PBS to host moderated chat after backlash against nuclear energy broadcast

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The Fukushima disaster precipitated a rise in public concerns about potential accidents, storage of nuclear waste, and nuclear proliferation across the globe.  However, the nuclear industry is trying to liken that response to the response after Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, but the cost of regulating risk and skyrocketing construction costs are just as severe of hindrances as the falling public sentiment.

“The prospects for a revival of U.S. nuclear power were dim before Fukushima…. Cost of capital is rightly high. Investment in these is risky,”  a UC Berkeley professor said in a talk Tuesday at the Harris School of Public Policy. “Fukushima brought concerns to attention, but construction is the real hindrance.”

Last night PBS aired an edition of Frontline titled “Nuclear Aftershocks”, which didn’t receive quite the response they likely expected.  Before the airing yesterday, it was the nuclear industry that was apprehensive about the show, even NEI put out a press release stating they didn’t know what the content would be.

As the show aired, the nuclear industry showed up in force on social media platforms and the #frontline hashtag was overwhelmed with tweets from Entergy, NEI,  Idaho National Lab, USAID, and other industry heavyweights.



But it was the public response that stole the show, so much so that PBS announced that it would hold a “moderated” chat on its website today at 1 pm. You can join the conversation here.

Here are a selection of the tweets seen on the #frontline hashtag last night.




Spencer Reiss, a contributing editor at WIRED who specializes in energy issues, will be our guest questioner.

Correspondent for Nuclear Aftershocks, O’Brien is a freelance journalist who also produces science, technology, aviation and space stories for thePBS NewsHour. He was also correspondent for the recent FRONTLINE films, Flying Cheap and Flying Cheaper.

A veteran of both U.K. and U.S. television, Jon Palfreman has made more than 40 BBC and PBS one-hour documentaries including a dozen FRONTLINE reports. His recent FRONTLINE productions are Sick Around the WorldSick Around America and The Vaccine War.

Our guest questioner Spencer Reiss is a contributing editor for WIRED and writes regularly for many publications, including The Wall Street Journal,Forbes and MIT Technology Review.

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