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Nuclear Accidents and Disasters (Nuclear Power) Hardcover – November 1, 2011

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Nuclear Accidents and Disasters (Nuclear Power) + The Future of Nuclear Power (Nuclear Power (Facts on File)) + The History of Nuclear Power
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Product Details

  • Series: Nuclear Power
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Inc.; 1st edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816076502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816076505
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,381,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-This informative series explores the history, science, and technology of nuclear power. Mahaffey also addresses public concerns about radiation and nuclear safety. The coverage is in-depth, detailed, and meticulously researched. These volumes make nuclear technology understandable by explaining how scientists discovered radiation and giving readers a tour of a typical nuclear reactor plant. Accessible and interesting. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

More About the Author

Dr. James Mahaffey (Jim) holds a bachelor of science in physics and master of science and doctoral degrees in nuclear engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. During a 25-year career at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), he directed or worked on projects for the U. S. Defense Nuclear Agency, the U. S. National Ground Intelligence Center, the U. S. Air Force Air Logistics Center, Georgia Power Company, and other government and private industrial organizations, in such areas as nuclear power, non-linear analysis, digital systems design, and cold fusion. He directed a multi-million-dollar project at Georgia Power's Plant Hatch to design and install a safety system after TMI. He left Georgia Tech to work in nanotechnology as Head of Advanced Research at Nanoventions Inc. in Roswell, Georgia, and later as Director of Technology for AIR2, a company with headquarters in Maryland. He is now a full-time writer and consultant. He has appeared on PBS NewsHour, on Georgia Public Broadcasting's "Georgia Weekly," and on numerous radio talk shows. Having lectured in Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, and Ireland on various scientific topics related to his research, he is considered to be a skilled public speaker and is easy to understand, as well as entertaining.

Dr. Mahaffey's first book, ATOMIC AWAKENING: A NEW LOOK AT THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF NUCLEAR POWER (Pegasus Books, New York, July 2009), received wide critical acclaim. It has enjoyed worldwide sales, and is also available in Chinese translation (Shanghai Science and Technology Literature Publishing House, 2011). In 2011, Facts on File published Dr. Mahaffey's six-volume reference set for high schools and colleges, on nuclear energy. His latest book, ATOMIC ACCIDENTS (Pegasus Books, New York) was released in February 2014, and has received Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus, positive reviews from Booklist and Nuclear Street, and was the lead book in a feature review in Nature. Both Scientific American Book Club and The History Book Club have purchased rights to include the book as one of their selections.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael OConnor TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
NUCLEAR ACCIDENTS AND DISASTERS is volume two of James Mahaffey's six-volume NUCLEAR POWER set published by Facts on File. Though the idea of nuclear power held great promise, the learning curve for the nuclear power industry was fairly steep and its safety track record over the past 60 years not what you'd called exemplary. NUCLEAR ACCIDENTS AND DISASTERS is a comprehensive summary of those 'Oops' moments when things went terribly wrong and catastrophe ensued.

After discussing the development of a nuclear industry and early 'problems' with industrial use of radium, Mahaffey provides a chronological accounting of disasters or near-disasters including accidents, meltdowns and/or explosions at Canada's Chalk River labratory in 1952, the Naval Proving Ground in 1961, the Windscale (U.K.) Facility in 1957, the Mayak (USSR) Fuel Processing Plant in 1957, the Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in 1978, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986, the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in 2011, etc.

Sometimes human error caused the accidents or faulty procedures or faulty equipment. Whatever the reason, the results were the same: lives lost, lives ruined and parts of surrounding countryside irradiated with some areas becoming uninhabitable. Mahaffey uses a fair amount of techno-babble in telling the tale yet his account of the various incidents nevertheless makes for compelling - and often frightening - reading.

Each chapter is illustrated with b&w and color photographs and diagrams that help the reader understand the issues and procedures involved.

Though NUCLEAR ACCIDENTS AND DISASTERS will be of greatest value to students writing reports, the drama inherent in those incidents and their impact should make Mahaffey's book of interest to the general reader. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dotti Webb on February 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has the format of a high school textbook. There isn't any math in it, but the cutaway diagrams are quite clear, showing the structure of the various nuclear plants that suffered meltdowns. There's even a diagram of the Fukushima Power Station in Japan, hard to find in a reasonably priced book. The disasters are described in enough detail to answer the lay-person's question of "What happened?" without getting too technical. Mahaffey avoids preaching about the morality of nuclear power, choosing instead to focus on a very readable introduction to nuclear disasters and what probably caused them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Steele on December 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book, and very enjoyable to read. There is no math in it, so it is approachable to everyone. Every accident is clearly and succinctly described, as well as the exact events leading to the accident, the duration and effects of the accident, the consequences of the accident, and the radiation released.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. P. Kourla on August 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The books on the theme of "Nuclear Power" by Dr James A. Mahaffey are Simplistic for the general "mind" level of a begining class for high school pupils...
This book on the Nuclear Accidents and Disasters is also Simplistic and for the non-scientist/engineer...
For more serious readers we want to recomment a book like the " Reactor Accidents: Nuclear Safety and the Role of Institutional Failure " by
David Mosey , which also discuss the main cause in almost all nuclear accident the "HUMAN FACTOR"(anyone directlty or/and indirecly related to nuclear system(s)) and the David Mosey book
The LACK in the HUMAN MANAGEMENT of specialization of Nuclear Physics/Engineering , particularly specialized in Nuclear Fission, in the Nuclear Fission Installations and Organizations,Worldwide, is a HUGE! problem of the International Nuclear Safety!!!, including the International "Atomic"(Nuclear) Energy Agency (I."A".E.A.) , where the Presidents of its Board of Governors and its General Directors are from...Lawyers! to Master of Art graduate!(Painter?) WITH TOP DECISION POWER IN NUCLEAR SCIENCE/ENGINEERING & INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR SAFETY!!!SOS,SOS,SOS,...
From : Joseph-Christos Kondylakis , 17-August-2013,
Author of the relevant scientific articles:
1) "Theoretically and in Applied very special conditions a Nuclear Fission Reactor may explode as Nuclear Bomb",2010, available also from the Internet site:
2) "Human Management in Nuclear Systems",2001,2011
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