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A nuclear arms race is unavoidable without serious intervention.

This one-upmanship will never provide a solution to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons. The only winning move is to step off the track and return to the negotiating table. The parties to the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, including the P5 nuclear weapon states, are obliged to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race”. They will meet in January 2022 to take stock of their progress. Diplomacy, for all its certain challenges, is the only path forward.

A nuclear arms race is unavoidable without serious intervention. China, the US and Russia are each investing in highly effective missiles and defence systems,  https://www.ft.com/content/e30c0402-32a1-4c96-846d-48f2a2da7276 Ft.com LAURA GREGO  27 Oct 21, There are conflicting interpretations of the news that China has tested a specialised new long-range missile, capable of carrying a nuclear weapon around the Earth. US officials claimed it was part of a fractional orbital bombardment system (FOBS) which could travel in Earth orbit and then release a manoeuvring vehicle to glide toward a terrestrial target. China’s Foreign Ministry objected to that description, calling the launch simply a test of reusable space technology.

Details may be obscure, but a few things are clear. One, none of these technologies are new, and it should be no surprise that China is capable of fielding them. Two, while China’s nuclear arsenal remains much smaller than that of the US or Russia, Beijing is pursuing strategies to make it larger and more sophisticated. A nuclear arms race is on, absent a serious effort to stop it.  

So why is China building new nuclear delivery systems and modernising its weapons after decades of retaining a modestly sized arsenal? One core driver is to make clear to an unconvinced United States that it is vulnerable to Chinese nuclear retaliation despite enormous investments in missile defences. Many of the technologies China is pursuing, including those believed to have been tested this summer, are designed to overwhelm or evade such defences.  

If this sounds familiar, it should. This dynamic has echoes of the US-Soviet Cold War arms race. Many of the technologies — FOBS, hypersonic gliders, missiles equipped with multiple nuclear warheads — are even the same. It took years for the United States and Soviet Union to arrive at a shared understanding that unconstrained pursuit of missile defences was destabilising the strategic balance.

However, having exited the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty designed to halt that race, the US has been developing a defence against intercontinental-range ballistic missiles for the past two decades. China’s new missiles hedge against the possibility that the United States may one day believe its technical advances permit it to strike China first while remaining invulnerable to a retaliatory nuclear attack.  


If this sounds familiar, it should. This dynamic has echoes of the US-Soviet Cold War arms race. Many of the technologies — FOBS, hypersonic gliders, missiles equipped with multiple nuclear warheads — are even the same. It took years for the United States and Soviet Union to arrive at a shared understanding that unconstrained pursuit of missile defences was destabilising the strategic balance. However, having exited the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty designed to halt that race, the US has been developing a defence against intercontinental-range ballistic missiles for the past two decades. China’s new missiles hedge against the possibility that the United States may one day believe its technical advances permit it to strike China first while remaining invulnerable to a retaliatory nuclear attack.

This one-upmanship will never provide a solution to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons. The only winning move is to step off the track and return to the negotiating table. The parties to the 1970 nuclear non-proliferation treaty, including the P5 nuclear weapon states, are obliged to “pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race”. They will meet in January 2022 to take stock of their progress. Diplomacy, for all its certain challenges, is the only path forward.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear power, as well as nuclear weapons, must be opposed: George Monbiot gets it wrong

Nuclear power, as well as nuclear weapons, should be opposed, https://www.thenational.scot/community/19674158.nuclear-power-well-nuclear-weapons-opposed/ Tor Justad, Chair, HANT (Highlands Against Nuclear Weapons), 27 Oct 21,

I REFER to two recent items in the Sunday National – an interview with environmentalist George Monbiot headed “A chance to lead” (Oct 17) and an item headed “Pressure Grows on Scottish Government to oppose nuclear fusion site” on Oct 24.

HANT (Highlands Against Nuclear Transport) is a campaigning group opposing both nuclear weapons and nuclear power, which aligns with current SNP/Scottish Greens government policy.

There is much to commend in George Monbiot’s article, in which he states his belief that the Scottish Government could show the world a way out of the climate crisis and in particular the idea of pursuing “public luxury” with more public facilities, transport, health services and public land ownership as opposed to increasing private wealth and inequality.

