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The Montague Nuclear Power Plant
was to consist of two 1,150-megawatt nuclear reactor
A nuclear reactor is a device to initiate and control a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Most commonly they are used for generating electricity and for the propulsion of ships. Usually heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid , which runs through turbines that power either ship's...
s to be located in Montague, Massachusetts
Montague is a town in Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 8,489 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Springfield, Massachusetts metropolitan statistical area....
. The project was proposed in 1973 and canceled in 1980, after $29 million was spent on the project.
On 22 February 1974, Washington's Birthday, organic farmer Sam Lovejoy took a crowbar to the weather-monitoring tower which had been erected at the Montague site. Lovejoy felled 349 feet of the 550-foot tower and then took himself to the local police station, where he presented a statement in which he took full responsibility for the action. Lovejoy went on trial in September 1974 on charges of malicious destruction, but was acquitted on a technicality. Lovejoy's action galvanized local public opinion against the plant.
A total of 63 nuclear units were canceled in the USA between 1975 and 1980. Many nuclear plant proposals were no longer viable due to the downturn of electricity demand increases, significant cost and time overruns, and more complex regulatory requirements. Also, there was considerable public opposition to nuclear power
The anti-nuclear movement in the United States consists of more than 80 anti-nuclear groups which have acted to oppose nuclear power or nuclear weapons, or both, in the United States. These groups include the Abalone Alliance, Clamshell Alliance, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research,...
in the USA by this time.