Indian Point Will Contaminate The Hudson With Plutonium At The Sixth Seal

Part of Indian Point nuclear plant still shut after transformer fire
AP
Sunday, May 10, 2015 06:35PM
BUCHANAN —
Part of a nuclear power plant remained offline Sunday after a transformer fire crea ted 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.
“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.

The Threat of Nuclear India

Pakistan, with one of the largest armed forces in the world, is home to more than 200 million people. According to most recent estimates, Pakistan has more than 130 nuclear warheads in its possession.
These facts have made it clear that the global community can afford to isolate or demonise Pakistan only at its own peril. However, the world – for the most part – remains oblivious to these realities and continues to hold Pakistan solely responsible for the ongoing dangerous arms build-up in South Asia.
Pakistani diplomats and scholars find it increasingly difficult to garner support for Pakistan’s legitimate strategic concerns in the world’s capitals. In the US, Pakistan remains a favourite punching bag for many analysts in both academic and policy conferences. Within the American think-tank community, Pakistani scholars have a limited presence and not enough space is allowed for them to express their views.
More alarmingly, people who are seen as pro-India wield massive influence in leading American think tanks. This has given rise to an impression among some scholars that American think tanks might be slightly biased against Pakistan.
The international community must realise that the demonisation of Pakistan will not only result in the structural causes of conflict in the region being ignored. It will also further embolden the most hawkish elements in Pakistan’s nuclear establishment. The space for rational debate on nuclear issues would shrink within Pakistan, making it difficult for independent scholars to sustain dialogue. In order to avoid such a scenario, the outside world needs to have a better understanding of the rationale behind why Pakistan seems to be stuck in its obsession with India. Pakistan cannot simply accept India’s continued efforts for military domination in the region.
Despite innumerable internal problems, we cannot totally ignore external threats. It would be unfair to expect that Pakistan does not strengthen its external defence capabilities to counter the overbearing influence of New Delhi. An obsession with India makes sense on some level since there is a history of subversive activities in Pakistan that can be traced back to India. It is an open secret now that New Delhi has, historically, used its influence in the region to destabilise Pakistan through its use of terrorist proxies in Balochistan and our tribal areas. Since 2014, the Modi government has been implementing the Doval doctrine in the region, which calls for supporting terrorist groups operating inside Pakistan to divert the latter’s attention from the Kashmir issue. This explains why our decision-makers still see India as a bigger threat to our national security.
However, the global community is impervious to understanding that establishing durable peace in South Asia will remain an unfulfilled dream without ensuring that India’s desires for regional hegemony are kept in check. This is also true of India’s rapidly growing nuclear programme, which has largely evaded public attention and media scrutiny.
Over the past few years, the enlargement of India’s unsafeguarded nuclear programme has raised many concerns in Pakistan and other neighbouring countries. Several nuclear analysts, including myself, have emphasised the need for greater international scrutiny of India’s nuclear arsenal. But these words of caution have mostly fallen on deaf ears. In the aftermath of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal in 2005, the Indian nuclear programme is divided into three different streams: military, civilian-safeguarded, and civilian-unsafeguarded. It is feared that, due to a lack of transparency, India can use its civilian facilities to produce more fissile material for military purposes.
A recent paper on India’s nuclear exceptionalism by the Harvard Kennedy School has once again reignited the debate about the actual number of weapons India can build from its current stocks of fissile material. A 2016 report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) concluded that India had enough weapons-grade plutonium to build 75 to 125 weapons by the end of 2014. However, these estimates do not capture the actual potential of Indian nuclear facilities – including eight pressurised heavy water power reactors (PHWRs) – that are not under the IAEA safeguards. And there are obvious reasons why New Delhi could use these unsafeguarded PHWRs to build more warheads in the future.
The issue has become increasingly controversial because of the radical divergence in assessments made by different analysts. At the heart of this controversy lies the question of whether the reactor-grade plutonium can be used to make nuclear weapons. The disagreement exists because conservative estimates tend to conflate motives and the capabilities of India’s nuclear establishment.
If we only focus on material capabilities, India has technical potential to produce a massive number of nuclear weapons from its existing stocks of fissile material. And it is not scientifically impossible to use a large amount of reactor-grade plutonium for building nuclear weapons. According to a report issued in 1997 by the Department of Energy (DOE): “At the lowest level of sophistication, a potential proliferating state or subnational group using designs and technologies no more sophisticated than those used in first-generation nuclear weapons could build a nuclear weapon from reactor-grade plutonium that would have an assured, reliable yield of one or a few kilotonnes and a probable yield significantly higher than that”.
We can disagree on the motives of the Indian government but an accurate assessment of India’s nuclear capabilities is bound to raise alarms in both Pakistan and China. Unless India brings its eight PHWRs under the IAEA safeguards and establishes itself as a responsible nuclear power, it must be denied a permanent membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Keeping a check on India’s nuclear potential is the only way to prevent a South Asian arms race. The global community must play its role in achieving the goal of a stable and prosperous South Asia.

Modernizing Our Nuclear Weapons

Nevertheless, despite clear evidence in favor of deploying nuclear weapons, modernizing the US arsenal has long been a cost concern and strategic liability for US strategic planners. In fact, Weinstein said there is concern that both Russian and Chinese nuclear arsenals are now more modern and advanced than existing U.S. Minuteman IIIs. 
Citing a Congressional Research Service report, a story in National Defense Magazine says the GBSD the program is expected to cost $62 billion from 2015 through fiscal year 2044.  That breaks down to about $14 billion for upgrades to command-and-control systems and launch centers, and $48.5 billion for new missiles, the report says. 
Air Force officials say the service will award some contracts as part of its ongoing evaluation of formal proposals from three vendors competing to build hundreds of new, next-generation Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles designed to protect the US homeland well into the 2070s and beyond, service officials said.
Submissions from Northrop, Boeing and Lockheed are now being reviewed by Air Force weapons developers looking to modernize the US land-based nuclear missile arsenal and replace the 1970s-era Boeing-built Minuteman IIIs. Service officials told Scout Warrior a contract award is expected later this year.
The new effort to build ICBMs, what the Air Force calls “Ground Based Strategic Deterrence,” aims to construct durable, high-tech nuclear-armed missiles able to serve until 2075.
The new weapons will be engineered with improved guidance technology, boosters, flight systems and command and control systems, compared to the existing Minuteman III missiles. The weapon will also have upgraded circuitry and be built with a mind to long-term maintenance and sustainability.
“Solid rocket fuel ages out after a period of time. You need to have an upgraded guidance package for sustainability and warfighting requirements. Looking at the current technology, it has moved faster than when these were first developed. Civilian industry has leapfrogged so we want the ability to use components that have already been developed,” , Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration, said in an interview with Scout Warrior several months ago.
Do Nuclear Weapons Save Lives? Philosophical Context
If one were to passively reflect upon the seemingly limitless explosive power to instantly destroy, vaporize or incinerate cities, countries and massive swaths of territory or people — images of quiet, flowing green meadows, peaceful celebratory gatherings or melodious sounds of chirping birds might not immediately come to mind.
After all, lethal destructive weaponry does not, by any means, appear to be synonymous with peace, tranquility and collective happiness. However, it is precisely the prospect of massive violence which engenders the possibility of peace.  Nuclear weapons therefore, in some unambiguous sense, can be interpreted as being the antithesis of themselves; simply put – potential for mass violence creates peace – thus the conceptual thrust of nuclear deterrence.
It is within this conceptual framework, designed to save millions of lives, prevent major great-power war and ensure the safety of entire populations, that the U.S. Air Force is now vigorously pursuing a new arsenal of land-fired, Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles, or ICBMs
Weinstein cited famous nuclear strategist Bernard Brodie as a way to articulate the seismic shift in thinking and tactics made manifest by the emergence of nuclear weapons.
Considered to be among the key architects of strategic nuclear deterrence, and referred to by many as an “American Clausewitz,” Brodie expressed how the advent of the nuclear era changes the paradigm regarding the broadly configured role or purpose of weaponry in war.
Weinstein referred to Brodie’s famous quote from his 1940s work “The Absolute Weapon: Atomic Power and World Order.” — “Thus far the chief purpose of our military establishment has been to win wars. From now on, its chief purpose must be to avert them. It can have almost no other useful purpose.”
The success of this strategy hinges upon the near certainty of total annihilation, should nuclear weapons be used. ICBMs are engineered to fly through space on a total flight of about 30 mins before detonating with enormous destructive power upon targets.
“If another nation believes they can have an advantage by using a nuclear weapon, that is really dangerous. What you want to do is have such a strong deterrent force that any desire to attack with nuclear weapons will easily be outweighed by the response they get from the other side. That’s the value of what the deterrent force provides,” Weinstein said in an exclusive interview with Scout Warrior.
Althought Weinstein did not take a position on the pior administration’s considerations about having the U.S. adopt a No First Use, or NFU, nuclear weapons policy, Air Force Secretary Deborah James has expressed concern about the possiblity, in a news report published by Defense News. Limiting the U.S. scope of deterrence, many argue, might wrongly encourage potential adversaries to think they could succeed with a limited first nuclear strike of some kind.
Ground-Based Strategic Deterrence 
It is within the context of these ideas, informing military decision-makers for decades now, that the Air Force is in the early stages of building, acquiring and deploying a higher-tech replacement for the existing arsenal of Minuteman III ICBMs.
Weinstein pointed out that, since the dawn of the nuclear age decades ago, there has not been a catastrophic major power war on the scale of WWI or WWII.

The Influence of the Antichrist

Al Sadr dances to a new beat on Syria

Prominent cleric’s call for Al Assad to step down could be ploy to obtain more leverage on the Iraqi political scene
By Sami Moubayed, Special to Gulf News
Published: 18:44 April 16, 2017
In mid-2012, prominent Iraqi Shiite leader Moqtada Al Sadr visited Damascus where he was decorated with the Order of the Syrian Republic, in “gratitude” for his friendship. The Syrians never imagined that this cleric-turned politician — a long-time admirer of Hassan Nasrallah and protege of Iran — would turn against them, coming out with a surprising statement on April 8, calling on President Bashar Al Assad to step down, urged the Syrian president to “take a historic, heroic decision… before it is too late.”
Since emerging as a powerful heavyweight in the nationwide uprising against the United States after the 2003 invasion, Al Sadr has been a pivotal player in Iraqi politics. Starting off as a slow and very uncharismatic speaker whose only political credential was his family name, Moqtada Al Sadr evolved quickly on a personal and professional level, developing eloquent speaking skills, a powerful militia, a network of charity organisations that included hospitals and schools, and an influential bloc in the Iraqi parliament.
His Mahdi Army, which reigns in the ghettos of Baghdad, was modelled after Hezbollah. The mullahs of Iran always had high hopes in him, seeing that he would make a perfect proxy for the Islamic republic in the Arab world when and if Hezbollah parted the scene in Lebanon.
Tehran’s lingering fear
In Tehran, there is an ever-present fear that at one point in time, Hezbollah will no longer be able to carry out the duties for which it was originally formed back in 1982.
They include empowering Shiites in the Arab world and exporting revolutionary Khomeinism. This would happen if Hezbollah ever got dragged into a new civil war in Lebanon or if it were crushed in a war with Israel, or if it were ever abandoned by Syria, which remains the lifeline for Hezbollah arms coming from Iran.
When the Syrians and Israelis went into indirect peace talks, via Turkish mediation, back in 2008, Iran started investing heavily in the Mahdi Army, labelling it as a Plan B.
They were afraid that at one point, if Syria got what it wanted on the Golan, it would part ways with Hezbollah. As far as they are concerned, a Syrian regime that has signed peace with Israel was equal to a Syrian regime that had fallen — two things that they were determined, should never happen.
The conditions in which Hezbollah was founded in the early 1980s very much applied to Iraq after 2003. The state was completely absent, the army had broken down along sectarian lines, lawlessness prevailed, and arms were everywhere, waiting to be picked up by poverty-stricken Arab Shiites on Iran’s payroll.

“Is Al Sadr repositioning himself as an ‘independent Shiite’… expecting a confrontation between the Islamic republic and the Trump White House?”

-Sami Moubayed

Before his assassination in Damascus in February 2008, prominent Hezbollah chief Imad Mughnieh was reportedly working on a revamp of the Mahdi Army. Back then, the activities of Al Sadr’s militia were “frozen” while Iran handled the purging of it of rowdy elements and transforming it into a unified, well-trained, and properly indoctrinated fighting force. Al Sadr was transported to Qom to continue his religious training, earmarked for scholarly promotion from ‘seyed’ to ‘ayatollah’, which if obtained, would have given him theological authority to issue fatwas and lead Iraqi Shiites from above, rather than from below.
Al Sadr never continued his studies in Iran, returning home to help set up the Popular Mobilisation Units, some of which were sent to Syria to fight alongside Hezbollah after the outbreak of the present war in 2011. His army was then remobilised to fight Daesh, taking on the name ‘Saraya Al Salam’ in 2014.
Playing ‘good cop/bad cop’?
What then triggered Al Sadr’s sudden U-turn? Syria’s state-run media has refrained from criticising the firebrand cleric, who was often hailed as a “friend” and whose news often made it to the front page of Syrian dailies. Was it a ploy by the Iranians, playing “good cop/bad cop” in Shiite circles of Iraq? Or was it part of Al Sadr’s ongoing campaign to bring down the cabinet of Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi through massive protests in the streets of Baghdad accusing it of corruption and of selling out to the Americans. Within the powerful Iraqi Shiite community, many fear and distrust the 43-year old cleric, who emerged out of nowhere to challenge long-established political families like the Hakims and their political machine, the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council. Often his militias roamed the streets of Iraq, striking at traditional Sunni enemies but also, taking gabs at the Hakim’s Badr Organisation, an Iran-funded militia that fought alongside the Iranian Army during its eight-year war with Saddam Hussain.
Is Al Sadr repositioning himself as an ‘independent Shiite’, distancing himself from the Iranians, expecting a confrontation between the Islamic republic and the Trump White House? Others have done it before, like Subhi Al Tufaili, the first secretary-general of Hezbollah, who now stands as a fiery critic both of Iran and Nasrallah.
Al Sadr cannot go that far — at least for now — fearing systematic character slaughter, isolation within the global Shiite community and perhaps political or even physical elimination at home. Instead he may have decided to send off signals, seeing how other players in the region would respond.
So far nobody has come knocking on his door, except for a delegation from Hezbollah, seeking an explanation for his deviance and wanting to know how he can be accommodated to keep the “Shiite family” united. He has played this game before, striking at former prime minister Nouri Al Maliki, an all-time Iran favourite, after having helped bring him to power in 2006.
When naming his price, Al Sadr outlined a long list of cabinet seats, pockets of influence, and quotas in the Iraqi parliament. Iran nodded back then, and he backed out, putting his full weight behind Al Maliki until the latter’s ouster in 2014. He might be hoping to do the same again in 2017 — using Syria this time, to attract the attention of Tehran — yet perhaps, with a whole new set of demands on Iraq’s domestic scene.
Sami Moubayed is a senior fellow at St Andrews University in Scotland and author of Under the Black Flag (IB Tauris, 2015).

The Upcoming Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

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Why there can be no winners in a limited war between India and Pakistan

With the cross-border firing between India and a Pakistani making the headlines, some of the hotter heads in both countries have begun to argue, especially on social media, for an escalation of hostilities. The implication is that a limited war would somehow be decisive, by “teaching the other side a lesson, and making it behave.” But is a limited war possible?

The answer is proverbial – it is possible but the probability is very low. At the outset two fundamental points must be made.
First, nuclear weapon-armed states cannot fight a full-scale conventional war of annihilation or even absolute defeat of the adversary. However, below the “nuclear threshold” space exists for a limited war – limited in time, space and aims.
Second, a war is waged to achieve political aims. A war of retribution is a war without an aim.
The nature of war has undergone a change in the last two decades. What we face today is a Hybrid War which is a complex hybrid of conventional, asymmetric, information, political, diplomatic and economic warfare. It is fought as a continuum without timelines and fought simultaneously over the entire multi-dimensional spectrum of conflict.
India is already engaged in a Hybrid War with Pakistan. However, over the last 15 years we have remained well below the threshold of a limited war. Kargil,1999, was a classic limited war initiated by Pakistan. India also restricted its aim to restoration of status quo and won a victory both militarily and diplomatically. India planned a limited war as a reaction to the terrorist attack on Parliament on December 13, 2001, but could not go to war due to a combination of international pressure, political dithering, lethargic mobilisation and an unsure military.
Due to primordial religious emotions, the deprivation of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 and its dismemberment in 1971, Pakistan considers India as an enemy state and its political aim is to seize Jammu and Kashmir and achieve international parity with India. It has an unambiguous National Security Strategy to wage a Hybrid War backed by military, political and public consensus. Essential features of its strategy are: wage a deniable fourth generation warfare (4GW) in Jammu and Kashmir and hinterland of India; avoid a limited war and if it is forced upon it, stalemate India with conventional capability, “irrational nuclear brinkmanship”, and actual use of tactical nuclear weapons if required.
India’s political aim in relation to Pakistan is simple – prevent it from interfering in its internal affairs through a Hybrid War and if it does so, maintain good relations. To achieve its political aim India’s strategic options are: contain the 4GW being waged by Pakistan; surgical strikes in POK/Pakistan; wage a counter 4GW in Pakistan; and wage a proactive limited war to compel Pakistan to stop a 4GW in India.
Pakistan has the capacity to respond in a quid pro quo manner to all Indian threats/actions below a limited war while continuing to wage 4GW in Jammu and Kashmir. Given its military limitations, it is disadvantageous for it to initiate a war. Thus the onus is on India, either to accept status quo or to force compliance through a limited war. And this is the scenario – a limited war with a nuclear backdrop – that worries the world most. Will a limited war be cost-effective and decisive enough to force compliance on Pakistan? That the Indian government including the present one has not exercised this option despite the 1,000 cuts, answers this question.
Can a major change in the strategic situation force the Indian government to initiate a limited war? The casus belli could be a 26/11 type of terrorist attack or the situation in Jammu and Kashmir going completely out of hand. Since terrorism is calibrated by the ISI it is unlikely to repeat 26/11 and doomsday predictions notwithstanding, despite the “intifada” the situation in Jammu and Kashmir is militarily well under control. Can charged political and public emotions force the government’s hand? In my view the present political leadership while exploiting and manipulating public emotions, is smart enough not to fall prey to them.

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Since the probability of a limited war is very low, let me paint a hypothetical scenario. The year is 2022. Indian economy has grown at 8-10 per cent. Major national security reforms have been undertaken. Armed Forces have been restructured and reorganised, and a clear technological military edge over Pakistan has been established. Situation in Jammu and Kashmir is under control but Pakistan continues to bleed us with 1,000 cuts. International environment is in favour of “war on ‘terrorism’ “.
India has decided to adopt a strategy of “compellence” against Pakistan through a proactive limited war. The political aim is to compel Pakistan to peace on own terms. Essentials of likely politico military strategy: the war will be initiated as a pre-emptive strategic offensive; maximum territory will be captured in POK for permanent retention; a belt of 20 kilometre relative to tactical objectives will be captured across the IB for post war negotiations; maximum damage will be caused to Pakistan’s war waging potential particularly its Air Force, Navy and mechanised forces; maximum damage will be caused to Pakistan’s economic potential; all objectives will be achieved in 10 days, however, prolonged operations may be undertaken in POK; Armed Forces must be prepared for use of Tactical Nuclear Weapons by the enemy.
Until the conditions for this hypothetical scenario are created it may be prudent to continue with “strategic restraint”.
Lt Gen H S Panag, PVSM,AVSM (Retired), is a former Army commander, Northern Command and Central Command
The views expressed are persona