From: "Russell D. Hoffman"
Subject: Davis-Besse shows its age; YOUR reactor could be next...

What's happening to our reactors?
(And why aren't we reacting to it logically and urgently?)

* * * A SPECIAL REPORT * * *
Russell D. Hoffman and friends

April 10th, 2002 

1) Executive Summary/Layman's description of the problem
2) Allegations
3) Related current events and news items

On March 12th, 2002 it was discovered that the entire six-inch Reactor Pressure Vessel (RPV) at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Reactor (Ohio) had been CORRODED THROUGH by boric acid which dripped onto it from "circular cracks" in reactor nozzles (flanges) which stick out from the top of the RPV. All that held back the 2200 PSI hot water on the other side was the 3/16's inch Inner Stainless Steel liner (originally reported as 3/8ths of an inch thick, then as 1/2 inch thick, but they seem to have finally agreed on a number and it's only 3/16ths of an inch). The liner had already bulged about 1/8th of an inch. We were very near a LOSS OF COOLANT ACCIDENT possibly leading to a CORE MELTDOWN.  Why did this happen (and why aren't you hearing about it on your nightly news show)?

Here's the problem: Many metal components in our nuclear reactors are made of alloys, which are made from mixtures of elements (for example, zinc and copper are used to make the alloy brass). Other elements used in alloys include iron, nickle, carbon, manganese, tungsten, titanium, molybdenum, chromium, etc.. A major reason for using alloys is that the combination of elements has properties that none of the individual elements has. For example, the alloy might be stronger, or less vulnerable to corrosion, or easier to weld than any of its components.

A major goal of alloy development is to make ductile, not brittle, materials.  Consider two non-alloy materials, diamond and gold.  Diamond, on the one hand (or finger), is very brittle (at room temperature) and fractures (or "cleaves") into pieces when struck with another very hard object. Gold, on the other hand, is very "ductile" at room temperature, meaning when it is struck with something, there is a small amount of "give" within the metal itself, which spreads the force of the blow out into the object being struck, and doesn't break apart the atomic structure of the metal (by, say, cleaving). (With each blow, some damage will be done by striking the object, and striking even a very ductile (malleable, soft, tractable) metal repeatedly with a hard object will, usually, eventually fracture all but the softest metals (gold, for instance, can be hammered very thin without fracturing)).

Vibration, heat, and radiation all tend to de-compose and destroy alloys. Harsh chemicals also destroy alloys. Understanding the vulnerabilities of alloys is part of the science of metallurgy and a key to understanding what recently happened at the Davis-Besse Nuclear Reactor near Toledo, Ohio (as in, "HOLY TOLEDO, WE ALMOST HAD A MELTDOWN!), and what is potentially happening at nuclear power plants around the country (also jet engines, submarines, spacecraft, pipelines, chemical plants, elevators,etc.).

Alloys are complex, both mathematically and physically. When you mix .5% of one element, 99.4% of another, and .1% of a third, where does each atom actually go? Is there an ideal state that these atoms will stay in, and how can we get the mixture in that ideal state and keep it that way?

The answer is, we can't get any mixture in an ideal configuration of atoms, and even if we could, we can't keep it that way. Why not?

Because everything around us is moving with time. At an atomic level the elements -- the individual atoms within an alloy -- are each jiggling around, even in a solid steel alloy REACTOR PRESSURE VESSEL. Heat makes the atoms move around more, and radiation also sends them traveling around. These effects (and vibration as well) usually combine (or occasionally they may cancel) with each other, producing localized areas where there are less atoms of one type and more atoms of another type, instead of the properly balanced mixture that was originally intended. As the metal ages, little microscopic pockets of various elements start to appear in the alloy; localized deviations from the ideal alloy mixture occur within the structure. When this happens, the material is no longer really an alloy. It's now just a non-homogeneous mixture of elements. This can be very weak compared to the strength of an alloy metal. These pockets can coalesce into sheets and/or chains, which are lines or sheets of weakness in the alloy which can lead to delamination, fracture, and catastrophic failure -- like the holes in a sheet of postage stamps.

There are some alloys which the alloy-making industry has self-called "SUPER"-alloys. Companies like General Electric, ABB, CE, B&W and Westinghouse (and the utilities that buy the components from them) used -- and use -- these alloys for welding such things as jet engines and nuclear reactor pressure vessels.

But it turns out that these so-self-called "SUPER" alloys aren't so super.

The "super" alloys are subject to embrittlement. Other names for "embrittlement" include Wigner's Disease, Ostwald-Ripening, Hardening, Spinodal Decomposition, Overageing (also spelled "overaging"), and "Sensitization" / Osteoporosis (cute; as in "sensitive to fracture").

Embrittlement causes -- or perhaps it is best to say enables -- "brittle fracture" and /or other opportunistic metal failure including fatigue and corrosion (possibly all at once). Embrittled metals are more easily destroyed when shocked by thermal or vibrational stress, over-pressure, etc. (as in, a terrorist crashing an airplane into a nuclear reactor). Also, chemicals can take hold within the microscopic fractures that start to form, and can even run down the chains and sheets, causing further corrosion and/or fatigue and/or brittle fracture etc..

Things start to get very additive when you have leaky, embrittled pipes dripping chemicals on embrittled components which are seldom if ever inspected. It's a bad combination. It nearly cost us the Davis-Besse nuclear reactor in Ohio, which could EASILY have led to a meltdown, and the loss of millions of American lives. There are 69 other Pressurized Water Reactors operating in America that need to be shut down forever. Our Boiling Water Reactors are also over-aged. All the alloys in the reactors are becoming embrittled as we speak, they are creating mountains of dangerous radioactive waste AS WE SPEAK (which Nevada has sworn never to take), and they are liable to catastrophically melt down at any moment. America can do better. America can turn to renewable energy solutions.

The pipes, pumps, valves and vessels that make up our nation's nuclear reactors are liable to completely break apart when something small happens which over-stresses them. For example, due to embrittlement, critical components could fail catastrophically as an "unexpected" result of an earthquake or a terrorist attack.

The reactors are, in effect "developing osteoporosis" and this is a very, very bad thing.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the whole nuclear industry only expect a small problem to ever occur at their reactors, like a pinhole leak which they can fix. That's wishful and dangerous thinking.

The real question isn't even WHEN will this alloy or that alloy become embrittled? Today? Tomorrow? 20 years from now? Because embrittlement starts immediately, so the only question is, how embrittled are the metals? The answers are hard to find, but the indicators are absolutely terrifying.

A reactor meltdown of the fuel, one of the most serious of all possible nuclear power plant accidents, can easily occur as a result of a cascading sequence of problems which, if the initiating event had happened at a younger, less EMBRITTLED reactor, would not have cascaded into catastrophe.

The NRC pretends to not understand the whole concept of embrittlement-leading-to-exponentially-cascading-failures (also known as chaos), nor of embrittlement or any other age-related "force-multipliers" for terrorists and earthquakes (rust never sleeps, either). The nuclear industry pretends to not understand all this as well. That is why I am writing this document. In the hope that you, dear reader, will want to understand it, and tell your Congresspeople what a mess we are in. We have to stop the juggernaut before the terrible risk the citizens are taking because of corporate and government blindness catches up with us.

In the rest of this document, I will attempt to show to you that, unequivocally, the apparent ignorance within the nuclear industry regarding problems with thermally-induced embrittlement of so-called "super" alloys is in fact long-term FRAUD over many decades, perpetrated upon the ratepayers, taxpayers, and citizens of the United States and other countries by the: Alloy suppliers, nuclear core designers and fabricators, and regulatory agencies (DOE and NRC). That it is a willful ignorance which the public allows to continue only at the greatest risk to our personal safety, our environmental safety, and or country's security in these troubled times.

In this effort, I am indebted to Dr. Siegel, who studied the matter thoroughly for many decades, who worked in the heart of the nuclear industry and who was fired three times -- from Westinghouse, from PSE&G, and from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- in each case, for refusing to be silent about what he had discovered about EMBRITTLEMENT and the fears he had about the threat to safety and security from these embrittled alloys' generic and endemic use in nuclear reactors/jet engines/space shuttles/ and even nuclear weapons. The IAEA, the NRC, DOE, EPRI, EEI, INPO, and the Nuclear Industry may not want to listen, and definitely doesn't want YOU -- the reader -- to listen, but it's time we all listen anyway.

Very quietly, starting around 1988, DOE and NRC have funded a huge program at the national laboratories (esp. ORNL, Argonne, Brookhaven, and possibly LLNL and LANL), Siegel guestimates that by the time he saw a long list of titles (by 1996, approximately, in other words 8 or 10 years later) the amount of money spent in DOE/NRC contracts could have topped 10 to 40 billions dollars of your tax dollars -- thousands of reports.  And yet they still act as though they have no idea...

Russell Hoffman
A Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA


What follows includes a number of names and dates, with some followed by question-marks, indicating the exact reference has proven hard to find in the time available. Nevertheless we feel this document provides ample proof of FRAUD in the so-called SUPER-ALLOYS business. They knew these reactors would fall apart. They expected us to run out and buy replacement RPVs and so on. Instead we're letting the nuclear power companies run the reactors even as they fall apart!


The inner liner is probably made of 304 or 304L stainless, or maybe even 310, 312, 316, or maybe (but probably not due to cost premium of Ni-based (so called) "super"alloys over Fe-based (so called) "stainless"-steels) INCONEL-600. It is welded to the outer Pressure Vessel by INCO-182, at least if done in the 1950's-1980's, if not even 1990's to today!? (maybe INCO 82 which may be the same thing (European name)).

Suggested reading: Russell's (not Hoffman's) review article on (so called) "super"-alloys "Wigner's-disease" from the mid-80s.
[Prog. Mtls. Sci. 28, 229 (1984)]

In some thermal-embrittlement, in-fabrication and/or in-service at designed for ambient-temperatures adds and in some it subtracts from radiation embrittlement.

Dr. Siegel suggests contacting Dr. Peter Neumann, (then) Chief Welding Metallurgist, Central Electricity Generating Board, Leatherhead, Surry, U. K., @CEGB Welding lab south of London [and/or getting hold of his CEGB Reports], who in 1976 when Siegel was fired by PSE&G, estimated that cost of embrittled and embrittling INCO-182/82 austenitic/FCC to ferritic/BCC transition-weld replacement would handily exceed the total valuation of the total nuclear-reactor power-plants extant then!!!

Siegel did not ever meet Neumann. Upon visiting CEGB Laboratories in Leatherhead, Surrey, shortly before he was fired, he was met by detectives ostensibly from Scotland Yard, but suspected to be from the British SIS? or MI5?, who questioned him extensively and then suggested he leave the CEGB Laboratories lobby "forthwith", before he could contact Neumann.

Neumann knows a lot about this GENERIC ENDEMIC embrittlement problem (if he's still around).

Siegel was arrested by BU Police twice between 1993-1997 while trying to interest Professor William Klein, Physics Department, Boston University and associate Prof. Karl Ludwig, in computer modelling of such (so called) "super"alloyS GENERIC ENDEMIC spinodal-decomposition / Wigner's-disease/Ostwald-ripening/THERMAL (NOT "just" radiation!!!)-leading-to-mechanical (TLTM)-INstability / "sensitization" (decidedly NOT sitting around a campfire toasting marshmellows while singing "Kumbaya" nor hugging a tree), a.k.a. in Siegel's simple plain spoken Brooklynese, "S # I T!!!"

Also Dr. Dom Something, in charge of metallurgy / NDT then at "Her Royal Majesty Submarine Service Research Laboratories", Portsmouth, U. K., who Siegel visited on his trip to the U. K. in Summer, 1976, just before he (Siegel) was fired by PSE&G!) was interested in Siegel's expertise, burst acoustic-emission passive NDT/E for application to British naval submarine nuclear reactor cracking (as in the H. M. S. Tire"less" incident off Malta, then Gibralter, 5/'00 [BBC News, 10/31/'00 on NPR; El Pais (Madrid) Daily, 10/31/'00-on WWW], and all other British attack submarines' reactors subsequently tested, resulting in the US Navy SSN attack submarines guarding the UK "boomers" SSBN ICBM launch platforms).

Then there is the French SSN Emeraude [Boston Globe, p. 25, 3/31/94] "affair", where "Steam 'Leak' ("sudden MASSIVE INCO-182/82 transition-weld explosion!!!" quoting Siegel!) KILLS Commander, Nine Others, Aboard French Nuclear Submarine", off Toulon, France in Mediterranean, very close to H. M. S. SNN Tire"less" (actually H. M. S. SSN very old/aged and "TirED", to call a spade a spade) initial transition-weld failures off Malta, then towed to Gibraltar (5/'00).

Is this the "Black Triangle of Submarine accidents?

Or is the Black Triangle one of (so called) "super"alloys overageing-embrittled catastrophic-failures metallurgy FRAUD?!!! Yes!!!/Certainly!!! (as evidenced not only by Siegel, but by many many other metallurgists since Wigner's dire warning in 1946!)

Also Dr. Stan Pugh, head of metallurgy division at AERE in Harwell (worked at (US)NIST/Gaithersburg, MD as well; might be retired in Florida or California if not back in UK) might know a lot about this, if he could be located and willing to talk!

Also, the most famous metallurgist in Canada, Professor William B. Pearson (go into any science library and find THE Pearson encyclopedias of alloys metallurgy published out of the Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule(ETH) in Zurich, Switzerland (the MIT of Switzerland) in his honor).  Pearson later became President of the University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada) and is probably still alive, approaching ~90, listed in the phone directory in either Guelph or Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. For DECADES he, THE preeminent metallurgist in Canada, warned the Canadian AEC at Chalk River, where he no doubt consulted for decades, about (so called) "super"alloy THERMAL (in-fabrication and/or in-service) INstability overageing-embrittlement as a GENERIC ENDEMIC threat to the Canadian Candu water reactors, but was ignored and constantly overruled, exactly what Siegel (much more nastily, I'm sure!) and MANY other metallurgists and physicists experienced several decades later!

Last but not least, there are the European PWR's [see: (layman's version) Roman Rollnick, The European (weekly), Week ending 1/14/93, page 1: " 'Leaks' Alert 'Over' Nuclear Power Plants"
in typical British punning humor, "over" means the top, i. e. pressure-vessel heads, MANY if not ALL INCO-182/82 transition-welds and INCONEL-600 control-rod sleeves embrittled and cracking by 1991 ("first" was Framatome built Bugay, France PWR in 1991!?), necessitating
MASSIVE damage control, not just P. R. media-hype spin-doctoring, but REPLACEMENT OF A L L pressure-vessel heads overageing-embrittled (so called) "super"alloys COMPLETELY, on some 140 PWRs throughout Switzerland, Sweden, Germany (second to the Japanese, the Germans are quite honest about their German Kraftwerkunion (KWU) PWR problems, due to VERY STRONG Green Parties!; as in their election of now Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder,) and France (which habitually lies about its French Framatome PWR problems with media-hype P.R. spin-doctoring, even moreso that the U.S. DoE/NRC which simply does NOT have a clue!!!)

Siegel gave papers on this (so called) "super"alloy overageing embrittlement metallurgy fraud forensics at:

American Physical Society Northeast Regional Meeting, at M. I. T. (April 26-27, 1996), - there should be his abstract in that meeting's Bulletin of that meeting's American Physical Society program - right after which MIT Police, especially Detective Marc(?) LeBlanc, started to harass Siegel under direction of Administrative Senior V. P. William Something, most probably with the aquiescence if not outright orders of MIT President Charles Vest (who Siegel knew as a then-young Professor when Siegel was a graduate student at University of Michigan (~1969)), who did nothing to stop it, and MIT Chairman Paul Gray, he angered when Siegel confronted NRC Chairwoman Shirley Ann Jackson when she presented a "distinguished" colloquium on NRC Probabilistic Risk Assessment models, to which Siegel added the rejoinder caveat "just which parameter included the INCO-182/82 transition-weld-rod's 'religion'?". Siegel also confronted a G. E. Senior/Executive V. P. (scenic downtown ... Evandale, OH.) and got him to admit that the percent profit on a new G. E. jet engine is less than 1%; the money is made in selling embrittled replacement parts! (like "burn can" combustion-chambers of Hastelloy X, whose ~1% unembrittled life is 10^2 hours = 4 days of a 10^4 hours = 1.5 year life test-at-temperature (1,200 F. for jet-engine inner-diameter). As well Siegel often talked with MIT Welding Professor Masubuchi, who was asked by Hitachi to look into why the Tenessee Valley Authority (TVA) had cancelled many PWR nuclear-reactor projects in the early 1990's, which was discovered to be due to huge (so called) "super"alloy overageing-embrittlement metallurgy fraud catastrophic failures! Siegel had an appointment to see and discuss this (so called) "super"alloy overageing-embrittlement fraud issue with Dr. Regis Matzie, head of ABB/CE Nuc"EL"ar, who was killed along with Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and others in a Yugoslavia plane crash in the mid 90s.

American Physical Society Plasma Division Meeting, Los Angeles (1986?), available in Bulletin of the APS Plasma Division Meeting, Los Angeles (1986?), which he was late getting to after being detained at San Francisco SFO by detectives. A possible witness to this is Professor Rodolfo Fiorini, Dipartmento di Energetica?/Biotecnica?, Politechnico di Milano, a noted jet engine expert, who was also questioned by same detectives after dropping Siegel off at SFO and returning to Stanford, where he was a visiting professor (~1986?), and possibly Professor Danial Hone, UC Santa Barbara.

As well, Siegel gave papers on this (so called) "super"alloy fraud at the American Physical Society March (Condensed Matter/Solid State Physics) MeetingS in Anaheim (1990) and Indianapolis (1992), available in Bulletin of APS March Meetings in those two years!

As well, and perhaps MOST tellingly, Siegel gave a paper on the overageing-embrittled "super" alloys metallurgy fraud at the Materials Research Society Annual Spring Meeting, Symposium on Alloys, San Francisco (1990). [He had previously given similar talks at earlier annual MRS spring meetings in Palo Alto and other SF peninsula locations starting in the mid-to-late 80s]. The reason for the suppression by the MRS is that their executive director, a Mr. John Ballance, came to MRS from the American Society for Metals (ASM, in Ohio), which is a major perpetrator of this fraud upon the American people. By the time Siegel left the Boston area in 1997, he had forcibly and overtly excluded from at least three MRS fall meetings (which occur on the East Coast) both as a presenter and as an attendee. Referring back to the MRS 1990 spring meeting, in which Siegel's paper on metallurgy of the "super" alloys long-term embrittlement fraud was deleted from that Symposium's final papers publication, but was NOT deleted from the table of contents nor index [such oversight speaks to the cleverness of such intriguers, but the report can still be obtained from the Materials Research Society (]. Then the Symposium Chairman was Dr. Alan Taub(?), who had recently arrived to head the metallurgy group at the Ford Motor Co. Scientific Laboratory, Michigan, and before that was at General Electric (of Hamaoka 1/Chubu Electric Co.-11/10/01 - 12/26/01 infame) BWRs (and exploding jet-engines infame) Research Laboratories Metallurgy Group, Schenectady, New York, where Siegel was interviewed for a job in 1979(? 1978-1981) by Harvey Something?

Siegel was also excluded from giving a paper at the American Nuc"EL"ar Society (note: W's use of new linguistic noun "nuc'EL'ar" (and DoE's and NRC's pro-nuc"EL"ar attitudes and generation-long misdeeds) rhymes with what the (Three Stooges) Doctors Howard, Moe calls Curley, "Knuc"EL"lhead!") Meeting in San Francisco in the late 80s. He was told in no uncertain terms that he not only would not be allowed to speak, but would not be allowed to attend, with the implication that if he tried to attend and speak, his health might be jeopardy (not from the flu).

Craig ("gung ho nuc'EL'ar") Tedmon (once at G.E. Nuclear (?), and in the1990s, exec. VP worldwide for ABB, Zurich, Switzerland, for Science and Technology), who prevented Siegel from talking to senior scientists at ABB research laboratories at Baden, Switzerland many times in the 1990s.

Siegel met, in Spring, 1993, personally with, Mr. David De Peury, then co-chairman of ABB with Percy Barnavik, who later forced De Peury out, to warn him and ABB of their VERY LONG TERM nuc'EL"ar liability! At the meeting, which happened at the Charles Hotel, Cambridge, MA, (right next to the Kennedy school for Government) De Peury said to Siegel that they had bought Combustion Engineering for two Billion dollars "it was a bargain". To which Siegel replied "If a criminal carrying stolen goods gives them to you as he's running by, it's NOT A GIFT. That's the kiddies' game called TAG-YOU'RE IT!"  It looks like ABB got tagged, but good, see Financial Times (p. c11 and several other articles around then), NY Times, and Wall Street Journal, the week of 2/14/02. There seems to be big financial and executive movements in the nuclear industry, at General Electric, (see Financial Times, p. 20, Mar. 22nd, 2002) and ABB (see previously referenced articles). This big movement seems to be a big BOWEL MOVEMENT since ABB nuclear was quietly gotten rid of in 2000 to a newly reincarnated Westinghouse (See ), itself quietly gotten rid of by Viacom/CBS to become a (Ponzi scheme?!) pyramided subdivision of British Nuclear Fuels, the very same British Nuclear Fuels referenced below regarding plutonium fuel fraud.

While Siegel was around Boston in the mid 1990s (and arrested twice by the Boston University police), he interacted with Prof. Alberto Carnasale(sp?), a long-time nuclear engineer and then dean of the Kennedy School for Government, who has popped up as Chancellor of UCLA. Carnasali (alt. sp?) has a long history as a nuclear apologist and, Dr. Siegel believes, a promoter of nuclear fuels proliferation to developing countries, as the author of many prestigious reports from Harvard to the Atomic Energy Commission in the 1960s, perhaps even the 1950s. (Note interesting connection to Cabot Corporation and the Bin Laden family, both long-term contributors to Harvard, and maybe MIT (Charles Vest, President, MIT, may have something to say about this).

Dr. John McTague, now University of California Senior Vice President for all University of California/DOE National Laboratories: Livermore, Berkeley, Los Alamos (of "Wen Ho Lee" INfamy!!!), and perhaps others, before he left Ford Motor Company Scientific Laboratories where he was exec. VP worldwide for Science and Technology, was a major figure in Associated Universities, which is the DoE National Laboratories umbrella organization which runs ORNL, Argonne National Labs, etc., prior to joining UC. So he probably knows where lots of secrets are buried.

John Marberger III, now science advisor to W, was hired as director of Brookhaven from being president at SUNY Stoneybrook when the prior director Dr. Nick Samios was fired due to a tritium leak cover-up in the mid-1990s. He undoubtedly is now advocating more nuclear power.

Harvey Solomon is someone Siegel talked to at length, probably three times over a four or five year period in the late 1980s, then a senior nuclear safety expert for the Rand Corp. in Santa Monica, CA, but Solomon felt it was not important or not relevant.

Boy, was he ever wrong!

Around 1999, Siegel was supposedly being interviewed to join both the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), and/or the Nuclear Fusion Research and Development Group at the Jacobs School of Engineering (after long discussions with, respectively Associate Vice Chancellor Tom Collins(SIO; see article about his harassment of/discrimination against (disabled American)) Siegel at SIO in UCSD Guardian (student newspaper), January,14th, 2000 - front page news!; ), and Dr. Art Grossman, from UCLA nuclear fusion R& D group (part time at UCSD), by dean Robert Conn, a long-time nuclear fusion champion who, at one time, advocated nuclear fusion power reactors with instantly overagering-embrittling (four days out of 2 years is 1% of desired lifetime; see Lai paper (Met. Trans. AIME 9A, 827 (1998)- unbelievable fig. 2/y-axis with a magnifying glass!) Hastalloy X first walls, because like most gung-ho nuclear types, he knows nothing about metallurgy nor alloys nor embrittlement, and will listen to no one who questions or criticizes his designs. Siegel was supposed to give a seminar on the alloy embrittlement issue, but the room was locked, no one was there, and the UCSD R&D group of engineers had gone to a meeting elsewhere. They had supposedly gone to a fusion meeting in Los Angeles. They never contacted Seigel nor would return his phone calls about the position. This very same Dean Conn has moved aggressively to remove Siegel from the annual Jacobs School of Engineerings' annual spring research review, and Siegel has not been allowed to attend since the "interview". (Reference Kelly Briggs, special assistant to Conn, producer of the research review and other JSE matters.)

Also at the talk at G.E. that Siegel gave for his job interview, Dr. Jim Livingston (now at MIT), Dr. Fred Luborsky, and Dr. Richard Alben (who Siegel went to Hebrew School with at the Flatbush Jewish Center circa ~1953-1956)], and Harvey Something, and possibly Dr. Ami Berkowitz -- all senior metallurgists at G.E. at the time, the very same G. E. who [along with Pratt and Whitney/United-Technologies {but NOT Rolls Royce, who took such alloys out of their engines, to prevent their component agEing!!!}] brought/brings you exploding jet-engines/.../THE CHALLENGER due to embrittling "burn cans"/combustion chambers, with a Charpy-V notch drop from ~60 ft.-lbs. to ~20 ft.-lbs. in a two-year static test of time at temperature" (TAT) nominal 1,200 F., for 1.5-2.0 years ~ 10^4 hours, in UNbelievable 10^2 hours, < 1% of desired lifetime, a.k.a. "SH1T!!!". [Again, see G. Lai, Met. Trans. AIME 9A, 827 (1978)-UNbelievable Fig. 2, y-axis, using a MAGNIFYING GLASS!!!; see also OFFICIAL U.S. DoD warning about in-fabrication severe embrittlement of HASTELLOY-X {also used in PWR/BWR "core internals" fuel bundle supports} IN FABRICATION {as well as PURPOSELY UNmentioned "IN SERVICE"!!! - not a neutron around at 40,000 feet except from the rare itinerant cosmic ray here and there, perhaps!!!: J. R. Kattus, Code #4112 {US NAVY [like N.R.C./D.o.E.] can NOT count to number pages properly!!!}, US DoD Aerospace Structural Materials Handbook, Battelle Memorial Institute (1983) - Battelle, where Dr. Robert I. Jaff was long-time Division Leader/V.P.?, before retiring to E.P.R.I., and before criticizing Siegel personally of personal matters he had no knowledge of, in an attempt to smear Siegel, in the Ana Mayo, Village Voice, p.40, Aug. 21, 1978, even though he had NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with PSE&G and Siegel's firing by same PSE&G, but who seemed prepped to be derogatory [just as DoE is playing down whistleblower Robert Alvarez as a disgruntled ex-employee with a drug problem, the very same Robert Alvarez who was Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson's and predecessor Hazel O'Leary (once Northern States Power V.P./P.R. and Legal Consul) chief of staff - see Leslie Stahl interview, C.B.S. 60 Minutes, March 16th, 2002, in which {see Freedman Report to President William Clinton, early 1990's} VERY isotope-dirty: Hanford, Idaho Falls, and Savannah River were then, are now, and always will be: WESTINGHOUSE (a.k.a. "Westin"KL"ouse"!!!): Hanford, Idaho Falls, and Savannah River, the very same Westin"KL"ouse REDUX, risen from the dead and born again like "Freddy Kruger" in the Holloween Movies series, to be a division of BNF, and which quietly bought ABB/CE nuclear from ABB in ~2001, creating a Nuclear "PONZI SCHEME" [see Financial Times, p. C11 and C13, Feb. 14, 2002 in which Banka Enskilda and Investor AB Chairman and CEO and OWNER, Jacob Wallenberg [Raoul Wallenberg's grand?/great? grandson?/grandnephew?], seems to want his money back: TEN YEARS OF SALARY AND STOCK OPTIONS, totalling say ~ [$5 million + ~20 million] x 20 years =~ 0.5 billion, for a 0.5 billion ABB/C.E. "NON"nuclear "asbestos long term liability", which amortized over a decade of legal and lobbying delays, and in other words, LESS THAN TWO ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE, (<~ 1%) of gross-sales of ~ $28-$30 billion/annually!!! Mr. Wallenberg's unwanted liability is more likely to be LONG-term NUCLEAR!!! [see N.Y. Times and Wall Street Journal for several related articles ~ Feb.14, 2002!]]

[See also related G. E. article, The Financial Times, p. 20, March 22, 2002 about G.E.'s LONG-term debt, with the Toshiba-G.E.(license?/partnership?) Chubu Electric Co. Hamaoka I BWR "accidentS" WAITING TO HAPPEN: Nov. 10, 17, Dec. 26, 2002.]

[This is NOT the first time for G. E.! (see: The Wall Street Journal, (May 4, 1996) (right top front main lead article): "GE Taps Trains Chief to Shore Up Troubled Energy Unit" (G. E. Power-Systems, its most profitable and largest business sector!)..."Flaws in 'Design' [read (so called) "super"alloy overageing-embrittlement metallurgy fraud catastrophic failures, many, many...!!!] of Turbines Results in Massive Recall From Utilities All Over the World" (to South Carolina factory fabrication plant, by (whole air force) chartered former Soviet Russian Antonov transports, the largest planes in the world]

[This is not the first time for G. E. and Pratt & Whitney/United Technologies (as in General ("I'm in charge") Alexander Haig) when their Lai 4-day overageing-embrittled metallurgy fraud HASTELLOY-X jet engine "burn cans"/combustion chambers were catastrophic-failing and exploding all over: Milwaukee, Manchester (UK), JAL/Japan,...: see: International Herald Tribune, p. 2, 11/22/95; Aviation Week and Space Technology, p. 31, 9/2/85, and The New York Times, (9/2?/85) to name just a few]


[See and SHUDDER!!!; see the board: Hans Blix, former IAEA Director General along with Eckstrom(?), from which Siegel was fired in 1977, who supposedly is going to lead the U.S. into Iraq to find Saddam Hussein's WMDs, he who can't find his own fly, a woman from Varttenfall AB (former Swedish AEC), who has started "Woman in Nuclear" {Siegel's comment: if these "ladies" go swimming in a reactor pool, I just hope they wear LEAD LINED bikinis!}, and assorted other: lawyers, diplomats, lobbyists, and nuclear hangers on, who know nothing except how to line their own pockets shamelessly with no consciences whatsoever, and with a few token no doubt "gung ho" ["Nuclear Uberalles at ANY COST, as long as WE do not pay, thank you Messrs. Price and Anderson!!!"] nuclear engineers at the bottom!]

[See also and Escom?]

[If they break, you can sell MORE!!!; Notice how profitable G.E. and P.& W./U.T. jet engine divisions are! A G.E. Jet Engine Division Executive V.P. admitted (on tape at M.I.T.) that G.E.'s profit on a new jet-engine, is ~ <1%!!!; they are practically given away free, the profits coming from EMBRITTLED (so called) "SUPER"ALLOY REPLACEMENT PARTS (Gee, you must have hit a bird!  Or maybe a bird carrying a brick!  Anything but embrittlement!). And HASTELLOY-X's (Lai; Kattus refs.) [10^2 hours = 4 days]]/10^4 hours = 10^(-2) = ~<1% estimated lifetime, which is relatively IMMEDIATE!!!]

Later, Siegel also told Dr. Siegfried Hecker (now censured and demoted; of "Wen Ho Lee" INfamy!) at several such MRS Fall Meetings in Boston in mid-1990's.

Siegel recalls giving several papers at other Materials Research Society Annual Spring Meetings in Palo Alto, Santa Clara?/San Jose?, San Francisco Symposia on Alloys...???, which may contain such abstracts in their Programs, and/or papers in their Symposium Proceedings!? This goes way back...

Siegel gave a presentation about this while job hunting
, to the board and senior vice presidents of Babcock & Wilcox, some time around 1976 -- 1979. They didn't hire him but "clearly they had problems with INCO 182/82 [and other stuff]".

Siegel was fired from PSE&G. Siegel: "The hierarchy (Messrs.William Hamilton and Ruth, Lab Directors, and James McCauley, Naval Intelligence, all reporting to Theodore Stern, Executive Vice President/Nuclear) at Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory, the Executive VP in charge of Westinghouse Nuclear, including WESTINGHOUSE Savannah River, WESTINGHOUSE Hanford and WESTINGHOUSE Idaho Falls" [...always was, is and ever shall be, NUCLEAR world with"out" (maybe WITH!!!) end (SHORTLY?!),] (now managed by the very same Lockheed-Martin and Bechtel, accused on-camera in Leslie Stahl 60 Minutes interview [March, 16th, 2002] by Ms. Gary Jones/Director, Environment, Congressional General Accounting Office, and Mr. Robert Alvarez/DoE whistleblower, as being THE culprits / PERPETRATORS in a $20 BILLION F R A U D, ~$20 x 10^9/~$100 x 10^9 ~ 1/5 of ALL MONIES ALLOTTED BY CONGRESS FOR DECADE-LONG U.S. DoE National Labs CLEANUP in Friedman Report to the President (~ early 1990's).

Also note interesting movements at ABB (FT Feb. 11th, 2002, c14) and a few articles subsequent: "ABB seeks to recoup Barnavic's benefits". "ABB passes dividend on announcing [half a billion] loss." People should notice ABB nuclear has been quietly sold to a "risen from the/its ashes (of its own making: nuc"el"ar!)" "new" redux Westinghouse.

And, a pyramid scheme involving British Nuclear Fuels, and falsification of documents to Japan regarding impure Plutonium nuclear-fuels for an already failed Monju LMFBR [, Dec. 10, 1995, which failed EXACTLY as Siegel predicted in his ABSTRACT: J. Mag. Mag. Mtls. 7, 312 (1978) some BEFORE Monju was even designed, much less built, Siegel who while at Westin"KL"ouse Bettis Atomic (cooking marshmallows around a campfire?!) Lab ("WAPD"), was consulting at Westin"KL"ouse (LMFBR = liquid-metal fast-breeder reactor, a.k.a. "Clinch River", a.k.a. Japan's ("accident" waiting-to-happen 12/10/95) Advanced Reactors Division (WARD), Waltz Mills, Madison, PA, which never did nor COULD work, which after U.S. President Carter, himself a nuclear engineer!, threw it in the garbage, picked it up, polished it off, and ripped off Mitsubishi, its Keiretsu: Toshiba, ..., for $100 BILLION, Clinch-River (the Gore's (Albert Senior and Al Junior) country, the T. V. A. becoming reborn again as MONJU!!!

Quoting: "The sign over the electric chair in Sing Sing (N.Y.) Prison [where the Rosenbergs were executed in the 1950's as Soviet Spies] says it all: 'You Can be SURE, if it's WESTINGHOUSE", courtesy of one Theodore Stern, long time 30 year Executive/Senior V.P., Westin"KL"ouse NUCLEAR, veteran].

At PSE&G Siegel worked on INCO-182/82, and had lots and lots of calls (~100 in two months, MOSTLY from scenic downtown Ohio's AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER, ("AEP"), who probably BUILT Oak Harbor Ohio's DAVIS BESSE reactor) about INCO 182/82 transition-weld (so SELF called) "super" alloy, when he discovered its "weaknesses"/FRAUD!!! [while PSE&G was constructing Salem I & II PWRs, Hope Creek BWR, and maintaining Oyster Creek (a BWR)]. [Laurence Pringle's book: "Nuclear Power: From Physics to Politics", Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York, NY; Collier's Macmillan, London, (1979) history nicely dovetails/collates with Siegel's three firings, during which he lost his career and family, having three ~ 30 year old daughters he has not even see since they were in diapers, after he was bailed out of several arrests, all charges mysteriously suddenly dropped after he lost his confidential security clearance, and so could not go back to work as Westin"KL"ouse Bettis Lab. (BAPD) (nor could he fight the charges, since they were dropped), with no other non-classified/non-military Westin"KL"ouse laboratory willing to hire him internally, leaving him and his family destitute and separated, to be repeated two more times by PSE&G in 1976 and IAEA in1977].

Siegel at PSE&G got back in to INCO-182/82 embrittlement/a.k.a. S H I T / F R A U D !!! issues over the Foster-Wheeler constructed Hudson Generating Station Steam Turbine Explosion in the early 1970's (Jersey City(?), Kearny plant(?)) maiming and killing many workers. Siegel was the PSE&G forensic investigator. Shirley Ann Jackson was on the board. She's probably not taking calls now, about this, as President of R.P.I.!

She believes in "probabilistic risk assessment", which THE most famous statistician in the world (emeritus from Stanford, MIT, Harvard, etc.) has critiqued PRA as "based on long-tailed distributions, it could be used to predict anything, and is at best science fiction/fantasy, and at worst, total B.u.l.l.S.h.i.t". Or how about this comment:

"With that many parameters, you could predict that your mother-in-law was simultaneously: a room-temperature superconductor, the top quark, a black hole, and Jesu Christus Et Gloria Deus Patrei SIMULTANEOUSLY!!! (and still have enough to win the lotto, becoming richer than Bill Gates, and with STILL some wiggle room left over, a.k.a. "PURE UNADULTERATED B U L L S H I T!!!...!!!"

Quoting the statistician some more, who consulted for the old AEC, Siegel says: "those PWR's were ALWAYS and ALWAYS KNOWN TO BE CRAPPY. They only built them to scale up Admiral Hyman Rickover's "successes" with WELL BUILT [that's debatable! -- rdh] nuclear navy (submarine, carrier)". The reactors are huge, POORLY/SHODDILY BUILT "R. M. S. TYRANNIC(S), THE BIGGEST THING(S) EVER" (a la Bruce McCall, noted cartoonist; "Bruce McCall's Zany Afternoons", Barnes and Noble Books (1982)-p.24-25 - 31).

"Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead" a la U.S.S. SSN Greenville, THREE crashes since 2001, including a Japanese fishing training vessel off Hawaii, then TWO MORE in the Persian Gulf, probably for lack of a $5 windshield wiper on the periscope, unless the sub was being used as a shakedown cruise for the Braille School for the Blind!? To quote Deutsche Kriegsmarine Admirals Raeder and Doenitz circa 1945, "TORPEDO(S) LOS" ("TORPEDOS AWAY") [just as long as someone ELSE pays], courtesy in November, 2001 of Messrs. Price and Anderson, and their 100 + ~495 colleagues/henchmen, the CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES!!!

People Seigel reported to at PSE&G included Edwin Packer Jr. (now deceased), Herbert Erdmann, Joseph O'Grady (above Edrmann, now deceased) (past pres. of ASTM), and Dominic Kunderi (VP of Technology or something).

A non-nuclear Mech. Eng. from Powerplant Design Division 80 (Park Place, Newark NJ) got Siegel into the INCO 182 stuff.

Siegel's boss, V.P./Engineering, who advised the company, instigated Siegel's REinvolvement with INCO-182/82 AFTER his discoveries about its "STUCK DREK"/a.k.a."S H I T!!!" FRAUD!!! @ Westin"KL"ouse Bettis APD in 1973-1974.

The 304?/304L? stainless-steel inner pressure-vessel liner is welded to the outer vessel with INCO-182/82 ALL OVER!

NOT just the primary-coolant loop transition-welds to pressure-vessel flanges, nor the Inconel-600 control-rod sleeves transition-welds to the pressure-vessel feedthroughs, but the WHOLE NUCLEAR-REACTOR IS OVERageing-EMBRITTLED through and through, (like a completely atherosclerotic cardiovascular-diseased heart, or a completely osteoporiting bone skeleton in a very old person), "a"...MANY MANY nuclear "accidents" WAITING TO HAPPEN!!! (..."soon to come to a theatre near you, on the breath of Allah", as Osamma Bin Ladin might say)

But "Allah" is our very own paid for nuclear-utilities, their maintainers (Ebasco,..., HALLIBURTON!!!) and D.o.E.(of Yucca Mountain INfamy/N. R. C. ("Nuckleheads Rearview Commode"???!)


