Catalogue


Three Mile Island : a nuclear crisis in historical perspective /
J. Samuel Walker.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, 2004.
description
xi, 303 p.
ISBN
0520239407
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, 2004.
isbn
0520239407
catalogue key
5123502
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
J. Samuel Walker is the historian of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"A superb account of the frightening and confusing accident at Three Mile Island in the spring of 1979. Walker succeeds in providing, in suspenseful prose, the best account to date about the crisis. Drawing on the insights gained from all his work over the past twenty years, Walker puts this tale into historical context, and helps us understand the hopes and fears that surrounded atomic energy, and shows how they affected responses to the accident. Prior accounts pale in comparison to this work."--Allan M. Winkler, author of Life Under a Cloud: American Anxiety about the Atom "This book covers a celebrated techno-political event with authority and dispassion, capturing a sense of the human frailty and heroism that proved both tragic and comic. Walker is that rare historian who exemplifies fairness and balance in a readable style. Three Mile Island details necessary background before establishing a strong narrative, weaving the participants in a drama that many of us shared but none fully understood--until now."--William Lanouette, author of Genius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb
Flap Copy
"A superb account of the frightening and confusing accident at Three Mile Island in the spring of 1979. Walker succeeds in providing, in suspenseful prose, the best account to date about the crisis. Drawing on the insights gained from all his work over the past twenty years, Walker puts this tale into historical context, and helps us understand the hopes and fears that surrounded atomic energy, and shows how they affected responses to the accident. Prior accounts pale in comparison to this work."--Allan M. Winkler, author ofLife Under a Cloud: American Anxiety about the Atom "This book covers a celebrated techno-political event with authority and dispassion, capturing a sense of the human frailty and heroism that proved both tragic and comic. Walker is that rare historian who exemplifies fairness and balance in a readable style. Three Mile Island details necessary background before establishing a strong narrative, weaving the participants in a drama that many of us shared but none fully understood--until now."--William Lanouette, author ofGenius in the Shadows: A Biography of Leo Szilard, the Man Behind the Bomb
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2004-07-01:
Walker (historian, US Nuclear Regulatory Commission) has prepared a political, social, regulatory, and journalistic history of the events associated with the Three Mile Island incident in 1979. He goes into great detail about what might have happened if this condition, or that condition, were changed. Walker also delves into why no disaster occurred, and why the predictions of the movie The China Syndrome (released 25 years ago in 1979) did not come to pass. The book also tries to assess why the public believed that the Three Mile Island accident was a catastrophe, on the order of Chernobyl in the Ukraine, when no one died and only a miniscule amount of radiation was released. This dry, detailed book describes the moment-by-moment activities of the most minor of bureaucrats and nuclear activists. Readers interested in press conferences held in March and April of 1979 about the accident will want this book. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals. A. M. Strauss Vanderbilt University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, March 2004
Choice, July 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
Twenty-five years ago, Hollywood released The China Syndrome, featuring Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas as a TVnews crew who witness what appears to be a serious accident at a nuclear power plant. In a spectacular coincidence, on March 28, 1979, less than two weeks after the movie came out, the worst accident in the history of commercial nuclear power in the United States occurred at Three Mile Island. For five days, the citizens of central Pennsylvania and the entire world, amid growing alarm, followed the efforts of authorities to prevent the crippled plant from spewing dangerous quantities of radiation into the environment. This book is the first comprehensive account of the causes, context, and consequences of the Three Mile Island crisis. In gripping prose, J. Samuel Walker captures the high human drama surrounding the accident, sets it in the context of the heated debate over nuclear power in the seventies, and analyzes the social, technical, and political issues it raised. His superb account of those frightening and confusing days will clear up misconceptions held to this day about Three Mile Island. The heart of Walker's suspenseful narrative is a moment-by-moment account of the accident itself, in which he brings to life the players who dealt with the emergency: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the state of Pennsylvania, the White House, and a cast of scientists and reporters. He also looks at the aftermath of the accident on the surrounding area, including studies of its long-term health effects on the population, providing a fascinating window onto the politics of nuclear power and an authoritative account of a critical event in recent American history.
Bowker Data Service Summary
On March 28, 1979, the worst accident in the history of commercial nuclear power in the US occurred at Three Mile Island. This book is a comprehensive account of the causes, context and consequences of the crisis. At the heart of the narrative is a moment-by-moment account of the accident itself.
Unpaid Annotation
The book is the first comprehensive history of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Prefacep. ix
The Nuclear Power Debatep. 1
The Regulation of Nuclear Powerp. 29
Defense in Depthp. 51
Wednesday, March 28: "This Is the Biggie"p. 71
Thursday, March 29: "The Danger Is Over for People Off Site"p. 102
Friday, March 30: "Going to Hell in a Handbasket"p. 119
Saturday, March 31: "You're Causing a Panic!"p. 151
Sunday, April 1: "Look What We Have Done to These Fine People"p. 173
The Immediate Aftermath of the Accidentp. 190
The Long-Term Effects of Three Mile Islandp. 209
Notesp. 245
Essay on Sourcesp. 287
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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