Maine Nuclear Fission for Electricity Prohibition, Referendum Question (1980)

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The Maine Yankee in Wiscasset, Maine. Closed in 1996

The Maine No Electricity from Nuclear Initiative, appearing on the ballot as Measure 2, was on the September 23, 1980 ballot in Maine. The purpose of the effort was to prohibit the generation of nuclear power in the state through nuclear fission. It was defeated.

The particular target of the initiative's supporters was the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, which opened in 1972 and ultimately closed in 1996. The No-Electricity initiative was the first of several initiatives directed at that plant, which was Maine's only nuclear power generating station.

No Electricity from Nuclear Power
Votes Percentage
Yes 161,181 40.8%
10px-600px-Red x.png No 233,198 59.2%
Total votes 394,379 100%

Ray Shaddis

Ray Shaddis was one of the main organizers of the initiative. The effort to put the initiative on the ballot started at an organizational meeting in Edgecomb Town Hall which drew hundreds of supporters. When an earthquake struck Maine on April 17, 1979, the organizers of the initiative got a boost from from fears about what could have happened at the Maine Yankee, which was shut down for repairs at the time of the earthquake, which measured 4.0 on the modified Mercalli scale.

55,834 signatures were turned in to qualify the measure in December 1979.[1]

Maine goes national

The No-Electricity initiative is said to have changed the way that ballot measure campaigns were conducted in Maine for the next several decades.

According to Christian Potholm:

"The campaign issued in twenty years of highly contentious, very expensive, 'national' issue races with groups and organizations and individuals from all over the United States coming to Maine to participate in national contests virtually every electoral cycle after that." [1]

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