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Nuclear weapons – immoral inhuman, and illegal from January 22, and this is why

On the morning of August 6, 1945, Setsuko Thurlow, then thirteen years old………

……Thurlow noticed a bright bluish-white flash outside the window at 8:15 a.m. She never saw the mushroom cloud; she was in it. She felt herself fly through the air, blacked out, and awoke pinned in the rubble of the collapsed building, unable to move. Lying there in silence and total darkness, she had a feeling of serenity. And then she heard the cries of classmates trapped nearby: “God, help me!,” “Mother, help me!” Someone touched her, removed the debris on top of her, and told her to crawl toward the light.

She somehow made it out safely and realized that what was left of the headquarters was on fire. A half dozen or so other girls survived, but the rest were burned alive.

The smoke and dust in the air made the morning look like twilight. As Thurlow and a few classmates left the city center and walked toward the hills, they witnessed one grotesque scene after another: dead bodies; ghostly figures, naked and burned, wandering the streets; parents desperately searching for lost children. She reached an Army training ground in the foothills, about the size of two football fields. Every inch of ground was covered with wounded people begging for water. There seemed to be no doctors, no nurses, no medical help of any kind. Thurlow tore off strips of her clothing, dipped them in a nearby stream, and spent the day squeezing drops of water from them into the mouths of the sick and dying. At night, she sat on the hillside and watched Hiroshima burn.

Thurlow was reunited with her parents. But her sister and her sister’s four-year-old son died several days later. Her sister’s face had grown so blackened and swollen that she could only be recognized by her voice and her hairpin. Soldiers threw her body and that of her son into a ditch, poured gasoline on them, and set them on fire. Thurlow stood and watched, in a state of shock, without shedding a tear. Her favorite aunt and uncle, who lived in the suburbs outside Hiroshima and appeared completely unharmed, died from radiation poisoning a few weeks after the blast…..

January 8, 2021 Posted by | Christina's themes, PERSONAL STORIES, weapons and war | 4 Comments

Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons – theme for January 2021

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the first international ban on nuclear weapons, will take full legal effect on Jan. 22, 2021.

It joins the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention as a treaty prohibiting weapons of mass destruction . It joins those international agreements that prohibit and eliminate weapons based on their humanitarian harm.  The treaty has widespread support in the international community — 122 countries voted for its adoption in 2017, and these countries have continued to express their support for the treaty .

The Traty is not merely symbolic.  It prohibits states parties from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using (or threatening to use) nuclear weapons, or allowing nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory. It also prohibits states parties from assisting, encouraging, or inducing states to engage in any of these prohibited activities.

A NATO State  may join the Treaty and remain in the alliance as long as that state renounces participation in the nuclear dimension of the alliance and indicates that it does not support activities prohibited by the treaty.

About compliance concerns in the Treaty.  international treaties reinforce norms and provide a forum to discuss and condemn violations of international standards for peace and security.

The treaty will continue to grow and integrate into the international system well beyond its entry into force in January and first meeting of states parties.  The norm established by previous weapons prohibitions impacted banks, companies, and government policies in countries that had not joined the treaty, and the same can be expected for the nuclear prohibition norm.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will impact the norm against nuclear weapons and in the meantime will provide concrete assistance for victims of nuclear weapons use and testing and contribute to remediating radiologically contaminated areas.

These notes adapted from https://warontherocks.com/2020/11/five-common-mistakes-on-the-treaty-on-the-prohibition-of-nuclear-weapons/

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes | 5 Comments

The nuclear industry is dying: with Small Nuclear Reactors they pretend it’s not – theme for December 20

nuclear is dead, but pretending it’s not” – so writes Michael Barnard in a brilliant study of the state of the industry in the UK and USA.

Barnard doesn’t even mention Small Nuclear Reactors – he is concentrating on the clean-up costs and the rorts.

But the entire crooked and dirty industry is now hanging its desperate last hopes on Small Nuclear Reactors, which will probably turn out to be even dirtier and more crooked than the old industry’

The Small Nuclear Reactor push is a confidence trick being played on the whole world.   In the Western world, by slick propaganda regurgitated by journalists, who, for whatever reason, don’t seek the truth.

In the totalitarian world of Russia and China,  it is unlikely that any criticism of government policy would be tolerated.

Small Nuclear Reactors  do have that one use –   siphoning off public money towards nuclear weapons, training scientists for nuclear weaponry, while putting up the lying facade of peacefulness, and “climate action”

 

 

 

December 3, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes | 6 Comments

The new Big Global HOAX – LITTLE Nuclear Reactors – a marketing triumph! theme for December 20

The Small Nuclear Reactor Hoax has now become global.

For a while, it was confined to the “nuclear nations” – USA, Russia, China, and some historic failed attempts in India and South Africa. Now these still non existent fantasies are being marketed to countries all over the world

The “peaceful nuclear industry’ with very big reactors, and less big “research” reactors,  has always been an expensive front for the nuclear weapons industry.

But, things have changed.  The big reactors have got massively expensive, and the toxic radioactive trash that they produce has become a global and unsolvable problem.  Shock horror –  people don’t like them!  Non nuclear cyclotrons can produce medical radioisotopes – no need for the research reactors, either.

The global nuclear weapons industry is in a panic, because:

It must somehow keep up that ‘peaceful’ mask of “commercial nuclear” , and “medical nuclear”.  and

more shock horror – people don’t want nuclear weapons, and the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons will come into force on 22 January 2020 –   the nuclear weapons industry will become illegal, just like chemical warfare and land mines.

What to do to keep the nuclear weapons industry going?  Where to get money for it?  Where to get the essential nuclear personnel?  Where to get the money and training for these nuclear experts?

The solution – a new gimmick to enthuse the population yet again about the nuclear industry- the Small Nuclear Reactor

And those wonderful marketing minds raced around to find that solution, and to market it as the solution to some other grave global problem.  And there was a new  problem sitting there, waiting to be exploited. – CLIMATE CHANGE!

You’ve gotta hand it to these nuclear snake oil salesmen – they are doing a great job, worldwide – especially seeing that they know that Small Nuclear Reactors would be no use whatever against global heating.  And governments and media are swallowing their story.

November 26, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes | 12 Comments

Politics – what hope for civil society? theme for November 20 

AS I write the tortuous American election  process is going on. The USA used to be a world leader .   This is a gripping example of 2 different ways to run the political process. With Trump – dictatorial ruthlessness – heading to fascism, with Biden, restraint, respect for the rule of law, and a co-operative effort.

2020 has seen the continuing dictators, like  Xi Jinping, Putin, Putin, Kim Jong Un, Bolsonaro, Bashar Al-Assad – , and also the drift to  dictatorship in democratic countries, e.g India.  As the world is faced with huge problems, many people seem to turn to uninformed, anti-science populist leaders – especially in English- language countries –  USA, Britain, Australia.

So –  the American election circus goes on: it is something of a test case for the world.  To deal with global heating, nuclear dangers, and the pandemic, we need people of intelligence, respect for science, and the ability to co-operate.

Fortunately there are many thousands of people with all kinds of valuable skills , working on the global problems.  Far too many great organisations to name here, and a lot of them under the wing of the United Nations.

The achievements can be seen, and continue to evolve, First and foremost , there’s the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, It matters, whatever the bosses of the ‘nuclear nations’ say.  There’s the global work towards the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference.   But, however good the work of these agencies, it can succeed only with the participation and support of millions of people

The media has a huge role to play in explaining and promoting this. But will they?

November 7, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes, politics international | 3 Comments

Politics in the age of pandemics, global heating, and nuclear danger – theme for November 20

For November, we’ve been focussed on international politics – because of these massive threats, and because of the importance to the world of the American election.

With the win of Joe Biden as President -elect, the nuclear lobby has been revitalised, and already their propaganda  war  is swinging  into  action.   But this renewed nuclear threat is being either ignored or encouraged by the mainstream media.   Everyone seems to be getting informed about the pandemic and the climate,  but  not about the equally grave nuclear threats.   Which is why, from now on, this site will return to its original focus on matters nuclear.

Tensions as Armenia- Azerbaijan conflict pauses. War in Syria grinds on. USA and China already in some sort of cold war. National pride and one-up-manship are perpetually on display among the leaders of countries.  Nationalist and populist leaders seem to be in charge, with competitiveness and dog-eat-dog as their prevailing philosophy.

All this – when the global threats of pandemic, climate change, and nuclear danger clearly require co-operation between nations, if we are to have any hope for a decent future – indeed – perhaps any future, for the human species, and for the rest of the other species, too.

It is time for political leaders to pay attention to the efforts of global bodies, the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, and the many international agencies that work for the public good. What a timely winner for the Nobel Peace Prize was the United Nations World Food Programme!

As I write, the world watches in amazement the tortuous path of Joe Biden to the American electionpresidency. .  The disastrous results of four years of the Trump presidency for the United States will take some fixing.   A rational team in the White House could begin the change that the world needs –   co-operation between the powerful nations to address the threats that now preoccupy the world’s people.

 

October 15, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes, politics international | 4 Comments

USA election – pandemic, climate, nuclear issues – theme for October 2020

On the pandemic – Donald Trump says – his COVID-19 infection is a “blessing from God”, and promises to make the experimental drug he received available for free to all Americans.

What can I say?  The present coronavirus chaos in America surely indicates what we can expect from a renewed Trump presidency – further chaos on the health area, and probably every other area, too.   Heaven help USA if an even worse virus should come along.

On climate? – a Democratic victory would be an improvement indeed.  Joe Biden has not been an enthusiast for climate action – but, under the pressure of the climate crisis, and the strong demand for action with the ‘green new deal”, he now expresses strongly the Democrats policy plans for action to reduce greenhouse emissions, and support international agreements.

On nuclear?  We know that Biden and the Democrats will be better in international relations. It will be  a relief to get away from the Trump brinkmanship and uncertainty.  But – We can’t expect much progress on curbing the nuclear weapons bonanza for the death industries.

On nuclear power. Well, despite the evidence now becoming clear – that small nuclear reactors are useless, the Democrats would pursue them, because of their intrinsic connection with USA’s favourite industry –  weapons making. And because the myth about a ”transitional technology” makes it easier for the fossil fuel industries to hang on in there.

October 8, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes | 4 Comments

The American election: nuclear and climate issues -theme for October 2020

The coronavirus epidemic is right now the central human and ecological issue.  I am leaving that one, for other sites to cover.

The nuclear industry has always been the focus of this website.  For this coming election, it’s a sorry tale of woe. The Democrats managed to reject their most popular candidates – Bernie Sanders,  Elizabeth Warren,  who opposed the nuclear industry . The Democrats now orchestrated themselves now into some sort of weaker Republican-type party.  So, no surprise that Joe Biden is pretty much the same as Donald Trump on nuclear power.

We do see significant differences on foreign policy and nuclear weapons control, with Biden showing understanding of these issues, while Trump reveals his typical ignorance and marketing slogan nonsense.

If only the media would probe them on matters nuclear, instead of highlighting trivialities like their latest gaffes.

On global heating, there is a difference.   Donald Trump manages to ignore climate change, and use the horrific bushfires to attack the States on “forest management”  (never mind that federal forests are largely involved).    Importantly, he has pulled America out of the Paris international climate accord.

In his first term, Trump has blocked, weakened, or rolled back 100 environmental, public health, and worker safety regulations. Among them are virtually all the steps Obama took to address climate change, from the Clean Power Plan for the electricity sector to tighter fuel economy standards for transportation, emissions standards on methane for oil and gas operations, efforts to integrate a “social cost of carbon” for agency decision-making, reform of fossil fuel leasing on public land, and energy efficiency standards on light bulbsDavid Roberts, writing in VOX .

Joe Biden plans to recommit to the Paris Accord and ensure that the US achieves a 100% clean energy economy and reaches net-zero emissions by 2050. Biden has also promised a halt to fossil fuel subsidies.  Recently Biden has made a lot of noise about climate change, mainly in attacking Trump. Methinks that Biden’s enthusiasm is rather recent, but he will be pushed towards action by the party.   Cartoon below by JINGJIE LI

September 24, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes | 2 Comments

Antarctica – global heating and nuclear issues – polar theme for September 20

Antarctica is not in the news as much as the Arctic is,  But global heating is affecting Antarctica too, and Antarctica has its nuclear issues.

Antarctica has made headlines several times this year due to extremely warmer than usual temperatures. It has been steadily heating up for decades.  Antarctic ice shelves have lost nearly 4 trillion metric tons of ice since the mid-1990s, scientists say. Ocean water is melting them from the bottom up, causing them to lose mass faster than they can refreeze.  As ice shelves melt, they become thinner, weaker and more likely to break. When this happens, they can unleash streams of ice from the glaciers behind them, raising global sea levels. Antarctica is also losing ice from melting ice sheets, and chunks of ice falling from glaciers.

Less studied than the Arctic region, Antarctic is now being investigated by Australian researchers, using robots to gather data from difficult to reach underwater areas. Satellite monitoring confirms the shelves’ melting trend.

Nuclear issues.  From 6,000 nautical miles away, uranium mining in Australia is polluting the Antarctic.  After 1945 atomic bomb testing sent radioactive pollution to the South Pole, as well as to everywhere else on the planet.

USA  operated  a small nuclear power plant at Antarctica’s McMurdo Sound. It was known as “nukey poo” because of its frequent radioactive leaks. It had 438 malfunctions – nearly 56 a year – in its operational lifetime, including leaking water surrounding the reactor and hairline cracks in the reactor lining. The emissions of low level waste water where in direct contravention of the Antarctic Treaty, which bans military operations as well as radioactive waste in Antarctica. After the reactor was closed down, the US shipped 7700 cubic metres of radioactive contaminated rock and dirt to California.  Many USA naval workers there developed cancers.

Today, small nuclear reactors similar to this one, are being touted for remote areas in Australia and other countries. The history of this one in Antarctica, and 7 others elsewhere, was one of malfunctions, and closing down within a few years. This does not augur well for the small nuclear reactors being promoted today.

September 6, 2020 Posted by | ANTARCTICA, Christina's themes | 6 Comments

The Arctic – where global heating meets nuclear pollution – theme for September 20

Global heating is bringing massive changes to the Arctic, and at an accelerating pace. It is the warning system to the world, as sea ice melts, Greenland’s glaciers melt, swathes of frozen ground thaw, permafrost melts. The Arctic ocean will probably be ice-free in summer by 2040.

Crazily, Russians and Americans rejoice, seeing all this as the opportunity to exploit the region for oil and gas, the very things that are causing this unfolding climate nightmare. Apparently these governments are not concerned about the Arctic processes that bring changed global weather, with changed ocean currents, sudden extreme cold snaps. Global heating speeds up with feedback loops: as ice is lost , dark water absorbs more heat from the sun, melting permafrost releases methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Arctic regions now experience repeated uncontrollable forest fires, bringing environmental and economic destruction.

Nuclear pollution.  The Arctic is where the the two disastrous threats meet – climate change and nuclear radiation. This danger is happening with fires threatening Northern Russian radioactive sites, and with radiation released as buried nuclear items appear from under the ice.   Russia’s dumping of nuclear submarines and other radioactive trash is now recognised as a danger to Arctic ecosystems.

There are 39 nuclear-powered vessels or installations in the Russian Arctic today with a total of 62 reactors. This includes 31 submarines, one surface warship, five icebreakers, two onshore and one floating nuclear power plant.  These numbers are set to increase; . “By 2035, the Russian Arctic will be the most nuclearized waters on the planet.”

There were 2 fatal arctic accidents in 2019 – 14 sailors killed due to a fire on a nuclear-powered submarine, and an underwater nuclear-powered cruise missile exploded.  Several serious submarine nuclear reactor accidents have occurred in Arctic waters, and a U.S. bomber with plutonium warheads  crashed at Thule airbase on Greenland. In the Kara Sea, thousands of containers wit radioactive waste were dumped, together with 16 reactors.

August 15, 2020 Posted by | ARCTIC, Christina's themes, climate change, environment | 2 Comments

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki – time for the global Nuclear Ban Treaty – theme for August 20

August 6th and August 9th are the days that remind us of the horror of nuclear weapons.  The failing and desperate nuclear industry would like us to forget  about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They’d like us to swallow their spin about new small nuclear reactors. (But new small nuclear reactors are just the latest gimmick to support the nuclear weapons industry, and put a friendly mask on it. They really have no other purpose.)

In this time of pandemic and global heating, Trump’s USA, Putin’s Russia, and other nations, are putting obscene amounts of money into nuclear weapons. The U.N.’s Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons  (passed by a vote of 122-1-1 at the United Nations in 2017) is looking ever more rational and necessary.  It will enter into force when 50 nations have ratified it. It’s now up to 43 ratifications.

“The pandemic has taught us that all the world’s great needs and threats are linked. By reallocating bloated military spending and reorienting nations to resolve conflict through peaceful negotiation, people and governments throughout the world can more easily tackle the enormous economic and civil injustices that give rise to conflict and fuel the fire of climate change. Each victory in each arena must be used to feed progress elsewhere if humanity is to survive this century.

As we remember the victims of the atomic bombings 75 years ago and hear the stories of the survivors, we realize more than ever: we are all in this together. ” – Michael Christ, Executive Director, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War

 

July 18, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes, weapons and war | 5 Comments

Hiroshima, Nagasaki – Never Again Nuclear War! No to Nuclear Weapons- theme for August 2020

This is perhaps the saddest photograph of the time of America’s August 1945 nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The dignity of this boy, as he waits, with his small dead brother strapped to his back, to include the brother in a mass grave.

We know that the bombing of people is unethical, immoral, and simply wrong.

We know that chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction are inhumane and immoral. The global human society knows this, too, and they are illegal under the United Nations Ban –  the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)  and United Nations Biological Weapons Convention (BWC)

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons(TPNW), or the Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty, is the first legally binding international agreement to comprehensively prohibit nuclear weapons, with the goal of leading towards their total elimination. 43 nations have ratified the treaty, and it was passed by 120 countries at the United Nations in July 2017.

The nuclear lobby, and the “hawks” may scoff, but this Treaty is clear evidence that the world is coming to see that considering the humanitarian effects of nuclear war, – the treaty prohibits the development, testing, production, stockpiling, stationing, transfer, use and threat of use of nuclear weapons, as well as assistance and encouragement to the prohibited activities.

The goal is the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Sounds too extreme to be taken seriously?   It is not as extreme as the goal of using them, which is still actively being considered by the Pentagon.

It’s rarely mentioned that USA’s original plan was to explode a nuclear bomb on the moon. It’s rarely mentioned in the current hype about Mars exploration, that the Trump administration’s plan is for nuclear weapons in space .

The humanitarian, the “emotional” side, of discussing nuclear weapons is now taken seriously, much as the nuclear proponents will pontificate about “strategy”, “security” etc. With the UN nuclear ban treaty –   nuclear weapons are no longer “respectable”, and are headed towards eventual elimination.

July 18, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes | 7 Comments

Banning weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear ones – theme for August 2020

You might think that it’s naive to be talking about banning nuclear weapons, in this present climate of international tension. Yes, an international agreement to ban them is not going to get rid of nuclear weapons overnight, or indeed, anytime soon.

BUT – as things stand now, nuclear weapons, held by all the so virtuous States –  USA, Britain, France, India, China Pakistan, Israel, (- and now North Korea)  – are accepted as respectable ,  defensive, necessary

The idea of the world recognising weapons of mass destruction as unacceptable is not new.  It’s been done before.

Human beings, after all, are social animals, and their greatest successes have been achieved by co-operation. Years of co-operative effort by intelligent and thoughtful people have shed light on the humanitarian horror of mass killings, and mass sufferings of those who survived such attacks.

Under the auspices of he United Nations, the concerted efforts of so many have brought about  the recognition that mass murder is unacceptable, and has been judged to be illegal.  No, these threats have not been completely eliminated. But they have been vastly diminished, and no leader can get away with pronouncing them to be acceptable or necessary.

The United Nations Ban on  the use of chemical and biological weapons in warfare was signed in 1925, and  strengthened in 1997 in the  the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) 

The United Nations Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) came into force in 1975.

In both cases, these agreements outlawed  the development, stockpiling, acquisition, retention, and production of these inhumane weapons, and reaffirmed the 1925 ban on their use.

These bans, agreed on by 178 nations  (the BWC), 192 (the CWC) have been further developed over many years of successive conventions, the most recent being in November 2016.

There’s  a wealth of information on the effects of nuclear weapons production and use – not just the immediate effects on victim communities, but the pervasive global effect on climate, agriculture and teh world’ s food supply.

Right now, we all live under a terrible threat of nuclear war. It is surely time to make a start on removing that threat. The United Nations Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty is that start. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons is close to the number of 50 ratifications , required to make it international law.

July 18, 2020 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Christina's themes, weapons and war | 1 Comment

Nuclear power, far too slow to affect global heating – theme for July 20

In recent themes I wrote about nuclear power being in fact a big contributor to global warming,  and about how climate change will in fact finish off the nuclear industry.

But – let’s pretend that nuclear reactors really could reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

TIME: To do that, 1500 one thousand megawatt-electric new reactors would be needed within a few years to displace a significant amount of carbon-emitting fossil generation.  A Massachusetts Institute of Technology Study on “The Future of Nuclear Power”   projected that a global growth scenario for as many as 1500 one thousand megawatt-electric new reactors would be needed to displace a significant amount of carbon-emitting fossil generation. Average 115 built per year would reduce our CO2 use by only 16%.

But the new flavour of the month is Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs), which generate  from 50 to 200 megawatts. So the  world would need, quickly, to have a significant reduction of carbon emissions, i.e at least 7500 largish SMRs – or 30,000 smaller ones., (and these SMRs are already shown to be more costly than large ones,)

Meanwhile – if the nuclear “climate cure” were to be pursued, the enormous costs and efforts involved would take away from the clean, fast, and ever cheaper solutions of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

climate-change-time

 

 

 

June 25, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change | 3 Comments

NUCLEAR’s WHOPPING CLIMATE LIE – theme for July 2020

Goebbels, Joseph“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth ”

Dr Goebbels would be delighted with the nuclear lobby’s lie that nuclear power is zero carbon and will fix climate change. He would be even more delighted with the current success of this lie.

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

The failing nuclear industry is fighting for its life. It now pitches its salvation on its claim to halt climate change. Even if marketing-pigs-trough
that were true (which it isn’t) the world would have to construct several thousand ‘conventional’ reactors, or several millions of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) very quickly, within a decade or two.

How is it that politicians , media, academics have swallowed this lie?

 

climate It's a lie

June 25, 2020 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment