Great Things to Watch
Too Hot to Handle
Description: Produced in 1986, this outstanding post-Chernobyl three part highly acclaimed documentary series examines the pro's and con's of nuclear power. It covers the basics of radioactivity, examines the understanding of the topic by the general population, contrasts industry and media communications on nuclear power, examines detailed scientific evidence about how and to what extent radioactive waste enters the food chain, and looks at cancer rates near power plants in the UK. This is an incredibly informative and well balanced presentation of the evidence.
Available on Amazon: Too Hot to Handle by DigiComTV
Description: Produced in 2013, this is a riveting post-Fukishima Robert Stone film that shows how several well-known former anti-nuclear activists now see nuclear power as an essential part of the solution to reducing carbon emissions while meeting our ever-increasing global need for energy. From the first atomic bomb to meltdowns like Fukushima, nuclear power has become synonymous with global disaster. But, the central thesis of the film asks, what if we have nuclear power wrong? This favorite at the Sundance Film Festival asks whether the one technology we fear most could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty.
Available on Amazon: Pandora’s Promise
Uranium: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail
Description: Produced in 2015, this two-part series on PBS presents a balanced point of view on Uranium, radioactivity and nuclear power. Part I covers the basics, and Part II talks about Chernobyl and Fukushima and the future of nuclear power. The host, physicist Dr. Derek Muller, presents the information in an entertaining, and informative style that appeals across a broad range of age groups and levels of scientific background
Available on PBS: Twisting the Dragon’s Tail
Description: This interesting film examines the dismantling of nuclear weapons, and the storage programs for securing the fissile material. Stunning footage of the Pantex plant which is responsible for maintaining the safety, security and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile of the United States. It is situated on a 16,000 acre site northeast of Amarillo, Texas.
Great Things to Read
The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Description: This riveting book by Richard Rhodes provides both an in-depth look at the development of the first fission bomb, as well as the scientists who made it possible.
It is available on Amazon: The Making of the Atomic Bomb
Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb
Description: A great read after The Making of the Atomic Bomb, this book by Richard Rhodes provides an in-depth look into the development of fission-fusion weapons.
It is available on Amazon: Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb
Description: Fascinating book by Tom Zoellner that traces how Uranium, once discarded as waste rock, came to alter the future of the world.
It is available on Amazon: Uranium
Introduction to Radioactive Minerals
Description: This book by Robert Lauf is a great reference source with vibrant photography for the collection and study of radioactive minerals.
It is available on Amazon: Introduction to Radioactive Minerals
Spying on the Bomb: American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea
Description: This book provides an intriguing look into how the United States detected and monitored the development of the atomic bomb programs undertaken by other countries, beginning with WWII.
It is available on Amazon: Spying on the Bomb
The Deadly Element: The Story of Uranium
Description: "The Deadly Element: The Story of Uranium” by Lennard Bickel traces Uranium from its discovery through the various scientific advances that culminated in the development of nuclear weapons.
It is available on Amazon: The Deadly Element
Uranium Frenzy: Saga of the Nuclear West
Description: This book by Ray Ringholz takes the reader through through the sprit and excitement of the Uranium boom. Great accounts of Charlie Steen and others.
It is available on Amazon: Uranium Frenzy
The Radioactive Boyscout
Description: An absolute must-read true account about the brilliance of a young atomic enthusiast in Michigan whose rather hazardous experiments result in the creation of a reactor. Once you begin reading this book, it is hard to stop.
It is available on Amazon: The Radioactive Boyscout
Description: Jeremy Bernstein’s book takes the reader on a compelling in-depth look at Plutonium.
It is available on Amazon: Plutonium
The Big Book of Vaseline Glass
Description: This is a unique and in-depth analysis of glass colored with Uranium. Much of it emitting a beautiful glow under UV light, this type of glass collecting is completely unique in that the pieces are radioactive.
It is available on Amazon: The Big Book of Vaseline Glass
Living With Radiation: The First 100 Years
Description: This 300 page book by William Kolb is the absolute definitive book on radioactive items in our culture dating from the early 1900’s. It covers virtually all products made with Radium, Uranium and Thorium in our popular culture. It is by far THE BEST reference source on this topic. Self-published, it is difficult to find.
Here is a link to Theodore Gray’s site where it can be purchased: Living with Radiation: The First 100 Years
Atom Bombs: The Top Secret Inside Story of Little Boy and Fat Man
Description: This book by Join Coster-Mullen provides a detailed and exacting account of the construction of the first atomic bombs. The author created an exact replica of the Little Boy bomb which is on display at Wendover Utah Airfield Museum.
It is available on Amazon: Atomic Bombs
The Curve of Binding Energy
Description: John McPhee’s “Curve of Binding Energy” is about the life and career of Theodore Taylor, an extremely innovative theoretical physicist who miniaturized the atomic bomb, and designed the largest-yield fission bomb ever detonated. He also became convinced that weapons-grade uranium and plutonium were available to anyone who might wish to build a bomb, and has since tried to work for improvements in the protection of nuclear materials.
The Los Alamos Primer
Description: "The Los Alamos Primer" by Robert Serber, with an introduction by Richard Rhodes, presents the lectures of Serber that were given to young scientists working on The Manhattan Project. Working with Rhodes, the Primer has been annotated for the nonscientist.
It is available on Amazon: The Los Alamos Primer
A Piece of the Sun
Description: "A Piece of the Sun: The Quest for Fusion Energy" by Daniel Clery. Very interesting account of research into fusion energy. In fusion, two lighter atomic nuclei fuse to form a heavier nucleus. When they combine, some of the mass is lost and is converted into energy. This well researched book presents fascinating detail on plasma physics, and the attempts to overcome barriers posed by the the need to achieve plasma temperatures on the order of hundreds of millions of degrees.
It is available on Amazon: A Piece of the Sun
Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters
"Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters” by James Mahaffey provides a detailed historical account of nuclear power beginning with the discovery of radiation and ending with Fukushima.
Mahaffey is a long-time advocate of nuclear research and nuclear energy, and he looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong.
It is available on Amazon: Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters
Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster
This book by Lochbaum et al is truly hard to put down. Reviewed as “A gripping, suspenseful page-turner” (Kirkus Reviews) with a “fast-paced, detailed narrative that moves like a thriller” (International Business Times), it is a factual moment to moment account of the Fukushima disaster. It provides tremendous insight into what went wrong and why.
It is available on Amazon: Atomic Accidents: Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster