Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy

  • by Gwyneth Cravens
  • Narrated by Christine Williams
  • 16 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With the constant threat of oil shortages facing us and wanting to educate herself about possible alternatives, Gwyneth Cravens skeptically sets out to find for herself the truth about nuclear energy. Her conclusion: It is a totally viable and practical solution to global warming. She enlists the help of Rip Anderson, a leading scientist in the field of risk assessment, and with his tutelage, she travels the country, visiting uranium mines, enrichment centers, reactors, and waste sites.
Along the way we learn a lot of science, review the history of nuclear energy, relive the battles over it, see how successfully it has been applied all over the world, examine the misconceptions, and compare nuclear power to other energy sources, with their risks and benefits. Cravens is not out to deliver a polemic, however. Coming from a childhood spent building fallout shelters, Cravens viscerally understands the terror the word "nuclear" evokes. She gives us a vocabulary for practical risk assessment while investigating the psychology of nuclear fears, starting with the secrecy of the Manhattan Project and the legacy of government cover-ups both here and in the USSR. One by one, she dismantles the arguments against nuclear energy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Debunking Nuclear Superstition

This is a perfect book for Audible readers. I bet there is a large portion of Audible members who read because they love learning more than they love being entertained. This book is both an expose on nuclear energy and also a story of personal discovery from the author. Gwyneth openly admits to beginning her research from a deep-seeded anti-nuclear point of view. The more she learned about her topic, the more she learned that she was wrong. Gasp! Nuclear energy is GOOD.

I wish there were more books like this one because they are about enlightenment; they are about solving problems with truth instead of superstitious beliefs. Education can defeat fear.

In this book the author explores nuclear energy, the alternatives to nuclear energy, and then realizes the importance of coming face to face with our fears of it. We can’t see radiation. The word itself evokes mushroom clouds, Chernobyl, and mutated animals. There is something psychological about why we fear nuclear energy, but this book wants us to look under the bed to see there is no boogey man. The upside is nothing less than a serious replacement to fossil fuel consumption and our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. Before we can embrace nuclear energy, we first must understand it.
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- Doug

Good, with some noticeable flaws

My major criticisms to note:

The author spends very little time talking about advanced reactors, devoting a bit to talking about sodium fast breeders, a paragraph on helium gas-cooled reactors, and perhaps a hat nod to salt cooled reactors and the rest. It reads mostly as an apology for light water reactors, albeit a good one.

Gwyneth focuses on Rip almost exclusively. Although this is decent as a narrative device, using the dialogue between herself and Rip as the core narrative of the book, it wears a bit old after several hours of Gwyneth's intentionally dumbed-down questions to Rip, and the narrator did not help by making them sound like an endless barrage of questions with no clear chronological progression, I.e. earlier, more naïve questions making way to more nuanced questions as she learned more.

Overall a good listen, I would recommend to people that don't like nuclear power at all, but I still enjoyed as a relatively ignorant nuke nerd.
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- Christian Malone

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-21-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios