Blogs > Power to the People

Following energy issues in the state of Connecticut and beyond.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Nuclear Power Used to Evoke Passions

The daily focus on the damaged nuclear reactors in Japan makes me to wonder what has happened to anti-nuclear energy movement in the United States.

New England was once a hotbed of anti-nuclear activism, years before anyone ever heard of Three Mile Island. Anyone remember the Clamshell Alliance?

Thirty four years ago next month, over 2,000 protesters from the group occupied the construction site of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant, which is shown in the distance in the photo at left.

By 1987, both of Connecticut's largest utilities - The United Illuminating Co. and Northeast Utilities - had a $1.1 billion investment in the plant, the New Haven Register reported at the time.

Seabrook opened 21 years ago last month, but not before Public Service Co. of New Hampshire was driven into bankruptcy. PSNH's bankruptcy in 1987 made it the first investor-owned utility company to do that since the Great Depression.

NU acquired PSNH out of bankruptcy court in 1990 and still owns the company.

Nuclear power will continue to be a part of our energy mix for the forseeable future. But in light of what has happened in Japan, it seems rather odd that nobody is speaking out more forcefully about nuclear safety.

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