Tuesday, December 18, 2018

How Can Selling Nuclear Energy to the Saudis be a Good Idea?

Nuclear proliferation is a direct effect of the nature and operations of the nuclear complex. In the US, both Democrats and Republicans have promoted nuclear technology abroad to enrich US and allies' nuclear industries and to entice countries into the US nuclear fold, whose limits on recycling and enrichment are clearly ignored by some nations.

Today the Saudis are eager for developing their "civilian" nuclear arsenal. They will probably buy from China, Russia, Japan or South Korea if the US doesn't sell but still, how can policy makers not see the obvious hazards of a nuclear-armed Saudi Arabia (civilian nuclear can always beget war nuclear):
Michael Gordon (2018, December 17). Lawmakers want more say in potential Saudi nuclear deal. The Wall Street Journal, p. A6
The Trump administration's push to sell civilian nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia is emerging as the next battleground in the struggle between the White House and Congress over US policy toward Riyadh following the killing of Jamal Khashoggi

The sale of nuclear technology to the Saudis has been an ongoing issue and concern across 2018, see here:
Michael R. Gordon, Timothy Puko, Summer Said (2018, February 20). U.S. Pursues Saudi Nuclear Deal, Despite Proliferation Risk. The Wall Street Journal, https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-resistance-to-nuclear-standards-could-roil-u-s-reactor-deal-1519122600?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=4
The main concerns are Saudi's refusal to accept enrichment and reprocessing curbs.

These are the same concerns that were raised when Obama sold nuclear technology to the Chinese (although the difference is that the Chinese already had nuclear weapons and a nuclear agreement with the US), with passage of this act in 2016: 
(US) H.R.5370 - U.S.-China Nuclear Cooperation and Nonproliferation Act of 2016
In response to proliferation concerns, the China agreement (linked above) expressly prohibits diversion of US nuclear items for military use. 

However, that prohibition is likely to be dropped should war ever appear directly on the horizon (I know the US wouldn't hesitate to unleash restraints given its past record).

Why does nuclear proliferate despite the known risks for weapons' escalation and/or proliferation?

Obama had to sell nuclear to the Chinese, just as today Trump has to sell nuclear to the Saudis. 

The US currently has bilateral agreements with “with 22 countries, plus Taiwan” for “peaceful use of nuclear power.” Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Malaysia, have expressed interest in clearing obstacles to building US designed nuclear reactors. Westinghouse has been pushing nuclear reactors in China since 2006:
“In December 2006, Westinghouse Electric — majority-owned by Toshiba — signed an agreement to sell its AP1000 reactors to China. Four are under construction, six more are planned, and the company hopes to sell 30 others, according to an April report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS).”

China tested its first nuclear weapon in 1964 and has an arsenal of approximately 250 nuclear warheads. It already has on-hand enriched uranium and plutonium supplies capable of producing vast quantities of nuclear weapons.

Fuel reprocessing is emerging as a major issue. China claims it wants to use Plutonium in its fuel mix in civilian nuclear plants.
 So, China is saying it wants to use MOX fuel in civilian nuclear power plants. Experts say china already has enough highly enriched uranium and plutonium to make hundreds of bombs so the implied claim is that China is really simply interested in reprocessing to create MOX fuel. 

Critics are not convinced the Obama agreement prevents proliferation of nuclear weapons and may give China the technology to make its nuclear subs much quieter, despite guarantees for IAEA access: 
[Sokolski is Executive director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center is being quoted]:   “Sokolski said the agreement proposed by Obama lacks a requirement for explicit, case-by-case U.S. permission for a reprocessing project using American technology or material from U.S. reactors. It gives consent in advance. And he fears that over the 30-year life of the new 123 agreement, China might want to compete with Russian and U.S. arsenals and make more bombs, for which plutonium is the optimal material.”
It seems very clear from this story that the nuclear complex's logic of replication eclipses any other decision-frame, even when replication will engineer more catastrophic risks into our global nuclear infrastructures.


Majia Holmer Nadesan analyzes the Fukushima nuclear disaster and its radiological aftermath for the citizens of Japan and elsewhere in the context of historical ...

Introduction to Nuclear Governmentality: Governing Nuclear Security and Radiation Risk in Post-Fukushima Japan (an extended abstract) September 18 2017 ...

Sep 22, 2017 - Nuclear Governmentality: Governing Nuclear Security and Radiation Risk in Post-Fukushima Japan (Majia Nadesan, Draft Version Sep 22 2017) The March 2011, Fukushima .... Majia's Blog September 27, 2017 at 1:43 PM.


  1. That is the hottest part of the world. Barren too. So well suited to wind, solar, tidal. No place to put nuclear waste. Nuclear generates so much heat. Nuclear generates so much poisonous-radioclides. Their peoples health, will be much the worse for it and, future generations will too.

    1. The false dichotomy lives on. Fascism vs Fascism_lite. Racist, corporate,
      extremely-polluting, militarist, globalist goons vs. their cousins, the kinder and gentler banker-globalist, neoliberal, neoconservative goons.

