Archive for the ‘nuclear’ Category

Radioactive Boars !

In Health, Lifestyle, nuclear on August 19, 2010 at 9:52 am

It was a big shot. But Geiger counter showed a problem. The boar’s meat was radioactive to an extent which is considered dangerous and unfit for consumption. It must be thrown out and burnt…….

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Explosive images of British nuclear bomb testing

In Britain, Military, nuclear, Technology on August 14, 2010 at 4:05 pm

The tests were carried out in the 1950s when Britain was trying to match Soviet and US nuclear technology

Images of  British nuclear tests undertaken in Australia in the 1950s have been revealed by Daily Mail.These photos were taken by a Tyneside member of the RAF and amateur photographer John Alfred Milsom……

More at Daily Bunker

Iran’s First Nuclear Plant ready for Start-Up

In Iran, nuclear, Technology, USA on August 14, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Russian state nuclear power company has stated on Friday that it would take a crucial step later this month toward starting Iran’s first nuclear power plant near Bushehr……..

Read more at Daily Bunker

Radioactive Smoke from Russian Fires ?

In Environment, nuclear on August 11, 2010 at 9:27 am

There is a growing concern  that fires in regions coated with fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 24 years ago could now be emitting plumes of radioactive smoke…..

Read more at Daily Bunker

Hiroshima memorial

In Military, NATO, nuclear, Obama, USA, World on August 6, 2010 at 8:39 am

The site of the world’s worst atomic bomb attack echoed with choirs of schoolchildren and the solemn ringing of bells on Friday. Hiroshima was the target of atomic bomb attack on 6th August 1945 in which 140000 lives were lost….

Read more at Daily Bunker

US attempt to tighten noose on Iran

In Defense, Iran, nuclear on July 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Barack Obama

Sanctions were imposed on Iran by the fourth resolution of UN which was passed by 15 member Security Council on 9th June 2010. These sanctions included arms embargo, ban on Iranian investments and travel restrictions.

These and all previous sanctions are aimed to desist Iran from enriching uranium for producing nuclear weapons and bringing Iran to negotiating table. However Iran has remained defiant and not accepted any terms or conditions on its presumably peaceful nuclear programme.

USA, in its attempt to further tighten the noose, has imposed new sanctions on Iran on1st July 2010. These sanctions are in the form of US law and provides for US ban on business & banking in respect of those who will provide refined petroleum, material, goods & services to modernise Iranian oil & gas sector as well as any financial support to Iranian agencies involved in development of nuclear weapons.

As oil & natural gas sector is the mainstay of Iranian economy and it heavily depends on refined imports, these new US sanctions are likely to hurt more. Though Iran claims that it can develop its own refining capabilities sooner than US estimates to nullify the impact of these sanctions, it will be a very difficult task specially without outside support including finances which will not be forthcoming in view of these US sanctions.

President Obama is quite confident that UN & US sanctions and international support will force Iran to stop nuclear defiance and settle for an internationally acceptable peaceful solution.

Debate on Indian Civil Nuclear Liability Bill

In India, nuclear, Politics on June 16, 2010 at 2:44 pm

What is Civil Nuclear Liability Bill ?

In broad terms this bill lays down and fixes the responsibilities of nuclear suppliers and operators towards payment of compensation to victims in the event of any accident in nuclear plants supplied and operated by them.

Why do we need to adopt this bill ?

  • To instill the need for adequate safety measures by supplier as well as operator to prevent any nuclear accident and thus lower the probability of accident.
  • To safeguard the right of compensation in the event of any accident and ensure speedy & adequate compensation to the victims.
  • Adoption of this bill is prerequisite for implementation of Indo-US nuclear accord.

What are the lacunae in existing conventions of Nuclear Liability ?

  • Legal channeling of accident liability to operators.
  • Extremely limited right of recourse to operators against suppliers in the event of an accident.
  • Disallows fault based claims by victims against supplier and operator.

What are the types of liabilities ?

  • Strict Liability which has to be paid to victims by the operator notwithstanding as to who is responsible for the accident .
  • Fault Liability is to be paid by supplier or operator whose fault has caused the accident.

How does Indian Bill fare vis a vis above mentioned lacunae ?

  • It channelizes strict liability to operator and leaves no ambiguity as to who must pay.
  • Low cap of only Rs 500 crores has been placed on operators no-fault liability.
  • Section 17(b) of the bill allows operator the right of recourse against suppliers in the event of gross negligence.
  • Section 46 appears to allow claims of fault liability but is not clear if victim can sue only operator or any other agency whose negligence caused the accident.

What is the opposition ?

It is felt that Govt is under US pressure to drop sections 17(b) and 46 to free suppliers from any liability even when accident is due to their fault. Accordingly amendment was announced but vehement opposition specially in the wake of legal inadequacies highlighted in Bhopal disaster trial & conviction has forced Govt to deny any such amendment.

What is the way forward?

  • Drop the proposed amendments of section 17(b) and section 46.
  • Progress the pending original bill to enact civil nuclear liability law without further delay.

Update on Nuclear Chess in Iran

In Defense, Iran, nuclear on June 9, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Fourth UN resolution , sponsored by USA and allies, for fresh sanctions against Iran is coming up for voting in 15 member UN Security Council today. The proposed sanctions include arms embargo (related to development of Ballistic missiles for carriage of nuclear weapons & procurement of heavy weapons including attack helicopters), ban on Iranian investments and travel ban for select bodies and individuals related to Iranian nuclear programme.

Nine out of 15 members are required to vote for passage of subject resolution unless any one of five permanent members vetoes it. In all probability the resolution will be passed today as only Brazil and Turkey, who have recently signed nuclear material swap agreement with Iran, may oppose it.

USA and allies believe that these fresh sanctions will pressurise and persuade Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. However Iran is likely to remain defiant as it still enjoys reasonable  support and wherewithal to cut corners. In my opinion negotiation and talks will be more effective than the sanctions in arriving at mutually acceptable solution.


UN Security Council has passed the resolution by 12-2. Lebanon abstained while Brazil & Turkey voted against sanctions.

Call to join NPT & CTBT

In Defense, India, nuclear on May 26, 2010 at 10:00 am

UN  Non Proliferation Treaty Review conference is held every five years to asses the progress of nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Currently the conference is being held in New York from 3 May and will conclude on 28 May 2010.

First draft of the final document of this conference has reportedly called India, Pakistan & Israel to sign the NPT and CTBT promptly without any preconditions. Such call from this UN forum can only be taken as a formality specially in Indian context as our stand & separate status has been accepted by most members including USA.

India, in fact, was the first country to propose ending all nuclear tests in 1954 and principles of NPT in 1965. However we have not signed NPT & CTBT due to different yardsticks for nuclear and non-nuclear nations. Nuclear nations can continue to hold existing & develop new nuclear stockpiles whereas others will be debarred from this. Similarly CTBT is also discriminatory because test ban does not limit developed nuclear nations from refining nuclear weapons as alternate technological means eg. laboratory simulations are available to them.

In my opinion UN forum like NPT Review Conference can become relevant only if they accept the ground realities and work impartially without any prejudice towards a total nuclear weapon free world.

Nuclear chess in Iran

In Defense, Iran, nuclear on May 21, 2010 at 12:31 pm

A grand game of nuclear chess is being played in Iran where several nations, guided primarily by their individual national & financial  interests, are making moves and counter moves to score a victory.

Iran’s nuclear infrastructure is the chess board and main players apart from Iran are USA , Russia, China, Brazil, Turkey and India.

USA in its effort to establish a total hold over the entire middle east region, especially after the Iraq invasion, had focused attention on Iran. Coercive diplomacy, threats of UN sanctions and direct military action by  USA  have failed to reign in Iranian nuclear aspirations till now. In addition USA has also imposed unilateral sanctions and is urging other countries not to do any major business deals with Iran ostensibly to prevent making of nuclear weapons.

As per latest reports Brazil ,Turkey and Iran have signed an agreement in which low enriched uranium of Iran will be sent to Turkey and in turn Brazil will supply limited quantity of higher enriched uranium to Iran for using it in  medical research work. This has irked Russia because Iran’s ties with Turkey are likely to go against Russian interest of monopoly over gas supply to European region. China is also not very happy with Iran as nothing much has progressed in the proposed 20 billion dollar investment in oil exploration work in Iran. Accordingly USA succeeded in getting signed fresh sanctions against Iran from Russia & China on the very next day of Brazil-Turkey agreement.

India has  its own policies & interests in Iran and accordingly our stand is at variance with USA.

It is evident that all players are being guided by respective national interests and the  nonproliferation of nuclear weapons has taken a back seat . In my opinion this is a bad signal for serious nonproliferation supporters.