The Nuclear Option

How will we power the planet without wrecking the climate? Airing January 11, 2017 at 9 pm on PBS Aired January 11, 2017 on PBS

Program Description

Five years after the earthquake and tsunami that triggered the unprecedented trio of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, scientists and engineers are struggling to control an ongoing crisis. What’s next for Fukushima? What’s next for Japan? And what’s next for a world that seems determined to jettison one of our most important carbon-free sources of energy? Despite the catastrophe—and the ongoing risks associated with nuclear—a new generation of nuclear power seems poised to emerge the ashes of Fukushima. NOVA investigates how the realities of climate change, the inherent limitations of renewable energy sources, and the optimism and enthusiasm of a new generation of nuclear engineers is looking for ways to reinvent nuclear technology, all while the most recent disaster is still being managed. What are the lessons learned from Fukushima? And with all of nuclear’s inherent dangers, how might it be possible to build a safe nuclear future?

 

Broadcast Credits

WRITTEN, PRODUCED, AND DIRECTED BY
Miles O’Brien
EDITED BY
Brian Truglio
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Cameron Hickey
SENIOR PRODUCER
Chris Schmidt
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Suzi Tobias
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Will Toubman
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT
Fedor D. Kossakovski
ADDITIONAL CAMERA
Miles O’Brien
Suzi Tobias
Jason Longo
ASSISTANT EDITOR
Meredyth Lamm
ADDITIONAL EDITOR
Michael H. Amundson
ANIMATION
Elias Mallette
Ned Porter
JAPAN PRODUCER
Fumiyo Asahi
TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION
Hiroko Minami
Robert Moross
VOICEOVER ARTISTS
Patrice Donnell
Craig S. Wollman
Dan Ziskie
ONLINE EDITOR AND COLORIST
David Bigelow
AUDIO MIX
Jim Sullivan
MUSIC
APM
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AP Archive/Press Association
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John Boice
James Mahaffey
Atomic Accidents
Charles Ferguson
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William J. Clinton Presidential Library
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Moretrench
United States Department of Energy
Argonne National Laboratory
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Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)
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Robin Kelly
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Courtesy of General Public Utilities, Penn State
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Joe Moross
Georgia Power Company
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Caitlin Saks
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Kristine Allington
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Ariam McCrary
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Brittany Flynn
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Kevin Young
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Nathan Gunner
COORDINATING PRODUCER
Elizabeth Benjes
DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER
David Condon
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Pamela Rosenstein
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SENIOR SCIENCE EDITOR
Evan Hadingham
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Chris Schmidt
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DEPUTY EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Julia Cort
SENIOR EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Paula S. Apsell

A NOVA production by Miles O’Brien Productions, LLC, for WGBH Boston.

© 2017 WGBH Educational Foundation

All rights reserved

This program was produced by WGBH, which is solely responsible for its content.

Original funding for this program was provided by Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the David H. Koch Fund for Science, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

IMAGE:

Image credit: (cooling towers, Byron IL)
© Allkindza/Getty Images

Participants

Tadafumi Asamura
Kajima Corporation
Michael Aziz
Harvard University
Lake Barrett
Nuclear Engineer
David Brenner
Columbia University
Ken Buesseler
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Leslie Dewan
Nuclear Entrepreneur
Naoto Kan
Former Prime Minister of Japan
Dale Klein
Former NRC Chairman
Edwin Lyman
Union of Concerned Scientists
Naohiro Masuda
TEPCO
Chris Morris
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Nathan Myhrvold
Nuclear Entrepreneur
Mark Peters
Idaho National Laboratory
Jose Reyes
NuScale Power
Donald Sadoway
MIT
Charles Till
Nuclear Physicist
Chuck Till
Former Director, Argonne National Laboratory

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