THE NUCLEAR-POWER REBELLION: Citizens vs. the Atomic Industrial Establishment by Richard S. Lewis

THE NUCLEAR-POWER REBELLION: Citizens vs. the Atomic Industrial Establishment

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Lewis' review of recent struggles between the imperial Atomic Energy Commission and environmentalist groups around the country is not as intellectually compelling as William Rodgers' Brown-out (p. 1082), nor as forcefully pressed as H. P. Metzger's The Atomic Establishment (p. 914), nor as personally involving as Allan Talbot's Power Along the Hudson (p. 851). Nonetheless the book is authoritative and just beneath the scholarly, impassive rendering there burns an outrage over the ecocidal policies of the AEC. Like Rodgers and Metzger, Lewis employs numerous case histories to document the agency's insouciant attitude toward the deleterious effects of its nuclear power reactor program and the response of local ad hoc citizens' organizations via public hearings and the courts. While confirming many of Metzger and Rodgers' judgments (e.g., big oil's efforts to control the energy establishment), Lewis is much more sanguine about the future, citing Judge Wright's adamant ruling in the Calvert Cliffs case (Maryland - 1971) which found the AEC in violation of the 1970 National Environmental Protection Act; he is also buoyed by new AEC Chairman James Schlesinger's anti-industry remarks and his decision not to appeal the Calvert Cliffs verdict. Perhaps. But, as Rodgers has argued, what is clearly needed to consolidate the grassroots rebellion is a coherent national power policy, and the chances for that under the current Washington leadership appear to be nil. Lewis, author of two other quasi-popular books on science, is editor of the prestigious Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1972
Publisher: Viking