Follow-up Letter to California's Governor Gray Davis by Russell D. Hoffman (June 15th, 2001)

From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re:
Cc: "Dianne Feinstein, Senator (CA, D)" <> "Barbara Boxer, Senator (CA, D)" <>

Dear Governor Davis:

This is being forwarded to you and our Senators in case they, you, your staff, or their staff, like Mr. Robbins (of the Orange County Register), needed a clarification of my position as expressed in my previous email.

Thank you in advance for your interest and concern.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA
(Full Contact information appears below)

Enclosures (2):
Letter to Gary Robbins, Orange County Register, Follow-up letter to Mr. Robbins


Dear Mr. Robbins,

Thank you for your email (shown below), but to clarify, I didn't say the CCC said that the NRC's actions were unconstitutional.

Rather, *I* said that the NRC's actions MUST be unconstitutional, as shown in the documents linked to in my letter to Governor Gray Davis.  I also propose a solution for long-term energy and health for the State of California.

I also said that some of the CCC commissioners lamented, basically, that they did not have more rights granted to them by the NRC, or rather, that the NRC had taken the right to look at the safety issues and they didn't particularly like that.  Of the CCC, I'm saying that they should recognize that they cannot make a logical, scientifically sound, economically viable decision unless they have free access to all the facts, which they most certainly DO NOT HAVE.  If they will not outright reject Dry Cask Storage, they should at least refuse to decide any issue put before them in which the safety concerns are legally hidden by the NRC or any other agency.

Why are the NRC's actions unconstitutional?  Because no agency can possibly have been legally granted as much power as they have taken.

And no agency, like the CCC for example, can perform its function -- the function it was implemented to do -- if its authority in the safety issues is completely usurped by the NRC.  In other words, as things stand, the CCC performs no useful function whatsoever when it comes to licensing issues at SONGS, and should not be pretending to have looked at the issue of Dry Cask Storage fairly.  It should reject the idea that it has any authority at all, if it can't discuss the safety issues without NRC restraints.

I say the NRC's idea of how much authority it should have is unconstitutionally broad because I have personally witnessed an interesting phenomena, not only at the CCC, but also at the CPUC Utilities Safety Branch, and at OSHA, both in conversations with civil servants and in correspondence (descriptions of these instances are included in the material I linked to in my letter to Davis) all in the last 6 weeks.  ALL of these agencies, and many others besides, have accepted a COMPLETE lack of oversight -- not just oversight, but to put it in a nutshell, they aren't even supposed to think about the dangers which lurk at San Onofre.

I realize there is a lot of material in the items my letter to Davis links to, but I think they present a very compelling case that the NRC has way, way WAY too much power, and exercises that power poorly.  If you are interested in talking to the OSHA people I spoke to I can give you their names.  The other government contacts, such as at Cal PUC SUB, are listed in the linked documents.  (If you would like me to mail you a hard copy version of this recent material, I would be happy to send it to you.)

Thank you again for writing, and please do not hesitate to write or phone if I can answer any further questions.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA
June 15th, 2001

At 10:15 AM 6/15/01 -0700, [Gary Robbins] wrote:

   Hello Mr. Hoffman:
       By odd coincidence, your e-mail reached me one day after I toured
unit 1 at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. I got a good look at
the dry cask storage site that you refer to. I toured the plant because I'm
the Register's science writer and I'm keeping an eye on emerging
technology. I also recently wrote a story about the fact that scientists
might have under-estimated the seismic risk to the plant 20 years ago. The
story was based on a review of the California Coastal Commission report,
and direct coversations back at Harvard with researcher John Shaw. We are
keeping an eye on the plant. However, the coastal commission has not said
that that NRC's regulation of the plant is unconstitutional. In fact, one
of its recent reports says the opposite.
   Gary Robbins, Orange County Register



[June 15th, 2001]

Dear Mr. Robbins,

This news item shown below just came in on one of the anti-nuclear listservs I subscribe to.  Of course, Tennessee law and California law are no doubt different in many ways, but it's the same corrupt federal organization at the heart of the problem: DoE and its regulatory arm, the NRC, and it's the same basic problem of a local group trying to extend their "oversight" to the larger questions the nuclear dilemma poses.


-- Russell Hoffman, Carlsbad, CA

Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 14:37:15 EDT
Subject: [downwinders] Our View: DOE's concern misdirected on oversight issue

June 15, 2001

Our View: DOE's concern misdirected on oversight issue

The Department of Energy should be commending the Citizens' Advisory Panel of
the Oak Ridge Reservation Local Oversight Committee. Instead, it is slapping
committee members' collective hand for supposedly overreaching in their
oversight capacity by commenting on a strategic plan put forth by the
Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET).

One senses a bit of territorial tug-of-war at play here between two local
agencies operating under federal charge. If that is the case, it shapes just
one more reason why DOE should refrain from entering the parochial fray.

But a more significant reason, we think, is that the oversight committee is
acting within its broader, rather than narrower, mandate of gauging the local
impact of DOE activities.

The Oak Ridge Reservation Local Oversight Committee was created in 1991 to
represent those counties and communities affected most directly by the
Department of Energy's activities in Oak Ridge. This includes environmental
management-related activities (or cleanup activities).

CROET is an economic development organization whose purpose is to assist the
private sector in creating jobs and accelerating cleanup in the region by
using the underutilized land, facilities, equipment, personnel and
technologies available on the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation.
CROET leases facilities at the Oak Ridge K-25 Site to businesses. K-25 is a
major site where cleanup activities are located.

Frankly, we have expressed our concern here before about CROET envisioning
itself as something other than a local public board subject to the full
disclosure and open meetings provisions of laws affecting public bodies in
this state. CROET envisions itself, wrongly in our view, as a federal agency
operating outside the full reach of state disclosure laws or, alternatively,
a recipient of private funds (i.e., rental income from leased federal
properties) still outside full public scrutiny.

DOE should worry far less about the Citizens' Advisory Panel's scope of
inquiry and more about CROET's seeming unwillingness to be held to the
highest possible standard of disclosure.



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First posted June 14th, 2001.

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