Subject: Karl Grossman on space weaponization -- STOP CASSINI #122
Date: May 7th, 1999
Time Frame: There are 48 days left until the flyby of Venus, 7 weeks before the flyby of Earth.
As part of the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference in The Hague, The Netherlands (May 11 to May 21, 1999), which takes place next week, Karl Grossman will be speaking and showing his excellent film Nukes In Space II.
Karl Grossman is a Professor of Journalism, State University of New York/College at Old Westbury. His the author of The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet, and the Writer and Narrator, TV Documentaries: Nukes In Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens and Nukes In Space 2: Unacceptable Risks
The entire speech is available online as a .DOC (MS-WORD format) file at this URL:
Here is the beginning of his scheduled remarks:
"The U.S. military is seeking to "control space" and the Earth below, to base weapons in space -- and people all over the world must be aware of this, must organize to challenge this."
Next, he includes quote after quote after quote from U. S. military space "experts", who are clearly too myopic to understand that the collateral damage from American space weapons and space nuclear policies is the real war -- it is a war that is going on right now, and it is a war that is killing people right now (including American "civilians") and it is a war that has to be stopped -- right now. Before it gets any worse.
Here is the end of Grossman's remarks:
The military use of space being planned by the U.S. is in total contradiction of the principles of peaceful international cooperation that the U.S. likes to espouse.
It pushes us -- all of us -- toward war in the heavens.
George Friedman, co-author of The Future of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the 2lst Century, claims that the U.S. can dominate the Earth for centuries ahead because of its technological prowess. He says other nations -- he names Russia, Japan and China -- are just "passing blips…to compete with the U.S."
I've been to Russia; I've been to Japan; I've been to China. They are no passing technological "blips." And if the United States moves to arm the heavens, to utilize space as what one high U.S. military officer calls the "ultimate high ground," other nations will follow -- leading to a new arms race -- and ultimately war -- in space.
This all must be stopped before it gets completely out of hand. Stopped…and now!
Anyone who can possibly make it to The Hague next week should try to attend Grossman's sessions (times and locations were previously published in newsletter #121)!
Date: Fri, 07 May 1999 12:06:46 -0400
From: Larry Klaes <email@example.com>
Subject: BBC - Pentagon confirms depleted uranium use
Pentagon confirms depleted uranium use
Aftermath of a raid: Is depleted uranium adding to the hazards?
By Environment Correspondent Alex Kirby
The US Defense Department says its aircraft are firing depleted uranium (DU) munitions in the conflict with Serbia.
A questioner at a DoD briefing asked: "The DU shells. Have the A-10s actually been firing them in addition to simply carrying them?"
A Pentagon spokesman, Major-General Chuck Wald, replied: "Yes". DU is a byproduct of the enrichment of uranium for military and civilian uses.
It is 1.7 times as dense as lead, and weapons made with it are used for punching their way through armour.
It is both radioactive and toxic, though Nato insists that it is no more dangerous than any other heavy metal.
The UK Defence Ministry says it thinks it unlikely that DU contributed to Gulf War syndrome, although many veterans believe it is implicated.
Risks are real
There are extensive reports from southern Iraq of stillbirths, birth defects, leukaemia and other cancers in children born since 1991.
Published material suggests official reassurances may be misleading. The US army's Environmental Policy Institute reported in 1995: "If DU enters the body, it has the potential to generate significant medical consequences".
"The risks associated with DU are both chemical and radiological."
A 1990 study prepared for the army by Science Applications International Corp said DU was "linked to cancer when exposures are internal, [and] chemical toxicity causing kidney damage".
At least 18 tonnes of DU weapons have been test-fired in Britain at army ranges in Kirkcudbright and Cumbria. Most of the munitions landed in the Solway Firth, where they remain.
The Military Toxics Project and Dr Hari Sharma, of the University of Waterloo, Ontario, have published the results of a study into the use of DU munitions in the Gulf.
Appeal to ban DU weapons
They say the result is likely to be an increase of between 20,000 and 100,000 fatal cancers in veterans and Iraqi citizens.
Dr Sharma is writing to all Nato heads of state to ask them to eliminate DU munitions from their arsenals.
Concern also persists over the wider ecological consequences of the war with Serbia.
The World Wide Fund for Nature says an environmental crisis threatens Yugoslavia and its neighbours, particularly further down the Danube and in the Black Sea.
It says the damage to downstream areas of the unidentified pollutants discharged into the Danube is unclear. Ten million people depend on the river for drinking water.
NATO and the U.S. military are insane to think that they can put a reassuring "spin" on this! First they attempt to use these weapons with nobody noticing. Then when people DO notice, they try to say they are "no more harmful than any other heavy metal"! Sheeeze.
The fact is, use of these weapons is an assault on future generations, on children, on women, on everyone downstream or downwind from the war zone or who eats food grown later in the former war zone -- indeed, it is an assault on all noncombatants, all around the world. Oh yeah, it kills soldiers too. It's particularly good at that.
In recent issues of this newsletter we have presented some of the absurdities contained in a recently declassified document called US Army Radiation Waste Disposal Program in the Continental United States (NDL-TR-78). (Newsletter #118 contains ordering information.) Today we will continue that process with a look at what that document stated about the Beatty, Nevada waste site.
First, as always, the site is conveniently located away from large populations which might complain. In this clip from page D-7, it is clear that the U. S. Army cannot tell the difference between zero and 400.
"The 100-acre site is in the Amargosa Desert and removed from any populated areas. Beatty has a population of approximately 400."
The site is on high ground. The U. S. Army assumes this is good because it will allow runoff away from the site. But of course, that also means that radwaste not properly contained will run off as well:
"All surface runoff is diverted away from the burial site as it is higher than the surrounding area."
The report lacks confidence, as judged by remarks such as this:
"Complete ground-water data is lacking, but the uppermost aquifer is probably 340 feet below the surface. Independent studies have found the topographic, geologic, hydrologic, and climatic conditions highly favorable for waste burial operations."
Not to mention the political conditions -- population, 400.
As to long-term financial concerns, those were addressed in the 1966 report:
"The firm has established a fund for perpetual maintenance in the event the State of Nevada has to assume control."
Oh good, it's all paid for then -- forever! Discussing the license itself, the report continues:
"The license does not place a limit on the total amount of radioactive material that may be buried, but sets maximum quantities for above-ground storage. Two thousand curies of by-product material and 450 grams of special nuclear material can be stored at the site. Not more than 20 grams of the special nuclear material may be plutonium or uranium 233."
20 grams of plutonium? Cassini could not be stored above ground there at all, even temporarily -- at launch, it had over 32,000 grams of plutonium on board! That should give some indication of just how much plutonium NASA is playing with.
The facility was run at the time by the Nuclear Engineering Company, Inc.
Current information about this site can be found at this URL for the Nevada State Health Division (NSHD): http://www.state.nv.us/health/bhps/raddocs/lowste.htm
It indicates the site received rad waste for thirty years, until December 31st, 1992 (then run by "U. S. Ecology"). We can all feel comforted by this:
"The licensee, US Ecology, will be completing the state-approved closure plan to stabilize the site and establish proper security measures. The plan will ensure that the LLW disposed during the operational phase of the facility continues to remain in a suitable, stable, and safe condition after site closure. The licensee and the Nevada State Health Division continue to monitor for radioactivity in groundwater, air, soil, and vegetation."
Well, don't we all feel safe now?
At th NRC's web site (www.nrc.gov), we found a document that indicates that Beatty was the very first nuclear waste site licensed to be run by a private company:
Here is a paragraph from the NRC web page:
"At Beatty, the operator, NECO, told the state of Nevada in March 1976 of unauthorized use of a cement mixer used to solidify low-level wastes. Some of the company's employees had allowed the truck to make cement for off-site buildings, including a saloon, a municipal center, and a few private homes. Upon investigation, traces of radioactivity were found in three homes. The investigation also revealed that over a period of years, employees had removed potentially contaminated equipment, including hand tools, electric motors, and lumber, from the Beatty facility. The materials were so numerous that 25 pick-up truck loads were required to return them to the site. Although most were not contaminated and none represented a significant health hazard, their removal was a serious breach of NECO's license. The state of Nevada suspended the company's operating license until it could make certain that the violations did not create a public health hazard."
The suspension lasted a few months.
This is also from the same NRC web page:
"The disposal of low-level waste continued to attract attention in Congress and the media as well as in the NRC and state agencies. In 1978, the Sheffield site closed after its trenches filled to capacity and the state of Illinois rebuffed efforts to expand the existing burial grounds. The three facilities still operating--Beatty, Hanford, and Barnwell--were sources of increasing concern and criticism. In the wake of the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 and the heightened sensitivities to nuclear hazards that it produced, safety lapses at all three sites brought vocal protests from the governors of Nevada, Washington, and South Carolina. The most common problems were improperly packaged materials, particularly the inclusion of liquid wastes in supposedly solidified shipments, and defects in the trucks carrying the waste to the facilities. The NRC found, for example, 63 deficiencies, mostly of a minor nature, in 43 shipments to Barnwell in a three-month period. But more severe errors also occurred. The most flagrant was the discovery that some low-level waste had been buried outside the boundaries of the Beatty site."
But that wasn't the only problem. Here is a clip from a report by the NRC Office of Inspection and Enforcement. The URL for this next clip is:
"Examples of violations of Agreement State, DOT and NRC rules follow:
"Improperly packaged uranium films igniting packaged liquid scintillation vials in combustible waste is believed to have caused a fire and destruction of a truck at the Beatty, Nevada burial facility on May 14, 1979.
"On July 2, 1979, three of twelve steel containers shipped to the Beatty burial facility were found to be leaking radioactive material..."
The NRC recently (March, 1999) held a public hearing about nuclear waste in Beatty, Nevada. If you want to contact the NRC about Beatty, Nevada or any other nuclear issue, here is contact information:
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Public Affairs
Washington DC 20555
U. S. Ecology has a web site too, of course. The following statement was found at this URL:
"A HISTORY OF LEADERSHIP
"Safe and efficient processing and disposal of radioactive and hazardous wastes is an environmentally essential service provided by only a few companies in the United States. US Ecology, a subsidiary of American Ecology Corporation (Nasdaq: ECOL) has been providing nuclear management services since 1952, and hazardous waste management services since 1968. During this time, we have responsibly managed more than 100 million cubic feet of radioactive, hazardous and toxic wastes."
100 million cubic feet of radioactive, hazardous, and toxic wastes, responsibly managed? That's a contradiction in terms!
Here is U. S. Ecology's own statement about Beatty:
BEATTY SITE CLOSURE
A FIRST FOR US ECOLOGY AND COMMERCIAL LLRW
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Jim Shaffner at US Ecology's Richland, WA, office at (509) 946-4945.
In December 1997, physical control of US Ecology Nuclear’s commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal facility near Beatty, Nevada, and its governing license were transferred to the State of Nevada for custodial care. The Nevada Health Division's acceptance of the transfer marked the first time a disposal facility had been successfully closed and readied for long-term institutional control.
The Beatty LLRW facility operated for 30 years until its closure in 1993. Nevada’s voluntarily acceptance of the facility for custodial care followed completion of an approved stabilization and closure plan. No environmental remediation work was required at the site. This landmark event reaffirmed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s regulations for land disposal of radioactive waste, and offers transferable experience for closing and stabilizing government and commercial waste disposal sites in other states. Closure was completed with no disruption to US Ecology's ongoing hazardous waste disposal operations of the Beatty site, which continues full-service operations today.
Beatty Site History
In 1962, US Ecology received the nation's first operating license for a commercial LLRW disposal facility. The facility, 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, is situated in the Amargosa Valley between the Nevada Atomic Test Site and Death Valley.
The Northwest Compact designated US Ecology’s Richland, Washington, facility as its regional disposal facility and contracted with the Rocky Mountain Compact, allowing its member states to also use this site. The Beatty, Nevada, facility closed January 1, 1993, in accordance with this agreement and Nevada’s wishes.
by Marsha Shaiman
Reprinted from On Indian Land, Fall 1996. Published quarterly by Support for Native Sovereignty, P.O. Box 2104, Seattle, WA 98111. Annual subscription: $12 individual, $20 institution...
"[U. S. Ecology's] dump in Beatty, Nevada leaked radioactive materials into the ground and also contaminated the town of Beatty. Nevada shut them down in 1992. U.S. Ecology is reportedly on the brink of bankruptcy."
Bankruptcy? Must be because of all that money they supposedly contributed to the "fund for perpetual maintenance"!
Prop1 has some information on Nevada nuke issues too. Here is a relevant URL:
It has this statement, quoted from Las Vegas Review Journal, September 1997:
"An earthquake of 4.0 magnitude shook the Nevada Test Site at 6:36am Friday, Sept 12, 1997. No damage was reported from the quake which was centered about 28 miles east of Beatty, NV, according to the seismological laboratory of the University of Nevada, Reno."
And at the Sierra Blanca Legal Defense fund web site, we found a reprint of an article by Keith Rogers in the Review-Journal, Thursday, March 5th, 1998:
"Last year, Prudic reported that a tritium sample taken in 1996 from a point 330 feet south of the dump and 157 feet deep was seven times higher than the previous reading taken at the same depth in 1995.
"A map in the new report shows tritium levels in shallow soils decrease with distance from the dump, an indication contamination is migrating from its southwest corner."
But here's the real kicker. This site (Dawn Watch) contains a reprint of a United States Government press release about U. S. Ecology:
CONTACT: Daniel Weiss/John Lawrence Tuesday, June 23, 1998 202/225-2095
"A new study by the non-partisan General Accounting Office on the proposed Ward Valley low-level nuclear waste dump, commissioned by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) confirms their long-standing concerns about the safety of the proposed site, the poor record of performance by US Ecology, the project's licensee, and the existence of serious outstanding environmental issues not yet analyzed...."
"The GAO also reported that American Ecology had disposed about 47 pounds of plutonium at it Nevada site..."
"The GAO report also noted that American Ecology, previously called the Nuclear Engineering Company, disposed of "low-level" nuclear waste in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the San Francisco Bay near the Farallon Islands. According to the report, visual observations using remote equipment show that many nuclear waste drums have ruptured and spilled their contents onto the sea floor..."
"Copies of the report can be obtained from Congressman Miller by calling 202/226-2311, or on the Internet from the GAO at http://www.gao.gov."
In summary: U. S. Ecology made tons of money mismanaging the site, then gave the deadly dung-heap back to the American public, who will somehow be expected to pay for its "custodial care" forever. And now, they are proud of what they have done. Meanwhile, whales off San Francisco and people around Beatty, Nevada suffer and die.
The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government -- Thomas Jefferson
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SIGN THE PETITION!
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:
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 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:
They imply at the web site that written comments are more likely to get answered -- quicker than emailed comments! Someone should welcome them to the 1990's before it's too late.
YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT NASA IS DOING TO YOUR HEALTH.
Be sure to "cc" the president and VP and your senators and congresspeople, too.
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Russell D. Hoffman
Founder & Editor
STOP CASSINI Newsletter -- over 100 issues of mirth, merriment, and mind-numbingly depressing facts about NASA and other horrors
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