Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster

Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster


By (author) David Lochbaum, By (author) Edwin Lyman, By (author) MS Susan Q Stranahan, By (author) The Union of Concerned Scientists

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  • Publisher: New Press
  • Format: Hardback | 309 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 236mm x 30mm | 580g
  • Publication date: 11 February 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1595589082
  • ISBN 13: 9781595589088
  • Illustrations note: black & white halftones, maps, figures
  • Sales rank: 469,942

Product description

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake large enough to knock the earth from its axis sent a massive tsunami speeding toward the Japanese coast and the aging and vulnerable Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactors. Over the following weeks, the world watched in horror as a natural disaster became a man-made catastrophe: fail-safes failed, cooling systems shut down, nuclear rods melted. In the first definitive account of the Fukushima disaster, two leading experts from the Union of Concerned Scientists, David Lochbaum and Edwin Lyman, team up with journalist Susan Q. Stranahan, the lead reporter of the "Philadelphia Inquirer"'s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Three Mile Island accident, to tell this harrowing story. "Fukushima" combines a fast-paced, riveting account of the tsunami and the nuclear emergency it created with an explanation of the science and technology behind the meltdown as it unfolded in real time. Bolstered by photographs, explanatory diagrams, and a comprehensive glossary, the narrative also extends to other severe nuclear accidents to address both the terrifying question of whether it could happen elsewhere and how such a crisis can be averted in the future.

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Author information

David Lochbaum is the head of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Nuclear Safety Project and author of "Nuclear Waste Disposal Crisis." He lives in Chattanooga. Edwin Lyman is a senior scientist in the Global Security Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists. He lives in Washington, D.C. Susan Q. Stranahan is the author of "Susquehanna: River of Dreams." She lives in Maine. The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world.

Review quote

"No one with an interest in the present and future of nuclear power in the United States should miss it." --"Los Angeles Times" "There are other books on Fukushima, but the only one covering this ground is "Fukushima," which takes a more global and policy-related approach. Told with economy, drama, and scientific accuracy, this book is a must for anyone involved in energy assessment or concerned about nuclear energy issues." --"Library Journal" (starred review) "The book is a gripping, suspenseful page-turner finely crafted to appeal both to people familiar with the science and those with only the barest inkling of how nuclear power works. Even with the broad outlines of the story in the public record, the authors have uncovered many important details that never came to light during the saturation-level media coverage." --"Kirkus Reviews" "Their thriller-like, minute-by-minute chronicle covers every harrowing technical breakdown, backed by briskly informative illuminations of the science underlying the boiling-water reactors and the systems designed to prevent their meltdown. They are equally precise in their coverage of the human side of the story, from the grave dangers confronting the plant's valiant staff to the scrambling of public officials to the trauma of evacuees as explosions wracked Fukushima and radiation leaks increased. As the crisis at Fukushima continues, this exacting and chilling record of epic failures in risk assessment, regulation, preparedness, and transparency will stand as a cautionary analysis of the perils of nuclear power the world over." --"Booklist" (starred review) "Anyone seriously interested in understanding the issues involved in delivering 'safe' nuclear energy will be rewarded by reading this book; anybody involved in delivering nuclear power should be required to read it." --Robert Gallucci, president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation "It's hard to imagine a more