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Ukraine Plant Under Fire Showcases ‘Dangerous’ Nature of Nuclear Power, Experts Say

“Having reactors in a war zone is a nightmare waiting to become a grim reality,” said one critic.

 https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/08/08/ukraine-plant-under-fire-showcases-dangerous-nature-nuclear-power-experts-say KENNY STANCIL, August 8, 2022 Critics of atomic energy on Monday described the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia power station in southeastern Ukraine as “a warning that nuclear power plants are a liability, not an asset, especially under extreme conditions of war or climate change.”

While Kyiv and Moscow continue to trade blame for recent strikes on the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, advocates at Beyond Nuclear emphasized that regardless of who is at fault, damage to the six-reactor site could have deadly consequences “far beyond the war zone.”

“If even just one of the six operational reactors there suffered catastrophic damage and released its radioactive inventory we are talking about a humanitarian disaster that would dwarf Chernobyl,” Linda Pentz Gunter, international specialist at Beyond Nuclear, said in a statement.

Radioactive contamination from that 1986 nuclear accident in what is now Ukraine rendered an area of more than 1,000 square miles uninhabitable and caused the illnesses and deaths of potentially hundreds of thousands of people.

According to Beyond Nuclear, reactors at Zaporizhzhia “contain far more radioactivity, both in the working reactors and in the irradiated fuel pools, than was present at the relatively new Chernobyl Unit 4 when it exploded.”

“This situation brings home all too alarmingly just how dangerous nuclear power is as an energy source,” said Gunter. “We would not be having this conversation if we were dealing with solar panels or wind turbines.”

“The potential to cause a catastrophic accident even on a good day should have been enough to end the use of this technology,” she added. “Having reactors in a war zone is a nightmare waiting to become a grim reality.”

Beyond Nuclear is not alone in sounding the alarm about the dire consequences that could materialize following damage to Zaporizhzhia or any other nuclear power plants now at risk in Ukraine.

Last week, Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace, told Democracy Now! that “nuclear plants are extremely vulnerable to external attack in the context of a war zone.” He added, “You’re looking at potential massive releases of radioactivity, potentially even greater than Chernobyl.”

Buildings housing nuclear reactors are not designed to withstand missile attacks nor extreme weather events. In March 2011, a massive earthquake and tsunami led to a loss of power in three reactor buildings at Fukushima Daiichi in Japan, with calamitous results. As the fossil fuel-driven climate crisis supercharges storms, nuclear infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to damage of that sort.

This is not the first time that nuclear engineers at Zaporizhzhia have found themselves under military assault. Russian shelling of the facility in early March sparked a fire.

None of the reactor buildings or fuel storage sites were affected then. “But after more than five months of fighting,” Beyond Nuclear explained Monday, “the site has become more perilous, given its proximity to the eastern regions that are at the heart of contention between the two countries.”

“The risk of fire is one of the most serious hazards at nuclear power plants on a routine basis,” said Paul Gunter, reactor oversight specialist at Beyond Nuclear. “A fire at Zaporizhzhia could spread to the irradiated fuel storage pools located outside primary containment and lead to explosions and meltdowns.”

“If the fuel pools are damaged and cooling water boils away, exposing the highly radioactive rods to air, we could see hydrogen explosions and the spread of radioactivity far worse than occurred at Fukushima,” he continued.

Winds would distribute radioactive gases across Europe and, depending on the scale of the disaster, beyond, potentially reaching as far away as the United States. A Greenpeace analysis published earlier this year warned that severe damage to Zaporizhzhia could render large swaths of Europe “uninhabitable for decades.”

Radioactive fallout from the facility could subject tens of millions of people to chronic or fatal health problems, with the effects of exposure lasting for years on end.

Thirty-six years after Ukraine’s first nuclear disaster, “people still living in Chernobyl-contaminated areas are showing increases in cardiovascular disorders, issues with sight and respiration, and significantly increased rates of birth defects and deformities,” said Cindy Folkers, radiation and health hazards specialist at Beyond Nuclear.

“Given the far greater amounts of radiation that could be released in the event of a major disaster at Zaporizhzhia, we would expect to see greater numbers of people seriously harmed and for far longer than the health impacts caused by Chornobyl,” Folkers said.

August 11, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The real death count for Hiroshima and Nagasaki was at least 210,000 – and more later. 

The real death count for Hiroshima and nagasaki was 210,000 It was not 15,000 for Hiroshima and 74,000 for Nagasaki. That does not reflect birth defects, or other health effects we now know, are part of nuclear bomb fallout

The Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: A Summary of the Human Consequences, 1945-2018, and Lessons for Homo sapiens to End the Nuclear Weapon Age

Masao Tomonaga Pages 491-517 | Received 01 Sep 2019, Accepted 02 Oct 2019, Accepted author version posted online: 13 Nov 2019, Published online: 02 Dec 2019

ABSTRACT

Seventy-four years have passed since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Approximately 210,000 victims died, and another 210,000 people survived. The damage to their health has continued, consisting of three phases of late effects: the appearance of leukemia, the first malignant disease, in 1949; an intermediate phase entailing the development of many types of cancer; and a final phase of lifelong cancers for hibakusha who experienced the bombing as a child, as well as a second wave of leukemia for elderly hibakusha and psychological damage such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, the human consequences of the atomic bombings have not ceased; many people are still dying of radiation-induced malignant diseases.  Therefore, it is too early to finalize the total death toll. Hibakusha have faced a never-ending struggle to regenerate their lives and families under the fear of disease. As the only group of Homo sapiens experiencing real nuclear attacks, hibakusha have continued to engage in a lifelong movement to eliminate nuclear weapons. Political leaders, especially of nuclear-weapon states, must learn the wisdom of the hibakusha to save Homo sapiens from possible global extinction by nuclear war.

Introduction

The first nuclear weapon was detonated in New Mexico on 16 July 1945. That test explosion was soon followed by the wartime use of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, respectively. This opened the nuclear weapon age in the history of humanity. In the long history of wars and weapons, Homo sapiens had finally gained an ultimate weapon of mass destruction capable of obliterating itself……………………………….

Immediate Death and Early Lethal Consequences of the Bombings

Death-rate

Under the two gigantic mushroom clouds, approximately 280,000 citizens in Hiroshima and 240,000 in Nagasaki were suddenly thrown into chaos and agony. A total of approximately 140,000 in Hiroshima (Hiroshima 1971) and 73,000 in Nagasaki (Nagasaki, 1977) died instantaneously or within five months due to the combined effects of three components of physical energy generated by nuclear fissions: blast wind (pressure), radiant heat, and ionizing radiation.  A total of more than 210,000 remaining victims, 140,000 in Hiroshima and 74,000 in Nagasaki, survived the first five months of death and agony and became hibakusha (Figure 1 on original).

A curve of death rates calculated in the aftermath by the surviving medical staff and students of Nagasaki Medical College showed almost 100% in residents living within a 500-meter radius of ground zero; 90% within 1,000 meters; 50% within1,500 meters; and 10% within 2,000 meters, making a clear concentric figure (Figure 2) (Shirabe 2006). Later the death-rate curve of Hiroshima was compared with Nagasaki’s, revealing that two curves were very similar, as if two scientific experiments were conducted. Among areas within 1,000 meters, the Nagasaki Medical School Hospital was exceptional – The death rate in the facility was as low as 43%. This is obviously because of the shielding effect of the thickest concrete walls of the hospital buildings.

Figure 2. [on original] Death rates by distance from ground zero in the first three months in areas of Nagasaki city.

The residents of both cities were mostly noncombatant civilians, including many women and children. Military combatants were only a minority. There were fewer adult males than females, and most of the males worked at military arsenals. Many young men went to war in the later stages of World War II. Young students were employed by military arsenals located close to ground zero; that increased the number of victims.

Citizens were suddenly thrown into firestorms at home, factories, and schools; on open roads or on ground; in automobiles and trams; and in city offices, hospitals, pharmacies, fire stations, and almost all city structures.

Many survivors spent the night on the road or the ground (Figure 3). Subsequently, many severely injured victims were forced to remain where they survived the first strike without being provided any meaningful medical treatment. Most of them died there.

Figure 3. The second morning after Nagasaki bombing.

……………………………….. In areas within 1 kilometer of ground zero, human bodies without any shielding, namely in open air on the roads and ground, were instantaneously squeezed by the blast wind (pressure) against walls, causing multiple fractures of skeletons and ruptures of the abdominal cavity causing escape of colons. Many people in open roads and grounds were carbonized by the direct effect of heat rays within 1.0 km from ground zero (Figure 7, Photo A). Many residential areas full of Japanese houses were crushed by the wind and burned out in which many victims were also burned to white bones (Figure 7, Photo B). The skin of people on open roads or grounds within 0.5–1.5 km were deeply flash-burned due to heavy heat rays. The skins were soon peeled off because of necrosis in the deep skin layer (For an example of a boy whose back was entirely burned, see Figure 8). With large areas of skin peeling off, people suffered severe pain and bleeding.

Figure 7. Body effects by heat rays and fire burn (1).

Figure 7. Body effects by heat rays and fire burn (1).

In three months after the bombing, these deep skin flash burns began to heal. However, with tissue being regenerated, keloid was quite often formed as shown in Figure 9. It was charcterized by marked thickening of the wounds, sometimes resembling cancerous proliferation of the skin.

Figure 9. Keloid formation after a severe flash burn by heat rays.

Thus many residential areas full of Japanese wooden houses were crushed and burned. The firestorms that continued over to next day finally flattened city areas within a 4 km radius. According to the saddest memory of some survivors, the blast wind tore off the heads of babies who were being carried on their mothers’ backs in the traditional Japanese way. Most of the mothers also died soon.

At the same time, the victims were irradiated by 100 grays (Gy)1 or more of combined gamma and neutron rays generated by nuclear fissions (Figure 6). Thus it could be possible to say that they were killed in three ways at once.

The people within 1 km of ground zero who finally survived were mostly those who were working inside a concrete building with thick walls or in a basement. Some other survivors were inside private air-raid shelters or military arsenals set in large shelters. Heat rays were effectively blocked by the walls, and radiation and blast were partially shielded before victims were exposed, thus allowing them to survive. But there were only a few hundred of these people. Many of those who survived at various proximal points were severely injured by debris and pieces of glass from damaged houses, heated and irradiated simultaneously. Many of them died within the first three months.

Struggle for Survival

Medical rescue teams perished and hospitals were all destroyed on the first day of the bombing. It therefore was impossible to find any meaningful medical aid. The situation was much severer in Hiroshima where over 90% of medical staffs, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists were dead. The Nagasaki Medical College Hospital, the largest and strongest concrete buildings in Nagasaki City, located 600 meters from ground zero, did provide fairly good shielding effects; the death rate was a relatively as low as 43%. Subsequently 900 lives in total – approximately half of the total number of professors, doctors, nurses and medical students were lost in the entire college facility including the hospital. Most of those who survived were severely injured by the blast wind and heat ray. The hospital had completely ceased to function. Within a few days, medical staffs and medical students who had survived opened first-aid stations around the margin of flattened areas.

n the late afternoon on the first day, several rescue trucks arrived carrying medical teams consisting of military doctors and nurses from Omura Navy Hospital, located 45 km north of Nagasaki City. They brought back approximately 700 severely injured victims, most of them severely burned, to the hospital and started treatment for burns and injuries consisting of bone fractures, cuts from pieces of glass, and embedding of debris and pieces of glass fragments deep in the skin. This number was very small compared to the total number of victims who suffered severe injuries, estimated to be approximately 30,000 in Nagasaki. A few hundred victims out of 700 were able to survive, thanks to intensive care at Omura Navy Hospital. They were indeed lucky people.

Several small rescue teams started their clinical activities within a few days. Some surgical operations were performed for those who had severe fractures due to the blast wind. There was no good treatment for severe skin burn, especially those cases with wide areas of skin burn. There were no stocks of drugs such as antibiotics and frozen blood plasma. Only oil and ointment were used. Even drip infusions of water and electrolytes such as salts and glucose (sugar) were not available in such small ambulatory facilities.

As a result of this lack of care, many survivors who were alive on the first and second days began to die due to severe bleeding from injuries such as severe fractures, dislocations, abdominal ruptures, thoracic punctures, and scalp and brain damage and also from dehydration and lack of adequate food supplies.

Initial Difficulty in Recognizing Radiation Effects

In the early days after the atomic bombings, many doctors had difficulty in identifying the symptoms of radiation-related ailments. There was no information about the nature of this new type of bomb. They did not even know that the bombs were nuclear and that radiation was dangerous to human beings. …………………………………………………………………………………….

Late Effects of Atomic Bombings: 1948–2018

About 270,000 victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki finally recovered their health. They had to start their new daily life with a serious shortage of food and other necessities. After spending three years of recovery with relatively good health, hibakusha encountered the first malignant disease: leukemia. It is classified as the earliest occurring malignant disease due to atomic-bomb radiation because it was clearly distinguished from the disorders caused by ARS. Therefore, leukemia was the first malignant disease derived from cells injured by initial radiation exposure; the cells then transformed to malignant leukemia cells. This earliest delayed, or “late”, effect was followed by many kinds of cancer of various organs. Thus, the late effect spans an extremely long period.

First Malignant Disease Observed as the Earliest Late Effect of Atomic Bombings

Leukemias

In 1949, doctors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki began to recognize a gradual increase in the number of hibakusha patients, including children, suffering from leukemia. The excess annual rate of leukemia continued to rise until 1955 and then continued at an elevated level for more than 10 years (Figure 12) (Gunz and Henderson 1974). Acute and chronic types of leukemia both were observed. 

