The Atomic States of America 2012 NR CC

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(6) IMDb 6.5/10
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The Atomic States of America takes the viewer on a journey to reactor communities around the country, and seeks to explore the truths and myths of nuclear power.

Starring:
Michelle Catts, Kelly McMasters
Runtime:
1 hour 33 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

The Atomic States of America

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce
Starring Michelle Catts, Kelly McMasters
Studio Sundance
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 3-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By FPGAEngineer on January 20, 2013
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When the blurb said the movie was aiming to seek the "truths and myths" of nuclear power, I was figured it would be a fairly balanced review of things, potentially showing that some towns have enjoyed the economic benefits of a reactor, and others that have not. Not even close. While watching in horror what appeared to be an incredibly unjust situation at Brookhaven and the surrounding area, I googled more info and a link taking me to Brookhaven's .GOV site on these false claims was near the top. Turns out this was prepared in response to the 2008 book by McMaster. Yes, it seems these claims have been kicked around since 2008.

And yet, none of this was included in the 2012 movie?

Consider the poor family that lost their daughter to rhabdomyosarcoma. The movie suggested two things about this disease. First, was that it was incredibly rare. Next, the movie suggested that the only known cause of this was low-level exposure to radiation.

But there on the Brookhaven web site, it plainly states that studies showed that the rates near Brookhaven were normal or lower than other nearby areas, including Nassau, Brooklyn and Queens. This is from a .GOV website, complete with links for you to do more research. If Brookhaven was so bad, then how come come cancer rates are statistically no higher than areas. There are additional citations of of professors and their studies to back this up too.

Next, on the same Brookhaven page, there is a link to the American Cancer Society that mentions NOTHING about low-level exposure being a cause of rhabdomyosarcoma. In fact, it mentions that NO environmental factors (such as exposures to substances during early childhood) are known to increases chances of getting this. In other words, its genetics. Bad luck.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dr. V on May 13, 2013
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The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Act of 2000 covers about 400 contaminates sites, including BNL, which became a Superfund site in 1988. But, in violation of President Clinton's Executive Order 13179, BNL and their contractors/partner failed to notify us in 2001 as Clinton ordered. Additionally, BNL managers destroyed documents to conceal environmental crimes; some of which are discussed in Welcome to Shirley. Too late for hundreds of workers and nearby residents, an EEOICPA Petition was filed to make BNL a Special Exposure Cohort (SEC). (I recently filed one for Grumman; a BNL partner on clandestine nuclear weapons/propulsion projects.) In 2010, 10 years after Congress passed the EEOICPA, BNL workers and/or their survivors were finally notified and began collecting millions in benefits -- including $150,000 in death benefits for 22 types of EEOICPA cancers. The BNL website cited in the review by misguided "FPGAEngineer" fails to mention the EEOICPA, as does Welcome to Shirley. (I discussed the EEOICPA during my interview by Sheena Joyce, but it didn't make the cut.) The fact that BNL became an SEC is self-evident proof that BNL managers are liars and murderers protected by corrupt federal officials and local newspaper editors that never disclosed BNL's REMP reports detailing enormous radioactive fallout --- including over 7,000 Curies from 29 uranium fuel rod explosions between 1952 & 1957. Nor have they warned the Public that the 2011 BNL Health Assessment, and its 2005 Draft, indicate Cesium-137 levels up to 30,000 the EPA's 5 rem/yr evacuation dose - or that corrupt EPA Superfund managers failed to order an evacuation after they took jurisdiction in 1988. The aforementioned BNL REP report is available from DOE websites by Googling "RADIOLOGICAL EMISSIONS AND ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING FOR BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY, 1947 -1961"
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Lately I've been researching the claims and counterclaims on both nuclear power and the fracking controversy, and some of what I see gives me a really bad feeling about prospects for ever getting a really truthful picture about such issues. Too many people, making too claims that are dubious at best, on both sides of the question. This production seems a lot like Gasland, in some ways: plenty of horror stories and anecdotal evidence, and raising some compelling questions, but with serious doubts about the veracity of it all.

Somewhere between the Pacific Ocean-is-dying fearmongering (which may have reached its ultimate state in the book Devil's Tango), and the a-little-radiation-is-good-for-you mirror image used by some to promote a "nuclear renaissance," are some voices of reason. They do not seem dominant here. For me, the low point is the inclusion of Helen Caldicott. Even around 1984, the solidly left-wing Utne Reader had an article pointing out the shrill, strident tone you hear from Ms Caldicott, and the over-the-top conclusions that accompany it. In the last 30 years, it hasn't gotten any better. I started tuning her out totally around the time she said the Space Shuttle was going to destroy the ozone layer. But here she is again. I was not a bit surprised to hear her lament that "people are just so STUPID!" Those of us who oppose expansion of nuclear power (of which I am one, provisionally) should all find her a profound embarrassment. But I suppose that in the end, her popularity is only a symptom of a much wider problem.

There are certainly some books and videos that I'll give five stars just because they really are so bad they're good. This DVD is not that bad, and in its positive aspects (such as production values) it's not SO good as to stand out that much. So I'll split the difference and give it three.
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