Maine Nuclear Fission for Electricity Prohibition, Nuclear Power Question (1982)

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The Maine Nuclear Fission for Electricity Prohibition Initiative, also known as Nuclear Power Question, was on the November 2, 1982 ballot in Maine as an indirect initiated state statute, where it was defeated.[1] The measure would have prohibited the use of nuclear power for producing electricity after November 2, 1987.[2]

Background

On March 28, 1979, a partial melt down occurred at one of the Three Mile Island reactors near Middletown, Pennsylvania.[3] This event, and other incidents at nuclear facilities, fueled movements across the country to limit and even prohibit the use of nuclear fission power plants. In Maine, the particular target of the initiative's supporters was the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, which opened in 1972 and ultimately closed in 1996.[4] In 1980, the first of several initiatives directed at that plant, which was Maine's only nuclear power generating station, was defeated by the voters.

The Maine Yankee in Wiscasset, Maine. Closed in 1996

Aftermath

In 1985, an indirect initiated state statute was approved which required voter approval for any plan for the storage or disposal of low-level radioactive waste.[1][5][6] In 1987, voters approved the continued operation of the Maine Yankee power plant with high-level nuclear waste production. It would be the last time nuclear energy would be voted upon preceding the closure of the Yankee plant.[1][7] In 1989, voters approved an agreement with the Rocky Mountain Low-Level Radioactive Waste Board to dispose of low-level radioactive waste at an existing facility in Beatty, Nevada.[8] That agreement ended on December 31, 1992.[9] A new agreement was made in 1993 after voters voted in favor of a legislatively-referred state statute, which approved an interstate compact with Texas and Vermont for the disposal of the state's low-level radioactive waste at a proposed facility in the state of Texas.

Election results

Maine Nuclear Power Question (1982)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No256,12455.95%
Yes 201,617 44.05%

Election results via: Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, Votes on Initiated Bills 1980-

Text of measure

The language appeared on the ballot as:[2]

Shall "AN ACT to End the Use of Nuclear Power for Producing Electricity in Five Years" become Law? [10]

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