Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to FukushimaAtomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters: From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima by James Mahaffey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a surprisingly excellent read!

The author, while obviously extremely knowledgeable about nuclear Physics, also has a wry, satirical sense of humor that made me laugh out loud numerous times while reading this not-so-funny compendium of some of humanity’s greatest fuck-ups.

If you have any interest in these kind of events and the stories from the “nuclear age”, I cannot more strongly recommend this book. The science is worth the read alone, actually. I learned quite a bit more about nuclear power generation and weaponry than I previously knew. The author simplifies these highly technical aspects very well.

This is also a scary book; scary due to the possibilities. The ramifications of human error can often be a serious bitch to deal with. When you learn about the errors committed in these stories and realize that all this is still going on pretty much everywhere these days, it’s disconcerting. I’m not sure humans have learned their lessons yet.

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About V. T. Eric Layton

vtel57, Nocturnal Slacker

2 responses »

  1. So should we build more power plants for coal or uranium? Or starve in the dark? Solar and wind are negligible, me thinks. Did he talk about all the stuff dumped in the ocean?

    • He mentioned a bit about all the crud dumped in the oceans, particularly in the Bering Sea and the Arctic by the old U.S.S.R.

      What should we do? Well, we should definitely NOT use any of the older style boiling water or pressurized water reactors. We should definitely NOT use any of the graphite moderated reactors (like the Chernobyl RBMK). What we should do is get our heads out of the 60s and realize that there are many better designed, more efficient, cleaner-running, and safer fission reactors out there on the drawing boards. The problem is that no one wants to waste the money to build one because nuke power is not popular thing with the public these days. So, for a company or conglomerate of some sort to risk the investment, they need to be sure they’ll turn a profit. Their confidence in that ability is not high at this time because of government licensing costs, building costs, etc.

      Coal, oil, and natural gas are cheap, relatively safe, and EXTREMELY profitable, so you know how that’s going to go. Right?

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