There are hundreds of books about the Civil Rights and other movements, but very few historic works on the American anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s. The No Nukes Oral History Project is now resurrecting that story.
When the movement began, then-president Richard Nixon had promised 1,000 new nuclear plants in the United States by the year 2000. By the early 1980s, all new nuclear power plants were cancelled, and some existing ones have since been decommissioned. The anti-nuclear power movement also had a profound effect on revitalizing a nuclear disarmament movement, and the US-Soviet nuclear arms race also ended in the 1980s.
This project draws an arc from the first small resistances to the Montague nuke in Massachusetts through the mass civil resistance against the Seabrook nuke in New Hampshire, the Clamshell Alliance, all the many organizations and campaigns that came out of it in New England and nationwide, to the massive 1982 march in New York City for a Nuclear Weapons Freeze.
This oral history covers the years 1973 to 1982. Memories from before or after those years are welcome but will only be used if they are relevant to explaining what happened in those nine years.
If you were part of, or witness to, any of those events, we’d like to hear your story, too. Here’s how you can be part of it.
We provide 45 questions below, some of which may be relevant to your story. You may interview yourself, or have someone else ask you the questions, and send us the digital audio file or transcript.
Please keep in mind that we are not looking for arguments against (or for) nuclear power. Those are already widely published and for this project will be left on the cutting room floor. What we seek are stories of what you saw, heard and lived with your own eyes, ears and actions during the first years of the No Nukes movement.
Between December 2012 and July 2013, we have conducted 93 extensive interviews, and also have received 38 interviews recorded from 2005 to 2009 (including with the late Seacoast New Hampshire organizers Guy Chichester and Diane Garrand) by veterans of the Clamshell Alliance, but every interview mentions somebody else that we have yet to interview. To facilitate the most inclusive project and cast the widest net, we invite all who were involved in or witness to the No Nukes movement from 1973 to 1982 to record (or write) your own stories of what you saw, heard and did in it. We also invite you to ask these questions to others who were involved.
Thank you. We hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane as much as we have been enjoying it!
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