Wednesday, December 31, 2008

California Attorneys object to Yucca Mountain while tacitly embracing SONWGS and Diablo Cyn -- go figure... (RESEND)

December 31st, 2008 (RESEND with corrected "ignoble seven" information)

by Ace Hoffman

Attorneys for the state of California have filed a 400-page document with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, describing two dozen serious flaws with the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository plan. These follow on the heels of Nevada's own 229-count objection.

I'm sure I could come up with hundreds of serious flaws, too, and so can you. The Yucca Mountain plan stinks, no doubt about it.

Nevertheless, both of these states' complaints are half-measures at best, and in the case of California (where the author's lives), the absurdity of the attorneys' claims in the face of their own actions -- or rather, LACK OF ACTION -- against California's operating nukes is, to say the least, baffling. To say they seem to have blinders on isn't nearly good enough. They seem to have erected a lead shield to protect themselves from grasping -- and then acting on -- the facts. Our nuclear power plants need to be closed -- not tomorrow, but immediately. Yesterday would have been better, but today will have to do. Waiting until tomorrow could be tragic, and in any case, will add additional costs to the problems these plants will leave us, no matter when -- or why -- we close them.

But somehow, despite California's many objections to Yucca Mountain, those same attorneys for the state evidently cannot see that creating additional radioactive waste on a daily basis with no solution in sight is foolhardy at best.

Such myopia should be called what it REALLY is: Criminal Negligence.

The root reason the waste problem isn't solved is technical. Since radioactive emissions are strong enough to destroy ANY container (1) , the "technical" problem will NEVER be solved. New alloys, new crystal structures, microbes that eat radioactive waste, vitrification -- all worthless (2). Rocketing the waste into space, subduction zones in the sea, deep holes -- won't work either (3).

Every day, there is more waste, more radioactive pollution, such as tritium, which is killing our citizens, and more of the "ignoble seven" whose daughter products include noble gases, which are freely released by nuclear power plants in copious quantities (4).

These attorneys seem to have missed the elephant thrashing about in the livingroom. The plants need to be closed NOW. They are old, corroded, embrittled, dilapidated and their employees have repeatedly abdicated their responsibilities, from proper training (5) to doing their fire rounds (6), to numerous problems with top management, and so on.

Every day the plants run, they increase the total risk, the total cost, the immediate risk, and the immediate cost -- costs in terms of health effects around the plants, and delayed costs from accidents or just from fuel storage. Even if we stop making nuclear waste, every movement of the fuel entails enormous risk. And there will be tens of thousands of shipments from all around the country.

A really safe transport of nuclear waste is impossible and any transportation is a big production. Consider all the bridges that have to be strengthened, the potholes that have to be filled, the roads that have to be blocked off as the caravan passes, the staggering number of caravans that will be needed. Each shipping container will hold "only" about 15 tons of spent fuel. With more than 2,500 tons -- 5,000,000 pounds -- of waste (of which any millionth of a gram will poison you fatally) already created in California alone, it will take decades to do anything with the waste. But what? And how? And where? Lawyers don't know, because scientists don't know.

Each trip is a terrorist's best friend and a sane person's worst nightmare. The lawyers seem to have grasped that, at least somewhat.

But what are we left with? Does anyone in California remember Bande Ache? I don't think so, because years afterwards, our nuclear waste is still piled along the coast, and those people charged with protecting it either have no idea it's their responsibility, or have abdicated that responsibility utterly.

Does the San Clemente fire department think it is equipped to deal with tsunami-busted dry casks, a permanent evacuation of thousands of square miles, mass deaths, and a meltdown or two to go with it -- or Genpatsu-Shinsai (the same thing, but starting with an earthquake instead of a tsunami)? If so, they are sadly mistaken.

The utility spokespeople tell the public, the press, and even the NRC that dry casks are safe, knowing that they (the plant employees) are safe from investigation for lying (7). The NRC will barely study the plans at all, won't inspect the casks before use (hardly, anyway), and won't study the actual construction work records whatsoever. So the utilities all say their casks are safe, but any fool who ever studied engineering (or explosives) for more than a day can tell you that's just wrong. In reality, no dry cask is safe -- not one. And nearly every site's casks are different, for no apparent reason. Why are Diablo Canyon's spent fuel rods stacked vertically, and San Onofre's horizontally? Whim? Real estate issues? Earthquake issues?

And there is every reason to fear each ADDITIONAL dry cask. Complacency is a common cause of accidents.

The storage casks are designed to do one thing well (and I doubt they can even do that), which is to sit in one place for up to 100 years, or 20 years -- depends on who you ask (and who you believe).

The proposed shipping casks aren't designed to take ANY significant stress. The fire retention standards are way too low (as proven in the Baltimore train tunnel fire), the load-drop or crush protection is equally inadequate (as proven in the Minnesota bridge collapse, et al).

Splitting the atom is very, very costly.

In fact, the only reason anyone would keep these plants open is because "experts" from places like LLNL are brought in every so often to tell the Energy Commission these plants are safe. These experts are not vetted -- their opinions are not presented in public (they are given in private to, say, Governor Schwarzenegger, or to individuals on the California Energy Commission).

Such experts, of course, now form the heart of the upcoming Obama administration's energy policy.

Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers: An Expose
www.acehoffman.org

(1) For a chart of energy levels, see page 9 of my book The Code Killers.
(2) There are seven long-lived fission daughter products which are sure to cause problems (along with THEIR daughters). See page 18 of The Code Killers for a list of "the ignoble seven."
(3) The Yucca Mtn team was charged with finding any other solution they thought was better. They were NOT limited to thinking about Yucca Mountain. These other choices were eliminated for various reasons, mainly unpredictability (for space-based disposal, reliability was especially a problem, but then, so was money, technical issues, the record of failure, etc. etc.).
(4) See the glossary of The Code Killers for various isotopes, such as Cerium-144 and others, that are manufactured and sometimes (if not always) released by nuclear power plants in large quantities. The "ignoble seven" are: Technetium-99, Tin-126, Selenium-79, Zirconium-93, Cesium-135, Palladium-107, and Iodine-129. All have half-lives > 200,000 years.
(5) After dropping a crane in 2001, San Onofre had to completely retrain virtually everyone in the place who had any chance of ever being involved in a lift. I heard (from a plant worker) that it cost them about 4,000,000 dollars, including all the new strapping, I-beams, hooks, etc. they also had to buy after they dropped a rented crane.
(6) A recent news item reported that for four years, such records were falsified. Numerous other incidents, including threats by armed ex-employees, nearby airplane crashes, etc. etc. should also serve as a warning to all.
(7) "Statements made by the public affairs officer of a NRC licensee are not regulated activities. Therefore, the veracity of such statements will not be investigated by the NRC." Letter to the author from the NRC, received March 30th, 2002.


===============================================================

At 03:26 PM 12/29/2008 -0500, Janette Sherman <toxdoc.js@verizon.net> wrote:

>Begin forwarded message:
>
>>From: MoJo <mollypj@yahoo.com>
>>Date: December 29, 2008 3:00:52 PM EST
>>To: HD-Global <hd-g@hopedance.net>
>>Subject: [NukeNet] California Says Yucca Poses Threat to People, Resources
>>
>>NukeNet Anti-Nuclear Network (nukenet@energyjustice.net)
>>
>>
>>http://www.energycentral.com/centers/news/daily/article.cfm?aid=11717362
>>
>>California Says Yucca Poses Threat to People, Resources
>>
>>Dec 25 - Las Vegas Review - Journal California is urging federal regulators to turn down the Energy Department's bid to build a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, charging analysts did not fully study how the plan would affect Death Valley groundwater and the state's transportation networks.
>>
>>"Proceeding with the project in the manner described by DOE poses a threat to the people, natural resources and environment of California," attorneys said at the outset of a 400-page document filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
>>
>>The commission "may not approve DOE's license application unless DOE provides an adequate environmental analysis that analyzes threats to California and how to mitigate them," said the lawyers from the state's Energy Commission and its Department of Justice.
>>
>>California's objections were made available on Monday, several days after Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced Nevada was submitting 229 repository challenges to the NRC on a variety of technical grounds.
>>
>>There is significance to California raising similar issues before the NRC, according to Joe Strolin, planning division administrator for the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects.
>>"Anytime you have California in the mix it lends a gravitas to an issue," Strolin said Tuesday.
>>
>>"They are always considered a 600-pound gorilla in the room," Strolin said. "Having them weigh in makes a statement that this is an important issue and not just a Nevada issue. That there are other states, and big states, that have concerns as well."
>>
>>DOE spokesman Allen Benson said the department was reviewing the contentions and would respond to them within 50 days, as set in NRC regulations.
>>
>>California attorneys identified 24 issues it wants the NRC to consider as it weighs the safety of the repository plan and decides whether to issue DOE a construction license.
>>Many of California's contentions charge the government failed to adequately analyze the transportation impacts from hundreds of radioactive waste shipments that would originate at reactors in the state as well as shipments through California from other states.
>>
>>"DOE has not conducted sufficient analysis or provided sufficient evidence that such shipments will be conducted in the safest manner," according to the state's complaint.
>>Attorneys said DOE took care to fully analyze transportation risks in Nevada "yet it illogically did not do this analysis for the likely transportation routes in the rest of the country, and specifically not in California."
>>
>>The state's complaint further said DOE has failed to analyze how waste at California reactors could be packaged safely for shipping.
>>
>>California has four operating reactors, two at Diablo Canyon, near San Luis Obispo, and two at San Onofre, about halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego. Three other reactors - at San Onofre, the Humboldt Bay station in Eureka and the Rancho Seco plant south of Sacramento are no longer operating but spent fuel is stored there and is awaiting removal.
>>
>>Collectively, the reactors have generated 2,510 tons of spent nuclear fuel, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute.
>>
>>Other California contentions charge that more analysis is needed to determine how a buildup of contaminants expected to leak from the Yucca site over time would affect aquifers that feed springs in Death Valley.
>>
>>"Recent scientific work done by the County of Inyo indicates that contaminants entering the carbonate aquifer from the repository could migrate to the springs in Death Valley relatively quickly," attorneys said.
>>
>>"These springs are the only source of water for the park workers and the approximately 1.25 million annual visitors to Death Valley National Park," attorneys said.
>>
>>Contact Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760.
>>
>>(c) 2008 Las Vegas Review - Journal. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.
>>A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
>>
>>
>>"No degree of prosperity could justify the accumulation of large amounts of highly toxic substances which nobody knows how to make safe and which remain an incalculable danger to the whole of creation for historical or even geological ages. To do such a thing is a transgression against life itself, a transgression infinitely more serious than any crime perpetrated by man. The idea that a civilization could sustain itself on such a transgression is an ethical, spiritual, and metaphysical monstrosity. It means conducting the economical affairs of man as if people did not matter at all." -- E. F. Schumacher �Small is Beautiful�
>>
>>Molly P Johnson
>>Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility www.a4nr.org
>>H.O.M.E. (Healing Ourselves & Mother Earth) www.h-o-m-e.org
>>Grandmothers for Peace www.grandmothersforepeace.org
>>
>>
>>
>>_______________________________________________________________________
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>>Change your settings at:
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================================================================

Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers: An Expose
PO Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018

www.acehoffman.org
Phone: (800) 551-2726; (760) 720-7261
Email: ace@acehoffman.org
-------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Send your old shoes (or shoelaces) to George Bush to demand release of the Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at our lame duck!

