Saturday, June 29, 2013


Current NIRS Actions! Essential things you can do to help build a nuclear-free, carbon-free energy future.

The single most important action you can take to help stop new nuclear power in the U.S. Act here now: tell DOE Secretary Moniz and President Obama to stop a taxpayer loan for new reactors in Georgia.

International Action! NIRS and Coalition Against Nuclear Energy South Africa have joined forces to fight against radioactive "recycling" in both countries. Act here.

Join 100 organizations (and growing)--almost 2 million Americans--and support the American Clean Energy Agenda to build a renewable energy reality by 2030.


Friday, June 28, 2013






June 27, 2013,

Dear Friends,

There are major developments in two of our most important ongoing actions and your help is needed now more than ever.

*Stop taxpayer loans for new reactors in Georgia. In February 2010, President Obama announced a conditional $8.3 Billion taxpayer loan for construction of two new reactors at the Vogtle site in Georgia. Those reactors are now under construction. But the taxpayer loan has never been granted.

Why? Because, to his credit, Obama didn't promise a sweetheart deal. And the White House's Office of Management and Budget, which along with the Department of Energy must approve the deal, has steadfastly refused to bow to the demands of Southern Company and its partners for a deal that would place all of the risk on taxpayers instead of the utilities.

The offer of a loan expires June 30. Probably the offer will be extended, as it has several times before. But right now is the best possible time to put pressure on the Department of Energy--the only entity which seems to really want this deal to go through. The more pressure we can put on DOE, and the more light we can shed on this likely financial disaster, the more likely we can kill this deal all together.

Just today, a major investment firm downgraded Southern Company stock and warned of likely cost overruns at Vogtle that could cause the price to rise to $20 Billion.

While Southern Co. and its partners are building Vogtle now because of their access to ratepayer money through Georgia's CWIP law, we believe that this project will crumble if the federal loan offer is withdrawn. In particular, Vogtle's partners, mostly much smaller electric co-ops and municipal utilities, need the loan even more than Southern Co.

Please be sure you have sent your letter to new DOE Secretary Moniz, President Obama, and your members of Congress. Do it here. And please share this action as widely as possible.
*Stop a Mobile Chernobyl. Today, the Senate Energy Committee Gang of 4--Sens. Wyden, Feinstein, Murkowski and Alexander--formally released their new radioactive waste legislation. You can download it here.
Unfortunately, despite your thousands of comments to the Committee, the Gang of 4 is continuing to bow to the nuclear power industry and is encouraging "interim" storage of high-level radioactive waste. But shipping thousands of casks of lethal high-level radwaste over our roads, rails and waterways to insecure, "temporary" storage sites is not a solution to our radioactive waste problem. Rather, it's an invitation to a Mobile Chernobyl.

Please be sure you have signed the petition to Stop A Mobile Chernobyl and stop the concept of "interim" storage. We need solutions, not dirty band-aids. And please share this action widely too.

If you're on our snail mail list, watch your mailbox. We just sent out 20,000 of these petitions to you; we hope you'll take them (and print more!) to your meetings, churches, grocery stores, bars--whereever you gather with people--and help gather more signatures.

We've had a lot of victories already this year--Calvert Cliffs-3, San Onofre, Kewaunee, Crystal River, etc. Let's add to them now!

As always, thank you for your activism, thank you for your much-needed financial support. You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Thanks for all you do,

Michael Mariotte
Executive Director
Nuclear Information and Resource Service

Stay Informed:

NIRS on the web (stay up-to-date with the Nuclear Newsreel section on the front page, featuring the day's most interesting news on nuclear power and other energy issues):

NIRS on Facebook:

NIRS on Twitter:!/nirsnet

see also 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The lethal legacy of nuclear waste at San Onofre | FOE

Friends of the Earth: Edison must quickly move spent reactor fuel from pools to dry casks

