Feeds:
Posts
Comments

AB986-1

.

Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
 Dan Edge

.

Part II

.

8:00 AM
 Day 4

NARRATOR: Back at the plant, the situation was about to get even worse. The explosion had already set back efforts to get water into the melting cores of Reactors 1 and 2. Now Reactor 3 was also in meltdown. TEPCO needed help.

A specialist team of soldiers was ordered to the site. Another hydrogen build-up meant the Reactor 3 housing could explode at any moment.

Col. SHINJI IWAKUMA: [through interpreter] I was desperately trying to work out how we could get the job done quickly. I was nervous. Although we had trained for it, this was actually our first time in a radioactive area.

NARRATOR: Colonel Shinji Iwakuma and his team wore suits that shielded their bodies from radioactive particles but provided no protection against lethal gamma rays. Their mission was to inject water directly into the core of Reactor 3.

Col. SHINJI IWAKUMA: [through interpreter] Just as we were about to get out of the jeep to connect the hose, it exploded. Lumps of concrete came ripping through the roof of the jeep. Radioactive matter was leaking in through the bindings of our masks. Our dosimeter alarms were ringing constantly.

NARRATOR: The soldiers were now surrounded by lethally radioactive debris. They were injured in the blast but managed to flee the scene before anyone received a fatal dose.

Col. SHINJI IWAKUMA: [through interpreter] I was desperate to get away from the danger. We were lucky on many levels. We were lucky. Just lucky.

3:00 PM 
Day 4

NARRATOR: Parts of the nuclear plant were now completely off limits to the workers. Radiation levels near one of the reactor buildings were at 1,000 millisieverts per hour. After an hour of exposure at these levels, radiation sickness sets in. A few hours would mean death.

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] In the control room, people were saying we were finished. They were saying it quietly, but they were saying it. We felt we had to flee. This was the end.

3:00 AM 
Day 5

NARRATOR: That night in Tokyo, the prime minister was awakened with a disturbing message. He says he was told that TEPCO planned to withdraw their workers from the plant.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] I thought withdrawal was out of the question. If they withdrew, six reactors and seven fuel pools would be abandoned. Everything would melt down. Radiation tens of times worse than Chernobyl would be scattered.

NARRATOR: At that moment in Fukushima, the plant manager, Masao Yoshida, had gathered all the workers together.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] Yoshida said, “Starting now, we are going to evacuate.” At that point, Yoshida was resigned to his fate. I’m sure he was prepared to die himself, but he couldn’t kill 250 people. So he said, “Just go home. We’ve done this much. We can do no more. Just go home.”

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] It’s probably bad to admit it, but I was relieved. I just wanted to get out.

5:30 AM
 Day 5

NARRATOR: Meanwhile, the prime minister was arriving at TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo, determined to stop total withdrawal. He demanded to speak to TEPCO’s executives. Via a video link, he was watched by the engineers in Fukushima.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] I said, “This is a very tough situation. But you cannot abandon the plant. The fate of Japan hangs in the balance. All those over 60 should be prepared to lead the way in a dangerous place. Otherwise, we’re handing Japan over to an invisible enemy. This would affect not just Japan, but the whole world.”

NARRATOR: To this day, there is controversy about what TEPCO intended. The company executives say they never planned to completely abandon the plant.

AKIO KOMORI, Managing Director, TEPCO Nuclear Division: [subtitles] We never said that all employees would withdraw. We said we wanted to look into withdrawing. We were considering withdrawing some of the workers.

NARRATOR: That morning, TEPCO evacuated all but a skeleton crew led by plant manager Yoshida. The remaining men were to become known as the Fukushima 50. For now, they were locked down in the central control room.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] The radiation level was ridiculously high. We just didn’t know what to do. The reactors were unmanned. Unmanned.

NARRATOR: Hundreds of workers were on standby a few miles away, ready to lay pipes that could pump water into the reactors. But the radiation levels were now too high for them to approach the plant.

A team of American nuclear specialists, who’d just arrived in Japan, were fearful that TEPCO and the government had run out of ideas.

CHUCK CASTO, Nuclear Regulatory Commission: We were given numbers, very low numbers of people who were on the site, and we knew that that wasn’t sufficient to do what needed to be done at that time.

NARRATOR: That day, frustrated at the lack of information the prime minister was giving them, the Americans decided to fly a surveillance drone over the plant. The data they got was disturbing.

A third hydrogen explosion had exposed pools of discarded radioactive fuel to the atmosphere. These spent fuel rods were still highly radioactive. If the pools boiled dry, they could catch fire, and the contamination could be even worse than from a reactor meltdown.

CHUCK CASTO: We had some pretty clear indication that there was fuel damage occurring in the spent fuel pools from lack of water. And as they were worried about Japanese citizens, we were worried about American citizens. And we thought, to put all this to rest, put water in there.

9:40 AM 
Day 7

NARRATOR:The Japanese prime minister ordered a desperate tactic, dumping water on the spent fuel pools from the air. The first crew to take off knew that Soviet pilots who’d done this during the Chernobyl nuclear accident had subsequently died of cancer.

1st Lt. YOSHIYUKI YAMAOKA, Helicopter Pilot: [through interpreter] That morning, before I started the engine, I called my wife. She said, “If someone has to do it, then go and do your best. I am praying for you.” So she was supportive. She was crying at the time. I almost cried, as well.

NARRATOR: An earlier reconnaissance mission had been abandoned because of high levels of radiation over the reactors. Tungsten plates were now bolted to the helicopter to protect the pilots from gamma rays. The crew knew that they had to drop the water on the move from 300 feet. If they went higher, they’d miss. If they went lower, they could receive dangerous doses of radiation.

1st Lt. YOSHIYUKI YAMAOKA: [through interpreter] At the time, it felt like, “This is it. This is finally it.” Like a tingle down the spine.

NARRATOR: Their target was beneath them.

1st Lt. YOSHIYUKI YAMAOKA: [through interpreter] I will never forget what I saw— the bones, the skeleton of the building, the walls were strewn everywhere. Incredible.

NARRATOR: The world watched the mission live via a camera placed 20 miles from the plant.

1st Lt. YOSHIYUKI YAMAOKA: [through interpreter] The wind was bending the water, so we sprayed it like this. We could see the steam, so I knew it had gone in. “We did it. We did it. We did it for everyone.” That’s how I felt.

NARRATOR: But on their second mission, they missed. Other helicopters followed, but the wind was too strong for accurate aiming.

The American nuclear team was monitoring the operation.

CHUCK CASTO: We were taking radiation measurements ourselves to see, after the drop, did the radiation level go down. And it didn’t.

NARRATOR: The United States government began to draw up plans to evacuate 90,000 of its citizens from Japan. For now, they advised all Americans to stay at least 50 miles from the plant. The Japanese evacuation zone remained at 12 miles.

U.S. surveillance now suggested that there were flakes of deadly radioactive fuel scattered around the reactors. This meant that anyone who approached the plant would be risking their lives.

11:00 PM
 Day 8

NARRATOR: Despite the danger, the Japanese government ordered a team of Tokyo firefighters to get water into the fuel pools by any means. The men had no experience of working in radioactive conditions.

Capt. TOYOHIKO TOMIOKA, Tokyo Fire Dept.: [through interpreter] All of our troops gathered. First, we chose all the over-40s. These were the guys who weren’t going to be having any more children.

Capt. OSAMI KAMANAKA, Tokyo Fire Dept.: [through interpreter] I didn’t speak to my family. I’ve taught them that at any moment, I might go into these situations.

NARRATOR: One of the firefighters went ahead to plot a route. But the radiation he was exposed to meant he couldn’t accompany his men on their mission.

Capt. TOYOHIKO TOMIOKA: [through interpreter] I was worried about the radiation and the mental welfare of my team. But I had to leave it to them. I waited and prayed.

NARRATOR: The plan was for the firefighters to park a truck by the sea to suck up water, then lay 800 yard of hose and leave it spraying into the fuel pool.

OFFICER: [subtitles] Does everyone have their lights ready?

NARRATOR: Unique footage filmed that night from the front line of the nuclear disaster shows the firefighters preparing to approach the reactors.

OFFICER: [subtitles] The truck along the seawall will be the one that heads towards the ocean. OK, good luck!

NARRATOR: They gave themselves 60 minutes to complete the mission. Any longer would expose them to excessive radiation.

Capt. OSAMI KAMANAKA: [through interpreter] When we arrived at Fukushima Dai-ichi, it was so quiet. No wind, an eerie silence. The first thing we saw was tsunami debris. The roads were violently twisted. I was worried we wouldn’t be able to complete the mission in one hour.

FIREFIGHTER: [subtitles] I’m getting 0.4 millisieverts.

FIREFIGHTER: [subtitles] OK, 0.4 millisieverts. No problem.

NARRATOR: A radiation-monitoring vehicle set off in front of the firefighters.

FIREFIGHTER: [subtitles] OK, we are moving. 0.4 millisieverts.

NARRATOR: Within minutes, the route was blocked by tsunami debris. The firefighters now had to lay the hose by hand, taking radiation readings as they went.

FIRE DEPT. VIDEO: [subtitles]

— Move from the middle!

— Watch the manhole!

— Is the manhole on the left?

— Yes, the left!

NARRATOR: The alarms on the dosimeters signaled a dangerous increase in radiation.

FIRE DEPT. VIDEO: [subtitles]

— Stop! Almost there!

— The hoses are there!

— Keep to the right!

— No, keep to the left!

— What are you reading?

— I’m getting 70 millisieverts.

— I’m getting 100 millisieverts here!

— 100 millisieverts!

— Everyone not working take cover inside the truck!

— Take a step back! Pull back!

— OK, get away from the building as soon as you can.

NARRATOR: After an hour on site, the hoses were finally connected.

Capt. OSAMI KAMANAKA: [through interpreter] I was told on the radio that the water was spraying, so I started to think we had completed our mission. Then I just wanted to get out of there. We ran to the minibus and left.

NARRATOR: As the firefighters withdrew, radiation levels at the plant began to fall. The men started back for Tokyo. Some had still not told their families what they’d been doing.

Capt. OSAMI KAMANAKA: [through interpreter] When I got home, I was told off. My wife said, “So where have you been? A phone call would have been nice.”

NARRATOR: With radiation levels lower, TEPCO seized their chance. The hundreds of workers who’d been on standby headed into the plant. Their mission was to lay miles of pipes that would channel a constant flow of water into the reactor cores. They had to work fast in case radiation levels spiked again.

“YANAI”: [through interpreter] At the time, in March, we didn’t wear dosimeters. TEPCO didn’t tell us directly where radiation levels were highest.

NARRATOR: TEPCO now says most of their dosimeters were washed away in the tsunami, but that they ensured each group of workers had one.

“YANAI”: [through interpreter] It was an emergency operation and we were in a hurry. No one complained. We all understood. Even if it broke the rules, we kept quiet about it.

NARRATOR: When the pipes were laid, a steady flow of water at last started to cool the reactor cores. After days in fear of dying, the workers in the control center began to feel hope.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] People around me, their expressions grew brighter. Angry voices fell silent. The bosses calmed down.

NARRATOR: Weeks of difficult and often perilous work lay ahead, but the most dangerous phase of the crisis was over.

Day 9

NAOTO KAN, Prime Minister, 2010-11: [subtitles] Until then, we were pushed and pushed by an invisible enemy. Finally, the system was in order. The turnaround began.

NARRATOR: The prime minister was later forced to resign, accused by his critics of mishandling the crisis.

TEPCO faces having to pay tens of billions of dollars in damages. The company is on the verge of bankruptcy.

The workers who battled to save the plant face an uncertain future. None of them have died from their exposure to radiation, but more than a hundred received doses which increase their risk of developing cancer in the future.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] After the Second World War, people in Japan no longer died for their country. In this case, escape was not an option. Fighting was the only way. That it did not get any worse was God’s will. That first week, we walked a razor-thin line.

NARRATOR: The radiation released by the Fukushima meltdowns contaminated hundreds of square miles of northeastern Japan. More than 100,000 people fled the fallout.

Norio Kimura moved to the mountains of Hakuba. Only here, on the other side of the country, did he feel his surviving daughter was safe from radiation. In the weeks after the tsunami, the bodies of his wife and father had been recovered. But his youngest daughter, Yuna, was still missing.

Four months after the disaster, Norio is travelling back to Fukushima. An exclusion zone is still in force for 12 miles around the plant. Animals abandoned by their owners have starved to death. Others roam wild. Some of these districts are contaminated so badly that they will be uninhabitable for decades.

Just two miles from the nuclear power plant, the evacuees from Norio’s village are holding a ceremony for those who died in the tsunami. For Norio, it’s a chance to say farewell to the family he had to leave behind.

NORIO KIMURA: [through interpreter] It has been four months since you suddenly disappeared. I have been wondering why this happened. One day, we will return here to live, looking at the sea that took you from us. We do not know when this will be, but we will definitely return. On behalf of the bereaved, Norio Kimura.

.

Download a PDF file of the complete transcript of Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown (Parts I and II) here:

Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

 

.

Advertisements

fukushima-no-1-meltdown-confirmed-japan1

.

Download PDF files of worksheets to be used in conjunction with Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown here:

Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Pt. I

Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown Pt. 2

.

.

Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
 Dan Edge

.

Part I

.

March 11, 2011 
Day 1

TAKASHI SATO, Former Plant Inspector: [through interpreter] On March 11th, there was a relaxed atmosphere at work. I was at my computer, writing reports. Before that day, we’d had a few earthquakes, around magnitude 4. Then, I think it was about 2:46 PM, I felt an incredible rumbling in the earth. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced.

[Weather camera footage]

NARRATOR: The earthquake that shook the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant was the most powerful to strike Japan since records began. The company that operates the plant, TEPCO, has forbidden its workers from speaking publicly about what followed.

But one year on, they are starting to tell their stories. Some have asked for their identities to be hidden for fear of being fired.

“ONO”: [through interpreter] I saw all the pipes fixed to the wall shifting and ripping off.

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] It was getting stronger and stronger. This was no ordinary quake.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] We were all on our knees, holding onto the railings. Then the power was cut.

NARRATOR: The workers stayed calm because they knew Japanese power plants are designed to withstand earthquakes. The reactors automatically shut down within seconds. But the high radioactivity of nuclear fuel rods means they generate intense heat even after a shutdown. So backup generators kicked in to power the cooling systems and stop the fuel rods from melting.

Takashi Sato is a reactor inspector who no longer works at the plant.

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] I wasn’t worried about the condition of the plant. I had always thought nuclear power was safe. But in the end, the plant wasn’t safe, was it.

3:15 PM

NARRATOR: Just up the coast, the fishermen of Fukushima knew what was coming next.

YOSHIO ICHIDA: [through interpreter] It’s always been said on this shore the tsunami will follow the earthquake. I went straight to the harbor and headed out to sea.

NARRATOR: Yoshio Ichida wanted to save his boat. He was racing straight into the biggest tsunami waves to strike Japan in hundreds of years, hoping to crest them before they broke.

YOSHIO ICHIDA: [through interpreter] They were like mountains. We went over three waves that came directly from the east. They were about 15 meters high. It was like this.

NARRATOR: The biggest of the waves was more than 40 feet high and traveling at over 100 miles an hour.

YOSHIO ICHIDA: [through interpreter] When I looked back to shore, there was a strange ocean mist. I knew something bad was happening.

NARRATOR: At the nuclear plant, a worker was filming as his co-workers fled to higher ground.

FLEEING WORKER: [subtitles] Hurry up! It’s coming!

FLEEING WORKER: [subtitles] The tsunami is going to catch you!

NARRATOR: At 3:35 PM, the biggest of the waves struck. It was more than twice the height of the plant’s seawall.

It’s now known that TEPCO had been warned by a government committee of scientists in 2009 that its tsunami defenses were inadequate. The company says it was still reviewing the matter when the disaster happened.

Now the tsunami flooded the nuclear plant.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] The port area was trashed. I felt something incredible had happened.

NARRATOR: This man is a senior nuclear engineer who still works at the plant.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] Cars had been left everywhere by the wave. Buildings and 5,000-ton fuel tanks were sucked out to sea. I watched them slowly sinking.

NARRATOR: Most of the backup diesel generators needed to power the cooling systems were located in basements. They were destroyed by the tsunami waters, meaning the workers had no way of keeping the nuclear fuel from melting.

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] When I heard the diesel generators were lost, I couldn’t square that with reality. I was stunned.

NARRATOR: This is the frantically scribbled log the engineers kept on a whiteboard in the control room as the nuclear plant slid towards disaster. “15:42, nuclear emergency declared. 15:50, loss of water level readings. 16:36, emergency core cooling system malfunction. No water can be injected.”

TEPCO turned down FRONTLINE’s requests for interviews with plant workers, but put forward the managing director of its nuclear division. He acknowledged the company had never imagined that one of their nuclear plants could lose all power.

AKIO KOMORI, Managing Dir., TEPCO Nuclear Division: [subtitles] We were entering territory that exceeded what we had ever considered. My gut feeling was that our options for responding were going to be rather limited.

5:00 PM
 Tokyo

NARRATOR: In the 90 minutes since the tsunami, Japan’s government had been scrambling to deal with one of the biggest natural disasters in the country’s history. Now the prime minister was informed that the cooling systems had failed at Fukushima.

NAOTO KAN, Prime Minister, 2010-11: [subtitles] When I got that news, I truly felt the situation was extremely serious. The earthquake and tsunami had caused massive damage. Now we had a nuclear accident on top of that. I knew if we left it, it would melt down. I felt a shiver down my spine.

NARRATOR: The prime minister asked to be kept informed of what was happening in Fukushima. But for now, the executives at TEPCO headquarters in Tokyo were in charge of tackling the nuclear emergency.

5:30 PM

NARRATOR: Two hours had now passed since the tsunami. The coastline was devastated. Around 20,000 people were dead or missing.

Norio Kimura, a farmer from Fukushima, lived just two miles from the nuclear plant. He’d been out working when the waves struck. Now he was searching for his family. Survivors were gathering at the local sports center, unaware of the unfolding nuclear crisis.

NORIO KIMURA: [through interpreter] Many people had gathered. I was told three of my family were missing. I felt cold, like my blood was being drained.

NARRATOR: Norio’s father was missing. So was his wife, and his youngest daughter, Yuna.

NORIO KIMURA: [through interpreter] I just couldn’t accept that the tsunami might have killed them. I started searching in the rubble, not just around my house but the whole village.

NARRATOR: As night fell, the Japanese government ordered an evacuation of everyone within two miles of Fukushima Dai-ichi. But Norio and others ignored the order and kept searching for their families.

11:30 PM

NARRATOR: Just along the coast, the nuclear plant was still without power. The workers had no functioning instruments to reveal what was happening inside the reactor cores. They improvised.

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] All of us who had a car or a company car were asked to get the batteries to try to restore power.

NARRATOR: The scavenged batteries allowed vital monitoring instruments in the Reactor 1 control room to work again. Just before midnight, the workers restored power to the pressure gauge. The levels caused panic.

MURAKAMI: [through interpreter] The pressure was going up and up. Everyone thought, “Isn’t this dangerous? Are we in trouble?”

NARRATOR: The engineers realized the rising heat of the fuel rods in the reactor core was creating massive amounts of radioactive steam and hydrogen. The resulting pressure meant the workers could not get water onto the fuel. Even worse, it meant the containment vessel might explode, a disaster that could leave parts of Japan uninhabitable for decades.

1:00 AM 
Day 2

NARRATOR: TEPCO now knew they had to release radioactive gases into the atmosphere to prevent the reactor from exploding. But to take such a desperate measure, the company needed the permission of the prime minister himself.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] I got a report from TEPCO that the pressure was going up. Venting was necessary. What should we do?

NARRATOR: Radiation has long been a sensitive subject in Japan. After the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, tens of thousands died of radiation sickness and cancers. Yet now Japan’s prime minister felt he had no choice but to authorize the deliberate release of radioactivity.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] Everyone agreed the venting had to happen. So I said, “I understand. Do it. Let’s do it.”

NARRATOR: But there was something TEPCO wasn’t telling the prime minister. The company had never imagined they might have to vent a reactor without electricity. They didn’t know how to do it.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] The venting valves are driven by motors. So without electricity, they won’t open. It’s possible to open them manually, but really difficult.

NARRATOR: In the darkness of the Reactor 1 control room, the workers pored over blueprints to try to work out how to open the vents. The handwritten plant logs show that radiation levels were now rising.

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] To see those kind of numbers would normally be unthinkable. And this isn’t inside the reactor itself, it’s in the office. It was a disaster.

NARRATOR: The engineers suspected something that the prime minister and TEPCO would not acknowledge for months — nuclear meltdown had begun.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] I realized that the fuel had started to melt. We got our masks and put them by our feet so we could escape at any time.

6:00 AM
 Day 2

NARRATOR: Back in Tokyo, six hours after the order to vent the reactors, there was still no news from the plant. The prime minister began to suspect that TEPCO was hiding the truth. He decided to go to Fukushima Dai-ichi himself. He was later criticized for interfering with the emergency work at the plant, but he says he had to find out what was really going on.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] Everyone agreed that we should vent. But no one could explain why it wasn’t happening. It was like a game of telephone with TEPCO headquarters in the middle.

NARRATOR: At Fukushima Dai-ichi, the Prime Minister met directly with the TEPCO engineers. He insisted they vent the reactors

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] Kan was very angry. The government had given an order. What was TEPCO doing? But we were trying our best. The valves were hard to open. We were genuinely trying, we just hadn’t managed it.

NARRATOR: The plant manager, Masao Yoshida, was known for being frank. He knew the radiation near the vents was at potentially fatal levels, but he told the prime minister he’d send in a suicide squad if necessary.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] He said, “I get it.” Then he showed me his plan.

NARRATOR: The prime minister knew his orders might condemn the men who went into the reactor to death, but he felt Japan’s future was at stake.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] For me, it was a very difficult decision. But I thought it had to be done, and I did it.

NARRATOR: But then TEPCO got some news which meant the venting was delayed yet again. The evacuation of the surrounding villages was not yet complete. If the reactors were vented, local residents could be exposed to dangerous levels of radiation.

Norio Kimura was two miles from the plant, together with his eldest daughter, Mayu. He was still searching for his youngest daughter, his wife, and his father. Now he faced a choice: abandon the search, or risk exposing his surviving daughter to radiation.

NORIO KIMURA: [through interpreter] The head of the village told me that the nuclear plant was in trouble. He persuaded me to leave. He told me the living were more important than the dead. That’s when my feelings changed. I had one daughter left. I had to protect her.

NARRATOR: By just after 9:00 o’clock on the morning of March the 12th, the villages around the plant had been evacuated. At last, TEPCO ordered the venting team to go in. The plant logs show the first two volunteers set off at 9:04 AM.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] They knew they’d be exposed to radiation, but they went in.

VOLUNTEER WORKERS: [subtitles] The pipes look all right. 50 milli. The radiation is rising!

NARRATOR: This footage was filmed by TEPCO seven months later, when radiation levels remained dangerous. It shows the reactor building where the venting team had to operate.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] It was not a place for humans. The temperature was 100 degrees plus. The surroundings were pitch black, and there was condensation. The radiation was high. I don’t think I would have been able to go.

NARRATOR: Each worker was limited to 17 minutes in the reactor building.

VOLUNTEER WORKER: [subtitles] 67 milli!

NARRATOR: After nine minutes, the workers found the wheel for opening the vent. They inched it open, then pulled back when time ran out. Four more workers followed, each spending just minutes in the reactors.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] They showed courage. And resolution. Their lives were on the line.

2:00 PM
 Day 2

NARRATOR: That afternoon, a thin plume of gas signaled that the pressure in the reactor core was falling. The venting team appeared to have saved northeastern Japan from a catastrophic explosion. The Fukushima workers began to think the worst might be over.

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] I started to relax. I was hoping the reactor would soon be stable and they would let us leave soon.

NARRATOR: With the venting complete, the workers could focus on getting vitally needed water into the reactor cores. Suddenly, the ground shook.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] I was thrown a foot from my chair. No one knew what it was. Maybe an earthquake?

TAKASHI SATO: [through interpreter] The ground was rumbling and shaking like an aftershock. It was like thunder.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] Then Yoshida said, “Did Reactor 1 just explode?” Then we all panicked.

NARRATOR: The engineers feared that the reactor core itself had exploded, scattering radioactive fuel over the plant. In the control center, they watched the radiation levels— and waited to learn if they would survive.

“MURAKAMI”: [through interpreter] Many of us thought of running away. But there was no escape. If you actually ran, you would be exposed to radiation.

NARRATOR: After an hour, the radiation levels stabilized. The engineers figured out what had happened. Leaking hydrogen had exploded in the roof of the reactor building, but the reactor core itself was intact.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY: [press conference] [subtitles] The radiation levels have not changed much since the explosion. Please remain calm.

NARRATOR: In Tokyo, the prime minister’s chief cabinet secretary was playing down the crisis.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY: [subtitles] We see no indications of damage to the containment vessel itself.

NARRATOR: The prime minister and his team were later fiercely criticized for hiding the severity of the disaster from the Japanese people and the world. Behind the scenes, they knew the situation was sliding out of control. The explosion had halted efforts to get water onto the reactor cores. It was now only a matter of time before the fuel would melt through into the open, spewing out much worse levels of radiation.

NAOTO KAN: [subtitles] We started to think about how far this accident would spread. I asked people to do a simulation. The worst-case scenario was an evacuation of 120 to 190 miles around the plant. If that happened, Tokyo would grind to a halt. Japan would grind to a halt.

NARRATOR: Already a plume of radiation from the gas released in the explosion was drifting across Japan. The government widened the evacuation zone, ordering everyone within 12 miles of the plant to flee.

Norio Kimura and his surviving daughter were still in that danger zone when they got the news.

NORIO KIMURA: [through interpreter] I now thought it was dangerous to stay. Iodine tablets were being handed out in the village. I made my daughter take one. I had to take her somewhere safe. That’s all I could think about. We had to get far away from the nuclear plant.

.

Download a PDF file of the complete transcript of Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown (Parts I and II) here:

Inside Japan’s Nuclear Meltdown

.

***********************************************************

.

Part III

. 

• FOOTAGE ABOUT TROOP TEST SMOKEY

 

NARRATOR:

“Well, we knew now exactly where we’d be for the big show. All we had to do was wait.  Now that it’s so close, it makes you feel kind of restless. You wonder if everything’s going to turn out all right. It filled your mind no matter what you were doing.”

CHAPLAIN:

“What seems to be the trouble, soldier. You look a little bit worried.”

1st SOLDIER:

“Well I am chaplain. Just a little bit.”

CHAPLAIN:

“Actually there’s no need to be worried as the Army has taken all of the necessary precautions to see that we’re perfectly safe here.”

2nd SOLDIER:

“Sir, have you ever been out on one of these shots before?”

CHAPLAIN:

“Yes, I’ve had the opportunity to see a number of the atomic tests.  I feel that as a chaplain it is my responsibility to be with my men.”

1st SOLDIER:

“What’s it like, Chaplain?

CHAPLAIN:

“First of all, one sees a very, very bright light, followed by a shock wave. Then you hear the sound of the blast, and then it seems as though there is a minor earthquake. And then you look up and you see the fireball as it ascends up into the heavens. It’s a wonderful sight to behold.”

.

• FOOTAGE OF ACTUAL TROOP TEST SMOKEY BLAST

COUNTDOWN:

“Thirty seconds. Fifteen seconds. Ten seconds.  Five, four, three, two, one…”

 *

*

ANNOUNCER:

“The blast shock passes in a matter of seconds, and the heat and blast effects you can see and feel. You cannot sense the presence of nuclear radiation effects.”

“Alpha and beta particles are stopped by most surfaces. Even a soldier’s skin. They are a hazard only when materials emitting these particles get into the body through breaks in the skin, or through the nose or mouth.”

1st INTERVIEWER:

“Did you keep your mouth shut or did you get a mouthful of dirt?”

1st SOLDIER:

“I got a mouthful and faceful of dirt.”

2nd INTERVIEWER:

“How about all that smoke and dust and radiation. What did you see?

2nd SOLDIER:

“I couldn’t see. I couldn’t see for quite a spell. Just a haze.”

3rd INTERVIEWER:

“Private Young, did you wear any type of protective clothing? Just what did you wear?”

3rd SOLDIER:

“Oh, just regular GI work clothes.”

4th INTERVIEWER:

“We see pinned on your lapel here this white badge. Can you tell me what that is?”

4th SOLDIER:

“That’s a film badge to determine the amount of radiation you’ve received in the area.”

4th INTERVIEWER:

“And they can tell from that if you’ve received a lethal dose? Is that right?”

4th SOLDIER:

“That’s right. That’s right. They can.”

 .

• FOOTAGE ON THE INCIDENT IN ST. GEORGE, UTAH

1st ANNOUNCER:

“If you were driving from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City on US 91, you’d pass through St. George, Utah. Just a short way from the Nevada test site 140 miles to the west. “

2nd ANNOUNCER;

“Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt this program to bring you important news. Word has just been received from the Atomic Energy Commission that, due to a change in wind direction, the residue from this morning’s atomic detonation is drifting in the direction of St. George. It is suggested that everyone remain indoors for one hour or until further notice. There is no danger. This is simply routine Atomic Energy Commission safety procedure. Parents need not be alarmed about children at school. No recesses outdoors will be permitted.”

 1st ANNOUNCER:

“And as the people of St. George took cover, it was natural that some of them had questions about atomic tests.”

 .

• US ARMY FILM ABOUT THE ATOMIC BOMB

VOICE-OVERS:

“What is the atomic bomb?

“Why do we have to test bombs?”

“How little an amount of radiation will cause how many mutations?”

US ARMY OFFICIAL:

“Never before have so many known so little about a subject so big and so important.  The capabilities of most weapons are pretty well understood. But when it comes to atomic explosions, the guessing game starts.

.

“Alright, let’s take a few minutes right now to get acquainted with an A-bomb. Meet Test Abel.”

NARRATOR:

“A submarine bomb exploded in a harbor might affect a city.”

 “The affected area would be a poor picnic site, but might be entered briefly or passed through quickly with a varying degree of risk.”

“Risk is something the military doesn’t have a corner on. Occupational hazards are accepted in a matter-of-fact manner in civilian life.“

“Risk is part of the pattern of daily routine. “

“Some of the falsehoods circulated about radiation effects are trivial, but upsetting. They’re beamed right at one’s self-esteem.”

RADIO VOICE

“…and will eventually result in a race of bald-headed people. Just imagine it. Imagine yourself with no hair. They’ll call you ‘Old Skinhead…Old Chrome Dome.’ And that’s not all radioactivity will do. It will…”

NARRATOR:

“Enough exposure to radiation will cause loss of hair. The treatment, if you insist, would be symptomatic – a toupee. But the condition will only be temporary. Your hair would come back. Same color. Same cowlick.”

“Which puts the finger squarely upon one of the major fallacies in the public attitude toward atomic weapons. It’s the fallacy of devoting 85% of one’s worrying capacity to an agent that constitutes only about 15% of an atomic bomb’s destroying potential.  And that’s unsound. Doesn’t fit.

 .

• NUCLEAR DEFENSE AGENCY FILM

NARRATOR:

“There are those few who loudly maintain that there’s no actual threat to the free world at all, certainly none that can justify either nuclear testing or nuclear armament. The opposite viewpoint holds that the development of our nuclear power has been an absolutely necessary protection against communist hostility and nuclear threats. In this view, the fallout casualties, if any, will be seen as those of unidentified soldiers in the service of humanity; unknown soldiers in a war which has not struck.”

 .

• 4-H CLUB FILM

CLUB LEADER:

“We’re going to be talking about nuclear energy and the kinds of things that can happen in an atomic emergency.”

“And we do this not to worry you or frighten you but really we’ve got to admit we live in an atomic age. There is an atomic bomb so we have to be aware of this and know what to do in case an emergency happens,”

1st GIRL:

“If there will be a need to spend two weeks in a fallout shelter, we have packed our survival kit. For the food supply, we have packed a variety of fruits, soups, evaporated milk, vegetables, napkins…”

2nd GIRL:

“The purpose of our demonstration today is to show you the actual preparation of one of the meals which was prepared in a modern-day cave.”

1st GIRL:

“One noon meal consisted of the following food: canned chicken, peas, Irish potatoes, tomato juice…” 

BOY:

“My poster is on the defenses against fallout. If you’re caught outside during a nuclear explosion, decontamination may be necessary. You may have to burn or bury all your clothes and food, and afterward, you should wash thoroughly.”

CLUB LEADER:

“John, let me interrupt you here just a moment. I have some film here that I think will describe what might happen and we’ll describe a little about the atom. So, Joey, why don’t you catch the lights and we’ll try it.”

 .

• DUCK AND COVER – US CIVIL DEFENSE FILM

BERT THE TURTLE [THE DUCK AND COVER SONG] (Song by Dick ‘Two Ton’ Baker [1953])

There was a turtle by the name of Bert

And Bert the Turtle was very alert

When danger threatened him he never got hurt

He knew just what to do

He’d duck and cover, duck and cover…”

 

NARRATOR:

“Now, you and I don’t have shells to crawl into like Bert the Turtle, so we have to cover up in our own way.”

“Paul and Patty know this. No matter where they go or what they do, they always try to remember what to do if the atom bomb explodes right then. It’s a bomb! Duck and cover!”

“Here’s Tony going to his cub scout meeting. Tony knows the bomb can explode any time of the year, day or night. Duck and cover! Atta boy, Tony! That flash means act fast.”

“Sundays, holidays, vacation time, we must be ready every day , all the time, to do the right thing if the atomic bomb explodes. Duck and cover!”

“That’s the first thing to do. Duck and cover.”

“First you duck, then you cover. Duck and cover tight. Duck and cover under the table.”

BERT THE TURTLE [THE DUCK AND COVER SONG] (Song by Dick ‘Two Ton’ Baker [1953]) (Continued)

“He did what we all must learn to do

You and you and you and you

You and you and you and you

You and you and you and you

You and you and you and you

Duck and cover.”

BERT THE TURLTE:

“Remember what to do friends. Now tell me right out loud. What are you supposed to do when you see the flash?”

CHORUS:

“Duck and cover!”

. 

• SYMPOSIUM ON THE HYDROGEN BOMB

WOMAN IN THE AUDIENCE:

“Question!”

MODERATOR:

“Yes.”

WOMAN IN THE AUDIENCE:

“How far do you have to be from the blast to live through it?”

MODERATOR:

“Well, let’s take a 20-megaton surface burst…”

 

MODERATOR:

“You would have a good chance of surviving if you were more than 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the point of detonation.”

 .

• INTERVIEW WITH COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR SEYMOUR MELMAN

Dr. Seymour Melman, an economist who taught industrial engineering at Columbia, was a leading advocate of disarmament for nearly half a century. He opposed nuclear weapons almost from their inception.

.

SEYMOUR MELMAN;

“A bomb equivalent to 20 million tons of TNT would cause an intense fire called a firestorm in an area around 2,000 square miles (5,180 square kilometers) around the center of the blast. And in such an area, it would be futile – desperately futile – to construct what are called fallout shelters.”

 .

• PUBLIC INFORMATION FILM

 

CARTOON PROFESSOR:

“This man, like thousands of others around the country, is suffering from a dread disease called nuclearosis. The symptoms: nuclear blindness – all he can see is a mushroom cloud, he is blinded from the fear of it, deaf from the sound of it. There is a short circuit in his brain. He can only think of the awfulness of the nuclear bomb.”

 .

• INTERVIEW WITH COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR SEYMOUR MELMAN (Continued)

SEYMOUR MELMAN:

“We ought to learn something from the Second World War in this respect, and the bombing there, even by Second World War bombs in Hamburg, Tokyo, and other cities showed that shelters became centers for incinerating or asphyxiating the people who were in them.”

.

• PUBLIC INFORMATION FILM (CONTINUED)

 CARTOON PROFESSOR:

“A fallout shelter in your basement will give adequate shielding from radioactive fallout. Ah, he’s finally getting the message. Are you?”

. 

• UNIVERSAL NEWSREEL ON BOMB SHELTERS

NARRATOR:

“A new housing development near Denver, Colorado shows the nation’s first model homes with built-in fallout shelters. The room is designed with an atomic war in mind.

“But behind each eight-inch thick, reinforced concrete wall, it may prove to be just what the harried housewife is looking for when life with the kids gets too hectic.”

.

• INTERVIEW WITH COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROPFESSOR MARIO SALVADORI

Professor Mario G. Salvadori worked to link the fields of structural engineering and architecture and served as a consultant on the Manhattan Project. 

.

INTERVIEWER:

“You don’t think shelters are a deterrent to a nuclear war either?”

MARIO SALVADORI;

“On the contrary, I believe that psychologically they will push both us and the Russians into thinking more of having a war.”

. 

• FOOTAGE OF “THE KITCHEN DEBATE” FEATURING US VICE PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON AND SOVIET PREMIER NIKITA KRUSHCHEV

The Kitchen Debate was a series of impromptu exchanges (through interpreters) between then U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev at the opening of the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow on July 24, 1959 where the two debated the merits of capitalism versus communism.

.

RICHARD NIXON:

“There are some instances where you may be ahead of us, for example, in the development of the thrust of your rockets for the investigation of outer space. There may be some instances, for example color television, where we’re ahead of you. But in order for both of us to benefit…”

NIKITA KRUSHCHEV:

(wildly gesticulating and dismissing Nixon’s statement in Russian after hearing the translation)

RICHARD NIXON:

“You never concede anything.” 

NIKITA KRUSHCHEV:

“We wish you success in that you show the actual possibilities of America. And we will be able to say ‘Here are the possibilities of America.’ How long does it exist? How many years? 300? 300? One hundred fifty years of independence? Then we will say that America exists 150 years – here is its level. We are 42 years, not quite. Another seven years and we will be on the same level as America. Then in the future we might go ahead and overtake you at the crossroads,”

RICHARD NIXON:

“This increase in communications will teach us some things and it will teach you some things, too. Because after all, you don’t know everything,”

NIKITA KRUSHCHEV:

“If I don’t know everything, then I would say that you know absolutely nothing about communism – nothing except fear of it.”

.

• FATHER L. C. McHUGH SPEAKING ON PROTECTING ONE’S FAMILY IN A BOMB SHELTER

FATHER McHUGH:

“Let’s say you’ve got your family in your shelter. The attack is on. A question might come up of admitting anyone over and above the number for whom the shelter is designed. I say we should rely on the best potential judgment that the father, or the one responsible for the shelter, can make in the circumstances. But I say let him think twice before he admits the needy stranger if admitting the needy stranger is going to cut down the chances of survival of the group that’s already there. And then that final point. Can a man have protective devices in order to protect his family once they are in the shelter from let’s say strangers who try to use a crowbar to get in? I’d say, from what I have been talking about, the matter of self-defense, it would be wise for a man to at least weigh the possibility of putting some protective devices in his shelter together with the other elements of his survival kit.”

.

• FILM OF MAN EMERGING FROM A BOMB SHELTER

INTERVIEWER:

“All right, you’ve been down there eight to ten days, you’ve come out, and you’ve found that half or three-quarters of Los Angeles has been destroyed. Well how are you going to continue to live?”

MAN IN BOMB SHELTER:

“Well the first thing we have to recognize is that of half of Los Angeles is destroyed maybe eighty to ninety percent of the people will be dead and there will be fewer mouths to feed, and those of us who will survive will have more water and food to divide up.”

.

• THIRTEEN WOMEN (AND ONLY ONE MAN IN TOWN) (Song by Bill Haley and His Comets [1954])

“Last night I was dreamin’

Dreamed about the H-Bomb

Well the bomb-a went off and I was caught

I was the only man on the ground

There was-a 13 women and only one man in town

Thirteen women and only one man in town

And as funny as it may be

The one and only man in town was me

With 13 women and me the only man around.”

.

 

• THIRTEEN WOMEN (AND ONLY ONE MAN IN TOWN) (Song by Bill Haley and His Comets [1954]) (Continued)

“I had two gals every morning

Seein’ that I was well fed

And believ-a you me, one sweetened my tea

While another one buttered my bread.”

 

ATOMIC LOVE (Song by Little Caesar and the Red Callender Sextette [1953])

“Boooom!

Something exploded down inside

And rushed tears up in my eyes

Oh yes, I have that funny feeling

I guess it’s my atomic love for you.”

.

• VICE-PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON SPEAKING ON READINESS OF US DEFENSES

 

RICHARD NIXON:

“Our artillery and our tactical Air Force in the Pacific are now equipped at this moment with atomic explosives which can and will be used on military targets with precision and effectiveness.”

 .

• NEWSREEL ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH WEEK

ANNOUNCER:

“On the steps of the nation’s Capitol the bell announcing the opening of Mental Health week is rung by Vice President Nixon and Senator Smathers of Florida, characterizing mental health as the nation’s number one problem. The Vice President says that the ringing of the bell throughout the nation will be a reminder of suffering Americans.”

.

 

• ATOM BOMB BABY (Song by The Five Stars [1957])

“Atom bomb baby, little atom bomb

I want her in my wigwam

She’s just the way I want her to be

A million times hotter than TNT

Atom bomb baby, little atom bomb!”

.

CONELRAD (Control of Electromagnetic Radiation) was a method of emergency broadcasting to the American public in the event of enemy attack during the Cold War. It was intended to serve two purposes; to prevent Soviet bombers from homing in on American cities by using radio or TV stations as beacons, and to provide essential civil defense information.

. 

• FALLOUT SHELTER (Song by Mike and Bernie Winters [1961])

“20 megatons is the size of the boom

And if they let it go, I’ll feel no doom

Let the cats run about, helter-skelter

I’m gonna live, live, live in my fallout shelter.”

 .

VOICE-OVER:

“By all means, provide some tranquilizers to ease the strain and monotony of life in a shelter. A bottle of 100 should be adequate for a family of four. Tranquilizers are not a narcotic and are not habit-forming.”

 .

• NUCLEAR ATTACK SCENARIO

 

TV ANNOUNCER:

“And by the way, do you know exactly what your family would do if an attack came? Say at 10:00 o’clock tomorrow morning. It’s a good question, isn’t it?”

(Two actors in a romantic radio show can be heard playing the roles of lovers George and Lucy until interrupted by a government official.)

EMERGENCY ANNOUNCER:

“We interrupt our normal program in the interests of security and civil defense measures as requested by the United States Government.”

RADIO VOICES:

“Attention! Attention! This is an official Civil Defense warning. This is NOT a test. The United States is under nuclear attack. Take cover immediately in your area fallout shelter. Repeat. The United States is under nuclear attack.”

“This is an official civil defense broadcast. Enemy aircraft are over Canada and headed this way. Normal broadcasting has been discontinued until after this emergency has passed.”

“Repeat. The United States is under nuclear attack. Take cover immediately in your area fallout shelter.”

TV ANNOUNCER;

“We repeat, The nation is under nuclear attack. This is an extreme emergency. You are urged to remain calm.”

RADIO VOICES:

“Proceed to your designated shelter without delay.”

“This is an official Civil Defense warning. This is NOT a test. The United States is under nuclear attack. Take cover immediately in your area fallout shelter.”

“Repeat. The United States is under nuclear attack. Take cover immediately in your area fallout shelter.”

 

MOTHER IN FALLOUT SHELTER:

“Now children, I want you to sit down here against the wall. That’s it. Now crouch down tight up against it. “

FATHER IN FALLOUT SHELTER:

“Now listen, kids. If they’re dropping an atomic bomb, it may go off any second now. Whatever happens, I’ll give the signal when it’s all right for us to get up. If there’s an explosion, we’ll wait about a minute after it’s all over, then we’ll go upstairs and take a look around and see if it’s all right for us to go upstairs and clean up.”

 

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

Hiroshima after the blast

FATHER IN FALLOUT SHELTER:

“Children, you’d better clear up this broken glass and all this debris. All in all, I’d say we’ve been very lucky around here. Nothing to do now but wait for orders from the authorities and relax.”

 The Atomic Cafe was

.

• THIS COLD WAR WITH YOU (Song by Floyd Tillman [1949])

“The sun goes down and leaves me sad and blue

The iron curtain falls on this cold war with you

Though you won’t speak and I won’t speak that’s true

Two stubborn people with a cold war to go through

 

Oh why, oh, why should love ever come

To couples, like you and me

Whose cold, cold wars are never done

And whose hearts just can’t be free

Oh let’s do right or let’s just say we’re through

I just can’t stand another cold, cold war with you

.

Oh why, oh, why should love ever come

To couples, like you and me

Whose cold, cold wars are never done

And whose hearts just can’t be free

Now let’s do right, or let’s just say we’re through

I just can’t stand another cold, cold war with you”

 .

 

 

THE END? 

*

 DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE ATOMIC CAFE TRANSCRIPT (PART III) HERE:

Atomic Cafe Transcript (Part III)

.

***********************************************************

.

Part II

.

• ARMY TRAINING FILM:

.

.

PRIVATE:

“Listen to what my mom said about how bad things are back home:

(Reading from a letter) ‘Everybody’s hoarding. Profiteers are getting fat contracts. Neighbors say politicians are using the war to their own advantage. All our chief atomic scientists are spies.’

And a lot more.”

SERGEANT:

“Now just take it with a grain of salt. Let me tell you how the commies plant propaganda back home. Some time ago, Mack, Johnny and I managed to get our last leave together in a big city…

.

(Flashback to the past)

COMMUNIST SYMPATHIZER:

(Preaching on a street corner, pointing) “These poor boys will shed their innocent blood in a war that this country is provoking.”

AIR FORCE AIRMAN;

(Referring to the speaker) “Get a load of that!”

COMMUNIST SYMPATHIZER:

“Asiatic people all want the peaceful establishment of native regimes without the interference of United States troops. Communists don’t want war. War would be world suicide. Only communist countries can guarantee you peace!”

NAVY SAILOR:

“Why don’t you go live in a communist country then?”

AIR FORCE AIRMAN;

“You blow your top on a street corner there?”

NAVY SAILOR:

“You look pretty well off, sister, to be tearing down the country that gives you freedom of speech.””

.

• “I’M NO COMMUNIST” (Song by Carson Robison [1952])

            We’re living in a country that’s the finest place of earth

            But some folks don’t appreciate this land that gave them birth

            I hear that up in Washington they’re having an awful fuss

            ‘Cause Communists and spies are making monkeys out of us.”

 .

• FILM FROM HUAC (HOUSE UN-AMAERICAN ACTIVITIES COMMITTEE)

.

HUAC hearings circa 1952

CHAIRMAN:

“The question is, ‘Have you ever been a member of the communist party?’ You refuse to answer, is that correct?”

 

MAN GIVING TESTIMONY:

“I have told you I will tell my beliefs, my affiliations, and everything  else to the American public and they will know where I stand as they do from what I have written.”

CHAIRMAN:

“Stand away from the stand!”

MAN GIVING TESTIMONY:

“I have written for Americanism for many years, and I shall continue to fight for the Bill of Rights…”

CHAIRMAN:

“STAND AWAY FROM THE STAND! Officer, take this man away from the stand.”

.

• “I’M NO COMMUNIST” [continued] (Song by Carson Robison [1952])

            “The bureaus and departments have been busy night and day

            They’re figuring out just how we gave our secrets all away

            And Congress has appointed a committee so they said

            To find out who’s American and who’s a low-down Red.”

.

Hollowed out pumpkin supposedly used by communist infiltrators to pass secret documents, messages, etc.

.

• FILM OF RICHARD NIXON REGARDING COMMUNIST SPIES

.

Then Vice President (later President) Richard M. Nixon (January 9, 1913– April 22, 1994) was a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) during the 1950s and helped break the Alger Hiss spying case.

.

RICHARD NIXON:           

“I’m holding in my hand a microfilm of very highly confidential secret State Department documents. These documents were fed out of the State Dept. over 10 years ago by communists who were employees of that department and who were interested in seeing that these documents were sent to the Soviet Union where the interests of the Soviet Union happened to be in conflict with those of the United States.”

 .

• “I’M NO COMMUNIST” [continued] (Song by Carson Robison [1952])

            “I’m no Communist, and I’ll you that right now

            I believe a man should own his own house and car and cow

            I like this private ownership, and I want to be left alone

            Let the government run its business and let me run my own.”

.

 .

• FILM OF SENATOR OWEN BREWSTER ON COMMUNIST SPYING

.

Ralph Owen Brewster (February 22, 1888 – December 25, 1961) was an American politician from Maine. Brewster, a Republican, was solidly conservative. Brewster was a close confidant of the infamous communist hunter Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin.

.

OWEN BREWSTER:

“Our education is proceeding apace as to how Russia operates and how they got the atom bomb. Not by independent research, but from America from traitors within our own ranks.”

.

• FILM ABOUT THE EXECUTION OF JULIUS AND ETHEL ROSENBERG

.

Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg (September 25, 1915 – June 19, 1953) and Julius Rosenberg (May 12, 1918 – June 19, 1953) were American communists who were convicted and executed on June 19, 1953, for conspiracy to commit espionage during a time of war. Their charges were related to the passing of information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. This was the only execution of civilians for espionage in United States history

 

FIRST ANNOUNCER:

“Here is a special broadcast on the scene of Sing Sing Prison where the Rosenbergs have just been executed.

 

SECOND ANNOUNCER:

“Julius and Ethel Rosenberg have gone to the electric chair. First to go into the death chamber was Julius Rosenberg. He wore an impassive expression on his face. He walked in slowly. He was preceded by a rabbi, who was chanting the Twenty-third Psalm which everyone knows very well. He proceeded immediately over to the chair. He didn’t say a word to anyone, hardly glanced at anyone. He sat down in the chair, the straps were applied, and the first jolt of electricity was sent through his body at 8:04 tonight.

 

THIRD ANNOUNCER:

“She died a lot harder. When it appeared that she had received enough electricity to kill an ordinary person and had received the exact amount that had killed her husband the doctors went over and pulled down the cheap, prison dress – a little dark green, printed job – and placed the stetho…stetho…I can’t say it…placed the stethoscope to her then looked around, looked at each other dumbfounded and seemed surprised that she was not dead. Believing she was dead the attendants had taken off the ghastly strappings and electrodes and black belts ands so forth. These had to be readjusted again and she was given more electricity which started again. A ghastly plume of smoke rose from her head and went up against the skylight overhead. After two more of these jolts Ethel Rosenberg had met her maker. She’ll have a lot of explaining to do, too.”

SECOND ANNOUNCER:

“Immediately after the execution the bodies were taken away. There is nothing much more to report at this time. There have been no demonstrations. The heat has been extremely intense here. There’s a heavy pall and there has been an air of deep tension about this whole proceeding up here. But it is now all over. The newsmen have dispersed. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg have goon to the electric chair.

FIRST ANNOUNCER:

“That was an on-the-spot report on the execution tonight at Sing Sing Prison of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Now, The Great Day Show as we join Red Benson and the gang at the Marine Barracks in Brooklyn Navy Yard. The program is already in progress…

.

• FLASHBACK TO 1950 ABOUT THE NEED FOR THE HYDROGEN BOMB

.

SPEAKER:

“The question before us is this: Should the hydrogen bomb be built?”

FIRST WOMAN:

“All the world knows we Americans are constructive, not destructive. However distasteful this may be to us, there is no choice in the matter. Let us build the bomb.” 

FRANCISCAN PRIEST:

“It is my decided opinion that the United States of America should immediately begin construction of the H-bomb.”

SECOND WOMAN:

“I feel we must make the H-bomb.”

DOMINICAN PRIEST:

“It is my personal opinion that we should manufacture and produce the H-bomb in quantity.”

 MAN:

“The Russians will try it anyhow. And if they should learn the secrets of its manufacture before we do, the life and security of all freedom-loving peoples will be in danger.” 

FRANCISCAN PRIEST:

“I would like to add, however, that the United States of America should not necessarily use this bomb, but rather look upon it as a peaceful guardian and protector of the basic American doctrines of liberty and democracy against the obstacles of Red fascism’s materialistic and atheistic philosophies.”

 .

• NEWSREEL ABOUT A POSSIBLE RUSSIAN BOMB ATTACK

.

NARRATOR:

“If the communist bloc does attack, our radar sites and observers will sound the alert.”

“Giant bombers will take to the air. Jet fighters will scream aloft. Fighters will account for some of the enemy, but some will get through to your home!”

 .

• PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT 

ANNOUNCER:

“In times of social crisis and tension. In times when changes come so thick and fast that the individual can no longer place himself in his group, when he knows something is wrong but doesn’t know what, when he feels himself a pawn, in times like these most men become highly suggestible. They listen eagerly for any voice which sounds authoritative. They listen eagerly for anyone who can tell them what is wrong, and what to do to right it – who can diagnose their troubles and prescribe a cure.”

.

 EISENHOWER CAMPAIGN SONGS

.

.

“Eisenhower, man of the hour,

Eisenhower, man of the hour,..”

            Ike, Ike

            We like Ike.

            We love the sunshine of your smile.

            We see our future in your eyes.

            You led our men to victory.

            You are the one we idolize.

            I’m going to give my vote to you…”

.

• EISENHOWER ADDRESSING THE NATION

.

Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961. He had previously been a five-star general in the United States Army during World War II, and served as Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe; he had responsibility for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944–45, from the Western Front. In 1951, he became the first supreme commander of NATO.

.

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER:

“I don’t mean to say, and no one can say to you, that there are no dangers. Of course there are risks if we are not vigilant. But we do not have to be hysterical. We can be vigilant. We can be Americans. We can stand up and hold up our heads and say “America is the greatest force that God has allowed to exist on his footstool.” As such, it is up to us to lead this world to a peaceful and secure existence. And I assure you, we can do it.”

“Now if we first look at the strength of America, you and I know that it is the most productive nation on Earth, that we are richer by any standard of comparison to any other nation in the world. We know that we have great military strength, economic, intellectual.

“But all in all, this total strength is one of those things we call, and the world calls, unbelievable.”

“Now why, then, should we be worrying at times about what the world is doing to us? Actually, we see threats coming from all angles – internal and external – and we wonder what is going to happen to us individually and as a nation.”

“Now perhaps I can illustrate some of the reasons for this concern today. Now only a year ago, the hydrogen bomb was exploded in the Pacific. Last month, another series of tests was undertaken.”

“Now this transfer of power – this increase of power – from the mere musket and little cannon all the way to the hydrogen bomb in a single lifetime is indicative of the things that have happened to us.  They rather indicate how far the advances of science have outraced our social consciousness, how much more we have developed scientifically than we’re capable of handling emotionally and intellectually. So that is one of the reasons that we have this great concern, of which the hydrogen bomb is merely a dramatic symbol.”

.

• LONGINES CHRONOSCOPE WITH GOVERNOR VAL PETERSON (TV broadcast – August 19, 1953)

.

Frederick Valdemar Erastus Peterson (July 18, 1903 – October 17, 1983), also known as Val Peterson, was an American politician who served as the 26th Governor of Nebraska from 1947 to 1953; He was also director of the Federal Civil Defense Administration from 1953–1957

.

VAL PETERSON:

“Anyone of intelligence and information is hoping and praying that we won’t have a third world war because in this age of atomic weapons a third world war would be a catastrophe for all mankind. And then finally, and this is quite significant, about 60% of the American people revealed through a study which we made through the University of Michigan a year ago that they believed the military could stop the atomic bombs from falling upon the United States. Well, I’m sorry to have to tell you that the military will tell you that as of today they cannot stop a successful Russian attack.”

LONGINES CHRONOSCOPE HOST:

“That can be corroborated rather dramatically. We didn’t plan it this way, Governor, but the floor manager  has just handed me a bulletin saying that the Russians have just exploded a hydrogen bomb.”

 .

• SENATOR LYNDON JOHNSON SPEECH

.

Lyndon Baines Johnson (August 27, 1908 – January 22, 1973), often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States (1963–1969), a position he assumed after his service as the 37th Vice President (1961–1963). He is one of only four people who served in all four elected federal offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President.

.

LYNDON JOHNSON:

“We must learn to live in a world in which we have the hydrogen bomb and the enemy of freedom has the hydrogen bomb. It can destroy any city. That means Forth Wroth and Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Amarillo, El Paso, and yes, Johnson City.

.

• THE HYDROGEN BOMB (song by Al Rogers and his Rocky Mountain Boys [1954]) 

            “Every dollar I make goes for taxes and bills

            Perhaps they’ve discovered the cure for my ills

            Ho, hi, ho the hydrogen bomb

            Bless it all, oh let it fall

            Ho hi, ho the hydrogen bomb

            Oh God have mercy on me”

The Castle Bravo Hydrogen BombTest, March 1, 1954

 

http://dgely.com/Bikini/Nuclear%20Testing/Operation%20Castle/Operation%20Castle%20Bravo%20Blast.htm

• FILM FOOTAGE ABOUT THE CASTLE BRAVO H-BOMB TEST

.

U.S. ARMY SPOKESPERSON:

“The problem this time is especially acute because this entire area of the Pacific is subject to radiological fallout, and the area is inhabited by some 20,000 people.”

Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss (January 31, 1896 – January 21, 1974) was an American businessman, philanthropist, public official, and naval officer. He was a major figure in the development of nuclear weapons and nuclear power in the U.S. Strauss was appointed by President Truman as one of the first five Commissioners of the Atomic Energy Commission. 

.

LEWIS L. STRAUSS:

“The meteorologists had predicted a wind condition that should have carried the fallout to the north of the group pf small atolls lying to the east of Bikini. The wind failed to follow the predictions, but shifted south of that line and the little islands of Rongelap, Rongerik, and Utirik were in the edge of the path of the fallout.

“The task force commander promptly evacuated all the people from these islands.  They were taken to the island of Kwajalein where we maintain a naval establishment., and there placed under continuous and constant medical supervision.”

 

“I visited them there last week. Today, a full month after the event, the medical staff on Kwanjalein have advised us that they anticipate no illness barring, of course, diseases which may be hereafter contracted. The 236 natives appear to me to be well and happy.”

 

“The survey aircraft carefully searched the area and reported no shipping. A Japanese trawler appears to have been missed by the search, but based on a statement attributed to her skipper to the effect that he saw the flash of the explosion and heard the concussion six minutes later, it must have been well within the danger area.” 

Daigo Fukuryū Maru (第五福竜丸, Lucky Dragon 5) was a Japanese tuna fishing boat which was exposed to and contaminated by nuclear fallout from the United States’ Castle Bravo thermonuclear device test on Bikini Atoll on 1 March 1954. Aikichi Kuboyama, the boat’s chief radioman, died less than seven months later, on 23 September 1954, suffering from acute radiation syndrome. He is considered the first victim of the hydrogen bomb of Operation Castle Bravo.

.

FIRST ANNOUNCER:

“At the time of the explosion, the tuna ship had been sailing far outside the designated safe area of a 75-mile radius. Three hours after the H-bomb had been detonated a downpour of radioactive ash descended on the Fortunate Dragon and its crew of 23. None of them knew the nature of the deadly snow. It was three days more before the ship and its contaminated crew and fishing catch sailed into port. By that time the men suffered from the beginning symptoms of deadly radiation poisoning.

Aikichi Kuboyama, radioman of the Lucky Dragon 5, in advanced stages of radiation sickness resulting from contamination from the Castle Bravo Test

.

“By the time their illnesses had been properly diagnosed, the hot fish brought back in their holds had been sold into markets all over Japan. A panic ensued. Midnight burials of recent catches in the vicinity of the H-bomb explosion took place all over Japan. The bottom had dropped out of the fish market, and the Japanese chose to be without the staple food for a long time after the tragic affair.”

 

Tuna being inspected with Geiger counters for indications of radioactive contamination from Castle Bravo

. 

SECOND ANNOUNCER:

“Another by-product of this stupendous mid-Pacific blast unfolds in San Francisco where tuna fish, supposedly made radioactive during the tests, are scrutinized by federal agents armed with Geiger counters for signs of contamination.”

FDA inspectors with Geiger counters test seafood for radioactivity in the late 1950s, to ensure that fallout from atomic weapons testing has not affected the food supply.

.

THIRD ANNOUNCER:

“Hot tea, anyone? That’s not an invitation. That’s a problem brewed for the Coast Guard and Customs by the arrival in Brooklyn of a cargo of Japanese tea slightly radioactive. Final conclusion: That the tea’s radioactivity is within safety limits, and not too hot to handle.”

 

 .

• U.S. ARMY INFORMATION FILM

.

.

1ST MAN:

           “Warm.

2ND MAN:

“Yeah, June in January. That’s what I say. If you ask me I think it’s because of those atom bombs!

1ST MAN:

           “Yeah?”

 2ND MAN:

“Yeah, they’ve done some cockeyed things to the world. I think                                    they’ve knocked us south of the equator.

 .

 

3rD MAN:

“Just like I keep saying. Well, everyone’s so uncertain about everything. They don’t seem to know what’s going to happen.

1ST MAN:

           “Bourbon. Straight.”

WOMAN:

 “Well, as I was saying, I wouldn’t worry nearly as much about the atom bomb if it were to kill you right out. What scares me is that awful gas that deforms you.”

 3rD MAN:

“Yeah, that would be awful.”

WOMAN:

           “Yeah.”

 

.

• “ATOMIC COCKTAIL” (Song by Slim Gaillard Quartette [1946]) 

            “It’s the drink that you don’t pour

            Now when you take one sip you won’t need anymore

            You’re small as a beetle or big as a whale-BOOM-Atomic Cocktail.”

 .

• OPERATION PLUMBBOB

.

 

 .

Operation Plumbbob (the “Priscilla” blast shown above) was a series of nuclear tests conducted between May 28 and October 7, 1957, at the Nevada Test Site. It was the biggest, longest, and most controversial test series in the continental United States. Almost 1,200 pigs were subjected to bio-medical experiments and blast-effects studies during Operation Plumbbob.

.

.

.

.

Troop Test Smoky (August 7, 1957), part of Operation Plumbbob, became notorious in the 1970s due to the radiation exposures received by over three thousand servicemen who were brought in as part of the Desert Rock exercises to conduct maneuvers in the vicinity of ground zero shortly after the test. This led to Congressional inquiries and epidemiological evaluation of the affected veterans. A 1980 study of the 3224 participants found a significantly elevated number of leukemia cases.

 

.

ARMY INDOCTRINATOR:

“Gentlemen, I want to welcome you to Camp Desert Rock. This will be your last briefing before you go to the forward and take part in an atomic detonation.”

 

“The tactical situation behind Troop Test Smokey is this: The mythical enemy which has landed on the coast of California has made a deep penetration close to supplies, storage, and missile launching installations in the vicinity of Las Vegas and Hoover Dam.

 “The tactical commander decided at this point to use an atomic weapon in his assault on the enemy. The mission of these men is to move as quickly as possible into the blasted area and exploi the breach in the enemy lines.”

 “You are here to participate in an atomic maneuver. This is not a haphazard maneuver. Careful planning started for it months back. Watched from a safe distance, this explosion is one of the most beautiful sights seen by man. You’re probably saying, “So it’s beautiful. What makes it so dangerous.?” Basically, there are only three things to worry about: blast, heat, and radiation.”

“Radiation. This is the one new effect obtained by the use of an atomic weapon. Truthfully, it’s the least important of the three effects as far as the soldier on the ground is concerned. You can’t see radiation, feel it, smell it, or taste it.”

 “Film badges and dosimeters issued to you enable the radiological safety monitor in your unit to read the amount of your exposure. The radiation level may be high, but if you follow orders you’ll be moved out in time to avoid sickness. Finally, if you receive enough gamma radiation to cause sterility or sever sickness, you’ll be killed by blast, flying debris, or heat anyway. Well, that’s the story. Don’t worry about yourselves. As far as the test is concerned, you’ll be fine.”

 . 

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE ATOMIC CAFE TRANSCRIPT (PART II) HERE:

.

Download PDF files of worksheets to be used in conjunction with The Atomic Cafe here:

Atomic Cafe Worksheet — Part I

Atomic Cafe Worksheet — Part II

Atomic Cafe Worksheet – Part III

.

 

***********************************************************

***********************************************************

.

Part I

.

.

Trinity Test Site, Alamogordo, New Mexico

 .

Scientists preparing the first A-bomb,

nicknamed “The Gadget,” before the Trinity Test

.

Trinity Test, July 16, 1945,

the first atomic bomb explosion in history

.

Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., (February 23, 1915 – November 1, 2007) commander of the Enola Gay, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress that was used to drop the atomic bomb “Little Man” on Hiroshima. (Later promoted to Brigadier General)

 .

 TELEVISION INTERVIEW WITH PAUL TIBBETS:

PAUL TIBBETS:

“The Trinity test had been executed in New Mexico. The people from Trinity had arrived in the Marianas, and they had with them, at that particular time, colored photographs of the Trinity explosion.

“So, we got the gang together, and we showed them. We didn’t use the word ‘atomic bomb.’ We did not use that, but we said, ‘Okay, now, this is the bomb. This is what will happen when we make our flight tomorrow and release it. This is what we’re going to see.’ So, with this preliminary indoctrination, we got into the airplane and took off.”

 . 

The crew of the Enola Gay

.

PAUL TIBBETS:

“Once we were airborne and in the air, I then left the pilot’s seat of the airplane, and I crawled back into the back where the enlisted men were. I got them all together back there, and we poured some coffee out of the thermos jug, and I told them actually what we were doing and what we were carrying at that time. And the weather being clear at our primary, which was Hiroshima, there was no decision left. I mean, we were on our way to the primary. So that part of it was perfectly routine. As we came in from our initial point to the bomb release point, it was again routine. We were bothered not in the least by any kind of fighter opposition, no flak. We didn’t see anything to cause us any concern so that we were able to concentrate strictly on the bombing problem.”

.

The Bombing of Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

 .

PAUL TIBBETS:

“The bomb was released. We executed our turn away as we had been directed. The bomb blast hit us. It hit us in two different shock waves, the first being the stronger. This, as I say, was a perfectly unexciting and routine thing up until the point of taking a look at the damage that had been done, and then it was kind of — it was a little bit hard to realize. It was kind of inconceivable as to what we were looking at there. We passed comments back and forth in the airplane. We took pictures, and by the time we had done that, I became concerned that we better quit being sightseers and get out of there, and we were gone and off to the coast in a matter of about 20 minutes from the time that the bomb was released.”

. 

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972), 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953), made the decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki

 . 

HARRY S. TRUMAN ADDRESSING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC:

“We have spent more than two billion dollars on the greatest scientific gamble in history. And we have won.”

 .

 .

NEWS ANNOUNCER DESCRIBING THE EFFECT OF THE A-BOMB:

“The Navy department says that it’s too early yet to tell what effect the atomic bomb will have on Japanese morale and that we may have to destroy four or five cities until they actually believe we have such a bomb.”

 .

The “Fat Man” bomb that used on Nagasaki, an implosion-type atomic weapon with a plutonium core 

 .

HARRY S. TRUMAN ADDRESSING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC:

“Having found the atomic bomb we have used it. We shall continue to use it until we completely destroy Japan’s power to make war. Only a Japanese surrender will stop us. It is an awful responsibility that has come to us. We thank God that it has come to us instead of to our enemies, and we pray that He may guide us to use it in His ways and for His purposes.”

. 

The bombing of Nagasaki, August 9, 1945

. 

Captain Kermit K. Beahan (August 9, 1918 – March 10, 1989), the bombardier on the crew flying the Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bockscar on August 9, 1945, that dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki,

.

INTERVIEW WITH KERMIT BEAHAN:

REPORTER:

“Captain Beahan, what was your most outstanding experience on this historic flight?”

KERMIT BEAHAN:

“I suppose it was when the clouds opened up over the target at Nagasaki. The target was there, pretty as a picture. I made the run, let the bomb go. That was my greatest thrill.”

.

World War II ends

. 

V-J Day (Victory Over Japan Day) celebration in Times Square, New York City, August 14, 1946

. 

 .

WHEN THE ATOM BOMB FELL” (Song by Karl and Harty [1946])

“There was no atheist in a foxhole

And men who never prayed before

Lifted tired and bloodshot eyes to heaven

And begged the Lord to end this awful war.

They told them of their homes and loved ones

They told them that they’d like to be there

I believe the bomb that struck Hiroshima

Was the answer to a fighting boy’s prayer.”

.

 

Famous photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt of an anonymous sailor kissing a girl in Times Square on V-J Day.

.

•  COMEDIANS JOKING ABOUT HIROSHIMA (1945 Radio Program)   

FIRST SPEAKER:

“Hey, did you see that city where the first atomic bomb was dropped?”

SECOND SPEAKER:

“Yes, Fred, we flew over Hiroshima for about half an hour.”

FIRST SPEAKER:

“It was a shambles, huh?”

SECOND SPEAKER:

“A shambles? It looked like Ebbets Field after a double header with the Giants!”

.

View of Hiroshima after the bombing

 .

TELEVISION INTERVIEW WITH PAUL TIBBETS (CONTINUED):

PAUL TIBBETS:

“The group had been told to select some targets in Japan that had not been bombed, in other words, they wanted virgin targets. And the reason behind it, even though not given to the group at that time, the reason behind it was that they wanted to be able to make bomb blast studies or bomb damage studies on virgin targets once the bombs were used.”

 .

U.S. Military personnel surveying the damage from Hiroshima, 1945

 .

PAUL TIBBETS:

“They were definitely military targets, there was no question about that, and they offered such a, well you could almost say a classroom experiment as far as being able to determine later the bomb damage.”

. 

Radiation burn victim from Nagasaki

. 

PAUL TIBBETS:

“I have been subjected many times to criticism. I have been accused of being insane, being a drunkard, being everything that you could imagine a derelict to be as a result of a guilty conscience for doing this, and as I say, no one’s ever come to my defense in that regard. I look at it this way, that my part in this thing may well have been something that later or now that the U.S. government might be looking at somewhat with a guilt complex. And the feeling could be that the less said about it by the United States government, the better.”

 .

Survivor of the Hiroshima bombing

 .

American troops returning home after the war

 .

World War II Victory Parade in Tennessee

 .

Listening to radio news, 1940s

 .

NEWS ANNOUNCER REPORTING ON THE BIKINI A-BOMB TEST:

“June 30, 1946. Almost time. Another five seconds, two…5:30. (bomb blast is heard) A spewing column of smoke nine miles into the sky. Blinding light stronger than the sun. Bikini Atoll. Present site of Operation Crossroads and a fourth atomic bomb explosion. Bikini Atoll, where 200 warships will be anchored, 140 planes, 200 goats, 200 pigs, 4,000 rats. How will this fourth bomb affect you? What do you know about this atomic bomb?”

 .

Vice Admiral William Henry Purnell Blandy (28 June 1890 – 12 January 1954), commander of the atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll. (Later promoted to Admiral.)

. 

W.H.P. BLANDY EXPLAINING THE BIKINI TEST:

“The bomb will not start a chain reaction in the water, converting it all to gas and letting all the ships on all the oceans drop down to the bottom. It will not blow out the bottom of the sea and let all the water run down the hole. It will not destroy gravity. I am not an atomic playboy, as one of my critics has labeled me, exploding these bombs to satisfy my personal whim.”

 .

Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, North Pacific,

with bomb target indicated

 .

 THE EVACUATION OF BIKINI (U.S. Government propaganda film)

NARRATOR:

“And thus the natives express to the people of the United States their welcome, despite the fact that the atoll of Bikini may be utterly destroyed come July the First.”

 .

Bikinians waving to the newsreel cameras

.

NARRATOR:

“But to the natives in their simplicity and their pleasantness and their courtesy, they’re more than willing to cooperate, although they don’t understand the world of nuclear energy any more than we do. And although they have no way of understanding what the test is about.”

 .

U.S. Military personnel meeting with

Bikini natives ahead of the atomic bomb test

 .

U.S. MILITARY REPRESENTATIVE

 “Go ahead, James. Tell them about the…explain the atomic bomb to them.”

JAMES (Bikini Islander) :

(addresses Bikini Islanders in their native language)

U.S. MILITARY REPRESENTATIVE

“All right now, James, will you tell them the United States Government now wants to turn this great destructive force into something good for mankind, and that these experiments at Bikini are the first step in that direction.”

JAMES:

(translating into native language)

 U.S. MILITARY REPRESENTATIVE

“Now they have heard of our plan for evacuation. Will you ask King Juda to get up and tell us now what his people think, and if they are willing to go.”

JAMES :

(translating into native language)

KING JUDA (Chief of the Bikini Islanders) :

(speaking in native language)

JAMES :

(translating) “Him say, very good. And willing to go, and everything in God’s hands.”

U.S. MILITARY REPRESENTATIVE

“Well you tell them and King Juda that everything being in God’s hands it cannot be other than good.”

 .

Bikini natives

.

NARRATOR:

“American officials discuss plans with the Bikini natives for the evacuation of the atoll. The islanders are a nomadic group and are well pleased that the Yanks are going to add a little variety to their lives. And here, by the way, you hear them singing their Marshallese version of “You Are My Sunshine.”

 .

Natives being evacuated from Bikini Atoll ahead of the June 30, 1946 atomic bomb test

 .

Navy personnel observing the first atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll

.

COUNTDOWN TO THE BIKINI TEST (Radio Communications)

“Firing time, 20 seconds.”

“The final switches have been thrown.”

“We do not know how it’s going to sound but 42,000 men are watching.”

“All of the observer ships are in position in the open sea. We’re about 10 miles away.”

 .

The fourth nuclear explosion in history; A-bomb test at Bikini Atoll, June 30, 1946

. 

1947, YEAR OF DIVISION” (Paramount Newsreel Special)

.

 ==================================

“Day by day news reports in1947

headlined the global struggle of

East versus West, in a clash of

ideologies. The ruthless expansionism

of the total state – challenging the basic

ideals of individual and national freedoms.”

 ================================== 

.

NARRATOR:

“In the background was the growing struggle between two great powers to shape the post-war world. Soviet Russia was expansively stabbing westward, knifing into nations left empty by war.”

 .

1950s graphic illustrating Soviet expansion into Europe and Asia

 .

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 until his death on 5 March 1953.

 .

 NARRATOR:

“On orders from the Kremlin, Russia had launched one of history’s most drastic political, economic, and moral wars. A Cold War.”

 .

 Soviet parade in Red Square, Moscow, 1945

.

NARRATOR:

“The United States was obliged to help Europe safeguard its traditional freedoms and the independence of its nations. Gone was the spirit of wartime unity that reached its peak on that historic afternoon in April ’45 at the Elbe River in Germany. Here two worlds actually met, but this coalition was to be torn asunder.”

 .

American and Soviet soldiers posing at the site where the two armies met at the Elbe River near Torgau, Germany, April 25, 1945, marking the defeat of Nazi Germany

. 

NARRATOR:

“Already an iron curtain had dropped around Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria…

 .

Map showing the “Iron Curtain” or the post-war dividing line between Soviet East (the Warsaw Pact nations) and Allied West (the NATO alliance)

 .

NARRATOR:

“Ah, but this is Europe, you say. But let’s see what can happen elsewhere in, say, the small town of Mosinee, Wisconsin. Peaceful, isn’t it? But the red truncheon falls and the chief of police is hauled off to jail. Next, public utilities are seized by Fifth Columnists. Watch carefully what happens to an editor who operates under a free press.”

 .

 Mosinee citizen being arrested by “communist invaders”

. 

NARRATOR:

“He goes to jail, too, and his newspaper is confiscated. Exit freedom of thought. Yes, this is life under the Soviet form of government.”

 .

.

.

.

NARRATOR:

“The little town of Mosinee made this experiment for 24 hours as a public service to all America. It can’t happen here? Well, this is what it looks like if it should.”

 .

Magazine account of staged “communist invasion” of Mosinee

.

• TV SHOW HOST: 

.

.

“Fortunately, we can move the clock back.  The time is not yet. Let us pray that it never happens in our country.”

 .

The Doomsday Clock has been perpetually maintained by the board of directors at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947 and the beginnings of the Cold War as a means of monitoring how close we are to thermonuclear disaster.

 .

“Before we meet the members of the American Legion Post 279 who helped make this picture possible,  I’d just like to say that it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to represent two outstanding shopping centers in California: The Shopping Hub of the San Gabriel Valley in West Arcadia and the Whittier Quad Shopping Center in Whittier, California, because they are the concrete expressions of the practical idealism that built America. When you visit these two fine shopping centers you’ll find more than four score beautiful stores with sparkling assortments, an attractive atmosphere, and of course, plenty of free parking for all the cars we capitalists seem to acquire.

 .

Parking lot, Columbus, Ohio, 1964

 .

“Who can help but contrast the beautiful, the practical settings of the Arcadia Shopping Hub and the Whittier Quad with what you’d find under communism?”

 .

• OUR TEAM FOR SECURITY (U.S. Propaganda Newsreel)

.

“Team for Security”

 .

 NARRATOR:

“It’s not safe to hope for the best without preparing for the worst.  Our object is not aggression. We need not become militaristic. But we must keep our Army, our Navy, our Air Force at ready strength. We must back up our Team for Security!”

 .

FILM CLIP OF TWO MEN DISCUSSING WORLD CRISES

.

FIRST MAN:

“Well, there’s nothing for us to worry about. We’re the ones who have the bomb.”

.

First Soviet atomic bomb test, August 29, 1949

 .

.

THE SOVIET UNION EXPLODES AN ATOMIC BOMB (Newsreel)

NARRATOR:

“The atom bomb explodes again in the headlines of the world. In Washington, the Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, Senator Brien McMahon, gives his reaction to Russia’s possession of the bomb.”

 .

Senator Brien McMahon, born James O’Brien McMahon (October 6, 1903 – July 28, 1952) was a major figure in the establishment of the Atomic Energy Commission through his authorship of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (the McMahon Act). He served as both as chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Atomic Energy, and the first chairman of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy.

. 

 BRIEN McMAHON:

“This is no time for hysteria. This is no time for panic. This is a time for a calm reflection on the political and military implications on this transcendent event.”

 .

School children practicing “duck and cover” a technique that was supposed to protect them in the event of a nuclear attack

 .

Another idea for supposed protection from an atomic blast

.

• “JESUS HITS LIKE AN ATOM BOMB” (Song by Lowell Blanchard with the Valley Trio [1950])

           “Everybody’s worried

            About the atomic bomb.

            But nobody’s worried

            About the day my Lord will come.

            When he hits (Great God Almighty!)

            Like an atom bomb.

            When He comes, when He comes.”

.

FILM CLIP ABOUT AN “ATOMIC RAY” SUIT (Newsreel)

LEO PAUWELA:

“Well the suit is made from this material. Inside this layer is shredded lead – a resistance against atomic rays. (turns to son) Okay, Richard, on your way to the air raid shelter.”

RICHARD PAUWELA:

“Whoa!” (almost falling off bicycle due to the weight of the suit)

 .

. 

TIGHTENING SECURITY AT NUCLEAR FACILITIES (Newsreel)

NARRATOR:

“One of the immediate effects of Russia’s atom bomb blast is the announcement of tightened security regulations at all atom installations. At Hanford, Washington, where $200 million is being spent in the ever-expanding atomic government empire, the door is being locked – but tight.”

.

The Hanford Site on the Columbia River in Washington was established in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project. It was home to the world’s first full-scale plutonium production reactor. 

 .

“Twelve guards are kept on their toes by constant target practice. And they have orders to shoot to kill at any suspicious strangers.”

.

Guards at the Hanford site doing target practice

.

• “WAR OR PEACE?” (Universal International Newsreel)

 ===========================

WAR OR PEACE

*

1950

 FATEFUL YEAR 

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS SHOW

OMINOUS MARCH OF EVENTS

 *

 KOREA INVADED

 ===========================

NARRATOR:

“A heavily-trained and well-equipped North Korean army swarmed across the 38th parallel to attack unprepared South Korean defenders. Caught off guard, they were overwhelmed until the United Nations took its historic vote to intervene.”

 .

.

DPRK (North Korean) Army advancing into South Korea

 .

NARRATOR:

“The end of the war seemed in sight as the Allies pushed north toward the North Korean capital of Pyonyang.”

.

Allied planes bombing North Korean positions

 .

NARRATOR:

“Then it happened. The Chinese Red Army, numbering hundreds of thousands, swarmed over the frontier against thinly-held United Nations positions.”

.

Chinese troops attacking Allied positions

 .

NARRATOR:

“Confronted by overwhelming numbers, UN armies were forced into inevitable retreat, while men wondered if China would touch off World War III.”

 .

United Nations troops retreating in the face of the Chinese onslaught

 .

TRUMAN ON USING THE A-BOMB IN KOREA (Newsreel)

.

 .

NARRATOR:

“Would the atom bomb be the answer to the Chinese hordes? President Truman said it was under consideration.”

.

.

HARRY S. TRUMAN:

“If the United States yields to the forces of aggression. No nation will be safe or secure. If aggression is successful in Korea, we can expect it to spread throughout Asia and Europe and this hemisphere.”

 .

 .

HARRY S. TRUMAN:

“We are fighting in Korea for our own national security and survival.”

 .

 .

LONGINES CHRONOSCOPE WITH JAMES E. VAN ZANDT (TV broadcast – May 8, 1953 interviewed by William Bradford Huie and William H. Peterson.)

 .

Longines Chronoscope was a 15-minute interview television program, broadcast on CBS-affiliated television stations from 1951 to 1955.

.

NARRATOR:

“It’s time for the Longines Chronoscope. Our distinguished guest for this evening is the Honorable James E. Van Zandt, United States Congressman from Pennsylvania.”

 . 

James Edward Van Zandt (December 18, 1898 – January 6, 1986) was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania and a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

 .

JAMES VAN ZANDT:

“It’s my opinion that we should fight this war to win in Korea, rather than try to settle at the diplomatic table, which is impossible when you’re dealing with the Russians.”

 .

.  

WILLIAM PETERSON:

“Would you extend your will to win so far as to include the atomic bomb?”

JAMES VAN ZANDT:

“Very definitely, Dr. Peterson. I’ve always been a firm believer that we should use the atomic bomb, not only in Korea, but north of the Yalu River in Manchuria.”

WILLIAM HUIE:

“Does that mean you believe it can be effectively used as a weapon in the Korean theater?”

JAMES VAN ZANDT:

“Yes, I think that there are several targets in northern Korea we could use that we could destroy with the atomic bomb. We can destroy them and contaminate them. And then of course there are targets in Manchuria that should be destroyed.”

.

U.S. AIR FORCE PROAGANDA FILM ON ATOMIC WEAPONS

.

.

 NARRATOR:

“This is the destructive power we pray God we will never be called upon to use. But should it become necessary let us not hesitate because it is foreign to our nature to use the power which He has given us.”

.

REP. LLOYD BENTSEN ON NORTH KOREA (Newsreel)

Lloyd Millard Bentsen, Jr. (February 11, 1921 – May 23, 2006) was a four-term United States senator (1971–1993) from Texas and the Democratic Party nominee for Vice President in 1988. He also served in the House Of Representatives from 1949 to 1955, and while there advocated the use of atomic weapons against North Korean cities.

.

LLOYD BENTSEN:

“I propose the President of the United States advise the commander of the North Korean troops to withdraw his forces beyond the 38th parallel within one week or use that time to evacuate civilians from a specified list of North Korean cities that will be subjected to atomic attack by the United States Air Force.”

Douglas MacArthur (26 January 1880 – 5 April 1964) was a United States General who led the United Nations Command in the Korean War. He was removed from command by President Harry S. Truman on 11 April 1951 due to insubordination concerning MacArthur’s plans to expand the Korean War to the Yalu River, which Truman felt could lead to a nuclear war.

.

WHEN THEY DROP THE ATOMIC BOMB

            (Song by Jackie Doll and His Pickled Peppers [1951])

            “There will soon be an end

            To this cold and wicked war

            When those hard-headed communists

            Get what they’re lookin’ for.

            Only one thing that will stop them

            And their ferocious fun

            If General MacArthur

            Drops the atomic bomb.

            There’ll be fire, dust and metal

            Flyin’ all around

            And the radioactivity

            Will burn them to the ground

            If there’s any commies left

            They’ll be all on the run

            If General MacArthur

            Drops the atomic bomb.”

North Korean prisoners of war

Animation of an atomic bomb blast, circa 1950

.

REP. LLOYD BENTSEN ON NORTH KOREA [CONTINUED] (Newsreel)

LLYOD BENTSEN:

“I ask you, the American people, to let your congressman know how you feel about this proposal.”

 .

INTERVIEW WITH WOMAN ON THE STRTEET (Newsreel)

.

WOMAN:

“Well, I really don’t know what to do.”

INTERVIEWER:

“But you do feel the Korean situation affects us more than anything else?”

WOMAN:

“Yes, I feel that our boys…that we should get our boys home. They’ve been over there long enough and there doesn’t seem to be any end to the situation.”

***********************************************************

DOWNLOAD A PDF VERSION OF THE ATOMIC CAFE TRANSCRIPT (PART I) HERE:

1. The Atomic Café (Pt.I)

.