Thursday, 28 April 2016

Livingstone, Hitler and Zionism


Former London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, embroiled himself in a high profile political row today when in defending Naz Shah, a Labour MP suspended yesterday by her party over Facebook  posts critical of the State of Israel  which she indicated she liked ( and since under pressure,  denounced, in a personal statement to Parliament, explaining she made the supporting  comments at the height of the Israeli invasion and bombardment of Gaza) .

Livingstone asserted there was an early 1930s pact between Hitler and Zionists, which has got him into political very hot water with Labour Friends of Israel. John Mann MP told him bluntly when he ambushed him  - when Livingstone was on his mobile live on LBC radio – as Livingstone was making his way to a television studio at 4 Millbank in London, where all the Parliamentary and political broadcasters are based.

Livingstone was assailed by Mann who haranged him to learn his Jewish history properly, dubbed him a Nazi apologist, and called for his expulsion from the Labour Party.

Livingstone later told the BBC’s Andrew Neil  that if the BBC and Mann did their historical homework, they would find out what he said about Hitler ands Zionists was actually true.

I did not know anything about this unlikely quirky period of history, so I did do some research, and discovered Ken Livingstone was indeed right, according to the sources below

The Haavara Agreement (Hebrewהסכם העברה
 Translit.heskem haavara Translated: "transfer agreement") was an agreement between Nazi Germany and Zionist German Jews signed on 25 August 1933. The agreement was finalized after three months of talks by the Zionist Federation of Germany, the Anglo-Palestine Bank(under the directive of the Jewish Agency) and the economic authorities of Nazi Germany. The agreement was designed to help facilitate the emigration of German Jews to Palestine. While it helped Jews emigrate, it forced them to temporarily give up possessions to Germany before departing. Those possessions could later be re-obtained by transferring them to Palestine as German export goods.[1][2]

Transfer agreement used by a large consulting firm PALTREU, an acronym for Palaestina Treuhandstelle, established specifically for Jews wishing to emigrate under the Haavara Agreement, to advise how to deal with the bureaucracy.

Hanotea company

Hanotea (Hebrew: הנוטע), a Zionist citrus planting company, applied in May 1933 for the ability to transfer capital from Germany to Palestine. Hanotea served to assist German Jews' immigration to Palestine as part of the Zionist endeavor. In a deal worked out with the German government, Hanotea would receive money from prospective immigrants and use this money to buy German goods. These goods, along with the immigrants, would then be shipped to Palestine. In Palestine, import merchants would then buy the goods from the immigrants, liquidating their investment. This arrangement appeared to be operating successfully, and so paved the way for the later Haavara Agreement. Connected to Hanotea was a Polish Zionist Jew, Sam Cohen. He represented Zionist interests in direct negotiation with the Nazis beginning in March 1933.[3]


The Trust and Transfer Office "Haavara" Ltd. places at the disposal of the Banks in Palestine amounts in Reichmarks which have been put at its disposal by the Jewish immigrants from Germany. The Banks avail themselves of these amounts in Reichmarks in order to make payments on behalf of Palestinian merchants for goods imported by them from Germany. The merchants pay in the value of the goods to the Banks and the "Haavara" Ltd. pays the countervalue to the Jewish immigrants from Germany. To the same extent that local merchants will make use of this arrangement, the import of German goods will serve to withdraw Jewish capital from Germany.
The Trust and Transfer Office,
— Example of the certificate issued by Haavara to Jews emigrating to Palestine

The Haavara (Transfer) Agreement was agreed to by the German government in 1933 to allow the Zionist movement, in the form of the Haavara company to transfer property from Germany to Palestine, for the sole purpose of encouraging Jewish emigration from Germany. The Haavara company operated under a similar plan as the earlier Hanotea company. The Haavara Company required immigrants to pay at least 1000 pounds sterling into the banking company. This money would then be used to buy German exports for import to Palestine.

The Haavara Agreement was thought among certain circles to be a possible way to rid the country of its supposed "Jewish problem." The head of the Middle Eastern division of the foreign ministry, Werner Otto von Hentig, supported the policy of concentrating Jews in Palestine. Von Hentig believed that if the Jewish population was concentrated in a single foreign entity, then foreign diplomatic policy and containment of the Jews would become easier.[5] Hitler's support of the Haavara Agreement varied throughout the thirties. Initially, Hitler criticized the agreement, but shortly reversed his opinion, and continued to support it, in the face of opposition, through 1939.[6]

After the invasion of Poland and the onset of World War II in 1939, the practical continuation of the Haavara agreement became impossible. In 1940, representatives of the underground Zionist group Lehi met with von Hentig to propose direct military cooperation with the Nazis for the continuation of the transfer of European Jews to Palestine.[7] This proposal, however, did not produce results.

    1.  Arab-Israeli Wars: 60 Years of Conflict, Ha AvaraABC-CLIOaccessed May 7, 2013.
    2.  Yf’aat Weiss, The Transfer Agreement and the Boycott Movement: A Jewish Dilemma on the Eve of the HolocaustYad Vashem Shoah Resource Center, accessed May 7, 2013.
    3.  Francis R. Nicosia: The third Reich & the Palestine question, p. 39 ff.
    4.  Heritage: Civilization and the Jews (PBS)
    5.  Francis R. Nicosia: The third Reich & the Palestine question, pp. 132–133.
    6.  Francis R. Nicosia: The third Reich & the Palestine question, pp. 140, 142.
    7.  Ada Amichal Yevin, In Purple, The Life of Yair - Abraham Stern, Hadar Publishing House Tel Aviv, 1986, pp. 225–230


Another controversial article “Nazi Propaganda was Based on What Zionists Said”, also provided details of the controversial history.


“Torah-true Jews wish to live in peace and harmony with their neighbors in every country among the community of nations, including in historic Palestine. They deplore acts and policies of violence carried out by those who, misusing the name of Israel our forefather, have substituted the ideal of chauvinist nationalism for the eternal values of the Torah, the eternal divinely bestowed inheritance of the Jewish people.

“It has been the age-old intention of Zionism to intentionally stir up anti-Semitism anywhere possible, and even more commonly, to take advantage of any Jewish suffering anywhere in order to enhance its cause Indeed, hatred of Jews and Jewish suffering is the oxygen of the Zionist movement, and from the very beginning has been to deliberately incite hatred of the Jew and then, in feigned horror, use it to justify the existence of the Zionist state – this is, of course, Machiavellianism raised to the highest degree. Thus, the Zionists thrive on hatred and suffering of Jews, and seek to benefit thereby through keeping Jews in perpetual fear, causing them to ignore the true nature of Zionism, and instead to consider the Zionist state is their salvation.

“Although Zionists and others dispute it, the undeniable fact is that revolutionary secular and apostate elements in the Jewish community in Europe contributed greatly to hostility towards Jews after World War I. This aroused hatred of Jews in general among many non-Jews. While a prisoner in 1924 in the fortress of Lansberg on the River Lech, Hitler wrote his Mein Kampf. When he became Chancellor of Germany in 1933, he was assisted by Goebbels, Roseberg and Streicher. From them came the declarations, “The Jews of Germany caused the defeat of Germany in the 1914-1918 war; the Jews of Germany were responsible for the terrible conditions in Germany that followed the war; the Jews of Germany are foreigners and they wish to remain foreigners; they have no loyalty to the country of their birth; they are not human; they are filthy dogs; they have no right to intrude into Germany’s affairs; there are too many Jews in Germany.

As far as Zionism is concerned, the founder of Zionism and apostate, Theodor Herzl, sought to intensify hatred of the Jew in order to enhance the cause of political Zionism. Here are some of his “pearls”:

"It would be an excellent idea to call in respectable, accredited anti-Semites as liquidators of property. To the people they would vouch for the fact that we do not wish to bring about the impoverishment of the countries that we leave. At first they must not be given large fees for this; otherwise we shall spoil our instruments and make them despicable as 'stooges of the Jews.' Later their fees will increase, and in the end we shall have only Gentile officials in the countries from which we have emigrated. The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies." (The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl. Vol. 1, edited by Raphael Patai, translated by Harry Zohn, page 83-84)”.

Additional words from the vivid imagination of this dreamer, from p. 68 of Part I of his Diary: "So anti-Semitism, which is a deeply imbedded force in the subconscious mind of the masses, will not harm the Jews. I actually find it to be advantageous to building the Jewish character, education by the masses that will lead to assimilation. This education can only happen through suffering, and the Jews will adapt."

“Hateful views of Jews as being subhuman did not have to be invented by Nazi theorists such as Hitler, Goebbels, Rosenberg and Streicher. This ideology was simply adapted from statements of political Zionists such as those found in the writings of the Zionist Yehezkel Kaufman in 1933.

“In addition to Hitler, Rosenberg, Goebbels and Streicher, many other Nazi leaders used statements from Zionists to validate their charges against the Jews of Germany.

As stated earlier, Zionism thrives on anti-Semitism. Ben Gurion declared, “…not always and not everywhere do I oppose anti-Semitism”.

Livingstone was naive to allow himself to be embroiled in such a dispute in the week running up to several very important elections for Labour. But strangely his  history seems to have been  correct.



 ■Guardian Volume two Issue 7

 ■Satmar Grand Rebbe Joel Teitelbaum

 ■The Jews of Batna, Aleria: A Study of Identity and Colonialism by Elizabeth Friedman.

 ■The Jewish Communities of Morocco and the AIU by M. Laskier, State University, Albany, N.Y.

 ■The Impact of Western European Education on the Jewish Millet of Baghdad by Maurice Sawdayee.

 ■Outcaste Jewish Life in Southern Iran by Laurence D. Loeb. Gordon and Breach.

 ■The Last Arab Jews. The Communities of Jerba, Tunisia by Abraham Udovitch and Lucette Valensi. Harwood Academic Publishers.

Further reading

· Avraham BarkaiGerman Interests in the Haavara-Transfer Agreement 1933–1939, Yearbook of the Leo Baeck Institute 35; 1990, S. 245–266

· Yehuda Bauer: "Jews for sale? Nazi-Jewish Negotiations, 1933-1945", Yale University Press, New Haven, CT, 1996. ISBN 978-0300068528

· Edwin Black: "The Transfer Agreement: The Dramatic Story of the Pact Between the Third Reich and Jewish Palestine", Brookline Books, 1999.

· Werner Feilchenfeld, Dolf Michaelis, Ludwig Pinner: Haavara-Transfer nach Palästina und Einwanderung deutscher Juden 1933–1939, Tübingen, 1972

· Tom SegevThe Seventh Million: Israelis and the Holocaust (2000, ISBN 0-8050-6660-8), especially p. 31ff

· David Yisraeli: The Third Reich and the Transfer Agreement, in: Journal of Contemporary History 6 (1972), S. 129–148

· R. Melka: Nazi Germany and the Palestine QuestionMiddle Eastern Studies. Vol. 5 No. 3 (Oct., 1969). pp 221–233.

· Hava Eshkoli-Wagman: Yishuv Zionism: Its Attitude to Nazism and the Third Reich ReconsideredModern Judaism. Vol. 19 No. 1 (Feb., 1999). pp 21–40.

· Klaus Poleken: The Secret Contacts: Zionism and Nazi Germany 1933–1941Journal of Palestine Studies. Vol. 5 No. 3/4 (Spring–Summer 1976). pp 54–82.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Nuclear nonsense

Letter sent to The Guardian:
It is both astonishing and disturbing that the former head of the House of Commons energy and climate change committee and three professors could collectively write such an inaccurate and highly misleading letter (“Nuclear fears from 30 years on from Chernobyl,” 27 April
It is especially worrying as two are professors of nuclear engineering and one of nuclear decommissioning, and are educators of our future generations of nuclear expertise.
Let me address just three of ten important errors they make in their short letter.
The UK does not have a clear programme to deal with our nuclear waste; actually, it has the opposite The energy department is currently consulting on how to move forward having ditched the latest ( of several earlier ones) plan as politically unworkable and Radioactive Waste Management Ltd, the executive body charged with planning the technical development of nuclear waste management still has around 1000 unresolved scientific and technological safety matter  listed on its open-access web site (
While the new reactor designs may produce smaller volumes of radioactive waste, the complexity (radioactivity and heat generation) of the waste makes it much more difficult to manage. The professors surely know this.
Comparing deaths from coal-fired generation and nuclear generation needs to compare full fuel cycles. Thus deaths in coal mines should be compared with grossly under-reported deaths in uranium mines. It isn’t because the uranium mines are mostly on indigenous peoples’ land, and they usually are dark skinned. It is extreme environmental racism.
See my paper on uranium ethics presented at the International Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons  hosted by the Austrian foreign ministry in Vienna in December 2014. (


Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Chernobyl remembered: countering the lies, distortions and dissembling by Governments, nuclear industry and other nuclear cheerleaders

Thirty years ago today, along with my then Open University Energy Research Group colleague Dr Mark Barrett, I gave oral evidence on the future of nuclear power to the House of Lords European Affairs energy sub-committee. We expressed joint skepticism over the merits of nuclear power to Europe’s energy future

We did not know it at the time, but a serious nuclear accident had occurred that morning at Chernobyl in the Ukrainian republic of the Soviet Union. A decade later, the world’s nuclear safety watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that Chernobyl was “the foremost nuclear catastrophe in human history.”

Another decade later, in 2005, the IAEA/WHO (World Health Organization) jointly stated “…its magnitude and scope, the size of the affected populations, and its long-term consequences make it, by far, the worst industrial disaster on record” adding  "Chernobyl unleashed a complex web of events and long-term difficulties, such as massive relocation, loss of economic stability, and long-term threats to health in current and, possibly, future generations."

My nuclear research colleague, independent radiation risk consultant Dr Ian Fairlie, has highlighted some useful factoids from his new TORCH (The Other Report on Chernobyl) report, published last month in Vienna.

This report is an update of The Other Report on Chernobyl, or TORCH, which had provided an assessment of the health evidence up to 2006, independent of the pro-nuclear IAEA. Since then, thousands of scientific articles have been published on these issues, as listed on academic databases such as PubMed, Medline, Science Direct, British Library and Science Citation Index. Hence the  new report, known as TORCH-2016, (120 pages, ~200 references) updates the previous edition by drawing on this new evidence. (“Reassessing the Chernobyl death toll” Scientists for Global Responsibility, April 2016;

Dr Fairlie highlights:

·         40,000 fatal cancers are predicted in Europe over the next 50 years

·         6,000 thyroid cancer cases to date, 16,000 more expected

·         5 million people in Belarus, Ukraine and Russia still live in highly contaminated areas (>40 kBq/m2)

·         400 million in less contaminated areas (>4 kBq/m2)

·         37% of Chernobyl's fallout was deposited on western Europe;

·         42% of western Europe's land area was contaminated

·         increased radiogenic thyroid cancers expected in West European countries

·         increased radiogenic leukemias, cardiovascular diseases, breast cancers confirmed

·         new evidence of radiogenic birth defects, mental health effects and diabetes

·         new evidence that children living in contaminated areas suffer radiogenic illnesses

Last month I spoke at another meeting in Parliament, alongside Dr Fairlie, Professor Alexander Likhotal, President of green Cross International, an non-governmental organization (head-quartered in Geneva and founded by Mikhail Gorbachev, President to the Soviet Union at the time of the Chernobyl accident ) and biology professor, Dr Timothy A. Mousseau at the University of South Carolina: the theme was commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima  accident in Japan and the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl.


Professor Mousseau presented a fascinating summary of his research fieldwork work examining the effects of radiation on the flora and fauna of the radioactively contaminated zones around both accident sites.


Many media outlets have run stories such as the one by CBS News in the US today proclaiming the Chernobyl exclusion zone has seen a profusion of animal and plant life over the past three decades since the accident.


But pictures do not tell an accurate or full story. My friend and research colleague, Linda Pentz Gunter, from Beyond Nuclear, a Washington DC think tank and research institute on nuclear issues, who attended the meeting in Parliament, yesterday published an excellent article in The Ecologist, summarizing  Professor Mousseau’s research findings.I reproduce her article below


Blind mice and bird brains: the silent spring of Chernobyl and Fukushima

Linda Pentz Gunter

25th April 2016

Evolutionary biologist Timothy Mousseau and his colleagues have published 90 studies that prove beyond all doubt the deleterious genetic and developmental effects on wildlife of exposure to radiation from both the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear disasters, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. But all that peer-reviewed science has done little to dampen the 'official' perception of Chernobyl's silent forests as a thriving nature reserve.

Although it's too early to assess the long term impact on abundance and diversity around Fukushima, there are very few butterflies and many birds have declined in the more contaminated areas. If abundance is compressed, biodiversity will follow.

Dr Timothy Mousseau has published more than 90 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals, related to the effects of radiation in natural populations (and more than 200 publications in total).

He has spent 16 years looking at the effects on wildlife and the ecosystem of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

He and his colleagues have also spent the last five years studying how non-human biota is faring in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear meltdowns in Japan.

But none of this work has received anything like the high profile publicity afforded the 'findings' in the 2006 Chernobyl Forum report which claimed the Chernobyl zone "has become a wildlife sanctuary", and a subsequent article published in Current Biology in 2015 that said wildlife was "thriving" around Chernobyl.

"I suppose everyone loves a Cinderella story", speculated Mousseau, an evolutionary biologist based at the University of South Carolina. "They want that happy ending." But Mousseau felt sure the moment he read the Forum report, which, he noted, "contained few scientific citations", that the findings "could not possibly be true."

Ninety articles later, Mousseau and his research partners from around the world are able to demonstrate definitively and scientifically that non-human biota in both the Chernobyl zone and around Fukushima, are very far indeed from flourishing.

Far from flourishing around Chernobyl, birds and animals are fading

What Mousseau found was not unexpected given the levels of radiation in these areas and what is already known about the medical effects of such long-term exposures. Birds and rodents had a high frequency of tumors.

"Cancers are the first thing we think about", Mousseau said. "We looked at birds and mice. In areas of higher radiation, the frequency of tumors is higher." The research team has found mainly liver and bladder tumors in the voles and tumors on the head, body and wings of the birds studied, he said.

But Mousseau wanted to look beyond cancers, which is what everyone expects to find and what researchers had looked for, but only in humans. There were few wildlife studies, a fact Mousseau found surprising, given nature's ability to act as a sentinel for likely impending human health impacts.

Mousseau and his fellow researchers found cataracts in birds and rodents. Male birds had a high rate of sterility. And the brains of birds were smaller. All of these are known outcomes from radiation exposure.

"Cataracts in birds is a problem", Mousseau said. "A death sentence."

Mental retardation has been found among children exposed to radiation in utero. Mousseau and colleagues discovered the same pattern in the birds they studied. "Birds already have small brains, so a smaller brain size is a definite disadvantage", he said.

Almost 40% of male birds examined were sterile

There were also just fewer animals in general. "There were many fewer mammals, birds and insects in areas of higher radiation", Mousseau said. And they had their hunch as to why.

He and his colleagues extracted sperm from the male birds they caught and were shocked to find that "up to 40% of male birds in the radiologically hottest areas were sterile."

The birds' sperm were either deformed or dead. None would be able to reproduce. The discovery, he said, was "not at all surprising. These are the levels of radiation known to influence reproduction. At the same time, there is no safe level of radiation below which there aren't detectable effects."

Fewer birds have already been observed in the contaminated areas around Fukushima, said Mousseau. "Although it's too early to assess the long term impact on abundance and diversity around Fukushima, there are very few butterflies and many birds have declined in the more contaminated areas. If abundance is compressed, biodiversity will follow."

Five years into the still on-going Fukushima disaster, Mousseau's research continues to uncover "a dramatic reduction in the number of birds and numbers of species in areas of high radiation", he said.

At least in that region, Japan could be headed toward a Silent Spring.

No doubt that Fukushima and Chernobyl are causing genetic damage

The consequences of radiation exposure, says Mousseau, "will have a tremendous impact on the quality of life of these animals, and the length of quality of life. It need not necessarily be cancers", that cause these damages he said. "There is no doubt that the levels of radiation in Chernobyl and Fukushima generate genetic damage."

A study by Mousseau et al. that did get some attention, most notably from the Smithsonian Institution, found disturbing changes in the decomposition of organic matter in the Chernobyl Zone.

Fungi and other microorganisms are decomposing at half the usual rate. Trees fall but rot unusually slowly. Leaf matter piles up without much decay, creating a tinder-box risk in the event of forest fires, several of which have occurred in the Zone.

"There is an accumulation of highly radioactive organic matter" in these areas, Mousseau said. All of this could be lofted into the air during a forest fire and redistributed as radiological contamination elsewhere, he points out.

Indeed, a map in an April 2006 edition of National Geographic Magazine, shows that this has already happened, expanding the Chernobyl Zone from its original 30km radius. "High-altitude winds swept radioactive smoke and ash across a wider area, which scientists traced from soil levels of cesium 137, a long-lived isotope," read the map's caption. Major forest fires in the Chernobyl Zone in 2010 and 2015 have likely worsened the situation.

While the radiation spread by Chernobyl fell mostly on land, where it is easier to study the medical effects on humans and animals, the initial Fukushima radioactive plume blew mainly out to sea. And since 2011 when the accident began, further dumping of radioactive water into the Pacific has occurred.

A responsibility to protect the environment and wildlife, not just man

This has led to speculation - and some unscientific and alarmist rumors - that sea life in the Pacific is collapsing due to the Fukushima radiation.

"Catastrophic marine events started 40-50 years ago", Mousseau points out. "Bird populations in the Pacific were in decline long before Fukushima."

One important cause, says Mousseau, is "plastics in the environment that are consumed by marine animals which were in downward spirals long before the Fukushima accident." Marine population decline has likely also been "compounded by climate change", he says.

Indeed, Mousseau, who grew up on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, remembers the local harbor encrusted with star fish when he was a child. Recently, when he took his son there, he found none.

Fukushima cannot necessarily be blamed, as some would wish, but the compounding and potentially synergistic effect of radiation in the Pacific could still be taking its toll, Mousseau avowed.

"We don't know how different environmental stresses interact with each other", he said. "They could be synergistic and related. There is almost no research on this even in the Pacific off Fukushima - virtually nothing on the biological consequences in really contaminated areas."

With "little real science" to rely on, Mousseau says, "we will never know" just how much marine damage the Fukushima disaster may do.

He finds the continued lack of other independent animal studies in radioactive zones frustrating. "We have a responsibility to protect the environment and wildlife, not just man", he said. It may be expensive and difficult to conduct these kinds of studies, but, says Mousseau, "that is not an excuse."

 Linda Pentz Gunter is the international specialist at Beyond Nuclear, a Takoma Park, MD environmental advocacy group.

The paper: 'Highly reduced mass loss rates and increased litter layer in radioactively contaminated areas' is by Timothy A. Mousseau, Gennadi Milinevsky, Jane Kenney‑Hunt & Anders Pape Møller, and is published in Global Change Ecology. Full version as PDF.

Meanwhile, the UK energy minister, Andrea Leadsom MP, a banker by training, said last week (20 April) to the 8th Nuclear New Build Forum:

New nuclear has a crucial role to play as the UK makes the transition to a low-carbon economy…. The rationale for bringing forward new nuclear plant remains strong - we are working to build a secure, affordable and clean energy system.”

Ms Leadsom needs to read more facts and less propaganda; and appoint some better informed advisors.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Hinkley C nuclear waste costs: Rudd assertions strange, misleading and untrue

Energy secretary Amber Rudd (‘ Hinkley Point C and the UK’s energy needs,’letter, 21 April excoriates The Guardian for what she describes as “strange claims” made in your article “Minister: Hinkley no risk to power supply, which reported on a letter she recently sent to the chairperson of the energy and climate change select committee on the future of the proposed the Hinkley C nuclear power plant

“You also asked about what liabilities the Government would face if the project were to be cancelled at this stage, either by the UK or French Governments. At this stage, as no contracts have yet been signed, there are no liabilities which would fall to the UK taxpayer or consumer. (emphasis added) Once the contracts are entered into, all risk is borne by EDF, except in the case of a narrow and extremely unlikely range of circumstances such as a political shut down or a change in law (as described in the minute I laid before Parliament in October last year), which are almost entirely within the control of the UK Government.”

As the Cabinet minister responsible, she should know this statement is both untrue and highly misleading

In particular, British taxpayers will be ultimately liable for picking up a predictably significant extra tab if the fiendishly complex method of costing and paying for the long term nuclear waste management liabilities by the applicant to build Hinkley C, ie EDF Energy, turn out to be underestimates.

This process began almost exactly eight years ago (on 17 April 2008) when Ms Rudd’s predecessor department  for Business, Enterprize and Regulatory Reform (BERR)
convened a  round table stakeholder consultation meeting to examine  the draft Funded Decommissioning Programme: Guidance for New Nuclear Power Stations. Substantive Issues.(

In my view,  the consultation paper  was actually a spurious exercise, presenting biased guesstimates as real analysis, with a pre-determined end-point, which has the substance designed to fit a questionable conclusion.

The most accurate statement in the entire document is found at section 5.1.3, where it says” It is important to be cautious in estimating total costs as there are considerable uncertainties in a number of areas.”

This should be contrasted with philosphy adopted in the Fixed Unit Price (FUP) or Expected Fixed Unit Price (eFUP) - the key concepts developed in the paper-  which will allow the polluter ie the creator of the radioactive wastes, to have their costs capped, and any additional costs will be met by future taxpayers, who, incidentally, will not even have been the beneficiaries of the nuclear generated electricity which gave rise to the waste. This is thus an open-ended, unquantified taxpayer subsidy.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Plans to use 790 nukes on North Africa unearthed



As reports emerge of secret British Government plans to deploy 1000 troops on the ground in Libya, to take on the growing threat of ISIS fighters, created by the coalition attack to remove President Gadaffi  in October 2011(, here is a story from an earlier age concerning the Western Saharan desert, when scientists planned to use megatonnescale (“peaceful”) nuclear explosions to excavate a huge canal  or ‘seaway’ to open up  huge lakes in the Tunisian/Libyan desert


The notion emerged as part of the prevailing idea of the time that atomic explosions could be used for civil engineering purposes under the rubric of “Project Plowshares”, driven by the US, but also undertaken by Soviet scientists to move mountains in Siberia.


The authors of the paper open by conceding “One of the difficulties confronted in advancing explosives-engineering is that experimentation is both hazardous and expensive. This is particularly true of engineering experiments employing nuclear explosives, because there is a possibility that personnel located many miles from the center of the atomic blast may suffer from fallout or the migration of radioactivity through groundwater to public sources of drinking water.”


The paper emerged from a report submitted by a student team in the course of Engineering with Nuclear Explosives at Georgia Tech in the summer of 1968. The academic overseeing it observed it includes  an “ expression of deliberate concern for the betterment of mankind.”


The students named the study "Project Pecos Bill" after an American folklore
character, a mythical super cowboy who invented roping and other cowboy
skills. During a very dry spell, Pecos Bill is said to have used a pointed
stick to dig the Rio Grande River and bring water from the Gulf of Mexico.
The poignant results of his work can be seen in the agricultural splendor
that is the Rio Grande Valley.
After the US Atomic Energy Commission established the Plowshare Program
in 1957 to investigate and develop peaceful uses for nuclear explosives, several
possible applications were considered that were primarily large scale excavations
of a magnitude greater than was economically feasible with conventional
explosives. This led to experimental blasts in several different media and depths, two
of which included  the gas-sands ‘shot’ at Rulison, Colorado and the deep
blast in the igneous rock of the Aleutian Islands. Until early in 1969 it
was hoped that it might be possible to make a real excavation for a harbor on
the west coast of Australia to aid in the shipping of newly proven deposits of
iron ore.
The author ruefully observed:  “Unfortunately, that development was postponed rather indefinitely.”
The area chosen for this study was the chott region in central Tunisia and  Algeria, North Africa, a region is characterized by the series  of so-called dry lakes or "chotts" which stretch across a considerable section  of the northern Sahara desert region from the Gulf of Gabes in Tunisia on the  east to the eastern borderlands of Morocco on the West.
The immediate benefits of such an excavation were identified as several:
1) A plentiful water supply could turn this arid land into a more
useful agricultural area. New developments in arid-agriculture
in Israel have shown that the problematic sand dunes can be a
blessing in disguise when combined with irrigation from salt
water sources such as seawater.
2) Tunisia has about one-third of the world's phosphate deposits.
The proposed canal would provide a sea route to within 25 miles
of those deposits and could conceivably make them more economical
to mine and market.
3) Such a canal would provide ready access to vast petroleum deposits
in east-central Algeria At present the petroleum produced
in this area must be moved via pipeline over the Atlas
mountains to the coastal cities of northern Algeria.
Potential changes in humidity, the authors argue “could enhance rainfall probabilities not only in Tunisia and Algeria but possibly in other countries such as Libya and Egypt.
Salt farming, for centuries the prerogative of legendary Timbuctu, could take
place in various locations across north Africa with better production methods
and products. Indeed, cave paintings found in the southern Sahara suggest that
well established agriculture and much game (now restricted to savannah country
far to the south) once existed here. Obviously, the economic potentials could
be as great as there are imaginative minds and ambitious capital to bring them
In such a project, it is desirable to conduct pre-shot and post-shot
environmental surveys, the authors set out.
Of the two, the pre-shot survey is more likely to be time consuming and 
expensive, for it must set the stage for the post-shot survey. Such an 
environmental study must include such topics as a qualitative and quantitative radioactive analysis of typical surface soils, plants and animals to determine 
the various routes taken by radionuclides into the food
chains. This should include all elements possible that might be produced in
the nuclear reaction (at least as groups) even though they have not been
established as necessary constituents of the nutritional (micro- or macro-)
requirements of living things.
The proposed canal would form an inland embayment from the Mediterranean
Sea from what is now the Chott Djerid and possibly sections of Chott Djerid.
The micro-organisms most likely to be involved in concentration of radioactive
traces of various nutritional elements are the phytoplankton. These
simple plants, characteristic of all aquatic environments, serve as food to
almost all levels of fish and other aquatic life. After they have died or
been killed by some environmental change, their organic and inorganic remains
serve as nutrients for other sea plants and bottom feeders.
They asserted:” The radioactive materials produced by the nuclear explosions probably
will not present any hazard to the workmen concerned with construction of the
canal. However, once the seaway has water in it, the radioactive nuclides will
have the opportunity to diffuse into the aquatic environment. Since fish tend
to concentrate the ferrous metals, zinc and manganese, it would be advantageous
to minimize the content of these materials in the explosive devices. Use of
borated materials in the explosive devices might also help reduce the development
of induced activity in soil minerals. A continuous survey on the economically
important fish species for about one year after introduction of water
into the area would be imperative.”
It continued: “ The fraction of radionuclides formed that would escape from 
the crater would be small; nonetheless surveillance of the plant consumption 
in the area should be maintained to minimize the possibility of radionuclides 
reaching the food chain of man.
Complete quarantine for human and animal consumption of any vegetation until the completion of the project (2-5 years) would be an expensive and probably unnecessary
restriction to avoid contamination.”
On a long term basis, they concluded,  the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages. With the seaway would come shipping, development of industries along the waterway and general development of harbor areas. Resort areas could be made widely
available and a great expansion of the olive and citrus groves that thrive on
the near-shore night humidity could be undertaken. Fishing in the relatively
shallow basins that were the chotts could become as rich an industry as that in
the Caspian, Black, or Tiberian Seas.
The optimum yield for the devices, optimum depth of burial, and row spacing were calculated  The proposed canal route covered about 107.5 miles in Tunisia from north of Gabes to the Chott Djerid and consisted of five straight-line segments. With the exception of the village of El Hamma, the [planned detonation areas] were, they judged,  “well removed from population centers” and thus “the proposed route might have to be evacuated for a few weeks.”
For the most of the proposed route, the minimum device yield required  would be on the order of 150 kilotons. Therefore, the required spacing of  several 150 kiloton devices iT a row charge such that a smooth channel will be  formed is approximately 715 feet. Under such presumptions, a minimum of 790  devices with a total yield of 119 uiegatons would be required to cut the desired  107-mile long channel
The authors observed “radiation levels resulting from the larger devices are not
substantially greater than that from the 150 kiloton devices, since activity
release is produced primarily from the fission "trigger" and not from the
energy-producing portion of the nuclear interaction. The fission trigger is
relatively constant in size and relatively similar amounts of activity are
released for dissimilar yields.”
Based on these and other considerations, a device yield of two megatons
was chosen for the canal construction. This decision was made primarily
because a two megaton device is not so unduly large as to complicate handling
and (according to published AEC specifications) is capable of being emplaced
in a 30 inch diameter hole. In addition, the depth of burial for cratering  applications of a device of this size is approximately 1500 feet ... a reasonable  depth for drilling at a remote location, and certainly for one which is
near well developed oil fields.
Each row of five devices would “ excavate 1.4 miles of canal. The detonation
order would be in alternate blocks of five devices returning to detonate
the remaining blocks after a short period allowed for activity decay.”
The concluded that: ”The cost of such a project is, of course, enormous from the layman's point of view, but an overall project cost of the order of one billion dollars does not seem so great when measured against the financial gain this will
represent as an investment. “
The concluding summary of the 1970 Las Vegas conference on the peaceful use of nuclear explosions stated: “…This country is dedicated to a positive program for improving the quality of our air and water. These are right and proper goals and should be carefully
analyzed and systematically approached, but I think we need a yardstick, a
measure of pollution. "Why not use the ratio of the pollutant to natural background?
The pre-man level? By that yardstick, the nuclear energy industry has a very proud record indeed. Improving the quality of our air and water  will be very costly.. but the way for that improvement is through technology. If we have the foresight to set aside emotional irrationalities, we can move forward using nuclear energy and nuclear explosions to improve our environment. The papers presented at this symposium have recognized the importance of the environment. If smog can be reduced, if mining dumps can be avoided, if waste can be disposed, and if non fossil fuel energy can be tapped, indeed, Plowshare will have made a most important positive contribution to cleaning up the environment.”
I wonder if the citizens of Libya and Tunisia would have agreed.


J. B. F. Champlin*

Westinghouse Electric Corporation

Environmental Systems

J. W. Poston, J. A. Lake

Georgia Institute of Technology






JANUARY 16, 1970