Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power

Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power

by James Mahaffey


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The American public's introduction to nuclear technology was manifested in destruction and death. With Hiroshima and the Cold War still ringing in our ears, our perception of all things nuclear is seen through the lens of weapons development. Nuclear power is full of mind-bending theories, deep secrets, and the misdirection of public consciousness, some deliberate, some accidental. The result of this fixation on bombs and fallout is that the development of a non-polluting, renewable energy source stands frozen in time.

Outlining nuclear energy's discovery and applications throughout history, Mahaffey's brilliant and accessible book is essential to understanding the astounding phenomenon of nuclear power in an age where renewable energy and climate change have become the defining concerns of the twenty-first century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605981277
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 10/15/2010
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 284,896
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

James Mahaffey was a senior research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute where he worked under contract forthe Defense Nuclear Agency, the National Ground
Intelligence Center,the Air Force Air Logistics Center, and Georgia
Power Company. He is the author of Atomic AwakeningandAtomic Accidentsandlives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Table of Contents

author’s note: An Inside Joke vii

introduction: The Paradox Inside a Puzzle Inside a Fantasy xiii

part 1: the fantasy 1

chapter 1 : Invisible Demons 9

chapter 2 : A Couple of Remaining Questions 26

chapter 3 : Einstein Drops a Bomb 47

chapter 4 : The Other End of the Universe 63

chapter 5 : Breaking Open the Atom 78

part 2: the puzzle 93

chapter 1 : A Fortuitous Condensation of Genius 99

chapter 2 : An Implied Threat from the Fatherland 112

chapter 3 : A Jolt in the Dark 134

chapter 4 : A Light at the Mouth of the Tunnel 157

chapter 5 : Post-War Planning 176

part 3: the paradox 193

chapter 1: A Quest for Power 201

chapter 2: Digging Canals, Curing Cancer,

and Flying to Jupiter 222

chapter 3: The Graphite’s On Fire! 249

chapter 4: Nuclear Rockets and Nuclear Airplanes 277

chapter 5: The Building Boom, the Bust,

and a Resurgence 300

epilogue: The Radioactive Park 327

bibliography 334

acknowledgments 336

index 337

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Atomic Awakening: A New Look at the History and Future of Nuclear Power 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Atomic Awakening I learned that nuclear powerplants are way safer than I thought possible. I enjoyed the auther, James Mahaffey's easy-flow writing style. Perhaps my background as a high school physics teacher infuenced my interest in this book, but I also loved the parts where he tied in Google Earth images to places he described in his book. Beware the Lat/Long in footnote No. 234 Page 332 has the first two numbers of the latitude reversed for the location of the "Lethal Fence" north of Atlanta, Georgia. You really can see the outline 60 years later in the forest! - from
READ-N-WEEP More than 1 year ago
Anyone interested in the energy crisis -- our increasing need for energy vs dependence on foreign oil and environmental concerns -- should read this book. I learned that most of what I thought I knew about nuclear power is based on a lack of understanding of the facts, or even a lack of exposure to them. This is a brilliant summary of a complex topic. Any intelligent reader can follow this fascinating history and the author's conclusions. Whether you agree or disagree, you will learn a great deal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting series of stories covering weapons development and early reactor design. Less material on modern design efforts and safety features than I hoped for.
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