The Observer’s Position Abandon Nuclear Power The time has come in Texas to press the nuclear-power issue to a decision for total abandonment. The newly-chosen Austin city council may have a majority in favor of withdrawing the city from the South Texas Nuclear Project at Bay City. We urge our Austin readers to work especially hard, in the runoff to be voted on May 2nd, for the election of Bob Binder mayor and Larry Deuser and Charles Urdy to the council. We are convinced that the election of Binder, Deuser, and Urdy will do the most toward pulling Austin out of STNP really doing it. The sorry record of the contractors at STNP gives us little confidence in the plant’s fundamental safety. Houston Lighting & Power is pushing for a second plant at Aliens Ferry only 25 miles away from the edge of Houston, the largest city in the South. Three Mile Island is still dangerous; now an internal report of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says the uranium fuel cores of 22 waterboiling reactors could overheat in certain accidents. Other nuclear power plants are being foisted on us elsewhere in the state; HL&P has even hired a PR firm with the public’s money. Ratepayers are being assessed to pay for building the plants that under the capitalistic system are supposed to be built by the private investors who will take the profits from them. Every nation in the world except Russia and France has turned away from nuclear power, but now the Reagan Administration and the utilities are trying to cram it down our collective throats in this country. We must refuse. NUCLEAR POWER is dirty and costly, radioactive and reactionary. It requires the production of uranium even of plutonium that is also the basis of the nuclear psychosis that has the human race on the brink of extinction in a nuclear war. Nuclear power is the oil and utility companies’ way of killing off solar power, which is clean and on its way to being cheap. Killing off nuclear power is the same thing as championing sunpower; they are the no and the yes of the same two questions, Shall we survive and Shall we stop making our posterity hostage to our corporations’ profits? 2 APRIL 17, 1981 Radioactive wastes from nuclear power plants, nuclear weapons production, and the production of the uranium to sustain them \(much of which comes taminated. The claim that they can be stored safely has yet to be established despite expenditures of billions of industry and government money trying to do it. The legislature as if in a seizure of madness is now girding itself to solicit other states’ nuclear wastes by establishing a regional nuclear waste dump in Once a large nuclear power plant is used up after, say, 40 years what’s to be done with it? Decommissioning is so expensive, these tombs of the human spirit may have to be sealed up and placed under perpetual guard while the hot cores decay for centuries. For aeons? Some of these deadly wastes can kill for tens of thousands of years. How dare we assume our society will last long enough to stay responsible for such consequences? We are not supposed to ask these questions, we are supposed to be good little Germans and take the power we’re given. But we are not good little Germans, we are Americans, we are human beings, and if we contaminate this earth we will have to answer for it through all time. So let’s draw the conclusion: Kill nuclear power stop it end it finish it. THE IMMEDIATE task for the Texas community is to help the intervenors against STNP pay for a formidable presentation next -month \(see Susan are valiant, but underfunded and understaffed, and we hope that persons in the community who have money to spare will help. The case against STNP can be a peanuts case, or a peanut-butter-andjelly case, or a meat-and-potatoes case, depending on money. Witnesses must be subpoenaed, entailing maybe $1,000 in costs. Sources, including one key witness, have moved away and must be located; $2,500 could be used for a private investigator. Activist and law student Lanny Sinkin, leading the fight almost all by himself, has just been joined pro bono by attorney Rob Hagar of Washington, who with Daniel Sheehan handled the Karen Silkwood case, but $5,000 is needed for legal expenses. People involved in the hearings will have to stay in hotels or supporters.’ homes for weeks. Just to make a rounded and solid showing, the intervenors thus need about $10,000. A really first-class presentation could be based on the invaluable technical services of two expert witnesses, Dale Bridenbaugh and Richard Hubbard, who are two of the three nuclear engineers who quit GE in protest against the way nuclear plants are being built but they are in California and using them would cost between $10,000 and $20,000, depending. These costs are appalling. They show why it is so hard for just citizens to fight the giant corporations. Yet with or without enough money, the fight must be made! Who will help? Contributions may be sent to Citizens Concerned About Nuclear Power, 5106 Casa Oro, San Andeduction, make out the gift to the Sierra Club Foundation/CCANP at the same address. R.D. Bombs We call particular attention to the idea of a rally/teach-in at the Pantex plant near Amarillo where all U.S. nuclear bombs are made and the current hearings in Texas and Eastern New Mexico against the location of the MX missile system in our region. \(See the Social We cannot rebuke Germans for alleging they did not know about the death camps in their midst if we say and do nothing about the manufacture, in our own state, of all American weapons of mass extermination. We cannot honestly say we are for reversing and ending the terminal nuclear-arms sickness if we consent to the location, in our area, of a Rube Goldberg MX shell-game system that will do nothing to increase U.S. security and everything to step up the U.S.-Soviet arms race to a new crescendo of madness. “In hundreds of communities around the nation,” say the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the American Friends Service Committee, “nuclear weapons are researched, manufactured, transported, tested or stockpiled at facilities owned by the Department of Energy or the Department of Defense. Increased production of plutonium, other radioactive materials and nuclear wastes escalates the immediate threat to public health and safety. “Military expansion will require financial and human resources causing higher inflation, fewer jobs and further industrial decline. Possible cuts in food stamp programs, legal services and, perhaps, Social Security benefits to fund this military expansionism only further undermine our country’s strength. It is time to say ‘enough is enough.’ Right. It is.
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