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At Svanhovd, Norway, another tiny measurement of radioactive iodine – ongoing release?

Another tiny measurement of radioactive iodine at Svanhovd https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/ecology/2017/03/another-tiny-measurement-radioactive-iodine-svanhovd
Norwegian Radiation Protection Authorities (NRPA) without any suspected source. 
Thomas Nilsen March 23, 2017

The very small amount of radioactive iodine was measured in week 10, between March 6 to 13, by the authorities’ instruments at Svanhovd, a few hundred meters from Norway’s border to the Kola Peninsula in the north.

«We measured 0,35 microbecquerels of iodine-131. We didn’t detected any other radioactive isotopes,» says Head of section for emergency preparedness with NRPA, Astrid Liland, in an e-mail to the Barents Observer.

The radiation authorities says no other measurements of iodine are found anywhere else in Norway for the period.

NRPA underlines that no radiation is measured at Svalbard where the measurement filters are connected to the CTBTO network with the purpose of monitoring the nuclear test ban treaty.

This is the second time this winter that radioactive iodine is measured at Svanhovd. Following the traces measured in January, a series of tweets started to spread claiming the source to be a possible Russian nuclear weapon test at Novaya Zemlya. No other evidence supported such weapon test.

Ongoing release?

Nuclear physicist with the Bellona Foundation, Nils Bøhmer, says this second period of measurement indicates that there are some kind of ongoing releases.

«If it is iodine-131, it is serious because that likely means a continuing release still going on. Iodine-131 has a half-life of only 8 days, so what was measured in January are long gone,» Bøhmer says to the Barents Observer.

A possible ongoing release is supported by measurements in Finland a week before the trace was detected in Norway’s northeasternmost corner.

In late February, the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland detected radioactive Iodine-131 in Rovaniemi. Levels were at 0,3 microbecquerels per cubic meter of air. Norwegians have not reported any traces of the isotope for that period. The January trace of radioactive Iodine-131, still of unknown origin, was first detected at Svanhovd near Kirkenes in northern Norway. Shortly afterwards, the isotope was detected over large areas in Europe, first in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, the Barents Observer reported.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | environment, EUROPE, radiation | Leave a comment

Toshiba’s financial meltdown set off by nuclear power plans

Nuclear power plants help ignite Toshiba’s meltdown, http://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/tomlinson/article/Toshiba-reveals-real-problem-with-nuclear-power-11019881.php , By Chris Tomlinson  March 23, 2017  Toshiba Corp., one of Japan’s oldest and largest multinational conglomerates, is on the verge of bankruptcy, revealing the real problem with nuclear power plants: They cost too much.

Toshiba revealed last month that it will likely post a $4.4 billion loss because its U.S. subsidiary, Westinghouse Electric, has written off $6.3 billion from work on four new nuclear reactors in Waynesboro, Georgia and Fairfield County, South Carolina.

 The Georgia plant is three years behind scheduled and $3 billion over budget. The South Carolina reactors are several years behind schedules and $2.4 billion over budget.

Toshiba’s stock price has fallen from 475.20 yen a share in December to a recent low of 178 yen. Ratings agencies have slashed Toshiba’s credit ratings and warn of an imminent default on the company’s bonds because there are likely more budget over-runs ahead at both facilities.

“The current financial strain on Westinghouse and Toshiba could lead to higher completion costs and further delays,” Fitch Rating Service reported.

And the Japanese government is in no mood to bail Toshiba out.

“Fiscal pressure rose last week as the Japanese government said it was not considering supporting Toshiba and the company missed, for the second time, a reporting deadline for its audited third quarter results,” the Fitch note added. “Its application to delay its results until April 11 was approved, but it remains at risk of being de-listed for failure to meet the requirements of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.”

Analysts at Standard & Poor’s were no less pessimistic.

“Absent unanticipated, significantly favorable changes in the issuer’s circumstances, we see a rising likelihood Toshiba will become unable to fulfill its financial obligations in a timely manner or will undertake a debt restructuring we classify as distressed in the next six months,” S&P wrote.

The Georgia and South Carolina plants were supposed to prove that nuclear power is viable in the United States. Westinghouse touts the AP1000 PWR reactor as the most advanced available based on licensed technology.

The nuclear energy industry is lobbying governments around the world to build more plants because they release no greenhouse gases and supply a steady supply of energy no matter the weather conditions. When it comes to operating costs, nuclear power is cheap.

The capital expenses, though, are huge. And if it weren’t for a regulated electricity market, there is no way these two nuclear power plants could compete with natural gas, wind and coal in a competitive electricity market like we have in Texas.

Reports emerged Tuesday that Toshiba is considering a prepackaged  bankruptcy with Westinghouse’s creditors. The $500 million deal would keep Westinghouse operating until the debt is restructured.

This follows on the heels of reports that Toshiba wants out of the nuclear business altogether.

There are over 60 nuclear reactors under construction around the world. In many places they will make economic sense, while in others, they are government vanity projects.

As attractive as it might seem, though, new nuclear power plants still haven’t shown that they’re economic in the United States, and the dire status of Toshiba and Westinghouse is proof.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, Japan | Leave a comment

North Korea’s Capability Has Entered A ‘New Phase’ – warns U.N. Nuclear Inspector Yukiya Amano

U.N. Nuclear Inspector: North Korea’s Capability Has Entered A ‘New Phase’ And while a diplomatic solution is necessary, one is unlikely to be reached, warns Yukiya Amano. Huffington Post, By Chris D’Angelo 21 Mar 17 WASHINGTON — North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has entered a “new phase,” with the country having doubled the size of its uranium-enrichment facility in recent years, Yukiya Amano, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told The Wall Street Journal.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

As Toshiba’s $500m nuclear bankruptcy looms, Brtitain’s Moorside project looks doubtful

Fears for Moorside as Toshiba ‘lining up’ $500m bankruptcy backstop for Westinghouse nuclear arm,Telegraph UK  21 MARCH 2017 Fears that Toshiba’s struggling nuclear business Westinghouse could be on the brink of going under have been reignited following reports that it is lining up a US bankruptcy protection finance package.

The company is reportedly reviewing proposals from financial institutions and investment firms for a so-called debtor-in-possession loan to keep the company afloat while it undertakes a bankruptcy process.

According to Reuters, people familiar with the matter have said the loan is likely to be over $500m to enable the heavily indebted company to pay employees and complete the work on four nuclear power plants in the US. The projects are the first nuclear reactors to be built in the US for thirty years, but heavy delays have saddled Toshiba with writedowns of 712.5bn yen (£5bn).

The sources warned that the talks are at an early stage and that no final decision has been made to wind down the company. A UK spokesman for the company was not immediately able to comment.

A potential bankruptcy procedure raises serious questions over the future of a key £10bn nuclear project which plans to use the AP1000 nuclear reactor designed by Westinghouse.

Toshiba is a 60pc shareholder in the NuGeneration consortium, which plans to develop the Moorside project alongside France’s Engie, formerly known as GDF Suez.An early exit from Toshiba could heavily delay the start up of the 3.2GW Moorside project while NuGen scrambles to find new investment and approve a new nuclear reactor design to use in the project……
The company said it will deliver its full year results on April 11, its third scheduled date after failing to disclose the full impact of its Westinghouse woes twice before. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/03/21/toshiba-lining-500m-bankruptcy-backstop-say-reports/

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, UK | Leave a comment

Trump govt to review decades-old US aim of world without nuclear weapons

Donald Trump’s administration to review decades-old US aim of world without nuclear weapons, The Independent, Policy review under way as US opposes proposed UN treaty on a global nuclear weapons ban Lizzie Dearden @lizziedearden, 21 Mar 17 

Donald Trump’s administration is to review whether the US will keep its policy of nuclear disarmament.

Christopher Ford, the National Security Council’s senior director for weapons of mass destruction and counter-proliferation, said an assessment of US policy will examine whether the aim was “realistic”.

“Like all administrations we’re reviewing policy across the board, and that necessarily includes whether or not the goal of a world without nuclear weapons is in fact a realistic objective, especially in the near to medium term, in the light of current trends in the international security environment,” he told the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference.

“It’s too early to say what the answers will be – looking at things with fresh eyes is not saying we will necessarily end up with different positions.”

Mr Ford said there was a “tension” between the goal of nuclear disarmament and the security requirements of the US and its allies.

He argued that the “headspace” for reducing nuclear arsenals had diminished in the years since the Cold War and cuts by the US and Russia seemed unlikely while other nuclear states continue development.

Mr Trump “will not accept a second place position in the nuclear weapons arena” but is open to broader engagement with Russia on the issue, Mr Ford said. He added that the current “threat environment” had changed substantially from when the review that established America’s current aims took place under Barack Obama in 2010.

The nuclear adviser said the Trump administration would continue American opposition to a “dangerous and misbegotten” proposed treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

UN member states voted overwhelmingly to start negotiations on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination” last year.

A conference on the issue will be held in New York starting on 27 March but the treaty was opposed by nuclear powers including the US, Britain, Russia, France and Israel.

Mr Trump has not made any official policy statement on nuclear weapons but has touched on the issue repeatedly in his speeches and tweets.

Questioned about his warm statements towards Vladimir Putin at a press conference in February, the President warned that war between the US and Russia would be a “nuclear holocaust like no other”…….. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-nuclear-weapons-goal-world-without-reconsider-deproliferation-treaties-white-house-a7641706.html

March 24, 2017 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Unsafety at France’s La Hague nuclear recycling plant ? AREVA unions warn

Areva unions warn about safety at France’s La Hague nuclear recycling plant Unions says cost cuts, redundancies jeopardise safety * Regulator ASN inspects plant following union warning * ASN: plant is safe but will be vigilant, adapt procedures * ASN confirms some radioactive waste containers flawed (Adds ASN comments) Nasdaq, By Geert De ClercqPARIS, March 23 (Reuters) – 

Redundancies and cost savings are compromising safety at French nuclear group Areva’s <AREVA.PA> nuclear waste recycling facility at La Hague in Normandy, the firm’s unions say in an internal document. In an undated and unsigned note from the Areva La Hague Health and Safety Committee (CHSCT), seen by Reuters, the plant’s unions say that the Areva management’s “frantic cost-cutting is jeopardising long-established procedures” to prevent the risk of technical failures and human error. French nuclear safety authority ASN told Reuters it had received a copy of the note in November and had consequently inspected the plant, concluding that safety levels were acceptable.
However, it confirmed an incident in late 2016 – highlighted in the union note – in which several batches of highly radioactive waste were not properly processed during vitrification. It also said it would remain vigilant about issues signalled by the unions and may adapt its monitoring procedures.
 “We are launching a serious alert message: Until recently we pursued excellence in matters of safety, now we just try to be okay, which makes no sense in an industry that has no room for error,” the CHSCT note said……http://www.nasdaq.com/article/areva-unions-warn-about-safety-at-frances-la-hague-nuclear-recycling-plant-20170323-00787.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Japan stages mass evacuation drills, following North Korean missile launches

Japanese schoolchildren hold first nuclear war evacuation drill amid fears Kim Jong-un will unleash salvo of missiles after rocket tests. Sirens blared and loudspeakers broadcast warnings in Japan’s first civilian missile evacuation amid fears of imminent North Korean attack Sun, By Patrick Knox 20th March 2017, 

March 24, 2017 Posted by | Japan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

American electricity consumers in Easter States stand to lose $3.9 Billion because of aid to nuclear industry

U.S. Consumers May Be $3.9 Billion ‘Losers’ From Nuclear Aid, Bloomberg by Jonathan Crawford  March 23, 2017, 

  • New York and Illinois have approved help for Exelon reactors
  • Operators seeking aid amid historically low power prices

Expanding state aid to money-losing nuclear reactors across the eastern U.S. may leave consumers on the hook for as much as $3.9 billion a year in higher power bills. Nuclear plant owners are seeking subsidies in Ohio, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey after Exelon Corp. won state aid for reactors in Illinois and New York last year. Should all 28,000 megawatts of nuclear power across northeast and mid-Atlantic states win subsidies at the same level as New York, ratepayers would face an annual $3.9 billion hike, according to a report by Bloomberg Intelligence Tuesday……

“The losers would be customers and rival plants,” Kit Konolige, a senior analyst for Bloomberg Intelligence in New York, said by phone. “I think there’s a good chance it will pass in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.”…..

New York regulators in August approved subsidies totaling about $500 million a year for the R.E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants owned by Exelon, and the James A. FitzPatrick plant it is purchasing from Entergy Corp. Those payouts equal about $17 a megawatt-hour, according to Bloomberg Intelligence…..

Illinois approved annual payouts of about $235 million for 10 years to keep Exelon’s Quad Cities and Clinton reactors open. The prospect of expanding subsidies has caught the eye of federal energy regulators, who plan to explore the impact of payouts on competitive markets…..

After wins in New York and Illinois, Exelon is pushing for aid for its three Pennsylvania reactors and one New Jersey plant, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. FirstEnergy Corp. needs Ohio subsidies to keep its Davis-Besse and Perry reactors open.

“It’s fair to assume that every nuclear plant is going to explore a subsidy,” Konolige said. “They’re going to say if they got in it New York, maybe I can get it in New Jersey.”

The subsidies offered by New York and Illinois are being challenged in court by opponents. A court decision on the New York dispute could come in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-21/consumers-would-be-3-9-billion-losers-from-nuclear-subsidies

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Sound reasons for USA not to replace Land-Based Nuclear Missiles,

No Need to Replace U.S. Land-Based Nuclear Missiles, National Interest, James E. Doyle, 21 Mar 17, As former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry has argued there are sound strategic reasons to phase out America’s fleet of 400 silo-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).  Primary among these is the fact that these missiles are vulnerable to attack because our potential nuclear adversaries such as Russia know their precise locations.

Because of their vulnerability, ICBMs are the weapon system most likely to spark an inadvertent nuclear war.  If U.S. commanders believed mistakenly (as has happened repeatedly in the past) that our ICBMs were under attack, they will face immense pressure to launch them at the perceived attacker before they are destroyed in their silos. Once they are launched if the warning of attack was false, it is too late.  Our ICBMs cannot be recalled and will destroy their targets, prompting certain nuclear retaliation on U.S. cities.

 Now recent revelations regarding the rapidly inflating cost of replacing the ICBMs and dramatic improvements in the capabilities of the other two legs of the U.S. nuclear triad make crystal clear that phasing out the ICBMs is the right choice for American security.

Pushing forward with deployment of the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) as the Minuteman III replacement is called will deplete resources needed for other vital defense programs from cyber defenses to naval shipbuilding to conventional forces readiness and other nuclear modernization programs including new strategic submarines and aircraft.  Estimated cost for the 15-20 year GBSD program have increased by more than 60% from $61 billion in 2016 to over $100 billion in early 2017. No clear plans have emerged that can support this cost without forcing dramatic cuts elsewhere within the defense budget.

Fortunately, there is no need to make the painful national security trade-offs that deploying the GBSD would require.  The U.S. can safely retire the Minuteman III ICBMs as they reach the end of their service lives in the 2030s without replacing them.  This is because recent modernization programs are dramatically increasing the accuracy, and thus the effectiveness of U.S. submarine and aircraft-launched nuclear weapons. …….

A decision to cancel replacement of the Minuteman III force would have other benefits as well.  It is the most efficient way to reach the 1,000-1,000 deployed warhead level that the Department of Defense asserted was sufficient for deterrence in 2013 and it would achieve additional cost savings because ICBM warheads could be retired instead of modernized.

Finally, it would create opportunities for reaching new arms control agreements with Russia and China and demonstrate to the world that the United States was serious about meeting its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and taking a leadership role toward an eventual world without nuclear weapons.

James E. Doyle is an independent Nuclear Security Specialist. From 1997-2014 he was on the technical staff of the Nonproliferation Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/no-need-replace-us-land-based-nuclear-missiles-19851

March 24, 2017 Posted by | USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Campaign groups mobilise against UK’s Bradwell nuclear power project

‘Take Bradwell off the nuclear list now’ – Campaigners call for review of Government proposed sites http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/15168807.___Take_Bradwell_off_the_nuclear_list_now______Campaigners_call_for_review_of_Government_proposed_sites/ Rebecca Creed, Chief Reporter / ,  21 Mar 17 A CAMPAIGN group fighting against a new power station at Bradwell has called for the proposed site to be removed from a Government list.

In 2011 the Government revealed a list of eight sites deemed “potentially suitable” for new nuclear stations, including Bradwell.

But Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), which has campaigned against a new power station, believes the list should be reviewed. It comes as the group, along with other campaigners, submitted their response to a pre-application consultation for Sizewell C in Suffolk.

Andy Blowers, chairman of BANNG, said: “The policy for new nuclear power stations is out of time and out of order and safer, less expensive and environmentally-sustainable alternatives need to be put in place.”

In January, it was announced the Government had asked nuclear regulators to begin the process of approving a Chinese-designed reactor for a new power plant.

EDF Energy signed a deal with China General Nuclear Power Corporation for Bradwell B, a greenfield site next to the former station.

The Chinese company will provide two thirds of the development costs of Bradwell B and hopes to begin construction by 2023..Up to 25,000 jobs will be created during construction, although it is unclear how many vacancies will be filled by residents.

Mr Blowers added: “In the coming months BANNG will continue its campaign to oppose the Chinese nuclear project at Bradwell, which threatens to destroy a precious environment and inflict harm on present and future generations.

“At the local level we will work with the communities around the Blackwater to thwart the project in its early stages.

“At regional level we will back Together Against Sizewell C’s legal challenge to the Government’s nuclear policy.

“And, at the national level, with other protest group leaders, we shall fight to have both Bradwell and Sizewell removed from the list of nominated sites for new nuclear power stations. The Government’s policy is misguided and in need of urgent review.”Harwich and North Essex MP Bernard Jenkin has said a new power station could threaten the eco-system of the Blackwater estuary at Mersea.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Nearly 70 locally elected officials in New York call to stop pro nuclear subsidies

Local leaders join opposition to New York nuclear plant aid http://www.recordonline.com/news/20170321/local-leaders-join-opposition-to-new-york-nuclear-plant-aid, TIMES HERALD,  Press ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nearly 70 locally elected officials in New York are calling on Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo to halt a tax subsidy program that would allow three aging nuclear power plants to remain open upstate.

Legislators, town supervisors and councilmembers from more than two dozen counties signed a letter Monday to Cuomo requesting the state pause the program set to begin April 1 and publicly reassess clean energy options. Cuomo has said keeping the plants open would provide reliable energy as New York transitions half its power to renewable sources by 2030.

Some environmental advocates who oppose the program estimate its cost at up to $7.6 billion over 12 years.

The Public Service Commission says the program will cost about $1 billion in the first two years but cannot predict additional costs.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | business and costs, opposition to nuclear, politics, USA | Leave a comment

Some US Republicans are worried about President trump’s mental state

Republicans Close To Trump Say President Is Showing Signs Of Mental Illness http://www.politicususa.com/2017/03/20/republicans-close-trump-president-showing-signs-mental-illness.html By  , Mar 20th, 2017 
Republican strategist and MSNBC contributor Nicolle Wallace said that people outside of the administration who have spent time with Trump said that the president is showing signs of paranoia and delusion over his belief that Obama wiretapped him.

Wallace said, “I sense that they have no plans today of walking away from this claim. This is still the president’s belief. Some folks still close to the president, but not on the White House staff said it’s a word I can’t say on family-friendly TV, but the initials are B and S. Another person who spent time with the president this weekend in Florida said it was signs of paranoia and delusion around this idea that he’s so right. Interestingly, he has sought to have people outside the government corroborate this wiretapping claim, which either suggests this observation of paranoia and delusion is in fact operation or extreme ignorance of all the powers at his disposal and all the investigative powers of the federal government.”

These are Republicans close to Trump who claimed that the President Of The United States is paranoid, delusional, and believes that Obama wiretapped him. Wallace’s comments on MSNBC were a statement that the President might be mentally ill.

Before anyone asks, the constitutional standard for the removal of a president contains no discussion of mental fitness. It would be difficult to nearly impossible to remove Trump from office due to mental illness. It would have to be demonstrated that Trump is physically unable to perform the job of president.

The Trump claim that Obama wiretapped him was not some brilliant diversion. Trump’s belief that Obama spied on him is the mark of a paranoid, and mentally ill president.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | politics, psychology - mental health, USA | Leave a comment

Controversial conspiracy bill approved by Abe Cabinet

n-conspiracy-a-20170322-870x676

Protesters stage a rally in front of the prime minister’s office in Tokyo on Tuesday as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet approved an anti-conspiracy bill

The Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved Tuesday a controversial bill that would revise the organized crime law so authorities can crack down on individuals and organizations who conspire to engage in serious criminal activity.

The conspiracy charges apply to groups of two or more people, where at least one person procures funds, supplies or surveys a location in preparation for committing a crime. Efforts to maintain or expand organized crime groups would also be punished, while reduced penalties would be considered for those who turn themselves in before a crime is carried out.

The government is pushing to enact the revised bill during the ordinary Diet session through mid-June, but strong objections by opposition parties are expected amid concern that the law may be used against civic groups.

The backlash against the measure has been a persistent hurdle in passing the anti-conspiracy law, which the government has attempted and failed to enact three times in the past, as it targeted “groups” in general.

The bill needs to be passed to ensure necessary counterterrorism measures are in place before the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, according to the government. It is also a prerequisite to ratify the U.N. Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which was adopted by member states in 2000 and took effect in 2003.

It is an urgent necessity for the government to ratify the treaty to promote international cooperation on counter-terrorism,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference Tuesday, adding Japan is the only country among the Group of Seven nations that has not signed the treaty.

Suga also said the targets of the new bill would be strictly applied to terrorists and other organized crime syndicates, not ordinary citizens.

Some opposition parties and the Tokyo Bar Association denounced the revisions, which they say would still allow the possibility of government overreach and retaliation against civic groups.

The conspiracy bill goes against the basic principles of our country’s criminal code and the legal system,” Motoji Kobayashi, president of the Tokyo Bar Association, said in a statement in January. “It threatens the function of protecting human rights.”

The government previously included 676 crimes in its original draft, but has narrowed that number down to 277 in the revised bill.

Yukio Yamashita, an attorney and member of the association, warned that 277 crimes are still too many and noted some are unnecessary.

For example, a person using forged stamps or competing in a motor boat race without a license would be subject to punishment under the revised bill, Yamashita said in a seminar held earlier in March.

Meanwhile, the Japan Federation of Bar Associations claims that only a limited number of countries, such as Norway, have newly enacted anti-conspiracy laws for the purpose of ratifying the U.N. treaty, which was adopted to crack down on organized cross-border crimes such as human trafficking, narcotics trading and money laundering.

Japan’s Diet approved the treaty in 2013, but was unable to ratify it without a law covering criminal conspiracy.

As of December, 187 countries and regions have signed the treaty.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/21/national/crime-legal/controversial-conspiracy-bill-approved-by-abe-cabinet/#.WNJ_RKKmnIW

March 22, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Youtube – newly available images of nuclear bomb tests

*Declassified* Nuclear Test Films Unbelievable Video !!  Kenny-Boo Hurt

Terrifying images revealed in declassified nuclear test videos uploaded to YouTube, The Age, Ben Guarino, 20 Mar 17, 

On Monday, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, located in California, uploaded to YouTube more than 60 films taken during US nuclear weapons tests between 1945 and 1962. During this time, experimental nukes were dropped from bombers or propelled by rockets to altitudes as high as space.

Their offbeat names, such as Operation Hardtack 1, Operation Plumbbob and Operation Teapot, belied the massive destruction on display. More than 200 nuclear test weapons would go off until 1963, when the Partial Test Ban Treaty required further testing to take place underground. In each instance, scientists trained multiple cameras on the explosion.

For decades afterward, thousands of these films languished in secure vaults – until Greg Spriggs, 65, a weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, decided to dust them off. Some of the films had already degraded beyond the point of restoration. “You can smell vinegar when you open the cans, which is one of the byproducts of the decomposition process of these films,” Spriggs said in a news release. “We know that these films are on the brink of decomposing to the point where they’ll become useless.”

He recruited expert archivists, including Zapruder film preservationist Jim Moye, to help digitise the footage.

“The data that we’re collecting now must be preserved in a digital form because no matter how well you treat the films, no matter how well you preserve or store them, they will decompose,” Spriggs said. “They’re made out of organic material, and organic material decomposes. So this is it. We got to this project just in time to save the data.”

Scientists are still able to wring new information from old detonations. Modern analytical techniques applied to digitised footage revealed inaccuracies in past estimates of fireball and shockwave size, which in many instances had been derived by hand.

“We were finding that some of these answers were off by 20, maybe 30, per cent,” Spriggs said. “We’ve also discovered new things about these detonations that have never been seen before.”………

Spriggs and the team of restorers have found about 6500 out of 10,000 reels from the era of above-ground nuclear tests, according to the news release. The researchers have scanned two-thirds of these films, and the Department of Energy has declassified just 750.

Why the government has only allowed the public to see the footage now was not an issue of secrecy – information about the operations had already been made public – but a matter of red tape…….http://www.theage.com.au/world/terrifying-images-revealed-in-declassified-nuclear-test-videos-uploaded-to-youtube-20170319-gv1ak3.html

March 20, 2017 Posted by | media, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea nuclear program is ‘imminent’ threat says Rex Tillerson

Tillerson says North Korea nuclear program is ‘imminent’ threat, as China urges talks
Tillerson also said that US-China relations appear to be at a historic inflection point that must be carefully managed.
Politico, By 3/18/17, 

North Korea’s nuclear program poses an “imminent” threat that nonetheless requires the United States, China, and other countries to respond with a “staged approach” that includes sanctions, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a rare encounter with the media.

Tillerson, speaking to the conservative Independent Journal Review in an interview published Saturday, also said that U.S.-China relations appear to be at a historic inflection point that must be carefully managed.

China’s foreign minister, meanwhile, urged the United States to remain “cool-headed” on the issue of North Korea and to consider going ahead with talks with Pyongyang.

The U.S. secretary of state is in the final stages of a trip to Asia, having made stops in Japan and South Korea and, this weekend, in China. A good chunk of his discussions have focused on how to handle the challenge posed by the government in Pyongyang, whose recent ballistic missile tests have alarmed the international community.

Tillerson repeatedly framed the North Korean threat as “imminent,” and during his trip he has ruled out negotiations with the country while leaving open the possibility of a pre-emptive military strike to eliminate its nuclear program.

But in his interview with IJR, Tillerson did not promise any imminent public response by the U.S. and others, aside from the ongoing diplomatic flurries. Instead, he said there had to be a “staged approach” to North Korea, one that involves enforcing, and possibly enhancing, international sanctions, while persuading Pyongyang that giving up its nuclear weapons would help it on other levels………

Tillerson also downplayed, but did not entirely rule out, suggestions that Japan and South Korea should develop their own nuclear weapons in a bid to stave off the North Korean threat…….

China’s sway over North Korea is perhaps the most urgent issue the two countries must tackle, Tillerson said. The secretary of state indicated that the Trump administration believes China must do more to enforce sanctions on North Korea, which relies on Beijing as an economic lifeline.

It’s the same stance taken by the Obama administration, which toward the end of its tenure also was increasingly alarmed by the threat posed by North Korea. President Barack Obama is reported to have told Trump that North Korea is the top national security priority facing his new administration. http://www.politico.eu/article/tillerson-says-north-korea-nuclear-program-is-imminent-threat-as-china-urges-talks/

March 20, 2017 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment