New video stars nuclear: “The safest energy source known to man”

July 27, 2021, 3:00PMANS Nuclear Cafe
This still image from “The Green Atom” highlights how Germany’s decision to shut down its nuclear plants has resulted in electricity that is twice as expensive as in neighboring France. (Source: Kite and Key)

“You know what power source is more dangerous than nuclear? Literally, all of them. When you add up industrial accidents and the effects of pollution, nuclear is safer than coal or petroleum or natural gas.”

So states the narrator in a new video titled “The Green Atom: Our Most Misunderstood Power Source,” released by digital media company Kite and Key. Well worth sharing, the video tackles the popular culture–fueled perception of many Americans that nuclear power is either a menace or a joke.

Highlights: Kite and Key—which takes its name from Benjamin Franklin’s well-known experimentation with electrical storms—has been posting videos since November 2020 under the tagline “Translating the world's best research into the world's most accessible videos.” Here are a few other highlights from “The Green Atom.”

  • The narrator notes that in what has been referred to as the worst nuclear disaster in American history—Three Mile Island—local residents were exposed to about one-third of the radiation received on a cross-country flight and remarks, “As disasters go, it was pretty underwhelming.”
  • The script makes a pointed distinction between France and Germany, noting that French electricity costs are about half of costs in Germany, while Germany, which relies on solar and wind for its carbon-free generation, produces 10 times the emissions of France. The narrator gets maximum effect from his deadpan delivery of a quote from 2017 comments by French President Emmanuel Macron on Germany’s energy choices: “They worsened their CO2 footprint. It wasn’t good for the planet. So I won’t do that.”

Shifting focus to the United States, the narrator states that despite California’s green credentials, an analysis by the group Environmental Progress found that if California had dedicated the amount of money it has spent on wind and solar since 2001 on nuclear instead, it could be generating 100 percent of the state’s electricity without carbon emissions.

Design carries the story: A PDF of the video script uses graphic design to capture the liveliness of the video commentary in printed form, with extra details and complete references, and is well worth checking out in its own right.

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