Building and operating an atomic plant on an earthquake fault in Seabrook, in a densely populated area just 45 miles from Boston, and requiring ratepayers throughout to New England to pay for it, is an assault on the health, safety and economy of our region. The nuclear industry shattered the very foundation of our democracy, home rule through New England Town Meeting. In 1976, the people of Seabrook voted against having an atomic plant in their town, but it was forced on them. Ten years later, towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire near the plant voted against an emergency evacuation plan that can never work. But with the aid of nuclear industry lapdogs governor John Sununu and other corrupt politicians, the NRC approved a plan that does not protect the people from the nuclear plant. It protects the nuclear owners and financiers from the will of the people. Time and again political intervention violated the integrity of legal licensing proceedings and deprived the people of their right to due process.
Nearly 100 New Hampshire towns, a majority, voted against producing nuclear waste in a Seabrook reactor or anywhere in the state. I recall the lies of the builders at Seabrook who said that nuclear waste is a “non-problem.” Then for months in the mid’80s northern New England lived in fear of being designated as a dump site for the nation’s most lethal nuclear garbage. The people did repulse that effort at the time. But US nukes have generated 20 years’ more nuclear waste and the federal government has yet to fulfill its promise to create a national dump for all the high level waste.
Years ago when opponents of the Seabrook nuclear plant modestly claimed it might triple electric rates, we were labeled “informational terrorists.” But costs rose over ten-fold and rates more than tripled. The real terrorists are nuclear power corporations that hold ratepayers and the region’s economy hostage.
We have witnessed the raw political might of the nuclear corporations come crashing down on the citizens and public officials who had the courage to fight the Seabrook nuke. We remember the threat by the state’s governor to fire any state employee who spoke in opposition to the plant. We saw pro-nuke petitions placed on the check-out counters of the state-owned liquor stores and witnessed the arrest of citizens circulating anti-nuke petitions in the liquor store parking lots.
Nuclear experts claimed the chance of a nuclear accident at Chernobyl was 10,000 to one. Now humans are gone from the deadzone radiating 40 miles in every direction from Chernobyl. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission itself told us 20 years ago there is a 50-50 chance of a major core meltdown in the US. Listening to the talk about how it hasn’t happened yet is playing Hiroshima-Nagasaki Russian roulette.