Nuclear Power

Nuclear power cannot address climate change effectively or in time. Reactors have long, unpredictable construction times are expensive - at least $12 billion or higher per reactor. Furthermore, reactors are sitting-duck targets vulnerable to attack and routinely release - as well as leak - radioactivity. There is so solution to the problem of radioactive waste.



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Frances Crowe, Anti-Nuclear Activist Extraordinaire, Passes on at 100

Frances Crowe. Photo by Robbie Leppzer. Used with permission.The sub-headline of France Crowe's obituary in the New York Times reads: "The bombing of Hiroshima led her to devote her life to antiwar protests. She was arrested often, but when asked how often, she said, 'Not enough.'" (As Democracy Now! has reported, Frances passed on, on August 27, 2019 in Northampton, MA, surrounded by family and friends.)

That question was asked to her by an Associated Press reporter, so her answer was published in newspapers across the country, on March 22, 2012. That was the first day of the Vermont Yankee (VY) atomic reactor's broadly resisted 20-year license extension. Well over a thousand protestors marched through the streets of Brattleboro, to Energy Nuclear's HQ in Vernon. 136 were arrested there that day -- including Frances Crowe (93 years old at the time) and numerous of her activist-sisters in the "Shut It Down!" affinity group, wearing their "uniform" (matching, but each one unique!), handmade, rainbow batik tee shirts (see photo, above left). It was but one of countless times Frances was arrested at VY.

Two and a half years later, at 12:24pm on December 29, 2014, VY shut down for good, despite its 20-year license extension, bowing to public pressure. Frances was a co-leader of the shutdown campaign.

Her inspirational role in the VY shutdown movement is reflected, and now memorialized, in Robbie Leppzer's documentary film, Power Struggle.

But as documented in Leppzer's film Seabrook 1977, Crowe played a key role there too, during those early Clamshell Alliance actions.

Re: Crowe's part at the early Seabrook protests, anti-nuke photographer Lionel Delevingne's book To the Village Square, From Montague to Fukushima: 1975-2014 is co-dedicated to her: "Dedicated to Steve Turner and Frances Crowe, who have inspired me since Day One, and to the children of the world, the reason for this book."

Delevingne quotes Crowe on page 33:

"Others joined us until we were 2,000 strong from 30 states -- proud, scared, giddy, determined, and righteous. Each of us passionate enough about the wrongness of nuclear power to risk arrest. Some of us passionate enough to change our lives."

--France Crowe, who describes herself as an 'antiwar activist since Hiroshima, working to stop nuclear weapons and nuclear power as a first step.'

But Seabrook and Vermont Yankee only bookend Frances's anti-nuclear power activism. There was also her anti-nuclear weapons activism, her anti-war/pro-peace work, and her efforts in many other justice and environmental causes, that endured for many decades. To learn more about Frances's remarkable life, check out her memoir, entitled Finding My Radical Soul.

The icing on her 100th birthday cake, and many decades of activism, came in March 2019.

As reported in the New York Times obituary:

As she looked forward to her 100th birthday, she told The Times: “I don’t want a party. I want an action that will accomplish something.”

On the day she turned 100 — March 15, 2019 — hundreds of well-wishers swarmed into downtown Northampton. She led a celebratory march in her wheelchair; marchers carried signs supporting the Green New Deal and calling for an end to gun violence and war.

Frances had requested that a hundred others with homemade signs about issues they care about join her. Hundreds came!

It has been an honor and privilege for Beyond Nuclear to call Frances a colleague and a friend. Undoubtedly, her legacy will continue to inspire countless people, including very young activists to whom she has now passed the torch.

[See also a tribute written by filmmaker Robbie Leppzer.]


8/28/19: Beyond Nuclear on Sputnik International's "Loud & Clear"