The new documentary film Pandora's Promise landed in theaters last Friday and is already sparking debate and prompting a renewed look at the role of nuclear energy in confronting global climate change and the other energy challenges of the 21st century.

In a video #EnergyChat Wednedsay, I interviewed award-winning filmmaker Robert Stone as well as Michael Shellenberger, one of the films protagonists, and the president and co-founder of the Breakthrough Institute, an independent, progressive think tank known for its often unorthodox views on energy, climate change, and other issues. (Full disclosure: I worked at the Breakthrough Institute from 2008 to 2012). You can view our full interview below or on Youtube here .

At its heart, Pandora’s Promise poses a controversial questions: does nuclear power, the one energy technology we often fear most, have the potential to save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty?

To make its case, the film, which I viewed at a screening in Cambridge recently, focuses on the personal stories of five long-time environmentalists who each began their journeys as anti-nuclear or nuclear skeptics only to find themselves challenging their prior beliefs and reevaluating their positions on nuclear energy as they engaged more with the risks posed by various energy technologies and the global energy challenges faced this century.

By Jesse Jenkins

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