What can nuclear power deliver? Not what Pandora’s Promise claims…

This blog was written by Sara Barczak, former Regional Advocacy Director with the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Guest Blog | November 7, 2013 | Energy Policy, Nuclear

You may have noticed a recent media blitz spurred on by nuclear power proponents in advance of CNN’s showing of the documentary film, “Pandora’s Promise,” which airs tonight. Though the film was critically panned and a box office flop, it has managed to provide yet another window for supporters of nuclear power to champion this energy option as “the” solution for our energy woes. Unfortunately, many aspects of what a nuclear-laden energy future would provide are glossed over — only part of the “Promise” is revealed.

To help you sort the issue out if you should choose to watch the film, we recommend some resources. Most recently, an opinion piece that CNN ran by the Natural Resource Defense Council’s (NRDC) Tom Cochran and Ralph Cavanagh, which provides some realities to consider. Here is a highlight, but we encourage you to read their full piece directly via CNN:

The new film “Pandora’s Promise” is a love song to nuclear power that claims to be a documentary, but like all good propaganda it omits key parts of the story, overstates the positives and underplays the negatives.

Built around the (false) proposition that improved quality of life requires commensurate growth in energy use (a recurring visual theme is a globe that glows brighter and brighter), the movie presents nuclear power as the only plausible solution to global warming.

No American utility today would consider building a new nuclear power plant without massive government support. Of 29 power plants on the drawing boards in 2009, only a handful are going forward, with government help, and even those are experiencing delays and cost overruns.

Beyond Nuclear cleverly dubbed the film, Pandora’s False Promises. Find their summary and detailed report here along with a video rebuttal by Kevin Kamps. And Sierra Club’s Executive Director, Michael Brune, just debated the film’s director, Robert Stone, on CNN’s New Day with Kate Bolduan. Their discussion sheds some more light on the topic. Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts addressing more events in this most recent pro-nuclear media blitz.

New information: Beyond Nuclear’s Kevin Kamps debates the Breakthrough Institute’s Michael Shellenberger, who appears in the film, at 7:45 pm ET on CNN’s Headline News, prior to the showing of the film. Van Jones debated the film’s director, Robert Stone, on CNN’s Crossfire, find the video here.

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