School Library JournalGr 7 Up-With just enough detail to provide sufficient background, Andryszewski lays out the problem of handling long-lived, highly poisonous waste that cannot be safely neutralized. She briefly describes the history of nuclear power and weapons production, but focuses on the various proposals for waste transportation and disposal. Plutonium rates an entire chapter: its early promise, technological difficulties, high cost, and connection with illegal bomb-making are all covered. A concluding chapter covers international issues, including problems in the former Soviet Union and mention of the frightening prospect of China coming to depend heavily on nuclear power. The author's viewpoint is somewhat critical of the nuclear industry, pointing out its heavy government subsidies and apparent lack of caution, but she concentrates on description rather than blame. Her writing style is clear and the organization is quite logical; she neither downplays nor sensationalizes the dramatic facts. One small error; she designates China as the only nation currently testing nuclear weapons; the French are also still doing so. Well-chosen black-and-white photos are captioned and effectively placed. Edward Dolan and Margaret Scariano's Nuclear Waste (Watts, 1990) and Anne Galperin's Nuclear Energy-Nuclear Waste (Chelsea, 1992) cover the same issues with more illustrations, but are not as up to date on technical and political developments. Andryszewski provides a much-needed update on the subject.-Jonathan Betz-Zall, Sno-Isle Regional Library System, Edmonds, WA
Anne O'MalleyThe end of the cold war arms race and the declining popularity of nuclear power as an energy option haven't done away with one urgent safety concern: the handling and disposal of nuclear waste. Andryszewski takes readers from the Manhattan Project and the heyday of 1950s and 1960s atomic testing with careless safety precautions to the sobering 1980s and 1990s and the grim shadows of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. The last 15 years have witnessed the dismantling of power plants and weapons facilities, and the economic and environmental debate has raged over just how to do this. Burial, entombment, and vitrification (glassification) are some options--all encumbered by controversy, with no easy answers in sight. While better photos and a more energized narrative would have enhanced reader appeal, the book supplies much up-to-date information that will be useful for student research. Source notes; glossary.
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