"We didn't know the reactor was loaded, but we'll never never do it again..."

[See Terry McDermott's article, The Los Angeles Times, Front Page, February 9, 2001 "Nuc"EL"ar (quoting Unser Fuhrer, "W") Power May Rise Again" about switching on/N.R.C. extending the life of some VERY VERY ATHEROSCLEROTIC/OSTEOPORITIC nuclear-reactors "to make a little profit from making a little more 'juice'/electricity for San Diego and California".

WE DON'T WANT IT T H A T MUCH!!!  And we do NOT need it, and probably NEVER did, given Enron's and Andersen's RIPPING OFF of California,... two years ago.


ENRON trading in stainless-steels and Ni-based (so called) "super"alloys [Craig Rose, San Diego Union Tribune, p. C3, Tuesday, March 9, 2002; available from: ] PLUS insider information from a Perrot System Exec. V. P. and Siegel's own relatives very high up in Dunn and Bradstreet and S & P!!! (NOT "just": copper, lead, and zinc, BUT: Nickel, Iron, and their austenitic/FCC (so SELF called -- at BEST a LONG -- time MARKETING PLOY!!!) "super"alloys, a.k.a. "S H I T!!!" a. k. a. "F R A U D!!!", a.k.a. "T R E A S O N!!!"


ANDERSEN, [AUDITOR OF RECORD OF MANY MANY NUCLEAR-REACTOR POWER-PLANTS and their UTILITIES, as well as: G. E., Westin"KL"ouse, ABB, ... M O N J U, B. N. F., ... Westin"KL"ouse:", . . .

i. e. ENRON and ANDERSON of the "fuzzy" "new" math (quoting an old aphorism):

(1 + 1) = 11 or 0 or ANY/EVERYthing else you like, once you PAY!!!;
i. e.
(1 + 1 =/= 2!!!)

Those 37 OLD OVER-AGED EMBRITTLED reactors they planned to buy to make a little profit on are 37 CHERNOBYLS, or worse 37 Davis-Betties WAITING TO EXPLODE UP AND OUT, to show all the world their exciting mysteries of nuclear-isotope nuclear-chemistry/physics UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL!!!

R E Q U I E M    A E T E R N A M!!!

Siegel's paper was in 1977ish, [after being blackballed and rejected by every metallurgy journal in the U.S. and Europe, he gave it at the "International Conference on Magnetic Alloys and Oxides", The Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), Haifa, Israel in 8-9/1977, {resulting in his J. Mag. Mag. Mtls. 7, 312 (1978); is SYSTEMATICALLY DELETED from MANY international technical databases (DoD, DoE, NRC, EC, NATO,...but left in some DoC/NIST?, and physically removed very carefully from MANY libraries (but they were too stupid to realize they they could NOT change the page numbers and/or table of contents and/or index! Who? WHO INDEED??? WHO is powerful enough to do this??? Kids stealing a five page article costing ~30 cents to copy??? WHO INDEED??? Anyway, it, THE ONLY study of this worldwide long-time transition-weld standard (since ~1950) is always available from its publisher, Elsevier/North Holland Publishing Company, Amsterdam(?) and/or the JMM's founding Editor in Chief, Professor Arthur Freeman, Physics Department, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, (who Siegel believes was at the Technion ICMAO Meeting in 8-9/1977!?)

The Davis-Besse nuclear plant was being built while Siegel was being fired.  Probably there's a deep connection between FirstEnergy and American Electric Power (the big Ohio utility) and Shippingport, PA (built for Rickover by Alvin Radkowski (founder of Thorium Power. A cousin of Siegel's father worked for him -- Sidney Siegel. January (2002) Physics Today Magazine has his obit). Both reported to Admiral Hyman Rickover directly).

Theodore (Ted) Stern thirty year Westin"KL"ouse Exec/Sr. V.P./NUCLEAR (and still kicking!!!), probably was very involved in these people. He knows where lots of documents are buried.

Siegel was then (1974, 1976, 1977) horrified to learn that since INCO 182/82 was the worldwide transition standard since the early fifties AND STILL IS, despite the fact that Howard Richards (~1950-1952) @ PSE&G as Chief Metallurgist, had serious reservations and questions about why one should "use any newfangled alloys (INCO-182/82 = INCO-A + Nb + Ti) in these newfangled 'atomic' [Marshmellow cookers?] reactors". INCO-A, which does NOT overage embrittle (INCO 182/82 = INCO A plus Niobium, Titanium solute alloying additions supplied by Cabot Corp. long-time controller of the world's Niobium supply (Niobium used to be called Columbium) which caused problems by gettering the carbon to form the brittle carbide precipitate chains and sheets. Siegel is amused by the charming word "sensitization" (is this like hugging a reactor?)

All the PWR reactors in the US are welded (the Inner lining to the outer PV with INCO 182. So perhaps that's why Siegel was fired -- because Davis-Besse's owners were calling PSE&G while he was working at PSE&G, which didn't want to be the one to have to spill the beans.

"They" (AEP, in scenic downtown OHIO!!!) kept calling... asking for Ed... PSE&G forbid him to speak to them, and to a scheduled NRC hearing (in King of Prussia, PA.) which threatened to subpoena him, and anyone else for that matter, about INCO-182/82 WHATSOEVER!!!  We came THAT CLOSE to finding this problem early.  Now, it may be TOO LATE!!!

Murphy's law comes into science in the accuracy of measurement. It comes into engineering in the accuracy of predication.

Siegel "believes" in science, which has caused him to be branded a weirdo. But he has 102 operating allies in America right now who are preparing to prove him right. These "allies" are the reactors themselves, which are "cooking away", spending TIME AT TEMPERATURE, and which are also being shaken and irradiated year after year after year. These reactors are destined to spill their contents sooner or later, because they are EMBRITTLED.


This document will be available as part of an online collection of documents at this URL:

We will be posting a number of the articles mentioned above as time permits.  What follows are continuations of prior threads regarding Davis-Besse, and related material.   Additional URLs for finding the prior items are given below.



At 12:34 AM 4/2/02 , Stuart Field (editor, WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor) wrote (clip):
It seems that the US nuclear industry, together with their buddies in the NRC, has almost made an art form out of news management.


What do you mean "almost"??  I think manipulating public opinion is the only talent the NRC actually has (and unfortunately they are quite good at it)!

My understanding is that in America boron is "routinely" added to the primary coolant loop water to "help control the nuclear reaction", and the word "routinely" is the word my local paper used.  Perhaps my contact at is not aware of all the reactor types now in use around the world.  I'll keep digging.  Lochbaum's document is certainly excellent, although I don't think it describes all possible accident scenarios, and worst-case-incidents.

Thanks for the info!

Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA


At 12:34 AM 4/2/02 , Stuart Field (editor, WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor) wrote:


Great to see that you're raising a stink about Davis-Besse. Re
thickness of stainess steel liner: for our Nuclear Monitor article we
checked the World Nuclear Industry Handbook 2000 which gives a
thickness of 4.8 mm which is 3/16 of an inch. Dave Lochbaum's
backgrounder is the best source I have seen so far for technical
details of the incident.

The "Material deleted" text rings true to me too. The accident
confirms that hundreds of reactors have been running for decades
and yet there are still alarming gaps in fundamental knowledge of
the chemistry of their corrosion.

However, I'm curious about the "additional commentary". The
practice of "routinely adding boric acid to reactor coolant" is NOT a
US-specific quirk, according to my info - though it depends on what
your source means by "routine". If you have any more information
on this point, please forward it to me!

If there is a "US quirk" in the Davis-Besse story, it could be:
- that US reactor operators failed to replace their vessel heads as
other countries did after cracks were found (starting in Bugey,
France in 1991) and now they're paying for it
- that at least some US reactor operators failed to clean away
boron deposits (as, for example, Japanese utilities apparently do,
according to the Japanese nuclear safety authority)
- every country seems to have its own flavor of "news management"
when things go wrong in the nuclear industry. It seems that the US
nuclear industry, together with their buddies in the NRC, has
almost made an art form out of news management.

Regards, Stuart Field (editor, WISE/NIRS Nuclear Monitor)

Additional commentary from a source (at to be
(maybe) later:

  I have a friend in England who had his own
nuclear research reactor ; he confirmed the scientific validity of the
letter you received that had "Material deleted" written all over it.
My friend agrees the boric acid leak in Ohio is a very serious
and apparently the practice of adding boric acid to the coolant
routinely is a US-specific quirk. That of course doesn't mean that
Ed's embrittlement is not a problem that might befall aging reactors
in general.


      World Information Service on Energy - WISE Amsterdam
      PO Box 59636                    Tel: +31-20-6126368
      1040 LC Amsterdam               Fax: +31-20-6892179
      The Netherlands                 Email:
      (Visitors: Ketelhuisplein 43)

The following letter was sent to a variety of experts:


I am writing to ask your advice and consideration of how badly embrittled American Pressurized Water Reactors are, specifically in light of the degradation seen at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant in Ohio, where a hole clear through the Reactor Pressure Vessel was discovered last month.

Boronic acid ate through 6 inches of carbon-manganese steel, and the only thing preventing a rupture of the pressure vessel was a 3/16th's inch stainless steel inner liner, which had already blistered 1/8 of an inch.  It may have been sabotage with some other acid; we don't know yet for sure, but most scientists seem to feel that if proper inspections were not done, negligence alone could have caused this.

Most of the nuclear engineers I've been able to speak to about it admit that, had it blown (there were 2200 PSI pushing against it from the other side) it would have been "worse than Three Mile Island".  A metallurgist (formerly in the nuclear industry) described it as being "worse than Chernobyl" -- maybe a lot worse.  There is, of course, a lot of media manipulation and spin doctoring going on about this.

It seems the problem stems from a complete denial of embrittlement issues throughout the nuclear industry and its federal regulators.  They accept radiation-induced embrittlement, but they don't realize that all their alloys are subject to thermal embrittlement too, which is, at the very least, additive.

It seems to me that if the reactor inner liner had explosively burst because of the pressure on the other side, there is a good possibility that the entire reactor pressure vessel head would have fractured into many pieces, and then none of the control rods could have dropped, and a meltdown would have been inevitable.

Please review the following documents which I have posted online.  I can put you in contact with many other experts who are looking at the issues, as well as several interested reporters, and a few American government officials as well.

What we need are a few smart scientists who can explain to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission about embrittlement. Please help me find these people, if you do not consider yourself to be one.

These issues would, of course, probably also involve U.S. Navy reactors, as well as Canadian reactors, Japanese reactors, European reactors, and others, which are probably also all welded with INCO 182 (aka INCO 82) and made of similar so-called "SUPER-alloys" as Davis-Besse is, which, it turns out, aren't really so super.  Note that testing of many "super" alloys was often done at, say, 1100 degrees for 40 hours, rather than at, say, 600 degrees for 20 years, which would have been much more realistic.  Different results occur from the two tests.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, California, USA
(born and raised in CT)

Here is a list of documents I have posted, which include related articles collected around the world, and opinions of a number of experts in the various fields:

Eugene Wigner, Ed Siegel & Mark Hetherington and others identified it, now it's happening!

Technical details on near-catastrophe at Davis-Besse are profoundly disturbing (based on early information):

"Sanitized view of Davis-Besse" (+ NYT article + jet impact comments)

Dave Lochbaum's (Union of Concerned Scientists) "backgrounder" on Davis-Besse:

Soon to be posted: Additional information:


Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 07:53:24 -0800 (PST)
From: Molly Johnson <>
Subject: NRC Blasts Nuclear Plant Vigilance
To: HopeDance <>,

        Global HopeDance <>

Diablo Canyon is one of the 69 reactors mentioned in the report below that
the NRC ordered to submit information on the structural integrity of their
plant's reactor head. As of yesterday PG&E had not responded to the NRC
regarding this matter.  This is a serious matter and we, the citizens of
SLO, need to encourage PG&E to examine Diablo's reactors immediately.  You
can contact PG&E through Lawrence F. Womack, Vice-President, Nuclear
Services.  Here is the contact info:

Lawrence F. Womack
Vice-President, Nuclear Services
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
PO Box 56
Avila Beach, CA  93424
Ph:  805/545-4234
Fax: 805/545-4234


APRIL 05, 10:06 ET

NRC Blasts Nuclear Plant Vigilance

Associated Press Writer

OAK HARBOR, Ohio (AP) ‹ An acid leak that ate through a steel cap over a
nuclear plant's reactor vessel should have been spotted as long as four
years ago, according to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission report released

Inspectors said there were many opportunities for the operator of the
Davis-Besse plant to find the problem, which wasn't discovered until the
plant was shut down in February for refueling.

``It should have been recognized,'' said NRC spokesman Jan Strasma.

The NRC said the damage did not pose a safety threat but did order
operators of all 69 pressurized water reactors in the United States to
submit information on the structural integrity of their plant's reactor

The NRC said it was the most extensive corrosion ever found on top of a
U.S. nuclear plant reactor. Inspectors spotted a second cavity two weeks

Plant employees found leaking boric acid created a 6-inch hole in the
steel cap near a cracked control rod nozzle. The hole was stopped by a
steel layer impervious to the acid.

Significant corrosion began at least four years ago, according to
preliminary findings of an NRC inspection. Inspectors said it was caused
by cracked control rod nozzles.

FirstEnergy Corp., which operates the plant, said it was not surprised by
the findings and that its own investigators came to the same conclusion,
said company spokesman Richard Wilkins.

The plant had visual inspections over the years, but corrosion was
overlooked because plant staff and management for years did not realize
the significance of boric acid deposits on top of the vessel head,
according to FirstEnergy's findings.

The company said similar corrosion can be found or avoided at similar
plants if engineers know how to look for it.

The acid is a byproduct of the nuclear fission process inside the reactor.
The reactor has 69 control rods. The nozzles are vertical tubes that house
the rods, which absorb excess neutrons in the reactor core.

The damage to the reactor's steel cap will keep the plant shut down until
at least June.

The plant is along Lake Erie and about 25 miles east of Toledo.

On the Net:

"This is truly the ultimate “right to life issue”. A right to be born without genetic malformations, a right to eat and drink non-radioactive food, a right to live a normal life-span without the threat of early cancer and the right to live without the ever present threat of nuclear war. Above all, we are the curators of life on earth, we hold it in the palm of our hand, a sacred trust with God. Let us take heed and become the true curators for God."
                    --- Dr. Helen Caldicott


Delivered-To: mailing list
Date: Sun, 7 Apr 2002 14:44:43 EDT
Subject: [DOEWatch] Feds say D-B missed early damage signs

Feds say D-B missed early damage signs
April 6, 2002
Hints of acid damage to reactor vessel showed up in 1999, according to NRC
inspection team review.
   Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station workers missed opportunities to diagnose
the cause of the reactor head corrosion problem found at the Carroll Township
   This was the finding by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Augmented
Inspection Team, which was presented Friday to more than 300 people attending
a public meeting at Oak Harbor High School.
   The NRC is a federal agency whose job is to ensure nuclear power plants
are safely designed, built and operated. Davis-Besse is a for-profit
electricity producer owned by FirstEnergy Corp. of Akron.
   Around 40 people commented and questioned NRC and Davis-Besse officials
during the nearly three-hour meeting. Various people, including a group of
about 30 from the South Bend, Ind., area carrying colorful anti-nuclear
posterboards, spoke against the nuclear industry in general.
   Some protesters alleged Davis-Besse was conspiring to hide the corrosion
and compared it to Enron Corp., the bankrupt Texas-based energy company.
   But numerous people who live within the 10-mile emergency planning zone
surrounding the Ohio 2 plant -- including a 14-year-old Oak Harbor resident
-- said they have confidence in FirstEnergy, Davis-Besse workers and their
own safety.
   "My family lives downwind of this place, and I wouldn't have them here if
I felt this was an unsafe plant," said 22-year plant employee Steve Fehrmann
of Port Clinton.
   The public comments came after Melvin Holmberg, senior metallurgical
engineer from NRC Region III, detailed the areas where the utility's internal
inspections fell short. NRC Region III, based in Chicago, oversees nuclear
power plants in the Midwest.
   Workers misdiagnosed several problems, including:
   * Boric acid deposits which had caused the reactor containment's air
cooling vessel to clog and the boric acid in those filters changing from
white to brown in 1999;
   * Detecting increased amounts of radiation in air monitor filters which
caused filter changes to increase from monthly to every other day in May
1999; and
   * Boric acid deposits found on the reactor head which were not recognized,
not properly evaluated and not completely removed.
   These were all indicators reactor head corrosion could be occurring.
   "Davis-Besse staff had several chances to prevent and identify the
(reactor head) corrosion but failed to do so," Holmberg said.
   Brian W. Sheron, of the NRC's Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, said
when the filter clogging was occurring in the late 1990s, Davis-Besse
officials were aware of and fixed a problem with leaking pressurized relief
valves that also come out of the top of the reactor head.
   When the pressure in the reactor vessel, which normally operates around
2,200 pounds per square inch, gets too high, extra pressure is released out
of these valves, Sheron said.
   Howard Bergendahl, vice president of nuclear at Davis-Besse, said the
utility's prior inspection evaluations concluded that the iron oxide and
boric acid deposits clogging the coolant and air filter systems was caused by
the leaking pressure valves.
   "We have now been proven wrong," Bergendahl said. "It appears we
misdiagnosed the symptoms because they measure what is going on inside the
entire building and the equipment within that building."
   Davis-Besse executive Bob Saunders said the company takes responsibility
for what happens at its power plants.
   "There is only one licensee and that is FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating
Company. As such we are responsible to the public and the NRC. We are a
learning organization, and we will take this experience and move forward.
There is only one kind of nuclear operation and that is a safe one. There was
never an unsafe operation in this event," he said.
   NRC officials said they do not think Davis-Besse employees' oversight of
the cause of iron oxide and boric acid contamination found in the filters was
intentional. However, they said human error in terms of miscommunication and
misjudgment could have been part of the problem.
   On Feb. 16, the nuclear power plant was shut down for refueling and
inspection of 69 control ride drive mechanism nozzles in the reactor head. It
was found that five nozzles had cracks in them, three nozzles' cracks were
all the way through which allowed for leakage of steam laced with boric acid.
   During the repair of five nozzles, workers found the boric acid had eaten
a 6-inch long, 4- to 5-inch wide and 6-inch deep cavity in the outer carbon
steel lining of the reactor head.
   A second corroded area, less than 2-inches long, a quarter of an inch wide
and 4-inches deep, was found near a second nozzle. Only a piece of stainless
steel lining, less than an inch thick, kept the pressure contained in the
reactor head.
   Information obtained from the removal and inspection of the first nozzle
led the NRC's inspection team to its conclusions.
   Thursday, the second nozzle with "unprecedented" amount of corrosion near
it, was removed for inspection, Sheron said.
   Holmberg said the inspection team has determined the reactor head's
significant corrosion was caused by boric acid leaking through cracks in the
nozzles and began at least four years ago.
   The NRC still has to review Davis-Besse's actions to see if its workers
complied with NRC regulations.
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Nuclear Plant Operators Missed Warning Signs
By Cat Lazaroff

OAK HARBOR, Ohio, April 8, 2002 (ENS) - The corrosion that drilled a hole
in the cap over the nuclear reactor at the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant

began as early as 1998, and should have been discovered by utility staff
much sooner, government regulators have concluded. A stainless steel plate

less than an inch thick is all that remains between the reactor and the
inside of the containment building.

The reactor head, seen here from underneath during a maintenance shutdown,
is pierced by control rods that can slow or shutdown the reactor. (All
photos courtesy NRC)

Boric acid from a leaking nozzle left a hole six inches deep and four to
five inches wide in the reactor lid, eating through the vessel until
reaching a 3/8 inch stainless steel liner that the acid could not penetrate.
The power company that manages the reactor, FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating
Company, discovered the damage during a routing maintenance shut down
earlier this year.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the agency that oversees the
nation's nuclear materials, says the utility should have found the problem
much earlier, perhaps as much as four years ago.

During a public meeting Friday, the NRC detailed the findings of the
special inspection team that it sent to the plant in February, after
FirstEnergy found the damage while refueling the reactor.

"The team found that evidence of the corrosion damage was present at least

as early as 1998 and that the utility missed several opportunities to
identify the problem prior to the current refueling outage," the NRC reported.

"This problem would have been prevented," if the utility had followed
safety regulations regarding plant monitoring and maintenance, said John
Grobe, director of NRC's reactor safety division.

According to the NRC, staff at the Davis-Besse plant noticed in 1999 that
they had to change the filters on a radiation monitor with increasing
frequency, moving from once a month changes to swapping filters every
other day.

An overview of the reactor, with workers standing on top of the reactor
vessel head.

The filters were becoming clogged by material now identified as corrosion
products created by the leaking reactor cooling system. Deposits of boric
acid, an ingredient in the cooling system water, and corrosion products
were also building up on the containment air coolers, the NRC learned.

These issues should have signaled the presence of a leak somewhere in the
system, and prompted the utility to locate and fix the problem, the NRC

The utility also failed to implement a boric acid control program required

by the NRC that would have uncovered the damaged reactor head much
earlier, the agency said. Though the utility had been cleaning boric acid
deposits out of the reactor cooling system and radiation filters, it left
growing deposits on the reactor containment vessel itself.

During the 2000 maintenance at the plant, the utility noticed that the
boric acid deposits had changed color, from a light white or yellow to a
rust tinted brown. That should have been a red flag, the NRC says, informing
the utility that metal somewhere was being corroded.

Still, FirstEnergy let the deposits on the reactor vessel grow.

So much boric acid had been deposited on the reactor vessel lid by
February 2002 that it had to be pried off with crowbars before the utility's crew
uncovered the six inch hole in the steel vessel. Two weeks later, the team
found another, smaller hole, measuring about 1 3/4 inch deep.

"Boric acid deposits were not properly removed and indications of reactor
vessel head corrosion were not recognized or evaluated," the NRC report
states. "In the 2000 refueling outage significant deposits of boric acid -

different in color and consistency previously associated with reactor
cooling system leaks - were found on the reactor vessel head."

The leak from the coolant system also left boric acid deposits on water
pipes, stairwells, and other areas of the containment building, the NRC said.
The Davis-Besse nuclear power plant is located about 25 miles east of
Toledo, Ohio.

In Friday's meeting, FirstEnergy accepted responsibility for the corrosion.

"We are clearly responsible for this condition of the reactor head," said
Robert Saunders, president of FirstEnergy's nuclear division.

Many of the 300 or so members of the public who attended Friday's meeting
answered Saunders with cries of "Shut it down!" and "You failed!"

While the NRC is continuing to investigate the cause of the leak, the
agency has called on all nuclear power plants with similar cooling systems
to look for boric acid deposits that might indicate a leak and possible
corrosion damage. Operators of all 69 U.S. pressurized water nuclear power

reactors were notified in March to look for damage to their reactor
vessels, but not specifically for boric acid deposits.

So far, no similar corrosion damage has been found at other nuclear plants.

If the reactor vessel had been breached by the acid, the NRC and
FirstEnergy said that any radiation released would have been contained
within the reactor building, and would not have been released into the environment.
The release would have created a "radiological mess" within the reactor
building, but would not have endangered the public, the NRC said.

Republished with permission from the ENS, available online at:

© Environment News Service (ENS) 2001. All Rights Reserved.


3, 2, 1 meltdown! (A poem by Russell Hoffman)


God gives us this beautiful WARNING...


A perfect portent of perilous problems

sure to follow if the warning goes unheeded


And we are WASTING it.

The reactors are embrittled...

The reactors are embrittled...

The reactors are embrittled...

Do not seek to know for whom the Doomsday Clock is ticking

It ticks for us.

Tick... tick... tick...