We bide our time, waiting for Mother Nature, Osama bin Laden, or Murphy to strike

From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
Subject: We bide our time, waiting for Mother Nature, Osama bin Laden, or Murphy to strike
Cc: president@whitehouse.gov, governor of California, California Senators

At 04:56 PM 10/29/01 , Mark wrote (regarding the bias seen in Dateline, NBC's show on nuclear power plant security):

Could it have anything to do with the fact that NBC is owned by major reactor-component maker General Electric?


October 30th, 2001


Thanks for your comments, Mark.  It is certainly conceivable to me that NBC's owners could have had some influence on Dateline's obvious bias.  Money talks very loudly, regardless of whether there is any truth to back it up.

The nuclear industry is reluctant (to put it mildly) to run any ads right now about how wonderful it would be if we built more nukes, if we loved nuclear power, if only we went with nuclear -- there has seldom been a good climate for such ads, but this most certainly isn't it.  So instead, they get the media to do a "balanced" report.


They also got their good friends the coal industry -- who make the nuclear industry look good as long as the nuclear power plants are running properly and we aren't worrying about the long-term consequences of the waste -- to run some stupid ad with a kid running a cord to light his treehouse over and over and over -- an ad which correctly tells us that a lot of "us don't even know where our electricity comes from".

Then it tells us about something called Clean Coal Technology, which of course, is an oxymoron.

But what's really happening is nuclear is laying low and setting the stage, with these coal ads, to remind us all that coal emits radioactive particles too, and more than a properly operating nuke, so let's all buy more nukes.

Yadda Yadda Yadda.  The point is, the public is being lied to over and over and over, and it's a multi-level, highly-orchestrated media campaign.  Every step of the way, the public is being lied to!  Nuclear power is dangerous, dirty, inefficient, hated by millions of very reasonable people, and incredibly vulnerable to terrorists.  Nuclear power is also uneconomical when all the costs are included, and doesn't (according to a number of studies) even provide humanity with a net positive energy gain because of all the energy needed to extract the uranium, purify it, etc. etc.!

Nuclear power only lives on only because it has the best PR in the world.  Local newspapers (San Diego Union-Tribune, North County Times, Orange County Register, LA Times, for examples) publish half-truths.  Other papers like the Reader and the Coast News and so forth ignore the problems completely or nearly so (unless I've missed some expose somewhere), and local television puts Ray Golden (San Onofre's spokesperson) on the air whenever he wants.  If any activists get any airtime, 5 seconds or so, it's always rebutted with utter bull.  But it's enough to keep the masses calm, and that's all they care about.

Should the masses begin to wise up, I'm sure they have layers and layers of things they might do.  The Nuclear Regulatory Commission taking their web site down was one example of the layers of steps they can take.  Refusing to appear on Dateline was another.  Dateline and other shows doing these ludicrous "investigations" are yet another.

And meanwhile the spent fuel pools around the country get more and more full, and the alloys the plants are made with become more and more brittle and thus, more vulnerable to terrorist's bombs, and we bide our time waiting for Mother Nature, Osama bin Laden, or Murphy to strike.

Renewables are, of course, the only reasonable solution, but too many people in power would have to eat crow to make the switch.

What a terrible mess we are in!  Southern California Edison says that the military is responsible for protecting San Onofre from any serious threat.  Officials at the local Marine base, Camp Pendleton, say it's not their problem unless asked to intervene at the time a threat occurs -- which will be way too late.  The National Guard still hasn't been called out to guard the plants in California, and personally, I think our most elite troops should be the ones guarding our most vulnerable targets.  I want our best Navy Seals, Rangers, etc. to be there, who are least likely to fire a gun at the wrong time or in the wrong direction.

We have to shut the plants down.  It's the only reasonable solution.   Just before the NRC site was taken down, I noticed that nearly 20% of the nations' nuclear power plants were SHUT DOWN.  This was interesting, because it indicated we weren't really in need of their energy -- most of those that were shut were in refueling mode, which they can go into whenever it's most convenient -- within a range of about a year.  So many choosing to do so shortly after the 9-11 attacks indicated to me that there was, and probably still is, a lot of excess generating capability these days.

