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 BeyondIndianPoint.com, 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.

This is Obama’s last chance to stop Iran from getting the bomb’ : Daniel 8

 MK Yuval Steinitz speaks with then VP  Joe Biden, October 24, 2013. (photo credit: SHMULIK ALMANI)

“All the talk of bringing Israel and Saudi Arabia closer is very nice, but the Iran nuclear threat is the only real game in town now,” former minister Yuval Steinitz argued.

US President Joe Biden should use his visit to the region this week to ensure that Iran knows there is a credible US military threat if it continues advancing its nuclear program, Likud MK Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday.

Steinitz, who as strategic affairs and intelligence minister coordinated Israel’s talks with the P5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members: China, France, Russia, the UK and the US, plus Germany) as they engaged in nuclear negotiations with Iran in 2013-2015, expressed concerns that Tehran advanced its nuclear program significantly farther than ever before in the past year because it no longer felt threatened by the US, and that Washington-backed air defense coordination between Israel and Gulf States is no replacement.

“The whole visit is only worthwhile if it gets one result: A US military threat to Iran,” Steinitz said. “That is what we have been missing in the past year, which allowed Iran, for the first time, to race to the bomb.”

Steinitz expressed concern about Biden’s opinion article in Saturday’s Washington Post, in which the president wrote: “My administration will continue to increase diplomatic and economic pressure until Iran is ready to return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, as I remain prepared to do.” It mentions “diplomatic and economic pressure,” but not a military one, he pointed out.

Before Iran entered negotiations with world powers in 2013, it enriched uranium to 20% purity; while the agreement was in place in 2015-2018, it did not pass the 3.5% enrichment limit stipulated by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

After the US under former president Donald Trump left the deal, in 2018, Tehran violated the JCPOA, returning to 20% enrichment. Last year, it announced that it would enrich uranium to 60%, thought to be the closest any state without nuclear weapons has gotten to a bomb, which requires enrichment to 90% purity.

Iran has also increased the number of advanced centrifuges in use and, last month, disabled International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring cameras at nuclear sites.

“You need the US military threat in order to keep the Iranians at bay”

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Yuval Steinitz

“The only new factor here is that for the first time in the last two and a half decades, they believe that the US military threat doesn’t exist anymore,” Steinitz argued, saying that the credibility of such a threat is an even more important factor than whether or not there is a nuclear agreement. “You need the US military threat in order to keep the Iranians at bay.”

Iran could get a nuclear bomb in as little as six months, he said, warning that “this is the last call for President Biden.”

The American-backed Middle East Air Defense alliance discussions involving Israel and Gulf States will be meaningless if Iran is allowed to get a nuclear weapon, Steinitz said.

All the talk of bringing Israel and Saudi Arabia closer and that maybe our planes will be able to fly over their airspace on the way to India – that’s all very nice, but if Iran gets a nuclear weapon, it will overshadow all the steps of bringing countries closer together. This is the only real game in town now,” he stated.

What happens if Iran goes nuclear?

“If Iran gets the bomb, many will break up the alliance and align themselves with Iran,” he predicted. “Israel will be under an existential threat… Iran already has missiles that can deliver nuclear warheads to Europe… If Iran goes nuclear, other countries in the vicinity will follow immediately, like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. It will be the end of the nonproliferation regime.”

The former strategic affairs and intelligence minister clarified that he is not questioning whether Biden supports Israel and its right to defend itself. He recounted meeting the president in the Senate in the early aughts, when he was Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense chairman and the now-president was chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Biden greeting Steinitz by saying: “First thing I want to tell you is that I define myself as a devoted Zionist.”

He also said that this is not a partisan argument that only Republicans can keep Iran from getting the bomb. Steinitz argued that during the tenure of former US President Barack Obama – a democrat – Iran felt deterred enough to not pass 20% enrichment, pointing to American aircraft carriers in the Gulf and the surge in Afghanistan as possible reasons for that.

Even if Iran returns to the JCPOA, the US has to have a “big enough stick” for the Islamic Republic to comply with it, Steinitz said. “That was true under [former presidents] Bush, Obama and Trump, and it is true and crucial now.”

“This is the responsibility of the US and Biden,” Steinitz said. “Iran is on the 40th kilometer of the marathon; there are only 2 kilometers left. The only way to stop them now is to revive the Obama-Biden-era credible military threat.”

Steinitz announced last week that after 23 years in the Knesset, he would not be running in the election in November.

In addition to strategic affairs minister and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense chairman, Steinitz has been Israel’s finance minister – instituting the two-year budget and bringing Israel into the OECD – and energy minister, formulating the framework for gas exploration, taxation and exportation of natural gas in Israel’s economic waters.

Steinitz has a PhD in philosophy, and was a professor at the University of Haifa before entering politics; once a Peace Now activist, he became disillusioned by the terrorism that followed the Oslo Accords and joined the Likud.

More Iranian Nuclear Lies:Daniel 8

Behruz Kamalvandi, spokesman of Iran's atomic energy agency. FILE PHOTO

Iran Spokesman Downplays Expansion Of Uranium Enrichment

Iran has downplayed the activation of more powerful uranium enriching machines, reported on July 9, saying this was the last step in a “technical” operation.

The United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency shared its new report with news agencies on Saturday indicating that Iran escalated its enrichment operations by deploying more advanced IR-6 centrifuges that can quickly switch between different levels of uranium purification.

Behruz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for Iran’s atomic organization told local media on Sunday that his agency had informed the IAEA “At least two weeks earlier,” about the operation, and “the international media was exaggerating” the development “with particular intentions”.

He added that the IR-6 centrifuges would produce 20-percent enriched uranium.

Kamalvandi went on to say that his agency is simply carrying out its mandate according to Iran’s legislation. He was referring to a law adopted by the parliament in 2020 mandating higher degree of enrichment until the United States lifts economic sanctions.

Nuclear talks between Iran and world powers since April 2021 to restore the 2015 nuclear deal known as the JCPOA have not succeeded. Iran has been expanding its nuclear program since 2019 as US sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump remain in effect.

The US and its European allies have repeatedly warned that the expansion of Iran’s nuclear program, talks to restore the JCPOA might become meaningless.

What would happen to us at the first nuclear war? Study responds Revelation 8

What would happen to us if a nuclear war breaks out? Study responds – Science – Life

Zach1 day ago

Even though the world has been ravaged by two world wars, a cold war and a hundred-year war, Nuclear weapons have not been fired at civilians since 1945.

Ever since the United States was globally condemned for the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world has remained relatively peaceful regarding nuclear wars, despite major threats between the Western and Eastern blocs. 

It doesn’t matter who bombs who. It can be India and Pakistan or NATO and Russia.

But, What would happen if one of these days one breaks out? The study ‘A new oceanic state after nuclear war’, made by Louisiana State University (LSU, for its acronym in English), wanted to answer the question once and for all. We tell you what they discovered.

(Also read: This is the extinct sea monster recently discovered in Villa de Leyva).

How was the study carried out?

To perform the analysis, LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Assistant Professor Cheryl Harrison and co-authorsconducted multiple computer simulations to study the impacts of nuclear war in different regions. 

It should be noted that, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, nine nations currently control more than 13,000 nuclear weapons in the world, a very high number compared to the two countries that stood out in the Cold War. 

Cold War

In the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union faced each other for several decades with the threat of using nuclear weapons.

This research was carried out simulating a hypothetical war between the United States and Russia, in which these powers used 4,400 100-kiloton nuclear weapons, and a conflict between India and Pakistan in which 500 100-kiloton weapons were used.

(Read also: Surprising: scientists achieve that an animal can live without breathing).

movie storms

In all simulated cases multiple nuclear firestorms expected to release soot and smoke, substances that would block sunlight and cause the imminent loss of all crops in the world. As if this were not enough, temperatures would drop to minus 10 degrees Celsius. 

Nuclear war

The researchers simulated how destroyed the world would be if two powers clashed. 

It doesn’t matter who bombs who. It can be India and Pakistan or NATO and Russia. Once the smoke is released into the upper atmosphere, it spreads globally and affects everyone,” said Cheryl Harrison at the Nuclear Threats Initiative Conference, where the study results were presented.

(Also read: Vulture Bees: a study found that this species eats meat). 

Goodbye to the sea as we know it

nuclear sea

Seaweed is the main sustenance of many fish.

The temperature of the oceans would also drop drastically. would generate an increase in sea ice that would block seaports and the navigation of ships with supplies to other areas of the world. 

“But we can still fish and feed ourselves this way”, some would say, however, this would not be the case either. Without sunlight and with increasing ice, seaweed would die, which would be the beginning of a famine in the species that live in the ocean. No more in the first month there would be no harvests, fishing or sunlight.

(Also read: They find an ancient cemetery from the time of Alexander the Great in Turkey).

“The current war in Ukraine with Russia, and how it has affected gasoline prices, really shows us how fragile our global economy and supply chains are in the face of what may appear to be regional conflicts and disturbances”, stated the author of the study. 

A call to conscience 

In all scenarios in which there is a nuclear war, the effects caused would last for decades and some could even remain on Earth for hundreds of years due to the “long time scales” of recovery in the depths of bodies of water. 

The researchers did this study to invite the leaders of the countries and the citizens of the world to do everything possible to avoid a nuclear war, since the results would be “globally catastrophic”. 

Volcano

Volcanoes are inevitable, which is why scientists warn that smarter cities must be made.

(Also read: The rare vampire cemetery where innocents were buried with stakes).

In addition, during the conference they emphasized design cities that are fit to deal with climate impacts that are unavoidablesuch as tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, since the latter produce clouds of particles in the upper atmosphere

The Iranian Horn escalates uranium enrichment at Fordo: Daniel 8

Iran escalates uranium enrichment at Fordo, IAEA warns

Iran escalates uranium enrichment at Fordo, IAEA warns

Move breaches 2015 deal as talks to revive it are stalled. West is worried about a fast switch in enrichment level as attempts to revive the nuclear deal again falter.

Iran has escalated its uranium enrichment further with the use of advanced machines at its underground Fordo plant in a setup that can more easily change between enrichment levels, the U.N. atomic watchdog said in a report on Saturday seen by Reuters.

Western diplomats have long expressed concern about the devices this cascade, or cluster, of centrifuges is equipped with.

The use of these so-called modified sub-headers means Iran could switch more quickly and easily to enriching to higher purity levels.

While Iran is required to inform the International Atomic Energy Agency about such a switch, if it chose not to, it might escape detection for some time as there is currently a lag between Iran’s enrichment and IAEA inspectors’ verification of what is produced.

“On 7 July 2022, Iran informed the Agency that, on the same day, it had begun feeding the aforementioned cascade with UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235,” the confidential report to IAEA member states said.

UF6 refers to uranium hexafluoride gas that is fed into centrifuges to be enriched. read more

In a report on June 20 also seen by Reuters, the IAEA said that months after Iran informed it of its intention to use the cascade, Iran had begun feeding UF6 into it for passivation, a process that comes before enrichment.

The IAEA verified on July 6 that passivation had ended, Saturday’s report said.

“On 9 July 2022, the Agency verified that Nope Iran had begun feeding UF6 enriched up to 5% U-235 into the cascade of 166 IR-6 centrifuges with modified sub-headers for the declared purpose of producing UF6 enriched up to 20% U-235,” it said.

Iran is already enriching to up to 60% elsewhere, well above the up to 20% it produced before its 2015 deal with major powers that capped its enrichment level at 3.67% but still below the roughly 90% of weapons grade.

The move is the latest step of many to breach and move well beyond the restrictions which the 2015 deal imposed on Iran’s nuclear activities. It comes as talks to revive that deal are at an impasse and Western powers have warned time is running out to reach an agreement.

The United States pulled out of the deal in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump, re-imposing sanctions against Tehran that the deal had lifted.

A year later, Iran began retaliating by breaching the deal’s restrictions.

Antichrist: Iraq has become a prisoner of corruption, dependency and foreign interference

Sayyed Al-Sadr: Iraq has become a prisoner of corruption, dependency and foreign interference

INA – BAGHDAD

Leader of the Sadrist movement Sayyed Muqtada al-Sadr confirmed on Saturday, that Iraq has become a prisoner of corruption, dependency and foreign interference.

Sayyed Al-Sadr said in a tweet, which was followed by the Iraqi News Agency – INA, that “on Eid al-Adha, Iraq became a prisoner of corruption, dependency and foreign interference.”

“I ask God to bless Iraq and the Iraqis with reform, the strength of the homeland, and steadfastness on the truth, so that Iraq and its people will be happy under the banner of religion, belief and homeland, united, free, independent and high among the nations,” he included.

Russian Missiles Threaten the EU Nuclear Horns: Daniel 7

Russian Missiles Threaten the EU: Does Europe Need Its Own Nuclear Deterrent?

Keith Wise   July 10, 2022

European countries such as Germany rely on the United States to deter Russia from a nuclear attack. The US president heads NATO’s nuclear arsenal. Should Berlin accept Paris’s offer to build its own nuclear defense shield in the EU?

The municipality of Büchel is nestled between the tree-crowned Eiffel Mountains and the picturesque landscape of the Moselle Valley. However, the village is not necessarily known as a holiday home. Bechel is the only NATO storage facility in Germany. No one likes to imagine what has to happen before they get hitched. But US President Joe Biden tackled that question perfectly during his 2020 election campaign.

Within NATO, the United States plays a nuclear defense role for countries such as Germany that do not have nuclear weapons of their own. The decision of when to detonate a nuclear weapon from Büchel rests in the hands of the current US President. Germany only has the right of veto here. If he is elected, he wants to change NATO’s strategy, Biden said at the time: the United States will face a nuclear counterattack only in the event of a nuclear attack on its allies, but, as previously guaranteed, an attack with conventional weapons after an escalation. 

Biden did not implement the idea until after his election. With Russian President Vladimir Putin openly threatening nuclear strikes at the start of the Ukraine war, Biden and his Western partners must continue to show their strength with a possible deterrence scenario. But Biden’s pre-election announcement highlights how much European nations must rely on the United States to effectively deter Russia from deploying nuclear weapons.

Merz sees nuclear power as “life insurance.”

The dependence on the Pentagon is causing concern in Germany, especially for the CDU, which aims to be re-elected in two years as Donald Trump’s declared NATO opponent. Thorsten Frei, executive director of the union branch in the Bundestag, requested one at the end of May Guest post FAZ requires Europe to be ready to “think the unthinkable”. It “must answer the question of how, if necessary, it can assert itself without a major ally in the West”. Frei sees the only way to get there in the “Europeanization of French nuclear power.”

Eckhard Lübkemeier was the German ambassador to Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. He is now researching EU crises for the Science and Politics Foundation.

(Photo: Eckhard Lübkemeier/ Foundation for Science and Politics)

CDU leader Friedrich Merz has also opined that a European “nuclear capability is our life insurance”. The two Union politicians are referring to an offer that Emmanuel Macron made to other EU members several years ago: for states to hold a strategic dialogue on the role of France’s nuclear deterrent for common security. The French president reiterated his offer in early 2022, before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began. But the government’s response is still pending. 

Eckhard Lübkemeier, who examines the crises in the EU for the Foundation for Science and Politics, calls for Berlin to finally negotiate with Paris. Europeans can count themselves lucky to benefit from America’s security guarantees, he tells ntv.de. However, they should not forget that this is a deterrence not rooted in the EU itself.

The President of the United States must first protect his own country

“A central question in nuclear deterrence that does not help the defense of nuclear weapon possessors is: How credible is the promise of security to one’s own allies and to a potential adversary, namely, the nuclear weapon possessors. To be deterred?” , Lübkemeier emphasizes. After all, you have to put yourself in the shoes of the President of the United States. His first task is to protect his own people against a nuclear threat should the previously unimaginable happen. “This leads to the question of whether, in extreme cases, Americans are really willing to risk their own existence to protect Europeans.”

Lübkemeier worked in the European Department of the Federal Chancellery before becoming German Ambassador to Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. For his doctorate, shortly before the end of the Cold War, he dealt with the dilemmas of the so-called extended deterrence of the US promise of nuclear security to Germany and other NATO allies. “Unfortunately, many of the questions I dealt with at the time are now coming back,” he says. In a study published in 2020, Lübkemeier explains the complications of this extended inhibition

Not only since the election of Trump, but the US has been demanding more security independence from the Europeans. Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, their foreign policy focus has gradually shifted from European security to their own defense against China, a leading player on the world stage. US presidents have come under pressure from internal political forces, Lübkemeier says: “In the future, it will be very difficult to convey to the Americans that rich Europe cannot ensure its own security.” For this reason, the United States has been encouraging its allies to give NATO two percent of their total land production.

The Kremlin invested a lot of money in modern nuclear weapons

“The times when we could rely on others are long gone,” said then-Chancellor Angela Merkel in May 2017. “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands.” If he takes this sentence seriously, Lübkemeier says, he inevitably comes to the conclusion that the EU must develop its own defense policy. Ultimately, a state’s political sovereignty is also based on its ability to defend itself.

By deploying its weapons, the Kremlin directly threatens European territory. “Missiles stationed in Kaliningrad, Russia, can reach Berlin with nuclear warheads,” Lupkemeier said. Fears are already high among Germans that the war in Ukraine could spill over into Europe SurveyEvents held by Forsa Opinion Research Institute at the end of June this year. Accordingly, more than half of the population fears that the conflict will lead to World War III. 

According to NATO, Russia has invested a lot of money in recent decades to expand its nuclear arsenal, while NATO began to modernize a few years ago. The Kremlin is focusing on the development of new types of rocket systems, He says Jessica Cox, Director of Nuclear Policy at NATO. Russian hypersonic missiles are particularly dangerous because they “fly at very high speeds, relatively low altitudes and can maneuver during flight”. These qualities make it almost impossible to defend against them. So Cox demands that NATO absolutely “review its own capabilities in light of new Russian systems.” In their view, such developments demonstrate that nuclear deterrence is of existential importance to NATO partners, although the security alliance is committed to promoting nuclear disarmament worldwide.

Security requires European integration

NATO has kept the number of nuclear weapons in Europe secret. However, experts believe there are 100 nuclear bombs, of which about 20 are stored at Büchel. Other warships are based at Klein-Brogel in Belgium, Aviano and Gedi in Italy, Volkel in the Netherlands and Incirlik in Turkey. However, NATO’s nuclear weapons deployed in Europe represent only a small fraction of the total arsenal of nuclear powers. to do Declarations According to the Association of American Scientists (FAS), Russia has nearly 6,000 nuclear weapons, the United States has more than 5,400, Great Britain 225 and France 290.

Lübkemeier believes that France can make a credible promise of nuclear security to Europe. But only if the EU is to develop into a political union with its own security wing, Germany and France in particular need to take care. Not as an alternative to NATO, but within the framework of NATO, it rests on a European and American pillar. After Brexit, the United Kingdom will also remain a member of NATO. 

In the end, full European sovereignty is only possible if Europe can defend itself like the United States. However, European defense can only be seen as the culmination of a long-term process in which EU countries continue to grow together. In transitioning to a European defense union backed by France’s nuclear arsenal, the US or its European allies must be careful not to perceive this as alienating Washington. Otherwise, America’s security pledge will crumble before a European transition. Berlin and Paris should ensure that other EU members are involved at an early stage. “A closer integration of states in the EU is the only way to a European defense union with France as the nuclear backbone,” says Lübkemeier.

The same applies to the security principle of economic cooperation: the EU must remain united to avoid being crushed between great powers such as China and the United States. Many of Trump’s statements during his tenure must be painfully remembered by Europeans. He described the EU as an “enemy” of the US and NATO as “obsolete”. The fact that nuclear weapons could be withdrawn from Büchel after Trump’s re-election seems even more threatening today after the Russian attack on Ukraine than it was five years ago.

Keith Wise

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