To: <>
From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: C.E.C. Docket No. 04-IEP-1J: Dr. Richard Webb on nuclear
  risks: "imminent danger of a catastrophic accident of immense scale"
  (1990; and nothing's changed since then except the plants are older
  and more worn)

To: California Energy Commission Dockets Unit;
      Attn: Docket No. 04-IEP-1J
      1516 Ninth Street, MS-4
      Sacramento, CA 95814-5512

Re: Energy Report: Nuclear Power, 2005 Workshops
Subject: C.E.C. Docket No. 04-IEP-1J: Dr. Richard Webb on nuclear risks: "imminent danger of a catastrophic accident of immense scale" (1990; and nothing's changed since then except the plants are older and more worn)

Date: August 19th, 2005

From: Russell D. Hoffman, Concerned Citizen, Carlsbad, CA

To The Commission,

When I attended the California Energy Commission workshop earlier this week, I brought with me approximately sixty books on the subject of radiation, nuclear power, nuclear engineering, atomic theory, terrorism, nuclear war, nuclear war's aftermath, proliferation, and related subjects.  I left a copy of one of them, Bennett Ramberg's "Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy: An Unrecognized Military Peril" with the Commission.  During the public comment period, I also quoted a second book, "The Anti-Nuclear Handbook", to show that the threat from airplane strikes against nuclear power plants was WELL KNOWN AND IGNORED decades ago.  So the question must be asked: Who was asleep at the wheel back then?  We NEVER needed these plants, and they have left us with a terrible mess, and they put us at constant risk of catastrophe.  Who in the world EVER thought this was a good idea?

Regardless of past mistakes, it's time for California's state government to stop ignoring the facts about the completely unnecessary risks from nuclear power.  It's time to try to save our state, instead of letting "doing the right thing" slip and slip and slip until it's TOO LATE, which may be tomorrow, or even today.

Another one of the books I brought (from my collection of over 500 books, videos, and bound government documents on nuclear issues) was Dr. Richard E. Webb's "The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants" (University of Massachusetts Press, 1976), about which Barbara Byron of the CEC, who saw the book in my collection, stated she also had a copy, which I assume she will loan to any Commissioner upon request.

I decided to check on the Internet to see what I could find by Dr. Webb that was more recent.  Commissioners: I hit the jackpot!  This is a very sad thing for you, because you are duty-bound to read Webb's document, and to understand how significant Dr. Webb's comments are to the issues at hand.  Dr. Webb is a very "real" expert on nuclear power.  Unfortunately, you can bank on his words.

You could just as well bank on (and heed the warnings of) 1,000 other experts who have broken rank -- dozens of their books are available in any major city, if you scour the bookstores.  But as in Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451," the books disappear, either up in smoke (think how many books have been lost in our wildfires, for instance) or . . . well, some people claim that government agents buy up books like Ramberg's, for instance.  So please don't think it's been easy to find (and protect) all those books while traipsing around the country!  And please keep the copy of Ramberg's book which was submitted for reference in this docket for reference in ALL future submissions to the CEC!  That "simple" act may be quite difficult to accomplish yet it might, in the end, be the most useful thing you do out of these hearings, if you do it.

Let me quote the eminent Dr. Webb (a man who truly should need no introduction in any frank discussion of nuclear power's dangers, although frankly, I didn't know who Peter Schwartz was until he was introduced at the workshop as needing "no introduction") on the subject of government nuclear policies:

"The national Governments of the various nuclear countries have indicated their intentions to continue pushing further nuclear development and suppressing investigations into the nuclear accident hazards. In America the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has refused on several occasions my petitions to present analyses of the nuclear accident hazards, and to allow me to question their experts in the reactor licensing proceedings. It is futile to try any more."

-- Dr. Webb (See below for full comments.  All quotes from Dr. Webb in this letter are from the  attached document.)

Futile to try?  Is that also true in California, or are we smarter than that?  If countries half our size (or smaller) can make their own decisions about nuclear power (which, supposedly, is how it happens), then why can't a state the size of all but six countries make ITS own decisions?  Must our lives be put at risk by official foolishness?  Here's another quote from Dr. Webb:

"The official analyses of the accident hazards are  . . .  grossly inadequate and make optimistic assumptions that conceal the full dangers; and official secrecy about the accident potentials and experience impedes the efforts of independent scientists to make a full evaluation of the reactor accident hazards, toward establishing scientifically the true extent of the risks of catastrophic accidents.

"There is also possibilities for sabotage. "

-- Dr. Webb

These statements, by a world-renowned nuclear expert (see "Webb's Qualifications and Experience" in the attached document for details) confirm that our four PWRs (Pressurized Water Reactors) are extremely hazardous, and the California Energy Commission is risking the lives of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, or even millions of Californians by allowing these plants to remain open even one more day. 

Near the end of the text, Dr. Webb makes a statement which is of primary importance to the CEC:

"Based on an extremely thorough legal research made over the years, I have found that the United States Government's promotion of nuclear power is unconstitutional - that the development of nuclear power plants has been brought about by undemocratic and unconstitutional U.S. Government acts."

-- Dr. Webb

Dr. Webb also points out a truly fatal flaw in the way the nuclear regulators and the nuclear industry view accidents:

"Also, the Governments and their nuclear establishments take the view that we can learn the accident risks by operating the reactors, and that we can "manage" accidents when they occur and learn lessons from them, to improve on reactor safety as we go along. This philosophy is irrational; for there is no valid scientific basis to think that accidents can always be controlled."

-- Dr. Webb

Dr. Webb also reminds us that the production of steam generators and everything else IN a nuclear power plant takes energy to make:

"The components of the reactor plants do not grow on trees; but to make them requires the present, extremely intense and heavy concentrations of systems of industries, mining, and traffic throughout the world with all of the pollution effects that we all know about and the enormous rates of consumption of fossil fuels to power the industries and transport."

-- Dr. Webb

These comments were made by Dr. Webb in Spain in the year 1990.  At the time, Dr. Webb was residing in Germany and his contact information is included below.  Dr. Webb's expertise was used (grudgingly, one is forced to assume) by the US government during the Three Mile Island near-catastrophe and it is not only possible but PROBABLE that his suggestions (to keep the reactor coolant circulation pumps running) saved us from a meltdown.  Russia, after Chernobyl, also followed the advice of Dr. Webb.  (See additional examples of Dr. Webb's accuracy in the text below.)

Should we ALSO wait until AFTER one of our PWRs melts down to ask for his advice?  Dr. Webb is old and may not be around if we wait.  Let me remind you, as he does below, that we might have only a matter of seconds (if that) to prevent a meltdown.

Calling Dr. Webb!  Calling Dr. Webb!  You were right AGAIN, Dr. Webb!  But this time not listening might cost the lives of more than a million Californians, and bankrupt our state!  Ooops!  (Note:  "Ooops" won't be good enough.)

In his comments shown below, Dr. Webb divides reactor accident scenarios into four groups.  They are:

- nuclear runaway (power excursions);
- core meltdown upon loss of cooling or loss of reactor coolant, due to fission product heating and exothermic zirconium-steam chemical reactions;
- reactor vessel ruptures, spontaneously or due to an over-pressurization; and
- reactor containment vessel ruptures on over-pressurization.
-- Dr. Webb

(You may want to take a look at my animation of PWR reactors (and BWRs, if you're interested) which is available online -- I've provided the URL in previously docketed testimony.  The animations are based on government and industry documents.)

And then, there is the added problem of CASCADING NUCLEAR CATASTROPHES.  The containment dome, for example, is not designed to protect against multiple steam generator (heat REMOVAL systems) failures, only against the failure of ONE steam generator.  California's N.P.P.s' steam generators are old and one steam generator might burst INTO another steam generator, an accident the NRC claims cannot happen (see below).  Hogwash!

The Commission heard enormous amounts of evidence and reviews of misbehavior on the part of the NRC and the DOE at the "workshop" this week, from the State of Nevada, from other agencies in California, and from citizens including the undersigned, who complained that those federal agencies lied, ignored the obvious, are guilty of gross obfuscation of the facts before numerous state agencies and The People, of gross incompetence, gross ignorance, and criminal negligence in the performance of their duties, if not in so many words in all instances, certainly in so many examples.

"Official secrecy on the subject of the reactor accident hazards still prevails."

-- Dr. Webb

It's safe to say that you have been lied to by the best the NRC and DOE have to offer, let alone the NEI (whom I think we were all PARTICULARLY polite while listening to) and many others!  As you may recall, only one interruption came from the floor during the entire workshop: from a Dr. Robert Williams.  Had a rational person interrupted every time a pro-nuker made an irrational, unproven, hopelessly optimistic, or patently false statement (all of which do, in fact, deserve hooting and hollering and derision, in my opinion) there would have been pandemonium throughout the pathetic presentations by the NEI, NRC, DOE, PG&E and SCE representatives (not to mention the professor from Berkeley, who was the most confused (if not downright dishonest) of them all).  Until, of course, you had thrown us all out and there was no one left to witness (or try to prevent, as is our duty as citizens) the crime which was being committed against YOU (a separate letter to follow will have some examples from notes I took during the meeting, and I'm sure I'll be able to describe many more lies after the transcript of the workshop becomes available).  Dr. Webb goes into great detail (see below) about some of the run-arounds a nuclear scientist/whistleblower such as himself has gotten from various governments (including and in particular our federal government) as well as from the entirely pro-nuclear so-called "scientific" journals.

One has to wonder if you would have received at least slightly more honest testimony by requiring all participants to be under oath.  Maybe next time you'll do that?  It wouldn't have changed a word I said.

Lastly, please note, with reference to remarks during my live testimony on Tuesday (August 16th, 2005), that in the text below, Dr. Webb describes the zirconium fuel rod cladding as "highly pyrophoric."

A copy of this letter will be provided in written form to the Commission as part of a complete statement for Docket No. 04-IEP-1J.


Russell Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA

Items included below:

1) A review in Foreign Affairs of Dr. Webb's 1976 book: "civilian nuclear reactors should be shut down."
2) Dr. Webb's 1990 comments given in Spain
3) A revision to Dr. Webb's TMI comments, from April, 2000 (with an introduction by this concerned citizen)

Below is a review of Dr. Webb's 1976 book.  Note the reviewer's description of Dr. Webb's conclusion:  That "Civilian nuclear reactors should be shut down"


The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants. Richard E. Webb. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1976, 228 pp. $6.95 (Paper)

Reviewed by Andrew J. Pierre, Foreign Affairs, January 1977

This study of possible malfunctions of nuclear reactors, written by a nuclear engineer with AEC experience, comes to the controversial conclusion that because the risks of accidents have not been adequately examined, civilian nuclear reactors should be shut down, and a moratorium placed on the construction of new plants until society fully evaluates the balance of risks and benefits in the nuclear program.

The following is from:

The Risks of Catastrophic Accidents

at Nuclear Power Plants


Dr. Richard E. Webb

A paper for the Conferència Catalana per un Futur Sense

Nuclears, Barcelona, Spain, 25 April 1990

Preface (6 October 1999):

This paper needs considerably updated, particular in regards to the health hazards of nuclear radiation and also the Three Miles Island nuclear accident of March 28, 1979. The information given in this paper, The Risks of Catastrophic Accidents at Nuclear Power Plants, is all still valid; but my subsequent research has uncovered that the nuclear accident hazards are far worse even than evaluated in this paper particularly in respect to the health hazards of nuclear radiation and the potential catastrophic consequences to life on Earth in the event of another nuclear eruption (the Chernobyl eruption is small compared to the full potential for explosion and radioactivity releases in the type of reactors used in United States, France, Germany, Britain, Japan, Sweden, &c., mainly, the PWRS, BWRs, AGRs and Magnox). I refer to the letter/essay addressed to the People of the Area of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant, September 12, 1996. See especially Section V on the "Damaging Action of Nuclear Radiation on Body Tissues (Health Harm). I refer also to my June 1998 Harmful Effects of the Radioactive Fallout in Bavaria from the Chernobyl Reactor Eruption of April 26, 1986 A Mathematical Analysis of the Official Statistics on Still Births and Infant Deaths in Bavaria and other Parts of West Germany (1980-1993) Preview Report.

Present address (6 October 1999):
Raiffeisenstrasse 1
86868 Mittelneufnach
Bavaria, Germany


Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Webb's Qualifications and Experience 2

Webb's Research of the Nuclear Accident Hazards 3

Brief Summary of Webb's Analysis of the Nuclear Accident Hazards 5

Some examples of specific accident mechanisms: 6
Nuclear Excursions 6
Boiling Water Reactors (6)
Pressurized Water Reactors (7)
Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs) (7)
Fast Breeder Reactors (8)
Loss of Water Coolant Accidents (PWRs and BWRs) 8
Other Types of Reactor System Rupture 10

Release of Radioactive Materials 11

Potential Accident Consequences 11

Accident Probability 12

Webb's Treatises and Reports 15

The Great Necessity for an Urgent Review and Investigation of the Nuclear Accident Hazards 16

Credibility of R.E. Webb's Analyses and Warnings of the Nuclear Accident Hazards 20

Our Situation 23

Constitutional Law Perspective 26

What Should be Done? 27



The Risks of Catastrophic Accidents
at Nuclear Power Plants


Dr. Richard E. Webb

A paper for the Conferència Catalana per un Futur Sense Nuclears, Barcelona, Spain, 25 April 1990

I am very honored to be invited to appear before this conference in Catalonia and give my views of the risks of accidents in nuclear power reactors. I believe the organizations who are sponsoring this conference are very wise to have called together this conference to review the matter of the nuclear accident hazards, and in particular to learn about my research and analyses of the accident hazards of nuclear power reactors. For I have determined by my research and scientific analyses and calculations that there are extremely grave and imminent dangers of catastrophic reactor accidents - reactor eruptions and nuclear explosions - which potentially could be ruinous for most of Europe, due to enormous releases of radioactive substances into the Earth's atmosphere and its fallout on the land.

The People of the world, especially in Europe, America, and Japan, where nuclear power plants are concentrated, are in an extremely difficult predicament - having become more and more dependent on nuclear energy while exposing ourselves to increasing risks of a radioactive cataclysm, which the public is all too slowly becoming aware of.

The issue of the safety of nuclear power plants has been vigorously debated in America and Europe since about 1970 (the year of the first "Earth Day"), beginning mainly with the public hearings in the atomic licensing proceedings for the Shoreham nuclear power plant on Long Island in New York. I participated in the Shoreham hearings in 1970 and raised in public for the first time my questions about the safety of nuclear power plants. {See note no. 1.} In the last twenty years throughout America and Europe, there have been countless public meetings, law suits in courts, books and published articles, reactor licensing proceedings, Government hearings, and public debates on the issue of "nuclear safety" and the reactor accident risks. During these years we have experienced a reactor core meltdown accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in 1979, which by sheer luck ended without a catastrophic explosion, and a catastrophic reactor accident in 1986 in the Soviet Union, which contaminated most of Europe - the Chernobyl accident. Fortunately, the Chernobyl reactor eruption was relatively small (roughly three percent release of the radioactive material), compared to the full nuclear accident potentials of the reactors used in western Europe, America, and elsewhere in the world, namely, Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs), Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs), Gas-Cooled Reactors, and Fast Breeder Reactors. We also have had many near accidents, which are generally not known about.

In addition, our body of knowledge of the nuclear accident hazards, the potentials for reactor eruptions, and the potential harmful radiation consequences of catastrophic accidents has been considerably extended over the years by the scientific research of many different scientists and nuclear laboratories, including my research.

Yet, despite all of this debate and advancements of scientific knowledge of the nuclear accident hazards, and the occurrence of a catastrophic accident in Europe, and a near-catastrophic accident in America, the nuclear safety issue is still far from being resolved. The Governments of the nuclear developing countries are pushing for more and more nuclear reactors, while the safety debate in Europe drags on, still vigorously, but at a much reduced level after its peak following Chernobyl. I have a sense that the nationally organized nuclear safety debate in America has practically ceased (it never was much of anything anyway, in my opinion; {See note no. 2.} the substantive debate mostly was conducted at the local level with private citizen initiatives, including, if I may add, my own efforts).

However, due to a good amount of news reporting, mostly about the Three Mile Island accident and more on the Chernobyl accident and its consequences, most people are now quite apprehensive about the nuclear reactor dangers. They are not really sure about their safety - they don't believe they really know the dangers. However, they do not know what to do about it, other than resign themselves to accept the nuclear risks as unavoidable. This existing state of affairs of the nuclear accident risks cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely. Our nuclear hazards problem must be resolved.

The purpose of this paper (my appearance before this conference) is to summarize my analyses of the nuclear accident hazards, based on my research and debates with the nuclear authorities and their experts, to warn about catastrophic nuclear accident potentials and dangers, to urge that a full review and investigation of the nuclear accident hazards be undertaken in Spain, to reflect on the nature of our predicament with nuclear energy, and to offer specific ideas on how to resolve our great nuclear hazards problem. I believe that the analyses of the nuclear accident hazards which I have made and developed over the past twenty years of research are vitally important to the safety of the people of the world; and therefore, I shall try in this paper to demonstrate the necessity for a full-scale, international investigation into the nuclear accident hazards and a true resolution of the nuclear safety issue as soon as possible.

Webb's Qualifications and Experience

As for my scientific qualifications for making analyses and evaluations of the nuclear accident hazards, I refer to Attachment 1 of this Paper, which is a summary of my background. Basically, I have a university baccalaureate degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, which I received in 1962, and a doctorate degree in Nuclear Reactor Physics and Engineering from Ohio State University in 1972. My doctoral research dissertation investigated explosive power transients in fast breeder reactors.

Prior to my doctoral studies I served four years (1963-1967) in the United States Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), Division of Naval Reactors, with responsibility as a junior engineer for the reactor part of the Shippingport Pressurized Water Reactor - the first civilian nuclear power plant in the United States and the forerunner prototype of the PWRs now operating throughout the Western world. While serving in the Atomic Energy Commission I studied and graduated at the Reactor Engineering School of the AEC's Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in Pennsylvania in 1965, and trained at two prototype naval reactor plants at the AEC's Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in New York State. (The Bettis laboratory was operated by Westinghouse Corporation for the Naval Reactors Division of the AEC.) I also gained experience with the Boiling Water Reactor at the Big Rock Point nuclear power plant in Michigan, where I was designated to be the Reactor Engineer, until I resigned in January 1968, because of questions in my mind about the safety of nuclear power plants. I then studied for the doctorate degree in nuclear reactor physics and engineering, in order to be able to make my own independent evaluations of the accident hazards of nuclear power plants. I believe that my graduate studies, and reactor engineering, schooling, training and experience has made me fully qualified to research the nuclear accident hazards and evaluate the reactor safety analyses of the nuclear industry.

Webb's Research of the Nuclear Accident Hazards

I began my research of the nuclear accident hazards in 1970 with my doctoral research into explosive power transients, or "super prompt critical power excursions," in liquid metal cooled, fast-neutron, plutonium breeding reactors, called "fast breeder reactors." I investigated theoretically two conceptual possibilities for autocatalytic reactivity effects in hypothetical core meltdown and power excursion accidents in fast breeder reactors (two early designs).

In parallel with my research at Ohio State University I studied United States Constitutional Law (political science), and found that the atomic law in America - the Atomic Energy Act of the U.S. Congress - which is the statutory basis for the promotion of nuclear energy in America, is unconstitutional - that the United States Government was never given the constitutional authority (power) to promote nuclear energy, nor any broader, general authority to promote science, technology or industry. This finding led me to the realization that the official United States Government's judgments of the safety of nuclear power plants were (and still are) illegal - that the subjective judgments of the safety of nuclear reactors, or rather of the acceptability of the accident risks, made and forced on the American society by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (now divided into two organizations, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Department of Energy) are not valid with respect to the constitutional, democratic process that was established in America by the United States Constitution, and the Constitutions of the individual States of the federal Union, for making the major public policy judgments affecting the safety and well-being of the People and what is to be promoted in the way of industry and technology in America.

This realization of the unconstitutionality of the U.S. Government's civilian nuclear power program and my original studies of possible catastrophic reactor accidents caused me to undertake a comprehensive and independent scientific investigation into the accident hazards of all types of nuclear power plants and a thorough evaluation of the official "reactor safety" analyses and "risk assessments." This research, which was begun in 1970, and which continues to this day (twenty years of full-time research), has covered all of the major types of nuclear power reactors, namely:
Pressurized Water Reactors (PWRs),
Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs),
Fast Breeder Reactors (FBRs),
Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs),

CANDU (Canada's Heavy Water Moderated, Pressure-Tube Reactor),
Soviet's RBMK (Chernobyl type reactor), and
High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactors.

I have concentrated in my research, however, on the PWRs, BWRs, FBRs, and the AGRs.

My investigations of the reactor accident hazards covered all types of reactor accidents, namely:
super-prompt critical power excursions;
loss of reactor coolant (e.g., coolant system pipe ruptures);
loss of reactor cooling (e.g., loss of feedwater to the steam generators in PWRs);
reactor vessel rupture;
steam generator rupture;
reactor over-power transients; and
loss of cooling of the on-site spent fuel storage basins following a reactor accident.

Furthermore, I have thoroughly investigated the Three Mile Island accident, the Chernobyl accident, and many other mishaps that are not generally known, in order to assess the probability or likelihood, hence the risks, of catastrophic accidents. In addition, since my calculations and analyses indicate that there exists potentials for reactor eruptions and near full releases of radioactive fission products and plutonium into the Earth's atmosphere as vapors and smoke, my hazards analyses are extended to evaluate the potential consequences of reactor eruptions in terms of the size land areas of contaminated land which could have to be abandoned, the size land areas ruined for food growing agriculture, the radiation doses to the affected human population, and even estimates of the possible number of cancer deaths due to radiation exposures from a reactor accident.

Over the years of my research I have written and issued many treatises and reports which set down my various analyses. See Attachment 2 for a list of my various reports and treatises. My first comprehensive treatise, The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants, was published in 1976 by the University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, Massachusetts.

In order to subject my analyses to critical scientific reviews, I have submitted my works to the atomic licensing authorities and nuclear scientists in various nuclear laboratories in the United States, West Germany and Great Britain, and to some extent in Sweden. Most recently, I have participated in the British Government's Hinkley Point 'C' Public Inquiry, which was held to consider the application of the Central Electricity Generation Board to build a second Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) in Great Britain (modified Westinghouse design Sizewell-B type) at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station in western England. In addition, I held over the years countless discussions with nuclear experts in the U.S. Government and in the nuclear laboratories, mostly in America, but also in West Germany and Great Britain, when making my investigations, theoretical calculations, and my various analyses.

In 1981-1982 I participated in the West German Government's study project for analyzing the explosion accident risks of the SNR-300 fast breeder reactor at Kalkar, North-Rhein Westfalia in West Germany - a project which I believe was undertaken by the West German federal Government as a result of a series of treatises I issued in 1977-1979 on the "nuclear explosion potentials" of that reactor.

I also was involved in the Three Mile Island accident, giving technical advice to the Pennsylvania state government officials and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on how to cool down the reactor core, which I determined was destroyed, with the least risk of a catastrophic eruption. My technical advice was followed. (See item of my list of works.) In August 1984 I issued a report Catastrophic Nuclear Accident Hazards - A Warning for Europe. During the Chernobyl accident I gave technical advice to the Soviet authorities through discussions with the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. {See note no. 3.} Later in August 1986 I issued my analysis of the Chernobyl accident, The Chernobyl Nuclear Accident - A Summary Analysis of its Cause and Consequences with a Comparative Analysis of the Accident Hazards of the Western Reactors.

Brief Summary of Webb's Analysis
of the Nuclear Accident Hazards

All of the major types of nuclear power reactors which I have studied in depth - namely, the PWRs, BWRs, fast breeder reactors, and the AGRs - have potentials for enormous reactor eruptions and explosions in accidents. Furthermore, I find that the risks or probability of such accidents is quite high, contrary to officials claims of extremely low probabilities of catastrophic accidents and acceptably low risks of accidents. It is not possible to predict with certainty the magnitude of the release of the radioactive fission products and plutonium into the Earth's atmosphere in such reactor eruptions or explosions, but a near full release is plausible and definitely cannot be excluded; nor can it be proven that, given a reactor eruption/explosion, the probability of a near full release is low.

There is virtually an infinite number of different catastrophic accident possibilities or potentialities for the pressurized water reactors (PWRs) and boiling water reactors (BWRs), which are the types of reactors used in Spain and the rest of western Europe, except for one gas-cooled reactor in Spain and in France, and the gas-cooled reactors in Britain, and two FBRs. The accident possibilities for PWRs and BWRs can be divided into several general types, as follows:
- nuclear runaway (power excursions);
- core meltdown upon loss of cooling or loss of reactor coolant, due to fission product heating and exothermic zirconium-steam chemical reactions;
- reactor vessel ruptures, spontaneously or due to an over-pressurization; and
- reactor containment vessel ruptures on over-pressurization.

The first two types of accidents - nuclear runaway and core meltdown - can result in enormous "steam explosions," by the process of mixing molten fuel with water, like an explosive volcano. The last two have the potentials for enormous explosions due simply to the explosive release of pressure energy.

The fast breeder reactors have nuclear explosion potentialities, defined as a super-prompt critical power excursion which vaporizes the nuclear fuel and results in the explosion of the reactor core by the force of high fuel vapor pressure generated extremely rapidly by the power excursion. The Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs) used in Britain also have nuclear explosion accident potentials, due to an "autocatalytic reactivity effect" of fuel expansion in the coolant channels of the reactor's graphite block during a nuclear runaway caused by the melting down of the steel cladding of the fuel rods. (I have not been able to analyze the Soviet's RBMK/Chernobyl type reactor adequately for its full accident potentials; but I can conclude that the Western reactors (PWRs, BWRs, AGRs, and fast breeder reactors) are in most respects much more dangerous than the RBMK reactor. (I refer to my Chernobyl Report, item in Attachment 2.)

Some examples of specific accident mechanisms are as follows:

1. Nuclear Excursions

(a) Boiling Water Reactors. The worst-case nuclear excursion accident potentially in a BWR could occur by a sudden closure of the isolation valves of the steam outlet pipes from the reactor vessel, while the reactor is operating at full power, followed by a failure of the automatic shutdown of the reactor (control rods scram), plus a failure of an additional reactivity control action involving the automatic stoppage of the reactor coolant recirculation pumps. In this event the reactor steam pressure rises rapidly due to the closed steam valves and the continued full reactor power level, causing steam bubbles to be rapidly compressed in the reactor core, which, in turn, causes a rise in the reactivity, and consequently a power excursion. The heat of the excursion worsens the pressure surge, which, in turn, causes continued steam bubble compression and still more reactivity increases, which causes the power level to rise still more and at a faster rate - an unstable positive reactivity feedback process. The result, by my calculations, is a potential catastrophic nuclear excursion within ten seconds! There is a great amount of reactivity potential in the steam bubbles in the core, which would be released by compressing the bubbles (pressure rise), or collapsing the bubbles by cold feedwater injection, or sweeping the bubbles out of the core by a surge in coolant flow through the core. This reactivity potential creates catastrophic power excursion accident hazards, and even unstable power oscillations, if the recirculation pumps were shut off (natural circulation coolant flow through the reactor core).

It has been assumed and predicted in past official safety analyses that shutting off the reactor coolant recirculation pumps automatically in the event of a reactor transient accident, in which the steam valves trip shut without a prompt, automatic reactor shutdown, would cause the water coolant in the reactor core to heat up and boil more vigorously (the opposite of collapsing the steam bubbles), due to the stoppage of the forced coolant flow, and that this would by the growth of the steam bubbles prevent a dangerous rise in the reactivity. However, unstable, divergent power oscillations occurred in a BWR in America (the LaSalle reactor near Chicago) following an accidental shut-off of the recirculation pumps while at power (no reactor shutdown). These divergent power oscillations were not predicted in the official safety analyses for the reactor. This incident has thus revealed that there is no assured protection in severe BWR transients (accidents involving a failure of the automatic reactor shutdown) by the automatic back-up safety action of shutting off the recirculation pumps, as has been previously assumed. In other words, there is a danger of a catastrophe in a BWR transient-accident, regardless of whether or not the coolant-circulation pumps are automatically tripped off. If a transient occurs where the reactor steam valves trip shut with a failure of the reactor shutdown system to shut down the reactor automatically, and if the recirculation pumps were not promptly shut off, a catastrophic power excursion could occur. But even if the recirculation pumps were promptly shut off, divergent power oscillations could occur, which conceivably could still be catastrophic. The latter possibility has yet to be evaluated by scientifically established, experimentally verified theoretical models of a BWR (to my knowledge). The former possibility would definitely be catastrophic, I am sure.

(b) Pressurized Water Reactors. In a PWR a rupture of a defective steel pressure housing for one of the fifty-five or so control rod drive mechanisms (CRDMs) on top of the reactor closure head while the reactor is operating could cause a chain reaction of such ruptures of other CRDM housings, if similarly defective, due to violent mechanical effects of the rupture, and consequently, cause the ejection of a number of control rods from the reactor core, driven by the sudden pressure differential created by the housing ruptures - the reactor coolant pressure blowing the control rod drive shafts out of the reactor and with them their attached control rods. The rise in the reactivity due to the multiple control rod ejections would produce a serious nuclear excursion - an accident which so far has not been analyzed and evaluated in the open scientific literature, including the published official reports of the nuclear industry or the nuclear laboratories, as far as I have been able to determine. Also, a rupture of a steam generator could produce missiles that could slam into the CRDMs and conceivably cause a number of simultaneous CRDM housing ruptures and control rod ejections.

The most serious nuclear runaway accident possibility in a PWR would appear to be the sudden injection of unborated water into the reactor from any one of four nitrogen-pressurized water tanks of the Emergency Core Cooling System (called accumulators) while the reactor is shutdown (all control rods inserted). This accident has never been evaluated by theoretical calculations for its power excursion/energy release potential; but the potential for reactivity increase is enormous, so we must assume an extremely powerful reactor explosion would occur.

(c) Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs). For the AGR a nuclear explosion is potentially possible following a sudden loss of electric power to the motors of the reactor coolant gas blowers/circulators while at full reactor power, together with a failure of a prompt automatic reactor shutdown. With the rapid loss of flow through the reactor fuel/coolant channels in the graphite (neutron moderator) block, and with the continued production of atomic fission energy (high reactor power), I calculate that the steel cladding of the fuel rods would begin to melt in about 30 to 60 seconds. (The calculation is dynamical, allowing for doppler reactivity feedback by the fuel heat up and the resultant power decay and other essential effects.) The drainage of molten steel away from the most reactive region of the reactor could trigger a nuclear runaway (power excursion), due to the fact that steel absorbs neutrons, so its drainage-removal upon melting is like removing control rods from the reactor, which raises the reactivity. The resulting nuclear excursion would then tend to melt and partially vaporize the fuel in the fuel/coolant channels in the graphite block, to cause the fuel material in the channels to expand vertically (frothing) and to expel itself from the fuel channels. I have discovered by my theoretical calculations that this fuel expansion/expulsion process would increase the reactivity, and thereby intensify the on-going nuclear excursion. This is an autocatalytic or positive feedback effect, where the intensified nuclear excursion causes the fuel to boil more violently, to accelerate the fuel expansion/expulsion process, and cause still greater reactivity increases, and so on in a positive feedback manner, until high fuel vapor pressures develop to explode the reactor apart - a nuclear explosion. The explosion would be compounded by a likely steam explosion due to the destruction of the reactor boilers and the release of water to mix with the ultra-hot molten fuel material, and also by the release of explosion energy stored in the form of the high pressure coolant gas in the reactor vessel, when the vessel is ruptured by the nuclear/steam explosion, as well as by the exploding boilers.

(d) Fast Breeder Reactors. Great Britain is operating a fairly large fast breeder reactor at Dounreay in northern Scotland - the Prototype Fast Reactor (PFR), and West Germany has built but not yet operated the SNR-300 fast breeder reactor, which is closely similar in core design to the PFR. Of course, there is the Super-Phenix fast breeder reactor in France. The fast breeder reactor has many possibilities for autocatalytic reactivity effects and nuclear explosions. Because the neutrons are maintained at high speeds (fast neutrons) in this type reactor, the fast breeder reactor approaches the physical character of an atomic bomb in its behavior in an accident. Perhaps the most serious possibility is a loss of flow of the liquid sodium coolant through the reactor core with a failure of a prompt automatic shutdown of the reactor. Slight compactions or slumping of the mass of fuel rods in the reactor core upon melting can cause the reactivity to rise and a power excursion, which in turn can cause a gross fuel meltdown and core disruption. A sodium vapor explosion caused by a very small amount of liquid sodium (a few grams) mixing with a few kilograms of molten fuel can, if occurring on the core periphery, blast a relatively small amount of fuel into the core interior to generate a catastrophic rise in reactivity - a nuclear explosion. The consequences would be the vaporization of all of the plutonium fuel and its fission products and the release of this material into the Earth's atmosphere with enormous catastrophic consequences.

The most serious mechanism for a nuclear explosion is "autocatalytic assembly," due to the physical fact of fast breeder reactors that the fuel material in the reactor core, if fully compacted, can make about twelve to fifteen "critical" masses of fuel material - where one critical mass is sufficient to undergo a multiplying fission chain reaction, or nuclear excursion. So, one super-critical mass could form in a core disruption accident and produce a "small" nuclear explosion. As the explosion develops (on the time scale of tens or hundreds of microseconds), it could drive other fuel masses together at high velocities to yield an extremely powerful secondary nuclear excursion. One calculation that I have made using an idealized model predicts an explosion potential of 3 kilotons of TNT, which approaches atomic bomb size, like Hiroshima (13 kilotons), with no upper limit yet established for the explosion potential by the "autocatalytic assembly" mechanism, since the secondary excursion/explosion could go on to compress or compact other fuel material in the reactor to cause a tertiary reaction, and so on - all happening in a few tens of microseconds or less maybe.

The matter of the fast breeder reactor explosion hazards is relevant today not only because of the fast breeder reactors operating in Britain and France, and the SNR-300 in Germany waiting for a license to operate, but also because we can expect that in the future most reactors (90%) will be fast breeder reactors, if the use of nuclear energy is continued and further developed to replace the dwindling fossil fuels, in order to support the present, highly industrialized modern way of life in the developed world.

2. Loss of Water Coolant Accidents (PWRs and BWRs). A catastrophic meltdown of the reactor fuel a PWR or BWR can occur in a number of different ways. The most straight forward way is a spontaneous rupture of a high pressure coolant pipe of the reactor coolant circulation system, due to some defect of fabrication or welding, followed by a failure of the emergency core cooling system to actuate or function properly to supply sufficient cooling water to the reactor to prevent severe over-heating and disintegration of the fuel rods. Emergency coolant/water injection is needed to replenish the water coolant that is lost through the rupture. The failure of the emergency core cooling system could happen if just two valves of the system are closed at the time of the reactor system rupture, instead of being open, as is required for safety when the reactors is operating. (The Three Mile Island accident was caused in part by two valves having been closed when they should have been open.) The valves in question are the isolation valves of the "accumulators" (water tanks), which must promptly discharge their contents into the reactor immediately after the reactor system pipe rupture (time scale of seconds).

Another meltdown possibility in a PWR is for the reactor to suffer an over-power mishap or loss of cooling (loss of feedwater injection to the steam generators), resulting in core over-heating and a severe rise in coolant pressure (normally operating at about 155 bar pressure). The combination of defective (weak) piping and the pressure surge could result in a pipe rupture. The Emergency Core Cooling System is not designed for this type accident possibility. We can expect that a fuel meltdown would result, since the designed-for loss of coolant accident would impose severe demands on the Emergency Core Cooling System; and so any worse loss of coolant accident would more likely not be controlled.

Another possibility is a small rupture of a reactor coolant circulation pipe together with a failure of a prompt automatic reactor shutdown (rapid insertion of the control rods into the reactor core). The Emergency Core Cooling System is not designed for this type of accident possibility either; and a meltdown would result, according to the official Reactor Safety Study of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This type accident has never been analyzed in the open literature for the behavior of the reactor core, to indicate how energetic or rapid the meltdown process would be.

A meltdown of the reactor core would pose the danger of a catastrophic steam explosion, due to the interaction of molten fuel and any residual water in the reactor vessel. The full potential of such steam explosions is of the order of 100,000 pounds of TNT equivalent explosion. The involvement of just ten to twenty percent (10-20%) of the core fuel mass could cause a steam explosion of such a force to propel the 100-ton reactor vessel closure head upwards to a height of the order of a kilometer. The nuclear industry and the nuclear licensing authorities (the NRC in America, though an unconstitutional government body, in my opinion) claim that the probability of a catastrophic steam explosion given a core meltdown is low, because of a contention that the efficiency of an interaction of molten fuel with water to convert thermal energy into destructive mechanical energy would be low. However, this contention is mere assumption, based on inadequate miniature-scale experimentation and unscientific and arbitrary interpretations of the results of the experiments. In fact, in a 1984 experiment at Sandia Laboratories in the United States a surprise "spectacular" steam explosion occurred in a small-scale fuel melt simulation experiment that destroyed the test facility; and the chief scientist for the experiment has published an analysis concluding that a fully efficient thermal-to-mechanical energy conversion in the observed explosion cannot be excluded. (The efficiency was not be measured in the experiment, perhaps due in part to the destruction that occurred.) In Great Britain, a small-scale steam explosion experiment resulted in damage to the simulated reactor vessel - a fact not revealed to the public by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), who conducted the experiment, until I inquired into the facts of the experiment, when I confronted the authorities with evidence that damage had occurred. Furthermore, the UKAEA has refused my requests for a disclosure of the full details of the experimental results, which are needed so that one could determine just how energetic and efficient the observed steam explosion was; and they refused my requests to examine the test facility and question the scientists who performed the experiments.

One would need full-scale reactor destructive experiments anyway, to settle the questions of the efficiency and energy release of a reactor meltdown type steam explosion. But since such experiments are not practical, we can only assume that the chances of a catastrophic steam explosion occurring in any core meltdown accident are high! The destructive steam explosion experiment made at the Sandia Laboratories occurred in the second of two trials/tests - the first test or trial resulted in no explosion, merely vigorous boiling. These facts show that steam explosions by molten fuel/water interactions are unpredictable - a "chance phenomenon" that depends on haphazard complex processes which cannot be modelled theoretically. Therefore, based on the Sandia experiment we can only conclude that the chances of a catastrophic steam explosion in a reactor accident is about "fifty-fifty," that is 50%. Also, we must remember that the Sandia experiment used only 20 kilograms of simulated core melt material; whereas a reactor core meltdown could involved nearly a hundred tons of molten material. There are sound physical reasons to assume that the efficiency of a molten fuel/water interaction to produce a steam explosion would be greater when the mass of molten material and water in an interaction is greater, due to inertia confinement of the thermal reaction of the melt material with the water.

Incidentally, it has been found that about one half of the fuel in the destroyed Three Mile Island reactor (the TMI accident in 1979) had melted down - the molten fuel resided in the reactor core as a single pool of molten material contained in a frozen shell embedded in the remaining core debris and surrounded by water in the reactor vessel. In view of the Sandia experiment we can only conclude that it was pure luck that a catastrophic steam explosion did not occur in that accident.

Moreover, a steam explosion is not the only way a core meltdown could end in a catastrophic reactor plant eruption or explosion. A core meltdown in an intact, highly pressurized reactor coolant system following a loss of cooling accident (loss of feedwater to the steam generators), or a loss of coolant (stuck open pressure relief valve) could weaken the vessel and result in the core melting through the reactor vessel. The resulting pressurized ejection of the molten core material into the containment chamber could cause the containment pressure to rise excessively and burst the containment vessel (building) - an enormous explosion!

3. Other Types of Reactor System Rupture. The reactor vessel could rupture spontaneously due to a design or fabrication defect; or it could rupture as a result of an over-pressurization of the reactor in an over-power or loss of cooling mishap. A reactor vessel rupture could destroy the containment and eject the reactor core into the atmosphere with consequences which can only be guessed, due to a lack of analysis; but we should assume that a near full release of the radioactivity into the atmosphere as smoke would occur (the material could burn, as the zirconium fuel rod cladding is highly pyrophoric).

Another accident possibility is a reactor system disturbance which results in a strong rise in the steam pressure of the secondary system of the pressurized water reactor - the system of steam generators, steam lines and feedwater. A defective steam line could then rupture; or it could rupture spontaneously. If the other two or three steam generators are not promptly isolated from the ruptured line by automatic closure of isolation valves, then more than one steam generator would blow out its hot, pressurized boiler water into the containment chamber and over-pressurize the containment vessel/building by steam and heated air, and burst it - a catastrophic explosion, which could send reactor plant fragments flying a mile or so in every direction. One can only imagine the consequences in terms of radioactivity release to the atmosphere. Alternatively, a steam pressure surge could rupture more than one steam line (from a steam generator), due to a common defect, and cause the "blowdown" of more than one steam generator in the containment chamber, thereby bursting the containment. (The containment vessel/building is not designed for a blowdown of more than one steam generator.)

Release of Radioactive Materials

It is impossible to predict the amounts of each type of radioactive substances in the reactor core which would be expelled or released into the atmosphere in any of the reactor eruption or explosion possibilities. However, the extreme high temperatures of the fuel material involved and the enormous explosion potentials do suggest that we ought to assume that practically all of the radioactivity could be expelled into the Earth's atmosphere, where it could then be carried and dispersed by the winds, to cause geographically widespread fallout contamination. The official hazards analyses of core meltdown accidents have assumed a small hole rupture of containment building due to a steam explosion or containment over-pressurization, with the containment vessel/building essentially remaining intact to trap and contain most of the fission product and plutonium radioactivity that could issue from the fuel material. Such assumptions, I find, are arbitrary, and neglect the full potentials for reactor eruptions or explosions, and explosive containment ruptures. Moreover, the official hazards analyses examine only a few severe accident possibilities, and ignore the great many worse type possibilities, especially nuclear runaway, severe steam explosions, and reactor vessel ruptures, etc.

Potential Accident Consequences

The potential harmful consequences of a reactor plant eruption are truly catastrophic in magnitude. From a near full release of fission products and plutonium from just one reactor, about 200,000 square kilometers of land could have to be abandoned, due to high Gamma-radiation levels from the ground fallout, according to my analysis. (The size of West Germany is about 250,000 square kilometers, and Spain, 490,000 sq. kilometers. A like size area could have to be abandoned due alone to man-made plutonium fallout dust (Alpha-radiation) - a lung cancer hazard - following a PWR or BWR eruption, and up to one million square kilometers in the case of a nuclear explosion accident in a plutonium-fuelled fast breeder reactor, which contains much more plutonium. Several hundred thousand square kilometers could be ruined agriculturally for food growing due to long-lasting Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 fallout. There are many other forms of radiation exposure, such as radiation damage to the thyroid gland (cancer) from radioactive Iodine, and exposure of the skin to Beta-radiation, and inhalation of radioactive fission products besides plutonium dust. The combined effects are incalculable in terms of injury and impaired health to humans (and animals). The possibility of fifty million or more cancer deaths cannot be excluded.

In addition, a reactor eruption or containment explosion can directly destroy one or more adjacent reactors in a multi-reactor nuclear power station, or otherwise trigger internal eruptions or explosions in the other reactors on the nuclear power site. In Great Britain nuclear sites typically have up to four rectors, in France, four to six reactors side by side (e.g. Gravelines). Therefore, there are the potentials for multiple reactor eruptions, to horribly multiply the potential catastrophic consequences as much as six fold - all triggered by a single reactor eruption. The radiation consequences could be ruinous for most of Europe, and the social disruptions and breakdown in social order and barbarism are all too horrible to contemplate.

There is also the possibilities for releases of still more radioactivity from stored spent fuel at a reactor plant. I do not have any information on the quantity of spent fuel stored in the storage basins in European reactors; but in America, where spent fuel rods are simply accumulating at the nuclear power plants (compact storage), due to the unsolved nuclear waste disposal problem, it is possible and likely that a catastrophic reactor explosion would cause the eruption of the spent fuel storage (zirconium fire), releasing up to twenty times more Strontium-90, Cesium-137 and Plutonium into the Earth's atmosphere as smoke than what one reactor eruption could alone release. A set of reactor eruptions and their spent fuel storages at the Browns Ferry nuclear power station in Alabama (three BWRs), for instance, could make most of the Eastern United States including Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, Boston - that whole eastern region of the United States - uninhabitable for hundreds of years, if not permanently due to the Plutonium contamination.

And finally, there is the ultimate possibility that a multiple of reactor eruptions at a nuclear power station say in France or Great Britain could cause indirectly reactor accidents at other nuclear stations in Europe and Britain, due to the general social and economic disruptions caused by the first accident, including failures of electricity supplies needed for maintaining core cooling, to continuously remove the perpetual fission product heat, and plant crew members quitting the plants, because of high radiation levels from fallout and the social chaos and crises of the families of the crew members. So it is conceivable that a reactor accident could trigger a chain reaction of reactor eruptions across Europe with more and more radiation contamination to cause more social disruption and consequently more nuclear accidents/eruptions, and so on in a radioactive cataclysm. What then about the possibility of the outbreak of war and the use of nuclear weapons by military commanders and government leaders going mad. We need to fully evaluate the nuclear accident hazards.

Accident Probability

To be sure nuclear power plants are equipped with various safety systems, a degree of backup systems, and on-site emergency electric power generators, all of which are designed to prevent a core meltdown or a nuclear runaway (reactor eruptions or explosions) in the event of certain types of accidents called "design basis accidents." Basically, a particular design basis accident assumes a single failure of some reactor system component, except the reactor vessel in PWRs and BWRs, which is assumed never to rupture. Then the reactor designers purport to show in their reactor safety analysis reports for licensing that the safety systems would respond to such faults and control the reactor and cool it down safely. Generally, the official safety analyses assume one or a few additional component failures in the various safety equipment/systems, to demonstrate some margin of safety, to allow for the possibility of additional failures in the safety action taken in the course of an accident; but there are infinite possibilities for additional failures, and the additional failures assumed in the official safety analyses are very meager, and quite arbitrary and rather minor.

The catastrophic reactor accident possibilities generally involve multiple reactor system and safety system failures following some initiating fault - either common-mode failures, or consequential/sequential failures of components, except for a spontaneous reactor vessel rupture or steam generator rupture, which are single failure type catastrophic accident potentialities. The reactor and its containment vessel/building are not designed to prevent a radiation catastrophe in an accident which is worse or more severe than the design-basis accident, called "beyond design basis accidents." Because of the enormous complexity of nuclear power reactor plants, the enormous number of instruments, valves, pipes, electrical cabling, and components, there is virtually an infinite number of potentially catastrophic accident possibilities. If one studies the Sizewell-B type PWR, for example, one would find that the design-basis accident possibilities are arbitrarily defined or selected. There are an innumerable number of worse accident possibilities - beyond the design basis - which are potentially catastrophic and which are just as credible as the design basis accidents.

The fact is, that reactor experience shows that accidents or mishaps occur, and involve multiple failures, which do not follow the design-basis accident assumptions. The Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents are examples. The fact that the past reactor accidents and mishaps in western reactors have been controlled is mostly due to luck. That no catastrophe has yet to occur in Western reactors is due to the professional care given in the construction and operation of the reactors; but nevertheless mishaps have been occurring, and we have been lucky that the operators have managed to control the reactors in those events.

The public's perception of the reactor accident risks is distorted by the lack of published analyses, and therefore, knowledge, of the catastrophic accident potentialities, and because the accidents which have occurred at nuclear power plants in the West (fortunately short of catastrophic) are not made known nor even analyzed by the authorities, except for a few selected cases. In America the nuclear reactor operators must give to the U.S. Government (the Nuclear Regulatory Commission) written reports of any "abnormal incidents" that occur which meet certain reporting criteria. Since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 there have been over 30,000 abnormal incidents. These reports have never been analyzed to determine which incidents and how many were beyond the design basis of the reactor and its safety systems, so that we do not know how close we might have come to a catastrophic accident in each of these instances. In the very few cases that have been analyzed in published reports, we have come very close indeed to catastrophic accidents. In Europe I find that all abnormal incident reports are kept secret from the public. But we know that mishaps are occurring. For instance, in 1987 at the Biblis PWR plant in West Germany, the operators violated safety rules and opened a valve that was not designed to operate under reactor coolant pressure. The result was a loss of coolant accident, with hot steam being discharged in a room containing the emergency core cooling equipment. Luckily, the operators managed to shut off the valve, to stop the coolant discharge. This event became known because someone revealed the secret report on the incident to a journalist. In short, we really do not know much about what goes on inside these reactor plants in regard to mishaps, accidents, and violations of safety rules; so we cannot fully assess or perceive the accident risks. The fact that no catastrophic accident has occurred in the West does not mean necessarily that the reactors are safe.

There is also a credibility problem with official reports. Early this year the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in Britain (two AGRs and two Magnox reactors) suffered a loss of cooling mishap due to an electric power failure that occurred in a storm. (The incident came to light when workers at the plant revealed the fact of the mishap to a member of Parliament.) The official statement on the mishap assured the public that there was never any danger whatsoever of a fuel meltdown in the mishap, and that the reactor continued to be cooled during the power failure. However, when I investigated the incident, I found that the emergency feedwater pumps to the reactor boilers are electric powered, so that the electric power failure resulted in the loss of feed water injections. Consequently, during the period of the loss of electric power, the reactor was heating up, not cooling down; and furthermore, the plant official who assured the public on television that there was no danger of a reactor meltdown whatsoever, did not know, when I asked him, how much time was available to restore electric power and feedwater injection before the fuel cladding would being to melt. (We still do not know.)

In America, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued an impressive, detailed report of their official investigation of a loss of cooling (loss of feedwater) mishap at the Davis-Besse PWR in Ohio in June 1985. However, the report neglected to reveal the most important fact about the mishap: that the pressurizer vessel almost filled completely with water due to the thermal expansion of the over-heated reactor coolant, before the feedwater flow was restored fourteen minutes into the mishap; and that had the pressurizer gone "water solid" (filled completely with water), the reactor could have undergone a rapid, severe pressure surge and exploded, because the pressure relief valves ("safety valves") on the pressurizer vessel were not designed to vent water, only steam on over-pressure - an unpublished fact that I uncovered in my investigations of the mishap. (The pressurizer is designed to be operated with a steam volume, and is not designed for a water solid condition.) I found a similar lack of candor by the West German authorities in their evaluation of the Biblis loss of coolant mishap of 1987. Such shortcomings cause me to conclude that there is a serious problem of establishing just what is the accident experience at nuclear power plants in the world.

There is a fair amount of safety built into a nuclear power plant, including a fair degree of back-up emergency equipment; and the operators and maintenance crews and management personnel of nuclear power plants are diligent in carrying out their responsibilities to operate the plants with professional care and safety. Nevertheless, there are risks of catastrophic accidents. Accidents can happen; and the potential harmful consequences are practically infinitely greater than the public has been led to believe by the official safety/hazards evaluations.

The official analyses of the accident hazards are, therefore, grossly inadequate and make optimistic assumptions that conceal the full dangers; and official secrecy about the accident potentials and experience impedes the efforts of independent scientists to make a full evaluation of the reactor accident hazards, toward establishing scientifically the true extent of the risks of catastrophic accidents.

There is also possibilities for sabotage. The Three Mile Island accident may have been caused by sabotage. Very early in the accident - in the first day or two - before it was disclosed how serious the accident really was, CBS Television Evening News (a major prime-time national television broadcast in the U.S.) reported that a local magazine in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area, where the Three Mile Island Plant is located, published in the summer before the accident a fiction story of a reactor accident occurring at the Three Mile Island plant; and the date of the accident in the fiction story, according to the CBS news report, is March 28th - the date when the actual accident occurred. (I have this news report on a tape recording.) That the date in the fiction story is the same as the date of the actual TMI accident, which occurred one half year after the fiction story, is just too coincidental. I wrote to the CBS Television headquarters in New York in 1985 for a copy of the fiction article; but in their reply CBS refused to release any information about the article.

Webb's Treatises and Reports

For details of my analysis of the nuclear accident hazards, I refer to the various treatises and reports which I have issued in the course of my researches. See Attachment___ for a list of these works. I also refer to two short essays of mine which have been printed for this conference, which give some further details:
- Hinkley Point Nuclear Accidents Hazards (two parts);
- Chernobyl and the Accident Hazards of Western Reactors.

For more details I draw special attention to the following treatises:
- The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants (University of Massachusetts Press, 1976).
- Catastrophic Nuclear Accident Hazards - A Warning for Europe, August 1984.
- The Chernobyl Nuclear Accident: A Summary Analysis of its Cause and Consequences with a Comparative Analysis of the Accident Hazards of the Western Reactors, August 1, 1986.
- An Analysis and Evaluation of the Accident Hazards of, and the official Safety Arguments for, the Sizewell-B Type Pressurized Water Reactor proposed for the Hinkley Point Reactor Site in England, Preliminary Report, Evidence for Submittal to the Hinkley Point 'C' Public Inquiry, February 27, 1989, typed March 10, 1989, corrected for typing errors and grammar, November 20, 1989.
- The Nuclear Explosion Accident Hazards of the British Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs), June 20, 1988.
- Nuclear Explosion Hazards of the Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactors (AGRs) - a Critical Review of the Article "Transients in Gas-Cooled Reactors," by Dr. John Askew, AGR Programme Director, UKAEA and related correspondence, August 8, 1988.
- Boiling Water Reactors: Reactivity Accidents and Unstable Power Oscillations.

The Great Necessity for an Urgent Review and Investigation of the Nuclear Accident Hazards

In my opinion the Public, the scientific community, Governments and their atomic licensing and supervising authorities, and the Legislatures of the various Countries that operate nuclear power reactors must undertake urgently a full review and investigation of the nuclear accident hazards, including a review and evaluation of my various analyses of the nuclear accident hazards. We must take measures to make certain that no catastrophic nuclear accident occurs; for the notion that we can tolerate accidents is unfounded.

The first step is to seriously and fully investigate the nuclear accident hazards, and the analyses of these hazards which I have developed. There is the great necessity for forming a scientific consensus on the extent of the accident hazards. Only qualified scientists can make the needed rational evaluations of the nuclear accident hazards for the people of society. In order to make the evaluations and perceive the accident risks, scientists must study:

(a) the details of the reactor plant designs to perceive the mechanisms of the many different accident possibilities;

(b) the detailed physics and mathematical models of the reactor systems in accident conditions and transients; and (c) the details of the available published analyses of the accident hazards; and they must check the details of my calculations and those of the nuclear industry and laboratories, and make independent calculations of accident potentials. It is a complicated and formidable task, which requires substantial funding support.

A Plan of work that I propose and urge to be undertaken is as follows:
1. Study my various treatises. Toward this end my various treatises and reports should be printed and distributed. In this way scientists can have the benefit of my twenty years of full time research.
2. Develop a document library, and acquire the essential literature on reactor safety and hazards analyses.
3. My treatises and reports need to be supplemented with write-ups of the details of my calculations, theoretical models, assumptions, and mathematical methods of calculations. The enormous complexity of the nuclear hazards analyses, and the necessity over the years to make a great many calculations, to develop many different kinds of theoretical models of reactor accident processes and spent fuel heat up, and to analyze or investigate one thing after another and research so many things, in order to make a sound, substantive analysis of the nuclear accident hazards, has left little time to set down in treatise form the full details of my various calculations.

Examples of the topics which I have investigated are as follows: the Three Mile Island Accident, Chernobyl, spent fuel storage heat-ups in loss of cooling, steam explosion experiments, mechanisms for nuclear explosions in fast breeder reactors, heat transfer coefficients for AGR fuel rods in a loss of flow accident, reactor vessel rupture, the Davis-Besse loss-of-cooling mishap in 1985, atomic bomb size explosion potentials in the fast breeder reactor, sodium vapor explosion models in fast breeder reactor accidents, AGR nuclear explosion potentials, the Hinkley Point Public Inquiry - a one year effort - potential consequences of large releases of radioactivity into the atmosphere, mathematical analyses of the cancer mortality statistics of radiation workers and the atomic bomb survivors, neutron streaming reactivity effects in fast breeder reactor accidents, and so on ad infinitum (a very great many more matters). It was not possible to write up detailed mathematical treatises of each analysis and calculation that I have made.

Consequently, my reports and treatises are of the nature of summary analyses with the details of the calculations and mathematical theory omitted for the most part. One exception is my 1980 treatise on the potential accident consequences, which includes the mathematical details of my accident consequence calculations. Yet, in order to prove the claims I make in my reports, the details of the calculations must be supplied. This is a serious deficiency of my works; though you will find that the voluminous reports of the official nuclear hazards and safety analyses have the same deficiency - the reports are little more than a presentation of results without the details of the calculations. The great problem in my case is the lack of financial support to be able to write up the details of my calculations.

To take an example, after I made a set of complicated computer calculations which led to my discovery of nuclear explosion hazards of the British Advanced Gas-Cooled Reactor - a year of full time research - I estimated that it would take about six months to compose and write a full mathematical treatise, to prove scientifically the nuclear explosion hazards that I have calculated. There is a very great amount of detail. It took over one month just to write a summary report, which is about 200 pages. Greenpeace UK, who supported my AGR research, after I issued a scoping analysis which indicated possible nuclear explosion hazards of the AGRs, withdrew their financial support just when I made the definitive calculations; so that I had not the financial means to write up the needed detailed mathematical treatise (proof). (I suppose that one year of research was too much for Greenpeace to support; but scientists at the Berkeley Laboratories in the Britain have told me that they are amazed that I was able to do all of the AGR research, analysis, development of theoretical models, and calculations that I have made in just one year's time.) Without the support I resigned myself to writing and issuing a summary analysis report (see item ___ in Attachment 2). So, the treatise on the AGR nuclear explosion potentials which I have planned to write remains to be written up and printed.

Fortunately, after I issued my AGR report I was given the opportunity to participate in the British Government's Public Inquiry into the question of building another Sizewell-B type PWR in England - an opportunity which I seized, as a forum to debate my findings on the AGRS as well as the PWRs.

I have made a great many other analyses and calculations which also need to be written down in treatise form, such as calculations of atomic bomb size nuclear explosion potentials of SNR-300, reactor vessel rupture (calculations of the mechanical energy imparted to the closure head as a missile), sodium vapor explosion models, molten core behavior, heat up of a PWR in a loss of cooling mishap, computer codes for fast breeder reactor power excursion accidents, and so on.

There are a number of other major projects of research that I have undertaken over the recent years which must be completed. These are:
1. A full analysis of the accident potentialities in the Sizewell-B type PWR. My Hinkley Point Evidence, cited on page 15, though quite comprehensive, is still only a "preliminary report." The rest of my analysis needs to be set down in a full report.
2. A mathematical analysis of the cancer mortality statistics of radiation workers, to evaluate the probability of cancer death per unit dose of whole body gamma radiation. I have drafted a mathematical treatise. It needs to be printed up and additional calculations made.
3. Calculations of an estimate of the reactivity effect of neutron streaming in an fast breeder reactor core - a quantity which is needed to evaluate a possible nuclear explosion potential in a fast breeder reactor due to a "neutron streaming cutoff" effect (see my August 1984 report, Warning for Europe, cited earlier on page 15. I have found in my research that the various conventional theories for calculating the neutron streaming reactivity based on the use of neutron diffusion theory are unsound (useless), and have developed a mathematical solution to the problem based on neutron transport theory. I need to make the necessary computer calculations based on this mathematical solution, and write up a treatise on the subject of neutron streaming in fast breeder reactors. This work is essential.
4. Finish and write my detailed critical evaluation of the analyses of the potential consequences of "beyond design basis accidents" in the Hinkley Point 'C' PWR which has been made by the National Radiological Protection Board of Britain.
5. Complete my critical analysis of the steam explosion experiments made in the Molten Fuel Test Facility at the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority's Winfrith Laboratories (see the Addendum to my Hinkley Point Evidence).
6. Write a full treatise of my calculations of atomic bomb size explosion potentials in the fast breeder reactor. I refer to the April 4, 1986 Addendum to my Warning for Europe report.

A way must be found to establish an international scientific consensus of the accident hazards of nuclear power plants. Surely, in order to achieve this necessary goal, scientific proofs of the many various accident potentials must be made and set down in treatise form, not mere reports of results of analyses. We need scientific proofs not mere statements in an official report, or in papers such as this present one. Toward this end, I suggest the development of an International Nuclear Hazards Analysis Treatise - a loose leaf multi-volume work that would contain analyses of the most major nuclear accident possibilities and their potential consequences, including the complete details of the theoretical/mathematical models and the calculations. I further suggest the convening of a series of scientific conferences to debate the analyses of the Hazards Analysis Treatise, toward establishing the accident potentials, including reaching a consensus of the radiation exposure and contamination limits for assessing the potential consequence of nuclear eruptions.

In addition, of course, I suggest that every nation who operates nuclear power plants create its own internal forums for reviewing and investigating the nuclear accident hazards. In this regard I suggest two models:
1. The SNR-300 Risk Oriented Analysis Study Project in West Germany (1981-1982). This project was commissioned by the West Germany federal Government and consisted of a pro-nuclear group and a nuclear critics group. The pro-nuclear group was the West German company which makes reactor safety analyses for various licensing authorities in West Germany, Gesellschaft für Reaktorsicherheit. The critics group consisted of a group of physics students and professors who were critical of the fast breeder project. (I was asked to join the critics group.) The project had a mandate to conduct scientific debates between the pro-nuclear group and the critics group with the aim of resolving as many technical issues as possible, and to issue a single report to the West Germany Parliament. The actual working of the project did not reach the goal of a unified report, nor were the promised conferences with the pro-nuclear group (GRS) held - conferences in which I was to debate the GRS about my analyses of the nuclear explosion potentials of the SNR-300 reactor. Still, the project was nevertheless very productive from my point of view, and useful. Besides each side submitting written analyses, the project held a scientific debate between a group of experts of Karlsruhe Nuclear Research Center and myself, which was tape recorded and transcribed. I issued a treatise which analyzed the debate in detail. The conference did much toward establishing the facts of the accident hazards. This type of project could be improved upon. The shortcoming of the project, however, was that it was controlled by the pro-nuclear interests, and the promised series of debate conferences with GRS about my analyses of the SNR-300 nuclear explosion potentials were never held. The remedy would be to put the direction of such a project under control of independent scientists.
2. The Hinkley Point 'C' Public Inquiry of the British Government (1988-1989). The Inquiry was a public forum conducted by a presiding officer (called the "Inspector"), who was joined by two engineering and scientific experts (called "Assessors"), appointed by the Secretary of State for Energy of the British Government. In the Inquiry the issue was whether or not the Inspector should recommend consent to build a Sizewell-B type pressurized water reactor at the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, which already has two AGRs and two Magnox gas-cooled reactors. The Central Electricity Generation Board (CEGB) presented their scientific evidence in favor of their application for consent to build a PWR (or PWRs) at Hinkley Point, and I was given the privilege of questioning (cross-examining) the CEGB officials and other nuclear experts giving evidence, including the atomic licensing authority officials and the director of the National Radiological Board. Likewise, I presented my evidence and various supporting treatises, and underwent cross-examination by the CEGB lawyer. The Inspector and the assessors also took part in questioning each side during the debates; and the entire proceeding was thoroughly documented, including a verbatim transcript of the proceedings.

The inquiry ended on December 4, 1989. By law the Inspector must issue a report of the Inquiry with his recommendation on whether or not consent to build a PWR station at Hinkley Point, and he must attach any report which an Assessor may want to write. However, whether a report will ever be issued remains to be seen; for near the end of the Inquiry the Secretary of State for Energy and his Department of Energy announced a cancellation of their plans to build any more PWRs, including the PWR station planned for Hinkley Point and three other PWRs that were planned, subject to a nuclear policy review in 1994. The change in policy is confusing, for CEGB still maintained its application for consent to build the reactors. I fear that the change in policy may be just a scheme to avoid a legal requirement for issuing a report of the inquiry, so that my analyses of the nuclear accident hazards will not have to be addressed and dealt with in a published Government report.

I believe that the most effective way to investigate the nuclear accident hazards within a nation is the creation of a special Scientific Commission of experts whose only mandate is to determine the nuclear accident hazards (develop objective information), and not to judge the acceptability of the risks and make subjective judgments. The subjective judgments can be made by the politicians representing the public in the parliament of a country. {See note no. 4.}

Credibility of R.E. Webb's Analyses and Warnings of the Nuclear Accident Hazards

I believe that my warnings of nuclear accident hazards ought to be taken seriously. A few points in this regard:
1. My book The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants, which was published in 1976, warned that accidents worse than the "design basis accidents" - mainly, multiple-failure accidents - are credible, at a time when the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, followed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory commission, asserted that such accidents are "incredible." They asserted that multiple-failure accidents are so extremely low in probability that they may be disregarded. Two and a half years later the Three Mile Island accident occurred, which was caused by a multiple of failures, hence a beyond-design-basis accident.
2. During the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident, about five days into the accident, I had determined that the core was destroyed. The NRC did not reveal his fact to the public until I caused them to admit it, after reporters of a major newspaper listened to tape recordings of my discussions with a key NRC technical official 24 days into the accident.
Early in the accident (five days into it) I advised the NRC and the Pennsylvania Government officials not to turn off a large reactor coolant circulation pump that was running, because the core was destroyed, I contended. I reasoned that we ought to maintain the forced coolant circulation, since forced coolant flow through the collapsed core had up to that time been successful in avoiding a catastrophic core meltdown/steam explosion, and that such forced flow could very well be necessary to assure adequate coolant circulation through the disintegrated core mass (collapse of the normal coolant flow channels between the fuel rods). At that time the NRC was preparing to turn off the pump and attempt to cool the core by natural convection. Fortunately, my technical advice was followed - the pump was left running. I refer to my analysis of the Three Mile Island accident, and to the Transcript of my telephone discussions during the accident (see item ___ in Attachment 2).

Later in the accident - about one month - I met with the chief safety managers of the NRC to debate a planned experiment with the destroyed core - the experiment was to turn off the coolant circulation pump. In the meeting I argued that the reactor core was destroyed, that its condition with regard to whether or not it was already molten or on the verge of melting down was unknown, and that, therefore, turning off the pump (by stopping the forced coolant circulation flow) could cause or worsen a core meltdown, and thereby threaten a catastrophic steam explosion. I therefore argued against the experiment.
The NRC safety managers in the meeting contended that the TMI reactor core was severely damaged and partially crumbled, but not molten, and that the core material was being adequately cooled with water coolant circulating through the +crumbled core material by the pumped flow, and that it would continue to be adequately cooled by natural convection flow when the pump is turned off. {See note no. 5.} The next day the NRC ordered the pump turned off. Ten years later, we learned by probes of the destroyed reactor core that half of the core was molten (a molten pool), and indeed threatened a catastrophic steam explosion. As we know now from the Sandia steam explosion experiment, it was pure luck that a catastrophic steam explosion did not occur in that accident. Such an explosion could have caused the adjacent reactor to erupt as a consequence, to compound the catastrophe. Also, the Three Mile Island core meltdown could have occurred as a result of turning off the coolant pump, as I warned in my meeting with the NRC.
3. My book, The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants (1976) and my 1984 Warning for Europe report both warned that nuclear runaway accidents, including autocatalytic power excursions, are the most serious type of accident; whereas the report of the U.S. Government's official Reactor Safety Study played down the nuclear runaway type of accident potentiality. Indeed, the report mentions this class of accidents only in an addendum to the report, in response to the comments on the draft report which I sent to the NRC. The Chernobyl accident in 1986 was caused by a nuclear runaway, more specifically, by an autocatalytic power excursion. The specific mechanism was due to something called a "positive void coefficient of reactivity." My book Accident Hazards warned (warns) about the danger of an autocatalytic power excursion occurring in the Canadian type, CANDU reactor, due to a positive void coefficient of reactivity in that type of reactor. CANDU was a pressure tube reactor, where the neutron moderator is separate from the reactor coolant, which causes the positive void coefficient. The Chernobyl reactor was also a pressure tube reactor, and, therefore, it also had a positive void coefficient. (Incidentally, I have learned that in the early 1980's Romania has begun construction of five CANDU reactors.)
4. My 1984 Warning for Europe report warned of the potential for the reactor containment building of a PWR exploding upon over-pressurization; whereas the official hazards analyses assume a small-hole rupture - a relatively minor rupture upon over-pressurization. Several months after my report was issued, a small-scale containment vessel exploded in an over-pressure experiment, contrary to the official laboratory predictions of a small leak that was to develop upon the over-pressurization and which was to vent the pressure with a catastrophic-type rupture. The fragments were blown to heights that were previously predicted in my August 1984 Warning for Europe report (500 feet!).

5. In the Hinkley Point Public Inquiry, the British nuclear authorities confirmed my research discovery of nuclear runaway hazards in the AGRs, after earlier denying publicly that the AGR could suffer a nuclear runaway (their denial was made before I undertook my research). Moreover, a senior CEGB reactor physicist, Dr. John Young, has written an evaluation of my treatise on the AGR nuclear explosion accident hazards; but the CEGB has refused to give me and the Hinkley Point Public Inquiry a copy of Dr. Young's evaluation, which suggests that my treatise is right.
6. My book Accident Hazards and other treatises and papers which I have issued in the past have warned that the theoretical models and calculations used to make the official evaluations of the nuclear industry's design basis accidents for reactors cannot be relied on, because the theoretical models lack experimental verification and other shortcomings. In 1988 a loss of flow fault in a BWR in America triggered unstable, divergent power oscillations; though previous reactor design calculations predicted stable, decaying power oscillations following such a reactor coolant flow disturbance. The incident underscores my warning.
7. In my works I argued that a full thermodynamically efficient steam explosion could occur upon a core meltdown in a PWR or BWR accident; whereas, the nuclear establishment contended that the efficiency of any real steam explosion in a core meltdown accident would be low. My contentions were partly based on a successful theoretical model of sodium vapor explosions which I developed for evaluating accidents in fast breeder reactors. (My model explains very well observed sodium vapor explosions in miniature-scale experiments.) The Sandia steam explosion experiment, which I have mentioned before, has confirmed my warning: the efficiency of the observed steam explosion, which destroyed the experimental test facility, could not be determined, but according to the Sandia scientist who conducted the experiment, Dr. Marshall Berman, the possibility that the explosion was fully efficient thermodynamically cannot be excluded.
8. The Soviet authorities now are saying that the radiation consequences of the Chernobyl accident are far worse and more extensive than previously reported. This tends to confirm my analysis of the possible consequences of the Chernobyl accident. I refer to my 1986 Chernobyl report, where I warned that the consequences could be far worse than the authorities had projected, and that urgent counter measures were (and still are) needed to limit the exposures to radiation that the human population would receive, especially in eastern Europe.
9. The State of North Rhein Westfalia in West Germany has refused to grant an operating license for the SNR-300 fast breeder reactor at Kalkar. I believe that this position of the atomic licensing authority there is mainly due to my analyses of the nuclear explosion potentials/hazards of the SNR-300 reactor, which I have set down in a series of ten treatises that have been submitted to the nuclear authorities in West Germany over the years. Also, the U.S. Government cancelled plans to build a fast breeder reactor in America, after I issued analyses of the nuclear explosion hazards of fast breeder reactors.

10. Finally, the British Government has cancelled plans to build a PWR station at Hinkley Point (and at three other plants). The Government announced their cancellations near the end of the Hinkley Point Public Inquiry. Though there were many press stories suggesting that the reason behind the Government's decision to cancel the PWRs is economics, the fact is that the Government has not given the reasons for its decision. I believe that we must assume that the decision was largely due to my Evidence on the PWR accident hazards which I presented to the Hinkley Point Public Inquiry, as well as the facts which were disclosed and established in the debates in the Inquiry as a result of my cross-examination of the nuclear officials in the Inquiry. This can only be appreciated by studying the record of the Inquiry - the transcripts of my cross-examinations of the officials and my evidence and statements given at the Inquiry.

I truly believe, therefore, that my analyses of the nuclear accident hazards must be taken seriously.

Our Situation

The industrialized countries of America, Europe, and Japan are in a most difficult predicament in regard to nuclear power plants and their accident hazards. There are hundreds of nuclear power reactors located throughout America and Europe, and with them the imminent danger of a catastrophic accident of immense scale potentially. The responsible thing to do is to carefully shut down all nuclear power reactors while we investigate the reactor accident hazards and resolve the safety/risk issue. However, the nuclear problem is extremely difficult now to resolve, because of the enormous vested interests and money behind the nuclear development, including jobs and fortunes, and the enormous revenues and money profits from the sale of electricity from the reactor plants, and the politics of Government power, as well as modern society's heavy dependency now on electricity from the nuclear power plants. For example, France claims over 70% to 80% of their electric power comes from nuclear energy, and in Catalonia the situation is similar, according to what I have been told. Also, there are about 125 reactors operating in America. Even if we resolve to shut down the reactors, it would still be difficult to do so, because of the large amounts of electric power needed to maintain cooling of the reactors, to continuously remove the fission product heat from the reactor cores, which is practically perpetual. Without electric power for reactor cooling, a catastrophic reactor eruption or explosion would likely occur.

At least there should be a full scientific investigation of the nuclear accident hazards; but our situation is that there is no mechanisms for the financial support - funding - for this urgently needed international undertaking. Virtual total control over the funding for nuclear hazards research is exercised by Governments, and they seem bent on promoting nuclear power, and ignoring my hazards analyses. Fortunately, I have managed to find intermittent random support over the last twenty years to carry out my research, though not without periods of financial crisis and homelessness. My support has come from private individuals, a couple of universities (a meager total of $12,000), bank borrowing, a single town Government in America ($30,000 total), and two government administrations in West Germany (a 11,000 DM reward for my recent BWR reactivity accident hazards treatise, and my participation in the SNR-300 risk study in 1981-1982). Such bare support is not adequate to conduct the needed investigations, to say the least.

The Three Mile Island and Chernobyl accidents have caused considerable interests in my nuclear hazards analyses, particularly in Europe after Chernobyl. However, the national Governments of the various nuclear countries have indicated their intentions to continue pushing further nuclear development and suppressing investigations into the nuclear accident hazards. In America the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has refused on several occasions my petitions to present analyses of the nuclear accident hazards, and to allow me to question their experts in the reactor licensing proceedings. It is futile to try any more.

In West Germany the Federal government's reactor safety authorities in Bonn have refused my request for a meeting to discuss my hazards analyses, and refused my request to participate in their October 1987 international scientific conference on the power excursion accident hazards of the SNR-300 reactor. The atomic licensing authority in the state of North Rhein Westfalia has attempted to sponsor an investigation of the nuclear excursion accident hazards of the SNR-300 fast breeder reactor, including an investigation of my analyses of these hazards; but the federal Government in Bonn has ordered the North Rhein Westfalia Government not to make the investigation.

The British Government so far shows no signs of accepting my recommendations for the creation of a scientific Commission to investigate my analyses of the nuclear accident hazards. (The report of the Hinkley Point Public Inquiry has not yet been issued.)

Official secrecy on the subject of the reactor accident hazards still prevails. The nuclear establishment seems bent on keeping the scientific discussions within their own established system of expertise (the nuclear laboratories, etc.) and international scientific conferences, attended by their own appointed delegate/experts, and do not subject their experts to serious critical questioning, except in the Hinkley Point Inquiry, which is a rare exception. My involvement in the Inquiry was made possible by the support of a lone citizen in England, who sponsored my involvement from money left to him by his Aunt, Hilda Murrell, who was murdered one week before her scheduled appearance before the Sizewell-B public inquiry to object to the nuclear waste aspect of nuclear energy. The Governments accept what the experts of the Nuclear Establishment say without serious independent reviews and investigations.

The common reaction of governments to my analyses of the nuclear hazards is to ignore them, or to advise me that I should submit my analyses to scientific journals and let the customary scientific peer review process evaluate the merits of my analyses; and then if any of my analyses are published in the so-called scientific journals, the scientists of the nuclear establishment will decide individually what they each might want to do about my analyses. In short, the Establishment expects that any changes in the conventional thinking about nuclear accident hazards will be done in a slow, evolutionary process through scientific articles in journals. There is no time for such an evolutionary process! The accident dangers are an extremely urgent matter, and always have been. Also, there is no space available in any journal to publish the huge volume of analyses that I have developed and which must be published.

Anyway, the scientific journals of nuclear reactor engineering and science are pro-nuclear - there is no hope that they would ever publish anything that I would submit. Such as been my experience. For instance, the journal Reviews of Modern Physics published a voluminous NRC-sponsored {See note no. 6.} reactor safety study in 1975, which concluded no serious short term concern about the safety of reactors; but the journal rejected a hazards analysis that I submitted for publication on the grounds that they have no space in their journal. Also, the NRC-sponsored reactor safety study which the journal published omitted any reference to a secret report on the nuclear runaway accident hazards of nuclear power reactors, which was made by the national reactor testing laboratory in the U.S., and which I sent to the leaders of the NRC-sponsored study project in the middle of the study, before they wrote their report. I uncovered the secret report in the course of my own investigations by questioning the scientists of the reactor testing laboratory.

The reactor accident potentials are so extremely large that the whole issue and problem of the nuclear accident hazards needs to be resolved urgently by independent Scientific Commissions, not by some notion of an evolutionary process controlled by pro-nuclear industry oriented scientific journals and their nameless reviewers of article who screen the articles and decide what is to be published.

Also, the Governments and their nuclear establishments take the view that we can learn the accident risks by operating the reactors, and that we can "manage" accidents when they occur and learn lessons from them, to improve on reactor safety as we go along. This philosophy is irrational; for there is no valid scientific basis to think that accidents can always be controlled. The theoretical analysis and calculations underlying the official evaluations of the design basis accidents lack experimental verification (as we have learned from the divergent power oscillations of the LaSalle BWR), so we ought not to trust the official design-basis accident evaluations. Furthermore, any serious accident is likely to be beyond the design basis of a reactor plant; so that there is not even a theoretical basis of analysis to assume that such accidents can be controlled. Therefore, the public safety is not assured by the so-called safety equipment or the reactor containment building; but instead the protection of the public depends essentially on the careful operation and maintenance of the reactors - that is, on the prevention of serious reactor system malfunctions. However, this protection is limited. Accidents will surely happen. Human activity is not perfect - we all know this. Also, the capabilities of reactor pressure vessels to operate for their full designed service life without spontaneous rupture, even if made without detectable flaws, has not been demonstrated; and we really do not know how a reactor system will behave when a major piping rupture occurs. Operating the reactors is nothing but a grand experiment - colossal risk taking.

Though some may think that our situation in modern society requires the acceptance of the risks of catastrophic accidents from nuclear power plants, I question the benefits of nuclear energy. The components of the reactor plants do not grow on trees; but to make them requires the present, extremely intense and heavy concentrations of systems of industries, mining, and traffic throughout the world with all of the pollution effects that we all know about and the enormous rates of consumption of fossil fuels to power the industries and transport. Then there is the unsolved nuclear waste disposal problem, {See note no. 7.} and the exposure of the workers at the reactor plants and the nuclear fuel reprocessing and nuclear waste processing plants to nuclear radiation with risks of genetic harm to their offspring besides the risks of cancer and other impaired health to the workers themselves.

Finally, there is the prospect of a great many more nuclear power reactors built in the future as the Earth's supply of fossil fuels dwindles. I made an estimate once that eventually ten thousand nuclear power reactors would be needed in the United States alone, when the coal and oil runs out, if America tried to maintain the present highly industrialized way of life. Therefore, we can certainly expect that at least a thousand reactors would be operating, if we continue to rely on nuclear energy to maintain the present way of life. We can also expect a similar development of nuclear power in Europe, and with it the much greater likelihood of catastrophic - indeed, cataclysmic - accidents. Contrast this prospect of a huge number of nuclear power reactors operating in the world with the reactor accident potentials, where not even one fully potential catastrophic reactor accident can be tolerated, and we must conclude that the nuclear development is impractical, if we want to ensure against a potential nuclear cataclysm. Furthermore, we should ask why take the risks of nuclear power today with mostly the water cooled and gas-cooled reactors, when the fast breeder reactor, which would be needed in the not too distant future to maintain nuclear energy production, is even more dangerous with respect to nuclear explosion hazards? We truly are in a most difficult predicament. The way to solve our problem is to investigate the nuclear accident hazards, work for a scientific consensus of the extent of the hazards, and take actions toward resolving the nuclear issue democratically.

Constitutional Law Perspective

In order to be able to find the way to resolve our great nuclear problem, I believe that it is vitally important to consider the causes of the development of nuclear power plants in America, and America's promotion of nuclear power reactors and nuclear technology in Europe and elsewhere throughout the world (for instance, China). I particularly mean the CAUSES in relation to the United States Constitution. Based on an extremely thorough legal research made over the years, I have found that the United States Government's promotion of nuclear power is unconstitutional - that the development of nuclear power plants has been brought about by undemocratic and unconstitutional U.S. Government acts. I believe that the same kind of undemocratic process is also behind the development of nuclear power in Europe, and of course, the Soviet Union, and elsewhere. I refer to my essay "Democratic and Constitutional Principles Reviewed and Asserted," for elaboration and a proposed remedy. This essay has also been printed for this Conference. {See note no. 8.}

What Should be Done?

I proposed the following steps, to promote a timely resolution of the nuclear problem:
1. Form a committee of scientists to study my treatises and the record of the Hinkley Point Public Inquiry in regard to my Evidence and my cross-examinations of the nuclear establishment officials in the Inquiry; and arrange for copies of my works be made and distributed.
2. Support the completion of the various works that I have undertaken (see page 17-18). {See note no. 9.}
3. Create a Scientific Commission in Spain to fully investigate the nuclear accident hazards and issue an evaluation report.
4. Join in and support the formation of an International Scientific Commission to investigate the nuclear accident hazards and work for an international scientific consensus of the hazards.
5. Support and contribute to the making of a Nuclear Hazards Analysis Treatise for each type of nuclear reactor in operation in the world.
6. Form a committee of political scientists, legal experts, and democratically minded politicians to review the principles of democracy and United States constitutional law, and then review the government policy making processes in Spain (the system of government), and other nations in Europe, and work for developing a sound democratic process for resolving the nuclear problem, which necessarily includes reviewing the present modern way of life and systems of industry and economics.
7. In parallel to the investigation of the nuclear hazards, investigate the feasibility of alternatives to nuclear energy, including changes in the way of life, to see if there is a way of life without nuclear energy and the heavy chemical pollution of modern society - a way of life that we might find would be better - one that we would be more happy with and one which hopefully could be powered by renewable energy sources.

This concludes my paper. I wish your country success in resolving the nuclear issue wisely. Thank you for your attention.




1. The Shoreham reactor - a Boiling Water Reactor - was eventually built and tested at low power, but has not yet been operated at high power, and may never be, due to a political struggle led by the State of New York Government to scrap the reactor plant, which seems to be succeeding, though the U.S. Government is apparently bent on trying to put the reactor into full operation.

2. The major so-called anti-nuclear campaign organizations based in Washington, D.C. actually support nuclear energy, though they gave the opposite impression to the public over the years in their mass-mailing brochures for fund raising. Their campaigns have pursued really minor or false issues over the years, in my opinion, and gave no support toward promoting any of the nuclear hazards issues that I have tried to push. I believe that this accounts for the poor state of the nuclear risks debate in America.

3. Perhaps influenced by my advices, and my report Catastrophic Nuclear Accident Hazards - A Warning for Europe, which was hand delivered to the Soviet Embessy during the accident, the Soviet engineers at Chernobyl drained the water basin beneath the reactor to preclude a possible steam explosion if molten fuel should collapse into the basin.

4. By my remarks about the SNR-300 Risk Study and the Hinkley Point Public Inquiry I do not mean that these particular forums were well conducted. On the contrary I found that they were irresponsibly conducted. The Hinkley Point Inquiry Inspector, Mr. Barnes, has recently issued his report, which I find is terrible. The report is replete with false statements that give false impressions of a fair, objective inquiry, and essentially ignores the wealth of evidence that I submitted, except for several topics, which the report treats, but in way that distorts my evidence and paints my evidences as some outsider scientists who doesn't know very much about what he has written about. I plan to thoroughly refute the Inquiry report in a future treatise. The same with the SNR-300 risk study; though I have already published a through critique in a report I issued in January 1984.

5. In the meeting the NRC managers gave me the official safety analysis reports for the planned experiment, which set down the official contentions about the state of the reactor core.

6. NRC is the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commision. The Study was made by a group associated with the American Physical Society. See Chapter 8 of my book "The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants," which critically reviews the report of this study.

7. I refer to my 1977 treatise "An Inquiry into the Safety of Nuclear Waste Disposal."

8. I refer also to Chapter 13 of my book The Accident Hazards of Nuclear Power Plants. This chapter, which is titled, "Who Should Decide?", contains my constitutional law analysis. I have also made a paper which contains additional proof of my contention that the whole nuclear program in the United States is unconstitutional. The paper is titled, Unconstitutional Government - Sketch of Constitutional Analysis with respect to the Nuclear Hazards Issue," (May 1984, revised slightly, August-October, 1990).

9. I have recently issued a paper titled, "Proposals for an Urgent Book on the Imminent Dangers of Catastrophic Accidents at Nuclear Power Plants and for Continuing Research and Major Undertakings to Promote the Public Safety in regard to the Nuclear Hazards." I believe that the most effective thing to do immediately is to support my work toward publishing the Book that is outlined in that Proposal, and the others works described in the Proposal. Copies of this Proposal are available from me on request.

(End of Dr. Webb's 1990 comments)

Comment by Russell D. Hoffman: The following is from a secondary web page at Dr. Webb's web site.  While it admits that proof has been hard to come by for the use of the word "far" it asserts that things are almost certainly at least worse than the official government sources would suggest.  Perhaps most important is all the things it does NOT revise.  He's been thinking about these issues not just so we don't have to, but because most of us are INCAPABLE of resolving these issues.  Dr. Webb states unequivocally that no one has corrected any of his conclusions about how dangerous nukes really are.  -- rdh


Revision for TMI Essay

In Section V of my TMI essay, To the People of the Area, &c., the following statement is given:

"I have also analyzed the semi-official cancer mortality statistics of the atomic bomb survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, who suffered varying degrees of nuclear radiation exposure from the bombs, and found by mathematical calculations that the cancer effect of nuclear radiation as indicated by these statistics is far greater than that officially assessed. [See note no. 24 in the appendix.] I am preparing a treatise on the health hazard of nuclear radiation which will contain my full scientific analysis of the health hazard of nuclear radiation, including my statistical analyses, and my physics analysis of the damaging action of radiation on the living cells of human body tissue."

The note No. 24 is as follows:

"(Note No. 24) I find that the official statistical analyses on "radiation effects" are mathematically unsound. The reports and articles which present these analyses do not derive and prove the mathematical theory used for making the analysis calculations, nor is the theory described enough to be able to figure out just what the mathematical theory ("models") are that have been used, nor is the data used in the analysis verifiable, and in most cases, the data which was used to make a statistical analysis are not even made available."

I have since improved on the mathematical calculations for my statistical analysis, and do not now calculate for certain that the cancer risk coefficient is "far greater" than what has been official evaluated, but that a value far greater cannot be excluded that there are positive indications that it is far greater. However, I also find that the statistics are not reliable; and so any mathematical analysis is not wholly meaningful. This will be elaborated upon in a scientific article which I am preparing for publications. Also, the official view, at least as of about 1990, was that there is no evidence of any cancer death effects of the radiation exposure among the atomic bomb survivors at doses less than 50 rads. I found the contrary. I refer to my 1991 treatise A Mathematical Analysis of the Cancer Mortality Statistics of the Japanese Atomic Bomb Survivors and Workers at the Hanford Nuclear Installation - An Evaluation of the Probability of Cancer Death by Exposure to Nuclear Radiation at Low Dose. My final calculations as of March 2000 show positive risk coefficient for doses less than 20 rads even.

Richard E. Webb, Ph.D.
Present Address (as of April 2000):

Raiffeisenstrasse 1
86868 Mittelneufnach
Bavaria, Germany
 Telephone:  (49) 8262 - 960 857

The above text has been submitted to the California Energy Commission by:

Russell D. Hoffman
Concerned Citizen
Carlsbad, CA