A group of around 50 protestors, accompanied by a small marching band and a large, mock nuclear waste cask, carried signs from a rally at Pritchard Park to the Federal Building late Friday afternoon, July 15. Their message: nuclear waste is not welcome traveling on area roadways, nor in a repository once proposed for north Buncombe County. Photos by Jerry Nelson.
Our research on the past and present of nuclear waste in WNC dug up two interesting campaign items from a 1980s citizen-based effort to keep radioactive waste out of the community. The campaign, which resulted in Madison County commissioners adopting a resolution against nuclear waste transit on county roadways, featured a photo of local music producer Steven Heller wearing a hazmat suit and seated on a tractor, as if plowing a field of contaminated soil. The photo was part of a campaign that appeared on billboards with the catch-phrase, “Don’t think it can’t happen here.” Heller produced a piece of music written to support the campaign (listen to it within); go ahead and sing along as "...the bears in the park/Are glowing in the dark/There's a glow in the Smokies tonight." Look for a full report on nuclear-waste facts, fiction and fears in the July 13 Mountain Xpress.
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