Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)

Basque citizens end construction of Lemoniz Nuclear Power Plant, 1976-1978

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

The construction of the Lemoniz Nuclear Power Plant started in the 1970s, as the power company Iberduero Basque Utility planned to build several nuclear plants on the Basque coast. There had been an international oil crisis during the time, and the effect of the oil shortage had huge detrimental consequences for the Spanish economy. The central government was interested in investing in alternative energy such as nuclear power. The central planning of the Lemoniz power plant began in 1972 when the government gave provisional approval to build a nuclear power plant in Lemoniz.

Mass occupation of proposed Wyhl nuclear power plant site in Germany, 1974-1977

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

Due in part to the OPEC energy crisis in the 1970s, Germany began a transition to greater nuclear energy production. Demand for electricity was projected to grow by seven percent annually and the state’s solution was the construction of eight nuclear plants by 1990. Citizens in communities that were determined suitable for the building of a nuclear facility were worried about the potential dangers of nuclear energy – low-level radiation, the risk of a catastrophic disaster, the disposal of radioactive waste and other environmental impacts due to the construction and operation of the plant.

Abalone Alliance campaigns against Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant, California, 1976-1984

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

In 1965 Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) announced its plans to build a new nuclear facility with six reactors and selected Diablo Canyon as the optimal site, even though the site included a sacred burial ground of the Chumash Native Americans and a large costal wilderness area as well as potential zones of seismic activity that could lead to earthquakes and a nuclear disaster. Construction was projected to cost $162,270,000 and the plant was forecasted to be operational in May 1972.

U.S. citizens campaign to close nuclear power plant in Rowe, Massachusetts, 1991

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

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.

Scottish anti-nuclear power campaign in Torness, 1977

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

In 1976, Pete Roche and a few other activists founded the Scottish Campaign to Resist the Atomic Menace (SCRAM). Aimed at protesting the construction of the Torness nuclear power station in the South-East of Scotland, as well as opposing nuclear power in general, SCRAM organized some of the largest anti-nuclear power demonstrations in the UK in the 1970s and 80s. The organization was composed of eight full time volunteer workers, plus vacillating numbers of members. The decision-making process was mainly represented by consensus reached during public meetings.

Pennsylvanians campaign against nuclear-related Delaware River pump (Dump the Pump), USA, 1982-1988

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

In February of 1981, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) unanimously approved the construction of a $42 million dollar water pump. The proposal claimed the pipeline would bring much-needed water to Montgomery County and areas of Bucks County. Its other purpose would be to funnel half of the 95-million-gallon-a-day flow to cooling the Pennsylvania Electric Company’s new nuclear plant in nearby Limerick. The announcement sparked off a wave of complaints and organization among local citizens.

Allegany County resists nuclear dumping, 1989-1990

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

The state of New York was required by federal law to have a nuclear waste dump by January 1, 1993. In 1988, a special siting committee formed to determine where to put the dump. The siting commission considered five sites in rural Allegany County, New York, as potential spots to put the nuclear dump. The people of Allegany County linked arms in several acts of civil disobedience to prevent the construction of a nuclear waste facility in their backyard.

Australians campaign against nuclear power and uranium mining, 1974-1988

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

After the United States dropped the first atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the initial shock of the weapons’ destructive power wore off, many countries became interested in developing electricity based off of the nuclear technology. Along with the exciting new possibilities that always accompany new technology, nuclear fission carried with it a whole host of dangerous challenges as well.

Texans defend Sierra Blanca community against nuclear waste disposal, 1996-1998

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

In 1991, the Texas Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Authority (TLLRWDA) began searching for a disposal site for dangerous toxic waste in the Hudspeth County area. According to the 1983 La Paz agreement, Hudspeth County falls in a no-contamination zone surrounding the Mexican border. Regardless, the TLLRWDA selected Sierra Blanca, a small low-income town in an environmentally fragile region.

Montague, Massachusetts, citizens stop nuclear power plant construction, United States, 1974

Anti-Nuclear Power Movement (1960s-1980s)
 

In 1973, the Northeast Utilities (NU) company began developing plans to build a nuclear power plant in the small town of Montague, Massachussets. The company’s investment in the plant totaled $1.52 billion, roughly thirty times the assessed value of the whole town. The project’s only vocal adversaries were a group of organic farmers who called themselves the Nuclear Objectors for a Pure Environment (NOPE). One of the group’s most active participants was Samuel Lovejoy, an organic farmer and longtime resident of Montague.

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