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The first victims of the first atomic explosion might have been American children.

After a nearly half a century of denial, the US Department of Energy concluded in 2006, “the Trinity test also posed the most significant hazard of the entire Manhattan Project.

Ionizing radiation is especially damaging to dividing cells, so the developing infant, both before and after birth, is susceptible to radiation damage, as Alice Stewart, an epidemiologist who first demonstrated the link between X-rays of pregnant women and disease in their children,[12] first warned in 1956.[13]This damage may be seen years later with the development of leukemia and other cancers in children exposed in utero to ionizing radiation, as Stewart and others confirmed in subsequent studies.[14] By 1958, the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation  recognized that, in the short term, radiation damage can be reflected in fetal and infant deaths.[15]

Fallout protection was not a priority for the Trinity explosion. 

The current body of historical evidence of harm, negligence, and deception—especially the evidence of increased infant death following the first nuclear explosion—should be more than enough for long overdue justice for the people in New Mexico who were downwind of Trinity.

Is cancer the legacy left by world’s first atomic bomb test?  

Trinity: “The most significant hazard of the entire Manhattan Project”  https://thebulletin.org/2019/07/trinity-the-most-significant-hazard-of-the-entire-manhattan-project/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Newsletter072219&utm_content=Nuclear_Trinity_071519

By Kathleen M. TuckerRobert Alvarez, July 15, 2019 For the past several years, the controversy over radioactive fallout from the world’s first atomic bomb explosion in Alamogordo, New Mexico on July 16, 1945—code-named Trinity—has intensified. Evidence collected by the New Mexico health department but ignored for some 70 years shows an unusually high rate of infant mortality in New Mexico counties downwind from the explosion and raises a serious question whether or not the first victims of the first atomic explosion might have been American children. Even though the first scientifically credible warnings about the hazards of radioactive fallout from a nuclear explosion had been made by 1940, historical records indicate a fallout team was not established until less than a month before the Trinity test, a hasty effort motivated primarily by concern over legal liability.

In October 1947, a local health care provider raised an alarm about infant deaths downwind of the Trinity test, bringing it to the attention of radiation safety experts working for the US nuclear weapons program. Their response misrepresented New Mexico’s then-unpublished data on health effects. Continue reading

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July 16, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, children, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial

The ‘Historical Jigsaw of Climate Deception’: Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial DeSmogBlog, By Mat Hope • Thursday, July 11, 2019 We’ve all heard the dodgy arguments: ‘the science is uncertain’, ‘climate change is natural, not down to humans’, ‘science has been hijacked by politics’… Now a new cache of documents sheds light on the origins of the disinformation.

In another verse of a now familiar refrain, a fossil fuel industry group in the 1990s publicly promoted arguments to undermine confidence in climate science while internally acknowledging their products were driving up temperatures.

A cache of meeting minutes, briefings, and emails uncovered by the Climate Investigations Center shows how industry group the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) used its financial clout and political connections to cast doubt on mainstream climate science until its disbandment in 2002. The GCC would for decades cast doubt on the veracity of climate science and strategically spread the message that the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was a politicised body, to discourage regulatory reform that would hit coalition members’ profits.

The documents show that the group, which counted fossil fuel giants Exxon, Shell, and Peabody among its members, knowingly pushed misinformation on climate change even as the GCC internally acknowledged humans’ impact on the climate “cannot be denied”. Some of those same companies have been the recent targets of lawsuits seeking damages for climate change impacts.

These documents are another stain on the fossil fuel industry’s track-record as a disingenuous rogue agent in climate science and politics,” Geoffrey Supran, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University researching climate science denial, told DeSmog. “They further illustrate the sophisticated combination of inside- and outside-lobbying used by the fossil fuel industry to protect their status quo business operations.”

Peddling Denial

Within the GCC, the Science and Technology Assessment Committee (STAC) took responsibility for assessing contemporary climate science and formulating strategic arguments to undermine it. The STAC was chaired by Mobil Oil’s Lenny Bernstein. Mobil, Exxon, and Texaco (now part of Chevron) all contributed five staffers to the committee.

An internal 1994 document outlining “issues and options” for the GCC to consider regarding “potential global climate change” shows the group’s outright climate science denial.

The document concludes that “the claim that serious impacts from climate change have occurred or will occur in the future has not been proven” and “consequently, there is no basis for the design of effective policy action that would eliminate the potential for climate change.”

In the same document, the GCC cites the work of infamous academics known for spreading climate science denial including Richard LinzenPatrick Michaels, and Robert Balling. The document asserts that these academics’ arguments disputing mainstream climate science  “have received far less attention than they deserve”. ……….

Politicisation

The GCC’s disinformation strategy extended beyond casting aspersions on the science to the process of gathering evidence for the major IPCC reports, the documents show.

Porter Womeldorff, an Illinois Power Company employee and co-chair of the STAC, suggested the group focus on the politicisation of the IPCC process.

And that’s exactly what the GCC did. In an internal document from 1996, the GCC boasted that its criticism of the IPCC’s processes had been picked up more widely by the mainstream media:

Publications which have joined in questioning the IPCC approach to conforming technical reports to summaries include the NYTimes, Wall St. Journal, Energy Daily, and Nature.”

This followed a 1995 report that noted with glee a Nature editorial taking aim at the IPCC for a press-release that the erstwhile journal considered to be needlessly attention seeking.

Harvard’s Supran, who recently testified to the European Parliament about Exxon’s history of climate science denial, told DeSmog that the documents “help fill in pieces of the historical jigsaw of climate deception by the fossil fuel industry”.

History teaches us that when it comes to the fossil fuel industry’s rhetoric on climate change and energy, we take them at face value at our peril.” https://www.desmogblog.com/2019/07/11/historical-deception-global-climate-coalition-science-denial?utm_source=desmog%20%20weekly%20newsletter

July 15, 2019 Posted by | climate change, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Illegal transport of thorium at Georgia’s border with Armenia

Georgia intercepts radioactive substance at border with Armenia  http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-07/15/c_138229300.htm  Source: Xinhua Editor: yan TBILISI, July 15  – Georgia on Monday detained an Armenian citizen who was charged with illegally transporting the radioactive substance Thorium at the border with Armenia.

According to the Georgian State Security Service, the radioactive substance was intercepted at the Sadakhlo checkpoint when the suspect in a mini-bus was inspected.

The total weight of the packages carried by the suspect was 71.63 kg, and they contained radioactive isotope Thorium 232, which is a nuclear material and poses a threat to life and health.

The mini-bus was moving from Armenia to Russia through Georgia.

If convicted, the detainee will face 5 to 10 years in prison.

July 15, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, secrets,lies and civil liberties, thorium | Leave a comment

For 6 years, Potentially Dangerous Nuclear Waste Was Shipped to Nevada as Low Level Wastes

DOE Was Shipping Potentially Dangerous Nuclear Waste To Nevada Site For Years
Energy officials told Gov. Steve Sisolak that the Nevada National Security Site received shipments from 2013 to 2018 that could contain “reactive” material.
By Sanjana Karanth, 12 July 19

The U.S. Department of Energy shipped potentially dangerous nuclear material incorrectly labeled as low-level radioactive waste into Nevada for several years, the state’s governor announced.

statement from Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) on Wednesday said the department sent a total of 32 shipments to the Nevada National Security Site between 2013 and 2018 that were supposed to be low-level radioactive waste from a facility in Tennessee. (The DOE told the Las Vegas Review-Journal later on Wednesday that there were actually nine shipments that had 32 containers.)

But DOE Deputy Secretary Daniel Brouillette told Sisolak on July 3 that some of those shipments may have included “reactive” material, which can release large amounts of thermodynamic energy.

Sisolak’s office said DOE officials have not confirmed that the shipments definitely contained reactive materials, which he said “would trigger additional safety concerns,” but the department did confirm Wednesday to the Review-Journal that the shipments were not in compliance with the security site’s waste acceptance criteria.

On July 5, Sisolak and Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D) and Jacky Rosen (D) sent a letter to Energy Secretary Rick Perry citing the risks posed to Nevada’s residents and environment and demanding that the DOE immediately correct the waste disposal mistake and create new procedures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“These egregious acts ― whether acts of negligence or indicative of something else ― are unconscionable and have potentially put the health and safety of Nevadans and our environment at unacceptable risk,” the letter stated.

The security site has been a place to permanently dispose of what the DOE categorizes as low-level radioactive waste, which can include materials like rags, construction debris and other equipment exposed to radioactive material. The site also takes in some forms of “mixed low-level waste,” which can contain some hazardous waste such as garbage and sludge. The governor’s office said mixed low-level waste is more strictly regulated and requires treatment prior to disposal and a more protective disposal method than low-level waste.

The shipments in question were not properly labeled to indicate which materials were low-level waste and which were more dangerous.

Federal officials, including from the National Nuclear Security Administration, gave an in-person briefing to Sisolak on Tuesday regarding the department’s findings and proposed response. During the briefing, the governor referred to an incident last year in which the DOE shipped half a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium to the same security site and didn’t give notice until months later.

Yet again, the DOE has violated its mission, broken Nevadans’ trust and failed to follow its own compliance procedures,” Cortez Masto and Rosen said in a joint statement Wednesday. “We intend to immediately determine whether the mixed waste shipped to Nevada poses a hazard to the health and safety of Nevadans and will take every action necessary to hold the DOE accountable.”

DOE officials told the Review-Journal that they are launching an internal investigation to figure out how the shipments were miscategorized for six years, and will temporarily suspend all planned future shipments from the Tennessee facility. 

 

July 13, 2019 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry cries poor, wants bailouts, BUT LOOK WHAT THEY PAY THEIR EXECUTIVES!

Christine Layman  . Three Mile Island Survivors (Facebook) 6 July 19, The PA nuclear industry claims it needs a $500 million dollar a year bailout because they are unable to be competitive in the market place and yet, First Energy paid their top 7 executives more than $25 million combined in 2018 alone. Sounds like they are making plenty of money to me!

SAY NO TO ANY NUCLEAR BAILOUT IN PA!

7 First Energy executives were paid more than $25 million in 2018

July 9, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Arrests in Turkey for theft of nuclear weapons material

Nuclear weapon material worth $72mn seized in a car in Turkey https://www.rt.com/news/463556-turkey-radioactive-material-bust/ : 7 Jul, 2019  Turkish police have taken five people into custody over the smuggling of a highly-radioactive substance used to build nuclear weapons and power nuclear reactors. The 18.1-gram haul was found in a car.

Police discovered a vial of the material after they pulled over a car in the northwestern Bolu province. The substance, believed to be californium, was found stashed under the gear stick wrapped in a bag. Officers had to cut the upholstery to get to the parcel, which is estimated to be worth US$72 million.

Five suspects were detained in the raid, and the mixture was taken to the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) for a detailed analysis.

Californium is named after the place where it was synthesized back in 1950 – a laboratory at the University of California. Apart from being used to manufacture nukes and nuclear-powered reactors, the element also has a range of rather innocuous civilian applications. It can be used as part of metal detectors and is used in cancer treatment as well as oil, silver, and gold mining operations. Still, the substance is highly dangerous and its production, distribution, and transportation is restricted. Currently, only the US and Russia synthesize the isotope.

