he thesis of Mangano’s book is that the era of nuclear power, in the US at least, is nearly over. The US nuclear power programme, he argues, ‘has been a failure, and will fade into obscurity with time … Building a single new reactor will either take years to complete or never occur’ (pp.280-1). For Mangano, this is a victory for the anti-nuclear campaigners like him who have fought for decades against official denials that nuclear power plants were dangerous or could cause health problems. It is, he says, ‘a triumph for truth over non-truth’.

This might be the expected position from any environmentalist – on the side of campaigners against government and big business – but recently this has changed. For some prominent environmentalists now, an end to nuclear power would be a catastrophe. Both Mark Lynas and George Monbiot, for example, argue that the only attainable way to phase out fossil fuels is to replace them with a combination of renewable and nuclear power. Mangano does not address what sort of power generation would take nuclear power’s place, and this is an omission, considering how the question is implicit in any consideration of this most controversial way of generating power. Nonetheless, Mad Science adds important research and argument to the case against nuclear power.

Read the full article at Counterfire.