Anti-nuclear groups in the United States

Anti-nuclear groups in the United States
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More than eighty anti-nuclear groups are operating, or have operated, in the United States.[1] These include: Abalone Alliance, Clamshell Alliance, Greenpeace USA, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Musicians United for Safe Energy, Nevada Desert Experience, Nuclear Control Institute, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Public Citizen Energy Program, Shad Alliance, and the Sierra Club. These are direct action, environmental, health, and public interest organizations who oppose nuclear weapons and/or nuclear power. In 1992, the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said that "his agency had been pushed in the right direction on safety issues because of the pleas and protests of nuclear watchdog groups".[2]

Some of the most influential groups in the anti-nuclear movement have had members who included Nobel Laureates and many nuclear physicists. These scientists have belonged primarily to three groups: the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Federation of American Scientists, and the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility.[3]


Abalone Alliance

The Abalone Alliance (1977–1985) was a nonviolent civil disobedience group formed to shut down the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Diablo Canyon Power Plant near San Luis Obispo. The Abalone Alliance consisted of a coalition which included 60 groups by 1981. It staged blockades and occupations at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant site between 1977 and 1982.[4] Nearly two thousand people were arrested during a two-week blockade in 1981, exceeding Seabrook as the largest number arrested at an anti-nuclear protest in the United States.[4]

Alliance for Nuclear Accountability

The Alliance for Nuclear Accountability (ANA) is a network of local, regional and national organizations working collaboratively on issues of nuclear weapons production and waste cleanup. Many of the local groups live downwind and downstream of the United States nuclear weapons complex sites. The member organizations have been monitoring the Department of Energy nuclear weapons and energy programs for more than 20 years.[5]

Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility

The Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility is a Californian anti-nuclear group which is active with respect to both Diablo Canyon and SONGS. They requested a delay of a steam generator replacement at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station in May 2009.[6]

In April 2011, Rochelle Becker, executive director of the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility said that the United States should review its nuclear accident liability limits, in the light of the economic impacts of the Fukushima I nuclear disaster.[7] The Alliance also developed a petition resisting relicensing of Diablo.[8]

Beyond Nuclear

Beyond Nuclear advocates for the abandonment of nuclear power and nuclear weapons and an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic.[9] The Beyond Nuclear team includes Paul Gunter, Linda Gunter, Kevin Kamps, and Cindy Folkers. [10] In 2007, Beyond Nuclear combined with the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, originally established by Helen Caldicott.[11]

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

As of 2009, there are plans to continue construction at the mothballed Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant. However, Louis Zeller, nuclear campaign coordinator for the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, has said the "hydrology and water are inadequate to support any reactors at Bellefonte".[12]

Calvert Cliffs Coordinating Committee

The Calvert Cliffs Coordinating Committee, through its 1971 court case with the Atomic Energy Commission, was instrumental in bringing about a reorganization of nuclear policy in the USA. Calvert Cliffs has an important place in the history of nuclear power in the USA because it represents an early success for the anti-nuclear movement, which resulted in delayed licensing and construction of the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.[13]

Catfish Alliance

The Catfish Alliance was a grassroots group in Florida which arose after the first large protest at Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in 1977. It was assisted by people who had been arrested at Seabrook.[14][15]

Citizen's Action for Safe Energy

The Citizen's Action for Safe Energy (CASE) group was formed by Carrie Barefoot Dickerson in 1973 to stop construction of the proposed Black Fox Nuclear Power Plant in Oklahoma. Local citizens feared waste from the nuclear plant would lead to birth defects and other health problems for those who lived nearby. Following years of legal action and protests, it was announced in February 1982 that the plant would not be built.[16][17]

Citizens Awareness Network (CAN)

CAN was formed by local residents in 1991 after the attempted relicensing of the Yankee Rowe plant in Rowe, MA showed that the reactor vessel had become embrittled and decreased safety margins from the required one in one million to one in ten thousand. They continue to work towards shutting the remaining reactors in New England and New York State. In July 2008, the Citizens Awareness Network called for the shutdown of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant after various problems at the plant in recent years.[18]

Citizens Energy Council

The Citizens Energy Council was a coalition of environmental groups, founded in 1966 by Larry Bogart. The group published the newsletters "Radiation Perils," "Watch on the A.E.C." and "Nuclear Opponents". These publications argued that "nuclear power plants were too complex, too expensive and so inherently unsafe they would one day prove to be a financial disaster and a health hazard".[19][20]

Citizens for Safe Power

Citizens for Safe Power led the initial opposition (from 1967 through 1972) to constructing the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. The group failed to stop construction but succeeded in persuading the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to impose stricter environmental standards and monitoring. During the 1980s, when nuclear opposition was provoked by the Three Mile Island accident, two attempts by referendum (1980 and 1982) at closing the plant were defeated. A third referendum in 1987 was triggered by the Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine. The referendums all failed despite gaining more than 40% of the vote.

Clamshell Alliance

The Clamshell Alliance was an anti-nuclear organization which attempted to stop construction of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant through civil disobedience and non-violent occupation of the site. In April 1977, 1,414 members of the Clamshell Alliance were arrested and jailed for trespassing at Seabrook.[21] Clamshell members collectively refused bail and continued their protest in the National Guard armories where they were being held. After two weeks of negotiations, a "frustrated Governor (Meldrim Thomson, Jr.) finally relented and granted favorable conditions for their immediate release".[21]

The Clamshell Alliance inspired the formation of similar antinuclear groups elsewhere, with colorful names like the Abalone Alliance in California and the Crabshell Alliance in Washington. It has been estimated that half of America's nuclear power plants faced opposition from such groups as of June 1978.[22] The Clamshell Alliance split into two groups in 1979 and both had disbanded by 1981.[21]

Committee for Nuclear Responsibility

Chaired until recently by John Gofman, the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility is a non-profit, educational group which provides analyses of the health effects and sources of ionizing radiation.[23] Gofman founded the Committee for Nuclear Responsibility in 1971, as a small non-profit, public interest association with three Nobel Laureates on its Board.[24]

Gofman's research yielded higher risk estimates from low-level radiation than the estimates presented by various government agencies. His books carefully show how his analyses proceed from raw data to final conclusions, with no hidden steps.[24]

Committee on Nuclear Information

CNI was organized jointly by a group of St. Louis women and some Washington University faculty. They reported that strontium-90 levels in children's bones was rapidly increasing due to fallout from nuclear testing, making a significant contribution to the nuclear debate, and to the later passage of the Test Ban Treaty of 1963.[25]

Concerned Citizens Against the Bailly Nuclear Site

Concerned Citizens Against the Bailly Nuclear Site was established in 1972. The primary purpose of the Concerned Citizens was to oppose the Northern Indiana Public Service Company's (NIPSCO) plans to construct the Bailly Nuclear Power Plant at the corporation's Bailly site near the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The group avoided mobilizing public opinion against NIPSCO, and instead concentrated on legal action through the courts, the Atomic Energy Commission, and later the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. When NIPSCO decided in August 1981 to cancel plans for the plant, the Concerned Citizens group had achieved its primary objective, and it disbanded in 1982.[26]

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety

Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety is a non-profit, non-government organization founded in 1988 due to community concerns about nuclear waste transportation from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the nation's oldest nuclear weapons production facility, to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the nation's first permanent nuclear weapons waste repository. CCNS has since evolved and grown into a nationally recognized organization known for research, litigation, public education, community outreach and organizing on a range of nuclear issues.[27]

Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone

The Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone is currently mainly concerned about the proposed power boost for Unit 3 at Millstone Nuclear Power Plant, which is known in the nuclear industry as a “stretch power uprate".[28] As of May 2009, the group is also concerned about heated and contaminated water being discharged into Long Island Sound, Niantic Bay and Jordan Cove. Concerns also relate to the reactors intakes which trap marine life when drawing the water into the plants for cooling purposes. Connecticut Coalition Against Millstone is led by Nancy Burton.[29]

Crabshell Alliance

The Crabshell Alliance was a grassroots group in Washington which arose after the first large Seabrook protest. It was assisted by people who had been arrested at Seabrook.[14][15]

Critical Mass

The Critical Mass Energy Project was formed by Ralph Nader in 1974 as a national anti-nuclear umbrella group.[30] It was probably the largest national anti-nuclear group, with several hundred local affiliates and an estimated 200,000 supporters.[31] The organization's main efforts were directed at lobbying activities and providing local groups with scientific and other resources to campaign against nuclear power.[30]

The first national anti-nuclear conference, "Critical Mass '74" was held in Washington D.C. under the sponsorship of Ralph Nader.[32]

Don't Make a Wave Committee

The Don't Make a Wave Committee was formed in October 1969 in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) to protest and attempt to halt underground nuclear testing by the United States in the National Wildlife refuge at Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

Economists for Peace and Security

Economists for Peace and Security is a United Nations-registered, New York-based NGO which links economists interested in peace and security issues. Inspired by International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, it was founded in 1989 as Economists Against the Arms Race (ECAAR), before becoming Economists Allied for Arms Reduction (ECAAR) in 1993. It adopted its present name in 2005.[33][34][35]

Fernald Residents for Environmental Safety and Health

Fernald Residents for Environmental Safety and Health (FRESH) is a grassroots organization which has been involved in decisions about the Fernald Nuclear Weapons Site since 1984.[36]

Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth filed a petition with the South Carolina Public Service Commission, in March 2008, asking it to reject a request for approval of “preconstruction costs” associated with two new nuclear reactors in Cherokee County, South Carolina.[37] Friends of the Earth co-sponsored the 2007 report Why a Future for the Nuclear Industry is Risky.[38]

Greenpeace USA

The Greenpeace USA website states that:

Few of us want a nuclear plant in our community - we've heard about Three Mile Island and Chernobyl and know that accidents can happen anywhere. So it's completely unacceptable that the U.S. government is pushing for more nukes when most of the rest of the world is saying "so long."[39]

Heart of America Northwest

Heart of America Northwest has concerns about the Hanford site, located in southeastern Washington, which is said to be the most contaminated site in the Western Hemisphere. As much as 450 billion US gallons (1.7×109 m3) of contaminated wastes have been dumped into unlined soil trenches at Hanford. According to the 2004 Hanford Solid Waste Environmental Impact Statement, the US Department of Energy intends to ship several thousand truckloads of radioactive waste from nuclear facilities around the country to be stored at Hanford.[40][41]

Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition

The Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC), formed shortly after the events of September 11, 2001, is an alliance of 70 environmental, health, and public policy organizations concerned with the vulnerability of, and radioactive waste from, the Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, NY. IPSEC has called for the orderly decommissioning, securing of the irradiated fuel pools, and closure of the Indian Point Energy Center.[42]

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research

The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) is a Washington, D.C.-area American policy organization ("think tank") located in Takoma Park, Maryland. It provides activists, policy-makers, journalists, and the public with scientific and technical information on energy and environmental issues.[43][44]

Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free

The stated mission of Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free is to protect the citizens, environment, and wildlife of the greater Yellowstone and Grand Teton ecosystems and the Jackson Hole valley from radioactive and hazardous emissions from the U.S. Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory, and to elevate public awareness of concerns about the facilities operating at INL.[45]

Livermore Action Group

The Livermore Action Group organized many mass protests, from 1981 to 1984, against nuclear weapons which were being produced by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Peace activists Ken Nightingale and Eldred Schneider were involved. The group was inspired by the Abalone Alliance and inherited its non-violent "affinity groups" approach.[46]

Lloyd Harbor Study Group

The Lloyd Harbor Study Group was a county-wide coalition of environmental and civic groups and interested individuals who opposed the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant.[47]

Long Island Safe Energy Coalition

The Long Island Safe Energy Coalition was among many groups which protested against the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant located in Long Island, New York. Other groups which were involved included the Lloyd Harbor Study Group, the Farm Bureau, Safe'n Sound (with its Sound Times newspaper), the Shad Alliance (modeled on New Hampshire's Clamshell Alliance), and the Shoreham Opponents Coalition. The plant was completed at a cost of $6 billion but closed in 1989 without generating any commercial electricity.[48]

Los Alamos Study Group

Since 1989, the Los Alamos Study Group, based in Albuquerque, has investigated nuclear disarmament and related issues in New Mexico. The Group's work includes research and scholarship, and education of decision-makers, with particular emphasis on the education and training of young people. Since September 11, 2001, work has increasingly investigated nuclear weapons in the context of aggression abroad and the militarization of US society. The Group's work has helped to build bridges with people in the nuclear laboratories and plants.[49]

Maryland PIRG

Maryland PIRG, a consumer advocacy and environmental group, has intervened in the state regulatory process that will help determine whether construction of a third reactor at the Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant will be approved. The group has been among the few critics of the reactor proposal, which has strong support among Calvert County residents and government officials.[50]

Mothers for Peace

Formed in 1967 by fifteen Beverly Hills women, including actress Donna Reed, Mothers for Peace became a national organization with over 230,000 members in 1971. Members, mostly young mothers, were concerned about the environmental effects of nuclear weapons production and nuclear power on their children.[51]

Mothers for Peace San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace came together in 1969. A young mother had written a letter to the editor of the local newspaper asking that people who shared her sadness and frustration at the needless loss of life in the Vietnam War join her in searching out ways to act effectively as a group. The shared values and compelling need to act that originally brought the group together have continued to characterize the Mothers for Peace. Non-profit: The group ( is a local, non-profit organization (501c3). Its members include mothers, grandmothers, and non-parents. Its membership is predominantly, but not exclusively, women. Mission: The organization’s concerns include the dangers of nuclear power, weapons, and waste on national and global levels. Additionally, the Mothers for Peace cares about peace, social justice, and a safe environment. The group takes on all of these issues, working to make the world safer and more humane for generations to come. Legal Intervention: Since 1973, the Mothers for Peace has focused much of its attention on the local dangers involving Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. It has been the legal intervenor for over three decades of controversy concerning the construction, licensing, and operation of the Diablo Canyon facility. The organization utilizes all legal means to ensure safe operation and compliance with State and Federal Laws. See the Path of Legal Resistance. Specifically, Mothers for Peace has been involved in litigation and public hearings involving the following issues: initial and subsequent licenses, seismic safety, County Emergency Response Plan, high level radioactive waste storage, rate structure and deregulation, degradation of coastal waters, plant security. In October 2008, federal regulators rejected a protest from San Luis Obispo Mothers for Peace alleging the that the Diablo Canyon Power Plant was unsafe from terrorist attacks and should be shut down.[52] In April 2011, there was demonstration of 300 people at Avila Beach calling for the closure of Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant and a halt to its relicensing application process. The event was organized by San Luis Obispo-based group Mothers for Peace in response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.[53]

Musicians United for Safe Energy

Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) was an activist group founded by Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, and John Hall. The group advocated against the use of nuclear energy, forming shortly after the Three Mile Island accident in March 1979.[54] MUSE organized a series of five No Nukes (film) concerts held at Madison Square Garden in New York in September 1979. They also staged a large rally in downtown Battery Park.


In August 2008, North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network (NCWARN), an anti-nuclear organization in Durham, filed legal action opposing the building of two new reactors at the Shearon Harris Nuclear Power Plant in southwestern Wake County.[55] NCWARN also co-sponsored the 2007 report Why a Future for the Nuclear Industry is Risky.[38]

Nevada Desert Experience

The Nevada Desert Experience is a movement which aims to stop U.S. nuclear weapons testing. It is also the name of a particular organization which continues to create public events to question the morality and intelligence of the U.S. nuclear weapons program, with a main focus on the U.S. Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site.[56]

New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution

The New England Coalition (NEC) is a membership-supported non-profit educational organization based in Brattleboro, Vermont. The NEC doesn’t protest as a group, but instead takes legal action. The group "fights every step that the nuclear power industry attempts to take which might increase the risk of harm to the people, animals and land of Vermont and the greater New England region".[57] The NEC was involved in protests at Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Plant before it was shut down in 1992 due to technical considerations.[58][59] The NEC is currently concerned about the possible extension of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant's operating license for an additional 20 years beyond the 2012 expiration.[60]

New Jersey Public Interest Research Group

The New Jersey Public Interest Research Group is working with local, state and national organizations, including the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic, to intervene in Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station’s license extension proceedings.[61]

As of June 2009, the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group is one of five groups who object to the relicensing of Oyster Creek and are appealing the decision in the federal court. Richard Webster, attorney for five environmental and citizens groups challenging the relicensing, says the NRC did not have sufficient information to determine whether the plant can operate safely for the next 20 years.[62][63]

No Nukes group

Bonnie Raitt, Graham Nash and Jackson Browne are part of the No Nukes group which is against the expansion of nuclear power in the USA. In 2007 they recorded a music video of a new version of the Buffalo Springfield song For What It's Worth.[64][65]

North Anna Environmental Coalition

The North Anna Environmental Coalition, with June Allen as president, fought construction and operating licenses for nuclear power plants near Charlottesville, Virginia, in the 1970s.[66] Four reactors were planned and two were built.[67]

Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head

The Northern California Association to Preserve Bodega Head (NCAPBH) was involved in the controversy over the proposed Bodega Bay Nuclear Power Plant in the early 1960s. In June 1963, NCAPBH organized a public meeting and 1,500 helium balloons were released into the air. They carried the message "This balloon could represent a radioactive molecule of strontium 90 or iodine 131". These two substances had reached public prominence in the debate about fallout from nuclear weapons testing.[68]

Northwest Corner Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament

In the 1980s, the Northwest Corner Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament became known for a "tradition of quiet political activism" in the northwest corner of Connecticut.[69][70]

Nuclear Control Institute

The Nuclear Control Institute, founded in 1981, is an independent research and advocacy center for preventing nuclear proliferation and nuclear terrorism. Non-profit and non-partisan, the organization is supported by philanthropic foundations and individuals.[71]

Nuclear Free Great Lakes Campaign

The Nuclear Free Great Lakes Campaign consists of eight safe-energy organizations from the United States and Canada dedicated to the cessation of radioactive contamination of the Great Lakes Basin, and the removal of nuclear power from the area.[72]

Nuclear Free Vermont

Nuclear Free Vermont (NFV) is a grassroots organization of dedicated people from all walks of life. NFV's position is that Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant should not operate beyond 2012, and that the State of Vermont should not only be addressing the energy replacement, but also should have begun the planning for the loss of jobs that could arise from Vermont Yankee's closure.[73]

Nuclear Information and Resource Service

The Nuclear Information and Resource Service is a non-profit group founded in 1978 to be the information and networking center for citizens and organizations concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues. The organization advocates the implementation of safe, sustainable solutions such as efficient energy use and renewable energy.[74]

Nuclear War Study Group

The Nuclear War Study Group was an organization of medical students concerned about the dangers of nuclear war in the 1980s.[75]

Nuclear Watch of New Mexico

The stated aim of Nuclear Watch of New Mexico is to "provide timely and accurate information to the public on nuclear issues in New Mexico and the Southwest". Nuclear Watch of New Mexico seeks to promote both greater safety and environmental protection at regional nuclear facilities and federal policy changes that encourage international efforts to curb the proliferation of nuclear weapons.[76]

Nuclear Watch South

Nuclear Watch South focuses on nuclear power, nuclear waste and nuclear weapons issues with emphasis on plutonium MOX fuel manufacture and plutonium immobilization at Savannah River Site.[77][78][79]


Nukewatch, based in Wisconsin, is an action group working for peace and justice, with a primary focus on the nuclear industry. The organization's various projects focus on issues associated with nuclear weapons, nuclear power and radioactive wastes. The Nukewatch approach is one of non-violence in the spirit of the civil rights movement.[80]

Nurses Alliance for the Prevention of Nuclear War

Nurses Alliance for the Prevention of Nuclear War was one of several medical groups concerned about the dangers of nuclear war in the 1980s.[75]

Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance

Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance (OREPA) began with the organization of a nonviolent direct action event in 1988 at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. OREPA hosts weekly peace vigils at Y-12 as well as multiple protest and awareness-raising events throughout the year in effort to close down the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Plant.[81]

Oyster Shell Alliance

The Oyster Shell Alliance was a grassroots group in Louisiana which arose after the first large Seabrook protest in 1977. Its formation was assisted by people who had been arrested at Seabrook.[14][15]

Paddlewheel Alliance

The Paddlewheel Alliance was a direct action organization in the late seventies, modelled after the Clamshell Alliance. It consisted of local groups in many Indiana towns.[82]

Palmetto Alliance

The Palmetto Alliance was a grassroots group in South Carolina which was formed after the first large Seabrook protest in 1977. Its formation was assisted by people who had been arrested at Seabrook.[14][15]

In April 1978, 280 Palmetto protesters were arrested at a nuclear waste plant site occupation in Barnwell, South Carolina.[83]

Peoples Alliance for Clean Energy

The Peoples Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) is based in Charlottesville, Virginia and works to stop the construction of a new reactor at the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant. PACE participates in the NRC licensing process for this new reactor and has a lawsuit challenging the variance to the Clean Water act which has been given to the plant. PACE also runs symposiums at UVa on energy options and lobbies at the state level.[84]

Physicians for Social Responsibility

Physicians for Social Responsibility is the "medical and public health voice" working to prevent the use or spread of nuclear weapons and to slow, stop, and reverse global warming and toxic degradation of the environment.[75][85]

Pilgrim Watch

Pilgrim Watch is a grassroots organization opposing the Pilgrim Nuclear Generating Station in Plymouth, MA. Pilgrim Nuclear Station's license to operate is due to expire in 2012.[86]

Plowshares Movement

The name, Plowshares, is derived from the biblical injunction to beat swords into plowshares. Ploughshares activists have entered nuclear weapons plants, pounded warheads with hammers, ripped blueprints, and poured blood over nose cones and documents.[87]

Potomac Alliance

The Potomac Alliance was a coalition of concerned citizens from Washington, D.C. who opposed reliance on nuclear power and favored the use of safe, clean, renewable energy alternatives. The Alliance was formed in 1977.[88]

Public Citizen Energy Program

The Public Citizen Energy Program aims to protect citizens and the environment from "the dangers posed by nuclear power and seeks policies that will lead to safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable energy".[89] In 2006, Public Citizen released an information brochure entitled The Fatal Flaws of Nuclear Power.[90]

Redwood Alliance

The Redwood Alliance does not support construction of new nuclear reactors as a means of addressing global warming. It believes that available renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are faster, cheaper, safer, and cleaner strategies for reducing greenhouse emissions than nuclear power.[91]

Rocky Flats Truth Force

The Rocky Flats Truth Force was a grass-roots non-violent anti-nuclear group formed during protests at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant near Golden, Colorado during the late 1970s. In April 1978, the group blocked railroad tracks to the Rocky Flats Plant, and were subsequently arrested. Continuing actions culminated in a larger demonstration and further arrests in May 1978.[92]


On January 3, 2008, Riverkeeper joined some other nuclear watchdog groups in petitioning the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to suspend current license renewal proceedings for the Indian Point, Oyster Creek, Pilgrim and Vermont Yankee nuclear power plants. Riverkeeper has suggested that the NRC is "rubberstamping applications", and the group has called for "an objective and independent investigation" into the current license renewal process.[93]

Rock The Reactors

Formed in 2006 by Remy Chevalier and friends to enlist the participation of green consumer culture into the anti-nuclear movement, by solliciting fashion professionals, LED companies, and other related industries. RTR's major focus has been shutting down the Indian Point nuclear power plant 30 miles (48 km) North of the garment district, to finish what the No Nukes concert series started back in the late 70's. RTR has launched a number of successful viral marketing campaigns that have boosted participation, building bridges with other anti-nuclear coalitions. Rock The Reactors is a member of IPSEC. [94]

Safe and Green Campaign

The Safe and Green Campaign was founded in 2005. It is a grass-roots operation aimed at preventing the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant from having its licence renewed. Safe and Green was one of the organizers of the January, 2010 walk to Montpelier to prevent license renewal.[95]

Safe Power Vermont

Safe Power Vermont contends that, as one of the oldest nuclear power plants in the country, Vermont Yankee's continued operation poses a threat to the people of Vermont. Intended to operate until 2012, the group suggests that the nuclear facility is running at 20% above its designed capacity and is suffering from aging infrastructure.[96]

Seacoast Anti-Pollution League

The Seacoast Anti-Pollution League[97] formed forty years ago to fight New Hampshire's Seabrook nuclear plant and plans to continue fighting any "nuclear renaissance," believing the energy future belongs instead to renewable energy (wind and solar power), energy-efficient houses and affordable electric cars.[98]

Shad Alliance

The Shad Alliance was an active and influential anti-nuclear group which used non-violent, direct action methods in the late 1970s and 1980s. The Shad Alliance linked anti-nuclear activists on Long Island, in New York City, and throughout the Hudson River area, and targeted the Indian Point and Shoreham nuclear power plants.[99]

On June 3, 1979, a large demonstration at Shoreham was organized by the Shad Alliance. About 18,000 people marched on Shoreham nuclear plant and 500 climbed the perimeter fence to occupy the plant in an act of civil disobedience. Police made 571 arrests.[99][100]

Shoreham Opponents Coalition

Nora Bredes, executive director of the Shoreham Opponents Coalition, was the primary organizer of the grass-roots campaign against Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant. She lobbied officials, organized advertising campaigns, wrote pamphlets, and planned rallies.[101] Ms. Bredes drew together more than two dozen local opposition groups which included the Lloyd Harbor Study Group, the Farm Bureau, The Long Island Safe Energy Coalition and its newsletter Chain Reaction, Safe'n Sound with its Sound Times newspaper, and the S.H.A.D. Alliance (modeled on New Hampshire's Clamshell Alliance). According to a Newsday poll, in 1981, 43 percent of Long Islanders opposed the plant; by 1986, that number had risen to 74 percent.[101]

Shundahai Network

The Shundahai Network was formed at the Nevada nuclear test site in 1994, by a group of nuclear disarmament activists, at the request of Corbin Harney, a Western Shoshone spiritual leader. The Shundahai Network seeks to abolish all nuclear weapons and put an end to nuclear testing. They advocate phasing out nuclear energy and ending the transportation and dumping of nuclear waste. The Network works to promote the principles of environmental justice and strive to insure that indigenous voices are heard in the movement to influence U.S. nuclear and environmental policies.[102]

Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is particularly concerned about the transportation of nuclear waste to the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository in Nevada. According to the Sierra Club, planned nuclear waste transportation would involve truck or rail shipments through 43 states (many of which have chosen not to have nuclear facilities), within half a mile of millions of homes, and through over 100 of America's largest cities. Barge shipments would move through 17 port cities on the Atlantic seaboard and through the drinking water of the Great Lakes via Lake Michigan. The Department of Energy (DOE) is predicting that 108,500 waste shipments will be required over 38 years.[103]

As of June 2009, the New Jersey Sierra Club is one of five groups who object to the relicensing of Oyster Creek and are appealing the decision in the federal court.[62][63]

Snake River Alliance

The Snake River Alliance is an Idaho-based grassroots group "working through research, education, and community advocacy for peace and justice, the end to nuclear weapons, responsible solutions to nuclear waste and contamination, and sustainable alternatives to nuclear power". Since 1979 the Alliance has endeavored to protect Idaho's people, environment, and economy from nuclear weapons and waste at the Idaho National Laboratory. The Alliance has also advocated clean and renewable energy, promoting the development of a sustainable energy plan for Idaho.[104]

Southeast Convergence for Climate Action

Activists from the Southeast Convergence for Climate Action[105] occupied the welcome center for Dominion’s North Anna Nuclear Power Plant on August 7, 2008. The action was taken to protest Dominion’s plans to build two new nuclear reactors and "to call out nuclear power for the false solution that it is to the climate crisis".[106]

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that promotes responsible energy choices that solve global warming problems and promote clean, safe and healthy communities throughout the Southeast of the United States.[107] SACE opposes several nuclear and plutonium expansion proposals which "threaten the development of a safe, healthy future in the Southeast". SACE states that these proposals, coupled with an effort by some lawmakers to revitalize nuclear power through controversial energy legislation, will further degrade the Southeast region.[108]

Sunflower Alliance

The Sunflower Alliance was a grassroots group in Kansas which arose after the first large Seabrook protest in 1977. Its formation was assisted by people who had been arrested at Seabrook.[14][15]

Texans for a Sound Energy Policy Alliance

Texans for a Sound Energy Policy Alliance, a Texas anti-nuclear group, protested outside Exelon headquarters in Chicago in October 2008. The group is against a proposed nuclear reactor to be built near Victoria, Texas.[109]

Three Mile Island Alert

Three Mile Island Alert is a non-profit citizens' organization which is critical of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant and is dedicated to the promotion of safe-energy alternatives to nuclear power. Formed in 1977 (two years before the Three Mile Island accident). TMIA is the largest and oldest nuclear watchdog group in central Pennsylvania. The group has provided testimony to the US Senate, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and has received certificates of commendation from several governmental bodies.[110]

Several other groups formed after the TMI accident, including PANE, Newberry Township Steering Committee, and the Susquehanna Valley Alliance.[111]

Tri-Valley CAREs

Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (CAREs) was founded in 1983 in Livermore, California by concerned neighbors living around the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, one of two locations where US nuclear weapons are designed. Tri-Valley CAREs monitors nuclear weapons and environmental clean-up activities throughout the US nuclear weapons complex, with a special focus on Livermore Lab and the surrounding communities. Tri-Valley CAREs' overarching mission is to promote peace, justice and a healthy environment.[112]

For many years, Tri-Valley CAREs has helped to organize the annual Good Friday protest outside Lawrence Livermore Laboratory where, in 2008, more than 80 people were arrested.[113]

Trojan Decommissioning Alliance

The Trojan Decommissioning Alliance organized the first major direct action protest at Trojan Nuclear Power Plant in August 1977, and another in August 1978, which led to about 280 arrests. By the end of the 1970s, however, the anti-nuclear movement was shifting from direct action to electoral strategies. In Oregon, an initiative passed in 1980 required voter approval for future nuclear projects in the state. Plans for two nuclear plants at Pebble Springs, in eastern Oregon, "fell victim in 1982 to cost escalation, declining demand, and the prospect of losing a popular vote".[114]

Two Futures Project

The Two Futures Project is dedicated to eliminating nuclear weapons worldwide. Tyler Wigg-Stevenson, a member of First Baptist Church in Nashville, is the founder and director of the group which was officially launched in April 2009.[115]


The UNPLUG Salem Campaign began in 1995 and focuses on closing the Salem Nuclear Power Plant as soon as possible, and also tries to stop the killing of fish and marine life by the plants. In addition, the Campaign promotes alternatives to electricity produced by nuclear power and coal.[116]

The New York Times has reported that, in the 1990s, the Salem reactors were shut down for two years because of maintenance problems.[117]

Vermont Public Interest Research Group

In July 2008, Vermont Public Interest Research Group called for the immediate shutdown of Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant after various problems at the plant in recent years.[18]

Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control

The Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that operates in Washington, D.C. under the auspices of the University of Wisconsin–Madison. It conducts research and advocacy "to stem the spread of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction". The Wisconsin Project was established in 1986 by Professor Gary Milhollin.[118]

Women Strike for Peace

Women Strike for Peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis

Women Strike for Peace was a national network largely composed of middle-class, well-educated wives and mothers, who protested the Cold War buildup of nuclear arms arsenals.[119] On November 1, 1961, about 50,000 women marched in 60 cities in the United States to demonstrate against nuclear weapons. It was the largest national women's peace protest of the 20th century.[119][120]

See also


  1. ^ Many of these groups are listed at "Protest movements against nuclear energy" in Wolfgang Rudig (1990). Anti-nuclear Movements: A World Survey of Opposition to Nuclear Energy, Longman, pp. 381-403.
  2. ^ Matthew L. Wald. Nuclear Agency's Chief Praises Watchdog Groups, The New York Times, June 23, 1992.
  3. ^ Jerome Price (1982). The Anti-nuclear Movement, Twayne Publishers, p. 65.
  4. ^ a b Daniel Pope. Conservation Fallout (book review), H-Net Reviews, August 2007.
  5. ^ Alliance for Nuclear Accountability > Welcome
  6. ^ Regulators criticize safety "culture" at San Onofre nuke plant
  7. ^ Rochelle Becker (April 18, 2011). "Who would pay if nuclear disaster happened here?". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Beyond Nuclear
  10. ^ Beyond Nuclear Team of Experts
  11. ^ Beyond Nuclear and Nuclear Policy Research Institute Combine to Challenge Nuclear Power and Weapons
  12. ^ TVA's Bellefonte: Mothballed, canceled and revived
  13. ^ Marco Giugni. Social Protest and Policy Change: Ecology, Antinuclear, and Peace Movements Rowman & Littlefield, 2004, p. 44.
  14. ^ a b c d e Brian Tokar. Earth for sale: reclaiming ecology in the age of corporate greenwash South End Press, 1997, p. 242.
  15. ^ a b c d e Ronald J. Hrebenar. Interest group politics in America 1997, pp. 148-149.
  16. ^ Janice Francis-Smith. Energy officials say nuclear power comeback not likely to happen The Journal Record, September 28, 2005.
  17. ^ Carrie Dickerson Foundation
  18. ^ a b Daniel Barlow. Nuke watchdog groups say it's time to close Vermont Yankee Times Argus, July 19, 2008.
  19. ^ Keith Schneider. Larry Bogart, an Influential Critic Of Nuclear Power, Is Dead at 77 New York Times, August 20, 1991.
  20. ^ No nukes by Anna Gyorgy p. 383.
  21. ^ a b c Gary L. Downey. Ideology and the Clamshell Identity Social Problems, Vol. 33, No. 5, June 1986, p. 357.
  22. ^ Steve E. Barkan. Strategic, Tactical and Organizational Dilemmas of the protest Movement Against Nuclear Power Social Problems, Vol. 27, No. 1, October 1979, p. 24.
  23. ^ The Committee for Nuclear Responsibility
  24. ^ a b John Gofman (USA)
  25. ^ Bracing for Armageddon by Dee Garrison
  26. ^ CRA073 -- James Newman Papers
  27. ^ About CCNS
  28. ^ Anti-nuclear Activist Seeks Hearing For Millstone Power Boost Proposal
  29. ^ State Supreme Court rules activist has right to challenge Millstone permit process
  30. ^ a b Wolfgang Rudig (1990). Anti-nuclear Movements: A World Survey of Opposition to Nuclear Energy, Longman, p. 402.
  31. ^ Steve Cohn (1997). Too cheap to meter: an economic and philosophical analysis of the nuclear dream SUNY Press, pp. 133-134.
  32. ^ Steve E. Barkan. Strategic, Tactical and Organizational Dilemmas of the protest Movement Against Nuclear Power Social Problems, Vol. 27, No. 1, October 1979, p. 23.
  33. ^ EPS USA, History, accessed 1 March 2010
  34. ^ Robert Schwartz, 88, Broker and Promoter of Social Causes, Dies New York Times, 19 May 2006.
  35. ^ Robert J. Schwartz (2002), Can you make a difference?: a memoir of a life for change, Lantern Books, ISBN 9781590560327
  36. ^ Jennifer Duffield Hamilton. "Competing and Converging Values in Public Participation" in Communication and Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making edited by Stephen P. Depoe et al, State University of New York Press, 2004, p. 66.
  37. ^ Plans for new nuclear reactors in S.C. challenged
  38. ^ a b Why a Future for the Nuclear Industry is Risky
  39. ^ Nuclear Issues
  40. ^ About Heart of America Northwest
  41. ^ Anti-nuke figure Gerry Pollet visits Nevada
  42. ^ What is IPSEC?
  43. ^ IEER Publications
  44. ^ Science for Democratic Action
  45. ^ Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free
  46. ^ Barbara Epstein. Political protest and cultural revolution: nonviolent direct action in the 1970s and 1980s University of California Press, 1993. pp. 125-133.
  47. ^ Shoreham and the rise and fall of the nuclear power industry p. 7.
  48. ^ The Politics of Nuclear Power: A History of the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant
  49. ^ Who We Are
  50. ^ Anti-Nuclear Group Fights Third Reactor
  51. ^ The Atomic West p. 208.
  52. ^ Nuclear commission rejects protest over California plant
  53. ^ Julia Hickey (April 17, 2001). "Anti-nuclear rally at Avila Beach". The Tribune. 
  54. ^ Commentary: Stealth nuke effort should be stopped
  55. ^ NCWARN challenges Progress nuclear plans
  56. ^ 19 anti-nuclear protesters cited at Nevada Test Site
  57. ^ New England Coalition on Nuclear Pollution
  58. ^ Nuclear Agency's Chief Praises Watchdog Groups
  59. ^ Oldest operating US nuclear power plant shut down
  60. ^ Vermont Yankee's woes top list of year's big stories
  61. ^ Close Oyster Creek
  62. ^ a b NJ nuclear plant opponents appeal relicensing
  63. ^ a b Nuclear license renewal sparks protest
  64. ^ “For What It’s Worth,” No Nukes Reunite After Thirty Years
  65. ^ Musicians Act to Stop New Atomic Reactors
  66. ^ No nukes by Anna Gyorgy p. 418.
  67. ^ Cancelled Nuclear Units Ordered in the United States
  68. ^ Wolfgang Rudig (1990). Anti-nuclear Movements: A World Survey of Opposition to Nuclear Energy, Longman, pp. 110-111.
  69. ^ The View from the Salisbury Green; Standing Up For Their Beliefs: Vigil Against Nuclear Arms
  70. ^ Anti-Nuclear Group Marks a 5-Year Vigil
  71. ^ About us
  72. ^ Comments of the Nuclear Free Great Lakes Campaign
  73. ^ Nuclear Free Vermont
  74. ^ About NIRS
  75. ^ a b c Professional Groups Flocking to Anti-nuclear Drive
  76. ^ General Information
  77. ^ Nuclear Watch South
  78. ^ [1]
  79. ^ Protests Greet Nuclear Power Resurgence in US South
  80. ^ Nukewatch
  81. ^ About OREPA & the Stop the Bombs! Campaign
  82. ^ No nukes by Anna Gyorgy p. 424.
  83. ^ Steve E. Barkan. Strategic, Tactical and Organizational Dilemmas of the protest Movement Against Nuclear Power Social Problems, Vol. 27, No. 1, October 1979, p. 30.
  84. ^ People's Alliance for Clean Energy
  85. ^ Physicians for Social Responsibility
  86. ^ Pilgrim Watch
  87. ^ Herbert Mitgang. Books of The Times; Shifting Causes: Updates From the American Left New York Times, June 26, 1991.
  88. ^ No nukes by Anna Gyorgy p. 414.
  89. ^ About the Energy Program
  90. ^ The Fatal Flaws of Nuclear Power
  91. ^ Redwood Alliance
  92. ^ Ann Morrissett Davidon (December 1979). "The U.S. Anti-nuclear Movement". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. p. 46. 
  93. ^ Environmental group protests nuclear plant license renewal
  94. ^ Rock The Reactors
  95. ^ Safe and Green Campaign
  96. ^ Safe Energy Vermont
  97. ^
  98. ^ NH anti-nuclear group vows to continue its fight
  99. ^ a b Brown, Jerry and Brutoco, Rinaldo (1997). Profiles in power: The antinuclear movement and the dawn of the solar age, Prentice Hall, pp. 63-64.
  100. ^ Lights Out at Shoreham: Anti-nuclear activism spurs the closing of a new $6 billion plant
  101. ^ a b Dennis Hevesi (August 22, 2011). "Nora Bredes, Who Fought Long Island Nuclear Plant, Dies at 60". New York Times. 
  102. ^ Shundahai Network
  103. ^ Deadly Nuclear Waste Transport
  104. ^ What we're all about
  105. ^
  106. ^ Southeast Climate Convergence occupies nuclear facility
  107. ^ Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
  108. ^ Nuclear Expansion
  109. ^ Protest against nuclear reactor Chicago Tribune, October 16, 2008.
  110. ^ Three Mile Island Alert
  111. ^ TMI 25 Years Later p. 56.
  112. ^ Welcome to Tri-Valley CAREs
  113. ^ More than 80 people arrested at annual protest at Livermore lab
  114. ^ Daniel Pope. Anti-Nuclear Movement The Oregon Encyclopedia.
  115. ^ Nashville preacher leads no-nuke push
  116. ^ UNPLUG Salem
  117. ^ Creating the Nation's Largest Utility Company New York Times, January 29, 2006.
  118. ^ Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control
  119. ^ a b Woo, Elaine (January 30, 2011). "Dagmar Wilson dies at 94; organizer of women's disarmament protesters". Los Angeles Times.,0,5499397.story. 
  120. ^ Hevesi, Dennis (January 23, 2011). "Dagmar Wilson, Anti-Nuclear Leader, Dies at 94". The New York Times. 

Further reading

  • Falk, Jim (1982). Gobal Fission:The Battle Over Nuclear Power, Oxford University Press.
  • Jasper, James M. (1997). The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226394816
  • Natti, Susanna and Acker, Bonnie (1979). No nukes: Everyone's guide to nuclear power.
  • Ondaatje, Elizabeth H. (c1988). Trends in antinuclear protests in the United States, 1984-1987.
  • Peterson, Christian (2003). Ronald Reagan and Antinuclear Movements in the United States and Western Europe, 1981-1987.
  • Polletta, Francesca (2002). Freedom Is an Endless Meeting: Democracy in American Social Movements, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226674495
  • Smith, Jennifer (Editor), (2002). The Antinuclear Movement.
  • Wellock, Thomas R. (1998). Critical Masses: Opposition to Nuclear Power in California, 1958-1978, The University of Wisconsin Press, ISBN 0299158500

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