Tower of Babel (1979)

Excerpt from "Cracks in The Tower: Mississippians organize against nuclear power":

Although anti-nuclear activists have been attempting to organize in Mississippi since the early 1970s, the movement in those years consisted of just a handful of environmentalists and white college students who opposed Mississippi Power & Light Company's application to build a nuclear power plant at Grand Gulf, not far from Port Gibson.

All that began to change this year, and today the movement is interracial and broad-based, involving hundreds and reaching thousands of people throughout the state. Local coalitions on the Gulf Coast, in Natchez, Hattiesburg, Jackson, Starkville, and Oxford are loosely affiliated with one another through the Mississippi Catfish Alliance.

Even before the disaster at Three Mile Island, the Catfish Alliance was commanding increased attention in the Mississippi media, highlighted by coverage of the demonstration at TVA's Yellow Creek reactor site near Iuka last March 24. That's when Catfish became a statewide organization. Since Three Mile Island, interest in the movement has escalated enormously.

The issue of nuclear danger has arisen in a number of ways in Mississippi. In southern Mississippi during the 1960s, a series of atomic bomb tests were set off underground in geological formations called salt domes. In the past couple of years, despite assurances by the government that nobody could possibly be harmed by the results of those tests, the water supplies in the area have been found to contain higher than normal levels of tritium. Toads and salamanders with severe deformities have also been found in the ponds. Despite these findings, the salt domes in that part of the state are now designated by the government as the likeliest place for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. As a result, a group of citizens in Hattiesburg organized Mississippians Against Disposal (MAD), and have vocally opposed the use of the salt domes for high-level waste disposal.

TOWER OF BABEL:
A Special Report on the Nuclear Industry
Jim Overton, editor


Table of Contents

  • 27 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE
  • 28 A MINING THE SOUTH'S URANIUM
  • 30 B POWER EQUIPMENT MOVES SOUTH
  • 34 C THE ANTI-UNION, PRO-NUKE CONTRACTORS
  • 38 D REACTORS: Who, Where, When
  • 67 PRIVATE UTILITIES: The Core of the Problem
  • 68 POWER TO RULE THE ROOST: Utility Wires Legislature Betsy Mahoney
  • 72 WHO'S TAMING WHOM: Regulators Cower Before Utilities Eric Hartman and Jack Hopper
  • 80 TACTICAL INFORMATION ON YOUR LOCALUTILITY
  • 98 NOT BY A DAM SITE: A Community That Fought Back Bill Blanton
  • 107 CRACKS IN THE TOWER: Mississippians Organize Against Nuclear Power Ken Lawrence
  • 109 RESOURCES; CHALLENGE TO PUBLIC POWER; AUSTIN DEBATES GOING NUCLEAR Susan Reid
  • 116 NUCLEAR BAILOUT OR GRASSROOT ALTERNATIVE Jim Overton
  • 41 E "NOT THE BOMBS, JUST THE PARTS Bill Ramsey
  • 44 F BARNWELL: Achilles Heel of Nuclear Power Suzanne Rhodes
  • 49 G THE SOUTH: Global Dumping Ground
  • 56 H DEATH TRIPS: Transportation of Nuclear Wastes . . .And How to Fight It William Reynolds
  • 60 CARAVAN FOR A NON-NUCLEAR FUTURE Barry Snitkin
  • 62 CHARLESTON SAYS NO Steve Hoffius
  • 64 YOUR TOWN CAN BAN WASTE SHIPMENTS Susan King Dunn
  • 121 INSTITUTE FOR SOUTHERN STUDIES REPORT: The Next Chapter in Some of Our Stories
  • 135 BOOK REVIEWS

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