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Published on Mar 25, 2012
"Sex, Salmon, Secrecy" tells of government secrecy, gender-switching salmon in the Columbia River, and TRAC director Norm Buske's quest to uncover the "radioactive" truth about Hanford's potential effects on the river, the salmon, and the environment. In this dramatic documentary, Reel Moon Media follows the action in an exploding controversy of sex, salmon, and secrecy, keeping pace over two years with three perspectives: government agencies that run the Hanford nuclear facility, the down-river community of Richland, Washington, and the scientist-critic.
Undefined environmental stresses are genetically changing the Hanford Reach fall chinook salmon from males into females. To identify a possible cause, Buske began a public-interest scientific study of Hanford's effects on the salmon in 1999. That study uncovered that previously unreported radioactivity contaminates 60% of the Hanford Reach -- the 50 mile stretch of the Columbia that flows through the Hanford site -- and seven of 10 major salmon spawning grounds.
Buske's study serves as a platform to explore complex issues surrounding the Hanford site including: continuing government secrecy, the long-term viability of the salmon stock, and local communities' relationship with the nuclear facility. Sex, Salmon, Secrecy includes interviews with local community members and activists and representatives from the Department of Energy -- Hanford's site operator -- and Washington State's Department of Health Radiation Protection.