Charles Oppenheimer, the grandson of one of the creators of the atom bomb, believes that nuclear power can save mankind.
- J. Robert Oppenheimer is the theoretical physicist who helped develop the atom bomb at Los Alamos Laboratory and sparked the field of nuclear-energy research.
- In an op-ed for Time magazine, the young Oppenheimer calls for “a ‘Manhattan Project’ for carbon-free energy production” and argues that nuclear energy is the safest and most effective way to reach this goal.
- He believes that nuclear energy is a bipartisan, environmentally friendly solution that should be embraced if the general public can overcome its biases and fears towards nuclear power.
- The article is coinciding with Oppenheimer, a movie about the life of his grandfather directed by Christopher Nolan, which is set to release on July 21. The author also promotes the new pro-nuclear Oliver Stone documentary Nuclear Now, which will release on June 6.
Why It’s Important
The world has made significant strides in the past year toward its commitments to addressing ongoing climate challenges, and committing to widespread investment in clean-energy solutions. However, the International Energy Agency does not believe that it is going to have the immediate effect people hope it does. It expects fossil-fuel production to peak in the next three decades before declining after the target date of 2050.
Charles Oppenheimer is an entrepreneur and investor, but a significant portion of his work is his leadership of the Oppenheimer Project, which advocates for his late grandfather’s wish to use technology for the benefit of mankind while downplaying the horrific effect of war.
He argues that his grandfather would “support the expansion of nuclear energy as an environmentally friendly solution to address both the world’s energy problems and, perhaps counterintuitively, as a catalyst for peace and unity.”
“It’s important to underscore that nuclear energy became unpopular in part due to its association with nuclear weapons and fears about its safety. But the actual safety record shows it is one of the safest sources of energy, and it is becoming more popular to be an environmentalist and pro-nuclear. We must get over our cognitive and political bias: Nuclear energy is necessary and safe, and not the same as a nuclear weapon,” he says.