Books about Nukes

What to Read About Nuclear Energy

With a focus on the interests of the non-technical reader . . .

This is a short list of books for the non-technical reader on commercial nuclear energy and also a few on nuclear weapons / nonproliferation topics.  It is an update of a list originally published in October 2010.

In the list below, I provide the title, the author’s name, their home page where you can learn about them and their book; and, the Amazon page if you want to buy a copy.

The Amazon page will give you a publisher’s note about the book, a summary of reviews, and reader opinions.

The Amazon page contains the book’s ISBN number which is helpful if you want to read these books for free at your local public library. They should have a copy or can get one for you on inter-library loan. None of these books are obscure. All are in print.

                        The Idaho Samizdat nuclear energy reading list
The Idaho Samizdat short list of books on nuclear energy is not meant to be all inclusive.  I welcome suggestions for additions.  Please check the list below.  I only need a few volumes in each category. This list was last updated January 15, 2012.

Three must reads - Start here               

The Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy
by: Gwyneth Cravens Amazon

Terrestrial Energy: How Nuclear Energy Will Lead the Green Revolution and End America's Energy Odyssey by: William Tucker Amazon

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto
by: Stewart Brand Amazon

Further reading for generalists

Nuclear Energy: What Everyone Needs to Know
by: Charles D. Ferguson  Amazon 

Nuclear Energy in the 21st Century
by: Ian Hore-Lacy  Publisher link

The Reporter's Handbook on Nuclear Materials, Energy, and Waste Management
by: Michael Greenberg Amazon


Nuclear Firsts: Milestone on the Road to Nuclear Power Development
by: Gail Marcus Amazon
The Rickover Effect: How One Man Made a Difference
by: Ted Rockwell  Amazon

Plentiful Energy: The Story of the Integral Fast Reactor
by: Charles E. Till and Yoon Il Chang  Amazon

Nuclear Silk Road: The Koreanization of Nuclear Power Technology
by Byung-Koo Kim  Amazon


Physics for Future Presidents
by: Richard A. Muller  Amazon

The Making of the Atomic Bomb
by: Richard Rhodes Amazon

The Spread of Nuclear Weapons
by: Scott D. Sagan and Kenneth N. Waltz  Amazon

Single Issues

Radiation and Reason
by: Wade Allison Amazon

Nuclear Reactions: The Politics of Opening a Radioactive Waste Disposal Site
by: Chuck McCutcheon  Amazon

Uranium: War, Energy and the Rock that Shaped the World
by: Tom Zoellner  Amazon

Sustainable Development / Climate Change

Storms of my Grandchildren
by: James Hansen  Amazon
The GeoPolitics of Energy: Achieving a Just and Sustainable Energy Distribution by 2040
by Judith Wright and James Conca  Amazon

Sustainable Energy - Without The Hot Air
by: David JC MacKay  Amazon

General Reference

Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia - a single volume
Steven B. Krivit (Editor), Thomas B. Kingery (Editor), Jay H. Lehr (Series Editor)

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