Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Russia set to air TV series that reveals US role in Chernobyl nuclear disaster

Press TV – June 8, 2019

Russia is set to air a TV series based on the Chernobyl nuclear disaster that implicates the United States as playing a role in the worst nuclear accident in history.

Currently in post-production, the series by the Russian company NTV tells the story of the 1986 explosion that ripped through reactor Number 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

The explosion led to a huge radioactive leak, which permanently affected areas in places across three quarters of Europe. Thirty workers and firemen were killed in the immediate aftermath of the explosion and rescue operations. Most of them died of severe radiation-related illnesses.

The plot revolves around a CIA agent dispatched to Pripyat — the town inhabited by Chernobyl workers — to gather intelligence on the nuclear power plant.

The series will follow KGB officers in their attempts to hunt the espionage operation.

Director Aleksey Muradov said that his version, filmed in Belarus, will show “what really happened back then.”

“There is a theory that the Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant,” he said. “Many historians do not deny that on the day of the explosion an agent of the enemy’s intelligence services was present at the station.

This is while a five-part “Chernobyl” series produced by American premium cable and satellite television network HBO has recently triggered worldwide debate as some experts have challenged its credibility.

Russia’s most popular newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP), has dismissed the show as “a caricature and not the truth.”

“If Anglo-Saxons film something about Russians, it definitely will not correspond to the truth,” said Russian journalist Anatoly Vasserman.

Russian newspaper The Moscow Times, also wrote this week that the HBO production was biased against the Soviet Union and provided a “caricature”’ of the nation.

June 8, 2019 Posted by | Nuclear Power | , | 1 Comment

Chernobyl’s Deadly Effects Estimates Vary

By John Laforge | CounterPunch | April 22, 2019

April 26 marks the 33rd anniversary of the 1986 radiation disaster at Chernobyl reactor Number 4 in Ukraine, just north of Kiev the capital. It is still nearly impossible to get scientific consensus on the vast extent of the impacts. The explosions and two-week long fire at Chernobyl spewed around the world something between one billion and nine billion curies of radiation — depending on whose estimates you choose to believe. The accident is classified by the UN as the worst environmental catastrophe in human history.

Chernobyl’s radioactive fallout has been blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths, but the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) acknowledges only 56 deaths among firefighters who suffered and died agonizing deaths in the disaster’s immediate aftermath. However, the IAEA’s officially chartered mission is “to accelerate and enlarge the contributions of nuclear power worldwide.” Because of its institutional bias, one can dispute nearly everything the IAEA says about radiation risk.

Also on the low-end of fatality estimates is the World Health Organization which has to have its radiation studies approved by the IAEA! In 2006, the WHO’s “Expert Group concluded that there may be up to 4,000 additional cancer deaths among the three highest exposed groups over their lifetime (240,000 liquidators; 116,000 evacuees, and the 270,000 residents of the Strictly Controlled Zones).” The WHO added to this 4,000 the estimate that “among the five million residents of areas with high levels of radioactive cesium deposition” in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine” predictions suggest “up to 5,000 additional cancer deaths may occur in this population from radiation exposure…”

Alternately, Ukraine’s Minister of Health Andrei Serkyuk estimated in 1995 that 125,000 people had already died from the direct effects of Chernobyl’s radiation. Serkyuk said a disproportionate share of casualties were among children, pregnant women and rescue workers or “liquidators.” Liquidators were soldiers ordered to participate in the removal and burial of radioactive topsoil, heavy equipment, trees, and debris, wearing no protective clothing, respirators or radiation monitors.

On January 10, 2010 The Guardian reported that “reputable scientists researching the most radiation-contaminated areas of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine” dispute the IAEA estimates that only 56 firefighters died “and that about 4,000 will die from it eventually.” The paper noted for example, that, “The International Agency for Research on Cancer, another UN agency, predicts 16,000 deaths from Chernobyl; an assessment by the Russian academy of sciences says there have been 60,000 deaths so far in Russia, and an estimated 140,000 in Ukraine and Belarus.”

The Guardian further noted that, “Meanwhile, the Belarus national academy of sciences estimates 93,000 deaths so far and 270,000 cancers, and the Ukrainian national commission for radiation protection calculates 500,000 deaths so far.”

The Los Angeles Times reported in 1998 that, “Russian officials estimated 10,000 Russian ‘liquidators’ died.” The article quoted health officials who said “close to 3,600 Ukrainians who took part in the cleanup effort have died of radiation exposure.” In 2001, the BBC upped the estimate and reported, “More than 30,000 Russians have died from radiation, half of whom were involved in dealing with the immediate aftermath….”

An August 4, 2003 New Yorker magazine article noted vaguely that, “Thousands of people died of cancers and other diseases in the years after the Chernobyl disaster,” while The New York Times said April 23, 2003, “Thyroid cancer, leukemia and other cancers have skyrocketed in the area around the reactor.” Around the 10th anniversary, under the headline, “Genetics: Chernobyl’s burst in mutations,” The Washington Post reported that, “Studies indicated that people … living near Chernobyl are giving birth to offspring with a higher number of genetic mutations.” In her April 27, 1996 dispatch for the Associated Press, journalist Angela Charlton noted “a hundred-fold increase in the incidence of childhood thyroid cancers in the affected region.”

Chernobyl’s health effects were felt much further away than the area around the reactor. The Los Angeles Times reported July 25, 1996, that radiation from Chernobyl was “linked to leukemia cases in Greece.” Epidemiologic Reviews in Oxford Journals for March 30, 2005 reported, “The releases of radioactive materials were such that contamination of the ground was found to some extent in every country in the Northern Hemisphere.” In its 1988 Report to the General Assembly, the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation found, “The accident at the Chernobyl … resulted in radioactive material becoming widely dispersed and deposited … throughout the northern hemisphere.”

In 2001, Alex Kuzma, executive director of the Children of Chernobyl Relief Fund, documented an 80-fold increase in cancers in Belarus and Ukraine, and reported that 50 million people, including 1.26 million children, are affected. Eugene Cahaill of the Dublin-based Chernobyl Children’s Project reported in the Irish Times in 2005 that, “Nine million people in Belarus, the Ukraine and Western Russian have been directly affected by the fallout.”

Thirty-six hundred deaths, or 125,000? Nine million people affected, or 50 million? The health effects of exposing everyone in the hemisphere to Chernobyl’s radiation (and Windscale’s, and Santa Susana’s, and Fukushima’s) — effects that are often delayed for decades — are quite incalculable. Got cancer?

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

April 22, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Deadly Dust: US Spreading Radiation and No One Wants to Raise the Issue – Author

Sputnik – April 3, 2019

In a new book named “Deadly Dust – Made in the USA: Uranium Weapons Contaminating the World” German author Frieder Wagner gives a detailed account of how the US has contaminated vast territories using depleted uranium (DU) ammunition and the cover-up strategy of the military, industry and governments, as well as those in the media and politics.

Sputnik: Mr Wagner, in your book “Deadly Dust — Made in the USA: Uranium Weapons Contaminating the World” you talk about the use of uranium ammunition. What is especially dangerous about these weapons?

Frieder Wagner: Weapons containing uranium are produced from nuclear industry’s waste (byproducts of uranium enrichment). If, for example, you want to produce a ton of natural uranium fuel rods for nuclear power plants, you get about eight tons of depleted uranium. It is a source of alpha radiation — radioactive and, moreover, very poisonous. It needs to be stored somewhere, and it is not very cheap.

Sputnik: How can it be used in weapons?

Frieder Wagner: About 30-40 years ago, military scientists made a discovery: uranium is almost twice as dense as lead. If you turn depleted uranium into a projectile and give it proper acceleration, then within a fraction of a second it will pierce through tank armor, concrete or cement.This, of course, was an important discovery. Furthermore, when a shell hits an armored tank the impact produces dust caused by the detonation and the subsequent release of heat energy causes it to ignite and it explodes at a temperature of 3000 to 5000 degrees — incinerating the tank’s interior and destroying it.

Sputnik: But what happens afterwards is also a problem — after the use of DU ammunition, isn’t it?

Frieder Wagner: Yes! After its use depleted uranium, which, as I have already said, is a source of alpha radiation (that is, a radioactive and very toxic substance), burns down to nano-particles that are a hundred times smaller than a red blood cell.

This way, I would say, a sort of metallic gas forms that people can inhale, and which is released in the atmosphere and can be carried anywhere by wind. People who inhale it are at risk for developing cancer.These nano-particles can also penetrate the body of a pregnant woman, overcoming the barrier between a child and a mother, and affect the health of an unborn baby, can infiltrate the brain and by travelling through the bloodstream end up in any human or animal organ. Everything that goes around the planet, sooner or later settles and, of course, contaminates, in particular, drinking water and everything else.

Sputnik: In what wars have DU weapons been used so far?

Frieder Wagner: It was actively used during the first Gulf war in 1991 against Iraq. The military has admitted that about 320 tons were used. Then in the second war in Iraq in 2003 over 2,000 tons were used. In between, it was used during the war in Kosovo, in Yugoslavia (1999), and in Bosnia in 1995, and after 2001 in Afghanistan, where it still used today.

Sputnik: Your book title says Made in the USA, were these weapons only used by the United States? 

Frieder Wagner: They were being developed in several countries at the same time. In Germany, they were also working on these weapons, as, of course, in Russia. However, it was used and on such a large scale, only by the US. They were reckless and they did not pay attention to any possible side effects — just as it was back when the first atomic bombs were used. That’s why I called the book: “Deadly Dust — Made in the USA”.

Sputnik: How did you manage to prove the use of this ammunition in the course of your research?

Frieder Wagner: For example, the Serbs gave us maps where they showed the locations where depleted uranium was used. When we were in Iraq, we talked to the locals. We traveled to places where large tank battles took place and took soil samples there, as well as dust samples from tanks. Looking at the tank, you can see whether it was hit by an ordinary projectile or a uranium munition.

Uranium munition leaves dust that burns everything around the hole made by the projectile. So you can determine the use of uranium ammunition. In all soil samples, we found depleted uranium. Unfortunately, uranium-236 was also found in most of the soil and dust samples — it is even more intense and poisonous. Its radiation is even stronger and does not occur in nature. It can only be produced artificially during reprocessing of fuel rods. This means that we were able to prove that the military, the United States and its coalition allies used uranium munitions made from spent uranium fuel rods.

Sputnik: Your book is based on the films The Doctor, the Depleted Uranium, and the Dying Children of Basra (Der Arzt und die verstrahlten Kinder von Basra, 2004) and Deadly Dust (Todesstaub, 2007). What did you see in Basra during your work on the documentary?

Frieder Wagner: It was horrific and still sometimes haunts me in my dreams. These were children with deformities, which we saw in orphanages in Basra and Baghdad. Some of them had such deformities that they had almost nothing human anymore.

There were children without a head or a nose, either with one eye or without eyes at all, with internal organs in a kind of “sack” outside their body. These ‘creatures’ can live only for a few hours, experiencing terrible pain, and then die.

Sputnik: The film “Deadly Dust” is linked to the book, but it is no longer distributed. WDR channel after this film did not make any more orders? Why is that?

Frieder Wagner: My exposes which I sent to WDR, as well as to the ZDF channels were rejected. Then I contacted an editor at WDR, for which I always made good films and with which I always had good relations with, because these films had doubled or trippled their ratings, and asked him: “What’s going on here?”” And after some hesitation he said: “Yes, Frieder Wagner, someone must tell you this. WDR considers you a ‘difficult’ person. And most importantly, the topics you suggest are especially hard. Right now I’ve got nothing more to tell you.” And that’s when I understood everything. It was in 2005.

I can also tell you the story of how, for example, a female editor at ZDF offered the TV channel a story on the use of these weapons during the war in Yugoslavia and also in Croatia. She wanted to talk about it with me prior so I could share my experiences. But when her boss found out that she wanted to talk to Frieder Wagner, he refused to pay for her trip — without any further explanation.

Sputnik: The so-called “deadly dust” is, as you have already described it, is spread by the wind. So should the use of uranium ammunition, in fact, be considered a war crime and banned?

Frieder Wagner: This is definitely a war crime. The dust from southern Iraq is carried to the north by the constant storms, the so-called desert storms — for example, to Erbil, where it meets the mountains and can’t travel further as the mountains make it difficult for it to go past towards Turkey. So this huge mass of dust settles in Erbil.We, for example, took samples of beef from around Erbil, and this is what we found out: depleted uranium used in ammunition has a characteristic atomic “fingerprint”. In northern Iraq we found the same “uranium fingerprint” as in the south. This means that the uranium dust that had originally settled in the south of Iraq is now also in the north, and children are now getting sick there and are born with deformities. It is now spreading all over the world.

Sputnik: Have the victims of uranium munition use in Kosovo or, for example, in Iraq, tried to go to court?

Frieder Wagner: So far no such attempts have been made in Kosovo or Iraq. Now in Kosovo, a whole group of lawyers are working on a lawsuit against NATO, because after the war they unleashed, people were injured, fell ill and died. The morbidity rate has increased by 20 to 30 percent, and there are more effected each year. So there will be an attempt to file a lawsuit.

Out of the approximately two thousand Italian soldiers stationed in Iraq and Kosovo, 109 have later developed cancer and died — this is proven information. 16 families, out of the 109 dead, filed lawsuits and won their cases. The courts ordered the Italian state or the country’s Ministry of Defence to pay them compensation. Since each cancer was of a different type, the payout amounts differed. But they ranged between 200,000 and 1,4 million euros.

Sputnik: How are things in Germany? Have there been lawsuits filed by the soldiers of the Bundeswehr?

Frieder Wagner: The German Ministry of Defense constantly denies any connection to this. Our soldiers are stationed in Afghanistan and Kosovo. About 100,000 soldiers served in Afghanistan, and we found out that about 30% of those who returned got sick, although at first, of course, they do not notice this. If they subsequently marry and have children, then there’s a great risk that their children will have disabilities.These children will have the same toxic substances in their DNA as their parents. And this will be passed on for several generations — from children to grandchildren and to great-grandchildren.

Sputnik: But none of these people ever filed a lawsuit?

Frieder Wagner: In Germany there were no such precedents. About 600 servicemen went to court in the United States who could not appeal on their own behalf, but they filed lawsuits on behalf of their children who were born with developmental disabilities. And we’re not talking about a mere 90 or even 900 million pay out, but about billions of dollars now. The United States, of course, will try to delay the adoption of a ruling as much as it is possible and hope for a “biological” resolution of the situation — that is, that the plaintiffs will simply die.

April 3, 2019 Posted by | Book Review, Environmentalism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Nuclear Power | | 1 Comment

US Atomic Plants ‘Dodging Radioactive Bullets’ as Floodwaters Submerge Midwest

Sputnik – March 21, 2019

With heavy rainfall inundating the US Midwest, nuclear power plants risk being flooded. However, the plants continue to operate at full power, resulting in the potential for “unnecessary, extremely high risk” accidents, according to Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear.

“In Nebraska alone, you’ve got the Offutt Air Force Base, which is the home of the [US] Strategic Command, which controls the nuclear arsenal of the US, and it’s largely flooded,” Kamps told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear hosts Brian Becker and Nicole Roussell.

​According to Offutt Tech. Sgt. Rachelle Blake, around 60 buildings on the south end of the base, including the 55th Wing headquarters and two aircraft maintenance hangars, were flooded over the weekend by as much as eight feet of water. The 55th Wing is a US Air Force unit assigned to Air Combat Command.

“You’ve also got two nuclear power plants in Nebraska. You’ve got Fort Calhoun, north of Omaha on the Missouri [River], which thankfully shut down in 2016. And the reason it shut down was the previous historic floods on the Missouri in 2011 damaged the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant, [so] that it never recovered. But you’ve also got the Cooper atomic reactor south of Omaha on the Missouri River, and yet again, for the second time, in 2011 and [now in] 2019, Cooper — which is being run by Entergy Nuclear of New Orleans on behalf of a public utility in Nebraska — ran at 100 percent power levels through these historic floods. For the industry, that’s the bragging point: ‘Look at what we can do,'” Kamp noted.

“It’s a Fukushima-like situation, where you’re dealing with a natural disaster and insisting upon operating at 100 percent power levels with your atomic reactor. Granted, Japan didn’t know that natural disaster was coming. And so, the danger is, if you lose power from the grid, and then your emergency diesel backup generators fail, you can’t control the cooling on those hellishly hot atomic reactor cores,” Kamp explained.

“In addition to the reactor risks, there are radioactive risks, which are still present at the shut-down Fort Calhoun but also at Cooper, both in the storage pools, which can go up in flames, but also in the dry casks that could be impacted by the floods. They [Omaha Public Power District, Entergy Nuclear] might have dodged a bullet again in 2019, but they keep taking these unnecessary, extremely high risks with their operations,” he added.

In March 2011, the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan’s Ōkuma, Fukushima prefecture, was hit by a 46-foot tsunami triggered by a 9.0-magnitude offshore earthquake. The natural disaster crippled the facility’s cooling system and resulted in the leakage of radioactive materials, hydrogen-air explosions and eventually the plant’s shutdown, Sputnik previously reported.

On Monday, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) announced that the Cooper Nuclear Plant was continuing to operate safely.

“We are operating at full power, and the water is receding… and we expect the water level to continue dropping,” NPPD spokesman Mark Becker said, according to Reuters. In addition, he noted that the plant was 899.75 feet above sea level Monday morning, below the 901.5 feet that would require the nuclear reactor to shut down.

“Back in 2011… there are about a half dozen major dams upstream of Fort Calhoun on the Missouri River, any one of which failing could have have created a domino effect of failures with the other dams, and it could have sent a very deep wall of water coming down the Missouri River. And the Fort Calhoun power plant could have been inundated under very deep water,” Kamp explained.

“It happened at Fukushima. All of a sudden, an hour after that earthquake in Japan, that wall of water — 45 feet deep — hit the nuclear plant and hit the last remaining power sources, which were the emergency diesel generators. So, here in Nebraska, there is renewed potential for those upstream major upstream dams to fail, [to] send a wall of water down. Another danger at both Fort Calhoun, with the stored waste, but also at Cooper with the operating reactor and the stored waste: if local levees were to fail and allow flood waters to inundate the sites even deeper,” Kamp noted.

“At Fort Calhoun, just now, they came within one foot, nine inches of having to shut down under their own very loose and weak protocols. That’s how close it came. So, it’s incredible the risks that they [NPPD, Entergy] take. If they had any responsibility, they would shut down.”

According to Becker, the US Army Corps of Engineers has reduced water releases from the Gavins Point Dam to decrease the risk of flooding downriver.

“And to give some credit, Fort Calhoun in 2011 did shut down months ahead of time — in April — because they saw what was coming with the snow melts; they had enough predictions. They [NPPD] shut down months ahead of time, and even though they did, they were so damaged by the floods, and they still screwed up and had a fire burning within the turbine building that nobody dealt with. That final straw of the fire not being dealt with days on end, that’s what led to the final shutdown several years later. Dodging radioactive bullets is not fun stuff, but it’s kind of what they do for a living,” Kemp noted.

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power | | Leave a comment

Large wildfire engulfs forest in Chernobyl’s EXCLUSION ZONE

RT | February 17, 2019

A major blaze has broken out in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – the site of the worst nuclear disaster in human history. The fire hit a forest some 20 kilometers away from the ill-famed nuclear power station.

The blaze inside Chernobyl’s ‘dead zone’ in northern Ukraine started on Sunday when dry grass caught fire, the Ukrainian emergency service said in a statement. The blaze then reached a forest near the abandoned village of Bychki located some 24km (15 miles) away from the damaged nuclear reactor.

Some 5 hectares (12 acres) of forest went up in flames. Three firefighting vehicles and 18 emergency crew members were dispatched to tackle the blaze, according to the emergency service’s statement.

The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, an area heavily contaminated by the disaster, has repeatedly witnessed wildfires over recent years. A large fire broke out there in June 2018. Another blaze, which scorched 25 hectares (60 acres) of land, hit it in 2017.

While the burning of possible radioactive wood and shrubs could release some dangerous combustion products into the atmosphere, the statement issued by Ukrainian officials mentioned no such risks for now.

Chernobyl became the site of one of the biggest nuclear disasters in history, when a local power reactor blew up during a safety system test on April 26, 1986, leading to massive contamination of the surrounding area and beyond. The catastrophic explosion released 400 times more radioactive material than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II.

The severely damaged reactor was sealed off by a protective ‘sarcophagus’ of steel and concrete, while the nearby town of Pripyat had its 50,000 population evacuated. A radioactive cloud covered a massive chunk of Europe in the wake of the disaster.

Today, Pripyat is a ghost town while the contaminated 30-kilometer (18.6 mile) area around the reactor has been turned into a no-go zone, which has for years been closed to any visitors, but is now booming with wildlife – keenly observed by scientists.

February 17, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment

Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 13.02.2019

It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.

Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.

For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.

Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?

It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.

Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?

The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.

Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.

A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.

It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.

What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.

In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.

On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.

As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.

Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.

The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.

February 13, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Russophobia | , , , , | 2 Comments

Hastily-Buried Radioactive Waste Lays Bare Nuclear Power Legacy

Sputnik – 11.02.2019

Over 126,000 barrels of radioactive material are stored in the Asse mine in Lower Saxony, a state in northwest Germany bordering the North Sea, a fact that has many locals – as well as the global anti-nuke community – frustrated.

Manfred Kramer, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, lives close to the Asse salt mine in which the decaying waste is stored and — while acknowledging that politicians are finally beginning to take notice — has long protested against having radioactive waste in the old mine, Tekportal reported.

“It’s nice that she’s finally coming,” Kramer said, referring to Environment Minister Svenja Schulze’s upcoming visit to the mine, which was originally used for the extraction of potash salt until 1965. “Soon she’ll have been in office for a year. It sure took a while!” he quipped, according to Deutsche Welle.

“Three generations operated nuclear power in Germany, and now 30 generations or even more will have to suffer the consequences,” Schulze noted, adding, “this is proof of how irresponsible nuclear energy was.”

According to mining engineer Thomas Lautsch, who works for BGE, Germany’s federal company for radioactive waste disposal, the retrieval of the nuclear waste from the mine will be complicated and expensive, at a minimum.

“We would have to build a retrieval mine, which is more than simply just a new shaft. We would also need an interim storage facility for the waste, and we would have to create many new shafts to gain access to the individual chambers,” he said, cited by Msn.com.

The construction phase of the project alone could take eight or nine years, according to studies.

Because the old mine shafts do not meet current legal standards for the ten-thousand-year storage of nuclear waste, a new mine must be built around the old mine.

“The barrels must be finally and safely disposed of somewhere else in the country,” Kramer noted, “should they actually able to be retrieved by 2050.”

The mine, developed between 1906-1908, has a depth of around 765 meters. Between 1965-1995, the Helmholtz Zentrum München (a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers responsible for studying environmental health issues) took the unprecedented step of using the mine to store the nation’s radioactive waste, including weapon detritus, medical offal and power plant leavings.

February 10, 2019 Posted by | Economics, Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power | , | Leave a comment

Forgotten Uranium Mine Workers

By Jacquetta Harvey | January 29, 2019

Uranium caused Cancer forced me to raise my children alone. I had to sell the home we were in and downsized. The mortgage company said I had no credit on my name alone. I had to pay my new (older used) truck because I had no credit alone. We had bought the truck and traded my car because it was easier to carry the wheelchair and get my husband seated in the higher seat. My husband had no right hip for the last 4 months and his left arm was in a sling and useless. The cancer had eaten through the bones on both his arm and hip. When he went into kidney failure from the cancer, every time his body jerked or he was moved he was having spontaneous fractures throughout his body.

Let me explain his cancer to you. Some of you may already know Multiple Myeloma. This is a cancer usually affects men and at the usual age of late 60’s to 70’s. My husband “E’ was 40 when it was found. Multiple Myeloma eats the bone marrow and continues eating the bone until it is as thin as an egg shell and that is when it breaks. When the Doctor found it “E” had compressed two vertebra from us moving a camper shell from our truck, he then broke a rib leaning against a truck side to pick up a small 2-3 inch spring. Then broke his left arm pulling the spring while installing it in the forklift he was working on. “E” continued to work during his “Radical Experimental” treatment, when he could.

Part II

Eventually the cancer took over his kidney which caused the kidney failure.

The Radical Treatment he agreed to do was a multitude of toxic chemicals that had a great success with Breast Cancer patients, so it was considered radical in the fact it hadn’t been used with Multiple Myeloma and for the huge amount they would give him. For 3 days he would be given a liter bag of Chemo Chemicals and saline. This would have to be put into a port that was placed straight into his heart because the chemicals would eat up/holes in his veins before it could go anywhere else in his body and do what was meant to do… Thus it was put straight into his heart via the port. The toxic chemical cocktail was to kill off all of his bone marrow. The third day we were to go straight home so he would not be exposed to even a cold germ in a big store, it could kill him. When his temperature spiked 103 we were to head straight to the hospital. He would be placed in a private room anyone coming into the room had to gown up and could not even have a sniffle. A hard plastic port to be used for the stem cell rescue was placed in his carotid artery and He would be placed on a type of dialysis machine that would “Harvest” his Stem Cells. These would then be placed in a freezable container with a chemo agent mixed in and frozen. We requested blood and stem cell donors from his job for the next few days. A notice was put up at work and the hospital was overrun with donors, they had had to send them to other blood banks and hospital’s. The blood he needed immediately, the stem cells would be re-infused in a few weeks after another kill off of his bone marrow.

In the hospital he called me before I drove our 45 minute drive. He asked me to bring clippers and scissors, he said the bed looked like he had slept with a cat or a dog. When our 11 year old son, 15 year old daughter and I walked in the room, E grabbed ahold of some hair on his head and then on his beard and pulled and it just came out. I worried it hurt but he said it didn’t. We sent the kids down to the cafeteria to grab lunch and I cut and shaved his hair. He lost all the hair on his body and he lost the top layer of his whole digestive tract from his mouth to his anus. He could not eat or drink without vomiting.

Part III later.

#uraniummineworkers #ihateit #death #cancer #governmentforgotthem #1971-2019 #raisingchildrenalone #lostchildhood #lonelysad

February 3, 2019 Posted by | Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power | | Leave a comment

Bill Gates Pushes Nuclear Power Plants to ‘Prevent the Worst Climate-Change Scenarios’

By Bill Gates | December 29, 2018

… Global emissions of greenhouse gases went up in 2018. For me, that just reinforces the fact that the only way to prevent the worst climate-change scenarios is to get some breakthroughs in clean energy.

Some people think we have all the tools we need, and that driving down the cost of renewables like solar and wind solves the problem. I am glad to see solar and wind getting cheaper and we should be deploying them wherever it makes sense.

But solar and wind are intermittent sources of energy, and we are unlikely to have super-cheap batteries anytime soon that would allow us to store sufficient energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Besides, electricity accounts for only 25% of all emissions. We need to solve the other 75% too.

This year Breakthrough Energy Ventures, the clean-energy investment fund I’m involved with, announced the first companies we’re putting money into. You can see the list at http://www.b-t.energy/ventures/our-investment-portfolio/. We are looking at all the major drivers of climate change. The companies we chose are run by brilliant people and show a lot of promise for taking innovative clean-energy ideas out of the lab and getting them to market.

Next year I will speak out more about how the U.S. needs to regain its leading role in nuclear power research. (This is unrelated to my work with the foundation.)

Nuclear is ideal for dealing with climate change, because it is the only carbon-free, scalable energy source that’s available 24 hours a day. The problems with today’s reactors, such as the risk of accidents, can be solved through innovation.

The United States is uniquely suited to create these advances with its world-class scientists, entrepreneurs, and investment capital.

Unfortunately, America is no longer the global leader on nuclear energy that it was 50 years ago. To regain this position, it will need to commit new funding, update regulations, and show investors that it’s serious.

There are several promising ideas in advanced nuclear that should be explored if we get over these obstacles. TerraPower, the company I started 10 years ago, uses an approach called a traveling wave reactor that is safe, prevents proliferation, and produces very little waste. We had hoped to build a pilot project in China, but recent policy changes here in the U.S. have made that unlikely. We may be able to build it in the United States if the funding and regulatory changes that I mentioned earlier happen.

The world needs to be working on lots of solutions to stop climate change. Advanced nuclear is one, and I hope to persuade U.S. leaders to get into the game.

Read more: https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Year-in-Review-2018

January 1, 2019 Posted by | Corruption, Nuclear Power, Science and Pseudo-Science | | Leave a comment

US Gov’t Scolded for Lack of Action Under Plutonium Disposal Deal with Russia

Sputnik – December 1, 2018

Moscow and Washington agreed in 2000 to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium by incorporating it into fuel for nuclear reactors. However, the Department of Energy has failed so far to build a costly nuclear facility and instead proposed burying their plutonium underground – something that scientists say could affect human health and the environment.

American academicians have criticised the government for insufficient efforts to dispose of surplus plutonium under a 2000 US-Russia agreement.

Congress asked the National Academies to assess the viability of the Department of Energy’s plan for disposing of 34 metric tons of surplus plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeast New Mexico.

WIPP has “insufficient capacity” to get rid of plutonium that is no longer required for defence purposes, which is “one of several barriers to implementation” of the disposal plan, the Academies concluded in a Consensus Study Report.

According to the document, the dilute-and-dispose process proposed by the Energy Department runs counter to the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA), a deal that the United States and Russia signed in 2000 to dispose of 34 tons of weapons-capable plutonium each.

The 2000 agreement took effect after being ratified by Russia in 2011. It stipulated that both Russia and the United States would build special facilities to turn surplus plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for nuclear reactors.

Moscow has met its part of the commitments; however, the Savannah River Site (SRS) MOX project has been under construction in South Carolina since 2007 and has not been completed yet. The study says that “substantial schedule delays and cost overruns” caused the government to scrap the project, which would adopt the PMDA-approved method.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Energy Department’s agency in charge of the US nuclear warhead stockpile, proposed what it called a cheaper way to dispose of plutonium. Instead of creating MOX oil, the office said, the SRS could be used to dilute the plutonium and bury it deep underground.

A federal judge ruled against the proposed shutdown of the SRS construction in June, arguing that Congress has not approved the dilute-and-dispose method to replace MOX. The judge argued that the NNSA’s proposal would turn South Caroline into the nation’s dumping ground for plutonium and produce an adverse environmental effect.

Academicians also insist that this approach has so far proven to be insufficient. “So far, the dilute and dispose process has been demonstrated at a small scale by DOE’s Office of Environmental Management as it begins to process 6 metric tons of surplus plutonium, a quantity separate from the 34 metric tons.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin was not satisfied with the US plans either. He ordered to suspend the implementation of the bilateral agreement in October 2016, citing “a threat to strategic stability” emanating from the US and its inability to deliver on its obligations.

Putin’s move came ahead of the US presidential vote, bringing the nuclear issue back to the agenda. “Our nuclear program has fallen way behind, and they [Russians] have gone wild with their nuclear program. Not good. Our government shouldn’t have allowed that to happen. Russia is new in terms of nuclear. We are old. We’re tired. We’re exhausted in terms of nuclear. A very bad thing,” then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said during a debate with Hillary Clinton, who brought the deal into force as Secretary of State together with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in 2011.

READ MORE:

Plutonium Stolen From Texas Last Year Eludes US Authorities

December 1, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Environmentalism, Militarism, Nuclear Power | , , , | 1 Comment

Woolsey Fire started at Santa Susana Field Lab — where “radioactive materials released were never accurately measured”

By John Laforge | CounterPunch | November 30, 2018

In my Nov. 16 column, I reported on potential radiation risks posed by California’s Woolsey wildfire having burned over parts or all of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory—south of Simi Valley, Calif., 30 miles outside Los Angeles—site of at least four partial or total nuclear reactor meltdowns.

The field laboratory operated 10 experimental reactors and conducted rocket engine tests. In his 2014 book Atomic Accidents, researcher James Mahaffey writes, “The cores in four experimental reactors on site … melted.” Reactor core melts always result in the release of large amounts of radioactive gases and particles. Clean up of the deeply contaminated site has not been conducted in spite of a 2010 agreement.

Los Angeles’s KABC-7 TV reported Nov. 13 that the Santa Susana lab site “appears to be the origin of the Woolsey Fire” which has torched over 96,000 acres. Southern Calif. Public Radio said, “According to Cal Fire, the Woolsey Fire started on the afternoon of Thursday, Nov. 8 … on the Santa Susana site.”

In my column I noted that Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy & Environmental Research, estimated that the partial meltdown of the lab’s Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) in 1957, caused “the third largest release of iodine-131 in the history of nuclear power,” according to Gar Smith in his 2012 book Nuclear Roulette. But Makhijani was speaking in 2006, so now of course the SRE meltdown counts as the fourth largest radio-iodine release—after the triple meltdowns at Fukushima in Japan in 2011, Chernobyl in Ukraine in 1986, and Windscale in England in 1957.

Santa Susana’s operators caused the destruction of the liquid sodium-cooled SRE on July 12, 1959—“showering the downwind hills and meadows of the 2,850-acre site with a fog of chromium and radioactive isotopes, including iodine-131,” according to Smith in Roulette. It was these hills and meadows that were burned so completely by the Woolsey wildfire.

“It [the fog of isotopes] likely spread to nearby communities such as Simi Valley, Chatsworth and Canoga Park,” according to Southern Calif. Public Radio’s Elina Shatkin (“What Happened at the Santa Susana Nuclear Site During the Woolsey Fire?” Nov. 13.) Makhijani calculated that fallout from the meltdown contained “80 to 100 times the amount of iodine-131 released at Three Mile Island” [in Harrisburg, Penn., in 1979], Smith reports in Roulette. Canoga Park Senior High School is one of four Red Cross evacuation centers for the Woolsey Fire.

During the two weeks after the partial meltdown of the SRE, workers tried to repair it. “When they couldn’t, they were ordered to open the reactor’s large door, releasing radiation into the air,” Shatkin reported for public radio.

Radioactive materials released by the meltdown were never accurately measured in part because monitors inside the SRE went off scale. Yet the melting of fuel didn’t cause the only releases of radiation from SRE—just the single largest. In his 2012 book Mad Science, Joe Mangano writes, “Every day, radioactive gases from holding tanks in the reactor building were released into the air—often at night … sometimes twice a day.” In Atomic Accidents, Mahaffey describes the same practice writing, “The fission gases were piped off and compressed into holding tanks for controlled release into the environment…”

After the July meltdown was halted, Atomics International, which ran the SRE, concocted a report for the Atomic Energy Commission on Aug. 29, 1957. The report falsely declared: “No release of radioactive materials to the plant or its environs occurred and operating personnel were not exposed to harmful conditions.”

However, conditions inside the reactor building were extremely dangerous for workers, and radiation levels are estimated to have reached between 10,000 and one million times greater than normal. According to one worker, staff radiation measuring badges were taken away. John Pace, a young trainee at the lab, “Before July 13, we wore film badges, and after then, at some point they [Atomics International] took them away, since they know that the levels would be really high.”

With 10 experimental reactors, radiation routinely released to the air, years of accidents, and four core meltdowns, the “downwind hills and meadows” can be considered permanently compromised with cancer-causing toxins. Dan Hirsch, president of Committee to Bridge the Gap, a nuclear policy organization told public radio that Santa Susana’s soil has, “a mix of radioactive materials like plutonium, strontium-90 and cesium-137” and perhaps 100 toxic chemicals “such as PCBs, dioxins, heavy metals like mercury and chromium-6 and volatile organic compounds like PCE.” In 2012, the US EPA reported that its soil tests found radioactive cesium-137 at 9,328 times ordinary background levels.

Citizens living in the vicinity of Santa Susana have become harshly critical of the site’s early operators—Boeing, Atomic International and Rocketdyne—who for years burned toxic and radioactive wastes in open pits, endangering all the downwinders. In 2005, Boeing paid $30 million to compensate nearby residents for early mortalities and a range of rare diseases.

John LaForge is a Co-director of Nukewatch, a peace and environmental justice group in Wisconsin, and edits its newsletter.

November 30, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Fukushima waiting to happen? Huge stockpile of nuclear waste on California fault line threatens US

RT | November 15, 2018

Millions of pounds of toxic waste are being buried under the site of a privately owned former nuclear power plant in California. The only problem? Experts warn that it sits on a major fault line — and in a tsunami zone.

The San Onofre nuclear plant, located just 108 feet from a popular beach, was shut down in 2015 after a leak was discovered. Now, the Southern California Edison energy company is burying the nuclear waste at the failed site — a move which has been approved by federal regulators.

Charles Langley, the executive director of Public Watchdogs, told RT that the situation at San Onofre is of “grave concern” because spent nuclear fuel and water “don’t mix.”

Langley claimed that research carried out by experts which highlighted the extreme risks of storing the waste at the facility was “suppressed” by the very government agency responsible for protecting public health and safety.

“There are actually fault lines that run underneath the facility. We’ve documented this in geological reports that were suppressed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It’s in a Tsunami zone and it’s also extremely vulnerable to terrorist attacks.”

So far, 29 of 73 canisters of waste are below the surface of the ground. Langley warns, however, that the canisters are unequipped to store the toxic nuclear waste. The warranty for the containment system is only for 10 years “and the canisters themselves are only guaranteed to last 25 years,” he said.

Nina Babiarz, a board member at Public Watchdogs, told RT that “there should have been a requirement for an underground monitoring system before one can even went in the ground.”

Babiarz believes the San Onofre plant is a ticking time bomb.

“It’s still very prevalent to me that this not only could happen, but it has happened at Three Mile Island, of course it has happened at Chernobyl, it’s happened at Fukushima — and lest we forget, it could happen at San Onofre,” she said.

Edison refused to answer any of RT’s questions. On its website, however, the company says they are “being proactive in seeking out options for the relocation of the fuel, including an off-site facility.”

But San Onofre is not the only nuclear site causing concern to scientists and environmentalists in California.

The Santa Susana Field Laboratory — a highly classified former nuclear testing site, which was the location of the worst nuclear meltdown in nuclear history — was scorched in the California wildfires. During the 1959 disaster, 459 times more radiation was leaked there than during the infamous 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown in Pennsylvania.

Physicians for Social Responsibility say that the toxic materials in the soil and vegetation could become airborne in smoke and ash. More than half a million people live within 10 miles of the area.

Investigative journalist Paul DeRienzo told RT that given the site’s classified status, it’s no surprise that Americans don’t know much about the place.

“It was a tremendous accident [in 1959] that gave off more radiation than Three Mile Island did — and other than that, very little is known. It’s a highly classified site and whatever we learn about it, we learn in dribs and drabs over a long period of time,” DeRienzo said.

Asked whether government assurances that the site is safe could be believed, DeRienzo warned against trusting official guarantees.

“You can’t, because it’s classified, because a lot of the things that happened at Santa Susana were classified and therefore there are things that they’re just never going to tell you and only accidentally does it come out,” he said.

November 15, 2018 Posted by | Environmentalism, Nuclear Power, Timeless or most popular | | Leave a comment