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In Megawatts and Megatons, world-renowned physicists Richard L. Garwin and Georges Charpak offer an accessible, eminently well-informed primer on two of the most important issues of our time: nuclear weapons and nuclear power. They begin by explaining clearly and concisely how nuclear fission and fusion work in both warheads and reactors, and how they can impact human health. Making a strong and eloquent argument in favor of arms control, Garwin and Charpak outline specific strategies for achieving this goal worldwide. But they also demonstrate how nuclear power can provide an assured, economically feasible, and environmentally responsible source of energy—in a way that avoids the hazards of weapons proliferation. Numerous figures enliven the text, including cartoons by Sempé.
An Optional Review of Units and Dimensions
Introduction A Fable for Young Readers (and whimsical elders)
1. All Energy Stems from the Same Source
2. The Nuclear Chain Reaction
3. Nuclear Weapons
4. Natural Radiation and Living Things
5. The Civilian Use of Nuclear Energy
6. A Glimpse of the Future of Nuclear Power
7. Safety, Nuclear Accidents, and Industrial Hazards
8. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
9. Comparing Hazards of Nuclear Power and Other Energy
10. Making Best Use of Scientists
11. From Arms Race to Arms Control
12. Current Nuclear Threats to Security
13. Can We Red the World of Nuclear Weapons?
14. A Turning Point in the Nuclear Age?
For Further Reading