URGENT RESPONSE TO CALIFORNIA STATE EMPLOYEE BOB ALDRICH
To: Bob Aldrich <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, "Barbara Boxer, Senator (CA, D)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <email@example.com>
Subject: California law is clear on this issue, Mr. Aldrich -- and your duty follows our law
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, "Russell Wise, NRC" <email@example.com>, "Elmo Collins" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Pat Gwynn" <email@example.com>, "Clanon, Paul" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Ajello, Julian E." <JEA@cpuc.ca.gov>, "Wong, Zee Z." <email@example.com>, "Clark, Richard W." <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "NRC" <email@example.com>
URGENT RESPONSE TO CALIFORNIA STATE EMPLOYEE BOB ALDRICH
September 17th, 2001
Regarding your comments (shown below), what if I told you that you are wrong about the State's jurisdictional duties? Would it sway you? Because you are wrong and it's your duty to understand why you are wrong.
You are wrong because the laws, statutes, resolutions, acts, etc. which ceded any jurisdiction concerning nuclear facilities to the federal government stated that authority would be TAKEN BACK if the public was being put in danger. I discuss this in documents I've posted online, but you could also read the statutes yourself and see that I'm right. I would be happy to come up to Sacramento and testify under oath and show you the documents the State itself has created to this effect.
So don't tell me the State has no "direct jurisdiction over nuclear power plants". California most certainly never ceded ultimate authority if safety is threatened.
The statutes with which California ceded jurisdictional authority to the Atomic Energy Commission (the Federal Government) did not specifically spell out the conditions by which authority would be taken back. They merely said that authority would be taken back if the safety of the public was threatened.
They do not say ANYTHING about the idea that if the Nuclear Regulatory lies to you and to the public, about the robustness of these plants to survive every conceivable attack, that California will lap up the NRC lies and ignore the truth, which is PLAIN AND OBVIOUS.
That brings us to your next inaccurate concept. That the nuclear power plants are engineered to withstand the sort of collisions we saw occur last week in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania. THEY ARE NOT. I am sending to you in the next several emails, various conversations which I have had with engineers, nuclear physicists, and others, who are people who certainly are aware of the facts, who can testify that there is no way these plants are as safe as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has claimed in the past. NO WAY. Besides, the point is moot -- a single plant could be hit by multiple jumbo jets and/or missiles. That is obvious now. Are you going to claim otherwise? The NRC NEVER, EVER calculated the consequences of a plant being hit by multiple jumbo jets in a four-way coordinated attack, but obviously, if that's what it would take, the terrorists are capable of carrying it out.
But it wouldn't take anything that complicated. The nuclear power plants are vulnerable. I know it. Millions of people like me know it. The terrorists no doubt know it too. The official government facade you exhibit does no one any good and prevents us from taking action to reduce our vulnerability.
Turning the nuclear power plants OFF cuts the vulnerability substantially, and the safety factor increases as time goes by. It's as simple as that.
Did you actually see, live on T.V., the World Trade Center's collapse? A few minutes before the second tower collapsed it became clear to this author that the building was about to fall. This was obvious from the evidence just presented by the other building. The flames were growing. Rows and rows of floors were virtually fully involved. It was obviously so hot that the steel had to be melting, so it didn't matter what structural damage the impact had caused. It was as simple as that.
What is your experience with nuclear power plants? What is your engineering background? The NRC can claim "security" all it wants, but it doesn't take access to a floorplan to realize there is NO WAY these plants can survive what we saw happen on Tuesday.
The nuclear industry itself now admits what many people already knew -- nuclear power plants could not survive a direct hit by a fuel-laden jetliner. That was the point of the NYT/AP article which I quoted and included in my letter. Did you read the full article?
As to tsunamis, the tsunami wall at San Onofre Nuclear (Waste) Generating Station is 35 feet tall. I have already found and published at my web site (you can go there now and read these documents) numerous references which show that tsunamis of 100 to 200 feet are not unusual. So 35 feet is not nearly tall enough.
14.6% of California's power is supplied by nuclear power, you say. That's well below the national average, and that is good. But I find it despicable to hear you say that we cannot eliminate 14.6% of our energy usage in the case of a national emergency. In fact, Californians were offered a 20% rebate if they cut summer electricity usage (our peak usage time) by 20% (a greater amount than the 14.6% you say is supplied here by nuclear) in response to the so-called "energy crisis" of the past year. Why offer a credit to consumers for saving energy, if you don't think they can do it? And that was before the terrorist attack. People will be willing to sacrifice, to change the direction of major industries, and to do whatever is needed to make America safe and strong.
According to news reports, the United States Gross National Product -- one might say the total value of our country -- dropped by $500 billion dollars today ($500,000,000,000.00). The NYSE stock market lost about 8% of its value and had the biggest one-day point loss in its history. Nasdaq lost about 10%. Did America drop to its knees? Of course not. We are still a nation of industrious, hard workers. Roughly 50,000 job cuts for airline workers have already been announced because of these attacks. Probably a lot more workers, in many industries, will loose their jobs as well. Congress authorized $40 billion dollars in immediate aid.
These sorts of numbers show that we could find the money to convert to renewable energy if we simply thought it was important enough. It's time to start thinking that way. To get that extra 1000 megawatts of capacity, how much money did the state promise to spend on renewables? Because that's enough energy to close one of California's nukes. So just four times that amount would allow us to close all four of them, AND it could go a long way towards rebuilding our shattered aviation industry, if the people who previously worked in aviation are immediately employed in the development of renewable energy resources.
How long do you think it would take to build renewable energy solutions to replace the 14.6% of California's electricity which is currently supplied by nuclear? Three months? A year? How much would it cost? $10 billion dollars? $100 billion dollars? Where would that money go, other than into the economy and as an investment in our future?
I am scared. I have spoken to many, many experts and it is because of those hundreds of interviews and conversations that I am scared. America has got to be realistic and honest with itself about our problems. This letter will be followed by about half a dozen related items to back up the points I am making here. I look forward to your responsible and patriotic response which adheres to the principles this country was founded on. I am a Californian, an America citizen, and I still have rights.
It is my right to demand honest answers from government. I'm demanding those answers of you and so far you have not supplied them. Mr. Aldrich, you say YOU can assure me of the safety of California's nuclear power plants, but you cannot do so. Indeed, I believe your answer is criminally ignorant. What you have written is political trash and we don't have time for that.
Please pass this correspondence up the line to your manager or somebody in a position of authority who DOES have real answers -- not hollow assurances.
And if there are no real answers, then the prudent and responsible position follows my suggestion:
CLOSE THE NUKES DOWN IMMEDIATELY!
At 07:09 PM 9/17/01 , Bob Aldrich <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Thank you for your e-mail. The state has no direct jurisdiction over nuclear power plants. That falls the the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. I understand, however, that the plants in California (Diablo canyon and San Onofre) are engineered to withstand a direct impact of a crashed plane or even a tsunami. The NRC has directed that ".. all nuclear power plants, non-power reactors, nuclear fuel facilities and gaseous diffusion plants go to the highest level of security. Details of the heightened security are classified."
Shutting down our two nuclear plants, would cripple the state's electricity system and cause even worse rolling blackouts that we've experienced. The 14.6% of total state power would have to come from somewhere. We do not currently have enough excess or reserve electricity from other sources to simply shut them down.
As to renewable energy, the state has long supported renewable energy. Counting large hydro, more than 23% of our power comes from renewables, alomst twice as much as nuclear. In the last three years, the Energy Commission has approved funding to put 1,000 megwatts of new renewable power on line....about the amount produced by a nuclear unit. And the state is committed to adding much more over the next ten years.
Thanks for writing.....you make some very reasoned, concerned observations. I can assure you that the state and the operators or all energy systems are doing what they can to protect the public health and safety.
Re: URGENT REQUEST TO SHUT DOWN CALIFORNIA'S NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS -- September 17th, 2001
Dear Governor Davis:
"If you postulate the risk of a jumbo jet full of fuel, it is clear that their design was not conceived to withstand such an impact." This quote refers to Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs) and comes from a spokesperson for the International Atomic Energy Commission, speaking in Vienna, Austria this week (see AP/NYT article shown below).
Governor Davis: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, and our own Public Utilities Commission will not act to protect us. You must step in and do so.
There is only one sure way to reduce the risk at NPPs: Shut them down and move the nuclear waste to undisclosed locations underground. (I am not advocating Yucca Mountain as a solution to our nuclear waste problems, but I am advocating facing the reality about the immediate dangers.)
Protecting NPPs with weaponry fails on at least four counts:
1) It might not work, and if it doesn't, the devastation would last for millennia and the death toll and suffering would be unspeakable.
2) Using trained troops for this purpose takes those troops away from other defensive positions where the country could use them desperately.
3) Having so much weaponry so close to the reactors is unsafe as well. "Friendly fire" is an extremely serious risk in any firefight.
4) It's extremely expensive to protect the plants and the expense will not go away as time goes by. We will need to protect the NPPs from this day forward.
I understand that shutting NPPs down will not allow our security forces to abandon them right away. We can't simply move the radioactive waste away from the reactors immediately. Some of waste is still too "hot" (literally and radioactively) to be transported. But even in this time of emergency, we have to think long-term. We have to start cooling the reactors. We have to stop manufacturing High Level Nuclear Waste which just creates additional targets. Right now the radioactive waste is stored practically completely out in the open, vulnerable to even an accidental private plane crash or a few determined suicide bombers. We must SCRAM the reactors (insert the control rods). We must rethink our priorities. Time has run out.
I know that we don't know where to put the waste, and that's certainly a problem. BUT, a non-operational reactor is STILL vastly less likely to melt down in case of a terrorist attack, tsunami, earthquake, tornado, fire, flood, explosion, asteroid, bad welds, poorly trained operators, and the other 1,000 things that can go wrong.
Governor, we citizens CAN conserve enough electricity to compensate for shutting the NPPs down. Maybe not without some hardship, but surely we can do it, especially if it is an effort in which the entire nation participates.
Boeing does not need to build any more commercial airliners. We don't want them, we don't need them. Boeing should build wind turbines instead, starting immediately. We can get rid of these nuclear power plants and switch to renewable energy sources -- please help California to do so.
PLEASE SHUT THE NUKES DOWN NOW!!!!!
Concerned citizen / independent researcher
Note to readers: Please distribute this message to others -- especially Californians. Please contact our government officials over and over until they listen. If one state shuts the nukes down, perhaps they all will.
Attachments: 2 related articles posted on the DOEWatch forum
>>>>> AP ARTICLE PUBLISHED TODAY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES >>>>>
September 17, 2001
Security Tightens at Nuclear Plants
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Filed at 8:47 a.m. ET
VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Security is being tightened at the world's nuclear power plants, an international watchdog agency said Monday, but it conceded that little can be done to shield a nuclear facility from a direct hit by an airliner.
Most nuclear power plants were built during the 1960s and 1970s, and like the World Trade Center, they were designed to withstand only accidental impacts from the smaller aircraft widely used at the time, the International Atomic Energy Agency said as it opened its annual conference.
``If you postulate the risk of a jumbo jet full of fuel, it is clear that their design was not conceived to withstand such an impact,'' spokesman David Kyd said.
U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham was among delegates from 132 nations who opened the conference with calls to better safeguard nuclear plants and keep nuclear materials out of terrorists' hands.
Abraham brought a message from President Bush to the Vienna-based IAEA, urging the agency to keep pace with ``the real and growing threat of nuclear proliferation.''
The world ``must ensure that nuclear materials are never used as weapons of terror,'' Abraham said. ``We cannot assume that tomorrow's terrorist acts will mirror those we've just experienced.''
In the wake of last week's attacks in New York and Washington, governments have tightened security outside nuclear power and radioactive waste facilities worldwide.
But Japan, which is heavily dependent on nuclear energy and has 52 nuclear plants, warned Monday that although tighter security is needed, nothing can shield the plants from attacks by missiles or aircraft.
Conference delegates, who began Monday with a minute of silence and a song from the Vienna Boy's Choir in memory of the victims of the attacks on the United States, planned to meet behind closed doors Monday and Tuesday on ways to improve plant security.
In the West, nuclear power plants were designed more with ground vehicle attacks in mind, Kyd said. Although many were designed to withstand a glancing blow from a small commercial jetliner, a direct hit at high speed by a modern jumbo jet ``could create a Chernobyl situation,'' said a U.S. official who declined to be identified.
But the buildings that house nuclear reactors themselves are far smaller targets than the Pentagon posed, and it would be extremely difficult for a terrorist to mount a direct hit at an angle that could unleash a catastrophic chain of events, Kyd said.
If a nuclear power plant were hit by an airliner, the reactor would not explode, but such a strike could destroy the plant's cooling systems. That could cause the nuclear fuel rods to overheat and produce a steam explosion that could release lethal radioactivity into the atmosphere.
<<<<< END OF AP ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES <<<<<<
Comments by Russell Hoffman on the above article:
Kyd is still an apologist for the Nuclear Industry, despite his chilling and undoubtedly well-informed statements which I have quoted above. Smaller targets? Sure, they are smaller than the Pentagon. But let's be realistic. The buildings are in fact HUGE targets. They are often clustered in groups of two or three or more. And perhaps worst, numerous items in the surrounding areas are also capable of catastrophic releases of radioactivity!
SHUT THE NUKES DOWN NOW!
THIS WAS POSTED TO A NEWSGROUP I SUBSCRIBE TO: >>>>>
To: "NECNP" <email@example.com>
Cc: "NRC CONCERNS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
"Maine Enviro Policy Institute" <email@example.com>,
From: "Raymond Shadis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 17 Sep 2001 10:42:43 -0400
Reply-To: "Raymond Shadis" <email@example.com>
Subject: [DOEWatch] Purely Precautionary, No Threat, Prudent, Classified Recommendation
Just because you are brief doesn't mean you can't also be mealymouthed.....and here is an NRC Office of Public Affairs press release to prove it. Ray
September 11, 2001
NRC URGES INCREASED SECURITY
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, purely as a precaution, has recommended that all nuclear power plants, non-power reactors, nuclear fuel facilities and gaseous diffusion plants go to the highest level of security. Details of the heightened security are classified.
While there has been no credible general or specific threats to any of these facilities, the recommendation was considered prudent, given the acts of terrorism in New York City and, in Washington, D.C.
<<<<< END OF SECOND ATTACHMENT TO LETTER TO CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GRAY DAVIS <<<<<
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