STOP CASSINI Newsletter #16 -- June 3rd, 1997

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

**** STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER Volume #16 June 3rd, 1997 ****
Today's subjects:

****** VOLUME #16 June 3rd, 1997 ******

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


Thanks to the translation efforts of Marcus Hammerschmitt, a German language version of our article titled CASSINI: AN IN-DEPTH LOOK is now available on the Internet. Mr. Hammerschmitt is a writer himself, and has several English, and many German essays of his own which are available at his web site. This makes us especially appreciative of his efforts, considering that he could have used his time to write something new, but chose to translate AN IN-DEPTH LOOK. If you know people who speak German only, here is the URL address of the translated version:

We have not had a chance to translate his version back into English to check the accuracy, which he of course would like us to do and which we would like to do as well. But his English letters have been delightfully well written and the English language stuff I've seen at his web site has been equally well written, so we tend to trust his efforts. Nevertheless, a crosscheck would be nice. If you would be willing to do so, and ESPECIALLY if you would be willing to do so and have NOT read the original article, please contact us (we would say go ahead and do it, but then we might get multiple efforts.)

There are many tasks that need to be accomplished. We should double our efforts, not our workload...

Here is the English version of the article, which was published online on January 30th, 1997:


Coincidentally, the same day that we learned that the article had been translated, we received a wonderful email and link from a German peace group called the Non-Violent Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (NCANW). Here is a description of their interests:

"On July 8, 1996 the International Court of Justice in The Hague declared that nuclear weapons violate international law on principal. The NCANW is dedicated to enforcing international law by working towards the abolition of all nuclear weapons worldwide. It was founded in Germany in 1996. Their web site is in both German and English."

My opinion is that any groups which describes itself as the Non-Violent Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons probably has both its head and its heart in the right place. Here is the URL of the group's web site:


There are approximately 3000 other languages and 40 or 50 articles which need translating! If you can help, please let us know. If you can't let us know, please help anyway...


Money talks.

While we are on the subject of the International scene, the #1 reason other countries should get involved in the STOP CASSINI effort is this: We have limited liability for any accident involving Cassini on foreign soil to just $100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Dollars.)

Contrast this with the $8.9 BILLION (upped recently to this new high, according to Karl Grossman) which CASSINI is insured for domestically. The foreign liability payment remains capped, however, at One Hundred Million, which isn't enough these days to buy a modern disaster MOVIE, let alone a modern disaster!!!

Here is an article about the insurance abomination Cassini flies under, known as Price-Anderson:

And here is an article about the International Outer Space Treaty:

International readers of this newsletter should pressure their own governments to DEMAND a correction of this absurd policy in both the World Court and in the United Nations. Writing letters to President Clinton, as suggested in a previous newsletter, are good ideas, but the most important thing is and always will be... follow the money. Price Anderson is a dead end for the money if you think the United States will cover its debts in the event of an accident.

If you want to also write a letter to Clinton, here's the URL where a suggested one appeared in a previous newsletter. But it's better to write your own, then get as many people as you can to sign it, and send that in. Here's where the sample letter is:


FINAL FRONTIER is a magazine that calls itself "The Magazine of Space Exploration." In the June, 1995 edition (pages 48 to 49) they did an interview with Dr. Arthur K. Kerman, whom they describe as a "noted MIT theoretical physics professor and long-time eminent supporter of peaceful uses of nuclear energy... He has served on President Reagan's White House science council and as an advisor and consultant to the Department of Energy, including the Lawrence Livermore, Argonne, and Los Alamos National Laboratories." They asked him two question which readers of this newsletter will find particularly interesting.

Dr. Kerman was asked "What about disposing of it in outer space?"

His response:
"I am not a fan of that. I think the only way to do it would be to first concentrate it, which makes it dangerous. And trying to shoot it into outer space, the rocket could blow up and spread radioactivity." He then suggests that instead, the waste might be transmutted.

The interviewer later asks:
"What about people who are afraid of nuclear power, who are against it?"

Dr. Kerman's response:
"They're against it because we haven't solved the waste problem because of safety and proliferation issues. And I don't blame them." He then goes on to suggest again that transmutation may be the answer, although he admits that we might need "tens of millions of dollars, maybe $50 million a year, for ten or 15 years to study it."

He is talking about nuclear waste, not Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) with their (highly concentrated) plutonium, but obviously even Dr. Kerman would agree that accidents DO happen. I would tend to think overall, he is probably FOR using RTGs in space, but I think nevertheless, he has indicated some good reasons to be against nukes in space as well as nukes on the ground. It's always better to quote their experts than ours...


Someone asked this recently. The answer is that we are not a campaign, nor an organization. "We" really is basically just one person, who writes a lot. Because so many people lend a hand, I do not generally use the term "I", I use "we". People help by posting the newsletters to listservs and mailing lists, by criticizing our work, by suggesting new avenues of interest, by informing us of events and situations, by connecting us to others, by networking and by linking, to name just a few of the ways people lend a hand. This newsletter is generally written and edited by myself and I must take all credit for errors contained herein. But the vast majority of people who see it, see it because others pass it on electronically. Articles posted at the web site are generally written as described in the article.

If you want to join an organization opposed to Cassini, please go to our FRIENDS page and choose one or more. Many of the organizations we link to have other purposes as well, and so would we, probably, if "we" were an organization. But we're not. We're just a little loose-knit band of like-minded souls. I, personally, am getting behind not only in the Cassini web site maintenance, but in all my other work. I wish I had twenty fingers. If anyone's curious, here's more on where I'm coming from, for better or for worse:

And here, once again, is the URL of our FRIENDS page. It's good to have friends:


We have learned of a number of listservs and newsletters which have republished earlier editions of these newsletters, in Germany, Australia, England, and America. THANKS!!! Please feel free to post these newsletters anywhere you feel it's appropriate! THANKS!!!

Welcome new subscribers!

Thanks for reading,
Russell D. Hoffman
STOP CASSINI webmaster.


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First placed online June 20th, 1997.
Last modified August 17th, 1997.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman