In case you felt confident about how our nuclear weapons and reactors are being handled for Y2K, here are two recent items of evidence that we need WASH, the World Atomic Safety Holiday campaign. I urge you to pass on the email petition and pull together a few friends to at least make a public presence on this issue in your city August 6. I think the stakes are pretty high and we should all do SOMETHING to move this effort forward in a timely way.
(PS: Several people have suggested to me that demonstrations are old-fashioned or ineffective. If you think so, then by all means do something else! But for many folks who enjoy personal contact with friends and strangers around an issue they're passionate about, a vigil or demonstration can be just the thing, and it can be done up in any style that has juice for you.)
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Nuclear Weapons Computers Y2K Ready
By ROBERT BURNS AP Military Writer
Thursday July 22 3:30 PM ET
Defense Secretary William Cohen...
said he is not worried that Russia will allow the Y2K problem to
jeopardize command or control of its nuclear weapons.
"The Russians, I assume, will do whatever is necessary
to protect their
self interest," Cohen said. "It is not in Russia's interest to have any
kind of failure that would create a catastrophe."
As for China, which has only a handful of long-range nuclear
Cohen said "we assume they are also proceeding with as much alacrity as
possible to deal" with potential computer problems....
The Pentagon has invited Moscow to send representatives to
the new Y2K
Center for Strategic Stability, in Colorado Springs, Colo., but the
Russians have not responded, Cohen aides said. The facility is meant to
avoid any misunderstandings about missile launches on Dec. 31 or
thereafter as a result of computer glitches, by sharing U.S. missile
launch warning data with the Russians.
Cohen said he had hoped to meet with his Russian counterpart,
Sergeyev, in Moscow in early August to discuss Y2K and other issues, but
the session was postponed by the Russians.
(Note: The Defense Secretary ASSUMES the Russians will act in their self-interest, and yet those very same Russians are not cooperating on avoiding Y2K-related missile-launch misunderstandings [thanks to diplomatic tensions resulting from the recent NATO bombings]. Secretary Cohen also ASSUMES that the Chinese are dealing well with Y2K nuclear issues, even though it is widely acknowledged that China has immense Y2K problems due to undocumented pirated software. Why, with the most massive intelligence apparatus in the world at his disposal, does the US Secretary of Defense ASSUME anything regarding all this? Isn't it in the U.S. self-interest to FIND OUT these things? And why does the AP Military Writer report that "Nuclear Weapon Computers" are "Y2K Ready" with such shaky evidence? I'm afraid I'm not reassured. The only thing that this report tells me is that there is now sufficient visible public concern about Y2K nuclear issues to force the Secretary of Defense to do a PR press conference on the subject. We need to direct that public concern into a demand for de-alerting all nuclear weapons before Y2K. -- Tom)
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From: "NHNE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Emergency Diesel Generator Defects
at US Nuclear Plants
as reported by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission
This database includes incidents and reports from January 1,
1999 to the
present. It shows that defects and problems occur on a weekly basis.
There are 27 reports affecting 41 plants; or 40% of all US commercial
nuclear plants so far this year.
There is currently a petition for rulemaking before the Nuclear
Regulatory Commission regarding backup power supplies. The NRC is now
three months late on making its decision.
(Note: Diesel generators give power to nuclear power plants
if the grid goes down. If the diesel generators go down there
is no energy to cool the reactor core or the used fuel rod ponds,
where the water would evaporate and then a meltdown would occur.
The demonstration and petition below demand that adequate failsafe
backup power be readied at every nuclear power plant, including
at least two back up generators at every plant, before Y2K. --