By: Claus Mueller, Senior Editor
ATOMIC HOPE, filmed over the last decade by the Irish director Frankie Fenton, records the activities of a group of pro-nuclear activists. They are guided by the conviction that green nuclear energy provides a solution to the massive global environmental problems, but the group faces an uphill battle. Humanity is faced with ever-increasing deforestation, rising sea levels, mass extinction, desertification, and increased death rates due to record-breaking rising temperatures.
The destructive process is seemingly accelerating. Environmental catastrophes impact all parts of the human habitat, Earth. Three well publicized nuclear disasters, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima have turbocharged anti-nuclear sentiments. Fenton provides a reasoned summary of the pro-nuclear movement by interviewing activists and scientists in many countries.
ATOMIC HOPE documents expert’s factual basis for supporting the development of nuclear power as the only carbon neutral energy source. The perspectives of these well-informed professionals and the readily accessible data indicate that the need for energy will at least double by the mid-2050s. Even a tremendous expansion of solar, wind, and hydro-electric energy sources cannot meet current or future energy needs or replace fossil fuel which currently provide 83% of the global energy needs.
Some countries have embraced nuclear energy with its zero-carbon emissions, investing in the development of new nuclear reactors to reduce the enormous cost of building and maintaining reactors. Among them are China, USA, France, Sweden, Belgium, the UK and Finland. France as well as Sweden are leading in expanding their nuclear energy power base.
Germany, the largest European economy, is not among them because the German Green party set the stage in 1980 for terminating nuclear power when it was in the governing coalition. There are now only three operating nuclear reactors in Germany, running out of fuel. They may be decommissioned by the end of 2022, though several politicians from the FDP and CDU parties have requested now that the German nuclear power exit be reconsidered.