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Filmed over five years, Power Struggle portrays a heated political battle to shut down Vermont Yankee, an aging nuclear power plant located on the banks of the Connecticut River in southern Vermont. The film follows the unfolding drama as citizen activists and elected state officials—alarmed at increasing safety violations—take on the federal government and one of the biggest power companies in the U.S. to achieve a rare grassroots environmental victory.

Power Struggle captures perspectives on all sides of the controversy, including from local residents both for and against nuclear power, elected officials (including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin), nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen, a Vermont Yankee spokesperson, federal nuclear regulators and the legendary activist Frances Crowe.

As the world marks the 10th anniversary of the triple meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan—a nuclear disaster that had a profound effect in Vermont, as it occurred in the midst of the years-long citizens’ campaign to close Vermont Yankee—this timely, inspiring story of democracy asks whether citizens’ voices will be heard against big moneyed interests and celebrates what people are doing to make a difference for a sustainable energy future. 

After the film, stay tuned for a special discussion between director Robbie Leppzer and Libbe HaLevy, host of Nuclear Hotseat.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    86 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    United States
  • Director
    Robbie Leppzer
  • Music
    John Sheldon