Even the NY Senate is Concerned About the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

State Sen. Pete Harckham

Harckham’s NRC Letter: Make Public Indian Point Safety Analysis

High-pressure gas pipeline underneath nuclear facility, if found unsafe, should be shutdown

May 24, 2020 12:58 pm ET

In a letter sent today to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), New York State Senator Pete Harckham called for the public release of Entergy Corporation’s revised safety analysis of the dangerous high-pressure natural gas pipeline that crosses beneath the three nuclear reactors and highly radioactive fuel storage casks at the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) in Buchanan, NY. And if the analysis concludes the pipeline is unsafe, Harckham asks that it be shutdown.

In his letter, Harckham commends the NRC’s decision to review the pipeline assessments yet worries that there are still no assurances of the pipeline’s safety. “It is essential,” he writes, “that Entergy’s revised analysis be released for public review so that the public can determine whether the revised analysis redresses the numerous failures listed in the OIG Report and offers an accurate and complete analysis of the actual threat posed to the millions of people who live in this area.”

At issue is the deeply flawed 10 CFR 50.59 risk analysis report submitted in 2014 by Entergy, owner and operator of IPEC, to obtain approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) of expansion of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) gas pipeline underneath the Indian Point property. The NRC needed to first perform an independent assessment of this risk analysis to make sure that Entergy properly reviewed the safety implications of the AIM pipeline, Instead, the NRC simply accepted the misrepresentations and conclusions contained in Entergy’s faulty analysis.

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Earlier this year, the NRC’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reported that it discovered the deep flaws and deviations in NRC’s own safety analysis of the pipeline, and directed the NRC to “redo” its analysis and required Entergy to revise its 10 CFR 50.59 assessment.

Among the major problems with Entergy’s original risk analysis was that it assumed that isolation valves would close within three minutes of a pipeline rupture, which the NRC never confirmed. The pipeline’s operator later informed the OIG that it would take six minutes. Also, the NRC safety assessment utilized a model based on aboveground pipelines to gauge how fast the pipeline could be “turned off” in case of an emergency. The NRC later misrepresented the totality of its assessment to an outside investigator.

In his letter, Harckham calls for Entergy to release the revised safety analysis in its totality, along with all supporting and attendant documentation.

“The chief responsibility of our government officials, through policy and action, is to safeguard our residents,” concludes Harckham. “We therefore urge NRC to conduct a full independent evaluation of the risks and release Entergy’s revised analysis. Consistent with this redo evaluation, the NRC should determine whether the pipeline poses a threat to the millions of people in the surrounding areas requiring a permanent shut down of the pipeline.”

A Lack Of Vigilance Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

Faults Underlying Exercise Vigilant Guard

Story by: (Author NameStaff Sgt. Raymond Drumsta – 138th Public Affairs Detachment

Dated: Thu, Nov 5, 2009

This map illustrates the earthquake fault lines in Western New York. An earthquake in the region is a likely event, says University of Buffalo Professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.

TONAWANDA, NY — An earthquake in western New York, the scenario that Exercise Vigilant Guard is built around, is not that far-fetched, according to University of Buffalo geology professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.

When asked about earthquakes in the area, Jacobi pulls out a computer-generated state map, cross-hatched with diagonal lines representing geological faults.

The faults show that past earthquakes in the state were not random, and could occur again on the same fault systems, he said.

“In western New York, 6.5 magnitude earthquakes are possible,” he said.

This possibility underlies Exercise Vigilant Guard, a joint training opportunity for National Guard and emergency response organizations to build relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners against a variety of different homeland security threats including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

The exercise was based on an earthquake scenario, and a rubble pile at the Spaulding Fibre site here was used to simulate a collapsed building. The scenario was chosen as a result of extensive consultations with the earthquake experts at the University of Buffalo’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), said Brig. Gen. Mike Swezey, commander of 53rd Troop Command, who visited the site on Monday.

Earthquakes of up to 7 magnitude have occurred in the Northeastern part of the continent, and this scenario was calibrated on the magnitude 5.9 earthquake which occurred in Saguenay, Quebec in 1988, said Jacobi and Professor Andre Filiatrault, MCEER director.

“A 5.9 magnitude earthquake in this area is not an unrealistic scenario,” said Filiatrault.

Closer to home, a 1.9 magnitude earthquake occurred about 2.5 miles from the Spaulding Fibre site within the last decade, Jacobi said. He and other earthquake experts impaneled by the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada in 1997 found that there’s a 40 percent chance of 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurring along the Clareden-Linden fault system, which lies about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, Jacobi added.

Jacobi and Filiatrault said the soft soil of western New York, especially in part of downtown Buffalo, would amplify tremors, causing more damage.

“It’s like jello in a bowl,” said Jacobi.

The area’s old infrastructure is vulnerable because it was built without reinforcing steel, said Filiatrault. Damage to industrial areas could release hazardous materials, he added.

“You’ll have significant damage,” Filiatrault said.

Exercise Vigilant Guard involved an earthquake’s aftermath, including infrastructure damage, injuries, deaths, displaced citizens and hazardous material incidents. All this week, more than 1,300 National Guard troops and hundreds of local and regional emergency response professionals have been training at several sites in western New York to respond these types of incidents.

Jacobi called Exercise Vigilant Guard “important and illuminating.”

“I’m proud of the National Guard for organizing and carrying out such an excellent exercise,” he said.

Training concluded Thursday.

Nuclear Tensions Remain High in Kashmir (Revelation 8 )

Amidst India-China Standoff, India-Pakistan ‘Limited War’ Over Kashmir Remains High: Experts

By Xavier FrancisJune 3, 2020

As India-China standoff in Ladakh grabs worldwide attention, the Indian Army continues to engage – what Delhi terms as ‘Pakistan-backed militants’ in Kashmir with many experts speculating a ‘limited war’ between two nuclear-armed nations.

Cross-border infiltration and militancy have been on a sudden rise in the along the LoC and Kashmir valley and at the same time, Pakistan has consistently warned the international community of an Indian ‘false flag’ operation.

Despite being heavily involved in the conflict between India and China in Ladakh, the Indian Army remains proactive in Kashmir. The valley has not seen any drop in the engagement level of the Indian armed forces as they continue to batter militants and foil infiltrations bids.

In their latest mission, the security forces eliminated three militants of the Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) in an encounter. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert was also identified amongst the slain militants.

According to sources, a joint contingent of police, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Indian Army laid siege around Kangan village of Pulwama district after receiving intelligence reports highlighting the presence of militants in the area.

As the armed forces conducted door to door searches, the militants opened fire and later died in the heavy gun-battle which ensued. Defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia said in a statement that the militants were offered an opportunity to surrender but decided not to do so.

The three militants neutralized in Pulwama add to the 13 terrorists that Indian security forces claimed to have eliminated recently. As earlier reported by EurAsian Times, Indian armed forces eliminated three terrorists in the Naushera Sector and an additional 10 heavily-armed terrorists in Mendhar along the Line of Control (LoC).

The armed forces also recovered arms and ammunition including 2 AK assault rifles, a US-made M-16A2 rifle, a 9MM Chinese pistol, a UBGL with 6 grenades, 5 hand grenades and knives. Medicines, Indian currency amounting Rupees 17,000 and food packets were also recovered from encounter sites.

Ever since the dastardly attack in Pulwama in 2019 in which more than 40 CRPF soldiers were killed, the Indian armed forces maintain extra vigilance in Kashmir. Near the end of May, Indian security forces foiled Pulwama 2.0, a plot to recreate the fatal attack of 2019.

False Flag Operation

While the Indian military is busy engaging infiltrators and militants in Kashmir, Pakistan is raising concerns about a ‘false flag’ operation. The concerns are led by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who has on several occasions tweeted about an impending ‘false flag’ operation by India.

The allegations from Khan came at the heels of reported ceasefire violations by India following its counter-insurgency operations.’’I am reiterating again that a false flag operation is imminent from India in order to divert world attention away from its ongoing genocide in India Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IoJK),’’ Khan had earlier tweeted.

Khan’s warning of a ‘false flag’ operation was later echoed by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. Qureshi not only supported Imran Khan but also urged the United Nations to block any military confrontation between New Delhi and Islamabad and offered UN Observer Groups to visit the LoC.

Qureshi also highlighted the intentional targeting of innocent civilians by India during cross-border shelling.

India claims that Pakistan is involved in harbouring terrorists who train militants to infiltrate the LoC and wreak havoc in Kashmir. The Indian army has recognized 15 terrorist launch pads across the LoC which are used for the purposes mentioned above.

Pakistan refutes these allegations and believes that India plans to conduct a ‘false flag’ operation under the disguise of these claims. Qureshi had also rejected the ‘launch pad’ allegations as baseless.

While India and China lock horns in Ladakh, experts at EurAsian Times believe that the international community should keep a close eye on Kashmir. Nitin J Ticku, an expert on Kashmir, says while tensions with Beijing will not escalate into a  war, however,the possibility of a ‘limited’ military conflict with Islamabad remains high.

The End of the Iran Nuclear Deal

The Ending of Iran Nuclear Deal Sanction Waivers | Opinion

On 6/03/20 at 7:00 AM EDT

But, if you understand that the Islamic Republic cheats on everything—on U.N.-imposed nuclear restrictions, including by building a nuclear weapons plant in Syria, on U.N.-imposed conventional arms restrictions, including by transfers to Hezbollah, on the U.N. embargo on ballistic missile development, including by building missile factories in Syria and Lebanon and providing precision missiles to Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen, on its human rights obligations, on the oil embargo, and by breaking U.N. embargoes on North Korea and Venezuela—keep going. And if you know that Iran was responsible for the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Sunni Syrians from the center of the country into Turkey, and further westward to Europe as refugees, keep going. And if you are sure that Iran is calling for genocide against Israel…well, you get the point.

Iran’s Terror Attacks Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Security forces at the scene of a stabbing attack that killed Taylor Force and injured 10 others at the Jaffa port on March 8, 2016. (Judah Ari Gross/Times of Israel, File)

US court rules Iran, Syria liable for terror attacks in Israel

Decision says countries are accountable for damages from 7 attacks carried out by Palestinians since they provided ‘material support’ to Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups

By AGENCIES

2 Jun 2020, 10:19 pm 0

66 shares

A US court has ruled that Iran and Syria are liable for compensation to American citizens wounded and killed in a series of attacks by Palestinians in Israel, including the killing of a US Army veteran.

Judge Randolph D. Moss in US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Americans wounded and killed in seven attacks carried out by Palestinians were eligible for damages from Iran and Syria because they provided “material support” to terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The court has not yet determined the amount of the damages. The order was posted online Sunday by the federal courts.

Syria, Iran and the Iranian Ministry of Information of Security, all named as defendants in the civil case, did not take part in the proceedings.

Taylor Force, murdered in Israel by a Palestinian terrorist in March 2016, gave his name to the Taylor Force Act, legislation proposing to halt US aid to the Palestinian Authority until the latter stops paying stipends to terrorists and their families. (Facebook)

American courts have ordered the government of Iran to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to families of Americans killed by Palestinian militants before. But since Iran and the US have no formal diplomatic relations, collecting the damages has remained elusive.

Taylor Force, a US Army veteran, was studying in Israel in 2016 when he was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv.

The US Congress later approved the Taylor Force Act, which withholds funding to the Palestinians that it said was used to reward the families of attackers.

China’s Differing Nuclear Doctrine

Trump envisions a three-way nuclear pact. China has other ideas

Washington takes aim at Beijing’s atomic ambitions as White House vows ‘new era of arms control’

Chinese military vehicles carrying DF-26 intermediate-range ballistic missiles travel past Tiananmen Gate during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Beijing in September 2015. | REUTERS

BY JESSE JOHNSON

STAFF WRITER

JUN 2, 2020

On what would otherwise be a solemn year of remembrance to mark the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States is shaking up the status quo in regards to nuclear weapons — and raising fears of a new arms race, this one with China.

From announcing its planned exit from the Open Skies Treaty that permits each party to conduct short-notice, military reconnaissance flights over the others’ territory, to contemplating a return to live tests of nuclear explosions and eyeing the deployment of advanced missiles to Asia — possibly to Japan — the moves are a drastic shift from an era that had focused almost exclusively on reining in weapons of mass destruction.

Many of the moves, according to top officials in the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, have been aimed squarely at creating what they have termed “a new era of arms control” — one that would bring China into the fold.

Now, with expiration looming for New START, Washington’s sole remaining strategic arms-control agreement with Russia, Trump is attempting to make China an offer that it can’t refuse and bring it into an envisioned trilateral pact to replace it.

There’s just one problem: Beijing isn’t biting.

Despite repeated entreaties, China has been exceedingly blunt in its refusals to enter negotiations for such a pact, with the Chinese Foreign Ministry saying in January that Beijing “has no intention of participating in any trilateral arms control talks.”

“This position is very clear and has been widely understood by the international community including Russia,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, labeling the proposal an attempt by the U.S. “to dodge and shift its responsibilities for nuclear disarmament.”

China — which is believed to have 320 nuclear warheads, a fraction of the estimated 3,800 in the U.S. stockpile — says it is committed to advancing international arms control and disarmament processes.

But, according to Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr., director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, China “is likely to at least double the size of its nuclear stockpile” over the next decade as it undergoes “the most rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal” in its history in a quest to become a “first-tier force” by 2050.

Marshall Billingslea | REUTERS

Based on this reasoning, Marshall Billingslea, Trump’s newly installed top arms control envoy, announced last month in his first public speaking appearance that new nuclear talks with Russia are set to kick off soon. While New START is ostensibly set to be the subject of the meeting — Moscow has offered to extend it for five years, but the U.S. has demurred — Washington is instead highlighting China as a focal point of the talks.

“We have concrete ideas for our next interaction, and we’re finalizing the details as we speak,” Billingslea said during an online event conducted by the Hudson Institute think tank on May 22.

He said that in a call with his Russian counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, he “made perfectly clear” that it is the Trump administration’s “expectation that Russia help us to bring China to the negotiating table” for a trilateral deal.

Former U.S. arms control officials and nuclear security experts, however, say the odds are long that an administration known more for bolting arms control treaties than inking them will be able to convince China to join.

“It’s almost totally unrealistic,” said Mark Fitzpatrick, a former U.S. diplomat and expert who worked on nonproliferation issues.

“The U.S. has been pressing both China and Russia for the entire three-year duration of the Trump administration to engage in such talks,” he said. “The Chinese have no interest and the Russians have no interest in trying to corral the Chinese.”

Typically, completing far-reaching treaties like New START require years of complex negotiations involving veteran diplomats. The Trump administration, however, has neither that kind of time — New START expires in February — nor a team versed in the intricacies of nuclear arms control.

Billingslea, for one, is not an expert in that field. He previously served as undersecretary for terrorist financing with the Treasury Department, where his supporters say he was successful in persuading the international community to enforce sanctions against Iran, Venezuela and North Korea.

But the State Department under the Trump administration has also experienced a brain drain of nuclear and proliferation experts, with many career diplomats sidelined, resigning or being ousted, according to observers, further complicating any trilateral push.

Still, the Trump administration has forged ahead in recent months, conducting a series of moves widely seen as part of a concerted attempt to heap pressure on China, and to a lesser extent Russia, over their nuclear arsenals.

Most recently, White House officials reportedly discussed last month whether to conduct the first nuclear test explosion since 1992 — a move that would have global ramifications.

The Washington Post, quoting a top administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that demonstrating that the U.S. could “rapid test” could prove useful in negotiations for a trilateral deal.

But Matt Korda, a research associate with the Federation of American Scientists, warned that a return to testing would do little to persuade Beijing to join such a pact.

“That isn’t going to happen,” he said. “Instead, it would open the door for a new arms race and have global environmental and security ramifications.

Worse, he said, “if the United States conducts an explosive nuclear test, other countries will surely follow.”

Longer-range missiles previously banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) between Washington and Moscow, which was scrapped in February last year, have also played a role in attempting to influence Beijing’s thinking on arms control.

China loomed large in the U.S. decision to abrogate that pact, with the Trump administration later telegraphing its hopes to deploy once-banned weapons to the region — possibly to Japan — “sooner rather than later” to close an ever-increasing missile gap with Beijing.

Unrestrained by the INF pact, China has deployed about 2,000 of these weapons, according to estimates by the U.S. and experts and, per DIA’s Ashley, launched more ballistic missiles in 2018 for testing and training “than the rest of the world combined.”

The U.S. Defense Department conducts a flight test of a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile at San Nicolas Island, California, last August. | DOD / VIA REUTERS

Long banned under the INF, the U.S. has only recently begun work on building its own versions of the weapons.

In a not-so-subtle hint that it would further build up its own arsenal in response to any U.S. decision to deploy those weapons to Asia, Beijing has warned of “countermeasures” should the move go forward.

Tim Morrison, a former senior White House official for arms control currently with the Hudson Institute, has said that, considering Beijing’s continuing advancements to its nuclear arsenal, the reasons for “the modernization of arms control” — a reference to the trilateral approach, among other policy shifts — “should be apparent to all.”

Asked about fears that the Trump administration’s moves could trigger a new arms race, Morrison told The Japan Times that he agreed with Defense Minister Taro Kono, who said in January that Tokyo and Washington “need to continue our diplomatic efforts, even with Russia, to get China engaged in a framework” that works toward the reduction of “new strategic weapons” in the post-INF period.

“The unfortunate fact is that Russia and China are in the midst of a nuclear arms race given the huge growth in their nuclear forces,” Morrison said in an email. “The proposal to attempt trilateral arms control is intended to stop the Russia/China nuclear arms race.”

Others, however, acknowledge that while China will continue to expand and modernize its nuclear forces, the recent moves by Washington will give Beijing more incentive to move faster and stronger in that direction.

“That has an obvious impact on Japan’s security because most of China’s systems cannot reach the United States, but they can reach Japan,” said Fitzpatrick, who was twice posted to Tokyo, where he served as a special assistant to then-Ambassador Mike Mansfield and worked on alliance security issues.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a speech to Japanese and U.S. troops aboard the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s Kaga helicopter carrier at the Yokosuka naval base in Kanagawa Prefecture in May last year. | POOL / VIA REUTERS

Because of Japan’s location and its alliance with the U.S., it is seen by some as the only realistic option for deploying intermediate-range ballistic missile systems.

Although the Japanese public is staunchly opposed to the placement of such weapons on its territory, that could change if Washington and Beijing continue on their current trajectories. The Trump administration has taken a transactional approach to the U.S.-Japan alliance — contentious talks on cost-sharing for U.S. troops based in Japan are expected this year — and China is continuing to ramp-up its assertiveness in the western Pacific.

Fitzpatrick said he could envision a scenario that starts with a China vs. U.S. arms race, where Tokyo is a growing and willing partner of Washington, that ultimately creates an atmosphere favorable for those in Japan who want to develop their own indigenous nuclear capabilities — or “have at least a partial finger on the button.”

Fitzpatrick conceded that while this kind of scenario is far from certain, “and maybe it’s not even probable … the steps that the Trump administration is taking in withdrawing from arms control agreements and treating U.S. security commitments as bargaining chips for monetary purposes all contribute to a dangerous arms race in East Asia.”

 

Ball in Washington’s court

At the moment, reining in the animosity between the two powers looks increasingly difficult as tensions surge to fresh highs over not just nuclear weapons, but the coronavirus, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, trade and human rights.

And this, coupled with fears among nonproliferation experts that the Trump administration may be using China’s intransigence to a trilateral deal as a kind of “poison pill” designed to scupper New START’s extension, are adding fuel to the fire.

A small group of people protest against the Trump administration’s nuclear weapons policy in New York in August 2017. | REUTERS

“Anyone who looks at this knows China is not going to join three-way arms control talks,” said Fitzpatrick. “It’s just part of an anti-arms control mentality on the part of the Trump administration. They don’t believe in arms control. They think that arms control only would constrain the United States, and anything that constrains the United States is not good.”

Indeed, Trump has often spoken of the awesome power of nuclear weapons, variously bragging about the “size” of his “nuclear button” and pontificating on allowing Japan and South Korea to acquire their own nukes.

But, asked about the poison-pill analogy, Morrison, the former senior White House arms control official, called the accusation “silly” and “unserious.”

Billingslea, the new top nuclear envoy, too, has dismissed this. Washington, he said, “must confront the reality that countries such as Russia and China are, simply put, arms racing.”

Advocates of engaging China say that a trilateral approach is not altogether a bad idea, noting that it would be wrong to assume nothing can be done, or that it is best to wait until conditions improve.

But rather than alluding to bolting from New START outright if a three-way deal remains elusive, they recommend staying in the pact, while pursuing trilateral talks and confidence-building measures.

“The ball is now in Washington’s court. The Trump administration should respond positively to Moscow’s invitation and extend New START now, while at the same time launching a strong diplomatic push for trilateral arms control negotiations to begin shortly thereafter,” David Santoro, director for nuclear policy at the Pacific Forum think tank, wrote in a recent paper on the subject.

Doing so would be fraught with pitfalls and the symbolism — in a year where the world marks 75 years since the horrors of August 1945 while grappling with another global catastrophe — would be rich if any attempt falters.

Billingslea, however, is optimistic that persuading Beijing remains within reach. And even if the attempt fails to pan out, Trump, he says, has a backup plan.

“The president’s made clear that we have a tried-and-true practice here,” he said. “We know how to win these races. And we know how to spend the adversary into oblivion.”

The Russian Horn’s New Nuclear Policy

Russia Allows Nuclear Response to Conventional Attacks

The Moscow Time

A newly published policy document reiterates Russia’s stance for nuclear weapons use against conventional weapons. Sergei Chirikov / EPA / TASS

President Vladimir Putin signed a nuclear deterrence policy document Tuesday which reaffirms Russia’s allowance of first nuclear strikes in retaliation to non-nuclear attacks.

Its publication, which has until now has been classified, comes less than a year before the last major U.S.-Russian nuclear arms control treaty is set to expire without extension. The world’s two biggest nuclear powers exited another landmark strategic arms accord last year after accusing each other of violating it.

“Aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons when the very existence of the state is threatened” is one of four circumstances that the new document clears Russia to use nuclear weapons.

It reiterates Russia’s stance for nuclear weapons use against conventional weapons under the 2010 military doctrine.

The 2020 policy document also reserves Russia’s nuclear weapons use against nuclear weapons or “reliable information” of ballistic missile launches against Russia or its allies, as well as “action” against critical Russian state or military facilities.

Russia reserves the right to revise the fundamentals of its nuclear deterrence policy “depending on internal and external factors impacting defense provision,” the document states.

Russia has expressed deeper misgivings over U.S. nuclear policy after Washington pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) in August 2019, citing violations by Russia that Moscow denies.

The 2010 New START accord, which limits the number of deployable long-range nuclear warheads, is now the only remaining arms control treaty between the U.S. and Russia.

U.S. President Donald Trump has announced he wants to strike a nuclear pact with Russia. In response, the Kremlin’s spokesman urged the Russian and U.S. foreign policy chiefs to step up negotiations before the New START Treaty expires in February 2021.