STOP CASSINI Newsletter #118 -- May 3rd, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, Press, Government Officials

Subject: : Nukes In Space II wins Silver Award in Houston - STOP CASSINI #118

Date: Monday, May 3rd, 1999

Time Frame: There are 52 days left until the flyby of Venus, 7 weeks before the flyby of Earth.

Today's subjects:

Karl Grossman's film Nukes In Space II wins Silver Award in Houston:

----- INCOMING EMAIL -----



Nukes In Space 2, Unacceptable Risks, a video documentary that tells the story of the Cassini plutonium-fueled space probe, has received the Silver Award at the 32nd annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival.

The WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival is the largest film festival in the world with over 4,300 entries from 33 countries.

Festival Director, J. Hunter Todd, said, "Nukes In Space 2 is a tremendously important film that reveals the terrible truth of our nation's folly."

Nukes In Space 2, Unacceptable Risks was directed by Steve Jambeck, written and narrated by Karl Grossman. It investigates the Cassini space probe, with 72.3 pounds of lethal plutonium 238 on board, launched by NASA in 1997. Cassini is slated to come hurtling toward Earth's atmosphere on August 17, 1999. The probe will be flying at 42,300 miles per hour, and will come within 500 miles in a "gravity assist" or "slingshot" maneuver so it can reach its final destination, Saturn. According to NASA, if Cassini makes an "inadvertent re-entry" into the Earth's atmosphere during the "fly-by," it will break up, plutonium will disperse and "approximately five billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion world population at the time ... could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure." The documentary also reports on NASA's planned future plutonium missions, and investigates the U.S. military's aim to "control space" and the Earth below with space-based nuclear-powered weaponry.

Information to order Nukes in Space 2: Unacceptable Risks is posted at

NoFlyby will send promotional copies of the video to any government or media representatives, community access television or other nonprofit organizations before June 24, 1999. Send an email to

For further information call EnviroVideo:
Steve Jambeck 718-318-8045
Karl Grossman 516-725-2858


Speaking out around the world: Japan

----- INCOMING EMAIL -----

Date: Mon, 3 May 1999 17:23:15 +0900
To: "Russell D. Hoffman"
From: Richard Wilcox
Subject: letter to newspapers

[Sent to the Japanese English dailies: The Asahi Evening News and the Japan Times. RW]

FROM: Richard Wilcox, #103, 1-17-8 Nishi Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo 170-0001 JAPAN Email

May 3, 1999

On April 30, A United States rocket carrying a military communications satellite failed to achieve proper orbit and became a 1.2 billion dollar piece of space junk. Due to military secrecy, it is unknown whether the Milstar carried plutonium on board. If so, it is possible that in coming decades radioactive debris reentering the atmosphere could cause cancer among the Earth's organisms, humans included.

This accident is especially worrisome in relation to the Cassini mission, a US space probe that is due to swing by the Earth in less than two months on a research mission to Saturn. The Cassini is in fact carrying over 72 pounds of plutonium on board, and if it were to crash and burn in our atmosphere it could cause millions of cancer deaths. NASA tells us not to fear, however, that there is a "one in a million chance" that anything will go wrong.

This assertion defies common sense and the empirical record. Firstly, we all know that technology does fail at times. Secondly, the Titan IV rocket that carried the Cassini space- probe is the same type that carried the failed Milstar. Yet another Titan IV exploded on launch a couple of years ago. Not such a great record for technology which carries such an extremely high risk.

The utter disregard and arrogance that symbolizes the US government's approach to Cassini and other space missions is rooted in their desire to monopolize the heavens with nuclear powered space stations, laser weaponry and satellite technology. Space missions to outer planets carried out in the name of science are really scams by which taxpayers fund exploration for rare minerals. Furthermore, rocket launches have a devastating effect on the ozone layer.

Unless people write to NASA and to US President Bill Clinton and express their disapproval of these missions, nuclear accidents in space and their contamination of the Earth below may become commonplace in the future.

-- Richard Wilcox, Tokyo


Mr. Wilcox is a U.S. citizen currently living in Japan.

Japan is the most notorious nuclear nation on Earth at the moment, with no less than three (3) huge Japanese firms actively trying to sell nuclear power plants around the world. The three companies are Mitsubishi (who made "Zeros" during WWII), Hitachi and Toshiba (the latter two work closely with the American firm GE on nuclear technology).

How much D. U. is being used in Yugoslavia?

A three part discussion of where the phrase used in newsletter #115 regarding how much Depleted Uranium is being used in Yugoslavia right now. We had said "an estimated scores of tons" and this is a clarification of how that estimate was made.


From: Russell D. Hoffman
To: "Euler, Catherine [CES]"
Subject: D.U. in the Balkans
Date: 28 April 28 1999 19:56PM


I saw your recent posting on the Internet (and plan to use it in my next newsletter) and it seems you are surprised to learn about the use of D. U. weapons. I just wanted to let you know that I've been writing about D.U. for years. It's really no secret except to the Lapdog press; it was used by the millions of rounds in the Gulf War and they've been developing the weapons SINCE THE 60'S! The shores off Okinawa is a vast nuclear waste site -- the U.S. military trains with D.U. there. Attached is my most recent newsletter, #115. Newsletters #74 and #51 and others also discuss D.U. and are posted at my web site.

I sincerely hope you will become a subscriber to my newsletter.

Thank you.

Russell Hoffman
Founder and Editor
STOP CASSINI newsletter


[CASSINI #115 was attached]



At 08:35 PM 4/29/99 +0100, 'Cat' wrote:

Hi Russell,

Thanks very much for this information. No, I was not surprised; we have been hearing about DU in the peace movement here for a few years now. We didn't hear much while the Gulf War was ongoing, unfortunately. I am just so deeply appalled and outraged I hardly have the words to express it. If you don't mind my asking, what is the source for the estimate that DU " is being used at the estimated rate of scores of tons each day in Yugoslavia." I would like to pass this on to some of the MPs here who are speaking out against the war; who has done the estimating and how was the calculation made? Also just curious for myself, if you have the time to answer. It might also be useful to bring this evidence before one of the international lawyers we know who is very good.

I'm in the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, and so have also been doing some work on Cassini; I'm glad you have this newsletter going. It sounds like you are using it as a general anti-war forum as well; we have found it is very difficult to keep the focus on Cassini in the midst of this war, which is one reason why Helen is going to do the walking picket outside the American Embassy in May.

Great does one subscribe?

Thanks again,

-- Cat

----- END OF PART #2 -----



Thanks for your email. To subscribe to the newsletter, just say the word. (Actually, I've taken the liberty of already adding your name to the free electronic distribution list, and the next one will be out in a few hours.)

There is of course absolutely no way to know for sure how much D. U. is being used each day in Yugoslavia. The source of the "scores of tons" estimate was unfortunately mainly just me, and I suppose I should have made that clear that it is not from any "official" source, but let me tell you how it comes about. I think you will agree it would be fair to call it an educated guess by an reasonably knowledgeable activist.

First, it is well known that there are now over 1000 planes flying missions in the Balkans, including A-10 Warthogs, and soon the Apaches will be going in if they aren't already. They are not dropping sacks of potatoes on Serbia. D.U. is used by the U.S. in virtually all large-caliber ballistic weapons (like aircraft machine gun bullets, tank shells, etc.) as well as for control surfaces in helicopters and airplanes, and for controllable missiles such as Tomahawks even moreso, because such use would be even more advantageous (so they can carry more explosive by using the counterweights to shrink the size of the control surfaces, thus reducing drag, increasing efficiency... you can carry more bang for your buck. PLUS it's "beneficial" effect when the missile strikes the target. D. U. goes through concrete like it was butter.

These missiles weigh thousands of pounds each. The tips, for penetration, and the control surfaces for counterbalance, probably both have lots (dozens (hundreds?) of pounds) of D.U. in them. We are hitting dozens of targets or perhaps hundreds each day, and flying hundreds of missions. A single attack can discharge many thousands of pounds of munitions.

Next, one should consider the estimates of how much D.U. was actually used in the Gulf War -- that was many millions of rounds, in a wide variety of calibers. From what I have read, I would also estimate that easily a thousand tons of D. U. was used in the Gulf War, so all in all, that is where the estimate came from. (See an "actual" figure, given below, which came in while I composed this response. It is not so terribly different.)

My sources also included numerous other texts, and conversations with experts Two years ago, otherwise-skilled scientists didn't believe me when I said that 747's had D.U. in them -- but indeed, it's true -- lots and lots of it! Here is a clip from newsletter #51, provided by Pamela Blockey-O'Brien:

Industrial Uses of Depleted Uranium
by Paul Loewenstein,
Vice-President and Technical Director of Nuclear Metals Inc.

Nuclear Metals Inc. is one of the largest users of Depleted Uranium which they get free from the Department of Energy.

The following quote is part of Appendix 9 which was excerpted from Metals Handbook, 1989, ISBN: 0871-700077 Volume 1, Industrial Uses of Depleted Uranium, American Society for Metals, and was reprinted on pages 135 - 141 of "Uranium Battlefields Home and Abroad: Depleted Uranium Use by the U.S. Department of Defense" March 1993. Published by Citizen Alert and Rural Alliance for Military Accountability.

"There are three principal nonnuclear uses of Depleted Uranium. Radiation shielding; counterweights in airplanes, helicopters, and missiles; and armor piercing projectiles for military ordinance..."

It continues, in a section titled "Special Applications":

"Counterweights are used in aerodynamic control devices of airplanes, missiles, and helicopters to maintain the center of gravity when such devices are moved. Counterweights frequently are complex in shape to fit control surface contours. High density is important in order to keep the counterweight small compared to the control surface. Depleted Uranium is well suited for this application, and uranium counterweights have been used in many civilian and military aircraft. For example, 1,500 kg of uranium counterweights are used in each Boeing 747."

---- end of clip from my newsletter #51, October, 1997 -----

... And they aren't even trying to penetrate armor or tons of concrete when they put it on 747's...

Other sources include a recently declassified Army report from the 60's on nuke waste which clearly indicates the research that was going on regarding D.U. weapons even back then, and various articles in both peace, environmental, and even mainstream publications. Somewhere I have the actual weights of D.U. for many distinct types of ammo. I am confident that "scores of tons" of D.U. is being dropped on Yugoslavia right now on a daily basis, and that will go up significantly if a ground war starts. But did a "source" actually give me a count of bullets? No. But many sources helped me reach the conclusion.

Here is a report that just came in as I write this, which says "320 tons" was used in the Gulf war:

If that's true, that it was "only" 320 tons, not the 1000 or 2000 tons I was going by, then PERHAPS "scores of tons" right now is a little high, but I doubt it's off by much. Scores of tons each week? Every few days? There are many unknowns, including the true extent of the number of missions, the number of cruise missiles being used, everything. They seem to be clearing out old inventory of weaponry so they can shoot even smarter bombs next time -- I mean, pouring it on. I wouldn't want to be downwind of anything we attack. I don't particularly even want to be on the same planet, but there's not much I can do about that!

Anyway, I hope this is a sufficiently clear explanation. I do my best to be accurate, but this explanation seemed a bit long at the time for the introduction to Bertelle's information, and saying "I estimate" instead of third-pensoning it really would have been wrong too, insofar as "my" estimate is based on much that is itself estimated by others I have chosen to trust, and is also based on a number of conversations and interactions with people I feel are knowledgeable. Nobody knows what is being used, but I'd be quite surprised to learn that I am off by an order of magnitude one way or the other.

If you like, I can try to track down some more references, or of course, you can check newsletters #74 and #51 which are at the web site.

I wish it was zero and feel the world should know what America is doing -- the hidden atrocity of a silent nuclear attack.

Thanks again,

Russell Hoffman
Peace Activist
Founder and Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter

----- END OF PART #3 -----

DU bullets are reportedly being sold on the open market now by Russia, and according to the APRIL 29 1999 Christian Science Monitor, at least 17 countries have DU ammunition in their arsenals including Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, England, France, Russia Kuwait and Taiwan. For the full report by Scott Peterson -- highly recommended -- see this URL:

Photo: Battlefield "Still Hot"

The next item is another Christian Science Monitor report regarding D.U., also found in RADBULL. It contains a statement claiming DU bullets are not being used in Yugoslavia and that there are "no plans" to use them, although we find that claim absurd. Furthermore that statement should not be taken to mean that D.U. is not being used at all, because it is used in the control surfaces and penetrator tips for the cruise missiles.


4 Pentagon waffles on depleted uranium safety - paper

06:16 p.m Apr 29

1999 Eastern (Reuters) (search "nuclear OR plutonium OR uranium OR radioactiv???")

BOSTON - The U.S. Defence Department by its own admission has been inconsistent in its safety standards for use of radioactive depleted uranium (DU) bullets the Christian Science Monitor reports in its Friday editions.

The newspaper said on Thursday that U.S. Air Force A-10 fighters used in NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia are armed with the bullets which leave a radioactive trail. But the Monitor said the DU bullets have not yet been used in the war and the Pentagon has no plans to use them.

The Christian Science Monitor made its report available to Reuters a day ahead of publication.

DU bullets used in the Gulf War and against Bosnian Serb targets in 1995 may be linked to Gulf War syndrome according to the newspaper. But the Pentagon has been unable to settle on safety standards for the munitions which burn and scorch armour making them effective against tanks it said.

While the Pentagon has regulations based on Nuclear Regulatory Commission standards which require masks and suits when dealing with DU contamination a 1993 report by the General Accounting Office the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress said U.S. Army officials ``believe that DU protective means can be ignored during battle.''

The newspaper cited contradictory statements made by U.S. military officials about the dangers of DU.

Pentagon officials acknowledged in the story that the military needs to adopt its own ``acceptable risks'' of DU in the overall context of combat.

But Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman told Reuters the military has standards and training procedures that it adheres to.

``Depleted uranium munitions are part of the military's inventory '' he said in a telephone interview. ``The military has training procedures and established guidelines for those who come in contact with depleted uranium munitions.''

The Pentagon also does not presently believe DU is the likely cause of Gulf War syndrome Whitman added.

((Boston newsroom 617-367-4106; fax 617248-9563; e-mail

----- END OF PART 4 -----

----- D.U. USE IN YUGOSLAVIA --PART 5 -----

In 1966 -- over 30 years ago -- the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia (VMI Research Laboratories) prepared a US Army official, classified report for the Nuclear Defense Laboratory, Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland. The report number was NDL-TR-78 and it is now unclassified and available from DTIC (Defense Technical Information Center), 8725 John J. Kingman Rd, Ste. 0944, Fort Belvoir, VA, 22060-6218. It took us about 6 months to actually receive a copy from when we first requested it, and we will do a newsletter covering it in depth soon, but here is some relevant information from the report about the U.S. Army's stand at the time on Depleted Uranium. All this was utterly top-secret back then of course! Now is the time to demand a complete "open" policy on the United State's use of nuclear weapons of any sort, on the lies that have been foisted on the American people (and all the world's people) in the name of the nuclear nightmare -- it's time to stop the secrecy completely and admit that we as a country have lied to ourselves for three generations, and we will no longer do so. Other truths have come out in America and around the world, and we can withstand the truths about the NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST that we have created.

Admitting it and seeing it's full extent is the only way to stop it. Hence, read this:



"Watertown Arsenal Massachusetts

"Sources of Radioactive wastes

"The two sources of waste radioactive material at Watertown [include] depleted uranium wastes resulting from fabrication and machining of munition parts." (The other source was a 1 MW water-cooled nuclear reactor: "When permissible concentrations are met, the contents of the holding tanks are released to the sewer which drains directly into the Charles River.")


"Disposal Operations

"Watertown's disposal procedures are unique in that large quantities of depleted uranium are reduced to oxide form by incineration. Burning is conducted in a small fenced area of the arsenal salvage yard. Incineration consists of open burning in steel plate dumpsters fabricated locally. Each 4- by 4- by 5- foot dumpster holds about 100 drums of material when reduced to ash. Chips and turnings are placed directly in open dumpsters, ignited and allowed to burn to ash. The dumpster is welded shut when filled. A reduction factor of approximately five times is effected for depleted uranium chips and turnings. Chunks are not incinerable and they are shipped in the 30-gallon drums along with sealed dumpsters. For a total of about 300,000 pounds of wastes generated and a shipping weight of 165,000 pounds in FY 65, the overall reduction factor due incineration is approximately two."

The section on Watertown concludes:

"Personnel feel that incineration of depleted uranium and the shipment of wastes directly to burial is the safest and most economical solution to the waste problem."

----- END OF PART 5 -----

That was D.U. 30+ years ago. We continue to believe tons of D.U. is being used daily in Yugoslavia. Perhaps scores of tons. Note: Like "military intelligence" and "jumbo shrimp", "safest and most economical" is a contradiction in terms.




CANCEL CASSINI by JUNE 24th, 1999!

To Cancel Cassini start by asking NASA for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission and all subsequent related documents (on paper, please!). Tell them you need it IMMEDIATELY (members of the world press should do this too). All citizens of the world are ENTITLED to these documents because of the global threat Cassini poses. Here's where to get information:

Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011

NASA states that they do not have the resources anymore to answer most emails they receive. Liars! They have $13 billion dollars to play with. They can answer the public's questions. At least, ask them one specific question: How many letters did they get opposing Cassini today? (And tell them you oppose it too!) If each reader asks them that...

Here's NASA's "comments" email address:

Daniel Goldin is the head of NASA. Here's his email address:

Here's the NASA URL to find additional addresses to submit written questions to:


Be sure to "cc" the president and VP and your senators and congresspeople, too.

Always include your full name and postal address in all correspondence to any Government official of any country.

Subscription information

Thanks for reading! Welcome new subscribers!

Home page of our STOP CASSINI movement:

To subscribe, email the editor at and state:
Please include a personal message of any
length and subject matter. Thank you!

To unsubscribe email me and say

Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
Written in U.S.A.
Please distribute these newsletters EVERYWHERE!


Next issue (#119)
Previous issue (#117)

This article has been presented on the World Wide Web by:

The Animated Software Company
Mail to:
First placed online May 3rd, 1999.
Last modified May 3rd, 1999.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman