nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Why does the media blindly regurgitate the untruth that “Iran has a nuclear weapons program” ?

Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. Why do media keep saying it does? https://www.salon.com/2017/10/20/iran-does-not-have-a-nuclear-weapons-program-why-do-media-keep-saying-it-does/

Iran has a civilian nuclear energy program, but not one designed to build weapons ADAM H. JOHNSONFAIR.ORG, 10.20.2017 

 When it comes to Iran, do basic facts matter? Evidently not, since dozens and dozens of journalists keep casually reporting that Iran has a “nuclear weapons program” when it does not—a problem FAIR has reported on over the years (e.g., 9/9/15). Let’s take a look at some of the outlets spreading this falsehood in just the past five days:
  • Business Insider (10/13/17): The deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), aims to incentivize Iran to curb its nuclear weapons program by lifting crippling international economic sanctions.”
  • New Yorker (10/16/17): “One afternoon in late September, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called a meeting of the six countries that came together in 2015 to limit Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
  • Washington Post (10/16/17): “The administration is also considering changing or scrapping an international agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program.”
  • CNN (10/17/17): “In reopening the nuclear agreement, [Trump] risks having Iran advance its nuclear weapons program at a time when he confronts a far worse nuclear challenge from North Korea that he can’t resolve.”

The problem with all of these excerpts: Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program. It has a civilian nuclear energy program, but not one designed to build weapons. Over 30 countries have civilian nuclear programs; only a handful—including, of course, the U.S. and Israel—have nuclear weapons programs. One is used to power cities, one is used to level them.

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October 21, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

No – nuclear industry is NOT “emissions free”

Beware nuclear industry’s fake news on being emissions free
 David Lowry on nuclear not being zero-carbon technology Guardian, 18 Sept 17  
Your incisive editorial makes many strong points, not least highlighting the exigencies of potential security compromises and terrorism vulnerabilities of the planned new nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point. But there is a fatal flaw in the argument you set out. The editorial asserts: “Nuclear power has a trump card: it is a zero-carbon technology which delivers a continuous, uninterrupted supply.”

This is demonstrably untrue. On the latter point, you only have to consult the published operating record of reactors to see this is an unsustainable claim. All reactors have lengthy planned outages (shutdowns) for operational reasons; some have significant unplanned outages due to operational failures; and in the extreme case of post-accident safety prudence, such as in Japan, their 54 reactors were all closed for years after the 2011 Fukushima disaster – and became hugely expensive “stranded assets”.

On alleged zero-carbon status of nuclear plants, you repeat a similarly erroneous assertion made in your editorial of 1 October 2005 (Pre-empting debate), where you wrote: “The big advantage of nuclear generation is that it does not produce environmentally degrading emissions in the way that fossil fuel generation does.”

You printed my response to this assertion (There is nothing green about Blair’s nuclear dream, 20 October 2005) in which I set out the various ways the carbon footprint of nuclear power is substantial, if the whole “cradle-to-grave” nuclear fuel chain (uranium mining, milling, enrichment, fuel production, in-reactor fuel irradiation, storage and final long-term management) is properly calculated. I pointed out that the nuclear industry’s proponents, such as those gathered at last week’s World Nuclear Association jamboree in London, are fond of spreading fake news such as describing nuclear energy as “non-carbon emitting”. It is about time this dangerous falsehood was confined to the dustbin of history.
Dr David Lowry
Senior research fellow, Institute for Resource and Security Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/17/beware-nuclear-industrys-fake-news-on-being-emissions-free

September 18, 2017 Posted by | media, UK | Leave a comment

Media are letting us down, coverage of climate change gets poorer, as climate change gets worse

Climate change is getting worse, and so is media’s coverage of it, Salon.com. Media are failing to inform audiences about pressing impacts on human migration patterns, women, and the economy, Broadcast networks are decreasing their climate coverage at a time when the case for reporting on the issue is become more and more compelling. By ignoring this serious matter, media are failing to inform audiences about pressing impacts on human migration patterns, women, and the economy.

In 2016, media had no shortage of compelling reasons to cover climate change — from the revelation that it was the third consecutive hottest year on record to the United States’ election of a climate denier to its highest office. Yet broadcast news outlets’ coverage of climate change dropped a whopping 66 percent from 2015 to 2016, making it the third consecutive year of declining coverage.

When media turn a blind eye to climate change, they ignore an issue that will have devastating impacts and multiply existing threats across the globe. According to The New York Times, unmitigated climate change could displace between 50 million and 200 million people by 2050. But the effects of climate change are already visible. In the U.S. last year, the federal government allocated $48 million in grants to resettle residents of Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana, which represents “the first allocation of federal tax dollars to move an entire community struggling with the impacts of climate change.”

 Climate change poses a particular threat to women. A whole host of studies have concluded that women will bear the brunt of climate change-induced natural disasters and severe weather events. According to a United Nations analysis, “Women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men — primarily as they constitute the majority of the world’s poor and are more dependent for their livelihood on natural resources that are threatened by climate change.” The analysis also stated, “When coupled with unequal access to resources and to decision-making processes, limited mobility places women in rural areas in a position where they are disproportionately affected by climate change.”
The prospect of a warming planet also presents a huge risk to the global economy. ……http://www.salon.com/2017/09/11/climate-change-is-getting-worse-and-so-is-medias-coverage-of-it_partner/

September 14, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, media | Leave a comment

CNN the only Sunday morning political show to mention climate change when discussing Irma

Sunday shows largely fail to mention climate change in Hurricane Irma coverage https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2017/09/10/sunday-shows-largely-fail-mention-climate-change-hurricane-irma-coverage/217895

CNN’s State of the Union was the only Sunday morning political show to mention climate change when discussing Irma

DINA RADTKEThree out of four* major Sunday morning political programs neglected to discuss climate change during their coverage of Hurricane Irma, the second category four hurricane to hit the United States in a matter of weeks.

As Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean and approached Florida, Sunday morning political news programs reported on the storm’s remarkable strength and size and the potential damage it could cause, but three major Sunday shows — Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, CBS’ Face the Nation, and ABC’s This Week — failed to mention the effects of climate change during their coverage of the storm, even though expertshave linked extreme weather events, including Irma, to global warming.

The only Sunday morning political show to discuss climate change was CNN’s State of the Union. During an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), host Jake Tapper said, “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, the fact that many experts say that the storm is more intense because of climate change” and asked why many Republicans “act as if it’s not real, even though the overwhelming scientific consensus is that it’s real, and it’s man-made”:

Television news programs have repeatedly avoided discussing climate change in their coverage of devastating natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey. The reluctance to discuss climate change on this week’s Sunday news shows follows a pattern that seems to be getting even worse.

Methodology

Media Matters searched SnapStream for discussions of climate change and global warming using the search terms “climate change” or “global warming” on Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, CBS’ Face the Nation, and ABC’s This Week, and CNN’s State of the Union. Segments were counted if climate change or global warming was discussed in reporting on Hurricane Irma.

*NBC’s Meet the Press was not included because the show was preempted for Hurricane Irma coverage.

September 11, 2017 Posted by | climate change, media, USA | 1 Comment

Women seen as powerful advocates for the nuclear lobby

American Women Step Up as Nuclear Energy Advocates VOA August 25, 2017  Michelle Quinn

Women seen as powerful advocates, 

Industry experts say that women who work in nuclear power can be powerful advocates for nuclear. They can help change attitudes of other women who tend to be more skeptical than men about nuclear energy’s benefits.

At the recent U.S. Women in Nuclear conference in San Francisco, women working in the industry talked about how more should be done to make nuclear power’s case to the public, and how they may be the best suited to do it.

“As mothers, I think we also have an important role to play in letting the public know that we support nuclear for the future, for our children,” said Matteson. “And we don’t know other mothers supporting nuclear power in a vocal way. We thought there was a gap to fill.”

Young women say they look at careers in this industry because they are socially minded.

‘Do something good for the world’

“I went into this wanting to do something good for the world,” Lenka Kollar, business strategy director at NuScale, a firm in Oregon that designs and markets small modular reactors. “Wanting to bring power to people. There are still more than a billion people in the world who don’t have electricity.”

Critics of nuclear energy say it doesn’t matter who is promoting it.

“Using mothers’ voices to argue for a technology that is fundamentally dangerous and that has been demonstrated by disasters like Fukushima to be not safe for the communities that surround the power plants or even cities that are hundreds of miles away is disingenuous,” said Kendra Klein, a staff scientist with Friends of the Earth, an environmental group…….https://www.voanews.com/a/american-women-step-up-as-nuclear-energy-advocates/4000185.html

August 26, 2017 Posted by | media, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Inaccurate translations in media increase tensions between Iran and USA

Shoddy translation in the Western media is increasing nuclear tensions–again, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Ariane Tabatabai, 25 Aug 17,  “…….Inaccurate translations, imprecise analyses, and poor reporting have long plagued discussion of Iranian nuclear affairs in Western, English-language media. Now, though, this kind of irresponsibility is particularly alarming, because the nuclear agreement signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers is in a fragile state. The agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, curbs Iranian nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief, and is critical to advancing the US objective of keeping Tehran away from the Bomb without resorting to military force. US President Donald Trump has gone from pledging to dismantle the deal to trying to kill it by a thousand cuts. Meanwhile, various American interest groups are jumping in to advocate for their own preferred Iran policy options, including leaving the JCPOA and pursuing regime change. All this makes it even more critical than before for journalists and experts to get the facts right.

In foreign policy reporting, especially during periods of heightened tension and escalation, translations are a particularly challenging part of the journalist’s job. Mistranslations and inaccurate reporting can be consequential, as even the slightest mistakes can change meaning and generate crises……
the bottom line of all statements coming out of Tehran about the nuclear deal is that the country is committed to preserving it. This is currently the consensus within the regime; whether everyone likes it or not, the JCPOA is the law of the land. Yet given US threats to renege on the deal, Rouhani also has to hedge. So he is laying out his country’s options and the possible outcomes should America withdraw from the process. It is in this area that many reporters have translated his statements inaccurately.
For example, on August 15, Reuters inaccurately reported that Rouhani said his country “could abandon its nuclear agreement with world powers ‘within hours’ if the United States imposes any more sanctions.” The article went on to misquote Rouhani as saying: “If America wants to go back to the experience (of imposing sanctions), Iran would certainly return in a short time—not a week or a month but within hours—to conditions more advanced than before the start of negotiations.” In fact, what Rouhani said was: “New US officials should know that the failed experience of sanctions and coercion brought their previous governments to the negotiating table. And if they want to return to that experience, surely, in a short amount of time, not in a period of weeks and months, but hours and days, we will return to a much more advanced situation than that of the beginning of the talks.” In other words, Rouhani wasn’t threatening to leave the JCPOA if the United States imposed more sanctions on it—as the article’s title suggested and its content indicated—but to resume elements of its program if Washingtondecided to leave the JCPOA. At the same time, Rouhani reiterated that his country’s preferred course of action was to preserve the deal—but he wanted the United States to know that Iran, too, had options……
These inaccuracies would be problematic under normal circumstances, but they are particularly irresponsible at a time of heightened tensions, during which misperceptions could quickly torpedo the nuclear deal and put the United States and Iran on a collision course. Right now, the Trump administration is reviewing its policy on the JCPOA, Iranian support for the deal is diminishing, and hawks on both sides see this fragile state of affairs as an opportune moment to kill it off completely. If journalists are to hold those in power accountable, they must be held accountable themselves. http://thebulletin.org/shoddy-translation-western-media-increasing-nuclear-tensions-again11046?platform=hootsuite

August 26, 2017 Posted by | Iran, media, USA | Leave a comment

Trump’s dangerous use of Twitter – prompts a move to buy Twitter, and ban Trump’s tweets

TRUMP’S TWEETS COULD LEAD TO NUCLEAR WAR, SAYS FORMER CIA AGENT WHO WANTS TO BUY TWITTER, BAN PRESIDENT, NewsWeek, BY JASON LE MIERE ON 8/24/17 President Donald Trump’s tweets could lead the United States to “stumble into a nuclear conflict with North Korea,” according to a former CIA agent who has begun a crowdfunding campaign to buy Twitter and ban the president from using it.

The former agent, Valerie Plame Wilson, worked on nuclear issues at the CIA and now works with Global Zero, a nonprofit that works to achieve the elimination of nuclear weapons. Last week, in conjunction with Global Zero, she launched a campaign on GoFundMe that aims to raise $1 billion in order to buy a controlling interest in Twitter.

Wilson said she has been bothered by many aspects of Trump’s Twitter use, including his penchant for personal attacks, but it was his recent escalation of rhetoric with North Korea that truly concerned her.

“People who understand how crises escalate…[know] it is absolutely alarming that the president uses this global platform…[and] perhaps we would stumble into a nuclear conflict with North Korea,” she told Newsweek Thursday. “And that is unacceptable.”….

