The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant has been running since 1972 in its home of Vernon, Vermont. Vermont Yankee was born at a time when environmentalists were cracking down on nuclear power. In between the 1970’s and 1990’s, numerous protests took place all across the country against the manufacturing and maintaining of nuclear power facilities. Activists were further ignited by the detrimental accident at Three Mile Island 1979, which marked the worst nuclear meltdown in US history.
The Yankee Atomic Electric Company commissioned the Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in 1960 as a prototype in association with President Eisenhower’s ‘Atoms for Peace’ program. It was the first pressurized water reactor built in New England and only the third in the United States. The plant, nicknamed ‘Yankee Rowe’ was commercialized in 1961, but was only scheduled to be in commission for about six years.
After the meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility in March 1979, northern Californian residents feared that a similar incident could occur at their local nuclear plant, Ranch Seco. Located 25 miles southeast of Sacramento, the Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Station operated a system of reactors that was a technological twin to the facility at Three Mile Island, both designed by General Electric. With the U.S.
U.S. anti-nuclear activists and community members force closure of Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant, 1976-1989
In 1965 Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) president John J. Tuomy announced the intent to open a nuclear power plant in East Shoreham on Long Island New York at LILCO’s annual shareholders' meeting. Construction on the site commenced in 1973.
In 1976 local residents held their first protest against the construction of the Shoreham Plant, but details of this action are difficult to ascertain. About this time however, Nora Bredes and other local mothers began voicing specific concerns about the community’s health at local county meetings.
Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant was Maine’s only nuclear plant, located in Wiscasset. The plant began running in late 1972 and throughout its operation accounted for one-third of the state’s electric power.