James Bond villains harm nuclear power’s public image, says scientist

To paraphrase Dr. No: Greens, nuclear power industry… each is as stupid as the other.

The Guardian reports:

He may have been On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, but James Bond and the power-hungry villains he saved the world from did no service to the image of nuclear power, a leading scientist has claimed.

The film version of Dr No, first screened 50 years ago and still a TV favourite, and other Bond movies have helped frame public perceptions of the hazards of nuclear power along with accidents such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, according to David Phillips, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

He feared the portrait of the evil megalomaniac and his nuclear reactor hidden away on a Caribbean island contributed to the “entirely negative” and “remorselessly grim” perception of the industry as a force for evil.

Phillips told the BBC that when nuclear power was discussed “it is not at all surprising that the public at home and abroad are sceptical”. But he said the society believed “nuclear power has to be part of the future national energy mix, in which it plays a major role, complemented by renewable sources. Fossil fuels have to be eradicated for people to live in a healthy environment.”

“Let’s say yes to nuclear and no to Dr No’s nonsense,” he added.

Anti-nuclear campaigners were not convinced. “Although James Bond is fiction, the truth is that nuclear power is dangerous, dirty and unsafe,” Penny Kemp, spokesperson for the Green party said…

Read the entire Guardian article.