“His head is chaotic, to say the least,” Wilson said. “He’s got one finger on Twitter, one finger on the nuclear weapon. I think most Americans walk around in the ignorant but secure belief that somehow there’s a considered way to launch a nuclear weapon. And that’s not the case. He has immediate access to this awesome destructive power and he loves to emote reckless bravado, and it makes this scenario that much more likely.”…..

Twitter, Wilson contends, is also failing to protect against violent speech. There have been previous calls for Twitter to suspend Trump from the platform, but it has thus far rejected those appeals.

“The actual Twitter rules say they forbid hate speech and inciting violence and I think it’s fair to say that nuclear war would be inciting violence,” she said.

Wilson added that the campaign was a way of “holding Twitter executives’ feet to the fire.”

While a majority stake in Twitter would currently cost around $6 billion, a $1 billion stake would make Wilson the largest shareholder and give her a powerful voice.

With the current amount raised standing at just over $44,000, Wilson accepts that her goal is ambitious, but she says that if the target is not reached, all the money will go to Global Zero to help prevent the spread of nuclear weapons. And, if nothing else, she added, it will raise awareness of what she considers should be a major concern to all Americans, regardless of their political leanings.

“My real hope in launching this campaign is to shine a spotlight on how dangerous Donald Trump’s use of Twitter really is,” she said. “We don’t have to sit by while he uses this huge global platform to undermine our national security.” http://www.newsweek.com/trump-nuclear-war-twitter-president-654883

August 26, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, media | Leave a comment

BBC lets Nigel Lawson get away with anti science on climate change

Independent 10th Aug 2017, The BBC has been criticised for inviting a climate change denier to come on
air and voice his belief that global warming isn’t happening. Science
broadcasters including Brian Cox and Jim al-Khalili criticised the decision
to bring on famous denialist Nigel Lawson, apparently to make sure that
there was a balanced debate.

Both pointed out that there is very little debate about global warming – an established fact on which almost every
mainstream scientist is agreed. Lord Lawson was able to make a number of
claims, which went mostly unchallenged. He said, for instance, that the
world had actually become colder over the last 10 years – despite the fact
that 2014, 2015 and 2016 have been the hottest years on record.

Environmental experts including Carbon Brief fact-checked each of the
claims and found that none of them were true. But apparently because Lord
Lawson had been invited on as an opposing voice in a debate – to follow an
interview with Al Gore about his latest climate change film – he was mostly
asked to disagree with the science on global warming and his opinions were
little picked up on.
http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/today-programme-nigel-lawson-al-gore-climate-change-denier-global-warming-bbc-radio-4-inconvenient-a7886426.html

August 12, 2017 Posted by | climate change, media, UK | Leave a comment

BBC gives platform for climate sceptic to spout anti science

Carbon Brief 10th Aug 2017, Factcheck: Lord Lawson’s inaccurate claims about climate change on BBC
Radio 4. The Today programme, BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs
breakfast show, featured a prominent five-minute interview this morning
with the climate sceptic Conservative peer Lord Lawson.

Lawson was asked by the presenter Justin Webb to respond to Webb’s earlier interview with Al
Gore. The former US vice president is in the UK promoting his new
documentary, The Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, a follow-up to his
Oscar-winning film released a decade ago.

Lawson, who has a history ofcontroversial appearances on the Today programme, made a number of
inaccurate claims throughout his interview. It has already attracted
widespread criticism from scientists. Carbon Brief has transcribed and
annotated the interview to highlight and contextualise the errors.  https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-lord-lawson-inaccurate-claims-about-climate-change-bbc-radio-four

August 12, 2017 Posted by | media, UK | Leave a comment

How the US military co-opted a famous journalist to make the nuclear industry look good

In 2004, the progressive journalists Amy and David Goodman called for the prize to be revoked, charging that Laurence had knowingly covered up the effects of radiation sickness on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors by “parroting the government line” that such reports were Japanese propaganda.

Laurence’s role within the Manhattan Project was a clear conflict of interest

We will probably never know the true extent to which William Laurence was co-opted, compromised, or corrupted by his military and governmental connections and involvements.

Atomic Bill’ and the Birth of the Bomb  A star New York Times reporter was hired by the Manhattan Project to be its chronicler and cheerleader. The ethical debate continues to this day. Undark,  08.09.2017 / BY 

T 5:51 A.M. on Monday, May 21, 1956, the famed New York Times science correspondent William Leonard “Atomic Bill” Laurence watched a new universe burst into existence……Called Cherokee, it was a hydrogen bomb that moments before had been dropped about four miles off target from a B-52 bomber flying 10 miles over the northern Pacific, near the island of Namu in the Bikini Atoll

“….Laurence was also, at least in his own era, one of the most important science writers in America, one whose influence, if not his lyrical and vivid prose style, persists to this day. The Princeton historian Michael D. Gordin, author of “Five Days in August” and “Red Cloud at Dawn,” notes Laurence’s seminal impact on popular perceptions of the Bomb: “[His] science-driven utopianism, stressing some of the potential positive outcomes of nuclear power and minimizing the threat to Americans … [was] strongly influential in those early years, and shaped some of the discourse even of those opposed to the positions he articulated.” Much of Laurence’s writing, Gordin goes on, “became just part of the way people talked about nuclear weapons for decades.”

For Laurence, science represented humanity’s salvation, whether through medical advances or the power of the atom. If he believed that science was “the religion of the future,” as Spencer Weart wrote in his book “Nuclear Fear,” then Laurence definitely saw himself as an evangelist…….

OR YEARS, Laurence had wavered, torn between his firsthand knowledge of the annihilating power of nuclear weapons and his hope that the civilian and military atom would bring about a fabled new age of wonder for humankind. The great dangers and the great promise were two separate paths, and it was up to us to choose the right one.

But now those two sides of the atom, the dark and the light, nuclear oblivion and nuclear plenty, finally reconciled themselves in Laurence’s mind. He knew he had been wrong. They weren’t separate. They were one and the same. In the face of the awesome power of hydrogen fusion, no distinctions were necessary, or even possible. Beyond the dark cloud of nuclear destruction lay the super-bright sun of nuclear promise. And he would be the one who, through his words, would help the world see that light……..

In recent years, rising concerns over journalistic ethics, embedded reporters, and conflicts of interest have led critics to view Laurence’s role in the Manhattan Project as a classic example of the latter. Here was a reporter for America’s newspaper of record, tapped to serve not the interests of objective journalism but those of the military. …..

