130 groups advocate shutting the nuclear power plants down (sooner or later) (+ commentary by Russell Hoffman, November 1st, 2001)

To: governor of California
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
Subject: Re: [greenaction] 130 Groups for Nuke Changes -- CA bridges threatened
Cc: "Dianne Feinstein, Senator (CA, D)" <senator@feinstein.senate.gov> "Barbara Boxer, Senator (CA, D)" <senator@boxer.senate.gov>, nrcdoeca

November 1st, 2001

Regarding the document shown below, I advocate that the nuclear power plants be shut down immediately.  Anyone advocating a phase-out instead, after the events of September 11, and all the warnings since then, is gambling with our future for the sake of political expediency.

Each day the 103 nuclear power plants in America stay open, about 10 new tons of so-called High Level Radioactive Waste are produced, and three or four times that of so-called Low Level Radioactive Waste, which is just HLRW with filler added, like brass, copper, aluminum, gold, rubber, plastic, concrete, etc. etc..  All that waste needs to be guarded.  Phasing these plants out is flirting with catastrophe.  THEY NEED TO BE SHUT DOWN IMMEDIATELY.

Today four of California's great bridges have been threatened, according to Governor Gray Davis.  But every day, we are threatened by the nuclear power plants, because of risks from tsunamis, earthquakes, embrittlement, operator error, design inadequacies and 1000 other things, including but hardly limited to terrorists.

Personally, I suspect the bridge threat is a diversion from the real target, whatever it may be, although I presume we have enough military forces available to counter it if it isn't, now that we found it out, and I also presume they'll divert to a different target now that we have discovered and announced their original intentions.

But why would the terrorists choose to knock down a bridge when they could hit a nuke just as easily, if not easier, and cause incomparably more damage and leave a much longer-lasting scar on the country?

We must protect our most dangerous, not just our prettiest, creations.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA


At 01:51 PM 11/1/01 , bluespin <bluespin@earthlink.net> wrote:

News Release/Safe Energy Communication Council

For Immediate Release:                        Contact:
Thursday, November 1, 2001                    Linda Gunter, (202) 483-8491

National and Local Citizen Organizations Call for Major Changes in
Nuclear Power Security and for Replacing Inherently Vulnerable Reactors
With Sustainable Options

(Washington, D.C.) More than 130 national, regional and local
environmental, consumer, energy, health and public interest
organizations today petitioned President Bush, Congressional leaders and
other authorities to make specific and significant security upgrades at
U.S. nuclear power reactors to ensure that reactors can withstand a
broad range of potential terrorist attacks.  Recognizing that the
"sobering reality is that security of nuclear power facilities can be
neither completely guaranteed nor perfectly realized," the signatories
called for a shift from reliance on nuclear power to reliance on
abundant and affordable energy efficiency and renewable energy
resources.   The joint statement and complete list of signatories is
available at www.safeenergy.org and www.nirs.org.

"U.S. nuclear reactors pose an unacceptable level of vulnerability and
risk to our society and environment," said Scott Denman, executive
director of the Safe Energy Communication Council. "Even the director of
the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) mock terrorist assault
program found that security flaws at nearly one-half (47%) of U.S.
commercial reactors could have resulted in 'core damage and a
radiological release, i.e., an American Chernobyl,' had the attacks been
real.  Now, more than ever, we must shift to sustainable energy
sources," he said.

"Structurally, no commercial nuclear reactor is designed to withstand
the impact that destroyed the World Trade Center buildings, according to
the NRC and the International Atomic Energy Commission," said Michael
Mariotte, executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource
Service.  "Indeed, a 1981 study by Argonne National Laboratory
determined that the impact of a large commercial jet crashing into a
nuclear power plant would likely penetrate the containment.  An attack
on these facilities by truck bomb or aerial assault, or any number of
other scenarios could spread lethal radiation, rendering uninhabitable
an area the size of Pennsylvania, according to an analysis by the Atomic
Energy Commission (now the NRC) in 1964," Mariotte observed.

"Since the September 11 attacks, some special interests are pushing for
swift passage of legislation that would spend hard-earned tax dollars to
promote still more dangerous nuclear reactors," said Anna Aurilio,
Legislative Director for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S.
PIRG).  "Instead Congress should increase energy security by promoting
aggressive energy efficiency programs and a shift to clean renewable
energy such as solar and wind," she added. "As terrible as the terrorist
attack was, it could have been far worse if one of the hijacked jets had
hit one of the 103 operating reactors in the U.S.," said Dr. Brent
Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth.  "In order to adequately
safeguard our country, we must phase out existing reactors and establish
a fast-track program to exploit our vast efficiency and renewable energy
resources," he remarked.

"These reactors need to shut, now," said Harvey Wasserman of the
Columbus-based Citizens Protecting Ohio.  "Who pays for all this extra
security and why can't the industry get private insurance?  We can get
cheaper, cleaner, safer and more reliable energy from other sources.
But for just 18 percent of our most
expensive electricity, just 8 percent of our energy, we put our entire
nation at risk merely to satisfy the financial needs of an obsolete
industry.  Why?" asked Wasserman.

 "In light of the tragic events of September 11, federal regulators,
industry representatives and consumer advocates alike have publicly
acknowledged that the safety of nuclear power facilities cannot be
guaranteed," said Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen's Critical
Mass Energy and Environment Program. "We must therefore stop subsidizing
this risky industry and instead begin the transition to real energy
security by investing in conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy
options," she concluded.

Specifically, the organizations call for the following actions to be
taken by the appropriate authorities:

#1. All NRC licensees must demonstrate that their nuclear facilities are
protected against radiological sabotage by meeting a significantly more
comprehensive Design Basis Threat (DBT).  A revised DBT must both
encompass currently analyzed threats from ground-based assault, and be
broadened to include truck bombs and aerial and waterborne attacks.  All
permanent and temporary radioactive waste storage, disposal, treatment
and transfer sites must meet the strengthened DBT to protect against
such attacks that could have disastrous consequences.

#2. Congress must reject reauthorization of the Price-Anderson Act,
which limits the liability of the commercial nuclear industry.

#3. Congress must indefinitely extend the moratorium on nuclear
transport and expand it to cover all highly radioactive and radiotoxic
waste and materials, including commercial shipments.

#4. Congress must indefinitely shelve current proposals for centralized
storage of nuclear waste. Such storage would establish additional
nuclear targets without meaningfully reducing the risk at operating
nuclear power plants.

#5. Congress must mandate that utility-funded security operations be
increased at existing nuclear reactors and maintained throughout plant
life and the on-site storage of irradiated nuclear fuel.

#6. Potassium iodide must be immediately stockpiled with state and local
health departments within a 50-mile radius around all nuclear reactors.

#7. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) must require the same or
comparable security for general and commercial aviation and determine
the practicality of instituting permanent, effective no-fly-zones over
commercial nuclear power plants.

#8. All NRC licensees must provide a risk assessment of the
survivability from terrorist attack on radiation containment and
critical safety systems.

#9. The NRC must take significant federal enforcement action, including
the suspension or revocation of operating licenses, when repeated
licensee failure of upgraded NRC-led security performance evaluations

#10. All branches of government must ensure that the terrorist attacks
do not result in the erosion of fundamental civil liberties.

#11. The mixed oxide nuclear fuel (MOX) program must be eliminated
immediately.  Giving the green light to a proposed commercial plutonium
fuel fabrication plant in South Carolina fosters the creation of a
plutonium economy and increases the likelihood of a terrorist-created

#12. The U.S. must initiate an expedited phase-out of nuclear power,
improve energy efficiency in all sectors of our economy and initiate a
rapid transition to renewable electricity sources.

In conclusion, the organizations believe that these policy and program
steps are imperative and represent the direction our country must now
take: "We will either shift from our use of nuclear power to a new era
of sustainable electricity production for our country, or we will remain
at risk due to vulnerable reactors and, very possibly, pay an
unthinkable price. We can and must do better for our families, our
country, our freedom and the planet," the co-signed organizations


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First posted November 1st, 2001.

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