Turkey’s Nuclear Ambitions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (then Prime Minister) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on July 18, 2012. Their meeting focused on nuclear cooperation, among other things. (Image source: kremlin.ru)

 

  • Russia’s ROSATOM already has nuclear cooperation deals with Iran, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, among others. Turkey is just the latest to benefit — possibly along with Iran and North Korea, both of which have been openly threatening to destroy America — from Moscow’s play for power in the Middle East and the Mediterranean.
  • The West would also do well not to feel secure in the knowledge that Turkey is a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  • Nuclear reactors in the hands of a repressive Islamist authoritarian such as Erdogan could be turned into weapons factories with little effort.

Turkey’s announcement over the summer that it had signed a deal with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) — of Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One stardom — to begin building three nuclear power plants in the near future is cause for concern. The $20 billion deal, which has been in the works since 2010, involves the construction in Mersin of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — Turkey’s first-ever such plant— will be operational in 2023. Continue reading

Russia Starts Construction on New Iranian Nuke Plant

The reactor building at the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear power plant / Getty Images

 

Russia to build two new nuke plants for Iran

A Russian atomic energy corporation announced late Monday that it has formally begun construction on a new $10 billion nuclear plant in Iran amid global efforts by the Trump administration to crack down on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear endeavors.

The deal, which has been in the works since the Obama administration negotiated the landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, is aimed at further cementing ties between Moscow and Tehran and is being handled by Russia’s state Rosatom corporation. Continue reading

Get Ready for a New Chernobyl in Ukraine

 

With the onset of winter and the increasing strain on Ukraine’s energy system, the threat of a new nuclear disaster in Central Europe is becoming more than just a theoretical danger. According to analysts from Energy Research & Social Science (ERSS), there is an 80% probability of a “serious accident” at one of Ukraine’s nuclear power plants before the year 2020. This is due both to the increased burden on the nuclear plants caused by the widespread shutdowns of Ukraine’s thermal power plants (the raw material they consumed – coal from the Donbass – is in critically short supply) and also because of the severe physical deterioration of their Soviet-era nuclear equipment and the catastrophic underfunding of this industry.

Should such an incident occur, the EU would not only be faced with the potential environmental consequences, but also – given the recent introduction of visa-free travel – a large-scale exodus of Ukrainians out of contaminated areas. Continue reading

Everyone on Earth has been irradiated by Fukushima — “Shocking new study reveals true extent of global impact” — “Scientists are only just now confirming far-reaching effects” of nuclear disaster

 

New Scientist, May 5, 2017 (emphasis added): Fukushima accident gave everyone an X-ray’s worth of radiation — “We don’t need to worry,” says Nikolaos Evangeliou at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, whose team has conducted the first global survey of radiation exposure caused by the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant… Evangeliou’s team has calculated the approximate exposure of everyone on Earth to two radioactive isotopes of caesium… He has estimated the dose that most individuals received to be 0.1 millisievert. “What I found was that we got one extra X-ray each,” says Evangeliou… But Evangeliou says that the effects on wildlife around the plant might be more severe. Already, he says, increased levels of radiation around Fukushima have been linked to declines in bird populations there between 2011 and 2014. “There have also been reports of declines in other species such as insects and some mammals,” he says… Continue reading

Iran to begin gas injection into new, advanced centrifuges

Illustrative image of centrifuges enriching uranium (photo credit: US Department of Energy/Wikimedia Commons)

 

Tehran insists move permitted under 2015 nuclear deal which allows R&D on IR-8s, capable of enriching uranium 20 times faster than previous machines

Iran’s nuclear energy agency indicated Tuesday that Tehran would soon begin injecting gas into the latest generation of advanced centrifuges, IR-8, in a move that marks the next step to make them operational and that Iran says is permitted under the terms of the nuclear deal signed last year with six world powers.

“The IR8 tests have come to an end and they will go into the stage of gas injection in the next few weeks,” a spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Behrouz Kamalvandi, announced at a press conference on Tuesday, according to the semi-official Fars new agency. Continue reading

America’s Nuclear Power Plants Vulnerabilities

A year-long study found that the present legal and regulatory approach to EMP/Space weather threat to America’s nuclear power plants are inadequate and dangerous. This sorry state is anchored in the industry efforts to maintain safety regulations dating back to the 1980s, and a national security mentality relevant at the end of the Cold War.

This has been successful, in part, due to a campaign to brand nuclear power as a clean, safe source of energy. To their credit, the NRC and industry have demonstrated a commitment to safety where design basis events are concerned. However, EMP and GMD are beyond design basis events. Once these occur, there are no guarantees and few strategies with which to cope.  Continue reading

Cheating Scandal Spreads to the Navy’s Nuclear Fleet

A number of United States Navy sailors have been suspended and are under investigation for allegations that they cheated on qualifying exams to teach and train nuclear propulsion team members.

Chief Naval Officer Adm. Jonathan Greenert and one of his top admirals filed into the Pentagon briefing room on Tuesday — just the way his counterpart in the Air Force did last week — to tell the public about the cheating scandal among the ranks at Naval Weapons Station Charleston in South Carolina. Continue reading

Iran can now build and deliver nukes, US intel reports

Iran has bided their time from a weak Obama administration which has turned a blind eye, and even helped by negotiating a nuclear deal in which Tehran gives nothing up whereas the United States does. ICBMs were previously shot into space under the guise of science and uninterrupted enrichment of uranium has accumulated over time to a sufficient amount where they can produce a few nuclear weapons. In the distant future, perhaps they could mass produce. It’s past the point of no return, and while it’s not condoned here, war is the only viable option although questions remain how effective it will be and what repercussions will be faced.

Tehran has capacity to break out to bomb if it wishes, intelligence chief James Clapper tells Senate, but would be detected if it tried to do so

Iran now has all the technical infrastructure to produce nuclear weapons should it make the political decision to do, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper wrote in a report to a Senate intelligence committee published Wednesday. However, he added, it could not break out to the bomb without being detected.

In the “US Intelligence Worldwide Threat Assessment,” delivered to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Clapper reported that Tehran has made significant advances recently in its nuclear program to the point where it could produce and deliver nuclear bombs should it be so inclined. Continue reading

Russia lays down world’s largest nuclear icebreaker

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Construction of the world’s largest and most powerful nuclear-powered icebreaker has begun at the Baltic Shipyard in St. Petersburg.

The yet-unnamed vessel will be powered by two nuclear reactors, and it will be 173 meters long and 34 meters wide – 14 meters longer and 4 meters wider than the current largest icebreaker “50 let Pobedy”. Continue reading

Chinese to Invest in British Nuclear Power

LONDON — Britain said on Thursday that it would allow Chinese firms to buy stakes in British nuclear power plants and eventually acquire majority holdings.

The agreement, which comes with caveats, opens the way for China’s fast-growing nuclear industry to play a significant role in Britain’s plans to proceed with construction of its first new reactor in nearly two decades. Continue reading

Russians and Americans jostling for Temelín

New nuclear reactors are become a rarity in Europe, which makes the case of the Czech Republic’s Temelín power station all the more interesting, for which the Russians and Americans are engaged in a competition that involves politicians, lobbyists and secret services. Continue reading

Russia Doubles Nuclear Exports

The head of Russia’s nuclear monopoly has said the country doubled foreign orders to build nuclear reactors last year and has a $50 billion order book for the next decade.

The volume of contracts to build nuclear plants abroad almost doubled in 2011 thanks to demand from Asia, and despite jitters over atomic power following reactor meltdowns at Japan’s Fukushima plant, triggered by a tsunami last March.

Full article: Russia Doubles Nuclear Exports (Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty)

Ahmadinejad: Iran to reveal new nuke achievements

“Within the next few days the world will witness the inauguration of several big new achievements in the nuclear field,” Ahmadinejad told the crowd in Tehran’s famous Azadi, or Freedom, square.

Iran has said it is forced to manufacture nuclear fuel rods, which provide fuel for reactors, on its own since international sanctions ban it from buying them on foreign markets. In January, Iran said it had produced its first such fuel rod.

Apart from progress on the rods, the upcoming announcement could pertain to Iran’s underground enrichment facility at Fordo or upgraded centrifuges, which are expected to be installed at the facility in the central town of Natanz. Iran has also said it would inaugurate the Russian-built nuclear power plant in the southern port of Bushehr in 2012.

Full article: Ahmadinejad: Iran to reveal new nuke achievements (AP)