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June 02, 1979 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-06-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

MONTAGUE, Mass. (AP) - Most
folks around here used to regard Sam
Lovejoy as sort of a hippie Jeremiah
whose noisy warnings about melt-
downs and radiation poisoning
threatened Montague's one shot 9$
economic salvation - a proposed $2.3
billion nuclear power plant.
But that was before Three Mile
Island. And before Lovejoy met with
President Carter and'emerged as
something of an anti-nuclear leader
NOW, HE SAYS, "My reception has
warmed considerably. Just this mor-
ning I was in a store where the fellow at
the counter had never said more than
'How are you?' But today he gave me a
big grin and said "How was the
president, Sam? Think they're still
going to try to build that plant here?' "
The 32-year-old Lovejoy is still
fighting that plant. He was an early
leader in the fight against nuclear
power and - besides meeting with the
president last May 7 - was master of
ceremonies at the huge anti-nuclear
rally in Washington the day before.'
It was a long way from Lovejoy's first
notoriety, when in 1974 he toppled a 400-
foot Northeast Utilities weather tower
- an act designed to protest the
utility's planned twin-reactor in-
LOVEJOY WAS cleared of charges in
the incident on a technicality, but that
didn't make him any more popular
here. He lost his town meeting seat and
got only 240 votes out of 5,000 cast when
he ran for selectman. Last year he was
booed when he spoke at a town meeting.
"People who basically might have
liked me or my position didn't feel com-
fortable talking to me in public after the
tower thing," he said in an interview.
Lovejoy came here to work on a
communal farm after graduation from
Amherst College. The farm is self-
sufficient - producing asparagus and
strawberries - but Lovejoy says he
makes most of the $3,000 he earns each
year from lecturing.
HE IS FROM a suburb of Springfield,
Mass., and was opposing the Vietnam
War before he took up the anti-nuclear
banner in1973 when he heard of plans to
build the plant here.
His standing here changed - though
he still has his opponents here - after
radioactive steam began leaking from
the Three Mile Island plant near
Harrisburg, Pa., and after he and five
other anti-nuclear activists were in-
vited to meet with Carter.
Lovejoy heard of the Harrisburg ac-

The Michigan Daily-Saturday, June 1, 1979--Page 5
activst overcomes 'hme image

cident while at the farm where he lives
with 12 other people, all of whom, he
notes, were arrested at the massive
Seabrook, N.H., anti-nuclear demon-
"ONE OF THE women was listening
to the radio while she was working in
the woodshop. She came running out
and said there'd been an accident at a
plant in Pennsylvania and a state of
emergency. I felt this gut fear punch
me right in the solar plexus - wham!"
Lovejoy says he takes no satisfaction
from Three Mile Island: "I'm not hap-
py about it. I can't gloat. I feel,
perhaps, even embarrassed we haven't
been able to do enough education to get
all reactors in the country shut down."
Lovejoy does not think Three Mile
Island assures anti-nuclear forces of
victory, "but it has silenced the faction
that was screamingly pro-nuclear."
Many people are now ripe for conver-
sion, he says.
LOVEJOY SAID anti-nuclear forces
will stop plants like the Montague one
- which is still on the drawing boards
- "legally and in any other way
He says of the plant here: "I'll never
get out of this movement until it's been
killed. I want to see the chairman of
Northeast Utilities come here and
apologize for screwing around this town
for so many years. When he does, then
I'll feel like I've accomplished
Sitting on a battered sofa in the large
red brick Victorian house he uses as
headquarters, Lovejoy acts as if he still
gets angry just talking about nuclear
"WE NEED public power,
democratically controlled. Thirteen
white males sitting in a board room do
not have the right to stick a nuclear
plant down Sam Lovejoy's throat, and
the throats of 8,500 citizens of Mon-
Lovejoy says he emerged from his
meeting with Carter satisfied that he
had achieved his objective - "to flush
out" Carter's position on nuclear
power. "His position basically was,
'We're not going to shut down nuclear
power, so don't fool around'."
Sitting across the table from Carter,
Lovejoy said, he recited a list of
primaries in which the president might
face California Gov. Jerry Brown, most
of which are in states with controver-
sial nuclear plants.
"Finally I got to Pennsylvania, and
that was the last word I said. The look
on his face was just 'Oh, golly'."

ANTI-NUCLEAR ACTIVIST Ssm Lovejoy, who has been trying to have plns for
a nuclear power plant in his Massachusetts town killed since the early 1970s, has
overcome widespread criticism of his activities since the Three Mile Island plant
incident in late March. Lovejoy recently met wish President Carter.

Proudly presents

Early U.S. standards may
have averted Pa. accident

Stephen Sondheim's 0
o 0
Book by James Goldman
o 0
First time in this area
May 311June 1-3, 1979

WASHINGTON (AP) - The acciden-
tal release of radioactive gases at
Three Mile Island might have been
averted if the nuclear plant had been
required to abide by federal design
standards enacted four years ago, of-
ficials said yesterday.
Federal regulators told a presidential
commission that the Three Mile Island
plant, however, was exempt from the
1975 rules because the commission
agreed not to apply them to plants
already operating or under construc-
Three Mile Island Unit II was issued in
November 1969.
"I must confess, I find that
shocking," said presidential com-
mission chairman John Kemeny. He

said he did not understand how existing
plants could be omitted from a
significant improvement on a critical
safety issue.
Roger Mattson, director of reactor
safety at the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission, said the agency's 1975
rules required new plants to increase
from one to three the number of con-
ditions under which a plant's contain-
ment building would automatically be
sealed airtight at the time of an ac-
After the March 28 accident at Three
Mile Island, investigators said, the con-
tainment building, which holds the
reactor core, did not seal shut for about
four and one-half hours, thereby
releasing radioactive gases into the air,

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