To: "Phil Diehl" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <email@example.com>
Subject: A response to the North County Times' article about rdh published June 29th, 2002 (page B-1)
Cc: "Breck Henderson" <BWH@nrc.gov>
Thank you for writing about me and my new web site in yesterday's local (Carlsbad) edition of the NC Times ("Nuclear plants nothing but trouble, activist says: Man runs Web site dedicated to criticizing nuclear power", North County Times, July 29th, 2002). I appreciate the effort you made to understand my position, and I think you presented it well.
However, it's unfortunate that Breck Henderson, of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Region IV Public Affairs Office, duped you into giving such prominence to his official government/pro-nuclear lies. That's an abuse of a free press. Henderson's lies help perpetuate a global genocide -- a mass-murder of children and other living things. To compare this senseless and premeditated murder to highway carnage rates and other completely irrelevant issues boggles the mind. "Senseless" because affordable clean energy solutions abound, "premeditated" because the top echelons of the U. S. Government have known, since Hiroshima and Nagaski, that so-called Low Level Radiation is much more dangerous than publicly admitted. (See Busby quote, below.) An article published in the North County Times today indicated that, just in the past 14 months, California has brought 4,100 megawatts of new electricity generation on-line -- more than enough to replace our four nuclear power plants with cleaner alternatives (EVERYTHING is cleaner than nuclear in the long run). Even more generating capacity will come online in the next two years. Surely, in the process of increasing the percentage of in-state electricity generation, we could squeeze out California's four old nuclear power plants, BEFORE an accident occurs! Or MUST we wait until after?
On CSPAN yesterday morning, a replay of a Congressional Hearing from last week included a mention that NOT ONE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT in America has ever been tested against cyber attack. To the extent that nuclear plants are computerized, they all use standard industrial components which are individually vulnerable to hack attacks -- the same components used in hydroelectric dams, chemical plants, etc.. There is no way to tell, when an attack commences and for some time thereafter, if you are being attacked by a sophisticated hacker with standard hacking tools, or by an unskilled hacker with sophisticated tools, or worse, by a sophisticated hacker with sophisticated, home-built tools, nor can you tell whether you are being attacked by a determined foe trying to undermine your system, or just some high school punk trying to impress his friends. These were industry experts speaking, and with my 22 years of computer experience, including embedded systems programming, machine language programming, Digital-to-Analog and Analog-to-Digital programming, and Internet programming, I concur completely. But Mr. Henderson will surely dismiss my claims, saying that the plants are hacker-proof and I am uninformed.
Regarding the magnitude of a potential nuclear catastrophe, the figure of hundreds of thousands of deaths possible from a meltdown is an easily documented number, taken from obscure government sources, for example, CRAC-2. "Millions" could pretty easily be proven, too. One could start by taking the CRAC-2 values and adjusting for population growth and enhanced traffic problems that growth has created since the report was written, decades ago. In addition, CRAC-2 itself was a gross minimalization of the true dangers. By properly accounting for the miscalculations in CRAC-2, estimates of deaths from a meltdown rise higher still. Breck Henderson is lying (as usual) when he denies that hundreds of thousands could die from a meltdown, and that's especially true of a San Onofre accident, due to the dense surrounding population -- about 25 million people live within the potential evacuation area around the plants, say, 50 to 100 miles. Such a widespread evacuation might be necessary -- it will depend on the winds and rains, the amount and type of radioactive materials released, the temperature they are at when released, how long the release goes on for (Months? Years?), and many other factors.
Henderson's mention of Three Mile Island is almost meaningless, since TMI wasn't a full-scale meltdown in any way -- it was a near-miss -- more like Davis-Besse than Chernobyl. Even so, the government and the nuclear industry unquestionably underestimate the death and disease that will ultimately result from TMI. For example, I've heard that a lot of the helicopter pilots and reporters who flew over the TMI plume are now dead from cancer. Henderson should be able to present an NRC followup report on those people, telling us what REALLY happened to them. But of course, he can't, because the NRC doesn't want to know, and they don't want US to know, either.
Also, Henderson is ignoring the spent fuel pools. (Likewise, CRAC-2's values are for reactor accidents only.) Only a few sites around the country have more waste in their spent fuel pools than San Onofre. It's a prime target for terrorists, and planes could accidentally fall out of the sky onto it at any time.
Just once, let the pro-nukers try to prove to the American public that the plants are SAFE! They can't do it, so instead they try to avoid a fair debate, for example, by marginalizing people like me. They spend a lot of time and effort denouncing the efforts of activists, but a lot of lives depend on the Nuclear Mafia being right ALL THE TIME. If they're wrong -- even once -- many people will die.
Because it is they -- not me -- who are threatening the lives of millions, it is morally up to them -- not me -- to prove to society (THAT's me, among other people) that their plants are safe -- it should not be up to the citizens to have to prove otherwise (although I have done so, and so have many others, to no avail).
Henderson and the rest of the Nuclear Mafia never wonder if their assumptions about Low Level Radiation might be wrong. Instead, they have taken Official Government Lies which were first told in the 1940s and 50s, and tried to let time and repetition turn those lies into ESTABLISHED TRUTHS.
