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The definitive, dramatic untold story of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, based on original reporting and new archival research.
Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers not only its own citizens, but all of humanity. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute.
Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful non-fiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth.
Midnight In Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will--lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats—remain not just vital but necessary.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'Superb, enthralling and necessarily terrifying... every step feels spring-loaded with tension... extraordinary.' The New York Times Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history's worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers not only its own citizens, but all of humanity. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful non-fiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight In Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will--lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats-remain not just vital but necessary.
*WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2018* 'As moving as it is painstakingly researched. . . a cracking read' Viv Groskop, Observer On 26 April 1986 at 1.23am a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine exploded. While the authorities scrambled to understand what was occurring, workers, engineers, firefighters and those living in the area were abandoned to their fate. The blast put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, contaminating over half of Europe with radioactive fallout. In Chernobyl, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy draws on recently opened archives to recreate these events in all their drama. A moment by moment account of the heroes, perpetrators and victims of a tragedy, Chernobyl is the first full account of a gripping, unforgettable Cold War story. 'A compelling history of the 1986 disaster and its aftermath . . . plunges the reader into the sweaty, nervous tension of the Chernobyl control room on that fateful night when human frailty and design flaws combined to such devastating effect' Daniel Beer, Guardian 'Haunting ... near-Tolstoyan. His voice is humane and inflected with nostalgia' Roland Elliott Brown, Spectator 'Extraordinary, vividly written, powerful storytelling ... the first full-scale history of the world's worst nuclear disaster, one of the defining moments in the Cold War, told minute by minute' Victor Sebestyen Sunday Times 'Plays out like a classical tragedy ... fascinating' Julian Evans, Daily Telegraph 'Here at last is the monumental history the disaster deserves' Julie McDowall, The Times
A photographic study of the land that served as the main testing site for American nuclear devices for four decades More nuclear bombs have been detonated in America than in any other country in the world. Between 1951 and 1992, the Nevada National Security Test Site was the primary location for these activities, withstanding more than a thousand nuclear tests that left swaths of the American Southwest resembling the moon. In The Nevada Test Site, renowned American photographer Emmet Gowin (b. 1941) presents staggering aerial photographs of this powerfully evocative place. Gowin remains the only photographer granted official and sustained access to the Nevada Test Site, and few photographs of this area exist beyond government images made for documentary purposes. For this book, Gowin has revisited his original negatives, made in 1996 and 1997, and fully three quarters of the featured images are previously unpublished. Images show blast areas where sand has been transformed to glass, valleys pockmarked with hundreds of craters, trenches used to protect soldiers from blasts, areas used to bury radioactive waste, and debris left behind following tests conducted as much as five thousand feet below the Earth (TM)s surface. Together, these stunning, unsettling views unveil environmental travesties of a grand scale. An essay by Gowin delves into the history of his work at the site, including his decade-long efforts to secure entry, the photographic equipment and techniques employed, and what the images mean to him today. With a preface by photographer and writer Robert Adams, The Nevada Test Site stands as a testament to the harms we inflict on our surroundings, the importance of bearing witness, and the possibilities for aesthetic redemption and a more hopeful future.
