Indian Point’s Final Days Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earth Matters: Indian Point’s Final Days – Nyack News and Viewsby Barbara PuffIndian Point has been the crown jewel of the nuclear industrialist complex and closing it is a big step to a sustainable energy future. — Susan Shapiro, environmental lawyer.When scientists began exploring nuclear power in the 1950s, pollsters didn’t ask the public their opinion as support was almost unanimous. By the ’60s, there had been a few protests and opposition increased to 25%. So when Indian Point opened on September 16, 1962, it was greeted with enthusiasm, fanfare, and, in hindsight, naivete.Within a few years, increased pollution, loss of wildlife, and accidents at the plant elicited concern. In response, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Riverkeeper were formed in 1966. After incidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, public opinion began to turn against the use of nuclear power.In 1984, her first year as a legislator, Harriet Cornell formed the Citizens Commission to Close Indian Plant. A glance at her press releases over the years shows her convictions regarding closing the plant. In a recent speech she noted: “Were it not for the superhuman efforts of concerned individuals and dedicated scientific and environmental organizations focusing attention on the dangers posed by Indian Point, who knows what might have happened during the last 40+ years.”Simultaneously Riverkeeper began documenting incidents, including:1 An antiquated water-cooling system killed over a billion fish and fish larvae annually.2 Pools holding spent nuclear fuel leaked toxic, radioactive water into the ground, soil, and Hudson River.3 Recurring emergency shut-downs.4 27% of the baffle bolts in Unit 2 and 31% in Unit 3, holding the reactor core together, were damaged.5 The plant was vulnerable to terrorist attack.6 Evacuation plans were implausible.7 No solution for spent nuclear fuel, posing the risk of radioactive release and contamination of land.8 The plant was near two seismic zones, suggesting an earthquake over 6.2 could devastate the area.9 Asbestos exposure.These and other issues led the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to rate Indian Point in 2000 as the most trouble-plagued plant in the country. Lamont-Doherty Observatory agreed, calling it the most dangerous plant in the nation.As individuals realized the seriousness of the situation, urgency for a solution grew and Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition was formed in 2001. Comprised of public interest, health advocates, environmental and citizen groups, their goals were to educate the public, pass legislation, and form a grassroots campaign with hundreds of local, state, and federal officials.Clearwater also began monitoring the plant around that time. Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director, recalls, “We were concerned when one of the planes that struck the WTC flew over the plant, including several buildings that hold huge fuel pools, filled with spent fuel rods and radioactive waste.” Had anything happened, the nuclear power industry had provided protection for themselves while neglecting surrounding communities. Powerful lobbyists, backed by considerable financing, induced Congress to pass the Price-Anderson Act in 1957. This legislation protected nuclear power plant companies from full liability in the event of an accident, natural disaster or terrorist attack.With such warnings, it’s hard to believe as late as 2010, The New York Times stated, “No one should be hoping for a too hasty shutdown.” Over time, the cost of litigation by New York State proved more fatal to the continuance of plant operations than protests, though they were a crucial factor and led to initial filings. Attorney General Schneiderman was very active in filing contentions, legal reasons the plant shouldn’t be relicensed, and won several important court cases on high-level radioactive storage.In 2016, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied Entergy a discharge permit for hot water into the Hudson River, part of their once-through cooling system. This permit was necessary for continued operation of the plant and a requirement for relicensing. The New York State Department of State, Bureau of Coastal Management, denied Entergy a water quality certificate the same year, which it also needed to relicense. After more than four decades of danger to the environment and residents, Governor Cuomo announced in January 2017 the plant would finally be closing. Unit 2 would cease production on April 30, 2020 and Unit 3 would end productivity on April 30, 2021.Later that year, in March 2017, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board allowed Entergy to renew the plant’s licenses until 2021, dismissing final points of contention between the company, New York State, and Riverkeeper. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino attempted to sue the state and reopen the plant in April 2017 but failed.Ellen Jaffee, NYS Assemblywoman, stated, “After 46 years of operation, I am glad to finally see the closure of Indian Point. Since joining the Assembly, I have long fought for its closure. I would not have been able to pursue these efforts if not for the environmental advocates, like the Riverkeeper, who fought long and hard beside myself to close the plant. The plant’s closure must be conducted in a safe manner, where all radioactive materials will be properly disposed of, without inflicting further harm on our environment. The closure of Indian Point shows that we can reduce our impact on the environment.”Harriet Cornell said, “We have waited years for this to happen and frankly, it can’t happen soon enough. The facts have long shown there is no future for this dangerous plant.”“The closure of Indian Point marks the shutdown of dirty polluting energy,” noted Susan Shapiro.Holtec, the company chosen to oversee decommissioning of the plant, has a horrific track record. New York State Attorney General Tish James released a statement in January expressing multiple grave concerns about them. According to Riverkeeper, they have a scandalous corporate past, little experience in decommissioning, dubious skills in spent fuel management, workplace safety infractions, and health violations. Another fear is the cost will exceed a decommissioning fund set aside by Entergy, Holtec will declare bankruptcy, and the public will absorb the difference.“Entergy made huge profits from Indian Point,” said Manna Jo Greene. “They’ve hired Holtec, a company with a poor record of decommissioning, to complete the work. Entergy plans to declare bankruptcy, thereby having taxpayers foot the bill. We are not out of danger. It is a different danger.”Richard Webster, Legal Program Director at Riverkeeper, adds, “Decommissioning must be done promptly, safely and reliably. Selling to Holtec is the worst possible option, because it has a dubious history of bribes, lies, and risk taking, very limited experience in decommissioning, is proposing to raid the decommissioning fund for its own benefit, and is proposing leaving contaminated groundwater to run into the Hudson River.”State Senator David Carlucci warned, “The NRC Inspector General Report shows there is much to be done by the NRC to gain the confidence of myself and the public, as the commission is charged with overseeing the decommissioning of Indian Point and ensuring the health and safety of Hudson Valley Communities. We demand answers from NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki. The Chairman needs to come to the Hudson Valley immediately and outline the steps being taken to address our safety and explain how the commission will properly inspect and guard the pipeline near Indian Point moving forward.”One of the gravest dangers in decommissioning is the storage of spent fuel rods. A fuel rod is a long, zirconium tube containing pellets of uranium, a fissionable material which provides fuel for nuclear reactors. Fuel rods are assembled into bundles called fuel assemblies, which are loaded individually into a reactor core. Fuel rods last about six years. When they’re spent and removed they are placed in wet storage, or pools of water, which is circulated to reduce temperature and provide shielding from radiation. They remain in these pools for 10 years, as they are too hot to be placed in dry storage, or canisters. Even in dry storage, though, they remain extremely radioactive, with high levels of plutonium, which is toxic, and continue to generate heat for decades and remain radioactive for 10,000 years.“Elected officials and government groups became involved once they understood the fatal environmental dangers nuclear energy creates for millenium,” said Susan Shapiro. “It is the only energy that produces waste so dangerous that governments must own and dispose of it.”Robert Kennedy, Jr., of Waterkeeper, explained “If those spent fuel rods caught on fire, if the water dropped, the zirconium coatings of the spent fuel rods would combust. You would release 37 times the amount of radiation that was released at Chernobyl. Around Chernobyl there are 100 miles that are permanently uninhabitable. I would include the workplaces, homes of 20 million Americans, including the Financial District. There’s no evacuation plan. And it’s sitting on two of the biggest earthquake faults in the northeast.”On April 24, 2020, Beyond Indian Point Campaign was launched to advocate for a safe transition during decommissioning. Sponsored by AGREE, Frack Action, Riverkeeper, NIRS and Food and Water Watch, they’re demanding Cuomo hire another company, opposing a license transfer before the State Public Service Commission and NRC and pushing state legislation to establish a board to supervise the decommissioning fund. When decommissioning is finished Beyond Indian Point hopes to further assist the community in the transition to renewable energy. These include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydrothermal power. Sign an online petition on their website to support their work, future generations and earth at BeyondIndianPoint.com, Facebook, or Twitter.“Bravo to everyone involved in making this historic day come to pass,” said Susan Shapiro.Raised in the Midwest, Barbara Puff is a writer who lives in Nyack, NY.