 These leukemias were later analyzed in detail when the first dosimetry system (DS65) became available. A clear radiation-dose dependency was revealed as a curve that elevated exponentially (called quadratic) from 100 millisieverts (mSv) at around 2.0 km from ground zero to more than 4 Gy at around 1.0 km (Figure 13 on original). Dose is thus inversely proportional to the square of the distance. Total leukemia incidence was four to five times higher than the control group of Nagasaki citizens not exposed to the bombing (Preston et al. 1996).

……………………………. People who were children under the age of 10 at the time of the bombings are now in their seventies. Some of them suffer from MDS. The increase in MDS among childhood survivors indicates that the massive irradiation of the whole body injured blood cells in bone marrow, and that these cells have survived more than 70 years in the bodies of hibakusha, and finally resulted in leukemia-inducing gene abnormality. MDS patients occasionally develop acute leukemia 3–5 years after the first diagnosis, and mostly die. Therefore, it can be said that atomic bomb is still killing some hibakusha even after more than a half century……………………..

Intermediate to Life-long Delayed Effects of Exposure to Atomic-bomb Radiation

Cancers

Around 1960, the incidence of solid cancers began to rise gradually. The elevated cancer incidence lasted for a long time (Ozasa 2016). It peaked around the year 2000 and remained at that level until now. The types of cancer that appeared include lung, breast, thyroid, stomach, colon, liver, skin, and bladder. ……………………………………….

In-utero Radiation Exposure

Microcephaly

In both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many pregnant women were exposed to various doses of radiation. Miscarriages and malformation of newborn babies were frequently observed, but there were no good statistics showing radiation-dose effect. Some mothers who were in the early prenatal period at the time of the bombing sometimes bore babies who had a small head. The babies later became mentally disabled. There were 62 such babies recorded among 1,470 (Otake and Schull 1998). The larger the dose to the mother’s uterus was, the higher the incidence of microcephalic babies, suggesting high-dose radiation interrupted brain development. This is the most obvious phenomenon observed among fetuses exposed to radiation in utero.

Cancers

In-utero exposed babies were later found to have an increased risk of cancer development during their early adulthood. The follow-up study is now ongoing (Izumi et al. 2003)……………………………………………………………..

Summary of Hibakusha Life, 1945–2018

Can Homo Sapiens Gain the Ethical Wisdom to End the Nuclear Weapon Age and Survive?

The consequences of the atomic bombings linger on. First generation hibakusha population will cease to exist probably around 2045. If genetic transmission of radiation-related diseases to the second generation of hibakusha would be proved in the future, atomic bombs will continue to affect those descendants forever. The year 2045 will mark the 100th annniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings and of the nuclear weapon age. If we human beings fail to eradicate nuclear weapons before the first century ends, what should we do? This is the question that all hibakusha have posed in their 70-year struggle for survival all the time after bombings.

Summary of Hibakusha Life, 1945–2018

Can Homo Sapiens Gain the Ethical Wisdom to End the Nuclear Weapon Age and Survive?

The consequences of the atomic bombings linger on. First generation hibakusha population will cease to exist probably around 2045. If genetic transmission of radiation-related diseases to the second generation of hibakusha would be proved in the future, atomic bombs will continue to affect those descendants forever. The year 2045 will mark the 100th annniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings and of the nuclear weapon age. If we human beings fail to eradicate nuclear weapons before the first century ends, what should we do? This is the question that all hibakusha have posed in their 70-year struggle for survival all the time after bombings…………………………………………………………………………..more  https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/25751654.2019.1681226

August 11, 2022 Posted by | health, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine and its Western backers should be held accountable for the ‘suicidal’ attack on Europe’s largest nuclear powerplant

The US secretary of state hoped to make Russia look like a ‘nuclear terrorist’. Instead, he implicated himself

Even as UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed survivors of the World War Two US atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima, halfway around the world, the armed forces of Ukraine seemed hellbent on unleashing a modern-day nuclear holocaust on Europe by firing artillery rockets at the Zaporozhye power plant. 

This week’s assault, which damaged safety equipment and disrupted power to the facility, the continent’s largest, was characterized by Guterres as “suicidal.”

Kiev was quick to blame Russia for the attacks, accusing Moscow of conducting “nuclear terrorism,” and calling for the international community to send in a delegation of “international peacekeepers” to “completely demilitarize the territory.”

The Zaporozhye nuclear facility has been under the physical control of Russia since its forces occupied the site back in March. Since then, the plant has been operated by Ukrainian technicians working under the supervision of Russian atomic energy experts. The facility contains six nuclear reactors which, before the start of the military operation, generated approximately one-fifth of Ukraine’s electricity. Three of these reactors ceased operation after the Russians took control the site, and another one was forced to shut down after the facility was shelled on August 5. The two remaining reactors were likewise compelled to reduce their output to half as a safety precaution.

Ukraine’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yevhenii Tsymbaliuk, declared that Russian forces were attempting to cause electricity blackouts in southern Ukraine by shelling the plant. The Ukrainian state nuclear agency, Energoatom, has accused the Russian military of placing explosives throughout the Zaporozhye nuclear plant, which would be detonated in the event of a Ukrainian counterattack which threatened to capture the facility. The Ukrainian military has also accused Russia of placing military equipment, including ammunition, in buildings located near the nuclear reactors.

The only problem with the Ukrainian narrative is that, simply put, none of it is true. The August 5 attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility was carried out by artillery rockets whose impact characteristics point clearly to having originated from Ukrainian controlled territory. Moreover, Russian air defense and counter-battery radars situated in the vicinity of the plant would have detected the ballistic trajectory of the incoming rockets, providing unimpeachable evidence of the origin of the attack. So, too, would have US and NATO intelligence collection platforms operating over and around Ukraine. And, given the propaganda victory that could be achieved by releasing such evidence, one can rest assured that the US would very much take full advantage of any scenario which would reproduce the release of U-2 imagery during the Cuban missile crisis, or the release of the audio tapes of the Soviet fighter pilot downing KAL 007…………………………….

The Ukrainian attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility was, in typical Orwellian fashion, forecasted by the United States four days before it took place. During an August 1 news conference at the United Nations, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of using the nuclear facility as a base from which it conducted artillery strikes against Ukraine. Blinken declared that the act of firing artillery rockets from proximity to the nuclear power plant was “the height of irresponsibility,” implying that these rockets could land on the power plant itself. Blinken also added that the Russians were using the nuclear facility as a “nuclear shield” which prevented any Ukrainian attack out of fear of striking the nuclear reactors.

Blinken’s brazen parroting of Ukrainian government talking points was made more absurd by the absolute dearth of evidence to back up his powerful pronouncements. Normally, when someone of the stature of the Secretary of State speaks in such a public manner about issues of this importance, there is some intelligence information that is released – for instance, overhead imagery showing Russian troop locations near the Zaporozhye nuclear plant – to sustain the allegation. No such data was provided, however, because Blinken had ceased functioning as the head of the American diplomatic service, and instead was functioning as little more than a Ukrainian propagandist.

For its part, Russia has made it clear that there were no Russian forces located in the vicinity of the Zaporozhye nuclear facility save for a small contingent of troops for security purposes (it is, after all, an active nuclear power plant.) Again, while Russia can clearly provide overhead imagery of its force disposition in the vicinity of the plant, operational security precludes it from doing so. It is, after all, the job of the accuser to provide the evidence of a crime, not the accused.

Blinken’s August 1 statement served as the initiation of a public relations campaign which culminated in the Ukrainian artillery attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility. The goal of this campaign appears to be twofold – first, to put Russia in a bad light, and second, to allow Ukraine to accomplish that which it could not achieve through military force – the eviction of Russian troops from Zaporozhye. The calls for international intervention emanating from the West point to a concerted effort in promoting a pro-Ukrainian narrative even when all parties know the underlying facts sustaining this narrative are not true. To counteract that, Russia has extended its own invitation to IAEA monitors to visit the powerplant and summoned a UN Security Council meeting to discuss the situation.

This is far more serious than simply another information warfare campaign gone bad. While the Zaporozhye nuclear facility is constructed to standards which would be able to survive a direct hit from an artillery rocket, the disruption of power and/or damage to safety equipment could lead to the kind of runaway event that preceded the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. The Russian Defense Ministry noted that the Ukrainian attack on the power plant had caused a power surge which triggered an emergency shutdown. The head of the Ukrainian company operating the plant further noted that all but one power line connecting it to Ukraine’s energy system had been destroyed, declaring that any power blackout could be “very unsafe for such a nuclear facility.”

Secretary-General Guterres rightly called the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility “suicidal.” However, the “nuclear terrorists” involved in this atrocity do not hail from Moscow, but rather Washington and Kiev. When the dust from Russia’s military operation finally settles, and those responsible for perpetrating crimes such as the attack on the Zaporozhye nuclear facility can be held accountable, Tony Blinken’s name should, if there were any justice in this world, be at the top of this list. 
 https://www.rt.com/russia/560561-ukraine-nuclear-powerplant-attack/

August 9, 2022 Posted by | spinbuster, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear bomb tests at Maralinga triggered Hedley Marston to study fallout over Australia

ABC Radio Adelaide / By Daniel Keane 10 Aug 22,

Hedley Marston could be charming, genial and witty but he was not above fulmination, especially where fulminations of a different kind were concerned.

In the mid-1950s, the CSIRO biochemist emerged as arguably the most significant contemporary critic of Britain’s nuclear weapons testing program, which was launched on Australia’s Montebello Islands almost 70 years ago in October 1952.

Despite the imminent anniversary Marston remains an obscure figure, but his biographer Roger Cross believes that should change.

“He appears to be totally unknown to the Australian public and, of course, to South Australians — he was a South Australian after all,” Dr Cross said.

Marston’s reservations about the nuclear program were far from spontaneous; indeed, his strongest concerns weren’t voiced until several years after the first test, when he recorded a radioactive plume passing over Adelaide.

The source of that plume was Operation Buffalo, a series of four nuclear blasts in 1956, and Marston was especially outraged by the fact that the general population was not warned.

“Sooner or later the public will demand a commission of enquiry on the ‘fall out’ in Australia,” he wrote to nuclear physicist and weapons advocate Sir Mark Oliphant.

“When this happens some of the boys will qualify for the hangman’s noose.”

What made Marston’s fury difficult to dismiss, especially for those inclined to deride opposition to nuclear testing as the exclusive preserve of ‘commies’ and ‘conchies’, was the fact that he was no peacenik.

Detractors might have damned him as an arriviste, but never as an activist: his cordial relations with Oliphant and other scientific grandees demonstrate that Marston was, in many respects, an establishment man.

Dr Cross has described Marston’s elegant prose as “Churchillian”, and the adjective is apposite in other ways.

While the roguish Marston might not have gone as far as the British wartime leader’s assertion that, during conflict, truth is so precious “that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies”, he had, in a 1947 letter to the editor, publicly defended scientific secrecy:

Under present conditions of fear and mistrust among nations it is obvious that military technology must be kept secret; and to achieve this end it should be conducted in special military laboratories where strictest security measures may be observed.”

But by late 1956, Marston’s alarm at radioactive fallout across parts of Australia was such that he was privately demanding greater disclosures to the general public.

Much of his ire was aimed at the Atomic Weapons Tests Safety Committee — a body established before the Maralinga tests, but after blasts had already occurred at Emu Fields* and the Montebello Islands.

“He was the only senior Australian scientist to express concerns and, because of his character, the concerns that he expressed were very forthright,” said Dr Cross, whose biography of Marston, aptly entitled Fallout, inspired the documentary Silent Storm.

“When the safety committee after each explosion said there was absolutely no effect on Australians, he believed that they were lying.”

‘If the wind changes, we need to go’

The experiments that led Marston, whose reputation largely rested on his expertise in sheep nutrition, to reach this conclusion were two-fold.

In the more protracted one, he analysed the presence of radioactive iodine-131 — a common component of nuclear fallout — in the thyroids of sheep.

“One group he kept penned up under cover eating dried hay, which had been cut some time before. The other group, he put outside eating the grass,” Dr Cross said.

“He tested the thyroids in each group – the ones on the hay only had background amounts of iodine-131.

“But the ones in the fields had a tremendously high concentration of this radioactive isotope, both north and south of the city.”

A fallout map from the 1985 royal commission, which stated that while fallout at Maralinga Village from the October 11, 1956,  test was “considered to be ‘negligible from a biological point of view’ it does suggest difficulties with the forecast prior to the test”.(Royal Commission into British Nuclear Tests in Australia)

For the other experiment, Marston conducted air monitoring in Adelaide.

He was especially alarmed by what he found for the period following the Maralinga test of October 11, 1956.

“There was a wind shear and at least part, maybe the major part, of that cloud, blew in a south-easterly direction and that took it towards Adelaide and the country towns in between,” Dr Cross said.

“The safety committee — who must have known of the wind shear — had done nothing about warning Adelaide people perhaps to stay indoors.”……………………………………………………

Despite Marston’s reservations, the nuclear program carried on regardless.

Less than a year after the Operation Buffalo tests, Maralinga was hosting Operation Antler.

In September 1957, newspapers around Australia reported on an upcoming “second test” that would, weather permitting, proceed as part of a “spring series”.

If it hadn’t been for the presence of the words “atomic” and “radioactive”, a reader might easily have inferred that what was being described was as commonplace as a game of cricket.

 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-10/hedley-marston-maralinga-nuclear-bomb-tests-and-fallout/101310032

August 9, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, environment, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The United States, in decline but still able to kill us all

The march of folly in American strategic policy has enshrined the madness of control by a giant defence industry and defence budget now past $800 billion.

The fiercely presented wearisome trope of commitment to a Rules Based International Order is quite suddenly unmasked as an American Establishment desire to maintain a unipolar control of the world, with violence.

The fiercely presented wearisome trope of commitment to a Rules Based International Order is quite suddenly unmasked as an American Establishment desire to maintain a unipolar control of the world, with violence.

by Dennis ArgallAug 10, 2022

The global dominance of the United States, in so many fields, from space, to science, to entertainment, to sport, to novelty in the development of the English language, has been taken for granted, is part of our fabric of Australian existence.

Reinforced by the Covid Era of Isolation, Netflix, Facebook, and Computer Games and inability even to get to Bali or Thailand let alone China, we are now in a noisy metal barrel where even dissident voices seem projections from the dissident voices of the US, similarly muted and squeezed. At a time when the US and its roles in the world are suddenly dramatically changing.

The undoing of the United States, the collapse of the imperial centre, is happening with little awareness in Australia. Our generally oblivious mindframes affect the capacity of political leaders to reflect upon or point to core problems of our world. Richard Adams, the author of Watership Down, that great rabbit adventure full of meaning for human society, coined the rabbit language word ‘tharn’ for the mental state of rabbits caught in the headlights and stuck. We are a tharn nation, gabbling about entertainments and irritations, eyes glued to the seatback monitor, not wanting to know that the plane is crashing.

Heed these markers:

  • The Americans were first to the moon, but NASA after the retirement of the space shuttle has depended on Russian rockets to get to their joint space station. The Russians are now planning to remove the propulsion units of the station which keep it from crashing, their property, for use on a bigger new venture. America is losing in space, though US private business has appallingly taken the lead in cluttering near space with junk.
  • The fiercely presented wearisome trope of commitment to a Rules Based International Order is quite suddenly unmasked as an American Establishment desire to maintain a unipolar control of the world, with violence. This is being unmasked in much of the world if not NATO and AUKUS and the conservative acolytes in Japan and ROK. Ideological assertions of democracy versus autocracy, built by vilification and isolation of China and Russia, is rotting from the head as big democracies are in serious trouble.
  •  We are doing OK in Australia, our minds from age 12 filled with bubblegum flavoured vape and Tiktok, graduating to Facebook and the metaverse, and with a newer, kinder, kinda-tealish government we can all go to sleep, take off our masks and order American franchised fast food. Or real Aussie drinks. But while we have had a narrow focus on bad boys in the SAS we fail to review our complicity in the great crimes of the twenty first century, led by champions of democracy, smashing the lives of people in a number of countries far more violently than has the Ukraine war so far. Biden and his Secretary of State were advocates for invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, so appallingly bringing down bad governments and making countries ungovernable. Creating Al Qaeda and ISIS in the process, directly through funding and arming extremists (in Afghanistan beginning before the Russians were invited into Afghanistan) and via embitterment of ordinary people. The world is destabilised, American control is widely undone.
  • The march of folly in American strategic policy has enshrined the madness of control by a giant defence industry and defence budget now past $800 billion. Poverty of foreign policy has led to regimes of sanctions which have been substantially shaped by Richard Nephew whose book reveals that far from focusing on potentates and oligarchs, the targets of sanctions must be ordinary people and the purpose is to inflict pain and weaken resolve (his words). Consider sanctions related deaths in  Iraq Venezuela CubaAfghanistan Pain but no loss of resolve, hatred not submission. The US official study of the effects of strategic bombing on Germany in World War II by J K Galbraith and others long ago suggested morale and resolve were increased by the bombing of cities and civilians. And yet we have the ongoing commitment to defend and achieve democracy by mass murder, with constant focus on disruption, regime change, and violence… not on peace.
  • Jeffrey Sachs has recently returned to the themes of his  2013 book  on the 50th anniversary of President John Kennedy’s Commencement Speech at American University in 1963. Speaking in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy spoke of peace not as an event or a state but a constant process of engagement. We now have no such thing, we are in an Age of Hostility, Meanness, Folly, and Decay.right wing is fervently in support. Stanley Kubrick made a movie about such madness, we are sleeping through it.

Australia recognises, as does the United States, that Taiwan is part of China. Though the media vague up the history, China kicked the Portuguese and Dutch out of Taiwan early in the 1600s, long before the greatest land grab in history, of Britain over the Australian continent, could even be imagined as the British didn’t know it was there then. The government in Taipei is the Government of the Republic of China. The large opposition party in the National Assembly is the Kuomintang, ruling party of the government of the Republic of China that lost the revolutionary war on the mainland in 1949 and retreated to Taiwan. The ROC held the China seat in the UN until 1971 with American backing. The majority of local governments in Taiwan are governed by the KMT because the party of the national government is on the nose both because of its independence-advocating foreign policy and corruption allegations. Pelosi’s visit risks great power war as not seen since 1945. The American right wing is fervently in support. Stanley Kubrick made a movie about such madness, we are sleeping through it.

The US economy is in serious trouble………………………………….

The US campaign for unipolar dominance has included partly fabricated propaganda against China and Russia. This no longer convinces or concerns a wide sweep of the world beyond NATO, the G7, the EU and AUKUS. Mix in enough lies and it all seems lies.

The summit meeting of BRICS in June seemed a more constructive meeting than the G7. The countries of Eurasia also have the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO. The  Iran,Russia, Turkey summit meeting in Tehran  in July 2022 seems to have been more successful than President Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia to meet also other Arab leaders, a visit described by the Wall Street Journal as worse than an embarrassment,…………………………..more https://johnmenadue.com/the-united-states-in-decline-but-still-able-to-kill-us-all/

August 9, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nagasaki urges the elimination of nuclear weapons as city marks 77th A-bomb anniversary

August 9, 2022 (Mainichi Japan) NAGASAKI (Kyodo) — Nagasaki marked the 77th anniversary Tuesday of the U.S. atomic bombing of the southwestern Japan city during World War II, with Mayor Tomihisa Taue calling for the abolition of nuclear weapons amid mounting concern over their potential use following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The atomic bombing of Nagasaki, three days after a similar bomb was dropped on Hiroshima around 300 kilometers to the northeast, had taken the lives of an estimated 74,000 people by the end of 1945, with many others suffering from the effects of burns and radiation-related illnesses long after the attack.

A moment of silence was observed at 11:02 a.m., the exact time on Aug. 9, 1945, when a plutonium bomb codenamed “Fat Man” dropped by a U.S. bomber exploded over the port city, only the second time a nuclear weapon has been used in war.

In a Peace Declaration delivered during a memorial ceremony at the city’s Peace Park, the mayor called on nuclear weapons states to present a concrete way forward to achieve nuclear disarmament at the ongoing review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Taue also demanded that the Japanese government lead discussions on a possible nuclear weapons free-zone in Northeast Asia, as well as sign and ratify a U.N. treaty banning nuclear weapons………………………………………………….

In the Peace Park, atomic bomb survivors and relatives of the victims gathered to offer prayers, some with flowers in their hands, from the early morning as cicadas sang in the trees.

“I heard a loud boom and saw a bright spark on that day even though I had escaped to an air raid shelter after seeing a plane approach,” said Michiko Kaida, 89. She said she was around 8 kilometers from the hypocenter with her friends.

“It is difficult for me to recall that day and the aftermath. It was so devastating,” she said………………

Over a one-year period through the end of July, the city confirmed the deaths of 3,160 atomic bomb survivors. Its list of those officially recognized as victims of the atomic bombing now bears the names of 192,310 people.

The combined number of officially recognized survivors of the two nuclear attacks, known as hibakusha, stood at 118,935 as of March, down 8,820 from a year earlier, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said. Their average age was 84.53.  https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220809/p2g/00m/0na/010000c

August 9, 2022 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | 2 Comments

Nagasaki A-bomb survivor told German foreign minister to spurn ‘nuclear umbrella’

August 9, 2022 (Mainichi Japan) NAGASAKI — Nagasaki A-bomb survivor Shigemitsu Tanaka, 81, used German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock’s July visit to the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum to share his experience of the bombing and ask her to abandon the U.S. “nuclear umbrella.”

Germany, a NATO member, participated as an observer in the first meeting of parties to the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons held in Vienna in June, despite being covered by the U.S.’s nuclear arsenal. Although Germany has not signed the treaty, the European nation stressed that it will participate in constructive dialogue with the countries and regions that have ratified the treaty.

The 41-year-old foreign minister, who came to Japan for talks with her Japanese counterpart, visited the A-bomb museum on July 10. Tanaka is the chairman of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Survivors Council and was invited to the museum for the visit.

Baerbock looked Tanaka in the eye, and as if in reply, Tanaka shared his experience of the atomic bombing and his subsequent suffering. He hoped that his wish that there should never be another “hibakusha,” or person exposed to the atomic bombings, reached the foreign minister.

On Aug. 9, 1945, a flash of light engulfed 4-year-old Tanaka in his yard in the Nagasaki Prefecture village (now town) of Togitsu, about 6 kilometers north of the hypocenter. He rushed into an air-raid shelter to escape the noise and the blast. When he went outside again, he found his home’s tatami mats and shoji sliding doors blown away and the windowpanes shattered.

The next day his father, an Imperial Japanese Navy unit member stationed in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, was sent to the bombed city to do rescue work. When he returned home, he complained of physical discomfort and other symptoms. His mother also treated the injured at a national elementary school in the village, and a few days after the bombing, she went to an acquaintance’s home about 1 km from the hypocenter to check if they were all right.

His mother developed diarrhea and rashes on her legs, and later liver and thyroid problems. His father became frustrated with his mother’s many hospital visits, and he turned into a violent alcoholic. Twelve years later, he died of liver cancer…………………………..

When the foreign minister left the museum, she left a comment in the visitors’ book that read, “This is a place that conveys the madness of nuclear war and the terrible suffering caused by the atomic bombs. As long as nuclear weapons exist, there is a danger that such a horrific reality will occur again. That is why our commitment to achieving a world without nuclear weapons will never weaken.”…………………………………

Tanaka had strong words for the Japanese government: “If we say that we are ‘the only country to have experienced atomic bombings’ but do nothing, we will lose the world’s trust. Since Japan claims to serve as a bridge between the nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states, now is the time for Japan to take a stance like that of Germany, which participated in the meeting (of parties to the U.N. nuclear weapons ban treaty) even though it did not sign or ratify the treaty.”

(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Takahashi, Nagasaki Bureau) https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20220808/p2a/00m/0na/014000c

August 8, 2022 Posted by | health, Japan, PERSONAL STORIES, weapons and war | Leave a comment

70% of Western weapons sent to Ukraine don’t reach troops – CBS

Rt.com 8 Aug 22, Report suggests US appears to be repeating the mistakes of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

With the US and its allies pledging unprecedented levels of military support to Ukraine, a recent CBS News report suggested that only around 30% of the weapons sent by the West actually make it to the front lines. The report adds to ongoing rumors of waste, corruption, and black market profiteering. 

The US has approved more than $54 billion of economic and military aid to Ukraine since February, while the UK has committed nearly $3 billion in military aid alone, and the EU has spent another $2.5 billion on arms for Kiev. An entire spectrum of equipment, from rifles and grenades to anti-tank missiles and multiple launch rocket systems have left the West’s armories for Ukraine, with most entering the country through Poland.

However, this rarely goes smoothly, CBS News revealed this week.

“All of this stuff goes across the border, and then something happens, kind of like 30% of it reaches its final destination,” Jonas Ohman, the founder of a Lithuania-based organization supplying the Ukrainian military, told the American network. Ohman said that getting the weapons to the troops involves navigating a complex network of “power lords, oligarchs [and] political players.”

The new CBS Reports documentary, “Arming Ukraine,” explores why much of the billions of dollars of military aid that the U.S. is sending to Ukraine doesn’t make it to the front lines: “Like 30% of it reaches its final destination.” Stream now: https://t.co/Ob7Y3EsWknpic.twitter.com/YgVbpYZkHn

— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 5, 2022

“There is really no information as to where they’re going at all,” Donatella Rovera, a senior crisis adviser with Amnesty International, told CBS. “What is really worrying is that some countries that are sending weapons do not seem to think that it is their responsibility to put in place a very robust oversight mechanism.”

Ukraine insists that it tracks each and every weapon that crosses its borders, with Yuri Sak, an adviser to Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov, telling the Financial Times last month that reports to the contrary “could be part of Russia’s information war to discourage international partners from providing Ukraine with weaponry.”

However, some officials in the West have sounded alarm bells. A US intelligence source told CNN in April that Washington has “almost zero” idea what happens to these arms, describing the shipments as dropping “into a big black hole” once they enter Ukraine. Canadian sources said last month that they have “no idea” where their weapons deliveries actually end up.

Europol has claimed that some of these weapons have ended up in the hands of organized crime groups in the EU, while the Russian government has warned that they are showing up in the Middle East. An investigation by RT in June found online marketplaces where sophisticated Western hardware – such as Javelin and NLAW anti-tank systems or Phoenix Ghost and Switchblade explosive drones – was apparently being sold for pennies on the dollar.

Ukraine is consistently ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, scoring 122/180 on Transparency International’s 2021 ‘Corruption Perceptions Index’, where 180 represents the most corrupt and 0 the least.

In Washington, drawing attention to this corruption is frowned upon by both parties in Congress. Representative Victoria Spartz, a Ukrainian-born lawmaker, has reportedly been cautioned by her colleagues and the White House for suggesting that Congress should establish “proper oversight” of its weapons shipments due to the alleged corruption within Vladimir Zelensky’s government. ………………………. more https://www.rt.com/russia/560419-ukraine-weapons-lost-cbs/

August 8, 2022 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Ukraine calls for demilitarised zone around the shelled Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

International alarm over shelling attacks on Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear complex has grown with Kyiv warning of a Chornobyl-style catastrophe and appealing for the area to be a demilitarised zone.

Key points:

  • Ukraine and Russia have traded blame for attacks on the Zaporizhzhia plant 
  • Russia says it is ready to enable UN watchdog visit to the plant 
  • Twelve grain ships have left Ukrainian ports since last week 

The United Nations chief called for UN nuclear inspectors to be given access to the plant as Kyiv and Moscow traded blame for the shelling.

“Any attack (on) a nuclear plant is a suicidal thing,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.

Petro Kotin, head of Ukraine’s state nuclear power company Energoatom, called for a team of peacekeepers to be deployed at the Zaporizhzhia site which is still run by Ukrainian technicians………………………………………………………. more https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-09/ukraine-calls-for-demilitarised-zone-around-nuclear-plant/101313112

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shelling Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant in the Zaporizhzhia region

 Russia and Ukraine accused each other of shelling Europe’s biggest nuclear
power plant in the Zaporizhzhia region as the world on Saturday marked the
77th anniversary of the first atomic bomb attack in the Japanese city of
Hiroshima, with UN chief Antonio Guterres warning against nuclear arms
build-up amid fears of another such attack in the context of war in
Ukraine.

 France24 6th Aug 2022

https://www.france24.com/en/europe/20220806-live-russia-ukraine-trade-blame-over-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-plant-shelling

August 6, 2022 Posted by | politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chinese expert from Peace Centre points out America’s hypocrisy, double standards, on Nuclear Non Proliferation

the US, which has the largest and most advanced nuclear arsenal, plans to spend over $1 trillion to maintain and modernize its nuclear triad. Furthermore, Washington withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaties successively. President Joe Biden stepped back from a campaign promise that the sole purpose of nuclear weapons should be to deter nuclear attacks. All these moves may result in nuclear proliferation globally.

under AUKUS, the US and the UK are anticipated to assist Australia to have nuclear-powered submarines, which has severely violated the principles of the NPT. 

Root of the grave, urgent nuclear proliferation situation lies in US.
 https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202208/1272415.shtml By Global Times, Aug 07, 2022With the 10th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) being held at the United Nations headquarters in New York from August 1 to 26, the issue of nuclear non-proliferation has once again become the focus of global attention. 

Washington today doesn’t let go of any occasion that can be exploited to smear and contain China. A US representative on Thursday at the NPT Review Conference baselessly criticized China for accelerating the expansion of its nuclear arsenal. And the US side also accused China of not engaging in talks on new arms control framework. China has lashed out at the rhetoric.

“By making such groundless accusations, Washington wants to deflect blame, distract attention and shun US’ due responsibility in securing global nuclear safety. Washington hopes this way can constrain the improvement of its main competitor’s nuclear capabilities,” Su Hao, founding director of the Center for Strategic and Peace Studies at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times.

China has always kept the quantity and size of its armed forces at the minimum level necessary for maintaining national security. China’s nuclear strategy focuses on self-defense, and aims to ensure the strategic security of the country by deterring the potential threat or use of nuclear weapons by others against China. And China has never taken part and will never take part in any nuclear arms race. Washington’s rhetoric is totally irrational.

In fact, the country that has blatantly violated the nuclear non-proliferation agreement is the US. Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs Li Song on Friday blasted the US for its negative moves on disarmament. He told a committee meeting of 10th NPT Review Conference that Driven by the Cold War mentality, the US has been obsessed with major-power strategic competition and has sought absolute strategic advantage, strengthened military alliances, stirred up bloc confrontation on the eastern and western sides of the Eurasia continent, and pressed ahead with the forward deployment of nuclear missiles and other strategic forces.

The landscape on international security is deteriorating and the risk of nuclear proliferation is growing. The responsibility lies with the US. 

The US-led NATO’s continuous eastern expansion triggered the military clash between Russia and Ukraine, with no sign of easing up to now. In the Asia-Pacific region, Washington has provoked China’s national security in a high-profile manner for several times, in an attempt to contain China. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island of Taiwan is the latest example, which has ramped up the cross-Straits tensions.

Meanwhile, the US, which has the largest and most advanced nuclear arsenal, plans to spend over $1 trillion to maintain and modernize its nuclear triad. Furthermore, Washington withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaties successively. President Joe Biden stepped back from a campaign promise that the sole purpose of nuclear weapons should be to deter nuclear attacks. All these moves may result in nuclear proliferation globally.

According to Song Zhongping, a Chinese mainland military expert and TV commentator, the US has always adopted double standards on nuclear non-proliferation. As one of the first countries to call for a nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the US is constantly setting rules on the nuclear non-proliferation to deter other countries, especially its rivals, from developing nuclear capabilities. But ironically, the US itself does not abide by these treaties and rules at all. For example, under AUKUS, the US and the UK are anticipated to assist Australia to have nuclear-powered submarines, which has severely violated the principles of the NPT. The US should not always give the green light to itself and the red light to others on this issue, as such a practice will lead to nuclear proliferation and arms race.

The biggest crisis confronted by the nuclear non-proliferation mechanism is that because of US’ double standards, distrust among countries has been rising. As a result, an increasing number of countries do not believe in the restraint mechanism brought by the NPT. It can be concluded that the root of the grave and urgent nuclear proliferation situation lies in the US. 

The US-led global governance mechanism is disabled in nuclear non-proliferation. “This is because this mechanism is a unilateral, selfish, narrow-minded, bloc-political governance, to serve the US in maintaining its global hegemony. Such a global governance system will only lead the international community more tense and turbulent,” noted Su.

“The nuclear non-proliferation advocated by the US is entirely out of its geopolitical consideration. Washington’s hegemonic mindset increases the difficulty of achieving true nuclear non-proliferation. The US must take the lead in implementing the NPT; otherwise, nuclear non-proliferation cannot become a reality,” said Song.

China has always advocated building a community with a shared future for mankind. Only if the international community, including the US, can consider the nuclear non-proliferation from this perspective will such a crucial international problem be addressed. 

August 6, 2022 Posted by | politics international, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

IAEA alarmed at danger to Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant as shelling continues in Ukraine war

The UN nuclear watchdog has called for an immediate end to all military
action near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after it was hit by
shelling, causing one of the reactors to shut down and creating a “very
real risk of a nuclear disaster”. Rafael Mariano Grossi, director general
of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said he was “extremely
concerned” by reports of damage at the plant and called for IAEA experts
to be allowed to inspect the damage.

“I’m extremely concerned by the
shelling yesterday at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, which
underlines the very real risk of a nuclear disaster that could threaten
public health and the environment in Ukraine and beyond,” he said. The
Ukrainian nuclear power company Energoatom said the attack had damaged a
power cable and forced one of the reactors to stop working, and that
“there are still risks of leaking hydrogen and radioactive substances,
and the risk of fire is also high”. The shelling “has caused a serious
risk for the safe operation of the plant”, Grossi said.

