From World War II to the present day, nuclear power has remained a controversial topic in the public eye. In the wake of ongoing debates about energy and the environment, policymakers and laypeople alike are once more asking the questions posed by countless others over the decades: What actually happens in a nuclear power plant? Can we truly trust nuclear energy to be safe and reliable? Where does all that radiation and waste go?
This book explains everything you would want to know about nuclear power in a compelling and accessible way. Split into three parts, it walks readers through the basics of nuclear physics and radioactivity; the history of nuclear power usage, including the most important events and disasters; the science and engineering behind nuclear power plants; the politics and policies of various nations; and finally, the long-term societal impact of such technology, from uranium mining and proliferation to final disposal.
Featured along the way are dozens of behind-the-scenes, full-color images of nuclear facilities. Written in a nontechnical style with minimal equations, this book will appeal to lay readers, policymakers and professionals looking to acquire a well-rounded view about this complex subject.