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Women to bring a wake-up call to a world facing nuclear annihilation

Women To Claim Their Seat at the Nuclear Table

With women still underrepresented in nuclear policymaking and national security planning while being disproportionately impacted by nuclear weapons due to ionizing radiation from their use, testing, manufacturing, storage, and transport, Lazaroff reimagines and redefines national security with her Women Transforming Our Nuclear Legacy (WTONL) global online mentoring program.

Convinced that strong leadership demands “new thinking, not new weapons,” WTONL’s gathering of minds–with U.S. and Russian women experts and citizen diplomats reimagining security–has engaged 400 women from 40 countries including eight of the nine nuclear-armed states.

Excluding women–half of the human race–for much of the nuclear age has brought us to the brink of possible extinction,” Lazaroff advocates for a feminist foreign policy. “We need dialogue over silence, engagement over isolation, cooperation and diplomacy over conflict and war.”

After Her Nuclear Disaster Dress Rehearsal, Cynthia Lazaroff Has A Wake-Up Call For Our World As We Sleepwalk Into Nuclear Extinction Jackie Abramian ForbesWomen, 22 Sept 21, “There are nearly 13,500 nuclear warheads in current arsenals of nine nuclear-armed states. That the U.S. has more nuclear warheads than hospitals should be a wake-up call,” says award-winning documentary filmmaker, environmentalist, nuclear weapons abolition activist, Cynthia Lazaroff who having lived through a 38-minute nuclear cataclysm dress rehearsal in January 2018, hopes to wake up our world to the looming threat of sleepwalking into a nuclear disaster. 

Lazaroff’s wake-up call came on the morning of January 13, 2018, when, along with all Hawaiian residents, she received a text: “Emergency Alert: Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound to Hawaii. Seek Immediate Shelter. This is not a drill.” As the reality of the moment unfolded, she scurried about her home, as a nuclear age refugee, hastily deciding which objects to take to the security of a nearby cave–while desperately trying to reach her daughter’s cellphone to let her know, perhaps for the last time to say “goodbye and I love you.” She detailed the harrowing 38-minutes–later confirmed as a false alarm–in her Dawn of a New Armageddon, published on August 6, (Hiroshima Day) in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The experience led Lazaroff to found NuclearWakeUpCall.Earth a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to abolishing nuclear weapons with a focus on the U.S. and Russia–which combined have over 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons. She is also on the Board of American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord, which issued an open letter calling for a new era of diplomacy and engagement between the U.S. and Russia prior to the Biden-Putin summit. She applauds the resumed Biden-Putin dialogue and the “signs of hope”–the New START treaty extension for another five years, Secretary John Kerry’s Moscow visit and meetings with Minister of Foreign Affairs Lavrov as “realizing our shared interest to address the existential threat of climate change,” and the late July U.S.-Russia strategic stability talks in Geneva following the Summit. 

“Our demonization of Russia, N. Korea, Iran, and China is justifying the continued military buildup. In 2020, during the global pandemic, the nine nuclear-armed states spent nearly $73 billion on nuclear weapons–over $137,000 per minute, with the U.S. spending over half of this total–$37.4 billion, $70,881 per minute,” Citing Elisabeth Eaves’ article on the newly commissioned $100 billion ground based strategic deterrent (GBSD), Lazaroff underscores the “insane” might of the military industrial complex amidst layers of existential threats of climate change, the pandemic, and racial and socio-economic injustices of our world.

Another sign of hope is 122 countries adopting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) with 86 signatory states, while 55 countries have ratified the treaty which entered into force this January. The first treaty Lazaroff says, that is “based not on military law but on humanitarian law” addressing “nuclear colonialism and radioactive racism, the disproportionate impact of nuclear weapons on indigenous peoples, and on women and girls due to ionizing radiation. It is also the first providing assistance to victims of nuclear use and testing and for the remediation of contaminated environments.”

Even with everything I knew about nuclear weapons, nuclear war was unimaginable to me until I lived through those 38 minutes. Now this experience lives inside of me as a mother, as a human being, with a responsibility to wake up and transform our nuclear legacy. It’s never going to go away until we eliminate the risk 100%–I know eliminating nuclear weapons is a tall order. I have no illusions about the formidable obstacles, but we must act. We still have a chance to get this right,” Lazaroff offers a Nuclear Playbook–a 10-step action program with critical recommendations for averting a nuclear catastrophe put forth by Congressional leaders, arms control and security experts, and NGOs such as the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), William J. Perry Project, Ploughshares Fund, Global Zero, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Back from the Brink, among others…………..

