Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Biden urged to give up sole power to launch nuclear weapons

January 10, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Deceitful nuclear propaganda exposed in ”The Wretched Atom”

The Wretched Atom  https://jacobdarwinhamblin.com/books/the-wretched-atom/

Coming in June 2021 from Oxford University Press

A groundbreaking narrative of how the United States offered the promise of nuclear technology to the developing world and its gamble that other nations would use it for peaceful purposes.

After the Second World War, the United States offered a new kind of atom that differed from the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This atom would cure diseases, produce new foods, make deserts bloom, and provide abundant energy for all. It was an atom destined for the formerly colonized, recently occupied, and mostly non-white parts of the world that were dubbed the “wretched of the earth” by Frantz Fanon.

The “peaceful atom” had so much propaganda potential that President Dwight Eisenhower used it to distract the world from his plan to test even bigger thermonuclear weapons. His scientists said the peaceful atom would quicken the pulse of nature, speeding nations along the path of economic development and helping them to escape the clutches of disease, famine, and energy shortfalls. That promise became one of the most misunderstood political weapons of the twentieth century. It was adopted by every subsequent US president to exert leverage over other nations’ weapons programs, to corner world markets of uranium and thorium, and to secure petroleum supplies. Other countries embraced it, building reactors and training experts. Atomic promises were embedded in Japan’s postwar recovery, Ghana’s pan-Africanism, Israel’s quest for survival, Pakistan’s brinksmanship with India, and Iran’s pursuit of nuclear independence.

As The Wretched Atom shows, promoting civilian atomic energy was an immense gamble, and it was never truly peaceful. American promises ended up exporting violence and peace in equal measure. While the United States promised peace and plenty, it planted the seeds of dependency and set in motion the creation of today’s expanded nuclear club.

January 10, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Beatrice Fihn: How to implement the nuclear weapons ban treaty

Beatrice Fihn: How to implement the nuclear weapons ban treaty, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, By John Mecklin, December 7, 2020  

………..Beatrice Fihn, ICAN’s executive director spoke with me at length about how the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons might be implemented once it was ratified by the requisite 50 countries, an event expected to happen, at the time we spoke, within a matter of months. In fact, it occurred just weeks later, and the treaty will enter into force in January 2021.

The treaty was not supported by any of the nine countries that possess nuclear weapons, including the United States. Many of those opposed to the ban treaty have contended it is an unrealistic and naïve effort that could actually undermine nuclear nonproliferation efforts. US officials have been especially critical.

Here, Fihn lays out a possible future in which the ban treaty delegitimizes nuclear weapons, and nuclear weapons countries are persuaded to decide that it is best to give up the most fearsome weapons ever created—in those countries’ own interests…….

we’re trying to sort of remind the people that this issue still exists. This is still dangerous. These weapons are still around, and we’re really hoping that the treaty, and the progression will be the starting point of moving away from these weapons. Creating a new norm, implementing the treaty—in many ways, it’s just building normative pressure, building financial pressure through divestments.

see a lot of people really, really evaluating things during this year. What is it that we prioritize? And what is security? How come 200,000 Americans are dying from a pandemic, and we are still investing $35 billion in nuclear weapons? The structures that people in power have built to protect us, such as the police force and nuclear weapons, actually harm people and kill people. Both through police violence, through nuclear testing, for example. So I see a lot of possibilities for the next term to really start questioning the decisions our governments have made on our behalf around these things. …..

I think we have to be realistic. Ideally, we would want governments to take very strong measures and threaten to boycott if this doesn’t work. But in reality, of course, it’s the big economic powers that have nuclear weapons. And many countries are very dependent on them, and it wouldn’t be realistic to think that a small country in Africa can boycott the nuclear weapon states in that way. But I definitely think that there are a lot of potentials for action. First of all, I think we need to reckon—I think particularly in the West, in Europe and maybe North America—how the power dynamics in the world are changing quite rapidly. And this idea that we in the West are the center of the power in the world might not hold for very long……..

I can also see an emergence of a new power structure. This treaty in many ways is that a lot of countries are basically banning the power tool of the [UN] Security Council. And I think that’s going to have some very significant impact. But in practical terms, what we’re hoping for is, of course, that this treaty stands next to the Chemical and Biological Weapons Convention, like the bans on all weapons of mass destruction. This completes the treaty or treaties, in a way. So that the political pressure and the reputational cost of countries that don’t join this treaty is increased. We’re looking to focus quite a lot on the divestment side, making sure that banks and pension funds are pulling their money out of producing companies. And we’ve seen that influence on landmines and cluster munitions; they have quite a concrete impact in reducing companies’ willingness to be involved in these practices…….

Every year we do this “Don’t Bank on the Bomb” report that shows that it’s growing, the number of banks that have policies against this. We’ve seen just this year, the Norwegian Oil Fund, for example, pulled out of nuclear weapons companies and referred to the TPNW as a reason. One of the super banks in Japan, Mitsubishi Bank Group, or whatever they’re called. They adopted a new policy. Deutsche Bank last year adopted a new policy with nuclear weapons after work with ICAN in Germany. The Deutsche Bank [policy] wasn’t flawless, there’s some holes still, but it’s a sign that they are reacting to this.

So we have two of the five biggest pension funds in the world, the Dutch Pension Fund as well, the public one. We’ve been working on the local cities initiative as well, trying to see if the whole trend on the climate change issue and other issues as well, that cities are taking sort of international action and seeing themselves as almost actors on an international stage. We have over 400 cities around the world now, including I think something like 30 cities with over a million people, that have joined this call to action and that are supporting the treaty and calling on their national governments to join.  ……. New York City is supporting the TPNW. And it’s going to divest the city pension funds from nuclear weapons users.

……… this is an issue so solvable. I mean, it’s a lot easier to solve than climate change. It’s nine states. It’s not the whole world, it’s nine states that have them. …….. This is very old fashioned, wiping out a whole city and releasing radioactive fallout. It’s not the best strategy in any kind of warfare situation.

……..  this is all connected to power and holding power. A small group of actors are holding power and oppressing the larger majority. For people like me, for example, I’m Swedish. I live in Switzerland. Me and my family and my two countries will also die in nuclear war if there’s nuclear war. Yet, I don’t get a say. In that way, it’s much like climate change. What one country does, it’s not their own business.

……..  this is an issue that is connected to economic inequalities, sexism, racism, the disproportion in the way we use public funding and tax money in terms of protecting people—like taking the money from things that actually protect us, health care right now, education that will actually make people safer. Yet we divert it towards nuclear weapons and a hugely inflated military budget.

So I think that’s sort of what I would like to say to young people…………….

I think it’s really important to delegitimize nuclear weapons and devalue them. We’ve almost created this mythical perspective on these weapons, that they somehow are safeguarding the world and that they somehow have all these magical attributes, which isn’t true. It’s just a really giant radioactive bomb. It’s not magic, it’s not special. And it costs a lot of money and it’s very dangerous to the countries that have them, and it makes you a target of nuclear weapons. So I think it’s really important, for nuclear arms states also, to understand that the more value that’s put into nuclear weapons—both symbolic value and money value—the more vulnerable you are also to other countries getting that weapon.  …….

I think what’s extremely important is that we look also, again, at research and science and see that societies that have a lot of weapons, that invest a lot of money in weapons, are less secure and safe than societies that invest a lot in health care, education, equality, for example. And these are always seen as soft issues, unrelated to national security. We really urgently need leaders who are smart, who understand how to protect their people. And protecting their people is not through spending hundreds of billions of dollars on weapons……..   https://thebulletin.org/premium/2020-12/beatrice-fihn-how-to-implement-the-nuclear-weapons-ban-treaty/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=ThursdayNewsletter01072021&utm_content=NuclearRisk_Fihn_12072020

 

January 9, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

What happens to the nuclear bomb codes, if Trump avoids the inauguration of Biden?

Here’s what happens to the ‘nuclear football’ if Trump skips Biden’s inauguration, Business Insider, RYAN PICKRELL, DEC 16, 2020, 

  • American presidents are accompanied by a military aide carrying a briefcase with the tools necessary for nuclear war.
  • During presidential inaugurations, nuclear command authority and the “nuclear football,” as the briefcase is called, are transferred to the new president.
  • But President Donald Trump says he will not participate in President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, which could complicate the transfer.
  • The Pentagon told Insider there was a plan for the transfer in that scenario but declined to provide details. Nuclear-weapons experts and a former military aide who carried the briefcase were able to offer some insight though.
An important yet discreet part of the inauguration of a new president is the transfer of command and control authority over the US nuclear arsenal, but President Donald Trump does not plan to attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, which could complicate matters.

Trump said Friday that he “will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” He did not say where he will be instead.

So what happens to the “nuclear football” that accompanies the president if Trump doesn’t show? How does it get to Biden?

“That’s a good question,” Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, told Insider. “It is an unprecedented situation.” In the nuclear age, no president has skipped their successor’s inauguration.

The president has the sole authority to conduct a nuclear strike, and wherever he goes, he is accompanied by a military aide carrying a briefcase called the “president’s emergency satchel,” more commonly known as the nuclear football………….

The transfer of the nuclear football is supposed to occur at noon as the new president is sworn in. The military aide who has been carrying the briefcase hands it off to the newly designated military aide, former Vice President Dick Cheney said in a past Discovery documentary. This traditionally happens off to the side and is not a part of the show.

If Trump is not at the inauguration, then the transfer process will be different. Still, the transfer will need to be instantaneous, said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson, who carried the football for former President Bill Clinton.

“That’s the way it has to be,” he told Insider. “For the process to work, you have to have this clear handing off of responsibilities.” He said that how that happens would be up to the Pentagon, which serves the office of the commander in chief, not the man.
A Pentagon spokesperson told Insider the Department of Defence had a plan for the transfer on Inauguration Day but declined to provide any further details. ………… https://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-happens-to-nuclear-football-if-trump-skips-biden-inauguration-2020-12?r=US&IR=

January 9, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

USA Congress Speaker Nancy Pelosi asks military to stop Donald Trump accessing nuclear codes

January 9, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Fossil fuels benefited from the delay in renewables growth, and push for nuclear power

it’s time to let nuclear technologies retire to a well earned place in our history books. It’s deeply unfortunate that nuclear geopolitics massively extended our use of fossil fuels and hence the power of the fossil fuel industry to pivot to gas generation and delay renewables, but their time has come as well. 

January 9, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Seven beautiful Italian regions furious at sites recommended for nuclear trash

‘We’ll fight it’: Uproar over nuclear dump plan in scenic Tuscany, https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/we-ll-fight-it-uproar-over-nuclear-dump-plan-in-scenic-tuscany-20210108-p56skh.html Nick Squires, January 8, 2021   Some: Italian regional leaders are fighting against plans to dump nuclear waste in some of the most picturesque areas of the country.

Some of the 67 potential sites earmarked to become a national contaminated waste facility include the rolling valleys of Tuscany and the countryside around the southern ancient town of Matera, famed for its cavernous homes.

The governors of the seven affected regions, including Piedmont, Puglia, Basilicata, Sardinia and Sicily, have accused the national government and SOGIN, Italy’s nuclear decommissioning agency, of failing to consult them. Italy closed down its nuclear power plants after a referendum in 1987 – held in the wake of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The new deposit site would store waste from those power plants as well as radioactive material that is still produced by industry, hospitals and research centres.

Manolo Garosi, the mayor of Pienza, a Tuscan hill town, said he was incredulous about the prospect of a nuclear dump being located in his region.

“How can they be considering a region like ours, which has World Heritage recognition? It is totally unacceptable. This is an area of natural beauty,” he told Corriere della Sera newspaper. “I can’t imagine what tourists would say when they come here looking for beauty and discover instead radioactive waste dumps.”

Domenico Bennardi, the mayor of Matera, said locating the dump near the town would be a “slap in the face”, particularly as it was a European City of Culture in 2019. It was also used as a location for the forthcoming Bond film No Time To Die. “We’ll fight it at every level,” he said.

More than 20 of the potential dump sites are in the northern part of Lazio, famed for its Etruscan heritage, small villages and farmland. One of the sites is near the village of Gallese, where William Urquhart, a British businessman, helps run a country estate that his family has managed for more than a century.

“It seems mad to choose an area of designated natural beauty for something like this,” he said. “The government seems to have sprung this on the country out of the blue, in the middle of a pandemic in which people have become more conscious than ever of the importance of protecting the environment.

“Of course, no one wants buried nuclear waste where they live, but it needs to be an open, transparent process. Instead, it has come as a bombshell that will frighten a lot of people.”

The publication of the map of potential sites is the first stage in a long process that could last years.

“Now that people have seen the list, they can participate in the process and express their views,” said Deputy Environment Minister Roberto Morassut.

The government said the nuclear deposit site could bring benefits to a region – there would be 4000 jobs during the four-year construction phase and up to 1000 jobs when it is operational. The 370-acre facility would cost about €900 million ($1.4 billion).

January 9, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

The problem of ”passing the nuclear football”, if Trump avoids the inauguration

Here’s what happens to the ‘nuclear football’ if Trump skips Biden’s inauguration, Business Insider,  RYAN PICKRELL, DEC 16, 2020, 

  • American presidents are accompanied by a military aide carrying a briefcase with the tools necessary for nuclear war.
  • During presidential inaugurations, nuclear command authority and the “nuclear football,” as the briefcase is called, are transferred to the new president.
  • But President Donald Trump says he will not participate in President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, which could complicate the transfer.
  • The Pentagon told Insider there was a plan for the transfer in that scenario but declined to provide details. Nuclear-weapons experts and a former military aide who carried the briefcase were able to offer some insight though.
An important yet discreet part of the inauguration of a new president is the transfer of command and control authority over the US nuclear arsenal, but President Donald Trump does not plan to attend President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, which could complicate matters.

Trump said Friday that he “will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.” He did not say where he will be instead.

So what happens to the “nuclear football” that accompanies the president if Trump doesn’t show? How does it get to Biden?

“That’s a good question,” Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons expert at the Federation of American Scientists, told Insider. “It is an unprecedented situation.” In the nuclear age, no president has skipped their successor’s inauguration.

The president has the sole authority to conduct a nuclear strike, and wherever he goes, he is accompanied by a military aide carrying a briefcase called the “president’s emergency satchel,” more commonly known as the nuclear football………….

The transfer of the nuclear football is supposed to occur at noon as the new president is sworn in. The military aide who has been carrying the briefcase hands it off to the newly designated military aide, former Vice President Dick Cheney said in a past Discovery documentary. This traditionally happens off to the side and is not a part of the show.

If Trump is not at the inauguration, then the transfer process will be different. Still, the transfer will need to be instantaneous, said retired Air Force Lt. Col. Buzz Patterson, who carried the football for former President Bill Clinton.

“That’s the way it has to be,” he told Insider. “For the process to work, you have to have this clear handing off of responsibilities.” He said that how that happens would be up to the Pentagon, which serves the office of the commander in chief, not the man.
A Pentagon spokesperson told Insider the Department of Defence had a plan for the transfer on Inauguration Day but declined to provide any further details. ………… https://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-happens-to-nuclear-football-if-trump-skips-biden-inauguration-2020-12?r=US&IR=

January 8, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Cyclotron-produced technetium-99m approved by Health Canada

these cyclotrons can be used to reliably create technetium-99m regionally and without the need for reactor-based materials.

Cyclotron-produced technetium-99m approved by Health Canada, TRIUMF, 

17 December 2020  Over the last 50 years, technetium-99m has driven unparalleled advances in the development of non-invasive imaging techniques and, in turn, our understanding of disease.

Now, a new cyclotron-based approach to producing this critical diagnostic tool has received Health Canada approval, greenlighting the made-in-Canada technology for national implementation and opening the door to a greener, more reliable way to make technetium-99m. 

The approval represents a critical milestone for the TRIUMF-led Cyclomed99 consortium, which spearheaded the innovative research effort. The consortium, including partners BC Cancer, the University of British Columbia (UBC), the Lawson Health Research Institute, and the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, is the first in the world to obtain full regulatory approval for cyclotron-based production.

It also a turning point for the consortiums licensee ARTMS Inc., the TRIUMF spin-off company bringing this technology to market. ARTMS’ technology makes technetium-99m production possible on many of the world’s most common medical cyclotrons, enabling regional production of this critical isotope within local communities. 

“Medical isotopes help so many people every day. It’s critical to have a stable, multi-faceted supply chain to avoid unexpected disruptions to their availability,” said Paul Schaffer, Associate Laboratory Director, Life Sciences at TRIUMF and Associate Professor at UBC’s Faculty of Medicine. “The approval of cyclotron-produced technetium-99m by Health Canada is an important milestone for this Canadian innovation that will ultimately deliver direct benefit for Canadian patients.”

While the Health Canada approval brings new promise for patients and researchers, it also highlights an important chapter in Canadian innovation, one which saw a focused national research effort produce an effective solution to a global problem.

The path towards cyclotron-produced technetium-99m ……

In 2009, following unplanned disruptions at NRU (which historically provided up to half of the world’s technetium-99m via molybdenum-99 generators), the Government of Canada initiated the Non-reactor-based Isotope Supply Contribution Program (NISP) which challenged researchers to find a new way to produce critical medical isotopes—in particular, technetium-99m.

Led by Schaffer and TRIUMFs Dr. Tom Ruth, scientists and engineers from TRIUMF joined partners at BC Cancer, the Centre for Probe Development Commercialization (CPDC), the Lawson Health Research Institute, and the University of British Columbia to launch a national collaboration to answer the NISP call:  the CycloMed99 consortium.

A new way to produce technetium-99m

The consortium’s proposal detailed a new and innovative technology to enable the production of technetium-99m using medical cyclotrons. These compact particle accelerators already operate in regional healthcare centres worldwide, producing isotopes by bombarding a target material with a proton beam and extracting the desired species. The process is safe and precise, employing stable targets and producing little to no long-lived radioactive waste. And, with the right target and extraction systems, these cyclotrons can be used to reliably create technetium-99m regionally and without the need for reactor-based materials.

“Cyclotron centres across Canada can produce these isotopes locally and on-demand, and we have shown the path that can be used to achieve regulatory approval,” said Francois Bénard, senior executive director of research at BC Cancer, professor of radiology and associate dean of research at UBC’s faculty of medicine. “The same approach can be followed at other sites in Canada and internationally. This has been a shared vision of many researchers across the country, and we have to recognize the many collaborators who worked for years to make this announcement possible.”  

This bright future will first take shape at TRIUMFInstitute for Advanced Medical Isotopes (IAMI), where a state-of-the-art TR-24 medical cyclotron will offer production capacity for the Lower Mainlands technetium-99 needsIn additionIAMI will serve as a hub for radiopharmaceutical research, providing access to leading-edge facilities and expertise in accelerator technology and isotope science. The Institute will further catalyze the Vancouver region’s diverse nuclear medicine sector by convening researchers, students, academic collaborators, not-for-profits, government, and industry partners.

With support from the Canadian government and our partners, we have developed an effective solution to the medical isotope crisis, one that will improve health outcomes and reaffirm Canada’s role as a global leader in isotope production and research. … …https://www.triumf.ca/headlines/cyclotron-produced-technetium-99m-approved-health-canada?fbclid=IwAR1d-vA4gmCfoY1HWJqwPBs_KkmGHMfwxGKVK41bnPNeD2I7Yr-vHkaVf4o

January 7, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Kimba could become like Quirra, Sardinia, a radioactively contaminated environment

January 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2020


World Nuclear Industry Status Report 31st Dec 2020.  The Global Launch of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2020

(WNISR2020) took place on 24 September 2020 with two online events.
The first was hosted by Chatham House, London, for timezones compatible with European watches. The second was hosted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in Washington D.C. for timezones that fit American clocks.
Greg Jaczko, former Chairman of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), commented during the second release event:
“First of all, I think the report is fantastic. It is probably the best collection of publicly available data for the nuclear industry. I have to say, I use a lot of the information quite often in talks and in teaching [at Princeton University]. So I think it is an excellent report, and I think it does paint a very clear picture of the status of the industry right now.
It is the data that does not necessarily comport with the story that the industry is wanting to tell right now on what the status of the industry is. So I think it is very valuable to have this kind of information and to have the accurate analysis and assessment. Really, I applaud the work, it is a tremendous effort.
Further online events around the WNISR2020 findings are planned with partners in Beijing (China), Beirut (Lebanon), Paris (France), Taipei (Taiwan), Zürich (Switzerland). Media attention has been extraordinary and many outlets continue to quote, refer to or reproduce graphics from WNISR2020.

https://www.worldnuclearreport.org/Video-PPT-of-WNISR2020-Global-Launch-and-Press-Book.html

January 4, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

This is the sort of letter that citizens need to be writing – in support of the nuclear weapons ban

Sudbury letter: Council should support banning of nuclear weapons https://www.thesudburystar.com/opinion/letters/sudbury-letter-council-should-support-banning-of-nuclear-weaponsAuthor of the article:

Letter to the editor, Jan 01, 2021 To Mayor Brian Bigger and city council:

The United Nations has passed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and it will become international law on Jan. 22, 2021. Some 86 countries have signed this agreement. Unfortunately, Canada is not one of them.

As it is cities that will be targeted by nuclear weapons, Sudbury, a producer of nickel, would likely be a target. The International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons (ICANw) is asking cities to support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons by passing the following motion (many Canadian cities have already passed this motion including Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Victoria):

“Our city of Sudbury, Ont., is deeply concerned about the grave threat that nuclear weapons pose to communities throughout the world. We firmly believe that our residents have a right to live in a world free from this threat. Any use of nuclear weapons, whether deliberate or accidental, would have catastrophic, far-reaching and long-lasting consequences for people and the environment. Therefore, we support the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and call on our governments to sign and ratify it.”

The world has about 14,000 nuclear weapons with about 1,500 on hair-trigger alert. The firing of these weapons could happen by accident, miscalculation, terrorism or an unstable government. The catastrophe would be immediate.

I would urge Sudbury city council to pass the motion and support the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

Richard Denton

Sudbury

January 1, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Warning on problems of nuclear shutdown – lethal levels of radiation -Fukushima

January 1, 2021 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

Never give up! 95 year old Hibakusha welcomes the UN nuclear ban treaty

December 31, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment

On danger of nuclear war, the Biden administration – just as bad as Trump’s

December 31, 2020 Posted by | General News | Leave a comment