More Issues At Indian Point Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Rockland lawmakers are concerned about the clean-up plans for the Indian Point nuclear power plant.Several Rockland Lawmakers Oppose Indian Point Sale Plan

They are concerned about the clean-up plans for the Indian Point nuclear power plant, which is across the Hudson River from Rockland County.

By Lanning Taliaferro, Patch Staff 
 | 
Rockland lawmakers are concerned about the clean-up plans for the Indian Point nuclear power plant. (Stephen Chernin/Getty Images)
NEW CITY, NY — Nine members of the Rockland County Board of Legislators have written to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission objecting to Entergy’s application to transfer its license for the Indian Point nuclear plant to Holtec, a decommissioning company. Indian Point is scheduled to be completely shut down by 2021.

The lawmakers told the NRC they were concerned about Holtec’ lack of experience. They also expressed concern that the available funding is not adequate to insure completion of the job. They joined other local and state elected officials in requesting the NRC hold a public hearing before deciding.

The letter strongly urges the NRC to reject the sale of the plant by its current owner,Entergy Nuclear Northeast, to Holtec International, the New Jersey-based company that says it can decommission the plant and restore the site in 12 to 15 years. Holtec officials visited the community around Indian Point in January to discuss their plans.

The letter was signed by Legislature Chair Alden Wolfe, Vice Chair Aney Paul, Majority Leader Jay Hood, Deputy Majority Leader Phil Soskin, and legislators Michael Grant, Itamar Yeger, Toney L. Earl, Harriet Cornell, and Aron Wieder.

Cornell, who chaired Rockland Citizens’ Committee To Close Indian Point, said the region’s residents and the local environment, including Hudson River aquatic life, require a proper cleanup to insure the good health of future generations.

Indian Point Energy Center is a three-unit nuclear power plant station on the Hudson River in Westchester County. The Protective Action Areas for the center, including potential evacuation zones, includes about half of Rockland County.

Indian Point Unit 1 opened in 1962. Unit 2 opened in 1974, and Unit 3 opened in 1976. The Unit 1 reactor was permanently shut down in 1974.

Opposition to the continued operation of the reactors swelled over time. In 2017, its current owner reached agreements with New York State and the Riverkeeper environmental organization to end lawsuits and shut down: Unit 2 by April of 2020 and Unit 3 by April 2021.

There is now $2.1 billion in the trust fund that the plant’s builders (Consolidated Edison and the New York Power Authority) were required by federal law to create and that Entergy had to augment for future decommissioning purposes. It is partially financed by ratepayers through their electric bills.

Holtec has estimated the cleanup will cost $2.3 billion. Company officials said interest will accrue during the decommissioning process.

“A nuclear power plant’s by-products present very serious clean-up challenges,” Cornell said. “We need to exercise extreme care in developing a proper decommissioning plan, as well as a rehabilitation plan for the future use of the site.”

“Indian Point is in one of the most densely populated metropolitan areas in the countryand our constituents deserve full transparency and a commitment to safety first,” the legislators wrote in their letter to the NRC.

“We strongly urge the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to reject Entergy’s proposed sale to Holtec International,” the lawmakers wrote. “The handling of a project of this magnitude should be awarded to a reputable and experienced company that will safeguard the concerns of our residents and the environment.”

They want the public in Rockland County to have access to the plans for handling the spent radioactive fuel, site clean-up and the future use of the location, stating that, “It’s imperative that the residents on both sides of the Hudson River, in Westchester and Rockland Counties, are involved in the discussion.”

The most recent meeting of the Indian Point Closure Task Force, formed in 2017, was Jan. 30 in Cortlandt.

There is also a public comment period about the sale to Holtec. It has been extended to March 25. Anyone may submit comments to the NRC by any of the following methods:

  • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to https://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2020-0021. Address questions about NRC docket IDs in Regulations.gov to Jennifer Borges; telephone: 301-287-9127; email: Jennifer.Borges@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.
  • Email comments to: Hearing.Docket@nrc.gov. If you do not receive an automatic email reply confirming receipt, then contact us at 301-415-1677.
  • Fax comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission at 301-415-1101.
  • Mail comments to: Secretary, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, ATTN: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
  • Hand deliver comments to: 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:15 p.m. (Eastern Time) Federal workdays; telephone: 301-415-1677.

The Might of the French Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

France Has Nuclear Submarines That Could Kill Millions of People in Minutes

Key Point: Paris didn’t want to rely on anyone to defend it. So it built its own nuclear weapons.

The French nuclear arsenal is pretty substantial, with air- and sea-based components. Here is a breakdown of French nuclear capabilities.

Nuclear Dyad

Unlike the United States or Russia, who maintain a nuclear triad of land-based, submarine-launched, and air-launched missiles, France has a dyad of submarines that can launch nuclear ballistic missiles and a stockpile of air-launched nuclear cruise missiles.

M51 Ballistic Missile

The M51 is the heart of French nuclear deterrence at sea. Each missile has six to ten Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicles (MIRVs), and each of those MIRVs is guessed to be in the 75 to 110 kiloton range.

Its range is estimated at 8,000 kilometers, or just under 5,000 miles and the missiles are launched from the nuclear-powered Triumphant-class submarines.

Air-Sol Moyenne Portée

The Air-Sol Moyenne Portée is the air-launched component of French strategic deterrence. The missiles play a unique role in French deterrence, where their use would be considered a warning shot of sorts before the more widespread use of nuclear weapons would be used in a conflict.

It uses a high-speed ramjet engine design and replaced earlier French free-falling nuclear bombs. According to CSIS, the missiles “accelerates to Mach 2.0 in five seconds, after which the booster cartridge is ejected from the ramjet exhaust nozzle. Then, the liquid (kerosene) – powered ramjet motor takes over and accelerates to a maximum speed of Mach 3.” Though not supersonic (Mach 5+), these speeds are nonetheless quite fast. CSIS estimates that only 40 to 50 missiles were ever produced.

Hadès

The Hadès missile system was at one point a land-based component of French strategic deterrence — though only at the tactical, not strategic level, due to the system’s relatively short 480 kilometer, or about 300 mile range.

The Hadès was created in 1975 as a road-mobile option to defend the borders of France in case of an invasion by the Soviet Union. Part of what doomed the program was the missile’s range, which would have put East Germany squarely in Hadès’ crosshairs.

After the reunification of Germany in 1990, it became politically untenable to maintain a stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons that could reach only as far as Germany, and the missiles and launchers were subsequently dismantled in the mid-1990s.

Prestige Factor

French nuclear deterrence is marked by a distinctly independent streak. France left the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1966, and returned only fairly recently, in 2009. One of the issues was French reluctance to place their strategic nuclear arsenal under the umbrella of NATO.

France is one of the world’s preeminent missile powers — in addition to a wide array of conventional and nuclear missiles, France is also a permanent member of the United Nation’s security council. There is indeed an aura of exclusivity in being one of the world’s few nuclear powers — an aura made even more exclusive by leaving the world’s largest military alliance.

Thankfully, France is no longer going it alone.

Caleb Larson holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy. He lives in Berlin and writes on U.S. and Russian foreign and defense policy, German politics, and culture.

This first appeared in 2020 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters

The Dwindling Nuclear Strength of Babylon the Great

We Don’t Have Enough Cash to Build New Nuclear Weapons, Says Air Force Chief

The Pentagon’s budget is not large enough to buy new nuclear weapons and conventional forces simultaneously, the U.S. Air Force’s top general said Wednesday.

Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein gave a blunt assessment of the Pentagon’s growing list of bills amid a growing US deficit, on Wednesday, suggesting nuclear expenses have grown so great they may require a separate account of their own.

“I think a debate is that this will be the first time that the nation has tried to simultaneously modernize the nuclear enterprise while it’s trying to modernize an aging conventional enterprise,” Goldfein said during a Brookings Institution appearance. “The current budget does not allow you to do both.”

The Trump administration’s $705 billion fiscal 2021 budget request for the Pentagon — which Congress is reviewing — calls for nearly $29 billion in nuclear weapons spending. The money would go toward new stealth bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles, ballistic missile submarines, a new nuclear cruise missile and upgrades to the global nuclear command, control and communications network. The stealth bomber is the only weapon that could be used for nuclear or conventional strikes. The Energy Department, which oversees nuclear warheads, has requested $15.6 billion in fiscal 2021.

In January 2019, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the Pentagon’s nuclear weapons spending plan would cost $494 billion between 2019 and 2028, an average of about $50 billion per year.

Pentagon officials today argue they need 3 to 5 percent annual spending increases to fund weapons projects of all kinds, however defense spending is expected to flatten or slightly decline in the coming years regardless who wins November’s presidential election. 

“There are either going to be some significant trades made or we’re going to have to find a fund for strategic nuclear deterrence, that we can use to modernize,” Goldfein said.

In recent years, Pentagon officials, including former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and lawmakers have considered creating a nuclear weapons fund separate from the military services budgets. Todd Harrison, director of defense budget analysis and the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, questioned the rationale for moving those funds.

“It doesn’t make new money appear,” he said.

During the Obama administration, the Pentagon began the decades-long process of updating its nuclear arsenal with new ICBMs, bombers, submarines and missiles. Some independent estimates say the price tag could reach nearly $1.7 trillion over the next 30 years. How to pay for it is still debated in the Defense Department, but the need for nuclear weapons is not.

“I would just offer that in my mind, I could never advise anybody to unilaterally disarm or give up second strike capability,” Goldfein said. “I do believe we have to have a debate about the way we’re going to fund this essential part of our military going forward.”

Even the White House is Prophetic About the Plague (Revelation 6)

U.S. COVID-19 Death Forecast Fast Approaching Original White House Estimate

BY HANNAH OSBORNE ON 6/19/20 AT 7:43 AM EDT

The number of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. is now forecast to reach over 200,000 by October 1, a figure that is quickly approaching the original, high-end estimate put out by the White House in April. The model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) now suggests there will be between 117,551 to 269,395 deaths from coronavirus by this point.

This figure is coming in line with the death toll originally forecast by the White House towards the start of the pandemic. In April, Deborah Birx from the White House Coronavirus Task Force said models were showing the U.S. could expect between 100,000 and 240,000 coronavirus deaths with strict social distancing measures. At the time, these figures were questioned, with experts saying there was little information about how it was calculated.

Around a week later, Dr. Anthony Fauci told the NBC’s TODAY Show the White House death toll estimate was probably too high, saying it would likely be closer to 60,000. This was more in line with the forecast from the IHME.

However, as states began lifting lockdown restrictions, models forecasting death tolls started to trend upward. On April 21, the IHME forecast 60,308 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. by August 4. This figure has now more than doubled, with 149,690 predicted by this point. According to Johns Hopkins University at time of writing, there have been 118,435 confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the U.S..

Professor Lauren Ancel Meyers, Director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, told Newsweek their forecasts have “also begun to bend upwards” in a number of states and cities. She said the number of deaths may increase in some of these areas over the coming weeks as “the virus is now spreading more quickly.”

The University of Texas model projects 135,641 deaths by July 15.

Professor Meyers said they have known from the start that how the pandemic will play out will depend on what steps are taken to slow the spread of the virus: “The lowest [White House] estimates were based on scenarios in which we successfully prevented widespread transmission. Unfortunately, we haven’t succeeded in that.

“New York experienced an initial wave that led to many deaths. Now, with the relaxation of social distancing measures, cities throughout the U.S. are starting to see increases in transmission. That said, the high death projections are not inevitable.” Measures to reduce the spread, including face masks, social distancing and isolating if sick can help change the course of the projections, she said.

The U.S. is currently the worst affected country in the world for total COVID-19 cases and deaths. It has been suggested a slow initial response to the virus facilitated its spread. A non-centralized approach, with states able to decide their own lockdown measures, has also been cited.

Professor Meyers says the number of deaths depends on how many cases you have, and how severe the disease is. Case numbers can be lowered by taking steps to prevent transmission, she said. Fatalities can also be reduced by protecting those most vulnerable to the disease, including nursing home residents, while drugs and advances in medical care can also lower the number of deaths.

Discussing why the U.S. death toll is so high, she said that although many states and cities took aggressive steps to limit transmission, there were initial waves that led to many deaths. “Now that we have started to reopen, we are seeing a resurgence of the pandemic that is leading to increasing numbers of hospitalizations and deaths in some parts of the country,” Professor Meyers said.

“As we look around the world, there is a relationship between the interventions imposed and the number of deaths.” She and her team recently published research using data from cities in China that showed a one day delay in implementing interventions led to 2.5 more days of having to fight the pandemic.

“Many communities in the US began relaxing measures in May and June before the situation was safe. At the time of opening, the first wave was not yet contained and some communities did not yet have robust programs for rapidly containing outbreaks through testing, contact tracing and isolating cases.”

The U.S. is currently experiencing the first wave of the pandemic. There are concerns that China is about to see a second wave of the virus after a spike in cases in Beijing.

The IHME is now predicting a second wave will start in the U.S. on September 15. In a statement released on June 11, the institute said deaths will likely remain “fairly level” in August before a “more pronounced increase” the following month. States with early increases in deaths according to current models are Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Georgia, it said.

Christopher Murray, director of the IHME, said in a statement: “We hope to see our model proven wrong by the swift actions governments and individuals take to reduce transmission… If the US is unable to check the growth in September, we could be facing worsening trends in October, November, and the following months if the pandemic, as we expect, follows pneumonia seasonality.”

Professor Meyers said a September peak in deaths is plausible—but that it is not certain. “If communities are not taking sufficient precautions, we could see the pandemic spread even more quickly,” she said. “On the other hand, if we succeed in slowing spread, we may be able to prevent large surges in deaths for the foreseeable future.”

The Firepower of the Iranian Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:4)

Iran Has Underground Missile Cities along Southern Coasts, Commander Says – Politics news – Tasnim News Agency

Tasnim News Agency

In an interview with Sobh-e Sadeq weekly, Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said the IRGC Navy, like the IRGC Aerospace Force, has established underground and offshore missile cities containing coast-to-sea missiles.

The “missile-launching floating cities” would be put on display at the discretion of authorities, the commander noted, adding, “The enemy knows that the Army and the IRGC have underground (missile) cities all along the Persian Gulf and the Makran coasts, but its information is not accurate.”

The IRGC Navy is present everywhere in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, in every place that the enemy would not even think about, like a “nightmare”, the admiral warned.

Tangsiri pointed to the IRGC Navy’s initiative to form “naval Basij” on 2,200 km of Iran’s southern coasts, excluding the islands, saying the force involves 428 flotillas and more than 23,000 servicemen.

“All of our coasts are armed and the underground cities of the Army and the IRGC with various defense utilities have scattered over the entire southern coasts. The coast is fully armed as well,” he added.

The commander also said the enemies should brace themselves to hear the news of new long-range Iranian missiles and vessels that they could not even imagine.

Tangsiri went on to say that the IRGC Navy keeps a close watch on every single ship that crosses the Strait of Hormuz, stressing that if the US forces make any mistake, they will be followed as far as the Gulf of Mexico.

Iran has frequently criticized the presence of foreign forces in the Persian Gulf, stressing that it disrupts security in the region and that only regional states are responsible for safeguarding the security in the body of water.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has already underlined that the security of the Persian Gulf region comes within the purview of the regional countries alone.

“The Persian Gulf security relates to the countries of the region which have common interests, and not to the US. So, the security of the Persian Gulf region should be provided by the countries of this region itself,” the Leader said in 2016.

Hamas-Fatah unity could cause uprising outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Hamas-Fatah unity could precipitate a new Palestinian uprising, Abbas advisor says

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group has already called for an uprising against the ‘occupation’

Should Israel follow through with the plan of applying its sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, it could face a new Palestinian uprising, a top Ramallah official said on Saturday.

Speaking to the France 24 network, Nabil Shaath, a senior advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, singled out the truce between the Fatah and Hamas factions as a potential contributing factor should a new violent revolt break out.

Once things flare up and the rioting grows into a fully-fledged intifada [uprising], we shall see a cooperation between the forces in Gaza and those in the West Bank,” he said.

Last week Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu played down his self-imposed July 1 deadline for the annexation, saying he was still hammering out the plan’s details with Washington.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror group has already called for an uprising against the “occupation” in checkpoints and Israel Defense Forces outposts across the West Bank.

The most recent mass Palestinian uprising, known as the Second Intifada, erupted in the early 2000s and included waves of suicide bombings.

Israel Cyberattacks Iran’s Nukes

Israeli cyberattack caused Iran nuclear site fire: Report

Jerusalem, Jul 4 (IANS): Israel was responsible for two blasts at Iranian facilities, one related to uranium enrichment and the other for missile production, over the past week, a Kuwaiti newspaper has claimed.

 

The Al-Jareeda daily cited an unnamed senior source as saying that an Israeli cyberattack caused a fire and explosion at the largely underground Natanz nuclear enrichment facility on Thursday morning, reports

According to the source, this was expected to set back Iran’s nuclear enrichment program by approximately two months.

Natanz, located some 250 km south of Tehran, includes underground facilities buried under some 25 feet of concrete, which offers protection from airstrikes. The facility is a Fuel Enrichment Plant covering 100,000 square meters.

Photographs of the site showed significant damage to one above-ground building, which was covered in scorch marks and had its roof apparently destroyed.

The Al-Jareeda daily also reported that on June 26, Israeli F-35 stealth fighter jets bombed a site located in the area of Parchin, which is believed to house a missile production complex – an area of particular concern for the Jewish state, in light of the large number and increasing sophistication of missiles and rockets in the arsenals of Iranian proxies, notably Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Neither of these claims have been confirmed by Israeli officials as of now.

The reported Israeli strikes followed an alleged Iranian attempt to hack into Israel’s water infrastructure in April, an effort that was thwarted by Israeli cyber defences.

But if successful, it could have introduced dangerous levels of chlorine into the Israeli water supply and otherwise seriously interrupted the flow of water throughout the country, reports The Times of Israel.

Ultimately, the alleged Iranian cyberattack caused minimal issues, according to Israeli officials.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said on Friday that the country’s experts have determined the main cause of the inciden at the Natanz nuclear facility and will announce it at an “appropriate time”.

Experts from different sectors started investigating “different hypotheses” about the “incident” at the Natanz site in central Iran immediately after its occurrence, and have determined its main cause, SNSC spokesman Keyvan Khosravi was quoted as saying on Friday by Xinhua news agency.

“Due to some security considerations, the cause and manner of this incident will be announced at a proper time,” said Khosravi.