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THE MENACE OF ATOMIC ENERGY by John Abbotts Kirkus Star


by John Abbotts & Ralph Nader

Pub Date: June 27th, 1977
ISBN: 0393009203
Publisher: Norton

The voices, are neither frenzied nor shrill; the homework has been done with dispatch and the lessons fully recited. The result is the kind of icy, unrelenting, and generally convincing attack on the enemies of the people--here the nuclear power industry--one has come to expect from Nader and colleagues. The book covers much the same ground as the recent Friends-of-the-Earth-sponsored, The Silent Bomb (p. 463). Both books are eloquent on the subject of inadequate health and safety measures, problems of nuclear proliferation, waste disposal, sabotage; both present cogent economic arguments against nuclear power. The Nader book goes into greater detail about the economics of private power, the attractions of accounting systems that pass on higher operating costs to the consumer, and the history of centralized, monopolistic control. These made nuclear energy the obvious alternative source of energy as opposed to localized solar or wind-power. The history of the AEC and the Joint Commission on Atomic Energy, as well as the cozy relationships between private power interests, Congressional committees, and the newly formed Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Energy Research and Development Administration become a central focus in the latter half of the Nader book. The legislation governing insurance and subsidies to utilities is exquisitely spelled out. The final section details what a concerned citizen can do to educate the public, lobby for change, and ultimately put. a stop to nuclear power development. The appearance of two competent books on this emotional and complex subject is heartening. Indeed the proliferation of acronyms for citizens' groups in the Nader book suggest that there is a ground swell. If nothing else, this should lead to more light for all--and more heat on public officials.