The environmental movement’s stance on nuclear power was “wrong” and derailed the sector’s development, according to the filmmaker Oliver Stone.
During an interview with CNBC’s Tania Bryer at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Stone — who’s made a new documentary called “Nuclear Now” — was asked where his passion to tackle the climate crisis came from.
“Passion comes from the fact that … it’s my children, hopefully grandchildren soon,” Stone, who was speaking to CNBC on Tuesday afternoon, replied.
“But what are they going to do? It’s going to be a miserable existence if we have worse and worse hurricanes, fires, droughts. It’s frightening.”
“We had the solution [nuclear power] … and the environmental movement, to be honest, just derailed it. I think the environmental movement did a lot of good, a lot of good … [I’m] not knocking it, but in this one major matter, it was wrong. It was wrong.”
“And what they did was so destructive, because by now we would have 10,000 nuclear reactors built around the world and we would have set an example like France set for us, but no one … followed France, or Sweden for that matter.”
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France has been a major player in nuclear power for decades, while nuclear power accounts for roughly 30% of Sweden’s power supply, according to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority.
Stone’s documentary is based on “A Bright Future,” a book by Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist.
The Academy Award winner, who has made statements deemed by many to be extremely controversial, is best known for films such as “Platoon”, “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Wall Street.”
His film on nuclear adds to the ongoing debate and discussion about nuclear power and its role in the years ahead.
The International Energy Agency states that “nuclear power has historically been one of the largest contributors of carbon-free electricity globally.”
It adds that “while it faces significant challenges in some countries, it has significant potential to contribute to power sector decarbonisation.”
Elsewhere, environmental organizations such as Greenpeace are critical. “Nuclear power is touted as a solution to our energy problems, but in reality it’s complex and hugely expensive to build,” its website states.
“It also creates huge amounts of hazardous waste,” Greenpeace says. “Renewable energy is cheaper and can be installed quickly. Together with battery storage, it can generate the power we need and slash our emissions.”