Australian news, and some related international items

Australian and overseas nuclear news this week

A bit of good news. At the close of COP27 Summit, some progress on climate justice.

Coronavirus. Radio Ecoshock, (mentioned just below) gives a good update on the current situation

Climate. I hope that many readers/listeners have discovered Alex Smith’s Radio Ecoshock. The latest edition gives a good wrap-up on the COP27 Climate Summit. And Alex reminds us that “Paralyzed by fear of freezing or economic collapse, there is no mass movement calling for an end to fossil fuels“. ………and ” politicians cannot go too far ahead of willingness by citizens.”


Australia’s reassessment of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. US big defense and Australia’s nuclear crossroadsAlbanese must use Xi meeting to return us to the Howard-Abbott golden age of Australia-China relations (this from Murdoch’s Sky News !!!

Australia sticks to US nuclear subs despite French criticism. 

What’s happening with the radioactive waste facility in South Australia? Prep work to start next week on Kimba Nuclear Waste dump, despite Government assurances not to pre-empt court case. Radioactive waste works at Napandee, South Australia, ‘pre-emptive and unjustified’. Premier Peter Malinauskas reaffirmed South Australian Labor’s position that the Barngarla people have the right to veto the Kimba nuclear waste dump project.

CLIMATE. Nuclear Power Is Not the Answer. “Everywhere you look at Egypt’s COP27 you can see and hear the influence of the fossil fuel industry” – Greenpeace. ‘On The Highway To Climate Hell’ – The Climate Crisis, Activism And Broken Politics. 

Read more: Australian and overseas nuclear news this week

CIVIL LIBERTIES. Moscow accuses Ukrainian soldiers of killing POWs . Russia investigates alleged footage of Ukrainian troops torturing POWs

ECONOMICS. New Westinghouse nuclear deal faces old skepticism: Can it deliver on time and on budget? France’s EDF, Credit Agricole sign 1 bln euro nuclear loanEven with billions of dollars in tax credits, costs skyrocket at U.S. Small Modular Reactor Project. UK’s Sizewell nuclear project remains unfinancedMarketing: USA desperate to sell NuScam’s small nuclear reactors – its latest targeted buyer is Thailand.

ENERGY. As Europe Quits Russian Gas, Half of France’s Nuclear Plants Are Off-LinePutin’s nuclear grip on Europe could spark another energy crisis, expert warns. TIDAL power extinguishes the arguments for new nuclear plants in Suffolk.

ENVIRONMENT. DOE awards millions to restart nuclear operations in southern Ohio as contamination concerns continue.

HISTORY. Who are the Ukrainian integral nationalists ? Fallout from a nuclear past: New book explores human toll of ‘nuclear colonization’ in New Mexico.

MEDIA. Musk’s Money Is Playing Old Games With New Media. With Kiev exposed for a lie that could have triggered a third world war, it is time to examine past deceptions that Western media promoted.

NUCLEAR TECHNOLOGYSmall nuclear reactors: USA, Japan, South Korea and a whole heap of companies join in the gamble of NuScam’s small nuclear reactors for UkraineSo-Called Next-Generation Nuclear Power Plants Are Being Oversold. Strange Rolls Royce plan for Large complex of Large Small Nuclear Reactors for Bradwell. The fading promise of low-cost power from UAMPS’ Small Modular Reactors – Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. USA using COP27 to co-opt Europe , especially Ukraine, into the small nuclear reactor gamble. 

Japan’s new nuclear energy policy- is it really feasible? Nuclear fusion discovery uncovers strange behaviour of limitless energy source.

OPPOSITION TO NUCLEARAustria digs in anti-nuclear heels as neighbours build out.



SAFETYShelling of Zaporizhzhia is playing with fire, says UN nuclear chief, as blasts reported. Reactors at Ukrainian nuclear power plants shut down after Russian strikes. Shutdown of Ukraine’s Khmelnytskyy Nuclear Power Plant due to military attacks in the region .

SECRETS and LIES. USA Views Ukrainians And Russians As Lab Rats For Weapons Testing. Blowback: Italian police bust Azov-tied Nazi cell planning terror attacksNATO Diplomat HITS BACK At Zelensky After He INSISTS Ukraine Did Not Send Deadly Missile: Report –

WASTES. Radiation Free Lakeland slams the hypocrisy surrounding “Ethics Committee”s approval of seismic blasting that kills marine life, in the plan for undersea dumping of nuclear wastes.

WAR and CONFLICTPoland missile incident is step towards World War III – Medvedev. Missile fired at NATO member Poland came from Ukraine, US officials say. Did the “stray missiles” to Poland come from Russian or from Ukrainian military? NATO’s hair trigger: The Polish missile incident was a close brush with nuclear annihilation.Biden’s Nuclear Policy Fails the Ukraine Test. Top US general warns of reality on the ground in Ukraine.      Top Zelensky advisor threatens war with Iran.  NATO pushes to consolidate control of Black Sea —Videos from Finland: U.S. troops rehearse for war on Russian border —N Korea warns of ‘all-out’ nuclear response to US ‘aggression’


November 21, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Premier Peter Malinauskas reaffirmed South Australian Labor’s position that the Barngarla people have the right to veto the Kimba nuclear waste dump project

Criticism over site works for SA nuclear waste dump

The Albanese Government has come under fire after it confirmed preliminary works will begin at the site of a proposed national nuclear waste facility on the Eyre Peninsula, despite a Federal Court challenge to the project still being underway.

InDaily Jason Katsaras 16 Nov 22

In correspondence seen by InDaily, federal Resources Minister Madeleine King said preliminary works would begin at Napandee near Kimba, but they were not construction works.

“Site characterisation activities will commence next week on the site, which are low-level, localised investigative studies to gather more detailed data on matters such as the site’s geology, hydrology, seismology and baseline radiological conditions,” she said…………………………………..

the Australian Conservation Foundation said the move effectively pre-empted a court bid to block the project.

“While these works are not the start of facility construction, they are a clear sign of intention and are inconsistent with repeated federal government assurances that it will not pre-empt the outcome of a current Federal Court challenge by Barngarla Native Title holders to the validity of the former government’s selection of the site,” it said.

In December, the local Bangarla people, represented as The Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation, applied for judicial review of the decision to suspend work on the planned nuclear dump, arguing they weren’t properly consulted before the site was selected.

“This week they will have boots on the ground – it’s a significant escalation and a conscious choice,” ACF spokesman Dave Sweeney said.

“Federal Labor inherited a divisive and deficient approach to radioactive waste management from the former government.

“The decision to commence site works is a poor one, but not an irreversible one. It should not be advanced by a federal Labor government.”

The choice of site for the nuclear waste facility has been a hotly contested issue in the region since the then Liberal Government acquired the 211-hectare agricultural site in Napandee in 2021.

In September, Premier Peter Malinauskas reaffirmed South Australian Labor’s position that the Barngarla people have the right to veto the project.

“I think that the traditional owners of the land on a project as controversial and as significant as this one, and as long-lasting as this one, are entitled to have a say and that is what has underpinned our position,” he said.

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Federal nuclear waste dump, politics, South Australia | Leave a comment

US big defense and Australia’s nuclear crossroads

For the fiscal year 2022, the Pentagon budget proposal includes billions of dollars for new nuclear delivery vehicles, with a handful of contractors as the primary beneficiaries, including General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, along with Huntington Ingalls, Honeywell, and Bechtel.

Australia’s privilege is to pay the bill.

In Canberra, some conservatives see these trends as positive. They want to turn Australia into a world-class military-industrial complex – a more advanced version of the “arms depots” in Taiwan and Ukraine.

The Biden administration has made Australia a central part of its defense strategy. It needs a military-industrial complex in the country which is being forced into the kind of nuclear escalation that two of three Australians oppose.

These strategic objectives are very much in the interest of US Big Defense. But they are not in Australia’s national interest.

By Dan Steinbock | | 16 Nov 2022-

In late October, Australia dropped its opposition to a landmark treaty banning nuclear weapons in a vote at the United Nations. The shift in its voting position to “abstain” after five years of “no” is significant.

The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) prohibits the development, testing, stockpiling, use and threats regarding the use of nuclear weapons.

The change comes as the US is planning to deploy nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the country, where the weapons will be positioned close enough to strike China.

US pressure vs. Australian aspirations

Defending the vote, foreign affairs minister Penny Wong stresses Australia has “a long and proud commitment to the global non-proliferation and disarmament regime” and the government supports the treaty’s “ambition of a world without nuclear weapons.”

The Australian labor government is now facing extraordinary pressure due to its stand. Recently, the US warned Australia against joining the TPNW. As the US embassy in Canberra put it, the treaty “would not allow for US extended deterrence relationships.” It argues that the agreement could hamper defense arrangements between the US and its allies.

The original commentary was published by China-US Focus on Nov 15, 2022.

Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), the Nobel-awarded organization behind the TPNW, called the US embassy’s comments “irresponsible” adding, “Using nuclear weapons is unacceptable, for Russia, for North Korea and for the US, UK and all other states in the world. There are no ‘responsible’ nuclear armed states. These are weapons of mass destruction and Australia should sign the #TPNW!”

Only 6% of Australians support nuclear arms

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese believes that “nuclear weapons are the most destructive, inhumane and indiscriminate weapons ever created.” That was the basis for his 2018 motion to commit the Labor Party to supporting the TPNW.

The Labor’s 2021 platform included a commitment to signing and ratifying the treaty “after taking account” of factors including the development of “an effective verification and enforcement architecture.”

Recently, New Zealand said it was “pleased to observe a positive shift” in Australia’s position in the UN vote and “would, of course, welcome any new ratifications as an important step to achieving a nuclear weapon-free world.”

The treaty now has 91 signatories, 68 of which have formally ratified it, and it entered into force last year.

An overwhelming majority of Australians backs the government’s position. According to an Ipsos poll taken in March, 76% of people support the country signing and ratifying the treaty, while only 6% are opposed.

The real gap is between the profit objectives of the US Big Defense and the peaceful aspirations of Australian people.

AUKUS at stake

In 2021, Australia angered France by canceling a deal to build a fleet of submarines and opting to build nuclear-powered submarines with US and UK technology. According to the new trilateral security pact (AUKUS) between the United States, the UK and Australia, Washington and London will “help” Canberra to develop and deploy nuclear-powered submarines……………………………

Winners and losers

If the stakes are so high, why this interest in the weapons of mass destruction? Here’s the simple answer: follow the money.

The Pentagon and the Department of Energy have been ramping up a three-decades-long plan to build a new generation of nuclear-armed bombers, submarines and missiles, coupled with new warheads. The price tag for operating current weapons and building new ones could reach a confounding $2 trillion. The cost of nuclear weapons deployment, development, and procurement could soar to $634 billion.

For the fiscal year 2022, the Pentagon budget proposal includes billions of dollars for new nuclear delivery vehicles, with a handful of contractors as the primary beneficiaries, including General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, along with Huntington Ingalls, Honeywell, and Bechtel. Australia’s privilege is to pay the bill.

In June, Australia announced a $585 million settlement with France’s Naval Group as compensation for scuppering a submarine contract with Paris. According to current estimates, Australia’s nuclear submarines could cost up to $171 billion.

Australia is today among the four largest importers of arms, globally. In 2021, it spent over $1.2 billion on the import of weaponry, according to SIPRI, making the formerly-peaceful nation the world’s No.1 importer of deadly capability. Since two-thirds of Australia’s military imports come from the US, America’s Big Defense is the great beneficiary of the trend 

According to recent disclosures by The Washington Post, the Pentagon’s high-level influence operations in Australia have escalated since the mid-2010s. The results are stunning. Between 2012-16 and 2017-21, Australia’s share of global arms exports doubled. In the period, that translates to an increase of a stunning 92%; more than in any other arms exporter worldwide, except for South Korea and India.

Economic costs of geopolitics

In Canberra, some conservatives see these trends as positive. They want to turn Australia into a world-class military-industrial complex – a more advanced version of the “arms depots” in Taiwan and Ukraine.

In the past, US-Australian bilateral interests converged in security matters, but diverged in trade and investment. However, a decade ago, I argued in a Reuters analysis that Australia was “no longer immune to the stagnation in the West.” Worse, the past decade has witnessed a drastic shift toward hawkish geopolitics at the expense of welfare……………………………..

Whose national interest?

In January, Australia agreed to a $3.5 billion deal with the US to acquire more than 120 tanks and other armored vehicles to upgrade its military fleet. In November, Australian media reported that up to six US nuclear-capable B-52s would be sent to the Royal Australian Air Force’s Tindal base in northern Australia. The move led China to accuse the US of stoking nuclear tensions in the region.

The Albanese government faces the prospect of a blowout in defense spending which reflects annual growth of 7.4% in nominal terms and 3.8% in real terms. While the economy faces prospects of stagnation and the population is aging, defense spending is increasing two to three times faster than economic growth. That’s untenable.

The Biden administration has made Australia a central part of its defense strategy. It needs a military-industrial complex in the country which is being forced into the kind of nuclear escalation that two of three Australians oppose.

These strategic objectives are very much in the interest of US Big Defense. But they are not in Australia’s national interest.

November 21, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Albanese must use Xi meeting to return us to the Howard-Abbott golden age of Australia-China relations (this from Murdoch’s Sky News !!!)

Good leadership isn’t about exclusivity. It’s about the careful management of competing interests and alliances and a recognition we need to lean on China for economic success and prosperity.

Sky News Sherry Sufi Contributor and Political Commentator November 16, 2022 

It feels like yesterday when Prime Minister Tony Abbott hosted Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in 2014 for a State Reception at Parliament House, Canberra.

In his address, Xi praised Australia’s goodwill towards China.

The fact that this friendship has since deteriorated with our largest trading partner is lamentable.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s recent willingness to meet with Xi should be welcomed by both sides of politics.

A meeting of this nature is long overdue.

In recent years, there has been no shortage of quasi-apocalyptic warnings by commentators about China’s emerging global assertiveness.

The one-sided nature of this commentary hasn’t helped de-escalate the tensions either.

We’ve been fixated on China’s treatment of Uighur minorities in Xinjiang, its overreach in Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as its handling of COVID-19.

China insists there is no persecution of minorities.

Rather, it’s only cracking down on Uighur separatist terrorists affiliated with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

The United States had ETIM listed as a terrorist organisation from 2002 to 2020.

The listing was only removed after the pandemic when relations with China began to deteriorate — intriguing in its own right.

Chinese intellectuals argue that if China had been the one to annex a strategically vital British port city — let’s say Portsmouth — and turned it into a Chinese colony for 156 years, Britain would also be doing all it could to re-integrate the liberated territory back into its administrative architecture.

That’s how China sees Hong Kong.

China maintains the US actively backed the Kuomintang party during the Chinese Civil War (1927-1949) because the American objective was to run an American-aligned vassal state — Taiwan — in the middle of the South China Sea.

That’s how China sees Taiwan — an American puppet in China’s maritime backyard.

Yet the US would never, for instance, tolerate China backing Puerto Rican separatists and running a Chinese-aligned vassal state in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico in America’s maritime backyard.

Every time the Chinese hear us say “China can’t be trusted because it’s militarising the South China Sea” — they chuckle at our hypocrisy. 

Guess what, the South China Sea was already heavily militarised — just not by the Chinese, but by our allies, the Americans.

For decades, the US has hosted combat-ready military bases across South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Guam.

We keep telling ourselves “our problem is the Chinese government, not Chinese people”.

This almost implies that since we’re not anti-Chinese “people” somehow that gives us a free pass to be anti-Chinese on everything else — including its right to manage strategic risks using precedents set by none other than the US itself. 

Let’s face it, Australian governments since the Abbott era inserting themselves into Chinese domestic affairs has brought us zero benefits for Australia.

As for those wondering, should we just let China bully us economically?

Obviously not — but there’s more to this than simplistic rhetoric.

Remember, it wasn’t China that forced Australian businesses to export our iron ore, coal, copper, precious stones, cotton, barley, wine, dairy, beef and seafood among other commodities.  

Australian businesses made conscious decisions to enter into agreements with Chinese trading partners due to the allure of lucrative mutual benefits — that is Capitalism 101.

Free trade is what gave China economic leverage over us. …………………………………………

What’s not reasonable is running one-sided commentary on how China deals with its domestic issues across Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong or Taiwan. 

That stuff was never our core business…………………………………………

It’s now up to Albanese to return us to the golden age of Australia-China relations.

Dr Sherry Sufi is a Political Commentator and Analyst. His PhD thesis was on language and nationalism.

November 21, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

US nuclear strategy gravely threatens global security By Kong Jun Nov 16, 2022 The US Department of Defense recently released its 2022 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), which continues the US’ consistent Cold War mentality and hegemonic logic, plays up great power competition and bloc confrontation, and exploits nuclear deterrence as a geopolitical tool. The international community is widely concerned that the US nuclear strategy will severely deteriorate the global strategic security environment.

The NPR shows that the incumbent US administration has not adopted a policy of “no first use” of nuclear weapons or the policy that “the sole purpose of our nuclear arsenal weapons is to deter -and, if necessary, retaliate for – a nuclear attack against the United States or its allies” as it promised during the 2020 presidential campaign, but has continued its longstanding policy of reserving the option of launching a preemptive nuclear strike. 

 While shouting the slogan of “reducing the role of nuclear weapons,” the US claims to deter nuclear and non-nuclear strategic attacks with nuclear weapons. Its hypocrisy is evident for all to see. Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, recently published an article that suggested the NPR “sends muddled messages about the role of nuclear weapons in US defense strategy and foreign policy at a time when the United States should be more clearly de-emphasizing the salience of nuclear weapons and the threat of nuclear weapons use.”  

The US nuclear strategy undermines strategic mutual trust among major powers. The US has long pretended to be a victim, hyping up nuclear threats from China and Russia and exaggerating that “by the 2030s the United States will, for the first time in its history face two major nuclear powers as strategic competitors and potential adversaries,” and openly tailored its nuclear deterrence strategy against China, Russia and other countries. The size of China’s nuclear arsenal is not on the same level with that of the US, and China has pledged to “no first use” of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances. The US’ hyping up of the “China nuclear threat theory” will not change the fact that the US’ nuclear weapons pose a threat to the world, nor will it justify its nuclear expansion. Instead, it will only severely impair the strategic security relations of major powers.

The US nuclear strategy raises the risk of nuclear conflict. US President Joe Biden expressed his opposition to his predecessor’s plan to deploy a low-yield nuclear warhead called the W76-2. However, the NPR has retained this type of nuclear warhead and earmarked it for tailored deterrence against China and Russia, and also stated its intention to deploy a new B61-12 nuclear bomb. In January, the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapon States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races reiterated that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Going back on its own words, the US is developing nuclear weapons for combat use, in a complete disregard of the consequences of increasing the risks of nuclear conflict.

The US nuclear strategy stimulates a nuclear arms race. As a country with the largest nuclear arsenal, the US bears special and primary responsibilities for nuclear disarmament and should reduce its nuclear weapons in accordance with the international consensus. Regrettably, the US does not have any substantive nuclear disarmament measures, but instead seeks to upgrade its nuclear triad. The US expansion of nuclear arsenal has undermined global strategic balance and stability. It cannot be ruled out that other nuclear-weapon States will follow suit. It will also stimulate non-nuclear-weapon States to develop nuclear weapons of their own or seek “nuclear umbrella,” thereby impeding the international arms control and disarmament process.

The US nuclear strategy undermines the international nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament regime. Washington talks about strengthening regional nuclear deterrence and detailed plans to deploy strategic bombers, dual-capable fighter jets and even nuclear weapons in the Asia-Pacific region. This is exactly the same as its nuclear submarine cooperation with the UK and Australia under AUKUS and its connivance of the talks about nuclear sharing in Japan and the ROK, which fully exposes the reality that it puts geopolitical self-interest above nuclear non-proliferation obligations and is a complete destroyer of the international nuclear non-proliferation system.

Washington mentions China dozens of times in the report and speculates on and smears the modernization of China’s nuclear capabilities. In fact, since possessing nuclear weapons, China has explicitly undertaken not to be the first to use nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances, and unconditionally committed itself not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free-zones, and always keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security. The US, which has long been in a hegemonic position, should change its hegemonic mentality of maliciously speculating about other countries.

At the moment, the global security structure, as well as international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation mechanisms, are facing the most severe challenge since the end of the Cold War. The risk of nuclear arms race and nuclear conflict keeps rising. How the US uses its huge nuclear arsenal has a major bearing on world peace and development. We urge the US to abandon the Cold War mentality and the logic of hegemonism, pursue a rational and responsible nuclear policy, and play its due role in maintaining global strategic stability and world peace and security.

November 21, 2022 Posted by | politics international | Leave a comment

Even with billions of dollars in tax credits, costs skyrocket at U.S. Small Modular Reactor Project

Costs Skyrocket at U.S. Small Modular Reactor Project November 18, 2022

Higher steel costs and rising interest rates are taking the blame after a small modular nuclear reactor project in Utah reported a cost increase from US$58 to $90 or $100 per megawatt-hour for the electricity it’s meant to produce.

Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems is planning to bring the six NuScale reactors online in 2029 with combined output of 462 megawatts. But “the rise in prices likely means the UAMPS project will not hit certain engineering, procurement, and construction benchmarks, allowing participants to renegotiate the price they pay or abandon the project,” Utility Dive reports.

“It was like a punch in the gut when they told us,” said Scott Hughes, power manager for Hurricane City Power, one of the 27 municipal utilities that had signed on to buy power from UAMPS’ advanced nuclear Carbon Free Power Project (CFPP).

“The increased costs in the new Class 3 cost estimate currently being finalized for the CFPP have been shocking, even to NuScale and Fluor, the company responsible for overall management of the project,” the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) writes, citing minutes of an October, 2022, Idaho Falls Power Board meeting.

Another municipal utility official called the increase a “big red flag in our face”.

The new cost projections factor in billions of dollars in tax credits the project would receive under the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, amounting to a 30% saving. IEEFA estimates the total subsidy at $1.4 billion.

Without the IRA, the cost per megawatt-hour would be closer to $120. Utility Dive and IEEFA both say any price above $58/MWh could allow the utilities to renegotiate their contracts or leave the project with no financial penalty.

“The next question is what are we going to do instead?” Hughes told Utility Dive. “Or what if the project fails, what are we gonna do? There’s not a lot of options.”

Then again, if other cities abandon the CFPP, it “might just fail anyway,” he added.

With seven years remaining before the project goes online, Hughes said material costs and interest rates could come back down. But the history doesn’t back that hope. “Nuclear industry experience over the past four decades points to the likelihood of future cost increases and schedule delays during all phases of the project—design, construction, licencing, and testing,” IEEFA says.

The institute cites the Vogtle nuclear project in Georgia, the only new reactors currently under construction in the U.S., where costs have increased 140% and work has fallen more than six years behind schedule since construction began in 2011.

UAMPS doesn’t plan to complete design work until 2024, and has eight years of design, licencing, construction, and pre-operational and start-up testing ahead. (IEEFA puts the project start date at 2030, not 2029.) But even at today’s revised pricing, “a target power price between $90 and $100 per MWh will make the CFPP even more uneconomic compared to renewable and battery storage resources costs that are expected to continue to decline over the next decade.”

In October, analysis by investment banking giant Crédit Suisse found that IRA funding combined with other available tax credits would bring solar project costs in as low as $4 per megawatt-hour, or less than half a penny per kilowatt-hour, falling to zero (literally) in the second half of the decade.

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

With Kiev exposed for a lie that could have triggered a third world war, it is time to examine past deceptions that Western media promoted.

As the war grinds on, elements in the Biden administration appear to be growing impatient with the tall tales of their Ukrainian clients. “This is getting ridiculous,” an unnamed NATO official told the Financial Times on November 16. “The Ukrainians are destroying our confidence and they are openly lying. This is more destructive than the missile.”

Zelensky, media lackeys caught in most dangerous lie yet. ALEXANDER RUBINSTEIN·NOVEMBER 18, 2022

With Kiev exposed for a lie that could have triggered a third world war, it is time to examine past deceptions that Western media promoted.

A missile that exploded on Polish soil on November 15 killed two civilians and destroyed farm equipment. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Western corporate media rushed to blame the explosion on Russia in apparent hopes of triggering NATO’s Article 5, which requires NATO states to defend one another militarily when attacked by a hostile force.

Polish and NATO members including US President Joseph Biden have since confirmed the missile that struck Poland was, in fact, a Ukrainian S-300 anti-aircraft missile. Yet Zelensky is sticking to his line, blaming Russia for the strike, while NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg still insists that “Russia bears ultimate responsibility.” Meanwhile, the media outlets that reflexively pointed the finger at Russia have been forced to take a step back from their initial reporting.

“Russian missiles hit Poland, the territory of our friendly country. People died,” Zelensky insisted on November 15, the night of the attack. “The longer Russia feels impunity, the more threats there will be to anyone within reach of Russian missiles. To fire missiles at NATO territory! This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a very significant escalation. We must act.”

Zelensky held firm the following day, despite mounting evidence that his own country’s air defenses were responsible, declaring “I have no doubt that this is not our missile… I believe that this was a Russian missile, based on our military reports.” By this time, most analysts rejected the Ukrainian president’s assessment, including the founder of the US government-sponsored intelligence cutout Bellingcat, who wrote “At this point I think it’s fair anyone saying that a Russian missile hit Poland based on the current evidence is being irresponsible.”

A Russian attack on NATO member Poland could have triggered Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization which compels its member states to consider “an attack against one Ally” to be “an attack against all Allies.” Such a mobilization would have amounted to World War III.

Despite the clear risk of such a catastrophic escalation – or perhaps because of it – Western corporate media immediately blamed Russia for the strike, never even posing the question of why Russia would consider Polish farmland such an important military target that it would be willing to risk a full-scale war with the 30-member NATO alliance. 

Initially, the Associated Press ran with the headline “Russian missiles cross into Poland during strike on Ukraine.” The article cited a “senior US intelligence official,” and later, “a second person.” 

On November 16, AP began redirecting the link to its original article to a correction that stated, “The Associated Press reported erroneously, based on information from a senior American intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity, that Russian missiles had crossed into Poland and killed two people. Subsequent reporting showed that the missiles were Russian-made and most likely fired by Ukraine in defense against a Russian attack.”

Time Magazine ran with the headline, “Russian Missiles Cross Into Poland During Strike, Killing Two,” and cited the AP report.

Fox News similarly announced, “Russian missiles cross into NATO member Poland, kill 2: senior US intelligence official, citing the Associated Press. MSNBC also blamed a “Russian missile” for the strike in its headline.

Then there was CNN, which reported, “Poland says Russian-made missile killed two, will consider invoking NATO Article 4.” NATO Article 4 deals with the meetings between NATO states that are to take place in the event one of them is “threatened” and would theoretically precede any invocation of Article 5. Like CNN, Reuters cited the Polish Foreign Ministry and ran the headline, “Poland says Russian rocket hit its territory as NATO weighs response.”

The New York Times stated in the second sentence of its report on the missile strike that “the blast came as Russia fired roughly 90 missiles into Ukraine.” Two lines later, the Times stated “local media suggests a Russian missile strike.” Readers of the paper of record would have to scroll down several times to even read that Russian officials denied responsibility.

Earlier in the war, in an article on “Ukraine’s online propaganda,” the New York Times sought to downplay the Ukrainian government’s penchant for pushing fake news, arguing that Kiev’s information war merely “dramatize[s] tales of Ukrainian fortitude and Russian aggression.” The article quoted an unnamed Twitter user, who wrote, “Why can’t we just let people believe some things? … If the Russians believe it, it brings fear. If the Ukrainians believe it, it gives them hope.”

The US media’s support for Ukraine’s propaganda efforts meant that it covered some of the most suspicious events without a hint of skepticism, and thereby encouraged more. 

These questionable incidents included the following:

  • On March 8, Western media reported that a Mariupol maternity hospital was attacked by Russian aircraft. Zelensky claimed the attack was evidence of Russian “genocide” against Ukraine. However, a key witness – a pregnant woman in the hospital photographed by AP – stated that no such airstrike occurred, and that nearby explosions were caused by Ukrainian artillery shells.
  • On March 16, the Ukrainian government blamed a targeted Russian airstrike for destroying the Mariupol Dramatic Theater and causing anywhere from 300 to 600 deaths. Western corporate media promoted the Ukrainian narrative of the event despite a total absence of footage showing a missile strike, no images or evidence of large numbers of dead civilians inside, no images or evidence of any attempted rescue, and testimony by Mariupol locals asserting the Azov Battalion fighters that controlled the theater’s grounds staged the explosion to provoke NATO military intervention. Photographic evidence showed that Azov fighters removed all vehicles from the theater’s parking lot one day before the explosion.
  • The Kramatorsk train station bombing that was blamed on Russia despite the fact the Tochka-U missile responsible for the blast contained a serial number matching others in Ukraine’s arsenal and originated from Ukrainian-controlled territory.

As the war grinds on, elements in the Biden administration appear to be growing impatient with the tall tales of their Ukrainian clients. “This is getting ridiculous,” an unnamed NATO official told the Financial Times on November 16. “The Ukrainians are destroying our confidence and they are openly lying. This is more destructive than the missile.”

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Shelling of Zaporizhzhia is playing with fire, says UN nuclear chief, as blasts reported

Explosions cause damage at Ukrainian power plant, as Kyiv says it will investigate videos allegedly of surrendering Russians being shot

Guardian, Jennifer Rankin, Mon 21 Nov 2022

The UN nuclear energy watchdog has said the forces behind the shelling of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia power plant are “playing with fire”, after a series of explosions shook the facility.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has experts based at Zaporizhzhia, reported on Sunday that powerful explosions had shaken the area on Saturday night and Sunday. It said its on-site experts saw some of the explosions from their windows.

It reported more than a dozen blasts from apparent shelling, with damage to some buildings, systems and equipment, but “none so far critical for nuclear safety”.

The head of the IAEA, Rafael Grossi, said the news was extremely disturbing and he called the explosions completely unacceptable. “Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire,” he said.

According to the IAEA Twitter account, Grossi renewed his appeal to Ukraine and Russia to agree and implement a nuclear safety and security zone around the plant as soon as possible.

Zaporizhzhia, in south-east Ukraine, is Europe’s largest nuclear power station and has been under Russian control since March, although its Ukrainian staff remain in place to run the facility. It has faced repeated shelling, raising fears of a nuclear disaster. Moscow and Kyiv have blamed each other for the attacks.

The plant’s six Soviet-designed water-cooled reactors are currently shut down, but there is a risk that nuclear fuel could overheat if the power that drives the cooling systems is shut. Shelling has frequently damaged the plant’s power supply.

Russian officials claimed that Ukrainian forces were behind the latest attacks. “They are shelling not only yesterday but also today, they are shelling even now,” an adviser to the head of Russia’s nuclear power operator Rosenergoatom, Renat Karchaa, told the Russian state news agency Tass. He said there had been 15 aerial strikes, including one that hit a storage facility.

Soon after the Russian accusations, Ukraine’s nuclear energy agency, Energoatom, said Russia was responsible for the shelling, which it said had resulted in 12 hits to Zaporizhzhia’s infrastructure. The company said on Telegram that the list of damaged equipment indicated that the attackers “targeted and disabled exactly the infrastructure that was necessary for the restart of 5th and 6th power units” and the restoration of power production for Ukrainian needs………………………………..

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

UK’s Sizewell nuclear project remains unfinanced

 Alistair Osborne: The wind of change with no direction. Sizewell all at C.
Sometimes the brackets do a lot of work: “The government will continue to
secure the UK’s energy security through delivering new nuclear power,
including Sizewell C (subject to final agreement)”.

How far away is that deal? Maybe an unbuilt nuke on a Suffolk flood plain really can attract an
investor fan club. But, as yet, this £20 billion to £30 billion project
— the top end, natch, knowing nuclear — remains unfinanced.

France’s EDF only wants about 20 per cent of the project, with the taxpayer possibly
taking a fifth. And the only money pledged to date is the £700 million
from Boris Johnson on his way out of No 10. Final agreement may prove some
way off.

 Times 18th Nov 2022

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

At the close of COP27 Summit, some progress on climate justice

The COP27 Climate Summit closed early on Sunday morning with the adoption
of an historic new accord that for the first time commits countries to
providing funding to the most vulnerable nations to help them cope with the
loss and damage inflicted by escalating climate impacts.

But the final accord failed to deliver much progress on global efforts to curb greenhouse
gas emissions, with those countries seeking a more ambitious deal accusing
a number of petrostates and their allies of seeking to backslide on
previous agreements.

The deal came after 48 hours of round the clock
negotiations as countries sought to finalise an agreement that built on
last year’s Glasgow Climate Pact by delivering a boost to flows of climate
finance and further action to accelerate decarbonisation efforts worldwide.

On Saturday afternoon, the Egyptian hosts confirmed that after several days
of deadlock the negotiations appeared to have secured a major breakthrough
following an agreement between the EU and the G77 group of developing
economies, including China, which saw them back plans for a new Loss and
Damage financing mechanism that could be operationalised at next year’s
COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai.

Business Green 20th Nov 2022

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The good, the bad, and the ugly – a leave pass for fossil fuels at compromised COP27 — RenewEconomy

COP27 made important advances on loss and damage, but the refusal to call out fossil fuels and backtracking on 1.5° target has left a bitter taste. The post The good, the bad, and the ugly – a leave pass for fossil fuels at compromised COP27 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

The good, the bad, and the ugly – a leave pass for fossil fuels at compromised COP27 — RenewEconomy

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 20 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “Are There Enough Materials To Manufacture All The EVs Needed?” • Research shows there are enough explored or prospective reserves to electrify the global transportation sector using current technology if a high amount of battery recycling occurs. In this scenario, global demand in 2100 will amount to about 50% of lithium reserves. [CleanTechnica] […]

November 20 Energy News — geoharvey

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment