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Russia concerned that NATO wants to lower the threshold for nuclear weapons use.

Russia finds worrisome NATO’s wish to lower nuclear threshold — diplomat Grushko also pointed to the complete degradation of the arms control system

BRUSSELS, January 12. /TASS/. Russia is seriously worried by NATO’s wish to lower the threshold for nuclear weapons use, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko told a news conference following a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on Wednesday.

“In conducting their military policies, the United States and its allies have been trying to gain superiority in all media: on land, in the air and at sea. Now there are also outer space and cyberspace. As well as all possible theaters of combat operations. Conceptually, operationally and technically the threshold of nuclear weapons use is being lowered. We see that the scenarios of various exercises incorporate the nuclear component, which causes our most serious concern,” Grushko said.

He pointed to the complete degradation of the arms control system.

It all began when the United States pulled out of the anti-ballistic missile treaty. Then it prevented NATO countries from ratifying the agreement on the adaptation of the conventional forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, which might serve as a corner stone of European security. Then the US administration dropped the INF treaty (on the elimination of intermediate and shorter-range missiles). And last year the Open Skies Treaty was seriously undermined,” Grushko concluded.

The Russia-NATO Council’s meeting was a second round of consultations by Russia and the West on Russia’s proposals for European security. The first stage – talks between Russia and the United States – took place in Geneva on January 10. A third will follow on the OSCE platform in Vienna on January 13.

January 13, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia’s nuclear submarine construction reaches a post-Soviet high.

Russia’s Nuclear Submarine Construction Reaches Post-Soviet High By The Barents Observer, Jan. 7, 2022  

Russia’s Sevmash shipyard, the only one in the country that builds nuclear-powered submarines, saw a record year in 2021. Three subs were handed over to the Navy, two were put on water and construction started on another two.

Not since the late days of the Soviet Union have the workers at the building and repair yard Severodvinsk been busier than now.  Moscow’s modernization program for its Navy over the last decade stands in sharp contrast to considerable neglect in the years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

2022 marks 10 years since the Russian Navy’s first fourth generation multi-purpose submarine, the Severodvinsk, successfully launched a Kalibr cruise missile from a submerged position in the White Sea. While it took nearly 20 years to complete construction of the Severodvinsk, later Yasen-M class vessels are being built faster.

Construction of the Novosibirsk, which was commissioned for the Navy in late December 2021, took 8 years.   Similar construction times are also being seen for the new ballistic missile submarines of the Borei-A class in the wake of the Yury Dolgoruky, which took 16 years from being laid down in 1996 to commissioning for the Northern Fleet in 2012. The Knyaz Oleg, handed over to the Pacific Fleet just before Christmas last year took 7 years to build.

As of Jan. 1, 2022, 13 nuclear-powered submarines are at different stages of construction at the Sevmash yard and are all expected to be delivered to the navy before 2027.

While high-profile publicity is given to laying-down ceremonies, launching and commissioning of ballistic missile subs and multi-purpose subs, far less is known about special-purpose subs. The Barents Observer has on several occasions reported about the Belgord, the world’s longest submarine built on a modified Oscar-II class hull. The submarine will be the carrier of the new Poseidon nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed drones and likely be based with the Pacific Fleet later this year.

Two other carriers of the Poseidon drone are currently under construction at the Sevmash yard, the Khabarovsk and Ulyanovsk.

Other unconfirmed submarines that might be in the pipeline for construction in years to come are two more Borei-A class vessels, two more Poseidon carriers and one or two special-purpose mini-submarine to sail for GUGI, the Defense Ministry’s Main Directorate for Deep Sea Research.

Design work for fifth generation nuclear-powered submarines, referred to as the Husky class, is said to be underway, but so far no contracts have been signed. 

In addition to new submarines, the Sevmash yard is busy working on repair and modernization of the large nuclear-powered battle cruiser Admiral Nakhimov. Originally commissioned into the Soviet Navy in 1988, the warship was rarely deployed to sea and has been in Severodvinsk for the last 23 years. If no further delays are announced, the battlecruiser will be re-commissioned for the Northern Fleet in 2023. 

January 10, 2022 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Depleted uranium exports to Russia are not a ”resource” – they are radioactive waste

Our conclusion is that this form of TENORM (technically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material) should be considered in principle as a waste material, for which full transparency should be assured over its complete chain of management,

DU Exports to Russia – A case of lack of transparency and research Nuclear Transparency Watch By Jan Haverkamp (Greenpeace, WISE) December 21,

From 1996, the uranium enrichment facilities URENCO Almelo (Netherlands) and URENCO Gronau (Germany) regularly sent shipments of depleted uranium (DU) in the form of UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) to TENEX, later TVEL, in Russia, where this was stored in the open air in Seversk in the Krasnoyarsk region. Protests in Europe then halted these transports in 2009. TVEL is since 2007 a subsidiary of the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom. URENCO carries out enrichment for nuclear fuel production from natural uranium to low-enriched uranium for clients all over the world and has facilities in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

In 2019 and 2020, these transports were resumed from the enrichment facility of URENCO Gronau and URENCO UK in Capenhurst.

URENCO Almelo currently has a permit for export, but does not use it. Its DU is sent to France for conversion into stable U3O8 (depleted tri-uranium-octo-oxide or uranium oxide), which is returned to the Netherlands and handed over to the waste management organisation COVRA for interim storage in the VOG facility, awaiting final disposal after 2100.

The claim is that the DU is sent to TENEX, later TVEL, for re-enrichment to natural level and reuse of the resulting double depleted uranium (DDU). Rosatom furthermore claims[2] that DDU and DU are used industrially and that the UF6 also delivers fluorine for reuse purposes. It furthermore, describes in detail how it wants to convert its UF6 stockpile into uranium oxide for waste treatment before 2057.

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December 24, 2021 Posted by | depleted uranium, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Russia is offering to USA and NATO an alternative way out of the present Ukraine crisis

Moscow Says It’s Offering US, NATO Alternative to New Cuban Missile Crisis-Style Scenario, Sputnik News,  Ilya Tsukanov, 14 Dec 21, Tensions between Russia and the US-led military bloc have escalated dramatically in recent weeks amid Western claims that Moscow may be preparing to invade Ukraine. Russian officials have dismissed the claims, warning that Kiev that may be getting ready to try to resolve the frozen civil conflict in eastern Ukraine by force.Russia is offering the United States and NATO an alternative to a new Cuban Missile Crisis-style scenario, and is prepared to continue constructive dialogue with Washington on Ukraine, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said.

”We are offering an alternative [to a repeat of a Cuban Missile Crisis-style event] – the non-deployment of these kinds of weapons near our borders, the withdrawal of forces and assets which destabilise the situation, a rejection of provocative measures, including various drills. But we need guarantees, and the guarantees must be legal,” Ryabkov told Sputnik during a press briefing in Moscow on Friday.

“It’s necessary to avoid a new missile crisis in Europe before it’s too late, before the appearance of medium- and short-range missiles in these territories. This is unacceptable and is a direct route to escalating the confrontation,” the diplomat warned.Ryabkov said he couldn’t understand the actions of the US and its European allies in this area, stressing that their behaviour has done nothing to strengthen their own security. “It’s ridiculous to suggest that their missiles are aimed at countering a limited rocket threat from the opposite direction,” he said.

The diplomat stressed that Russia will continue to use all available resources to push forward with dialogue with NATO on security issues, and to “make maximum use of any opportunities to build up common sense in this area.”Ryabkov said this dialogue will include a proposal on the reciprocal verifiable moratorium on the development of new ground-to-ground missile systems banned under the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which the US unilaterally walked out on in 2019.

