"Nothing more than an act of terrorism"
Davis-Besse Newsletter #10
May 6th, 2002
The latest news, views, and interesting correspondence.
Edited by
Russell D. Hoffman, Concerned Citizen


(2): Alternatives to nuclear power. (A quick overview by
Arthur Doucette, May 4th, 2002)

(3): I am afraid that in order to stop the Nuclear Industry it may take a Revolution or a Civil War (by
Jack Shannon, nuclear physicist, nuclear engineer, former KAPL employee, whistleblower, May 4th, 2002)

Richard Geary).

(5): Maryland's largest tornado on record just missed nuclear plant (by Johnathon E. Briggs, Sun Staff, May 1st, 2002 (sent in by
Molly Johnson)

(6): The NRC is losing it!  (Losing face?  Losing power to fight the will of the people?  Losing respect?  (They lost that a long time ago!))  No: Losing isotopes. (by
Joby Warrick, May 4th, 2002, The Washington Post)

(7): Nuke Crane Accident

(8): Billionaire
Warren Buffet predicts nuke attack on U.S. (article by Joe Ruff, AP, May 5th, 2002)

Nuclear Energy Institute predicts new nukes coming to your town soon! (Reuters, May 6th, 2002)

Osama's reward (humor)

(11): This planet could support 60 billion people, at least... (a statement by
Russell Hoffman)

(12): Subscription information / contact information for the author of this document.

Previous Davis-Besse newsletters are available online here:

Please distribute freely.  Please contact the author (email address is given at the bottom) if you feel you have received this document in error or wish to unsubscribe.  Thank you for reading. -- Russell. D. Hoffman.


This was seen posted at the Mother's Alert web site:

By Harvey Wasserman

From Columbus ALIVE; please circulate

Ohio is looking down the barrel of a nuclear apocalypse. Its name is Davis-Besse. Reopening it---as its owner wants to do---can be viewed as nothing more than an act of terrorism.

The 900-megawatt atomic reactor near Toledo has shocked even the industry's staunchest supporters. An unexpected leak of boric acid has eaten through nearly six full inches of solid high-grade metal in a critical internal component. Only 3/8 of an inch of carbon steel protection was left in tact when the hole was discovered in February. Soon thereafter a second hole was discovered, raising widespread fears that the reactor could be riddled with untold other seriously deteriorated sites.

Boric acid is laced throughout the water that circulates through all Pressurized Water Reactors. Similar structural problems have long been known in the much-vaunted French nuclear industry, whose 55-plus PWRs suffer from a syndrome known as Vessel Head Penetration Cracking, which threatens the entire industry.

As it always does, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which is supposed to protect the public, says there is no real danger. But in the same releases it pointed out that the acid has compromised an extremely important safety feature common to all pressurized water reactors, the world's most widespread model. There are 68 other reactors with similar designs in the US alone.

The NRC gets its funding from the industry it regulates, and has long been viewed as little more than a lapdog giving public relations cover to a corrupt, decayed plutocracy. Critics generally refer to it as "No Real Chance" and "Nobody Really Cares." NRC Commissioner McGafigan recently launched a vicious personal attack against one critic who dared point out that America's reactors are still vulnerable to a terrorist attack from the air.

In the wake of September 11, a global debate led the industry itself to concede that no reactor containment on any commercial nuclear plant could withstand the crash of a jet the size of the ones that brought down the World Trade Center. But while ground security has been increased at most reactor sites, there has been no significant upgrade in the ability of any commercial reactor to survive an attack from the air. When Paul Leventhal of the Nuclear Control Institute, among others, pointed this out, McGafigan went over the deep end.

Which is where all of Lake Erie and northern Ohio would go in the event of an attack or an accident at Davis-Besse. FirstEnergy's aging atomic clunker has been likened to a radioactive jalopy, patched together with twine, hurtling down a steep hill. At the bottom is the prospect of a literal apocalypse, whose radioactive releases could permanently destroy all of northern Ohio and the Great Lakes, the world's largest single reserve of fresh water. A melt-down or terrorist-prompted explosion could kill millions, including much of the populations of Cleveland, Toledo and Detroit.

Davis-Besse is a deteriorating Three Mile Island-style relic which in the 1980s ate millions in funky patches just to keep it on line. Its latest safety shutdown has caused no blackouts or other noticeable strains on the grid that supplies northern Ohio with electricity. FirstEnergy is now buying power from other sources, which are readily available.

The company is also demanding the right to slap in still more cheap fixes and throw Davis-Besse back on line as fast as possible. FirstEnergy has its financial reasons. But even the NRC has started to balk at the profound irresponsibility of pasting on a few bandaids and then re-firing such an infernal machine. There is talk of replacing some large internal components altogether. But that would take FirstEnergy until 2004, by which time much of the public will have figured out there's no need for this radioactive Rube Goldberg contraption.

Last year nearly 1700 megawatts of windpower were installed in the US alone, more than twice as much capacity as is theoretically provided by Davis-Besse. By 2004 far more capacity could be provided cheaply, cleanly and safely by natural gas or Great Lakes wind machines than by a reopened nuke.

Safety experts have now called for a thorough x-ray examination of every component of Davis-Besse and the scores of other reactors with similar designs. But the attitude of the Bush Administration and the NRC has been that if this might cost FirstEnergy and other reactor owners a few extra dollars, then they won't do it, even if it endangers the future of the planet.

This is a profoundly important moment in this nation's history. This grotesque risk being taken with the public safety cannot be tolerated. Davis-Besse must stay shut and the alternatives put in place. To do otherwise would be an unparalleled act of terrorism, pure and simple.


Comment on the above item by rdh:

As always, Wasserman is clear and comprehensive while painting a terrifying yet realistic picture of the dangers we all face by our own inaction.  Harvey Wasserman can be contacted here:
"Harvey Wasserman" <nonukeshw@aol.com>

-- rdh

(2): Alternatives to nuclear power. (A quick overview by Arthur Doucette):

From: Arthur Doucette <ADoucette@Atl.carreker.com>
To: "'Russell D. Hoffman'" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
Subject: RE: biomass
Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 22:54:50 -0400

Hi Russell,

Remember, he who can only see a bleak future simply lacks imagination!
Malthus began the scare stories long ago.

They haven't come true.

The one you work against could, and doesn't require some exponential growth
rate to produce it, just a yellow post-it in front of a critical gauge. Keep
up the good work.

As to biomass - First it is growing and growing at a pretty good clip.
It now equals or exceeds hydro as a source of power in the US.
Biomass, like forests DON'T require fertilizer! The primary food for plants
is CO2.

One doesn't have to worry about O2 as biomass produces it as it grows and
the vast majority of the O2 comes from algae in the ocean, not land plants.
Biomass plants are chosen for their ability to grow on poor soil, wet soil,
even alkaline soil. You would not normally need to irrigate plants used for
biomass, one would choose plants which are naturally adapted to the
conditions available.

If you compare a biomass plant to your typical food plant the first thing
you will notice is you use the whole plant and you are not worried about a
few bug bites. The reason we use fertilizers on crops is we mainly eat the
fruit off plants and Nitrogen goes a long way towards faster plant growth
and larger fruits. With biomass we are typically talking about very fast
growing trees (i.e. willow) where fertilizer is not required.

Biomass is CO2 neutral, it absorbs and releases the same amount. Think of it
mainly as solar energy. The unburned nutrients can be returned to the soil.
Other biomass crops like corn can be used two ways, use the plants to burn
for energy and the corn to generate ethanol. This way we still get much more
energy then we do from corn alone and if it is not food grade we don't need
to fertilize or spray for pests.

Everyone talks in an all-or-nothing scenario. Biomass will not totally
replace oil, it will supplement it. Let me make it clear, WE ARE NOT RUNNING
OUT OF OIL! (at least not in this century and very unlikely in the next
either), we are swimming in the stuff, we continue to find more then consume
each and every year. The proven reserves (amount which can be recovered
economically at today's very low prices), has NEVER gone down, only up. The
whole "fossil" based origin of oil is now under serious question, with the
likely answer to be that OOPS, its not really based on dead plants but seems
more likely to turn out much of the Earth is made of the stuff, much like we
are finding on the other planets/large moons in the solar system with their
methane atmospheres. Then there is coal, don't want to burn it now but
eventually we will learn to turn it into gas in an economical and clean
fashion (removing the Uranium) (PS: The uranium content of coal is virtual
proof that it is not based on plants!) and the US has about as much coal as
the world has known oil.

Keep in mind that it was the scare stories of the 50/60s that we were fast
running out of oil that got us into this nuclear mess in the first place.
That was over 50 years ago and we have so much more oil than then its almost
hard to imagine how far wrong they were.

You've seen my stuff on wind. It can produce much more then it does today,
but it alone will not be the answer either. But Biomass, Wind, solar, tidal
and geothermal will all continue to provide a larger share of the supply.
Conservation continues because it makes economic sense. Efficiency gains
continue for the same reason. Eventually recycling will become a factor as
well. But run out of energy any time soon? Not in the cards.

Warmest Regards


Comment on the above item by rdh:

Arthur Doucette has prioritized what America should be concerned about very well.  The question we MUST ask ourselves is: What future do we want to choose for our progeny?  It's up to us to stop the creation of a global nuclear cesspool.  DON'T BELIEVE MALTHUSIAN THINKERS!  They'll lead you to despair.  They've never been right before -- don't LET them be right this time!

-- rdh

(3): I am afraid that in order to stop the Nuclear Industry it may take a Revolution or a Civil War (by Jack Shannon, nuclear physicist, nuclear engineer, former KAPL (Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory) employee, whistleblower):

From: Jacksha1@aol.com
Message-ID: <45.16ee21fa.2a05a364@aol.com>
Date: Sat, 4 May 2002 16:49:40 EDT
Subject: Re: former U.S. senator on Yucca
To: ctcan@snet.net, fbord2@ctaz.com, Volega@cs.com,
        Dunleamark@aol.com, fair@fair.org,
        advocacyline@hotmail.com (Beth Hills), rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com,
        johnsrud@csrlink.net (Judith Johnsrud), jimjanle@mycidco.com,
        Susannesaltzman@aol.com, pshe12@earthlink.net,
        smirnowb@ix.netcom.com, rstater@pipeline.com, KTunn931@aol.com,

I am afraid that in order to stop the Nuclear Industry it may take a
Revolution or a Civil War.

The arguments against the continued operation of any Nuclear Power Plant near
a large city, especially Indian Point, are so overwhelming and profound that
only morons, criminals or traitors would continue such operations.

But they do continue operating don't they?

Our government is under the total and absolute control of big business, and
to speak of the destruction of such a government is not treason. To support
such a government is treason, and is in fact of violation of virtually all
amendments to the Constitution. The continuance of such a government flies in
the face of everything that the Constitution and the Declaration of
Independence Stands for.

How are things different today than they were during the occupation by King

John Shannon Major USMC [Retired]
Nuclear Engineer/Nuclear Physicist


Comment on the above item by rdh:

The revolution starts tomorrow and will appear on your local news channel. Jack and I are leading the East Coast and West Coast anti-military divisions, respectively.  Be sure to get home early to watch it!  Boomph!  Ooof! What was I thinking?!? It's been pre-empted and will not be shown!  Instead, you'll see a train wreck in India, a suicide bomber in Israel, and a news pool photo of a laser-guided Rocket-Propelled-Grenade blasting the entrance to a 1000-year-old Afghan cave.

-- rdh


This item was forwarded by Richard Geary:


U.S. House of Representatives to vote on Yucca/Mobile Chernobyl as early
as May 8 or 9.

Call your U.S. Representative right away:
Capitol Switchboard phone number 202.224.3121

Urge your Representative to oppose the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste
dump, and the unprecedented tens of thousands of risky high-level
radioactive waste trucks, trains, and barges through 44 states that
Yucca would require. Urge him/her to oppose House Joint Resolution 87,
which would override Nevada Governor Kenny Guinn's veto of the Yucca
dump. Urge your Rep. to uphold Nevada's veto. Tell your Member that
instead of Yucca/Mobile Chernobyl, he/she should support and co-sponsor
Representative Dennis Kucinich's Nuclear Waste Transportation Amendments
Act of 2002, H.R. 4605.

While on the line with your Rep's office, get their fax number and
follow up with a handwritten, personal letter. Here's a sample letter:

The Honorable (full name)
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative (full name),

I urge you to support Nevada's veto of the plan to bury 77,000 tons of  high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Many tens of  thousands of atomic waste truck, train and barge shipments would travel  through 45 states -- within a half mile of the homes of 50 million  people. Due to the risk of severe transport accidents and the potential for catastrophic terrorist attacks on shipments, this would mean
radioactive Russian  roulette on our roads, rails, and waterways.