December 16th, 2008

Dear Readers,

This is a resend of my plea to get the Iraqi shoe-throwing reporter released, to fix two small typos. Media With Conscience notes that their in house editor, Emily Mervyn, suggested the same thing last night.

My letter is available online at the MWC web site, where it can be easily translated or forwarded:

mwcnews.net/content/view/27310/42/

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Wearing new shoes in Carlsbad, CA

------------------------------------------------------------------------

December 16th, 2008 (resend)

Dear Readers,

Let's start a campaign, right here, right now, to protect the journalist who was beaten and jailed, and now faces as much as seven years in prison and possibly more, for throwing his shoes at our dumb President.

George Bush was being interviewed shortly thereafter, and OVER THE SCREAMS OF THE REPORTER IN THE BACKGROUND, WHO WAS BEING BEATEN, Bush could be heard saying the guy "just wanted to get his name in the paper."

Actually, it was symbolic of a people's utter disgust. The reporter could be heard calling Bush a "dog" and saying it was for: "the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!" He had previously been imprisoned by U.S. forces, kidnapped by terrorists, and had lost close family because of Bush's (and Cheney's) phony war.

As a protest, and to demand that the reporter be immediately released without charges, I propose that everyone send an old pair of shoes to George Bush at the White House (1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Washington, DC 20500). Too expensive for you? Just send him some old shoelaces -- it's practically free and he'll get the message if enough people do it.

It could take millions before he'll get the message. The reporter, Muntadhar al-Zeid, is currently in a hospital in the green zone, with at least a broken arm as I write this, so please send this email to everyone you know, to try to get him released WITHOUT CHARGES.

Throwing your shoes at someone is a potent, ancient, emotionally-charged gesture which means a lot in Iraq -- it means you are lower than the dirt on one's shoe. Don't, of course, try such antics at home!

But Bush SHOULD have the book thrown at him. And the shreds of the Constitution he destroyed, too.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman

Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers: An Expose
PO Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018

www.acehoffman.org
Phone: (800) 551-2726; (760) 720-7261
Email: ace@acehoffman.org
-------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Barring a meltdown...

December 7th, 2008

Dear Readers,

Apparently John Bryson is on Barack Obama's short list for Secretary of Energy (see article by Harvey Wasserman, below, top). And NASA climatologist James Hansen has endorsed nuclear power as a solution to global warming (see letter to him from this author, below, bottom).

With such support, barring a meltdown, the 104 licensed nuclear power plants in this country will still be operating when Obama leaves office. And maybe a few "mini-nukes" will ALSO have been built by then, either for military, or for rich civilian use. And maybe a few new large ones, too, and a score of military propulsion units. Yucca Mountain will keep moving slowly, inexorably forward, unless there is a large earthquake nearby (there are routinely, lots of small ones).

Obama could leave America at least as vulnerable to terrorism, to human error, to unwatched embrittlement, and to unchecked creeping cracks as it is today.

Tritium and a thousand other radioactive isotopes could be pouring into our air, seas, and soil from every reactor that operates today. No change.

All Obama has to do, is do nothing.

And that's not good enough. The world has to undo this mistake; it can't just assume nuclear plants will go away by themselves, run out of raw materials or be shut down for cost reasons. NO. It won't work that way. They'll keep them going with toilet paper and spit and "recycled" military weapons -- thorium, anything -- until something awful happens.

Nuclear reactors employ a lot of union workers. Each of these workers -- every one of them, or they'd quit -- thinks radiation isn't so dangerous. Government and industry wouldn't lie to them to make a buck off their misery, they think. They don't know any better. They believe what they want to believe, to preserve the cocoon of self-confidence, and there's always someone "qualified" (a Health Physics professional, usually) to tell them it's safe -- to tell them it might even be good for them. To tell them everything is dangerous. Crossing the street is dangerous.

So Obama will have no trouble keeping the nuclear power plants open, if that's what he really wants. And there ARE more operating civilian nuclear power plants in his home state than in any other state in the nation.

Nevertheless, by his near-utter silence on the issue during the campaign, Obama practically single-handedly HAS killed the "Nuclear Renaissance," which is withering on the vine these days (but by no means is it dead). Was this just good politics, or what? We'll see.

It's certainly good to watch one multi-billion dollar nuclear project after another around the world falter, as has been happening, but it's not nearly enough, and perhaps is more due to the financial -- pardon the term -- meltdown than to anything else. We need to close the operating nukes -- all of them. Obama can take office with them already closed. Nuclear power produces an unreliable 1/5th of our (U.S.) electricity, about 7% of our total energy needs -- we can close them all and quickly replace them with wind power, peaking power -- ANYTHING.

But of course, it won't happen.

Unless there's a meltdown.

And that's not all that unlikely, when you think about it. With 104 nuclear power plants, most of them many decades old, with the entire NRC focused on trying to issue as many preliminary site licenses as possible before Bush leaves office, with "self-regulation" rampant throughout the nuclear industry, with constant demand for maximum power, with cost pressures forcing fix-on-fail for everything not called a "critical" part according to some arcane NRC regulation, with deadly dry casks popping up all over the country and then being forgotten about while they multiply -- and multiply their dangers -- with spent fuel pools full, even as some of the fuel is being offloaded into the even-more-deadly dry casks, a meltdown -- or something worse -- is not unlikely. It's not too late to impeach George Bush for not shutting the nukes down, for Dick Cheney's secret pro-nuke energy plan, for torture, for the million dead from the War on Truth, or for complacency in the face of imminent threats to the national security.

Finding the right person for Secretary of Energy is certainly one of the most important tasks Obama faces right now. Bryson doesn't fit the bill, but be warned: In a letter to this author, Harvey Wasserman stated, "the rest of the list I've been seeing isn't all that great."

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers: An Expose:
www.acehoffman.org
Author and programmer, All About Pumps, Animated Periodic Table of the Elements:
www.animatedsoftware.com
Carlsbad, CA

============================================================
My pick of Secretary of Energy would be Harvey Wasserman:
============================================================

At 02:06 AM 12/7/2008 -0500, Harvey Wasserman wrote:

>John "Nuke Bailout" Bryson must NOT be Secretary of Energy
>December 6, 2008

By Harvey Wasserman


>Among the names on the apparent short list for Barack Obama's all-important choice as Secretary of Energy is that of John Bryson, former head of Southern California Edison.
>
>As the embodiment of greenwashed corporate piracy and radioactive public bailouts, Bryson's appointment would send a terrible message.
>
>Bryson is now being hyped as "an advocate of hybrid cars." No doubt he is reinventing his image. On a personal basis, he may be the finest of individuals.
>
>But John Bryson will forever epitomize the bailout of the nuke power industry and the horrific catastrophe of electric utility deregulation, including the contrived energy crisis that cost Californians tens of billions of dollars and allowed them to be robbed by the disgraced Enron.
>
>Early in his career, Bryson helped found the Natural Resources Defense Council. Under Jerry Brown he headed the California Public Utilities Commission, where he played a role in the installation of some 17,000 windmills. He also sold his soul---and much of California's---to the nuke power industry.
>
>When Bryson left the CPUC to head the huge Southern California Edison utility company, many heralded the switch as an eco-triumph. But in the early 1990s, California's green community proposed a pioneer renewable construction project that would have provided the state with some 600 megawatts of Solartopian power free from fossil and nuclear fuels.
>
>Bryson attacked, falsely charging that the power was unnecessary and expensive. In defense of the state's four reactors, all sited near earthquake faults, he used Edison's huge legal and political resources to kill the proposed renewable energy bank.
>
>With all those windmills and solar panels safely buried, Bryson drafted AB1890, the catastrophic deregulation law that opened the door for Enron.
>
>AB1890 allowed SoCalEd and Pacific Gas & Electric to recoup billions in nuke construction cost overruns. Rushed through the legislature under intense pressure from Bryson's lobbyists, the bill overrode years of citizen opposition and forced ratepayers to eat the utilities' radioactive mistakes.
>
>AB 1890's chief public advocate became a Bryson disciple named Ralph Cavanagh, who unfailingly flouted his "green" credentials during radio debates (a few of them with me).
>
>Cavanagh and SoCalEd paved the way for corporate piracy on a gargantuan scale. They argued that the state's expensive, uncompetitive reactors could not stand in the market place. Their billions in "stranded costs" must therefore be absorbed by the ratepayers to pave the way for "true competition" that would somehow "lower rates."
>
>Bryson then sat back and watched as Enron selectively withheld power and gamed the de-regulated grid, driving thousands of businesses into bankruptcy and soaking the state's ratepayers for tens of billions of dollars.
>
>AB1890 passed with Republican Pete Wilson in the governor's mansion. But the crisis broke on Democrat Gray Davis. A close Bryson associate, Davis failed to stand up to SoCalEd and Enron's price gouging. Public outrage opened the door to the recall that led to Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming governor.
>
>Bryson's seminal pro-nuclear, anti-ratepayer role at SoCalEd stands as a monument to the power of greenwashing. From California the craze to deregulate electric utilities spread to two dozen states. In many of them, the idea of a marketplace in electricity was merely a cover used to scam billions in cost overruns at uncompetitive nuke plants. (In Ohio alone, the take exceeded $9 billion) These "stranded costs" then disappeared from utility balance sheets, giving the illusion that their bloated, dangerous and inefficient reactors were somehow paying for themselves.
>
>Some of the same utilities that argued then for these stranded cost handouts on the grounds that their nuke plants could not compete are now demanding loan guarantees to build still more reactors on the grounds that they are somehow "cheap."
>
>However much he may wish to greenwash his image, John Bryson has never come clean about what he did to delay renewables and bankrupt ratepayers.
>
>Long gone from Southern California Edison, Bryson's ascent to head the DOE would send a disastrous signal to those who are genuinely committed to a post fossil/nuclear future. It would say that somehow an extremely powerful executive who took very destructive steps to delay the green revolution and support nuke power is now the one to lead us to Solartopia.
>
>There are other candidates to head the DOE who have long histories of genuine support for the renewables revolution on which the future of this country so thoroughly depends.
>
>In an age where green-powered self-sufficiency is an absolute necessity, John Bryson is unfit to be Secretary of Energy.
>
>--
>Harvey Wasserman's SOLARTOPIA! OUR GREEN-POWERED EARTH is at www.solartopia.org. The first Solartopian dance video is now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x-0Us8szXE .


