Reviewing the top nuclear headlines from 2023

January 7, 2024, 10:10AMNuclear News

The new year is here, and so it is time for the Nuclear News review of 2023's top stories. The recap will appear in the January issue of the magazine, on its way to American Nuclear Society members right now. In the meantime, all ANS members can read the year's issues in the ANS member center, and also review some of the most-read stories from Nuclear Newswire below. Here’s to a Happy New Year!

Running out of time to be afraid

June 14, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

In his new film Nuclear Now, Oliver Stone brings his seasoned directorial hand to bear on the modern case for nuclear energy. Of course, all of us in the field are suckers for a good nuclear movie. (Triple feature with Pandora’s Promise and A New Fire, anyone?) Stone really does do a masterful job of weaving imagery, narration, and animation together to tell the story of his personal journey to understanding the indispensability of nuclear.

What struck me in particular was Stone’s assertion that “we are running out of time to be afraid.” It made me think: How much time do we have left to lock in a durable shift in public opinion that can weather adverse events and clear public policy obstacles and still give the investment community confidence to put big chips on the table?

You don’t have to look far to find progress. Gallup released its annual “Americans’ Opinions of Nuclear Energy” poll in April. It shows a 4-point year-over-year increase in support for nuclear energy, which represents the highest level of support in the post-Fukushima era. Gallup’s numbers align with other polls that show steady increases in support for nuclear in the last few years, especially among the left-leaning respondents.

Oliver Stone’s new film Nuclear Now opens

April 28, 2023, 7:01AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Academy Award–winning director Oliver Stone has long courted controversy with such films as Born on the Fourth of July, JFK, Natural Born Killers, and Nixon. His latest release is sure to continue that trend. In Nuclear Now, which opens today in theaters nationwide, Stone “explores the possibility for the global community to overcome the challenges of climate change and energy poverty to reach a brighter future through the power of nuclear energy,” according to the movie’s website.

The documentary’s perspective on nuclear energy is summarized on the site as follows: “In the mid-20th century as societies began the transition to nuclear power and away from fossil fuels, a long-term PR campaign to scare the public began, funded in part by coal and oil interests. This campaign would sow fear about harmless low-level radiation and create confusion between nuclear weapons and nuclear energy. Looking squarely at the problem, Oliver Stone shows us that knowledge is the antidote to fear, and our human ingenuity will allow us to solve the climate crisis if we use it.”