Archive for May, 2019

Nuclear Waste Transportation: How Does it Work?

May 27, 2019

“……..Nuclear Waste Transportation: How Does it Work? (in photos  – on original)

Spent nuclear fuel comes in small, solid pellets. These pellets are then stacked on top of each other and stored in metal tubes. The nuclear waste is stacked and stored in large, long, metal tubes. The metal tubes are then placed into large transportation casks, with layers of lead and concrete to contain the nuclear material. The transportation casks are then placed on trucks and rail lines, with shock absorbers and additional layers of concrete to keep nuclear waste still.   https://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/long-running-yucca-mountain-debate-still-center-nuclear-waste-fight#stream/0

A Maralinga nuclear veteran’s grim story

May 12, 2019

Maralinga nuclear bomb test survivor reveals truth of what happened in the SA desert  https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/maralinga-nuclear-bomb-test-survivor-reveals-truth-of-what-happened-in-the-sa-desert/news-story/697b17f6d3427a78aa0262b09727c169, 24 Apr 19

The nuclear bomb tests, under British Government control, at Maralinga in far west South Australia in the 1950s were conducted at the highest level of secrecy. But they had thousands of witnesses. Most were Australian servicemen, innocently used as guinea pigs and exposed to deadly radiation. Craig Cook talks to a survivor, one of the last of a group of men who built the Maralinga camp as part of 23 Construction Squadron and watched in awe as the bombs were exploded, little knowing they were risking their lives and the futures of their children.

Tony Spruzen knew the drill at the top secret Maralinga facility in the South Australian desert in the spring of 1956.

Just like hundreds of others at the nuclear site at 11-mile camp during Operation Buffalo, he was told to turn his back and cover his eyes to protect himself from the gigantic glare of the exploding atomic bomb.

What they didn’t tell the Australian Army sapper was, at the moment of the flash of detonation, he would see the bones of his hand through his tightly shut eyelids.

“It was like a massive x-ray,” Tony, 83, from Glengowrie says. ‘Unlike anything I’d ever known before.”

A week after One Tree, on October 6, 1956, Spruzen witnessed the detonation of Buffalo 2, named Marcoo.

The bomb was only a tenth the size of One Tree but this time was detonated directly above and just under the ground.

“The bomb was in an amphitheatre of hills and we were far closer to that one, maybe only 200 yards away,” he remembers.

“We were close enough to see the trenches with dummy soldiers in them holding rifles and fake aeroplanes and tanks used to test the blast effect.

“And we could see the scientists walking around in their white suits checking out the site before and afterwards but we were just in khaki shorts and short sleeved shorts. Even the dignitaries had no protection.”

Every hour, from five hours out, an elaborate PA system across the complex announced the timing of the bomb detonation.

In the final 30 seconds, and with a rising and excited inclination, the voice on the PA dramatically counted….ten, nine, eight…down to zero.

When Marcoo exploded at 7am it only took a few seconds for a heavy shower of dust to descend on the witnesses.

“We had this large piece of litmus paper attached to our shirts,” Spruzen recalls

Spruzen, originally from Victoria and a carpenter by trade, enlisted in the Army at just 16.

Four year later he was at Maralinga as part of a detachment of 23 Construction Squadron, an acclaimed unit of the Royal Australian Engineers and exclusively raised in South Australia.

Around 40 young men were selected from the unit to build a desert tent camp with cook houses and latrines for the Commonwealth military ‘high-ups’ who were having their first look at the impact of the devastating nuclear weapon.

Around 200km from the ocean, the tent city gained the facetious name of the ‘Sea View Holiday Camp’.

“It was an adventure…we were all excited,” he recalls.

“A lot of young single guys together and we had some fun.”

The lads knew it was serious too as this was a hush-hush operation. They weren’t even allowed to take a camera along for snapshots so Spruzen has no personal photos from Maralinga.

“Then we all turned around to see this mushroom cloud climbing into the sky. The next thing was the blast. The boom was deafening…and then the wind came about thirty seconds after that blowing dust and soil and debris all over us.”

But he does have a terrible reminder of his three months spent in far western South Australia.

“Of the 40 men who went up with me I only know of three of us still around,” he says. “The rest have all died – many from cancers.”

The first Maralinga bomb, Buffalo 1, with the nickname One Tree, was detonated after being dropped from a 31m high tower.

At 15 kiloton it was the same size as Little Boy, the bomb dropped by the US air force that demolished the Japanese city of Hiroshima in August 1945, killing more than 100,000 instantly and tens of thousands slowly in the aftermath from burns and radiation poisoning.

“They said, keep an eye on that and if it changes to pink come and see us. Well it turned pink for every one of us.

“Had I have known what I know now I wouldn’t have been so close.”

Transferred to Sydney on a training course, Spruzen missed the final two detonations at Maralinga that year: on October 11, 1956, Buffalo 3 (Kite) was released by a Royal Air Force Vickers Valiant bomber, the first drop of a British nuclear weapon from an aircraft; and then on October 22, and again dropped from the 31m tower, (Buffalo 4) Breakaway exploded.

There were a total of seven nuclear desert tests at Maralinga performed during Operations Buffalo and Antler.

The 1985 McClelland Royal Commission heavily criticised the detonations, declaring the weather conditions were inappropriate and led to the widespread scattering of radioactive material.

The radioactive cloud from Buffalo 1 reached more than 11,000m into the air and with a northerly wind blowing radioactivity was detected across Adelaide.

Radioactive dust clouds from other bombs were detected in Northern Territory, Queensland and across New South Wales, as far away as Sydney, 2500km from Maralinga.

Around 12,000 Australian servicemen served at British nuclear test sites in the southern hemisphere between 1952 and 1963.

In recent years, the British Government’s claim that they never used humans “for guinea pig-type experiments” in nuclear weapons trials in Australia has been revealed to be a lie.

Tony Spruzen has struggled to come to terms with being placed in danger by his own government who had full knowledge of the consequences of exposure to radiation.

“Once we all found out later what we’d been exposed to at Maralinga it makes you very angry,” he says.

“We believed them when we were told we would be safe — but we haven’t been.”

Spruzen met his wife Shirley, the daughter of an army veteran, in Adelaide where they settled after marriage in June 1960. He left the army seven months later to work in civil construction. He thought his Maralinga days were well behind him but soon after they came to haunt him.

In the first four years of marriage, the couple agonisingly suffered six miscarriages, including twins.

Alarm bells started ringing when he was sent a survey from Veterans Affairs asking about his general health and, specifically his history of cancers.

“It turned out those involved in the atomic tests had a 30 per cent higher chance than getting cancers than the general public,” he says.

“Most of those got them within the first five years and a majority of those were dead before a decade had passed.”

Spruzen, who eventually had three children with Shirley, didn’t get cancer at that time, although he has since had several melanomas removed.

But when his son was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia at the age of 41, he wondered about the possibility of faulty genes, damaged by exposure to radiation, as has been documented in Japanese survivors of the atomic bombs, jumping a generation.

“My son was told by the QEH (Queen Elizabeth Hospital) there was nothing could be done for him but we went up to Queensland and after a bone marrow transfer from his sister he survived,” he adds.

“A decade on he’s working as strong as he has but I don’t think his condition was a coincidence given my history.

“There’s been nothing (compensation) for those of us who were there although they gave us a white card for our cancers and now we have a (full health) gold card.”

Ken Daly, President Royal Australian Engineers Association says it is the least the men, who literally put their bodies on the line, deserve.

“You get these young men, aged around 25-30, with a history of exposure to radiation, coming down with cancers in those numbers and you just know what has caused it,” he says.

“Many died within a few years of being exposed to the fallout and many passed on generational health problems and birth defects to their children.”

Mr Daly, who was based at Warradale Barracks for 15 years, where 23 Construction was based until being disbanded in the early 1960s, hadn’t heard of the Squadron until around five years ago.

Since then he has been central to the group gaining due recognition.

In its earliest days the Squadron, with a strength of eight officers and 160 in other ranks, built the El Alamein Army Reserve camp, part of which later became the Baxter Detention Centre, outside of Port Augusta.

It also assisted the South Australian community by providing aid during bush fires, the grasshopper plague of 1955, and significant infrastructure construction.

During the record flood of 1956, while those squad members were at Maralinga, the rest of 23 Construction were out sandbagging River Murray towns and then cleaning up after the water receded.

In 2011, the Royal Australian Engineers constructed a memorial at Warradale to all who have served in its ranks.

This year a bronzed engineer’s slouch hat, of actual size, by Western Australian sculptor and former army engineer Ron Gomboc will be incorporated into the memorial.

“The hat will be mounted on the memorial in such a way it will look like it’s suspended in mid-air,” Daly adds.

“It acknowledges the ultimate sacrifice of the more than 1250 engineers who died in World War I and the remarkable service and sacrifice of 23 Construction Squadron that has never been recognised before.”

The slouch hat, costing $6,000 and one of only six to have been cast, will be unveiled during a service at Warradale Barracks at midday on Sunday April 28.

Contact Ken Daly at dailydouble@bigpond.com for further details.

Subscriber only https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/messenger/east-hills/maralinga-nuclear-bomb-test-survivor-reveals-truth-of-what-happened-in-the-sa-desert/news-story/697b17f6d3427a78aa0262b09727c169

Julian Assange – the untold story

May 12, 2019

This prospect prompted the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and 33 EU parliamentarians to issue strongly worded statements to both the UK and Ecuadorian governments in December last year, warning against facilitating the prosecution of a journalist, editor and publisher for “publishing the truth”. The statements demanded Assange’s “immediate release, together with his safe passage to a safe country”, and reminded the UK of its “binding” legal obligations to secure freedom for Assange.

A critical task for propagandists such as those waging a psychological war on Wilkileaks, then, is to feed audiences material that supports official narratives and exclude that which does not. Since its inception, the smear campaign against Julian Assange and Wikileaks has been remarkably concerted and consistent in that regard.

With the new year, however, news broke that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had offered Ecuador a $10 billion bailout in return for handing Julian Assange over to the United States. This bounty came on top of earlier US pressures and inducements, reportedly including increased oil exportsmilitary co-operation and another $1.1 billion in IMF loans, with the US representative of the IMF instructing Ecuador that it must “resolve” its relationship with Julian Assange in order to receive the IMF money.

Australian Barrister Greg Barns has called it the blackmailing of a nation. News website 21st Century Wirecalled it “one of the biggest international bribery (or extortion) cases in history.”

While there is “not a single shred of evidence that any of [Wikileaks’] disclosures caused anyone harm”, writes journalist and author Nozomi Hayase, what Wikileaks did do in 2010 was expose thousands of previously unreported civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. These deaths included the nonchalant gunning down of children, journalists and their rescuers, and other “indiscriminate violence… torture, lies [and]bribery”, writes Chris Hedges. According to Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Elsberg, the leaks exposed “a massive cover-up over a number of years by the American authorities”.

Julian in ‘critical danger’, new rules ‘torture’ – Assange mother *AUDIO*

The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange, Part 2: The Court Of Public Opinion And The Blood-Curdling Untold Story, New Matilda, By Dr Lissa Johnson February 25, 2019  In her ongoing special investigation into the detention of Julian Assange, Dr Lissa Johnson turns to the art of smear, and how to corrupt a judicial system.

On Friday 14th February, the Editor in Chief of news website Consortium News, Joe Lauria, visited Sydney to host a ‘Politics in the Pub’ event: Whistleblowing, Wikileaks and the Future of Democracy. The event took place in anticipation of upcoming rallies to free Assange…….

. It is imperative that we pressure the Australian government to make sure its citizen, Julian Assange, is protected from the lawlessness of the American Empire.”

Opening the Politics in the Pub evening, Lauria described the fight to defend Julian Asssange as an “historic press freedom case. This is how I became more involved”.

Lauria has been hosting weekly Unity4J online vigils in support of Julian Assange since December last year, taking over from Suzie Dawson, as part of the Unity4J platform. Guests have included Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Elsberg, CIA Whistleblower John KiriakouChris HedgesJohn Pilger and many others.

Joe Lauria’s career in journalism has spanned mainstream and independent media, including 25 years as a UN correspondent, where he covered every major world crisis that came before the UN. During his career, Lauria has experienced journalistic suppression and enforcement of official narratives first-hand, including leading up to the Iraq war. As a result, he is particularly well-placed to host discussions on the importance of Wikileaks and Julian Assange………

Lauria went on to describe some of the specific acts of suppression he himself had experienced during his own career. They included being fired after reporting on dissent within the UN in the lead-up to the Iraq War; burial of the fact that 130 nations at the UN recognised Palestine during a vote on Palestine’s status; and suppression of a story “on a declassified Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document that predicted the rise of ISIS back in 2012 but was ignored in Washington ……..

