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Pandora's False Promises

Pandora's Promise, is a new pro-nuclear propaganda documentary released theatrically in the US in July 2013. It is funded in part by individuals with a vested interest in seeing the development of new reactors and is seemingly a vehicle by which to raise the profile of the anti-environmental Oakland think tank, The Breakthrough Institute, whose personnel feature prominently in the film. Despite the film's premise and early claim that it features "a growing number of leading former anti-nuclear activists" who now support nuclear energy, no one in the film ever led the anti-nuclear movement. Nor was any credible, independent scientific or medical professional with expertise in the areas covered in the film consulted or featured. Beyond Nuclear has bird-dogged the film from the beginning, and has produced numerous critiques. We have also published a definitive report - Pandora's False Promises: Busting the pro-nuclear propaganda - and a two-page synopsis. These documents address virtually all of the myths, lies and omissions typically found in pro-nuclear rhetoric and are intended to address these long after Pandora's Promise fades into deserved oblivion.

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Friday
May172013

Spouting views in narcissistic echo chambers

An insightful piece on the pro-nuclear propagandists (and climate deniers) from blogger Dennis Riches, Professor at Seijo University, Chiba, Japan.

An excerpt:We know the stale dichotomies of modernity: left and right, liberal and conservative, constrained vision versus utopian vision. Yet the world is actually much more complicated. The extremities not only touch; they elbow, jostle, hook up, spawn weird offspring, then ditch each other to move on and look for better options.This can be seen in the strange love-hate triangle that has emerged between environmentalists, nuclear energy advocates and global warming skeptics.  Read the full article.

Friday
May172013

Updated and revised "Pandora's People."

As we noted on these pages, various early publicity items and articles on Pandora's Promise have been removed from websites. Consequently, it was necessary to refresh some links in our Pandora's People document. This is the currently revised version with live links. Please feel free to download and distribute at screenings this summer.

Thursday
May162013

Lingering death for fast reactor as Monju suspended

"Japan’s nuclear watchdog will indefinitely suspend the use of the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor over the operator’s disregard for safety that continued even after the Fukushima nuclear crisis raised concerns across the nation," writes Hideki Muroya in the Asahi Shimbun. "The Nuclear Regulation Authority's order will deal a further blow to Japan’s nuclear fuel recycling program, which has long been plagued by technical problems and scandals.

"In the latest case, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, operator of Monju, was found to have skipped inspections of nearly 10,000 pieces of equipment since 2010, including crucial devices in the safety and emergency systems at the plant, based in Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture.

"The company also violated its own safety regulations, according to the NRA.

"'Even when the reactor is offline, things stand in such a state,' an NRA official said after an on-site inspection of the reactor in February. “We cannot possibly approve a restart.” Read more. (Picture shows a still from video footage inside Monju during the 1995 sodium fire).

Wednesday
May152013

A brief (pre)view for the Washington Post

The Washington Post Going Out Guide has a placeholder for Pandora's Promise with offers to provide reviews. So we've taken the opportunity of providing our preview heads-up here. Here's what we wrote in the 750-character space provided.

Pandora's False Promises

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. 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. Stone instead deferred only to those who support his pro-nuclear thesis. This film should be viewed and reviewed with a great deal of skepticism.

Friday
May102013

Stone claims film was "researched on fact"

“It’s an investigative film and researched on fact,” Pandora's Promise director, Robert Stone told an audience at UC Irvine Wednesday when the university's Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials science screened Pandora's Promise. “It’s really bolstered by facts – by science.” Methinks he doth protest too much if he has to state it thus! Doubtless there is science in the film. But not the sound kind found in the annals of research and analysis, done, for example, at Princeton, or by the Union of Concerned Scientists and others who would have told Stone, if he had asked them, that so-called "new" reactor designs are unnecessary, dangerous, expensive, untested, unpredictable, and too far down the road to reality to do anything at all to address climate change.

Watch for our full analysis - busting the myths of the pro-nuclear propaganda - coming May 13th!