      We would be hard pressed to call the current suicidal, encroachment of extreme nuclear, radionuclide pollution and other pollution, a sign of civilization. In fact we are not civilized or a civilization.

      Trump and the insane nucleoape, oligarchs want to seal off the border so that even important butterflies, like the monarchs, that pollinate our food will be killed off.
      They would still find a way to get cheap illegal labor in, to clean the shit stains off their sheets .

      Do not be fooled folks.
      Sara Sanders says trump the globalist is definitely going to Davos. It is all a pack of Foma as Vonnegut would say, a pack of lies.

      From Jeffrey St. clair
      "Trump and the oligarchs supporting him personify pollution. These guys live in a cocoon of ill-earned wealth and military security, not knowing the meaning of life, save for promoting their personal interests. Their bestselling product is pollution."

      If Nixon and his nucleapes had their way, they would have started building a thousand GE mark 4 type reactors(the kind that caused Fukushima), in the USA in 1970.
      That many reactors, would have had 5 or 10 to melt-down and explode by 1995 or 1999. That many nuclear meltdowns and explosions fukushima style, would have destroyed us.

      There would be such an ocean of hi level radioactive nuclear waste and uranium waste, that America would be long poisoned and dead by now.

      The Nixonian, insane, nucleoape, reactor-splurge did not occur because of Three mile island. Further nuclear insanity, was stifled by Chernobyl.

      One would think that with Fukushima, nuclear power and nuclear weapons would be dead and gone in this world .

      Think twice, because the insane MICs, greedy-oligarchs, fascist nucleoapes like La Pen in France, trump in murica, Abe in Japan, Brazil , Putin in Russia, fascists in Hungary, Saudis Arabia, Poland, slovakia, Chechland, the Nazis in Ukraine, in Belarus, push for more reactors and bombs(maybe not Russia for bombs). The other nuleoape liars, know reactors are too expensive and not viable energy sources but push them anyway.

      The nuclear warmongers, the evil monkey nuleoapes, polluters and exploiters push on!


      The Waters of American Democracy

      Photo Source Kurtis Garbutt | CC BY 2.0
      The year 2018 is coming to an end with a deeply divided government and people. The Democrats won the House, promising to paralyze the remaining two years of the highly contested reign of Donald Trump. The government may shut down just before Christmas because Trump wants money for a wall to keep Mexicans and Latin Americans out of the USA.

      The American schism

      Trump, a hotel and gulf-course businessman, has been spearheading the schism in America. It’s as if he welcomes confrontation and controversy. His connections with Russia, China, the immigrants, the media, North Korea, and his staff at the White House and the government are generating enormous corruption and chaos.

      Trump caters to interest groups like the Evangelicals, pistol-carrying NRA enthusiasts, impoverished and confused coal miners, and, of course, registered Republicans and the very wealthy.

      In fact, the tax cut he engineered earlier this year bribed the largest corporations and the very rich, sealing the class war he is heading. In addition, he filled the Supreme Court and is stacking the lower courts with judges who share his oligarchic politics.

      The fact Trump was elected president shows the precarious and hazardous nature of American political institutions. They resemble those of the Roman empire, which was governed by emperors with absolute power. Some of those emperors grabbed power through civil wars. Occasionally, monsters like Caligula, Nero, Commodus, and Caracalla run Rome.

    2. Trump acts like a Roman emperor. He is grooming his daughter and son-in-law to inherit his throne.

      However, Trump is unfit for holding political power. He has little if any knowledge of how the government works. His sole concern is to enrich himself and his family. His crude behavior mirrors questionable upbringing, education, and undemocratic values.

      Trump is under the delusion, shared by the Republican politicians in Congress, that degrading and risking the life of Americans by poisoning their food, drinking water, and the natural world is an externality with no consequences.

      This kind of treatment – dosing the food of millions of Americans with known neurotoxins, forcing the extinction of species, and causing global warming should be a criminal and genocidal act. The fact it is not says our civilization is very much underdeveloped, if it is a civilization at all.

      Professor Amato Evan of the Scripps Research Institute said: “winters are getting sick and we know why… it’s climate change; it’s rising temperatures.”

      But try saying that to Trump.

      Obviously, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment have left no footprints in American political culture, including Europe where they were born.

      This is not the first time I say this. I said much more in my book, Poison Spring. My 25 years at the US Environmental Protection Agency shocked me beyond belief. Sometimes I thought the experience was a living nightmare. Sometimes I thought it was science fiction.

      But there’s little doubt Trump and the zero point one percent of the oligarchs supporting him personify pollution. These guys are like dark age landlords. They live in a cocoon of ill-earned wealth and military security, not knowing the meaning of life, save for promoting their personal interests. Their bestselling product is pollution.

      Just look at EPA. Trump’s EPA is about to open the gates of water pollution even wider in order to satisfy farmers, real estate developers, and petroleum and mining companies.

      The agribusiness-academic-government complex doesn’t want any oversight of the farmers spraying neurotoxins. They have bamboozled the country with weaponized science making sprays harmless.

    3. These lethal chemicals, however, are causing ecocide. They are wiping out honeybees, other insects and birds relying on insects for their food. They also contaminate food and drinking water, cutting short a healthy and happy life for millions of children and adults.

      Developers and mining and petroleum companies don’t want government oversight, either. They like their license to pollute and doing whatever they please in wetlands, streams and swamps.

      Andrew Wheeler, acting EPA administrator, justifies this increasing pollution on the ludicrous assumption the protection of streams, swamps and wetlands was a power grab by the Obama administration against farmers and property owners. Not a word from him about the millions of human victims of increasing pollution, much less the death of countless honeybees, Monarch butterflies, birds, endangered species and other forms of wildlife.

      If there ever was a doubt about our decline as civilized human beings, this behavior by Trump and his class of oligarchs should dispel that doubt. They care less about civilization.

      Resurrecting democracy

      Our hope is that the House Democrats can use their substantial powers to dam the Trump imperial reach, including the polluters’ protection agency masquerading as the Environmental Protection Agency. Europeans are leading the way to poison-free crops. They are rethinking their addiction to the global weed killer glyphosate.

      The House can follow through this European path of health and sanity. Investigate how the money of industry has made the Trump administration the monster it has become, especially in its outright attack against public health and the environment. Reveal how the industry has captured the government; bring to light how the corporate funding of the land grant universities has made these schools the brains of agribusiness.

      Knowledge is power. In fact, revealing the secrets of how the industry has been operating against the public good is the oxygen of democracy. It guarantees the Democrats winning the White House and the Senate in the 2020 elections.

      And at that moment, with the Democrats in charge of the government, there should be a rethinking of how this country elects a president.

    4. Imagine for a moment that you are a member of the Pawnee (Native Americans) living in what is today Nebraska in the late 1700's. You probably could not even imagine the changes headed towards your people; and even if you were one of those rare persons's with prophetic sight, you could could do nothing about it. It would be like taking on a Tsunami. A vast wave of history was beginning to wash over North America. The wave was composed of all sorts of thoughts some of which would lead to the Industrial Revolution. So now early in the twenty first century some two hundred years later do you think that some how you can stem this tide of events that is towering above individual human beings. Can we justly hold Trump or anyone else responsible for what is happening? Would that be good science or wishful thinking? By blaming I suppose we recover a small sense of control. But I think it is delusion. Enough time has passed and enough thought and action has occurred that if something could be done it would have been done; and it has not. We do not know where we are going. That is very unsettling to many so they pretend that they do and throw themselves into the fray. How high of expectations can one have of creatures that are said to be a product of randomness?

    5. The barbarians rolled in, and destroyed everything. In their final acts of insane homicidal greed, maniacal genocide and now, Self-cannibalizing suicide and self-poisoning they are pursuing their final acts of frenzied, psychotic-self immolation, and scorched earth extinction-destruction of all living thing on earth.

      Seems to me the Pawnee and other natives saw this coming. The lack of heart they talked about when they came into contact with the savages.

      The lack of balance and, harmony with nature. No Sustainability.

      Dumb, vicious, ignorant demon-clucks like agent William are too mean, nasty and crazy to bring this up

    6. This is what unknown and trump really want. Slavery, where employees and workers have no rights. They are just chattel-cattle. Just like blacks in the south, indentured whites in colonial America, and the millions of genocides and enslaved native Americans that were massacred and had their land stolen. Thousands protest in the now fascist country of Hungary


      Workers and their allies engage in big protests in Hungary against Orban-backed "slavery law" that would let companies pressure employees to work 400 hours of overtime per year & employers wouldn't have to pay that overtime for 3 years.

      This is what Trump, Abe, La Pen and their ilk really want

    7. Jenn, have you ever met any of these devilish people you talk about in your commemts? They remind me of characters in comic books. Do any of the Anonymous have hard evidence that Trump endorses slavery or does that simply bolster your world view nicely? I think you all over use words like psychopath, cannabalism, greed, psychotic, and the like, especially fascist which word I doubt you could give a good definition of. How much of what you write is based on actual experience and how much is imagination? It much be painful to be you with all this turmoil and angst rolling around in your minds. Bad for health as well and for getting a good night sleep. Your fate in this life is to spend a lot of it enraged and filled with madding hatred. Will this life course eventually drive you insane?

  2. If you were going to be given 4 million dollars as a result of the deal, then you might find yourself rationalizing the affair. Money does seem to salve the conscience and make the bad seem good.
    Like most people I like the idea of having free will, but do I or anyone possess such an attractive power? The world does most resemble a big machine which grinds along independently of anyone's say so. Nuclear power from the day it was discovered has simply move along a seemingly already charted course.
    Meanwhile a border wall is regarded as immoral. We will not hear Pelosi or Schumer say the same of nuclear power. No, heavens forbid such a dangerous remark.
    The United States is human nature writ large.


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