“I highly recommend this wonderful book to all who care about our children, future generations, and the thirty million other species that cohabit this earth with us.” — Dr. Helen Caldicott, pediatrician, founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Nuclear Roulette by Gar Smith
Foreword by Jerry Mander & Ernest Callenbach
Pub Date: November 1, 2012
A False Solution to Energy Needs
Nuclear power is not clean, cheap, or safe. With Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, the nuclear industry’s record of catastrophic failures now averages one major disaster every decade. After three US-designed plants exploded in Japan, many countries moved to abandon reactors for renewables. In the United States, however, powerful corporations and a compliant government still defend nuclear power—while promising billion-dollar bailouts to operators.
Each new disaster demonstrates that the nuclear industry and governments lie to “avoid panic,” to preserve the myth of “safe, clean” nuclear power, and to sustain government subsidies. Tokyo and Washington both covered up Fukushima’s radiation risks and—when confronted with damning evidence—simply raised the levels of “acceptable” risk to match the greater levels of exposure.
Nuclear Roulette dismantles the core arguments behind the nuclear-industrial complex’s “Nuclear Renaissance.” While some critiques are familiar—nuclear power is too costly, too dangerous, and too unstable—others are surprising: Nuclear Roulette exposes historic links to nuclear weapons, impacts on Indigenous lands and lives, and the ways in which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission too often takes its lead from industry, rewriting rules to keep failing plants in compliance. Nuclear Roulette cites NRC records showing how corporations routinely defer maintenance and lists resulting “near-misses” in the US, which average more than one per month.
Nuclear Roulette chronicles the problems of aging reactors, uncovers the costly challenge of decommissioning, explores the industry’s greatest seismic risks—not on California’s quake-prone coast but in the Midwest and Southeast—and explains how solar flares could black out power grids, causing the world’s 400-plus reactors to self-destruct. This powerful exposé concludes with a roundup of proven and potential energy solutions that can replace nuclear technology with a “Renewable Renaissance,” combined with conservation programs that can cleanse the air, and cool the planet.
Praise for Nuclear Roulette:
“If ever there was a book that people need to read at this moment in the history of the world it is Nuclear Roulette. Comprehensively referenced, it is not only an encyclopedia of the nuclear age related specifically to nuclear power, it is a potent warning of the almost incomprehensible dangers that lie ahead, as well as the damage that has already contaminated portions of our beloved planet beyond repair. I highly recommend this wonderful book to all who care about our children, future generations, and the thirty million other species that cohabit this earth with us.”
—Dr. Helen Caldicott, pediatrician, founding president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and author of Nuclear Madness and Nuclear Power is not the Answer
Thank you to the International Forum on Globalization for this review.