Nuclear Energy’s Moment Has Come – by Charles Oppenheimer (Time Magazine – May 11, 2023)

Oppenheimer is an entrepreneur and investor, representing the family of J. Robert Oppenheimer.

For all the recent talk about clean energy and a shift away from coal, there’s a major problem in our goal to transition to a net zero-carbon economy. Despite all the growth and advances in renewable energy, globally we consume more fossil fuels than ever, and our rate of CO2 production is in fact increasing, not heading to zero.

But there’s a bipartisan, environmentally friendly solution still sitting on the table, still waiting for its moment — if only we can overcome our predetermined bias. As J. Robert Oppenheimer’s grandson, I believe that my 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.

Most known as the physicist in charge of the Manhattan Project’s Los Alamos Laboratory during WWII, JRO (as we refer to him in the family) and many other prominent scientists noted that humanity reached a new milestone following the detonation of the first atomic bomb.In witnessing a technology sufficiently powerful to destroy humanity, they also recognized its potential for collective good — that it required a new level of unity to address common threats.

JRO and others recommended that the only safe path forward was global scientific cooperation, especially in an effort to avoid international arms races. That level of cooperation is necessary to face today’s threats from exponential technological growth.

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