======================================================
Letter to James Hansen, NASA scientists
======================================================


Sent to: "James Hansen" <jeh1@columbia.edu>

Subject: I saw you speak at the Int't Platform Assoc meeting in DC, approx. 1984

December 6th, 2008

Dear Sir,

I saw you speak there, and Dr. Heimlich, and Tom Clancy, and many others also, that year.

You sounded reasonable and scientific, you had good graphics to present your data (which always impresses me), and since then, I've noticed global warming has only continued to get worse, just as you predicted. And the pointers to human activity have only gotten stronger, just as you predicted.

But what's this I hear, that you think nuclear power might be a solution?!? For shame! Forsooth, do look at my new book on the subject, called THE CODE KILLERS: AN EXPOSE, available for free download as a pdf or I'll be happy to send you a printed copy at no charge:

www.acehoffman.org

Are you the scientist who can refute it? If you think so, please do, but if not, then how do you know that 4th generation nukes (which are really 1st or 2nd generation nukes, reworked) are going to solve anything? Do you have a solution to the waste problem? If so, I'm sure I'd have heard that James Hansen has solved the nuclear waste problem! But that didn't happen, and it won't (see my graphic on page 9, based on a NASA graphic but greatly enhanced, to review why it CAN'T happen -- because no containment is stronger than a radioactive decay). And besides, surely you know too, that there is too much debris in orbit around the earth to allow "deep space" or sun-deposited nuclear waste, even if the cost could be brought down by several orders of magnitude to make it worth it.

And that waste is HOT, Sir, hot. How can that solve global warming? Consider all the heat a reactor puts out. How can that help, when there are alternatives that do not produce so much heat per watt of delivered electricity? Aren't those going to be the best solutions (such as Atmospheric Vortex Engines, which can use waste heat, and in any event, don't actually produce any heat at all)?

I implore you, Sir: Don't support jumping into the fire to escape the frying pan! America can and must do better.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


================================================
###
================================================

Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers: An Expose
PO Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018

www.acehoffman.org
Phone: (800) 551-2726; (760) 720-7261
Email: ace@acehoffman.org
-------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Letter sent to House Energy and Commerce Committee members with copies of THE CODE KILLERS

December 4th, 2008

Dear Readers,

The letter shown below was sent, along with copies of my new book, to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. All of the members of the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality were sent a copy, and I will try to send copies to the rest of the Energy and Commerce Committee soon. If you have an representative on the committee, please contact them and ask them to read my book -- and thank you in advance!

I have also been sending copies to various activist's organizations around the world, as time and money permits. In the next few weeks I plan to send copies to every state governor in the nation.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

===========================================================
Letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee members:
===========================================================

To: Energy and Commerce Committee members and staff
Subject: A reference book on nuclear issues, published Fall 2008

December 3rd, 2008

Dear Congressperson ,

America cannot move forward with a logical energy policy as long as our leaders make statements such as:

"Italy should keep its nuclear waste and not send it to Utah because any country that is smart enough to develop nuclear power should be able to deal with its waste problem."

That quote (approximately) is from Jim Matheson's web site. It's true enough, as far as it goes, but what he doesn't say is that America isn't smart enough to solve the waste problem, either. And it's not that we haven't tried. And it's not that we're not smart. It's that the problem is "intractable."

No container can be built which can withstand a radioactive decay. (See page 9 of my book for the necessary energy comparisons.) No microbe will be genetically modified to "digest radioactive waste" and thereby render it harmless. No spot of land on earth -- let alone, in relatively tiny Italy -- is going to be secure enough for the required eons. (See page 18 of my book, for a rare (and very shocking) 1976 diagram showing how long various components of nuclear waste are hazardous.)

Another member of the Energy and Commerce Committee wrote on their web page that nuclear waste need not be sent to Yucca Mountain because: "it can be safely stored on site." To make such a claim ignores not only the nature of radioactive decay discussed in the previous paragraph, but also how radiation spreads after an accident (see page 17).

Other committee members write about "safe nuclear power" which is the ultimate oxymoron, or merely toss it into the mix when talking about "non-carbon-emitting sources of energy" as in the phrase, "more solar, wind, hydro, biomass, conservation, and nuclear power, so we can combat global warming." It's nice to hear a concern for the planet, but "nuclear power" does not solve global warming. How can it, with so many energy-intensive steps (as shown on page 12 of my book)? How can it, with so many medical consequences -- the costs of which MUST be charged to the proper source?

Even if the courts won't allow reparations for deaths and injuries caused by most nuclear fallout or nuclear waste, that does not mean there is no link -- and it doesn't even mean a statistically significant relationship was not established. When such "weak links" are calculated for entire populations instead of for individuals, they can (and often do) represent a terrible cost to society. Indeed, that is one of the main reasons we have local, state, and national laws to prevent dumping of industrial waste, or even just pouring your used car oil down the drain. Because it all adds up (see page 30 for a discussion of the costs of nuclear power).

It is my hope that the enclosed book will be shared with ALL your staff members. These issues are vital to all Americans, and every member of each of your staffs is, in essence, a senior team member for America's energy policy. Citizens have nowhere else to turn.

Scores of activists have already read this book. Hundreds have downloaded it from my personal home page ( www.acehoffman.org ). Even though it has only been available for a few weeks, many highly-qualified medical doctors and scientists have also read it. The information is VERY accurate. Of course it still has embarrassing typos -- and I apologize for any mistakes, take full blame, and promise to continue to perfect and correct the document, as needed.

However, the facts presented in this book should lead you to an overwhelming conclusion, and I cannot foresee how any slight error could ever change that.

We were the nation that took the wrong first steps into the nuclear age. If it can be said at all that The Bomb ended one war, it just as surely must be said that it started another one, which was at least as devastating, and which has not yet ended. And which wasn't COLD, any more than "Cold Pasteurization" is cold (it's not; it's a radioactive process, which, by any reasonable definition, is HOT).

To minimize the effect of human error, terrorism, so-called "acts of God" or anything else, we have no choice but to turn away from nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Not to do so is to ignore logic, science, and past experience.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
POB 1936, Carlsbad, CA 92018
Phone: (760) 720-7261

===========================================================
###
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Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers
PO Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018

www.acehoffman.org
Phone: (800) 551-2726; (760) 720-7261
Email: ace@acehoffman.org
-------------------------------------------------------

Monday, November 10, 2008

THE CODE KILLERS: An Expose by Ace Hoffman (free download!)

November 10th, 2008

Available for download now!

THE CODE KILLERS: AN EXPOSE

Alternate title: Nuclear Power, Nuclear Weapons, Corrupt Government, Corporate Greed, Mass Hysteria, General Ignorance, and Your DNA: A Dangerous Mix? A look at the Data

by Ace Hoffman

First published: 2008

35+ years in the making -- thousands of interviews conducted to research this book!

Hundreds of books read -- thousands of magazines scoured!

Hundreds of drawings, photos, diagrams, and vital historic documents presented in one place!

A unique compendium! Great for the beginner OR the expert!

Bring THE CODE KILLERS to public hearings (and submit it electronically) so you always have the facts handy and THEY DO TOO!

Available free from:
www.acehoffman.org

Direct URL (300 dpi printable version):
http://www.acehoffman.com/books/TheCodeKillers.pdf

(File is about 111 megabytes. Warning: If printed, it takes a lot of ink!)

Printed copies are available directly from the author: 600 dpi; 28-lb acid-free paper (67-lb covers): Only $25.00 + $3.00 S&H.

Copies of The Code Killers were sent to about 75 Congresspeople today (then I upgraded page 9 (again)).

I hope you enjoy The Code Killers and will want to recommend it to your friends and colleagues!

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Note: All current subscribers to my newsletter (who will get this letter directly from me) may request a FREE printed, bound, signed copy of this book -- and if you've already received a red-covered copy with a title of DNA and Ionizing Radiation: A Dangerous Mix, a few changes have been made (mainly to page 9's size graphics), and a new title and cover have been created.
Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers
PO Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018

www.acehoffman.org
Phone: (800) 551-2726; (760) 720-7261
Email: ace@acehoffman.org
-------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, October 2, 2008

CEC comments due today (October 2nd, 2008) -- re: CEC-100-2008-005-D

October 2nd, 2008

Dear Readers,

The enclosed (top item) was written today and sent to:

docket@energy.state.ca.us

It had to be in by 5:00 pm. Sorry for the late notice. You'll have about 20 minutes to submit a comment if you like, if you get this shortly after I hit "send" for this newsletter.

Best wishes,

Ace

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: AB 1632 ASSESSMENT OF CALIFORNIA'S OPERATING NUCLEAR PLANTS
(A Draft Report Prepared for the California Energy Commission)

October 2nd, 2008

To The Commissioners:

The report prepared for you by MRW & Associates, Inc. is just another biased report you've commissioned. What little it says to warn you of the coming catastrophe, you will ignore, because you wish to continue to poison our world with invisible, undetectable (by human sense organs), extremely hazardous (by any reasonable standard) radioactive particles, and in order to do so, you apparently feel you need another report saying it's safe.

So you commissioned this piece of trash. Terrorism, let alone its roots, is not addressed, yet it's the primary concern -- for citizens. For the C.E.C., the primary concern seems to be protecting yourselves from prosecution, as revealed by the statement on page 3 of the report, saying that everyone connected with the report in any way assumes "no legal liability for the information" in the report. Yep, that's sure taking responsibility for your actions! NOT!

I'm sure MRW & Associates were carefully picked to produce this waste of bandwidth. Their web site is sparse on reassuring information, but shows that their founder and head was formerly a director of the Policy and Program Evaluation Office of the California Energy Commission. In that capacity, he undoubtedly helped establish and allow California's nuclear power plants.

MRW & Associates' clients include energy "generation owners and operators" which may well include SCE and / or PG&E among their western United States customers, where they focus their business. Another co-owner, prior to joining MRW in 1989, was an Energy Economist with PG&E. He's used to proving nuclear power plants are cost-effective, which he does by ignoring indirect costs such as the costs of cancer in the community after an accident or from routine operations. And the third owner? He's described as a "veteran of the California Energy Commission and the Transmission Agency of Northern California."

Their findings appear as biased as one would expect from their backgrounds. The C.E.C. couldn't have known precisely what they would say when MRW & Associates was commissioned to write their report, but they knew they'd carry on the trashy work of the previous decades, enabling San Onofre Nuclear Waste Generating Station (referred to as "SONGS" in the document) and Diablo Canyon to continue to operate as before, but older and more prone to failure, and more likely to melt down than ever.

I don't know where they get the rest of their staff, who wrote the nearly 500-page report (including 150 pages of appendices, but not including "public comments" (which do not include my own previous comments, which are mentioned in a footnote in the document (on page 33), and which are shown again below). In 500 pages, nowhere are the real issues discussed -- nowhere are there realistic descriptions of the health effects of accidents (or of operating plants). There is a picture of the ground rippled near Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station, but the wrong assumption is made -- that those plants didn't suffer "Genpatsu-Shinsai" somehow shows that ALL nuclear power plants -- and ours in particular -- are safe from catastrophic earthquake damage. It's a dream -- and no wonder the disclaimer at the front has very specific wording regarding seismic assessments.

Of the other three principles listed at the web site for MRW & Associates, none have degrees in the biological effects of radiation - it's all energy-related degrees and experience. Not a humanitarian in sight.

Consequently, their report is highly biased and utterly unsubstantive. But we're expected to "bet the farm" on it. If we get this wrong, millions of Californians will die an insufferable, drawn-out, humiliating death. If it turns out nukes are totally safe despite the risks, we all might safe a little money now, to be paid later, by someone else -- our children. Because they'll still have the waste problem to deal with.

The MRW & Associates report is biased because it ASSUMES the nuclear spent fuel problem is just a federal issue that the feds simply haven't solved yet (see page 23). It assumes they'll solve it eventually, somehow. The report's writers don't grasp that the reason it's unsolved at the federal level is that it's UNSOLVABLE and we need to stop making more waste. After 60 years, you'd think someone would have figured out that unstoppable forces inevitably break down all possible containments.

According to the report, "dry cask ISFSIs are considered by many experts to be safe and environmentally sound." Yeah, okay, I suppose they can find lots of well-paid "experts" who think so. I wouldn't want to actually BE one of those experts, standing next to that dry cask when a terrorist proves they aren't so safe! And worse, the next sentence after the one just quoted points out that there haven't been any serious dry cask accidents so far. Well, how many STATES would we need to lose before these jokers find another criteria than "it hasn't failed catastrophically anywhere YET so it must be safe!"? That's just not good enough -- this so-called 20-year safety record (which has had a number of problems, including fraud in the dry cask industry, lax security, etc. etc..) is utterly insufficient as proof that California should build hundreds -- and then thousands -- of dry casks. The statement by so-called "experts" that these things are safe sound just like the "experts" who thought the twin towers couldn't fall down. All it took was some terrorists with airplanes. Airplanes are STILL easy to get, and always will be. The threat will NEVER go away. Every dry cask is a hazard, a threat, a danger, and a costly mistake.

The draft report admits that the dry casks "may need to be repackaged" within just 40 to 50 years! This seems to be seen mainly as an employment opportunity, and financial consideration, but not a severe and UNNECESSARY additional risk all citizens of California will be forced to take, unless we turn away from nuclear power NOW (and then, still, somehow solve the waste problem). Each cask is an additional risk. The report's author's don't seem to understand that. Once they've said dry casks have some risk, they're done, without considering the multiplication of dangers. When there are hundreds of casks, even the extremely dangerous steps of "repackaging" (whatever that turns out to be; it's a sure thing MRW & Associates doesn't have a clue) will be repeated so often that those who are doing the work might become complacent. It happens all the time, but seldom with such dire consequences -- consequences which are IGNORED by this draft report. Such willful ignorance IS criminally negligent.

The report does admit that the waste "ultimately must be transported off-site" but doesn't BOTHER to recognize that the lack of solutions means it MUST be assumed that spent-fuel accidents WILL HAPPEN. And meanwhile, if the C.E.C. has its way, California's four aging nuclear plants will still be making more waste even as the older dry casks are crumbling or being hit by airplanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and other "unforeseen" (by the C.E.C.) accidents or sabotage.

Nowhere is a spent fuel accident examined in great detail. In fact, the report admits (p. 24) that "current academic research into this issue is very limited." The report notes (p. 17) "a loss-of-coolant event in a re-racked spent fuel pool could result in extensive radiation release and contamination" but is not specific in any way -- a trillion dollar accident is not the same as a million-dollar accident which some trucking firm moving some typical hazardous substance might have -- a spent fuel accident could waste SoCal. Mentioning stuff is NOT the same as going into graphic detail about the pain of radiation-induced death by cell breakdown, for example. There is no sense of scale in the report -- a Chernobyl, a Bhopal, a bridge collapse -- does anyone at MRW know the differences?

A full-blown pent fuel accident -- dry cask OR pool, let alone both together -- would cost at least a trillion dollars, a million lives, and ruin California, turning it from the richest state in the nation into the poorest. Nowhere is that discussed in this propagandistic report. This report excludes the truth.

The "draft" report assumes that the proper way to judge nuclear power's environmental impact is to count the CO2 emissions of fossil fuel alternatives when "replacement power" is needed for an outage -- and it does this without even bothering to account for the nuclear fuel cycle's total costs, such as cancers among uranium mine workers, let alone the costs of cancers in the local community around the plant. And let alone all the other illnesses besides cancer which radiation causes -- heart disease, leukemia., birth defects, and about a thousand other things. Radiation creates "free radicals" throughout your body, leading to inflammation, DNA damage, and many other problems.

I'm sure if I dig far enough, I'll find that the document assumes nukes don't poison us (much) on a daily basis, don't cause cancer, don't destroy the environment, or I'll find it tells us it's not in their or the C.E.C.'s jurisdiction to think about that aspect of "daily releases" (or of accidents) including of noble gasses, which are unmonitored and unrestricted, and such contaminants cannot be filtered out of the daily waste stream.

This is their comment on the safety of dry casks during earthquakes (p. 18):

"The spent fuel pools and dry cask storage facilities at Diablo Canyon and SONGS have been designed to sustain a design basis ("safe shutdown") earthquake at the plants, and they are unlikely to fail due to an earthquake."

What proof do they have that these facilities will survive their "design basis," or that the "design basis" is good enough? There is every reason to suspect they can't even survive their "design basis" and it is well known that San Onofre's "design basis" earthquake is only a 7.0 on the Richter scale -- not nearly enough.

The MRW & Associates report quotes a notorious study by Robert Alvarez, which makes the mistake of claiming that, because spent fuel pools could be relieved of overcrowding, dry cask storage is therefore safe enough for use -- for hundreds, maybe thousands, of dry casks to be built.

Alvarez's report has, once again, been used to suggest that dry casks increase safety at nuclear facilities when what it really says is "dry casks are very dangerous, and spent fuel pools are, too." People who support nuclear power misunderstand the meaning of Alvarez's report regularly. (The Alvarez quote, as it appeared in the MRW & Associates report, is shown below).

It's time to shut San Onofre and Diablo Canyon. The longer we wait, the more we risk.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Additional comment on the Byron report:

Barbara Byron writes:

"Long-term, on-site dry cask storage should not prevent the transition of decommissioned plant sites to alternative uses."

This is a fantasy. No one should be anywhere near a dry cask.

See:

http://www.energy.ca.gov/2008_energypolicy/documents/index.html#100108

http://www.energy.ca.gov/2008publications/CEC-100-2008-005/CEC-100-2008-005-D.PDF

http://www.energy.ca.gov/2008publications/CEC-100-2008-005/CEC-100-2008-005-D-AP.PDF

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quotes from the report:


(from page 22 of the preliminary report:)

"In general, a dry cask storage facility is considered to have a lower degree of overall risk than a spent fuel pool. Over the last 20 years, there have been no radiation releases from a dry cask storage facility that have affected the public, no radioactive contamination, and no known or suspected attempts of sabotage. A major study on the risks of dry cask storage by Robert Alvarez, a Senior Scholar of Nuclear Policy at the Institute for Policy Studies, suggested that the use of dry cask storage at a nuclear power plant has the potential to reduce the overall risk associated with at-reactor storage of spent fuel, including the risk of seismic and terrorist events, since dry cask storage would allow the spent fuel pools to be returned to their original configuration and design loading."

