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If They Chose, Biden and Putin Could Make the World Radically Safer

If They Chose, Biden and Putin Could Make the World Radically Safer,   By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, June 11, 2021

The danger of nuclear apocalypse is at an all-time high. Understanding of the damage that would result from a nuclear war is of a greater horror than ever previously understood. The historical record of threats of nuclear weapons use, and of near-misses through misunderstandings, has mushroomed.

The influence of the Israeli model of aquiring nuclear weapons but pretending not to have done so is spreading. The Western militarism that other nations see as justification for their own nuclear armament continues to expand.

Demonization of Russia in U.S. politics and media has reached a new level. Our luck will not hold out forever. Much of the world has banned the possession of nuclear weapons. Presidents Biden and Putin could very easily make the world dramatically safer and redirect massive resources into benefitting humanity and the earth, if they were to choose to abolish nuclear weapons.

The American Committee for U.S.-Russia Accord has made these three excellent proposals:…….. https://worldbeyondwar.org/if-they-chose-biden-and-putin-could-make-the-world-radically-safer/

July 10, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

Dialogue between Russia and USA must include subject of offensive weapons in outer space – says Russian Foreign Minister

US plans to deploy arms in space should be taken into account in bilateral dialogue-LavrovAmericans are working on a program for the deployment of offensive weapons in outer space in the context of the global missile defense system, Russian Foreign Minister said  https://tass.com/politics/1311759

VLADIVOSTOK, July 8. /TASS/. The Russian-US dialogue on strategic stability should reckon with the US program for the deployment of offensive weapons in outer space, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

“Naturally, when we speak about the necessity to discuss strategic stability in all of its dimensions, we mean all the factors influencing this strategic stability. They include nuclear weapons, non-nuclear strategic weapons, offensive and defensive strategic systems, and, of course, we cannot ignore the fact that the Americans are working on a program for the deployment of offensive weapons in outer space in the context of the global missile defense system,” he said in a lecture he delivered at the Far Eastern Federal University..

The much-awaited Russian-American summit took place in the Swiss capital city of Geneva on June 16. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Joe Biden of the United States discussed the current state of and prospects for further development of bilateral relations, issues of strategic stability and international matters. The leaders said in a joint statement that the sides planned to launch a comprehensive bilateral dialogue on strategic stability.

July 10, 2021 Posted by | Russia, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia tests giant nuclear submarine equipped with secret weapons

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9 News By Richard Wood • Senior Journalist Jun 29, 2021, Russia has unveiled a nuclear submarine armed with advanced weapons that’s believed to be the largest built anywhere in the world over the last 30 years.The Belgorod started sea trials on the weekend amid rising tensions between Russia and NATO navies, reports Naval News.The 184 metre-long nuclear-powered submarine is armed with six intercontinental Poseidon torpedoes but can also act as a mothership for smaller submarines.The torpedoes can carry nuclear warheads and have an unlimited range.With a speed of about 70 knots and capable of reaching depths of 1000 metres, they cannot be countered with current weapons, reports say…….https://www.9news.com.au/world/russia-trials-biggest-nuclear-submarine-built-in-thirty-years-secret-weapons/3d4e5cc3-d184-494a-b187-29465131e036

July 1, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia unveils largest nuclear submarine built in 30 years

Russia unveils largest nuclear submarine built in 30 years   https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/world/russia-unveils-largest-nuclear-submarine-built-in-30-years Russia has unveiled what’s believed to be its largest submarine built in 30 years amid a tense standoff with Britain in the Black Sea. The Belgorod sailed for the first time today, just days after the Russian military assets fired warning shots at a British Royal Navy destroyer after it came too close to what Moscow has claimed is its territorial waters near Crimea last week.  Bombs were also dropped by jets near the vessel.

While the nuclear submarine’s specifications have not been revealed, the Belgorod will be able to launch nuclear strikes, according to the Daily Telegraph.

It will also act as a mothership for smaller submarines.   

June 29, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia, China Pledge to Not Use Nuclear Weapons First, Avoid Firing Missiles at Each Other

Russia, China Pledge to Not Use Nuclear Weapons First, Avoid Firing Missiles at Each Other , NewsWeek, BY JENNI FINK ON 6/28/21    Russia and China reaffirmed their friendship treaty amid increasing concerns about their growing relationship and the two countries continued a vow not to fire strategic missiles at each other.

Russia President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping extended the 20-year Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, a document Putin credited with taking their relationship to “unprecedented height.” An extension that’s set to last for five years, it outlines that both countries will support each others’ right to defend their “national unity” and territories.

Article 2 has both countries promising to using “peaceful means” to resolve their differences, not the use of force, threat of force or economic pressures.

The contracting parties reaffirm their commitment that they will not be the first to use nuclear weapons against each other nor target strategic nuclear missiles against each other,” the treaty states.

Russia and China have grown closer as their relationships with the United States has deteriorated. Although Putin’s summit with President Joe Biden was seen as a positive step, America and Russia failed to see eye-to-eye on a number of topics, but they agreed to work together on the issue of nuclear weapons.

In a joint statement, the two countries agreed to “embark” on dialogue that would “lay the groundwork” for future arms control and risk reduction measures, acknowledging that “nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

One of two biggest nuclear powers, Putin’s endorsement of Russia’s nuclear deterrent policy raised concerns. The policy allows him to use nuclear weapons in response to a strike with conventional weapons, or if Russia gets “reliable information” about the launch of an attack against its territory or allies.

The strategy is “purely defensive,” according to General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, but he defended Russia’s ability to use nuclear weapons at the Moscow International Security Conference last week…….  https://www.newsweek.com/russia-china-pledge-not-use-nuclear-weapons-first-avoid-firing-missiles-each-other-1604865

June 29, 2021 Posted by | China, politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Biden and Putin agree: ‘Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’


Biden and Putin agree: ‘Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought’ DW,  17 June 21

US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have concluded a high-stakes summit aimed at cooperation but dominated by deep disagreements.

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have ended their highly anticipated summit in Geneva.

The leaders’ first in-person meeting since Biden became president took place at a lakeside villa amid soaring tensions between their two countries.

As talks ended after less than the five hours either side thought they would need, Biden gave a thumbs up. Members of the US team said the meeting had been “quite successful.”

After the meeting, the two sides released a joint statement on one of the main topics of discussion, nuclear proliferation. The statement read, “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” 

DW Moscow correspondent Emily Sherwin said, “Biden managed to walk a fine line with Putin,” recognizing Russia’s desire to be seen as a major geopolitical power.

The joint US-Russian statement said progress on shared goals could be achieved, “even in periods of tension,” going on to state, “The United States and Russia will embark together on an integrated bilateral Strategic Stability Dialogue in the near future that will be deliberate and robust.”

The statement added that the countries “seek to lay the groundwork for future arms control and risk reduction measures.” …………………… https://www.dw.com/en/biden-and-putin-agree-nuclear-war-cannot-be-won-and-must-never-be-fought/a-57921072

June 19, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, USA | Leave a comment

Collaboration between Russia and Europe finally cleans up the most dangerous nuclear ship in the Arctic.

After 27 Years, Lepse No Longer Poses a Nuclear Threat to the Arctic,  High North News, PETER B. DANILOV 17 June 21, Last week, the Russian service ship Serebryanka delivered the last spent-fuel bundles from the Lepse floating maintenance base to an Atomflot storage site in Murmansk, completing the final stage of securing the nuclear waste……. To ensure the dismantling of the Lepse floating maintenance base, it was necessary to specially develop new technologies and equipment and make innovative decisions,” said FSUE Atomflot Director General Mustafa Kashka.

In July 2020, the Lepse floating maintenance base’s main batch of spent nuclear fuel was unloaded at the Nerpa shipyard. A total of 620 spent-fuel bundles were extracted and unloaded.

Lepse was regarded as the most dangerous nuclear vessel in the north and the Norwegian environmental NGO Bellona began the work of securing the spent nuclear fuel onboard the vessel in 1994.

