This book is incredibly well researched. The author has the rare gift of being able to present sometimes quite complex scientific and engineering concepts in understandable terms, without dumbing down the subject. Again and again he manages to pinpoint the design flaw or operator action where things went wrong and explains why, with deep insight.
Reading this book at times feels as if you are listening to a bunch of retired nuclear engineers talking shop over a few glasses of beer. It is full of well told anecdotes, which makes it eminently readable, and it is obvious that many of these come from first hand sources rather than being a regurgitation of old legends.
Having read the book leaves me with a feeling that human ingenuity is only surpassed by human stupidity. With a bit of Murphy added in.
I'm a bit fan of popular science books, I love to be fascinated. I was worried that this book, partly due to it's length, might be a bit dry and boring, the opposite is truth. It's incredibly insightful and detailed, yet it's not drawn out. The amount of research that went into this book is to be commended.
The nice this about this book is that it shows you that a lot of these accidents were caused by everyday (non hi-tech) mistakes such as mislabeling and basic miscalculations or errors in judgement. However, the book also shows that these accidents were key in learning how to prevent accidents in future (they would have been impossible to predict), without the lessons learned from these accidents it would not be possible to ensure a safe nuclear future.
This book takes the reader on a journey from the WW2 atomic bomb project, through cold war weapons development and the bold and sometimes crazy experiments that led to modern nuclear power plants. The emphasis is necessarily on the many design and operational errors that caused accidents and problems, but in so doing the reader can also understand the fine engineering achievements that made any of this possible. Although the author has had his career in the nuclear power industry the book provides a very balanced discussion of the pros and cons of nuclear power allowing the reader to decide for themselves whether this is still something we should be supporting or not. The style of writing is nontechnical and conversational and should be accessible to anyone with a passing interest in this subject. Highly recommended.
This is book is so well-researched, well-written, well-balanced and knowledgable that you will thoroughly regret that you've finished it. Notwithstanding the title and content it proves the argument in favour of nuclear power and shows how safe it really is. Well done Mr. Mahaffey.
A very well written and interesting book. Given the reader will have a pre-existing interest in things nuclear, the explanations are extremely well put over and not taxing to follow. Many of the critical incidents (sorry about that) defy common sense, but, others highlight that despite all the planning and precautions accidents will happen. One of the best books of its kind that I have read. Gripping.
Its about radiation and how mistakes, accidents and disasters together with scientific exploration and indepth analysis of each incident, what happened and why? This book is the final frontier of discovering what the future holds for radiation, that held so much promise. Its a very intense book and I learnt a lot about atomic accidents and why they happen. Too often because scientists analyze past meltdowns wrongly.