(also from page 22 of the preliminary report:)

An outage would also pose environmental consequences, since the replacement power would
be largely natural gas-fired. The simulations found that an outage at either nuclear plant would
increase in-state greenhouse gas emissions from power generation by seven to eight percent, or
roughly 4.3 to 4.7 million tons of CO2. Out-of-state replacement generation would add an
additional 2.2 to 2.8 million tons of CO2, for a total greenhouse gas impact of approximately 7
million tons of CO2.

(from page 24 of the preliminary report:)

The experiences of several communities in other parts of the U.S. suggest that a dry cask
storage facility at a plant site should not prevent the full decommissioning of the
remainder of the plant site and the conversion of most of the site to alternative,
productive uses. More study is required to assess the impact of a dry cask storage
facility on local property values, business, and tourism, as current academic research
into this issue is very limited.

(from page 25-26 of the preliminary report:)


Nuclear Waste Accumulation at Diablo Canyon and SONGS
Diablo Canyon and SONGS produce significant quantities of radioactive waste in the form of
spent fuel and other radioactively contaminated materials. These wastes must be carefully
handled, stored, transported, and disposed of in order to protect humans and the environment
from exposure to radioactive materials. Spent nuclear fuel, which is extremely radioactive, must
be stored in a water-filled pool for a minimum of five years following removal from the reactor
core to shield against high levels of radiation.
As previously discussed, Diablo Canyon and SONGS lack sufficient spent fuel pool capacity to
store the quantity of spent fuel produced over the period of their operating licenses, which
extend into the 2020s. As a result, PG&E and SCE have been forced to increase the on-site
storage capacity for spent fuel by constructing dry cask storage facilities.
PG&E and SCE have taken different approaches for the design and use of on-site dry cask
storage facilities at Diablo Canyon and SONGS. PG&E has designed and permitted a dry cask
storage facility for Diablo Canyon that will allow the utility to transfer and store 100 percent of
the spent fuel produced during the current operating license. This would allow PG&E to
decommission Diablo Canyon's spent fuel pool at the end of the current license if needed. SCE
has designed a dry cask storage facility for SONGS with a capacity to store 36 percent of the
spent fuel generated during the current license period and intends to rely on its spent fuel pool
to store the remaining spent fuel. Additional storage space would be required if SONGS were to
continue operating past its current license or if SCE wanted to decommission the SONGS spent
fuel pools before off-site spent fuel storage is available. Moreover, the total planned combined
storage capacity at SONGS will be sufficient to store just 98 percent of the spent fuel expected to
be produced during the plant's current operating license. In order to accommodate the
remaining spent fuel, SCE will need to secure offsite storage or develop additional capacity.
SCE has not yet determined how it will manage the extra spent fuel.
The costs for constructing and loading the dry cask storage facilities are substantial. On a
present value basis, the total cost is $160 million for Diablo Canyon and $300 million for
SONGS. Since the dry cask storage facility at SONGS is just 40 percent the size of the Diablo
Canyon facility and nearly twice as expensive, the SONGS facility is three to four times as
expensive per fuel assembly.


In June 2008 the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) filed a license application for a permanent
geologic repository for spent fuel at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. If the license is granted, Yucca
Mountain will begin operations most likely after 2020, over 20 years after the January 1998
statutory and contractual deadline for beginning to accept spent fuel from utilities. PG&E and
SCE have sued DOE for reimbursement of their ISFSI costs, claiming that this delay represents a
breach of contract. PG&E received a favorable judgment that provides for reimbursement of
certain dry cask storage costs while denying other claims. PG&E is currently appealing the
decision. A trial date to hear SCE's claim has not been set.

Utility dry cask storage is an interim solution for waste disposal. PG&E's facility is designed for
a lifetime of 50 years, and the canisters used in SCE's facility are designed for a lifetime of 40
years. If the spent fuel is not transported off-site within the design lives of the dry cask storage
facility components, the spent fuel may need to be repackaged on-site and transferred into new
storage canisters, or the current canisters or other cask storage facility components may need to
be bolstered. At this time there are no estimates as to how long the spent fuel will remain in
interim dry-cask storage, and no additional off-site or on-site interim fuel storage facilities are
being considered by either PG&E or SCE.
If a federal repository is established, spent fuel will need to be packaged for transport, aging,
and disposal (TAD). DOE has not yet established federal TAD packaging requirements, forcing
PG&E and SCE to move forward with dry cask storage cask designs that may not be compatible
with the TAD requirements. The costs for transport of spent fuel to off-site storage or disposal
facilities will be substantial, including costs for security, accident prevention, and emergency
preparedness. Policies are being developed to federally fund state and county emergency
response preparation; however, California has claimed that the proposed federal program may
be insufficient, both in the planned timing of the grant program and the amount of the
proposed grants for state planning and for training emergency response personnel to respond
to potential accidents involving California's spent fuel shipments.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Original comments:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: December 13th, 2007
To: docket@energy.state.ca.us
Re: Submission for California Energy Commission Docket No. 07-AB-1632, "AB 1632 Assessment"

To The Committee,

Attached in pdf form is my submission for Docket No. 07-AB-1632. I have also included the statement in text form below. I would hope that you will consider my views very carefully and seriously, but I know better -- you won't.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
POB 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018


-------------------------------------------------

Date: December 13th, 2007
To: docket@energy.state.ca.us
Re: Submission for California Energy Commission Docket No. 07-AB-1632, "AB 1632 Assessment"

To The Committee,

On average, every working American spends about TWO DAYS A WEEK building, using, or paying for America's weaponry, and the means to convey that weaponry to where it will be used. At least a quarter of all fuel -- including nuclear fuel -- used by this country goes to war-related activities.

It is impossible to be a productive nation when so many raw materials and so much talent and time is spent on destruction.

But the most insidious thing about modern warfare is that it kills civilians -- lots of civilians. People like you and me.

The United States military operates, day or night, war or peace, under dozens of special exemptions to environmental regulations. Regulations which everyone else on the planet MUST adhere to. The result is radioactive and chemical pollution on a global scale -- not just where the wars occur, but also at training areas and manufacturing facilities.

The tools of modern war include Uranium-238 munitions (aka "DU"), now infamous for causing "flaming pee" (a terrible burning sensation when you urinate) and other ailments in our own veterans, and for causing grossly deformed children in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo.

The tools also include U-235 / Pu-239 munitions (aka "nuclear weapons" or "atomic bombs"). Although these "tools" have only been used twice in war so far, in Hiroshima (primarily a U-235 weapon) and Nagasaki (primarily a Pu-239 weapon of slightly greater sophistication), those uses were demonstration projects for the world to see what was to come.

Total destruction. Not just your soldiers killed, but your records destroyed, your buildings burned, your history obliterated, your museums, schools, factories, sewage systems, water systems -- everything, blasted, burned, and worst of all -- irradiated.

Thousands, even millions of people in desperate need of medical care which is utterly unavailable. Suffering beyond words. A holocaust. A war crime.

Nuclear war has been threatened a thousand times since its invention and early use. Our current president has threatened it frequently, which constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in and of itself -- the threat is distressing to those threatened.

Which is all of us. Every nuclear threat has a counterthreat somewhere. Every escalation of a war has a counterinsurgency to match. Every time George Bush gets us into another war, America becomes more vulnerable to retaliation.

The military has long pushed the idea that our mighty armies are the only thing that keeps us free, safe, secure, and comfortable at home.

But I'll wager we were safe because we were the shining city on the hill for so long. The place everyone wanted to be. The place that people wanted to honor with tributes such as the Statue of Liberty -- THAT place was safe! People came here NOT to terrorize us, but to BE us! But we've become greedy, cloistered, cold-hearted, and ignorant.

In addition to bombing two cities in Japan during World War II, the U.S. alone has conducted more than a thousand nuclear "tests." We've irradiated dozens of islands in the Pacific, and parts of Nevada, New Mexico, Alaska, Colorado, and Mississippi, with atomic bomb debris. And that's not counting the "downwind" effect on Utah, Wyoming, and every other state (and every nation).

Additionally, we've piled up nuclear reactor cores -- spent fuel -- at nuclear power plants in dozens of states -- all with an unkept promise that the waste would be quickly removed. For 60 years the nuclear weapons and power industries have looked for a solution, but they keep coming back to: "Drive it 50 miles into Indian territory and dump it" which is all Yucca Mountain really amounts to.

While in transit, the waste is vulnerable to bridge collapses, train derailments and tunnel fires, sabotage, and a thousand other things. The government claims their transport containers are "safe" but they define "safe" very narrowly -- for example, as being able to probably survive a 30 foot drop onto a 6 inch post. Such testing does not reflect the real-world hazards. In their carefully-contrived theoretical "worst case" scenarios, almost no fuel is ever actually released, which means they don't have to calculate what happens if just one hour's worth of one reactor's spent fuel -- about 10 pounds's worth -- ever got out into the environment. The size of the catastrophe from that 10 pounds would depend on the precise location and weather conditions at the time. But one hour's worth of spent fuel could kill MILLIONS if released to the environment. And yet, we keep making more.

We're waiting for a solution to the physically unsolvable -- that is to say, impossible -- problem of storing something that destroys its container by irradiating it (and thus breaking down the molecular and atomic structure of the steel, concrete, glass, or what-have-you). In the meantime, the deformity-causing, cancer-causing, disease-causing, boiling-hot (thermally) concentrations of "hot" (radioactive) isotopes are each glowing, growing targets for retaliatory strikes against America, along with the operating reactors.

As little-known expert Bennett Ramberg put it in a UPI Op-Ed from May 2005: "Nuclear power plants are naked against a Sept. 11, 2001-like air attack." Twenty years earlier Ramberg wrote a whole book on the subject of nuclear terrorism, which was ignored by government and the nuclear industry, and was called: "Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy: An Unrecognized Military Peril." We still ignore him, at our own risk.

In the drive to create a nuclear-powered, nuclear-weaponized society, profits were made all along the way. Lying to ourselves about how corporations make profits on other people's misery does not stop evil from happening. Rather, it enables it.

Uranium-238 munitions, the shells and bombs used by the thousands every day in Iraq, leave a poisonous legacy. America, right now, is poisoning the area known as the cradle of civilization. We grew up calling it Mesopotamia. The name Iraq doesn't convey its 10,000+ year history of human settlement.

An interesting side-effect of our use of Depleted Uranium weapons is that, because of their extraordinarily-long half-life of four and a half billion years, the evidence of our assault on civilians who have not even been born yet, will be detectable (with sophisticated equipment) for about 50 to 100 billion years. The earth is only about 5 billion years old, according to the geological record!

Two, or ten, or a hundred generations from now, or a thousand, anyone will be able to find clear evidence of our use of uranium weaponry. Uranium fragments. Deformities among the local population. All these things will be discernable. Future generations of Americans will probably have to pay reparations for today's use of radioactive tools of war.

Tools which are already illegal by numerous international conventions.

Tools which also sicken and endanger the lives of our own soldiers and their families.

Profitable? VERY! Depleted Uranium is free -- the nuclear fuel reprocessing centers are just DYING to give it away. And it cuts through buildings and enemy tanks (and bodies) like a hot knife through butter. AND THEN IT TURNS INTO POISON GAS! You can find radioactive fragments, and you can detect the uranium with a Geiger Counter, but the bombs and bullets will have mostly vaporized -- become poison gas -- and some of that will spread out globally before getting into crops, drinking water, babies, you and I.

Modern warfare is, more than anything else, an assault -- largely hidden -- on civilians, and on humanity at large. Just as with each breath, we each breath some part of Caesar's last breath, so too the deadly DU dust from EACH war will poison ALL seven billion+ people on the planet, including more than a billion children.

The deadly dust will poison the rich and the poor alike, but the poor will have no access to health care.

We, the American Couch Potato, allow this in our name. Our government is currently the world's greatest terrorist, JUST on the basis of its use of U-238, and threatened use of U-235 and Pu-239 weapons. The shining hill now glows with radioactivity, and its citizens suffer with cancer.

Our inability to admit that radioactive weapons MUST be banned, and that large radioactive targets (aka "nuclear power plants") must ALSO be closed forever, makes us guilty of mass murder by complacency.

None of us are innocent anymore -- except the children of course, who are 10 to 100 times or more, MORE VULNERABLE than adults to nuclear radiation dangers, and who trust us to protect them from ALL the horrors of the real world, even the invisible and insidious ones.

Stop the radiation assault, and you go a long way towards stopping cancer, leukemia, birth defects and other ailments. Those who promote nuclear power promote death, destruction, undemocratic principles, and global suffering. But those who say nothing and simply let it happen are their single biggest and most powerful group of supporters.

When the tsunami occurred in 2004, many people died because they ran out to where fish were flapping, where the water used to be. A tidal wave of ignorance and apathy is occurring on this planet. New technologies COULD replace ALL the nuclear power in use on earth in a matter of MONTHS -- maybe even weeks -- if society put its global industrial strength to work building alternative energy systems with currently-available designs.

But instead, we continue to upgrade old nukes, and even build new nukes. Each one creates about 250 pounds per day of radioactive "spent" fuel. Enormous amounts of fossil fuels and chemicals are used to process the nuclear materials, and to keep the nuclear power plants in "working" order -- producing more waste. Nuclear power is not the solution to global warming or anything else.

There is NOTHING good about nuclear power. Those who run the plants, build the weapons, and process the fuel staunchly defend their "right" to pollute your body with odorless, colorless, tasteless, and extremely carcinogenic radioactive isotopes, and few of us even know it is happening.

Those who DO know can and MUST stop this madness. Cancer rates are soaring; every family suffers.

Russell "Ace" Hoffman
POBox 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018
(760) 720-7261

The author, an educational software developer, has studied nuclear issues for more than 35 years, and writes frequently about nuclear weapons and nuclear power. He offers a large collection of free, informative nuclear animations at his web site. To receive his newsletters directly, please contact him at:
rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com

To visit the author's web site:
www.animatedsoftware.com

Inclusion: Recent Reuters article about increased cancer risks around nuclear power plants. Note that past studies done on the subject which show NO significant effects are invariably grotesque examples of "how to lie with statistics," doing everything wrong, from not bothering to account for distance from the plant, to not adjusting for odd-shaped county districts, to not accounting for the prevailing wind directions, and so on.

================================================
December 8, 2007: Child cancer risk higher near nuclear plants: study
================================================

A German study has found that young children living near nuclear power plants have a significantly higher risk of developing leukemia and other forms of cancer, a German newspaper reported on Saturday.

"Our study confirmed that in Germany a connection has been observed between the distance of a domicile to the nearest nuclear power plant .... and the risk of developing cancer, such as leukemia, before the fifth birthday," Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper quoted the report as saying.

The newspaper said the study was done by the University of Mainz for Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BFS). A copy of the report was not immediately available.

The researchers found that 37 children within a 5-kilometer (3-mile) radius of nuclear power plants had developed leukemia between 1980 and 2003, while the statistical average during this time period was 17, the paper said.

The newspaper cited an unnamed radiation protection expert familiar with the study who said its conclusions understated the problem. He said the data showed there was an increased cancer risk for children living within 50 kilometers of a reactor.

German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement that he would examine the study. He said the BFS should also evaluate its findings.

Germany plans to prematurely shut down all of its nuclear power plants by the early 2020s.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau)

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Nuclear Book (and Essay) Author's Club

September 13th, 2008

Dear Readers,

Dr. Conrad Miller, an emergency-room surgeon and long-time newsletter subscriber, has updated his book The Most Important Issues Americans THINK They Know Enough About.

Miller's book was wonderful before: Intelligent, creative, poetic, well-researched and forceful. I guess working in the ER makes it a little easier to get straight to the point -- and you learn how to communicate clearly. As the title implies, Miller's book goes over a number of issues, not "just" nuclear power. I saw several chapters of the new version in preview form. It looks great. He's worked with some top experts (and me) to sort out the facts. It's timely and relevant.

Dr. Miller will be appearing on Internet and Live Radio to discuss the new Third Edition. Please see the press release (below) to find out where you can hear him.

Over the years, over 60 published nuclear authors, including over two dozen nuclear book authors, have joined this newsletter's distribution list, or, shall we say, not refused my offer to add them during a conversation or correspondence. Few have left, other than by the horizontal exit (rest in peace, y'all).

Losses from this newsletter list due to death include John W. Gofman, A. Stanley Thompson, Carrie Dickerson, and several other top nuclear writers, all of whom I conversed with by phone or email numerous times. I also had several conversations with Jay M. Gould, Karl Z. Morgan (oh, how magnificent he was!), and others, all now gone.

Nuclear power is extremely complicated, and the topics these people have written about are very, very difficult. I've read dozens of their books: Each one is a very impressive tome!

Published nuclear book authors -- hopefully all still living as I write this -- include (in alphabetical order): Rosalie Bertell, Francis Boyle, Helen Caldicott, Richard Cuddihy, Sidney Goodman, Karl Grossman, Michio Kaku, Joe Mangono, Bennett Ramberg, Sara Shannon, Ernest Sternglass, Janette Sherman, William Thomas, Harvey Wassermann, and Richard Webb. I have copies of all their (nuke-related-) books and have communicated with each of them personally. Nearly all of the above are currently on this newsletter's distribution list. (Some nuclear book author may be wondering how I could have forgotten that they, too, are on my list. If so, I apologize, and please feel free remind me.)

Dozens of other nuclear author-activists are also on this list, many of them great (and widely published) writers, such as (in no particular order): Bob Nichols, Cathy Garger, Kathy Czar, Judith Johnsrud, Ashok Kumar, Alice Slater, Glenn Carroll, Winonah Hauter, Jennifer Vierec, Molly Johnson, Raymond Shadis, Lyn Hicks, Michael Mariotte, Sara Barczak, Jerry Collamer, Gordon Sturrock, Frank Trottingwolf, Jack Shannon, Mitzi Bowman, Kay Drey, the tireless Roger Herried, the many great writers of the Pelindaba Working Group in South Africa, Leuren Moret, Frieda Berryhill, Diane D'Arrigo, Judy Treichel, Oscar Shirani, David Lochbaum, Paul & Linda Gunter, our newest addition, Gene Stone, and last, only because I think they're the only ones I've never actually had any two-way communication with, Robert Alvarez and Marvin Resnokoff (I hope they don't block these emails!).

There are many other writers and book authors on this list, but to the best of my knowledge, they have not written much, if anything, about nuclear power, and there are dozens of activists who write dozens of letters to politicians, whom I have also not attempted to list here. Nor, of course, have any reporters been listed, even though they are on this newsletter list for having written about nuclear power. In some cases, we have communicated quite often and some of them, indeed, have been extraordinarily fair and balanced.

To all of the above (who are still living): KEEP WRITING!

I should note that I've also communicated with thousands of pro-nuclear writers, including several pro-nuke book authors. Some of them are very earnest and sincere, even if they are, at the same time, misguided and short-sighted.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Dodging black holes from CERN's LHC in...
Carlsbad, CA


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Dr. Conrad Miller will be on your radio and internet
radio Sunday Sept 14 2008 at noon Eastern Standard Time
until 1 PM on the Perspectives with Barry Shainbaum show.
The third edition of Dr. Miller's book
The Most Important Issues Americans THINK They Know Enough About,
which will be available within the next 10 days, will hold many
details of the issues that likely will be discussed during the show
.

The one hour show will also be rebroadcast the following
Sunday Sept 21, 2008 at 11 AM and 10 PM and also be available
on the internet

Likely topics to be discussed:

Is nuclear power really possibly green?

