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


Listening to James Mahaffey’s "Atomic Accidents", the first thing that comes to mind is point-of-view, second is author’s qualification, and third is writing ability.

Doctor James Mahaffey’s professional career is founded on the nuclear industry. Educated at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mahaffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics, a master’s in science, and a doctoral in nuclear engineering. Mahaffey is well versed in the science, engineering, and mechanics of nuclear energy. Because of education, one presumes Mahaffey is a proponent of the nuclear power industry. After dissection of several atomic accidents, a listener becomes unsure of Mahaffey’s point of view. By the end, his point of view is clear. Mahaffey’s book is historically fascinating, and enlightening. Happily, Mahaffey writes well with erudite understanding and little obfuscating jargon.

Mahaffey explains that radiation is a naturally occurring phenomenon. He argues that shutting nuclear waste disposal facility like Yucca Mountain in Nevada is a mistake. Mahaffey’s point of view is that nuclear power generation accidents will happen but their consequences can be minimized with smaller plants and better planning for treatment of victims when accidents occur. He believes nuclear energy benefits far out way their risks.
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Fantastic balance of scientific + storytelling

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

Very highly.

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

"Command and Control". More about nuclear weapons and specifically an incident at a missile silo in Arkansas.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the several scenes describing the internal working of nuclear power plants and the details of accidents that occurred in them.

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- Matt

Book Details

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