Letter to Colette E. Brown, U.S. DOE by Russell Hoffman


To: Colette E. Brown,
U.S. Department of Energy, NE-50,
19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, MD 20874-1290 Nuclear.Infrastructure-PEIS@hq.doe.gov

From: Russell D. Hoffman
Carlsbad California USA

September 14th, 2000

Dear Ms Brown,

I would like to submit the following electronic newsletter I received today as a supplement to my prior letter of September 9th, 2000. Also, I would appreciate being informed of what sort of response I can expect from DoE on the matters I raised in my previous email.

The enclosed newsletter is from the "NOFLYBY" webmaster, Jonathan Haber. It suggests that all readers send their comments not only to DoE but to -- not Jonathan Haber -- but Bruce Gagnon, that is, Global Net.

In my previous email I referred to Global Net -- that is, Bruce Gagnon's group -- as the "The official organization which opposes nuclear power in space". By "official" I did not mean to imply that there was a publicly documented sanctioning (there may be, for all I know), but rather that NASA, DOE, and other government agencies, and the media, and other activist groups, have all behaved *as if* that group were somehow officially sanctioned. NASA for example a few years ago held a "town meeting" about Cassini with Gagnon's group, and at that meeting Gagnon specifically excluded local (Florida) NASA sub-contractor scientist Horst Poehler from participating at a panel level. Gagnon had no comparable expert available. (Dr. Poehler is the author of the excellent Cassini Cancers article, available at my STOP CASSINI web site.)

I submit the attached newsletter as an indication that Gagnon's group is indeed considered, even by many people in the movement itself, as the "de facto" leadership organization in opposition to DOE plans.

But I also claim that Bruce Gagnon, and several others associated with his group, are both secretive, and extraordinarily unproductive, specifically because they are frauds. Such behavior is utterly UNConstitutional against a U.S. citizen, yet these "operatives" are agents of American military policy acting against American citizens (among others). At the same time, they are acting as if in utter ignorance of numerous scientific principals.

Such activities have got to stop for our democracy to solve its problems, such as the continued hazard from the growing nuclear waste piles all around our country (nearly all DOE's fault), and the growing pile of official lies being told in order to support a bankrupt national nuclear policy and its corrupt and blindfolded industry -- an industry which does not even dare to examine its own dangers.

It is very likely that if the American public understood the true dangers we are facing from the various nuclear threats our own government makes against us -- which are all cumulative in their effects on the biosphere and on our health -- we, the public, would have stopped this mad behavior long ago.

So one must ask, why haven't we?

Indeed, why have a few closed-minded scientists at NASA actually managed to convince the world to let a particularly large and cumbersome probe be sent to Saturn, thus risking spilling 400,000 Curies of Plutonium 238 in vaporized form into our small biosphere with 6 billion human souls on board?

Why couldn't NASA have flown two non-nuclear missions to replace Cassini's ugly and dangerous nuclear solution -- dangerous, as proven by NASA's own subsequent failures? (Titan's have failed, orbital insertions have failed, the Shuttles have been grounded for potentially catastrophic failures found by chance, etc. etc. etc.)

Why did NASA not only risk our (citizens of planet Earth's) lives, and do so for no scientific gain at all since the entire science gain could have been developed with non-nuclear electrical power sources, but why also did NASA risk its own reputation by attempting such a dangerous and foolhardy thing?

The answer is surely the military connection I discussed in my previous letter.

The fact is, I doubt the American public, if given a fair chance to look at the issues, would go along with such madness as is currently being proposed by DOE. The only explanation I can accept for my fellow Americans making such wrong decisions collectively is that they have not been given the facts.

When I became involved, in 1997, with the issue of nukes in space, it quickly became apparent that, except for the dedicated work of one investigative journalist (Karl Grossman), nukes in space was largely a forgotten issue -- a slumbering horror which needed to be stopped.

Soon, even more appeared to be amiss than just silence from the major media and from other environmental organizations (the issue won a Project Censored award about that time).

Eventually, with careful study, I was able to identify the problem of why the public didn't understand how little we (the public) were gaining from such great dangers DOE was permitting: The real problem?

Government is playing both sides of the issue.

I believe that our government is able to control, through carefully placed operatives both in environmental organizations and in the media -- not only everything NASA officially says to the media about what is going on, and many media outlets themselves -- but in addition, through agents and infiltrators of the various movements opposed to what the Government is doing, they control even what the media hears the opposition say.

These infiltrators are particularly potent, because they cause the wrong questions to be asked, or if anyone does ask the right questions, they are willing to accept the wrong answers. These infiltrators fight only half-heartedly, except at their efforts to gain control of all phases of the movement. They commit 100s of other sins of both omission and commission to prevent other activists from becoming effective in actually changing public policy by effecting public opinion.

I would like to submit as additional suggested reading, all 253 prior issues of the Stop Cassini newsletter, and all three prior issues of the Nukes, Kooks and Spooks newsletter, all of which are available either online at my web site (for the Stop Cassini newsletters) or by request directly from me (for the Nukes, Kooks and Spooks newsletters, which I have not yet been posted).

And I again request to be informed when I can expect detailed, honest answers to my charges. The American public has a right to know the full truth. This country was founded on truth and the purpose of the Environmental Impact Statement process is to present the truth fairly and completely so that the American public can decide for themselves what they want to do.

Sincerely,

Russell D. Hoffman Concerned Citizen, Activist Carlsbad, California Attachment: Email received 9/14/00 from NOFLYBY (followed by my standard contact information to close the email)

******************************************************** At 10:21 PM 9/14/00 -0400, Post Cassini Flyby News wrote:

Post Cassini Flyby News
Editor - Jonathan Mark
P.O. Box 1999 Wendell Depot, MA 01380 USA
Re: http://www.BartJordan.com

14 September 2000

1) Time Extension - until Monday September 18
Help Stop DoE's Expansion of Plutonium Development

The deadline for placing your statement on record to the DOE by a toll-free telephone call, fax or E-mail, has been extended until this coming Monday, September 18. Please take the time to reply with your response to their plans for plutonium development. Radiactive Plutonium is one of the most toxic substances known to human life, for space exploration?!?

The following talking points were received from the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Please send them a copy of your comments .

ACTION ALERT!

DoE PLANS FOR EXPANDED PRODUCTION OF PLU-238 FOR FUTURE SPACE MISSIONS

PUBLIC COMMENTS ON DRAFT PROGRAMMATIC ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT (PEIS)

COMMENTS DUE BY: SEPTEMBER 18, 2000

SEND COMMENTS TO:

Colette E. Brown,
U.S. Department of Energy, NE-50,
19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, MD 20874-1290; by fax (toll-free) at 1-877/562-4592; by phone (toll-free) at 1-877/562-4593; or by electronic mail to: Nuclear.Infrastructure-PEIS@hq.doe.gov

BACKGROUND:

In the Draft PEIS the DoE states that they must "assess the need of expansion of its existing nuclear infrastructure" due to growing demand for space nuclear power.

DoE maintains that "NASA has yet to identify or demonstrate technologies that can visibly replace plu-238-fueled radioisotope power systems for use in deep space missions."

DoE further states that "Because the supply of plu-238 produced at Savannah River Site (S.C.) to support NASA space missions is limited, DoE signed a 5-year contract in 1992 to purchase plu-238 from Russia. The political and economic climate in Russia creates uncertainties as a source of plu-238 to satisfy future NASA space mission requirements."

DoE thus proposes to "re-establish a domestic capability for producing and processing this material. Since the SRS facilities previously used for plu-238 production are no longer available, DoE needs to evaluate other DoE irradiation and chemical processing facilities, as well as potential commercial light water reactors for this mission. Unless an assured domestic supply of plu-238 is established, DoE's ability to support future NASA space exploration missions may be lost."

DoE states that the targets for plu-238 production would be fabricated in one of three facilities at:

* Oak Ridge Nat'l Laboratory (TN)
* Hanford Site (WA)
* Idaho Nat'l Engineering & Environmental Laboratory

Among the space missions requiring space nuclear power in coming years are:

* Pluto/Kuiper Express (16 pounds)
* Europa Orbiter & Solar Probe (6.6 pounds) * NASA Mars Surveyor series
* Nuclear Powered mining colonies on Moon/Mars * Nuclear Powered rockets to Mars

TALKING POINTS TO DoE

1) NASA is not doing enough to develop environmentally benign power sources for space missions. European Space Agency (ESA) has now developed high-efficiency solar cells for deep space missions.

2) The plutonium production/fabrication process for space nuclear power missions has recently led to several worker contamination accidents. An expansion of production will only worsen this problem.

3) Expanding the number of launches of nuclear powered space devices from Cape Canaveral on rockets with 10% failure rates will only increase the possibility of a deadly mishap.

4) The massive cost of expanded production of plu-238 can not be justified at a time when DoE admits it needs over $300 billion to clean-up existing problems at DoE facilities.

5) The military is promoting the use of nuclear power in space for space-based weapons technology. Using nuclear power for space war will have severe environmental implications for life on Earth.

YOU MUST ACT BY MONDAY -- SEPTEMBER 18 -- TO HAVE YOUR STATEMENT GO ON RECORD

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The Message

"Silence, they say, is the voice of complicity.
But silence is impossible.
Silence screams.
Silence is a message,
just as doing nothing is an act.

Let who you are ring out and resonate
in every word and every deed.
Yes, become who you are.
There's no sidestepping your own being
or your own responsibility.

What you do is who you are.
You are your own comeuppance.
You become your own message

You are the message."

Leonard Peltier
(from Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance)

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"Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space" globalnet@mindspring.com Subject: OCT 7 ACTIONS LIST

October 7, 2000
International Day of Protest to
Stop the Militarization of Space

No Star Wars!
No Nuclear Rocket!
Keep Space for Peace !

Current List of Participating Cities:

Albuquerque, N.M.
Asheville, N.C.
Baku, Azerbaijan
Beale AFB, CA.
Cape Canaveral AFS, FL.
Edwards AFB, CA.
Fylingdales, England
France
Great Neck, N.Y.
Hartford, CT.
Holland, MI.
Kathmandu, Nepal
Leicester, England
London, England
Los Angeles, AFB, CA.
Madison, WI.
Menwith Hill, England
Nevada Test Site
Northampton, MA.
Penn State University
Schwaebisch Gmuend, Germany
Seoul, Korea
Stockton, CA.
St. Paul, MN.
Toronto, Canada
Tucson, AZ.
Valley Forge, PA.
Vandenberg AFB, CA.
Vancouver, Canada
White House, Washington DC

Please join this growing list of actions on October 7 by organizing an event in your community on this day of international protest to stop the militarization of space. Hold your event at a military base; DOE laboratory; NASA facility; U.S. Embassy; an aerospace industry corporation; or an academic institution that is working on military space. The next NMD test is planned for sometime this fall. Let's keep building the pressure on President Clinton, Congress and the weapons industry.

Let us know if you plan to hold an action on October 7 so that we can add it to our international media advisory.

__ Please add my name to your mailing list. __ Count us in! We will organize an action on October 7 in our community. __ Enclosed is a donation toward your Peace in Space campaign.

Organization:____________________________________________________________

Location of planned October 7 action:______________________________________________

Name:_________________________________Address:_________________________

City: __________________________________ State/Zip: ____________________

Phone: (______)________________________ E-mail: __________________

Nation:____________

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space PO Box 90083 Gainesville, FL. 32607 (352) 337-9274 http://www.space4peace.org globalnet@mindspring.com

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First placed online April, 2001.
Last modified April, 2001.
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