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Archive for the ‘Nuclear Talks’ Category

Warns Mentioning Israel’s Arsenal Will Harm ‘Nuclear Free Mideast’ Push

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, June 10, 2010

US officials reacted angrily today at the inclusion of Israel’s nuclear arsenal as a topic of discussion for the IAEA meeting, insisting that it was “untimely and uncalled for.

The meeting is the first IAEA meeting to oficially mention Israel since 1991, and included several Arab nations urging Israel to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT). Israel has repeatedly and angrily refused to be a part of the treaty or to submit its arsenal to any international oversight.

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The Hidden Costs of Nuclear Power

Huff Post  By- Alec Baldwin

Posted: February 23, 2010 02:58 PM

Sitting in Bill Richardson’s office while he was Secretary of Energy under President Clinton was an opportunity that my colleagues and I from Standing for Truth About Radiation had worked hard to obtain. We wanted Richardson to not only close the research reactor at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, but also to shut down the Millstone plant in Waterford, Connecticut, which we asserted had been killing enormous amounts of fish with its water intake system for cooling. Local groups had been charging Millstone with destroying millions of pounds of local fish and with pumping superheated water back into the Long Island Sound, the temperatures of which had negatively impacted fish and shellfish habitat for decades.

Richardson, like any DOE Secretary before or after him, wasn’t all that interested in closing Millstone. Everywhere we went, government officials like Richardson invoked the figure “20 percent.” Twenty percent of domestic power in the US is derived from nuclear energy. The clean and safe source of power.

Often when discussing the advent of a new era in nuclear power generation, advocates for nukes, like Stewart Brand, who I referenced in my previous post, tread lightly over certain subjects, such as waste disposal and security issues. Other problems inherent in nuclear power generation, they simply ignore completely. One such issue is the impact of mining and processing radioactive materials into actual fuel. The mining and processing of material like uranium is one of the most carbon intensive processes used in creating energy. To mine, mill and refine uranium and to then submit the material to the enrichment, or gaseous diffusion, process takes vast amounts of energy. In sites around the US, massive coal burning plants pollute the air while providing the energy for uranium enrichment. Add to that the power needed to fabricate the enriched UF6 into fuel rods, and the resources needed to store the byproduct, reduced or depleted UF6. You begin to see that everything that leads up to a utility reactor going on line is anything but clean.

Another issue that nuke advocates sidestep is calculation of the true cost of bringing nuclear power plants on line. Just as oil, and thus gasoline, actually costs astronomically more than what we pay at the pump, due to the cost of US military interventions in the oil-rich areas of the world ( not to mention the costs in human lives, US and foreign), nuclear power has its own menu of hidden costs that are now, or one day will be, inherited by our children. Waste storage is the primary issue here. But the actual decommissioning and decontamination of reactors themselves will soon come to pass. Even with current licenses being foolishly extended and, thus, pushing the operational lives of these units years, even decades, beyond their original design, these units will eventually expire. The cost of closing them safely in current dollars is staggering. In the future, that will only get worse.

Scott Simon never asked Stewart Brand about Price Anderson. Even as utility operators put hundreds of millions into the Price Anderson fund respectively and billions collectively, one accident at, say, Indian Point, adjacent to New York City, would mean potentially many billions in costs. Who pays that? US taxpayers do, while Entergy, a private energy company, profits from the operation of the plant. Insuring these plants, over a hundred of them in the US, all aging, falls largely to US taxpayers. Another hidden cost. At least hidden in so far as most US citizens are concerned.

In the next piece that I post here, I will touch upon the issue of the health hazards posed by exposure to ambient radiation, which I believe is the least discussed and among the most insidious components of the nuclear powered utility legacy.

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Gulf War Illnesses Debate Rages On for 18 Years: No End in Sight for the Sick

by: Thomas D. Williams, truthout.org

Thursday 19 March 2009

Barack Obama is now the fourth president facing the scientific and bureaucratic conundrum around the US-created ongoing wartime hazards producing disastrous health complications for soldiers and civilians.

Eighteen years after the six-week first Gulf War, maladies still haunt thousands of US and allied service members as well as estimated hundreds of thousands of Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Afghan civilians. A myriad of scientists and government officials insist it is bewildering to pinpoint whether countless chemical and radiological hazards either killed or sickened hundreds of thousands of US service members, allied soldiers and Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Afghan civilians. Federal health officials have not only denied monetary and health assistance to thousands of veterans, whose illnesses they say cannot be linked to US created wartime hazards, but they have mostly failed to assist the Iraqi, Kuwaiti and Afghan civilian health system.

“Our war (the first Gulf War) was the most toxic as far as exposures ever in history,” said Denise Nichols, a retired US Air Force registered nurse and veterans’ advocate, who herself suffers from wartime illness. “How can parents or the American citizens trust their government or encourage their young to enlist when this history of neglect and denial of gulf war illness is allowed to fester … [the US Department of Veterans Affairs] has betrayed us. [The Department of Defense] has betrayed us. The government for 17 years betrayed the trust we as soldiers, airmen, marines, or sailors had, and our trust must be regained by [incoming President Barack Obama].”

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LINKS:

From The Department Of it’s about f*$%king time

GAO

Have DU will travel a special publication by the Lone Star Iconoclast in crawford Texas. Published on March 1, 2006, this is an important report on DU from several perspectives. It is a fairly large PDF file and might take a while to download, but worth the weight, err wate? …zzzZZZ

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by Geezer Power

Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee

The Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (FESAC) has been Chartered pursuant to Section 14(a)(2)(A) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92-463, and Section 101-6.1015, Title 41 Code of Federal Regulations. The committee provides independent advice to the Director of the Office of Science on complex scientific and technological issues that arise in the planning, implementation, and management of the Fusion Energy Sciences program. A new charter was signed in August 2007, and will be in effect for 2 years. The charter was modified on November 6, 2008. The substantive change in this revision is that the Secretary of Energy has delegated to the Under Secretary for Science the authority to nominate, appoint, renew the term of, and terminate the service of members of the Committee. In addition, the modified charter recognizes that the Office of Science and the National Nuclear Security Administration have recently implemented a joint program of research in the field of High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas. When the Committee is asked to deal with issues related to this joint program, it will do so in the manner described in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) attached to the Charter.

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by Geezer Power

As AIPAC strengthens its hold on the White House the tempo of the ever present war drums are heard in the rhetoric of Zionist sympathasizers.

Eric Margolis on smirkingchimp.com said it well: “While Rome burns, here we go again with renewed hysteria over MWMD’s — Muslim weapons of mass destruction. War drums are again beating over Iran”

March 9, 2009

As the U.S. economy sank ever lower, a huge brouhaha erupted this week over claims that Iran might have nuclear weapons.

The new CIA director, Leon Panetta, said “there is no question, they (Iran) are seeking that capability.” The Pentagon chief, Admiral Mike Mullen, claimed Iran had “enough fissile material to build a bomb.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper had claimed Iran posed an “absolutely unacceptable threat.” However, to Harper’s credit, he just admitted that Afghanistan is a no-win war.

The czar of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, Admiral Dennis Blair, stated Iran could have enough enriched uranium for one atomic weapon by 2010-15. But he reaffirmed the 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and is not pursuing them. Defence Secretary William Gates backed up Blair.

Public confusion over Iran comes from misunderstanding nuclear enrichment and lurid scare stories.

Iran is producing low-grade uranium-235 (LEU U-235), enriched to only 2.5%, to generate electricity. Tehran has this absolute right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Its centrifuge enrichment process at Nantaz is under 24-hour international inspection. Iran’s soon-to-open nuclear plant at Bushehr cannot produce nuclear weapons fuel.

Today, some 15 nations produce LEU U-235, including Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, and Japan. Israel, India and Pakistan, all nuclear weapons powers, refused to sign the non-proliferation treaty. North Korea abrogated it.

The rest of the story

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Revealed: Recent U.S.-Iran nuclear talks involved key officials

Via HuffPo/FP- The Cable
Thu, 01/29/2009 – 7:36pm

As Barack Obama settles into the Oval Office and begins his stated mission of reorienting U.S. foreign policy, there’s been a flurry of attention to exactly when and how Obama will open a direct dialogue with Iran, as he promised in his campaign. No question that will mark a break from the stinging rhetoric and halting, inconsistent diplomacy of the Bush years. But several sources told The Cable that the informal dialogue between senior Americans and the Iranians was much more robust in recent months than has been previously reported.

Over the past year, our sources confirmed, former Defense Secretary William Perry and a group of high-level U.S. nuclear nonproliferation specialists and U.S. experts on Iran held a series of meetings in European cities with Iranian officials under the auspices of the Pugwash group. (Pugwash, a group founded in 1957 by an international group of scientists, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 for advocating for the elimination of nuclear weapons.) Perry served as a member of the Obama campaign’s national security working group.

Sources familiar with the meetings suggest they may be coming to light now via deliberate leaks to the Iranian media, by jockeying Iranian political power players trying to maneuver for advantage amid a shifting Washington-Tehran dynamic and their own upcoming elections in June. Among the Iranian officials who attended the Pugwash dialogues, the Cable has learned, was Ali Asghar Soltanieh, the Iranian ambassador and permanent representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

MORE HERE

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