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Defusing Armageddon: Inside NEST, America's Secret Nuclear Bomb Squad Hardcover – February 2, 2009

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Created in 1974 and comprising skilled scientists and engineers, the Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) deals with threats of nuclear terrorism, tracks down lost or stolen nuclear material and provides technical assistance in disposing of it. In fact, according to Richelson, most threats are hoaxes or extortion schemes, and no genuine nuclear terrorist plot has come near to succeeding. Despite the lack of cliffhangers, Richelson tells plenty of gripping stories of H-bombs dropping out of planes, reactors misbehaving and a nuclear-powered Russian satellite crashing to earth. A National Security Archive senior fellow, Richelson (Spying on the Bomb) devotes most of the book to a meticulous history of NEST's makeup, training, the persistent squabbling over who controls it (currently the Department of Energy), and many important if undramatic missions such as helping ex-Soviet nations secure their nuclear stockpiles. The book makes a convincing and troubling case that much of the world's nuclear material remains in the hands of institutions and governments incompetent to protect it—a situation that promises to keep NEST busy. 16 pages of illus., 4 maps. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Created in 1974 and comprising skilled scientists and engineers, the Nuclear Emergency Support Team (NEST) deals with threats of nuclear terrorism, tracks down lost or stolen nuclear material and provides technical assistance in disposing of it. In fact, according to Richelson, most threats are hoaxes or extortion schemes, and no genuine nuclear terrorist plot has come near to succeeding. Despite the lack of cliffhangers, Richelson tells plenty of gripping stories of H-bombs dropping out of planes, reactors misbehaving and a nuclear-powered Russian satellite crashing to earth. A National Security Archive senior fellow, Richelson (Spying on the Bomb) devotes most of the book to a meticulous history of NEST's makeup, training, the persistent squabbling over who controls it (currently the Department of Energy), and many important if undramatic missions such as helping ex-Soviet nations secure their nuclear stockpiles. The book makes a convincing and troubling case that much of the world's nuclear material remains in the hands of institutions and governments incompetent to protect it-a situation that promises to keep NEST busy.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (February 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393065154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393065152
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By spin_glass on December 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't think the author was inside anything. The book appears to be a collection of publicly available material and after a few scare stories about nuclear risk it settles down into a grind. Was interesting from the point of that you Americans have so many nutters!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A close friend of mine was intimately involved in NEST and Livermore Lab... from what little he could share of his experiences, this book is extremely accurate...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Is Easy to read and interesting content. Maybe not the best book ever, but definitely a good story to read.
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