Atomic States of America

Atomic States of America (excerpt) from ro*co films on Vimeo.


Watch an excerpt. On March 11, 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan and caused chaos at the Fukushima Power Plant. That accident sent ripples around the world and suddenly the fierce debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power was back in the public consciousness.

THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA takes the viewer on a journey to reactor communities to expose the truths and myths of nuclear power in order to ask the question—can humans responsibly split the atom?

A film by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce.


Radioactivists - a fascinating film about protest in Japan

Watch the trailer!

Since the catastrophe on March 11, Japan has been experiencing socio-political tremors of historical significance. Street protests in Japan are considered a rather rare sight. Shirōto no ran (‘Amateur’s Revolt’), is a group of creative activists, who fight for more freedom in public space and an inventive Do It Yourself-culture in the alternative area of Kōenji, Tokyo. The activists involved in Shirōto no ran organized the biggest demonstration in Japan since the 1970s, which took place on April 10th, just one month after the earthquake. This protest gathered more than 15.000 people demonstrating against nuclear power. The documentary Radioactivists explores the Japanese protest culture under the effects of Fukushima.

Germany/Japan 2011, 72 min.Directed & Produced by: Julia Leser & Clarissa Seidel


Three Mile Island nuclear plant automatically shuts down 

A malfunctioning pump caused an automatic shutdown of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg on Thursday, the second such event in as many months.

Plant officials and government regulators said the shutdown at the plant, where a partial meltdown of a reactor in 1979 is considered the worst commercial nuclear power plant accident in U.S history, posed no threat to public health or safety. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


NRC "supplemental inspection" begins at Palisades

The Palisades control room panel scorched by the Sept. 25, 2011 accident of "substantial significance to safety," according to NRCAs reported by the Associated Press, an eight member "supplemental inspection team" from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) began two weeks of work today at Entergy Nuclear's problem-plagued Palisades atomic reactor in Covert, Michigan on the Lake Michigan shoreline. Last Valentine's Day, NRC lowered Palisades' safety status to among the four worst-run reactors in the U.S. This came after a September 25, 2011 near-electrocution, caused by short cuts on safety, that plunged half the control room into a power outage, instantly throwing 22 safety related plant systems into chaos. Age-degraded systems, structures, and components were strained to the breaking point, risking multiple potential pathways to loss of coolant accident in the reactor core, as control room operators took hours to bring the situation under control. NRC allowed Entergy to tell it when it was ready for this special inspection. Entergy took over seven months to prepare itself. More.


SAMA contention defended, resistance to Davis-Besse license extension continues

Environmental coalition attorney Terry Lodge speaks at an August 9th press conference at Oak Harbor High School about the severe cracking of Davis-Besse's shield building prior to an NRC public meetingOn Sept. 14th, environmental coalition attorney, Toledo-based Terry Lodge (photo, left), filed a rebuttal against FirstEnergy Nuclear Operating Company's (FENOC) Motion for Summary Dismissal (MSD) of an intervention contention challenging the Davis-Besse atomic reactor's Severe Accident Mitigation Alernatives (SAMA) analyses.

FENOC recently admitted that it had made five major errors in its original SAMA analyses, including getting wind directions 180 degrees wrong; undervaluing Ohio farmland and urban property values; and underestimating the amount of hazardous radioactivity that could escape into the environment during a meltdown at Davis-Besse, as well as the land area that could become contaminated.

The heart of the environmental coalition's defense of its contention involves the severe cracking of Davis-Besse's outer concrete, steel reinforced shield building, as well as significant corrosion of its inner steel containment vessel. The environmental Intervenors charge that FENOC's SAMA analyses are fatally flawed, for they ignore the questionable structural integrity of Davis-Besse's containment structures, which could fail under even small loads, such as mild earthquakes, or meltdown conditions (high temperatures and pressures, which the shield building was never even designed to withstand when brand new, let alone severely cracked).

The ASLB has indicated it will hold oral argument pre-hearings in the vicinity of Davis-Besse in early November, at which the environmental coalition will defend not only its SAMA contention, but also its shield building cracking contention. More.