Atomic Accidents

  • by James Mahaffey
  • Narrated by Tom Weiner
  • 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the moment radiation was discovered in the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative scientific exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters.
Mahaffey, a long-time advocate of continued nuclear research and nuclear energy, looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong when analyzing past meltdowns.
Every incident has lead to new facets in understanding about the mighty atom - and Mahaffey puts forth what the future should be for this final frontier of science that still holds so much promise.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating Stories, Easily Digested Numbers

What made the experience of listening to Atomic Accidents the most enjoyable?

Mahaffey does one of the best jobs of combining hard science, complete with numbers, with fascinating human stories I've ever heard.

This isn't a text book, it's a smart funny guy who happens to be a subject matter expert telling you history in a very human way.

The first accident in the book is literally a train wreck, and each subsequent story of nuclear errors, accidents, and disasters have a 'can't take your ears off of this train wreck' quality.

What other book might you compare Atomic Accidents to and why?

This is sort of like 'Cosmos' for nuclear power production history.

Or it least it would be if Carl Sagan or Niel Tyson had senses of humor and didn't talk down to the audience.

Which character – as performed by Tom Weiner – was your favorite?

The book is written in the first person, so there is only one character.

Weiner does a great job reading this book, with the glaring exception of pronouncing the word 'Tritium'. For some reason he pronounces 'trit-E-um' as 'trisham'! I actually had to stop the audio and go to the web to double check that there wasn't really an element called 'trisham'!

I don't blame Weiner for this, I blame Blackstone's producer for not catching this glaring error.

I've been listening to audio books since the late 70s, and I've alway found Blackstone readings to have inferior production values. I will say that the production quality in this book is much better than past Blackstone recordings, but they still have work to do match the quality of studios like Recorded Books LLC.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would have if I could have.

Any additional comments?

This is not a partisan rant, the history of nuclear power, good and bad, is related with emphasis on the 'bad'.

After telling you the 'bad' Mahaffey provides the hard facts and numbers to help readers keep a sense of perspective when thinking about future energy alternatives for the U.S. and the world.

Highly recommended.

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- Jim In Texas! "I'm just a big kid."

My favorite far

Where does Atomic Accidents rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. I have listened to it twice in the past 3 months and I expect I will listen to it again soon. The subject matter was surprising, informative, technical enough to be interesting and yet completely understandable to a lay person. I think Mr. Mahaffey's writing style suits my tastes in that it was casual, humorous and still on point and relevant. A++

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- Glen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-15-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.