A nuclear accident can involve an explosion, destroying equipment or an entire building and spreading radioactive material over a wide area. When readers think of an explosion, they imagine a large, orange fireball and a great deal of yellow flame. In reality, that is not an accurate depiction of an explosion anywhere except in an oil refinery. Movie directors tend to enhance the drama of an explosion by including a few barrels of gasoline, so that there is a lot of color and a big ball of fire. The results of a nuclear explosion are equally as devastating, but there is no fireball.
Written in easy-to-understand language, Nuclear Accidents and Disasters is an examination of the learning process that has occurred over the last half century regarding the nuclear power industry. This brand-new, full-color resource features information on the massive reactor explosion at Chernobyl in Ukraine, Jimmy Carter's experience with a reactor meltdown in Canada, and the ghost village of Pripiyat, Russia. It also examines the various lessons learned from a half century of mishaps and how the nuclear power industry has changed operating procedures and equipment designs due to detailed accident analysis.
Full-color photographs and line illustrations. Index. Glossary. Chronology. Further print and Web resources.
About the Author(s)
James A. Mahaffey, Ph.D., has more than 25 years' experience as a senior research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, where he was engaged in a wide variety of projects, ranging from theoretical mathematics to nuclear science. At the Georgia Institute of Technology, he completed undergraduate and master's studies and earned a doctorate there in nuclear engineering. He was director of a long-term project to design and build the Emergency Response Data System at Georgia Power's Plant Hatch nuclear power station. He has also worked on projects for the Defense Nuclear Agency, the National Ground Intelligence Center, and the Air Force Air Logistics Center.