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Spanish group gives summer holidays to kids from Chernobyl’s polluted region

Chernobyl nuclear disaster: Meet the NGO giving children a summer from the still present pollution,   Euro News 1 Sept 19, TV hit series Chernobyl may have revived interest in the 1986 nuclear disaster, but for one Spanish NGO, it’s never gone away.

Vallès Obert has helped organise summer holidays in Spain for around 2,000 children from the Chernobyl region since 1995.

It does this by finding families willing to host them.

The time away from the area helps their bodies recover from exposure to the toxic radioactive materials still present in the atmosphere around the diaster site…….

There are many people who have health problems”, explains Natasha, 14, who was born two decades after the incident.

She is being hosted by a family in La Roca del Vallès, near Barcelona, but will soon return to her hometown, Stanyshivka, about 60km from Chernobyl.

“After radiation, some people born cannot speak,” she told Euronews…….

Vallès Obert estimates two months a year outside the polluted environment helps their defences regenerate significantly.

Manuel, president of the association, explains that “there is an age range between 40 and 50 years old in which cancer problems begin to appear: larynx or stomach cancer, leukaemia… everything related to cancer”…….. https://www.euronews.com/2019/08/31/chernobyl-nuclear-disaster-meet-the-ngo-giving-children-a-summer-from-the-still-present-po

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September 1, 2019 Posted by | children, Religion and ethics, Spain, Ukraine | Leave a comment

The awful dilemma for the world’s climate scientists

August 26, 2019 As fires rage across the Amazon – dubbed the “lungs of the planet” given it produces 20 per cent of the oxygen in the atmosphere – and while forests are ablaze in Siberia, Alaska, Greenland, southern Europe and parts of Australia, climate scientists might be justified in saying: “We told you so.”

They tend not to gloat, however, about the tragedy that confronts us all.

Brazil alone has had 72,843 fires this year. The pace of global warming is exceeding projections, astounding climate scientists. Within the past 70 years or so major shifts in climate zones and an accelerating spate of extreme weather events—cyclones, floods, droughts, heat waves and fires— is ravaging large tracts of Earth.

Scientists Jos Barlow and Alexander C. Lees write in The Conversation that “climate change itself is making dry seasons longer and forests more flammable. Increased temperatures are also resulting in more frequent tropical forest fires in non-drought years. And climate change may also be driving the increasing frequency and intensity of climate anomalies, such as El Niño events that affect fire season intensity across Amazonia.”

And yet the human causes of climate change remain subject to extensively propagated denial and untruths, despite their foundation in the basic laws of physics and the empirical observations of global research bodies such as NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the US, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the World Meteorological Organisation, and our own CSIRO.

Climate scientists find themselves in a quandary similar to medical doctors who need to break the news of a grave diagnosis. How do they tell people that the current spate of cyclones, devastating islands from the Caribbean to the Philippines, or the flooding of coastal regions and river valleys from Mozambique to Kerala, Pakistan and Townsville, can only intensify in a rapidly warming world?

How do scientists tell the people that their children are growing into a world where survival under a mean temperatures 2C above pre-industrial levels may be painful, and in some parts of the world impossible, let alone under 4C rise projected by the IPCC?

The Cassandra syndrome is alive and well. (Apollo gave Cassandra the gift of prophecy but, humiliated by her unrequited love, he also placed a curse on her, ensuring no one would believe her warnings.)

Throughout history, messengers of bad news have been rebuked or worse. Nowadays, many scientists are reticent to publish their climate change projections. Given the daunting scenarios they confront, many find it difficult to talk about it, even among friends and family.

Atmospheric levels of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide have reached a combined level of almost 500 parts per million, intersecting the melting threshold of the Greenland and west Antarctic ice sheets and heralding a fundamental shift in the state of the terrestrial climate.

As fires consume large parts of the land, it would appear parliaments – including Australia’s – are preoccupied with economics and international conflicts while they hardly regard the future of  civilisation as a priority.

Dr Andrew Glikson is an earth and climate scientist at the Australian National University.

August 26, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Catholic peace activists may face 25 years’prison, for breaking into a nuclear submarine base

These Catholics broke into a nuclear base. Now they’re asking a judge to drop the charges. Religion News Service, by Yonat Shimron, August 7, 2019  — Seven Catholic peace activists who broke into a nuclear submarine base in Kings Bay, Ga., last year stood before a federal judge Wednesday (Aug. 7) to argue that the charges against them should be dismissed.

The activists, known as the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, are charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor and face up to 25 years in prison each for trespassing on the U.S. Navy base that houses six Trident submarines carrying hundreds of nuclear weapons.

A crowd of about 100 people that included the actor Martin Sheen packed the three-hour hearing in Brunswick, Ga., as the seven and their lawyers made their case before U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood.

The defendants, mostly middle-aged or elderly, are residents of Catholic Worker houses, a collection of 200 independent houses across the country that feed and house the poor. As the hearing began, several were in the middle of a four-day liquid-only fast to mark the 74th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

The Kings Bay 7 are part of a 39-year-old anti-nuclear movement called Plowshares, inspired by the pacific prediction of the biblical prophet Isaiah that the nations of the world shall “beat their swords into plowshares.” Its activists have made a signature of breaking into nuclear weapons bases to hammer on buildings and military hardware and pour human blood on them. …….

The group individually and through its lawyers are using a novel defense: the Religion Freedom Restoration Act, a 1993 federal law that says the government may not burden the faith practices of a person with sincerely held religious beliefs……

Three of the defendants, the Rev. Steve Kelly, Elizabeth McAlister and Mark Colville, have been in jail since the break-in last year. They declined to accept the conditions of the bail — an ankle monitor and $50,000 bail — and have remained in the Glynn County Detention Center.

Ira Lupu, professor emeritus of law at the George Washington University Law School, said he had great respect and admiration for the Plowshares’ actions but suspected they would not win a dismissal of their charges……

The judge is expected to issue an opinion in a few weeks on whether the case should proceed to a trial. https://religionnews.com/2019/08/07/these-catholics-broke-into-a-nuclear-base-now-theyre-asking-a-judge-to-drop-the-charges/

August 8, 2019 Posted by | Legal, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA | Leave a comment

Churches aim for joint church action to end nuclear energy

International forum calls for joint church action to end nuclear energy development https://www.anglicannews.org/news/2019/07/international-forum-calls-for-joint-church-action-to-end-nuclear-energy-development.aspx: July 26, 2019 [ACNS, by Rachel Farmer] An international forum set up by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK) – the Anglican Communion in Japan – has issued a statement this week calling for denuclearisation and for churches to join in the campaign for natural energy.

The statement, following a gathering in May, says: “the Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station disaster and subsequent damage which occurred as a result of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake completely shattered the myth of safety and made us aware of the extreme danger of nuclear power generation.”

It states that as long as nuclear power generation is operative, it continues to create dangerous radioactive waste and there is a risk that the technology can at any time be diverted to nuclear weapons and threaten the right to live in peace.

It continues: “no longer should we continue as a society with the economic priority of reliance upon nuclear power generation; we should take a new path, of course practicing power saving and energy conservation, and we should make policy changes to renewable energy . . . Also, we have recognised that, when a nuclear power plant accident occurs, it is irreparable, and is more hazardous than with any other energy source. While on the one hand, grave effects remain now, after eight years have passed, with the passage of time we have become forgetful of the pain and suffering of those afflicted by the disaster.” Continue reading

July 27, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

The Russian Orthodox Church just might cease its blessing of nuclear weapons

 

THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH MAY STOP BLESSING NUCLEAR WEAPONS    https://futurism.com/the-byte/russian-orthodox-blessing-nuclear-weapons   JULY 10TH 19__DAN ROBITZSKI 

A faction of clergy within the Russian Orthodox Church wants to end the eyebrow-raising practice of blessing the country’s nuclear missiles.

First of all, yes: Russian priests currently sprinkle holy water on nuclear missiles as part of an old tradition in which Orthodox priests bless soldiers and their weapons, reports Religion News Service. But that may change, as some priests feel that intercontinental ballistic missiles belong in a different category from individual firearms.

Faith Militant

The Russian military and the Russian Orthodox church have long worked hand in hand, according to RNS, framing many of the country’s military conflicts as holy wars. The nuclear arsenal even has its own patron saint — RNS reports that St. Seraphim’s remains were found in a Russian town that housed several nuclear facilities.

As such, the push to stop blessing nukes faces strong opposition among members of the clergy, such as the high-ranking priest Vsevolod Chaplin, who referred to the country’s nukes as “guardian angels.”

“Only nuclear weapons protect Russia from enslavement by the West,” Chaplin once said, per RNS.

Changing Hearts

One priest, Dmitry Tsorionov, parted from the more militant aspects of the Orthodox Church after seeing men willingly sign up to fight Russia’s wars “under the banner of Christ,” he told RNS. Now he wants to see less warmongering among the clergy.

“It was not uncommon to see how church functionaries openly flirted with these toxic ideas,” he told RNS. “It was only then that I finally realized what the blessing of military hardware leads to.”

July 13, 2019 Posted by | culture and arts, Religion and ethics, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Unrepentant, Catholic anti-nuclear activists face gaol for breaking into a nuclear base

July 13, 2019 Posted by | legal, opposition to nuclear, Religion and ethics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Fire on Russian nuclear submarine: heroic crew prevented nuclear catastrophe.

Russia’s nuclear submarine disaster will test President Vladimir Putin and his navy. ABC News, By Alexey Muraviev  4 July 19, Russia’s Ministry of Defence has officially acknowledged an incident this week with one of its deep-submergence vehicles (DSV) within Russian territorial waters.

The incident seems to point to one of Russia’s most closely guarded naval assets — the Project 10831 AS-31 (AS-12) Kalitka (Norsub-5), more commonly known as Losharik.

It is named after a popular Soviet cartoon character because of its design specifications — a series of titanium spheres under the hull designed to withstand extreme water pressure.

A secret assignment    According to the latest reports, all those killed onboard were assigned to a secret naval unit stationed in St Petersburg, which is responsible for operations of Project 18510 Nel’ma (X-Ray) “autonomous deep-sea stations” — Russia’s official description of the DSV-type platforms — the AS-21 and the AS-35.

However, the declared number of casualties and the seniority of the deceased personnel is unclear. It is assumed the tragedy occurred onboard the AS-12, which has an estimated crew of some 25 officers.

All these special-purpose submarines are assigned to the 29th “deep water” Submarine Division based at the Gadzhievo submarine base on the Kola peninsula.

Formally assigned to the Russian Northern Fleet, the “deep-water” submarine division is under the direct control of the Russian Ministry of Defence’s GUGI Directorate, which oversees covert marine and naval activities ranging from deep-sea oceanographic research to covert testing of advanced sea-based combat systems, to undersea special operations.

Covert trials of a nuclear-armed torpedo?   While official word suggests the submarine was undertaking scanning of the seabed in one sector of the Barents Sea, the actual mission being undertaken may be different.It is possible the submarine was taking part in the covert sea trials of the Poseidon sub-sea strategic combat system (a large calibre nuclear torpedo) .

The tragedy would be the first reported large-scale fatality sustained by GUGI’s secret force.

But it cannot be compared with previous disasters involving Russian nuclear-powered submarines such as the RFS Kursk Oscar II class catastrophe back in 2000 or the incident onboard RFS Nerpa Akula IIclass back in 2008.

This disaster has happened within a unit designed specifically to operate in extreme physical environments where the safety and professionalism of the crew is a key to survival and success.

The crew comprises only middle-to-senior rank officers…….

Was a nuclear disaster averted?

It is understood that the fire onboard led to the fatal intoxication of more than half of the crew — about 14 out of some 25 onboard — and serious injuries of another four or five onboard.

Any submariner would concur that a fire onboard a submarine on deployment poses a serious risk. Fire onboard a nuclear-powered submarine is even worse.

While it is unknown what triggered that fatal fire, a mechanical failure or a human error, the fact is clear: the crew, at the cost of their lives, prevented a potentially major environmental disaster if the DSV had sunk to the bottom of the ocean, or exploded…… https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-03/russias-nuclear-submarine-disaster-test-vladimir-putin-navy/11274964

July 4, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Religion and ethics, Russia | Leave a comment

A grandmother explains the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change

Our Future || Caring for planet is a moral responsibility  https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6244511/caring-for-planet-is-a-moral-responsibility/?cs=14246 Thea Ormerod, 30 June 19   

July 1, 2019 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, climate change, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Russia’s nuclear weapons and the religious connection

BLESSED BE THY NUCLEAR WEAPONS: THE RISE OF RUSSIAN NUCLEAR ORTHODOXY, War on the Rocks, MICHAEL KOFMAN     June 21  2019 Dmitry Adamsky, Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy: Religion, Politics, and Strategy (Stanford University Press, 2019).

Russia’s Federal Nuclear Center, the All-Russian Institute of Experimental Physics (RFNC-VNIIEF), recently placed a somewhat unusual government tender: It is seeking a supplier of religious icons with the images of Saint Seraphim of Sarov and Saint Fedor Ushakov. Meanwhile, a private foundation, backed by President Vladimir Putin and Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, has been gathering funds to build a massive temple to the Russian Armed Forces at Patriot Park,. Artisans are crafting a new icon for the temple, while the steps are to be made from melted-down Nazi equipment captured by the Red Army in World War II.

Viewed in isolation, these may seem to be the occasional eccentric habits of a latter-day authoritarian state. However, Dima Adamsky’s new book, Russian Nuclear Orthodoxy: Religion, Politics, and Strategy, demonstrates convincingly that there are indeed important signs being missed all around us, pointing to a longstanding nexus between the Russian Orthodox Church and the country’s nuclear-military-industrial complex.

Adamsky’s groundbreaking book lays out the largely unstudied history of how a nuclear priesthood emerged in Russia, permeated the units and commands in charge of Russia’s nuclear forces, and became an integral part of the nuclear weapons industry. Continue reading

June 24, 2019 Posted by | politics, Reference, Religion and ethics, Russia | Leave a comment

Chernobyl ‘suicide divers’ saved Europe from nuclear devastation

Selfless Chernobyl ‘suicide divers’ saved Europe from nuclear devastation. Mirror UK , 16 June 19

The world held its breath as the brave volunteers risked it all to but to prevent a second huge explosion.  he world owes him an eternal debt, but for Chernobyl hero Alexei Ananenko, it was just part of the job.Engineer Alexei was one of three men who volunteered to wade through radioactive water to prevent a second cataclysmic explosion at the stricken nuclear reactor.

They were dubbed “suicide divers” over the perilous mission.

Decked from head to toe in protective clothing, they descended into the bowels of Reactor 4 on a doomsday mission as the world held its breath.

Their heroism gripped viewers of Sky Atlantic drama Chernobyl. But with great understatement, 60-year-old Alexei insisted last night: “It’s nothing to brag about. Why should I feel a hero?

“I was on duty and it was my job. I was trained in what to do.”………

Experts believed that if 185 tons of molten nuclear lava hit the water below it would cause a radioactive steam explosion of 3-5 megatons – so massive that it would leave much of Europe uninhabitable for 500,000 years. Alexei was one of the few employees who knew where the latches and valves were located to drain water from the coolant system.

He, senior engineer Valeri Bespalov and shift supervisor Boris Baranov were tasked with turning them off.

Firefighters drained a huge volume of water so the men would not have to swim, but they were still forced to walk through radioactive fluid three metres below ground level.

The image of them carrying search lights as they wade through a toxic soup is captured in the TV drama…….

After the explosion a cloud of radioactive strontium, caesium and plutonium affected mainly the Ukraine and neighbouring Belarus, as well as parts of Russia and Europe. Between 1987 and 1990, 530,000 workers – known as liquidators and conscripted from across the USSR – worked in and around Chernobyl to clear up the toxic mess. ……….. https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/selfless-chernobyl-suicide-divers-saved-16523155

June 17, 2019 Posted by | incidents, Religion and ethics, Ukraine | Leave a comment

How Russia’s nuclear industry co-opted religion

How the Russian Church Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/2019-06-14/how-russian-church-learned-stop-worrying-and-love-bomb

Orthodoxy’s Influence on Moscow’s Nuclear Complex

June 15, 2019 Posted by | Reference, Religion and ethics, Russia | Leave a comment

Japanese parish priests shared stories of suffering from victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster

Voices of Fukushima power plant disaster victims strengthens call to ban nuclear energy, ACNS Anglican News Service June 6, 2019  by Rachel Farmer Japanese parish priests shared stories of suffering from victims of the Fukushima nuclear disaster at an International Forum for a Nuclear-Free World held in Sendai, Japan, last week. A joint statement from the forum, due out next month, is expected to strengthen the call for a worldwide ban on nuclear energy and encourage churches to join in the campaign.

The forum, organised by the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (NSKK) – the Anglican Communion in Japan – follows the NSKKs General Synod resolution in 2012 calling for an end to nuclear power plants and activities to help the world go nuclear free.

The disaster in 2011 followed a massive earthquake and tsunami which caused a number of explosions in the town’s coastal nuclear power station and led to widespread radioactive contamination and serious health and environmental effects. The Chair of the forum’s organising committee, Kiyosumi Hasegawa, said: “We have yet to see an end to the damage done to the people and natural environment by the meltdown of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. I do think this man-made disaster will haunt countless people for years to come. We still see numerous people who wish to go back to their hometowns but are unable to. We also have people who have given up on ever going home.”

One pastor, Dr Naoya Kawakami, whose church was affected by the tsunami and is the General Secretary of the Sendai Christian Alliance Disaster Relief Network, Touhoku HELP, explained how he had supported sufferers in the aftermath and heard from priests supporting the survivors. He said: “I have been more than 700 times to meet with more than 180 mothers and about 20 fathers, all of whom have seen abnormalities in their children since 2011. . . Thyroid cancer has been found in more than 273 children and many mothers are in deep anxiety.

“The more the situation worsens, the more pastors become aware of their important role. The role is to witness . . . pastors who have stayed in Fukushima with the ‘voiceless survivors’ are showing us the church as the body of Jesus’s resurrection, with wounds and weakness . . . sufferers are usually in voiceless agony and most people never hear them.”

The forum was attended by bishops, clergy and lay representatives from each diocese, together with representatives from the US-based Episcopal Church, USPG, the Episcopal Church of the Philippines, the Diocese of Taiwan, the Anglican Church of Korea, and also ecumenical guests. International experts took part, along with local clergy who shared individual stories from those directly affected by the disaster……….https://www.anglicannews.org/news/2019/06/voices-of-fukushima-power-plant-explosion-victims-strengthens-call-to-ban-nuclear-energy.aspx

June 8, 2019 Posted by | Japan, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Nuclear envoys from Japan, U.S., South Korea discuss North Korea during trilateral meeting in Singapore

June 1, 2019 Posted by | ASIA, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Church should oppose nuclear waste in Utah   

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Religion and ethics, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

240 shrines within 20 K of Fukushima reactor 1, so a move to build a new shrine

May 27, 2019 Posted by | Japan, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment