Recent quotes on the vulnerability of nuclear power plants to airplane attacks.


To: graydavis@governor.ca.gov,   "Barbara Boxer, Senator (CA, D)" <senator@boxer.senate.gov>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
Subject: Recent quotes on the vulnerability of nuclear power plants to airplane attacks.
Cc: president@whitehouse.gov,  "Russell Wise, NRC" <rxw@nrc.gov>,  "Elmo Collins" <eec@nrc.gov>,   "Pat Gwynn" <tpg@nrc.gov>,  "Clanon, Paul" <pac@cpuc.ca.gov>,   "Ajello, Julian E." <JEA@cpuc.ca.gov>,   "Wong, Zee Z." <czw@cpuc.ca.gov>,   "Clark, Richard W." <rwc@cpuc.ca.gov>,   "NRC" <the.secretary@hq.doe.gov>,"Barbara Byron" <BByron@energy.state.ca.us>, Bob Aldrich <boba@energy.ca.gov>, "Steve Woods" <swoods1@dhs.ca.gov>, "Bob Kahn, Op-ED editor, NC TImes" <bkahn@nctimes.com>

To: Governor Gray Davis (California)
From: Russell D. Hoffman, Concerned Citizen
Subject: Recent quotes on the vulnerability of nuclear power plants to airplane attacks.
Date: September 21st, 2001

Dear Governor Davis:

At the end of this letter, I have collected some recent quotes from specialists regarding the vulnerabilities of nuclear power plants to airplane attacks.

Even a private plane, especially one loaded with, for example, a fertilizer-type bomb like what Timothy McVeigh used in Oklahoma City, could destroy our nuclear power plants.  A hijacked gasoline truck-bomb could destroy them as well.  Insider-caused damage is another significant risk.  And the plants are old and falling apart anyway, as witness the litany of accidents at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station this year alone, including fires (2), explosions (2), a dropped load (80,000 lbs), a hydrazine spill (20 gallons), and more.

The nuclear plants are not safe.  The companies that run them lie to the public and to you.  Furthermore, society's net gain from keeping the plants running is negative:  The cost of security negates any profit there might have been -- and there is STILL (after 50 years and 50 billion dollars in research efforts) no solution to the problem of what to do with the nuclear waste which is being generated.  Please reduce our risk by shutting these plants down now and building a renewable energy infrastructure in California.

I think nearly everyone now knows that we should have built renewable energy solutions in the first place.  But just because your predecessors made the wrong decision is no reason you have to follow in their folly.  I implore you to lead the nation by reducing California's vulnerability not only to terrorism, but to natural disasters and human error as well.

Sincerely,

Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
P.O. Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018

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

"I'm not sure, you know, that that's something that was considered 20 years ago."

This was heard just now on CSPAN - 1.  The speaker was Thomas Kuhn, President, Edison Electric Institute.  His statement was made regarding airplane strikes such as what we saw last week, but at nuclear power plants.  Contrast this frank and terrifying statement with Ray Golden's statement from last week (published in the North County Times).  Ray Golden is the PR person for San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in Southern California.:

>>>>> From: http://www.nctimes.com/news/2001/20010912/62314.html >>>>>

The plant's concrete and steel domes that contain its reactors and primary
pressurized systems are designed to withstand plane crashes such as the
ones that occurred in New York, Golden said.

"We are confident that if a plane crashed into it ... that (the plane)
would just break into pieces and not penetrate the structure," he said.

<<<<< END OF CLIP FROM NC TIMES ARTICLE <<<<<

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

Here's Jack Shannon's comments on the same subject, sent to me yesterday:

>>>>> LETTER TO RDH FROM JACK SHANNON: >>>>>

To: rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com

Russ:
...... ....... and I were discussing the possibility of a letter written by the
three of us, with some technical detail pointing out how vulnerable these
plants are. With the widest possible distribution of course. I am personally
fed up with the lies coming from the DOE/NRC. I think the people have a right
to know that a terrorist could turn a Nuclear Power plant into a bomb that
would render living conditions in certain parts of the Country unlivable.
What to you think?
Jack

 <<<<< END OF LETTER FROM JACK SHANNON TO RDH <<<<<

John "Jack" P. Shannon is a retired U. S. Marine Corps Major, a Former Nuclear Physicist/Nuclear Engineer, a Former Supervising Nuclear Physicist/Engineer and Former Manager of Nuclear Safety, Industrial Safety/Industrial Hygiene at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.  He is the designer of the DxG U.S. Navy nuclear reactor, the most common reactor on the planet.  Here's the URL of his web site:

http://www.mindspring.com/~kapl/index.html

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

"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 and comes from a spokesperson for the International Atomic Energy Commission, speaking in Vienna, Austria after the terrorist attack. Here's the URL of the AP/NYT article (free registration required):

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/national/AP-Attacks-Nuclear.html?searchpv=apon

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

The following quote was seen in this article:

Dean calls for NRC to review VY defense -- MONTPELIER

By MEGGAN CLARK, Reformer Staff (Vermont), September, 2001

"Now that regulators say nuclear power plants weren't designed to withstand an impact from a commercial airliner full of fuel, [VT Governor] Dean has refocused on past security concerns at the Vernon reactor."

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

SHUT SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR (WASTE) GENERATING STATION DOWN NOW!

THE LOCAL (SOCAL) PRESS AND THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY LIE TO YOU!

Californians:  Contact Governor Davis today!  Tell him to SHUT DOWN THE NUCLEAR REACTORS AND SWITCH TO RENEWABLE ENERGY TODAY!  IT CAN BE DONE!  DON'T BELIEVE IT CAN'T!

Governor Gray Davis
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-2841
Fax: 916-445-4633
governor@governor.ca.gov

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

Four reasons military protection of nuclear power plants is not the answer:

1) It might not work, and if it doesn't, the devastation would last for millennia and the death toll could be three or more orders of magnitude worse than what we saw at the World Trade Center.  That means millions dead instead of thousands.  The suffering of those who do not die rapidly but are slowly poisoned by the radiation would be unspeakably horrific.  If you have nuclear power plants, your enemy doesn't need a nuclear bomb.

2) Using highly trained troops for nuclear power plant security takes those troops away from other defensive positions where the country could use them.  There are over 1000 nuclear hotspots in this country, including nuclear power plants (103), research reactors (~40), training reactors (several), closed reactors (~50), and waste dumps (lots and lots).  Hanford alone is about the size of a small state, and just has a fence around it -- very difficult to protect.  All nuclear sites are vulnerable to one degree or another, most of them are extremely vulnerable.

3) Having so much weaponry so close to the reactors is unsafe prima facie.  "Friendly fire" is an extremely serious risk in any firefight.  Also, there is no guarantee that those manning the guns will do what is expected of them.  Timothy McViegh was a U.S. soldier before he became a terrorist.  So was the lunatic who stole a tank in San Diego a few years ago.

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 nuclear power plants from this day forward.  Thus, they are not and never will be economical to run (they never were before).  And if they aren't even economical, why in the world should we continue to risk the dangers they pose?

CLOSE THE NUKES NOW!  LET'S SWITCH TO RENEWABLE ENERGY TODAY!

The risks are significantly reduced as soon as the control rods are inserted and the dangers continue to diminish every day thereafter.  Every day these plants remain open, more nuclear waste piles up which is a security risk and an environmental hazard, as well as being hopelessly expensive to deal with.

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

This web page has been presented on the World Wide Web by:

The Animated Software Company

http://www.animatedsoftware.com
Mail to: rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com
First posted September 22nd, 2001.

Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman