Nuclear Power: The Public Reaction 1

A live television special about a large protest in Washington, D.C. against nuclear power.

00:00Copy video clip URL A large demonstration in Washington, D.C., with a banner reading “No Nukes” rising above the crowd. A speaker compares the first atomic bomb to “a firecracker” relative to the destruction that would be caused by the current stockpile of nuclear weapons. 

00:27Copy video clip URL Announcer David S. Prowitt introduces the program. The title is superimposed over the crowd footage.

00:48Copy video clip URL Prowitt appears in front of the camera, describing the event and estimating the crowd at 60,000-70,000 people. Celebrities scheduled to appear include California Gov. Jerry Brown, Ralph Nader, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden. Appearances will be made by scientists, politicians, spokesmen, and activists. The march is organized, he says, by a group called the May 6 Coalition that assembled after the Three Mile Island disaster. 

02:44Copy video clip URL Journalist David Ensor reports from among the crowd about the White House’s response. “The Carter Administration is pretty much ignoring the demonstration today.” 

04:02Copy video clip URL A speaker at the microphone announces “This is family time!” She tries to help lost children find their parents and their groups. 

04:34Copy video clip URL John T. Conway, President of the American Nuclear Energy Council, speaks with Prowitt. Conway asserts that the crowd is made up of tourists and young people who aren’t against nuclear power but just want to see rock music and celebrities. He discusses other disasters that rival the body count and devastation of the Three Mile Island disaster and claims that nobody with a sufficient level of knowledge opposes nuclear power. He claims solar power is not a viable option. Some image distortion. 

09:27Copy video clip URL Image distortion continues. Reporter Nick DeMartino speaks with one of the event’s organizer’s, Sam Lovejoy of the May 6 Coalition and the Clamshell Alliance.

10:48Copy video clip URL Prowitt talks about the history of nuclear power. 

11:27Copy video clip URL Rep. Michael McCormick of Washington shares his thoughts on nuclear safety: “Nuclear Energy is obviously safer than any other activity in the history of the human race…. Nobody has ever been harmed, let alone killed.” 

11:44Copy video clip URL Lovejoy, in a separate interview, describes the danger of nuclear power and the harm it has already caused. 

12:08Copy video clip URL William A. Rusher of the National Review asserts that the disaster at Three Mile Island will, in the long run, be good for nuclear power. It will inspire nuclear power plants to become even safer, he says. 

12:45Copy video clip URL Prowitt speaks with Gov. Jerry Brown about Brown’s views on nuclear power. Brown discusses his legislative history in limiting and regulating nuclear power and the need for study and analysis to understand how Three Mile Island’s meltdown happened. 

16:05Copy video clip URL Ensor and Brown discuss the controversy among the event organizers over whether to invite Brown. Brown discusses that and returns to discussion of the safety requirements for nuclear plants.

18:55Copy video clip URL Prowitt introduces a segment about the health risks of living near or working in a nuclear plant. Footage of Joseph Califano, the White House’s Secretary for Health, Education, and Welfare, speaking about the risks of cancer and other diseases from proximity to nuclear material. 

19:45Copy video clip URL In another interview, Dr. John Gofman, professor of Medical Physics at UCLA, asserts that there is no evidence for the carcinogenic dangers of nuclear material. 

20:15Copy video clip URL Dr. Karl Morgan, director of health physics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and professor of Nuclear Engineering at Georgia Tech, speaks about lowering the amount of exposure for workers in nuclear plants. 

21:33Copy video clip URL Journalist Christine Russell of the Washington Star discusses the anti-nuclear advocacy of pediatrician Helen Caldicott with Prowitt in advance of Caldicott’s speech at the demonstration. Russell further discusses the cancer risk from exposure to nuclear material. 

24:25Copy video clip URL Caldicott’s speech.”We are here to save the world!” She discusses the possible consequences of future nuclear disasters. 

34:35Copy video clip URL An announcement about the location of the buses. 

34:57Copy video clip URL Prowitt and Russell discuss Caldicott’s speech. Russell shares new findings regarding health risks for exposure to radiation, including genetic diseases for future generations. 

38:30Copy video clip URL A report from Middletown, PA, near the Three Mile Island disaster, where the reporters speak to Mayor Robert Reid and his family. Reid talks about the lack of safety protocols and the lack of warning to nearby communities. 

40:35Copy video clip URL Back in D.C., Russell describes the confusion and uncertainty from the government regarding the dangers to the health of nearby populations after the Three Mile Island disaster. 

42:15Copy video clip URL A report from New Paltz, NY, which is located near the Indian Point Nuclear Plant. The first interviewee is Michael Kline, the Senior Project Coordinator and New York Public Interest Research Group founder for the May 6th Coalition. The second is Mayor John Vett. Both discuss the opposition to nuclear power in the area. 

43:57Copy video clip URL In D.C., Ensor speaks with Vett, who is attending the rally, and Vice Mayor Judy Trachtenberg. Vett describes wanting to stop the spread of nuclear power in the wake of Three Mile Island. 

45:52Copy video clip URL After sharing the various estimates for attendance, Prowitt speaks with Bella Abzug. Abzug talks about the lies that have allowed the establishment of nuclear power. Dan Fogelberg plays a song in the background. 

50:03Copy video clip URL Fogelberg continues playing the song “Better Change.” 

52:45Copy video clip URL “Here’s a song for everyone on the planet.” Fogelberg plays “Earth Anthem.” 

55:57Copy video clip URL Fogelberg sings “There’s a Place in the World for a Gambler,” asking the crowd to sing along. The tape ends mid-song. 



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