SHELL BLUFF, Ga. — Life here in the farming communities along the Savannah River demands an uneasy trust with all things nuclear.
And in recent decades, that trust has been fraying.
One woman has stopped drinking her tap water because it smells like sewage. Another has lost too many relatives to cancer. A third wonders why hummingbirds no longer flock to her yard. All suspect the blame lies with the two giant institutions that dominate this rolling green landscape — a federal nuclear reservation and a massive nuclear power plant that sends steam billowing from two cooling towers as tall as skyscrapers.