The Atomic States of America
USA | 2012 | 92 min
In 2010, the United States approved the first new nuclear power plant in 32 years, heralding a “Nuclear Renaissance”. But that was before the Fukushima accident in Japan renewed a fierce public debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power.
The Atomic States of America journeys to nuclear reactor communities around the country to provide a comprehensive exploration of the history and impact to date of nuclear power, and to investigate the truths and myths about nuclear energy.
From the gates of Three Mile Island, to the cooling ponds of Braidwood, IL, the film introduces people who have been on the front lines of this issue for decades: community advocates, investigative journalists, renowned physicists, nuclear engineers, Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors, and former government leaders.
Based in part on Kelly McMaster’s book “Welcome to Shirley”, about growing up in the shadow of the Brookhaven National Lab , on Long Island, the film explores the evidence for serious health consequences documented by people living in Shirley, as well as near other nuclear plants. Their concerns about nearby facilities call into question who can be trusted to provide truthful information, and how much influence the nuclear industry has over the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and its decisions.
As the nation stands at the crossroads of a possible Nuclear Renaissance, The Atomic States of America inspires informed discussion on the safety, viability and future of nuclear power in the United States.
DIR Don Argott & Sheena M. Joyce
CAST Kelly McMasters, Eric Epstein, Neil Sheehan, Alec Baldwin, Helen Caldicott, Christine Todd Whitman, Joe Cosgrove, Paul Gallay