Decriminalizing Diplomacy of Peace

“Part of my work is to decriminalize diplomacy with Russia, North Korea, Iran and China. It’s omnicidal behavior not to talk to your nuclear adversary. You can’t just obtain denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula without changing the relationship, without creating the conditions for peace,” says Lazaroff.

The “commercially driven millisecond news cycles,” harboring the “us vs. them” mentality fuels greater divides, “deterring alliance around shared global threats, while lacking introspection,” Lazaroff believes. She commends JFK’s 1963 American University speech, ‘Strategy of Peace’ following the Cuban Missile Crisis when JFK courageously called for ‘introspection’, not to be ‘blind to our differences,’ and addressed our common and ‘mutually deep interests’ with the Soviet Union ‘in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race.’

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September 23, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Women | Leave a comment

USA has conned Australia into paying for its super-costly nuclear submarine project

Last week’s AUKUS announcement was nothing more than PR stunt in Australia, with the government merely committing to spend the next 18 months deciding what to buy—which conveniently kicks any actual the decision far enough down the road to avoid the next federal election. 

Has PM put Australia on the hook to finance struggling UK, US submarine projects? Michael West Media, By Marcus Reubenstein| September 23, 2021,

“Almost comical”. Experts lambast Scott Morrison’s “crazy” AUKUS deal to buy nuclear submarine tech from parlous UK and US programs. Marcus Reubenstein finds a real prospect Australia will be used to “underwrite” the foundering foreign submarine industry.

Twenty-five years of ongoing maintenance delays for nuclear submarines, chronic shortage of both parts and skilled workers, under capacity at shipyards, and attack class submarines missing from deployments for up to nine months. These sound like potential problems for Australia’s future nuclear submarine fleet but they are actual problems right now confronting the US Navy and its fleet of 70 submarines.

The US is at the cutting edge of nuclear propulsion. It has the largest and most sophisticated submarine fleet in the world, its first nuclear submarine was commissioned 67 years ago, and the US has literally decommissioned twice as many nuclear subs as Australia is planning to buy. 

If the US cannot manage to keep its fleet in the water, how can the Morrison government commit up to $100 billion of taxpayer money to secure nuclear submarines and guarantee they will be always operational and ready for deployment?

Professor Hugh White, ANU Professor of Strategic Studies, former Deputy Secretary of Defence and an eminent figure in strategic policy, wrote in The Saturday Paper, “The old plan was to build a conventionally powered version of a nuclear-powered French submarine. It was crazy.”

“The new plan—to buy a nuclear-powered submarine instead—is worse”. 

Says White, “There is a reason why only six countries, all of them nuclear-armed, operate nuclear powered subs.”

The sales pitch is underway 

Last week’s AUKUS announcement was nothing more than PR stunt in Australia, with the government merely committing to spend the next 18 months deciding what to buy—which conveniently kicks any actual the decision far enough down the road to avoid the next federal election. 

The ripples of the announcement, however, reached British shores in double-quick time. Just two days after the AUKUS alliance UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallis announced a $320 million (£170m) grant to be shared between BAE Systems and Rolls Royce to develop technology for Britain’s next generation submarines. 

According to Department of Finance figures, In the past twelve months BAE Systems has collected $1.88 billion from Australian taxpayers. The Astute class submarine, touted as one of the two options Australia is considering, is manufactured by BAE Systems. 

US Naval analyst, and Forbes Defense columnist, Craig Hooper predicts AUKUS could give the US Navy a big shot in the arm as well. He says a deal with Australia could effectively underwrite major improvements to the US Navy’s outdated submarine maintenance facilities by supporting “America’s decade-long, $US25 billion ($34.6 billion) effort to refit the U.S. Navy’s four aging public shipyards. With yard repair costs already high, America would go to great lengths to welcome any additional bidders for shipyard capability improvements.”

US subs in dry dock In a report published six months ago, the US Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found: “The Navy’s four shipyards have experienced significant delays in completing maintenance on its submarines (all of which are nuclear-powered).” ………. Should Australia go down the nuclear sub path what choice will it have other than to outsource the fleet’s maintenance?   …..

Her Majesty’s sub optimal fleet

Britain, touted as the alternative nuclear submarine supplier to Australia, has problems of its own. The Royal Navy operates ten submarines, only four of them were designed and commissioned this century. 

