The Doomsday Machine: The High Price of Nuclear Energy, the World's Most Dangerous Fuel [NOOK Book]

Overview


Today, there are over one hundred nuclear reactors operating in our backyards, from Indian Point in New York to Diablo Canyon in California. Proponents claim that nuclear power is the only viable alternative to fossil fuels, and due to rising energy consumption and the looming threat of global warming, they are pushing for an even greater investment. Here, energy economist Andrew McKillop and social scientist Martin Cohen argue that the nuclear power dream being sold to us is pure fantasy. Debunking the ...
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The Doomsday Machine: The High Price of Nuclear Energy, the World's Most Dangerous Fuel

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Overview


Today, there are over one hundred nuclear reactors operating in our backyards, from Indian Point in New York to Diablo Canyon in California. Proponents claim that nuclear power is the only viable alternative to fossil fuels, and due to rising energy consumption and the looming threat of global warming, they are pushing for an even greater investment. Here, energy economist Andrew McKillop and social scientist Martin Cohen argue that the nuclear power dream being sold to us is pure fantasy. Debunking the multilayered myth that nuclear energy is cheap, clean, and safe, they demonstrate how landscapes are ravaged in search of the elusive yellowcake to fuel the reactors, and how energy companies and politicians rarely discuss the true costs of nuclear power plants - from the subsidies that build the infrastructure to the unspoken guarantee that the public will pick up the cleanup cost in the event of a meltdown, which can easily top $100 billion dollars.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Their strongest suit is energy economics and supply data. Overall, the arguments here would give anyone pause who was inclined to think that nuclear power was ever going to be cheap, or perhaps even affordable at all." —Jon Turney, Times Higher  (London)

"A polemic on the evils of splitting the atom." —Matthew L. Wald, New York Times Green Blog

“Intensively researched…The authors deliver a convincing account of the partnership between industry and government to build wildly expensive generators whose electricity remains uncompetitive without more subsidies. A persuasive if discouraging argument that nuclear power offers different but no less nasty environmental problems than burning hydrocarbons.” —Kirkus Reviews

“How refreshing to read such a well-reasoned and thoughtful perspective on the real costs of nuclear power. The only way to become informed is to be read books like The Doomsday Machine. Martin Cohen and Andrew McKillop’s newest book contains so much important information that it completely rips the curtain aside for us all to see, at last, the real cost of nuclear power. Truly a must read.” —Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

"Nuclear power is humankind's most expensive technological failure, with the price tag skyrocketing after each new mega-disaster. Its prime accomplishment has been to irradiate large swaths of the planet while delaying the essential transition to a green-powered future based on renewables and efficiency.  With uncommon wit and brilliance, the Dooms Day Machine makes it clear why this horrific technology has left us a financial, ecological and health disaster only a Strangelove could love." —Harvey Wasserman, author of Solartopia

"An informative and convincing case against the nuclear industry...should be compulsory reading for the many politicians who still seem to be seduced by the nuclear dream without apparently ever having given the subject five minutes of proper scrutiny." —Climate News Network

Kirkus Reviews
Emerging from its 20-year, post-Chernobyl recession, the nuclear-power industry is building new plants around the world--a terrible idea according to this angry, intensively researched, unsympathetic analysis. For more than 60 years, enthusiasts have asserted that nuclear electricity will be cheap, clean and safe, and they've always been wrong. Social scientist Cohen (Mind Games: 31 Ways to Rediscover Your Brain, 2010) and British energy economist McKillop add that current advances show no signs of proving them right. The authors deliver a convincing account of the partnership between industry and government (essential because nuclear plants require massive subsidies) to build wildly expensive generators whose electricity remains uncompetitive without more subsidies. Technical advances have made nuclear plants even more expensive and marginally safer, but not actually safe. Accidents continue to occur. Disposing of nuclear waste remains an insoluble problem with no solution in sight, so massive collections of poisonous radioactive debris are piling up around us. Most unsettling, poor nations with unimpressive government oversight (Nigeria, Indonesia, Bangladesh) are jumping on the nuclear bandwagon. Sadly, global warming has split the environmental movement with one faction supporting nuclear power as the only practical way to reduce carbon emissions. Solar and wind power remain hopelessly inefficient; hydroelectric dams often flood valuable land; biofuels convert food to gasoline; fusion power is pie-in-the-sky. The authors show understandable contempt for nuclear proponents who proclaim their green credentials but proceed to alienate their target audience by claiming that global-warming arguments are vastly overblown. A persuasive if discouraging argument that nuclear power offers different but no less nasty environmental problems than burning hydrocarbons.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781137000347
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Martin Cohen is a philosopher of social science and the author of several books, translated into over twenty languages, including Mind Games and Philosophy for Dummies. A respected environmentalist, he wrote an influential series of articles in the Times Higher (London) about the politics of the climate change debate. He has written discussion papers on environmental concerns for the European Parliament and been invited by the Chinese government to discuss ecological rights and indigenous communities.

Andrew McKillop has worked for thirty years as an energy economist and consultant. He is involved in plans to redraw the energy map of Europe and is the former chief policy analyst for the European Commission's Energy Directorate. McKillop has been published in The Ecologist, New Scientist, and International Journal of Energy Research, among others. He has spoken at conferences across the country, including Petrocollapse in New York and EcoCity in San Francisco, and he is a founding member of the International Association for Energy Economics, which holds an annual conference in the United States. McKillop currently runs an energy consultancy and lives in Vannes, France.  
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Table of Contents

Foreword Steve Thomas vii

Introduction and Overview 1

Myth 1 Nuclear Energy Is the Energy of the Future 21

Myth 2 Nuclear Power Is Green 39

Myth 3 Nuclear Reactors Are Reliable and Safe 63

Myth 4 Nuclear Energy Is "Too Cheap to Meter" 85

Myth 5 Nuclear Power Trumps Geopolitics 115

Myth 6 Nuclear Energy Is Very Clean 145

Myth 7 Nuclear Radiation Is Harmless 165

Myth 8 Everyone Wants to Invest in Nuclear Energy 195

Afterword Where Now? Searching for Solutions to the Riddle of the Insatiable Demand for Energy 215

Glossary 223

Notes 227

Index 238

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