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New nuclear weapons that could make continents uninhabitable

Russia’s New Nuclear Weapon Could Make America Uninhabitable, The National Interest•September 20, 2019  

Can’t lose if we all lose.

by Sebastien Roblin  Key point: This is a weapon of last resort. Total overkill  
“…….Like the nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) operated by United States, China, France, the United Kingdom, and India, the primary purpose of Borei-class submarines is almost unimaginably grim: to bring ruin to an adversary’s cities, even should other nuclear forces be wiped out in a first strike.

Each of the submarine’s sixteen R-30 Bulava (“Mace”) missiles typically carries six 150-kiloton nuclear warheads designed to split apart to hit separate targets. This means one Borei can rain seventy-two nuclear warheads ten times more destructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on cities and military bases over 5,800 miles away. ……..

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September 20, 2019 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

faulty parts found in a number of France’s nuclear reactors

10% of French Nuclear Reactors Have Potentially Faulty Parts Installed as Fukushima Fears Persist   https://sputniknews.com/europe/201909181076832892-10-of-french-nuclear-reactors-have-potentially-faulty-parts-installed-as-fukushima-fears-persist/

September 19, 2019 Posted by | France, incidents | Leave a comment

Iodine tablets for 2.2 million people in France

September 19, 2019 Posted by | France, safety | Leave a comment

Dramatic rise in the risk of a US-Russia nuclear war, which would kill mega millions

US-Russia nuclear war would kill 34 million people within hours and is increasingly likely, Princeton study concludes,  Independent UK, Risk of catastrophic conflict has risen ‘dramatically in the past two years’, academics warn Jon Sharman.   18 Sep 19, More than 90 million people would be killed or injured in a nuclear war between the US and Russia if a conventional conflict went too far, according to a new simulation created by researchers.

Such a scenario has become “dramatically” more plausible in the last two years because the two countries have dropped support for arms-control measures, according to a team from Princeton University.

The simulation, the result of a study at Princeton‘s Science and Global Security programme (SGS), suggests 34 million people would be killed and 57 million injured in the first hours of an all-out nuclear conflagration – not counting those left ill by fallout and other long-term problems.

In the animation, electronic trails of ballistic missiles arc across the screen, before blossoming into a carpet of white discs.

Worldwide destruction would include the nuclear incineration of Europe, which the Princeton scientists claimed could be brought about by the escalation of a conventional war between Russia and Nato………. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-russia-nuclear-war-trump-putin-simulation-europe-nato-a9109116.html

September 19, 2019 Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Strong environmental case to scrap Bradwell B new nuclear build

Mersea Island Courier 16th Sept 2019, Native oysters at risk from new nuclear build. Graham Farley of Mersea Island Environmental Alliance (MIEA) shares why marine life in the
Blackwater Estuary will be at risk if the Bradwell B nuclear new-build goes
ahead.

CHINA General Nuclear Power Group (CGN) and EDF Energy are currently
circulating updates on the proposed Bradwell new-build nuclear project. In
their article they say that members of the public have a chance to win a
photographic competition or even submit their happy memories associated
with the original Bradwell Magnox Station!

My memories of the Bradwell Magnox station include: radioactive leaks, record fines, more leaks and attempts to cover up a catalogue of failures including the failed FED
dumping of radioactive waste in our estuary.

Unsurprisingly, there are no mentions of climate change and environmental protection in their
literature. It was assumed that with the decreasing cost of green energy,
spiralling costs of new nuclear projects and collapse of other UK proposed
nuclear builds that Bradwell would be shelved.

However, this isn’t so, as we have a copy of a Marine Licence application from July this year to
survey the estuary, which confirms that the project is still moving
forward. This document confirms the power station “will likely operate
with cooling water abstracted from the Blackwater Estuary”.

The case I’m making to stop the nuclear new build at Bradwell is environmental:
the Blackwater Estuary is one of the most important wildlife habitats in
the country, therefore safeguarding and preserving this habitat for future
generations is a priority! We must protect of the delicate ecology of the
mud flats, salt marsh and the shallow estuary with its many international
environmental protections and UK Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) status.

https://www.facebook.com/MerseaIslandCourierNews/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARCXSjfi2E_C6CL5eAX4Wa1zR6M4NHF98IQvB60PU0ALVpvfuFzC7Kyd1J8fQ6a4UpvR19lHEu5jwshV

September 19, 2019 Posted by | environment, UK | Leave a comment

Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) see Revenue Asset Base (RAB) financial model as a danger to UK’s public purse

NFLA 16th Sept 2019, The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today its response to
the UK Government consultation on the Revenue Asset Base (RAB) financial
model being proposed to assist the funding of new nuclear reactors.

NFLA see this new model as a real risk to the public purse, providing
preferential treatment to new nuclear over renewable energy investment, is
overly complicated to implement at a time when the ‘climate emergency’
calls for more straightforward and realisable schemes like energy
efficiency and decentralised energy solutions instead.

http://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/nfla-view-governments-proposed-funding-new-nuclear-reactors-moving-risks-taxpayer/

September 19, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment

Russia trying to market nuclear power to Uganda (or to anybody, really)

Uganda says Russia to help it develop nuclear energy, KAMPALA (Reuters) 18 Sept 19, – Uganda said on Wednesday it had signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Russia to help the East African country build capacity to exploit nuclear technology for energy, medical and other peaceful purposes.The government of President Yoweri Museveni has previously said it is eager to use the country’s uranium deposits to boost energy production capacity.

In May last year Uganda also signed a memorandum of understanding with China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to help Uganda build capacity in the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes.

In an emailed statement, Uganda’s energy ministry said the IGA with Russia was signed in Vienna on Tuesday between Energy Minister Irene Muloni and Nikolai Spasskiy, the deputy director general of Russian state corporation ROSATOM……….

Reporting by Elias Biryabarema in Kampala; Editing by Matthew Lewis https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uganda-russia/uganda-says-russia-to-help-it-develop-nuclear-energy-idUSKBN1W328N

 

September 19, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Opposition in Suffolk to Sizewell nuclear plan, which hugely threatens wildlife

ITV 15th Sept 2019, RSPB hosts new festival in response to EDF’s plans to build nuclear reactor
at the edges of a nature reserve. A thousand people attended a festival
today organised by the RSPB in response to EDF’s plans to build a nuclear
reactor in Suffolk. Sizewell C will be built on the boundary of the
Minsmere Nature Reserve which is home to more than five and a half thousand
species of wildlife.

The RSPB manages the site and opposes the energy
giants plans. They say building the reactor so close to the nature reserve
could threaten the thousands of different species of wildlife that call
Minsmere home. EDF say that the environmental impact of the new site would
be kept to a minimum, and argue that new jobs for local people will be
provided.

Among the visitors supporting the festival today (Sunday,
September 15) was television presenter, Bill Turnbull, who lives nearby. He
said: There’s no infrastructure or communications for it here. What is
here, is Minsmere – where the RSPB have been trying really hard to get all
these birds to come back. And we are going to risk it all just simply
because it’s a convenient place to build a power station.” The public
consultation into EDF’s proposal for Sizewell C will end on September 27.

https://www.itv.com/news/anglia/2019-09-15/rspb-hosts-new-festival-in-response-to-edf-s-plans-to-build-nuclear-reactor-at-the-edges-of-a-nature-reserve/

September 17, 2019 Posted by | environment, opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Study: Germany needs clean energy surge to replace coal, nuclear

September 17, 2019 Posted by | Germany, renewable | Leave a comment

Why Russia’s first atomic submarines were a nuclear nightmare

  Russia’s First Atomic Submarines: A Nuclear Nightmare for 1 Reason , by Sebastien Roblin   National Interest, September 14, 2019, They were not exactly top of the line–think massive safety issues. Mix that with nuclear power…
Key point: The power of the November class’s reactors was bought at the price of safety and reliability.

The United States launched the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, in 1954, revolutionizing undersea warfare. The Nautilus’s reactor allowed it operate underwater for months at a time, compared to the hours or days afforded conventional submarines. The following year, the Soviet Union began building its own nuclear submarine, the Project 627—known as the November class by NATO. The result was a boat with a few advantages compared to its American competition, but that also exhibited a disturbing tendency to catastrophic accidents that would prove characteristic of the burgeoning Soviet submarine fleet during the Cold War.

……  the power of the November class’s reactors was bought at the price of safety and reliability. A lack of radiation shielding resulted in frequent crew illness, and many of the boat suffered multiple reactor malfunctions over their lifetimes. This lack of reliability may explain why the Soviet Union dispatched conventional Foxtrot submarines instead of the November-class vessels during the Cuban Missile Crisis…..

In fact, the frequent, catastrophic disasters onboard the Project 627 boats seem almost like gruesome public service announcements for everything that could conceivably go wrong with nuclear submarines. Many of the accidents reflected not only technological flaws, but the weak safety culture of the Soviet Navy.  …….
As the Soviet Union was succeeded by an economically destitute Russia, many decommissioned nuclear submarines were left to rust with their nuclear fuel onboard, leading to safety concerns from abroad. International donors fronted $200 million to scrap the hulks in 2003. Flimsy pontoons were welded onto K-159 to enable its towing to a scrapping site, but on August 30 a sea squall ripped away one of the pontoons, causing the boat to begin foundering around midnight. The Russian Navy failed to react until hours later, by which the time submarine had sunk, taking eight hundred kilograms of spent nuclear fuel and nine of the ten seamen manning the pontoons with it. Plans to raise K-159 have foundered to this day due to lack of funding.
This is just an accounting of major accidents on the November-class boats—more occurred on Echo- and Hotel-class submarines equipped with the same nuclear reactors. Submarine operations are, of course, inherently risky; the U.S. Navy also lost two submarines during the 1960s, though it hasn’t lost any since.
The November-class submarines may not have been particularly silent hunters, but they nonetheless marked a breakthrough in providing the Soviet submarine fleet global reach while operating submerged. They also provided painful lessons, paid in human lives lost or irreparably injured, in the risks inherent to exploiting nuclear power, and in the high price to be paid for technical errors and lax safety procedures. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russias-first-atomic-submarines-nuclear-nightmare-1-reason-80456

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

An emigrant’s memory of Chernobyl

Chernobyl’s dark history: Australian returns home 33 years after the world’s worst nuclear disaster, News 7  Steve Pennells  15 September 2019

Chernobyl – just the word is enough to evoke visions of a nuclear holocaust.

But for thousands of Australians, the nightmare was all too real. They are the children of Chernobyl – scarred by their experiences – and now, more than 30 years on, determined to confront the past.

Inna Mitelman grew up in Belarus, in the shadow of Chernobyl. 33 years later, she’s happily settled in Melbourne with two children of her own. Her parents, Irina and Ilia, live close by.

“I remember it as a very beautiful place to grow up,” Inna tells Sunday Night’s Steve Pennells. “The people were lovely. I had a very beautiful childhood, I can tell you that much.”

For Inna, it was an idyllic existence, with her best friend Natasha living in the apartment right next door.

“We were pretty much inseparable,” Inna explains. “Our parents were very close friends, they were like family. We used to come into each other’s houses without knocking. My house was her house, her house was my house.”

Chernobyl was 100 kilometres away – but on the 26th of April 1986, that was much too close.

The explosion in Reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant would be the worst nuclear accident in history. A safety test gone wrong ruptured the reactor core and caused a fire that released vast clouds of radioactive contamination. But the Soviet authorities supressed the true scale of the disaster – and only after 36 hours was the order given to evacuate the nearby city of Pripyat, home to the power plant workers and their families.

Inna Mitelman was only 11 years old when the refugees from Pripyat arrived on her doorstep, but the memory is still vivid.

“The first thing I remember is seeing new kids in our yard in the morning when we walked out to go to school,” Inna recalls. “There were wrapped up in blankets.”

As the fire continued to rage in the reactor, badly injured power plant workers and fireman were brought to the Pripyat hospital.

Today, the hospital at Pripyat stands abandoned, like the rest of this once-thriving city. But 33 years ago, the reactor was spewing out 400 times more radioactive material than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs combined.

Sergii Mirnyi soon learnt the truth. He was the commander of a radiation reconnaissance unit. It was his job to seek out the worst of the hot zones……..

“I’ve got thyroid nodules which were discovered when I was pregnant with my second child,” Inna reveals. “The surgeon said I’ve got [a] 50 per cent chance of developing thyroid cancer, so let’s just get it out now.”

Now, Inna wants to return to her homeland, to understand a tragic event from her past that still haunts her.

“I’m terrified,” Inna admits. “There’s a reason why we haven’t been back. But you need to do this to confront it and deal with it and move on. Because the worst thing that ever happened to me [was] probably my best friend dying when I was 11, and I think having to deal with that freaks me out as well.”

“We first found out that something was wrong with her when she became cross-eyed. They found a brain tumour, they operated, but she died the next morning.”

“This was my best friend. This was the person that I grew up with. Her death, it destroyed me.”

Natasha’s family moved out after the death of their daughter. But Inna is determined to find them.

Inside the exclusion zone

2,500 square kilometres of contaminated territory – including Pripyat – are now abandoned after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Pripyat was a brand new city, right next to the nuclear power plant. It was a jewel in the Soviet crown, with a thriving population of 50,000 people. It was emptied in the course of a single day, with residents forced to leave with only what they could carry…….

For many new mothers here in Belarus, there’s a profound fear that the effects of Chernobyl might be passed on to a second generation.

At the local Children’s Hospital, chief doctor Irina Kalmanovich has been treating Chernobyl survivors for more than 30 years. She has no doubt she is still seeing children suffering from the disaster – and unlike other doctors in this repressive regime, she’s willing to risk saying it.

“It’s my opinion. It can be [a] result of Chernobyl because we have many patients even in our hospital, children with tumour, different parts of body, we have tumour of brain, leukaemia, so we have many patients.”……. https://7news.com.au/sunday-night/chernobyls-dark-history-australian-returns-home-33-years-after-the-worlds-worst-nuclear-disaster-c-454567

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Belarus, PERSONAL STORIES | Leave a comment

Russia’s Floating Nuclear Power Plant Arrives At Far East Base Pevek

Russia’s Floating Nuclear Power Plant Arrives At Far East Base,  https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-s-floating-nuclear-power-plant-arrives-at-far-east-base/30164346.html    Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant has reached its final destination in the country’s remote Far East after a three-week, 5,000-kilometer journey.

Russia’s state nuclear energy company Rosatom announced on September 14 the arrival in the Arctic port town of Pevek of the nuclear power plant, which Greenpeace has dubbed a “floating Chernobyl.”

The massive plant — a 140-meter towed platform that carries two 35-megawatt nuclear reactors set sail from Murmansk, in northwestern Russia, on August 23 and traveled along the Northern Sea Route to its destination off the coast of Chukotka.

Rosatom said small surrounding communities, along with mining facilities and offshore oil and natural gas platforms, would make use of the electricity.

The nuclear plant has been named the Akademik Lomonosov after the 18th-century Russian scientist Mikhail Lomonosov.

September 16, 2019 Posted by | Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Russia’s nuclear torpedoes at the bottom of the sea

A Dead Russian Submarine Armed with Nuclear Torpedoes was Never Recovered, National Interest, Robert Farley, September 15, 2019

Key point: She rests at a depth of 15,000 feet —too deep to make recovery practical. 

The Bay of Biscay is one of the world’s great submarine graveyards. In late World War II, British and American aircraft sank nearly seventy German U-boats in the Bay, which joined a handful of Allied and German subs sunk in the region during World War I. On April 12, 1970, a Soviet submarine found the same resting place. Unlike the others, however, K-8 was propelled by two nuclear reactors, and carried four torpedoes tipped by nuclear warheads.

The Novembers (627):

The November (Type 627) class was the Soviet Union’s first effort at developing nuclear attack submarines…….
 The Novembers were too loud to plausibly find their way into close enough proximity to a NATO port to ever actually fire a nuclear torpedo in wartime conditions…….
On April 8, K-8 suffered two fires, resulting in a shutdown of both nuclear reactors. The boat surfaced, and Captain Vsevolod Borisovich Bessonov ordered the crew to abandon ship. Eight crew members, trapped in compartments that were either flooded or burned out, died in the initial incident. Fortunately, a Soviet repair vessel arrived, and took K-8 under tow. However, bad weather made the recover operation a difficult prospect. Much of K-8’s crew reboarded the submarine, and for three days fought a life-and-death struggle to save the boat. Although details remain scarce, there apparently was no opportunity to safely remove the four nuclear torpedoes from K-8, and transfer them to the repair ship.
Unfortunately, the loss of power onboard and the difficult weather conditions were too much for the crew to overcome. On April 12, K-8 sank with some forty crew members aboard, coming to rest at a rough depth of 15,000 feet. The depth made any effort at recovering the submarine, and the nuclear torpedoes, impractical……
R
The loss of K-8 (along with the several accidents that afflicted her sisters) undoubtedly helped the Soviet Navy learn important lessons about distant operations, if only at extraordinary costs in human lives. And her nuclear torpedoes remain at the bottom, an enduring monument to most dangerous missions of the Cold War. https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/dead-russian-submarine-armed-nuclear-torpedoes-was-never-recovered-80416

September 16, 2019 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Kate Brown’s “Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the Future” illuminates the truth about radioactive legacy of nuclear industry

[in 1992] Baverstock and his colleagues published a letter on their findings in the scientific journal Nature, in which they concluded, “the consequences to the human thyroid, especially in fetuses and young children, of the carcinogenic effects of radioactive fallout is much greater than previously thought.”

Now, after more than 30 years, U.N.-sponsored researchers have backed away from the 1992 UNSCEAR study by concluding that “studies of clean-up workers/liquidators suggest dose-related increases of thyroid cancer and hematological malignancies in adults,” as well as “increases in cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. If confirmed, these would have significant public health and radiation protection implications.” 

The United States’ involvement with the Chernobyl aftermath was shaped largely, and shamefully, by the desire to avoid potential legal liabilities associated with the 166 U.S. open-air nuclear weapons tests in Nevada and the Marshall Islands. At the time of the Chernobyl accident, compensation radiation claims for injuries and deaths from bomb testing were looked upon by the nuclear weapons program as a dagger aimed at the heart of U.S. national security.

September 14, 2019 Posted by | investigative journalism, politics, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, USA | Leave a comment

“The Guardian” co-opted by UK security services?

Getting Julian Assange   The Guardian also appears to have been engaged in a campaign against the WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who had been a collaborator during the early WikiLeaks revelations in 2010.

It seems likely this was innuendo being fed to The Observer by an intelligence-linked individual to promote disinformation to undermine Assange.

In 2018, however, The Guardian’s attempted vilification of Assange was significantly stepped up. A new string of articles began on 18 May 2018 with one alleging Assange’s “long-standing relationship with RT”, the Russian state broadcaster. The series, which has been closely documented elsewhere, lasted for several months, consistently alleging with little or the most minimal circumstantial evidence that Assange had ties to Russia or the Kremlin.

How the UK Security Services neutralised the country’s leading liberal newspaper.   https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2019-09-11-how-the-uk-security-services-neutralised-the-countrys-leading-liberal-newspaper/ By Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis• 11 September 2019, The Guardian, Britain’s leading liberal newspaper with a global reputation for independent and critical journalism, has been successfully targeted by security agencies to neutralise its adversarial reporting of the ‘security state’, according to newly released documents and evidence from former and current Guardian journalists.

The UK security services targeted The Guardian after the newspaper started publishing the contents of secret US government documents leaked by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden in June 2013.

Snowden’s bombshell revelations continued for months and were the largest-ever leak of classified material covering the NSA and its UK equivalent, the Government Communications Headquarters. They revealed programmes of mass surveillance operated by both agencies.

According to minutes of meetings of the UK’s Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee, the revelations caused alarm in the British security services and Ministry of Defence. Continue reading

September 14, 2019 Posted by | media, Reference, secrets,lies and civil liberties, UK | Leave a comment