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Episode 3: Electric Nation

About the episode

Our modern electric power grid has been called the biggest and most complex machine in the world – delivering electricity over 200,000 miles of high tension transmission lines.  But even though the grid touches almost every aspect of our lives, it’s a system we know very little about.

Yul Kwon will travel around the country to understand its intricacies, its vulnerabilities, and the remarkable ingenuity required to keep the electricity on every day of the year. At New York State’s governing grid control room, he learns how a massive blackout cut power to 40 million Americans and to understand how we can protect against this type of colossal failure joins a live wire repair team who do their daring repairs from the side of a helicopter in flight.

He also visits the country largest coal mine, rappels down the side of wind turbine, takes a rare tour of a nuclear plant and travels on a massive tanker – where Kwon reflects on the challenges and opportunities we face now and in the days ahead to keep the power flowing.


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Shop PBS About the Presenter Yel Kwon


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