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Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster

Narrated by: Jonathan Todd Ross
Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, World Affairs
4 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

Non-member price: $36.54

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Publisher's Summary

On March 11, 2011, an earthquake large enough to knock the earth from its axis sent a massive tsunami speeding toward the Japanese coast and the aging and vulnerable Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power reactors. Over the following weeks, the world watched in horror as a natural disaster became a man-made catastrophe: fail-safes failed, cooling systems shut down, nuclear rods melted.

In the first definitive account of the Fukushima disaster, two leading experts from the Union of Concerned Scientists, David Lochbaum and Edwin Lyman, team up with journalist Susan Q. Stranahan, the lead reporter of the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Pulitzer Prizewinning coverage of the Three Mile Island accident, to tell this harrowing story. Fukushima combines a fast-paced, riveting account of the tsunami and the nuclear emergency it created with an explanation of the science and technology behind the meltdown as it unfolded in real time.

The narrative also extends to other severe nuclear accidents to address both the terrifying question of whether it could happen elsewhere and how such a crisis can be averted in the future.

©2014 Union of Concerned Scientists (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Profile Image for Eduards J. Vucins
  • Eduards J. Vucins
  • 11-05-2014

Internal workings of the NRC

What disappointed you about Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster?

Half the book was on the NRC.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Narration was good but the authors were clearly writers only with a poor understanding of the technical details. A much better understanding of the event can be obtained from the Chapter in James Mahafey's book Atomic Accidents: A History and the Robert P.Gale MD book Radiation-What it is & What You Need to Know .

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Unless you are a policy wonk, you will be bored by half of the book.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-2018

Heavily biased anti nuclear energy propaganda.

While the recounting of the disaster at Fukushima is well researched and compellingly told, it is tarnished by the authors unabashed bias against anything to do with nuclear power.

20 people found this helpful

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  • amanda
  • 26-05-2019

Not About Fukushima

This is a book by The Union of Concerned Scientists arguing for better nuclear plant regulation in the United States. They prove their points, making strong arguments. But I was trying to read a book ABOUT Fukushima. They mention Fukushima, spending a few chapters on it as a cautionary tale. I was trying to read a WHOLE book about Fukushima. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be one. This book is boring. So so unbelievably boring. It's difficult to make a nuclear disaster boring, but they've managed it. They've so, so managed it. They should have hired Adam Higganbotham or Sergio Plokhy, both of whom wrote EXCELLENT, wonderfully readable books on Chernobyl to write this. I was hoping for a book like those books, I was sorely disappointed. What's missing are the first person accounts; description of culture, historic period, and place; journalism, social analysis, and storytelling of those books. I am BEGGING those authors to take on this topic. That's the book I want to read. The Fukushima coverage in this also just kind of trails off. I kept thinking they'd pick up the thread again but they didn't. I finished this, but it was a long unpleasant slog. The Union of Concerned Scientists should be ashamed of their bait and switch and should rename and describe this in a way that's transparent. They should be embarrassed by this, it undercuts their credibility and makes them look manipulative. If you want to read a book about problems with the nuclear industry in the United States and a comprehensive argument is more important to you than readability, this is your book though. Also it's terrifying, because we're not protected at all.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Eric
  • 08-07-2016

Political Essay

The authors' biases made it hard for me to enjoy the story. This was more a political essay than a historical account.

23 people found this helpful

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  • andrew velasquez
  • 09-02-2017

anti-renewable energy propoganda.

bought the book to learn about nuclear incidents. all I got was fear mongering and half facts.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Elmore
  • 26-04-2019

Do you like regulation?

This book was more about the regulator agencies, primarily in the US, then anything else. It had a fine technical description of the disaster but it hardly mention any of the works trying to save the plant. If you are looking for reasons to hate the nuclear industry you'll get some good talking points from this book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-12-2018

Extremely non-objective and biased

“Even one part in a billion of radiation can be harmful”. What else can you say?

This author has a definite agenda “nuclear in any form is bad”. I’m sure he drives a car, cleans his teeth with an electric toothbrush,... and believes in made global warming, but nuclear is unacceptable to him? This is propaganda and very damaging propaganda at that.

Unless you are the type that gets into their BMW to take a drive down the coast to protest the latest off-shore oil development, save your money on this one.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Jeff Rigby
  • 14-08-2019

need to stick to the facts

the story about what happen at Fukushima is really good. As the book ran on it became very clear the writers of this book were trying to force the facts into fitting within their specific and narrow minded opinion. what they really wanted to blame the United States for problems in Japan. further they want to force the nuclear industry into taking policy positions that would made it impossible to actually operate nuclear power plants. plus they refused to give any credit to efforts being done to improve nuckear safety if the possitions did not fit into their narrow view. This started out as a really good book but then drives way to deep into unsupportable political opinion and so I will probably never listen to this book again.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sean Pheonix
  • 21-10-2019

Dreary Political Whining

Do not buy this for scientific or technical accuracy. It is a anti-nuclear power manifesto from the first page.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Steven Ray Hill
  • 21-01-2020

Trust us there is no danger!

You can trust those in charge of the safety even though stockholders must be satisfied.

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  • R Halls
  • 09-03-2018

Biased

The book was interesting however I do find the arguments are quite biased. As it always emphasises the worst effects and idea "That ALL radionuclides are dangerous" It's ment to be written by Scientists so; the types of isotopes, half life , decay energy/rate and types of energy (Alpha, Beta, Gamma) don't mean much then? However it is a good listen if you remember to account for this

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  • Robert
  • 19-02-2017

Fukushima inspired political discussion

I was hoping to learn more technical aspects of the accident in order to have my own opinion. Instead it is mostly extensive political discussion with strong emphasis on American authorities. Lector has beautiful voice but occasionally loses comprehension of long sentences that the book generously uses.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Killian
  • 25-10-2019

Misleading title

This is a book more about US government policy and regulation. Therefore it’s a very misleading title.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sean
  • 09-04-2020

not really about Fukushima

the book isn't really about Fukushima, this book is more about the state of nuclear safety and regulation in the US, seens more like a Fukushima was just used as an example.

if the book title was Fukushima: the state of nuclear safety in the us after Fukushima I would rate more