Feds: No plans to prevent the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Feds: No plans to reconsider approval of controversial AIM pipeline near Indian Point


Last week state agencies called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to re-evaluate its decision to approve the pipeline expansion

The agencies question whether federal safety officials took into consideration the design of buildings used to house spent fuel cooling pools

Nuclear regulatory officials have no plans to reconsider their decision to allow the expansion of a natural gas pipeline near the Indian Point power plant.

Their decision comes despite renewed interest from state agencies over an issue that has ignited protests throughout the Hudson Valley.

Activists gathered in front of Governor Anderw Cuomo’s house in Mount Kisco on Sunday, April 2, 2017, to raise concerns about the Algonquin Pipeline project and other environmental issues

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission concluded in 2014 that in the event of a rupture to the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline, Indian Point’s two energy-producing reactors could safely shut down.

But several state agencies, in a June 22 letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), released the findings of a risk analysis it commissioned more than two years ago, which raised new questions about the NRC’s findings and urged a re-evaluation of the risks the pipeline poses to public safety.

Specifically, the state agencies want FERC to re-evaluate whether the analysis used by the NRC and Indian Point’s owner, Entergy, considered the design of buildings used to house spent nuclear fuel cooling pools.

Activists gathered in front of Governor Anderw Cuomo’s house in Mount Kisco on Sunday to raise concerns about the Algonquin Pipeline project and other environmental issues

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said the agency’s 2014 assessment has not changed.

“The NRC’s role was to ensure the new pipeline would not adversely affect the safety of the Indian Point nuclear power plant,” Sheehan said. “We determined, based on our review of the plant owner’s evaluation of the pipeline and our own independent analysis, that the reactors could either continue to safely operate or temporarily shut down if the line were to rupture in the vicinity of the plant. That assessment has not changed.”

Sheehan did say, however, that the NRC will take another look at pipeline-related issues when Entergy submits its dismantling plan – known formally as the Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report (PSDAR) — for the Buchanan power plant.

Road map for shutdown

Last year, Entergy cited the low price of natural gas and ongoing litigation with the state of New York in announcing that it will shut down operations at the 240-acre property on the Hudson River by 2021.

“The PSDAR will be a roadmap on how the decommissioning work will be carried out, and we will carefully review those plans,” Sheehan said. “But we would also point out that concrete mats were installed over the portion of the pipeline across the site to help ensure that it was not in any way damaged during any future excavation work.”

FERC spokesman Craig Cano said the commission’s decision to approve the pipeline is currently the subject of an appeal before the Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. and declined to comment on pending litigation.

“FERC approved a certificate for the AIM Project in March 2015 and denied rehearing of that order in January 2016, so the project is no longer before the Commission,” Cano said.

The pipeline, operated by Enbridge Energy Partners, extends north from Pennsylvania, coursing through communities in Rockland, Putnam and Westchester counties.


It has inspired a number of protests in recent years, including several held outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New Castle home. In 2016, several protesters were arrested after locking themselves inside a portion of the pipeline in Verplanck where a supporter carried a sign that read: “Why put a pipe bomb next to Indian Point?”

Photos: Algonquin pipeline protest in Mount Kisco

Community groups opposed to the pipeline had grown increasingly frustrated by the lengthy wait for the release of the risk study.

Two days later, several community groups turned up at a fundraiser attended by state officials in Croton-on-Hudson, where they pushed for an immediate shutdown of the pipeline.

“Residents of the region are very concerned that the Indian Point nuclear power plant is operating and the gas is flowing through the pipelines while the New York state agencies admit that a more robust analysis must be undertaken by FERC,” said Susan Van Dolsen of Harrison, a founder of Stop the Algonquin Expansion (SAPE). “For almost five years, pipeline safety and nuclear safety experts have said that the NRC and Entergy analysis was faulty.  This letter raises very serious questions that FERC must answer.”

The letter was signed by the heads of the state departments of Health, Public Service and Environmental Conservation as well as the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.

Opponents of the Algonquin gas pipeline project meet at Somers Intermediate School on Dec. 4.

It urged FERC to prevent Enbridge from increasing gas capacity on the pipeline while Indian Point remains open and spent fuel remains in the cooling pools.

“Given that previous safety assessments have been done based on currently approved operating pressures, FERC cannot allow any additional capacity or increased pressure on the three pipelines without at least conducting new safety assessments,” the agencies wrote.

After Indian Point shuts down, thousands of spent fuel rods will remain housed in cement dry casks on the property and will likely remain there for decades until the federal government comes up with a solution for storing the nation’s nuclear waste.

While the probability of pipeline incidents is low, the proximity to the Indian Point nuclear plant makes the potential consequences of such an event very significant,” the agencies said in a statement. “Additional scrutiny and monitoring to better understand and reduce risks associated with the Algonquin pipelines is warranted. FERC must engage in further action to mitigate and investigate potential risks.”

Israeli Settlers Provoke Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

Israeli Settlers Provoke Palestinians in East Jerusalem, West Bank


A group of Jewish settlers entered the Bab al-Rahma Muslim cemetery in occupied East Jerusalem, which lays on the eastern side of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Saturday, and assaulted Palestinian hikers in the occupied district of Ramallah on Friday.

According to local news source Ma’an, settlers were accompanied by Israeli security forces, causing discomfort among the dozens of Palestinian Jerusalemites who were volunteering inside the cemetery.

Tensions between Israeli settlers and Palestinian inhabitants of Jerusalem have heightened this year since United States President Donald Trump declared “unified” Jerusalem the capital of Israel in December to later move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Jerusalem in May.

Another source of tension is the recently approved nationality bill, which grants the Jewish majority in Israel exclusive rights to self-determination.

In 2015, Israeli authorities demolished parts of the Bab al-Rahma cemetery to create a national park, and last month Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority carried out excavations related to the new national park.

As the settler prayed within the Muslim cemetery, Palestinians responded calling out a common prayer phrase “God is great.”

A day earlier, settlers of the illegal Hallamish settlement in the occupied West Bank, near Ramallah attacked members of the “Hike and Explore Your Homeland” group who were trying to reach the Ein al-Zarqa natural spring.

Ma’an reported that “armed Israeli settlers along with Israeli forces attacked the group while on their weekly tour of Palestinian areas; they forcefully attempted to prevent the group from advancing in the tour and physically assaulted some of the participants while shouting racist expressions and insults at the group.”

Between 500,000 and 600,000 settlers live in Jewish-only settlements in the occupied East Jerusalem and West Bank in violation of international law. The nationality bill that has sparked outrage among Palestinian Israelis and U.S. Jewish leaders also includes an article that  affirms “the state sees the development of Jewish settlement as a national value and will act to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”

Khamenei says ‘obvious mistake’ to negotiate with Obama

Khamenei says ‘obvious mistake’ to negotiate with US



TEHRAN: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Saturday it would be an “obvious mistake” to negotiate with the United States as Washington was unreliable.

“The word and even the signature of the Americans cannot be relied upon, so negotiations with America are of no avail,” Khamenei said in a meeting with Foreign Ministry officials, adding that negotiations with Washington would be an “obvious mistake”, according to his official website.

Europe Lies to World About Iran’s Nuclear State

Exclusive: German intelligence contradicts Merkel on Iran’s nuclear drive


A German intelligence report from the city-state of Hamburg said Iran’s regime is continuing to seek weapons of mass destruction, delivering another intelligence agency blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s belief that the 2015 atomic deal with the Islamic Republic curbed Tehran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

The Jerusalem Post reviewed the 211-page document that states “some of the crisis countries… are still making an effort to obtain products for the manufacture of atomic, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction (proliferation) and the corresponding missile carrier technology (rocket technology).”

The Hamburg report on Thursday added that “the current main focus points of countries in the area of relevant proliferation activities are: Iran, Syrian, Pakistan and Syria.”

Hamburg’s intelligence agency conclusions covering Iran’s alleged illicit conduct conform with the intelligence data from 2018 state agency reports in Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse.

The domestic intelligence agencies in Germany are the functional equivalent of Israel’s Shin Bet (General Security Service).

The Hamburg intelligence official wrote that “Iran still constitutes, because of its previous nuclear relevant activities, the focus of Germany in the sector of counter-proliferation.”

The report said that “Iran continues to pursue unchanged an ambitious program to modernize its rocket technology with the goal of a continued increase of the reach of the missiles.”

Merkel said on July 9 that “[Germany] remains committed to the nuclear agreement. We think it was well-negotiated.”

Trump quits Iran nuclear deal, reimposes sanctions on Tehran (Reuters)

In May the US pulled out of the Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive of Plan of Action (JCPOA), because of the agreement’s failure to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear weapon device. Merkel has not commented on the intelligence findings of state agencies that appear to significantly undermine her defense of the effectiveness of the atomic deal reached with world powers in July 2015.

Iran’s activities – ranging from espionage to support for Hezbollah and the spread of religious extremism – are cited 48 times in Hamburg’s intelligence report.

Last month Hesse’s state intelligence agency published a document on countering the spread of weapons of mass destruction, singling out the Islamic Republic of Iran as one of two states seeking to obtain the ultimate form of powerful weapons.

According to the document, “Weapons of mass destruction are a continued instrument of power politics that also, in regional and international crises situations, can shatter the entire stability of state structures. States like Iran and North Korea attempt, in the context of proliferation, to acquire and spread such weapons by, for example, disguising the transportation ways through third countries.”

The Post reported in June that the intelligence agency of Baden-Württemberg wrote in its report: “Iran continued to undertake, as did Pakistan and Syria, efforts to obtain goods and know-how to be used for the development of weapons of mass destruction and to optimize corresponding missile-delivery systems.”

Bavaria’s intelligence agency noted in its April report: “Iran, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan are making efforts to expand their conventional weapons arsenal through the production of weapons of mass destruction.” The Islamic Republic of Iran sought to obtain illicit goods for its missile program from Germany, the intelligence agency for Germany’s most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, the Post reported in June.

The North Rhine-Westphalia intelligence agency wrote: “Because of the demand for relevant goods for its rocket program, Iran continues to represent proliferation defense in our work.”

German exports to Iran rose to 3.5 billion euros in 2017 from 2.6 billion euros in 2016.

The Federal Republic conducts dual-use deals with the Islamic Republic, in which German technology and equipment can be used for military and civilian purposes. The Post reported in February that Iranian businessmen purchased industrial material from the Krempel company in Baden-Württemberg that was later found in chemical rockets used to gas Syrian civilians in January and February.

A total of 24 Syrians were severely injured in those poison gas attacks. Germany’s Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control told the Post that the Krempel material was not a dual-use item, and declined to stop trade between Krempel and the Islamic Republic.

Amir Taheri, a leading Iranian journalist, wrote on Thursday on his Twitter feed that the “Russian steel firm Sursthal ceases trading with Iran, citing threat of US sanctions. Its Iranian partner Fulad Mubarakah says it is in talks with German firms to fill the gap with Berlin government backing.”

NYC earthquake risk: the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

NYC earthquake risk: Could Staten Island be heavily impacted?

By Ann Marie Barron

Updated May 16, 4:31 AM; Posted May 16, 4:00 AM

Rubble litters Main Street after an earthquake struck Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif. A report by the U.S. Geological Survey outlines the differences between the effect of an earthquake in the West vs. one in the East. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – While scientists say it’s impossible to predict when or if an earthquake will occur in New York City, they say that smaller structures — like Staten Island’s bounty of single-family homes — will suffer more than skyscrapers if it does happen.

“Earthquakes in the East tend to cause higher-frequency shaking — faster back-and-forth motion — compared to similar events in the West,” according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), published on its website recently “Shorter structures are more susceptible to damage during fast shaking, whereas taller structures are more susceptible during slow shaking.”


The report, “East vs West Coast Earthquakes,” explains how USGS scientists are researching factors that influence regional differences in the intensity and effects of earthquakes, and notes that earthquakes in the East are often felt at more than twice the distance of earthquakes in the West.

Predicting when they will occur is more difficult, said Thomas Pratt, a research geophysicist and the central and Eastern U.S. coordinator for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Reston, Va.

“One of the problems in the East Coast is that we don’t have a history to study,” he said. “In order to get an idea, we have to have had several cycles of these things. The way we know about them in California is we dig around in the mud and we see evidence of past earthquakes.”

Yet Pratt wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a high-magnitude event taking place in New York, which sits in the middle the North American Tectonic Plate, considered by experts to be quite stable.

“We never know,” he said. “One could come tomorrow. On the other hand, it could be another 300 years. We don’t understand why earthquakes happen (here) at all.”

Though the city’s last observable earthquake occurred on Oct. 27, 2001, and caused no real damage, New York has been hit by two Magnitude 5 earthquakes in its history – in 1738 and in 1884 — prompting many to say it is “due” for another.

While earthquakes generally have to be Magnitude 6 or higher to be considered “large,” by experts, “a Magnitude 5, directly under New York City, would shake it quite strongly,” Pratt said.

The reason has to do with the rock beneath our feet, the USGS report says.


In the East, we have older rocks, some of which formed “hundreds of millions of years before those in the West,” the report says. Since the faults in the rocks have had so much time to heal, the seismic waves travel more efficiently through them when an earthquake occurs.

“Rocks in the East are like a granite countertop and rocks in the West are much softer,” Pratt said. “Take a granite countertop and hit it and it’ll transmit energy well. In the West, it’s like a sponge. The energy gets absorbed.”

If a large, Magnitude 7 earthquake does occur, smaller structures, and older structures in Manhattan would be most vulnerable, Pratt said. “In the 1920s, ’30s and late 1800s, they were not built with earthquake resistance,” he said, noting that newer skyscrapers were built to survive hurricanes, so would be more resistant.

When discussing earthquake prediction and probability, Pratt uses the analogy of a baseball player who averages a home run every 10 times at bat and hasn’t hit one in the past nine games: “When he’s up at bat, will he hit a home run? You just don’t know.”

And though it would probably take a magnitude of 7 to topple buildings in the city, smaller earthquakes are still quite dangerous, he said.

“Bookshelves could fall down and hit you,” he said. “People could be killed.” A lot of stone work and heavy objects fell from buildings when a quake of 5.8 magnitude struck central Virginia in 2011, he noted, but, fortunately, no one was injured.

To be safe, Pratt encourages New Yorkers to keep a few days’ worth of drinking water and other supplies on hand. He, himself, avoids putting heavy things up high.

“It always gets me nervous when I go into a restaurant that has heavy objects high on shelves,” he said. “It’s unlikely you’ll get an earthquake. But, we just don’t know.”