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Twenty-Two House Republicans Demand Accountability on Biden’s $40b War Spending

The aid package approved by Congress provides unprecedented funding for a foreign conflict in which the United States is not fighting, while there have been no significant hearings or substantive briefings on the use of the money and weapons being provided at taxpayer expense.” The lawmakers raised the prospect of sophisticated weaponry falling into the hands of terrorist organizations, citing a documented history of illicit arms-trafficking within Ukraine, a market which is one of the largest in Europe: 

A cohort of Republicans, part of the dissenting vote on Biden’s Ukraine war package, seeks oversight and specifics about the destination of U.S. money and weapons.

Glenn Greenwald and Anthony Tobin, May 25

The House of Representatives, on May 10, approved President Biden’s $33 billion package for the war in Ukraine, and then, on its own initiative, added $7 billion on top of it. That brought the new war spending authorization to $40 billion, on top of the $14 billion already spent just 10 weeks into this war, which U.S. officials predict will last years, not months. The House vote in favor was 368-57. All 57 NO votes were from GOP House members. All House Democrats, including the Squad, voted YES.

A similar scene occurred when the Senate, “moving quickly and with little debate,” overwhelmingly approved the same war package. All eleven NO votes were from Senate Republicans. All Senate Democrats, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), voted in favor, seemingly in direct contradiction to Sanders’ February 8 op-ed in The Guardian warning of the severe dangers of bipartisan escalation of the war. Efforts by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to delay passage of the bill so that some safeguards and accountability measures could be included regarding where the money was going and for what purposes it would be used were met with scorn, particularly from Paul’s fellow Kentucky GOP Senator, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who condemned Paul as an “isolationist.” Following the Senate vote, a jet was used to fly the bill across the world to President Biden in South Korea, where he signed it into law.


But the lack of any safeguards over the destination of the money and weapons prompted close to two dozen House Republicans, led by Rep. Yvette Herrell (R-NM), to send a letter to the Biden White House on Monday demanding greater specificity and assurances about legal requirements on how weapons are used. The letter urges a public reckoning on the dangers of the U.S.’s bankrolling of the war in Ukraine: “We write today to express grave concern about the lack of oversight and accountability for the money and weapons recently approved by Congress for Ukraine,” it began.

“The aid package approved by Congress provides unprecedented funding for a foreign conflict in which the United States is not fighting, while there have been no significant hearings or substantive briefings on the use of the money and weapons being provided at taxpayer expense.” The lawmakers raised the prospect of sophisticated weaponry falling into the hands of terrorist organizations, citing a documented history of illicit arms-trafficking within Ukraine, a market which is one of the largest in Europe: 

“According to a 2017 Small Arms Survey briefing on arms trafficking, over 300,000 small arms disappeared from Ukraine between 2013 and 2015 and only 13 percent were recovered. Criminal networks, corrupt officials, and underpaid military personnel can make a profitable business from the sale of arms from Ukrainian military stockpiles. For example, in 2019, the Ukrainian Security Service uncovered a plot by Ukrainian soldiers to sell 40 RGD-5 grenades, 15 grenade launchers, 30 grenade detonators, and 2,454 rounds of ammunition for 75,000 Ukrainian hryvnia or around $2,900.”

Indeed, the relentlessly war-supporting CNN last month acknowledged that “the US has few ways to track the substantial supply of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and other weaponry it has sent across the border into Ukraine.” Biden officials admitted the “risk that some of the shipments may ultimately end up in unexpected places.” ……………………… more  https://greenwald.substack.com/p/twenty-two-house-republicans-demand?s=r

May 26, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pretense in UK that Wylfa and other new nuclear stations are affordable – investors are staying away in droves.

A new Wylfa will cost between £14 and £17bn to build and won’t be up
and running until the 2030s, the UK Government have been told. Sources told
the Times newspaper that the 2.3-gigawatt plant would take six years to
build, on top of a lengthy planning and regulatory process, meaning that it
would not be operational until the early years of the next decade.


Westinghouse and Bechtel, the reactor maker and engineering group, are
hoping to win UK Government backing for their plan to build two reactors at
Wylfa on Anglesey. Their AP1000 reactor design has already completed
initial safety approval for use in Britain. However, Bechtel were hoping to
secure £20m from the UK Government before being able to provide a full
breakdown of the total costs of the project. Ivan Baldwin, head of the UK
civil nuclear market for Bechtel, told the Times that this taxpayer funding
would enable the developer to “provide to the government an estimated
project cost” and “to determine the optimum construction schedule at
the site”.

Hitachi, of Japan, currently own the rights to the Wylfa site
after giving up on their own plans to build a nuclear power plant there.


Dylan Morgan from People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) responded to the
announcement to say that Boris Johnson was just “shooting from the
hip”. “All his bluster about possible new nuclear reactors displays an
astounding level of economic and environmental illiteracy,” he said.
“Firstly, where is the strong economy coming out of Covid and post
Brexit? No nuclear companies will go it alone and invest heavily in
building new nuclear reactors.

“As in the case of Rolls Royce and their
modular reactor which isn’t small at all at 475 MW, bigger than the old
Magnox reactors at Trawsfynydd, they want government public handouts for
designing the reactors, more astronomic handouts financed through our
already vastly inflated electricity bills to construct these radiotoxic
monstrosities, and then even more handouts for an agreed price for
electricity produced, and last but not at all least, the massive
decommissioning costs over thousands of years of reactors and all the
problems with storage of hazardous nuclear wastes.

“There is little wonder that no corporations have come forward in droves to get a nuclear
renaissance much promised from the Blair/Brown era going. “Labelling
Wylfa and Trawsfynydd as possible new sites for this most dangerous, dirty,
radiotoxic, health-threatening and expensive technology is an insult to the
people of Wales. “It is the totally wrong path to tread and it may be the
case that Johnson will not be in office for too long to realise his madcap
nuclear ambitions.”

 Nation Cymru 24th May 2022
 https://nation.cymru/news/new-wylfa-will-cost-14-17bn-to-build-and-wont-be-ready-until-2030s/

May 26, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s new ‘green economy’ bond may fund nuclear projects    

Japan plans to use its new type of sovereign debt to fund a wide range of projects designed to reduce emissions, possibly including nuclear power.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week proposed a “green economy transformation bond” to raise as much as ¥20 trillion ($157 billion) to help meet climate goals. The government decided not to issue green bonds because the more standard instruments also constrain the use of proceeds, according to people familiar with the matter.,………… https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/05/25/business/green-economy-bond-nuclear/

May 26, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, climate change, Japan | Leave a comment

Europe remains economically dependent on Russia as long as it has nuclear energy

As long as nuclear power plants are operated in Europe, the EU will be
dependent on Russian uranium supplies, BUND’s new uranium atlas makes
clear.

Neither economically nor ecologically does nuclear power still make
sense. The new edition of the Uranium Atlas makes it clear that Europe will
not be able to detach itself economically from Russia as long as the states
continue to use electricity from nuclear power.

After all, both Germany and other European states obtain a large part of the uranium needed for this
purpose from mines in Russia and Kazakhstan. The Uranium Atlas (in German),
released last week, is published by the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz
Deutschland (BUND) together with the Nuclear Free Future Foundation, the
Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the environmental foundation Greenpeace and
“.ausgestrahlt”. According to the report, around 40 per cent of
European uranium imports come from Russia and Kazakhstan. Thus, in addition
to fossil energy imports, European countries are significantly dependent on
Russia.

 Posteo 28th April 2022

https://posteo.de/en/news/uranium-atlas-2022-nuclear-power-increases-europes-dependence-on-russia

May 26, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE | Leave a comment

Hinkley Point C – costs soar, delays again. UK govt’s big bet on nuclear is backfiring

The risks to the government’s plans to build another eight nuclear power
plants have been underlined by the latest wave of ballooning costs and
delays at Hinkley Point C. EDF, which is constructing the 3,200MW reactor
in Somerset, has warned that estimated costs have jumped to between £25
billion and £26 billion, while the power station will not now start
producing electricity until June 2027 at the earliest.

The revised estimates are £3 billion higher than the previous cost projections in
January last year, which were in turn well ahead of the group’s initial
£18 billion forecast when the project was approved in 2016.

Hinkley is Britain’s first new nuclear plant in decades. It is expected to power six
million homes, with the government guaranteeing that consumers pay an
index-linked £92.50 per megawatt hour, in 2012 prices, for its
electricity. Construction costs are being met by EDF and its junior partner
in the project, CGN of China.

Critics seized on the latest overruns to
point out the risks to Boris Johnson’s blueprint for another 24 gigawatts
of new nuclear power by 2050. The Stop Sizewell C lobby group pointed out
that, while EDF and CGN are on the hook for Hinkley’s “rocketing
costs”, a proposed new financing model would see consumers paying upfront
via higher bills for cost overruns.

“The £20 billion estimate for
Sizewell C is already two years out of date, with zero chance of it being
delivered at that cost,” it said, noting that the risk of spiralling
costs would “fall on consumers”. Doug Parr, Greenpeace’s UK policy
director, said: “The government’s big bet on nuclear is backfiring with
every extra billion added to the bill”. He advocated investment in
offshore wind instead. Costs at the prototype for Hinkley, the Flamanville
plant in France, have rocketed from €3.3 billion to €12.7 billion.
Construction is running more than a decade late. 

Times 20th May 2022 https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/hinkley-point-c-nuclear-plant-to-open-a-decade-late-9vsk6w9zx

May 23, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

£3 billion more, 1 year longer: EDF Energy announces latest price hike and further delay at Hinkley Point C

£3 billion more, 1 year longer: EDF Energy announces latest price hike
and further delay at Hinkley Point C. Whilst news that yet another civil
nuclear power plant is to be delivered still further over-budget and still
further behind schedule may be ‘par for the course’, the Nuclear Free
Local Authorities still find EDF’s latest pronouncement that Hinkley
Point C will cost £3 billion more and take one year longer to build
shocking.

In a media release yesterday (Thursday 19 May), the French parent
of UK nuclear operator, EDF Energy, conceded that, on their latest
estimate, Hinkley Point C will now cost £25 to 26 billion to build and
become operational no earlier than July 2027.

EDF last updated its Hinkley
Point construction schedule in January 2021, when it stated the plant would
be delayed by a further six months to June 2026 with the cost rising by an
additional half billion pounds to £22 billion to 23 billion. NFLA Chair
Councillor David Blackburn commented: “EDF Energy have blamed COVID and
the Ukraine conflict for the price hike and the delay, but Hinkley Point C
was already way over budget and way behind schedule before either of these
calamities occurred. For the simple reality is that nuclear costs too much
and takes too long”.

 NFLA 20th May 2022

May 23, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

France’s woes with nuclear power plants means more energy uncertainty for Europe

The utility cut its forecast as it realised that “stress corrosion” issues affecting some of its reactors will require more checks and repairs. Irish Examiner, THU, 19 MAY, 2022. LARS PAULSSON, JESPER STARN AND FRANCOIS DE BEAUPUY

The woes facing the nuclear power stations at France’s EDF — Europe’s largest electricity producer — will increase the pressure on war-hit European energy markets after the summer. 

EDF, which is the backbone of Europe’s integrated power system, cut its nuclear output target for a third time this year, the latest sign that Europe’s power crisis is worsening. 

Western Europe has for decades relied on exports of power from EDF’s nuclear stations. The cuts are another blow to European energy security just as the region is weaning itself off Russian supplies of everything from natural gas to coal and oil because of the war in Ukraine.

Less output from EDF is sending prices higher just as soaring inflation is pushing up costs for everything from petrol to food. It could get even worse in winter as France, traditionally an exporter of electricity, may be forced to import more from its neighbours.

French prices are the most expensive in Europe, with contracts for the period almost double levels in Germany. The utility cut its forecast as it realised that “stress corrosion” issues affecting some of its reactors will require more checks and repairs. The outlook for the following year remains unchanged for now, the firm said. 

“We fine-tuned the repairs to be made,” Regis Clement, deputy head of the company’s nuclear division, said during a media conference. “We’ve got to cut more pipes” to carry out further checks “and more repairs to handle”, he said.The big test will come when temperatures start to fall toward the end of the year. It won’t take many days of cold weather to jeopardise French power supplies, according to Emeric de Vigan, chief executive officer at French energy analysis firm Cor-e.“With such poor nuclear availability, if we reach 2 degrees Celsius below normal in the winter for a few days we could be in trouble, it would be really tight,” Mr de Vigan said. Paying customers and factories to lower consumption are steps that likely will need to be taken, he said. ……………….   https://www.irishexaminer.com/business/economy/arid-40876541.html

May 21, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics international, safety | Leave a comment

Russia’s grip on Europe’s nuclear power industry – this is being ignored

Europe needs a plan in place for cutting ties with Russia’s nuclear
giant Rosatom, says 2021 Right Livelihood Award winner and co-chairman of
Ecodefense Vladimir Slivyak. With the European Union tightening its
sanctions against Russia, banning Russian imports of oil, gas, and coal has
emerged as one powerful tool to starve the Kremlin’s war machine of
funding it needs to continue its brutal aggression in Ukraine.

But one other major source of Russia’s revenue in Europe has largely remained
unnoticed: Russia’s supplies of nuclear fuel and services to European
nuclear power plants.

Seeking to close this gap in Europe’s concerted
action against the war in Ukraine and to provide a comprehensive picture of
the union’s reliance on Russian nuclear technology, environmentalists
Patricia Lorenz, of Friends of the Earth Europe, and Vladimir Slivyak, a
2021 Right Livelihood Award laureate and co-chairman of the Russian
environmental group Ecodefense, on Wednesday jointly presented Russian Grip
on EU Nuclear Power – an overview of Russia’s businesses and supply
chains serving the European nuclear market.

 Eco Defense 19th May 2022

May 21, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE, politics international | Leave a comment

EDF shares fall after new profit warning due to nuclear outages

Shares in EDF fell 1.8% on Thursday after the French utility warned
outages at its nuclear power plants would result in a steeper-than-expected
cut in power output and thus have a greater than previously estimated
impact on 2022 core earnings. EDF said the impact of the outages largely
related to a program of inspections and repairs the company is carrying out
on some of its reactors would have a negative impact of around 18.5 billion
euros on the group’s core earnings this year instead of the 14 billion
euros previously forecast.

 Financial Post 19th May 2022

https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/edf-shares-fall-after-new-profit-warning-due-to-nuclear-outages

May 21, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, France | Leave a comment

Nuclear Free Local Authorities seeks assurance British nuclear will not rely on Russian uranium

 An organisation representing UK councils, Nuclear Free Local Authorities
(NFLA), has written for reassurance that Russian uranium will not be used
to power British nuclear reactors. The group reached out to the Chief
Executive of nuclear plant operator EDF energy, Simone Rossi, and the
Minister for Climate Change, Greg Hands, for clarification.

This comesafter NFLA Chair, Cllr David Blackburn, noticed mentions of a long-term
contract for natural and enriched uranium with Russian-owned supplier Tenex
in an EDF Energy report. In the annual financial report from EDF’s French
parent company, one section looks at the company’s strategy for enriching
natural uranium into uranium 235

 Environment Journal 17th May 2022

May 19, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Five reasons that Russia’s nuclear exports will continue, despite sanctions and the Ukraine invasion. But for how long?

By many measures, Russia’s state-controlled nuclear energy company,
Rosatom, has primacy in the global nuclear energy market. At any given
moment, the firm provides technical expertise, enriched fuel, and equipment
to nuclear reactors around the world.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and,
more acutely, the Russian military’s dangerous actions at the
Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and in the Chernobyl exclusion zone have
many countries rethinking their dependence on Russian nuclear products and
searching for alternatives.

Additionally, the ensuing global effort to
cripple Russian access to international markets calls into question the
viability of current contracts, government licensing, and financial
instruments involved in Russia’s nuclear exports.

Concurrently, the invasion has highlighted the lack of energy source diversification across
Europe. Headlines have focused on how several European countries decided to
phase out or delay plans to build new nuclear power plants in the wake of
the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi disaster and, instead, increase imports of
Russian oil and natural gas to feed their electric grids’ baseload needs.


Now, in response to the sudden European effort to minimize dependence on
Russian imports, the United States has sent tankers of liquefied natural
gas (LNG) to European ports. Additionally, the United States and partners
are releasing a round of oil from their strategic stockpiles to stabilize
market prices. For oil and natural gas supplies to Europe, there are some
immediate alternatives available.

However, for nuclear power plants,
swapping in alternative supplies is causing serious dilemmas and could lead
to stranded assets.

 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 17th May 2022

https://thebulletin.org/2022/05/five-reasons-that-russias-nuclear-exports-will-continue-despite-sanctions-and-the-ukraine-invasion-but-for-how-long/

May 19, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Don’t hold your breath waiting for NuScam’s small nuclear reactors to be profitable

As for valuation, the company is being valued on significant growth occurring in the potentially far distant future, so prospective investors would essentially be betting on the company’s ability to sell operating units at scale and profitably…and to do so in the coming near-to-medium term rather than the 2030s or beyond.

Spring Valley Completes NuScale Merger, But Growth Timing Is Unknown,  Donovan JonesMarketplace, Author of IPO Edge.  May 18, 2022 A Quick Take On NuScale.

Spring Valley Acquisition Corp. (NYSE:SMRhas announced the closing of its initial business combination with NuScale Power for an estimated enterprise value of approximately $1.9 billion.

NuScale has developed proprietary nuclear small modular reactors for utilities and industrial customers.

It is likely that NuScale will require significant time to generate material revenue growth and even longer for profits

…………….  Business Combination Terms

The Spring Valley Acquisition SPAC originally raised $230 million in gross proceeds in its IPO in late 2020, selling a total of 23 million units including underwriter allotments.

The previously announced transaction included a PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) which rose to $235 million from Samsung C&T, DS Private Equity, Segra Capital Management and Spring Valley’s sponsor Pearl Energy.

The deal will provide NuScale with gross proceeds of up to $413 million to pursue its commercialization initiatives and growth plans.

Major NuScale investor Fluor Corporation will retain approximately 60% ownership of NuScale, with other legacy shareholders retaining approximately 20.4%, the Spring Valley SPAC public shareholders having 6.5%, the Spring Valley Acquisition Sponsor retaining 2.4% and PIPE investors purchasing 10.7% of the outstanding NuScale stock.

……………….  As for valuation, the company is being valued on significant growth occurring in the potentially far distant future, so prospective investors would essentially be betting on the company’s ability to sell operating units at scale and profitably…and to do so in the coming near-to-medium term rather than the 2030s or beyond.

……………..  In any event, it is likely that NuScale will require significant time to generate material revenue growth and even longer for profits, so I’m on Hold over the near term for SMR.  https://seekingalpha.com/article/4512948-spring-valley-completes-nuscale-merger-but-growth-timing-is-unknown

May 19, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

Back to square one for $28B nuclear management contract.

 By Nick Wakeman,  WashingtonTechnology, Editor-in-chief    MAY 17, 2022

The National Nuclear Security Administration is taking current global events into account as it develops new solicitations. 
It’s back to the drawing board for the National Nuclear Security Administration and its $28 billion contract to manage two facilities that process nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

That huge contract attracted mega-teams including such notable market players as Booz Allen Hamilton, Leidos, Amentum and Fluor.

