Subject: Encore Presentation! See MELTDOWN ON FX today (SATURDAY JUNE 12TH, 2004 -- check local listings)

June 12th, 2004

Dear Readers,

If you have not seen MELTDOWN on FX, PLEASE DO SO today (Saturday, June 12th, 2004)!  Check your local listings.

Activism is hard.  Reading is an effort.  Watching a movie is easy, and thousands -- or perhaps millions -- of people will do it for each one of you who has worried along with this author about these problems all these years.  So sit back and watch for a change.  This movie can really be thought of as your reward for your patience and effort.  It says so much of what we've all been trying to say all this time.  And it's clear some people worked very hard to produce MELTDOWN.  Reward their efforts -- see it -- and tell your friends to see it, too.

One thing that was not mentioned at all in MELTDOWN was Dry Cask Storage.  I prefer to call it "Dry Casket Storage".

Dry Cask Storage is supposed to be temporary -- until Yucca Mountain opens.  But in reality, once dry casks are authorized for any site, that site will have dry casks indefinitely.  In addition, Yucca Mountain might NEVER open because it is a scientifically irresponsible and technically infeasible political hot potato.

Terrorism against Dry Cask Storage systems would be even easier than against the spent fuel pool or the reactor!  Sure, the Spent Fuel Rod Assemblies in dry casks have "cooled down" a little, in the thermal sense.  But they are still highly radioactive and will be for -- NOT 10,000 years, as many people believe, but for MILLIONS of years!

Compared to Dry Cask Storage, Spent Fuel Pools are incredibly expensive to make and must be monitored and maintained.  That's why they don't just build more pools!  It's not SAFETY!  It's MONEY!

Inside a dry cask, the deadly (and still very hot) fuel rods can catch fire SPONTANEOUSLY if they become overly embrittled, warp, crack, fall to the bottom of the cask, or otherwise clump together.  If that happens, they would burn in a deadly conflagration which would be every bit as bad as a meltdown or a spent fuel pool accident, and which no fire company in the world is capable of extinguishing.

Fire departments don't have the necessary "rad suits" needed to get close enough to fight the fire without getting a lethal dose of radiation within MINUTES, and they don't have the chemicals and tools to put it out if they do manage to get close somehow.

Perhaps they expect to call in every helicopter pilot in the country and have them overfly a dry cask fire one by one and drop sand on it, like the Russians did with Chernobyl.  The pilots were, of course, all killed, dying gruesome deaths shortly after the event.

Diablo Canyon's plans for Dry Cask Storage call for bolting the beasts to the ground.  (Apparently, despite there being earthquakes now and then just about anywhere, this is not normally done!)  These casks will stick out like sore thumbs and can be destroyed in all the ways mentioned in MELTDOWN and many more -- by bombs, by explosives, by airplanes crashing into them, by God.

Diablo Cyn's owners claim that their casks will be able to withstand a 7.2 earthquake, and they claim that nothing as strong as that is predicted anywhere in the area.

Anyone in the business of repeatedly and accurately predicting a significant number of earthquakes' locations and severity -- and/or successfully guaranteeing a location's lack of earthquakes for a significant period of time -- would be the most famous person in history.  No such person exists at this time, or has ever existed.

Why will Diablo Cyn's proposed Dry Cask Storage system be built to withstand a 7.2 earthquake, rather than, say, 7.3 or 7.5 -- or 9.2, for that matter?

They answer is: MONEY.  Each whole unit increment represents an order of magnitude increase in the earth's shaking from the earthquake.  Thus, an 8.2 earthquake is ten times as bad as 7.2.  A 9.2 is 100 times as violent as a 7.2, and thus, extremely expensive to protect against.

And even that level of protection might not be enough.

Recently, I read that the last earthquake-related studies of Diablo Cyn were done 13 years ago.  Since then, there have been at least a dozen magnitude 7.0 or greater earthquakes in the U.S. alone.  That's a lot of new data to compare and analyze, but it hasn't been done.

Dry Cask Storage is just about the stupidest idea since The Bomb.  It MUST be stopped in California and everywhere else.

This week, HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS of Californians came out to protest nuclear power at government hearings around Diablo Cyn. 

From: Lompoc Record (as seen in RADBULL):
Some of the answers given by officials were met with boos from
the crowd and after resident David Weisman handed out colored
plates in order to grade the answers - red for disbelief, yellow
for maybe and green for complete belief - many statements were
met with a sea of red.

Weisman, who is concerned about a lack of communication between
emergency agencies, the plant and the NRC, told officials he came
up with the grading system that mimics one the NRC uses to gauge
the facility operations.


Someone has to tell the nuclear power industry that The Jig Is Up.  That job SHOULD fall on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy, but they are woefully irresponsible, to a point well past treason, because it's also suicidal, murderous, and undemocratic.  And unAmerican, which isn't treason, but when you're in a position with that kind of power, it's pretty close.

We all need to work harder on this issue.  Now is the time.  Tomorrow, when everyone knows about it, will be too late.  The accident that wakes everyone up must NEVER happen!


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

Visit the FX web site:

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(Activists and reporters:  Please feel free to ask for a free password to all my software any time.   Thank you for reading.)

My recent review of MELTDOWN, + Jack Shannon's letter to Senators:

A correction from Michael Mariotte of NIRS regarding my review of MELTDOWN:



Small correction. While the Chernobyl exclusion zone is indeed 18 miles,
there are many villages and areas outside the exclusion zone that have been
permanently evacuated and abandoned--victims of "hot spots". When these
areas are added to the exclusion zone, the area that has been rendered
uninhabitable by Chernobyl is actually quite close to the size of Kentucky.

Michael Mariotte

NIRS' web site:

On a related subject, NIRS is looking for dedicated members: 

NIRS, founded in 1978 and now joined with WISE (also founded in 1978) is seeking to expand their "Core Group", and are looking for nominations.  Current members of the Core Group include Dr. Helen Caldicott and actor Ed Asner.  The Board of Directors of NIRS/WISE includes Karl Grossman, Judith Johnsrud, and Harvey Wasserman.  Michael Mariotte is the Executive Director. To nominate someone, contact: