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Doomsday clock now closest ever to midnight, due to climate and nuclear dangers

January 25, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change, weapons and war | Leave a comment

USA’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) spurns environmental assessment for plutonium cores


January 25, 2020 Posted by | environment, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

No clear explanation of USA’s rush to produce more plutonium cores for nuclear weapons

The U.S. is Boosting Production of Nuclear Bomb Cores (For More Nuclear Weapons)  Thanks, arms race. by Michael Peck, 22 Jan 2020,

In another sign that the nuclear arms race is heating up, the U.S. is ramping up production of nuclear bomb cores.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced that it plans to increase the production of plutonium pits to 80 per year. The grapefruit-sized pits contain the fissile material that give nuclear weapons such tremendous power.

Production will center on the Mixed-Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at Savannah River site in North Carolina, which would be modified to manufacture at least 50 pits per year, and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, which would generate at least 30, by 2030.

America’s nuclear weapons cores are aging, with some pits dating back to the 1970s, leading to concerns about the reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

“The U.S. lost its ability to produce pits in large numbers in 1989, when the Rocky Flats Plant near Denver, Colorado, was shut down after the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Environmental Protection Agency investigated environmental violations at the site,” noted Physics Today magazine in 2018. Up to 1,200 pits per year had been manufactured there.

“Since then, only 30 pits for weapons have been fabricated—all at LANL [Los Alamos National Laboratory], the sole U.S. facility with production capability. Weapons-quality pit production ceased in 2012, when LANL began modernizing its 40-year-old facilities, although several practice pits have since been fabricated. The oldest pits in the stockpile—which now numbers 3,882, according to DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)—date to 1978.”

In its 2018 Nuclear Policy Review, the Trump administration called for 80 new plutonium pits per year. Congress has also allocated large sums, with $4.7 billion alone allocated in FY 2019 for maintenance and life extension of the nuclear stockpile. The NNSA says it is legally mandated to ensure a capacity of at least 80 pits per year.

Though the production of nuclear cores has been an issue for years, a looming U.S.-Russia arms race makes the situation even more sensitive. Russia is fielding a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons, including a hypersonic nuclear-armed glider and an air-launched ballistic missile. The Trump administration has withdrawn from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty with Russia, alleging Russian violations, leading to fears that a new competition will beget the return of nuclear-armed, medium-range ballistic and cruise missiles.

Anti-nuclear groups are furious. “Expanded pit production will cost at least $43 billion over the next 30 years,” argues the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups.Yet the Defense Department and NNSA have never explained why expanded plutonium pit production is necessary. More than 15,000 plutonium pits are stored at NNSA’s Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas. Independent experts have concluded that plutonium pits have reliable lifetimes of at least 100 years (the average pit age is less than 40 years). Crucially, there is no pit production scheduled to maintain the safety and reliability of the existing nuclear weapons stockpile. Instead, proposed future pit production is for speculative new-design nuclear weapons, but those designs have been canceled.”

Introducing a new generation of nuclear weapons “could adversely impact national security because newly produced plutonium pits cannot be full-scale tested without violating the global nuclear weapons testing moratorium.”

Michael Peck is a contributing writer for the National Interest. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

January 23, 2020 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

”Plutonium pits” not only unnecessary, but also very dangerous for the environment

“They want as much dirty warhead manufacturing as possible for Los Alamos, and they don’t want anybody to know or discuss the predictable problems and impacts on our communities and environment,”

January 23, 2020 Posted by | secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | 2 Comments

Iran will never seek nuclear weapons – P.M Rouhani

January 23, 2020 Posted by | Iran, weapons and war | Leave a comment

History of U.S. missiles testing atomic, bacterial and viral weapons in Utah

from anonymous contributor, 22 Jan 2020, Some of What The USA Military , Corporations and government did to us on top of detonating several open air nuclear bombs on us.

My government had a missile base 60 miles from Uranium and downwinder hell in Utah. My governemt also detonated four atomic bombs under the river that went through my town, in the llate 1960s..
My government and military contractors launched hundreds of single and multistage missiles from Green River Utah to White Sands new mexico from 1965 to 1970. The missiles went to white sands New Mexico, which is approximately 900 miles from Green River Utah. Their trajectory took them over southern Utah National parks, the navajo, zuni, ute hopi and pueblo nativ,e reservations, and most of north and central New Mexico. White sands New Mexico is 925 miles from Green river utah. White sands new mexico is 50 miles from alamagordo New Mexico . Alamagorgo is where the fist Atomic bomb, in the world was detonated. The cold war, multibillion dollar Missile project tested single and multistage rockets and biological warfare payloads.

They tested payloads

The Green-White sands missile project was to test missile paylods over the south west usa. You can find sections of missiles that failed in the 900 mile stretch, from Green ricver to white sands nm. They launched hundreds of missiles and rockets Some of the missile-rockets failed and crashed into the desert, long before reaching their south central New Mexico destination clasw to the mexico usa border. There are missile carcasses and stages from southern utah to in the Canuyonlands national Park, The Grand Gulch National Nation Monument, in The Four Corners Area of the USA where Utah, Colorado and Arizona intersect. Missile parts and from failed missiles can also be found in the New Mexico and Utah Navajo reservations. There detritus of missiles can found by Farminton New Mexico , west of Santa Fe New Mexico, east of demming New mexico and by Socorro nm . The initial stages of multistage rockets are mostly in utah.

The military and government tested several biological weapon payloads, in the missiles-rockets that went from Utah to white sands new mexico.The army , and corporate contractors, put Biological Warfare payloads on missiles. with viruses and bacteria in them. They tested the a weaponized version of the Hanta Virus. They tested Hearty bacterial spores, like anthrax as well. They launched the biological warfare payloads with viruses and bacteria in special mediums to test the stability of the most Hearty virus and bacterial spore-systems in missile carrier systems.
The biological warfare medium-containing–payloads were on rockets that went from Green River Utah to White sands new mexico from 1965 to 1970.

Hannta virus did not exist in the United States of America in Humans, until 1990. It was weaponized by the United States government and corporations in the 1960s. The first Hanta Virus casualties recorded in the USA were a family of Navajos in New Mexico, in 1992. Hanta virus is has now apread to mice vectors in all parts of the United States of america. It is epidemic in the USA . I know because I once worked for an agency that treated and tracked it.
The 1993 Four Corners hantavirus outbreak was an outbreak of hantavirus that caused the first known human cases of hantavirus disease in the United States. It occurred within the Four Corners region – the geographic intersection of the U.S. states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona – of the southwestern part of the country in the spring of 1993. This region is largely occupied by Native American tribal lands, including the Hopi, Ute, Zuni, and Navajo reservations, from which many of the cases were reported.

“The Discovery of Hantaan Virus: Comparative Biology and …
by KM Johnson · 2004 · Cited by 10 · Related articles
Nov 1, 2004 · They became infected by tissues of antigen-positive wild mice of that single species. … Dr. Lee named it “Hantaan,” after a small river near the border between the 2 Koreas, where human infection was isolated and endemic in the 1950s”

FROM “Brief Histories of Three Federal Military Installations in Utah: Kearns Army Air Base, Hurricane Mesa, and Green River Test Complex” (PDF). Utah Historical Quarterly. Utah State Historical Society. 34 (2). Spring 1966. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2013. Retrieved September 12, 2013. More than 100 employees of the [Atlantic Research]
The Utah Launch Complex was a Cold War military subinstallation of White Sands Missile Range for USAF and US Army rocket launches. In addition to firing Pershing missiles, the complex launched Athena RTV missiles with subscale warheads of the Advanced Ballistic Re-entry System to reentry speeds and impact at the New Mexico range. From 1964 to 1975 there were 244 Green River launches, including 141 Athena launches and a Pershing to 281 kilometers altitude. “Utah State Route 19 runs through the Green River Launch Complex, which is south of the town and eponym of Green River.”

January 22, 2020 Posted by | Reference, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Report shows that most young adults fear a nuclear attack this decade

January 21, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, psychology - mental health, social effects, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S. cities near nuclear weapons stations realise they are targets

Cities in the crosshairs are pushing back against nuclear weapons

“We forget that all power is local. And by forgetting to act locally, we are giving away all the power.” JON LETMAN, JANUARY 19, 2020 This article originally appeared on Truthout.   Two years after a mistakenly sent text alert warning of an inbound ballistic missile threat caused widespread panic and confusion across Hawaii, cities remain potential targets and nuclear jitters continue to grow around the world.

Panicked responses to the erroneous text alert — which read “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL” and was accidentally issued on January 13, 2018, to Hawaii residents via the Emergency Alert System and Commercial Mobile Alert System — revealed how believably close nuclear fears hover to our everyday life

And now two years later, at the beginning of 2020, those fears have grown even stronger following a year in which talks aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula faltered, fears of a nuclear clash between India and Pakistan spiked, and Russia announced it had deployed its first hypersonic nuclear-capable missiles.

Meanwhile, the U.S. abandoned the Intermediate Nuclear Forces treaty and continued to undermine the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal) after it unilaterally withdrew in 2018. Now, many fear the U.S. will likely withdraw from the Open Skies and New START treaties.

As the U.S. modernizes its nuclear arsenal at a cost that could exceed $1.5 trillion and the other eight nuclear armed states upgrade their own nuclear weapons, ordinary citizens and the leaders of cities, towns, and municipalities around the world are resisting nuclear weapons through efforts like the Back from the Brink campaign and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ #ICANSave Cities appeal.

Across the U.S., cities like SeattleAlbuquerqueColorado Springs and others are located near key military installations, which some see as a good reason to oppose nuclear policies. Today, more than 40 U.S. cities including, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Honolulu have adopted a Back from the Brink resolution, which puts forward five policy goals aimed at reducing the threat of nuclear war: no first use of nuclear weapons, end sole authority to launch a nuclear attack, take U.S. nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert, cancel modernization/replacement of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and ultimately seek the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Back from the Brink aims to prompt cities, counties, and local governments to pressure Congress and the Trump administration to adopt the above five points.

Dozens of smaller cities from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Arcata, California, have adopted the resolution, as have local and state governments across the U.S. More than a dozen more cities (Little Rock, Chicago, Madison) and states (New York, Vermont, Washington) have proposed resolutions.

In a joint article, three council members representing Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Montgomery County, Maryland, wrote, “As leaders of the Greater Washington area, home to the seat of our federal government and headquarters of its military — we are particularly at risk. We are living in the crosshairs of America’s enemies, both hostile governments and terrorists.” That risk, and the financial costs associated with nuclear weapons, led all three communities to adopt Back from the Brink resolutions…………

Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) launched its #ICANSAVE cities appeal in 2018, calling on cities large and small around the world to formally support the 2017 U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The ban treaty, currently ratified by 34 nations, will enter into legal force once 50 nations have done so.

ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn says that while, for many people, nuclear weapons can feel abstract and theoretical, it’s important to remain focused on their fundamental purpose.

“What these weapons really are made for is to wipe out whole cities. These are not precision guidance that will take out a specific military facility,” Fihn told Truthout. “We are so obsessed by staring at these world leaders, we forget that all power is local. And by forgetting to act locally, we are giving away all the power.”………..

January 20, 2020 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Belgium lawmakers narrowly agree to keep U.S. nuclear weapons, Belgian public overwhelmingly opposes this

Belgium debates phase-out of US nuclear weapons on its soil, By Alexandra Brzozowski | Jan 17, 2020 It’s one of Belgium’s worst kept secrets. Lawmakers on Thursday (16 January) narrowly rejected a resolution asking for the removal of US nuclear weapons stationed in the country and joining the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW).

66 MPs voted in favour of the resolution while 74 rejected it.

Those in favour included the Socialists, Greens, centrists (cdH), the workers party (PVDA) and the francophone party DéFI. The 74 that voted against included the nationalist Flemish party N-VA, the Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V), the far-right Vlaams Belang and both Flemish and francophone Liberals.

Just before the Christmas recess, the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee approved a motion calling for the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from Belgian territory and the accession of Belgium to the International Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The resolution was led by Flemish socialist John Crombez (sp.a).

With this resolution, the chamber requested the Belgian government “to draw up, as soon as possible, a roadmap aiming at the withdrawal of nuclear weapons on Belgian territory”.

The December resolution was voted in the absence of two liberal MPs, even though the text was already watered down.

According to Flemish daily De Morgen, the American ambassador to Belgium was “particularly worried” about the resolution before Thursday’s vote and a number of MPs were approached by the US embassy for a discussion.

The controversy was sparked by a debate to replace the US-made F-16 fighter aircraft in the Belgian army with American F-35s, a more advanced plane capable of carrying nuclear weapons…….

Although the Belgian government had so far adopted a policy of “to neither confirm, nor deny” their presence on Belgian soil, military officials have called it one of Belgium’s “most poorly kept secrets”.

According to De Morgenwhich obtained a leaked copy of the document before its final paragraph was replaced, the report stated:

“In the context of NATO, the United States is deploying around 150 nuclear weapons in Europe, in particular B61 free-bombs, which can be deployed by both US and Allied planes. These bombs are stored in six American and European bases: Kleine Brogel in Belgium, Büchel in Germany, Aviano and Ghedi-Torre in Italy, Volkel in the Netherlands and Inçirlik in Turkey……..

Belgium, as a NATO country, so far has not supported the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination.

However, the resolution voted on Thursday was meant to change that. A public opinion poll conducted by YouGov in April 2019 found that 64% of Belgians believe that their government should sign the treaty, with only 17% opposed to signing.

January 20, 2020 Posted by | EUROPE, politics, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Australian bushfire smoke across the Pacific shows how French nuclear tests spread radiation

Tahiti leader says impact of Australian fires backs nuclear claims,

French Polynesia’s pro-independence leader Oscar Temaru says the smoke from Australia’s bushfires is concrete evidence that fallout from nuclear tests affected islands such as Tahiti. fallout from nuclear tests affected islands such as Tahiti.

fallout from nuclear tests affected islands such as Tahiti.    Smoke from Australia this month drifted over the south of French Polynesia after crossing New Zealand.

Mr Temaru said this was more than proof that fallout from France’s atmospheric nuclear weapons tests at Moruroa spread while France maintained they didn’t affect Tahiti.

He again called on France to tell the full truth about this dark chapter of history.

Until 1974 France detonated 46 atomic bombs over Moruroa and Fangataufa before continuing the tests with underground blasts.

France maintained until a decade ago that its nuclear tests were clean and posed no risk to human health.

A law brought in in 2010 offered compensation but its criteria were widely seen as too narrow because most applications by those suffering poor health were thrown out.

Its revision was changed again, leaving veterans organisations still dismayed.  Mr Temaru made the comments as his Tavini Huiraatira party campaigned for the March municipal election.

However, Mr Temaru is yet to say whether he will seek re-election to the mayoralty of Faaa which he has held since 1983.

Among the candidates known so far are two assembly members of the ruling Tapura Huiraatira party.

January 20, 2020 Posted by | OCEANIA, oceans, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The B-52 Stratofortress will no longer carry the B61-7 and B83-1 nuclear gravity bombs

January 20, 2020 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Power creates hubris; and the United States of America is one of nine nations inflicted with nuclear hubris

Nuclear Hubris

If an attack of any sort kills “hundreds of thousands or even millions” of people—their deaths are instantly belittled if they aren’t Americans. Common Dreams, by Robert C. Koehler, 17 Jan 2020

One thing that becomes clear to me when I wander into the world, and the minds, of geopolitical professionals—government people—is how limited and linear their thinking seems to be.

When I do so, an internal distress signal starts beeping and won’t stop, especially when the issue under discussion is war and mass destruction, i.e., suicide by nukes, which has a freshly intense relevance these days as Team Trump plays war with Iran.

What doesn’t matter, apparently, is any awareness that we live in one world, connected at the core: that the problems confronting this planet transcend the fragmentary “interests” of single, sovereign entities, even if the primary interest is survival itself.

The question for me goes well beyond democracy—the right of the public to have a say in what “we” do as a nation—and penetrates the decision-making process itself and the prevailing definition of what matters . . . and what doesn’t. What doesn’t matter, apparently, is any awareness that we live in one world, connected at the core: that the problems confronting this planet transcend the fragmentary “interests” of single, sovereign entities, even if the primary interest is survival itself.

I fear that this country’s geopolitical thinking and decision-making are incapable of stepping beyond the concept of violent (including thermonuclear) self-defense, or even, indeed, acknowledging that consequences emerge from such actions that go well beyond the strategic considerations that summon them.

Recently, for instance, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, keeper of the annually updated Doomsday Clock, which serves as an international warning signal on the state of global danger from nuclear war and climate change, published an essay by James N. Miller, former undersecretary of Defense for Policy in the Obama administration, defending the fact that the U.S. government maintains a policy that allows “first use” of nuclear weapons under certain circumstances. ……..

Miller’s essay, titled “No to No First Use—for Now,” set off, as I say, an internal distress signal that wouldn’t shut up, beginning with the fact that the essay addressed simply this country’s self-granted permission to use nuclear weapons first, before the other guy did, under “extreme circumstances,” if it so chose. What was missing from this essay was any suggestion that nuclear disarmament—no use ever—deserved consideration. This was not up for discussion. ……..

let me make an introduction. James Miller, meet Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.

“At dozens of locations around the world—in missile silos buried in our earth, on submarines navigating through our oceans, and aboard planes flying high in our sky—lie 15,000 objects of humankind’s destruction,” Fihn said during her acceptance speech. “Perhaps it is the enormity of this fact, perhaps it is the unimaginable scale of the consequences, that leads many to simply accept this grim reality. To go about our daily lives with no thought to the instruments of insanity all around us. . . .

“As fellow Nobel Peace Laureate, Martin Luther King Jr, called them from this very stage in 1964, these weapons are ‘both genocidal and suicidal.’ They are the madman’s gun held permanently to our temple. These weapons were supposed to keep us free, but they deny us our freedoms.

“It’s an affront to democracy to be ruled by these weapons. But they are just weapons. They are just tools. And just as they were created by geopolitical context, they can just as easily be destroyed by placing them in a humanitarian context.”

And I return to that question I posed earlier: Why?

Why is this level of thinking not present at the highest levels of our government? Power is an enormous paradox. We’re the greatest military superpower on the planet, and this fact is consuming our ability to think and act in a rational and humane manner. Power creates hubris; and the United States of America is one of nine nations inflicted with nuclear hubris. We can tell other nations (e.g., Iran) what to do, but we’re not about to do it ourselves.

Feel safe yet?

January 18, 2020 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.S. Senate must reaffirm that the power to make war rests with Congress, NOT the President

January 13, 2020 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea’s nuclear capabilities already expanding rapidly

January 13, 2020 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

In Germany, gridlock over nuclear-capable fighter jet

In Germany, gridlock over nuclear-capable fighter jet, DW, 12 Jan 2020 Germany’s Air Force has a special mission: deliver American nukes in the case of a nuclear strike. But its Tornado fleet is rapidly nearing the end of its shelf life. So why has Germany yet to decide on a replacement?n a given week in late November, the number of flightworthy Tornado fighter jets stationed at Büchel Air Base varied widely: Sometimes, twelve out of the 45 planes were operational; soon after, less than a handful.

“That’s pretty tight,” according to one pilot.

He spoke to DW on condition of anonymity. For the air base, tucked away amid the picturesque plateaus of the Eifel region in western Germany, has a special, secret mission: It is here that American nuclear bombs are stored in what is officially termed a “nuclear sharing agreement.”

In the case of a nuclear strike, German Tornado fighter jets and their crews would deliver the American bombs.

American bombs on German soil

Their location is a state secret. The German government has never officially confirmed the existence of the nuclear bombs in Büchel. The precise number of bombs stored in the underground vaults in the air base is thus unclear; estimates range between 10 to 20.

On the record, the Germany government only admits to being part of the sharing agreement, which dates back to the Cold War and NATO’s nuclear deterrence strategy aimed at keeping Soviet influence at bay.

In essence, it provides for member states of the military alliance without nuclear weapons to partake in planning and training for the use of nuclear weapons by NATO and, officials argue, for their views to be taken into account by nuclear-capable countries, including the US. Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy are all part of the sharing agreement.

Upkeep of Tornado fleet skyrocketing

But as Germany’s Tornado fleet is swiftly nearing the end of its shelf life, the cost of maintaining a fleet for the nuclear mission is skyrocketing.

“The increase each year is brutally high,” as one parliamentarian put it.

DW has obtained a copy of an official document from the Ministry of Defense, which puts the expenditure for the Tornado fleet, including maintenance, procurement and development, at €502 million ($562 million) in 2018. This year, the figure is estimated to reach €629 million…………

January 13, 2020 Posted by | Germany, weapons and war | Leave a comment