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Belarusian president offers nuclear weapons to those willing to join his alliance

29 May 23

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is offering nuclear weapons to countries willing to join the Union State of Russia and Belarus. CNN’s Laila Harrak reports.


May 31, 2023 Posted by | Belarus, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Chernobyl: Survivors reflect on nuclear accident, Russian occupation

Survivors of one of the world’s worst ever nuclear accidents at the Chernobyl power plant in Ukraine on 26 April 1986 have been reflecting on the events of that fateful day 37 years ago, as current employees consider the challenges of working at the plant which was seized by Russian troops following Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Looking back on two of the most difficult periods since the plant opened in 1977, Chernobyl employees shared their personal stories with UN News on the International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day.

Ground zero

Evgeny Yashin was a 40-year-old chemist at the Chernobyl plant when the nuclear power reactor accident unfolded in April 1986, resulting in massive evacuations, the deaths of 31 people, and long-term illness for thousands of others.

“Everyone was talking about the explosion of the reactor’s emergency cooling system,” he told UN News, recalling a fateful bus ride to work on the day of the accident. “But, passing by the fourth power unit, it became clear to us that it was much more serious than expected; the wall of the reactor had completely fallen out and a glow could be seen, resembling a steel foundry oven. We took action immediately.”

Mass evacuations

At that point, the scale of the accident was neither expected nor assessed, he said, adding that protocols were not in place because it had been inconceivable that this could happen to the reactors. As a shift supervisor of 300 employees at Chernobyl’s chemical workshop, his team’s main task was to prepare demineralized water, receive radioactive liquid waste, store it, and process it.

“We prepared the water to extinguish the reactor, walked knee-deep in water, and organized pumping,” he said. “Water appeared to be flowing endlessly, the system was launched at full capacity, and more and more water was required.”

On 27 April, Pripyat inhabitants were evacuated along with some of the plant’s staff, he said, remembering buses driving across the city, stopping in front of houses to collect evacuees. Relatives could neither call, warn them nor discuss the evacuation route, he said, recalling that he found his family had moved out of the area.

‘Very few of my colleagues are still alive’

In early May, the remaining staff were experiencing serious side-effects, as doctors monitored their health via frequent blood tests, he said, adding that some were taken “out of the zone” to rest.

“I feel the consequences on my health even now,” said Mr. Yashin, who has cancer. “Very few of my colleagues are still alive. I am surprised that I myself am still alive.”

Meanwhile, disputes remain about who is to blame, he said.

“I am 100 per cent sure that the designers could not have foreseen such a development,” he said. “The station personnel took all measures to localize the accident’s consequences, but could not prevent it.”

Since then, each year, on 26 April, residents of the city of Slavutych gather at a monument to the Chernobyl victims, lighting candles and remembering those tragic events, Mr. Yashin said. While he no longer works at the plant, his granddaughter, Tatiana, is an engineer who handles spent nuclear fuel at the facility, where it is stored alongside thousands of tons of radioactive waste…………………. more

April 28, 2023 Posted by | Belarus, PERSONAL STORIES | Leave a comment

Dogs of war — Chornobyl

Chornobyl dogs are distinct group, researchers find

Dogs of war — Beyond Nuclear International By Linda Pentz Gunter 23 Apr 23,

DNA research among Chornobyl’s dogs could provide answers about the effects of living in a radioactive environment

Pity the poor dogs (and cats) of Chornobyl. Abandoned in 1986 by owners fleeing the nuclear disaster, their descendants live on in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone, an area deemed too radioactive for human habitation and in a country now at war.

…………………………………..The presence today of at least several hundred semi-feral domestic dogs living around the Chornobyl plant and beyond, indicates that the 1986 cull was not, of course, entirely successful. The Dogs of Chornobyl — and their more furtive feline friends — continue to survive down the generations in a highly radioactive environment. There are other threats too, including exposure to rabies and wolf packs that prey on the dogs and their puppies.

…………..So how are these animals surviving? And how well?

A  new study, — The dogs of Chernobyl: Demographic insights into populations inhabiting the nuclear exclusion zone — published in the journal, Science Advances, has not yet answered this fundamental question. But the researchers have been able to gather important data to enable that next step.

The group studied the DNA of three sets of dog populations: those living at the Chornobyl power plant itself; those around nine miles away in Chornobyl City and another group around 28 miles away in Slavutych.

Their task was made easier by a surprising discovery: the dogs were not living in the traditional manner of wild dogs, or their closest ancestor, the Grey Wolf, but in distinct family units.

…………..These distinct family groups and lack of intermingling meant the researchers could easily identify different dogs through their DNA and thus distinguish those living at the nuclear plant from those living further away.

Co-author Tim Mousseau, professor of biological sciences at the University of South Carolina, has been visiting the Chornobyl site and studying the fate of its wildlife there since the late 1990s. At the same time, he began collecting blood samples from the Chornobyl dogs, curious to know how their bodies were handling such a significant radioactive load. Those samples are now being used in the current study to examine the dogs’ DNA. Wrote the authors in their paper:

“Hence, the dogs of Chernobyl are of immense scientific relevance for understanding the impact of harsh environmental conditions on wildlife and humans alike, particularly the genetic health effects of exposure to long-term, low-dose ionizing radiation and other contaminants, i.e., their adaptation to harsh living conditions makes them an ideal system in which to identify mutational signatures resulting from historical and ongoing radiation exposures.”

Mousseau’s wildlife studies have revealed shortened lifespans among birds and small mammals as well as the prevalence of tumors, sterility and cataracts among other phenomena considered related to exposure to radiation.

How or if the DNA of the Chornobyl-affected dogs has altered can now be examined……………………..

This in turn may lead to enlightenment on whether or not radiation damage is accumulating in their genomes and how this may affect their health and longevity — and that of other mammals similarly exposed — now and into the future

April 24, 2023 Posted by | Belarus, radiation | Leave a comment

Belarus’ second nuclear reactor is far behind schedule, while Unit 1 reactor remains unstable.

The Unit 2 reactor at the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant — built to
showcase Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom’s AES-2006 reactor
design in a foreign setting — has not yet been put into operation and
work on it is far behind schedule. The Unit 1 reactor at the station is
unstable and has been idle for almost half the time since its grand opening
in November of 2020. Against this backdrop, President Alexander Lukashenko
and his Ministry of Energy have declared their intention to build a second
nuclear plant amid Western sanctions and the Belarusian regime’s support
for Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.

 Bellona 23rd Feb 2023

February 25, 2023 Posted by | Belarus, technology | Leave a comment

Belarus has no intention to go to war with neighbors, but it will defend itself — defense minister

TASS, Mon, 10 Oct 2022

Belarus will not go to war with neighboring states provided there are no wrong steps on their part, Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin said on Monday.

“We don’t want to be at war with Lithuanians or Poles, let alone Ukrainians. If you don’t want to and don’t take wrong steps, then there will be no war,” the Defense Ministry’s press-service quotes Khrenin as saying.

He urged Ukraine not to provoke the Belarusian side and to refrain from spreading fake news about an allegedly impending attack by Minsk……………….


October 11, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, weapons and war | Leave a comment

They’ve Bankrupted Themselves’: Europe Gutted Own Security to Funnel Kiev Weapons, Expert Says

Sputnik News 19 Aug 22

Ukraine’s European benefactors made a big show of rushing military aid to Kiev in the early months of Russia’s special military operation, but the torrent has waned to a trickle since then, with no new pledges being made in July. One military expert said Europe is running out of both equipment and willpower to support the “horribly corrupt regime.”

Scott Ritter, a military analyst and former US Marine Corps intelligence officer, told Sputnik on Thursday that NATO’s policy of giving Ukraine billions of dollars in weapons that so quickly get destroyed is “inefficient and counterproductive” from both a political and a national security point of view.

“The more Europe invests its military capacity into Ukraine, the weaker Europe gets,” Ritter said.

Proxy Wars Are Expensive

“I think there’s a couple of things at play here. One, and I think first and foremost, is that Europe has bankrupted its own military capacity by transferring military equipment to Ukraine in an unconstrained manner. It’s becoming clear to all that Ukraine is facing a very difficult time on the battlefield. Weaponry is being provided by Europe, by the United States, by NATO, and this weaponry is not being absorbed in a coherent manner by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

 Instead, it’s being received and rushed to the front where it is not being used effectively and increasingly it’s being destroyed by the Russians. This is very expensive, very inefficient. It’s detrimental not only to Ukraine’s military capability but also the nations providing the equipment. They’re literally stripping bare their own inventories to support Ukraine in a losing cause,” Ritter explained.

The second part of this equation is, not only is this inefficient and counterproductive from a national security standpoint, but it’s expensive and counterproductive from a political standpoint,” he said. “I think the political cost of supporting Ukraine is about to become very, very high.”

“Many political leaders in Europe now are going to be facing an increasingly hostile constituency, demanding answers as to why their leaders committed: a) economic suicide by joining in on a failed sanctions effort; b) are further bankrupting the nation by stripping bare their own arsenals, requiring them to expend money to restock. This is an expensive proposition. And c), supporting what is increasingly being documented as a very corrupt and, frankly speaking, vile regime in Kiev.”

“Many political leaders in Europe now are going to be facing an increasingly hostile constituency, demanding answers as to why their leaders committed: a) economic suicide by joining in on a failed sanctions effort; b) are further bankrupting the nation by stripping bare their own arsenals, requiring them to expend money to restock. This is an expensive proposition. And c), supporting what is increasingly being documented as a very corrupt and, frankly speaking, vile regime in Kiev.”

…………………………………….Ritter recalled Berlin and Paris were also key guarantors of the Minsk Accords, which were supposed to settle the Donbass conflict in the context of autonomy for the Russian-speaking regions………………………… more

August 20, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Over 70 Russian soldiers suffering from radiation exposure at Chernobyl nucler site

Over 70 Russian soldiers exposed to radiation at Chernobyl: Ukraine,  KYODO NEWS  6 Apr 22, – About 75 Russian soldiers are receiving medical treatment in Belarus after being exposed to radiation during their temporary control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s Energy Minister German Galushchenko.

Galushchenko said in an online interview Tuesday that the troops apparently suffered from radiation after digging around the grounds of the plant, the site of a 1986 disaster, to defend themselves from the Ukrainian military.The troops were affected “very heavily and are in a very difficult situation and now (being treated) in clinics” in Belarus, Galushchenko said, citing information made available.

“I can’t imagine you could order someone to dig into” areas contaminated with “the high level of radiation with signs saying ‘Don’t come in. Don’t stay near,'” he said, speaking in English.”They’re soldiers, and they just follow the orders.”Galushchenko said Ukraine has regained complete control of the nuclear power plant……………..

April 7, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, health | Leave a comment

Belarus to end its non-nuclear-weapon status

Belarus holds referendum to renounce non-nuclear status

The referendum shedding Belarus’ neutral status comes as Russia put nuclear deterrent forces on high alert.  Aljazeera,  27 Feb 2022

Belarus is holding a referendum to adopt a new constitution that would ditch its non-nuclear status, at a time when the country has become a launchpad for Russian troops invading Ukraine.

The vote on Sunday is almost certain to pass under the tightly controlled rule of President Alexander Lukashenko, bringing nuclear weapons back on Belarusian soil for the first time since the country gave them up after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Lukashenko has fallen behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military assault on Ukraine after earlier playing an intermediary role between the two neighbours.

Putin on Sunday ordered Russian nuclear deterrent forces put on high alert, in a dramatic escalation of tensions with the West.

Speaking at a polling station, Lukashenko said that he could ask Russia to return nuclear weapons to Belarus.

“If you (the West) transfer nuclear weapons to Poland or Lithuania, to our borders, then I will turn to Putin to return the nuclear weapons that I gave away without any conditions,” Lukashenko said.

The constitutional referendum shedding Belarus’ neutral status opens the way for stronger military cooperation with Russia, which deployed forces to Belarusian territory under the pretext of military drills and then sent them rolling into Ukraine as part of the invasion that began on Thursday.

The amendments will also cement Lukashenko’s 27-year-old grip on power, allowing the president to stay in power until 2035 and giving him lifetime immunity from prosecution once he leaves office…………………………..

February 28, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, weapons and war | Leave a comment

NATO practices nuclear missile sorties near borders of the Russia-Belarus Union

NATO practices nuclear missile sorties near Union State borders — Belarus’ security chief

A breach of international norms and elementary rules of good neighborly relations by neighboring countries is already turning into an alarming trend, Alexander Volfovich stated

MINSK, January 28. /TASS/. The NATO Air Force is practicing sorties with cruise missiles, including with nuclear warheads, near the borders of the Russia-Belarus Union State, State Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council Alexander Volfovich said on Friday.

“The head of state drew attention to intensified flights by US strategic bombers near the borders of the Union State,” the BelTA news agency quoted Volfovich as saying.

“In our assessments, this means that the NATO Air Force is practicing employing cruise missiles, including those with nuclear warheads,” he said……………..

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Austria ready to take legal action against inclusion of nuclear power in Europe’s ”green taxonomy”

 Austria is ready to contest if Europe grants the green label to nuclear and gas. Under pressure from certain European states, the latest version of its “green” label to attract private capital includes gas and nuclear.
Austria, which has banned the atom in its constitution, is negotiating to remove it from this classification and reserves the right “to take legal action” if it does not, confirms diplomat Wolfgang Wagner.

 Ouest France 7th Jan 2022

January 10, 2022 Posted by | Belarus, climate change, politics international | Leave a comment

Belarus’ new nuclear power station has further problems, shut down at present .

 Shut down reactor in nuclear power plant in Belarus. The Ministry of
Energy in Minsk emphasizes that there is no increased radiation to be
measured in the vicinity of the country’s only Akw in Ostrowez.

The only nuclear power plant in Belarus that went into operation a year ago appears
to have new problems. A reactor block had been taken off the grid and the
reason for the automatic step was unclear, the Ministry of Energy announced
in Minsk on Wednesday. Specialists are in the process of finding out the
cause. No increased radiation was found. The nuclear power plant in
Ostrovets on the border with Lithuania was commissioned more than a year
ago and was already struggling with technical problems.

 Die Presse 17th Nov 2021

November 20, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on patrol over Belarus for second day amid migration crisis’

Russia sends nuclear-capable bombers on patrol over Belarus for second day amid migration crisis, ABC12 Nov 21,  
Russia sent two nuclear-capable strategic bombers on a training mission over Belarus for the second day in a row, in support for its ally amid a dispute over migration at EU borders with Poland and Lithuania .

Key points:Russia backed Belarus as thousands of migrants try to enter the EU at its border
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said the patrols were a necessary response to the migration crisis at the border 

Thousands of migrants are currently stranded at the Belarus/Poland border as they try to enter the EUTwo Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers practised bombing runs at the Ruzany firing range, about 60 kilometres east of Belarus’ border with Poland on Wednesday and Thursday. The Belarusian Defence Ministry said such Russian flights will now be conducted on a regular basis as part of joint training missions and that Belarusian fighter jets simulated an intercept. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he needed the bombers to help him navigate what has become a tense border stand-off, as thousands of migrants and refugees gather on the Belarusian side of the Poland border in the hope of crossing into Western Europe. ……………..

November 13, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Investor backlash predicted, if European Union were to include Nuclear and Gas as ”Green” in its EU Taxonomy

Net-Zero Alliance Plans to Reject Gas, Nuclear as Green Assets, John Ainger and Alastair Marsh9 November 2021

  • UN-convened asset owners weigh in on taxonomy debate
  •  The group favors separate legislation for energy transition

The European Union will likely face investor backlash if it includes natural gas and nuclear energy in its green rulebook, known as the EU taxonomy.

The United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, which is part of the wider finance industry’s $130 trillion climate agreement announced last week, wrote in a document that hasn’t been finalized that it would oppose such a decision. Instead, fossil fuels should go into an extension or separate piece of legislation for transition technologies, the group said.

“The Alliance supports a taxonomy that is credible, usable, as well as science- and evidence-based,” according to the document seen by Bloomberg News. The inclusion of gas “would be inconsistent with the high ambition level of the EU taxonomy framework overall.” For nuclear, “it will be of utmost importance to apply strict criteria when assessing” the principle of do-no-significant-harm, “with respect to the other environmental objectives to identify a potential taxonomy alignment,” it said.

The development marks a blow to those EU members who’d hoped the bloc would take a softer stance on gas and nuclear. It also sets the tone for other investors keen to put their net-zero pledges to work, less than a week after international financial institutions representing 40% of total global assets pledged to work toward carbon neutrality by the middle of the century. 

The European Commission is under pressure from member states such as France, which want to include nuclear and gas as key planks of their green transition strategies. The debate has intensified in recent months as energy prices soar amid a lack of supply. A decision on the so-called complementary delegated act is expected in the coming weeks.

Environmental groups have criticized the potential inclusion of gas, arguing it would undermine the EU’s ambition of setting the “gold standard” for green investing. It also would result in the bloc failing to meet its goal of cutting emissions by 55% by 2030 from 1990 levels and becoming carbon neutral by mid-century, they said. For nuclear, meanwhile, there are concerns over the environmental impacts of radioactive waste.

The Net-Zero alliance, whose members include Allianz SE and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, urged the EU Commission, member states and their expert bodies to make sure any decision arrived at is “science and evidence-based,” according to the document.


November 9, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, business and costs, climate change | 1 Comment

European Commission worried that Belarus will start the Astravets nuclear power plant without the recommended EU safety guidelines

 The safety of nuclear power plants is a topic very closely followed by the
Commission, Member States and the EU public. The situation in Astravets has
been a source of heightened concern in the EU.

It is regrettable that Belarus has decided to start the commercial operation of the Astravets
nuclear power plant, without addressing all the safety recommendations
contained in the 2018 EU stress test report. As the Commission has
repeatedly stated, all peer review recommendations should be implemented by
Belarus without delay.

 European Commission 2nd June 2021

June 7, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment

Belarus Nuclear Plant Taken Offline After ‘Protection System Activated’

January 18, 2021 Posted by | Belarus, safety | Leave a comment