To:,   "Barbara Boxer, Senator (CA, D)" <>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Cc:,  "Russell Wise, NRC" <>,  "Elmo Collins" <>,   "Pat Gwynn" <>,  "Clanon, Paul" <>,   "Ajello, Julian E." <>,   "Wong, Zee Z." <>,   "Clark, Richard W." <>,   "NRC" <>,"Barbara Byron" <>, Bob Aldrich <>, "Steve Woods" <>, "Bob Kahn, Op-ED editor, NC TImes" <>

September 22nd, 2001

Dear Governor Davis,

Shown below is a letter written today by Patricia Borchmann, who has spent years trying to make Southern California Edison accountable.  I have already sent you the "recent quotes" she refers to but would be happy to resend it if necessary.  Please consider what Ms Borchmann has added.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

Two items included:
1) Letter by Patricia Borchmann, Vista, CA, September 22nd, 2001
2) Four reasons military protection of nuclear power plants is not the answer


September 22nd, 2001
From: Patricia Borchman
To: Russell Hoffman, Friends, and all elected officials in positions of power, who are supposed to "protect the public":


The only thing I would add to this valuable collection of clear and cogent thoughts about the actual vulnerability of nuclear power plants is:

Ray Golden's (SCE's spokesperson) other bogus misstatement, was that "the spent fuel, emergency cooling system & emergency mechanisms, and the control room are all protected at SONGS".  I think that is just as big a source of danger and vulnerability as the containment domes, and their vulnerability, age, and integrity.  Possibly more so I think actually, because if there were an air attack or explosion of spent fuel (or future dry cask storage), there would be an uncontrolled, catastrophic release of radiation into the atmosphere (due to absence of any containment dome), hydrogen/oxygen explosions, zirconium fires, etc.

I noticed the LA Times article today (09-22-01) page A14, "Federal Regulators Reviewing Security at Nuclear Power Plants ....NRC concedes facilities could not withstand a jet crash, preparedness for ground attacks has also been questioned" .... this article was generally a great contribution to the real facts and the body of knowledge and public awareness (instead of the usual NRC/SCE fiction and PR propaganda on public safety.)

It appears that the very real threats of many kinds which critics have pointed out exist for the last 20 years, are just now being noticed, reevaluated, and taken seriously.  That is a good thing (even if way overdue).  I applaud all the effort, of critics, including citizens and many members of the scientific community, who have had their "sleeves rolled up" for countless years, who have only had these very legitimate public safety deficiencies given a myopic response and 'blow off', at best.  The typical sugar coated, gloss over treatment by the NRC, and Licensees who operate the plants, has never been good enough, and we know it.  It looks like finally the politicians in power positions, Congress, and now even the media now know it too.  That is a good thing.  We deserve better, and demand no less, for not only this, but our future generations.  What a legacy to leave to our future generations ... I am ashamed.  The best thing that can be done, is to BE AN ACTIVIST AND DEMAND THAT ALL NUCLEAR GENERATING STATIONS BE SHUT DOWN IMMEDIATELY, to reduce the extent of risk, to the bare minimum.  Even if all nuclear plants were shut down today or tomorrow, we're still left holding the bag against the unprotected risk, and the real danger from all the spent fuel piling up, being reracked by Licensees to increase the volume and density of spent fuel, and enabling them to maximize profit, operate at full power in unsafe conditions, at the expense of public safety.

It's about time our politicians and elected officials 'wake up', smell the coffee while you still can ... and DO THE RIGHT THING.  SHUT DOWN ALL U.S. NUCLEAR PLANTS IMMEDIATELY, SWITCH GEARS AND GET IN FORWARD GEAR EXCLUSIVELY FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion, and reading it.

Patricia Borchmann
Vista, CA 92083


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), weapons manufacturing facilities (dozens) and nuclear 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 McVeigh was a U.S. soldier before he became a terrorist in 1995.  So was the lunatic who stole a tank in San Diego in 1996, and drove it unobstructed for about 10 miles (he tried to jump the highway barrier and run over oncoming highway traffic, but got the tank stuck midway).  In 1997 an Air Force pilot on a training mission suddenly broke formation, dropped below radar, and flew his A-10 Warthog 800 miles (from Arizona to Colorado), where it ran out of fuel and crashed into the side of a mountain.  The Depleted Uranium bullets the Warthog "tank buster" aircraft normally carries could slice through a Dry Fuel Storage Cask like a knife through butter.  The plane was carrying four 500-pound bombs and magnesium flares (use d for decoys for heat-sinking missiles).  An attack on a nuclear power plant by a single A-10 Warthog would be devastating.

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?


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.

-- Russell D. Hoffman, Concerned Citizen, Carlsbad, California, USA, Planet Earth


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First posted September 22nd, 2001.

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