Like their American nuclear counterparts there are systemic problems keeping these subs in service……

That report also indicated significant delays to the BAE Systems built Astute hunter-killer submarines, the same class of nuclear submarine being touted for Australian as part of the AUKUS deal………. https://www.michaelwest.com.au/has-pm-put-australia-on-the-hook-to-finance-struggling-uk-us-submarine-projects/

September 23, 2021 Posted by | AUSTRALIA, marketing, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chernobyl’s legacy recorded in trees

The twisted stems of Scots pines have been attributed to mutations caused by radiation exposure

 Exposure to radiation from the 1986 Chernobyl accident had a lasting negative legacy on the area’s trees, a study has suggested. Researchers said the worst effects were recorded in the “first few years” but surviving trees were left vulnerable to environmental stress, such as drought.

They added that young trees appeared to be particularly affected. Writing in the journal Trees, the team said it was the first study to look at the impact at a landscape scale. “Our field results were consistent with previous findings that were based on much smaller sample sizes,” explained co-author Tim Mousseau from the University of South Carolina, US.

“They are also consistent with the many reports of genetic impacts to these trees,” he told BBC News. “Many of the trees show highly abnormal growth forms reflecting the effects of mutations and cell death resulting from radiation exposure.”

 BBC 9th Aug 2021

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23619870

September 23, 2021 Posted by | environment, Ukraine | Leave a comment

New push on to expand nuclear radiation compensation in US

New push on to expand nuclear radiation compensation in US   https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/new-push-on-to-expand-nuclear-radiation-compensation-in-us/, Sep. 22, 2021 By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, The Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers is renewing a push to expand a U.S. compensation program for people who were exposed to radiation following uranium mining and nuclear testing carried out during the Cold War.

Advocates have been trying for years to bring awareness to the lingering effects of nuclear fallout surrounding the Trinity Site in southern New Mexico, where the U.S. military detonated the first atomic bomb, and on the Navajo Nation, where more than 30 million tons of uranium ore were extracted over decades to support U.S. nuclear activities.

Under legislation introduced Wednesday by U.S. Sens. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat from New Mexico, and Mike Crapo, a Republican from Idaho, other sites across the American West would be added to the list of places affected by fallout and radiation exposure. Eligibility also would be expanded to include certain workers in the industry after 1971, such as miners.

The legislation also would increase the amount of compensation someone can receive to $150,000 and provide coverage for additional forms of cancer.

A multibillion-dollar defense spending package approved last year included an apology to New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and other states affected by radiation from nuclear testing, but no action was taken on legislation that sought to change and broaden the compensation program.

Advocates, including those who testified before Congress earlier this year, say it’s time to do so, especially because the existing provisions are set to expire next July. The legislation would extend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act, or RECA, another 19 years.

Tina Cordova, a cancer survivor and co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium, said she has been working on the legislation for months with other residents of places affected by radiation, from Indigenous communities in New Mexico to Gaum.

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September 23, 2021 Posted by | health, USA | Leave a comment

Already the ”nuclear for climate for COP26 ” deceitful propaganda is underway, with a ”clean energy certificate”

The scheme provides an accreditation system based on internationally recognised standards and lays the foundations for a market for trading renewable and nuclear energy attributes.

Abu Dhabi launches clean energy certificate scheme, WNN, 22 September 2021

The Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) has issued a regulatory policy for implementing a clean energy certificates scheme it says will cater to a growing appetite among businesses and consumers to contribute to the fight against climate change. The scheme provides an accreditation system based on internationally recognised standards and lays the foundations for a market for trading renewable and nuclear energy attributes.

The Regulatory Policy for Clean Energy Certificates, which was announced by the department on 29 August, is part of its commitment to drive the transition to a sustainable decarbonised energy sector. ……………………….. https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Abu-Dhabi-launches-clean-energy-certificate-scheme

September 23, 2021 Posted by | spinbuster, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

North Korea returns to its missile diplomacy

Pushing the nuclear envelope’: North Korea’s missile diplomacy  Guardian, 

Analysis: Fear and uncertainty of the Obama years could return as Kim Jong-un revives nuclear ambitions    Reuters. Justin McCurry in Tokyo, Wed 22 Sep 2021

North Korea’s recent missile launches signal that the regime has reverted to familiar tactics to attract the attention of the US. Although the rest of the world will take little comfort from this return to “normality”, after a six-month pause Pyongyang last weekend launched what it claimed were new long-range cruise missiles capable of hitting Japan, followed hours later by the test launch of two ballistic missiles into the sea, apparently from a train.

Then came the clearest sign since its last nuclear test in 2017 that the North is not about to abandon its project to build a viable deterrent, with satellite images showing it was expanding a uranium enrichment plant at its main Yongbyon nuclear complex……….. (registered readers only)  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/22/pushing-the-nuclear-envelope-north-koreas-missile-diplomacy

September 23, 2021 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Interaction of Nuclear Waste With the Environment More Complicated Than Previously Thought

Interaction of Nuclear Waste With the Environment May Be More Complicated Than Previously Thoughthttps://www.technologynetworks.com/applied-sciences/news/interaction-of-nuclear-waste-with-the-environment-may-be-more-complicated-than-previously-thought-353879, September 22 2021
| Original story from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and collaborators have proposed a new mechanism by which nuclear waste could spread in the environment.

The new findings, which involve researchers at Penn State and Harvard Medical School, have implications for nuclear waste management and environmental chemistry. The research is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

“This study relates to the fate of nuclear materials in nature, and we stumbled upon a previously unknown mechanism by which certain radioactive elements could spread in the environment,” said LLNL scientist and lead author Gauthier Deblonde. “We show that there are molecules in nature that were not considered before, notably proteins like ‘lanmodulin’ that could have a strong impact on radioelements that are problematic for nuclear waste management, such as americium, curium, etc.”

Past and present nuclear activities (e.g., for energy, research or weapon tests) have increased the urgency to understand the behavior of radioactive materials in the environment. Nuclear wastes containing actinides (e.g. plutonium, americium, curium and neptunium) are particularly problematic, as they remain radioactive and toxic for thousands of years.

However, very little is known about the chemical form of these elements in the environment, forcing scientists and engineers to use models to predict their long-term behavior and migration patterns. Thus far, these models have only considered interactions with small natural compounds, mineral phases and colloids, and the impact of more complex compounds like proteins has been largely ignored. The new study demonstrates that a type of protein that is abundant in nature vastly outcompetes molecules that scientists previously considered as the most problematic in terms of actinide migration in the environment.

 “The recent discovery that some bacteria specifically use rare-earth elements has opened new areas of biochemistry with important technological applications and potential implications for actinide geochemistry, because of chemical similarities between the rare-earths and actinides,” said Joseph Cotruvo Jr., Penn State assistant professor and co-corresponding author on the paper.

The protein called lanmodulin is a small and abundant protein in many rare-earth-utilizing bacteria. It was discovered by the Penn State members of the team in 2018. While the Penn State and LLNL team has studied in detail how this remarkable protein works and how it can be applied to extract rare-earths, the protein’s relevance to radioactive contaminants in the environment was previously unexplored.


“Our results suggest that lanmodulin, and similar compounds, play a more important role in the chemistry of actinides in the environment than we could have imagined,” said LLNL scientist Annie Kersting. “Our study also points to the important role that selective biological molecules can play in the differential migration patterns of synthetic radioisotopes in the environment.”

“The study also shows for the first time that lanmodulin prefers the actinide elements over any other metals, including the rare-earth elements, an interesting property than could be used for novel separation processes,” said LLNL scientist Mavrik Zavarin.

Rare-earth element biochemistry is a very recent field that Penn State and LLNL have helped to pioneer, and the new work is the first to explore how the environmental chemistry of actinides may be linked to nature’s use of rare-earth elements. Lanmodulin’s higher affinity for actinides might even mean that rare-earth-utilizing organisms that are ubiquitous in nature may preferentially incorporate certain actinides into their biochemistry, according to Deblonde.

Reference
Deblonde GJ-P, Mattocks JA, Wang H, et al. Characterization of Americium and Curium Complexes with the Protein Lanmodulin: A Potential Macromolecular Mechanism for Actinide Mobility in the Environment. J Am Chem Soc. Published online September 20, 2021. doi:10.1021/jacs.1c07103

September 23, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, radiation, Reference | Leave a comment

Vatican concerned over deal for Australian nuclear-powered subs

Vatican’s Cardinal Parolin concerned over deal for Australian nuclear-powered subs, Sep 22, 2021 by Catholic News Service ROME — Plans by the United States and Great Britain to give Australia the technology needed for nuclear-powered submarines go counter to global disarmament efforts, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state…….

“One cannot but be concerned” by the announcement made in mid-September by U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the cardinal said.

Parolin, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, president of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union and Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, were speaking Sept. 22 at a conference on “Christian Values and the Future of Europe” sponsored by the European People’s Party………….. https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/vaticans-cardinal-parolin-concerned-over-deal-australian-nuclear-powered-subs

September 23, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Religion and ethics | Leave a comment

Iran clearly wants to return to nuclear talks


‘Very clear intent’ by Iran to return to nuclear talks, Ireland says
, By Michelle Nichols   UNITED NATIONS, Sept 22 (Reuters) – Iran’s foreign minister expressed a “very clear intent” to return to nuclear talks in Vienna, Ireland’s foreign minister said on Wednesday after meeting with his Iranian counterpart on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

“That may not happen for a number of weeks, as the new Iranian government finalizes their approach towards those negotiations. But certainly, he expressed a very clear intent to return to those negotiations,” Simon Coveney, Ireland’s foreign minister, told reporters.

Ireland is currently a member of the U.N. Security Council and coordinates the 15-member body’s work on a 2015 Iran nuclear deal between Tehran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia………

In a video statement, Raisi told the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations on Tuesday that Tehran wants to resume nuclear talks with world powers that would lead to removal of U.S. sanctions. https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/iran-minister-expressed-very-clear-intent-return-nuclear-talks-ireland-2021-09-22/

September 23, 2021 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

U.S. Militarism’s Toxic Impact on Climate Policy

Biden told the UN General Assembly that “…as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy.” But his exclusive new military alliance with the U.K. and Australia, and his request for a further increase in military spending to escalate a dangerous arms race with China that the United States started in the first place, reveal just how far Biden has to go to live up to his own rhetoric, on diplomacy as well as on climate change

U.S. Militarism’s Toxic Impact on Climate Policy,    Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies LA Progressive  22 Sept 21,  President Biden addressed the UN General Assembly on September 21 with a warning that the climate crisis is fast approaching a “point of no return,” and a promise that the United States would rally the world to action. “We will lead not just with the example of our power but, God willing, with the power of our example,” he said

But the U.S. is not a leader when it comes to saving our planet. Yahoo News recently published a report titled “Why the U.S. Lags Behind Europe on Climate Goals by 10 or 15 years.” The article was a rare acknowledgment in the U.S. corporate media that the United States has not only failed to lead the world on the climate crisis, but has actually been the main culprit blocking timely collective action to head off a global existential crisis. 

The anniversary of September 11th and the U.S. defeat in Afghanistan should be ringing alarm bells inside the head of every American, warning us that we have allowed our government to spend trillions of dollars waging war, chasing shadows, selling arms and fueling conflict all over the world, while ignoring real existential dangers to our civilization and all of humanity. 

The world’s youth are dismayed by their parents’ failures to tackle the climate crisis. A new survey of 10,000 people between the ages of 16 and 25 in ten countries around the world found that many of them think humanity is doomed and that they have no future.

Three quarters of the young people surveyed said they are afraid of what the future will bring, and 40% say the crisis makes them hesitant to have children. They are also frightened, confused and angered by the failure of governments to respond to the crisis. As the BBC reported, “They feel betrayed, ignored and abandoned by politicians and adults.” 

Young people in the U.S. have even more reason to feel betrayed than their European counterparts. America lags far behind Europe on renewable energy. European countries started fulfilling their climate commitments under the Kyoto Protocol in the 1990s and now get 40% of their electricity from renewable sources, while renewables provide only 20% of electric power in America. ………..

 the enormous amount of money the U.S. spends on militarism. Since 2001, the United States has allocated $15 trillion (in FY2022 dollars) to its military budget, outspending its 20 closest military competitors combined. The U.S. spends far more of its GDP (the total value of goods produced and services) on the military than any of the other 29 Nato countries—3.7% in 2020 compared to 1.77%. And while the U.S. has been putting intense pressure on NATO countries to spend at least 2% of their GDP on their militaries, only ten of them have done so. Unlike in the U.S., the military establishment in Europe has to contend with significant opposition from liberal politicians and a more educated and mobilized public.  ………

On climate change, the infrastructure bill includes only $10 billion per year for conversion to green energy, an important but small step that will not reverse our current course toward a catastrophic future. Investments in a Green New Deal must be bookended by corresponding reductions in the military budget if we are to correct our government’s perverted and destructive priorities in any lasting way. This means standing up to the weapons industry and military contractors, which the Biden administration has so far failed to do. 

The reality of America’s 20-year arms race with itself makes complete nonsense of the administration’s claims that the recent arms build-up by China now requires the U.S. to spend even more. China spends only a third of what the U.S. spends, and what is driving China’s increased military spending is its need to defend itself against the ever-growing U.S. war machine that has been “pivoting” to the waters, skies and islands surrounding its shores since the Obama administration.

Biden told the UN General Assembly that “…as we close this period of relentless war, we’re opening a new era of relentless diplomacy.” But his exclusive new military alliance with the U.K. and Australia, and his request for a further increase in military spending to escalate a dangerous arms race with China that the United States started in the first place, reveal just how far Biden has to go to live up to his own rhetoric, on diplomacy as well as on climate change

The United States must go to the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow in November ready to sign on to the kind of radical steps that the UN and less developed countries are calling for. It must make a real commitment to leaving fossil fuels in the ground; quickly convert to a net-zero renewable energy economy; and help developing countries to do the same. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres says, the summit in Glasgow “must be the turning point” in the climate crisis.

That will require the United States to seriously reduce the military budget and commit to peaceful, practical diplomacy with China and Russia. Genuinely moving on from our self-inflicted military failures and the militarism that led to them would free up the U.S. to enact programs that address the real existential crisis our planet faces – a crisis against which warships, bombs and missiles are worse than useless. https://www.laprogressive.com/toxic-impact-on-climate-policy/

September 23, 2021 Posted by | climate change, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Going nuclear: the secret submarine deal to challenge China, PODCAST 

Going nuclear: the secret submarine deal to challenge China, PODCAST   Guardian, 22 Sept 21,   It came out of the blue – but the new military pact between Australia, the UK and the US could transform international relations for a generation. The Guardian’s defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, explains the Aukus deal that has enraged Beijing.

When Boris Johnson, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison announced a new deal that would provide Australia with the technology to run silent nuclear submarines as part of its navy, one phrase kept coming up: “stability in the Indo-Pacific”. The word the leaders of the UK, the US and Australia did not use may be more important: China. By striking the Aukus deal, an unprecedented agreement on defence cooperation between the three countries, the governments have moved to counter what they view as Beijing’s aggression – and prompted questions about whether the move is an ominous sign of a new ‘cold war’ mentality………it has raised a series of questions about whether it signals a shift in international alliances: what happens if China invades Taiwan? What are the knock-on consequences of adding to the club of countries with nuclear-powered submarines? And will any of it make those who live in the Aukus countries – or their neighbours – any safer?

In this episode, Michael Safi is joined by the Guardian’s defence and security editor, Dan Sabbagh, to unpack the ramifications of the deal and ask what it means for the UK and Australia to be tied to American foreign policy for decades to come.  https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2021/sep/21/going-nuclear-the-secret-submarine-deal-to-challenge-china

September 23, 2021 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chernobyl nuclear zone is becoming more radioactive: they don’t know why.

Chernobyl’s Blown Up Reactor 4 Just Woke Up. Scientists don’t understand why. https://historyofyesterday.com/chernobyls-blown-up-reactor-4-just-woke-up-74bedd5fc92d
Andrei Tapalaga 

The nuclear disaster that occurred in 1986 will forever be remembered, but the world will soon have a reminder of the event as the zone for some reason (yet unexplained by scientists)is becoming more radioactive. For those who may not be aware of the incident here is an article to get you up to speed.

“Chernobyl will never be a problem”

Underneath reactor 4 there is still nuclear fuel that is active and which will take around 20,000 years for it to deplete. The uranium is too radioactive for anyone to live in the city and since the incident, the European Union had created a shield around the reactor which should not allow for the radioactive rays to come out.Chernobyl officials presumed any criticality risk would fade when the massive New Safe Confinement (NSC) was slid over the Shelter in November 2016.”

“The €1.5 billion structure was meant to seal off the Shelter so it could be stabilized and eventually dismantled.”

However, many other parts around Chernobyl have also been affected due to prolonged exposure, some more than others, and many of them have not been contained as they were not presenting any major radioactive activity until now. Neil Hyatt, a nuclear chemist from the University of Sheffield had mentioned that there is a possibility for the uranium fuel to reignite on its own.

Hyatt also offered a simple explanation on how this is possible, just like charcoal can reignite in a barbeque, so can nuclear materials that have once been ignited. He as well as a handful of nuclear chemists have mentioned previously the possibility of the uranium from Chernobyl to reignite, but the scientists from Ukraine that are responsible for managing the nuclear activity within the vicinity never really listened, until now.

Scientists from Ukraine have placed many sensors around reactor 4 that constantly monitor the level of radioactivity. Recently those sensors have detected a constant increase in the level of radioactivity. It seems that this radioactivity is coming from an unreachable chamber from underneath reactor 4 that has been blocked since the night of the explosion on the 26th of April, 1986.

What could be causing this?

The experts from Ukraine don’t really understand why this is happening although they do have a hypothesis. Water is used to start the fission process within nuclear materials, this makes the nuclear material release energy that within a nuclear reactor can be maintained under control, but in this instance, the experts are afraid they will not be able to control it.

Another hypothesis is that since reactor 4 has been completely shielded, no water from the rain was able to reach the nuclear fuel. The water from rain may have been what kept the nuclear material under control. With no water, the nuclear fuel may be at risk of overheating, leading to another nuclear disaster.

There may be another reason for this constant increase in radioactivity, what has been mentioned above are only hypotheses, maybe something totally different is occurring under reactor 4 or within the nuclear material left inside. This is something that definitely should ring some alarm bells in order to prepare for the worst sort of situation and hopefully the world’s smartest in the field of nuclear chemistry can come together to identify the problem and come up with a potential solution.

Sources:…………

September 21, 2021 Posted by | environment, radiation, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Tragically, Biden continues same nuclear weapons ”modernization” budget as Trump’s

Biden’s Nuclear Weapons Commitments: Dangerous Continuities Tragically, despite widespread high hopes for change, in the existential realm of potentially omnicidal nuclear war preparations, the Biden administration has signaled more continuity than change.

Common Dreams, JOSEPH GERSONSeptember 18, 2021   ”…………………………….. The sad and dangerous truth is that the nuclear weapons budget President Biden submitted to Congress differs little from Trump’s nuclear weapons “modernization” commitments. Despite Biden’s election year and earlier statements that the “sole use” of nuclear weapons that he could imagine was in response to a nuclear attack against the United States, the budget he submitted to Congress includes funding to replace the country’s entire arsenal of first-strike—use them or lose them—ground based ICBMs. So too the budget Congress will be voting on includes funding to produce 80 plutonium pits (the fissile core of a nuclear warhead) per year—each one of which with the destructive capability to devastate cities as large as Shanghai, Karachi and Moscow. Biden and his Pentagon also expect to win funding for the extremely destabilizing “more usable” tactical (roughly Hiroshima sized) B-61-12 bound for Europe, the nuclear air-launched cruise Long Range Standoff Weapon, and new warheads for submarine launched missiles, all designed to hold China hostage to a U.S. first-strike attack. 

What is driving China’s anticipated increase in the size of its nuclear arsenal and fears that it might abandon its no first use doctrine? The answer is those standoff cruise missiles and U.S. missile defenses that are being deployed along China’s periphery that Chinese officials and analysts fear could make first-strike nuclear war fighting attractive to U.S. leaders.

Days prior to the Congressional budget debate and on the eve of the launching of the Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, the Defense Intelligence Agency stoked elite panic with the release of photographs which convincingly demonstrate that Beijing has initiated construction of 250 missile silos for Chinese land-based strategic intercontinental nuclear missiles. 


Yet,former lead U.S. arms control negotiator and Deputy NATO Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller warns that the silo holes being dug in northern China are a simply a “great distraction”.  As an arms controller, he is committed to nuclear deterrence and strategic stability and unwilling to press for what Noam Chomsky calls the “obvious solution” to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons: “getting rid of them.”  She is willing to concede that China’s nuclear buildup is designed to reinforce its “second strike deterrence posture”, which is threatened by U.S. nuclear and missile defense forces. Rather than panicking and wasting limited U.S. resources, she urges policymakers to remember that even if China quadruples the size of its nuclear arsenal by placing an ICBM armed with multiple warheads in each of those silos, it will still have fewer nuclear weapons than the United States or Russia. She urges lawmakers to focus on economic and technological competition and not to be panicked into funding the Pentagon’s wish list of Strangelovian nuclear weapons     former lead U.S. arms control negotiator and Deputy NATO Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller warns that the silo holes being dug in northern China are a simply a “great distraction”.  As an arms controller, he is committed to nuclear deterrence and strategic stability and unwilling to press for what Noam Chomsky calls the “obvious solution” to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons: “getting rid of them.”  She is willing to concede that China’s nuclear buildup is designed to reinforce its “second strike deterrence posture”, which is threatened by U.S. nuclear and missile defense forces. Rather than panicking and wasting limited U.S. resources, she urges policymakers to remember that even if China quadruples the size of its nuclear arsenal by placing an ICBM armed with multiple warheads in each of those silos, it will still have fewer nuclear weapons than the United States or Russia. She urges lawmakers to focus on economic and technological competition and not to be panicked into funding the Pentagon’s wish list of Strangelovian nuclear weapons  former lead U.S. arms control negotiator and Deputy NATO Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller warns that the silo holes being dug in northern China are a simply a “great distraction”.  As an arms controller, he is committed to nuclear deterrence and strategic stability and unwilling to press for what Noam Chomsky calls the “obvious solution” to the existential threat posed by nuclear weapons: “getting rid of them.”  She is willing to concede that China’s nuclear buildup is designed to reinforce its “second strike deterrence posture”, which is threatened by U.S. nuclear and missile defense forces. Rather than panicking and wasting limited U.S. resources, she urges policymakers to remember that even if China quadruples the size of its nuclear arsenal by placing an ICBM armed with multiple warheads in each of those silos, it will still have fewer nuclear weapons than the United States or Russia. She urges lawmakers to focus on economic and technological competition and not to be panicked into funding the Pentagon’s wish list of Strangelovian nuclear weapons.

