Nuclear plants still generate nearly 20 percent of electricity in the U.S., but that looks likely to change over the next few years. Thanks to plummeting oil and gas prices and rising safety concerns since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster, more and more nuclear power reactors in the West are on their way to being decommissioned.
Season 2 of Van Alen Sessions, presented by Van Alen Institute with The Atlantic and CityLab, wraps up with a trip inside the Pilgrim Nuclear Reactor in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The plant is now officially scheduled for shutdown in 2019, which has locals struggling with a range of issues: impending economic turmoil, toxic waste storage, and the dilemma of meeting lower emissions standards while letting go of the zero-carbon footprint of nuclear energy.
About This Series: Van Alen Sessions is presented by Van Alen Institute with The Atlantic and CityLab. Season Two, “Power Lines,” is directed and produced by Kelly Loudenberg. The series is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Connect with Van Alen Institute on vanalen.org.