St. Louis has a little-known nuclear past as a uranium-processing center for the atomic bomb. Government and corporate negligence led to the dumping of Manhattan Project uranium, thorium, and radium, thus contaminating North St. Louis suburbs, specifically in two areas: the communities along Coldwater Creek, where residents have high rates of very rare cancers, birth defects, and various autoimmune disorders; and in Bridgeton, adjacent to the West Lake-Bridgeton landfill, where an uncontrolled subsurface fire has been moving toward an area where the radioactive waste was buried. Just Moms STL, a group of mothers-turned-advocates, believes their communities are being poisoned and demands that the government either fully remove the waste or permanently relocate residents living nearest the landfill. At the same time, the grassroots organization Coldwater Creek — Just the Facts Please is working to educate the community and healthcare professionals and to promote community inclusion in the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. “Atomic Homefront” — from HBO Documentary Films — spotlights these engaged citizen advocates.
An experimental look at the turbulent history of nuclear warfare, its environmental and health effects on humanity, and the current state of global nuclear ambition.