— NASA just crashed Cassini with 72.3 pounds of plutonium-238 into Saturn; 1997 riveting press conference against Cassini launch with Michio Kaku, Bruce Gagnon, Allan Kohn, and other experts

NASA was saying that if there was an “inadvertent reentry” on the slingshot pass by the Earth, each person would receive only a 1 millirem dose, the equivalent of 1 dental x-ray. Panelist Dr. Janice Kirsch said, “One encounter with plutonium is not one exposure; it stays there bombarding that sensitive tissue with those particles…year after year…It’s not a millirem when the exposure is continuous…To paraphrase Shakespeare, plutonium is the stuff that nightmares are made of.”

Panelist and former NASA official Allan Kohn detailed many of the lies from NASA about the mission, and concluded, “In other words, I am saying that the government is deliberately putting out a disinformation campaign.”

The death toll from a Cassini accident was put by Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, at 20 million to 40 million.

And this is not a sky-is-falling story. Of 28 U.S. space missions using plutonium, there have been three accidents, the worst in 1964 in which a plutonium-powered satellite fell back to Earth, breaking up and spreading the toxic radioactive substance widely. [1]

Looking at the reporters in the room, panelist Karl Grossman called Cassini the most censored story of the year in 1997

Lawsuits were filed against prior NASA plutonium missions in 1989 and 1990 under NEPA — the U.S. National Environmental Protection Act. But that law was changed, “denuded”, afterward . Standing was narrowed, the ability to examine agency documents (discovery) was dramatically reduced, and it became no longer possible to argue that the agency is wrong in its analysis. As a result, filing a lawsuit under NEPA against Cassini was no longer possible.  

It’s called rigging the system.

Massive worldwide opposition couldn’t stop Cassini. Massive worldwide opposition couldn’t stop the “they’ve got WMDs” Gulf War a few years later. On how many issues does significant opposition fail to stop the harmful action?

And what avenues are left to us when all of our informed, creative, well-spoken, and expert voices fail to move our leaders to stop their harmful or deadly actions?

From Space4Peace

April 27, 2017

This video covers a news conference held in 1997 at the National Press Club in Washington opposing the launch of the Cassini space probe and was covered by CSPAN on cable TV. The news conference was organized by the Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice where I worked for 15 years.  The Florida Coalition was one of the founding members of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

NASA has just crashed Cassini with 72.3 pounds of plutonium-238 onto the surface of Saturn.

Journalist Karl Grossman has written a story about this latest incident.  You can find it here

The Cassini campaign lasted for three years and it became a rousing international effort.  Alan Kohn (one of the speakers in the news conference and former head of NASA’s emergency preparedness operation) told us after the successful launch of Cassini that a friend of his working in the White House informed him that they received more communications opposing the Cassini launch than any other issue in the history of the White House.

Groups in England, Germany, Australia and from throughout the US sent cards, letters, emails and faxes to then President Clinton calling for the halt of plans to launch the deadly mission.  One of my favorite stories at the time was about citizens from Tasmania, Australia who set up a fax machine one Saturday in front of their capital building and sent 1,000 faxes to the White House opposing the launch.

Also speaking in the news conference is world renowned physicist Dr. Michio Kaku and Karl Grossman, one of the founding members of the Global Network.

Bruce Gagnon

[1] http://space4peace.blogspot.com/2006/09/nasa-admits-solar-will-work-in-deep.html

Additional information:




— On Earth Day, the U.S. poisoned Saturn with plutonium-238 — the Cassini crash and trashing life for “science”

“When I heard that NASA would be dive-bombing Cassini into Saturn with 72 pounds of deadly plutonium-238 on-board, I thought of the Army handing out smallpox laden blankets to Indians on the reservations,” comments Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, which has been in the lead in protesting NASA nuclear space missions. “NASA readily admits that ‘biotic or prebiotic’ life very possibly exists on Saturn—are they trying to kill it?”

“It’s time to put a stop to their freedom to threaten the lives of people here on Earth.” — Allan Kohn, NASA official from 1964 to 1994

When was the worldwide vote where all of us agreed to this project? Officials with unlimited power and technology take actions immune from public input, putting planets and the Earth in the crosshairs of their “scientific” madness and risking everything. The article below is terrifying. Rarely are these projects discussed widely or in depth for the public.

Several years ago, the U.S./NASA bombed the Moon. Think of it: the moon which controls the tides and many of Earth’s natural systems including women’s cycles, NASA damaged. There is constant talk about mining the moon and putting military and commercial enterprises there. This is pure madness.

Public and private space programs are marketed and romanticized constantly, but each flight does enormous damage to the ozone layer. U.S., other countries, and private entities insist they have a right to conquer space and other planets. Who gave them that right? 

March for science? Absolutely not. Unless there are radical reforms that put the rights of all life first and have public governance and true oversight and complete visibility, and love of nature and reverence for life becomes the governing principle, science risks ending life here and on other planets completely.

The Nuclearization of Space. The Crash of Cassini

Global Research, April 29, 2017
CounterPunch 27 April 2017

Despite protests around the world, the Cassini space probe—containing more deadly plutonium than had ever been used on a space device—was launched 20 years ago. And this past weekend—on Earth Day—the probe and its plutonium were sent crashing into Saturn.

The $3.27 billion mission constituted a huge risk. Cassini with its 72.3 pounds of Plutonium-238 fuel was launched on a Titan IV rocket on October 17, 1997 despite several Titan IV rockets having earlier blown up on launch.

At a demonstration two weeks before in front of the fence surrounding the pad at Cape Canaveral from which Cassini was to be launched, Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, warned of widespread regional damage if this Titan IV lofting Cassini exploded on launch. Winds could carry the plutonium

“into Disney World, University City, into the citrus industry and destroy the economy of central Florida,” he declared.

Four months before, at an earlier demonstration at the same site, Allan Kohn, a NASA career official from 1964 to 1994 who had been the emergency preparedness officer at the Kennedy Space Center, noted that

we were told by NASA that the odds against the Cassini blowing up and releasing radiation [are] 1,500 to one. These are pretty poor odds. You bet the lottery and the odds against you are one in 14 million.”

As to NASA’s claim that the plutonium system was “indestructible,” he said it is

“indestructible just like the Titanic was unsinkable….It’s time to put a stop to their freedom to threaten the lives of people here on Earth.”

And, indeed, on an Earth “flyby” by Cassini , done on August 18, 1999, it wouldn’t have been a regional disaster but a global catastrophe if an accident happened.

Cassini didn’t have the propulsion power to get directly from Earth to its final destination of Saturn, so NASA figuredImage result for cassini saturn on having it hurtle back to Earth in a “sling shot maneuver” or “flyby”—to use Earth’s gravity to increase its velocity so it could reach Saturn. The plutonium was only used to generate electricity—745 watts—to run the probe’s instruments. It had nothing to do with propulsion.

So NASA had Cassini come hurtling back at Earth at 42,300 miles per hour and skim over the Earth’s atmosphere at 727 miles high. If there were a rocket misfire or miscalculation and the probe made what NASA in its “Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission” called an “inadvertent reentry,” it could have fallen into Earth’s atmosphere, disintegrating, and releasing plutonium. Then, said NASA in its statement, “Approximately 7 to 8 billion world population at a time … could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure.”

The worst accident involving space nuclear power occurred in 1964 when a satellite powered by a SNAP-9A plutonium system failed to achieve orbit and fell to Earth, breaking apart and releasing its 2.1 pounds of Plutonium-238 fuel, which dispersed all over the planet. According to the late Dr. John Gofman, professor of medical physics at the University of California at Berkeley, that accident contributed substantially to global lung cancer rates.

In her book, Nuclear Madness, Dr. Helen Caldicott, president emeritus of Physicians for Social Responsibility, writes about plutonium:

“Named after the god of the underworld, it is so toxic that less than one-millionth of a gram, an invisible particle, is a carcinogenic dose. One pound, if uniformly distributed, could hypothetically induce lung cancer in every person on Earth.”

Further, the Plutonium-238 used in space devices is 280 times more radioactive than the Plutonium-239 used in nuclear weapons.

Cassini finally reached Saturn and took excellent pictures and provided scientific information about Saturn, its rings, and moons including Enceladus and Titan.

NASA sent it crashing into Saturn on April 22, 2017

“to make sure Cassini is incinerated at the end of its journey to ensure that any of its earthborn microbes do not contaminate the biotic or prebiotic worlds out there,” wrote Dennis Overbye in his front-page story in The New York Times on April 22. (The article didn’t mention plutonium at all.)

“When I heard that NASA would be dive-bombing Cassini into Saturn with 72 pounds of deadly plutonium-238 on-board, I thought of the Army handing out smallpox laden blankets to Indians on the reservations,” comments Bruce Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, which has been in the lead in protesting NASA nuclear space missions. “NASA readily admits that ‘biotic or prebiotic’ life very possibly exists on Saturn—are they trying to kill it?”

Said Gagnon:

“We are told that NASA is out searching for the origins of life in the universe but they seem to have forgotten the prime directive from Captain Kirk on Star Trek to ‘do no harm.’”

Felton Davis, an activist with the Catholic Worker movement in New York City, who participated in anti-Cassini protests through the years, said NASA

“should face the environmental reality that other celestial bodies are not garbage dumps.”

After the 1964 accident involving the SNAP-9A plutonium system, NASA moved to develop solar photovoltaic panels to energize satellites, and now all are powered by solar panels—as is the International Space Station.

But NASA has insisted that it needs nuclear power for missions into space—claiming for years that it could not use anything but atomic energy beyond the orbit of Mars. However, that has been proven incorrect by NASA itself. On July 4th, Independence Day, 2016, NASA’s solar-energized space probe Juno arrived at Jupiter. Launched from Cape Canaveral on August 5, 2011, it flew nearly two billion miles to reach Jupiter, and although sunlight at Jupiter is just four percent of what it is on Earth, Juno’s solar panels were able to harvest energy.

Related image

Juno spacecraft above the north pole of Jupiter
Photo from NASA

Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Energy working with NASA has started up a new production facility at its Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee to produce Plutonium-238 for space use. Other DOE labs are also to participate.

Says Gagnon of the Maine-based Global Network (www.space4peace.org):

“Various DOE labs are rushing back into the plutonium processing business likely to make it possible for the nuclear industry to move their deadly product off-planet in order to ensure that the mining operations envisioned on asteroids, Mars, and the Moon will be fully nuclear-powered. Not only do the DOE labs have a long history of contaminating us on Earth but imagine a series of rocket launches with toxic plutonium on board that blow up from time to time at the Kennedy Space Center. They are playing with fire and the lives of us Earthlings. The space and the nuke guys are in bed together and that is a bad combination—surely terrible news for all of us.”

“The Global Network,” said Gagnon, “remains adamantly opposed to the use of nuclear power in space.”

Karl Grossman, professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College of New York, is the author of the book, The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet. Grossman is an associate of the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion.

— NASA’s system failure case study of Fukushima

From Mining Awareness

July 16, 2016

the NAIIC concluded that “the disaster was man-made and the result of collusion between government, the regulators and TEPCO, and a lack of governance by said parties,” citing that the organizational and regulatory systems supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions. Regulators served TEPCO’s business interests through tailored regulation and weak enforcement.“(NASA)
Nasa Fukushima failure

NASA Failure Studies [Comments added in brackets]:
October 2015 Volume 8 Issue 7


• Loss of electricity and backup power left the Fukushima complex crippled and unable to adequately cool the reactors


• Disregard of Regulations

• Poor Safety History

• Lack of Response to Natural Disaster Concerns


• Recommendation pertaining to the creation of a permanent committee to deal with issues regarding nuclear power in order to supervise regulators and provide security to the public.

The Great Wave of Reform The Prophetic Fallacy of the Fukushima Daiichi Meltdown

March 11, 2011, off the Pacific coast of Tohoku, Japan: At 14:46 (2:46 p.m.) Japan Standard Time (JST) a magnitude 9.0 earthquake occurred 43 miles east of the Oshika Peninsula. The undersea megathrust earthquake shifted the mainland of Japan an estimated 8 feet east and deviated Earth’s axis by estimates between 4 to 10 inches. The Great East Japan Earthquake generated massive tsunami waves that peaked at heights of 133 feet and travelled up to 6 miles into areas of mainland Japan… The disaster also triggered the second Level 7 International Nuclear Event (after Chernobyl) in history — the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.


The Fukushima Daiichi Catastrophe

Analysis of the safety history of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex reveals a catastrophic failure of prediction on behalf of the plant’s Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) management. How could planners overlook the tsunami?

Hazards of Predicting the Future

In 1958, Arthur C. Clarke, already recognized for major contributions to the fields of rocketry and space flight, began writing a series of magazine essays that were later combined and published in 1962 as Profiles of the Future; a lexicon of universal scientific possibilities.

The book’s introductory essay, “Hazards of Prophecy, ” concerned itself with the two traps of assumptions: “failures of nerve” and “failures of imagination. ”

Failure of the imagination manifests when presently known facts are respected but vital truths are still unknown, and the possibility of the unknown (the unknown unknowns) is not confessed.

Failure of nerve, the more common fallacy (noted by Clarke), “occurs when given all the relevant facts the would-be prophet cannot see that they point to an inescapable conclusion. ”
Figure 1. Debris from the upper levels of Unit 4 lies beside the building. Source: IAEA via NASA

What happened

The seismic activity of the Great East Japan Earthquake forced the emergency shut-down feature on reactors 1, 2 and 3. Off-site electricity to the power plant was also disrupted by the tremors and backup power was tapped from a 66kV transmission line from the Tohoku Electric Power Company Network. However, the back-up line failed to power reactor 1 due to a mismatched circuit connection.

Beginning at 15:37 (3:17 p.m.) JST, the peak tsunami waves broke upon Japan and flooded and destroyed the emergency diesel generators at the Fukushima complex. Seawater cooling pumps and electric wiring system for the DC power supply for reactors 1, 2 and 4 failed shortly after. All power was effectively lost except for emergency diesel generator power to reactor 6. The tsunami also destroyed vehicles, heavy equipment and many installations.

Without power, the operators at the complex worked tirelessly to monitor and cool the overheating reactors, at one point salvaging car batteries from destroyed vehicles to power necessary equipment. Hydrogen explosions from emptying coolant reservoirs led to interruptions in the recovery operations, which failed when the Unit 2 reactor suppression chamber failed and discharged radioactive material.

Proximate cause

The loss of electric power after flooding made it difficult to effectively cool down the reactors in a timely manner. Cooling operations and observing reactor temperatures were heavily dependent on electricity for coolant injection and depressurization of the reactor and reactor containers, and removal of decay heat at the final heat sink. Lack of access due to the disaster obstructed the delivery of necessities like alternative seawater injection via fire trucks“.
[Note: Loss of cooling made it impossible to cool the reactors, not difficult.]

Underlying issues

The Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC), formed on Oct. 30, 2011 to investigate the direct and indirect causes of the Fukushima accident, was the first independent commission created in the history of Japan’s constitutional government. In its legal investigation, the NAIIC concluded that “the disaster was man-made and the result of collusion between government, the regulators and TEPCO, and a lack of governance by said parties,” citing that the organizational and regulatory systems supported faulty rationales for decisions and actions. Regulators served TEPCO’s business interests through tailored regulation and weak enforcement.

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