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.

Protests sweep Iran on anniversary of violent crackdown

 Billboard featuring Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei torched in southern Iran, November 14, 2022 (photo credit: 1500tasvir)

‘Bloody November’: Protests sweep Iran on anniversary of violent crackdown

Security forces fired bullets and tear gas at protesters across Iran amid large-scale protests and strikes.


Published: NOVEMBER 15, 2022 20:26

Billboard featuring Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei torched in southern Iran, November 14, 2022

(photo credit: 1500tasvir)

Large-scale demonstrations and labor strikes swept Iran on Tuesday as Iranians marked the anniversary of the 2019 “Bloody November” protests, when government forces killed as many as 1,500 protesters.

In November 2019, protests broke out after the Iranian government implemented a price hike on fuel prices. The Iranian government carried out a brutal crackdown on the protests, with the wave of demonstrations later called “Bloody November.”

Protests were reported in Tehran, Shiraz, Marvdasht, Bukan, Tabriz, Izeh, Saqqez and Kermanshah, amid dozens of other towns and cities. Businesses and workers across the country also went on strike and protested in markets.

Iron workers in Tehran and Isfahan joined the strike on Tuesday, with video showing them gathering and chanting anti-government slogans.

Protesters chanted anti-government slogans while marching and dancing in the streets, including “Death to the dictator,” “Basij, eat s&%$” and “Freedom, freedom, freedom,” among others. across Iran, November 15, 2022 (Credit: 1500tasvir)

Iranian security forces attack protesters across country

Video from Shiraz showed security forces attacking cars and smashing windows. Footage from Mehrshahr showed security forces in civilian clothing preparing drones on a rooftop near protesters.

Footage from the metro in Tehran showed a large crowd of protesters chanting “Death to the dictator.” Videos from later in the evening showed protesters running in a metro station as shots were fired by security forces.

Palestinian kills 3 Israelis outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

This is a locator map of Israel and the Palestinian Territories. (AP Photo)
This is a locator map of Israel and the Palestinian Territories. (AP Photo)The Associated Press

Palestinian kills 3 Israelis, wounds 3 in West Bank stabbing

Officials say a Palestinian killed three Israelis and wounded three others in a settlement in the occupied West Bank before he was shot and killed by Israeli security personnel

ByILAN BEN ZION Associated Press

November 15, 2022, 1:18 PM

JERUSALEM — A knife-wielding Palestinian killed two Israelis in a stabbing Tuesday at a settlement in the occupied West Bank, then stole a car as he tried to flee the scene and crashed it on a nearby highway, killing a third Israeli, officials said.

The attack at the settlement of Ariel also left three Israelis wounded. The Palestinian was shot and killed by an Israeli soldier as he tried to run away from the crash scene.

The Zaka paramedic service said the three wounded were being treated in hospital and that they were in serious condition.

It was the latest assault in a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence this year that has seen Palestinian attackers target Israeli civilians and near nightly Israeli arrest raids that have fueled unrest in the occupied territory.

The Israeli military said the Palestinian first stabbed several Israelis at the entrance to the settlement’s industrial zone, then proceeded to a nearby gas station and stabbed more people there. The army said the man then stole a car and intentionally crashed it into another vehicle before fleeing the scene on foot.

Troops were searching the area for additional suspects, the military said. Israeli media identified the three victims as 59-year-old Mordechai Ashkenazi, 50-year-old Tamir Avichay and 36-year-old Michael Ladigin.

Amateur video aired on Israeli television appeared to show the suspected attacker running down a highway and collapsing to the ground after he was shot. The Palestinian Health Ministry later confirmed that Mohammad Souf, 18, from the nearby village of Hares was the slain attacker.

The assailant’s uncle, Marwan Souf, told the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, that Israeli security forces raided the family house in Hares and interrogated 15 of his relatives. He also said forces took measurements of the home in preparation for demolition. The Israeli military did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Israeli army spokesman Ran Kochav told Kan Radio that Souf held a permit to work in the settlement. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Gaza’s rulers, the militant Hamas group, hailed it as “heroic.”

Hundreds of Hamas supporters staged a rally in the blockaded Gaza Strip on Tuesday in celebration of the attack. They chanted slogans oraising Souf and held posters with his photo. In several spots across the blockaded Gaza Strip, Palestinians passed out sweets when they heard the news.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid sent condolences to the families of those killed in the attack and said Israel was “fighting terror nonstop and full force.”

“Our security forces are working around the clock to protect Israeli citizens and harm terror infrastructure everywhere, all the time,” he said.

The United States, European Union and United Nations envoys all sharply condemned the attack. “This senseless violence needs to stop!” U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides wrote on Twitter.

This year’s surge in Israeli-Palestinian violence in the West Bank and east Jerusalem has killed at least 25 people on the Israeli side and more than 130 Palestinians, making 2022 the deadliest since 2006.

Israel says its almost nightly arrest raids in the West Bank — which began after Palestinian attacks killed 19 Israelis last spring — are needed to dismantle militant networks at a time when Palestinian security forces are unable or unwilling to do so.

Hamas hails ‘heroic’ Ariel terror attack outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Hamas hails ‘heroic’ Ariel terror attack, urges Palestinians to ‘follow path’ of perpetrator

By JACK MUKAND15 November 2022, 9:53 pm   

Muhammed Souf (via Twitter)

The Hamas terror group hails today’s terror attack in the Ariel settlement in which three Israelis were killed.

The group calls the attack “a heroic operation” and “a natural response to the escalating crimes of the occupation against the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque and its shedding of our people’s blood.”

The Hamas statement also encourages Palestinian youth to “follow in the path” of Ariel attacker Muhammed Souf “by killing multitudes among the enemy.”

Hamas also called for “innovativeness in finding means to target the soldiers of the occupation and its settlers throughout the homeland.”

An unverified poster bearing the logo of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, featuring a picture of the Ariel “martyr’ Muhammed Souf, was also being shared on social media.

How unsafe is the Pakistani nuclear arsenal? Revelation 8

How safe are Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal?

ANI | 26 Oct 2022, 07:30 PM IST

Pakistan’s nuclear use policy is unlike its nuclear armed neighbours India and China. Pakistan has not committed to a “No-First Use” policy. India and China have both made unambiguous pledges of never being the first country to resort to using Nuclear weapons. Pakistan on the other hand is one of the few nations in the world who have even publicly stated that they would use any weapon in their arsenal to repulse any attack on them. This asymmetric nuclear posture by Pakistan is meant to keep the World anxious about Pakistan’s intensions and with destabilising forces swelling in its country…the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal remains a global fear. (ANI)

The China Horn Shows Off Its Version Of The “Mother Of All Bombs”

Two thermobaric bombs being launched from the ground.
Smaller, but incredibly brutal, thermobaric weapons. Image credit: Dianov Boris/

China Shows Off Its Version Of The “Mother Of All Bombs”

The effect that weapons like these have on humans is absolutely devastating.


Senior Staff Writer

Nov 15, 2022 10:27 AM

In a video published on the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) account on Chinese social media website Weibo, a closer image of the bomb could be seen, which was then screengrabbed and shared to non-Chinese media.

Little is known about the bomb, though there is speculation that the weapon is thermobaric and similar to the US’s own mother of all bombs, or Russia’s father of all bombs, The Drive reports. 

China had previously shown off the weapon via the state-affiliated site Global Times. In the promotional video, a H-6K bomber drops the weapon in a test, releasing a substantial explosion.

“The massive blast can easily and completely wipe out fortified ground targets such as reinforced buildings, bastions and defense shelters,” Wei Dongxu, a military analyst told the state-affiliated news site. They added that military observers noted “the weapon will also spread fear among enemies if a weapon of this caliber is deployed”.

The weapon, claimed to be smaller than the similar US model, is thought to be thermobaric in nature. Thermobaric weapons, or vacuum bombs, create explosions more powerful and devastating than conventional weapons of the same size, by exploding a vapor in the blast zone.

“Thennobaric munitions work by initially dispersing an aerosol cloud of gas, liquid or finely powdered explosive,” a piece in the Journal of Military Veterans’ Health (JMVH) explains. “This cloud flows around objects and into cavities and structures. lt may penetrate small openings, such as openings  in buildings, bunkers and engine bays of armoured vehicles, before being ignited.”

“The result is a plasma cloud that reaches temperatures of between  2,500-3,000°C [4,500-5,000°F].”

This cloud burns more slowly than conventional weapons, adding to the destructive power. 

“The injuries are more severe in confined spaces as the blast wave reflects back and forth, submitting the target to multiple insults,” the JMVH explains. “One should not forget the burning effects of the explosion either, as it consumes all oxygen in the area and the resultant vacuum pulls loose objects into this void.”

Smaller versions of the weapons (than the so-called “mother of all bombs”) have been deployed by the US, Russia, Syria and the UK, and roundly condemned by human rights groups on every occasion, largely due to the method of death it induces.

“The effect of a [thermobaric] explosion within confined spaces is immense,” a CIA report into the weapons found. “Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringe are likely to suffer many internal, and thus invisible injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possibly blindness.”

The method of death for a lot of victims is the vacuum, which ruptures the lungs. A separate US government report added, rather grimly, that the “shock and pressure waves cause minimal damage to brain tissue,” adding “it is possible that victims of [thermobaric weapons] are not rendered unconscious by the blast, but instead suffer for several seconds or minutes while they suffocate.” 

The European Horns Press the Chinese Nuclear Horn

French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 meeting in meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday. Photo: Xinhua

Xi’s stance on nuclear weapons seen as a rebuke to brinkmanship by Russia’s Vladimir PutinAppeals from French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte follow similar efforts by US and German leaders

In diplomatic flurry, European leaders press China’s Xi Jinping on opposing nuclear weapons

Finbarr Bermingham in Brussels

French President Emmanuel Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 meeting in meets with French President Emmanuel Macron in Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday. Photo: Xinhua

European leaders met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday in Bali, securing his opposition to the use of nuclear weapons, a move seen as a rebuke to the brinkmanship of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Leaders of France and the Netherlands drew the commitment from Xi during a flurry of meetings on the sidelines of the G20 leaders summit, according to their respective post-meeting communications. Their efforts follow similar appeals from US President Joe Biden on Monday and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing earlier this month.

It suggested a coordinated approach from Western leaders, who despite almost 10 months of Russian aggression against Ukraine that is yet to be condemned by China, continue to hope that Beijing can exert some influence on Moscow’s behaviour.

“One of the reasons [Xi] is saying it repeatedly is because European leaders – and Biden – are pressing the same point,” said Andrew Small, senior transatlantic fellow with the German Marshall Fund’s Asia Programme.

Following a meeting with Xi, Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, said on Twitter that the Chinese leader “expressed his opposition to threats to use nuclear weapons – an important message to Russia”.

Earlier, a French readout of President Emmanuel Macron’s meeting with Xi said they had “reaffirmed their firm position on the prevention of the use of nuclear weapons”.

Xi also met with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who described China as a “key partner in dealing with global challenges and crises stemming from the war in Ukraine”.

“Xi Jinping emphasised that China’s position on the Ukrainian crisis is clear and consistent, advocating ceasefire, cessation of war and peace talks. The international community should create conditions for this, and China will continue to play a constructive role in its own way.”

Analysts suggested the discrepancy in messaging showed that Beijing viewed the mentioning of nuclear weapons as a “low-cost effort to communicate China’s positive slogans to other countries without necessarily committing to anything”.

“Since this is Xi’s first big international appearance after the beginning of the pandemic, it makes sense that he went full in the diplomatic engagement with other leaders,” said Francesca Ghiretti, a Brussels-based analyst of EU-China relations at the Mercator Institute for China Studies, a German think tank.

“It is a perfect opportunity to meet in person and there was no point in missing.”

Wu Hongbo, China’s special envoy to western Europe, has made several trips in recent months to work on bilateral relations. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Wu Hongbo, China’s special envoy to western Europe, has made several trips in recent months to work on bilateral relations. Photo: Jonathan Wong

Since the early days of Russia’s invasion, European officials have pressed Beijing to use its influence on Moscow to end the war.

EU diplomats say that in meetings, Chinese counterparts are eager to distance themselves from the Russian aggression, but stop short of offering any condemnation.

Wu Hongbo, China’s special envoy to Europe, has made several trips to western Europe in an effort to stem the deterioration of ties, while Beijing’s envoy for Central and Eastern Europe, Jiang Yu, has done the same for that region.

“The relatively positive vibe in Chinese coverage on the Xi-Biden summit does suggest there is a desire in Beijing to put a floor under things,” said Sense Hofstede, a research associate specialising in China at the Clingendael Institute, a Dutch think tank.

Xi used his meeting with Rutte to call for “cooperation, instead of seeking decoupling”. Hofstede said both sides have bristled over US efforts to force Dutch microchip giant ASML to stop selling to Chinese clients.

