From Hiroshima to Three-Mile-Island: Three decades of nuclear power opposition rhetoric in the United States
Rhetoric associated with the development of nuclear power in the United States was analyzed over 3-decades in order to better understand the beginnings and constituents of the rhetoric associated with anti-nuclear power perspectives. An amalgamation of existing historical/rhetorical methods utilized by Gamson and Modigliani (1989) and Darsey (1991) were employed. Progressive interpretive anti-nuclear rhetorical packages were identified for corresponding historical periods within the 34-year period. Historical periods were segmented by catalytic events, or incidents important to nuclear power development which also presented opportunities for anti-nuclear power rhetoric. The analysis reveals four individual rhetorical packages: (1) Pandora's Box; (2) Mirage; (3) Devil's Bargain; and (4) Mirage Two. The analysis further demonstrates that anti-nuclear rhetoric is progressive, synergistic, requires maintenance, relies on the unknown, and exists beyond what is reported in the media.