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Pandora’s Propaganda: New Documentary Omits Sound Science and Expert Research and Should be Viewed with the Facts at Hand
TAKOMA PARK, MD - May 15 - Nuclear energy is a complex subject that can be difficult to communicate to the general public. However, this challenge does not excuse the deliberate omission of known scientific facts, or the re-framing of information to sell a pro-nuclear point of view that would be undermined by the inclusion of such key evidence. Unfortunately, this appears to be the case in Robert Stone’s new film, Pandora’s Promise, which releases theatrically next month.
Therefore, after extensive research, Beyond Nuclear has published a new paper — Pandora’s False Promises: busting the pro-nuclear propaganda. We also provide a two-page synopsis. Pandora’s False Promises delivers point by point facts and numerous scientific references that correct the misconceptions put forward by this film and by pro-nuclear advocates generally.
We would take no issue with an individual such as Stone arriving legitimately at a point of view with which we disagree. However, Stone apparently made little or no effort to seek information from (and certainly not to include in his film) the leading scientific and medical experts and researchers on many of the issues he covers.
By deferring only to those who support his pro-nuclear thesis, and in many cases whose credentials on the topic are questionable, Stone has made his case while steering well clear of many inconvenient truths. We therefore urge any viewing and review of this film to be done with a great deal of skepticism and with the facts at hand.
“When Pandora’s Promise was first publicized, it claimed to feature ‘former leaders of the anti-nuclear movement,’ which got our attention,” said Linda Gunter of Beyond Nuclear who has authored several documents examining the claims made in the film and in its publicity. “But when we looked at who was actually featured, we found that virtually all roads led to The Breakthrough Institute whose personnel appear prominently in the film and none of whom ever ‘led’ the anti-nuclear movement.”
More significantly, in researching many of the assertions made in the film, viewed by several Beyond Nuclear associates at public screenings prior to the film’s theatrical release next month, it became clear that facts were not a priority.
“The film apparently repeats some of the more popular myths about nuclear power that sound good only if you look no deeper,” said Gunter. “The protagonists evidently chose to over-look sound science in favor of slick sound bites. It seemed time to set the record straight.”
The Beyond Nuclear report seeks to address many of the common misconceptions about the alleged “positives” of nuclear power by analyzing and citing the enormous wealth of scientific, medical and environmental evidence and research that has been conducted in this area. The study is intended to serve as a guide well beyond the shelf-life of Pandora’s Promise, given the on-going efforts by the nuclear industry and its backers to resuscitate an industry whose economics and safety record threaten to assign it to extinction.
“Of course we hear the usual accusations about our having our own anti-nuclear agenda,” Gunter added. “Yes, we are anti-nuclear. But we did not arrive at this position by talking only to people with scant scientific credentials who espouse an anti-nuclear point of view; or to scientists with a vested interest in promoting nuclear technology. We arrived at it because when you review the overwhelming scientific, medical and environmental evidence, it is painfully obvious that nuclear power, from the beginning of the uranium fuel chain to the end, harms human and animal health and the environment.”
Pandora’s False Promises looks at a full range of areas including: the discredited World Health Organization cancer fatality predictions after Chernobyl, which suppressed the agency’s own findings, and its oversight by the nuclear-promoting International Atomic Energy Agency; the multitude of studies — as well as the example of Germany — that show the capability of renewable energy and energy efficiency to displace by 100% not only nuclear but also fossil fuels; the serious safety flaws and proliferation dangers, combined with high costs, that make so-called “new generation” or “fast” reactors not only extremely dangerous but commercially unviable; the impracticality of bringing on nuclear power, which takes years — and billions of dollars — to build, in time to address the climate crisis; and that France, despite its 80% reliance on nuclear-generated electricity, still stores more than 90% of its radioactive waste with no capacity to “recycle” it.
For more information, see the Beyond Nuclear web page, Pandora’s False Promises.