Pandora's Terrifying Promise: Can Nuclear Power Save the Planet?
A German police officer uses a Geiger counter to measure the radiation of a Castor container on a transport train, during a stop in Neunkirchen near Saarbruecken. Reuters/Alex Domanski
Recently, writer and activist Terry Tempest Williams alerted The Nation about a new documentary she had just seen that caused her to question her long-held opposition to nuclear power. Pandora’s Promise, out in theaters in June and on CNN in the fall, features five “converts” who argue that the dire threat of climate change requires humanity to embrace nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels. Mark Hertsgaard, The Nation’s environment correspondent, who has been covering the industry since investigating it for his book Nuclear Inc. (Pantheon, 1983), had a different reaction to the film. What follows is a dialogue between Williams and Hertsgaard about the film, the history of the nuclear industry and alternative solutions to the climate crisis. —The Editors
Pandora’s Promise peddles dangerous myths, even though the facts are out there. Read through Mark Hertsgaard’s factsheet on the film and on the nuclear industry as a whole.