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Swedish and Finnish NATO deal with Turkey triggers fears over Kurdish deportations

Opponents of President Erdoğan in Sweden and Finland worry the deal will bolster efforts by Ankara to extradite them to Turkey, https://www.politico.eu/article/sweden-finland-nato-deal-turkey-trigger-fears-kurdish-deportations/

BY CHARLIE DUXBURY June 29, 2022,

STOCKHOLM — Relief over Tuesday night’s deal with Turkey unblocking the NATO accession process for Sweden and Finland was palpable on Wednesday, but there were also fears that the two Nordic states could have conceded too much to Ankara over deportations. 

Political adversaries of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan based in Sweden were quick to label the deal as a sellout, which could strengthen Turkey’s efforts to secure extraditions of Kurdish rights activists and other opponents.

“This is a black day in Swedish political history,” said Amineh Kakabaveh, an independent Swedish lawmaker and longtime advocate for Kurdish rights. “We are negotiating with a regime which does not respect freedom of expression or the rights of minority groups,” Kakabaveh, a former fighter with Kurdish Peshmerga forces in Iran, told the SVT Nyheter television channel.

Since mid-May, Turkey has threatened to veto the NATO applications from Sweden and Finland unless the two states complied with, among other things, its demands to crack down on groups Ankara regards as terrorists. 

This has caused political tension because Stockholm and Helsinki don’t agree that all the groups on Ankara’s list are terrorists. For example, all three regard the PKK as terrorists but only Turkey sees the Syria-based Kurdish groups the YPG and PYD as terrorists. 

Over the past two months, officials from the three states, as well as from NATO headquarters, have sought to secure a compromise that would allow Erdoğan to claim a diplomatic victory while not undermining Swedish or Finnish human rights laws.

The 10-point deal published late Tuesday ahead of a key NATO summit in Madrid was that compromise. 

The most sensitive element was arguably point eight, which included a commitment by Sweden and Finland “to address Türkiye’s pending deportation or extradition requests of terror suspects expeditiously and thoroughly.”

Loose wording

While loosely worded, and arguably vague enough to be potentially insignificant, that clause rattled some Kurds in Sweden. ………………….

 a raft of opposition lawmakers, including from longtime NATO membership opponents the Left Party, weren’t reassured. 

Håkan Svenneling, the party’s foreign policy spokesperson, said Sweden had made “shameful concessions.”

“Selling us out to Erdoğan went quickly,” said Ulla Andersson, the Left Party’s former economic policy spokesperson.

In Finland, the reaction to the deal seemed notably more muted with the focus more squarely on the brighter prospects for NATO accession the Turkish deal entailed, rather than any eventual damage to human rights the agreement might cause.

This was in part a reflection of the broader parliamentary consensus in Finland behind applying to join NATO than had been achieved in Sweden.

In Sweden, the Left Party and the Green Party remain vocal critics of the NATO membership application, and Green Party joint-leader Märta Stenevi on Wednesday called on Sweden’s foreign minister to explain to the parliament’s foreign affairs select committee what she called “very worrying” developments regarding extraditions to Turkey.

For her part, Kakabaveh, a former member of the Left Party, said she might launch a vote of no-confidence against Foreign Minister Linde. 

It was unclear how much support such a move would command in parliament, but a similar vote targeting Justice Minister Morgan Johansson in early June almost brought down the Swedish government, three months ahead of scheduled general election. 

Kakabaveh struck a deal with Prime Minister Andersson’s governing Social Democrats as recently as last November guaranteeing more support for the Syria-based PYD and its military affiliate, the YPG.

But Tuesday’s 10-point deal with Turkey said the Swedish and Finnish governments had agreed not to provide such support leaving the Social Democrats’ deal with Kakabaveh on an unclear footing.

Kakabaveh said she hoped the Left Party and the Green Party would join her in seeking to apply pressure to the Swedish government over its concessions to Turkey. 

“This is not just about the Kurds, this is about Sweden not bowing to a regime like Erdoğan’s,” she said. 

June 30, 2022 Posted by | politics, politics international, Sweden | Leave a comment

Will Sweden throw the Kurds under a bus, in order to get Turkey to agree to Sweden joining NATO?

Sweden’s Kurds fear they may pay price for NATO bid as Turkey fumes, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/swedens-kurds-fear-they-may-pay-price-nato-bid-turkey-fumes-2022-06-28/1 June 28, 2022,  By Simon Johnson,

  • Turkey says Sweden supports Kurdish militant groups
  • Sweden caught between security worries, support for minorities
  • Erdogan wants steps to assuage security concerns

STOCKHOLM, June 28 (Reuters) – Kurds in Sweden’s large diaspora are worried they will become a pawn in the negotiations over Stockholm’s ambition to join NATO if the West makes concessions to win Turkish support.

Sweden, along with Finland, applied for NATO membership in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with their bids warmly welcomed as a “historic moment” by alliance chiefs.

But they have faced opposition from Turkey, which has been angered by what it says is their support for Kurdish militants and arms controls on Ankara over a 2019 incursion into Syria.

“We don’t want the Kurds to be on the negotiating table,” Shiyar Ali, the Scandinavian representative of the mainly Kurdish regions of northern Syria, said.

Any bid to join NATO, which holds a three day summit this week, requires backing from each of its 30 members. Turkey has been a NATO ally for over 70 years.

Sweden’s 100,000-strong Kurdish diaspora and Stockholm’s support for Kurds’ rights has long been points of friction in relations with Ankara.

“Sweden has been a thorn in Turkey’s side, criticising Turkish human rights abuses, there is a strong and vibrant Kurdish diaspora in Sweden, parts of which is sympathetic to the PKK,” Paul Levin, director at the Institute for Turkish Studies at Stockholm University, said.

“All these things fly in the face of the Turkish perspective on these issues that the PKK and their affiliates are an essential national security threat to Turkey.”

The PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) has been waging an insurgency in Turkey since 1984 in which more than 40,000 people have been killed.

Sweden has long outlawed the PKK and says it only provides humanitarian aid to Syria and refugees in the region, mainly through international organisations.

At the same time as the NATO talks, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has threatened a launch a fresh incursion into northern Syria to recapture towns held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which are backed by Washington. read more

The Kurdish YPG militia are a key part of the SDF that controls large parts of north Syria and is regarded by Washington as an important ally against Islamic State. Ankara sees it as an extension of the militant PKK, branding it a terrorist group, while Western governments do not.

Aside from its anger with the two Nordic countries, Turkey has long been infuriated by other support for the YPG, notably from the United States, France and Germany.

UNCERTAIN ROAD

All that has worried some Kurds, who fear they may pay the price to placate Turkey and secure Sweden’s place in NATO.

Facing a prison sentence, Osman Aytar, an ethnic Kurd, fled Turkey for Sweden in the 1990s.

“Kurds have been betrayed many times in history,” said Aytar, a 62-year-old associate professor in social work at the Malardalen University in eastern Sweden.

“Maybe Erdogan is betting that he can invade new parts of Rojava (the mainly Kurdish regions of northern Syria) and the West will be quiet just because of this NATO membership issue. If the West just shuts its eyes, he will be happy.”

Sweden’s government declined to comment on ongoing talks with Turkey. Ankara’s embassy in Stockholm also declined to comment. NATO has said the security concerns raised by Turkey are legitimate. read more

The complex web of issues has put the Sweden government – admired around the world for its promotion of human rights and support for minorities – in a tough spot.

Only this month, the government survived a no-confidence vote with the help of a former Kurdish peshmerga fighter, who has demanded continued support for Kurds, further angering Ankara. read more

A lengthy and uncertain road to NATO membership would undermine Nordic security and weaken the alliance’s hand in the Baltic. read more

But meeting Turkey’s demands – which remain unclear – would damage Sweden’s reputation and could complicate the fight against Islamic State. read more


“We are worried that the Kurds become victims of the politics,” Ahmed Karamus, the Swedish co-chair of the Kurdistan National Congress, a Kurdish umbrella group, said.

While the Swedish Kurds spoken to by Reuters are confident the government will stand up to Turkey, the negotiations are an uncomfortable reminder of that the security of the autonomous area is dependent on the goodwill of others.

“I hope and I believe that Sweden will not make concessions that we will be ashamed of later,” Aytar said.

June 30, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Sweden | Leave a comment

What will be the consequences of Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership?

The West has no positive vision anymore – its actions are about re-armament, threats, sanctions, demonization, the self-righteous “we-never-did-anything-wrong” and the concomitant projection of its own dark sides upon others, China in particular.

This is not the time to make decisions in a moment of historical hysteria and panic. This is indeed a moment to keep cool.

One can only regret that Sweden and Finland lack the intellectual power to see the larger picture in time and space. NATO has had the time since 1949 to prove that it can make peace. We know now that it can’t. Joining it, therefore, is one big gift to militarism and future warfare.

IT IS FOOLISH FOR FINLAND AND SWEDEN TO JOIN NATO, Popular Resistance By Jan Oberg, The Transnational., May 15, 2022

”……………………………………………………………There are potentially so many – some more likely than others – that they cannot all be listed in a short pointed analysis like this. But let me mention:

  • The Swedes and the Finns will become less secure. Why? Because there will be harder confrontation and polarization instead of soft borders and mediating attitudes. In a serious crisis, they will, for all practical purposes, be occupied and told what to do by the US/NATO.
  • To the degree that, at some point in the future, the two countries will be asked to host US bases – like Norway and Denmark now – they won’t be able to say ‘No’! Such bases will be Russia’s first-order targets in a war situation.
  • From a Russian point of view, of course, their NATO membership is extremely tension-increasing and confrontational. Russia has 8% (US$ 66 billion) of the military expenditures of the 30 NATO members. Now there will be a huge re-armament throughout NATO; Germany alone plans to increase to almost twice as much as Russia’s expenditures. Ukraine will receive about US$ 50 billion. Add a re-armed Sweden and Finland and we shall see Russia rush down to 4% of NATO’s expenditures – and still be called a formidable threat.
  • There will be virtually no confidence-building and conflict-resolution mechanisms left in Europe. No discussion will be possible about a new all-European peace and security system. And whether it is understood and respected or not, Russia will feel even more intimidated, isolated and – in a certain situation – become even more desperate. As does, normally, the weaker party in an asymmetric conflict. We are living in very dangerous times and these two countries in NATO will only increase the danger, there is no way it could reduce it.
  • If Finland and Sweden so strongly want to be “protected” by the United States and/or NATO, it is completely unnecessary for these two countries to join because, if there is a serious crisis, the US/NATO will under all circumstances come to “protect” or rather use their territories to be closer to the Baltic republics. That’s what the Host Nation Support agreements are about.The only reason to join would be paragraph 5 – but the disadvantage is that paragraph 5 requires that Finland and Sweden will be expected to participate in wars that are not about their defense and perhaps even in future international law-violating wars à la those in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya. So, will Finnish and Swedish young people be killed in future NATO-country wars? Are they ready for that?
  • It will cost a fortune to convert their military infrastructure to full NATO membership – and when they have joined, they cannot not pay whatever the price will turn out to be. In addition, there will be much less de facto sovereign decision-making possible – here de jure is almost irrelevant. And it was already very self-limited before they joined.
  • As NATO members, Finland and Sweden cannot but share the responsibility for nuclear weapons – the deterrence and possible use of them by NATO. It’s also obvious that NATO vessels may bring nuclear weapons into their ports – but they will of course not even ask – they know the arrogant US response is that “we neither confirm nor deny that sort of thing.
  • ”This goes against every fibre of the Swedish people – and Sweden’s decision to not develop nuclear weapons dating some 70 years back.
  • The days when Sweden and Finland can – in principle, at least – work for alternatives are numbered. That is, for the UN Treaty on nuclear abolition and the UN goals of general and complete disarmament, any alternative policy concepts like common security, human security, a strong UN etc. They won’t be able to serve as mediators – like, say, Austria and Switzerland. No NATO member can pay anything but lip service to such noble goals. NATO is not an organization that encourages alternatives. Instead, it seeks monopoly as well as regional and global dominance.
  • Finland and Sweden say yes to militarist thinking,  to a ‘peace’ paradigm that is imbued with weapons, armament, offensiveness (long-range + large destructive capacity), deterrence and constant threatening: NATO is human history’s most militaristic organization. Its leader, the United States of America, has been at war 225 out of 243 years since 1776. Every idea about nonviolence, the UN Charter provision of making peace by predominantly peaceful means (Article 1 in the Charter) will be out of the window.
  • The political attention, as well as funds, will tend to switch to military matters, away from contributing to solving humanity’s most urgent problems. But – we know it now – the excuse will be Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Is there any huge change that cannot be justified with reference to that?
  • While everybody knows that the Arctic is going to be a region of central security and peace concerns in the near future, this issue has hardly been discussed in relation to the two countries’ NATO membership. However, it doesn’t require much expertise to see that US/NATO access to Sweden and Finland is a clear advantage in the future confrontation with Russia and China there.
  • As NATO members, Sweden and Finland not only accept but reinforce decades of hate of the Russian people, everything Russia including Russian-European culture. It will say yes to the West’s reckless, knee-jerk collective (illegal) punishment of everything Russia, the cancellation of Russia on all dimensions.Once upon a time, in contrast, Finland’s President Kekkonen stood for policies of active neutrality, a go-between role and initiating the OSCE. Finland was proud that its people felt that neither the East nor the West was an enemy, various kinds of equidistance prevailing. And that was during the height of the First Cold war when the Warsaw Pact was about 10 times stronger vis-a-vis NATO than Russia is today. How and why? One reason was that policies had an intellectual foundation and leaders a consciousness about what war meant. Not so today.
  • The prospect that no NATO advocates talk about is this: In all likelihood, we have only seen the hard beginning of an extremely Cold War with an ever-increasing risk of a Hot War too. It is the stated purpose of the US – and that means NATO – to weaken Russia militarily in Ukraine so it can’t rise ever again and to undermine its economy back home through history’s hardest, time-unlimited and unconditional sanctions – that is, sanctions that will not be lifted in a lifetime or more.
  • And, finally, by joining NATO, the two countries will be forced to side with the larger West in the future world order change in which China, the Middle East, Africa and South America as well as huge non-Western regional associations will gain strength.The US priority Number One is China. As NATO members, Sweden and Finland will be unable to walk on two legs in the future, a Western and a Non-Western, and will decline and fall with the West – the US Empire and NATO in particular.
  • If you think that’s a too daring and pessimistic scenario, you’re not following developments and trends outside the West itself. Also, please consider that a split and problem-torn US, EU and NATO have just come together for one reason: the negative policy of hating Russia and cover-up for its crystal clear co-responsibility for the conflict that brought us where we now are.
  • The West has no positive vision anymore – its actions are about re-armament, threats, sanctions, demonization, the self-righteous “we-never-did-anything-wrong” and the concomitant projection of its own dark sides upon others, China in particular.
  • For small countries to put all their eggs in one basket when they do have alternatives and acting without a clue about the next five-to-ten years has always been a recipe for disaster, for war.
  • Both NATO and the EU act these days as the passengers did in the restaurant of the elegant, luxurious RMS Titanic.
  • There were huge problems which should have been solved for humanity to survive: climate, environment, poverty, inequality, militarism, nukes, etc. They are now forgotten. Economic crisis and disruptions followed, and then came the Corona and took a heavy toll on all kinds of resources and energies. And, finally, now this war in Europe with its underlying NATO-created conflict.

This is not the time to make decisions in a moment of historical hysteria and panic. This is indeed a moment to keep cool.

One can only regret that Sweden and Finland lack the intellectual power to see the larger picture in time and space. NATO has had the time since 1949 to prove that it can make peace. We know now that it can’t. Joining it, therefore, is one big gift to militarism and future warfare. …………………………… https://popularresistance.org/it-is-foolish-for-finland-and-sweden-to-join-nato-and-ignore-both-the-real-causes-and-consequences/

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Finland, politics international, Sweden, weapons and war | Leave a comment

IT IS FOOLISH FOR FINLAND AND SWEDEN TO JOIN NATO

And Ignore Both The Real Causes And Consequences.

Here’s what the West is intellectually unable – in the midst of its boundlessly self-righteous, militarist mood to see:

NATO’s expansion policy created – and is responsible for – the conflict. Russia created – and is responsible for – the war. There exists no violence which is not rooted in underlying conflicts. Conflict and peace literate people, therefore, talk about both.

And if they want peace, they do not increase the symptoms – the war – they address the real cause, the conflict and ask the conflicting parties to tell what they fear and what they want and then move, step-by-step towards a sustainable solution.

But neither the mainstream media nor politicians have the civil courage to address the conflict. It’s only about the war and only about Russia/Putin who must be punished, no matter the price to be paid by future generations. If we survive.

It’s a banality to point out that it takes at least two to conflict. But that’s the intellectual and moral level decision-makers, media and much of academia operate in these dark times.

This approach has no future and can never bring peace. Period.

Decisions taken with this irrational approach and emotionalism will only make things worse. Such as Sweden and Finland joining NATO based on the hysteric panic of the moment: There simply exists no credible, realistic scenario that would lead to an isolated, out-of-the-blue Russian attack on either of them if they remained non-aligned as they’ve been for decades.

That some less knowledgeable people – or people who speak for NATO membership – have been talking about even an isolated, out-of-the-blue attack on the Swedish island of Gotland is Monty Python politics.

Why will Sweden and Finland join?

So why will Finland and Sweden now make a disastrous, tension-increasing decision to join NATO? Here are some of the possible reasons:

Both have been under heavy pressure by NATO and the US in particular. Sweden’s prime minister, Olof Palme, was murdered – a man who stood for the UN goal of international disarmament, nuclear abolition and the intelligent concept of common security. US ambassadors have held secret meetings with Swedish MP, there are many channels, demands and rewards.

Sweden’s single worst security challenge was the Russian submarine, U 137 Whisky on the Rocks. It was Russian, yes, but the operation was an American PSYOP – Psychological Operation – conducted by the “Navigation Expert” on board who was the only one never interviewed in Sweden and who soon after disappeared……………………………….

Both countries have moved to be wooed by the US and NATO. They have, over the last 20 years, become engaged with NATO in all kinds of ways – so, as the saying goes, why not marry now? In other words, Finland and Sweden now join because they have – incrementally – made one wrong decision after the other, painted themselves into a “no-choice-but-NATO” corner and abdicated every ounce of their historical, independent-minded creative foreign policy thinking. And stopped criticism of warfare and militarism………………………………….


  • Further, Sweden and Finland are now joining because elites related to the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic Complex, MIMAC, in both countries – rather than the people – decide security and foreign policy matters. Of course, there was extremely little open public discussion; it wasn’t wanted. Decision-makers knew that NATO’s nuclear weapons foundation and its members’ contact wars, particular in the Middle East were seen as basically evil among the citizenry.
  • Liberal media suggest that there cannot be a referendum because there is such a time pressure – presumably before that Russian invasion of Sweden and Finland – and, so, just make the most important foreign and security political decision since 1945 in a hurry now there is popular outrage at Russia – the beloved, necessary enemy.
  • The Swedish decision-makers of course know that there will never be a 75% or so majority for NATO – which is what there should be to make such a fundamental, fateful decision. So much, you may say, for democracy – but no new NATO member has held a referendum where NATO and other alternatives were freely discussed and a 75% majority came out in favor. ………………………….

A further reason to join is the intellectual disarmament that decision-makers have unified around one alternative, forgotten to leave other doors open and deliberately quelled alternatives. The discourse of peace – in media, politics and research – has been disappeared. Peace has come to mean weapons, deterrence, more and more of it coupled to blind loyalty with every US/NATO war. …………………

  • An institute such as SIPRI – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – has decayed intellectually into something that should rather be named Stockholm International Military Security Research, SIMSI – as I have suggested years ago.
  • In other words, the political creativity that was needed to run an independent policy of neutrality, non-alignment and global disarmament coupled with a strong belief in international law vanished years ago.
  • It’s easier to follow the flock – particularly when, as it seems, the Social Democratic party today exists only by name.
  • Without exhausting all those – tragic – reasons, one final reason to mention is the role of the media. Like everywhere else, media from left to right have unified around a pro-Western, non-neutral policy. The present pro-NATO propaganda, not the least in the liberal Dagens Nyheter, is pervasive. Critical voices are marginalized and public information “explainers” are reduced to some high school-like basic facts coupled with FOSI, Fake + Omission + Source Ignorance. Sweden is able to have televised panel discussions where, de facto, all the participants are more or less pro-NATO thus leaving out a large part of public opinion. )…………………………… https://popularresistance.org/it-is-foolish-for-finland-and-sweden-to-join-nato-and-ignore-both-the-real-causes-and-consequences/

May 17, 2022 Posted by | Finland, politics international, Sweden | Leave a comment

Britain’s very wrong turn in energy policy

At least Rishi Sunak would appear to have recognised all this nuclear nonsense for the massive con trick it is. As far as the Treasury is concerned, a few hundred million to prop up Rolls-Royce, and a couple of billion to keep the prospect of Sizewell C alive – that’s acceptable, it would seem. Beyond that, from the Chancellor’s perspective, lies one vast funding black hole. Not least because of nuclear waste.

Courtesy of the mainstream media’s cosy relationship with the nuclear industry, we hardly ever hear about this. But the Treasury writes a cheque to the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority of around £2.5bn every year – to deal with the legacy of our earlier nuclear investments in terms of waste management and decommissioning. The price tag just for cleaning up Sellafield has now risen to an astonishing £97bn! On top of that, the anticipated cost of an underground storage facility to house the high-level waste for thousands of years has now risen to as much as £53bn – according to the Government’s own figures. That’s the cost of old nuclear. It will be no different with any new nuclear.

Why a nuclear power policy is clearly the road not to take

Wrong turn — Beyond Nuclear International The establishment’s obsession with nuclear power just won’t die,
more https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/3984916370
By Jonathon Porritt 1 May 22,
This is absolutely the right time for a new Energy Strategy. Unfortunately, we’ve got absolutely the wrong politicians in charge of it. In the UK, the combination of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak all but guarantees that the new Energy Security Strategy will fail on most counts.

– In Boris Johnson, we have a careless showman, drawn unerringly to ‘big ticket’ announcements, groomed by a nuclear industry that knows exactly how to play to these personality defects.

– In Rishi Sunak, we have a man so detached from the reality of most people’s lives that the prospect of five million UK citizens finding themselves in fuel poverty by the end of the year means literally nothing.

Careless Johnson and callous Sunak is a devastating double-act – with the inconsequential figure of Kwasi Kwarteng (UK Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) lurking around to pick up the pieces.

There will, of course, be some welcome commitments in the new UK Strategy, particularly on solar and offshore wind, with a hugely encouraging pipeline of new developments in both now underpinning the UK’s decarbonisation strategy. Onshore wind may well get more encouragement than in the past, but the aesthetic sensibilities of Tory Nimbies will still matter more to Johnson and Sunak than the opportunity to ramp up the single most cost-effective source of renewable electricity – coming in at an astonishing 20% of the cost of new nuclear! Yet again, those ‘hard-working families’ Johnson constantly refers to will pay the price for this appalling policy failure.

The UK establishment’s obsession with nuclear power just won’t die. Boris Johnson is heading off down a well-worn path. Margaret Thatcher promised to build a nuclear reactor every year for ten years at the start of her time in office. In 2006, Tony Blair vowed to bring back nuclear power ‘with a vengeance’. David Cameron’s Government identified opportunities for a massive expansion of nuclear.

However, apart from Sizewell B (which came online in 1995) and EDF’s grotesquely expensive monster emerging at Hinkley Point C, there’s nothing to show for all that overblown nuclear enthusiasm. The industry blames this 40-year failure on everyone else – including a generation of anti-nuclear campaigners. In truth, the blame lies entirely with the industry itself, mendaciously promoting outdated, dangerous, increasingly expensive technologies.

Johnson’s big nuclear bets will almost certainly include big reactors at both Sizewell C and Wylfa, and as many as possible of the so-called ‘small reactors’ being pushed by Rolls-Royce. Regardless of the hype, the economic reality of all of these bets is dire:

Sizewell C – with the Chinese out of the picture, the Government will be looking to its new Regulated Asset Base funding model (with consumers having to pay up front) to persuade private investors to get on board. Backed (so far) by the promise of £1.75bn of taxpayers’ money.

Wylfa – so much effort has gone into trying to get a new reactor at Wylfa over the line over the last ten years! All to no avail – primarily for economic reasons. Any renewed ‘firm commitment’ for Wylfa will mean as little as all previous commitments.

Rolls-Royce’s Small Modular Reactors – apparently, Johnson is particularly excited by this prospect, even though they’re not even remotely small (at 470MW, they’re actually as big as the first generation of Magnox reactors here in the UK!), and no-one has ever done modular construction (offsite in factory settings) before now.

And none of these ‘exciting prospects’ will give Johnson (let alone hard-pressed UK consumers) one single electron in terms of helping to meet the Government’s target to have carbon-free electricity by 2035.

Continue reading

May 2, 2022 Posted by | ENERGY, Sweden | Leave a comment

Russia makes another offer to besieged Ukrainian forces

Ukraine – Azovstal Steel PLant in Mariupol

 https://www.sott.net/article/467013-Russia-makes-another-offer-to-besieged-Ukrainian-forces RT, Fri, 22 Apr 2022,

Ukrainian troops and members of the Neo-Nazi Azov battalion, who remain at the surrounded Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, can still surrender to the Russian military, the Defense Ministry explained on Friday.

A day earlier, Moscow announced the capture of Mariupol, with President Vladimir Putin calling off the assault on Azovstal, which remains the last holdout of the Ukrainian forces in the strategic port city. Russian troops should “seal the area so that a fly cannot get through,” he instead ordered.

In its fresh statement, the Defense Ministry pointed out that the offer to surrender for those inside the facility remained in place. “At any given moment, Russia is ready to introduce a ceasefire and announce a humanitarian pause in order to stage the evacuation of civilians (if they’re really in the underground structures of the steel plant) and troops of the Ukrainian armed forces and nationalist battalions.”

The commander of the Ukrainian marines, holed up at the plant, had earlier claimed that “hundreds” of civilians were trapped at the premises. He didn’t explain why the people would voluntarily decide to hide out together with Ukrainian troops, who are under attack by Russian forces.

The Ukrainian fighters and foreign mercenaries only need to raise white flags along the perimeter of Azovstal to be able to surrender. “This humanitarian offer by Russia remains in force 24/7,” according to the statement.

Their lives are guaranteed to be spared, and they will also be provided with medical assistance – just like other combatants, who chose to stop resisting earlier, the Russian side insisted.

According to the ministry, the humanitarian corridors, organized by the Russian forces in Mariupol, have allowed the evacuation of 143,631 Ukrainian civilians, 341 foreign citizens as well as 1,844 Ukrainian servicemen.

Those figures are more proof that claims by Ukraine and the West that Russia is hampering civilian evacuation, or is reluctant to provide necessary conditions for combatants to surrender, are absolutely groundless, it added.

The 2,000 fighters, according to Russia’s estimates, that are holed up at the Azovstal steelworks have been given several opportunities to lay down their arms in recent days, but they have refrained from availing of them.

Intercepted communications from the steel plant suggest that the Ukrainian troops and nationalist battalion fighters are short on food and water and are eager to surrender, but can’t do so without an order from Kiev over fears of being court-martialed.

However, Ukrainian authorities have so far been reluctant to give such a command. On Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that there was still “a military way” to recover Mariupol, but added that it would require the “help of our partners,” apparently referring to Kiev’s backers in the West.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Sweden, weapons and war | Leave a comment

People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) to protest against plan for nuclear reactor on Anglesey island

 An anti-nuclear campaign group are to protest outside the office of Ynys
Môn’s MPs over plans to build a new nuclear power plant on the island.

The UK Government this morning confirmed its intention to push ahead with a
nuclear project at the Wylfa site on the island of Anglesey. People Against
Wylfa B (PAWB) said that the UK’s energy needs could be met with
renewable energy and that ministerial claims that nuclear was necessary to
support weather-dependent renewables was “simply not true”.

Ynys Môn’s MP who has described herself as an ‘Atomic Kitten’ has been a
persistent advocate of a new nuclear plant on Anglesey.

A spokesperson for PAWB, Neil Crumpton, however said that the Prime Minister should not be
“gung ho” about nuclear power. “It is a complex and radio-toxic
technology,” he said. “The UK should be showing the world how wind and
solar energy, when backed-up by hydrogen-fired power stations, would
provide reliable electricity to consumers no matter what the weather or
season. Nuclear baseload is not needed.

 Nation Cymru 7th April 2022

April 9, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, Sweden | Leave a comment

Reactor at Oskarshamn 3 nuclear power plant in Sweden shut down due to ‘fuel damage’.

Reactor at Oskarshamn 3 nuclear power plant in Sweden shut down due to
‘fuel damage’. Oskarhamn 3 will be temporarily taken out of production for
nine days from February 19 after assessments showed a “fuel damage” issue
needed urgent repair, according to owner OKG.

 Mirror 10th Feb 2022

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/reactor-oskarshamn-3-nuclear-power-26197599

February 12, 2022 Posted by | safety, Sweden | Leave a comment

The Swedish government allows the nuclear industry to build an unsafe repository for spent nuclear fuel

The method of disposal with copper canisters has received extensive criticism from eminent independent corrosion expertise.

 https://www.mkg.se/en/the-swedish-government-allows-the-nuclear-industry-to-build-an-unsafe-repository-for-spent-nuclear 28 Jan 22, The Swedish government’s decision to say yes to repository for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark is both regrettable and irresponsible. This is the opinion of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review (MKG). The government has made its decision without the nuclear industry having shown that the copper canisters that are to guarantee safety for at least 100,000 years will work as intended.

– The government has today made a historic decision and I am afraid that they have made a historic mistake. It is directly irresponsible of the government to say yes to the repository for spent nuclear fuel. The method of disposal with copper canisters has received extensive criticism from eminent independent corrosion expertise. The nuclear waste can cause significant environmental damage in the Forsmark area ¬ perhaps already after a few hundred years, says Johanna Sandahl, chair of the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

The government has chosen to say yes to the spent fuel repository, despite the fact that during the government review additional knowledge has emerged that copper does not function as canister material. The copper canisters are to guarantee safety for humans and the environment for over 100 000 years. Independent corrosion researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) have repeatedly warned that there is a risk that the canisters will break down – already after a few hundred years.
 
If the canisters break down and the extremely hazardous nuclear waste leaks out, it will contaminate the groundwater and the entire ecosystem. The marine environment is also affected. If this happens, a large area must be cordoned off as a zone with no access for a very long time and no one may eat or drink anything from the area.

The Government considers that it is sufficient that the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) has said that the final repository can be sufficiently safe even if the copper canisters do not function as they should, thanks to the other barriers of rock and bentonite clay. The government has thus disregarded the fact that the Land and Environment Court clearly distanced itself from that view. The court held that the government must ensure that the copper canisters can really last for the long timespans involved.
 
Both the Swedish Council for Nuclear Waste, the government’s scientific advisory board on nuclear waste issues, and the researchers from KTH have stated that more research is needed in the repository environment to ensure that the canisters will work as intended.

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and MKG believe that the government’s decision both ignored the strong scientific warning signals and the need for more copper research. As science continues to work independently of political decisions, the associations believe that it is likely that the project will still be stopped in the future. The risk that the money needed to build a repository will be wasted on the wrong technology is evident.

– The government has decided to approve a repository that will not work, says Johan Swahn, director of MKG. Thus, money and time risks being wasted in the construction of a repository that must then be discarded.

Contact:
Johan Swahn, Director, MKG Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review,
+4670-4673731

January 29, 2022 Posted by | Sweden, wastes | Leave a comment

Swedish government to decide on construction of nuclear waste dump.

Why does nobody ever suggest stopping making radioactive trash?

Swedish government to decide construction of spent nuclear fuel repository   https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/short_news/swedish-government-to-decide-construction-of-spent-nuclear-fuel-repository/

By Charles Szumski | EURACTIV.com  24 Jan 22,  The government this week will announce its decision regarding the construction in the northern Uppland region of a repository for nuclear fuel that has been removed after being used in a nuclear reactor.

Environment Minister Annika Strandhäl promised on 20 January that the government would announce its decision this week. Spent nuclear fuel has been a hot topic discussed by Swedish scientists and politicians for the last 35 years.

January 25, 2022 Posted by | Sweden, wastes | Leave a comment

Drones sighted over Sweden’s nuclear power stations

Days of sightings of drones over key Swedish sites including nuclear plants have prompted the country’s security service to take the lead in an investigation. Three nuclear sites have been targeted and sightings have been reported over airports and the royal palace. Authorities have not speculated on who is behind the mysterious drones. Police and the coastguard are searching the sea and islands around Stockholm, local media reports say.

The latest sightings on Monday evening involved a drone above the Forsmark nuclear plant, but security agency Sapo said it was also investigating earlier drone flights near the Ringhals and Oskarshamn power
plants. Police appealed to the public to come forward with information. Sapo said the drones were suspected of “grave unauthorised dealing with secret information”.

 BBC 18th Jan 2022

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-60035446

January 20, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Sweden | Leave a comment

Swedish police hunt for drone seen flying over Forsmark nuclear station.

 Police in Sweden deployed patrols and helicopters to the Forsmark nuclear
plant to hunt for a large drone seen flying over the site late on Friday,
but were unable to catch the unmanned vehicle, they said on Saturday. The
incident came a day after Sweden’s military started patrolling the main
town on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland amid increased tensions between
NATO and Russia and a recent deployment of Russian landing craft in the
Baltic.

 Reuters 15th Jan 2022

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/swedish-police-hunt-drone-seen-flying-over-forsmark-nuclear-plant-2022-01-15/

January 17, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Sweden | Leave a comment

Large drone observed over Forsmark nuclear station in Sweden

A large drone has been observed over the Forsmark nuclear power plant in
eastern Sweden. The police moved out but could not follow it. The drone at
Forsmark was observed at around 8 PM on Friday. At the same time, flying
objects were reported over the Ringhals nuclear power plants on the west
coast and Oskarshamn in the southeast of the country, and, eventually, a
possible drone was also reported at the decommissioned Barsebäck nuclear
power plant in Skåne.

 Norway Today 15th Jan 2022

January 17, 2022 Posted by | incidents, Sweden | 1 Comment

Swedish environmental groups sound a warning on the government’s plans for a new radioactive waste dump.

On 22 December, the Government decided to approve the extension of the
repository for short-lived radioactive waste in Forsmark (SFR) with a new
repository (SFR 2).

SFR is the current repository for short-lived
radioactive operational waste from the nuclear power plants and is located
under the seabed outside the Forsmark nuclear power plant.

SFR 2 is a new repository for short-lived radioactive waste from the decommissioning of
the Swedish nuclear reactors, and the repository will be built next to the
old one. The government decided to grant permissibility according to the
Environmental Code and a license according to the Nuclear Activities Act.

The decisions can be found in the news story on the MKG Swedish web page
(link below on original)).

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, The Swedish
Friends of the Earth and the Swedish NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review
(MKG) have stated that the government should say no to the new repository.
The organisations recently told the government in an opinion that it has
not been shown that the new repository will be safe enough.

The environment risks being damaged by the repository leaking radioactive particles into
the Öregrundsgrepen outside Forsmark faster than expected, perhaps already
within 50 to 100 years after closure. In addition, there is already a
relatively unexpected and extensive breakdown of the technical repository
barriers in the existing repository.

The organisations believe that the
government should have conditioned the decision on leaving the repository
open under supervision for the 400 to 500 years required for the
radioactive content to have decayed to less dangerous levels.

 MKG 22nd Dec 2021

 https://www.mkg.se/en/the-government-approves-the-expansion-of-sfr-in-forsmark

December 24, 2021 Posted by | environment, Sweden, wastes | Leave a comment

Sweden’s Non Government Organisations want the government to reject nuclear repositary plans, on safety grounds

 The new Minister of Climate and Environment Annika Strandhäll at a press
conference on December 8 presented a timetable for a decision on the
planned repository for spent nuclear fuel in Forsmark, and a decision on
the extension of the current repository for short-lived radioactive waste
(SFR 2).

The nuclear fuel repository decision will be taken on January 27,
2022, and the SFR 2 decision already on December 22. The Swedish Society
for Nature Conservation, the Swedish Friends of the Earth and the Swedish
NGO Office for Nuclear Waste Review (MKG) want the government to say no to
both repositories.

The organisations are of the opinion that it has still
not been shown that the spent nuclear fuel repository is safe enough and
believe that the LOT experiment can, if necessary, be used to develop more
knowledge about copper as a canister material before a decision is made.

If the government intends to say yes to the start of construction repository,
the decision should follow the Swedish Council for Nuclear Waste’s proposal
to condition an approval to more research and that a separate decision
under the Environmental Code be given separately to start operation when
that time.

 MKG 8th Dec 2021

https://www.mkg.se/en/the-new-minister-of-the-environment-presents-a-timetable-for-decisions-on-the-spent-nuclear-fuel

December 18, 2021 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, safety, Sweden, wastes | Leave a comment