Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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Shaggy Texas History

Category: Rated G

By Alan B. Combs


The reactors for the South Texas Nuclear Project went online in 1988 and 1989 in Matagorda County near Houston. Having gone through the seemingly mandatory processes of construction cost overruns, operator malfeasance, and subsequent lawsuits, this project one day may be able to help in our country’s energy crisis. Perhaps.

However, this tale is more about the political problems involved in creating a nuke in the first place. The first question one asks is, “Where shall we put this puppy?” Now, you have to realize we are talking about Texas, rural Texas, that is. And rural Texas is a land apart from all others.

One of the sites proposed for the plant was in Goliad, a town famous in the history of Texas independence. It was there in 1836 a few weeks after the Battle of the Alamo that 300 Texas soldiers surrendered to the Mexican army and were executed on orders from General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Parenthetically, the events at the Alamo and Goliad were part of the ensuing karmic baggage when Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna’s much larger force at the Battle of San Jacinto.

The purpose of the narrative so far has been to locate Goliad in Texas history. You will have to decide when it begins to slide away from veracity. One of the proposed sites for the South Texas Nuclear Project was in Goliad which is the reason I brought it up. The locals were highly alarmed, not because of the risk of nuclear waste, but rather because of the misguided fear that the whole place might participate in a nuclear explosion. Protest signs appeared all over the county asking the question, “Is there a bomb in Goliad!”

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