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The Logic of the Nuclear Age: The Insanity of Our Nuclear Weapons Policy via The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

By E. Martin Schotz, MD/ peaceworker

Let us begin by examining two moments from the media in the past year.  The first occurred on Radio 360  during a segment exploring under what conditions the United States might launch nuclear weapons.  At one point the host exclaimed, “Well we wouldn’t want to blow up the world, if we didn’t have a good reason to do so.”  Put a check by that comment.  We will come back to it.  The second moment was a question a reporter put to Senator Bernie Sanders as to whether he would be willing to push the nuclear button.  The sense of the question was that to be qualified to be President of the United States you had to be willing to “push the button.”

How did we ever get into this situation, where we are planning to blow up the world and need to make sure we have a “good reason” to do so, and  in which in order to be considered competent to be President of the United States, you have to be willing to blow up the world.  This is literally the absurd criminal insanity in which we are living with nuclear weapons.  How has this come about?  By what means have we as otherwise sane human beings allowed ourselves to be put in such a situation?  How can political representatives and military officials who ordinarily appear sane participate in such a situation?

I want to suggest in this essay that one key to understanding this insanity rests on our failure to grasp the irrationality of the concept “nuclear deterrence.”  Albert Einstein at the dawn of the nuclear age famously warned that “the splitting of the atom has changed everything in the world except our mode of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled  catastrophe.” 


Nuclear war does not begin with the weapons going off.  It ends with the weapons going off.  Thus the existence of nuclear weapons forces us to think of nuclear war as beginning prior to their being exploded.  Nuclear war must be seen as a process, a process in which the weapons are developed, tested and deployed.  A process in which war propaganda conditions the population to believe other countries are their enemies.  Looked at from this vantage point we must recognize that we are in a nuclear war right now. 

The idea that the US and Russia are separate, is not operative, when it comes to nuclear weapons.  Thus the age old moral adage – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” — this moral adage in the nuclear age has been turned into a practical necessity.  We cannot afford to see Russia as an enemy and Russia cannot afford to see us as an enemy.  We must see each other a partners in survival.  

Once the  US and Russia see each other as partners in survival, they would be in a position to work together to help other nations join in the process.  This is the way an international ban on nuclear weapons can eventually be achieved.

For those who find what has been written here unbelievable and say, “There is no way our officials could be so irresponsible”, an anecdote may be instructive.  Physicians for Social Responsibility, one of the leading organizations in the US for nuclear abolition, was begun in 1961, when a group of physicians decided to publish an article in The New England Journal of Medicine detailing what would be the result of a nuclear attack on Boston.  Following its publication the source of the largest number of requests for copies of the article came from the Pentagon.  It turned out that the Pentagon had developed and deployed a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons without taking the trouble to investigate what would happen if the arsenal was used.

Finally I want to quote the words of Four Star General Lee Butler who from 1991 to 1994 was commander of all US strategic nuclear forces.  Within two years of retiring from the Air Force he began traveling the world as an outspoken nuclear abolitionist.


… We cannot at once keep sacred the miracle of existence and hold sacrosanct the capacity to destroy it…..  We cannot sit in silent acquiescence to the faded homilies of the nuclear priesthood.  It is time to reassert the primacy of individual conscience, the voice of reason and the rightful interests of humanity.  (speech at the National Press Club, February 2, 1998)

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Association between the detection rate of thyroid cancer and the external radiation dose-rate after the nuclear power plant accidents in Fukushima, Japan via Medicine

Yamamoto, Hidehiko MDa; Hayashi, Keiji MDb; Scherb, Hagen Dr rer nat Dipl-Mathc,*

A thyroid cancer ultrasonography screening for all residents 18 years old or younger living in the Fukushima prefecture started in October 2011 to investigate the possible effect of the radiological contamination after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accidents as of March 12 to 15, 2011. Thyroid cancer in 184 cases was reported by February 2017. The question arises to which extent those cancer cases are a biological consequence of the radiation exposure or an artefactual result of the intense screening of a large population.

Experiences with the Chernobyl accident suggest that the external dose may be considered a valid surrogate for the internal dose of the thyroid gland. We, therefore, calculated the average external effective dose-rate (μSv/h) for the 59 municipalities of the Fukushima prefecture based on published data of air and soil radiation. We further determined the municipality-specific absolute numbers of thyroid cancers found by each of the two screening rounds in the corresponding municipality-specific exposed person-time observed. A possible association between the radiation exposure and the thyroid cancer detection rate was analyzed with Poisson regression assuming Poisson distributed thyroid cancer cases in the exposed person-time observed per municipality.

The target populations consisted of 367,674 and 381,286 children and adolescents for the 1st and the 2nd screening rounds, respectively. In the 1st screening, 300,476 persons participated and 270,489 in the 2nd round. From October 2011 to March 2016, a total of 184 cancer cases were found in 1,079,786 person-years counted from the onset of the exposure to the corresponding examination periods in the municipalities. A significant association between the external effective dose-rate and the thyroid cancer detection rate exists: detection rate ratio (DRR) per μSv/h 1.065 (1.013, 1.119). Restricting the analysis to the 53 municipalities that received less than 2 μSv/h, and which represent 176 of the total 184 cancer cases, the association appears to be considerably stronger: DRR per μSv/h 1.555 (1.096, 2.206).

The average radiation dose-rates in the 59 municipalities of the Fukushima prefecture in June 2011 and the corresponding thyroid cancer detection rates in the period October 2011 to March 2016 show statistically significant relationships.

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イランと米、核合意で応酬=韓国、原発処理水で注意喚起-IAEA総会 via






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Fukushima fishermen concerned for future over release of radioactive water via The Guardian

Eight years after the triple disaster, Japan’s local industry faces fresh crisis – the dumping of radioactive water from the power plant


Having spent the past eight years rebuilding, the Fukushima fishing fleet is now confronting yet another menace – the increasing likelihood that the nuclear plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), will dump huge quantities of radioactive water into the ocean.

“We strongly oppose any plans to discharge the water into the sea,” Nozaki, head of Fukushima prefecture’s federation of fisheries cooperatives, told the Guardian.


Currently, just over one million tonnes of contaminated water is held in almost 1,000 tanks at Fukushima Daiichi, but the utility has warned that it will run out of space by the summer of 2022.

Tepco has struggled to deal with the buildup of groundwater, which becomes contaminated when it mixes with water used to prevent the three damaged reactor cores from melting. Although the utility has drastically reduced the amount of wastewater, about 100 tonnes a day still flows into the reactor buildings.

Releasing it into the sea would also anger South Korea, adding to pressure on diplomatic ties already shaken by a trade dispute linked to the countries’ bitter wartime history.

Seoul, which has yet to lift an import ban on Fukushima seafood introduced in 2013, claimed last week that discharging the water would pose a “grave threat” to the marine environment – a charge rejected by Japan.


Confirming Maeda’s fears, almost a third of consumers outside Fukushima prefecture indicated in a survey that dumping the contaminated water into the sea would make them think twice about buying seafood from the region, compared with 20% who currently avoid the produce.

Tepco’s Advanced Liquid Processing System removes highly radioactive substances, such as strontium and caesium, from the water but the technology does not exist to filer out tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen that coastal nuclear plants commonly dump along with water into the ocean. Tepco admitted last year, however, that the water in its tanks still contained contaminants beside tritium.


Supporters of the discharge option have pointed out that water containing high levels of tritium, which occurs in minute amounts in nature, would not be released until it has been diluted to meet safety standards.

But Shaun Burnie, a senior nuclear specialist with Greenpeace Germany who regularly visits Fukushima, said a proportion of radioactive tritium had the potential to deliver a concentrated dose to cell structures in plants, animals or humans. “Dilution does not avoid this problem,” he said.

Burnie believes the solution is to continue storing the water, possibly in areas outside the power plant site – a move that is likely to encounter opposition from nuclear evacuees whose abandoned villages already host millions of cubic metres of radioactive soil.


Critics say the government is reluctant to openly support the dumping option for fear of creating a fresh controversy over Fukushima during the Rugby World Cup, which starts this week, and the buildup to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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A Dead Russian Submarine Armed with Nuclear Torpedoes was Never Recovered via The National Interest

A permanent watery grave.
by Robert Farley

Key point: She rests at a depth of 15,000 feet—too deep to make recovery practical.

The Bay of Biscay is one of the world’s great submarine graveyards. In late World War II, British and American aircraft sank nearly seventy German U-boats in the Bay, which joined a handful of Allied and German subs sunk in the region during World War I. On April 12, 1970, a Soviet submarine found the same resting place. Unlike the others, however, K-8 was propelled by two nuclear reactors, and carried four torpedoes tipped by nuclear warheads.

The Novembers (627):
The November (Type 627) class was the Soviet Union’s first effort at developing nuclear attack submarines. The 627s were rough contemporaries of the Skate and Skipjack class attack boats of the U.S. Navy (USN), although they were somewhat larger and generally less well-arranged. Displacing 4750 tons submerged, the thirteen 627s could make thirty knots and carry twenty torpedoes (launched from eight forward tubes). Visually, the 627s resembled a larger version of the Foxtrot class diesel-electric subs; the Soviets would not adopt a teardrop hull until the later Victor class. The Novembers were renowned in the submarine community for their noise; louder than any contemporary nuclear sub, and even preceding diesel-electric designs.

The Novembers were initially designed with a strategic purpose in mind. The Soviets worked on a long-range nuclear armed torpedo (dubbed T-15), which could strike NATO naval bases from ranges of up to 40km. The torpedo was so large that each submarine could only carry a single weapon. However, increasingly effective Western anti-submarine technology quickly scotched the first mission. The Novembers were too loud to plausibly find their way into close enough proximity to a NATO port to ever actually fire a nuclear torpedo in wartime conditions.


On April 8, K-8 suffered two fires, resulting in a shutdown of both nuclear reactors. The boat surfaced, and Captain Vsevolod Borisovich Bessonov ordered the crew to abandon ship. Eight crew members, trapped in compartments that were either flooded or burned out, died in the initial incident. Fortunately, a Soviet repair vessel arrived, and took K-8 under tow. However, bad weather made the recover operation a difficult prospect. Much of K-8’s crew reboarded the submarine, and for three days fought a life-and-death struggle to save the boat. Although details remain scarce, there apparently was no opportunity to safely remove the four nuclear torpedoes from K-8, and transfer them to the repair ship.

Unfortunately, the loss of power onboard and the difficult weather conditions were too much for the crew to overcome. On April 12, K-8 sank with some forty crew members aboard, coming to rest at a rough depth of 15,000 feet. The depth made any effort at recovering the submarine, and the nuclear torpedoes, impractical.

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「祈りと感謝を」バチカンのミサで福島からのメッセージ via 朝日新聞







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高速実証炉断念。「原発大国」フランスは曲がり角 via 論座

山口 昌子

















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Defenders of nuclear plant bailout go from deception to outright lie in new ad via The Columbus Dispatch

By Randy Ludlow 

A new TV commercial from the defenders of the House Bill 6 consumer bailout of Ohio’s two nuclear power plants includes an outright lie.

The 30-second spot that began airing Thursday, titled “Lights Out Ohio,” makes the false assertion that Chinese companies are buying Ohio power plants.

“Now because of deregulation, foreign entities including China are pouring into Ohio buying power plants and infiltrating our power grid,” the commercial says.


Group spokesman Carlo LoParo provided dozens of articles from corporate-financing websites about the government-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and natural-gas-fired power plants in Ohio, but all of the articles concerned loans and financing it provided — not ownership interests.


A group opposed to House Bill 6 — Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts — is working to obtain the valid signatures of 265,774 registered Ohio voters by Oct. 21 to place a referendum on the November 2020 ballot.

Signed into law by Gov. Mike DeWine, House Bill 6 will impose an 85-cent monthly charge on residential electricity bills to generate $150 million a year to subsidize the Lake Erie plants owned by Akron-based FirstEnergy Solutions. If the referendum makes the 2020 ballot, the law will not take effect unless voters approve it. The bankrupt company threatened to close the plants starting June 30 without a subsidy, and they will shut them down if the referendum qualifies for the ballot, LoParo said earlier.

Gene Pierce, spokesman for Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts, said of the opposition’s new TV commercial: “It’s just as misleading and untruthful as before … it’s a sign of desperation. They have a billion dollars coming from someone else’s pocket and they will do everything they can — ignoring the truth — to get that money.”

Ohioans for Energy Security is a so-called dark money group that is not required to disclose its donors or the amounts they give. Ohioans Against Corporate Bailouts eventually will have to disclose its spending and donors. Pierce said they do not include Chinese interests.

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Hanford officials move nuclear waste from Columbia River via FiberOne

RICHLAND, Wash. (AP) — Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have removed the last of the highly radioactive sludge stored in underwater containers near The Columbia River.


Perry says the project came in ahead of schedule and under budget after 10 years of work. Perry says those aren’t words usually associated with nuclear waste cleanup.


Perry plans to visit Hanford Oct. 1 for a ceremony marking the milestone.
He says completion of the project shows Northwest residents they can trust the Energy Department to perform critical work on time.

Hanford was established by the Manhattan Project in World War II to make plutonium, a key ingredient in the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. The site, near Richland, Washington, went on to produce most of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

As a result, the site also contains the nation’s largest collection of nuclear waste. The most dangerous is stored in 177 aging underground tanks, some of which have leaked.


The sludge is highly radioactive because it contains particles of deteriorated irradiated fuel that was not processed at the end of the Cold War to remove plutonium.

Instead, the fuel was stored in water-filled cooling basins about 400 yards from the Columbia River.

Hanford contractor CH2M HIll Plateau Remediation Co., owned by Jacobs Engineering, spent a decade on the sludge transfer project, most of that making extensive preparations.

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【ライブ配信】14日14時〜原発事故後の科学「宮崎早野論文」via Our Planet TV


場所:東京大学本郷キャンパス 赤門総合研究棟 A200番教室

[討論]黒川眞一・濱岡豊・牧野淳一郎 ・司会:影浦峡(東京大学) 



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