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An informed look at the myths and fears surrounding nuclear energy, and a practical, politically realistic solution to global warming and our energy needs. Faced by the world's oil shortages and curious about alternative energy sources, Gwyneth Cravens skeptically sets out to find the truth about nuclear energy. Her conclusion: it is a totally viable and practical solution to global warming. In the end, we see that if we are to care for subsequent generations, embracing nuclear energy is an ethical imperative.
An informed look at the myths and fears surrounding nuclear energy, and a practical, politically realistic solution to global warming and our energy needs. Faced by the world's oil shortages and curious about alternative energy sources, Gwyneth Cravens skeptically sets out to find the truth about nuclear energy. Her conclusion: it is a totally viable and practical solution to global warming. In the end, we see that if we are to care for subsequent generations, embracing nuclear energy is an ethical imperative.
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.
"Makes a case for nuclear energy as a clean-energy solution."--
In a world torn apart by wars over oil, politicians have increasingly begun to look for alternative energy sources-and their leading choice is nuclear energy. The myths that have been spread about nuclear-powered electricity are that it does not cause global warming or pollution, it is inexpensive and it is safe. In this revealing examination of the costs and consequences of nuclear energy, world-renowned antinuclear spokesperson Helen Caldicott uncovers the facts that belie the nuclear industry propaganda: nuclear power contributes to global warming; the true cost of nuclear power is prohibitive, with taxpayers picking up most of the tab; there's simply not enough uranium in the world to sustain nuclear power over the long term; and the potential for a catastrophic accident or a terrorist attack far outweighs any benefits. Trained as a physician and thoroughly versed in the science of nuclear energy, the bestselling author of Nuclear Madness and Missile Envy here turns her attention from nuclear bombs to nuclear lightbulbs. As she makes meticulously clear in this essential book, the world cannot withstand either.
Since the late 18th century, when it emerged as a source of heating and, later, steam power, coal has brought untold benefits to mankind. Even today, coal generates almost 45 percent of the world's power. Our modern technological society would be inconceivable without coal and the energy it provides. Unfortunately, that society will not survive unless we wean ourselves off coal. The largest single source of greenhouse gases, coal is responsible for 43 percent of the world's carbon emissions. Richard Martin, author of SuperFuel, argues that to limit catastrophic climate change, we must find a way to power our world with less polluting energy sources, and we must do it in the next couple of decades—or else it is "game over." It won't be easy: as coal plants shut down across the United States, and much of Europe turns to natural gas, coal use is growing in the booming economies of Asia— particularly China and India. Even in Germany, where nuclear power stations are being phased out in the wake of the Fukushima accident, coal use is growing. Led by the Sierra Club and its ambitious "Beyond Coal" campaign, environmentalists hope to drastically reduce our dependence on coal in the next decade. But doing so will require an unprecedented contraction of an established, lucrative, and politically influential worldwide industry. Big Coal will not go gently. And its decline will dramatically change lives everywhere—from Appalachian coal miners and coal company executives to activists in China's nascent environmental movement. Based on a series of journeys into the heart of coal land, from Wyoming to West Virginia to China's remote Shanxi Province, hundreds of interviews with people involved in, or affected by, the effort to shrink the industry, and deep research into the science, technology, and economics of the coal industry, Coal Wars chronicles the dramatic stories behind coal's big shutdown—and the industry's desperate attempts to remain a global behemoth. A tour de force of literary journalism, Coal Wars will be a milestone in the climate change battle.
This second edition represents an extensive revision of the ?rst edition, - though the motivation for the book and the intended audiences, as described inthepreviouspreface,remainthesame. Theoveralllengthhasbeenincreased substantially, with revised or expanded discussions of a number of topics, - cluding Yucca Mountain repository plans, new reactor designs, health e?ects of radiation, costs of electricity, and dangers from terrorism and weapons p- liferation. The overall status of nuclear power has changed rather little over the past eight years. Nuclear reactor construction remains at a very low ebb in much of the world, with the exception of Asia, while nuclear power’s share of the electricity supply continues to be about 75% in France and 20% in the United States. However,therearesignsofaheightenedinterestinconsideringpossible nuclear growth. In the late 1990s, the U. S. Department of Energy began new programs to stimulate research and planning for future reactors, and many candidate designs are now contending—at least on paper—to be the next generation leaders. Outside the United States, the commercial development ofthePebbleBedModularReactorisbeingpursuedinSouthAfrica,aFrench- German consortium has won an order from Finlandfor the long-plannedEPR (European Pressurized Water Reactor), and new reactors have been built or planned in Asia. In an unanticipated positive development for nuclear energy, the capacity factor of U. S. reactors has increased dramatically in recent years, and most operating reactors now appear headed for 20-year license renewals.

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