Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power: A Critical Global Assessment of Atomic Energy

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $58.17
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 16%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $58.17   
  • New (5) from $58.17   
  • Used (1) from $62.99   

More About This Textbook


This book provides a concise but rigorous appraisal about the future of nuclear power and the presumed nuclear renaissance. It does so by assessing the technical, economic, environmental, political, and social risks related to all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, from uranium mills and mines to nuclear reactors and spent fuel storage facilities. In each case, the book argues that the costs of nuclear power significantly outweigh its benefits. It concludes by calling for investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency as a better path towards an affordable, secure, and socially acceptable future.

The prospect of a global nuclear renaissance could change the way that energy is produced and used the world over. Sovacool takes a hard look at who would benefit - mostly energy companies and manufacturers - and who would suffer - mostly taxpayers, those living near nuclear facilities, and electricity customers. This book is a must-read for anyone even remotely concerned about a sustainable energy future, and also for those with a specific interests in modern nuclear power plants.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789814322751
  • Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

1 Introduction: Exploring the "Faustain Bargain" 1

What Makes This Book Different 3

Preview of Chapters 4

The Stalled Nuclear Renaissance 6

2 The Nuclear Industry: "Smoking Cigarettes to Keep the Weight Off" 15

Current Status of the Nuclear Industry 15

The Basics of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle 26

Drivers of Nuclear Power Expansion 36

Plans for Nuclear Expansion 39

3 Safety and Reliability: Dealing with "Normal Accidents" 47

Safety and Accidents 48

Materials and Labor 83

Fuel Availability and Energy Payback 85

4 Unfavorable Economics: "Too Costly to Matter" 101

Construction and Operating Costs 102

Reprocessing Costs 113

Waste Storage Costs 116

Decommissioning Costs 118

Fuel Costs 122

Security Costs 124

Research Costs 125

5 Environmental Damages: "Cutting Butter with a Chainsaw" 133

Land Use 134

Water Use and Contamination 146

Climate Change 153

Medical and Health Risks 158

6 Political and Social Concerns: "Broken Plowshare" 171

Transmission and Distribution Vulnerability 173

Plant and Reactor Insecurity 174

Weapons Proliferation 181

Military Conflict 192

Maritime and Transport Security 194

Community Marginalization 200

7 Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy: "The Fire Extinguisher" 211

Energy Efficiency 212

Renewable Energy 217

8 The "Self-Limiting" Future of Nuclear Power 245

Market Failure and Externalities 250

Subsidies and the Socialization of Risk 253

Hubris and Technological Fantasy 259

Conclusion 268

Postscript: The "Hydra-Headed" Fukushima Nuclear Crisis 275

Index 293

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)