War between Israel and Hamas will resume: Revelation 11

Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference presenting new reforms for Rehabilitation Department, at the Defense Headquarters in Tel Aviv, on April 22, 2021.
Tomer Neuberg/Flash90Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference presenting new reforms for Rehabilitation Department, at the Defense Headquarters in Tel Aviv, on April 22, 2021.

Israeli Defense Min. Gantz: War between Israel and Hamas ‘can resume at any time’

i24NEWSJuly 04, 2021, 01:14 PM

‘I absolutely do not recommend Hamas to test the military capabilities of the IDF’

Video poster

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned on Sunday evening that fighting between Israel and terrorist factions in the Gaza Strip could resume “at any time.”

“Gaza is a very sensitive place. We know that a strategic incident can quickly lead to a deterioration of the situation,” he said on Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 13.

“We are, of course, ready to act. We identify dozens of targets, we have already spotted hundreds. I absolutely do not recommend Hamas to test the military capabilities of the IDF,” he warned.

For more than a week, incendiary balloons have been sent from Gaza towards Israel, causing fires in the south. 

The IDF has retaliated by targeting rocket launchers and Hamas weapons infrastructure in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Khaled Mashaal, one of Hamas’ leaders, denies that there has been any breakthrough in negotiations with Israel on a prisoner exchange deal.

Mashaal said, “the issue has been debated for years and there is no significant progress.” 

Hamas holds the remains of two soldiers who fell in action in 2014 as well as two Israeli hostages.

Gaza terror squad threatens Israelis: Revelation 11

Gaza terror squad to Israelis: ‘We are here to burn you, to make you wish you were dead’

(July 4, 2021 / MEMRI) A Gaza-based terror group posted a video on Sunday vowing to continue their arson attacks on southern Israel “day and night.”

The video, in Arabic with Hebrew subtitles, was posted to the Telegram account of “Ahfad Al-Nasser,” which belongs to the Popular Resistance Committees.https://c080f50aa50c2139658cdabac96c546a.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“We are here to burn you […] to make you wish you were dead,” the video says. “You will not enjoy a decent life […] this is part of our rage.”

In the video, members of the group are seen preparing incendiary balloons.Subscribe to The JNS Daily Syndicate by email and never miss our top stories

On Saturday, following three consecutive days of arson attacks from the Gaza Strip, Israeli warplanes struck a weapons-manufacturing facility and rocket-launching site in Gaza belonging to Hamas, according to the Israeli military.

In mid-June, incendiary devices launched from Gaza ignited a total of 26 conflagrations in southern Israel.

The Russian Horn’s New Nuclear Policy: Daniel 8

Putin approves new National Security Strategy, listing Russia’s top priorities

July 3, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin approved Russia’s National Security Strategy on Saturday. The corresponding decree, published this Saturday on the Official Russian Legal Information Portal, it will replace the previous one, adopted in 2015. 

“The implementation of this strategy will contribute to protect the people of Russia, develop human potential, improve the quality of life and well-being of citizens, strengthen the country’s defense capacity, the unity and cohesion of Russian society and achieve the national development objectives, increasing the competitiveness and international prestige of Russia “, reads the document.

Among other priorities of Russia the archive mentions the protection of the traditional foundations of Russian society, as well as environmental security and the rational use of natural resources.

Interference from the outside

Faced with the implementation of the deliberate policy of containing Russia from abroad, the document notes “vital importance” to strengthen “the sovereignty of the country, its independence, its state and territorial integrity”, as well as to protect “the traditional spiritual and moral foundations of Russian society”, guarantee defense and security and “prevent interference in internal affairs from the country”.

The course towards strengthening defense capabilities, internal unity and political stability, economic modernization and industrial development “ensured the strengthening of Russia’s sovereign statehood as a country capable of conducting a foreign policy and independent internal and effectively resist external pressure attempts“says the document.

“Only a harmonious combination of a strong state and human well-being will guarantee the formation of a just society and the prosperity of Russia,” he continues. In this sense, the strategy is based on the interrelation and interdependence of the country’s national security and its socioeconomic development.

Military threats

The text highlights that the military and political situation in the world is characterized by the formation of new global and regional centers of power, as well as by the worsening of the struggle between them for spheres of influence. It is also indicated that the importance of military force as an instrument for the achievement of geopolitical goals at the international level is growing.

“The strengthening of military dangers and military threats to the Russian Federation is facilitated by attempts to exert pressure on Russia, its allies and partners, the build-up of NATO’s military infrastructure near Russian borders, the intensification of intelligence activities and exercises to use large military formations and nuclear weapons against Russia, “the document says.

The strategy states that in order to protect Russia’s national interests from external and internal threats, “including hostile actions by foreign states,” it is necessary to “increase the efficiency of the use of existing achievements and Russia’s competitive advantages, taking into account account for long-term trends in global development. “

The project also claimed that the planned deployment of US medium- and short-range missiles in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region poses a threat to strategic stability and international security. The strategy also emphasizes that, “in the context of developing the potential of the global missile defense system, the US is pursuing a steady course of relinquishing international obligations in the field of arms control.”

Response to hostile actions

Russia has the right to take symmetrical and asymmetric measures in response to hostile actions by foreign states, the document says.

“In the event that foreign States commit hostile actions that threaten the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation, including those related to the use of restrictive measures (sanctions) of a political or economic nature or the use of modern technologies of the information and communications, Russia considers it legitimate to take symmetric and asymmetric measures necessary to suppress such hostile actions, as well as to prevent their recurrence in the future, “the document says.

Informatic security

Unlike the previous document, the new strategy contains more data on information and communication technologies and warns that their rapid development “is accompanied by an increase in the probability of threats to the safety of citizens, society and the state”.

“The use of information and communication technologies is expanding to interfere in the internal affairs of States, undermine their sovereignty and violate territorial integrity, which represents a threat to international peace and security,” the document warns. .

The strategy also points out that “the activity of the special services of foreign states is intensifying to carry out intelligence and other operations in the Russian information space.” The armed forces of these states are taking actions to disable the infrastructure of critical information of the Russian Federation “, the text states.

Commenting on the new wording of the Russian strategy, the geopolitical expert Fernando Moragón highlights the relevance of the new challenges embodied in the text, and believes that the US is waging a hybrid war against Russia, threatening its security.

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The Actual Size of the Chinese Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

‘China’s military budget much bigger than what it reveals’

‘China already hasn’t its 3,000 km range DF-17 manoeuvrable hypersonic missile to take out India’s S-400s.’

Alexandria, Virginia: A few days ago, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) celebrated its 100th anniversary. In this edition of “Indo-Pacific: Behind the Headlines” we speak with Richard D. Fisher, Jr., a world expert on China’s military modernization and expansion. He is senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center and the author of China’s Military Modernization: Building for Regional and Global Reach.

Mr Fisher publishes regularly in the academic and popular press, has worked on Asian security matters for decades in a range of critical positions, and testified before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and the US China Security Commission on the modernization of China’s military, among others.

Q: Is military expenditure a good way to gauge Chinese military development? If not, why not?

A: No. Never.

Annual Chinese military budget figures revealed at their annual People’s Consultative Congress (itself an oxymoron) are all fiction. The CCP and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) do not want us to understand the enormity of their budget, so they lie profusely.

Both government and private academic guesses are simply unreliable due to longstanding policies of civil-military integration, meaning anything civil can be appropriated by the military. A village wanting to build a bridge knows it can split the cost with the local PLA unit, a process that happens thousands of times a year.

Or consider that all civilian airliners, paid for by budgets of the airlines, are organized into militia formations to support the invasion of Taiwan. A preponderance of the Ministry of Education budget supports PLA research and development.

Many costs simply don’t appear, such as those of the rapidly expanding nuclear program. Substantial R&D costs are buried, and much is offset by military and industrial espionage, as in US rocket and airframe designs, and the theft of Western intellectual property. The latter for the US alone amounts to over $6 tr in the past decade, according to the FBI, whose director says it opens a new Chinese theft case every 10 hours. Finally, payroll costs for the Party’s 2m+ Army are much lower than those in the West.

Q: What can be learned about the PRC’s strategic goals by looking at its priority areas of  military expansion and modernization?

A: Looking as closely as possible at what the PLA is building, along with correlations of voluminous “grey literature” that highlights directions of military research—although also heavily censored to hide truly useful details—offers a far more dependable means to discern Chinese military modernization trends.

It’s possible to list PLA’s modernization priorities: nuclear weapons; hypersonic glide vehicles to extend the range of missiles being developed to carry nuclear weapons; energy and hypersonic weapons; artificial intelligence, especially to enable joint-armies of unmanned weapons; the navies, air forces and armies needed for global power projection; and the space capabilities needed to control the Moon and the Earth-Moon System required for military dominance on Earth—all in the ambit of “unrestricted warfare.”

Q: China has deployed S-400s on the border with India. What does that mean for Indian defences, and for the viability of India’s own plans for the S-400?

A: As India understands the capability of the S-400 it will be deterred from sending aircraft and slow missiles into its kill zone. India and China will be racing each other to find and exploit the vulnerabilities of the S-400, meaning the money they gave the Russians will soon be wasted for naught.

It also means that India will have to invest in long-range hypersonic and manoeuvrable ballistic missile systems to take out S-400 emplacements. China already has its 3,000 km range DF-17 manoeuvrable hypersonic missile to take out India’s S-400s.

Q: What are China’s goals for space? If it achieves what it wants to achieve, what will be the situation in a decade?

A: For the CCP, hegemony on Earth cannot proceed without hegemony in space. Control of the Moon is necessary to ensure dominance of Cis-Lunar space, the next necessity for dominating Low Earth Orbit, key to military and economic dominance on Earth. The leap to Mars means there will be a race to control the Earth-Moon Lagrangian Points, areas of equal gravitational force that are best for stationing military-civil platforms, becoming the “toll booths” of the Earth-Moon-Mars economy.

Chinese academic space engineering literature reflects a sophisticated understanding of the geopolitics of space and the systems necessary for establishing early dominance. In late November 2020, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) told China Daily that China will require 60 of its 50+ ton to the Moon Long March-9 space launchers between 2030 and 2035. About 40 of those could lift what is required for 10 Moon Bases, indicating how quickly China wants to dominate the Moon.

Q: What is the trajectory of Sino-Russian cooperation in military developments/space?

A: Russian strategy toward China has one overriding goal: they eat us last. The Russian ruling elite thinks that by increasing commerce with China and selling it a new generation of weapons that it can still fund the next generation weapons. The main result is that Russia sustains false pride while becoming more dependent economically and technologically, and increasingly subordinated to CCP goals and structures of hegemony.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is already dominated by China, and Russia goes along. As Chinese hegemony spreads in Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East, and Africa, Russia will profit to the degree it obeys, which eventually will include surrendering major portions of Siberia.

Space will become another early test for Russia’s willingness to accept subordination to Chinese priorities and plans. Can Russia really fund the super heavy space launch vehicle, nuclear powered space shuttles, Moon base architecture, Mars base architecture, military-capable space station, and range of low earth orbit space weapons needed to keep the CCP honest?

Any slide into reliance on Chinese systems means the CCP controls Russia access to the potentially vast riches of the space economy. So far India has decided to rely on Russian space technology for many key programs, but at some point China is going to pressure Russia to limit that access if India too does not agree to subordination.

Q: What are some of the ways the Quad could work together to bolster regional defences?

A: The future of the Quad as a life-saving informal security mechanism will be determined in Delhi. India does not have formal military alliances with Japan and Australia as the United States does. The constantly increasing Chinese threat helps overcome decisional obstacles of trilateral military cooperation.

India would benefit immensely from Quad-wide intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance (ISR) sharing network. Japan-US-Taiwan radar, electronic intelligence, and space assets could warn if PLA Taiwan theater units were transiting to the West, while Indian assets could similarly warn Taiwan. There is amazing potential for the Quad to reinforce Indian security if Delhi wants it. When will Russia lift a finger to oppose a Chinese military strike against India?

Q: Is US military readiness an issue? For example, some of the US military plans for the Indo-Pacific such as the force redesign of the Marines, involve increased amphibious activity. However, the Marines are currently using Assault Amphibious Vehicles from the early 1970s, many of which are in rough shape, including the one that went down in July 2020, killing 8 Marines and a Sailor in a training accident. From a technical perspective, how do current and planned American amphibious capabilities compare to Chinese ones?

A: Since the mid-2000s, PLA Ground Force units and those of the PLA Marine Corps have had the world’s best amphibious armoured assault vehicles in the tracked Norinco ZBD-04/05 family. The ZBD-05 is armed with a 105mm cannon that can fire gun-launched anti-tank missiles, making it the most powerful armoured amphibious assault vehicle in the world.

It is only capable of a speed of about 15 knots in calm water, but informal sources indicate Norinco is developing a much faster armoured amphibious assault vehicle, perhaps similar to the failed/abandoned 24 knot, tracked US Marine Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV).

Nope The EFV’s speed requirement and resulting complexity was its downfall, so now the US Marines are buying the much simpler wheeled Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) to replace the AAVP7A1 Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV). However, like the AAV, the ACV only has a speed of 8 knots in the water.

Israel strikes Hamas sites outside the Temple Walls after renewed arson balloon attacks: Revelation 11

Israel strikes Hamas sites in Gaza after renewed arson balloon attacks in south

After incendiary devices spark 2 fires on Friday and Saturday, the military targets a rocket launcher and a weapons factory in Palestinian enclave

By Emanuel Fabian3 Jul 2021, 11:58 pm

Israeli warplanes struck a Hamas rocket launcher and a weapons factory in the Gaza Strip Saturday night in response to a wave of arson balloon attacks launched at Israel from the coastal enclave over the weekend, the Israel Defense Forces said.

Amid the strikes, Gaza-based terror group members fired machine guns toward southern Israel, which did not set off alerts, according to the military. Palestinian media reports said the gunfire was aimed at Israeli aircraft. There were no reports of injuries or damage from the gunfire.

The army said in a statement that the targeted site in the airstrike was used by the terror organization to manufacture weapons, and released an infographic showing its location.

“The strikes were made in response to the arson balloons fired towards Israeli territory. The IDF will continue to respond firmly against terror attempts from the Gaza Strip,” the army said.

The Hamas-run Health Ministry said there were no casualties in the Israeli airstrikes.

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The incendiary balloons launched from Gaza on Saturday sparked one fire near a town along the southern border, on the second day of such attacks since the military last struck targets in Gaza, in response to previous arson balloon attacks on southern Israel.

Between Thursday night and early Friday morning, Israeli warplanes bombed a Hamas weapons factory in Gaza, in response to at least four fires caused by incendiary balloons on Thursday.

Thursday’s fires broke more than two weeks of quiet since the last wave of arson attacks.Advertisement

In June, arson balloons launched by Hamas operatives caused some 20 fires in Israeli communities near Gaza. Israel Defense Forces planes struck a wide range of Hamas military targets throughout the Gaza Strip, responding to the attacks in less than a day.

The response by the new government, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, indicated a shift in policy from the previous one, which did not always respond to arson balloon attacks with airstrikes.

Last month’s arson balloons and counterstrikes were the first since the 11-day war that Israel fought against Gaza terror groups in May. They took place amid Israel’s decision to allow far-right activists to proceed with a flag march through the Old City of Jerusalem, which Palestinian groups branded as a provocation.

For the past three years, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, mostly linked to Hamas and other terror groups, have launched thousands of balloon-borne incendiary and explosive devices into southern Israel, causing widespread fires and significant damage to agricultural fields, nature reserves, and private property.

Hamas has used the launching of incendiary devices to pressure Israel to move ahead with reconstruction efforts in the Strip.

Bennett, who replaced former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on June 13, had long urged a tougher response to arson balloons, saying in previous years that they should be treated the same as rockets, and that attacks on southern Israel should receive the same response as attacks targeting central Israel.Advertisement

In 2018, for instance, Bennett — then the education minister — called for the IDF to try to kill all those launching attack balloons from Gaza, a proposal that was opposed by then-IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Iran Restarts Her Nukes: Daniel 8

epa04845906 (FILE) A file picture dated 03 February 2007 shows an Iranian technecian at the International Atomic Energy Agency inspecting the site of the uranium conversion plan of Isfahan, central Iran. Foreign ministers from six world powers and Iran finally achieved an agreement to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons, Western diplomats said in Vienna on 14 July 2015.  EPA/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH *** Local Caption *** 52054282

Iran restarts Bushehr nuclear plant

US sanctions disrupted maintenance work at the site while it was shut down

Iran has restarted the Bushehr nuclear power plant after it was shut down last month, the government-linked Irib news agency reported.

State electricity company Tavanir said during the closure that essential maintenance work would be conducted at the site, leading to power cuts.

But in March, Iranian nuclear official Mahmoud Jafari said Bushehr was experiencing technical problems owing to the inability of engineers to find spare parts.

US sanctions were affecting the work of Russian contractors at the site, he said.

“After repairs the Bushehr power plant is back online, and 1,000MW of electricity is injected into the country’s distribution network,” Mostafa Mashhadi, a spokesman for Tavanir, told Irib.

The Bushehr reactor was commissioned by the Shah of Iran in the 1970s, but its completion by German contractors was disrupted by the revolution and the Iran-Iraq War.

Russian contractors eventually made the power plant operational and it opened in 2011.

Russia supplies the plant with enriched uranium, closely monitored by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

Iran has ceased co-operation with the agency at other nuclear sites in the country. There are concerns that advanced centrifuges at Natanz are slowly building up enough medium-enriched uranium to produce highly enriched, or “weapons-grade”, uranium, sufficient for a nuclear device.

In 2019, Iran began work on a new reactor at Bushehr, claiming that newly enriched uranium stockpiles would be used for the power plant.

The resumption of operations at Bushehr comes as China urged the US to rejoin the so-called nuclear deal, as negotiations between Tehran and world powers aimed at restoring the accord falter. 

Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, said the US should “completely remove all its illegal and unilateral sanctions on Iran and any third party, to meet Iran halfway and make further breakthroughs in the negotiation.”

Iran has said in recent weeks that it has no obligation to allow international inspectors full access to its nuclear sites, something the US and EU insist would be the first step to restoring confidence in a new deal.

Inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency were a cornerstone of the deal, technically known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. 

“With regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, the most important thing is that the United States should make its decision to return to the agreement as soon as possible. After 13 years of arduous negotiations, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) is an important achievement of multilateralism and a paradigm for dispute settlement through dialogue and consultation,” Mr Wang said. 

Updated: July 3rd 2021, 5:19 AM