Here is a quote from WINGS OF DEATH by Chris Busby, a book published in 1995, and one of the newest additions to my personal nuke book collection (pages 106-107, Green Audit Books, Green Audit (Wales), Ltd.):
"In late 1945 the US Army stated that all deaths due to radiation effects from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs had already occurred. They maintained this absurdity for five years (Bertell, 1986: 137) and no official investigation of the survivors' heath was made, despite press stories of large increases in cancer in the exposed population. In 1950, five years after the explosions and after countless deaths from exposure had already occurred, the US Government set up the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) and gave it the job of studying the survivors who had been irradiated.
"The United States government has kept control of the project ever since..."
This description concurs with numerous other sources.
The idea, which has often been expressed by pro-nukers, that there were only 32 indisputable deaths from Chernobyl -- the immediate ones, all others being pure guesswork (or as you call it, "subjective"), is one of the results of the LLR lie becoming an "established truth". 100,000 deaths is probably a much more accurate estimate. 32,000 deaths would be 3 orders of magnitude -- 1000 times the NRC estimate of all but the "subjective" deaths. How "subjective" do these "experts" need to be, for gosh sakes?!?! The NRC should know enough about radiation's dangers to know the death toll is way more than 32, and it's their duty to tell the American citizens -- and thus, tell the Russian citizens, who are also being lied to, by THEIR government -- how many it might really be. Aren't we the side of truth and justice, and open government? Now that the Cold War is (supposedly) over, do we actually love the Russian people, or do we just love the Russian government? The difference between 32 and the truth is a direct measure of how big a lie the NRC is willing to tell. My understanding is that hundreds have already died among the helicopter pilots alone.
Henderson cannot state the likelihood of an asteroid destroying San Onofre, or how many people will die if it happened. Why doesn't he know?
Has the NRC applied the newest computer software to topological maps of the underwater canyons off our shores, to see if any earthquake-caused slides of underwater mountains could cause tsunamis that would crush San Onofre? No, of course they haven't. Why not? Because they don't want to find out the truth!
Attempting to present an accurate current estimate of the potential amount of suffering, death, lost prime real estate, and other costs from a permanent evacuation around San Onofre would be a sobering exercise -- one which the NRC refuses to engage in, not because such an undertaking would be expensive and complicated, but because -- if properly done -- it would show indisputably that, indeed, "millions" could die.
The last thing the NRC and the rest of the Nuclear Mafia want is a fair debate. That's why Henderson makes the extremely lame claim in your article that he's seen all my arguments before. Sure, they've seen a lot of them before! That's because the nuclear industry was warned decades ago about the dangers from air strikes, for example! They didn't pay attention then, but they should have. Up until a few weeks after 9-11, when the lie simply couldn't sustain itself, they lied about the risks from airplane strikes with little fear of being discredited by the media, who could have known better (the Nuclear Mafia have had to refine their lies about airplane strikes somewhat, post 9-11). To now say they've seen it all before is incredibly disingenuous to the general public, who will suffer (by the millions) if there is a meltdown at San Onofre.
Henderson dismisses my claims about the ease with which a terrorist could strike. But, despite your "weapons perhaps best not revealed" line about my "25 simple ways" article, the only reason to write such an article is to prove indisputably that it would be easy to do. Whether or not someone will be fool enough to do it, sooner or later, is the only question left -- but that's been answered too, by a lone nut who used to work at San Onofre in January, 2002, and by 19 hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001. Or how close a call do you want?
San Onofre is a catastrophic-accident-waiting-to-happen, and when it happens, Breck Henderson will probably be thousands of miles away. But you and I, along with millions of local citizens, will be right here.
Obviously, in my line of activism, being able to say "I told you so!" later will be useless.
If an accident does occur at San Onofre, then while I and every other sane person will be fleeing the area (or at least waiting in traffic, trying to flee), it will be YOUR DUTY, as the #1 reporter on San Onofre, and having written more favorable articles about the facility than anyone else in the past decade, to go TOWARDS the plant and report from it for the rest of us. Not until everyone else has been evacuated, including every plant worker, every emergency worker, and every other reporter, will it be your turn to leave (don't forget to turn out the lights).
Then, whether it's 32, or 32,000, or 320,000 or more -- or even 33 -- will finally matter a great deal to you.
Do you keep KI in your glovebox, "just in case"? I assume you don't, because you're personally sure you'll never need it (this view having been reflected in your writing on a regular basis). If you do keep it on hand (or if you take kelp as a day-to-day precaution), I think you owe it to the public to tell us that you hedge your own bets.
Well, best wishes, and I hope neither of us ever needs KI (especially, of course, because it's only partially effective), and again, my thanks for what appears to be to have been a fair and balanced article about me. Regarding your letting the NRC's Breck Henderson try to lie his way out of a moral pickle, I hope this letter has enlightened you somewhat to his/their trickery and treachery. They wouldn't be a Mafia if they didn't know how to lie with a straight face.
One last thing, Phil. In the future, could you please refer to people like me as "pro-DNA" instead of "anti-nuclear"? Thanks in advance.
Russell D. Hoffman