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Title    : The Wrong Stuff - Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet
Author : Dr. Karl Grossman's
Date    : June 1998


Statement At The United Nations
Introduction by Eric Francis

Dr. Karl Grossman is full professor of Journalism at the StateUniversity of New York College at Old Westbury. He is the author of"The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program's Nuclear Threat To Our Planet,"and producer of television programs on the issue of arming space.

Grossman's award-winning investigative reporting has uncovered thefact that there has been a 12% accident rate involving both the U.S.(now 27 accidents) and Soviet/Russian (now 42 accidents) for theirspace nuclear shots. Additionally, he has exposed that the Cassiniprobe contains the most plutonium -- 72.3 pounds -- ever used in anyspace device.

Grossman's reporting has uncovered the fact that the use of plutoniumis merely as a heat source to make electricity. It is not apropulsion fuel, and not fuel for the type of kind of nuclear fissionreaction we normally associate with a nuclear power plant. Theplutonium simply decomposes and makes enough heat to provide thenecessary wattage for the electrical equipment on board. NASA optedout of using solar power as an alternative for a variety of reasons,mostly involving its contractors and its desire to develop nuclearenergy as a power source rather than solar energy.

He adds, "NASA is now planning up to 13 additional nuclear spaceshots in coming years, so disaster is inevitable. Moreover, and thisis extremely important, the U.S. military is seeking to deployhigh-powered weaponry in space -- lasers especially -- which needenormous amounts of power and the Pentagon sees nuclear power inspace as what these new weapons will need as a power source."

Transcript Of Dr. Grossman's Statement At The United Nations, June24,1998

By Dr. Karl Grossman

U.S. nuclear-powered activities in space are illegal under theinternational Outer Space Treaty of 1967. The U.S. has been coveringits nuclear space flights since 1991 by the Price-Anderson Act, aU.S. law which the U.S. contends would limit liability in the eventof an accident-involving Cassini or any another nuclear-fueled spacedevice -- to $8.9 billion for U.S. domestic damage and just $100million for damage to all foreign nations. This is in violation ofthe treaty's provision that nations "shall be liable" for damagecaused by their space devices.

As for consequences of the planned 1998 Cassini Earth "flyby," in theevent of what NASA calls an "inadvertent reentry" -- a crash of thespace probe fueled with 72.3 pounds of plutonium dioxide into theEarth's atmosphere -- NASA says in its "Final Environmental ImpactStatement for the Cassini Mission" that "approximately 5 billion ofthe estimated 7 to 8 billion world population at the timeÉcouldreceive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure." NASA in thereport projects 2,300 fatal cancers in the event of such an accident.The report also speaks of plans to -- if plutonium rains down onurban areas, for example -- "demolish some or all structures," [and]"relocate affected population permanently."

The U.S. government's Interagency Nuclear Safety Review Panel "SafetyEvaluation Report" on the Cassini mission, which I have obtained fromDr. Earl Budin, associate clinical professor of radiology at theUCLA, speaks of the possibility of "several tens of thousands" ofcancer deaths. It notes that in an Earth "flyby" accident, becausethe plutonium canisters "have not been designed for the high speedreentryÉmuch of the plutonium is vaporized" and provides "acollective dose to the world's population." NASA, not in itspublicity statements but in the Final Environmental Impact Report,also concedes a release of much of the plutonium -- and as respirable[breathable] particles.

Meanwhile, the U.S. is moving to deploy weapons in space and toexercise what it terms "space control." This is closely linked withspace nuclear power. As the 1996 U.S. Air Force report "New WorldVistas" states: "In the next two decades, new technologies will allowthe fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness tobe used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tacticaland strategic conflictÉThese advances will enable lasers withreasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills."

But, the report notes, "power limitations impose restrictions" onsuch laser-based weapons systems making them "relativelyunfeasibleÉ.A natural technology to enable high power is nuclearpower in space."

In April of this year, the government left [sic] contracts for thedevelopment of this space-borne laser-non-nuclear powered but a firststep. Meanwhile, the Outer Space Treaty bans deployment in space byany nations of "weapons of mass destruction." The treaty also statesthat nations should "avoid " activities that stand to produce"harmful contamination" of "space and celestial bodies" as well as"adverse changes in the environment of the Earth."

As General Joseph Ashy, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Space Commandhas stated: "It's politically sensitive, but it's going tohappenÉSome people don't want to hear this, and it sure isn't invogue, but -- absolutely -- we're going to fight in space. We'regoing to fight from space and we're going to fight into spaceÉThat'swhy the U.S. has development programs in directed energy andhit-to-kill mechanisms."

The U.S. space military approach is detailed in this book, "TheFuture of War: Power, Technology & American World Dominance in the2lst Century," in which George and Meredith Friedman state thatthrough the domination of space with weaponry the U.S. will dominatethe planet below and "just as Europe shaped the world for a half amillennium" by the Britain, France and Spain dominating the oceanswith their fleets, "so too the United States will shape the world forat least that length of time." They boost the use of nuclear power asan energy source in this regard.


As to future U.S. plutonium-fueled space shots, the U.S. GeneralAccounting Office has just issued a report describing eight of themin coming years. A NASA statement speaks of up to 13. With a 12%failure rate already in both the U.S. and Soviet/Russian spacenuclear programs, accidents -- and disaster -- are inevitable.

The National Space Symposium at which the new space-borne lasercontract was announced was, said the advertisements of the UnitedStates Space Foundation for it, to, "Explore the Global Relevance ofSpace and the interdependence of Civil and Commercial and Militaryspace efforts. It is clear that 'space is open for business'." I sayspace must not be declared "open" for the colosally dangerous,wasteful and illegal nuclear and military "business." Space, as theOuter Space Treaty states, should be used "for peaceful purposesÉ Theexploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and othercelestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in theinterest of all countries."





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