Is nuclear energy really “green” energy? Inspired by journalist Kelly McMasters’ book Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town, this film explores the truths and myths of nuclear power, and confronts America’s collective denial of potential disasters at aging reactor sites. Advocates in various reactor communities reveal the insights and hardships they share in common, while physicists, Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors, engineers, government leaders and investigative journalists add their unique perspectives.
Current and archival footage illustrates the history and background of our nuclear policy, political and economic implications, health risks, waste disposal, and the lessons of Chernobyl and Fukushima. On the eve of the 32nd anniversary of Three Mile Island’s catastrophic meltdown in Pennsylvania, the Obama administration proposes a “Nuclear Renaissance” to build our first new reactors in more than three decades. This film urges us to review and re-think the risks inherent in nuclear power generation.