It is also dedicated to those whose minds are filled with myths about nuclear energy, in the hope that this book will shed some light into the shadows of their mind-set.
This book encourages the use of nuclear power to increase America’s energy capacity and also decrease her dependence on foreign oil.
“The message that the book carries is not only true, but it is obvious. It is not only obvious, it is interesting; and not only obvious and interesting, but convincing for anyone whose mind leaves at least one crack open through which new and correct ideas may enter. This book should be read by all who want to diminish suffering and avoid conflict, by those who want to make real peace more probable.” —Edward Teller.
Readers have commented:
“I had no idea that Chernobyl was not so much an ‘accident’ as sheer socialist incompetence.”
“I’ve never understood the ‘non-problem’ of the nuclear waste before.”
“Now radiation doesn’t worry me so much. I understand it.”
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.
In The Radioactive Boy Scout, veteran journalist Ken Silverstein recreates in brilliant detail the months of David’s improbable nuclear quest. Posing as a physics professor, David solicited information on reactor design from the U.S. government and from industry experts. (Ironically, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was his number one source of information.) Scavenging antiques stores and junkyards for old-fashioned smoke detectors and gas lanterns—both of which contain small amounts of radioactive material—and following blueprints he found in an outdated physics textbook, David cobbled together a crude device that threw off toxic levels of radiation. His unsanctioned and wholly unsupervised project finally sparked an environmental catastrophe that put his town’s forty thousand residents at risk and caused the EPA to shut down his lab and bury it at a radioactive dumpsite in Utah.
An outrageous account of ambition and, ultimately, hubris that sits comfortably on the shelf next to such offbeat science books as Driving Mr. Albert and stories of grand capers like Catch Me If You Can, The Radioactive Boy Scout is a real-life adventure with the narrative energy of a first-rate thriller.
From the Hardcover edition.
This book lays the foundations for you to understand all that you always wanted to know about radioactivity. It begins by setting out essential information about the structure of matter, how radiation occurs and how it can be measured. It goes on to explore the substantial benefits of radioactivity through its many applications, and also the possible risks associated with its use.
The field of radioactivity is explained in layman’s terms, so that everybody who is interested can improve their understanding of issues such as nuclear power, radiation accidents, medical applications of radiation and radioactivity from the environment.
Everything is radioactive. There is natural radioactivity in the homes that we live in, the food that we eat and the air that we breath. For over 100 years, people have recognised the potential for radioactivity to help solve problems and improve our standard of living. This has led to the creation of radioactivity levels in some places that are much higher than naturally-occurring background levels. Such high levels of radiation can be harmful to people and the environment, so there is a clear need to manage this potential harm and to make the risk worth the benefits mankind can achieve from radioactive materials.
In this completely revised, updated, and expanded edition, Dr. Caldicott defines for the 1990s the dangers of this madness--including the insidious influence of the nuclear power industry and the American government's complicity in medical "experiments" using nuclear material--and calls on us to accept the moral challenge to fight against it, both for our own sake and for that of future generations.