At the policy making level there are four theaters of political struggle: 1) Congress and its debates over Biden’s $634 ten-year nuclear weapons funding proposal and No First Use legislation; 2) the Biden administration’s Nuclear Posture Review; 3) January’s Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference at the U.N., and 4) the March 2022 governmental First Meeting of States Parties of the Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) in Geneva.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has called out the Biden administration for failing to propose a nuclear weapons spending that “does not reflect your longstanding efforts to reduce our reliance on nuclear weapons.” They oppose funding for new submarine launched nuclear warheads, to maintain the B83 gravity bombs with an explosive yield of up to 100 times the Hiroshima A-bomb, and for the Long-Range Standoff Weapon described above. And, while not calling for the total elimination of first-strike land-based ICBMs, they oppose funding for the creation of a new generation of these omnicidal weapons. They also urge that the Biden Nuclear Posture Review, which will be conducted with little public or Congressional input by the Pentagon and senior administration “national security” officials, mandate reduction of the nation’s reliance on nuclear weapons. 

Internationally, pressure for nuclear weapons abolition will manifest itself at the NPT Review Conference and TPNW First Meeting early in the new year. With the world’s nuclear powers upgrading, and in many cases expanding,  their nuclear arsenals, there is little hope that progress will be made to fulfill the nuclear powers’ Article VI Treaty commitment to engaging in good faith negotiations for the complete elimination of their nuclear arsenals. And, with the Biden administration’s embrace of Israel’s new right-wing (and racist) government, it is unlikely that it will voice support for or take action to implement Washington’s earlier NPT commitment to co-convene an international conference for the creation of a Middle East Nuclear and WMD-Free Zone.  

Dim as prospects are for a successful NPT Review, it remains important for activists and international civil society to press as hard as we can for the full implementation of this seminally important treaty. Silence, being consent, would leave the nuclear powers with an open field. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/09/18/bidens-nuclear-weapons-commitments-dangerous-continuities

September 21, 2021 Posted by | politics, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row

Aukus: France pulls out of UK defence talks amid row, BBC, By Alex Therrien, 21 Sep 21,
BBC News France’s defence minister has cancelled talks with her UK counterpart as the row continues over a new security deal between Britain, the US and Australia.

Paris is angry after Australia signed the Aukus pact to build nuclear-powered submarines, pulling out of a major contract with France in the process.

UK PM Boris Johnson said France had nothing to worry about from the deal.

But Florence Parly’s meeting with UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace in London this week has been called off.,,,,,,,,,,, Lord Ricketts, a former British ambassador to France who was due to co-chair the two days of talks, confirmed the meeting between Mr Wallace and Ms Parly had been “postponed to a later date”.

……… In a rare step among allies, French President Emmanuel Macron ordered the recall of the French ambassadors to Washington and Canberra.

The European Union has said it was “analysing” the impact of the Aukus agreement on its trade negotiations with Australia, which are due to resume in October.

BBC Brussels correspondent Jessica Parker said it appeared the EU had hardened up its position over the weekend, as the extent of France’s anger became clear.

She said the European Commission wouldn’t elaborate on what “analysing” the impact of Aukus could actually mean for the trade talks with Australia – but the language might lead to speculation that negotiations could even be suspended…

The agreement means Australia will become just the seventh nation in the world to operate nuclear-powered submarines.

The pact will also see the allies share cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence and other undersea technologies.

But it has been criticised by China, which has accused the three powers of having a “Cold War mentality”………….  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-58620220

September 21, 2021 Posted by | France, politics international | Leave a comment

Scientists still don’t know how far melting in Antarctica will go – or the sea level rise it will unleash

Scientists still don’t know how far melting in Antarctica will go – or the sea level rise it will unleash

Chen Zhao and Rupert Gladstone

The Antarctic ice sheet is the largest mass of ice in the world, holding around 60% of the world’s fresh water. If it all melted, global average sea levels would rise by 58 metres. But scientists are grappling with exactly how global warming will affect this great ice sheet.

September 21, 2021 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, climate change, oceans | Leave a comment