Thank, you, Dr. Dessel, for your comments (October 24th, 2001)

From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: RE: Your great article in today's SD U-T (followup comments by BruceLieberman, Russell Hoffman)
Cc: California Senators, governor of California

October 24th, 2001

Thank, you, Dr. Dessel, for your comments (shown below).  I hope the media will give careful consideration to what you have said about the net energy loss nuclear power has been and continues to be for society, even without a major radiological accident in America thus far.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

At 07:44 AM 10/24/01 , Dr. Norman Dessel wrote:

        Thank you for the stream of nuclear reactor/repository of HLRW comments. I
concur completely. I wonder if you have checked out two important Federal
documents, now hoary with age: WASH 1224 and ERDA 52. These documents,
laborious reading both, formed the basis of an analysis I did back in the
late 80's which exposed an extremely interesting point that has nothing to
do with risks and everything to do with economic decisions.
        In short, my analysis, and the conclusion of both documents cited above,
show conclusively that no LWR or BWR reactor ever has or will produce a net
positive electric energy. The electric energy used in the cradle-to-grave
life of a nuclear reactor electric generation plant, and its fuel
processing, is greater than all of its produced electric energy during its
useful life time. The only exception to this in the entire world is the
Canadian CANDU (Canadian deuterium-natural uranium) reactor. If we add the
electrical energy cost of proper maintenance of wastes to the bill, no
nuclear plant is a net electric energy producer. They do not even come
close. Hence, the often published untruth that these nucs contribute 20+%
of world electric energy is patently false. Worse, it makes no economic
sense at all. We have it simply because its inventors and self-interested
politicians wanted this toy, and an excuse for continuing to pour public
funds at the rate of $10 to 20 Billion per year into further research on
nuclear energy - both fission and fusion.
        Why would anyone spend a dime on fusion research when we have a gigantic
fusion reactor only 90 million miles away (pretty good protection against
wastes) pouring over 10 to the 17th power watts of energy continuously into the
earth systems constantly? This power is of the highest quality and
perfectly adequate, in its various transformations, to power all of human
technology. Add geothermal and gravitational energy to the mix and we have
utopian conditions - without fossil fuels, nuclear or any other contrived
power source that relies on transformation to heat of various fuels. To
continue to thrust nuclear processes upon society is gross economic
stupidity, and constitutes a rapidly growing probability of disaster for
all earth higher life forms.
        In my one-hour taping of a TV program by Chnl 6, SD, some time ago I said
"Anyone who would even consider siting a high level radioactive waste
repository above ground in the middle of a huge population density area, on
a continental margin, must by definition be insane or grossly ignorant, or
both." Chnl 6 air about 20 seconds of this interview, but ended the spot
with the Edison rep standing near San Onofre reactors saying "These people
just do not understand the physics!" By the time I was 16 I had forgotten
more physics than this fool will ever learn. At the age of 36 I was already
a full professor of physics.

Norman F. Dessel, PhD
Emeritus Professor of Physics
now CEO of Solarflex Technologies, Inc. of San Diego

> [Original Message]
> From: Russell D. Hoffman <>
> To: <>
> Date: 10/23/2001 3:22:25 PM
> Subject: RE: Your great article in today's SD U-T (followup comments by
BruceLieberman, Russell Hoffman)
> To: Bruce Lieberman, Union-Tribune Staff Writer
> From: Russell Hoffman, Concerned Citizen, Carlsbad, CA
> RE: Your great article in today's SD U-T (followup comments by Bruce
> Lieberman, Russell Hoffman)
> Date: October 23rd, 2001
> Sir,
> Thank you for your response to my letter earlier today.  Regarding your
> comments (shown below), San Onofre's two operational reactors produce
> 500 pounds of high level radioactive waste every day  (slightly less
> now since as far as I know one of the two reactors at the site is closed
> for repairs).  Even one pound of spent nuclear fuel would be enough to
> out a small city, perhaps even a large one, and leave the area
> UNINHABITABLE for many millennia.  And we're not talking
> drop-dead-and-bury-them deaths, either.  These are cancers, which are
> lingering illnesses that will drag down all of society while it tries to
> take care of the sufferers.
> Every single day that the plants remain open because this issue is not
> properly resolved by society, another 500 pounds of HLRW are created
> will need to be guarded against terrorists, earthquakes, tsunamis,
> tornados, floods, fires, asteroids, operator error, and equipment
> including all forms of embrittlement (note that ANY embrittlement, in ANY
> form, makes every other danger more significant because the breaking
> of the metals are lowered).
> I know there are a lot of threats to society right now and we are all
> trying to keep up.  For example, as you may know I write educational
> software which I distribute through the mail on CD-ROM.  How willing are
> people going be to open the 400+ review copies of my latest material,
> I mailed after September 11th but before this Anthrax scare
> started?  (Perhaps you could ask your fellow staff member Steve LaRue,
> I sent one to, if he's opened it, as an example.  He favorably reviewed
> earlier version of one of the programs on the CD.)
> America has to concentrate on the most important things first -- that is,
> the ones that come out as most significant after doing a mathematical
> integration of the cost of failure of something, versus the likelihood of
> either an attack on that thing, or any other problem with that thing.
> Nuclear power plants are in the interesting position of being "off the
> scale" both in the dangers they pose and in terms of the likelihood of
> their being attacked!  Osama's band has already threatened to attack them
> and so have many others.  But it's the one who didn't threaten us first
> whom we should fear the most, isn't it?  Or do you expect the terrorists
> take out a full-page ad in your paper and announce who they are and what
> their intentions are?
> The San Diego Union-Tribune should probably have four or five writers at
> least, working exclusively on this issue, so I find it ludicrous that
> beat-writer on San Onofre and nuclear issues isn't working full-time on
> investigating why in the world America hasn't wised up and shut the
> reactors down for good yet.  Renewable energy options abound.
> Again, thank you for your letter.  Please pass these comments on to your
> editor in the hopes that they will immediately assign more resources to
> this issue.
> Sincerely,
> Russell Hoffman
> Concerned Citizen
> Carlsbad, CA
> ========================================================
> At 02:04 PM 10/23/01 , wrote:
> Mr. Hoffman,
> Thank you for your comments. I'll be covering this issue in the future, so
> hopefully I'll be able to address topics not covered in this particular
> report. Unfortunately, I cannot devote myself full-time to what's
> at San Onofre because I have many other beat responsibilities. But I do
> recognize the importance of this issue, and I'll be paying close attention
> to developments.
> Thanks for your interest.
> ========================================================
> *************************************************
> ** Russell D. Hoffman, Owner and Chief Programmer
> ** Carlsbad CA
> ** Visit the world's most eclectic web site:
> **
> *************************************************

--- Norman Dessel
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First posted October 24th, 2001.

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