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Nuclear Energy

Nuclear Energy


By Don Argott & Sheena Joyce

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 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.

  • "In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan, The Atomic States of America casts a timely inquiry into the viability of nuclear energy." - Outside Magazine

  • "A stimulating, well-made piece. A sobering documentary about the dangers of nuclear reactors and a downsized Nuclear Regulatory Commission." - Hollywood Reporter

  • "Reasoned and worth engagingˇKThe film builds a convincing statistical case about cancer and nukes." - Variety

  • AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Film Cinema Planeta International Festival, Mexico
  • JURY PRIZE, Best Feature Documentary, Paris/FIFE International Festival of Environmental Films
  • JURY PRIZE, Chicago Peace on Earth Film Festival

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 9-Adult) / 160 minutes

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    Director: Atsushi Funahashi

    This documentary sensitively but penetratingly chronicles the aftermath of the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant reactor meltdown following the devastating impact of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

  • "Cuts to the heart of the matterˇKdrive[s] home not only their hardship and fortitude, but the alarming implications of corporate/governmental indifference and ineptitude vis-a-vis Japan's nuclear policies." - Variety

    DVD-R (Japanese with English Subtitles) / 2012 / 96 minutes

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    This program covers the discovery of radioactivity, what makes atoms radioactive and methods for detecting radioactivity. The types of radiation including alpha, beta, gamma and positron radiation, types of decay, radiation dose & dose equivalence are explained. With application to real-life situations, the effects of radiation on living things, the environment and the uses of radiation in medicine are also discussed. This program is a comprehensive look at radiation that originates in the nucleus of an atom.

    Please contact us for primary and secondary schools pricing.

    DVD / 2012 / 22 minutes

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    By Adam Horowitz

    "John is a savage, but a happy, amenable savage." - 1950's newsreel footage of Marshall Islanders

    Featuring recently declassified U.S. government documents, survivor testimony, and unseen archival footage, Nuclear Savage uncovers one of the most troubling chapters in modern American history: how Marshall islanders, considered an uncivilized culture, were deliberately used as human guinea pigs to study the effects of nuclear fallout on human beings.

    Between 1946 and 1958 the United States tested 67 nuclear weapons above ground on or near Bikini and Enewetok atolls. One hydrogen bomb was 1000 times larger than the Hiroshima bomb. Entire islands were vaporized and populated islands were blanketed with fallout. As the film shows, the heavily exposed people of Rongelap were then enrolled as human subjects in the top-secret Project 4.1 and evacuated to a severely contaminated island to study the effects of eating radioactive food for nearly 30 years. Many of the Marshall Islanders developed cancers and had babies that were stillborn or with serious birth defects.

    Nuclear Savage follows the islanders today as they continue to fight for justice and acknowledgement of what was done to them. Despite recent disclosures, the U.S. government continues to deny that the islanders were deliberately used as human guinea pigs. The film raises disturbing questions about racism, the U.S. government's moral obligation to the people of the Marshall Islands, and why the government is continuing to cover up the intent of the tests and Project 4.1 after several decades.

  • "A poignant, provocative, and deeply troubling look at the lingering and lasting effects of nuclear disaster and the human consequences of US government efforts to define, contain, and control public awareness and concern." - Counterpunch

  • "One of the most disturbing documentaries I have ever seen. Opens up one of the hidden horrors of American history. The film does a stunning job juxtaposing examples of our smug ignorance of South Sea culture with the reality of what we did to it." - Robert Koehler, Chicago Tribune

  • "The term 'savage' is used to refer to people from primitive cultures, but this documentary shows how savagery reaches new levels with the advent of advanced technology. ˇKWithout incredible archival footage and shocking secret documents, the story would seem unbelievable." - Film Society, Lincoln Center

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2012 / (Grades 10-Adult) / 147 minutes

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    Directed by Michael Madsen

    The world's nuclear power plants have generated an estimated 300,000 tons of high-level radioactive waste that must be safely stored for 100,000 years or more. Every year, they generate another 12,000 metric tons of high-level waste.

    Into Eternity is the first feature documentary to explore the mind-boggling scientific and philosophical questions long-term nuclear waste storage poses.

    Structured as a message to future generations, the film focuses on the Onkalo waste repository now under construction in Finland, one of the first underground storage facilities. Onkalo is a gigantic network of tunnels being carved out of bedrock that will start receiving Finland's nuclear waste in 2020. Once the repository is full, in about 100 years, it will be closed and hopefully remain sealed for at least 100,000 years.

