nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

The ”New Yorker” sinks to sloppy sentimenta praise of pro nuclear advocates

The Once-Proud New Yorker Soils Itself in Radioactive Offal  https://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/67935-rsn-the-once-proud-new-yorker-soils-itself-in-radioactive-offal, By Harvey Wasserman, 21 February 21

or decades, The New Yorker has set a high bar for journalistic excellence.

Graced by its signature brand of droll, sophisticated cartooning, the magazine’s exquisitely edited screeds have reliably delivered profound analyses of the world’s most pressing issues.

But in a breathless, amateurish pursuit of atomic energy, the editorial staff has leapt into a sad sinkhole of radioactive mediocracy.

The latest is Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow’s shallow, shoddy “Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power,” yet another tedious plea that we learn to love the Peaceful Atom.

For at least a century, countless scientific pioneers have exposed the murderous realities of nuclear radiation. Legendary researchers like Marie Curie, Alice Stewart, Rosalie Bertell, Helen Caldicott, John Gofman, Ernest Sternglass, Thomas Mancuso, Karl Z. Morgan, Samuel Epstein, Robert Alvarez, Arnie Gundersen, Amory Lovins, and others have issued vital warnings.

In Pavlovian opposition, the industry has rolled out an endless array of amateur “environmentalists” whose activist credentials are distinguished only by an endless love for atomic power.

Most infamous are Greenpeace veteran Patrick Moore and Berkeley-based Michael Shellenberger, both climate skeptics who share a theatrical passion for uninspected, uninsured nukes. With no credible scientific credentials, this unholy pair has conjured imaginative advocacies for companion corporate embarrassments like genetically modified food, clear-cut deforestation, and more.

With far more prestige, climate pioneer Dr. James Hanson and Whole Earth Catalogue founder Stewart Brand have brought significant gravitas to the nuclear debate.

But The New Yorker dotes on two workers at California’s Diablo Canyon. Neither is a scientist. Both claim to be “environmentalists.” One wears a lavender pendant made of uranium glass which “emits a near-negligible amount” of radiation, despite a huge body of scientific evidence warning this is a literally insane thing to do – especially for someone who might be around small children.

The writer lauds her heroines for calling themselves “Mothers for Nuclear” while snubbing legendary “Mothers for Peace” activists who’ve organized locally for a half-century. While touring Diablo with her new best friends, the author coos that “we smiled as if we were at Disneyland.”

Such “Nuclear Renaissance” absurdities are very old news.

Given The New Yorker’s stellar history, we might expect a meaningful, in-depth exploration of today’s core atomic realities: no more big reactors will be built in the US, and our 90+ old plants are in deep, dangerous disarray.

Forbes long ago branded atomic power “the largest managerial failure in US history.” America’s very last two reactors (at Georgia’s Plant Vogtle) sucked up $8.3 billion in federal loan guarantees from Barack Obama plus $3.7 billion more from Donald Trump. Years behind schedule, Vogtle’s final price tag (if it ever opens) will exceed $30 billion.

South Carolina’s engineering and legal morass at V.C. Summer wasted more than $10 billion on two failed reactors. In Ohio, $61 million in utility bribes for a massive nuke bailout have shattered the state.

As for alternatives, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow says, “nuclear scientists, for their part, are working on smaller, more nimble nuclear reactors. There are complex economic considerations, which are inseparable from policy.”

In other words, the proposed Small Modular Reactors are already so clearly uncompetitive that only obsessive pro-nukers (like Bill Gates) think they’ll hold market value against wind and solar (which The New Yorker attacks).

Precisely as ice storms froze feedwater pipes and shut one of two reactors at the South Texas Nuclear Plant, the magazine falsely claims that atomic reactors do “not depend on particular weather conditions to operate.” Globally-warmed rivers can no longer reliably cool many French reactors. Earthquakes have dangerously damaged US-designed nukes in Ohio and Virginia. Intake pipes at Diablo and other coastal plants are vulnerable to tsunami surges. Staggering design and construction flaws (a major Diablo component was once installed backwards; boric acid ate through key parts of Ohio’s Davis-Besse) give the entire industry a Keystone Kops/Rube Goldberg aura.

Tuhus-Dubrow skims the waste issue. Dry casks at Diablo and elsewhere are generally less than an inch thick. They can’t be re-opened for inspection or maintenance, and are already cracking (more-versatile German casks are 19 inches thick).

With an average age of well over 30, US reactors face dangerous decay. After four years of Trump, and even longer as a corrupt rubber stamp, the infamously dysfunctional Nuclear Regulatory Commission has left these collapsing, uninsured jalopies virtually unregulated and uninspected.

Tuhus-Dubrow ignores the fact that (unlike Disneyland) Diablo Unit One was long ago reported to be severely embrittled. That means critical components could shatter like glass if flooded to contain a meltdown. Ensuing Chernobyl-scale steam and hydrogen explosions would spread apocalyptic radiation throughout the ecosphere.

Despite a petition signed by more than 2,000 Californians and key Hollywood A-listers, Gov. Gavin Newsom refuses to inspect Diablo’s decayed reactors.

The New Yorker says smoke coming from huge northern California fires dimmed solar panels. But those fires were caused by the gross incompetence, neglect, and mismanagement of the twice-bankrupt Pacific Gas & Electric, which runs Diablo.

PG&E is a federal felon, convicted for killing scores of Californians in avoidable explosions and fires. Tuhus-Dubrow simply ignores such slipshod mismanagement, which could prove catastrophic at a nuke as old as Diablo.

Overall, the nuke power debate has long since transcended random, folksy industry devotees who like to label themselves “green.” No serious analyst argues that, after the fiscal fiascos at V.C. Summer and Plant Vogtle, any big new reactors will ever be built in the US. Small ones are cost-prohibitive pipe dreams, especially as wind, solar, battery and LED/efficiency technologies continue to advance.

The question of how long America’s 90+ jalopy nukes can run until the next one explodes remains unanswered … and utterly terrifying.

Somehow, the revered New Yorker has polluted its pages with a pro-nuke fantasy while missing this most critical atomic issue.

Let’s hope it corrects the deficiency before the next Chernobyl lays waste to our own nation.

 


Harvey Wasserman’s Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth is at www.solatopia.org, along with The People’s Spiral of US History.

February 22, 2021 Posted by | spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Bill Gates’undemocratic approach to climate crisis

The Nation 16th Feb 2021, Tim Schwab: Gates proceeds from a precarious position, not just because of his thin credentials, untested solutions, and stunning financial conflicts of interest, but because his undemocratic assertion of power—no one appointed or elected him as the world’s new climate czar—comes at precisely the time when democratic institutions have become essential to solving climate change.

https://www.thenation.com/article/environment/bill-gates-climate-book/

February 22, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Nuclear lobby planning to take over the U.N Climate Change Conference

Meet the Young Generation Network and its group of nuclear schills who will lead the attempted nuclear takeover of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 1 – 12 November 2021.

  The team is mainly targeting the UN-controlled ‘blue zone’ at the conference, which is where the many international policymakers, government officials and legislators will be concentrated.

Just by chance?   They all happen to be ambitious young people who hope to have a big career in the nuclear industry.   Well, you can’t blame them for that.  But  let’s be wary of their advice on nuclear power as the solution for global heating.


Arun Khuttan.
 End States Engineer at Magnox Ltd.UKAlice Cunha da Silva. Latin America Nuclear Leader | Westinghouse Electric Company.

Hannah Paterson
, Technology Manager at Sellafield Ltd UK

Matthew Mairinger 
Technical Engineer with Ontario Power Generation, Canada

Miguel Trenkel-Lopez 
Assistant Engineer at Magnox Ltd,Bristol, UK

Saralyn Thomas 
  Formerly at AREVAnuclear company, now at Abbott Risk Consulting (ARC) Risk Management consultancy services to the Nuclear Industry

Vicki Dingwall
 of EDF nuclear company

February 21, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, spinbuster | 1 Comment

On nuclear power as climate solution, Bill Gates shows alarming ignorance

David Lowry’s Blog 16th Feb 2021 The multi-billionaire Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, in his new book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster”, is sceptical of the Green New Deal.(Allen Lane/Penguin) published on 16 February. Gates secured much pre-publication publicity for his new tome, including an interview in the Guardian Weekend Magazine, which wrote “Of the Green New Deal, the proposal backed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez [the Congresswoman who has promoted the merits of the GND in the US] that raises the goal of carbon neutrality in a decade, he is flatly dismissive, with Gates telling the interviewer. “Well, it’s a fairytale. It’s like saying vaccines don’t work – that’s a form of science denialism. Why peddle fantasies to people?”

Gates also opined: “I’m not a survivalist.” Instead his version of survivalism is to fund innovation, the reporter noted. “I’m putting money into carbon capture and nuclear fission” Gates told her. (Bill Gates: ‘Carbon neutrality in a decade is a fairytale. Why peddle fantasies?’, Guardian, 13 February 2021; https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/feb/15/bill-gates-carbon-neutrality-in-a-decade-is-a-fairytale-why-peddle-fantasies)

Indeed, his book is laced with positive, if inaccurate, mentions of nuclear power. For example, he asserts on page 84, in a section on “Making Carbon-Free Electricity”, uns der a sub-section titled ‘ Nuclear Fission’ he writes: “”Here’s the one sentence case for nuclear power: It’s the only carbon-free energy sources that can reliably deliver power day and night, through every season.”

Later on page 190, he repeats the fake fact, asserting “Nuclear is the only carbon-free energy source we can use almost anywhere. It is worrying that Gates can be so poorly informed he can believe such demonstable fake information, and repeat is, using it as a cornerstone for his pro-nuclear arguments. His editors at Allen Lane surely should have told him when he presented draft text that this information is incorrect, and should be removed. Gates should have known the following: Nuclear power will not provide any useful dent in curbing harmful emissions, when the carbon footprint of its full uranium ‘fuel chain’ is considered- from uranium mining, milling, enrichment ( which is highly energy intensive), fuel fabrication, irradiation, radioactive waste conditioning, storage, packaging to final disposal. Recent analysis by Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, in a detailed study “Review of solutions to global warming, air pollution, and energy security (https://web.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/ReviewSolGW09.pdf) demonstrates nuclear power’s CO2 emissions are between 10 to 18 times greater than those from renewable energy technologies.
Gates should read it pronto. Gates is not an energy specialist (evidently), but clearly cares hugely about the global threat of climate change. He is, however, an enormously wealthy philanthropist, and says in his new book (on pages 8-9 ) “I put several hundred million dollars into starting a company [ TerraPower] to design a next-generation nuclear plant that would generate clean electricity.” Beforehand, he says, he “met with experts” (unnamed). Clearly the wrong ones. For a man who must have the contact phone numbers of presidents and premiers on speed dial, it is a pity this commendable venture into solutions to the climate change challenge, is so poorly founded. On Gates’ Breakthrough Energy web site, he says that he has assembled “analysts, experts and advocates working to advance smart public policy.” On nuclear, Gates’ approach is just dumb!   http://drdavidlowry.blogspot.com/2021/02/green-new-deal-and-nuclear-politics.html

February 20, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, ENERGY, PERSONAL STORIES, politics, spinbuster | Leave a comment

I am appalled at the idea of ”Mothers For Nuclear”

As a mother myself, I am appalled that such a group as ”Mothers For Nuclear” even exists.  Dont

Christina Macpherson’s websites & blogs

they know about the effects of ionising radiation on women, especially pregnant women?   Don’t they know about the breast cancers, the birth deformities in irradiated areas such as Pacific atomic bomb sites, and Belarus-Ukraine, near the Chernobyl site.  No, they don’t seem to.  (Perhaps that ‘s the beauty of a narrowly S.T.E.M. education?)

Both Heather Hoff and Kristin Zaitz work at the Diablo Nuclear Power Plant.   Hoff worked as a plant operator, and now as a procedure writer.  Zaitz works as a civil engineer.

Hoff was inspired by none other than that top nuclear schill Michael Shellenberger, and by the glossy  nuclear advertising film ”Pandora’s Promise”.

They sound very sincere, but also very ignorant of the negative issues around the nuclear industry.

Why am I not surprised?   The nuclear industry is busting its guts trying to get women onside.  Their favourite thing is getting (preferably young and attractive) women into engineering, and at the top of nuclear companies.    (This is good in two ways  – good to promote the industry’s ‘gender equality’ image, and good if they muck up, as Leslie Dewan did, in her bogus claims for Transatomic’s molten salt reactor –  let a woman take the flak!)

The thing is – lots of women have expertise in biology, genetics – and an understanding of the effects of ionising radiation.  But the nuclear industry has got us all conned that these are ”soft”sciences.  So – if you’ve got ”hard” scienvce knowledge – like engineering, then you can be an authority on nuclear issues.

These two women sound very sincere – alarmingly so.

The Activists Who Embrace Nuclear Power, New Yorker, By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, February 19, 2021

“……… But Hoff and Zaitz work at a nuclear plant and have been flown to give talks at industry-sponsored events; Mothers for Nuclear has received small donations from others who work in the industry. There is no denying the conflict of interest posed by their employment; even within the pro-nuclear community, their industry ties provoke uneasiness. Nordhaus, the executive director of the Breakthrough Institute, wrote in an e-mail that, although he thinks Hoff and Zaitz are “well-intentioned,” nuclear advocacy should be independent of what he called “the legacy industry.” ……..
On the air, Hoff explained who they were. “Mothers for Nuclear offers a different voice,” she said. “Nuclear power plants are run by lots of men, and women have been more scared of nuclear energy. We’re here to offer the motherly side of nuclear—nuclear for the future, for our children, for the planet.”…….

To be fervently pro-nuclear, in the manner of Hoff and Zaitz, is to see in the peaceful splitting of the atom something almost miraculous. It is to see an energy source that has been steadily providing low-carbon electricity for decades—doing vastly more good than harm, saving vastly more lives than it has taken—but which has received little credit and instead been maligned. It is to believe that the most significant problem with nuclear power, by far, is public perception. ………..—the pro-nuclear world view can edge toward dogmatism. Hoff and Zaitz certainly seem readier to tout studies that confirm their views, and reluctant to acknowledge any flaws that nuclear energy may have. ……https://www.newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-technology/the-activists-who-embrace-nuclear-power

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Christina's notes, spinbuster, USA, Women | 3 Comments

In Texas freezing temperatures, the major power loss was from coal, gas, nuclear facilities, not renewables

BBC 18th Feb 2021, As freezing temperatures grip the southern United States, there have been
major power failures across Texas as increased demand for heating has overwhelmed the energy grid. Supplies of both electricity and gas have been intermittent, with the authorities saying they need to “safely manage the balance of supply and demand on the grid” to avoid another major power cut.
Republican representatives and media commentators have blamed green energy policies, in particular the increased use of wind turbines. The bitingly cold temperatures have caused major problems across the energy sector in Texas. Wind turbines froze, as well as vital equipment at gas wells and in the nuclear industry.
But because gas and other non-renewable energies contribute far more to the grid than wind power, particularly in winter, these shortages had a far greater impact on the system. So when critics pointed to a loss of nearly half of Texas’s wind-energy capacity as a result of frozen turbines, they failed to point out double that amount was being lost from gas and other non-renewable supplies such as coal and nuclear.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-56085733

February 20, 2021 Posted by | ENERGY, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

Busting the propaganda that the nuclear industry wants to reduce carbon emissions

Big money, nuclear subsidies, and systemic corruption, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Cassandra JefferyM. V. Ramana | February 12, 2021  ”………..Material interests and policy interests.

The most common argument used by these companies and those who support nuclear subsidies is the need to fight climate change. There are two problems with this argument.

First, it is based on the false idea that nuclear power, if shut down, will necessarily be replaced by fossil fuel plants. A June 2016 decision by Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) demonstrates the invalidity of this assumption. PG&E will close the last two nuclear power plants in California (the Diablo Canyon units) by 2024 and 2025, replacing the lost electrical capacity “with a cost-effective, greenhouse gas free portfolio of energy efficiency, renewables and energy storage.” This move to renewables is more cost-effective today than it was in 2016 because of declining costs of renewables and energy storage. As Matthew McKinzie of the Natural Resources Defense Council argued at that time, the decision “shows that given sufficient time to prepare, retiring nuclear capacity can transition smoothly to a mix of energy efficiency measures; clean, renewable resources; and energy storage without any role for fossil fuels – an outcome that can be optimal for the environment, the market, and the reliability of the electric grid.” At a larger scale, Germany has shown that it is possible to retire nuclear plants and reduce emissions at the same time.

The second problem is the assumption that corporations owning nuclear plants are primarily interested in rapidly reducing emissions. Many utilities have large fossil fuel investments— investments that suggest a shutdown won’t be happening anytime soon. This suggestion seems especially true with natural gas plants. Although utilities often describe natural gas as clean (for example, Exelon describes its fleet as powered by “clean burning natural gas”), the climate implications of continued natural gas use are substantial. Exelon, the company with the most nuclear plants in the country, also owns and operates, along with its subsidiaries, 11 oil-fired power plants, five dual-fuel (natural gas and oil-powered) power stations, and 10 natural gas-based power plants throughout North America. In addition to its four nuclear power plants, Dominion owns 17 power plants fueled by natural gas and 14 power plants fueled by coal or oil. The company’s estimate of carbon dioxide emissions from its power plants is around 40 million metric tons in 2018, roughly the same level as in 2012. Likewise, PSEG owns just two nuclear power plants, but the company owns or has a stake in 10 fossil fuel generating plants with one more natural gas powered plant under construction.

With such large stakes in fossil fuel-based power plants, it is clear that these utilities are not about to switch immediately to renewables—or even to nuclear power—and give up on years and years of future profits that they and their shareholders are hoping for. In all of the states that offered nuclear subsidies, and elsewhere, the utilities have tried to hold back the deployment of renewables in more or less obvious ways. US utilities are not alone. Studies show that electric utilities around the world have “hindered the transition of the global electricity sector towards renewables, which has to date mostly relied on non-utility actors (such as independent power producers) for expanding the use of renewables.”

Rather than adapting to the necessity of building up renewables, these utilities resort to tactics that have been used in the past to justify nuclear power plant construction. As former Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Peter Bradford listed at the beginning of the so-called nuclear renaissance, these include “subsidy, tax breaks, licensing shortcuts, guaranteed purchases with risks borne by customers, political muscle, ballyhoo, and pointing to other countries (once the Soviet Union, now China) to indicate that the US is ‘falling behind.’”…. https://thebulletin.org/2021/02/big-money-nuclear-subsidies-and-systemic-corruption/

February 13, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Reference, spinbuster, USA | Leave a comment

As outdated nuclear power closes down, pro nuclear shills viciously attack critics

Uzbek & Rica 4th Feb 2021, No, nuclear power is not the medium-term solution to fight against global warming. France must stop its pharaonic investments in nuclear installations such as EPR reactors, which accumulate late delivery and explosion in costs, Julien Tchernia , co-founder andpresident of the renewable energy supplier ekWateur tells us in this forum.

When an article or a post is published about renewable energies, you will always find, following
it, a series of derogatory comments from nuclear advocates. Even if the content in question does not mention or refer to nuclear power, its aficionados take up pens to denigrate renewable production methods (but why so much hatred?)

And, incidentally, to write about their favorite mode of production. Why do they feel so threatened? Is the risk of this mode of production disappearing very real? And if so, would it not be less linked to the course of the political battle between pro and anti-nuclear than to
the complexity, to the costs of building and producing new nuclear power plants?

So, aren’t nuclear power stations shutting down on their own? In a manner analogous to the transition that took place for photography in the 2000s between film and digital, isn’t it time to let nuclear power stopquietly and fully accept the shift towards renewable energy?

https://usbeketrica.com/fr/non-le-nucleaire-n-est-pas-la-solution-a-moyen-terme-pour-lutter-contre-le-rechauffement-climatique

February 7, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Pro nuclear pretend-environmental groups pop up all the time,: here’s another one the ”Good Energy Collective”

 

January 29, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Protesters call on Hopkins University to drop nuclear weapons research 

January 28, 2021 Posted by | Education, opposition to nuclear, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Universities in collusion with nuclear industry

U.S. universities have continued to build connections to the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Although students and faculty have opposed university participation in nuclear weapons research and development at various points in the last 70 years, such participation continues.

 November 15, 2020 by beyondnuclearinternational  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/2663585/posts/3150281214   An ICAN report

Universities across the United States are identified in this report for activities ranging from directly managing laboratories that design nuclear weapons to recruiting and training the next generation of nuclear weapons scientists. Much of universities’ nuclear weapons work is kept secret from students and faculty by classified research policies and undisclosed contracts with the Defense Department and the Energy Department. The following is the executive summary from ICAN’s report: Schools of Mass Destruction, with some changes made for timeliness.

Over the next ten years, the Congressional Budget Office estimates U.S. taxpayers will pay nearly $500 billion to maintain and modernize their country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, or almost $100,000 per minute. A separate estimate brings the total over the next 30 years to an estimated $1.7 trillion. In a July 2019 report, National Nuclear Security Administrator Lisa Gordon-Haggerty wrote, “The nuclear security enterprise is at its busiest since the demands of the Cold War era.”

In addition to large amounts of funding, enacting these upgrades requires significant amounts of scientific, technical and human capital. To a large extent, the U.S. government and its contractors have turned to the nation’s universities to provide this capital.

Over the next ten years, the Congressional Budget Office estimates U.S. taxpayers will pay nearly $500 billion to maintain and modernize their country’s nuclear weapons arsenal, or almost $100,000 per minute. A separate estimate brings the total over the next 30 years to an estimated $1.7 trillion. In a July 2019 report, National Nuclear Security Administrator Lisa Gordon-Haggerty wrote, “The nuclear security enterprise is at its busiest since the demands of the Cold War era.”

Despite these debates, U.S. universities have continued to build connections to the U.S. nuclear weapons complex. Although students and faculty have opposed university participation in nuclear weapons research and development at various points in the last 70 years, such participation continues.

Universities involve themselves in the nuclear weapons complex through the four channels listed below. In return for this engagement, universities receive funding, access to research facilities, and specific career opportunities for students.

1) Direct Management

A handful of universities directly manage nuclear weapons related activities on behalf of the federal government, retaining contracts worth billions of dollars per year collectively. These include the University of California, Texas A&M University, Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the University of Rochester.

2) Institutional Partnerships

Many of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) sites advertise collaborative agreements with local and national universities. These formal agreements allow the institutions to cooperate on research and share personnel and expertise. They can also provide university researchers access to funding and advanced facilities in the NNSA laboratories. The report highlights more than 30 such agreements with schools in 18 states.

3) Research Programs and Partnerships

In addition to formal institutional partnerships, numerous connections exist between universities and the nuclear weapons complex at the research project level. In a report delivered to Congress in July 2019, the NNSA highlights that more than $65 million in grants were delivered to academic institutions in the last year to support stockpile stewardship. When including grants and subcontracts from the NNSA labs as well, the total amount of funding to universities for research may be higher than $150 million per year.

4) Workforce Development Programs

Former Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry has written that finding “the next generation workforce of world-class scientists, engineers and technicians is a major priority.” Through university partnerships, vocational training programs and research fellowships, the NNSA creates employment pipelines for the development of its future workforce.

A primary goal of this report is to facilitate a shared understanding of university connections to nuclear weapons research and development. A common factual basis will help communities of university faculty, students and administrations engage in robust internal debates and take action. Universities would not willingly participate today in the production of chemical and biological weapons; for the same humanitarian reasons, no university should seek an association with the other category of weapons of mass destruction: nuclear weapons.

While American universities have played a key role in the development and continuation of nuclear weapons, they can now join U.S. cities and states that have rejected U.S. nuclear weapons and called on the federal government to support nuclear reductions and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. In light of the research presented,  this report offers the following recommendations to universities:

Recommendations

• Provide greater transparency into connections with the nuclear weapons complex;

• Stop directly managing nuclear weapons production sites and dissolve research contracts solely related to nuclear weapons production;

• For contracts with dual-purpose research applications, demand greater transparency and create specific processes for ethical review of this research;

• Advocate for reinvestment of weapons activities funding to non-proliferation and environmental remediation efforts; and

• Join cities and state legislatures in urging the federal government to support the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and reverse course on nuclear arms control backsliding.

See the full list of universities.

The above is the Executive Summary of ICAN’s report on US Universities. Read the full report. Beyond Nuclear is a member of ICAN.

In addition to large amounts of funding, enacting these upgrades requires significant amounts of scientific, technical and human capital. To a large extent, the U.S. government and its contractors have turned to the nation’s universities to provide this capital.

At the same time, the United States is shirking its previous commitments to nuclear arms control and reducing nuclear risks despite its obligation under Article VI of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to pursue good-faith measures towards nuclear disarmament.

In August 2019, the United States officially withdrew from the landmark 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, testing a treaty-prohibited missile shortly thereafter. The Trump Administration’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review expanded the circumstances under which the United States would consider the first use of nuclear weapons and called for the development of two new sea-based low-yield nuclear weapon systems.

Internationally, many member states of the United Nations have recognized the devastating humanitarian and environmental impacts of nuclear weapons: debating, adopting, signing and now ratifying the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

 

January 28, 2021 Posted by | Education, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Rupert Murdoch gets phoney Australia Day Award, thanks to fossil fuel and finance industries

Murdoch’s Australia Day award — brought to you by miners and bankers
Those who promote and profit from fossil fuels have appropriated the phoney awards handed out by the obscure Australia Day Foundation. 
https://www.crikey.com.au/2021/01/27/rupert-murdoch-australia-day-foundation/ DAVID HARDAKER, JAN 27, 2021

There’s no faulting the Australia Day awards for throwing up some real doozies but lost in the Margaret Court drama this year has been a so-called lifetime achievement award for Rupert Murdoch from the Australia Day Foundation.

On the face of it it looks to be an extraordinary decision: a prestigious honour bestowed on the media mogul whose recent hits in the United States include helping fan an insurrection against democracy via Fox News and in Australia leading the way on climate change denialism in cahoots with the Morrison government it supports.

The Australia Day Foundation, though, is not as it seems. It is a not-for-profit organisation in the UK, set up as a networking base for Australian business and high achievers. Losers need not apply.

The foundation and its awards are backed by a group of international conglomerates including mining giants BHP, Rio Tinto, Woodside and Anglo-American. Australia’s big banks, the National Australia Bank and Westpac, are also in on the act. Another leading name is CQS, the wealthy London hedge fund founded by Australian business figure Sir Michael Hintze.

Hintze is not well known in Australia, but he is at the centre of a powerful network of business and conservative UK and Australian politicians. As we reported last year he has been a force behind the climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation which has given voice to the views of Tony Abbott and Cardinal George Pell.

Nominally a business outfit, the foundation also blurs the lines with government. It is sponsored by Austrade and uses Australia House, home to the Australian High Commission, in London to hand out its “Australia Day” awards to UK and Australian figures of its choosing.

This year it gave its honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award to Conservative British MP Liz Truss who promoted the cause of Abbott as a trade adviser to the UK government. Past recipients have included Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Hintze is not well known in Australia, but he is at the centre of a powerful network of business and conservative UK and Australian politicians. As we reported last year he has been a force behind the climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation which has given voice to the views of Tony Abbott and Cardinal George Pell.

Nominally a business outfit, the foundation also blurs the lines with government. It is sponsored by Austrade and uses Australia House, home to the Australian High Commission, in London to hand out its “Australia Day” awards to UK and Australian figures of its choosing.

This year it gave its honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award to Conservative British MP Liz Truss who promoted the cause of Abbott as a trade adviser to the UK government. Past recipients have included Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Hintze is not well known in Australia, but he is at the centre of a powerful network of business and conservative UK and Australian politicians. As we reported last year he has been a force behind the climate-sceptic Global Warming Policy Foundation which has given voice to the views of Tony Abbott and Cardinal George Pell.

Nominally a business outfit, the foundation also blurs the lines with government. It is sponsored by Austrade and uses Australia House, home to the Australian High Commission, in London to hand out its “Australia Day” awards to UK and Australian figures of its choosing.

This year it gave its honorary Australian of the Year in the UK award to Conservative British MP Liz Truss who promoted the cause of Abbott as a trade adviser to the UK government. Past recipients have included Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

 

January 28, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Quietly, under the brouhaha of the pandemic, the global nuclear lobby prepares a propaganda onslaught

”If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth ” – Joseph Goebbels 

This month, I’ve concentrated my efforts on the ground-breaking and historic UN Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons coming into force. Of course, the nuclear weapons states will try to destroy that Treaty.   Failing destruction, they will aim for pooh poohing and rubbishing that Treaty. Finally they’ll go for a favourite strategy – ignoring it, and hoping that the world will just forget about it.

I don’t think that the world will forget about it. The challenge will be to help those workers and communities that depend on nuclear-weapons-making to be helped out of that toxic situation, and into life-sustaining work and activities.

MEANWHILE, as media and science correctly focus on the global coronavirus pandemic, the issue of nuclear power has pretty much disappeared from view.  Nothing is happening?

Not so. Things are happening, and the nuclear lobby is busy planning a big propaganda push – a Goebbels-worthy spinfest, for 2021.

Today, the nuclear weapons industry is pretty much the only reason for”peaceful” nuclear power.  ”Peaceful nukes” provide the trained experts, the technology development necessary for the weapons industry.  If governments and universities can be persuaded to back commercial nuclear energy, this solves a lot of probems. Especially, it helps to blur the picture on the astronomic costs of nuclear weapons, as quite a lot of costs are covered by ”peaceful” nuclear development.

There’s another pressing reason to keep nuclear power going. It’s the horrible and never-ending cost of shutting down reactors and dealing with their toxic wastes.  How much cheaper to just relicense them for 100 years?    That way, the present responsible officials will all be gone, and they don’t have to worry about that problem. Heck – they’ve handed it over to our great-grandchildre,  What a fine idea!  NOT!!

Against this background, the nuclear lobby is girding its loins for the public perception battle.

Armed with lies –  that nuclear fixes climate –  that it’s cheap, is clean, works great with renewables, essential for society –  blah blah,  the nuclear lobby is preparing its onslaught. They generally try pretty hard to ignore matters like comparative costs, and wastes problems.  But they can just lie again, if put on the spot about such problems.

Just a few quotatios from World Nuclear News :-

The barrier to nuclear is perception

”addressing perceptions of its alleged drawbacks”

Bilbao y León –  “the nuclear industry has responsibly managed all its used nuclear fuel and waste “from day one”.

“We know where every ounce of used nuclear fuel and nuclear waste is because we have been managing it throughout the history of the nuclear industry.  …….

The real challenges to nuclear are external”  –small modular reactors ..cheaper, safer, better, and going to provide more discreet financial solutions” [the discreet bit is true?]

The government nuclear regulatory authorities are, unfortunately, usually well onside with the industry –  in what is known as “regulatory capture”.   Again, from World Nuclear News –

The hurdles advanced nuclear developers face‘ – ””We, as the regulator, are working on building public trust, confidence and social acceptance in these new technologies.’‘ 

Joseph Goebbels would be proud of the skills of Sama Bilbao y Leon, Director General of the World Nuclear Association. She’s great with language (as the global nuclear lobby has realised, in appointing her, and several other women, to top promotional positions.)

January 26, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Christina's notes, spinbuster | 1 Comment

Protest rally against University of Arkansas’ involvement with nuclear weapons corporation

Group protests UA involvement with nuclear corporation, https://www.nwahomepage.com/news/group-protests-ua-involvement-with-nuclear-corporation/ by: Megan Wilson, Jan 22, 2021, FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Northwest Arkansans join peace groups around the world celebrating an international treaty on prohibiting nuclear weapons.

While 86 countries signed the treaty, the U.S. was not one of them.

A group gathered at the University of Arkansas to protest its contract with the nuclear weapons corporation Honeywell International.

Abel Tomlinson is the founder of Arkansas Non-Violence Alliance.

He said the University contradicts its mission statement by building non-nuclear components for the bombs.

“Its mission statement says that they’re ‘determined to build a better world.’ and we belive that building nuclear bombs is the complete opposite of that. Nobody should be having them. They’re endangering everyone, it’s unacceptable,” Tomlinson said.

The University of Arkansas was aware of today’s protest, but did not wish to comment.

January 25, 2021 Posted by | Education, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

UK’s Centre for Policy Studies about to change its name to Centre for the Promotion of Nuclear Sizewell C?

January 23, 2021 Posted by | spinbuster, UK | Leave a comment