Newsletter IV 2023
January 22th to ...
|Current news+||Background knowledge|
This PDF file contains a list of known accidents and releases of radioactivity. As new information becomes available, this list will be expanded and updated...
Excerpt for this month:
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In Russia's terrible war of aggression against Ukraine, Russia is deliberately destroying energy production in Ukraine. Pitilessly directed against the civilian population, Putin's army is causing immeasurable suffering through deaths and injuries - on the one hand directly through the air strikes, but on the other hand also indirectly in the cold and dark winter in Ukraine, where electricity and heating often fail.
The West is helping in the Ukrainian energy crisis, especially with diesel generators to supply hospitals and other facilities with electricity.
After all, this shows that a decentralized energy supply is much more crisis-proof than large central power and heating plants.
It is particularly bad that the Ukraine buys the immensely increased demand for diesel through additional diesel generators from Russia via Bulgaria and thereby also contributes significantly to financing Russia's murderous war.
For example, in 2022 Ukraine bought over 800 million euros of petroleum fuel from Russia via Bulgaria, which is about a thousand times more than before the war...
"Decent amount of radiation"
A millimeter-sized capsule fell from a truck in a mining area in western Australia. Now the authorities are feverishly looking for the object. Because the container is radioactive and can cause skin burns in humans.
In Western Australia, authorities are frantically searching for a radioactive capsule that was lost in transit from a mining site. The capsule, which is only six by eight millimeters in size, is said to be located somewhere on a 1400-kilometer stretch between a mine north of the mining town of Newman and Malaga, a suburb of the metropolis Perth.
The region's health officer, Andrew Robertson, issued an urgent health warning. Anyone who discovers something that looks like a tiny capsule should keep a distance of at least five meters. The capsule emits "a fair amount of radiation," Robertson said. Within a radius of one meter, this is about as high as ten X-rays within one hour - or the amount of natural radiation that a person is exposed to over a whole year...
Deliveries of fighter jets: How the Ministry of Defense in Kyiv wants to make hurdles fall. The USA and France "keep the doors open". Poland is in favor if "NATO as a whole" agrees.
How long will it take the government in Kyiv to convince the NATO countries to deliver F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine? Poland, the Netherlands and France belong to the coalition of the willing, which is signaling readiness, and support has also been signaled by the Baltic states.
The USA, whose decision significantly influences the German government according to previous experience, does not rule out the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine ...
What alternatives to main battle tanks do you see? A conversation with the arms opponent Jürgen Grässlin
NATO countries are now supplying battle tanks to Ukraine. Does that have a new quality for you?
In the first months of the war, arms export advocates said: We only supply defense weapons. The argument at that time has proven to be a deceptive maneuver. The deliveries of main battle tanks that are now taking place are definitely exports of offensive weapons. They can also be used to inflict devastating blows in the rear of the Russian attackers. At the same time, a massive escalation of the war is promoted, which harbors immense dangers.
InterviewJürgen Grässlin is spokesman for the campaign "Action Outcry - Stop the Arms Trade!" as well as the German Peace Society - United War Service Opponents (DFG-VK) and the Armaments Information Office (RIB).
Does this make Germany a party to the war?
At least Russia classifies the arms supplier Germany as a war party, with unforeseeable consequences. Objectively, Germany becomes a party to the war at the latest when it sends its own soldiers. But what if German soldiers train Ukrainian soldiers on German weapons? That's exactly what will happen with the Leopard delivery order...
The power giant EDF has maneuvered itself so deep into the nuclear impasse that it is now considering extending the lifetime of nuclear power plants to 80 years.
The nuclear power country France has its back to the wall because of its failed energy policy. Since the expansion of renewable energies was neglected and, as the new plans show, will continue to be handled with kid gloves, there will be a huge power gap for many years.
So it's only a matter of time before it gets as cold as it did in 2012 and power consumption explodes again to over 100 gigawatts (GW), because a third of households are still heating with electricity from their neighbors.
However, the decrepit nuclear reactors are currently only producing just under 43 GW, while electricity imports from neighboring countries are already increasing to over eight GW. The network operator RTE is already planning rolling shutdowns - so-called controlled brownouts - of entire regions.
Although President Emmanuel Macron likes to fantasize about the construction of new nuclear reactors, even according to the most optimistic and not very credible timetables of the EDF, a small part of the power gap will be closed between 2035 and 2039 at the earliest, if the now intended acceleration of the power plant construction actually succeeds. But that too is highly questionable. So it's no wonder that the French nuclear friends' Plan B consists of simply continuing to extend the operating times of the old reactors....
Germany wants to transform the economy with green hydrogen. One of the most important producers is Australia. Instead of coal, the fifth continent will rely on sun and wind in the future.
Australia is fed up with wind and sun
In hardly any other country are the conditions for mass production as good as on the fifth continent: in large parts of the huge territory the sun shines constantly and with high intensity during the day, at night a constant, strong wind blows. "We can generate more green energy than we use ourselves," comments Philip Green, the Australian ambassador in Berlin. Germany, in particular, needs additional energy after the Russian gas is no longer available - and this can only consist of green hydrogen if the transformation of German industry is to succeed. Green sees the project as an ideal complement. “We have the energy, Germany the technology”.
The medium-term goal by 2030 is 15 million tons of green hydrogen. One of the largest producers is Andrew Forrest, co-owner of the mining company Fortescue Metals Group and one of Australia's wealthiest. Instead of coal and aluminum, Forrest will be using green electricity in the future. "We don't have to dig anything out of the ground for this," he says in the direction of Germany, "and you don't have to pay the Kremlin for it"...
The big oil companies have got powerful allies for their climate disinformation with tech giants - at least as long as they offer them an unregulated platform.
The fossil fuel industry's climate messages may have adapted for the new century, but its goal is the same as it has been for decades: to delay climate change and thereby protect its profits for as long as possible.
Climate Action Against Disinformation (CAAD), a coalition of over 50 global climate and anti-disinformation organizations, recently released their report on targeted climate disinformation at the UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh (COP27). 18 organizations analyzed over 850 advertisers who ran ads on social media between September 1st and November 23rd, 2022. In doing so, they tracked down numerous misinformation and misleading narratives ...
Suspended sentences for demonstration
On January 26, the Nancy Court of Appeal announced the second instance verdict in the case against seven anti-nuclear activists. Three convictions to four-month suspended sentences remain for participating in or organizing an unregistered demonstration on August 15, 2017. The court had already shelved the accusation of forming a criminal organization at the hearing in November.
The court was unable to prove alleged physical attacks on gendarmerie units during the said demonstration and, above all, the possession and/or transport of "explosives and illegal pyrotechnics". Around six years after the start of these investigations against nuclear waste disposal opponents, essentially nothing remains of the more than 20.000 pages of investigation files ...
The French judiciary is investigating the oil and gas company TotalEnergies on suspicion of misleading business methods in climate protection.
As the AFP news agency reports, the public prosecutor's office has been dealing with the allegation of so-called greenwashing since December 2021. The background is a lawsuit by three environmental organizations. They accuse TotalEnergies of promoting climate protection on the one hand, but investing heavily in fossil fuels on the other. TotalEnergies wants to increase gas production by a third by 2030...
Concrete from ancient Rome is more durable than today's. Scientists decipher the ancient recipe
Roman concrete is indestructible: Even after 1900 years, the huge dome of the Pantheon is impressive, and even 2000-year-old ancient docks have proven to be more durable than modern concrete piers. Scientists have long puzzled over how the Romans managed to produce a building material that repairs itself. But now researchers have revealed another part of its secrets.
While in this country motorways get cracks from the "concrete cancer" and bridges crumble, the master builders in ancient Rome were already much more advanced: They had different special recipes with which they produced resource-saving concrete that outshined modern concrete based on "Portland cement" in terms of quality.
That is why scientists have been trying for decades to track down the lost knowledge of "opus caementitium" (as Roman concrete was called) in order to make it usable for today's buildings...
France's nuclear disaster pushes energy supplier EDF and the government further into an energy impasse. Instead of taking a decisive turn now and stepping up the expansion of renewable energies, the problem is being postponed into the future.
France has had an energy supply problem for many months and it is not getting better. The Grande Nation, which considers itself independent thanks to nuclear power and is much less dependent on gas supplies from Russia than Germany, was convinced that it would survive the energy crisis triggered by the war. But then the rivers were too warm or empty in summer, nuclear power plants had to be taken off the grid and half of all reactors are in need of rehabilitation.
