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Ex-president Kravchuk estimates compensation for Ukraine’s nuclear weapons at US$250 bln.

Ex-president Kravchuk estimates compensation for Ukraine’s nuclear weapons at US$250 bln. UNIAN Information Agency 30 May 20 No negotiations were held with the United States on the compensation.Leonid Kravchuk, the first president of independent Ukraine, estimates compensation for scrapping the country’s nuclear weapons after signing the Budapest memorandum at US$250 billion. “The nuclear weapons were tactical, they also went to Russia. There were Backfire carriers, these are legendary aircraft. They also were transferred to Russia. If one counts everything – it’s somewhere about US$250 billion,” Kravchuk told Ukrainian TV host and journalist Alesia Batsman during the Batsman program.

Yet, he said, Ukraine did not conduct negotiations with the United States on the compensation for this amount.
According to him, Ukraine had about 46 nuclear warheads working on solid fuel, and the rest were those working on liquid fuel. “Liquid fuel in rockets was worse than the nuclear weapons. Chemists told me that if, God forbid, it had spilled somewhere on land, the soil could not be used for decades, or even longer. I spoke about this: “How would we [do this]? We, Ukraine, cannot do this on our own. Russia only wants to take the nuclear warheads,” he said. On December 4, 1994, the Budapest memorandum was signed between Ukraine, the United States, the Russian Federation, and Great Britain; it guaranteed Ukraine territorial integrity and security in exchange for its nuclear arsenal.
On December 4, 1994, the Budapest memorandum was signed between Ukraine, the United States, the Russian Federation, and Great Britain; it guaranteed Ukraine territorial integrity and security in exchange for its nuclear arsenal.   https://www.unian.info/politics/ukraine-s-nuclear-weapons-kravchuk-estimates-compensation-at-us-250-bln-11018456.html

June 1, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Iran envoy says that Trump has pulled the final plug in violating nuclear deal

Ending nuclear waivers pulls final plug in violating resolution 2231: Iran envoy May 29, 2020   https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/448304/Ending-nuclear-waivers-pulls-final-plug-in-violating-resolutionTEHRAN – Majid Takht-Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has said that ending sanction waivers for countries remaining in the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, by the United States pulls final plug in violating the resolution 2231.

“Two yrs ago @realDonaldTrump ceased participation in #JCPOA. Now, in further violation of JCPOA & UNSCR 2231 @SecPompeo pulls final plug, imposing penalties for compliance EVEN w/nuclear provisions of 2231,” Takht-Ravanchi tweeted on Thursday.

He added, “Claiming US is STILL ‘Participant’ is not just preposterous; it’s FALSE.”

U.S. President Donald Trump quit the agreement, negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, in May 2018.

But the Trump administration until now had issued waivers to allow companies, primarily from Russia, to keep carrying out the work of the agreement without risking legal ramifications.

However, Washington announced on Wednesday that it was ending the waivers.

Russian Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday the U.S. is acting in a dangerous and unpredictable way.

“Washington’s actions are becoming more and more dangerous and unpredictable,” Zakharova told reporters.

“The nature of this behavior is clearly disruptive,” Zakharova said, accusing Washington of undermining international security.

May 30, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

“grave challenge to global peace and security” – Nuclear watchdog on potential U.S. nuclear test

Nuclear watchdog says any US test would be ‘grave challenge to peace’

Lassina Zerbo, head of body monitoring test ban treaty, responds to White House discussions about potential first US test for 28 years, Guardian,  Julian Borger in Washington, Fri 29 May 2020  The head of the international watchdog monitoring nuclear tests has warned that a US return to testing being contemplated by the Trump administration would present a “grave challenge to global peace and security”.

Lassina Zerbo, the executive secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO), was responding to the news that staging the first US underground test in 28 years had been discussed at a high-level White House meeting on 15 May.

The idea was shelved for the time being, but appears not to have been rejected outright. Drew Walter, acting deputy assistant secretary of defence for nuclear matters, said this week that an underground nuclear test could be carried out within months “if the president directed”.

Arms control advocates said that the fact such a step was contemplated was disturbing, as it would be likely to lead to a return to nuclear testing by the world’s other nuclear weapons powers, and the demise of the 1996 Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty (CTBT)……

The US signed the CTBT in 1996 but the Senate voted against ratifying it. The treaty has been signed and ratified by 168 states but it will not come into force until the US, China, Israel and Egypt have ratified it, and it is signed and ratified by India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Meanwhile, the US has observed a voluntary moratorium on tests, as have the UK, France, Russia and China, and the CTBTO preparatory commission was established to set up a network of 300 seismic, hydroacoustic, infrasound and radionuclide sensors around the world, that helped identify nuclear tests by India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Zerbo noted that the US is the biggest financial contributor to the CTBTO and its verification regime.

Over the past year, the US has accused Russia and China of secretly conducting very low-yield tests, an accusation that both countries have denied, and for which the US has yet to provide evidence.

“The CTBTO’s international monitoring system [IMS] has been operating as normal and has not detected any unusual event,” Zerbo said. The IMS, complemented by the national technical means of the states signatories themselves, provides full confidence that the system can detect nuclear test explosions according to the provisions of the treaty.”

He added that the only way to remove all doubts was to bring the CTBT into force.

“At that point, the provisions for on-site inspections would come into effect, allowing for on-site visits at short notice if requested by any state party.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/28/nuclear-watchdog-us-underground-test-challenge-to-peace

May 30, 2020 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chinese involvement in Sizewell nuclear plant the ‘next Huawei

Telegraph 27th May 2020, Chinese involvement in Sizewell nuclear plant the ‘next Huawei’, MPs warn.
Call for energy policy and how the UK interacts with China to be reviewed.
Chinese involvement in the Sizewell C nuclear power station will be the
“next Huawei,” MPs have warned, as they called for an entire overhaul
of the energy policy.

It comes after EDF, the French energy company on
Wednesday submitted an application to build the next nuclear power plant in
Suffolk, which it intends to develop with the state-owned energy company,
China General Nuclear Power Group (CGN).

However Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the
former Conservative leader, warned the power plant was “the next
Huawei”. “It is another major manifestation of the problem we face
having set out on the wrong path with China years ago,” Sir Iain told The
Daily Telegraph.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/27/chinese-involvement-sizewell-nuclear-plant-next-huawei-mps-warn/

May 30, 2020 Posted by | China, politics, politics international, safety, UK | Leave a comment

Fiji ratifies the TREATY ON THE PROHIBITION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

Prohibition of Nuclear weapons treaty ratified   https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/news/parliament/prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons-treaty-ratified/

Koroi Tadulala, Multimedia Journalistktadulala@fbc.com.fj | @Koroi, FBCNews 29 May 20

May 30, 2020 Posted by | OCEANIA, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Bankrupt French company AREVA, now resuscitated as Framatome to engineer UK’s nuclear fleet

Framatome to provide engineering services to UK nuclear fleet, 29 May 2020      French company Framatome has signed a framework agreement with EDF in the UK to provide engineering services to support ongoing nuclear power plant operations……  EDF in the UK operates a fleet of eight nuclear power stations: Sizewell B, Hinkley Point B, Dungeness B, Hartlepool, Heysham 1 and 2, Hunterston, and Torness. https://www.neimagazine.com/news/newsframatome-to-provide-engineering-services-to-uk-nuclear-fleet-7944809

May 30, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, France, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Trump administration to remove almost all sanctions relief to Iran

May 27, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Trump withdraws from Open Skies Treaty, throws more doubt on the future of the New START nuclear treaty

May 26, 2020 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | 4 Comments

Iran tops the list of countries which accepted inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 2019.

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Lithuania, Belarus sign nuclear incident notification agreement

May 26, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, politics international | Leave a comment

On weapons treaties US administration is blundering toward nuclear chaos

 

Fumbling the nuclear football: is Trump blundering to arms control chaos?

The president believes he alone can negotiate away nuclear weapons and win a Nobel prize – but he has quit three treaties and gutted his administration of experts, Guardian,   Julian Borger in Washington Sun 24 May 2020

The Trump administration signaled this week that it was ready to get back in the business of nuclear arms control. A newly appointed envoy, Marshall Billingslea, made his first public remarks to announce talks with Russia are about to resume.

“We have concrete ideas for our next interaction, and we’re finalizing the details as we speak,” Billingslea said.

The fact that this relaunch came on the same day that the US was pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty (OST) – the third withdrawal from an arms control agreement under the Trump presidency – underlined the contradictions at the heart of the administration’s approach towards nuclear weapons.

According to those who have worked for him on the issue, Trump is preoccupied with the existential threat of nuclear war, and resolved that he alone can conjure a grand arms control bargain that would save the planet – and win him the Nobel prize.

But at the same time, he is clearly thrilled by the destructive power that the US arsenal gives him, boasting about the size of his nuclear button, and a mystery “super duper” missile he this week claimed the US had up its sleeve.

Administration officials have been left to try to confect a coherent-sounding policy out of such contradictory impulses – so far without success.

“He believes only he has what it takes to make the big deal, if only everyone else – all the experts – would get out of his way,” a former senior official said. “But he just has no idea about how to make it happen.”

Billingslea, the new envoy, is not an arms control specialist. He previously served as the undersecretary for terrorist financing at the US Treasury and was nominated last year to the top human rights job at the state department – but that foundered amid controversy over his involvement in the post 9/11 torture programme . The arms control envoy job did not require Senate confirmation.

In his maiden speech as envoy, Billingslea made clear that if there were to be a new arms race, the US would win.

“We know how to win these races and we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion,” he said in a videoconference organised by the conservative Hudson Institute thinktank on Thursday. It was a statement of bravado as the US plunged into recession owing about $7tn in foreign debt, $1tn to China.

Billingslea argued Trump would succeed through his mastery of the art of the deal.

“The president has a long and successful career as a negotiator, and he’s a master at developing and using leverage,” he said, showing an early instinct for what it takes to keep your job in this administration.

So far, however, Trump has failed to negotiate a single arms control agreement. His flamboyant summitry with Kim Jong-un produced nothing, and the North Korean nuclear weapons programme has continued unabated. Meanwhile the president has taken the US out of three arms control agreements, leaving them dead, dying or maimed.

He walked out of the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018, and the following year withdrew from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, which had kept nuclear missiles out of Europe since the cold war. Then on Thursday, he confirmed the US was leaving the OST, agreed in 1992 as a means of building transparency and trust between Russia and the west through observation overflights of each other’s territory.

That may not be the end of Trump’s arms control demolition. The Senate never ratified the 1996 Comprehensive Test Ban treaty, which – partly as a result – has yet to come into force. But the US has signed it and observes a voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests.

Hawks in the administration, however, want a renunciation. At a high-level White House meeting last week, the suggestion was raised that the US carry out its first underground nuclear test since 1992, according to former officials. The proposal was resisted by the state and energy departments. A senior administration official told the Washington Post however the proposal is “very much an ongoing conversation.”

The only arms control agreement still in effect is the 2010 New Start treaty, which limits US and Russian deployed strategic nuclear weapons to 1,550 each. It is due to expire in February but it can be extended for another five years. The Trump administration has not taken a position on whether it wants an extension, however.

“There’ll be plenty of time to look at the full range of options related to that treaty,” Billingslea said. At the same time he made clear he viewed New Start as being inadequate, criticising its verification requirements, its exclusion of non-strategic, shorter-range weapons – and, most importantly, the fact that it does not include China……

Arms control advocates in the administration believe that the insistence on China’s inclusion was originally pushed by Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton, a lifelong opponent of arms control treaties, and his like-minded aide, Tim Morrison, as a means of killing off New Start.