However, he fails to mention his support for nuclear power, which he described in an article in The Guardian in 2011 headed “Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power” in which he argued that nuclear was safer than coal and should be supported together with renewables, which he also has doubts about.

He claimed the effect of Fukushima was small for people and planet – clearly untrue, as 150,000 people had to be evacuated from the area and radiation spread over a wide area. 18,000 people were killed by the tsunami which caused the disaster – the clean-up by thousands of workers will continue for 30 years.

In relation to nuclear fusion, HANT stated its opposition to a pilot project proposed for Dounreay in Caithness and it has recently been announced that the bid for the project was unsuccessful.

HANT supports Scottish CND’s opposition to the nuclear fusion project proposed for Ardeer in Ayrshire and urges the Scottish Government to oppose this project.

Attempts to harness nuclear fusion have been made in several countries for the last 70 years costing millions of pounds without success, and as Scottish CND points out there are concerns about safety, the production of waste and the potential link to nuclear weapons production.

Both support for new nuclear and support for nuclear fusion projects, along with proposals for small modular reactors, are all desperate attempts by the nuclear industry to revive nuclear at a time when it is in decline worldwide.

HANT would urge the Scottish Government to maintain its policy of opposition to nuclear weapons and to nuclear power of any kind.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | 1 Comment

America’s F-35 fighter jet to quietly join the nuclear arsenal

The F-35 is one step closer to carrying nuclear bombs. What’s next??

America’s most advanced fighter jet is on its way to becoming the newest addition to the nuclear arsenal.

The Air Force recently wrapped up the flight testing needed to ensure the B61-12 thermonuclear bomb design is compatible with the F-35A Lightning II, paving the way for the jet to begin carrying nuclear weapons. The airframe must still become certified to conduct nuclear operations as well.

By Rachel S. Cohen  Two F-35As launched realistic test versions of the B61-12 for the first time on an unspecified date earlier this year at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, the Air Force said Oct. 6. Past versions of the B61 have relied on gravity to drop onto their targets, but the newest design can also hit coordinates using digital guidance…………….

The F-35′s atomic ambitions are a piece of the country’s nuclear modernization plan — slated to cost $634 billion from 2021 to 2030 alone — that flies under the radar…………….. https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/your-air-force/2021/10/27/the-f-35-is-one-step-closer-to-carrying-nuclear-bombs-whats-next/

October 28, 2021 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pumice may affect nuclear power plants in Japan

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Pumice may affect nuclear power plants in Japan

Pumice may affect nuclear power plants in Japan, https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20211027_36/      Japan’s nuclear regulator says a massive number of pumice stones drifting in waters in the country’s southwest could affect domestic nuclear power plants.

Ishiwatari Akira, a member of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, told a regular meeting on Wednesday that the stones may affect the intake of water used for cooling nuclear reactors.

The pumice stones are being washed ashore on the coast of Okinawa Prefecture and the Amami region of Kagoshima Prefecture. They come from an undersea volcanic eruption near the Ogasawara island chain in the Pacific Ocean in August.

Japan’s nuclear regulator says a massive number of pumice stones drifting in waters in the country’s southwest could affect domestic nuclear power plants.

Ishiwatari Akira, a member of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, told a regular meeting on Wednesday that the stones may affect the intake of water used for cooling nuclear reactors.

The pumice stones are being washed ashore on the coast of Okinawa Prefecture and the Amami region of Kagoshima Prefecture. They come from an undersea volcanic eruption near the Ogasawara island chain in the Pacific Ocean in August.

October 28, 2021 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment

China squeezed out of Sizewell C nuclear, in UK’s new funding plan.

Ministers moved yesterday to cut China out of involvement in Britain’s
nuclear power sector with a new funding model that will place the risk of
future projects on to consumers. Under plans announced by Kwasi Kwarteng,
the business secretary, investors in new nuclear power stations will see a
return on their money before the plants are even built.

The move will effectively mean that consumers take on the risk of delays and cost
overruns to projects and will start paying for the new plants through their
bills before the reactors are built.

 Times 27th Oct 2021

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/china-squeezed-out-of-sizewell-c-in-plan-to-fund-nuclear-power-mdf5rrvmk

October 28, 2021 Posted by | politics international, UK | Leave a comment