This careful study may not have the impact of a Silent Spring but the case it makes is no less convincing and in many ways more alarming. Novick first spells out the dangers of nuclear reactors: explosion, radiation damage, waste contamination, all with their genetic and environmental consequences. He documents the defects of plant design and site choice which make catastrophe even more probable, naming names and pinpointing the AEC's extraordinary powers and unwise policies. Novick contends that the rate of fossil fuel exhaustion doesn't justify the rush for commercial reactor programs, says that the pressures come from large firms determined to sustain military-contract projects and head off federally-owned power plants. A concise exercise in informed common sense.