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Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters; From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima Audio Download – Unabridged

4.8 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Written in a witty and accessible style this book is a must get if you are into things nuclear and atomic. Jaw dropping stuff (even if you haven't been eating Radium). Don't be put off by the pages at the start covering locomotive collisions. It's rare these days for me to enjoy a book and even rarer for me to read it twice but I shall be reading this one a third time at some point and dipping in to my favorite parts again and again.

I originally bought the paperback of this book, I gave it to my Brother and got the hardback version because this one is a keeper.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A great introduction to the Nuclear industry and risk in general.
Unbiased and clearly written by an author with real-world experience.
There are shortages; lacks a comparison of nuclear lives-lost-per MWh vs other risks.
But humanity has been lucky with weapons - so far!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fascinating well written book. Comprehensively written, I read it after reading Eric Schosser's 'Command and Control ' and formed the conclusion that we are lucky to still be here. If you are not worried after reading this book then you have no imagination.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very informative read about the reality of Nuclear power. The author traces the issues encountered in nuclear power production from steam explosions, through effects of radiation, early reactor experiments through to power plant accidents.
Useful analysis is provided at each stage into what went wrong.
Political influence is looked at with the repetition of earlier mistakes that may have been prevented in a shared knowledge system.
The book concludes with a look to the future of nuclear power production.
Writing style is easy going, it can get involved at times, but the explanations are easily understood.
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