“Pandora’s Promise” is a provocative and important new documentary making the case for nuclear power as a safe and large-scale substitute for fossil fuels. There’s a flaw in the film’s approach that undercuts its mission, but I still see it as vital viewing and a refreshing new direction in a tired old battle over the shape of America’s energy future.

The film, which opened in New York City Wednesday night and expands to 15 cities on Friday, was bound to generate strong reactions among people long opposed to this energy source. In a discussion that I moderated after a screening Monday night at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, N.Y., Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., flatly told the director, Robert Stone, that the film was a “big lie.” (As soon as video is ready, I’ll direct you to it.)

By Andrew C. Revkin

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