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The legacy of 44 years of operating the San Onofre reactors is a nuclear waste dump containing one of the largest concentrations of radioactivity in the United States, says a new study from Friends of the Earth, which warns that the spent fuel on site poses a major radiological hazard in the event of an accident. The report urges Southern California Edison to as soon as possible move hundreds of thousands of spent fuel rods from cooling pools to much safer dry-cask storage. 
Nearly 1,100 tons of the highly radioactive spent fuel rods, discharged from the reactor cores, remain in vulnerable water filled cooling pools. The amount of radioactivity in the spent fuel rods now stored in the cooling pools is nearly three times more than is stored in the high-level radioactive waste tanks at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hanford site in Washington, considered the most contaminated site in the nation. 

The report is by Robert Alvarez, former senior advisor to the Secretary at the Department of Energy and an expert on the growing volume of waste piling up at reactors across the nation. It details the vulnerability of cooling pools, which could accidentally drain, leading to the release of millions of curies of radioactivity. The report says Edison should move as quickly as possible to transfer the spent fuel from the cooling pools to dry-cask storage. Dry casks, while not risk-free, reduce the risk of major release of radioactivity into the environment. Most of the fuel in the San Onofre pools could be moved to cask storage within 5-7 years.

“The major risk from the reactors at San Onofre is over, but the radiation hazard from the pool-stored waste is even greater," said Alvarez. "As we saw at Fukushima, spent fuel in pools that were never designed for such concentrated and prolonged storage is highly vulnerable. Within six hours of losing water in the pools, more radioactive cesium could be released than was released in all nuclear weapons tests. The radiation dose to the thousands living within ten miles of the plant would be in the lethal range."

Nuclear waste from spent fuel has been generated by all of the nation's commercial nuclear reactors, with an estimated 70,000 tons currently in vulnerable pools and dry casks. The nuclear industry is currently lobbying Congress to pass legislation that would establish regional storage facilities for spent fuel at Department of Energy sites, such as the Savannah River site in South Carolina, as well as in New Mexico and Idaho. Legislation is expected to be introduced shortly that would attempt to push through such proposals with no opportunity for local public citizen involvement. Friends of the Earth, along with other national and local organizations, is opposed to such legislation as it would not solve the waste problem but would lead to greater risks from nuclear transports and would be the effective dumping of waste on already highly contaminated sites.

“San Onofre is a clear example of what happens when the nuclear industry is allowed to ignore the waste problem," said Shaun Burnie, senior nuclear campaigner at Friends of the Earth. "The industry has created a highly dangerous situation for tens of millions of people not just in Southern California but across the nation. Proposals to move this waste around the country are an industry-driven scam to create the illusion that they've found a solution. There is no risk-free solution, but the best available option is for Edison and the rest of the nuclear industry to move as rapidly as possible to cask storage on the reactor site.” 


Shaun Burnie, (202) 701-6962,
Bill Walker, (510) 759-9911

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reactor operators face shareholders

Outside bet: Members of environmental group Greenpeace display a roulette board likening nuclear energy to gambling, while investors walk to Tokyo Electric Power Co's shareholders' meeting in Tokyo on Wednesday. | AFP-JIJI

Reactor operators face shareholders - Utilities shoot down anti-nuclear proposals, push restart of facilities - JAPAN TIMES

KYODO - Utilities, struggling amid the prolonged halt of nearly all of the nation’s nuclear reactors, expressed eagerness to restart their facilities during shareholders meetings Wednesday, shrugging off proposals from some stockholders to halt the country’s reliance on atomic power... Anti-nuclear shareholders proposed scrapping Tepco’s Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture, which was not damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. However, Tepco said the complex remained an “important power source,” and that the utility would take measures to improve safety there in an effort to resume operations... Anti-nuclear proposals were submitted at the meetings, including those of Tepco and Shikoku Electric, but all were voted down.

complete article: Reactor operators face shareholders | The Japan Times

Nuclear Hotseat #106: Keegan: Ohio's Davis-Besse follows SanO Lead; MamaBears, Native Elders Protest Grand Canyon Uranium Mining

  • Michael KeeganChair of the Coalition for a Nuclear-Free Great Lakes, fills us in on how San Onofre strategy will impact the campaign to shut down Davis-Besse in Ohio.
  • MamaBears Brigade’s Dr. Catherine “Wind” Euler and native medicine man Havasupai Waters on their continuing protest of uranium mining at the Grand Canyon, including elevated radiation readings on tourist walkways.

NUMNUTZ OF THE WEEK: Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority

  • Hanford leak is “worst case scenario;”
  • MacFarlane survives Sen. Boxer’s wrath at NRC refusal to hand over San Onofre documents, gets re-nominated as NRC Chair;
  • David Lochbaum of Union of Concerned Scientists provides the NRC “DUCK!” Report on Non-Detecting Examinations;
  • Elevated levels of tritium, strontium found in harbor at Fukushima Daiichi;
  • Yablokov takes on the UNSCEAR report minimizing cancer risks from Fukushima;
  • First of the Fukushima 50 dies of lung cancer.

LISTEN: Nuclear Hotseat#106: Keegan: Ohio's Davis-Besse follows SanO Lead; MamaBears, Native Elders Protest Grand Canyon Uranium Mining | Nuclear Hotseat

Monday, June 24, 2013

6.25 SANTA FE, NM: Idle No More March & Round Dance in Solidarity with Leonard Peltier Day - No Uranium Mining! Keep Mt. Taylor Safe!

Idle No More ROUND DANCE Santa Fe, NM in Solidarity with Leonard Peltier Day/ Anti-Uranium Mining March

on facebook -

(un)Occupy Albuquerque - We are planning to march in Santa Fe June 25th. Gather at 2:30 PM at the Clock Tower 1470 S. St. Francis Dr. in Santa Fe, NM to say NO MORE URANIUM MINING. KEEP SACRED MT. TAYLOR SAFE FROM MINING! We will be marching to the plaza stopping on the way to let those who want to make money on the desecration of sacred places know we say NO! We will be joining the Idle No More event in honor of Leonard Peltier at the plaza at 4PM. Here is the link to that event: (facebook event page)

Idle No More ROUND DANCE Santa Fe, NM in Solidarity with Leonard Peltier Day
June 25 at 4:15pm in MDT
Santa Fe Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico

see also: Tell NM Mining interests to STOP URANIUM MINING at Mt. Taylor (facebook event page)

UPDATE 6.24 via MamaBears AgainstNukes: MamaBears AgainstNukes are right now traveling to this event. If you are in New Mexico, come to Santa Fe tomorrow, Tuesday, meet at the clock tower 2.30 @ 1470 st francis dr, march, bring banners. We are bringing banners from Supai and from, who have been fighting for so long against the desecration of the San Francisco Peaks by anthr large corporate interest, Snow Bowel. The same company that wants to dig up more poisonous death dealing uranium at Mt Taylor is already digging for same at the Grand Canyon. Many thanks to those from following organizations that protested and prayed and ate with us Friday, esp thanks to the team making blue corn fry bread, and especial thanks to Shawna and Lorenzo Robbins and all at Save the Confluence. MamaBears AgainstNukes had a rocking good time out there in Cameron yesterday. What the world didnt understand abt that Wallenda higj wire act is that we are all right now on a nuclear tightrope....the people in the uranium areas at Cameron and other places on res cant drink their water anymore....that shd b enough for the nuke industry to end this insanity now....ALL OUT! Marchers! Come to Santa Fe for tomorrow 2 pm, then round dance santa fe plaza 4 pm. Please share this event with ppl in new mexico who might actually go physically!

see also: Protect Mt. Taylor ~ Free Leonard Peltier ~ Solidarity March and Round Dance in Santa Fe on Tuesday, June 25! | Occupy New Mexico

• Idle No More ROUND DANCE Santa Fe, NM in Solidarity with Leonard Peltier Day/ Anti-Uranium Mining March (facebook event page)

