Monthly Archives: April 2012

Opt-Outs, Nukes and Spooks – Welcome to WebWorld Where Everything's Connected

Nuke Locally, Radiate Globally

“Nuclear accidents lead to global consequences. They are not a problem of just one country, they affect the life of entire regions.”

Those are the words of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in his speech commemorating today’s anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, which occurred in his country 26 years ago. The fight to contain the still-radiating ruined reactor still goes on. A recent study published by the New York Academy of Sciences drew howls from nuclear proponents when it presented massive data showing that nearly one million people around the world have died so far from exposure to radiation released from Chernobyl.

Fukushima Fallout
President Yanukovych might have had Fukushima in mind when he talked about ‘global consequences.’ Radiation from it has already been detected across the northern hemisphere and its emissions are on-going with three melted-down reactors, not just one, as at Chernobyl. Nevertheless, a recent report suggests that U.S. radioactive fallout monitoring may have been turned over in a no-bid contract to a company with ties to the nuclear lobby. The EPA’s Inspector General finds “Weaknesses in EPA’s Management of the Radiation Network System Demand Attention.” [ check recent milk contamination levels here. ]

Now experts like Bob Alvarez and legislators like Oregon’s Senator Ron Wyden are warning that the damaged fuel storage pools at Fukushima could be just one earthquake away from an atomic conflagration that would be 85 times worse than Chernobyl. They are calling for international action.

Opting Out of the Cyber Panopticon
Meanwhile, that boneheaded corporate boondogle – a wireless ‘smart’ energy grid mediated by wireless ‘mesh networks’ and wireless ‘smart meters’ – is coming under fire from both the cyber-security and telecom sectors.

People like the DOE’s Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman and former CIA head James Woolsey are calling the concept of a wireless ‘smart’ energy grid ‘really stupid.’ The U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) agrees.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has officially recommended that the CPUC halt smart meter installation immediately to protect the public’s health. (PDF here.)

Telecom giant AT&T has applied to be a party in California’s ‘smart grid’ proceeding, claiming that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), not the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), should have ultimate jurisdiction over the ‘smart grid’ rollout, apparently because it represents an unlicensed broadcast network that could potentially compete with phone, cable and satellite networks in supplying internet and ‘content distribution’ services. (PDF here.)

As the May 1st ‘deadline’ approaches for PG&E customers to opt-out of the utility’s ‘smart meter’ program, violations of procedures by both CPUC and PG&E in relation to protests filed by several parties, looks like it could throw that deadline into doubt.

[ Don’t count on it though. If you want to opt-out and haven’t already done so, call 1-866-743-0263, or log onto before MayDay just to be sure. ]

In what many hope may serve as a precedent, the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) seems to have ruled that Vermonters can opt-out free of charge for at least a year.

Big Brother and the ‘Militarization of Cyberspace’
Back in the 1700’s British philosopher Jeremy Bentham came up with an architecture for social control he described as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.” He called it the ‘panopticon,’ It was a ring of glass-fronted cells surrounding a central watchtower. The idea is that inmates must assume they are being watched at all times and thus conform in their behavior. Great design for a prison – and there are a bunch around.

Bentham’s architectural design is now being realized in cyberspace. As CISPA, the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (HR 3523) moves toward a vote in the Senate (it passed the House today) backed by the likes of Google and Facebook, internet activists are warning that it would make legal a global corporate/government spying operation that, while it is probably already in operation, is currently both unconstitutional and illegal.

Against this background the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has launched an investigation of PG&E’s spying on smart meter resistance groups. [Download PDF]

These stories and more in this edition. Scroll on down.

The EON Team

CISPA could lead to attacks on our right to speak freely online.

Yanukovych warns on nuclear power on Chernobyl anniversary Euronews Video

Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovych has warned of the dangers of nuclear energy as his country marks the 26th anniversary of the world’s worst atomic accident.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a giant steel arch that will cover the reactor site.
“The Chernobyl disaster underscored that mankind must be extra careful in using nuclear technologies. Nuclear accidents lead to global consequences. They are not a problem of just one country, they affect the life of entire regions,” the Ukrainian head of state said.
When the arch is completed in 2015, it will be big enough to house New York’s Statue of Liberty.

Then the dangerous job of dismantling the reactor and cleaning up vast amounts of radioactive waste can begin. Read more.

Why Fukushima Is a Greater Disaster than Chernobyl and a Warning Sign for the US
The radioactive inventory of all the irradiated nuclear fuel stored in spent fuel pools at Fukushima is far greater and even more problematic than the molten cores.
by Robert Alvarez – Institute for Policy Studies

…The stark reality, if TEPCO’s plan is realized, is that nearly all of the spent fuel at the Dai-Ichi containing some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet will remain indefinitely in vulnerable pools….

…Given these circumstances, a key goal for the stabilization of the Fukushima-Daichi site is to place all of its spent reactor fuel into dry, hardened storage casks. This will require about 244 additional casks at a cost of about $1 million per cask. To accomplish this goal, an international effort is required – something that Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has called for. As we have learned, despite the enormous destruction from the earthquake and tsunami at the Dai-Ichi Site, the nine dry casks and their contents were unscathed. This is an important lesson we should not ignore. Read more.

From Committee to Bridge the Gap
EPA Inspector General Criticizes EPA Radiation Monitoring Network
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General confirms CBG Criticisms of EPA Radiation Monitoring Network Large Fraction Broken During Fukushima Crisis
click for PDF of the EPA IG report: here

…Broken RadNet monitors and late filter changes impaired this critical infrastructure asset. On March 11, 2011, at the time of the Japan nuclear incident, 25 of the 124 installed RadNet monitors, or 20 percent, were out of service for an average of 130 days. The service contractor completed repairs for all monitors by April 8, 2011. In addition, 6 of the 12 RadNet monitors we sampled had gone over 8 weeks without a filter change, and 2 of those for over 300 days. Because EPA managed RadNet with lower than required priority, parts shortages and insufficient contract oversight contributed to extensive delays in fixing broken monitors. In addition, broken RadNet monitors and relaxed quality controls contributed to the filters not being changed timely. Out-of-service monitors and unchanged filters may reduce the quality and availability of critical data needed to assess radioactive threats to public health and the environment.
EPA remains behind schedule for installing the RadNet monitors and did not fully resolve contracting issues identified in the OIG’s January 2009 report. Until EPA improves contractor oversight, the Agency’s ability to use RadNet data to protect human health and the environment, and meet requirements established in the National Response Framework for Nuclear Radiological Incidents, is potentially impaired.

Read more in PDF.

San Francisco Bay Area milk sample has highest amount of Cesium-137 since last June — Almost double EPA’s maximum contaminant level

Read more.

US Radiation Monitoring May Have Been Handed Off To Nuclear Industry Lobbyists
November 4th, 2011

…RadNet itself had many problems, stations didn’t work, some were not calibrated before the disaster. Even more disturbing is that the EPA does not even handle their own radiation monitoring network. The important function falls to a former Bush administration appointee running a business out of a rundown storefront in New Mexico. Under a $238,000 no bid contract Environmental Dimensions supposedly manages, maintains and operates RadNet, the only tool the public has to see if we are being subjected to nuclear fallout. The blogger that broke this story states that Environmental Dimensions has tripled their revenue in recent years. The company cites a different address as their mailing address. This shows up as a tiny house in Albuquerque. EDI was also part of a 12 million dollar contract in 2010 along with a couple of other contractors. The contract provides environmental & remediation services to the US Corps of Engineers. EDI claims to have been in business since 1990 but owner, Ms. Bradshaw worked for the DoD in 2006.

What little system the public has for radiation notification through the EPA has been shuffled off to a no bid contract with spurious origins and the system experienced widespread problems when it was needed most. That system was mostly turned off just over a month after the disaster. The NRC, the agency tasked with protecting the public from nuclear disasters decided to hand everything over to the nuclear industry’s lobbyists. Read more.


RadNet – the EPA’s front-line, radiological detection network is severely flawed and suffers from maintenance and reliability issues.

The lack of consistent data and the number of units offline (a techie term for broken) at the time they were most needed shows that the EPA was not prepared for this emergency. Read more.

Gregory H. Friedman, Inspector General, DOE

U.S. smart grid projects falling down on security – DOE Inspector General

Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 31, 2012 – A number of the smart grid projects being funded through the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 do not have adequate cybersecurity requirements, according to the Department of Energy’s inspector general.
In a new report on an audit of the program, the inspector general found that of the five cybersecurity plans reviewed, three were “incomplete, and did not always sufficiently describe security controls and how they were implemented.” Further a Department review had found that “36 of the 99 cybersecurity approaches submitted as part of the grant applications lacked one or more required elements.”

For a backgrounder on SGIC, see:
Follow the Money: Stimulus Funding Begins to Flow to the Smart Grid Sector

Targeted Hacker Jacob Appelbaum on CISPA, Surveillance and the “Militarization of Cyberspace”

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: … I wanted to ask you about a recent report by the Brookings Institute, not exactly a liberal or progressive think tank. But they did a paper called “Recording Everything: Digital Stories as an Enabler of Authoritarian Governments.” And some of the quotes here are astonishing. They say, quote, “Plummeting digital storage costs will soon make it possible for authoritarian regimes to not only monitor known dissidents, but to also store the complete set of digital data associated with everyone within their borders.”

They go on to say, “When all of the telephone calls in an entire country can be captured and provided to voice recognition software programmed to extract key phrases, and when video footage from public spaces can be correlated, in real time, to the conversations, text messages and social media traffic associated with the people occupying those spaces, the arsenal of responses available to a regime facing dissent will expand. … Pervasive monitoring will provide what amounts to a time machine allowing authoritarian governments to perform retrospective surveillance.”
This is where the United States is heading, where other authoritarian regimes, much more authoritarian regimes than ours, are heading around the world. And yet, the level of public opposition, especially among some young people, to this continued invasion of their privacy is not that—I mean, it’s strong, it’s growing, but it’s not where it should be.

…JACOB APPELBAUM: … And there’s a website. IXmaps is the name of it, and it’s a Canadian site. And they actually show when your internet traffic goes through potential NSA interception points, so you can actually test your internet connection. And that’s the Internet Exchange Maps project.

