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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Israel now making a solar energy leap forward

text-relevantIsrael to build world’s tallest solar tower in symbol of renewable energy ambition, Independent, 5 Jan 17  With Israel traditionally running its economy on fossil fuels, renewable energy has long been hobbled by bureaucracy and a lack of incentives. In sunny Israel, solar energy supplies only a small percentage of the nation’s power needs, leaving it far behind countries with cloudier and colder climates.

Now the fledgling solar industry is trying to make a leap forward with a large-scale project boasting the world’s tallest solar tower, as a symbol of Israel’s renewal energy ambitions.

 The country is starting to make an effort, setting a goal of generating 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, up from the current 2.5 percent. 

The Ashalim project, deep in the Negev desert, is made up of three plots, with a fourth planned for the future, each with a different solar technology. Together, the fields will be Israel’s largest renewable energy project when completed by 2018. They are set to generate some 310 megawatts of power, about 1.6 percent of the country’s energy needs — enough for about 130,000 households, or roughly 5 percent of Israel’s population, according to Israel’s Electricity Authority. …….

Another solar-thermal plot at Ashalim will be able to store energy even when the sun goes down. A third plot will use photovoltaic solar technology to produce energy.

Yaron Szilas, CEO of Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy, the lead developer of the second solar-thermal plot, said combining the three technologies was a wise move because each has its own advantage. The amount of electricity it produces will be comparable to large-scale solar fields in California and Chile……..

Israel has developed some of the world’s most advanced solar energy equipment and enjoys a nearly endless supply of sunshine. But Israeli solar companies, frustrated by government bureaucracy, have mostly taken their expertise abroad.

Countries with cooler climates have outpaced Israel. Germany, for example, gets nearly 30 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

“Israel has a potential to be a sunshine superpower,” said Leehee Goldenberg, director of the department of economy and environment at the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, a non-governmental organization. Despite some steps in the right direction, “Israel’s government hasn’t really been pushing to reach its small goals regarding solar energy.” …….. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-solar-tower-power-energy-renewable-tech-ambitions-a7510901.html

 

January 6, 2017 Posted by | Israel, renewable | Leave a comment

Iran has shown commitment to the nuclear agreement – UN atomic energy watchdog

Head of U.N. nuclear watchdog says Iran showing commitment to deal http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-amano-idUSKBN147083?il=0

Iran has shown commitment to the deal on its nuclear program agreed with world powers, the head of the United Nations atomic energy watchdog said on Sunday, following complaints by Tehran over what it calls a U.S. violation of the accord.

The White House said on Thursday that a bill extending U.S. sanctions against Iran for 10 years would become law without President Barack Obama’s signature, adding this would not affect overall implementation of the nuclear agreement.

“We are satisfied with the implementation of the (agreement) and hope that this process will continue,” IAEA director general Yukiya Amano was quoted as telling reporters in Tehran by the IRNA news agency.

 “Iran has been committed to its engagement so far and this is important,” Amano was quoted as saying after meeting Iran’s nuclear energy chief, Ali Akbar Salehi.

In response to the U.S. sanctions extension, Iran ordered its scientists last week to start developing systems for nuclear-powered marine vessels.

That action is expected to worsen tensions with Washington, already heightened by a promise by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s to scrap the deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani met Amano on Sunday and “expressed hope Iran and the IAEA will be able to have good technical cooperation on nuclear propulsion for transports”, the semi-official Fars news agency said.

Iran’s nuclear energy chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, said he presented the nuclear propulsion project to Amano during their meeting, adding that Iran would provide details of it in three months, IRNA reported.

Nuclear experts have said that Iran’s move, if carried out, would probably require Tehran to enrich uranium to a fissile purity above the maximum level set in the nuclear deal to allay fears of the country building an atomic bomb.

Salehi said the fuel used for nuclear propulsion could range between 5 and 90 percent in enrichment, but added: “We will certainly act within the framework of the (agreement),” IRNA reported.

Under the 2015 deal, Iran curbed its nuclear fuel production activities in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. Tehran is not allowed to enrich uranium above a 3.67 percent purity for 15 years, a level unlikely to be enough to run such vessels, according to experts.

Iran on Saturday also requested a meeting of a commission comprising representatives of signatories to the accord that is overseeing its implementation.

(Reporting by Dubai newsroom; editing by Sami Aboudi and Raissa Kasolowsky)

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Rouhani orders nuclear-fuelled warships, and mounts legal challenge against US trade restrictions

RouhaniIran’s President Hassan Rouhani orders nuclear-fuelled warships as he accuses US of ‘violating’ deal http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/iran-nuclear-powered-war-ships-response-us-sanctions-a7471566.html

Leader mounting legal challenge against US trade restrictions Harriet Agerholm  @HarrietAgerholm Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has ordered the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation to start planning the development of nuclear-powered ships in reaction to what he called the United States’ violation of their nuclear deal.

Earlier in December the US Senate voted to extend the Iran Sanctions Act by 10 years, a decision that was criticised by the Iranian foreign minister at the time who said it showed the US government had “a lack of credibility”.

In a letter read out on Tuesday on state television, Mr Rouhani condemned the move as a breach of the 2015 nuclear accord and told the nation’s scientists to begin “planning the design and production of fuel and nuclear power plants for maritime transport”.

The leader also said he had ordered the foreign minister to mount a legal challenge against the US.

The 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and six world powers lifted a variety of sanctions against the nation in exchange for restrictions on the Iranian nuclear programme.

Yet the US keeps its own set of trade restrictions against the country – separate from the agreement – which were set to expire at the end of the year.

Politicians in the Senate said the sanctions were extended not only because of nuclear issues, but also over concerns about ballistic missile-testing and human rights in the country.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the extension into law in the coming days.

The nuclear marine propulsion technology Iran has vowed to develop uses a nuclear reactor to generate electricity on a ship. Tensions in the Middle East have grown since the US elected Donald Trump as President, Iran’s defence minister said on Sunday.

December 14, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear deal involves several nations – not just the USA

flag-IranNuclear agreement not a deal solely between U.S. and Iran: Daryl Kimball, Tehran Times By Javad Heirannia December 13, 2016 TEHRAN – Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association in Washington, says the nuclear deal is not a bilateral agreement between the United States and Iran that can be unilaterally abrogated by the incoming administration of Donald Trump.

“The nuclear agreement is not a deal solely between the United States and Iran,” Kimball tells the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview.

Kimball says, “If the Trump administration walks away from the nuclear deal, it would also send a dangerous message to our European allies, Russia, and China that the United States cannot be trusted to honor agreements and commitments.”

Following is the full text of the interview:

Q: During presidential campaigns Donald Trump said he would “renegotiate” the terms of the nuclear deal with Iran. What is your prediction?

A: Yes, Mr. Trump did pledge to “dismantle” the 2015 agreement between six world powers and Iran, which has led to verifiable limits on Iran’s capacity to produce material that could be used for nuclear weapons, allowed Iran to continue peaceful nuclear activities, and led to the removal of nuclear-related international sanctions — a win-win scenario for both sides.

It is not clear at this point whether and how Trump would seek to do this or why. Trump’s campaign statements on many issues appear to have been designed to pander to hard-right elements of the Republican Party in order to obtain votes and to criticize the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton………..

Q: If Trump violates the JCPOA, how will Washington’s European allies and JCPOA parties react?

A: If the Trump administration walks away from the nuclear deal, it would also send a dangerous message to our European allies, Russia, and China that the United States cannot be trusted to honor agreements and commitments.

The nuclear agreement is not a deal solely between the United States and Iran. Washington worked with Russia, China, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom to build an international sanctions regime to pressure Iran to the negotiating table and then reach a deal to block Iran’s pathways to nuclear weapons. None of these countries have any intention of walking away from the agreement, which is working well for them, and the people of Iran.

If the United States administration or Congress takes actions that violate the JCPOA (such as failing to renew waivers of nuclear-related sanctions under the “Iran Sanctions Act”) or measures that are clearly designed to provoke Iran to take actions that would violation the JCPOA, I think it very likely that the United States’ P5+1 partners will resist such actions and seek to insulate the JCPOA as much as possible. Many American foreign policy experts and a significant majority of the American people would also question such a cynical and counterproductive move…….

If the Trump administration walks away from the nuclear deal, it would also send a dangerous message to our European allies, Russia, and China that the United States cannot be trusted to honor agreements and commitments. After sending such a message to the international community, Trump would be hard-pressed to build an international sanctions coalition strong enough to push Iran back to the negotiating table.

On the other hand, if the IAEA finds that Iran has failed to meet its obligations under the deal, however minor the infraction, it is likely that hard-liners in Congress and in the Trump administration will seek to use this as a reason to blame Iran and walk away from the deal and reimpose sanctions. This makes it essential, in my view, for Iran to continue to meet its nuclear-related commitments under the JCPOA. http://www.tehrantimes.com/news/409095/Nuclear-agreement-not-a-deal-solely-between-U-S-and-Iran-Daryl

December 14, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Iranian president won’t let Trump ruin the US–Iran nuclear deal

RouhaniRouhani: we won’t let Trump tear up US–Iran nuclear deal
Iranian president says 10-year extension of US sanctions could be violation of the accord signed in July 2015,
Guardian,  Iran 7 Dec 16 The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, has said his country will not allow Donald Trump to tear up the landmark nuclear agreement with the west as he warned that an extension of sanctions, which passed Congress last week, could be a violation of the deal.

Trump’s victory in the US presidential elections has raised questions about whether the landmark nuclear accord, signed in July 2015, has a future. Its fate could affect Rouhani’s chances of re-election in May.

“Iran is the only country that, as our supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] stated, would neither mourn nor celebrate [Trump’s] coming to power,” Rouhani said on Tuesday at Tehran University. “We would follow our own path.”

Rouhani said the US president-elect “may wish many things, he may wish to weaken or tear up Barjam,” referring to the Persian acronym for the joint comprehensive plan of action (or the nuclear deal), “but will we and our nation allow such a thing? America cannot influence our path of strength and endurance.”……

The Iranian president said the removal of nuclear-related sanctions had already borne fruit. “In regards to sanctions, except for banking restrictions, all sanctions have been removed 100%.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/06/hassan-rouhani-us-iran-nuclear-deal-trump-tear-up-sanctions

December 7, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is worried over Iran losing a nuclear device

Iran Loses Nuclear Device, Sparks GCC Worry , Oil Price, 

Aside from the security concerns, at the forefront in the GCC’s mind is what impact the radioactive device—wherever it may be today—could have on water supplies.

According to the newspaper, the device went missing after the car transporting it was stolen. Thankfully, the vehicle was recovered, but the radioactive nuclear device was not so lucky.

The GCC has contacted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) over the incident—both organizations are concerned that Iran’s nuclear program may pollute the waters in the Gulf, Asharq al-Awsat quoted GCC Emergency Management Center chairman, Adnan al-Tamimi, as saying.

Most members of the GCC – which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman – desalinate sea water from the Gulf. If contamination from the device were to reach desalination stations, an already critical situation becomes even more critical.

The missing device is set to lose half of its power after 74 days of inactivity, Tamimi said, noting that it still should be handled with care even after that period……..http://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Iran-Loses-Nuclear-Device-Sparks-GCC-Worry.html

November 28, 2016 Posted by | incidents, Iran | 1 Comment

New information about America’s fears surrounding Israel’s nuclear arsenal

Documents Reveal Just How Freaked Out America Was Over Israel Building Nuclear Weapons, National Interest, Robert Beckhusen, 27 Nov 16, Israel’s nuclear weapons program is one of the biggest military open secrets in the world. Now we know a little more about the angst inside the Pentagon in the late 1960s, as Israel was months away from activating its nuclear deterrent.

That’s all according to new documents obtained by the nonprofit National Security Archive at George Washington University. In 2006, the researchers revealed the Nixon administration’s wrangling over what to do about Israel’s nuclear weapons program. But the latest round of documents show new details about the debate—and the stark warnings from Pentagon officials about the dangers of Israeli nukes…..

secret-agent-SmIsrael remains highly secretive about its nuclear weapons—which are believed to number in the several hundreds. In the late 1960s, the secretive nature of the program led to lots of uncertainty in Washington about how far Israel had made it, and whether other Middle Eastern states knew about the program……http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/documents-reveal-just-how-freaked-out-america-was-over-18514

November 28, 2016 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Obama administration set to strengthen Iran Nuclear Deal

diplomacy-not-bombsObama Seeks to Fortify Iran Nuclear Deal New steps weighed include licenses for more American businesses and lifting additional U.S. sanctions, WSJ,  By CAROL E. LEE in Lima, Peru, and JAY SOLOMON in Washington Nov. 20, 2016

The Obama administration is considering new measures in its final months in office to strengthen the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, senior U.S. officials said, with President-elect Donald Trump’s first appointments foreshadowing an increasingly rocky road for the controversial deal.

Action under consideration to buttress the pact includes steps to provide licenses for more American businesses to enter the Iranian market and the lifting of additional U.S. sanctions.

The effort to shore up the agreement was under way before the election and is not aimed at boxing in Mr. Trump, who opposes the deal, the officials said. Officials also acknowledged the proposals are unlikely to make the nuclear agreement more difficult to undo.

Mr. Trump’s first two picks for his national security team—retired Army Gen. Mike Flynn as national security adviser and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) as Central Intelligence Agency director—are hard-liners on Iran who have voiced opposition to the nuclear deal…..

Administration officials said they haven’t yet begun conversations on the Iran deal with the officials Mr. Trump has deployed across the government to facilitate his transition into office. They also are unsure whether those Trump officials are the ones they need to persuade.

The picture they plan to articulate for Mr. Trump’s team is stark: If the agreement falls apart, and the U.S. is blamed for its collapse, Iran would resume its nuclear program more aggressively. In that case, the U.S. risks alienating Europe, as well as China and Russia, and limiting its ability to use sanctions again to contain Iran. Military action against Tehran’s nuclear facilities, these officials argue, could be the only alternative…….http://www.wsj.com/articles/obama-seeks-to-fortify-iran-nuclear-deal-1479692853

November 23, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Iran arrests 12 members of nuclear negotiating team for espionage

handcuffedflag-IranReport: 12 members of nuclear negotiating team arrested by Iran for espionage, Jerusalem Post, 18 Nov 16 At least a dozen senior officials who were part of the negotiating team that conducted talks with the west regarding the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program were arrested by Iranian authorities on espionage charges, Channel 2 citing an Iranian member of parliament reported Friday.

Iranian MP Husein Al Haj  said earlier this week that some of those arrested had dual citizenship but he did not disclose their identities or nationalities.

Government controlled media in Iran did not comment or acknowledge the arrests but Arab media outlets have been covering the story quite extensively.

Iranian authorities earlier in the year had carried out a similar arrest against another member of the negotiating unit, claiming the suspect was a “spy who had infiltrated the nuclear team.”

The suspect was later released on bail but was still under investigation at the time, former Iranian minister of intelligence Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei said at a news conference on August 28…..http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Iran-News/Iranians-officials-arrested-for-spying-473021

November 19, 2016 Posted by | Iran, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

America DID use depleted uranium weapons in Syria

depleted-uraniumUnited States confirms that it has fired depleted uranium in Syria International Coalition to Ban Nuclear Weapons  US admits that it fired DU on two occasions in November 2015, contrary to earlier claims; military justification for use unclear after target analysis; ICBUW and PAX call for full disclosure to facilitate harm reduction measures; Russia takes advantage of news to distract from its own conduct in the conflict. 21 October 2016 – ICBUW

The US has finally confirmed that it has fired DU ammunition Syria, after it had earlier stated that the weapons would not be used. US Central Command (CENTCOM) has acknowledged that DU was fired on two dates – the 18 and 23 November 2015. Between the strikes on the two dates, 5,100 rounds of 30mm DU ammunition were used by A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. This equates to 1,524kg of DU. CENTCOM said that the ammunition was selected because of the “nature of the targets”.

The news comes as governments are debating a UN General Assemblyresolution on DU weapons in New York. And, although DU use has only been admitted on two dates, ICBUW and PAX are concerned that this disclosure could be the sign that DU has, or will, be used more widely in the conflict.

In March 2015, and following the deployment of A-10s to the conflict, the US hadconfirmed to journalists that the aircraft would not be armed with DU, stating:“U.S. and Coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.” Justifying the decision, CENTCOM public affairs explained that:  “The ammunition is developed to destroy tanks on a conventional battlefield; Daesh does not possess large numbers of tanks.”

CENTCOM confirms DU use     IRIN news finally extracted the confirmation that DU had been used from CENTCOM on October 20, and after weeks of denials. The revelations first came to light after an aide to Congresswoman Martha McSally (Rep, AZ) – herself a former A-10 combat pilot – responded to a question from DU activist, and constituent, Jack Cohen-Joppa. However a number of CENTCOM sources initially denied that the information was accurate. Confirming that the data were indeed accurate, a spokesperson for CENTCOM said earlier denials were due to “an error in reporting down range.”

“Without the chance disclosure from McSally’s office, and the dogged pursuit of CENTCOM by IRIN, the US would not have volunteered this data,” said ICBUW Coordinator Doug Weir. “Sadly this is typical of the poor transparency we have seen from the US and we urge CENTCOM and the Coalition to clarify their policy on DU use in Syria and explain how its use fits with its public claims that the ammunition is solely for use against armoured targets.

Unclear why DU was used  The US regularly states that DU ammunition is specifically used only for engaging armoured targets, in accordance with its own legal guidelines, although evidence from a number of conflicts has shown that these guidelines are commonly ignored……..http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/united-states-confirms-fired-du-syria

October 24, 2016 Posted by | depleted uranium, Syria, USA | Leave a comment

Germany providing nuclear submarines in secret deal, to Israel

Israel in secret deal with Germany to buy 3 nuclear subsBig News Network.com, Saturday 22nd October, 2016, TEL AVIV, Israel – A deal negotiated in secret will see the Israel Navy take delivery of 3 nuclear-enabled submarines over the next decade.

Germany is to provide the Dolphin-class submarines as a result of secret negotiations which have spanned the last few months.

Israel will pay a substantially discounted price of $1.3 billion for the three submarines.

The deal is expected to be finalised in early November.

According to The Jerusalem Post, quoting foreign reports, the Israel Navy’s Dolphins ‘provide Israel with nuclear second-strike capabilities, as they can travel far from Israel’s territorial waters and are reportedly able to carry long-range cruise missiles tipped with nuclear warheads.’

Israel, which orchestrated the drive against Iran becoming a nuclear power, and has bombed emerging nuclear facilities in Iraq and Syria, has itself been developing nuclear weapons since the 1950s. The Dimona nuclear plant in the Negev desert had its origins in 1954, just six years after the birth of Israel. The late Shimon Peres as Director General of the Israeli Defense Ministry was responsible for the development of the facility. A pact with France was secretly negotiated and hundreds of French scientists were brought in to develop the facility, in absolute secrecy.

To offset the concerns of satellite surveilance, the Jewish state publicly touted the facility as a business park or textile factory. When U.S. President John Kennedy aroused suspicions in 1963, Israel maintained its denials. Kennedy applied so much pressure, David Ben-Gurion resigned as prime minister of Israel just months before Kennedy was assassinated. Some researchers implicate the Israeli inteligence agency Mossad among those considered responsible for the assassination.

Peres himself was asked point blank by Kennedy if Israel was building a nuclear facility. Summoned to the Oval Room in the White House on a 1963 visit to Washington, the young Peres was asked in his words, ’30 rapid-fire questions,’ before Kennedy asked: “Are you building a nuclear option?” Peres said he changed the subject.

To this day Israel has neither confirmed or denied publicly it has a nuclear facility. The only official statement on Dimona was made on December 21 1960 when Ben-Gurion, in response to an aricle in Time magazine which spawned a flurry of media coverage, announced to the Knesset his government was building “a 24 megawatt reactor which will serve the needs of industry, agriculture, health, and science,” and that it “is designed exclusively for peaceful purposes.”

The Israel Navy until last year had a fleet of four Dolphin-class submarines operating out of its naval base at Haifa. A fifth submarine ariived in late December last year after which it was expected to be fitted with Iraeli-built systems which took several months. It is believed it is operational now…….http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/248758981/israel-in-secret-deal-with-germany-to-buy-3-nuclear-subs

October 22, 2016 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

South Korea’s State nuclear company expects to win $billions from marketing nuclear operations to United Arab Emirates

Buy-S-Korea-nukesS.Korea signs on to venture to operate UAE’s 1st nuclear power plant http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL3N1C32ZG

SEOUL Oct 20 (Reuters) – State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp (KEPCO) agreed to invest $900 million in a company operating the first nuclear power plant in the United Arab Emirates, South Korea’s energy ministry said on Thursday.

KEPCO expects the deal to boost its revenue by nearly $50 billion over the next 60 years, according to a statement from the ministry.

KEPCO and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corp (ENEC) signed the deal to co-invest in the company managing and operating the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant for the next six decades, the ministry statement said.

In 2009, a KEPCO-led consortium won a contract to build the four 1,400 megawatt nuclear reactors that are being constructed at the Barakah plant to meet the UAE’s surging demand for electricity.

South Korea, the world’s fifth-biggest user of nuclear power, constructs and operates its reactors through KEPCO. (Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Tom Hogue)

 

October 22, 2016 Posted by | marketing, South Korea, United Arab Emirates | Leave a comment

Depleted uranium: USA ignored its own guidelines in weapons use in Iraq. Syria too?

A new resolution on DU weapons will be voted on by governments at the UN General Assembly this month.  
depleted-uraniumUS broke its own rules firing depleted uranium in Iraq http://www.bandepleteduranium.org/en/us-broke-own-rules-firing-depleted-uranium-in-iraq

An analysis of recently declassified military data shows that the United States military ignored its own guidelines for the use of depleted uranium ammunition in the 2003 Iraq War, firing the controversial weapons at unarmoured targets, buildings in populated areas and troops. It has also tripled the number of sites known to be contaminated in Iraq to more than 1,000; even as fears grow that the US has used depleted uranium in Syria.
5 October 2016 – ICBUW

The targeting data, which details the use of 30mm DU ammunition by USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft – or “Warthogs”, was released under FOIA and accounts for 54,000kg of the 118,000kg of DU ammunition that the US and UK have acknowledged firing in the conflict. Analysis by PAX and ICBUW of the 1,116 strikes, which took place during the first month of the 2003 invasion, and published in a new report Targets of Opportunity shows that DU use was widespread across Iraq.

For the first time, the data also reveal that the majority of targets attacked with the radioactive and chemically toxic weapons were not armoured. This runs counter to claims by the US that the A10’s ammunition is specifically for destroying tanks and other armoured vehicles. A significant number of the 182,000 30mm PGU-14/B rounds fired by the aircraft – each of which contains 298g of DU – were also fired in or near populated areas, increasing the likelihood that civilians would be exposed.

The need to destroy armour is central to the US’s ongoing military justification for the use of the weapons, which place civilians at risk of exposure and leave a complex and costly legacy for years after the end of conflicts. The US’s own legal guidelines, which were placed on the use of the armour-piercing incendiary weapons in 1975, restricts their use to armoured vehicles, a restriction that appears to have been ignored in the 2003 conflict.

Little transparency, even less assistance

While the UK released information to the UN on where it fired 1,900kg of DU, the US is still withholding data on where it fired 62,000kg of the weapons. This is hampering clearance work. PAX has reported that Iraq continues to struggle with the identification and remediation of DU contaminated sites, and the country has called for assistance in doing so from the international community.

“With the current burden of fighting the Islamic State, the Iraqi government’s capacity is already stretched. But people are worried about DU contamination, especially in southern Iraq,” says one of the report’s authors, PAX’s Wim Zwijnenburg. “The US did too little, too late, and now Iraq’s people are facing layer upon layer of toxic health risks as a result of the conflicts.”

“At present countries that use DU weapons, or are affected by them, are under no formal obligations to clear contamination after conflicts in order to minimise the risks it poses to civilians,” said co-author Doug Weir from ICBUW. “This is in stark contrast to land mines, cluster munitions and other explosive remnants of war. Governments must take steps to meaningfully address the legacy from DU and other toxic remnants of war that can harm civilians and their environment for years after the end of conflicts.” 

New information suggests that A-10s have used DU in Syria n early 2015, the US stated – contrary to previous claims – that its A-10 aircraft had not and would not use DU in Iraq or Syria in operations against Islamic State. However information obtained by ICBUW suggests that US A-10s have used DU on at least two occasions in Syria.

ICBUW and PAX are calling for urgent clarification from the US authorities on both the incidents and its DU policy for the conflict, and for them to swiftly release the targeting data to ensure that the relevant authorities can conduct clearance and risk awareness efforts and to isolate and recover contaminated material.

A new resolution on DU weapons will be voted on by governments at the UN General Assembly this month.         : https://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2016/10/06/exclusive-iraq-war-records-reignite-debate-over-us-use-depleted-uranium

October 19, 2016 Posted by | depleted uranium, Iraq, Reference, USA | Leave a comment

Establishment of a no-fly zone (NFZ) in Syria? A step towards allout war?

Going Beyond Propaganda. Nuclear Conflict, Deception or Real Threat? Pentagon: A “Preemptive” Nuclear Strike against Russia is still Valid  By Federico Pieraccini  Global Research, October 16, 2016 The events in the Middle East, Syria and Aleppo are the focus of global attention. Rarely has a battle been so decisive to the outcome of a war and the fate of hundreds of millions of people around the world

October 17, 2016 Posted by | Russia, Syria, USA, weapons and war | Leave a comment

U.N. atomic agency chief says Iran sticking to nuclear deal

 Reuters 2 Oct 16  Iran has kept to a nuclear deal it agreed with six world powers last year limiting its stockpiles of substances that could be used to make atomic weapons, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) told French daily Le Monde.

Confirming the findings of a confidential report by the U.N. agency seen by Reuters last month, IAEA Director-General Yukiya Amano said Tehran had observed the deal which was opposed by hardliners inside Iran and by skeptics in the West.

“The deal is being implemented since January without any particular problem,” he told Le Monde in an interview published on Saturday……. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-idUSKCN1213DX

October 3, 2016 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment