I wonder if Mr. Robbins thinks I've forgotten he owes me a public apology for his careless libel last month?

To: "Letters" <letters@ocregister.com>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
Subject: I wonder if Mr. Robbins thinks I've forgotten he owes me a public apology for his careless libel last month?
Cc: governor of California, "Barbara Boxer, Senator (CA, D)" <senator@boxer.senate.gov>

To: Editor, Orange County Register
From: Russell Hoffman, Concerned Citizen
Re: I wonder if Mr. Gary Robbins at the Orange County Register thinks I've forgotten that he owes me a public apology for his careless libel last month?
Date: July 23rd, 2001

To The Editor,

I understand that the Orange County Register plans to publish an article, or series of articles, about nuclear energy next month (August, 2001).  However, I don't buy the idea that the OC Register has any credibility when reporting on nuclear issues.  My opinion is based on the articles you've published in the past few months, and also on your science reporter's condescending, biased, and insulting treatment of me (a local concerned citizen) last month.  So, I'm not expecting much from this article or series.

I've looked the OC Register's science writer, Mr. Gary Robbins, right in the eye, talked to him one-on-one at his request last month (for just over an hour, as he was oh-so-busy with other matters), and I didn't see any glint of understanding or trust.  Not one sliver of doubt that the dogma the nuclear industry has fed him is wrong and that we, perhaps, are right.  Whatever he's learned about science all his life, he has forgotten how to apply it in this situation.  Blinded by the light which emanates up from the spent fuel pool or something.  Hopelessly romantic about our need for energy and hey, what dangers?  I don't see any dangers.  Do you see any dangers?  They say they can keep it all safely away from us.  I didn't see any leak.  Fire in Baltimore?  No connection.  Robbins is ignoring the truth, even when it's pointed out to him by thousands of scientists, millions of activists, and even a little bit of "help" from God, it seems, in the shape of warnings, warnings, and more warnings.

Of course, maybe he's changed in a month.  Woken up.  Studied.  Observed what's happening around the country.  The strong opposition to Yucca Mountain being expressed by the state government -- and just about everyone else -- in Nevada (and by a lot of scientists around the country, too).  The Governor of Utah's opposition to the Goshute Indian's plan for a "temporary" high-level nuclear waste dump on their reservation.  There is no solution to the nuclear waste problem.  So what to do is obvious:  Stop making more waste immediately!  The problem is big enough as it is.

Gary Robbins is presumably deeply involved in the creation of this upcoming OC Register report, and he should include an apology to me in a sidebar or something, along with information about the string of accidents and the peculiar governmental regulatory situation I've uncovered regarding the nuclear power industry.  I discovered, for example, that nearly every other federal, state, and local regulatory agency has handed off oversight for nuclear power plants, like a hot potato, to a corrupt lap-dog Washington agency staffed almost entirely by industry wash-outs and has-beens -- the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  Patricia Borchmann should get a sidebar too.  And, of course, Dr. Norman Dessel and many, many others. You should publish a Who's Who about the opposition.  I dare you.

I met Mr. Robbins for lunch -- his suggestion.  We never ate (which was not my suggestion), and I nearly walked out after about 20 minutes when he tried to drag the conversation into irrelevant areas. (I thought about taping it but decided not to.  Maybe he did and is pulling quotes from it now, for all I know.)

There is virtually no chance of the OC Register doing a fair article about San Onofre Nuclear (Waste) Generating Station.  It's about as likely as your admitting that even in a thousand years there still might not be a "cure for cancer" and so we better worry long and hard NOW about things we are doing NOW which create mountains of carcinogens.  In a thousand years, if "background radiation levels" keep rising the way they have since the Atomic Age began, they'll be about 5000 mRem (5 Rem) annually.  Background radiation levels used to be about 125 mRem a year.  Now it's officially 360 mRem, having risen in the past half century because of nuclear weapons testing as well as countless purposeful releases to the environment, each one diluted to "below regulatory concern", or covered up by the industry or by the military.  And it has risen from all the big and little accidents that are never, individually, a cause for alarm as far as the nuclear industry is concerned but which, in aggregate, kill millions already.  This is important, OC Register!  Are you listening?

