The 13 Best Documentaries About Nuclear Power And Nuclear Weapons

Sep 10, 2023 | Best Of, Science, Technology

Have you ever been curious about nuclear power and the atomic age? If so, then you’ve come to the right place! This list of documentaries will show you an in-depth look into some of the most important aspects of nuclear power. From watching scientists develop new energy sources to seeing how it has affected our environment, these films offer a unique perspective on the topic.


1. Nuclear weapons

It began with a spark of ingenuity. Two German chemists, experimenting in 1938, stumbled upon the key to unlocking immense power – nuclear fission – by splitting the nucleus of the uranium atom. Albert Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2 predicted that even miniscule amounts of matter could release enormous amounts of energy.


2. Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

For days after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, thousands of Japanese citizens faced an uncertain fate as a small group of engineers, firemen and military personnel worked around the clock to prevent a catastrophic meltdown. FRONTLINE chronicles their tireless efforts, delving into the darkness and radiation inside the Daiichi plant’s reactor buildings as workers fight to reconnect power.


3. The Uncertain Future of Nuclear Power

The future of nuclear power is uncertain. It’s a looming question that has kept people around the world on edge for decades. In recent years, more countries are investing in renewable energy sources instead of nuclear, suggesting that there may be an uncertain future ahead. But this doesn’t mean the end of nuclear power altogether


4. Nuclear Physics Fundamentals

World renowned physicist Prof. H. C. Verma takes us through the fascinating realm of nuclear physics in his book Nuclear Physics: Fundamentals and Applications. From the spectra of hydrogen to cosmic showers, gamma ray bursts and more, this essential guide breaks down complex concepts into easily digestible chunks.


5. The Rise Of The Nuclear Superpowers

The Cold War was a time of tension and precariousness for the entire world. A period known as Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.), where it felt like an all-out conflict between superpowers could break out at any moment, placing humanity on the brink of devastation.


6. Nuclear Aftershocks

Just over a year after the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami that rocked Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, FRONTLINE correspondent Miles O’Brien took an in-depth look at the implications of this disaster for global nuclear safety. He asked how it could shape the future of energy generated through nuclear power around the world.

Watch this documentary for free on PBS.


7. Can We Trust Nuclear Power Again After Chernobyl?

As the world searches for new sources of energy, nuclear power remains a controversial option. The risks associated with it have been highlighted by tragedies such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, but is there potential to embrace this technology safely? Can we move past these disasters and create a thriving industry that will benefit society?


8. Windscale Britains Biggest Nuclear Disaster

Since 1957, the nuclear industry has come a long way. Britain now has a new of reactors and safeguards in place to prevent such an accident ever happening again. But with countries like Iran and North Korea increasingly looking to develop their own nuclear programmes, could we one day be facing a similar threat?


9. Oliver Stone Focuses On Nuclear Energy

The Oliver Stone documentary series is one of the most comprehensive looks into nuclear energy and its impacts on modern society. Covering everything from its earliest beginnings to the current environmental concerns, this multi-part film offers a thorough examination of both sides of the issue. Featuring interviews with experts in the industry, politicians, activists, and workers.


10. The Escalation Of The Cold War

The Cold War was a time of tension and fear. As the United States, Russia, and China squared off against one another on the world stage, it seemed like no one was safe from potential nuclear attack. In ‘M.A.D World’, we explore this unique moment in history – a time when our very existence hung by a thread.


11. Britain’s Nuclear Power Secrets

Exploring the remote northwest coast of England, Professor Jim Al-Khalili joins television cameras in uncovering one of the country’s most secretive places – Sellafield, a nuclear facility looming with controversy. From witnessing some of the planet’s most hazardous substances to splitting an atom and viewing radioactive plutonium.


12. The Nuclear Revolution

he awe-inspiring story of nuclear power has been one of the defining narratives of our times. From the heady days after World War II when atomic energy was hailed as an answer to human progress, to today’s fraught debates over safety and sustainability, this powerful form of energy has sparked intense emotions on both sides of the aisle.


13. Nuclear Fusion Breakthrough

Iceland is leading the way when it comes to slowing our planet’s climate change. Through groundbreaking new technology, they are capturing carbon dioxide from the air and burying it underground for permanent storage. At the same time, companies in California’s Imperial Valley are busy developing lithium extraction for electric car batteries.


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David B