Bond villains blamed for nuclear image problem

A scientist has claimed that the evil megalomaniacs in the James Bond movies are partly to blame for the nuclear industry's bad reputation with the public.

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Prof David Phillips, the president of the Royal Society of Chemistry, claims that Sean Connery's debut Bond movie Dr No created such a negative imapct back in 1962 that the nuclear industry has been on the back foot ever since.

Arguing for a "renaissance" in nuclear power to solve the world's energy problems, the prof claimed that the film - which has its 50th anniversary this year - presented nuclear energy as a "barely-controllable force for evil".

And he claims that because later Bond films and other movies have followed the same format, it is not surprising that the public have remained sceptical.

He said: "But the RSC asserts that 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."

The Green Party is not convinced by the argument however.

Spokesperson Penny Kemp said: "Although James Bond is fiction, the truth is that nuclear power is dangerous, dirty and unsafe.

"It is improbable to think that people's perceptions have been influenced solely by The World is Not Enough, but this film came after the Chernobyl disaster so the film was merely picking up on a real fear people have of nuclear power. And rightly so."

What do you reckon? Did Bond do for the nuclear industry or did it damage itself? Comment below...