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America Almost Stockpiled Nuclear Weapons In Iceland

December 30, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Dangers of nuclear crises in the Arctic: countries prepare for emergencies.

Arctic Council creates new expert group on nuclear emergencies  https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic/2019/12/arctic-council-creates-new-expert-group-nuclear-emergencies  

The Arctic countries take major steps to prepare strategies and share information to improve preparedness in case of radiological and nuclear incidents. By Thomas Nilsen, December 11, 2019  

Two fatal accidents during the summer of 2019 was a wake-up call for radiation emergency authorities monitoring northern waters.

On July 1st, the nuclear-powered special purpose submarine Losharik catches fire when on mission outside the Kola Peninsula. Six weeks later, a nuclear-powered cruise missile explodes while being recovered from the seabed outside Nenoksa naval weapons testing site in the White Sea.

While Russia has been very reluctant to share information about what happened at the two accidents, the country is a team-player when the Arctic Council now has agreed to establish a dedicated expert group on radiation and nuclear incidents.

The formal decision was taken at the meeting of the Arctic Council’s Working Group on Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) in Reykyavik on December 4th.

All eight Arctic states will appoint experts and observer states are encouraged to participate. To strengthen the group’s role, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is invited to join the meetings.

Inside the Arctic Circle, the number of nuclear-powered vessels has increased sharply over the last decade.

Tensions between Russia and NATO have led to more sailings with reactor-powered submarines, especially in the Norwegian, Barents- and White Seas, but also under the ice in the high Arctic. Northern Norway saw a record number of 12 visiting NATO nuclear-powered submarines in 2018. And while the Arctic Council members met in Reykjavik last week, Russia’s Northern Fleet still had a number of attack submarines sailing the Norwegian Sea. So did at least one American nuclear-powered submarine as reported by the Barents Observer.

Secondly, increased shipping and industrial activities along Russia’s Northern Sea Route are supported by more and larger nuclear-powered icebreakers.

Unfortunate, the history of operating reactors and deploying nuclear weapons to the Arctic has a bad record with radioactivity released to the environment and exposure to people; nuclear weapons testing at Novaya Zemlya, the crash of a U.S. bomber with plutonium warheads at Thule airbase on Greenland, sinking submarines like the Komsomolets, Kursk and K-259. Several other submarines have suffered serious reactor accidents and in the Kara Sea, thousands of containers wit radioactive waste is dumped together with 16 reactors.

The Arctic Council, though, can not engage in anything related to military activities.

The list of potential incidents with possible releases of radioactivity exposing people living or working in the Arctic is long. How to share knowledge and information about each countries’ preparedness capacities will certainly be on the agenda when the new expert group’s first formal meeting, likely to take place next spring on the Faroe Islands.

Chair of the expert group in the starting period, Øyvind Aas-Hansen with the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, tells the Barents Observer that one interesting topic that might be brought to table is defining the risk potential for emergencies due to nuclear and radiological material and activities that pose a threat in the Arctic.

«We aim at protecting Arctic inhabitants and their livelihoods and the Arctic environment,» Øyvind Aas-Hansen explains.

He said it is needed to «identify minimal preparedness and response arrangements and capabilities applicable to the Arctic region.»

Aas-Hansen said it could be special needs for coordinating emergency prevention and response that are «specific to the Arctic region.»

Both the United States and Russia have serious experiences from dealing with nuclear accidents in cold climate, like the US clean-up work after the Thule accident in 1968 and Soviet clean-up work after the leakages from Building No. 5 in Andreeva Bay in the early 1980s.

More reactors at sea

The Barents Observer has recently published an overview (pdf) listing the increasing number of reactors in the Russian Arctic. The paper is part of Barents Observer’s analytical popular science studies on developments in the Euro-Arctic Region.

According to the list there are 39 nuclear-powered vessels or installations in the Russian Arctic today with a total of 62 reactors. This includes 31 submarines, one surface warship, five icebreakers, two onshore and one floating nuclear power plants.

Looking 15 years ahead, the number of ships, including submarines, and installations powered by reactors is estimated to increase to 74 with a total of 94 reactors, maybe as many as 114. Additional to new icebreakers and submarines already under construction, Russia is brushing dust of older Soviet ideas of utilizing nuclear-power for different kind of Arctic shelf industrial developments, like oil- and gas exploration, mining and research. “By 2035, the Russian Arctic will be the most nuclearized waters on the planet,” the paper reads.

Also, existing icebreakers and submarines get life-time prolongation. The average age of the Northern Fleet’s nuclear-powered submarines has never been older than today. Several of the submarines built in the 1980s will continue to sail the Barents Sea and under the Arctic ice-cap until the late 2020s.

