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“Persuasive and based on deep research. Atomic Awakening taught me a great deal."—Nature The American public's introduction to nuclear technology was manifested in destruction and death. With Hiroshima and the Cold War still ringing in our ears, our perception of all things nuclear is seen through the lens of weapons development. Nuclear power is full of mind-bending theories, deep secrets, and the misdirection of public consciousness, some deliberate, some accidental. The result of this fixation on bombs and fallout is that the development of a non-polluting, renewable energy source stands frozen in time. Outlining nuclear energy's discovery and applications throughout history, Mahaffey's brilliant and accessible book is essential to understanding the astounding phenomenon of nuclear power in an age where renewable energy and climate change have become the defining concerns of the twenty-first century.
Did America really learn to "stop worrying and love the bomb," as the title of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film, Dr. Strangelove, would have us believe? Does that darkly satirical comedy have anything in common with Martin Luther King Jr.'s impassioned "I Have a Dream" speech or with Elvis Presley's throbbing "I'm All Shook Up"? In Margot Henriksen's vivid depiction of the decades after World War II, all three are expressions of a cultural revolution directly related to the atomic bomb. Although many scientists and other Americans protested the pursuit of nuclear superiority after World War II ended, they were drowned out by Cold War rhetoric that encouraged a "culture of consensus." Nonetheless, Henriksen says, a "culture of dissent" arose, and she traces this rebellion through all forms of popular culture. At first, artists expressed their anger, anxiety, and despair in familiar terms that addressed nuclear reality only indirectly. But Henriksen focuses primarily on new modes of expression that emerged, discussing the disturbing themes of film noir (with extended attention to Alfred Hitchcock) and science fiction films, Beat poetry, rock 'n' roll, and Pop Art. Black humor became a primary weapon in the cultural revolution while literature, movies, and music gave free rein to every possible expression of the generation gap. Cultural upheavals from "flower power" to the civil rights movement accentuated the failure of old values. Filled with fascinating examples of cultural responses to the Atomic Age, Henriksen's book is a must-read for anyone interested in the United States at mid-twentieth century.
A riveting look at how an alternative source of energy is revoluntionising nuclear power, promising a safe and clean future for millions, and why thorium was sidelined at the height of the Cold War In this groundbreaking account of an energy revolution in the making, award-winning science writer Richard Martin introduces us to thorium, a radioactive element and alternative nuclear fuel that is far safer, cleaner, and more abundant than uranium. At the dawn of the Atomic Age, thorium and uranium seemed to be in close competition as the fuel of the future. Uranium, with its ability to undergo fission and produce explosive material for atomic weapons, won out over its more pacific sister element, relegating thorium to the dustbin of science. Now, as we grapple with the perils of nuclear energy and rogue atomic weapons, and mankind confronts the specter of global climate change, thorium is re-emerging as the overlooked energy source as a small group of activists and outsiders is working, with the help of Silicon Valley investors, to build a thorium-power industry. In the first book mainstream book to tackle these issues, Superfuel is a story of rediscovery of a long lost technology that has the power to transform the world's future, and the story of the pacifists, who were sidelined in favour of atomic weapon hawks, but who can wean us off our fossil-fuel addiction and avert the risk of nuclear meltdown for ever.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER Journalist Adam Higginbotham’s definitive, years-in-the-making account of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster—and a powerful investigation into how propaganda, secrecy, and myth have obscured the true story of one of the twentieth century’s greatest disasters. Early in the morning of April 26, 1986, Reactor Number Four of the Chernobyl Atomic Energy Station exploded, triggering history’s worst nuclear disaster. In the thirty years since then, Chernobyl has become lodged in the collective nightmares of the world: shorthand for the spectral horrors of radiation poisoning, for a dangerous technology slipping its leash, for ecological fragility, and for what can happen when a dishonest and careless state endangers its citizens and the entire world. But the real story of the accident, clouded from the beginning by secrecy, propaganda, and misinformation, has long remained in dispute. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews conducted over the course of more than ten years, as well as letters, unpublished memoirs, and documents from recently-declassified archives, Adam Higginbotham has written a harrowing and compelling narrative which brings the disaster to life through the eyes of the men and women who witnessed it firsthand. The result is a masterful nonfiction thriller, and the definitive account of an event that changed history: a story that is more complex, more human, and more terrifying than the Soviet myth. Midnight in Chernobyl is an indelible portrait of one of the great disasters of the twentieth century, of human resilience and ingenuity, and the lessons learned when mankind seeks to bend the natural world to his will—lessons which, in the face of climate change and other threats, remain not just vital but necessary.
The first detailed Iranian account of the diplomatic struggle between Iran and the international community, The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir opens in 2002, as news of Iran's clandestine uranium enrichment and plutonium production facilities emerge. Seyed Hossein Mousavian, previously the head of the Foreign Relations Committee of Iran's Supreme National Security Council and spokesman for Tehran's nuclear negotiating team, brings the reader into Tehran's private deliberations as its leaders wrestle with internal and external adversaries. Mousavian provides readers with intimate knowledge of Iran's interactions with the International Atomic Energy Agency and global powers. His personal story comes alive as he vividly recounts his arrest and interrogations on charges of espionage. Dramatic episodes of diplomatic missions tell much about the author and the swirling dynamics of Iranian politics and diplomacy—undercurrents that must be understood now more than ever. As intense debate continues over the direction of Iran's nuclear program, Mousavian weighs the likely effects of military strikes, covert action, sanctions, and diplomatic engagement, considering their potential to resolve the nuclear crisis. Contents 1. The Origin and Development of Iran's Nuclear Program 2. The First Crisis 3. From Tehran to Paris 4. From the Paris Agreement to the 2005 Presidential Election 5. The Larijani Period 6. To the Security Council 7. Back to the Security Council and a New Domestic Situation 8. Iran Alone: The Jalili Period 9. U.S. Engagement 10. The Crisis Worsens 11. Conclusion
It’s an astonishing fact that capturing all the energy in just one hour’s worth of sunlight would enable us to meet the planet’s food and energy needs for an entire year. Project Sunshine tells the story of how scientists are working to reconnect us to the ‘solar economy’, harnessing the power of the sun to provide sustainable food and energy for a global population of 10 billion people: an achievement that would end our dependence on ‘fossilised sunshine’ in the form of coal, oil and gas and remake our connection with the soil that grows our food. Steve McKevitt and Tony Ryan describe the human race’s complex relationship with the sun and take us back through history to see how our world became the place it is today – chemically, geologically, ecologically, climatically and economically – before moving on to the cutting-edge science and technology that will enable us to live happily in a sustainable future.
Substantially updated for the second edition, this engaging and innovative introduction to the environment and society uses key theoretical approaches to explore familiar objects. Features substantial revisions and updates for the second edition, including new chapters on E waste, mosquitoes and uranium, improved maps and graphics, new exercises, shorter theory chapters, and refocused sections on environmental solutions Discusses topics such as population and scarcity, commodities, environmental ethics, risks and hazards, and political economy and applies them to objects like bottled water, tuna, and trees Accessible for students, and accompanied by in-book and online resources including exercises and boxed discussions, an online test bank, notes, suggested reading, and website links for enhanced understanding Offers additional online support for instructors, including suggested teaching models, PowerPoint slides for each chapter with full-color graphics, and supplementary images and teaching material

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