Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy (Unabridged)
With the constant threat of oil shortages facing us and wanting to educate herself about possible alternatives, Gwyneth Cravens skeptically sets out to find for herself the truth about nuclear energy. Her conclusion: It is a totally viable and practical solution to global warming. She enlists the help of Rip Anderson, a leading scientist in the field of risk assessment, and with his tutelage, she travels the country, visiting uranium mines, enrichment centers, reactors, and waste sites.
Along the way we learn a lot of science, review the history of nuclear energy, relive the battles over it, see how successfully it has been applied all over the world, examine the misconceptions, and compare nuclear power to other energy sources, with their risks and benefits. Cravens is not out to deliver a polemic, however. Coming from a childhood spent building fallout shelters, Cravens viscerally understands the terror the word "nuclear" evokes. She gives us a vocabulary for practical risk assessment while investigating the psychology of nuclear fears, starting with the secrecy of the Manhattan Project and the legacy of government cover-ups both here and in the USSR. One by one, she dismantles the arguments against nuclear energy.
Critical, but handicapped
Look, the world needs nuclear energy right now. The USA needs nuclear energy more than most countries. We burn too much oil and coal. If you think that Global Warming is real, then you have no other choice but to demand nuclear. If you don't think Global Warming is real, then why are we sending so much cash overseas to prop up people that hate us? You should demand nuclear even more. The author does a good job walking people through the safety of nuclear power, but deep, deep in her heart, she doesn't want to believe it. She repeatedly reveals her prejudice against nuclear power and worse, her ignorance of it. She will say, she was representing the typical person reading the book, but if that were true, she would walk people through the basics of energy use: This is a watt. This is what a watt costs. Here are five ways to make a watt. This is how many you use. This is how electricity works, etc. She doesn't even reassure people about the safety of heat transfer or how the water used is free of contamination. Still, the book is good enough to get you over your nuclear paranoia. The key is potassium-salt cooled nuclear power, or even Thorium reactors. If you really want to save your kids and Ghia, and the balance of trade, demand nuclear now. If we don't get nuclear now, well, we're all dead, then.