Bob Aldrich's 1st email to Russell Hoffman, October 1st, 2001

To: "Bob Aldrich" <>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Your email to me today (October 1st, 2001)
Cc:,,   "Barbara Boxer, Senator (CA, D)" <>,,  "Russell Wise, NRC" <>,  "Elmo Collins" <>,   "Pat Gwynn" <>,  "Clanon, Paul" <>,   "Ajello, Julian E." <>,   "Wong, Zee Z." <>,   "Clark, Richard W." <>,   "NRC" <>,"Barbara Byron" <>, "Steve Woods" <>
October 1st, 2001

Mr. Aldrich,

Regarding your email to me (shown below), you most certainly ARE involved in these issues.  Let's look at the facts together:

Fact: You answered my letter from a few weeks ago as if you were a knowledgeable staff member of the California State Government's Energy Commission (I have posted that answer online). 

Fact: You described yourself as the "information officer" for the California Energy Commission for fully EIGHT YEARS before becoming the commission's webmaster.  As the Commission's webmaster, you have posted LIES AND UNTRUTHS. 

So, I demand that you post the opposition viewpoints to the DOGMA which your web site promotes.  And that you remove the pro-nuclear bias which can be found throughout the web site.

Fact:  My letters to you may have been forwarded by you to Barbara Byron and others, but aside from a few messages from Ms Byron telling me they had been forwarded, I haven't heard back from ANYONE at the State level.  I asked you several times to confirm WHO you had forwarded my letters to and that you had forwarded all of them. As yet you still have not done so.

All in all, these facts make you intimately involved in THIS PARTICULAR CASE and they also make it your responsibility to ensure that I get proper answers.  For one thing, because you provided me with IMPROPER ANSWERS to begin with.  You have to undo the damage you have thus far caused.

Below are "25 simple ways terrorists could blow up San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station".  Please let me know, for each one, what the State, and in particular the California Energy Commission, is doing to protect its citizens.


Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

>>>>> At 04:33 PM 10/1/01 , boba <> wrote: >>>>>

Mr. Hoffman.....please take and off your address lists.  I am not involved in these issues and do not wish to receive all the various e-mails that you send out en mass.  I had asked that you remove my e-mail addresses before and you have not yet done that.  Thank you....

Bob Aldrich



>>>>> The item below was sent to U.S. Citizens, and also to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Governor of the State of California: >>>>>


September 27th, 2001

Re: 25 simple ways terrorists could destroy San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and make SoCal uninhabitable for many millennia -- have a nice day!

Dear Citizens,

Included below are several items:

1) Comments by a friend on Nuclear Power Plants.  If you agree with its sentiments, please sign your own name to it and send it to your local paper or government officials.  This will be consistent with the wishes of the writer.
2) A letter by Hoffman to the North County Times yesterday regarding their front-page news article.  (The NC Times did not publish this letter.)
3) Followup commentary also sent to the NC Times (also unpublished).
4) 25 simple ways terrorists could destroy San Onofre Nuclear (Waste) Generating Station.

This list has been compiled and presented as a public service because until we admit these vulnerabilities exist, nuclear power plants (NPPs) won't be shut down and thus they remain at their highest state of immediate and overwhelming danger.  Once shut down, they are still dangerous and vulnerable to terrorism, but far less so.

Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA


>>>>> Comments by a friend regarding NPPs (permission has been granted to freely reprint and reuse): >>>>>

I don't think any rational person thinks a NPP can withstand the type of
attacks that took the WTC down. They simply were not designed for it. It was
interesting the convoluted path the NRC took till that was finally admitted.

If one is deluded to believe that an NPP could withstand a large intentional
plane crash then the question becomes, How about 2? 3? 4? Or put another
way; How many 767s diving out of the sky can a NPP survive? Since clearly
terrorists will potentially hijack enough to do the job.

After the 11th are there still people who doubt that these people will
choose those targets that do the maximum damage to our feelings of security
and cause the greatest financial and human impact?

They succeeded royally in their first attempt. Death toll around 7,000, a
trillion dollar financial blow and they have virtually wrecked a whole
segment of the economy by scaring the country off the airlines.

