In the film "Dr. No," super-duper-spy James Bond stops a villain bent on sabotaging a space launch with a nuclear ray by pushing him into a reactor's boiling cooling vat and blowing the entire plant to hell.
Subtle methods like this have made James Bond one of the screen's stealthiest heroes, but when he wasn't bagging Ursula Andress, what dents has 007 made to the public imagination in regards to the safety of nuclear power?
On the 50th anniversary of the release of "Dr. No," the BBC (via The Gaurdian) spoke to David Phillips, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry, who stated that he blames the first James Bond film and its successors for the public's "entirely negative" and "remorselessly grim" view of nuclear energy.
"It is not at all surprising that the public at home and abroad are skeptical," said Phillips "Nuclear power has to be part of the future national energy mix, in which it plays a major role, complemented by renewable sources. 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."
Anti-nuclear advocates, who bemoan not only the lack of safety but high costs of nuclear power, say the industry's negative image stems less from the libidinous 007 and more from catastrophes at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Japan's recent Fukushima meltdown.
"A handful of Bond films haven't tarnished the nuclear industry's reputation," stated Richard George of Greenpeace. "They have managed to do that all by themselves. I don't think they have got a top secret fake volcanic island though. But if they did, it would probably be cheaper to build than a nuclear power station."
Does this mean we'll soon see tobacco lobbies blaming the 1983 film "Terms of Endearment" for giving cancer a bum rap?