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A documentary about the effects of a nuclear explosion on London will be broadcast by the Public Broadcasting Service tonight at 9:00 P.M. (check local listings).

The one-hour program, "Nuclear War: A Guide to Armageddon" includes a 30-minute film by the British Broadcasting Corporation, followed by a look at the civil-defense debate in the United States.

The film simulates the effects that detonation of a one-megaton bomb over St. Paul's Cathedral in London would have; it also features two British couples following their government's instructions for survival in a bomb shelter.

In the half-hour discussion following the documentary, Charles McDowell of The Richmond Times-Dispatch traces the history of civil defense in this country, shows clips from the popular film Atomic Cafe, and speaks with guests on both sides of the civil-defense issue.


"The Blue and The Gray," a three-part Civil War series being broadcast this week, is the fifth program this year in the largest season of the CBS/Library of Congress "Read More About It" book project, according to a spokesman for the network.

The project, which directs viewers to additional books related to the programs' subjects, is in its fourth season. More than 30 programs are planned for this season--as many as were broadcast in the first three years combined.

"The Blue and The Gray" is based on Bruce Catton's "personal views and impressions of the Civil War," according to the network, and covers the period from the trial of John Brown in 1859 to the assassination of President Lincoln in 1865.

Suggested additional readings include The American Heritage Short History of the Civil War, edited by Mr. Catton, and The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.


Action for Children's Television, an advocacy group based in the Boston area, has announced the release of two new publications about "arts-related" programming.

Exploring the Arts: Films and Video Programs for Young Viewers, published by R.R. Bowker Company, lists more than 500 films and videotapes about the arts that "have not been widely aired on TV," according to act. The book is available in bookstores.

Arts for Young Audiences: An act Handbook is a critical look at the amount of arts-related programming on TV. It is available for $2.50 from act, 46 Austin Street, Newtonville, Mass. 02160.


The Kellogg Company and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting are providing major support for Reading Rainbow, a series of half-hour public-television programs designed to help strengthen children's reading--particularly during the summer months when they are out of school.

The series, to be produced by WNED-tv in Buffalo, N.Y., and the Great Plains National Instructional Television Library in Lincoln, Neb., is planned for broadcast on pbs during the summer of 1983.--ah

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