Indian Point Nuclear Will Be Trouble At The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

Ernie Garcia,
A review of unplanned shutdowns from January 2012 to the present showed this year’s events happened within a short time frame, between May 7 and July 8, in contrast with events from other years that were more spread out, according to data released by Indian Point.
If a nuclear plant has more than three unplanned shutdowns in a nine-month period, its performance indicator could be changed by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which results in additional oversight. That’s what happened with Entergy’s Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth, Mass., after four unplanned shutdowns in 2013.
So far, Entergy said there doesn’t appear to be a pattern to the Indian Point shutdowns.
“You do want to look at these events holistically to see if there is something in common, but you also look individually to see what the causes were,” Nappi said. “A plant shutdown in and of itself is not a safety issue.”
One of the four recent Buchanan shutdowns triggered a special inspection by the NRC and calls to close the nuclear plant by environmental groups and elected officials. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said in the past Indian Point should close, but his office did not respond to a request for comment about whether the recent shutdowns have prompted any state scrutiny.
The NRC is expected to release a quarterly report on Indian Point this month that will address the transformer failure and, by year’s end, is planning an inspection of the transformer and an analysis of transformer issues since 2007.
Besides its transformer-related inquiries, the other three shutdowns have not raised “any immediate safety concerns or crossed any thresholds that would result in additional NRC oversight,” agency spokesman Neil Sheehan wrote in an email.
The unplanned shutdowns at Indian Point and Pilgrim in Massachusetts were mostly preventable, said Paul Blanch, a former Indian Point employee with 45 years of nuclear power experience.
“For this to happen this frequently indicates a deeper problem,” he said. “I believe it’s management oversight in the maintenance of these plants.”
Nappi said the transformer that failed May 9 and caused a fire and oil spill into the Hudson was regularly monitored. Investigators determined the failure was due to faulty insulation.
“The transformer inspection and reviews were in accordance with our standards and industry expectations, yet there was no indication the transformer was going to fail,” Nappi said.
The NRC conducted a separate, but related special inspection into the May 9 incident that focused on a half-inch of water that collected in an electrical switchgear room floor. Inspectors determined a fire suppression system’s valve failed to close properly.
Inspectors noted in their report that Entergy knew about that problem since April 2011 and replaced the valve but didn’t discover the actual cause — a dysfunctional switch — until after the fire.
Indian Point’s Unit 3 was down 19 days May through July, with the transformer failure accounting for 16 days. The shutdowns didn’t cause the public any supply problems because New York’s grid can import electricity from other states and New York has an energy plan to maintain reliability, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
The nuclear energy industry judges a power plant on how continuously it produces energy, which is called a capacity factor.
There were 100 nuclear plants in the United States in 2014, a record year in terms of efficiency. In January, the Nuclear Energy Institute announced the U.S. average capacity factor was 91.9 percent.
Indian Point has an above-average efficiency rate. The plant’s Unit 2 and 3 reactors were each online more than 99 percent of the time during their most recent two-year operating cycles. They are currently in the middle of other cycles.

Trump Is NOT An Antichrist (Revelation 13:11)

Is Trump the American Sadr? 

Foreign and Defense Policy, Middle East
Michael Rubin
January 23, 2016 | National Review Online
Donald Trump continues to upend traditional politics. Few if any pollsters or professional political analysts could have predicted that a man repeatedly caught lying outright, disparaging women, making menstruation jokes that even sixth graders in a locker room wouldn’t find funny, making racist remarks about Mexicans, casting doubt on his competitor’s citizenship, or committing any number of other outrages, would now be leading the field of a major political party.
What he says might strike more-educated Americans as noxious, but his supporters relish the middle finger that he gives to political correctness, to a political elite (on both sides of the aisle) that many of his followers believe has failed to deliver, and to the media, which many Americans feel have struck a devil’s bargain with those in power. Indeed, for all the whining of journalists about Trump’s outrages, the very fact that he remains coated with Teflon suggests that blue-collar Americans and many others simply do not share the values or strive to uphold the political correctness that the media and political class expect from public officials.
No one, however, has accused Muqtada (like Trump) of being overly intellectual or hampered by facts. Whereas his brothers and father distinguished themselves through scholarship, Muqtada preferred showmanship and material wealth.
Against the backdrop of Iraq’s liberation, Sadr attracted those who felt they had been left behind by the new order.Most elites eschewed him, but he encouraged his followers to plaster his name and visage everywhere they could. Even today, huge billboards bear Sadr’s image in the traffic circles of southern Iraqi towns and cities, regardless of the movement’s electoral success. Trump, of course, is famous for his self-promotion. He is no dummy, however, and has capitalized by successfully selling himself to those dissatisfied with the established order.
The two political movements have many other parallels. Sadr can spout the most illogical conspiracies in order to rally the public, and discount law, process, and reality to espouse solutions. Trump is no different, as he threatens mass deportations, embraces coarse nativism, and, in the case of President Obama’s birth certificate, has sought to leverage suspicions of foreign birth long since disproved. Pomposity in both cases became an asset, not a liability.
Both Sadr and Trump also gathered supporters based on what their voters opposed at any particular moment, rather than articulating any positive platform. Trump has not sought to tackle policy with any ideological consistency, as have opponents like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul; and Sadr, for his part, has not been true to the theological or political exegesis espoused by major Shiite thinkers in Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala, London, or, for that matter, Tehran. Because it was always so reactionary and built around a person more than a philosophy, the Sadrist movement has always been volatile. So too is Trump’s movement.
That said, some ambitious politicians were willing to ride Sadr’s coattails, just as some ambitious Washington types might for their own personal benefit join the Trump campaign should he become the Republican nominee. The loyalty of most Sadrists to their political scion has always been skin deep, however, and Trump likewise may attract the least party or personal loyalty of any potential president in history. Make a Sadrist a better offer, and it’s possible to peel him away. Indeed, this has always been the logic of those who argued that Sadr’s power might be diminished by co-opting his associates. Many in Trumpland will likely jump ship if it appears their leader is steering it to dangerous shoals.
And that said, not everything need be negative when it comes to the phenomenon that Sadr and Trump represent in their respective countries. Sadr’s movement became a ladder to inject new perspectives and personalities into politics. Ali Dawai, the popular governor of the Maysan governorate, for example, arose out of the Sadrist movement. With a limited budget, he has implemented a program building parks and corniches, which has won the hearts and minds of constituents. It is quite possible that Trump’s coattails could interject new blood into a system that so many Americans believe no longer serves their interests.
Sadr has seen ups and downs over the last twelve years — thankfully, more of the latter than former. He has managed to remain a disruptive political force in Baghdad even as his chance of real national power remains slim. Whatever happens with Trump personally, the fact that he has already lasted so long probably means that the phenomenon he represents will endure for years. Had Sadr not derailed Iraq politically, militarily, and economically, that country might be far better off today. How unfortunate it is that Trump’s love of rhetoric and showmanship over substance will likewise hamper America’s growth, security, economy, and development.
— Michael Rubin is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

The Sons Of Esau Continue To War (Genesis 27)

Shiites vs Sunnis: A region at war

Israel Hayom
The most important event is the removal of sanctions from Iran. As part of a process that began when the agreement on its nuclear program was signed, Iran is returning to the world with an American stamp of approval as a regional power. Iranian intellectuals understood this as soon as the interim deal was signed between Iran and the world powers in November 2013 and explained at conferences throughout the world that that recognition was a clear right of the Iranians given their country’s importance, strength, history, and achievements in the region in general and in the nuclear negotiations in particular.
Doubtless, this sense of power and international legitimacy in Iran jumped following the final nuclear deal and the removal of sanctions this week. This means that from now on, Iran will keep growing economically and militarily while living up to the agreement, as least until its economy improves significantly.
During this upcoming period, Iran will behave like a regional power, and anyone who does not accept its status will have to deal with its increasing power and the strength of its emissaries in the region. The American move in making the deal, and its ramifications for Iran’s stature, serve as a kind of proof for the Sunnis of an American decision to align with the Shiite side of the struggle.
The second-most important event was the response of the Saudis, who executed a Shiite preacher who was imprisoned after a trial (the sentence was handed down a year and a half ago) to send a clear message to the Iranians, as well as to Saudi Arabia’s own allies in the Sunni world, that they would not give up on their fight against the Iranian Shiites — certainly not when it comes to Iran’s attempts to attack Saudi Arabia’s intactness by stirring up its Shiite minority.
This decision was similar in principle to an earlier Saudi decision to employ force in Yemen and battle against the Houthis, whom the Saudis perceived as agents of Iran.
Saudi Arabia has undoubtedly changed its behavior under its new king, Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, and steered by his son Mohammed‎ bin Salman, the country’s 30-year-old defense minister. This means that Saudi Arabia is prepared to take risks and pay prices that it was not prepared to pay in the past. In this case, the price of severing relations with Iran,a step the Saudis decided to take after Iranian demonstrators set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran in protest over the execution of the Shiite preacher.
Other Sunni states followed, breaking off relations with Iran — the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, and Sudan –– while Egypt, which is receiving substantial economic aid from Saudi Arabia, has not. Sudan, which had former ties to Iran, has actually cut it off entirely.
The Saudis are spearheading a Sunni challenge to the Shiite efforts of the past 35 years, which the Sunnis have thus far been able to check. The results are clear in Iraq and Lebanon, and are the underlying cause of the ongoing war in Syria and the conflict in Yemen.
The third event slipped under the radar of most of the Israeli media. This was an announcement by Pakistan made during a visit to that country by the Saudi defense minister and heir to the throne. The host declared that Pakistan would respond severely to any attack on Saudi Arabia.
Whether or not that is true, the Pakistani threat comprises an interesting development. Thus far, Pakistan’s nuclear weapons have been portrayed as an element of the conflict between Pakistan and India, and now all of a sudden they’re being used in a Middle Eastern context, in a conflict between the Shiite superpower and the entity who wants to be perceived as its Sunni counterpart.
This is a real change in the balance of power throughout the entire Middle East. If Pakistan moves from a one-time declaration to actual intervention in these tussles, the regional balance of power will change, but past experience indicates that they will be very careful about committing themselves.
What will be the ramifications of the intensifying conflict? First, it is quite clear that it will be much harder to deal with the war in Syria properly. That war is not just a civil war between different factions of Syrian society. It is a war between Shiites and Sunnis, with Iran standing behind one side and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and Turkey, to a certain extent, backing the other.
Even if there were some agreement in Syria about peace talks, which is unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future, Iran and Saudi Arabia will not take any steps toward each other, so the Syria war will continue. The Iranians will also seek out Saudi Arabia’s soft underbelly, probably via the many Shiites in Saudi Arabia and in some Gulf states, and the Saudis will respond with all their strength, mainly through economic and other forms of aid to anyone in the Middle East who opposes the Shiites.
The Saudis’ success in winning Sudan’s heart and removing it from Iran’s circle of influence should be noted and is very important, to Israel as well, because Sudan was a key stop on the weapons smuggling route from Iran to the Gaza Strip.
The very possibility that a nuclear nation will join this bitter struggle raises serious questions and concerns about the consequences of a possible deterioration, since it’s very hard to control endless battles colored by religion.
Pakistan moving its attention to the heart of the Middle East does not bode well for an already complex and conflicted region. A Pakistani change like this one, if it is not a one-time case of lip service for its Saudi friend, could make the regional reality even more complicated and could eventually turn out to be very influential for the region. In the meantime, it appears to be a one-time event, not a turning point, even if it is important in and of itself. It will be necessary to keep constant tabs on whether Pakistan is headed toward that kind of direct intervention.
The lesson Israel should learn from all these recent events is clear: Israel must not be drawn into such a complex and deep-running battle as the intra-Islamic conflict between Shiites and Sunnis, or between the Arabs and Persians in the Gulf region. Israel must take care to safeguard its own interests, including taking a risk if force should be exerted, but after great consideration, without arrogance, and with precision.

America Overdue For The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

New Study: America Overdue For Major Earthquake … In States You Didn’t Suspect

New York Destroyed
Written by: Daniel Jennings Current Events 
The survey’s new National Seismic Hazard Map show that the risk of earthquakes in parts of the country — such as the Midwest, Oregon and the Rocky Mountains — is far higher than previously thought. All total, Americans in one-third of the country saw their risk for an earthquake increase.
“I worry that we will wake up one morning and see earthquake damage in our country that is as bad as that has occurred in some developing nations that have experienced large earthquakes,” Carl Hedde, a risk management expert at insurer Munich Reinsurance America, said of the map in The Wall Street Journal“Beyond building collapse, a large amount of our infrastructure could be immediately damaged. Our roads, bridges and energy transmission systems can be severely impacted.”
Among the findings:
  • The earthquake danger in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois and South Carolina is as high as that in Los Angeles.
  • 42 of the 50 states have a reasonable chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in the next 50 years.
  • Parts of 16 states have the highest risk of a quake: Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Illinois, Kentucky and South Carolina
“We know the hazard has increased for small and moderate size earthquakes,” USGS scientist William Ellsworth told The Journal. “We don’t know as well how much the hazard has increased for large earthquakes. Our suspicion is it has but we are working on understanding this.”
Frightening Results From New Study
The USGS used new computer modeling technology and data collected from recent quakes such as the one that struck Washington, D.C. in 2011 to produce the new maps. The maps show that many Americans who thought they were safe from earthquakes are not.
New Relocation Manual Helps Average Americans Get Out Of Harms Way Before The Coming Crisis
Some of the survey’s other disturbing findings include:
    • The earthquake danger in Oklahoma, Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, New York and parts of New England is higher than previously thought.
    • Some major metropolitan areas, including Memphis, Salt Lake City, Seattle, St. Louis and Charleston, have a higher risk of earthquakes than previously thought. One of the nation’s most dangerous faults, the New Madrid fault, runs right through St. Louis and Missouri. It is the nation’s second most active fault. On Dec. 16, 1811, the New Madrid Fault was the site of the most powerful series of earthquakes in American history.
“Obviously the building codes throughout the central U.S. do not generally take earthquake risk or the risk of a large earthquake into account,” USGS Seismologist Elizabeth Cochran told The Journal. Her take: Earthquake damage in the central US could be far greater than in places like California, because structures in some locations are not built to withstand quakes.
Others agree.
“Earthquakes are quite rare in many places but when they happen they cause very intense damage because people have not prepared,” Mark Petersen, the project chief for the USGS’s National Seismic Hazard Map, told The Journal.
This new map should be a wakeup call for Americans.

Pakistan Is Prepared To Nuke India (Daniel 8:8)

Pakistan has around 130 nuclear warheads to deter an attack from India, claims US report

Jan 21, 2016 16:26 IST

This handout picture dated 26 July 2007 and released by the Inter Services Public Relations shows a Pakistani nuclear-capable radar-dodging cruise missile Babur (Hatf-VII) being fired during a test at an undisclosed location in Pakistan. Pakistan 26 July successfully test- fired its nuclear-capable radar-dodging cruise missile, the military said. The indigenously developed Babur (Hatf-VII) missile has a range of 700 kilometres (437 miles) and “near stealth” properties, it said in a statement. PHOTO/HO/Inter Services Public Relation – RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – / AFP / ISPR / INTER SERVICES PUBLIC RELATION
The report also expressed concern that Islamabad’s “full spectrum deterrence” doctrine has increased risk of nuclear conflict between the two South Asian neighbours.
Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal probably consists of approximately 110-130 nuclear warheads, although it could have more. Islamabad is producing fissile material, adding to related production facilities, deploying additional nuclear weapons, and new types of delivery vehicles,” Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its latest report.
CRS is the independent research wing of the US Congress, which prepares periodic reports by eminent experts on a wide range of issues so as to help lawmakers take informed decisions.
Reports of CRS are not considered as an official view of the US Congress.
“Pakistan has in recent years taken a number of steps to increase international confidence in the security of its nuclear arsenal,” said the CRS report authored by Paul K Kerr and Mary Beth Nikitin.
Moreover, Pakistani and US officials argue that, since the 2004 revelations about a procurement network run by former Pakistani nuclear official AQ Khan, Islamabad has taken a number of steps to improve its nuclear security and to prevent further proliferation of nuclear-related technologies and materials, it said.
A number of important initiatives, such as strengthened export control laws, improved personnel security, and international nuclear security cooperation programmes, have improved Pakistan’s nuclear security, the CRS said.
“While US and Pakistani officials continue to express confidence in controls over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, continued instability in the country could impact these safeguards. Furthermore, continued Indian and Pakistani nuclear weapons development could jeopardise strategic stability between the two countries,” it concluded.
According to CRS, Pakistan has asserted that continued exclusion of the country from the NSG “would adversely affect regional peace, security and stability,” as well as “undermine the global non-proliferation regime.
According to the US law, the United States could apparently advocate for Pakistan’s NSG membership without congressional approval.
However, press reports indicate that the United States is considering supporting Islamabad’s NSG membership in exchange for Pakistani actions to reduce perceived dangers associated with the country’s nuclear weapons programme, it said.