In August, Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant, “Akademik Lomonosov”, will be towed from Murmansk to Pevek, a port-town on the northeast coast of Siberia.

Other plans to use nuclear reactors in the Russian Arctic in the years to come include many first-of-a-kind technologies like sea-floor power reactors for gas exploration, civilian submarines for seismic surveys and cargo transportation, small-power reactors on ice-strengthen platforms.

In the military sphere, the Arctic could be used as testing sites for both Russia’s new nuclear-powered cruise-missile and nuclear-powered underwater weapons drone. Both weapons were displayed by President Vladimir Putin when he bragged about new nuclear weapons systems in his annual speech to the Federation Council last year.

An Arctic Council summary report, presented to the Ministerial Meeting in Rovaniemi in May as a deliverable by the Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR) Working Group highlight the risks: “The presence of radiological and nuclear material in the Arctic poses a risk for serious incidents or accidents that may affect Arctic inhabitants and their communities, the Arctic environment, and Arctic industries, including traditional livelihoods such as fisheries and local food sources.”

For Norway, Russia and Iceland, a nuclear accident in the Barents Sea could be disastrous for sales of seafood. The three countries export of cod and other spices is worth billions of Euros annually.

 

December 12, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, safety | Leave a comment

Floating small nuclear reactors bring serious risks

nuclear experts have highlighted crucial negatives that cast doubt on the floating nuclear utopia.Jan Haverkamp, Greenpeace Netherlands senior expert nuclear energy and energy policy, sees the three main disadvantages of Akademin Lomonosov to be the big human factors risk, its problematic construction, and the pollution of the Arctic region with nuclear waste.

this project is reintroducing a major pollution risk in an area which functions as a climate regulator for the globe – “the Arctic pristine area, which is a very important natural area for the entire balance on the planet,”

Is floating nuclear power a good idea?  Power Technology  By Yoana Cholteeva, 9 Dec 19,  Floating nuclear power promises to provide a steady source of energy at hard-to-reach locations, but at the same time the dangers inherent in nuclear power make some question whether it’s safe enough for areas where help is hard to find. Is floating nuclear power really a good idea? Yoana Cholteeva investigates.

Russian nuclear company Rosatom announced the arrival of the world’s first floating nuclear power plant, Akademik Lomonosov, in September 2019 when the technology was transported to the port of its permanent location in Russia’s Far East. The 144m-long and 30m-wide vessel has now docked at the port in Pevek, off the coast of Chukotka, where it will stay before its commissioning next year.

Akademik Lomonosov will use small modular reactor technology and is equipped with two KLT-40C reactor systems with 35MW capacity each. It has been designed to access hard-to-reach areas where it can operate for three to five years without the need for refuelling. It also has an overall life cycle of 40 years, which may be extended to 50 years Continue reading

December 10, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, safety, technology | Leave a comment

New ship to handle all nuclear waste from Rosatom’s Arctic operations.

Barents Observer 5th Dec 2019, New ship to handle all nuclear waste from Rosatom’s Arctic operations.
The new special purpose vessel will serve the new icebreakers and the
floating nuclear power plants and possible other reactor installations.

https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/industry-and-energy/2019/12/new-ship-will-take-care-all-nuclear-waste-rosatoms-arctic-operation

December 7, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

In framing Julian Assange, The FBI tried to make Iceland a complicit

The FBI tried to make Iceland a complicit ally in framing Julian Assange https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/the-fbi-tried-to-make-iceland-a-complicit-ally-in-framing-julian-assange,13277

By Sara Chessa | 5 November 2019 Former Icelandic Interior Minister tells Independent Australia how he blocked U.S. interference in 2011 in order to defend WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange. Sara Chessa reports.

Former Icelandic Interior Minister tells Independent Australia how he blocked U.S. interference in 2011 in order to defend WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange. Sara Chessa reports.

A MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR wakes up one summer morning and finds out that a plane full of United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents has landed in his country, aiming to carry out police investigations without proper permission from the authorities.

How many statesmen would have the strength to say, “No, you can’t do this”, to the United States? Former Icelandic Interior Minister Ögmundur Jónasson, in fact, did this — and for the sake of investigative journalism. He understood that something wrong with the sudden FBI mission in Reykjavik, and that this had to do with the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks and its publisher Julian Assange. Continue reading

November 12, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | 1 Comment

Frozen nuclear city to ‘seep radiation into environment’ as ice melts

CAMP CENTURY: CLIMATE AND ICE MONITORING

Next Chernobyl? Frozen nuclear city to ‘seep radiation into environment’ as ice melts

A FROZEN underground city could be threatening to seep radioactive materials into the environment as climate change forces the ice to melt. Express UK By CALLUM HOARE Nov 8, 2019 

Camp Century: Pentagon’s secret mobile nuclear base revealed

Project Icework was a top secret United States Army programme of the Cold War, aimed at building a network of mobile nuclear missile launch sites below the Greenland ice sheet due to its strategic location near the Soviet Union. To study the feasibility of working under the ice, a highly publicised “cover” project, known as Camp Century, was launched in 1960, but six years later it was cancelled due to unstable conditions. The nuclear reactor was removed before the site was abandoned, but hundreds of tonnes of toxic waste remain buried beneath the ice.

Now, climate change is threatening to expose it, as the ice melts at an alarming rate.

YouTube channel Seeker spoke to William Colgan, who is currently running The Camp Century Climate Monitoring Programme, in the hope of preventing the radioactive material from reaching the surface.

He said in 2018: “The people working at Camp Century did not have an understanding of climate change. “They didn’t have solid records, global climate models, these big data sets so you can see an overview of what’s happening to Earth’s climate.

The moving ice sheet started to destabilise the underground tunnels, prompting the US Army to abort Project Iceworm.

“When Camp Century was decommissioned, only the nuclear reactor was taken out for destructive testing, and the rest of the camp was left in place, and they closed the doors.

“It was abandoned on the assumption that climate wouldn’t change, and it would continue to snow at Camp Century forever and the perpetual snowfall would entomb all of the base infrastructures and eventually bury it.”

The narrator of the series explained why Dr Colgan is so invested in the project.

He said: “The climate has changed and temperatures have reached record highs in the Arctic and Greenland’s ice sheet is melting at an unprecedented rate, which could turn Camp Century’s abandoned waste into a major environmental risk.

So a team of scientists, including William, went back to the site.”

Dr Colgan explained what his team is doing.

He added: “In 2017, the government of Denmark, at the request of the government of Greenland, started the Camp Century Climate Monitoring Programme.

“We set up a bunch of instruments that are erected on the ice sheet surface and then we drill in and we put probes into the ice sheet.

“It keeps a real-time data stream coming from the Camp Century site where we monitor a bunch of things, mainly the temperature of the snow, the temperature of the ice and the air temperature…….https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1201199/nuclear-warning-cold-war-camp-century-project-iceworm-radiation-climate-change-spt

November 9, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change, environment | 2 Comments

Climate change: Permafrost is now becoming a carbon emitter

October 24, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Safety and security preparations for remote Prevek as floating nuclear power plant enters East Siberian Sea

As floating nuclear power plant enters East Siberian Sea, emergency services in Pevek make a last check Final preparations in the remote Arctic town that will host the floating nuclear installation. Barents Observer, By  Atle Staalesen, September 06, 2019, 

The «Akademik Lomonosov» on the 6th September passed the Sannikov Strait south of the New Siberian Islands and made it into the East Siberian Sea. The floating installation now has only about 3 days left of its extensive voyage across the Northern Sea Route.

According to the Northern Sea Route Administration, the installation and its accompanying vessels are due to arrive in Pevek on the 9th of September.

The «Akademik Lomonosov» on 23rd August set out of the Kola Bay after more than a year of preparations in Murmansk. Towed by icebreaker «Dikson» and accompanied by support ships «Yasnyy» and «Kapitan Martyshkin», the floating power plant had course for the Barents Sea and subsequently made it through the Kara Sea and Laptev Sea.

The voyage from Murmansk to Pevek is about 4,700 km long.

Is Pevek ready?

The formerly desolate town with a population of about 4,200 has been under preparations for years. Visits by federal officials and inspectors have been numerous…….

According to the ministry, a special fire- and rescue department is under construction on site. When completed, the unit can ultimately serve as base for a bigger Arctic rescue center.

On site are also a big number of representatives of nuclear power company Rosatom that be the ones that run the plant…….

Outsourced security

Also law-enforcement authorities are on site preparing to keep an eye on the new strategic object. It is Rosgvardia, the Russian National Guard, that has been commissioned to protect the power plant and its surroundings.

According to the security service, the formation of guarding units were in late August about to be completed and training was ongoing in cooperation with representatives of Rosatom.

Rosgvardia has decided to outsource the protection of the «Akademik Lomonosov» to what it calls «sub-units of non-governmental security.»  The decision to outsource the job has been taken by Rosgvardia Director Viktor Zolotov, the security service informs.

Big risks

The «Akademik Lomonosov» has two KLT40S reactors and will provide heat and electricity to Pevek for the next 12 years. After that, it will have to be towed back either to Rosatomflot’s base in Murmansk, or to a shipyard like in Severodvinsk for unloading the spent nuclear fuel and carry out other maintenance work.

Environmentalists have criticized the project and warned against possible major risks.

Environmental organization Greenpeace has described the project as a “nuclear Titanic” or a “Chernobyl on ice”.  «We are sure it has been built not to cover the needs of Chukotka, but as a working model for possible foreign customers,» says Rashid Alimov, nuclear campaigner with Greenpeace in Moscow told the Barents Observer.
«We think floating nuclear plants are simply a too risky and too expensive way of producing electricity.» https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/arctic-industry-and-energy/2019/09/floating-nuclear-power-plant-enters-east-siberian-sea-emergency

September 7, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Who will clean up America’s nuclear wastes in Greenland?

Maine Voices: Long-buried U.S. nuclear waste would complicate any bid for Greenland https://www.pressherald.com/2019/08/24/maine-voices-long-buried-u-s-nuclear-waste-would-complicate-trumps-bid-for-greenland/

Would the U.S. or Denmark be responsible for cleaning up over 47,000 gallons of Cold War-era radioactive waste?

August 26, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Massive wildfires are burning across the world- July was hottest month ever

August 24, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Brazil, climate change | 1 Comment

Safety concerns about floating nuclear reactors, and Rosatom admits that electricity from small floating nuclear reactors is more expensive.

August 22, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, business and costs, Russia, safety, technology | Leave a comment

Funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change

Iceland holds funeral for first glacier lost to climate change

Nation commemorates the once huge Okjokull glacier with plaque that warns action is needed to prevent climate change  Guardian Agence France-Presse 19 Aug 2019 ,

August 20, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September if temps increase 2 degrees

Arctic could be iceless in September if temps increase 2 degrees, Science Daily 

Date:
August 13, 2019
Source:
University of Cincinnati
Summary:
Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees, according to a new study.

Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees, according to a new study by the University of Cincinnati.

The study by an international team of researchers was published in Nature Communications.

“The target is the sensitivity of sea ice to temperature,” said Won Chang, a study co-author and UC assistant professor of mathematics.

“What is the minimum global temperature change that eliminates all arctic sea ice in September? What’s the tipping point?”

The study predicted that the Arctic Ocean could be completely ice-free in September with as little as 2 degrees Celsius of temperature change. Limiting warming to 2 degrees is the stated goal of the 2009 Paris Agreement, the international effort to curb carbon emissions to address warming. The Trump Administration withdrew the United States as a participant in 2017……..

The less summer sea ice the Arctic has, the longer it takes for the Arctic Ocean to ice back over for the polar winter. That could spell bad news for Arctic wildlife such as seals and polar bears that rely on sea ice to raise pups and hunt them, respectively.

The researchers applied the new statistical method to climate model projections of the 21st century. Using the climate models, the authors found at least a 6% probability that summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will disappear with warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. At 2 degrees, the likelihood increases to 28%…….https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/08/190813160526.htm

August 15, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, climate change | Leave a comment

Barents Observer report on Russian nuclear reactors in the Arctic

Nuclear fuel carrier “Serebryanka” remains inside closed-off waters near missile explosion site, Barents Observer, By Thomas Nilsen. August 09, 2019      “………Barents Observer report 

The Barents Observer has recently published an overview (pdf) listing the increasing number of reactors in the Russian Arctic. The paper is part of Barents Observer’s analytical popular science studies on developments in the Euro-Arctic Region.

According to the list there are 39 nuclear-powered vessels or installations in the Russian Arctic today with a total of 62 reactors. This includes 31 submarines, one surface warship, five icebreakers, two onshore and one floating nuclear power plants.

Looking 15 years ahead, the number of ships, including submarines, and installations powered by reactors is estimated to increase to 74 with a total of 94 reactors, maybe as many as 114. Additional to new icebreakers and submarines already under construction, Russia is brushing dust of older Soviet ideas of utilizing nuclear-power for different kind of Arctic shelf industrial developments, like oil- and gas exploration, mining and research.  “By 2035, the Russian Arctic will be the most nuclearized waters on the planet,” the paper reads.

Also, existing icebreakers and submarines get life-time prolongation. The average age of the Northern Fleet’s nuclear-powered submarines has never been older than today. Several of the submarines built in the 1980s will continue to sail the Barents Sea and under the Arctic ice-cap until the late 2020s.   https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2019/08/severodvinsk-authorities-confirm-mysterious-brief-radiation-spike-after-missile

 

August 10, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Anxiety over Russian nuclear power plant afloat in Arctic

August 10, 2019 Posted by | ARCTIC, oceans, politics international | Leave a comment