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Watch Atomic Homefront, for free!


The remarkable and moving documentary, Atomic Homefront, just aired on HBO. The network is making it available via streaming at this link for free. In 1942, the U.S. government chose downtown St. Louis as a processing center of uranium for the first atomic bombs, then, over the next 25 years, dumped the radioactive waste it produced at sites throughout the city’s northern and western suburbs and eventually into the West Lake Landfill. In addition to the radioactive contamination found in creeks, parks and even people’s homes, a creeping fire at the landfill threatens the nuclear waste still buried there. Shocked by these revelations, a group of mostly women start asking questions and demanding answers and meetings, but are typically stonewalled and patronized by government agencies and corporate spokespeople. There are many tears shed in this film, both from anger and sadness, and with good reason, as children die and others recall lost loved ones. Beyond Nuclear board member, Kay Drey, and her remarkable archive of documents about the St. Louis atomic waste — the oldest of the Atomic Age — are featured in the film. A clip of President Jimmy Carter declaring “there must never be another Love Canal” is a grim reminder that, in these St. Louis communities, there most certainly is. Watch the film.