The reader will find in this collection of essays treatment of a wide variety of questions common to what is known as the nuclear controversy. These include future energy supplies and demands, the economics of nuclear power, and several of the concerns that people have regarding the risks and hazards of nuclear power. Each essay represents the best efforts of its author to address the subject objectively and with perspective, always mindful of the uncertainties inherent in dealing with human activities and future events. Because the authors are exclusively engineers and scientists, however, there are other dimensions to the nuclear controversy—political, sociological, psychological—that are left untreated. This conscious omission does not reflect a belief that these aspects are not important. Indeed they are. For example, the Presidential Commission appointed to evaluate the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant reported that the principal injury to the surrounding population was one of severe mental stress. We are not inclined to regard this form of injury as an imaginary one or one to be disregarded. We do not possess the expertise to address it in its entirety, but we do believe that the widespread exaggeration of the dangers of nuclear power is one contributory factor; that is a subject that we can and do address in these essays. In recognition of additional political and sociological aspects of the nuclear question, however, we attempt in this introduction to set the scene of the nuclear controversy in the United States as we see it.
KeywordsNuclear Power Plant Radioactive Waste Nuclear Energy Nuclear Waste Nuclear Waste Disposal
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