Emma Watson's Our Shared Shelf book club choice New York Times bestseller `Fascinating.' Sunday Times `Thrilling.' Mail on Sunday All they wanted was the chance to shine. Be careful what you wish for... `The first thing we asked was, "Does this stuff hurt you?" And they said, "No." The company said that it wasn't dangerous, that we didn't need to be afraid.' As the First World War spread across the world, young American women flocked to work in factories, painting clocks, watches and military dials with a special luminous substance made from radium. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous - the girls shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in dust from the paint. However, as the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. It turned out that the very thing that had made them feel alive - their work - was slowly killing them: the radium paint was poisonous. Their employers denied all responsibility, but these courageous women - in the face of unimaginable suffering - refused to accept their fate quietly, and instead became determined to fight for justice. Drawing on previously unpublished diaries, letters and interviews, The Radium Girls is an intimate narrative of an unforgettable true story. It is the powerful tale of a group of ordinary women from the Roaring Twenties, who themselves learned how to roar. Further praise for The Radium Girls 'The importance of the brave and blighted dial-painters cannot be overstated.' Sunday Times `A perfect blend of the historical, the scientific and the personal.' Bustle `Thrilling and carefully crafted.' Mail on Sunday
Today, the issue of waste management is as prominent as reactor safety in the controversies surrounding nuclear power and is particularly topical in the US since the 2010 closure of the Yucca Mountain repository project. William and Rosemarie Alley provide an engaging and authoritative account of the controversies and possibilities surrounding disposal of nuclear waste in the US, with reference also to other countries around the world. The book tells the full history from the beginnings after World War II up to today, bringing to life the pioneering science, the political wrangling and media drama, and the not-in-my-backyard communities fighting to put waste elsewhere. Written in down-to-earth language, by an expert with key involvement in the Yucca Mountain project, this is a timely book for public interest groups, affected communities, policymakers, environmentalists and research scientists working in related fields and anyone interested in finding out more about this important issue. Provides an enjoyable synthesis of the scientific, political and social elements of the problem of high-level nuclear waste Presents an in-depth, accessible explanation of the Yucca Mountain project, enabling readers to understand its strengths and weaknesses, and providing a substantive discussion for future proposed geologic repositories Includes an international perspective on the difficulties and progress other countries are experiencing compared to the US with regard to high-level waste management
'Remarkable . . . grips with the force of a thriller' Robert MacFarlane An astonishing expose of the aftermath of Chernobyl - and the plot to cover up the truth The official death toll of the 1986 Chernobyl accident, 'the worst nuclear disaster in history', is only 54, and stories today commonly suggest that nature is thriving there. Yet award-winning historian Kate Brown uncovers a much more disturbing story, one in which radioactive isotopes caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, and the magnitude of this human and ecological catastrophe has been actively suppressed. Based on a decade of archival and on-the-ground research, Manual for Survival is a gripping account of the consequences of nuclear radiation in the wake of Chernobyl - and the plot to cover it up. As Brown discovers, Soviet scientists, bureaucrats, and civilians documented staggering increases in cases of birth defects, child mortality, cancers and a multitude of life-altering diseases years after the disaster. Worried that this evidence would blow the lid on the effects of massive radiation release from weapons-testing during the Cold War, scientists and diplomats from international organizations, including the UN, tried to bury or discredit it. Yet Brown also encounters many everyday heroes, often women, who fought to bring attention to the ballooning health catastrophe, and adapt to life in a post-nuclear landscape, where dangerously radioactive radioactive berries, distorted trees and birth defects still persist today. An astonishing historical detective story, Manual for Survival makes clear the irreversible impact of nuclear energy on every living thing, not just from Chernobyl, but from eight decades of radiaoactive fallout from weapons development.
The debate over genetically modified organisms: health and safety concerns, environmental impact, and scientific opinions. Since they were introduced to the market in the late 1990s, GMOs (genetically modified organisms, including genetically modified crops), have been subject to a barrage of criticism. Agriculture has welcomed this new technology, but public opposition has been loud and scientific opinion mixed. In GMOs Decoded, Sheldon Krimsky examines the controversies over GMOs-health and safety concerns, environmental issues, the implications for world hunger, and the scientific consensus (or lack of one). He explores the viewpoints of a range of GMO skeptics, from public advocacy groups and nongovernmental organizations to scientists with differing views on risk and environmental impact. Krimsky explains the differences between traditional plant breeding and "molecular breeding" through genetic engineering (GE); describes early GMO products, including the infamous Flavr Savr tomato; and discusses herbicide-, disease-, and insect-resistant GE plants. He considers the different American and European approaches to risk assessment, dueling scientific interpretations of plant genetics, and the controversy over labeling GMO products. He analyzes a key 2016 report from the National Academies of Sciences on GMO health effects and considers the controversy over biofortified rice (Golden Rice)-which some saw as a humanitarian project and others as an exercise in public relations. Do GMO crops hold promise or peril? By offering an accessible review of the risks and benefits of GMO crops, and a guide to the controversies over them, Krimsky helps readers judge for themselves.
An examination of the daily grind of living with pollution in rural China and of the varying forms of activism that develop in response. Residents of rapidly industrializing rural areas in China live with pollution every day. Villagers drink obviously tainted water and breathe visibly dirty air, afflicted by a variety of ailments-from arthritis to nosebleeds-that they ascribe to the effects of industrial pollution. "Cancer villages," village-sized clusters of high cancer incidence, have emerged as a political and cultural phenomenon. In Resigned Activism, Anna Lora-Wainwright explores the daily grind of living with pollution in rural China and the varying forms of activism that develop in response. She finds that claims of health or environmental damage are politically sensitive, and that efforts to seek redress are frustrated by limited access to scientific evidence, growing socioeconomic inequalities, and complex local realities. Villagers, feeling powerless, often come to accept pollution as part of the environment; their activism is tempered by their resignation. Lora-Wainwright uses the term "resigned activism" as a lens through which to view villagers' perceptions and the diverse forms of environmental engagement that result. These range from picketing at the factory gate to quieter individual or family-oriented actions. Drawing on her own extensive fieldwork, Lora-Wainwright offers three case studies of "resigned activism" in rural China, examining the experiences of villagers who live with the effects of phosphorous mining and fertilizer production, lead and zinc mining, and electronic waste processing. These cases make clear the staggering human costs of development and the deeply uneven distribution of costs and benefits that underlie China's economic power.
The 2011 nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi power station led to serious radioactive contamination of the environment. Due to transportation by seasonal wind and ocean currents, these radioactive materials have now been observed in many places in the northern hemisphere. This book provides a unique summary of the environmental impact of the unprecedented accident. It covers how radioactive materials were transported through the atmosphere, oceans and land. The techniques used to investigate the deposition and migration processes are also discussed including atmospheric observation, soil mapping, forest and ecosystem investigations and numerical simulations. With chapters written by international experts, this is a crucial resource for researchers working on the dispersion and impact of radionuclides in the environment. It also provides essential knowledge for nuclear engineers, social scientists and policymakers to help develop suitable mitigation measures to prepare for similar large-scale natural hazards in the future.
How Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and China deal with such urban environmental issues as ports, goods movement, air pollution, water quality, transportation, and public space. Over the past four decades, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and key urban regions of China have emerged as global cities-in financial, political, cultural, environmental, and demographic terms. In this book, Robert Gottlieb and Simon Ng trace the global emergence of these urban areas and compare their responses to a set of six urban environmental issues. These cities have different patterns of development: Los Angeles has been the quintessential horizontal city, the capital of sprawl; Hong Kong is dense and vertical; China's new megacities in the Pearl River Delta, created by an explosion in industrial development and a vast migration from rural to urban areas, combine the vertical and the horizontal. All three have experienced major environmental changes in a relatively short period of time. Gottlieb and Ng document how each has dealt with challenges posed by ports and the movement of goods, air pollution (Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and urban China are all notorious for their hazardous air quality), water supply (all three places are dependent on massive transfers of water) and water quality, the food system (from seed to table), transportation, and public and private space. Finally they discuss the possibility of change brought about by policy initiatives and social movements.
Making the case that we can use nuclear power to combat climate change even as we reduce the risks of nuclear terror. Humanity faces two existential threats: nuclear annihilation and catastrophic climate change. Both have human origins, and both are linked to the use of nuclear energy. Inherent in the use of atomic fission is the risk that the technology and materials can be diverted to terrorists or hostile nations and used to make nuclear weapons. The key question is whether we can use nuclear energy to reduce the threat of climate change without increasing the risk that nuclear weapons will be used. In Double Jeopardy, Daniel Poneman argues that the world needs an "all-of-the-above" energy policy, one that advances the goal of decarbonizing the environment through all available means-including nuclear power. Poneman makes a compelling case that we can enhance the ability of nuclear power to combat climate change even as we reduce the risks of nuclear terror. Doing so will require well-crafted laws and policies, implemented with an ethos of constant vigilance and embedded in a culture that weaves safety and security goals into the fabric of our nuclear programs. This will enable government and industry to work together to maximize energy and climate benefits while minimizing safety and security risks.
Seismic Risk Analysis of Nuclear Power Plants addresses the needs of graduate students in engineering, practicing engineers in industry, and regulators in government agencies, presenting the entire process of seismic risk analysis in a clear, logical, and concise manner. It offers a systematic and comprehensive introduction to seismic risk analysis of critical engineering structures focusing on nuclear power plants, with a balance between theory and applications, and includes the latest advances in research. It is suitable as a graduate-level textbook, for self-study, or as a reference book. Various aspects of seismic risk analysis - from seismic hazard, demand, and fragility analyses to seismic risk quantification, are discussed, with detailed step-by-step analysis of specific engineering examples. It presents a wide range of topics essential for understanding and performing seismic risk analysis, including engineering seismology, probability theory and random processes, digital signal processing, structural dynamics, random vibration, and engineering risk and reliability.
A shocking expose from the most powerful insider in nuclear regulation about how the nuclear energy industry endangers our lives-and why Congress does nothing to stop it. Greg Jaczko never planned things to turn out this way. A Birkenstocks-wearing physics PhD, he had never heard of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) when he came to Washington and-thanks to the determination of a powerful senator-found himself at the agency's head. He felt like Dorothy invited behind the curtain at Oz. The problem was that Jaczko wasn't the kind of leader the NRC had seen before: he had no ties to the nuclear industry, few connections in Washington, and no agenda other than to ensure that nuclear technology was deployed safely. And so he witnessed what outsiders like him were never meant to see, including an agency overpowered by the industry it was meant to regulate and a political system determined to keep it that way. After the shocking nuclear disaster at Fukushima in Japan, and the American nuclear industry's refusal to make the changes necessary to prevent a catastrophe like that from happening here, Jaczko started saying something aloud that no one else had dared: nuclear power has fatal flaws. Written in a tone that's equal parts self-deprecating, puzzled, and passionate, Confessions of a Rogue Nuclear Regulator tells the story of a man who got pushed from his high perch for fighting to keep Americans safe. Never before has the chairman of the world's foremost nuclear regulatory agency challenged the nuclear industry to expose how these companies put us at risk. Because if we (and they) don't act now, there will be another Fukushima. Only this time, it could happen here.
'Sitting not far below my feet, there was a thermonuclear warhead about twenty times more powerful than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, all set and ready to go. The only sound was the sound of the wind.' Seventy years after the bombing of Hiroshima, Eric Schlosser's powerful, chilling piece of journalism exposes today's deadly nuclear age. Originally published in the New Yorker and now expanded, this terrifying true account of the 2012 break-in at a high-security weapons complex in Tennessee is a masterly work of reportage. 'Schlosser's reportage is as good as it gets' GQ
An updated edition of a guide to the basic science of climate change, and a call to action. The vast majority of scientists agree that human activity has significantly increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere-most dramatically since the 1970s. Yet global warming skeptics and ill-informed elected officials continue to dismiss this broad scientific consensus. In this updated edition of his authoritative book, MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel outlines the basic science of global warming and how the current consensus has emerged. Although it is impossible to predict exactly when the most dramatic effects of global warming will be felt, he argues, we can be confident that we face real dangers. Emanuel warns that global warming will contribute to an increase in the intensity and power of hurricanes and flooding and more rapidly advancing deserts. But just as our actions have created the looming crisis, so too might they avert it. Emanuel calls for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gases and criticizes the media for downplaying the dangers of global warming (and, in search of "balance," quoting extremists who deny its existence). This edition has been updated to include the latest climate data, a discussion of the earth's carbon cycle, the warming hiatus of the first decade of this century, the 2017 hurricanes, advanced energy options, the withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, and more. It offers a new foreword by former U.S. Representative Bob Inglis (R-SC), who now works on climate action through his organization RepublicEN.
Nuclear power has been a contentious issue in Japan since the 1950s, and in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, the conflict has only grown. Government agencies and the nuclear industry continue to push a nuclear agenda, while the mainstream media adheres to the official line that nuclear power is Japan's future. Public debate about nuclear energy is strongly discouraged. Nevertheless, antinuclear activism has swelled into one of the most popular and passionate movements in Japan, leading to a powerful wave of protest music. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima shows that music played a central role in expressing antinuclear sentiments and mobilizing political resistance in Japan. Combining musical analysis with ethnographic participation, author Noriko Manabe offers an innovative typology of the spaces central to the performance of protest music-cyberspace, demonstrations, festivals, and recordings. She argues that these four spaces encourage different modes of participation and methods of political messaging. The openness, mobile accessibility, and potential anonymity of cyberspace have allowed musicians to directly challenge the ethos of silence that permeated Japanese culture post-Fukushima. Moving from cyberspace to real space, Manabe shows how the performance and reception of music played at public demonstrations are shaped by the urban geographies of Japanese cities. While short on open public space, urban centers in Japan offer protesters a wide range of governmental and commercial spaces in which to demonstrate, with activist musicians tailoring their performances to the particular landscapes and soundscapes of each. Music festivals are a space apart from everyday life, encouraging musicians and audience members to freely engage in political expression through informative and immersive performances. Conversely, Japanese record companies and producers discourage major-label musicians from expressing political views in recordings, forcing antinuclear musicians to express dissent indirectly: through allegories, metaphors, and metonyms. The first book on Japan's antinuclear music, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised provides a compelling new perspective on the role of music in political movements.
Nuclear power is not an option for the future but an absolute necessity. Global threats of climate change and lethal air pollution, killing millions each year, make it clear that nuclear and renewable energy must work together, as non-carbon sources of energy. Fortunately, a new era of growth in this energy source is underway in developing nations, though not yet in the West. Seeing the Light is the first book to clarify these realities and discuss their implications for coming decades. Readers will learn how, why, and where the new nuclear era is happening, what new technologies are involved, and what this means for preventing the proliferation of weapons. This book is the best work available for becoming fully informed about this key subject, for students, the general public, and anyone interested in the future of energy production, and, thus, the future of humanity on planet Earth.
This topical book addresses the need for emerging economies in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe to find a new, sustainable growth model that fosters continued convergence with the EU without leading to the build-up of new vulnerabilities. The expert contributions frame the discussion on balanced growth in Europe, deal with the legacy of the old growth model (such as managing disrupted capital flows and deleveraging), and provide insights from the growth strategies of Russia and Turkey as well as the adjustment process of successful small CESEE countries. They focus on providing a multi-disciplinary assessment, combining the views of policy-makers and academics with those of central and commercial bankers. This book will prove a thought-provoking read for academics, researchers and students in the fields of economics - particularly international economics - and finance, money and banking. Policy-makers and economists interested in European integration and emerging European economies will also find this book to be an invaluable resource.
Trained as a physician, and--after four decades of antinuclear activism--thoroughly versed in the science of nuclear energy, the bestselling author of "Nuclear Madness" turns her attention from nuclear bombs to nuclear lightbulbs. As she makes meticulously clear in this work, the world cannot withstand either.
This book reports the results from on-site research into radioactive cesium contamination in various agricultural systems affected by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident that occurred in March 2011. This is the second volume from the research groups formed in the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences of The University of Tokyo who have published the initial data in their first volume. In this book, additional data collected in the subsequent years are presented to show how the radioactivity level in agricultural products and their growing environments have changed with time. The data clarify the route by which radioactive materials entered agricultural products and their movement among different components (e.g., soil, water, and trees) within an environmental system (e.g., forests). The book consists of various topics, including radioactivity inspection of food products; decontamination trials for rice and livestock production; the state of contamination in wild animals and birds, trees, mushrooms, and timber; the dynamics of radioactivity distribution in mountain and paddy fields; damage incurred by the forestry and fishery industries; and the change in consumers' minds. The last chapter introduces a real-time radioisotope imaging system, the forefront technique to visualize actual movement of cesium in soil and in plants. This is the only book to provide systematic data about the actual change of radioactivity, and thus is of great value for all researchers who wish to understand the effect of radioactive fallout on agriculture. The project is ongoing; the research groups continue their work in the field for further evaluation of the long-term effects.
This book summarizes the results of 3 years of agricultural and forestry reconstructive efforts and applied research conducted directly in the affected areas of Fukushima following the Great East Japan Earthquake. It describes fast and effective revival methods and technologies from tsunami and radiation damages, demonstrated through the collaborative efforts of researchers, students, local farmers, forest owners, and municipalities gathered under the Tokyo University of Agriculture East Japan Assistance Project. Consisting of four parts, the first part of the book provides an overview of the damage and measures taken to overcome them by the local municipalities and the Tokyo University of Agriculture. The second part presents data and results of agricultural recovery from the tsunami-for example, monitoring systems, reconstruction models, and convenient, low-cost methods developed for the restoration of tsunami-damaged paddy fields. The third part focuses on recovery from radiation-contaminated farmlands and forests and consequent reputational damages. Included are various primary data obtained from field experiments and surveys, studies on the mechanism of contamination, and the results of radical monitoring, decontamination, and restoration techniques performed at this site. The final part is a collection of reflections of local farmers, forest owners, and students who participated in the project. The academic trials and errors recorded in this book are an invaluable contribution to disaster management and recovery processes. It is written for a wide audience, not limited to researchers and students, but also for government and state officials, municipalities, agricultural cooperative staff members, and farmers.
Since the first atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima, the history of nuclear warfare has been tangled with the spaces and places of scientific research and weapons testing, armament and disarmament, pacifism and proliferation. Nuclear geography gives us the tools to understand these events, and the extraordinary human cost of nuclear weapons. Disarming Doomsday explores the secret history of nuclear weapons by studying the places they build and tear apart, from Los Alamos to Hiroshima. It looks at the legacy of nuclear imperialism from weapons testing on Christmas Island and across the South Pacific, as well as the lasting harm this has caused to indigenous communities and the soldiers that conducted the tests. For the first time, these complex geographies are tied together. Disarming Doomsday takes us forward, describing how geographers and geotechnology continue to shape nuclear war, and, perhaps, help to prevent it.
From the moment radiation was discovered in the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative scientific exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters. Mahaffey, a long-time advocate of continued nuclear research and nuclear energy, looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong when analyzing past meltdowns. Every incident has lead to new facets in understanding about the mighty atom and Mahaffey puts forth what the future should be for this final frontier of science that still holds so much promise."
This book covers seismic probabilistic risk assessment (S-PRA) and related studies which have become more important to increase the safety of nuclear facilities against earthquakes and tsunamis in the face of the many uncertainties after the Fukushima accident. The topics are (1) Active faults and active tectonics important for seismic hazard assessment of nuclear facilities,(2) Seismic source modeling and simulation and modeling techniques indispensable for strong ground motion prediction, and (3) PRA with external hazard and risk communication. The Fukushima accident has showed us the limitations of the deterministic evaluation approach to external events (an earthquake and tsunami) in which there are many uncertainties. Furthermore, public anxiety regarding nuclear safety because of an unexpected threat caused by an earthquake or tsunami is growing. The current policy on the estimation of the design basis of ground motion as well as tsunami height still has not been improved following the Fukushima accident. In particular, the risk concept in a nuclear system regarding seismic motion and a tsunami beyond the design basis is indispensable. Therefore, research and development for PRA enhancing nuclear safety are being actively pursued not only in Japan but also worldwide. This book provides an opportunity for readers to consider the future direction of nuclear safety vis-a-vis natural disasters.
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