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China backs ‘no first use’ nuclear policy, calls on nations to cut warhead stockpile

China backs ‘no first use’ nuclear policy, calls on nations to cut warhead stockpile

Recent statement by former Chinese ambassador for disarmament suggests Beijing should rethink ‘no first use’ policy to counter US military presence in region
Position paper marks 50th anniversary of Beijing being awarded UN seat representing China over Taipei, SCMP, Liu Zhen in Beijing, 22 Oct, 2021 
 China has underlined its “no first use” nuclear policy in a position paper amid discussion over its commitments in a developing nuclear arms race.

In the “Position Paper on China and United Nations Cooperation” issued by the foreign ministry on Friday, China declared it had a history of initiating the no first use (NFU) principle, and said nuclear-weapon states should abandon pre-emptive deterrence policies.

“Bear in mind that ‘a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’,” the paper said.It called on all nuclear powers to reduce the role of nuclear weapons as part of their national security policy, stop developing and deploying global anti-ballistic missile systems and cease deployment of land-based intermediate-range ballistic missiles overseas. It called on them to promote global strategic balance and stability………….
Besides making a statement on NFU, Friday’s position paper continued to stress that “countries with the largest nuclear arsenals have special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament”, with Beijing also under international pressure to do more in nuclear arms control and disarmament efforts……..https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3153387/china-backs-no-first-use-nuclear-policy-calls-nations-cut

October 23, 2021 Posted by | China, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

North Korea’s ongoing nuclear missile tests prove it’s time to normalize relations

North Korea’s ongoing nuclear missile tests prove it’s time to normalize relations

Given the history of repeated dead-end disarmament talks, déjà vu begs the question whether it is time to cut bait and accept the unacceptable. NBC News
By Bennett Ramberg, Former policy analyst at the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Politico-Military Affairs

Pyongyang’s recent flurry of missile tests — most recently, a submarine-launched ballistic missile South Korea says North Korea launched Tuesday — and the apparent resumption of nuclear weapons materials production at the Yongbyon reactor are reminders that North Korea remains a central perennial problem befuddling U.S. foreign policy. Despite North Korea’s acknowledged shaky economy — further weakened by strong international economic sanctions and the coronavirus pandemic — leader Kim Jong Un’s commitment to maintaining the country’s bomb program remains unbowed.

The Biden administration’s ill-defined “calibrated approach” looks unlikely to move the nuclear-elimination needle. Nonetheless, Washington continues soldiering on — reaching out to China for help with its efforts to draw North Korea back into disarmament negotiations.

Given the history of these repeated dead-end disarmament talks, déjà vu begs the question whether it is time to cut bait: accept the unacceptable — nuclear North Korea is here to stay — and complement current U.S. military containment with an offer of diplomatic relations unconditioned by Pyongyang’s nuclear status.

History demonstrates that not only do such ties keep contacts on an even keel in normal times, they can play a critical role in resolving nuclear crisis.

This path would build on precedent. President Richard M. Nixon’s 1972 opening of relations with China, for example, did not involve questioning Beijing’s nuclear program.

Today, blunting North Korea’s nuclear threat relies on deterrence and defense — embodied in the long-standing U.S.-South Korea alliance, bolstered by nearly 30,000 U.S. troops stationed in the South, an offshore nuclear umbrella and an emerging sea-based ballistic missile defense. What’s lacking is a durable diplomatic component.

With the exception of the United States and North Korea, all nuclear weapons states have diplomatic relations………  https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/north-korea-s-ongoing-nuclear-missile-tests-prove-it-s-ncna1282118

October 23, 2021 Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Tamil Nadu leaders call for a nuclear-free zone, and stopping of development of Kudankulam project

TAMIL NADU Declare T.N. a nuclear free zone, say leaders   https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/declare-tn-a-nuclear-free-zone-say-leaders/article37100662.ece 20 Oct 21, They express concern over KKNPP

Leaders of political parties, led by VCK chief Thol. Thirumavalavan, on Wednesday sought to declare Tamil Nadu a “nuclear-free zone”.

At a press conference here, he said the unscientific disposal of radioactive waste from the nuclear reactor at Kudankulam was likely to increase the risk to public health. “Experts have said some of the reasons for the disaster in Chernobyl and Fukushima were similar to the existing conditions at Kudankulam,” he said.

Pointing to the issues in the disposal of radioactive waste from the Kudankulam reactor, Mr. Thirumavalavan said the Union Government had continued such activities which were dangerous to people. “The Union Government should suspend the operations pertaining to the third and fourth reactors. It should announce the location of the deep geological repository before conducting the public consultations on the development of the facility away from reactor.”

The government should not develop the fifth and sixth reactors too, he added.

The group of leaders called for a White Paper on the Kudankulam project and the withdrawal of cases against the residents who protested against the project.

The first reactor was stopped for maintenance from June 22 and resumed operations on September 2. After 35 days, it was stopped again. The frequent disruption of operations and snags had increased the risk of disaster, a release said.

October 21, 2021 Posted by | India, politics | Leave a comment

Backlash against Japanese Prime Minister’s haste to dump Fukushima nuclear water into the ocean


Kishida triggers backlash by saying dumping Fukushima nuclear water can’t be delayed, Global Times, By Xu Keyue: O
ct 19, 2021   Only two weeks after taking office, Japan’s new prime minister Fumio Kishida pressed two hot buttons on the same day on Sunday – sending a ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, and claiming the Fukushima wastewater release cannot be delayed, despite opposition from home and abroad.


Instead of taking full advantage of its own science and technology to process the Fukushima wastewater and deliver a qualified answer to the world over the water treatment, Japan has opted for its irresponsible plan to dump the wastewater as soon as possible and provided self-contradictory explanations for the decision, said Chinese experts.Speaking at his first visit to the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant since taking office, Kishida said the planned mass disposal of wastewater stored at the facility cannot be delayed, claiming his government would work to reassure residents nearby the plant about the technical safety of the wastewater disposal project, Asahi Shimbun reported Monday.

South Korea has expressed concern over Kishida’s plan to release the radioactive wastewater, according to South Korean media on Monday.

“Japan’s decision [to discharge the wastewater] was made without enough consultations with neighboring nations,” a senior South Korean foreign ministry official said. “We have expressed serious concerns and opposition to its plan, which could affect our people’s health and security as well as the ocean environment.”

The Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. (TEPCO) has planned to build a one-kilometer undersea tunnel to release contaminated radioactive water out to sea, amid condemnation from fishermen, media reported in late August.

The plan again showed that Japan’s “explanation” over the safety of the water is “self-contradicting,” Liu Jiangyong, vice dean of the Institute of Modern International Relations at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Monday.
Assuming the wastewater has been processed without any side effects or pollution as the Japanese government claimed, and that people can even drink it, why does the Japanese government not simply discharge the water into the sea but plan to dump the water 1 kilometer away from the local residents? asked Liu. He also questioned the claim that it will have no impact on the marine environment and life chain, and asked why the water could not be recycled on land if the wastewater can be processed so cleanly and safely.

Japan can’t answer any of these questions, said Liu, noting that dumping the nuclear water shows that the water is “unusual.”…………. https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ogbl#inbox?compose=DmwnWsTJtkLTcgrqMkBKSqBpmgbKhMHpzMMgttqhvJHgDJrfsKrtFCCwkflZJkjjhwgvJbPrQhFV

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Japan, oceans, politics international, wastes | Leave a comment

Concern in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) about Australia’s nuclear submarines

Indonesia, Malaysia concerned about Australia’s nuclear subs.   By NINIEK KARMINI , 18 Oct 21,  

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The foreign ministers of Malaysia and Indonesia expressed concern Monday that Australia’s plan to obtain nuclear-powered submarines may increase the rivalry of major powers in Southeast Asia.

The U.S., Britain and Australia announced last month that they have formed a security alliance that will help equip Australia with nuclear-powered submarines. The alliance will reshape relations in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond……..

“This situation will certainly not benefit anyone,” Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said after meeting with her Malaysian counterpart, Saifuddin Abdullah, in Jakarta. “We both agreed that efforts to maintain a peaceful and stable region must continue and don’t want the current dynamics to cause tension in the arms race and also in power projection.”

The two ministers said at a joint news conference that they agreed to strengthen the unity and centrality of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and urged all members of the bloc to contribute to the stability, security, peace and prosperity of the region and respect international law.

Saifuddin said having a near-neighbor build new nuclear-powered submarines could encourage other countries to come more frequently into Southeast Asian territory………………………..


ASEAN’s members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Brunei is chair of the bloc this year.

ASEAN has formal partnerships with several countries including Australia, China, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea and Pakistan as well as the European Union.

Malaysia and Indonesia share many similarities in religion, language and culture.  https://apnews.com/article/business-asia-australia-indonesia-global-trade-fbbf5b52e6822d01cdc11c8a5870ebb4

October 19, 2021 Posted by | ASIA, politics international | Leave a comment

China did not test hypersonic nuclear missile, foreign ministry says

China did not test hypersonic nuclear missile, foreign ministry says

China tested a space vehicle for possible reuse, not a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile as reported by the Financial Times, ministry saysAnalysts blame speculation over the ‘China threat’ on a lack of transparency, while playing down chances Beijing will launch nuclear weapons into space
SCMP

Minnie Chan  18 Oct 21 China has denied reports that it recently tested a nuclear-capable hypersonic missile, saying it was only carrying out routine test flights in a bid to recycle spacecraft to reduce exploration costs.

“This was a routine test of a space vehicle to verify the technology of their reusability,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular briefing in Beijing on Monday.

The launched object “was not a missile” with a military purpose, but “a space vehicle” for civilian aims, he emphasised….. https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3152791/china-did-not-test-hypersonic-nuclear-missile-foreign-ministry

October 19, 2021 Posted by | China, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida confirms release of Fukushima wastewater to start in 2023


Release of Fukushima wastewater to proceed: Kishida, The Guardian, TOKYO, 18 Oct 21,

New Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said that there can be no delay to plans to release contaminated water from the wrecked Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant into the sea, despite opposition from fishers and neighboring countries.

Kishida, who made his first trip to the plant on Sunday since becoming prime minister last month, said every effort would be made to reassure local people that disposing of the water in the Pacific Ocean was safe……

Researchers have used snakes fitted with tracking devices and dosimeters to measure radiation levels in the area around the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant, which suffered triple meltdowns in March 2011……

More than 1 million tonnes of water are being stored in 1,000 tanks at the site, and TEPCO has said that space would run out late next year.

The government and TEPCO in April said that work to release the heavily diluted water would begin in the spring of 2023 and take decades to complete.

The move is opposed by nearby fishing communities, which say it would undo years of hard work rebuilding their industry’s reputation since the plant was struck by a huge tsunami in March 2011, soon after Japan’s northeast coast was rocked by a magnitude 9 earthquake.

The decision ended years of debate over what to do with the water, with other options including evaporation or the construction of more storage tanks at other sites.   More than 1 million tonnes of water are being stored in 1,000 tanks at the site, and TEPCO has said that space would run out late next year.

The government and TEPCO in April said that work to release the heavily diluted water would begin in the spring of 2023 and take decades to complete.

The move is opposed by nearby fishing communities, which say it would undo years of hard work rebuilding their industry’s reputation since the plant was struck by a huge tsunami in March 2011, soon after Japan’s northeast coast was rocked by a magnitude 9 earthquake.

The decision ended years of debate over what to do with the water, with other options including evaporation or the construction of more storage tanks at other sites.More than 1 million tonnes of water are being stored in 1,000 tanks at the site, and TEPCO has said that space would run out late next year.

Japan has requested help from the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure that the discharge meets global safety standards, including treating the wastewater so its radioactivity levels are below legal limits.   https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2021/10/19/2003766372

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

Why the U.S. let Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan off the hook 

Former Netherlands Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers revealed in 2005 that Dutch authorities wanted to arrest Khan in 1975 and again in 1986 but that on each occasion the Central Intelligence Agency advised against taking such action. According to Lubbers, the CIA conveyed the message: “Give us all the information, but don’t arrest him.”

After Khan was tried in absentia and sentenced to four years in prison in 1983 for stealing uranium enrichment secrets from the Netherlands, files held by an Amsterdam court were mysteriously lost, with the main judge suspecting the CIA’s hand in their disappearance.

When an appeals court overturned Khan’s conviction on a technicality, the Netherlands — a key U.S. ally during the Cold War — declined to seek a retrial, effectively letting Khan off the hook. As the Financial Times put it, the Dutch “abandoned prosecution of the most consequential crime committed on their territory since the second world war.

