FEARS are mounting Vladimir Putin’s military have carried out a secret Arctic nuclear test after a huge spike in dangerous radiation levels were detected across Europe. Nuclear radiation has been spreading across Europe – and nobody knows where it's coming from.
Scientists have been left baffled by the detection of increased levels of nuclear radiation in seven different European countries.
Iodine-131 – which is notable for causing mutation and death in cells it penetrates – was reportedly detected in Norway, Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain last month. The radiation appears to be emanating from Eastern Europe, but experts have been unable to identify the source.
Iodine-131 has a half-life of just eight days, so detecting it in the atmosphere is proof of a recent release, according to the French Institute de Radioprotection et de Süreté Nucléaire (IRSN).
Further information makes the find even more unusual. Iodine-131 is usually found alongside other radioactive materials, but it wasn't. And it has a short half-life – the time required for one half of the atoms of a radioactive substance to disintegrate – but a significant amount of it was found, meaning that it is likely that it was introduced very recently.
It isn't clear where Iodine-131 would ever have been released from. The US has deployed specialised planes to fly over Europe and isolate it – but have mostly failed.
Conspiracy theorists have pointed to the fact that the spread appeared emanate from northern Norway, where Russia may have run a secret nuclear test. Iodine-131 is perhaps most closely associated with atomic bombs, and was found throughout the world after those were tested, as well as after accidents at the Chernobyl and Fukushima nuclear power plants.
But it is also being used to treat some cancers and other illnesses. The fact that the material was found on its own likely suggests that it had been isolated, and so makes it more likely that the leak came from a pharmaceutical company that hasn't reported it to authorities.
The defense of Europe and the free world has depended on the absolute certainty that whatever president is occupying the White House, the United States will come to the aid of a NATO member if attacked. Any doubt about the American commitment, and the credibility of NATO's doctrine of collective defense, is holed below the waterline.
NATO reserves able to move quickly and effectively to bolster defenses in the Baltics will send a powerful message. It also requires Canada and European members of NATO to recognize that military capabilities lost from cumulative disarmament over the past two decades must be regenerated. This means increasing defense spending, almost certainly above the 2% of gross domestic product agreed — but often not acted upon — by NATO members (less the United States, UK, Estonia and Greece).
At a time when the West faces a greater threat from a resurgent Russia since the most dangerous crises of the Cold War, NATO, more than ever, needs to stand strong, united and credible.
Russia's invasion of Crimea and Ukraine in 2014 may have already lit the fuse that could lead to the unthinkable: nuclear war with Russia in Europe.
2017 is 100th anniversary of the first occasion the United States intervened in one of Europe's wars. The region's security is a matter of American security, and it means continued and close engagement in Europe and a continuation of the strong leadership that America has given NATO from the start.
“In instances where Moscow provides significant financial assistance as part of the deal, like in Hungary, [the deals] also serve as a direct purchasing of influence and political favors from EU member states,” Armstrong added. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been a vocal critic of EU sanctions on Russia, an issue he is expected to discuss with Putin during the visit.
Together with the construction of a power plant in Finland, Paks II is the “ticket to the European nuclear market,” said Petr Topychkanov, a fellow in the Carnegie Moscow Center’s nonproliferation program. “The success there will help Rosatom to overcome the anti-nuclear lobby in Europe, and to have an upper hand over nuclear competitors in this region.”
Analysts and industry insiders worry that at least one other EU member — the Czech Republic — is waiting to see if it can follow Hungary’s lead and secure the Commission’s approval for skipping a competitive tender and award a nuclear energy contract straight to Rosatom, even though it has already started to prepare for one.
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That said, the interest rate for the Russian loan is not that attractive for Prague, Václav Bartuška, special envoy for energy security at the Czech foreign affairs ministry, told POLITICO on Tuesday. “For a country like the Czech Republic it’s easy to find financing on much better terms than can be offered by Rosatom.”
Russia would be forced to use nuclear weapons in any conflict in which U.S. or NATO forces entered eastern Ukraine, a member of Russia’s parliament told an international gathering of government security officials on Sunday.
“On the issue of NATO expansion on our borders, at some point I heard from the Russian military — and I think they are right — If U.S. forces, NATO forces, are, were, in the Crimea, in eastern Ukraine, Russia is undefendable militarily in case of conflict without using nuclear weapons in the early stage of the conflict,” Russian parliamentarian Vyacheslav Alekseyevich Nikonov told attendees at the GLOBSEC 2017 forum in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Russian military leaders have discussed Moscow’s willingness to use nuclear weapons in a conflict with military leaders in NATO, as part of broader and increasingly contentious conversations about the alliance’s expansion, Nikonov later told Defense One.
Dr. Roberts is right but let’s not forget that this posturing against Russia is partly a bluff. Meaning I’m confident somewhat that it won’t turn into a nuclear show down. But the fact they’re willing to risk it alone disqualify them. And with crazy people like Hillary you never know. First thing to do is to prevent them from establishing a no-fly zone in Syria. Well i guess the 1st we need to do is to hope that Trump wins and that he’s sincere about working with Russia.
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