Oppenheimer’s Grandson Speaks About Meeting Atomic Bomb Survivors, Promotes Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy at Tokyo Press Conference

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Charles Oppenheimer speaks during a press conference at Japan National Press Club in Tokyo on Monday.

Charles Oppenheimer, a grandson of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is known as the “father of the atomic bomb,” called for the peaceful use of nuclear energy as he continued his visit to Japan, the only country ever subjected to the weapon of mass destruction.

“I believe we can learn from our ancestors, including my grandfather … Listening to the advice they had, particularly Robert Oppenheimer’s view of what to do with nuclear weapons, is more important today than ever,” Oppenheimer said at a press conference at Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, on Monday.

“I also believe we can also use nuclear energy for good, [the] same science for expansion of energy, less weapons and more energy.”

Charles Oppenheimer is the founder of a nongovernmental organization called the Oppenheimer Project, which promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy. He resides in San Francisco and flew to Japan to meet with atomic bomb survivors, known as “hibakusha,” in Hiroshima and give lectures. On Monday, he gave a lecture at Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.

He said he was moved by his meeting with the survivors during his first-ever trip to Hiroshima.

“I met a number of colleagues in Tokyo and Hiroshima, including hibakusha, and heard first person about their stories,” he said. “I personally believe all bombs are immoral, not just the atomic bombs … They should never be used against humanity.”

After his lecture at Hitotsubashi, Oppenheimer was asked his opinion of “Oppenheimer,” the engrossing film directed by Christopher Nolan that tells the story of his grandfather’s development of the atomic bomb during World War II.

He said he considers it a good film thanks to the great director, adding that it attracted much attention because the threat of nuclear weapons has been heightened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.