When this book was first published in the 1980's, it was dramatised by BBC Radio. After only one episode, the Thatcher government tried to have it taken off air. The then heads of the BBC decided Maximum Credible Accident was 'factually correct and an essential element in the public debate' - and refused to censor it in any way. 'Imagine concentrating everything that scares you most about a conventional nuclear reactor, speeding it all up and immersing it in liquid that burns in air and explodes on contact with water. Then persuade yourself that nothing will ever go wrong with it: no terrorists, no Chernobyl, no Fukushima ... No Acts of God, no Murphy's Laws can be permitted.'
In Maximum Credible Accident the decision about Britain's nuclear future is entrusted to a senior civil servant - Gordon Aylen, Whitehall and Washington determined to sway Aylen's decision -while unknown to him, a prototype Fast Breeder is running wild in Tuscany, beyond human control and beyond reach of any known fail-safe system.