Shutting down the nuclear power plants is both prudent and possible

From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Shutting down the nuclear power plants is both prudent and possible
Cc: governor of California, California Senators

To: Dr. Norman Dessel, others
Date: October 25th, 2001
Subject: Shutting down the nuclear power plants is both prudent and possible
From: Russell D. Hoffman, Concerned Citizens

Dear Dr. Dessel, others:

The comments shown below are from a friend.  The article it mentions is also shown below.  As the writer of the letter states, there is, of course, no justification for prolonging the additional risk posed by keeping the nuclear power plants open.  The employment of hundreds of thousands in the renewable energy market will provide for a whole new era of prosperity as we put those in the service, transportation, and nuclear industries to work building for America's future, and break the backs not only of the Nuclear Mafia, but of the foreign oil interests as well.  And at the same time, make the country less vulnerable.  A win-win-win situation, for sure!

They say this country has united.  So far, I think we're still just sleeping together.  But perhaps we will wake up before it's too late!

Thank you in advance.


Russell Hoffman

Below are four items:  Letter from "K" regarding the North County (San Diego) Times article, the article itself, and a letter from "S" regarding my letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune yesterday, with comments.  Some names have been removed for privacy of the individuals involved.


>>>>> EMAIL TODAY: >>>>>

To: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: See Diehl article today!

NCT, 1982 report confirms jet could decimate nuke plant. OK viable
threat and huge dangers are now out in the open. (You do not need to
expound beyond what is confirmed right now, sabotage and jets, as
substantial risk has been established and that point is now won.) Time to
move on to establishing that there is no justification for prolonging
the risk. The article provides the name of an attorney on our side.
Think next step is prove that nukes do not provide that touted 20% of
energy. Your e from Dessel is a good start. Perhaps you can get Dessel
to directly contact that attorney. Not you but Dessel, the expert here.
Believe that substantiation of Dessel's analysis would go a long way in
achieving shut down. Government has overridden concerns in the past saying
we cannot do without the generation. If this too can be proven false,
there would be no valid excuse for prolonging risk.

<<<<<  END OF LETTER FROM "K" <<<<<


>>>>> From: >>>>>

Report shows airliner could decimate nuclear power plant


Staff Writer

A technical report made public this week shows that federal regulators nearly two decades ago investigated the potentially disastrous consequences of a loaded jetliner's crash into a nuclear power plant.

The Department of Energy completed the 1982 technical report for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The report states that a large airplane crash could breach a nuclear power plant's concrete-and-steel containment structure, allowing the aircraft's fuel to explode inside the structure and scatter radioactive material out into the atmosphere.

A volunteer researcher for the National Whistleblower Center found the technical report Oct. 2 in the public reading room of a Washington, D.C., library that maintains public documents for the commission. The center is a nonprofit group that works to enforce environmental laws, nuclear safety, civil rights and government and industry accountability.

"I looked through it," Whistleblower attorney Michael Kohn said. "There it was in black and white ... details of impact ... how you would end up with penetration ... a diagram going over the various velocities."

Such a disaster would kill thousands of people quickly, Kohn said, and thousands more would die over the years from radiation-related illnesses.

The Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon have focused new attention on the vulnerability of the 103 commercial nuclear reactors in the United States, including the two working reactors at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on the coast 17 miles north of Oceanside.
Federal regulators and a San Onofre spokesman said immediately after the attacks that the containment structures would withstand any plane crash. Then the commission announced Sept. 21 that "nuclear power plants were not designed to withstand such crashes" and that more studies were needed.

Kohn said the commission has always known about nuclear power plants' vulnerability to aircraft.
"They have ignored the problem," he said.

The 1982 report appears to contradict recent statements from federal regulators and industry officials that they have not considered the possible results of a large airplane crash at one of the 103 commercial nuclear reactors operating in the United States.

Commission spokesman Victor Dricks confirmed the existence of the report Wednesday. He said the report concluded that the chances of such a crash were too small to be considered a public safety hazard, and that all nuclear power plants have boosted security since Sept. 11.

The report says that if 1 percent of a jetliner's fuel ignited inside a containment structure, the force would equal 1,000 pounds of TNT and would propel large amounts of radiation into the atmosphere before nearby residents could be evacuated. The 1 percent is a conservative estimate of fuel that would remain in the aircraft after the impact.

"The document had been lying around for at least 10 years," Kohn said. "It must be assumed that terrorists have this data."

Earlier this month, the commission shut down its Internet Web site, which contained more than 100,000 pages of information about design, operation, safety and other issues related to nuclear power plants. Only a fraction of the Web site has been restored, and commission officials have said much of the information may never again be released to the public.

"Obviously, we are a lot more sensitive now (about nuclear power information) than we were before the terrorist acts," commission spokesman Breck Henderson said last week.

Until two years ago, the commission required public documents for the San Onofre nuclear power plant to be available at UC Irvine's main library. Since then, the commission has only posted those documents on its Internet site.

A university librarian said Wednesday that some San Onofre documents remain there, but not the 1982 technical report.

Kohn said the public should have more access to information about nuclear power, not less.
"People at the NRC have known since 1982 that no plant can withstand the impact of a commercial aircraft," Kohn said.

Kohn said he plans to file a petition with the federal commission demanding increased security measures at U.S. nuclear power plants, including no-fly zones over the plants and anti-aircraft missile batteries installed nearby. Much of his petition is based on information from the commission's technical report.

The commission receives about a dozen such petitions each year from people or groups concerned about the safety of nuclear power plants. Most are denied.

Contact staff writer Phil Diehl at (760) 901-4087 or



The next two items are about my letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune from yesterday.  That letter is posted at my web site:



At 08:44 AM 10/25/01 , S wrote:

Well said! However, since we are all trying to do what we think is best as
far as curtailing nuclear proliferation, I wish you didn't mention Laura's
name. It tends to pit our allies against each other, and I think we need as
much cohesion of like-minds as possible. Especially right now.

Have you thought about submitting an Op/Ed piece to the U/T? They may not
print it. But, who knows. You would have to tone down your writing and
include just the facts. R has been quite successful as far
as getting his writing into an Op/Ed piece. You might want to contact him
and see if he has any "secrets" on how to bust the "brain barriers" of the

Thanks again for keeping on this....




>>>>> MY RESPONSE TO "S": >>>>>

October 25th, 2001

Hi S!

Thanks for the message.  I know the mention of Laura Hunter specifically may seem politically destructive, but I hope she sees it as a challenge to align herself and her organization with the idea that shutting the plants is the only logical thing to do.  She's already rejected me as a person.  That happened before 9-11, and was previously documented and posted online (most of it, anyway.  Some crucial moments of her rejection were in phone calls which were not saved, but were pretty outrageous and unfair).  I don't have any idea why she would reject the simple idea that the plants are vulnerable to terrorism and human error and other catastrophes and need to be shut down immediately, but she has.  How can she continue to refuse to align EHC with that concept?  There's no excuse for that, and five years of working with her in earnest against nuclear aircraft carriers was clearly a wasted effort since her battle wasn't the least bit global in thought or reach.

I'm sorry to feel compelled to use the facts as they stand at seemingly inappropriate times, but the uncanny comparison between EHC, which I know almost entirely through working with Laura, and the San Diego Union-Tribune was too accurate to be overlooked.  I'm sorry I feel so let down by her.  I know of nothing she and I are of like minds about anymore.  Even the nuclear carriers, it is clear I know about 1000 more reasons to shut them down than she does (or admits to).  For example she never once offered to let me brief her and the rest of the NAVTOX group about Jack Shannon and what his expertise might bring to EHC's battle against local homeporting.  I have a film of him, but nothing was ever requested.

It's clear now she never was against nuclear carriers much.  She was just totally NIMB  (like NIMBY but Not In My Bay).

I hope this explains why I said anything, and why I am wondering yet, if I didn't say enough.

As to other matters, I did submit that piece to the San Diego Union-Tribune as an Op-Ed!  When I sent it out, it was my submission.  In fact I didn't send it to other media (at least, not yet), as I do with most items, so they could have it first (I did, however, post it at my web site). They won't print it, or anything else I've written in the last five years, but I like to pretend they deserve quality treatment anyway.

Lastly, R has been getting the full spectrum of emails as well, and so does M and the Cs.  Although everyone does, in their way, tell me to tone it down, I can only ask that you write a toned-down letter, modify, delete, or change the statements I wrote as needed if you like, put your own name on it, and try to make some headway your own way.  I'm delighted to have company.

But as to why my writing is so strident, I believe, for example, that Ray Golden isn't just some yo-yo who can simply be replaced by another yo-yo.  I believe if we get him fired for lying to the public just about every time he opens his mouth, it's not just a small victory.  I believe he's one of the best in the business, very smooth, good with the media, and that's why SON(W)GS keeps him around.

And I think the San Diego Union-Tribune will NEVER publish the truth about San Onofre's dangers to mankind, because the few of us who try to reach them cannot gather enough power together at once to demand they say what needs to be said.  If they won't publish my essays, it's censorship, plain and simple.  And I'm sorry that after years of censorship, the message is now too long and too angry for their regulations.  Their regulations are killing us and this political fight to save humanity should be front-page news.

Let R write it in a way they are willing to publish it.  I write what I know.  I know that if the Post Office starts using Cobalt 60 or Cesium 137 to irradiate our mail, it will mean every post office will become a target of terrorism because there will be enough radioactive material there to make a terrible mess.  I know that the material could be stolen by an employee or infiltrator and then used elsewhere.  I know that if a plane crashes into it, it could create a huge ecological disaster.

I can't possibly tone down my rhetoric, S.  I think on the contrary, everyone who wants the world to continue in peaceful debate rather than physical destruction had better fight a whole lot harder with the words we've got.

Hopefully, I'm just the tip of a great big iceberg.  People a whole lot angrier than me -- and better able to express that anger in a way that slips past the cocky editors at the SD U-T -- had better come along and fight too, or we'll all be dead or dying of radiation poisoning before too long.  My only weapons are my words.  They had better be sharp, accurate, and powerful.

I do the best I can, and I hope you do too!


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

<<<<< END OF MY RESPONSE <<<<<


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First posted October 25th, 2001.

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