Meltdown! : The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future

3.21 (28 ratings by Goodreads)
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Japan. March 11, 2011. 2:46 P.M. The biggest earthquake in Japan's history--and one of the world's five most powerful since 1900--devastated the Tohoku region, 320 kilometers (200 miles) northeast of Tokyo. It triggered a huge tsunami that left crippling damage in its wake. More than 13,000 people drowned, and thousands of buildings and homes were reduced to rubble.

As people assessed the damage, they made the most frightening discovery of all: the Fukushima #1 nuclear power plant was seriously damaged and three of its six reactors were heading for meltdowns. Workers tried desperately--but unsuccessfully--to save them. Explosions and fires released radioactivity into the air. Within days the Japanese government declared a 20-kilometer (12-mile) evacuation zone. The future of the plant, the long-term health of those exposed to radiation, and the effects on the environment remained uncertain.

Learn more about this massive catastrophe as Dr. Fred Bortz examines both the human tragedy and the scientific implications of the nuclear meltdown. Compare this disaster to similar nuclear events in the United States and in Ukraine, and move ahead with Dr. Bortz as he explores the global debate about the future of nuclear power and alternative sources of energy.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 64 pages
  • 180 x 254 x 13mm | 386g
  • Twenty-First Century Books
  • Minneapolis, United States
  • English
  • Glossary; Bibliography; Index; Illustrations, color; Illustrations, black and white
  • 0761386602
  • 9780761386605
  • 1,373,401

Review quote

"The first chapter head--'Earthquake! Tsunami! Meltdown!'--and frequent use of present-tense narrative cranks up the melodrama in this account of the Great Tohoku Earthquake of March 2011 and the tsunami-triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear facilities. Bortz surrounds his blow-by-blow description of the catastrophe with an explanation of what causes earthquakes, histories of the discovery of nuclear fission and the growth of the nuclear-power industry, and relatively detailed analyses of the causes and effects of other nuclear disasters. After (arguably) concluding that the still-ongoing disaster is 'much worse than [Three Mile Island] and not as bad as Chernobyl, ' he closes with a pro-nuclear look at alternative energy sources. Maps, charts, color photos of tsunami-wracked landscapes, and a well-maintained update page on the author's website enhance this broadly informative, if not exactly evenhanded, view of the disaster and its lingering effects." --Booklist

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Rating details

28 ratings
3.21 out of 5 stars
5 4% (1)
4 29% (8)
3 57% (16)
2 7% (2)
1 4% (1)
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