Don’t you dare, Putin! UK boosts arsenal to 260 nukes in response to Russia threat

THE UK is planning to boost its arsenal to up to 260 nukes in a huge show of force against Vladimir Putin.


10:03, Fri, Apr 29, 2022 | UPDATED: 15:48, Fri, Apr 29, 2022

Putin ‘isn’t suicidal’ says Stubb as he talks nuclear weapons

While Russia has the largest nuclear arsenal in the world, with nearly 6,000 warheads, the UK has its own weaponry that could help deter the Russian threat. Currently, Britain has a stockpile of 195 warheads, but it plans to boost this to up to 260 at a maximum cap in what would be the first increase since the Cold War. This comes as Putin sent a horror warning to the West by putting his nuclear forces on “high alert”.

And a Russian MP has even warned Prime Minister warned Boris Johnson that the UK is now a “prime target” for Moscow given London’s unwavering military and political support for Kyiv.


The Russian lawmaker said last week: “Great Britain is a prime target for that (nuclear strike). It is an island nation, which would minimise the damage to the continent.”

Putin has also been unveiling some terrifying weapons that could cause chaos in the West, such as the “Satan 2”, which was test-fired earlier this month.

But the UK has some mighty weapons of its own.

Trident, Britain’s nuclear weapons programme, is operated by the Royal Navy and has four Vanguard-class submarines armed with Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles.

Uk weapons

The UK is boosting its nuclear arsenal to deter a Russian attack (Image: Getty )


The UK has four Vanguard submarines which can carry 8 warheads each (Image: Getty )

Made by US company Lockheed Martin, these weapons are a three-stage, solid-fuel, inertially-guided missiles with a range of 4,000 nautical miles.

Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago
It happened before, and it could happen again.
By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM
On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.
According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.
The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.
A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:
“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”
The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.
The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.
The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.
“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”
The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.
“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.”
The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.
There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.
According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.
“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,
that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,
the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;
O turn to God; lest by his Rod,
he cast thee down to Hell.”
Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”
There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.
Well, sort of.
In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”
It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.
In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”
If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The Canadian Horn Prepares for Nuclear War: Daniel 7

Canada must be ready for ‘all scenarios’ as Russia continues nuclear threats: Joly

By Amanda Connolly  Global News

Posted April 28, 2022 2:37 pm

 Updated April 28, 2022 5:42 pm

Canada and allies must be ready for “all scenarios” when it comes to whether Russia could deploy nuclear weapons amid its “failure” in Ukraine, says Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly.

Joly appeared before the Senate foreign affairs committee Thursday afternoon to answer questions about the federal government’s response to Russia’s attacks on Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24.

Since then, Russian officials have issued varying degrees of nuclear threats and Joly was asked by the committee how seriously Canadians should be taking those threats of a potential nuclear conflict.

“I think that we have to be ready for all scenarios, and I think at the same time that it won’t be the last time Russia makes threats in light of the fact that Ukrainian forces are resisting way more than they thought,” Joly responded.

“Clearly, their invasion is a failure and will continue to be a failure, and we won’t stop our efforts until Ukraine wins. When I mean Ukraine wins, what I mean is Russian forces leave Ukraine,” she added.

“That is why we need to make sure we work with allies on this and we prepare for different types of scenarios.”

Russia has retreated over recent weeks following what officials are increasingly billing as a failure to seize and control key areas of Ukraine including the capital city of Kyiv.

But the retreat is seeing a shift in focus on the eastern region of Donbas, and a regrouping of Russian forces ahead of what is expected to be a major military push in the coming days and weeks.

That anticipated advance comes as May 9 approaches — a major date celebrated as ‘Victory Day’ in Russia to commemorate the former Soviet role in defeating the Nazis during the Second World War.

Click to play video: 'Zelenskyy says world should prepare for Russia to use nuclear weapons'

Zelenskyy says world should prepare for Russia to use nuclear weaponsZelenskyy says world should prepare for Russia to use nuclear weapons – Apr 16, 2022

Joly pointed to the date during the committee as a factor in the rapid scale-up in military weaponry being sent or pledged to Ukraine by NATO allies, including Howitzer missiles and armoured vehicles from Canada over the past week.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov this week escalated his rhetoric against Western countries supporting Ukraine, suggesting the military support equates to a “proxy war.”

“The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it,” Reuters cited Lavrov as saying in a transcript of his comments issued by Russia. “NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.”

Reuters reported that Lavrov had been asked on state TV about the prospect of a Third World War and whether the current situation was comparable to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that nearly caused nuclear war.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby decried what he called Lavrov’s “escalatory rhetoric.”

“It’s obviously unhelpful, not constructive, and certainly is not indicative of what a responsible (world power) ought to be doing in the public sphere,” Kirby said. “A nuclear war cannot be won and it shouldn’t be fought. There’s no reason for the current conflict in Ukraine to get to that level at all.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned earlier this month in an interview with CNN that the world should prepare for Russia to use nuclear weapons.

That report also cited CIA Director Bill Burns as saying: “Given the potential desperation of President Putin and the Russian leadership, given the setbacks that they’ve faced so far militarily, none of us can take lightly the threat posed by a potential resort to tactical nuclear weapons or low yield nuclear weapons.”

– with files from Reuters

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Antichrist’s men deny deal to form government

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on November 18, 2021 [Karar Essa/Anadolu Agency]

Iraq’s Sadrist movement denies deal to form gov’t

April 29, 2022 at 3:38 pm | Published in: IraqMiddle EastNews

Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr holds a press conference in Najaf, Iraq on November 18, 2021 [Karar Essa/Anadolu Agency]April 29, 2022 at 3:38 pm

The Iraqi Sadrist movement, led by Muqtada Al-Sadr, yesterday denied media reports claiming it had held political meetings with the Coordination Framework forces to discuss forming the next government.

The head of the Sadrist parliamentary bloc, MP Hassan Al-Adhari, described in a statement the media reports as false, adding that “the purpose of these continuous lies is to destabilise the tripartite alliance, and we tell them that it is a solid alliance that will not be shaken by such allegations, and we call on them not to repeat them in the future.”

The tripartite alliance, also known as Enkath Watan, consists of the Sadrist bloc, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Sovereignty Coalition.

In early April, Muqtada Al-Sadr gave the Coordination Framework forces 40 days to form the government without his participation.

The Coordination Framework forces include the State of Law coalition, the State Forces Alliance, the Victory Alliance, the Al-Fateh Alliance, the Ataa Movement and the Virtue Party.

The Obama Iran Nuclear Deal is in Limbo


Why is diplomacy losing momentum?

Words: Barbara Slavin

Will the patient revive or finally expire? That is the critical question regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The landmark nuclear agreement reached between Iran and world powers in 2015 seemed to have so much potential. But it has been experiencing a steady decline since President Donald Trump stuck a knife in it in 2018 and quit while Iran was in full compliance. Iran has since busted out of the deal’s restrictions and advanced its nuclear program to near breakout status while talks with the Biden administration have stalled.

US officials, such as Secretary of State Tony Blinken, most recently have insisted that the deal is not dead and that the United States still considers it in its national interests. But even though the technical details of an Iranian nuclear rollback have long been finalized in indirect talks between Iran and the United States, Iran’s demand for lifting one of the many US sanctions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seems to have stymied the chances for resealing the deal.

What is stopping the Iran nuclear deal from going forward now?


The problem is domestic politics in both Iran and the United States. The hardliners now in control of all aspects of Iranian governance say they want to return to the JCPOA and certainly would appreciate the boost to the Iranian economy that sanctions relief would provide. With oil at $100 a barrel, Iran is losing an estimated $4 billion a month so long as it stalls on completing the nuclear negotiations. It also lacks access to $100 billion in revenues frozen by the Trump administration’s sanctions, which the Biden administration has kept.


The current Iranian negotiators want to show that they have gotten more from Washington than their predecessors in the Rouhani administration, who negotiated the deal. However, Iranians of all stripes also fear that even if the agreement is restored, its shelf life will be almost as short as the original. If a Republican is elected president in 2024 — especially if it is Trump — the next US administration is likely to withdraw from the deal again. So the argument in Iran goes: Is it worth reducing our nuclear leverage for economic gains that will be ephemeral? Especially when we have gotten used to “maximum pressure” and managed to get around sanctions by increasing its oil imports to China and all manner of goods to our neighbors?

US officials acknowledge privately that the Biden administration has not clamped down on Iranian evasion of US secondary sanctions to the extent it might have. This is partly an acknowledgment that the US blew up the deal, not Iran. Of course, the US could go after Iranian oil exports to China and middlemen in the United Arab Emirates more forcefully if the agreemet dies. But when much of the world is trying to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels, the attraction of sanctions enforcement against Iranian oil is less obvious. That, in turn, gives Iran less incentive to compromise.

US politics is another complication. Polls show that a majority of Americans now support the agreement — unlike in 2015 — but the partisanship around the deal rages unabated. Republicans continue to insist that Iran is bent on getting a bomb, conveniently leaving out that a Republican administration made it easier for Tehran to move in that direction. And some Democrats, especially those who opposed the deal, to begin with, don’t like the optics of removing the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation from the IRGC, even if that will have almost no real-world effects.

The Biden administration has sought some kind of assurance from Iran that it will not target former Trump officials for their role in assassinating Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of the IRGC’s external branch, in 2020. Blinken told the Senate on Apr. 26, “Iran knows what it needs to do” to satisfy US concerns. Iranians have so far refused to provide this, but the Raisi government has sought improved relations with its Arab neighbors, including archrival Saudi Arabia, and has supported a ceasefire in Yemen. Some sort of vanilla statement about a need for the region to resolve its conflicts peacefully might assuage US concerns.


Still, as time goes by without even a meeting — the last sessions in Vienna were in mid-March 2022 — the appetite for compromise seems to be diminishing. There is a sense that, given domestic constraints and the much more compelling crisis in Ukraine, the parties to the Iran deal are willing to live with an extended limbo that requires no gestures on either side that would cause them to lose face.

Of course, inaction is not without risks. As Kelsey Davenport of the Arms Control Association pointed out recently in a Twitter thread, “Limbo is not sustainable — I would flag two risks that are increasing the longer Biden waits: 1) Iran crosses nuclear threshold that poses an intolerable risk to the US & 2) Iran’s research activities significantly reduce the nonproliferation value of the accord.”

There is also the danger of an incident in Iraq or Syria in which an Iran-backed group kills an American, pushing the United States to retaliate. In addition, Israel could resume its covert campaign of cyber and other attacks on Iranian personnel and infrastructure, leading to a dangerous escalation of its long hostilities with Iran.

Momentum is a precious commodity in diplomacy that, once lost, is very hard to recover. Just as the JCPOA, for all its imperfections, was much better than no deal. It’s time for the negotiators to return to the table and reseal the deal.

Barbara Slavin is the Director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council.

Palestinian killed, 12 arrested in raids outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

 IDF troops carrying out an operation in Jenin, April 26, 2022 (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)

Palestinian killed, 12 arrested in raids across the West Bank

IDF demolished the home belonging to Ra’ad Hazem, who shot and killed three people in the Dizengoff shooting on April 7.


Published: APRIL 27, 2022 06:19

Updated: APRIL 27, 2022 20:23

IDF troops carrying out an operation in Jenin, April 26, 2022


A Palestinian man was killed during clashes with soldiers in Jenin and neighboring West Bank villages early Wednesday morning as Israeli security forces carried out arrest raids.

The man was identified as Ahmad Mohammad Massad, 18, from the nearby village of Burkin, the Palestine News Agency, WAFA, reported. Ibn Sina Hospital head Jani Abu Jokha said he had been shot in the head, the report said.

Both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad praised Massad as a martyr who had previously served time for security offenses.

American tourists bring unexploded bomb shell to Israeli airport

“We strengthen the hands of the resistance fighters and the youth who heroically confronted the terrorism of the occupation and its continuous attacks,” Hamas said in a statement. “We call upon the youth throughout the occupied cities and villages to support Jenin and to stand united and continue confronting the occupier until it is defeated.”

Three other Palestinians, a 16-year-old and two 19-year-olds, were wounded and were in moderate and stable condition.

 Israeli soldiers search at the scene of a terror attack on Dizengoff street, central Tel Aviv. 2 people were killed and several more injured in the attack, April 7, 2022.  (credit: NOAM REVKIN FENTON/FLASH90)Israeli soldiers search at the scene of a terror attack on Dizengoff street, central Tel Aviv. 2 people were killed and several more injured in the attack, April 7, 2022. (credit: NOAM REVKIN FENTON/FLASH90)

The clashes between Palestinian gunmen and soldiers from the Duvdevan commando unit broke out after troops entered the Jenin refugee camp.

“During the operation in Jenin, Israel Defense Forces troops acted to quell a violent riot at the scene with dozens of Palestinians who opened fire, burned trash and hurled explosive devices at troops, who responded with gunfire,” the IDF said in a statement. No soldiers were wounded.

During the raids in Jenin, soldiers arrested two men suspected of terrorist activity and also pinned the demolition order to the home of Ra’ad Hazem, who carried out the recent shooting attack at a bar on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, killing three Israeli civilians.

Hazem’s father later responded to the order, telling local Palestinian media: “Every Palestinian youth who raises a banner is called a terrorist. All the youths of Palestine are being targeted. We are not terrorists; we are defending our land and holy site.”

In another video, the former Palestinian Authority security officer is heard saying, “We are ready for you. We will ambush you. Inshallah, we will defeat them soon.”

Israeli security forces have been carrying out widespread arrests across the West Bank following a spate of deadly terrorist attacks in Israeli cities that claimed the lives of 14 people.

“There is not one spot in the West Bank where the IDF doesn’t operate,” Menashe Regional Brigade Deputy Commander Lt.-Col. Alon Hanuni told The Jerusalem Post.

“They influence their future, and they could be in a complicated place in terms of their lifestyle,” he said. “I am talking about the refugee camps. And if the enemy continues with what he is doing, they will suffer a lot more than they are suffering now. And they are not suffering; they are living comfortably.  It’s all in their hands.”

To bring the current wave of violence to an end without further attacks, the IDF, Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Police have been focusing their sights on the northern West Bank, the Palestinian cities of Jenin, Nablus, Hebron and Tulkarm and their surrounding villages.

The IDF has reinforced its presence in the West Bank by 12 battalions for a total of 25 battalions.

The redeployment allows the military to carry out offensive operations in the West Bank and deploy soldiers along the security fence to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel through holes in the fence.

The redeployment to the West Bank will last until the end of the year, Hanuni told the Post.

Khamenei urges Iranians to prepare for the End: Revelation 15


Khamenei urges Iranians to prepare for ‘new world order’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told university students that there is a new multipolar world order emerging. 

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei arrives to cast his ballot in Iran’s parliamentary election on March 14, 2008 in Tehran, Iran. – Majid/Getty Images

Al-Monitor Staff

April 27, 2022

During a speech to Iranian university students Wednesday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke about a number of global developments.

Khamenei said, “Today, the world is on the threshold of a new world order.” He said that the era of a bipolar or mono-polar world is coming to an end and that under this new order, “the US is becoming weaker day by day.”

Khamenei said that the war in Ukraine must be viewed from this perspective, though he didn’t offer details. He did warn that the Islamic Republic of Iran should be prepared for this world order with soft and hard power to guarantee the interests of the country. Khamenei encouraged the university students to play an active role in these endeavors.  

According to Khamenei, many university students in the West, meaning the US and Europe, are opposed to the colonial policies of their countries. He encouraged Iranian university students to develop “healthy relationships” among these anti-imperial activists and “introduce the Islamic Republic” to them. Khamenei did add that Iran should put a stronger focus on neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. 

Khamenei’s view that the US is on the decline, a view he has previously shared, is not good news for the fate of the nuclear talks. Iran and the US are currently at a stalemate over reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which the US exited in 2018. Iran wants the US to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from its list of foreign terrorist organizations. The Biden administration wants non-nuclear promises for making the move, which Iran refuses to do, arguing that all Trump era sanctions must be removed.

Despite the lack of progress on the nuclear negotiations, which would lift sanctions on Iranian oil and banking, Iranian officials have publicly claimed their economy is moving ahead. Ali Salehabadi, the head of Iran’s Central Bank, said today, “In the sale of oil we have reached good numbers and we have collected all of the money from the sale of oil.” He continued, “Therefore, even if there is no JCPOA, securing currency in the country will be done properly and we will not have any problems with the exchange market.”

The Guardian has reported that Iran has not received its money from the UK after the release of dual nationals Nazanin Ratcliff and Anoosheh Ashoori. However, Salehabadi said, “Our requests from the UK have been collected and we have also used that money.” When Iran released the dual nationals, the UK had agreed to release Iran’s blocked money of 400 million pounds. However, the UK had stipulated that Iran only be able to make humanitarian purchases through an intermediary. 

Biden Going to Seoul in May to Discuss the South Korean Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

The Associated Press

Biden Going to SKorea, Japan in May to Discuss China, NKorea | Political News | US News

By ZEKE MILLER, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will travel next month to South Korea and Japan, his first trip to Asia since taking office last year, to consult with allies on growing threats from China and North Korea.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the May 20-24 trip Wednesday. Both allies host significant U.S. military contingents, and the trip comes as North Korea has escalated its nuclear missile testing and China has grown more assertive in the region.

Biden will meet separately with newly elected President Yoon Suk Yeol of the Republic of Korea and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio of Japan, Psaki said.

In Tokyo, Biden will also meet with the so-called “Quad” — which also includes Australia, Japan and India — as they aim to forge stronger partnerships to contain China in the Indo-Pacific.

It will be Biden’s fourth foreign trip as president. He traveled to Poland and Belgium in March following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Indian Point’s Final Days Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earth Matters: Indian Point’s Final Days – Nyack News and Views

by Barbara Puff

Indian Point has been the crown jewel of the nuclear industrialist complex and closing it is a big step to a sustainable energy future. — Susan Shapiro, environmental lawyer.

When scientists began exploring nuclear power in the 1950s, pollsters didn’t ask the public their opinion as support was almost unanimous. By the ’60s, there had been a few protests and opposition increased to 25%. So when Indian Point opened on September 16, 1962, it was greeted with enthusiasm, fanfare, and, in hindsight, naivete.

Within a few years, increased pollution, loss of wildlife, and accidents at the plant elicited concern. In response, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Riverkeeper were formed in 1966. After incidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, public opinion began to turn against the use of nuclear power.

In 1984, her first year as a legislator, Harriet Cornell formed the Citizens Commission to Close Indian Plant. A glance at her press releases over the years shows her convictions regarding closing the plant. In a recent speech she noted: “Were it not for the superhuman efforts of concerned individuals and dedicated scientific and environmental organizations focusing attention on the dangers posed by Indian Point, who knows what might have happened during the last 40+ years.”

Simultaneously Riverkeeper began documenting incidents, including:

1 An antiquated water-cooling system killed over a billion fish and fish larvae annually.

2 Pools holding spent nuclear fuel leaked toxic, radioactive water into the ground, soil, and Hudson River.

3 Recurring emergency shut-downs.

4 27% of the baffle bolts in Unit 2 and 31% in Unit 3, holding the reactor core together, were damaged.

5 The plant was vulnerable to terrorist attack.

6 Evacuation plans were implausible.

7 No solution for spent nuclear fuel, posing the risk of radioactive release and contamination of land.

8 The plant was near two seismic zones, suggesting an earthquake over 6.2 could devastate the area.

9 Asbestos exposure.

These and other issues led the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to rate Indian Point in 2000 as the most trouble-plagued plant in the country. Lamont-Doherty Observatory agreed, calling it the most dangerous plant in the nation.

As individuals realized the seriousness of the situation, urgency for a solution grew and Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition was formed in 2001. Comprised of public interest, health advocates, environmental and citizen groups, their goals were to educate the public, pass legislation, and form a grassroots campaign with hundreds of local, state, and federal officials.

Clearwater also began monitoring the plant around that time. Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director, recalls, “We were concerned when one of the planes that struck the WTC flew over the plant, including several buildings that hold huge fuel pools, filled with spent fuel rods and radioactive waste.” Had anything happened, the nuclear power industry had provided protection for themselves while neglecting surrounding communities. Powerful lobbyists, backed by considerable financing, induced Congress to pass the Price-Anderson Act in 1957. This legislation protected nuclear power plant companies from full liability in the event of an accident, natural disaster or terrorist attack.

With such warnings, it’s hard to believe as late as 2010, The New York Times stated, “No one should be hoping for a too hasty shutdown.” Over time, the cost of litigation by New York State proved more fatal to the continuance of plant operations than protests, though they were a crucial factor and led to initial filings. Attorney General Schneiderman was very active in filing contentions, legal reasons the plant shouldn’t be relicensed, and won several important court cases on high-level radioactive storage.

In 2016, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied Entergy a discharge permit for hot water into the Hudson River, part of their once-through cooling system. This permit was necessary for continued operation of the plant and a requirement for relicensing. The New York State Department of State, Bureau of Coastal Management, denied Entergy a water quality certificate the same year, which it also needed to relicense. After more than four decades of danger to the environment and residents, Governor Cuomo announced in January 2017 the plant would finally be closing. Unit 2 would cease production on April 30, 2020 and Unit 3 would end productivity on April 30, 2021.

Later that year, in March 2017, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board allowed Entergy to renew the plant’s licenses until 2021, dismissing final points of contention between the company, New York State, and Riverkeeper. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino attempted to sue the state and reopen the plant in April 2017 but failed.

Ellen Jaffee, NYS Assemblywoman, stated, “After 46 years of operation, I am glad to finally see the closure of Indian Point. Since joining the Assembly, I have long fought for its closure. I would not have been able to pursue these efforts if not for the environmental advocates, like the Riverkeeper, who fought long and hard beside myself to close the plant. The plant’s closure must be conducted in a safe manner, where all radioactive materials will be properly disposed of, without inflicting further harm on our environment. The closure of Indian Point shows that we can reduce our impact on the environment.”

Harriet Cornell said, “We have waited years for this to happen and frankly, it can’t happen soon enough. The facts have long shown there is no future for this dangerous plant.”

“The closure of Indian Point marks the shutdown of dirty polluting energy,” noted Susan Shapiro.

Holtec, the company chosen to oversee decommissioning of the plant, has a horrific track record. New York State Attorney General Tish James released a statement in January expressing multiple grave concerns about them. According to Riverkeeper, they have a scandalous corporate past, little experience in decommissioning, dubious skills in spent fuel management, workplace safety infractions, and health violations. Another fear is the cost will exceed a decommissioning fund set aside by Entergy, Holtec will declare bankruptcy, and the public will absorb the difference.

“Entergy made huge profits from Indian Point,” said Manna Jo Greene. “They’ve hired Holtec, a company with a poor record of decommissioning, to complete the work. Entergy plans to declare bankruptcy, thereby having taxpayers foot the bill. We are not out of danger. It is a different danger.”

Richard Webster, Legal Program Director at Riverkeeper, adds, “Decommissioning must be done promptly, safely and reliably. Selling to Holtec is the worst possible option, because it has a dubious history of bribes, lies, and risk taking, very limited experience in decommissioning, is proposing to raid the decommissioning fund for its own benefit, and is proposing leaving contaminated groundwater to run into the Hudson River.”

State Senator David Carlucci warned, “The NRC Inspector General Report shows there is much to be done by the NRC to gain the confidence of myself and the public, as the commission is charged with overseeing the decommissioning of Indian Point and ensuring the health and safety of Hudson Valley Communities. We demand answers from NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki. The Chairman needs to come to the Hudson Valley immediately and outline the steps being taken to address our safety and explain how the commission will properly inspect and guard the pipeline near Indian Point moving forward.”

One of the gravest dangers in decommissioning is the storage of spent fuel rods. A fuel rod is a long, zirconium tube containing pellets of uranium, a fissionable material which provides fuel for nuclear reactors. Fuel rods are assembled into bundles called fuel assemblies, which are loaded individually into a reactor core. Fuel rods last about six years. When they’re spent and removed they are placed in wet storage, or pools of water, which is circulated to reduce temperature and provide shielding from radiation. They remain in these pools for 10 years, as they are too hot to be placed in dry storage, or canisters. Even in dry storage, though, they remain extremely radioactive, with high levels of plutonium, which is toxic, and continue to generate heat for decades and remain radioactive for 10,000 years.

“Elected officials and government groups became involved once they understood the fatal environmental dangers nuclear energy creates for millenium,” said Susan Shapiro. “It is the only energy that produces waste so dangerous that governments must own and dispose of it.”

Robert Kennedy, Jr., of Waterkeeper, explained “If those spent fuel rods caught on fire, if the water dropped, the zirconium coatings of the spent fuel rods would combust. You would release 37 times the amount of radiation that was released at Chernobyl. Around Chernobyl there are 100 miles that are permanently uninhabitable. I would include the workplaces, homes of 20 million Americans, including the Financial District. There’s no evacuation plan. And it’s sitting on two of the biggest earthquake faults in the northeast.”

On April 24, 2020, Beyond Indian Point Campaign was launched to advocate for a safe transition during decommissioning. Sponsored by AGREE, Frack Action, Riverkeeper, NIRS and Food and Water Watch, they’re demanding Cuomo hire another company, opposing a license transfer before the State Public Service Commission and NRC and pushing state legislation to establish a board to supervise the decommissioning fund. When decommissioning is finished Beyond Indian Point hopes to further assist the community in the transition to renewable energy. These include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydrothermal power. Sign an online petition on their website to support their work, future generations and earth at, Facebook, or Twitter.

“Bravo to everyone involved in making this historic day come to pass,” said Susan Shapiro.

Raised in the Midwest, Barbara Puff is a writer who lives in Nyack, NY.

Fire in Baghdad, smoke in Anbar: new pressure to isolate the Antichrist

An Iraqi demonstrator at an anti-governmen protests in Baghdad on November 4, 2019. Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Fire in Baghdad, smoke in Anbar: new pressure to isolate Sadr

The political deadlock in Iraq continues after the third failed attempt to elect a president of the country on March 26, and after top Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gave his rivals a 40-day window to form a government without him from April 1. No major political progress has been made, but in the province of Anbar – the current capital of Sunni decision-making – attempts to separate the tripartite alliance have heated, involving both the power of the gun and the judiciary. 

Anbar is the hometown of a number of current Sunni political players, including Speaker of Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi, and the head of the largest Sunni alliance, the Sovereignty Alliance, Khamis al-Khanjar. Anbar is also the pathway between Iran and the Shiites to Syria, and from there to Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the basin of the Mediterranean Sea. Due to the fact that it was one of the provinces that fell to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS), when the city was re-controlled in December 2015, several strategic areas fell in the hands of the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF, or Hashd al-Shaabi), similar to the later stages of what occurred in Nineveh and Salahaddin.

As a result, the large area of land in Anbar that became a brief asylum for Saddam Hussein and his family after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, is now one of the enclosures of Hashd al-Walayi (a hardliner faction of Hashd al-Shaabi). As it neighbors Karbala, and because there are a number of disputed areas between the two provinces – Nikheb and Rahaliya – there are more eyes on it.

The situation with ISIS has paved the way for PMF hegemony in western Iraq, which is now one of the cards being used by the Shiite Coordination Framework to strike Halbousi and force the Sunni Sovereignty Alliance to withdraw from the tripartite alliance. According to the fact that after Baghdad and Mosul, Anbar is now the center of Sunni decision-making, the Shiites have made attempts for it on numerous fronts, including freeing Rafi al-Issawi, the former minister of finance, from prison, as well as supporting Abu Risha: the first of whom is a key Anbar figure with greater popularity and experience than Halbousi and Khanjar, and the second of whom is a sort of opponent to the Speaker. When military forces went to arrest him, following his harsh March 31 tweets, his guest house was covered by Hummers and soldiers of Hezbollah units.

The pressures on Halbousi include directing the PMF towards Anbar and the western side of Iraq, followed by threats from tribes for opposing them, and also the return of another Halbousi rival, Sheikh Ali al-Hatami, the head of the Dulaimi tribe.

Hatami, who has a high social stature in Anbar, headed a number of Anbar tribal armed groups eight years ago, and saw his relationship with then-PM Nouri al-Maliki crack. As a reaction, he began to praise ISIS, telling Reuters in a 2014 interview that he was ready to collaborate with ISIS, raising the slogan of “We’re coming for Baghdad” as a threat. Because of his actions, a warrant was issued for his arrest. Now, he returns to Baghdad, accompanied by a number of guards from armed units that are allegedly affiliated with Hezbollah. This jeopardizes the leadership of Halbousi and Khanjar in the Sunni public bases, especially in Anbar. After arriving in Baghdad, Hatami hit out at Halbousi and Sadr, and his support for the Coordination Framework’s project for adaptation was clear from his tweets and public appearances.

Using the judicial system and the court to break political rivals is an old and well-known Maliki tactic. During his reign as PM from 2005 to 2014, Article 4 of terrorism was specific for rivals and opposition of Sunnis, and now, with the pardoning of two wanted individuals, and rumors circulating around more to come, the magician is about to fall under his own spell. Maliki and Hadi al-Amiri and many of the PMF groups were forced to indirectly condemn the pardoning of the wanted Sunnis, and exonerate themselves from being aware or having made arrangements for the return of Hatami.

The intensification of the Coordination Framework’s efforts in Anbar follows the fear of direct confrontation with Sadr and his partners, and after a sense of growing hopelessness around Masoud Barzani’s stance in the tripartite alliance. This province, which does not have powerful strategic depths, is expected to fall under more pressure and disharmony, in order to take down one of the main components of the Save the Homeland Alliance. Halbousi and Khanjar have shown no obvious signs of retracting from the alliance.

A theory circulating around is that this the second stage of March’s Erbil missile attack and later burning of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s (KDP) office in Baghdad, especially since the Iranians canceled a scheduled visit from Halbousi on March 26, so that he appears a rejected character in Tehran.

There are also a lot of rumors that Iran and the United Arab Emirates have entered the conversation to discuss attempts made by Shiite groups to remove Halbousi and Khanjar from the tripartite alliance. The Shiite camp remains attached to Sadr, because any government and alliance formed with Sadr and his bloc will lead to violent confrontations, protests, and chaos, similar to the time they stormed the parliament and government, and he himself took his tent to the Green Zone in 2014.

Yaseen Taha is an expert on Iraqi affairs, and has written this article specifically for Rudaw Research Center.