Fluor and Amentum are the main partners in joint venture Nuclear Production One LLC. That team also known as NPOne unseated the incumbent Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC, another joint venture.

Consolidated Nuclear Security’s key members include Bechtel National, Leidos, Northrop Grumman and SOC LLC. Booz Allen is involved also as a subcontractor.

After losing the contract in late November, CNS went to the Government Accountability Office with a protest that claimed the winner had an organizational conflict-of-interest and NNSA improperly evaluated the bids.

In December, the National Nuclear Security Administration said it would review the award decision. NNSA is part of the Energy Department.

With that review done, NNSA decided this week to scrap the whole thing and split the contract into two separate acquisitions. One will be for the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas; and the second for the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Each facility will now have its own presumably multibillion-dollar contract for management and operations services.

NNSA said it was splitting the contract because each facility has increased workloads. A “challenging geopolitical environment” was another reason cited………..

NNSA has now begun the process of developing two new solicitations. The NPOne and CNS teams will presumably continue to pursue the contracts.

But they are likely now armed with much more information on each other’s bids and approaches to the work, given what they’ve learned through debriefings and the protests.

NNSA’s restart also opens the opportunity to bring on new teammates as they push to differentiate themselves.

In the meantime, the current contract with Consolidated Nuclear Security will be extended.

GovTribe data shows that contract has netted $32 billion in spending since it was awarded in 2013.  https://washingtontechnology.com/contracts/2022/05/back-square-one-28b-nuclear-management-contract/367044/

May 19, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, USA | Leave a comment

$40 Billion More for the Ukraine War

We love the Ukraine war !!!

$40 Billion More the Ukraine War: A Wakeup Call for Those Who Still Believe in Lesser-Evilism, Anti-War.com, by Ryan Costello , , The US House of Representatives just approved another massive military “aid” package for the Ukraine War. The Biden administration had initially requested $33 billion in new money for the war, but leaders of both parties in Congress, eager to support the war, quickly said this was not enough, and raised the total for this package to $40 billion, a truly staggering total.

The administration had already spent $14 billion before this latest weapons package. The latest spending spree (at a time when many Americans are struggling with crushing debt loads, lack of baby formula and other key supplies, and skyrocketing inflation) brings the total spent in Ukraine in 3 months to $54 billion on the books (not counting all the dark money for the spy agencies). The official annual budget for the War in Afghanistan averaged $46 billion…The sum the US has already spent on this war in a few months is quickly approaching the annual military budget of the entire Russian military.

This money goes to companies like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, etc. These merchants of death make up the military industrial complex; they promote the permanent war economy, and have a vested interest in ensuring the US continues to engage in and support devastating wars abroad that destroy whole countries and societies, lead to millions of deaths and untold horrors like what we have seen in Yemen over the past few years.

These same corporate and state ghouls are salivating over the profits to be made in a new cold war with China. In this conflict for global dominance they see a shining opportunity to bleed the taxpayers of this country dry, looking to get blood from a stone in our country where the rich pay and big corporations no real taxes, but the middle class and poor are bled dry, being pushed deeper and deeper into debt-peonage and wage slavery by rising tax rates, shrinking paychecks, and red hot inflation (itself a result of the Federal Reserve’s reckless money printing to bailout the banks numerous times since 2008).

And yet not one of the so-called progressive Democrats could find a spine to stand against this weapons package. Not AOC, not Ilhan Omar, not any of them. This is not so surprising when one considers their spinelessness on Yemen (introducing a War Powers Resolution under Trump, knowing he would veto it, bur refusing to do so now that Biden is president), their posturing around Palestine (where they consistently rotate turns supporting more military funding for Israel), and countless other betrayals and hypocrisies.

Of all the “squad” only Cori Bush has released a statement justifying her vote for the bill. The others have remained silent and refused to respond to requests for comment on why they voted to fund the war machine after so many promises (clearly hollow) to end “the forever war.” Bush’s statement, like the entire legacy of the Squad, is a pathetic excuse for progressive politics. First, she claims that this $40 billion in military funding is about “strengthen[ing] the Ukrainian people’s fight against oppression and tyranny.” She makes no mention of the fact that key US leaders from Hillary Clinton to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs have made it clear that they want this war to drag out as long as possible to bleed Russia. 

In the course of such a prolonged conflict, we can only imagine the cost the people of Ukraine will pay. In short, this bill is both about padding the pockets of the military industrial complex and also about sacrificing Ukraine to weaken Russia as a rival to the US and NATO. As many have noted, the US elite are more than happy to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian.

At the end of her statement, Bush includes a hollow note that “The sheer size of the package given an already inflated Pentagon budget should not go without critique. I remain concerned about the increased risks of direct war and the potential for direct military confrontation.” This is akin to helping someone pour gasoline on a fire, and then saying that one remains concerned about the risk of the fire spreading! This is what we can expect from Bush, the squad, and the entire so-called progressive wing of the democratic party…………………..

The time has come to cast aside illusions about our so-called representatives in Washington, to stop believing in the lie of the Democratic Party as the supposed lesser of two evils, and to redouble our efforts to build up a renewed antiwar movement. Likewise, while a few dozen Republicans voted against the $40 billion, this is no reason for optimism that the Republican Party can be a vehicle for real change. During the Iraq War, once the protests swelled in size, many Democrats made court theater by feigning opposition to the war when Bush was president, only to support continued escalations and drone strikes once Obama was elected. As Howard Zinn notes over and over again in A People’s History of the United States, the two parties are part of one unified system of corporate monopoly rule. They exist to co-opt, mislead, and ultimate destroy movements that seek to change this system of oligarchical control of nearly every aspect of our country.

As long as we remain beholden to the Democrat or Republican Party politics, our movements will be gobbled up, defanged, and spat back out; regurgitated as pliant pawns of the corporate state and the military industrial complex, able to offer only the mildest of criticisms, and utterly impotent and unable to stand against the machinations of the megalomaniacs who run this country and are driving us all towards the brink of WWIII.

Ryan Costello is an organizer in New York City with United Against War and Militarism and a member of the Yemen Peace Vigil  https://original.antiwar.com/ryan_costello/2022/05/15/40-billion-more-the-ukraine-war-a-wakeup-call-for-those-who-still-believe-in-lesser-evilism/

May 17, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Turkish nuclear plant threatened by Russian sanctions

Akkuyu nuclear power plant would be Turkey’s first, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may cause problems. Aljazeera, By Andrew Wilks, 16 May 2022,

Istanbul, Turkey – Unprecedented sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine have led to fresh concerns about Turkey’s first nuclear power plant, which is being built by Moscow’s state-owned nuclear company.

The first reactor of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, located on the Mediterranean coast near Mersin, is due to start production next year, but potential blocks on financing and equipment from third countries have threatened to delay the $20bn project.

Rosatom, the Russian firm behind Akkuyu, has so far escaped sanctions but the option has reportedly been discussed by the United States. Banks such as Sberbank, Russia’s largest financial institution and a major backer of the nuclear plant, have been hit.

………  Possible sanctions against Rosatom could also affect the flow of equipment to Akkuyu, barring suppliers from providing energy industry equipment, technology and services.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster NTV, aired on February 23, Akkuyu CEO Anastasia Zoteeva highlighted the “large amount of equipment” produced for the plant in countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary and South Korea. A key component was manufactured by GE Steam Power, a branch of General Electric, in France while French company Assystem is also involved in construction supervision.

Neither General Electric, Assystem nor other third-country companies contacted for comment by Al Jazeera responded……………………………   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/5/16/turkish-nuclear-plant-threatened-by-russian-sanctions

May 17, 2022 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Turkey | Leave a comment