When Pennsylvania’s nuclear power plant melted down, who could have predicted that 27 years later the founder of Greenpeace would herald nuclear energy as our best hope in the Washington Post? Nuclear power, long associated with nightmarish disasters, is becoming a green favorite, but dangerous stigmas die hard. Is nuclear energy a green and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel? With so much instability in the Middle East can nuclear power relieve our addiction to foreign oil? Or are these unrealistic hopes that create a potential danger not worth the risk?
photo credit: Viera Levitt
Harold Denton was the former Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation at the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission until his retirement in 1998. He was President Carter’s pointman on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission during the Three Mile Island crisis.
Lisa Stiles-Shell is a nuclear engineer and an outspoken proponent of nuclear energy. In her career she has held the titles of President of the International Youth Nuclear Congress, President of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear, and the Manager of State Initiatives, Grassroots and Coalitions for the Nuclear Energy Institute. In addition, she contributes writing to the Nuclear Energy Institute blog, NEI Nuclear Notes.
Mike Pintek was news director at the radio station WKBO and at 27 years old, a lifelong resident of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. He was the first radio host to report on the crisis and found himself thrust into a story with national and international significance, both as a professional and a private citizen. He has remained in radio ever since and has interviewed Presidents Carter and Ford, astronauts Buzz Aldren and John Glenn, Rosa Parks, and celebrities local and national on his talk show.
Paul Gunter co-founded the Clamshell Alliance anti-nuclear group and was the Director of the Reactor Watchdog Project at Nuclear Information and Resource Service for sixteen years. He has made countless national and international television, radio, and conference appearances and in 2008, Gunter was recognized with the Jane Bagley Lehman Award from the Tides Foundation for his work on nuclear power and climate change. An environmental activist and energy policy analyst, he has been an ardent critic of atomic power development for more than thirty years.
American Experience: Meltdown at Three Mile Island
This relevant documentary was aired on RIPBS as part of Action Speaks programming during the Fall 2006 recording season.