Madeline Bass-Framson's involvement
in anti-nuclear activities began years
ago before the public had any awareness
of atomic power plants and facilities.
Today Framson, one of the most active
environmentalists in the state, is directly
involved in the issue of nuclear development.
Framson is a member of the Board
of Trustees for the Texas Committee
on Natural Resources. She is currently
involved in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) hearings concerning
the proposed development of an Aliens
Creek nuclear power plant.
"The proposed nuclear power plant
is located near one of the most rapidly
sent to Sheldon Wolfe, Chair, Atomic
Safety and Licensing Board, Washington, D.C,20555
The chair will automatically send
notification of the pre-hearing date to
all those who write. At this time the NRC
has not scheduled the pre-hearing for the
proposed Wallis site, but this event will
take place within the next few months.
"The total biosphere-air, water, soil,
food, health and economic aspects of our
environment-will be affected by these
decisions. I urge everyone to participate,"
Framson said. "I strongly feel that if
enough people make their views known
to the government, on all levels, the
government will respond. In Latin, Vox
'Tor 30 years the public has been told that
nuclear power was clean, safe and inexpensive.
In reality, it is just the opposite..."
growing and densely populated Houston
areas," Framson said. "This is a local
issue of concern to everyone in the area
because the plant is to be located in
Wallis, Texas, 45 aerial miles from the
downtown Houston Harris County Courthouse.
"The NRC considers anyone within a
50-mile radius of a nuclear power plant as
having 'good standing' for participation in the hearings. The NRC feels
the population within this radius will be
burdened by the greatest environmental
impact," explains Framson.
The longtime community-spirited
leader emphasized that concerned individuals do not need to be an expert to
participate in the hearings. "Everyone
can be involved because everyone is affected, " Fransom stressed.
"The only requirement for participation in the NRC hearings is to send a
letter or post card to the Atomic Safety
Licensing Board. The letter or card
should express your desire to present an
oral or written statement before the commission," Framson said. The letter can be
are saying, sure we radiated you, but it
wasn't that bad a dose. They won't be
able to say that any longer."
In addition, the nuclear power industry has been solely controlled by the
government, Sheehan says. He believes
that this will change and local citizens
will become more involved in overseeing
the controls and workings of nuclear
So, what will the verdict on the Silkwood case be? Diana Kohn says, "There
will be a lot of surprised people in the
courtroom, including the judge, if the
Silk woods lose."
Merle Silkwood agrees and adds that
she hasn't even allowed herself to think
of losing, but she also feels, "If we had
held the trial anyplace but in Oklahoma
City, our winning would have been certain. But, those jurors are going to have
to live with Kerr-McGee's pressure all
their lives—and that's a frightening
Sheehan says he is "virtually convinced" that if Kerr-McGee loses they will
appeal the case and take it straight to the
Supreme Court. The nuclear industry
"can't afford not to," he says.
The Silkwoods say they will continue
with the suit for as long as they have the
money. "I guess you might say it eases
the pain of her death. We still miss her
very much, her death like to killed our
daughter Rosemary," Merle Silkwood
"We also feel it's important to let people know how unsafe nuclear plants are.
When we first started there was only
Karen's case to prove it. Since then people
have seen The China Syndrome and
Populi means the voice of the people.
I think it means the power of the
Individuals who oppose nuclear power
can support the Markey Weaver Amendment. This legislation proposes a halt for
six months on grants for the construction
of new nuclear power plants. Other legislation to prevent nuclear power plant development through a five-year moratorium
is the Nuclear Reappraisement Act. Interested persons can write to the elected
officials listed below:
Senator John Tower
The Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
U. S. Rep. Bob Eckhardt
House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Kathryn Stewart McDonald, staff reporter for The Beacon, became involved with
the anti-nuclear movement after learning
of government nuclear test sites in her
former home, the Trust Territory of
there was the Three-Mile Island incident,
so I think they are more aware now."
Whatever happens, it is almost certain
that the nuclear power industry will never
be the same again and it is just as certain
that the name of Karen Silkwood will be
remembered for a long time.
"She is a martyr to the labor, feminist
and anti-nuclear movements," says Niami
"There have been several people who
have told us that her name will appear in
the history books as someone who helped
her country," says Merle Silkwood. "I believe she has done more good than anyone
will ever know. She was fixing to come
home you know, but she never did."
Accolades aside, Karen Silkwood was a
woman who saw what was wrong and set
out to do something about it.
Over the next few years, Texas will
start building no less than five nuclear
plants. Two of them will be very near
Houston—the Allen Creek site in Wallis,
45 miles from downtown Houston and
the South Texas Nuclear Facility in Bay
City, said to be the largest in the world.
And if we think that the Kerr-McGee-
Karen Silkwood case is an isolated incident, rumors from Bay City, of beatings,
intimidations of building inspectors,
bribery, construction flaws and a citizens group to investigate these allegations,
indicate that there may be many more
chapters to the story started by Karen
Barbara Karkabi is a staff reporter for
the Houston Westside Reporter.
Houston's Choice for News.
5 and 6 p.m.