Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2005 18:59:27 -0700
To: "Andrew Barnsdale, SONGS/ CPUC" <sanonofre@aspeneg.com>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
Subject: Why we should shut San Onofre now; unpublished letters to NC Times, NY Times

SHUT SAN ONOFRE NOW! 20050425 (A) To: Andrew Barnsdale, SONGS/ CPUC
Aspen Environmental Group
235 Montgomery Street Ste 935
San Francisco, CA 94104

Mr. Barnsdale,

Included below is the first of two submissions which comprise comments about San Onofre and related nuclear issues. 

Please include these comments as a submission from a concerned citizen and make them available to the public and to the commissioners.  Thank you in advance.

Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
POB 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018

======================================================



From: Russell D. Hoffman, Concerned Citizen; Date: April 18th, 2005

(1) List of problems at San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station since 2001
(2) This letter was censored by the North County Times
(3) ...And this one was censored by the New York Times
(4) Contact information for the author of this newsletter

==========================================================
(1) List of problems at San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station since 2001
==========================================================

Below is a list I have compiled of problems that have occurred at San Onofre over the past few years, with some related data.  Despite anything some ivory-tower dreamer might claim, or anything some pro-nuker who has made a living off of other people's misery might say, nuclear power IS a crime against humanity -- nothing less.

The spent fuel at San Onofre is pushing -- or perhaps has already passed -- 4,000,000 pounds.  One gram of that would be enough for a dandy "dirty bomb".  Around the country, there are 80,000 tons of used reactors cores, with NO PLACE TO PUT THEM.  Yucca Mountain is a boondoggle, sharply opposed by people in Nevada and along the transportation routes.  This high level radioactive waste is EXTREMELY deadly, can catch fire spontaneously, and is kept OUTSIDE the containment domes at each reactor.  If there is an accident, act of nature, or terrorist attack, it will cost society trillions of dollars and tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of lives.

Every part of San Onofre is aging rapidly.  There is no reason to believe SCE's estimate that the steam generator upgrade will save $1 billion dollars for their customers.  I'm sure there are enormous accounting tricks to come up with any such figure and it is utter garbage.  They won't show us the figures, of course, just their summation.  In reality, SCE simply wants to keep the nuclear facility open at ANY cost, in the expectation that future generations of nuclear reactors will be more profitable for them -- in other words, to simply keep the SITE LICENSES GOING because Geo. Bush & Company has promised BILLIONS AND BILLIONS to restart America's nuclear program -- and SCE wants a BIG piece of that pie!

Every day we keep the facility open and refuse to switch to renewable energy solutions we are incurring an additional debt to society which future generations will curse us for.  Steam generator leaks send poisonous "primary coolant" at 2200 PSI into the secondary coolant loop which is at a much lower pressure.  From there, the radiation is released in dribs and drabs directly into the environment, as that coolant loop's chemical broth is changed over time.  So this isn't just a matter of money or politics -- nuclear power releases deadly radiation all day, every day.

Sincerely,

Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

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

From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
Subject: UPDATED: San Onofre Incidents, Accidents, and news, 2001-current (April, 2005) (version 4)

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

SCE is the second-largest investor-owned electric utility, and subsidiary of Edison International.

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

According to the IAEA, the "Annual Time On Line" for Unit 2 was:

2000: 89%
2001: 97.47%
2002: 86.96%
2003: 98.98%
2004: 82.68%

Since beginning operation in 1982, Unit 2 has had 7 years with below 70% ATOL (through 2004, and not including 1982), and 2 more years with identical 70.74% ATOLs.

The ATOL for Unit 3 during the same period was:

2000: 100%
2001: 59.02%
2002: 98.84%
2003: 88.37%
2004: 72.22%

Since beginning operation in 1983, Unit 3 has had 3 years below 60% ATOL (including 1984 and 1985, the first two years of what was supposed to be full operation), 4 below 70%, and 10 years below 80%.

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

February 3, 2001:

Just 12 hours after going back "into service" after repairs, Unit 3 was shut down because of "a fire in an electrical switching room".  A 20-year-old circuit breaker "failed to close, creating a 4000-volt arc and fire that cut power to coolant control systems, drowned emergency switching valves and shut down emergency oil pumps, destroying the [turbine] shaft. Currently, 150 identical breakers remain in service at the plant."

Here's the lead paragraph from an "early" SD U-T report.  At this point one assumes they hadn't yet realized the turbine shaft was bent, so their estimate of the repair time is wildly optimistic:

February 6, 2001:

"A small fire last weekend that triggered the shutdown of one of two reactors at the nuclear power plant in San Onofre will keep the reactor shut down for several weeks, a plant spokesman said."

This was no "small fire' and required professional help from the San Clemente Fire Department to put out (there was an argument about how to put it out, and the SCFD finally won).

There's a special name for a turbine shaft that runs off it's clamps and bearings and whatnot that's holding it, and gallops across the land, sort of like a steamroller gone mad.  That almost happened at San Onofre.  I believe one of the turbines would roll towards the control room area, and the other would head towards the puny little tsunami wall. but I'm not sure which turns which way.

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

May 30th. 2001:

Ray Golden, spokesperson for San Onofre Nuclear (Waste) Generating Station, accuses the opposition of being "completely misinformed and they don't understand the laws of physics".  That very day, San Onofre drops an 80,000 lb load (a crane) when a strap breaks.  This leads to a reported $5,000,000 expense in lift training, strap replacement, etc. etc.. The same month the crane incident is reported (June, 2001), the  EPA approves a power up-rate for San Onofre Units 2 and 3.

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

June 6, 2001:

Workers overfill a 300-gallon steel bin with hydrazine, a toxic chemical used to purify water in the plant's cooling systems, spilling about 20 gallons. (SD U-T)

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

June 26, 2001:

Flames and smoke shoot suddenly skyward, pieces of silvery material were fluttering through the air and drifting toward the freeway. Glass falls on the nearby railroad tracks and on the freeway.  When the fireball occurred, traffic began speeding up. "Everybody sort of saw it and thought, 'Oh my God, have we just been irradiated or what?' " (SD U-T)

In fact, the explosion was a transformer in the switchyard, which is also old and poorly maintained, just like the rest of the plant.  it was one of 54 similar "potential transformers" which "step down" the voltage to 115 for "sampling".  Electricity normally goes out the transmission lines which cross I-5 (and thus are targets for terrorists!) at 238,000 volts.

In 1994 the same thing happened.  "Plant workers discovered that corrosion caused by ocean air rusted the transformer's carbon-steel casing, allowing water to enter and contaminate the insulation oil."  After the 1994 incident, inspections led to 4 transformers being replaced, and 3 being repaired.

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

September 11th, 2001:

San Onofre and the nation's 102 other nuclear power plants are NOT shut down during the attack that day, despite planes on the loose being smashed into multiple buildings.

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


September 26th, 2001:

On the front page of the NC Times, Ray Golden, spokesperson for San Onofre Nuclear (Waste) Generating Station, says he, "had always been taught that we were designed specifically for large plane crashes...That was incorrect."  In another paper, he is reported to have said, "The plant was never designed for the impact from a commercial airplane."

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

September 26th, 2001:

Breck Henderson of the NRC is quoted saying activists aren't facing reality.  He claims the plants are safe against tsunamis, earthquakes, tornados and "other natural or man-made disasters". (NC Times)

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

Letter to NC Times following shutdown October 2001 "for repairs":

Date: October 13th, 2001

Subject: San Onofre nuclear reactor, Unit II, shut down for approx. 20 days for repairs; x-rays should be done for circular cracks in the reactor vessel

By: Russell D. Hoffman

To The Editor:

Yesterday it was reported that San Onofre Nuclear (Waste) Generating Station's Unit II reactor has been shut down for repairs lasting about three weeks. 

Last August, San Onofre's operators, Southern California Edison, refused to shut their two operational reactors down in order to do x-rays of their reactor vessels for circular cracks around the approximately 100 nozzles which enter each vessel, choosing to wait, instead, until the regular repair schedule dictated a shutdown.  Circular cracks have been identified as a potentially catastrophic, inherent design flaw in Pressurized Water Reactors.  The problem has been found in French and Japanese PWRs, and last spring, in PWRs in two out of three reactors on the Oconee (South Carolina) generating station.

San Onofre's reactors are about 20% larger than the Oconee reactors (more heat, more liquid, more vibration, etc.).

I have previously described the circular cracking problem in detail in several essays and letters to the editor which I posted online here:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/nct2001h.htm

Now that the reactor is shut anyway, is San Onofre doing the x-rays?  My guess is no, because I believe if they were, it would have been reported.

The decision not to shut the reactors down in August for an x-ray inspection was yet another flagrant violation of the spirit of safety which they claim to have at San Onofre.  To not shut them down following the September 11th attacks is even crazier.

But in any event, if they don't x-ray the welds on the Unit II reactor vessel while the reactor is shut down right now anyway, it's definitely nothing less than criminal negligence.

Sincerely,

Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA
 

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

October 24th, 2001:

"...mock attack teams staged four assaults on the plant, and three were repelled. During the final drill, the attackers were closing in on a target when the exercise was suddenly called off. It is far from certain that plant managers have taken the necessary steps to ensure that a real attack would be less successful." (SD U-T)

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

Christmas Day, 2001:

A Cessna 172 crashes into the ocean just south of San Onofre Nuclear
Generating Station.   First reported to have crashed 3 miles south of the reactor and 1/2 mile out to sea, in fact it was probably less than 1/4 mile way.

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

January 8th, 2002:

San Juan Capistrano (CA) police arrest a man who had threatened to shoot up the San Onofre Nuclear Power Station and his former coworkers etc. at the plant.

He had an arsenal of almost 300 weapons, including illegal assault rifles, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, an antitank rocket launcher, four live hand grenades, tear gas, survivalist material, etc. etc..

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

February 27, 2002:

Unit 3 goes offline after a backup connection trips.  One of the main electrical connections had been out of service for a week for "maintenance and repairs to key equipment" when the backup tripped.  To prevent an uncontrollable blackout in the San Diego area, power was cut to over 200,000 SDG&E customers.

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

June 21-27, 2002:

"Five families of San Onofre workers who have died of rare forms of cancer have sued SCE for failing to disclose radiation leaks at the plant."  About this time, the U.S. Government begins distributing Iodine (KI) pills within a pitiful 10-mile radius around the plant." (OC Weekly)

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

July 4, 2002:

Unit 2 is returned to service, concluding a 43-day "routine" shutdown for "refueling and maintenance."  Operators had intended to start several days earlier, but a malfunction of steam bypass valves automatically shut the reactor down shortly after operators had started it.  During the outage, workers repaired 170 tubes and plugged an additional 150 ­ "fewer than they expected".  Edison had hired 1,400 contract workers to supplement the 1,800 regular workers at the plant. (SD U-T)

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

September 27, 2002:

Its reported in World Net Daily that an airplane flying a standard route (known as "Victor 23") can fly DIRECTLY over San Onofre at about 17,000 feet.  Jets on "V23" could descend at well over 5,000 feet per minute in a "quick but normal descent" -- much faster if deliberately sent into a nosedive.  Every jet departing San Diego on V23 is, in fact, heading for San Onofre.

V25 also runs very close, about 15 miles offshore.  A jet traveling at 600 miles per hour covers 15 miles in less than two minutes.

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

February, 2003:

Plans to haul away Unit 1's 900-ton reactor pressure vessel ("as heavy as two fully loaded Boeing 747s", as one article put it) get so close that a 192-wheel tractor-trailer is expected to haul it away to a barge, which would then transport the reactor about 20,000 miles, including around Cape Horn, to Barnwell County, South Carolina.  Cape Horn, the most deadly passage on Earth, is referred to as "the tip of South America" in one AP report, rather than being named explicitly.  Rail shipment and the Panama Canal had both already been eliminated, the former because it would "disrupt regular shipping" and the latter because PC officials found it PC to "not accept" the cargo.  They apparently have a "150 ton limit on radioactive cargo," perhaps not understanding that it's Curie content that matters, not raw weight.  In this case, both (the utility says it's equal to one dental x-ray per hour if you are right next to it).  Travel the long way around the globe has still not been ruled out as yet another alternative, but leaving it sit on the beach seems to be the actual plan.

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

May, 2003:

Don May, the president of California Earth Corp, points out that there is a major fault line about two miles away from San Onofre that is "overdue for an earthquake."  Mark Massara of the Sierra Club's coastal program describes San Onofre as: "an unequivocal environmental and economic disaster with no redeeming features whatsoever."  It's reported in local media that several former employees of the plant who have developed cancer have sued plant owner Southern California Edison and its suppliers (such as Bechtel) for exposure to radiation.

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

September 26 - October 2nd, 2003:

San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station ranked THIRD among the U.S. facilities "most likely to suffer a meltdown" according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.  The risk is in part due to design defects in the sump pump system, according to the group.  There is potential for debris to clog the screen on the containment-vessel sump. Such a clog could prevent water from being pumped through the reactor core, causing the reactor’s fuel rods to overheat and melt down. On August 1st, 2003 the utility promised to have workers trained by November 30th, 2003 to clean the drains.  Scott Burnell, public affairs officer for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), describes the containment sump-pump issue "a credible one".
(OC Weekly)

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

December 31st, 2003:

SCE's favorable Incremental Cost Incentive Pricing (ICIP) structure ends (a "generation incentive mechanism").

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

January 29, 2004:

Reactor (Unit ?) leaks 144 gallons per day for "two or three days"; leak described as "tiny":

The leak was in a 2-inch-diameter steel pipe that was part of a system of pipes that "purifies and recycles" water. The "pinhole" leak was to have been repaired and the reactor brought on line that weekend, and fully operational by the next week.

The reactor spokesperson said the reactor was shut down at 8 p.m. Saturday, two or three days after operators first saw the leak.

Note that  3 days X 144 gallons per day = almost 500 gallons of liquid!  .That's no small leak!

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

March 31st, 2004:

NC Times: "Two failed water temperature sensors have forced operators to shut down San Onofre's Unit 2 reactor before it could reach full power after a 45-day refueling and maintenance outage, a plant spokesman said Wednesday."

Some facts about San Onofre from that article:

Each steam generator is 66 feet tall, 25 feet in diameter, weighs 750 tons and contains 9,350 metal tubes.

All day every day, 560-degree reactor coolant is pumped through the tubes under 2,250 pounds of pressure per square inch.

San Onofre's steam generators were designed to last 40 years. However, inspectors began detecting cracks in the thin coolant tubes only 10 years after units 2 and 3 came into service in 1983 and 1984.

Edison had to plug 1,899 of Unit 2's tubes and another 534 have been repaired by inserting protective metal sleeves. All told, 10 percent of Unit 2's steam generator tubes are out of service.

Unit 3 has a total of 1,227 ---- or 6.5 percent ---- of its tubes plugged.

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

April 3rd, 2004:

"Incident" at SONWGS Unit II (see below)

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

Monday, April 12, 2004

A short circuit at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation station Saturday shut down the plant's Unit 2 reactor just as it was about to reach full power after a "routine 45-day refueling outage" (NC Times).

Routine?  45 days?  Not either!

"Saturday's emergency shutdown was the second since Edison finished a biannual refueling process that was supposed to last only 45 days. The refueling outage was scheduled to last until Feb. 25, but operators detected two faulty coolant temperature sensors that forced a shutdown." (NC Times)

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

November. 19, 2004:

From an NC Times report Nov. 23, 2004: An aluminum plate called a "deionization plate" fell off due to unexpected amounts of vibration from the nearby turbine shaft (which rotates at 1,800 rpm), caused Unit II to shut down at 8:07 PM Friday (Nov. 19th, 2004).

Unit II was running "without incident" since April 4th, 2004.  Several of these aluminum plate had just been installed during the refueling outage.

Unit III was out of service at the time for refueling, so there was ZERO power being generated at the plant during the outage.

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

December 2, 2004:

At 2200 PSI, there is no such thing as a "tiny" crack:  But here's a typical report, anyway:

Unit 3 to remain shut down through mid-January after tiny cracks are discovered in two of its water heaters.

Unit 3 was off line since Sept. 26th, 2004 for a 55-day refueling when microscopic cracks were found in water heater sleeves attached to the pressurizers. The 30 heaters "regulate the nuclear reactor's coolant to ensure the water inside the reactor's coil does not boil."

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

December 26th, 2004:

Tsunami devastates Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Sumatra and other countries.  Waves more than 50 feet high are reported to crash into the shores.  300,000 people killed.  San Onofre claims their 30 foot (possibly 35 foot) sea wall is adequate to contain all possible tsunamis.  Tsunamis caused by underwater earth slides have reached 1,800 feet!

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

December 29th, 2004:

Tornado touches down 50 miles from San Onofre.  The plant is not properly protected against tornado strikes.  Numerous vital portions of the plant are vulnerable to this and asteroid strikes as well, not to mention terrorists with Rocket-Propelled Grenades (RPGs).

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

February 3rd, 2005:

Unit 2 shut itself off for another electrical problem -- this time a "digital fault recorder" tripped.  SCE could not decide if the $50,000 device was working properly or not, so they replaced it.  There are three such devices on site. (SD U-T)

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

February 7, 2005:

According to AP, "The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station could be forced to shut down as soon as 2009 unless regulators decide that energy customers should pay for $829 million in repairs."

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

February 16, 2005:

"For the third time in three months, a reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has shut down." (Unit 2)

This shutdown was initiated due to a "faulty water valve".  The valve was 18 inches in diameter and original equipment (1982).  It fed "non-radiated" water to various pumps for cooling.  There are many valves like it (and just as old) at SONWGS.  In July, 1997 another valve's failure to open properly during "startup testing" caused Unit 3 to remain shut down at least 5 days longer than originally planned.  The "identical valve" in Unit 2 was tested and determined to ALSO need "repairs".  My guess is that "repair" really means "replace".

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

March 10, 2005:

Environmentalists object to the proposed renewal of a state permit that allows Southern California Edison to use 2.4 billion gallons of seawater each day to cool the San Onofre nuclear power plant.  (SD U-T)

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

From an ex-SONWGS worker's email to me:

Another event that could have been prevented was reported to the NRC by LER
(I was the author) when a SONGS technician closed a breaker on an emergency
bus, causing a direct ground through the switch yard. The ground caused
the breaker supplying power to the emergency bus to open and resulted in a
loss of power to the shutdown cooling pumps. The emergency diesel
generators started but could not power the bus because the control power to
the inadvertently closed breaker had been removed. Therefore, [the] breaker
would not open (clearing the bus) during the emergency diesel
sequencing. The reactor, shut down for refueling, was without cooling for
a few minutes before the operators could align another pump. This event
occurred because the technician did not fully understand the operation of
the break he was sent to repair. Present at the time were the System
Engineer and the Operations Supervisor and several other "lookers." I
thought that it was significant that none of the people present realized
the consequences of the technician's plans. Nor did any of them halt the
work because they were not sure what would happen. Also, it was
unrecognized by those planning the work that the temporary ground in the
switch yard would prevent the emergency diesel generators from performing
their intended safety function.
-------------------------------------------------------

In another email to me, the same ex-San Onofre employee (who still believes in the dream of nuclear power, by the way), talking about a different LER (Licensee Event Report), stated:

"I believe the report contained statements that were designed to deliberately deceive the NRC.  Two days after I raised that concern with the NSC [Nuclear Safety Concerns] office, I was reassigned to other projects . . . The work environment became so hostile, I retired in August 2003."

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

UNIT 1 was a failure, too:

And let's not let them forget about how things went with Unit 1, which was a loosing proposition from DAY ONE and from which we now have enormous piles of deadly "spent fuel" radioactive reactor cores.  Here's an actual quote from a scholarly report available online:

REACTORS;SEMIMETALS;SHUTDOWNS;THERMAL REACTORS;VAPOR GENERATORS;WATER COOLED REACTORS;WATER MODERATED REACTORS
Description/
Abstract Few nuclear reactors have been shut down for periods on the order of several years - and then restarted. Those that have experienced this type of history are sources of a great deal of information concerning reactivity changes and in-core power redistributions due to nuclide decay. This paper discusses the core reactivity changes due to this nuclide decay and presents actual data illustrating the net effect of these changes on the critical boron concentration (CBC) rundown curve and the in-core power distribution at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station Unit 1 (SONGS-1).


###

=======================================================
(2) This letter was censored by the North County Times:
=======================================================

To: "Editor, NC Times" <opinion@nctimes.com>
Subject: 20% is not so hard to find...
Cc: "Gig Conaughton" <gconaughton@nctimes.com>, "Mary Rowe" <mrowe@nctimes.com>, "Phil Diehl" <pdiehl@nctimes.com>, "Erin Walsh" <ewalsh@nctimes.com>, "Paul Sisson" <psisson@nctimes.com>

April 8th, 2005

To The Editor,

Today's article ("Report Concerns Nuclear Activists") ended with an unattributed comment stating that it would be difficult to replace San Onofre's energy.  SCE claims "SONWGS" delivers 20% of our local electricity, but one has to factor in numerous prolonged outages.  And you should also factor in the costs of evacuations, meltdowns, subsequent permanent loss of real estate, and hundreds of thousands of deaths.  What's THAT going to cost?

Our state government believes we can cut our usage by 20% -- they have offered us rebates to do it.  So why can't we?

In one 14-month period recently, California added 4,000 megawatts of new generating capacity -- enough to replace all four nukes in the state.  Let's do that again, but this time, add renewable energy and CLOSE THE NUKES!

Once a nuclear power plant is shut down, the danger begins to subside.  Once the control rods are dropped for the last time, the chance of a meltdown becomes many orders of magnitude less.  Once the fuel has cooled for 5 years or more, the chance of a catastrophic spent fuel fire dramatically decreases.

It's still not safe, but it's safer.  Shutting the plants is the only logical thing to do.

Sincerely,

Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

=================================================
(3) ... And this one was censored by the New York Times:
=================================================

To: "Letters Editor" <letters@nytimes.com>
Subject: Another New York Times Op_Ed smacks of pronuclear bias...
Cc: "Nicholas D. Kristof'" <nicholas@nytimes.com>

To The Editor:

Nicholas D. Kristof's Op-Ed piece in your paper was absurd, and his conclusions are illogical.  It would have fit perfectly in a Nuclear Energy Institute publication, but not in the New York Times.  Real environmentalists should be given a chance to respond!

First of all, wind power, which Kristof scoffs at because the wind doesn't blow all the time (he calls it "one big problem"), works PERFECTLY when used in conjunction with other renewable energy resources, and is the cheapest energy source available today.  And what about nuclear power's frequent, sudden, and prolonged outages?  Why doesn't he consider THAT "one big problem"?  Not to mention the constant threat of industry-wide shutdowns due to as-yet undiscovered (or unadmitted) flaws.  Sudden shutdowns of dozens of one type of nuke or another have previously occurred in Japan, France, and elsewhere.

Similarly, his complaint about solar energy's lack of penetration is self-serving, not based on science or economics, but on historic corporate and federal neglect of a useful technology.

Kristof is sure we should rip out all the hydroelectric dams because they might be impacting some salmon runs.  Chernobyl affects the wildlife for hundreds -- nay, thousands --  of miles around.  Hanford, Washington poisons the Columbia River and way out to sea with its effluent from nuclear bomb and nuke power plant production work done there during the past 50 years.  The Yucca Mountain project has been found to be full of fraud, and after 50 years, it is still unworkable, decades away at the earliest, and Nevadans hate it.  The nation's spent fuel pools are dangerously overfilled and susceptible to an attack or an accident that would poison more fish in the first day than all the dams in history have ever killed.

There are far more clean energy choices, none of which are good enough for Kristof, but he doesn't go into detail about his complaints regarding ocean thermal energy conversion ("OTEC"), wave power (and all its many variations), tide power, biomass, geothermal, space-based mirrors, the benefits of an intercontinental electrical energy grid, or anything else.  He just plugs nukes as the solution to everything.

His entire discussion of the dangers of terrorism consists of telling us that "there are also risks from terrorist attacks" after mentioning the Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents, but without mentioning Davis-Besse's near-meltdown in 2002 (probably far closer to a catastrophe than TMI was, in reality), San Onofre's 100 million dollar fire in 2001, or any of the other numerous nearly-catastrophic failures at nuclear power plants throughout the world.  The truth is, we've been lucky.  Nuclear power's image could easily be a lot more soiled than it already is.

Green energy is possible and necessary. Nuclear power is neither green nor necessary and by choosing nukes we are giving our enemies a powerful weapon to use against us.

Sincerely,

Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

Below are some URLs this author has created which you can visit to learn more about nuclear power:

How does a nuclear power plant work? (Flash animation based on industry drawings):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/nukequiz/nukequiz_one/nuke_parts/reactor_parts.swf
or try:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/nukequiz/nukequiz_one/nuke_parts/reactor_parts.html

POISON FIRE USA:  An animated history of all major U.S. nuclear activities:
www.animatedsoftware.com/poifu/poifu.swf
or try:
www.animatedsoftware.com/poifu/poifu.html

ONE BAD DAY AT SAN ONOFRE: Southern California Edison memo, December 2004 about this author (sent to all employees of the plant):
http://animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/2005/sce_memo/sce_memo_2004.swf
or try:
http://animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/2005/sce_memo/sce_memo_2004.html

Internet Glossary of Nuclear Terminology / "The Demon Hot Atom":
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/hotwords/index.htm

List of every nuclear power plant in America, with history, activist orgs,
specs, etc.:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/nukelist.htm

List of ~300 books and videos about nuclear issues in my collection
(donations welcome!):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/mybooks.htm

SHUT SAN ONOFRE!:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/index.htm

Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/tenw/nuke_war.htm

For affiliation purposes only: The author of the above web sites and of this letter is also the author of ALL ABOUT PUMPS and co-author of STATISTICS EXPLAINED and THE HEART: THE ENGINE OF LIFE (educational software programs).  He is the owner and chief programmer for The Animated Software Company, Carlsbad, CA ( www.animatedsoftware.com ).  Contact information appears below.

=========================================================
(4) Contact information for Russell Hoffman:
=========================================================