Laurence won his second Pulitzer Prize in 1946 for his Manhattan Project reporting, specifically his eyewitness account of the Nagasaki bombing mission. In 2004, the progressive journalists Amy and David Goodman called for the prize to be revoked, charging that Laurence had knowingly covered up the effects of radiation sickness on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors by “parroting the government line” that such reports were Japanese propaganda. That same year, Beverly Ann Deepe Keever, a University of Hawaii journalism professor, took The Times itself to task, claiming in her book “News Zero: The New York Times and the Bomb” that beginning with Laurence and continuing throughout the Atomic Age, the paper had “omitted or obscured the defining — and harmful — effect” of radiation and radioactivity and had “aided the U.S. government at critical moments in implementing an information policy that covered up or minimized the scope and impacts of radiation and radioactivity.”

However, there’s an important perspective that such accusations overlook. Laurence’s role within the Manhattan Project was a clear conflict of interest by today’s standards……

While I was away with the atomic project for four months, I was off the Times payroll,” he explained in his Columbia oral history interview. “My salary came from the Army. … All the facts, all the news I got, I got from the Army and not from my connection with the Times.” ….

Despite Laurence’s claims, the question of just who was paying him while he was lost in “Atomland-on-Mars,” as he called it, remains unclear. His temporary boss, Gen. Leslie Groves — the military head of the Manhattan Project and the man who plucked Laurence away from the Times after personally selecting him for his atomic job — later wrote in his own memoir that “it seemed desirable for security reasons, as well as easier for the employer [i.e., The Times], to have Laurence continue on the payroll of the New York Times, but with his expenses to be covered by the MED” — the Manhattan Engineering District, i.e. Manhattan Project……..

His glowing paeans to the limitless future of atomic energy and the relative “safety” of the supposedly “clean” hydrogen weapons then under development — along with a thinly veiled disdain toward the growing grassroots campaign to ban atomic testing — only helped to enhance his image as a journalist who not only accepted but actively supported the Bomb as a part of 20th-century civilization. …

There’s no doubt that Groves and the military were consciously attempting to downplay the dangers of radiation….

We will probably never know the true extent to which William Laurence was co-opted, compromised, or corrupted by his military and governmental connections and involvements. It appears that in many ways, he was never really certain himself, and allowed himself to fall into a rabbit hole of murky motivations, ethical conflicts, and questionable alliances for the sake of what he viewed as his journalistic duty and dedication to the truth. What is clear, however, is that he allowed his awe, his sense of wonder, to overwhelm his consciousness, numbing his original visceral dread of atomic weapons and his detailed knowledge of their power. After struggling for decades with the insoluble conflict between the atom’s potential for both unparalleled good and unspeakable evil, he resolved the struggle in his own soul by surrendering to a comforting anodyne, a conviction that nuclear weapons were ultimately a “world-covering, protective umbrella” to shield humanity until the dawn of a golden era of peace.

Blinded by the fireball light of Cherokee that shone so brilliantly and then faded, Laurence anesthetized the dread he had felt and warned of long before any of his colleagues by simply fooling himself. Those of us who are his inheritors must guard against falling into the same trap.   https://undark.org/article/atomic-bill-laurence-manhattan-project/

August 12, 2017 Posted by | media, USA | Leave a comment

Nuclear danger as Trump government guts science, removes Department of Energy’s skilled personnel

The department trains every international atomic-energy inspector; if nuclear power plants around the world are not producing weapons-grade material on the sly by reprocessing spent fuel rods and recovering plutonium, it’s because of these people

Since Perry was confirmed, his role has been ceremonial and bizarre. He pops up in distant lands and tweets in praise of this or that D.O.E. program while his masters inside the White House create budgets to eliminate those very programs.

Trump’s budget …  cuts funding to the national labs in a way that implies the laying off of 6,000 of their people. It eliminates all research on climate change. It halves the funding for work to secure the electrical grid from attack or natural disaster

WHY THE SCARIEST NUCLEAR THREAT MAY BE COMING FROM INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE Donald Trump’s secretary of energy, Rick Perry, once campaigned to abolish the $30 billion agency that he now runs, which oversees everything from our nuclear arsenal to the electrical grid. The department’s budget is now on the chopping block. But does anyone in the White House really understand what the Department of Energy actually does? And what a horrible risk it would be to ignore its extraordinary, life-or-death responsibilities? BY MICHAEL LEWIS SEPTEMBER 2017 “………..Two weeks after the election the Obama people inside the D.O.E. read in the newspapers that Trump had created a small “Landing Team.” According to several D.O.E. employees, this was led by, and mostly consisted of, a man named Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, which, upon inspection, proved to be a Washington, D.C., propaganda machine funded with millions of dollars from ExxonMobil and Koch Industries. Pyle himself had served as a Koch Industries lobbyist and ran a side business writing editorials attacking the D.O.E.’s attempts to reduce the dependence of the American economy on carbon……….

…..There was a reason Obama had appointed nuclear physicists to run the place: it, like the problems it grappled with, was technical and complicated……..

Pyle, according to D.O.E. officials, eventually sent over a list of 74 questions he wanted answers to. His list addressed some of the subjects covered in the briefing materials, but also a few not:

“Can you provide a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended any Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon meetings?

Can you provide a list of Department employees or contractors who attended any of the Conference of the Parties (under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in the last five years?”

That, in a nutshell, was the spirit of the Trump enterprise. “It reminded me of McCarthyism,” says Sherwood-Randall……..

The one concrete action the Trump administration took before Inauguration Day was to clear the D.O.E. building of anyone appointed by Obama…….

Roughly half of the D.O.E.’s annual budget is spent on maintaining and guarding our nuclear arsenal, for instance. Two billion of that goes to hunting down weapons-grade plutonium and uranium at loose in the world so that it doesn’t fall into the hands of terrorists. In just the past eight years the D.O.E.’s National Nuclear Security Administration has collected enough material to make 160 nuclear bombs. The department trains every international atomic-energy inspector; if nuclear power plants around the world are not producing weapons-grade material on the sly by reprocessing spent fuel rods and recovering plutonium, it’s because of these people. The D.O.E. also supplies radiation-detection equipment to enable other countries to detect bomb material making its way across national borders. To maintain the nuclear arsenal, it conducts endless, wildly expensive experiments on tiny amounts of nuclear material to try to understand what is actually happening to plutonium when it fissions, which, amazingly, no one really does. To study the process, it is funding what promises to be the next generation of supercomputers, which will in turn lead God knows where.
The Trump people didn’t seem to grasp, according to a former D.O.E. employee, how much more than just energy the Department of Energy was about……..Trump had nominated three people and installed just one, former Texas governor Rick Perry……..With the nuclear physicist who understood the D.O.E. perhaps better than anyone else on earth, according to one person familiar with the meeting, Perry had spent minutes, not hours. “He has no personal interest in understanding what we do and effecting change,” a D.O.E. staffer told me in June. “He’s never been briefed on a program—not a single one, which to me is shocking.”

