Oliver Stone’s “Nuclear” premiered at Venice Film Festival

Oliver Stone’s award-winning[1] documentary titled “Nuclear: Time to Look Again” premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 9, 2022.

The film has an important backstory. By 2019, Stone had become increasingly concerned about climate change and the apparent lack of progress in reducing the CO2 emissions that cause it. After hearing about and then reading Joshua Goldstein and Staffan Qvist’s “A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow” he decided that nuclear energy was a tool with great promise. He chose to contribute his skill as a filmmaker and storyteller to the pronuclear effort.

He and Goldstein co-wrote the script for “Nuclear.” During the 2-year-long effort to film and edit the movie, Goldstein provided detailed critiques and challenges. In interviews conducted before or immediately after the film’s premier, Stone has described the process of getting it right as a “pain in the ass” but also as an imperative to ensure that the film is not dismissed based on minor technical errors. He chose the documentary format as most appropriate for a topic with a public discourse that has been overloaded with emotion and fear and lacking in rational exploration of the underlying facts.

IMDB provides the following plot summary:

As fossil fuels continue to cook the planet, the world is finally becoming forced to confront the influence of large oil companies and tactics that have enriched a small group of corporations and individuals for generations. Beneath our feet, Uranium atoms in the Earth’s crust hold incredibly concentrated energy. Science unlocked this energy in the mid-20th century, first for bombs and then to power submarines, and the United States led the effort to generate electricity from this new source. Yet 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 large part by oil interests. This campaign would sow fear about harmless low-level radiation and create confusion between nuclear weapons and nuclear power. With unprecedented access to the nuclear industry in France, Russia, and the United States, director Oliver Stone explores the possibility for the global community to overcome challenges like climate change and reach a brighter future through the power of nuclear energy.

In a series of appearances throughout the film, Nucleation Capital’s Rod Adams described the way that fossil fuel interests invested in a nuclear energy fear campaign to protect their markets and political power. He also talked about the inspiring features of densely concentrated fuel that produces little or no pollution and about the advances being made in making nuclear energy systems smaller, simpler and easier to produce.

Unlike so many Hollywood disaster and dystopia films, “Nuclear” contains a hopeful, “we can do this” message. It features a small selection of some of the many scientists, engineers and communicators working to develop or enable the kinds of advanced nuclear energy systems that are being added to the Nucleation Capital portfolio. The film’s stars include Jake DeWitt (Oklo), Caroline Cochran (Oklo), Shannon Bragg-Sitton (INL), Ashley Finan (NRIC), Isabelle Boemeke (Isodope), and Joshua Goldstein (Bright Future).


[1]  “Nuclear” won the CICT Award – UNESCO “Enrico Fulchignoni” and the Fondazione Mimmo Rotella Award at the Venice Film Festival

We will be planning events around film-screenings of #Nuclear in the coming weeks. If you are interested in attending a screening event, please sign up here and we will send you a notification.