“Dark Knight Rises” Batman movie does infant SMR industry no favors

 I’ve seen all the other Batman movies, so, I asked my own “silver knight” to take me to see The Dark Knight Rises. Pretty good movie! 

The Dark Knight Rises did the nuclear industry no favors!  See it and cringe!

The Dark Knight Rises did the nuclear industry no favors! See it and cringe!

(WARNING: Spoiler Alert)

But, I couldn’t believe it …Holy Plot Twist Batman! I cringed when we got to the part where they introduced the little nuclear reactor.  ACK! The Nolan Brothers had written in Wayne Enterprises Applied Science Division developing an SMR (Small Modular nuclear power Reactor) that was used by the bad guys to threaten Gotham. In the movie, the bad guys gain access to the SMR and had a scientist magically presto changeo TURN IT INTO A FUSION NUCLEAR BOMB in what seemed like a turn of a screw, and in the space of a few minutes.  As the movie progressed, and I became sore from my date nudging me with his elbow, darn it if the characters didn’t flip the sucker onto the back of the truck and drive around Gotham with it …!

GROAN!  CRINGE!  I know it’s just a movie and YOU know it’s just a movie, but golly, gosh darn, The Dark Knight Rises sure doesn’t help the rise of the fledging SMR industry!  

Fusion?! Ack!  Fusion bomb?! Ack!  Quickly retrofitting a power reactor to be a bomb?! Ack!  Throwing it in a truck and driving it around the city?!  

Double Ack! The fairy tale spun further and further out of control. I wanted to bang my head on the seat in front of me. I don’t recall any other recent movies featuring a small nuclear power being turned into a bomb, and I sure wish this one had not.

Holy Toledo Batman! The big weapon in The Dark Knight Rises is a FICTITIOUS fusion reactor that's quickly converted into a bomb! (Not going to happen, folks. No worries!)

Holy Toledo Batman! The big weapon in The Dark Knight Rises is a FICTITIOUS fusion reactor that's quickly converted into a bomb! (Not going to happen, folks. No worries!)

Misconceptions about nuclear power abound today. Misconceptions and fear about SMRs, I’m afraid, will no doubt skyrocket after everyone gets around to seeing this movie.  If you ask me, the release of this Batman flick hands the Union of Concerned Scientists a loaded Batpistol to scare the uninformed majority into opposing the development of SMRs. 

This movie could be a pain in the collective butts of those of us who believe SMRs have a place in the future of clean energy for our planet and may come back to haunt the nuclear industry – for both big and small power reactors.  I’m pretty sure it will – just as sure as at the end of every Batman movie, the dark knight rises.

We DO approve of the motorcycle, however. Here I am borrowing it. Len wants one for Christmas. I said I would get the wheels for him, but not the reactor ....

We DO approve of the motorcycle, however. Here I am borrowing it. Len wants one for Christmas. I said I would get the wheels for him, but not the reactor ...

Deborah Deal-Blackwell

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