STOP CASSINI Newsletter #227 -- November 18th, 1999

Copyright (c) 1999

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

To: Subscribers, government officials, members of the press

From: Russell David Hoffman (still at it, despite any conjecture to the contrary)

Re: SIGNS OF STRIFE and a glimmer of hope: STOP CASSINI #227

Date: November 18th 1999

This issue's subjects:

(1) Support the Markey bill for de-alerting nuclear weapons:


Please act on this and dissemenate as widely as possible. Call your representative at: 202-224-3121.


Representative Ed Markey's bill to take nuclear weapons off hair-trigger alert, especially during the critical Y2K rollover period.

Phone your representatives today and urge them to co-sponsor .Con.Res.177 by calling Jeff Duncan in Ed Markey s office at 202-225-2836!!!

Congressional Switchboard 202-224-3121
Look up your member of Congress


(2) Global Appeal from FoE Sydney:


Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 13:29:14 +1000
From: FoE Sydney - Nuclear Campaign
Cc:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, "Bernd Frieboese" ,

The Following Press release was faxed out today from Friends of the Earth Sydney.


A global appeal signed by over 460 organisations to take nuclear weapons off hairtrigger alert for the Y2K 'rollover' was handed to ex-presidents Bush and Gorbachev in Berlin on 9/11/1999, by Women for Peace Activist and ex-member of the European Parliament Eva Quistorp, via the President of the Bundestag. Similar letters have been handed to German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, and environment minister Jurgen Trittin, asking Germany to appeal to the US and Russia to de-alert their nuclear weapons.

The appeal to Yeltsin and Clinton to take nuclear forces off hairtrigger alert over the Y2K rollover so that Y2K induced computer errors do not induce an accidental nuclear war has so far been signed by over 460 organizations worldwide including 22 Australian parliamentarians, 9NZ parliamentarians, 4 Canadian parliamentarians, 10 members of the European Parliament, 2 US congresspeople, and one MP from Moldova. It has been signed by the largest International environment groups in the world, Friends of the Earth International and Greenpeace International, by the British-American Security Information Council, the Centre for Defence Information in Washington, by the International Peace Bureau, by various national branches of IPPNW, Womens International League for Peace and Freedom, (WILPF) and a vast number of national and local groups.

The possibility of accidental nuclear war as a result of Y2K induced computer error has been the subject of serious concern by strategic analysts, in view of the possibility of false information leading to 'unintended deadly consequences'. Official spokespeople have dismissed these claims, and US systems are claimed to be fully fixed, but the very nature of the Y2K problem is such that it is not possible to be sure that everything is 100% fixed. Y2K-related problems have been discovered in the US/Russsian 'hotlines'. The joint US/Russian Y2K strategic Stability Centre is not scedu;led to operate until 27 Dec, and depends on those hotlines. There is a small but real chance therefore of global catastrophe, which will be vastly reduced by taking nuclear weapons systems off current hairtrigger alert status.

The Australian Senate has already passed two motions expressing concern over the possibility of accidental nuclear war over the Y2K rollover. A motion is now gathering support in the US Congress, and another is gathering support in the European Parliament. The United Nations General Assembly in its First Committee, approved a motion put by India, asking for nuclear weapons to be taken off alert. Bush and Gorbachev in 1991, took nuclear bomber forces off alert. All Nuclear Forces should be taken off alert now.

Contact: Eva Quistorp, 49-30-323-9543.
John Hallam, Friends of the Earth Sydney
61-2-9517-3903 h61-2-9810-2598




1) U.S. Embassy non-essential personnel and their families are being encouraged (by free flights and dire (if slightly veiled) warnings) to LEAVE RUSSIA and three former states of the Soviet Union (and several other places around the globe) and come home prior to Y2K. NORMALLY, A MOVE LIKE THIS PRECEDES FEW THINGS BESIDES WAR.

2) The idea that an accidental nuclear war cannot happen is only believed by those who don't realize how close we've come in the past. Y2K presents numerous additional risks of an ACCIDENTAL NUCLEAR WAR, caused by everything from madmen to "innocent" mistakes to uncontrollable political tensions. But however it starts, once it starts, wacko and sadistic world leaders have assured the world it will "blow itself to bits". But it won't. What it will do is make life miserable for the millions or even billions who survive. It will kill outright, only a portion of the population of the two sides that fight. But lingering cancers will kill millions more. YET WHAT DOES THE WORLD DO? NOTHING! ONE LITTLE COMMUNAL COMMAND CENTER IN COLORADO! This is not a solution. De-alerting the nuclear warhead missiles is a solution.

3) GAO -- a relatively untarnished government agency which has blown the whistle on numerous government bungles in the past, though none this dire -- HAS DECLARED THE NRC is relying on dreams. It's worded a little different (see article, below), but that's what they say. And they are undoubtedly correct!

4) Nuclear Power Plant owners are TOO STUPID to shut the plants down voluntarily for the "Holiday". THIS PROVES the nuclear power plant's various owners collectively have not got enough brains to steer their ship. Even if any particular nuke is 100% Y2K-current, they cannot account for the additional problems posed by Y2K, such as:

Yet with all these (and many more) clear and present threats, they DO NOTHING. WHY? Because their owners would lose millions of dollars every day the plants don't operate, that's why. Not because America or most countries need the energy -- that's a lie. But every day they operate (and for many millennia after) they steal the money they make for their owners from today's and tomorrow's citizens of the world -- our children and their children and their children's children, who will have to pay for the growing and growing piles of nuclear waste. They will pay for these piles in cash and in cancers. Stopping the increase in nuclear waste is the only solution. Shutting down the plants for Y2K is pure common sense for most if not ALL of the 433 commercial nuclear power plants around the world. The fact that they won't do it (nor will they even release to the public their actual raw documentation showing their readiness for Y2K) is a clear indication these people don't know what they are doing!

5) The story with chemical plants is bleak. It's true that a few months back some of the very largest chemical companies declared they would be take a holiday during the New Year, and not be operating. (In fact, shutting down for New Year's is reportedly standard policy at the very plants that made the declaration, but not for Y2K reasons, of course.) However, there are HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of smaller chemical plants around the world which are NOT planning to take a holiday over Y2K -- shutdowns cost money, downtime costs money, and start-ups cost money, at chemical plants as well as at nuclear plants.

The U. S. Government just pegged the cost of Y2K at one hundred billion dollars ($100,000,000,000.00). That is staggering but more to the point, it's absurd to think that all the fixes were done properly.


-- rdh



Nuclear Power Plants' Y2K Readiness Questioned
By Cat Lazaroff
Environment News Service

WASHINGTON, DC, November 9, 1999 (ENS) - Two federal agencies are at odds over how ready U.S. nuclear power plants are to handle the Year 2000 (Y2K) computer bug.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) says all 103 operating U.S. nuclear power plants are now ready for Y2K. But the U.S. General Accounting Office testified before Congress October 26 that the steps the nuclear industry has taken might not be enough to prevent problems at power plants.

----- END OF CLIP -----

(4) Euro Deputies worried: Such worry is a glimmer of hope:


At 12:35 PM 11/18/99 +0000, NHNE wrote:

Thursday November 18
Euro Deputies Warn Y2K Could Cause Atomic Disaster

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - The European Parliament voted Thursday to ask countries to shut down their nuclear weapon alert systems over New Year to avoid accidental launches caused by the millennium bug computer problem.

Deputies said they would appeal to the United States and Russia in particular to guard against possible errors in computer systems that cannot recognize the date change to 2000.

U.S. and Russian military officials are due to spend New Year's Eve together in a special command center designed to avoid accidents caused by the millennium bug.

The parliament voted to ask countries with nuclear power stations to shut them down over New Year's Eve unless they had been shown to be millennium compliant.

Deputies said their appeal would be aimed specifically at countries in central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, Russia and members of the former Soviet Union.


----- MY RESPONSE: -----

Cc: Senate-Year 2000-Committee ,
"y2k-nuclear" , ,
Subject: [y2k-nuclear] Re: [sedonay2k] Y2K: NEWS: Euro Deputies Warn Y2K Could Cause Atomic Disaster

In America, it should be noted that Three Mile Island has REFUSED to DISCLOSE its so-called compliance documents.

Other than that, this is a giant step in the right direction!

-- Russell D. Hoffman

----- END OF MY RESPONSE -----

(5) Senate panel still more worried about panic than why we should panic:

I'm glad they are concerned about the public's lack of confidence. However, these steps to regain that confidence are tiny, and the hour is late. -- rdh


Date: Thu, 18 Nov 1999 15:59:13 -0500
From: Evelynn
To: Russell Hoffman
Subject: Y2K Senate Panel Seeks Y2K Nuke Plant Contingency Plans

Senate Panel Seeks Y2K Nuke Plant Contingency Plans
5.24 p.m. ET (2233 GMT) November 12, 1999

FOOTNOTE: WASHINGTON A special Senate committee overseeing Year 2000 preparedness released a letter on Friday which asks nuclear regulators to provide better information on reactor safety and contingency plans before the new year.

The letter, provided to Reuters by staff of Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett, chairman of the Senate Special Committee on the Year 2000 Technology Problem, says the panel was encouraged by statements from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on plant safety, but still had unanswered questions.

"The committee continues to believe that the electrical grid will be stable and that disruptions from Y2K will be minimal, We are concerned, however, about the lack of public confidence in the nuclear industry's efforts and specific post Dec. 31, 1999, operating regimes,'' said the letter, from Bennett to NRC Chairman Greta Joy Dicus.

Y2K refers to the potential problem associated with computers reading the year 2000 as 1900, caused by systems built to read only the last two digits of a given year.

Governments and industry worldwide have worked to correct date sensitive computers to avoid possible malfunctions and system shutdowns when the new year kicks in on Jan. 1, 2000.

The committee letter, which is dated Nov. 1, asked that the NRC answer the following questions by Monday:

+ Provide a list of nuclear power plants and how their mission-critical systems were validated as Y2K-ready.

+ Provide detailed information about voluntary pledges by industry representatives to maintain a 30-45 day supply of emergency diesel generator fuel, and other measures to reduce the risk of plant failure.

+ Give a description of the process by which NRC will make a final determination as to which plants, if any, will be shut down over safety concerns during the year 2000 rollover.

+ List the minimal safety standards that will be acceptable under the proposed suspension of technical regulations.

Earlier this week, the NRC and the nuclear industry announced that all 103 operating U.S. nuclear power plants were fully ready for the Y2K rollover, and pose no safety threat from possible computer glitches.

In July, NRC said all commercial reactors were cleared for safety-related Y2K problems.

A spokesman for the industry trade group, the Nuclear Energy Institute, said nuclear plants were ready for Y2K.

"The plants have been fully remediated (for any safety related problems) for many months,'' the NEI spokesman said.

Anti-nuclear advocates have scoffed at the 100 percent safe pronouncements, noting a General Accounting Office report in October which doubted the independence of Y2K verification programs for nuclear power plants.

"With only seven weeks until the Y2K rollover the nuclear industry has yet to satisfy the Senate's, the GAO's and the public's fundamental concerns regarding potential devastating mishaps which could even lead to multiple meltdowns after New Year's,'' according to the World Atomic Safe Holiday organization in Bolinas, Calif.

Bennett's letter, co-signed by the vice-chairman of the special panel, Connecticut Democrat Sen. Christopher Dodd, said the committee simply wants "lingering questions'' answered.


----- MY RESPONSE: -----

Wow! This is a giant half-step in the general direction! Who knows what a little more pressure might bring? THANKS -- rdh

----- END OF MY RESPONSE -----

It is in fact another useless gesture on the part of the government to pretend they are looking into the problems that exist. In fact it is an attempt to hide the fact that they are clueless and are facing a situation that has them totally stumped. $100,000,000,000.00 is too much money spent fixing, for everything to have gone right. The best news here is probably that W.A.S.H. got some press coverage. -- rdh

(6) Ready or not, the NRC say's they are ready:



WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reassured concerned lawmakers on Tuesday that the nation's 103 nuclear power plants will see no disruptions as a result of the millennium rollover.

NRC stressed in a letter to Utah Republican Sen. Robert Bennett, chairman of a Senate Y2K select panel, that since Nov. 4, all commercial reactor sites have been completely prepared for the potential Year 2000 computer bug known as Y2K.

"The commission is confident...that the potential for Y2K-related disruptions have been addressed by NRC licensees," the NRC said in the letter.


----- MY RESPONSE: -----

Re: [sedonay2k] Y2K: NEWS: NRC Says Nuclear Power Plants Are Ready
Date: November 17th, 1999

Dear David Sunfellow,

The article you just posted [shown above] is just about the most frightening denial of the obvious I've ever seen in my life. It's as if someone were saying, in November, 1941, that the Japanese posed no threat to the United States.

The grid may be down, the phones down, a nuclear EMP may have occurred -- what part of "substantially increased risk" doesn't the NRC understand? What part of the global community do these nuke operators think they are? They are not shutting down because collectively, the 103 nukes in the United States would lose about 100 million dollars a day if they shut down -- a 10 day shutdown would cost about a billion dollars.

It is their greedy need to make that billion that is causing them to not shut down as a precautionary and reasonable measure.

The NRC is useless, having been designed to serve and promote the industry, and having a history of overlooking every problem, [finding that each problem is somehow not indicative] of an institutional madness. The plant [owners] are worse, being utterly unable to see past the chain-link fences of the plants; unable realize that the entire world is facing dire stress, turmoil, conflict, power outages, computer failures of all sorts -- for one billion dollars, we could significantly reduce the risk for a 10 day period -- but they won't do it.

Once again -- follow the money. If there was no billion-dollar price tag, would shutting down the nukes around the time of the rollover be that big a deal? If they weren't afraid the world would realize how dangerous these things are EVERY DAY, would admitting the dangers of Y2K be any big deal for the nuclear power plant [owners and investors]?

And what about other stages of the nuclear fuel cycle? Paducah, Kentucky, a breeding ground of cancerous death, and a similar reprocessing plant in Ohio, are both run by a private corporation with a notorious history of safety violations and dishonesty.

In short, the oblivious public's safety is being handled by short-sighted regulators and greedy operators. May God help us.


Russell Hoffman

P.S. I wonder if the Leonids tonight might not show us what fools the satellite operators be? [Note: as of 24 hours later, no reports of problems -- rdh]

----- END OF MY RESPONSE -----


At 10:20 AM 11/17/99 -0500, Marvin Lewis wrote:

Dear Mr. Hoffman;

If you go back into the archives of the Philadelphia Inquirer and now defunct Bulletin, you will find that people in high places were saying, "in November 1941, the Japanese posed no threat to the United States."

Sounds familiar.
Marvin Lewis



Yeah, but that was just a little thing; a World War fought almost entirely with conventional weapons. The stakes are much higher now, but the fools in power are no brighter! -- rdh


World War Two a "little thing"? Only compared to World War III! -- rdh

(7) GW Bush and the Environment: (A doomsday scenario, for sure):


To: wall-list
From: kayaker
Subject: WALL: Fw: GW Bush & the environment
Date: Sat, 13 Nov 1999 16:44:15 -0800
NOTE the recent changes to the WALL-list:
Send postings to
Send error reports to:


----- Original Message -----
From: Tom Wilson
To: wisc-eco
Sent: Friday, November 12, 1999 8:48 AM
Subject: GW Bush & the environment

The following was recently received from:

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

Secrecy for Corporate Offenders Enforced by Gag on Public Employees details on the Web Site for Texas Environmental Employees []

Austin...More than 240 Texas companies have obtained immunity from prosecution for more than 1,000 environmental violations under the "environmental audit privilege" law championed by Governor George W. Bush, according to documents released today by Texas Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (Texas PEER). Texas state environmental employees are forbidden from disclosing secret corporate audit results, even when the violations have public health implications.

Since the 1995 of the audit privilege law, one of the earliest environmental initiatives of Gov. Bush, 242 companies have filed 1,040 privileged internal audits with the Texas Natural Resources Conservation

Commission (TNRCC). Texas corporations averaged more than four environmental violations in each privileged filing. Under the Texas law, corporations are protected from prosecution for violations they "self report."

Another hallmark of Texas audit immunity law is secrecy - filings are treated as confidential by TNRCC and may not be released to the public. Supporters of the law claim secrecy is needed to minimize the "potential

for adverse community reaction" when corporations admit the extent of environmental violations or the public health impacts become known. Similarly, TNRCC employees may face legal jeopardy or discipline for releasing corporate audit filings.

Companies affiliated with campaign contributions to Governor Bush filed just 17 percent of all privileged audits but account for fully 38 percent of all requests for immunity from prosecution, according to records complied by Texas PEER.

PEERMAIL is a broadcast only listserv. To subscribe or unsubscribe from the list, please visit our webpage:

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibilty, (PEER), a non-profit organization which protects employees who protect the environment.
We are located at:
2001 S Street, NW, Suite 570
Washington, DC 20011.


(8) End of Daze:

Arnold Swartzmoreletters' new movie is about the return of the devil. It amazes me that the world ignores its own "devil's gift" (the nuclear fuel cycle and all its problems) while being fascinated by the idea that some other guy -- the devil himself -- is holding the reins and introducing evil on earth. But the real evil comes from within, and yet is all around us.

Arnold says (on CNBC earlier this week) that he thinks that people who believe in God must believe in the devil too. Not so! In fact, such thinking may hide some people's real reason for believing in the devil: the supposed existence of the devil absolves people from guilt, as in: "the devil made me do it".

