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The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Israel is ‘reviewing’ travel restrictions on nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu

Israel ‘reviewing’ nuclear spy Vanunu’s travel restrictions, Foreign Ministry to determine appropriate restrictions for Dimona secret-spiller who wants to join his wife in Norway, October 1, 2017 The Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it’s reviewing the travel ban imposed on Israeli nuclear secret-spiller Mordechai Vanunu after Norway granted him permission to immigrate so he can be united with his wife.

“Israel will continue to review updates of the situation in order to determine appropriate restrictions in accordance with security dangers posed by Vanunu,” a statement said.

Vanunu’s wife, Kristin Joachimsen, told Norway’s TV2 channel Friday the couple requested family reunification after they wed in May 2015. Norway’s Directorate of Immigration confirmed permission had been granted.

Vanunu served 18 years in prison for leaking details and pictures of an alleged Israeli nuclear weapons program to a British newspaper. He sought asylum in Norway after his 2004 release……..

Israel is the Middle East’s sole if undeclared nuclear power, refusing to confirm or deny that it has such weapons.

Israel has refused to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty or to allow international surveillance of its Dimona plant in the Negev desert in southern Israel. https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-reviewing-nuclear-spy-vanunus-travel-restrictions/

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October 2, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, Israel | Leave a comment

Iran nuclear deal is best option, says Israeli general

 The Times, Israel’s former nuclear chief has expressed support for the nuclear deal with Iran and criticised the attempts of President Trump and Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, to try to tear up the agreement.

Uzi Eilam, 83, a retired brigadier-general who for a decade was director-general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, said that while he had no doubt that Iran wanted to develop nuclear weapons the agreement signed in July 2015 was “the best of options”.

Mr Eilam, who was also chief scientist of the defence ministry, has been an outspoken critic of the Netanyahu government’s policy on Iran and its campaign against the nuclear deal championed by President Obama.

“The most critical element is fissile material. When you don’t have fissile material you don’t…(subscribers only) https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/world/iran-nuclear-deal-is-best-option-says-israeli-general-mdws8gnc6

September 30, 2017 Posted by | Iran, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Trump, Netanyahu – hatred of Obama fuels their opposition to Iran nuclear agreement

Obama-complex Fuels Trump and Netanyahu’s Fight Against Iran Nuclear Deal, Haaretz, Chemi Shalev Sep 17, 2017 
Both were slighted by the former U.S. president and both are seeking payback by expunging his signature foreign policy achievement.
Donald Trump is obsessed with Barack Obama. The U.S. president never misses an opportunity to insult and taunt his predecessor. Trump does his best to diminish Obama’s achievements as he endeavors to erase them from the history books as well. His task is naturally easier in foreign affairs and national security, where his independent authority is wider. He withdrew from the Trans Pacific Partnership, backed away from the Paris Accord on global warming and scaled back Obama’s rapprochement with Cuba.
But just as repealing Obamacare was and remains the principle objective in expunging Obama’s legacy on the domestic front, so is Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran seen as the red flag that won’t let Trump rest until he tears it to shreds.
The hostility between the 45th president and the 44th, unprecedented in recent presidential history, is the product of Trump’s feelings of inferiority, his narcissistic personality and his cynical political exploitation of American racism, which he may or not share…….
he can’t stand the fact that as a direct consequence of his problematic presidency, most of the world misses Obama today more than it appreciated him when he was in office.
Benjamin Netanyahu shares Trump’s Obama-complex but seeks to exploit it as well. Obama handed Netanyahu a stinging defeat, perhaps the worst of his career, when he moved the Iran nuclear deal through Congress, notwithstanding Netanyahu’s objections and despite his controversial speech before a joint session in March 2015. Obama didn’t hide his disappointment from Netanyahu, though there is a marked difference in his assessment of Trump and of the Israeli prime minister; the latter, as Obama has often conceded, is intelligent. What Netanyahu and Trump have in common, among other things, is their inability to accept criticism, their tendency to turn critics into enemies and their fervent wish to wipe the smile off what they see as Obama’s condescending face.
This is the backdrop to the meeting in New York on Monday between Trump and Netanyahu, the two senior members of the Obama Victims Club, who are both seeking payback by trying to erase his signature foreign policy achievement. In principle, the two are unlikely to disagree.

September 18, 2017 Posted by | Israel, politics international, USA | Leave a comment

Israel STILL punishing Mordechai Vanunu

The Ferret 18th July 2017, On 10 July 2017, Mordechai Vanunu was given a two-month suspended jail
sentence by Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. Vanunu is a former nuclear
technician at the Negev Nuclear Research Centre in Dimona, Israel, who
served an 18-year prison sentence for revealing information about
Israel’s atomic program in 1986.

He was sentenced earlier this month for
violating the conditions of his release from prison, having met with
foreigners in recent years. After his release from jail in 2004, Israel
banned Vanunu from travelling abroad or speaking with foreigners without
approval, alleging he has more details to divulge on the Dimona atomic
reactor.

Billy Briggs has been to Jerusalem twice to interview Vanunu. In
2005, Vanunu was arrested three days after they met and charged with
speaking to foreigners and violating the conditions of his parole. https://theferret.scot/mordechai-vanunu-nuclear-israel/

July 26, 2017 Posted by | Israel, politics | 1 Comment

French President Emmanuel Macron assures Israel of ‘vigilance’ on Iran nuclear pact

Macron assures Israel of ‘vigilance’ on Iran nuclear pact,  https://www.thelocal.fr/20170716/macron-assures-israel-of-vigilance-on-iran-nuclear-pact  French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday assured visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of his “vigilance” regarding the 2015 nuclear accord reached by Western powers with Iran.

Netanyahu “expressed his concerns regarding the Iranian regime,” Macron told reporters with Netanyahu at his side.
“I assured him of our vigilance, in particular over the strict implementation of the accord… in all its provisions.”
Netanyahu was a vocal opponent of the deal, which saw sanctions against Iran eased in return for curbs on its nuclear programme. The French presidency said Sunday’s meeting, the first official talks between Macron and Netanyahu, would be an occasion to “signal our lack of complacency towards Iran”.
Israel was rattled last month when Tehran launched fired six missiles from western Iran targeting bases of the Islamic State group in retaliation for attacks in Tehran that killed 17 people in the first Isis-claimed operations in the country.
Netanyahu has repeatedly said Iran is a threat to the Jewish state, the Middle East and potentially the world.

July 17, 2017 Posted by | France, Israel, politics international | Leave a comment

Corruption in Israel-Germany submarine deal – suspects held


Suspects remanded in Israel-Germany submarine deal probe, 
JERUSALEM (Reuters) by Maayan Lubell, JULY 10, 2017- Three suspects were remanded in custody and a fourth ordered held under house arrest on Monday after Israeli police questioned six people on suspicion of corruption in a $2 billion deal to buy submarines and patrol craft from Germany.

The 2016 deal has been under public scrutiny since it emerged that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s personal lawyer also represented the local agent of the German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems set to build the vessels.

The six, who were questioned under caution on suspicion of bribery, fraud and tax offences, include public officials and private citizens, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said. No further details were immediately available.

German authorities also are looking into the deal.

In June, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Germany’s national security council had approved the sale of the three nuclear-capable submarines to Israel and that authorities inserted a clause into the contract giving it the right to void it if corruption allegations were proven…… https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-corruption-germany-idUSKBN19V15U?il=0

July 14, 2017 Posted by | Germany, Israel, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Israel’s secret plan to detonate nuclear weapon in 1967

‘Last Secret’ of 1967 War: Israel’s Doomsday Plan for Nuclear Display, NYT,  JUNE 3, 2017 On the eve of the Arab-Israeli war, 50 years ago this week, Israeli officials raced to assemble an atomic device and developed a plan to detonate it atop a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula as a warning to Egyptian and other Arab forces, according to an interview with a key organizer of the effort that will be published Monday.

June 5, 2017 Posted by | Israel, secrets,lies and civil liberties, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Court case: $234B In Aid To Israel Violates US Law Against Supporting Secret Nuclear States

Lawsuit Warns $234B In Aid To Israel Violates US Law Against Supporting Secret Nuclear States, Mint Press, By Kit O’Connell Follow on Facebook |  @KitOConnell | August 16, 2016

The lawsuit warns that the U.S. gave Israel about $234 billion in foreign aid since the passage of the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976, despite a ban on support for secret nuclear weapons programs.​
By Kit O’Connell AUSTIN, Texas — A lawsuit warns that U.S. aid to Israel violates a law meant to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation, even as the United States prepares to increase the already massive Israeli aid program.

Filed Aug. 8 by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy, or IRMEP, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the suit alleges that U.S. aid to Israel violates two amendments to the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act, known as the the Symington and Glenn Amendments, which collectively ban support for countries engaged in clandestine nuclear programs.

In the lawsuit, Smith alleges that violating these amendments means that Israel has received approximately $234 billion in illegal aid since the passage of the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act of 1976.

The lawsuit reads:

“This lawsuit is not about foreign policy. It is about the rule of law, presidential power, the structural limits of the U.S. Constitution, and the right of the public to understand the functions of government and informed petition of the government for redress.”…….

Israel’s dangerous ‘nuclear ambiguity’

The IRMEP lawsuit argues that Israel’s policy of official secrecy on its nuclear weapons program perfectly fits the definition of the 1976 Export Control Act, and that the U.S. government broke the law through its “failure to act upon facts long in their possession while prohibiting the release of official government information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program, particularly ongoing illicit transfers of nuclear weapons material and technology from the U.S. to Israel.”

Smith wrote that the U.S. offers material support to Israel’s nuclear program while helping suppress information about the program. He continued:

“These violations manifest in gagging and prosecuting federal officials and contractors who publicly acknowledge Israel’s nuclear weapons program, imposing punitive economic costs on public interest researchers who attempt to educate the public about the functions of government, refusing to make bona fide responses to journalists and consistently failing to act on credible information available in the government and public domain.”

This policy of secrecy goes by many names, he noted. “These acts serve a policy that has many names all referring to the same subterfuge, ‘nuclear opacity,’ ‘nuclear ambiguity,’ and ‘strategic ambiguity.’”

Although long denied by both American and Israeli politicians, Israel’s nuclear program was first revealed by whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu, who spent 16 years in prison for sharing secret details of the program with Britain’s Sunday Times in 1986, and has been repeatedly arrested for continuing to publicly speak out.

Although the program is still not officially acknowledged, a November report by the Institute for Science and International Security suggested the Israeli government has amassed enough material to create at least 115 nuclear warheads. That would put Israel, a country roughly the size of New Jersey, on nearly equal nuclear footing with India and Pakistan…….http://www.mintpressnews.com/lawsuit-warns-234b-aid-israel-violates-us-law-supporting-secret-nuclear-states/219502/

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Israel, Legal, USA | Leave a comment

The secretive Israeli nuclear weapons program

The World’s Most Mysterious Nuclear Weapons Program (And Its Not North Korea) National Interest, Kyle Mizokami, 15 Apr 17, In a private email leaked to the public in September of 2016, former secretary of state and retired U.S. Army general Colin Powell alluded to Israel having an arsenal of “200 nuclear weapons.” While this number appears to be an exaggeration, there is no doubt that Israel does have a small but powerful nuclear stockpile, spread out among its armed forces.

Israel set off to join the nuclear club in the 1950s. …..
By the late 1960s the United States assessed Israeli nukes as “probable,” and U.S. efforts to slow the nuclear program and get Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty went nowhere. Finally in September 1969, Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir reportedly reached a secret agreement that the United States would cease its demand for inspections and Israeli compliance with antiproliferation efforts, and in return Israel would not declare or test its nuclear weapons……..
Not much is known about early Israeli weapons, particularly their yield and the size of the stockpile. The strategic situation, in which Israel was outnumbered in conventional weapons but had no nuclear adversaries, meant Israel likely had smaller tactical nuclear weapons to destroy masses of attacking Arab tanks, military bases and military airfields. …….
Israel does not confirm nor deny having nuclear weapons. Experts generally assess the country as currently having approximately eighty nuclear weapons, fewer than countries such as France, China and the United Kingdom, but still a sizeable number considering its adversaries have none. These weapons are spread out among Israel’s version of a nuclear “triad” of land-, air- and sea-based forces scattered in a way that they deter surprise nuclear attack……
Like other nuclear-armed nations, the Israeli Navy has reportedly deployed nukes to what is generally agreed to as the most survivable seagoing platform: submarines. Israel has five German-built Dolphin-class submarines, which experts believe are equipped with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles. ……http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/the-worlds-most-mysterious-nuclear-weapons-program-its-not-20198?page=2

April 17, 2017 Posted by | Israel, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Did Israel hire assassins to murder Iranian nuclear scientists?

Iran accuses Israel of hiring assassins to take out nuclear scientists http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4933589,00.html
Iranian rep. at International Atomic Energy Agency describes Israel as a threat to entire Middle East, claims it targeted Iranian experts and criticizes Israel for not joining Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

March 13, 2017 Posted by | Iran, Israel, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Israeli court convicts Mordechai Vanunu – again!

Vanunu,MordechaiIsraeli Nuclear Whistleblower Vanunu Convicted of Violating Restraining Orders http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.767211, 24 Jan 17 
Jerusalem court convicts the man who spent 18 years behind bars of holding unauthorized meetings with two American citizens three years ago and failing to report his move to another apartment inside the same building.
Jerusalem Magistrates Court has convicted Mordechai Vanunu of violating restraining orders imposed since his release a decade ago after spending 18 years in prison for leaking Israeli nuclear secrets to the media.
In its verdict on Monday the court also acquitted Vanunu of violating two other orders.
Vanunu had been jailed for leaking information to the media from his place of employment at the Dimona nuclear reactor in the 1980s.
The restraining orders barred Vanunu from meeting with foreign citizens, required him to report about any change of address and barred him from reporting any information he had received as a reactor employee.
The indictment accused him of three violations: Holding unauthorized meetings with two American citizens in Jerusalem three years ago, and changing his address without notification, for moving to a different apartment in the same building and reporting about it as part of an interview with Channel 2 television.
Regarding the change of address Judge Yaron Mintikovich called it a “minor change of moving from one apartment to another inside the same building.”
The judge called it a technical violation rather than criminal. He was acquitted of a third offense because the state had failed to prove that he had found out about information he provided to Channel 2 while working at the reactor, rather than afterwards.
No sentence was immediately given.

January 25, 2017 Posted by | civil liberties, Israel | 3 Comments

Leonardo Di Caprio gives credit to Israel for its revolutionary solar energy project

Di Caprio, Leonardoflag-IsraelLeonardo DiCaprio highlights Israeli solar tech http://www.israel21c.org/leonardo-dicaprio-highlights-israeli-solar-tech/ Actor and environmentalist puts international spotlight on Megalim Solar Power project.  JANUARY 22, 2017,Hollywood actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio uses his instagram account to spotlight environmental challenges facing the world and environmental breakthroughs.

As such, his 13.8 million followers were sent a photo of Megalim Solar Power’s Ashalim power station now being built in the Negev desert.

“The arid landscape of Israel’s Negev Desert will look like a futuristic movie in the near future. The country is building the tallest solar thermal tower in the world above its dusty sands,” writes DiCaprio on his post alongside the photo.

The Ashalim project will comprise 55,000 mirrors which will feed solar heat into a 240-meter-tall solar tower — believed to be the highest in the world.

“The tower should be able to produce enough power for about 5% of Israel’s population when it’s concluded,” writes DiCaprio. “The sunlight will be reflected by the mirrors to a boiler at the top of the tower. The boiler will then be able to convert them and heat water to steam to turn the turbine in a conventional power plant.”

The Ashalim power station, scheduled to be up and running by the end of the year, will combine three types of energy: solar thermal, photovoltaic and natural gas.

January 23, 2017 Posted by | Israel, renewable | Leave a comment

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

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

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