“Fukushima: The Story of Nuclear Disaster” Book Released

February 12, 2014
David Wright
Former contributor

Yesterday we officially released our book Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster, published by New Press and co-authored by Dave Lochbaum and Ed Lyman, and journalist Susan Q. Stranahan. Susan for many years was a journalist with the Philadelphia Inquirer, and was the lead reporter of the Inquirer’s Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident.

fukushima-book-coverThe book provides the most authoritative account to date of what happened during the March 2011 triple reactor-meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. It is based on technical analyses, interviews with the principal players, and information gleaned from thousands of pages of documents obtained from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and other federal agencies, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)—the plant’s owner—and independent Japanese commissions.

In addition to analyzing the disaster, the book ends by discussing the decisions by Japan’s nuclear industry and regulators that set the stage for it to happen, and how a similar disaster could happen here if the NRC doesn’t strengthen safety regulations. While the NRC set up a Task Force to study and draw lessons from Fukushima to improve U.S. safety regulations, it is moving very slowly on considering the Task Force recommendations, and is watering them down as it goes along. That’s not good.

The book is an expert account that isn’t written just for experts. Kirkus Reviews called it “a gripping, suspenseful page turner,” and Publisher’s Weekly called it an “eye-opening exposé … [that] points to the scary fact that America can suffer a Fukushima-type event if critical steps are not taken.”

The book is available through New Press at 20% off (use code FukushimaBook).