Since Perry was confirmed, his role has been ceremonial and bizarre. He pops up in distant lands and tweets in praise of this or that D.O.E. program while his masters inside the White House create budgets to eliminate those very programs. His sporadic public communications have had in them something of the shell-shocked grandmother trying to preside over a pleasant family Thanksgiving dinner while pretending that her blind-drunk husband isn’t standing naked on the dining-room table waving the carving knife over his head.

Meanwhile, inside the D.O.E. building, people claiming to be from the Trump administration appear willy-nilly, unannounced, and unintroduced to the career people. “There’s a mysterious kind of chain from the Trump loyalists who have shown up inside D.O.E. to the White House,” says a career civil servant. “That’s how decisions, like the budget, seem to get made. Not by Perry.”…….

Because of that lack of communication, nothing is being done. All policy questions remain unanswered.”……..

Another permanent employee, in another wing of the D.O.E., says, “The biggest change is the grinding to a halt of any proactive work. There’s very little work happening. There’s a lot of confusion about what our mission was going to be. For a majority of the workforce it’s been demoralizing.”

Over and over again, I was asked by people who worked inside the D.O.E. not to use their names, or identify them in any way, for fear of reprisal…..

…….The D.O.E. ran the 17 national labs—Brookhaven, the Fermi National Accelerator Lab, Oak Ridge, the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab, and so on. “The office of science in D.O.E. is not the office of science for D.O.E.,” said MacWilliams. “It’s the office of science for all science in America. I realized pretty quickly that it was the place where you could work on the two biggest risks to human existence, nuclear weapons and climate change.”…….

Indeed, if you are seeking to preserve a certain worldview, it actually helps to gut science. Trump’s budget, like the social forces behind it, is powered by a perverse desire—to remain ignorant. Trump didn’t invent this desire. He is just its ultimate expression. http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/07/department-of-energy-risks-michael-lewis

July 28, 2017 Posted by | investigative journalism, politics, safety, USA | Leave a comment

Vast areas of America’s land poisoned by mismanagement of military wastes

More than three decades ago, Congress banned American industries and localities from disposing of hazardous waste in these sorts of “open burns,’’ concluding that such uncontrolled processes created potentially unacceptable health and environmental hazards.

That exemption has remained in place ever since, even as other Western countries have figured out how to destroy aging armaments without toxic emissions.

Federal environmental regulators have warned for decades that the burns pose a threat to soldiers, contractors and the public stationed at, or living near, American bases.

“They are not subject to the kind of scrutiny and transparency and disclosure to the public as private sites are,”

How The Pentagon’s Handling Of Munitions And Their Waste Has Poisoned America
Many nations have destroyed aging armaments without toxic emissions. The U.S., however, has poisoned millions of acres.
Huffington Post,  20/07/2017 Co-published with ProPublica  20 July 17 RADFORD, Va. — Shortly after dawn most weekdays, a warning siren rips across the flat, swift water of the New River running alongside the Radford Army Ammunition Plant. Red lights warning away boaters and fishermen flash from the plant, the nation’s largest supplier of propellant for artillery and the source of explosives for almost every American bullet fired overseas.

 Along the southern Virginia riverbank, piles of discarded contents from bullets, chemical makings from bombs, and raw explosives — all used or left over from the manufacture and testing of weapons ingredients at Radford — are doused with fuel and lit on fire, igniting infernos that can be seen more than a half a mile away. The burning waste is rich in lead, mercury, chromium and compounds like nitroglycerin and perchlorate, all known health hazards. The residue from the burning piles rises in a spindle of hazardous smoke, twists into the wind and, depending on the weather, sweeps toward the tens of thousands of residents in the surrounding towns.

Nearby, Belview Elementary School has been ranked by researchers as facing some the most dangerous air-quality hazards in the country. The rate of thyroid diseases in three of the surrounding counties is among the highest in the state, provoking town residents to worry that emissions from the Radford plant could be to blame. Government authorities have never studied whether Radford’s air pollution could be making people sick, but some of their hypothetical models estimate that the local population faces health risks exponentially greater than people in the rest of the region.

 More than three decades ago, Congress banned American industries and localities from disposing of hazardous waste in these sorts of “open burns,’’ concluding that such uncontrolled processes created potentially unacceptable health and environmental hazards. Companies that had openly burned waste for generations were required to install incinerators with smokestacks and filters and to adhere to strict limits on what was released into the air. Lawmakers granted the Pentagon and its contractors a temporary reprieve from those rules to give engineers time to address the unique aspects of destroying explosive military waste.
That exemption has remained in place ever since, even as other Western countries have figured out how to destroy aging armaments without toxic emissions. While American officials are mired in a bitter debate about how much pollution from open burns is safe, those countries have pioneered new approaches. Germany, for example, destroyed hundreds of millions of pounds of aging weapons from the Cold War without relying on open burns to do it.

In the United States, outdoor burning and detonation is still the military’s leading method for dealing with munitions and the associated hazardous waste. It has remained so despite a U.S. Senate resolution a quarter of a century ago that ordered the Department of Defense to halt the practice “as soon as possible.” It has continued in the face of a growing consensus among Pentagon officials and scientists that similar burn pits at U.S. bases in Iraq and Afghanistan sickened soldiers.

Federal records identify nearly 200 sites that have been or are still being used to open-burn hazardous explosives across the country. Some blow up aging stockpile bombs in open fields. Others burn bullets, weapons parts and — in the case of Radford — raw explosives in bonfire-like piles. The facilities operate under special government permits that are supposed to keep the process safe, limiting the release of toxins to levels well below what the government thinks can make people sick. Yet officials at the Environmental Protection Agency, which governs the process under federal law, acknowledge that the permits provide scant protection.

Consider Radford’s permit, which expired nearly two years ago. Even before then, government records show, the plant repeatedly violated the terms of its open burn allowance and its other environmental permits. In a typical year, the plant can spew many thousands of pounds of heavy metals and carcinogens — legally — into the atmosphere. But Radford has, at times, sent even more pollution into the air than it is allowed. It has failed to report some of its pollution to federal agencies, as required. And it has misled the public about the chemicals it burns. Yet every day the plant is allowed to ignite as much as 8,000 pounds of hazardous debris.

“It smells like plastic burning, but it’s so much more intense,” said Darlene Nester, describing the acrid odor from the burns when it reaches her at home, about a mile and a half away. Her granddaughter is in second grade at Belview. “You think about all the kids.”

Internal EPA records obtained by ProPublica show that the Radford plant is one of at least 51 active sites across the country where the Department of Defense or its contractors are today burning or detonating munitions or raw explosives in the open air, often in close proximity to schools, homes and water supplies. The documents — EPA PowerPoint presentations made to senior agency staff — describe something of a runaway national program, based on “a dirty technology” with “virtually no emissions controls.” According to officials at the agency, the military’s open burn program not only results in extensive contamination, but “staggering” cleanup costs that can reach more than half a billion dollars at a single site.

The sites of open burns — including those operated by private contractors and the Department of Energy — have led to 54 separate federal Superfund declarations and have exposed the people who live near them to dangers that will persist for generations.

In Grand Island, Nebraska, groundwater plumes of explosive residues spread more than 20 miles away from the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant into underground drinking water supplies, forcing the city to extend replacement water to rural residents. And at the Redstone Arsenal, an Army experimental weapons test and burn site in Huntsville, Alabama, perchlorate in the soil is 7,000 times safe limits, and local officials have had to begin monitoring drinking water for fear of contamination.

Federal environmental regulators have warned for decades that the burns pose a threat to soldiers, contractors and the public stationed at, or living near, American bases. Local communities – from Merrimac, Wisconsin, to Romulus, New York – have protested them. Researchers are studying possible cancer clusters on Cape Cod that could be linked to munitions testing and open burns there, and where the groundwater aquifer that serves as the only natural source of drinking water for the half-million people who summer there has been contaminated with the military’s bomb-making ingredients……..

ProPublica reviewed the open burns and detonations program as part of an unprecedented examination of America’s handling of munitions at sites in the United States, from their manufacture and testing to their disposal. We collected tens of thousands of pages of documents, and interviewed more than 100 state and local officials, lawmakers, military historians, scientists, toxicologists and Pentagon staff. Much of the information gathered has never before been released to the public, leaving the full extent of military-related pollution a secret.

“They are not subject to the kind of scrutiny and transparency and disclosure to the public as private sites are,” said Mathy Stanislaus, who until January worked on Department of Defense site cleanup issues as the assistant administrator for land and emergency management at the EPA.

Our examination found that open burn sites are just one facet of a vast problem. From World War I until today, military technologies and armaments have been developed, tested, stored, decommissioned and disposed of on vast tracts of American soil. The array of scars and menaces produced across those decades is breathtaking: By the military’s own count, there are 39,400 known or suspected toxic sites on 5,500 current or former Pentagon properties. EPA staff estimate the sites cover 40 million acres — an area larger than the state of Florida — and the costs for cleaning them up will run to hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Department of Defense’s cleanups of the properties have sometimes been delegated to inept or corrupt private contractors, or delayed as the agency sought to blame the pollution at its bases on someone else. Even where the contamination and the responsibility for it are undisputed, the Pentagon has stubbornly fought the EPA over how much danger it presents to the public and what to do about it, letters and agency records show.

Chapter 1. Rules With Exceptions……..

Chapter 2. Debating the Dangers…….

Chapter 3. Awakening to Threats…….

Chapter 4. Risks and Choices…….   alternatives only seem to be deployed after communities have mobilized to fight the burning with a vigor that has proven elusive in many military towns. “Sometimes it’s easier for everybody to just lie low and keep doing what they are doing,” Hayes added. “Short term thinking is the problem. In the immediate, it costs them nothing to keep burning.”

The success in Louisiana could be the start of a shift in momentum. In the 2017 Defense Department funding bill, Sen. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, supported an amendment ordering the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate alternatives to open burning. ………

For Devawn Bledsoe, the foot dragging and decades of delay have led to profound disillusionment. For a long time, she thought her responsibility was to bring light to the issue. Now she thinks it takes more than that. “There’s something so immoral about this,” she said. “I really thought that when enough people in power — the Army, my Army — understood what was going on, they would step in and stop it.”

“It’s hard to see people who ought to know better look away.”

Nina Hedevang, Razi Syed and Alex Gonzalez, students in the NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute graduate studies program, contributed reporting for this story. Other students in the program who also contributed were Clare Victoria Church, Lauren Gurley, Clare Victoria Church, Alessandra Freitas and Eli Kurland. http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/open-burns-ill-winds_us_5970112de4b0aa14ea770b08

July 21, 2017 Posted by | investigative journalism, Reference, USA, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA nuclear warhead testing is delayed by safety problems at Los Alamos National Laboratory

A separate Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board report in February detailed the magnitude of the shortfall:

Los Alamos’ dangerous work, it said, demands 27 fully qualified criticality safety engineers.

The lab has 10

Safety problems at a Los Alamos laboratory delay U.S. nuclear warhead testing and production A facility that handles the cores of U.S. nuclear weapons has been mostly closed since 2013 over its inability to control worker safety risks, Science,  By The Center for Public IntegrityR. Jeffrey SmithPatrick MalonJun. 30, 2017 

In mid-2013, four federal nuclear safety experts brought an alarming message to the top official in charge of America’s warhead production: Los Alamos National Laboratory, the nation’s sole site for making and testing a key nuclear bomb part, wasn’t taking needed safety precautions. The lab, they said, was ill-prepared to prevent an accident that could kill lab workers, and potentially others nearby.

Some safety infractions had already occurred at the lab that year. But Neile Miller, who was then the acting head of the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, says those experts specifically told her that Los Alamos didn’t have enough personnel who knew how to handle plutonium so it didn’t accidentally go “critical” and start an uncontrolled chain reaction.

Such chain reactions generate intense bursts of deadly radiation, and over the last half-century have claimed nearly two dozen lives. The precise consequences, Miller said in a recent interview, “did not need an explanation. You don’t want an accident involving criticality and plutonium.” Indeed, Miller said, criticality “is one of those trigger words” that immediately gets the attention of those responsible for preventing a nuclear weapons disaster.

With two of the four experts remaining in her Washington office overlooking the national mall, Miller picked up the phone and called the lab’s director, Charles McMillan, at his own office on the idyllic Los Alamos campus in the New Mexico mountains, where nuclear weapons work is financed by a federal payment exceeding $2 billion a year. She recommended that a sensitive facility conducting plutonium operations — inside a building known as PF-4 — be shut down, immediately, while the safety deficiencies were fixed.

McMillan, a nuclear physicist and weapons designer with government-funded compensation exceeding a million dollars a year, responded that he had believed the problems could be solved while that lab kept operating. He was “reluctant” to shut it down, Miller recalled. But as the call proceeded, he became open to her view that the risks were too high, she added. So on McMillan’s order, the facility was shut within a day, with little public notice.

In the secrecy-shrouded world of America’s nuclear weapons work, that decision had far-reaching consequences. Continue reading

July 1, 2017 Posted by | investigative journalism, Reference, safety, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Media coverage of Ukraine dictated by USA political interests?

It also remains a question why the U.S. mainstream media feels that it must protect the American people from alternative views even as the risks of nuclear confrontation escalate.

Why Don’t the U.S. Mainstream Media Report Vladimir Putin’s Take on the Ukraine Crisis? http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/why_doesnt_mainstream_media_report_putins_take_on_ukraine_20170614 By Robert Parry / ConsortiumnewsA prime example of how today’s mainstream media paradigm works in the U.S. is the case of Ukraine, where Americans have been shielded from evidence that the 2014 ouster of democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych was a U.S.-supported coup d’etat spearheaded by violent neo-Nazi extremists.

As The New York Times has instructed us, there was no coup in Ukraine; there was no U.S. interference; and there weren’t even that many neo-Nazis. And, the ensuing civil conflict wasn’t a resistance among Yanukovych’s supporters to his illegal ouster; no, it was “Russian aggression” or a “Russian invasion.”

If you deviate from this groupthink – if you point out how U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland talked about the U.S. spending $5 billion on Ukraine; if you mention her pre-coup intercepted phone call with U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt discussing who the new leaders would be and how “to glue” or how “to “midwife this thing”; if you note how Nuland and Sen. John McCain urged on the violent anti-Yanukovych protesters; if you recognize that snipers firing from far-right-controlled buildings killed both police and protesters to provoke the climactic ouster of Yanukovych; and if you think all that indeed looks like a coup – you obviously are the victim of “Russian propaganda and disinformation.”

But most Americans probably haven’t heard any of that evidence revealing a coup, thanks to the mainstream U.S. media, which has essentially banned those deviant facts from the public discourse. If they are mentioned at all, they are lumped together with “fake news” amid the reassuring hope that soon there will be algorithms to purge such troublesome information from the Internet.

So, if Americans tune in to Part Three of Oliver Stone’s “The Putin Interviews” on “Showtime” and hear Russian President Vladimir Putin explain his perspective on the Ukraine crisis, they may become alarmed that Putin, leader of a nuclear-armed country, is delusional.

A Nuanced Perspective

In reality, Putin’s account of the Ukraine crisis is fairly nuanced. He notes that there was genuine popular anger over the corruption that came to dominate Ukraine after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991 and the selling off of the nation’s assets to well-connected “oligarchs.”

Putin recognizes that many Ukrainians felt that an association with the European Union could help solve their problems. But that created a problem for Russia because of the absence of tariffs between Russia and Ukraine and concerns about the future of bilateral trade that is especially important to Ukraine, which stood to lose some $160 billion.

When Yanukovych decided to postpone the E.U. agreement so he could iron out that problem, protests erupted, Putin said. But — from that point on — Putin’s narrative deviates from what the U.S. government and mainstream media tell the American people.

“Our European and American partners managed to mount this horse of discontent of the people and instead of trying to find out what was really happening, they decided to support the coup d’etat,” Putin said.

Contrary to the U.S. claims blaming Yanukovych for the violence in the Maidan protests, Putin said, “Yanukovych didn’t give an order to use weapons against civilians. And incidentally, our Western partners, including the United States, asked us to influence him so that he did not give any orders to use weapons. They told us, ‘We ask you to prevent President Yanukovych from using the armed forces.’ And they promised … they were going to do everything for the opposition to clear the squares and the administrative buildings.

“We said, ‘Very well, that is a good proposal. We are going to work on it.’ And, as you know, President Yanukovych didn’t resort to using the Armed Forces. And President Yanukovych said that he couldn’t imagine any other way of dealing with this situation. He couldn’t sign an order on the use of weapons.”

Though Putin did not specifically finger blame for the sniper fire on Feb. 20, 2014, which killed more than a dozen police and scores of protesters, he said, “Well, who could have placed these snipers? Interested parties, parties who wanted to escalate the situation. … We have information available to us that armed groups were trained in the western parts of Ukraine itself, in Poland, and in a number of other places.”

After the bloodshed of Feb. 20, Yanukovych and opposition leaders on Feb. 21 signed an accord, brokered and guaranteed by three European governments, for early elections and, in the meantime, a reduction of Yanukovych’s powers.

Ignoring a Political Deal

But the opposition, led by neo-Nazi and other extreme nationalist street fighters, brushed aside the agreement and escalated their seizing of government buildings, although The New York Times and other U.S. accounts would have the American people believe that Yanukovych simply abandoned his office.

“That’s the version used to justify the support granted to the coup,” Putin said. “Once the President left for Kharkov, the second largest city in the country to attend an internal political event, armed men seized the Presidential Residence. Imagine something like that in the U.S., if the White House was seized, what would you call that? A coup d’etat? Or say that they just came to sweep the floors?

“The Prosecutor General was shot at, one of the security officers was wounded. And the motorcade of President Yanukovych himself was shot at. So it’s nothing short of an armed seizure of power. Moreover, one day afterwards he used our support and relocated to Crimea (where he stayed for more than a week) thinking that there was still a chance that those who put their signatures on the (Feb. 21) agreement with the opposition would make an attempt to settle this conflict by civilized democratic legal means. But that never happened and it became clear that if he were taken he would be killed.

“Everything can be perverted and distorted, millions of people can be deceived, if you use the monopoly of the media. But in the end, I believe that for an impartial spectator it is clear what has happened – a coup d’etat had taken place.”

Putin noted how the new regime in Kiev immediately sought to limit use of the Russian language and allowed extreme nationalist elements to move against eastern provinces known as the Donbass where ethnic Russians were the vast majority of the population.

Putin continued, “First, there were attempts at arresting them [ethnic Russians] using the police, but the police defected to their side quite quickly. Then the central authorities started to use Special Forces and in the night, people were snatched and taken to prison. Certainly, people in Donbass, after that, they took up arms.

“But once this happened, hostilities started so instead of engaging in dialogue with people in the southeast part of Ukraine, they [Ukraine government officials] used Special Forces, and started to use weapons directly – tanks and even military aircraft. There were strikes from multiple rocket launchers against residential neighborhoods. … We repeatedly appealed to this new leadership asking them to abstain from extreme actions.”

However, the civil conflict only grew worse with thousands of people killed in some of the worst violence that Europe has seen since World War II. In the U.S. mainstream media, however, the crisis was blamed entirely on Putin and Russia.

The Crimea Case

As for the so-called “annexation” of Crimea, a peninsula in the Black Sea that was historically part of Russia and that even after the Soviet break-up hosted a major Russian naval base at Sevastopol, Putin’s account also deviated sharply from what Americans have been told.

When Stone asked about the “annexation,” Putin responded: “We were not the ones to annex Crimea. The citizens of Crimea decided to join Russia. The legitimate parliament of Crimea, which was elected based on the Ukrainian legislation, announced a referendum. The Parliament, by an overwhelming majority, voted to join Russia.

“The coup d’etat in Ukraine was accompanied by a surge in violence. And there was even the threat that violence would be perpetrated by nationalists against Crimea, against those who consider themselves to be Russian and who think Russian is their mother language. And people got concerned — they were preoccupied by their own safety.

“According to the corresponding international agreement [with Ukraine], we had a right to have 20,000 people at our military base in the Crimea. We had to facilitate the work of the Parliament of Crimea, the representative government body, in order for this Parliament to be able to assemble and affect actions in accordance with the law.

“The people had to feel they were safe. Yes, we created conditions for people to go to polling stations, but we did not engage in any hostilities. More than 90 percent of the Crimean population turned out, they voted, and once the ballot was cast, the [Crimean] Parliament, based on the outcome of the referendum, addressed the Russian parliament, asking to incorporate it into the Russian Federation.

“Moreover, Ukraine lost the territory, not due to Russia’s position, but due to the position assumed by those who are living in Crimea. These people didn’t want to live under the banner of nationalists.”

Stone challenged some of Putin’s concerns that Ukraine might have turned the Russian naval base over to NATO. “Even if NATO made an agreement with Ukraine, I still don’t see a threat to Russia with the new weaponry,” Stone said.

Putin responded: “I see a threat. The threat consists in the fact that once NATO comes to this or that country, the political leadership of that country as a whole, along with its population, cannot influence the decisions NATO takes, including the decisions related to stationing the military infrastructure. Even very sensitive weapons systems can be deployed. I’m also talking about the anti-ballistic missile systems.”

Putin also argued that the U.S. government exploited the situation in Ukraine to spread hostile propaganda against Russia, saying:

”Through initiating the crisis in Ukraine, they’ve [American officials] managed to stimulate such an attitude towards Russia, viewing Russia as an enemy, a possible potential aggressor. But very soon everyone is going to understand, that there is no threat whatsoever emanating from Russia, either to the Baltic countries, or to Eastern Europe, or to Western Europe.”

A Dangerous Standoff

Putin shed light, too, on a little-noticed confrontation involving a U.S. destroyer, the USS Donald Cook, that steamed through the Black Sea toward Crimea in the middle of the crisis but turned back when Russian aircraft buzzed the ship and Russia activated its shoreline defense systems.

Stone compared the situation to the Cuban Missile Crisis when a Soviet ship turned back rather than challenge the blockade that President John Kennedy had established around the island. But Putin didn’t see the confrontation with the U.S. destroyers as grave as that.

Putin said, “Once Crimea became a full-fledged part of the Russian Federation, our attitude toward this territory changed dramatically. If we see a threat to our territory, and Crimea is now part of Russia, just as any other country, we will have to protect our territory by all means at our disposal. …

“I wouldn’t draw an analogy with the Cuban Missile Crisis, because back then the world was on the brink of a nuclear apocalypse. Luckily, the situation didn’t go so far this time. Even though we did indeed deploy our most sophisticated, our cutting-edge systems for the coastal defense,” known as the Bastion.

“Certainly – against such missiles as the ones we’ve deployed in Crimea – such a ship as the Destroyer Donald Cook is simply defenseless. … Our Commanders always have the authorization to use any means for the defense of the Russian Federation. … Yes , certainly it would have been very bad. What was the Donald Cook doing so close to our land? Who was trying to provoke whom? And we are determined to protect our territory. …

“Once the destroyer was located and detected, they [the U.S. crew] saw that there was a threat, and the ship itself saw that it was the target of the missile systems. I don’t know who the Captain was, but he showed much restraint, I think he is a responsible man, and a courageous officer to boot. I think it was the right decision that he took. He decided not to escalate the situation. He decided not to proceed. It doesn’t at all mean that it would have been attacked by our missiles, but we had to show them that our coast was protected by the missile systems.

“The Captain sees right away that his ship has become the target of missile systems – he has special equipment to detect such kinds of situations. … But indeed we were brought to the brink, so to speak. … Yes, certainly. We had to respond somehow. Yes, we were open to positive dialogue. We did everything to achieve a political settlement. But they [U.S. officials] had to give their support to this unconstitutional seizure of power. I still wonder why they had to do that?”

It also remains a question why the U.S. mainstream media feels that it must protect the American people from alternative views even as the risks of nuclear confrontation escalate.

Regarding other issues discussed by Putin, click here. For more on Stone’s style in interviewing Putin, click here.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, “America’s Stolen Narrative,” either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

June 19, 2017 Posted by | media, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, USA | Leave a comment

French book on the atomic industry

Reporterre 17th June 2017 [Machine Translation] Here is an edifying and accessible book that reveals
the mysteries of the atomic industry in general and the operation of our nuclear power plants in particular.

On the occasion of its release, the Network Sortir du nucléaire has created its own publishing house, Yasnost’Editions. The author, Nozomi Shihiro, comes from the EDF seraglio and has endorsed the operator’s doctrine on transparency: “To tell the public everything he would not like to learn from others . He writes,however, under a pseudonym for fear of passing under the Caudines forks of his enterprise.

Throughout the book he endeavors to show that the transparency chanted by the national electrician is in reality only powder for the attention of the disinformed populations and the docile political world.
https://reporterre.net/Dans-les-arcanes-de-l-industrie-atomique

June 19, 2017 Posted by | France, media | Leave a comment