Did you know that nearly half of the United States' nuclear power is generated by energy from recycled Russian warheads?
How about that the total amount of nuclear waste resulting from powering Paris for three decades can fit into four steel tubes the size of giant water heaters?
Or that nuclear energy is safer than solar energy in terms of death per unit of energy expelled?
These are simply a few of the most astonishing revelations resonating in my head after viewing an exclusive pre-screening of Pandora’s Promise, a film directed by Robert Stone, at the E Street Theater in Washington, D.C. on Thursday night. The film hit movie theaters across the United States Friday.
The film, which is shot entirely documentary-style, follows several renowned environmentalists as they come to grips with the viability of adding significant nuclear power generation to America’s power grid. It also includes insightful and decipherable conversations with some of the nuclear energy industry’s pioneers, whose innovative thinking and practical scientific research converted a technology built for the destruction of human life into an alternative energy source that life might depend on in the future.
The environment-conscious subjects all claim to be converted pro-nuclear energy enthusiasts and range from the traditional tree-hugger to the career journalist married to the energy beat.
Throughout the hour-and-a-half film, the subjects embark on a fact-finding trip to visit nuclear facilities in the U.S. and around the world; namely infamous industry trouble spots Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, Chernobyl in Ukraine, and Japan’s city of Fukushima. What they find is not only surprising, it goes against the grain of contemporary perception among the U.S. and world population: Nuclear energy is the second-safest form of alternative energy next to wind and, if the infrastructure necessary is built responsibly, has the potential to greatly decrease both carbon emissions and toxic waste resulting from energy production.
An industry built over the past half century, nuclear power has largely been generated using outdated technologies with minimal environmental and public health fall-out, according to Pandora’s Promise. More than just pro-nuclear propaganda, the film delves into the human psyche while presenting hard facts with a stated mission to encourage viewers, their networks, and, ultimately, decision-makers to seriously consider jump-starting America’s nuclear energy industry domestically to protect and fuel life for years to come.
The film also spends significant time cleverly addressing the popular stigma that associates nuclear energy with nuclear weapons, explaining the long road ahead for political support and showcasing the hardcore protesters keeping the industry largely dormant in the U.S.
Pandora’s Promise is an entertaining, eye-opening film definitely worth your energy.