What would be a more appropriate target then our NPPs. If they attack and
destroy one, they will cause massive destruction and deaths then the others
will be ordered shut and even though alternatives could eventually be
brought online over the next several years, the immediate impact would be
harsh and expensive.

How many NPPs have been designed to withstand having thousands of gallons of
burning jet fuel spread throughout the facility? So basically I think an impact
will cause a potential breech of the containment facility and considerable
damage to supporting systems with the ensuing fire causing total failure of
the human and automated systems causing the plant to catastrophically fail.




September 26th, 2001

Editor, North County Times

To The Editor,

On the front page of today's 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."  If Mr. Golden "had always been taught that", then he should be able to document WHERE he learned it.  If he can't he's a liar. [Note to readers: In today's NC TImes (September 27th, 2001), Golden has mentioned a decades-old "test" where they rammed an old jet on a rocket sled into a concrete wall, as if that is in some way equivalent to a 767 crashing into, say, the spent fuel pool and/or the control room, or even various parts of the containment dome where there are holes for pipes, replacement parts, new and spent fuel, and people to go through. -- rdh ]

But that wouldn't be the first time.  Last August Golden stated that the pressure vessel inside the containment dome could not suffer a catastrophic failure if the circular cracks found in other similar PWRs (Pressurized Water Reactors) also occurred at SON(W)GS, because, he said, they have equipment to detect slow leaks.  But circular cracks don't necessarily have slow leaks before they have catastrophic failures.

Furthermore, the "light plane crash" Southern California Edison now says they had actually analyzed, undoubtedly wasn't full of incendiaries.  Now we know it would be.

Golden tells us that a commercial jetliner impact wasn't considered because SON(W)GS isn't under any flight path "for any large airport".  But anyone who has looked up in the sky around the plant knows large jets fly overhead regularly.

In June, Golden accused the opposition of being "completely misinformed and they don't understand the laws of physics".  That very day, San Onofre dropped an 80,000 lb load when a strap broke.  A properly lifted load would have used an I-beam to distribute the weight so that the loss of one strap wouldn't result in a dropped load.  So who doesn't understand the laws of physics?

This year, workers at SON(W)GS spilled about 20 gallons of extremely volatile hydrazine (aka rocket fuel).  Also, there was an explosion and fire in the switchyard, and another in the turbine room that put one entire unit out of commission for four months.

In order to properly protect the public, a 25-mile no-fly zone must be immediately declared around all nuclear facilities around the country.  There is no way to tell friend from foe until it is too late otherwise.  The sites need a much stronger perimeter fence, higher and with more barbed wire, and additional concrete barriers.  But most importantly, San Onofre must be shut down immediately and rendered impossible to restart.  This would prevent the worst possible scenario:  A takeover of the control room.

Nuclear energy has never been profitable, when all the costs are considered.  Now the costs have suddenly and permanently skyrocketed, along with an increased public awareness of the risks.  But these risks were there all along, and the NRC got a "bye" September 11th, 2001.  We might not be so lucky next time.

Forcing the plant employees to carry photo badges at all times is utterly insufficient window dressing.

Breck Henderson of the NRC is quoted saying activists aren't facing reality (NT Times, September 26th, 2001)!  The nerve!  He claims the plants are safe against tsunamis, earthquakes, tornados and "other natural or man-made disasters".  Sure, they can withstand small tsunamis and minor earthquakes, but to simply say the plants are "safe" against these threats is another big lie!  And no plant has ever actually been through a tornado, either.   Asteroids are not considered a credible threat because they don't happen often enough for the NRC to notice (nor did terrorism until September 11th, 2001).  The reality is that hundreds of tons of debris fall from the heavens onto Earth every year.  Some makes it all the way to ground at high speed.

Henderson says "we can prepare for enemy bombers flying over ... or tanks rolling up...if you have a military threat here in this country".  Well, we have a threat, and they are NOT prepared.

The last paragraph of the article contains the biggest lie of all -- that an accident "could kill hundreds of people initially...".  Try tens of thousands initially, and MILLIONS "over the years".  Your numbers are off by many orders of magnitude.

Nukes are extremely vulnerable, unlike renewable energy sources such as wind, wave, tide, solar, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass and other sources.  All the nukes should be closed down immediately.


Russell D. Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA




September 26th, 2001

To the Editor,

Lest we forget, the following paragraph appeared in the North County Times September 12th, 2001:

"Golden said the control room, spent-fuel facilities and all safety-related systems are protected by structures built to withstand any plane crash."

He was rebutting my quote which was in that same article.  But what I said was true.  Not just what you quoted but everything else I have ever written to you about San Onofre.  It's all ugly and scary and nasty to have to think about, but true.

Golden's September 12th statement was very, very strong and unequivocal.  The moral crime Golden committed by lying to the public about this vital safety issue was not righted by Mr. Golden now saying, in your paper today, "I had always been taught that we (sic) were designed specifically for large plane crashes... That was incorrect."   I wish to know where he got that "information" he had "always been taught"?

His additional comments in today's article, that Southern California Edison has analyzed the effects of a "light plane crash" ALSO contradicts his September 12th statements, because a "light plane" is not "any plane".

And lastly, when he says, "A commercial airplane crashing into (the concrete containment domes) was not considered a credible threat" that statement too, contradicts his claim that he had "always been taught..." -- and those two statements appear in the same article!

Ray Golden has lied to you again and again and again.  I hope you are starting to figure out who your friends REALLY are.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA



25 simple ways terrorists could destroy San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station and make SoCal uninhabitable for many millennia:


1) Hijack a commercial jetliner ala WTC/Pentagon/PA disasters.  If one isn't enough, hijack two.  If two isn't enough, hijack ten and be sure.

2) Rent, or even buy, a corporate jet so no pesky passengers can take back the cockpit like what happened in PA.  It would do plenty of damage, if not quite as much as a jumbo jet.  If one isn't enough, rent two...

3) A boat-bomb or depth-charge-carrying boat could be maneuvered over the outflow tubes from the plant, which are each over a mile long and are marked on navigation charts so that people don't drop their anchors on them.  Destroying them would destroy San Onofre's ability to cool itself.  (These tunnels may also be vulnerable to collapse when the waters recede just prior to the arrival of a tsunami (as they always do), an effect the NRC did not ever investigate despite professional advice that they should.)

4) Steal a tank (as a depressed ex-soldier did in San Diego a few years back) and ram it through the gate at San Onofre.

5) 50-caliber machine gun bullets would penetrate the coolant pumps, the pipes, the control-room, etc.  You can bicycle up to the plant with a machine gun in a kiddie trailer, or simply stop your truck on the highway (I-5) which runs past the plant, and blaze away.  You could get thousands of rounds in before anyone could stop you.  Sure, you might not start a sequence which results in a catastrophic meltdown if you just start shooting without knowing your target well.  But then again, the large front-page aerial photo of the plant which was published yesterday in the North County Times should give you more than enough information to aim at the most vulnerable sections.

6) Until just recently the NRC published the GPS locations of the plants to 6 decimal places.  (That web page has been taken down since September 11th, 2001.)  Terrorists could target a cruise-missile against the plant, or a ballistic missile, using these values.  A well-aimed ballistic missile wouldn't even need a warhead.  It's kinetic energy would be enough to destroy the plant.  And removing the locations from the web site is window-dressing at best, since the plants are kind of hard to hide in the real world.  Just ride by on your bike and get the necessary coordinates with your portable GPS.

7) Throw a short-circuiting-bomblet or grenade at the switchyard and other electrical areas of the plant.  This would render it useless and could cause a meltdown as well.  (A "short-circuiting-bomblet or grenade" is a small device that contains not shrapnel but long wires which criss-cross the target's electrical cables and short everything out.  NPPs need constant, reliable off-site power to run, or they must use their emergency backup diesel generators (which often don't start properly when they are tested, and can also be shorted out along with the rest of the station).  Yes, these bombs exist and we used them in Kosovo.)

8) Replace various pages of the control-room operating manuals with ones that contain misinformation so the operators do the wrong thing sooner or later.  (Requires one inside person; could be done years before the accident occurs.  It could already have been done at numerous NPPs and we just don't know it.)

9) Get an insider to do something.  Insiders have access to many vital areas of the plant.  There are thousands of workers at each plant.  Some are always disgruntled about one thing or another.  And some might accidentally say things at a party or somewhere, which others can use.

10)  Derail a high-speed train off its tracks, which go by only about 100 to 200 feet away from the plant.  With a little care and a bit of luck, the train could actually be driven towards the plant by weakening the rail on the plant side so the train falls towards that side.

11) Derail or blow up a chemical train on the tracks nearby.  Such an accident would probably kill everyone at the plant, which would probably lead to a meltdown.

12) Mortars can be lofted into the plant from miles away, including a nearby highway rest area, a state park, or from the Interstate itself.  One might call these a "drive-by war."

13) Crop-duster planes can be filled with gasoline instead of pesticides, then the pilot simply turns on the vents in the final second or two before impacting the plant.  The fireball would be tremendous.

14) Rent a piece of construction equipment such as a Caterpillar, and simply aim it for the control room and let it roll.  Even if they kill the driver they probably can't stop the vehicle.

15) Rent a truck and fill it with explosives (as Timothy McVeigh did in Oklahoma City).  There are not nearly enough perimeter controls to prevent this.  Although the gates appear to be guarded, there do not appear to be nearly enough physical barriers, especially for a delivery truck which has already made it past the perimeter on false pretences.  (Even the plant's soda machines need someone to come in with enough materiel (in cans, which cannot be x-rayed) to blow the place to smithereens.)

16)  Use two vehicles -- one to draw away the limited number of guards at the plant, the other, which arrives a few seconds later from a different direction, actually does the damage.  A motor home at the state beach nearby could be filled with terrorists who could take over the control room.

17) Steal some of the military training equipment on the base at Camp Pendleton.  This writer rode his bike over 20 miles on that military base four months ago without being questioned or stopped, along with an ex-Navy Seal.  We did not realize the significance of our sojourn at the time.

18) Get an insider in the U.S. military to attack the plant with an A-10 Warthog or Apache helicopter.  This isn't as far-fetched as it may sound.  A few years ago a distraught A-10 Warthog pilot suddenly veered off course from his training mission, and flew 800 miles before running out of gas and crashing into the side of a mountain.  He carried four 500-lb bombs at the time as well as machine-gun ammunition.

19) Since there is not a no-fly zone around the plant, any plane that attacks it gets a free ride all the way in. No one can challenge a plane which has not sent an "I have been hijacked" signal and which is flying in legal airspace.  The nearest civilian airport is about 10 miles away, or about 5 minutes away for even the slowest airplanes.  Our military could not possibly react in time.

20) Besides dropping depth-charges on the outflow tunnels (see item #3, "boat-bombs"), you could maneuver a boat very close to the plant, which is located at the ocean's edge, and shell the plant from the boat.  There are numerous civilian harbors, beaches, etc. near the plant.

21) Multiple small planes can attack the plant at one time, overwhelming even a sophisticated air defense system.

22) ASL -- Air, Sea, Land.  Terrorists can utilize all three at once to overwhelm the defenders.

23) NBC -- Nuclear, Biological, Chemical.  Terrorists can attack the plant with BC to kill the operators and the security forces, and then calmly walk in and take over the plant.

24) (Censored -- the terrorists might not have thought of this one.)

25) The terrorists can simply wait for a meltdown to occur due to a natural disaster such as a tsunami, earthquake, or tornado, or due to a manufacturing defect, or operator error.  The bottom line is, we have terrorists in Southern California.  Their name is Southern California Edison.

Note:  This list was thought up and compiled on September 27th, 2001.  I'm sure the terrorists are much better at thinking these things up than I am and have considered all these possibilities and many more.  Their failure to act might be because they can't decide which one suits their purposes the best.  There is only one solution, even though it's only partially effective: SHUT THE PLANTS DOWN!  A closed and inoperable nuke is much less vulnerable than one which is running.

Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA


SHUT THE NUKES DOWN NOW!  Help make the world a safer place for everyone.

For more information please see:



For more information please visit:

Learn about the effects of nuclear weapons here:

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

The Animated Software Company
Mail to:
First posted October 1st, 2001.

Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman