Nuclear Now director Oliver Stone joins us to advocate for nuclear power as a better alternative to wind, solar, and other green energy solutions.
What We Discuss with Oliver Stone:
- The history of nuclear energy and the political factors that influence its usage.
- Lessons learned from Fukushima, Chornobyl, and Three Mile Island.
- How nuclear power compares to wind, solar, hydro, and other green energy alternatives.
- The influence the fossil fuel industry wields over energy alternatives of any kind.
- What a future fueled by safe, sustainable nuclear power might look like.
- And much more…
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Director Oliver Stone — whose new movie, Nuclear Now, is making the rounds — returns to discuss nuclear power and why he believes it’s a better alternative to wind, solar, and other green energy solutions currently being considered in the fight against climate change.
We also explore factors like the role of uranium, radioactive waste, and the politics and regulations hindering safer nuclear energy development. Decrying the sensationalism surrounding nuclear power, Oliver argues for a rational and informed approach toward utilizing this powerful source of clean energy. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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Want to hear a conversation with an ex-royal/ex-SEAL who fights to end human trafficking and illegal organ harvesting? Check out episode 868 with Remi Adeleke!
Thanks, Oliver Stone!
If you enjoyed this session with Oliver Stone, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
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Resources from This Episode:
- Nuclear Now Film
- Oliver Stone | Writing, Directing, and Surviving the Movie Game | Jordan Harbinger
- Chasing the Light: Writing, Directing, and Surviving Platoon, Midnight Express, Scarface, Salvador, and the Movie Game by Oliver Stone | Amazon
- Oliver Stone | Website
- Oliver Stone | Facebook
- Oliver Stone | Twitter
- Nuclear Reactors and Nuclear Bombs: What Defines the Differences? | PBS NewsHour
- Fact Sheet: Uranium Enrichment: For Peace or for Weapons | Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation
- Anti-Nuclear Movement | Wikipedia
- No Nukes: The Muse Concerts for a Non-Nuclear Future | Wikipedia
- Madame Curie | Prime Video
- Enrico Fermi | Nobel Prize
- Is Nuclear Energy Safe? | GIS Reports
- The Richest Opponents of Carbon-Free Nuclear Energy | Capital Research Center
- What Are the Safest and Cleanest Sources of Energy? | Our World in Data
- Former Greenpeace Director Explains His Support for Nuclear Energy | ANS / Nuclear Newswire
- Biden Washes His Hands of JFK Assassination Records | Dallas Observer
937: Oliver Stone | Nuclear Now
This transcript is yet untouched by human hands. Please proceed with caution as we sort through what the robots have given us. We appreciate your patience!
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Coming up next on the Jordan Harbinger Show,
[00:00:03] Oliver Stone: chemical damage to our landscape all over the world from oil is huge. People don't admit it, they don't see it, and they go on about radioactive waste, which is the most supervised of all you can fit. All the radioactive waste we've used up to date in inside a Walmart.
[00:00:17] And it decays. Within 40 years, 99% of it is toxicity is gone.
[00:00:26] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On the Jordan Harbinger Show. We decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker through long form conversations with a variety of amazing folks, from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, and performers, even the occasional former jihadi, economic hitman, gold smuggler, extreme athlete, or music mogul.
[00:00:55] If you're new to the show or you wanna tell your friends about the show, I suggest our episode starter packs. These are collections of our favorite episodes on persuasion and negotiation, psychology, geopolitics, disinformation and cyber warfare, crime and cults, and more. They'll help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on the show.
[00:01:10] Just visit Jordan harbinger.com/start or search for us in your Spotify app. To get started today, we're talking nuclear power. We'll explore why it's a better alternative than wind, solar, and other green solutions. Now that we're turning away from coal and oil a little bit here, especially in North America, this is a positive conversation.
[00:01:26] Just like my previous conversation with Oliver Stone. Yes, some of his takes on Ukraine are around. Questionable, in my opinion. We don't talk about any of that here. So if you're looking for ideological conflict, this is not going to be the right episode for you. Especially since I happen to agree with him about nuclear.
[00:01:41] I like his takes on nuclear and that's what we're gonna stick to talking about here today. And, and you know what, it's almost like people can disagree on something and then not somehow hate every other opinion or quality of that person. Amazing. Here in 2023, the last week of 2023, right? Alright, here we go with Oliver Stone.
[00:02:01] All right, so I appreciate you coming back to the show. I was surprised actually to see this documentary pop up and I've been a fan of nuclear power for some time, and I'm always surprised by the ridiculous, in my opinion, ridiculous amount of pushback that I get on this. And your documentary made it really clear that it's just about fear being drilled into us at an early age.
[00:02:24] Oliver Stone: Fear. Yeah. Subconscious. Horror films from the fifties. Mm-Hmm. Hiroshima, Nagasaki. People conflate the bomb with nuclear power. It's a big difference. They don't understand that a bomb is an enriched uranium really enriched up to 90%. And uh, nuclear power is like two, 3%. So it's not even close. Takes a lot of work to make a bomb.
[00:02:47] Huge amount of work. And a dirty bomb is not radioactive the same way. Uh, so it's all this, so much sensationalism around it. I came to it as an observer from the outside. I didn't know much about it. I was vaguely against nuclear bower in the seventies, eighties, because it made sense. Jane Fonda was for it, uh, against it.
[00:03:06] And Springsteen and Jackson Brown and Ralph Nader, people I admired. And I think they really believed what they, they were doing, because I don't wanna get into the, because, but they really were scared of it. And then all the environmental groups kicked in starting in 1970. And Friends of the Earth, which was one of the first groups, friends of the Earth, they spread the stories about how dangerous radioactivity was.
[00:03:33] Based on the old Rockefeller report from the 1956 Rockefeller Foundation put out, they were highly for fossil fuels. I mean, standard oil. They put out this report and 56 has said any amount, any amount of radioactivity is harmful to the body. Yeah. Which is not true. It's just not true. And scientifically it's been debunked.
[00:03:53] Have many other myths, but it's continued into the subconscious process. We'll unpack
[00:03:58] Jordan Harbinger: a lot of that. I, I do wanna sort of back up and find out how this all began, the beginning of the anti-nuclear movement, you say in the documentary Earth Day 1970 pollution fears. It just seems, it looks a little bit like the Hollywood cause De Jore, like you mentioned, Jane Fonda was against it.
[00:04:14] It just took on a life of its own and it reminded me of, what was that? I'm sorry. I'm probably showing my age here. That concert, was it Live Aid where they were like, we gotta give all this stuff to Africa, and it turned out like, oh, that. Didn't do anything. Well, that was later, wasn't it? That was
[00:04:29] Oliver Stone: 1980s. I
[00:04:29] Jordan Harbinger: think that was the eighties.
[00:04:31] Yeah. But this reminded me of that kind of same thing. Yeah, but
[00:04:34] Oliver Stone: it's, that was Ethiopia famine. The famine there. Right. That was significant famine. And I think they did a lot of good, they raised a lot of money that sometimes charity gets confusing, you know? 'cause Mm-hmm. You try to do some good and you end up doing more harm than you do.
[00:04:47] Good. No, this is a 1970s movement and it came out of, you know, you could argue that it came from the World War ii, the use of the nuclear discovery, which is amazing discovery, by the way. It was, it's the foundation of the universe. It's one of the most powerful energies we ever had. Mahi Curie in 19 18 95 found it.
[00:05:08] It was a movie made with Ger Garon. You should see it. It's very interesting movie about what radioactivity really was in the beginning, and she saw the power of it. Enrico Fermi did. Einstein did. Einstein said, matter is energy. He understood this and he understood what nuclear could do. Fermi was able to control it in his experiments in Chicago.
[00:05:28] Enrico Fermi, the Italian nuclear scientist, he really did a great job of. Showing what uranium could be controlled. And that is the key. 'cause people are scared of, as I said earlier, enriched uranium is dangerous. No question about it. But the radiation in a nu, in a nuclear energy facility is background radiation.
[00:05:48] It's lower level and it's not to be scared of, it's just to be handled correctly as you want. Any toxic material and chemistry or all our industries are based in some degree on materials that are toxic. Uh, we have to arsenic and. Lead and all kinds of, all kinds of poisonings that are going on. But if you handle this correctly, as has been proven for 60 years now in the nuclear industry, you have no problem.
[00:06:13] You just handle it correctly. I. That includes the waste too. It's no big
[00:06:18] Jordan Harbinger: deal. Sure. I think the problem is when you get all these demonstrations and you have these drills where you stick your head between your legs and go under your desk, you get scared and people don't think well when they are scared.
[00:06:31] One of the missions of this podcast is to uns scare people, but the problem is that it's so much easier to scare people than it is to uns scare people, and nuclear falls into that category. I know.
[00:06:42] Oliver Stone: Well, this is the nature of human life. The negative is always more damaging than the positive. Something comes out and you say something positive, oh, great, great.
[00:06:51] But then when you say something negative, it has more impact. This is true about movies too. You know, one bad review can spoil 10 good reviews. The negativity in mankind is a subject that we could talk about forever, I think. It runs through the human race. Uh, it's been my enemy for my life. It's cynicism.
[00:07:09] I didn't know anything about this subject. I came to it as a father and as a citizen. 1970s, it seemed like it was the right thing to do, but by the two thousands when we started to hear about climate change, this became more mature as an idea. It became the idea that climate change is really happening because of fossil fuel poisoning fossil fuel, and that's coal and oil and gas.
[00:07:32] All the stuff that we put into the atmosphere that's out there, that's the danger, that's the poison of the world. You invent an airplane, it crashes and you know, we can give up on airplanes and say, we're never gonna fly again. Mm-Hmm. Same thing is true about anything that comes into being. There are downsides, but we always make the best of it.
[00:07:49] And that's what's happened with nuclear. We made the best of it. Eisenhower understood it. So did to Kennedy. They really pushed it. It would've been a nuclearized society by 2000, 2020 in the United States anyway, and I think we would've led the rest of the world in adopting it. That was what was happening.
[00:08:06] Russia was also doing it and doing it very well, by the way, and they stayed with it. They didn't give it up even after Turnable. So Russia is a good example, as is China now. China has come into its own. And is building huge amounts of, uh, nuclear reactors. But they have too, are using a
[00:08:22] Jordan Harbinger: lot of coal. Yeah, they're building coal too, unfortunately.
[00:08:25] Yeah. But at
[00:08:26] Oliver Stone: least they're on the right track. And they, president Z has promised to go to net zero by 2060. And that's significant. Yeah. He'll still
[00:08:33] Jordan Harbinger: president then. Yeah.
[00:08:35] Oliver Stone: But doesn't listen sometimes if you change administrations all the time and you have different policies like the United States has had.
[00:08:42] Well, not with nuclear. It's true, but you can't just change policies all the time. That's part of the problem of So-called democracies. With nuclear energy. It's been the same. We have Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden have all been pro-nuclear, but they haven't put Mm-Hmm. The energy into it, the word of mouth, the symbolism of it.
[00:09:00] They've been scared off by all the alarmists. Yeah. And the money, the costs, factors in the United States Yeah. Are significant. Well, I'm not talking in the movie about just the United States, I'm talking about the world here. Mm-Hmm. We're looking at an issue that is coming into being by 2050. There's gonna be a demand for more and more electricity, which is about 2, 3, 4 times more.
[00:09:22] We're not ready for it. I know because most of the societies are poor. They're gonna end up using more coal than even wood if necessary.
[00:09:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That stuff terrifies me. The, by the way, the explanation in the movie or the documentary of the fuel used is really something, and I wanna highlight this. An amount of uranium, the size of the tip of your pinky finger, that amount of uranium is like $2 to mine.
[00:09:45] And I don't know how, what else they do do, they enrich it, they pack it together into the imaginary pinky finger that I'm envisioning in my brain. And this uranium has the same energy as about a hundred dollars worth of coal, which is about a metric ton of coal. And I probably don't have to really describe how much more burning that coal pollutes than using that uranium.
[00:10:09] Oliver Stone: nothing like, uh, nuclear energy, nothing like it in the world. It's got the most powerful thing of all. I don't, it's a gift from the gods. It's Prometheus. I mean, it's truly a gift of fire. The beauty of Faires experiment, you remember with the Rods, he shows you how uranium can be controlled, and that got lost.
[00:10:26] It got lost in transition somewhere along the line. And ignorant people, a lot of them were good people, but they didn't know what they were talking about. Environmental groups, you know, one of the best moments in the film, I think is when the. Co-founder of Greenpeace, Dr. Moore comes on and he says, you know, we got a lot of things right.
[00:10:44] Save the whales, stopping the bombs, cleaning up the concept of, but we got one thing wrong. There's nuclear energy. He says it very clearly. He. Many of his people have come along with it. There are people who have converted from environmentalists into pro-nuclear green environmentalists, but many of them have not.
[00:11:04] And they continue to be the green party in Europe. In Germany, for example, they closed out several nuclear reactors and they went back to fossil fuels. It was insane. And also United States, they closed it down, essentially. Not really completely, but. They closed it down essentially with the, uh, three Mile Island incident and then turnable incident in 1986, which was a, a genuine accident, but it's understandable and we know how, what happened, but there was no reason to run away.
[00:11:32] And we did, we basically froze in place, as did Japan after Fukushima and, uh, Korea. But now we're back on track. I think people are beginning to understand the polling in the United States. So 60% of the population is pro-nuclear. I'm glad to hear that. The problem is that money doesn't get there. I mean, we, there is money being put in, but it's, they're still banking on renewables more, which is unfortunately very expensive.
[00:11:56] But nothing wrong with wind. Nothing wrong with sun, but they don't work all the time. They don't work all the time. Yeah. And what do they use as a backup? They use coal. Yeah. Or oil. Yeah. Yeah. Gas. Yeah, mostly gas in the United States, which is methane. And that leaks all along the line. It goes up in the atmosphere.
[00:12:12] Very dangerous. Very dangerous, and poisonous. Toxic. And then they talk about radioactive waste compared to the shit that's in the atmosphere. You have to always say compared to what? Right? In anything.
[00:12:23] Jordan Harbinger: It's really amazing to look at those clips of those old videos where. By the 21st century, everything will be nuclear powered, no emissions anywhere, and we still depend on fossil fuels for electricity.
[00:12:35] Well, sort of in the window where we were supposed to have electric cars, which we do. Look, the batteries may be mined by child slaves in Africa. We're working on that, but we still need the electricity in the first place, and that still comes from. These dirty sources in part, and this is, I think, important to point out because oil companies decided this was gonna be a huge threat.
[00:12:57] So they commissioned studies saying that any radiation was harmful, like you mentioned. Which by the way, background radiation is in nature. Everywhere you can go in the middle of dead space and you're getting radiated by a star or a supernova or whatever. It just reminds me of those studies, Oliver, showing that cigarettes are healthy or this brand of cigarette is healthier than the other one.
[00:13:16] Oh, yeah. Yeah. It's just sort of the inverse of that.
[00:13:18] Oliver Stone: Fossil fuel companies have a lot to be guilty of. I mean, they Mm-Hmm. Who knows how much money they gave the environmental groups, because we can't prove that because it's anonymous giving, but you know that they really, maybe it's competition and they just are ruthless, but they knew in their own studies that fossil fuels were gonna screw up the planet.
[00:13:39] They knew that from the 1960s studies, seventies studies. We know it from the Chevron, Exxon. It's come out, you know, the papers are there. They knew what they were, were giving the world, and they kept going and they're still going. They owe a lot. There's a very big problem ahead. I. There will always be a place for oil.
[00:13:55] You can always make plastics and all kinds of stuff. They're not gonna be run outta business if they would lose a lot of their business, but they still managed to be important to many other industries. So it's not like they'd get wiped out.
[00:14:08] Jordan Harbinger: Greed is real. I mean, it's just, they probably thought, oh, well pivot into this.
[00:14:12] And then they went, why do that? We're making all this money. It's sort of. Rather than just think of them as pure evil, evil, I really do think that they get ahead of themselves and they think, oh, you know, we're gonna do this our way. And it just never happens because they're, I think your analogy
[00:14:23] Oliver Stone: about the tobacco companies is correct and also the car companies.
[00:14:27] I mean, with the seat belts and all the Ralph Nader stuff about safety, they wanted to profit and the safety factor, it always comes in second. Yeah. There's this old
[00:14:36] Jordan Harbinger: clip of this guy being interviewed on the news and he says something like. They're making us wear seat belts in cars and pretty soon they're gonna be making us do all this other stuff and it's sort of like argues the slippery slope.
[00:14:48] Then fast forward, I think it was 20 years, there's a guy cracking a beer and he goes, I can't believe they're not gonna let us drink while we're driving. This is ridiculous. This is anti-American and it's just like if you think drinking and driving with no seatbelt is your car is the way to go. You might wanna reexamine your beliefs on nuclear power as well.
[00:15:06] Oliver Stone: I remember in Texas when I was married to a Texas woman, and they used to drive around in the seventies with big jugs of, uh, in the car. They had the car seat and the, the beer was in the, uh, container. Just driving. It was funny. Colt's 45. It's so
[00:15:22] Jordan Harbinger: crazy to think about somebody driving with a 40 ounce of malt liquor just in the middle of the console.
[00:15:27] I can imagine the ads now with larger cup holders to hold larger bottles of booze. The right to be American. Yeah, the right to be American. Exactly. Well, actually
[00:15:34] Oliver Stone: I was like that a bit when, I remember when Thomas Z, the philosopher argued on TV in the seventies. He said, you know, we have the right to kill ourselves.
[00:15:42] And he's right. Fundamentally, it's a libertarian, right? If you want to commit suicide. You should, you could do it. You know? You know you shouldn't be disallowed to take your own life. Mm-Hmm. I believe strongly in right to die laws and I think we have to have more in this country, but that is an American Right.
[00:15:57] But killing yourself by killing others first. Yeah.
[00:16:01] Jordan Harbinger: I was gonna say is what's dangerous if you fast forward on yourself and you have a reason. I understand. I don't want it fast forwarded on me because you were thirsty. Yeah. On the way home from work. The same
[00:16:09] Oliver Stone: goes for smoking because Right. The smoke hurts other people.
[00:16:15] Jordan Harbinger: You are listening to the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Oliver Stone. We'll be right back. This episode is sponsored in part by Better Help. Our holiday traditions include the daily thrill of the advent calendar to teaching our children. The value of generosity through sibling gift exchanges doesn't always work.
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[00:17:54] Hey, come join us. You'll be in Smart Company where you belong. Again, you can find the chorus for firstname.lastname@example.org. All right, now back to Oliver Stone. That's how I look at the fossil fuel industry in many ways. And I am not saying there's no place for fossil fuels anywhere in the whole world or any petroleum products.
[00:18:13] I'm not trying to, that's right. To paint this as black and white, but when you look at the numbers, it just doesn't make sense. 4,000 deaths from Cher Noble, probably the largest nuclear disaster in history. 4,000 deaths from Sharon Noble. That includes cancers down the line. Yeah, from exposure. 500,000 global deaths annually just from coal.
[00:18:33] It's not even close. And people are gonna ask, that doesn't even count. Outdoor air pollution from cars that kill something like 4 million people per year. So
[00:18:43] Oliver Stone: yeah. What about the waste from wells, oil wells, and all the shit that they put in the air? Right. Chemical damage to our landscape all over the world from oil is huge.
[00:18:53] People don't admit it, they don't see it. And they go on about radioactive waste, which is the most supervised of all Mm-Hmm. You can fit all the radioactive waste we've used up to date in inside a Walmart. You know, it's highly supervised and it decays within 40 years. 99% of it is toxicity is gone, and then it's buried in, as, you know, concrete casts.
[00:19:13] Yeah. Water. And then it's also, uh, underground. Uh, Finland and Sweden are doing remarkable achievements. Seen underground storage, putting it in. And we can do the same. The military has been doing that for years too. Our military, yes. But in other words, we're making a big deal about it compared to what?
[00:19:31] What's climate change? That is horrible waste. Right. And it's ruining
[00:19:35] Jordan Harbinger: us. Indeed. People will say, and I kind of knee jerk reaction would also say, wow, well, every bit of nuclear waste is tracked by the industry and protected. I don't know. That still seems scary. Until you realize that the waste from coal and oil is in the air that you are breathing right now and is pumped out, essentially haphazardly from every factory power plant and vehicle on the road.
[00:19:57] Even if factories and power plants have filters, your car really kind of doesn't scale down well and methane gas
[00:20:03] Oliver Stone: pipelines. Yeah. Pipelines leak
[00:20:05] Jordan Harbinger: all along the line. Right? The leakage from your stove all the way back to the Well, yeah. The stove is leaking and like you said, all the nuclear waste, all spent nuclear fuel from the United States, which is 20% of our energy generation.
[00:20:17] From what I understand over the last 60 years. All of that is what fits inside. The Walmart that you mentioned before. So it's really just minuscule amount. I mean, the average human is thrown away probably more crap over the course of their life, just in terms of plastic bags and stuff that's gone in their kitchen garbage than all of the nuclear fuel ever spent by the United
[00:20:38] Oliver Stone: States.
[00:20:38] Younger people like you are the ones who are talking about this Was conversation was not possible a few years ago. Now, I'm not an expert. I was, I believed that nuclear was bad when I was younger. People like Ralph Nader and Jane Fonda, I looked up to them and I still do. But the problem was that there was no consensus for nuclear.
[00:20:56] The lobbies were terrible. They didn't really advertise themselves. The only people that could have really said something were a scientists. Many of them didn't quite understand what it was. You know, Wyoming has its coal industry. Uh, Texas has its oil. They all have consensus. They have a following. It's very difficult for nuclear.
[00:21:15] That's why I wanted to make this film. This is one of the few films that talks about nuclear energy. If you could look at all the movies that are ever made from the beginning of time, they were horrible. All the horror movies. So the fifties I grew up with. Even up to X-Men, I mean everybody, you get bit by a radioactive spider, you become Spider-Man.
[00:21:32] It's bullshit. The whole thing, they make radioactivity into the most dangerous thing in the world and it scares people. That's what the movies have done. And they continued with three mile alley, what was it called? Uh, China Syndrome, sinus Syndrome, and Silk Wood. Don't forget charitable, the, uh, HBO series in 2015 scared the shit out around the world.
[00:21:54] They weren't seen by everybody again, vast exaggeration. We went to Russia to visit Rosatom. We got a lot of information from them. They're very good Rosatom. That's a 250,000 man agency, men and woman agency. They do a lot of good work around the world. They, they export quite a bit. And they're probably the best in the world.
[00:22:13] Yeah. France has an agency. China, you find that most of the best way to really approach nuclear is with some government, public control. Public responsibility, because we put it in the private hands of the United States. Westinghouse in General Electric Westinghouse went bankrupt. General Electric is still doing it, but they make much more money from oil, coal, and the other things.
[00:22:37] So they built turbines and they built all the good stuff. And they have a small nuclear contingent. They're doing good stuff. They have a, what they call a small modular reactor coming up. With Hitachi, the Japanese firm, and it'll be out on the market within three, four years. Looks good. Could be used very well, but it's still small.
[00:22:55] It's not producing the same kind of gigawatts that the big ones do, but it's still there. But it's all private, is what I'm trying to say. Yeah. The government is, they have the Department of Energy in this country and they have helped a lot and all the presidents have been, the last four presidents have been for it.
[00:23:11] From Bush on, but it's not really putting the amount of weight that we could do to make this happen on a big way. Right?
[00:23:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. We have the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, but we don't have the same thing like Raam or Francis Agency where it's just like this is a priority for national security.
[00:23:28] It's just kind of, it more regulates and maybe inhibits.
[00:23:32] Oliver Stone: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not actually, has not given any go aheads to anything in 60 some years. I mean, they're really bad. If a government agency's gonna be like, let's say the FDA, you could criticize the FDA because there aren't many issues, but they promote new drugs.
[00:23:48] Mm-Hmm. Which has led to many improvements. We need more of an FD, a kind of approach to let this thing happen. And they make it very tough for the smaller companies. That's why they, they get smaller because people don't want to invest big money if they're gonna run into the n the regulatory commission.
[00:24:05] Jordan Harbinger: Nuclear plants. You brought this up sort of at the top of the show. Nuclear plants, they produce something like a hundred times the power of a solar plant per whatever acre, per square foot, however you wanna measure it. Right? Right. But there's nighttime, there's winter clouds. They make solar and practical nuclear reactors take up something like one fifth of the space.
[00:24:24] Wind produces more than solar does, but it's only still about a quarter of the capacity of nuclear. And I did a little bit of math, and I think this is also in your film, you need 4,000 turbines spread across the land and plenty of wind in that place to equal one nuclear plant. And I don't really know anywhere where the wind blows across that big of a piece of land 24 7 without interruption.
[00:24:49] I don't think it exists.
[00:24:50] Oliver Stone: And don't forget the other problem because what's the backup for renewables? The perfect partner, it's been advertised is gas. So they put gas in as an easy backup. That's methane. It gets out in the air. So it's not a solution. It's putting more shit into the universe. The nuclear could be a backup, certainly.
[00:25:08] It could be and it can be worked out. There are all kinds of issues with the grid. Every grid is different. Obviously India has a different grid than, uh, Denmark, you know, wind's, wind, one's solar. You know, there's a lot of variations on this and you cannot make a uniform rule, but we have to think about the world.
[00:25:26] I would say generally speaking, if you could maximize. Solar and wind if you could, and really get it going as much as possible and get a good backup for it. You could get maybe 25% total of the energy we need in the coming future by 20 50, 20 5%, and nuclear could cover easily 50% easily along with hydropower.
[00:25:50] Of course, a lot of countries still have hydropower. These are the most practical solutions combinations of this. And of course there's new energies are coming, we are doing new things, and I try to show that at the end of the film with all the stuff that nuclear is capable of, breaking up hydrogen, using hydrogen to bring liquid fuels into the business.
[00:26:10] So nuclear could be combined with hydrogen to make liquid fuels for airplanes. As the scientist scientists in Idaho National Lab was saying, it's very interesting developments. If possible, we have to go all out on nuclear, we have to use it. It's a magic energy. As Einstein and Mary Curry and Jeremy said, it's a magic energy.
[00:26:28] We've got to be smart about it. It's got uses everywhere. It's the primary solution. Sun, wind, sea. We could take all the, uh, the salt out of the sea water, you know, and we didn't use amount, use massive amounts of water available and above all, earth. Earth being nuclear to me. Those four elements will solve climate change.
[00:26:50] It would not be an issue even if, if we had gone ahead with the Eisenhower program and the Kennedy program, but we didn't
[00:26:56] Jordan Harbinger: as Asia modernizes, so India and China as well. They're gonna need something like, well we, I should say as a planet, are gonna need two to four times the current amount of power that we use now.
[00:27:08] And the question, electricity? Yeah. Yeah. The question is, will it be clean? 'cause if it's not, we're in deep trouble. Yeah. Two to
[00:27:14] Oliver Stone: five times the electricity. I wouldn't say the power because. We have to electrify everything we can. That's why we're doing the cars now. I see. That's very important. Mm-Hmm. But some of this stuff like flood liquid, uh, transportation, fuels possible in the future will come through other means, will come through development of the hydrogen and nuclear, I
[00:27:33] Jordan Harbinger: believe.
[00:27:34] Yeah. The film shows a lot of really interesting nuclear, smaller reactors that are modular and they kind of. Could potentially scale down to fit in a, an office building and have a reactor underneath everywhere. It's really interesting. And so you can scale the stuff way down or way up as needed in Well, we will be able to in the future, which I think is fascinating.
[00:27:52] 'cause you can do something remote just like we do with submarines, right? There's a nuclear reactor in there. Powers the whole thing. The aircraft carrier, same deal. But
[00:27:59] Oliver Stone: don't forget one caveat and it's just nuclear reactors on submarines are enriched. Uranium, they Oh they are? They're military enriched.
[00:28:06] Yeah. I didn't know that. They're not civilian usage. Was part of Rick Over's deal. Uh, Rick over did cross over and give us the first Agile. Rick over gave us the first civilian nuclear reactor at shipping Port Pennsylvania. Which was not enriched.
[00:28:20] Jordan Harbinger: So nuclear power developed in the first place. How this developed in the first place was submarine reactors.
[00:28:25] You mentioned Admiral Rick over Rick over, yeah. Hyman Rick over. He came up with a design, I think, or I mean, I shouldn't say that. He came up with a plan to implement the design. He was the engineer? Yeah, he was an engineer. Oh, so he may have actually come up with this. Started off with submarines using nuclear reactors, which I did not know were different levels of enriched uranium and then civilians.
[00:28:43] So nuclear actually started at what you would consider. Small scale in air quotes because it was for use on one particular ship.
[00:28:51] Oliver Stone: Military usage. Yes. Yeah. It was the military usage right away they used it for military purposes to build the bomb. Mm-Hmm. I mean, Oppenheimer and all that. They, they out the, those settlements project, but the Navy used it, the same kind of fuel to make, not bombs, but to make submarines run for 50 years.
[00:29:08] And then he crossed over that knowledge, I'm saying in the shipping port Pennsylvania, by 1958. When he opened shipping port, he did a great job and he brought everything in on time, but a budget. He was a tough task master, one of the best we've ever had. We need good people. It has to be handled well, and he did a great job of safety.
[00:29:27] Anybody who worked with Rick Overman will tell you that he beat his officers up and made them really fucking good people. And they were, we have a great nuclear force. We had one, and people who worked, I know people who worked with him and they were tip top people. But now, you know, we lost that generation and we are getting a back.
[00:29:46] We, we have to train a new generation. That's what's going on now with all these startup companies.
[00:29:53] Jordan Harbinger: This is the Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Oliver Stone. We'll be right back. This episode is once again sponsored by Better Help. Our holiday season is fun with two little ones. We've got the daily Advent calendar chocolate reveal. That's all they really care about. The sibling gift swap where the kids learn that giving is just as fun as receiving a lesson.
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[00:31:22] Now for the rest of my conversation with Oliver Stone. It's really kind of exciting to see because I, I hate to say it, I almost counted nuclear out completely, especially in my lifetime. I just thought, there's no way. I know China's building a ton of reactors. I was kind of hoping that might scare the rest of the world into catching up.
[00:31:41] Yeah. Provided we don't see a nuclear disaster in China to ResCare everyone again. Well,
[00:31:46] Oliver Stone: even if we did have a disaster, you know what's wrong with that? That's how progress
[00:31:50] Jordan Harbinger: is made. You know, just from a psychological perspective though, of people going, ah, see, it's always, I mean, that's what I mean by that.
[00:31:56] Oliver Stone: That's the problem. I mean, if you have one airplane crash, you're gonna give up on the airplanes. You can't do that. You have to have a stick to an approach. Obviously you wanna avoid accidents, but accidents are part of the game too, you know? I mean, when you say one nuclear disaster in China, it's not likely to be a a bomb type thing because it's not enriched.
[00:32:15] It's more likely to be like a Fukushima, which was a hydrogen explosion, not a nuclear explosion. The only nuclear explosion was at charitable, and that was be, they didn't have a containment structure. There was, and they, as a result, the low level radiation spread all through Northern Europe. That's what led to the 4,000 assumed deaths from cancer.
[00:32:32] But we learned from charitable we shouldn't have shut down. That was the problem. The Soviets didn't. They moved on and they kept going in there. They've developed a, uh, breeder reactor, which I saw it in the Euro Mountains at Belly ars. It's amazing reactor. It eats its own wa, it uses its own waste to make more, more energy.
[00:32:52] So state of the art, it's too expensive for the market, but it's certainly a breakthrough reactor, and they've had that since the 1980s and nineties. They've done amazing work. Russia and China have to be. Commended for that and instead of attacked as enemies. I think if the world is really the biggest problem in the world, I believe is climate change and it's not ideology or territorial fighting or Ukraine, this, that it's really about climate change.
[00:33:17] They are our natural partners. Natural partners. Well, they have to be. Yeah. If we had stayed friendly with him instead of this Biden approach, I think we would've had the possibility of breakthroughs on a faster level. Now we're gonna go slower because it's the nature of this world. It's very hard. But yeah, I consider it, just to sum it up, I consider it like a bit like a Cinderella story.
[00:33:39] Remember the story, the fairytale. Sure. Cinderella is the ugly sister. They put her in the back, mopping the floor in the kitchen, and the ugly sisters go out there and freeing and fro and they wanna meet Prince Charming. And finally, at the end of the tale, Cinderella emerges as a beauty. She's been buried all along.
[00:33:56] This is what I considered to be nuclear energy is the beauty of this. She's the Cinderella of this thing. Nuclear
[00:34:02] Jordan Harbinger: energy just needs a pair of glass slippers.
[00:34:05] Oliver Stone: That's right. I forgot the word. The glass slippers.
[00:34:07] Jordan Harbinger: It's been a minute since you've read Cinderella, I guess. Yeah. I mean, me too. I do have little kids, so I should, I should, I probably got a copy in the living room.
[00:34:13] People are gonna say, yeah, you mentioned Fukushima, but what about that? I watched the film, of course, and I did some research on this to clarify. For most people who aren't that familiar, most damage in Fukushima was caused by a 100 foot tsunami. From Japan's strongest ever earthquake, or at least in recorded history.
[00:34:32] And the plant had pretty terrible design. The sea wall was less than 20 feet high. Generators were all on low ground, which is a great idea in a tsunami area 'cause they flooded with water and stopped working immediately. So the plant lost power, which helped the reactor melt down. Essentially, a meltdown means overheating, no cooling from water that was pumped in from the generators.
[00:34:52] Like you said, it wasn't the nuclear fuel that exploded hydrogen gas built up, and I assume that stuff was pumped out and ventilated or something. Normally with the generators that wasn't happening, that then heated and exploded, which blasted nuclear fuel and other radioactive material into the air. But of note.
[00:35:12] Other nuclear plants in the area were just fine because they were designed differently and the generators kept working. So the death toll from Fukushima was actually zero from nuclear and the tsunami itself. Had 18,000 victims and that still resulted in Japan shutting down almost all of their nuclear plants, which is not Yeah, they panicked.
[00:35:32] Yeah, they panicked.
[00:35:32] Oliver Stone: They checked out all the Japanese afterward for years, and nobody died from radiation poisoning. So here we go again. You know, the right sensationalism and then now is still, you know, with the tritium, the water that they're wanting to discharge in the Pacific. Generally speaking, they're ready to do it.
[00:35:47] And there are scientific organizations have was okayed it, but there's still this sensationalism from the environmentalists who say, oh, tritium is gonna screw up the ocean. This is nonsense. What is that? I don't know what that is. Tritium. It's a wastewater. It was part of the wastewater that was, and not a scientist, but they wanna put it in the ocean, which is where it belongs.
[00:36:06] And you could drink a gallon of tritium. Several people have told me this. You could drink a gallon of tritium. It has the same effect as eating the banana, which is the same amount of radiation, but they've made it such an issue by sensationalizing it, they've balled it up. Now they, the Japanese are still not released.
[00:36:22] This tritium into
[00:36:23] Jordan Harbinger: the ocean. I see. This is wastewater from Fukushima. Tritium. Yeah. I'm Googling this and it's very sort of low level stuff. I understand that the need for an abundance of caution, essentially, because you can't put that toothpaste back in the tube. But also it's just from a science literacy perspective, you really do need to decide what you're going to panic about.
[00:36:43] Otherwise, we're not gonna see nuclear supersede fossil fuels in our lifetime. I mean, maybe as fusion gets closer, people will realize we've got really no other choice.
[00:36:52] Oliver Stone: I would, I'd just love to see, I wish we could bring Einstein back or Enrico Fermi and see what they'd say. What idiots. You know, they, yeah.
[00:36:58] They'd be saying, what a historical tragedy this is, that you re let your ignorant people lead our society into this restriction where you cut off what Prometheus gave us. You know, this is a gift to mankind, A gift use nuclear well. It's part of the earth. It's part of what we have. It's frankly, the greatest, uh, uranium is a gift.
[00:37:19] And I wish we had intelligent people to lead our society, but we don't. We have people who, the scientists have not made a case for it. That is they surely for it. They're certainly pro-nuclear, but I've talked to a lot of them in MIT and at Harvard. Somehow they're not getting through because I think there's a general cynicism about science too.
[00:37:41] I think that people will say, oh, you know, I, I have my own conspiracy theory about this. I think scientist are this and that. It's true. I think there's a lot of. Too much of the superstition is in the air. Of course they'll blame me. But, but you know, on the, on the Kennedy case, I just wanted to re refer to that.
[00:37:56] You know damn well that Mr. Biden, on the night of Friday, the July 4th weekend. Closed down and stuffed those files, stuffed that fucking action, he illegally killed off the uh, JFK Records Act. The power was given to Congress to open those files, and Biden took it back and basically said, CIA and me president are gonna decide what to release.
[00:38:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I don't know much about this. You mentioned it at the top of the show. I am curious what this is, 'cause I wasn't paying a ton of attention to this. Nobody was. All I know is they were set to release some of these documents about the Kennedy assassination and
[00:38:32] Oliver Stone: they didn't, I don't know exactly how many, I was told.
[00:38:35] 4,000. Other people have told me more, far more. And a lot of it's about the CIA and a lot of these people, we know what they want. We want questions answered about which site. These CIA agents we're working with, the Cubans, this, that there's names join, there's a bunch of them. People wanna know more about 'em because they play into the connection with a Cuban operation to liberate Cuba.
[00:38:58] You know that all that was concealed from the Warren Commission by Dulles, who was on the Warren Commission. Dulles was the head, ex-head of the CIA. He'd been fired by Kennedy. And he said basically he never told anybody on the Warren Commission that there'd been all these plots against Castro prior to Kennedy's death.
[00:39:16] So, I mean, you have to understand there's a lot of linkage there. There's a lot of reason motifs, there's motives to kill Kennedy because there was a lot of dislike of what he was doing in Cuba. He wasn't prosecuting the war against Castro the way the radicals wanted him to. And well, opens up a whole lot of issues.
[00:39:34] But the point was that Biden said, no more. Nothing's coming out. Why? This is 70 years later, right? 70 years, geez, I don't even know. Roughly 60 years, I'm sorry. Uh, 60 or on the 60th anniversary? 60 years later. Oh, everybody's dead. You have to ask yourself what is the danger? What are they scared of? Yeah.
[00:39:51] Okay. Embarrassment. Okay. They let him be embarrassed because the CIA did screw up numerous times on this case. We know that they had a relationship with Oswald for three, four years. This was a significant, and that he was on their radar. They knew all about him. In Angleton, the counter intelligence chief knew about him and kept files secret from everybody else too, and there was a lot of cloak and dagger stuff going on.
[00:40:14] And I think some of that could be embarrassing, but there's never gonna be a document that says, you know, this happened and it doesn't work like that, but we know that embarrassments, what the hell, man? This is what it's about. This is what Congress intended. Transparency on these issues that are 60 years old.
[00:40:32] This is what's disgusting and nobody's been able to pick up on it because he did it very surreptitiously on that Friday night.
[00:40:38] Jordan Harbinger: I don't love stuff like that. Of course. I think anything that sort of circumvents our system is usually a terrible idea. He broke the
[00:40:45] Oliver Stone: law. Yeah, because he said No more. This was an act of Congress, by the way.
[00:40:48] You cannot do that. You cannot undermine an act of Congress and say it doesn't apply anymore because CIA and I are gonna decide what we wanna release.
[00:40:57] Jordan Harbinger: By the way, I meant to ask you this 'cause it's such a bizarre little thing in the film, in nuclear. Now you mentioned you're in this French nuclear plant and they said, oh, the water's hot.
[00:41:06] Don't lean over the pool, keep your cameras away from over the pool. But why? What happens? Are they worried about something falling into the pool? I believe
[00:41:16] Oliver Stone: I didn't really get into it deeply. No. They don't want foreign materials falling into that pool. Is it just
[00:41:20] Jordan Harbinger: cooling water? I don't get what that even is.
[00:41:23] Oliver Stone: cools the water. Yeah, but they don't want anything coming into it. That's why I asked if I could swim
[00:41:27] Jordan Harbinger: in it. Yeah, I saw that and then they left. But I'm, of course you don't wanna swim in it, but what really is it and is it like, oh, your camera strap falls in there. They gotta send a guy in a suit down to go get it?
[00:41:37] Is that what happens? Yeah, I
[00:41:39] Oliver Stone: would something like that. I imagine. Yeah. I was so curious about that. They want to keep it as pure as
[00:41:43] Jordan Harbinger: possible. Yeah, I suppose that makes sense. You don't want a corroded part in a nuclear reactor that you didn't find out about until later on. That seems like a bad idea.
[00:41:51] Oliver Stone: we have a lot of corroded parts in the. Sun panels everywhere.
[00:41:55] Jordan Harbinger: Well, yeah, I just mean from a safety perspective, it's probably a really bad idea to have a camera, a lens cap floating around in a cooling pool. Oliver Stone, thank you so much for coming back on the show. I really appreciate it.
[00:42:06] Nuclear. Now we'll link it in the show notes. Well, thank you,
[00:42:09] Oliver Stone: Jordan. Always a pleasure to talk to you. You're very smart. Thank you very
[00:42:12] Jordan Harbinger: much. I appreciate that. Thank you. You are about to hear a preview of the Jordan Harbinger show about a guy who went from Nigerian royalty to the rugged streets of the Bronx.
[00:42:22] Remy Adele's life was thrown into chaos after a corrupt government stripped his family of their legacy, dive deep into his captivating journey from being surrounded by drugs and drive-bys to his inspiring pursuit to become a US Navy Seal, even though he didn't know how to swim. There's a
[00:42:37] Oliver Stone: saying in Nigeria, every day is for the thief.
[00:42:40] Corruption was my dad's demise. They knew that my father would not stop fighting them. They killed my dad. It went from riches and wealth to the Bronx man, and it was really, really rough. Once you make the decision to join the Navy, in my opinion, you're giving up any fear of death. One day I got approached by another human trafficking nonprofit that actually employed former seals and former agency guys to go into other countries to rescue kids trapped in sex trafficking, but specifically kids who are.
[00:43:12] Being purchased by Americans. When I got down there, my eyes would just like open fully, and I just remember being appalled that parents would sell their daughters to traffickers in the north. I just remember being disgusted. It's such a global issue. The human trafficking is a blanket term under human trafficking.
[00:43:33] You have sex trafficking, you have organ harvesting, you have. Forced marriage, you have forced labor. You know, I made the film in order to be able to expose more people to this atrocity of ormond harvesting, but the perception of these traffickers is that they're these scraggly,
[00:43:49] Jordan Harbinger: evil
[00:43:50] Oliver Stone: looking, uneducated, you know, on the corner type people.
[00:43:55] And the reality is the majority of people involved on the Oregon harvesting side of thing are highly educated, learned people, because the truth
[00:44:03] Jordan Harbinger: needs to get out there. But that's not all. Remy's fight is far from over as he confronts the dark underworld of human trafficking and illegal organ harvesting.
[00:44:12] To uncover what drives the man who refuses to be defeated. Check out episode 8 68 of the Jordan Harbinger Show. If you wanna watch the film yourself, it's called Nuclear Now. You can search for it and I'm sure there are easy ways to watch it. I want to say I saw it on YouTube and it was like a couple of bucks.
[00:44:27] Real easy watch. The one update is that since we recorded this, and of course since the documentary was made, I think they ran into a pretty significant hiccup when it comes to the modular nuclear stuff, so the small scale stuff. Now, I haven't really done a lot of research on this, but it looks like I.
[00:44:44] We're gonna have a little nuclear reactor in every building. It looks like that's just kind of maybe not possible, or it needs a lot more work than they thought. So maybe it won't be modular, but I still think nuclear is the way to go at least so far. All things Oliver Stone will be in the show email@example.com or just ask the AI chatbot on the website transcripts always in the show notes.
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[00:46:44] They bring the same training and approach they've learned as prosecutors to classic mysteries like the Diat Love Pass incident and the Ghost Ship Mari Celeste. So if you're looking for a True Crime podcast with a different point of view, the prosecutors is the one for you. Find it wherever you get your podcasts.
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