Nukes In Space 2: Unacceptable Risks provides an update on the Cassini space probe with 72.3 pounds of lethal plutonium on board, the scheduled August 1999 Cassini Earth "fly-by" and the consequences of an accident. It reports on NASA's planned additional plutonium missions and investigates the U.S. military's aim to "control space" and the Earth below with space-based nuclear-powered weaponry.
Nukes In Space 2, produced by EnviroVideo, is hosted and written by investigative reporter Karl Grossman, Professor of Journalism at the State University of New York, directed by Emmy Award-winner Steve Jambeck with Joan Flynn as associate producer.
Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, founder of the profession of health physics and former director of the Health Physics Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, states in Nukes In Space 2 that those behind the use of plutonium in space "are very brazen and almost inhuman in their attitude, willing to run the risk of imposing a catastrophe on Earth that man's never known before, where he cannot inhabit this space on our planet for the next million years. It is inconceivable to me that you would allow such high-risk of plutonium contamination on the Earth."
Alan Kohn, a 30-year NASA veteran and a long-time emergency preparedness officer for NASA, says in Nukes In Space 2: "The people should rise up and protest this. We should not allow our democratic government to do this to us. It is our responsibility and our duty to prevent them from putting us at risk. We have to stop them. They won't stop themselves."
Nukes In Space 2 tells how the Cassini plutonium fueled space probe, launched by NASA in October 1997, is slated to come hurtling back from outer space on August 18, 1999 at 42,300 miles per hour to buzz the Earth less than 500 miles high in a "gravity assist" or "slingshot" maneuver so it can reach its final destination of Saturn.
It presents NASA's own acknowledgement in its Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Cassini Mission that if Cassini makes an "inadvertent reentry" into the Earth's atmosphere during the "flyby", the probe will break up, plutonium will disperse and "approximately five billion of the estimated 7 to 8 billion world population at the time could receive 99 percent or more of the radiation exposure."
Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of nuclear physics at the City University of New York, declares in Nukes In Space 2 that NASA could have substituted a solar energy system for plutonium power on Cassini by shaving off just 1 percent, about 130 pounds, from its weight. Former NASA scientist Dr. Ross McCluney agrees and cites a "lack of vision at the highest level of NASA. I think they have another agenda behind-the scenes."
The manufacturers of plutonium space systems, General Electric and now Lockheed Martin, the U.S. government's string of national nuclear laboratories involved in fabricating the systems, and the U.S. Department of Energy, have all been pushing nuclear power in space. There is also a military connection, according to Nukes In Space 2. "Star Wars is the name of the game," declares Dr. Kaku in this documentary.
Nukes In Space 2 probes the Pentagon's plan to deploy weapons in space. It reveals a U.S. Air Force report, New World Vistas: Air and Space Power for the 2lst Century, which states, "In the next two decades, new technologies will allow the fielding of space-based weapons of devastating effectiveness to be used to deliver energy and mass as force projection in tactical and strategic conflict lasers with reasonable mass and cost to effect very many kills." However, says New World Vistas, there are "power limitations" currently for such weaponry. "A natural technology to enable high power is nuclear power in space," it declares.
Nukes In Space 2 explores the U.S. Space Command's desire to become "master of space" in order to "control space" and the Earth below. It exposes the U.S. Space Command's Vision For 2020 report that describes the command's mission as "dominating the space dimension of military operations to protect US interests and investment."
Among others appearing in Nukes In Space 2 are: Dr. Helen Caldicott, president emeritus of Physicians for Social Responsibility; Dr. Ernest Sternglass, professor emeritus of radiological physics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Dr. Rosalie Bertell, president of the International Institute of Concern for Public Health; Harvey Wasserman of Greenpeace U.S.A.; Helen John of the Menwith Hill Women's Peace Camp; editor Loring Wirbel; Bill Sulzman of Citizens for Peace in Space; and Bruce Gagnon and Regina Hagen of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.
Nukes In Space 2 also shows how the use of nuclear power and planned deployment of weapons in space are illegal under the Outer Space Treaty.
Nukes In Space 2 follows EnviroVideo's 1995 video documentary, Nukes In Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens, which received three major film and video festival awards including the Worldfest Gold Award at the Houston International Film and Video Festival, the world's largest film and video festival.