The Atomic States of America

The Atomic States of America

Directed by: Don Argott & Sheena Joyce
92 minutes

New England Premiere


In 2010, the United States announced the construction of its first new nuclear power plant in over 32 years. The “Nuclear Renaissance” was born, and America’s long-stalled expansion of nuclear energy was infused with new life. On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake hit Japan and caused chaos at the Fukushima Dai-chi Power Plant. The accident in Japan sent ripples all the way to the US, and suddenly the fierce debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power was back in the public consciousness.

This new documentary from Sheena Joyce and Don Argott (THE ART OF THE STEAL, IFFBoston Screening Series 2010) takes viewers on a journey to reactor communities around the country and explores the truths and myths of nuclear power. From the gates of Three Mile Island to the cooling ponds of Braidwood, IL, this film introduces the audience to people who have been on the front lines of this issue for decades. Begun more than a year before the disaster in Japan, this deeply investigated film offers a unique before-and-after perspective and includes interviews with Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors, community advocates, investigative journalists, renowned physicists, nuclear engineers, and former government leaders. As the nation stands at the crossroads of the Nuclear Renaissance, THE ATOMIC STATES OF AMERICA seeks to inspire an honest dialogue about whether or not man can split the atom responsibly.