But if there's no devil (and no one has ever seen him in his own image, have they?), then is all the evil in the world our own (damned?) fault?

The devil shows himself in the things his servants do, and he only exists when we let him exist, by doing his bidding. Arnold is wrong.

Perhaps there must be sadness and pain, in this polluted cesspool we call our planet. But there is no need for evil on this Earth, and the devil only exists in our minds. We are free to fix this planet, and lift its spirit,and protect its future inhabitants. We can do this. But can we do it by the deadline? -- rdh

(9) Tell Clinton how you feel -- Official government contact points

To contact the top government officials: President Bill Clinton
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20500
Phone -- (202) 456-1111
Fax -- (202) 456-2461
e-mail --

Vice President Albert Gore
White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.,
N.W.,Washington, D.C. 20500
Phone -- (202) 456-1414
Fax -- (202) 456-2461
e-mail --

Secretary William Cohen
1000 Defense
The Pentagon
Washington D.C. 20301
Phone -- (703) 695-6352
Fax -- (703) 695-1149

Secretary Bill Richardson
Department of Energy (DoE)
1000 Independence Avenue SW
Washington D.C. 20585
Phone -- (202) 586-6210
fax -- (202) 586-4403

Always include your full name and postal address in all correspondence to any Government official of any country, because otherwise they will throw it out unread, or hand it directly to their police force to try to identify the author. (Thus, nothing good will come of it.) Also, ALWAYS include a personal message of some sort, indicating YOUR OWN VIEWS, even if you include a lot of material written by other people (me, for instance).

NASA needs to be told in no uncertain terms they have lied too often to the public and we want a SEA CHANGE away from their nuclear policies!

To learn about the absurd excuses NASA used to launch Cassini and its 72.3 pounds of plutonium in 1997, ask them for the 1995 Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini mission, and all subsequent documentation. At the same time, be sure to ask them for ANY and ALL documentation available on future uses of plutonium in space, including MILITARY, CIVILIAN, or "OTHER" (just in case they make a new category somehow!). To get this information, contact:

Cassini Public Information
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena CA 91109
(818) 354-5011 or
(818) 354-6478

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:


NASA should never have been allowed to launch monstrosities like Cassini and Galileo, but the next breed -- such as Europa Orbiter and Pluto-Kuiper Express are not much better and the policy is being set for greatly increased rates of missions! The danger continues! To complain to NASA about their future nuclear space probes, here are two addresses you can use:

For Europa Orbiter:
Europa Orbiter comments"

For Pluto-Kuiper Express:
"Pluto-Kuiper Express comments"

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

(10) Newsletter subscription information:

Thanks for reading! Welcome new subscribers!

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Published by Russell D. Hoffman electronically.
Written in the United States of America.
This newsletter is free and is not distributed for profit.
The opinions expressed are those of the individual authors.
Please distribute these newsletters EVERYWHERE!

"There can be no democracy without truth, no justice without mercy, and no nuclear dispersals without ill consequences."

(11) Newsletter Authorship notes and additional URLs:


Many of the issues presented by Russell Hoffman in this letter are based on conversations with Dr. John W. Gofman (who isolated the first working quantities of plutonium), the late Dr. Karl Z. Morgan (who was known as the "father of health physics"), Dr. Ernest Sternglass (a noted epidemiologist who has done statistical studies about LLR), Dr. Jay Gould (ditto), Dr. Horst Poehler, Dr. Helen Caldicott, Dr. Ross Wilcock and dozens of activists, as well as many others on both sides of the nuclear debates, including ex military nuke expert Jack Shannon (responsible for the design of the D2G Navy reactor, the most widely used reactor in the U. S. navy), award-winning investigative reporter Karl Grossman, ecologist and human rights advocate Pamela Blockey-O'Brien, etc. Also, I've read a few dozen books on the various subjects. And scads of government documents purporting to explain how something so dangerous can be safe. Professionally, my pump training software is used throughout the pump industry and even in some nuclear power plants around the world to train their staff about mechanical pumps. Any errors herein are regrettably my own, but I believe it would take an extremely unlikely preponderance of errors to invalidate my basic position on these issues.

Russell D. Hoffman, Carlsbad, California, Peace Activist, Environmentalist, High Tech Guru:

Hoffman's Y2K Preparedness Information:

Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:

** Russell D. Hoffman, Owner and Chief Programmer
** Carlsbad CA
** Visit the world's most eclectic web site:

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