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People power: Сhina shelves plans for $6bn nuclear plant after wave of protest

RT | July 13, 2013

The Chinese government says it will ‘respect public opinion’ and scrap a planned $6 billion nuclear processing plant in the southern province of Guandong after hundreds of protesters took to the streets to voice opposition to the project.

A statement released by the Chinese authorities reads, “The people’s government of the City of Heshan has decided to respect public opinion and will not consider the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC’s) Longwan industrial park project.”

The proposed nuclear complex was meant to have been a uranium processing facility, but the plans caused considerable unease in the neighboring financial district of Hong Kong and in nearby Macau, as well as among local residents. The project was designed to produce 1,000 tonnes of nuclear fuel by 2020.

The South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong-based English language newspaper, reported that the authorities in Macau had formally raised the issue with officials in Guandong.

Saturday’s announcement came after hundreds of protesters paraded through the streets of Jiangmen on Friday holding banners and wearing phrases opposing the project and chanting slogans like “give us back our rural homes. We are against nuclear radiation.”

The protest sprang up after a risk evaluation report, which was released on July 4 with a 10-day public comments period. Observers say those reports are only usually released as a formality once permission to begin construction has already been granted.

More protests in Guandong had been expected on Sunday, while the original 10-day public consultation period was only extended on Saturday after demonstrators had marched to the city offices. Soon after its extension, officials said the project was scrapped.

A Beijing nuclear expert, who did not wish to give his name as he is not authorized to speak to the press, told the Independent that he was surprised the project had been canceled.

“Compared to a nuclear power plant, a uranium processing facility is way safer, as there is no fusion or reaction taking place in the production process.”

The sudden dropping of the project reflects a change in Chinese government policy on environmental issues. The authorities have recently canceled, postponed or relocated several metal and petrochemical plants following strong public opposition.

There have been a number of reports in the Chinese and international media about the extent of pollution from rapid Chinese economic growth, including ‘cancer towns’, which are blighted by heavy metals polluting the ground water, rivers and top soil.

China is expanding its nuclear capacity from 12.6 GW at present to 60-70 GW by the end of the decade.

Guandong is already one of the country’s largest centers of nuclear power generation. It operates five nuclear reactors and plans to build another dozen. The CNNC plans are part of a concerted national effort to reduce China’s dependence on coal and boost the use of other forms of cleaner [sic] energy production.

July 14, 2013 Posted by | Nuclear Power, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Snowden leak reveals US hacked Chinese cell companies, accessed millions of sms – report

RT | June 23, 2013

US government has been hacking Chinese mobile operator networks to intercept millions of text messages, as well as the operator of region’s fibre optic cable network, South China Morning Post writes citing Edward Snowden.

More information on National Security Agency activity in China and Hong Kong has been revealed by SCMP on Sunday, shedding light on statements Snowden made in an interview on June 12.

“The NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cell phone companies to steal all of your SMS data,” Snowden was quoted as saying on the SCMP website.

In a series of reports the paper claims Snowden has provided proof of extensive US hacking activity in the region.

The former CIA technician and NSA contractor reportedly provided to the paper the documents detailing specific attacks on computers over a four-year period, including internet protocol (IP) addresses, dates of attacks and whether a computer was still being monitored remotely. SCMP however did not reveal any supporting documents.

The US government has been accused of a security breach at the Hong Kong headquarters of the operator of the largest regional fibre optic cable network operator, Pacnet. Back in 2009, the company’s computers were hacked by the NSA but since then the operation has been shut down, according to the documents the paper claims to have seen.

Pacnet’s network spans across Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore and provides connections to 16 data centers for telecom companies, corporations and governments across the region.

The whistleblower has also allegedly revealed the US had viewed millions of text messages by hacking Chinese mobile phone companies. That is a significant claim since the Chinese sent almost billion text messages in 2012 and China Mobile is the world’s largest mobile network carrier.

In his very first leak to the media, Snowden had already exposed the scale of the American government spying operation on its domestic mobile network operators. He later revealed that the US and the UK possessed technology to access the Blackberry phones of delegates at two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009.

In a third article, SCMP claims that the US on a regular basis has been attacking the servers at Tsinghua University, one of country’s biggest research institutions. The whistleblower said that information obtained pointed to hacking activities, because it contained such details as external and internal IP addresses in the University’s network, which could only have been retrieved by a security breach.

Tsinghua University is host to one of Chinas’ six major backbone networks, the China Education and Research Network (CERNET) containing data about millions of Chinese citizens.

June 23, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception, Economics, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment