern of decline is not. As power
    prices spike to record levels this week, one vital corner of Britain’s energy supply is failing to operate at full tilt. A nuclear reactor at Hartlepool has been floundering over an issue with a gas turbine, while another at Heysham 1 is offline after a forced outage last month.

    Overall, the capacity of Britain’s ageing nuclear fleet of reactors is down by about one-third (5.2GW compared to 8GW) this week amid planned maintenance and unexpected problems. It is only adding to pressure on officials attempting to balance the electricity system as gas prices soar to record highs on a supply crunch, and wind output drops as weather calms.

    But while the issues limiting nuclear power plant capacity may be temporary, its broader pattern of decline is not. The industry, which produces about 18pcof UK power annually, sits at a crossroads amid a rapidly evolving energy system. Most of the ageing nuclear fleet is set to shut down by the end of
    the decade and several within the next few years.

    Whether and how it will be replaced is uncertain, with industry critics accusing the Government of
    dragging its feet at a time when Britain needs low carbon power to fill gaps in wind and solar generation. In a bid to help the flailing sector, ministers are set to bring forward a new finance mechanism which supporters believe can help reduce the costs of large nuclear projects. Consumers
    would pay for the projects upfront while they are being built.

    This,however, is sure to be a much tougher sell this winter given the soaring wholesale costs likely to boost bills. Whitehall is aiming to bring forward at least one large-scale nuclear project this parliament, and is puttingsome money into developing the next generation of technology: Advanced Modular Reactors and small modular reactors (SMRs).

    So, does it matter if more nuclear power is not developed? Many experts say yes, given the stable
    role they can provide. But that doesn’t mean it should be at any cost……….

     Telegraph 15th Sept 2021

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/09/15/cash-strapped-nuclear-industry-has-no-answers-britains-energy/

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, politics, UK | Leave a comment

    Samuel Lawrence Foundation loses court case to keep spent fuel pools as safety backup at San Onofre nuclear station

    Judge tosses out lawsuit that sought to stop San Onofre nuclear plant dismantlement,  Ruling says Coastal Commission properly granted permit, San Diego Tribune,  BY ROB NIKOLEWSKI , . 20, 2021 

    Deconstruction work at the now-shuttered San Onofe Nuclear Generating Station — known as SONGS for short — will continue after a judge in Los Angeles County turned back a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group that looked to put a halt to it.

    Deconstruction work at the now-shuttered San Onofe Nuclear Generating Station — known as SONGS for short — will continue after a judge in Los Angeles County turned back a lawsuit filed by an advocacy group that looked to put a halt to it.

    In a 19-page decisionLos Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff ruled last week the California Coastal Commission acted properly when it granted a permit in 2019 to Southern California Edison — the operators of the plant — to proceed with dismantlement efforts.

    The Samuel Lawrence Foundation filed the suit, arguing the commission violated its own regulations and provisions by issuing the permit………….

    Samuel Lawrence Foundation president Bart Ziegler said in an email that his group “will continue to push for strict monitoring, protocols and handling facilities at Edison’s nuclear waste dump.”

    The heart of the lawsuit centered on two spent fuel pools that are scheduled to be torn down.

    At commercial nuclear power plants, when the highly radioactive fuel rods used to generate electricity lose their effectiveness, operators place the assemblies in a metal rack that is lowered about 40 feet into a “wet storage” pool, typically for about five years, to cool.

    Edison has since taken the assemblies out of the pools, placed them into stainless steel canisters and moved them into two “dry storage” facilities on the north end of the plant. One facility holds 50 canisters and another, more recently constructed site, holds 73 canisters.

    Edison says now that the spent fuel has been transferred to dry storage, the pools are unnecessary and should be dismantled.

    The Samuel Lawrence Foundation argued Edison should keep the pools in case the canisters ever get damaged or degrade over time………..

    Despite issuing the permit and related measures, the commission has complained about being put in a tough position.

    Edison says now that the spent fuel has been transferred to dry storage, the pools are unnecessary and should be dismantled.

    Schwartz said until the federal government comes up with a long-term storage site, “we are forced to live with the increased risks of storing (waste) on our coast. Commissioners and staff have communicated to the (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) the urgency of moving these spent fuel facilities out of the coastal hazard zone, and we will continue to press the NRC on this issue.”

    There are 3.55 million pounds of used-up fuel in the canisters at SONGS, which is located between the Pacific and Interstate 5.

    But keeping the waste on-site is not unique to San Onofre. About 80,000 metric tons of spent fuel has stacked up at 121 commercial nuclear sites in 35 states………..

    Under a “special condition” agreed to in 2015, the commission is allowed by 2035 to revisit whether the storage site should be moved to another location in case of rising sea levels, earthquake risks, potential canister damage or other scenarios……

    SONGS’ dismantlement began in March 2020 and is expected to take about eight years to complete. Roughly 2 billion pounds of equipment, components, concrete and steel will be removed from the plant.

    The two distinctive containment domes, each nearly 200 feet high, are scheduled to come down around 2027.

    About 450,000 tons of material labeled low-level nuclear waste will be shipped — mostly by rail — to a disposal facility in Clive, Utah. Another 35 tons of low-level waste will get shipped by truck to a facility in the West Texas town of Andrews.

    According to Edison’s plans, all that will remain at SONGS will be two dry storage facilities, a security building with personnel to look over the waste, a seawall, a walkway connecting two beaches north and south of the plant, and a switchyard with power lines. The rest of the property will revert to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/energy-green/story/2021-09-20/judge-tosses-out-lawsuit-that-sought-to-stop-san-onofre-nuclear-plant-dismantlement

    September 21, 2021 Posted by | decommission reactor, Legal, wastes | Leave a comment