Nuclear Renaissance: Technologies and Policies for the Future of Nuclear Power
by WJ Nuttall
[Institute of Physics Publishing/£45]
For anyone seeking to take an informed position in the debate on the role — if any — of nuclear power in meeting our future energy needs, it is hard to imagine a better starting point than this comprehensive, meticulously researched and thought-provoking book.
Nuttall pinpoints the nadir of nuclear energy as the near 30-year saga of the Shoreham nuclear power plant on Long Island, New York. Built, fitted out and tested, it was eventually decommissioned in 1992 without a single watt of electricity being generated. A combination of poor management, engineering errors and the regulatory backlash following Three Mile Island and Chernobyl sealed its fate at a price tag of $6bn (£3bn).
Can the nuclear industry shake off its heritage and take its place as a safe, and even ‘green’ energy source? Nuttall looks at the current state of nuclear technology and a range of future options. He also examines its role in the wider context of power economics at a time when the UK and other advanced economies are wrestling with the challenge of maintaining secure, reliable energy supplies in an increasingly uncertain world.
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