STOP CASSINI Newsletter #12 -- May 18th, 1997

By Russell D. Hoffman

Copyright (c) 1997

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index


Hi!

Exciting news: NASA has promised to consider our 36-point "Commentary" (and other STOP CASSINI news).

Thanks, Russell Hoffman, Webmaster, STOP CASSINI

**** STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER Volume #12 ****

Subject:
A brief history of my mail FROM NASA,
The latest letter from NASA,
How much damage can one little pound of plutonium
really do, anyway? (Let alone 72.3 pounds...)

****** VOLUME #12 May 18th, 1997 ******


By Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF MY MAIL FROM NASA
**********************************

In the last few months I have received five letters and packages from NASA. The first, requested by me in January, 1997, was the "FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR THE CASSINI MISSION", a document published by NASA in June, 1995 which purports to do just what the title suggests. But in actuality it was neither "Final" nor much of a statement. I would call it a package of obfuscations. Specifically, it would start by telling a limited version of the truth, then it would make a false assumption, then it would explain away all real problems with complicated scientific nonsense. But this is old news...

Next, NASA sent me notification that there would be a Supplement.

Next, NASA sent me two documents in one package. One document was called the "NUCLEAR SAFETY ANALYSES FOR CASSINI MISSION ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT PROCESS". The other was called the "DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT FOR THE CASSINI MISSION".

These two documents follow the trend set by the first document and contain, to my mind, some of the worst science on the planet (or anywhere else). I titled my response I.Q. TEST FOR SPACE CADETS. Here is the URL of that 36-point discussion of these documents: http://www.animatedsoftware.com/cassini/dsei9704.htm

I have since received two more items from NASA, both letters from Mr. Earle K. Huckins III, who is Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Science. The first one, about two weeks ago, was in answer to my having sent my web site to the White House and "cc'd" The White House. It pointed me to a rather unhelpful JPL/NASA web area and the few articles I found there that I had not already answered I answered in the following two documents:

ONE)
FALSE, TRUE, and TRUER: AN ANSWER TO A JPL WEB DOCUMENT:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/cassini/jpltruer.htm

TWO)
An answer to a statement from NASA/JPL regarding launch accidents. (This appeared as newsletter #9, May 5th, 1997): http://www.animatedsoftware.com/cassini/nltrs/nltr0009.htm

Which brings us to yesterday's mail which included another letter from Mr. Huckins. This latest letter is shown below. This is a very important opportunity as I will discuss below...

*******************************************************
A LETTER FROM EARLE K HUCKINS III (NASA)
*******************************************************

From: National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration
Headquarters
Washington, DC 20546-0001

Replay to Attn of: S

Mr. Russell D. Hoffman
[P. O. Box 1936]
[Carlsbad, CA 92018-1936]

Dear Mr. Hoffman:

Thank you for your letter and printed version of your web site dated April 26, 1997, to NASA administrator Daniel S. Goldin concerning the Cassini mission to Saturn. Your materials were forwarded to me for a response.

We appreciate your concern in taking the time to read and comment on all our informational material. However, I would like to emphasize that the information contained and referenced in our Environmental Impact Statements, fact sheets, and web site are the best available, factual information relating to risks associated with the Cassini mission. Your 36 points commenting on the Cassini Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement will be addressed in the Cassini Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and made available to the public.

Additionally, before launching NASA spacecraft with RTGs, thorough and detailed safety tests and analyses of the consequences of potential accidents are conducted. The nuclear safety analyses for a mission undergo independent evaluations by nationally or internationally recognized experts. Knowledgable representatives from other Federal agencies who have special expertise in nuclear materials also evaluate these analyses. These evaluations are presented to and considered by the NASA Administrator prior to a decision to launch.

Sincerely,

(Signed)
Earle K. Huckins III
Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Science

*******************************************************
WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
*******************************************************

Naturally, whenever I get a letter or package from NASA I am excited. This one certainly at first blush looks like a mighty good first step!

But I believe what is actually happening is that they have decided that they want to avoid my main point of late -- that the Cassini plutonium packs -- known as Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) -- appear to be designed to INCINERATE ON PURPOSE in case of an accidental flyby re-entry, (or will incinerate whether designed that way on purpose or not). You will notice that not one word of that issue is included here, but that was actually a significant part of the web site printout they were all sent late last month "They" = Clinton, Gore, Boxer, Feinstein, Leiberman, Dodd, Goldin. (I lived for about 35 of my 40 years in Connecticut and now live in California, hence my choice of Senators to contact.))

It is interesting that they would rather take on the 36-point "commentary" than the 15 or so-point RTG issue... I guess I must have been too mild in the commentary!

So what to do? Naturally, I intend to respond QUICKLY because the deadline for comments in approaching -- MAY 27th, 1997, at 4:30 pm E.D.T. [now past.] I intend to stress that the RTG question must be answered FIRST, or the entire "DSIES" and therefore the 36-point commentary about it, is of little use. That is, if the RTG's are going to incinerate, then all studies of the health effects of a flyby accidental re-entry should reflect a 100% burn, which they certainly do not do.

I have not received anything else, by the way. None of the elected officials have sent me a letter about the submission of the web site in printed form last month. But it's only been a few weeks (after all NASA just got back to me on it yesterday.) I think perhaps the fact that NASA answered as they have is response enough, though...

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WHAT CAN ONE POUND OF PLUTONIUM DO? (LET ALONE 72.3)
**************************************************************

I have been engaged for the past week or so in an ongoing email debate with a gentleman who has challenged many of my views. The ball is currently in his court because I am waiting for a response to my latest email. But I wanted to present part of my last email to him right away because it is really pretty important. It concerns the question of what one pound of plutonium can do.

He has given me permission to use his name and email address, which is Mr. Mike Pelletier (mikep@comshare.com). Additional communication between us is also available online:

I suggest, then, that you and your cohorts fighting the Cassini mission stop using the specious assertion that one pound of plutonium is enough to kill everyone on Earth. If you are actually interested in generating light, instead of heat, I expect that this would make sense to you.

If 11,000 pounds of plutonium, plus heaven knows how many tons of a wide spectrum of other radioactive elements from neutron-activated bomb parts, dirt, water-borne minerals, and the like, weren't enough to kill everyone on Earth 11,000 times over, as is obviously the case, then the claim that one pound is enough, implying that 72 pounds from Cassini is more than enough, is patently false. I am really sick of seeing it bandied about, frankly, although it appears that your site is a little more balanced than most.

I contacted Dr. Jay Gould, author of The Enemy Within and co-author of Deadly Deceipt (with Dr. Sternglass). I read Dr. Gould the first sentence of the second paragraph of my response to M. P., which appears below (starts "The exact nature"). What was Dr. Gould's comment? He added the two words "without question":

******* BEGIN EXCERPTED RESPONSE TO Mr. Pelletier: ********

You are right that that argument is shrouded in misinformation. I have, in fact, argued quite extensively with friends on the exact wording of various versions of this statement, lest it's underlying premise be misrepresented by a single word change somewhere.

The exact nature of the underlying statement is that if you were to divide a pound of plutonium into some 5.8 billion particles, and then placed one of those particles on a person's lung tissue, that person will surely develop lung cancer, without question. It's that deadly. So the only thing "saving us" from such a death is the fact that many of the particles will NOT be inhaled if a flyby re-entry accident occurs.

That the 10s or 100s of billions of particles from 72 pounds of plutonium will instead nearly all make it to earth and NOT be ingested by other animals and then transferred into our bodies, will NOT land on the ocean and then be readmitted to the atmosphere (as has been shown to happen) through evaporation... Will NOT become part of the food chain (it looks like iron to most biological systems, which they need, but it isn't)... There are 5.8 billion people on this earth. That is far too many to risk giving them each a chance at ingesting or inhaling a plutonium particle.

Furthermore, for every living human there are 100,000 or even a million other living animals (or thereabouts). Plutonium is undoubtedly a hazard to them too. And sometime next century there will be a different 5 or 10 billion people on the planet, and they will still have this plutonium in the environment. Even NASA admits it can take decades for this stuff to fall to Earth -- the first time.

********* END OF EXCERPT OF LETTER TO Mr. Pelletier ********

That's all the news for the moment. Please keep up the fight! If NASA appears to be listening a little, I am absolutely positive it is only because people are telling them they must... We are a long way from stopping Cassini, but we are well past square one, too.

Also, THANKS to all who have continued to send me news and views, who have linked to the web site, and/or who have signed on to receive this newsletter (which doesn't prove what they think, but it does prove that they are willing to listen to our views...).

And thanks just as much to all those who are doing something which we never see.

REMEMBER WE HAVE UNTIL MAY 27TH AT 4:30PM E.D.T. TO ANSWER THE DRAFT SIES! ANY COMMENTS ON MY 36-POINT COMMENTARY WOULD BE APPRECIATED SO WE CAN MAKE IN STRONGER BEFORE THE DEADLINE!

*********************************

Thanks for reading,

Sincerely
Russell D. Hoffman
STOP CASSINI webmaster.

URL of the STOP CASSINI table of contents page:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/cassini/cassini.htm

*********************************


Thanks again for reading,


Sincerely,
Russell D. Hoffman
STOP CASSINI webmaster.

CANCEL CASSINI

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CASSINI TABLE OF CONTENTS


This article has been presented on the World Wide Web by:

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http://www.animatedsoftware.com
Mail to: rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com
First placed online May 21st, 1997.
Last modified September 10th, 1998.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman