More Problems at Indian Nuclear Point before the Sixth Seal

More problems with closing Indian PointMore problems with closing Indian PointMore problems with closing Indian PointMore problems with closing Indian Pointindian-point-cuomo

More problems with closing Indian Point

By Post Editorial Board

 

New Yorkers, especially in Westchester, just got another painful reminder of the cost of Gov. Cuomo’s foolish drive to shut the Indian Point nuclear power plant.

Last week, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-West­chester) introduced three bills to deal with some consequences — namely, the risks of storing spent fuel rods on-site and the loss of tax revenue to the local communities.

The bills would require that safety-related fines against the plant go to the communities. They would also speed up removal of the spent rods and bolster safety in the interim.

The loss of a major source of reliable power (Indian Point supplies 25 percent of the electricity for the city and its environs) is still the top concern here. But ending Indian Point’s tax payments also presents huge problems: The plant funds half Buchanan’s budget. Cortlandt and the Hendrick Hudson School District’s finances are at risk, too.

These communities face combined losses of some $32 million a year. Residents must worry about daunting tax hikes — even as many will lose their jobs if the plant closes as scheduled by 2021.

Lowey, who supports the shutdown, is grasping for ways to deal with the blowback. It’d be better to keep the plant open and preserve a pillar of the region’s economy — but that would mean facing down the hysterical fearmongers.

What We Already Knew About the Iran-Korea Alliance

A series of high-level meetings between Iranian and North Korean officials has prompted fresh concern in U.S. national security circles about the depth of military and ballistic missile technology cooperation between the two American adversaries.

An analysis from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said U.S. intelligence has spotted Iranian defense officials in North Korea over the past year, raising the specter that Pyongyang and Tehran might be sharing certain military technological advances with each other.

The concern over collusion intensified with Tuesday’s ballistic missile launch by the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The 53-minute missile test, the first by Pyongyang in more than 2½ months, landed off the coast of Japan and may have traveled higher into space than any other North Korean missile, U.S. and South Korean military officials said.

At least one high-level North Korean visit to Iran has also taken place, according to the analysis published this week by the Washington Institute, which is known for its criticisms of the Iranian regime.

“In early August, Kim Yong-nam, North Korea’s No. 2 political leader and head of its legislature, departed Pyongyang amid great fanfare for an extended visit to Iran,” the report said. “The official reason was to attend the inauguration of President Hassan Rouhani, but the length of the visit raised alarm bells in Washington and allied capitals.”

President Trump, in his Oct. 13 White House address announcing that he would no longer certify that Iran was living up to its commitments on the 2015 nuclear deal, hinted that his administration shared many of those concerns and was looking for proof.

“There are also many people who believe that Iran is dealing with North Korea,” Mr. Trump said in the speech detailing his new Iran policy. “I am going to instruct our intelligence agencies to do a thorough analysis and report back their findings beyond what they have already reviewed.”

The analysis stopped short of asserting that Iranian and North Korean officials are collaborating directly on nuclear weapons development, noting that the official position of the U.S. government and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency remains that there is no conclusive evidence of such collaboration.

‘Covert contacts’

But the latest analysis suggests that the two nations are sharing ballistic missile and rocket technology. The analysis pointed to a series of “covert contacts,” with missile technicians from Iran’s Shahid Hemmat Industrial Group traveling last year to North Korea to help develop an 80-ton rocket booster for ballistic missiles.

“One of the company’s top officials, Sayyed Javad Musavi, has allegedly worked in tandem with the Korea Mining Development Trading Corp. (KOMID), which the United States and U.N. have sanctioned for being a central player in procuring equipment for Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs,” it said.

In November 2010, a leaked U.S. government cable revealed that American intelligence officials believed Iran had obtained 19 advanced missiles from North Korea.

The classified cable was among several that WikiLeaks had made public. The New York Times subsequently reported that the missile intelligence suggested “far deeper military — and perhaps nuclear — cooperation between North Korea and Iran than was previously known.”

Following the signing of the 2015 Iranian nuclear accord — a deal strongly backed by the Obama administration that called for Iran to dramatically reduce its nuclear activities in exchange for international sanctions relief — skeptics predicted Iran might try to outsource activities to Pyongyang that Tehran was prohibited from doing under the agreement.

Then-CIA Director John O. Brennan acknowledged in 2015 that his agency was watching to see if Tehran would attempt to continue a clandestine nuclear program through a third nation, even as Iranian officials were pledging to disclose all activities to U.N. inspectors as part of the nuclear accord.

“We have to make sure that we’re doing whatever we can to uncover anything,” Mr. Brennan said at the time. “I’m not saying that something is afoot at all. What I’m saying is that we need to be attuned to all of the potential pathways to acquiring different types of [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities.”

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, another Washington-based think tank critical of Iran’s government, said in a report last year that links between Iran and North Korea were deeper than commonly recognized and called on the U.S. government to do more to block companies that could be aiding the collaboration.

While the January 2016 report also said there was no proof of explicit nuclear cooperation between the two, it asserted that a host of unanswered questions remained over the extent to which Iran may be “outsourcing aspects of its nuclear weapons program” to North Korea.

“Signs of military and scientific cooperation between Iran and North Korea suggest that Pyongyang could have been involved in Tehran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile program, and that state-run trading companies may have assisted in critical aspects of Iran’s illicit nuclear-related activities,” the foundation’s report said.

The Washington Institute analysis was written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon, who was fired from the newspaper in June following an Associated Press report citing suspected evidence of his involvement in prospective arms deals to foreign governments.

Mr. Solomon, who subsequently denied such involvement, is now a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute. He is also the author of “The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and Secret Deals That Reshaped the Middle East.”

The Sixth Seal Will Be On The East (Revelation 6:12)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5V31Wpa9PMM/TlVaIyeam2I/AAAAAAAASUw/t0AfnylzR0Q/s1600/article-2029335-0D8C51AE00000578-806_634x348.jpgNew Evidence Shows Power of East Coast Earthquakes

Virginia Earthquake Triggered Landslides at Great Distances

Released: 11/6/2012 8:30:00 AM

Earthquake shaking in the eastern United States can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought.

U.S. Geological Survey scientists found that last year’s magnitude 5.8 earthquake in Virginia triggered landslides at distances four times farther—and over an area 20 times larger—than previous research has shown.

“We used landslides as an example and direct physical evidence to see how far-reaching shaking from east coast earthquakes could be,” said Randall Jibson, USGS scientist and lead author of this study. “Not every earthquake will trigger landslides, but we can use landslide distributions to estimate characteristics of earthquake energy and how far regional ground shaking could occur.”

“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” said USGS Director Marcia McNutt. “Calibrating the distance over which landslides occur may also help us reach back into the geologic record to look for evidence of past history of major earthquakes from the Virginia seismic zone.”

This study will help inform earthquake hazard and risk assessments as well as emergency preparedness, whether for landslides or other earthquake effects.

This study also supports existing research showing that although earthquakes are less frequent in the East, their damaging effects can extend over a much larger area as compared to the western United States.

The research is being presented today at the Geological Society of America conference, and will be published in the December 2012 issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.

The USGS found that the farthest landslide from the 2011 Virginia earthquake was 245 km (150 miles) from the epicenter. This is by far the greatest landslide distance recorded from any other earthquake of similar magnitude. Previous studies of worldwide earthquakes indicated that landslides occurred no farther than 60 km (36 miles) from the epicenter of a magnitude 5.8 earthquake.

“What makes this new study so unique is that it provides direct observational evidence from the largest earthquake to occur in more than 100 years in the eastern U.S,” said Jibson. “Now that we know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes, equations that predict ground shaking might need to be revised.”

It is estimated that approximately one-third of the U.S. population could have felt last year’s earthquake in Virginia, more than any earthquake in U.S. history. About 148,000 people reported their ground-shaking experiences caused by the earthquake on the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. Shaking reports came from southeastern Canada to Florida and as far west as Texas.

In addition to the great landslide distances recorded, the landslides from the 2011 Virginia earthquake occurred in an area 20 times larger than expected from studies of worldwide earthquakes. Scientists plotted the landslide locations that were farthest out and then calculated the area enclosed by those landslides. The observed landslides from last year’s Virginia earthquake enclose an area of about 33,400 km2, while previous studies indicated an expected area of about 1,500 km2 from an earthquake of similar magnitude.

“The landslide distances from last year’s Virginia earthquake are remarkable compared to historical landslides across the world and represent the largest distance limit ever recorded,” said Edwin Harp, USGS scientist and co-author of this study. “There are limitations to our research, but the bottom line is that we now have a better understanding of the power of East Coast earthquakes and potential damage scenarios.”

The difference between seismic shaking in the East versus the West is due in part to the geologic structure and rock properties that allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening.

Learn more about the 2011 central Virginia earthquake.

The Indian Nuclear Horn

An Indian military fighter jet has launched a large missile that could be modified to carry a nuclear weapon, according to Indian Defense Ministry and information collected by The Diplomat.

For the Nov. 22 test the 2.5-ton missile was mounted on a Sukhoi Su-30MKI fighter jet and launched against a ship target in the Bay of Bengal, off the east coast of India.

Bay of Bengal. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

“The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the ship target,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The supersonic cruise missile travels at the speed of Mach 2.8 (2,100 mph) with a 250-mile range. No other air force in the world has successfully air-launched a missile of such a category, the ministry stated.

Indian air force (IAF) tested flying with the missile last year, but this is the first time it has been launched.

The milestone is all the more significant since it is rumored to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, if modified for such a purpose, The Diplomat reported, also noting “the Su-30MKIs would need to be retrofitted with hardened electronic circuitry to withstand the electromagnetic pulses of a nuclear blast.”

The Russian-developed Indian-made fighter jet already had to be modified to carry the large missile, including a strengthening of its undercarriage.

The missile itself, BrahMos-A developed jointly by India and Russia, had to be stripped of its booster to fit on the plane.

Bay of Bengal. (Screenshot via Google Maps)

“The launch from the aircraft was smooth and the missile followed the desired trajectory before directly hitting the ship target,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The supersonic cruise missile travels at the speed of Mach 2.8 (2,100 mph) with a 250-mile range. No other air force in the world has successfully air-launched a missile of such a category, the ministry stated.

Indian air force (IAF) tested flying with the missile last year, but this is the first time it has been launched.

The milestone is all the more significant since it is rumored to be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, if modified for such a purpose, The Diplomat reported, also noting “the Su-30MKIs would need to be retrofitted with hardened electronic circuitry to withstand the electromagnetic pulses of a nuclear blast.”