50% of USA non-organic sugar likely will become of the
genetically modified variety in 2008 if consumers don't
call Kellogg's and all the other potential mass users of
this patented-sugar-beet-half of the granulated sugar market
to demand labelling. You can go to http://www.organicconsumers.org
to perform your civic duty on this issue, and see and/or download a
colorful one page pamphlet facilitating awareness and citizen activism.

Are you aware of the North American Union and its being quietly laid
upon the foundation of NAFTA to override many safeguards and laws of
our three countries' democracies [USA, Mexico, Canada] without any voting?

If you've watched the Republican convention and heard John McCain,
you know about the urge to DRILL! BABY, DRILL! for oil offshore.
However, the so-called 'Gang of 10' Senators in the US Senate who will
be bringing a New Energy Reform Act of 2008 bill/amendment up next
week (9-15-08) that will back drilling for offshore oil, also have
included provision(s) for unlimited loan guarantees for nuclear power!
This is not being publicized. Wednesday Sept 17, 2008 is being organized
as a 'call-in day' by http://www.nirs.org for Americans to call their
Senators at 1-202-224-3121 to say "no taxpayer loan guarantees for nuclear
power." Remember that in June 2008 Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut tried to
engineer through $544 BILLION with a 'B' subsidies for nuclear power. USA budget
total is ~3 trillion dollars, or 3,000 (three thousand) billion dollars.

To listen to the one hour show on Sunday starting at noon Sept 14 2008,
if you are not in the Toronto area, go to http://www.barryshainbaum.com
and click on the 'Radio Show' words in the list on the left on the home page.
Then hit the 'Faith FM' link and you can listen to what Dr. Miller will share
with Mr. Shainbaum and you, as a part of the audience.

If you reside in Canada north of Toronto you can hear the live
Sept 14 2008 show on your regular FM radio at Faith Radio CJTW 94.3,
out of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. The station should be pickup-able
within a 60 mile radius of Kitchener.

The one-hour show will be re-broadcast twice on
Sunday Sept 21, 2008 - at 11 AM and 10 PM via the
same website. Again, for internet broadcast,
go to http://www.barryshainbaum.com and click
on 'Radio Show' but this time click on the
Hope FM link for the 11 AM to noon re-broadcast.
For the 10-11 PM Sept 21 2008 re-broadcast, same same
but click on the Grace FM link. And you will
hear Dr. Miller and Mr. Shainbaum.

The Sept 21 2008 11 AM to Noon re-broadcast show
can be heard on Hope Radio CJFH 94.3 FM on your
terrestrial radio in your car and home and
boat and RV ­ coming to you out of Woodstock, Ontario, Canada.

The Sept 21 2008 10-11 PM show can be heard
on Grace Radio CHJX 105.9 FM beamed out from London, Ontario, Canada.

Mr. Shainbaum's website states:

*Note: You will need Windows Media Player in
order to listen to the internet broadcast. If
you do not have Windows Media Player, you can
download it here. You can go to Mr. Shainbaum's
above website to do this.
Look for the latest edition of Dr. Miller's book
on http://www.amazon.com or
via this http://www.crestofthewave.com website.


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© Ace Hoffman
PO Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018
(760) 720-7261
rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com
www.animatedsoftware.com
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

This Trinity wasn't holy (resend with additional comments and a few minor typos corrected)

August 6th, 2008

Dear Readers,

First, thanks to those who commented on yesterday's essay, and to The Handstand (in Ireland) and CounterPunch which both published it today, and to those who said they would be sending it around.

When I woke up yesterday morning I had no idea I would write that essay, so a special thanks to Gordon Sturrock for the spark that resulted in its creation.

"BG" pointed out a few typos, so this newsletter includes a slightly corrected version (see the P.S.).

Two people wrote to say they don't believe Iran is heading towards testing a nuclear weapon. But Iran hardly needs nuclear-derived electricity! They have oil, wind, solar, geothermal, wave -- they have lots of cheaper, safer, energy. Some say they need nuclear power because they have oil, but no refineries. But then, wouldn't building a refinery make more sense, at far less cost and risk?

On the other hand, Iran undoubtedly feels threatened (rightly or wrongly) by the United States, and Iran probably believes (rightly or wrongly) that possession of a nuclear weapon would reduce the chances that the United States would attack them.

Iran has already demonstrated simultaneous launches of long-range missiles, which suggests that if / when they do test a nuclear weapon, they'll probably test more than one simultaneously (which will also make it very difficult to determine the yields very precisely).

If the world really doesn't want Iran to test a nuclear weapon, probably all it has to do is convince Iran that no one will attack it with one. Good luck on that.

The other choice is to let Iran admit they have one (or more) nuclear weapons without demanding that they test them for the world, to "prove" their existence. We could just simply agree to believe Iran really has such weapons (as is done with Israel). Or Iran could provide us with tangible proof which our scientists would accept. Wouldn't that be a novel way to prevent another "test" of these eco-maiming weapons of mass destruction?

Even underground tests produce radioactive fission waste products, which are invariably vented to the atmosphere, and contaminate ground water, soil, etc.. Still, if Iran tested a nuclear weapon just to prove they had one, life would probably go on without significant obvious changes -- except to those babies and other living things who would be poisoned by the fallout.

This writer believes the evidence suggests that Iran is going to "test" a nuclear weapon some day. But who can say what day Iran's leaders might think is a good day for such a test?

We would all be better off if we could convince Iran not to test a nuclear weapon even if they have or build one.

Sincerely,

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

P.S.: "had" for "has"; "soldiers'" for "soldier's"; "whoever" for "whomever"; "ask" for "as"; and the sentence about nature's billions of cancer deaths was rewritten.

----------------------------------------------------------------

August 5th, 2008 (resend August 6th, 2008)

Dear Readers,

World War Two certainly did not end with a whimper, but with a bang. Two very large bangs -- three if you count the Trinity test blast (and you should). The war drums have continued banging ever since.

What could have been one of the more joyous dates in history -- the anniversary of the end of the last Great War, World War Two -- is, instead, a time of deep reflection about how it ended, and what it started.

Each year, old questions are asked anew. Were the bombings of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki militarily necessary?

Was the suffering endured by innocent Japanese, including tens of thousands of children, "worth it," as the nuke-bomb proponents always assert?

Should America feel more guilty now, with all we've learned about the delayed effects of radiation poisoning?

To try to answer these questions, let's look at the facts.

Fact: The bombings could not possibly have been tactically necessary. This is inarguable, since both Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and several other cities, had specifically not been bombed so they would be available for the "device." They had to be set aside months earlier, because "clean" targets were getting hard to find. We already had nearly complete control of the air. Aside from our own curiosity, it was hoped that the use of hitherto-undamaged cities would make it clear to Japanese military brass what The Bomb could do.

Fact: Japan was seeking to surrender (through Russian diplomatic channels) at the time. We knew the Japanese wanted to surrender because we had deciphered their codes. We were waiting for the Russians to tell us about the Japanese offer. The Russians had their own reasons not to tell us, and we had our reasons not to want anyone to know we could read the Japanese codes. And few people had any idea how momentous what was about to happen really was going to be.

Fact: Top Americans knew there would be just two bombs (plus the test in New Mexico, already accomplished the month before) -- if they both went off successfully. Nobody else anywhere else on earth knew this.

If there was any vital strategic military advantage, that was it. The threat of yet more atomic bombs was hollow, at least for the immediate future (weeks, at least, and probably months). But, practically nobody knew it.

Americans had fought for tiny islands, one soldier, one marine, one sailor at a time. Were we right to declare, apparently for all time, that no matter how many innocent civilians must die as a consequence, using The Bomb was justified if it saved American lives? Was THAT the real declaration made at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and backed up today by the Bush Administration?

(Lest you think I take those American soldiers' lives lightly, the man fated to become my father, then stationed in Germany, would almost surely have been sent to the Pacific if the war had continued, and the invasion had occurred.)

Could we have skipped the Trinity test and used that bomb against Japan in July? There were many reasons that wasn't likely. Most scientists felt that a test was absolutely necessary to ensure the bomb would work. They wondered about the complexity, the uncertainty, the delay in transporting the bomb. And some scientists wondered: How could it possibly be "humane" if they didn't know what the yield would be, by at least an order of magnitude?

But what if Japanese and other foreign representatives had been invited to witness the test, and it had been held with lots of old military vehicles at various distances from the "zero point" as it was then called (before the term "ground zero" came into common use)? Inviting Japanese observers was briefly considered, but rejected. Should it have been?

At Alamogordo, New Mexico, on July 16th, 1945, perhaps the best opportunity to save about a quarter of a million Japanese lives, and perhaps to stop the war then, and thus save thousands of American lives as well, was missed. Today, citizens of Alamogordo don't celebrate "Trinity." Each year, the local Chamber of Commerce organizes only two trips to the bomb site for visitors -- the first Saturdays in April and October.

Time has yet to tell if any strategic advantage was achieved in the long run by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, but it looks unlikely. The distinction of being the only country which has used The Bomb, a poison gas weapon, against mostly-civilian populations has not been a mark of pride for conscientious citizens of the United States, who, one hopes, are the majority. Nor have the subsequent bomb tests ever been well-accepted by the public, especially as the dangers became more scientifically established, even as an ongoing propaganda campaign attempts to diminish the public's knowledge of the facts.

Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki started a nuclear weapons and arms-testing phase which poisoned the planet for generations to come, cost several countries over a trillion dollars each, and is the root cause of millions, if not tens of millions, of cancers. The fact that nature kills billions through cancer does not give us permission to kill millions more. Yet that is the kind of thinking pro-nukers use!

Pro-nukers will dismiss the danger of tritium, for example, and play the "expert" card, telling you, reassuringly, that tritium's decay particle is "a very low energy beta release."

And you can look up the energy, and compare it to some other beta releases, and find that they are right. But the pronukers won't ever mention, and many won't even know, the truth about tritium: For example, that the "OH" free radical it usually leaves behind after one atom of a water molecule transforms into helium is extremely hazardous. Or the fact that a beta particle's damage is nearly all done at the end of its track, so one that starts out "slow" (which is still a good fraction of the speed of light) does about as much damage as one that starts out "fast." Pro-nukers never mention these facts about tritium. They don't mention that it absorbs through both the skin and the placenta -- you can't protect your fetus from it. Nor do they mention all the places hydrogen, if it's not on a water molecule in your body, might be used -- the places where tritium masquerades as hydrogen until the moment of decay.

American WWII veterans are now in their 80s and are dying fast. Some of them absorbed enormous amounts of radiation when they went into Hiroshima and Nagasaki soon after the bombings, while those places were still very "hot." Our own surviving soldiers are suffering, as are so many other "downwinders." Our "allies" who have also set off hundreds of "test" nuclear explosions, now also face class-action lawsuits by their own citizen-soldiers who were poisoned by their "tests." Has justice been done?

Imagine that instead of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we had bombed strictly-military targets with our two bombs. Would that have made it okay? Of course not, if only because the radioactive fallout would still have spread all over the globe.

What if we had bombed larger cities? That would only have made the moral failure worse. By the time the decision was made to protect some cities for the coming "demonstration," the most suitable cities had all been bombed, often many times.

In order to reduce America's subsequent feelings of guilt, some scientists wanted to drop leaflets warning the target cities about radiation's dangers -- to explain the scientific and medical effects of the "poison gas" attack which was coming. Leaflets were not dropped, but copies of a letter written by three scientists working at the bomb assembly site on Tinian Island and addressed to a Japanese scientist WERE dropped, apparently surreptitiously. The letter warned of more atomic bombs to come, and implored the scientist to tell his leaders about the many unique characteristics of The Bomb. A copy of the letter found its way to the Japanese military command.

To those who argue that the use of atomic bombs saved American lives, one must ask: If the bombs had not been used, would the nuclear arms race have ensued, spreading billions of Curies of deadly fission products throughout the globe? Not a breath is taken -- not a baby's first breath, nor a Pope's last -- that doesn't include some radioactive isotopes of this "non-conflict."

The arms race destroyed hundreds of idyllic but then-remote locations (this was before jet travel became popular, and made the whole world seem smaller).

Would everyone have refrained from poisoning the planet with so many radionuclides -- poisoning that is excused by speciously, facetiously, falsely, and maliciously claiming that perhaps a little radiation is "good for you" or even, as General Leslie Groves, head of the "Manhattan Project" (which built The Bomb), put it in Congressional testimony shortly after the war, that radiation death was, he thought, a "pleasant" way to go (it isn't)?

Lies have always accompanied The Bomb. It was born of such secrecy that probably at most only a few hundred of the 130,000 people who worked on it during WWII even suspected the real nature of their work.

But after Hiroshima, most of the secrecy was pointless. Top nuclear physicists knew that "how" wasn't really that big a secret, once it was proven that it COULD be done -- and there was ample proof of that. Creating a nuclear bomb was no longer impossible for any nation. Any competent scientist could do the calculations, and figure the minimum size needed to assure success with the degree of certainty desired. It was difficult, dirty, and expensive, but not impossible. That's still true today.

After The Bomb was used, nearly all the secrecy was, arguably, for political reasons: The costs were staggering and embarrassing, the environmental damage was equally staggering, and the risks were monumental, too. Technicians were being poisoned by stable beryllium (a rare element needed for bomb-making), and by radioactive plutonium-239, tritium (H-3), strontium-90, cesium-137, and hundreds of other isotopes.

Legal limits for how much effluent could be released by any particular industrial facility were established with little regard to the type of radioactivity (short-lived, long-lived, alpha, beta, or gamma emitters, etc.), or for whether the isotopes were biologically accumulating or not, or for how long the daughter-product decay chains were, or for the actual levels of pollution. (Not enough monitoring devices, not enough accuracy. Indicators either didn't move even when significant radiation was present or pegged at full for hours or days when an accident occurred (or both).)

Secrecy aided the nuclear industry. They liked it. They still enjoy enormous amounts of secrecy, and they still like it.

But even if one assumes (despite so much evidence to the contrary) that The Bomb had to be used against Japanese cities to effectively end World War Two, one still is left with the lies about how many people actually died, and the level of damage that was done to the DNA of the survivors, and whether ANY of the thousands of nuclear weapons tests which followed were necessary.

And one has to wonder if the last chapter has yet to be written? Will America be attacked some day with a nuclear weapon? If it happens, will we know where it came from? Will we retaliate with a nuclear strike against whatever country we believe attacked us, even if we are wrong, and even if only a small number of military crazies -- not all the innocent civilians under their yoke -- actually thought of, planned, and carried out the attack, much like a terrorist cell? Will our military leaders retaliate with 100 megatons for every kiloton used against us? Would they do so even if such a retaliation would be abhorrent to most of us?

The Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs are considered puny (the technical term is "nominal") these days, and have been for 50 years.

Are we ready to do this all over again, only worse?

That is the real question that has yet to be answered. The U.S. conducted over a thousand nuclear tests on U.S. mainland soil, and over a hundred tests elsewhere. These tests show a stunning lack of concern for the environmental consequences of nuclear warfare -- the cost to civilians. Each post-war test blast produced only a "nominal" amount of militarily-useful information (such as, how did this year's model of tank fare, compared to last year's model, and does this trigger work better than the last trigger?).

Nuclear warfare seems more inevitable than ever this year, as Iran proceeds towards becoming a "nuclear state," following North Korea a few years ago. Iran will probably greet the new American president, whoever he may be, with a nuclear test.

Nuclear power plants are military targets and, like atomic bombs, are poison-gas producers as well. Yet the Washington policy-makers have recently added billions of dollars for new nuclear reactor-powered troop-carrying amphibious assault ships, aircraft carriers, and submarines, and billions more for stationary targets, known as commercial nuclear power plants (which are targets not only because of the panic and suffering their destruction would cause, but because they create the plutonium, tritium, etc. used in atomic bombs).

When some of these reactors melt down, perhaps from Genpatsu-Shinsai (a Japanese phrase for an earthquake leading to a meltdown), or perhaps in some harbor somewhere due to a hostile military action or a terrorist attack, it will create an international "incident" requiring more lies about how safe radiation is, and how diluted it will become.

But in reality, the verdict is in: Radiation destroys democracy, lives, land, air, water, budgets, and our DNA gene pool.

Is there ANY military advantage which could be worth all that?

Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

The author is an educational software developer and bladder cancer survivor, as well as a collector of military and nuclear historical documents and books. He is the author and programmer of the award-winning Animated Periodic Table of the Elements. He has spoken at over one hundred public hearings on nuclear issues, as well as to over 100 computer clubs. His previous essays on these subjects have been read by millions of people. He is, of course, pointedly ignored by all his elected government officials, so he suggests you send the above essay to your own elected officials and ask them to read it.

=================================================
Related links by Ace Hoffman:
=================================================

Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/no_nukes/tenw/nuke_war.htm

Trouble in Paradise (a pictorial review of the U.S. bomb tests in the Pacific):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/tip/tip.html

Nuclear Bomb Effects Computer: How big a bang do you need (with cultural landmarks, population densities, and other relevant data for the 120 largest metropolises on the planet)?
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environment/nbec/nbec.swf

It's All About the DNA (compares H-3 to K-40):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environment/tritium/2007/ItsAllAboutTheDNA.htm

Tritium Explained (why "Low Level Radiation" can be disproportionately harmful):
http://animatedsoftware.com/environment/tritium/2006/EPATritiumStandard.htm

Animated Periodic Table of the Elements (Password: ZINC):
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/apt.html

(The program also asks for a "login ID," which can be anything in the current release.)

Also (not by Ace Hoffman):

Visit the Japan Congress Against A- and H-Bombs:
http://www.gensuikin.org/english/index.html

=====================================================

========================================
Quotes collected by Ace Hoffman:
========================================

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"Nuclear war must be the most carefully avoided topic of general significance in the contemporary world. People are not curious about the details." -- Paul Brians (author; quote is from: Nuclear Holocausts: Atomic War in Fiction)
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�When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.� -- Sinclair Lewis (first American Nobel Prize winner in Literature, 2.7.1885 - 1.10.1951)
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"There is no such thing as a pro-nuclear environmentalist." -- Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa, 1992)
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"Know thy self, know thy enemy. A thousand battles, a thousand victories." -- Sun Tzu (Chinese general b.500 BC)
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"The most intolerable reactor of all may be one which comes successfully to the end of its planned life having produced mountains of radioactive waste for which there is no disposal safe from earthquake damage or sabotage." -- A. Stanley Thompson (a pioneer nuclear physicist who later realized the whole situation)
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"Any dose is an overdose." -- Dr. John W. Gofman (another pioneer nuclear physicist who saw the light (9.21.1918 - 8.15.2007))
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"Choose your leaders with wisdom and forethought. To be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a fool is to be led by the opportunists who control the fool. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. To be led by a liar is to ask to be lied to. To be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery." -- Octavia Butler (science fiction writer, 7.22.1947 - 2.24.2006)
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"If you want real welfare reform, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

If you want to reduce poverty, you focus on a good education, good healthcare, and a good job.

If you want a stable middle class, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

If you want to have citizens who can participate in democracy, you focus on a good education, good health care, and a good job.

And if you want to end the violence, you could build a million new prisons and you could fill them up, but you never end this cycle of violence unless you invest in the health and the skill and the intellect and the character of our children. you focus on a good education, good health care and a good job.

And other than that, I don't feel strongly about anything."

-- Paul Wellstone (US Senator, D-Minnesota, 7.21.1944 - 10.25.2002)
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"There are no warlike peoples - just warlike leaders." -- Ralph Bunche (8.7.1903 - 12.9.1971)
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"Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God." -- Thomas Jefferson
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"Please send this to everyone you know!" -- Ace Hoffman (original collector of the above quotes, January, 2008)
----------------------------------------------

This email was sent by:

Ace Hoffman
"Ace Hoffman" <rhoffman@animatedsoftware.com>
www.animatedsoftware.com
PO Box 1936
Carlsbad, CA 92018
(760) 720-7261