This essay is reproduced here as it appeared in the print edition of the original Science for the People magazine. These web-formatted archives are preserved complete with typographical errors and available for reference and educational and activist use. Scanned PDFs of the back issues can be browsed by headline at the website for the 2014 SftP conference held at UMass-Amherst. For more information or to support the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Declaration of Nuclear Resistance
by The Clamshell Alliance
“If the Nuclear Regulatory Appeal Board’s incomprehensible and stupid decision to suspend work on the Seabrook station project is allowed to stand, it could mean the beginning of the end for the United States.”
—Gov. Meldrim Thomson of N.H.
In the current opinion column of the Nov .-Dec. 1976 issue of SftP Magazine, we presented a description of the Clamshell Alliance, which is struggling against nuclear power plant construction in Seabrook, N.H. as well as the rest of New England. Clam is an umbrella organization of 15 anti-nuke groups in New England. It has organized demonstrations at Seabrook and other plants, and plans to occupy the Seabrook site on April 30, 1977.
In all its activities, Clam’s tactic is nonviolent direct action. Clam plans to teach the essentials of nonviolent civil disobedience to all the people who take part in the Ma¥ Day Weekend occupation.
The following is a formal “Declaration of Nuclear Resistance” issued by the Clamshell Alliance:
DECLARATION OF NUCLEAR RESISTANCE
WE THE PEOPLE demand an immediate and permanent halt to the construction and export of nuclear power plants.
Nuclear power is dangerous to all living creatures and their natural environment. It is designed to concentrate energy, resources and profits in the hands of a powerful few. It threatens to undermine the principles of human liberation on which this nation was founded.
A nuclear power plant at Seabrook, New Hampshire—or elsewhere in New England—would lock our region on this suicidal path. As an affiliation of a wide range of groups and individuals, the Clamshell Alliance is unalterably opposed to the construction of this and all other nuclear plants. We recognize that:
- The present direction in energy research and development is based on corporate efforts to recoup past investments, rather than on meeting the real energy needs of the people of America.
- There is a malignant relationship between nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons. The arms industry has used the power plants as a shield to legitimize their technology, and the reactor industry has spawned nuclear bombs to nations all over the world, as well as, potentially, to terrorist groups and even organized crime.
- Nuclear plants have proven to be an economic catastrophe. They are wasteful and unreliable, and by their centralized nature tend to take control of power away from local communities.
- The much-advertised “need” for nuclear energy is based on faulty and inflated projections of consumption derived from a profit system that is hostile to conservation. The United States is 6 percent of the world’s population consuming 30 percent of its energy resources. With minimal advances in conservation, architecture and recycling procedures, the alleged “need” for nuclear energy disappears.
- The material and potential destructiveness of nuclear power plants is utterly horrifying. It ranges from cancer-causing low-level radiation to the possibility of major meltdown catastrophes to the creation of deadly plutonium which must be stored for 250,000 years, to destruction of our lakes, streams and oceans with hot water. The murderous contingencies have already filled many volumes, and they cannot be countenanced by a sane society. No material gain – real or imagined – is worth the assault on life itself that atomic energy represents.
WE THEREFORE DEMAND:
- That not one more cent be spent on nuclear power reactors excpt to dispose of those wastes already created ·and to decommission those plants now operating.
- That American energy resources be focused entirely on developing solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, wood and other forms of clean energy in concert with the perfection of an efficient system of recycling and conservation.
- That any jobs lost through cancellation of nuclear construction be immediately compensated for in the natural energy field. Natural energy technology is labor-intensive (as opposed to nuclear, which is capital-intensive) and will create more jobs- permanent and safe- than the atomic industry could ever promise. Any dislocation caused by the shift from nuclear to natural energy must be absorbed by capital, not labor.
- That a supply of energy is a natural right and should in all cases by controlled by the people. Private monopoly must give way to public control.
- That in concert with public ownership, power supply should be decentralized, so that environmental damage is furthur minimized, and so that control can revert to the local community and the individual.
We have full confidence that when the true dangers and expense of nuclear power are made known to the American people, this nation will reject out of hand this tragic experiment in nuclear suicide, which has already cost us so much in health, environment quality, and material resources.
The CLAMSHELL ALLIANCE will continue in its uncompromising opposition to any and all nuclear construction in New England.
Our stand is in defense of the health, safety and general well-being of ourselves and of future generations of all living things on this planet.
We therefore announce that should nuclear construction still be in progress at Seabrook, New Hampshire on MAY DAY WEEKEND, 1977, we will mobilize the citizenry and march onto that site and occupy it until construction has ceased and the project is totally and irrevocably cancelled.