There is no question America can shut these plants down and switch to renewable energy for most of our electrical energy needs.

Coal is no more the answer than oil is, but both still are better than nuclear power.

Thanks again for writing!

Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Below are some relevant and perhaps somewhat irrelevant quotes:




"It is not too much to expect that our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter..." - Lewis Strauss, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, 1954

"Heat will be so plentiful that it will even be used to melt snow as it falls....[T]he central atomic power plant will provide all the heat, light, and power required by the community and these utilities will be so cheap that their cost can hardly be reckoned." -Robert M. Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, site of the first nuclear chain reaction, 1946

<<<<< "TOO CHEAP TO METER" <<<<<


This quote was brought to our attention by Pamela Blockey-O'Brien and previously posted online in my STOP CASSINI newsletter: :


"It is possible to eliminate certain hazards by suitable physical or chemical treatments.  Harmful bacteria can be destroyed by heat or by suitable chemicals.  An acid can be neutralized by a base.  A capacitor can be discharged.  In contrast to this, there is nothing that can be done to a radioactive material that will change the characteristics of its radiation.  Its temperature may be raised or lowered and it may be subjected to severe mechanical treatment or combined chemically with other elements, but it will still continue to radiate as before.  There is no switch available which can turn the radiation on and off.  No matter what treatment they receive, radioactive materials will continue to emit radiation in accordance with definite natural laws."

-- From: Radiation and Radiation Hazards, by W. W. Schutz of the General Engineering Laboratory of the General Electric Company, written in 1951.

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

Adds Pamela, "All 'dilution' in water does, for example, is spread it around."



At 04:01 AM 9/21/99 -0700, you wrote:
Date: Tue, 21 Sep 1999 04:01:38 -0700
From: Jeffrey Nyquist <jnyquist@northcoast.com>
Reply-To: jnyquist@northcoast.com
Organization: SOLPAC
To: "Russell D. Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
CC: Woody Smith <woody.smith@hq.nasa.gov>, flatworm@erols.com
Subject: Russell Hoffman Strikes Again

I am against nuclear power, but Hoffman is so incredibly obnoxious, so
windy and huge -- I cannot resist a sigh and a little jab at him.  He
manages to be rude, arrogant, and he loses the good will of everyone
after a while.



I wonder if Mr. Nyquist has been calling for the shutdown of our nuclear reactors since September 11th, in light of their now-much-more-obvious vulnerabilities?  For his and my entire correspondence (in which, IMHO, I express none of the traits he assigns to me) please see the STOP CASSINI newsletters (first mention of Mr. Nyquist is in #128).  They are posted online here:



"Russell D. Hoffman" wrote:
> To: Producer, Dateline, NBC
> Date: October 28th, 2001
> From: Russell Hoffman, Concerned Citizen
> Re: Comments on today's Dateline show on nuclear power plant vulnerabilities
> To The Producer:
> Your report on nuclear power plants which aired today, Sunday, October
> 28th, 2001, was weak and unfair.  It minimized the reality of the many
> vulnerabilities, which it is our duty -- both yours and mine -- to point
> out to the public.  You didn't do your job and you stand in the direct way
> of me doing mine.
> For example, Dateline gave Ralph Beedle of the Nuclear Energy Institute (an
> industry sponsored-group, as you pointed out) the cover of legitimacy by
> allowing viewers to assume that you've researched the subject of nuclear
> power plant security.  Why did you let your reporter, Victoria Corderi, let
> Ralph Beedle say things which are unrealistic, unsubstantiated, and/or
> personal opinion, and not let anyone refute them, and not ask him to name
> names if he feels anyone in the so-called "anti-nuclear" side has misstated
> the situation for any reason, let alone for the evil intent he
> suggests?  He has slandered many good scientists as well as activists,
> philosophers, humanitarians, etc. etc. etc.  But who exactly?  He paints us
> all with a broad brush, and you provide him with millions of dollars worth
> of free "advertising time" to spew his slander.
> The reality is that nuclear power is dangerous, dirty, and
> inefficient.  There is no "anti-nuclear" viewpoint.  There is a pro-nuclear
> viewpoint, and a reasonable, sane, safety-minded, realistic viewpoint.  I'm
> pretty sick of seeing Ralph Beedle be given air time (and print space) to
> unquestioningly promote his herd of deadly dinosaurs.  To balance that, you
> need to give equal time to the doctors who oppose nuclear power, and to the
> economists who have become convinced not to invest in it, and to all the
> engineers, geologists, statisticians and other experts who each oppose
> nuclear power for different, valid reasons.  And you need to give equal
> time to the housewives who are tired of being terrified, and to the
> insurance companies who won't invest in nuclear power, forcing the U.S.
> Government to insure the plants with the absurd Price-Anderson Act.
> It's hard to undo the crime of misleading the public.  "Equal time" is not
> enough.  The "reasonable" viewpoint needs to make up for more than 50 years
> of lies by the government, the nuclear industry, and the media, not just
> Ralph Beedle's many moments in the spotlight since September 11th.  His
> pulpit should be the dock of a court.
> Why don't you visit my web site, and start reading?  There is no way
> Beedle, or anyone else in the nuclear industry, can refute the many reasons
> presented there for why we need to not just increase security and add
> anti-aircraft guns, but why we need to completely shut the plants down:
> http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/index.htm
> You need to do another show -- and quick.  I'm sure Scott Portzline had a
> lot more to say (you didn't even tell the public about his web site,
> www.tmia.com ), and there are plenty more waiting in the wings to talk to
> the American media, to help you (and through you, all of America) to
> recognize that this is the most important story in America today -- yes,
> even, and especially, today.  Some of us have been trying to bring up the
> issue of the vulnerability of Nuclear Power Plants to terrorism and
> airplane crashes (intentional or otherwise) for years, but have been
> ignored by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, our complaints invariably and
> utterly denied.  The NRC's refusal to talk to you for your report stunk,
> and was unfair to the public whose interests they are supposedly
> protecting.  Their excuse was hollow, but maybe you just didn't try hard
> enough.  Dateline NBC has a lot of clout.  Use it.  Time is not on our
> side; the terrorists will wait for no one.
> We need to shut down the nuclear power plants immediately and permanently,
> and convert to renewable energy solutions.  Piano tuners know it.  Computer
> programmers know it.  Doctors know it, engineers know it, and millions of
> other America know it, too.  It can be done, and it must be done.  But even
> after the plants are shut down, we will still need to greatly increase
> security.  Besides airplane strikes, here's a list of "25 simple ways
> terrorists can destroy a nuclear power plant".  It is no joke:
> http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/simple25.htm
> There is NO WAY Ralph Beedle, the NRC, or anyone else in the "Nuclear
> Mafia" can possibly resolve all these issues without shutting the plants
> down and storing the waste in guarded underground facilities (note: I am
> not advocating Yucca Mountain as a solution).
> Sincerely,
> Russell Hoffman
> Concerned Citizen
> Carlsbad, CA
> P.S. #1 Have you taken another look at those timelines you presented a few
> weeks back, for the fighter jets that were scrambled on September 11th, as
> I suggested earlier?  You had them flying backwards or something.  I mean,
> for a name like DATELINE, you ought to be able to catch impossible
> timelines when they are handed to you by the military!  Specifically, can
> you now tell us how it was possible that fighter jets could have taken off
> from Langley AFB, bound for Washington, DC, at 9:30 am on September 11th,
> but 13 minutes later, at 9:43, when the plane struck the Pentagon, those
> jets were said to be "12 minutes away"?  Langley AFB is about 130 miles
> from DC. So at the speed these planes fly at, even allowing for
> acceleration and takeoff, they are less than 7 minutes away from DC to
> begin with.  You should be ashamed, but hardly lonely -- the stated
> timeline from a number of media for the fighter jets bound for New York is
> that they were 8 minutes and 80 miles away when the second jet crashed into
> the second tower -- also ridiculous.
> P.S. #2 If you ever do get to talk to the NRC, please ask them what exactly
> they did from approximately 9:02 am on September 11th, when it was clear to
> the entire world that terrorists were attacking America, until 10:00 am
> when THEY SAY they contacted the 103 operating nuclear power plants and
> told them to go on "high alert", whatever that means (not much).



From: Jacksha1@aol.com
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2001 13:43:26 EST
Subject: Re: Comments on today's Dateline show on nuclear power plant vulnerabilities
To: rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com, dateline@nbc.com (NBC Dateline),

Producers of Dateline:

Dateline serves no National Patriotic service if it's only purpose is to
mouth the standard nonsense as laid down by the NRC/DOE, or their minions.

Neither of these agencies has told the truth in fifty years and they are not
about to start doing so now. The lack of truth from these so called
"oversight agencies" are, in fact, the reason for this debate at this time.
They have never performed their oversight in anything approaching a
professional or objective manner.

Mr. Beedle is not being honest when he tells the American people that Nuclear
Power, in the present day environment is safe. It is not safe and has,
furthermore, a host of problems in a non terrorist environment that have
never been debated in an open and objective manner. The terrorist environment
of today requires, in fact demands, an open debate on this subject. It is
unconscionable to keep the plants running and exposing the spent fuel to an
attack, of any kind, and not keep the public fully informed as to the dangers
associated with the nuclear industry.

Nuclear Power Plants are not now nor have they ever been safe!

I have spent 30 years in the Nuclear Business and can tell you that I know
more about the business than Beedle or anyone in the DOE or the NRC, and I,
furthermore, have no reason to lie.

I designed the most widely used nuclear power plant in the United States
today. It is referred to as D1G Core 2 by the United States Navy and is used
on all High Speed Nuclear Attack Submarines and most, if not all, of the
nuclear-powered Cruisers [previously referred to as DLGN's destroyers].

It was I who eventually got the Navy to shut down two Nuclear Power Plants
near Saratoga Springs, NY because they were being operated for years without
containment vessels. They were closed down one day after I appeared on local
TV [WRGB Channel 6, Schenectady, NY] telling the local population of the
dangers associated with such reactors even in a non terrorist environment. In
a terrorist environment it was unforgivable to keep these plants running.

Mr. Beedle does no patriotic or good service to the American public by
downplaying what may be the single biggest danger to the public in this
Country today. It doesn't even have to be a 737 airplane, a large bore
antitank weapon could do the job. Maybe a "tow" or a 3.5 inch rocket launcher
would do the job and most of New York City would have to be evacuated, if
Indian Point 3 were the target, probably forever.

I would like to know Mr. Beedle's credentials as a Nuclear Engineer,
explosive expert mechanical engineering or an expert on weapons. I qualify in
three of the four areas and have done some work as a mechanical engineer. I
will, furthermore be willing to take on Mr. Beedle or any other NRC/DOE
employee in a debate on the safety of nuclear power containment vessels. 

So let's have a debate. Nothing less will do. This is too important a matter
to be left up to the likes of an NRC talking head.

John Shannon Major USMC [Retired]
Nuclear Physicist/Nuclear Engineers.



This document is posted (along with additional comments on the Dateline show) here:


For Shannon's web site on Knoll's Atomic Power Laboratory:


For more information on why the nukes should be shut down:


11th hour protest against nuclear power:

For more information please visit:

Learn about the effects of nuclear weapons here:

This web page has been presented on the World Wide Web by:

The Animated Software Company

Mail to: rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com
First posted October 30th, 2001.

Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman