"Proposed Response.doc" email -- Comments by Russell Hoffman -- April 17th, 2001

To: "Ajello, Julian E." JEA@cpuc.ca.gov
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com
Subject: Re: Your "Proposed Response.doc" email to me this morning
Cc: California Senators, governor of California,
"Clanon, Paul" pac@cpuc.ca.gov
"Wong, Zee Z." czw@cpuc.ca.gov
"Clark, Richard W." rwc@cpuc.ca.gov
"Kumar, Alok" akg@cpuc.ca.gov
Message-Id: <>
"Ajello, Julian E." <JEA@cpuc.ca.gov>
California Public Utilities Commission

Russell Hoffman, < rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com >
Concerned Citizen

Date: April 17th, 2001

Re:  Your "Proposed Response.doc" email to me this morning

Dear Julian E. Ajello,

Thank you very much for your email this morning (shown below).

But how could this possibly answer my question as to what recourse Californians have to protect themselves from a Federal Agency gone wacko?  It does show that the NRC has given itself, through what is clearly an illegal and absurdly broad-reaching document, the power of life and death and utter control of the most dangerous technology on the planet, with no oversight, no checks and balances, nothing to protect the citizens at all, save a claim that they are doing what they are doing in part to protect us!  How does that claim actually protect us?  It doesn't.  Anyone can see that it doesn't.

If nuclear power is so safe, why did it take 20 years for the public to finally be told how close to a full-fledged meltdown Three Mile Island really was?  Can anyone at CPUC understand, and then tell me, why they are still storing spent fuel, the highest of high level radioactive waste, at SONGS and at Diablo Cyn, where it's vulnerable to a variety of catastrophic accidents from Tsunamis to stupidity?  Sure, the waste is being stored at the plants "because" a long-term storage facility hasn't been built yet.  But why is that?  It's because the half-lives of many of the components are too long to be able to be sure in geological terms that they can be safely stored anywhere, and it's because we know it's not reliable to rocket the waste into space, and we can't figure a way to transmute it, any more than magicians of the Middle Ages could turn silver into gold.  In short, it's because the problem is mathematically, logically, scientifically and humanly unsolvable.  And why are we making more high level waste every day when we obviously have an unsolvable problem with what we've already got?

We were led to believe Three Mile Island was a very minor event, but in truth, "we almost lost Pennsylvania".  That is NOT an exaggeration!  Can California afford such a catastrophe?  Absolutely not!  Yet this fire on February 3rd, 2001 at San Onofre was clearly very, very close to a radiological disaster in itself.  How close?  Well, from what I can deduce, it is at the very least, indicative of the kinds of problems that can just as easily happen inside the radiological area as in the turbine area where the fire actually occurred.  (Note that this fire also means that a huge new batch of high-level nuclear waste, which was first activated in the reactor just 12 hours before the fire, following a month-long refueling, is now decaying to uselessness and not even producing ANY electricity as it does so.) 

Nukes are a multi-trillion dollar industry as it is.  If the nuclear companies had their way, and the NRC could get it past a frightened (and rightfully so!) public, then nuclear power would be at least a hundred times bigger than it is and we would have thousands of nuclear power plants across the country, hundreds in California alone.  We wouldn't have any gas pipelines for you to regulate, because nuclear power would solve all our energy needs.  That's still the NRC's dream.

The NRC obviously doesn't care about our lives, the pristine condition of our coastlines (such as it is), or the financial burden all this nuclear waste will be to future generations, so how could their claims of jurisdiction matter at all, when obviously the current leaders (and none in the past) have never acted faithfully to carry out their duty to protect the public?

There is no way California should cede so much "power" -- literally -- to a corrupt and despicable organization which has lied to the American People for 50 years (changing names several times as it did so, to avoid detection, I presume).

If what you have shown me is correct, then where is the check when things go wrong, when the agency charged with protecting us protects the nuclear industry instead, when logical renewable energy solutions are ignored in favor of the "Demon Hot Atom" and the "Nuclear Mafia"?  How can showing me this statute save my life?  And if the Utilities Safety Branch of the CPUC is not charged with making sure Californian's get safe energy, shouldn't their name be changed?  May I suggest "Utilities Safety Loopholes Branch"?

And lastly, if by some miracle the NRC is actually right now protecting us, how can the average citizen know that they are doing so when they hold all the cards, covering international security issues, internal corruption matters, everything, within one high and mighty (and corrupt, I'll wager) organization?  I would think that our first level of protection against the NRC would be at the State level, and thus, the luckless job of fighting the NRC for life, liberty, truth, justice, The American Way, and the environment, would fall on the Utilities Safety Branch of the state of California. 

In short, I am not happy with your response, but thank you again for showing it to me.


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, California

At 09:53 AM 4/17/01 -0700, you wrote:

Dear Mr. Hoffman :


The following information comes from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission s Web Page [http://www.nrc.gov/NRC/WHATIS/mission.html#AUTHORITY]. Since it is a Federal Agency, its jurisdiction preempts state jurisdiction. 

The jurisdiction of the California Public Utilities Commission is defined in the California Public Utilities Code [http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=puc&codebody=&hits=20]. The Utilities Safety Branch enforces the Commission s General Orders that apply to the installation, operation, and maintenance of electric and communication lines and pipelines for natural gas.


I hope this answers your followup questions.




THE mission of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is to ensure adequate protection of the public health and safety, the common defense and security, and the environment in the use of nuclear materials in the United States. The NRC's scope of responsibility includes regulation of commercial nuclear power reactors; nonpower research, test, and training reactors; fuel cycle facilities; medical, academic, and industrial uses of nuclear materials; and the transport, storage, and disposal of nuclear materials and waste.

Statutory Authority

The NRC was created as an independent agency by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 , which abolished the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and moved the AEC's regulatory function to NRC. This act, along with the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, provides the foundation for regulation of the nation's commercial nuclear power industry.

NRC regulations are issued under the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 10, Chapter 1. Principal statutory authorities that govern NRC's work are--

         Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended

         Energy Reorganization Act of 1974, as amended

         Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, as amended

         Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978

         Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act of 1980

         West Valley Demonstration Project Act of 1980

         Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982

         Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1985

         Diplomatic Security and Anti-Terrorism Act of 1986

         Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987

         Solar, Wind, Waste and Geothermal Power Production Incentives Act of 1990

         Energy Policy Act of 1992

The NRC and its licensees share a common responsibility to protect the public health and safety. Federal regulations and the NRC regulatory program are important elements in the protection of the public. NRC licensees, however, have the primary responsibility for the safe use of nuclear materials.

Licensing and Regulatory Responsibilities

The NRC fulfills its responsibilities through a system of licensing and regulatory activities that include--

         Licensing the construction and operation of nuclear reactors and other nuclear facilities, such as nuclear fuel cycle facilities and nonpower test and research reactors, and overseeing their decommissioning

         Licensing the possession, use, processing, handling, and export of nuclear material

         Licensing the siting, design, construction, operation, and closure of low-level radioactive waste disposal sites under NRC jurisdiction and the construction, operation, and closure of the geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste

         Licensing the operators of nuclear power and nonpower test and research reactors

         Inspecting licensed facilities and activities

         Conducting the principal U.S. Government research program on light-water reactor safety

         Conducting research to provide independent expertise and information for making timely regulatory judgments and for anticipating problems of potential safety significance

         Developing and implementing rules and regulations that govern licensed nuclear activities

         Investigating nuclear incidents and allegations concerning any matter regulated by the NRC

         Enforcing NRC regulations and the conditions of NRC licenses

         Conducting public hearings on matters of nuclear and radiological safety, environmental concern, common defense and security, and antitrust matters

         Developing effective working relationships with the States regarding reactor operations and the regulation of nuclear material

         Maintaining the NRC Incident Response Program, including the NRC Operations Center

         Collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information about the operational safety of commercial nuclear power reactors and certain nonreactor activities


Alok Kumar
State of California
Utilities Safety Branch
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

Subject: RE: Why haven't you closed down SONGS? (followup questions)

Date: April 12th, 2001
Dear Sir,

Thank you for your letter (shown below, with prior correspondence). I would like to know the exact statute, law, executive order, or whatever it is that causes you to say that California PUC has no "direct jurisdiction" over San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS). If California has any jurisdiction at all, I would think it would be jurisdiction over safety issues.
What I'm claiming is that the federal government's representatives (inspectors at the plant and everyone who supports them at DoE) are incapable of properly overseeing the safety of the plant, for one reason or another (understaffed, incompetent, an impossible task to begin with, or all three). In that case, wouldn't jurisdiction then go to California? If not at the state level, where would jurisdiction be taken up?

And if the whole idea of using nuclear power to solve California's energy problems is a scam brought about by a 50-year history of corruption and incompetence at the federal level (and I do so charge!) then wouldn't jurisdiction, once again, switch to California so that we can protect ourselves? If the State won't protect us when the Feds fail to do so, who will?

So please, give me a more thorough explanation of why California has no jurisdiction here. I contend that it does, and that it had better take action immediately, before a genocidal crime against humanity occurs, through maleficence at either the Federal or the private levels, or both, such as it appears might have already happened in this case (either at the plant or at the circuit breaker manufacturer, or both). These plants constantly are, essentially, just barely averting disaster on a daily, minute-by-minute basis, hoping nothing serious goes wrong -- or at least nothing they can't cover up and ignore. But serious accidents can occur because of equipment failures, incompetent and/or poorly trained operators, design faults, earthquakes, tsunamis, terrorists, airplanes crashing into the plant (by terrorists or by accident), even asteroids -- there are many ways. DoE essentially ignores every one of them. And insurance won't cover any of them.

If the entire federal Department of Energy operation is essentially corrupt or at the very least utterly incompetent, or both, then who takes over?

My guess would be the State of California, your branch, specifically. And is the DoE corrupt? Let me cite some statements by others. These are taken from a list compiled by:

John P. Shannon, Major USMC (Retired)
Thirty Year General Electric Company Employee at KAPL
Nuclear Physicist/Nuclear Engineer
Former Manager of Nuclear Safety
Industrial Safety/Industrial Hygiene
at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory
262 Jones Road
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

A few of these quotes refer specifically to problems at KAPL (located in New York State) and with the Nuclear Navy. Need I mention that America's Nuclear Navy also, in my opinion, can and should -- and must -- be regulated by the State of California (at least when its ships and subs are in or near ports here), specifically because the feds won't do it?

NOTE: The response to Hoffman ended here. The original email sent by rdh is available here: http://www.animatedsoftware.com/cassini/cass2001/songs02.htm


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First posted April, 2001.

Last modified April, 2001.

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