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A final vote soon on a $billion bailout for Ohio’s nuclear power stations


July 23, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano dies at 72

UN nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano dies at 72, Aljazeera, 22 July 19

The longtime Japanese diplomat held the IAEA’s top job since December 2009.  Yukiya Amano, the Japanese diplomat who led the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for a decade and was extensively involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme, has died at 72.

Amano, who had wide experience in disarmament, non-proliferation diplomacy and nuclear energy, had been chief of the key United Nations agency that regulates nuclear issues worldwide since 2009…..

The announcement was made on the day Amano was expected to announce his decision to step down due to an illness that had visibly weakened him over the past year.

His third term had originally been due to expire in November 2021.

The IAEA said its flag over its headquarters in Vienna had been lowered to half-mast.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, expressed sadness and called Amano “a man of extraordinary dedication and professionalism”.

July 23, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

A cry from a poet, survivor of Hiroshima bombing – give up nuclear weapons!

Give back peace, give up nuclear weapons

Published: 7/22/2019 Give back my Father,

Give back my Mother.

Give Grandpa,

Grandma back;

Give my sons

and daughter back.

Give me back


Give back

the human race.

As long

as this life lasts,

this life,

Give back Peace

Peace that will never end.

Poet Sankichi Toge survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; his loved ones did not. He voices the anguish and grief of atomic bomb survivors who lost forever their families and friends, who live in the shadow of death themselves, and who long for the world to reject the madness of nuclear weapons and choose lasting peace.

He is not alone.

The non-nuclear nations of the world are clamoring for the abolition of nuclear weapons. They have held high-profile conferences on the catastrophic global consequences of accidental or deliberate detonation of nuclear weapons on human health, food and water, climate change “by fire and ice” and the economy. And they have taken a major step for humanity toward lasting peace.

On July 7, 2017, nearly two-thirds (122 in all) of the world’s countries adopted the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons banning nuclear weapons. The nine countries possessing nuclear weapons boycotted the UN vote. Among them, the United States lobbied hardest against this treaty, contending these weapons of mass destruction keep us secure.

Despite this morbid logic, we learned recently that our government’s leaders have a set of fortified sites constructed to save themselves in the event of nuclear catastrophe while the rest of us fend for ourselves (See Garrett Graff’s book, “Raven Rock: The Story of the Government’s Secret Plan to Save Itself While the Rest of us Die”).

Mayors of U.S. cities are equally alarmed about the extreme danger of these weapons and the theft of resources away from cities and towns. Under presidents Barack Obama and now Donald Trump, our government has authorized more than $1.7 trillion to upgrade and replace nuclear weapon delivery systems, bombers, missiles and submarines over the next 30 years. This death money comes from the coffers of our taxes and should be used more sustainably for renewable energy, high-speed rail, a living wage, affordable housing and eliminating child poverty — in short the Green New Deal.

Opposition to nuclear weapons has been unfailingly bipartisan since 1945. Key World War II military leaders from all branches of the armed forces, including generals Eisenhower, Arnold, Marshall and MacArthur; and admirals Leahy, Nimitz and Halsey strongly dissented, for both military and moral reasons, from President Harry Truman’s decision to drop the bombs on two civilian Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At their 40th anniversary reunion in Los Alamos, N.M., 70 of 110 physicists who had worked on the atomic bomb signed a statement supporting nuclear disarmament.

In February 1998, retired Air Force General Lee Butler, who had overseen the entire nuclear arsenal, urged his government to take the lead in abolishing all nuclear weapons. “Nuclear weapons have no politically, militarily or morally acceptable justification. … They expunge all hope for meaningful survival.”

Fewer than four months ago (April 11), George Schultz, Republican secretary of state under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and Democrat William Perry, defense secretary under President Bill Clinton, co-authored an article in the Wall Street Journal urging for a world without nuclear weapons. They quoted Reagan’s 1984 State of the Union Address: “Nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Underlying the 2017 UN Treaty are decades of activism in the U.S. and globally: “ban the bomb,” “nuclear weapons freeze,” nuclear test ban campaigns, “nuclear-free zones,” and most recently and significantly, the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).

In Northampton, NuclearBan.US, an ICAN partner, has just published “Warheads to Windmills: How to Pay for a Green New Deal.” The report is a detailed analysis of what it will take to adequately address the climate crisis and where the needed money and scientific and engineering expertise could come from: namely, the nuclear weapons program.

“It’s not an exaggeration to say that these weapons threaten our very existence as a species,” says author Timmon Wallis. “And so does the climate crisis. But if we eliminate nuclear weapons, we can convert an industry of death to an industry of life. We can shift massive amounts of money and scientific talent to green technologies we need to survive — and we can create millions of jobs.”

On Aug. 6, join us at Unity Park Riverfront, Turners Falls, at 5:30 p.m. to commemorate the atomic bomb victims and to resolve “never more.”

Patricia Hynes directs the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice. Vicki Elson is co-director of NuclearBan.US.

July 23, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Up to 250,000 fish a day to be killed by cooling system for new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station 21st July 2019 Marine and conservation groups say plans for a water-cooling system at the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station near Burnham-On-Sea will kill up to 250,000 fish a day and must be altered or scrapped. Hinkley Point
nuclear power’s cooling system has this week been described in the
national press as an underwater ‘plughole’ that will suck in 130,000
litres of sea water a second. Along with the water, it will also draw in
thousands of fish into the two inlet tunnels that are as wide as a
double-decker bus and span two miles out into the Bristol Channel, west of

July 23, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

The Pentagon’s scary new nuclear doctrine


The Pentagon’s new nuclear doctrine is scary as hell, Darius Shahtahmasebi is a New Zealand-based legal and political analyst who focuses on US foreign policy in the Middle East, Asia and Pacific region. He is fully qualified as a lawyer in two international jurisdictions. 18 Jul, 2019 The Pentagon is actively contemplating the use of nuclear weapons to win wars that need not be fought in the first place. As expected, opposition to the US nuclear doctrine is almost non-existent in the mainstream media.

It used to be the case that the idea of using nuclear weapons in a real-world conflict was such a taboo idea that no one was ever openly to contemplate it. We need only look back to the end of World War II to realize how catastrophic and harmful nuclear weapons can be on civilian populations; yet we shouldn’t have had the blueprint of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to know that the use of nuclear weapons would be a frightening and criminal act. They are deadly and unnecessary, end of story. You can all save me the cliched response “But they ended a war.”

Firstly, the use of nuclear weapons didn’t end a war – it started one (the Cold War). Secondly, anyone who knows even a little bit of history knows that Japan was on the verge of defeat. But don’t take my word for it – I wasn’t there. But those who were typically made statements to the effect that “[t]he use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” But I digress.The United States military has decided that the only chance it has of maintaining a stranglehold over its empire is to actively contemplate the scenarios and situations in which it should deploy the use of nuclear weapons. ……

The Pentagon apparently believes that it is “necessary” and “prudent” to “preplan nuclear employment options for contingencies prior to a crisis,” which includes “a means to assess the anticipated effectiveness of options prior to execution,” as well as a “means to assess the nature and extent of unintended consequences.”……..

Having executed an option, the US military is unlikely to stop there. According to the document, “planning and operations must not assume use in isolation but must plan for strike integration into the overall scheme of fires.” The document also states that “there may be a requirement to strike additional (follow on and/or emerging) targets in support of war termination or other strategic objectives.” Commanders must “maintain the capability to rapidly identify and strike previously unidentified or newly emerging targets.”

Forget the Iran nuclear deal. Where is the US nuclear deal? Where is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to stop global annihilation by nuclear holocaust by a former reality TV star billionaire (the JCPOATSGABNHBAFRTSB)?

The spectrum of nuclear warfare may range from tactical application,” the document eerily confirms, “to limited regional use, to global employment by friendly forces and/or enemies.

As the Military Times was astute to note, the new doctrine reflects a world in which the US military is losing its “technological edge” over “other near-peer military rivals.” Just to give you a hint, the list of near-peer military rivals does not include Iran. It includes two nuclear giants in particular who are beginning to put the US military on the backfoot to the extent that the Pentagon has no choice but to release documents which call the employment of nuclear weapons “essential” to mission success.

The urge to deploy the use of nuclear weapons only makes sense if you live in a world in which you must always be prepared to win a war against every potential adversary. Americans amongst you reading this may be thinking: “Yeah, so what?” But take it from the rest of us who don’t wake up every morning swearing allegiance to a flag that to many others represents death and destruction, that winning wars tends to be less of a focus when compared to other issues such as healthcare, housing, climate change, and the list goes on.

Perhaps if the US gave up on the idea that it needs to fight wars in order to predicate its survival in the first place, it wouldn’t need to contemplate such a catastrophic doctrine. …..

Just to summarize: the US is the only nation to deploy nuclear weapons during battle. The Trump administration suspended its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty in February this year, and is releasing documents left, right and center which suggest they are actively considering using nuclear weapons again…..

July 22, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

U.N. nuclear watchdog’s chief plans to step down early -diplomats

U.N. nuclear watchdog’s chief plans to step down early -diplomats, VIENNA (Reuters) 16 July 19,- U.N. nuclear watchdog chief Yukiya Amano plans to step down early, in March of next year, because of an unspecified illness that has visibly weakened him over the past year, diplomats who follow his agency’s work said on Wednesday……

July 18, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Heat waves, rising seas, – climate change threatens France’s and UK’s nuclear plants

Guardian 12th July 2019 Rae Street: In Weatherwatch (9 July), Paul Brown highlighted the
risks to nuclear power stations with climate change. As he pointed out,
nuclear reactors are not a reliable source of base load power.
The increasing number of heatwaves threatens their supply of cooling water,
particularly in France, which exports electricity. In the UK, reactors use
sea water, but there are dangers ahead there, too, with the risk of
flooding from rising sea levels.
Add to that the whopping costs and the dangers of terrorist attacks, technical failures, human error and radioactive contamination, and it is difficult to understand why
politicians are supporting “new build” nuclear reactors. Why are they
not choosing to put money and resource into sustainable energy sources?

July 15, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Earthquake risk to Diablo Canyon’s two cracked, embrittled, under-maintained, unregulated, uninsured and un-inspected atomic reactors

Eco Watch 12th July 2019 Had last Friday’s 7.1 earthquake and other ongoing seismic shocks hit less than 200 miles northwest of Ridgecrest/China Lake, ten million people in
Los Angeles would now be under an apocalyptic cloud, their lives and those
of the state and nation in radioactive ruin.
The likely human death toll  would be in the millions. The likely property loss would be in the
trillions. The forever damage to our species’ food supply, ecological
support systems, and longterm economy would be very far beyond any
meaningful calculation.
The threat to the ability of the human race to
survive on this planet would be extremely significant. The two cracked,
embrittled, under-maintained, unregulated, uninsured and un-inspected
atomic reactors at Diablo Canyon, near San Luis Obispo, would be a seething
radioactive ruin.

July 15, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Possible freeze of North Korea’s strategic weapons programs

Yes, a nuclear freeze is the logical next step with North Korea, WP, By Michael Morell, July 14

Much discussion has occurred about a possible freeze of North Korea’s strategic weapons programs. Is it part of the Trump administration’s strategy in the hopefully soon-to-be-resumed talks with Pyongyang, or not? Is there a debate about it within the administration, or not? Is it a good idea, or not? Unnamed sources in the administration say “yes” to some or all of these questions; national security adviser John Bolton emphatically says “no” to all of them.

But, as it turns out, a freeze of North Korea’s nuclear and long-range missile programs could be a good thing — for two reasons. First, it would build trust that could lead to subsequent deals resulting in cuts and permanent limits to North Korea’s weapons programs. It is difficult to overstate the trust gap that currently exists between the two countries, making a single, one-step agreement that resolves the nuclear issue an impossibility.

Second, with each day that passes without a deal or a freeze, Pyongyang adds to its existing stockpile of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, giving it added leverage in any talks that do happen (that is, more to eventually bargain away and, therefore, to receive in return), not to mention the added security threat to the United States that more weapons would create. Indeed, this is the biggest downside of allowing North Korea to delay the march toward talks.

The Obama administration and its P5+1 negotiating partners — the other four permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (Britain, France, Russia and China) plus Germany — successfully achieved a freeze with the Iranians during the negotiations that resulted in the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. The Iranians agreed to freeze their nuclear program from day one of those negotiations……….

What might we give in return for a freeze? Certainly, some limited sanctions relief, something to show North Korea the potential benefits of a long-term deal with the United States. Perhaps a restart of South Korea’s Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea — the use of North Korean labor to make South Korean products for export. Perhaps an opening of diplomatic interests sections in Pyongyang and Washington. …….


July 15, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Praise for Russian sailors who died in nuclear submarine accident. Secrecy on what happened.

July 9, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

India and Pakistan: Two Nations Always At the Brink of Nuclear War

The world’s most dangerous conflict. National Interest. by War Is Boring 7 July 19 in other words, as the Kashmir dispute continues to fester, inducing periodic terrorist attacks on India and fueling the competition between New Delhi and Islamabad to outpace each other in the variety and size of their nuclear arsenals, the peril to South Asia in particular and the world at large only grows.

It’s possible that a small spark from artillery and rocket exchanges across that border might — given the known military doctrines of the two nuclear-armed neighbors — lead inexorably to an all-out nuclear conflagration. In that case the result would be catastrophic. Besides causing the deaths of millions of Indians and Pakistanis, such a war might bring on “nuclear winter” on a planetary scale, leading to levels of suffering and death that would be beyond our comprehension.
Alarmingly, the nuclear competition between India and Pakistan has now entered a spine-chilling phase. That danger stems from Islamabad’s decision to deploy low-yield tactical nuclear arms at its forward operating military bases along its entire frontier with India to deter possible aggression by tank-led invading forces. Most ominously, the decision to fire such a nuclear-armed missile with a range of 35 to 60 miles is to rest with local commanders. This is a perilous departure from the universal practice of investing such authority in the highest official of the nation. Such a situation has no parallel in the Washington-Moscow nuclear arms race of the Cold War era.

When it comes to Pakistan’s strategic nuclear weapons, their parts are stored in different locations to be assembled only upon an order from the country’s leader. By contrast, tactical nukes are pre-assembled at a nuclear facility and shipped to a forward base for instant use. In addition to the perils inherent in this policy, such weapons would be vulnerable to misuse by a rogue base commander or theft by one of the many militant groups in the country……

July 8, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear power – an outdated technology – not needed for UK

Tom Burke 25th June 2019 Tom Burke: We don’t need nuclear power to keep the lights on, which is fortunate as nuclear power stations are unplanned offline about 25% of the time. They are intermittent, as is all energy generation, so it is fortunate that we don’t actually need base load power.

It’s about five years since the then Chief Executive of Wood Mackenzie Steve Halliday, said baseload is an outmoded concept of how you manage an electricity grid, and that’s because we have modern sensors, we have deep data, deep analytics, we have much more sophisticated software, and we are able to manage our electricity system in a way that delivers affordable and reliable electricity, much more efficiently that we were able to do in the past, and we simply don’t need very big base load power stations of any kind any more, and certainly not ones the size of the new Hinkley Station at 3.2 gigawatts.

The cost of renewables has gone down, the cost of storage has gone down, absolutely dramatically, far faster than anybody thought possible, and we are now in a position to deliver all of the electricity that people need over the coming decades, without reliance on nuclear power stations any more than we are reliant on big coal fired power stations. Toward the end of the coming decade we will be able to do it without reliance on gas either. We are moving into a very different kind of electricity system, and the idea that nuclear power, which is essentially a
20th Century technology, is what you need to solve a 21st Century problem is simply wrong.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Let Congress Intervene on Nuclear Arms   An antinuclear advocate calls on Congress to stop the Trump administration’s undermining of our nuclear treaties.  Mark Muhich. Jackson, Mich. The writer is chairman of the Sierra Club Nuclear Free Core Team. June 21, 2019  Will Arms Control Foes Target Another Treaty?,” by Carol Giacomo (Editorial Observer, June 5), chronicles the move to wreck numerous nuclear weapons treaties by John Bolton, the national security adviser, and the Trump administration.

The United States is poised to spend billions of dollars for the upgrade of its nuclear arsenal. The detonation of a few nuclear weapons could destroy most life on earth.

Congress must intervene. The existing nuclear treaties — the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the New Start Treaty, the Nonproliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty — must be supported by Congress. Legislation outlawing the first use of nuclear weapons and funding for programs that violate existing treaties should be debated and passed.

Mr. Bolton is dangerous. Strengthening our nuclear arms treaties will be an essential antidote for his apocalyptic policies.

June 22, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

Nuclear Disarmament’s Lessons for Climate Change

Nuclear Disarmament’s Lessons for Climate Change.  If we can ban nukes, we can ban carbon emissions. Here’s how.  BY CHARLI CARPENTER, RONALD MITCHELL, JUNE 12, 2019  T hroughout the Cold War, nuclear weapons were the main existential threat to the planet. But they were also considered vital to powerful nations. With no chance of getting those players to give them up, possession and use of the weapons was simply regulated at the margins. But thanks to the concerted work of a coalition of activists, nuclear weapons were banned outright in a 2017 treaty that has been signed by 70 countries and ratified by 23.

June 13, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment

British nuclear reactors are a different design, but, yes Britain could have a Chernobyl style accident

Herald 5th June 2019 IT is the chillingly realistic true-life drama gripping audiences on both
sides of the Atlantic. But Chernobyl, the HBO and Sky Atlantic hit series
on the 1986 meltdown, has also got viewers thinking. The show – which ended
its five-episode run last night – has reignited a debate that has, until
recently, been overshadowed by concerns on global warning.

Suddenly, says Edinburgh-based campaigner and consultant Peter Roche, people are talking
about nuclear energy again, and not just as a carbon-neutral power source
to help combat the climate emergency. That, he reckons, is good. Mr Roche
has been riveted by Chernobyl, the TV show. “I am surprised how popular it
is,” he said. “A whole new generation of people are learning about the
hazards of nuclear accidents.”

It released radiation in a plume that fell
across Europe. Everybody in Scotland, The Herald reported in 1989, was
irradiated. People who ate game, we revealed, got 10 times the average
dose. But for campaigners like Mr Roche – back in 1986 a member of Scram, a
group which united around opposition to East Lothian’s Torness nuclear
power plant – it became an object lesson.

But could Scotland or the UK
suffer a Chernobyl? Mr Roche fears so. “That we don’t have this kind of
reactor in the UK was always the get-out clause of the British industry,”
he said. “But that does not mean we cannot have another kind of accident.”
Mr Roche recently warned that Hunterston could cause a Chernobyl. He was
speaking after The Ferret, a Scottish investigative journalism team,
revealed operator EDF had found 350 graphite cracks. That delayed plans to
restart two reactors which were undergoing maintenance.

June 6, 2019 Posted by | general | Leave a comment