Suppressed. For the good of the country.

“The omission of such news day after day in newspapers and on television,” said Lauria, “over the decades… gives the American people a distorted view of their country, an almost cartoonish sense of America’s supposed morality in international affairs”.

On the importance of Wikileaks in such a media landscape, during an interview with Chris Hedges, who also lost his mainstream career after critiquing the Iraq War, Lauria said, “We’ve seen over the years… the decline of American journalism… this taking of official statements and positions, and just reporting them without question.”

Hedges, formerly a foreign correspondent and Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times, added during an online vigil for Assange, “I still have colleagues that are there [at the New York Times], and they are quite blunt about the fact that investigative journalism into the inner workings of power has been frozen completely, because of wholesale surveillance. Government officials, because they know they’re monitored, journalists, because they know they’re monitored, can no longer shine a light into the inner workings of power.

“The only mechanism left by which we can understand, frankly, the crimes that are being committed by the powerful, by the elites, are through leaks… Take that mechanism away and tyranny, corruption runs rampant.”

What you don’t know can hurt you

When Lauria took over the Unity4J vigils for Assange in December last year, it was an eventful time in the fight to defend Julian Assange.

As 2018 drew to a close, fears mounted that Assange’s extradition to the US may be imminent. Increasingly strict protocols had been imposed upon his presence in the Ecuadorian embassy, possibly creating pretexts for his expulsion, the Ecuadorian ambassador and foreign minister had advised Assange to leave the embassy and hand himself over to British authorities, and six leading Democrats had written a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, recommending that he urge Ecuador to “resolve” the “situation” with Julian Assange.

Should efforts to expel Assange from the embassy succeed, he is expected to be extradited to the United States to face charges for his publishing activities.

This prospect prompted the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and 33 EU parliamentarians to issue strongly worded statements to both the UK and Ecuadorian governments in December last year, warning against facilitating the prosecution of a journalist, editor and publisher for “publishing the truth”. The statements demanded Assange’s “immediate release, together with his safe passage to a safe country”, and reminded the UK of its “binding” legal obligations to secure freedom for Assange.

With the new year, however, news broke that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had offered Ecuador a $10 billion bailout in return for handing Julian Assange over to the United States. This bounty came on top of earlier US pressures and inducements, reportedly including increased oil exportsmilitary co-operation and another $1.1 billion in IMF loans, with the US representative of the IMF instructing Ecuador that it must “resolve” its relationship with Julian Assange in order to receive the IMF money.

Australian Barrister Greg Barns has called it the blackmailing of a nation. News website 21st Century Wirecalled it “one of the biggest international bribery (or extortion) cases in history.”

The mainstream media called it no big deal. Like the facts that got in the way of the Iraq war, details such as a $10 billion IMF bounty on Julian Assange’s head have been placed out of bounds for Western publics, and omitted from the mainstream narrative on Wikileaks and Julian Assange.

In fact, from the outset, the official narrative on Assange and Wikileaks has been woven as much from omission as from smear.

On the subject of smear, speaking at the Sydney rally to free Assange last year, John Pilger said, “I know Julian well. I regard him as a close friend: a person of extraordinary resilience and courage. I have watched a tsunami of lies and smear engulf him, endlessly, vindictively, perfidiously, and I know why they smear him.

“In 2008, a plan to destroy both Wikileaks and Julian was laid out in a secret document dated 8th of March 2008. The authors were the Cyber Counter-intelligence Assessment Branch of the US Defense Department (DoD). They described in detail how important it was to destroy, and I quote, ‘the feeling of trust’ that is Wikileaks’ ‘centre of gravity’”.

In the decade that followed, as discussed in Part 1, true to the modus operandi of counterintelligence, which seeks to “leverage insights” into adversary “vulnerabilities”, every major vulnerability in the human reality-processing system has been leveraged and exploited in order to smear Julian Assange and Wikileaks.

In this case, the adversary in the US crosshairs has been not only Julian Assange and Wikileaks, but the global populations that Wikileaks seeks to inform. It is our own vulnerabilities – the vulnerabilities in the information processing systems of all human beings – that have been leveraged and exploited in order to undermine and discredit Wikileaks……..

As Professor Piers Robinson, chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism at the University of Sheffield, has said in an interview on modern day propaganda, “omission – what is not spoken about – is one of the biggest parts of propaganda and manipulating people’s opinions”.

A critical task for propagandists such as those waging a psychological war on Wilkileaks, then, is to feed audiences material that supports official narratives and exclude that which does not. Since its inception, the smear campaign against Julian Assange and Wikileaks has been remarkably concerted and consistent in that regard.

The material omitted in Assange’s case has been not only that which factually undermines anointed narratives (such as narratives on the Swedish investigation and Russiagate), but material that gives Western publics cause to care what happens to Julian Assange.

Should such material be admitted to the official story, the possibility emerges that publics may identify with Assange. He may be viewed as a protagonist with a plight, worthy of our concern. Which is bad for smear campaigns. Protagonists are difficult to smear.

The fact is, however, that whether or not you care what happens to Julian Assange, there are very important reasons to care what happens to Julian Assange. Which is why mainstream narratives on Assange have worked hard to see to it that we don’t. Care, that is.

Blood-curdling

Once upon a time the official narrative was that Assange had brought his asylum upon himself, by evading Swedish questioning over sexual assault allegations. He doesn’t deserve your sympathy was the subtext. He only has himself to blame.

Once the Swedish case had been closed in 2017, the ‘evading Swedish justice’ narrative gave way to the ‘evading British Justice’ narrative. Julian Assange was now said to be ‘holed up’ in the Ecuadorian Embassy to escape a British arrest warrant over the pseudo-legal concoction of a defunct bail infringement attached to the closed Swedish investigation.

The underlying implication remained: that Julian Assange had brought his imprisonment upon himself. In this narrative he was still a fugitive from justice, not a publisher seeking asylum from US persecution.

Despite their factual inaccuracy, these tales survived in many people’s minds for years, thanks largely to the concerted campaign of omission, as I shall explain.

However, late last year the Department of Justice (DoJ) accidentally confirmed what Wikileaks had been saying since at least 2012: that secret charges await Julian Assange in the United States should he leave the Ecuadorian embassy, most likely for 2010 publications regarding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Accordingly, the ‘fugitive from British justice’ narrative has now been dropped. It is out in the open that the US is gunning for Julian Assange, and gunning hard. Mike Pompeo admitted as much in his first speech as CIA director last year.

For its part, Ecuador is doing its best to force Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy, having cut him off from the outside world since March 2018, imposing effective solitary confinement, in an effort to “break him psychologically” according to former Ecuadorian President Raffael Correa.

The conditions being imposed upon Assange are “basically the kind of torture techniques [used]in the black sites, Gitmo, and prisons in Iraq” says former NSA technical director William Binney. “It’s a technique that psychologists developed with the CIA as to how to treat people to make them feel very isolated, and make them psychologically turn on themselves.”

Assange’s physical as well as mental health, as reported in the British Medical Journal Opinion, is under sustained attack, amounting to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”, possibly endangering his life according to the UN.

His treatment has been denounced not only by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and EU parliamentarians , but by HRWAmnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, has called his treatment “a slow and cruel assassination”.

Still, the official narratives incite Western publics not to care. Although no-one is denying that the US is out to get Julian Assange now, something else is being omitted to keep public care and concern at bay.

Yes, there is Russiagate, causing anger over perceived ‘collusion’, which I shall examine as collective delusion in Part 4. But Russiagate itself relies on a critical omission, without which its claims to ‘defending democracy’ would unravel.

What omission? What is being kept out of the official narrative now?

An omission central to keeping publics disengaged from Julian Assange (and engaged with Russiagate) concerns the wider legal implications should Assange be extradited and prosecuted in the United States.

What wider legal implications?

If US prosecution does take place, Assange is expected to be tried either as a conspirator in procuring leaks, or under the draconian Espionage Act of 1917, passed during WWI in the context of the First Red Scare, when “people were literally being thrown in prison just for writing letters to the editor”, writes the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

So although the Trump administration appears game to blaze this authoritarian legal trail, previous US administrations have stopped short, for fear of criminalising journalism.

The Obama DoJ, for instance, as keen as any to shut down Wikileaks, looked closely at prosecuting Assange for publishing classified documents in this way, but concluded that doing so was impossiblewithout opening other publishers, such as The New York Times, to the same fate. The Obama administration called this their ‘New York Times problem’.

Former chief counsel for The New York Times, James Goodale, of Pentagon Papers famenow adjunct professor at Fordham Law School, describes the legal implications of prosecuting Julian Assange as “blood-curdling”.

Goodale told the Columbia Journalism Review that “the biggest challenge to the press today is the threatened prosecution of WikiLeaks, and it’s absolutely frightening… If you go after WikiLeaks criminally, you go after the Times. That’s the criminalization of the whole process.”

The current deputy general counsel for The New York Times made much the same point when speaking to a group of judges in July last year. He said that “the prosecution of [Assange] would be a very, very bad precedent for publishers… From everything I know, he’s sort of in a classic publisher’s position and I think the law would have a very hard time drawing a distinction between The New York Times and WikiLeaks.”

Similarly, executive Director of Human Rights Watch (HRW) Kenneth Roth tweeted in 2018, “Deeply troubling if the Trump administration, which has shown little regard for media freedom, would charge Assange for receiving from a government official and publishing classified information — exactly what journalists do all the time.”

In short, should Assange be prosecuted in this cross-border, extra-territorial, precedent-setting way, the legal upshot would be that anyone, anywhere in the world, could be arrested for publishing material that angered US elites, no matter how accurate or factual.

n spite of this, or because of it, in 2017 as Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions declared Assange’s arrest a “priority”. When asked about the implications for journalism in general, Sessions declined to rule out prosecuting other media outlets in Wikileaks’ wake.

Former judge and attorney Bill Blum writes, “No publication would be safe from the administration’s vengeance and overreach. Small independent news organizations — think, Truthdig, The Intercept, The Nation and others on the left — would be especially vulnerable.”

Just to make US intentions crystal clear, in his first speech as CIA director, Mike Pompeo vowed to go after Wikileaks’ “free speech values”, describing the publisher as a “hostile non-state intelligence service”. Pompeo further confirmed that the US is “working to take down” Wikileaks, lumping it together with Al Qaeda.

Pompeo added that his CIA’s “enemies” included not only Wikileaks but “those who grant a platform” to (factual) leaked material. In other words, publishers: public interest journalists, independent media, websites, bloggers. The groups in Pompeo’s sights “may be small” Pompeo said, but they pose a “new threat… and I’m confident this administration will pursue them with great vigour.”

And pursue them the administration has, with the help of a bipartisan, borderless, military-intelligence-media complex. Orwellian Ministry of Truth censorship and smear-campaign cut-outs such as PropOrNothave been deployed, for instance, along with the Institute for Statecraft’s “political smear unit” Integrity Initiative and, more recently, the censorship tool NewsGuard, a browser plugin to filter out non-mainstream news.

Newsguard is working to make its ranking system involuntary for all internet use in the United States, and has partnered with Microsoft, which is reportedly planning to integrate NewsGuard into all its products.

The censorship tool’s “advisory board reads like the fellowships list of a neocon think tank”, writes self-described rogue journalist Caitlyn Johnstone. One of its board members, for instance, a former State Department Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy, can be seen here advocating the use of propaganda against domestic populations. (The video  [on original] is truly telling if you watch it to 1m 50s).

NewsGuard has emerged against a political backdrop in which top officials for Google, Facebook and Twitter appeared before a Senate Intelligence Committee in 2017, at which they were admonished to “act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions”. The tech leaders were advised to develop “mission statements” on preventing internet users from “fomenting discord” online.

US Government investigators even asked Facebook and Twitter to hand over profile information, possibly including names, phone numbers and email addresses, of social media users posting “divisive” content.

We want names.

Yes this really happened,” writes Caitlin Johnstone………….

other independent and dissenting voices and “platforms”, to use Pompeo’s words, no matter how “small” will be missing in the future should the US win its legal and psychological war on Wikileaks.

The psychological end-game of that war is not simply shutting down Wikileaks. It is gaining public consent to treat public interest journalism as public enemy number one. Russiagate, with its army of online enforcers, functions as a psychological tool in that war to brand independent voices enemy combatants.

As Chris Hedges warns, the mission is to “criminalize any journalistic oversight or investigation of the corporate state” and “turn leaks and whistleblowing into treason”. He notes that “the persecution of Assange is part of a broad assault against anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist news organizations [making]journalists, writers, dissidents and intellectuals…prime targets.”

Political observer and wordsmith CJ Hopkins of Consent Factory counsels, “strap yourself in. What is coming is going to make COINTELPRO look like the work of some amateur meme-freak. The neoliberal corporate media, psy-ops like Integrity Initiative, Internet-censoring apps like NewsGuard, ShareBlue and other David Brock outfits, and a legion of mass hysteria generators will be relentlessly barraging our brains with absurdity, disinformation, and just outright lies (as will their counterparts on the Right, of course, in case you thought that they were any alternative). It’s going to get extremely zany.”

Peaceniks, cat food, and a toilet bowl at Gitmo

If the impending criminalisation of journalism is being omitted from the mainstream narrative on Julian Assange and Wikileaks, what else has been omitted along the way? What evidence has been excluded from the court of public opinion in order to weave a guilty narrative around Julian Assange, cast him as the antagonist, prevent us from caring, and pave the psychological way for the war on independent media unfolding now?………

While there is “not a single shred of evidence that any of [Wikileaks’] disclosures caused anyone harm”, writes journalist and author Nozomi Hayase, what Wikileaks did do in 2010 was expose thousands of previously unreported civilian deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. These deaths included the nonchalant gunning down of children, journalists and their rescuers, and other “indiscriminate violence… torture, lies [and]bribery”, writes Chris Hedges. According to Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Elsberg, the leaks exposed “a massive cover-up over a number of years by the American authorities”.

Someone had to pay. And it certainly wasn’t going to be the war criminals.

After these releases the “terrorist” smears against Assange began to flow. Vice President Joe Biden called him a “high tech terrorist” despite saying a few days earlier that the Iraq and Afghanistan releases had done “no substantive damage” other than to be “embarrassing”.

Now, all these years of embarrassing releases later, the secret charges that have surfaced against Assange are in the same location as the 2010 Grand Jury: the Eastern District of Virginia. Accordingly, the charges are expected to relate to the 2010 exposures of US war crimes, not to the 2016 US election.

The Eastern District of Virginia is known as the ‘espionage court’ according to CIA torture whistleblower John Kiriakou. It is “the home of the CIA, of the Pentagon, and of almost every intelligence-related private contractor in the Washington area” Kirakou explains. No national security defendant has ever won a case there, he says.

Should Assange be extradited to face prosecution in the US, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has ruled that his risk of “political persecution and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment” and “physical harm” is “well founded”………..

back in the court of public opinion, after a decade of narrative by omission during trial by media, Julian Assange is on the verge of ending up in US hands. Should that come to pass, “The CIA and the FBI are both going to be on that plane”, warns John Kiriakou. “They will bring him back to the United States in chains.”

The movement to free Assange, as Joe Lauria stressed during his Sydney visit, is of historic significance. At this juncture, expressing public opposition to treating public interest journalism as public enemy number one may be one of the few things standing between free speech and a toilet bowl at Gitmo.

Next, before delving in earnest into the arsenal of psychological tactics deployed in the psychological war on Wikileaks, I will explore the phenomenon whereby ostensibly progressive, liberal Russiagate #Resistance™ warriors have fallen in line behind the Trump administration as it wages its repressive crackdown on journalism via Wikileaks, an authoritarian dream notes Glenn Greenwald.

In the process, I will ask why anyone – left, right or indifferent – would place their faith in US intelligence agencies, even as some of the same individuals who led us into the Iraq war lead the way on Russiagate and Wikileaks, crying “trust us”.

READ THE WHOLE ASSANGE SERIES
PART 1: The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange: What’s Torture Got To Do With It?
PART 2: The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange: The Court Of Public Opinion And The Blood-Curdling Untold Story
PART 3: The Psychology of Getting Julian Assange – Wikileaks and Russiagate: Trust Us, We’re The CIA
PART 4: The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange: Why Even Some Lefties Want To See Him Hang
PART 5: The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange: War Propaganda 101      https://newmatilda.com/2019/02/25/psychology-getting-julian-assange-part-2-court-public-opinion-blood-curdling-untold-story/

 

 

There is no such thing as a zero or near-zero-emission nuclear power plant”

May 12, 2019

There is no such thing as a zero or near-zero-emission nuclear power plant”  https://www.pv-magazine.com/2019/04/18/there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-zero-or-near-zero-emission-nuclear-power-plant/

In the study Jacobson – who is also director of the Californian university’s Atmosphere/Energy program – highlights the risk of overestimating nuclear’s ability to reduce global warming and air pollution, as well as its claims about ensuring energy security.

The professor said construction times for new nuclear plants range from 10 to 19 years. An examination of some recent nuclear plant developments confirms that this range is not only reasonable but an underestimate in at least one case,” he wrote. The paper cites the Olkiluoto 3 reactor in Finland, the Hinkley Point nuclear plan in the UK and Vogtle 3 and 4 reactors in Georgia, among others, as examples of projects for which planning began in the past decade and whose entry into commercial operation is still far from complete.

With new nuclear projects taking so long – and utility scale solar or wind schemes requiring 2-5 years to begin commercial operations – nuclear effectively emits a hundred years’ worth of 64-102g of CO²per kilowatt-hour of plant capacity just from grid emissions during the wait for projects to come online or be refurbished, compared to wind or solar farms.


Jacobson added, a further 2-4 years of plant downtime will have to be factored in to take account of the refurbishment required to ensure nuclear facilities run for their expected 40-year lifetime. “Overall, emissions from new nuclear are 78-178g [of] CO²/kWh, not close to zero,” he wrote. “Even existing plants emit, due to the continuous mining and refining of uranium needed for the plant.”

The professor also highlighted the well-known risks associated with nuclear power such as weapons proliferation, reactor meltdown, radioactive waste, mining-related cancers and land despoilment.

China and its nuclear plans

According to Jacobson, the lengthy delays to realizing China’s nuclear plant investment have effectively been responsible for a 1.3% rise in carbon emissions in the nation between 2016 and 2017, rather than the 3.4% fall claimed by the authorities.

According to the Stanford paper, the capital cost of new nuclear ranges from $6,500-12,250/kW, whereas a new wind turbine ranges from $1,150-1,550/kW. “Dividing the high (and low) capital cost of nuclear per kW by the low (and high) capital cost of wind per kW and multiplying the result by 14 GW gives a range of 58.7-149 GW nameplate capacity of wind that could have been installed and running prior to 2017,” the report stated.

Despite the big difference in costs, China’s National Development and Reform Commission set new guaranteed minimum on-grid electricity tariffs for third-generation nuclear power stations this month. According to Reuters, the Taishan project in Guangdong province was set at RMB0.435 ($0.0649) per kWh, while prices for the Sanmen project in Zhejiang province and the Haiyang plant in Shandong province were set at RMB0.4203 and RMB0.4151 per kWh, respectively.

In a statement provided to pv magazine at the time, Mycle Schneider – a French consultant specializing in nuclear energy – said the new fixed tariffs are in the same range as previous nuclear subsidies. “That is rather surprising as these units were significantly more expensive than the previous reactors and they are years behind schedule and massively over budget,” he said. “[It is] hard to believe that they will be making any money. 435 Yuan [RMB] per megawatt-hour – around 65 U.S. dollars or 58 euro – is about half of the strike price agreed for Hinkley Point C.”

Schneider added PV and wind costs have come down so much China is investing much more in renewables than nuclear. “The bottom line is that it is likely that China will restart nuclear building at some point – the last commercial unit started building in December 2016 – but that the pace will be significantly lower than anticipated, leaving the biggest chunk of new electricity generating capacity to renewables, just like anywhere else but on a bigger scale,” he added. As of July 1, China had 41 operating reactors with a total net capacity of 38 GW.

In the 2018 edition of the Nuclear Industry Status Report, Schneider revealed nuclear power capacity grew globally by only 1% in 2017 while solar and wind capacity rose 35% and 17%, respectively. The report also recognized solar and wind were the cheapest grid-connected sources of energy. Investments in new nuclear plants, on the other hand, were driven by public support and by nuclear weapon states, according to the paper.

 

Nuclear weapons accidents and losses 1950s – 2000s

May 12, 2019

“Broken Arrows” – The World’s Lost Nuclear Weapons  https://interestingengineering.com/broken-arrows-the-worlds-lost-nuclear-weapons

Since the early 1950s, the United States and Russia have had numerous accidents with their nuclear bombs, and a number have even gone missing. By  Marcia Wendorf, April, 06th 2019  “Broken Arrow” is the name given to nuclear weapon accidents, whether they be by accidental launching, firing, detonating, theft or loss of the weapon. The U.S. admits to having 32 broken arrows worldwide, with six nuclear weapons having been lost and never recovered.

 
In the simplest terms, the way a nuclear weapon works is that a chemical high explosive compresses nuclear material until a critical mass is reached and fission is achieved. During fission, the nuclei of certain heavy atoms split into smaller, lighter nuclei, and release excess energy in the process. In some elements, such as certain isotopes of uranium and plutonium, the fission process releases excess neutrons which trigger a chain reaction if they’re absorbed by nearby atoms.

Thermonuclear weapons (hydrogen bombs) utilize a different process, that of fusion. When exposed to extremely high temperatures and pressures, some lightweight nuclei can fuse together to form heavier nuclei, releasing energy in the process. Those high temperatures and pressures are achieved by fission, so the trigger for a thermonuclear weapon is a nuclear weapon.

The 1950s

The first broken arrow occurred on February 14, 1950, when a U.S. Convair B-36 en route from Eielson Air Force Base near Fairbanks, Alaska to Carswell AFB in Fort Worth, Texas, crashed in northern British Columbia after jettisoning a Mark 4 nuclear bomb into the Pacific Ocean. The bomb was never found, and it contained a substantial amount of natural uranium plus 5,000 pounds (2,300 kg) of high explosives. According to the U.S. Air Force, the bomb didn’t contain the plutonium core necessary for a nuclear detonation. This was the first loss of a nuclear weapon in history.

On April 11, 1950a B-29 bomber carrying a nuclear weapon, four spare detonators, and a crew of 13 crashed into a mountain near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bomb’s high explosives detonated and the nuclear capsule was damaged but it was recovered. All thirteen crew members onboard the aircraft died.

On August 5, 1950 at Fairfield-Suisun AFB, California, a B-29 bomber carrying a Mark 4 nuclear bomb experienced problems with two of its propellers and crashed while attempting an emergency landing. In the ensuing fire, the bomb’s high explosives detonated and killed 19 crew members and rescue personnel.

On November 10, 1950, near Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, Canada, which is about 300 miles northeast of Montreal, a U.S. B-50 aircraft jettisoned a Mark 4 nuclear bombover the St. Lawrence River. The weapon’s high explosive detonated on impact, but the core was lacking a necessary component and did not detonate. The explosion did scatter almost 100 pounds (45 kg) of uranium. The airplane went on to land safely.

On March 10, 1956, a a B-47 aircraft, carrying three crewmen and two nuclear cores from MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, Florida, was en-route to Ben Guerir Air Base, Morocco, and had completed its first aerial refueling without incident. It failed to make contact with the tanker for a second refueling somewhere over the Mediterranean Sea, and it was reported missing. The kind of weapons the plane was carrying remains undisclosed, but the type of nuclear bombs commonly carried by B-47s was the Mark 15, which would have had a combined yield of 3.4 megatons. No trace of the plane or the two nuclear cores has ever been found.

On July 27, 1956, a U.S. B-47 bomber was on a training exercise when it crashed into a nuclear weapons storage facility at the Lakenheath Air Base in Suffolk, England. The entire crew of the aircraft was killed. Known as an “igloo”, the storage facility contained three Mark 6 nuclear bombs, one of whose detonators had been sheared off in the accident. Investigators concluded that it was a miracle that the bomb hadn’t exploded.

On May 22, 1957, a plane was transporting a nuclear bomb to Kirtland Air Force Base when suddenly, the bomb fell through the bomb bay doors and crashed into a field near Albuquerque, New Mexico. The bomb’s high explosives detonated, creating a crater 12 feet deep and 25 feet wide, however, the nuclear capsule was found intact. The only casualty was a cow who had been grazing close to the crash site.

On July 28, 1957, a U.S. Air Force C-124 aircraft from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware was carrying three nuclear bombs over the Atlantic Ocean. The plane experienced a loss of power, and the crew jettisoned two nuclear bombs into the ocean, and they have never been recovered.

On October 11, 1957a plane carrying a nuclear bomb crashed on takeoff at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. The plane burned for four hours, and the high explosives detonated, however, the nuclear capsule and its carrying case were found intact and only slightly damaged.

On February 5, 1958, near Savannah, Georgia, during a practice exercise, an F-86 fighter plane collided with a B-47 bomber that was carrying a 7,600-pound (3,400 kg) Mark 15 nuclear bomb. The F-86 crashed after the pilot ejected from the plane. The crew of the B-47 requested permission to jettison the bomb in order to reduce weight and prevent the bomb from exploding during an emergency landing. The bomb was jettisoned at 7,200 feet (2,200 m) over the Wassaw Sound off the shores of Tybee Island. Subsequent searches failed to locate the weapon.

It is not known if the bomb had its plutonium trigger, but if it did, the blast effects of a detonation would have been a fireball having a radius of 1.2 miles (2 km) and thermal radiation causing third-degree burns for 12 miles.

On March 11, 1958, a U.S. Air Force Boeing B-47E-LM Stratojet took off from Savannah, Georgia, and was scheduled to fly to the U.K. The aircraft was carrying nuclear weapons in case a war with the Soviet Union broke out. Captain Earl Koehler noticed a fault light in the cockpit, indicating that the bomb harness locking pin had not engaged. He sent Captain Bruce Kulka to the bomb bay area to fix the problem.

As Kulka reached around the bomb to pull himself up, he mistakenly grabbed the emergency release pin, and the Mark 6 bomb dropped onto the bomb bay doors. The bomb’s weight forced the doors open, and the bomb dropped 15,000 ft (4,600 m) to the ground. Two sisters, six-year-old Helen and nine-year-old Frances Gregg, along with their nine-year-old cousin Ella Davies, were playing 200 yards (180 m) from a playhouse their father had built for them.

The bomb struck the playhouse, its high explosives detonated and it created a crater 70 feet (21 m) wide and 35 feet (11 m) deep. Fortunately, the fissile nuclear core had been stored elsewhere on the plane. All three children were hurt, as were their father, mother and brother. The family sued the Air Force and received US $54,000. Today, the crater is still visible although overgrown by vegetation.

Sometime in 1958, a B-47 aircraft carrying a nuclear weapon inadvertently released the bomb over Mars Bluff, South Carolina. Luckily, the bomb lacked the fissile nuclear core, but the conventional explosives detonated, injuring six people and damaging buildings.

At a U.S. air base at Greenham Common, England on February 28, 1958, a B-47 carrying a nuclear weapon caught fire and completely burned. While the weapon didn’t explode, in 1960, a group of scientists found high levels of radioactive contamination at the base. The U.S. government has disclosed no further information about the incident.

On November 4, 1958, at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, a plane carrying a nuclear weapon burst into flames during takeoff. The weapon’s high explosives detonated, killing a crewman, but the nuclear core remained intact. Only half a mile from the crash site was Butterfield Elementary School.

On November 26, 1958, at Chennault Air Force Base, Louisiana, a B-47 carrying one nuclear weapon caught fire while on the ground. This fire damaged the nuclear capsule and its protective case, and there was nuclear contamination of the area.

In Hardinsberg, Kentucky, on October 15, 1959, a B-52 carrying two nuclear weapons and a KC-135 refueling plane collided midair. Both planes and both bombs fell to the ground. The crash killed four crew members, and the two nuclear weapons were only slightly damaged. No radiation leakage was detected.

The 1960s

On January 24, 1961, a B-52 carrying two three- or four-megaton nuclear bombs was over Goldsboro, North Carolina when it suffered the structural failure of its right wing. The aircraft broke apart and the two nuclear weapons were released. On one bomb, three of its four arming mechanisms had activated.

In 2013, a Freedom of Information Act request confirmed that only a single switch out of four had prevented the bomb’s detonation. One of the recovery team recalled, “Until my death, I will never forget hearing my sergeant say, ‘Lieutenant, we found the arm/safe switch.’ And I said, ‘Great.’ He said, ‘Not great. It’s on arm.'”

The second bomb plunged into a muddy field, and its tail was discovered 20 feet below ground. A decision was made to leave the uranium and plutonium in place, and The United States Army Corps of Engineers purchased a 400-foot (120 m) circular easement over the buried components. Had either of the bombs gone off, everyone within an 8.5 mile (13.7km) radius would have been killed.

On March 14, 1961 a B-52F-70-BW Stratofortress bomber carrying four nuclear weapons experienced a problem with its cabin temperature. After temperatures climbed to between 125 degrees F and 160 degrees, the crew descended to 12,000 feet and depressurized the plane. After all four engines flamed out, the pilot put the plane into a dive and all crew members bailed out.

The plane crashed into a barley field near Yuba City, California, and the nuclear weapons were released. The weapons’ multiple safety measures protected against a nuclear explosion or release of radioactive material. A fireman was killed and several others were injured while rushing to the accident scene.

On July 4, 1961, a K-19 “Hotel”-class Soviet nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine was off the coast of Norway. The cooling system of one of its two nuclear reactors failed, and the temperature of the nuclear core climbed to 800 degrees Celsius, threatening to melt down its fuel rods. The crew and the submarine itself were contaminated by radiation and several fatalities were reported.

On October 25, 1962, at the Duluth Sector Direction Center near Duluth, Minnesota, an intruder was shot while scaling a fence around the facility. This triggered a “sabotage alarm”, which triggered a warning at Volk Field in Wisconsin. This alarm triggered nuclear armed F-106A interceptor aircraft to be sent to the source of the original alarm – Duluth.

Because of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. was at DEFCON 3, and there were no practice drills, everything was the real deal. When Duluth communicated that nothing was seriously wrong, the planes were only stopped by a car that raced down the runway after them. The intruder turned out to have been a black bear.

On January 13, 1964, a U.S. B-52 carrying two nuclear bombs suffered severe turbulence, and its vertical stabilizer broke off. The crew bailed out and the plane crashed near Savage Mountain outside Barton, Maryland. The bombs were found “relatively intact in the middle of the wreckage”. Three crewmen were killed as a result of the accident.

On December 8, 1964, at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Indiana, several Strategic Air Command (SAC) aircraft were taxiing down a runway. The jet blast from one aircraft caused the plane behind it to slide off the runway and catch fire. The five nuclear weapons onboard the plane burned, but radioactive contamination was limited to the immediate area of the crash and was subsequently removed.

On December 5, 1965, an A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft carrying a 1-megaton thermonuclear weapon, rolled off the deck of the U.S.S. Ticonderoga and fell into the Pacific Ocean. The plane, its pilot, Douglas Webster, and the weapon sank in 16,000 feet of water and were never found. It wasn’t until 15 years later that the U.S. Navy finally admitted that the accident had taken place only 80 miles from Japan’s Ryuku island chain, and this caused an uproar in Japan, which prohibits nuclear weapons from being brought into its territory.

Sometime during the mid-1960s, in the Kara Sea, the Soviet nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin encountered problems with its nuclear reactors, possibly experiencing a meltdown. It was forced to dump the reactors into the sea and they have never been found.

The most well-known broken arrow occurred on January 17, 1966 near Palomares, Spain. A U.S. B-52 aircraft, carrying four nuclear weapons, collided with its refueling tanker, a KC-135, at 31,000 feet (9,450 m) and crashed over the Mediterranean Sea. Of the four Mk28-type hydrogen bombs, three were found on land near the fishing village of Palomares. The high explosives in two of the bombs had detonated and released plutonium contamination across a 0.77-square-mile (2 km2) area.  The fourth bomb, was recovered intact after a 2 ½ month-long search. During the U.S. cleanup effort, over 1,400 tons of soil were sent to a nuclear storage site.

On January 21, 1968, a fire erupted onboard a B-52 bomber operating out of Thule Air Base in the Danish territory of Greenland. The plane was carrying four B28FI thermonuclear bombs, and it crashed onto the sea ice in North Star Bay. The conventional explosives detonated and the nuclear capsules ruptured and dispersed their contents, resulting in radioactive contamination.

The U.S. and Denmark launched a clean-up operation, but the secondary stage of one of the nuclear weapons was never found. Workers involved in the clean-up operation have been experiencing radiation-related illnesses, and they have sought compensation.

On April 11, 1968, a Soviet diesel-powered “Golf”-class ballistic missile submarine sank 750 miles northwest of the Hawaiian island of Oahu. U.S. intelligence determined that the submarine had been carrying three nuclear-armed ballistic missiles and several nuclear-tipped torpedoes. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), partnered with industrialist Howard Hughes to build a specially-designed deep-water salvage ship, the “Glomar Explorer” to recover the lost sub. They were only partly successful when the Glomar raised approximately half of the submarine.

Also during the Spring of 1968, the U.S.S. Scorpion, a nuclear attack submarine, mysteriously sank about 400 miles southwest of the Azores islands. Besides the tragic loss of all 99 crew members, the Scorpion was carrying two nuclear-tipped weapons with yields of up to 250 kilotons.

The 1970s

On April 12, 1970, in the Atlantic Ocean about 300 miles northwest of Spain, a Soviet “November”-class nuclear-powered attack submarine experienced a problem with its nuclear propulsion system. A merchant ship attached a tow line and attempted to pull the submarine to safety, but the submarine sank, killing all 52 crew members on board.

Off the coast of Sicily, Italy on November 22, 1975, twelve years to the day of his assassination, the U.S. aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy collided with the cruiser USS Belknap during an exercise. The collision occurred at night and during high seas. One, or possibly both ships, contained nuclear weapons, but no nuclear contamination was detected by rescue personnel.

The 1980s

On September 19, 1980, near Damascus, Arkansas, crewman were performing maintenance on a Titan II Inter-continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM). A crewman accidentally dropped a wrench into the silo, and it punctured the missile’s fuel tank. The missile leaked fuel for over eight hours before finally exploding, killing one and injuring 21 others. The blast destroyed the entire compound, but the nuclear warhead was recovered intact.

On October 3, 1986, 480 miles east of Bermuda, a Soviet “Yankee I”-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine suffered an explosion and fire in one of its missile tubes. An attempt was made to tow the submarine, but it sank on October 6, 1986 in 18,000 feet of water, taking its two nuclear reactors and approximately 34 nuclear weapons down to the bottom of the sea.

About 300 miles north of the Norwegian coast on April 7, 1989, a Soviet nuclear-powered attack submarine, the “Komsomolets”, caught fire and sank. The vessel’s two nuclear reactors and two nuclear-armed torpedoes were lost, along with 42 of the 69 crew members.

On August 10, 1985, at the Chazhma Bay repair facility, about 35 miles from the city of Vladivostok, Russia, an “Echo”-class Soviet nuclear-powered submarine suffered a reactor explosion that released a cloud of radioactivity. Fortunately, the cloud never reached Vladivostok, but ten Soviet officers were killed by the explosion.

The 1990s

Also in the White Sea, on September 27, 1991, a “Typhoon”-class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine suffered a missile launch malfunction during a test. No other information is available about this incident.

In the Barents Sea on February 11, 1992 a collision occurred between a CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) “Sierra”-class nuclear-powered attack submarine and the U.S. nuclear-powered attack submarine “Baton Rouge”. The Commonwealth of Independent States is comprised of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The vessels reportedly suffered only minor damage, but a dispute arose over whether the incident had happened inside or outside of Russian territorial waters.

On March 20, 1993, in the Barents Sea, the U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Grayling collided with a Russian Delta III nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine. Both vessels reportedly only suffered minor damage.

The 2000s

On August 12, 2000, also in the Barents Sea, a CIS “Oscar II” class submarine, the “Kursk”, suffered a torpedo failure and explosion. The ship sank with all 118 men onboard. No evidence of radiation contamination was detected.

On August 29, 2007, at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, six AGM-129 ACM cruise missiles, each loaded with a W80-1 variable yield nuclear warhead, were mistakenly loaded onto a B-52H bomber, and transported to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The nuclear warheads were supposed to have been removed before transport, but they weren’t..

Once at Barksdale, the missiles with the nuclear warheads remained mounted to the aircraft for 36 hours and were not protected by the various mandatory security precautions for nuclear weapons. The missiles were never reported as missing, by Minot.