NH #640: “SOS – San Onofre Syndrome” Film is a Knockout! Directors Mary Beth Brangan & Jim Heddle

SOS – San Onofre Syndrome – Knockout Film on So Cal Nuclear Reactor – Directors Mary Beth Brangan, Jim Heddle

Directors Mary Beth Brangan and Jim Heddle, interviewed by Libbe HaLevy

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This Week’s Featured Interview:

Some weeks, it’s personal. A film about a nuclear nightmare only 70 miles from my house.

Southern California’s now-shuttered nuclear reactors at San Onofre continue to offer nightmare possibilities. How was this allowed to happen? What did it take to shut it down? What’s could happen to the highly radioactive waste being stored in sub-standard canisters within 100 feet of the Pacific Ocean? And who are the dedicated activists, scientists, engineers, whistleblowers, and concerned self-educated citizens who fought and continue to fight to prevent San Onofre from turning into another Fukushima… or worse?

All these questions are addressed in a new film by Mary Beth Brangan, Jim Heddle, and Morgan Peterson, SOS: San Onofre Syndrome. This week, we talk with two of the three directors behind this monumental film, more than a full decade in the making:

  • Mary Beth Brangan and Jim Heddle, life and work partners since 1983, are documentary video and radio producers, educators, community and international organizers. They co-direct EON, the Ecological Options Network,  producing video reports and blogs on activists and organizations working at local, national, and international levels for solutions to planetary challenges.
  • MARY BETH BRANGAN is an author, award-winning filmmaker and an experienced organizer at the community, state, national and international levels.  She is the Executive-Director and co-founder with her partner, James Heddle of EON, the Ecological Options Network, a non-profit organization. EON’s films have been broadcast on PBS nationally and broadcast internationally and have been screened at the United Nations, the US Congress and Parliaments, libraries and universities worldwide.  
  • JAMES HEDDLE (Co-Director) has been a filmmaker and writer for the last forty years of his life.  Before that he worked in civil rights as an inter-group relations professional, then as a university teacher and administrator in communications and psychology before going freelance as a media producer.  With his partner Mary Beth Brangan he co-founded and co-directs EON – the Ecological Options Network, a non-profit education and media company. 


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  • …and yes, I do show up in the film for about a total of 3 seconds:

There I am, front row second from left, recording the event with former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, former Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairs Gregory Jaczko and Peter Bradford.


Need Help to Move Nuclear Hotseat’s Archives

As I explained on the program, I am dealing with an infestation of rodents in my home and have to clear out my storage space for the exterminators to do their work. That means my archive of more than 600 Nuclear Hotseat episodes must be moved within the next two weeks. I lack the physical and financial means to rent a storage space and people to move approximately 12-15 cartons of files. If you can help, email me at: [email protected]. Long term, I’m also seeking a university or research facility that would be willing to take the archive and make it available to the public. If you can help there, let me know. THANK YOU!