— Ukraine energy crisis affecting reactors: EU urges lifting rail blockade of Donbass coal

To understand the situation in Ukraine — 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-documentary-youll-likely-never-see-ukraine-on-fire-by-oliver-stone/5574843
http://www.globalresearch.ca/indepthreport/ukraine-report

From Fort Russ

February 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Sputnik France, translated by Tom Winter –

“Donbass, the Heart of Russia.” 1921 poster has two coal miners at top, and the map serves well today to show how suicidal blocking the coal trains was.
This is Sputnik France’s illustration for this report.  “The EU urges lifting the Commercial blockade of Donbass.” And the picture’s hidden label reads “Instead of aid, blockade.”

Faced with the prospect of revolving power outages in Ukraine, the European Union has at last taken note of the commercial blockade of the Donbass, with Kiev no longer receiving the anthracite coal absolutely necessary for the Ukrainian power stations.

The commercial blockade of the Donbass
a) violates the rights of Ukrainians living in the territories that are currently beyond the control of Kiev, and
b) is likely to trigger an energy crisis in the country, warns the representation of the European Union in Ukraine, adding that the organizers of the blockade must immediately lift it.

The blockade of the railway connections with Donbass started at end of January, when a group of veterans of the volunteer battalions participating in the hostilities [on the side of the Kiev regime], with deputies of the Supreme Rada (Ukrainian parliament), blocked traffic on the railway line.

The organizers of the blockade claimed that any trade with the self-proclaimed People’s Republics of Donetsk (DNR) and Lugansk (LNR) was illegal, and that all goods transported were therefore contraband.

The railway blockade has led to problems in getting anthracite coal from the Donbass, causing difficulties in Ukraine’s energy sector. As a result, Kiev is already considering revolving power cuts in most parts of the country.

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/02/eu-urges-lifting-rail-blockade-of.html

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— Coal crisis again in Ukraine as government-allied militias blockade coal shipments; state of emergency declared; electric grid and nuclear reactors at risk

Articles are in Russian. As they are translated, they will be posted. 

From Fort Russ:

Ukrainian energy crisis: state of emergency declared

February 15, 2017 –
– Rusvesna – Translated by James Harmon

 

The Cabinet of Ministers declared a state of emergency today within the Ukrainian energy system.

The decision was made due to the blockade of coal supplies originating from the Donbass.
“The decision made,” – said Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman, “Due to this coal shortage, is completely artificial and the list of names of people who have done this, know the whole of Ukraine”.
However, Groisman added; “It is unacceptable to make the people of Ukraine suffer simply to fight the government.”

— Ukraine in full-blown collapse: 19 nuclear reactors at risk

The mainstream news claims Russian aggression caused the crisis in Ukraine. The same mainstream news also claims that the Fukushima disaster was a short-lived incident, and neither the Pacific Ocean nor the public have ever been in danger. 
Global Research has a section on Ukraine with extensive documentation on what happened and is still happening. 
Global Research, December 27, 2016
ClubOrlov 22 December 2016

With all the action in Syria, the Ukraine is no longer a subject for discussion in the West. In Russia, where the Ukraine is still a major problem looming on the horizon, and where some 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees are settling in, with no intentions of going back to what’s left of the Ukraine, it is still actively discussed. But for the US, and for the EU, it is now yet another major foreign policy embarrassment, and the less said about it the better.

In the meantime, the Ukraine is in full-blown collapse—all five glorious stages of it—setting the stage for a Ukrainian Nightmare Before Christmas, or shortly after.
Phase 1. Financially, the Ukrainian government is in sovereign default as of a couple of days ago. The IMF was forced to break its own rules in order to keep it on life support even though it is clearly a deadbeat. In the process, the IMF stiffed Russia, which happens to be one of its major shareholders; what gives?

Phase 2. Industry and commerce are approaching a standstill and the country is rapidly deindustrializing. Formerly, most of the trade was with Russia; this is now over. The Ukraine does not make anything that the EU might want, except maybe prostitutes. Recently, the Ukraine has been selling off its dirt. This is illegal, but, given what’s been happening there, the term “illegal” has become the stuff of comedy.

Phase 3. Politically, the Ukrainian government is a total farce. Much of it has been turned over to fly-by-night foreigners, such as the former Georgian president Saakashvili, who is a wanted criminal in his own country, which has recently stripped him of his citizenship. The parliament is stocked with criminals who bought their seat to gain immunity from prosecution, and who spend their time brawling with each other. Prime Minister Yatsenyuk was recently hauled off the podium by his crotch; how dignified is that? He seemed unfazed. Where are his testicles? Perhaps Victoria Nuland over at the US State Dept. is keeping them in a jar. This sort of action may be fun to watch on Youtube, but the reality is quite sad: those who “run” the Ukraine (if the term still applies) are only interested in one thing: stealing whatever is left.

Phase 4. Ukrainian society (if the term still applies) has been split into a number of warring factions. This was, to some extent, inevitable. What happens if you take bits of Poland, Hungary, Romania and Russia, and stick them together willy-nilly? Well, results may vary; but if you also spend $5 billion US (as the Americans did) turning the Ukrainians against Russia (and, since they are mostly Russian, against themselves), then you get a complete disaster.

Phase 5. Cultural collapse is quite advanced. The Ukraine once had the same world-class educational system as Russia, but since independence they switched to teaching in Ukrainian (a made-up language) using nonexistent textbooks. The kids have been taught a bogus history hallucinated by rabid Ukrainian nationalists. They’ve been told that Russia is backward and keeping them back, and that they deserve to be happy in the EU. (Just like the Greeks? Yeah…) But now the population has been reduced to levels of poverty not commonly seen outside of Africa, and young people are fleeing, or turning to gangsterism and prostitution, to merely survive. This doesn’t make for a happy cultural narrative. What does it mean to be “a Ukrainian” now? Expletives deleted. Sorry I asked.

Now, here’s what it all really means. With so much going wrong, the Ukraine has been unable to secure enough natural gas or coal supplies to provide a supply cushion in case of a cold snap this winter. A few weeks of frosty weather will deplete the supply, and then pipes will freeze, rendering much of the urban areas unlivable from then on (because, recall, there is no longer any money, or any industry to speak of, to repair the damage). That seems bad enough, but we aren’t quite there yet.

You see, the Ukraine produces over half of its electricity using nuclear power plants. 19 nuclear reactors are in operation, with 2 more supposedly under construction. And this is in a country whose economy is in free-fall and is set to approach that of Mali or Burundi! The nuclear fuel for these reactors was being supplied by Russia. An effort to replace the Russian supplier with Westinghouse failed because of quality issues leading to an accident. What is a bankrupt Ukraine, which just stiffed Russia on billions of sovereign debt, going to do when the time comes to refuel those 19 reactors? Good question!

But an even better question is, Will they even make it that far? You see, it has become known that these nuclear installations have been skimping on preventive maintenance, due to lack of funds. Now, you are probably already aware of this, but let me spell it out just in case: a nuclear reactor is not one of those things that you run until it breaks, and then call a mechanic once it does. It’s not a “if it ain’t broke, I can’t fix it” sort of scenario. It’s more of a “you missed a tune-up so I ain’t going near it” scenario. And the way to keep it from breaking is to replace all the bits that are listed on the replacement schedule no later than the dates indicated on that schedule. It’s either that or the thing goes “Ka-boom!” and everyone’s hair falls out.

How close is Ukraine to a major nuclear accident? Well, it turns out, very close: just recently one was narrowly avoided when some Ukro-Nazis blew up electric transmission lines supplying Crimea, triggering a blackout that lasted many days. The Russians scrambled and ran a transmission line from the Russian mainland, so now Crimea is lit up again. But while that was happening, the Southern Ukrainian, with its 4 energy blocks, lost its connection to the grid, and it was only the very swift, expert actions taken by the staff there that averted a nuclear accident.

I hope that you know this already, but, just in case, let me spell it out again. One of the worst things that can happen to a nuclear reactor is loss of electricity supply. Yes, nuclear power stations make electricity—some of the time—but they must be supplied with electricity all the time to avoid a meltdown. This is what happened at Fukushima Daiichi, which dusted the ground with radionuclides as far as Tokyo and is still leaking radioactive juice into the Pacific.

And so the nightmare scenario for the Ukraine is a simple one. Temperature drops below freezing and stays there for a couple of weeks. Coal and natural gas supplies run down; thermal power plants shut down; the electric grid fails; circulator pumps at the 19 nuclear reactors (which, by the way, probably haven’t been overhauled as recently as they should have been) stop pumping; meltdown!

If this winter stays very, very warm, then the “19 Fukushimas” scenario just may be averted. This is not impossible: we’ve been seeing one freakishly warm winter after another, and each passing month is setting new records. The future is looking hot—as in very warm. Let us pray that it doesn’t also turn out to be hot—as in radioactive.

— 12 nuclear realities whose names must not be spoken

From No Nukes California

Beyond Obama’s ‘Nuclear Security’ Hokus POTUS

By James Heddle
April 6. 2016

[ First published on Counterpunch.org ]

‘Nuclear Security’ – The Quintessential Oxymoron?

It ended, with no apparent sense of irony, on April Fools’ Day. Obama’s much-heralded ‘Nuclear Security Summit’ came to a close on April 1st in Washington, D.C., having drawn representatives from about 50 countries…minus Russia, which declined to attend citing a “shortage of mutual cooperation” and the exclusion of some of its allies from the invitation list.

Compared to the lofty vision outlined in Obama’s famous 2009 Prague speech of a ‘world without nuclear weapons,’ the POTUS conference marked a sad measure of how far short of his stated intentions his actual accomplishments have fallen.

To be fair, by no means all of that failure can be said to be Obama’s fault. There are many counter-forces.

There’s a global system that profits handsomely from the combined nuclear energy-weapons-waste economy.

There’s a worldwide elite whose members derive much power and privilege from it.

There’s the domestic ‘deep state’ system of the ‘defense and security’ industry with its revolving door to government, which is heavily invested in the permanent war economy.

Then there are the people the President has chosen to surround himself with, some of whom disagree with him and work to undermine his stated policies.

http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/03/obama-disappointing-nuclear-weapons-legacy/127068/

It remains to be seen if the controversial ‘Iran Deal’ will stand as a signature accomplishment of Obama’s tenure. But the facts remain that, despite his boasts that he has ‘reduced’ the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the actual cuts amount to a mere 5% – from 4,950 operational nuclear warheads to 4,700, according to the Federation of American Scientists. As former Defense Secretary William Perry points out, that’s more than enough to destroy the world many times over.

http://www.planetarianperspectives.net/?p=2741

https://www.edcast.com/wjperryproject

And, as Perry and other former U.S. officials disapprovingly observe, Obama’s plan to spend over $1 trillion to ‘upgrade’ America’s stockpile of nuclear bombs and their delivery systems not only makes their use more likely, but has also triggered a New Arms Race.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/warnings-of-global-arms-race-ahead-of-nuclear-security-summit/5517478

Finally, the President’s ‘all of the above’ energy policy treats nuclear energy generation as ‘clean,’ ignoring the massive carbon footprint of the atomic fuel chain that makes uranium essentially a fossil fuel. It also gives massive funding and support to developing a new generation of nuclear reactors, as well as marketing existing U.S. designs world-wide to such clients as warring Arab oil states. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2015-05-25/nuclear-power-people

12 Unspeakable Realities

Those who advocate for nuclear energy as a response to climate change, or for new nuclear weapons in pursuit of ‘national security,’ must ignore or deny an overwhelming burden of facts from the history and legacy of these nuclear technologies so far.

Here are just a few:

Continue reading

— US Senate Bill 2795 on deregulation of the nuclear industry – the conflicts of interests of author and sponsors — Senators Inhofe, Booker, Crapo, Whitehouse, Fischer

Sen. James Inhofe, S. 2795: “The existing fleet of nuclear reactors in the United States is operating safely and securely.

From Mining Awareness

April 29, 2016

It is perfectly possible that Inhofe, Booker, Crapo et. al. are simply lazy, stupid and ignorant in pushing a bill (S. 2795) claiming that US nuclear reactors are “operating safely and securely”. Maybe they’ve just observed that the US NRC does exactly what the nuclear industry wants anyway so should indeed have funding cut. It is actually pretty funny that all the workers at US NRC that have sold their soul to the nuclear devil have their jobs on the cutting block anyway. So, the proposal to cut funding to the US NRC is actually pretty funny. Watch and learn before you sell your soul to the devil. However, many NRC workers will just go home to their countries of origin, leaving the children of the American Revolution and others who have no other home stuck with their nuclear crimes. But, why not just totally shut down the US NRC?

The attempt by Inhofe et. al. to stop mandatory hearings for new nuclear reactor types suggests other nefarious motives:https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/us-senate-efforts-to-do-away-with-mandatory-licensing-hearings-for-so-called-advanced-nuclear-reactors-small-modular-reactors/

According to the idiotic statement in the Senator Inhofe sponsored bill S2795, “the existing fleet of nuclear reactors in the United States is operating safely and securely;…” (S.2795 — 114th Congress https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2795/all-actions?resultIndex=3&overview=closed Sponsor: Sen. Inhofe, James M. [R-OK]). Inhofe and his co-sponsors can’t read? The list of safety related problems-“incidents” reported to the US NRC appears endless: http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/event/

http://www.c-span.org/video/?408515-1/hearing-nuclear-energy&start=5937 Why is the entire panel pro-nuclear? Read about them at the bottom of this post. Second from the left is Ashley Finan who works for the so-called “
Clean Air Task Force”, but has promoted the use of nuclear power in the Canadian tar sands industry.

The electrical defects for all but one US nuclear power station are so serious that 7 brave NRC electrical engineers put themselves at risk by demanding something be done immediately. They were ignored. These brave seven were led by an American from India who loves America. And, maybe he’s just smart enough to understand that the world environment is interconnected too.

This claim about the safety and security of US Nuclear Power Stations and push for nuclear deregulation is oddly coming from a Senator (Inhofe) from Oklahoma where there are no operating nuclear power stations, though Oklahoma is the location of the infamous Kerr-McGee site where Karen Silkwood worked.

Does Inhofe’s bill have to do with campaign contributions related to Andarko? https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2012&cid=N00005582 Andarko inherited the Kerr-McGee liability:
http://www.nrc.gov/info-finder/decommissioning/complex/kerr-mcgee-cimarron-corporation-former-fuel-fabrication-facility.html

Maybe Inhofe’s bill has to do with his funding related to Honeywell International: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/us-nrc-launches-special-inspection-at-honeywell-uranium-hex-facility-in-metropolis-illinois/

And, funding to Inhofe related to Southern Co. with their Vogtle Nuclear Reactors, both old and under construction?https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?type=C&cid=N00005582&newMem=N&cycle=2016 More overt, of course, is Inhofe’s military industrial complex funding.

Continue reading

Ukraine’s grid and nuclear reactors again in peril as coal shipments stop

Ukraine might face a winter with the most severe energy crisis in its modern history
— Oleg Makarenko, PolitRussia

None of the three articles below mention Ukraine’s nuclear reactors, but they explain aspects of Ukraine’s energy situation.I have posted articles before about this situation.

Ukraine-backed nationalists just blew up transmission towers in Crimea, cutting off electricity. Coal and natural gas to Ukraine have been stopped. Coal provides 40% of Ukraine’s electricity, while nuclear reactors supply 50% .

Ukraine officials warn about power outages, due to the lack of coal and natural gas. Ukraine’s 15 nuclear reactors are again in the balance.

The country is in a terrible economic condition. Not only are Ukrainians are at a severe risk this winter of freezing; they and we are at terrible risk if the reactors fail.

This situation is the fault of the United States and NATO allies, contrary to what the mainstream news reports. Global Research has extensive articles and documentation on the situation in Ukraine — http://www.globalresearch.ca/indepthreport/ukraine-report

This is a critical situation in terms of peace as well as the nuclear danger. I think most people would be appalled at the reality in Ukraine, a country that the United States has been working to destabilize and control since the end of World War II.

Posted on Fort Russ:

November 30, 2015- RusVesna
Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski

“Yatsenyuk: Ukraine doesn’t have enough coal for the winter, extraordinary measures are needed”

The Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, has stated that Ukraine does not have enough stockpiles of coal for the winter. He demanded that an emergency plan of measures be worked out to solve the problem.

“According to the date which I have, it is clear that, as I warned three months ago, there is not a sufficient supply of coal. In order to avoid power outages as last year, I urgently demand an extraordinary plan of measures in order to pass the winter with a stable energy system in the country. This is now the topic of discussion,” Yatsenyuk stated during a meeting with the anti-crisis energy headquarters.

According to him, the state has allocated necessary resources, and now needs to get down to business.

The head of the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine, Vladimir Demchishin, said earlier on Friday that the coal reserves of Ukraine are sufficient for at least one month, “but in the longer term problems will arise.”

According to Demchishin, at the present moment supplies of coal from Russia and Donbass to Ukraine are restricted.

This week, the Donetsk People’s Republic suspended deliveries of coal to Kiev-controlled territories and has stated that it will not resume deliveries until Ukraine restores the power supply to Crimea.

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/11/yatsenyuk-ukraine-lacks-coal-for-winter.html

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Posted on 21st Century Wire

Counterpunch reports on the western media and government collusion in recent attacks on Crimea:

“Ever since the Maidan coup of February 2014, Western media and governments have all but incited violent actions by extremists against the Crimean people. Unknown to people in the West is the aforementioned, food transport blockade, ongoing since September 20. Western media has self-censored reports of that, including the central role played by the neo-Nazi Right Sector group.”

That’s not all…

Ever since then, Crimea has been the focal point of the NATO strategic offensive against Russia in the region. Most disturbingly recently, a GLADIO-style terror campaign seems to have targeted Crimea, and like clock-work, western media outlets in the process of inventing a tidy narrative in order to package what is clearly new campaign of terror that’s currently being unleashed in the region.

WASHINGTON’S PROXY: US planners would refer to working with Ukraine’s Nazis as a ‘necessary evil’ in order to achieve geopolitical objectives in the region.

After putting NeoNazi paramilitary groups to work terrorizing the Russian-speaking population in eastern Ukraine, even Kiev struggled to get them back under control. It seems someone has decided to put them to work doing another ‘off-the-books’ operation which requires a lot of deniability – terrorizing the population of newly independent Crimea peninsula.

On Monday, the Crimea government declared a “State of Emergency” this week when Kiev-backed ‘nationalists’ blew up the country’s electrical infrastructure causing mass blackouts, with “Crimea is completely cut off,” says Director of Crimea Energy, Viktor Plakida, .

In what appears to be a true-to-form, classic false flag attack – a ‘Crimean Tatar’ flag was placed at the site of explosion. It’s more likely that the guiding hand of NATO Intelligence is active behind the scenes to intensify the situation.

Naturally, western media outlets are trying to frame the narrative as a ‘internal dispute’ between ethnic Tartars and ‘Russian speakers in Crimea’ (as part of the western media’s ongoing effort to isolate and demonize Russia at every turn). Still, a number of likely CIA-run editorial desks, and Mockingbird-type media outlets still refer to the Crimean referendum in winter of 2014 as “Russia’s bloodless invasion in February and March 2014”.

The reality on the ground is everyone’s worst nightmare come true: fighting has now begun between US-backed proxy militants and ethnic Russian and Russian-speaking forces as Washington and NATO continues to arm-up a flagging Ukrainian military, and supply their new ‘deniability brigades’, NeoNazis paramilitary platoons, Right Sector and Tatar militias, some of whom have been implicated in terrorist attacks in recent months.

CIA-NATO Dream Team: Nazis and ISIS Fighting Side-By-Side in Ukraine

Other US State Department-aligned foreign policy blogs have even admitted that US military Special Forces have been training new Ukrainian special forces, and seem to be ramping-up the rhetoric in the hopes of trigger more instability in the region.

Another disturbing development which has been all but blacked-out by US TV media, is that either CIA or NATO Intelligence (or both) appear to have drafted in Islamic Battalions, stocked with militant Chechens (likely many of the same fighters rotating through Syria fighting for ISIS), to help the US-backed regime in Kiev defeat Russian-speaking Rebels in eastern Ukraine.

So it’s another US-NATO proxy war beginning in Crimea.

http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/11/26/us-nato-launch-new-proxy-war-front-in-crimea-nazis-bomb-electrical-grid-causing-national-blackout/

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Posted on Fort Russ

November 26, 2015 – Oleg Makarenko, PolitRussia – Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski

‘10 considerations on the Crimea blockade”

#7 Will Russia come to aid our misguided Ukrainian brothers? I think not this time. Although we would look at the collapse of the energy system of Ukraine with great sadness, the blockade of Crimea leaves us with no other choice than responding symmetrically.

Russian customs no longer allow coal to be delivered to Ukraine. The DPR has also stopped shipments of coal in the direction of Kiev. Gazprom, meanwhile, has cut off the supply of gas to Ukraine until it receives new payments. I’ll also remind everyone that two weeks ago Ukraine temporarily stopped buying electricity from Russia. It is quite obvious that prior to the lifting of the blockade of Crimea there will be no new deliveries of energy from Russia.

If one considers that the Americans are still more than unwilling to pay 3 billion dollars of Ukrainian debt by the end of December then the “Ukraine is not Russia” project will have the chance to end ahead of time. If nothing changes, then there will be no money and no electricity in the new year in Ukraine.

#8 Do they understand the depth of the problem in Kiev? I have no doubt that they understand. Actually, this is why Kiev’s promises to restore the supply of electricity to Crimea can be heard daily.

I’ll repeat: this indicates that Kiev wanted to bargain with us. However, this time, it is possible that we will not talk with Kiev and that it will have to untangle energy problems on its own.

Is Ukraine worried about winter? From a purely technical point of view, probably yes due to the complete stalling of the energy supply industry and other emergency measures. But, as you know, transitioning Ukraine’s economy into such a regime does not increase chances of survival.

#9 Many hot heads propose that Ukraine be dealt with as harshly as possible and that Ukraine should not be allowed to be supplied with coal or electricity even after the blockade of Crimea will be lifted.

These hotheads forget that Ukraine is now under the direct control of the US and that its elites will remain warm in their offices anyway. It’s not Mr. Yatsenyuk or Mr. Saakashvili who will “freeze solid,” but those who are held hostage by the Americans – Ukrainians.

Such a scenario does not categorically suit us, but organizing a “Holodomor” in Ukraine might bring some political points to our American friends and partners.

Ask Crimeans if they’ve begun to love Ukraine after the electricity blockade by Kiev. They’ll reply that they have not. And rest assured: If Russia were to follow the pseudo-patriots and attempted to freeze Ukraine, then Russophobic moods in Ukraine would only be strengthened by this.

Now it is already clear that the “Ukraine is not Russia” project has failed. It’s already necessary to think about the future, about how Russia will build relations with Ukraine after an adequate change of government in Kiev.

#10 Finally, I suggest that we pay attention to Europe’s reaction. The German foreign ministry directly called the disabling of electricity to Crimea a crime. Why? Because the Germans are not fools and they perfectly understand that if Ukraine is given a free hand, then next time it will blow up transmission line towers along the European Union pipeline.

Summary

Kiev’s attempt to blackmail Russia with Crimea has failed. Presumably, Kiev will now try to rewind and quickly fix the power line to Crimea. If for some reason Kiev can’t do this, then Crimea will remain without electricity anyway, but Ukraine might face a winter with the most severe energy crisis in its modern history.

http://www.fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/11/crimea-blackout-and-blockade-failed.html