Australian news, and some related international items

UKRAINE Special – the madness continues

It is almost unbelievable that the entire Western media and just about all governments are mindlessly jumping on the war bandwagon again. All that Russia wants is for the West to keep to the 2014 Minsk agreement , and not to be surrounded by hostile NATO and its weaponry.

But no – Biden’s USA is intransigent, and all the lackey nations just fall into line, (including my own, Australia). ”National Security” – my foot! Russia is not threatening any of them.

Haven’t they learned?

There was Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya – all unmitigated disasters, all unnecessary – and now the sheep are going in for fleecing again!

And fleecing it is. Ukraine and everybody else are buying not only the story, but more importantly the weaponry from multinational weapons corporations led of course by the USA. (Probably Russia and China’s equivalent macho men love weaponry, too)

When do we all wake up? The USA government is in the grip of the military-industrial-complex. Remember – the Pentagon brass, the weapons executives and big shareholders are NRB (Not Real Bright), and don’t quite grasp that even they themselves are not immune from the effects of war.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Western Democracies Have Mutated Into Propagandists for War and Conflict

The no-evidence rule also applies in London. The British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, who spent £500,000 of public money flying to Australia in a private plane to warn the Canberra government that both Russia and China were about to pounce, offered no evidence. Antipodean heads nodded; the “narrative” is unchallenged there. One rare exception, former prime minister Paul Keating, called Truss’s warmongering “demented.”

Russian-speaking Ukrainians, under economic blockade by Kyiv for seven years, are fighting for their survival. The “massing” army we seldom hear about is the 13 Ukrainian army brigades laying siege to Donbas: an estimated 150,000 troops. If they attack, the provocation to Russia will almost certainly mean war.

Western Democracies Have Mutated Into Propagandists for War and Conflict 18.02.22 – Independent Media Institute   By John Pilger / Globetrotter

Marshall McLuhan’s prophecy that “the successor to politics will be propaganda” has happened. Raw propaganda is now the rule in Western democracies, especially the U.S. and Britain.

On matters of war and peace, ministerial deceit is reported as news. Inconvenient facts are censored, demons are nurtured. The model is corporate spin, the currency of the age. In 1964, McLuhan famously declared, “The medium is the message.” The lie is the message now.

But is this new? It is more than a century since Edward Bernays, the father of spin, invented “public relations” as a cover for war propaganda. What is new is the virtual elimination of dissent in the mainstream.

The great editor David Bowman, author of The Captive Press, called this “a defenestration of all who refuse to follow a line and to swallow the unpalatable and are brave.” He was referring to independent journalists and whistleblowers, the honest mavericks to whom media organizations once gave space, often with pride. The space has been abolished.

The war hysteria that has rolled in like a tidal wave in recent weeks and months is the most striking example. Known by its jargon, “shaping the narrative,” much if not most of it is pure propaganda.

The Russians are coming. Russia is worse than bad. Putin is evil, “a Nazi like Hitler,” salivated the Labour MP Chris Bryant. Ukraine is about to be invaded by Russia—tonight, this week, next week. The sources include an ex-CIA propagandist who now speaks for the U.S. State Department and offers no evidence of his claims about Russian actions because “it comes from the U.S. Government.”

The no-evidence rule also applies in London. The British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, who spent £500,000 of public money flying to Australia in a private plane to warn the Canberra government that both Russia and China were about to pounce, offered no evidence. Antipodean heads nodded; the “narrative” is unchallenged there. One rare exception, former prime minister Paul Keating, called Truss’s warmongering “demented.”

Truss has blithely confused the countries of the Baltic and Black Sea. In Moscow, she told the Russian foreign minister that Britain would never accept Russian sovereignty over Rostov and Voronezh—until it was pointed out to her that these places were not part of Ukraine but in Russia. Read the Russian press about the buffoonery of this pretender to 10 Downing Street and cringe.

This entire farce, recently starring Boris Johnson in Moscow playing a clownish version of his hero, Churchill, might be enjoyed as satire were it not for its willful abuse of facts and historical understanding and the real danger of war.

Vladimir Putin refers to the “genocide” in the eastern Donbas region of Ukraine. Following the coup in Ukraine in 2014—orchestrated by Barack Obama’s “point person” in Kyiv, Victoria Nuland—the coup regime, infested with neo-Nazis, launched a campaign of terror against Russian-speaking Donbas, which accounts for a third of Ukraine’s population.

Overseen by CIA director John Brennan in Kyiv, “special security units” coordinated savage attacks on the people of Donbas, who opposed the coup. Video and eyewitness reports show bussed fascist thugs burning the trade union headquarters in the city of Odessa, killing 41 people trapped inside. The police are standing by. Obama congratulated the “duly elected” coup regime for its “remarkable restraint.”

In the U.S. media the Odessa atrocity was played down as “murky” and a “tragedy” in which “nationalists” (neo-Nazis) attacked “separatists” (people collecting signatures for a referendum on a federal Ukraine). Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal damned the victims—“Deadly Ukraine Fire Likely Sparked by Rebels, Government Says.”

Professor Stephen Cohen, acclaimed as America’s leading authority on Russia, wrote:

“The pogrom-like burning to death of ethnic Russians and others in Odessa… reawakened memories of Nazi extermination squads in Ukraine during World War II. … [Today] stormtroop-like assaults on gays, Jews, elderly ethnic Russians, and other ‘impure’ citizens are widespread throughout Kyiv-ruled Ukraine, along with torchlight marches reminiscent of those that eventually inflamed Germany in the late 1920s and 1930s…

“The police and official legal authorities do virtually nothing to prevent these neo-fascist acts or to prosecute them. On the contrary, Kyiv has officially encouraged them by systematically rehabilitating and even memorializing Ukrainian collaborators with Nazi German extermination pogroms…, renaming streets in their honor, building monuments to them, rewriting history to glorify them, and more.”

Today, neo-Nazi Ukraine is seldom mentioned. That the British are training the Ukrainian National Guard, which includes neo-Nazis, is not news. (See Matt Kennard’s Declassified report in Consortium News on February 15.) The return of violent, endorsed fascism to 21st-century Europe, to quote Harold Pinter, “never happened… even while it was happening.”

On December 16, the United Nations tabled a resolution that called for “combating glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism.” The only nations to vote against it were the United States and Ukraine.

Almost every Russian knows that it was across the plains of Ukraine’s “borderland” that Hitler’s divisions swept from the west in 1941, bolstered by Ukraine’s Nazi cultists and collaborators. The result was more than 20 million Russian dead.

Setting aside the maneuvers and cynicism of geopolitics, whomever the players, this historical memory is the driving force behind Russia’s respect-seeking, self-protective security proposals, which were published in Moscow in the week the UN voted 130-2 to outlaw Nazism. They are:

  • NATO guarantees that it will not deploy missiles in nations bordering Russia. (They are already in place from Slovenia to Romania, with Poland to follow.)
  • NATO to stop military and naval exercises in nations and seas bordering Russia.
  • Ukraine will not become a member of NATO.
  • the West and Russia to sign a binding East-West security pact.
  • the landmark treaty between the U.S. and Russia covering intermediate-range nuclear weapons to be restored. (The U.S. abandoned it in 2019.)

These amount to a comprehensive draft of a peace plan for all of post-war Europe and ought to be welcomed in the West. But who understands their significance in Britain? What they are told is that Putin is a pariah and a threat to Christendom.

Russian-speaking Ukrainians, under economic blockade by Kyiv for seven years, are fighting for their survival. The “massing” army we seldom hear about is the 13 Ukrainian army brigades laying siege to Donbas: an estimated 150,000 troops. If they attack, the provocation to Russia will almost certainly mean war.

In 2015, brokered by the Germans and French, the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France met in Minsk and signed an interim peace deal. Ukraine agreed to offer autonomy to Donbas, now the self-declared republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Minsk agreement has never been given a chance. In Britain, the line, amplified by Boris Johnson, is that Ukraine is being “dictated to” by world leaders. For its part, Britain is arming Ukraine and training its army.

Since the first Cold War, NATO has effectively marched right up to Russia’s most sensitive border having demonstrated its bloody aggression in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and broken solemn promises to pull back. Having dragged European “allies” into American wars that do not concern them, the great unspoken is that NATO itself is the real threat to European security.

In Britain, a state and media xenophobia is triggered at the very mention of “Russia.” Mark the knee-jerk hostility with which the BBC reports Russia. Why? Is it because the restoration of imperial mythology demands, above all, a permanent enemy? Certainly, we deserve better.

John Pilger is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and author. Read his full biography on his website here, and follow him on Twitter: @JohnPilger.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Early closure of coal plant, battery and renewable developments – all spell the end for nuclear power hopes in Australia

Jim Green
  Nuclear Fuel Cycle Watch Australia
, 19 Feb 22,

Today’s two announcements in NSW are further proof that it’s game over for nuclear. Early closure of a coal plant (2025), and announcement of an additional large battery (700 MW) to be operational by 2025.

And major construction of the NSW-SA interconnector began this week. SA went from 62% renewable electricity supply to 67% last year with lots more in the pipeline, and synchronous condensers helped reduce gas-fired backup power generation

Federal govt expecting 69% renewable supply to the NEM by 2030 (about double the current amount) and Labor is aiming for 83% by 2030 if elected.

Coalition parties/governments in SA, NSW, Qld and Tas opposed to nuclear power. Labor clearly opposed at state and federal levels. Howard’s federal nuclear power ban has been retained by the Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Coalition governments.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics | Leave a comment

Media forecasting on Russian invasion is just like religious cult leaders predicting the apocalypse

Caitlin Johnstone: Russian Invasion Seers are Like Cult Leaders Predicting the Apocalypse  The Ukraine invasion that never arrives is showing us once again that when it comes to Russia you really can just completely ignore all the so-called experts in the mainstream media.

By Caitlin Johnstone,   Back in November The Military Times published a Ukrainian intelligence claim, which was picked up and repeated by numerous other mainstream publications, alleging that Russia was going to invade Ukraine by the end of January.

Then in late January when the calendar debunked The Military Times incendiary headline “Russia preparing to attack Ukraine by late January,” that same outlet ran a much less viral story with the headline “Russia not yet ready for full-scale attack says Ukraine.“

This past Friday the deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, Melinda Haring, tweeted the following:

“Putin has big weekend plans in Ukraine: 1) he’s going to cut power and heat, knock out Ukrainian navy and air force, kill general staff and hit them with cyber attack; 2) then install pro-Russian president and 3) resort to full-scale military invasion if Ukraine doesn’t give in.”

And, of course, none of these things happened. The weekend came and went, Haring issued a sheepish admission that she got it wrong, then immediately turned around and proclaimed that “Putin may strike on Weds,” then later pivoted to “We’ve been so focused on Russian troops and tanks that we missed Moscow’s strategy: strangle Ukraine’s economy and sap the resolve of its people.”
On Jan. 14th we were told by NBC that we could expect a Russian invasion of Ukraine “within a month’s time.” On Feb. 14th the prediction was as unfulfilled as the wishes of a Jordan Peterson fan on Valentine’s Day.

Then British outlets The Daily Mirror and The Sun told us that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was to come at precisely 1am GMT on Wednesday, citing “American intelligence agencies.” This prediction, whose frightening “DAWN RAID” presentation likely gave sales a bit of a boost, was again debunked by the hands of the clock.

“The 3am time (1am GMT) when US intelligence sources suspected a Russian attack came and went without incident last night as Putin continued to keep The West guessing,” The Sun’s updated online article now reads.

”Dawn raid. Russia set to invade Ukraine at 1am tomorrow with massive missile blitz and 200,000 troops, US intelligence claims.”

Last week the U.S. president told U.S. allies that Russian President Vladimir Putin may invade on Feb.16, a prediction Ukraine’s President Zelensky made fun of in a widely misinterpreted joke. This claim also has been discredited by the clock.

And now we’re being told that nobody seriously believed Russia was going to invade on the 16th, and that Feb. 20 is the real invasion date.

“The prospect of a Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 16 was always overhyped,” Politico tells us. “The time frame to really keep an eye on is what happens shortly after Feb. 20.”

Radio evangelist Harold Camping famously predicted that the Apocalypse would occur on Sept. 6, 1994, then again on Sept. 29 of the same year, and then again on Oct.2. In 2005 he revised his claim and said the real Rapture was coming on May 21, 2011, and then when that failed to pan out he said it was happening on Oct. 21 of that year. Whenever he got a prediction wrong he’d just do some more magic Bible math and move the date into the future.

Camping was one of many exploitative Christian cult leaders who’ve falsely predicted the Second Coming over the years amassing thousands of followers with an early form of tabloid clickbait. The difference between the Harold Campings of history and the Ukraine invasion prognosticators of today is that Harold Camping died disgraced and disdained instead of being elevated to lucrative positions in the most influential news media outlets on the planet.

Today’s Harold Campings will invent all kinds of justifications for their shameless participation in a transparent government psyop designed to advanced the unipolarist geostrategic agendas of the U.S. hegemon once their war forecasts fail to bear fruit.

The most common justification will be to claim that the Biden administration’s hawkish posturing and strategic information warfare is what deterred the forcible annexation of Ukraine into the Russian Federation. As we discussed previously, this claim is logically fallacious, explained here by Lisa Simpson:

“If Vladimir Putin opts to back away from invading Ukraine, even temporarily, it’s because Joe Biden — that guy whose right-wing critics suggest is so deep in dementia he wouldn’t know Kyiv from Kansas or AARP from NATO — has matched every Putin chess move with an effective counter of his own,” writes Friedman.

Putin could just as easily have launched a virulent propaganda campaign claiming the U.S. is about to invade Mexico any minute now and threatening severe repercussions if it does, and then taking credit when the invasion fails to occur for his bold stance against the Biden regime. It would have been the easiest thing in the world; just copy the Western script replacing each instance of “Ukraine” with “Mexico” and each instance of “Crimea” with “Texas.”

We’re also seeing a new narrative in the oven with claims of a Russian cyberattack against Ukraine, which as an invisible attack whose evidence is classified would serve the imperial face-saving effort, with the added bonus of justifying further economic warfare on Moscow.

“This is such a transparent scam,” journalist Aaron Maté recently tweeted of the hacking claims. “The warmongers crafting new US sanctions on Russia have repeatedly said that Russian cyberattacks could trigger them. With no invasion happening, this is Plan B.”

The Ukraine invasion that never arrives is showing us once again that when it comes to Russia you really can just completely ignore all the so-called experts in the mainstream media. Just dismiss 100 percent of everything they say, because any random schmoe’s best guess would be better than theirs.

Looking to the mainstream media for truth is like looking to a prostitute for love. That’s not what they’re there for. That’s not their job. If you believed these predictions, the correct thing to do as they fail to come true is not to engage in a bunch of mental gymnastics justifying it, but to drastically revise your worldview and your media consumption habits which caused you to believe this crap in the first place.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How dare Germany oppose USA over nuclear power !

U.S., Germany clash over role of nuclear energy in green transition, By Joseph Nasr BERLIN, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Germany and the United States clashed on Friday over whether nuclear power should be part of the energy mix as rich countries race to cut emissions to limit the impact of global warming.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry said that cutting emissions fast required some reliance on nuclear energy, adding that without carbon capture technology relying on gas as a stop-gap fuel amounted to ignoring the root cause of the climate crisis.

Franziska Brantner, parliamentary state secretary in the Economic Ministry and a member of the ecologist Greens, defended Germany’s plan to rely on gas a bridge fuel as it phases out nuclear and coal and expands renewables.

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has been putting pressure on Germany to ditch the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project ……….

Asked by a moderator if Germany’s decision to shut its last nuclear plants this year did not amount to avoiding the most efficient path to a green future, said Brantner, pointing to Kerry: “No. The answer is easy, it’s ‘no’. And you gave part of the answer. You said nuclear is ‘monumentally expensive.’ Exactly. We have a much cheaper way we can go, and that’s renewables.”

Kerry and Brantner also disagreed on whether nuclear power could be transferred to poorer countries to help them cut energy emissions from coal……..

Brantner, who Greens party has it roots in the anti-nuclear movement of the 70s and 80s, said Germany would not use tax payer’s money to transfer nuclear energy know-how to developing countries given the risk of nuclear proliferation.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Serious problems’ with NuScale’s proposed small nuclear reactors

Report claims ‘serious problems’ with proposed NuScale SMR, Power Engineering, By Kevin Clark -2.18.2022. Too late, too expensive, too risky and too uncertain” is how a new report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) described NuScale’s proposed small modular reactor (SMR) project.

The analysis, released by the institute February 17, primarily focuses on the SMR project the Oregon-based company is building for Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems (UAMPS) at a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) site in Idaho. However, the institute noted it was outlining cost risks, construction timelines, and competitive alternatives for all buyers in the SMR market.

In 2020, NuScale received U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval on its SMR design, the first design approval for a small commercial nuclear reactor. SMRs have a smaller footprint, capacity and anticipated cost than traditional high-capacity nuclear power plants.

NuScale is among several companies developing SMRs, with the intent of reigniting the country’s nuclear power sector. The company touts its reactors as “smarter, cleaner, safer and cost competitive.”

The SMRs are light-water reactors, which represent most of the reactors now in operation. But modular reactors are designed to use less water than traditional ones and have a passive safety system enabling them to shut down automatically, should something go wrong.

The federal government has invested in the development of SMRs, and the NuScale site is no exception. In October 2020, UAMPS received a nearly $1.4 billion, 10-year award from the DOE to help fund the project.

However, in its report, IEEFA said there are “uncertain implications for the units’ cost, performance and reliability,” and that NuScale makes overly optimistic claims in each of these categories.

NuScale said its plant has a construction period of “less than 36 months from the first safety concrete through mechanical completion,” according to reports on the company’s website. But the institute said based on recent nuclear industry experience, plants with new reactor designs have taken more than twice as long to build as the owners projected at construction start, resulting in “delays of four years or longer before the start of commercial operations.”

IEEFA also noted NuScale’s project design has changed repeatedly throughout the development process. In July 2021 UAMPS said it would be downsizing the project from 12 to six modules, with 462 MW of power. NuScale recently projected the project’s first module, once expected to deliver in 2016, would come online in 2029, with all six modules online by 2030.

The institute also doubted NuScale’s ability to keep construction costs in check, thereby meeting a target power price of less than $60/MWh, set in mid-2021.

The nonprofit noted costs for all recent nuclear projects have vastly exceeded original estimates. It cited cost overruns at the embattled Plant Vogtle in Georgia, the project “most like NuScale in terms of modular development” where costs “now are 140% higher than the original forecast.”

“This first-of-a-kind reactor poses serious financial risks for members of [UAMPS], currently the lead buyer, and other municipalities and utilities that sign up for a share of the project’s power,” IEEFA researchers wrote.

The report also cited the new wind, solar and energy storage that have been added to the grid in the last decade, along with significant additional renewable capacity and storage expected to come online by 2030. IEEFA added new techniques for operating these renewable and storage resources, along with energy efficiency, load management and broad efforts to better integrate the western grid would undermine NuScale’s affordability and reliability claims.

“This new capacity is going to put significant downward pressure on prices, undercutting the need for expensive round-the-clock power,” the institute said……..

VOYGR is the official name of NuScale’s small modular reactor………..

In December 2021 the company and Spring Valley Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company, reached a merger agreement with an estimated enterprise value of $1.9 billion.

Upon completion of the transaction, Fluor projects to control around 60% of the combined company, based on the PIPE investment commitments and the current equity and in-the-money equity equivalents of NuScale Power and Spring Valley.

Existing NuScale shareholders, including majority owner Fluor, will retain their equity in NuScale and roll it into the combined company. Fluor will also continue to provide NuScale with engineering services, project management, administrative and supply chain support. Additional investors in NuScale include Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction, Samsung C&T Corp., JGC Holdings Corp., IHI Corp., Enercon Services, Inc., GS Energy, Sarens and Sargent & Lundy.

In April 2021, Japanese project firm JGC Holdings Corp. announced it was investing $40 million in NuScale Power.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Legal action on Fukushima nuclear disaster’s impact on health

Fukushima Disaster’s Impact on Health Will Be Challenged in Court
A link between radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster and cancer will be the focal point of the civil court case against operator TEPCO.   
By Thisanka Siripala, February 17, 2022  

  Almost 11 years have passed since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant catastrophe. But even as Fukushima prefecture gets ready to launch a new revitalization slogan – “Making Fukushima’s reconstruction a reality one step at a time” – it is still struggling to overcome the lingering aftereffects of the accident. Earlier this month, a group of six men and women diagnosed with thyroid cancer as children filed a class action case against Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), seeking $5.4 million in compensation.

Eastern Japan was hit by a massive magnitude 9.1 earthquake and 15-meter tsunami on March 11, 2011. The disaster shut off power and cooling to three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, triggering the release of radiation for up to six days.

The plaintiffs, who are aged between 17 and 27, are seeking to hold TEPCO responsible for the thyroid cancer they developed. Two have had one side of their thyroid removed and four others have had a complete thyroidectomy and are planning or undergoing radiation therapy. The treatment has forced them to drop out of school or college and give up on their dreams. The plaintiffs argue that their thyroid cancer has created barriers to their education and employment as well as marriage and starting a family.

The Fukushima Daiichi meltdown was the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl in 1986, which was followed by a spike in cancer cases in the region. In Japan a health survey conducted by the Fukushima prefecture found 266 cases of cancer among the 380,000 people aged under 18 at the time of the accident. The lawyers representing the plaintiffs argue that pediatric thyroid cancer is extremely rare, with an annual incident rate of two cases in one million people

The plaintiffs added that in the past decade they have been forced to stay silent due to social pressure and the risk of public outrage over speaking out about the connection between the Fukushima nuclear accident and their thyroid cancer.

The Federation of Promotion of Zero-Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy, a civic group that includes five former Japanese prime ministers, sent a letter to the EU urging the elimination of nuclear power. In the letter, they stated that many children are suffering from thyroid cancer as a result of the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident.

However, the Japanese government believes there is no causal link between exposure to radiation from the accident and the children developing thyroid cancer. Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting that “it is not appropriate to spread false information that children from Fukushima are suffering from health problems.”

At a press conference Takaichi Sanae, chairperson of the ruling LDP’s Policy Research Council refuted the letter sent by the federation. She stressed the government’s position that the cases of childhood thyroid cancer have been assessed by experts who have determined the accident is unlikely to have caused cancer.

Fukushima prefecture’s expert panel say there could be the possibility of “over-diagnosis” due to increased vigilance after the disaster, suggesting that some patients diagnosed with cancer did not need treatment. They say they are continuing to investigate the nature of each diagnosis. The Ministry of Environment also said they will continue to disseminate knowledge based on scientific findings to dispel rumors about the health effects of radiation.

Last week, the Fukushima reconstruction and revitalization council met to discuss the “diverse needs of the prefecture” and a long term response to support evacuees. Governor of Fukushima Uchibori Masao acknowledged that the prefecture is “facing many difficulties including the reconstruction and rehabilitation of evacuated areas and rebuilding the lives of evacuees and victims of the disaster.” There are also plans to establish a new national research and education organization in Fukushima that will devise measures to prevent and dispel rumors fueling discrimination toward evacuees and Fukushima food.

Taiwan recently lifted its blanket food import ban on Fukushima produce introduced in the wake of the disaster but there are 14 countries and regions that still maintain import restrictions. Additionally, Japan’s decision to discharge more than one million tonnes of low-level radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea is another issue attracting negative publicity abroad.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuke Power at the Brink of Bankruptcy, War, Apocalypse

Nuke Power at the Brink of Bankruptcy, War, Apocalypse Harvey Wasserman/Reader Supported News 19 Feb 22,

Fifteen atomic reactors in Ukraine currently spew out massive quantities of radiation alongside the smoldering ruin of Chernobyl Unit 4.War could easily—-and soon!—-turn each into a nuke of mass destruction, blasting into the eco-sphere clouds of lethal fallout far in excess of actual A-Bombs, including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Like the rest of the global fleet, Ukraine’s reactors are sitting ducks, set to explode. They symbolize an monumental technological failure, left in the radioactive dust by the rise of renewables. But a devious, deceitful industry is desperate to kill green power, even if its dirty, decayed rump reactors could mushroom as you read this.

The essential unity between atomic power and weapons has been set since birth. France’s Macron now explicitly argues that “peaceful” reactors are needed to sustain the French atomic weapons program.

Cesium fallout from the four exploded Fukushima reactors exceeds that from Hiroshima and Nagasaki by a factor of more than 100. A compendium of studies at Chernobyl indicates a human death toll of more than a million. People and animals died in droves at Three Mile Island. After six decades of development, no US “Peaceful” atomic reactors can get private insurance against the liabilities of a catastrophic accident.

But the 400 nukes operating worldwide (93 in the US) threaten just that.

They burn at 571 degrees Fahrenheit, heating the planet. They spew carbon 14 and other greenhouse gases as they gouge their fuel, burn their innards and plague us all with unmanageable wastes.

Construction began on ALL US nukes at least thirty years ago. They’re embrittled, cracked, under-maintained, obsolete, ticking time bombs. Many are operating far beyond original design specs. Their workforces are aging and retiring. They sit in earthquake zones and flood plains, vulnerable to hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, sabotage, war.

Attempts to build more of these old-style water-cooled clunkers have catastrophically failed at Olkiluoto in Finland, Flamanville in France, V.C. Summer in South Carolina (abandoned at a cost of $10 billion), Vogtle in Georgia…where two reactors that may never open have soared past $30 billion, potentially bankrupting the Peach State.

Powered with a mix of plutonium, the explosion at Fukushima Unit Three threw up a familiar mushroom cloud. Millions of gallons of radwaste there are poised to be poured into the Pacific.

Yet the nuke industry wants to paint itself green. It hides its massive carbon emissions…ignores the gargantuan quantities of heat and wastes each reactor pours into the eco-sphere….kills billions of land and sea creatures every day.

The reactor industry’s clearest present danger centers on its non-stop radiation releases and millions of tons of radioactive offal that can’t be managed.

But possible war in Ukraine (or elsewhere) could dwarf Chernobyl in a matter of moments. As both the Russians and the Ukrainians well know, these are pre-deployed Atomic Bombs, easily turned Apocalyptic by conventional weapons, advanced cyber-attack or simple incompetence.

The latest stab at reviving this zombie technology centers on “Small Modular Reactors.” Some models are meant to be cooled by liquid sodium, which has already caused an explosive 1959 radiation release at Santa Susana, north of Los Angeles, and a 1966 melt-down at Fermi I, south of Detroit.

All SMRs are years away from mass production. If built, they’ll emit huge quantities of heat and greenhouse gasses. They’ll divert enormous quantities of resources that could otherwise go for renewables that are cleaner, cheaper, safer, more reliable, more job-creating, more quickly deployed…and that that won’t explode, create radioactive waste or heat the planet.

SMRs today currently work primarily as scams grifting billions of public dollars into the pockets of the likes of Bill Gates. They’re virtually certain to fail. One or more are likely to explode.

They can never compete with the solar, wind, battery and LED/efficiency technologies revolutionizing global green energy. With an astonishing record of meteoric advances, these four pillars of Solartopia have pushed all fossil/nuclear technologies into history’s economic waste bin. As long as there are rooftops bare of solar panels, and offshore sites ready for wind turbines, the real market for any other form of new energy is marginal at best.

But the corporate nuke pushers don’t care. Their mainly theoretical new reactors can never compete. Their old ones are uninsured, falling apart, spewing heat, carbon, radiation and death while losing mega-tons of YOUR money.

AND they can blow up… as at Fukushima and Chernobyl.

With war coming right at them, ALL reactors need to be shut NOW…before they ignite the next Apocalypse…which YOU will pay for with your life, health, family, fortune and future.

Harvey Wasserman’s America at the Brink of Rebirth: The Organic Spiral of Us History can be had via The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft, co-written with Bob Fitrakis, is at

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UN to review Japan’s plan to release Fukushima water into Pacific

UN to review Japan’s plan to release Fukushima water into Pacific

Taskforce will ‘listen to local people’s concerns’, as government plans to release more than 1m tonnes, Guardian,   Justin McCurry in TokyoFri 18 Feb 2022  

A UN nuclear taskforce has promised to prioritise safety as it launches a review of controversial plans by Japan to release more than 1m tonnes of contaminated water into the ocean from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

Japan’s government announced last April that it had decided to release the water over several decades into the Pacific Ocean, despite strong opposition from local fishers and neighbouring China and South Korea……………

The Tokyo Electric Power company (Tepco) says its treatment technology can remove all radioactive materials from water except tritium, which is harmless in small amounts. It said the gradual release of the water, diluted with seawater, would not pose a threat to human health or the marine environment. In 2020, however, Greenpeace said the water still contained contaminants beside tritium and would have to be treated again.

The wastewater is being stored in about 1,000 tanks that officials say need to be removed so the plant can be decommissioned, an operation expected to take several decades. The tanks are expected to reach their capacity of 1.37m tonnes this summer.

The liquid includes water used to cool the damaged reactors, as well as rain and groundwater that seeps into the area.

Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist for Greenpeace East Asia, said he did not believe the IAEA would fully investigate and address safety and environmental concerns in its report.

Noting that the agency had welcomed the discharge option when it was announced last year, Burnie said: “The IAEA is not an independent agency in nuclear affairs – under statute its mission is to promote nuclear power. It has sought to justify radioactive marine pollution as having no impact and safe. But the IAEA is incapable of protecting the environment, human health or human rights from radiation risks – that’s not its job.

“The IAEA taskforce should be investigating the root cause of the contaminated water crisis and exploring the option of long-term storage and the best available processing technology as an alternative to the deliberate contamination of the Pacific.”

The IAEA team, which includes experts from South Korea and China, will report its findings at the end of April.

South Korea, which has yet to lift an import ban on Fukushima seafood introduced in 2013, has said that discharging the water would pose a “grave threat” to the marine environment. Pacific peoples have challenged Japan to prove the water is safe by dumping it in Tokyo.

Local fishers also oppose the water’s release, saying it would undo a decade’s work to rebuild their industry and reassure nervous consumers their seafood is safe………

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Headlines that cause wars

And are designed to do just that. Rick Rozoff, 19 Feb 22,

Recent stories picked up and circulated by Yahoo News. The first is only missing the adjectives Young and Innocent before the word Kids.

Daily Beast
Pro-Russian Forces Shell Ukrainian Kindergarten Full of Kids

The Hill
Russia likely to launch ‘limited’ attack against Ukraine, Estonia foreign intelligence agents say

U.S. warns of Russia-sponsored hackers targeting defense contractors

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

NuScale small nuclear reactors – a risky proposition -Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

Report says new nuclear reactor is risky, – from Market Watch  Feb. 18, 2022 

NuScale design is the only small-scale reactor to win safety approval so far from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

A new type of nuclear reactor that [it is claimed]  would provide carbon-free energy to at least four states in the Western U.S. poses financial risks for utilities and their ratepayers, according to a report released Thursday that was immediately criticized by the project’s owner and the company developing the reactor.

The report by the Ohio-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis said the small modular nuclear reactor being developed by NuScale Power in Oregon is “too expensive, too risky and too uncertain.”

The NuScale design is the only small-scale reactor to win safety approval so far from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the agency is poised to issue a rule this summer that would fully certify it…………………

The report from the institute, which supports renewable energy, said it’s likely the NuScale reactor will take longer to build than estimated and that the final cost of power will be higher than anticipated and greater than the cost of power from renewable alternatives.

“The nuclear industry has been claiming that small modular reactors … are the wave of the future and are essential in the fight against climate change,” report co-author David Schlissel said. “Based on the industry’s long history of overpromising and underproducing in terms of providing low-cost power, we believe that these claims must be viewed carefully and cautiously.”………………………..

NuScale said in December it is going public via a merger with special-purpose acquisition corporation Spring Valley Acquisition Corp. SV, -0.20%  in a deal with a pro forma enterprise value of about $1.9 billion. Fluor FLR, -0.05% will remain a majority stakeholder.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Extreme weather and temperatures sound alarm on climate change

Extreme weather and temperatures sound alarm on climate change

David Ritter

Extreme weather seen in Western Australia sends us an unequivocal message that governments and corporations must address the climate crisis.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Antarctica will likely set a record for lowest sea ice extent this year

Antarctica will likely set a record for lowest sea ice extent this year

Scientists are tracking what’s shaping up to be a new all-time sea ice record in Antarctica.

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

From eight years ago — Anti-bellum

Someone reminded me of this. As the talk was going on an organized attack by anti-Russian Ukrainians was occurring, with a few dozen people attempting to break into the building. (They can be heard in the background pounding on the glass doors in the front of the building.) The police eventually dispersed them.

From eight years ago — Anti-bellum

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taylor sidelined from energy transition, and it might be the best place for him and his FUD — RenewEconomy

Angus Taylor appeared to be genuinely miffed that no one gave him advanced notice of one of the landmark events of Australia’s rapidly accelerating clean energy transition. The post Taylor sidelined from energy transition, and it might be the best place for him and his FUD appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Taylor sidelined from energy transition, and it might be the best place for him and his FUD — RenewEconomy

February 19, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment