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New documentary explores Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Her 18th Feb 2021, Channel 5 is releasing a new documentary about the Chernobyl disaster which will be hosted by adventurer Ben Fogle. This documentary will see Ben Fogle
explore the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant itself where the explosion
happened and live in the surrounding areas and danger zones that were
destroyed in the disaster and are still to this day radioactive. The plant
exploded on the 26th April 1986 sending massive amounts of radioactive
material across Europe. It is the worst nuclear accident in history, even
after over 30 years there’s still too much radioactivity in the area for
people to be there for long periods of time. Ben will live inside the
Chernobyl Exclusion Zone for 7 days, they have even been granted access to
film in the power plant and the control room but they can only spend 5
minutes inside the control room, due to radiation safety restrictions.

February 20, 2021 Posted by | Resources -audiovicual, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s complicated plan to deal with its excess nuclear energy generation

Ukraine plans nuclear-powered block reward mining facility. coingeek, Ed Drake 8 Feb 21, 

The government of Ukraine is contemplating investing in a new block reward mining facility, to take advantage of an excess of nuclear power being generated in the country…….

Vladimirov said the proposals would allow the country to make better use of excess nuclear capacity, as well as boosting tax take.

The idea of creating a data center based on a nuclear power plant, of course, deserves attention because the Ukrainian UES [unified energy system] has unused base capacity.”…….

According to Hotmine, the proposals will help Ukraine build on its reputation as an emerging center for block reward mining, with the firm suggesting the country’s low cost nuclear power could help it become a world leader in nuclear-powered block reward mining. ,,………. 

February 9, 2021 Posted by | politics, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Biden’s USA headed for confrontation with Russia? The troubling appointment of Victoria Nuland

Nuland’s actions helped produce the regime change in Ukraine which led to U.S. arms sales, U.S. sanctions on Russia, even the first Trump impeachment over the matter of anti-tank missile delivery. The coup damaged U.S.-Russian relations

Basic Notes on Victoria (“Fuck the EU!”) Nuland,  more BY GARY LEUPP, 25 Jan 21
On January 5 Joe Biden quietly announced the nomination of Victoria (“Fuck the EU!”) Nuland as Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs. This announcement may signal the inception of the confrontation with Russia placed on hold during the Trump presidency.

For four years the Democrats have pilloried Trump for “coddling” Putin, although in fact Trump has heaped sanctions on Russia bringing relations to their lowest point since the early Cold War. Now they want some more serious anti-Russian measures. They want their president, Commander-in-Chief of the Exceptional Nation and Leader of the Free World against its adversaries, return us to Clinton-Obama normalcy. That means “getting tougher” with Russia. But what does tougher mean?

Nuland is eminently qualified for the task of making things much worse, even provoking war with the other superpower that while lacking foreign bases, and spending a fraction of what NATO spends on military defense, has over 6000 nuclear weapons. (Remember? The U.S. developed and used nuclear weapons in 1945, the only country to ever do so. The Soviets followed by developing their own bomb in 1949, in self-defense. That’s when Truman established NATO as an anti-Soviet, anti-communist military alliance.)

Moscow feels a mounting resentment over the expansion of a hostile military alliance, formed during the Cold War under conditions no longer pertinent, to surround it. Is this hard to fathom? How would Congress view a gradual expansion of a Russian-led military alliance committed to spending 2% of its members’ GDPs on military spending to embrace Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Panama and maybe Canada next year?

Nuland is a career official, serving under multiple administrations, representing bipartisan imperialism. She was deputy director for “affairs in the former Soviet republics” in the Bill Clinton administration. Her task was to exploit the pain and suffering caused by the implosion of the Soviet Union to assert greater U.S. hegemony over Eurasia, using the traditional mix of covert operations, National Endowment for Democracy meddling, “color revolutions,” aid promises, etc.

During this period Clinton reneged on the U.S. promise to Moscow in 1989 that NATO would not advance “one inch” east after the Soviets accepted German reunification. Instead he drew Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia, long members of the dissolved Warsaw Pact, into the anti-Russian military alliance in 1999. It was an extraordinary repudiation of the Bush-Gorbachev agreement, an egregious provocation of a now-friendly country (then headed by the buffoonish Boris Yeltsin), unremarked on by the U.S. press at the time as anything controversial. Since then the expansion of NATO has been treated as no more remarkable than the expansion of UNESCO. Thank Nuland in part for making you think relentless NATO growth is normal, and that it makes sense for North Macedonia and Montenegro to have joined most recently (during the Trump term).

Thank Nuland too, in part, for the “color revolutions” in Serbia (2000), Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004) and Kyrgyzstan (2005). The (fake) concept of the popular uprising against (Russian-backed) tyranny, backed by an altruistic America that stands for Freedom and Democracy—that’s Nuland’s baby. She surely has plans for Belarus. And she must be deeply alarmed that the State Department did not try to interfere in the last flare-up of violence in Nagarno-Karabakh leaving Russian diplomacy to resolve the situation. (Just because Russia itself extends into the Caucasus and borders Georgia and Azerbaijan doesn’t mean that it should “interfere” in countries that ought by rights to be ruled by the U.S.A.—due to Exceptionalism and all.)

The extremely reactionary chauvinistic Nuland was deputy foreign advisor to Dick Cheney during the Bush-Cheney administration (2003-2005) and then U.S. ambassador to NATO (2005-2008). Under Obama she was Under Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, handpicked by Hillary Clinton. She is married to noted neocon warmonger-scholar Robert Kagan. Both were deeply complicit in spreading the Big Lies leading to the Iraq War in 2003. Nuland supported Hillary Clinton’s terroristic regime change efforts in Libya and Syria. But her main mission in life is to expand NATO. Joe Biden shares her passion for this project.

Nuland is perhaps best known for her pithy ejaculation: “Fuck the EU!” in a telephone call with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine in 2014.

In that year, while Nuland built support for the coup in Kiev (Feb. 18 to 21), she boasted openly that the U.S. had invested $5 billion in supporting “the Ukrainian people’s European aspirations.” (This referred to the support of some Ukrainians for the violent overthrow of the democratically elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, on the basis of his alleged pro-Russian policies and his opposition to European Union affiliation under the conditions the EU was then offering.) To state the matter honestly: the U.S. spent $5 billion to install a government in Kiev that would request NATO membership (ostensibly to protect it from always-aggressive, always expanding Russia) and bind it forever to the U.S. military-industrial complex and “Free World.”

Since NATO membership since the end of the Cold War has invariably been followed by EU membership, it was easy for Nuland to pose as the champion of Ukraine’s EU membership versus the evil Russians (supposedly) opposing that membership. Yanukovych himself had negotiated seriously with the EU but rejected a plan for association due to its austerity provisions. Meanwhile Moscow offered an attractive aid package. This in the world of U.S. propaganda was a choice between Europe and Russia, with Yanukovych siding with America’s adversary.

The Maidan coup occurred just a month after Nuland was recorded discussing the upcoming event with U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. Nuland, who had joined Sen. John McCain and other U.S. politicians in offering cookies to the Maidan protestors, discussed with Pyatt who should serve as prime minister after the coup. Pyatt noted that the EU favored Vitali Klitschko, the ex-boxer.

“Fuck the EU!” replied Nuland, who wanted banker and NATO supporter Arseniy Yatsenyuk to lead the new government. She soon got her way.

Nuland worked with Oleh Tyahnybok, head of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party (and one of the three leaders Nuland ordered Pyatt to keep in touch with) and the Right Sector militia. Both glorify Stephan Bandera, the Ukrainian fascist leader who aided the Nazis in rounding up Ukrainian Jews during the war. Tyahnybok publicly inveighs against the “Moscow-Jewish mafia ruling Ukraine.”

When Congressman Dana Rohrbacher Nuland in a hearing was asked soon after the coup whether there had been any neo-fascists on the Maidan she refused to answer the question, stating there were “mothers, grandmothers, and veterans…all colors of Ukraine, including ugly colors” on the Maidan. In other words, a diverse anti-Russian crowd. (Notice how she ignored the existence of the 30% of Ukrainians who are ethnic Russians and were a support base for the president targeted for toppling. Just the sort of sensitivity to ethnicity you’d expect from a top U.S. State Department official who’d been comfortable with the slaughter of Iraqis.) Continue reading

January 26, 2021 Posted by | politics international, Russia, secrets,lies and civil liberties, Ukraine, USA | Leave a comment

Storage of Chernobyl nuclear waste – in reality unsafe for 1000s of years

Tsunami-crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant No.4 (R) and No.3 reactor buildings are seen in Fukushima prefecture February 28, 2012. Members of the foreign media were allowed into the plant on Tuesday ahead of the first anniversary of the March 11, 2011 tsunami and earthquake which triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl. REUTERS/Kimimasa Mayama/Pool (JAPAN – Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT ENERGY) – RTR2YKOE

Paul Waldon  Fight to Stop a Nuclear Waste Dump in South Australia, 28 Dec 20, 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has been tasked by the international community to manage funds, financing the efforts to transform Chernobyl into a safe and secure state. In a recent address to the public there have been interesting points of claim.
1: Chernobyl has reached a milestone in nuclear safety.
2: The first spent reactor fuel from the infamous nuclear power plant has been securely stored at last.
3: The risk of an accident is being mitigated.
4: The fuel will safely be stored for at least a century.
“My take on the subject is”
1: A nuclear plant that has a reactor meltdown is not safe.
2: The reactor’s main function is to manufacture radioactive waste, fuel is not spent but used!
3: As long as the waste remains, the risks remain.
4: 100 Year storage is but a respite in the timeline of radioactive fuel when we look back at the first nuclear reactor that was fired up by Enrico Fermi 78 years ago and that waste is still with us today. Chernobyl’s first reactor was completed 43 years ago, then a meltdown gave birth to Chernobyl’s place in history nearly 35 years ago. So to imply that 100 years is an adequate time to manage fuel, waste and debris from reactors is nothing short of irresponsible.

December 28, 2020 Posted by | Ukraine, wastes | Leave a comment

Dredging of the Pripyat river poses danger of Chernobyl radioactivity to drinking water of 8 million people.

Guardian 23rd Dec 2020, The river running past the Chernobyl nuclear reactor is being dredged to
create an inland shipping route, potentially resurfacing radioactive sludge
from the 1986 disaster that could contaminate drinking water for 8 million
people in Ukraine, scientists and conservationists have warned.

The dredging of the Pripyat began in July and is part of an international
project to create the 2,000km (1,240-mile) long E40 waterway linking the
Baltic and Black seas, passing through Poland, Belarus and Ukraine. The
river – which snakes within 2.5km of the reactor responsible for the
world’s worst nuclear disaster – has already been dredged in at least
seven different places, five of which are within 10km of the reactor,
according to the Save Polesia coalition.

December 24, 2020 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Are forest fires unlocking radiation in Chernobyl?

Are forest fires unlocking radiation in Chernobyl?
(VIDEO) 23 Dec 20  An exclusion zone has keep the area surrounding the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster hidden from public view for many years. But in 2020 there were a record amount of forest fires in the area.

The firefighters sent in to tackle the blazes in the radioactive forests agreed to speak to BBC anonymously, scared of losing their jobs.

Their accounts expose a month of chaos in which fires almost reached the nuclear reactors.

Journalism: Zhanna Bezpiatchuk and Charlotte Pamment

December 24, 2020 Posted by | climate change, safety, Ukraine | 1 Comment

34 years later, food crops near Chernobyl still contain ionising radiation

Unsafe levels of radiation found in Chernobyl crops, By Harry Baker – Staff Writer December 20, The effects of the explosive 1986 disaster can still be seen in nearby crops.

Crops grown near the Chernobyl nuclear site in Ukraine are still contaminated with radiation from the explosive 1986 disaster.

In a new study, researchers found that wheat, rye, oats and barley grown in this area contained two radioactive isotopes — strontium 90 and cesium 137 — that were above safe consumption limits. Radioactive isotopes are elements that have increased masses and release excess energy as a result.

“Our findings point to ongoing contamination and human exposure, compounded by lack of official routine monitoring,” study author David Santillo, an environmental forensic scientist at Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter, said in a statement, referring to the fact that the government suspended its radioactive goods monitoring program in 2013.

Santillo and his colleagues, in collaboration with researchers from the Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural Radiology, analyzed 116 grain samples, collected between 2011 and 2019, from the Ivankiv district of Ukraine — about 31 miles (50 kilometers) south of the nuclear plant.

This area is outside of Chernobyl’s “exclusion zone,” which is a 30 mile (48 km) radius around the plant that was evacuated in 1986 and has remained unoccupied. They found radioactive isotopes, predominantly strontium 90, were above safe consumption level in 48% of samples. They also found that wood samples collected from the same region between 2015 and 2019, had strontium 90 levels above the safe limit for firewood.

The researchers believe that the lingering radiation in the wood, in particular, may be the reason for the continued contamination of crops, almost 35 years after the disaster. When analyzing the wood ash from domestic wood-burning ovens, they found strontium 90 levels that were 25 times higher than the safe limit. Locals use this ash, as well as ash from the local thermal power plant (TPP), to fertilize their crops, which continues to cycle the radiation through their soil.

However, computer simulations suggest that it could be possible to grow crops in the region at “safe” levels if this process of repeated contamination ceased. The researchers are now calling for the Ukrainian government to reinstate its monitoring program and create a system for properly disposing of radioactive ash.

“Contamination of grain and wood grown in the Ivankiv district remains of major concern and deserves further urgent investigation,” study author Valery Kashparov, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Agricultural Radiology, said in the statement. “Similarly, further research is urgently needed to assess the effects of the Ivankiv TPP on the environment and local residents, which still remain mostly unknown.”

The findings were published on Dec. 17 in the journal Environment International.

Originally published on Live Science.

December 19, 2020 Posted by | environment, radiation, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Shutdown of 3 uranium mines in midst of dispute could lead to ecological disaster in Ukraine

World Socialist Web 10th Dec 2020, Three uranium mines have been shut down in the Kirovohrad region of central Ukraine over disputed payments between the state nuclear energy company Energoatom and the state-owned enterprise operating the mine, Eastern Mining and Processing. As a result of the alleged nonpayment, approximately 5,000 miners have been placed on unpaid leave. They are still owed approximately $5 million in months of back pay.

The shuttering of the mines could also lead to an ecological catastrophe if the mines lose power and water pumps fail to operate, creating a toxic mixture of radioactive uranium-contaminated groundwater that could spread throughout the vast river systems of central Ukraine.

December 12, 2020 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Comprehensive research now shows that irradiated areas near Chernobyl have fewest mammals

Scientific American (accessed) 26th Nov 2020, More than 30 years after the Chernobyl nuclear plant’s meltdown, an 18-mile
radius around the site remains almost entirely devoid of human
activity—creating a haven for wildlife. But scientists disagree over
lingering radiation’s effects on animal populations in this region, called
the Exclusion Zone.

A new analysis, based on estimating the actual doses
animals receive in various parts of the zone, supports the hypothesis that
areas with the most radiation have the fewest mammals. “The effects we
saw are consistent with conventional wisdom about radiation,” says
University of South Carolina biologist Timothy Mousseau, co-author of the
new study in Scientific Reports. “What’s surprising is that it took this
long to start looking at this in a rigorous, comprehensive way.”

November 28, 2020 Posted by | environment, Ukraine | Leave a comment

First canister of used nuclear fuel loaded into Chernobyl storage facility


This storage dump will last for 100 years.  But the wastes inside will lasr for 1000s of years . How crazyb is it to just keep on making this toxic trash?


World Nuclear News 19th Nov 2020, The first canister of used nuclear fuel was yesterday loaded into the
Interim Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Facility (ISF-2) at the Chernobyl plant
in Ukraine. ISF-2 is the largest dry-type used fuel storage facility in the
world and has an operating life of at least 100 years.

November 21, 2020 Posted by | Ukraine, wastes | Leave a comment

Chernobyl’s bumblebees still affected by radiation

This new data shows effects on bumblebees are happening at dose rates previously thought safe for insects, and the current international recommendations will need to be re-evaluated.

November 5, 2020 Posted by | environment, radiation, Reference, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Anxieties, memories of Chernobyl, as Belarus launches new nuclear power station

November 5, 2020 Posted by | Belarus, safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Using a robot to map the highly radioactive area of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

Unilad 27th Oct 2020, The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant was visited by engineers from the
University of Bristol and Spot on October 22, and the team intended to use
the robot to create a three-dimensional map of the distribution of nuclear
The area is extremely dangerous because of the fallout of the
1986 nuclear accident and, as a result, the robot adds new surveying
capabilities to the teams involved. Other robots were also implemented to
inspect and survey the area.

October 29, 2020 Posted by | radiation, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Study finds that bees are harmed by quite low levels of ionising radiation

Current Chernobyl-level radiation harmful to bees: study

Researchers exposed bee colonies in a laboratory setting to a range of radiation levels found in areas of the exclusion zone around the ruined Chernobyl site

Bumblebees exposed to levels of radiation found within the Chernobyl exclusion zone suffered a “significant” drop in reproduction, in new research published Wednesday that scientists say should prompt a rethink of international calculations of nuclear environmental risk.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, set out to discover how ionising radiation affects insects, which are often thought to be more resilient than other species.

“We found that at radiation levels detectable in Chernobyl, the number of new queen bees produced from the colony was significantly reduced and colony growth was delayed — meaning colonies reached their peak weight at a week later,” said the paper’s lead author Katherine Raines.

The lecturer in environmental pollution at the University of Stirling told AFP by email that researchers “anticipate that this may have an effect on pollination/ecosystem services in contaminated areas”.

The authors said they chose bumblebees both because of a lack of lab-based research into bees and because of their crucial role in pollination.

Ionising radiation can occur either from nuclear sites or medical procedures, although the levels tested were higher than those that would likely be found in the environment from normal releases, Raines said.

But she added that the researchers were “very surprised that we could detect effects as low as we did”.

“Our research suggests insects living in the most contaminated areas at Chernobyl may suffer adverse effects, with subsequent consequences for ecosystem services such as pollination,” she added.

The authors said if their findings could be generalised “they suggest insects suffer significant negative consequences at dose rates previously thought safe” and called revisions to the international framework for radiological protection of the environment.

People are not allowed to live near the Chernobyl power station and the abandoned settlements within the exclusion zone are surrounded by forests hosting birds, wolves, elks and lynxes. A giant protective dome was put in place over the destroyed fourth reactor in 2016.

October 22, 2020 Posted by | environment, radiation, Ukraine | Leave a comment

Ukraine’s President enthuses over their nuclear reactors – but they’re all ageing Soviet ones

Ukraine’s president embraces nuclear energy while relying on elderly reactors a visit to Ukraine’s Rivne nuclear plant, President Volodomyr Zelensky issue full throated support for the development of his country’s nuclear industry, despite opposition from other countries and a fleet of elderly Soviet-era reactors that are reaching retirement age, Interfax reported.   October 7, 2020 by Charles Digges

On a visit to Ukraine’s Rivne nuclear plant, President Volodomyr Zelensky issue full throated support for the development of his country’s nuclear industry, despite opposition from other countries and a fleet of elderly Soviet-era reactors that are reaching retirement age, Interfax reported.

His remarks came on October 1 and highlight his recent decree that orders the government to submit bills concerning the country’s nuclear power sector for parliamentary debate. Ukraine’s 15 reactors – all of which were built while the country was still a republic of the Soviet Union – supply more than half of the domestic electricity supply.

“We have a strategy for the development of nuclear energy and the completion of nuclear power plants in Ukraine,” the Zelensky said, addressing the possibility of completing two reactors at the country’s Khmelnitsky nuclear plant. The construction of those reactors, which are Russian-designed VVER-1000 units, began in the 1980s but was shelved in 1990.

He also dismissed opposition to nuclear development on grounds of safety, saying: “We understand that if professionals are doing the construction, if the state is working on the safety of nuclear power plants, then there is no threat either to the environment or the climate. It’s a safe form of electricity.”

Pushing back against a host of European countries that have begun to back away from nuclear power, Zelensky said Ukraine would instead embrace it as a national priority.

“In the coming years, many countries will work against nuclear power generation,” he said. “We, on the other hand, will defend it. We must do this because today we have every opportunity to be among the first [in nuclear energy], both in Europe and in the world.”

Zelensky’s remarks come as work to fully clean up the site of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster is still ongoing. Since 2015, an enormous steel dome, called the New Safe Confinement, has enclosed the plant’s exploded  No 4 reactor, trapping radiation and facilitating risky dismantlement efforts. But most experts say it will take another 20,000 years before the area immediately surrounding the plant – called the exclusion zone from which more than 100,000 people were evacuated – will again be fit for human habitation.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Ukraine inherited not only the embers of Chernobyl, but also four other nuclear power plants: The Rivne plant in the country’s northwest; the Khmelnitsky plant, to Rivne’s south; The South Ukraine plant, near the Black Sea, and the Zaporizhia plant, whose six VVER-1000 reactors make it the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

All but three of Ukraine’s reactors began operations in the 1980s, putting most of them troublingly close to the end of their engineered lifespans of 40 years. In fact, 12 of Ukraine’s reactors were slated to retire this year.

To continue to produce some 52 percent of the country’s energy, it is presumed that all of these reactors will eventually be granted extensions on their runtimes of several decades.

Given the age of the nuclear industry as a whole, such lifetime extensions have become common practice worldwide. But two recent Bellona publications – one on Ukraine’s nuclear industry, and another on the practice of reactor lifetime extensions – have cast light on the dangers of this approach.

One study by Ukrainian experts, cited in Bellona’s report, shows that Ukraine’s older reactors are becoming more prone to accidents and malfunctions. It is hoped that safety upgrades that would precede the granting of lifetime would eliminate such technical glitches.

But the Bellona study highlighted that two reactors at the Rivne plant – the one Zelensky visited – had been given lifetime extensions without any safety upgrades at all.

The longer Ukraine’s reactors operate, the more they will contribute to the country’s supply of radioactive waste, which is currently the second largest in Europe. This problem has only gotten more serious since 2018, when Russia began returning to Ukraine the spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste Moscow had been accepting and reprocessing after the Soviet Union dissolved.

The problem of Ukraine’s overabundant radioactive waste would seem less critical if the country were taking steps to build a long-term repository, such as finding a suitable location for one – or indeed even had plans to do so. But as the Bellona report reveals, the bureaucracies in Kiev that are responsible for such questions are inefficient, if not, in some instance, entirely lacking, and in any case have little in the way of public faith in their competent operation.

Prospects are slightly brighter when it comes to dealing with spent fuel from Ukraine’s nuclear reactors. Ukrainian nuclear Officials know how much there is and they intend to build a centralized facility to store it. But as is the case in other parts of the industry, Kiev has little hope of building it without significant funding from other countries.

While it’s unclear if Zelensky’s new embrace of nuclear energy has taken full account of the issues facing his aging reactors, it is hoped that any continued reliance on Ukraine’s Soviet inheritance will do so.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | politics, Ukraine | Leave a comment