Australian news, and some related international items

Conversation with John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, civil liberties | Leave a comment

Australia safest country to survive nuclear apocalypse – except for it being a military target

However, they also said that Australia does have one major factor working against it – its relatively close military ties with the United Kingdom and the United States make it more likely to become a target in a nuclear war.

In this area, New Zealand displayed some advantages because of its longstanding nuclear-free status, the researchers wrote

Scientists Reveal Safest Countries To Survive Nuclear Apocalypse, NDTV, Bhavya Sukheja February 10, 2023

Scientists have recently revealed that Australia and New Zealand are best placed to survive a nuclear apocalypse and help reboot collapsed human civilisation. 

The study, published in the journal Risk Analysis, has found that there are just a few island nations that could continue to produce enough food to feed their population after an “abrupt sunlight-reducing catastrophe” such as a nuclear war, super volcano or asteroid strike. These countries include not just Australia and New Zealand, but also Iceland, the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. 

There would “likely be pockets of survivors around the planet in even the most severe” scenario, the researchers wrote in the study. They compared 38 island countries on 13 factors which they said would predict which ones stood the best chance of surviving in a post-apocalyptic world. 

The authors of the study found that Australia and New Zealand – both robust agricultural producers and tucked away from the likely sites of northern hemisphere nuclear fallout – topped the tables, with Australia performing best overall………..

However, they also said that Australia does have one major factor working against it – its relatively close military ties with the United Kingdom and the United States make it more likely to become a target in a nuclear war. In this area, New Zealand displayed some advantages because of its longstanding nuclear-free status, the researchers wrote. …………………………….

The study also predicted that in an event of a nuclear apocalypse, China, Russia and the US could see food production fall up to 97 percent under nuclear winter models and would be forced to rely on new food production technologies.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australia’s Taiwan nightmare

As one stands back from all of this, it become very clear that Canberra has completely ignored Malcolm Fraser’s vital warning that, “Giving America the power to say when Australia goes to war is the most dangerous position that Australia can bear”. 

Any shooting war with China will very likely be a war that has ultimately been provoked by Washington to serve US interests. It is equally likely that the US will deafen us all with a propaganda onslaught

By Richard Cullen, Feb 6, 2023

Australia has been persuaded, enticed and strongarmed into taking gravely dangerous decisions. But Australia is a sovereign state and its fingerprints are, ultimately, all over the formation of its terrible abdication of national independence.

We need to pay particular attention to a definitive insight advanced by Paul Keating: Taiwan is not a vital Australian interest. In fact, it is an entity that could help unravel decades of remarkable, positive development in Australia, if we allow this to happen.

We know that the US is now a deeply disturbed super-power. Last year, the respected American commentator, Tom Plate, writing in the South China Morning Post, emphasised the “unseemly primal lust” with which the US jumped into the Ukraine war converting a “regional crisis into an increasingly global one”. Plate added that only the US had been able to parlay “its exceptional brand of American exceptionalism into a preposterous permanent innocence”.

The profound dangers arising from Australia’s far too close association with Washington’s global-control agenda have been stressed for over 50 years, first by Gough Whitlam, as he became Prime Minister in 1972, and even more emphatically by his once arch-rival, (former Prime Minister) Malcolm Fraser, who published a lengthy book in 2014 arguing that, “[G]iving America the power to say when Australia goes to war is the most dangerous position that Australia can bear.” He added that, “If America [unilaterally] uses forces deployed out of Australia, how can an Australian Prime Minister say we are not involved?”

Sensing the rising risk of grave danger, former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, around two years ago, argued with customary clarity that: “Taiwan is not a vital Australian interest. We have no alliance with Taipei”.

The former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell said, in 2004, that: “Taiwan is not independent. It does not enjoy sovereignty as a nation”. Almost 20 years later, Taipei enjoys dwindling recognition, now in the low-teens, from a handful of smaller states. Beijing is recognised as the sole, ultimate sovereign of China (including Taiwan) by the vast majority of nation-states, some 170 of whom recently reaffirmed their commitment to this centrally important One China principle.

Keating stressed that Australia should not be drawn into a military engagement over Taiwan, “US-sponsored or otherwise”, and said Taiwan was “fundamentally a civil matter” for China. These comments, predictably, were not well received in Taipei. If anything, the distressed nature of this response implicitly confirmed the position Keating outlined. Taiwan has been an intrinsic part of China for over 300 years, at least, since well before the French Revolution and the creation of the US and long before Australia was first settled by Europeans.

As for Japan’s leaders, Keating calls them the Bourbons of the Pacific – they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing, we’re still trying to find our security from Asia rather than in Asia. Furthermore, Professor Ravina, from the University of Texas, reminded us last year that, “Japan looks a lot like a one-party state” adding that, “the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has governed Japan almost exclusively since the end of World War II”. Declassified CIA documents, Ravina says, have confirmed that the LDP was covertly supported by the US “with millions of dollars” after it was established.

Japan is now avidly re-militarising at great expense, with a malevolent eye fixed on China yet again. Canberra has recklessly adopted Japan as a new primary military ally, despite the active veneration of Japan’s military history – which embodies an almost unparalleled record of military barbarism – by certain influential elite-factions.

Meanwhile, the current Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leadership in Taiwan refuses to endorse the One China principle (unlike the main opposition Kuomintang Party (KMT)) and it keeps testing how far it can push a pro-independence stance short of moving audaciously in that direction. This is combined with much mutual cross-strait political glaring – even as the economic coupling continues to deliver outstanding reciprocal benefits, year after year. Within the DPP, the more extreme faction is anxious to keep pushing the independence project. Any sort of candid negotiations with Beijing over this fraught relationship are simply off the agenda for the DPP. There is at least an even-chance that the DPP will retain power, at the expense of the KMT, at the next Presidential Election in January, 2024.

Although the US ritually claims it still supports the One China principle it does so within the context of persistent, Taiwan-separatist dog-whistling. This was highlighted in a recent Common Dreams article by the prominent peace activist, Joseph Gerson, who insisted that the US should “cease encouraging Taiwanese independence”.

Malcolm Fraser told the ABC, in 2014, that he saw no difference between the Abbott Coalition Government in Australia and the Labor Governments led by Rudd and Gillard in their misguided, excessively pro-Washington policy setting, when he criticised the way Gillard had put American troops into Darwin. Fraser also forcefully highlighted the acute danger posed to Australia by the presence of US spy-bases in Australia in his book – especially Pine Gap.

In 2018, Prime Minster Turnbull, flicked the switch to serious China-thumping over Huawei (without any “smoking gun” evidence, in Turnbull’s later, own words). Since then, we have witnessed the desperately ill-conceived, uncertain and hugely expensive AUKUS nuclear submarine decision and the latest agreement to station nuclear-capable US bombers near Darwin. Very recently, the new Labor Government in Canberra has eagerly announced a plan to acquire an expensive set of the latest mobile missiles from the US.

Arguably worst of all, is the shocking Force Posture Agreement (FPA), signed with the US in 2014 by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, which provides the legal basis for, as Bevan Ramsden recently revealed, “the comprehensive US militarisation of Australia, especially the Northern Territory, thus setting up Australia as a US forward base from which to launch its next war”.

Meanwhile, Australia and its mainstream media outlets have happily played host to diplomatically disgraceful, ongoing levels of China-threat war-drumming from the Japanese Ambassador in Canberra. John Menadue recently told us that, “The Japanese Embassy in Canberra is leading the anti-China campaign in Australia.” While Allan Behm wonders if this particular Ambassador, who describes himself a former spymaster, aspires “to be a legend in his own lunchtime”. One can be forgiven for wondering if this Canberra-based, Japanese campaign may be part of a wider US-shaped project to guard against any back-sliding on China-glaring, following the change of government last year in Australia.

Then there is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which maintains a constant focus on advancing the grand China Threat narrative. John Queripel recently argued persuasively that, when you follow the money you discover that ASPI is a “front for US propaganda”.

As one stands back from all of this, it become very clear that Canberra has completely ignored Malcolm Fraser’s vital warning that, “Giving America the power to say when Australia goes to war is the most dangerous position that Australia can bear”And, in the course of doing so, they have made the severe geopolitical risk faced by Australia far worse. Canberra has now placed the essence of the decision on when Australia may go to war against China into the hands of the three least trustworthy, triggering-parties one can imagine: Washington, Tokyo and Taipei. In all three places, reckless Anti-Beijing elements enjoy inordinate influence.

What a catalogue of cringe-making, very expensive, immature belligerence Australia has racked-up. And let’s not forget that all of this, piled-on, antagonistic military activity and expenditure is primarily directed at Australia’s leading current and best-ever, long-term trading partner. It takes one’s breath away.

Any shooting war with China will very likely be a war that has ultimately been provoked by Washington to serve US interests. It is equally likely that the US will deafen us all with a propaganda onslaught claiming that any Beijing military action responding to provocations was unprovoked – and don’t dare think otherwise. Any such war will almost certainly visit extreme harm on the global economy and surely prove to be catastrophic for the Australian political-economy and devastating for Taiwan, just for starters. US arms suppliers can be expected to power onwards and upwards, however.

Australia has certainly been persuaded, enticed and strongarmed into taking the gravely dangerous decisions outlined above. But Australia is a sovereign state. It has agency. Australia’s fingerprints are, ultimately, all over the formation of this terrible abdication of national independence.

If matters are ever to be put right, we first must not forget that America is, as Professor Adam Tooze argues, addicted to greatness and haunted by its loss and it has crafted “an extraordinarily aggressive techno-military objective” to champion its superiority over China.

Next, we have to remember how, once-upon-a-time, 50 years ago, we began growing up as a sovereign state within Asia. We must recollect what we have been told so clearly by Whitlam and Fraser and avow that Australia’s national interest is our paramount concern. We can be entirely sure that Washington, Tokyo and Taipei are never going to tell us this: they will each work to advance their own dangerously tilted agendas.

Finally, we have to pay particular attention to the conclusive insight provided by Paul Keating: Taiwan is not a vital Australian interest. In fact, it is an entity that could very much help unravel decades of remarkable, positive development in Australia, if we allow this to happen.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

Growing signs Australia’s new nuclear submarine will be British design

Breaking Defense , (Sponsored by Northrop Grumman) By   COLIN CLARK and TIM MARTIN February 10, 2023 

SYDNEY and BELFAST — With the formal announcement of Australia’s path to obtain nuclear attack submarines expected to happen in Washington next month, speculation about the likely solution AUKUS is beginning to leak out.

The most intriguing hints center on a British boat — but not the Astute-class — based in part on rare public comments by Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles and his British counterpart, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace……………………………………

From the first announcement of the AUKUS effort, Australia has said it intends to build boats at home. However, developing the nuclear expertise from a tiny pool of a few dozen individuals to potentially thousands of people will take time, as will development of the highly skilled welders and other technical experts needed to build and maintain nuclear powered boats. Developing a new design and building a new shipyard to produce it seems unrealistic, given the lack of domestic expertise — especially if the goal is to deploy nuclear attack submarines before the conventionally powered Collins-class attack subs are retired.

That has prompted talk of America supplying Australia with refitted Los Angeles-class boats or providing Virginia-class boats that would be crewed by Australians, but both options pose many obstacles. America doesn’t seem able to build nuclear attack boats quickly enough to meet its stated requirement of 66, which prompted two top defense lawmakers in the Senate to caution President Joe Biden against committing the US to supplying Australia with nuclear boats.

Given the concerns about personnel and Marles’ comments, there is reason to think Britain’s next-generation sub, which will require a much smaller crew than do any of the American boats are in play……………….

“Among the ‘straws in the wind’ are the UK’s ambitions to rebuild its own submarine fleet. The Royal Navy would like to see a rise from the planned seven Astute-class attack submarines to perhaps 12 boats in the long term.

In a speech in December 2022, the UK chief of the defence staff, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, said of AUKUS that ‘if we have the courage to do this properly’ it could help grow the UK’s own submarine numbers in the decades to come, clearly assisted in part by potential economies of scale under AUKUS.”

Jonathan Mead

Back in November 2021, the man who led the day-today work on the AUKUS boats in Australia, Vice Adm. Jonathan Mead, told an Australian Senate committee that his country intended to select a “mature design” for its nuclear submarine. “It is our intention,” Mead said then, “that when we start the build program, the design will be mature and there will be a production run already in existence.” That would appear to make the British offering a candidate…………………

Sidharth Kaushal, a sea power expert at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, told Breaking Defense: 

“The point of friction that introduces with the UK [revolves around] the Australians operating with the US Navy primarily in the Indo-Pacific and their preference for things like prompt strike capabilities, including cruise missiles and potentially hypersonic missiles. The [US Navy] Virginia-class payload module can host those weapons but the [Royal Navy’s] Astute-class can torpedo launch cruise missiles but doesn’t necessarily offer prompt strike capabilities.” 

All seven Astute-class submarines are due to be in service with the Royal Navy by 2026, each with a life cycle of 25 years. …………….

“There’s much more work to be done when you look at areas of joint production…but for the initial project of delivering a new Australian submarine there’s going to be some compromises,” Kaushal said. “For the US, this works out quite nicely but their big challenge of course remains, that their production lines are struggling to meet US Navy requirements.”

Should the Virginia-class be selected for the Australian requirement, the US would also benefit from new basing facilities for the future submarines, he added. 

“It would effectively give the US an additional SSN base separate to Guam, which is of course an inherently vulnerable location and will be more so going forward,” Kaushal explained. 

Operationally, how the future Australian submarines operate in the Indo-Pacific looks to be particularly difficult to assess in light of China formidable ASW capabilities, like Type 56 Corvettes and Y-8 maritime patrol aircraft, combined with the often shallow waters of the South China Sea which can make nuclear submarine missions more difficult. 

“China is investing in a pretty substantial sensor network in the South China Sea that includes under sea hydrophones, large unmanned underwater vehicles all linked up to artificial islands they have built,” Kaushal said. ……………………………….

February 11, 2023 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, weapons and war | Leave a comment

Firefighters called to Newcastle golf club after stolen car set alight

Firefighters were called to a popular golf course after a stolen car was set on fire, sparking concern over a potential radiation leak.

Aisling Brennan 8 Feb 23,

Firefighters have successfully prevented a radiation leak coming from a stolen car set on fire in the middle of a Newcastle golf course.

Specialist hazardous materials firefighters from Fire and Rescue NSW were called to Merewether Golf Club in Adamstown, following reports of a possible radiation leak about 9.45am on Wednesday.

The car, which was allegedly stolen, had been driven onto the green in the early hours of the morning, where the driver reportedly did several burnouts on the golf club greens.

The car was then set on fire and abandoned about 2am.

Crews were called when the owner of the stolen vehicle notified authorities there was a moisture gauge on board which has a radiation source attached and could be damaged because of the blaze.

“Firefighters, wearing protective clothing and carrying radiation detectors, then entered the scene and conducted an initial assessment,” FRNSW said in a statement.

“The equipment was located and was emitting low levels of radiation.

“Additional specialist radiation detection equipment and radiation experts responded to conduct a comprehensive assessment.”……………………………………………..

February 11, 2023 Posted by | - incidents, New South Wales | Leave a comment

RAAF finds Chinese balloon — The Bug Online

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: The Chinese Government has admitted responsibility for sending a large surveillance balloon (main picture) over Australian air space. The admission followed the detection of the balloon by the RAAF earlier today high in the sky over Central Queensland. Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Richard Marles, said he believed the balloon may have […]

RAAF finds Chinese balloon — The Bug Online

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Media ‘Spy Balloon’ Obsession a Gift to China Hawks

The Pentagon says it believes this spy balloon doesn’t significantly improve China’s ability to gather intelligence with its satellites.

Minimizing US provocation

The unstated premise of much of this coverage was that the US was minding its own business when China encroached upon it–an attitude hard to square with the US’s own history of spying.


For over a week, US corporate media have been captivated by a so-called “Chinese spy balloon,” raising the specter of espionage.

NBC News (2/2/23), the Washington Post (2/2/23) and CNN (2/3/23), among countless others, breathlessly cautioned readers that a high-altitude device hovering over the US may have been launched by China in order to collect “sensitive information.” Local news stations (e.g., WDBO2/2/23) marveled at its supposed dimensions: “the size of three school buses”! Reuters (2/3/23) waxed fantastical, telling readers that a witness in Montana thought the balloon “might have been a star or UFO.”

While comically sinister, the term “Chinese spy balloon”—which corporate media of all stripes swiftly embraced—is partially accurate, at least regarding the device’s provenance; Chinese officials promptly confirmed that the balloon did, indeed, come from China.

What’s less certain is the balloon’s purpose. A Pentagon official, without evidence, stated in a press briefing (2/2/23) that “clearly the intent of this balloon is for surveillance,” but hedged the claim with the following:

We assess that this balloon has limited additive value from an intelligence collection perspective. But we are taking steps, nevertheless, to protect against foreign intelligence collection of sensitive information.

Soon after, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website (2/3/23) stated that the balloon “is of a civilian nature, used for scientific research such as meteorology,” according to a Google translation. “The airship,” the ministry continued, “seriously deviated from the scheduled route.”

Parroting Pentagon

Despite this uncertainty, US media overwhelmingly interpreted the Pentagon’s conjecture as fact. The New York Times (2/2/23) reported that “the United States has detected what it says is a Chinese surveillance balloon,” only to call the device “the spy balloon”—without attributive language—within the same article. Similar evolution happened at CNBC, where the description shifted from “suspected Chinese spy balloon” (2/6/23) to simply “Chinese spy balloon” (2/6/23). The Guardian once bothered to place “spy balloon” in quotation marks (2/5/23), but soon abandoned that punctuation (2/6/23).

Given that media had no proof of either explanation, it might stand to reason that outlets would give each possibility—spy balloon vs. weather balloon—equal attention. Yet media were far more interested in lending credence to the US’s official narrative than to that of China.

n coverage following the initial reports, media devoted much more time to speculating on the possibility of espionage than of scientific research. The New York Times (2/3/23), for instance, educated readers about the centuries-long wartime uses of surveillance balloons. Similar pieces ran at The Hill (2/3/23), Reuters (2/2/23) and the Guardian (2/3/23). Curiously, none of these outlets sought to provide an equivalent exploration of the history of weather balloons after the Chinese Foreign Affairs statement, despite the common and well-established use of balloons for meteorological purposes.

Even information that could discredit the “spy balloon” theory was used to bolster it. Citing the Pentagon, outlets almost universally acknowledged that any surveillance capacity of the balloon would be limited. This fact apparently didn’t merit reconsideration of the “spy balloon” theory; instead, it was treated as evidence that China was an espionage amateur. As NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel (2/3/23) stated:

The Pentagon says it believes this spy balloon doesn’t significantly improve China’s ability to gather intelligence with its satellites.

One of Brumfiel’s guests, a US professor of international studies, called the balloon a “floating intelligence failure,” adding that China would only learn, in Brumfiel’s words, at most “a little bit” from the balloon. That this might make it less likely to be a spy balloon and more likely, as China said, a weather balloon did not seem to occur to NPR.

Reuters (2/4/23), meanwhile, called the use of the balloon “a bold but clumsy espionage tactic.” Among its uncritically quoted “security expert” sources: former White House national security adviser and inveterate hawk John Bolton, who scoffed at the balloon for its ostensibly low-tech capabilities.

Minimizing US provocation

The unstated premise of much of this coverage was that the US was minding its own business when China encroached upon it–an attitude hard to square with the US’s own history of spying. Perhaps it’s for this reason that media opted not to pay that history much heed.

In one example, CNN (2/4/23) published a retrospective headlined “A Look at China’s History of Spying in the US.” The piece conceded that the US had spied on China, but, in line with the headline’s framing, wasn’t too interested in the specifics. Despite CNN‘s lack of curiosity, plenty of documentation of US spying on China and elsewhere exists. Starting in 2010, according to the New York Times (5/20/17), China dismantled CIA espionage operations within the country.

And as FAIR contributor Ari Paul wrote for Counterpunch (2/7/23):

The US sent a naval destroyer past Chinese controlled islands last year (AP7/13/22) and the Chinese military confronted a similar US vessel in the same location a year before (AP7/12/21). The AP (3/21/22) even embedded two reporters aboard a US “Navy reconnaissance aircraft that flew near Chinese-held outposts in the South China Sea’s Spratly archipelago,” dramatically reporting on Chinese military build up in the area as well as multiple warnings “by Chinese callers” that the Navy plan had “illegally entered what they said was China’s territory and ordered the plane to move away.”

The US military has also invested in its own spy balloon technology. In 2019, the Pentagon was testing “mass surveillance balloons across the US,” as the Guardian (8/2/19) put it. The tests were commissioned by SOUTHCOM, a US military organ that conducts surveillance of Central and South American countries, ostensibly for intercepting drug-trafficking operations. Three years later, Politico (7/5/22) reported that “the Pentagon has spent about $3.8 million on balloon projects, and plans to spend $27.1 million in fiscal year 2023,” adding that the balloons “may help track and deter hypersonic weapons being developed by China and Russia.”

In this climate, it came as no surprise when the US deployed an F-22 fighter jet to shoot down the balloon off the Atlantic coast (Reuters2/4/23). Soon after, media were abuzz with news of China’s “threat[ening]” and “confrontational” reaction (AP2/5/23Bloomberg2/5/23), casting China as the chief aggressor.

Perpetuating Cold War hostilities

Since news of the balloon broke, US animus toward China, already at historic highs, has climbed even further.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken postponed a trip to China. President Biden made a thinly veiled reference to the balloon as a national security breach in his February 7 State of the Union address, declaring, “If China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country.” Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democratic ranking member of the newly formed House Select Committee on China, asserted that “the threat is real from the Chinese Communist Party.”

Rather than questioning this saber-rattling, US media have dispensed panicked spin-offs of the original story (Politico2/5/23Washington Post2/7/23New York Times2/8/23), ensuring that the balloon saga, no matter how much diplomatic decay ensues, lasts as long as possible.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Health status of the population living in the zone of influence of radioactive waste repositories

Health status of the population living in the zone of influence of radioactive waste repositories. (2019)

D. J. Janavayev1 , Ye. T. Kashkinbayev1 , K. B. Ilbekova1 , Ye. A. Saifulina1 , M. M. Bakhtin1 , M. K. Sharipov1 , P. K. Kazymbet. (2016). Electron J Gen Med 2019;16(6):em176.

Some brief extracts:

The results of the study indicate an almost complete absence of healthy individuals living in the area.”

  • Currently, the study of the effects of low doses of ionizing radiation on biological objects continues to be a complex problem in the field of radiation biology.
  • The urgency of this problem is due to the increase in the number of people exposed to man-made radiation in small doses, this category of the population includes people living near the storage of radioactive waste of uranium production
  • The risk of environmental problems and living conditions is high for public health.
  • Radioactive contamination of the territories behind the sanitary protection zone, tailings of radioactive waste is one of the serious problems of the Republic of Kazakhstan
  • As a result of earlier clinical and epidemiological studies found that the population living in a tense environmental situation, had a high medical and social risk of chronic somatic and cancer.


  • Analyzing the research results, we note a clear pattern of the distribution of the incidence of the pathology among the population, depending on the length of stay in the territory longer duration of residence in the territory of the tailings, the greater the prevalence of diseases observed in the population.
  • In the population of the control group, the prevalence of diseases, depending on the period of residence in the Akkol settlement of Akmola region, tended to increase, but did not change significantly. This may indicate that the influence of technogenic factors of radiation nature on the overall morbidity of the population living near the tailings dump for a long time is not excluded.
  • A significant increase in the prevalence of diseases, depending on the length of residence in ecologically unfavorable areas, was detected for diseases of the eye, cardiovascular system, digestive and genitourinary systems.


  • Thus, living conditions in the zone of influence of radioactive waste repositories determine the wide prevalence among the population of the main group living in the settlements of Zavodskaya and Aksu.
  • The results of the study indicate an almost complete absence of healthy individuals living in the area.

  • Length of living near radioactive waste storage affect the formation and character of General somatic morbidity: increase the duration of life in the areas adjacent to the tailings, leading to increased incidence of chronic diseases.
  • It should be noted that in order to fully assess the health of the population of the settlements of Zavodskaya and Aksu under prolonged exposure to radioactive waste storage factors, data are required, which will be obtained in the course of further research.


February 11, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Emerging Environmental Justice Issues in Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination

As long as the public is excluded by “national security” concerns and by government agencies relying on nuclear expert knowledge and self-serving rules that favor commercial interests over public well-being, justice will be elusive.

Emerging Environmental Justice Issues in Nuclear Power and Radioactive Contamination (2016). By : Dean Kyne and Bob Bolin, and Jayajit Chakraborty, Academic Editor, Sara E. Grineski, Academic Editor, and Timothy W. Collins, Academic Editor.


  • Nuclear hazards, linked to both U.S. weapons programs and civilian nuclear power, pose substantial environment justice issues. Nuclear power plant (NPP) reactors produce low-level ionizing radiation, high level nuclear waste, and are subject to catastrophic contamination events.
  • Justice concerns include plant locations and the large potentially exposed populations, as well as issues in siting, nuclear safety, and barriers to public participation.
  • Other justice issues relate to extensive contamination in the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, and the mining and processing industries that have supported it.
  • To approach the topic, first we discuss distributional justice issues of NPP sites in the U.S. and related procedural injustices in siting, operation, and emergency preparedness.
  • Finally, we discuss the persistent risks of nuclear technologies and renewable energy alternatives.
  • Then we discuss justice concerns involving the U.S. nuclear weapons complex and the ways that uranium mining, processing, and weapons development have affected those living downwind, including a substantial American Indian population.


  • What steps could be taken to begin to resolve some of the above discussed justice issues?
    • To overcome all types of environmental justice issues, it is imperative for all key stakeholders including nuclear regulatory agency to take accountability and responsibility in carrying out activities in risk evaluation, risk decision-making, and risk management regarding nuclear power and radiation [69].
    • This requires full disclosure and public right-to-know principles and full democratic procedures in all nuclear issues, even those involving the military [27].
  • Next we examine the problem of high-level nuclear waste and the risk implications of the lack of secure long-term storage.
  • The handling and deposition of toxic nuclear wastes pose new transgenerational justice issues of unprecedented duration, in comparison to any other industry.

  • As long as the public is excluded by “national security” concerns and by government agencies relying on nuclear expert knowledge and self-serving rules that favor commercial interests over public well-being, justice will be elusive.
  • Given the history of secrecy and denial in the U.S. over nuclear technology risks and impacts [14] whether a more just approach could be developed remains unclear.
  •  Clearly, phasing out of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons technologies, with their centralized and authoritarian tendencies [102] (as many European countries have initiated) is a positive step that responds to public opinion.
  • Likewise, planning for high-level waste storage must involve democratic procedures and full consultation with those people and places that will be most affected. To do otherwise will repeat a history of nuclear injustice.


February 11, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here are eight reasons why the US has no interest in pushing for peace in Ukraine

Washington’s priority is to contain Russia and how the fighting ends for Kiev is a sideshow to the main objective

By Andrey Sushentsov, Valdai Club program director, 10 Feb 23,

It now appears that the US is not even remotely interested in supporting a peaceful resolution to the Ukrainian conflict, preferring to see the military campaign continue. Overall, strategic planning in Washington gives little thought to the parameters for ending the crisis: Whether Ukraine will remain within its current borders, lose its territories or disappear altogether. 

Despite mounting casualties and the destruction of Ukraine’s military, appetite for military action has not diminished, neither in Kiev nor in Washington. Many international experts rightly identify the US as the key player in a large coalition advocating for continued hostilities in Ukraine. In less than a year of crisis, Kiev has exhausted its own military resources and the means to replace them, and is totally dependent on external assistance.

Though the US is taking the lead in coordinating and strategizing support from the West, it would be wrong to equate Ukrainian and American interests. While continuing to pay lip service to Kiev’s political demands, Washington is carefully assessing the right moment to initiate negotiations. The need for diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict has been increasingly emphasized by US military leaders, most notably the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley. The idea continues to circulate in the British press that the American tactic is to escalate the conflict in order to later de-escalate it: to pressure Russia with a wave of large-scale deliveries of military equipment and to put Kiev in a more favorable negotiating position. 

However, it cannot be overlooked that the continuation of the military crisis in Ukraine is in line with US military and political interests. There are a total of eight arguments suggesting that the Americans intend to prolong this conflict.

First, there is the relative weakening of Russia, which has had to devote considerable resources to eliminating the military threat from Ukraine, as well as to achieving its political objectives of securing equal status in post-Cold War European security architecture. The Western media narrative that Russia is on the verge of defeat, while far from reality, gives the impression that all the West needs to do so is adopt a wait-and-see attitude. The lack of decisive Russian military victories leads to the perception that Ukraine is winning.

Second, the US has a vested interest in breaking up EU-Russian energy cooperation. This has developed over many decades, beginning during the Cold War. The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, apparently conducted with the assistance of another NATO state, was the culmination of a long-term American strategy to dismantle the extensive links between Moscow and key West European economies. The Americans want to shift European energy consumption away from Russia and create a more difficult environment for broader European industry, so that American goods face less competition, thus strengthening their own position.

Third, the US wants to eliminate any impulse for strategic autonomy among EU states. The Ukrainian crisis provides a golden opportunity for this, as the US and its allies in Eastern Europe have managed to create a moment of moral panic in the information space, preventing any reflection on the causes and consequences of the crisis. Strategic decisions on arms transfers are being taken under pressure from the media and a radicalized section of the public, without any analysis of the consequences. Leaders and elites who might have been able to reflect with detachment and sobriety on the consequences of the slide of EU-Russia relations into a deep crisis, are now outnumbered and essentially voiceless.

Fourth, the US does not want to see the defeat of Ukraine, into which much financial, political and symbolic capital has been invested over the past year. In the eyes of the West, Ukraine is its “champion”. The old narrative of European civilization struggling against the barbaric East, going back to the days of ancient Greece and its confrontation with the Persian hordes, is being played out here. Ukraine’s defeat would be a sensitive symbolic defeat for the West and would leave an “open wound” in the minds of many intellectuals.

Fifth, the US has not retreated from the ideological imperative to defend what it interprets as “freedom”. In the situation around Ukraine, there is a Manichean presentation of the struggle for “freedom against unfreedom”. Washington also sees this ideological imperative manifest in the domestic situation in Ukraine, which of course is only possible if you look at the political processes in Kiev “through your fingers”. By playing along with this narrative, Vladimir Zelensky’s government seeks to present itself to the West in such ideological categories.

The sixth US objective is to encourage Western Europe to remilitarise. Washington is aware that prolonged military competition is not possible using American forces alone. Moreover, the US is conscious of the growing threat from China and realizes that its resources will soon be diverted to a confrontation in the Pacific. In the European theater, Washington is therefore looking for ways to strengthen the EU’s military-industrial complex so that national defense budgets can be raised to at least 2 percent of GDP. 

Seventh, the US seeks to consolidate its European allies around a platform of fighting its “rising” adversaries such as Russia, China and Iran. Here, the US is trying to be resourceful in building coalitions willing to produce and sell expensive, high-tech weapons.

Eighth, the US is also pursuing its own re-industrialisation through Ukraine. The expansion of the military-industrial complex is seen as an important goal for America. After the Cold War, it was reoriented to produce a limited number of high-tech products, whereas modern conventional warfare requires the large-scale production of relatively inexpensive generic artillery, tank and aircraft systems.

All this makes the US extremely uninterested in working for a peaceful solution to the conflict in the short term. The Americans believe that time is on their side and that the eight objectives listed above will be achieved. This makes their strategy rather flexible and demonstrates that their priority is to contain Russia rather than secure the future security and prosperity of Ukraine.

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

February 10 Energy News — geoharvey

Opinion: ¶ “The Fossil Fuel Industry Is ‘Immorally Undermining Climate Action’” • “We must end the merciless, relentless, senseless war on nature,” UN Secretary General António Gutterres said, as that war “is putting our world at immediate risk of hurtling past the 1.5-degree temperature increase limit and now still moving towards a deadly 2.8 degrees.” […]

February 10 Energy News — geoharvey

February 11, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment