Our Japan Friends: TV Documentary 10 pm on JUNE 1 in Japan (one time only, in Japanese).
If you have friends or colleagues in Japan,
please pass this on:
New Japanese Documentary Featuring Arnie Gundersen To Be Broadcast on NHKSunday, June 1 at 10pm on BS-1. For more information about the program (in Japanese): NHK Special Documentary
This new 50-minute documentary in Japanese chronicles the story of Vermont's citizens and state government to shut down the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. It features Fairewinds' Arnie Gundersen. The documentary is entitled
YANKEE GENPATSU HEISA, BEI VERMONT SHU GONEN NO KIROKU
( The Shut Down of Yankee Plant in the State of Vermont in the United States, a Five Year Record )
The documentary chronicles an epic story of citizens standing up for a safe and sustainable energy future and making a difference. A heated political battle is being waged in Vermont, where citizen activists and the state government are pitted against Entergy, one of America’s biggest utility corporations, in a fight over the future of an aging nuclear power reactor. Local residents wage a successful grassroots campaign to convince their state legislators to vote to close the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor. Entergy responds by suing Vermont in federal court, in a move many observers feel is a blatant example of the corporate subversion of democracy. The citizen campaign is ultimately successful when the company announces it is shutting down the plant for financial reasons.
The documentary features Fairewinds' nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen who reveals that the oldest nuclear plants in operation today – the General Electric Mark 1 boiling water reactor, the design that melted down and exploded in Fukushima, Japan - are vulnerable to catastrophic accidents due to a flawed reactor containment structure. U.S. federal regulators have known since the early 1970s that the Mark 1 could likely explode during a meltdown, releasing massive quantities of toxic radiation, endangering the lives of millions of people and making large areas of land uninhabitable for generations to come.
Today in the United States, there are 23 of these aging Mark 1 reactors identical to Fukushima, including Vermont Yankee on the Connecticut River in Vermont. These plants pose a particular hazard with their over-crowded high-level nuclear waste spent fuel pools that are not in hardened containment structures, making them vulnerable to natural disasters and terrorist attacks. These highly poisonous nuclear waste materials need to be kept out of the environment for 250,000 years.