Jim Hoerner shows his know-ledge
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: [downwinders] Jim Hoerner shows his know-ledge.
Dec. 8th, 2001
I never thought anyone would consider the environmental damage from a flood as a result of a busted dam, and prefer it to the environmental effects which a nuclear meltdown would have on its "ultimate heat sink" and on locations downwind of the affected reactor(s). But Jim Hoerner, who is the moderator for a forum called "know nukes" did. Wow. (His letter is shown below.)
Radioactive waste is poisonous in vanishingly small quantities. After a meltdown, you have to abandon the area -- perhaps thousands of square miles. On the other hand, water is not poisonous at all, so even the complete destruction of a large dam would create only a temporary catastrophe. So there is no reasonable comparison, and Mr. Hoerner has backed himself into a pretty ridiculous corner.
Admittedly, a dam bust might destroy a lot of property and drown a lot of people, but at least after the waters recede, survivors could go back and rebuild (unless, of course, the busted dam caused a flood of a nuclear power plant).
It also appears that Mr. Hoerner has never heard of "small-scale hydro". Even a complete dam bust of a small-scale hydro system wouldn't cause any significant damage. And large dams are proportionately harder to bust. Maybe Mr. Hoerner should read the history of dam busting in World War Two to get a grasp of how difficult it is. (I've included some related quotes below.)
Mr. Hoerner writes about methane emissions from hydro -- I presume he means from life in the lakes. Wouldn't want any life in those lakes, would we, Mr. Hoerner! That's not to say it's not true that there are such emissions, but compared to what -- a dairy farm? I think he's got his emissions figures unbalanced.
I wonder if he's got the documentation behind his statement, "lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions [from wind energy sources] are ... larger than that of nuclear"? I'd like to see what he's taken into account on the nuclear side, such as mining, transport, waste storage, accidental meltdowns, and the cost in greenhouse gas emissions of running hospitals for those suffering from radiation effects after an accident -- perhaps thousands of years after an accident, and millions of people. How much of that did his calculations take into account?
Mr. Hoerner attacks Jack Shannon, who designed the world's most widely used nuclear reactor in his younger days, claiming that Jack's (and others') idea of shutting the nuclear power plants down immediately would lead to widespread blackouts and looting. Actually, a more likely result (barring politically-contrived shortages) would be immediate full employment in renewable energy solutions and NO BLACKOUTS (those California blackouts were political anyway, Mr. Hoerner -- don't you know that?) And by the way, Mr. Hoerner, yes, I think civil liberties and a clean environment are more important than temporary electricity shortages which can be easily alleviated by conservation. I'm sure we could quickly get up to speed replacing that missing segment of our energy production pie or building more energy-efficient household devices. Either way, we can shut the nukes and maybe by doing so, save millions of lives.
One thing I can absolutely assure you, Mr. Hoerner: Nukes will NEVER be missed except by the ex-nuclear Navy guys who right now enjoy good money for easy work in the private sector, even while drawing full benefits including 100% medical coverage from the government for their prior "service" to our country. These are the guys who will run like hell if the alarms go off. If they had any courage at all, they'd let me come organize a course in the dangers of nuclear fission to human bodies at their sub schools in Groton, CT and elsewhere -- with visiting professors of my choice.
American doesn't need nuclear power. And by finally building a renewable energy infrastructure and addressing conservation issues, we can also get the oil pirates off our backs, along with the Nuclear Mafia.
Government figures show that replacing America's millions of old and outdated water heaters ALONE would save about 3% of our total home energy. That's a significant percentage of what nuclear gives us from that one small step. Here in California, the State offered rebates to those who cut their usage by 15% and more -- so obviously, they thought it could be done (that's more than nuclear supplies in California, which is about 14.6% or our electricity, according to state spokespersons). There are plenty of small steps which could allow us to close all the nukes. It's a non-problem, unless political forces create blackouts afterwards, just to make things look bad. We know they can do that, because they did it in California recently. But the nukes can and should be closed.
And Mr. Hoerner, windmills don't make good terrorist targets, do they? Nor do solar panels on rooftops. Who was Greenpeace's contractor in your story? That sounds mighty fishy. And your figures on geothermal pollution are highly suspect, and on and on and on.
Mr. Hoerner, in closing, I wonder: who do you work for? The CIA? Maybe the NSA? Halliburton? SAIC? Come on, dude, come clean. Are you a dumb government employee, a contractor, ex-Navy yourself, or what? You say you know nukes, but you don't know Jack S., that's for sure.
Note: Below are some interesting facts about Britain's (successful) efforts at dam busting during WWII, showing how difficult it is to do. Many dams are nestled into ravines and hard to access via hijacked airliner, whereas most nuclear power plants are right smack out in the open, and are unmistakable targets, to boot. Following the two dam busting clips is Mr. Hoerner's letter, which was posted on the downwinder's forum, and which responds to my comments of Dec. 7th. His letter includes selected portions of my letter (which is available in its entirety at my web site). His letter is shown in its entirety and without interruption, and followed by a few closing comments. Regarding his comment about "how would the roads be destroyed?", let me suggest two possible ways: 1) Radioactive plumes settle across them making them impassible. Sure you COULD drive across it, but it would be a death sentence. 2) Car drivers in mad rushes to evacuate have accidents and jam the roads. Of course, destroyed or not, they would be clogged and impassible. Besides that, if it's a major meltdown, you might not even be allowed out of the dead zone if you are too contaminated. Sorry, but there would be no blood to transfuse into your poor wretched body anyway, no hospital beds left anywhere in the country, no doctors, no pain killers, and no hope.
"7,366 Avro Lancasters were built during the war, the most of any British bomber...For the dam-busting strike in May 1943, the Lancaster dropped British designer Barnes Wallis’s ‘bouncing bombs’ which skipped on the surface before impact."
'Upkeep' - Dam Busting Bomb
large cylindrical shaped weapon
weight: 9,250 lbs (4200 kg)
explosive: 5,720 lbs (2600 kg) torpex
hydrostatic fuze set to detonate at a depth of 30 ft (9 meters)
In December of 1942 a Wellington bomber was acquired to conduct full scale tests. After several abortive attempts Barnes Wallis got the spherical bomb to bounce 16 times across a stretch of water.
23 ED serial block Lancaster bombers were extensively modified to accommodate the Upkeep weapon. The bomb bay doors were removed and special pylons fitted, together with an electric motor to set the mine spinning backward at 500 rpm before bomb release. This backspin was crucial as it allowed the Upkeep bomb to skip across the water, past several torpedo nets, and strike the dam wall. The mid-upper gun turret was removed and its gunner moved to the nose turret where 'stirrups' were added to prevent him from inadvertently treading on the bomb aimer's head. Fighter type VHF radios were added to all of the aircraft, close control of the operation being vital to its success. Since the entire mission had to be flown at low altitude specially prepared 'roller maps' were provided to the bomb aimers to assist in navigation.
The problem of flying each plane level at just 60 feet was solved by the ingenious use of a pair of Aldis lamps, one mounted in the nose camera port, the other behind the bomb bay. The lamps were angled so that the two spots of light touched at an altitude of 60 feet and offset to starboard where they were easily seen by the navigator who monitored height during the bombing run. Standard bombsights could not be used due to the unique nature of the attack so a sight was improvised consisting of a plywood triangle, a simple eyepiece and a couple of nails. Finally each Lancaster was provided with 3,000 rounds of ammunition per gun, all tracer, to keep the German gunners heads down.
----------END CLIP FROM WWW.DANSHISTORY.COM -----------
At 04:50 PM 12/8/01 , firstname.lastname@example.org replied to Russell Hoffman's Dec. 7th email:
> From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <email@example.com>
>Subject: Russell drops a bomb on December 7th, 2001 -- what are you going
>to do about it?
>Re: Our next "Pearl Harbor" may be a nuclear meltdown, and it will dwarf
>all previous surprises...
>There is no reason to use nuclear power plants for electrical
energy. Renewables, such as those described in one of the documents shown
below Jack Shannon's frightening and rational statement, can replace these
Some renewables are great, assuming you are talking about things like hydro,
solar photovoltaic, geothermal, and wind. Problem is that each of these
sources also has its own problems, too. Just to name a few...
Hydro - greenhouse gas (methane) emissions, kills fish, dams might be
Solar PV - extremely expensive, toxic chemicals like cadmium and arsenic
used in manufacture, diffuse (requires huge batteries or pumped hydro
storage), intermittent (not base-load power).
Geothermal - limited expansion potential, radiological releases.
Wind - lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions are small, but larger than that of
nuclear, intermittent, diffuse.
>They will too, some day -- but will it be before or after a
nuclear disaster? That's the question Americans have to answer. And I
>-- Russell Hoffman, Concerned Citizen, Carlsbad, CA.
>Yes, he knows that "a nuclear power plant can't blow up like a
nuclear bomb", as the pro-nuclear spokespeople are always quick to remind
us. He also knows that what a nuclear power plant CAN do is a whole lot
>(NOTE: IF YOU ACTUALLY ARE A GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE READING THIS, ALL YOU HAVE
>TO DO IS STOP ACTING DUMB AND KEEP READING, AND MAKE YOUR BOSS READ IT, AND
> YOUR COWORKERS TOO. DO YOUR JOB, FOR GOD'S SAKE!!)
I don't think all gov't employees are dumb and/or not doing their jobs.
>At 04:09 PM 12/7/01 , Jack Shannon wrote:
>All discussion of evacuation plans immediately following a nuclear meltdown
>are a waste of time and effort.
>The major damage from a meltdown comes in the blink of an eye. That is when
>the blast is felt and the explosion is heard. People die immediately just
>like at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
That's not true. The Three Mile Island core melted. Thank goodness there
was a containment building to keep the radionuclides inside.
>If all police and fire fighting capabilities are lost and roads are
>destroyed in an instant, chaos will reign for some time and more people
>will die from high radiation exposures.
How would the roads be destroyed?
>Evacuation is only being considered because our government refuses to
>listen to reason to close down all plants ASAP, and just stop screwing
>around. We really are playing with something more than dynamite here and
>we have a moral obligation to make ourselves heard above the claptrap of
>military tribunals and suspension of our Civil Rights.
I am proud to be an American, and I don't think our government is screwing
around, although they could do better, as we all could. Shutting down all
plants ASAP (whatever that means) would result in California electricity
blackouts all over the US. This means in addition to looting and such, some
people would not have lights, heat, nor refrigeration. That is much more
>The damn fools in Washington never see a disaster until it has happened.
>The people almost always do.
>Nuclear Safety Engineer
YOU are the fool, John. I don't usually use language like that, but it's
>[NOTE: THIS NEXT ITEM RELATES TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS, WHICH
>ABOUND. THERE IS NO NEED TO KEEP RUNNING THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, WHICH
>ARE EACH ON THE EDGE OF DISASTER. -- rdh ]
>From: "Greenpeace USA" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: ******POSITIVE ENERGY****** V1.24 December 3rd - 9th 2001
>Time for another edition of Greenpeace's Clean Energy Now!
weekly campaign update - POSITIVE ENERGY!!!!
>*** L.A. COMMUNITY COLLEGE SOLAR INITIATIVE AT RISK ***
>Students and faculty at Los Angeles's nine community colleges have joined
>Greenpeace calling on the Community College District Board of Trustees to
>lead the way to a solar energy future for California and the country. The
>Board of Trustees is deciding how to spend $1.245 billion that voters
>approved for renovations and new buildings in a ballot measure. Students
>and faculty are working hard on campus and in the district's halls of power
>to ensure that a significant amount of that money goes to investments that
>will ensure clean air and a reduction in California's global warming
>emissions. Six out of nine student Senates, and all of the student body
>Presidents have passed resolutions calling on the Trustees to ensure that
>any new buildings constructed on community college campuses receive at
>least 25 percent of their energy supply from solar energy, and exceed
California Building Code efficiency requirements by at least 25 percent.
>Despite the overwhelming outcry for solar energy, the president of the
>Board of Trustees, Sylvia Scott Hayes, is refusing to meet with students,
>faculty, and activists, and is attempting to delay the solar vote in order
>to diffuse the public's interest in clean air and climate protection. You,
>however, can help . . .
>Contact Mrs. Hayes now, and demand that the Community Colleges invest in
>solar and green buildings,
When Greenpeace built their new US headquarters, they only put in enough
solar panels to supply 10% of their energy, yet the building still cost
nearly twice as much as usual. Why is that?! I can't afford to pay twice
as much for shelter, can you? Reference:
END OF LETTER FROM JIM HOERNER, WHICH INCLUDED PARTS OF MY DEC. 7TH LETTER. JIM HOERNER IS THE FORUM FRISKER FOR "KNOW-NUKES". THE ENTIRE DEC. 7TH LETTER IS AVAILABLE HERE:
I GUESS JIM NEVER HEARD OF THE ECONOMIES OF SCALE WHICH COME WITH BROAD ADOPTION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS AND MAKES THOSE SOLUTIONS FINANCIALLY VIABLE. INSTEAD, HE'LL SAY ANYTHING TO MAKE SURE THOSE SOLUTIONS ARE NOT ADOPTED ANYWHERE SO THAT HIS PRECIOUS NUKES KEEP CHURNING OUT WASTE.
For the following correspondence from Mr. Hoerner, please visit:
Learn about the effects of nuclear weapons here:
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First posted December, 2001.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman