To: "Bob Nichols" <>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: Fw: Re: Our movement is in shambles - any ideas? (A walk down memory lane)
In-Reply-To: <3D62807A.000022.01232@bob>

September 5th, 2002

Hi Bob, others,

Michael Mariotte's comments (shown below), claiming I suffer from a "debilitating pessimism", are baseless.  If he looks around with a more balanced perspective, he'll see that the pro-DNA movement is losing, and in a very big way.

So don't tell us to thump our chests, Michael.  It's inappropriate and unearned.

Instead, let's take a walk down memory lane together:

20 years ago, nuclear power was not on the cusp of being called "green".  Oh sure, a few mad scientists like Dr. Edward Teller pushed for such a designation, but no one believed it.  Now it's the official government position.

20 years ago, nukes were supposed to have 30 year licences and that would be IT, but now it's renew, renew, rebuild, renew, forever, with little or no chance for public input.

20 years ago, various local governments across the nation were enacting bans on shipments of nuclear waste through their cities.  Today, Federal law forbids virtually all local control of nuclear issues.

20 years ago, we had the Freedom of Information Act to help citizens seek out the truth from government.  That was gutted on October 12th, 2001.

20 years ago, there were about 70 nukes online in America. Now it's over 100 operating nuclear power plants in America alone, and about 430 around the globe.

20 years ago, there was less than 15 million pounds of high-level radioactive waste sitting in spent fuel pools at reactor sites around the country.  Now, it's around 50 million pounds, the pools have nearly all been reracked, and in many cases re-reracked (each rerecking increases the risk), and the waste pile is growing at what is probably the fastest rate ever (while it's correct that a few nuke plants have been closed, the others are being licensed to run hotter, and thus, are burning their fuel faster).

20 years ago, nuclear supplied less than 10% of America's electricity. Now it's nearer to 20%, making it that much harder to convince people we can live without it.

20 years ago, there were no nuclear "fleets" where one company owns scores of plants.  Now the majority of the plants are owned by corporate giants with virtually unlimited budgets to sway public opinion.

20 years ago, few nuke companies also owned the major media outlets.  Now, few don't.

20 years ago, thousands, and even tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands, would gather in America to protest nukes.  They may not have been more effective than the scattered troops we now have (or maybe they were), but I sure would like to see how many people Michael and NIRS could actually gather for an "anti-nuke" rally today (which I would call a pro-DNA rally, but I bet Michael's still stuck in the old school of thinking -- that we're the "anti's" and "they" are the "pro's".  In truth, they are anti-life, and we aren't).

20 years ago, Dr. John W. Gofman was 20 years younger and would appear as an expert witness regularly. Dr. Karl Z. Morgan and Dr. Alice Stewart were both still alive, and so were many other pioneers of the "anti-nuclear" movement who have since passed on.

20 years ago, Three Mile Island was still fresh in people's minds.

20 years ago, the large American nuclear firms were only beginning to figure out that exporting nuclear technology to corrupt foreign countries desperate for energy was a lot easier than fighting American citizens, who generally have a greater environmental awareness and a larger voice in their future (but, alas, not great enough, and not large enough).

20 years ago, we were told that the nuclear waste problem would be solved by now.  It hasn't been, and we have 20 years more proof that there never can be or will be a safe, cost-effective, reasonable solution.

20 years ago, when we said terrorists could -- and eventually would -- fly jumbo jets into buildings, and those buildings might house nuclear materials, no one listened.  Our arguments were countered (in the minds of those in power) because there was no proof.  Today, as we approach the one-year anniversary of 9-11, no one listens, even though now we have proof.  So we have lost ground because we had thought that when the proof came (as we all knew it eventually would (and did)), public attitudes would change.  The proof came, but the attitudes did not change.  Now what do we tell them?

20 years ago, we didn't have "accelerated cleanup" of nuclear waste sites, described by P. Elofson-Gardine as: "an oxymoron .. accelerated cleanup means minimal or NO cleanup."

23 years ago, no nuke licenses were being okayed, because of political fallout from Three Mile Island.  We in the "anti-nuke" movement congratulated ourselves pretty heartily when the NRC announced a three-month licensing freeze shortly after the accident, a freeze which eventually stretched out to about a year.  But really, all that happened was the NRC realized that if they didn't freeze new licenses, CONGRESS WAS ABOUT TO.  The NRC's self-imposed freeze was one of their biggest political manipulations on behalf of the corrupt industry they corruptly watch.  The NRC claimed that the purpose of the freeze was that they were so busy reviewing current safety standards in the aftermath of Three Mile Island, that they did not have the manpower to review new reactor licenses as well.  But the real reason was unquestionably simple political expediency.  Had Congress even so much as debated a freeze, it might have spelled the end of nuclear power in America, right then and there.  So the NRC out-maneuvered Congress and the American public.  Today's NRC is even more corrupt, and even more focused on political issues rather than on safety issues.

20 years ago, a few years after TMI, what was discovered last spring (2002) at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Ohio would have been front-page news across the country.  Instead, 900 pounds of reactor pressure vessel head being eaten away by boric-acid-accelerated corrosion (with possible fraud and cover-up, too) has barely raised an eyebrow in the media.

Does Michael think that Congress might now, finally, be about to publicly and honestly debate the problems of nuclear power in open sessions in front of the American people?  If so, then yes, we are about to win.  One public, honest debate, whenever it occurs, will do it.

But instead, we are about to have a NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE.  Or at least, that's what the Nuclear Mafia thinks.  (I wasn't invited to the Nuclear Mafia's upcoming NUCLEAR RENAISSANCE meeting, starring Richard "Rich Rad" Meserve, the Nuclear Energy Institute, Southern California Edison, and other Nuclear Mafia heavy-hitters, but Public Citizen was, and presumably they will tell us all about it when they get back.)


Michael has failed to examine the history of our movement properly, and appears blissfully unaware of the true situation as it exists today.  Furthermore, he appears to be unconcerned about the environmental racism inherent in today's export of nuclear technology to so-called "Third-World" countries, and plans to place high-level nuke waste on tribal lands here in the U.S.A..  His few examples, where the nuclear industry did not expect to make enough money to justify completely unmitigated expansion, do not make a very solid case.  We ARE losing, and the first step to success is to recognize that fact.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

For a historic look at nuclear power, using documents from the past half century, please visit my Internet Glossary of Nuclear Terminology:

The original document Bob Nichols excerpted from is available online here:

Most recent previous essay by rdh:


At 10:46 AM 8/20/02 , Bob Nichols wrote:
Hi Russell,
Michael at NIRS puts in his two cents and concludes that we are winning.
-------Original Message-------
From: nirsnet
Date: Tuesday, August 20, 2002 11:41:06
To: Bob Nichols
Subject: Re: Our movement is in shambles - any ideas?
Well, despite Mr. Hoffman's debilitating pessimism, consider this: more
reactors were ordered and cancelled in the U.S. than ever were built;
there hasn't been a single successful new reactor order since October
1973; the last major nuclear project proposed--the Louisiana Energy
Services uranium enrichment plant (in 1989) was defeated in 1996. The
number of reactors in the U.S. is going down, not up. There are no new
reactors being built anywhere in the U.S. or Western Europe, the regions
that developed the technology....

I could go on, but you get the drift--change isn't always immediate, but
we ARE winning....

Michael Mariotte

Bob Nichols wrote:
> Below is an excerpt from letter on a forum run by Russell Hoffman. I removed
> a lot of documentation in the letter for this state of affairs, since you
> have lived it, to concentrate on one stark fact: We failed, again and again,
> to eliminate these things from the face of the earth.
> Do you have any new thoughts, plans, ideas, or suggestions on what to do
> next to succeed?
> Please let me know.
> Bob Nichols
> CASE - Citizens Action for Safe Energy
> Oklahoma City
> August 18th, 2002
> To: activists, media, other interested persons
> From: Russell D. Hoffman, independent nuclear historian
> Re: Efforts to disrupt the pro-DNA movement have been very successful, thus
> far
> To Whom It May Concern,
> Our movement is in shambles, and even the stark realities which have come to
> light since 9-11 about the vulnerabilities of nuclear power plants, spent
> fuel pools, dry storage casks, and transportation casks, haven't provided
> the impetus we need to get our task accomplished.
> If this movement is to succeed, it will have to find a way to reduce the
> impact of the many infiltrators and disrupters we have to deal with. Such
> people offer no news, no facts, not even educated debate, just argument and
> character assassination.
> There is only one truth, but there are an infinite number of lies (and
> nearly as many irrelevancies). If a disrupter wants to spout off a lie or
> bring up an irrelevancy in order to respond to something, they have many
> choices, but for those who seek truth, the choices are much more limited.
> ......[Documentation here in original]
> How long can we wait? Will one American Chernobyl be enough, or will it
> require two or three? That is the only question, unless a miracle happens
> and America wises up quickly and closes the nukes forever, BEFORE a plant
> with a Davis-Besse type problem blows, or a terrorist attack occurs, or a
> tornado, earthquake, tsunami, asteroid, or other natural phenomenon gets to
> the plants, pools, or dry packs first.
> When it happens, the world just might decide to hate anti-nuclear activists,
> for not doing enough to stop the horror. We, after all, know what the stakes
> are. It's our duty to tell others.
> Ignore talk of comparative studies of wind power versus nuclear power, which
> "prove" that nukes are the more benign of the two. Ignore all the other
> silliness that the knowledgeless pro-nukers spew forth.
> Just imagine that everything you write is being read after a major American
> nuclear catastrophe, by survivors, and the relatives and friends of those
> who died. These people will want to understand why this has happened to them
> Try to aim your writing for that audience, try to give them some
> documentation so that they can say "See! The People knew what was going on,
> and couldn't stop it!".
> Right now, people who have committed crimes against humanity, which have
> caused millions of deaths, are walking around free and uncharged (Edward
> Teller, Jack Welch, etc.). They should be held accountable.
> Perhaps we cannot win, but someday, someone WILL win the battles we fight.
> We must try to lay the groundwork for them. I expect the comments in these
> forums to be used in court some day -- perhaps 50 years from now, perhaps it
> will start in 2002. Hopefully our comments here will help some future
> generation to succeed where we have failed. I certainly swear that these are
> the facts, as best I have been able to ascertain them. I hope everyone else
> on these forums speaks as if under oath, too.
> Sincerely,
> Russell D. Hoffman
> Concerned Citizen
> Carlsbad, CA
> .


At 05:08 AM 9/1/02 , wrote:
News from the GREENS at the Johannesburg Summit


Greens from around the world have unfurled the biggest banner in Africa
the top of a  huge slag-heap to protest at the use of nuclear power under
false claims that it's "green".

The banner, deployed with the help of a hundred South African children,
measures 2002 square metres in size- tallying with the year- and overlooks
the WSSD Global Forum. Its huge letters spell out "No Nuclear PBNR",
referring to the 250 Pebble Bed Nuclear Reactors that South African utility
Eskom proposes to build in the next few years, including a proposed
radioactive waste smelter just over a mile away from the Cradle of
Humankind, the archeological site containing the oldest hominid

Green MEP for South East England, Caroline Lucas, commented: "Nuclear power
is entering its twillight years. It is already becoming illegal in Belgium,
Germany and Sweden, is dangerous to people's health and the environment,
economically unsound as well. However, the big companies such as BNFL are
desperately clinging-on to this dying dinosaur of an industry."


At the Earth Summit, leading Green Party campaigner Matt Wootton joined
representatives from Green Parties in Africa, Australia, Taiwan, Mexico,
USA, Argentina, Chile and Europe in the symbolic planting of healing aloe
plants on the mine dump, as Reuters filmed the event.

Matt said: "Nuclear power is harmful from start to finish. At one end, we
see the dangers for poor, black miners here in South Africa, whose wages
health are deteriorating, year on year, not improving, thanks to the
pressure of the 'competition' ethic of globalisation.

"Then comes the threat to millions of people from cancer-causing radiation,
the spectre of terrorist sabotage, and the continued support for nuclear
weapons of mass destruction (which are illegal under international law).

"Finally, we see the exploitation of aboriginal peoples in Australia, which
acts as a global uranium dump as well as a global uranium mine."

He concluded: "It is ironic, then, that the UK government is currently in
energy review consultation period where BNFL are proposing that they
the problem of climate change by building 10 new nuclear reactors in
based on an American design that has been recently rejected by the Finnish
government because it has been found not to be aircraft-proof.

"Now you'd think that the USA would be highly sensitive about the potential
damage from planes flying into buildings - but the US nuclear industry is
willing to sell us nuclear reactors that could each cause a million cancers
if hit, accidentally or intentionally, by an aircraft.

"It seems that the UK government, for all its rhetoric of war and
counter-terrorism, isn't really as concerned about national security as
about multinational profit. We need to invest in technology that is truly
sustainable - from the wind, sun, earth and sea- not in dangerous nuclear
waste that will one day run out and which is a threat for the next 25,000

Comment/interviews: call Green Party press office 020 7561 0282 or call
Wootton in Johannesburg on 07866 704 601, .


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