Required Book/Blog Reading
Atomic Insights: Publisher: Rod Adams – This blog provides very rich current content as well as an archive of accurate and clear information about atomic energy, its competition, its risks and benefits as a technology as well as its role within the clean energy quiver to help mankind avoid climate change. Adams is an atomic energy expert with more than 25 years of experience in making atomic energy information accessible to the public. He is a retired Commander in the US Navy. Former Engineer Officer, USS Von Steuben, the founder of Adams Atomic Engines, Inc., and host and producer of the The Atomic Show Podcast.
Campaigning for Clean Air: Strategies for Pro-Nuclear Advocacy, by Meredith Angwin, 2016. Meredith Angwin is a materials scientist, author and long-time nuclear advocate. She was one of the first women to be a project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute.
Prescription for the Planet: The painless remedy for our energy and environmental crises, by Tom Blees, 2008.
“An end to greenhouse gas emissions, a global framework to control nuclear proliferation, a preemptive remedy to looming water wars, and unlimited energy worldwide are just a few of the concrete solutions offered up in Tom Blees’s brilliant and timely Prescription for the Planet. Everyone is worried about global warming, energy wars, resource depletion, and air pollution. But nobody has yet come up with a real plan to resolve these problems that can actually work-until now. Prescription for the Planet proposes a workable blueprint to virtually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of this century and solve a host of other seemingly intractable global problems.”
A Question of Power: Electricity and the Power of Nations, by Robert Bryce 2020. In A Question of Power, Robert Bryce tells the human story of electricity and explains why some countries have successfully electrified while so many others remain stuck in the dark. Through onsite reporting from India, Iceland, Lebanon, Puerto Rico, New York, and Colorado, he shows how our cities, our money–our very lives–depend on reliable flows of electricity. He highlights the factors needed for successful electrification and explains why, with global demand for power is doubling every two decades, electricity remains one of the most difficult forms of energy to supply and do so reliably. Today, some three billion people live in places where per-capita electricity use is less than what’s used by an average American refrigerator. How we close the colossal gap between the electricity rich and the electricity poor will determine our success in addressing issues like women’s rights, inequality, and climate change. Bryce powerfully debunks the notion that our energy needs can be met solely with renewables and demonstrates why–if we are serious about addressing climate change–nuclear energy must play a much bigger role.
Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet, by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope 2017
Keeping the Lights on at America’s Nuclear Power Plants, by Jeremy Carl and David Fedor of the Hoover Institute, August 2017
In Keeping the Lights On at America’s Nuclear Power Plants, Jeremy Carl and David Fedor discuss the decline of American nuclear power in light of major economic, technological and political challenges. They show how high costs, low public support, and popular clean energy trends threaten America’s near- and long-term nuclear viability. American nuclear power plants are closing at a historically unprecedented pace, and there’s little evidence of public or political will to stop the bleeding. Recognizing the nuclear industry’s flaws, the authors argue that nuclear energy is widely misunderstood. They discuss the nuclear industry’s failure to capture the public’s attention and imagination, and survey the new national conversation about America’s renewable energy future — a conversation that does not include nuclear. For all these challenges, the authors argue that permanently opting out of the nuclear enterprise would be a mistake. Making the case for continued nuclear investment, they show how “keeping the lights on” at America’s nuclear plants can bolster American technology leadership, security, and commitment to curbing carbon emissions. They offer a menu of policy options designed to spur meaningful action at state and federal levels, to change the industry’s status quo, and to reintroduce nuclear to America’s energy conversation.
The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction by Rebecca Costa, 2010
“Problems eventually become too complicated for the average intelligence — in The Watchman’s Rattle, Rebecca Costa depicts the challenges this presents.” — Dr. James Watson, Nobel Laureate
Power to Save the World: The Truth about Nuclear Energy, by Gwyneth Cravens, 2007, with an introduction by Richard Rhodes.
“Let’s hope this clear-eyed, up-to-date tour of all things nuclear . . . sparks a renewed nationwide debate.” — WIRED
Unintended Consequences: The Lie that killed millions and accelerated Climate Change, by George Erickson, 2017
In Unintended Consequences, best-selling author George Erickson exposes the lie that created our extreme radiation safety standards, the damage those regulations have caused, and his contempt for “greens” who profit from promoting 30% efficient, carbon-reliant solar panels and bird, bat and human-killing, CO2-producing windmills, but oppose environment-friendly, CO2-free, 90% efficient safe, nuclear power. — Dr. Alex Cannara
Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know, by Charles D. Ferguson, 2011 by Oxford University Press. Charles D. Ferguson is President of the Federation of American Scientists and an Adjunct Professor in Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program. Trained as a physicist and nuclear engineer, he has worked on nuclear policy issues at the U.S. Department of State and the Council on Foreign Relations.
A Bright Future: How some countries have solved climate change and how others can follow, by Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist
[Review by John Bowlus, published in the Energy Reporters]
Nuclear power may be the world’s most contentious energy source. Some believe it is the only answer to our climate dilemma because it can rapidly replace coal and natural gas in the power sector and decarbonize the global energy system. Others believe its costs are too high and its heyday has passed.
The new book by Joshua S. Goldstein and Staffan A. Qvist, A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow (New York: PublicAffairs, 2019) falls clearly in the first camp. It argues unequivocally that nuclear is the only source that can decarbonize the planet and replace the two primary polluters, coal and gas, in providing consistent, reliable power.
The book’s cardinal strength is that it prescribes a concrete solution to climate change. And it does this through fast-paced and lively prose, relatable examples, helpful graphs and illustrations, and an ample dose of passion. A Bright Future is nothing less than a timely and much welcomed addition to the debate on our planet’s future. Nuclear champions will find all they could hope for and more. For those wary of it or outright opposed, the book will prompt a rethink, especially in light of fourth-generation nuclear. Fourth-generation uses a closed fuel cycle and a liquid fuel rather than traditional fuel rods, making it safer and more efficient.
[Finish reading John Bowlus’ review at the Energy Reporters here.]
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, by Paul Hawken and Tom Steyer, 2017
“The stakes for our planet have never been higher. The world is warming, sea levels are rising, and the impacts of climate change are occurring faster and stronger than originally predicted. It is a global crisis with no place for partisan rhetoric, requiring solutions at every scale and across every sector.” — Tom Steyer
Earth: The Sequel: The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming, by Fred Krupp and Miriam Horn, 2008, 2009. Fred Krupp is the president of Environmental Defense Fund.
“Krupp and Horn have delivered an important message of hope: that alternative energy is abundant, we have the genius to tap it, and there is no need to continue wrecking the world by dependence on fossil fuels.” — E.O. Wilson, University Research Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
Sustainable Energy — Without the Hot Air, by David J.C. MacKay, published December 2, 2008 (UK) and May 1, 2009 (USA), now available online. David MacKay was appointed a Lecturer in the Department of Physics at Cambridge in 1995 and Professor in the Department of Physics from 2003 to 2013. From 2005 on, he devoted his time to public teaching about energy. In 2009, David MacKay was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
“For anyone with influence on energy policy, whether in government, business or a campaign group, this book should be compulsory reading.” — Tony Juniper,former Executive Director, Friends of the Earth
Most of us recognize that climate change is real yet we do nothing to stop it. What is the psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not? George Marshall’s search for the answers brings him face to face with Nobel Prize-winning psychologists and Texas Tea Party activists; the world’s leading climate scientists and those who denounce them; liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals. What he discovers is that our values, assumptions, and prejudices can take on lives of their own, gaining authority as they are shared, dividing people in their wake.
Seeing the Light: The Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century, by Scott Montgomery and Thomas Graham, Jr., Sept. 2017
Provides a comprehensive treatment on nuclear energy, its history, culture, present status and possible future. The authors are credible, authoritative, academically rigorous yet readable and accessible, and objective. They identify what is the most pressing challenge of our times, namely the unspoken message of the refusal by some to deny a role for nuclear in a noncarbon future: that “lowering carbon emissions and advancing a noncarbon future that will mitigate climate change are not the ultimate goals at issue. Indeed, climate change itself is not the fundamental motive. Instead, the underlying aim appears to meore ideaological — to employ renewable energy as the builder of a new society, one that is ‘clean,’ ethically superior, without risk, washing away a past that has been a denial to all these good things . . . .”
Climate Gamble: Is Anti-Nuclear Activism Endangering Our Future?, by Rauli Partanen and Janne M. Korhonen, 2017.
“Preventing dangerous climate change requires world energy production to be almost completely free from fossil fuels by 2050. At the same time, energy consumption keeps growing, as the population increases and those mired in poverty try to create better lives for themselves. With almost 87 percent of our energy produced with fossil fuels, the challenge is unprecedented in both its scale and urgency. International organization agree that meeting this challenge will require the use of all the tools at our disposal: Renewable energy, more energy conservation and better efficiency, Carbon capture and storage — and nuclear power.”
A History of the Atomic Space Age and Its Implications for the Future, by Willis L. Shirk, Jr., 2018.
The Atomic Space Age has been and continues to be an engine for future wealth creation. Humanity stands on the verge of becoming an interplanetary species. We know we are made of star-stuff precisely because many of the isotopes in our bodies originated in the death throes of dying suns. With the discovery of nuclear ﬁssion in 1938, mankind was for the ﬁ rst time able to glimpse both our distant past and our possible future. As with the discovery of ﬁ re and agriculture thousands of years ago, wind power hundreds of years ago, and steam power and electricity in the nineteenth century, we must now learn to tame this powerful new force locked within the heart of the atom.