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EU plans may boost Asian nuclear ambitions but progress likely to stutter, say analysts

EU plans may boost Asian nuclear ambitions but progress likely to stutter, say analysts,   Geographical and technical hurdles coupled with a gas glut in Asia mean nuclear power is unlikely to gain a toehold in the region, despite its inclusion in Europe’s “gold standard” green investment rulebook. Eco Business  Liang LeiJan. 17, 2022  Southeast Asia could see more funding in nuclear power, following the European Union’s (EU) proposal to include the energy source in their green finance guide, according to analysts.

More Asian countries may also consider including nuclear energy in sustainable investment frameworks, analysts told Eco-Business, but doubt that these developments will significantly help to hit net-zero

2050 targets, citing cost, technological hurdles and competition with other fuels.

The EU released a draft of its green finance taxonomy on 31 December, which defines what projects can be classed as green to pique the interest of investors…….. (subscribers onlyhttps://www.eco-business.com/news/eu-plans-may-boost-asian-nuclear-ambitions-but-progress-likely-to-stutter-say-analysts/

January 18, 2022 Posted by | ASIA, politics international | Leave a comment

Horrors of Hiroshima, a reminder nuclear weapons remain global threat

UN News,    15 January 2022, Peace and Security, Despite the annihilation of two major Japanese cities in 1945, atomic bombs have not been relegated to the pages of history books, but continue to be developed today – with increasingly more power to destroy than they had when unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki back in 1945.
 Those first nuclear weapons deployed by the United States, indiscriminately killed tens of thousands of non-combatants but also left indelible scars for the immediate survivors, that they, their children and grandchildren still carry today.

“The Red Cross hospital was full of dead bodies. The death of a human is a solemn and sad thing, but I didn’t have the time to think about it because I had to collect their bones and dispose of their bodies”, a then 25-year-old woman said in a recorded testimony, 1.5 km from Hiroshima’s ground zero.

“This was truly a living hell, I thought, and the cruel sights still stay in my mind”

To highlight the tireless work of the survivors, known in Japanese as the hibakusha, the UN’s Office for Disarmament Affairs, created an exhibition at UN Headquarters in New York which has just come to a close, entitled: Three Quarters of a Century After Hiroshima and Nagasaki: The Hibakusha—Brave Survivors Working for a Nuclear-Free World.

It vividly brings to life the devastation and havoc wreaked by those first atomic bombs (A-bombs), and their successor weapons, the more powerful hydrogen bombs (H-bombs) which began testing in the 1950s

Quest to save humanity

In the aftermath of the bombings in Japan, the hibakusha, conducted intense investigations with the aim of preventing history from repeating itself.

With an average age of 83 today, the dwindling band continue to share their stories and findings with supporters at home and abroad, “to sav[ing] humanity…through the lessons learned from our experiences, while at the same time saving ourselves”, they say, in the booklet No More Hibakusha -Message to the World, which accompanies the exhibit.

Recounting the day in Hiroshima that 11 members of her family slept together in an air raid shelter, a then 19-year-old woman spoke of how three small children died during the night, while calling for water.

“The next morning, we carried their bodies out of the shelter, but their faces were so swollen and black that we couldn’t tell them apart, so laid them out on the ground according to height and decided their identities according to their size”.

These brave survivors testify that peace cannot be achieved ever, through the use of nuclear weapons.

‘Absolute evil’

A group of elderly hibakusha, called Nihon Hidankyo, have dedicated their lives to achieving a non-proliferation treaty, which they hope will ultimately lead to a total ban on nuclear weapons.

“On an overcrowded train on the Hakushima line, I fainted for a while, holding in my arms my eldest daughter of one year and six months. I regained my senses at her cries and found no-one else was on the train”, a 34-year-old woman testifies in the booklet. She was located just two kilometres from the Hiroshima epicentre.

Fleeing to her relatives in Hesaka, at age 24 another woman remembers that “people, with the skin dangling down, were stumbling along. They fell down with a thud and died one after another”, adding, “still now I often have nightmares about this, and people say, ‘it’s neurosis’”.

One man who entered Hiroshima after the bomb recalled in the exhibition, “that dreadful scene – I cannot forget even after many decades”.

A woman who was 25 years-old at the time, said, “when I went outside, it was dark as night. Then it got brighter and brighter, and I could see burnt people crying and running about in utter confusion. It was hell…I found my neighbour trapped under a fallen concrete wall…Only half of his face was showing. He was burned alive”.Uniting for peace

The steadfast conviction of the Hidankyo remains: “Nuclear weapons are absolute evil that cannot coexist with humans. There is no choice but to abolish them”.

In August 1956, the survivors of the 1945 atomic bombs in Hiroshima on 6 August and Nagasaki three days later, formed the “Japan Confederation of A and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations”.

Encouraged by the movement to ban the atomic bomb that was triggered by the Daigo Fukuryu Maru disaster – when 23 men in a Japanese tuna fishing boat were contaminated by nuclear fallout from a hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll in 1954 – they have not wavered in their efforts to prevent others from becoming nuclear victims.

“We have reassured our will to save humanity from its crisis through the lessons learned from our experiences, while at the same time saving ourselves”, they declared at the formation meeting.

The spirit of the declaration, in which their own sufferings are linked to the task of preventing the hardship that they continue to carry, resonates still in the movement today…………………………………………….

The hibakusha became more and more vocal in the suffering that was inflicted upon them, hoping that it could help create a road map towards the abolition of nuclear weapons.

In oral testimonies, they shared their experiences both during and after the bombings and sent written messages to the NPT Review Conference in 2010 appealing to the world.

In July 2017, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), which complements the NPT, was adopted and came into force last year on 22 January……………………

the UN is committed to ensuring their testimonies live on, as a warning to each new generation.

The Hibakusha are a living reminder that nuclear weapons pose an existential threat and that the only guarantee against their use is their total elimination”, Mr. Guterres stated. “This goal continues to be the highest disarmament priority of the United Nations, as it has been since the first resolution adopted by the General Assembly in 1946”.

While the Tenth Review Conference of the NPT, which had been scheduled for January, has been postponed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, he continued to urge world leaders to “draw on the spirit of the Hibakusha” by putting aside their differences and taking “bold steps towards achieving the collective goal of the elimination of nuclear weapons”. https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/01/1109602

January 17, 2022 Posted by | culture and arts, depleted uranium, Japan, PERSONAL STORIES | Leave a comment

The US and China Could Soon Be In Race For Nuclear-Powered Satellites.

The US and China Could Soon Be In Race For Nuclear-Powered Satellites, Defense One, 16 Jan 22,

An idea from the 1960s has found new backers.,  If future U.S. satellites are to dodge incoming Russian or Chinese fire, they’ll need better ways to move around than today’s fuel-intensive thrusters. That’s why the Pentagon is looking into nuclear-powered propulsion.

While leaders at the Space Force and the Pentagon Research and Development office remain publicly quiet about the idea of putting nuclear-powered spacecraft in orbit, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace studies released a new report that argues for more focused work on it. 

It isn’t a new concept. NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission were working toward a flight test for their nuclear rocket until the Vietnam War sapped the program’s funding. It was cancelled in 1973, and safety concerns have since scuttled further efforts………….

If future U.S. satellites are to dodge incoming Russian or Chinese fire, they’ll need better ways to move around than today’s fuel-intensive thrusters. That’s why the Pentagon is looking into nuclear-powered propulsion.

While leaders at the Space Force and the Pentagon Research and Development office remain publicly quiet about the idea of putting nuclear-powered spacecraft in orbit, the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace studies released a new report that argues for more focused work on it. 

It isn’t a new concept. NASA and the Atomic Energy Commission were working toward a flight test for their nuclear rocket until the Vietnam War sapped the program’s funding. It was cancelled in 1973, and safety concerns have since scuttled further efforts……….

But one DARPA official, at least, suggests looking at the idea afresh. A 2020 policy change from the Trump White House has clearing the way for new research into nuclear propulsion, Micheal Leahy, the director of the tactical technology office at DARPA, told a virtual audience on Friday. Leahy’s office runs the DARPA Demonstration Rocket for Agile Cislunar Operations, or DRACO, program. Last April, DARPA awarded General Atomics a contract for a preliminary design of a reactor and propulsion subsystem, and gave Lockheed Martin and Blue Origin a contract for a spacecraft design.

But the bigger factor is thatChina is working along similar lines with planes to field its own nuclear-powered satellites by 2040. The lessons from the current gap in hypersonic missile technology should provide a cautionary tale, Leahy said. 

“We had the lead in hypersonics, only to watch it go away. Right?… Now I’m in a tail chase,” he said.  https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2022/01/us-and-china-could-soon-be-race-nuclear-powered-satellites/360792/

January 17, 2022 Posted by | China, space travel, USA | 1 Comment

Japan to join with NuScam, Bill Gates’ TerraPower, to develop plutonium fast reactors and small nuclear reactors

there is considerable skepticism of nuclear energy in Japan, and critics are concerned that the government is moving ahead with alliances with the United States to create new technologies while there are so many unanswered questions about safety

Next-Gen Nuclear Technology – US’ Ambitious Nuclear Power Pact With Tokyo Could Fuel Japanese Industry For Decades, BySakshi Tiwari, Eurasia Times, January 14, 2022  ”…………………  (Japan) is set to give nuclear technology an all-new shot………………  Collaboration with scientists and companies in the United States will be a key component in the development of future nuclear energy technology

Japan’s Minister of Industry Koichi Hagiuda had a virtual meeting with US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on January 6 during which they agreed to cooperate in the development of plutonium-burning fast reactors and advanced energy plants based on small modular reactors (SMRs).

Hagiuda told Granholm that Tokyo will encourage more local energy companies to join an international program to test fast reactors and small modular reactors, or SMRs, developed by US companies such as NuScale Power LLC and others.

The meeting, Hagiuda’s first since taking office last year, took place at a time when Japan is stepping up its efforts to develop advanced nuclear power technologies.

The Japanese government intends to promote domestic enterprises that participate in international tests incorporating such technology as part of its national energy plan. The United States and France are among the other international participants in the initiative…………………………..

 in a noteworthy development that could now be seen as a premise for this new technology development, the Japanese government made it clear in its Sixth Strategic Energy Plan, released in October that it intends to move on from the events in northeast Japan………………..

In 2018, Japan and the United States had signed a memorandum of understanding to “advance the two countries’ worldwide leadership role” in civil nuclear energy.

“The Japan Atomic Energy Agency [JAEA] and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are cooperating with US nuclear power start-up TerraPower simply because they have the required skills and knowledge on fast reactors,” says Tomoko Murakami, manager of the nuclear energy group at the Institute of Energy Economics Japan.

In the first stage of the alliance, Tokyo would spend 900 million yen ($7.8 million) on improving the AtheNa sodium experimental plant in Ibaraki prefecture for fast reactor development. The facility operated by Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) is already in operation, and an MoU on technological cooperation with TerraPower is expected to be inked by the end of January, SCMP reported.

 In 2018, Japan and the United States had signed a memorandum of understanding to “advance the two countries’ worldwide leadership role” in civil nuclear energy.

“The Japan Atomic Energy Agency [JAEA] and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are cooperating with US nuclear power start-up TerraPower simply because they have the required skills and knowledge on fast reactors,” says Tomoko Murakami, manager of the nuclear energy group at the Institute of Energy Economics Japan.

The system is meant to extract heat from a reactor core using liquid sodium to generate electricity. The facility will also be used in the cooperative development of a next-generation fast reactor with the United States, while work is also underway at another location, Joyo, to study the impact of neutrons on fuels and other equipment using sodium as a coolant……………………

With American experience in the technology and two of its companies deeply invested in it, Japan has a natural partner to cooperate with. Terrapower is a start-up, which is rigorously working on SMR technology and is partially funded by the American billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates.

Another US giant working on this advanced next-generation technology is NuScale Power which has partnered with the US government on SMR development for third countries………….

Nonetheless, there is considerable skepticism of nuclear energy in Japan, and critics are concerned that the government is moving ahead with alliances with the United States to create new technologies while there are so many unanswered questions about safety, according to the SCMP.

“All the media coverage has become very positive about these new developments and the technology alliance with the US, but we must remember that at the moment fast reactor technology exists only on paper and there are no guarantees that it will be a success,”  Hajime Matsukubo, secretary-general of the Tokyo-based Citizens’ Nuclear Information Centre (CNIC) was quoted as saying.

“Japan has already spent 1 trillion yen [US$8.7 billion] on fast reactor research and another 1 trillion yen on decommissioning the experimental Monju reactor, to say nothing of what is being spent on all the work at Fukushima and decommissioning all the other reactors around the country. So it’s ridiculous to spend even more on nuclear technology that so many people do not want and do not trust,” he added.

The billions spent on nuclear power, according to CNIC, would have been far better used in establishing a local renewable sector that could have tapped into geothermal, wind, wave, solar, and other sources — and would have been the envy of the world.

It also warns that due to Japan’s unstable geology, a replay of the Fukushima accident – or a situation far worse –always remains a possibility…… 

January 15, 2022 Posted by | Japan, Small Modular Nuclear Reactors | Leave a comment

Why joint US-South Korean research on plutonium separation raises nuclear proliferation danger 

 Why joint US-South Korean research on plutonium separation raises nuclear
proliferation danger by Frank N. von Hippel. South Korea, like the United
States, has long relied on nuclear power as a major source of electric
power.

As a result, it has amassed large stores of spent nuclear fuel and,
as in the United States, has experienced political pushback from
populations around proposed central sites for the spent fuel. South Korea
also has a history of interest in nuclear weapons to deter North Korean
attack.

 Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 13th Jan 2022

https://thebulletin.org/2022/01/why-joint-us-south-korean-research-on-plutonium-separation-raises-nuclear-proliferation-danger/

January 15, 2022 Posted by | - plutonium, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Severely damaged fuel at Fukushima No 1 reactor – survey to find this has been halted.

Survey at Fukushima No. 1 reactor container halted, https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/01/12/national/tepco-fukushima-survey-halted/   Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. halted its investigation of the inside of the containment vessel of the No. 1 reactor at its stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on Wednesday.

The move came after an issue was found during preparation work for the display of data such as radiation levels from dosimeters inside underwater robots to be used in the survey. The preparations began at noon the same day and were halted around two hours later.

Tepco said that it will resume the survey once measures to resolve the issue are taken.

In the survey, which will continue until around August, Tepco aims to take pictures of melted nuclear fuel debris and other deposits using six types of underwater robots to record their locations and thickness in water that has accumulated at the bottom of the containment vessel.

It will also try to collect deposit samples and take pictures of the inside of the base that supports the reactor pressure vessel. The information obtained in the survey will be used for studies on ways to remove the debris.

The nuclear fuel at the No. 1 reactor’s core is believed to have melted and mostly fallen inside the containment vessel during the triple meltdown disaster at the plant, which was hit by a huge earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

In its survey of March 2017, Tepco failed to find nuclear fuel debris at the No. 1 reactor, leaving the reactor’s detailed situation unknown, in contrast to the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors, where melted fuel debris was successfully photographed.

January 13, 2022 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

What we know about North Korea’s nuclear weapons and their military power


What we know about North Korea’s nuclear weapons and their military power. After talks between the US and North Korea failed in 2019, Kim Jong-un has steadily been growing his military arsenal, but does the nation have any nuclear weapons?
.   By Robbie Purves, Birmingham Live, 5 JAN 2022  Kicking off their new year with a bang, North Korea has reportedly launched a ballistic missile, landing it in the East Sea, or Sea of Japan.

Fired from the land, it is suspected to be smaller than previous launches as an attempt to show military might, while avoiding large economic sanctions……..

Not only this, but they have an estimated 40 nuclear warheads. These can be carried by missiles that could reach, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York with ease.

Some military experts have warned they could possess technology to make them manoeuvrable mid-flight and therefore harder to detect.

North Korea blatantly violates UN Security Council resolutions regularly, but has highlighted hypocrisy.

Their neighbours, South Korea, launched a ballistic missiles from a submarine in September 2021, making it the first nation to do so without nuclear weapons.

The South’s president, Moon Jae-in, said the test was “Not a response to North Korea” but noted “the reinforcement of our missile capabilities can be a clear deterrent to North Korea’s provocations.”

South Korea, a long time ally of the US, has the capability to make a nuclear warhead, but has chosen not to do so.

Worryingly for peace in the region, the top People Power Party 2022 presidential candidate Yoon Seok-youl, has stated he would demand the US redeploy tactical nuclear weapons in the South.

After talks between then President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un failed in 2019 despite much promise, tensions have steadily risen.

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/world-news/what-know-north-koreas-nuclear-22653340

January 6, 2022 Posted by | North Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Growing radioactive waste crisis at Fukushima nuclear power plant

The continuous accumulation of radioactive slurry and other nasty substances, coupled with the problem of finding a safe way to dispose of melted nuclear fuel debris at reactors No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3, has plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. frantically scratching around for ideas.

One problem is that storage containers for the tainted slurry degrade quickly, meaning that they constantly have to be replaced.

TEPCO slow to respond to growing crisis at Fukushima plant, THE ASAHI SHIMBUN,  by Yu Fujinami and Tsuyoshi Kawamura, January 2, 2022Radioactive waste generated from treating highly contaminated water used to cool crippled reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has thrown up yet new nightmarish challenges in decommissioning the facility, a project that is supposed to be completed in 30 years but which looks increasingly doubtful.

The continuous accumulation of radioactive slurry and other nasty substances, coupled with the problem of finding a safe way to dispose of melted nuclear fuel debris at reactors No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3, has plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. frantically scratching around for ideas.

One problem is that storage containers for the tainted slurry degrade quickly, meaning that they constantly have to be replaced. Despite the urgency of the situation, little has been done to resolve the matter.
Fuel debris, a solidified mixture of nuclear fuel and structures inside the reactors melted as a consequence of the triple meltdown triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster has to be constantly cooled with water, which mixes with groundwater and rainwater rainwater that seep into the reactor buildings, producing more new radioactive water.

The contaminated water that accumulates is processed via an Advanced Liquid Processing System to remove most of radioactive materials. The ALPS is housed in a 17-meter-tall building situated close to the center of the plant site.

Reporters from the Japan National Press Club were granted a rare opportunity in late November to visit the crippled facility to observe the process.

The building houses a large grayish drum-like container designed especially to store radioactive slurry. The interior of each vessel is lined with polyethylene, while its double-walled exterior is reinforced with stainless steel.

ALARMING DEVELOPMENTS The use of chemical agents to reduce radioactive substances from the contaminated water in the sedimentation process produces a muddy material resembling shampoo. Strontium readings of the generated slurry sometimes reach tens of millions of becquerels per cubic centimeter.

TEPCO started keeping slurry in special vessels in March 2013. As of November, it had 3,373 of the containers.

Because the integrity of the vessels deteriorates quickly due to exposure to radiation from slurry, TEPCO and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) predict that durability of the containers will reach the limit after exposure to an accumulated total of 5,000 kilograys of radiation–a level equivalent to 5 million sieverts.
Based on that grim forecast, TEPCO speculated the vessels will need replacement from July 2025.

But the NRA accused TEPCO of underestimating the impact of the radiation problem. It blasted the operator for measuring slurry density 20 centimeters above the base of the container when making its dose evaluation.

“As slurry forms deposits, the density level is always highest at the bottom,” a representative of the nuclear watchdog body pointed out.

The NRA carried out its own assessment in June 2021 and told TEPCO that 31 containers had already reached the end of their operating lives. Its findings also showed an additional 56 would need replacing within two years.The NRA told TEPCO to wake up and “understand how urgent the issue is since transferring slurry will take time.”………………..


With no drastic solutions in sight, a succession of containers will reach the end of their shelf lives shortly.

ANOTHER NIGHTMARE PROBLEM Radioactive slurry is not the only stumbling block for decommissioning.

In the immediate aftermath of the 2011 disaster, TEPCO stored contaminated water in the underground spaces below two buildings near the No. 4 reactor. In doing so, bags full of a mineral known as zeolite were placed in the temporary storage pools to absorb cesium so as to reduce the amount of radioactive substances.

Twenty-six tons of the stuff are still immersed in the dirty water on the floors under the buildings. Radiation readings of 4 sieverts per hour were detected on their surfaces in fiscal 2019, enough to kill half of all the people in the immediate vicinity within an hour.

TEPCO plans to introduce a remotely controlled underwater robot to recover the bags, starting no earlier than from fiscal 2023, However, it has not determined how long this will take or where to store the bags once they are retrieved.
In addition, radioactive rubble, soil and felled trees at the plant site totaled 480,000 cubic meters as of March 2021, leading TEPCO to set up a special incinerator. The total volume is expected to top 790,000 cubic meters in 10 years, but where to dispose of the incinerated waste remains unclear.

TEPCO is in a race against time. That’s the view of Satoshi Yanagihara, a specially appointed professor of nuclear engineering at the University of Fukui who has specialist knowledge on processes to abandon reactors.

“Now, only 30 years remain before the target date of the end of decommissioning set by the government and TEPCO,” said Yanagihara.As decommissioning work is due to shortly enter a crucial stage, such as recovering nuclear fuel debris on a trial basis from as early as 2022, Yanagihara noted the need for careful arrangements before forging ahead with important procedures.

“The government and TEPCO need to grasp an overall picture of the massive task ahead and discuss how to treat, keep and discard collected nuclear debris and the leftover radioactive waste with local residents and other relevant parties,” he said.https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14503708

January 3, 2022 Posted by | Fukushima continuing, wastes | Leave a comment

India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear power installations

India, Pakistan exchange list of nuclear power installations,   https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/power/india-pakistan-exchange-list-of-nuclear-power-installations/88642567  India and Pakistan exchanged lists of nuclear installations and facilities…….

January 3, 2022 Posted by | India, Pakistan, politics international | Leave a comment

India  Launches Nuclear Submarine With ‘Vertical Launch System’

Boosting Indian Navy’s Firepower, DRDO Launches Nuclear Submarine With ‘Vertical Launch System’ Eurasian Times, By Shreya Mundhra January 2, 2022

Amid geopolitical tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, India has quietly launched its third Arihant-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine — the S4 SSBN — at a secretive ship-building center in Visakhapatnam. The development was reported by Janes Defence Weekly, citing satellite imagery.

Arihant-Class Submarines

The Arihant-class, named after the country’s first nuclear-powered submarine — INS Arihant — is a class of Indian nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines that are being built for the Indian Navy.

It was launched at the Indian Navy’s dockyard located in Visakhapatnam, the headquarters of Eastern Naval Command. The project, earlier called the advanced technology vessel (ATV), has been under development since 1998………

Russia’s Role In Indian Project

INS Arihant, which cost $2.9bn, was jointly developed by the Indian Navy, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at the naval dockyard……………………….

Arihant And Arighat

INS Arihant was launched on July 26, 2009, by then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Four years later, in August 2013, the submarine’s atomic reactor was activated. Three more years down the line, in August 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inducted the submarine into the Navy………………………..

The Latest Addition — S4 SSBN

In its December 29 report, Janes noted that the S4 SSBN was launched on November 23 and had been ‘relocated’ close to the ‘fitting-out wharf’ that was previously occupied by INS Arighat.

According to Janes, satellite imagery had confirmed that the ship being talked about stood at 7,000-tonnes, “slightly larger” than the lead ship in the Arihant class, INS Arihant.

……. The magazine went on to infer that the satellite imagery indicated that the newly launched boats’ increased length “accommodates expansion of the submarine’s vertical launch system”. This system can support eight missile launch tubes, as planned.

This would enable the SSBN to carry eight K-4 SLBMs, or alternately, 24 K-15 SLBMs. The K-4 SLBM is currently under development.  https://eurasiantimes.com/indian-navy-launches-3rd-arihant-class-nuclear-submarine/

January 3, 2022 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Protesters call for abolition of nuclear weapons

Protesters call for abolition of nuclear weapons, https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20220102_02/ Protesters in the Japanese city of Nagasaki took part in a sit-in on New Year’s Day and called for the abolition of nuclear weapons. A sit-in is held in the city every year on January 1. Nagasaki was hit by an atomic bomb during World War Two.

More than 60 people participated in the protest in the city’s Peace Park on Saturday.

The protesters observed a moment of silence at 11:02 a.m. The atomic bomb exploded in Nagasaki at that time on August 9, 1945. The participants held up pieces of paper with the word “peace” written on them in Japanese.

Atomic bomb survivor Tanaka Yasujiro said 2022 will be an important year. He said he wants non-nuclear countries to surround nuclear states, so that the number of nuclear warheads can be reduced.

The states, which signed the UN treaty that bans nuclear weapons, are scheduled to meet for the first time in March 2022.

The Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons may be held in August.

Parties to the NPT meet every five years to review the accord. A meeting was scheduled to take place in January. But the participants agreed to postpone it for the fourth time, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Various options are now being considered. A gathering in August is a possibility.

January 3, 2022 Posted by | Japan, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

South Korea presidential contender vows to seek nuclear-powered submarines, months after Australia’s Aukus deal.

South Korea presidential contender vows to seek nuclear-powered submarines, months after Australia’s Aukus deal, Guardian, 31 Dec 21,

Lee Jae-myung aims to counter North Korea threats and pledges to restart stalled talks between Pyongyang and Washington

South Korea’s ruling party presidential candidate said he will seek US support to build nuclear-powered submarines to better counter threats from North Korea and proactively seek to reopen stalled denuclearisation talks between Pyongyang and Washington.

In an interview with Reuters and two other media outlets, Lee Jae-myung also pledged to put aside “strategic ambiguity” in the face of intensifying Sino-US rivalry, vowing pragmatic diplomacy would avoid South Korea being forced to choose between the two countries………………

Lee said he will persuade the US to win diplomatic and technology aid to launch nuclear-powered submarines, which can operate more quietly for longer periods, amid renewed calls for building one in the military and parliament after North Korea test-fired a new missile from a submarine in October.

Lee cited the deal Australia struck under a trilateral security partnership with the US and Britain in September to build its own nuclear-powered submarines…………………………… https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/30/south-korea-presidential-contender-vows-to-seek-nuclear-powered-submarines-months-after-australias-aukus-deal

January 1, 2022 Posted by | politics, South Korea, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Japan’s plan for dumping nuclear waste-water into the sea

Japan’s government on Tuesday mapped out a plan for releasing contaminated
water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea, including
compensation standards for local industry and the compilation of a safety
assessment report. Japan said in April it would discharge more than 1
million tonnes of contaminated water in stages after treatment and
dilution, starting around spring 2023. The announcement provoked concerns
from local fishermen and objections from neighbouring China and South
Korea.

 Reuters 28th Dec 2021

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/japan-maps-out-action-plan-disposal-fukushima-water-2021-12-28/

December 30, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima continuing | Leave a comment

China hits back at ‘double standards’ amid US tech war, Washington’s nuclear weapon concerns

Beijing issued its first white paper on export controls on Wednesday, a month after 12 more Chinese companies were placed on the United States’ export blacklist

The ‘China’s Export Controls’ white paper argues that no country or region should ‘gratuitously impose discriminatory restrictions or apply ‘double standards’…….. https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3161447/china-hits-back-double-standards-amid-us-tech-war-washingtons

December 30, 2021 Posted by | China, politics international | Leave a comment

Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear powerplant out of action for many months due to 74 instances of defective welding.

Shoddy welding maintenance work at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power
plant in Niigata Prefecture will push back moves to bring the facility back
online by many months, perhaps longer, its operator Tokyo Electric Power
Co. acknowledged.

The No. 7 reactor has been plagued by problems to do with
installing safeguards against terrorist attacks that required further work
and a new round of inspections by the Nuclear Regulation Authority, the
nation’s nuclear watchdog body.

TEPCO announced Dec. 24 that it had
uncovered 74 instances of defective welding that is essential to safe
operations of the nuclear reactor. The utility said it had been tipped off
anonymously on several occasions since March about shoddy welding work done
by a subcontractor. In its latest announcement, TEPCO acknowledged the
problem and said welding would have to be redone at 1,200 or so sections, a
process that will likely take until next summer.

 Asahi Shimbun 25th Dec 2021

 https://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/14510525

December 27, 2021 Posted by | Japan, safety | Leave a comment