Alas, I do not think "background radiation levels" will be 5 Rem in 1000 years.  I think they will be much worse, unless wise people in power wise up to the Nuclear Mafia and shut it down.  We haven't had a real "worst case scenario" anywhere on the planet yet.  Nuclear power plant accidents are not only possible, but over time, they are inevitable.

I'd like to give a presentation to the staff of the OC Register.  About Star Wars and its need for nuclear reactors in space.  About Cassini and its 72.3 pounds of plutonium dioxide in flimsy containers.  About the Nuclear Navy which insists on nuclear aircraft carriers, even though the United States' General Accounting Office (GAO) itself has said they are more expensive than conventional carriers and offer no real advantage, and numerous disadvantages.  The GAO came to this conclusion despite not properly accounting for the nuclear waste costs, nor for any payments of damages if an accident occurs in a friendly foreign port, or a domestic port, or even an enemy port, or out to sea.  The country's largest sub base is in San Diego, but other states are wising up and not taking any nuclear waste anymore.  So where is it going to go?  Dump it all at sea?  God forbid.

I'd like to teach the OC Register staff about how many nuclear submarines we have already lost (for whatever reason; they're still lost, and their contents will be spread throughout the biosphere as they rust apart).  I'd like to point out to the OC Register staff that the nuclear power industry is really little more than a full-employment program for those who retire (with full pensions) from the Nuclear Navy.

I'd like to teach the OC Register staff about the loss of freedom in America because of the Nuclear Mafia, and how nuclear servants -- many trained in the Nuclear Navy -- seek out and attempt to destroy anyone who dares to speak out against nuclear power.  Of course, first these nuclear servants ignore you.  Then when they can't help but notice you, or they are afraid others might pay some attention, they start in on you, calling you a commie, a luddite, an idiot, uninformed, confused, or some combination of these terms.  Mr. Robbins -- if he's been paying any attention to the correspondence I've been "cc'ing" him -- could have witnessed this second-hand, after having participated in this game himself the month before.

I'd like to teach the OC Register staff a thing or two about pumps for that matter, and about the energy savings we could achieve if we started using the newest pump inventions, thus negating the need for nukes right there.

I'd like to teach the OC Register staff about R. Buckminster Fuller's Energy Grid.

And I'd like to put in a word or two about how reporters are supposed to behave towards "concerned citizens", if they have any self-respect at all, or any pride in their profession.

But mostly I'd like to teach everyone at OC Register about what Mr. Robbins hasn't got a clue about -- or certainly didn't when I met with him a little over a month ago.  The dangers of nuclear power.  The only thing he had going for him then was he admitted to me that he had only thought about nuclear power at all for about six months.  Well, he'll have had two months to catch up when this article is supposed to come out.  That ought to be enough to begin to recognize the magnitude of his ignorance.

And of course, his personal paucity of knowledge didn't explain away his unfair insults, which were a mild form of others' more aggressive type of libel.  As science writer for the Orange County Register, Gary Robbins controls what is read by millions, in a newspaper that, based on its own web site, thinks it both has, and deserves, the respect of the citizens of Orange County.  How does that reconcile with ignoring dangers, lying to the public, and censoring the voices of dozens of activists who are trying to alert the public to what is going on?  It doesn't.

What will the OC Register do if San Onofre melts down?  Apologize to me then?  And to everyone else?  I'd say that would be a bit late, but if there's any of them left alive, I hope my kin will hear it said at last.

I don't think this upcoming article or series of articles is likely to change anything.  Rather, it will be carefully designed to counter all our arguments without actually bringing them up and facing them realistically, thus, keeping the masses calm, when the people should in fact, be alarmed and angry.  Some of us are alarmed and angry, but the OC Register will continue to ignore us until there is an accident.  Then no apologies will be needed.  Blood transfusions, pain killers, operating rooms, and morgues, yes, but you can save the apologies.

I have local sources of inside information which Mr. Robbins does not have, and he surely has been able to verify that this must be so by now.  I also have some great connections around the globe to nuclear physicists, historic figures in the nuclear industry, scientists of every discipline imaginable, and loads of activists.  I back up what I say with numerous references, contacts, and sources.  OC Register knows this because I've been sending you nearly everything I've written on the subject for the past two months.  So you could be digging up all the dirt on San Onofre Nuclear (Waste) Generating Station that I've been explaining exists.  OC Register could be planning a huge and fierce expose.  It would be proper.  It would bankrupt San Onofre's owners, and rightully so.

But instead, as shown in Mr. Robbins' original libelous letters to me last month, the OC Register promotes the nuclear industry's propaganda and does not consider an alternative view.  No matter the stature of the opposition, people like Dr. Gofman, Dr. Caldicott and so many others.  No matter the common-sense of the basic question -- why use something so dangerous to generate electrons when many clean alternatives really do exist?  No matter the millions of people who have spoken out against nuclear power over the decades.  No matter the millions who will die if San Onofre blows.

Why you want to do this -- support the Nuclear Mafia -- I don't know, because I would think protecting the public from disaster -- in this case from the Demon Hot Atom -- would be in keeping with the reason we have newspapers in the first place.  But whatever the reason for your lax reporting on San Onofre, it's risking a catastrophe which would make Bhopal (an American company's disaster in India that killed about 20,000 people) and Chernobyl look small by comparison.  SON(W)GS is right in the middle of paradise.  People will notice if it blows up after an earthquake, tsunami, terrorist strike, operator error, design flaw, construction defect, training shortcoming, attention lapse, etc. etc. etc..  Ad nauseam, until it happens.  Then that nausea Mr. Robbins and all the other staffers at OC Register, and your families, and our families, and we will be feeling, will be from cancer and leukemia, or the awful treatments they've come up with for these awful diseases.

I challenge Mr. Robbins to renounce, in his articles, the degrading remarks which he made to me in his emails.

In the time it takes the average person to read this little document, SON(W)GS creates a couple of pounds of new High Level Radioactive Waste (about 500 lbs a day) and about three times that weight of so-called Low Level Radioactive Waste, which is just High Level Radioactive Waste with filler added.  In the month it seems to be taking the OC Register to put this article together, San Onofre will GENERATE about eight tons of new high level radioactive waste which NO ONE will take and which can't be safely stored where it is.

I believe that if the staff of the Orange County Register understood the risks we are taking every day by using nuclear power to produce our electrons, something we could easily do a dozen other ways, your sense of urgency would not allow you to wait until next month to do the story.

Of course, you could just publish this letter and watch the feathers fly.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

Note: Mr. Robbins' letters to me are available at my web site and are indisputably pompous, hostile, and insulting from the start.  The source for the amount of waste generated at San Onofre is San Onofre's own literature. Other sources available on request.



At 05:11 PM 7/23/01 , Patricia Borchman wrote:
David Lochbaum
Union of Concerned Scientists

Russell Hoffman - Concerned citizen, Carlsbad, CA.

Forwarding reply from David Lochbaum about whether OC Register reporters
contacted anyone?

ALSO TO:  David Lochbaum,

Thank you for your reply.  I was impressed & encouraged to hear OC Register
did contact you!!  Hopefully their multi part article will be more balanced
than the usual PR for the nuclear industry!!!!   Whenever the first, or
followup articles are published, I will forward to you.  Thank you for your
interest, and invaluable expertise, and even greater, your credibility.  In a
world of uncertainties, credibility is hard to come by for me.  You and UCS
have worked hard for many many years and earned it.  

I hope OC Register does the fair job I, and other citizens (victims) have
asked them to perform.  We will see.  Thanks again for your reply, since time
is not a luxury, or something you have any excess .

Patricia Borchmann
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 08:58:01 -0400
From: "Dave Lochbaum" <dlochbaum@ucsusa.org>
To: <Pdbsongs1@cs.com>
Subject: Re: Contact list - check if Orange Co. Register contacted
        anyone for story?
Hello Patricia:

I was contacted the week before last by a reporter from the
Orange County Register for a series scheduled to run in


Dave Lochbaum
Nuclear Safety Engineer
Union of Concerned Scientists
1707 H Street NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006-3962
(202) 223-6133 x137
(202) 223-6162 fax


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