Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2001 12:08:13 -0700
   From: "Russell D. Hoffman" <>
Subject: Re: Nuclear Mafia, Demon Hot Atom?

To: Jerry Keto, Consulting Nuclear Project Manager, Nuclear Contracts
Manager <>
From: Russell Hoffman, concerned citizen
Re: Your most recent email to me (shown below)
Date: July 30th, 2001

Dear Mr. Keto,

Thank you for your letter and kind offer (shown below).

I do not believe my descriptions -- "Nuclear Mafia" and "Demon Hot Atom" are inaccurate.

For the phrase "Nuclear Mafia", I submit that the industry and the government have colluded to lie to the people about the dangers of radiation, and have by so doing, killed millions already (as far as I can see).  This "lie" has included everything from infiltrating anti-nuclear organizations for the purpose of destroying them from within, to unfairly attacking even the most reputable scientists as biased liars simply for reporting the results of their findings, to waging massive media campaigns based on ridiculous ideas like that the energy would be "too cheap to meter", or that the waste issue would be solved by such-and-such a date, or that being against nuclear energy shows one to be a "Luddite", or anti-technology, or dumb or uninformed, none of which are necessarily true, although I'll admit that all Luddites and anti-technologists are probably also anti-nuclear.  It doesn't, however, follow that all anti-nuclear people are Luddites and anti-technologists.

For the phrase "Demon Hot Atom" here are the facts as I know them.  (I realize you might disagree with these "facts" but if so, that fact alone --the fact that you disagree -- is not by itself a debate.  Giving the scientific reasons for your disagreement would constitute a debate.).

These statements were written by Arthur Doucette in a letter to me last month and I think summarize very clearly what's wrong with nuclear power:

1. Nuclear materials are the most hazardous materials on the planet, they are toxic to all living things and in incredibly small doses.

2. Nuclear materials can not be contained, they destroy their containers at the atomic level, there is no force in the universe that can prevent this and thus they will always get out of what ever container they are stored in.

3. In order to build and operate nuclear power plants in such a manner as to prevent nuclear materials from getting away makes them extremely complex, expensive and very difficult to maintain, thus negating the reason for building them in the first place. Not to mention that a single mistake/malfunction in their operation can result in catastrophic results to either the plant or its surroundings or both and since they are operated by humans, eventually there will be these catastrophic mistakes/malfunctions.

4. There is no, and never will be, a satisfactory solution to the problem of disposing of nuclear waste.

So that sounds like a pretty difficult little beast to deal with, Mr. Keto, hence my phrase calling it the "Demon Hot Atom".  If you look at a Bible you'll see that the end comes from fire everywhere.  Spread radioactive particles around the planet and that's exactly what you've got.  Hence the name "Demon Hot Atom".  I just can't think of a better description.

Now, I'd like to take advantage of your offer to get some answers to some "clear and concise" questions.  These are complex topics as you know, so I'll try to be as clear and concise as possible:

As you no doubt know, so-called "background radiation levels" have been rising and rising since the Atomic Age began about 60 years ago.  They have been rising from atmospheric weapons testing, from groundwater contamination at nuclear weapons development sites, nuclear fuel processing sites, and elsewhere.  There are numerous records of at-sea dumping of nuclear waste in flimsy containers, by the Navy and many others.  My point is that background radiation levels, which 60 years ago were 100% natural radiation, mostly external to the human body, are now more than double what they were and the increase is from particulate radioactive pollution, which can be inhaled and ingested, and absorbed by human tissues in widely varying degrees depending on the tissue and the substance (some radioactive elements emulate needed elements so the body takes them in readily, only to be irradiated from within from that moment on).

My question is this, then:  If 360 mRem a year is a safe dose, is it, in your opinion, as safe as the 160 mRem dose which was average 60 years ago, and if it is safe, at what level would you start to worry?  3,600 mRem a year?  36,000 mRem a year?  How much would be too much?  How long do you think it will take the planet to reach the 3,600 mRem "background radiation level"?  How many meltdown-type accidents do you think the U.S. nuclear industry will have in the next 100 years?  (I assume you've heard the NRC's own estimates, which are far from zero.)

"How much radiation is too much?  That is for each person to decide based upon what they feel is legitimate science..." -- according to Tim Steadham (whoever he is).

The nuclear industry foists its idea of a safe dose on billions of people, and risks a much higher dose if they fail to contain the poisons for the next couple of hundred thousand years.  So, I ask you, why?  Why do this just to get electrons which can more easily be obtained in safe ways like wind, wave, tide, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, even space-based solar solutions are safer than nuclear -- so what is the big advantage of the seductive blue light?  It's not financial.  What is it?

What research studies, and which scientists (names and institutions they work at, please, and phone numbers, web sites, and email addresses would be nice too) do you use to get your faith in the nuclear option?  Not what spokespersons, or what biased committees like ICRP, but what scientific studies and which scientists that did those studies and have explained the significance of their results to you?

I mean, Mr. Keto, I've looked all over for the scientists who supposedly wrote the "objective" studies that your sides says prove low level radiation isn't dangerous.  I can't find those studies anywhere, I can't find the scientists to interview, I can't find anyone who can explain why I am the least bit wrong about my assessment that the dangers from nuclear power are from thousands to millions of times worse than people like you (blindly) claim.

Is that so much to ask?  It's just a request to find honest experts to talk to, that's all.  Reputable scientists who are saying that radiation at any dose level is safe, and who are willing to talk to a "concerned citizen".  I can talk to a hundred scientists, and every one of them can explain to me why radiation at any dose level isn't safe.  But can you find me even one expert who is qualified to explain why your stated position is correct, and is willing to do so?


Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad, CA

At 06:15 AM 7/30/01 , Jerry Keto wrote:

No, not the start of a debate Mr. Hoffman, just an observation of your attempt to generate fear without objectivity and reality.  If you have a clear and concise question you would like to ask please feel free.

At 09:04 AM 7/29/01 , Jerry Keto wrote:

"The Nuclear Mafia will continue to spread the Demon Hot Atom around the planet"  Mr. Hoffman, Please!  Do you also fear the Boogie Man?  How do you ever gather the courage to step outside your home with these thoughts?

rdh replied to the July 29, 2001, email as follows:

What's this, the start of a debate?

You're late, but go ahead.  Show us what you know. [ Note: Mr. Keto had sent several emails a few weeks ago.  They are available on request.]

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