• Tell NM Mining interests to STOP URANIUM MINING at Mt. Taylor
 (facebook event page)

• previous - whats up: 6.25 SANTA FE NM March & Round Dance - No Uranium Mining! Keep Mt. Taylor Safe! | MamaBears | whats up: 6.19-22 GRAND CANYON Ban Uranium Mines Gathering In Solidarity With Idle No More | whats up: 6.21-23 Gather to ban Grand Canyon Uranium mine! In solidarity with Idle No More

Sunday, June 23, 2013

8.9 SYDNEY: 'Nuclear Nation' film screening - ANFA fundraiser

Nuclear Nation is a documentary about the exile of Futaba’s residents, the region housing the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Since the 1960s, Futaba had been promised prosperity with tax breaks and major subsidies to compensate for the presence of the power plant. The town’s people have now lost their homeland. Through their agonies and frustrations, the film questions the real cost of capitalism and nuclear energy.

The screening is a fundraising event for the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance, and all funds raised will support Aboriginal communities on the frontline of nuclear projects to attend the annual ANFA national meeting in October. More info at

This screening is being held in Sydney on Nagasaki Day-Friday August 9- and is part of a series of events to commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Tickets are available pre-sale $20 or $15 concession via Webticketing.

Please note that door sales (if tickets are still available) will be $5 extra.

facebook event page
Beyond Nuclear Initiative | Australian Nuclear Free Alliance

Formed in 1997, the Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (formerly the Alliance Against Uranium) brings together Aboriginal people and relevant NGO’s concerned about existing or proposed nuclear developments in Australia, particularly on Aboriginal homelands.
The Alliance provides a forum for sharing of knowledge, skills and experience. It is an opportunity to come together and find strength through our shared aims to protect country and culture from nuclear developments. The Alliance helped to build the successful campaign to stop the Jabiluka uranium mine in the Northern Territory, and more recently, a proposed national nuclear waste dump in South Australia. Currently, Aboriginal communities face a wave of uranium exploration, several proposed new uranium mines, and a proposed national nuclear waste dump.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

6.21-23 Gather to ban Grand Canyon Uranium mine! In solidarity with Idle No More

PLEASE SHARE! Now! You are welcome to a three day gathering, June 21-23rd, just south of Grand Canyon National Park, with main gathering happening at dawn June 21st right on Hwy. 64.

We will protest the re-opening of Canyon Uranium Mine on Native sacred lands by praying, bannering, and peacefully demonstrating. This is a call out to all peaceful warriors to come, pray, and decide how to stop the mine.

A base camp has already been set up on Hwy 64, approx. 45 miles north of Williams, AZ (First right after mile marker 219). CALL if possible before arriving! Sometimes we are not there. 928-899-2267.

More camping is available very nearby at the prayer/ceremony site near Red Butte, and also in the high Ponderosas of the National Forest near Canyon Mine itself. Gather now to protect the Grand Canyon, the Colorado Plateau, and the waters, animals, plants and people who live here.

Also on the 21st, the head of the Sierra Club is to meet at 10 am with some of the Havasupai elders, who will be coming up out of the Canyon, at the mine site itself. Red Butte and the Grand Canyon are sacred to several tribes in this region. Energy Fuels must stop digging NOW! Idle No More has called for Friday, June 21st, to be International Indigenous Solidarity Day. Come and help!

This will be our first, opening action and is a three day event. Come prepared for hot days (up to 90) and cool nights (down to 40). Please bring your own water, food, shelter and banner and sign-making materials. We do have some food and some banner-making materials, but will need more.

Base camp will be open through July 2013 for further organizing and actions. We welcome individuals and affinity groups.

Mama Bears Brigade is a feminist collective and is non-violent. We are committed to indigenous/women's leadership. This is a rough camping situation, with no running water, no electricity.

For more info please email us at Last minute info call 928 899-2267 or 706 978-9425. PLEASE SHARE THIS CALL TO ACTION!

6.21-23 Gather to ban Grand Canyon Uranium mine! In solidarity with #IdleNoMore



Check out our campaigns area - visit the Energy Miser and share your top tips on saving energy - or not using it at all! See the shoddy shelter and the rad waste barrels of laughs. Showing anti-nuke films. With STOP HINKLEY, KICK NEW NUCLEAR, SWAN, SWAN in Avalon, WITCH WATCH.
Find out what we've been up to and how you can get involved.
STOP HINKLEY (facebook) |

6.24 WEBINAR: Pull the #Plutonium Pork – End #MOX!

Monday, June 24, 3pm (ET):
Pull the Plutonium Pork – End MOX
(Co-hosted with Georgia WAND)
Developing a disposition method for plutonium from dismantled U.S. nuclear weapons is important, but the Department of Energy’s current plan to make experimental fuel with this weapons’ plutonium is costly, dangerous and on the verge of collapse. It’s also siphoning dollars away from other nuclear nonproliferation and nuclear weapons cleanup priorities. Please join us to learn about the Mixed Oxide Plutonium Fuel Program (MOX) and what can be done to keep this failing program from gobbling more dollars while increasing nuclear dangers.  We’ll also consider what alternatives need to be developed to deal with plutonium from nuclear weapons.   Tom Clements, Southeastern Nuclear Campaign Coordinator for Friends of the Earth andKatherine Fuchs, Program Director of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability will tell us how to pull the plutonium pork and develop needed solutions.  Cohost, Georgia WAND will also discuss the regional impacts of MOX.
“Pull the Plutonium Pork – End MOX” is part of WAND’s Nuclear Budget Webinar Series looking at specific nuclear weapons programs in particular need of Congressional budget cutting scrutiny.  Last month we started with: "Is it time to boot the B61 nuclear bomb?"

Upcoming Webinar: Pull the Plutonium Pork – End MOX! | WAND Inc.

8.6 Hiroshima Commemoration and Action at Livermore Lab

Theme this year is "Unfinished Business and Our Most Urgent Responsibility; Banning the Bomb at the Livermore Lab and Globally." We will gather at the northwest corner of the Lab (Vasco Road and Patterson Pass Road in Livermore) on Tue, August 6, at 7am.

Update: Keynote speaker is Daniel Ellsberg!

Sixty-eight years after the United States dropped atomic bombs on the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, the threat of nuclear annihilation remains. Nuclear devastation could come by accident, miscalculation, madness or malevolent intent. Events like Fukushima demonstrate the dangers of nuclear technologies derived from the bomb. And, while instructions on how to “duck and cover” to survive a nuclear bomb may seem quaint, modern propaganda still blinds many to our most urgent and unfinished business: the total abolition of nuclear weapons.

We ask all who seek peace and justice to come to Livermore Lab on August 6 for a rally with musicians, speakers, Taiko drummers and more. Immediately following will be a short march and nonviolent direct action at the West Gate. We will gather at the location where U.S. nuclear weapons scientists are developing the world’s first so-­‐called “interoperable” warhead to deliver annihilation interchangeably from land or sea. Those who choose will peacefully risk arrest, while others will provide legal witness and support.

Initial sponsors include American Friends Service Committee, Asian Americans for Peace and Justice, Ecumenical Peace Institute, Livermore Conversion Project, Mt. Diablo Peace & Justice Center, No Nukes Action Committee, Peace Action West, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Bay Area Chapter, Tri-Valley CAREs, and Western States Legal Foundation.

WHAT: Hirosima Commemoration, Ralley and Action

WHEN: Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 7AM program, 8:15AM march

WHERE: Gather at Livermore Lab northwest corner, at Vasco & Patterson Pass Roads

PARKING: There will be parking set up along Patterson Pass Road

BART: Van pickups at the Dublin-Pleasanton BART Station. Must call to reserve a spot.

DETAILS: (925) 443-7148 or (510) 839-5877, or

August 6 Hiroshima Commemoration and Action at Livermore Lab (facebook event page)

see also
whats up: 8.6 & 9: Hiroshima & Nagasaki Events by PSR

Friday, June 21, 2013

7.5 HYANNIS, MA: No Escape From the Cape Comedy Night

Fundraiser for CapeDownwinders to close the Pilgrim-Fukushima nuke. 

7.5 HYANNIS, MA: No Escape From the Cape Comedy Night (facebook)

6.27 ATLANTA The Atomic States of America is being shown for FREE

6.27 The Atomic States of America is being shown for FREE in Atlanta, hosted by Nuclear Watch South and Georgia Wand. Details here:

FREE SCREENING In 2010, the United States approved the first new nuclear power plant in 32 years (Plant Vogtle in Georgia), trumpeting a "Nuclear Renaissance." But that was before the Fukushima accident in Japan renewed a fierce public debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power. The 2012 documentary film, The Atomic States of America journeys to nuclear reactor communities around the country to provide a comprehensive exploration of the history and impact to date of nuclear power, and to investigate the truths and myths about nuclear energy.

Please join Nuclear Watch South and Georgia WAND for an informed discussion on the safety, viability and future of nuclear power in the United States. Local film clips will also be screened.

The Atomic States of America
(^ all above are facebook links)

The Atomic States of America | Sundance Institute

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nuclear aging: Not so graceful | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The abandonment of aging nuclear reactors—most prominently reactors that need repairs, as is the case at San Onofre in California and Crystal River in Florida, but also at some plants that have simply become uneconomic to operate, like Kewaunee in Wisconsin—has huge implications for resource-acquisition decisions. As the US nuclear fleet ages and the “nuclear renaissance” ballyhooed over the last decade fades into history, having failed to deliver on its promises, these early retirements will be closely scrutinized in regard to decisions about both old and new reactors. The industry is likely to seize on these retirements as justification to get behind the next new nuclear technology, but the lesson they actually teach is quite the opposite. Aging reactors that are too expensive to fix and must be retired before reaching the end of their expected life spans may be not a relic of the past, but an indication of the future. At one time, the nuclear plants now being closed were seen as the future of the electricity-generating industry. They teach a lesson for how the economics of new designs should be evaluated...

more > Nuclear aging: Not so graceful | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Monday, June 17, 2013

Nuclear renaissance in Florida crumbles, meets economic reality

Has the so-called “nuclear renaissance” finally met economic reality? The nuclear industry recently experienced their “worst week” since the Fukushima disaster in Japan. Not only did Duke Energy scrap plans to build new reactors at their Shearon Harris site in North Carolina but the many events which unfolded in Florida, culminating with Governor Scott’s signing of Senate bill 1472 late last Friday, affirm that the “renaissance” is crumbling – and economic reality is prevailing.

The new law amends a 2006 anti-consumer law that was meant to promote nuclear reactor construction by shifting all the financial risk of constructing new nuclear reactors to the power company’s customers. The earlier law drew significant consumer pushback and has now been scaled back. This new law is a step in the right direction. Proposed new nuclear projects in Florida will face more procedural checks that are intended to better protect consumers and must show that a project remains feasible and that project costs are reasonable. Find a brief summary of the new law here and our statement on its signing here.

This is the first time a state in the U.S. has scaled back a so-called “construction work in progress” (CWIP) or “advance/early cost recovery” law for new nuclear reactors. CWIP laws generally mitigate the financial risk of constructing a reactor by shifting part or all the financial risk of construction to utility customers. Essentially, customers are charged in advance, but with no assurance that they will ever receive a benefit from that forced investment. These laws have the perverse incentive of encouraging power companies to pursue speculative projects, even when there is no intent to build the plant because there is no risk for utility shareholders.

The law in Florida was sold to state legislators back in 2006 as a way to help finance the expansion of nuclear power. The help was necessary because Wall Street was (wisely) reluctant to finance new reactor projects given the abysmal industry track record of abandoning dozens of nuclear projects due to soaring cost overruns and a drop in electricity demand. A 2010 Forbes article mentioned, “A 1985 article in FORBES (Feb. 11) made the case that the U.S. nuclear power program was the largest managerial disaster in business history.” That’s primarily why there hasn’t been a new nuclear plant built in the U.S. in over 30 years.

But this time around, the industry and its proponents promised things would be different. Former Vice President Cheney’s Energy Task Force issued recommendations that pointed to a possible nuclear power resurgence and the Department of Energy launched the “Nuclear Power 2010” program, with the goal of having two reactors online by 2010. And thus, the nuclear “renaissance” was born as dozens of new nuclear reactors were proposed in the U.S. But that cheerleading has not led to much and the “renaissance” has seriously faded. Today, just four reactors are actively under construction at two plants: Vogtle in Georgia and V.C. Summer in South Carolina.

One need look no further than Florida, where four reactors are proposed, to see how the so-called renaissance has gone awfully wrong...

more > CleanEnergy Footprints | Archive | Nuclear renaissance in Florida crumbles, meets economic reality



New York Times movie review -
"You need to make an argument. A parade of like-minded nuclear-power advocates who assure us that everything will be all right just doesn't cut it."

Variety movie review (via Chicago Tribune) -,0,3036438.story
"Where Stone errs, even on behalf of his own argument, is in not including a single voice in opposition to nukes, even just for contrast, and in treating those who opposed nuclear power in the past as a bunch of brain-dead hippies. The juxtapositions created between his current-day subjects and people marching and singing against nukes in 1979, make the latter look like idiots, when all they were doing was acting in good conscience. It's not the best way to make a persuasive argument. Regarding the science of the pro-nuclear debate, no one on screen is less than convincing, and nothing in the end seems more benign than a twin-stacked breeder reactor; the viewer might almost come away thinking that what he or she needs in the morning is a healthy dose of nuclear radiation. But this is a zealotry issue, and Stone is a convert." -
"'It's economics,' Ralph Cavanagh, senior attorney and co-director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's energy program, told 'What [the filmmakers] say is that, while the plants are very expensive, they last a long time. What the film utterly fails to capture is that nuclear has got to pass a market test.' Utility companies play a large part in determining what source of energy gets used, based on its competitive market prices. Investing in nuclear power plants is risky for private companies. The EIA's 2013 Annual Energy Outlook report says that building a new nuclear power plant can take over a decade to complete, require specialized high-wage workers, expensive materials and components and engineering construction expertise. 'In the current economic environment of low natural gas prices and flat demand for electricity, the overall market conditions for new nuclear plants are challenging,' the report says. Cavanagh points out that France's nuclear energy model, which is touted in the film, is subsidized by the French government. In order for the United States to follow that model, it would require a socialized program that is funded by taxpayers."

The Nation -
"Myth: Pragmatic environmentalists are coming around on nuclear power. Fact: The public and the overwhelming majority of environmental groups continue to reject nuclear power. Of the ten leading environmental organizations in the US-the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, The National Wildlife Federation, The Natural Resources Defense Council, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Defense, The National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, The Wilderness Society, The World Wildlife Fund-not one supports nuclear power, despite the threat of climate change."

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists -
"To be sure, there is nothing wrong with changing your mind. In fact, there is much to admire in those who recognize altered circumstances, integrate fresh information, and come to a new judgment. What is disingenuous about Pandora's Promise is the way the new judgment is conveyed. The film mocks groups that continue to protest nuclear power, treating one-time colleagues as extremists and zealots. An audience discussion after a preview at the University of Chicago made it clear I was not the only one who sensed the self-righteous tone of the newly converted in the film's narrative. In the end, by dismissing the protestors and failing to engage them in significant debate about the pros and cons of nuclear energy, the film undermined its own message."

All Things Nuclear/Union of Concerned Scientists -
"The film also puts forth the Integral Fast Reactor, a metal-fueled fast breeder reactor, as a visionary nuclear reactor design that could solve all of nuclear power's problems by being meltdown-proof and consuming its own waste as fuel. However, it glosses over the myriad safety and security problems associated with fast-breeder reactors. The film makes much of an experiment conducted at the EBR-II, a fast reactor prototype that purported to demonstrate the safety of the reactor. However, again engaging in cherry-picking, it did not discuss the fact that the tests only simulated some kinds of accidents, and that such reactors are inherently unstable under other conditions. It also does not bother to explain the very real proliferation concern that led the Clinton administration to terminate development of the reactor: the fact that spent fuel reprocessing, needed for the fast reactor fuel cycle, produces large quantities of nuclear weapon-usable materials in forms that are vulnerable to theft. Contrary to its portrayal in the film, reprocessing increases, rather than decreases, the volume of nuclear waste requiring disposal."

St. Louis Post Dispatch movie review -
" ... renewables are shrugged off because the wind and sun are cyclical and must (for now) be augmented with natural-gas backups. But is that reason enough to invest in nuclear, which has provably killed many people? The movie has no discussions with Hiroshima survivors. Nor do we hear from medical professionals in Fukushima or Chernobyl, or closer to home, near the waste dump in Hanford, Wash., or the testing grounds in Las Vegas, places where radiation-caused cancers can take years to manifest. And nowhere is it mentioned that 10 years ago, a president, vice president and secretary of state with backgrounds in the petroleum industry invaded an oil-rich region at a cost of $1 trillion to $2 trillion, money that could have perfected renewable energy for the entire planet. Any discussion of our energy future that doesn't confront past mistakes is a broken promise."

Beyond Nuclear -
"Nuclear power, no matter the reactor design, cannot address climate change in time. In order to displace a significant amount of carbon-emitting fossil-fuel generation, another 1,000 to 1,500 new 1,000+ Megawatt reactors would need to come on line worldwide by 2050, a completely prohibitive proposition ... Myths about the French nuclear program abound. Only 4% of the country's high-level radioactive waste has been vitrified and stored. Given its 80% dependency on nuclear power, when droughts and heat waves force reactors to power down or close, France has no other options and is forced to import electricity. France has an enormous, unsolved waste problem with no repository; a huge extra expense due to its misadventure with fast breeder reactors; and a radiological legacy from its 210 abandoned uranium mines which continue to pollute the environment today."

Seattle Weekly movie review -
"But the doc's bigger flaw is that no one is allowed to make a reasoned anti-nuclear argument. To the well-made film's many statistics, graphics, and common-sense assertions, the lack of a rebuttal is deafening. Some cheesy old archival footage reminds us how GE and other companies once hoped to profit from nuclear power. But you have to study the credits and press notes to see how close Pandora's Promise is to its subject. Gates, Nathan Myhrvold, and other tech-world peers of Allen are backers of Bellevue-based TerraPower, which seeks to make fourth-generation "traveling wave" reactors that are supposedly cleaner, safer, and more efficient than the kind that gave our state the costly Hanford and WPPSS debacles." [Note: Paul Allen is the founder of Vulcan Productions, which produced Pandora's Promise.]

Village Voice movie review -
"Alas, [the movie's] argument against fear-driven orthodoxy is undercut by the fact that, as with so many of this subgenre's entrants, there are no substantial competing voices included in the mix ..."

Time Out New York movie review -
"To go nuclear or not to go nuclear? Robert Stone's doc about the controversial energy source comes down definitively on the side of the latter, calling on former antinuclear environmentalists to defend the case for the perilous power source over a complete switch to renewable energy sources. Why Stone also chooses to characterize those on his side as feeble-brained hippie protestors is a mystery, but in its attempts to debunk the feasibility of massive energy reduction, Pandora's Promise at least brings some measure of rhetorical skill to its arguments."

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Leslie Anderson Maloy,, or (703) 276-3256.