The questions about nuclear energy on most people's minds are probably something like: How safe is nuclear energy, how expensive is nuclear energy, how long will our supplies of nuclear fuel last, and could it help us cope with climate change? Ferguson's book is not a comprehensive analysis of such questions. It is, however, a very accessible introduction to many such fundamental questions regarding nuclear energy. Ferguson discusses how nuclear power plants work, what the dangers of nuclear power plants are, what the relationship to nuclear weapons materials are, how we should confront the risk of terrorist attacks on nuclear power plants, et cetera.
While Ferguson comes off as slightly pro-nuclear energy, the book in general endeavors not to take sides. It is laid out in a simple question-and-answer format, with questions such as "Why can't nuclear reactors explode like a nuclear bomb?", "What countries use commercial nuclear power, and how much electricity do they obtain from it?", "What are the major types of nuclear accidents?" et cetera. I found that this format worked well. The book is quite objective and informative, which is great, and does not try to convince you of whether nuclear power is the energy source of the future or whether it's destined for the trashcan, which is also great.
I found the book useful in obtaining an overview of the main issues related to nuclear energy. It appears to me that the book has no obvious flaws. I would recommend it for anyone interested in an unbiased account of the basics of nuclear energy.
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