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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Gijs Zwartsenberg am 16. März 2012
Format: Taschenbuch
Reading a book that challenges one's beliefs with a load of facts and evidence is an unusual pleasure, and Gwyneth Caverns' 'Power to save the world' is such a book. Cavern's chance meeting with Richard (Rip) Anderson is the winning lottery ticket which underlies this unusually accessible introduction to the nuclear side of things. It ultimately presents an ethical standpoint about the necessity to confront our prejudice on future energy solutions. The supporting arguments are carried by the interaction between Caverns, 'a determined organic vegetable gardener who spent her childhood in the 1950s in New Mexico having atom-bomb nightmares' and Anderson, 'another lifelong greenie, a man with a doctorate in organic chemistry who grew up on an Idaho ranch without electricity and whose day job, over the course of a long career, has included pioneering something called probabilistic risk assessment'. Together, they set out on 'a grand tour' of nuclear energy, including visits to deserted uranium mine sites, a wealth of mostly old experimental reactors in Idaho, a dusty coal power station, nuclear power stations and brand new geological storage facilities for permanent storage of nuclear waste. Have you ever wondered why the deposits of a uranium mine are actually less radioactive than the average organic garden? Or why working in a coal plant gives you (far) higher dose-levels than working in a nuclear power plant? Or how high the levels of radiation need to be before any increase of cancer figures show up in epidemiological studies? Anderson encourages Caverns to find out these and many other things for herself ' and Caverns has a hard time believing what she finds. And no, they don't get each other in the end.Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Von Gar am 10. Juli 2013
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I discovered this book by chance while working on an energy course. I will admit that I was anti nuclear but pro we have to do something about climate change. Gwyneth Cravens tided up all my half baked beliefs that I had collected over the years about atomic energy and waste.
Most of what I thought about atomic energy came from the media, I would have to admit that I took all the information at face value and accepted that they were true or at least very close to the truth.
Having read this book and using the great notes at the end to further my research, I have had to change a lot of what I believed about nuclear energy.
A very well written book on a subject that tends to cause arguments based on black or white with very little gray. I have found that there are reasons for us to reconsider the facts about nuclear energy if we are really interested in climate change and want to save our world.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 77 Rezensionen
85 von 89 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A must read for anyone concerned about our planet 7. November 2007
Von Juliet - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Until I read Gwyneth Cravens' "Power to Save the World", I would have
described myself as an anti-nuke, pro-solar-and-windmills mom and
responsible inhabitant of this planet.
Now I, and all readers of her timely book, can benefit from Cravens'
friendship with Rip Anderson, of Sandia National Laboratories.
Ms. Cravens' writing style is as much a pleasure as it is
informative. In a personal tone, she invites the reader on her
journey and we can't help but recognize our own misconceptions and
outdated information about nuclear energy.
Cravens tracks the life cycle of uranium, tours nuclear facilities,
and asks important questions and presents them in what becomes a page
She explains in detail how efficient nuclear power is while she
dispels myths and clarifies science. While no industrial power source
is trouble-free, it's clear that carbon-free nuclear power is vastly
preferable to burning coal. I highly recommend this book to each
resident of planet earth.
44 von 44 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An eye opener to be read and re-read! 7. November 2007
Von Kenneth W. Christian - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I am quite sure that Gwyneth Cravens's highly readable book will be controversial. I can only hope that it will get the reading it deserves.

Before I read it, I was certain that I knew that nuclear energy was highly risky and a threat to all. I now understand that I actually knew very little. Despite every good intention, I had been pulled into a mindless groupthink about Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and by the very green movement I love. What I learned by reading Cravens, for example, is that as a species we evolved at a time of far greater radiation than now occurs and that one gets more radiation from eating a single banana, or crossing Grand Central Station once, than one gets living next door to a nuclear plant for a year. We are swimming in a sea of radiation, and always have been, but effectively none of it comes from the use of nuclear power plants constructed in the West. And interestingly, radiation turns out to be one of those things for which dosage is crucial. Radiation at certain low doses appears even to produce positive effects.

This book is a pleasure to read because it brims not with opinions, hyperbole or hysteria, but refreshingly, with scientific facts. There are no conspiracy theories and no bad guys (except maybe for coal producers). New, fresh, interesting information appears on every page. As Cravens points out, at one time not that long ago, people feared the dangers of bringing electricity into their homes. And they weren't completely wrong. Dangers accompany electricity, fire and other powerful yet beneficial forms of energy. The key to benefitting from them lies in overcoming fear and learning how to use the proper precautions with each.

I suppose that much of my own negative reaction to all things nuclear stems from my complete antipathy to nuclear weaponry. What is clear, however, is that if we want to provide electrical energy on the massive scale we consume, we already have the technology to do it cleanly. It turns out that to produce the kind of base load energy we need to have 24/7/365, we really have two choices: coal, on which we primarily rely, and nuclear energy. Cravens makes the irrefutable case that coal is by far the more dangerous, more polluting, more greenhouse-gas-producing choice. And its use is nearly unregulated.

Nuclear energy is THE green alternative for producing the quantities of electrical power we need now. No other current alternative produces abundant energy at low cost while producing NO greenhouse gases. The future we must move to if we want to save the planet, is available now. We can act to save the world if we overcome prejudice and fear.

Thank you, Gwyneth Cravens for producing such a timely, reasonable and well documented book!
72 von 76 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Book to Clarify the Nuclear Power Debate 19. November 2007
Von Theodore Rockwell - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
You'll be surprised what you can learn from this wonderful book. The fact that prize-winning nuclear chronicler Richard Rhodes, well-known as a stickler for historical accuracy, has endorsed it and written the Introduction, tells us we're on solid ground here. Although he is an authority on the nuclear enterprise, Rhodes says he leaned "something new on every page." The environmentalist, Stewart Brand, calls it simply, "The best introduction to the current realities and benefits of nuclear power." And popular story teller Tony Hillerman says, "I'd like to see this on every bookshelf in America and on student reading lists."

So, what makes it so special? First of all, the author herself. Her background makes clear that she is no shill for the nuclear industry. In fact, she was quite an aggressive anti-nuclear activist for many years. So she has a personal, battlefront familiarity with the questions and concerns that bother many people about the technology. Second, she is a highly skilled writer, author of five well-received novels, praised by her fellow writers, winner of many writing awards and fellowships, and Visiting Writer in the Graduate Program in Writing at UC Irvine. As a fiction editor at The New Yorker Magazine (1980-87) under the legendary William Shawn, she worked with such noted writers as Milan Kundera and Susan Sontag.

But, most important for this book, is that in addition to having a novelist's easy, graceful writing style, she brings many years' experience as a reporter for some of the world's top publications: The New Yorker, The New York Times (magazine, book review and Op-Ed page), The Washington Post, The Nation, Harpers, The Village Voice and others.

Power to Save the World is her first non-fiction book-length opus. The unique way she carried out the eight-year chore of creating it makes it particularly easy to follow, both for nuclear specialists and for those wholly new to the subject (as she was). She used to make off-hand anti-nuclear comments to her friend, Dr. D. Richard ("Rip") Anderson, chemist, oceanographer, and environmental health and nuclear safety analyst, now retired from Sandia National Laboratories. Rip would patiently explain in each case that her concern was based on misinformation. It finally reached the point where he said, "Would you really like to get the facts on this subject?" and she realized that she would. So they started "at the beginning," visiting and learning about uranium mines, milling, and fuel fabrication, and step by step, branching off from time to time to cover it all, finally ending with waste handling and storage. This is certainly the best way for a newcomer to develop an understanding of the subject. The reader learns as the author learned. As each concern is explored and dealt with, the reader comes up with the next question: "Yes, but what about...?" And that is the very moment that the author has already asked the question, and we are listening to the answer as she did. This gives readers who are new to the subject a basis for keeping the overall context continually in view and having a feeling as to where they are at any moment.

Nuclear technology is a large, complex enterprise. Its various parts were severely compartmentalized during the War. As a result, very few of us, even the earliest pioneers, are informed as to all the parts. Thus, Cravens' approach, so appropriate for newbies, is also an excellent process for even the most knowledgeable. Although the language is intelligible to lay persons, it is scientifically accurate. Yet at no time does any reader feel condescended to. This is a major accomplishment, and Cravens' great gift to us all.

In his Introduction to the book, Richard Rhodes refers to Cravens' text as a Pilgrimage, in the tradition of John Bunyan's seventeenth century classic, Pilgrim's Progress. And that is appropriate. But I am more impressed with the fact that she applied to the task her well-honed skills as investigative reporter. In a constant swirl of rumors, she was determined to learn first-hand what the real facts were. And when she gets a firm grasp on the facts, and a lucid description of them on the page, there is really no room for the unsupported rumor to survive. Without being dogmatic or simplistic, she shows over and over again that many of the "controversial issues" our field is plagued with are not complicated or controversial at all, once the facts are made clear and the fears dispersed.

She exposes the sham that supports the notion that low-dose radiation can be harmful. That, in turn, eliminates the possibility of thousands of deaths resulting from a core meltdown. She throws factual light on other supposed nuclear hazards. As each new fear is examined in light of what is physically possible, the dreaded what ifs are shown to be classical bogey men, spooks composed of nothing but fear itself. She shows that nuclear energy is not a Faustian bargain too powerful and mysterious to trust to human hands. Instead, it is providential gift to humankind, born out of our growing understanding of the laws that govern all technology. A gift given just as all other gifts are proving inadequate for our future needs.

We can all learn from this book about how controversial and scary subjects can be explained, simply and clearly. You have to wonder why it took us so long to find this out. But you don't have to wonder what to get your friends and colleagues (and adversaries) for Christmas this year. Ms. Cravens has given us the answer to that question too, and just in time.
24 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
THE issue for our time 18. November 2007
Von John L. Pope - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
There is no more urgent environmental or geopolitical issue in the world today than clean energy production. While energy sources like wind and solar are appealing, they generate only a small percentage of the power needed to replace CO2 emitting energy sources. Enter (or re-enter) nuclear. France, e.g., a country with few natural energy resources (a condition all countries will be in, sooner or later), adopted an energy policy based on nuclear power in the early seventies; today, nuclear power generates 75% of their electricity, and has turned them into a energy exporter. Many Americans, though, myself included, have had the same reservations about nuclear power as the author says she held before she started her book: skepticism of nuclear plant safety, worry about nuclear waste and about the possibility of terrorist attacks.

Cravens makes a very convincing case that these worries are not well founded. The many facts she presents are the result of her careful sifting - over a period of eight years - of the evidence on both sides, as she addresses her original doubts one by one. It is a bonus that the book is so well written, and has literary value in the way it shows a firmly-held opinion slowly changing to its opposite as the facts are confronted. But it is the urgency of the message that really matters, and that is what the book delivers: a passionate, extremely well-researched wakeup call. The more people on both sides of the nuclear debate read this book and assimilate its implications, the better.
18 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A timely and informative book. 7. November 2007
Von F. C. Crawford - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
In a world threatened by global warming, we need correct information to be able to make the best decisions to provide for our needs and protect the environment. Ms. Cravens makes a journey of discovery into the world of nuclear energy that she generously shares with us. Starting with the usual prejudices about nuclear power, she meets Dr. Rip Anderson and begins to learn the realities about that nearly-carbon-free source of electricity. It's an inspiration to travel with her and share the experience of setting aside ignorant opinion to arrive at a seasoned, informed judgement on the merits of nuclear power. As an example, her description of the heavy security at nuclear power plants should help dispel the myths about terrorists being able to take over the control room. Likewise, her contrasting portraits of clean nuclear power plants and coal-fired electrical generators make it clear where the real dangers are. Finally, her open discussion of the Chernobyl accident and Three Mile Island put matters in perspective. The two accidents are not really comparable, of course, Communist central planning produced an unsafe reactor built without a containment structure that killed about sixty people and scared tens of millions. The core meltdown at TMI, by contrast, killed no one because the reactor was designed for safety.

The issue of nuclear waste is often hauled out as a trump card by ignorant "greens" determined to frighten the public. Ms. Cravens' tour of the Waste Isolation Pilot Project in New Mexico demonstrates that a practical and safe solution already exists. Where are the self-anointed "activists" when there are real problems, like disposing of millions of tons of heavy-metal contaminated fly ash from coal plants? Our environment won't be protected by hand-wavers with Rube Goldberg visions of windmills and solar cells backed up by giant lead batteries, but we can do a lot of good by adopting the proven benefits of safe nuclear power on a bigger scale.

I recommend Ms. Cravens' timely book to anyone who has an open mind and a concern about addressing environmental problems in the real world. With her descriptive powers and gentle wit, she makes the journey of discovery interesting and pleasurable, to boot.
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