The Yucca site is itself scientifically unsuitable, located in a very active earthquake  zone that is guaranteed to leak radiation into the drinking water supply. It makes
no sense to risk transporting these deadly wastes just to dump them at the one site in the country that has been proven scientifically indefensible. Please oppose the Yucca Mountain dump and the unprecedented "Mobile Chernobyl" shipments it would launch.


Street Address:_______________________________
City, State, Zip:_______________________________

(It is important to list your address. Your letter will probably be discarded if it does not show you are from the home district.)

Comment on the above item by rdh:

While I oppose, and have always opposed, Yucca Mountain, the fact of the matter is, if we don't stop making the waste, we'll have accidents elsewhere, we just won't have accidents at Yucca Mountain.  Therefore, anyone who opposes Yucca Mountain should also oppose the creation of MORE radioactive waste each day!

-- rdh

(5): Maryland's largest tornado on record just missed nuclear plant (sent in by Molly Johnson):


Tornado just missed nuclear plant
Storm passed two miles northeast of Calvert Cliffs, officials estimate


By Johnathon E. Briggs
Sun Staff
May 1, 2002

Packing winds of more than 261 miles per hour, the strongest tornado in
Maryland's history passed within an estimated two miles of the Calvert
Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Calvert County on Sunday.

Plant officials said yesterday that although the state had never before
experienced a twister of such magnitude, the nuclear facility, perched on
a slope overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, could have withstood the violent

"The plant is designed to withstand tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, a
wide range of events," spokesman Karl Neddenien said of the power plant
owned and operated by Constellation Energy Group, parent company of
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Photographs taken Sunday evening, apparently by a plant employee from an
area on the grounds that looks toward the bay, have circulated in recent
days showing the spinning funnel cloud touching down in the water as it
moved east toward Dorchester County.

The category F5 tornado - highest on a scale used by meteorologists -
appears to be about two miles northeast of the 28-year-old plant,
officials said.

But critics were asking: Are Calvert Cliffs structures rated to withstand
an F5 tornado?

"I've seen pictures of a stalk of straw thrown through a telephone pole
by a tornado. It's certainly not a ho-hum kind of affair," said Paul
Gunter, director of the Reactor Watchdog Project with the Nuclear
Information and Resource Service in Washington.

"Clearly the concern is the power system to the plant, whether or not the
buildings the emergency generators are housed in are rated to take winds
of up to 260 miles per hour or tornado missiles."

Neddenien said the plant's "extremely rugged construction," including
walls up to four feet thick of steel-reinforced concrete and redundant
backup power systems, prepare the plant for the worst.

A little more than an hour before the storm's arrival, he said, staff
members walked the grounds looking for and tying down objects - from
trash cans to picnic tables - that could cause damage if picked up by
high-velocity winds.

"The tornado really posed no threat to the plant," he said.


Comment on the above item by rdh:

These people are truly confused!  Lashing down picnic tables and trash cans?  Isn't that a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?  Don't they know that the tractor-trailer full of gasoline which might land on them, might have been picked up miles away?  (I've got some interesting pictures of what it looked like after a tornado struck an aviation museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, in the 1980's.)  The operators of Calvert Cliffs obviously have no understanding of the dangers and, as usual, they describe the containment dome's concrete walls, while failing to address the dangers of potential damage to any other safety systems at the plant which could result in releases of radioactive isotopes to the public, nor do they mention their deadly Dry Storage Casks and Spent Fuel Pools, which are both outside the domes and contain far more radioactive material.  They should have SCRAMed the Calvert Cliff reactors -- and never restarted them!

-- rdh

(6): The NRC is losing it!  (Losing face?  Losing power to fight the will of the people?  Losing respect?  (They lost that a long time ago!))  No: Losing isotopes. (by Joby Warrick, May 4th, 2002, The Washington Post):

Subject: NRC Warns of Missing Radioactive Materials

Published on Saturday, May 4, 2002 in the Washington Post

NRC Warns of Missing Radioactive Materials

by Joby Warrick
U.S. businesses and medical facilities have lost track of nearly 1,500
pieces equipment with radioactive parts since 1996, according to a new
federal accounting of radiological material that terrorism experts warn
could be used in a "dirty bomb" attack against a U.S. city.

In the past we have been very concerned about 'loose nukes' in the former
Soviet Union, but it looks like we have the same kind of problem in this

[photo of US Rep Ed Markey (D-MA)]

The loss of radiological material, ranging from medical diagnostic equipment
to industrial X-ray machines, has been viewed with increased concern since
the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and has prompted several new measures to
prevent theft, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a document released
yesterday by a House member from Massachusetts.

The vast majority of the missing items contain tiny amounts of radioactive
material and pose little threat, NRC officials said. But there have been
several instances in recent years of lost or stolen hospital equipment that
contains potentially lethal amounts of radioactive cobalt or cesium.

Such material could be packed around a conventional explosive -- a
combination known as a "dirty bomb" -- to scatter radiation over large

"The commission is concerned about this potential terrorist threat and has
advised its licensees to enhance security," the NRC said in the report,
which was requested by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

The NRC regulates the commercial use of radioactive material. It
acknowledged receiving reports of 1,495 lost or stolen radioactive "sources"
between October 1996 and September 2001; about 660 of the missing items --
44 percent -- were recovered, but the rest remain missing, the agency said.

The agency launched enforcement action against 54 companies and institutions
involved in the incidents and collected fines from 16 of them. The penalties
ranged from a few hundred dollars to $50,000.

Markey, a frequent critic of federal nuclear security precautions, said the
report highlighted a need for better safeguards measures and stricter

"Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda have been trying to obtain nuclear material.
We know that the creation of a dirty bomb is one of al Qaeda's stated
objectives," Markey said. "In the past we have been very concerned about
'loose nukes' in the former Soviet Union, but it looks like we have the same
kind of problem in this country."

In an interview yesterday, an NRC spokesman stood by the agency's
enforcement record and stressed that most of the missing items contained
"very, very small" amounts of radioactive material. Still, the agency
believes the terrorism risk is significant enough to warrant new safeguards
to prevent theft, spokesman Victor Dricks said.

"We have taken this matter very seriously," Dricks said.

Lost and missing radioactive material has been a chronic, if
under-recognized, concern for both the NRC and the Department of Energy for
more than a decade. A DOE inventory begun in 1995 determined that "tens of
thousands" of the agency's radioactive sources could not be fully accounted
for, said Robert Alvarez, a DOE senior adviser during the Clinton

Many of the missing items -- including radiotherapy devices that could
deliver a lethal dose of radiation within hours or minutes to someone
directly exposed to the radioactive core -- ended up in dumps and scrap
yards, Alvarez said. Today, radioactive material turns up so frequently in
scrap metal that some recycling plants have installed radiation detectors,
he said.

"If one of these things can end up in a scrap yard, it can end up in the
hands of a terrorist," Alvarez said.

2002 The Washington Post Company


Comment by "Steve" on the above item:

To: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>

Dear Russ,

NRC admitted today it has discovered 1500
lost or stolen Radioactive Materials but has
recovered about 800 so far in last 5 years.
I guess they didn't even keep score before that,
or somehow have dismissed all the older incidents.

Anyway, they didn't elaborate on what or how much,
or details, just this stupid statistic.  I suppose they found
all the ones they lost, but failed to recover all the stolen ones...;-(
So terrorists have potentially 700 dirtie gerties of various grades and

In God We Trust

-- Steve D.

(7): Nuke Crane Accident:

This item was also sent in by "Steve" on May 5th, 2002:

Today they had to rescue 2 guys in a crane skip hundreds of feet
dangling above a NPP by helicopter !   A very dangerous mission indeed,
but they were very skilled and made it look easy...check out CNN I
believe....Not sure which NPP that was, as usual the news is so faulty
It seemed like one back east, it was wooded, it looked similar to [San Onofre],
with 2 gray domes.   It looked like a sheave wheel jam, as the bucket was
hung up about half way, so it was hard to get the chopper down close.
They had to lower a long ways to reach them, one at a time, as crane
wavered over the Spent Fuel Pool...

Comment on the above item by rdh:

It would almost be funny...

-- rdh

(8): Billionaire Warren Buffet predicts nuke attack on U.S. (article by Joe Ruff, AP, May 5th, 2002):


Billionaire Predicts Nuclear Attack
Sun May 5,10:28 PM ET

By JOE RUFF, Associated Press Writer

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Investment guru Warren Buffett offered a bleak prediction for the nation's national security, saying a terrorist attack on American soil is "virtually a certainty."

Envy and dislike of the United States have fueled rage against the country even as the ability to build a nuclear device has spread, Buffett said Sunday at the final day of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s annual meeting.

"We're going to have something in the way of a major nuclear event in this country," said Buffett, the firm's chief operating officer. "It will happen. Whether it will happen in 10 years or 10 minutes, or 50 years ... it's virtually a certainty."

Washington and New York would be the top two targets because terrorists want to traumatize the country and kill as many people as possible, Buffett said.

Chemical or biological attacks are similarly high risks, Buffett said.

Buffett is the second-richest man in the world with holdings in Coca-Cola Co., American Express and The Washington Post, but his main business is insurance.

Berkshire Hathaway's insurance companies particularly General Re Corp. took a $2.4 billion underwriting loss because of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

The companies are now writing policies on terrorism but limiting their liability in any nuclear, biological or chemical attack. Only the federal government can ultimately insure property and other damage from a major terrorist attack, Buffett said.

The 71-year-old Buffett and vice chairman Charlie Munger met with the news media the day after they spent six hours answering questions from some of the more than 10,000 Berkshire shareholders gathered for the annual meeting.


Comment on the above item by rdh:

Gosh, is that the kind of thinking it takes to become a billionaire?  Buffet's biz is insurance, and undoubtedly he knows that NOBODY will insure a nuclear reactor -- and for good reason!  Now is the time for all good rich people to leave the nuclear industry to its own failure!  Take your money AWAY from the Nuclear Mafia!  Do it today -- the DOW might keep dropping (it closed at about 9800 today) and you'll wish you had.  Nuclear stocks will PLUMMET after a major nuclear accident in America.  (Hopefully, that will be your only worry.)

-- rdh

(9): Nuclear Energy Institute predicts new nukes coming to your town soon! (Reuters, May 6th, 2002):

This item was sent in by Richard Wilcox:


Utility group sees new US nuclear plant on horizon

USA: May 6, 2002

WASHINGTON - The Nuclear Energy Institute said it expects a U.S. utility to soon seek federal permission to build the first nuclear power reactor in a generation as part of the Bush administration's push for more electricity sources.

No nuclear plants have been built since the 1979 accident at Pennsylvania's Three Mile Island plant, which had a partial meltdown of the reactor core.

"We soon expect to see the first application for an early site permit for a nuclear power plant," said Christian Poindexter, who is chairman of the institute and of Constellation Energy Group Inc. .

"Once granted, an early site permit will enable the company that holds it to consider building a nuclear plant when it needs new generating capacity," he said in a speech at the industry group's meeting in Naples, Florida.

Poindexter did not identify which company will seek the permit from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Earlier this week, Exelon Corp. said it might add a new reactor to its existing nuclear plant site in Illinois. The company's Clinton nuclear power station was originally designed for two units and currently houses a single 950-megawatt reactor.

Applying for an early site permit gives a utility the option of building a new reactor without committing itself to construction.

Two other U.S. utilities have also said they are preparing early site permit applications. Entergy Corp. and Dominion Resources Inc.

The Bush administration said in February it would offer three federally-owned sites for U.S. utilities to build new nuclear power plants this decade.

The government's push has been criticized by some activist groups, who cite safety concerns and the growing volume of dangerous radioactive waste generated by 103 existing U.S. plants.

A broad energy bill approved last month by the U.S. Senate includes some provisions to encourage new nuclear construction. A final version of the legislation has yet to be worked out by Senate and House negotiators.

U.S. nuclear plants supply about 20 percent of the nation's electricity.



Comment on the above item by rdh:

This may not have any chance of actually happening any time soon, but they'll say it anyway just to make the news media think "gee, well, it can't be all that bad if they're going to build more!".  Another reason to announce this garbage is to get the activists worried (and worry we should).  Yet another reason is because just by making such announcements from time to time, investors shy away from renewable energy solutions because nuclear (which never pays its full cost) always can slide in with a cheaper price today (and killer cancers tomorrow).  Lastly, it may just be a barren statement made to show strength where none exists.  The most successful lies are usually big ones.

Also, how is it possible for the federal government to state that it would offer three "federally-owned sites" for new nukes when they can't find any land they own or can appropriate on which to put the nuclear waste they've already got, or have promised to take possession of?

Lastly, I challenge the "20%" figure for how much electricity in America is generated by nuclear.  I wouldn't be surprised to learn it's not even half that, in reality.  (I was quoted 14.5% for California's share from nukes by a California state employee who works in our state's energy information department, last year.)  California has 4 operating nuclear power plants.  I'm sure that "20%" figure doesn't include the amount of energy that is produced by small private producers which never gets on the grid, but powers plenty of PCs and lights around the country.

-- rdh

(10): Osama's reward (humor):

Subject: Osama's Reward
Sent to rdh by: ReCarDeaux@aol.com

After getting nailed by a Daisy Cutter, Osama made his way to the pearly gates.  There, he is greeted by George Washington. "How dare you attack the nation I helped conceive!" yells Mr. Washington, slapping Osama in the face. Patrick Henry comes up from behind.  "You wanted to end the America's liberty, so they gave you death!" Henry punches Osama in the nose. James Madison comes up next, and says, "This is why I allowed the Federal government to provide for the common defense!"  He takes a sledge hammer and WHAM! nails Osama's knees.  Osama is subject to similar beatings from John Randolph of Roanoke, James Monroe, and 65 other people who have the same love for liberty and America. As he writhes on the ground, Thomas Jefferson picks him up to hurl him back toward the gate where he is to be judged. As Osama awaits his journey to his final very hot destination, he screams, "This is not what I was promised!" An angel replies, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you.  What the hell did you think I said?"

Oklahoma City, OK  73118
Email    ReCarDeaux@aol.com


Comment on the above item by rdh:

Daisy Cutters, Long Sticks, Thermobaric Bombs, Depleted Uranium weapons, and the prospects of nuclear war all make me proud to be a pacifist, but humor is still a good thing.  This IS funny!  Anyway, most so-called pacifism stops the instant it's eminently obvious that your fist is going to touch my face.

-- rdh

(11): This planet could support 60 billion people, at least... (a statement by Russell Hoffman):

(Note: This was written as a commentary on a commentary on a famous article called "The Tragedy of the Commons" (Garrett Hardin, Science, 162(1968): 1243-1248).  I'm not specifying what it was in response to, because it looked like baloney, was very long, and I didn't read it all. I've made minor additional editorial corrections. -- rdh)

By Russell D. Hoffman

This planet could support 60 billion people, or 600 billion at one time -- and educate, clothe, and feed them all, if not completely sustainably, then nearly sustainably.  Not only must poverty be eliminated, but education must be offered universally, through at least age, oh, 30 or 40.  And everyone, young and old, must be encouraged to educate themselves in a nice, scientific way.  I'm not saying we need more stock market analysts, rock bands, professional baseball players, or insurance salesmen.  I'm saying, we need vastly more scientists.

THEN, those scientists WILL invent the devices which will convert fuel into energy more efficiently, which will benefit us all.  So many of these devices are so close to production now, but they need a few more tens or hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars to bring to final fruition.

But, uneducated masses cannot accomplish that task.  We need more students, well-fed and free from worries at home.  We are not all hunter-gatherers anymore.  We use hydroponics, cross-breeding, crop rotation, and those are just some of the developing (in some cases, for thousands of years), environmentally-friendly techniques.  We also are developing wondrous new ways to make, say, a leg of lamb without making the rest of the lamb (or making the rest of the lamb have to suffer, since it won't need to exist, except in zoos and so forth).  Imagine getting fresh salmon from a growth medium in your refrigerator (or your incubator), with no need to kill and eat something that grew up in that polluted old ocean, the cesspool of civilization, the endless dumping ground of nuclear, chemical, and biological wastes!

Sure, scarceness of resources may eventually do in human life, if asteroids' metals don't sustain us once we run our of our own and start mining them (hundreds or thousands of years from now), if war and environmental calamities don't bring about our demise first, if an asteroid hits us that we should have mined for minerals, but didn't.

But what we see now as scarcity is really only misappropriation, misuse, and misunderstanding.

-- rdh

(12): Subscription information / contact information for the author of this document:

The creation of 10 NEW tons of Nuclear Waste EVERY DAY in America, and about 50 tons around the world, is the #1 environmental issue in the world today.  EVERY DAY enough NEW nuke waste is created for terrorists to destroy hundreds of cities if they get their hands on JUST the NEW waste!  EVERY DAY!




This newsletter was written by Russell D. Hoffman.
Please include a personal comment of some sort -- anything will do, but preferably who you are and why you want to subscribe.