 Observer 6th Aug 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/aug/06/strikes-at-ukrainian-nuclear-plant-alarming-says-un-watchdog-chief

 Reuters 6th Aug 2022

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/uns-nuclear-watchdog-chief-condemns-shelling-zaporizhzhia-plant-2022-08-06/

August 6, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA hostility to China on yet another front

US to take part in military exercise near India’s disputed border with China

By Vedika Sud, Barbara Starr, Sahar Akbarzai and Kathleen Magramo, CNN

Updated 12:29 AM EDT, Sat August 06, 2022

(CNN)The United States is to take part in a joint military exercise with India less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the South Asian country’s disputed border with China.

The military drills will be held in mid-October at an altitude of 10,000 feet in Auli in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and will focus on high-altitude warfare training, according to a senior Indian Army officer with knowledge of the matter.

Auli is about 95 kilometers from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), an inhospitable piece of land where the disputed border between India and China is roughly demarcated.

The drills will take place as part of the 18th edition of an annual joint exercise known as “Yudh Abhyas” — or “War Practice”.

Relations between India and China have been strained since a bloody clash between their soldiers in the Himalayas in June 2020 left at least 20 Indian troops and four Chinese soldiers dead…………………….

Asked about the joint exercises, a US Department of Defense spokesperson told CNN that the partnership with India was “one of the most important elements of our shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”…………..

Any military provocations between Indian and China could have grave consequences. Both have nuclear weapons……………. more https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2022/08/06/india/india-us-military-exercise-line-of-actual-control-china-intl-hnk

August 6, 2022 Posted by | politics international, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons will not bring peace or security, only dangers

We can honour the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by supporting the prohibition treaty, says RAE STREET https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/f/nuclear-weapons-will-not-bring-peace-or1 6 Aug, 22,

THIS is the month when we commemorate the fearful nuclear bombings of the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Alas, the myth is still put out that the bombs were dropped to end the second world war. That is not true.

By the time the bomb was ready for use, Japan was ready to surrender. As General Dwight D Eisenhower said, Japan was at that very moment seeking some way to surrender with minimum loss of face, and “it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

Thus, the bomb on Hiroshima was dropped on August 6 before it was publicly stated that the Japanese had surrendered.

The Soviet Union entered the war in Asia on August 9. Later the same day, the US dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki.

We now know the horrors that nuclear bombs inflict. We have heard from the Hibaksha, the survivors. Now instead of heeding the survivors of those bombs, the Hibaksha, that nuclear weapons should be ended, governments across the world have developed more destructive nuclear bombs.

Britain, part of the US Trident submarine system, carries warheads on multiple missiles, with 15 times the power of the bomb used on Hiroshima.

Proponents of nuclear weapons, including the Nato military alliance, claim that they keep the peace and repeatedly talk of nuclear deterrents.

But the US has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, and it did not stop the attack on the Twin Towers; nor did Trident stop terrorist attacks in Britain.

What is never mentioned is the death and destruction which has been brought about with the development of nuclear weapons, mainly on indigenous peoples.

This starts with the beginning of the cycle with uranium mining where native people in the US, in Canada, in Australia and the Congo, among others, have been forced into mining.

They and their families have suffered serious illness and even death. Above-ground testing has also brought suffering to native peoples.

After the French testing in the Pacific, mothers gave birth to “jellyfish” babies which died within a few hours. In the US above-ground testing meant that many of the “downwinders,” including the Western Shoshone, became seriously ill.

Although above-ground tests have now ended following the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, uranium mining has not ceased.

It continues except for Greenland where the Inuit, now in government, have banned uranium mining.

In 2022, with the war in Ukraine, we are now in more danger than ever before of a further use of nuclear weapons. If ever one of these highly destructive current bombs were exploded either by intent or accident, it would be a worldwide catastrophe.

There would be fires and radioactive fallout and fatal illnesses from acute radiation sickness, cancer and genetic damage which can be passed on to offspring.

At the same time, nuclear fireballs would send up enormous quantities of dust high into the atmosphere, blotting out the sun which would lead to nuclear winter.

And the contaminated ground would be unsuitable for food production leading to food shortages. In effect, if people had not died any other way, they would die of hunger.

Yet our current government not only supports the replacement of Trident but in the Integrated Defence Review increased the cap on Britain’s stockpile for 2025 from 180 to 260.

They even changed the scenario for nuclear use to “emerging technologies that could have a comparable impact,” possibly cyber-attacks but maybe some conventional weapons?

Starmer, once more making himself into a Tory by default, said via his shadow defence minister that Trident was “non-negotiable.”

Even the cost should have made him hesitate on this. It is estimated that the cost in public money — our money — will be £205 billion (and rising) to replace Trident.

And that when working people are struggling and across the world people starve; where we also urgently need funding for the transition from fossil fuels.

Nato too still holds a policy of first use of nuclear weapons and through the US, which has always dominated Nato policy, keeps “nuclear sharing,” weapons on the territory of five states: Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

Without any public debate, we now know that nuclear bombs and nuclear capable aircraft are to be brought back to Lakenheath in Suffolk.

But the majority world wants nuclear disarmament. In January 2021, the UN-negotiated Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons came into force which now has 138 signatories — but not the Nato nuclear-armed states which were prevented by Nato.

Sixty-six states have now ratified the treaty. Our government and the Labour Party should be supporting the treaty because nuclear weapons will not bring peace or security, only dangers.

That way we would honour the memory of the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Our politicians should be looking at how to develop “common security,” putting funding and resources into dialogue and negotiation and respecting the security of everyone.

August 6, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, history, politics international, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Hiroshima marks 77th anniversary of atomic bombing amid nuclear threat

By Reito Kaneko Kyodo News. 6 Aug 22, Hiroshima marked the 77th anniversary of its atomic bombing by the United States on Saturday, amid heightened concern in Japan and elsewhere over repeated Russian threats to resort to nuclear weapons amid the war in Ukraine.

Mayor Kazumi Matsui cautioned in a Peace Declaration at a memorial ceremony in the western city that even as civilian lives are being lost in the Russian aggression, reliance on nuclear deterrence is gaining momentum around the world.

“We must immediately render all nuclear buttons meaningless,” he said.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres was also present at the annual ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park near ground zero, becoming the first U.N. chief to attend since his predecessor Ban Ki Moon in 2010.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who represents a constituency in Hiroshima, decried in his remarks the apparently declining momentum toward a world without nuclear weapons, calling on humanity not to repeat the tragedy of using nuclear weapons……………………………..

The combined number of officially recognized survivors of the two nuclear attacks, known as hibakusha, stood at 118,935 as of March, down 8,820 from a year earlier, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said. Their average age was 84.53.  https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2022/08/5ad7cbefa68e-hiroshima-marks-77th-anniv-of-atomic-bombing-amid-nuclear-threat.html

August 6, 2022 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment