Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Book to read in this Trump era of nuclear threat and climate change

Worth reading in the Trump era: Nuclear nightmares, authoritarianism and climate change, The Conversation, MV Ramana, Simons Chair in Disarmament, Global and Human Security at the Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia August 25, 2017 Editor’s note: The Conversation Canada asked our academic authors to share some recommended reading. In this instalment, MV Ramana, a nuclear physicist and disarmament expert who wrote about small nuclear reactors, looks at a mix of new and recent books on nuclear disaster, weapons, authoritarianism and climate change.

My Nuclear Nightmare  Leading Japan Through the Fukushima Disaster to a Nuclear-Free FutureBy Naoto Kan. Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey S. Irish. (Non-fiction. Hardcover, 2017. Cornell University Press.)………..Naoto Kan was the prime minister of Japan during this critical period [of the Fukushima nuclear disaster] and this book, published in Japanese in 2012 and newly available in English, offers his inside perspective of how events unfolded at the highest levels.

Kan reveals how little even powerful individuals and institutions like him and the government can do in the face of a major nuclear accident. If a society like Japan that is so well-prepared for natural disasters like earthquakes is unable to deal with a severe nuclear accident like Fukushima, there is little doubt that no country would have been able to do much better.

Kan’s account is testimony of the prevalence of the safety myth: the comforting but illusionary idea that technology can prevent nuclear accidents. Sadly, that myth continues to prevail not just in Japan but in most countries that are operating or constructing nuclear power plants.

Command and Control     Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of SafetyBy Eric Schlosser (Non-fiction. Paperback, 2014. Penguin.) ……..The Sept. 18, 1980, incident was just one of the many close calls involving nuclear weapons that the world has experienced. Going through these experiences, it’s hard to attribute the fact that there have been no accidental nuclear explosions to anything but blind luck.

Eric Schlosser, an award-winning American journalist and author, has produced a very readable account of accidents and near-misses, as well as the decades-long history of trying to control these risks through technological and institutional fixes.

Command and Control reminds us of the extraordinary danger posed by the large nuclear arsenals possessed by many countries around the world — most importantly, the United States and Russia…..

Unmaking the Bomb  A Fissile Material Approach to Nuclear Disarmament and NonproliferationBy Harold A. Feiveson, Alexander Glaser, Zia Mian, Frank N. von Hippel (Non-fiction. Hardcover, 2014. MIT Press.)…….. In contrast to proposals for nuclear disarmament that focus on diplomacy and international relations, this book by four physicists at Princeton University (my former colleagues) offers a more technical road map for nuclear disarmament: Namely, through the control and elimination of highly enriched uranium and plutonium — the fissile materials that are the essential ingredients of all nuclear weapons.

The connection is laid out in the introduction of the book: “If we are to reduce the threat from nuclear weapons, we must deal with the dangers posed by the production, stockpiling, and use of fissile materials. Unmaking the bomb requires eliminating the fissile materials that make nuclear weapons possible.”…….

The Rise of Hindu Authoritarianism  Secular Claims, Communal Realities  By Achin Vanaik (Non-fiction. Hardcover, 2017. Verso Books.)

The last few years have seen victories by right wing, authoritarian political parties and leaders in multiple countries. The same phenomenon in India, the “world’s largest democracy,” should be — and is — cause for worry…….. The Rise of Hindu Authoritarianism not only explores in great detail the growing communalization of the political arena and civil society, it also delineates what an oppositional and transformative project might look like.

The Great Derangement Climate Change and the Unthinkable  By Amitav Ghosh (Non-fiction. Cloth, 2016. University of Chicago Press.)…… climate change has appeared only sparingly in the world of fiction and literature…..Reading this book makes it clear, at least to me, that climate change is not a problem that can be dealt with through some clever technological inventions or some neat-looking financial instrument, but will require us to fundamentally reshape our economic, political and international structures.https://theconversation.com/worth-reading-in-the-trump-era-nuclear-nightmares-authoritarianism-and-climate-change-83024

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August 26, 2017 - Posted by | General News

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