“The call by Xi Jinping to avoid decoupling in order to protect the global supply chain and not politicise trade are about the general issues, but I cannot help but read Chinese worries about ASML in it,” he said.

“I think the Dutch government is unhappy with the extent of the pressure from the United States on what it sees as a national tech champion, and at the same time it is facing growing domestic wariness about China.”

There is some scepticism about how far Beijing is willing to go along with EU demands on Russia. Officials note that China is neither “over-complying” with Western sanctions, nor have they seen any evidence of military support from Beijing for Moscow.

However, one EU diplomat pointed to a UN General Assembly vote on Monday – China joined Syria, Belarus, Cuba and Iran among others in rejecting a resolution calling for Russia to pay Ukraine for war reparations – as evidence that Beijing was still rhetorically siding with Moscow.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the G20 leaders summit in Bali. Italian media has reported that Xi plans to meet with her on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the G20 leaders summit in Bali. Italian media has reported that Xi plans to meet with her on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that China and Russia opposed the inclusion of the word “war” in the G20 draft communique, highlighting the balancing act Beijing is playing to audiences at home and abroad.

“Ultimately, the litmus test will be to see if communication remains open after the summit,” Ghiretti said.

Italian media reported that Xi is expected to meet Giorgia Meloni, the new far-right prime minister and staunch critic of China, on Wednesday.

During a meeting on Tuesday, Meloni and Biden agreed to “coordinate responses to a range of global challenges, including those posed by the People’s Republic of China”.

There is also some speculation that Xi will meet with Rishi Sunak, the new British prime minister who this week walked back some of his hawkish rhetoric towards China during the Conservative Party leadership race this summer.

Speaking to reporters on the flight to Bali, Sunak hinted that he would ditch plans to declare Beijing “a threat” to Britain’s national security.

China wants Putin to stop threatening nuclear war

Xi Jinping and Joe Biden shake hands.
China’s leader Xi Jinping shakes hands with US President Joe Biden at their meeting on Monday during the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia.

China wants Putin to stop threatening nuclear war over Ukraine, according to the White House

Nov 14, 2022, 10:06 AM

  • President Biden of the US and Chairman Xi of China met for more than three hours on Monday morning.
  • The two leaders opposed the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened, according to the White House’s account.
  • On Taiwan, the two leaders reiterated their existing positions and said they sought to avoid military conflict.

As Vladimir Putin’s threat of nuclear conflict continued to hang over the invasion of Ukraine, the American and Chinese leaders met for more than three hours Monday morning on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, and apparently did what they could to encourage some Russian restraint.

The discussion between Xi Jinping and Joe Biden was private, but much can be gleaned from readouts published by the White House, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Biden’s press conference following the meeting. Most notable was Xi’s “agreement” with Biden that “a nuclear war should never be fought and can never be won,” a view that “underscored” the two leaders’ “opposition to the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine,” according to the White House’s account of the meeting.

Xi reportedly took the same position on Russia’s nuclear threats during a meeting with the German chancellor earlier this month. But for him to again call out the nuclear blackmail of President Vladimir Putin — who has referenced the 1945 US nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and threatened to use Russia’s nukes in Ukraine — carries particular significance in a meeting with Biden.

The Chinese readout of the Xi-Biden meeting was more vague when it came to Russia and Ukraine. It noted that China was “highly concerned” and that “confrontations between major countries must be avoided.” It did not call on Russia to withdraw from its unprovoked invasion, instead calling for negotiations. Despite worries early on by Western countries that the so-called “no-limits friendship” between Xi and Putin meant that China would take Russia’s side in the Ukraine conflict, China has taken a more neutral line.

On Taiwan, the US and China publicly reiterated their pre-existing positions. China took a hard line against an independent Taiwan while the US criticized China for “coercive and increasingly aggressive actions.” In his press conference, Biden said that he and Xi were “candid and clear with one another” and that “there need not be a new Cold War.” US officials have recently claimed that China has accelerated its preparations to potentially seize Taiwan by force. In his remarks, Biden turned down the heat. “I do not think there’s any eminent attempt by the part of China to invade Taiwan,” he said.

The high-level meeting came on the same day as a US-Russia discussion to try to reduce the chances the Ukraine war could escalate. In Turkey, CIA Director William Burns met with his Russian counterpart and warned against Russia using nukes or other terror weapons in its arsenal against Ukraine.