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




This newsletter is available online here:

It's email-Congress-to-stop-the-war-day or something.  Do it.


Dear Readers,

No pro-nuker has ever kept up a sustained discussion without resorting to circular logic (i.e., resurrection and repetition of previously argued and discarded "facts" the author had presented in a prior letter), or a refusal to look at facts and discuss actual numbers, such as exactly HOW many microcuries of plutonium 238 can each mouse, each elephant, each spider and fly, each plankton and each whale and yes -- each human -- in the world inhale or ingest exactly?  Accurate numbers are so hard to find in the pro-nuker's arguments!  Yet THEY -- NOT US -- set the standards for OUR exposure!  They should be able to cite accurate numbers.  THEY claim to be scientists, but one can seldom, if ever, get scientific answers from them.

NY Times / Scientific American Science Writer Matthew Wald is one whom history will some day reject, as one of the misguided promoters of death from the "atomic" age.

Below is his response to my prior email.  I have embedded responses to his comments.  (His letter to me is unedited, except for the responses.  I will be happy to send the original SCIAM article to any subscribers (activists or reporters) who are unable to obtain a copy elsewhere.)

Mr. Wald assumes I misunderstand basic nuclear issues.  I certainly DO have misunderstandings about nuclear issues (and other things) and will be the first to admit it (in the hope that people will be specific in their answers as to what those misunderstandings actually are).  But while Matthew Wald may find some detail that might need correcting in my letter, his general assumption that I am completely naive about nuclear topics is incorrect and arrogant.  For example, he takes issue with my description of plutonium as an odorless, colorless and tasteless substance. Wald is, of course, correct that plutonium is visible if you have enough of it, but scratch and sniff that plutonium, and you've got a terrible problem, no matter what it smells like to the human "sense" organs, and no matter whether you can see the flakes that break off or not.  I was talking about deadly but microscopic particles released into the environment -- the kind which every nuclear power plant releases 24 hours a day, every day.

Unlike the 7% of our energy solution which is nuclear-based, a renewable energy economy would not be capable of the destruction to the environment -- and to us -- that nuclear solutions can cause, no matter what terrorists or mother nature or human error wanted to throw at us.  Reasonable people turn away from violence as a solution to their problems.  Releasing radiation into the environment is violent.  It is a brutal assault on the human genome at a microscopic level.  It is murder.

"Pollution from nuclear energy and weapons programmes up to 1989 will account for 65 million deaths, according to a European scientific committee headed by an adviser to the British Government."  (Source: Independent, UK (see URL, below). The team of 30 scientists was headed by Dr. Chris Busby, whose reputation has (thus far?) survived the pro-nuclear scientific community's normal assault on those who hold opposing views.

I hope Mr. Wald will find the time to consider all the issues I've discussed in this letter, as well as all the issues I've been writing about while he's been excusing the nuclear industry in The New York Times and elsewhere, having bought the nuclear industry's dogma through and through.

Okay, so I make mistakes.  Mine don't kill millions of people.

I realize that a few sheets of newsprint could stop an alpha particle (but not one that's already been inhaled or ingested).  It's time for the pro-nukers to get past that sort of response every time an activist comes forward. 

In order for the full truth to be told, the world needs public "truth commissions" on nuclear issues.  The commission hearings should be broadcast live around the world.

Instead, we are isolated and divided in thousands of so-called "public hearings" around the country, where activists such as myself and millions of others are allowed to talk for two minutes, three if we're lucky and just ONE if too many people show up -- ludicrous dog-and-pony shows for the reporters, who are often weak in their science background, and easily misled by a suit, tie, senior title, and self-assured attitude.  The NRC officials -- at least every one of them I've met --  are completely confident that they are right.  That should be the first sign that you are not dealing with a real scientist.

If the pro-nukers were scientists, always questioning established dogma, they would be able to state the scientific fundamental truths which supposedly refute the activists' assertions, and they would be able to reference various studies using real numbers which show that nuclear power really is safe.  Instead they pick on four or five opposition scientists, disavow them completely for being too something-or-other, and ignore the rest.  Caldicott is disparaged in 1000 different articles on the Internet, but how many of those authors have read Busby, Bertell, Gofman, Thompson, Morgan, Stewart, Sternglass, Gould, Poehler, and Johnsrud, just to name a few (or even provided a logical condemnation of Caldicott; I've never seen one)?

Instead the industry chooses to IGNORE and DISAVOW these people -- another sure sign of trouble.  Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, whom I had the honor to interview in the last few years of his life, was treated with complete disrespect in the scientific community he founded -- HEALTH PHYSICS (the study of radiation's effects).  Why?  Not because they had proven him wrong -- but because they could not stand for him to be right.  His assertions (which have stood the test of time all over the world when studied using real data by scores of scientists who have come to oppose nuclear power on scientific grounds) would have shut the Nuclear Industry down completely, were they taken as fact half a century ago when he first grasped what was happening to human DNA because of radiation.


Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA



Included below is Matt Wald's response to my previous letter (his response included my original email to him).  Each piece of Wald's response is enclosed in short horizontal bars made of dashes (like this paragraph is).

[[[ Outside each set of dashes are my NEW comments in triple brackets followed by my initials --rdh ]]]


At 09:03 PM 2/23/2003 , wrote:


Mr. Hoffman,
Thank you for your e-mail.

[[[ You're welcome.

It appears to me that you have never visited my Demon Hot Atom nuclear history site, or my No Nukes In Space site, or my renewable energy site, or my pumps site, or my list of nuclear power plants in America site, or my San Onofre site, or any other area of my web site, such as links to scientists who "wrote the book" on nuclear power (several books, actually, which were hallmarks of the nuclear industry in its youth), but later turned against it because, for example, they realized that seemingly "normal" power fluctuations in nuclear reactors could lead to catastrophically wild and uncontrollable variations (among other things) (see: "Comments on Nuclear Power, A. Stanley Thompson, 1997).

Do you know why there was a rash of rashes after 9-11 at schools across America?  Who tracks those children?  The CDC? Hardly -- they were never tested for plutonium exposure at the first possible moment, the only time it could possibly have been detected.  Yet you assume I've confused "plutonium" with "radiation".  Which is not to say I've been able to gather every secrecy-shrouded fact together exactly right, but there WAS a near-catastrophe in Tokaimura, 75 miles northeast of Tokyo, on September 30th, 1999, and San Onofre DID drop an 80,000 lb crane in their turbine room just a few years back, the EXACT SAME DAY that they accused the activists of "not understanding the laws of physics" -- on television, of course (the Nuclear Mafia get virtually ALL the airplay (and most of the newsprint) while the activists are forced to communicate through human networks of overloaded, hard-working researchers and disavowed scientists).

Radiation measuring equipment is sparsely located and seldom checked; spike releases can be easily missed by this equipment.  Sure, it picks up some sort of average release.  But to call it accurate is an insult to the science you supposedly serve -- I NOTICED your article was long on numbers for the gross weights of some things, but AWFULLY SHORT on total Curies broken down by filter waste, evaporated radioactive water waste, ground-up-metal placed in what, more of our famous 55-gallon drums.  Is this any way to treat for stuff with half-lives ranging from days to thousands of millennia?  It's still got to SAFELY go somewhere.  MOAB leaches into the Colorado river -- how much?  It's hard to say, but no one likes to give real numbers in the pro-nuclear business.  Your article didn't have any real numbers, either.  In the most scientific magazine in America, there wasn't room for one chart showing the total Becquerel content of the various filters you say have saved us all from the radiation.  How much do those filters weigh?  And how flammable are they?  if you've seen my DEMON HOT ATOM Internet history lesson, you know that the BROOM was the forerunner of your much-ballyhooed filters.  It didn't work to protect the public OR the workers.  And what about that concrete that was ground off the insides of highly radioactive things.  Where will that sit safely?  You said where some of it would sit if they successfully get it there, but bridges collapse while trains cross over them sometimes.  Trains crash into each other.  Planes crash into buildings and into vehicles, possibly carrying these filters.  Everyone (for example, Dr. Edward Tufte, whom I saw lecture a few weeks ago) says science tries to go from the general to the specific.  But not YOUR article, which serves only to incorrectly put American scientists at ease about everything having to do with so-called "decommissioning", which is actually just shuffling and expanding the pile of waste nobody wants.  Steel from other power plants is easily recycled.  Much of the steel from nuclear power plants will never be used again (or shouldn't be).  Another terrible waste to society, but one which pales compared to the cost to society of a spent fuel pool fire from a diving jet (it can be done reliably in simulations by any competent pilot, and frequently even by incompetent ones).

You mentioned that activists (I think this was your only significant mention of activists' opinions, actually) have suggested putting the used reactor cores INSIDE the dome, yet this was dismissed because the building wasn't big enough.  Of course, it's described as very large and tremendously sturdy everywhere else in your article, and everywhere else in the pro-nuclear literature I've seen.  Couldn't we leave it standing and put SOME of the Used Reactor Cores in there?  Where's the logic in exposing ALL of the waste just because SOME of it won't fit in the safest pace we've got (supposedly)?  Could it be an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality at work here that makes utilities around the country want to tear down supposedly sturdy domes while building much more exposed but less obvious "temporary" containment systems?

Why not keep as many of the used reactor cores as possible inside the old dome?  Most pro-nuclear "logic" isn't logical at all, and you are in an ideal spot to expose it.  Perhaps some day you will, if you're not fired for trying, and if the current epidemics don't get you before they kill and maim enough people around you for you to notice -- your friends, neighbors, relatives, and fellow Americans, who are right now dying of cancer and leukemia and so forth, or spontaneously aborting their fetuses -- as my wife did ours last year, as my friends, neighbors, relatives, and fellow Americans are all doing right now, as well.  How long can you go on missing these warning signs?

Do you await the magical CURE FOR CANCER that Nixon promised to fund the search for (but he would have had a lot more success looking for -- and stopping -- the source than trying to find a cure)?

Do you await a magical perfect containment, and perfect transportation system, and perfectly safe reactor design?  And of course, perfect humans who never commit "human error" while operating the reactor or transporting its fuel.  And perfect programmers for the automated functions, and perfect computers.  And perfectly incompetent terrorists.  Some pro-nukers STILL suggest rocketing nuclear waste into space (see last summer's National Space Society newsletter, for an example FROM A SCIENTIST and ENDORSED BY SENIOR ROCKET SCIENTISTS IN AMERICA (who comprise the Editorial Board of the magazine and of the society)).  It would be great for making rocketry a big, thriving business, they said, because there's so much waste to get rid of and no one wants it.  Do you endorse that policy too, Mr. Wald?  I mean, just in case Nevada's citizens are able to stop Yucca Mountain, as they want to?

Strange things happen in this world.  People give birth to suffering and deformed babies, just because of some radiation which was inside the father's scrotum, just because NASA launched a rocket in 1964 which didn't go very far into the heavens, and which has instead been lodging plutonium -- er, pixie dust to you -- in men's balls ever since. -- rdh ]]]
 At 06:22 PM 2/21/2003 -0800, "Matthew L. Wald" <> wrote:

>Why do you think the oceans are just large sewers where we can dump infinite amounts of nuclear waste?  They >aren't.
>What do you think happens when they use millions of gallons of water to grind up millions of pounds of highly ?>radioactive waste products, like Reactor Pressure Vessels?

>Where do you think the water goes? Where do you think the radiation goes?

So far as I know, no significant waste from decommissioning is dumped into the ocean. Some decommissioning work is done under water, but that is in the  reactor vessel, and the water in that system is filtered before release; contaminants recovered from that water end up in resin beds or other filter media which go to a low-level dump. It's the same system used when the reactor operates. The United States has signed a treaty barring disposal of waste at sea. The pressure vessels aren't ground up; they are buried whole. You may have missed this in the article.

[[[ I thought your article said something about possibly cutting up the RPV itself, but evidently it was just talking about the thousands of other cuts surrounding the project.  They might chop up our local one (San Onofre); maybe that's where I got the idea.   As to releases, only amounts above NRC regulatory levels are reported at all, and then only if the self-regulating industry catches itself.  By venting, spilling, diluting below regulatory levels, etc., it is possible to release large quantities of radioactive materials into the environment and then say you didn't do a thing.  Furthermore, in a letter from the NRC, I was told, "Statements made by the public affairs officer of a NRC licensee are not regulated activities.  Therefore, the veracity of such statements will not be investigated by the NRC". So why do YOU trust them? -- rdh ]]]

>What do you think the inside of a Dry Storage Cask will look like after DECADES of additional EMBRITTLEMENT of >the nuclear reactor cores inside, which follows decades of embrittlement when the reactor cores were in the >reactor and then in the Spent Fuel Pools?

It isn't the cores that become brittle, it's reactor vessels or internals, primarily weld material with a high copper content. The embrittlement is caused by neutrons. Neutrons are emitted during fission as a by-product of the chain reaction. But there is no chain reaction in spent fuel and thus hardly any neutrons and no significant embrittlement. The casks may, in fact, be subject to degradation over the long term, but not by this mechanism.

[[[ The fuel itself, Uranium Oxide is already a ceramic, so it's basically embrittled to begin with. Embrittlement of all the various alloys and stainless steels used in the casks and fuel assemblies occurs via a number of methods, including, but not limited to, neutron-caused embrittlement from the fuel itself, because there is still SOME reaction going on in the spent fuel; which produces, as I understand it from your article, "17 kilowatts" per cask (Per week?  Per month?  Per minute? Your article didn't say.) which isn't "no reaction" (unless you're saying that heat comes from something else).  The assemblies might also already be embrittled from when they were manufactured decades earlier.  (Please see the 2002 essay on embrittlement; URL given below, and a friend suggests reviewing Bill Broad's NY Times article on the root cause of the Titanic's sinking -- embrittled rivets.)

It's a topsy-turvy world, because so many of the basic presumptions the nuclear industry makes are wrong -- for example, Davis-Besse COULD have melted down if the circular flanges had cracked all around while it was operating -- but who knew (actually, I did happen to write about it a few months BEFORE Davis-Besse's hole was discovered)?  If the stainless steel liner had ruptured, it would have probably knocked out several of the weakened control rod flanges, possibly leading to a MELTDOWN!

A control-rod falling on an embrittled main feeder tube might be enough to knock the main tube out, so we would no longer have a small break LOCA but a much larger problem where they just CAN'T KEEP THE CORE COVERED.  Oops, there goes Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, or wherever the prevailing winds take the radioactive particles, which are always ignored in low doses by the powers-that-be, but kill people 100% on an individual basis -- possibly thousands of years later.  How fair is that, just because they didn't check the filters?  The things you say will save Maine's coast.  I know there are no perfect filters.  I also know there are dozens of ways to falsify measurements and minimize their results.  I also know that failure to check the filters at Davis-Besse was considered so important, that the NRC made all the other PWRs report back on how often they had to change their filters, figuring that's just a PERFECT WAY to ENSURE that there are no OTHER Davis-Besses out there -- plants were allowed to run for up to a year (maybe more) despite the fact that some had never had their shrouds removed in 20+ years of operation -- and their filters might not show small but critical leaks and damage.  But all that should be obvious, shouldn't it?   It isn't obvious to the NRC, and that's news.  Davis-Besse did not cause an immediate and permanent shutdown of all Nuclear Reactors, but it should have.  Instead it's now just one more warning which has been ignored. -- rdh ]]]

>Which fire departments around the country are prepared to put out a Dry Cask Storage fire?

You may have confused the fire issue in a spent fuel pool with dry casks. Fuel in a dry cask does not generate enough heat to self-ignite. (Whether fuel in a spent fuel pool does is a matter of debate.) I don't know of any engineering study that predicts a fire in a spent fuel cask.

[[[ I've gathered that's the status quo on the subject, but it assumes that the fuel stays appropriately stable physically, all in neat little 12-foot long or 16-foot long columns, and is not subjected to the extremes of, for example, shaped charges applied by terrorists to the outer shell.  Besides: What holds the fuel assemblies together?  The casks will have piles of embrittled fuel elements at the bottom of them -- how much? And anyway, I asked if you thought any fire departments were prepared for a Dry Cask Storage fire (which might be caused by an airplane strike).  Do you?   A spent fuel accident would be a terrible thing.  As I understand the situation with dry casks, you need to keep an inert gas inside the cask at all times because the zirconium cladding will burn spontaneously if exposed to air.  An earthquake, or ACCIDENTAL airplane strike -- or terrorist act -- could ALL cause a serious exposure accident.   If a jet hits a dry storage cask, there would be a fire which no fire service in America is prepared to put out.  I mention this in particular because your article emphasized the earth berms around the ISFSI or whatever that terrorist target is called in the industry -- the names change, but I like Used Reactor Cores, personally -- it's much more accurate than Spent Fuel.  In describing Dry Casket Storage you even used the term "under", in the phrase "under earthen berms" (page 64), which implies to me that they are actually underground (and I think a fair scientific poll would show that a majority of Americans would read that sentence that way).  I assume you meant they were surrounded by earthen berms, because elsewhere in your article you seemed to say the casks would be under (or on?) "one large patch of concrete on the Maine coast where snow will not stick".

-- rdh ]]]

>Wake up and smell the plutonium, dude.  Oh yeah, it's odorless, colorless, and tasteless.  Well well well, I >guess you'll never wake up, then, huh?  If you haven't after studying nukes since 1979, I certainly have my >doubts.

Plutonium isn't colorless, although its color varies according to its chemical state. I don't think it has a smell. I don't know of anyone whose tasted it. You may have confused plutonium, a radioactive material, with radiation itself.

[[[ Plutonium might look like a metal if you have enough of it to begin to worry the government -- unless of course, you ARE the government, in which case you can have as much of it as you like.  However, I was talking about the quantities ordinary humans are allowed to have of this stuff -- pardon me, I mean are FORCED TO HAVE of this stuff -- microscopic, particulate, magical pixie dust, which is the stuff released up the stack in the opening photo on page 60 of your March 2003 SCIAM article.  It's the stuff released when the truck bringing the so-called Low-Level waste to Nevada (or North Carolina or Hanford or wherever) catches fire along the way.  It's the amount I wrote about in my recent tutorial about the Columbia disaster (URL given below).  (Imagine if Cassini had streaked across the Texas sky like Columbia did.)  In the quantities it is being fed to you and me and everyone else on this planet, plutonium is odorless, colorless, and tasteless -- but not harmless.  Of course I'm aware that it's the invisible radiation that actually kills you when you breath in or swallow a microscopic particle of plutonium or some other radioactive substance. Doesn't everyone know that by now? Isn't that taught in grade school by now? -- rdh ]]]

There are environmental questions involved with decommissioning, but your message does not correctly identify them.
--- Matt Wald

[[[ Your article whitewashes the environmental issues, and ignores the many and extremely dangerous chemicals used at nuclear plants, both while they are running, AND during decommissioning. 

Can you get an accurate number for the actual amount of radiation, broken down by type, of course, that San Onofre has already released into the environment during the decommissioning of Unit 1?  Let's say you filter the water.  Where does the filter go?  How contaminated are the filters, and how many of them are there?  In the past it might have gone to Beatty, Nevada, a leaching low-level waste disaster.  Except that in the past they didn't use filters, they just poured enough water in with the contaminants to lower the potency for cancer to "below regulatory levels" because those regulations are never concerned about the total amount of radioactive waste, but rather, just the percent of radiation in any GIVEN amount of waste.  Water it down enough, or trickle it out enough pipes slowly enough, and you can grind up the fuel rods themselves and POUR THEM INTO THE SEA. Don't believe me?  Read MOTHER COUNTRY, about what they do in England.

Hanford was passed off in your article as a possible alternative.  Hanford is leaching God-Knows-How-Much CRAP (call it radiation if you will, but don't mistake it for "harmless" just because it hasn't been spilled into the environment YET).

Thanks for responding.  Additional comments are of course always welcome. And we both know not one word of this (let alone the URL where people could find the rest) is likely to ever appear in print at SCIAM or the NYTimes.  -- rdh ]]]


Russell D. Hoffman has interviewed hundreds of scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, inventors, technicians and others on a wide variety of subjects, and produced dozens of computer tutorials and essays based on this research.  For example:

Author, NO NUKES IN SPACE computer educational animation:
or try:

Author, List of Nuclear Power Plants in America (one of the most complete lists anywhere):

Author, San Onofre newsletters (many are posted here, others, unfortunately, are only available by subscription):

Author, "The Demon Hot Atom" (A history of nuclear power):

Author, Renewable Energy Discussion:

Discussion of Embrittlement (Davis-Besse newsletter #7):

"Should be required reading in all legal and engineering schools" (Comment by Bob Nichols regarding a letter to David Lochbaum):

Discussion of circular cracks in "nozzles" (to the NRC; flanges to the rest of us) written PRIOR to the discovery of D-B's 900-lb hole in its head:

Author, animator and programmer for ALL ABOUT PUMPS and the Internet Glossary of Pumps, the world's largest collection of pumps (which are a major component of nuclear power plants):

Also, programmer and co-author for Statistics Explained:

Programmer and co-author for The Heart: The Engine of Life:

Author, what might already be one of the most widely read essay on the effects of nuclear weapons:

Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletters:

Here's one of the STOP CASSINI newsletters, on Beatty Nevada specifically:

List of ~300 nuke books and videos in my collection:

Hoffman's educational software web site is one of the oldest on the Internet (his company was the first to distribute software through AOL, in the late 1980's/early 90s).  Thousands of other sites link to Hoffman's web site from all over the world (including numerous university engineering, math, science, humanitarian and legal departments). It currently receives about 1,000,000 "hits" per month, representing approximately 100,000 or more viewers.  Yes, Matt, I'm a novice.  But so are you.


Nuclear weapons and pollution linked to 65 million deaths By Paul Waugh Deputy Political Editor, January 31st, 2003:


At 10:00 AM 2/24/2003 , wrote:

Platts - Monday, February 24, 2003


Washington (Nuclear News Flashes)--21Feb2003

Sen. Craig nominates aide for NRC seat

Sen. Larry Craig has asked the White House to consider
his staffer, Kristine Svinicki, for a commission seat at
NRC. Agency Chairman Richard Meserve is leaving at the
end of March to take over as president of the Carnegie
Institution of Washington, D.C., and Commissioner Greta
Dicus' second term expires June 30, creating a possible
second open seat. In a letter sent today to the Office
of Presidential Personnel, Craig (R-Idaho) said he
believed Svinicki would serve on the commission "with
honor and distinction." She has been on Craig's staff
for six years and is now his senior policy advisor on
nuclear, energy, environmental, and science issues. She
previously worked as a nuclear engineer at DOE in both
the nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal programs
and before that was an energy engineer with the
Wisconsin Public Service Commission. She served in 2000
on an external panel exploring the role and future of
NRC's Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. In comments
submitted to the panel, Svinicki said she believed it
was important NRC "have the necessary resources at its
command to recruit and retain leading experts" so that
NRC could preserve its "role as an intellectual leader
(domestically and abroad) on the issue of nuclear


Washington (Nuclear News Flashes)--21Feb2003

Striking workers to picket USEC

Striking PACE workers plan to picket USEC Inc.'s
headquarters in Bethesda, Md. on Feb. 24. In a press
announcement today, the PACE union said it would conduct
an informational picket in Bethesda because the workers,
who have been on strike at the Paducah, Ky. gaseous
diffusion plant since Feb. 4, "feel that senior [USEC]
management...has ignored them." The union has said it
would not picket the home of USEC Inc. President/CEO
William Timbers, although apparently there still is some
sympathy for that idea, a source said. A meeting Feb. 19
between the two sides with a federal mediator did not
result in any progress toward a settlement. The union
says the two sides still are far apart on issues
involving pensions, health-care costs, wages, and
contract terms.


The Magnum-Opus Project---The Mission: To do a greater good.
Righting the wrongs of the Manhattan Project's deceit and treachery national security methods using openness and accountability.
DOE Watch List--Where toxic health damage is not a mystery.
A news list combined with scientific studies to expose the problems.
DOE Watch OR Web page:
Rocky Flats EIN page:

Insoluble toxic metals and fluorides, via a pneumonia like dust in lung process, concentrate in lymph nodes and cause foreign body granuloma damage to node macrophages, leading to false cytokine stimulation, then rising viral waste damage to mitochondria, and this leading to illnesses.  See the analysis at

In the 1980's, Oak Ridge managers established a national alliance of DOE friendly supplanted activists and old DOE scientists to mislead gullible fluoride affected sick workers and communities in order to fabricate a health mystery and avoid the extreme liabilities of the fluorides health damage to uranium gas diffusion chemical plant workers and communities.  Don't let DOE and its minions stone wall known disease processes known for millennia and involved in religion icon imagery.

[Yahoo! stuff]

[[[Wisconsin, despite its small population (around five million people), has three very old operating nuclear reactors and also had one inefficient 48 megawatt complete waste of Uranium which was nevertheless run at a profit for somebody (perhaps Ms Svinicki) for nearly 20 years, until 1987. There are at least two million (2,000,000) pounds of USED REACTOR CORES in Wisconsin right now, which have unquestionably helped enrich Ms Svinicki at some point(s) in her career, but which, despite all her years of industry work, she has NO SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN, SAFE, COST-EFFECTIVE way to dispose of. -- rdh ]]]


Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 22:45:55 EST
Subject: [DOEWatch] Radioactive hell


Radioactive hell
Trapped on polluted land, Russian villagers are stricken by fallout from a
once-secret nuclear weapons plant

By Ann Imse, Rocky Mountain News
February 22, 2003

Marc Piscotty © News

You'll die if you stand for an hour next to the pipe dumping waste into
Russia's Lake Karachai from the Mayak nuclear weapons plant, said Tom Cochran
of the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council. Russian workers take a
reading on the shore of the lake, limiting their exposure to minutes.

CHELYABINSK REGION, Russia -- Tatar Karabolka seems plucked from a storybook,
a sleepy village filled with cottages made of hand-hewn lumber and logs.

Out back, cows bellow for the day's pitchfork of hay. Townspeople walk the
frozen dirt streets in valenki, traditional gray felt boots made of sheep's
wool. A man hitches his horse to a cobbled-together sleigh.

But it's a fairy-tale facade.

Puffs of smoke rise from only a few chimneys, despite the freezing winter
weather. Many of the four-room cabins have broken windows. In others, the
ceilings are caving in. Beyond the birch forest, pine saplings poke three
feet above the untended stubble of a wheat field.

Once numbering several thousand, Tatar Karabolka's population has withered to
about 600. The school is down to 61 students. Another 20 children are too
sick to attend. The town has just opened its eighth cemetery.

And the villagers who still live here grapple with terrible illnesses --
diabetes, heart disease, digestive ailments -- often all at once. Bodies
simply waste away.

"Everyone is sick," says physician's assistant Gulfira Salikhova.

