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Former US Secretary of State says Pakistan’s 2019 conflict with India almost sparked nuclear war

A former high-ranking US official has revealed he will “never forget the night” when the world witnessed what almost became a nuclear catastrophe.

Alex Blair news.com.au 25 Jan 23

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has detailed just how close the world came to nuclear war in 2019.

In February 2019, the relationship between rival nuclear powers India and Pakistan came dangerously close to escalating into a full-blown conflict, Pompeo writes in his memoir.

It all kicked off when India launched a military operation against militants within Pakistani territory, in response to an attack on its own troops in the disputed region of Kashmir that left 40 Indian soldiers dead.

Pakistan retaliated by shooting down two Indian aircraft and capturing a fighter pilot.

Both nations lay claim to Kashmir, but currently control only portions of the region. India has long accused Pakistan of supporting separatist militants in the Kashmir Valley, a claim that Pakistan denies.

The two nations, both nuclear powers, have engaged in multiple conflicts throughout their history, with the majority of these conflicts centred around the disputed region.

In his memoir, Never Give An Inch: Fighting for the America I Love, Pompeo emphasises that the world was unaware of the sheer gravity of the situation……………………………………………………….. more https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/former-us-secretary-of-state-says-pakistans-2019-conflict-with-india-almost-sparked-nuclear-war/news-story/75da26ebea96f1064d024205c6108bc2

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January 27, 2023 Posted by | India, Pakistan, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Mothering a Movement: Notes from India’s Longest Anti-Nuclear Struggle

 It was striking how these women activists situated their politics in motherhood and in their responsibility as the guardians for future generations. Prayers to Lourde Matha at the main church, floral tributes to Kadalamma, and protests against the nuclear plant all lie on a continuum as acts of reverence for life. While this politics around maternity might not sit well with a certain progressive outlook, these women are clear about their feminist goals.

A time will come. We will take over the village and remove the nuclear power plant.

Radiowaves Collective, Half-Life, December 2022

‘……………………………………………………………………… Both Idinthikarai and Kudankulam, the other settlement that abuts the northern boundary of the nuclear plant, lie off the beaten path for the tourists that come to Kanyakumari—a narrow strip of “Land’s End” with an old temple, newer memorials to regional and national personages, and the Indian Ocean—located a little over twenty-five kilometers away. Yet in 2011 and 2012, Kudankulam and its nearby villages had commanded significant media attention. Putting aside their caste and religious differences, the locals around Kudankulam had put up a remarkable non-violent resistance against the nuclear establishment. We want to find out what has happened to that movement a decade later.

Next morning, en route to Kudankulam, our bus lurches past the bustling town of Anjugramam and other smaller settlements, surrounded by farmlands and coconut and palmyra trees. But it is the giant windmills, mushrooming all over, that dominate the landscape and serve as a reminder that India is a country hungry for energy. All of this area, Anjugramam onwards, falls under what is called the emergency planning zone: a sixteen-kilometer radius around the nuclear plant that would need evacuation in case of a disaster. Our fellow passengers include some non-locals, who form the bulk of the workforce at the plant. When we do not get off at either the Anuvijay— “Victory of the Atom”— town, a gated community for staff and their families, or the plant some seven kilometers away, the few remaining people on the bus start eyeing us.

Once at the busy main market in Kudankulam, our local guide and a few other men quickly whisk us away to a house where we are scheduled to interview women activists who were involved in the 2012 protests. However, before we can start a conversation with them, a man in a striped blue shirt asks us to write down our names and contact details. “CID [Criminal Investigation Department],” he replies softly when we ask why. “He is a policeman. He is just doing his job,” another man chimes in, matter of factly. The sprawling nuclear plant across the road reaches far into the lives of the people here. Police surveillance is part and parcel of the architecture of the nuclear establishment.

The KKNPP is India’s largest nuclear power plant, housing two Russian VVER-1000 reactors—similar to the ones under siege now in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine—and has four others in the pipeline. As far as one can tell, it has little to do with nuclear weapons, but the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE)—the agency which oversees all things nuclear in India—makes it easy to indulge in wild speculations. Right from its inception in 1954, the DAE has been notoriously opaque, with little independent or public scrutiny, and prone to misinformation and grandiose statements.

While the US launched its “Atoms for Peace” program in 1953, the motto of the DAE has always been “Atoms in the service of the nation.” But the nebulous nature of these slogans is often put on display. For instance, in 1974, the DAE tested nuclear weapons in the guise of a peaceful nuclear program, calling them “peaceful nuclear explosives” for the development of the nation.1 Things have been equally farcical in the case of the civilian nuclear energy program, where, in the name of national security, the DAE has refused to share details about basic public matters such as energy costs and nuclear safety. And even though the DAE is currently (and consistently) decades behind in meeting its own projections for power generation, it still proclaims a fifty-fold increase in nuclear power by 2050.2 The message is loud and clear: the future is nuclear, and only fools worry about the past—or the present.

“If we say anything against [the plant], they will file a case against us,” says a young woman who teaches science at a nearby school. “We don’t have permission to talk about this issue with the students. We can only teach things that are mentioned in the books,” she continued. While adding that the KKNPP supports some schools in its vicinity, like many others in Kudankulam, she is more concerned about the dismal state of affairs. “We do not have any facilities, we have long power cuts, we receive drinking water only once every ten days, and there are all sorts of diseases. Now, it is not possible to remove the plant, but at least our people should get better jobs. Outsiders have all the permanent positions there.” She is sympathetic to the DAE’s rhetoric of nation-building, but dismayed with the lopsidedness of it all. Why should people who live in metropolitan India receive the benefits of nuclear energy while people from Kudankulam take on the risks?

“People protested a lot, and nothing happened. Many who protested can’t get jobs there. It was a waste,” the teacher concluded. “People have accepted that they must live with the diseases. They have made up their mind to live happily until they die. They have started building bigger houses. And since people have come from other places, the land rates have increased, like in the big cities.” Indeed, right outside the nuclear plant, locals have opened new shops selling food, cellphones, and other sundry items. The area has become a real estate hotspot………………..

The region has seen sporadic protests ever since India and the erstwhile Soviet Union had signed an agreement to build these reactors in 1988, as part of post-Chernobyl nuclear diplomacy.3 With the fall of Soviet Union, the project went nowhere for a decade. In the wake of its Pokhran-II nuclear weapons tests in May 1998 and the sanctions that followed, however, India sought Russia’s help. Construction work at the Kudankulam plant finally began in 2000. However, it was the 2011 Fukushima accident in the aftermath of a tsunami that hit close to home…….

A few days after the Fukushima accident, a senior DAE official announced that “there [was] no nuclear accident or incident [in Fukushima],” instead claiming that “it was purely a chemical reaction and not a nuclear emergency.”4 Such technocratic stonewalling, typical of the DAE, did little to allay the anxieties of people living around the plant. Following a test run at the nuclear plant in July 2011, which involved generating high pressure steam to check safety mechanisms, residents started protesting non-violently. The DAE sought to further counter the heightened fear of locals with high-handedness and by flexing its scientific, economic, and legal authority.

Former Indian president A. P. J. Abdul Kalam—uniquely positioned as both a leading defense scientist and a member of the coastal fishing community in Tamil Nadu—visited KKNPP in November 2011. He declared the nuclear plant to be safe and recommended introducing four-lane highways, hospitals, jobs, and bank subsidies to the area. However, the former President refused to meet those in the village with anti-nuclear sentiments, declaring instead that “history is not made by cowards. Sheer crowd cannot bring about changes. Only those who think everything is possible can create history and bring about changes.”

Months later, tired of intransigent protestors, the state enlisted the help of India’s leading mental health hospital to counsel them. Meanwhile, the police and additional security agencies dealt with dissenting locals in their own style. By the first anniversary of the non-violent protests in August 2012, nearly 7,000 people had been accused of sedition and waging war against the state. Many in Idinthakarai still refuse to forgive the state for how they responded to the protests.

Mildred, a fifty-year-old leader of the Idinthikarai protests with dozens of legal cases against her recounted the day they had marched on the nuclear plant in September 2012. “We were frightened by the gun fire. I was in the front with other women and the hot gas fell between our legs. We couldn’t breathe. We couldn’t see for many days. They captured six other women, but I escaped by swimming into the sea,” For Mildred and other villagers from Idinthikarai, marching on the plant was a last-ditch effort to stop the loading of the nuclear fuel rods and the commissioning of the first reactor at KKNPP.

“That changed everything. We decided to protect the village by destroying the roads. We rang the church bell to warn people about the arrival of the police. We were hurt in our hearts,” Mildred continued. Throughout, the state could only see the irrationality and naïveté of this resistance, with the Prime Minister and Home Minister alleging that “foreign NGOs” were instigating the locals against the KKNPP. However, most apprehensions of the women activists we met in Kudankulam and Idinthakarai were grounded in their personal experience and knowledge…………

In Idinthakarai, this fierce sense of belonging to the soil and sea is a common refrain, even among different generations of women. A senior government official once put this down to their “primitive” mindset—calling them a “sea-tribe”—and to their inability to understand modern society. This framing is, of course, an attempt to dismiss these people as relics of a bygone era. “Mobile phones came around [the protest] time. We started googling the effects [of radiation]. Only then did we realize how dangerous this could be. We saw the fate of Chernobyl, of Fukushima,” a twenty-seven-year-old nurse, Preeka, who was shortly leaving to work at a hospital in Qatar, told us.

…………………there is little substantive dialogue around nuclear safety with the local communities. To date, let alone independent monitoring, plant authorities do not make their environment survey lab reports publicly available.

Albeit without recourse to scientific data, these women read the nuclear plant and its effects on their lives in anecdotal terms and in stories that make sense to them. The fish catch, the illnesses, the changing climate, and the sea all have become signs of things to come. Preeka observed, “the sea is my favorite. But now it is not good and it angers me. Many babies are affected with diseases, such as cancer and thyroid, these diseases are coming to our people… And since people get affected by diseases without doing anything wrong, they can’t control it. It makes me very sad.”

…………………….. these women are not far off from the scholars who see human-made radioactive nuclides as a marker of the Anthropocene.

Even though the authoritarian techniques of the nuclear establishment have prevailed, the activists in Idinthakarai have faith in their own powers…………………………………………..  It was striking how these women activists situated their politics in motherhood and in their responsibility as the guardians for future generations. Prayers to Lourde Matha at the main church, floral tributes to Kadalamma, and protests against the nuclear plant all lie on a continuum as acts of reverence for life. While this politics around maternity might not sit well with a certain progressive outlook, these women are clear about their feminist goals.

A time will come. We will take over the village and remove the nuclear power plant…………………………….

A few days before we came, Idinthakarai witnessed a showdown between those who wanted to accept money from the nuclear plant to renovate the village playground and others who remain opposed to any such enticements. Even though the voices of the women activists carried the day, it isn’t clear how long this resistance will last. On our way out, we meet a young engineer, and ask him about his future plans. “I don’t blame others who might work at the plant, but I refused to work there. I have seen the people of my village struggle against it… Our people have no say. I am preparing for a government job. We need to take charge.” Perhaps the hopes of the women aren’t too far-fetched, for people’s movements too have long half-lives.  https://www.e-flux.com/architecture/half-life/508409/mothering-a-movement-notes-from-india-s-longest-anti-nuclear-struggle/

December 16, 2022 Posted by | India, opposition to nuclear, Women | Leave a comment

India headed towards 100% renewables power by 2050

A new optimistic Nature paper from the LUT University in Finland looks to a
key role being played by renewables for rapid transitioning of the power
sector across states in India. Progress has been uneven at times, but LUT
says that a renewables-based power system by 2050 could be ‘lower in cost
than the current coal dominated system’ and have ‘zero greenhouse gas
emissions’ while providing ‘reliable electricity to around 1.7 billion
people’.

Renew Extra 29th Oct 2022

https://renewextraweekly.blogspot.com/2022/10/india-towards-100-renewable-power-by.html

October 31, 2022 Posted by | India, renewable | Leave a comment

India: Centres to be set up for people exposed to chemical, nuclear attacks

The Union Health Ministry has drawn up a proposal to set up two tertiary level centres for the treatment of people exposed to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents or attacks,

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi , August 21, 2022,

In a first, the Union Health Ministry has drawn up a proposal to set up two tertiary level centres for the treatment of people exposed to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents or attacks.

It is aimed at managing medical emergencies arising out of incidents such as the Bhopal gas tragedy, Visakhapatnam HPCL refinery blast, Tughlaqabad gas leak, Kanpur ammonia gas leak and other industrial accidents, official sources told PTI.

The detailed project report for setting up of these two chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) facilities at Stanley Medical College in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Jhajjar Campus, AIIMS has been readied.

The project report has been prepared by HLL Infra Tech Services Ltd (HITES) in consultation with experts drawn from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Defence and other sectors like the Department of Atomic Energy as well as its affiliate organisations like Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, they said.

The two facilities are to be set up over one-and-half years at an estimated cost of Rs 230 crore……………… more https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/centres-to-be-set-up-for-people-exposed-to-chemical-nuclear-attacks-122082100174_1.html

August 21, 2022 Posted by | health, India | Leave a comment

Ukraine war – good chance for France to sell nuclear reactors to India, replacing deal with Russia.

Supply of six nuclear reactors: Question mark on Russia inputs, India evaluates French push at Jaitapur https://indianexpress.com/article/india/supply-of-six-nuclear-reactors-question-mark-on-russia-inputs-india-evaluates-french-push-at-jaitapur-7966435/

The Department of Atomic Energy is actively examining a binding techno-commercial offer submitted by the French state-owned power company to help build six third-generation EPR reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra. 

 by Mihir Mishra , Anil Sasi  June 13, 2022

Amid mounting uncertainties over the civil nuclear partnership with Russia in the wake of the Ukraine war, there are indications of fresh progress on the much-delayed deal with French power utility EDF for the supply of six EPR (European Pressurised Water Reactors) nuclear reactors.

The Department of Atomic Energy is actively examining a binding techno-commercial offer submitted by the French state-owned power company to help build six third-generation EPR reactors at Jaitapur in Maharashtra.

A high-level team from EDF was here late last month.

New Delhi had accorded an “in-principle” approval of the site at Jaitapur in Maharashtra for setting up of six reactors of 1650 MWe (megawatt electric) each as part of an umbrella nuclear deal signed with France in September 2008.

However, that proposal has been hanging fire on account of multiple factors, including the slowdown in nuclear projects globally post the Fukushima incident and internal reorganisation at French nuclear utility Areva (which was subsequently taken over by EDF).

If the Jaitapur deal takes off, it would be the largest nuclear power generating site in the country with a total capacity of 9,900 MWe and one of the biggest-ever export deals for the French side.

Sources said the issue of the techno-commercial offer came up during delegation level talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron in May.

June 14, 2022 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

Russia’s Outsized Role in India’s Nuclear Power Program.

 Russia’s Outsized Role in India’s Nuclear Power Program. The United
States normalized India’s civil nuclear program, but Russia still exerts
more influence in the sector. India’s nuclear isolation came to an end
with the help of civilian nuclear deals with the United States and its
allies. Yet Russia has more influence on the Indian nuclear power market.

The war in Ukraine and the wave of Western sanctions on Russian exports
raises concerns about India’s position. If India makes the unlikely
decision of following the West to aggressively condemn Russia, India’s
civilian nuclear energy, a crucial piece of the country’s strategy for
energy security may also suffer.

 The Diplomat 28th May 2022

https://thediplomat.com/2022/05/russias-outsized-role-in-indias-nuclear-power-program/

May 30, 2022 Posted by | India, politics international | Leave a comment

France is offering 6 new nuclear reactors to India, even though India’s nukes are not within the IAEA safety regulatory framework.

AMAZINGLY, despite the fact that at a time when India’s eight nuclear
reactors already remain out of the IAEA safety regulatory framework,
Electrrice de France (EDF) has offered India to get six evolutionary
pressurised water nuclear reactors (EPRs) from France. While looking into
the evolution of the Indian nuclear program, one gets a clear picture that
since Pokhran-1-11 1974 , 1998, New Delhi has been unduly favoured by the
foreign powers to enhance its soft power and hard power nuclear assets.

 Pakistan Observer 26th May 2022

https://pakobserver.net/foreign-powers-role-behind-indias-nuclear-programme-by-syed-qamar-afzal-rizvi/

May 28, 2022 Posted by | India, safety | Leave a comment

Climate change makes record-breaking heatwaves in northwest India and Pakistan 100 times more likely

Climate change makes record-breaking heatwaves in northwest India and
Pakistan 100 times more likely, a Met Office study finds. The region should
now expect a heatwave that exceeds the record temperatures seen in 2010
once every three years.

Without climate change, such extreme temperatures
would occur only once every 312 years, the Met Office says. The report
comes as forecasters say temperatures in north-west India could reach new
highs in the coming days. The extreme pre-monsoon heatwave the region has
suffered in recent weeks eased a little after peak temperatures reached 51C
in Pakistan on Saturday.

But the heat looks likely to build again towards
the end of this week and into the weekend, the Met Office’s Global Guidance
Unit warns. It says maximum temperatures are likely to reach 50C in some
spots, with continued very high overnight temperatures.

 BBC 18th May 2022

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-61484697

May 19, 2022 Posted by | climate change, India, Pakistan | Leave a comment

Extreme heat hitting India

 An intense heatwave has been sweeping through northern India with
temperature hitting a record 49.2C in parts of the capital, Delhi. Reports
say this is the fifth spell of a heatwave in the capital this summer.
Officials in many parts of the country have asked people to take
precaution. They warned the heat could cause moderate health concerns for
the vulnerable, including infants, the elderly and people with chronic
diseases.

 BBC 16th May 2022

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-61242341

May 17, 2022 Posted by | climate change, India | Leave a comment

Pakistan, India reel under intense heat wave

Market Screener, By Jibran Ahmad and Sumit Khanna, 29 Apr 22,

PESHAWAR, Pakistan/AHMEDABAD,India (Reuters) -Pakistan issued a heat warning after the hottest March in 61 years while in parts of neighbouring India schools were shut and streets deserted as an intense heave wave on Friday showed no signs of abating.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Climate Change, Sherry Rehman, urged the federal and provincial governments to take precautionary measures to manage the intense heat wave, which touched highs of 47 degrees Celsius (116.6 Fahrenheit) in parts of the country.

“South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan are faced with what has been a record-breaking heatwave. It started in early April and continues to leave the people gasping in whatever shade they find,” Rehman said in a statement.


Temperatures were predicted to rise by 6 to 8 degrees Celsius above average temperatures after the hottest March on record since 1961, she said.

More than a billion people are at risk of heat-related impacts in the region, scientists have warned, linking the early onset of an intense summer to climate change. For the first time in decades, Pakistan had gone from winter to summer without the spring season, Rehman said.

The government has also told provincial disaster management authorities to prepare urgently for the risk of flash-flooding in northern mountainous provinces due to rapid glacial melting, Rehman said.

Glaciers in the Himalaya, Hindu Kush and Karkoram mountain ranges have melted rapidly, creating thousand of glacial lakes in northern Pakistan, around 30 of which were at risk of sudden hazardous flooding, the climate change ministry said, adding around 7 million people were vulnerable.

A senior scientist at the India Meteorological Department said https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1519938880824176641?s=20&t=NgygE8RS-D4wfM-OJxp9Ew on Friday heat conditions would persist for at least the next three days, but that temperatures would fall after the arrival of monsoons, expected in some parts by May.

The health problems triggered by the heatwave were posing a bigger worry than the expected fourth wave of COVID-19, doctors in India said.

“We are getting many patients who have suffered heatstroke or other heat-related problems,” said Mona Desai, former president of Ahmedabad Medical Association in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

She said that 60-70% of the patients were school-aged complaining of vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal colic, weakness and other symptoms.

Roads were deserted in Bhubaneshwar, in India’s eastern state of Odisha, where schools have been shut, while neighbouring West Bengal advanced the school summer break by a few days.

April 30, 2022 Posted by | climate change, India, Pakistan | Leave a comment

Delhi sweltering under extreme heat, electricity shortage

India is facing the worst electricity shortage in more than six years as
Delhi saw its hottest April in 12 years on Thursday at a maximum of 43.5C.
The temperatures in the national capital are predicted to linger around 44C
with peak summer heat still to come before the cool monsoon rains in June.

The extreme heat parching across large swathes of south Asia this week has
also prompted health officials in the western state of Gujarat to take
measures, as they braced for a potential spike in patients. Meanwhile, the
leap in power demand has left India scrambling for coal, with inventories
running lowest pre-summer levels in at least nine years. Several states
including Rajasthan and Haryana in the north and Andhra Pradesh in the
south observed the worst power cuts in over six years as the government
struggled to manage surging power demands.

Independent 29th April 2022 https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/india-heatwave-2022-delhi-latest-b2068112.html

April 30, 2022 Posted by | climate change, India | Leave a comment

Severe Indian heatwave will bake a billion people and damage crops.

 Severe Indian heatwave will bake a billion people and damage crops. An
unusual heatwave forecast across much of India will see temperatures in the
mid-to-high 40s°C. More than a billion people are facing a severe heatwave
across India this week, which will have wide-ranging consequences for the
health of the most vulnerable and will damage wheat harvests. Temperatures
in the mid-to-high 40s°C are forecast for much of the country in the
coming days, with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issuing
heatwave warnings for several states. The UK Met Office says that
temperatures are currently above average in India and that this will
probably continue into the coming week. India is entering a season ahead of
the monsoon’s arrival when heatwaves are common, the Met Office says, but
this year it follows a period of unusually early sweltering conditions in
India.

 New Scientist 26th April 2022

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2317372-severe-indian-heatwave-will-bake-a-billion-people-and-damage-crops

April 28, 2022 Posted by | climate change, India | Leave a comment

India’s Inadvertent Missile Launch Underscores the Risk of Accidental Nuclear Warfare

Complex weapon systems are inherently prone to accidents, and this latest launch is one of a long history of military accidents in India,   Scientific American  By Zia MianM. V. Ramana on April 8, 2022

Last month, while most of the world focused on the war in Ukraine and worried that a beleaguered Russian leadership might resort to nuclear weapons, thus escalating the conflict into a direct war with the U.S.-led NATO nuclear-armed alliance, a nearly tragic accident involving India and Pakistan pointed to another path to nuclear war. The accident highlighted how complex technological systems, including those involving nuclear weapons, can generate unexpected routes to potential disaster—especially when managed by overconfident organizations.

India and Pakistan possess more than 300 nuclear weapons between them, and have fought multiple wars and faced many military crises. On March 9, two years after their dispute over Kashmir escalated into attacks by jet fighters, the Pakistan Air Force detected “a high speed flying object” inside Indian territory change course and veer suddenly toward Pakistan. It flew deep into Pakistan and crashed. The object was a BrahMos cruise missile, a weapon system developed jointly by India and Russia. India soon stated the launch was an accident.

The firing of the BrahMos missile falls within a long history of accidents involving military systems in India.  Military aircraft have strayed across the borders during peacetime. India’s first nuclear submarine was reportedly “crippled” by an accident in 2018, but the government refused to divulge any details. Secrecy has prevented the investigation of an apparent failure of India’s ballistic missile defence system in 2016. Engagements between India and Pakistan can arise from such accidents, as in 1999 when a Pakistani military plane was shot down along the border by India, killing 16 people. Pakistan has had its share of accidents, including a Pakistani fighter jet crashing into the capital city in 2020.

All these weapons systems are inherently accident-prone because of two characteristics identified by organizational sociologist Charles Perrow decades ago—interactive complexity and tight coupling—that combine to make accidents a “normal” feature of the operation of some hazardous technologies. The first characteristic refers to the possibility that different parts of the system can affect each other in unexpected ways, thus producing unanticipated outcomes. The second makes it hard to stop the resulting sequence of events. For Perrow, “the dangerous accidents lie in the system, not in the components,” and are inevitable.

Perhaps the best and most troubling proof of this proposition is in the realm of nuclear weapons—which embody all the properties of high-risk technological systems. Despite decades of efforts to ensure safety, these systems have suffered many failures, accidents and close calls. During 1979–1980, for example, there were several false warnings of Soviet missile attacks, some of which resulted in U.S. nuclear forces being put on alert. 

 ……………………………………The mistake that is of greatest concern is a false alarm of an incoming nuclear attack, possibly directed against nuclear forces. Indian or Pakistani—or Russian or NATO—policy makers may find themselves under immense pressure to launch a preemptive attack, thereby compounding the crisis. The terrible dilemma confronting them would be whether to use their nuclear weapons first or wait for the bombs from the other side to land. Nuclear war, even of a limited nature, between India and Pakistan could lead to millions of deaths in the short term and even graver consequences in the longer term for the region and beyond.  

……………  As the legendary analyst of nuclear command and control Bruce Blair warned, among nuclear weapon system managers and operators there is an “illusion of safety” that masks “the systematic potential for tragedy on a monumental scale.” Whether it is India and Pakistan preparing for a fifth war, or the forces of a nuclear-armed Russia struggling ever more violently to subdue Ukraine and stem the flow of lethal NATO weapons, such illusions threaten the destruction of cities and may lead to the killing of nations. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/indias-inadvertent-missile-launch-underscores-the-risk-of-accidental-nuclear-warfare/

April 9, 2022 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Concern in Tamil Nadu over spent nuclear fuel storage at Kudankulam site 

Tamil Nadu flags concern over spent nuclear fuel storage at Kudankulam site   https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/chennai/tamil-nadu-flags-concern-over-spent-nuclear-fuel-storage-at-kudankulam-site-7780809/

Chief Minister M K Stalin flagged the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter about the issue pertaining to the power plant located in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday opposed the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited’s proposal to store spent nuclear fuel (SNF) at the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) site and suggested it be sent back to Russia, according to an earlier agreement or store it in an uninhabited area.

Chief Minister M K Stalin flagged the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter about the issue pertaining to the power plant located in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli district.

Six nuclear power reactors of 1000 MW each are envisaged in this project.  Out of the six, units 1 & 2 have already been commissioned, while 3 & 4 are under construction and units 5 & 6 are yet to be established, Stalin said.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. proposes to construct Away from Reactor (AFR) facilities in the nuclear power plant site itself for the storage of the SNF generated from all six reactors,” the Chief Minister said.

In this regard, I wish to inform that when the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had earlier accorded permission to Units 1 & 2, the agreement was to collect and store the spent fuel temporarily within the unit’s premises (At Reactor) and then send it back to the country of origin, Russia,” he said.

However, it was subsequently decided to store the SNF permanently in the AFR facility to be located within the unit premises. “This decision was taken without consulting the state government,” he said.

Stalin told the Prime Minister that there was “deep concern and apprehensions” among the people of Tamil Nadu, including various political parties, regarding the hazards and potential danger of the AFR storage facility of the SNF within the plant premises.

Several such facilities across the world have faced accidents leading to “disastrous impacts” on the environment and the people residing in and around such plants, he said.

The local people are apprehensive of the fallouts and have been protesting against the AFR facilities within the complex.

“Therefore, I request that in the interest of public safety, health and welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu, action may be taken to transport back the SNF to Russia. This must not only be for units 1 & 2, but also for the subsequent four units. In case this is not a feasible option, the spent fuel may be permanently stored in a Deep Geological Repository (DGR) in an uninhabited and ecologically non-sensitive area,” the Chief Minister told Modi.

February 22, 2022 Posted by | India, wastes | Leave a comment

India’s Nuclear Weapons Could Kill Millions Of People- a matter of pride?

What’s a few million dead. compared to national pride?

India’s Nuclear Weapons Could Kill Millions Of People, Caleb Larson, 7 Feb 22, India might be the nuclear weapons state many military analysts forget about. Nonetheless, New Delhi could start a nuclear war within just mere minutes: India’s indigenously developed technology—and a lot of Russian hardware and help—all keep Pakistan and China at bay.

No First Use. An NFU policy essentially constitutes a promise, backed by a survivable nuclear arsenal, to only use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack,” explained a Carnegie publication. “The logic is simple and effective: you don’t nuke me, and I won’t nuke you. India and China both have declared no-first-use policies, whereas Pakistan and the United States, among others, do not rule out the first use of nuclear weapons in a conflict.”

Despite India’s formidable nuclear arsenal, India had since 2003 maintained it will not use said weapons of mass destruction first, but strictly in a retaliatory manner for deterrence.

However, 2019, India called their no first use policy into question when Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said that “Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘no first use’. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.” This curious statement is perhaps an example of deliberate strategic ambiguity.

Triad

India maintains a nuclear triad—that is a three-pronged nuclear weapon delivery system that utilizes a diverse array of means for delivering nuclear payload on target. New Delhi has air-launched nuclear missiles, land-based nuclear missiles, and most recently submarine-launched missiles……………….  https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/02/indias-nuclear-weapons-could-kill-millions-of-people/

February 8, 2022 Posted by | India, weapons and war | Leave a comment