Russia ‘Alarmed’ by NATO’s Eastward Expansion

He also commented indirectly on recent statements by US and NATO officials about Ukraine’s prospects of joining NATO, saying such a development would be unacceptable for Russia.

“I take all the signals on this subject as part of a larger picture which is very alarming for us. Once again: there should not be any further eastward expansion of NATO. Even in the absence of such expansion, there should be no absorption of nearby territory in the military and military-technical sense, as is currently taking place, to the detriment of Russia’s security interests,” Ryabkov said………….

Despite the recent rhetoric, Ryabkov expressed hope that the majority of the Washington establishment is not in favour of war with Russia, with the possible exception of Republican Senator Roger Wicker, who recently urged the Biden administration not to “rule out first use nuclear action” against Russia in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine……..

December 14, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

Global heating brings easier Arctic passage for Russia’s floating nuclear power plant to open up Arctic for more fossil fuel mining, more global heating.

 World’s first floating nuclear power plant fuels Russia’s Arctic ambitions Remote Siberian port lies at centre of plans to open up shipping and reach valuable resources © Nastassia Astrasheuskaya/FT | The Akademik Lomonosov nuclear power plant Share on twitter (opens new window) Share on facebook (opens new window) Share on linkedin (opens new window) Save Nastassia Astrasheuskaya in Pevek YESTERDAY  

  Moored off the small Arctic town of Pevek is the Akademik Lomonosov — the world’s first floating nuclear power plant and a sign of how President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions for Russia’s far east are taking shape. This port on the northern coast of Siberia was once notorious as a Soviet gulag. These days it is part of Moscow’s plan to open up a major shipping lane through the Arctic and bring natural resources within easier reach. Pevek’s harbour is only ice-free for four months a year but is intended to become a hub for commercial shipping on the so-called Northern Sea Route as climate change gradually eases the passage through the Arctic. And the power provided by the Akademik Lomonosov is intended to help Pevek become a gateway to Chukotka, a region close to Alaska and rich in gold, silver, copper, lithium and other metals…………

 Few in Pevek seem concerned by the nuclear reactor in the harbour. “Fear? We have none. Perhaps Russians are not afraid of anything any more. We have seen and lived through everything. We have to be optimistic,” said Igor Ranav, a locally born businessman. “We were told the plant is made with the latest technology and it is safe, and I hope so.” 

Development of the NSR is in the hands of Rosatom, the state nuclear corporation. As well as commissioning the Akademik Lomonosov, Rosatom is also in charge of nuclear-powered icebreakers that the company expects will help to open up year-round Arctic navigation by the middle of the decade. …………

Developing Chukotka along with the rest of the Arctic has long been a goal for Putin and Russia, which this week is hosting a plenary meeting of the Arctic Council, where the eight countries of the region are represented. “Russia should expand through the Arctic, as this is where it has its main mineral resources,” Putin said in 2017, when Russia first produced liquefied natural gas in the Arctic and exported it via the NSR.  ……………

By mid-century, the  Arctic and Antarctic Research Institut   expects ice levels to lose another two-thirds in the summer, and to halve in winter. The warming ocean is expected to help cut shipment cost. Less ice means fewer icebreakers and faster journeys.  
The warming ocean is expected to help cut shipment cost. Less ice means fewer icebreakers and faster journeys……………..

December 2, 2021 Posted by | climate change, Russia, technology | Leave a comment

Europe to pay half for raising Russia’s dangerous sunken submarines, – while Russia builds new ones!

The sunken submarines K-27 and K-159 are the potential source of contamination of the Arctic, the riskiest ones,”

As Moscow this spring took the Chair of the Arctic Council, the need to lift dangerous nuclear materials from the seabed was highlighted as a priority.

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

Europe to pay half … it is a dilemma that international partners are providing financial support to lift old Cold War submarines from the ocean, while Russia gives priority to building new nuclear-powered submarines threatening the security landscape in northern Europe. 

EU willing to co-fund lifting of sunken nuclear subs from Arctic seabed The Northern Dimension Environmental Partnership (NDEP) has decided to start a technical review aimed to find a safe way to lift two Cold War submarines from the Barents- and Kara Seas. By Thomas Nilsen   

“We are proceeding now,” says a smiling Jari Vilén, Finland’s Ambassador for Barents and Northern Dimension.

Projects aimed to improve nuclear safety are some of the few successful arenas for cooperation still going strong between the European Union and Russia.

“In roughly two years time we will have the understanding on what and how it can be done, what kind of technology has to be used,” Vilén elaborates with reference to the two old Soviet submarines K-159 and K-27, both rusting on the Arctic seabed with highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel elements in their reactors.

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November 23, 2021 Posted by | business and costs, EUROPE, oceans, politics international, Reference, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

‘The graveyard of the Earth’: inside City 40, Russia’s deadly nuclear secret

The city’s residents know the truth, however: that their water is contaminated, their mushrooms and berries are poisoned, and their children may be sick. Ozersk and the surrounding region is one of the most contaminated places on the planet, referred to by some as the “graveyard of the Earth”.

City 40’s inhabitants were told they were “the nuclear shield and saviours of the world

 From the late 1940s, people here started to get sick and die: the victims of long-term exposure to radiation.

‘The graveyard of the Earth’: inside City 40, Russia’s deadly nuclear secret, Samira Goetschel, Wed 20 Jul 2016   Ozersk, codenamed City 40, was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme. Now it is one of the most contaminated places on the planet – so why do so many residents still view it as a fenced-in paradise?

Those in paradise were given a choice: happiness without freedom, or freedom without happiness. There was no third alternative.” (From the dystopian novel We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin, 1924)

Deep in the vast forests of Russia’s Ural mountains lies the forbidden city of Ozersk. Behind guarded gates and barbed wire fences stands a beautiful enigma – a hypnotic place that seems to exist in a different dimension.

Codenamed City 40, Ozersk was the birthplace of the Soviet nuclear weapons programme after the second world war. For decades, this city of 100,000 people did not appear on any maps, and its inhabitants’ identities were erased from the Soviet census.

Today, with its beautiful lakes, perfumed flowers and picturesque tree-lined streets, Ozersk resembles a suburban 1950s American town – like one of those too-perfect places depicted in The Twilight Zone.

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November 20, 2021 Posted by | psychology and culture, Reference, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, wastes | Leave a comment

Russian diplomat calls for coordinated global efforts to enact Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

Russian diplomat calls for coordinated global efforts to enact Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty

According to Maria Zakharova, the Preparatory Commission has been taking effective steps to create conditions and infrastructure facilities necessary for the treaty’s effective operation

MOSCOW, November 19. /TASS/. The international community needs to coordinate its steps to make sure that the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty becomes an effective legal tool, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Friday.

“Unfortunately, despite some undeniable achievements, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty has not yet become an effective international legal tool. Well-coordinated steps by the international community are crucial for achieving this goal. Another eight nations from the so-called list of 44 need to ratify the treaty for it to come into force,” she pointed out. “We expect that the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization will continue large-scale activities aimed at facilitating the early achievement of this goal based on a mandate enshrined in a resolution on the commission’s establishment and the treaty itself,” she added…………….

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty on September 10, 1996. On September 24, 1996, the document was opened for signing, but it still hasn’t taken effect as it needs to be ratified by the 44 countries listed in the treaty’s annex. The United States, China, Egypt, Israel and Iran have signed the treaty but haven’t ratified it yet, while three new nuclear powers – India, North Korea and Pakistan – have not signed the document.

November 20, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

Russian deputy UN  envoy supports China’s concern on AUKUS’ nuclear threat

Russian deputy UN envoy supports China’s concern on AUKUS’ nuclear threat
By Global Times  Russia supported the concerns voiced by China on AUKUS, the new tripartite defense alliance formed with the intention of intimidating China, at a recent meeting of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee, saying that they are legitimate concerns as this kind of cooperation is related to the nuclear field and clearly has a military dimension.

More time and information are needed in order to respond properly to the trilateral nuclear cooperation, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva Andrei Belousov, who represented Russia at recent meetings of the UN General Assembly’s First Committee in New York, was quoted as saying in Russian media reports.  …………

He noted that ASEAN countries also expressed serious concerns at the First Committee’s session as they viewed AUKUS as a threat to regional security. In particular, the delegations of Indonesia and Malaysia said that the implementation of the initiative might trigger an arms race in the region. 

The trilateral partnership announced in September will allow Australia to build at least eight nuclear-powered submarines using US technology. Russian President Vladimir Putin accused AUKUS of undermining regional stability and hoped the nuclear submarine cooperation will not develop in an unprecedented way and create additional problems in the region. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on October 14 that the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation has created serious nuclear proliferation risks, and clearly violated the spirit of the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. 

He noted that it would not only have a far-reaching impact on the international non-proliferation system, but also bring real threats to regional peace and stability. ……..

November 8, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia | Leave a comment

The untold story of the world’s biggest nuclear bomb

The Tsar Bomba is dead; long live the Tsar Bomba. As the United States, Russia, and China seem to be engaged in new arms races in several domains, including unusual and new forms of nuclear delivery vehicles, the Tsar Bomba is a potent example of how nationalism, fear, and high-technology can combine in a fashion that is ultimately dangerous, wasteful, and pointless.

The untold story of the world’s biggest nuclear bomb,  Bulletin,  By Alex Wellerstein, October 29, 2021   n the early hours of October 30, 1961, a bomber took off from an airstrip in northern Russia and began its flight through cloudy skies over the frigid Arctic island of Novaya Zemlya. Slung below the plane’s belly was a nuclear bomb the size of a small school bus—the largest and most powerful bomb ever created.

At 11:32 a.m., the bombardier released the weapon. As the bomb fell, an enormous parachute unfurled to slow its descent, giving the pilot time to retreat to a safe distance. A minute or so later, the bomb detonated. A cameraman watching from the island recalled:

A fire-red ball of enormous size rose and grew. It grew larger and larger, and when it reached enormous size, it went up. Behind it, like a funnel, the whole earth seemed to be drawn in. The sight was fantastic, unreal, and the fireball looked like some other planet. It was an unearthly spectacle! [1]

The flash alone lasted more than a minute. The fireball expanded to nearly six miles in diameter—large enough to include the entire urban core of Washington or San Francisco, or all of midtown and downtown Manhattan. Over several minutes it rose and mushroomed into a massive cloud. Within ten minutes, it had reached a height of 42 miles and a diameter of some 60 miles. One civilian witness remarked that it was “as if the Earth was killed.” Decades later, the weapon would be given the name it is most commonly known by today: Tsar Bomba, meaning “emperor bomb.”

Designed to have a maximum explosive yield of 100 million tons (or 100 megatons) of TNT equivalent, the 60,000-pound monster bomb was detonated at only half its strength. Still, at 50 megatons, it was more than 3,300 times as powerful as the atomic bomb that killed at least 70,000 people in Hiroshima, and more than 40 times as powerful as the largest nuclear bomb in the US arsenal today. Its single test represents about one tenth of the total yield of all nuclear weapons ever tested by all nations.[2]

At the time of its detonation, the Tsar Bomba held the world’s attention, largely as an object of infamy, recklessness, and terror. Within two years, though, the Soviet Union and the United States would sign and ratify the Limited Test Ban Treaty, prohibiting atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, and the 50-megaton bomb would fall into relative obscurity.

From the very beginning, the United States sought to minimize the importance of the 50-megaton test, and it became fashionable in both the United States and the former Soviet Union to dismiss it as a political stunt with little technical or strategic importance. But recently declassified files from the Kennedy administration now indicate that the Tsar Bomba was taken far more seriously as a weapon, and possibly as something to emulate, than ever was indicated publicly.

And memoirs from former Soviet weapons workers, only recently available outside Russia, make clear that the gigantic bomb’s place in the history of Soviet thermonuclear weapons may be far more important than has been appreciated. Sixty years after the detonation, it’s now finally possible to piece together a deeper understanding of the creation of the Tsar Bomba and its broader impacts.

The Tsar Bomba is not just a subject for history; some of the same dynamics exist today. It is not just the story of a single weapon that was detonated six decades ago, but a parable about political posturing and technical enablement that applies just as acutely today. In a new era of nuclear weapons and delivery competition, the Tsar Bomba is a potent example of how nationalism, fear, and high-technology can combine in a fashion that is ultimately dangerous, wasteful, and pointless.

From kilotons to megatons to gigatons

…………………….. By the spring of 1951, Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam at Los Alamos had developed their design for a workable hydrogen bomb

………………. Only a few months later, in July 1954, Teller made it clear he thought 15 megatons was child’s play. At a secret meeting of the General Advisory Committee of the Atomic Energy Commission, Teller broached, as he put it, “the possibility of much bigger bangs.” At his Livermore laboratory, he reported, they were working on two new weapon designs, dubbed Gnomon and Sundial. Gnomon would be 1,000 megatons and would be used like a “primary” to set off Sundial, which would be 10,000 megatons. Most of Teller’s testimony remains classified to this day, but other scientists at the meeting recorded, after Teller had left, that they were “shocked” by his proposal. “It would contaminate the Earth,” one suggested. Physicist I. I. Rabi, by then an experienced Teller skeptic, suggested it was probably just an “advertising stunt.”[4] But he was wrong; Livermore would for several years continue working on Gnomon, at least, and had even planned to test a prototype for the device in Operation Redwing in 1956 (but the test never took place).[5]

All of which is to say that the idea of making hydrogen bombs in the hundreds-of-megatons yield range was hardly unusual in the late 1950s. If anything, it was tame compared to the gigaton ambitions of one of the H-bomb’s inventors. It is hard to convey the damage of a gigaton bomb, because at such yields many traditional scaling laws do not work (the bomb blows a hole in the atmosphere, essentially). However, a study from 1963 suggested that, if detonated 28 miles (45 kilometers) above the surface of the Earth, a 10,000-megaton weapon could set fires over an area 500 miles (800 kilometers) in diameter. Which is to say, an area about the size of France.[6]………………………….

Planning for a 100-megaton bomb……………

Russian accounts by participants claim Arzamas-16 scientists had been inspired, in part, by speculations about gigantic, gigaton-range bombs in the foreign press in May 1960. The physicist and designer Victor Adamski said that Sakharov and others tried to immediately assess the plausibility of the news reports, and came up with the schema that was ultimately used for the Tsar Bomba…………………

Sakharov was already queasy about the long-term deaths from nuclear fallout, and he wanted to minimize the excess radioactivity produced by the test. In 1958, he had calculated that for every megaton of even “clean” nuclear weapons, there would be some 6,600 premature deaths over the next 8,000 years across the globe, owing to carbon atoms in the atmosphere that would become radioactive under the bomb’s neutron flux.[17………………….

An American Tsar Bomba?

…………………  Even after denouncing the Tsar Bomba as pointless terrorism, there were scientists and military planners working for the US government who were considering nuclear weapons with yields 20 times larger……………….

The Limited Test Ban Treaty

In 1963, the United States stood at a crossroads. Down one path was a new generation of “very high-yield” nuclear weapons with continued atmospheric nuclear testing. Down the other was the possibility of the Limited Test Ban Treaty, which would ban future atmospheric testing, effectively precluding the development of high-yield weapons.

……………….. even while the United States professed to not care about “very high-yield” weapons, it continued to study them well into the Johnson administration. 

…………. the Soviets never broke the Limited Test Ban Treaty, and smaller warheads became the norm. Warheads that could be mounted in multiples and independently targeted on a single missile, or put into submarines, became the core of the arsenal. Large, high-yield weapons would, eventually, be mostly phased out. The dismissal of the uselessness of the Tsar Bomba would become orthodoxy, as even the CIA (eventually) concluded that the Soviets were not going to field such a thing in numbers or try to put superbombs on missiles.

……………..  even if such weapons are now purely relegated to history, we should remember that the decision not to deploy them was not made because the Soviet Union and United States shied away from the shocking megatonnage. It was because massive bombs were harder to use, and something about them symbolized the ridiculousness of the arms race in a way that making thousands of “smaller” weapons (some as big as 20–30 megatons) did not.

The United States did not make 50- to 100-megaton bombs or gigaton bombs, but it made a gigaton arsenal……………. Today it is probably around 2,000 megatons—more than enough to devastate the planet in a full-scale nuclear war.

The Tsar Bomba is dead; long live the Tsar Bomba. As the United States, Russia, and China seem to be engaged in new arms races in several domains, including unusual and new forms of nuclear delivery vehicles, the Tsar Bomba is a potent example of how nationalism, fear, and high-technology can combine in a fashion that is ultimately dangerous, wasteful, and pointless. “Very high-yield” nuclear weapons weren’t necessary for deterrence, and they were explored at the expense of not only other weapons systems, but also the multitude of other things that nations could spend their wealth and resources on. They didn’t bring safety or security.

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

Russia’s perilous job in raising sunken nuclear submarines

In both cases, experts fear that a nuclear chain reaction could occur should water leak into the submarines’ reactor compartments.  Russian scientists have kept a close eye on the K-159, launching regular expeditions to monitor for potential radiation leaks. According to their data, should the submarine depressurize, radionuclides could spread over hundreds of kilometers, heavily impacting the local fishing industry.

Yet the subs represent just a fraction of the radiation hazards that the Soviet Navy dumped at sea. Between 1959 and 1992, the Soviets carried out 80 missions to sink radioactive debris in Arctic water. In total, some 18,000 objects considered to be radioactive waste were plunged to Arctic depths. Aside from the K-159 and the K-27, the Soviet Navy scuttled reactor compartments, solid radioactive waste, a number of irradiated vessels, as well as old metal structures and radioactive equipment.

Rosatom official puts deadline on raising old nuclear submarines

An official with Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, has announced a deadline for raising two Soviet-era nuclear submarines that have been lying for decades at the bottom of seas in the Arctic over fears their reactors could contaminate fertile international fishing grounds.  October 6, 2021 by Charles Digges

An official with Rosatom, Russia’s state nuclear corporation, has announced a deadline for raising two Soviet-era nuclear submarines that have been lying for decades at the bottom of seas in the Arctic over fears their reactors could contaminate fertile international fishing grounds.

As indicated in the strategy for the development of the Arctic, 2030, not earlier,” Anatoly Grigoriev, head of Rosatom’s international technical assistance project, told Interfax late last month.

The announcement confirms what unnamed officials had earlier told Russian state media more than a year ago. Since then, Bellona has urged Russia, during its two-year chairmanship of the Arctic Council, to pursue retrieving the submarines to avoid the contamination risk their reactors, and the spent nuclear fuel they contain,  pose to the ocean environment.

Grigoriev’s remarks concerned the K-27 and K-159, both of which went down still loaded with their uranium fuel. Both submarines, say experts, are in a precarious state. But the submarines sank under different circumstances.

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October 7, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment

Terrorists trying to get secrets on production of nuclear weapons

Terrorists try to get secrets on production of nuclear weapons — Security Council

Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yuri Kokov pointed out that Russia registered terrorists’ attempts to gain access to information on the production of means of nuclear, chemical and biological damage
, MOSCOW, October 6. /TASS/.
Terrorists are trying to obtain information on the production of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Yuri Kokov said in an interview Wednesday.”We register terrorists’ attempts to gain access to information on the production of means of nuclear, chemical and biological damage, as well as their heightened attention to possible use of biological agents and toxic chemicals. To that extent, they deliberately recruit industry specialists, including professors and students of chemical and biological universities,” Kokov said………

October 7, 2021 Posted by | Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Russia withdraws offer to freeze nuclear warhead production

Russia withdraws offer to freeze nuclear warhead production, Yahoo News,  Joel Gehrke, Sat, October 2, 2021 Russian President Vladimir Putin is no longer interested in a joint freeze of nuclear weapons production with the United States, according to a senior Russian envoy who protested American inspections requests and a recent agreement to provide nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.

“No, it was a one-time offer, and it was said so to the U.S. They missed the opportunity,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Geneva Center for Security Policy, per state media. “They didn’t want a freeze on all warheads — they wanted an extremely intrusive verification and control at all our nuclear-related facilities.”

Ryabkov aired the withdrawal of that proposal following a meeting with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for what both sides described as “intensive and substantive” arms control talks. He complained about the U.S. and United Kingdom’s decision to partner with Australia on a submarine deal widely perceived as directed at China, and both Russian and American officials underscored that the negotiations are unlikely to produce a deal anytime soon…………………..

October 7, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Russia aims to lift old dead nuclear submarines from the bottom of the Barents and Kara Seas by 2030

Russia to Lift Radioactive Time Bombs From Ocean Floor in 2030, Two rusty nuclear submarines will be raised from the sea beds of the Barents and Kara Seas and brought to a shipyard for safe decommissioning. By The Barents Observer  4 Oct 21,  The November-class K-159 submarine sank in late August 2003 while being towed in bad weather from the closed naval base of Gremikha on the eastern shores of the Kola Peninsula toward the Nerpa shipyard north of Murmansk.

Researchers have monitored the wreck ever since, fearing leakages of radioactivity from the two old nuclear reactors onboard could contaminate the important fishing grounds in the Barents Sea. A joint Norwegian-Russian expedition examined the site in 2014 and concluded that no leakage has so far occurred from the reactors to the surrounding marine environment.

However, the bad shape of the hull could eventually lead to radionuclide leakages. A modeling study by the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research said that a pulse discharge of the entire Caesium-137 inventory from the two reactors could increase concentrations in cod in the eastern part of the Barents Sea up to 100 times current levels for a two-year period after the discharge. While a Cs-137 increase of 100 times in cod sounds dramatic, the levels would still be below international guidelines, but tell that to the market buying the fish.

Now, Russia’s nuclear corporation Rosatom has announced the date for lifting the K-159 to 2030.

“As indicated in the strategy for the development of the Arctic, 2030, not earlier,” Anatoly Grigoriev, head of Rosatom’s international technical assistance project, told Interfax.

Grigoriev said Atomflot, the state operator of civilian nuclear-powered icebreakers whose technical base is just north of Murmansk, could become the contractor for the lifting.

The Rosatom official added that the K-27, a submarine dumped in the Kara Sea in 1982, is also included on the list of nuclear objects on the Arctic seabed to be salvaged by 2030.

The submarine was dumped at a depth of 33 meters in the Stepovogo fjord on the eastern shores of Novaya Zemlya.

Last month, divers from the Center for Underwater Research of the Russian Geographical Society conducted a survey of the submarine’s hull. Metal pieces were cut free and the thickness of the hull was measured, along with other inspections of the submarine that has been corroding on the seabed for nearly 40 years. 

Based on the examination, a detailed plan will be worked out on how to conduct the salvage with destabilizing the uranium fuel in the reactors in such a way that a new chain reactor could be restarted with a worst-case scenario of triggering direct contact between the uranium fuel and seawater. 

October 5, 2021 Posted by | oceans, Russia, wastes | Leave a comment