……….. The project to dismantle and dispose of the Lepse Floating Maintenance Base is multilaterally implemented.

In 1996, the project was included in the EU’s TACIS program (Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States), which involved the allocation of funds for the inspection of the state of spent nuclear fuel.

Since 2008, the project has been carried out in the framework of a Grant Agreement between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Rosatom, and JSC NFC Logistics Centre (the project’s customer and coordinator).

The EBRD has provided 54 million euros from the Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership Fund (NDEP). https://www.highnorthnews.com/en/after-27-years-lepse-no-longer-poses-nuclear-threat-arctic

June 19, 2021 Posted by | ARCTIC, oceans, politics international, Russia, safety, wastes | Leave a comment

Russia’s Approach to Nuclear Power in Outer Space

Russia’s Approach to Nuclear Power in Outer Space

Jamestown Foundation,  Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 18 Issue: 92 By: Pavel Luzinune 9, 2021

 Russia has been conducting research and development (R&D) on using nuclear power in outer space for years. On May 22, Alexander Bloshenko, executive director for advanced programs and science of Roscosmos, announced that the first mission of the nuclear-powered spacecraft, also known as the transport and energy module (TEM), is scheduled for 2030 (TASS, May 22). A week before this announcement, there was a deliberate leak from the Keldysh Center, a Roscosmos subsidiary entity, that this nuclear-powered spacecraft might be used for military purposes along with civil ones (RIA Novosti, May 13). These verbal interventions almost coincided with the hearings in the US Congress on the NASA budget request that proposes $585 million for nuclear thermal propulsion technology in FY2022 and ongoing American efforts in this field (SpaceNews, May 19; Physics Today, May 28). That means the Russian program on space nuclear power systems has not only technological but also geopolitical goals.

The current Russian program has a Soviet background. The USSR launched 33 military reconnaissance and targeting spacecraft with nuclear reactors into low-Earth orbit from 1969 to 1988. Most of them used thermoelectric nuclear power plants “Buk,” and the last two spacecraft used more advanced thermal electron emission NPPs “Topaz” with 4.5–5.5 kW of electric power. The Soviet Union also developed the prototypes of nuclear rocket engines, but the project was closed in 1986. In the early 1990s, a Russian-American project aimed to develop the “Topaz” reactors further, but was canceled by 1995. In 2000–2007, Russia tried to cooperate with China in this field (Kukharkin, 2012).

Despite long-term economic decline, Moscow has also tried to continue its independent efforts in space nuclear power systems since 1998, and during the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, these efforts were proclaimed among the Kremlin’s key priorities (Pravo.gov.ru, February 2, 1998; RG.ru, November 13, 2009).

The program’s budget of 17 billion rubles for the period 2010–2018 was divided between Roscosmos (9.8 billion rubles) and Rosatom (7.2 billion rubles), totaling $560 million according to the exchange rates of 2010 (RG.ru, October 3, 2012). However, the actual spending was smaller. In 2010, only 500 million rubles ($16.5 million) were assigned for the purpose (Roscosmos, February 10, 2010). During the following decade, the total spending has reached almost 10 billion rubles or $213 million according to open data on federal budget funds and procurements released by Roscosmos and Rosatom (Vesti.ru, January 19, 2011; Interfax, October 12, 2020; Zakupki.gov.ru, 2013–2021). The current results of these efforts are less than initially planned………..

In comparison with NASA that tries to design a 10 kW space nuclear reactor with a Stirling engine intended to increase efficiency, the thermal electron emission remains the central paradigm of Russia’s R&Ds and the idea of using engines or turbines together with space nuclear reactors still remains theoretical (NASA, May 2, 2018; Issledovaniya Naukograda, July–September 2017). It is doubtful that Russia will develop the space nuclear power system with 1 MW of electric power and ion thrusters with more power in the foreseeable future. Still, Moscow definitely will try to convert existing results into some advance in outer space and foreign policy.


Along with a significant deficiency in other dimensions of Russia’s space activity and the country’s overall economic weakness, these problems prompt the Kremlin to look for an ace up its sleeve. While there is still a long way to go to develop nuclear reactors for space exploration missions, Russian industry and authorities are seeking to apply nuclear power for military satellites (KB Arsenal, September 1, 2020). Such spacecraft may be used for radar reconnaissance and electronic warfare (jamming) and be deployed to low, medium or geosynchronous orbits. However, there have not been any flight tests or technological demonstrations of such a satellite yet. This means Moscow will not be ready to deploy these satellites any time soon………   https://jamestown.org/program/russias-approach-to-nuclear-power-in-outer-space/

June 10, 2021 Posted by | Russia, space travel | Leave a comment

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2021?

Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2021? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists . By Hans M. KristensenMatt Korda, March 15, 2021,  Russia is in the middle of a decades-long modernization of its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear forces to replace Soviet-era weapons with newer systems. In December 2020, President Vladimir Putin reported that modern weapons and equipment now make up 86 percent of Russia’s nuclear triad (Russian Federation 2020a), compared to the previous year’s 82 percent (Russian Federation 2019a). He additionally noted that he expects that number to rise to 88.3 percent in 2021. As in previous years, Putin’s remarks emphasized the need for Russia’s nuclear forces to keep pace with Russia’s competitors: It is absolutely unacceptable to stand idle. The pace of change in all areas that are critical for the Armed Forces is unusually fast today. It is not even Formula 1 fast—it is supersonic fast. You stop for one second and you start falling behind immediately” (Russian Federation 2020a).

Putin also noted his disappointment with the “deterioration” of the US-Russia arms control regime, and declared that the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the Open Skies Treaty under “contrived pretexts.” He also addressed the “uncertainty” around New START: “We have repeatedly stated our readiness to extend the treaty but there has been no response” (Russian Federation 2020a).

As of early 2021, we estimate that Russia has a stockpile of nearly 4,500 nuclear warheads assigned for use by long-range strategic launchers and shorter-range tactical nuclear forces……………….

Russia has significantly reduced the number of warheads deployed on its ballistic missiles to meet the New START limit of no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads. Russia achieved the required reduction by the February 5, 2018 deadline, when it declared 1,444 strategic warheads attributed to 527 launchers (Russian Federation Foreign Affairs Ministry 2018). The most recent data, declared on September 1, 2020, listed Russia with 1,447 deployed warheads attributed to 510 strategic launchers………….

Russia has significantly reduced the number of warheads deployed on its ballistic missiles to meet the New START limit of no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads. Russia achieved the required reduction by the February 5, 2018 deadline, when it declared 1,444 strategic warheads attributed to 527 launchers (Russian Federation Foreign Affairs Ministry 2018). The most recent data, declared on September 1, 2020, listed Russia with 1,447 deployed warheads attributed to 510 strategic launchers…………

Overall, Russia’s nuclear modernization effort will present the international arms control community with new challenges. Unless a new arms reduction agreement is reached in the future to replace New START, the shrinking of Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal that has characterized the past two decades will likely come to an end, …………………………………………. https://thebulletin.org/premium/2021-03/nuclear-notebook-russian-nuclear-weapons-2021/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=MondayNewsletter03152021&utm_content=Notebook_Russia_03152021

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia beefs up its sub-critical non-nuclear experiments at its top secret far remote Novaya Zemlya site.

12th Directorate beefs up support facilities at nuclear test site, Russian Defence Ministry’s 12th Directorate talks public about ongoing subcritical experiments with nuclear warheads material at Novaya Zemlya. Barents Observer, By Thomas Nilsen  June 07, 2021

The Defence Ministry’s own TV channel Zvezda on Sunday broadcasted a nearly 40 minutes long unique documentary about one of Russia’s top-secret military units, the Central Test Site at Novaya Zemlya.

Established in the mid-1950s, a total of 132 nuclear weapon tests are carried out at the archipelago in the period until October 24th 1990. Much less is told about the activities after President Mikhael Gorbachev the year after announced a unilateral nuclear test moratorium.

“Non-nuclear experiments are being carried out to confirm the reliability of the existing nuclear ammunition,” said the head of the Defence Ministry’s 12th Main Directorate, Major General Igor Kolesnikov, from his office in Moscow.

Non-nuclear experiments do not mean that weapons-grade material is not included. Simply, it means experiments are carried out but with no nuclear yield.

For example, such a test could include a small portion of plutonium, enough to explode, but not enough to reach a critical mass and therefore not create a self-sustaining chain reaction, or a nuclear bang. The effects of a full-size bang are then validated in advanced computer simulations.

Subcritical tests are done for two main purposes, determine the status of ageing plutonium warheads or aimed at developing new warheads.

“I must say that the United States is doing the same, they are also conducting similar experiments in Nevada,” Kolesnikov said in the interview with TV Zvezda.

Sub-critical tests are allowed under the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). However, carrying out such tests in tunnels deep into the mountains in the far remote Novaya Zemlya have caused speculations that real, although very small, nuclear explosions could happen without the global network of monitoring stations would be able to detect it.

The Major General, though, said only non-nuclear explosive experiments take place at Novaya Zemlya…………… https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/nuclear-safety/2021/06/12th-directorate-beefs-support-facilities-nuclear-test-site

June 8, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia launches a mission to investigate te Komsomolets, Soviet nuclear submarine sunk 32 years ago .

Bellona 25th May 2021, Russian scientists have embarked on a mission to the Komsomolets, a Soviet nuclear submarine that sank 32 years ago during an onboard fire off Norway’s northern coast, killing 41, in a bid to determine whether the wreck presents threats to the undersea environment.

The scientists, from Rosgidromet, Russia’s state weather agency which also measures radiation, set sail from Arkhangelsk last week aboard the Professor Molchanov research vessels, reaching the accident site over the weekend, Russian media reported.

https://bellona.org/news/nuclear-issues/2021-05-russia-launches-mission-to-the-sunken-komsomolets-nuclear-submarine

May 27, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Russia’s plans for nuclear-powered spacecraft to Jupiter

Russia Wants To Send A Nuclear-Powered Spacecraft To Jupiter This Decade, IFL Science  26 May 21,Russia is planning to send a nuclear-powered spacecraft to the grand gas giant of the Solar System, Jupiter, in 2030. 

Roscosmos, Russia’s federal space agency, announced the plan for the mammoth 50-month journey last week. The journey will take it on a mini tour of the Solar System, taking pit stops around the Moon and Venus, dropping off spacecraft along its way, before heading on to Jupiter. 

More specifically, a “space tug” with a nuclear-based transport and energy module dubbed Zeus will head towards the Moon where a spacecraft will separate from it. It will then pass by Venus to perform a gravity assist maneuver and drop off another spacecraft, before venturing towards Jupiter and one of its satellites.

“Together with the Russian Academy of Sciences, we’re are now making calculations about this flight’s ballistics and payload,” Roscosmos Executive Director for Long-Term Programs and Science Alexander Bloshenko told reporters, according to TASS news agency.

Most spacecraft use solar panels that convert the Sun’s energy into electricity. However, the deeper a spacecraft goes into the Solar System, the further it strays from the Sun and less solar energy is available. While batteries can be used for backup, some missions – such as Cassini and Voyager – have been powered from a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG), which is a bit like a nuclear battery that uses heat from the radioactive decay of isotopes. RTGs are not nuclear reactors, however, as a chain reaction does not take place.

The new Zeus project, by comparison, is a whole nuclear reactor that will use fission reactions to drive the propulsion. In the words of Russian state media, it’s a “secrecy-laden project in development since 2010” that involves a 500-kilowatt nuclear reactor, weighing around 22 tons….

The Soviet Union launched a bunch of nuclear reactors into space during the Cold War as part of the RORSAT missions, a set of Soviet nuclear spy satellites launched between 1967 and 1988. On the other hand, the US has launched just one: SNAP-10A or SNAPSHOT, a nuclear-reactor power system launched in 1965. 

The US has regained interest in nuclear-powered space travel over the past few decades. Just recently, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has commissioned three private companies – Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, and General Atomics – to develop nuclear fission thermal rockets for use in lunar orbit, with the goal of demonstrating the technology above low Earth orbit in 2025. https://www.iflscience.com/space/russia-wants-to-send-a-nuclearpower-spacecraft-to-jupiter-this-decade/

May 27, 2021 Posted by | Russia, space travel | Leave a comment

Russia’s Arctic Council leadership now facing up to the problem of nuclear reactors dumped in the ocean

Reactors are dumped at several locations in the Kara Sea in addition to the two submarines K-159 and K-278 that sank in the Barents- and Norwegian Seas. Map: Barents Observer / Google Earth

Tackling dumped nuclear waste gets priority in Russia’s Arctic Council leadership   https://thebarentsobserver.com/en/nuclear-safety/2021/05/lifting-nuclear-waste-kara-sea-gets-priority-russias-arctic-council

The reactors from the submarines K-11, K-19, and K-140, plus the entire submarine K-27 and spent uranium fuel from one of the old reactors of the Lenin-icebreaker have to be lifted from the seafloor and secured. 
Thomas Nilsen

Russia’s Foreign Ministry invites international experts from the other Arctic nations to a June 2022 conference on how to recover the sunken radioactive and hazardous objects dumped by the Soviet Union on the seafloor east of Novaya Zemlya.

No other places in the world’s oceans have more radioactive and nuclear waste than the Kara Sea.

While mentality in Soviet times was «out of sight, out of mind», the Kara Sea seemed logical. Ice-covered most of the year, and no commercial activities. That is changing now with rapidly retreating sea ice, drilling for oil-, and gas and increased shipping.

The submarine reactors dumped in shallow bays east of the closed-off military archipelago of Novaya Zemlya were all brought north for a good reason, they had experienced accidents and posed a radiation threat at the navy yards where people were working.

Dumping the reactors in shallow waters, someplace at only 50 meters, meant they could be lifted one day when technology allowed.

There is momentum now. For environmental and foreign policy reasons, Russia needs to take action now,” says nuclear safety expert Andrey Zolotkov. He works with Bellona Murmansk, an advocacy group promoting international cooperation to secure hazardous radioactive objects in Russia’s Arctic region. Zolotkov is pleased to see Moscow highlighting steps to secure the sunken reactors in the Kara Sea.

“Ecology is one of the few topics where Russia and foreign partners can conduct constructive dialogue nowadays,” he says.

However, Zolotkov underlines, “the issue of urgency can only be discussed after at least one expedition to the flooded objects.”

A worst-case scenario would be a failed lifting attempt, causing criticality in the uranium fuel, again triggering an explosion with following radiation contamination of Arctic waters.  

Technical survey needed 

With Russia now holding the chair of the Arctic Council, Zolotkov hopes such expedition can take place within the next two-year period.

A Russian-Norwegian expedition to the K-27 submarine in Stepovogo bay in 2012 took samples for studying possible radioactive leakages. Now, the Bellona expert, calls for an expedition to thoroughly study the strength of the hull and look for technical options on how to lift the heavy submarine and reactor compartments.

“Decades on the seafloor do not pass without impacts,” Andrey Zolotkov explains.

A previous study report made for Rosatom and the European Commission roughly estimated the costs of lifting all six objects, bringing them safely to a yard for decommissioning, and securing the reactors for long-term storage.

The estimated price-tag for all six is €278 million, of which the K-159 in the Barents Sea is the most expensive with a cost of €57,5 million. Unlike the submarines and reactors that are dumped in relatively shallow waters in the Kara Sea, the K-159 is at about 200 meters depth, and thus will be more difficult to lift.

In addition, about 17,000 objects were dumped in the Kara Sea in the period from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.

Most of that is containers with solid radioactive waste from the naval yards on the Kola Peninsula and in Severodvinsk. Some radioactive waste also originated from the repair and maintenance of the fleet of civilian nuclear-powered icebreakers in Murmansk. 

Most of the objects are metal containers with low- and medium-level radioactive waste. The challenge today, though, are the reactors with high-level waste and spent uranium fuel, objects that will pose a serious threat to the marine environment for tens of thousands of years if nothing is done to secure them.

According to the Institute for Safe Development of Nuclear Energy, part of Russia’s Academy of Science, the most urgent measures should be taken to secure six objects that contain more than 90% of all the radioactivity.

The Arctic Council in late 2019 took a formal decision to establish a Working Group on radiation Emergency Prevention, Preparedness and Response (EPPR).

May 24, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Tallying up Russia’s nuclear weapons


Nuclear Notebook: How many nuclear weapons does Russia have in 2021? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By Hans M. KristensenMatt Korda, March 15, 2021 
  T his is a very long article.  Some introductory bits:

Russia is in the middle of a decades-long modernization of its strategic and nonstrategic nuclear forces to replace Soviet-era weapons with newer systems………

Putin also noted his disappointment with the “deterioration” of the US-Russia arms control regime, and declared that the United States withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the Open Skies Treaty under “contrived pretexts.”……..

As of early 2021, we estimate that Russia has a stockpile of nearly 4,500 nuclear warheads assigned for use by long-range strategic launchers and shorter-range tactical nuclear forces……

Russia has significantly reduced the number of warheads deployed on its ballistic missiles to meet the New START limit of no more than 1,550 deployed strategic warheads. Russia achieved the required reduction by the February 5, 2018 deadline, when it declared 1,444 strategic warheads attributed to 527 launchers (Russian Federation Foreign Affairs Ministry 2018)………

Russia (like the United States) could potentially upload several hundreds of extra warheads onto their launchers, but is prevented from doing so by the New START treaty limit, which has been extended for an additional five years to 2026. The treaty provides for important transparency of Russian (and U.S.) strategic nuclear forces: As of December 2020, the United States and Russia have completed a combined 328 on-site inspections and exchanged 21,293 notifications (US State Department, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance 2020b). Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, there have been no on-site Type One or Type Two inspections since April 1st, 2020……….

What is Russia’s nuclear strategy?……….

 Russia’s publicly stated policy. In June 2020, President Putin approved an update to the “Basic Principles of State Policy of the Russian Federation on Nuclear Deterrence,” which notes that “The Russian Federation considers nuclear weapons exclusively as a means of deterrence.” The policy clearly lays out four conditions under which Russia could launch nuclear weapons:


“arrival of reliable data on a launch of ballistic missiles attacking the territory of the Russian Federation and/or its allies;

use of nuclear weapons or other types of weapons of mass destruction by an adversary against the Russian Federation and/or its allies;

attack by adversary against critical governmental or military sites of the Russian Federation, disruption of which would undermine nuclear forces response actions;

aggression against the Russian Federation with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is in jeopardy” (Russian Federation Foreign Affairs Ministry 2020).

Submarines and submarine-launched ballistic missiles

The Russian Navy operates 11 nuclear-powered nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) of three classes:……….https://thebulletin.org/premium/2021-03/nuclear-notebook-russian-nuclear-weapons-2021/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Newsletter05102021&utm_content=NuclearRisk_RussiaNotebook_03152021

May 11, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia to test powerful new nuclear weapon

RUSSIA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO TEST NUCLEAR WEAPON CALLED “SATAN II”AFTER YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT, RUSSIA IS READY TO LAUNCH THE POWERFUL NEW NUKES. Futurism,  by DAN ROBITZSKI  7 May 221, Son of Satan,

The Russian military is prepared to launch three tests of its powerful new nuclear weapon, the RS-28 Sarmat, which has earned the nickname “Satan II.”

Tests for the new intercontinental ballistic missile will begin within the next few months, military insiders told TASS, a news outlet owned by the Russian government that refers to the weapon as “invulnerable.” That’s alarming news — while the Sarmat has been under development for years, the fact that it’s now ready for test launches brings us into a dangerous new era of ultra-powerful nuclear weapons……….. https://futurism.com/the-byte/russia-test-nuclear-weapon-satan

May 8, 2021 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment