On the brink: nuclear news – week to 31 January
Some bits of good news. What went right this week: ‘positive tipping points’. England got a new rewilding site. Cancer Plummets, Guinea Worm Eradicated, Bye-Bye Ebola—3 Huge Wins for Humanity.
The polycrisis is upon us……. pandemic, global heating, nuclear fear, plastic and chemical pollution, biodiversity loss, overpopulation, water shortage ….. all these are interrelated. As Alex Smith shows us, in Radio Ecoshock – this all might develop into a permacrisis. My own thought is that it’s no wonder that many young people have problems of anxiety and depression – in our culture focussed on individualism, money, and endless growth.
Nuclear. This newsletter is miles too long. But it’s a critical time- teetering on the brink of nuclear war. Tanks going into Ukraine – a futile symbol for Zelensky’s dream of conquering Russia, – while underneath it all, rumblings of a cease-fire deal between USA-NATO and Russia, before it all gets a lot worse.
Christina notes: World War 3 danger – it’s getting so like pre World War 1 – can it get any worse? Nuclear toys for the boys. What fun! Nuclear fusion – here’s where history, culture, and nuclear annihilation technology collide.
CLIMATE. The first breach of 1.5°C will be a temporary but devastating failure. Absurd that we listen to those causing the climate crisis’ in Davos, says Greta Thunberg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EU6vQXif5Xo The ‘all-of-the-above’ story used to sneak nuclear power in as a climate-action technology along with renewables . Suffolk: Sizewell C nuclear ‘should not get licence’ due to coastal erosion.
CIVIL LIBERTIES. Julian Assange and the US government’s war on whistleblowers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOC-c0QdfEo . The Belmarsh Tribunals Demand Justice for Julian Assange. UK police powers increased, to shut down climate protests. UK govt to tighten anti-protest restrictions, despite criticism from human rights groups .
CULTURE. The dirty secret of US nuclear energy.
ECONOMICS. As the war rages on and military spending booms, the US arms industry is a big winner in Ukraine.
Marketing: South Korea keen to market nuclear technology to United Arab Emirates, and missile technology, too. Poland’s energy company agrees to buy France’s NOT YET DESIGNED so-called “small” Nuward nuclear reactor!
As SMR developer X-energy moves to go public, merger partner Ares cautions investors about risks of small nuclear reactors. David Schlissel: Small modular reactor project likely to end badly for Utah utilities.
EMPLOYMENT. The French nuclear sector up against the wall in terms of recruitment.
ENERGY. Germany aims for faster expansion of wind energy, not nuclear. Prolonged outages of France’s nuclear reactors. Renewable energy is the only credible path forward -António Guterres. Four separate reports show that the UK could save over €120 bn by 2050 by switching to a renewable energy strategy.
HEALTH. Julian Assange’s Biggest Fight in Notorious Prison Isn’t Over Extradition. The WHO is urging countries to start stockpiling medicines for ‘nuclear emergencies’ after the EU’s latest warning on Ukraine war. WHO updates critical medicines list for radiological and nuclear emergencies. Investigation underway after nine nuclear missileers develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Nuclear strike chief seeks cancer review of launch officers.
LEGAL. Fukushima: court upholds acquittals of three Tepco executives over disaster. UK High Court to hear challenge against plans for Sizewell C nuclear station. The Ohio nuclear scandal: Davis-Besse and Perry power plants in northern Ohio couldn’t cover costs, let alone make a profit. Appeals Court Tosses Suit from Environmentalists, Midland Oil Company Contesting Nuclear Waste Storage Permit.
MEDIA. New documentary film ‘Downwind’ explores why testing, using nuclear weapons makes deadly mistakes .
NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGY. Nuclear Fusion Won’t Save the Climate But It Might Blow Up the World. The Nuclear Fallacy: Why Small Modular Reactors Can’t Compete With Renewable Energy. U.S. approves design for NuScale small modular nuclear reactor, but significant problems remain.
OPPOSITION to NUCLEAR. Demonstrators gather in Hamburg against threat of nuclear confrontation in Ukraine.
PERSONAL STORIES. ‘The day the desert wind cried‘: French nuclear tests cast long shadow in Libyan Sahara.
POLITICS INTERNATIONAL and DIPLOMACY. Documents show no sign Albanese government lobbied the US to bring Julian Assange home. The Problem With Primacy – America’s Dangerous Quest to Dominate the Pacific. “Chinese Aggression” Sure Looks An Awful Lot Like US Aggression. Can Talks with China about Nuclear Weapons Be Constructive?
USA tries to prevent a Russian offensive in Ukraine by offering a sort of war endgame deal to Russia. Diplomatic Cables Show Russia Saw NATO Expansion as a Red Line. WikiLeaks cables reveal NATO intended to cross all Russian red lines.
SECRETS and LIES. In Just Under Three Weeks, Ukrainian-Fired Prohibited “Petal” Mines Maim At Least 44 Civilians, Kill 2, in Donetsk Region. Man arrested on suspicion of terror offences after uranium found at Heathrow.
SPACE. EXPLORATION, WEAPONS. Geopolitics’ New Frontier in Space. NATO activating space war center in France. New NASA Nuclear Rocket Plan Aims to Get to Mars in Just 45 Days. Nuclear-powered rockets to Mars – there are serious safety risks. NASA partners with the military to test nuclear fission-powered spacecraft engine by 2027.
SPINBUSTER. A bit of panic in the UK small nuclear reactor lobby?
TECHNOLOGY. Canadian MP Charlie Angus Questions the Claims of SMRs (Small Modular Reactors) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7nR4P39ALo.
WASTES. Don’t dump on us. China urges Japan to safely dispose of nuclear-contaminated water. France’s nuclear waste agency applies to create a long-term underground storage in Eastern France. France issues a 10,000-page dossier to convince people of the safety of the Cigeo nuclear waste site. US sweetens pot to study siting for spent nuclear fuel. Diluted plutonium disposed of at Carlsbad nuclear waste site as program draws controversy. Many years for removal and disposal of radioactive waste from historic subterranean vaults at Berkeley nuclear power station.
WAR and CONFLICT.
WEAPONS and WEAPONS SALES. SCOTT RITTER: The Nightmare of NATO Equipment Being Sent to Ukraine. CNN: Ukraine Has Become a ‘Weapons Lab’ for Western Arms . Ukraine Narrative Fraying, But Weapons Will Continue To Flow. AP: NATO powers, Ukraine in “fast-track” talks for long-range missiles, warplanes . Ukraine war boon/boondoggle for U.S. arms makers, Pentagon’s warfighting capabilities.
Biden to send 31 Abrams tanks, Germany 14 Leopards for war in Ukraine — . Germany Says US Must Lead Way On Tanks For Ukraine, As Republican Party Also Piles On Pressure . Ukraine: Germany spearheads delivery of 90 tanks from NATO allies, partners . Finnish arms to Turkey in NATO quid pro quo, tanks to Ukraine next. Ukraine intensifies pressure on Georgia to enter war: ruling party leader . German foreign minister: “We are fighting a war against Russia” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCJUf5d6UfE.
Nuclear submarines deal for Australia, an exercise in futility and should be sunk. Push in US Congress to exempt Australia from International Traffic in Arms Regulations, so that it can import nuclear submarines.
Plutonium Pit Bomb Plans Excoriated by General Accounting Office.
Cost Estimate for Plutonium Pit Project at Savannah River Site Hits $16.5 Billion, $5 Billion above Current Estimate .
US Installs New Nukes in Europe: As Destructive as 83 Hiroshima Bombs.
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