Believe it or not, utilizing storred energy from atoms has been in used far earlier than our general understand of the Energizer Bunny. I happened across an interesting Sherlock Holmes movie produced in 1970 in which the use of vats of sulfuric acid is used to power a prototype for a submersible, aka a submarine vehicle, which was also successfully discredited by Queen Victoria. In this case though, the development of new technology coupled with espionage makes the science of it all more believable.
When developing new technologies it is always important to keep company secrets and the safety of your scientists a top priority. Being lax in those areas can cause devastating effects. In this story of Mr. Holmes and Dr. Watson, a man dies as a result of sea water mixing with the acid. I'm not entirely sure how that came about as it is not explained in the story, but the lesson is still there thought it may be construed.
The complications of developing a technology that is attempting to integrate two elements that are volatile towards each other is in an incredibly risky business and luckily most people see it as common sense not to mix water with electrical parts and should not merely be a plot device in our lives.
The movie is currently still available on netflix.