SUBJECT: SCIENCE VS. PAT ANSWERS AND DOGMA: Reflections on a nuclear madhouse (Earth)

March 2nd, 2003

Dear Readers,

It has been my honor to be in contact with thousands of engineers, physicists, doctors, etc., on a wide variety of topics.

Recent correspondences on nuclear issues with three scientists is shown (in one case, linked to) below.  This is the stuff Matthew Wald and other pro-nuclear reporters ignore when they brush aside complaints about the "science" used to justify nuclear power.

Our science is good and our scientists know their subjects.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

P.S. Did anyone notice the Senior Science Advisor for Iraq seems to have taken my advice and held his most recent press conference on Sunday Morning, U.S. time, when the wheels of our government are in church being sanctimonious?  That way, the Shrub Administration was unlikely to preempt the Iraqi press conference.  Smart move on the Iraqi's part!


At 02:32 PM 3/1/2003 , "Millie and Stan Thompson" <> wrote:

Dear Russell D. Hoffman:

     I admire the sustained effort you are making to point out the dangers
of nuclear reactors. After spending 17 years on their development,
starting in 1946, I decided no one should build nuclear reactors. It
seemed to me brash to assume anything so complicated could be built and
operated by ordinary people without accident. The results of reactor
accidents have been demonstrated. If a reactor does come to the end of its
life without accident, what do future generations do with the radioactive
trash? I was unsuccessful against the combination of military interest in
making bombs and the corporate interest in government subsidies for
nuclear power plants.
     I wish you every success in your continued work. Please let me know
if there is anyway I can help.
     Do you have a copy of my "Comments on Nuclear Power" (100 pages)? If
not I will be happy to send a copy.

                                     Stan Thompson


Dear Dr. Thompson,

Thank you very much for your email (shown above).

I certainly do have your book, and wish these nuke reporters would read it before letting the NRC mouthpieces and the nuke industry blowhards spout off the crap they do about how large an airliner can safely smack into the reactor dome (providing the plane miraculously misses all the vital workings OUTSIDE the reactor (like the generators), and misses the spent fuel pools, the dry storage casks, the chemical stockyards each reactor site has, etc. etc.).

How many interviews does Richard "Rich Rad" Meserve do each week?  He lies at every one.  How many appearances before secret Senate committees (and public ones) do these guys make?  And people like Matthew Wald diligently report on each little nuance from these guys.  They're distributing KI.  They're not distributing KI.  They're tightening security.  They're relaxing security.  They just keep dancing around their sinister crap, declaring themselves vital to the economy, which of course, they are not -- they are a terrible hindrance to a sustainable environment (an understatement if ever there was one).

Part of the problem is of course the difficulty of attaining the proper knowledge about the issues.  Your book needs to be read by reporters and engineers everywhere, as well as lay persons.

On page 64 of your book, you talk about getting a paper on reactor instability published in Nuclear Science and Engineering, "the technical journal of the American Nuclear Society", in September, 1988, after 25 years of trying to get something published on the subject. 

And even after that, the NRC and DOE don't listen, and certainly don't tell Congress.  Most of the officials in charge of our safety probably don't have a clue about how to solve a "fourth-order differential equation involving nuclear, mechanical and thermal characteristics of reactors" by "finite difference mathematics".  Rich Rad's a lawyer.

(I'm an ASM computer programmer; our motto is that, given an infinite amount of programming time, computing power, and available computer memory, we could (theoretically) mathematically model everything in the Universe, because ultimately, when you get right down to it, even for God, the smallest divisible unit has to be able to be represented in some cosmic computer program somewhere by a 1, and its lack of existence, by a 0.  Or vice-versa, if it's more convenient.).

In COMMENTS ON NUCLEAR POWER, you wrote that your paper showed a mathematical model of how:

"Mechanical friction in a reactor core structure, like the shock absorber in an automobile, is necessary to limit oscillations of reactor power.  Without  adequate internal friction, a nuclear power driven mechanical oscillation increases toward destruction of the rector core. Design engineers in many fields have found to their sorrow that any given level of mechanical friction is difficult to guarantee.  Some of the computer-generated examples later in this section show the changing core temperature and reactor power for a reactor without adequate friction to provide stability.  A small perturbation in power causes an initially small oscillation which builds rapidly to destruction, either blowup or melt down."

(Above quote is from COMMENTS ON NUCLEAR POWER, A. Stanley Thompson, 1997, Pages 64 - 65.)

Personally, it comes as no surprise to me.  Anyone who has ever experienced a wildly oscillating trailer never forgets the experience.  Trying to slow it down just makes it oscillate more, which is the essence of self-destructive systems.  If anything's going to work, it takes time (you can't slam on the brakes or you're dead).  In a car, if the thing can stand swinging back and forth without falling over, you might get lucky and pull through.  In a nuclear power plant, the pulses of peak pressure might break apart a vital component, and we're done for.

That's easy enough to state, but you've actually shown how it can happen in a nuclear power plant, using scientifically accepted mathematical concepts and the relevant values for chemical, physical, and radiation data, and (FINALLY!) published this work in a major related journal, AND YET you are still ignored.

The nuclear industry is corrupted by power.

When I was in a public library in a large midwestern city a few years ago, I saw one of your earlier books on Nuclear Power (Thermal Power from Nuclear Reactors, A. Stanley Thompson and Oliver E. Rodgers, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., NY, 1956).  When you were in awe of the power of the atom, and unaware of the dangers, you wrote about what you knew, and your book became a standard educational source for nuclear physicists and engineers.

When you realized that the problems with nuclear power overwhelmed the benefits of having a very concentrated, very hot thing to boil water with, the nuclear industry simply stopped listening to you.

Even after showing mathematically that nuclear power plants can be subject to catastrophic oscillations, they act as if it they just don't care.  Okay, so there will be a meltdown or two sooner or later, they seem to say.  Don't Panic Anyway.

And when it happens, the vast majority of the thousands or millions of deaths will be hard to prove because they will occur all over the world in pockets here and there, with no way to prove their cause.

Your paper was ignored by the nuclear industry, but actually, it has become even more relevant to them since you published your article, because the nuke plants have increased their power output (and heat) tremendously in the last 15 years.

Below, I've attached some correspondence with Jack Shannon, who, like you, is probably not afraid of a fourth-order differential equation or two.  And I also have, this week, an email from Dr. Ed Siegel regarding metallurgical issues, which reporters should also check out.  I've posted it online at the URLs given below (Siegel's comments are mostly in red):

The NRC and the DOE don't listen to activists, and they don't listen to scientists, and they don't feel hurt when investigators dig up stupid things they've done (I must have presented 1000 examples; the 20 or so they've responded to are trivial, like: "No tape marking a stairwell as inaccessible during a heavy lift".  That they answered.  "Stairwell was in two layers of protected areas already."

But suggest shutting the nukes down forever, and there's no response except pat answers and dogma.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Reactor fraud regarding vital metallurgical issues:

Correspondence with Jack Shannon (in chronological order):

Subject: Re: [westcan] Re: In denial...To The Editor
To:,,,,,, (Beth Hills), (S Hills),,,,,,,,,


Three points:

1] Reactor operators are taught to act not think. Most are principally high
school graduates trained by the Navy to follow procedures. The Operators at
TMI didn't have a clue as to what was happening. I know the capability of
these operators I trained some of them at one time, and they aren't getting
any better.

2] Letty Lutzker doesn't know what she is talking about. It takes very little
energy to interrupt the Gene pattern in any living cell. A single Gamma Ray
or wayward neutron can do the job.

3] The damn Health Physics community have been whores for the Nuclear
Industry for over fifty years. I want to hear from the medical community, not
from half trained "Health Physicists" who have virtually zero medical
training or knowledge. I worked with plenty of these people over thirty years
in the industry and most of them keep mouthing the nonsense they heard in
undergraduate school years ago, and it is still what they teach. They have
taught the concept of "recovery time" [i.e. the amount of time for the
average human body to recover from a given amount of exposure to a given
amount of radiation] for fifty years and it is quite simply a false concept.
Some bodies may recover and some may not. Some bodies can get cancer from a
single small dose of radiation, depending on genetic damage and a dozen other
factors. The "HP" community has always been part of the problem and never
part of the solution.

Furthermore what American can now trust either the NRC or the DOE. Both of
these organizations have been providing the Government and the Citizens of
this Country bad information and false information for fifty years. The false
information coming out of Indian Point Management over the last two years is
enough to fill an almanac.

John P. Shannon
Nuclear Physicist/Nuclear Engineer
30 year employee of the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory
as a Nuclear Reactor Design Engineer, Manager of Nuclear Safety
and Manager of all Safety for the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory


Subject: Re: [westcan] Re: In denial...To The Editor

Bravo, Jack -- This is so succinct, and so damning.  Great Job!



At 09:02 AM 3/1/2003 , wrote:
Thanks Russ:
I get so damn mad reading about what the NRC/DOE says and does and those
jackasses in Congress keep listening as though it had some meaning.

Subject: Re: [westcan] Re: In denial...To The Editor

Hi Jack,

The more Congress listens to the NRC/DOE, the more damage gets done to the planet.

Congress doesn't want to hear the other side.  There's just too much to lose.  After all, what if you're right?  The consequences would be devastating.  And they will be.

STATE FARM insurance was interviewed on NPR today because they are adding a peculiarly exclusive new clause to all their auto policies -- they won't pay for damage from a nuclear accident, dirty bomb, atomic bomb, or anything else caused by anything remotely related to radiation.

That's the easy way out for the insurance companies, of course.  She basically was saying that since we all know it's probably coming sooner or later, they had to do this.  She noted that they are not the first auto insurance company to do this and won't be the last.  (Homeowner's policies, of course, have excluded these sorts of things for years.)

The reporter asked her who would pay, and she told us she assumed the government would pick up the tab.

Ha! They'll probably just tell us studies have shown that slightly irradiated cars get better gas mileage!


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


 At 09:02 AM 3/1/2003 , wrote:

Subject: Re: [westcan] Re: In denial...To The Editor

You're so right


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SUBJECT Re: Reactor decommissioning -- with microscopic, particulate, magical pixie dust!

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Dusting Iraq