Introduction: How a New Industry Comes About
Industrial progress comes gradually, but certain critical steps can be identified. These are the innovations: but industrial innovations do not grow in a vacuum, they do reflect a (sometimes, hidden) growth of underlying science, the development of technical skills on a smaller scale, and social maturity and consensus. First, the machines made easier to do the work our forefathers did manually and painstakingly. Still products were made in isolation and sporadically, or associated with small clusters of crafters. Next, electricity came, which rapidly escalated the production rate and created the conditions of mass production. The third step came up jointly with the appearance of computers and the inception of automation, when robots began to replace humans at work. Internet multiplied the sharing of information, the very backbone of mass industry. This book will try to apply the notion of industrial progress to the history of nuclear decommissioning.
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