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.”

The Rising French Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks in France on Feb. 18. Citing a decline in multilateralism, he proposed earlier in the month that France's nuclear weapons provide a larger role for European security. (Photo: Jean-Francois Badias/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

March 2020
By Shannon Bugos

French President Emmanuel Macron offered to begin discussing with other European countries the role that France’s nuclear deterrent can play in their collective security.

 

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks in France on Feb. 18. Citing a decline in multilateralism, he proposed earlier in the month that France’s nuclear weapons provide a larger role for European security. (Photo: Jean-Francois Badias/Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

France’s nuclear forces “strengthen the security of Europe through their very existence,”Macron said at the military school École de Guerre in Paris on Feb. 7. An erosion of “the comprehensive security framework” that protects Europe affects France’s defense strategy, he said, which means that “France’s vital interests now have a European dimension.” France’s nuclear deterrence “ensures our independence, our freedom to assess, make decisions, and take action. It prevents adversaries from betting on escalation, intimidation, and blackmailing to achieve their ends,” he said before extending the offer.At the same time, Macron argued that the international community must limit the role of nuclear deterrence to “extreme circumstances of self-defense,” with the overall goal of preventing war.

“France’s nuclear doctrine strictly adheres to this framework,” he said. France currently has about 300 nuclear weapons in its arsenal.

During his address, Macron outlined three “paradigm shifts” underway in the world. The first he described as strategic, in which “a new hierarchy of powers” is emerging and bringing with it the heightened risk of conflict and military escalation due to competition.

The challenging of “a multilateral order based on law” defines the second paradigm shift, he said, illustrated by the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last August. (See ACT, September 2019.) “Europeans must collectively realize today that, without a legal framework, they could quickly find themselves at risk of another conventional and even nuclear arms race on their soil,” Macron said. “They cannot stand by.”

The final shift involves the emergence of new technologies and their potential role in conflict. All of these paradigm shifts, he said, demand that the world think about what the future of war will look like. Macron suggested that the heads of state of the permanent members of the UN Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States) convene in order “to fully discharge [their] mandate to maintain peace and international security” in this changing landscape.

Macron presented a four-pillared strategy for confronting these paradigm shifts and achieving peace. The first pillar he called the “promotion of an efficient multilateralism,” to include an increased investment in defense by European countries and a renewed international arms control agenda.

Regarding arms control, the president urged Europe to “rethink disarmament” so that it contributes to international security and highlighted France’s “unique track record in the world,” given its irreversible dismantlement of land-based nuclear weapons, nuclear testing facilities, and fissile material.

The next two pillars Macron described were the development of strategic alliances focused on promoting peace and security and the establishment of greater European autonomy.

Macron dubbed national sovereignty as the final pillar, saying, “if France is to live up to its ambition and its history, it must remain sovereign.”

The China Nuclear Horn Grows (Daniel 7)

Image result for china nuclear weapons

China likely to ‘at least double’ its nuclear weapons stockpile by 2030, says US DoD official

02 March 2020

The US Department of Defense (DoD) believes that China will “at least double” the size of its nuclear weapons stockpile over the next 10 years, James H Anderson, who is performing the duties of deputy under secretary of defence for policy at the DoD, said on 27 February.

Speaking before the US House Armed Services Committee alongside two US senior military commanders, the DoD official testified that the move will be part of China’s implementation of “the most rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal in its history”.

“China’s nuclear forces include a mix of strategic-range systems capable of striking the US homeland as well as theatre-range forces capable of threatening allies and partners, US bases, and forces in the Indo-Pacific region.

Israeli Navy Attacks Fishermen Outside the Temple Walls (Rev 11)

GAZA, Wednesday, March 4, 2020 (WAFA) – Israeli navy today opened gunfire towards Palestinian fishermen who were sailing off the Gaza shore to the west of the town of Beit Lahia, north of the enclave, reported WAFA correspondent.

No injuries were reported, however.

Despite the signed agreements between the Palestinians and Israel, which allow fishermen to go 12 nautical miles inside the Mediterranean Sea, the Israeli navy targets fishermen almost daily and does not allow them to go further than three nautical miles, which the fishermen say is not enough to catch fish.

A large number of Gazans rely on fishing for daily living in light of the tight decade-old blockade imposed by Israel on the Gaza Strip.

K.T/M.N

Pakistan Continues to Build Up its Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)

File image of the Chinese ship Dai Cui Yun
File image of the Chinese ship Dai Cui Yun | Photo: geograph.org.uk

DRDO confirms Chinese ship India stopped was carrying nuclear-capable equipment to Pakistan

According to DRDO officials, it is now up to India’s national security planners to expose the nuclear proliferation nexus between Beijing and Islamabad.

 4 March, 2020 10:57 am IST

New Delhi: Experts from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have confirmed that an industrial autoclave seized from the Chinese ship Dai Cui Yun can be used for the manufacture of very lon

 

 

g-range ballistic missiles or satellite launch rockets. The ship was detained by Customs at Kandla Port while en-route to Port Qasim, Karachi, on February 3 on the basis of an intelligence tip-off and allowed to proceed to the Pakistani port on February 20 after the so-called dual-use (civilian and military) equipment was seized. The autoclave was misdeclared as an industrial dryer.

Hindustan Times first reported the seizure.

Analysts said DRDO’s confirmation exposes the nuclear nexus between China and its all-weather ally Pakistan. According to top government and intelligence officials, the DRDO’s technical experts and missile scientists informed the Kandla Customs, the ministry of external affairs and national security planners on Tuesday morning that the seized 18 metre by 4 metre autoclave can indeed be used in the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) platforms.

“The autoclave can be used for the manufacture of the motor of very long range missiles, with range upwards of 1,500 kilometres or even in the construction of a motor for the launch of satellites. Pakistan has the Shaheen II missile in the 1,500-2,000 kilometre range and the platform was tested last May,” said one of the officials, who asked not to be named.

According to the officials, it is now up to India’s national security planners to invoke the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act 2005 as well as inform the UN under the WMD Convention to expose the nuclear proliferation nexus between Beijing and Islamabad. Under Indian law, any contravention of the above law attracts a punishment of not less than five years’ imprisonment which may be extended to imprisonment for life with an added fine. The autoclave was being imported by the Islamabad-based United Construction Company and Hong Kong-based General Technology had booked the consignment.

North Korea, initially, and then China have helped Pakistan in the development of nuclear missile delivery platforms by supplying M-11 and M-9 missiles. Islamabad’s nuclear missile programme is not indigenous and is based on Chinese design with Beijing helping Islamabad since the 1980s. It is for no other reason that China is blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) till Pakistan is also allowed into the nuclear club.

Given the seizure of the autoclave, India’s friends such as France and the US can now pressure Beijing to allow India into the NSG,the officials said, adding that the country’s record in context of nuclear proliferation was spotless.

Iran builds up its nuclear arsenal

Iran Stonewalls Inspectors as Uranium Stockpile Jumps Three-Fold

Jonathan TironeMarch 3, 2020, 6:45 AM MST

By International atomic inspectors publish quarterly report

IAEA says Iran still hasn’t answered all of its questions

Follow us @middleeast for more news on the region.

Iranian officials have obstructed efforts to clarify past nuclear activities, the United Nations atomic watchdog said in a finding that threatens to further hinder international efforts to salvage what’s left of the nation’s 2015 deal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency told diplomats on Tuesday that Iran won’t let inspectors visit two locations where they suspect nuclear-related activities took place some 15 years ago. Their report reopens an inquiry into the Islamic Republic’s past activities that Tehran’s government thought it had settled by agreeing to the nuclear pact with world powers.

“The agency identified a number of questions related to possible undeclared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities at three locations in Iran that had not been declared by Iran,” the IAEA said in a three-page report circulated to diplomats. The country “has not provided access” or “engaged in substantive discussions” with inspectors, it said.

A second IAEA report confirmed that Iran continued violating the accord by expanding its nuclear stockpile for an eighth consecutive month.

Iran’s store of low-enriched uranium increased almost three-fold to 1,020.9 kilograms (2,251 pounds) over the quarter ending Feb. 19, according to the restricted International Atomic Energy Agency report seen by Bloomberg. That’s more than the amount of the heavy metal needed to create a single nuclear bomb if Iran chose to enrich the material to weapons grade.

European Priority

A suggestion that Iran could be providing incomplete information has potentially serious consequences. The entire international apparatus of rules that the IAEA enforces is based on verifying the correctness and completeness of nations’ declared nuclear material and nuclear-related activities.

The IAEA’s findings could make it more difficult for the remaining parties to the deal — China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.K. — to resuscitate the landmark agreement. They pledged support last week for what they continue to describe as one of the world’s “key non-proliferation projects.”

The beleaguered pact jettisoned by U.S. President Donald Trump had imposed limits on Iran’s nuclear activities in return for sanctions relief. Tehran says it will only return to compliance once European countries ensure it receives economic benefits, including the export of oil.

As Nuclear Deal Falters, How Close Is Iran to a Bomb?: QuickTake

“The idea that Iran is going to roll back its nuclear activities without getting anything in return has long passed,” said Ellie Geranmayeh, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “The priority now for European parties is to contain Iran’s nuclear activities and preserve a negotiation track that can limit the scope of damage.”

Trump’s abandonment of the deal triggered a deepening standoff between the U.S. and Iran, which took the two foes to the brink of military conflict.

Agency inspectors said they asked Iran for access to two unspecified locations where nuclear material may have been stored, according to the first report. Monitors used archival satellite images to independently corroborate their suspicions, according to a senior diplomat familiar with the probe. Renewed IAEA suspicion arose following Israeli publication of documents that proclaim Iran’s decades-old work was more extensive than previously known.

Iran informed the agency in a Jan. 28 letter that it “will not recognize any allegation on past activities and does not consider itself obliged to respond,” the IAEA said.

Trump vs Iran will leave us on the brink of war?

Expert explainer: Will Trump vs Iran leave us on the brink of war?

The US assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Iran’s vows of revenge have created tensions between the two countries that could escalate into an international crisis. With President Trump threatening further strikes and Iran refusing to observe the limitations imposed on its nuclear programme, we ask what will happen next and what the implications are for the US, Iran and their allies.

The Strait of Hormuz. Image: US Congress.

What happened to spark tensions?

On 3 January the US killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, in a targeted drone strike after the general was leaving Baghdad airport. According to the US the assassination was intended to prevent attacks being planned by Soleimani against US military personnel and diplomats.

The US said the drone strike was undertaken in response to the December 27 attack on a coalition base in Iraq which resulted in the death of a US contractor, and the later attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad’s Green Zone by members of Iranian-backed Kata’ib Hezbollah militia. The militia attacked the embassy after the funerals of fighters killed in US strikes against the militia, which were launched in response to the December 27 rocket attack.

Who was General Qasem Soleimani?

Soleimani was a pivotal figure in Iran’s network of foreign influence as the head of the Quds force. A popular figure in Iran, he was close to the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei. Soleimani came to prominence during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-1988 instigated by Saddam Hussain. He proved himself in the conflict and was later appointed to the head of the Quds force.

Soleimani took an influential and often personal role in the cultivation of Iran’s influence in the Middle East, including the country’s support of Syrian president Bashar Al ’Assad and a number of proxy groups across Iraq and Lebanon, in particular Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen and Shi’ite militia groups that form a part of the Iraqi army.

Before his death he and the Quds force were labelled as terrorists by the US, marking the first time the US had ever branded a faction of a foreign military as a terrorist organisation. Upon his death, his deputy, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, replaced Soleimani as the head of the Quds force.

What was the immediate response to the assassination?

Threats of retaliation were on the lips of Iranian officials in the immediate aftermath of the drone strike, while other countries across the world called for a de-escalation of tensions. Iraq’s parliament, at the behest of the country’s prime minister, voted to ask foreign military forces to leave the country.

The UK raised the alert level of its forces in the region, moved non-essential personnel out of Baghdad and resumed escorting commercial shipping through the Strait of Hormuz for fears that they may become targets of reprisals.

NATO allies began to withdraw their forces from the country before things took a turn on 7 January when Iran began retaliatory missile strikes on bases housing US personnel in Iraq. The overnight attack originated directly from Iran, with over a dozen strikes directed against the Al-Assad air base west of Baghdad and another base just outside the Northern Iraqi city of Irbil.

What happened next?

The world held its breath waiting for the US response, however, early indicators showed the missile attack was the start of a de-escalation of tensions. On the night of the attack US President Donald Trump tweeted: “All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.” Meanwhile Iranian officials said its retaliation efforts had “concluded”.

The next day Trump reaffirmed an earlier commitment stating that the US would never let Iran develop a nuclear weapon, and said that European partners should walk away from the Iran nuclear deal. This move re-committed the US to a path of sanctioning Iran, rather than intervening.

Later it emerged that on the night of the missile attack, Iran also shot down Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, killing 176 people. Iran originally said the plane crashed, however, after evidence trickled out from Western intelligence agencies the country’s revolutionary guards admitted that they had in fact shot the aircraft down. The crash has sparked on-going protests in Iran.

The future of the nuclear deal

The biggest question now, after the US and Iran pulled back from the brink of war, is the Iran Nuclear Deal. While Trump reasserted his preference for the deal to be dissolved, European partners have on many occasions shown support for the deal and the progress it had made before the US pulled out.

With the US taking a hard line on Iran, the UK, France and Germany issued a statement committing to the future of the deal. However, Iran has signalled its intention to pull away from the deal. If Iran now sets itself on a course to developing a nuclear weapon, another clash with the US may be on the cards again soon.