STOP CASSINI Newsletter #99 -- February 25th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

Subject: A Contradictory Code of Ethics? -- STOP CASSINI #99

Date: February 25th, 1999

Time Frame: There are only 120 days left until the last appropriate moment of redirection of the Cassini probe - the flyby of Venus, 7 weeks before the flyby of Earth.


This issue discusses how to abuse the American Society of Civil Engineers Code of Ethics. It's easy! And more discussions from the upcoming (very soon now!) international petition against Cassini and similar nuclear horrors.

Russell D. Hoffman, Founder and Editor

Today's Subjects:

Dr. Joan Russow presenting a petition to Canadian Prime Minister

Canadian readers: Contact your representatives in Parliament today!


Dr. Joan Russow, leader of Green Party Canada, is forwarding a petition against Cassini with a resolution to The Canadian Prime Minister John Chretien seeking that the resolution been adopted by the Canadian Parliament.


American Society of Civil Engineers Code of Ethics: A way out?

I'm sure this is posted many places, but we found it here:


The Engineering Code of Ethics

Fundamental Principles

Engineers uphold and advance the integrity, honor and dignity of the engineering profession by:

Fundamental Canons


Regarding the above Fundamental Canons of the American Society of Civil Engineers Code of Ethics, it is impossible for an Engineer to follow it honestly AND know the truth about Cassini, so the code of ethics gives Engineers a right (in their warped minds) to ignore, and not speak out on, and not consider the facts about, whatever might bother a "concerned citizen". I'm talking about Canon 2, Engineers shall perform services only in areas of their competence. Then Canon 3, they can't talk about stuff they don't know about! Canon 4: Serve the almighty employer. Canon 5: Don't do anything to draw attention to oneself. Like, challenge the system. Canon 6: Don't rock the boat. Canon 7: Stay busy with work, don't look out at the rest of the world.

So they feel comfortable in stoney silence, ignoring Canon 1, while the world around them cannot "connect the dots" and destroys itself with engineering "marvels". First and foremost, above the Canons and the principals, they must do honor to the profession. They make it look like protecting your health is more important, but they evidently expect their members to know how to read better than the general citizenry. The #2 thing they should do, or perhaps it's #5 or #6, is protect your health and welfare, or even enhance your life. Far before that, they must make you the public think that all Engineers are perfect, and that it is a profession full of honor, integrity, and dignity, and nothing else.

So, a Cassini Engineer cannot, while following the "Engineering Code of Ethics" (and ignoring the first Canon, but (in their warped minds) honorably), do all the medical research necessary to speak out against the plutonium 238 aerosol that the RTGs might create! They know they cannot possibly reach Dr. John W. Gofman's level of knowledge (or respect in the appropriate fields) , so they will not speak out at all. It's too complicated for them. They know the containment system is as faulty as Dr. Horst Poehler says it is (in articles posted at our web site), but they will not speak out. Why not? They don't want to harm the profession. They know they are not sure of the effects of radiation on the human body -- even Gofman will profess not to be sure.

And what about the medical experts at NASA? Aren't they worried about the plutonium? Most are not even going to consider Gofman's views about the effects of low-level (especially internal) radiation. Period. And worse, they will simply not consider the problem, relying on the lie from the Engineers, that their fancy plutonium containment system is of much use at all. Do they lie? Do the engineers lie? Not in the fine print. If you read the EIS's, they clearly say that releases are EXPECTED -- 3%, 33%, even 100% is expected under the right (wrong) conditions. But the engineers lie when they let their bosses lie for them. When NASA as an entity says they have protected the public, and the engineers know perfectly well it's not true, and they don't climb out of the woodwork in the halls that supply the experiments to NASA, and say as one (or as individuals) "We, too, are sick of you guys putting the heat on us -- tieing our honorable experiments to your awful plutonium space compost RTG powerpacks, when we would have been delighted to have run with solar. ANYTHING -- it's only juice to us, less than 2,000 watts -- a hair dryer's worth."

Yes, the rocket scientists could all do this at NASA, and many people may wonder why they don't. The answer is simple. Aside from the immediate ouster from the "club", meaning: no more grants, no more money, no more contracts, no more money, no more invitations to present papers, no more money, no more anything, and no more money, they will also be risking their whole careers to speak out against Cassini. And that truly, would mean no more fun. And no more money. Don't forget that. (They don't.)

Do you think scientists are scientists because it's hard work? I spent 10 years developing a software sequencing tool for scientists -- 100,000 lines of code. Hard work? It was (and still is--) my life's passion! Likewise, being a scientist is a life's passion! Work? The average fast food cook cannot possibly imagine the world of the scientist, or the inventor, or the writer, or dare I say it? The computer programmer. It is as different as night and day. It is a world where what you do today, helps you for the rest of your life to do tomorrow's work. Where everything you do is built upon what you have learned in a life's worth of work before then.

I have done both, I have spent years operating fork lifts, driving delivery trucks, being a professional dishwasher, and then computer programming. I know the difference. The latter is my life's work, and nothing else matters in comparison. It is why I breath air, as far as I know. To build software tools for scientists, engineers and inventors to use to perform their experiments and to help them present their work to the public. So I know what it would mean to risk losing a chance to continue your life's work for speaking out. As it happens, at the head of a tiny one-person company, I cannot be fired! I have had 40 or 50 jobs in my life, I've been fired from a few, but this one, unless I sell the company, I can't be fired. I hope that explains my loose tongue to those who wonder. But what about the Engineers? Is this need not to lose their jobs really enough to stop them from speaking out on such a moral sin as Cassini? There is more to it than that.

No matter what area of expertise the Engineer has, they cannot speak, for the code forbids doing so unless they are an EXPERT in ALL the fields needed to formulate a qualified, coherent, complete opinion. You need to understand (or accept the opinions of trusted scientists on the subjects of) about seven different areas in order to grasp Cassini's truly horrific potential. Engineering? You need that, yes, and also some nuclear physics, some space dynamics, not to mention health physics, and of course statistics -- and you need to understand global military domination principals too! And a few other things besides. This isn't just rocket science -- it's barely that at all, really!

So no "Engineer" can speak out! They are all in charge of one part of these things, and they don't understand the rest, and in some cases, (like that of a Dr. Louis Friedman, for instance) they have, all their life, refused to even look at the other side.

They do this, because the geopolitical powers-that-be, paint an ugly picture of anyone who opposes ANYTHING which is extremely complex, that they want, that the public ought to rightly oppose if the public had all the facts. Medical, economic, energy alternatives, military alternatives, whatever.

So few engineers, and seldom any practicing ones, dare to speak out. It is up to a few brave individuals, mostly retired, like Dr. John W. Gofman, Dr. Horst Poehler, and so on, and the amazing (and definitely NOT retired!) Dr. Michio Kaku, to keep the fires going. To connect the dots. To offer hope for the world. Gofman, Kaku, Poehler, etc. and also Karl Grossman, though he's not a scientist but an excellent researcher, and if you know how to read the documents properly, even NASA (believe it or not!) often tells the truth IN THE DETAILS. So anyone can figure out enough about what is going on if they try -- they just need to take off their blinders.

At the top level NASA lies as if it was an honor to do so, but at the nitty gritty, I have found astounding truths there! Their books are great sources of data. But then they go and do blatant things like misuse the D. E. Rockey report, and it makes the whole thing suspect.

But the point is, the rest of us are shunned as "uninformed", the old scientists are shunned with "yeah, but what has he published lately?" (Dr. Friedman actually wrote that (or words to that effect) about Gofman, to me!)

And so the world suffers. And the good scientists who are honorable people, who should be honored by this country for what they are doing, suffer. And those of us who have found these masters of truth, these willing deliverers of freedom (for there is no freedom without truth, and no truth without freedom) we who attempt to support these scientists, are of course picked on most of all, for we are "knownothings" and we have no credentials, and we are small. That's why it takes so many of us to get anything done!

We can be right, we can be knowledgable, we can be devoted to the cause (but if they see we are too devoted, well, nobody likes a fanatic, about anything!), but we alone cannot break down the walls. We need the tools of International Law, because as individuals we are (and must remain so, in the scheme of things) powerless to fight the machine. We can be full of rage, and certain we are right, but when it comes to doing something, civilization didn't get where it is (as you well know, of course) through anarchy. I don't even care for C.D., but always seem able to forgive those who commit that sort of excess against the grievances they are most bothered by (we have wonderful C.D. tree huggers here in California, for instance, whom I admire greatly). If there's another way, through the Internet, through the courts, that's what I want to be a part of. Using the modern tools, and going about it in the time-honored way of law and order.


P. S. Let's all not mention to Ole' Miss that they have a typo in their Engineering Code of Ethics document, and let's just see how long it takes them to correct it.

Clips from the petition discussion group: It's Really A No Brainer:

To me, it's such a no-brainer: NASA doesn't need these things for much of anything except military uses (which they are VERY VERY USEFUL FOR). The scientific goals could all be achieved some other way. The world cannot afford an accident, and the probe could go dead at ANY time -- that's the crucial issue, really, not the physics of the flyby! It could go dead tomorrow and be in an orbit which will cross and recross our path over and over again until either is spirals closer than us to the sun and burns up, or collides with something -- perhaps us. And it's not just Cassini. It's all these missions, the military ones that circle the Earth -- the containment system might work better for those, because they reenter so much slower -- about 20,000 mph tops, versus 42,300 for Cassini -- but it cannot work perfectly every time, and when it fails -- it's a tragedy, made worse for the perpetrators being able not only to get away with it, but to have the nerve to think they are serving God and Country!

Like I said, it's a no-brainer to me! So the Greens should be out in force on this one. So should everyone else. -rdh

Clips from the petition discussion group: NASA, Two-faced liars:


At 05:58 PM 2/6/99 -0800, E wrote:

How do we ask Nations Security Council to hold an emergency meeting with UN Nuclear Safety commission? The global security threatened by this fail=safe" mission is greater than what they halted in Iraq, is it not? How can I help?



Date: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 23:40:50 -0800
From: Russell D. Hoffman
Subject: Re: sling cassini into space compost!


Thanks for your email!

Right now, I think the BIGGEST problem facing the movement is that NASA/JPL is trying to make it look like there is no scientific objection to Cassini -- instead, pretending that there is only Nostradamus-related confusion. The United Nations Security Council should step in and discuss the SCIENCE against Cassini!

Even NASA's own documents indicate a MAJOR release in the event of either a flyby reentry or any other reentry accident. ("Major" in cold hard terms, is 3% to 33% to 66% to 100% of the plutonium payload, depending on which NASA Environmental Impact Statement you choose. But the most recent figure, the 3% figure, was NOT arrived at because NASA decided the containment system was better than when they thought 33% was the low-end average release. No, not at all, they simple decided it would tumble during reentry in a certain specific way, as opposed to other more dangerous ways! Crazy NASA!

Since Americans are clearly powerless to discuss the issue (our media will barely cover it, for instance, and the movement is full of spies, spooks, agents, etc. etc.) and since it affects the whole world, I think an international discussion at the U. N. is appropriate.

But how to make that come about? I don't know! But thanks for offering to help! If you don't subscribe to my newsletter, may I suggest it's a (very small) first step?

Anyway, thanks for writing,


Russell Hoffman


More clips from the petition discussion group: It isn't Ad Infinitum:

Frankly, I'm not really happy with these newer versions, aside from that they mix up the two Pu's.

Pu 238 has a half-life of 87.75 years (NASA figure).

Pu 239 is 24,400 years (Caldicott's value, and Toxics A-Z's value) or 24,100 years (NASA's value).

I think that right now, (iii) (a) needs to distinguish between Pu 238 and Pu 239.

Also, the use of the phrase "ad infinitum", I don't care for. Generally radioactive materials are said to be radioactive for about 10 times their half-life, and generally, Pu 239 is said to be a problem for about a quarter of a million years (about 10 times the half-life) not half a million years. In that last 10X the half-life, you start out with roughly, less than 1/500th of the original amount. -rdh

More clips from the petition discussion group: So, is 40 lbs enough?

At far higher doses than a world-wide distribution from Cassini would cause (on average), Toxics A-Z (UCal Press, 1991) has this to say (p 388):

"At the low end of the range of uncertainty, the lung cancer risk from inhaled Pu-239 is estimated to be one case of cancer for every 300 person-sieverts absorbed by the lung. At the high end, the estimated risk is roughly 100 times as great. Every microgram of Pu-239 inhaled into the lung results in a lung dose of approximately 1 [one] sievert, and hence if the higher risk estimate is correct, the inhalation of merely a few micrograms of plutonium [239] is sufficient to cause lung cancer. Even with the lower risk estimate, less than a milligram, suffices."

(It is noteworthy that they are probably (from the context) talking about the weight in the dioxide form.)

A microgram is a millionth of a gram. There are 453.6 grams in a pound, so there would be 453.6 million micrograms in an pound. If the "low end" figure is correct -- that perhaps 3 micrograms is sufficient to cause a lung cancer -- that would mean there are roughly 150 million "potentially lethal (lung-cancer inducing) doses" in a pound of Pu 239.

Okay, even at the "low end", one pound of Pu 239 couldn't wipe us all out from lung cancer, hypothetically. It would take maybe 40 pounds of plutonium 239, or if the "high end" figure is indeed correct, even as much as 4,000 pounds (two tons, or roughly (if memory serves me here) about equal to the amount the NRC has lost and cannot account for!). But there are also leukemias, birth defects, and the fact that if the body of a plutonium victim is cremated, that plutonium particle (which will have hundreds of millions of atoms, perhaps) will be released to drift through the air and land on someone else. Nothing says it only has to kill once!

For Pu 238, you can roughly divide 40 pounds by 288 (the difference in the number of alpha particles a like-sized chunk will release) to get how much Pu 238 would be needed. That is a little over two ounces of Pu 238. There are nearly a thousand ounces of Pu-238 dioxide on board Cassini!

That means that even 10X the half life of the Pu-238, or 877.5 years from launch, there will STILL be enough Pu-238 to kill us all (if divided out and inhaled by us in some diabolical experiment instead of spread throughout the environment to pick us off randomly here and there, one by one).

Toxics A-Z also says this about plutonium, "Once plutonium has been inhaled, there is nothing that medical science can do to reduce the risk of lung cancer."

You have to start sooner than that.


More clips from the petition discussion group: Hoffman on Caldicott:


I talked to E, and somehow afterwards I had the feeling I should take Caldicott's [quote] out.



That is actually a fairly common "reaction". Caldicott is so hated by the other side, that even using anything she says invites problems. I like her, myself. She has been much maligned.



CANCEL CASSINI by JUNE 24th, 1999!!!!

To Cancel Cassini start by asking NASA for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission and all subsequent related documents (on paper, please!). Tell them you need it IMMEDIATELY (members of the world press should do this too). All citizens of the world are ENTITLED to these documents because of the global threat Cassini poses. Here's where to get information:

Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011

Tell them Russell Hoffman, founder and editor of the STOP CASSINI newsletter, sent you. I bet they love to hear that!

NASA states that they do not have the resources anymore to answer most emails they receive. Liars! They have $13 billion dollars to play with. They can answer the public's questions. At least, ask them one specific question: How many letters did they get opposing Cassini today? (And tell them you oppose it too!) If each reader asks them that...

Here's NASA's email address:

Daniel Goldin is the head of NASA. Here's his email address:

Here's the NASA URL to find additional addresses to submit written questions to:

(Note that it looks like possibly a temporary URL assignment, but you can always start at

They imply at the web site that written comments are more likely to get answered -- quicker than emailed comments! Someone should welcome them to the 1990's before it's too late.

Long-time readers know lots of questions to ask them; BE SPECIFIC! Ask why they misused the D. E. Rockey report in the 1995 EIS. Ask them why they reduced the EXPECTED plutonium release percentage from 33% or more to just 3% with no change in technology from the 1995 EIS to the 1997 Supplemental EIS, while claiming they have 25+ years's experience with these things! Ask them why they thought there was a Nostradamus connection among the anti-Cassini crowd, which is actually almost entirely scientists, and their supporters like myself. (See newsletters #92 and #93). Ask them when they last launched plutonium from the Cape -- attempted or completed, civilian or military. Ask them how they know Cassini's software is Y2K compliant. And when the next plutonium launch will be. Ask them everything; you have a right to know. Ask them why they won't spend enough money to answer people's emails, if they are a civilian agency whose #1 purpose, according to their own charter, is "the expansion of human knowledge". Ask them why Dan Goldin is still their boss. Ask them why he won't invite me or better yet, the scientists who have appeared in my newsletter for a presentation of our concerns to their staff, followed by whatever questions they can muster, all presented live on the Internet (they have the technology, they used it for Sojourner videos, remember?).

Be sure to "cc" the president and VP and your senators and congresspeople, too.

Always include your full name and postal address in all correspondence to any Government official of any country.


Please send any news directly to the editor at the email address given below.

Please post these newsletters EVERYWHERE! You can -- and should -- send them to news media too! Please tell your friends and neighbors and Internet buddies to subscribe! These words can have power, but only if they are passed on to many others!

Thanks for reading,

Russell D. Hoffman

Founder & Editor
STOP CASSINI Newsletter -- nearly 100 issues of mirth, merriment, and mind-numbingly depressing facts about NASA and other horrors


I don't know how it is in your country, but in our country, at least we have this:

Amendment One... "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble..."

Written in U.S.A.

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