Scientist blames James Bond for nuclear power’s bad image

'Dr No' accused of painting nuclear as a 'barely controllable force for evil'

James Bond movies are to blame for a negative public attitude to nuclear power, according to a leading scientist.

Professor David Phillips, president of the Royal Society Of Chemistry, reckons that supervillains such as Dr No, the evil genius with his own nuclear reactor, has helped create a “remorselessly grim” perception of atomic energy.

Speaking ahead of Bond’s 50th anniversary celebrations, Phillips said he hopes to create a “renaissance” in nuclear power. In the first Bond film of the same name, Dr No is eventually defeated by Sean Connery‘s 007 who throws him into a cooling pool in the reactor.

And Phillips claims that this set a precedent for nuclear power being sees as a “barely controllable force for evil”, according to BBC News, since later villains hatched similar nuclear plots.

He said:

It’s not at all surprising that the public at home and abroad are sceptical. But the RSC assets that nuclear power has to be part of the future national energy mix, in which it plays a major role, complemented by renewable sources.

While adding that there were concerns over nuclear safety, such as the situation after last year’s Japanese tsunami, Phillips added: “Fossil fuels have to be eradicated for people to live in a healthy environment. Let’s say yes to nuclear and no to Dr No’s nonsense.”