A four-part Netflix documentary sheds new light on the staggering effects of the near-catastrophe at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in 1979.
The Middletown, Pennsylvania-based plant suffered a breakdown in 1979, and series “Meltdown: Three Mile Island” reexamines the series of missteps that led to the national cover-up. Academy Award–nominated director Kief Davidson (“The Ivory Game”) collaborates with “Erin Brockovich” producers Michael and Carla Shamberg and Moxie Pictures to tell the true story of what happened at Three Mile Island’s “first step in a nuclear nightmare,” as the trailer states. “Meltdown” premieres May 4.
The four-part documentary reveals how it all unfolded in real time, the impact on the community, and the personal account of chief engineer and whistleblower, Richard Parks, who had the courage to speak up and prevent a near catastrophe for the East Coast. Dramatic reenactments, archival footage, never-before-seen home video, and in-depth interviews bring viewers into the worst nuclear incident in U.S. history.
From radioactivity seeping into the control room to plant operatives hiding the nuclear disaster from the general public, the events behind “Meltdown” are of a staggering conspiratorial scale. The accident was the partial meltdown of an atomic reactor in March 1979, marking the most significant accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history. But was the accident preventable?
“I believe the lessons of ‘Meltdown’ resonate far beyond the events of 1979,” said director Davidson, who also serves as an executive producer. “Even as we expose the complex web of corporate greed which nearly led to our radioactive ruin, we find the small acts of bravery that changed the course of history. We need to learn from the Three Mile Island disaster as we face the current climate and energy crisis.”
The plant’s parent company, Metropolitan Edison, reportedly downplayed the crisis and claimed no radiation had been detected off plant grounds. However, inspectors tracked increased levels of radiation as well as a contaminated water leak.
Executive producers Carla and Michael Shamberg added, “Whistleblowers are real-life superheroes. They risk their lives or livelihoods when they speak truth to power to protect the rest of us.”
Robert Fernandez and Dan Levinson also executive produce.
“Meltdown: Three Mile Island” premieres May 4 on Netflix. Check out the trailer below.