It is not the first time Turkish police have reported a major bust involving californium.

In a scare in March of last year, police in Ankara said they had seized a whopping 1.4kg of the same substance in a car following a tip-off. It turned out to be false alarm, as the haul was later found to have no trace of nuclear or radioactive material, and was, in fact, organic matter.

July 8, 2019 Posted by | incidents, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Turkey | Leave a comment

Dark money and the planned nuclear power bailout in Ohio

Who paid all that money to buy all those nuclear bailout ads raining on Ohio? https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/07/02/who-paid-all-money-buy-all-those-nuclear-bailout-ads-ohio-house-bill-6/1443145001/

Josh Goad, Cincinnati Enquirer  July 3, 2019 If you’re an Ohioan with a TV or radio, you’ve probably heard about a nuclear power bailout bill that lawmakers are considering in Columbus. But what you can’t find out is exactly how much money is being spent on those ads – or who originally gave the money for them.


House Bill 6
 seeks to tax Ohioans 80 cents a month through their utility bill to bailout First Energy Solutions’ nuclear power plants in Northern Ohio. Critics say the bill, which also will boost costs for commercial and industrial customers, will discourage the use of renewable energy for businesses across the state. Proponents say the bill will help Ohio stay energy independent and keep badly needed jobs in the communities around the plants.

The bill, which has the backing of powerful House Speaker Larry Householder, triggered up to $8.3 million in ads and other campaign spending, published estimates show. For comparison, a record $45 million was spent in the 2018 Ohio gubernatorial race.

Yet an Enquirer analysis of ad purchases for and against House Bill 6 and reported to the Federal Communications Commission shows just $2.7 million in sales. The Cincinnati market, the state’s third largest, was the leader in ads on the bailout bill.

Why the gap between the $2.7 million hard figure and the $8.3 million estimate? Some broadcasters, including Cincinnati’s WCPO-TV, are choosing not to post billings for the ads – and under FCC rules, they don’t have to do so.

The big money behind the bill hasn’t been reserved for ads this year. Groups allied with Householder put $800,000 into ads for Ohio’s 2018 campaigns, boosting candidates who put Householder into the speaker’s seat. A couple of the winning candidates also are key sponsors of House Bill 6.

But donors behind the campaign money, and for many of the ads you’ve seen about the bill, can’t be pinpointed.

The money backing the bill primarily started with a 501(c)(4) or “dark money” organization called Generation Now that doesn’t have to list donors. Generation Now then gave to a political action committee, which must disclose donors. So while it’s clear which candidates got the “dark money” boosting the nuke plant bailout went, it’s uncertain who originally contributed it or the money that bought airtime.

Who runs Generation Now and is on its board isn’t clear. But the Columbus address of a longtime Householder adviser, Jeff Longstreth, is listed as the principal office in documents filed to the Ohio Secretary of State. So far, the 501(c)(4) hasn’t filed paperwork with the IRS – a step that such nonprofits seeking to stay in existence take. Paperwork that’s normally filed with broadcasters, listing the board members of groups airing political ads also is missing.

How much is being spent?

Generation Now has spent over $1.9 million on ads supporting House Bill 6, documents filed with the FCC show. This is out of around $2.7 million reported being spent on ads across Ohio on the proposal.

First Energy, which owns the plants being bailed out, backs the Ohio Clean Energy Jobs Alliance. The alliance has spent around $275,000 on ads in support of the bill and has stuck to Facebook for distribution.

The opposition to House Bill 6 has put $400,000 into its ads. The total from Ohio Consumers Power Alliance, American Energy Action and Ohioans Against Nuke Bailout compares to the roughly $1.3 million Generation Now has spent in Cincinnati alone.

Why isn’t all the spending being reported?

The FCC requires stations to make ad spending records available for the public record, but only if the ads are focused on a specific candidate or a national issue. State and local issues are not on the short list of requirements. 

Some stations choose to file everything for the sake of transparency. Others don’t.

FCC public inspection files show 41 stations in markets across Ohio – Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland-Akron, Toledo, Zanesville and Wheeling-Steubenville – were contacted by Generation Now or other interested parties because they are required to file such contracts by FCC rules.

But 13 stations, including every commercial TV broadcaster in Dayton, did not report how much Generation Now and other organizations spent on ads.

Where did the money come from?

‘Dark money’ is inherently difficult to track. While we don’t know the source, the money can be followed when it changes hands. 

Other than the money Generation Now spent in 2019 on ads, the nonprofit also donated over $1 million to the Growth & Opportunity PAC in 2018. The political action committee is based in Lexington, Kentucky, but operates throughout the Midwest.

According to documents filed with the FEC, the PAC only raised around $1.1 million in 2018. Almost all of that money would go on to pay for ads for Ohio Republican candidates during the midterm elections. Though Generation Now did not directly pay for those ads, it did provide the majority of funds necessary through three sizable donations to the PAC.

When the donations were made last year, Generation Now and the PAC had something in common: A treasurer from Dinsmore Agent Co, a subsidiary of Cincinnati-based law firm Dinsmore and Shohl.

Eric Lycan, the treasurer and former lawyer at Dinsmore’s Lexington office, would have overseen the donation. He still serves as the treasurer for both the organization and the PAC, and several documents filed to the FEC include his Dinsmore email address. 

The only Ohio-based organization that is easily traceable is Ohio Citizen Action, founded in Cleveland in 1976. Through its education fund, Ohio Citizen Action created the Ohio Consumers Power Alliance, who has paid for $8,000 in anti-House Bill 6 ads.

As nonprofits, Ohio Citizens Action and its education fund report their annual revenues to the IRS but not their donors. The last available filing for the education fund was for 2017, which was posted in January 2019. 

Where did the ‘dark money’ go?

Reps. Jamie Callender, R-Concord, and Shane Wilkin, R-Hillsboro, both primary sponsors of House Bill 6, directly benefited from the ads purchased by the Growth & Opportunity PAC.

Of the 22 Republican candidates that received either mail or radio ads, 19 would go on to win a seat in the House. Callender received more in ad spending than any other winning candidate, with $93,000 spent on seven different ad buys.

Householder also had nearly $50,000 worth of ads paid for by the PAC during his election to his Southeast Ohio seat. Another $25,000 was donated directly to Householder by FirstEnergy’s PAC.

Karen Kasler, of public radio’s Statehouse News Bureau, asked Householder earlier this year if House Bill 6 was a priority to him because of his connections to Eric Lycan and the Growth & Opportunity PAC.

It’s a priority bill for me because I’ve always cared about the energy in the state of Ohio,” said Householder. “I’ll tell you who’s paying for these ads: it’s working men and women from Ohio, who want to save their jobs and it’s Ohio corporations, headquartered in Ohio, that want to stay here. That’s who’s paying for it.”

Why is ‘dark money’ hard to track?

It can be as simple as Generation Now, and other dark money groups, not filing the appropriate paperwork to the IRS.  If a tax-exempt organization doesn’t file for three consecutive years, it loses its status. Since Generation Now was incorporated in January 2017, the three-year deadline is approaching. 

Though Householder says that hardworking men and women donated money to the organization, Generation Now doesn’t have a donation portal on its website.

While reaching out to Generation Now for comment, Curt Steiner, CEO of Columbus-based Steiner Public Relations, answered instead. He said that he represents Generation Now and that he couldn’t speak on why there is no donation portal. 

Why have the ads run recently?

Many of the ads about House Bill 6 played on Ohio’s airwaves talked about getting the bill passed before the end of June.

Some of the ads feature an ominous voice talking about what Ohio’s future might look like under the bill, others showcase somebody who talks about their life and what FirstEnergy has done for them.

So why the deadline for passage? FirstEnergy Solutions needed to know whether to place an order for $52 million worth of fuel for one of its nuclear power plants. It takes months for such an order to be filled.

Action on FirstEnergy Solutions restructuring plan, filed through the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio, has been posted four times, moves that a FirstEnergy spokeswoman described as “not unusual.” 

Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, told Statehouse reporters on Saturday he isn’t worried about the delayed fuel purchase.

“I’ve had a number of conversations with (FirstEnergy) going back several months about what the timeline was and there’s always been a little bit of flexibility,” Obhof said.

Meanwhile, House Bill 6 is still awaiting a vote in the Ohio Senate.

July 4, 2019 Posted by | politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

Russian commentators criticise secrecy on details of nuclear submarine accident

Critics Accuse Russia of Covering Up Nuclear Sub Fire, Compare to Chernobyl.  https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/07/03/critics-accuse-russia-of-covering-up-nuclear-sub-fire-compare-to-chernobyl-a66267 3 July 19       Russian commentators have challenged officials for not releasing full details about an accident on board a military submarine that killed 14 sailors.

The incident took place on Monday, according to the Defense Ministry, but was not officially disclosed until late on Tuesday. Nearly two days on, there was still no word on whether the submarine was nuclear-powered.

Some Russian media accused officials of starving the public of details and drew parallels with the dearth of official information during the meltdown of a Soviet nuclear reactor in Chernobyl in 1986.

The type of vessel was not specified by the ministry and there were few details of the circumstances beyond the fact that it had been in Russian territorial waters and the fire had been extinguished.

“Absolutely nothing is known at the moment — who, what… I don’t understand one thing: why did a day go by and only then did they make the statement about the deceased?” said Yevgeny Buntman, an anchor for the Ekho Moskvy radio station. “Why don’t we know their names? Is this normal?”

The Bell, a news site often critical of the government, wrote: “Nearly a day without information about the accident in a nuclear facility and the need to look out for Norwegian statements about the level of radiation should have given a shudder to those who remember the Chernobyl nuclear power station.”

Secret sub   Norway’s authorities said on Tuesday they had not detected any abnormal radiation.

Asked on Wednesday if the vessel had a nuclear reactor on board, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov referred the question to the Defense Ministry.

He told reporters in a conference call that details of the submarine were classified, but that information had been provided in good time. Several hours before the official statement, blogger Yevgeny Karpov reported a fire on a vessel belonging to the Northern Fleet, but he then took down the report at the fleet’s request, he told the Meduza news site.

The fire is one of the deadliest submarine accidents since August 2000, when the nuclear-powered Kursk sank to the floor of Barents Sea, killing all 118 men aboard.

Authorities then, and in particular President Vladimir Putin, who was at the beginning of now almost two decades as president or prime minister, came under fire for their slow response and shortcomings in the rescue operation.

July 4, 2019 Posted by | media, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Fraud, money-laundering, convictions of staff at Israel’s Dimona nuclear reactor

THREE CONVICTED IN DIMONA NUCLEAR RESEARCH AGENCY FRAUD, Besides the three individual defendants, the case also led to charges against two entities used by the defendants. Jerusalem Post, BY YONAH JEREMY BOB JULY 4, 2019
The Beersheba District Court has convicted three persons engaged by Israel’s nuclear research agency in Dimona of an NIS 3.2 million fraud scheme, including also money-laundering and breach of trust.

Announced for the first time by the court spokesperson’s office on Wednesday, the convictions and jail sentences of the three were actually handed down in April and earlier, but were under gag order due to the implications for national security.
Unlike a normal case probed by police, the investigation was led by a special division in the Defense Ministry which eventually worked with a special team in the state prosecution – again all due to the extreme sensitivity of all issues related to Dimona.

Israel has never confirmed that it has nuclear weapons, but according to foreign sources, the Dimona reactor has been used to produce between 80-200 nuclear weapons which Israel can deploy by land, sea and air.

The central defendant, an external consultant in 2002 who eventually became a senior manager within the Negev Nuclear Research Center in 2011, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined NIS 100,000. Another defendant was sentenced to 18 months in prison and fined NIS 75,000. A third defendant had cut a plea deal with the state at an earlier date. Due to the cooperative plea deal, the third defendant received only six months of community service and a NIS 50,000 fine.

Unlike a normal case probed by police, the investigation was led by a special division in the Defense Ministry which eventually worked with a special team in the state prosecution – again all due to the extreme sensitivity of all issues related to Dimona.

Besides the three individual defendants, the case also led to charges against two entities used by the defendants.
Combined, the court fined those companies or seized assets worth NIS 450,000.

A statement by the Justice Ministry said that some of the defendants had appealed the decision to the Supreme Court. …….

Many of the details remain under gag order, but broadly speaking, the defendants started to scheme as early as 2011 to have the nuclear agency pay significant funds to outside entities, which the defendants controlled, for services…….. https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Three-convicted-in-Dimona-nuclear-research-agency-fraud-594539

July 4, 2019 Posted by | Israel, legal, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Chernobyl military survivor reveals secrets

Secrets of Chernobyl spill out more than three decades after the nuclear disaster, By SERGEI L. LOIKO  sergei.l.loiko@gmail.com, JUN 30, 2019| CHERNOBYL, UKRAINE  [good photographs on original]

The measuring device was sounding off loudly on that night 33 years ago, not because of the convoy’s cargo — 30 antiaircraft missiles, three of them tipped with nuclear warheads — but because of where and when the post-midnight parade had kicked off: at the Chernobyl air defense missile base just three days after the explosion of a reactor at the adjacent Chernobyl nuclear power plant that had sent enough radioactivity spewing into the air that it at one point had the potential of poisoning much of Eastern Europe.

Chershnev knew that the missiles, the trucks and his crew were badly contaminated and that they should not have been ordered to drive through a city of more than 2 million people. But there was no bypass road at the time — and orders were orders. What Chershnev didn’t know in the early hours of the morning of April 30, 1986, was that a radioactive cloud had already caught up with them and blanketed the city on the eve of its annual May Day festivities.

The reaction to HBO’s recent “Chernobyl” miniseries has been almost as far-reaching as the initial tragedy and has spurred a daily line of buses packed with foreign tourists at the gate of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which extends for 20 miles around the plant. But Chernobyl still boasts secrets more than three decades later, including the story of Chershnev and his charges — a saga of dysfunction and disregard for human life that lays bare conditions in the waning years of the Soviet Union.

When the red alert sounded, Chershnev, then the deputy commander and chief engineer of the Kiev Air Defense Brigade, was responsible for the readiness of weaponry and equipment at the Chernobyl antiaircraft battalion’s base in a massive in-ground bunker with 10-inch-thick, rusty metal doors.

These days, the site also features a 10-yard-long missile launcher’s towing trolley, half-buried in silver moss, the former walls of a second smaller bunker surrounded by dense pines and a vast carcass of barracks with missing floorboards, dilapidated walls and a mural of a Soviet soldier cheerfully calling upon comrades to defend the motherland.

Seventy officers and men — ill-informed, unprotected and exposed to deadly radiation — were housed at the site along with the missiles back in 1986, under orders to arduously protect and save the weapons and structures rather than themselves.

The site included the nuclear plant and the Chernobyl over-the-horizon early warning radar station, a 500-meter-long, 150-meter tall installation designed to detect strategic missiles launched from the United States. The now-rusty structure still towers over the area and is a major tourist attraction, a frightening monument to the Cold War that even the complex‘s normally fearless marauders have not attempted to cut into pieces to sell as scrap metal outside the zone, a routine business in these parts.

In the aftermath of the 1986 explosion — as the government evacuated more than 50,000 residents from the town of Pripyat, including the families of nuclear plant workers, plus more than 75,000 residents of nearby villages — the men of the Chernobyl air defense unit stayed put until they received fresh orders.

“Three days after the explosion, on April 29, I arrived at the base with 30 heavy trucks and we loaded on them 30 missiles from the storage hangars,” recalls Chershnev, who headed the evacuation effort. “Twenty-seven of them were conventional, but the other three were tactical rockets with nuclear warheads. We were to take them to a facility outside Boryspil, near Kiev.

“After that, we were ordered to go back and salvage the remaining equipment that could be dismantled.”

The men traveled — without protective gear — for 14 hours at speeds lower than 20 mph as radiation from the explosion leaked into the air.

Chershnev admits he knew the dangers but says he was a career officer and could not disobey orders………….

When Chershnev got back from that trip, he repeated the ritual of burning his uniform.

“No one in the world knows that we existed and what we went through,” he said. “And all for nothing. All so stupid and futile. We didn’t save anyone. We didn’t clean up anything.

“All those I personally know and have kept track of all these years are either badly sick like myself or dead by now. My driver who accompanied me on all the convoys was discharged and died at 28. My fellow deputy brigade commander, … who was also dealing with contaminated equipment, died [in 1995] of cancer. Warrant Officer Petro Pozyura went blind. And so on and so forth. I have a heart ailment and every year spend a couple of weeks in hospital.”

The cardiologist who has been treating Chershnev for the last few years once asked him to retrieve his Chernobyl-era medical records from the military. But Chershnev was told that the records no longer exist.