……Disarmament advocates worry that even if Billingslea re-establishes regular contacts with Moscow, the US no longer has the diplomatic muscle to pursue substantive, complex arms negotiations because of the steady loss of experienced staff responsible for such negotiations.

“It’s not obvious they have a kind of a serious team in place to try and make that happen,” a western diplomat said.

“Three years after entering office, the Trump administration lacks a coherent set of goals, a strategy to achieve them, or the personnel or effective policy process to address the most complex set of nuclear risks in US history,” a group of arms control experts wrote in a report this month by the disarmament group, Global Zero. “Put simply, the current US administration is blundering toward nuclear chaos with potentially disastrous consequences.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/24/nuclear-weapons-donald-trump-arms-control-chaos

May 25, 2020 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | 2 Comments

Britain will have to decide whether it wants nuclear power stations funded — and powered — by China.

May 25, 2020 Posted by | Burma, business and costs, politics, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

USA’s Plan to spend Russia and China ‘into oblivion’ in arms race will bankrupt only America 

May 25, 2020 Posted by | business and costs, politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NPT’s 50th Anniversary Encourages 17 Signatories To Remind Five Nuclear-Weapons States of Their Commitments

May 25, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia’s push for nuclear power – a nuclear weapons danger

Arms control experts concerned by Saudi nuclear reactor push, Aljazeera
Satellite images show work progressing on Saudi reactor even though international IAEA inspectors are still frozen out.   
by Jonathan Tirone • Bloomberg. 22 May 2020  Saudi Arabia is pushing ahead to complete its first nuclear reactor, according to satellite images that have raised concern among arms-control experts because the kingdom has yet to implement international monitoring rules.

Satellite photos show the kingdom has built a roof over the facility before putting in place International Atomic Energy Agency regulations that allow inspectors early verification of the reactor’s design. Foregoing on-the-ground monitoring until after the research reactor is completed would be an unusual move normally discouraged under regulations to ensure civilian atomic programs aren’t used to make weapons.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly pledged that its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful purposes, but Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman also said the kingdom would develop a bomb if its regional rival Iran did so. Those statements made in 2018 raised a red flag within the nuclear monitoring community which is uneasy that it has more ability to access nuclear sites in Iran than it does in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia’s ministry of energy didn’t respond to a request to comment.

While Saudi Arabia has been open about its ambitions to generate nuclear power, less is known about the kinds of monitoring the kingdom intends to put in place. President Donald Trump’s administration sent a letter to Saudi Arabia last year setting requirements to access U.S. atomic technology. The baseline for any agreement is tougher IAEA inspections.

…….. At issue is the weak and outdated set of IAEA safeguard rules, called the “Small Quantities Protocol,” or SQP, that Saudi Arabia continues to follow, according to Laura Rockwood, the IAEA’s former chief lawyer who drafted stricter inspection guidelines to which the vast majority of countries adhere.

Satellite images show that a thick lattice of roof beams is now covering the 10-meter (33 feet) high steel reactor vessel. Argentina’s state-owned INVAP SE sold the low-powered research reactor to Saudi Arabia.”The problem is that design-information verification has to be carried out while it’s being constructed,” said Rockwood, who now directs the Open Nuclear Network in Vienna

While Saudi Arabia adheres to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the bedrock agreement that regulates the spread of material needed to induce fission, it still has to implement monitoring rules in line with its nuclear program development.

“Saudi Arabia’s agreement right now is completely minimal, out of date, and unequal to the task of providing the kind of transparency that the IAEA and other member states need about Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program,” said Sharon Squassoni, a researcher and former diplomat on non-proliferation issues at George Washington University.

–With assistance from Verity Ratcliffehttps://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/arms-control-experts-concerned-saudi-nuclear-reactor-push-200521155658787.html

May 22, 2020 Posted by | politics international, Saudi Arabia, weapons and war | Leave a comment