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Movie Review: Pandora's Promise

by John Thielking (pagesincolor [at]
Pandora's Promise is a fresh look at nuclear power from the perspective of former antinuclear activists who are now claiming that modern breeder reactors are the solution to all of our energy woes.
Review for Pandora's Promise NR Documentary 1:30
by John Thielking

Pandora's Promise is a polyanna type of examination of nuclear power from the point of view of environmentalists who used to be anti-nuclear who are now pro-nuclear power. The proponents of nuclear power in this film point out embarrassing "facts" such as a Geiger counter held by someone standing just outside of Chernobyl reads a lower reading of background radiation than a typical beach in Brazil. But the movie makers leave out embarrassing facts from the other side such as the fact that Nuclear power generates about 1/2 the CO2 emissions as a natural gas fired power plant when using fuel mined with today's quality of ore and will produce MORE CO2 than a natural gas fired plant within 50 years from now as lower grade ore will be the only ore available. Nuclear power is of course not an unlimited energy source (the ore will run out within 50 years even at current consumption rates, never mind what would happen if the whole world got 80% of its electricity from nuclear power as France is doing now.) The pro-nuclear people are also pissed that the widely discredited technology of breeder reactors is not currently being favored by politicians. As I recall breeder reactors have their own problems related to nuclear proliferation that are not addressed in this film. Helen Caldecott's statements about millions of people being killed by the fallout from Chernobyl are dismissed by showing the WHO and other NGO reports that claim only a handful of deaths have resulted from Chernobyl. Even the Chernobyl liquidators who suffered massive nuclear radiation exposure are claimed to not be suffering many ill effects from their experiences. Well what about all the Japanese children who are suffering thyroid problems from Fukishima? Other fallacies presented include the idea that antinuclear activists are in favor of fossil fuel burning for electricity and transportation, solar power and wind power will always be a tiny fraction of the total power generation, there hasn't been a single death from nuclear power in the US (what about Three Mile Island? What about Uranium mining operations on Indian reservations in the US?) and nuclear waste is not a big problem and Yucca Mountain is a viable waste storage site. What a puff piece for nuclear power. One star.

This movie is nonviolent because there are only 6 violent scenes in it. These scenes include: the aftermath of atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some footage of atomic explosions, a scene of a minor riot, a story of Three Mile Island, a story of the China Syndrome and footage of some arrests. There is no smoking in this movie.

There were no previews when this movie was shown at the Camera 3 in downtown San Jose, CA, USA.
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