Radiation shrouds town

Zakiryam Kabirov lies in his aunt's cabin in Karabolka, paralyzed except for
an arm, unable to speak. A visiting friend is drunk on vodka by midafternoon.

Kabirov's grown son, Ruslan, is certain he knows the source of his father's
medical troubles.

In 1957, Russian soldiers came and ordered the people of Karabolka to tear
down the next village and bury everything in it. The soldiers did not explain

One enterprising man defied the orders and carried materials home to
Karabolka to build the farmstead where Kabirov worked all his life.

Kabirov didn't know -- and none of the villagers knew until 1991 -- that
radioactive particles had coated that farmstead, and everything else in

They didn't know that a secret factory named Mayak, hidden in the forest 22
miles away, was a nuclear weapons plant.

They didn't know that an explosion in September 1957 sent an invisible cloud
of deadly radiation raining across their homes, their rivers, their lakes,
their wheat fields, their animals, their children.

They didn't know that pure liquid radioactive waste was dumped into the
nearby Techa River. They didn't know that high winds spread radioactive dust
across more than 700 square miles in 1969.

Marc Piscotty © News

Pupils leave Tatar Karabolka's school and skip to lunch in another building
in the Russian village 900 miles east of Moscow. With its quaint cottages and
birch forest, Karabolka has a storybook feel to it, but the reality is harsh.
In 1957, an explosion at the nearby Mayak nuclear weapons plant sent
radiation raining down on the region. Today, one out of four children is too
sick to go to school.

They didn't know that Mayak's deadly fallout may have dug deep into their

Only after the collapse of the Soviet dictatorship, a decade ago now, did
they learn why more than 70 square miles in their region had become unfit for
human habitation, uprooting 18,000 people from their homes forever. Villages
had been bulldozed and buried, erasing all traces that people had once lived
and married and died there.

Worse, another 450,000 people were left behind, oblivious to the danger. In
the most contaminated zones, such as Tatar Karabolka, people ate and drank
radioactive particles, which lodged in their bones and ate away at their
bodies, day after day.

As the Soviet Union's secrets emerged, so did the truth of the devastation
around Mayak. In 1992, the Health Ministry reported the once-secret factory
had killed 8,015 people and "severely irradiated" 28,900 others.

Today, the secrecy is creeping back. Reports of the death toll have
disappeared. Doctors who spoke openly during the 1990s have stopped talking.
Mayak officials deny that the plant's neighbors are being contaminated.

But this time, the wall of silence has cracks.

In the new Russia, too many people know too much. People such as Salikhova,
the physician's assistant who cares for so many sick villagers. She has only
to glance at her gnarled hands, the fingers twisted into painful, unnatural

Radioactive strontium-90 has supplanted the calcium in her bones.

Russia's first nuclear bomb

Mayak is Russia's Rocky Flats.

Both factories stood at the center of Cold War competition, racing to shape
plutonium into the centers of atom bombs.

Mayak was the plant that Rocky Flats strained to beat. It was the birthplace
of Russia's first nuclear bomb. It was the mysterious place that Francis Gary
Powers was trying to photograph when his U-2 spy plane was shot down in 1960.

In addition to making bomb cores just as Rocky Flats did, it was a virtual
copy of the U.S. plant at Hanford, Wash., where nuclear reactors produced

Mayak -- it means lighthouse in English -- is hidden next to the mountains, a
thousand miles from the sea. It is tucked deep in the forest, far beyond the
checkpoints, so that outsiders can't see it. Ozersk, the city of 110,000
where Mayak's workers live, is off-limits even to the Russian public.

Today, 14,500 employees work on nuclear projects ranging from weapons to
power plant fuel. In the supersecret Plant 20, U.S. officials say, workers
are manufacturing plutonium bomb cores -- something the U.S. stopped doing 14
years ago -- or rebuilding existing cores that have decayed.

But no one knows for sure. What goes on at Mayak is so secret that a Rocky
Mountain News reporter and photographer were barred not only from the plant
but also from the city of Ozersk, even though U.S. taxpayers are spending
$460 million dollars to upgrade security at the Russian nuclear factory.

Marc Piscotty © News

Gulfira Salikhova, a physician's assistant who treats Tatar Karabolka
villagers, looks at Zylekha Nigmatullina's swollen hands during a checkup.
Radioactive strontium-90 has supplanted calcium in the bones of many
villagers. Many also suffer from ulcers, cancer and diabetes.

Villagers claim racism

Disaster came to Karabolka on Sept. 27, 1957, a Sunday.

It began at 4:20 p.m. in a building where Mayak stored high-level radioactive
liquid waste in 80,000-gallon tanks. The cooling system failed, and heat
began to build in one tank. Suddenly, yellow smoke poured out the doors,
according to a recent account by Russian nuclear physicist Mikhail Avromenko.

Workers in gas masks tried to investigate, but the tremendous heat forced
them back outside. Moments later, the tank exploded, ripping through the
waste pit with the force of more than 70 tons of TNT. The yard-thick concrete
lid was blown 75 feet away, Avromenko reported.

A cloud of radioactive particles rose more than a half-mile, then scattered
on the wind 185 miles to the northeast -- right over Karabolka.

The invisible poison contaminated more than 6,000 square miles and 272,000
people, according to official Russian reports in the 1990s.

Oblivious to the danger falling from the sky, Karabolka's villagers continued
pulling in the harvest.

At the factory, workers quickly suited up in protective gear and, working in
short shifts, managed to restore a cooling system before the other 19 tanks
could explode.

Yevgeny Ryzhkov, a newly hired 19-year-old at the time and now Mayak's
spokesman, tested for contamination in the company town of Ozersk.
Fortunately, he said, Ozersk was upwind and came through largely unscathed.

Tatar Karabolka would not be so lucky.

Garifulle Khabibullin, a 20-year-old tractor driver, looked up that afternoon
and saw a red sky. Soldiers, he said, came and asked, "How do you feel?"

Villagers answered that they felt fine, Khabibullin said. The soldiers left,
using a traditional Russian farewell: "Be healthy."

Mars Abdrakhimov, now 64 and principal of the Karabolka school, remembers
police barring residents from an area barely a mile from their village, but
offering no explanation.

"The police stopped us from going over there, from collecting berries, but it
was just ‘prohibited,' and that was it," he said. "We didn't understand

Villagers say they know why authorities didn't protect them. They say it was

There were two Karabolka villages, about three miles apart. Russian Karabolka
was home to pale, round-faced Russians. Tatar Karabolka was home to
olive-skinned, dark-haired Muslim Tatars, natives of the region whose
ancestors overran Russia centuries ago.

Russian Karabolka was bulldozed to the ground, its villagers given new homes
elsewhere, Khabibullin said. The Tatar village was not.

Marc Piscotty © News

Zakiryam Kabirov, partially paralyzed and bedridden, visits with friend and
former co-worker Radik Nigmatullin, who regularly watches over Kabirov.
Kabirov worked on a farm whose buildings were made from contaminated wood
salvaged from nearby Russian Karabolka. Kabirov didn't know -- no one in his
village of Tatar Karabolka knew until 1991 -- that radiation from the
once-secret Mayak nuclear weapons plant had permeated the region.

"Cows are not even allowed to go there," Khabibullin said. "But here, people
swim, let their cows drink from the river, and some even take their drinking
water from the river."

Mayak spokesman Ryzhkov said the Russian village was evacuated because it
received the brunt of the contamination, while the Tatar village suffered
less radioactive fallout. Yet a study in 2001 found strontium-90 levels in
Tatar Karabolka were two to three times higher than the levels necessary for
evacuation 44 years earlier.

Even though Russian Karabolka was deemed too dangerous for Russians,
authorities ordered unsuspecting villagers from Tatar Karabolka to tear down
the contaminated town and rip up its crops. They carried out their duties
without protective gear, without any understanding of the danger.

"They wouldn't allow us to cut the hay," said Abdrakhimov's wife, Mansufa, a
58-year-old schoolteacher. "But as soon as their backs were turned, we cut
the hay!" She uses the Russian term -- iz pod teshka -- for disobeying like
naughty children sneaking behind their parents' backs.

The deaths continue

Today, Russian Karabolka is a pine grove off the highway. The trees are 25
feet high, and there is no sign that people ever lived there.

But many of those who "liquidated" the damages are no longer alive.

And the deaths continue. Villagers believe the plant is still poisoning them.

Mars Abdrakhimov recalls a 12-year-old girl who washed clothes in the
Karabolka River one day not many years ago. "On the second day, she got sick.
She died within two weeks. Her bones festered."

Khabibullin sees suspicious signs.

"Sometimes, the river rises in the morning even when it has not rained, and
by noon, it's back to normal level," he said. "I'm sure they're dumping."

Karabolka's fields have not been planted since the collective farm shut and
all the jobs disappeared about five years ago. A great many residents have
managed to leave Karabolka. But for some it's not that simple, especially
with Soviet-era controls.

Salikhova said her daughter and son- in-law tried to move to the nearby city
of Yekaterinburg last year, but couldn't get residence permits. As a result,
they couldn't get jobs or an apartment, and they returned home.

"They are jobless here, too. But they can live with me," Salikhova said.

Marc Piscotty © News

Students at Tatar Karabolka's only school take a break from daily lessons to
follow their teacher in calisthenics during class. Illness and disease have
taken a toll on the children of the village, which has endured years of
contamination from the nearby Mayak nuclear weapons plant. Many children are
so sick they must stay home.

Mayak spokesman Ryzhkov insists the bad health among the plant's neighbors
has nothing to do with radiation. He and fellow Mayak worker Vadim Borodin,
now 75, cite themselves as proof, saying they're not suffering from
radiation, despite higher contamination than these complaining civilians.

"I'm 64 years old, and of course I have illnesses," Ryzhkov said. But he
blames them on his genes, on smoking, on drinking. The civilians should be
blaming their unhealthy lifestyle, not radiation, he said.

"People think they are receiving high doses, but it's stress. They think they
are victims, and they need medical and psychological care."

That's not good enough for the village mullah, S. Yusupov.

"How could our government commit such a crime, sending our children to work
in a radioactive hell?" he asked last year at a hearing. "The government and
authorities of the Chelyabinsk region are trying to forget this. But we in
the villages will never forget this hell.

"Our sicknesses and daily funerals don't let us forget it!"

News researcher Carol Kasel contributed to this series.


The Magnum-Opus Project---The Mission: To do a greater good.
Righting the wrongs of the Manhattan Project's deceit and treachery national security methods using openness and accountability.
DOE Watch List--Where toxic health damage is not a mystery.
A news list combined with scientific studies to expose the problems.
DOE Watch OR Web page:
Rocky Flats EIN page:

Insoluble toxic metals and fluorides, via a pneumonia like dust in lung process, concentrate in lymph nodes and cause foreign body granuloma damage to node macrophages, leading to false cytokine stimulation, then rising viral waste damage to mitochondria, and this leading to illnesses.  See the analysis at

In the 1980's, Oak Ridge managers established a national alliance of DOE friendly supplanted activists and old DOE scientists to mislead gullible fluoride affected sick workers and communities in order to fabricate a health mystery and avoid the extreme liabilities of the fluorides health damage to uranium gas diffusion chemical plant workers and communities.  Don't let DOE and its minions stone wall known disease processes known for millennia and involved in religion icon imagery.

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to


[[[ I wonder if Matt Wald feels that Pope John Paul II has an adequate understanding of the irradiated battlefield we will be leaving (again) in Iraq if there is another war? -- rdh ]]]

 From: bluespin <>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 22:38:30 -0800
Subject: [greenaction] Pope Calls for Fast Against War in Iraq

By Frances D'Emilio
Associated Press
February 23, 2003

VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II called on Catholics to fast on Ash
Wednesday in the name of peace and said again on Sunday he worried a
U.S.-led war against Iraq could unsettle the entire Middle East.

Looking wan and tired, John Paul opened his traditional Sunday remarks from
his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square by denouncing war as a way
to resolve the conflict.

"We Christians in particular are called upon to be sentinels of peace," John
Paul said, calling on Catholics to dedicate their fasting on Ash Wednesday,
March 5, for the cause of peace.

On that day, the pope said, faithful will pray for "the conversion of hearts
and the long-range vision of just decisions to resolve disputes with
adequate and peaceful means."

He said that the fast, which Catholics traditionally conduct at the start of
Lent to prepare themselves for Easter, is an "expression of penitence for
the hate and violence which pollute human relations."

Fasting, an ancient practice shared by other religions, he said, also lets
faithful "shed themselves of all arrogance."

Rainbow-hued peace banners fluttered in the crowd of tourists and pilgrims
in the square. Surveys have shown Italians and many other Europeans oppose
war, even if waged under the aegis of the United Nations, and earlier this
month, about 1 million Italians marched through Rome to protest against the
United States and its push for using military force.

"For months the international community is living in great apprehension for
the danger of a war, which could unsettle the entire Middle East region and
aggravate the tensions unfortunately already present in this beginning of
the third millennium," the pontiff said.

"It is the duty of all believers, to whichever religion they belong, to
proclaim that we can never be happy pitted one against the other; the future
of humanity will never able to be secured by terrorism and by the logic of
war," John Paul said.

While the pope has been hailed as a champion of peace by anti-war
demonstrators ranging from environmentalists to communists, some in Italy
challenged his view.

Radical Party leaders Sunday denounced what they saw as the pontiff's
"equating terrorism and war, whatever war." Led by Marco Panella, the
Radicals say they would like to see Saddam Hussein in exile and a democratic
government under U.N. auspices to replace the Iraqi leader.

John Paul has been holding practically daily meetings with key players in
the crisis over Iraq. In his latest effort, on Saturday, he met with British
Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has been trying to line up support in Europe
and elsewhere for Washington's insistence that military force is necessary
if Baghdad doesn't quickly and completely comply with U.N. disarmament

John Paul, 82 and struggling with Parkinson's disease and other health
problems, appeared weary, his voice trailing off in the final words of his
appeal, "blessed are the peacemakers," a phrase from the Gospel of Matthew.

John Paul made similar calls against conflict in the months before the 1991
Gulf War, but in this campaign, with the memory of the Sept. 11 terrorist
attacks making the world particularly apprehensive, he has seemed more
determined than ever to do his part to persuade decision-makers against
going to war.

GREENACTION is an email newsletter featuring stories, and announcements
focused on natural and social ecologies of the north SF Bay area- with
reference to the global systems of which we are a part.
All list members are free to post.  No attachments.
To subscribe contact

[ YAHOO!! stuff]


Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 22:11:00 EST
Subject: [DOEWatch] Von Hippel Study Warns of Terrorist Threat to Nuclear Fuel Storage

                  Princeton (NJ) Packet -- February 18, 2003
     The method used to store spent nuclear fuel could lead to a
 catastrophic release of radiation in the event of a terrorist attack, a
 study initiated at Princeton University says.
     Terrorists targeting the high-density storage system used at nuclear
 power plants can cause contamination problems eight to 70 times worse
 than the 1986 meltdown of the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl, the
 report said.
     The study authors, a team of researchers led by Princeton Professor
 Frank von Hippel, called on Congress to mandate the construction of new
 facilities to house spent fuel in safer configurations. They estimated
 the cost at between $3.5 billion to $7 billion.
     The study is scheduled to be published this spring in the journal
 Science and Global Security.
     With a national nuclear waste storage facility under Yucca Mountain
 in Nevada a decade away, the nation's 103 nuclear power plants have
 routinely packed four or five times the number of spent fuel rods into
 water-cooled tanks than the tanks were designed to hold, the study said.
     This high-density configuration is safe when cooled by water, but
 could cause a fire that would release a plume of radioactivity if the
 cooling water leaked. The tanks could be ruptured by a hijacked jet or
 sabotage, the study contends.
     The consequences of such a fire would be the release of radiation
 that would contaminate eight to 70 times more land than the area
 affected by Chernobyl. The cost of such a disaster would run into the
 hundreds of billions of dollars, the researchers reported.
     The study builds in large part on analyses already done by the
 Nuclear Regulatory Commission, pulling together disparate sources and
 adding new calculations to put the issues in sharper focus, Professor
 von Hippel said.
     "The NRC has been chewing on this for 20 years," Professor von
 Hippel said. "That's one of the reasons why we did this paper — because
 they never seem to do anything about it."
     The report's authors briefed congressional staff members on Jan. 30.
     "The Congress really needs to make a political judgment and needs to
 provide the Nuclear Regulatory Commission some guidance," he said. The
 report authors briefed congressional staff members on Jan. 30.
     Professor von Hippel, co-director of the Program on Science and
 Global Security in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International
 Affairs, said the impetus for the study came from an investigation
 conducted by Princeton undergraduate students last year. Five students
 focused on the New Jersey Salem Nuclear Generating Station and issued a
 report calling for the distribution of protective potassium iodide pills
 to people within 50 miles of nuclear plants, improvement of mock attack
 drills and reconfiguration of spent fuel storage.
     At issue in the study is how nuclear power plant operators deal with
 the 12-foot-long rods of uranium which, after three or four years of
 use, no longer contain enough chain-reacting material to sustain a
 nuclear reaction. For the first few years after they are taken from the
 reactor, the fuel rods continue to generate a lot of heat due to their
 intense radioactivity.
     Without cooling, the rods would burst and ignite the zirconium alloy
 sheaths in which they are encased.
     The water-filled cooling tanks were originally designed to keep only
 about 100 metric tons of the hottest rods, while the cooler ones would
 be moved to a nuclear fuel recycling plant, which was never built. The
 United States also has not yet built a long-term storage facility for
 nuclear waste, so the pools have been packed with 400 tons or more. In
 its low-density configuration, a cooling tank could be adequately cooled
 by air in the event of a loss of water, while the high-density system
 could not.
     The study suggests returning the water tanks to their low-density
 configurations and building onsite storage facilities, which would use
 air-cooling, for the older fuel. Some of the cost of this work already
 is budgeted as part of a plan to build a national storage facility at
 Yucca Mountain, the authors said. That project, however, is not
 scheduled to be built for another 10 years and would then take another
 20 or 30 years to take enough waste to relieve the water tank density.

The Magnum-Opus Project---The Mission: To do a greater good.
Righting the wrongs of the Manhattan Project's deceit and treachery national security methods using openness and accountability.
DOE Watch List--Where toxic health damage is not a mystery.
A news list combined with scientific studies to expose the problems.
DOE Watch OR Web page:
Rocky Flats EIN page:

Insoluble toxic metals and fluorides, via a pneumonia like dust in lung process, concentrate in lymph nodes and cause foreign body granuloma damage to node macrophages, leading to false cytokine stimulation, then rising viral waste damage to mitochondria, and this leading to illnesses.  See the analysis at

In the 1980's, Oak Ridge managers established a national alliance of DOE friendly supplanted activists and old DOE scientists to mislead gullible fluoride affected sick workers and communities in order to fabricate a health mystery and avoid the extreme liabilities of the fluorides health damage to uranium gas diffusion chemical plant workers and communities.  Don't let DOE and its minions stone wall known disease processes known for millennia and involved in religion icon imagery.

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to


Subject: [greenaction] Arundhati Roy-Confronting Empire

This is the second time I have posted this powerful speech given at the
World Social Forum in Porto Alegre Brazil last month. by Arundhati Roy   It
is such a beautiful statement about our present moment that it has become an
instant classic- printed and broadcast over and over.  Still,  i never get
tired of reading it and hearing it-  and it's good to have one in email form
to pass along to friends,

Confronting Empire
Arundhati Roy

I've been asked to speak about "How to confront Empire?" It's a huge
question, and I have no easy answers.

When we speak of confronting "Empire," we need to identify what "Empire"
means. Does it mean the U.S. Government (and its European satellites),
the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade
Organization, and multinational corporations? Or is it something more
than that?

In many countries, Empire has sprouted other subsidiary heads, some
dangerous byproducts - nationalism, religious bigotry, fascism and, of
course terrorism. All these march arm in arm with the project of
corporate globalization.

Let me illustrate what I mean. India - the world's biggest democracy -
is currently at the forefront of the corporate globalization project.
Its "market" of one billion people is being prized open by the WTO.
Corporatization and Privatization are being welcomed by the Government
and the Indian elite.

It is not a coincidence that the Prime Minister, the Home Minister, the
Disinvestment Minister - the men who signed the deal with Enron in
India, the men who are selling the country's infrastructure to corporate
multinationals, the men who want to privatize water, electricity, oil,
coal, steel, health, education and telecommunication - are all members
or admirers of the RSS. The RSS is a right wing, ultra-nationalist Hindu
guild which has openly admired Hitler and his methods.

The dismantling of democracy is proceeding with the speed and efficiency
of a Structural Adjustment Program. While the project of corporate
globalization rips through people's lives in India, massive
privatization, and labor "reforms" are pushing people off their land and
out of their jobs. Hundreds of impoverished farmers are committing
suicide by consuming pesticide. Reports of starvation deaths are coming
in from all over the country.

While the elite journeys to its imaginary destination somewhere near the
top of the world, the dispossessed are spiraling downwards into crime
and chaos. This climate of frustration and national disillusionment is
the perfect breeding ground, history tells us, for fascism.

The two arms of the Indian Government have evolved the perfect pincer
action. While one arm is busy selling India off in chunks, the other, to
divert attention, is orchestrating a howling, baying chorus of Hindu
nationalism and religious fascism. It is conducting nuclear tests,
rewriting history books, burning churches, and demolishing mosques.
Censorship, surveillance, the suspension of civil liberties and human
rights, the definition of who is an Indian citizen and who is not,
particularly with regard to religious minorities, is becoming common
practice now.

Last March, in the state of Gujarat, two thousand Muslims were butchered
in a State-sponsored pogrom. Muslim women were specially targeted. They
were stripped, and gang-raped, before being burned alive. Arsonists
burned and looted shops, homes, textiles mills, and mosques.

More than a hundred and fifty thousand Muslims have been driven from
their homes. The economic base of the Muslim community has been

While Gujarat burned, the Indian Prime Minister was on MTV promoting his
new poems. In January this year, the Government that orchestrated the
killing was voted back into office with a comfortable majority. Nobody
has been punished for the genocide. Narendra Modi, architect of the
pogrom, proud member of the RSS, has embarked on his second term as the
Chief Minister of Gujarat. If he were Saddam Hussein, of course each
atrocity would have been on CNN. But since he's not - and since the
Indian "market" is open to global investors - the massacre is not even
an embarrassing inconvenience.

There are more than one hundred million Muslims in India. A time bomb is
ticking in our ancient land.

All this to say that it is a myth that the free market breaks down
national barriers. The free market does not threaten national
sovereignty, it undermines democracy.

As the disparity between the rich and the poor grows, the fight to
corner resources is intensifying. To push through their "sweetheart
deals," to corporatize the crops we grow, the water we drink, the air we
breathe, and the dreams we dream, corporate globalization needs an
international confederation of loyal, corrupt, authoritarian governments
in poorer countries to push through unpopular reforms and quell the

Corporate Globalization - or shall we call it by its name? - Imperialism
- needs a press that pretends to be free. It needs courts that pretend
to dispense justice.

Meanwhile, the countries of the North harden their borders and stockpile
weapons of mass destruction. After all they have to make sure that it's
only money, goods, patents and services that are globalized. Not the
free movement of people. Not a respect for human rights. Not
international treaties on racial discrimination or chemical and nuclear
weapons or greenhouse gas emissions or climate change, or - god forbid -

So this - all this - is "empire." This loyal confederation, this obscene
accumulation of power, this greatly increased distance between those who
make the decisions and those who have to suffer them.

Our fight, our goal, our vision of Another World must be to eliminate
that distance.

So how do we resist "Empire"?

The good news is that we're not doing too badly. There have been major
victories. Here in Latin America you have had so many - in Bolivia, you
have Cochabamba. In Peru, there was the uprising in Arequipa, In
Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez is holding on, despite the U.S.
government's best efforts.

And the world's gaze is on the people of Argentina, who are trying to
refashion a country from the ashes of the havoc wrought by the IMF.

In India the movement against corporate globalization is gathering
momentum and is poised to become the only real political force to
counter religious fascism.

As for corporate globalization's glittering ambassadors - Enron,
Bechtel, WorldCom, Arthur Anderson - where were they last year, and
where are they now?

And of course here in Brazil we must ask ...who was the president last
year, and who is it now?

Still ... many of us have dark moments of hopelessness and despair. We
know that under the spreading canopy of the War Against Terrorism, the
men in suits are hard at work.

While bombs rain down on us, and cruise missiles skid across the skies,
we know that contracts are being signed, patents are being registered,
oil pipelines are being laid, natural resources are being plundered,
water is being privatized, and George Bush is planning to go to war
against Iraq.

If we look at this conflict as a straightforward eye-ball to eye-ball
confrontation between "Empire" and those of us who are resisting it, it
might seem that we are losing.

But there is another way of looking at it. We, all of us gathered here,
have, each in our own way, laid siege to "Empire."

We may not have stopped it in its tracks - yet - but we have stripped it
down. We have made it drop its mask. We have forced it into the open. It
now stands before us on the world's stage in all its brutish,
iniquitous nakedness.

Empire may well go to war, but it's out in the open now - too ugly to
behold its own reflection. Too ugly even to rally its own people. It
won't be long before the majority of American people become our allies.

Only a few days ago in Washington, a quarter of a million people marched
against the war on Iraq. Each month, the protest is gathering momentum.

Before September 11th 2001 America had a secret history. Secret
especially from its own people. But now America's secrets are history,
and its history is public knowledge. It's street talk.

Today, we know that every argument that is being used to escalate the
war against Iraq is a lie. The most ludicrous of them being the U.S.
Government's deep commitment to bring democracy to Iraq.

Killing people to save them from dictatorship or ideological corruption
is, of course, an old U.S. government sport. Here in Latin America, you
know that better than most.

Nobody doubts that Saddam Hussein is a ruthless dictator, a murderer
(whose worst excesses were supported by the governments of the United
States and Great Britain). There's no doubt that Iraqis would be better
off without him.

But, then, the whole world would be better off without a certain Mr.
Bush. In fact, he is far more dangerous than Saddam Hussein.

So, should we bomb Bush out of the White House?

It's more than clear that Bush is determined to go to war against Iraq,
regardless of the facts - and regardless of international public

In its recruitment drive for allies, The United States is prepared to
invent facts.

The charade with weapons inspectors is the U.S. government's offensive,
insulting concession to some twisted form of international etiquette.
It's like leaving the "doggie door" open for last minute "allies" or
maybe the United Nations to crawl through.

But for all intents and purposes, the New War against Iraq has begun.

What can we do?

We can hone our memory, we can learn from our history. We can continue
to build public opinion until it becomes a deafening roar.

We can turn the war on Iraq into a fishbowl of the U.S. government's

We can expose George Bush and Tony Blair - and their allies - for the
cowardly baby killers, water poisoners, and pusillanimous long-distance
bombers that they are.

We can re-invent civil disobedience in a million different ways. In
other words, we can come up with a million ways of becoming a collective
pain in the ass.

When George Bush says "you're either with us, or you are with the
terrorists" we can say "No thank you." We can let him know that the
people of the world do not need to choose between a Malevolent Mickey
Mouse and the Mad Mullahs.

Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to
it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our
music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our
sheer relentlessness - and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories
that are different from the ones we're being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are
selling - their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their
weapons, their notion of inevitability.

Remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we
need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I
can hear her breathing.

-Arundhati Roy

Porto Alegre, Brazil

January 27, 2003

GREENACTION is an email newsletter featuring stories, and announcements
focused on natural and social ecologies of the north SF Bay area- with
reference to the global systems of which we are a part.
All list members are free to post.  No attachments.
To subscribe contact

[YAHOO!! stuff]

[[[ Unfortunately, the above speech does not discuss the Nuclear Mafia (headed (currently) by George Bush II), and its' spreading of the DEMON HOT ATOM (aka "radioactive particles") all around the Earth.  So clearly, what Arundhati Roy talks about is just the beginning. -- rdh ]]]


To: "Knee Richard A." <>
Subject: [CAPPcoord] Independent/UK: Bombing has already started

Complete article is at

Published on Sunday, February 23, 2003 by the lndependent/UK
US and Britain Pound Iraqi Defenses in Massive Escalation of Airstrikes
by Raymond Whitaker

Iraq has been ordered to destroy dozens of missiles which violate UN  limits, but the US and Britain are not waiting to see whether Saddam Hussein complies.

In recent days, an Independent on Sunday investigation reveals, they  have stepped up attacks on missile sites near Basra which could threaten the military build-up in Kuwait and the Gulf.

The raids are being carried out by aircraft patrolling the "no- fly" zones in northern and southern Iraq, established by the victors  after the first Gulf war. They claim the patrols are being carried out in the name  of the UN especially ironic, given the passionate debate over the need for a second Security Council to authorize war on Iraq.

Some have always disputed whether the "no-fly" zones have UN authority,  but now the US and Britain have widened the "rules of engagement" to the point where warplanes are effectively preparing the  way for an imminent invasion.

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:


At 06:43 PM 2/24/2003 , bluespin <> wrote:
Mailing-List: list; contact
From: bluespin <>
Date: Mon, 24 Feb 2003 18:43:27 -0800

> From: "Tamara Sellman" <>

Included below are two links, one for the actual Son of Patriot classified pdf file and a commentary about why and how it's going to kill democracy in America.

Folks, this affects every single one of us. McCarthyism was small beans by comparison.

Son of Patriot pdf
Will take a few very worthwhile minutes to download

Son of Patriot *****htmlized version (easier/faster to load, but it's been through a second interface -- as a journalist, I like to get as close to the primary record as possible, so it would be worth waiting out the download on the pdf. ... but if you can't...)

Legal Commentary

MARGIN: Exploring Modern Magical Realism



At 11:58 PM 2/24/2003 , "Richard J. Redfield" wrote:

There will be an important broadcast on Tuesday, Feb. 25th. PBS is
presenting a NOVA program on "dirty" radiological bombs and their
consequences. Included at the end of this email are the details about the

Of course those who are informed know that the greatest material for a dirty
radiological bomb is already in place at the San Onofre Unit 1 Spent Fuel
Pool. Tonight, Feb 24th, at a Coastal Commission meeting, attended by
Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station
(SONGS) Representatives, I asked Ray Golden (SONGS spokesperson) how thick
the roof structure over the Unit 1 Spent Fuel Pool was. His answer was
illuminating and frightening.

"Not thick enough, not as thick that is as at Units 2/3. That's why we are
moving it into dry cask storage."

If the security and vulnerability of the Unit 1 Spent Fuel Pool were the
primary reason for moving the fuel, it should have been done long, long ago.
Any mention by Nuclear Activist Groups (NAGs) or filing of 2.206 petitions
by them to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)  concerning terrorist
vulnerability  prior to 9-11 were either ignored by the NRC, the Nuclear
Industry and SONGS or dismissed with an inadequate answer. The story of Paul
Leventhal and Dan Hirsch in getting truck bomb barriers installed at the
nation's nuclear facilities is a perfect example of this. After 9-11 it is
another story, or so they say.

Richard Redfield


NOVA Launches Dirty Bomb Web Site for TV Broadcast

Last summer, an American Al Qaeda sympathizer, Jose Padilla, was arrested on
suspicion of planning a "dirty bomb" attack on the United States. Suddenly,
one of the ultimate nightmare terrorist scenarios seemed a step closer to
But few know what a dirty bomb really is or what devastation it could cause.
In this important and timely film, NOVA explores beyond the alarming
headlines to answer crucial questions: How easy is it to acquire materials
and manufacture a dirty bomb? How does it differ from a conventional nuclear
bomb, and how destructive would it be? And how can lives be saved if one
should explode?

The program dramatizes two credible attack scenarios based on sophisticated
models developed by radiation experts. These models are then played out in
two major cities, Washington and London, with results that are both
frightening and sobering.

Here's what you'll find on the companion Web site at
Preparing for Nuclear Terrorism - Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Graham
Allison discusses both radiological and nuclear terrorism.

Ask the Expert - Charles Ferguson of the Center for Nonproliferation Studies
answers questions emailed to NOVA about the dirty bomb threat.

Chronology of Events -  Review incidents involving unprotected radioactive
materials in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere.

Sources of Radiation - Explore a landscape and locate radioactive sources
both harmful and beneficial, natural and manmade.

Broadcast: February 25, 2003 - (NOVA airs Tuesdays on PBS at 8 p.m. Check
your local listings as
dates and times may vary.)

[[[ This author caught the last part of the NOVA show (on Cesium dirty bombs) and was NOT IMPRESSED.  Richard "Rich Rad" Meserve was seen telling us the biggest danger is overblown fear.  Nuts. -- rdh ]]]


At 09:16 AM 2/26/2003 , wrote:
To whom it may concern:

We keep hearing a lot of concern about IP and Davis Besse, but I can't get a
single letter of support for the most dangerous Nuclear Power Plants in the

These two plants are located 10 miles west of Saratoga Springs, NY. Both
plants lack Containment Vessels and Emergency Core cooling systems.
Furthermore the site has no [that's right no] Emergency Evacuation Plan for
Saratoga County, Montgomery County and Schenectady County.

The lack of containment vessels and Emergency Core cooling systems makes
these plants unsafe for an attack by a Piper Cub and no one, including
Hillary Clinton and Schumer seems to give a damn. Repeated letters to
Clinton's Office has, so far, yielded zero response.

Ignoring these most dangerous of Nuclear Facilities does not mean the danger
will go away.

John P. Shannon
Nuclear Physicist/Nuclear Engineer
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 14:01:04 -0800
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: US nuclear unmanned aircraft
In-reply-to: <v01540b02ba814fc519e6@[]>

To: (Wendy MacLeod-Gilford),
Message-id: <>

Feb 26th, 2003

Dear Wendy, others,

Regarding the email shown below about nuclear-powered drones, it should be noted that tomorrow's terrorists (and possibly today's) will have little trouble shooting these drones out of the sky with laser weapons.  Currently, the "accident" rate for America's unmanned drones seems quite high, although frankly, I doubt they are all accidents.  I suspect the current generation of non-nuclear-powered drones are often shot down, and it's reported to be an accident.  Either way, these planes WILL crash -- and often.

What's really insulting and "in our faces" about this wretched plot to further irradiate humanity's biosphere is that unmanned permanently-aloft solar-powered drones have also been designed (by NASA, among others), but these are always discarded in favor of nuclear solutions, both on Earth and in orbit above earth.

Please visit my new FLASH-based animation giving a brief history of America's history of NUKES IN SPACE (and some of Russia's too), and also, see the definition for MAD SCIENTISTS in my Internet Glossary of Nuclear Terminology (aka "THE DEMON HOT ATOM") for some pictures of previous nuclear airplane and rocket projects.  Both are online at the URLs given below.

I think the world needs to unite against nuclear power in all its forms.  I doubt there's a single use that can't be better done with something else -- even the much-acclaimed (by the pro-nukers) medical procedures.  Bush and Company are using the GREAT DISTRACTION of war and fear of terrorism, and combining it with an utterly wild destruction of the economy, individual rights, AND the environment, to slip in these new nuclear projects.

And the nuclear projects you SEE and HEAR ABOUT undoubtedly PALE in comparison to the ones that are hidden from view -- underwater listening devices, orbiting radioactive power sources, remote sensors, etc. etc. etc..  Use of nuclear airplanes, nuclear "bunker busters", and Depleted Uranium is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg -- an iceberg which brings cancerous death to millions and is the real hidden history of the COLD WAR -- which was a NUCLEAR ATTACK AGAINST HUMANITY.  This is but one small step in that assault.  The crux of the assault is found in the quotes from "experts" who simply suggest that the debris is merely something to stay away from.  As if that would be possible!   The quoted experts apparently envision a broken little pile of rubble with large signs saying DIRTY BOMB MATERIAL: KEEP OUT, and all the children who find these things for the next few centuries while their radioactivity diminishes will be able to read the warning, understand its message, and keep away.

What other fantasies lurk in these people's minds?

Meanwhile, we are all out of jobs, or in fear of losing our jobs, and desperately trying to win even LITTLE BATTLES locally: The environmental onslaught is massive and everywhere, and the suffering of the people from it is also pervasive.  New laws are now in place which will make it very difficult to get back the ground lost during this terrible time.


Russell D. Hoffman
Senior Military Aviation/Space/Software/Laser Technology Advisor
Planet Earth
HQ: Carlsbad, CA, USA

or try


---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------

At 09:04 AM 2/26/2003 , Wendy MacLeod-Gilford wrote:

Dear All - As if we don't have enough radiological hazards already the USAF
have a new project.  New Scientist p4-5 22 Feb. 03
US Air Force plans nuclear drones (Unmanned aircraft have proven their
worth in recent conflicts.  But is a nuclear version a step too far? by
Duncan Graham-Rowe.

The US Air Force is examining the feasibility of a nuclear-powered version
of an unmanned aircraft. The USAF hopes that such a vehicle will be able to
'loiter' in the air for months without refuelling, striking at will when a
target comes into its sights.

But the idea is bound to raise serious concerns about the wisdom of flying
radioactive material in a combat aircraft.  If shot down, for instance,
would an anti-aircraft gunner in effect be detonating a dirty bomb?

It raises political questions too.  To have Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
(UAVs) almost constantly flying over a region would amount to a new form of
military intimidation, especially if they were armed, says Ian Bellamy, an
arms control expert at Lancaster University in Britain.

But right now, there seems no stopping the proliferation of UFs, fueled by
their runaway success in the Kosovo and Afghanistan conflicts.  The big
attraction of UAFs is that they don't put pilots' lives at risk, and they
are now the norm for many reconnaissance and even attack missions.  The
endurance of a future nuclear-powered UAF would offer military planners an
option they might find hard to turn down.  Last week, the Pentagon
allocated $1 billion of its 2004 budget for further development of both
armed and unarmed UAVs.

The USAF Research Lab (AFRL) has funded at least two feasibility studies on
nuclear-powered versions of the Northrop-Gruman Global Hawk UAV.  The
latest study, revealed earlier this month at an aerospace technology
conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, concluded that a nuclear engine
could extend the UAF's flight time from hours to months.

But nuclear-powered planes are not a new idea.  In the 1950s, both the US
and the USSR tried to develop nuclear propulsion systems for piloted
aircraft.  The plans were eventually scrapped because it would have cost
too much to protect the crew from the on-board nuclear reactor, as well as
making the aircraft too heavy.

The AFRL now has other ideas though.  Instead of a conventional fission
reactor, it is focusing on a type of power generator called a quantum
nucleonic reactor.  This obtains energy by using X-rays to encourage
particles in the nuclei of radioactive hafnium-178 to jump down several
energy levels, liberating energy in the form of gamma rays.  A nuclear UAV
would generate thrust by using the energy of these gamma rays to produce a
jet of heated air.

The military interest was triggered by research published in 1999 by Carl
Collins and colleagues at the University of Texas at Dallas.  They found
that by shining X-rays onto certain types of hafnium they could get it to
release 60 times as much  energy as they put in (New Sci. 3 July 1999 p42).

The reaction works because a proportion of the hafnium nuclei are 'isomers'
in which some neutrons and protons sits in higher energy levels than normal
X-ray bombardment makes them release this energy and drop down to a more
stable energy level.

So the AFRL has since been looking at ways in which quantum nucleanoics
could be used for propulsion. "Our directorate is being cautious about it.
Right now they want to understand the physics," says Christopher Hamilton
at the Wright Patterson Air Force base in Ohio, who conducted the latest
nuclear UAV study.

"What would happen if a nuclear unmanned aerial vehicle crashed?  It's
probably something you would want to stay away from"

The AFRL says the quantum nucleonic reactor is considered safer than a
fission one because the reaction is very tightly controlled.  "It's
radioactive, but as soon as you take away the X-ray power source its gamma
ray production is reduced dramatically, so it's not as dangerous (as when
it's active)", says Hamilton.

Paul Stares, an analyst with the US Institute of Peace in Washington DC,
wonders what would happen if a nuclear UAV crashed.  But Hamilton insists
that although hafnium hs a half-life of 31 years, which according to
Britain's National Radiological Protection Board is equivalent to the
highly radioactive caesium -137, the structural composition of hafnium
hinders the release of this radiation.  "It's probably something you would
want to stay away from but it's not going to kill you, claims Hamilton.

 Blewbury Environmental Research Group
 Wendy MacLeod-Gilford &
 Mick Gilford, MA(Cantab), MSc, DIC       __  __ __  __
 Brockham, Folly Road, Lambourn,          |_) |_ |_) | _
 Hungerford, West Berkshire RG17 8QE, UK  |_) |_ |\  |_|
 Tel+Ans+Fax: 01488 71653                          \
 Mobile:      07712 708692


From: "mitzi" <>
To: <>,
        "Rosemary & Sal / Citizens Awareness Network" <>,
        "bill smirnow" <>,
        "Russell D. Hoffman" <>,
        "Ann Garvin" <>, <>,

"Jean Q Lehrman" <>,
Cc: "Mitzi Bowman" <>
Subject: Book; Asleep at the Geiger Counter
Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2003 20:40:02 -0000

Asleep at the Geiger Counter

Nuclear Destruction of the Planet and How to Stop It

Sidney Goodman, P.E., M.S.M.E.

ISBN 1-57733-107-9, 268 pp., 6 x 9, paperback, $16.95

"I recommend this book to all who are interested in the future of the planet and to all who need to understand why the human race has made such a mess of things, particularly in the nuclear area." Dr. Helen Caldicott, Founding President, Physicians for Social Responsibility

Asleep at the Geiger Counter exposes the destructive sweep of nuclear scams and frauds. It documents why nuclear programs mean cancer, birth defects, increased chance of nuclear war, the loss of civil liberties, and unending multi-billion dollar subsidies which bleed us white while actually delaying genuine energy independence.

Responsible energy policies can give us a golden age of environmental and economic benefits, a more peaceful world, and conditions which will help rich and poor alike. We are getting the opposite, sanctimoniously shrouded in a cloak of big lies. Some of those lies are so brazen, they violate the most basic laws of physics and engineering. This is explained in simple language.

Asleep at the Geiger Counter unveils frequently censored material and much that has been forgotten by the present generation.

"Asleep at the Geiger Counter is a lively account, revealing the facts of nuclear life. Read it and act, to stop a dirty industry from doing its worst." Norman Cohen, Executive Director, Coalition for Peace and Freedom

For Credit Card On-line Orders, go to

Credit Card Orders by phone: 1-800-643-0765

10% discount for 5 or more. Please ask about additional discounts on quantity orders.
Add $7 s/h for first book + $3 for each additional. California residents add 7.375% tax.

Also available from Ingram and Baker & Taylor or
Blue Dolphin Publishing / P.O. Box 8 / Nevada City, CA 95959
(800) 643-0765 / (530) 265-6925 / Fax (530) 265-0787



To: "Matthew L. Wald" <>
Subject: An Infinite Sewer Where We Can Dump Our Waste

To: Matthew L. Wald, Scientific American and The New York Times
From: Russell D. Hoffman, Concerned Citizen
Date: February 21st, 2003

Dear Sir,

I just saw your article on decommissioning nuclear power plants in the March, 2003 issue of Scientific American.

Why do you think the oceans are just large sewers where we can dump infinite amounts of nuclear waste?  They aren't.

What do you think happens when they use millions of gallons of water to grind up millions of pounds of highly radioactive waste products, like Reactor Pressure Vessels?

Where do you think the water goes? Where do you think the radiation goes?

What do you think the inside of a Dry Storage Cask will look like after DECADES of additional EMBRITTLEMENT of the nuclear reactor cores inside, which follows decades of embrittlement when the reactor cores were in the reactor and then in the Spent Fuel Pools?

Which fire departments around the country are prepared to put out a Dry Cask Storage fire?


Wake up and smell the plutonium, dude.  Oh yeah, it's odorless, colorless, and tasteless.  Well well well, I guess you'll never wake up, then, huh?  If you haven't after studying nukes since 1979, I certainly have my doubts.


Russell D. Hoffman
Senior Environmental Advisor
Planet Earth
HQ: Carlsbad, CA, USA

NO quotes from opposition scientists, NO quotes from activists, NO links to activists' web sites, NO mention of the DIFFERENCES between external "natural" radiation and internal radiation from particles released from the nuclear plant... 

Scientific American's web site:



This email is available online here:

URL of the next email in this Series:

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

URL of the previous email in this Series: