The nuclear equation has not faded, and many people are keenly aware that the possibility of a nuclear conflict is still a reality with the war continuing in Ukraine and China’s constant threats toward Taiwan. It has been reported that Ukraine does not even have the basic infrastructure to produce nuclear fuel but their nuclear plants have been of interest in the war — many of them targeted and shelled which could trigger a catastrophic incident. Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant, the biggest atomic power station in Europe. Is this a continuation of saber-rattling or could there be a false flag in the works? Tonight on Ground Zero, Clyde Lewis talks with the producer and host of Nuclear Hotseat, Libbe HaLevy about CORE INTELLIGENCE – BRINGING IN THE PLANTS.
Part of the battle for the public’s hearts and minds is to convince people to regard wars and conflicts as a disconnected array of events, not the planned agendas of establishing a New World Order.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia did not happen out of the blue. It is not the result of a power-hungry madman hellbent on taking over Europe — this is a designated spot or Ground Zero for a possible nuclear incident that could affect all of Europe.
Ukraine is a country being used as a pawn in a geopolitical war, there are also the effects of disrupted energy supplies and fertilizer and food exports from Ukraine and Russia which will impact possibly hundreds of millions across the world.
Nevertheless, the public has been encouraged to support a strategy of increasing tension towards Russia, culminating in the situation we now see in Ukraine, by a media which plays its part well. The media serves as a key cheerleader for US-led wars and ensures the civilians wounded and dead in those conflicts are kept out of the headlines and off the screens, and of course, the sad story of Ukraine is not getting as much attention as it used to.
We should really take that into consideration.
So much quiet may lead to a loud roar soon and that roar could be an unfortunate nuclear incident.
The nuclear equation has not faded, and many people are keenly aware that the possibility of Nuclear war still a reality with the war continuing in Ukraine and the constant threats for China over Taiwan.
The U.S. Air Force early on Tuesday carried out a test of an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile, which was already delayed 12 days to avoid inflaming tension with China.
Air Force Global Strike Command said in a release that the Minuteman III missile was launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California by the 576th Flight Test Squadron a little before 1 a.m. Pacific Standard Time.
The ICBM was equipped with a test reentry vehicle, the press release said, which splashed down about 4,200 miles from its original launch point in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, the command said. The command added the test verified the Minuteman III is accurate and reliable and produced data that will help ensure the nation’s nuclear deterrent is safe, secure, and effective.
This would send a message that a cold war is officially on as we prepare our arsenal for the probability of a nuclear exchange.
Those Nuclear war rumors still persist — but this time it isn’t about brinkmanship and threats. It is all about unintended consequences that accidentally trigger an incident that goes out of control.
You see beyond the propaganda of a nuclear war being survivable there is also the idea that a nuclear war will profit no one and therefore it cannot happen.
Ted Postol, who is an MIT professor of technology and international security, says that an intentional nuclear war is very unlikely, but has been warning of an accidental one for many years.
Back when the news broke that former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home was raided, I held back the urge to jump on the story immediately because I knew that the mainstream media would certainly spin their own conspiracy theories about what documents Trump had in his possession.
The Washington Post broke the blockbuster news that FBI agents who searched former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence were looking for “nuclear documents,” a phrase that immediately set off alarms inside national security circles. The nation’s nuclear systems and plans are considered among the most sensitive and most narrowly known secrets.
I thought that it was very timely especially after we did a show a month prior about Mutually Assured Destruction and the Hollywood programming of Nuclear war and cold war themes in their films.
The themes of Nuclear dangers and now the so-called nuclear secrets held by Trump I think paints a picture without words or even images — it certainly has my mind thinking about what is so important and what Nuclear secrets are really being held by the former President.
Trump denied the report, calling the “nuclear weapons issue” a “hoax.” But assuming the reporting is correct, what could such a vague phrase as “nuclear documents” mean, and what could we learn about such a pardon the expression bombshell?
The US intelligence and defense communities would possess four different categories of files that might be considered “nuclear documents”: nuclear weapon science and design; other countries’ nuclear plans, including the nuclear systems and command of allied nations (UK, France), and adversaries (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran), as well as countries whose nuclear programs exist in a more gray zone (Israel, India, Pakistan); details on the United States’ own nuclear weapons and deployments; and details on US nuclear command & control procedures, known in Pentagon speak as NC2.
Each category of these documents would carry with it some unique classification peculiarities. And all of them exist at the so-called Above Top Secret level because a simple Top Secret clearance on its own isn’t enough to access the files.
Nuclear science and design files, for instance, are uniquely classified as “Restricted Data.” These files are historically accessed through what’s known as a Q Clearance, a special background check and access protocol.
Meanwhile, the NC2 documents relate to how the presidential nuclear football operates or how nuclear launch procedures would unfold—have historically had their own classification known as Extremely Sensitive Information (ESI), which again requires special access rights.
The Justice Department regularly prosecutes those who mishandle or incorrectly take classified documents out of secure facilities.
I would say that if we are that careless with these documents, then we have more to worry about than a former President who they want to push an espionage accusation.
This, however, does not erase the mystery as to why it was reported that a former president would be so cavalier with possible nuclear secrets.
What we are seeing is shocking, but it’s part of an established pattern– of how the government can use psychological warfare and use outrageous stories to stoke the flames of paranoia.
If Trump did have those documents it sure would look bad for the national security apparatus as well as the former President.
It would also send a message to our adversaries that we are careless with state secrets — and that may be the point
Conspiracy theory has long been held that we are secretly working with Ukraine to bring Nuclear weapons into the country that can easily be fired on Russia,
Vladimir Putin has said that the United States is converting its missile defenses into offensive weapons and has plans to put nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory.
Ukraine gave up a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons left over by the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and used the fuel from its blended-down warheads to drive its nuclear power plants.
It has been reported that Ukraine does not even have the basic infrastructure to produce nuclear fuel but their nuclear plants have been of interest in the war — many of them targeted and shelled which could trigger a nuclear incident.
There are 15 reactors in Ukraine and another 123 in Europe. The U.S. has 93, Russia 38. Not least is the danger of nuclear accident, which almost certainly increases in the context of accelerating tensions between countries at least one of which possesses nuclear weapons or countries that can strike the nuclear facilities or reactors of other countries.
So far, we have been told that it is possible that for Russia there is now no going back on the path to potential Armageddon.
What we haven’t been told is how risky NATO’s moves have been and how a truly big mistake is how President Zelensky has recklessly offered his country and its people as ground zero for World War Three.
Curiously, the war has not been reported much by the media – it is as if it has been quietly put on the back burner because of all of the short outcomes that seem to be happening and the idea of loss and a Russian victory would be anathema to an administration who basically gutted the economy to send money to Ukraine in order to fight the war.
But all these short-term outcomes notwithstanding, nobody should discount the possibility, short of a robust peace agreement, of nuclear war.
If not a nuclear war, then prepare for a nuclear incident that is accidentally triggered because of negligence.
Again this would quite possibly involve Nuclear plants and reactors that have become targets in this war.
Moscow and Kyiv have accused each other of s shelling the Zaporizhzhia plant, the biggest atomic power station in Europe, which has been under Russian control since March.
The tensions around the facility have sparked fears of another nuclear disaster in Europe like the one in Chernobyl in 1986.
A nuclear drill was held on Wednesday in order to prepare for a nuclear disaster.
Dozens of Ukrainian emergency workers wearing gas masks and hazmat suits took part in the drill in which they practiced evacuating an injured person and washing down contaminated vehicles.
Ukraine has accused Russia of firing on the plant in order to accuse Ukraine of doing it, while Russia has accused Kyiv of doing it.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Thursday he was gravely concerned by the situation at the plant.
Speaking to reporters after talks with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, Guterres said military equipment and personnel should be withdrawn from the plant.
“The facility must not be used as part of any military operation,” he said. “Instead, an agreement is urgently needed to re-establish Zaporizhzhia’s purely civilian infrastructure and to ensure the safety of the area.”
Moscow earlier rejected international appeals for a demilitarized zone around the plant, which is still operated by Ukrainian engineers under Russian occupation, as “unacceptable”.
The power station sits on the Russia-controlled south bank of a huge reservoir; Ukrainian forces hold the north bank.
Ukraine also accuses Russia of using the plant as a shield for its forces to launch strikes across the reservoir on Ukraine-held cities, which Moscow denies.
Reuters and other news sources cannot independently confirm the military situation there or the responsibility for the shelling.
Russia has allegedly told workers at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that they were not to attend work today.
Ukrainian authorities say that this might be evidence that Russia is preparing “large-scale provocations” at the power plant.
Turkish President Erdogan publicly voiced support for Ukraine Thursday and expressed concern that shelling at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant could lead to “another Chernobyl.”
Weeks before Erdogan arrived in Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia. There, the two leaders “reaffirmed their common will to further Turkey-Russia relations based on mutual respect, recognition of reciprocal interests, and in accordance with their international undertakings,” according to a joint statement published on the Kremlin’s website.
But Erdogan told reporters Thursday that while Turkey is “continuing our efforts to find a solution, we remain on the side of our Ukraine friends,” Agence France-Presse reported.
Meanwhile, there were harsh words given by Russia’s former President and deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev stated:
“It seems like Kyiv scumbags and their Western patrons are ready to orchestrate a new Chernobyl. Rockets and shells are falling closer and closer to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant reactor,”
What can one say,” Medevdev concluded before warning, “Don’t forget that there are nuclear sites in the European Union, too. And incidents are possible there as well.”
It’s unclear exactly what he meant in the veiled threat, but it’s consistent with his prior nuclear warnings, for example when he said recently that the West ramping up arms shipments to the Ukrainian government would spark a proxy war that risked leading to “full-scale nuclear war”.
Vladimir Putin stated “If Ukraine acquires weapons of mass destruction, the situation in the world and in Europe will drastically change, especially for us, for Russia,” he said. “We cannot but react to this real danger, all the more so since, let me repeat, Ukraine’s Western patrons may help it acquire these weapons to create yet another threat to our country.”
Mr. Putin has made such arguments before, of course, but usually as asides — not as the justification for urgent action. And it was starkly different from the tone Moscow was taking 30 years ago when Russian nuclear scientists were being voluntarily retrained to use their skills for peaceful purposes and nuclear weapons were being removed from Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan with funds provided by American taxpayers.
So the big question is what happens if Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant explodes?
Well, first of all, we have to take into account that Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is the largest plant in Europe and among the 10 largest in the world; it generates half of Ukraine’s nuclear-derived power.
The plant has a total capacity of about 6,000 megawatts, enough for about four million homes.
If the plant were to explode it would be a disaster of untold proportions.
If multiple catastrophic factors come together, an explosion might be possible.
There are concerns about the shelling occurring around the facility, with the potential to damage critical infrastructure, including the reactors. Reactors need to be constantly cooled by water passing through if the cooling stops the reactors risk meltdown.
The reactor could lose cooling, the fuel will start melting. It will sort of create high pressure and then it could explode.
In the immediate aftermath of an explosion, experts say that we could likely see widespread evacuations caused by an invisible radioactive cloud. However, the impact of a leak in radiation would probably be felt for years to come.
Due to the plant’s geographical location, a radiation release could hit any part of the European continent. Zaporizhzhia is in the middle of the continent. So no matter which way the wind is blowing, somebody’s going to get contaminated,
A nuclear incident would cause hundreds of thousands of people to flee from the area.
There would be mass casualties death and sickness.
Experts expect immediate evacuations but also difficulties in accessing medical facilities since they will probably see a surge in patients.
Some of the illnesses we could see from an explosion similar to this could be acute radiation poisoning or cancers that could be seen later.
According to experts, for many people, the fear of radiation could be more dangerous than the radiation itself.
They could see an uptick in patients because of the psychological symptoms that are connected to the knowledge that radiation might have leaked from a nuclear power plant nearby.
It’s not something where people are going to be exposed to it and immediately fall down and die … there’s going to be a huge, psychological toll, right on top of the psychological toll of the war itself.
At Chernobyl, the people who were going into the reactor to actually stand on top of the burning building and put the fire out were exposed to huge amounts of radiation and suffered the impacts of that within hours.
People who are exposed to not quite so great amounts may still suffer from acute radiation poisoning and recover. This happens over days to weeks, maybe months. For people exposed to lower levels of radiation, there may be greater numbers of cancer cases coming later over the following years to decades.
With thousands of nuclear weapons that the US and Russia have aimed at each other, a nuclear exchange would ‘exact a cost on every one of us that would result in excruciating death and suffering beyond comprehension.
An incident at a major nuclear powerplant could make Europe an unlivable wasteland.
And yet we still see the arrogance and recklessness of power brokers displayed each day for all to see.
The direct NATO intervention and Putin’s implied threat about the use of nuclear weapons ultimately amounts to those at the pinnacle of power risking gambling away your life and the lives of every living creature on the planet.
SHOW GUEST: LIBBE HALEVY
Libbe HaLevy (lee-BEE ha-LAY-vee) is producer/host of Nuclear Hotseat, a weekly podcast on nuclear issues, now in its 12th year. She was one mile from the 1979 nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, and she wrote a book on her experience: YES I GLOW IN THE DARK: One Mile from Three Mile Island to Fukushima and Nuclear Hotseat. Libbe’s latest work is a play on media manipulation at the dawn of the atomic age, ATOMIC BILL AND THE PAYMENT DUE, which is in development for a 2023 debut.