Submission to the California Coastal Commission
June 13th, 2001
Russell D. Hoffman, Concerned Citizen
Commission, media, interested parties: Please read this document, and please share it with others. (It is also available online; URL appears at the end of the TOC, next page) I am happy to answer any questions. If they are technical questions and I don't know the answer offhand, I will be happy to find someone who does know the answer! Everyone needs to know what they are trying to pull over on an unsuspecting public!
Research effort involved in the production of this document:
In the process of creating this testimony I've read scads of government and industry documents purporting to explain how something so dangerous as nuclear power can be safe, at all its many stages. Iíve also had conversations with NRC officials, SONGS employees and others. Over the past 30 years I have studied these topics extensively including conversations with Dr. John W. Gofman (who isolated the first working quantities of plutonium), the late Dr. Karl Z. Morgan (who was known as the "father of health physics"), Dr. Ernest Sternglass (who has done statistical studies about Low Level Radiation and is Professor Emeritus of Radiological Physics in the Department of Radiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine), Dr. Jay Gould (also of U of P), Dr. Horst Poehler (former NASA contract scientist), Dr. Helen Caldicott (Harvard Medical School alumni and former teacher there), Dr. Ross Wilcock and others, and dozens of activists, as well as many others on both sides of the nuclear debates, including retired Marine Jack Shannon (responsible for the design of the D2G Navy reactor, the most widely used reactor in the U. S. navy). Also award-winning investigative reporter Karl Grossman, ecologist and human rights advocate Pamela Blockey-O'Brien, and others. Also, I've read a few dozen books on related subjects. It is a not an easy task to even begin to understand what we are facing.
Any errors herein are regrettably my own, but I believe it would take an unlikely preponderance of errors to invalidate my basic position on these issues.
Biographical sketch of Mr. Hoffman:
Mr. Hoffman is a computer programmer and independent researcher. He is the author of "All About Pumps", an educational software program about mechanical pumps. He is the programmer for several Assembler-language animation tools and utilities, as well as other educational tutorials including "The Heart: The Engine of Life", about the human heart (the most amazing pump in the universe) and "Statistics Explained" (a first-year interactive college statistics course). Hoffman's software is used at thousands of institutions around the world, including hospitals, universities, industry and government. He is also the founder and editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter, which published 253 issues from 1997 to 2000. His educational web site, www.animatedsoftware.com, is linked to from hundreds of educational institutions around the world, as well as by pump trainers, statistics teachers, and also by the media and environmental activists, and is visited by hundreds of thousands of people each year. Hof fman is 44, married (23 years), no children. His wife, Sharon Hoffman, is a technical editor in the AS/400 marketplace, and former editor at one of the leading IBM midrange computer magazines. Her assistance in the creation of this document is deeply appreciated and although she could not be here today, she wishes to be regarded as a co-signer of this document. Our hobbies include mountain biking, inline skating, swimming, and reading scientific and technical tomes.
Testimony from Russell D. Hoffman for the California Coastal Commission Public Hearing, 6/13/2001
Attachments referenced in the testimony and included here:
1) "Too Cheap To Meter" quotes from pro-nuclear "authorities" from the early daze.
2) An expert speaks on seismic codes (1999).
3) A look at the logical fallacies exhibited by Commissioners and their staff at the last meeting (March 13th, 2001).
4) A look at history: Along with the absurd optimism (see item #1, above), the denigration of the anti-nuclear voice is a historic fact. Here is a look at just one example.
5) Recent San Francisco Bay Guardian article about extremely relevant Low Level Waste Disposal regulations in California.
6) Letter to Alok Kumar, State of California, Utilities Safety Branch concerning his earlier claim to me that his agency has no responsibilities for public safety at nuclear power plants. Clearly they do. Clearly the California Coastal Commission does too (letter included attachments 7, 8, and 9).
7) Letter to U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA Region IX concerning NRC failure to properly track accidents at places they are responsible for (letter included attachments 8 and 9).
8) Letter to California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (OSHSB) concerning the crane drop incident at SONGS that occurred June 1st, 2001, and its ramifications for public safety. (letter included attachment 9).
9) My own report on the crane drop incident, previously sent to the commissioners (note correction to description of a "half scram").
This document is available in its entirety online at the author's web site, at the following URL:
The author notes that he recently was informed that San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station had additional crane accidents in 1986 (for which they were fined by the NRC), and while the reactor was being built, when they dropped the reactor head 6 inches. It weighed 20,000 lbs. They have moved up. They now drop loads weighing 80,000 lbs. 40 feet!