Recording Everything: Digital Storage as an Enabler of Authoritarian Governments
Technology, Information Technology, Intelligence

John Villasenor, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Center for Technology Innovation
The Brookings Institution

Within the next few years an important threshold will be crossed: For the first time ever, it will become technologically and financially feasible for authoritarian governments to record nearly everything that is said or done within their borders—every phone conversation, electronic message, social media interaction, the movements of nearly every person and vehicle, and video from every street corner. Governments with a history of using all of the tools at their disposal to track and monitor their citizens will undoubtedly make full use of this capability once it becomes available.

Stop the Online Spying Bill

The federal government and big companies want limitless new powers to spy on you.

And they plan to get them via legislation called CISPA — the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act” (HR 3523).

CISPA would give Big Brother new powers to read, watch and listen to everything we do on the Internet. The folks behind CISPA claim that national security interests make this surveillance necessary, but the bill’s language is so vague and overreaching that it opens the door for rampant abuse of our online rights:
• CISPA would allow companies and the government to bypass privacy protections and spy on your email traffic, comb through your text messages, filter your online content and even block access to popular websites.
• CISPA would permit companies to give the government your Facebook data, Twitter history and cellphone contacts. It would also allow the government to search your email using the vaguest of justifications — and without any real legal oversight.
• CISPA contains sweeping language that could be used as a blunt weapon to silence whistleblower websites like WikiLeaks and the news organizations that publish their revelations.
• CISPA would create an environment in which we refrain from speaking freely online for fear that the National Security Agency — the same agency that has conducted “warrantless wiretapping” online for years — could come knocking. Read more.

Revealed: CISPA — Internet Spying Law — Pushed by For-Profit Spy Lobby
Defense industry contractors are lobbying for the cyber security bill in Congress that would expand the government’s ability to access information about online activity.
April 13, 2012 | By Lee Fang

A cyber security bill moving swiftly through Congress would give government intelligence agencies broad powers to work with private companies to share information about Internet users. While some critics are beginning to organize online against the legislation, defense contractors, many already working with the National Security Agency on related data-mining projects, are lobbying to press forward. Like many bad policy ideas, entrenched government contractors seem to be using taxpayer money to lobby for even more power and profit.

The proposal, H.R.3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, introduced by Congressmen Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), provides companies and the government “free rein to bypass existing laws in order to monitor communications, filter content, or potentially even shut down access to online services for ‘cybersecurity purposes.’” Though the bill has been compared to SOPA given its potential to smother free speech on the Internet, the ill-fated copyright legislation that inspired an intense lobbying battle earlier this year, much of the tech community has has joined with copyright interests to support CISPA.
A full list of companies and trade groups supporting the legislation, from Facebook to AT&T, can be found here.

How You Can Help – SaveTheInternet.comHouse Passes CISPA: Make Sure It Dies In The Senate

We pushed them to the brink, but House Republicans rammed through CISPA this afternoon, ahead of schedule. Let’s make sure it dies in the Senate: click here.

CISPA would give the government and corporations vast new powers to track and share data about Americans’ Internet use.

But our hundreds of thousands of emails and tens of thousands of phone calls have had a real impact:

* Amendments were adopted that made CISPA (marginally) better.

* Earlier this month CISPA was supposed to sail through, but we helped foment opposition, and the vote was far closer than anybody could have imagined even a couple of weeks ago.

* Most Democrats held firm in opposition, and more than two dozen libertarian-leaning Republicans defied their leadership and voted no.

* Most importantly, President Obama has threatened to veto CISPA.

The Senate will consider cyber security legislation in the coming weeks. Let’s turn up the heat right away: Tell the Senate to reject CISPA and any and all legislation that doesn’t respect privacy and civil liberties.
Add your name to tell the Senate to reject cyber security legislation that doesn’t respect privacy.

VT Opt Out Free For At Least 1 Year
Press Release – Wake Up, Opt Out

Recent filings with the Vermont Public Service Board (PSB) will mean that Vermonters will be able to “opt out” of smart meter installations for the rest of 2012, and possibly longer.

To help keep EON’s work going, please check out all the support options on our Donation Page or you can also send a check made out to EON to EON, POB 1047, Bolinas, CA

Opt-Out Options – So Cal Utilities Now Included

Resistance is Fertile - Brian Narelle -

Skirmishes Won. Battle Continues.
Our colleagues in Southern California are cheering today at the news that ‘smart meter’ opt-out plans similar to the one authorized by the CPUC for PG&E’s service area will now apply in the Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric service areas as well. Opt-out programs still only apply to individual residences, not businesses. Still include illegitimate, extortionate fees. Still don’t include community-wide opt-out. But, hey. You have to celebrate even partial victories. These are significant wins on the road to a victory for informed democratic choice, and a Wise – as opposed to a so-called ‘Smart’ – Grid.

In this edition, we summarize FYI what we know at the moment about the opt-out state-of-play. Click here and/or scroll down for a MayDay Opt-Out Poster you can print, post and pass on. We link to Sandi Maurer of EMFSafety Network and Josh Hart of who weigh in with valuable advice on strategy. Other links fill out the picture, reporting on So Cal developments. Finally, an industry blogger gives his idea of how to stem the opt-out tsunami he fears is sweeping the country.

What About ‘smart’ meter Opting Out Options?
by Mary Beth Brangan and James Heddle

Wondering what to do
about your certified letter from PG&E about whether or not to choose a ‘smart’ meter or pay to keep an analog meter by May 1?

You have a few choices.
There is no one size fits all solution. I’ll give you some broad outlines here, but you can get more details elsewhere on this blog or, and

Of course we recommend you do NOT accept a ‘smart’ meter under any circumstances because of severe health risks, serious privacy invasion, endangering national security, fire safety risk, electronic interference, accuracy problems and higher bills. And be sure to talk to your neighbors about their choice of meters too because their radiating ‘smart’ meters can effect you adversely.

Here’s the Current ‘Fee Structure’
Currently the fees to opt out for regular customers are $75 up front and $10/mo.
For CARES customers, it’s $10 initially and $5 per month.

CARE income level limit for a 1-2 person household is $31,800.

But, it seems fair to ask…

Why Pay for Opting Out When We Haven’t Opted In As Law Requires?
The Illusory ‘Mandate’

The key on this issue is the concept of ‘time-variant pricing,’ or ‘time-of-use-metering.’ That means that utilities, according to this scheme, will be able to charge variable rates depending on (a) what time the electricity is used and (b) how much, at what price, electricity is available on the grid at that time. This is a hairy, insider-baseball topic. Here’s the essence of what we argued in our Objection to the Proposed Opt-Out Ruling that pre-dated the current decision (link to full PDF). Please pardon the brief lapse into legalese ‘proceeding lingo.’

“1.a) The proposed decision presents a false deadline for mandating choice of meters.

The proposed decision by Commissioner Peevey is premature. By law, customers do not have to decide until Jan. 2014 whether or not to opt out of time variant pricing. Customers should be allowed to have analog meters at least until they are required by law to choose whether they will use time variant pricing on Jan. 1, 2014.

For example from page 21 of the PD:
To ensure that the electric non- communicating meter is able to take advantage of smart grid benefits in the future, it must be capable of capturing interval energy consumption data. While this capability is not needed at this time, it must be available by January 1, 2014. …

The Proposed Decision does not accurately represent the relevant code;
Pursuant to Pub. Util. Code § 745(b)(2) an electrical corporation may employ
mandatory or default time-variant pricing… for residential
customers after January 1, 2014….

The relevant parts of the code read:
Public Utilties Code section 745. (d) On and after January 1, 2014, the commission shall only approve an electrical corporation’s use of default time-variant pricing in a manner consistent with the other provisions of this
part, if all of the following conditions have been met:
(1) Residential customers have the option to not receive service
pursuant to time-variant pricing and incur no additional charges as a
result of the exercise of that option…. [emphasis added)

The law states time-variant cannot be mandatory or by default, but must be offered to residential customers as an option.

SB 695, signed by the Governor on October 11, 2009 and PUC Code 745 (b)(2) and (3) state that the Commission shall not require or permit an electrical corporation to employ mandatory or default time-variant pricing without bill protection for residential customers prior to January 1, 2014 or employ mandatory or default real-time pricing, without bill protection for residential customers prior to January 1, 2020.

Both Public Utility Code and California state law state that:
– The individual residential customer’s decision as to whether or not to opt for ‘time-of-use’ metering is meant to be totally voluntary on the basis of informed consent, and, in any case, does not need to be made until Jan. 2014
– There is no legal requirement that such a customer have a meter capable of capturing time variant data already in place by that date since the residential customer may at that time opt out.
– Unnecessary costs to PG&E will occur from rushing to install unwanted meters that will ultimately be rejected.
– Customers should not be forced to pay for PG&E’s mistake.”

So, Some Options to Consider
You can choose to: 1) opt out, keep your analog meter, (or have your ‘smart’ meter removed) and pay the extortionate fees (which compared to the risks and the increased billing for most ‘smart’ meters, is probably less in the long run) We believe that to be forced to pay to avoid being harmed in the many possible ways by ‘smart’ meters sure looks like a protection racket.  So you should mark ‘paid under protest’ on your check and keep a record. For legal protection, be on the alert not to sign away any of your rights in any meter agreement with PG&E.

2) You can say you refuse to opt out because you never opted in and protest the fees if you still have your analog meter. Lock up your analog meter, don’t allow a PG&E installer onto your property and send them a certified letter saying you refuse to pay their still legally contested fees. You may need to stock up on candles for this option though, because PG&E may either force a ‘smart’ meter on you while you’re not home or cut off your power. If thousands of people do this, however, it will be far more difficult for PG&E to get away with.

3) You can opt out by calling PG&E, but wait to pay your $75 until you see what happens at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC.) PG&E gives you 3 months to pay the up front $75 charge and there are ongoing legal challenges to these fees at the CPUC. EON has been representing ratepayers interests in Phase I, arguing for no cost opt out and to allow people to keep their analog meters rather than what PG&E first wanted which was a ‘smart’ meter with the radio turned off. But we presented evidence showing that wouldn’t solve the many problems caused by digital meters. We also are insisting on Community wide opt out.
(You can read PDFs our arguments to the CPUC here and here if you want all the nitty gritty details.)

Next Phase: Community-Wide Opt-Outs
We’re now getting ready for the next phase. Phase Two of the CPUC proceeding has been ordered to happen, but hasn’t been scheduled yet. In Phase Two Community Wide opt out and the true costs of opt outs are going to be thrashed out.

4) You can support our efforts to defend our right to a Community-Wide opt out and to pay no fees. Marin County as well as Lake County and Santa Cruz County, among 50 other California cities and counties, have legally objected to forced installation of ‘smart’ meters.
Marin, Lake and Santa Cruz actually wrote ordinances and support community wide opt out.

As of now, only residences are being included in the opt out option. This problem of excluding businesses (think health clinics, day care centers, etc.), the radiating data collectors on utility poles and situations where folks and apartments have banks of multiple meters, as well as the problem with being zapped by neighbors’ meters, all make community wide refusal of this harmful wireless mesh network technology necessary.

Pushback Going Viral
The push back against this poorly thought out plan is national and international. Recently another leading cyber security expert, David Chalk, has forcefully spoken out about the incredible security dangers of a wireless grid. He joins other highly informed sources including former CIA director James Woolsey, and the US Inspector General Gregory Friedman, who clearly state the hazards a wireless electricity grid poses to national security. They point out that it’s too hackable and the electricity grid is a known target of cyber warfare. David Chalk says we’d be within three years of a total breakdown of the power grid.
(see full source articles on our blog here. )

“Smart Grid” Plans Endanger Our National Fleet of Aging Nuclear Plants
One of our main worries about all this is that a more vulnerable power grid makes nuclear meltdowns at our already rickety nuclear reactors situated on earthquake faults and in tsunami zones, much more likely since they depend on external power sources to keep the cores and fuel pools cooled. It only takes a few hours with no electricity to cause a meltdown.  Back up emergency diesel power generators at nuclear reactors are notoriously unreliable, and, even if they do work, have a limited amount of fuel stored.

There’s even more: the FBI has recently issued an alert re ‘smart’ meters because of potential hacking. A large utility in Puerto Rico lost hundreds of millions of dollars because a criminal racket provided ‘reprogramming’ services to residences and businesses to lower their bills. [ See: FBI: Smart Meter Hacks Likely to Spread
From Krebs on Security ]

So now, many more people, even in the electrical industry, are finally realizing the problems with the green- washed and over-hyped ‘smart’ grid and ‘smart’ meters. There are much better ways to modernize our electrical grid if Big Brother snooping, ultimate corporate control and quick profit aren’t the driving motives.

PG&E opt out: 1-866-743-0263 or online:

Mary Beth Brangan & James Heddle

Click here to download a PDF of the poster below, or just drag and drop the jpeg.

Emotional Victory in PUC Ruling on SDG&E Smart Meters
By Ken Stone
Blogger and activist Susan Brinchman had been lobbying for opt-out rights for 1 1/2 years.

Read more.

Center for Electrosmog Prevention
ALERT: CPUC Passes SDG&E / SCE Opt-out Plans 4/19/12

(4/19/12) Today, the CPUC Commissioners unanimously passed both SDG&E and SCE opt-out proposals for the utilities’ embattled RF-radiation emitting smart meters. This will impact Southern California customers of San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, two of the state’s three largest independently operated utilities. Residential customers of both utilities may now officially request that the smart meters be removed from their residences. Edison indicates 28,000 have indicated an interest in opting out, and SDG&E has gone from an estimate of around a hundred to 3,000, to date. We think if the public understood the health, safety, privacy, or security issues better, and there was not a fee, close to 100% would opt-out.

Santa Barbara Tea Party Protects Residents From Expensive-Hazardous Smart Meters
by Stephen Frank on 02/12/2012

…Edison Deploying Smart Meters in Santa Barbara Area
Call and Opt-Out Now – Before it’s too Late.
Courtesy Notice from Consumers Power Alliance
Santa Barbara Tea Party and Culpepper Society, 2/11/12

1. Warning: Act Now or Your Rights will be Violated
According to Doug Malousis, manager of district readiness for SCE, who made the smart meter presentation to Goleta City Council this past Tuesday 2/7, 75 to 100 Corix trucks will invade Santa Barbara area to install smart meters starting later this month. If you or your neighbors, family and friends do not call and get on the Delay Install List, SCE says their installer – Corix – can and will enter your property and replace your safe, reliable analog meter.

2. Edison’s D-Day* Invasion – Announced Schedule
Customer letter mailing re: Edison SmartConnect program: Early February 2012
Cell Relay and District Transition End-point Deployment: February 2012
Mass Deployment Start Date: March ’12 98% Saturation – Target Date: June 2012
Total District Volumes: 86,220 Read more.

From Nina Beety:
Here [is a post] from Southern California on the approval by the PUC Thursday. Same fees, as PG&E. SCE has a digital and analog option — not good. Now, hopefully, Phase 2 will start soon. Multi-unit dwellings, community opt-outs and the fees themselves will be looked at. This next post is long, but it explores the reasons why the opt-out is faulty. Links to articles in the media:
Free at Last: CPUC Approves Smart Meter Opt Out for SCE and SDG&E; Dr. Neil Cherry: RF’s Effect on Neurotransmitters; Public Space Increasingly Irradiated

And finally, here’s how one industry pundit thinks the opt-out tsunami sweeping the country can be stopped: “just address privacy concerns.” Simple, huh?

How to Stop Smart Meter Opt-Out Mandates from Advancing Across America?
April 2, 2012 By Silvio Marcacci 31 Comments

To help keep EON’s work going, please check out all the support options on our Donation Page or you can also send a check made out to EON to EON, POB 1047, Bolinas, CA

Hacking the Grid – The 'Smart Meter' Syndrome

‘Smart’ as the New Stupid
More support for what we’ve been reporting for months: A wireless power grid mediated by ‘smart’ meters is a national security blunder of the highest order. A video and three recent articles.

From the Power
Cyber expert on SMART GRID: massive vulnerability, who’s accountable?
Published on Apr 12, 2012 by ThePowerFilm
[Thanks to John Glavis]
Cyber security expert David Chalk weighs in on the smart grid and its outright lack of security.

Hacking Expert David Chalk Joins Urgent Call to Halt Smart Grid
“100% certainty of catastrophic failure of energy grid within 3 years”

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The vulnerability of the energy industry’s new wireless smart grid will inevitably lead to lights out for everyone, according to leading cyber expert David Chalk. In an online interview for an upcoming documentary film entitled ‘Take Back Your Power’ (, Chalk says the entire power grid will be at risk to being taken down by cyber attack, and if installations continue it’s only a matter of time.

“Unless we wake up and realize what we’re doing, there is 100% certainty of total catastrophic failure of the entire power infrastructure within 3 years”

“We’re in a state of crisis,” said Chalk. “The front door is open and there is no lock to be had. There is not a power meter or device on the grid that is protected from hacking – if not already infected – with some sort of trojan horse that can cause the grid to be shut down or completely annihilated.”

“One of the most amazing things that has happened to mankind in the last 100 years is the Internet. It’s given us possibility beyond our wildest imagination. But we also know the vulnerabilities that exist inside of it. And then we have the backbone, the power grid that powers our nations. Those two are coming together. And it’s the smart meter on your home or business that’s now allowing that connectivity.” Read more.

FBI: Smart Meter Hacks Likely to Spread
From Krebs on Security

A series of hacks perpetrated against so-called “smart meter” installations over the past several years may have cost a single U.S. electric utility hundreds of millions of dollars annually, the FBI said in a cyber intelligence bulletin obtained by KrebsOnSecurity. The law enforcement agency said this is the first known report of criminals compromising the hi-tech meters, and that it expects this type of fraud to spread across the country as more utilities deploy smart grid technology….

…The FBI believes that miscreants hacked into the smart meters using an optical converter device — such as an infrared light — connected to a laptop that allows the smart meter to communicate with the computer. After making that connection, the thieves changed the settings for recording power consumption using software that can be downloaded from the Internet.

“The optical converter used in this scheme can be obtained on the Internet for about $400,” the alert reads. “The optical port on each meter is intended to allow technicians to diagnose problems in the field. This method does not require removal, alteration, or disassembly of the meter, and leaves the meter physically intact.”

The bureau also said another method of attacking the meters involves placing a strong magnet on the devices, which causes it to stop measuring usage, while still providing electricity to the customer.

“This method is being used by some customers to disable the meter at night when air-conditioning units are operational. The magnets are removed during working hours when the customer is not home, and the meter might be inspected by a technician from the power company.”

“Each method causes the smart meter to report less than the actual amount of electricity used. The altered meter typically reduces a customer’s bill by 50 percent to 75 percent. Because the meter continues to report electricity usage, it appears be operating normally. Since the meter is read remotely, detection of the fraud is very difficult. A spot check of meters conducted by the utility found that approximately 10 percent of meters had been altered.”

“The FBI assesses with medium confidence that as Smart Grid use continues to spread throughout the country, this type of fraud will also spread because of the ease of intrusion and the economic benefit to both the hacker and the electric customer,” the agency said in its bulletin.

Read more.

From the FBI notice.

Grid securityIndustry insiders: insufficient security controls for smart meters
Published 10 April 2012 – Homeland Security News

False data injection attacks exploit the configuration of power grids by introducing arbitrary errors into state variables while bypassing existing techniques for bad measurement detection; experts say current generation of smart meters are not secure enough against false data injection attacks

Circle the other day announced the results of a survey of 104 energy security professionals. The survey was sponsored by nCircle and EnergySec, a DOE-funded public-private partnership that works to enhance the cyber security of the electric infrastructure. The online survey was conducted between 12 March and 31 March 2012.

When asked, “Do smart meter installations have sufficient security controls to protect against false data injection?” 61 percent said “no.” Read more.

Fukushima's Teetering Unit 4: An Urgent Global Emergency

A Nuclear Sword of Damocles
Because of its importance, we are reposting below an important article from Washington Blog via Global Research in its entirety, including videos.

As the information in the article makes clear, it is not ‘alarmist’ or ‘Chicken Little’ to recognize the nuclear Sword of Damocles hanging by a thread over our species and the entire planetary biosphere.

The lopsided, two-story fuel rod-packed storage pool of Fukushima Unit 4 is 100 feet above the ground, propped up by jacks, its roof blown off by a hydrogen explosion, open to the atmosphere, in an environment too hot for robots, let alone human workers. A 7-point earthquake could knock it over or make it spring a leak. Once the water is spilled a nuclear explosion and fire would follow, potentially spewing 85 times the radiation emitted by Chernoybl around the northern hemisphere and eventually the entire planet. A 7-point earthquake is predicted for the region soon.

This is not just Japan’s problem. This is an international emergency far more immediate than Iran’s mythical nuclear program. It demands coordinated international cooperation and resources be directed at once to head off a potentially global catastrophe of unprecedented proportions. Inform yourself and spread the word. EON Eds.

[ Update: see USGS map of Fukushima fallout in US here. Also: San Francisco Bay Area milk sample has highest amount of Cesium-137 since last June — Almost double EPA’s maximum contaminant level – ENE News. ]

Global Research Editor’s Note
This detailed report by our Contributor Washington Blog must be read very carefully.

The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation. The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”.

Nuclear radiation –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

The implications of this report must be understood. Public opinion worldwide must be informed so that meaningful actions can be taken without delay in support of the Japanese teams.

Spread the word. Forward this report far and wide. Post it on Facebook.

It is essential to put pressure at all levels of government, nationally and internationally to take all actions necessary to avert an impending catastrophe, which in a very real sense threatens the future of humanity.

Michel Chossudovsky, April 9, 2012


“Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel). It is important for the public to understand that reactors that have been operating for decades, such as those at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site have generated some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet.” (Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy)

The Greatest Single Threat to Humanity: Fuel Pool Number 4
We noted days after the Japanese earthquake that the biggest threat was from the spent fuel rods in the fuel pool at Fukushima unit number 4, and not from the reactors themselves. See this and this. We noted in February:

Scientists say that there is a 70% chance of a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hitting Fukushima this year, and a 98% chance within the next 3 years.

Given that nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen says that an earthquake of 7.0 or larger could cause the entire fuel pool structure collapse, it is urgent that everything humanly possible is done to stabilize the structure housing the fuel pools at reactor number 4.

Tepco is doing some construction at the building … it is a race against time under very difficult circumstances, and hopefully Tepco will win.

As AP points out:

The structural integrity of the damaged Unit 4 reactor building has long been a major concern among experts because a collapse of its spent fuel cooling pool could cause a disaster worse than the three reactor meltdowns.


Gundersen (who used to build spent fuel pools) explains that there is no protection surrounding the radioactive fuel in the pools. He warns that – if the fuel pools at reactor 4 collapse due to an earthquake – people should get out of Japan, and residents of the West Coast of America and Canada should shut all of their windows and stay inside for a while.

The fuel pool number 4 is apparently not in great shape, and there have already been countless earthquakes near the Fukushima region since the 9.0 earthquake last March.

Germany’s ZDF tv quotes nuclear engineer Yukitero Naka as saying:

‘If another earthquake occurs then the building [number 4] could collapse and another chain reaction could very likely occur.’

(Unit 4 contains plutonium as well as other radioactive wastes.)

Mainchi reported on Monday:

The storage pool in the No. 4 reactor building has a total of 1,535 fuel rods, or 460 tons of nuclear fuel, in it. The 7-story building itself has suffered great damage, with the storage pool barely intact on the building’s third and fourth floors. The roof has been blown away. If the storage pool breaks and runs dry, the nuclear fuel inside will overheat and explode, causing a massive amount of radioactive substances to spread over a wide area. Both the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and French nuclear energy company Areva have warned about this risk.

A report released in February by the Independent Investigation Commission on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Accident stated that the storage pool of the plant’s No. 4 reactor has clearly been shown to be “the weakest link” in the parallel, chain-reaction crises of the nuclear disaster. The worse-case scenario drawn up by the government includes not only the collapse of the No. 4 reactor pool, but the disintegration of spent fuel rods from all the plant’s other reactors. If this were to happen, residents in the Tokyo metropolitan area would be forced to evacuate.

Former Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Sumio Mabuchi, who was appointed to the post of then Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s advisor on the nuclear disaster immediately after its outbreak, proposed the injection of concrete from below the No. 4 reactor to the bottom of the storage pool, Chernobyl-style.


“Because sea water was being pumped into the reactor, the soundness of the structure (concrete corrosion and deterioration) was questionable. There also were doubts about the calculations made on earthquake resistance as well,” said one government source familiar with what took place at the time. “[F]uel rod removal will take three years. Will the structure remain standing for that long?

Asahi noted last month that – if Unit 4 pool gets a crack from an earthquake and leaks, it would be the end for Tokyo.

Kevin Kamps said last month:

Unit 4 storage pool… The entire building is listing including the pool. What they have is steel jacks underneath the pool to try to keep the floor from falling out or the pool from flipping over.

If that cooling water supply is lost, it will be just a few hours at most before that waste is on fire. 135 tons outside of any radioactive containment. They would be direct releases into the environment. 100% of cesium-137 could be released to the environment.

Former U.N. adviser Akio Matsumura – whose praises have been sung by Mikhail Gorbachev, U.S. Ambassadors Stephen Bosworth and Glenn Olds, and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State and Goldman Sachs co-chair John C. Whitehead – notes:

The unit suffered enormous damage during the tsunami—a hydrogen explosion blew the roof off, leaving the highly radioactive fuel pool exposed to the open air. If another high level earthquake hits the area, the building will certainly collapse. Japanese and American meteorologists have predicted that such a strong earthquake is indeed likely to hit this year.

The meltdown and unprecedented release of radiation that would ensue is the worst case scenario that then-Prime Minister Kan and other former officials have discussed in the past months. He warned during his speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos that such an accident would force the evacuation of the 35 million people in Tokyo, close half of Japan and compromise the nation’s sovereignty. Such a humanitarian and environmental catastrophe is unimaginable. Hiroshi Tasaka, a nuclear engineer and special adviser to Prime Minister Kan immediately following the crisis, said the crisis “just opened Pandora’s Box.”

The current Japanese government has not yet mentioned the looming disaster, ostensibly to not incite panic in the public. Nevertheless, action must be taken quickly. This website over the last year has published a running commentary from scientists explaining why Reactor 4 must be stabilized immediately, who might be able to accomplish such a task, and why the situation has largely gone unnoticed. We believe an independent, international team of structural engineers and other advisers must be assembled and deployed immediately. Mounting public pressure would force the Japanese government to take action. We hope these resources are helpful in educating the public about the crisis that we face.

As the eminent German physicist Dr. Hans-Peter Durr said ten months ago, if the spent fuel pool spills, we will be in a situation where science never imagined we could be.

Matsumura was told that if the fuel pool at unit 4 collapses or the water spills out, so much radiation will spew out for 50 years that no one will be able to approach Fukushima:

Even more dramatically, Matsumura writes:

“Japan’s former Ambassador to Switzerland, Mr. Mitsuhei Murata, was invited to speak at the Public Hearing of the Budgetary Committee of the House of Councilors on March 22, 2012, on the Fukushima nuclear power plants accident. Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated that if the crippled building of reactor unit 4—with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground—collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4. In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel; dangerously, they are open to the air. This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced. He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries. Ambassador Murata informed us that the total numbers of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375).

“I asked top spent-fuel pools expert Mr. Robert Alvarez, former Senior Policy Adviser to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment at the U.S. Department of Energy, for an explanation of the potential impact of the 11,421 rods.

“I received an astounding response from Mr. Alvarez [updated 4/5/12]:

“‘In recent times, more information about the spent fuel situation at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site has become known. It is my understanding that of the 1,532 spent fuel assemblies in reactor No. 304 assemblies are fresh and unirradiated. This then leaves 1,231 irradiated spent fuel rods in pool No. 4, which contain roughly 37 million curies (~1.4E+18 Becquerel) of long-lived radioactivity. The No. 4 pool is about 100 feet above ground, is structurally damaged and is exposed to the open elements. If an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.

“‘The infrastructure to safely remove this material was destroyed as it was at the other three reactors. Spent reactor fuel cannot be simply lifted into the air by a crane as if it were routine cargo. In order to prevent severe radiation exposures, fires and possible explosions, it must be transferred at all times in water and heavily shielded structures into dry casks.. As this has never been done before, the removal of the spent fuel from the pools at the damaged Fukushima-Dai-Ichi reactors will require a major and time-consuming re-construction effort and will be charting in unknown waters. Despite the enormous destruction cased at the Da–Ichi site, dry casks holding a smaller amount of spent fuel appear to be unscathed.

“‘Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel).

“‘It is important for the public to understand that reactors that have been operating for decades, such as those at the Fukushima-Dai-Ichi site have generated some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet.’

“Many of our readers might find it difficult to appreciate the actual meaning of the figure, yet we can grasp what 85 times more Cesium-137 than the Chernobyl would mean. It would destroy the world environment and our civilization. This is not rocket science, nor does it connect to the pugilistic debate over nuclear power plants. This is an issue of human survival.

“There was a Nuclear Security Summit Conference in Seoul on March 26 and 27, and Ambassador Murata and I made a concerted effort to find someone to inform the participants from 54 nations of the potential global catastrophe of reactor unit 4. We asked several participants to share the idea of an Independent Assessment team comprised of a broad group of international experts to deal with this urgent issue.

“I would like to introduce Ambassador Murata’s letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to convey this urgent message and also his letter to Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda for Japanese readers. He emphasized in the statement that we should bring human wisdom to tackle this unprecedented challenge.”

Ambassador Murata’s letter says:

“It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on NO.4 reactor. This is confirmed by most reliable experts like Dr. Arnie Gundersen or Dr. Fumiaki Koide.”

Anti-nuclear physician Dr. Helen Caldicott says that if fuel pool 4 collapses, she will evacuate her family from Boston and move them to the Southern Hemisphere. This is an especially dramatic statement given that the West Coast is much more directly in the path of Fukushima radiation than the East Coast.

Will humanity rise to the occasion, and figure out how to stabilize fuel pool number 4 before catastrophe strikes?

Or will modern civilization win a Darwin award for failing to pay attention to the real threats?

For further background analysis, see


Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War: The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation
– by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-01-25
GR ONLINE READER. The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination… Eventually all major regions of the World will be affected.