Newsletter XXII 2024

26. May to 1. June

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2015 2014 2013 2012 2011

Current news+ Background knowledge

The PDF file "Nuclear Power Accidents" contains a number of other incidents from various areas of the nuclear industry. Some of the events were never published through official channels, so this information could only be made available to the public in a roundabout way. The list of incidents in the PDF file is therefore not 100 % identical with "INES and the disturbances in nuclear facilities", but represents an addition.


1 Maj 1968 (INES 4 | NAMS 4,6) Nuclear factory Windscale/Sellafield, GBR

1 Maj 1962 (french Nuclear test "Beryl") In Ekker, Algeria, FRA

2 Maj 1967 (INES 4) NPP Chapelcross, UK

May 4-5, 1986 (INES 0 Class.?) NPP THTR 300, GER

7 Maj 2007 (INES 1) NPP Philippsburg, GER

7 Maj 1966 (INES 4) RIAR Research Institute, Melekess, USSR

11. to 13. May 1998 (6 atomic bomb tests) Pokhran, IND

11 Maj 1969 (INES 5 | NAMS 2,3) Nuclear factory Rocky Flats, United States

12 Maj 1988 (INES 2) NPP Civaux, FRA

13 Maj 1978 (INES ? Class.?) NPP AVR Jülich, GER

18 Maj 1974 (India's 1st atomic bomb test) Pokhran, IND

21 Maj 1946 (INES 4) T Undlicher Unfall in Los Alamos, NM, USA

22 Maj 1968 (Broken ArrowUSS Scorpion sunk sw. of the Azores, USA

24 Maj 1958 (INES ? Class.?) NRU reactor Chalk River, CAN

25 Maj 2009 (North Korea's 2nd nuclear bomb test) Punggye-ri, PRK

26 Maj 1971 (INES 4 | Class.?) Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, USSR

27 Maj 1956 (US atomic bomb tests) Eniwetok and Bikini, USA

May 28 and 30, 1998 (6 Pakistani nuclear bomb tests) Ras Koh, PAK

 

We are always looking for up-to-date information. Anyone who can help, please send a message to:
nuclear-world@reaktorpleite.de

 


1. June


 

climate damage | Oil companies | Compensation

New climate law

US state wants to collect damages from oil companies

Vermont is getting serious: After devastating floods, the US state is demanding compensation from large industrial companies. The basis is a new law that the Republican governor surprisingly passed. 

It is a step with symbolic significance: Vermont was the first US state to pass a law that requires oil and gas companies to pay for climate damage. The region has recently been affected by floods and other extreme weather events.

The governor of Vermont is not a fan of the law: Republican Phil Scott said the small state would likely face grueling confrontations with "Big Oil." He did not sign the law either, but it came into force even without his signature. Scott also acknowledged that urgent action needs to be taken to combat the consequences of climate change. Climate change has already “damaged Vermont in many ways,” Scott said.

[...]

Companies that are active in the extraction of fossil fuels or the refining of crude oil and which caused more than a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions in the relevant period are said to be particularly affected.

The money could be used by the state to, among other things, improve storm sewer systems, renovate roads, bridges and railway lines, relocate, raise or upgrade wastewater treatment plants and make energy-efficient renovations of public and private buildings. According to media reports, other states are considering similar measures, including Maryland, Massachusetts and New York.

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Climate Crisis | Flooding | Civil protection

Extreme weather:

Don't say flood of the century, say climate crisis

The floods are extraordinary when looking back over the last 100 years. But in times of climate crisis, the term flood of the century loses its meaning.

Every compassion should be expressed for the people who will be hit hardest by this weekend's storm. We wish them that disaster protection works and that they do not come to any harm, at least not to life and limb. This is what is empathetically obvious when you - especially as someone who is not affected, a non-South German - follow how the disaster unfolds with heavy rain and thunderstorms, with water levels, closures and evacuations. And is repeatedly confronted with a word that is almost omnipresent in the news.

[...]

The “flood of the century” in which 180 people died on the Ahr and Erft, by the way, was less than three years ago. That was mid-July 2021. The federal and state governments provided 30 billion euros for a reconstruction fund. Despite all the differences - geographical, meteorological and hopefully also local political - between then and now in southern and southeastern Germany: Such storms confront us as a society with the question of how we want to act in the future. In a future in which the word event of the century only has this meaning at most - that the century will be full of them.

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South Africa | Coalition | ANC

Loss of power for ANC confirmed:

Who will govern South Africa in the future?

After counting almost all votes, South Africa's electoral authority has confirmed that the ruling ANC has lost many votes to other parties. With whom he could rule the country.

The loss of an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections means more than a massive electoral debacle for South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC).

ANC probably lost 17 percentage points of votes

For the first time in the country's 30-year democratic history, the party of the former anti-apartheid fighter Nelson Mandela will no longer govern alone, but will have to form a coalition and make political compromises. Just with who?

[...]

Coalition option 1: the Democratic Alliance

According to political commentators, there are two main possible coalition partners: On the one hand, the economically liberal Democratic Alliance (DA), which, according to the preliminary partial results, has 21,71 percent.
Although the DA is ideologically far removed from the ANC, it has already proven itself at the provincial level: since 2009, it has governed the Western Cape Province, in which the tourist metropolis of Cape Town is located.

Aleix Montana, political analyst at risk consultancy Verisk Maplecroft, believes an ANC-DA coalition is likely despite differing ideologies. Such an alliance would be welcomed by Western partners and foreign investors, Montana said.

Coalition option 2: the Marxist party EFF

The other likely coalition option, analysts say, is a merger of the ANC with the Marxist-leaning Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), which advocates large-scale expropriations and nationalizations without compensation...

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CO2 | CCS | CCU

CO₂ storage law

Habeck's CO₂ policy angers the SPD and the Greens

The Federal Cabinet wants to allow the capture and storage of carbon dioxide in natural gas power plants. Criticism comes not only from environmental associations, but also from government parties.

The CO2 storage law passed by the federal government this week is not only met with resistance from environmental organizations, but also from traffic lights, namely from SPD and Green politicians.

The reason for this: According to the draft drawn up by Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens), in the future CO2 that comes from natural gas power plants will also be captured and stored underground. It is feared that this would unnecessarily extend the era of fossil fuel combustion.

On Wednesday, Habeck brought the draft of the storage law and key points for a “carbon management strategy” through the cabinet. The capture and storage or use of carbon dioxide – abbreviations CCS and CCU – are then permitted. So far, these procedures have been practically banned.

They are approved for industrial sectors such as cement and steel as well as waste incineration, where certain residual emissions cannot be avoided. Public funding is also possible for this.

[...]

“Disincentives for fossil business models”

Climate and environmental politicians such as Nina Scheer from the SPD and Lisa Badum and Armin Grau from the Greens complain that the inclusion of natural gas is not covered by the traffic light coalition agreement, which only provides for CCS and CCS for unavoidable residual emissions.

Scheer said that this limit was “exceeded by the draft” and that this was “incompatible with neither the coalition agreement nor the clear positioning of the SPD parliamentary group.”

Badum also called for the procedures to be limited to sectors that cannot be electrified or decarbonized by other means. Grau warned of “false incentives for sticking with fossil fuels and continuing outdated business models.”

The Greens can rely on a parliamentary group resolution from December, which states: "We do not see the energy industry as an area of ​​application." They are betting that the law can still be changed in the parliamentary process...

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Israel | Media | Netanyahu

Perceptual vacuum of reality

Israel is on the brink of the abyss. The country is perishing. But it is as if citizens were committing state suicide.

One of the side effects of the ongoing disaster in which Israeli society has been living since October 7th is the blatant decline in the ability to have a factual, truthful discourse about the country's reality. This has to do with the self-imposed synchronization of the public media, especially radio and television, in the current state of war. But not only. Of course, as everywhere, the media plays a key role in forming and shaping public opinions. At the same time, they also prove to be established mouthpieces for their clientele - they themselves are so influenced by the constant input of the opinions and attitudes that are rampant among the population that the constant sound of the talk, chat and so-called news programs feel like an echoing reproduction of streets - or gutter chatter and the flat hum of regulars' tables (called “parliaments” in Israeli popular jargon).

This is not to say that these phenomena are new. The effects of what has been called and analyzed for decades as the “culture industry” are well known; They not only affect times of crisis, but are, on the contrary, an effective part of the normalization mechanisms in capitalist consumer behavior and the associated defusing of all critical thinking and actions.

Two things can be cited as peculiarities of Israel's current situation that go beyond the normal. On the one hand, the country's acute crisis requires a discourse that could at least offer a reflection on the genesis and structures of the emerging catastrophe.

[...]

Internally, Israeli society is deeply divided

On the other hand, objective structures also influence the specific character of the public reaction to the threatening crisis in which the Israeli population is living. Although one can describe the crisis coherently, one cannot assume that “the population” has to react to it homogeneously. The Israeli population is anything but homogeneous, and not only in this respect. It is true that the Jewish part knows that it is united and “united” against the “Arabs”, the “Palestinians”, “Hamas” (and sometimes also “the world”); these fulfill the consolidating cementing function “towards the outside”...

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Myanmar | Proxy war | civilian population

Escalation in Myanmar:

This is how the new Cold War rages in Asia

The USA, China and Russia supply both parties to the conflict. The big bang hasn't happened yet. But the preparations for this are obvious.

In addition to the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, one of the most explosive geopolitical conflicts is disappearing from view: the fight over Myanmar. Just a few days ago, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern about the escalation of violence in the north of the Asian country. The reasons for the escalation were not given: A power struggle is raging in Myanmar between the USA on the one hand and China and Russia on the other.

The UN's warnings mainly relate to the consequences for the civilian population. The civilian population of the Rohingya ethnic group in particular has once again suffered victims.

[...]

Meanwhile, the civil war in Myanmar is attracting more international attention. Will the country become the scene of a proxy war between the USA and the major powers China and Russia? There is often talk of a “new Cold War” conflict. Experts like the journalist Bertil Lintner, who lives in Thailand, point out this: The developments in Myanmar could significantly contribute to a shift in the global balance of power.

The USA supports the National Unity Government (NUG) counter-government formed after the military coup and its armed allies, the People's Defense Forces.

In contrast, China and Russia, although not always openly, tend to act on the side of the ruling junta of the State Administration Council (SAC)...

 


31. May


 

South Africa | Corruption | ANC

Elections in South Africa:

ANC in free fall

The ANC, which has been in power since 1994, is threatened with losing its absolute majority. Former President Jacob Zuma's new party is on the rise. 

JOHANNESBURG taz | Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe and Communications Minister Mondli Gungubele, two ANC veterans, were already casting concerned looks at the glowing blue display on Thursday afternoon. What the board at the Results Operation Center (ROC) of the South African Electoral Commission (IEC) in Midrand, Johannesburg, says does not look good for the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

On Friday morning it was finally clear what the forecasts had already predicted. Although only half of the votes have been counted, the ANC only has 42 percent. Even though the final election results are not expected to be available until Sunday, one important finding is already emerging: for the first time since 1994, the ANC will likely fall below 50 percent.

Mismanagement, corruption scandals and clientelism have caused trust in Nelson Mandela's former liberation movement to crumble. In the last elections in 2019, the ANC won 57 percent of the vote, but the downward trend has not only become apparent since this election. For the first time since the end of apartheid, South Africa is now looking forward to a coalition government.

[...]

They're still too good The riots of 2021 are remembered, when Zuma supporters looted through the streets and several hundred people died. The reason was that the now 82-year-old was sentenced to 15 months in prison after he refused to testify about corruption allegations during his time in office.

But on election day it remains quiet. Despite some broken scanners and inefficient voter processing, which leads to long waiting times, the mood is good. But the ANC got itself a bloody nose.

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Nuclear phase-out | Compensation | Energy Charter

state liability

EU terminates Energy Charter treaty

Victory for the environmental lobby: Companies now no longer have the opportunity to sue states if political decisions such as an early phase-out of coal devalue their investments in the energy sector.

The Council of the EU has unanimously decided to withdraw the community from the Energy Charter Treaty. This decision represents the final step in a multi-stage process and thus has immediate effect. The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) was concluded in the 1990s to provide better legal protection for large private investments in fossil energies, especially oil, gas and coal.

The contract gave companies the opportunity to sue a state directly if they were negatively affected by decisions made by the respective government. Vattenfall serves as a prominent example in Germany. The Swedish state-owned company sued the federal government in an international arbitration tribunal in 2012 for six billion euros in damages. The company justified this step by saying that due to the early shutdown dates for its Krümmel and Brunsbüttel power plants, it could no longer produce all the amounts of electricity that had originally been allocated to it.

The electricity companies received billions for the nuclear phase-out

In a 2016 ruling, the Federal Constitutional Court also determined that there was a need for compensation for these residual amounts of electricity that could no longer be used. In the end, the federal government agreed on a settlement with the affected electricity companies Vattenfall, RWE, Eon/PreußenElektra and EnBW. To compensate for the economic consequences of the early nuclear phase-out, the federal government paid compensation of 2,43 billion euros...

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Climate Crisis | Fridays for Future | European elections

Right-wing and conservatives hand in hand against climate policy

350 million Europeans will be able to cast their ballot at the beginning of June. In the last days before the election, the climate movement is trying to reach enough new voters in order to avoid a disastrous shift to the right in terms of climate policy.

One week before the European elections, Fridays for Future is calling for a climate strike. “The fight against the climate crisis must again be at the forefront of EU policy after the elections,” it says in a call. The movement is planning protests this Friday in twelve EU countries and in over 90 German cities against the impending shift to the right and for more climate protection in the EU.

“Back at the top again after the elections” – some may wonder whether that doesn’t glorify the past a little. In fact, shortly after the last European elections in 2019, it gave the impression that it was done and that the climate crisis was finally being taken politically seriously.

Tens of thousands took to the streets at the time and called on politicians to take action. There was a historically high voter turnout of over 50 percent, no program of the democratic parties could afford to leave out climate protection and the Greens gained significantly in votes, while those who objected to climate policy in the conservative and social democratic factions were punished.

A few days after her election, the newly appointed Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stood in front of the cameras and announced the “European Green Deal”. Europe should be the first continent to become climate neutral by the middle of the century.

What wasn't enough even back then, as numerous environmental associations complained, was at least a step away from the eternal standstill...

*

Climate protection | Severe weatherInsurance

Heavy rain and extreme weather:

The warning of new record damage

There is a risk of heavy rain and flooding in parts of Germany. Meanwhile, Fridays for Future fears attacks on climate protection. How high the damage is already. 

Severe weather warnings have been coming thick and fast since Thursday evening. Several media outlets are warning of a “new flood of the century” – the last one is now not even three years ago.

Despite the increase in extreme weather: rollback in climate protection?

In line with this - although it has been planned for some time - the Fridays for Future movement has once again called for a climate strike: In Germany, classes are to be boycotted in more than 90 cities this Friday. With the protests, the movement wants to draw attention to an “anti-ecological shift to the right” that is threatening in the European elections on June 9th.

Frieda Egeling, spokeswoman for Fridays For Future Berlin, explained: "While floods, water shortages and heat waves threaten hundreds of thousands in Europe, right-wing extremists are stoking fears about climate protection and want to roll back climate laws." Protests by the youth movement have also been announced in twelve other EU countries.

Consequences of storms: the insurance industry sounds the alarm

The “Association of the German Insurance Industry” GDV made it clear this week how strong the threat already is today. According to this, insured losses of 5,7 billion euros were incurred last year due to storms, hail and heavy rain. “That is 1,7 billion euros more than in 2022,” said GDV managing director Jörg Asmussen in Berlin.

According to the association, the previous recorded record was 2021 billion in 13,9 - the year of Floods on the Ahr, Erft or the Weser...

*

Elections | DisinformationArtificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence from OpenAI

ChatGPT developers expose several government disinformation campaigns

The Internet is flooded with fraudulent content: State-backed actors have used OpenAI's artificial intelligence for disinformation. The ChatGPT developers now claim to have stopped five campaigns.

ChatGPT developer OpenAI says it has stopped five disinformation campaigns by state-backed actors in the past three months who wanted to use ChatGPT's artificial intelligence (AI) for fraudulent activities, as OpenAI announced in a blog post.

The actors in question therefore tried to use OpenAI's language models for tasks such as generating comments, articles and profiles in online networks. In addition, the models were also used to test codes for bots and websites. "These operations do not appear to have benefited from significantly greater user activity or greater reach through our services," reassured the company's CEO Sam Altman.

The foiled campaigns are said to have originated in Russia, China, Iran and Israel.

[...]

It is feared that apps such as ChatGPT or the image generator Dall-E can produce fraudulent content on a large scale within seconds. Countries such as Russia, China and Iran specifically use online disinformation platforms to manipulate elections.

In terms of content, the campaigns were about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the elections in India, politics in Europe and the USA as well as criticism of the Chinese government. According to OpenAI, collaboration, intelligence sharing, and protections built into their applications made it possible to thwart abuse.

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Criminal | Don Trumpl

"Guilty. Guilty. Guilty"

Trump, the election fraudster

It will take the US justice system eight years to catch up with Donald Trump. The jury only has one verdict for the ex-president: guilty. Trump therefore used illegal means to win the 2016 presidential election. The defeat visibly affects him. But not for long.

Guilty. 34 times. So often the speaker answers the question about the charges with this word. After the first, Donald Trump closes his eyes and shakes his head slightly. His lawyer Todd Blanche wants to hear it again, from the twelve jurors individually. Trump is now looking in their direction. Everyone repeats the verdict, some looking down, others looking at Judge Juan Mercan. He thanks the jury and they leave the room. Blanche is calling for the verdict to be invalidated because it was based on the testimony of Trump's former personal lawyer and star witness Michael Cohen, but Merchan brushes off the request. The ex-President of the United States is therefore a convicted criminal.

There are detailed reports from the media about what happened in the Manhattan Criminal Court this Thursday, such as that from the New York Times. The sentence for the hush money trial in Manhattan is still missing. Merchan has announced this for July 11th. Trump's team has also already announced that it intends to appeal. But the guilty verdict is comprehensive. The then Republican presidential candidate conspired with others to influence the 2016 election in his favor with hush money payments based on women's stories, thereby violating election law and trying to cover this up with fake documents...

 


30. May


 

Biden | Ukraine | US weapons | Russia

Defense of Kharkiv

Biden allows Ukraine to limit the use of US weapons in Russia

Change of course in the White House: US President Biden gives Ukraine the green light to use US weapons against targets in Russia - but only to defend the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.

US President Joe Biden has apparently allowed Ukraine to attack targets inside Russia with American weapons. This is reported by several US media outlets, citing government representatives. Initially, this permission probably only applies to targets near Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine, where Russian troops last advanced. Offensive strikes with long-range weapons are also still prohibited.

The decision marks a change in direction in Biden's policy. The US President had previously banned Ukraine from firing weapons supplied by the US at targets in Russia.

[...]

A stronger role for NATO in coordinating aid is also being discussed. So far, the USA has been organizing military aid from its allies in the so-called Ramstein Group. By transferring this role to NATO, the aim is to make it independent of political developments in the USA. According to diplomats, this is particularly true if former President Donald Trump wins the election in November.

*

South AfricaElections

ANC loses partial results in parliamentary elections in South Africa

After the first vote count, it appears that the South African ruling party will lose. This would be the first time since 1994 that the party would not have an absolute majority.

According to initial partial results, after the parliamentary elections in South Africa there are signs that the African National Congress (ANC), which has ruled alone for 30 years, will lose its absolute majority. After 35 percent of the votes were counted, the party of national hero Nelson Mandela received 42,3 percent, according to the electoral commission. In 2029, the ANC had received about 57 percent of the vote. At that time, 66 percent of those eligible to vote took part in the election. This time it was reportedly 70 percent.

The ANC has suffered a “significant blow,” said political scientist Daniel Silke. "This is a shock to the system of the ANC and will ultimately be a shock to the system of the average South African who has only known ANC rule since 1994," it added. The election redraws South Africa's political boundaries and creates a certain level of uncertainty, Silke also said.

The largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), received around 25 percent in the partial results. With nine percent, the left-wing radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by ex-ANC official Julius Malema made up the third strongest force - followed by the new MK party of former president and ANC chairman Jacob Zuma with eight percent.
The electoral commission announced that the first partial results did not yet contain the results from the major cities, especially Johannesburg and Durban...

*

Pakistanlate effectsLow-level radiation | Ras Koh

Pakistan's military power:

Late fallout in Balochistan

Pakistan tested nuclear warheads in a supposedly deserted region 26 years ago. The evidence has long been pointing to long-term health consequences.

CHAGAI taz | Khalil Ur Rehman's 60-year-old father recently died of cancer, and his 27-year-old brother, Shafiq Ur Rehman, is suffering from blood cancer. Khalil, 30, runs a shop in Soragl, a village in northwest Chagai district of West Pakistan's Balochistan province, where there is an independence movement. Soargl is one of the closest settlements to the Ras Koh Mountains, 30 kilometers away. Pakistan conducted six underground nuclear tests there from May 28 to 30, 1998.

This made it the seventh country in the world and the first Muslim country to have nuclear weapons. The nuclear tests were a response to tests by hostile neighbor India just two weeks earlier.

[...]

Student collects independent data

But there have long been doubts. Abdul Razik, a student from Chagai at the University of Balochistan, conducted a study for his master's thesis in 2014. It contradicts the government's claims. In his paper “Impacts of Nuclear Tests on Chagai,” Razik claims the explosions occurred on a mountain in the Ras Koh Mountains, where there was an inhabited village called Chehtar.

The government claims that “only ten households near the testing site were affected, which were relocated to a safer location.” But according to Razik, there were many more households nearby and even a distance of one kilometer would not have given them safety. According to Razik, four thousand people were affected by the nuclear tests.

[...]

According to Aryan Mengal, who works as a social worker in the Ras Koh area, common diseases include typhus, pneumonia, skin and liver diseases, hepatitis and thalassemia, in addition to cancers such as leukemia. Children are particularly affected.

Many of the children born after the nuclear tests in the region were of short stature and suffered from various disabilities. “Since, according to my observation, the parents and grandparents of these children do not have such diseases and characteristics, this makes this situation even more alarming,” says Mengal...

*

PanamaSea level | Flooding

Panama accuses industrialized countries

Island sinks into the sea - 1350 people relocated

As a result of climate change, sea levels are also rising. Panama is therefore evacuating the residents of an island. The president complains that 48 other populated islands are in immediate danger of being flooded and denounces rich industrialized countries as being responsible.

Because of the threat of flooding due to rising sea levels, almost all residents of a small island in Panama are being relocated to the mainland. President Laurentino Cortizo handed over the newly built settlement of Nuevo Cartí on Panama's northern coast to the indigenous Guna people. Around 1350 people will leave the overpopulated island of Carti Sugtupu in the coming days, as Cortizo wrote in a post on X.

[...]

Cortizo: Industrialized countries responsible for resettlement

The Panamanian president blamed rich industrialized countries and their increased greenhouse gas emissions for the necessary evacuation and emphasized that poorer island states in particular were the first to be affected by the consequences of global warming. “There are countries like ours that have to divert resources because of the climate crisis,” he complained. "The climate crisis that the world is experiencing [...] has forced us here in Panama to move from the island to this settlement of about 300 houses."...

*

RadonRadiation exposure | lung cancer

Radon as a suppressed cause of lung cancer

Radon is an odorless, carcinogenic noble gas. It concentrates unnoticed in homes and causes lung cancer. Do you know if you are at risk?

Not all cancer risks in Germany are anthropogenic like active or passive smoking, but ignoring a risk is a human decision due to ignorance or ignorance. Radon is an odorless, carcinogenic noble gas that can concentrate unnoticed in homes and basements.

As early as 2008, a study showed that indoor radon is responsible for around five percent of all deaths from lung cancer throughout Germany. That's around 1.900 deaths per year.

Although the numbers are no longer completely new, they are still considered current today. This is due to the fact that radon mainly occurs in older, existing buildings. Anyone whose house is built on granite subsoil might have heard of it.

The noble gas radon causes the highest contribution to natural radiation exposure in Germany. Even if the noble gas is of natural origin, it is by no means healthy...

*

IsraelMiddle East Conflict | ICC | Mossad

Mossad threatens criminal court

Report: Israel's intelligence services should avert ICC investigations into government. Chief prosecutor intimidated and threatened

Israel's government reacted with outrage last week to the announcement that the International Criminal Court (ICC) could issue arrest warrants for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Joaw Gallant. However, according to a report published on Tuesday by the London Guardian and the Israeli websites +972 and Local Call, one cannot speak of surprise. Accordingly, Netanyahu in particular had not only feared such a step for a long time. He even tried to put pressure on the chief investigators at the Hague facility, including with the help of the foreign secret service Mossad.

The ICC began investigating Israel under chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in 2015. Israel, like the USA, Russia and China, has not signed the Rome Statute of the Criminal Court, which is normally the prerequisite for such a step. In 2012, however, the UN General Assembly accepted Palestine as an observer state, which enabled the national authority in Ramallah to also join the ICC. So the Court was now able to initiate investigations against suspected criminals from Israel; after all, it concerns human rights violations in the occupied territories including Gaza - i.e. in Palestine, which recognizes the ICC and where such crimes therefore fall under its jurisdiction.

According to the Guardian, Palestine's ICC membership was said to have been a "red line" for the Israeli government. After all, unlike the UN General Assembly, the Hague Tribunal is not a “toothless” institution, as the London paper quotes a voice from Israel. So the government put the Mossad on Bensouda to ensure that their initial preliminary research came to nothing...

 


29. May


 

Climate protection | Right-wing populistsEuropean elections

European elections: With the right against climate protection

Europe is currently experiencing an unprecedented shift to the right. Never since 1945 have national populists or even parties with a barely disguised fascist tradition been as close to government power in so many countries as they are today. The European Parliament, which will be re-elected between June 6th and 9th, also threatens to show a significantly different face in the next five years.

Anyone who wants to gauge the strength of the right does not have to look at their well-known strongholds of Hungary and Austria, nor at Northern Europe, where they appear to be firmly established, nor at the Iberian Peninsula, where they have recently felt an upswing. No: It is enough to focus on the classic core Europe, on the six founding states of today's EU. In four of them, right-wing forces are threatening to win the election: France, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium. In addition, Germany has an AfD that is considered so right-wing even among Europe's right-wingers that even Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National no longer wants to cooperate with it.

Only Luxembourg is left out of the founding states - but as a small country it only provides six of the 720 MEPs. On the other hand, over 13 percent of the seats belong to the German delegation alone (96 representatives); France (81) and Italy (76) also send large groups. So if up to a third of the votes in three of the most populous EU states go to the extreme right, that has a massive impact. If you add the still strong PiS in Poland, you can see that the shift to the right is taking place in the historical and geographical center of the European Union.

[...]

The firewall that Germany is currently fighting to maintain has long since been undermined or even completely overthrown by conservatives elsewhere. Even if Weber wanted to, he could hardly commit the EPP to a strict demarcation course.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has not ruled out being confirmed in office if necessary with the votes of right-wing parties - at least those from the more pro-Western ECR. This is not least an expression of the new balance of power that is emerging: five years ago, von der Leyen was only relying on a narrow nine-vote majority from the ranks of the EPP, socialists and liberals. This majority is now at risk...

*

Agriculture | Supply ChainMercosur

Soy supply chain: “Farmers have every reason to protest”

Large supermarket chains make millions in profits from the soy business. Farmers are in the red. Clear rules are needed to limit the power of retail, says “Aktion Agrar” and announces protests.

Europeans consume 60 kilograms of soy per capita per year. Only a fraction of it comes in the form of tofu or soy sauce. The lion's share is hidden in meat and other animal products.

The German hunger for soy amounts to six million tons, which are shipped across the Atlantic every year on huge container ships, mainly from the USA and Brazil. The Dutch research institute Profundo has taken a closer look at the supply chain for Brazilian soy in a new study on behalf of the environmental initiative Aktion Agrar.

[...]

The deforestation of rainforest and the displacement of small farmers are further consequences of the constant expansion of soy cultivation.

According to Jutta Sundermann from Aktion Agrar in an interview with Klimareporter°, existing regulations such as the EU Supply Chain Act are not sufficient to rule out damage to people and the environment caused by soy cultivation. Free trade agreements such as the EU-Mercosur agreement, which has been negotiated for decades, would create further incentives for cultivation and are therefore unlikely to be ratified.

Farmers have every reason to protest against the agricultural system, explains Sundermann. “However, many of the current protests are being co-opted by the right or are leading to a blanket attack on environmental regulations.”

Together with the Working Group for Rural Agriculture (AbL), Aktion Agrar is therefore calling for a demonstration against soy imports at the port in Brake in Lower Saxony. A campaign with numerous boats is also planned at the special harbor on the Weser between Bremen and Bremerhaven.

For Sundermann, the study's findings are another argument to "turn away from the global meat and animal feed market" and focus on climate, biodiversity and the future of farms. “We are happy about all the farmers who are joining our protest.”

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Democracy | Economic policyLoss of confidence

Fairer economic policy

Economists call for an agenda against populism

Dozens of renowned scientists are calling for a realignment of economic policy. They propose profound changes to address the loss of trust in liberal democracies.

In view of growing distrust of liberal democracies, scientists in Berlin have called for a new policy. Governments must urgently ensure that they address the perceived or actual loss of control that concerns many people, says the call from the New Economy Forum. Because this is one of the most important causes of “people’s discontent” – and of the loss of trust in democracy.

The core of the new economic policy should be to no longer focus exclusively on economic efficiency, but rather on creating shared prosperity and secure, high-quality jobs. Industrial policy should proactively address impending regional upheavals by supporting new industries in their transformation - and not, as has often been the case in the past, handing out subsidies and loans to maintain their status quo.

[...]

Rise of populism in the super election year?

Populists threaten to experience an upswing in the global super election year of 2024. The widespread feeling of powerlessness is fueled, among other things, by globalization and technological change, the call says. And now also through climate change, AI and inflation. »Decades of mismanaged globalization, excessive reliance on self-regulation of markets and austerity have undermined the ability of governments to respond effectively to such crises.«

What is needed now is a new political consensus that addresses the causes of people's distrust - rather than just focusing on the symptoms or falling into the trap of populists who pretend to have easy answers...

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JapanFukushima | Daiichi

Robots are supposed to clean up the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

Robots are supposed to clear the radioactive debris from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that crashed in 2011. The first test run will be followed by more.

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO), operator of the Japanese nuclear power plant Fukushima Daiichi, which was destroyed by an earthquake in 2011, plans to send robots to the contaminated plant this year to recover melted, highly radioactive material. The company has now carried out initial tests with robots. It was possible to pick up tiny pieces of simulated fuel element fragments using a remote-controlled robot.

The removal of the melted fuel elements in the Daiichi 2 reactor block was actually supposed to have started by the end of 2021. But the clean-up work turned out to be more difficult than expected, so there were repeated delays.

[...]

First test collection planned

TEPCO is now planning to use the robot to carry out an initial test sampling in the contaminated reactor block. The aim is to remove around 3 grams of contaminated material.

[...]

However, the robots still have a lot of work to do. The total of three damaged reactors in Fukushima are believed to contain around 880 tons of highly radioactive, melted nuclear fuel...

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Amnesty International | Death penalty

Number of executions in 2023 at highest level since 2015

According to Amnesty International, more than 1.000 people were executed by the state worldwide last year. The number of executions is increasing, especially in Iran.

Last year, at least 1.153 people were killed on the orders of a state court, according to the human rights organization Amnesty International. This is the highest figure since 2015, Amnesty said in a report on the global use of the death penalty. Only a few countries are responsible for this increase.

Accordingly, Iran alone accounted for almost three quarters of all recorded killings with 853 people executed. That is an increase of 48 percent compared to the previous year. Iran is followed by Saudi Arabia with 172 executions, Somalia (38) and the USA (24). In addition, according to Amnesty, the number of new death sentences imposed worldwide in 2023 rose by 20 percent to 2.428 compared to the previous year.

[...]

USA is testing new killing methods

In the USA, Amnesty continues to criticize the support of the death penalty by several US states. Some of them have even introduced "a new, cruel method of execution"; one person was killed in Alabama with the untested method of suffocation with nitrogen gas. Overall, the number of executions in the USA rose from 18 to 24 compared to the previous year. In the US states of Idaho and Tennessee, bills have also been introduced that would allow executions by firing squad.

[...]

China and other countries with a high number of unreported cases

Amnesty International also assumes that China continues to execute the most people in the world. Because of the strict censorship in the country, Amnesty's report does not contain any more detailed information; There are probably thousands of people who were executed in China.

For similar reasons, no figures can be provided for North Korea and Vietnam - however, Amnesty assumes that both countries execute people on a large scale. In North Korea, for example, there is a new law that makes it punishable by death not to speak Korean under certain conditions.

Furthermore, Amnesty registered 38 executions in Somalia last year, more than six times as many as in 2022. Across the Sub-Saharan Africa region there was a drastic increase in death sentences of 66 percent (494 in 2023). In addition, Myanmar continued to impose death sentences in secret and unfair military courts.

 


28. May


 

RosatomFramatome | Lingen fuel element factory

France's business with Russia:

Protest against Macron's nuclear deal

French President Macron receives the Westphalian Peace Prize in Münster. Opponents of nuclear power demonstrate against his nuclear policy.

GÖTTINGEN taz | Inside the honor, outside the protest. While French President Emmanuel Macron is being awarded the International Peace of Westphalia Prize on Tuesday morning in Münster's historic town hall "for his tireless commitment to limiting the conflict at the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine," a few corners away, opponents of nuclear power are demonstrating against the "cozy course" France with the Russian nuclear company Rosatom. “Macron’s nuclear policy is financing Putin’s war,” the demonstrators wrote on a banner.

Rosatom is linked through a joint venture with the French nuclear company Framatome, which operates the only German fuel element factory in Lingen, Lower Saxony. Because business is slow, hexagonal fuel elements for Russian and Soviet-style nuclear reactors will also be manufactured there in the future. Rosatom technicians were already in Lingen to train German personnel and set up components for Rosatom machines.

“Macron is being celebrated here as an alleged peace fighter. “But with his nuclear policy he is financing Putin’s attack on Ukraine,” says Bettina Ackermann from the anti-nuclear organization “.ausradiert”. In the words of Vladimir Slivyak, co-chair of the Russian environmental organization Ecodefense and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, Rosatom is “a tool of the Kremlin.” The state-owned company bundles all of the country's nuclear activities, from uranium mining to nuclear weapons, and is actively involved in the war against Ukraine, for example through the occupation of the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.

Putin makes billions from selling uranium

“Any cooperation with Rosatom benefits Putin and increases energy dependence on Russia,” Slivjak continued...

*

Climate protection | Emissions trading | Oil companies

Fraud in climate protection projects in China?

How drivers are ripped off

With climate protection projects in China, mineral oil companies in Germany can achieve their legally prescribed climate targets. But according to "frontal" research, many of these only exist on paper. 

Climate protection projects worth more than half a billion euros were only faked. Consumers pay the costs when they fill up their cars or buy heating oil. The projects are approved by the Federal Environment Agency. Renowned German testing institutes and global oil companies are involved in the scandal. "frontal" spoke to insiders, evaluated satellite images and searched for clues in China.

Explosive: When asked by "frontal", the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) explains that none of the testing bodies that examined Chinese climate protection projects had accreditation for this...

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RussiaUzbekistanSMR | Jizzakh region

Russia plans to build an SMR nuclear power plant in Uzbekistan

An agreement between Uzbekistan and Russia calls for the construction of a nuclear power plant with six small modular reactors in Uzbekistan's Jizzakh region, with construction work set to begin as early as this summer.

The agreement was signed during a state visit to Uzbekistan by Russian President Vladimir Putin. A site with a total capacity of 330 MW is planned, consisting of six 55 MW reactors. Rosatom will act as general contractor, with local companies participating in the construction.

The Uzbek project is based on the RITM-200N water-cooled reactor, modeled on the technology of nuclear-powered icebreakers, with a thermal output of 190 MW or 55 MWe and a planned operating life of 60 years. The first land-based version is currently being built in Yakut, Russia; The commissioning of the first unit is expected in 2027...

Translation with https://www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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Spain | NorwayIreland | Palestine | Israel

Recognition of a Palestinian state

"The only path to a two-state solution"

The Spanish government has officially recognized Palestine as a state. Norway and Ireland also took the step today. Israel is outraged.

The left-wing government in Spain has formally recognized a Palestinian state. A corresponding decree was passed at a cabinet meeting. "This is a historic decision that has a single goal: to help the Israelis and the Palestinians achieve peace," said Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez at the government headquarters Palacio de la Moncloa.

Faced with the debate over the borders of a State of Palestine, Sánchez said that Spain does not have the right to "define the borders of other countries." However, Madrid's position is "fully consistent with the resolutions of the UN Security Council and with the traditional position of the EU." The borders of 1967, which existed before the Six-Day War, are therefore recognized.

"East Jerusalem as the capital"

According to the socialist politician, the state of Palestine must "first and foremost be viable. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip must be connected by a corridor, with East Jerusalem as the capital and united under the legitimate government of the Palestinian Authority."

Sánchez emphasized that his government's decision was not directed against anyone - "especially not against Israel, a friendly people that we respect, that we value and with which we want to have the best possible relations." We reject the Islamist Hamas and strongly condemn the terrorist attacks on Israel on October 7th. But recognition is “the only way to a two-state solution”...

*

Energy transitionGrant money | Heating replacement

Homeowners can again apply for funding for new heating systems

The KfW has launched a new round of funding for heating replacement. Demand is great – 27.000 applications have already been received so far.

From this Tuesday, other groups can apply for government funding to replace old gas and oil heating systems with more climate-friendly alternatives. The procedure is now also possible for self-occupying owners in apartment buildings and for homeowners' associations with central heating, for example, as the responsible development bank KfW and the Federal Ministry of Economics announced.

Owners of existing single-family homes who live in them themselves have been able to apply for support for the change since February 27th. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, around 27.000 applications have been received so far. Private landlords can apply from August, as can owners in homeowners' associations who want to replace the heating in their own apartment. This also applies to applications for non-residential buildings.

Complicated funding scheme

A maximum of 70 percent funding is possible – depending on the requirements. 30 percent is earmarked for everyone, whether residential or commercial. According to the ministry, there is also an efficiency bonus of an additional 5 percent for heat pumps that use water, soil or wastewater as a heat source or that use a natural refrigerant...

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GazaUN Security Council | Refugees

UN Security Council convenes emergency meeting on Rafah attack

The Israeli airstrike on a refugee camp in Rafah has sparked international criticism. The UN Security Council is now planning an emergency meeting.

After the Israeli air strike on a refugee camp in Rafah, the UN Security Council wants to meet for an emergency meeting on Tuesday. According to diplomats, the meeting is scheduled for 21.30:XNUMX p.m. CEST, the news agencies dpa and AFP unanimously report. It is still unclear whether the meeting will be held publicly or not. Algeria had requested the meeting.

According to the Palestinian health authority, which is controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas, at least 45 people were killed and numerous others injured in the attack on Sunday evening. Most of the dead were women and minors. The incident sparked international criticism...

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The mushroom cloud stands for atomic or hydrogen bombs, also in the context of testsMay 28 and 30, 1998 (6 Pakistani nuclear bomb tests) Ras Koh, PAKNuclear weapons proving ground

Since 1945, there have been over 2050 nuclear weapons tests worldwide...

Atomwaffen A - Z

Nuclear weapons state Pakistan

...Pakistan's nuclear weapons were developed in the 1970s under the leadership of AQ Khan, commissioned by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Khan had stolen plans for centrifuges from the Netherlands while working at the nuclear company Urenco and used them to enrich uranium and develop nuclear weapons.

Pakistan says it successfully conducted six nuclear tests on May 28 and 30, 1998, in response to Indian tests. However, based on the seismic data, experts assume that only two tests were actually carried out. Nevertheless, with these tests the country achieved that the world public perceived Pakistan as a nuclear weapons power. Previously, a nuclear arsenal had only been suspected for a long time.

Pakistan has never signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, but has not been officially recognized as a nuclear weapons state. As a state named in Annex 2 of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Pakistan must first sign it before the treaty can come into force, which has not yet happened...
 

Wikipedia de

Armed Forces of Pakistan#Nuclear Forces

The tactical nuclear force was introduced by Musharraf in 1999 and reports directly to the president. Pakistan has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has had nuclear weapons since 1998. The arsenal is estimated at 100-120 warheads, but the Strategic Plans Division (SPD), which commands the nuclear force, has never commented on this.
 

Armed Forces of Pakistan#History

In 1998, Pakistani forces detonated six nuclear weapons underground. This was in response to five Indian Tests this year. Polls on approval of the tests to also retaliate for India's first test in 1974 varied between around 60% and 97% approval...
 

Pakistan nuclear program

Pakistan's nuclear program began in 1972 under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Pakistan, like its neighbor and arch-rival India, is a de facto nuclear power and has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. However, Pakistan's original goal of having the atomic bomb as early as 1976 could not be met. The first public nuclear weapons test took place in 1998.

In 1998, Pakistani forces detonated six nuclear weapons underground in Balochistan province...
 

List of nuclear weapons tests

Chronological, incomplete list of nuclear weapons tests. The table only contains prominent points in the history of the detonation of an atomic bomb for testing purposes...

 


27. May


 

Peace PrizeMacron | Lingen fuel element factory

May 28, 2024 from 9 a.m. - Protest against Macron in Münster - stop French nuclear deals with Russia

Because of the ongoing business of French state-owned companies with the Russian nuclear company Rosatom, we, together with opponents of nuclear power from Germany, France and Russia, are calling for the coming Tuesday (May 28.5th) from 9 a.m. to the protest at the LWL Museum for Art and Culture (Rothenburg forecourt, opposite Aegidiimarkt) in Münster on. The occasion is the visit of French President Macron, who will be awarded the Westphalian Peace Prize in the Münster town hall on this day - of all things for his supposedly "tireless commitment" against the Russian attack on Ukraine. French President Macron is expected in Münster city center at lunchtime.

The awarding of the Peace Prize to President Macron is an affront. With his nuclear policy, Macron is promoting the Russian war of aggression: The French state nuclear company Framatome is still sticking to its “strategic cooperation” with the Kremlin group Rosatom. He even wants to expand this, for example through Rosatom's entry into fuel element production in Lingen. And with his veto, Macron has been preventing EU sanctions against the Russian nuclear sector for years - this also pours billions into Putin's war chest every year. “Macron’s nuclear power is financing Putin’s war,” criticize the opponents of nuclear power.

