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Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Energy Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America's Energy Odyssey

4.7 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0910155762
ISBN-10: 0910155763
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Editorial Reviews


Love it or hate it, the serious citizen should be aware of the often obscure and confusing intricacies of nuclear power not the weaponry and Tucker s new book makes this task easy and interesting. --Ted Rockwell, former technical director of Admiral Hyman Rickover's nuclear navy, and author of The Rickover Effect and Creating the New World: Stories and Images of the Dawn of the Atomic Age

Nuclear power can cure energy dependence, pollution, high fuel bills and...BOOM! Just kidding. William Tucker takes the boom out of the atom and chases away the cancer, the giant mutant insects and the Three Mile Island residents who claim to glow in the dark. Read Terrestrial Energy and help high-binders, hacks and eggheads take a hike. --P.J. O'Rourke, author of Peace Kills and On the Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World

William Tucker is one of those rare contrarians who exists on a plateau far above politics. One can take the time to absorb his thoughts now, at leisure as in the case of this book about Neo-nuclear Energy or wait a long time and try to find them in a whadud he say panic. --Tom Wolfe author of The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities

In Terrestrial Energy, Mr. Tucker argues that nuclear power is the best option realistically available to us to reduce our national dependence on foreign oil and address the nettlesome matter of "greenhouse" gas emissions. About the other alternatives he is skeptical, believing that they will deliver too little energy at too high a cost. Mr. Tucker, a veteran journalist, has been writing about energy and the environment for some 30 years and knows whereof he speaks.--Wall Street Journal, December 2008

Powerfully written, Terrestrial Energy is a remarkably accessible book that should convert any number of skeptics with its pro-nuclear sermon. However, its strength lies not in the zeal this preacher brings, but in the dispassionate way he makes the case for nuclear in the context of all our energy options. More than just filing a brief for nuclear power, Terrestrial Energy really offers a first-rate primer on energy.--American Spectator, December 2008

About the Author

A veteran journalist, William Tucker has covered energy and the environment for over 30 years. He has appeared in many national publications including the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Harpers and The Atlantic Monthly. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Bartleby Pr (September 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0910155763
  • ISBN-13: 978-0910155762
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,435,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a long-time concerned conservationist, I've always been leery of Nuclear power, however, Mr. Tucker's book makes a strong case for a solar-nuclear alliance. Safety is of course a major concern, and Tucker details past failures and the positive results achieved by the U.S. Navy's atomic submarines, aircraft carriers, and France. The fact that France's nuclear program provides 80 % of their electricity at the lowest rates in Europe; stores the high-level nuclear waste from 30 years in one room in La Hague, and exports power to Denmark and Germany, will hopefully get some of those head-in-the-sand start thinking positively about working with nuclear.
Another startler in Tucker's book is the revelation that after the end of the Cold War, two American Senators - a democrat, Sam Nunn, and a republican, Pete Domenici, made a deal with the Russian government to purchase enriched uramium from their disassembled weapons and recycle it through American power plants. Since 20% of our electricity comes from nuclear, and half of our fuel comes from recycled missiles, one in every ten light bulbs in America is now lit thanks to a former Soviet weapon!
The chapter on the creation of the atomic bomb reads like a Le Carre thriller.
Tucker painstaking explores the advantages and disadvantages of biofuels, hydro, wind, and geothermal. The book is clear, concise, credible and well written.
Jerry Kennealy
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Format: Hardcover
William Tucker has created a well-written, thoughtful review of the current state of America's energy situation.

When I first heard about this book, which unabashedly promotes nuclear energy as the only reasonable option we have, I had a negative reaction. The reason had nothing to do with embracing nuclear. That part was easy since it brought me back to my childhood in the 60's when nuclear was widely heralded as the energy source of the future.

Rather, it was his embracing of the theory (yes, it's still only a theory) of man-made global warming as a basis for promoting nuclear energy solutions that gave me pause.

After reading the book, however, I have to say he's done a commendable job of fleshing out the science and the arguments on both sides of the global warming debate better than any treatment I've read to date.

Tucker then analyzes every possible energy option currently available to mankind, including coal, natural gas, geothermal, hydro, solar, wind, biofuels, coal gassification, etc. He cuts through much of the rhetoric that swirls around each of these energy options and lays out the history and all the facts, both the good and the bad, for each option.

Tucker does an excellent job of making things understandable for the layperson, despite being someone with a much more technical understanding of the science underlying these energy alternatives.

This book is informative and very engaging, and I would highly recommend it to anyone serious about understanding the reality of our energy choices.
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Format: Hardcover
Ever since William Tucker wrote "Progress and Privilege" in 1982, I have been an admirer of his writing ability. The arguments advanced in the 1982 work are still valid today and that book really straightened out my thinking about the dark side of the green movement.

Now comes a new book on terrestrial energy that is full of data. I am an engineer and welcome the data and I know from past experience I can trust Tucker's research. So I could read this book with little or no fact checking on my own. This made the reading go ever so smoothly when numerical data was presented.

I thought the choice of the subject matter for chapter one was perfect.Lets talk about global warming. If he had not opened that dialog early , it would have put lots of readers on the defensive. But he handled the subject in a balanced way and even if readers disagree with his conclusion, most will agree it was handled fairly.

The first one third of the book includes a review of past energy sources that are now in their old age stage of development. This included hydro,coal and petroleum. His analysis of where we have been and where we have left to go was on target based on my own understanding of the technical arguments involved.

Later chapters discuss alternative energy sources such as solar and renewables. You have got to admire a writer that will use the First and Second Laws of thermodynamics in a popular book to advance arguments for and against renewables.

Finally in the last 140 pages the big bear sitting silently in the background is introduced.Nuclear energy. Be prepared to read a really comprehensive and technically muscular discussion of this subject. The French solution presented in detail is really uplifting, particularly the issue of nuclear waste reprocessing.

When I read the book I made a few notes. I am going to re-read it and make lots of notes because I plan to use it as my data base in discussions with my friends.
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Format: Hardcover
Several years ago I had a strong desire to write a book that would examine each of current and potential sources of energy and explain its merits and drawbacks. I wanted to have something that would help people understand why nuclear energy is such a promising source of energy for the world. I no longer need to write my book--Mr. Tucker had done it for me, and far better than I would have.

"Terrestrial Energy" is outstanding...this is a book that I would recommend without reservation to all of my friends and colleagues who are concerned about the severe energy crisis that is only beginning. I promise you, no matter how much you know about energy and energy policy (and I don't consider myself a novice in the field) you will learn more, or at the very least have a greater insight into these issues after reading Mr. Tucker's book.

I plan to buy many copies of this book (hope there's a bulk discount!) and distribute them to friends, family, church and work colleagues to help them understand more about how we can actually solve our energy crisis (for thousands of years) using the basic power that has been locked in the nuclei of thorium and uranium for the last five billion years.
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