I want to thank Robert Stone for creating what I expect will be the most important documentary on nuclear energy ever produced. The world is fortunate that a documentary filmmaker with his exceptional ability decided to take on such a difficult, controversial, yet critical topic.
Stone presents the problem from the viewpoint of those who have arrived to support nuclear energy by a process of elimination. He weaves seamlessly into the visual narrative all of the critical quantitative information that is normally absent from our public discussion. This includes pervasive shots of the hand-held digital Geiger counter, measuring the radiation dose rates in places all around the world, including Chernobyl and Fukushima. In this way he proves a fundamental difference between fossil and nuclear fuels--while our human use of fossil fuel is rapidly increasing global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and changing our climate, our human use of nuclear energy has barely budged our natural radiation exposures.
The discovery of nuclear fission in December, 1938 fundamentally altered the future of humanity. Robert Stone and the environmentalists he interviews envision a possible future where this technology can save our environment. My hope is that his documentary will inspire young people to study this technology, because it is truly Pandora's Promise: nuclear technology creates risks that all future generations must manage, but also opportunity.
Per F. Peterson
William and Jean McCallum Floyd Endowed Chair
Department of Nuclear Engineering
University of California