Together with the French nuclear phase-out network "Sortir du nucléaire", .broadcast and our friends from Lingen, we will therefore protest with nuclear barrels, banners, flags and drums in front of the LWL Museum for Art and Culture in Münster and with an action we will demonstrate the heartfelt nuclear Make the friendship between Macron and Putin clear. Our demand: “No business with Rosatom!”

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Racists outdeportations | Firewall

Consequences for the right-wing Sylt celebration:

Job gone, reputation ruined: justified?

Because they shouted racist texts while celebrating on Sylt, those involved lost their jobs and their photos were published. Justified?

Yes,

Because these consequences are the consistent implementation of the “firewall against the right” concept, which has been invoked across party lines for years. The somewhat oblique metaphor - it suggests that right-wing ideas only occur on the fringes, not in the middle of society - is used primarily to distinguish itself from the AfD. But if we as a civil society want to consistently take a stand against the right, that can only mean that shouting racist and nationalist slogans must have consequences.

Because that still happens far too rarely. The incident in Sylt with its consequences is a positive example. After a video emerged on Thursday in which a group of people shouted xenophobic slogans in front of the “Pony” club, there was great outrage. But the outrage didn't stop there: some party guests were identified, the club operator filed a criminal complaint, and the first employers fired employees they recognized in the video.

[...]

No,

because that distracts from the real problem. “Germany for the Germans, foreigners out!” was already experienced by at least 4.791 people this year: they were deported. The number of deportations has already increased by more than 30 percent compared to the previous year, and if the trend continues, it would mean 20.000 foreigners out by the end of the year.

If that's not a reason for a dance of joy on Sylt. There are even more reasons to party: Since Sunday, the AfD has been able to put more pressure on the local immigration authorities with new majorities in the Thuringian city parliaments, the CDU no longer wants to allow asylum procedures in Germany with its basic program, the Greens are supporting the Geas reform European refugee protection. And then there is the story with the SPD Chancellor. “We finally have to deport those who have no right to stay in Germany on a large scale,” Olaf Scholz said in the fall.

The federal government provides the deportation numbers, so you can celebrate sometimes. But please not as “disgusting” as it is now on Sylt (Scholz) or in such a way that the behavior “can no longer be explained by alcohol consumption” (Friedrich Merz) ...

*

EU CommissionRight-wing extremists | Von der Leyen

Counted: Why Ursula von der Leyen could lose her job in Brussels

Social Democrats warn Ursula von der Leyen against collaborating with right-wing extremists. Such a move could end her career. Who could succeed her?

There is a shift to the right in Europe – that is undisputed. In Germany, the Alternative for Germany (AfD) could do significantly better in the European elections than in the last elections and achieve a record result. In France, Marine Le Pen's party is increasingly putting President Emmanuel Macron under pressure. They are already in power in other countries.

This trend is reinforced by the fact that the EU institutions have so far had little fear of contact with politicians on the extreme right. EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell, for example, has used racist stereotypes in the past. And EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is doing the rest to make right-wing extremist politicians socially acceptable.

EU institutions and their relationship to the far right

The European Social Democrats no longer want to put up with this. Politico reports that they warned von der Leyen about possible collaboration with right-wing extremist MPs. In an emergency, this could mean the end of her political career, or at least she would fail in the next election to the EU Commission.

The critics include Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the German SPD's top candidate for the European elections, Katarina Barley. According to Politico, they have threatened several times in recent weeks to block von der Leyen's candidacy...

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Russia | Nuclear wasteNuclear submarines | Novaya Zemlya

Nuclear waste in the Norwegian Sea:

Russia's Forgotten Heritage

Nuclear warheads and nuclear submarines from the Cold War are stored in the Norwegian Sea. Since the attack on Ukraine, no one cares anymore.

MÖNCHENGLADBACH taz | Around 17.000 radioactive objects are stored in the far north in the Barents Sea and the Kara Sea, two marginal seas of the Arctic Ocean north of Russia. Nuclear scrap includes the entire range of equipment required by the navy of a world power: nuclear warheads, containers with radioactive waste, spent and unspent fuel rods, nuclear reactors from dismantled or sunk submarines and even complete nuclear submarines.

Most of it is stored on the seabed not far from the island of Novaya Zemlya, which was the site of 1955 nuclear tests between 1990 and 130. For a long time there had been hope that the dangerously rusting material could one day be lifted and stored in a less risky form. But the Russian intervention in Ukraine on February 24, 2022 largely nullified this. This is the conclusion reached by the Norwegian environmental organization Bellona in a recently published report.

The study was presented by Alexander Nikitin, who knows the sea and the problem very well. A symbolic appearance, because from 1974 to 1985 Nikitin served as a flight engineer on nuclear submarines in the Northern Sea Fleet and then headed the nuclear safety inspection group of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR and later the Russian Federation as a first-rank captain until 1992.

[...]

Just a decade ago, the prospects of getting the ecological consequences of rotting contaminated sites under control were not bad. But the war that has been ongoing since February 24, 2022 has buried these prospects. Nothing can be expected from Western partners at the moment. Conversely, Russia no longer wants to work with the West. And anyone in Russia who wants to enter into a dialogue with Moscow on this topic must expect professional disadvantages. Anyone who works with the environmental organization Bellona, ​​which is banned there, has one foot in prison.

The fact that there are cross-border and global problems and that the world can only be maintained together is a minority position in Russia in times like these. The recovery and safe storage of the radioactive legacy of the arms race in the Northern Sea has therefore become a long way off.

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PFAS | Drinking waterEternity poisons

Reached alarming proportions

Europe's waters polluted by "perpetual chemicals".

The contamination of rivers, lakes and groundwater is becoming a problem in Germany. Especially because more and more chemicals are finding their way into the water that cannot be broken down. One river is particularly badly affected.

According to environmental organizations, the occurrence of so-called forever chemicals (PFAS) in European waters has reached alarming levels. In particular, the EU limit values ​​are sometimes far exceeded for the chemical compound trifluoroacetic acid (TFA), according to a report by the European Pesticide Action Network and other organizations. According to the German Federation for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND), the Elbe and the Spree are affected in Germany.

The extent of the contamination of rivers, lakes and groundwater requires “decisive action,” the report continues. PFAS pesticides must be banned, and a rethinking of the dangers of individual chemicals such as TFA is also necessary.

For the report, more than two dozen surface and groundwater samples from ten European countries were examined by the Water Technology Center in Karlsruhe, including from the Elbe and Spree and from the Seine in France. TFA was detected in all samples, which, according to the report, can enter the groundwater unhindered and remain there for centuries.

In the EU pesticide regulation, TFA is classified as “not relevant”. However, various associations point out the longevity of the substance in the environment and the impossibility of filtering it out using standard drinking water treatment processes.

The Elbe near Hamburg was most affected

According to the BUND, the Elbe near Hamburg is most affected by TFA pollution. The highest concentration of all samples was found there at 3300 nanograms per liter. The EU's proposed limit for all PFAS in drinking water is 500 nanograms per liter...

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Nuclear waste | Interim storageRepositoryCastorsTransport container

The unresolved question of nuclear waste disposal: Castors as temporary repositories

Nuclear waste remains a problem. Permits for the 16 interim storage facilities expire between 2034 and 2047. What happens when the Castors' operating license expires?

It is well known that the legacy of 60 years of nuclear energy use will burden the population for almost unforeseeable centuries, but is mostly successfully suppressed. With the decision by the CDU-led federal government to shut down the German nuclear power plants in 2011, which was delayed by three months, the waste disposal issue fell out of focus, but in no way came any closer to a solution.

The demand to put the decommissioned nuclear power plants back into operation overlooks the fact that a 10-year inspection has not taken place for years and hopes that this could continue to be dispensed with. Things have still gone well in Germany so far.

The role of interim storage facilities in nuclear waste disposal

So far, the highly radioactive waste has been packed in Castoren, each piece costing around two million euros, and is currently, at best, transported to an interim storage facility. There are 16 interim storage sites in Germany, which mainly store irradiated nuclear fuel from nuclear power plants and research reactors, but also highly radioactive waste from reprocessing.

Regarding the duration of the possible interim storage, the responsible federal authority Base notes: "The nuclear permits for the storage of nuclear fuel in interim storage facilities were deliberately limited to 2000 years by the Federal Office for Radiation Protection, the then responsible licensing authority, at the beginning of the 40s." That's how long they should be the Castor containers hold, so a record of the safety and integrity of the containers has been maintained for 40 years.

[...]

In the foreground, the topic is avoided in order not to worry the population. However, work is being done in the background to answer the question of whether the castors can also be used safely until a final repository is available, although the date of availability is still open.

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The mushroom cloud stands for atomic or hydrogen bombs, also in the context of tests27 Maj 1956 (US atomic bomb tests) Eniwetok and Bikini, USANuclear weapons proving ground

Since 1945, there have been over 2050 nuclear weapons tests worldwide...

Wikipedia de

Operation Redwing

Operation Redwing was the thirteenth series of American nuclear weapons tests conducted in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific between May 4 and July 21, 1956. A total of 17 nuclear weapons were tested above ground. The operation was conducted to test powerful thermonuclear weapons that could not be tested at the Nevada Test Site. The bombs were named after Native American tribes.

27 Maj 1956 - The 3rd test as part of Operation Redwing, named after the Zuni Indian tribe, was the first test of an American thermonuclear bomb in the Three-stage design (FFF: “Fission-Fusion-Fission”). The 3,5 MT explosion created a crater 30 meters deep and 800 meters in diameter...

July 20, 1956 - The 16th test as part of Operation Redwing, named after the "Tewa" Indian tribe, was detonated on a barge in the Bikini Atoll reef between the islands of Namu and Yurochi and had an explosive force of 6-8 MT. Tewa was after Zuni and Ivy Mike the third American hydrogen bomb with a three-stage design (fission-fusion-fission). 
 

List of nuclear weapons tests

Chronological, incomplete list of nuclear weapons tests. The table only contains prominent points in the history of the detonation of an atomic bomb for testing purposes...
 

Atomwaffen A - Z

nuclear weapon states

There are nine nuclear weapon states but only five are "recognized". The US, Russia, China, France and the UK -- the states that also have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council -- are named in the NPT as "nuclear-armed states" because they detonated nuclear weapons before 1957. However, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea also possess nuclear weapons, although Israel does not admit them, and are therefore not members of the NPT...

 


26. May


 

FloodingWeather extremesclimate deniers

Extreme weather debates

Climate materials adapt

The recent extreme weather events are giving even experienced climate skeptics pause. Why do places become more and more crowded when it rains when, according to them, extreme weather caused by climate change doesn't even exist? 

Climate change really doesn't make it easy. Even the most extreme weather can never be precisely traced back to it as the sole cause. Global warming tends to increase rainfall and dry seasons. Heavy rain is becoming more frequent and more intense - but the weather gods and other factors come into play when exactly how much falls.

Professional climate skeptics are known to rely on this. It has always rained, there have always been floods and cellars and later garages that have been full are popular social media stories in light of recent floods.

But these narratives are starting to crack. Recently it came down from the sky thicker and worse than ever predicted. It wasn't just heavy rain, no, half of Saarland was under water.

Cellars are no longer flooded once every decade, but with unsightly regularity. Federal and state politicians are now even considering compulsory insurance for natural hazards. Years ago it was unthinkable...

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Von der LeyenEuropean electionsFirewallRight winger

Europe is threatened with an era of right-wing populism

Among right-wing extremists like the AfD, “melonization” is seen as a swear word for betraying pure doctrine. For centrist politicians, “Melonization” should be a warning not to get involved in dirty deals with right-wing populist parties in Europe. Jan Sternberg fears that the CDU currently sees things differently.

Berlin. In Italian, the firewall is called either “muro spartifuoco” or, more internationally understandable, “il firewall”. What is more interesting for the European elections and Ursula von der Leyen's next term as EU Commission President is where the firewall is between the European conservatives and the far-right parties - and whether it even exists.

At least CDU parliamentary group vice-president Jens Spahn knows a blueprint. In an interview, he located the firewall "to the right of Giorgia Meloni's party" - a party that is commonly described as "post-fascist" and in whose ranks the right arm is often raised. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk, Von der Leyen evaded a clear answer to the question of whether she would work with right-wing parties after the European elections.

As before, they are looking for majorities among individual MPs, and otherwise have the following criteria: The parties must be “for Europe, for Ukraine, i.e. against Russia, and for the rule of law”.

New axis between the “iron blondes”

Meloni has positioned himself on the side of Ukraine, and matters with Europe and the rule of law are, let's say, negotiable. In Rome people have been talking about the new axis between von der Leyen and Meloni for a long time, the “Corriere della sera” called them “le due bionde di ferro”, the two “iron blondes”...
 

IMHO

The following comes to mind spontaneously:

When the Nazis came for the Communists, I kept quiet; after all, I wasn't a Communist.
When they imprisoned the Social Democrats, I kept quiet; I wasn't a Social Democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I kept quiet; I wasn't a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, I kept quiet; I wasn't Jewish.
When they came for me, there was no one left to protest.

Martin Niemöller

And since it is about nothing less than human rights, a few more verses can be added if required, e.g:

When they locked up the journalists, I kept quiet; I wasn't a journalist.

When they took the asylum seekers, I kept quiet; I wasn't an asylum seeker.

When they let refugees drown, I kept quiet; I wasn't a refugee.

When they murdered people, I remained silent; I ...

etc.

*

CanadaAttackAnti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism in Toronto: Shooting at Jewish elementary school

On Saturday, unknown people shot at a Jewish girls' school in Toronto. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sees the act as anti-Semitic.

MONTREAL afp | Several shots were fired at a Jewish girls' school in the Canadian metropolis of Toronto. No one was injured in the incident on Saturday before 05.00 a.m. (local time), the police said. The alleged perpetrators got out of a dark car and fired at Bais Chaya Mushka Elementary School in the North York district. The facade of the Jewish school was damaged.

The incident came amid growing tensions over the war in Gaza. The police in Toronto announced that they would increase their presence in North York, but also at other schools and synagogues. “We will not ignore what happened here,” senior police officer Paul Krawczyk said at a news conference. However, no hasty conclusions should be drawn about the motive for the crime.

Politicians such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jewish associations classified the act as anti-Semitic...

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MoroccopermitsAuto industry

Morocco exports more cars to Europe than China

Less than two decades ago, there was virtually no vehicle industry in Morocco. Now it is the largest in Africa. But now the era of electric cars is coming - with new competitors.

Three times a day, a freight train brings hundreds of cars from rural northern Morocco to a port on the Mediterranean. They come from a Renault factory outside Tangier and are sent to car dealers in Europe. Business incentives and investments in infrastructure like this freight rail line have helped the country take its auto industry from virtually nonexistent to the largest in Africa in less than two decades. The North African kingdom supplies more vehicles to Europe than China, India or Japan and has the capacity to produce 700.000 cars a year.

And the government is determined to maintain the country's position as a heavyweight car manufacturer in the future by eagerly applying for electric car projects. But the extent to which it can remain globally competitive in this coming new era of vehicles with increasing automation in manufacturing is an open question.

There are currently more than 250 companies operating in Morocco that produce vehicles or vehicle parts. The auto industry now accounts for 22 percent of the gross domestic product and the equivalent of 12,9 billion euros in exports. The French car manufacturer Renault, Morocco's largest private employer, produces almost all of its Dacia Sandero small cars - which are extremely popular in Europe - in the North African country. Unencumbered by many of the checks and balances of a democratic separation of powers, the government is telling companies that want to outsource production to cheaper areas that they could get approval for new factories and complete construction within a short period of time - perhaps as little as five months...

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ThuringiaCandidatesLocal elections

Candidates are missing in more than 90 Thuringian towns

In many places in Thuringia there are no longer any election candidates - a warning sign for Bodo Ramelow. The community association warns against the elections being hijacked by populists.

Thuringia's Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow expressed concern about the state of democracy ahead of the local elections in his state. The left-wing politician told the editorial network Germany (RND) that no more candidates would be running in 91 places in Thuringia was an alarm sign for him. “I view this development with concern,” said Ramelow. “It is true that people are ultimately elected in these places,” said Ramelow. "But it is a warning sign where democracy will weaken first."

The Thuringian State Office for Statistics announced at the end of last week that 18.986 candidates would apply for a total of 7.464 seats in the district council/city council and local council elections this Sunday. The office added: "In 91 districts/towns, 'blank ballot papers' will be handed out for the district/town mayor election." Voters would have the opportunity to enter their own election proposals on these blank ballot papers.

The Prime Minister called for a “vitalization of democracy” and more appreciation for incumbents as well as stronger protection for them.

[...]

Municipal Association: Migration and inflation are not municipal issues

The Association of Cities and Municipalities warned against the local elections being hijacked by populists and extremists. They tried to reinterpret local elections as votes on international issues such as war or migration, said managing director André Berghegger to the newspapers of the Funke media group. It must be clear that it is not about federal politics or international politics. "The Russian attack on Ukraine, inflation or migration policy are not municipal issues." Berghegger described attempts to consciously co-opt local democracy as dishonest. The municipal association firmly rejects such an approach.

Berghegger said that citizens should keep in mind that politics is decided locally in local elections. "It's about building areas, childcare and schools as well as leisure and cultural offerings. The local parliaments discuss sports facilities, swimming pools or offers for young people and seniors."

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CompromisePeace negotiationsAggression

Peace Despite Aggression: Historical Lessons

Peace negotiations beyond the lines of conflict: History offers unconventional solutions. The third page counts. (Part 2 and conclusion).

After the first part The two-part series of articles dealt with some of the negotiation techniques, particularly those that William Ury developed over the course of his 40 years of practice as a mediator and in his book Possible, which is well worth reading. How we survive (and thrive) in an age of conflict is illustrated here with examples from the history of successful peace negotiations. 

Fundamental concerns

As soon as soon after Russia's attack on Ukraine, voices in Germany calling for a diplomatic solution to the war became loud, they received massive accusations of being "lumpen pacifists" and "Putin's fifth column".

The arguments against peace negotiations were surprisingly fundamental. You basically can't talk to an aggressor because you obviously can't trust him. In principle, negotiations can only be successful if both parties are really willing to talk.

In principle, negotiations could only be carried out if the aggressor has completely withdrawn from the attacked country.

And last but not least: In principle, one could only agree to talks if the person who supports peace negotiations already has an optimal compromise in their pocket to convince critics of the sense of peace diplomacy.

What was astonishing about these arguments even back then: They are of such a fundamental nature that it is almost logical to deduce that peace talks in a war of aggression in which the aggressor is not prepared to withdraw to its national territory have no chance of real success and at best lead to a dictated peace.

However, this claim is absurd in view of a number of peace agreements in history...

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26 Maj 1971 (INES 4 | Class.?) Kurchatov Institute, Moscow, USSR

Two experimenters died after a criticality accident and two other people were irradiated.
(Costs ?)

Nuclear Power Accidents
 

Accidents in nuclear facilities

On May 26, 1971, an incident occurred at the SF-3 facility in the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow during experiments
Determine the number of highly enriched U-235 fuel rods to reach critical
Arrangement due to a mechanical failure of the test arrangement a criticality accident in which
two experimenters received radiation doses of 60 and 20 Sv and died after five and 15 days, respectively.
Two other people with doses of 7 to 8 Sv survived.

 


Current news+  Background knowledge

 

Current news+

 

RacismmisanthropyBrutalization

Racism incidents:

Anti-Semitism Commissioner warns against racist pop culture

Felix Klein is shocked by the Sylt video. But he wasn't surprised: misanthropy has "obviously become part of pop culture."

After the racist incident on Sylt, the federal government's anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, denounced misanthropy in society. Klein told the Editorial Network Germany (RND) that he was shocked by the video of the incident circulating on social media. "Not because the existence of such misanthropic ideology surprises me, but because it has clearly become part of pop culture and socially acceptable in a milieu that should be aware that foreigners contribute significantly to our prosperity," Klein added.

From Klein's point of view, the video represents different dimensions of misanthropy. "Anyone who calls for 'Germany for the Germans' in classic Nazi style excludes all supposedly 'non-German' groups that are supposedly less valuable, including people with a migration background, Sinti and Roma, but also Jews," he said. He was happy “that such behavior does not go unpunished.”

Another incident in Lower Saxony

The state police are now investigating the video for sedition. In the recording you can see and hear how young people in the Sylter Club Pony on the North Sea island shout Nazi slogans such as "Germany for the Germans, foreigners out" to the song L'amour toujours by Gigi D'Agostino. A man shows a pose that could be the banned Hitler salute. The song L'amour toujours has recently become an anthem for right-wing extremists. Shortly after the incident on Sylt, it became known that the state security agency was also investigating a video recorded at a folk festival in Lower Saxony, in which people could also be heard shouting racist slogans to the disco hit.

The incident on Sylt also sparked outrage in politics. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) spoke of a “disgrace for Germany,” while Schleswig-Holstein’s Education Minister Karin Prien (CDU) described the video as “a sign of neglect of prosperity.” Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also commented on the incident and complained about a “roughening of political etiquette.” Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) called the slogans from the video “disgusting” and “unacceptable”.

The Pony Bar also distanced itself from the guests who shouted the slogans and, according to its own statements, has now filed a criminal complaint. According to the operators, the restaurant's employees had not noticed the "deeply anti-social behavior" of the guests. That's why they didn't react immediately.

 


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Background knowledge

The map of the nuclear world

The only planet we have...

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The “Internal Search”

RacismmisanthropyBrutalization

May 9, 2024 - "A major reason is feelings of powerlessness"

February 29, 2024 - Right-wing extremist attacks on politicians are increasing. There are no individual perpetrators

December 31, 2023 - The necessary change needs more support

November 26, 2023 - Sociologist on the radicalism of the AfD: “Something has shifted”

February 28, 2023 - Chomsky: Why calls for a stronger NATO are wrong and mendacious

January 25, 2023 - Je suis mud monk

 

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The search engine Ecosia is planting trees!

https://www.ecosia.org/search?q=Rassismus

https://www.ecosia.org/search?q=Menschenfeindlichkeit

https://www.ecosia.org/search?q=Verrohung

 

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Wikipedia

Racism

Racism or racial ideology is a worldview according to which people are categorized and excluded as a “race”, “people” or “ethnicity” based on external characteristics or negative attributions from others that are exaggerated, naturalized or stereotyped. Until the 20th century, alleged “human races” were constructed in racial theories that are now obsolete, primarily based on biological characteristics (skin color, face and body shapes, etc.), thereby justifying slavery, assimilation policies, ethno- or genocide.

Racists and racial ideologists usually view people who are as similar as possible to their own characteristics as superior, while everyone else (often graded) is viewed as inferior (chauvinism). This hierarchical reduction is preceded by an often meticulous allocation of people to groups (discrimination), with mixed and multiple identities as well as group transitions being seen as serious problem cases. Racial ideologists often want to make normal intercourse between groups more difficult (segregation) and in particular prevent mixing through family connections and the generation of offspring...
 

Group-based misanthropy

Term and research program

The term “group-related misanthropy” is based on the Bielefeld disintegration approach and aims to capture and systematize hostile attitudes towards people of different social, religious and ethnic backgrounds as well as with different lifestyles in a society using a term with a wide range. An ideology of inequivalence is assumed to be the common core of the phenomena assigned to this term - the equivalence and integrity of specific groups in society are questioned. Overt and covert misanthropy are included in the empirical research. The leading research group does not speak of a phenomenon, but of a “syndrome”. The term “syndrome” for the discrimination complex is borrowed from medicine and expresses the fact that the various symptoms often occur simultaneously or in a correlated manner.

A key feature of the research program “Group-Related Misanthropy” of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Conflict and Violence Research (IKG) at Bielefeld University was the work based on empirical social research, which used representative long-term studies to identify the typical correlations of the sub-phenomena. In addition to xenophobia and racism, the devaluation of religion was also considered, ie anti-Judaism and Islamophobia. Also included was the denigration of sexual or social otherness, ie the devaluation of the homeless, homosexuals and the disabled as well as the demonstration of sexism and established privileges...
 

brutalization of society

In 2012, the anthology Kaltes Land was published under the co-editorship of Rudolph Bauer, which has two subtitles: Against the brutalization of the Federal Republic and For a humane democracy. The authors, who include Christoph Butterwegge as a poverty researcher as well as sociologists and social ethicists, “call for resistance against the increasingly brutal dehumanization policies of neoliberalism: with analyzes and arguments, from the perspective of scientists and those affected.” The book devotes one of its sections to dehumanization in connection with Hartz IV and presents “concepts for rehumanization” beyond capitalism in another section.

Christian Pfeiffer, criminologist and former director of the Lower Saxony Criminological Research Institute (KFN), claimed in 2012 that the assumption of a “brutalization of society” “cannot be empirically proven.” We are “flooded with images of crime,” but violence is decreasing.

[...]

Pfeiffer's position is not always shared. For example, in 2015, the journalist Markus Feldenkirchen linked the refugee crisis to concerns that “a climate of brutalization like that of Weimar times” could develop. His headline was German brutalization and he said that Germany could “overcome the crisis without giving up its civilization.” Instead, “an atmosphere of tavern brawl prevails over the country.” He is afraid “that Germany will become brutal” and justifies his fears with numerous concrete examples. A “culture of brutalization” “contributed significantly to the failure of the first German democracy”...

 

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YouTube

Search: racism, misanthropy, brutalization

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Rassismus

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Menschenfeindlichkeit

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Verrohung
 

Will open in a new window! - YouTube channel "Reaktorpleite" playlist - radioactivity worldwide ... - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJI6AtdHGth3FZbWsyyMMoIw-mT1Psuc5Playlist - radioactivity worldwide ...

This playlist contains over 150 videos on the topic of atoms*

 


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