Please accept my congratulations for an exceptionally well run campaign; you accomplished what very few people believed could be done. I know that you have a great many things to deal with during the time leading up to your inauguration over the next few months, and that you have a host of issues that are of immense concern.
There are two issues, however, of critical importance to the survival of this nation and the people in it, that I strongly suspect you have never heard about. Most of the people in these presently united States have not, either, but regardless of who they voted for, these two problems have the potential to affect them all, rich or poor, black or white or brown, regardless of political affiliation.
The first and most important one is EMP, or high altitude nuclear pumped Electromagnetic Pulse. An EMP strike on these presently united States, or indeed any long-term loss of grid power, has the ability to kill over 90% of the US population within a year. This issue has been extensively studied by experts, see link HERE. There are other resources and blogs on this issue as well; the House of Representatives open session discussion on this issue is available HERE and has some revealing information about the vulnerability of not only civilian infrastructure but also military equipment. EMPACT is an organization that is promoting awareness of this horrifying vulnerability, see link HERE. Probably one of the best-known people attempting to promote action on this issue is William Forstchen. Forstchen wrote 'One Second After', a fictional treatment about an EMP attack on the USA, still one of the best fictional treatments on the aftermath of an EMP strike I have read to date and he wrote about this issue again recently, see link HERE and video HERE. Newt Gingrich, one of your advisors is also aware of the issue, can point you in the right direction, and was involved in making this issue part of the Republican Party platform in Cleveland earlier this year. Former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett is another resource.
I urge you, Mr. President-elect, in the strongest possible terms, to make this critical issue one of the first priorities of your administration, and I urge all who read this letter to join me in my call to address what ought to be a completely non-partisan effort to protect these presently united States. It is not technically challenging nor is it terribly expensive, but it is urgent in the extreme to commence protective action immediately. We have dawdled on this problem for far too long, and now we have emerging near-term threats from North Korea and Iran, among other unfriendly nations.
I have written about this issue and a related one, see link HERE The related issue is the large number of stored spent nuclear reactor rods stored, unprotected, at the 104 US nuclear power plants. The NRC has a backgrounder on rod storage HERE. Most spent nuclear rods are stored in what are essentially large swimming pools; there is no protective enclosure in most storage pools, and the decay heat from the radioisotopes created during the nuclear fission that happens during power generation is removed from the pool by cooling systems run from the grid. As of 2009, 78% of the spent rods in these presently united States are held in wet storage pools, over 48,800 TONS of spent rods. Only 75 of the 104 utilities have licenses of any sort for dry cask storage. We have the equivalent of hundreds of Fukushima type disasters waiting for the moment when grid power is lost for an extended period.
After the potential threat of EMP, the threat of nuclear contamination posed by 40 years of spent reactor fuel rods is one of the most serious issues facing the USA. Once you have action under way to protect these presently united States from an EMP, I urge you, Mr. President-elect, to take needed action to require all electric power utilities to store all older spent rods in dry cask storage as a condition of operation, and to make their rod storage pool systems robust enough to survive a sustained loss of grid power. We also need to address the reprocessing of spent rods, to remove the many tons of plutonium available in these older rods. Current design paradigms are NOT adequate for the potential loss of grid power for an extended time, but the reality is that if the grid is not protected, as is currently the case, we run a serious risk of radiological contamination of much of the area of these presently united States. Dry Cask storage of spent rods is a necessary first step to reduce this risk.
I urge all of you reading this post to bring these two issues to the immediate attention of your elected representatives, and to urge them, regardless of their political party, to support a national effort to address the EMP threat, first, and then the risk posed by 104 nuclear rod storage pools.
Very sincerely, "Historian"
To my Gentle Readers:
There was no point in attempting this issue until now, but we each have an opportunity to make our representatives aware of the issue, and to make them ACT on it. Please, make the most of it!
With regard to all who serve the Light, and in the fervent hope that we can do something about these two issues in time,