The impending nuclear war: Revelation 16

Nuclear war between US & Russia more likely as Americans ‘share’ bombs with European NATO members – Deputy FM Ryabkov

1 Dec, 2020

Russia has called for the US to halt the deployment of nuclear weapons on the territory of NATO’s European members, arguing it both violates the terms of existing treaties and makes a devastating conflict more likely to happen.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told a meeting sponsored by energy companies Chevron and Transneft on Monday that Moscow “hopes that the United States will stop ‘sharing’ nuclear weapons with its allies, and stop deploying nuclear weapons in countries that do not possess such weapons… Obviously, this leads to destabilization, in addition, new risks appear,” he added, “and this is a violation of Articles 1 and 2 of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

He went on to say that Russia is concerned about new moves by the US to deploy so-called ‘low-yield’ warheads. While these are less powerful in absolute terms, international organizations have warned they could be used to justify their use in less extreme circumstances. Ryabkov claimed that “this lowers the threshold. And we are seeing the return of the concept of limited nuclear war. US military doctrine revealed itself 50 years ago, when it believed that it could be acceptable to use nuclear weapons as part of a conventional war.”

However, he was optimistic about the potential to bring the world back from the brink, and emphasized that “a nuclear war cannot be won… Russia is ready to co-operate in reversing this state of affairs.”

In 2019, the Americans formally withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which had banned a number of weapons with the potential to strike other nations from afar. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that Russia had violated the terms of the deal, which Moscow strongly denies. At the time, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the US should return to developing these missiles “not just for [Europe] but for the theater we’re deploying to as well, because of… how important an intermediate-range weapon would be to the [US Pacific Command].”

The presumptive winner of the disputed US election, former Vice President Joe Biden has been critical of the White House’s decisions to withdraw from arms control pacts. Biden has been widely seen as a supporter of nuclear de-escalation, saying during his first Senate campaign that “endless warfare, reliance on false obligations of global power, [and] overt and covert manipulation of foreign regimes” were not American values.

The winds of God‘s wrath is still not over: Jeremiah 23

Record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season officially over … but could still break more records

By Mark Puleo, AccuWeather staff write

Published Nov. 30, 2020 8:00 AM

The number of storms was literally off the charts this year, with more named cyclones than any other year in history – but in one aspect, the relentless season didn’t even crack the top 10.

Generating storms at a rapid-fire pace and filled with enough plot twists to rival an M. Night Shyamalan movie, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season started early and ended with a trio of storms in late October through mid-November. And, as AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno remarked, “it never stopped” in between.

AccuWeather’s team of tropical weather forecasters, led by veteran meteorologist Dan Kottlowski, saw many of the plot twists coming way back in March when they called for a ”hyperactive” Atlantic basin season to ensue, and the 2020 hurricane season indeed provided steadfast suspense with what seemed like daily new tropical developments and all manner of unique storm tracks.

Along with giving multiple pages of the hurricane record book some new ink, the 2020 season also challenged conventional logic for some long-held assumptions about hurricane season, such as the pace at which a storm intensifies and the areas where certain storms may hit.

Plus, the 2020 season also demonstrated how the official June 1 beginning and Nov. 30 end of hurricane season are flexible dates in the eyes of Mother Nature.

For just the second time in the modern hurricane-naming era, the Atlantic season exhausted its pre-determined list of designated storm names for the season. After burning through the 21 names from the English alphabet by mid-September, the season began moving through the Greek alphabet for the first time since 2005.

With 30 named storms this year, the 2020 season shattered the record previously held by the infamous 2005 season for most named systems in a single season. Of those 30, 13 became hurricanes and six of those became major hurricanes – Category 3 or stronger. And just because the Atlantic basin hurricane season ends on Nov. 30, that doesn’t mean more tropical cyclone activity won’t happen this year — more on that below.

Like a well-rounded prizefighter, the season packed speed, strength and stamina into its six-month marathon. Here are some of the biggest takeaways that will be remembered when looking back on the 2020 season:

Speed

Right out of the gates, even before hurricane season was officially underway, a flurry of storms developed and broke many records in the process. The season’s first named system, Tropical Storm Arthur, formed on May 14 and was quickly followed by Tropical Storm Bertha 10 days later. The pair of May storms marked the first Atlantic basin hurricane season since 2012 that featured two “pre-season” storms, as both formed before June 1, the official beginning of the Atlantic basin hurricane season.

That quick pace set the tone for the season, in which dozens of records were broken. After Bertha, Tropical Storm Cristobal became the fastest forming C-letter storm on record, and while Tropical Storm Dolly didn’t get the record for earliest-forming D-letter storm, every following storm from Tropical Storm Edouard to Hurricane Iota broke the respective earliest-forming records.

The speed of intensification was also remarkable with a number of the tropical cyclones this season. According to Sam Lillo, a meteorologist with the University of Oklahoma, 10 of the season’s 13 hurricanes underwent rapid intensification, matching a record set by the 1995 season.

Rapid intensification is defined as a storm undergoing a maximum wind increase of at least 29 mph within a 24-hour period. Lillo added that six of those storms were Greek-letter storms.

One of those rapidly intensifying storms, Zeta, also packed notable forward speed during its trek across the Gulf of Mexico. Barreling toward Louisiana, the hurricane moved at a breakneck pace of 22 mph and quickly jumped from Category 1 to Category 2 strength just before coming ashore.

At the spot of landfall, AccuWeather National Reporter Jonathan Petramala captured the moments Zeta bolted onshore and tore homes apart.

Strength

Although the storms of 2020 will certainly be remembered for their quantity and rapid succession, the cumulative strength of the season, recognized by the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) Index, paints a different picture.

While this year’s season packed the highest number of total named storms of any season on record, the ACE index suggests that the season may have been more mild than extreme.

“The Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index characterizes the intensity and longevity of all storms in a year,” AccuWeather Broadcast Meteorologist Geoff Cornish said. “While the Atlantic produced more storms than any other year on record, the ACE generated by the 30 storms was disproportionately low.”

Cornish explained that as the season draws to a close, “2020 lands in 13th place for ACE generated in a year.” Records on ACE have been kept going back to 1851. “In other words,” Cornish noted, “12 other years produced more ACE in the Atlantic than the 2020 season.”

For perspective, Cornish, citing data from Colorado State University, pointed to the years 1933, 2005, 1893 and 1926 as Atlantic basin hurricane seasons that ranked substantially higher on the ACE Index despite having fewer storms.

“This indicates there were several weak storms during the season,” Dan Kottlowski, AccuWeather’s chief hurricane expert, said, adding, “2005 had more intense hurricanes with five Category 5 hurricanes.” Kottlowksi pointed out that 2020 produced only one Category 5 storm, Iota, the last hurricane of the season (so far).

“For much of this year, the ACE generated per storm has been half of the long-term, historical average,” Cornish pointed out. “In other words, we’ve had a swarm of weaker, short-lived storms. However, there have been a few great exceptions like Teddy [the year’s top ACE producer with 27.8 units], Eta, Paulette, the storm that wouldn’t go away, Delta, Epsilon, Laura and Iota.” All of those storms produced 10 or more units of ACE.

While Teddy, a Category 4 hurricane in September, produced the highest ACE, history is more likely to remember the devastating landfalls of hurricanes such as Laura in Louisiana and the combo of Eta and Iota in Central America.

Laura struck the Bayou State with landfalling winds not seen since pre-Civil War America, causing about $25 to $30 billion of damage, according to AccuWeather estimates. Louisiana was further damaged by Hurricane Delta and Hurricane Zeta en route to a record-breaking season for the state.

However, despite the cornucopia of previous storms, no 2020 storm packed as much punch as the final named storm of the season, Hurricane Iota.

Iota reached Category 5 strength on Nov. 16, becoming the first hurricane on record ever to reach that strength so late in a season. At its peak intensity, sustained winds hit 160 mph and the storm’s central barometric pressure reached a minimum of 27.08 inches of mercury, or 917 millibars, as its center made a close pass by the Colombian islands of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. Low barometric pressure is a telltale sign of a storm’s powerful intensity.

Iota would go on to slam Central America in nearly the same exact spot that Hurricane Eta had wrought devastation less than two weeks before. Eta, which made landfall in Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, struck with Category 4 strength and claimed dozens of lives and left hundreds more missing.

Just two weeks later, Iota came ashore less than 15 miles from Puerto Cabezas and dealt another tragic blow to the region, triggering a humanitarian crisis with millions of residents being trapped in what AccuWeather Founder and CEO Dr. Joel N. Myers called “one of the worst floods in some of these areas in a thousand years or more.”

Kottlowksi suggested that one reason that the 2020 season produced so many named storms could have something to do with meteorologists’ enhanced ability to spot lesser tropical cyclones as technology has advanced over the years. He said that “newer technology enables forecasters to better analyze the smaller, less-detectable storms, and we had a few very short-lived storms, which might not have been detected more than 20 years ago.”

Stamina

“It started early – and it never stopped,” AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said of the 2020 Atlantic basin hurricane season.

What the 2020 season may be most remembered for is just how long it lasted and its exhausting pace. “Typically, we get the mid-season doldrums in mid-July to mid-August,” Rayno said. “That didn’t happen this year.”

In fact, the season never had a period of two consecutive weeks without at least one storm in circulation. The longest stretch without an active storm was between the end of Tropical Storm Cristobal and the start of Tropical Storm Dolly, which was 13 days.

It was common throughout the season to have multiple named storms occupying attention at once, particularly during September. At one point during the month, five different named storms – Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy and Vicky – were spinning at once.

The overabundance of storms also set a new record for the most landfalling named storms on U.S. soil in a single year — 12 storms came ashore on the U.S. coastline, shattering the record of nine that had stood since 1916. Another record was set in Louisiana for most landfalling storms in the state for a single season.

The battered Bayou State sustained hits from five landfalling named storms this year, four of which were hurricanes. Spread out over 20 weeks, from Cristobal to Zeta, Louisiana residents never got a reprieve this season.

In terms of longevity, no 2020 storm lived longer than Paulette, which hung around for a whopping 15 days before dissipating near Portugal after impacting Bermuda a full week prior.

A look at Paulette’s long history in the Atlantic Ocean. (AccuWeather)

Another notably long-lasting track was the one charted by Eta, which took a unique zig-zagging route from its initial landfalls as a hurricane in Central America, before making landfalls in Cuba and the Florida Keys as a tropical storm. Eta then made a final landfall along the west coast of Florida, near Tampa, a region that very rarely absorbs a direct hit from a tropical system.

Hurricane Eta’s winding journey featured significant impacts dealt to both Central America and the United States, with a stop in Cuba in between. (AccuWeather)

In early August, Hurricane Isaias left a memorable mark on the season by ravaging the East Coast, particularly the Northeast. In Philadelphia and New York City, lives were claimed by the widespread flooding and falling trees as a result of the storm’s intense winds and numerous tornadoes it spawned.

Widespread power outages also remained in the Northeast for multiple days, marking a wide-ranging spread of impacts after the storm’s initial landfall in the Bahamas. The storm restrengthened into a hurricane in time to strike North Carolina following several days when it was parallel along the coasts of Florida and Georgia.

From there, Isaias pummeled the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, leaving long-lasting memories for a region not accustomed to such storms, a sentiment Kottlowski echoed when recounting his most memorable storms of the year.

“Isaias caused considerable wind damage up the East Coast of the U.S.,” Kottlowski said. “I was impressed on how the storm maintained a very intense wind field for more than two days after moving inland.”

Have we seen the end of the 2020 season?

While Nov. 30 may mark the official end to the Atlantic basin hurricane season, Mother Nature has always played by her own rules and 2020 could prove to be no different. Forecasters were closely monitoring a system that was beginning to take shape southeast of the Azores in the eastern Atlantic on Monday, warning that it could become Subtropical Storm Kappa at any moment. Subtropical storms are hybrid systems that acquire both tropical and non-tropical characteristics.

So should we have any confidence that the 2020 season will follow the rules and end before December?

“It is very unlikely that we’d see anything hitting the United States because the westerlies – the steering flow of winds out of the west – are so strong that any storm that would try to develop would likely be steered east of the U.S.,” Rayno said of the potential for tropical activity beyond Nov. 30. But, he said, considering the entirety of the Atlantic basin, “I’m not going to rule it out.”

As Kottlowski pointed out, some conditions are still in place to support development. “There is considerable warm water in place over parts of the Atlantic Basin that could support late-season development even during the month of December,” he said. Indeed, during the waning days of the 2020 hurricane season, water temperatures were still above 80 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of the Gulf of Mexico. And even in some places where temperatures were below 80, they were still above average for this time of year.

“I can see another storm [developing] that would take us to 31,” Rayno said, noting that an eye should be kept on the area around Bermuda. But, he added, for the U.S., “I think essentially we’re done.”

Final tally

Depending on where people live, the 2020 season could be remembered for a plethora of different reasons.

“The big story of this season is the number of landfalls and the rapid intensification of some of these storms,” Rayno said. The two hot spots this season that really caught Rayno’s attention were the areas of the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, which resulted in the Louisiana coast taking a beating as well as the Nicaragua coast, which Rayno dubbed “the Louisiana of Central America,” being hard hit.

Kottlowski echoed that point. “Two major hurricane hits on Nicaragua and Honduras in nearly the same areas,” he marveled. “Another highly unusual situation causing significant damage and suffering.”

In Central America, the one-two punch of Eta and Iota could leave scars for decades, much like how the powerful effects of Hurricane Mitch from 1998 are still remembered.

In the Southeast, the barrage of Louisiana storms worked their way through inland areas and will leave plenty of dark memories following the widespread power outages that blanketed states such as Georgia.

However, for all weather enthusiasts, the memories of 2020 will be memorialized by the broken records and the nonstop twists and turns. Amid a wacky year that has left the globe upended by the coronavirus pandemic, an unprecedented and never-ending hurricane season may have been perfectly fitting. Or for some, maybe too fitting.

Israel kills another Iranian

Air strike kills IRGC commander at Iraq-Syria border – Iraqi officials

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – An air strike killed a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards at the Iraq-Syria border sometime between Saturday and Sunday, Iraqi security and local militia officials said on Monday.

They could not confirm the identity of the commander, who they said was killed alongside three other men travelling in a vehicle with him.

The vehicle was carrying weapons across the Iraqi border and was hit after it had entered Syrian territory, two Iraqi security officials separately said.

Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary groups helped retrieve the bodies, the two officials said, without elaborating or giving the exact time of the incident.

Local military and militia sources confirmed the account, although Reuters was unable to verify independently that an Iranian commander had been killed.

The incident came just days after Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Tehran in a killing that Iran has blamed on Israel.

Israel launched air raids against what it called a wide range of Syrian and Iranian targets in Syria last week, signalling that it will pursue its policy of striking Iranian targets in the region as U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to leave office.

Iraqi officials fear a conflagration ahead of President-elect Joe Biden taking office because he is viewed as less confrontational with Iran than the Trump administration.

Iran-backed Iraqi militias are still reeling from the U.S. assassination of Iranian military mastermind Qassem Soleimani in January and their Iraqi leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and have vowed revenge against the United States.

Reporting by Ahmed Rasheed, John Davison and Kamal Ayash in Falluja; Editing by Tom Brown

Iran votes in favour of building up her nuclear horn: Daniel 8

Iran votes in favour of increasing uranium enrichment

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seen at an exhibition of Iranian nuclear technologies, standing next to model centrifuges used to refine uranium and other nuclear materials, on April 9, 2019 [president.ir]

November 30, 2020 at 11:01 am

The Iranian Parliament yesterday voted in favour of a law requiring the government to boost annual enrichment of uranium to 20 per cent and stop international inspections of the country’s nuclear facilities.

The vote came following the assassination of the country’s top scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Friday.

The law, known as the Strategic Act to Revoke Sanctions, forces the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) to produce and store at least 120 kilogrammes of enriched uranium with 20 per cent purity at the Fordow nuclear facility every year, and to fulfil the country’s peaceful industrial demands with uranium enriched above 20 per cent.

The law has yet to be approved by the country’s Guardian Council.

While no one has officially claimed responsibility for the scientist’s assassination, on Friday, the New York Times quoted a US official and intelligence officers as saying that Israel “is responsible for the attack on the scientist”, noting that the late scientist has been a target of the Israeli Mossad for years.

Israel strikes Hamas sites outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Israel strikes Hamas sites in Gaza Strip

By The Hindu

Israeli aircraft on Sunday struck multiple sites in the Gaza Strip in response to a rocket fired earlier from the Palestinian territory, Israel’s military said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

While several militant groups operate out of the Palestinian enclave, Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for all rocket fire out of the territory and usually strikes Hamas targets in response.

The Israeli military said in a statement that fighter jets and attack helicopters hit two rocket ammunition manufacturing sites, underground infrastructure and a Hamas naval forces training compound.

Late Saturday, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a rocket toward Israel, setting off air-raid sirens in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, the Israeli military said.

A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)


A Look at the Tri-State’s Active Fault LineMonday, March 14, 2011By Bob Hennelly
The Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.But the New Jersey-New York region is relatively seismically stable according to Dr. Dave Robinson, Professor of Geography at Rutgers. Although it does have activity.„There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,“ said Robinson. „There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.“Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage: „The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,“ he said.„More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,“ according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.In 1884, according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website, the  Rampao Fault was blamed for a 5.5 quake that toppled chimneys in New York City and New Jersey that was felt from Maine to Virginia.„Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,“ according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Pakistan Expands Her Nuclear Horn: Daniel 8

New Extension to the Chashma Plutonium Separation Facility

Reports

by Neil Hyatt[1] and Sarah Burkhard

November 30, 2020

Satellite imagery available on Google Earth show that an interesting and previously undocumented expansion of the nuclear fuel reprocessing / plutonium separation facility at the Chashma nuclear complex in Pakistan began in mid-2018. The extension’s exterior appears completed as of September 2020. The reprocessing plant was first identified by ISIS in 2007 and considered to be potentially operational in 2015 2,3 The development of this extension and allied facilities at the Chashma reprocessing plant are analysed herein.

Background

Pakistan first developed plans to acquire reprocessing technology in the 1960s. In 1972, Pakistan entered into talks with Saint Gobain Technique Nouvell (SGN) of France to procure a reprocessing facility with a design capacity of 100 tons of heavy metal (tHM) per year.4 A contract for a basic design was signed in 1973, and another for a detailed design in 1974, but France eventually cancelled the deal in 1978, due to U.S. government concern that the facility would benefit Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program. However, construction of the reprocessing facility had already commenced and a considerable amount of design and specification information had already been transferred by SGN to the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC). Pakistan stated its intent to complete the facility, but failed to find another supplier.5 Construction stalled. Historic imagery shows that the plant became overgrown and remained dormant for many years. No further progress was apparently made until construction resumed some time between 2000 and 2002.6 In the interim, Pakistan built the smaller New Labs reprocessing facility at PINSTECH, near Islamabad, to reprocess spent fuel from the unsafeguarded Khushab I heavy water reactor. In parallel to the resumption of construction at Chashma, an expansion at PINSTECH began which appeared to be a second reprocessing facility, roughly doubling the reprocessing capacity at that location.7

The investment in additional reprocessing capabilities occurred in parallel with the construction of three additional unsafeguarded heavy water reactors at the Khushab site from 2001 – 2015, Khushab II, III, and IV. All four Khushab reactors are believed to be operational and dedicated to plutonium production.8 With the additional Khushab reactors, located approximately 80 km east from Chashma, and 200 km from the New Labs facility, the need for a larger plutonium separation capability is credible.

Additionally, at the Chashma site, four 300 MWe pressurised water reactors (CHASNUPP 1 – 4) were constructed and brought into operation from 2000 – 2017, with a fifth unit planned.9 These reactors operate under IAEA safeguards. A 2019 PAEC slide presentation to an IAEA conference stated an intention for on-site dry storage of the spent nuclear fuel from the CHASNUPP reactors.10 It stated that currently, all spent fuel from Pakistan’s safeguarded reactors is in wet storage. An associated graphic indicates with a question mark that the decision whether to pursue reprocessing of the spent fuel had not yet been made. Already a few years prior, in 2014, a PAEC slide presentation had stated that after dry and wet storage, the fate of the spent fuel had “yet to be decided.”11

Figure 1, a May 2020 Google Earth satellite image, gives an overview of the Chashma nuclear complex, highlighting the four CHASNUPP reactor units and the reprocessing plant. Also highlighted is the likely Kundian fuel production plant (the Kundian Nuclear Complex 1) which manufactures fuel for the KANUPP reactor.

The majority of the apparent construction of the Chashma reprocessing plant and associated facilities lasted from 2002 to 2013 and was documented by ISIS.12 For the reasons given above, the plant’s primary purpose is assumed to be plutonium separation from unsafeguarded heavy water reactors at the Khushab site. The plant may have become operational around 2015, 13 but it is unknown whether the facility continued to operate during the most recent and possibly still on-going constructions.

Figure 1. Overview of the Chashma Nuclear Complex.

Figure 2 shows the reprocessing facility in 2017; a tall, windowless building of concrete construction, and an associated high stack. The building is contained within a security fence, which is further secured by three outer perimeter fences. These signatures are consistent with those expected of such a facility, and open source information locating a reprocessing plant at Chashma14, as previously reported by ISIS.15 Of note is a 5 x 3.5 meters engraved flag of Pakistan at the front personnel entrance to the Chashma facility, first apparent in imagery dated 21 November 2017, which evidently communicates the national significance of the facility. The site further features an ornamental garden, similar to one near New Labs at PINSTECH (see inset in Figure 2). The garden is one of several visible parallels between the two sites.

Figure 2. The Plutonium Separation Facility in 2017, before visible work on the extension began.

Recent Expansion of the Reprocessing Plant

Figure 3, a Google Earth image dated 9 May 2020 shows the presence of a new and previously undocumented extension of the facility near the tall stack.

Imagery shows that construction of the extension started at some point between April and September 2018. Figure 4, dated 19 September 2018, shows the ornamental garden and the paved road adjacent to the reprocessing facility have been removed, and foundations for the new extension, covering an area of approximately 30 x 30 m, have been laid in concrete, with development of exterior and interior walls. The area had been cleared and levelled beforehand, with large amounts of dirt removed and stockpiled across the street. It is evident by the steep slope on the north side, the ramp-like access to the foundation, the staggered levels of earth on the south side, and the amount of dirt piled outside of the construction area that at least part, if not the majority, of the building are designed to be underground.

The construction area has been enclosed by a new fence with two vehicle access points; a vehicle access point to the construction area has also been created in the perimeter security fence. Within the enclosed construction area, a canopy shelter, steel reinforcements, and building materials are visible. A possible connection or entrance to the main reprocessing building on the east face is apparent on magnification, which is more clearly visible in the subsequent Google Earth image dated 10 October 2018 (see inset to Figure 4). Figure 5, the full 10 October 2018 image of the facility, shows that construction had not progressed significantly.

Over a year later, Figure 6, dated 3 January 2020, shows the development of exterior walls to the extension, which are supported by buttresses. Steel reinforcement is observable within the interior of the extension which appears to define three large compartments.

In the following two months, construction of the extension progressed rapidly, as shown by Figure 7, dated 2 March 2020. The exterior walls of the building have been established, as well as an upper floor, which contains two sets of three cells separated by an access way running the length of the extension. The exterior walls, and interior compartment walls, are estimated to be 0.8 m thick and of apparent concrete construction, consistent with a purpose that requires shielding. A Google Earth image dated 9 May 2020 (see Figure 3 and Figure 8) shows further development of the above-ground portion of the extension building, which covers the compartments previously observed. Additional wall structures are visible, which could plausibly be mechanical and electrical plant rooms. On the north side of the extension appear to be three large access ports, which align with the three internal compartments identified in earlier imagery. Figure 9, the most recent Google Earth image, dated 13 September 2020, shows that the exterior and roof of the extension has been completed and the fencing around the construction area has been removed.

Figure 3. The extension to the Plutonium Separation Facility is near external completion in May 2020.

Figure 4. The construction of the extension to the Plutonium Separation Facility at an early stage in September 2018.

Figure 5. By October 2018, a 30 x 30 m foundation for the extension below ground level is visible in Google Earth imagery.

Figure 6. More than a year later, in January 2020, construction of the extension has progressed in height with steel reinforcement.

Figure 7. In this March 2020 Google Earth image the layout of one of the upper stories is visible: six cells with double concrete walls, and a hallway.

Figure 8. The extension is near external completion in May 2020, with a roof structure covering roughly half of the extension.

Figure 9. The extension is externally complete in September 2020.

The new extension has evidently been carefully designed and constructed to assimilate with the main reprocessing facility building, suggesting that it has an integral function. The interior compartments and moderately thick concrete walls suggest the purpose of the extension is to facilitate handling of high dose rate materials, such as spent nuclear fuels or radioactive wastes within shielded containers. The three large access points, and the fact that the extension appears to adjoin an existing access point to the main reprocessing facility building, suggest that the new extension could function to receive and unload irradiated fuel into the processing lines, and shear a different fuel type, such as LWR fuel, prior to chemically processing. Alternatively, or additionally, it could serve to export solid radioactive wastes, such as sheared fuel cladding. There are no other access points to the main reprocessing facility that could serve such a purpose visible in the available Google Earth satellite images.

Historical imagery shows three spur lines emerging from the main railway line which runs to the west of the reprocessing facility (see Figure 10.) In a 2002 image, the earliest available in Google Earth, the tracks and rails have been removed but their signature outline remains. As shown by Figure 10, one of the spur lines bears directly on the reprocessing facility and would have potentially terminated at the tall tower construction highlighted in Figures 5-8. This arrangement suggests that the design of the reprocessing facility intended to receive incoming fuel at the east face by rail transport, consistent with the siting and hypothetical purpose of the new extension building. The tower construction could plausibly house lifting gear or an elevator to move fuel skips from the reception area to the head end cave on an upper floor for shearing.

The original rail transport lines are thought to have been intended to transport fuel from the KANUPP reactor in Karachi – a distance of 900 km. The removal of the rail lines supports the conclusion that the Chashma reprocessing facility is instead separating plutonium from irradiated fuel from the Khushab reactors, located only approximately 80 km due east, or possibly in the future also from nearby Chashma reactors. There is no rail link between the two nuclear sites, which would require spent fuel from Khushab to be transported by road: the features of the extension building appear consistent with this mode of spent fuel reception.

Figure 10. A 2002 image of the Plutonium Separation Facility indicates that spent fuel was originally to be transported by rail and received near the tall tower at the same building side as the new extension.

Analysis of other facilities co-located with the reprocessing plant

Figure 11 compares the reprocessing area in 2002 and 2020, highlighting co-located buildings which appear to be primarily of concrete construction and which may have a support function, given the external signatures and connection to the reprocessing plant via a network of trenches, identified by ISIS in 2015.16

Within the secure area is a building (labelled Building A, 58 x 45 m) which is co-located with a bank of five external cooling fans, to which it appears to be connected by a system of piping, as shown in Figure 11 and 12. This building is observed to have three small stacks mounted to the north face, which is at least one story greater in height than the main building. These signatures are consistent with the need to provide cooling for heat generating activities within the building, the reprocessing facility, or the adjacent structures. The small size of the building relative to the cooling fans seems more consistent with a support function. Alternatively, the building could possibly function as a fissile material store, for which recent modifications to the west face, including a new white roofed structure which could function as an access control point. The adjacent building (B, 82 x 32 m) has a double height section covering most of the footprint. The double height section and its aspect ratio, roof mounted stacks, and large entrance on the east face, are plausibly consistent with a spent fuel storage facility, which would need to accommodate a crane gantry for movement of fuel skips. However, neither of these two buildings (A and B) shows clear external signatures of additional security measures that might be expected if used for storage of fissile materials, such as a further security fence and access checkpoint.

Buildings A and B are present in the earliest available satellite image available on Google Earth, dated 19 October 2002, and the surrounding area appears overgrown, suggesting that they were part of the original phase of development. Indeed, the reprocessing facility and buildings A, B and D are all observable in the earliest available Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) imagery (30 m resolution) dated to 1988. Notably, no spur line approaching Building B is apparent in the 2002 Google Earth image, which, given the evident intention for spent nuclear fuel to be delivered by rail, may suggest its function as a spent fuel storage facility is less likely. Alternatively, the building could possibly function as a support laboratory.

Outside of the secure area are located a tall concrete building with an associated stack (C, 95 x 40 m) and a low building with what appears to be at least part concrete construction with a (damaged) panelled roof (D, 100 x 30 m). Figure 13 shows the two buildings in May 2020. Both buildings appear to be connected to the reprocessing facility by a concrete lined trench system largely covered by concrete shielding, consistent with transport of high-level waste (HLW). The situation of these buildings outside of the security fence which defines the reprocessing area, suggests that the function of these facilities is not associated with handling of fissile materials. Adjacent to the low building (D), a small building and three large cooling fans are visible, which were constructed during 2009-11. These signatures are consistent with the low building being a tank storage facility for liquid HLW, which requires active cooling to remove decay heat. Also of interest are two approximately one kilometre long trenches connecting this facility with two possible disposal wells beyond the outer perimeter fence, visible in October 18, 2002, imagery shown in Figure 14. These trenches are difficult to identify in more recent imagery, due to overgrowth and the shorter trench being obscured by new development. These trenches may signify an original intention to dispose of some higher activity liquid wastes by borehole injection to the subsurface, as was previously practiced in Russia, for example.

Construction of the tall concrete building (C) and stack was reported by ISIS in 2015, using commercial satellite imagery, at which time the exterior of the building was complete.17 Using historic imagery available in Google Earth, the construction of this facility can be analysed in new and revealing detail, as shown in Figure 15. The first available image showing construction of this facility is dated November 19, 2009; it shows the foundation for the building which is evidently constructed in two wings, each symmetrical about a central spine. The foundations appear to be set at basement level, as shown by the downward slope to the excavation area and shadow profile. The earliest image showing the facility to be externally complete is dated November 26, 2013. The front (west facing) wing of the building is shown in later imagery to have windows and small internal structures, which suggest the presence of shielded compartments at basement level (possibly for radioactive wastes). The rear wing contains at least one very heavily shielded section with external (0.8 m thick) and internal (1.3 m thick) walls, which may be utilised to the full height of the building. This section, uniquely, contains a roof vent, which interfaces with a roof mounted service building with two inlets or outlets; a small additional vent may also be present. This section appears to be connected to the neighbouring annex by underground pipes and an additional pipe to the roof mounted service building. The annex itself has two small stacks mounted on the west wall and exterior pipework is visible on the north wall which may connect to the four fans. Within the large rear wing, internal cells are visible within one of the larger forward sections, which could function as hot cells. Taken together, the external and internal signatures of the rear wing of the building are plausibly consistent with those of a high level waste vitrification facility, which would require: heavy shielding for operational activities; cooling for stored vitrified waste containers; a stack for release of volatile radionuclides (e.g. iodine, ruthenium) and gas emissions; and a buffer store of liquid HLW (located in the adjacent building with co-located cooling fans). The front wing of the building could plausibly accommodate process engineers, managers and support laboratories. Open source information documents a project by PAEC to procure vitrification technology for the immobilisation of high level radioactive wastes arising from nuclear fuel reprocessing, which was in progress during 2007. This information is consistent with Google Earth satellite imagery dated 17 August 2007, which appears to show ground clearance in preparation for construction of the possible vitrification facility, the foundations of which are present in the subsequent imagery dated November 19, 2009.

The scale of this facility deserves comment. If the footprint of the rear wing (40 x 67 m, or 2,680 m2) is assumed to include the vitrification plant itself and storage facility for vitrified HLW canisters (plausibly, the heavily shielded, ventilated, rear section), then it is comparable with the Tokai Vitrification Facility (TVF), Japan, for which these functions are accommodated in a plant occupying a footprint of 2,600m2 (in a five storey building, including two basement levels).18 The TVF plant entered operation in 1992, to immobilise HLW from the Tokai Reprocessing Plant. The design capacity of the Tokai Reprocessing Plant was 90 tHM / year (for LWR fuel), similar to the estimated 100 thM capacity of the Chashma plant (for PHWR fuel). Thus, the footprint of the possible vitrification facility is plausibly consistent with that required to support sustained operation of the Chashma reprocessing plant.

There is no open source information persuasive of indigenous development of HLW vitrification technology in Pakistan. The sheer scale of the possible HLW vitrification plant at Chashma would therefore imply a hitherto unknown research and development programme, and facilities, associated with the pilot scale New Labs reprocessing facility at PINSTECH, or the contribution of expert foreign support. Furthermore, the expansion of the waste management area facilities demonstrates preparation for treatment and storage of a substantial waste inventory arising from the reprocessing facility.

Some internal and external signatures of the possible HLW vitrification facility are also consistent with a second reprocessing plant, spent fuel storage, or intermediate level waste treatment plant. However, the absence of a security fence and features associated with a fuel receipt capability, with respect to a reprocessing and fuel storage function, and the presence of the emissions stack with regard to the spent fuel storage and intermediate level waste treatment function, mean these are less plausible hypotheses.

Figure 11. A comparison of the buildings associated with the Plutonium Separation Facility in 2002 and 2020. Three of the four key buildings appear to have been part of the original design of the site; the fourth was added to the site in 2007-2009.

Figure 12. Visible key features of two of the original buildings associated with the Plutonium Separation Facility.

Figure 13. The buildings of interest are connected to one another and the Plutonium Separation Facility by a network of trenches, some of which are concrete-shielded.

Figure 14. One of original buildings of interest (here shown in 2002) shows features consistent with a HLW tank storage facility.

Figure 15. One of the buildings of interest was added to the site more recently; construction was first visible in Google Earth in 2009 imagery and external construction was largely complete by 2011. This figure shows the building from 2009 to 2018 (top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right).

Development of possible waste management area

ISIS previously identified a possible waste management area, connected to the reprocessing plant in 2007,19 which has developed considerably over the last decade, as shown in Figure 16. In this area, some buildings of concrete construction, possibly lightly shielded waste treatment facilities, are linked to the reprocessing plant by a trench network. These trenches are not concrete lined and are filled in with earth, rather than covered by concrete shielding, suggesting the transport of low or intermediate level liquid wastes. The waste management area has been progressively developed over the last decade at least, with refurbishment and possibly re-roofing of original surface disposal cells in 2011, construction of new storage facilities between 2013-2020, and development of new access roads.

Open source information reports the development of a regional interim waste storage facility at the CHASNUPP 1 (C-1) site,20 which refers to the location of the safeguarded PWR reactor. The facility, reported to be under construction in 2014, includes over-packing and storage facilities. The over-packing building (22 x 22 x 5m) is dedicated to cement over-packing of mild steel waste drums of solid / solidified wastes, in reinforced concrete containers, with concrete capping. The storage building (65 x 22 x 5 m) is stated to accommodate 1,000 reinforced concrete containers, stacked thee high. These buildings were located on the CHASNUPP 1 site, as shown in Figure 16, and construction is verified to have been in progress in November 2013, using historical Google Earth imagery. The dimensions of these facilities match that of four new buildings on the waste management site, developed between 2013-2020, and one original building, suggesting these may have an identical function. Also visible in the most recent image of the waste management area are characteristic yellow coloured mild steel waste drums, present on the concrete apron of the surface storage and disposal facilities, which are documented to be used for cement encapsulated solid waste and disposed in near surface trenches at PINSTECH.21 Therefore, the other buildings of concrete construction in the waste management area are likely to be cement encapsulation facilities, which would be required to manage the stripped fuel cladding and other wastes from the reprocessing facility in line with international practice.

Figure 16. A possible waste management area, connected to the reprocessing facility, has developed considerably over the last decade. This figure shows the possible waste management area over time from 2002 to 2020 (top left, top right, middle left, middle right, and bottom left) and identified new storage facilities which appear externally identical to a storage facility as CHASNUPP-1 (bottom right).

Conclusion

Analysis of recent and historic public domain satellite imagery has identified a significant and previously undocumented extension to the Chashma reprocessing plant and considerable development of co-located infrastructure over the last decade. The siting and both internal and external signatures of the new extension building suggest that its function may be an increased capacity to receive spent nuclear fuel for reprocessing transported by road. If this is indeed the function of the extension, then it can be reasonably interpreted to signal an intention to scale up fuel throughput and reprocessing (which may have already commenced, at least in a commissioning capacity). At a minimum, the extension to the plutonium separation plant and associated facilities at Chashma demonstrates an on-going commitment to invest in and operate plutonium separation technology at industrial scale. It is not clear from satellite imagery whether the Chashma reprocessing plant has continued to operate during the construction. If not, the pace and scale of recent infrastructure developments signal that resumption of reprocessing activity may be expected in the near future.

This is supported by the wider development of the site infrastructure. A review of historic imagery has recognised external and internal signatures of previously identified buildings as consistent with those expected of a HLW tank storage facility and HLW vitrification facility.

Today is the last day of the winds of God’s wrath? Jeremiah 23

Today is the last day of the record-smashing 2020 Atlantic hurricane season

Thank goodness

By Justine Calma on November 30, 2020 11:42 am

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season officially ends today, wrapping up a truly exhausting season that smashed records and dealt repeated blows to vulnerable coastal communities.

It’s just been crazy,” says Allison Wing an assistant professor of meteorology at Florida State University. “For the forecasters and scientists involved I think everyone is really just a bit tired at this point and kind of ready for it to be over.”

“ THIS WAS THE MOST ACTIVE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON EVER DOCUMENTED”

This was the most active Atlantic hurricane season ever documented. Thirteen storms strengthened into hurricanes, the second highest number in recorded history. Thirty storms grew strong enough to earn a name, beating 2005’s record of 28 storms. The World Meteorological Organization actually ran out of storm names by September, turning to the Greek alphabet for labels for the first time since 2005. For comparison, an average season only has a dozen named storms.

Researchers knew this year would be a doozy from the beginning. “All of the things pointed in the direction of having a very active season, and then it came to fruition,” says Matthew Rosencrans, a meteorologist at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center.

Sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic were warmer than usual, fueling stronger storms. The West African monsoon, a major wind system that can influence storms over the Atlantic, was also stronger this year. There was also weaker vertical wind shear over the Atlantic, which is good news for hurricanes since stronger wind shear can tear the storms apart. The season became even busier when a La Nina climate pattern developed in September and weakened the wind shear even more.

“ “ONE OF THE MOST NOTABLE THINGS ABOUT 2020 IS JUST ALL THESE STORMS RAPIDLY INTENSIFYING.”

While a busy season was predictable, nine storms this season threw additional curveballs at forecasters when they rapidly intensified as they approached land. “To me, that’s one of the most notable things about 2020 is just all these storms rapidly intensifying up to or almost up to the point of landfall,” says Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.

Storms that gain power so quickly can be especially dangerous because it gives people less time to prepare for the fierce winds and rising waters. There are only two other years — 1995 and 2010 — with nine rapidly intensifying storms on the books, according to Klotzbach. Unfortunately, rapid intensification appears to be happening more often as global average temperatures continue to rise.

The fury of these intense storms was not evenly distributed. Some places got hit repeatedly, with barely any room between storms to brace themselves. Eta and Iota devastated Nicaragua and Honduras within two weeks of each other this November. Iota, the strongest hurricane on record to strike Nicaragua, triggered catastrophic flooding and landslides; at least 40 people have died across Central America and Columbia as a result. Louisiana was hard hit, too. Five storms, nearly half of all of the storms that made landfall in the US this year, struck the state. The most devastating was Hurricane Laura, which made landfall with category 4 strength and killed at least 23 people in the state. Iota and Laura pushed tens of thousands more from their homes.

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season was horrible, but by some measures, it still pales in comparison to 2005. While 2020 had more storms, 2005 had stronger storms. Thankfully, no single storm this year matched the pain wrought by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina which killed well over 1,000 people.

“ FORECASTERS ARE STILL AT WORK”

Now, the season is formally over, but 2020 isn’t one to stick with formalities. Officially, the season begins on June 1st each year and ends on November 30th. But this year, the first named storm, Arthur, developed in May. That made this the sixth consecutive year that a storm earned its name before June 1st. Normally, the Atlantic’s season follows a curve, with the busiest part of the season in September before gradually tapering off. This year, some of the strongest hurricanes — Eta and Iota — struck unusually late, and they may not be the last storms to form. Just like it disregarded the official start to the season, 2020 may persist past its official end. There’s no guarantee that we won’t see more stragglers through December.

Forecasters are still at work and are currently keeping an eye on a low-pressure system in the eastern Atlantic, which could become Kappa.

Seven protesters dead in clash with the Antichrist

At least 7 dead in weekend clashes between protesters, Sadr supporters in Nasiriyah

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — At least seven people died and more than 60 were wounded on Friday and Saturday during clashes between protesters and supporters of influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Nasiriyah. 

Protesters in the city’s Habboubi Square were reportedly forced out of their tents and shot at by Sadr supporters, leaving at least seven people dead and scores wounded in a city which has significant bloodshed since demonstrations began last October. 

Sadrists armed with guns and pistols came to try to clear our tents. We fear that more violence could take place,” Mohammad al-Khayyat, a leader of the anti-government movement told AFP.

On November 28 last year, more than three dozen people died in protest-related violence at Nasiriyah’s Zeitun Bridge. 

Iraqi counter-terror services were sent to the city on the orders of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to rescue a kidnapped activist in September.

Tens of thousands of Sadr supporters took to the streets of Baghdad and Nasiriyah at the weekend to express their support for the Shiite cleric – also head of the Sairoon Coalition, the largest parliamentary bloc – ahead of next year’s elections.

Sadr called on his supporters last week to gather at Baghdad’s Tahrir square – the epicenter of Iraq’s protest movement – to perform Friday prayers, hoping that this would clean up the “atheism” that he said has taken over the city’s streets.

“After Tahrir Square became a place for infidelity and disobedience of God… it is our duty as believers to raise the name of God in the square,” Sadr wrote on Monday.

He then took to Twitter on Friday to thank his supporters for mobilizing.

“Today, you gave me hope that the upcoming elections are in good hands, and Iraq will be taken out of the hands of corrupt people from outside and inside Iraq,” Sadr tweeted.

However, the cleric later called for an end to violence, asking the people of Nasiriyah to “not fight among themselves.”

“The people need to come together for the upcoming democratic process for their rights to not be taken away from them,” he added.

This is not the first time Sadr has called on his followers to take to the streets.

The cleric previously threatened a “million person march” back in February, amid delays appointing a government cabinet.

Eleven people died and more than 200 were injured after Sadr supporters stormed a Najaf protest camp in February.

The prime minister’s office on Sunday announced the formation of a body led by National Security Advisor Qassim Al-Araji to “restore stability” in Dhi Qar province. 

The US Embassy in Baghdad also expressed concern regarding the “unjustifiable” violence. 

“The United States condemns the violence against peaceful protestors that took place in Nasiriyah, Dhi Qar today.  These unjustifiable acts of violence have no place in a democracy,” the embassy said on Saturday.

“The United States joins the international community in calling for those responsible to be held accountable, and for the government to provide protection for protestors and others engaged in the legitimate exercise of free speech,” it added.

Iran Promises payback!

Iran promises a ‘calculated, decisive’ response to murder of nuclear scientist

Iran intends to give a “calculated and decisive” response to the murder of its top nuclear scientist. A top adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei recently claimed that the country intends to respond soon.

“Undoubtedly, Iran will give a calculated and decisive answer to the criminals who took Martyr Mohsen Fakhrizadeh from the Iranian nation,” Kamal Kharrazi, head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, announced in a statement.

Fakhrizadeh was for long suspected to be at the helm a secret nuclear weapons programme for Iran by the West and Israel.

On Friday, he was gunned down in his car after a group of assailants ambushed him. Top leaders in Iran have repeatedly blamed Israel for the killing. The country has blamed Israel for a series of murders of Israeli scientists since 2010.

Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged ‘punishing’ those who were behing Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s killing. Fakhrizadeh was a top nuclear scientist in Iran and was assassinated on Friday. Khamenei added that Fkhrizadeh’s work must be taken forward.

Khamenei called for “following up on this crime and certainly punishing the perpetrators and those responsible, and … continuing the scientific and technical efforts of this martyr in all of the fields he was working in”. His statement was published on his official website.

Khamenei called Mohsen Fakhrizadeh a “prestigious nuclear and defence scientist” and said he was “martyred by the hands of criminal and cruel mercenaries”.

“This unparallelled scientist gave his dear and valuable life to God because of his great and lasting scientific efforts, and the high prize of martyrdom is his divine reward,” he added.

Fakhrizadeh was “martyred” after being seriously wounded when assailants targeted his car and engaged in a gunfight with his bodyguards outside the capital Tehran on Friday, according to Iran’s defence ministry. The ministry said that the scientist, who headed its research and innovation organisation, died after medics failed to revive him.