Gary Robbins' (Orange County Register) libelous comments to Russell Hoffman -- June 15th, 2001

From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: Your libelous comments to me.  An apology is expected
Cc:,, California Senators, governor of California
In-Reply-To: <>

To: Mr. Gary Robbins, Orange County Register
From: Russell Hoffman, Concerned Citizen
cc: Editor, OC Register, Governor Davis, CA Senators...
Date: June 15th, 2001
Re: Your libelous comments to me (shown below).  An apology is expected.

Dear Mr. Robbins,

I never suggested you advocated an anti-nuclear position, or any other position.  STOP putting words in my mouth.

Evidently, along with misunderstanding my position on the CCC's viewpoint regarding the NRC, etc., you have missed entirely my rather complete description (compared, for example, to anything one is likely to see in an average American daily newspaper) of a proposal for a clean energy solution for California and the planet, which was included as a link in my letter to Governor Davis which I sent you yesterday, and which you responded [to] in your first letter to me, this morning.

There were four links at the bottom of the letter to Governor Davis.  This was the third one:

Energy solutions for the planet, and the need for a global energy grid:

Why not read it?  I have signatures from a petition based on those ideas, collected in the past year, with about a thousand names, mostly people from California.  The article is about a proposal originally made by the late Dr. R. Buckminster Fuller in the 1930s.  It is not dated, but rather has only become technologically possible in the past few decades -- while you were watching the nuclear industry do whatever it is you call "scientific advances" since Three Mile Island.   My description of Dr. Fuller's proposal includes up-to-date considerations of the technological challenges and modern solutions which are available to meet those challenges.  You really ought to read it, because you've accused me of "ignoring scientific advances" in my search for solutions.  I've done no such thing.  But you've ignored well-documented dangers if you think SONGS has a logical solution to SoCals energy problems.

So please don't waste your time telling me YOU have to look "at the big picture".  Picture in your mind the coming 104 Dry Storage Casks, each of which will weigh about 400,000 lbs and be deadly as hell, filled with radioactive waste encased in tubes, despite all the embrittlement problems that have plagued the whole industry, and in particular which have plagued San Onofre -- and yet so far it seems that not one of these 104 casks (+ more if they want), or even all of them put together, bothers you enough to say "whoa!".  When you visit SONGS and look into their Spent Fuel Pool you should see more than just a pretty blue light.  When you visit their old Unit I building, like you said you did, (BTW, it's ludicrous to call that thing a "containment building", since it's not up to standards in shape or strength (and even those other so-called containment buildings are full of holes, you know)), you should see an accident waiting to happen if the lining of the pool cracks in an earthquake, or even just if those pumps which circulate the water fail for any reason (like, the spent fuel casks tipped over and cracked in an earthquake, or the place was flooded out in a tsunami (causing a meltdown of the reactor), or maybe they just dropped one of the Dry Fuel Casks, or even "just" the fuel assembly they were putting into the Dry Fuel Cask.  NRC-licensed crane operators moving reactor fuel can become "inattentive", as happened in 1997 at San Onofre.

You may have heard that San Marcos, City of, and County Board of Directors, San Diego, are both moving gung-ho towards solar power.  Imagine the ramifications if the OC Register advocated that ALL government buildings immediately convert to solar, and that commercial and residential establishments be even more encouraged than they are already to also do so (currently my recollection is it's a 35% rebate already, but it should be much higher), so that we can shut down San Onofre and thus solve the "growing" part of the waste problem.  And the reliability problem, as well. The fact is, a good energy grid in the state combined with a mixture of renewable energy solutions is the most reliable as well as the cheapest long-term energy solution for California.  And no nuclear waste piling up!

In your underhanded support for SONGS which you express in your letter to me, (despite your claims of being unbiased), you ignore the obvious solution these events all taken together suggest is possible.  Instead you are recommending that we continue creating over 500 lbs per day of new High Level Radioactive Waste -- and a ton of so-called Low Level Radioactive Waste, which is really just HLRW with filler added (steel, water, cloth, plastic, etc.).  (Each unit produces over 250 lbs per day of HLRW and nearly 1000 lbs per day of LLRW when the reactor is running at full power output, a bit less when it is shut down (due to a fire or whatever), but the fuel is still burning itself out rather rapidly even when the reactor is off line.)

But despite your incredible misunderstanding of the problems, and the potential solutions, you have the nerve to waste my time and arrogantly accuse me of "simply opposing nuclear energy".  Yes, I oppose nuclear power, because the many good and honored scientists whom I have had the privilege to interview over the years have made any other viewpoint seem illogical to me.  But to accuse me of "simply opposing nuclear energy" is libelous to begin with, and outrageous and unfairAn apology is expected.  A balanced report of this exchange, by an unbiased reporter, and a report on the issues I submitted to you which led to your contacting me, would seem the least the OC Register could do.

Your insults are unprofessional, and I will not be surprised if the OC Register fires you when they compare your accusations about me with the obvious facts that a little effort on your part would have revealed to you just as easily as it will be revealed to OC Register's lawyers when they check out the very links included in the items I sent you, which I rather fancy they are bound to do at this point.

I certainly don't think the idea that the OC Register might no longer want your services should worry you though, Mr. Robbins, since SONGS can always use more PR writers to support their fantasy "clean energy" solution, which is doomed to bankrupt California. NO ONE WILL TAKE THAT WASTE.  Yucca Mountain, the industry's last hope for a long term repository for the HLNW, is extremely unlikely to ever open.  Nevada ain't stupid. They don't want it.  Everyone else is wising up pretty quickly too.  So someone needs to keep the fantasy line that San Onofre solves our energy problems going.  Looks like you're just the man they are looking for.

But the facts are, that it's high time to switch to clean energy solutions and close SONGS down.  Wise up, Gary Robbins.  Before some inattentive SONGS employee mishandles another load. Next time, maybe a dry cask.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen, concerned for one thing with the spineless media we seem to have here in SoCal.

At 03:28 PM 6/15/01 -0700, Gary Robbins wrote:

Mr. Hoffman:
     Thank you for sending along your message about DOE.
      You mentioned in your message that you subscribe to anti-nuclear
listservs. That's fine. But you should know that I do not take an advocacy
position, either for or against, nuclear power. Instead, I monitor and
valuate the science and engineering of nuclear-related issues. If I simply
took an anti-nuclear viewpoint in my work, I would be ignoring genuine
scientific advances that have been made in nuclear technology since Three
Mile Island. I'd also be overlooking a key problem -- simply opposing
nuclear energy doesn't deal with the larger issue of meeting the country's
overall energy needs. Your messages have focused your opposition to nuclear
power. They haven't provided alternatives to meeting the country's energy
needs -- including your energy needs. I have to look at the big picture.
    Thanks again for writing.
     Gary Robbins


Prior correspondence between Robbins and Hoffman is available for viewing online here:

Related material (especially, items from June 2nd, 2001 through current (June 15th, 2001)):

Discover, Mr. Robbins, efficient pump technology at Hoffman's famous INTERNET GLOSSARY OF PUMPS, the LARGEST collection of descriptions of different kinds of pumps in the universe:


This web page has been presented on the World Wide Web by:

The Animated Software Company
Mail to:
First posted June 15th, 2001.

Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman