RE: Will national Sierra Club take on the nuclear waste issue? (III)

To: Arthur Doucette <>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: RE: Will national Sierra Club take on the nuclear waste issue? (III)

To: Arthur Doucette
From: Russell Hoffman
cc: Bruce Hamilton, Sierra Club
Date: June 5th, 2001

Hi Arthur,

Thank you for your email (shown below) responding to my attempts to take the Sierra Club to task for their weak and ineffective (and conflicting and confusing) policy on nuclear waste.

I realize there are many ways to interpret most policy statements -- indeed, most statements in general.  Simply put, the Sierra Club's statement doesn't demand the closure of current plants and that omission is, in my opinion, glaring and purposeful and needs to be fixed.  Approximately 200,000,000 more pounds of High Level Radioactive Waste and a billion more pounds of so-called Low Level Radioactive Waste have been created at the unmentioned operational nuclear power plants since the Sierra Club's first official statement was made in 1974 (at least, the first one I could find at the web site).  So I'd say on that basis alone, my interpretation is not off-base.

Did the framers of the Constitution really need to include "life" if they stated "liberty"?  After all, what good is liberty if one is dead (or is death the ultimate (or only true) liberating experience?)?  Sometimes it's important to be explicit.  I have no doubt that this is one of those times.

And what about Mr. Hamilton's statement about "favoring on site storage"?  What an abomination of the Sierra Club's basic policies for the environment that is!  Show me a so-called safe on-site storage method for nuclear waste and I'll show you a holocaust waiting to happen.

I also see at least a 27-year history of non-action against operational nukes under the Sierra Club directors' statement, which is an indication that the policy statements they are making are not strong enough to protect the environment from nuclear disaster.

Also, I'm not sure why the exclusion for "research reactors" in the clip you showed me (below) needs to be so blanket.  Each "research reactor" should have an individual exception if the Sierra Club feels it's particular work is somehow necessary to protect the environment.  Most so-called "research reactors" have been closed; they sit threatening their communities and aren't even being used in "research" anymore.  I suspect many if not most, usually only trained future nuclear technicians and plant engineers anyway, and weren't really doing much "research" at all.  And of those that were, most of them were probably researching useless things like bomb-making and power generation methods which haven't been successful or cost-effective.

I don't think that the Sierra Club statements you've pointed out (which I had reviewed prior to sending my letter to Mr. Hamilton) can possibly be considered definitive statements in opposition to Dry Cask Storage, Spent Fuel Pools, or the continued operation of existing nuclear power plants.  If the Sierra Club statements are (tacitly) for shutting down the plants, it is only because of the creation of the waste, and not because of the many other reasons those plants need to be shut down.  Those "other reasons" should have already produced a definitive statement, one which does not need to be extended beyond the actual words to determine its meaning.


As always, again, Arthur, thank you for your comments.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

For a look at alternative energy solutions:

For a discussion of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons:

At 10:07 PM 7/4/01 , you wrote:
From: Arthur Doucette <>
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: RE: Will national Sierra Club take on the nuclear waste issue?
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2001 01:07:25 -0400


This is from the Sierra Club's web site under the topic of HLRW.

The obvious difficulty of assuring the permanent isolation of HLRW from the
environment confirms the Sierra Club in its belief that the generation of
further HLRW should be curtailed.
Adopted by the Board of Directors, May 2-3, 1987

I don't see how one can continue to run the reactors and not create more
HLRW, I therefore assume that the Sierra Club IS in favor of shutting down
existing reactors down even though their section on Nuclear Power only
refers to no more new reactors until the following conditions are met:

1. Development of adequate national and global policies to curb energy
over-use and unnecessary economic growth.
2. Resolution of the significant safety problems inherent in reactor
operation, disposal of spent fuels, and possible diversion of nuclear
materials capable of use in weapons manufacture.
3. Establishment of adequate regulatory machinery to guarantee adherence to
the foregoing conditions. The above resolution does not apply to research
Adopted by the Board of Directors, December 12-13, 1974 .


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First posted September 22nd, 2001.

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