Saudis And Nukes

If it is Tuesday….then it must be the Middle East…….

Recently the Trump admin announced that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be getting nuclear energy (thanx to special deals made with MbS by Jared)……I have been writing against this happening

https://lobotero.com/2018/02/27/nukes-in-the-middle-east/

https://lobotero.com/2019/03/05/saudis-nuclear-dream/

Of course the Saudis did what they ALL do…..claim that they will run out of oil soon and will need an alternative…….

Recent media reports have drawn a lot of attention to Saudi Arabia’s nuclear energy ambitions and US nuclear diplomacy toward Riyadh. This explainer provides context and background information in order to better understand the dynamics at play. 

Saudi Arabia is interested in the development of a nuclear power programme to meet growing electricity demand and to diversify its energy sources. Riyadh has outlined plans to construct up to 16 large nuclear reactors over the course of 20 to 25 years to provide the kingdom with 17 GWe of nuclear capacity by 2040. Riyadh started soliciting proposals for the construction of two reactors in November 2017 and has been in talks with Russia, China, France, South Korea and the United States. The official tender should be launched in early 2020.

https://www.iiss.org/blogs/analysis/2019/04/saudi-arabia-nuclear-energy-programme

The one thing that got me laughing the loudest was their statement that “they will need to meet a growing electricity demand”….and nukes will provide for that demand…….

Seriously?

Think about that for a moment. (pause here for contemplation)

How much sunshine does the peninsula get yearly? How about the winds from the desert? Maybe think about tidal cycles.

The US needs to act like a global leader and start encouraging these countries off nukes and toward renewables……

Instead of straining to control these programs, or even facilitating them, the U.S. should encourage less risky, cheaper, clean non-nuclear alternatives.

The case for nuclear power in the Middle East has never been strong. First, the national electrical systems there are relatively small. Put large amounts of electricity (nuclear or non-nuclear) on their grids and you risk overloading them and causing blackouts. This is particularly worrisome for nuclear reactors whose safe operation depends on a steady, external supply of electricity to run their coolant and safety systems (think Fukushima).

Second, because large reactors can be used to make nuclear explosive materials, they’re prime military targets. Iran, Israel, and the United States each attacked Iraq’s Osirak reactor (Israel successfully). Iraq bombed Iran’s Bushehr reactor. Egypt and Iraq targeted Israel’s Dimona reactor. Israel successfully bombed Syria’s reactor at Al Kibar, and, more recently, the Iranian-backed Houthis claimed they fired missiles at the UAE’s nuclear reactors. Any such strikes risk radiation releases and rattling even the strongest of regimes to its roots (think the Soviet Union’s political meltdown, catalyzed, in no small part, by Chernobyl). There is also the danger of insider and cyberattacks that could result in catastrophe.

https://www.fdd.org/analysis/2019/05/09/no-one-in-the-sun-and-gas-soaked-middle-east-needs-nuclear-power/

An excellent idea!

Too bad we have NO ONE with the brains or the balls to implement this.

Saudi’s Nuclear Dream

While you had your attention diverted to a non-story that the investigation may be over soon……a major story was coming to light about the Saudis and their desire for nukes…….and the Trump admin was happy to do their part to help…..

Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a new congressional report citing whistleblowers within the administration. Lawmakers from both parties have expressed concerns that Saudi Arabia could develop nuclear weapons if the US technology were transferred without proper safeguards, per the AP. The Democratic-led House oversight committee opened an investigation Tuesday into the claims by several unnamed whistleblowers who said they witnessed “abnormal acts” in the White House regarding the proposal to build dozens of nuclear reactors across the Middle Eastern kingdom. According to the report, the effort was pushed by former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was fired in early 2017.

Derek Harvey, a National Security Council official brought in by Flynn, continued work on the proposal, which has remained under consideration by the Trump administration. (The Washington Post reports that it was discussed as recently as last week.) The committee’s report details how NSC and ethics officials repeatedly warned that the actions of Flynn and one of his senior aides could run afoul of federal conflicts of interest law and statutes governing the transfer of nuclear technology to foreign powers. Congressional investigators are also probing the role of Tom Barrack, a proponent of the nuclear proposal who ran Trump’s presidential inaugural committee. The nuclear proposal—known as the “Marshall Plan for the Middle East—was advocated by a company called IP3 International, which is led by retired military officers and national security officials

https://www.politicususa.com/2019/02/20/democrats-probing-if-kushner-sold-out-the-u-s-in-saudi-nuclear-deal.html/

Wait! Iran is trying to develop nuke weapons but the Saudis will play nice and use it for peaceful purposes…..a country that fears Iranian expansion….and we will trust them……are we that damn STUPID?

So, what is the rush for the Saudis?

The administration of President Donald Trump is bypassing the United States Congress to advance the sale of US nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia, despite concerns it would violate US law guarding against technology transfers, according to a new report by a congressional committee.

Security analysts worry the technology would allow Saudi Arabia to produce nuclear weapons in the future, potentially contributing to an arms race in the Middle East.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/02/report-trump-rushing-sell-saudi-arabia-nuclear-technology-190219181918317.html

Something to think about……

“Saudi Arabia does not want to acquire any nuclear bomb, but without a doubt if Iran developed a nuclear bomb, we will follow suit as soon as possible.”

—Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/02/20/when-saudi-arabia-gets-the-bomb/

Does anybody else see the problem here?

Another developing situation in the Middle East that could turn dangerous at the drop of a hat…..and as usual the US will be ass deep in the troubles all in the name of “helping” an ally…..

Mr. Fish

The most dangerous foreign policy decision of the Trump administration—and I know this is saying a lot—is its decision to share sensitive nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia and authorize U.S. companies to build nuclear reactors in that country. I spent seven years in the Middle East. I covered the despotic, repressive kingdom as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. And I, along with most other Arabists in the United States, have little doubt that giving a nuclear capability to Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the ruthless and amoral Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would see it embark on a nuclear weapons program and eventually share weaponized technology with Saudi allies and proxies that include an array of radical jihadists and mortal enemies of America. A nuclearized Saudi Arabia is a grave existential threat to the Middle East and ultimately the United States.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/giving-the-bomb-to-saudi-arabias-dr-strangelove/

But wait!

The Saudis are playing loose with their ambitions….recently MbS went to Pakistan to improve relations (or so the story went)….but since Pakistan has nukes could he be working on a deal in case the US one falls through?

Visiting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has expressed optimism about the economic future of Pakistan, saying his country had been waiting for a leadership like that of Prime Minister Imran Khan to partner with Islamabad in various areas.

Addressing a reception dinner on Sunday night at the Prime Minister House hours after he landed in Pakistan, the Crown Prince said Pakistan was a “dear country” to all Saudis and that the two countries “have walked together in tough and good times”, Dawn news reported.

“We believe that Pakistan is going to be a very, very important country in the coming future and we want to be sure we are part of that. Pakistan today has a great future in store with a great leadership,” he said.

https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/pakistan-will-be-very-very-important-country-in-future-saudi-crown-prince-mohammad-bin-salman-1995098

Important indeed!

Saudis: Masters Of BS

Since the beginning of our newest president he has been coddling the Saudis….his first international trip was to gravel to the Saudis and now he is floating the idea that the Saudis can be trusted with nuke power…..

Administration reports on President Trump’s discussions with the Saudi Crown Prince neglected a major topic of discussion: Saudi Arabia’s nuclear ambitions. Subsequent reports reveal that the nuclear program was a topic of discussion, though to what extent still isn’t totally clear.

In recent days, the crown prince has talked openly of wanting nuclear arms “as soon as possible” if they believe Iran will get them. Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir confirmed this, and used virtually identical language in doing so.

Now Iran isn’t attempting to get nuclear weapons, but President Trump’s expected blowing up of the P5+1 nuclear deal could mean Iran withdraws its civilian program from certain obligations under the treaty, and that’s likely to set off a bunch of wild speculation that they are. The Saudis are clearly laying the groundwork for their own reaction.

Officials say President Trump is considering allowing Saudi Arabia to enrich its own uranium with US-made centrifuges. There is also talk of the US building nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia. All this would purely be civilian use.

(antiwar.com)

Really?   The Saudis are not acting as a responsible leader for the Middle East…..but rather as a loose cannon…….

Saudi Arabia’s thirty-two-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is touring the West seeking to buy arms and encourage investment. A stop in Washington was mandatory.

The de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, known as MbS, has been busy wreaking havoc internationally, punishing political enemies domestically, loosening social controls at home, and burnishing his image abroad. Amid rising opposition to Saudi-generated carnage in Yemen, the Trump administration appears to be abandoning proliferation concerns in seeking to sell nuclear reactors—even as it complains about Iran’s presumed nuclear ambitions.

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/saudi-arabia-has-become-geopolitical-loose-cannon-24982

What price did Trump demand for siding with the Saudis?  Or is the nukes for the Saudis the price that the US must pay for some reason or another?

Israel: “Okay We Did It”!

Ten years ago someone attacked an alleged nuclear power plant in Syria…of course the world pointed at Israel as the attacker….but as usual Israel said that it was not them that attack the plant…..well Israel has decided to let the world know the rest of the story…..

In September of 2007, Israeli warplanes carried out a major attack against a site in the Syrian desert. A few months later, US officials commented, claiming the site to be an in-construction Syrian nuclear reactor, which the Bush Administration accused North Korea of being behind.

On Wednesday, Israel ended a decade-long silence on the attack with a report, confirming it was in keeping with Israel’s policy of destroying foreign nuclear facilities in the region. This was presented in the context of threatening to attack Iran.

It’s not clear what the impact of this admission will be, as everyone knew Israel carried out the attack long ago. That attack, according to former IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei, was in violation of international law. It also made it really hard to prove Syria had a secret, illegal reactor, since Israel blew it up and didn’t tell anybody until it was already a smoldering hole in the ground.

Nowadays, Israel attacks Syria so often that such a strike hardly matters anymore from the perspective of their bilateral relations. It is, however, fueling new allegations of secret Syrian nuclear facilities elsewhere in the country, with the same lack of evidence surrounding the 2007 site.

(antiwar.com)

After they admitted to the attack they then turned on Iraq and informed them that they could be next…….

“(He) made it clear that we were very happy that events had eliminated this threat and that if there were any threats to Israel that would emerge from this situation, the United States would stand with Israel, period,” Jeffrey said Wednesday.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday used the admission to threaten the entire region.

Another minister, Israel Katz, also tweeted out a not-so-veiled threat: “The courageous decision of the Israeli government almost 11 years ago to destroy the nuclear reactor in Syria and the successful operation following it sends a clear message: Israel will never allow nuclear weapons to countries like Iran who threaten its existence.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has continues to argue without proof that Iran is on its way to producing nuclear bombs, said: “The Government of Israel, the IDF, and the Mossad prevented Syria from developing a nuclear capability. For this they are deserving of all praise. Israel’s policy has been and remains consistent—to prevent our enemies from arming themselves with nuclear weapons.”

This is the same argument that Israel has made against Iran for at least 40 years and yet it has not achieved a bomb……

Let say that Israel attacks Iran then the US will be on the hook to help our “ally”….after all they have paid for out help through the buying of Congresspeople……

Oh goody yet another conflict that we Americans must fight and to die for another “ally” that could care less about our troops…..

When will Americans learn that Israel is NO friend?

Nukes In The Middle East?

For decades the West has been working to keep nukes out of the hands of those countries in the Middle East (with the exception of Israel) because of the chance of it would be used in ways not approved by the leaders here in the West.  Look how hard the US has fought to keep it out of the hands of Iran and Israel has used the possibility of nukes in the Middle East (with the exception of them) to get unlimited aid from the West.

Then in the last year or so there has been rumblings that Saudis have been posturing to move into the realm of nuke energy.

Saudi Arabia is moving swiftly to become the next country in the Middle East with nuclear power. The Kingdom is on the verge of striking a deal with the US for the purchase of nuclear reactors despite concerns over its refusal to accept stringent restrictions against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman, who is the de facto ruler of the country, has ambitious plans to diversify the country’s energy source and is in the market to purchase nuclear power reactors. The potential for lucrative deals is too good to be missed and the Trump administration is thought to be mulling over loosening US law to win Saudi contracts, worth billions. The Kingdom has refused to be bound by stringent US regulations that restrict reprocessing and enriching uranium for the production of nuclear weapons.

http://theantimedia.org/saudi-arabia-nuclear-weapons/

Now I personally think it is a horrible idea if the security of the Middle East and possibly the world is of a concern.

Why?

The radical extreme fundamentalist beliefs of the Saudi brand of Islam, Wahhabism is the belief of most of the jihadists fighting in the world.  If Saudi Arabia were to get their reactors then they would produce waste which in turn could be used as a dirty bomb….something the Radicals have been fantasizing about for years….

In other words this idea would give these barbarous toads one step closer to the WMD that they dream of for so long.

The Trump administration has had some horrible ideas in its year of existence….but this one is by far one of their worst….hopefully clearer thinking will prevail.

Nuclear Power Is Losing Money

I try not to be a one trick pony meaning I try not to post on only one subject….I feel my readers would like an extended view of what is happening in the world these days.

For the past couple of elections there has been a solution to our energy problem….nukes.  It has been debated and debated but this time it is not so important because of fracking.

And now it looks like Nuclear Power may have been on its last leg…..

Half of existing nuclear power plants are no longer profitable. The New York Times and others have tried to blame renewable energy for this, but the admittedly astounding price drops of renewables aren’t the primary cause of the industry’s woes — cheap fracked gas is.

The point of blaming renewables, which currently receive significant government subsidies, is apparently to argue that existing nukes deserve some sort of additional subsidy to keep running — beyond the staggering $100+ billion in subsidies the nuclear industry has received over the decades. But a major reason solar and wind energy receive federal subsidies — which are being phased out over the next few years — is because they are emerging technologies whose prices are still rapidly coming down the learning curve, whereas nuclear is an incumbent technology with a negative learning curve.

Source: Nuclear Power Is Losing Money At An Astonishing Rate | ThinkProgress

Should we continue to explore this as an energy source even to the point of a bail-out…..a solution that many do not like……what should we do?

Iran: Let’s Make A Deal–Part 2

Holy crap!  As I was listening to foreign news I was completely awaken by the announcement that a deal has been made between P5+1 and Iran on the nuke negotiations……..

After 18 days of intense and often fractious negotiation, diplomats declared today that world powers and Iran have struck a landmark deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions—an agreement designed to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another US military intervention in the Muslim world. The accord will keep Iran from producing enough material for a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years and impose new provisions for inspections of Iranian facilities, including military sites.

The so-called Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was reached after more than two weeks of furious diplomacy, during which negotiators blew through three self-imposed deadlines. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry, who conducted most of the negotiations, both threatened to walk away while trading accusations of intransigence. The breakthrough came after several key compromises, diplomats say, including the continuation of a UN arms embargo on the country for up to five more years and an agreement to allow UN inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties.

Now we can have the Right go batcrap crazy!

This should move foreign policy to the forefront of the 2016 election circus for the GOP…..that way they do not have to talk about domestic problems of which they have NO answers……..

And I wait!