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Nuclear power's 'evil' reputation decried

Jan. 12, 2012 at 1:41 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- A power-hungry villain with a secret nuclear reactor in a James Bond film has damaged nuclear power's public image, a British scientist said.

The film version of Dr. No, released 50 years ago and still a perennial TV favorite, contributed to negative perceptions of the hazards of nuclear power, David Phillips, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said.

That film and others, along with nuclear accidents such as Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima, contributed to the "entirely negative" and "remorselessly grim" perception of the industry as dangerous or even evil, he said.

When nuclear power is discussed "it is not at all surprising that the public at home and abroad are skeptical," The Guardian quoted Phillips as saying.

Phillips said the chemical 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."

"Let's say yes to nuclear and no to Dr. No's nonsense," he added.

Some opponents of nuclear power remain unconvinced.

"A handful of Bond films haven't tarnished the nuclear industry's reputation," Richard George of Greenpeace said. "They have managed to do that all by themselves."

"Although James Bond is fiction, the truth is that nuclear power is dangerous, dirty and unsafe," said Penny Kemp, spokeswoman for the Green party.

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