As George Osborne hails a renaissance for nuclear power in Britain, Alex Macbeth reviews Pandora’s Promise, a new documentary film that asks whether we’ve got nuclear energy all wrong…….

Pandora’s Promise digs deep into the poisoned chalice of nuclear energy to try and convince viewers that its growth is inevitable if we want to save the planet.

Robert Stone’s near eulogy to enriched plutonium and uranium to meet growing levels of global power consumption makes uncomfortable viewing – teasing unpopular ideas out of Pandora’s pocket – as it seeks to preach to the unconverted, inviting the idea that it’s possible to be an environmentalist and pro-nuclear at the same time.

Featuring interviews with ‘environmentalists’ Gwyneth Cravens of the New York Times and Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute, the film challenges the existing stereotypes of nuclear energy, the misapprehensions about the relationship between nuclear weapons and nuclear energy and the fear of disaster.

“We won’t get rid of nuclear weapons by forgetting how to make them,” says one voice in the film. Probably not, although it’s mysterious statements like these that make the otherwise enticing argument suspect.

By Alex Macbeth

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