Frontline Doc Looks at Fukushima and Nuclear Energy

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

 Japanese government announced the cold shutdown on stricken TEPCO Fukushima nuclear power plant. Greenpeace activists protest against nuclear plants in front of the prime minister's office in Tokyo. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty)

The earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant last year brought attention to the safety risks associated with atomic energy. Before Fukushima, nuclear energy was on the rise and many countries developed plans to build more power plants. But after the disaster, nuclear energy became a subject of international debate and countries like Japan and Germany started to shut down reactors. How should the United States deal with nuclear energy?

Miles O'Brien is a Frontline correspondent who produced "Nuclear Aftershocks."


Miles O'Brien

Produced by:

Sitara Nieves

Comments [5]

James Aach from USA

Review: A pretty good shot at it given the time constraints.

Jan. 18 2012 01:36 AM
James Aach from USA

I will be interested to watch the documentary to see how much time is spent (and insight gained) with individuals who have actually worked at nuclear power plants. Typically, the roll call of "experts" is limited to academics, advocates and perhaps an industry spokesman or high-level executive. To someone like me with nuke plant experience, media coverage of the issue can seem like covering a war without talking to the troops at all. Since the typical viewer has little idea how plants are run day-to-day (and dealing with radiation is a part of that), pretty much anything said on the issue can sound like the real story. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't...... I hope Mr. O'Brien does better.

That being said, Fukushima was clearly a big mess.

James Aach
Longtime engineer in the US nuclear industry.
For an inside look at the people, politics and technology of US nuclear power, see my free novel "Rad Decision". The plant involved and the climatic event bear some simularities to Fukushima. This book is not a polemic - both good and bad is profiled. Free online, no advertisements or sponsors - just google the title or go to my homepage. Reader reviews are at the homepage or Amazon.

Jan. 17 2012 02:26 PM
Alfred Jeffries from Providence RI

If one unplugs from nuclear energy what makes up the shortfall? Conservation? A good time to put a lot of people back to work by manufacturing solar cells for home electricity generation.

Jan. 17 2012 12:05 PM
Dan H from Mohegan Lake, NY

I live about 5 miles from Indian Point in Westchester, and while many talk about closing the plant , few talk about how to replace it. There is an alternative source of power available, and that is the Hudson River, and, specifically, the Tappan Zee Bridge. As it is scheduled to be re-built, the bridge should be replaced with a green power generating facility using wind, water and tidal turbines, solar arrays and underwater kites in order to create the greatest green power generating facility in the world. I run a very small organization that is trying to make this happen. Please go to to learn more. Thank you.

Jan. 17 2012 10:26 AM
peter Tamsky from washington state

I work in the energy sector,(oil, gas,and power generation as a union millwright.I can tell you from my perspective that as long as the $ is involved in the decision making process. Nuclear power is UNSAFE and should be off the table.All you have too look at oil ,gas and other dangerous technology to realize it. the japanese and the germans were tech savy and are more open and willing to prepare for emergency than we are in this country

Jan. 17 2012 09:38 AM

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