Maine Direct Democracy on Nuclear Waste Disposal and Storage, Low Level Radioactive Waste Siting Issue 1 (1985)

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The Maine Direct Democracy on Nuclear Waste Disposal and Storage Initiative, also known as Low Level Radioactive Waste Siting Issue, was on the November 5, 1985 ballot in Maine as an indirect initiated state statute, where the option A, the initiated bill, was approved and options B and C were defeated.[1] The prevailing option gave citizens the right to vote for or against any plan for the storage or disposal of low-level radioactive waste. The ballot asked voters to choose between three options. The first option, A, was the initiated bill as it was proposed by petition. The second option, B, was a competing proposal offered by the legislature. The third option, C, was to say no to both measures.[2][3]

Background

This was the third time nuclear issues had appeared on the ballot in Maine. The first was in 1980, when an indirect initiated state statute was defeated which would have prohibited the generation of electrical power by means of nuclear fission.[1] The second was in 1982, when another indirect initiated state statute was defeated which would have prohibited the use of nuclear power for producing electricity after November 2, 1987.[1]

Aftermath

In 1987, voters approved the continued operation of the Maine Yankee power plant with high-level nuclear waste production.[1][4] 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.[5] That agreement ended on December 31, 1992.[6] 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 Low Level Radioactive Waste Siting Issue (1985)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda A: Yes Initiated Bill 86,678 50.25%
Defeatedd B: Yes Legislative Bill 45,920 26.62%
Defeatedd C: No Both Bills 39,893 23.13%

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

Text of measure

The Maine Yankee in Wiscasset, Maine. Closed in 1996

The language appeared on the ballot as:[3]

LOW LEVEL RADIOACTIVE
WASTE SITING ISSUE
A--YES INITIATED BILL

Do you want the right to vote for or against any plan for the storage or disposal of low-level radioactive waste?

B--YES LEGISLATIVE BILL

Do you want to vote on any Maine site for disposal of low-level radioactive waste if it is not disposed of safely outside of Maine or at the Maine Yankee site?

C--NO BOTH BILLS
Against both measures.

[7]

Similar measures

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