Why New York City Will Be Shut Down At The Sixth Seal

Published time: 10 Feb, 2016 22:12Edited time: 11 Feb, 2016 01:51

New measurements at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in upstate New York show levels of radioactive tritium 80 percent higher than reported last week. Plant operator insists the spill is not dangerous, as state officials call for a safety probe.

Entergy, which operates the facility 25 miles (40 km) north of New York City, says the increased levels of tritium represent “fluctuations that can be expected as the material migrates.”

“Even with the new readings, there is no impact to public health or safety, and although these values remain less than one-tenth of one percent of federal reporting guidelines,” Entergy said in a statement.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo raised an alarm last Saturday over the reports of groundwater contamination at Indian Point, noting that the company reported “alarming levels of radioactivity” at three monitoring wells, with “radioactivity increasing nearly 65,000 percent” at one of them.

The groundwater wells have no contact with any drinking water supplies, and the spill will dissipate before it reaches the Hudson River, a senior Entergy executive argued Tuesday, suggesting the increased state scrutiny was driven by the company’s decision to shut down another nuclear power plant.

“There are a number of stakeholders, including the governor, who do not like the fact that we are having to close Fitzpatrick,” Michael Twomey, Entergy’s vice president of external affairs, said during an appearance on ‘The Capitol Pressroom,’ a show on WCNY public radio.

The James A. Fitzpatrick plant is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, near Oswego, New York. Entergy said it intended to close the plant once it runs out of fuel sometime this year, citing its continued operations as unprofitable.

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the Hudson river © wikipedia.org

‘65,000% radioactivity spike’: New York Gov. orders probe into water leak at Indian Point

“We’re not satisfied with this event. This was not up to our expectations,” Twomey said, adding that the Indian Point spill should be seen in context.

Though it has never reported a reactor problem, the Indian Point facility has been plagued by issues with transformers, cooling systems, and other electrical components over the years. It currently operates two reactors, both brought on-line in the 1970s.

In December, the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission allowed Entergy to continue operating the reactors, pending license renewal. The facility’s initial 40-year license was set to expire on December 12, but the regulators are reportedly leaning towards recommending a 20-year extension.

By contrast, Reactor 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Pripyat, Ukraine was only three years old when it exploded in April 1986. To this day, an area of 1000 square miles around the power plant remains the “exclusion zone,” where human habitation is prohibited.

The tritium leak at Indian Point most likely took place in January, during the preparations to shut down Reactor 2 for refueling, according to Entergy. Water containing high levels of the hydrogen isotope reportedly overfilled the drains and spilled into the ground.

According to Entergy, tritium is a “low hazard radionuclide” because it emits low-energy beta particles, which do not penetrate the skin. “People could be harmed by tritium only through internal exposure caused by drinking water with high levels of tritium over many years,” an Entergy fact sheet says.

Environmentalist critics are not convinced, however.

“This plant isn’t safe anymore,” Paul Gallay, president of environmental watchdog group

Riverkeeper, told the New York Daily News. “Everybody knows it and only Entergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission refuse to admit it.”

Three More Killed Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israel fires on militants at Gaza border, Palestinians say three killed

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Israeli forces opened fire at a group of Palestinian gunmen as they tried to cross the Gaza border, the military said on Sunday and Palestinian health officials said three of the men were killed.

“A short while ago, IDF (Israel Defence Forces) troops spotted a number of armed suspects adjacent to the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. An IDF attack helicopter and a tank fired towards them,” the military said in a statement.

Palestinian medics said they retrieved three bodies from the site and Gaza hospital officials said a fourth man was injured.

The incident happened overnight between Saturday and Sunday, shortly after three rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, one of them landing in a town near the border, according to the Israeli military and police.

The Israeli military released security video footage it said showed the gunmen trying to cross the border. It showed three figures crouching and walking between trees and rocks, with at least one of them apparently carrying a rifle.

There was no immediate comment from any of the major armed groups in Gaza. No Israelis were hurt.

Gaza is ruled by the Islamist group Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel over the past decade. Israel pulled its troops and settlers from the territory in 2005 but keeps the enclave under a blockade, citing security concerns. Tensions along the border are high with frequent fatalities.

Though neither side has signaled a desire for all out war, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he could call a wide-scale operation in Gaza.

“If necessary, we will lead a broad campaign,” Netanyahu told reporters on Sunday. “We will do what it takes for Israel’s security.”

Reporting by Maayan Lubell and Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

Iran Boosts Her Uranium (Daniel 8:4)

Iran Planning Powerful, New Generation Centrifuges To Boost Enrichment

Radio Farda

The Islamic Republic of Iran is planning to work on introducing a new generation of uranium enriching centrifuges, a lawmaker told local media on Sunday August 18.

The IR-8 Centrifuges are 20 times more powerful than the first-generation equipment Iran has been using for uranium enrichment.

Hamid Reza Hajibabaee quoted the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Chief Ali Akbar Salehi as telling parliamentarians that Iran has been producing IR-6 and IR-7 centrifuges so far, but it now plans to produce IR-8. But it is not clear how many IR-8 and centrifuges Iran plans to deploy eventually, considering limitations imposed by the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Salehi is quoted as saying that so far they have assembled 20 IR-8 centrifuges.

The organization had said in 2016 that that it had started testing IR-8 by injecting UF6 or Uranium Hexafloride.

On Saturday, another Iranian MP, Ebrahim Rezaee said that using Ir-6 and IR-8 centrifuges is part of Iran’s third step in reducing its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal with West. He had said that the two new generation centrifuges were ready for operation.

Iran announced in May, on the anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, that it will reduce some of its commitment under the agreement every 60 days. So far, in the first two steps Iran has exceeded the 3.67 percent enrichment and the 300 kilogram stockpile of enriched Uranium.

Earlier the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had said that Iran had installed up to 33 IR-6 centrifuges, but had injected UF6 into only ten of the machines.

European diplomats have told Reuters that Iran’s allowance to use only a few of these new generation centrifuges is a grey area of the nuclear deal also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Iran’s Aggression and the Shi’ite Apocalypse (Daniel 8:4)

By LELA GILBERT

Why does Iran continue to saber-rattle and threaten to massacre Israelis? Why do Iranian religious and military leaders constantly vow to impose terrible violence on their enemies? And why is the ever-escalating aggression carried on by various Iranian proxies across the Middle East?

These days, international commentators assume that threats of violence and warnings of war are Iran’s boastful way of defying US economic sanctions, which presently have a strangle-hold on their leaders and institutions. Meanwhile, disturbances in the Persian Gulf have underscored the Islamic Republic’s rage at America’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.

But there is, perhaps, another reason as well – an apocalyptic belief that is widely held by Iran’s supreme leader and his followers.

On August 6, the indispensable MEMRI news site – which translates and broadcasts speeches, sermons or other pronouncements by sheikhs, imams and mullahs –  reported the words of senior Iranian Ayatollah Mohammad Mehdi Mirbagheri: “In Order for the Hidden Imam to Reappear We Must Engage in Widespread Fighting with the West.”

Meanwhile, in recent weeks, the regime has threatened to cut off international routes for petroleum shipments. Oil tankers have been attacked, seized or threatened. And there has been a nearly constant stream of doomsday warnings – “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.”

In mid-July, Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader, Sayyed Nasrallah, declared that while “life and death are in the hands of God, logic points to me praying in Al-Aqsa mosque.” Bear in mind that while serving as Iran’s front-man in Lebanon, Nasrallah has been living in a secret underground location ever since the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is, of course, located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. So Nasrallah’s prediction essentially means that at some point, Israel will no longer be able to prevent his coming out of hiding to enter the Holy City.

Then, just days after that declaration, Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei affirmed Nasrallah’s prediction: “The return of this holy land [Israel] to the World of Islam is not a strange and unattainable matter.” He declared Nasrallah’s goal of praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque “an absolutely practical and achievable aspiration for us.”

Some observers are aware of the deeply religious nature of Iran’s regime. However, in the US and Western Europe particularly, references to religious influences in international affairs are either disregarded or find their way into an editor’s trash can.

But in fact, some declarations should not be overlooked. And that includes references – particularly among Iran’s highest levels of leadership – to the Hidden Imam.

The Hidden – or Twelfth – Imam plays a dominant role in one specific form of Shi’ite Islamic theology, called “Twelverism,” which happens to be the primary belief system of Iran’s leadership. There is a messianic belief that at the end of days, the Hidden Imam will appear in the midst of a violent apocalyptic scenario played out on a battleground stained with infidels’ blood.

My first awareness of this Shi’ite theological issue came from a 2009 book, The Rise of Nuclear Iran, written by Ambassador Dore Gold, who serves as an advisor to Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.

More recently, as I reflected on the intensifying tension between the West, Israel and Iran, I came across a blog post from an Iranian scholar who is now serving as a fellow at Washington DC’s highly respected Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD). In 2013, Saeed Ghasseminejad penned an article titled “Iran’s Apocalyptic Policy Makers.” He wrote:

“Two of the most lunatic and apocalyptic high-ranking figures in Iran are Ayatollah Ali Khamenei himself and his now disgraced one-time protégé, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. While Khamenei deeply believes his task is to prepare for Mahdi’s appearance, Ahmadinejad takes the apocalyptic narrative to an unprecedented level of lunacy and weirdness, even by the Islamic republic’s measures. He believes, for example, that the real reason behind the US invasion of Iraq was to search for the Hidden Imam and to postpone his appearance. Many observers believe Khamenei chose Ahmadinejad as president mainly because of their shared belief in this apocalyptic version of Islam.

“While many experts tell us Iran is a rational, pragmatic regime like any other in the world, all the facts shout that it is not. A large number of Iranian officials and decision makers have deeply rooted apocalyptic beliefs. Underestimating this radical ideology even as the Iranian regime is on its way to building a nuclear bomb can lead to dangerously wrong conclusions. The suggestion taking hold of late that a nuclear armed Iran is not the end of the world may unfortunately be dead wrong.”

With this in mind, I interviewed Saeed Ghasseminejad and asked what he thinks about Iranian aggressions today.

“I think policymakers in the West should take the IRI official’s apocalyptic vision seriously,” he told me, “because that is what drives Tehran’s decision-making process. Preparing the ground for the reappearance of the Hidden Imam is the Islamic Republic’s raison d’etre. Ignoring it leads to misinterpretation of Tehran’s actions and miscalculation by Western policymakers.”

Short version: When assessing the next scenario vis-à-vis Iran’s aggression and seemingly relentless push toward conflict, don’t overlook their apocalyptic theology. It’s more significant than most of us imagine.

Lela Gilbert is an expert on religious persecution, an author and adjunct fellow at the Hudson Institute who lived in Jerusalem for over a decade. Her book “Saturday People, Sunday People: Israel through the Eyes of a Christian Sojourner” received wide critical acclaim. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @lelagilbert

Antichrist Warns Iraq PM against Forming ‘Deep State’

Leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr. (Reuters)

Sadr Warns Iraq PM against Forming ‘Deep State’

Sunday, 18 August, 2019 – 06:30

Baghdad – Hamza Mustafa

Leader of the Sadrist movement, Moqtada al-Sadr warned on Saturday Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi against building a “deep state” in the country.

“Continuing along this path is unacceptable by the religious authorities and the people,” he warned.

In a statement, Sadr offered the premier “fraternal advice” that include popular demands voiced by the religious authority and people.

Sadr summarized his advice in four points. The first is a total commitment to independence in work and avoiding siding with one party and not the other. Any deviation from this point would pave the way for a new “deep state”.

In his second point, he noted that the services file remained unresolved, urging Abdul Mahdi to urgently tackle this issue.

The third point concerns the activation of efforts to combat corruption.

“No progress has been made in this issue,” Sadr remarked. “Silence is almost an authorization of corruption.”

In his final point, he urged the prime minister to preserve the dignity of the state and its institutions and the independence of Iraqi decision-making power.

“Do not hesitate to punish those who undermine the security services and punish those with foreign affiliations,” he demanded.

The cleric made his warnings after Israel was blamed for massive blasts earlier this week at a weapons’ depot in the al-Saqr military base south of Baghdad.

Leading members of the Reform and Construction alliance Haidar al-Malla told Asharq Al-Awsat that Sadr’s message to Abdul Mahdi was advisory in tone and offered the premier guidance, rather than include clear constitutional and legal mechanisms.

“If Sadr believes that the government is incapable of respecting the pledges mentioned above, then he should take a clear stance, withdraw his support for this cabinet and become an opposition party,” he added.

Kashmir a Flashpoint for the First Nuclear War (Revelation 8)

A security person stops a motorcyclist for checking, in Srinagar on Saturday (PTI)

Kashmir a nuclear flashpoint: Pakistan army spokesman Asif Ghafoor

Elizabeth Roche

New Delhi: Pakistan army spokesman Asif Ghafoor on Saturday described Kashmir as a “nuclear flashpoint”, a day after defence minister Rajnath Singh said India could review its nuclear no first use policy.

Ghafoor’s comment, quoted by news reports, could be seen as another attempt by Pakistan to internationalise the Kashmir dispute between the two countries and invite offers of mediation. Western nations have always been wary of tensions flaring up between the two countries that have nuclear weapons.

Ghafoor’s comments also come after the UN Security Council on Friday said India and Pakistan should sort out their differences bilaterally after closed-door consultations. This came after China sought the meeting on Pakistan’s behalf after India revoked a provision in its constitution giving special status to Kashmir.

In his remarks on Saturday, Ghafoor also said Pakistan was ready to repulse any Indian attack, the news reports said.

On Friday, during a visit to Pokhran, defence minister Rajnath Singh said, “Till today, our nuclear policy is ‘No First Use’. What happens in future depends on the circumstances,” media reports said quoting the minister who was at an event in Pokhran, the site of India’s nuclear tests in 1998.

The comments followed heightened tensions between India and Pakistan after the Indian government revoked Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan had condemned the move.

In a tweet, Rajnath Singh added, “Pokhran is the area which witnessed Atal Ji’s firm resolve to make India a nuclear power and yet remain firmly committed to the doctrine of ‘No First Use’. India has strictly adhered to this doctrine. What happens in future depends on the circumstances.”

The Final Nuclear Race (Revelation 16)

The nuclear arms race is back … and ever more dangerous now

Simon TisdallSat 17 Aug 2019 09.00 EDT

Donald Trump has increased spending on America’s arsenal while ripping up cold war treaties. Russia and China are following suit

Imagine the uproar if the entire populations of York, Portsmouth or Swindon were suddenly exposed to three times the permissible level of penetrating gamma radiation, or what the nuclear physicist Ernest Rutherford termed gamma rays. The outpouring of rage and fear would be heard across the world.

That’s what happened to the roughly 200,000 people who live in the similarly sized northern Russian city of Severodvinsk on 8 August, after an explosion at a nearby top-secret missile testing range. Russia’s weather service, Rosgidromet, recorded radiation levels up to 16 times higher than the usual ambient rate.

Yet the incident has been met with surly silence by Russia. It was five days before officials confirmed a blast at the Nyonoksa range had killed several people, including nuclear scientists. No apologies were offered to Severodvinsk residents. There is still little reliable information. “Accidents, unfortunately, happen,” a Kremlin spokesman said.

That callous insouciance is not universally shared. According to western experts, the explosion was caused by the launch failure of a new nuclear-powered cruise missile, one of many advanced weapons being developed by Russia, the US and China in an accelerating global nuclear arms race.

Vladimir Putin unveiled the missile, known in Russia as the Storm Petrel and by Nato as Skyfall, in March last year, claiming its unlimited range and manoeuvrability would render it “invincible”. The Russian president’s boasts look less credible now.

But Putin is undeterred. Denying suggestions that the missile is unreliable, the Kremlin insisted Russia was winning the nuclear race. “Our president has repeatedly said that Russian engineering in this sector significantly outstrips … other countries,” a spokesman said.

Now fast-forward to 16 August, and another threatening event: the test-firing by North Korea of potentially nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, the sixth round of launches since July. More than two years of vanity diplomacy by Donald Trump has not convinced Pyongyang it is safe to give up its nukes – proof, if it were needed, that unilateral counter-proliferation initiatives do not work.

Arms control experts say a consistent, joined-up international approach is woefully lacking. Thus Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal is tolerated, and the idea of a bomb developed by Saudi Arabia is no longer ruled out. But the merest hint that Iran may build a nuclear weapon is greeted with megatons of hypocritical horror.

In a sense, the problem is circular. Putin argues that Russia’s build-up is a response to destabilising US moves to modernise and expand its own nuclear arsenal – and he has a point. Barack Obama, the former president, developed a $1.2tn plan to maintain and replace the “triad” of US air, sea and land-based nuclear weapons.

Trump has gone much further. The Pentagon’s nuclear posture review, published last year, proposed an additional $500bn in spending, including $17bn for low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons that could be used on conventional battlefields. The first of these new warheads is due to become operational next month.

Critics in Congress say low-yield weapons make nuclear warfare more likely, and oppose Trump’s budget increases. But with US planners saying the biggest national security threat is no longer terrorism but nuclear-armed states, there is little doubt that many new weapons projects will get the go-ahead.

An activist in Germany wearing a Trump mask protesting against the scrapping of the INF treaty. Photograph: Omer Messinger/EPA

The renewed nuclear arms race is a product of Trump’s America First outlook and that of comparable ultra-nationalist and insecure regimes elsewhere. Trump’s emphasis on defending the “homeland” is leading inexorably to the militarisation of US society, whether at the Mexican border, on inner-city streets or in its approach to international security.

We have far more money than anybody else by far,” Trump said last October. “We’ll build up until [Russia and China] come to their senses.” Outspending the opposition was a tactic employed by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. And Trump is putting taxpayers’ money where his mouth is. Overall, annual US military spending is soaring, from $716bn this year to a proposed $750bn next year.

The paradox is that even as the risk of nuclear confrontation grows, the cold war system of treaties that helped prevent Armageddon is being dismantled, largely at Trump’s behest. Earlier this month, the US withdrew from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia (which rid Britain and Europe of US missiles deployed in the early 80s).

The US is also signalling it will not renew the New Start strategic nuclear weapons treaty when it expires in 2021. Washington claims Moscow cheated on the INF pact; Russia denies it. But the real US concern is that both treaties tie its hands, especially regarding China – another example of the impact of America First thinking.

This increasingly unregulated, three-way contest poses indisputable dangers. The US plans were “unnecessary, unsustainable, and unsafe” and “increase the risks of miscalculation, unintended escalation, and accelerated global nuclear competition”, the independent US-based Arms Control Association said in April.

With a much smaller arsenal than the US and Russia, China, too, is “aggressively developing its next generation of nuclear weapons”, according to a major Chinese weapons research institute. Nor, given Moscow’s and Washington’s behaviour, has it an incentive to stop, despite Trump’s vague proposal for a trilateral disarmament “grand bargain”.

Like the US, China – while historically pledged to “no first use” – wants potential enemies to believe it may actually use tactical nukes. As Dr Strangelove would doubtless appreciate, this, perversely, increases the chances that it will.

The dreadful example these nuclear arms-racers are setting to non-nuclear states such as Iran is obvious. By failing to uphold arms control agreements, neglecting collaborative counter-proliferation efforts, and building new, more “usable”, dangerously unproved weapons like the one that irradiated Severodvinsk, the nuclear powers are digging their own graves – and ours.