Why the U.S. let Pakistan nuclear scientist A.Q. Khan off the hook  https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Why-the-U.S.-let-Pakistan-nuclear-scientist-A.Q.-Khan-off-the-hook

Decision could still come back to haunt Washington

Brahma Chellaney, October 18, 2021  Brahma Chellaney Is A Geostrategist And Author Of Nine Books, Including “Asian Juggernaut: The Rise Of China, India And Japan.”

The incredible story of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Netherlands-trained Pakistani metallurgist who — with impunity — ran an illicit global nuclear-smuggling network for a quarter-century would make for a captivating thriller.

A key plotline would surely be the mystery of why Khan, who died on Oct. 10 from complications caused by COVID-19, was never indicted by the U.S. for stealing nuclear secrets from the West. Khan played a pivotal role in  helping Pakistan develop nuclear weapons and then selling crucial know-how to three U.S.-labeled “rogue states” — Iran, North Korea and Libya.

Former Netherlands Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers revealed in 2005 that Dutch authorities wanted to arrest Khan in 1975 and again in 1986 but that on each occasion the Central Intelligence Agency advised against taking such action. According to Lubbers, the CIA conveyed the message: “Give us all the information, but don’t arrest him.”

After Khan was tried in absentia and sentenced to four years in prison in 1983 for stealing uranium enrichment secrets from the Netherlands, files held by an Amsterdam court were mysteriously lost, with the main judge suspecting the CIA’s hand in their disappearance.

When an appeals court overturned Khan’s conviction on a technicality, the Netherlands — a key U.S. ally during the Cold War — declined to seek a retrial, effectively letting Khan off the hook. As the Financial Times put it, the Dutch “abandoned prosecution of the most consequential crime committed on their territory since the second world war.”

Geopolitics partly explains why the CIA wanted to protect Khan.

While the U.S. and India are close partners today, at the time Dutch authorities were seeking to arrest Khan, the U.S. was not averse to the idea of Pakistan developing a nuclear-weapons capability to balance India, which had conducted its first nuclear test in 1974. For years, the U.S. simply turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s covert nuclear-weapons development.

American concerns, however, were stirred when Khan began selling nuclear items to other renegade states. U.S. pressure compelled Pakistan to open investigations into Khan’s activities in 2003 after Iran and Libya admitted to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that Pakistan-linked black marketeers supplied them with the components they needed to advance their nuclear research.

In 2004, Khan appeared on national television asking for forgiveness, saying he had acted entirely on his own in passing on nuclear secrets to other countries. “I take full responsibility for my actions,” Khan said, “and seek your pardon.”

After this orchestrated confession, Pakistani dictator General Pervez Musharraf, citing Khan’s status as a national hero, pardoned him. Musharraf also barred U.S. or IAEA investigators from questioning Khan. Oddly, Washington went along with this charade, which extended to Khan’s ostensible house detention.

Investigative journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark, in their acclaimed 2007 book Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons, concluded that Khan was the fall guy. “The covert trade in doomsday technology was not the work of one man, but the foreign policy of a nation and supervised by Pakistan’s ruling military clique,” Levy and Scott-Clark wrote, adding that Pakistan’s generals have long maintained a nexus with terrorist groups.

The military’s collusion with Khan was underscored by the use of an army plane in 2000 to transport centrifuges to Pyongyang. In return, Pakistan received North Korean ballistic missile technology, helping it to build its first intermediate-range, nuclear-capable missile, Ghauri.

While most technology transfers appeared to be state-sanctioned, Khan likely sold some nuclear items for personal profit.

Still, despite exaggerated Western media reports then, no evidence has surfaced to indicate that the Pakistani transfers significantly contributed to advancing the Iranian, North Korean and Libyan nuclear programs. North Korea, the only recipient to cross the nuclear threshold, has long relied on plutonium, which the Khan network did not traffic.

Pakistan’s own nuclear weaponization benefited decisively from clandestine transfers from China, another archrival of India. Such transfers began in 1982, when, as Khan admitted, China supplied the blueprint for one of the nuclear bombs it had tested, as well as enough weapons-grade uranium for two atomic weapons.

Yet the U.S., just as it has not penalized China for its continuing nuclear and missile transfers to Pakistan, chose not to indict the rogue Pakistani scientist that spearheaded an international smuggling enterprise. Washington, however, has indicted a number of other individuals — including as recently as last year — for conspiring to smuggle nuclear goods to Pakistan.

America’s shielding of Khan, a nuclear jihadist committed to payback for real and imagined injustices against Muslims, was doubly ironic because it set the stage for Pakistan’s emergence as an epicenter for terrorism, with its own nuclear weapons acting as enough of a deterrent to retaliation by another state.

Indeed, through its humiliating Afghanistan defeat at the hands of the Taliban, America has tasted the bitter fruits of the Pakistani generals’ cross-border use of jihadist proxies from behind their protective nuclear shield.

The U.S. maintains contingency plans to seize Pakistan’s nuclear weapons if they risk falling into terrorist hands. But if a 9/11 style terrorist attack with a crude nuclear device were to occur anywhere in the world, the trail of devastation would likely lead back to Pakistan.

October 19, 2021 Posted by | Pakistan, secrets,lies and civil liberties | 1 Comment

US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea

US nuclear submarine accident sparks safety fears in South China Sea  https://www.scmp.com/news/china/military/article/3152181/us-nuclear-submarine-accident-sparks-safety-fears-south-china?module=perpetual_scroll&pgtype=article&campaign=3152181Busy waterway’s complex underwater terrain and shipping litter make it a challenging environment for the giant vessels


Collision has also highlighted the difficulties in safely disposing of the reactors from decommissioned subs, with no agreed guidelines, experts say.    Minnie Chan 16 Oct, 2021   

The damage to a US nuclear attack submarine which collided with a mystery object in the South China Sea earlier this month has raised concerns about their operational safety, as well as what happens to damaged and decommissioned nuclear reactors.

Defence experts have warned that nuclear submarines – among the world’s deadliest weapons – are also vulnerable in the event of an underwater accident causing a nuclear leak, regardless of whether they are general-purpose attack subs (SSN) or platforms for the launch of ballistic missiles (SSBN).

October 18, 2021 Posted by | China, incidents, oceans | Leave a comment

Demonising China is unhelpful while encouraging China to participate in Cop26

As Britain prepares to host the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow next month, it is pursuing two contradictory policies that undermine its chances of success. On the one hand, it is seeking a unified global response to the climate crisis with nations agreeing to targets for the reduction of their coal and petroleum emissions.

But at the same time, it has joined the US in escalating a new cold war directed at confronting China and Russia at every turn. The two policies have polar opposite objectives in trying to persuade China, responsible for 27 per cent of global carbon emissions, to cut back on building new coal-fuelled power stations, but at the same time demonising China as a pariah state with whom political, commercial and intellectual contacts should be as limited as possible.

 Independent 15th Oct 2021

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/opinion/china-russia-climate-cop26-b1939164.html

October 18, 2021 Posted by | China, climate change, politics international, UK | Leave a comment

Japan’s new pro nuclear push – and for small nuclear reactors

Japan’s Carbon Goal Is Based on Restarting 30 Nuclear Reactors, Bloomberg,  By Isabel Reynolds 17 October 2021,  Japan’s goal of reducing carbon emissions by 46% by 2030 is based on the assumption it will restart 30 of its nuclear reactors, a top ruling party executive said. 

Akira Amari, secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, made the remarks Sunday in a televised debate broadcast by NHK ahead of the Oct. 31 general election. 

Much of Japan’s nuclear capacity has been offline since the 2011 Fukushima disaster and Amari said only nine reactors are currently in service. Surveys generally show the electorate is against restarting the plants. 

The LDP has also been promoting the idea of building small modular reactors, saying they are safer than Japan’s existing atomic plants……..https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-10-17/amari-says-japan-s-carbon-goal-based-on-restarting-30-reactors

October 18, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | 1 Comment

Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuclear plant reactor lid 

Lethal radiation levels detected in Fukushima nuke plant reactor lid   https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14440765

By TSUYOSHI KAWAMURA/ Staff Writer

September 15, 2021  
The operator of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant could be forced to reconsider the plant’s decommissioning process after lethal radiation levels equivalent to those of melted nuclear fuel were detected near one of the lids covering a reactor.

The Nuclear Regulation Authority said Sept. 14 that a radiation reading near the surface of the lid of the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel was 1.2 sieverts per hour, higher than the level previously assumed.

The discovery came on Sept. 9 during a study by the NRA and Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant.

TEPCO plans to insert a robotic arm into the No. 2 reactor’s containment vessel from its side in a trial planned for the second half of 2022 to retrieve pieces of melted nuclear fuel.

“We will consider what we can do during the trial on the basis of the detection of the concentration of contamination” in the upper area of the containment vessel, a TEPCO official said.

The round concrete lid, called the shield plug, is 12 meters in diameter and about 60 centimeters thick.

The shield plug consists of three lids placed on top of each other to block extremely high radiation emanating from the reactor core.

Each lid weighs 150 tons.

When operators work on the decommissioning, the shield plug will be removed to allow for the entry into the containment vessel.

The NRA said a huge amount of radioactive cesium that was released during the meltdown of the No. 2 reactor in March 2011 remained between the uppermost lid and middle lid.

In the Sept. 9 study, workers bored two holes measuring 7 cm deep each on the surface of the uppermost lid to measure radiation doses there by deploying remotely controlled robots.

One radiation reading was 1.2 sieverts per hour at a location 4 cm down from the surface in a hole near the center of the lid.Prior to the study, the NRA estimated that the dose from a contamination source that existed beneath the lid was more than 10 sieverts per hour, a level lethal to humans if exposed to it for about an hour.

But the finding suggested that the actual dose would likely be dozens of sieverts per hour, thus far more dangerous.

While it is expected to be a huge challenge to dismantle the lids, TEPCO has yet to decide what to do with them during the decades-long cleanup work.

The NRA also mentioned the possibility that radioactive cesium is also concentrated between the middle lid and the lowermost lid.

But there is no way at the moment to confirm whether that is the case, according to NRA officials

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2015, radiation | Leave a comment

Nuclear hawks under Kishida threaten Suga’s renewables push

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, October 14, 2021 Pro-nuclear lawmakers now hold key positions under Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, sparking concern that he will stray from the prior administration’s focus on renewables to help achieve “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

New ministers in charge of Japan’s efforts to fight climate change and energy issues under the Kishida administration have vowed to stick with the net zero target………

The new Basic Energy Plan drafted by the Suga administration made no mention of such nuclear power-related projects despite pressure from pro-nuclear lawmakers within the LDP and the nuclear industry.

LDP lawmakers who support nuclear energy are unhappy about the Basic Energy Plan, which said Japan will “reduce its dependence on nuclear energy as much as possible.”   

……………concerns have been raised over a possible return to reliance on more nuclear power following pro-nuclear lawmakers assuming key posts in the government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Koizumi, who as environment minister pushed for renewable energy, and Taro Kono, who served as minister in charge of administrative reform and is a staunch opponent of nuclear energy, were replaced when Kishida formed his Cabinet.

….. Despite his vow against new reactor projects, Hagiuda is a close ally of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who serves as the most senior adviser to a group of lawmakers advocating construction of new reactors to replace aged units.

Akira Amari, the new secretary-general of the LDP, the second most powerful post after the party president, Kishida, is the most senior adviser to the group.

Sanae Takaichi, who proposed bolstering development of new technology to build a nuclear fusion reactor during the LDP

 leadership race last month, landed the position of the party’s policy chief.

…Not surprisingly, the nuclear industry hailed the government and the new party lineup…….. https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14460623

October 16, 2021 Posted by | Japan, politics | Leave a comment

India, China and the new missile silos

CHINA’S MISSILE SILOS AND THE SINO-INDIAN NUCLEAR COMPETITION, War on the Rocks, DEBAK DAS  15 Oct 21,  This summer, U.S. analysts using commercial satellite imagery discovered that China was significantly expanding its nuclear forces and building hundreds of new missile silos. With the new silos, China could potentially double the size of its arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles. The news sent shockwaves through Washington. The head of Strategic Command called the developments “breathtaking,” and the news is sure to embolden efforts to fund U.S. nuclear modernization efforts on Capitol Hill. While the United States has a much larger nuclear force than China — with 3,750 nuclear warheads in its nuclear weapons stockpile compared to China’s 350 warheads — it will still likely take a forceful response to China’s latest nuclear developments.

But how will India — China’s other nuclear armed adversary — react to Beijing’s new missile silos? India has a nuclear triad and is reported to have 150 nuclear warheads deployed on different air-, sea-, and land-based platforms. China, meanwhile, is estimated to have its nuclear weapons stockpile of 350 nuclear warheads deployed across different platforms. However, with the new missile silos and fears of an increase in Chinese nuclear warheads, the strategic asymmetry in the Sino-Indian nuclear relationship may become more stark.

Moreover, China and India continue to engage in hostilities in the Himalayas. In August 2021, over a hundred soldiers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army crossed over to the Indian side of the border and damaged a bridge and other infrastructure before retreating. In June 2020, in the deadliest clash between the two countries in 45 years, more than 20 soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh. This led to a heightened state of tensions and a war scare between the two countries. High-level military talks between the two nuclear states remain deadlocked, with regular hostilities at different points along the 3,488-kilometer Line of Actual Control. An increase in Chinese nuclear capabilities in this context has the potential to destabilize the region and spark a nuclear arms race. But will it?

India has been cautious in its nuclear relationship with China and is unlikely to have a dramatic response to the new missile silos at the moment. It has two nuclear-armed adversaries to consider, and its focus will remain on Pakistan. India will continue to modernize its nuclear arsenal with new counterforce nuclear delivery systems and to test multiple independently targeted re-entry ballistic missiles, which will allow it to manage its nuclear relationship with both nations. While the counterforce missiles and short-range nuclear delivery systems are aimed at Pakistan, India’s nuclear relationship with China will continue to be based on ensuring a secure second-strike capability.

No First Use, Second-Strike, and Caution 

Despite the continuing military engagements along the Line of Actual Control, the Sino-Indian nuclear relationship remains stable. This is because India’s nuclear relationship with China rests on its survivable second-strike nuclear doctrine. It has pledged not to use its nuclear weapons first as a part of a no first use policy. This doctrine means that as long as India has a secure-second-strike capability — that is, the capability to absorb a nuclear first strike on its soil and then retaliate using its remaining nuclear forces — it will not need to build a large arsenal of nuclear weapons. It just needs to make sure that its nuclear weapons systems are well dispersed and survivable……….

Manageable Historical Asymmetry 

China’s additional nuclear silos do not represent a new strategic problem for India………………….

Border Conflict Remains at Low Escalation Level ………..

………  https://warontherocks.com/2021/10/chinas-missile-silos-and-the-sino-indian-nuclear-competition/

October 16, 2021 Posted by | India, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Pentagon Denies Chinese Accusation of Cover-Up in Nuclear Attack Submarine Crash

Pentagon Denies Chinese Accusation of Cover-Up in Nuclear Attack Submarine Crash USNI News, By: Heather Mongilio, October 12, 2021,  Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Tuesday denied a Chinese accusation that the U.S. is seeking to cover up a submarine collision in the South China Sea…..

Seawolf-class nuclear attack submarine USS Connecticut (SSN-22) hit an unknown object while underwater on Oct. 2, injuring 11 sailors, USNI News previously reported.

The Navy has not yet said what Connecticut struck, and Kirby referred reporters to the Navy when asked. USNI News previously reported that it was not another vessel.

It took the Navy five days to release information on the crash, which prompted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian to question the details about the collision, according to a transcript of the foreign ministry’s Monday press conference.

“Such irresponsible attitude and stonewalling and cover-up practice only make the international community more suspicious of the US intention and details of the accident,” Zhao said, according to the transcript.

Zhao called on the United States to clarify the location of the accident, if there was any nuclear leakage and if the crash will affect fishery, according to the statement.

“The US side should take a responsible attitude, give a detailed account of what happened as soon as possible and make a satisfactory explanation to the international community and regional countries,” he said.

…… The submarine arrived at Naval Base Guam on Friday and is undergoing an assessment and preliminary repairs while the Navy investigates the crash, USNI News reported this week.

U.S. 7th Fleet is leading a command investigation into the crash, while Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet heads up a safety investigation, COMSUBPAC spokeswoman Cmdr. Cindy Fields previously told USNI News….   https://news.usni.org/2021/10/12/pentagon-denies-chinese-accusation-of-cover-up-in-nuclear-attack-submarine-crash

October 14, 2021 Posted by | China, incidents, secrets,lies and civil liberties, USA | Leave a comment