“Here I am on a pension with a monthly Chernobyl health compensation of about $11 a month,” he concluded bitterly. “It is not even enough to buy a bottle of decent vodka, let alone medicines.”

The official death toll related to the explosion is listed as 39, but out of the officially registered 3.2 million people who were exposed to radiation in Ukraine alone, 1.3 million have died in the last 33 years, said Vladimir Kobchik, a former Chernobyl cleanup worker who is now a leader of a group that aims to protect the rights of fellow survivors.

“For the last four years, the government of Ukraine has been allocating $70 million annually for the needs of the affected. That is $37 per person per year! Not a penny more! How many of those remaining 1.9 million people affected by Chernobyl are sick [and] we can’t even tell? The doctors will never tell you you are sick or dying because of radiation.”……… https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-ukraine-chernobyl-secrets-20190630-story.html

July 1, 2019 Posted by | health, PERSONAL STORIES, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine | Leave a comment

UFO Sightings Near Nuclear Facilities

Why Have There Been So Many UFO Sightings Near Nuclear Facilities? https://www.history.com/news/ufos-near-nuclear-facilities-uss-roosevelt-rendlesham  

It started in the 1940s, near A-bomb development sites. More recently, something has been stalking nuclear carrier strike groups.
ADAM JANOS   23 June 19,
Why are so many UFOs being reported near nuclear facilities—and why isn’t there more urgency on the part of the government to assess their potential national-security threat?

Those are questions being asked by a team of high-ranking former U.S. defense and intelligence officials, aerospace-industry veterans, academics and others associated with To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science. The team has been investigating a wide range of these sightings—and advocating more serious government attention.

Their investigations are the subject of HISTORY’s limited series “Unidentified.”

Throughout history, unexplained aerial phenomena (UAPs) have shocked, frightened and fascinated sky watchers. And in the last century, more than a few have been reported in military contexts. In late World War II, U.S. airmen called them “foo fighters”: strange orange flying lights by the French-German border. During the Korean War, some soldiers claimed a blue-green light emitting “pulsing rays” made their whole battalion sick with what, to some, resembled radiation poisoning.

Less known: In the last 75 years, high-ranking U.S. military and intelligence personnel have also reported UAPs near sites associated with nuclear power, weaponry and technology—from the early atomic-bomb development and test sites to active nuclear naval fleets.

“All of the nuclear facilities—Los Alamos, Livermore, Sandia, Savannah River—all had dramatic incidents where these unknown craft appeared over the facilities and nobody knew where they were from or what they were doing there,” says investigative journalist George Knapp, who has studied the UAP-nuclear connection for more than 30 years. Knapp has gathered documentation by filing Freedom of Information Act requests to the departments of defense and energy.

“There seems to be a lot of correlation there,” says Lue Elizondo, who from 2007 to 2012 served as director of a covert team of UAP researchers operating inside the Department of Defense. The program, called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP), received $22 million of the Pentagon’s $600 billion budget in 2012, The New York Times reported. Elizondo now helps lead To the Stars’ investigations.

The UFO-nuclear connection began at the dawn of the atomic age.

Nuclear-adjacent sightings go back decades, says Robert Hastings, a UFO researcher and author of the book UFOs and Nukes: Extraordinary Encounters at Nuclear Weapons Sites. Hastings says he’s interviewed more than 160 veterans who have witnessed strange things in the skies around nuclear sites.

“You have objects being tracked on radar performing at speeds that no object on earth can perform,” Hastings says. “You have eyewitness [military] personnel. You have jet pilots.” Witnesses to these incidents are often highly trained personnel with top security clearances. In recent years, their reports are being corroborated by sophisticated technology.

In late 1948, “green fireballs” were reported in the skies near atomic laboratories in Los Alamos and Sandia, New Mexico, where the atomic bomb was first developed and tested. A declassified FBI document from 1950 mentions “flying saucers” measuring almost 50 feet in diameter near the Los Alamos labs. And Knapp has interviewed more than a dozen workers from the Nevada desert atomic test site, where scores of A-bombs were detonated in the post-WWII years. He says they told him UFO activity was so commonplace there, employees were assigned to monitor the activity.

In the 1960s and ’70s, repeated UFO sightings emerged at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, a storage site for nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). At one such alleged sighting in 1967, former Air Force Capt. Robert Salas says several of those missiles became inoperative at the same time base security reported seeing a glowing red object, about 30 feet in diameter, hovering over the facility. Salas, who commanded ICBMs as a launch officer and later worked in the aerospace industry and at the Federal Aviation Administration, told CNN the “missiles began going into what’s called a ‘no-go condition,’ or unlaunchable.”

Observers can only speculate about the origin of these unexplained phenomena. But the repeated proximity to sensitive defense sites connected to our nation’s most powerful weapons has raised the question of whether they might originate from adversaries—known or unknown.

READ MORE: Are UFOs A Threat to National Security? This Ex-U.S. Official Thinks They Warrant Investigation

The Bentwaters-Rendlesham Forest incident

In late December 1980, air-traffic controllers encountered something alarming near Royal Air Force Bentwaters in England. Used by the U.S. Air Force as a European foothold during the Cold War, Bentwaters housed a secret stash of nuclear weapons in 25 fortified underground bunkers.

“We looked up on the radar scope and saw something…not like anything I’d seen before,” Ivan Barker, a U.S. Air Force air-traffic controller working that night, told HISTORY.com.

Barker, a master sergeant who was second in charge at the facility, says he was an 18-year veteran at that point and knew “about every aircraft in the U.S., NATO and the Soviet bloc.” This object, he says, shocked him and his two colleagues that night with its remarkable speed and maneuverability. On radar, it covered 120 miles in a matter of seconds, he said: “It had to be moving Mach 5, 6, 7 or 8—faster than anything other than possibly a missile.”

As he looked up from the radar to view it directly, the craft moved into close range, slowed and then stopped over the base’s water tower: “Like a helicopter hovering, except with a helicopter you get movement up and down. This was stationary. It was between about 1,500 and 2,000 feet high. The thing was…at least a city block…in diameter.”

Barker says it was shaped like a giant basketball, with portholes around the center, from which lights were emanating outward. “I was shocked… There was nothing aerodynamic about it. Basketballs don’t fly.”

Newspaper headlines reporting on the Rendlesham forest UFO report in Suffolk, England.

Geography Photos/Universal Images Group/Getty Images

It stopped over the water tower for only a few seconds, he said, before reversing course and speeding back the way it came in: “It was like—swish!—it’s gone.”

Barker didn’t report the sighting to his superiors. “You don’t understand what the Air Force did to people who reported UFOs,” he says.

Barker’s story dovetails with that of Col. Charles Halt, Bentwaters’ deputy commander at the time. Halt led a patrol that night to investigate strange colorful lights seen descending into nearby Rendlesham Forest. Halt described to Elizondo what he saw from inside the forest: a red light moving horizontally though the trees, “obviously under some kind of intelligent control.” A laser-like beam, he said, “landed 10-15 feet away from us. I was literally in shock.”

Then the beam’s source quickly left, flying north toward the base, says Halt, who audiotaped the incident at the time. “We could hear chatter on the radios that the beams went down into the weapons storage area.”

Later, his commander played the audio for a general, who dismissed the need for further investigation. They were loath to get involved, says Halt.

Navy sightings in the Atlantic and the Pacific

In recent years, sightings of unidentified aerial phenomena have emerged from America’s nuclear navy.

F-18 fighter pilots from the nuclear-powered USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group saw UAPs almost daily for several months between the summer of 2014 and the spring of 2015 while executing training maneuvers along the Eastern seaboard between Virginia and Florida, witnesses told Elizondo.

“Wherever we were, they were there,” says Ryan Graves, an active-duty F-18 fighter pilot from the USS Roosevelt, who holds a degree in aerospace engineering.

The objects appeared in three shapes, Graves says—some were discs, others looked like a cube inside a sphere, while smaller round objects flew together in formation. All lacked visible engines or exhaust systems. Some tilted, mid-flight, like spinning tops, as seen on an infrared video released by the U.S. Department of Defense in 2017. Graves and another F-18 pilot, Danny Accoin, confirm that video, along with one other released by the government, had been shot by their fellow Roosevelt pilots while in the air.

One UAP, Grave says, almost caused a terrifying collision by zipping dangerously between two planes. An aviation flight-safety report was filed, he says, but never investigated.

Graves says the unidentified objects reappeared once the Roosevelt had deployed to its mission in the Persian Gulf.

“It’s hard to find a prosaic explanation for a carrier battle group being shadowed by unidentified aircraft all the way across the Atlantic, to an area of operations overseas in the Middle East,” says Chris Mellon, former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, who now serves as an integral part of the To The Stars team. “It makes an extremely compelling case for the existence of technologies we didn’t think were possible.”

Leon Golub, a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told The New York Times there may indeed be several “low-probability” prosaic explanations for the Roosevelt sightings. They include “bugs in the [radar’s] code for the imaging and display systems, atmospheric effects and reflections [and] neurological overload from multiple inputs during high-speed flight.”

Still, the Roosevelt reports echo those made by Navy pilots undergoing training exercises on the other side of the country. In November 2004 pilots and radar operators from the USS Nimitz carrier fleet saw a 40-foot long tic-tac shaped object flying just above the ocean while flying 100 miles off the coast of California near San Diego. When F-18 fighter jets were scrambled to approach the object, it accelerated, easily outrunning the supersonic Navy craft.

Increasing attention to the topic

Whereas earlier reports were career-killers for military personnel, there is an increasing openness in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill to taking these sightings seriously as potential threats. In April 2019, the U.S. Navy announced that it was updating its guidelines for how pilots and personnel should report unexplained aerial phenomena—making it easier for military members to report sightings to superiors without facing professional stigma and backlash. And Congress, beginning with former Senate majority leader Harry Reid, has taken more interest in being briefed.

George Knapp says that’s more activity than he has seen in three decades. He, and many others, think it’s overdue.

“At the facilities where we were first designing and building nuclear weapons…at the places where we were processing the fuel…at the facilities where we were testing the weapons…at the bases where we deployed those weapons, on the ships…the nuclear submarines… All those places, all the people working there have seen these things,” Knapp says.

“Are they all crazy?” he continued. “Because if they are, they shouldn’t have their hands on nuclear weapons.”

June 24, 2019 Posted by | 2 WORLD, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 2 Comments

Secret militaty facility near Chernobyl nuclear site

Inside the Russian Woodpecker, the top secret military facility in the shadow of Chernobyl, We all know about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster but few have heard of the nearby secret military facility whose purpose is shrouded in mystery. News.com.au, Benedict Brook@BenedictBrook  23 June 19

“…….in the highest echelons of the Soviet military, Chernobyl had long been known for something else: an ominous top secret Cold War facility buried deep in the forest just a few kilometres from the notorious power plant.

To the USSR military it was known as the Duga array. To those who discovered its existence in the West it was dubbed the “Russian Woodpecker.” A cheery name that belied the fear and mystery that surrounded the facility.

When Chernobyl blew, it wasn’t just the city of Pripyat which disappeared off the map; so did the enormous military installation. It became bathed in radioactive dust and was left to rust in the exclusion zone, where it remains to this day.

Not that Duga was on any maps. It was marked, instead, as a children’s camp. But there were no kids here. Secret it may have been but come anywhere near it and it was hard to miss.

Built in 1976, from afar it looks like a giant wall towering over the forest. But get closer and it’s far more porous — a massive metal lattice work that stands some 50 stories tall and stretches for 500 meters long.

Despite its size, few outside of Chernobyl knew of its existence. Few of the West knew of it either — but then they began to hear it.

From the mid 1970s onwards a strange rapidly repeating interference began to be noticed on some radio frequencies. The incessant tapping was reminiscent of a woodpecker. Now and then, the signal would stray off little used frequencies and interrupt radio stations around the world.

THE RUSSIAN WOODPECKER’S ROLE

Ham radio enthusiasts, as well military experts, deduced the signal was coming from somewhere north of Kiev, now in Ukraine but at the time part of Moscow ruled USSR. The Duga array had successfully given away its own secret location.

Luke Johnson, who took a tour of the Duga for Atlas Obscura magazine, said it wasn’t just the west that was picking up the eerie signal from Chernobyl.

“Higher-end Soviet television sets were sold with a special ‘woodpecker jamming’ device built in. More alarmingly, the mysterious signal began to interfere with emergency frequencies for aircraft,” he wrote.

But what exactly was the purpose of the Russian Woodpecker? Speculation in the West was rife with some theories that it could control the weather or even that the huge structure transmitted some kind of mind control power.

At the time the US and USSR were at the height of the Cold War with thousands of nuclear tipped missiles ready to be launched at a moment’s notice.

The Duga’s main role was as a huge radar receiver, part of a network of facilities designed to detect the launch of missiles headed towards the USSR.

…….. THREE MINUTE WARNING

While most visitors to Chernobyl make a beeline for the power station and abandoned town of Pripyat, the Duga array remains off the beaten track.

“During the Cold War, even approaching this spot would have had dire consequences, but today there is just one guard, near a dilapidated guard house with wood smoke rising from the chimney,” writes Mr Johnson.

…… Masses of discarded computer terminals, that once would have provided the USSR with the three minute warning, now lie broken and battered in the snow.

“While the nuclear reactor remains a nexus of international concern, the Russian Woodpecker stands largely forgotten,” said Mr Nazarayan.

….. The distinctive tapping sound was last heard sometime around 1989. And with that, the Russian Woodpecker fell silent.

benedict.brook@news.com.au    https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/inside-the-russian-woodpecker-the-top-secret-material-facility-in-the-shadow-of-chernobyl/news-story/2b179ed778ac4b7f850c9fb27dff9d08

June 24, 2019 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

No justice for Marshall islands, with rising seas and nuclear trash

Nuclear waste, rising seas and Trump: Marshall Islands struggles to stay above water, Yahoo News, Marshall Islands President Heine speaks with Reuters in Geneva By Tom Miles, 21 June 19, GENEVA (Reuters) – The Marshall Islands is literally struggling to stay above water but its President Hilda Heine told Reuters she had saved her breath rather than try to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump to hear its climate change message.

Heine met Trump at the White House last month, along with the presidents of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia, both of which are also under threat from rising sea levels.

But they did not talk about climate change.

“We made a conscious decision to discuss those things that we think we could accomplish, rather than spend time talking about something that we know is not going to happen,” she said.

“We know that we’re not going to be able to change his mind in 30 minutes about climate change.”

The Marshall Islands, comprising 31 tropical atolls between Australia and Hawaii, risks being underwater in 10-20 years.

“If that’s not scary enough, I don’t know what is. For us, it’s of course an existential issue,” said Heine, who was in Geneva to open a diplomatic mission, address the International Labour Organization and press her country’s case for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The scene of massive U.S. nuclear tests in the 1950s, it is also at risk of disaster from radioactive debris the U.S. military left behind.

Her government has put a line item in its budget to cope with environmental costs, with about 5% of spending set aside to fund sea walls to save at least its two most populated areas.

On climate change, Heine said she had a simple message for the world: “Get real. Climate change is here. It’s not anything to just talk about and think, that is going to happen. It’s happening.”

The official statement from the White House meeting cited “the region’s most pressing issues, including responding to natural disasters”, but not climate change or rising sea levels.

The main topic was renewal of U.S. financial grants and the rollover of a Cold War-era defence and security agreement.

The Marshall Islands was occupied by Allied forces in 1944 and placed under U.S. administration in 1947. Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 23 atomic and hydrogen bombs on Bikini and Enewetak atolls, debris from which was left buried under a shallow concrete dome on Enewetak.

“We’re told it’s seeping into the lagoon,” Heine said, adding that the government wanted help to assess the damage and impact on marine life and potential costs of making it safe.

Asked if it was potentially a nuclear disaster on top of a climate emergency, she said: “It could be.”

NUCLEAR JUSTICE

The Marshall Islands gained independence in 1986 and later tried in vain to sue nuclear powers in a David-and-Goliath case at the International Court of Justice.

It now has a “nuclear justice strategy” to cope with displacement and higher cancer rates, but cannot back a treaty banning nuclear weapons because of one provision that would force it to take care of its own clean-up, Heine said.

“The United States would be … off the hook.”…… https://news.yahoo.com/nuclear-waste-rising-seas-trump-120225579.html

June 22, 2019 Posted by | climate change, OCEANIA, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russian officials warn on terrorists’ plans to steal nuclear weapons

June 20, 2019 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Allegations that a former employee has leaked nuclear information from South Korean firm to UAE and other countries

June 20, 2019 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, South Korea | Leave a comment