STOP CASSINI Newsletter #240 -- December 17th, 1999 (evening edition)
Copyright (c) 1999
STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index
To: Subscribers, government officials, members of the press
From: Russell David Hoffman (doubtful things will be fixed in time)
Re: What, me worry?: STOP CASSINI #240
Date: December 17th, 1999 (evening edition)
This issue's subjects:
*** (1) Nuclear industry almost alone as it refuses to budge on Y2K dangers
*** (2) The Deadliest Gamble in History
*** (3) Keep those faxes, phone calls emails and letters flowing, folks!
*** (4) A tisket, a tasket, a deadly license for a casket
*** (5) Tell Clinton how you feel -- Official government contact points
*** (6) Newsletter subscription information
*** (7) Newsletter Authorship notes and additional URLs
*** (1) Nuclear industry almost alone as it refuses to budge on Y2K dangers:
Nearly every industry has "checked in" and is shutting down or limiting its Y2K preparations. Even Las Vegas has not been making a real big deal about trying to lure you there for the "holiday", at least I haven't seen the ads I would have expected for such a momentous reason to dump all your money on a whim.
After all, we're collectively dumping all our lives on the proposition that the nuclear industry's tried-and-true method of success -- public apathy -- will carry the day here as well. Despite Tokaimura, Mars Climate Orbiter, explosions at Oak Ridge, and 1000 other clear indications of the fact that perfect engineers don't exist, despite obvious failure of the so-called end to the so-called Cold War to reduce the risks, Russia still threatens the world with nuclear weapons, and we still threaten her with ours. It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world.
All this comes to some sort of head in less than two weeks, on January 1st, 2000. No one knows how bad things will get, but thanks to some of the more forward-thinking realists, some luck, some happenstance, and perhaps some activism, in some places trains (France) and subways (Wash. D. C.(!)) will be "stationed", gas pipelines will not be operating, thousands of chemical plants will be shut down, nearly everyone will be on vacation, some airlines are taking a holiday themselves that day, concerts have been canceled, hotel reservations remain available at many of the best places -- it's WEIRD that the nuclear industry has refused to take part in the preparations, especially considering that we don't need their energy anyway during Y2K! There is one interesting and important exception, so far -- a "top secret" nuclear reactor in Israel is expected to shut down for the millennial turnover. That's one out of a thousand reactors, including military, research, and commercial.<
The precautionary principal as it relates to Y2K has been considered and ACCEPTED by the rest of the world. But the nuclear industry has not even CONSIDERED the problem! They are NOT prepared for the rest of the grid going down, along with the phone system, riots preventing teams from arriving, etc. etc. etc. Not tom mention the simple possibility that all our experts will be busy helping those poor Russians, whose leaders are totally unwilling to face the grim reality of their nuclear situation.
Accidents at nuclear facilities which COULD be shut down would be the stupidest AND the most costly accidents the world has ever known -- that's why the rest of the world is trying to "shut down and stay home for Y2K". Because accidents can and do happen. Reasonable precautions against a known technological hazard of unknown size and form, but for which billions have been spent to prevent (a technological oxymoron, since if you fix a lot of things (which they did to try to prevent Y2K problems) you are bound to introduce bugs along with the fixes).
We expect the nuclear plants to be triple-staffed on Y2K -- but they should nevertheless be OFF at the time! Off is much, much safer than ON. It buys time if things go wrong.
Every time I see other environmental issues being debated, I am left to wonder why the nuclear industry can never back down even an inch in America. Many areas of the world have admitted they might be in trouble during Y2K. Why can't the nuclear industry admit that things "beyond the fence" might affect their operation, even if they continue to pretend that they are impervious to Y2K-related disasters (a unprovable assertion today, or even after Y2K!). The nuclear industry's failure to endorse the idea of "safety first" is one reason the federal government does not distribute Potassium Iodide (KI) pills to the populace --- that is to say, if the Industry endorsed the idea, it would be done. But if the industry endorsed the idea, that would be admitting that accidents can happen!
But, accidents CAN happen!
That is why the industry is so eager to open these so-called repositories for nuclear waste. Yucca Mountain has as simple, unassailable problem: 600 feet beneath it, is part of the aquifer for the Colorado River! The length of time (many millennia) the radwaste needs to be stored without significant leakage is so long, that scientists cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt that rain, changing global weather patterns, movement by insects and vermin, explosions, fissures, earthquakes, asteroids, or other accidents won't happen. (Granted asteroids are not very likely, but is that any reason their risk should be ignored? Especially for above-ground nuclear facilities!)
Better than a deep dark cave, back-filled with salt or sand or dirt or whatever, is to have a system where the stuff is still retrievable. For one thing, once we have the sense to stop making more radioactive waste, we MIGHT find that waste that is now thrown away can be recycled for something useful. I can't imagine what, but let's say it happens. Or, let's say one of these bizarre theories of how to "transmute" radwaste into, say, copper, turns out to be workable. Again, I can't imagine it, but if we can't retrieve the waste easily, we can't transmute it and fix it even if some method to neutralize the waste is discovered.
Far more likely is that we will discover that the opposition scientists who spoke out against the "repositories" were right, and need to retrieve the nuclear waste and store it somewhere else, at great expense. If that happens it is best if the original method chosen can be relatively easily undone. But because the nuclear industry wants to pretend it has a solution to the nuclear waste problem (since dumping at sea and burning to the open air have both become frowned on over the years), it only backs one-way repository ideas, i. e., "bury it and forget it". But such repositories are a bad idea.
-- Russell Hoffman
*** (2) The Deadliest Gamble in History:
----- INCOMING EMAIL -----
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 23:19:04 -0500
From: Mary Olson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Organization: Nuclear Information & Resource Service
To: Y2K-Nukes <email@example.com>,
Subject: [Fwd: THE DEADLIEST GAMBLE IN HISTORY?]
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 08:40:30 -0500
From: Kay Cumbow <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: THE DEADLIEST GAMBLE IN HISTORY?
Cc: email@example.com,"Paul Gunter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
"Merrill & John Clark" <email@example.com >,
"Laura Bulow" <LBulow@students.prescott.edu.>,
"Keith Gunter" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
"Harold Stokes" <email@example.com>,
"George Crocker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Chris Williams" <email@example.com>,
"Ann Hunt" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Amy C" <Amy@chibikefed.org>,
"Mary Sinclair" <MSincl6373@aol.com>,"Gary Karch" <GKarch4314@aol.com>,
"Tom Goldtooth" <email@example.com>,"Arjun Markhijani" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
ARE WE NOW AN ENDANGERED SPECIES ABOUT TO TAKE THE DEADLIEST GAMBLE IN
HISTORY? HOW MANY OF US CAN ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS?
1) DUE TO Y2K UNCERTAINTIES, IS IT PROBABLE THAT THERE WILL BE AN
ACCIDENTAL LAUNCH OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS AS THE NEW YEAR BEGINS?
Nobody knows! In January 1995, Russia came within minutes of launching
its nuclear missiles in retaliation to what it believed to be an
incoming American missile aimed at Moscow. "Y2K is a unique event whose
threat cannot be calculated", according to Dr. Bruce Blair, Senior
Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC and a leading
American authority on the danger of accidental nuclear war.
Featured on PBS Frontline's "Russian Roulette" in 1998, Blair warned
"How close Russia has slipped to the edge of a failure -- a serious
catastrophic failure of command and control -- is really not possible to
calculate but we know that the trends are adverse." He believes that
nuclear weapons are an accident waiting to happen.
2) IF AN ACCIDENT DOES HAPPEN, HOW MIGHT IT AFFECT US?
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, 1998, "An accidental
launch of the weapons from one Russian submarine on eight American
cities would result in approximately 6 million deaths outright, followed
by a comparable number from fallout and after-effects." Such a launch by
Russia or the USA could trigger all-out nuclear war.
"In the event of a nuclear war where many nuclear bombs would be
exploded, no help would come to the survivors, ever. It would be the end
of civilization in the countries concerned, and perhaps over the whole
world.... Radioactive fallout would leave whole continents radioactive
for centuries." Alan F. Phillips, M.D., F.R.C.P.(C), Physicians for
Global Survival, Canada.
3) WHAT CAN BE DONE BEFORE Y2K TO PREVENT SUCH TRAGEDIES?
The 5000 Russian and American nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert can
be taken off their alert status so that they are no longer set for
"launch-on-warning." That does not require "verification" or a legal
agreement, which would take more time than is available. The Joint Early
Warning Center in Colorado, so praised by the American military, does
not completely defuse the potentially dangerous situation -- it is a
palliative measure, but not a cure.
4) IF NUCLEAR-ARMED NATIONS REFUSE TO TAKE THEIR WEAPONS OFF ALERT BUT
GOOD FORTUNE PREVAILS AND NO TRAGEDY OCCURS, WILL WE UNDERSTAND THE
a) That the two major powers, with the ability to destroy the planet in
a matter of hours, were and still are willing to risk unnecessarily all
our lives and those of all future generations. The risk will be ongoing
and will have to be addressed by de-alerting, de-coupling, and the
elimination of nuclear arms.
b) That we, citizens of the world, were not sufficiently informed of the
risks and therefore unknowingly condoned this gamble.
c) That many who did understand nevertheless believed that there was
nothing they could do and thus remained silent.
d) That our silence gave a green light to the nuclear nations to
continue their dangerous policies:
* flouting many nuclear weapons treaties they have signed;
* ignoring the World Court ruling that violating humanitarian law by the
threat or use of nuclear weapons is illegal;
* sending a message to other nations that nuclear weapons are the road
to status and power;
* further igniting the fear and suspicion that is already fueling a
renewed Cold War;
* diverting the world's much needed wealth, resources and talents to the
production of ever more weapons of mass destruction. Already almost $10
trillion have been spent on these weapons.
"We cannot at once hold sacred the miracle of existence and hold
sacrosanct the capacity to destroy it. Deterrence...at best is a gamble
no mortal should pretend to make. At worst it invokes death on a scale
rivaling the power of the creator." General Lee Butler, Commander,
American Nuclear Forces, 1991-94.
Shortly after the bomb fell on Hiroshima, Albert Einstein warned that if
the bomb were developed further, and ever used 'all-out', the human race
could be exterminated. His warning is echoed today by General Butler:
"We survived the Cold War by a combination of skill, luck and divine
[Mary Olson included the article about Boris Yeltzin wondering if Clinton remembers that Russia is a "great" and nuclear nation (published in STOP CASSINI newsletter #238, December 17th, 1999). Then the following comment appeared in CAPS, which we presume was written by Ms Olson, followed by two sample letters from John Hallam (shown below). -- rdh]
THERE IS STILL TIME FOR US TO ACT! IF WE DON'T ACT NOW, WHAT WILL WE TELL OUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY ASK WHAT WE DID TO KEEP THEM SAFE?
Please write to US defence secretary William Cohen, President Clinton, and
to Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev, asking them to take nuclear
weapons off hairtrigger alert at least over the Y2K 'rollover' period.
Defence Secretary Cohen's fax number is +1-703-695-1149
President Clintons fax number is +1-202-456-2461
Yeltsin/Sergeyev's fax number is +7-095-205-4330.
Faxing a single A4 page should not cost you more than a dollar.
You can fax for free on http://www.fax4free.com
(But the best fax is HANDWRITTEN).
*If you are an organisation* and want to sign a large sign- on letter,
please sign the letter to Presidents Yeltsin and Clinton that is being
periodicaly faxed to them on
to sign it email me on email@example.com
Sample letters to Cohen/Clinton and to Sergeyev are below. Do please
customise and abbreviate.
And have fun while saving the planet from (possibly) the apocalypse!
Sample Letters are Below. Please customise and use your own words as much
1)SAMPLE LETTER TO COHEN/CLINTON
(This is for individuals to sent to Us Secretary for Defence Cohen and
President Clinton. You can also post it to The White House, 1600
Pennsylvania Ave, Washington DC.)
WILLIAM COHEN, US SECRETARY OF DEFENCE,
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON,
WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, US,
Dear President Clinton and Secretary for Defence Cohen,
I am writing to urge your administration to take US nuclear forces off
'hairtrigger alert' even if only during the Y2K rollover period.
As you will be aware, the European Parliament recently voted to ask you and
President Yeltsin to do as the UK has already done, and de-alert nuclear
It is particularly disturbing that Secretary Cohen has been reported as
having stated in Moscow some time ago that de-alerting of nuclear forces is
'off the table' as a stability building measure. You have also been quoted
as saying that 'The better course is reduction, limiting the number of
weapons, and establishing shared early warning centers'.
The recent Europarliament vote clearly puts de- alerting back on the table.
De-alerting of nuclear forces was strongly recommended by the Canberra
Commission in 1996 and then by the Tokyo Forum, as a way to develop
strategic stability and build trust between the US and Russia. It has also
been incorporated into last year's and this years text of the New Agenda
Resolution in the UN General Assembly. It has also been reccommended by a
resolution specifically on the subject passed by last years General
Assembly and by this years First Committee on Reduction of Nuclear Dangers.
In addition it has been the subject of two resolutions passed by the
Australian Senate on 12 August and 20September, and finally it has been
clearly requested by the European Parliament. It is also the subject of
congressional resolution H.Con Res177 put by Edward Markey, and most
recently, the City of Berkley has asked for it.
These measures are not in competition with each other. All of them -
reductions in the number of weapons, the establishment of shared early
warning centers and de-alerting - are vital to the reduction of tension
and the establishment of strategic stability.
This is particularly the case in view of the uncertainties posed by the
millennium date change (Y2K).
As you are well aware, the largest and oldest computer system complexes in
the world are those that control nuclear weapons systems.
The very nature of the Y2K problem makes it impossible to be sure
everything has been fixed until well into the new year.
Russia has, until recently, made little effort to even acknowledge the Y2K
problem, let alone fix it. It is therefore quite possible that Russian
computerized control systems are not Y2K compliant and that they will
experience widespread failures during the Y2K rollover period.
Even more disquieting is the fact that that the Russians have constructed
the system known as 'Perimeter', or the 'dead hand'. This system seems to
include additional ways in which Y2K failure might lead to an accidental
The establishment of a Y2K strategic stability center in Colorado is
certainly an advantageous move and an absolutely essential one.
However, it does not entirely remove the danger of an accidental launch of
The fact that the Center is scheduled, as far as we the public are aware,
to come into operation only on December 27th, four days prior to the
rollover, is far from reassuring. A four day delay will render it useless.
Similarly, the center itself will depend on the availability of
ultra-reliable hotlines between it and Moscow. The Y2K vulnerabilities
recently discovered in six of the seven hotlines on which US/Russian
communications depends, are also cause for deep concern.
If nuclear weapons are removed from a status in which they can be launched
within minutes, and placed in one which would require at least days to
launch, the risk of an accidental missile launch induced by Y2K or other
errors in command and control systems will be virtually eliminated.
This has been done by the UK, which has moved the 'notice to fire' for its
missile forces from minutes to days.
In taking De-alerting 'off the table', the United States is making a
serious error. Failure to take nuclear forces off hairtrigger alert over
the Y2K 'rollover' period is an error that has the potential of causing
The probability of this may be low, but it will never be zero as long as
nuclear forces remain on hair-trigger alert.
In a previous administration, President Bush took strategic bomber forces
off alert. We urge you to do this with all US nuclear forces.
2)SAMPLE LETTER TO YELTSIN/DEFENCE MINISTER SERGEYEV
THIS SAMPLE LETTER IS FOR YOU PERSONALLY TO FAX, CUSTOMIZED AS YOU FEEL
BEST, TO YELTSIN AND DEFENCE MINISTER SERGEYEV. PLEASE DO FAX IT AND SEND
You can also post it to Boris Yeltsin, C/O The Kremlin, Moscow - but its
really too slow. A single A4 page fax will cost you about a dollar.
PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN,
IGOR SERGEYEV, RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTER,
'Dear Defence Minister Sergeyev and President Yeltsin,
I am writing to convey my deep concern that Y2K-related computer failures
in the command and control systems for nuclear weapons may lead to an
accidental nuclear war.
I am aware that both Russia and the US have taken this problem seriously
enough to establish a joint strategic stability center in Colorado.
However, I am very much concerned that this facility will come into
operation only by 27th December 1999, so that a delay of just four days
will make it useless.
I am also very much concerned that Y2K problems have been found recently in
six out of seven of the 'hotlines' that would be used if a crisis of any
sort arose over the Y2K rollover period.
I am aware that there have been a number of occasions when either the US or
Russia have mistakenly believed that the other nation was in the process of
launching a nuclear attack.
With 3,600 Russian warheads on 700 missiles and 2,000 US warheads on 500
missiles, with each side capable to launch within roughly 20 minutes, this
must never be allowed to happen, either over the Y2K 'rollover', or at any
The use of 5,600 warheads would certainly mean the end of what we call
civilization, would likely mean the end of the human race and could
possibly mean the end of all life.
I therefore urge both you and the United States, to place all your nuclear
forces in a status in which at least days not minutes, would be required to
launch . The United Kingdom has, I understand, already done this.
The European Parliament has recently called on both the US and Russia to
de-alert nuclear weapons and to place them in a state similar to that in
which the UK has placed its weapons. The recent Europarliament vote clearly
puts de- alerting back on the table. De-alerting of nuclear forces was
strongly recommended by the Canberra Commission in 1996 and then by the
Tokyo Forum, as a way to develop strategic stability and build trust
between the US and Russia. It has also been incorporated into last year's
and this years text of the New Agenda Resolution in the UN General
Assembly. It has also been recommended by a resolution specifically on the
subject passed by last years General Assembly and by this years First
Committee on Reduction of Nuclear Dangers. In addition it has been the
subject of two resolutions passed by the Australian Senate on 12 August and
20September, and finally it has been clearly requested by the European
Parliament. It is also the subject of congressional resolution H.Con Res177
put by Edward Markey, and most recently, the City of Berkeley has asked for
The immediate stakes are so high and the potential for global catastrophe
is so great, that mutually verified de-alerting of nuclear forces in the
face of the Y2K computer problem must take precedence over all other
considerations of political and national security.'
Friends of the Earth Sydney,
17 Lord street, Newtown, NSW, Australia,
Fax(61)(2)9517-3902 ph (61)(2)9517-3903
----- END OF INCOMING MESSAGE POSTED BY MARY OLSON -----
*** (3) Keep those faxes, phone calls emails and letters flowing, folks!:
----- INCOMING EMAIL FROM JOHN HALLAM, FOE SYDNEY: -----
Friends of the Earth Sydney,
17 Lord Street, Newtown, NSW, Australia, 2042
Fax(61)(2)9517-3902 ph (61)(2)9517-3903
The following has been faxed to Igor Sergeyev, Russian Minister for
defence, Igor Ivanov, Russian Foreign Minister, (at several fax numbers) to
Yeltsin's press secretary, to the general Kremlin fax number, to the
Russian Embassy in Australia, to the US Embassy in Australia, to William
S. Cohen, US Secy for Defence, to Clinton at 4 different fax numbers, to
Senators Dodd and Bennett and to John Koskinen.
It has in addition been faxed to NGOs and parliamentarians in Australia
including our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.
It has been emailed to all UN missions and to a selected list of heads of
Y2K WORLD ATOMIC SAFETY HOLIDAY INTERNATIONAL,
Y2K WORLD ATOMIC SAFETY HOLIDAY TOKYO,
Y2K CITIZENS NETWORK JAPAN,
WORLD COURT PROJECT, U.K.,
INTERNATIONAL PEACE BUREAU, GENEVA,
WOMEN FOR PEACE, BERLIN, GERMANY,
WOMENS INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM FRANCE,
GLOBAL ANTI-NUCLEAR ALLIANCE, NETH.,
SCIENTISTS AND TECHNICIANS FOR A NON-NUCLEAR FUTURE, BARCELONA, SPAIN,
MAMA TERRA (FOR MOTHER EARTH) ROMANIA,
WOMEN FOR PEACE FINLAND,
GRANDMOTHERS FOR PEACE FINLAND,
THE WEEPING WOMEN FINLAND,
NO MORE NUCLEAR POWER MOVEMENT FINLAND,
TRANSNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR PEACE AND FUTURE RESEARCH, SWEDEN,
GLOBAL ECOVILLAGE NETWORK, DENMARK,
SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL UNION, MOSCOW,
KARELIAN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENCE,
PIERRE JONKHEER, MEP,
PATSY SORENSEN, MEP,
DR CAROL LUCAS, MEP,
WORLD ATOMIC SAFETY HOLIDAY NEW YORK,
NUCLEAR-FREE NEW YORK,
NUCLEAR INFORMATION AND RESOURCE SERVICE (NIRS) USA,
Y2K WORLD ATOMIC SAFETY HOLIDAY USA,
TRI-VALLEY CARES, LIVERMORE, CALIF, USA,
THE ATOMIC MIRROR, CALIF, USA,
PEACE ACTION EDUCATION FUND, USA,
PROPOSITION-1 COMMITTEE, WASHINGTON,DC,
PHYSICIANS FOR GLOBAL SURVIVAL CANADA,
NEW GREEN ALLIANCE, CANADA,
INTER-CHURCH URANIUM COMMITTEE CANADA,
CANADIAN PEACE ALLIANCE,
VICTORIA PEACE PROJECT
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH AUSTRALIA,
AUSTRALIAN PEACE COMMITTEE,
ANTI-BASES CAMPAIGN COALITION, SYDNEY,
PAX CHRISTI SYDNEY,
PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT NSW,
DISARMAMENT AND SECURITY CENTRE, NZ.,
COALITION FOR GUN CONTROL NZ,
WILPF AOTEAROA (NZ)
NELSON PEACE GROUP, NZ,
NZ NUCLEAR-FREE PEACEMAKING ASSOCIATION, CHRISTCHURCH, NZ.,
ATTN IGOR SERGEYEV,
DEFENCE MINISTER OF RUSSIA,
FOREIGN MINISTER OF RUSSIA,
WILLIAM S. COHEN,
UNITED STATES SECRETARY FOR DEFENCE +1-703-695-1149
PRESIDENT CLINTON +1-202-456-2461
Dear Ministers Igor Sergeyev and Igor Ivanov,
We are writing to you as co-organisers of the international campaign to
take nuclear weapons off hairtrigger alert before the Dec. 31/Jan 1 Y2K
'rollover', and as co-organizers of the large letter, now signed by over
460 organizations, which has been faxed to you many times, asking for
nuclear weapons to be taken off hairtrigger alert over the Y2K period.
We read with considerable alarm, statements by President Yeltsin recently
that the US should remember that 'Russia is a great power that possesses a
full nuclear arsenal', combined with a deployment of ten new Topol-M
It is especially alarming to read that these new missiles are being put on
full alert status, when the world is demanding that nuclear weapons be
taken off alert status especially over the Y2K period.
There is, we think, no doubt in anyone's mind as to the capability of
either Russia or the US to wreak irreparable destruction to the life
systems of the entire planet.
The use of all or a portion of the 5,600 warheads in land - based ICBM
systems in the US and Russia will in all probability mean the complete
annihilation of both sides of the exchange and the end of human
No conceivable political or military purpose would be served by such
catastrophic destruction. Neither Russia nor the US is threatened in any
fundamental way. However, any nuclear exchange, accidental or otherwise,
would bring about the prompt and complete destruction of both parties and
the rest of the world.
In addition, the International Court of Justice in 1996 declared that the
use or threat of nuclear weapons is contrary to international law. It is
arguable that under international law, even the imminent destruction of a
nation cannot justify recourse to nuclear weapons.
There is nothing in current US/Russian relations that cannot be solved by a
willingness to talk and to make mutual accommodations in good faith.
With the approach of the Y2K rollover, the chances of an accidental
nuclear war, due to Y2K related computer problems in command and control
systems, are greater than ever.
We note that Russia and the US have established a joint Y2K strategic
stability centre, but it is also essential that both sides refrain from
provocative statements and actions over this sensitive period.
The strategic stability centre, while absolutely essential, is inadequate
by itself to ensure strategic stability. That can only be done by nuclear
weapons systems being placed in a status such that immediate launch, or
launch on warning, is no longer possible.
This move has been termed "de-alerting" and has been called for now by two
resolutions last year in the United Nations General Assembly, two
resolutions this year in the UN, by the Australian Senate and by the
European Parliament last Nov. 18th.
The safety and stability of the world depends on Russia and the US taking
the necessary technical measures to ensure prevention of a nuclear launch.
We are well aware that recent moves by NATO and the US, especially with
regard to the ABM treaty may be viewed as provocative, but no political
goal and no strategic interest is important enough to risk the possibility
of ending human civilization and possibly all human life.
We call on you therefore to place your nuclear forces in a de-alerted
configuration in which immediate launch, or launch on warning is
impossible. We ask that you make the year 2000, already designated by the
UN as the International Year of the Culture of Peace, the first year of a
millennium free from the threat of nuclear destruction.
Yumi Kikuchi, World Atomic safety Holiday International,
Gen Morita, Y2K Citizens Network, Kamogawa,
Commander Robert Green, RN (retd.), Chair, World Court Project, UK,
Colin Archer, International Peace Bureau, Geneva,
Vladimir Slivyak, International Nuclear Campaigner, Social-Ecological
Eva Quistorp,(former MEP) Women for Peace, Berlin, Germany,
Solange Fernex, President, Womens International League for Peace and
Freedom, (WILPF) France, Paris,
Ak Malten, Global Anti-Nuclear Alliance, The Hague, Netherlands,
Dr. Josep Puig, Scientists and Technicians for a Non-Nuclear Future,
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain,
Aungiira Aurel Duta, Mama Terra, (For Mother Earth) Romania, Bucharest.
Lea Launokari, Women for Peace Finland,
The Weeping Women Finland,
No More Nuclear Power Movement Finland,
Grandmothers for Peace Finland,
Dr Jan Oberg, Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research, Lund,
Katja Klinge Jensen, Global Ecovillage Network, Denmark,
Max Olenicher, Karielian Human Rights Defender, 'Pacifist', Russia,
Pierre Johnkheer, MEP, (Greens/EFA)
Patsy Sorensen, MEP, (Greens/EFA)
Dr Carol Lucas, MEP (Greens/EFA)
Bill Smirnow, Nuclear-Free New York, World Atomic Safety Holiday, NY.,
Mary Olson, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Y2K-WASH, USA,
Mary Beth Branagan/James Heddle, Y2K WASH, USA,
Sally Light, Tri-Valley CARES, Livermore, California, USA,
Pamela S, Meidell, The Atomic Mirror, Calif, USA,
Tracy Moavero, Peace Action Education Fund, USA,
Ellen Thomas, Proposition-1 Committee, Washington, DC.,
Alan F. Phillips, MD, Physicians for Global Survival Canada,
David Greenfield, New Green Alliance, Canada,
Linda Murphy, Inter-Church Uranium Committee Educational Cooperative, Canada,
Tryna Booth, Canadian Peace Alliance,
Jo-Hayward Haines, Victoria Peace Project,
Kate Dewes, Director, Disarmament and Security Centre, Christchurch, NZ.,
Carol Anne Bradford, Coalition for Gun Control, New Zealand,
Megan Hutching, National Secy., WILPF, Aotearoa, (NZ)
Richard Frizell, Nelson Peace Group, NZ,
Lawrence J. Ross, Nuclear Free Peacemaking Association, Christchurch, NZ.,
Irene Gale AM, Australian Peace Committee,
Pauline Mitchell, Campaign for International Cooperation and Development,
Dennis Doherty, Pax Christi Sydney,
Hannah Middleton, Sydney Anti-Bases Campaign Committee
Cameron Edwards, Campaigner, People for Nuclear Disarmament, NSW, Sydney,
John Hallam, Nuclear Campaigner, Friends of the Earth, Sydney, Aust,
----- END OF INCOMING EMAIL FROM JOHN HALLAM, FOE SYDNEY -----
The Editor of this newsletter begs the Masters of War in America, Russia, Israel, China, India, Pakistan, Britain, France and wherever else nuclear weapons are, to put down the remote-control, error-prone, comfy-chair, push-button nuclear genocide machines, denounce them along with 99% of the rest of humanity, and become a part of a society which builds for peaceful solutions, without threatening global genocide. -- rdh
*** (4) A tisket, a tasket, a deadly license for a casket:
File this one under LAWYER'S TRICKS: Make the old casks legally unchallengeable by regulating the new casks! This item is a few months old, but no less scary than all the other Y2K worries. This report (seen in RadBull) indicates that "The proposed amendments would also provide that previously approved cask designs could not be challenged during a licensing hearing."
The purpose of that little blurb is the real purpose of the whole exercise -- to allow the use of the old, dangerous casks in case the new ones (which don't work either) are successfully challenged prior to use!
-- Russell D. Hoffman (with thanks to Pamela Blockey-O'Brien)
----- ITEM SEEN IN "RADBULL": -----
10/29/99 **** RADIATION BULLETIN(RADBULL) **** VOL 7.239
RADBULL IS PRODUCED BY THE ABALONE ALLIANCE CLEARINGHOUSE
NRC Proposes Changes to Regulations on Spent Fuel Cask
Fabrication, Hearing Scope
United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20555
PHONE 301-415-8200 FAX 301-415-2234
Thursday, October 28, 1999 NRC PROPOSES CHANGES TO REGULATIONS ON
SPENT FUEL CASK FABRICATION, HEARING SCOPE
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing to amend its
regulations in 10 CFR Part 72 for storage of spent fuel from
nuclear power plants to allow cask manufacturers to begin
fabrication--at their own risk- -before NRC approves use of the
cask. The proposed rule would require NRC approval of the
quality assurance program before cask fabrication can commence.
The proposed amendments would also provide that previously
approved cask designs could not be challenged during a licensing
While maintaining adequate assurance of cask design sufficiency
and quality assurance, these changes would facilitate reducing
the regulatory burden and provide flexibility to both applicants
NRC has two processes for approving spent fuel storage: (1) a
specific license for an independent spent fuel storage
installation (ISFSI), in which NRC conducts a detailed review of
an application to build and operate the installation on a
specific site and (2) a general license, in which a nuclear power
plant licensee may use storage cask designs previously approved
by the NRC, without having a specific license or detailed review
by NRC (although certain site-specific issues are examined).
The NRC anticipates that it may receive applications for specific
licenses for ISFSI's that will propose using cask designs already
approved by the NRC for use under a general license. Under
current regulations, the adequacy of these previously approved
cask designs could be at issue during a licensing hearing.
The proposed rule states that if a specific license application
for an ISFSI incorporates information on the design of an
NRC-approved spent fuel storage cask, the scope of any public
hearing held to consider the application will not include any
cask design issues previously addressed by the Commission.
This would eliminate the need for repetitious reviews by a
hearing board. In addition, the public would have already had an
opportunity to comment on each cask design before it was approved
for use under a general license, because the Commission issues a
Federal Register notice seeking public comments before deciding
whether to incorporate a design into its regulations as approved
With regard to cask fabrication, current regulations prohibit a
general licensee and its contractor and an applicant for NRC
approval of a cask design for use under a general license from
beginning fabrication of the cask before the NRC issues a
certificate of compliance. Applicants for a specific license for
an ISFSI, in contrast, are permitted to begin early fabrication
of casks before the license is issued. The proposed revisions to
the regulations would eliminate this differing NRC treatment
between general and specific licensees.
Early fabrication would be at the risk of the applicant, who
would have to bear the costs of any actions required to conform a
fabricated cask to the conditions of the NRC certificate of
Interested persons are invited to submit comments within 75 days
of publication of a Federal Register notice on this subject,
which is expected shortly. Written comments should be sent to
the Secretary, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC
20555-0001, Attention: Rulemakings and Adjudications Staff.
Comments may also be submitted electronically via the NRC's
interactive # # #
----- END OF ITEM SEEN IN "RADBULL" -----
(5) Tell Clinton how you feel -- Official government contact points:
To contact the top government officials:
President Bill Clinton
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20500
Phone -- (202) 456-1111 Fax -- (202) 456-2461
e-mail -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice President Albert Gore (same address)
Phone -- (202) 456-1414 Fax -- (202) 456-2461
e-mail -- email@example.com
Secretary William Cohen
Washington D.C. 20301
Phone -- (703) 695-6352 Fax -- (703) 695-1149
Secretary Bill Richardson
Department of Energy (DoE)
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington D.C. 20585
Phone -- (202) 586-6210 Fax -- (202) 586-4403
To learn about the absurd excuses NASA used to launch Cassini and its 72.3 pounds of plutonium in 1997, ask them for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini mission, and all subsequent documentation. At the same time, be sure to ask them for ANY and ALL documentation available on future uses of plutonium in space, including MILITARY, CIVILIAN, or "OTHER" (just in case they make a new category somehow!). To get this information, contact:
Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011 or (818) 354-6478
Here's NASA's "comments" 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:
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT NASA IS DOING TO YOUR HEALTH.
NASA should never have been allowed to launch monstrosities like Cassini and Galileo, but the next breed -- such as Europa Orbiter and Pluto-Kuiper Express are not much better and the policy is being set for greatly increased rates of missions! The danger continues! To complain to NASA about their future nuclear space probes, here are two addresses you can use:
For Europa Orbiter:
"Europa Orbiter comments" firstname.lastname@example.org
For Pluto-Kuiper Express:
"Pluto-Kuiper Express comments" email@example.com
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, because otherwise they will throw it out unread, or hand it directly to their police force to try to identify the author. (Thus, nothing good will come of it.) Also, ALWAYS include a personal message of some sort, indicating YOUR OWN VIEWS, even if you include a lot of material written by other people (me, for instance).
(6) Newsletter subscription information:
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Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
This newsletter is free and is not distributed for profit.
The opinions expressed are those of the individual authors.
Please distribute these newsletters EVERYWHERE!
Written in the United States of America.
(7) Newsletter Authorship notes and additional URLs:
Russell D. Hoffman, Carlsbad, California, Peace Activist, Environmentalist, High Tech Guru:
Hoffman's Y2K Preparedness Information:
Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:
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First placed online December 29th, 1999.
Last modified December 29th, 1999.
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Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman