Saturday, September 20, 2014

Nuclear Diner's New Look

Nuclear Diner is now on WordPress and has a new look. Feeds are available for posts and comments. Check it out!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Diplomacy with Russia as Therapy

Like a diva, Russia is all over the headlines lately. If it’s not hysterics that big bad NATO is right on its borders, it’s no, of course those weren’t Russian bombers over Sweden. Or that it’s okay for Russia to annex Crimea because there was a fair vote, whereas poor Scotland got cheated out of proper independence from the UK hegemons because that vote was fixed. [Okay, sorry, that was North Korea, the only country currently out-crazying Russia on social media.]

It’s been said that diplomacy with Russia can be like doing therapy with an extremely insecure patient. Russia, of course, has nuclear weapons, so a hysterical fit of tossing pots and pans could have disastrous consequences.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bits and Pieces - September 15, 2014

More Nuclear Diner-ish links. We are doing a major overhaul of the site and hope to have the new version up by next week! The old version is still available, but clunky in spots.

This may be sorta good news. It's hard to tell about anything coming out of Putin's Russia. The interpretation outside of Wonderland is that Putin doesn't want to occupy the Donbass, he just wants influence in Kiev. As many other things have been doing, this could change at any time.

Also significant: NATO Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove says that stealth invasions into NATO partners will invoke NATO's mutual assistance Article 5. Some have been saying that Russia will respond to a firm stand. Looks like here it is. See also previous paragraph for potential Russian response.

Ukraine wants to buy nuclear fuel from the US, not Russia.

A remarkably prescient article about Ukraine and Russia from a year ago.

In July, I asked how Russia sees the world. Apparently that is how Sergey Karaganov, dean at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics in Moscow, sees it.

Can thinking about a nuclear waste repository help us to broaden our time horizons to think more realistically about global warming?

Saturday, September 06, 2014

So Many Things Wrong Here

Frank Munger, whom you must follow if you want to know what is happening at the government's Oak Ridge nuclear facilities, is reporting on Y-12's capturing the DOE award for bad boy of the complex from Los Alamos. The offenses include particles of enriched uranium in the wrong place, the ever-popular mishandling of classified documents, and a genuinely alarming report of mistakes in pouring molten enriched uranium.

To some degree, it's all part of the game: DOE must find that its contractors are doing something wrong to prove it's in charge. This is sometimes aided and abetted by other contractors who are strongly motivated to show up their competitors.

The photo above illustrates some of the problems. I'm not clear on who the person is. He could be either Steve Erhart, the National Nuclear Security Administration manager who oversees Y-12 and Pantex, its sister nuclear facility in Texas, who wrote the letter detailing the sins, or Jim Haynes, the president and CEO of Consolidated Nuclear Security, the Bechtel-led contractor that took over management of both plants on July 1, the letter's recipient.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Bits and Pieces - September 5, 2014

Nuclear Diner is down right now, because we're working on upgrading the site. We hope to have it back in greatly improved form next week. Meanwhile, tabs are building up on my browser, and it's time to simplify. So these links will tilt more toward the nuclear and world conflict than usual.

This morning, it appears that Russia's FSB kidnapped an Estonian Security Service officer. The Estonian Security Service works on counterintelligence and organized crime. Here's more about Estonia's counterintelligence.

The photo above  (click to enlarge) is what the Estonian-Russian border looks like where the officer was taken.