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France to build hypersonic nuclear weapons

WW3: France to build ‘unstoppable’ HYPERSONIC NUKES to replace ageing nuclear armoury

FRANCE is set to build a state-of-the-art armoury of hypersonic weapons capable of travelling more than 3,800mph, in a bid to upgrade their ageing nuclear arsenal as they fall behind other world military powers., By THOMAS MACKIE, Express UK :11, Sat, Feb 9, 2019 The French Defence Ministry has promised to test a prototype hypersonic glider missile device in just two years time. “We have decided to issue a contract for a hypersonic glider demonstrator,” Defense Minister Florence Parly said during the unveiling of the V-MaX project. France has already carried out studies on propulsion systems for hypersonic flights as part of a £32 billion overhaul of its nuclear arsenal.

Hypersonic gliders would be carried to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere by a launch vehicle and would then “glide” back to a target on the ground.

France’s main nuclear-tipped air-to-surface cruise missile, the ASMP, is capable of flying up to Mach 3, which is 2,300 mph.

To be deemed hypersonic, the new device must be capable of flying at least five times the speed of sound (3,800mph).

However many hypersonic weapons can travel much faster, with Russia’s latest glider reaching speeds of 20,700mph.

The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) admitted the country had “relatively little experience” in the hypersonic field.

Hypersonic weaponry is fast becoming the nuclear weapon of choice among the world superpowers.

In March last year Russia unveiled a new range of weapons, including two hypersonic devices, the Kinzhal air-launched missile and the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle.

The Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is capable of flying at least 10 times faster than sound and has been already deployed to the Russian Air Force……….https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1084928/world-war-3-france-news-hypersonic-nukes-nuclear-weapon-defence-ministry

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February 11, 2019 Posted by | France, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Scottish Energy Minister pressed to back closure of Hunterston B nuclear power plant in favour of renewable energy.

Dave Toke’s Blog 9th Feb 2019  Why Hunterston B Nuclear Powe Station should not be Restarted. Presentation made to Paul Wheelhouse,Minister for Energy Connectivity and the Islands by Dr Ian Fairlie and Dr David Toke.

In our view, Hunterston B nuclear power station needs to be
closed for safety reasons, but this should not be lamented because there is
presently a surplus of electricity generation in Scotland, and more is in
the pipeline.

Indeed there is so much renewable energy capacity being built
that Scottish electricity exports to England and Wales will continue to
increase, there will be no significant job losses in Scotland, and Scottish
energy security will be improved as Hunterston B’s operation results in
many Scottish wind farms being turned off at certain times and periods.
https://realfeed-intariffs.blogspot.com/2019/02/scottish-minister-pressed-to-back.html

Ian Fairlie 9th Feb 2019

https://www.ianfairlie.org/news/why-hunterston-b-nuclear-power-station-should-not-be-restarted/

February 11, 2019 Posted by | renewable, UK | Leave a comment

Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein warns about UK considering nuclear waste dumping in Northern Ireland

February 9, 2019 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

‘Plutonium-fuelled ‘madness” – the idea of Britain’s nuclear waste transported for burial in Northern Ireland

 

‘Plutonium-fuelled madness, 8 February 2019 

Moving away from Brexit, The Daily Mirror says fears are mounting across Northern Ireland that tourist hotspots may be turned into a “dumping ground” for nuclear waste. It says spots across Northern Ireland, including the Mourne Mountains, the Causeway Glens, the Sperrins and Lough Neagh are being examined by a government firm hoping to find a permanent place for the UK’s radioactive material.

Shauna Corr reports that thousands have signed a petition against a Geological Disposal Facility in the Mournes, while Newry Mourne and Down Council has voted to write to Westminster saying it will never consent to a site in the area.

Friends of the Earth’s Declan Allison tells the paper: “We’ve heard some terrible ideas before but this is plutonium-fuelled madness.

“Shipping radioactive waste across the Irish Sea, then driving it along country roads, to store underground for hundreds of thousands of years sounds like a plan conceived in a radiation-addled brain.” https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-northern-ireland-47168189

February 9, 2019 Posted by | Ireland, opposition to nuclear | Leave a comment

Google refuses to blur its satellite images of nuclear facilities

February 9, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, media | Leave a comment

British school children in their thousands will strike for climate action

UK pupils to join global strike over climate change crisis, Thousands of pupils to walk out of lessons amid growing concern over global warming, Guardian, Matthew Taylor, Sat 9 Feb 2019  

‘I feel very angry’: the 13-year-old on strike for climate action The school climate strikes that have led to tens of thousands of young people taking to the streets around the world over recent months are poised to arrive in the UK next Friday.

Thousands of pupils are expected to walk out of lessons at schools and colleges across the country amid growing concern about the escalating climate crisis.

The movement started in August when the 16-year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg held a solo protest outside Sweden’s parliament. Now, up to 70,000 schoolchildren each week are taking part in 270 towns and cities worldwide.

Individual protests have been held in the UK, but next week a coordinated day of action is expected to result in walkouts in more than 30 towns and cities – from Lancaster to Truro, and Ullapool to Leeds.

Jake Woodier, of the UK Youth Climate Coalition, which is helping to coordinate the strikes, said Greta’s message about the need for radical, urgent change had struck a chord with hundreds of thousand of young people in the UK. ……..

The UK walkouts are being billed as a chance to build towards a global day of school strikes on 15 March….. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/08/global-school-strikes-over-climate-change-head-to-the-uk

February 9, 2019 Posted by | climate change, UK | Leave a comment

British plans for nuclear waste dumping in Norther Ireland go awfy

Irish News 5th Feb 2019 THE British government-owned company tasked with finding sites for disposing of radioactive waste has said it cannot progress any plans for a nuclear dump in Northern Ireland while Stormont is suspended. Radioactive
Waste Management (RWM) said the north is the “region least likely” to house
a nuclear waste disposal facility because the project requires the approval
of the devolved administration, as well as those living near a potential
site.

Concern about the company’s plans was triggered by an online video
showing prospective locations for a nuclear dump. The video shows Amy
Shelton, a senior research manager with RWM, outlining the geological
conditions that make certain areas suitable for the disposal of radioactive
waste.

The presentation, which divides the north into four geological areas
– or sub-regions – is similar to corresponding videos produced by RWM
that cover England and Wales. Scotland does not feature as its devolved
government adopted a policy of ‘near surface disposal’, according to RWM.

The video sparked a response from political representatives in south Down
after the granite-rich area around Newry was earmarked by Ms Shelton as a
potential location for a “geological disposal facility”. She said more work
was needed to establish whether conditions are suitable. But Sinn Féin MP
Chris Hazzard said any proposal to locate a site in parts of Co Down and Co
Armagh was “totally unacceptable”.

http://www.irishnews.com/news/northernirelandnews/2019/02/05/news/stormont-suspension-thwarts-nuclear-dump-proposals-1543803/

February 7, 2019 Posted by | UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Calls to make Calder Hall the first nuclear reactor in the UK to be decommissioned

Whitehaven News 5th Feb 2019 , CALLS are growing to make Calder Hall the first nuclear reactor in the UK
to be decommissioned. Nuclear officials say that if decommissioning is
delayed, the asbestos in the reactor will pose a risk to workers, while
maintenance costs will become ‘unsupportable’.

Council bosses are ramping up the pressure on the Government to fast-track the dismantling of the world’s oldest industrial-scale nuclear power station based at
Sellafield. The authority’s nuclear board will be asked today to delegate
authority to council chief executive Pat Graham and the nuclear
portfolio-holder councillor David Moore to develop a detailed case for
accelerated decommissioning.

Councillors agreed at the end of last year
that the UK’s first industrial-scale power station to be built should
also be the first to be cleaned up. Calder Hall is one of 11 reactor sites
around the country and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is now
reviewing the “timing and sequence” of its nationwide clean-up
operation.

At present the defuelling of Calder Hall is due to be finished
in 2019/20, and would not enter a care and maintenance (C&M) status until
2034. The argument for tackling the Sellafield-based reactor first includes
the continuing risk it poses to workers and the public. The report said:
“As the oldest Magnox reactor, the deterioration of the building fabric
and the potential for significant quantities of asbestos to be present pose
risk to workers. The cost borne by the taxpayer associated with maintaining
the building in a safe state for a long period of care and maintenance
could be significant and could increase over time to meet future regulatory
requirement.”

The report concludes that the reactor could deteriorate to
the point that the cost of keeping it compliant with environmental
regulations becomes “unsupportable”. The accelerated clean-up of Calder
Hall could also create jobs to offset some of the 3,000 “surplus roles”
expected at Sellafield over the next four to five years.
https://www.whitehavennews.co.uk/news/17410498.calls-to-make-calder-hall-first-nuclear-reactor-in-uk-to-be-decommissioned/

February 7, 2019 Posted by | decommission reactor, UK | Leave a comment

France to discuss the recycled use of nuclear wastes

France Info 3rd Feb 2019 France Info 3rd Feb 2019 Will we end up with recycled nuclear waste in our everyday objects? The State will raise the issue of the recycling of low-level radioactive nuclear waste during a new public consultation in March.
https://www.francetvinfo.fr/societe/nucleaire/va-t-on-se-retrouver-avec-des-dechets-nucleaires-recycles-dans-nos-objets-du-quotidien_3172553.htm

February 7, 2019 Posted by | France | Leave a comment

Belgium heading for a nuclear-free future

Looking towards Belgium’s nuclear-free future, Power Technology By Ross Davies,6 Feb 19,

The recent closure of six out of seven nuclear reactors raised concerns over the ability of Belgium to cope without its nuclear power in the coming months. How will the country react and what lessons can the power industry learn when looking forward to the 2025 nuclear phase-out plan? ……….

Reasons for the closures

The closure of six of the nuclear reactors was for various unplanned reasons, but linked to nuclear safety, according to Engie Electrabel.

Engie Electrabel spokesperson Hellen Smeets says: “Some of our reactors [Doel 3 and 4, Tihange 1 and 2] have been under inspection programmes regarding the concrete on the ceilings of the bunkers. Those bunkers are right next to the reactor and we have noticed a bit of deterioration of the concrete because in those specific bunkers there were pipes where there was a lot of steam.”

The high levels of steam made the bunkers very hot and moist, and so a small amount of degradation occurred to the concrete ceiling.

Meanwhile, other reactors were in the stages of planned overhaul, in order to extend their life by ten years…………

Nuclear phase-out: the road to 2025

The approach taken by the Belgium power industry to handle any potential power shortages this winter could pose some interesting challenges and solutions when looking forward to the country’s nuclear phase-out plan.

The draft bill for Belgium to become a nuclear-free country, known as the Energy Pact, was announced in December 2017. In October 2018, the government confirmed its commitment to the pledge as long as alternative sources are found to meet demand in the next seven or so years. It’s no small feat, as the seven nuclear reactors contribute around 6GW of energy capacity, which would need to be replaced.

The solution could be simpler than replacing the huge amount of capacity supplied by the nuclear plants. If the whole population, both businesses and residents, can reduce its energy consumption, then there will be less of a strain on energy companies to meet demand.

Smeets says: “The big question is how will Belgium cope if that [2025] decision stands? I think we should really think about how to be as efficient as possible. Energy efficiency is really important.

“If we all consume less electricity there wouldn’t be the need to produce more and more. There wouldn’t be the need to replace all capacities, so I think we should really look into that and try to work on that because there is a lot of opportunity for everyone.”

Interestingly, large swathes of power consumption in Belgium are used for powering its old, energy inefficient buildings, according to Engie Electrabel.“We can help people, firms, and authorities to help make their buildings more energy efficient and consume less energy. I think there is a lot of opportunity there,” says Smeets.

“There are a lot of old buildings in Belgium and I think around 40% of energy consumption in Belgium goes into powering buildings – not industry, but buildings. If we could reduce the electricity consumption in buildings that would get us somewhere.”

Looking forward, Engie also plans to invest more in its renewables business, such as wind power.

“We have a lot of wind turbines and we are definitely looking further into expanding that and biogas, hydraulic power stations, etc. We think that is the future. So we are really trying to work on and expand that side of our services,” adds Smeets……..https://www.power-technology.com/features/belgiums-nuclear-free-future/

February 7, 2019 Posted by | EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Britain’s secret nuclear weapons tests the spark to nuclear Armageddon – claims veteran

WW3: Britain ‘sparked ARMAGEDDON’ by running SECRET nuclear weapons tests, claims veteran https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1083026/ww3-britain-sparked-armageddon-secret-nuclear-test-spt 6 Feb 19

A VETERAN claims Britain sparked an “Armageddon” for the future after running secret nuclear weapons tests between 1957 and 1958.  By CALLUM HOARE

Operation Grapple was the name given to a series of four nuclear weapons tests of atomic and hydrogen bombs carried out at Malden Island and Christmas Island. Nine nuclear explosions were initiated, making Britain the third recognised possessor of thermonuclear weapons, and restoring the Nuclear Special Relationship with the US. However, veteran Dave Whyte, 82, who worked on the project, claimed they made a mistake by testing the weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Whyte said he suffered sterility and genetic damage through radiation exposure at the cost of the technology being leaked to other countries.

He exclaimed in 2017: “I witnessed the hydrogen bombs Grapple Y, Flagpole and Halliard and atomic bombs Pennant and Burgee in 1958.

“I found the bombs very interesting, it was wonderful to view two suns shining in the sky at the same time, our usual golden sun and the red glow of fire from the nuclear bombs.

“Great Britain has a nuclear arsenal, but at what cost?”

Mr Whyte went on to claim: “The veterans who helped in the nuclear experiments are cast aside, and are still waiting for a court to hear their case.

“There is a blood test which shows the level of radiation a person has received.

“Nuclear veterans are denied this test, even the offer of paying for the test is denied.

“Documents showing the true levels of radiation individuals received are hidden from view, and directions given by the judge to release them are ignored.”

Mr Whyte also claimed the action of Britain over 60 years ago could now be to blame for the end of the world – should nuclear war break out.  He continued: “It is said, by many, that nuclear bombs should be abandoned.

“Unfortunately, the technology is now available, and any rogue state can develop their own nuclear weapons.

“North Korea is a good example, they have the weapons now, and will be prepared to use them.

“Sadly, we have nuclear weapons and we cannot dispose of them now. I foresee an Armageddon in the future.”

February 7, 2019 Posted by | UK, weapons and war | 1 Comment

UK: The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) calls for a more thorough plan for nuclear wastes and phaseout of nuclear power

NFLA 5th Feb 2019 The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) publishes today its views on the proposed Scottish Nuclear Sector Plan document being consulted on by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).

SEPA has been consulting
on its draft Nuclear Sector Plan with ‘considerable input’ from the
nuclear industry. The plan is SEPA’s vision of how regulations will be
enforced to ensure that the nuclear industry is fully compliant with its
environmental obligations and is encouraged to go beyond compliance with
environmental regulations to ensure that environmental impacts are
minimised. SEPA has asked for public comments on its draft plan. SEPA says
its draft plan is ‘ambitious’.

 

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities
(NFLA) rather thinks it should be much more ambitious, recognising that
nuclear power has no medium or long-term place in a sustainable economy,
and that the ‘nuclear waste hierarchy’ should be re-thought to maximise
the protection of the public. The NFLA Scottish Forum has also decided to
respond to SEPA’s consultation by publishing within it its own vision of
a Scotland where nuclear power generation is phased out and the wastes
remaining are managed according to a clear set of environmental principles.
ttp://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/nfla-views-sepa-scottish-nuclear-sector-plan-decommissioning-nuclear-phase-out-alternative-energy-vision/

February 7, 2019 Posted by | politics, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Ireland will not be a dumping ground for Britain’s nuclear and chemical waste. -Sinn Féin

Newry Times 6th Feb 2019 Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan has said Ireland will not be a dumping groundfor Britain’s nuclear and chemical waste. The Newry/Armagh MLA said, “I welcome that earlier British government plans to use parts of counties
Armagh and Down as sites to dispose of nuclear waste have now been ruled
out. “Britain cannot use the north as a dumping ground for this hazardous
and toxic material. “Sinn Féin are totally against the use of nuclear
power, the British Government should be looking at ways to phase out their
use of nuclear power, not planning for more.
http://newrytimes.com/2019/02/06/ireland-will-not-be-britains-nuclear-dumping-ground-local-mla/

February 7, 2019 Posted by | politics international, UK, wastes | Leave a comment

Radioactive poisoning by the world’s military – the scandalous case of Sardinia

How paradise island Sardinia was poisoned by the world’s military | Foreign Correspondent  

 

Italian military officials’ trial ignites suspicions of links between weapon testing and birth defects in Sardinia https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-29/sardinia-military-weapons-testing-birth-defects/10759614

Key points:

  • Eight former commanders of a bombing range are before Italian courts
  • Locals living near Quirra firing range describe multiple cases of deformities and cancer as “Quirra syndrome”
  • Italy’s army has dismissed a report linking exposure to Depleted Uranium to disease suffered by the military
  • Watch the full episode on ABC iview

“She died in my arms. My whole world collapsed. I knew she was sick, but I wasn’t ready.”

Her daughter, Maria Grazia, was born on the Italian island of Sardinia with part of her brain exposed and a spine so disfigured her mother has never allowed her photo to be published.

This was only one of many mysterious cases of deformity, cancer and environmental destruction that have come to be called the “Quirra syndrome”.

Eight Italian military officers — all former commanders of the bombing range at Quirra in Sardinia — have been hauled before the courts.

It’s unprecedented to see Italian military brass held to account for what many Sardinians say is a scandalous coverup of a major public health disaster with international consequences.

Bombs and birth defects — is there a link?

In the year baby Maria Grazia was born, one in four of the children born in the same town, on the edge of the Quirra firing range, also suffered disabilities.

Some mothers chose to abort rather than give birth to a deformed child.

In her first television interview, Maria Teresa told Foreign Correspondent of hearing bombs exploding at the Quirra firing range when she was pregnant.

Enormous clouds of red dust enveloped her village.

Later, health authorities were called in to study an alarming number of sheep and goats being born with deformities.

Shepherds in the area had routinely grazed their animals on the firing range.

“Lambs were born with eyes in the back of their heads,” said veterinary scientist Giorgio Mellis, one of the research team.

“I had never seen anything like it.”

One farmer told him of his horror: “I was too scared to enter the barn in the mornings … they were monstrosities you didn’t want to see.”

Researchers also found an alarming 65 per cent of the shepherds of Quirra had cancer.

The news hit Sardinia hard. It reinforced their worst fears while also challenging their proud international reputation as a place of unrivalled natural beauty.

The military hit back, with one former commander of the Quirra base saying on Swiss TV that birth defects in animals and children came from inbreeding.

“They marry between cousins, brothers, one another,” General Fabio Molteni claimed, without evidence.

“But you cannot say it or you will offend the Sardinians.”

General Molteni is one of the former commanders now on trial.

Years of investigation and legal inquiry led to the six generals and two colonels being charged with breaching their duty of care for the health and safety of soldiers and civilians.

After repeated attempts, Foreign Correspondent was refused interviews with senior Italian military officials and the Defence Minister.

Governments earning money by renting out ranges

Sardinia has hosted the war games of armed forces from the west and other countries since sizable areas of its territory were sectioned off after World War II.

Rome is reported to make around $64,000 an hour from renting out the ranges to NATO countries and others including Israel.

Getting precise information about what has been blown up, tested or fired at the military sites and by which countries is almost impossible, according to Gianpiero Scanu, the head of a parliamentary inquiry that reported last year.

Many, including current Defence Minister Elisabetta Trenta, have previously accused the Italian military of maintaining a “veil of silence”.

Speaking exclusively to the ABC, chief prosecutor for the region, Biagio Mazzeo, said he is “convinced” of a direct link between the cancer clusters at Quirra and the toxicity of the elements being blown up at the defence base.

But prosecuting the case against the military comes up against a major hurdle.

“Unfortunately, proving what we call a causality link — that is, a link between a specific incident and specific consequences — is extremely difficult,” Mr Mazzeo said.

What is being used on the bases?

A recent parliamentary inquiry revealed that 1,187 French-made MILAN missiles had been fired at Quirra.

This has focussed attention on radioactive thorium as a suspect in the health crisis.

It’s used in the anti-tank missiles’ guidance systems. Inhaling thorium dust is known to increase the risk of lung and pancreatic cancer.

Another suspect is depleted uranium. The Italian military has denied using this controversial material, which increases the armour-piercing capability of weapons.

But that’s a fudge, according to Osservatorio Militare, which campaigns for the wellbeing of Italian soldiers.

“The firing ranges of Sardinia are international,” said Domenico Leggiero, the research centre’s head and former air force pilot.

Whatever is blown up on the island’s firing ranges, it’s the fine particles a thousand times smaller than a red blood cell that are being blamed for making people sick.

These so-called “nanoparticles” are a new frontier in scientific research.

They’ve been shown to penetrate through the lung and into a human body with ease.

Italian biomedical engineer Dr Antonietta Gatti gave evidence to four parliamentary inquiries.

She has suggested a possible link between disease and industrial exposure to nanoparticles of certain heavy metals.

The World Health Organisation says a causal link is yet to be conclusively established and more scientific research needs to be done.

Dr Gatti said armaments had the potential to generate dangerous nanoparticles in fine dust because they are routinely exploded or fired at more than 3,000 degrees Celsius.

Inquiry confirms causal links

In what was labelled a “milestone”, a two-year parliamentary investigation into the health of the armed forces overseas and at the firing ranges made a breakthrough finding.

“We have confirmed the causal link between the unequivocal exposure to depleted uranium and diseases suffered by the military,” the inquiry’s head, then centre-left government MP Gianpiero Scanu, announced.

The Italian military brass dismissed the report but are now fighting for their international reputation in the court at Quirra where the eight senior officers are now on trial.

The ABC understands commanders responsible for another firing range in Sardinia’s south at Teulada could soon also face charges of negligence as police conclude a two-year investigation.

Until now the military has been accused of acting with impunity.

Perhaps their reckoning has come.

 

February 4, 2019 Posted by | children, depleted uranium, Italy, Reference, thorium | 1 Comment

How the utilities financial system is rigged to give the nuclear industry the advantage

February 4, 2019 Posted by | business and costs, politics, UK | Leave a comment