nuclear-news

The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry

Space exploration – it’s for weapons, too – theme for November 17

from Bruce Gagnon     We have become an occupied nation. The corporate oligarchy that runs the show in Washington uses space-based technologies to spy on us and to direct all warfare on the planet. In a way, you could call today’s expensive military satellites the “triggers” that make the high-tech weapons, like drones and offensive missiles, work. These satellites allow the military to see everything, to hear everything, and to target every place on the planet. We are sold the line that high-tech robotic warfare will save American lives and will be a cheaper way to fight.

A New Space Arms Race | Bruce Gagnon

The military industrial complex has become the primary resource-extraction service for corporate globalization and is preparing the future generations for its dead end street of perpetual war……

The aerospace industry says it needs nuclear power in space for mining the sky. Nuclear reactors on rockets will be needed to give them the kind of lift capability to reach Mars. International space law is now being re-written by corporate interests to allow their control of the planetary bodies. The industry plan is to scrap the United Nations Moon and Outer Space Treaties.

Rovers on Mars today are currently powered by plutonium-238……

Space entrepreneur Elon Musk says we must move our civilization to Mars. The Mars Society says the Earth “is a rotting, stinking, dying planet” and that we have to terraform Mars to make it habitable. Imagine how much money that would cost?……

The militarization of everything around us is a spiritual sickness. The Ongoing and Dangerous Militarization of Space https://ratical.org/radiation/NuclearExtinction/BruceGagnon022815.html

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November 11, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, technology, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Nuclear Power and Space Exploration – theme for November 2017

Coinciding with the severe downturn in the nuclear industry, is the rush of enthusiasm for space exploration – and the goal of “putting  a man on Mars”.  The nuclear industry must be pleased, as the fuel for space rockets is their own product – PLUTONIUM!  (Space travel might save their industry?)

Plutonium is the most toxic of all the radioactive products of nuclear fission, as well as being the fuel for nuclear weapons. There have already been accidents with space rockets. The effects of a space craft crash on an Earth city are almost unimaginable, and certainly never properly considered by the space technocrats and nuclear enthusiasts. To them, this is an “acceptable risk”.

Then there’s the doom-laden future for astronauts to Mars. Quite simply, cosmic radiation would kill them. Even now, astronauts suffer extraordinary health ill effects, as related by Scott Kelly, in his new book “Endurance” .  Not all these effects are caused by radiation – and this issue merges into the troubling ethical problems of sending people to Mars, or even, into space.

We are constantly being told of the benefits to come, in space travel. What benefits? Are they greater than the huge environmental and personal risks? And the financial costs – paid for by the tax-payer? That money could go to meet real human needs. There’s something wrong with our priorities when we mindlessly accept enthusiasm for technology, innovation etc – as better than healing the health of this planet, and its populations.

October 21, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

NUCLEAR LIES – theme for October 2017

The nuclear industry’s history of lies goes right back to its beginnings in the early 1940s.

I would say the that lying is the worst thing about the nuclear industry – and that’s saying plenty!

Of the current lies –  it’s hard to pick which lie matters most.

Lately the nuclear lobby is touting the lie that “new nuclear” is essential for peace and nuclear non proliferation.  That’s a beauty, isn’t it?

The truth is that the nuclear weapons industry needs the “peaceful” new nuclear industry – in which to grow its expertise for the nuclear killing factories – the $trillion dollars nuclear weapons makers.   (Which is why governments are lending an ear to the otherwise completely futile “Generation IV”  nuclear reactor lobbyists)

October 1, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

NUCLEAR’s WHOPPING CLIMATE LIE – theme for October 2017

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

September 16, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change, secrets,lies and civil liberties | Leave a comment

Banning weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear ones – theme for September 2017

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.

September 4, 2017 Posted by | 2 WORLD, Christina's themes, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Banning nuclear weapons- theme for September 2017

The 10-page treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons will be open for signatures from any UN member state on 20 September during the annual general assembly.

On 7 July, the United Nations adopted the “Nuclear Weapons Treaty” with an overwhelming majority – an epoch-making agreement that prohibits not only the development, experiment, manufacture, possession, and use of nuclear weapons, but also the “threat to use”. Nuclear and chemical weapons, and anti-personnel landmines and cluster bombs were also banned.

The U.N. decided to start negotiations for the treaty after a series of three conferences on the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. It’s been a long and painstaking journey, for people of decency and good faith, from the first conference in Oslo, Norway in March 2013, to the most recent, in July 2017 when the global Treaty was adopted by 122 nations. Now, this month, nations can ratify this Treaty – a positive step in the movement towards a sane world. It is not too late for more countries to join.

August 21, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

Climate change- what is to be done? – theme for August 17

Frogs are smarter than we are?  We insult frogs when we say that they would stay in  a pot of water, to die,  as it was slowly heated to boiling point. Dr. Victor Hutchison, at the University of Oklahoma, dispelled that myth when he studied frogs’ reaction to temperature changes in water. He followed the procedure outlined for a proper frog-boiling; put a frog in cold water, and gradually warmed the water up. (He stopped well before the boiling point.) The frogs most definitely did jump out when the water got too warm for them.

So – the message to human society surely should be –  act like a frogand don’t let global warming keep on creeping up on us!

Current approaches to the  climate change crisis:

  • Some climate scientists now warn that it is probably too late.  predicts The Unibhabitable Earth
  • Some advocate geoengineering solutions.
  • Climate scientists are in agreement that actions must be taken to adapt to climate change.
  • Drastic reduction in greenhouse gases is necessary, whatever other actions are taken.

Al Gore’s controversial new film carries a powerful message of hope.I hope that he’ s right.

Meanwhile the tragic main point of climate change is that it is affecting those who least deserve this. Rural populations in India, China and Africa , who have contributed very little to the cause of climate change are already afflicted with unusual heat, and drought. Pacific islanders, and South Asian coastal communities are already experiencing sea surges, as sea levels rise.

The challenge for this 21st century is surely for environmental justice – for meeting the plight of environmental refugees with help and compassion,  rather than with barriers and conflict.

The image below is by courtesy of the artist  Ricardo Levins Morales www.RLMArtStudio.com

 

 

p.s And of course, bear in mind that nuclear power is irrelevant to climate change –   except that it takes attention, energy, money and resources away from genuine solutions.

 

 

August 4, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change | Leave a comment

Climate change- the global emergency – theme for August 17 (nuclear is irrelevant)

Climate change may now be irreversible, and is certainly at an urgent stage. While this website is dedicated to opposing the nuclear threat, we can’t ignore the reality of its twin peril – global warming.

The scientific consensus is that the Earth’s climate system is unequivocally warming, and that it is extremely likely (meaning 95% probability or higher) that this warming is predominantly caused by humans. It is likely that this mainly arises from increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as from deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels (Wikipedia)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that warming of the climate system is ‘unequivocal’ with changes unprecedented over decades to millennia, including warming of the atmosphere and oceans, loss of snow and ice, and sea level rise.

Right now, climate experts are stressing the urgency of the situation, but offering differing ideas on what action to take. Dr Clive Hamilton, in his new book new book titled “Defiant Earth – the fate of humans in the Anthropocene.” says we will go well beyond the danger point of 2 degrees C. of warming, at least to 3 or 4 degrees. He advises that human society must adapt, and try to avoid the very worst. He warns us to avoid grandiose technological solutions.

Climate scientists agree on the need to drastically cut greenhouse has emissions, but some say that more action is needed. Paul Beckwith wants an international collaboration on further projects, to slow the warming rate – Removing excess CO2 from the atmosphere, Cooling the Arctic and saving the sea ice, Preventing Greenland Ice Sheet disintegration, Suppressing methane.

Of course, the nuclear lobby keeps promising extremely expensive solutions for the very distant future. However, nuclear reactors, of whatever type, would be far too late, even if they did combat climate change, (which they don’t).  Nuclear power is irrelevant to climate change, – except for taking resources away and thus slowing up effective measures, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.

 

July 17, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, climate change | Leave a comment

Russia’s Nuclear Marketing – theme for July 17

Russia has taken the lead in marketing nuclear reactors overseas –  but for how long?  Just recently,they held a nuclear marketing extravaganza in Moscow the  IX AtomExpo International Forum.  The industry propagandist World Nuclear News was ecstatic – their report would make you believe that Russia-Nuclear is taking over the world.

And Russia itself churns out joyous news of marketing success – to Turkey, Uganda, Philippines, Sudan, South Africa, Indonesia, Nigeria, India, Zambia, Kenya, Malaysia,  Tajikistan, Kuwait, Bangladesh, IndiaMyanmar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Ghana, Egypt, even Japan, Vietnam, Bolivia, Iran, Laos, Cambodia, Armenia, Britain, even USA

There was even a grand plan of partnership with USA and Saudi Arabia for a Middle East nuclear selling binge.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, a lot. And Russia itself is waking up to the grim reality of the failing nuclear market. Ever keen to be a marketing leader, Russia’s state nuclear corporation Rosatom is looking to renewables now.

And, just as well, for Russia’s customers are waking up to the dodgy deals offered by Russia. Russia’s much touted nuclear sales deals are not resulting in real development. Rosatom’s deals are in fact rather meaningless “memoranda of understanding” or “framework agreements.” 

Rosatom’s agreements lead to unhealthy dependency in the purchasing States,as they go into debt to Russia, which supplies the funding, expertise, and fuel for the nuclear build. Those States also risk being stuck with radioactive trash, with  lack of planning for nuclear waste processing and disposal.

 

 

 

July 9, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, marketing, Russia | 3 Comments

Nuclear Russia – theme for July 17

It’s high time that the global nuclear-free movement turned the spotlight on RUSSIA.  THIS website, being anglophone, is continually criticising America. But it’ s not just the language problem that makes us neglect to scrutinise Russia: it is also the secrecy, media censorship, and persecution of dissidents that help Russia to avoid scrutiny.

Russia’s quite scandalous nuclear history, past and ongoing, deserves to be exposed. There are 4 main issues here:

1.Russia’s history of nuclear accidents

2. Russia’s scandalous mismanagement of its radioactive trash

3. Russia’s secrecy and cover-up of its serious nuclear problems.

4. Next week – a look at Russia’s current frenzied international nuclear marketing

 

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, Russia | Leave a comment

The nuclear industry and endlesss growth in energy use – theme for June 2017

The nuclear lobby boasts about meeting the planet’s ever-growing need for electricity. “Innovation” is the catch phrase – supposed to be always beneficial. Well, yes, – much innovative technology is beneficial: much of it takes over arduous and monotonous work, much of it increases safety, much of it actually reduces energy use.

But not all new technology is actually beneficial, and some of it increases energy use.

Take, for example, the use of robots .  Power is used in the mining and manufacture of materials (steel, cast ironand aluminum) to make robots.  Electricity is needed for their function, for maintenance and repair. Eventually robots become wastes, like all obsolete machines, energy again used in discarding them..

Leaving aside that major argument about jobs, let’s examine, as an example,  the use of robots in health and social care. Already used in Japan, and Europe, robots provide some nursing services and  “elderly social care” that assists old people at home or in nursing homes.   Some robots, such as Japan’s “Nadine” (below) have been made “personal”. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

 

 

 

BUT – I assert here, (yes, you’re right- I don’t have any evidence) that old people, (like all people) need that human touch, that human interaction, and robots simply do not meet that need. And then, there’s the robot baby-sitter. Same thing.

So – these are examples of robots, with deeply unsatisfying results, using up electricity, that take away jobs that many workers find satisfying.

With society’s problems of increasing obesity and lack of exercise, there is surely a question about jobs, that humans do well and enjoy, and in which human energy is expended, but which are taken over by electricity-guzzling robots.

The new nukes lobby bleats about being part of an “innovation revolution”. But “innovation” is not in itself necessarily good –   not if it just means de-skilling people, increasing energy use, just in order to increase business profits.

June 4, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes, social effects | 3 Comments

Nuclear power and THE CONSUMER SOCIETY – theme for June 2017

The American nuclear front group The Breakthrough Institute has recently been in South Australia, along with South Australia’s own favourite nuclear zealot, Ben Heard, and his own nuclear front group Bright New World.  They were touting  -the gospel of the need for endless, escalating use of electricity.  The is – apart from putting across the myths of  “nuclear waste solution” “climate change solution”, “clean energy and “cheap energy” –   the theme of how Australia can be a global moral leader in helping the under-developed nations, via New Nukes.

I think that’s the biggest flaw in their mythology – that the world needs to ever consume more :”goods” and more electricity –  presumably until human society decides to spread all that further – on Mars.

Endless economic growth,  endless producing of things, endless buying of things, endless energy use, endless creation of wastes – this is the way that we humans run our lives, and our planet.

But the planet can’t take it, and neither can we.

It seemed OK, when the Western world could exploit its own indigenous areas, and the “Third World” –    the mess made by digging things up, leaving wastes, throwing stuff away – all this could go into the land and waterways of remote “undeveloped” peoples.

But we’ve run out of “undeveloped” lands and peoples. Now it’s becoming the Asian, African, South American century. They’ve become the disciples of the Western religion of materialism – now also getting cars, big houses, wanting it all, wanting more stuff.

Where do we all put the poisonous end products of our “civilised” consumption?   Into the planet’s air, waterways, land and oceans.   As we poison our planet, we poison our own life support system.

There is an alternative lifestyle – an old-fashioned one – the CONSERVER SOCIETY. It is still practised by many indigenous peoples. We’d better learn from them – and fast!

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes | 7 Comments

The nuclear industry and the concept of ENOUGH – theme for June 2017

To the nuclear industry the concept of ENOUGH is anathema. If you saw their slick advertising film “Pandora’s Promise” you would note that their major theme is endless GROWTH that will perpetually require ENDLESS ENERGY.

The nuclear industry’s shills, and there are many of them, love to portray the anti-nuclear movement as wanting to send people back to living in a “dark ages” style.  Nothing could be further from the truth. Genuine environmentalists want all people to have a life of more light, of reasonable comfort and leisure time, of enough of the good things of this world, rather than of too much.

It’s time that governments, bankers, industry leaders woke up to the reality that the world economy is threatened by growth, threatened by the accelerating destruction of this planet’s  air, water, land, and biodiversity. The destroyer is the growing human population and its growing consumption of ever more unnecessary products and unnecessary energy use.

It’s time that people stepped away from endless individualistic  consumption, and towards a reasonable life of more cooperation, of working less hours. It’s time to move from our suicidal consumer culture, to a conserver culture.

 

 

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment

International politics – and nuclear issues – theme for April 2017

Most of the world is busy commending Donald Trump’s American unilateral military action against Syria, undertaken with no Congressional authority, and with no indication of what the next step might be. Trump must be basking in all this global attention.

Meanwhile, in a quieter and much less publicised process, some 123 nations were represented in the United Nations talks in New York, planning for a nuclear weapons ban treaty

Setsuko Thurlow, survivor of nuclear bombing of Hiroshima

It’s interesting to reflect on aspects of these two processes. The decision to send 50 cruise missiles to bomb a Syrian military site was taken in a room full of men of the most powerful nation in the world. There was one woman there. She got in presumably because she can speak Arabic, and none of the men could.

The careful deliberations at the UN were discussed by all those smaller, unimportant, countries. The big nuclear guys were conspicuously absent – USA, Russia, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan,  and their dependent allies, such as South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia .

Indeed,proceedings were led by small nations – e.g Costa Rica – which doesn’t even have an army!

If that wasn’t unusual enough – in these discussions, women took an active, even a leading, part.   Makes you ponder on just who should be running this world.

April 9, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes | 1 Comment

The nuclear industry and politics international- theme for April 2017

The United Nations has just held the first of two global summits to negotiate “a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.   Sponsored by 57 nations, and with 125 nations represented. But the nuclear weapons nations did not participate.

Does this mean that the conference is meaningless? Perhaps. Yet, increasingly, public opinion supports nuclear disarmament, and those governments are being challenged, to explain their support for nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile, it is something of a turbulent time in international politics, with elections in European nations, with UK and “Brexit” , with North Korea a continuing nuclear weapons worry, and with the unpredictability of USA’s President Trump, and his belligerent attitude to China. In this political climate, the risk of nuclear war continues to grow.

The other side of the nuclear story – “the peaceful nuke” is looking unsustainable. Globally, it’s in decline. Even in the nuclear poster boy China, the industry is now slowing, perhaps stalling.

Yet the somewhat frenzied promotion of nuclear power goes on. Why? Perhaps because it is uneconomic in the home country, so it’s imperative to sell it off to other countries. Perhaps because non-nuclear countries in south Asia, the Middle East, Africa, covet nuclear weapons – and “peaceful” nuclear power is the first step towards nuclear weapons.

It really is time that civil society of every country prevailed, over the militaristic leaders of nations, who are beholden to the nuclear weapons industry. Intelligent military personnel know that there will be no winners in a nuclear war. And nuclear weapons are useless against the suicidal individual terrorists, who now frighten the world.

It is time that civil society rejected the dirty dangerous, (and super expensive) “peaceful” nuclear industry, including those billionaire zealots for geewhiz “new nukes”.  Global energies, talents and funds, are needed for truly beneficial technologies in energy efficiency and clean renewables.

March 24, 2017 Posted by | Christina's themes | Leave a comment