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Japan maintains sanctions but boosts its LNG imports from Russia

Japan’s economic woes are compounded by anti-Russia sanctions

By Ahmed Adel | September 20, 2022

Despite being one of the very few non-Western countries to join the US-led sanctions against Moscow, Japan has suddenly tripled the amount of liquefied natural gas (LNG) imported from Russia to solve its energy problem. Although the Japanese government plans to reduce its dependence on Russian gas supplies, it appears that Tokyo cannot immediately give up gas and fuel from the Eurasian country. 

According to the Japanese Ministry of Finance, Japan in August increased the amount of LNG imported from Russia by 211.2% compared to last year. It is noted though that crude oil imports in the same period year-on-year decreased by 20.3%. According to the data, coal imports from Russia in August decreased by 32.6% compared to the same period last year.

In the opposite direction, iron ore imports increased by 44.9%. In addition, Japan increased the number of vegetables and fruits imported from Russia by 154%, but reduced the amount of grain and soybean imports by 94-95%. While the total volume of goods exported from Japan to Russia in August decreased by 24.3% compared to the same period last year, reaching $384 million, the amount of Japanese goods imported from Russia recorded an increase of up to 67.4%, with a value of up to $1.15 billion.

The Japanese want to gradually reduce imports of Russian coal and oil, but Tokyo does not want to cut the amount LNG because this is a gas supply that plays an extremely important role in maintaining the country’s economy. 

At the end of June 2022, the G7, the group of leading industrialised countries in the world, which includes Japan in its ranks, announced a plan to reduce dependence on the supply of gas, oil, and fuel from Russia. However, the sharp increase in LNG imports from Russia to Japan seems to indicate a different truth. Not only Tokyo, but also many Western countries, will find it difficult to end their dependence on Russian gas in the short and medium term.

It is recalled that Japan’s energy self-sufficiency rate is only 11%, much lower than the US’s 106%, Canada’s 179%, and the UK’s 75%. Therefore, if Russia stops selling oil and gas to Japan, Tokyo will face a great risk of energy insecurity.

This month, G7 countries also announced their intention to impose a price cap on Russian oil. However, the EU itself cannot find a common voice on this issue, especially as Moscow has warned that “unfriendly” countries will not have the opportunity to import oil, gas and fuel from Russia if they impose a cap. This is a scenario that Japan wants to avoid. 

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan’s total energy consumption in 2019 is equivalent to 247 million tons of oil, of which natural gas accounts for nearly 8.7%. Renewable energy (other than electricity) accounts for only a very small part, about 0.1% and even tends to decrease slightly over time. In recent years, Japan has not discovered any more natural gas fields of major commercial value. Japan, for its part, only produces about 2 million tons per year.

To meet domestic demand, Japan imported 82.9 million tons in 2018 – from Australia 34.6%, the Middle East 21.7%, and Malaysia 13.6%, but also from host of other countries. In fact, Japan uses LNG mainly for power generation through 37 LNG terminals, with the highest proportion belonging to JERA (42%) and Tokyo Gas (17%).

After the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown, Japan changed its energy development strategy, focusing on the issue of safety and energy security. Along with that, Japan also strives to further enhance energy efficiency.

In the context of Japan’s limited potential to exploit renewable energy, the use of nuclear power is opposed by many domestic organisations. For this reason, LNG imports became a key strategy for Japan. By 2030, the share of LNG in Japan’s power generation capacity is forecast to reach 27%.

It is noted though that August marked the thirteenth month in a row that Japan has been importing products more than it has been exporting, with about half of the deficit coming from energy imports from the Middle East.

“The weaker yen is boosting (the cost of) imports at a time of surging energy prices. Energy and grain prices have shown signs of stabilizing recently, but the impact of the sharp drop in the yen will continue for a while with a lag,” one analyst told Japanese daily Mainichi.

In this way, Japan’s anti-Moscow sanctions are also affecting its economy, just as it is all across Europe. There is little evidence either that Tokyo is planning to reverse its sanctions, suggesting that its economic woes will continue to be compounded by the self-sabotaging sanctions imposed against Russia.

Ahmed Adel is a Cairo-based geopolitics and political economy researcher.

September 20, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Nuclear Power | , | Leave a comment

Poland receives US nuclear offer

Samizdat | September 13, 2022

The US has sent Poland a proposal to help build six nuclear reactors in the country in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and gradually phase out coal, the Polish Climate ministry announced on Monday.

Delivered to Poland’s Minister of Climate and Environment Anna Moskwa by US ambassador Mark Brzezinski, the proposal suggested that Washington and Warsaw create a detailed bilateral roadmap for the construction project, which is set to be finished by 2040.

“It’s more than a commercial offer, it reflects 18 months of work and millions of dollars spent on analysis and evaluations,” said a spokesperson for the Westinghouse Electric Company, a US firm bidding to take on the project.

US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm called the report “a major step towards Poland’s development of a robust civil nuclear industry that is zero-carbon emitting and will result in another European source of energy that is free from Russian influence.”

“This project has the potential to ensure that the Polish people can receive the safest, most advanced, and reliable nuclear technology available,” the politician added.

The Polish government expects the partner in its nuclear programme to take a 49% stake in the company and assist in managing and financing the plants, after providing the technology for them.

The government in Warsaw will now consider the US proposal, and make a decision before annual talks on technology issues this autumn.

Washington’s offer comes shortly after Poland claimed that it had become the “locomotive of development” for the whole of Europe, while questioning Germany’s supposedly misguided energy policies, which have been left in “ruins”.

“Germany’s policies have inflicted tremendous damage on Europe,” said Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, describing the phase-out of coal and nuclear power as “premature”. The leader also criticized Berlin’s decision to allow the construction of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines, and grilled Berlin for becoming energy dependent on Russia.

September 14, 2022 Posted by | Nuclear Power | , | 3 Comments

Switzerland May Build Radioactive Waste Storage Facility Near German Border

Samizdat – 11.09.2022

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BFE) has stated that an area of northern Switzerland near the border with Germany might be used for the construction of a nuclear waste storage facility.

The Swiss government has yet to approve a deep geological repository for spent nuclear fuel and other radioactive waste, due to be located in the region of Nordlich Lagern, north of Zurich.

BFE spokeswoman Marianne Zuend told Reuters that the project was initiated by the National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA), a company which plans to propose the Nordlich Lagern site on Monday.

“This is only an announcement of where they (Nagra) would like to build,” Zuend pointed out, adding that the BFE is overseeing the process.

She also said that “All the details will have to be elaborated now by NAGRA to be put into the official demand that they will submit in about two years’ time to the authorities.”

According to NAGRA, the proposal also has yet to get the green light from the Swiss parliament, with the government not expected to make a final decision on the site until 2029. The construction of the repository may only start in 2045.

AFP news agency, in turn, quoted NAGRA spokesman Felix Glauser as saying that they “chose Nordlich Lagern as the safest site for a deep geological repository.”

He referred to “extensive investigations” that he said “have shown that Nordlich Lagern is the most suitable site and has the largest safety reserves.”

The German Federal Ministry for the Environment has voiced concern regarding NAGRA’s plans, which were also slammed by Christian Kuhn, a member of the German parliament (Bundestag) from Baden-Wurttemberg.

He argued that the proximity of the planned nuclear waste storage site to Baden-Württemberg village in Hohentengen “poses a problem both during the construction phase and during the operation of the repository.”

Right now, there are four active nuclear power plants (NPPs) in Switzerland, which may reportedly continue their operation as long as their safety is guaranteed.

September 11, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | , | Leave a comment

Kiev shelling damages roof of nuclear reactor fuel storage

The damaged roof of the nuclear reactor fuel storage at the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant. © Telegram / vrogov
Samizdat – August 29, 2022

A Ukrainian strike has hit a reactor fuel storage at the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, local authorities said on Monday.

The roof of the building has been damaged as a result of the attack, Vladimir Rogov, the spokesman for Zaporozhye Region’s administration, said on Telegram.

He also posted a photo of a hole in the roof that was supposedly caused by the strike.

The affected storage facility holds fresh nuclear fuel for the reactors of the plant, which is the largest in Europe.

Russia said earlier that a Ukrainian drone targeting the nuclear facility had been shot down.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Kiev’s forces of targeting the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant – which has been under Russian control since March, but operated by Ukrainian staff – with artillery and ‘kamikaze’ drones.

It warned that those attacks could trigger a disaster that would eclipse the 1986 Chernobyl incident. Radioactive material could potentially reach Poland, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, Belarus, and even Germany in a worst-case scenario.

Ukraine, meanwhile, has claimed that the Russian forces have turned the nuclear plant into a military base and that they’ve been shelling the facility themselves to pin the blame on Kiev.

Russia has repeatedly denied those accusation and urged for international inspectors to visit the site to assess the situation for themselves.

Earlier on Monday, International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi announced that such a mission will take pace after all, with IAEA specialists expected to arrive at the Zaporozhye plant this week.

August 29, 2022 Posted by | Nuclear Power, War Crimes | | 2 Comments

‘Dirty bomb’ in Ukraine would affect nine countries

Samizdat – August 16, 2022

A total of nine countries could be contaminated if the Russian-controlled Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine is hit by multiple launch rocket systems, a former chief inspector of the USSR’s nuclear authority told RT.

Russian troops established control of the Zaporozhye NPP, Europe’s largest facility of the kind, early on in the course of military operations in Ukraine. Since then, Russia has repeatedly accused Kiev of launching artillery and drone strikes on the facility. Ukrainian officials claimed that the Russians were shelling themselves to discredit Kiev.

In an interview published on Tuesday, Vladimir Kuznetsov warned that if the plant is hit by volley fire, with numerous missiles striking the storage facility that holds spent nuclear fuel, chances are that more than one container would be damaged. This scenario would entail radiation escaping “into the environment – hence the contamination of not only the industrial site but also the Dnepr river which is nearby,” the expert noted.

Kuznetsov also pointed out that such a strike would most likely be accompanied by a fire, and “God knows where the wind would send the combustion products.”

The former chief inspector surmised that should 20 to 30 containers be breached in such an attack, the “radiation would affect approximately nine countries: Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, the Baltic states and obviously Western Ukraine.”

Russian forces took over the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in early March, within the first two weeks of Moscow’s military campaign against its neighbor.

In recent weeks, the Russian military has accused Ukraine of deliberately targeting the facility multiple times and warned that a major nuclear disaster, akin to that at Chernobyl in 1986, or even worse, could happen if such attacks continue unchecked.

Kiev, meanwhile, denies these allegations and claims that it is Russian forces that are shelling the power plant to frame the Ukrainian military – a point of view shared by the US and EU. The UN has called the attacks “suicidal” and proposed sending an International Atomic Energy Agency delegation to the site to provide “technical support” and help avoid a further escalation.

On Tuesday, local government administration member Vladimir Rogov told Russian media that Ukrainian forces had fired multiple rockets directly at the coolant systems and nuclear waste storage site inside the facility.

Since the storage site is out in the open, any hit would result in the release of nuclear waste ranging from dozens to hundreds of kilograms and lead to contamination of the area, the official explained.

“In plain language, that would be like a dirty bomb,” said Rogov.

August 17, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine bombs nuclear waste storage site inside Zaporozhye NPP – official

Samizdat – August 16, 2022

Ukrainian artillery has fired multiple rockets directly at the coolant systems and nuclear waste storage site inside the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant in Energodar, local government administration member Vladimir Rogov told Russian media on Tuesday, warning that a successful strike may result in a radiation release equivalent to a “dirty bomb.”

“One of the guided missiles hit just 10 meters” from the barrels with spent nuclear fuel,” Rogov told Soloviev Live. “Others hit a bit farther away, 50 to 200 meters.”

Since the storage site is out in the open, any hit will result in the release of nuclear waste ranging from dozens to hundreds of kilograms and contamination of the area, the official explained. “In plain language, that would be like a dirty bomb,” said Rogov.

While the reactor itself can only be destroyed with a tactical nuclear weapon, the coolant systems and waste storage are far more vulnerable and damage to them could easily cause a disaster, the official said. Ukrainian troops have already fired “several dozen” heavy projectiles at the cooling systems, Rogov added. If they succeed in disabling such a system, it could produce a meltdown bigger than the 1986 catastrophe at Chernobyl.

Russian troops established control of the Zaporozhye NPP, Europe’s largest facility of the kind, early on in the course of military operations in Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine have been accusing each other of shelling the facility, warning that combat in the area could trigger a nuclear disaster. Russia accused Ukraine of launching artillery and drone strikes on the facility, denouncing the operations as “nuclear terrorism.” Ukrainian troops claimed that the Russians were shelling themselves to discredit Kiev.

Russian requests to the UN and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the site firshand have been met with excuses that inspectors can only access the station via Kiev, and Ukraine can’t guarantee their safe passage.

On Monday, Rogov accused the UN of blocking the IAEA visit because it was covering for Kiev. If the inspectors actually showed up, he said, they would be forced to conclude that Ukraine and not Russia was shelling the power plant.

“It is obvious, it’s all been documented, and not only that, it’s also well known who is being supplied with American guided missiles. Obviously, not Russia, but the Zelensky regime,” he said.

August 16, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments

Zaporozhye official explains why inspectors can’t reach nuclear plant

Samizdat | August 15, 2022

Members of the UN are blocking a visit by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant (ZNPP) so they can avoid confirming Kiev shelled the Russian-controlled facility, local official Vladimir Rogov told RT in an interview on Monday.

Rogov, a member of the Zaporozhye military-civil administration, insisted that the ZNPP is always prepared to welcome the atomic energy watchdog, which has repeatedly expressed a desire to visit the facility, but noted that the UN has “directly started to block the possibility of an IAEA inspection.”

The official suggested that if the agency does visit the plant, it would be forced to conclude that it had been shelled by Kiev’s forces. “It is obvious, it’s all been documented, and not only that, it’s also well known who is being supplied with American guided missiles. Obviously, not Russia, but the Zelensky regime.”

The Zaporozhye nuclear power plant – the largest in Europe – has repeatedly come under attack over the past few weeks. While none of the reactors have so far been struck, the shelling has partially damaged a nearby thermal power plant as well as equipment used to cool the nuclear reactors.

Moscow has accused Ukraine of using rockets, artillery and drones to attack the ZNPP and has described Kiev’s actions as “nuclear terrorism” and holding the whole of Europe hostage.

Rogov stated that Western countries have “completely lost their instinct of self-preservation” in an economic, geopolitical and ecological sense, as a disaster at the ZNPP would spell trouble for European countries first and foremost.

“Nevertheless, we do not hear a single adequate statement, not a single voice of reason, either from Germany or from France,” he noted.

Kiev, meanwhile, has denied responsibility for shelling the plant and insists that it is Russia that has been targeting it in a plot to discredit Ukraine. The US State Department has taken Zelensky’s side and has called for a withdrawal of Russian forces from the area and the creation of a demilitarized zone around the plant.

While that solution has been supported by the UN and the EU, Rogov insists that the West should instead be working to establish a ceasefire there. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, has pointed out that if Russian forces were to leave the power plant it would be vulnerable to action by Kiev.

“Those who propose the withdrawal of Russian troops should be aware of the consequences that this object will be left without protection and can be used by Kiev and nationalist groups for the most monstrous provocations,” said the Russian ambassador, stressing that Moscow does not use nuclear facilities for military purposes.

August 15, 2022 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, War Crimes | | 1 Comment

NATO-Backed Kiev Regime Resorts to Nuclear Terrorism

Strategic Culture Foundation | August 12, 2022

Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant is under repeated missile attacks by the NATO-backed Kiev regime. Let that appalling fact sink in for a moment. Can anything more criminal and reckless at this time be imagined?

Bear in mind that the very governments (regimes really) responsible for this abysmal situation are the same ones who proclaim “rules-based order” and “liberal democracy”. Evidently, their rhetoric is just a sick facade for totalitarianism and lawlessness.

What is going on is nuclear terrorism by the Nazi-infested Kiev regime and its Western sponsors. The missiles hitting the Zaporozhye nuclear plant (ZNPP) are supplied by the United States and its NATO allies. The power station has been under sustained artillery or drone attack since last week. A fire at the installation has already been reported although the Russian military and the Ukrainian civilian operators at the Zaporozhye plant managed to put the blaze out. The ZNPP is reckoned to contain hundreds of tonnes of enriched uranium and other spent nuclear fuel. Situated on the mighty Dnieper River in southeast Ukraine that flows into the Black Sea, if the ZNPP is fatally hit the damage would be catastrophic for Europe and the rest of the world. The resulting radioactive contamination would far exceed that of Chernobyl or the Fukushima disaster. The world is on the brink of a deliberately orchestrated cataclysm.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the UN international nuclear supervising agency, the IAEA, have both condemned the attacks on Zaporozhye as “suicidal”. They have appealed for demilitarization of the area. The UN is being cowardly in its restraint by not specifically condemning the NATO-weaponized Kiev regime. The UN is hiding behind cynical claims that there are “conflicting reports” of who is to blame for the shelling of the nuclear plant.

The United States and its Kiev proxy are blaming Russia for the military strikes. Displaying twisted logic, they say Russia is carrying out the attacks in order to smear the Ukrainian regime. They also claim that Russia is using the plant as a cover for its military forces.

Russian forces commandeered the Zaporozhye NPP in early March, days after they invaded Ukraine on February 24. Russia’s military operation was compelled by the relentless build-up of NATO’s offensive threat in neighboring Ukraine since the CIA coup d’état in 2014. Securing the ZNPP was a top priority given the criminal recklessness of the NATO-backed Kiev regime. Now the United States and its Kiev catspaw are absurdly making out that Russia is hitting its own forces and territory under its control, including the vitally important ZNPP.

The trajectory of missiles fired on the ZNPP clearly shows that the attacks are coming from the territory under the control of the Ukrainian forces and its NATO accomplices. The rational suspicion is that the long-range multiple-launch rocket systems supplied and overseen by the U.S., Britain and Germany are involved.

Washington and its NATO allies are calling on Russia to relinquish control of the nuclear plant and give it back to the Kiev regime.

That preposterous demand exposes who the nuclear terrorists are. The United States and its NATO axis are responsible for holding Europe and the world hostage with the threat of nuclear catastrophe.

We should note that anything claimed by the Kiev regime and its Western handlers, including the entire news media acting as propaganda outlets, cannot be taken remotely seriously. This week, the Kiev puppet president Vladimir Zelensky admitted through his aide Mikhail Podolyak that all public statements are “information warfare” designed to deceive Russia. The alleged Russian massacres at Bucha and Mariupol, allegations of mass rapes by Russian soldiers, and allegations of bombing civilians all fit into this admission of lies.

The furor over a report by Amnesty International last week blaming the Kiev regime for using civilian centers such as hospitals, schools and homes as military shields is just the tip of a very dirty iceberg. But it illustrates the depravity and corruption of the NATO-backed Kiev regime.

The risible accusations that Russia is shelling the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant as some kind of propaganda stunt betray the guilt of projecting onto others what the accusers themselves are capable of doing.

Russian forces have secured Europe’s largest nuclear power station and up to now have averted disaster by protecting it. It is Russia that summoned the UN Security Council to convene this week in an emergency session to highlight the extreme danger. Moscow is calling for demilitarization and for IAEA inspectors to be allowed access to the ZNPP in order to report the circumstances. It is the Kiev regime and its Western sponsors who are preventing those calls. The United States and its NATO axis are supplying more and more long-range missiles to Ukraine and slandering Russia with claims of “nuclear terrorism”. The U.S. axis is in effect giving a green light to the Kiev regime to continue its criminal offensive.

This week saw the 77th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That horror was carried out as a criminal act of state terrorism. American justifications for the crimes on August 6 and 9, 1945, have always been known – albeit not widely known due to Western media lies – to be baseless propaganda. The intended effect of the U.S. imperial regime then was to terrorize the rest of the world into submitting to its presumed global dominance.

The same abominable, lawless logic is on show again with the situation in Ukraine over the Zaporozhye nuclear plant. The United States is using its Kiev proxy to hold the world hostage to its imperial objectives.

The psychopathic gambling by the U.S. regime is heinous. Russia has warned that if its territory comes under threat it will use nuclear forces to defend itself. Nuclear war is an increasing risk. If the U.S.-sponsored Kiev regime makes a fatal blow on Zaporozhye causing untold radioactive contamination of Europe, Russia and the rest of the world, what do the Americans expect Moscow to do? Yet this madness by Washington is being pursued.

A diplomatic end to the crisis over Zaporozhye as with the general war in Ukraine is being thwarted by NATO’s militarism. The world’s foremost nuclear terrorist regime – in Washington – is playing with fire and acting as the perverse God of Death again, holding the whole world to ransom for its pernicious ends.

A simple, urgent test beckons: stop the military attacks on Zaporozhye. Now, who is objecting?

August 13, 2022 Posted by | Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Mega blackout imminent? France shuts down half its nuclear reactors

Free West Media | August 11, 2022

France is an important factor in Europe’s energy supply. But the country is planning on shutting down more than half of its nuclear reactors. The reason given is that they supposedly need maintenance.

The energy exporter is going to have to access energy from abroad. But that can turn out to be more difficult than planned with the European energy crisis expanding. Is a mega blackout looming?

Some 56 nuclear reactors at 18 locations normally supply France with electricity. But 18 of these reactors are already shut down. Long-term maintenance work is to be carried out. That had been planned for a long time, authorities said. But then France also had to shut down 12 more reactors last week.

Damage caused by corrosion is said to be the reason for this. The supply in Europe’s power grid seems all the more uncertain in winter.

In many places, the European power grid is dependent on the energy security of the neighboring country. If a country fails over a large area, other states are drawn into the blackout. France has been an important factor in European energy supply in recent years. But the Grande Nation itself may have to switch to energy imports.

August 11, 2022 Posted by | Nuclear Power | | 1 Comment

US addresses attacks on Russian-held nuclear power plant

Samizdat | August 8, 2022

The White House on Monday called on Russia to “return full control” of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant near Energodar to the Kiev authorities. Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry accused Ukrainian forces of “nuclear terrorism” for bombarding the Russian-held facility twice since Friday.

“Fighting near a nuclear plant is dangerous,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One on Monday, flying with President Joe Biden to Kentucky to tour areas damaged by flooding.

“We continue to call on Russia to cease all military operations at or near Ukrainian nuclear facilities and return full control to Ukraine,” Jean-Pierre added. “We are also aware of the reports of mistreatment of the staff and we applaud the Ukrainian authorities and operators for their commitment to nuclear safety and security under trying circumstances.”

On Monday, the government in Kiev called for a demilitarized zone to be established around Europe’s largest power plant. The Zaporozhye facility has been in Russian hands since February, with its Ukrainian staff continuing to operate and supply Ukraine with electricity.

Russia has accused Ukraine of “nuclear terrorism” over the repeated attacks on the facility. Ukraine’s 44th Artillery Brigade fired at the plant on Sunday from the village of Marganets, on the opposite side of the large Kakhovka water reservoir, General Igor Konashenkov said in a briefing on Monday. It was the second time Ukrainian shelling has caused a fire and a partial power outage at the plant since Friday, he added. Ukrainian troops targeted the Zaporozhye plant with several suicide drones in late July.

Kiev has claimed that Russian troops were using the facility as a staging area – but also that the Russians were shelling themselves. Moscow has rejected both of those accusations. The Kremlin has called on “countries which have an absolute influence on the Ukrainian leadership” to command Kiev to end the shelling.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the “suicidal” attacks on the plant, expressing hope that international inspectors will be able to access the facility soon.

August 9, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Here Are The Winners And Losers In The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | August 8, 2022

As Democrats pat themselves on the back after the Senate finally passed their massive tax, climate, and healthcare bill – the “Inflation Reduction Act” which Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called “one of the most significant pieces of legislation passed in a decade,” Bloomberg has compiled a list of winners and losers.

Not only did none of the billions in tax increases Democrats threatened high-earners with last year make it into the final version of the bill, their plans to ‘tax the 1%’ turned out to be nothing more than a big virtue signal.

Private equity fund managers

As we noted on Friday, the landmark bill only passed after AZ Sen. Kyrsten Sinema insisted on keeping the carried-interest loophole that allows investment managers (like her former bosses) to shield the majority of their income from higher taxes.

The private equity industry was able to gain an additional win shortly before the final passage of the bill when a handful of Democrats broke with their party to vote on a Republican amendment that created a carveout for private equity-owned companies in the corporate minimum tax. -Bloomberg

Manchin and Sinema were big winners – after having held their party hostage for more than a year over this legislation, “The entire contents of the bill were essentially cherry-picked by Manchin and then tweaked to fit Sinema’s preferences,” according to the report.

The two were also able to score direct benefits for their states – with Manchin securing an agreement to permit the completion of the Equitrans Midstream Corp.’s Mountain Valley Pipeline, and Sinema – who was able to secure $4 billion in drought relief for western states.

The IRS And The Green agenda

The bill will give $80 billion to the IRS over the next 10 years to expand its audit capabilities, as well as a bevy of technology upgrades.

Meanwhile, electric carmakers got an extension of a popular $7,500 per vehicle customer tax credit for EVs, but will have to comply with strict battery and critical minerals sourcing requirements demanded by Sinema and Manchin – which could render the credits useless for years.

Solar and hydrogen companies, such as Sunrun and Plug Power, Inc. will also benefit from generous tax credits, while operators of nuclear reactors such as Southern Co., Constellation Energy Corp., Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. and Energy Harbor Corp. could benefit from a $30 billion production tax credit.

Medicare, Obamacare Enrolees

The final version of the bill caps seniors’ out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses to $2,000 per year, and enables Medicare to negotiate the prices on 10 medications four years from now. Th bill also kicks the can on a massive increase in Obamacare premiums that were set to happen in January for many middle income Americans, which will now happen in three years.

LOSERS:

Republicans who thought Manchin and Sinema wouldn’t cave on their promises to raise taxes during a recession.

The GOP was confident they had beaten back Biden’s tax and climate agenda and were stunned in late July when Schumer and Manchin announced a deal. While still the favorites to gain seats in the midterm elections, passage of the bill is a major setback for the GOP’s policy aims. It does, however, give them a new issue to campaign on in the fall campaigns. -Bloomberg

Other losers include tech companies – that will bear the brunt of two major tax increases in the bill; a 15% minimum tax on financial statement profits, and a new levy on stock buybacks which have allowed companies like Alphabet’s Google and Meta’s Facebook to minimize their tax burden over the years.

SALT – the ability to deduct state and local taxes, a $10,000 cap which coastal Democrats were hoping to repeal.

Bernie Sanders – who Bloomberg notes wanted $6 trillion in spending, making the $437 billion in new spending a far cry from success. Excluded from the bill is all proposals for new social programs, including tuition-free-college, child care, housing spending and an expanded-child monthly tax credit.

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Nuclear Power | | Leave a comment

Ukrainian Troops Shell Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant Overnight: Local Authorities

Samizdat – 07.08.2022

Ukrainian troops launched an attack against the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant overnight, using an Uragan multiple rocket launcher, with shrapnel and a rocket engine falling at 400 meters (1,312 feet) from the station’s operating power unit, the military and civil administration of the city of Energodar said.

“Last night, the Ukrainian armed forces carried out a strike using a 220 millimeter Uragan rocket launcher,” the administration spokesperson said.

The missile unfolded and released shrapnel warheads as it approached the power units, the spokesperson noted.

“The area of the dry storage facility for processed nuclear fuel and the automated control post of the radiation situation appeared to be in the strike zone. Administrative buildings and the adjacent territory of the storage facility were damaged by the cluster munitions. It is important to note that the fallen shrapnel warheads and the rocket engine itself fell no more than 400 meters from the active power unit,” the spokesperson added.

Since March, the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant has been under full control of Russian forces, but Ukrainian forces have repeatedly attacked it by drones, prompting Russia to seek assistance from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in addressing the plant’s security concerns.

August 7, 2022 Posted by | Nuclear Power, War Crimes | | 1 Comment