Nuclear Ban Conference = FAIL (Rev 16)


Middle East nuclear weapons ban proposal stumbles at U.N.

Tue May 12, 2015 1:50am BST

By Louis Charbonneau
Western officials said Arab proposals drafted by Egypt for a major nuclear non-proliferation conference at United Nations headquarters in New York could torpedo the process and push Israel to walk away
Israel neither confirms nor denies the widespread assumption that it controls the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal. Israel, which has never joined the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), agreed to take part in NPT meetings Monday as an observer, ending a 20-year absence.
The head of Egypt’s delegation, Assistant Foreign Minister Hashim Badr, rejected any suggestion that Cairo was a spoiler and insisted that he wanted to move the process forward, not kill it.
“Egypt has come to New York to secure a conference (on banning nuclear weapons in the Middle East), we want a conference,” Badr said in an interview. “This is a key issue for Egypt for a long time, for decades, since 1974-75.” 
Egypt, in a proposal officially backed by all Arab countries and outlined in a “working paper” submitted by Arab delegations, called for Jaakko Laajava, the U.N. coordinator for organising the conference, to be dismissed. The 2010 NPT review meeting had called for a Middle East conference in 2012, but it never took place.
Egypt’s proposal said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon should convene a conference on a regional ban of weapons of mass destruction within 180 days after the NPT conference ends on May 22 and demanded that Israel immediately join the NPT as a non-nuclear arms state.
Despite the official backing of Arab delegations, several diplomats, including two Arabs, told Reuters that Saudi Arabia, Iraq and United Arab Emirates have reservations about Egypt’s proposal. “Egypt wants to be in charge,” a diplomat said.
Israel’s delegation declined to comment on the proposal.
The Jewish state has said it would consider inspections and controls under the NPT only if was at peace with its Arab neighbours and Iran.
Washington and Israel say it is Iran’s nuclear programme that threatens the region. Iran says its programme is peaceful. It is negotiating with world powers to curb it in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Finnish diplomat Laajava managed to get Israel, Arab states and Iran to attend a preparatory session in the Swiss city of Glion in October 2013. Western officials cite that as progress.
Washington has not given up hope. “We have seen significant progress in the regional consultations that have taken place,” a U.S. official said.
Arab delegates said Israel was not serious about a conference on banning weapons of mass destruction. Israel has conditioned its participation on an agenda being agreed in advance and says it wants to discuss regional security, conventional weapons and the Middle East peace process.
(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Grant McCool and Ken Wills)

Today Oil, Tomorrow Radiation (Rev 6:12)

Nuclear plant fire sends oil into Hudson River

May 10, 2015 6:16 PM EDT

BUCHANAN, N.Y. – Part of a nuclear power plant remained offline Sunday after a transformer fire created another problem: thousands of gallons of oil leaking into the Hudson River.

At an afternoon briefing, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said emergency crews were out on the water near Buchanan trying to contain and clean up the transformer fluid that leaked from Indian Point 3.

There’s no doubt that oil was discharged into the Hudson River,” Cuomo said. “Exactly how much, we don’t know.”

The transformer at the plant about 30 miles north of midtown Manhattan failed on Saturday evening, causing a fire that forced the automatic shutdown.

Cuomo revealed Sunday that even after the blaze on the non-nuclear side of the plant was quickly doused, the heat reignited the fire, but it was again extinguished.

Oil in the transformer seeped into a holding tank that did not have the capacity to contain all the fluid, which then entered river waters through a discharge drain.

Joseph Martens, commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection, said measures were taken to keep the oil from spreading, including setting up booms over an area about 300 feet in diameter in the water.

The cleanup should take a day or two, Cuomo said.

A spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said several thousand gallons of oil may have overflowed the transformer moat.

The reactor itself was deemed safe and stable throughout, said a spokesman for owner Entergy Corp. The plant’s adjacent Unit 2 reactor was not affected and remained in operation.

The Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan supplies electricity for millions of homes, businesses and public facilities in New York City and Westchester County.

CBS New York reports the blaze led to sirens going off at the plant, and a loudspeaker message declaring “This is not a drill.”

“These situations we take very seriously. Luckily this was not a major situation. But the emergency protocols are very important,” Cuomo said Saturday. “I take nothing lightly when it comes to this plant specifically.”

The transformer at Indian Point 3 takes energy created by the plant and changes the voltage for the grid supplying power to the state. The blaze, which sent black smoke billowing into the sky, was extinguished by a sprinkler system and on-site personnel, Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said. Westchester County police and fire were on site as a precaution.

It was not immediately clear what caused the failure, or whether the transformer would be repaired or replaced. Nappi said there were no health or safety risks.

Officials did not know how long the 1,000-megawatt reactor would be down. Entergy is investigating the failure.

Cuomo said there had been too many emergencies recently involving Indian Point. Unit 3 was shut down Thursday morning for an unrelated issue – a water leak on the non-nuclear side of the plant. It was repaired and there was no radioactive release, Nappi said.

In March, Unit 3 was shut down for a planned refueling that took about a month.

“We have to get to the bottom of this,” the governor said.

Diane Screnci, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said an agency inspector was at the site Sunday and the agency would follow up as Indian Point assesses the affected equipment.

She said there was no impact on the public, and it was not out of the ordinary for a transformer to have a problem.

The environmental watchdog group Riverkeeper issued a statement Sunday saying the latest Indian Point accident proves that the plant should be closed for good.

Carl Lundgren of the grassroots group Shut Down Indian Point Now told CBS New York that its proximity to people is its biggest problem.

“It wouldn’t even be allowed to be constructed today because of the density of the population up there now,” he said.

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

His Brother The Beast Will Cost Jeb The Election (Rev 13)

His Brother The Beast Will Cost Jeb The Election (Rev 13)

Dylan Stableford
Senior editor

Jeb Bush says that he would have authorized the 2003 war in Iraq — just like his brother did.
“I would have, and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody,” the former Florida governor told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Saturday after delivering the commencement address at Liberty University in Virginia. “And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got.”

Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush and likely 2016 presidential candidate, said mistakes were made in not securing the country.

“By the way, guess who thinks that those mistakes took place as well? George W. Bush,” Jeb Bush said. “Yes, I mean, so just for the news flash to the world, if they’re trying to find places where there’s big space between me and my brother, this might not be one of those.”

Last month, George W. Bush sharply criticized President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, saying his successor pulled U.S. troops out of Iraq too quickly and mishandled nuclear negotiations with Iran.
“You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren,” the former president was quoted by Bloomberg telling Jewish donors at the closed-door event. “That’s how Americans should view the deal.’”

Bush also told attendees that he likely won’t do any campaigning for his younger brother because he thinks it would hurt Jeb’s 2016 chances.

“That’s why you won’t see me,” he said, according to the New York Times.

In his speech at Liberty University, Jeb Bush took a jab at the Obama administration on religious freedom.

“Federal authorities are demanding obedience, in complete disregard of religious conscience,” he said in his speech. “What should be easy calls in favor of religious freedom have instead become an aggressive stance against it. Somebody here is being small-minded and intolerant, and it sure isn’t the nuns, ministers, and laymen and women who ask only to live and practice their faith.”

The Republican presidential hopeful bestows his wisdom to the graduating class of 2015.
In his interview with Fox News, Bush talked about an issue on which he seems less conservative than some of his GOP peers: immigration.

“I mean, there’s got to be a point where we fix this system so that legal immigration is easier than illegal immigration and show some respect for people,” he said. “[To] a kid that might have been here 10 years, that might be a valedictorian of their high school, to say, ‘No, no, no, you’re not allowed to go to college,’ I just think there’s a point passed which we’re over the line.”

New York is not Immune to Quakes (Revelation 6:12)

N.J. is not immune to quakes

New York Earthquake

New York Earthquake
The first jolt that drowsy summer afternoon came a few minutes after 2.
Startled citizens barely caught their breath when they were rocked again seconds later.
As people in the Northwest found out this week, the earth can suddenly come alive, even in places where such events are relatively rare — even in the New York metropolitan area.
Back in 1884, “a rumbling sound accompanied the sinking of the earth,” reported the Long Island Democrat of Jamaica. It hit strongest along the New Jersey and Long Island coasts and cracked masonry from Connecticut to Pennsylvania.
Although temblors that size occur about 800 times per year worldwide, they strike here only once every couple of hundred years, seismologists say. A magnitude-5 or greater quake likely won’t recur here for another century, they said.
“Even though these things don’t occur that frequently, when they do, we call them low probability, high-impact events — or extreme events,” said Arthur Lerner-Lam, a seismologist and senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in Palisades, N.Y.
“There has been so much development since the last magnitude-5 quake in 1884, that even though the probability of another is low, if you measure risk . . . the potential impacts are enormous,” said Lerner-Lam, of Tenafly.
Few people know, but New Jersey and New York sit on a highly active earthquake zone. The area, in fact, ranks fourth nationally behind Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle in quake activity, though the degree of severity is much lower here, Lerner-Lam said.
“There’s usually a fair amount of activity in the tri-state area,” but most of it is barely detectable, he said.
There are several magnitude-2 to 2.9 earthquakes — classified as “very minor” — in the area every month. One “minor” magnitude-3 to 3.9 quake occurs about once a year, and a “light” 4 to 4.9 quake happens once every four to 10 years, Lerner-Lam said.

The keys to all this local rumbling are the Ramapo fault in North Jersey and the so-called 125th Street fault across Manhattan.

The Ramapo fault runs 70 miles northeast from Morris County, through Ramsey and Suffern and the Hudson Highlands, to Bear Mountain, N.Y. It follows the Ramapo River through the Ramapo Mountains and is actually a “braid of faults,” or a system of cracks, Lerner-Lam said.
Along this line — to the point where Routes 17 and 287 now converge — fierce quakes exploded daily and the Earth’s crust split open to welcome the Atlantic Ocean 200 million years ago.
In New York, the 125th Street fault begins just south of the George Washington Bridge on the Hudson and heads through Harlem, then south across Central Park and the upper East Side, across the East River, and under Queens.

To keep track of all the seismic activity, Lamont-Doherty operates three quake-monitoring stations in Ringwood and in Basking Ridge and Green Pond in Morris County. Each station has a seismometer, an instrument that pinpoints a quake by measuring the movement in the earth and combining it with the exact time, which it receives from a satellite.

Observatory computers send the data to the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center at Golden, Colo., near Denver, which posts the information on the agency’s Web site,
There is no record of a locally “strong” quake, such as the magnitude-6.8 one that rattled Seattle on Wednesday, injuring more than 320 people and causing an estimated $2 billion in damage. There also have been no “major” quakes, such as the 7.6 and 7.7 shocks in El Salvador and India, respectively, that killed thousands of people in January.
New Jersey has possibly been spared because it sits in the middle of the North American tectonic plate — one of 15 massive sections of the earth’s crust. The strongest quakes usually occur at plate boundaries — such as the San Andreas fault in Southern California — when massive amounts of subterranean stress and stored energy press the plates together.
Another active area of the country is in Missouri, where four great earthquakes struck in 1811 and 1812, leveling the town of New Madrid and changing the course of the Mississippi River.
What could happen here? Several projects are under way to gauge how well prepared New Jersey is to withstand the next relatively “big one.”
Scott Stanford, a glacial geologist with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, spent the past two years sending his own shock waves through different soil types in Bergen and Hudson counties and in Newark.
Wearing ear plugs and steel-tipped shoes, Stanford banged a steel plate with a 10-pound sledgehammer at selected sites to see how conductive the ground was to earthquakes. As suspicious residents looked on, Stanford whacked the plate, then recorded the time it took the waves to travel 100 feet to an instrument called a geophone.
He added the results to data from test borings that engineers had made at thousands of construction sites over the years. He then ran all the numbers through a computer program to project losses from quakes.
He found that if a magnitude-7 quake hit Bergen County, it might kill 223 people and hospitalize 2,200 others. Such a quake might also damage 180,500 buildings — including 14,100 that would be destroyed. It would cause billions of dollars in damage.
“That’s the wonder of computers. It’s totally fictional,” Stanford said of the program, called HAZUS, which was designed for the West Coast, where the earth’s crust is more fragmented and can tend to overestimate damage. Stanford’s data also did not include structural improvements made to buildings.
“I don’t know how they figure the casualties. It would depend on the time of day, on whether people are on the roads,” said Stanford, whose project is sponsored the New Jersey State Police and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The shakiest ground in Bergen County, Stanford found, was in the Meadowlands, which include a lot of glacial lake sand deposits. Similar sand was found along the Hudson County waterfront, he said. Ground-shaking diminishes farther north as the ground contains more gravel, he said.
“It’s not so much the shaking, as the type of soil and the type of construction” that determines damage to buildings,” said Stanford, who will soon begin calculating damage estimates for Essex County.
Not that sports fans at Giants Stadium should necessarily worry more about quakes.
“When you talk about individual structures, it’s a question of how they were engineered,” Stanford said. “The way they prepared each site in the Meadowlands might be somewhat different.”
Not just buildings but whole nations must prepare to meet and rebound from natural disasters, Lerner-Lam said.
“What you’d like to do is build resilient societies, like the United States, where we worry about issues of insurance and building codes,” said Lerner-Lam, head of the Advanced National Seismic System-Northeast Region, part of a national effort to update earthquake monitoring.
“But are we really safe? Are we giving enough attention to low probability, high-impact events? Do we have the political and economic mechanism in place to deal with these complex risks?” he asked.
And what about investing in earthquake insurance? Lerner-Lam, the seismologist, does not carry such insurance on his Tenafly home.
“I’m in a well-constructed house,” he said. “I live on bedrock.”
Staff Writer Bob Groves’ e-mail address is

Could Israel Make Saudi Arabia Nuclear? (Dan 7:7)

Israel can help the Saudis offset an Iranian nuclear bomb

Jerusalem could declare it will not let Tehran have a nuclear monopoly (or duopoly with Israel, as Iran’s foreign minister would have it). It could help the Saudis achieve parity.

By Amir Oren
Published 00:15 11.05.15
If Iran violates the deal taking shape with the world powers and insists on obtaining nuclear weapons, Israel’s response must be the opposite of its traditional line. Israel shouldn’t keep threatening to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities; this would produce short-term gains. Instead, it should warn that it will obstruct an Iranian nuclear monopoly in the Persian Gulf by helping Saudi Arabia obtain a nuclear capability.
This runs contrary to the traditional approach, in which Israel fears a chain reaction of a nuclear Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia once Iran gets the bomb. It’s a nightmare for strategic planners in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (and Washington).
A different tack would aim to convince the Iranians that it’s better to forgo the bomb. Incentives so far have centered around economic sanctions (and the lifting of them). The Israeli and American threat of military action remains in place, but its operational and political credibility is a problem.
Iran’s desire for nuclear weapons, which arose during the shah’s regime, stemmed from a mix of motivations: the ethos of Iran as an ancient and proud regional power, prestige and a fear of falling behind in the race — not with Israel but with Iraq, the enemy next door that was pursuing a nuclear program. The first-ever assault on a nuclear facility (a failed assault) was a sortie of Iranian Phantom jets against the reactor on Baghdad’s outskirts in October 1980.
Nuclear weaponry comes into the world arithmetically. The Americans had it, so the Soviets needed it, and then the Chinese, who were afraid of the Soviets. But a nuclear China triggered a nuclear India, then a nuclear Pakistan. And if the Americans cooperate with the British, you can be sure France isn’t about to forgo a nuclear weapon.
The key question is when the nuclear club gets closed to new members. Any candidate wants to be the last one in and adopt the veterans’ opposition to new members.
That has remained the main argument for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty since it became a key effort of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and in the 45 years since its passage: closing admission to the club and keeping tabs on anyone forgoing the treaty’s rights and responsibilities — India, Pakistan and Israel. The treaty also envisions oversight of signatories trying to play tricks — Iran, Iraq and North Korea, and in the past South Korea, Taiwan and South Africa.
So far, regional nuclear arms races have been scuttled in two ways: through an agreement between two competitors of equal power (Brazil and Argentina) or through American guarantees to defend allies (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) against nuclear aggression (from North Korea or China). In addition, there is a general commitment to NATO members that have kindly eschewed nuclear weapons, notably Germany.
Without a reliable American nuclear umbrella, including defending the kingdom from the Iranian regional power, Saudi Arabia might go the complicated path of acquiring a nuclear weapon. There have been signs of this in recent years; it could buy a finished product, particularly from Pakistan. Israel would see this as a negative, but there are positives.
Israel, as an observer at the nonproliferation treaty’s review conference in New York, could announce that it will not let Iran have a nuclear monopoly (or duopoly with Israel, as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would have it). Instead, it could help the Saudis achieve parity.
In the process, Iran would have to reexamine the advantage of going nuclear. It would face a new choice. Its huge investments would be offset; it wouldn’t be the  nuclear club’s only member in the region.