Watch Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail
- 1 Season
In 2015, PBS released a captivating documentary series titled "Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail". Hosted and narrated by Derek Muller, the show explores the incredible, often-misunderstood element called uranium. The documentary series is divided into two episodes, each about one hour long. The first episode lays the foundation by providing a historical overview of uranium and its impact on the world. Muller takes viewers on a journey through time, beginning with the discovery of uranium in 1789 by German chemist Martin Klaproth. From there, the show explores the element's role in World War II, particularly in the creation of the atomic bomb, and then covers the nuclear accidents at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima. The second episode delves deeper into contemporary issues surrounding uranium. Muller interviews experts from various fields, including physicists, historians, and environmentalists, to paint a comprehensive picture of the element's role in our society. Viewers learn about the uranium mining industry and its effects on communities and the environment. The show also examines the controversial debate over nuclear power and the challenges of nuclear waste disposal. One of the strengths of "Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail" is its balance. While it presents the science and history of uranium with rigor and depth, the show remains accessible to viewers who may not have a background in science or history. Muller's enthusiasm for the subject matter is evident in his engaging narration and his willingness to dive into complex topics without overwhelming the viewer. Throughout the show, Muller travels around the world, visiting people and places that have been directly affected by uranium. For example, he visits the Navajo Nation in the United States, where decades of uranium mining have left a legacy of contaminated land and water. He also travels to Japan to interview survivors of the Fukushima disaster and to South Africa to investigate the country's now-defunct nuclear weapons program. The show features several stunning visual sequences, including drone footage of Chernobyl's abandoned city of Pripyat and time-lapse footage of a nuclear power plant being decommissioned. These visual sequences provide a vivid backdrop to the show's storytelling. A key theme of the show is the question of whether the benefits of uranium and nuclear power outweigh the risks. Muller explores both sides of the argument, speaking with scientists who tout the potential of nuclear power to mitigate climate change and with activists who insist that the risks are too great. Ultimately, the show challenges viewers to grapple with this complex question and to consider the consequences of our energy choices. "Uranium: Twisting the Dragon's Tail" is a must-watch for anyone interested in science, history, or current events. The show is informative, engrossing, and thought-provoking, and it provides a comprehensive overview of one of the most fascinating elements on the periodic table. Whether you're a nuclear physicist or just a curious layperson, you'll find something to enjoy in this captivating documentary series.