Atomic States of America, The

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Subjects: Activism, American Studies, Cancer, Energy, Environment, Health Issues, History, Human Body, Human Rights, Medicine, Nuclear Power, Science, Toxic Waste, Water

Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Video Project
Closed Captioned: Yes
Running Time: 71 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2012
Available in French: No

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 McMasters' 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 facilities. Their concerns 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.
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

"Recommended. The Atomic States of America does a good job of introducing this difficult and extremely complex topic to the general public." – Science Books and Films (AAAS)

"Recommended. Powerfully warns of the dangers of a nuclear renaissance." – Video Librarian

"This is the best audiovisual overview of nuclear power that we’ve seen—clear, engaging, moving, story-rich. The Atomic States of America raises profound questions about our nuclear future. It deserves to be widely viewed, in school and out." – Rethinking Schools Magazine

"Examines the health risks of living near a nuclear facility, Scientists, government officials, politicians, energy company employees, and citizen-activists tell a compelling story...." - School Library Journal


Screened at Sundance Film Festival

Official Selection
Hamptons International Film Festival
Sarasota Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival
Dallas International Film Festival
Independent Film Festival Boston
Philadelphia Film Festival
Montclair Film Festival
Southside Film Festival
Newport Beach Film Festival

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