Nobel committee president Berit Reiss-Andersen with the ICAN logo. Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix Breaking with tradition, nearly all ambassadors of the world's nuclear powers will not attend this year's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony which honours efforts to ban atomic weapons, the Nobel Institute said Thursday. "We are disappointed that the ambassadors from the United Kingdom, the United States and France won't be there," the head of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) Beatrice Fihn told AFP. "They claim to be committed to a world without nuclear weapons, and they should be celebrating civil society's work on the issue," she said, regretting their "defensive" position, yet noting that it "shows that this treaty and the campaign is already having an impact on them". The Peace Prize was awarded on October 6th to ICAN, a coalition of non-governmental organisations lobbying for a historic treaty banning atomic weapons, which was signed in July by 122 … [Read more...] about Ambassadors of Western nuclear powers to snub Nobel ceremony
Nuclear power institute of china
In the middle of this year, the downturn in China - with expansion rates dropping to their slowest pace in over two decades - prompted many to question the ability of the Communist leadership to steer the world's second-biggest economy and put it on a sustainable growth path. The weakening GDP growth also raised doubts about the leadership's political will to remain steadfast in its commitment to reconfigure the nation's economy from one reliant on exports to a model driven by domestic demand. Then came the stock market meltdown, starting in June, followed by the authorities' bungled response to tackle the rout. Despite the slump in share prices on Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges wiping out about $3.5 trillion in market capitalization, many analysts argued that it was not a big problem due to the relatively smaller role stock markets play in China's real economy. A panicked response However, the actual problem was the knee-jerk reaction with which the Chinese leadership dealt … [Read more...] about The good and bad of China’s economy in 2015
North Korea is believed to have enough material for some ten nuclear warheads, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a new report on Monday. The experts, however, said it was unclear if Pyongyang had produced operational weapons. According to the SIPRI estimate, almost 15,400 nuclear weapons were under the control of nine countries as of January this year. This marks a drop of over 450 warheads compared to last year. "However, the pace of their reductions appears to be slowing compared with a decade ago," SIPRI said, adding that there were no new control agreements between heavyweights Russia and the US. Nuclear arms control "is coming to the end of the road," researcher Shannon Kile told German news agency dpa. France has bigger arsenal than China Moscow controls around 7,300 of the world's nuclear weapons, putting it slightly ahead of the Washington's 7,000. Together, the former Cold War rivals hold around 93 percent of the global nuclear … [Read more...] about Think tank: Nuclear powers seek to modernize weapons
After another inelegant exchange of blustery rhetoric, the world is again imagining what military conflict between the US, its allies and North Korea would look like and seasoned observers are asking if the situation has reached a new and more dangerous stage. This latest geopolitical boiling point started off with the announcement of unprecedented UN sanctionsagainst North Korea on August 5, the result of a unanimous vote in the UN Security Council after Pyongyang tested a long-range ballistic missile on July 28. North Korea promptly rebuked the sanctions and issued a threatening statement promising "righteous action" to make the US "pay the price." On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump uttered his now infamous statement promising North Korea "fire and fury like the world has never seen," if the regime threatened the US. Adding fuel to Trump's fire, two separate reports from Japan and the US were released Tuesday that revealed that North Korea had developed the capability … [Read more...] about Does the US have to accept North Korea as a nuclear power?
Over the past several years, a number of companies have put forth applications to build new nuclear reactors in the UK. But none have started construction, and now, there's some doubt whether any of them will go forward. At the end of July, the new UK government led by Theresa May announced a delay in the approval of Hinkley Point C, the new-build nuclear power reactor project currently closest to going ahead, pending a review. Mycle Schneider, an anti-nuclear analyst who is convening lead author of the World Nuclear Industry Status Reports, said he doubts any new UK reactors will actually get built. And if any are built, he doubts they'll ever be put into service: "There have been at least 92 nuclear reactors construction projects around the world that were abandoned at various stages of completion." Financial rather than environmental concerns are putting the UK's new-build nuclear program in doubt. Why Prime Minister May ordered a review of Hinkley Point C is unclear, but one … [Read more...] about Puzzling path to new UK nuclear power stations
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates is in China holding strategy meetings with Chinese counterparts in an effort to lay the groundwork for President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States next week for a summit with US President Barack Obama. High on the agenda will be the current tensions on the Korean Peninsula, the thorny issue of US arms sales to Taiwan and a proposed security agreement between the two countries relating to nuclear weapons, missile defense, space and cyber-weaponry. After initial discussions on Monday, Gates endeavored to strike a positive tone despite evidence that the first round of talks were tinged by the frosty climate which has developed from the growing US-Chinese military rivalry. On the one hand, the US is concerned that China is not doing enough to exert its influence as North Korea's main ally in the escalating potential war scenario in the Yellow Sea around the Korean Peninsula. On the other, China continues to simmer over Washington's military … [Read more...] about US wary of China as arms spending heads in opposite directions
Until a few days ago, there were just two milestones marking the nuclear energy threat: Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Now, the world can add Fukushima. The explosions, the evacuations and the radiation checks have re-energised the anti-nuclear lobby. In Austria, Greens Member of the European Parliament, Ulrike Lunacek, says there's a clear lesson to be learned from what's happening in Fukushima: "There are no safe nuclear power plants." Japan, she told Deutsche Welle, is known as having the best containments, better than Europe. But: "With their best technology, they try to do their best, but the best is not good enough," she said. 60 nuclear power stations under construction worldwide The Japanese catastrophe comes at a boom time for nuclear power station construction, driven by the massive demand for energy in rapidly growing economies like those of China and India. In Europe, it's driven by the need to stop burning fossil fuels in the face of climate change. … [Read more...] about ‘There are no safe nuclear power plants’
There are fewer and fewer nuclear weapons around the world, thanks to the New START disarmament treaty between the US and Russia, according to the newest report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). But even when the two top nuclear powers reduce the number of warheads according to the treaty, it wouldn't necessarily be a proof for real disarmament. "A lot of the warheads that are being reduced or eliminated are actually aging or obsolete. They are the legacy of the Cold War," said Shannon Kile, one of the lead authors of the SIPRI report. "In terms of operational forces the actual reductions have been quite modest." Unfulfilled hopes No one believed New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty), which came into effect between Russia and the US in 2011, would turn the world into a nuclear-free zone in the foreseeable future. "That is disappointing," said Annette Schaper, project manager and expert for nuclear disarmament at the Peace Research Institute in … [Read more...] about Nuclear powers want quality, not quantity
In a policy document issued by the State Council, the Communist-ruled country's cabinet, China vowed to increase its "open seas protection", stressing the need for "active defense" at sea as part of an update to its military strategy. In its white paper on military strategy, Beijing accused "some offshore neighbors of taking provocative actions and reinforcing their military presence on China's reefs and islands that they have illegally occupied." In response, the navy of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) will "gradually shift its focus from offshore waters defense to a combination of offshore waters defense and open seas protection," said the paper published on May 26. It comes amid growing international concern over Beijing's land reclamation and construction of military facilities on disputed islands in the South China Sea and suggestions it could be planning to impose air and sea restrictions over the area. Beijing claims most of the potentially energy-rich waterway, through … [Read more...] about A look at China’s stance on the South China Sea dispute
In 2016, 10 new nuclear reactors went online - and two more in the first half of 2017, according to the 2017 World Nuclear Industry Status Report published Tuesday. Six of these new nuclear power plants are based in China, which now ranks third on the list of the "big five" nuclear generating countries after the United States and France. The big five make up 70 percent of the world's nuclear energy, while the US and France account for almost half of global nuclear energy generation. In this time period, only four reactors were shut down. As nuclear reactors continue to go online, the question of what to do with nuclear waste becomes all the more pressing - and still hasn't been answered properly. In September this year, Germany begins the search to find a final storage solution for nuclear waste. A special commission is to scour the country for a suitable geological site to build a deep repository, where it can bury the toxic legacy of decades of nuclear … [Read more...] about Nuclear waste: Where to store it for eternity?