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Nuclear Power Crisis 2011: Citizens Appeal

Thea PanethI set my pen to paper with a heavy heart as events unfold in Japan at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plants.  This is the third nuclear power catastrophe since I put on a backpack and walked down the access road at the site of the proposed Seabrook Nuclear power station on April 30, 1977. 

Three Mile Island, a reactor that had been on line 13 months, melted down in 1979.  If there had not been citizen action focused on calling nuclear technology into question that accident would have passed by unnoticed, as had other serious accidents in prior years.
 
The early days of the nuclear age were a time of conflict. My generation grew up during the war on Vietnam and has grown middle-aged and even old, watching conflicts harden in a nation that is fully committed to an unparalleled competitive materialism that walks hand in hand with the preparation for and waging of wars. 
 
Atoms for peace grew out of the development of nuclear weapons, two of which were dropped by the U.S. on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at the end of WWII.  The U.S. has maintained a “first-strike” policy of threatening to use nuclear weapons again ever since. 
 
We have lived our lives objecting and dissenting to these values and the policies that come from them, engaging in all kinds of struggles to raise families, withstand the sorrows that come into any lifetime, as well appreciate the beauty and joy of life.  Many of us who were involved with the Clamshell Alliance in the late 1970’s have maintained bonds of love and friendship with each other, born of the utopian moment we created and experienced in 1977.  
 
When we walked onto the Seabrook site it was for love of the human family and planet Earth. We spawned a movement across the United States.  It was a movement that focused locally on nuclear power plants under construction; that organized regionally around the inadequate evacuation plans being rubber-stamped by government officials on behalf of the nuclear industry; and called into question our country’s policies on energy production and use and nuclear weapons at the national and international level. 
 
The Clamshell Alliance was a meteor, shining a bright light onto these inadequate and corrupt policies, that placed blind faith in the human ability to control a dangerous technology with the capacity to poison the air, the water, the food chain, and the bodies of living things of which we humans are only one link in the chain of life – for eternity. 
 
A technology that produces poisons that last forever should not be pursued.  Decades after our protests, there is still no solution for high-level radioactive waste, despite frothy promises and appropriations of billions of dollars.  There is no workable solution. 
 
In 1986 the accident at the relatively new nuclear plant at Chernobyl spread radiation contamination across the globe.  Contrary to the lies told by industry and governments, a million people died and people are still dying from cancers as a result of that accident. The lies are told to forestall and prevent redress of grievance because if it is not acknowledged that people are getting cancer and dying because of nuclear accidents, no particular party is responsible.  The people who are sick will die and any controversy will die with them. 
 
And now there is Fukushima.  These plants are older, there are many spent fuel rods stored on the site in pools of water.  It is not yet completely clear what parts of these plants are damaged, where the radioactive water is coming from, how to manage the radioactive water and how this catastrophe will end or even if it will end. 
 
We are facing the possibility of not one nuclear meltdown but several at Fukushima.  The consequences of this disaster will be with humanity long past our lifetimes and past our children’s lifetimes as well.   
 
Therefore, we, who sign this statement, call upon our fellow citizens, politicians, and the global community to take action to shut down all existing nuclear plants and to dry cask the highly radioactive waste that has accumulated over the decades and to renounce all threats of using nuclear weapons. 
 
There is no safe dose of radiation, a tiny radioactive particle lodged in your body can cause tissue damage and cancer decades after exposure.  There is no fix and there never was.  For life and planet Earth, No Nukes! 
 
Drafted by Thea Paneth, Rank and File Clam 1977 Occupation and Arlington United for Justice with Peace in honor of Guy Chichester 1935-2009 Clamshell Alliance co founder, a great humanitarian, environmentalist and patriot who spoke truth to power and practiced what he preached always standing for the principle that people are more important than profits and that planet Earth is our beloved home to be treated with love and care.
 
And signing on in support:
 
Cole Harrison, Dover Armory, Potemkin Affinity Group, 1977
Phil Stone, Esq.
Russell Puschak, Worcester Quahog Affinity Group, 1977
Kate Gardner
Girvani Leerer, Berkeley, CA
Sharon Tracy, New Salem, MA
Court Dorsey
Adam Auster
Mary Cupp
Arnie Alpert, Canterbury, NH
Judy Elliott, Canterbury, NH
Renny Cushing, Clamshell Alliance co-founder
David Slesinger, Baltimore, MD ’77 Clam
Tina McGee, Marlborough, NH
Tom Wyatt, Worcester Quahog Affinity Group, 1977
Berri Kramer, 1977 occupier, Heartwood College of Art, President, Kennebunk, Me
Jeanine Burns, R.N.
Damon Thomas, Portsmouth, NH
Patricia Green, Canaan NH, Seabrook, Clamshell veteran
Donlon Wade, Canaan, NH, Seabrook, Clamshell veteran
Duncan McFarland
Paul Shannon
Lynn R. Chong
Lois Mastrangelo
Harvey Wasserman (Sluggo)
Cheryl Fox, Rank and File Clam; office staff, Clamshell Alliance 1977-1978
Brenda Loew
Roy Morrison
George Forte, Boston Clam
Michael Canney, Alachua, FL, Clamshell participant 1977-1980 – still fighting the nukes in FL
Joseph Gerson
Marilyn Levin
Dorian Brooks, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Barbara Boltz, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Lily Heckard, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Lucy Auster, 1977 Occupation
Randy Kehler, Colrain, MA, Safe and Green Campaign
Steve Stodola, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Maria Simoneau
Shelagh Foreman
Kirk Stone
David Bonner, Lexington, MA
Noble Larson, Arlington United for Justice with Peace
Jane Brown, Worcester Quahog Affinity Group 1977
Chris Nauman, Arlington United for Justice with Peace

  

 

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