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Here are reactions to date, beginning with producer Jon Palfreman's response to the Nuclear Control Institute's rebuttal to the program.


Thank you so much for your show titled Nuclear Reactions.

How about a spin off of Nuclear Reactions that addresses speculations about weather (present and future) as relates to Nuclear Power. Will countries like ours that do not go all nuclear--like France--take the blame for ocean overheating and all the widespread damper, more turbulent (rainier--snowier and windier--stormier) weather? (Some of which we may now be beginning "feel"--experience?) And, when as batteries for major practical part-electric (or all electric) cars are developed--what environmental good will they be if fossil fuel burning on the "other end" (to generate all the new electricity for transportation) increases to meet the "new cars" battery requirements--needs?

And, finally, what are the prospects of "emergency" action, here on Earth, to provide ourselves a single earth round nuclear utility? One as good as France's, or our own (to the extent public opinion permits it). One that recycles , processes, reuses plutonium from its world round reactors. (Does not treat it like waste!) A single nuclear utility that works against the spread of nuclear weapons.

I know that day must come. Because I believe these rains--snows--floods, all this damp, hazy weather afflicting our United States is due to the Pacific Ocean's surface heating 1.3% over the last 5-8 years.

Please do combine the themes of Nuclear Reaction and Oceans overheating and speculating on a single world round utility.

I know Spencer Wearte (author in 1989 of Nuclear Fear, A History of Images) and Stephen Schneider (books-articles on Ocean Overheating) and future minded politicians-leaders everywhere will appreciate such a public education "experience" that links all these events (and one idea, the utility).

Anything I can to do help you, as a citizen who's given much thought (and done much interdisciplinary research) on all these things--please don't hesitate to ask.

Hooray! for Nuclear Reactions! More, more, more! From a 48 year old writer-researcher (both amateur), male, father of one seventeen year old boy-man.

Yours Most Applaudingly--
Mr. Joady Guthrie
Citizens Energy Alert Network
Washington, D.C.

[son of Woody Guthrie, brother to Arlo Guthrie]

P.S. Woody would be proud of Nuclear Reactions! "Whole world'll be run by [clean, CO2 free nuclear] electricity! As he helped build the Northwest's hydro-electric projects (as a publicist songwriter in 1938).


Your episode concerning Nuclear Power episode broadcast last week was perhaps the most intelligent, insightful, well-researched and gripping program I have seen on television in recent memory. It embodied the best journalism has to offer -- it exploded myths, compared cultures and was unafraid of challenging the viewer. I believe the program should be required viewing for journalists covering the subject of nuclear power. In addition, the program gretly increased my respect for Frontline and for public television generally. Thank you.

Eric Wigginton


As one who has worked in the nuclear industry for almost forty years, I viewed your program last week with great interest. I found it to be well balanced, informative, and technically presented at a level that I believe the public could understand. I recognize that nuclear power is a difficult and emotional subject, and commend you for trying to place it in proper perspective with other energy sources and associated risks. I hope that this will be an eye-opener for at least some of your audience.

Thanks again,

Sol Guttenberg, Manager
FFTF Engineering
B&W Hanford Company

As the child of a southern Utah down-winder I was amazed by your story on nuclear power. There have been several incidences of cancer in my family aunts and uncles who were bused out from St. George Utah to watch the above ground tests. I have always had an irrational fear of nuclear power, and I was amazed by your story. It is a fact that our government has lied in the past about it's failures to inform the public about nuclear dangers. I am a victim of the fear of the unknown that has been the result of such actions. Bravo for your though provoking and educational approach to this sensitive issue.

Stacy Schimbeck
Logan, Utah

I recently took your quiz on nuclear power. Being picky, I must contradict one of your answers. You stated that the average person gets slightly more radiation from coal plants than from nuclear.

An excellent article by Oak Ridge National Labs quotes NCRP, National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements,) reports number 92 and 95, among other calculations. Their results are:

o The population effective dose equivalent from our current coal plants is 100 times that from nuclear.

o The energy content of nuclear fuel released in coal combustion is greater than that of the coal consumed.

o Uranium 238 in coal wastes is gradually converted to Plutonium 239 thru exposure to background neutrons.

The article is available on the web at:

Frank R. Borger
Physicist - Center for Radiation Therapy

"Epidemiology is a crude and inexact science. We tend to overstate findings either because we want attention or more grant money." Dr. Charles Hennikens


The Frontline program "Nuclear Reaction" was excellent. I found it to be well balanced and it provided facts about the nuclear power industry rather than painting a picture of impending doom. It went right to the heart of the problem, people's irrational fear of radiation. I found myself several times shouting "that's right!" at the TV. That is a rarity for me these days, especially for a feature on nuclear power.

The most interesting new piece of information was how people's attitudes changed quickly from negative to positive regarding long term burial of spent fuel versus a scientific study/recycling program. The exact same thing happens in conversations at my work place. France got that part right. Why can't we? It even sounds politically palatable.

The only part I found missing from the show was the lack of comment on breeder technology. This would have lead nicely from the part on fuel recycling and plutonium. It would have been beneficial to tell the public that with breeder technology we have enough waist nuclear materials at Oak Ridge, Tennessee to power the United States for 500 years. Continued US. involvement, not withdraw from the nuclear industry is what will keep this technology safe for the world.

Joseph H. Kiefer
Houston, TX


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