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Cheryl Rofer answered question Good Afternoon Cheryl, I noticed that you had an article announcing the Congressional Panel on the Governance Structure of the NNSA. I was wondering if you knew who nominated Adm. Kirkland Donald, Frank Miller, and William Schneider? Thanks a million.
All the information I have is what's in the post.
There is always debate about Nuclear power advantages and disadvantages. There is one more debate which is about cleaner nuclear power generation. The big question is which will produce Cleaner Nuclear power: Thorium or Uranium?. ... Here I read that "" The thorium fuel cycle could make nuclear energy as safe and sustainable as possible "". What is your opinion on it???
It looks like the New York Times is eager to replay its role in putting forth bad information in the service of getting the United States involved in another war.
A long article by Peter Baker, Mark Landler, David Sanger, and Anne Barnard today reports that President Obama’s comments on redlines and game-changers were “off the cuff.” The article then goes on to press the idea of chemical weapons use, even though the reporters leave out some important facts.
That article is complemented by Tom Friedman’s attempt at a thoughtful comparison of Iraq with what might be done in Syria. Friedman can’t let go of the analogy to Eastern Europe, although he has learned a fragment of history: the people there had experience with representative government. A little less than that; Friedman sees only “aspirations to democracy.” He argues that we’ve done such a good job in Iraq that it serves as a model for Syria:
I believe if you want to end the Syrian civil war and tilt Syria onto a democratic path, you need an international force to occupy the entire country, secure the borders, disarm all the militias and midwife a transition to democracy. It would be staggeringly costly and take a long time, with the outcome still not guaranteed.
He’s leaving out securing the chemical weapons and hasn’t estimated the total numbers of troops or how one forms an international force in the face of Russian and Chinese opposition.
The Baker article is more dangerous, however, because it provides the kind of misinformation that feeds fantasies like Friedman’s.
Chain of custody is important, but the article trashes it.
But neither the British nor the Americans could be sure of the “chain of custody,” as Mr. Obama calls it.
Chain of custody is a concept used in law enforcement, environmental evaluations, and other areas where it is important to know where a sample to be analyzed has come from and whether it has been tampered with on the way to being analyzed. If you don’t know where it came from, you don’t know anything. Samples may be faked in any number of ways.
Syria is currently so chaotic that a formal chain of custody is probably not possible, but the fact that the White House has called this out as a problem indicates significant uncertainty about the samples’ provenance.
I’m repeating myself here, but it seems important in the light of the persistant lean of mainstream reporters toward advocating that chemical weapons have been used in Syria.
The article doesn’t identify the "chemical weapons" used and doesn’t mention the possibility of crowd control agents.
The article says nothing about the handling issue, which I consider to be one of the most important relative to whether the agent was sarin. People who have been exposed to sarin will have a thin film of it on their skin and clothes, which will be absorbed into the skin of those handling and treating them without full protective clothing. This does not seem to have happened in any of the cases reported.
The symptoms reported are the usual mixed bag – some that may be indicative of nerve agents, some that are more likely from crowd control agents, and some that may result from emotional reactions to an attack.
The biggest imbalance in the symptoms reported, however, is the numbers of dead. An attack with nerve agent will kill most of those exposed. The agent is absorbed through the skin and an amount as small as a pinhead is fatal. In all the attacks, there have been many more injured than killed.
As many as 10 were reported killed in the Aleppo-area attack and about 15 outside Damascus, and 150 others were sickened.
The story reported by Baker, Landler, Sanger, and Barnard makes use of a narrative that seems to be gelling in the MSM: unpleasant symptoms shown on YouTube equal chemical attacks, fear equals chemical attacks, and therefore we know that there were chemical attacks, no matter where the samples came from or what was found in them. And that’s in an article that says
That makes physical samples crucial[.]
The Preparatory Committee for the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is meeting this week in Geneva. The Preparatory Committee is the continuing forum leading up to the five-year review in 2015. Here's what to look for.
New START as a model for transparency in nuclear disarmament
Here’s Why Tsarnaev Was Charged With Using a ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’
How the NRA impeded the Boston bomber investigation.
Is American nonviolence possible?
The two people charged with planning a terror attack on Canadian trains are said to have been working with Al-Qaeda in Iran. Here's why that doesn't make sense.
Juan Cole on terrorism in religions other than Islam.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is planning to hold chat sessions.
U.S. to invest $15.8 million for nuclear fuel storage research, dry storage cask technology in particular.
What's the best way forward on nuclear power?
Hidden reforms in North Korea?
Rod Adams calculates how much iodine-131 and cesium-137 were released from Fukushima. Although the becquerels numbers were stunningly high, the actual amounts are 43.2 grams and 3980 grams (4 kg). This is why I hate becquerels. Also, the iodine-131 has a half-life of eight days, so it's all gone by now.
U.S. Rethinks How to Respond to Nuclear Disaster
Global military spending falls, but not in the United States. Also see this chart for comparisons of country-by-country spending.
Did Star Wars Help End the Cold War? Soviet Response to the SDI Program. Short answer: probably not.
Pakistan is looking at its nuclear budget too.
Iran opens uranium mines and a yellowcake plant.
Iran informs IAEA nuclear facilities are unharmed by quake. This is not surprising. Bushehr is some distance from the epicenter, and nuclear reactors are built to withstand some level of earth movement. The question about Bushehr is how much, given that the design and execution have been changed several times.
Updated USGS event page.
Live updates from the not-always-reliable RT.
Russian official says that Bushehr was not damaged. But early reports are unreliable.
A magnitude 7.8 earthquake has been reported near the Iran-Pakistan border in the south of the country. About a week ago, there was a much weaker quake near Bushehr, further west. The first quake caused no damage at Bushehr, which is what would be expected.
The first reports are of casualties. Most will probably be from collapsing homes and other buildings.
USGS event page.
USGS population exposure estimates,
We'll post updates here and invite you to contribute.
After much deliberation, the Obama administration named 18 Russians to the Magnitsky List, 16 of whom are linked to the case of Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky who died in custody in 2009. US Congressman and co-sponsor of the Magnitsky Act had submitted a list of 280 names last week. The Obama administration was worried about relations with Russia if the list was too large. www.euronews.com/2013/04/13/us-names-18-...hts-abuse-in-russia/
The names are listed on the Department of Treasury's site. www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctio.../Pages/20130412.aspx
Russia immediately responded with their own list. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Aleksandr Lukashevich stressed that the publication of Magnitsky List is a “heavy blow to bilateral relations and mutual trust.”
“We’d like to particularly note that unlike the American [Magnitsky list], our list includes in the first place those involved in legalizing torture and indefinite confinement of the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay detention facility, arrests and abductions of Russian citizens to third-party countries, and infringement on their life and health." rt.com/news/us-publishes-magnitsky-list-777/
Americans on the Dima Yakovlev list include:
US officials involved in legalizing torture and indefinite detention of prisoners (The Guantanamo List)
1) David Spears Addington, Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney (2005-2009)
2) John Choon Yoo, Assistant US Attorney General in the Office of Legal Counsel, Department of Justice (2001-2003)
3) Geoffrey D. Miller, retired US Army Major General, commandant of Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO), the organization that runs the Guantanamo Bay detention camps (2002-2003)
4) Jeffrey Harbeson, US Navy officer, commandant of Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO), the organization that runs the Guantanamo Bay detention camps (2010-2012)
US officials involved in violations of the rights and freedoms of Russian citizens abroad
5) Jed Saul Rakoff, Senior US District Judge for the Southern District of New York
6) Preetinder S. Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York
7) Michael J. Garcia, former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York
Brendan R. McGuire, Assistant US Attorney
9) Anjan S. Sahni, Assistant US Attorney
10) Christian R. Everdell, Assistant US Attorney
11) Jenna Minicucci Dabbs, Assistant US Attorney
12) Christopher L. Lavigne, Assistant US Attorney
13) Michael Max Rosensaft, Assistant US Attorney
14) Louis J. Milione, Special Agent, US Drug Enforcement Administration
15) Sam Gaye, Senior Special Agent, US Drug Enforcement Administration
16) Robert F. Zachariasiewicz, Special Agent, US Drug Enforcement Administration
17) Derek S. Odney, Special Agent, US Drug Enforcement Administration
18) Gregory A. Coleman, Special Agent, US Federal Bureau of Investigation
Additional names that had been considered for the Russian list were Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice and John McCain.
We've recovered over the weekend from yet another hack. Many apologies to anyone it may have affected.
I'm commenting and tweeting from the Carnegie Conference on Nuclear Policy. #nukefest2013
Everything should be working right - let us know if it isn't!
Questions and answers from Sig Hecker:
Photos said to be from the site of the accident.
Stephen K Davion replied to the topic Re: Iran Identifies 16 New Reactor Sites ... will they develop Nuclear Weapons? in the forum.so what would be their intention ,,, and what they want to tell the world by these kind of announcement without providing much details ....
North Korea tested another nuclear device on February 12. One of the questions about that test was whether the fissionable material used was enriched uranium or plutonium. That question could only be answered by outsiders if samples of the xenon isotopes produced by the fission could be captured and analyzed. That couldn’t be done; North Korea does a very effective job of containing their tests. The xenon isotopes are short-lived, so the window of opportunity is now closed. If we are going to learn more about North Korea’s bomb design, we will have to do it another way. Joby Warrick of the Washington Post speculates: U.S. officials and independent experts say North Korea appears to have taken unusual steps to conceal details about the nuclear weapon it tested in February, fueling suspicions that its scientists shifted to a bomb design that uses highly enriched uranium as the core. The North Koreans showed Sigfried Hecker their uranium enrichment facility in 2011. Ever since, there has been speculation on whether the North Koreans have manufactured enough highly enriched uranium to build a bomb. It’s easier to build a bomb from uranium than from plutonium. This test was the first since the uranium enrichment facility became public. But Warrick fails to consider other reasons the North Koreans might have for taking “unusual steps” to keep their testing secret.
- If it was a plutonium device, that could mean that their uranium enrichment wasn’t going well. They have a limited stock of plutonium, and one more test would deplete that stock further. On the other hand, it would give them additional information about their design(s), which didn’t seem to work so well in earlier tests.
- Nations keep their nuclear weapons information secret. Everyone else with nuclear weapons is just as secretive.
- It is to North Korea’s advantage in negotiations to keep this information secret.
- Allowing radioactive isotopes to escape from their test, or testing in the atmosphere, might irritate China and Russia further than current North Korean rhetoric.
- There is a norm for containing nuclear tests that even North Korea follows.
Cheryl Rofer replied to the topic Re: Iran Identifies 16 New Reactor Sites ... will they develop Nuclear Weapons? in the forum.Iran frequently makes announcements like this before negotiations, and more negotiations are coming up in a few weeks.
They announced that they have ten sites for additional reactors some time ago, so this is largely a repetition of that.
Identifying sites is a long way from building the reactors. And what do they mean by "identifying sites"? Looking at a map for likely sites? Visiting those sites? Doing an economic study of what it would cost to put a reactor there and how much electricity demand there would be?
Iran has also claimed earlier to have found uranium deposits. They have not provided much detail.
The evaluation of the United States intelligence community and many others is that Iran is not working toward having nuclear weapons.