A debate between Peter de Jager and Russell D. Hoffman (part four)

Posted as part of Russell D. Hoffman's

Y2K Preparedness Web Site

Posted online September 22nd, 1999

Dear Yumi,

Thanks for your email (shown below) and your kind words.

Peter de Jager has sent no further correspondence to me at this time. Anything he sends will be posted here within a few hours (just enough time to read it and add the briefest of comments, presumably, plus of course I will have to actually have checked my email.).

If I were him (but who am I to give him advice?) I would certainly "cc" y2k-nuclear with his response. He knows you folks are listening.

I sent HC one or two private comments about de Jager, but they were brief and came after everything that I sent to de Jager himself. So he missed me mentioning that I think the time from now until Y2K, with over 140 years of operating "experience" in the commercial reactors alone (more than a year's worth every day) was scary enough without the Y2K danger added in. Naturally, I didn't really feel like "playing that card" with de Jager until he gives an inch himself. (It's probably the last piece of slack he'd ever have expected from me, and really does him very little good!)

Anyway, his tires me. There are so many out there who proclaim their objections to nuclear power, and EVERYONE proclaims their objections to nuclear weapons, but I believe it is those very same people who are blocking the movement more than even the government scoundrels whom no one believes anyway.

That's just my view, because I've debated so many of them in my "STOP CASSINI" battle, where they even proclaim to be against something, but never, ever, would they stake their reputation on a demand that it stop.

Not quoting de Jager here, but they say things like "I'm sure the containment system is very well built" even when they don't realize there is NO containment system (say, at KAPL's reactors in upstate New York). Or for the Cassini RTGs (Radioactive Thermoelectric Generators). There is a container, sure, but it's not very well built and has holes in it anyway for the helium to get out -- the alpha particles would build up explosive pressure if there were no holes! So how good a containment system can hold a boiling liquid when the container has holes in it? But yet people with no knowledge about the details would write and tell me that NASA has tested it to this, and that level, not knowing two simple facts: 1) It failed at those points, and 2) those points that it failed at was far less than the stresses the thing might actually face in real life!

All sorts of nuclear supporters do this, like the containment buildings being strong enough to resist earthquakes.

That's often true.

They can resist small earthquakes, but massive ones? Not a chance. Or they can resist massive ones, but right next door? Only if they are hundreds of miles away! But what does the press release always say?

"Nuclear power plants can resist earthquakes." They can't, pure and simple.

Another example: Telephone pole in a tornado. Decades ago, at the dawn (no, let's call it the beginning of darkness) of the nuclear era, they put in a specification that nuclear power plant containment buildings should be able to withstand a telephone pole hurled at it by a tornado.

Well, that's a lot of force. I mean A LOT OF FORCE. (I did a photo shoot of an airplane museum in Hartford, Connecticut that got whacked by a tornado one time, it was amazing. I'll have to find those and post them on the web some day.)

Anyway, they discovered the thing would have to be impossibly thick. You just couldn't do it. Hurl a telephone pole at a containment building at three or four hundred miles an hour, and it may in fact go through. So they removed the specification and built the damned things anyway, supported on a foundation of lies, paid for by government giveaways, loans, R&D money, and insurance plans that cover everything (plus the promise to take back all the waste), and then supported by, as I said scoundrels who deplore the thing in "glowing" terms except when asked to DEMAND a change! If I had a nickle for every nuclear supporter who called themselves an "environmentalist" we could buy ads in every paper in the country to tell the truth with!

What does Peter de Jager's countdown clock say now? 121 days or something? Then what? We find out who the real experts are? Is that what de Jager thinks will happen? Does he actually think that come 1/1/2000 if nothing catastrophic happens his "theories" will have been proven correct? We've been living with THAT lie every day! (Except those days when things went wrong (Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, etc.) But the media quickly manages to forget about them, along with the public and OF COURSE along with the politicians.)

Thinking of each day we have no accident as proof nukes are good is like saying, if there is no tornado here tomorrow, there never will be. Y2K is but one threat to humanity. It is a bellringer, a rallying cry. I know of none better, because I know of none bigger. It is for real, I am absolutely convinced, which doesn't for a moment mean I am sure catastrophe is just around the corner. I am merely sure that our current policy can lead to nothing else but catastrophe, sooner or later, and Y2K is an added danger. The nuke plants and weapons have got to all go. They provide no one with anything God wishes us to have. (Okay, maybe TINY amounts of some of these poisons may be useful for some scientific experiments (NOT for food irradiation or smoke detectors or other such nuclear nonsense!), but we've got plenty around for all of that science will ever need.)

Thanks for your letter. We live about 800 mile south of SF, but like to visit there so we might be able to gather with others if something is being organized, but I can't promise to travel so far so soon, I'm sorry (not until I can afford a good laptop to stay connected as I go!). If you are ever in San Diego, however, you are welcome to come visit! For similar reasons, I don't know if I can afford to travel to Germany just now, either... my work is probably here at the keyboard, through Y2K. If, after, (if there is an after), I would hope that my wife and I can travel around the world to meet in person every wonderful person we have met via the Internet, including of course yourself.

As to finding nuclear engineers/ experts, I'd suggest you might try Jack Shannon. I met him a few months ago and wrote about him in my STOP CASSINI newsletter several times, in #156, and #169 in particular:

I have no idea if he could travel or what his expenses would be, but he certainly is a nuclear expert and has helped many activists for decades now!

Y2K experts, as we all know, don't exist! Only theorists!

Again my many thanks,

Russell Hoffman

At 08:58 PM 9/2/99 +0900, you wrote:
Dear Russell,

I enjoyed reading your letter to Helen. I will be with her for London/ Berlin Y2K Nuclear Citizens' Forum which WASH is trying to organize with Paul Swann and IPPNW. I also will be traveling in the USA from 14-17 Sep just one day each at SF/WDC/NY. Are you near SF area? I wuold love meeting you! So, what Peter de Jager say now? Why is he not helping the most iportant issue to be taken cared? Does he believe all the nuclear bombs and reators are perfectly Y2K compliant????? Do you think you can also come to London/Berlin with us? Or someone who is nuke-power engineer or scientists are very much needed at the forum. Do you have any suggestion who I should contact in the USA? Michael Marriott of NIRS will be speaking at the press conference Mary is organizing for WASH on 16 Sep, but I have not found anyone who is willing to attend Berlin/London events from USA. If it is about money, can't it be raised somehow? I am trying to raise airfare for 5 people, and if I fail, I jsut owe it and pay back later.

Love, Yumi

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Russell D. Hoffman,
Carlsbad, California

Peace Activist, Environmentalist, High Tech Guru:

Founder and Editor of the Stop Cassini newsletter:

Learn the madness of NASA's ongoing nuclear policies! Visit the Stop Cassini web site:

Y2K worries? We've got em! Meltdowns, EMPs, Terrorism, you-name-it:

Facing facts: Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:

What is a half-life? (Compares Plutonium 238 to Plutonium 239)

What is the Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)? Is nuclear war winnable?

Hug a tree! Read why it should matter to you what happens to the great Redwoods in California:

Why you need encryption: An interview with Phil Zimmerman:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/hightech/philspgp.htm (also available in Spanish)

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First placed online September 22nd, 1999.
Last modified September 22nd, 1999.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
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