    Into Eternity takes viewers deep into the Onkalo facility as it is being constructed and asks Onkalo representatives, scientists, theologians and others to address fundamental but challenging questions.

    How can our civilization know what the world will be like in 100,000 years? The first modern homo sapiens appeared about that long ago and no human structure has survived more than 5000 years. How can we anticipate climate and geologic changes that far in the future? What will life on our planet be like then? How do we warn distant generations of the deadly waste our civilization left behind? What languages or signs will they understand? How do we prevent them from thinking they have located the pyramids of our time or some other treasures?

    With its stark, stylistic approach, Into Eternity not only raises questions about the possibility of long-term nuclear waste storage, but also invites reflection on the limits of science and human knowledge, along with our responsibility to future generations.

  • "CRITICS' PICK. I am tempted to call Into Eternity the most interesting documentary, and one of the most disturbing films, of the year so farˇK the way the movie and the people in it express their concern gives it a feeling of sublimity unusual in most environmentalist documentaries." - A.O. Scott, New York Times, Read Full Article Here

  • "It might seem crazy, if not criminal, to obligate 3,000 future generations of humans to take care of our poisonous waste just so that we can continue running our electric toothbrushes. But it's already too late to wave off the nuclear age, and Mr. Madsen's film comes at a perfect time to join a worldwide conversation about what to do with its ashes." - Dennis Overbye, Science Reporter, New York Times, Read Full Article Here

  • "Excellent. The haunting Into Eternity ˇKis a rare hybrid: an information-packed documentary crossed with an existential art film. In a deceptively low-key manner, Danish filmmaker Michael Madsen has beautifully crafted one of the most provocative movies of the year." - San Francisco Chronicle

  • Grand Prize, Paris Int'l Environmental Film Festival (FIFE)
  • Grand Prize, Vision Du Reel - Nyon
  • Green Screen Award, IDFA, Amsterdam
  • Audience Award, CPH:DOX - Copenhagen
  • Reel Talent Award for Michael Madsen - CPH:DOX

    DVD (Closed Captioned) / 2011 / (Grades 9 - Adult) / 133 minutes

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    What is a family? A generation ago, maybe the answer was unambiguous, but today the word evokes a whole range of possibilities.

    This program is a thought-provoking and intelligent look at the changing roles, structures and functions of the family throughout time and up to the present day. Featuring expert opinion, surprising statistics and the honest, heart-felt thoughts of four very different Australian families, this is an insightful examination of what it means to belong to a family and the range of possible social, emotional, environmental, economic and health considerations that have shaped family structures.

    Finishing up with a look at the family of the future (are we heading towards 'virtual families'?) this is a terrific resource to engage questioning young minds on this vital aspect of a healthy, modern and diverse society.

    Please contact us for primary and secondary schools pricing.

    DVD / 2008 / 25 minutes

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    America hasn't built a nuclear power plant in thirty years. Is that due to a right-headed concern over health and environmental dangers, or an unfounded timidity that puts us behind the rest of the world? This documentary explores the issue, which, despite rising support for nuclear energy, remains divisive. Guiding viewers through the basic workings of a nuclear facility, the video examines current roadblocks to a revitalized nuclear industryˇXincluding uncertainties over waste disposal and the possibility of terrorist attacks on power stations. The thriving French nuclear industry is also a major topic. Expert guests include Dale Klein, chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Ward Sproat of the U.S. Department of Energy.

  • "An excellent work that illustrates numerous aspects of the issue without a great deal of jargonˇK. Provides a superb outline of the challenges facing the growth of nuclear power in the United States. Highly recommended." - Educational Media Reviews Online

    DVD / 2008 / 44 minutes

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    When searching for blockages or damaged areas of the body's many organs and systems, radioactive tracer drugs are extremely helpful. This program travels to the Moffitt/Long Hospital to find out how technicians use radiopharmaceuticals to conduct examinations. A thallium study is performed to highlight some of the proficiencies necessary for a career in this field. Avenues for career growth that are open to nuclear medicine technologists are also considered.

    DVD / 2002 / 13 minutes

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    In 1945, American planes wiped Hiroshima and Nagasaki off the face of the earth with two atomic bombs, killing over 200,000 people literally in a flash. It was a traumatic awakening for the world.

    German researchers had discovered nuclear fission in 1938, demonstrating to the world that untold quantities of energy were locked inside the atom. No other discovery in history has promised such blessings and yet been such a curse. Its potential was first tapped by the military, then, in the 1950s, by the civilian sector, as well. The new technology inspired high-flying visions as the worlds major powers jumped into its development and expansion in, among other things, nuclear power plants. The Chernobyl disaster in 1986 brought a rude awakening of another kind: it showed the world that the safety hazards inherent in this method of energy production had long been underestimated. Also the problems of safely disposing of nuclear waste are still far from being solved. Different views of the future of nuclear power are taken in different parts of the world.

    DVD / 2001 / (Senior High - College) / 25 minutes

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    NUCLEAR DECOMMISSIONING -how safe is it to decommission a nuclear reactor. WATER WHEEL -an Egyptian water wheel which hasn't stopped rotating for 300 years. TELECOMMUNICATIONS -telecommunications engineering has changed the world more in the past 20 years than in the past 200 years.

    DVD / 1999 / (Senior High - College) / 28 minutes

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    Behind all forms of energy are scientific laws and concepts that allow them to do work. What are they, and how do they shape the ways in which energy is used? This program investigates the pros and cons of chemical, electrical, and nuclear energy, addressing their applications to industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation needs. The difference between potential and kinetic energy, the importance of conservation, and the environmental impact of energy generation are explained as well.

    DVD / 1998 / 17 minutes

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    A search for energy takes Albert to fossil fuel and nuclear power plants to observe the positive and negative aspects of using, producing, and cooling energy. A look at conventional and alternative energy sources. Is coal more than just the suns energy in a prehistoric package? Is energy a breeze? Can solar cells sell? How can you cut down on our energy consumption?

    DVD / 1998 / (Elementary - Junior High) / 25 minutes

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    By Michael Brainerd

    The Glasnost Film Festival is a 12-video collection featuring 22 Soviet documentary films produced in the "Glasnost Era." Many of the films remain definitive and timeless documents of previously unexplored aspects of Soviet history and culture.

    Chernobyl: Chronicle of Difficult Weeks, 54 min.
    Shevchenko's film crew was the first in the disaster zone following the meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986, documenting both the disaster and the heroic and horrifying attempts to clean up.

    The Bam Zone, 19 min.
    The uncompleted Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) Railroad in Siberia is a powerful symbol of the stagnation of the Brezhnev years.

  • "There is probably no better forum for examining the radical changes on the Soviet Union and its people." - Los Angeles Times

    DVD (With English Subtitles) / 1986 / (Grades 11-Adult) / 73 minutes

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    Nuclear, Biological, And Chemical - Under the five-color system, the federal government is required to put security measures in place depending on the threat level. States and cities are encouraged to follow suit, but are not required to. This program is not about color coding or elevated alert status changes. It's about providing you some basic information on what each employer and employee can do to help prepare for an emergency, should one occur.
    Topics included in this safety video are: anthrax, biological threat, chemical threat, and dirty bomb/nuclear radiation.

    DVD / 25 minutes

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    Nuclear And Radiological Weapons - This program today will provide you factual information and an understanding of the real threat and how you can reasonably protect yourself in a worst case scenario. Knowledge about radiological weapons will go a long way in protection in the event a disaster should occur. The real threat lies with a Radiological Weapon and Radiological Dispersion Devices or RDDs."

    Topics included in this safety video are: four basic types of radiation including alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, neutrons, history, radiological dispersion devices, terrorism.

    DVD / 21 minutes

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    Nuclear power produces almost a fifth of the world's electricity. Supporters say it's safe, cheap and - best of all - the answer to global warming. Critics say it's not safe, or cheap. And it won't really help with the global warming problem. So who's right? This program presents the arguments for and against, with relevant background information. Issues covered in this program include: radioactive waste: how hazardous is it?; Can it be safely stored?; How likely is an accident at a nuclear power plant?; What could the consequences be?; Are nuclear power stations terrorist targets?; Does nuclear power encourage the development of nuclear weapons?; Is nuclear energy 'carbon-free'?; Is it the solution to global warming?

    DVD / (Grades 9-12) / 31 minutes

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    In addition to covering all topics in the basic version of Nuclear Energy, this program covers a number of advanced topics. Understand the use of water to vary reactor power, as well as different methods of mining uranium and witness a specific example of a fission reaction. Students will be introduced to more detailed discussion of enrichment, including structure properties of Uranium Hexafluoride, centrifuging, gas diffusion and the decommissioning of nuclear power stations. Includes sequences designed for student enrichment and teacher background (breeder reactors, fusion and fusion reactors, fission).

    DVD / (Grades 9-12) / 27 minutes

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