The clock’s ticking on yesterday’s technology. For decades, the French have enjoyed cheaper utility bills than all their neighbors thanks to their 58 nuclear reactors. They were built to last 30 years but the deadline for decommissioning keeps getting pushed back. In the past week, France has faced fresh calls to shut down ageing nuclear plants near its borders with Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg. How safe are these plants? What’s the alternative?
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Will the North Koreans defy the world and launch a ballistic missile?
The north Koreans are planning a ballistic missile launch between April 12th and April 16th of this year. Under the Guise of a communications satellite launch, this will bring the North Koreans one step closer towards a ballistic nuclear missile.
Recently, the North Koreans tested a nuclear weapon. To this date, it is unclear whether or not the test was 100% successful. However during the time of the test, tremors were reported from North Korea which was consistent with a nuclear detonation.
This ballistic missile launch is not only a concern for the western world, but Most of the far eastern Asian countries. The projected track of the missile brings its track close to the Philippines and or Indonesian islands. Debris from the missile launch can land on inhabited areas and potentially cause death and property destruction when the carrier falls to earth.
The launch will also jeopardize the agreement the North Koreans have with the west, concerning “food for not launching ballistic missiles” programs.
Hundreds of British ex-servicemen who say they were made ill as a result of being exposed to radiation during nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s have asked the UK’s highest court to allow them to launch damages claims against the Ministry of Defence.
Veterans began the latest stage of their fight for compensation during a hearing at the Supreme Court in London on Monday.
They blame ill-health – including cancer, skin defects and fertility problems – on their involvement in British nuclear tests in Australia, on Christmas Island and in the Pacific Ocean between 1952 and 1958.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) acknowledges a “debt of gratitude” but denies negligence.
Andrew Robathan, the Conservative Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans – and a former soldier – has described “the general merits” of claims as “extremely weak”.
Several ex-servicemen – plus veterans’ relatives – were at the hearing to hear their lawyers outline legal arguments and evidence.
The hearing is due to last three days – and a panel of Supreme Court justices is expected to reserve judgment to a later date.
Outside the court, a Royal Navy veteran said “lumps” developed on his arms five years after he was involved in two nuclear tests in the Pacific – and he was diagnosed with cancer 45 years later.
Retired railwayman Archie Hart, 74, said he was involved in two tests off Australia in his late teens.
He said that in his 20s “non-cancerous tumours” emerged on his arms and by his 60s he had bowel cancer.
“I was on a ship off the northwest coast of Australia – I served between ’55 and ’57,” Hart told reporters.
“I was 18 when they did the first test and 19 when they did the second. This isn’t a legal argument to me. I was there – on a ship that sailed through an atomic cloud. I didn’t actually see the blast but I saw the mushroom cloud rise.”