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Is China covering up a nuclear leak?

US assessing reported leak at Chinese nuclear power facility, By Zachary Cohen, CNN, June 14, 2021

The US government has spent the past week assessing a report of a leak at a Chinese nuclear power plant, after a French company that part owns and helps operate it warned of an “imminent radiological threat,” according to US officials and documents reviewed by CNN.

The warning included an accusation that the Chinese safety authority was raising the acceptable limits for radiation detection outside the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province in order to avoid having to shut it down, according to a letter from the French company to the US Department of Energy obtained by CNN.

Despite the alarming notification from Framatome, the French company, the Biden administration believes the facility is not yet at a “crisis level,” one of the sources said.

While US officials have deemed the situation does not currently pose a severe safety threat to workers at the
plant or Chinese public, it is unusual that a foreign company would unilaterally reach out to the American government for help when its Chinese state-owned partner is yet to acknowledge a problem exists. The scenario could put the US in a complicated situation should the leak continue or become more severe without being fixed.

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/14/politics/china-nuclear-reactor-leak-us-monitoring/index.html

June 15, 2021 Posted by | China, incidents, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and the Collapse of the Rule of Law

“Lliving in truth in a despotic system is the supreme act of defiance. This truth terrifies those in power.”

Chris Hedges: Julian Assange and the Collapse of the Rule of Law — Rise Up Times Julian exposed the truth.  He exposed it over and over and over until there was no question of the endemic illegality, corruption and mendacity that defines the global ruling elite.
Chris Hedges gave this talk at a rally Thursday night in New York City in support of Julian Assange. John and Gabriel Shipton, Julian’s father and brother, also spoke at the event, which was held at The People’s Forum.  By Chris Hedges / Original to ScheerPost

BY MODERATOR  June 11, 2021  This why we are here tonight.  Yes, all of us who know and admire Julian decry his prolonged suffering and the suffering of his family.  Yes, we demand that the many wrongs and injustices that have been visited upon him be ended.  Yes, we honor him up for his courage and his integrity. But the battle for Julian’s liberty has always been much more than the persecution of a publisher.  It is the most important battle for press freedom of our era.  And if we lose this battle, it will be devastating, not only for Julian and his family, but for us.

Tyrannies invert the rule of law.  They turn the law into an instrument of injustice.  They cloak their crimes in a faux legality.  They use the decorum of the courts and trials, to mask their criminality.  Those, such as Julian, who expose that criminality to the public are dangerous, for without the pretext of legitimacy the tyranny loses credibility and has nothing left in its arsenal but fear, coercion and violence.

The long campaign against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of inverted totalitarianism, a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations.

I was in the London courtroom when Julian was being tried by Judge Vanessa Baraitser, an updated version of the Queen of Hearts in Alice-in Wonderland demanding the sentence before pronouncing the verdict. It was judicial farce. There was no legal basis to hold Julian in prison.  There was no legal basis to try him, an Australian citizen, under the U.S. Espionage Act. The CIA spied on Julian in the embassy through a Spanish company, UC Global, contracted to provide embassy security. This spying included recording the privileged conversations between Julian and his lawyers as they discussed his defense. This fact alone invalidated the trial. Julian is being held in a high security prison so the state can, as Nils Melzer, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, has testified, continue the degrading abuse and torture it hopes will lead to his psychological if not physical disintegration.

The U.S. government directed, as Craig Murray so eloquently documented, the London prosecutor James Lewis.  Lewis presented these directives to Baraitser.  Baraitser adopted them as her legal decision.  It was judicial pantomime. Lewis and the judge insisted they were not attempting to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press while they busily set up the legal framework to criminalize journalists and muzzle the press. And that is why the court worked so hard to mask the proceedings from the public, limiting access to the courtroom to a handful of observers and making it hard and at times impossible to access the trial online.  It was a tawdry show trial, not an example of the best of English jurisprudence but the Lubyanka.

Now, I know many of us here tonight would like to think of ourselves as radicals, maybe even revolutionaries.  But what we are demanding on the political spectrum is in fact conservative, it is the restoration of the rule of law.  It is simple and basic. It should not, in a functioning democracy, be incendiary.  But living in truth in a despotic system is the supreme act of defiance.  This truth terrifies those in power………..https://riseuptimes.org/2021/06/14/chris-hedges-julian-assange-and-the-collapse-of-the-rule-of-law/

June 15, 2021 Posted by | civil liberties, legal, UK | Leave a comment

Why Utah really does not need Bill Gates’ small nuclear reactors

What Bill Gates and co. would like us to forget is that even the these geewhiz new small reactors are still based on that old carbon-releasing fuel chain –

Yes, there is a need to clean up our power generation to curb climate change — the sooner the better. But Williams points to a recent study that determined the lifecycle emissions with nuclear — mining, milling, transporting and storing the fuel and building and decommissioning the plants — far exceed other alternative energy sources.

Cox is eager for a nuclear future. Utahns should tell him why we’re not, says Robert Gehrke,  https://www.sltrib.com/news/politics/2021/06/14/cox-is-eager-nuclear/ With safer, cleaner, cheaper alternatives, nuclear power may not make the most sense for Utah,   By Robert Gehrke , June 15, 2021,

In Wyoming last week, an announcement was made that could mark a resurgence in the long-stymied nuclear energy industry.

Officials announced plans to build a new 345 megawatt nuclear power plant in the state that could, at its peak, generate enough electricity for all of the households in Wyoming with room to spare.

What makes this announcement different is the array of power players behind the project. It’s a partnership between Warren Buffett-owned Pacificorp and Bill Gates-owned Terrapower that has the backing of President Joe Biden’s Energy Department and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.

It also has the support of Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, who praised the project as “a huge announcement” that “will have big implications for Utah in the future.”

“We look forward to similar partnerships in the years to come,” the governor said.

It’s not necessarily a new position. Cox’s predecessor, Gov. Gary Herbert, supported nuclear energy, as did his predecessor, Gov. Jon Huntsman.

But the Wyoming announcement ups the stakes dramatically, moving it from concept to something more concrete and forcing Utahns to confront critical questions nagging nuclear power: Is it safe? Is it cost-effective? And is it right for Utah?

Safety has always been the issue dogging nuclear power. Whether it’s Three Mile Island or Chernobyl or Fukushima, you surely have some nuclear disaster as a touchstone framing you perception of the energy.

The good news, according to Michael Simpson, chair of the Material Science and Engineering department at the University of Utah, is that the Natrium reactors that Terrapower hopes to build in Wyoming are generally safer than the old water-cooled reactors.

The Terrapower plant would be cooled with sodium, which transfers heat better than water, meaning it is less likely to melt down (like Chernobyl) or explode (like Fukushima).

Years ago, Simpson said, researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory did an experiment with a sodium-cooled reactor where they shut off the sodium coolant and instead of heating, the reactor slowly cooled and the reaction stopped.

Others dispute the safety claims, however. Earlier this year, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a report that said the sodium reactors are unproven and raise other safety issues — for example, the sodium can burn if exposed to air.

“When it comes to safety and security, sodium-cooled fast reactors and molten salt-fueled reactors are significantly worse than conventional light-water reactors,” said Edwin Lyman, director of nuclear power safety for UCS.

Then there is the waste issue. The proponents of the sodium reactors contend that they would burn more of the fuel, producing less waste. Again, UCS disputes that and argues the waste that would be generated would pose nuclear proliferation and possible terrorism risks.

Then there’s the economics of nuclear power.

Recently, South Carolina completely scrapped a water-cooled nuclear plant that had been in the works for years. Some $9 billion was squandered sparking lawsuits by investors and ratepayers demanding their money back.

Rocky Mountain Power’s own figures released in 2019 put the cost of nuclear power at $95 per megawatt hour, compared to around $25 to $30 per hour for solar. Some cost projections are lower, some are higher, but none put nuclear in the same ballpark as solar, raising the obvious concern that we’ll be on the hook for the added expense one way or another — either as ratepayers or as taxpayers subsidizing the more costly power source.

There’s also a larger question, according to Scott Williams, executive director of HEAL Utah, an environmental group that has opposed nuclear power: Do we need it?

Yes, there is a need to clean up our power generation to curb climate change — the sooner the better. But Williams points to a recent study that determined the lifecycle emissions with nuclear — mining, milling, transporting and storing the fuel and building and decommissioning the plants — far exceed other alternative energy sources.

But the TerraPower reactor isn’t expected to come online until 2028 and, as we saw in South Carolina, when it comes to building nuclear power plants, the projections often are unrealistically optimistic.

With battery technology improving and rooftop solar expanding and getting cheaper, there’s no reason to gamble on nuclear, Williams said, other than centralized generation benefits Rocky Mountain’s shareholders.

“It just doesn’t make sense,” he said. “If you’re looking at it objectively, to say it’s better to put a bunch of money into a technology that not only isn’t proven, but has been proven to fail time and time again.”

And we have to take into account our state’s history with nuclear energy that is nothing short of radioactive itself, from the miners and uranium mill workers sickened by their exposure to radiation, to the thousands upon thousands of Utah Downwinders stricken with various cancers as a result of nuclear weapons testing in Nevada, to the decade-long battle to beat back a nuclear waste storage facility in Utah’s desert.

So do we scrap the whole nuclear idea? Not necessarily.

But if Utah wants to venture down the nuclear energy path, these questions and a host of others have to be thoroughly researched and addressed. We’re not there yet and until we are, the cheerleading from the Biden administration and Gov. Cox feels premature.

June 15, 2021 Posted by | Small Modular Nuclear Reactors, USA | Leave a comment

NATO’s hostility to the Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty is in conflict with its true goal – to become a non-nuclear alliance .

NATO’s Nuclear Two-Step, An alliance that avows nuclear disarmament should not cling so dangerously to its weapons. https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2021/06/natos-nuclear-two-step/174703/  BY RICHARD LENNAN, EFORMER UN  DISARMAMENT OFFICIAL, JUNE 14, 2021 

NATO wants to become a non-nuclear alliance. That sentence might surprise many, but it’s true: when the organization achieves its long-standing goal of full implementation of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, its members will no longer possess nuclear weapons.

Given the growing risks, it would be natural for NATO to be reinvigorating and accelerating its efforts on nuclear disarmament. Perversely, however, the alliance has been moving in the opposite direction.

Despite NPT commitments to work to reduce stockpiles and diminish the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines, the three nuclear-armed NATO members are all improving their nuclear arsenals. NATO rhetoric in favor of nuclear weapons is hardening, and the alliance is “circling the wagons” around nuclear deterrence. Although the North Atlantic Treaty makes no mention of nuclear weapons, NATO was officially dubbed a “nuclear alliance” in the 2010 Strategic Concept and this deliberate embedding of nuclear weapons in the alliance’s identity has steadily continued.

Political support by individual NATO members for retaining NATO’s nuclear weapons capability is increasingly seen as a test of loyalty and unity; discussion of alternatives is discouraged, even punished. Bizarrely, the NATO 2030 Reflection Group report recommended that “NATO should better communicate on the key role of its nuclear deterrence policy… so as to effectively counter hostile efforts to undermine this vital policy.” An uninitiated observer could be forgiven for thinking that NATO’s raison d’être is not “to safeguard the freedom, common heritage and civilization” of its members, but rather to defend and protect their right to use weapons of mass destruction.

When much of the world is strengthening the norm against nuclear weapons by joining the 2017 Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, or TPNW, NATO is undermining its own security by encouraging proliferation of nuclear weapons, by provoking arms races with nuclear-armed rivals, and by constraining the ability of alliance members to pursue effective steps towards nuclear disarmament.

Nowhere is the harmful effect of this trend clearer than in NATO’s counterproductive hostility to the TPNW. The treaty’s objective is also one professed by NATO: ending the nuclear weapons threat by eliminating nuclear weapons. Any differences therefore come down to the means by which this objective is to be achieved. Yet NATO has reacted to the TPNW as if it were some kind of dangerous assault on its core values, if not a threat to its very existence.

The reasons given for NATO’s opposition have been described by Hans Blix as “strained” and by former Canadian foreign minister Lloyd Axworthy as “phoney baloney”. There is no legal reason that NATO allies cannot join the TPNW, and NATO’s obsessive focus on the treaty has prevented any consideration of what it can offer the alliance.

By supporting and joining the the treaty, individual NATO states can help to build a robust new global norm against nuclear weapons, strengthening barriers against proliferation, diminishing pressure for nuclear arms races, and reducing the overall reliance of NATO on nuclear weapons, opening up pathways for progress on disarmament. They will also demonstrate their commitment to fully discharging their disarmament obligations under the earlier Non-Proliferation Treaty, easing tensions among its signatories. 

Conversely, the approach of blanket dismissal of and hostile non-engagement with the TPNW will only constrain NATO’s options, alienate potential partners, and push the alliance’s nuclear disarmament goal further out of reach. 

Outside the alliance’s current leadership, there is growing support within a number of member states for joining the TPNW. A range of former leaders, including NATO secretaries general and defense and foreign ministers, have called on NATO states to join. Parliaments in NATO states have passed motions in support of the treaty; cities across the alliance have called on their governments to join it. Opinion polls in many NATO states consistently support, by a clear margin, accession to the treaty.

NATO as a non-nuclear alliance would be something to celebrate. Yet rather than openly aspiring to such status, and discussing how it might look and function, the alliance seems to be actively avoiding – even suppressing – any consideration of the possibility. This is a dangerously counterproductive and shortsighted approach. 

It is time for NATO members to shake off the restrictions of reactive, short-term thinking about nuclear weapons, and instead to re-embrace the vision of nuclear disarmament as a preventative tool for shaping NATO’s security environment. While total elimination of nuclear weapons may remain a distant goal, envisioning and planning for NATO as a non-nuclear alliance should begin now. Positive and constructive engagement with the TPNW, including joining the treaty for those NATO members willing and ready to do so, would be a logical place to start. 

Richard Lennane is a former Australian diplomat and UN disarmament official. He is a principal co-author of A Non-Nuclear Alliance: Why NATO Members Should Join the UN Ban on Nuclear Weapons, published on 10 June 2021 by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).   

June 15, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

50 Years After Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg Reveals U.S. Weighed 1958 Nuclear Strike on China over Taiwan,

50 Years After Pentagon Papers, Ellsberg Reveals U.S. Weighed 1958 Nuclear Strike on China over Taiwan, Democracy Now, JUNE 14, 2021,

As President Biden meets with leaders of NATO countries, where he is expected to continue stepping up rhetoric against China and Russia ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin this Wednesday in Geneva, we speak with famed Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg about why he recently released another classified document showing that U.S. military planners in 1958 pushed for nuclear strikes on China to protect Taiwan from an invasion by communist forces.

The top-secret study revealed the U.S. military pressed then-President Dwight Eisenhower to prepare a nuclear first strike against mainland China during the Taiwan Strait crisis of 1958. Taiwan “could really only be defended, if at all, by the U.S. initiating nuclear war against China,” says Ellsberg. The document also shows that U.S. military planners were ready to accept the risk that the Soviet Union would launch its own nuclear retaliation, including against Japan. Although Ellsberg’s online release of the document was publicized in May, he reveals that he shared the same information with Japan decades earlier. “I had given the entire study to the Japanese Diet,” Ellsberg says.


Transcript…………………..

https://www.democracynow.org/2021/6/14/daniel_ellsberg_leak_us_nuclear_plans

June 15, 2021 Posted by | history, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment

The military-industrial-media complex renders the American populus ill-informed in matters regarding war .

[and – it’s the same i Australia C.M.]

“How real is all this influence? Does the military-industrial-media complex (MIMC) actually affect the information we receive and our perception of war?”

The military-industrial-media complex renders the American populus ill-informed in matters regarding war — Rise Up Times


“The media has been a major player in ‘hyping up’ the sense of danger and need for military action in many situations.”  https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/34005311/posts/3390423975

By HELEN JOHNSON  The Miscellany News, Vassar College  May 20, 2021

This is the fifth article in a five-part series about the military-industrial-media complex. The fourth article,“The (im)proper meshing of the corporate media and the military-industrial complex,” can be found here.
I have now examined the military-industrial complex (MIC) and the corporate media each individually; explained how the MIC has expanded to include not only the arms makers, Congress and the military, but also oil companies, service and equipment providers, surveillance and technology companies and think tanks; examined how the consolidation of corporate power within the media industry has resulted in a handful of companies controlling 90 percent of our media, and how these huge corporations hold incredible political power, not just to influence politicians and legislation directly, but to subtly shape entire ideologies. In this installment, I illustrated how the corporate media is linked in many ways to the MIC, including through outright ownership, interlocking directorates, revolving doors and overreliance on the government and the military for information and access to the battlefield during war.

But how real is all this influence? Does the military-industrial-media complex (MIMC) actually affect the information we receive and our perception of war? In this article I’ll explain that yes, because of its enormous reach, the extreme consolidation of its power and its entanglement with the gigantic machine that is the MIC, the media today has failed to properly inform the American citizenry on matters concerning war. The MIMC manufactures pro-military opinion among the public; suppresses information relevant to military activities; provides a sanitized coverage of war; fails to investigate, criticize, or thoroughly debate issues of military involvement; too easily bends to pressure from government and military officials and sometimes even spreads outright lies and false information.

This has resulted in an American populus that, in general terms, is ill-informed, uneducated and misled in matters regarding military involvement, as well as overly militaristic and pro-war. Americans are thus unable to hold their government accountable for unnecessary or inappropriate use of military force, and are complicit in the perpetuation of American imperialism, colossal defense budgets that strip the country of severely lacking social programs and never-ending wars that kill and destroy while a handful of corporations reap immense profits.

The media has been a major player in ‘hyping up’ the sense of danger and need for military action in many situations. Douglas Kellner—American academic and sociologist—explains in his bookMedia Spectacle and the Crisis of Democracy: Terrorism, War and Election Battles, how Sept. 11 was a prime example of the media spreading hysteria and fear among an already panicked and traumatized nation. He notes how the media obsessively focused on terrorism, possible threats and retaliation in the weeks and months after Sept. 11. It also handed a megaphone to extremism and did little to weed out the potentially dangerous or incorrect information being spread on its platforms.

Spreading hysteria and panic throughout the population had two effects: First, it made Americans feel heavily reliant on the government for protection and, according to Kellner, made any disagreement with or questioning of the Bush administration seem “unpatriotic and even treasonous.” Second, it was extremely profitable for the media companies themselves; with millions of eyes glued to TVs, newspapers and other media platforms, media consumption spiked and profits went up. Thus, the corporate media and the military-industrial complex both benefited from this collaboration……………

An important note here is that this type of behavior is by no means limited to right-wing or conservative news outlets. In its analysis, FAIR cited The New York Times, The Hill, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post—in addition to Fox News—as all contributing to this culture of hysteria. A separate FAIR article’s headline directs a pointed accusation at CNN: “CNN’s Iran Fearmongering Would Make More Sense Coming Directly From Pentagon.” No mainstream media outlet is innocent of pro-war fear mongering.

The media has also suppressed or downplayed information relevant to military activity on multiple occasions. For example, although the media did everything in their power to vilify Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the lead-up to and during the Iraq war, they completely ignored how the United States backed Hussein in the past. The United States played an integral role in Hussein’s rise to power and actively supported Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War—including going along with Hussein’s use of chemical weapons. However, this seemed to be irrelevant once Bush Jr. had made up his mind to invade Iraq.

Another instance of the U.S. media suppressing or failing to report information came during the middle of the Iraq War in 2004. On Jun. 28, 2004, the United States transferred sovereignty of Iraq in a secret ceremony, immediately after which Paul Bremer—who had been seen by Iraqis as a dictator—left the country. Bremer had heavily controlled Iraqi politics and privatized a huge portion of the economy, including handing out contracts to American firms like Halliburton. However, Bremer’s replacement wasn’t much better. The U.S. chose Ayad Allawi, who had ties to the CIA, to serve as interim prime minister until elections could be held, and the U.S. handpicked the rest of the Iraqi council as well. The two months following the transfer of power saw escalated violence and a continuation of the chaos that had been produced by Bremer.

But watching the news in the United States, you would think “we had turned a corner,” as President Bush repeated over and over again. If the media had thoroughly reported on the situation in Iraq, it could have led to a nationwide understanding that the war was doing more harm than good and serving the interests of huge corporations at the expense of American and Iraqi lives. A truly informed citizenry could have put public pressure on the Bush administration to end the war, or an electorate dissatisfied with the situation could have voted him out of office. Instead, it would be seven more years before the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Suppressing or downplaying information isn’t the only way the mainstream media—in complicity with the MIC—has warped our understanding of war. The media also produces an extremely sanitized coverage of war: it avoids printing and broadcasting images of death and destruction; sidesteps discussions of American casualties and almost entirely refuses to mention casualties on the other side (which are usually much higher); and uses euphemisms like “collateral damage” and “air campaign” that hold very different connotations from what these phrases actually mean—i.e., innocent civilian death and continuous bombing.

Kellner notes that during the Iraq war, “Entire networks like Fox and the NBC cable networks provided little but propaganda and jingoism, as did for the most part CNN. All of the cable networks, as well as the big three U.S. broadcasting networks, tended to provide highly sanitized views of the war, rarely showing Iraqi casualties, thus producing a view of the war significantly different than that shown in other parts of the world.”……………….

Not only do reporters and news anchors oftentimes receive direct instructions from higher-ups on what to and what not to say, but there is also careful screening of experts and guests brought onto the TV networks during wartime. And, as noted in my previous article, many of these “experts” are former generals and Pentagon officials, whose talking points have been carefully scripted and who have been trained on how to speak about matters of war in order to paint the U.S. military and government in the best possible light.

The U.S. corporate media has also chronically failed to properly investigate, criticize and debate issues of war and military involvement. It tends to take the current administration’s account of the situation as fact, and during times of war or military tension, it is branded unpatriotic to criticize the government. Although there are many examples of the media’s failure to investigate and report the truth when it comes to war, the most egregious case was in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had planned from day one of their administration to invade Iraq. As explained in this article, Bush and Cheney—as well as Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld and others in and around the Bush administration—were either directly a part of or tangentially related to the neoconservative think tank PNAC, which was advocating for a regime change in Iraq as early as 1998. The fact that Bush planned to invade Iraq from the get-go has been confirmed by multiple officials close to the administration.

From the immediate aftermath of Sept. 11 up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration waged a propaganda war to convince the nation that Saddam Hussein was linked to Al Qaeda and that he possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD). These claims turned out to be false. Not only did Saddam Hussein have nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks, but Iraq was not in possession of WMD nor were they in the process of making any.

Even so, these allegations were widely circulated in the mainstream media. The nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity documented a total of 935 false statements made by top administration officials regarding the threat from Iraq before the war, and the majority of these assertions “were broadcast widely by U.S. media with little or no investigation of their credibility, and few rebuttals from war skeptics or dissenters.”

Not only did the media outlets completely fail to properly investigate these claims before broadcasting them to the nation—even The Washington Post and The New York Times admitted that they had uncritically published information fed to them by the Bush administration—but they continued to circulate the misinformation long after it had been disproven. Even after ABC, NBC and The Washington Post reported that the claims were false, Fox Television and other U.S. cable networks continued to play the stories about Iraq’s alleged connection with Al Qaeda and supposedly threatening weapons program.

The Bush administration had accomplished its goal: to convince enough of the American population, still reeling and traumatized from Sept. 11, that Saddam Hussein was dangerous—so that they could have their war. The failure on the part of the corporate media to investigate and criticize the Bush administration’s claims, and the continued circulation of these claims even after they were proven false, would lead to a disastrous eight-year long conflict resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

There are many, many more instances of skewed reporting when it comes to war and military involvement. Not all of these instances involve outright lying to the American public or regurgitating government pro-war propaganda; many of the ways in which the corporate media influences our perception of war are small and relatively unnoticeable……….. more https://riseuptimes.org/2021/06/12/the-military-industrial-media-complex-renders-the-american-populus-ill-informed-in-matters-regarding-war/

June 14, 2021 Posted by | media, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The world’s narrow escape from nuclear war

The world’s narrow escape from nuclear war  https://www.bigissue.com/culture/books/the-worlds-narrow-escape-from-nuclear-war/

Author Serhii Plokhy reflects on the world’s closest shave with nuclear war in 1962, and that fact that all that really saved us was ‘plain dumb luck.’    I
n October 1962 the world experienced the most dangerous crisis in its history. As the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev ordered Soviet nuclear armed missiles to be placed in Cuba to protect the island from possible American invasion, and redress the imbalance in the missile power between the United States and his country, US President John F Kennedy declared the naval blockade of Cuba. In the tense days and weeks that followed that decision, Kennedy and Khrushchev managed to avoid nuclear confrontation thanks to the one feature they shared – the fear of nuclear war.


Numerous books have been written on the history of the crisis since its resolution. Almost all of them are focused on the decision-making process in Kennedy’s White House. What is often lost in that analysis is the understanding that Kennedy and Khrushchev had limited control over the actions of their military and more than once lost control over the situation on the ground, on the seas and in the sky.

On a number of occasions, the key decision on whether to start a shooting war that could eventually lead to the nuclear exchange lay not with them, but with their commanders in the theatre. It is not for nothing that a former US secretary of state, Dean Acheson, suggested that John Kennedy avoided war by “plain dumb luck”.

Few events in the history of the Cuban Missile Crisis demonstrate the degree of the danger caused by the actions of the individual commanders, and the importance of the “dumb luck,” in the avoidance of the nuclear war than the drama which played out in the late hours of October 27 and early morning of October 28 1962 when, in the Sargasso Sea, four Soviet nuclear-armed submarines approached the US quarantine line.1962, and that fact that all that really saved us was ‘plain dumb luck.’

June 14, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, history, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Romania’s dilemma – nuclear power or clean energy

Nuclear vs renewable, the debate dividing Romania’s green transition, euronews. By Hans von der Brelie  11/06/2021 ”………………..Member States like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have plans to invest heavily in nuclear energy. But Austrian and German officials argue nuclear energy is not a way out of the climate crisis. They insist renewables are the way forward…….Member States like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have plans to invest heavily in nuclear energy. But Austrian and German officials argue nuclear energy is not a way out of the climate crisis. They insist renewables are the way forward.

……Romania now wants to build two more reactors there and upgrade the existing ones. That’s an investment of around six billion euros, according to Teodor Chirica, the chairman of the board and former President of FORATOM, a Brussels-based pro-nuclear organisation.

However, the European Commission is shortly expected to label nuclear energy as green or not, thereby putting future investments into the industry in question.

… Teodor Chirica   believes that if people don’t accept nuclear energy as a green one, then nuclear won’t have the same access to financing as other competitors. That in turn will “affect the economic part” of the project to increase the nuclear plants’ capacities.

The Anti-Nuclear movement

Lavinia Andrei is the President of Terra Mileniul III, a known figure within Romania’s still small anti-nuclear movement. She tells us that using public funds to invest in nuclear energy will have a negative impact on the development of renewables.

“If you allocate this money for nuclear power, that means that you disadvantage another sector, like renewables. The transport company of energy said that the capacity of the network is not enough for the nuclear power plant and for the renewables”, she explains.

Climate change and nuclear energy

There is one other problem. Climate change means that rivers have less water, water which is needed to cool nuclear plants. Even the Danube has been affected by this. Cernavoda had to close down once already in summer and such scenarios could happen more often in the future……….

Sorin Zamfir is the maintenance supervisor at the ENEL wind park in Dobrogea. He says that “harnessing wind energy implies using a new, modern, high-end technology”. He thinks it’s “very important to bring this kind of new technology to the local community”. It’s something that he feels brings them closer to Europe, “putting them on the map”.

ENEL tells us that for wind energy to fully develop, “the most important factor is the building of new transmission lines which are needed to bring the electricity from the wind/solar power plants to the customers”. A problem at the moment is that “the development speed of wind projects is much higher compared to the development of new transmission lines” and that represents a huge challenge to renewable energies.

Room for development

There is no doubt that Romania’s wind energy potential is not yet fully exploited. Many more turbines could be installed. Sorin believes that wind parks could expand and produce all of Romania’s energy needs.

Romania is also a sunny place, solar power could play a bigger role in the country’s future energy mix. Andrei Bucur is an elected board member of Cooperativa de Energie, Romania’s first 100 percent green energy supplier. The small cooperative has ambitious plans.

Bucur points out that solar energy has huge potential in Romania. He sees the 1.5 million square meters of warehouse roofs as a perfect place for solar panel installation………..

The European Commission must stay neutral regarding the energy sources member states choose to use, but labelling nuclear green or not will have a huge impact on investment decisions for years to come. https://www.euronews.com/2021/06/11/nuclear-vs-renewable-the-debate-dividing-romania-s-green-transition

June 14, 2021 Posted by | EUROPE, renewable | Leave a comment

Nuclear weapons numbers building up again.

Nuclear arms decline stalls as nations modernise arsenals, Johannes LEDELYahoo News, 14 June 2021, ·As nuclear nations commit to renewing and sometimes expanding their arsenals, a decline seen since the early 1990s seems to have stalled, with some signs of a numerical increase, researchers said Monday

“The reduction of nuclear arsenals that we have gotten used to since the end of the Cold War appears to be levelling out,” Hans Kristensen, associate senior fellow at SIPRI’s Nuclear Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-proliferation Programme, told AFP.

The amount of nukes among the nine nuclear-armed states — the US, Russia, the UK, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — totalled 13,080 at the start of 2021, a slight decrease from 13,400 a year earlier, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimated.

However, this includes retired warheads waiting to be dismantled, and without them the combined military stockpile of nuclear arms rose from 9,380 to 9,620.

Meanwhile, the number of nuclear weapons deployed with operational forces increased from 3,720 to 3,825, the report said.

Of these, some 2,000 were kept in a “kept in a state of high operational alert,” meaning for launch in a matter of minutes.

“We’re seeing very significant nuclear modernisation programmes all around the world and in all the nuclear weapons states,” Kristensen said.

He added that nuclear states also seem to be raising “the importance they attribute to the nuclear weapons in their military strategies.”

This change can be observed in both Russia and the United States, which together possess over 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons, Kristensen said, stressing it was too early to say if the new US administration under President Joe Biden would deviate from the strategy under his predecessor Donald Trump.

I think that the Biden administration is signalling quite clearly that it is going to continue the overwhelming main thrust of the nuclear modernisation programme that was underway during the Trump years,” the researcher said, noting the programme was started under Barack Obama………..

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) this month reported that nuclear nations increased spending on their arsenals by $1.4 billion (1.2 billon euros) to $72 billion in 2020, even as the pandemic raged………..https://au.news.yahoo.com/nuclear-arms-decline-stalls-nations-183906780.html

June 14, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, weapons and war | Leave a comment

‘Unsustainable, unmanageable, unacceptable and unsuitable’ – both Bradwelll and Sizewell nuclear projects

‘Unsustainable, unmanageable, unacceptable and unsuitable’. Nuclear waste expert urges Government to ditch both Bradwell B and Sizewell C projects now. 8 June 21,

An international expert on radioactive waste management and sustainable development has written to the Sizewell C Examining Authority declaring that both Bradwell B and Sizewell C should be abandoned as a whole now to avoid falling victims to catastrophic impacts of climate change later.

Andrew Blowers OBE, Chair of the Blackwater Against New Nuclear Group (BANNG), Professor of Social Sciences at the Open University and formerly a member of various Government scientific advisory bodies on nuclear waste, insists that far from being ‘potentially suitable’ sites, as the Government declared a decade ago, Bradwell and Sizewell are ‘totally unsuitable’ for the deployment of nuclear reactors and highly radioactive spent fuel stores which will remain on site until the latter half of the next century.

Professor Blowers states: ‘There is the possibility of calamitous risks being passed on to generations in the far future. This may be acceptable to the developers and Government, in which case they should say so. It is not acceptable to those, like me, who oppose this development’.

Both Bradwell and Sizewell are fragile, low-lying coastal sites vulnerable to inundation and will be increasingly exposed to the impacts of climate change in the form of sea-level rise, storm surges and coastal processes. Both are situated in areas of considerable environmental sensitivity, which will be severely compromised by nuclear development.

In terms of their sheer scale and location, the two power stations would be inappropriate, gross intrusions into the landscape with devastating impacts on habitats, wetlands and the marine environment. These impacts may be individually tackled by adaptation, mitigation or compensation. But, Professor Blowers goes on, ‘such a piecemeal approach is not acceptable in so far as it may lead to an outcome that is wholly unacceptable. That is why I would claim that both projects must be judged as a whole’.

It is the impact of climate change that provides the most compelling reason for abandoning these proposals now. Even in the unlikely event of global warming of 20C being achieved, there will still be global sea-level rise of around a metre by 2100. If present warming trends continue, a rise of 2m. and more is conceivable. It is questionable whether the proposed hard defences will be proof against inundation, storm surges and coastal processes in deteriorating circumstances. In any case, in conditions of increasing uncertainty, it must be questioned whether such colossal infrastructures should be developed on such inappropriate sites on the vulnerable East Anglian shores……

In conclusion, Professor Blowers writes: ‘the proposal for new nuclear power stations at Bradwell and Sizewell must be rejected as a whole on the grounds of their immense scale and environmental impact on sites that will become unsustainable, unmanageable, unacceptable and unsuitable’.

June 14, 2021 Posted by | environment, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear energy – Nuclear weapons – the inseparable link


Nuclear energy – Nuclear weapons – the inseparable link, Jonathon Porritt, 4 June 21 

whether we’re talking big reactors or small reactors, fission or fusion. The simple truth is this: we should see nuclear as another 20th century technology, with an ever-diminishing role through into the 21st century, incapable of overcoming its inherent problems of cost, construction delay, nuclear waste, decommissioning, security (both physical and cyber), let alone the small but still highly material risk of catastrophic accidents like Chernobyl and Fukushima. My ‘Net Zero Without Nuclear’ report goes into all these inherent problems in some detail.

So why are the UK’s politicians (in all three major parties) still in thrall to this superannuated technology? It’s here we have to go back to Amchitka! Some environmentalists may still be taken aback to discover that the Government’s principal case for nuclear power in the UK today is driven by the need to maintain the UK’s nuclear weapons capability – to ensure a ‘talent pool’ of nuclear engineers and to support a supply chain of engineering companies capable of providing component parts for the nuclear industry, both civilian and military. The indefatigable work of Andy Stirling and Phil Johnston at Sussex University’s Science Policy Research Unit has established the depth and intensity of these interdependencies, demonstrating how the UK’s military industrial base would become unaffordable in the absence of a nuclear energy programme.

”……….nuclear power plays no part in Greenpeace’s modelling of a rapid transition to a Net Zero carbon world. It’s been very supportive of my new report, ‘Net Zero Without Nuclear’.

I wrote this report partly because the nuclear industry itself is in full-on propaganda mode, and partly because that small caucus of pro-nuclear greens (that’s existed for as long as I can remember) seems to be winning new supporters.

And I can see why. The Net Zero journey we’re now starting out on for real (at long last!) is by far the most daunting challenge that humankind has ever faced. Writing in the Los Angeles Review of Books in June 2019, author and Army veteran Roy Scranton put it like this:

‘Climate change is bigger than the New Deal, bigger than the Marshall Plan, bigger than World War II, bigger than racism, sexism, inequality, slavery, the Holocaust, the end of nature, the Sixth Extinction, famine, war, and plague all put together, because the chaos it’s bringing is going to supercharge every other problem. Successfully meeting this crisis would require an abrupt, traumatic revolution in global human society; failing to meet it will be even worse.’

Not many people see it like that – as yet. But more and more will, as signals of that kind of chaos start to multiply. And we already know that the kind of radical decarbonisation on which our future depends is going to be incredibly hard. So why should we reject a potentially powerful contribution to that decarbonisation challenge?

………….. there is no longer any doubt about the viability of that [renewables] alternative. In 2020, Stanford University issued a collection of 56 peer-reviewed journal articles, from 18 independent research groups, supporting the idea that all the energy required for electricity, transport, heating and cooling, and all industrial purposes, can be supplied reliably with 100% (or near 100%) renewable energy.[i] The solutions involve transitioning ASAP to 100% renewable wind – water – solar (WWS), efficiency and storage.

The transition is already happening. To date, 11 countries have reached or exceeded 100% renewable electricity. And a further 12 countries are intent on reaching that threshold by 2030. In the UK, the Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology says we can reach 100% renewable electricity by 2032. Last year, we crossed the 40% threshold.

Continue reading

June 12, 2021 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A nuclear plant in a volcano zone? What could possibly go wrong, Mr Gates? 

A nuclear power plant, built in partnership with two of the world’s most notorious egoists with funding from questionable sources, using technology developed in tandem with the Chinese, and sited on one of the most active seismic systems on the planet. What could possibly go wrong?  

A nuclear plant in a volcano zone? What could possibly go wrong, Mr Gates?  ht tps://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/a-nuclear-plant-in-a-volcano-zone-what-could-possibly-go-wrong-mr-gates/ By Kate Dunlop June 11, 2021  NOT content with being the biggest private landowner in the US, blotting out the sun and jabbing the world, Bill Gates is getting over his divorce by building a ‘next-generation’ nuclear power plant in Wyoming. 

The Republican state’s governor Mark Gordon announced the deal between Gates’s TerraPower Company, PacifiCorp owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and the US government on June 2.

He said the multi-billion-dollar project, called ‘Natrium’, is to be constructed on the site of a ‘soon-to-be-retired coal-fired plant over the next several years’. TerraPower President Chris Levesque said costs would be split evenly between government and the two billionaires.

No information has been published about the contractual elements of the deal or the likely rate of return to Messrs Gates and Buffett but this is a ‘commercial not a charitable’ effort.

According to the press release, the nuclear plant will feature a 345-megawatt sodium-cooled fast reactor with a molten salt-based energy storage system, which will produce enough power for 250,000 homes. New storage technology will be able to boost output to 500 megawatts of power for about five and a half hours, equivalent to the energy needed to power 400,000 homes.

Wyoming is both a leading coal mining and uranium mining state, and Governor Gordon promised that the development did not signal any lack of commitment to fossil fuels or to making the state ‘carbon negative’.

He said, ‘I am not going to abandon any of our fossil fuel industry – it is absolutely essential to our state and one of the things that we believe very strongly is our fastest and clearest course to being carbon negative. Nuclear power is clearly a part of my all-of-the-above strategy for energy.’

Last month Gates’s TerraPower signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ with the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) which they called ‘the next step towards developing a prototype’.

Wyoming is a glorious, sparsely populated state of 97,000 square miles and 580,000 people. It is also home to a ‘hyperactive volcanic region’, the 3,472-square-mile Yellowstone National Park.

At the park’s centre lies a bubbling caldera that is the scar of a supervolcano eruption 640,000 years ago. The Norris Geyser Basin to the northwest of the caldera has more than 500 hydrothermal features, with dynamic geysers and pools that often change from day to day, but a much larger transformation has been taking place as well. For more than two decades, an area larger than Chicago centred near the basin has been inflating and deflating by several inches in erratic bursts.

Daniel Dzurisin, a research geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Cascades Volcano Observatory, and a co-author of new research published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, explains why the land is so unstable.

To be clear, the research does not indicate that the supervolcano that created Yellowstone’s caldera is any more likely to erupt now. Instead, researchers speculate that the changes below Norris may mean an increased chance of hydrothermal explosions taking place throughout the basin.

In March 2014, a magnitude 4.9 earthquake rocked Norris Geyser Basin. The ground fluctuated between sinking and rising until early in 2019, when it began to subside. The basin today is five inches higher than it was in 2000.

Researchers suspect that magma-derived fluids are sitting just beneath the entire surface of the region. Hydrothermal craters caused by geologic pressure cookers of boiling water may violently explode on to  the surface, an event that is all but impossible to forecast.

In the Northwest, on the borders of Yellowstone, the Teton Mountain Range rises along the Teton Fault Line which forms part of one of the most seismically active areas in the Intermountain US. The entire area is prone to storms and considerable earthquakes.

These facts will increase the many challenges of delivering a safe nuclear power plant, as well as protecting it from hackers, ‘green activists’, and domestic or foreign terrorists.

An example that Gates and Buffett could learn from happened in Japan on March 11, 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami caused a severe nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The risk of tsunami had been engineered into the plant design but underestimated the potential flood risk. Three of the six reactors sustained severe core damage and released hydrogen and radioactive materials. Explosion of the released hydrogen damaged the reactor buildings and impeded onsite emergency response efforts.

None of this data prevents the building of a nuclear power plant in Wyoming but it highlights the requirement for authentic public consultation, absolute transparency, and perhaps, humility in the face of nature – behaviours that have not hitherto been associated with the global activities of either Gates or Buffett.

A nuclear power plant, built in partnership with two of the world’s most notorious egoists with funding from questionable sources, using technology developed in tandem with the Chinese, and sited on one of the most active seismic systems on the planet. What could possibly go wrong?  

June 12, 2021 Posted by | safety, USA | Leave a comment

NFLA report on UK plutonium policy amid new concerns over plutonium dumped in the Irish Sea

 

   

NFLA publishes report on UK plutonium policy amid new concerns over plutonium remobilisation in the Irish Sea     https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/nfla-report-uk-plutonium-policy-concerns-plutonium-remobilisation-irish-sea/

The UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today on its website an expert overview of national plutonium policy and recent concerns over the potential for plutonium remobilisation in the Irish Sea. (1)

The report was developed by the NFLA Policy Advisor, Pete Roche, and was first published on the website ‘No2nuclearpower.org.uk’. (2) Recent research on this area was also presented by Pete to the most recent meetings of the NFLA English Forum and NFLA All Ireland Sustainable Energy Forum. (3)

The report notes that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) expects the Magnox Reprocessing Plant at Sellafield to close this year (2021) – one year later than previously planned. This follows on from the closure of the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) in November 2018. Reprocessing, which NFLA has always argued has been completely unnecessary, is the chemical separation of plutonium and unused uranium from spent nuclear waste fuel.

When reprocessing ends there will be around 140 tonnes of separated civil plutonium stored at Sellafield – the world’s largest stockpile. Since 2008, the NDA has been discussing how to deal with this embarrassment, given that it is highly toxic, poses a permanent risk of proliferation, and will cost taxpayers around £73 million a year to store for the next century. (3) 13 years later, after much dithering, the UK Government has failed to make any decisions, but still appears to favour the re-use option, which would probably involve transporting weapons-useable plutonium or Mixed Oxide Fuel (MoX) fuel to reactor sites, such as Hinkley Point C and Sizewell B (and C if it is ever built) with an armed escort.

The report looks at this sorry saga and the options for dealing with this stockpile. NFLA believe that the plutonium should be immobilised and stored safely. NDA is continuing to investigate how immobilisation and reuse might be implemented, arguing that using the material as MOX fuel in light water reactors is the most mature option from a technical and licensing perspective. The UK government says it can only make a decision when it can be underpinned with sufficient evidence.

When reprocessing ends there will be around 140 tonnes of separated civil plutonium stored at Sellafield – the world’s largest stockpile. Since 2008, the NDA has been discussing how to deal with this embarrassment, given that it is highly toxic, poses a permanent risk of proliferation, and will cost taxpayers around £73 million a year to store for the next century. (3) 13 years later, after much dithering, the UK Government has failed to make any decisions, but still appears to favour the re-use option, which would probably involve transporting weapons-useable plutonium or Mixed Oxide Fuel (MoX) fuel to reactor sites, such as Hinkley Point C and Sizewell B (and C if it is ever built) with an armed escort.

The report looks at this sorry saga and the options for dealing with this stockpile. NFLA believe that the plutonium should be immobilised and stored safely. NDA is continuing to investigate how immobilisation and reuse might be implemented, arguing that using the material as MOX fuel in light water reactors is the most mature option from a technical and licensing perspective. The UK government says it can only make a decision when it can be underpinned with sufficient evidence.

The NFLA report also highlights its concerns that plutonium particles dumped in the Irish Sea from Sellafield could remobilise. Low-level aqueous radioactive waste has been discharged from the Sellafield site into the Irish Sea for more than 50 years.

Unfortunately, it has since emerged that a proportion of such sediment associated radioactivity has remobilised, and is being actively transported around the Irish Sea, while the remainder is temporarily “sequestered” in the seabed but subject to any future disturbance mechanisms such as storm, wave and seismic activity. In addition, a proportion of dissolved nuclides did not necessarily remain dissolved in liquid form in the water column, but it could become incorporated into organic particles and deposited into sedimentary environments where they could be temporarily sequestered, but subsequently recycled back into the environment by dredging, trawling storm and seismic activity.

For NFLA, there remains real concern that this ‘Sellafield Mudpatch’ in the Irish Sea could be disturbed if either a deep-underground coal mine is developed off the coast of Cumbria, or similarly if a deep-underground radioactive waste repository is built under the Irish Sea again off the Cumbrian coast. It calls for the NDA and Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) to study these issues urgently before any such development is ever considered to be developed.

FLA Steering Committee Chair Councillor David Blackburn said:

“This report on the NFLA policy outlines one of the most embarrassing and perplexing elements of UK nuclear policy – what to do with its world record plutonium stockpile. The NFLA report highlights there are no easy answers, but delays on pursuing sensible immobilisation options have cost money and lead to further storage challenge. This report also highlights ongoing scientific and environmental alarm about building deep-underground facilities off the Cumbria coast that could remobilise plutonium and other dangerous particles that lie on the Irish Sea. Real caution and detailed research are required before any decisions are made. I urge councillors and council waste management officers to reads this important report.”

Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 07771 930196.

June 12, 2021 Posted by | oceans, technology, UK | Leave a comment

Pacific Ocean was once a garbage dump for nuclear waste, now Japan’s doing it again

Pacific Ocean was once a garbage dump for nuclear waste, now Japan’s doing it again. CGTN, Zeng Ziyi  11 June 21, ”………… Japan’s plan, which looked to dilute the contaminated water and pump them into the Pacific Ocean, drew swift condemnations from neighboring countries and environmental organizations. Kazue Suzuki, an energy campaigner at Greenpeace Japan, said the government’s decision has discounted radiation risks and looked over the fact that enough storage space is available in Fukushima and surrounding districts.

“Rather than using the best available technology to minimize radiation hazards by storing and processing the water over the long term, they have opted for the cheapest option, dumping the water into the Pacific Ocean,” Suzuki said.

In March, a panel of UN experts said that Japan’s nuclear wastewater poses major environmental as well as human rights risks, and any decision to discharge it into the Pacific Ocean cannot be an “acceptable solution.” The panel also pointed out that there’s a lack of meaningful public participation in the decision-making process, especially the populations and communities who are most affected.

The Japanese government insists that radioactive elements in the water will be treated and diluted to safe levels before releasing. So far, this plan has received support from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which points out that other countries have done so in the past. Besides, Japan’s allies, including the U.S., have also back Tokyo’s decision.

The assurance buys little confidence among Pacific nations, whose economies depend heavily on the environment of the ocean. In a statement rebuking Japan’s decision, the Republic of Marshall Islands government pointed out that its entire nation consists of coastal communities whose primary food source comes from surrounding marine life.

Sheila Jack Babauta, House member of the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, said the Pacific Ocean already faces major threats such as unregulated commercial fishing and the activities of the U.S. military, which have severely damaged the environment of the ocean.”We are part of the Pacific, we are intimately connected to the ocean, and therefore, we must be included in all decisions that impact ocean health, ocean sustainability, and ocean recovery,” Babauta told CGTN.

“The dumping of nuclear waste is extremely irresponsible and disrespectful to our Pacific Ocean.”Since the dawn of the nuclear age, people of the Pacific island countries have suffered the horrific consequences of nuclear experiments carried out at their doorstep. Continued exposure to radiation has caused many survivors of the initial blasts to develop different types of illnesses, most commonly cancer and reproductive health issues. Even today, their descendants are still suffering the effects of radiation.

.The U.S. detonated dozens of nuclear devices in a series of nuclear weapons tests at several test sites sprawling across the atolls of RMI between the 1940s and 1950s, including in the air and underwater. The detonations vaporized at least three atolls – ringlets of islands made of coral – and rendered many more uninhabitable.

Ocean dumping of nuclear waste continued to be carried out by Britain, France, and others until 1972 when growing public pressure worldwide gave birth to the London Convention, which prohibited the practice.”The threat of nuclear contamination continues to be of significant concern to the health and security of our Blue Pacific continent,” said Henry Puna, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, in an address to the IAEA earlier this month.”Our 50-year history as the Forum has been overshadowed by our nuclear legacy issues, which continue to impact affected communities today, and we should not accept anything less.”………https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-06-11/How-the-Pacific-became-a-garbage-dump-for-nuclear-waste-110rY09VsqY/index.html

June 12, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, oceans, wastes | Leave a comment

Is Bill Gates ‘a nice man in a jumper’ or a power-hungry egotist?   

Is Bill Gates ‘a nice man in a jumper’ or a power-hungry egotist?    The Conservative Woman    ByKate Dunlop, May 6, 2021 

”…………According to Forbes, Gates is worth £93billion and is the fourth richest man in the world after Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and French luxury goods owner Bernard Arnault (obviously they are not counting anyone in China)…………

Bill Gates is known to be difficult, but he is extraordinarily adept at managing his own reputation. Over the years he has forked out millions to the world’s media to secure sympathetic and uniform reporting. They would have you believe he is a ‘nice man in a jumper’. Bill Gates is a power-hungry, obsessive, manipulative egotist. He is not like you or me.

I say that not out of cruelty, but as a warning. The upside of his marital breakdown may be that he finds himself distracted, even for a few months, which might give the rest of us respite from his pursuit of world dominance.

Who might benefit from his absence?  Well, the first thing to come to mind, is the unwarranted and undemocratic influence that Gates has on our cultural and political masters.

Writer Naomi Wolf, a former political consultant for the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton and Al Gore, compared the current political situation to the rise of the Nazis in the 1930s but observed that the current rise in political tyranny and ‘bio-fascism’ is not restricted to one state. It is almost universal, with liberal and conservative governments across the world, ‘all reading the same sound bites’………

Wolf discussed Gates’s increasing influence over global news corporations in the August 2020 Columbia Journalism Review. Her article revealed his substantial financing not only of ‘media, media, media,’ but also of ‘K through 12 education [kindergarten to age 18].’

She warns people to avoid imagining that Bill Gates, the ‘tech bros,’ Soros, and China ‘think like us’ because ‘they don’t’.

If Gates were off the world stage, even temporarily, governments might be able to see him for the hypocritical manipulator that he is. Some leaders might break free from the path to perdition that they are set on. The brave might even develop a strategy to counter him. ………..

It’s not science fiction, it’s just capitalism,’ Naomi Wolf says, ‘It’s just a kind of Asperger’s kind of psychopathic guy with too much power surrounded by . . . communists who have perfected inhuman, anti-individualist thinking and Silicon Valley guys who are making billions of dollars from it and who also don’t think in terms of human rights and freedoms, but a “new space”, as they put it, to monetise.’

June 12, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, PERSONAL STORIES | Leave a comment