Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The IAEA is impressed how India has placed safety first for their reactors.

Mumbai, India

Senior international nuclear safety (click here) experts today concluded a 12-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review India's regulatory framework for safety of nuclear power plants (NPPs).

In its preliminary findings, the Integrated Regulatory Review Service (IRRS) team noted that the Republic of India has forecast that nuclear power generation in India will increase significantly over the next decade.  This poses challenges to the country, as it must maintain sufficient regulatory oversight of both operating nuclear power plants and those under construction.

"The IRRS team concluded that there is a strong commitment to safety in India," said team leader Ramzi Jammal, Executive Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Operations Officer at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. "India's Atomic Energy Regulatory Board is an experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated regulatory body for the protection of the public and the environment. It continues to enhance its regulatory programme to face the current and future challenges in regulating nuclear safety, such as reinforcing the safety of existing nuclear facilities, monitoring ageing and decommissioning, as well as providing oversight of the construction, commissioning and operation of new nuclear power plants."...

Within the development of their 21 reactors, 7 under construction, India has found a success in fighting cancer both at home and with other countries. 

Safety and good health is a huge challenge for the less prosperous countries. Having a nuclear reactor or in the case of India 21 reactors presents a very high demand for careful operation and prevention of cancer in their population. 

This form of energy is important because it provides plenty of energy without burning fossil fuels, including the burning of peat or wood. It is rather interesting to think about the advanced technologies these countries have while attempting to improve the lives of their people. In this case, a heightened awareness of cancer can provide even more sophisticated health approaches for the people. Odd how that goes hand in hand for developing countries.

March 26, 2015

...Mr Amano (click here) thanked India for the generous support it has provided to international efforts in cancer control, in which the IAEA plays an active part. India supplied radiotherapy machines to a number of developing countries and Indian cancer specialists, including from the Tata Memorial Centre, have made important contributions to IAEA research and publications in areas such as radiation oncology.

By 2020, over 10 million people could die of cancer around the world each year, with an increasing proportion in low and middle income countries. The IAEA has been working with partners such as the World Health Organization to assist countries in developing comprehensive cancer control programmes that cover prevention, diagnosis, treatment and palliative care, Mr Amano said.

Iran needs to move forward in securing the region from larger problems.

Iran's peers are going forward with their peaceful nuclear programs and asking for reviews to insure the safety of their power plants.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

A team of experts (click here) concluded an 11-day International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) mission to review the emergency preparedness and response arrangements in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant. The mission was carried out at the invitation of the UAE government.
Raoul Awad, Director General, Security and Safeguards from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, led the review team, which included experts from Brazil, Canada, France, Morocco, the United States and the IAEA. "The UAE has built its nuclear emergency preparedness and response programme in an effective way on the basis of an already strong national infrastructure for crisis and emergency management," Mr Awad said at the mission's closing meeting on 31 March. "The partnership between the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, the Ministry of Interior, the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation and the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation is key to the success achieved thus far."

The Emergency Preparedness Review Service (EPREV) team identified strengths in several areas, including:
  • A clear definition of roles and responsibilities of the organisations that would manage nuclear emergencies.
  • Significant progress in the development of facilities and capabilities to manage the medical response....
The reaction of former Governor Sununu to President Obama's planned trip to Kenya was rather odd, wasn't it?

He came out to criticize the President nearly as soon as the news hit the airwaves. Sununu doesn't have better things to do except obsess over President Obama and the oxygen he breaths?

March 30, 2015
By Dana Sanchez

In July, (click here) U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first trip to Kenya as president, the White House announced Monday.
Obama will travel to his father’s birthplace for bilateral meetings and the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, an annual conference that connects entrepreneurs with international organizations, business leaders, and governments, CNN reports.
The trip will build on the success of the August 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and continue U.S. efforts to work with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security, said Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a statement....

Does the former Governor realize this is the second term of President Obama? The war is over.
In July, U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first trip to Kenya as president, the White House announced Monday.
Obama will travel to his father’s birthplace for bilateral meetings and the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, an annual conference that connects entrepreneurs with international organizations, business leaders, and governments, CNN reports.
The trip will build on the success of the August 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and continue U.S. efforts to work with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security, said Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a statement.
- See more at: http://afkinsider.com/92917/obama-to-visit-kenya-in-july-first-trip-as-president/#sthash.Bekea4eO.dpuf
In July, U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first trip to Kenya as president, the White House announced Monday.
Obama will travel to his father’s birthplace for bilateral meetings and the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, an annual conference that connects entrepreneurs with international organizations, business leaders, and governments, CNN reports.
The trip will build on the success of the August 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit and continue U.S. efforts to work with countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, to accelerate economic growth, strengthen democratic institutions, and improve security, said Press Secretary Josh Earnest in a statement.
A top New Hampshire Republican, former Gov. John H. Sununu, is suggesting that Obama is making the trip to embarrass U.S. conservatives.
“His trip back to Kenya is going to create a lot of chatter and commentary amongst the hard right, who still don’t see him as having been born in the U.S.,” Sununu said Monday on Fox News, according to Politico.
- See more at: http://afkinsider.com/92917/obama-to-visit-kenya-in-july-first-trip-as-president/#sthash.Bekea4eO.dpu
A top New Hampshire Republican, former Gov. John H. Sununu, is suggesting that Obama is making the trip to embarrass U.S. conservatives.
“His trip back to Kenya is going to create a lot of chatter and commentary amongst the hard right, who still don’t see him as having been born in the U.S.,” Sununu said Monday on Fox News, according to Politico.
- See more at: http://afkinsider.com/92917/obama-to-visit-kenya-in-july-first-trip-as-president/#sthash.Bekea4eO.dpuf

Some best estimates are 13 years until Iran has enough highly enriched uranium to build ONE weapon.

If the agreement with Iran limits the centrifuges to the number of Iran states it will need for domestic use, the ten year revisit would be more than sufficient to reasses the Iranian program to move out of domestic energy.

...There are a number of necessary steps (click here) toward making a relatively simple indigenous uranium nuclear bomb: mining, conversion, enrichment, and fabrication. Nuclear weapons require a specific type of uranium—U-235—which is very rare in nature, so a difficult and lengthy process is required to separate out U-235 from the much more common U-238 and accumulate it into enough material to form a bomb. In nature, uranium is only .7% U-235, and a generally understood minimum threshold for a nuclear weapon is that uranium must be "enriched" to 90% U-235. And this enrichment happens in minute quantities: raw uranium mined out of the ground is first milled into uranium oxide ("yellowcake"); then the uranium oxide is converted into a gas (uranium hexafluoride); then the uranium gas is put into centrifuge "cascades" (a series of centrifuges working together) that separate out the U-235; then the enriched uranium is collected and formed into sizable masses. The simplest nuclear weapon type, a "gun type" fission weapon, requires approximately 50 kg (110 lbs.) of highly enriched uranium, and would involve essentially shooting two HEU masses (25 kg each) at each other to create critical mass and so, a nuclear explosion....

Iran has scientists working in their nuclear interests. They are capable of moving forward toward a weapon if the country decided that is what they wanted, however, there is still the issue of building a larger capacity and manufacturing capacity to actually build weapons.

Ten years of global development of alternate energies and movements toward peace as well as the return of trade to Iran will result in a far different international profile of which most probably will be peaceful. If that is the case I would expect Iran to end it's nuclear weapons ambitions, instead invest in it's people and domestic interests. Ten years is a long time and the global community has real opportunity ahead of them to seek peace rather than war. 

Such a profile to move into peace could manifest in ten years. When the Iranian talks resume in ten years there is a very good chance they will have decided their domestic use best serves the country and they would move away from any war capacity and into compliance with the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. In the next ten years many countries with nuclear capacity that no longer serves them also in violation of the NPT may very well place the global community back in compliance with the treaty. That is wishful thinking to some, but, it is possible. 

It may be the Iranian talks will be a blueprint for the future. 
Of these three isotopes, (click here) only uranium-235 reacts with a neutron and undergoes nuclear fission in a conventional nuclear reactor. To have a sustained fission reaction there must be enough U-235 so that at least one of the neutrons it produces in fission will likely strike another U-235 nucleus. The needed concentration of U-235 must be about 3 % of the total uranium.

Uranium ore has an elemental composition of U3O8, 8 oxygen atoms for every 3 uranium atoms in the material. It is not a simple molecule though. The ore is relatively plentiful in the US, Canada, Australia, and South Africa. When purified from the other rock it has a yellow color and is called yellowcake. Because only 0.72 % of the uranium in yellowcake is U-235, it is not suitable as a nuclear fuel....

This diagram doesn't relate the size of centrifuges. They are very large. This is not a technology that is cheap. It takes a considerable amount of money to research, build and produce even the far lower quality of uranium for power production.

The quality of the uranium is important to the production of any usable product. If the centrifuge produces somewhere around 5 to 6 percent of enriched material it can fuel a nuclear reactor. Nuclear subs on the other hand require about 15% give or take a few percentage points. But, nuclear weapons require 90% to become unstable enough to cause the kind of chaotic reaction that kills millions of people.

Even if the isotope is obtained for one weapon, there is the issue of the bomb. The nuclear material doesn't explode by itself in the massive explosion witnessed in many 1950s military videos. The bomb has to work to coordinate the mixture within it's hull to create such a chaotic reaction that causes the atoms to move outside their molecular order. 

I am thinking the amount needed for a bomb is about 30 or 35 kilograms of highly enriched material (that is the 90% product). There is 2.2 pounds per kilogram. So, about 65 to 70 pounds of the nuclear isotope. 

I am not going to insult Iran by stating their scientists are not capable of assembling a nuclear weapon, I am certain they can. However, that ability is years away. I don't believe Iran is at the cusp of bomb assembly. Israel frequently states Iran is within a month or so in creating a bomb. I think that is inaccurate. Iran still has some centrifuges that are not assembled and/or don't work well enough to even produce isotopes for power generation.

The centrifuges have a difficult task. They have to take this yellowcake fluid and spin it to remove minor amounts of the uranium used for power generation. At about 5% of the fluid in the container that has been centrifuged out can begin a nuclear reaction to boil water and produce steam generation.  

The isotopes don't give up their neutrons easily. The centrifuge spins out the heavier material first. That is the material with the higher weight of any of the isotopes. The difference between these isotopes is only one or two neutrons in their molecular weight. It takes a long time for centrifuges to produce the isotopes needed for any one of the products used today across the globe. 

The free neutron has a mass of about 1.675×10−27 kg. That was 10 to the negative 27 in weight. 

The centrifuge has to spin long enough to have the higher weight isotope to find it's way out of the spinning mixture to a place where it can be harvested. This is also not a matter of flipping a switch. The preparation of the centrifuge is important and takes some time to begin the process.

I have no doubt Iran's Supreme Leader rather have the image of being very powerful, but, that is more or less muscle flexing and not a good reflection of the Iranian's readiness to nuclear weapons.

To date, Iran has put one cascade of 164 centrifuges online as proof of their enrichment abilities, and according to international testing, they have enriched a minute amount of uranium to 4.6%—a level that is usable for nuclear power but not nuclear weapons. At this rate, it will take Iran more than 13 years to collect enough HEU material for a weapon. However, Iran has announced its intention to begin building a 3,000 centrifuge cascade by the end of 2006. Estimates from experts say that Iran may be able to assemble 1,500 centrifuges by the end of 2006, meaning that it will be at least the end of 2007 before Iran could assemble 3,000. However, Iran is not known to have the parts for additional centrifuges beyond the initial 1,000-1,200, so they will need to procure these parts internationally or else build them domestically. Both of these options will likely pose substantial roadblocks for Iran, so although the US State Department estimates that with 3,000 centrifuges Iran could enrich enough material for a bomb in nine months, practically speaking, this will be very tough for them to accomplish....

For a long time I have heard how soon Iran will have nuclear capacity. It has invested a great deal of money to build a nuclear power plant and there are other nuclear facilities to produce uranium for the reactor. But, if anyone bothered to examine the sheer size of the USA facilities for it's enrichment it is fairly easy to discern the Iranian program doesn't even come close.

I don't want to appear as though I consent to Iran's potential to a nuclear weapon. I don't. It is an illegal activity of that country. The only powers on Earth to have legal nuclear capacity are the five permanent members of the UN Security Council; any other capacity is illegal. Iran is a signator to the NPT.  

I do believe the Iranian capacity to 'break out' and have a nuclear weapon exists at least by a year if not longer. The one year mark is to bring about a standard to measure the capacity of Iran to produce weapons. It is a reasonable safety zone. There has to be some measure to decide whether or not Iran is a rouge country producing nuclear weapons.  

Containing the number of centrifuges is correct. A program completely peaceful is going to require far less capacity than that of the USA.  Iran has limited need for nuclear power generation simply because it is a smaller country with a smaller population. There is a limit to the need for producing an isotope in quantities needed for nuclear power. The number of functioning centrifuges are really set and not an unknown need.

If a country were to produce a nuclear weapon how many would it need to carry out a nuclear strike? It is a reasonable question with an exact answer. How many nuclear weapons does a country need to have a successful nuclear weapon program?

Will one weapon be all that is necessary? Two? Ten? 

Realize that once a weapon is set into strike another country, there is a reaction to that aggression. There are weapons returned to the aggressive country.

Now, how many nuclear weapons are needed to carry out a successful nuclear strike? And. How much is that going to cost? 

A country needs far more than one to carry out a successful strike. It needs more than two and it costs a lot of money. That is why countries have alliances. They can't afford that capacity and they don't have the ability to bring about a substantial arsenal to protect itself as well as allies. 

The fear is rhetorical. The topic is very complex. But, it is necessary if we are to enforce the NPT and remove such danger from the lives on Earth. 

Nuclear weapons are completely stupid. 
This might be the time to take the unnecessary religion law to court and finally get rid of it. Indiana stepped over the line and it is time to remove the discrimination existing in the USA.

There is always this 'thing' about the Republicans. They believe a private business can enforce discrimination and bigotry. Supposedly the private enterprise is so sacred in the USA it can dismiss vital laws in removing racism and bigotry of any kind from our country. 

The Indiana law is blatantly wrong and begins a larger process. It might be the time to end this mess once and for all.

All these laws are from the Gingrich years. They are antiquated and don't belong here. I have never witnessed a state being grandfathered into a law AFTER the fact. It's ridiculous. 

Governor Pence is wrong. Even his own legal professors in Indiana state same.

The Indiana law invokes power to pass on religious discrimination to a third party. It places a burden on others and is not self-contained to the individual and their religious understandings.

Pence is simply wrong. It is obvious. The USA Constitution implies there is no obligation by others to accommodate the religious belief of an individual. The First Amendment of the USA Constitution provides for the practice of religion. It allows special exemptions for religious actors, but not when they work to impose costs on other.

The First Amendment doesn't change and hasn't changed. An amendment to the Constitution would be required to instill a different understanding of Freedom of Religion. 

The word costs is not exclusive to money. Costs carries the definition of others in their own esteem and religious practices or in the case of non-religious practitioners the absence of same.  

In the case of the Indiana law it puts a thumb on the scale of justice to favor religious precepts before the liberty of others. The other word used in this argument is liberty. Religious liberties. The liberties of others would be put into difficult circumstances while simply carrying out everyday life in the case of the Indiana law.

The First Amendment of the US Constitution is emphatic in that religion is not to be litigated, but, instead practiced. There is no legislative directive that can provide a religious preference. The First Amendment to the USA Constitution is the law of the land. There isn't anything else to understand, except, Pence used his power in the Governorship to court funders to his political ambitions.

Other than religious buildings or grounds there is no obligation by anyone to enforce segments of religion on others. By doing so will violate the First Amendment. 

There simply is no provision for religious faith to impose standards on a nation of people and/or in this case the people of Indiana. In the case of the Robert's Court and Hobby Lobby, it was a private company and not the general public. I still think those decisions are faulty and victimizing. But, zealots don't care.

February 27, 2015

We write you as legal scholars (click here) with expertise in matters of religious freedom, civil rights, and the interaction between those fields, to offer our expert opinion on the scope and meaning of the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts pending before both houses of the Indiana legislature.  The thirty signatories to this letter, many who are Indiana University law professors,agree with the Indiana Supreme Court “that the Indiana Constitution’s religious liberty clauses did not intend to afford only narrow protection for a person internal thoughts and private practices of religion and conscience.”

That said, we have several concerns with the language of the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA). The first rests primarily in the way in which they expand the protection of religious liberty rights by unsettling a finely tuned harmony between religious liberty and other rights secured by the Indiana Constitution and laws. Although some proponents of the legislation maintain that the proposed RFRAs offers a modest and reasoned method to secure rights to religious liberty in Indiana, it is our expert opinion that the proposals, if adopted, would amount to an over-correction in protecting important religious liberty rights, thereby destroying a well - established harmony struck in Indiana law.... 

Nicole Wallace is typical of the rhetorical populous politics that speak as if she has all the facts and has the correct inflammatory speech opinion that will bring about the election day vote the Republicans have paid for. She actually knows nothing and has an opinion that might count at the ballot box by Republicans that don't care about facts and impacts; but; as usual it is always based in a lie.

...In fact, Hobby Lobby’s employees have been harmed, and continue to be harmed, by the Court’s decision. Although the Obama Administration is working on implementing the solution that the Court suggested in its opinion,...

The Robert's Court is causing damage. It is an activist court that will effect people's lives profoundly and forever. That isn't suppose to happen in the USA. One's belief is not suppose to impose costs to others.

...Therefore, Hobby Lobby’s employees have suffered harm that may well be irreparable, including heightened risk of unwanted pregnancies and other health problems....

Banned airlines? It will difficult for the airline to survive if countries take this action.

March 30, 2015
By  Boonsong Kositchotethana

The “dominoes” (click here) that Transport Minister Prajin Juntong worried would begin falling over a global safety warning about Thailand’s aviation industry have indeed begun to tumble, with China and South Korean
now banning new Thai-registered flights and Singapore imposing strict inspections....

...At least three countries -- Japan, China and Singapore -- have now subjected aircraft operated by Thai airlines to exhaustive inspections at their airports, industry executives with knowledge of the matter...

The USA is owner of the Patriot Missile System and their own variety of defense from cruise missles.

March 13, 2015
By Barbara Starr

Washington (CNN)T (click here) he ability of the U.S. and Canadian military to defend North America could be jeopardized by stepped up Russian military activity, according to the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Adm. William Gortney told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday that Russia is continuing to work on its program to deploy "long-range conventionally armed cruise missiles," that can be launched from its bomber aircraft, submarines and warships. This is giving the Kremlin "deterrent" options "short of the nuclear threshold," Gortney said....

Now, the USA can't defend North America? That is confusing. Now, the issue of China building artificial islands to define it's border is really a development that needs to be brought to the attention of the United Nations.

March 31, 2015
By John Garnaut

A powerful American naval officer (click here) has fired a warning at China for rapidly building "a Great Wall" of artificial islands across hotly-contested waters.
Admiral Harry Harris, soon to take charge of Pacific Command, told a dinner at the Australian War Memorial on Tuesday night that the string of new islands posed a serious threat to stability in the South China Sea.
He said the artificial expanse was "roughly the size of Canberra's Black Mountain Nature Reserve" and that they stretched across some of the world's busiest sea lanes.
Those sea lanes carry around 60 per cent of Australian trade, posing a major strategic conundrum for the Abbott government....

When Dubai built isn't artificial island it was expected. It was also within it's national waters. This move by China is deliberately alarming.

...One of the new islands in question is a runway and port-shaped structure extended more than 3km, over previously submerged coral reef, which analysts say could mark a tipping point in China's ability to project air power thousands of kilometres from its coastal waters.

"China is creating a great wall of sand with dredges and bulldozers over the course of months," said Admiral Harris, who is currently commander of the US Pacific Fleet....

Someone had to speak up. This is a very bad pattern of aggression by China. The location is highly disputed and that is not new. The idea a country can siply build into the ocean is dangerous. The United Nations has to look at treaties and bring this under the umbrella of peace rather than a wealthy nation taking land away from people that can't defend themselves.

..."This marks a real ramping up of US determination and resolve in the region, reflecting a realisation that China is determined to play hard ball in the South China Sea," said Professor Wesley.
He said Australia could not  avoid being affected "given that 60 per cent of its trade goes through the South China Sea". 
Professor Wesley said the strident American rhetoric marked a "dangerous escalation"....

When it comes to Russia's escalation of their military, I am sure the USA has weapons to match that of Russia.

To proceed with any trade agreements is wrong. This is putting China in a new light. At this moment if China is going forward with their plans about this artificial island, it is in violation of an established treaty.

...He urged China and other nations to conform to a China-ASEAN code of conduct, which commits nations to exercise self-restraint.
 "How China proceeds will be a key indicator of whether the region is heading towards confrontation or co-operation," he said.