Time for a decisive energy turnaround, one might think, but France's largely state-owned energy supplier has a different idea. Why not let the nuclear power plants run twice as long instead of the planned 40 years and simply postpone the problem to the following generations? Perhaps by then there will also be a repository solution for twice as much nuclear waste? Just under a year ago, President Macron also announced the construction of new nuclear power plants ...
Relative rotation to the rest of the planet has stopped since 2009
Surprising pause: The inner, solid core of the Earth has not shown a superrotation since 2009. While it used to spin a little faster than the rest of the planet, it is now standing still, seismic measurements reveal. Accordingly, its relative rotation is paused, as it was in the 1970s. This could indicate that the movement of the Earth's inner core follows a regular cycle of around 60 to 70 years, as researchers report in "Nature Geoscience".
The solid inner core of the earth is freely movable in a bath of liquid iron. Only this interaction of the liquid outer and solid inner core of the earth creates the earth's magnetic field. At the same time, in this iron bath, the inner core of the Earth can - and appears to - move independently of the rest of the planet. According to models and older measurements, the rotation of the inner core leads the rest of the planet by about one degree per year...
Energy and climate – compact: Storing carbon dioxide underground and under the sea: A perfect solution for high emitters. The catch: It has hardly been technically tested, is extremely expensive and risky. There are also alternatives. A comment.
Mankind should remove CO2 from the atmosphere in order to achieve the Paris climate goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees Celsius and ideally to 1,5 degrees, according to some scientists: inside.
There is a lot to be said for the fact that the 1,5 degrees should be observed at all costs and should not be exceeded in the short term, exceeding the tipping points in the climate system should be avoided as far as possible. It will probably also be necessary to remove CO2 from the atmosphere again, after all, today's CO2 concentration is the same as in the Pliocene era, i.e. three to five million years ago, when sea level was 15 to 20 meters higher than today.
It does not make sense that the study "The State of Carbon Dioxide Removal" (CDR) is aimed in particular at new technologies for removing CO2, which have so far been inefficient and therefore risky. Reforestation is not possible indefinitely, but there is still a lot of potential. There is also considerable potential in rewetting moors ...
Doomsday clock is closer to midnight than ever before
Urgent warning: As of yesterday, the "Doomsday Clock" stands at 90 seconds to midnight - indicating an unprecedented level of threat to humanity. The pointer of the “doomsday clock” was advanced by another ten seconds. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists cites the war in Ukraine and the escalation of the conflict with Russia, the climate crisis and biological hazards as the reason for their decision.
Since 1947, the doomsday clock has been a symbol of the threat to the world. It is intended to show how close humanity is to destroying itself through conflict, weapons and other man-made technologies. The committee of the "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" (BAS), founded by Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer and other physicists, decides on the respective pointer position. For the past two years, the doomsday clock has stood at 100 seconds to twelve...
As in the Second World War, Switzerland is once again one of the beneficiaries of the war.
In the UN Security Council, Swiss Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis spoke to the conscience of the veto powers — these are the USA, Russia, China, France and Great Britain. It was about the rule of law among nations. Cassis emphasized that Switzerland is looking forward to working for security and peace. This is not so clear, because in recent decades Switzerland has been exporting war material to countries that were waging war, which is actually forbidden under the War Material Act. The Swiss armaments industry sold arms to NATO countries that were at war in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and so on. With its arms exports and the financing of armaments companies, Switzerland is now one of the beneficiaries of all these wars. As in World War II, the country is again a war profiteer.
In the first nine months of 2022, Switzerland's war material exports increased by 50 percent year-on-year to CHF 756 million. Switzerland exported more in only two of the past 30 years. It is therefore quite possible that the industry will have reached an export record in 2022
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are working together on a thermal nuclear-powered rocket
- The new propulsion technology should reduce the flight time from seven months to around 45 days
- So far, however, there is only one concept for the drive. A test flight is scheduled to take place by 2027
A journey to Mars takes about seven months with current rockets. A rocket with thermal nuclear propulsion from NASA is said to greatly reduce flight time.
Washington, D.C. (USA). Conventional rockets take about seven months to get to Mars. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has therefore been looking for new propulsion concepts for a long time in order to be able to reach the red planet more quickly. Now NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the research arm of the United States Department of Defense, have announced that they are jointly developing a thermal nuclear propulsion system that should revolutionize space travel and deep space missions in particular.. .
According to the Federal Agency for Disposal, around five million liters of salt water ran into the dilapidated Asse II nuclear waste storage facility in the Wolfenbüttel district in 2022. The crowd has remained stable, they say.
The inflow corresponds to a daily inflow of 13 cubic meters, the BGE announced on Wednesday. Most of the water that entered, around 4,4 million liters, was collected at a depth of 658 meters. It had therefore had no contact with the radioactive waste stored in the mine. Machines pumped this amount to the surface after a release. Water that has seeped deeper into the mine will be left there, they say.
126.000 barrels of hazardous waste stored in Asse II
Between 1967 and 1978, 126.000 barrels of radioactive and chemical waste were stored in the Asse II nuclear waste storage facility, including highly toxic plutonium and arsenic. Because water is entering and the tunnel is in danger of collapsing, the barrels should be salvaged. The neighboring shafts Asse I and Asse III had previously filled up and been abandoned.
In connection with the new US military support package for Ukraine, there was an indication that uranium-containing ammunition could also be included in it.
The following lines describe this ammunition, its special purpose and the risks associated with such a use for the Russian enemy, but also for the Ukrainian civilian population - and sometimes even for their own soldiers.
Uranium-containing or so-called DU ammunition (depleted uranium)
"Uranium" projectiles have a particularly high bullet weight and penetrate armor better than other ammunition. Strictly speaking, this is depleted uranium (DU), also known as uranium-238. This is a waste product from the creation of fuel rods or nuclear weapons...
Media reports: 14 weapon systems are to be made available. Approval of the FDP and Union. Poland's request had increased the pressure on Scholz.
This Tuesday evening, the information was apparently leaked to several media at the same time: After months of hesitation, the federal government will deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine.
The German press agency was the first medium to report today, followed by the news magazine Spiegel and the news channel n-tv. Accordingly, countries that have bought "Leopard 2" may also send this weapon system to Kyiv.
At least one company of the Leopard 2A6 version should therefore be made available from the Bundeswehr stocks. This means that 14 German battle tanks are going to the Ukraine...
In Brussels, the federal government is campaigning for a restriction of the liability rules in the EU supply chain law - apparently under pressure from the FDP and industry. This is the result of research by CORRECTIV and Frontal. The example of rubber shows how demand from Europe is driving deforestation and displacement in Africa.
Mud brick huts are scattered along a country road in southern Cameroon. Children crouch on the ground between them, a few men steer through the settlement into the tropical forest further back. "This is the land our ancestors left us," says one of them. "But if the rubber takes all of that away from us, what are we going to do? From what should we live?"
According to a recent scientific study, from 2003 to 2017, around five million hectares of rainforest destroyed for rubber cultivation. According to the organization Global Witness, rubber represents the largest export-driven threat for the rainforest of Central Africa.
Consumers are usually not aware of the circumstances under which everyday products are made from natural rubber. Large importers such as the tire manufacturer Continental refuse to disclose the origin of the raw material. And further research shows that the entire rubber industry has a transparency problem...
"Lobbyland" column. Germany's absurd energy policy. How representatives of business interests systematically influence politics. A typology.
Three members of parliament enter Berlin's finest hotel. A table is laid in the fireplace room. Each of the three gentlemen is assigned a servant who, after a warm welcome, simultaneously lifts the silver toques from the starters. Across the way sit three gentlemen in expensive tailored suits whose salaries are higher than the diets of their guests.
It is the crème de la crème of the lobbyists of a large energy company. Plenty of kind words are exchanged about sports, hometowns and strenuous days, even though it's supposed to be about coal, energy security and the hassle of protecting the climate. After the meal we continue by the fireplace: like in a Hollywood film, with whiskey and an exclusive Cuban cigar. From there it becomes more specific.
Far too often, the behavior of the profit lobbyists is overly appreciative of the politicians who feel important and flattered. I use the term I coined "feel-good lobbying".
The situation they have experienced is particularly decadent, more often it is friendly, more formal, but always with the aim of a good relationship in order to build commitments. Invitations to football games in the VIP box or to other events can quickly become standard - the "Philipp Amthors" have been around for a long time...
Belgian nuclear power plant Tihange:
Special Aachen. The controversial Belgian nuclear reactor Tihange 2 has been keeping people in the Aachen city region busy for over a decade, but also in the Düren and Heinsberg districts. The most important facts.
Everything starts in 2012. At that time it became known that there were hairline cracks in the reactor pressure vessels in the two Belgian nuclear reactors Tihange 2 in Huy and Doel 3 near Antwerp. The explosive thing: The Belgian nuclear power plant Tihange is only about 60 kilometers away from the city limits of Aachen as the crow flies. Initially only opponents of nuclear power took to the streets against Tihange, but as more and more new incidents and studies related to Tihange became known, people's concerns increased and in the end an entire region was affected. On February 1st, Tihange 2 will go offline. It's been a long road to get there. An overview.
The fact that there are cracks in the pressure vessels of the Doel 3 and Tihange 2 nuclear reactors first became known in the summer of 2012. The Belgian nuclear regulatory agency says the reactors are safe despite the cracks. Ultrasonography revealed 8000 of these defects in Doel 3 and 2000 in Tihange 2. One initially assumes an average size of one centimeter and a maximum size of 2,4 centimeters. Both reactors are then initially shut down. Jan Bens, then head of the nuclear regulatory authority Fanc (Federaal Agentschap voor Nucleaire Controle), said in spring 2013 that the reactors had been intensively examined and were "101 percent" safe, so that Doel 3 and Tihange 2 were in early June 2013 by the operator Electrabel, later Engie, allowed to be booted up again. In March 2014 they will be shut down again by order of the authorities.
In 2015, Fanc revised the number of cracks upwards: 3149 in Tihange and 13.047 in Doel. A short time later, new figures for the size of the cracks are known. Instead of the previously specified maximum length of 2,4 centimeters, there is talk of nine centimeters. "The cracks have not gotten any bigger, they have now only been examined more precisely by ultrasound," says Anne-Sophie Hugé, Engie spokeswoman. In mid-December, Fanc will also allow the piles to start up again...
Because of missed climate targets:
The Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation in Germany (BUND) has filed a lawsuit against the federal government. The environmentalists see violations of legal climate targets.
The Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND) is suing the federal government for failing to meet climate targets in the areas of transport and buildings. This was reported by the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" (SZ), the corresponding information was also available from the German Press Agency.
In its lawsuit filed with the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court, the BUND demands the decision of Immediate programs, as provided for in the Climate Protection Act. Germany had not achieved its goal of cutting greenhouse gases by 2020 percent by 40 compared to 1990 levels - and not in 2021 either. According to preliminary calculations by the Agora Energiewende think tank, this will be 2022 also not successful.
Allegations against several ministries
There is a gap, particularly in the areas of transport and buildings, as the Federal Government's expert council had already pointed out. The climate protection program of the federal government, which should address this, is still pending.
In the lawsuit, the environmentalists accuse several ministries of legal violations ...
They want to make us believe that it's about morale and help for Ukraine, but there are at least military-economic interests in the background.
However one interprets Chancellor Scholz's position, which has been condemned as hesitancy, on the question of supplying Leopard tanks to Ukraine, one thing is clear: it is not just about the selfless support of Ukraine, which some journalists like Kornelius and his team in the SZ (enlightening the last press club) or politicians like Strack-Zimmermann, Hofreiter or Kiesewetter in their ideological bubble to open up offensive opportunities for Ukraine again.
Especially with regard to Poland, which is leading the campaign to bring the Leopard to Ukraine instead of French, British or American battle tanks, it becomes clear that some states want to dispose of a legacy with a generous gesture in order to arm themselves with other battle tanks, and at the same time Washington sees an opportunity to increase arms purchases and thereby tie countries more closely to the United States. That there is no German medium about such backgrounds, but the Swiss one NZZ reports, is characteristic of the orientation of many German journalists ...
From 2050, Switzerland wants to store its nuclear waste near Hohentengen on the High Rhine. How is such a repository constructed? This is shown in a virtual exhibition in the Leibstadt nuclear power plant visitor center.
The future of Swiss nuclear energy lies in a museum in Leibstadt. Here on the Rhine, opposite Dogern, the local nuclear power plant uses an illusion to provide information about the planned repository for radioactive waste.
Germany wants a location by 2068
Because in the debate about nuclear power, it is an argument that cannot be argued away: nuclear waste will radiate for hundreds of thousands of years. So far, Germany has no solution for this, apart from the promise to find the location for a repository by 2068 at the latest. Switzerland is further along.
Nagra will be busy processing and submitting its general license application until autumn 2024. That's several thousand pages on which the authorities explain why they chose Nördlich Lägern as the location.
When all of this has been checked by the authorities and approved politically and a possible referendum is on the agenda – then the first construction work on the site can begin. The repository is expected to cost 23 billion Swiss francs.
LUXEMBOURG/CATTENOM - Should Cattenom be closed? Greenpeace warns about site safety as government seeks political action.
Is the safety of the Cattenom nuclear power plant guaranteed? Only recently did it become known that pipe parts were also to be replaced in Unit 2, which had previously been left out when it came to stress corrosion. Greenpeace Luxembourg has meanwhile requested information on corrosion from the operator EDF (Electricité de France). According to an inspection by the French nuclear safety agency ASN, relayed by the Luxembourg NGO, the Italian-made spare parts intended to counteract this wear and tear were not properly controlled. Greenpeace therefore fears "the risk of non-compliant parts" ...
Unsuccessful energy saving measure
There was a power outage across Pakistan on Monday morning. It may take up to XNUMX hours for power to be available again, according to the country's Energy Department. The background to the failure should be fluctuations in the power grid.
Islamabad. The power went out in large parts of Pakistan on Monday morning. The trigger was apparently a failed energy-saving measure by the government: the electricity had been switched off during the night. At daybreak, however, the engineers were unable to restart the system, according to the authorities.
Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir told Pakistani media work is underway to restore electricity across the country, including the capital Islamabad. He assured that this will succeed within the next twelve hours. The outage caused panic in some places.
As a result of the failure, many people were without drinking water because pumps were not working. In the midst of cold winter weather, schools, hospitals, factories and businesses were without power. In addition to the capital, major cities such as Quetta, Peshawar and Lahore were also affected. Among other things, the subway was canceled there...
Coal, gas and oil are still the triggers of wars today. Unjust regimes use it to finance acts of terrorism. Moreover, nuclear energy and nuclear weapons go hand in hand. Why the energy transition is more than climate protection.
For decades, the Global Peace Index has shown that war zones around the world overlap with the locations where the energy resources uranium, coal, oil and natural gas are found, mined or transported. Energy resources have always been an important trigger, catalyst and supporting factor in international wars and civil wars.
A prominent example is the massive military involvement of the USA in the Gulf region, such as the Iraq war under the Bush administration in 2002, which can be traced back to American energy interests.
Russia has used other countries' dependence on its energy resources as a strategic "weapon". Modeled after the 1973 Yom Kippur War - in which OPEC turned off the world's oil supply to encourage the annihilation of Israel - Putin has used Europe's dependence on natural gas, oil, coal and nuclear energy to launch the war against Ukraine to finance and at the same time to destabilize European democracies ...
Future storage of the nuclear waste barrels from Asse remains unclear
The significant delay in the search for a storage site for the high-level radioactive waste could also affect the timetable for the clearance of the Asse nuclear waste storage facility. In the Asse region, there is growing fear that the return of the nuclear waste barrels with low and medium-level radioactive nuclear waste from the dilapidated mine near Wolfenbüttel will also be postponed - and that the interim storage facility to be built for the Asse waste will thus become a permanent storage facility.
The Federal Agency for Disposal (BGE) recently announced that the statutory goal of naming a site for the repository for highly radioactive nuclear waste by 2031 cannot be met. The search will last until 2046 in the best case and until 2068 in the worst case. The evaluation of geological data and the development of the necessary investigation methods required more time than initially estimated. Because the construction of the repository will take decades, filling may not begin until the 2080s. This does not even take into account further delays caused by protests from residents and legal proceedings.
At the same time, the BGE is sticking to the date for the salvage of the nuclear waste barrels from Asse. "According to the current planning status, the retrieval should begin in 2033," confirms BGE spokeswoman Monika Hotopp on request. Once brought to the surface, the partially damaged and rusty barrels are first to be repackaged and parked in an interim storage facility that is currently being planned...
North Korea's wartime behavior has South Korea considering its own nuclear bombs. It could endanger the security of East Asia
North Korea's missile tests and nuclear threats are worrying South Koreans. So much so that the South Korean president is considering developing his own nuclear weapons -- that would push the entire region into an arms race.
When Kim Jong Un fires another missile in North Korea, he simultaneously fires a signal to the world. A signal that demands attention and says: We are here and we are dangerous.
Every projectile from the north, every nuclear threat, increases concerns in South Korea about a hot war in which nuclear weapons are also used. In fact, the two Korean states are technically still at war; the Korean War ended in 1953 only with an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty. Hardly any country in the world is as threatened by nuclear weapons as South Korea.
But people there are increasingly fed up with Kim's nuclear saber-rattling. So much so that South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeoul is considering whether his country should produce nuclear weapons itself - or the US should station them back in the country. In so doing, he sparked a once unthinkable debate...
The currently most powerful and largest wind turbines in the world achieve 15 megawatts and more. Their wings measure more than 100 m.
The product life cycles of wind turbines have shortened further. Both onshore and offshore, the motto is: the bigger, the more powerful, the more wind that can be captured, the better for the kilowatt-hour price. Within a year, the onshore industry has jumped from six MW to 7 to 7,2 MW turbines with rotors over 170 meters in diameter. Offshore it gets even crazier. 15 MW is reality and the plans are in the direction of 20 MW per turbine ...
A nuclear power can hardly be defeated with tanks. And each additional day of war causes immeasurable damage. Which steps would now be necessary from the point of view of the peace movement.
In the run-up to the meeting of the Ukraine contact group in Ramstein on January 20, 2023, the pressure on the German government to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine has increased. A decision on the delivery of these tanks was not made at the meeting for the time being. There would have been no agreement. But, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg: "The deliberations will continue."
Before the conference, amid the debate over the delivery of heavy weapons, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threatened that a nuclear power's defeat in a conventional war could trigger a nuclear war. A threat that we should take seriously and not dismiss as a bluff.
If Russia is on the defensive or under attack, the risk of using nuclear weapons increases. This also applies to an attack, for example on the Crimea. The reports from the USA about support for a recapture of Crimea are therefore alarming. It is highly dangerous and irresponsible to probe where the red line is for the Russian government...
|Current news+||Background knowledge|
Arms lobbying in the Ukraine war
Cheek wins: How the FDP politician Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann plays down her proximity to the armaments lobby
DUSSELDORF. If the Düsseldorf FDP member of the Bundestag at the head of the defense committee is also involved in the three most important lobby organizations of the armaments industry - in the "German Society for Defense Technology" (DWT) and the "Förderkreis Deutsches Heer" (FKH) and as Vice President of the "German-Atlantic Society" (DAG) - then critical questions from the electorate are appropriate. Because Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann sits there together with the top managers of the party donation-friendly armaments group Rheinmetall (with the group headquarters and sponsorship in her Düsseldorf constituency) as well as with the leading representatives of all other German armaments companies, along with other politicians and high-ranking military officers. She also sits on the advisory board of the Federal Academy for Security Policy under the spokesman MdB Kiesewetter (CDU), together with members of the Federal Security Council.
No one has personally accused her of bribery, but a lack of sensitivity to bias and obvious conflicts of interest: The “Lobbycontrol” initiative, which advocates transparency and democracy with its “Lobbypedia” internet platform, fears this, as does the “Membership Watch” internet platform and the international anti-corruption organization “Transparency International", but also the opposition Left Party in the Bundestag: The armaments industry would thus have "very narrow and privileged access to Parliament".
Critics from civil society unanimously say - and rightly so - that a committee chairman would want more distance to prevent the armaments industry from influencing political decision-making processes. Against this background, how should the role of the FDP deputy Ms. Strack-Zimmermann be assessed, who, as chairwoman of the defense committee, is also "voluntarily" involved in several networked lobby organizations in the armaments industry, whose wishes and demands she (as a military layman) loudly voices in the political? public wears? Since the current call for "new armaments manufacturers" and the "building of a strong armaments industry" for a "war economy" that is now necessary has become louder and louder in Germany, the involvement of politicians in the armaments industry's lobby networks suddenly no longer seems so questionable and disreputable, but honorable to be, because the armaments industry now appears as the "saviour of all of us"?
Since Ms. Strack-Zimmermann in particular calls for more weapons and rearmament particularly often and loudly in the media, this should be the occasion to take a thorough look behind the scenes of the lobby networks of the armaments industry and the many politicians and media representatives involved in this comprehensive documentation to risk their environment. After all, anyone who, as an elected representative of the people, maintains close ties with the armaments lobby and moves unashamedly in their sphere of influence, albeit unpaid like the brash FDP MP Strack-Zimmermann, has to put up with criticism and face the justified distrust and suspicion of the electorate.
Arms lobbying works across party lines
This also applies to their colleagues from the FDP as well as from the other parties. Because lobbying by the armaments industry works across parties and via many networks, so there is only hope that our elected politicians will not fall for the lobbyists, as was also evident again at this year's "World Economic Forum" of the elites in Davos and even more so in February the "Munich Security Conference" will again be particularly blatant to observe.
ARD fact check names the 3 most important lobby groups in the armaments industry
Even the ARD fact check confirms that the three organizations mentioned, to which Strack-Zimmermann belongs, are among the most important lobby groups in the German armaments industry - in addition to the umbrella organization of the armaments industry (BDSV = Federal Association of the German Security and Defense Industry), which was co-founded by Rheinmetall, the 160 armaments companies and their suppliers belong. It represents the combined interests of its members and on its website on January 3, 2023 quoted the title of a critical comment from the FAZ in the “Börsenwoche” column: “Peace on Earth through Armament”. In it, the author Archibald Preuschat criticized that the beneficiaries of the war are the investors in arms manufacturers, but armaments values have fallen out of time.
Armaments lobbyists: "Without armaments there is no peace and no sustainability"
The newspaper comment was contradicted in a letter to the editor by the acting chairman of the armaments lobby umbrella organization, Dr. Hans Christoph Atzpodien, with the outrageous protective claim: "Arms deliveries serve to avoid war and thus to fulfill human rights. Without armament there is no peace and no sustainability”. This reinterpretation is reminiscent of George Orwell's novel "1984" about the big brother: "War is Peace." Ms. Strack-Zimmermann and her political comrades-in-arms probably also underwent this breathtaking "brainwashing", otherwise their commitment to rearmament is incomprehensible.
"Make peace with more and more weapons"?
And this superstition seems to be intoxicating most political mandate holders and media professionals at the moment in a revived "hurrah patriotism", similar to the neoliberal globalization frenzy of the last 30 years, from which we are just waking up sobered. Well-armed, they go "to the fight" to "defeat" the Russians... (In other words, this is the daily battle cry of the political frontwoman Strack-Zimmermann: "Create peace with more and more weapons", because we fight for the good?Anyone who breaks away from this conscience-calming perspective of the arms lobby is considered an incorrigible and eternally yesterday's pacifist, at worst as a "Putin understander" and must be marginalized?
"This war is not about our freedom, it's about US interests"
Contrary to the widespread propaganda, Harald Kujat speaks plainly: “Ukraine is fighting for its freedom, for its sovereignty and for the territorial integrity of the country. But the two main players in this war are Russia and the USA. Ukraine is also fighting for US geopolitical interests. Because their declared goal is to weaken Russia politically, economically and militarily to such an extent that they can turn to the geopolitical rival who is the only one capable of endangering their supremacy as a world power: China.(...) No, in This war is not about our freedom. The core problems why the war started and is still going on, although it could have ended long ago, are completely different.” This obvious fact has not yet got through to the Strack-Zimmermanns. With her policy she may be useful for the armaments lobby, but she is doing our country and the population a disservice with a potentially dangerous outcome. She should therefore be reminded of her oath of office as a member of the Bundestag:
The oath of office reads: "I swear that I will devote my energy to the well-being of the German people, increase their benefit, protect them from harm, uphold and defend the Basic Law and the laws of the Federation, carry out my duties conscientiously and do justice to everyone ( so help me God).
Wilhelm Neurohr, January 21, 2023
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The term military-industrial complex (MIK) is used in socio-critical analyzes to describe the close cooperation and mutual relationships between politicians, representatives of the military and representatives of the armaments industry.
The concept of a military-industrial complex was coined in 1956 by the American sociologist Charles Wright Mills under the title The Power Elite (German: "The American Elite: Society and Power in the United States") ...
The term gained popularity through the US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who in his farewell speech on January 17, 1961 expressly warned against the entanglements and influences of the military-industrial complex in the USA. Eisenhower, who himself had once been Chief of Staff of the Army, like Mills saw the military-industrial complex as a danger to democratic institutions and democracy ...
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