Date: Sun, 03 Dec 2006 08:49:45 -0800

From: "Russell 'Ace' Hoffman" <>
Subject: "I honestly believe that they'll find a cure for cancer" --
  Ray Golden, spokesperson for San Onofre (Southern California Edison;
  Edison International)

December 3rd, 2006

Dear Readers;

Operating a nuclear power plant is planned murder.  No other energy source comes close to causing so many deaths -- and such gruesome ones -- per kilowatt of energy produced.  These things were sold to the public in the mid-20th century as cheap and safe.  THEY ARE NEITHER.  They are silent killers in our midst, even without another Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, Windscale, SR-1, or other major accident.  It's long past time to put all MYTHS to the contrary aside for the ancient dogma that it is.  Nuclear power kills.  Renewable energy works.

So, I go to the TOP SECRET meeting of the League of Woman Voters of San Diego about nuclear power which I mentioned in my previous newsletter.  (The ONE PERSON it was TOP SECRET to -- the ONE PERSON who wasn't supposed to find out about it -- was me.)

However, a member of the Orange County LWV had bought an entire table (a block of ten tickets), and had invited me to join them at their table, so that's where I sat.  Newsletter subscriber Shirley Vaine organized the event, and another newsletter subscriber, Jim Bell, a local enviro-politician, was also sitting at the speakers' table.

Having arrived half an hour early, and with Shirley's permission ("I believe in free speech," she stated enigmatically) I put a copy of my three-page statement about shutting San Onofre immediately, which was included in that day's newsletter (and shown again below), at each seat at each table.

I had also brought an Ionizing Radiation poster and set it up at the entrance (again, with Shirley's approval), but when I came out later, it had been removed (perhaps by restaurant staff?).

I put a copy of Helen Caldicott's new book at each table, too -- the one I critiqued in that day's newsletter, because, despite my criticisms, I still think it's a great book.   I would have liked to include the whole newsletter with each copy of Dr. Caldicott's book, but I didn't think it would have had the effect of getting the books opened and looked at.  I was able to give away a few more copies before the meeting began, and a few more after it ended.  I had come with 19 copies, and left with eight copies.

When the meeting began, we heard from Southern California Edison, San Onofre's main owner and operator, and from San Diego Gas and Electric, a part-owner of San Onofre.  The SDG&E spokesperson said they'd LIKE to get out of their 20% of San Onofre, but state regulations make it IMPOSSIBLE!  Oh really?  One would think SDG&E could, for example, simply sue the state of California on the grounds that any law that keeps them involved in any way in San Onofre must by its very nature be an illegal law, because murder is illegal in all its forms, even distributed, silent, and delayed.

We also heard from Rochelle Becker, who supposedly was representing the antinuclear view, but who has continuously stated (on KPBS, San Diego, for example, was the last time I heard her say it) that we CANNOT close California's nuclear reactors without facing blackouts, because we need their 4,000 megawatts of energy so badly.

But approximately every two years, ever since the Enron-manufactured blackouts, California has added 4,000 NEW megawatts of electrical energy supply.  So no one in their right mind can really say its impossible to close our nukes.  We can and we should.

Beckers' "immediate" goal is to prevent relicensing -- in approximately 2024!  She has already given up trying to prevent more than two billion dollars in rebuilding San Onofre -- a rebuild that will become a huge financial incentive to PERMIT relicensing.  She has ENCOURAGED dry cask storage (to relieve spent fuel pool overcrowding, of course).  She has UTTERLY failed to expose for its real purpose (let alone, oppose) the new highway whose terminus is right at San Onofre:  It's a WASTE TRANSPORT ROUTE to get spent fuel from SAN ONOFRE (and the Naval Base in San Diego) to YUCCA MOUNTAIN without bringing it through Los Angeles.  (They want to avoid L.A. for POLITICAL reasons: Specifically, so as not to stir up a bee's nest of celebrity interest and opposition.)

So really, there was no one to stand up to Ray Golden, San Onofre's spokesliar, when he pronounced that he "honestly" believes that "scientists" will find a "cure for cancer," thus apparently (in his mind) absolving him of any responsibility for creating so many cancers in the first place.

"Which one?" asked a heckler (me), amidst other catcalls and hisses from the audience.  We had all been reasonably well-behaved up until that point, but this was TOO MUCH!

What needed to be said was that there are thousands of cancers --  billions, actually!  EACH cancer is different.  How different?  Well, let's think about it:

Cancer is NOT contagious.  Why not?  Because YOUR cancer is made up of a RANDOM MUTATION to YOUR DNA which is now reproducing and surviving inside you.  It's YOUR cancer!  Nobody else's.

Furthermore, there are literally thousands of KNOWN different "types" of cancer, even given that within each type, your cancer is still unique.  Nevertheless, broad categories have been defined, including organ attacked, tumor growth rate, spread rate (to other organs), color, size, shape, solidness, core temperature, opacity, blood vessel growth through it, pain level it generates, blood or body reaction to it, chemical tracers it produces, etc. etc. etc..

But as to what changes in the DNA structure are responsible for a particular cancer, let alone, understanding how to repair that damage and ONLY that damage, without harming ANY OTHER PART of the DNA structure -- well, we not only aren't there yet, we aren't anywhere close.

Like ALL radioactive releases from operating nuclear reactors, planned or unplanned, what killed Alexander Litvinenko last month (November, 2006) is referred to in the media as a "minute quantity" of radioactive poison (Polonium 210).  "Traces" of this HIGHLY TOXIC substance -- created in a nuclear reactor -- have been found in at least a dozen sites around London, on Litvinenko's Italian contact, who has been hospitalized, on Litvinenko's wife, and on at least three airplanes on which the people who may have poisoned him might have flown.  That's how much even a "minute quantity" -- an invisible speck -- of radioactive poison can spread.

And although "trace" amounts of polonium can also be found in, for example, tobacco smoke, its proportional effect on smokers' cancer rates is, of course, the subject of much debate.  But clearly, "minute" can still mean "deadly."

San Onofre releases its poisons in the most deadly forms:  Aerosols and ingestible fission products which mimic biologically useful and chemically similar elements (strontium imitates calcium, for instance).  San Onofre releases about 1000 Curies of tritium (H3) alone every year, but in a bad year, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will let it release tens of thousands of Curies of tritium, legally.  All they have to do is ask (after the fact).

A Curie is 37 billion disintegrations per second.  There are 86,400 seconds in a single day.

ONE disintegration is enough to cause unrepairable damage to YOUR DNA.   In fact, THOUSANDS of breaks in YOUR DNA can be created from just ONE radioactive disintegration.  No wonder this stuff is so carcinogenic.

That is why my friends have cancer TODAY, Mr. Golden.  That is why your COWORKERS and retired plant workers die of cancer TODAY, Mr. Golden.

So that "cure" Ray Golden says he believes is coming had better come quick, and it better be awfully cheap, because more than TWO BILLION people who are alive today will get cancer, and more than a BILLION will die from it.  But the nuclear industry ignores those deaths, as if they are "natural."  THEY ARE NOT!

At one point, Golden also denounced Caldicott as an "anti-nuclear activist," in the most disparaging tone he could find, but, unable to find words disgusting enough (but not legally slander; he's got to keep his job) he left a gap, into which I interjected: "She's a SCIENTIST, RAY," at which point he gave up and moved on.

The LWV forum allowed Ray Golden to make outrageous statements without fear that anyone could immediately get the floor and explain the inappropriateness of his comments.

I have been told that my views are considered "extreme" among local activists like Shirley Vaine and Jim Bell, although they have not said that to my face.  In truth, however, there is no way anything less than IMMEDIATE AND PERMANENT SHUTDOWN is logical or justifiable.

Any other point of view is extremely dangerous.


Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Below is the statement I handed out which also appeared in that morning's newsletter, earlier this week:

To: San Diego Residents
Subject: We can simply close San Onofre today

November 28th, 2006

Just because a poison is odorless, colorless, and tasteless is no reason to ignore it.  In fact, it is all the more reason to be ever-vigilant about its dangers.

San Onofre releases enormous amounts of poison into the air, soil, and water around it, and it MUST be closed down IMMEDIATELY.

Or else what?

Or else ... a tsunami might destroy it.  IT COULD NOT SURVIVE A PERFECTLY PLAUSIBLE TSUNAMI.

Or else ... an earthquake might destroy it.  The ability to withstand a "7.5," as San Onofre supposedly can, may not be adequate, AND numerous buildings, built AFTER San Onofre was built, which were supposed to be even STRONGER, COLLAPSED in recent earthquakes.

Or else ... one of the many MISTAKES the employees have made over the years will be one mistake too many, or too many mistakes at once.

Or else ... a terrorist might have his day.

We can debate, we can study, we can hold meetings like this one.  But if you let OTHER PEOPLE DECIDE FOR YOU, San Onofre will remain open.  Because those other people do NOT have your best interests at heart.

Qualified experts do not seriously debate nuclear power's role in preventing global warming because it has NONE.  Oh sure, pro-nukers will assure you (now that they believe in Global Warming) that nuclear power is a solution, but it is not.  The nuclear fuel cycle uses huge amounts of energy to produce that "tiny little fuel pellet" which goes into the reactor core for about 60 months.  Additional energy -- lots of it -- is required to "deal" with the fuel after it comes out red hot, highly toxic, carcinogenic, teratogenic, and able to destroy any container you put it in.  How much more energy will be needed to deal with the waste for hundreds of thousands of years?  Nobody knows yet, but it's going to be much more than went in to creating the waste in the first place, AND MORE THAN IT EVER PRODUCED.

Fossil fuels supply the energy for virtually all the processing that goes into creating nuclear energy (and cleaning up afterwards), so its net effect on global warming is atrocious.

And the nuclear waste becomes a terrorist's best friend.  250 POUNDS of high-level radioactive waste is created EACH DAY at EACH of California's four nuclear reactors.  This waste must be guarded for "eons."  Way beyond the length of human civilization so far.  How much will THAT cost?  How much HEAT will it generate?  What will keep the heat and radioactivity out of our environment?  The answer is that we MUST stop creating it because EVEN IF they find a NEARLY PERFECT way to contain nuclear waste, or to TRANSMUTE IT, there is no net energy gain overall, and there is significant risk of catastrophic accidents with accompanying increases in the LOCAL (and global) rates of cancer, leukemia, heart disease, birth defects, and many other illnesses.

The panel before you consists of NO experts on nuclear power.  But experts ARE available, who can confirm EVERYTHING in this document, and more!

The nuclear industry has claimed that containment domes could withstand a 9-11 style attack.  THEY CAN'T -- and anyway, MILLIONS OF POUNDS OF SPENT FUEL are OUTSIDE the containment domes!

Nor can DRY CASKS withstand a 9-11 style attack, or any other CONCERTED EFFORT to destroy them by the terrorists.  But the nuclear industry will tell you that dry casks are EXTREMELY ROBUST.  They're LYING and the NRC doesn't care.

The SCE spokesperson on this panel, Ray Golden, for example, will NEVER be investigated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for ANY lie, exaggeration, falsification, misrepresentation, or dishonest statement to the public.  This author made a written request for an investigation of such false claims, and in a registered letter on March 30th, 2002, the NRC stated: "Statements made by the public affairs officer of a NRC licensee are not regulated activities.  Therefore, the veracity of such statements will not be investigated by the NRC."

Another thing the nuclear industry lies about is that dry cask storage of nuclear waste is "temporary."

Many nuclear activists have WELCOMED dry cask storage as a way to relieve the intense and dangerous overcrowding in the SPENT FUEL POOLS.  They see it as better than an overcrowded spent fuel pool.  That's like saying death by hanging is better than death by firing squad.  Maybe it is (or the other way around), but not by much.  BOTH OPTIONS STINK!  But the real reason for ANY reactor to have DRY CASK STORAGE is simply to KEEP THE REACTOR OPERATING.  Dry Cask storage is incredibly dangerous and should be halted immediately.  It is said to be an interim step before Yucca Mountain is operational, but Yucca Mountain is a monumental mistake, hated by all Nevadans, and UNLIKELY TO EVER OPEN.

California does not need nuclear power to keep our lights on.  Don't let ANYONE TELL YOU OTHERWISE, because if they do tell you that, THEY ARE LYING.

Unless, of course, they are in control of the switch and can turn off your power at will.  IN THAT CASE, yes, they'll turn out your lights IF YOU LET THEM.

Since the (artificially-manufactured) California energy crisis of 2000 - 2001, about every two years or less, California has added THE TOTAL ENERGY CAPACITY OF ALL FOUR NUKES.

So obviously, it's ABSURD to think we CAN'T close these things TODAY.  They are nothing more than a CASH COW FOR THE UTILITY and a MAJOR source of cancer for the rest of us -- and for the utility workers, as well.

By choosing nuclear power for our energy options, we force out renewable energy options.  The government subsidizes nuclear power with billions of dollars in direct -- and billions more in indirect -- financial aid.  For every dollar spent on nuclear power by the federal government, a few fractions of a penny is spent on renewable energy, but a lot of talk is made about that small amount! In addition, many of the real costs of nuclear power, such as long-term storage costs of nuclear waste, and "quality of life" costs of accidents to the community, are completely ignored when nuclear proponents calculate the cost of nuclear power.

As a result, the price of nuclear power can be artificially kept below the cost-effective price for renewable-energy options such as wave energy, wind farms, solar installations, and so forth.

The cost of nuclear power is NOT carried by the nuclear power industry.  WE pay the cost with our lives, in leukemia, cancer, heart disease, mutations, and other diseases.

We, the people, suffer from nuclear power.


Ace Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

Please visit these additional web sites (all created by "Ace" Hoffman):

POISON FIRE USA:  An animated history of major nuclear activities in the continental United States, including over 1500 data points, accurately placed in time and space:

How does a nuclear power plant work?  Animations of PWRs and BWRs, praised by BOTH pro-nuker and anti-nuke experts for their technical accuracy:

Internet Glossary of Nuclear Terminology / "The Demon Hot Atom," a look at the history of nuclear power:

SCE Memo / One Bad Day At San Onofre (roll mouse over ONE BAD DAY and leave it there for a minute or two to watch an animation of several disastrous events take place at San Onofre):


List of every nuclear power plant in America, with history, activist orgs, specs, etc.:

List of ~300 books and videos about nuclear issues in my collection (donations welcome!):

Learn about The Effects of Nuclear War here:

Depleted Uranium: The Malignant Bullet:

Animated Periodic Table of the Elements (Adobe Site of the Day, Nov. 7th, 2006):

Tritium Explained (why "Low Level Radiation" can be disproportionately harmful):

Contact information for Ace Hoffman: