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As world leaders promote nuclear power as SAFE, a dangerous situation develops at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant _- Zaporizhzia in Ukraine !

Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory agency faces an unprecedented struggle to maintain nuclear safety, most notably including “terrorism against firefighters and nuclear power plant personnel” at the Russian-occupied Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, according to Oleg Korikov, the organization’s beleaguered interim head.

Korikov warned fellow Europeanregulators in Europe that Ukraine’s Nuclear Regulatory Inspectorate (SNRIU) is unprepared for further deterioration at Zaporozhye, a six-reactor
facility that is Europe’s largest nuclear plant, and is essentially in uncharted waters. “We do not have rules, regulations [for] how we can regulate, how we can operate, in these conditions,” said Korikov.

Staff at
Zaporozhye “is under heavy psychological pressure of Russian soldiers,” theSNRIU’s acting chairman and chief state inspector told a Jun. 20 meeting of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group. There is “kidnapping and attacks on nuclear power plant staff” in Enerhodar, the Russian-occupied city closest to the plant. “We have evidence of this.” This appeared to
= confirm what has emerged as one of the most troubling aspects of the situation at Zaporozhye and Enerhodar since both were occupied by Russian troops on Mar. 4: the kidnapping, intimidation, interrogation and torture of Zaporozhye workers.

 Energy Intelligence 24th June 2022 https://www.energyintel.com/00000181-910f-d7da-adc1-976f35b80000

June 27, 2022 Posted by | safety, Ukraine | Leave a comment

What happened at Santa Susana? — Beyond Nuclear International

A meltdown contaminated a community. A fire made it worse

What happened at Santa Susana? — Beyond Nuclear International A 1959 meltdown and a 2018 fire compounded a tragedy
By Carmi Orenstein
When the United Nations Human Rights Council officially recognized access to “a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment” as a basic human right earlier last October, it was an acknowledgement fifty years in the making. It was backed by an international grassroots effort, with the journey to the final vote including the voices of more than 100,000 children around the world and multiple generations of allies pushing against powerful corporate opposition. 
Just about the time that this half-century-long campaign to enshrine the right to a safe environment kicked off, a story about the horrific violation of this same human right and its cover-up emerged in a community near my own childhood home in Southern California.

 In 1979, a UCLA student named Michael Rose uncovered evidence of a partial nuclear meltdown at the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL) in the Simi Hills outside of Los Angeles. The SSFL, formerly known as Rocketdyne, played key government roles throughout the Cold War, developing and testing rocket engines and conducting experiments with nuclear reactors. Today, as the result of a recently published peer-reviewed study that represents the dogged efforts of both professional researchers and a team of specially trained citizens, we have solid evidence of the spread of dangerous contamination from that site.

Santa Susan Field Laboratory 1958

Working with nuclear safety expert and then-UCLA professor Daniel Hirsch, Rose discovered documentation that the partial nuclear meltdown had occurred at SSFL twenty years earlier in 1959, releasing up to 459 times more radiation into the environment than the infamous meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania. Unlike the Three Mile Island facility, the SSFL reactors lacked containment structures—those tell-tale concrete domes that surround commercial nuclear power plants to prevent radiation spread in case of a nuclear accident. 

In addition to the 1959 meltdown, at least three of the site’s other nuclear reactors experienced accidents (in 1957, 1964 and 1969), and radioactive and chemical wastes burned in open-air pits as a matter of practice. A “hot lab,” which may have been the nation’s largest, was also located at SSFL, and, in 1957, it burned and was known to have spread radioactivity throughout the site. A progress report from the period states, “Because such massive contamination was not anticipated, the planned logistics of cleanup were not adequate for the situation.”

The rest of this story is an object lesson in what happens when the right to a safe environment is not universally acknowledged and when secretive, long-forgotten toxic legacies of the Cold War meet the unpredictable chaos of the current climate crisis. Real people are harmed in ways that are not easily remediable—including, perhaps, members of my family.

The radioactive contamination of the surrounding environment caused by the partial nuclear meltdown at the 2,849-acre SSFL site was not cleaned up by the time of Rose’s revelation. Nor was the extensive toxic chemical contamination on site. It is still not cleaned up. Thus, when the climate chaos-fueled Woolsey Fire erupted at, and burned through, the SSFL in 2018, the flames served to spread the contamination even further. The fire quickly burned 80 percent of the SSFL property, and onward, all the way to the ocean. Pushed by high winds and uncontained for nearly two weeks, the Woolsey Fire killed three people outright and destroyed over 1,600 structures.

Today, public knowledge of the original disaster and its continued radioactive and toxic legacy is still patchy. The silence that surrounded the catastrophe in 1959 gave way to intermittent waves of focused media attention, celebrity involvement, and inquiry and outcry on the part of elected officials in the years since the 1979 expose. These have been followed by whistleblower accounts from former workers, and various forms of citizen activism. While occasional news of confidential legal settlements addressing illness and contamination breaks through, the Santa Susana disaster is hardly a household name—including among those of us who grew up in its shadow. 

The suburbs on either side of the SSFL, in Ventura County and a western edge of Los Angeles County, are still expanding. More than 500,000 people currently live within about ten miles of the site. Parents vs. SSFL is the dynamic, parent-led group currently at the helm of public monitoring of, and demand for, a comprehensive cleanup. On their social media sites, one often sees public comments from nearby residents along the lines of why were we not told?

To be sure, the history of site ownership and responsibility is complex and makes redress of grievance vexing. Although Rocketdyne owned the facility at the time of the meltdown, most of the site is now owned by Boeing. However, some of the property is owned by NASA, who in turn leases parts of its property as SSFL to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the lead regulatory agency for remediation, entered into a Consent Order with these “responsible parties,” in 2007. In 2010, stricter agreements were signed with DOE and NASA to clean up the properties for which they are responsible to “background levels.” 

In 2017 a legally binding agreement deadline for completion of cleanup was blown by, with no meaningful cleanup begun. In 2018 the Woolsey Fire came roaring through. That fire is now documented to have redistributed radioactive materials and toxic chemicals in surrounding areas. Non-binding, confidential negotiations with Boeing were just announced early this year. It is a confounding and maddening journey to anyone attempting to follow.

As Melissa Bumstead, co-founder of Parents vs SSFL, said in a Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles press release about the new study: “The bottom line is, if SSFL had been cleaned up by 2017 as required by the cleanup agreements, the community wouldn’t have had to worry about contamination released by the Woolsey Fire.” …………………………………….

UCLA professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Suzanne E. Paulson also weighed in. Speaking to a reporter the next year, Paulson explained

Assuming that radioactive material was in the soil [and] vegetation burned, it is reasonable that it traveled 30 miles downwind, and some of it got deposited in downwind areas… When soil and vegetation burn, the material in them, including metals [and] soil minerals, end up in the aerosol particles that make smoke look dark and hazy. They are small enough that they can remain in the atmosphere for up to a week and as a result can be widely dispersed.

At the end of 2018, just weeks after the Woolsey Fire was finally extinguished, work commenced on the independent study that was ultimately published online in early October and would appear in the December 2021 issue of the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity. This paper represents the work of community-volunteer citizen scientists who were trained to collect dust and ash samples in a 9-mile radius throughout the rural, urban, suburban, and undeveloped mountainous area around the SSFL. Their data collection was followed by the slow and careful work of scientific analysis. In a society whose governmental structures and policies decidedly are not guided by the Precautionary Principle today, and where there are no efficient mechanisms by which to correct past regulatory errors—no matter how grave—these volunteers and their three research leaders have provided powerful, incriminating evidence with which the community and its allies will push forward for the cleanup. 

…………………………. “Woolsey Fire ash did, in fact, spread SSFL-related radioactive microparticles.” The authors also wrote, “Excessive alpha radiation in small particles is of particular interest because of the relatively high risk of inhalation-related long-term biological damage from internal alpha emitters compared to external radiation.”……………………………………………..

How did the entities with knowledge and power continue to delay and obstruct while the population boomed and crept up the hillsides near the SSFL, knowing full well that powerful human health hazards were there to meet the communities, new and old? The statement by DTSC proclaiming that no contaminants were carried, while the Woolsey Fire was still burning, smacks of the most brazen regulatory capture. …………………………….. Carmi Orenstein is Program Director at Concerned Heath Professionals of New York.    https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/72759838/posts/4098311628

June 27, 2022 Posted by | climate change, incidents, Reference, USA, wastes | Leave a comment

Dispute among Members of European Parliament over move to classify nuclear energy as ”green”

THERE ARE DISAGREEMENTS between Government party MEPs on whether or not
the EU should classify nuclear energy as green, as the European Parliament
prepares to vote on the issue next month.

The debate is being held after
the European Commission sought changes to regulations to classify both
nuclear power and gas as green energy until at least 2030. These
regulations, known as ‘taxonomy’, are a set of multiple standards to
help grow sustainable investment.

The idea behind taxonomy is to encourage
the financial sector to prioritise investing in eco-friendly and green
initiatives.

While MEPs within the European Parliament’s environment and
economy committee voted down the proposals to add gas and nuclear power
last week, a full vote is set to take place in Strasbourg in July. This has
lead to significant debate between MEPs within the European Parliament,
with some criticising the move by the Commission to add natural gas and
nuclear power to the deal. The debate has also split Government MEPs, with
some in Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael backing the change to taxonomy rules
while the Green Party remain opposed to the Commission’s position. 

The Journal 25th June 2022 https://www.thejournal.ie/government-split-on-nuclear-power-5798800-Jun2022/

June 27, 2022 Posted by | climate change, EUROPE, politics | Leave a comment

Rolls Royce wants fast-track approval of its small nuclear reactors, even though they are barely developed yet

 Rolls-Royce is urging the UK Government to fast-track approval of its
small modular nuclear reactors, despite the technology still being in the
early stages of development.

Trawsfynydd has been identified as a possible
site for the reactors, and earlier this week the company established to
develop a new reactor there set out plans to start work on a new nuclear
development in 2027 – with the plant expected to go online in the early
2030s.

UK Government sources have insisted the new reactors must go through
exhaustive safety checks, but Rolls-Royce wants clearance to deploy its
reactors from 2029 and is frustrated at the pace of the process to gain
approval, which is not expected to be completed until 2026. 

Nation Cymru 25th June 2022 https://nation.cymru/news/uk-government-urged-to-fast-track-safety-approval-on-reactors-linked-with-trawsfynydd/

June 27, 2022 Posted by | politics, UK | Leave a comment

European Pressurised Water Reactors (EPRs) – a nuclear economic fiasco in Finland, France, UK and China

–It is over 30 years since the genesis of the EPR project in 1989. This reactor was presented from the start not as a technological revolution or breakthrough but as an evolution in the continuity of the second-generation pressurized water reactor sector, of which there are 56 in operation in
France.

It was also, according to its promoters, to constitute the
reference nuclear reactor of the 21st century, and be quickly and massively
exported all over the world. Three decades later, the reality is a far cry
from the announcements and ambitions of the industry.

While France envisages the construction of several of these EPR reactors for the 2050
horizon, this report aims to bring together in a single document the main
events that led to very substantial delays and additional costs on each of
the six EPRs in operation or still under construction in the world.
International overview of the industrial and economic fiasco of the EPR: at
Olkiluoto in Finland, Flamanville in France, Hinkley Point in the UK and
Taishan in China.

 Greenpeace France (accessed) 24th June 2022

June 27, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, business and costs | 1 Comment

Nuclear Free Local Authorities support Cumbria’s new group opposing Nuclear Waste Dump

The Nuclear Free Local Authorities have written to a new group in Cumbria
endorsing their opposition to plans to develop a nuclear waste dump. Millom
and District Against the Nuclear Dump was only established a few days ago
by a town resident and Councillor, yet the strength of feeling is such that
several hundred local people are now already backing the campaign.

Public feeling is currently running high after recent revelations by the local
campaign group, Radiation Free Lakeland, that seismic testing is due to
take place offshore over the summer. Environmentalists, marine welfare
organisations, residents, and the NFLA have all expressed their opposition
to the testing regime as there is strong scientific evidence that blasting
sound waves into the ocean repeatedly over 3-4 weeks will cause real harm
to marine wildlife.

Millom and District Against the Nuclear Dump is the latest group to manifest its opposition to testing, and in conjunction with Radiation Free Lakeland’s campaign, ‘Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole and
Nuclear Waste Out’, there are now joint plans to hold a public protest in
Haverigg this coming Saturday.

Now the Chair of the NFLA Steering
Committee, Councillor David Blackburn has written to the group’s founder,
Jan Bridget, offering the support of Nuclear Free Local Authorities to the
new group. Councillor Blackburn outlined the NFLA’s position on GDF:
“The NFLA has been opposed to a Geological Disposal Facility from the
start. Rather than dumping Britain’s nuclear waste in a big hole in the
ground or under the seabed, we favour near-site, near-surface storage under
rigorous supervision.

 NFLA 24th June 2022

June 27, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Russia to send Belarus nuclear-capable missiles within months, as G7 leaders gather in Germany,

Vladimir Putin again raises nuclear threat during Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, as Olaf Scholz hosts G7 leaders to discuss energy and food crisis,  Guardian. 26 June 22

Russia will deliver missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads to Belarus in the coming months, President Vladimir Putin has said as he received Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

“In the coming months, we will transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions,” Putin said in a broadcast on Russian television at the start of his meeting with Lukashenko in St Petersburg on Saturday.

Putin has several times referred to nuclear weapons since his country launched a military operation in Ukraine on 24 February, in what the west has seen as a warning not to intervene. Lukashenko said last month that his country had bought Iskander nuclear-capable missiles and S-400 anti-aircraft anti-missile systems from Russia.

The development came on the eve of a meeting of G7 leaders in Germany on Sunday, to be hosted by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in the Bavarian alps, which is set to be dominated by Ukraine and its far-reaching consequences, from energy shortages to a food crisis.

The G7 leaders are expected to seek to show a united front on supporting Ukraine for as long as necessary and cranking up pressure on the Kremlin – although they will want to avoid sanctions that could stoke inflation and exacerbate the global cost-of-living crisis………………………………..  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/26/russia-to-send-belarus-nuclear-capable-missiles-within-months-as-g7-leaders-gather-in-germany

June 27, 2022 Posted by | Russia, weapons and war | Leave a comment

No Western ”boots on the ground” in Ukraine? Just commandoes and CIA agents

Western ‘network of commandos and spies’ helping Ukraine – NYTCIA agents have been stationed in Kiev to share US intel with Ukrainian troops, the report claims  https://www.rt.com/news/557848-us-cia-agents-kiev/ NATO members have been supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons, including missile launchers, combat drones and armored vehicles, and training Ukrainian troops to use them. In recent months, the Pentagon has delivered M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and M777 howitzers.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week that Ukraine was facing “a pivotal moment on the battlefield” and urged Washington’s allies to continue aiding Kiev.

The report about the activities of Western commandos and CIA agents in and around Ukraine comes as a three-day Group of Seven (G7) summit kicks off in Germany on Sunday. The group, which comprises of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, which have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia.

Moscow has said in the past that it will treat foreign weapons, on Ukrainian soil, as legitimate targets.
A secret network of commandos and spies from the US, and some of its allies, is working to provide weapons, intelligence and training to Ukraine, the New York Times (NYT) reported on Saturday, citing current and former American and European officials.

While much of the activity takes place at bases in Britain, Germany and France, some CIA agents have been stationed in the east European country, mostly in the capital Kiev, the paper said.

The agents are tasked with sharing satellite images and other intelligence with Ukrainian troops, according to the story.

The US announced the evacuation of military instructors from Ukraine in February. Shortly afterwards, Russia launched its military campaign and the US Army’s 10th Special Forces Group set up a planning cell in Germany to coordinate military aid to Kiev, the paper explained. The group has reportedly grown to include participants from 20 nations.

The NYT added that “a few dozen commandos” from other NATO member states, including Canada, Britain, France and Lithuania, have also been working in Ukraine.

NATO members have been supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons, including missile launchers, combat drones and armored vehicles, and training Ukrainian troops to use them. In recent months, the Pentagon has delivered M142 HIMARS multiple rocket launchers and M777 howitzers.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last week that Ukraine was facing “a pivotal moment on the battlefield” and urged Washington’s allies to continue aiding Kiev.

The report about the activities of Western commandos and CIA agents in and around Ukraine comes as a three-day Group of Seven (G7) summit kicks off in Germany on Sunday. The group, which comprises of the US, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, which have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia.

Moscow has said in the past that it will treat foreign weapons, on Ukrainian soil, as legitimate targets.22

June 27, 2022 Posted by | politics international, Ukraine, weapons and war | Leave a comment

The United States-the Pacific bully

 https://johnmenadue.com/the-united-states-the-pacific-bully/ By Brian Toohey, Jun 24, 2022,

The US dominates the Pacific Islands to an extent China can never hope to achieve. With Australia’s support, the US is now engaged in an arms build-up in its Pacific territories and de-facto colonies in a little known boost to its containment of China.

The US has three self-governing territories in the Pacific: Guam, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands. Guam hosts some of the US’s most important bases the world. After a large scale military expansion on one of the main islands in the Northern Marianas, Tinian is expected to rival Guam in importance in coming years.

The US also has Compacts of Free Association with three countries covering thousands of islands in the Pacific – the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Marshall Islands. The compacts are a de-facto form of colonialism which gives the US exclusive military access to these countries’ land and maritime surrounds in return for defence guarantees and financial assistance.

The Federated States of Micronesia has a population of around 100,000. It has a land area of 702  square km on 607 islands amid 2,600,000 square km of ocean. The US will build a new base there. The residents are concerned about the impact of the base as their islands are often tiny and the landscape important to their identity. The US is also establishing a new military base on Palau, which has 340 islands and a total population of just over 18,000. The Marshall Islands landmass is 181 square km amid 466,000 square km of ocean. Although the Kwajalein atoll is only 15 square km, it is exclusively a military base with an extraordinary array of US activities; including a key role in US testing interceptors aimed ballistic missiles.

The Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi recently visited seven South Pacific countries and signed various agreements in some, including the provision of infrastructure and police training , but he failed to get support for a 10-country trade agreement. He did not seek permission to build a navy base in the Solomon Island or anywhere else. Nevertheless, some saw the visit as an act of Chinese aggression. It is an odd view of aggression compared to the damage done by US, British and French testing of thermonuclear (also called hydrogen) bombs on Pacific islands, or when Australia helped invade Iraq.

The US conducted 105 nuclear tests in the Pacific, mainly in the Marshall islands, between 1946 and 1962, as part oftits program to develop thermonuclear bombs. Operational weapons were sometimes tested, including a submarine-launched war head. One test in 1952 completely vaporised the island of Eluglab. In 1954, a thermonuclear bomb tested on Bikini atoll exploded with force of 15 megatons – over 1,000 times bigger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The radioactive cloud engulfed a Japanese fishing boat about 80 miles away in a white powder that poisoned the crew. One died from the exposure seven months later and 15 more in following years.

The radioactivity affected the drinking water and food. Children played in the ash-like powder. Some ate it. Marshall Islanders over a wide area were subject to abnormal radiological doses. In 2005, the US National Cancer Institute reported that the risk of contracting cancer for those exposed to the fallout was over one in three.

Nevertheless, in 1946, a US Navy Commodore had asked 167 people living on Bikini atoll to re-locate so their home could be used use “for the good of mankind”. They were resettled in 1969, but had to be evacuated again after high radiation levels were detected.

There has been some increase in the pathetically low initial compensation. But it is hard to compensate for the environmental damage and loss of cultural heritage, traditional customs and skills. In 2014, the Marshall Islands attempted to sue the US and eight other nuclear armed nations, for failing to move towards nuclear disarmament as required by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. A US Court dismissed the suit in 2017.

Britain tested 40 thermonuclear bombs on an islands in the Kiribati group between 1957 and 1962. Troops from Britain , Fiji (then a British colony), and New Zealand worked on the tests. Many were harmed by radiation and other causes. As usual, the locals were treated badly and their water and lands polluted.

France conducted 41 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1966 and 1974 in French Polynesia. It then conducted 140 underground, primarily of thermonuclear bombs, until 1996. One of the islands used was subject to cracking. In an act of state terrorism, French secret service frogman killed a photographer when they bombed a Green Peace protest ship in Auckland harbour on its way to the French nuclear testing area.

Labor’s defence minister, Richard Marles now refers to France as a Pacific county, despite the fact that it is a European country with a tenuous justification for holding onto its colonial possessions in the Pacific – New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Labor used to oppose colonialism. Now it seems it’s good if the colonial power opposes China.

The South Pacific Forum comprises 18 members: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Not all are normally considered to be in the South Pacific. The inclusion of three countries with Compacts of Free Association with the US and two French possessions basically guarantees they will vote for what the US or France wants.

However, the legacy of the contemptuous disregard for the indigenous residents during massive hydrogen bomb tests ensures that  nuclear issues, including the passage of nuclear submarines, remain sensitive.

At the time of the negotiation of the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty in 1985 Paul Malone wrote that it was for a “partial nuclear free zone”, as it did not prohibit the “passage of nuclear-armed ships or aircraft through the region”. Malone reported that some Pacific Island countries wanted to be Treaty to prohibit access to nuclear-armed warships. The then Prime Minister Bob Hawke insisted on that omission which reflected the wishes of the US. However, nuclear issues have been revived by the creation of the 2021AUKUS pact in which Australia is committed to buying nuclear powered submarines.

A journalist and researcher based in the Pacific, Nic Maclellan says, “Any hope that Australia’s island neighbours will welcome further nuclearisation of the region is folly. Within days of the UKUS announcement, statements from Pacific leaders, community elders and media organisations highlighted the persistence of the deep antinuclear sentiment.

The general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches, Reverend James Bhagwa tweeted

“Shame Australia, Shame.” The Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare told the UN General Assembly his nation “would like to keep our region nuclear-free . . . We do not support any form of militarisation in our region that could threaten regional and international peace and stability.”

The Kiribati President Taneti Maamau told the ABC, “Our people are victims of nuclear testing. We still have trauma. With anything to do with nuclear, we thought it would be a courtesy to discuss it with your neighbours”. He said he was especially concerned about Australia developing nuclear powered submarines which he said “puts the region at risk”

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama tweeted that his father was among the Fijian soldiers the British sent to help with their nuclear bomb tests. He said, “To honour the sacrifice of all those who have suffered due to these weapons, Fiji will never stop working towards a global nuclear ban.”

The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern repeated that nuclear submarines “can’t come into our internal waters”. New Zealand and nine South Pacific Forum countries have ratified the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Australia hasn’t. The Samoa Observer wrote, “It is a relief seeing Prime Minister Ardern continuing to maintain the tradition of her predecessors by promoting a nuclear-free Pacific; probably she is the only true friend of the Pacific Islands.”

June 27, 2022 Posted by | OCEANIA, politics international, Reference, weapons and war | Leave a comment

A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought 

The Treaty on Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is not a quick fix. But it can build international pressure and help to put the world back on track toward nuclear disarmament. Given the fundamental threat to humanity, we cannot be content with the status quo on nuclear disarmament. Austria and New Zealand will continue to spearhead these efforts. In the interests of humanity, we will continue to work with all willing state and civil-society partners to remove the nuclear sword of Damocles that is hanging over all our heads. — Project Syndicate

(ed. Microsoft made sure to obscure bits of this with advertising. If you spot them, sorry, but I can’t afford to pay the blackmail charges to avoid ads)

A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought   https://www.khaleejtimes.com/opinion/a-nuclear-war-cannot-be-won-and-must-never-be-fought

Given the fundamental threat to humanity, we cannot be content with the status quo on nuclear disarmament,   By Alexander Schallenberg/Phil Twyford, Sun 26 Jun 2022, 
Austria and New Zealand may be far apart geographically, but we are connected by shared values and principles. Particularly relevant today is our longstanding opposition to nuclear weapons and our shared concern about the lack of progress on nuclear disarmament.

Nuclear weapons never went away after the end of the Cold War, steep cuts to nuclear stockpiles in the early 1990s represented progress. But the trend toward disarmament stalled. Three decades on, nine nuclear-armed states possess some 13,000 nuclear warheads, and, far from phasing out their arsenals, these states are modernizing and expanding them. The risks of nuclear escalation, miscalculation, and accident are mounting, even though we have a better understanding than ever of the catastrophic consequences that would follow from the use of nuclear weapons.

We recently received a fresh wake-up call. In early January, the five nuclear powers on the United Nations Security Council reaffirmed the 1985 statement by US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Yet, the following month, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime threatened to unleash those same vastly destructive and indiscriminate weapons in the context of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

This threat which we unequivocally condemn – has sparked a new global debate on the value of nuclear deterrence, highlighting a bleak dissonance between the avowed collective goal of achieving a world without nuclear weapons, and nuclear-armed states’ ongoing reliance on them. This dissonance is also evident in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which entered into force more than 50 years ago following a “grand bargain” between nuclear-armed China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and non-nuclear-armed states, including Austria and New Zealand.

knowledged that nuclear disarmament is ultimately the most effective way to discourage proliferation. But while proliferation risks have increased in recent decades, concrete progress has stalled. Sixty years after the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the world to the brink of catastrophe, we find ourselves again faced with the threat of nuclear escalation.

h questions of those with nuclear decision-making authority. It is they who must consider the sustainability of an approach to national security that imposes existential risks on their populations, as well as all other states and, indeed, the rest of humanity. The treaty also gives voice to the majority of states that do not accept nuclear deterrence as a valid basis for security. We are convinced that it is a fundamental error to believe that these weapons provide security. In reality, they pose a profound threat to us all, as well as to future.

a, Austria will host the First Meeting of States Parties to the TPNW. Even as we acknowledge that there is much work to be done, we should understand that this meeting is a major achievement in itself. It shows what can be accomplished by a strong alliance between like-minded states and civil society. Similar alliances were instrumental in banning anti-personnel mines and cluster.

Moreover, several nuclear-allied states and other non-state parties have indicated that they will attend the meeting as observers. We welcome them. Even if our views differ on the validity of nuclear weapons for security, we value the perspectives they will bring to an international conversation about the consequences, risks, and challenges of nuclear weapons. This conversation is essential, especially now that nuclear risks are higher than they have been in decades.

The TPNW is not a quick fix. But it can build international pressure and help to put the world back on track toward nuclear disarmament. Given the fundamental threat to humanity, we cannot be content with the status quo on nuclear disarmament. Austria and New Zealand will continue to spearhead these efforts. In the interests of humanity, we will continue to work with all willing state and civil-society partners to remove the nuclear sword of Damocles that is hanging over all our heads. — Project Syndicate

June 27, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Radiation Free Lakeland joins local Haverigg Protest against the GDF (Nuclear Dump)

 Today I was delighted to be able to represent LAND our Radiation Free
Lakeland campaign at the Protest against the GDF 2plans by
Locals. Twenty locals turned up today in Haverigg to protest the siting of
a Geological Disposal Facility aka Nuclear Dump for heat generating nuclear
wastes under the Irish Sea off the Millom/Haverigg coast and to stop the
seismic surveys. Millom and District Against the Nuclear Dump have a
private Facebook group with 344 members (in less than a week – mostly
locals).

 Radiation Free Lakeland 25th June 2022

June 27, 2022 Posted by | opposition to nuclear, UK | Leave a comment

Talks to restart on Iran nuclear deal

Josep Borrell, the EU foreign affairs chief, has said talks will restart
on the Iran nuclear deal, averting a complete collapse in the agreement
which could spark a nuclear arms race across the Middle East. After a
meeting with the Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in
Tehran, Borrell said he had broken the stalemate which had led to talks on
the revival of the nuclear deal being stalled since March. Borrell gave no
detail about the exact date of the resumption of talks or the precise
format, but said the process had the agreement of Iran and the US. He also
met Iran’s national security chief Ali Shamkhani…..

Guardian 25th June 2022

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/25/iran-and-us-ready-to-restart-talks-on-nuclear-deal

June 27, 2022 Posted by | Iran, politics international | Leave a comment

Japan to Give Plutonium from Spent Fuel to France

Fugen advanced converter reactor

June 21, 2022

Tokyo, June 21 (Jiji Press)–The Japan Atomic Energy Agency will give France plutonium extracted from spent nuclear fuel from its Fugen advanced converter reactor, officials have said.

The agency will conclude a contract with a French nuclear company this month at the earliest, according to the officials.

The French side is expected to reprocess the spent nuclear fuel from the reactor, which is in the decommissioning process, in the central Japan prefecture of Fukui.

On Wednesday, the Japanese and French governments exchanged notes on the transportation and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel and the return of high-level radioactive waste to Japan.

The two sides agreed to start the removal of 731 spent nuclear fuel assemblies from Fugen in April 2023 and complete the work by the end of March 2027.

https://www.nippon.com/en/news/yjj2022062000945/japan-to-give-plutonium-from-spent-fuel-to-france.html

June 26, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

120 High School Students Connect Voices for Nuclear Abolition Video Produced by Masaharu Fukuyama Released

High school students call on governments to ratify the Nuclear Weapons Convention through the “Peace Book Relay” video (courtesy of Nagasaki City)

June 15, 2022
On March 15, a video of the “Peace Book Relay,” in which approximately 120 high school students from Japan and abroad send messages for the abolition of nuclear weapons to the music of Masaharu Fukuyama, 53, a singer from Nagasaki City, was released on the Internet. Mr. Fukuyama produced and directed the video. The video can be viewed on the website of the Nagasaki Camphor Tree Project (https://nagasaki.kusunoki-project.jp/page/), for which Mr. Fukuyama serves as general producer, and on the Nagasaki City official channel on the video-sharing website “You Tube.

 The video is about 15 minutes long, and features “High School Peace Ambassadors” from 16 prefectures and high school students from Hawaii, Russia, and South Korea holding up their wishes for nuclear abolition in sketchbooks and other media in a relay format, with background music provided by Mr. Fukuyama’s songs “Camphor Tree,” “That’s All There is” and “Ammonite’s Dream.
https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220615/k00/00m/040/110000c?fbclid=IwAR3O6lOIU9ZFHdGss7fZkIRMtr2gb2hgiPRnNgjpEg0mSG-BPavTGSZFJzU

June 26, 2022 Posted by | Japan | , | Leave a comment

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons Members agree on a plan of action in response to renewed threats of nuclear weapons use.

ICAN, Beatrice Fihn 24 June 22. Just a few hours ago at the United Nations in Vienna, States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons just concluded the first meeting of the treaty and condemned unequivocally “any and all nuclear threats, whether they be explicit or implicit and irrespective of the circumstances.” 

In response to Russia’s nuclear threats, this is the strongest multilateral condemnation of threats to use nuclear weapons ever. And they adopted a bold action plan for the end of nuclear weapons.

The Vienna Declaration shows that there is this new global alliance that uses the TPNW to push back against unacceptable and illegal nuclear threats and risks of nuclear war.

The groundbreaking Vienna Action Plan outlines concrete steps this alliance will take to stop nuclear-armed states from using nuclear weapons and to move forward to eliminate them.

The 65 states parties, 86 signatories to the treaty, other supportive states, survivors of nuclear detonations, international organisations, parliamentarians, financial institutions, youth and civil society that are part of this new alliance.

The Vienna Declaration concluded with an clear  commitment by these states, that “In the face of the catastrophic risks posed by nuclear weapons and in the interest of the very survival of humanity … We will not rest until the last state has joined the Treaty, the last warhead has been dismantled and destroyed and nuclear weapons have been totally eliminated from the Earth.”

We are undaunted and unstoppable.

Together we’re ending the age of nuclear weapons,

June 24, 2022 Posted by | 2 WORLD, politics international | Leave a comment