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Other Regions

Attempts to market nuclear power across the globe endanger these societies not only from the routine radioactive contamination and potential for accident or attack posed by operating reactors, but by the opportunity this technology provides to transition to nuclear weapons.

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Thursday
Oct032019

The madness of nuclear power in Saudi Arabia

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (with sword), alongside Saudi energy ministerOne year has passed since the brutal murder, and macabre dismemberment, of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbal, Turkey, at the hands of a high-level Saudi regime death squad. Official U.S. and United Nations reports implicate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in having ordered the assassination. The genocidal Saudi-led war and siege of Yemen continues, with Houthi rebel attacks igniting Saudi oil fields deep within the country, and causing recent large-scale Saudi coalition casualties at the front lines on its border. Is this a place where nuclear power plants should be built? Bennett Ramberg warned in 1985 that nuclear power plants could serve as pre-deployed weapons for an enemy, if they chose to attack them, veritable dirty bombs of immense size. In fact, Houthi forces previously fired a warning shot across the bow at a pre-operational nuclear plant in United Arab Emirates; the atomic reactor has since fired up, unfortunately. Nobel Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, while still serving as Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, warned that the reason Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia were pursuing nuclear power, was in order to have a pathway to nuclear weapons, if they chose to use it that way. In fact, MBS has admitted as much on a CBS "60 Minutes" interview. Despite the inherent risk that uranium enrichment and/or plutonium reprocessing can be used for nuclear weapons production, the Trump administration has continuously tried to do end runs around congressional safeguards against nuclear weapons proliferation, in order to transfer U.S. nuclear technology and know how to Saudi Arabia. U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee, has reported that corporate and personal greed are a prime motivation, despite the risks. Scandalously, the same Canadian firm that bailed out Jared Kushner's family from its billion dollar, bad real estate investment at 666 5th Avenue in Manhattan, also owns Westinghouse Nuclear, which is vying to sell atomic reactors to Saudi Arabia; Kushner has been Trump's point person in all things Saudi Arabian. But Trump's Energy Secretary, Rick Perry, has also met with his Saudi counterparts, regarding nuclear commerce, including recently (see photo, above left, of Perry in Saudi-style robe, holding a sword, shown with Saudi Minister of Energy, Khalid al-Falih; Perry is now implicated in the Trump impeachment inquiry as well, as reported by the Washington Post, having led the Trump administration delegation to Ukrainian President Zelensky's inauguration.) As decades-long, leading congressional nuclear watchdog, U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), pointed out a decade ago, "Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Arabia of solar power!" Nuclear power makes no sense there, from a safety, security, and non-proliferation perspective. Saudi nuclear power risks an arms race with Israel (which already has nuclear weapons), Iran (there are fears it could use its nuclear power industry to break out into nuclear weapons production), and perhaps other countries. As U.S. Representative Brad Sherman (D-CA) has put it, "A country that can't be trusted with a bone saw shouldn't be trusted with nuclear weapons."
Tuesday
Oct012019

Politico: "Democrats Turn Eye to [Energy Secretary] Rick Perry in Ukrainian Probe"

As reported by Politico in an article entitled "Democrats Turn Eye to Rick Perry in Ukrainian Probe":

The former Texas governor has been a regular visitor to Saudi Arabia, where he traveled in 2017 to persuade the Kingdom to partner with the U.S. rather than Russia or China to develop two nuclear reactors. That effort came as the Trump administration continued to seek close ties with the Saudis, despite intelligence linking them to the death of dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi last October.

Tuesday
Jul302019

New Documents Show Corporate and Foreign Interests Seek to Influence U.S. Nuclear Policy

U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (Democrat-MD), Chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and ReformWH [White House], Agencies Still Refuse to Produce Documents in Committee’s Investigation
See the press release posted on the website of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform, chaired by U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (Democrat-Baltimore, MD).
Links to primary documents, as well as the two interim staff reports (July 29, 2019, as well as Feb. 19, 2019) are provided there.

Chairman Cummings (photo, right) issued the following statement:

“Today’s report reveals new and extensive evidence that corroborates Committee whistleblowers and exposes how corporate and foreign interests are using their unique access to advocate for the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. The American people deserve to know the facts about whether the White House is willing to place the potential profits of the President’s personal friends above the national security of the American people and the universal objective of preventing the spread of nuclear weapons.”

The Washington Post has reported on this news. So too has The Daily Beast. The New York Times has published closely related coverage, re: Thomas J. Barrack, Jr., a close friend of President Donald J. Trump for decades, top fundraiser for Trump's 2016 campaign, top Trump Transition official, top advisor, the chair of his Inaugural Committee, and behind the scenes lobbyist. The Times reports: "[Federal] Investigators have also questioned witnesses about Mr. Barrack’s involvement with a proposal from an American group that could give Saudi Arabia access to nuclear power technology."
Monday
Jul292019

Inside the Secret Campaign to Export U.S. Nuclear Tech to Saudi Arabia

Industry coalition’s push to win over the Trump administration is concerning officials on Capitol Hill who are fearful that it could threaten U.S. national security.

As reported by the Daily Beast.

Wednesday
Feb212018

North Korea poised to launch large-scale cyberattacks, says new report

As reported by Anna Fifield in the Washington Post.

In late 2014, a major hack of the South Korean nuclear power industry was reported. The top suspect was the North Korean regime.