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Russia’s huge nuclear submarine on show in Finland as Trump arrives for summit with Putin

Putin to show off huge nuclear submarine just south of Helsinki as summit with Trump sails up  Barents Observer The Oscar-II class vessel is similar to the Kursk that sank in the Barents Sea in 2000. By Thomas Nilsen, July 11, 2018 

The Russian navy on Wednesday confirms the participation of “Orel” nuclear powered submarine sailing together with the convoy of Northern Fleet warships en route from Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula towards St. Petersburg.

“The first group includes the large anti-submarine ship “Severomorsk” and the nuclear submarine missile cruiser “Orel”, the press service of the Northern Fleet says in a noteposted on the Defense Ministry’s portal Wednesday evening.

Also, the recently modernized missile cruiser “Marshal Ustinov” and the brand new frigate “Admiral Gorshkov” are sailing in the same navy group, as previously reported by the Barents Observer.

The Russian warships are Wednesday evening in Skagerrak south of Norway and will during the next 24 hours pass through Storebælt in Denmark. The route continues south of Bornholm, then north along the east side of the Swedish island of Gotland before turning east into the Gulf of Finland.

Arrival in the Gulf of Finland is expected within a few days, the Northern Fleet writes.

This means Putin will have one of his navy’s largest nuclear-powered submarines sailing just south of Helsinki either a day or two before the summit, or about the same time as the historical meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump takes place on July 16th.

The ships are sailing towards Kronstadt outside St. Petersburg where they will participate in the annual Navy Parade taking place on July 29th……..  https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/security/2018/07/large-russian-nuclear-submarine-sails-scandinavian-waters, 

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July 16, 2018 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Russia and China to co-operate in nuclear power build

Russia to build two new nuclear power units in China, 5 July 18 
President Vladimir Putin mentioned that energy is the most important sector of cooperation, in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the previous month.  Moneycontrol News@moneycontrolcom   Moscow and Beijing may sign agreements to build additional two power units of 1,200-Megawatt units in China by 2026 and 2027, as per reports by Russia’s state nuclear power corporation Rosatom.……. As reported by RT, the two countries are also working together on One Belt, One Road initiative. At this rate of growth, the trade between the two countries is expected to reach the target of $100 billion. https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/business/russia-to-build-two-new-nuclear-power-units-in-china-2674481.html

July 6, 2018 Posted by | China, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia’s Putin has all the advantages in the coming summit with Trump

In Trump’s Russia Summit, Putin Holds All the Cards By New York Magazine, 30 June 18scheduled summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, on July 15 is being billed by the White House as an opportunity to reduce diplomatic tensions, begin repairing relations, and address a number of international issues of concern to both the U.S. and Russia, such as Iran, Syria, and Ukraine. Moscow is already managing expectations, saying they hope the meeting will rekindle a dialogue between the two governments but not to expect any “breakthroughs.”

Then again, Putin doesn’t need any breakthroughs; he’s already getting most of what he wants out of Trump, and given our president’s oft-expressed admiration for authoritarian strongmen in general and for his Russian counterpart in particular, Putin surely aims to cross a few more items off his wish list in Helsinki.

American-Russian relations at this moment are somewhat schizophrenic. On paper, Trump’s government is continuing and even going above and beyond many of the tough policies pursued by the Obama administration, including sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, the sale of weapons to Ukraine to combat the ongoing Russian-backed insurgency, and the expulsion of Russian agents.

Yet no world leader has been so much a beneficiary of Trump’s “dictator envy” as Putin. The president has publicly flattered him and even congratulated him (against the advice of literally everyone) on his victory in a transparently rigged election in March. The two men’s previous contacts have been friendly and often advantageous to Putin; they even spent an hour alone together, with no other U.S. advisers or officials and only Putin’s translator present, on the sidelines of last year’s G20 meeting. Trump takes Putin at his word when he says Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, and even as Russian state TV gloats about it.

With Trump, all business is personal, and deals are made or broken on the basis of his feelings about the people he is making them with. Earlier this month, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — whose crimes against human rights include forced labor, torture, and murder — made such a good impression on Trump at a summit in Singapore that the president gifted him a unilateral halt to joint U.S.–South Korean war games, blindsiding both Seoul and the Pentagon. Calculated measures are for eggheads and losers; Trump’s gut trumps all. ……..

he is actively working to destabilize the European Union, encouraging key members to quit the organization and saying at a rally this week that the E.U. “was set up to take advantage of the United States, to attack our piggy bank” — an absolutely bonkers statement even if it were not based on an exaggeration of the U.S-E.U. trade deficit. Considering that Russia meddled in the Brexit referendum just as it did in our elections, it’s clear that weakening or dismantling that union is high on the Kremlin’s agenda.

Trump’s bootlickers like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may lamely spin Trump’s antagonism toward our allies as some kind of “disruptive” “reset” in service of U.S. interests, but no administration official has made a remotely persuasive case for why chipping away at these institutions is good for America. For a revanchist Russia, on the other hand, the upsides are crystal clear. With his bad relationships with European allies fresh in his mind, it’s easy to imagine Trump letting Putin talk him into taking more steps to undercut these alliances.

Whether Putin has some kind of kompromat or other form of personal leverage over Trump (a terrifying possibility that becomes more believable the more we learn about the depth of Russia’s machinations in the 2016 campaign), or whether the two men just so happen to agree that the transatlantic liberal order is better off discarded, Putin is already getting what he paid for from this president.

Any agreement that comes out of next month’s summit, meanwhile, is overwhelmingly likely to favor Russia’s interests, if only because Putin knows exactly what he wants from Trump, whereas Trump does not seem to want anything more than for the man he admires so much to like him back.  http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/06/in-trumps-russia-summit-putin-holds-all-the-cards.html

June 30, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

Russia’s environmental groups demand an end to secrecy about Russia’s nuclear wastes

Russian environmentalists demand transparency from the country’s nuclear waste industry http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2018-06-russian-environmentalists-demand-transparency-from-the-countrys-nuclear-waste-industry

Environmentally significant information about radioactive waste should never be secret and concealing information about the disposition of this waste from those who live closest to it is unacceptable, said a joint statement from three Russian ecological non-profits.   by Bellona

Environmentally significant information about radioactive waste should never be secret and concealing information about the disposition of this waste from those who live closest to it is unacceptable, said a joint statement from three Russian ecological non-profits.

The statement was issued last week by the group Radioactive Waste Safety, Greenpeace and Bellona.

In the 70  years since Russia began applying nuclear technology, millions of tons of radioactive waste have been accumulated. This poses a now and future threat for hundreds and thousands of years. The negligent or thoughtless handling of radioactive waste could lead to accidents and catastrophes, as well as environmental consequences that will impact future generations – all while we are still struggling with past nuclear accidents, such as the Kyshtym disaster at the Mayak Chemical Combine in 1957 to name just one

“We are convinced that information on the total quantity and condition of radioactive waste, as well as on projects and programs related to handling and disposal of radioactive waste is environmentally significant, and that it  is the constitutional right of Russian citizens to have access to that information. This information affects the interests of people living near installations wirer radioactive wastes is handled and stored,” said the three groups.

“Recently, we and other environmental activists have been denied the provision of environmentally relevant information on the disposal of hazardous radioactive wastes, specifically relative to the practice of injecting liquid radioactive waste into deep geological formations in the Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk and Ulyanovsk Regions” said Alexander Kolotov, program director for Radioactive Waste Safety. “This practice is not  permissible an leads to a deepening distrust between local residents and the nuclear industry.”

“As is well known, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom has a long list of information it considers commercial secrets and classified. This list compulsory across all divisions and subsidiaries of the company, said Alexander Nikitin of Bellona. “Therefore, Rosatom doesn’t permit one or another division within its ranks to disclose information when it is requested by the public.”

“We are certain that enterprises and organizations in Russia, which handle radioactive waste should maintain transparency with the public about the dangers of these activities and their possible impact on the environment and public health,” said Ivan Blokov, program director of Greenpeace.
“Ecologically significant information on radioactive waste should be included in the annual environmental reports of the relevant enterprises and organizations, and should be published on their official websites and be provided by them at the request of citizens and public organizations.”

In addition to presenting environmentally relevant information on radioactive waste, environmentalists call upon Russia’s nuclear waste disposition industries to to immediately inform the public and local residents about any significant incidents or accidents associated with hazardous radioactive waste.

June 30, 2018 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Putin: Russia making a quantum leap in nuclear weaponry

Putin says new Russian nuclear weapons are decades ahead of foreign rivals, 58 WGJT Milwaukeee, By:  , 28 June 18 MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin boasted about his country’s prospective nuclear weapons Thursday, saying they are years and even decades ahead of foreign designs.

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia, Rwanda establish nuclear energy ties

 WNN, 27 June 2018

Russia’s Rosatom and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Rwanda have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The document was signed on 22 June by Rosatom Deputy Director General Nikolay Spassky and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to the Russian Federation Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya……

Rosatom signed a similar MoU in February with the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technological Innovations of the Republic of Congo, and with the Kenyan Council for nuclear energy in June 2016. http://world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Russia-Rwanda-establish-nuclear-energy-ties-26061801.html

June 29, 2018 Posted by | AFRICA, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia speeds up removal of piled up nuclear fuel assemblies at Andreyeva Bay

Bellona 18th June 2018 , The pace of cleanup at a major Cold War dump for spent nuclear submarine
fuel in Northwest Russia is going faster than planned, officials with
Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom have said, with efforts racing
ahead twice as rapidly as initially thought possible.

Still, Rosatom has elected not to revise its deadline for removing decades of piled up nuclear
fuel assemblies at Andreyeva Bay, a Soviet era submarine maintenance base,
whose proximity to Europe made it a lighting rod for international
environmental concern. On Thursday, Anatoly Grigoryev, who heads up
Rostom’s international technical programs, told the Interfax newswire
that technicians had shipped away a load of fuel that was expected to take
a year to remove in only six months.
http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2018-06-andreyeva-bay-nuclear-fuel-removal-going-faster-than-planned-rosatom-says

June 27, 2018 Posted by | Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Satellite photo indicates that Russia is upgrading a key nuclear weapons storage site

Is Russia upgrading nuclear bunker? Nine News, 

This satellite photo [on original] could show Russia is upgrading a key nuclear weapons storage site, a new report has revealed.

The report by the Federation of American Scientists highlights how Russia may has modernised a nuclear weapons storage bunker in Kaliningrad.

The site, located between Poland and the Baltics, has been renovated in the past two years and covered up again “presumably to return to operational status”, the report reads.

Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists Hans M Kristensen writes in his blog how the area was last upgraded between 2002 and 2010.

His report said the upgrade raises questions about what Russia intends to use it for. He questions whether it will be used to store nuclear warheads or if it’s simply an upgrade of an aging facility for an existing capability.

“The features of the site suggest it could potentially serve Russian Air Force or Navy dual-capable forces. But it could also be a joint site, potentially servicing nuclear warheads for both Air Force, Navy, Army, air-defense, and coastal defense forces in the region,” he wrote.

“It is to my knowledge the only nuclear weapons storage site in the Kaliningrad region,” he continued……..https://www.9news.com.au/world/2018/06/19/15/36/satellite-photos-show-renovation-at-russian-nuclear-bunker

June 20, 2018 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Safety measure for World Cup – Russia halts nuclear waste transport

World Cup puts break on nuclear transport, A load of containers with spent nuclear fuel from Andreeva Bay on the Kola Peninsula will have to wait because of a general ban on transport of dangerous goods in Russia during the Football World Cup. https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/ecology/2018/06/world-cup-puts-break-nuclear-transport  Thomas Nilsen, 14 June 18, June 14, 2018

Russia puts priority to safety and doesn’t want any potential lethal substances moving around during the four weeks with World Cup when tens of thousands of football fans are commuting by railway to different cities.

In the north, the ban now delays a shipment of nuclear waste that otherwise would be on its way to Mayak north of Chelyabinsk in the South Urals.

Head of Rosatom State Nuclear Corporation’s international technical assistance project, Anatoly Grigoryev, says three railway sets already have departed to Mayak this year. «The fourth is ready, but we can’t send it because transport of dangerous goods during the World Cup is prohibited,» Grigoriyev says to Interfax in an interview reposted by Rosatom.

From Andreeva Bay near Russia’s border to Norway, the containers with old uranium fuel from Cold War submarines are shipped to Murmansk, where they are loaded over to a set of special rail-wagons. From Murmansk, the train follows Russia’s railway lines south through Karelia towards St. Petersburg and Yaroslav before heading east towards the Urals, a distance of more than 1,600 kilometers.

Mayak reprocessing plant is located between the cities of Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg. The last is one of the cities where football matches will be played.

Anatoly Grigoryev assures that the load of nuclear waste containers from the Murmansk region will be shipped to Mayak as soon as the World Cup is over by mid-July.

Last June, a top brass of Russian and Norwegian politicians, diplomates and nuclear safety experts cheered and waved as the first load of containers set out to sea from Andreeva Bay. Since the 1990s, Norway has spent tens of millions of euros to support preparing for the nuclear waste removal from the site to start.

In Murmansk, nuclear safety expert with the Bellona Foundation, Andrey Zolotkov, says this is the first time to his knowledge transport of nuclear waste has been put on break for such reason as a international tournament.

«I don’t recall any such thing. This is most likely due to keeping the railway routes free from such cargos because of all the [football] fans on the move,» Zolotkov says to the Barents Observer. Additional to Bellona, Zolotkov has for many years been working on board the Russian nuclear icebreaker fleet’s transport- and storage vessel «Imandra».

From Murmansk, the nuclear waste cargo-train follows the same tracks, and through the same big cities, as ordinary passenger trains.

«After all, we are just talking about a one month delay,» Andrey Zolotkov explains pointing to the many-years it will take to remove all spent nuclear fuel elements from Andreeva Bay.

A total of about 22,000 such uranium fuel elements where stored in three rundown concrete tanks. That is equal to about 100 submarine reactor cores.

Anatoly Grigoryev with Rosatom estimates it will take about 10 years to remove it all from the Kola Peninsula to the Mayak plant.

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Jordan knocks back Russia’s $10 billion nuclear power plant , but contemplates”small floating reactor”

Jordan turns down a Rosatom plant, but dangles possible small reactor collaboration with Russia  In a blow to the international business interests of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Jordan has scrapped a plan to build a $10 billion nuclear power plant with Moscow’s help. Bellona,   by Charles Digges

In a blow to the international business interests of Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom, Jordan has scrapped a plan to build a $10 billion nuclear power plant with Moscow’s help.

Jordan’s Atomic Energy Commission, the JAEC, said on Monday that the project, after three years of study and consideration, had collapsed over disagreements on how to finance the the build, which would have included two nuclear reactors built by Rosatom.

But canceling the larger plant, said the JAEC, doesn’t mean Jordan won’t be working with Russia on any nuclear projects at all. According to the commission, it’s possible that Rosatom would furnish the Mediterranean nation with small modular reactors instead.

On Monday, the commission said in a statement that the larger project was off because the commercial loans Rosatom wanted Joran to secure to finance construction would drive up the cost of the electricity the plant would eventually produce.
………Without specifically mentioning the cancellation of the larger plant, Rosatom said in a statement on May 27 that it and JAEC had decided to “intensify and step up” cooperation on small modular reactors and form a joint feasibility study for such a project based on Russian designs.

Yet what these reactors might consist of remains somewhat mysterious. Russia has signed agreements with other countries for work on small-scale reactors, most recently Sudan, to which it vaguely promised to build a floating nuclear power plant.

…… Rosatom repeatedly said that foreign customers would flock to Moscow to order floating nuclear power plants of its own.

Those orders have yet to materialize, but that hasn’t stopped Rosatom from repeating the mantra that floating plants will be a prime offering to its foreign customers. Whether an offer to build Jordan a floating plant will come to pass remains unknown. But increasingly, the notion of floating plants seems synonymous with Rosatom’s small reactor development schemes. http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2018-06-jordan-turns-down-a-rosatom-plant-but-dangles-possible-small-reactor-collaboration-with-russia

June 15, 2018 Posted by | Jordan, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

South Africa’s Minister of Energy says that S.A. has called of the deal with Russia to develop nuclear power

SA no longer has agreement with Russians on nuclear, says Radebe, Fin 24, Jun 04 2018 Khulekani Magubane  Cape Town – Minister of Energy Jeff Radebe told eNCA on Sunday evening that South Africa no longer had an agreement with the Russians to procure for the development of nuclear energy for the country.

Speaking to journalist and political analyst Karima Brown on the news network’s show The Fix, Radebe said he was of the view that government did not appeal the court ruling in 2017 which invalidated the nuclear deal at that time.

The energy portfolio in national government has seen unparalleled instability with at least five ministers of energy in the past eight years, and a subsequent lack of clarity as to whether the Intergovernmental Framework Agreement which mentions nuclear would still be pursued and what role nuclear would play in the energy mix…….https://www.fin24.com/Economy/sa-no-longer-has-agreement-with-russians-on-nuclear-says-radebe-20180604

 

June 6, 2018 Posted by | politics international, Russia, South Africa | Leave a comment

Macron’s France signs up to join nuclear power partnership with Putin’s Russia!!

 

World Nuclear News 29th May 2018, Russia’s Rosatom and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy
Commission (CEA) have signed a strategic document on partnership in the
peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

The agreement was signed on 24 May by
Rosatom Director General Alexy Likhachov and CEA Chairman François Jacq in
the presence of the Russian and French presidents, Vladimir Putin and
Emmanuel Macron, during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
http://world-nuclear-news.org/NP-France-Russia-extend-nuclear-power-cooperation-29051801.html

June 1, 2018 Posted by | France, politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

In a drill, fake terrorists take over Russia’s Arctic radioactive waste storage site

In a drill, fake terrorists take over Arctic radioactive waste storage site

Russian officials have said they thwarted a terrorist attack at a facility storing old radioactive components from nuclear vessels located in the Arctic — but don’t worry. It was just a drill. Bellona,    by Anna Kireeva

Russian officials have said they thwarted a terrorist attack at a facility storing old radioactive components from nuclear vessels located in the Arctic — but don’t worry. It was just a drill.

The simulated siege was part of a large-scale exercise called Atom-2018, and was meant to prepare workers at the Sayda Bay for the worst – an armed incursion into a sensitive facility within Russia’s vast but fragile nuclear waste storage industry, complete with bombs, hostages and political demands.

According to reports, staff at the facility were alerted to the fact that the exercise was a drill. The purpose of the fake crisis, rather than scaring workers at a radioactive materials storage site, was to prepare officials from Russia’s security services to map out countermeasures specifically designed for the Sayda Bay site.

Sayda Bay is a part of the Murmansk branch of RosRAO, the state operator responsible for the management and storage and handling of non-nuclear radioactive waste, as well as decommissioning nuclear vessels, especially submarines.

Located 60 kilometers from Murmansk, Sayda Bay is itself an old Soviet-era military base. Since 2004, it has been tasked with storing reactor compartments from the dismantled submarines of Russia’s once overwhelming Northern Fleet of nuclear submarines.

Later, facilities were built at Sayda Bay to handle and condition radioactive waste. Currently it houses about 80 single unit reactor blocks and has space for 40 more. Eventually, the site will hold the irradiated remains of the Lepse, a nuclear icebreaker refueling vessels that is carefully being pulled apart at the Nerpa Shipyard near Murmansk.

It was the radioactive waste storage facility at Sayda Bay that was targeted by the would be terrorists. According to a release on the exercise, the assailants seized the facility, took hostages from among its workers, and put forth a demand for regime change. Unless their demands were met, said the insurgents, they would detonate a bomb…….http://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2018-05-in-a-drill-fake-terrorists-take-over-arctic-radioactive-waste-storage-site

June 1, 2018 Posted by | ARCTIC, Russia, safety | Leave a comment

Indian and Russian governments getting together to market nuclear power globally

PM Modi, Vladimir Putin May Discuss Energy, Nuclear Issues At ‘No-Agenda’ Summit
With China, reducing the tension on the border was important but with Russia, a trusted all-weather partner, increasing trade ties and stepping up defence and atomic energy cooperation could be on agenda

May 22, 2018 Posted by | India, marketing, Russia | Leave a comment

Russia building an underwater drone that can carry nuclear warheads

Russia building underwater nuclear drone that could cause TSUNAMIS as big as 2011 disaster

MOSCOW is in the process of constructing an underwater drone that can carry nuclear warheads, destroy naval bases and cause tsunamis, according to a Russian state news agency. Express UK, By CAITLIN DOHERTY18 May 18,  A source told TASS news agency the Poseidon drone will be able to carry nuclear weapons of up to two megatonnes.

The drone will operate at under-sea depths of more than 1 kilometre, and will have a speed of between 60 and 70 knots.

The source said: “It will be possible to mount various nuclear shares on the ‘torpedo’ of the Poseidon multipurpose seaborne system, with the thermonuclear single warhead.  They added it will “have the maximum capacity of up to two megatonnes in TNT equivalent”….

The Russian President said the machine would have “hardly any vulnerabilities” and would carry “massive nuclear ordinance”.

“There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them.”

The name Poseidon was chosen after open voting on the Russia’s Defence Ministry website.

TASS news agency has not been able to confirm the information provided by the source.

One physicist has said a machine of this magnitude could cause as much damage as the tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.

Rex Richardson told Business Insider: “A well-placed nuclear weapon of yield in the range 20 MT to 50 MT near a sea coast could certainly couple enough energy to equal the 2011 tsunami, and perhaps much more.

“Taking advantage of the rising-sea-floor amplification effect, tsunami waves reaching 100 meters [330 feet] in height are possible.”…https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/961500/Russia-building-underwater-nuclear-drone-that-could-cause-tsunami-japan-2011

May 19, 2018 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment