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Need for a prcactical treaty to cap and eliminate nuclear cruise missiles

Nuclear ‘cruise control’ can stop a spiraling new arms race, The Hill, The genius of the mortally wounded Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was that it sharply reduced the risk of nuclear war. It made Europe more secure by eliminating an entire class of surprise-attack nuclear weapons designed for use on its territory. We are now on a glide path to repeat the existential nightmare that such weapons created.Russia and the United States once again are investing heavily in sea-, air- and ground-launched nuclear cruise missiles, and talking cavalierly about using them in “limited,” “low-yield” nuclear attacks. What makes this type of nuclear weapon so dangerous is that it can be launched without warning in decapitating sneak attacks.

These cruise missiles also can be armed with conventional explosives, and there is no way to distinguish nuclear from non-nuclear ones when they are in flight. Such ambiguity erases the line between conventional and nuclear weapons, and increases the likelihood of accidental Armageddon. This is precisely why, in 1987, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev urgently made progress in eliminating them.

We can, and must, seek to repeat their historic achievement today. We need to remember that arms control is not a pollyannaish exercise, but rather a potent tool of hard national security……….

Recently, Russia’s top arms control diplomat said Russia stands ready for talks on a possible successor to the INF Treaty. “We are ready for dialogue,” said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. “If the U.S. is interested, it should spell out its proposal.”

Since it appears nobody has done so, let’s spell it out. Our next agreement should focus less on overall numbers and, instead, seek to cap and eliminate the single most dangerous and destabilizing class of nuclear weapons: all nuclear-tipped cruise missiles of any range. We should start “cruise control” negotiations bilaterally between the United States and Russia, and leave room for other countries that have not yet deployed such systems — including China, India and Pakistan — to join now or later.

For three years, my colleagues and I have been laying the groundwork for such an ambitious global effort to cap and eliminate nuclear cruise missiles. In private talks with current and former senior officials from the United Kingdom, Russia, China, Germany, Japan and other key countries, we have found broad support and enthusiasm for this approach.   ……… https://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/433075-nuclear-cruise-control-can-stop-a-spiraling-new-arms-race

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March 12, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia considering making spaceplane powered by a nuclear reactor

‘Reshaping space market’: Russia mulls building rocket plane with nuclear engine   Rt.com : 6 Mar, 2019 Russian space agency Roscosmos is considering building a spaceplane powered by a nuclear reactor, according to a memo obtained by a Russian news agency. The move could “reshape” the market for space launches, the document says.

A rocket plane is an aircraft powered by rocket engines. Conventional jets proved better for atmosphere-only flight, but this type of vehicle found its niche application as a reusable spacecraft – most notably as the Space Shuttle program.

Several rocket planes are still operational today, like the SpaceShipTwo, which is meant for suborbital tourist flights. Roscosmos believes such an aircraft may be viable for space missions if equipped with a nuclear power plant, says a memo reviewed by RIA Novosti.

The memo says Russia’s experience with creating the Buran spaceplane and similar space systems would come in handy for designing such a craft in the future.

Nuclear power is tricky to use in space, let alone harnessing it to provide propulsion. The USSR experimented with placing small nuclear reactors on its satellites for endurance, but the incident with the Kosmos 954 sat, which malfunctioned and fell in Canada in 1977, showed that potential problems probably outweigh the benefits. Improvements in solar panels made them the to-go power source in space applications while chemical and compressed gas thrusters are used for propulsion.

The picture may be different for long-range space missions, in which a reliable power source, capable of providing propulsion for months rather than minutes would be a huge advantage. Russia is currently working on a project dubbed TEM, a nuclear-powered rocket powered by a megawatt-class nuclear reactor…….. https://www.rt.com/russia/453132-rocket-plane-nuclear-power/

March 7, 2019 Posted by | Russia, space travel | Leave a comment

Russia ready to enter deal to build nuclear power plant in Czech Republic

CZECH-RUSSIAN TALKS INCLUDED DISCUSSIONS ON CONSTRUCTION OF NEW NUCLEAR POWER BLOCKhttps://www.radio.cz/en/section/news/czech-russian-talks-included-discussions-on-construction-of-new-nuclear-power-block  Tom McEnchroe,  06-03-2019

If the Czech Republic issues a tender to build a new nuclear power source, Rosatom will send a proposal, the Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov told journalists after a bilateral intergovernmental commission on Wednesday.

His Czech counterpart Marta Nováková (ANO) said one tender conditions would be that the third nuclear power source remain fully under the administration of the Czech Republic once finished.

The intergovernmental commission also discussed mutual cooperation in supporting small- and medium-sized businesses, mutual exports into third-countries and cooperation within the aircraft industry.

March 7, 2019 Posted by | marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia keen to have Bulgaria go into debt to Russia, to implement Belne nuclear station

Russia Ready To Take Part in Bulgaria’s Belene Nuclear Power Plant, Medvedev Says,  Moscow Times 

March 7, 2019 Posted by | Bulgaria, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia to lease nuclear-powered attack submarine to India for a cool $3 billion

March 5, 2019 Posted by | India, marketing, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Cold War-like arms race is likely to follow the collapse of a historic nuclear treaty

Why the collapse of a historic nuclear treaty could lead to a Cold War-like arms race, ABC News, 

Key points:

  • The landmark INF treaty was integral to ending the Cold War
  • Short and intermediate range missiles were banned because of the short flight time
  • Analyst say it’s unlikely to be renegotiated within the six-month notice period

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia was ready for a Cuban Missile-style crisis if the US wanted one, referring to the 1962 standoff that brought the world to the edge of nuclear war.

Decades later, tensions between the two nations are heating up again.

Mr Putin warned that Moscow would retaliate if the US placed new missiles closer to Russia, telling local media that Moscow could deploy hypersonic missiles on ships and submarines outside US territorial waters.

The comments were made after the Trump administration announced it would officially abandon a historic nuclear pact that had kept nuclear missiles out of Europe for three decades.

Here’s a look at what the treaty is, what may come next, and why analysts believe its demise could lead to a 21st-century arms race.

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) bans the US and the Russian Federation, previously the Soviet Union, from developing, testing and possessing short- and intermediate-range missiles that could be launched from the ground, as opposed to the sea or sky.

The treaty — signed by former US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in December 1987 — declared that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought” and took seven years to negotiate.

Both sides agreed to destroy a total of 2,692 short-, medium- and intermediate-range missiles with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometres that were stationed in, or aimed at Europe.

The treaty is credited with helping to ending the Cold War.

Maria Rublee, a former US intelligence officer and nuclear politics expert at Monash University, told the ABC these missiles were seen as a “hair trigger for nuclear war” due to how quickly they could strike a target.

“You don’t have time to talk, to pick up the phone, the red hotline, to say what’s going on and ask if this is a mistake.”

Washington and its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) allies claim Moscow has been violating the terms of the treaty by developing missiles within the range for years, but Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Earlier this month the Trump administration declared it would suspend US obligations under the treaty, with the intention of withdrawing because of Russia’s alleged non-compliance.

The day after the announcement, Russia also said it would withdraw from the treaty, and accused the US of fabricating the allegations so it could develop new missiles.

The treaty is not dead just yet — both parties must give six months notice before they can officially withdraw — but Dr Rublee said the chances of the treaty being revived were low, although there was some hope.

“[The first step] is not going to come from the Trump administration and it’s not going to come from Russia,” she said.

“It would need to come from NATO because the countries most at risk are European countries.”…….. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-03/collapse-of-treaty-could-lead-to-new-arms-race/10845950

March 4, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia flexes nuclear muscles , warns on its ability to strike nuclear targets in USA

After Putin’s warning, Russian TV lists nuclear targets in U.S. Andrew Osborn, MOSCOW (Reuters) 25 Feb 19,  – Russian state television has listed U.S. military facilities that Moscow would target in the event of a nuclear strike, and said that a hypersonic missile Russia is developing would be able to hit them in less than five minutes.

The targets included the Pentagon and the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland.

The report, unusual even by the sometimes bellicose standards of Russian state TV, was broadcast on Sunday evening, days after President Vladimir Putin said Moscow was militarily ready for a “Cuban Missile”-style crisis if the United States wanted one.

With tensions rising over Russian fears that the United States might deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe as a Cold War-era arms-control treaty unravels, Putin has said Russia would be forced to respond by placing hypersonic nuclear missiles on submarines near U.S. waters.

……..The targets, which Kiselyov described as U.S. presidential or military command centers, also included Fort Ritchie, a military training center in Maryland closed in 1998, McClellan, a U.S. Air Force base in California closed in 2001, and Jim Creek, a naval communications base in Washington state.

Kiselyov, who is close to the Kremlin, said the “Tsirkon” (‘Zircon’) hypersonic missile that Russia is developing could hit the targets in less than five minutes if launched from Russian submarines.

Hypersonic flight is generally taken to mean traveling through the atmosphere at more than five times the speed of sound……. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-nuclear-russia/after-putins-warning-russian-tv-lists-nuclear-targets-in-us-idUSKCN1QE1DM

February 25, 2019 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

We are closer to a nuclear war than we would like to believe – new smaller bombs make this more likely

‘Tit-for-tat steps’ toward a nuclear war, DAILY SABAH, Hakkı Öcal 25 Feb 19 Russian President Vladimir Putin’s response to reports that the U.S. would deploy short-range missiles has strong warnings about how they could counter this move.

Those missiles, Putin estimates, could reach Moscow in 10 minutes and he considers this “a very serious threat.” He declared in his response in English, “In this case, we will be forced – I repeat – forced to take tit-for-tat steps.”

Now, read this warning with another piece of news from the Truthout.org website. According to the Truthout report, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the U.S. federal agency responsible for the military application of nuclear science, announced that the first of a new generation of strategic nuclear weapons had rolled off the assembly line. It is smaller in size and power; it will yield “only” about one-third of the power of the bomb the U.S. had dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. In one day, 145,000 people were killed in Hiroshima. So, this “small” bomb, that is officially designated as the W76-2, could kill approximately 50,000 people.

A smaller missile and a smaller bomb, according to the group known as the Union of Concerned Scientists, are actually more dangerous than those monster nuclear weapons, for they kill fewer people. No, there is no contradiction in this evaluation. What precluded the use of the big bombs by both sides was the fear that mutual destruction from both sides’ large atomic weapons would mean the annihilation of civilization. That mutual assured destruction (MAD) theory made a thermonuclear disaster “unthinkable.” ……

This small bomb, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, is not a deterrent against another country; it is going to be used. It is designed to be used. Its power is not the equivalent of the roughly 100 kilotons of TNT as the ones that had devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but five kilotons. A practical guy like Trump would like to teach a lesson or two to those who are on his national strategy document as “the enemies of the U.S.” using this rather economic weapon. It would not end capitalism and the financial network as the “big one” would have.

Policy analysts think that the Pentagon would definitely deploy short-range nuclear-capable missiles in Eastern Europe and on islands off the Chinese coast. Watch for the deployment of those small bombs on nuclear submarines around Iran, too.

We are closer to a nuclear war than we would like to believe. https://www.dailysabah.com/columns/hakki-ocal/2019/02/25/tit-for-tat-steps-toward-a-nuclear-war

February 25, 2019 Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

If USA US deploys nuclear weapons in Europe RUSSIA and Belarus will consider a joint military response

‘Things will turn NASTY’ Belarus leader issues warning after collapse of nuclear treaty https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1090969/belarus-news-inf-treaty-world-war-3-russia-v-usa-nato

RUSSIA and Belarus will consider a joint military response if the US deploys weapons in Europe after pulling out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

By SIMON OSBORNE, Feb 22, 2019 Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said he fears “things will turn nasty” should the US decision spark a new arms race at a time of increasing global tensions. The US and Soviet Union signed the INF treaty in 1987 in an historic move that effectively removed nuclear weapons from Europe and signalled the beginning of the end of the Cold War.

But Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the accord after accusing Russia of committing repeated violations and Mr Lukashenko fears the security of Belarus could be compromised as a result.

He said: “It is a catastrophe, particularly for us.

“I am afraid the Americans will grab the fleeting opportunity and deploy the missiles in Europe after breaking the treaty. “If they do, things will turn nasty for us, too. Because together with Russia, we will have to think of reciprocal measures.”

He continued: “It would be unavoidable if this happened. It would be even worse if, God forbid, missiles were deployed in Ukraine.

“This is why I am wholeheartedly against dissolving the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

“We pursue a peace-loving policy. We don’t need scuffles between major powers, from which, judging from history, we’ve always suffered.

“This is why we don’t need this slaughter, this fight, particularly now around the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.”

Mr Lukashenko said he believes NATO is keen to deploy missiles in Europe.

He said: “It seems to me that although NATO claims they are not going to deploy these missiles in Europe, they are running a bluff.

“Otherwise, why would they withdraw? Why did they have to destroy this treaty?

“They should have come to terms with China and make it part of the treaty if China was the focus of it.”

February 23, 2019 Posted by | Belarus, politics international, Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner linked to unusual dealings about nuclear reactor sales to Russia – Congressional report

February 21, 2019 Posted by | politics, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Russia ups the ante against USA, but won’t make the first move to deploy missiles

Putin Ratchets Up Nuclear Warning Against U.S.  Russia isn’t seeking confrontation with the U.S. and wouldn’t make the first move to deploy missiles, WSJ, By Ann M. SimmonsFeb. 20, 2019  MOSCOW—President Vladimir Putin warned Russia would aim new advanced weapons against the U.S. should it deploy intermediate-range missiles in Europe, raising the stakes after the breakdown of a Cold War-era nuclear treaty.

Mr. Putin said Russia wasn’t seeking confrontation with the U.S. and wouldn’t make the first move to deploy the missiles. But if Washington has such plans once it abandons the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, this “will be a serious threat to us” and Russia will be “forced to provide for mirror…https://www.wsj.com/articles/putin-ratchets-up-nuclear-warning-against-u-s-11550668465

February 21, 2019 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A brave Russian hero who should never be forgotten – saved the world from nuclear annihilation

Brave Russian naval officer who saved world from nuclear bomb during Cuban Missile Crisis should be as famous as US astronaut Neil Armstrong, Th Irish Sun, 

Isn’t it amazing we have this man Vasili Arkhipov, who basically saved the world from annihilation, and virtually no one knows his name

February 21, 2019 Posted by | PERSONAL STORIES, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

At Soviet Union’s Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test Site, civilian population were used as radiation guinea pigs

WW3 SHOCK: How Soviets used OWN population as ‘NUCLEAR GUINEA PIGS’ during secret tests.  https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1086621/WW3-soviet-union-russia-guinea-pigs-nuclear-tests-polygon-spt

THE Soviet Union used its own population as “guinea pigs” to tests the effects of its secret nuclear weapons as tensions rose with the United States, a former member of the European Parliament for Scotland revealed. By CALLUM HOARE,  Feb 13, 2019 The Semipalatinsk Test Site, also known as The Polygon, was home to at least 456 nuclear tests between 1949 and 1989, during the height of the Cold War. These top-secret missions were carried out with little regard for human or environmental impact in the surrounding area, just 11 miles away. Locals were told their area had been selected to help counter the threat from the US but were not aware of the full extent of the radiation damage.

“They were not told these weapons were nuclear and there would be the question of radioactive fallout that would affect all of them.
“The KGB doctors would wait until the wind was blowing towards the villages, then detonate the bombs and spend days afterwards checking the effects on the locals.

“They were being used as human guinea pigs.”

Mr Stevenson claimed the KGB manipulated locals so they could test the full potential of their nuclear weapons.

He continued: “The KGB ordered them to pack books and bedding behind the windows of their houses and actually stand outside.

“The women were there holding their babies and the KGB told them ‘you will witness the might of Soviet technology’ and they were actually celebrating this massive bomb, not knowing it would make them severely ill.

“Igor Kurchatov and Andrei Sakharov were the fathers of the Soviet nuclear weapons.

“[Joseph] Stalin gave an order that if the bomb did not explode, the professors and all their team would be executed.”

In 1989, the anti-nuclear movement was started in Kazakhstan called “Nevada Semipalatinsk”, led by poet Olzhas Suleimenov.

The site was officially closed by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev on 29 August 1991, denuclearising the country.

It has now become the best-researched atomic testing site in the world and is open to the public to visit.

February 14, 2019 Posted by | civil liberties, history, Russia, weapons and war | 5 Comments

Russia’s very threatening new 100-megaton underwater nuclear doomsday device,

The real purpose of Russia’s 100-megaton underwater nuclear doomsday device, Business Insider ALEX LOCKIE, FEB 12, 2019,

February 12, 2019 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Is nuclear power REALLY a clean-power fix for Africa – as Russia and China push it

Russia, China back nuclear as a clean-power fix for Africa

Money Web , Sebastien Malo, Thomson Reuters Foundation  /  10 February 2019  “…….For now, South Africa is the only country on the continent operating a nuclear power plant.

But in recent years, at least seven other sub-Saharan African states have signed agreements to deploy nuclear power with backing from Russia, according to public announcements and the World Nuclear Association (WNA), an industry body………

Like Ethiopia, emerging nuclear states Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia and Ghana have signed agreements with Russia’s state nuclear corporation, ROSATOM – most since 2016.

Their content ranges from language on the construction of nuclear reactors to assistance with feasibility studies and personnel training, press statements show.

ROSATOM’s solutions for managing spent fuel and radioactive waste vary from country to country, but are normally worked out at the later stages of a nuclear new-build programme “in the strictest compliance with international law”, a spokeswoman told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Chinese state-owned nuclear firms have also taken the lead in the region, sealing deals with Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, WNA data shows.

South African student Masamaki Masanja, 23, won a ROSATOM competition for young people to make videos about Africa’s nuclear potential, and got to visit the Novovoronezh nuclear power plant in western Russia in 2017.

“It was mind-blowing,” said the second-year mechanical engineering student, via Skype.

The experience left him with a strong sense that nuclear power should be adapted quickly for Africa’s needs………

Rebel risk

Some political observers, however, are concerned about the prospect of nuclear reactors backed by Russia in some countries with rebel groups and weak government institutions.

An Africa-based Western diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous, doubted Russia’s assurances it would collect nuclear waste from projects it helped establish.

“You could end up with very unfortunate situations in parts of Africa … if you have a decaying nuclear power plant overrun by rebels, with waste that’s not going away,” he said.

Multiple requests for an interview with Russia’s ambassador in Ethiopia were declined.

So-called dirty bombs can combine conventional explosives like dynamite with radioactive material such as nuclear waste. ………

It could take 20 years for Ethiopia to build a nuclear power plant, estimated Hong-Jun Ahn, a Korean electrical engineer who advises the Ethiopian government on its nuclear plans.

Yonas Gebru, director of Addis Ababa-based advocacy group Forum for Environment, said green activists could prove another hurdle amid debate over whether nuclear power is “clean” energy.

“It would be good, and it would be wise also … to better capitalise on already started initiatives such as hydropower, wind energy (and) solar energy,” said Gebru. https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/africa/russia-china-back-nuclear-as-a-clean-power-fix-for-africa/

February 12, 2019 Posted by | AFRICA, China, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment