From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: A response to the North County Times' article about rdh publication (followup)

To Whom It May Concern,

Thanks to everyone who sent in comments (shown below) about my response to the North County Times' July 29th, 2002 article about my new web site.  I have posted both the article and the response online, and will post this online as well (URLs given below).

The press must report, both knowledgeably and honestly, on what is happening around us, ignoring that which is not important and condensing that which is into their chosen format (print, radio, TV, Internet, whatever).  Otherwise they are just writing fiction or propaganda.  We have names for those people, too, but it's not "the press".  The only reason society wants a free press is so that the truth can be told.  Anyone who lies to the press abuses it, and abuses those who rely on the press for information.

San Onofre has had numerous serious accidents and near-catastrophes in the past few years, and so have many other reactors in America's aging commercial nuclear "fleet" (military reactors probably have had numerous accidents and close calls too, but we don't hear about them at all).  Self-righteously wrong, the NRC ignores the terrifying trends.

It should not be necessary for activists to have to point out all the grotesque fallacies in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's assertions, because anyone who has looked into the matter can see that the NRC is a completely discredited agency.  See the item shown below for the latest example, in which NRC chairman Richard "Rich Rad" Meserve abandons even the pretence of balanced regulatory behavior, and will keynote a Nuclear Mafia meeting called "Nuclear Renaissance", to be held inappropriately (and brazenly) on the anniversary of 9-11.

Anyone who reports on the "nuke biz" should familiarize themselves with the problems, the concepts, the players, the arguments, the history, the repetitiousness of the pro-nuclear "solutions" (all of which, invariably, are just over the horizon, as soon as a few technical glitches are solved), etc., so that they cannot be hoodwinked.

"We don't have any scientists on the staff" was how one editor put it to me last year, when I complained that someone on their staff needs to understand the issues, so they don't blindly print inaccurate information supplied to them by official spokespeople, whose job it is to dupe the press.  Reporters should demand accurate answers concerning Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, and every other detail of the Nuclear Mafia's attack on humanity.  Reporters should refuse to deal with discredited official spokespersons.  They would do so in every other agency, but the Nuclear Mafia gets a free ride, in part because the issues are so complicated.

Every American is directly responsible for our personal "share" of the nuclear waste piles we've created, and for understanding the issues which cause us to continue to produce more nuclear waste.  Ignorance is no excuse on anyone's part.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Below are comments received here regarding my response to the NC Times article.  (Note that no comments were received from the article itself, except from neighbors and ex-neighbors, such as, "Coffee came out my nose when I saw your smiling face looking back at me in today's paper!")  One response came via telephone: Glenna Shields of the EPA called Wednesday morning (July 31st, 2002) and apparently wanted to explain to me (again) that shutting the nukes is NOT the EPA's responsibility, and that I should talk to the NRC.  I assured her I had contacted the NRC repeatedly, but they refuse to admit that the nuke plants are hopelessly vulnerable, or that renewable alternatives exist which could replace the electricity produced by the nukes (this fact is indisputable among sane people).  I tried to explain to Ms Shields that this is EPA's responsibility because eventually ALL nuclear waste piles will be Superfund sites, and EPA therefore should take possession of the waste NOW and STOP the senseless creation of more waste.  I also explained that the NRC had yet to produce any coherent response to my assertions, undoubtedly because they do not have one, and also, that the NRC's failure to close the plants proves that they are incapable of being swayed by reality.  She told me several times that complaining to her was like "complaining to the butcher about the baker".  I assured her that -- besides the fact that the waste was coming across the perimeter fence sooner or later anyway -- it SHOULD be EPA's responsibility, because after all, what other type of chemical plant, genetic laboratory, or other commercial facility that produces environmental poisons is outside their "bailiwick" as she called it?  If anything, radioactive materials should have MORE regulation, not LESS! Why does nuclear waste from nuclear power plants deserve to be treated so unusually, as to even have a special commission in the first place?  "Talk to Congress" she told me. But she should be aware that "Congress" cannot pass ANY LAW which allows a corporation to kill our citizens for no reason whatsoever -- the electricity produced being no reason whatsoever, because there are plenty of other, safer ways to produce electricity.  Since nukes are thus already illegal, we hardly need a separate federal agency to regulate them.  That leaves the EPA in charge by default, in order to save our environment, and to not take that responsibility is dereliction of duty -- especially by someone in EPA's "Radiation Protection" division (like Glenna Shields).  ANYONE has a right to shut the nuke plants down.  The nuclear power industry can and should be regulated by the local police force, who should shut down the plants immediately, because the Feds haven't done so, even though they should.

Note: I've scanned in and posted the original North County Times' article here:

I've posted my original response here:

This followup will be available here:


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At 11:53 PM 7/30/02 , wrote:


Without having read Phil Diehl's article, I'll nonetheless throw in my 3
cents' (that's 2 cents, adjusted for inflation) worth, as a journalist:

I disagree that the prominent play given to Breck Henderson's comments is an
abuse of a free press; judged solely from your remarks, it seems to show an
effort on Mr. Diehl's part to exercise the journalist's responsibility of
presenting as objective, accurate and thorough a picture as possible.

Considering the budget insufficiency that afflicts newsrooms across the
country, I doubt that Mr. Diehl has the time or the resources to gain the
breadth and depth of knowledge that you -- and Mr. Henderson -- have about
nuclear power and the plants that produce it.

Of course, it's well that you point up any fallacies that Mr. Henderson
presents and facts that he fails to present. At the same time, Mr. Diehl, as
a journalist, cannot be expected make any assumptions on his own; he cannot
take your or Mr. Henderson's word without seeing some corroborating evidence.

In a message dated 7/30/2002 11:19:36 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes [CLIP]:

<< To: Phil Diehl, North County Times
 From: Russell Hoffman, Concerned Citizen
 Hi Phil,
 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
 understandmy 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. >>


At 05:32 AM 7/31/02 , wrote:

       Congrats on a great article. It ran in my Vista edition, too, your smiling face on page 1 of the Local section. Relatively long and in-depth, it quoted you extensively.
       I think you expect too much of Phil. He did a good job. Cut him some slack.


Hi Dick,

Thanks for the info about where it ran, and for giving me your perspective on Phil Diehl.  I don't know how many of his many prior articles you've read over the years, but he can't balance out all his prior shilling for the nuclear industry in just one article, and the NC Times cannot yet claim to be fair and balanced (perhaps if they publish my response, they'll be a little closer to that ideal -- but I wouldn't hold my breath).

His article greatly exceeded my expectations, and I tried very hard to make it clear that I thought he presented me pretty fairly - that I was favorably impressed.  I didn't want to go overboard about what I surprise I found that to be.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

[Note: Dick Eiden is the organizer for the North County (CA) Forum, an activist organization in San Diego.]


At 05:34 AM 7/31/02 , "Bob Nichols" <> wrote:

Hi Russell,

Damn, that was a great letter. I envy you your seemingly never ending
strength against such stunning ignorance.

Russell, have you ever heard of a State AG or County DA threatening to
arrest all associated with a reactor core transport semi for "Reckless


-------Original Message-------

From: Russell D. Hoffman
Date: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 01:18:20
To: Phil Diehl
Cc: Breck Henderson
Subject: A response to the North County Times' article about rdh published
June 29th, 2002 (page B-1)...


Hi Bob,

Thanks for the compliment!

I've been finding that the state, county, and federal authorities have all washed their hands of the nuclear issues (or had their hands washed of those issues by others): "That's DOE's bailiwick!" they cry!  "That's NRC's regulatory authority, not ours!"

OSHA sent me a nice letter about it, and I suspect they did so because they actually don't like it at all, any more than I do. CAL-OSHA seemed equally perturbed.

I just spent about 45 minutes on the phone this morning with Glenna Shields of the EPA's Radiation Protection Division, and that's exactly what she called me to say -- that EPA RPD has no authority over the commercial nuke plants, so please go away.

"But once that radiation leaves the plant and crosses the perimeter fence you're supposed to protect me from it, but by then it will be too late!" I cried, but to no avail.  "The NRC and DOE won't protect us, and won't look at alternative energy solutions" carried no weight with her either, although she did admit that she sympathized with my frustration.  She suggested that I need to talk to Congress.

I keep getting deeper and deeper into this, and finding it to be stranger and stranger.  The regulatory "black hole" the nukes operate in is quite astounding.  The NRC has to not only perform the complex task of regulating everything that's unique at a nuke plant, they also have taken it upon themselves to replace EPA, OSHA, and numerous other agencies whom they've kept out of the plants.  It's Draconian, and it's very weird.

Thanks again!


Russell Hoffman


At 11:16 AM 7/31/02 , "Jim Bell" <> wrote:
Good stuff. Jim

----- Original Message -----
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
To: "Phil Diehl" <>
Cc: "Breck Henderson" <>
Sent: Tuesday, July 30, 2002 11:23 PM
Subject: A response to the North County Times' article about rdh published
June 29th, 2002 (page B-1)...

[Note: Jim Bell's web site is: ]

Below are collected comments about Chairman Meserve's upcoming promotional appearance:


To: Karin Westdyk <>
Cc: JSNW <>,, vfp <>,
        Phil Reynolds <>, norma <>,
        NJTOXICS <>,,,
        Mitchel Cohen <>,
        Mary Gibbs <>,
        Judith Johnsrud <>, Joy <>,
        Jay Gould <>, H Caldicott <>,
        "ERF [Rachel]" <>, Edith Gbur <>,
        ecovillager <>,,
Subject: [JerseyShoreNuclearWatch] Re: Fw: "Nuclear Renaissance"

Dear all,
If the NRC is in attendance and particularly with Meserve presenting, then we dont even have to crash the meeting. We are entitled under the Sunshine Act unfettered access.  Of course they might give "Homer Simpson" a hard time if he tried to go inside the meeting hall, but they couldnt stop him from giving a presentation outside.  Anytime the NRC and industry meet we as public are entitled access barring proprietary portions or meetings where "safeguarded information" is being presented.  I will be looking into Homer Simpson's registered participation in this fiasco.

Paul, NIRS


To: <>,
        "JSNW" <>,
        <>, "vfp" <>,
        "Phil Reynolds" <>, <>,
        "norma" <>, "NJTOXICS" <>,
        <>, <>,
        "Mitchel Cohen" <>,
        "Mary Gibbs" <>,
        "Judith Johnsrud" <>, "Joy" <>,
        "Jay Gould" <>, "H Caldicott" <>,
        "ERF [Rachel]" <>, "Edith Gbur" <>,
        "ecovillager" <>, <>
Subject: [DOEWatch] Re: [downwinders] Fw: "Nuclear Renaissance"

> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Karin Westdyk" <>

Good Lord, it just makes you sick, doesn't it? DOE is determined to find
companies to take on the MOX program and propagate more nuke energy.
Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely, still so true, from Wall Street to the
Coal Mines. I wish all those that have had to live, drink, and breath
nuclear waste could be at this conference, so conveniently held on the east
coast. The victims of these misguided and long lived pollution proponents
should all be represented with huge signs and demonstrations demanding a
change to CLEAN technologies, and to reject the MOX program. My prayers are
with those of you that can go (take your Radalerts!), and those that cannot.


Paula Elofson-Gardine
Environmental Information Network

Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 9:03 AM
Subject: [downwinders] Fw: "Nuclear Renaissance"

[At 08:03 AM 8/1/02 , "Karin Westdyk" <> wrote:]

Perhaps we should be there. As Nader said...."crashing the party".
----- Original Message -----

From: "Karl Grossman" <>
To: "Karin Westdyk" <>
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2002 10:06 AM
Subject: "Nuclear Renaissance"

Dear Karin --
         And amazingly, here is the chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission -- set up to be an impartial regulator of nuclear power -- as a
lead speaker at what's to be a major confab boosting a revival of nuclear
         The struggle very much continues.


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"It may not happen in my lifetime, but I am convinced that one day there will be trials of this entire Nuclear Mafia similar to the Nuremberg Trials, and it will include every animal-torturing pseudo-scientist, every nuclear weaponeer and warhead designer, not to mention the IAEA and the Death-of-the-Earth squad."

-- Pamela Blockey-O'Brien, Douglassville, Georgia, in comments to the Department of Transportation, July, 2002:

(RSPA-1999-6283-117 Comment(s) 07/30/2002 Pamela Blockey-O'Brien)