• Atomic Accidents

  • A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters; From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima
  • By: James Mahaffey
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 15-02-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 (120 ratings)


From the moment radiation was discovered in the late nineteenth century, nuclear science has had a rich history of innovative scientific exploration and discovery, coupled with mistakes, accidents, and downright disasters.
Mahaffey, a long-time advocate of continued nuclear research and nuclear energy, looks at each incident in turn and analyzes what happened and why, often discovering where scientists went wrong when analyzing past meltdowns.
Every incident has lead to new facets in understanding about the mighty atom - and Mahaffey puts forth what the future should be for this final frontier of science that still holds so much promise.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2014 James Mahaffey (P)2014 Blackstone Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By M. Sayers on 20-02-15

Disasters made fun

I really enjoyed this well researched journey through nuclear history, and how despite all the best intentions failures have occurred. The last chapter on the future of nuclear power was very enlightening. A heavy engineering subject made light with appropriate humour.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Y. Syed on 16-02-15

Educate yourself about Nuclear Power

Irrational fear appears to drive much of thinking and politics that surround the viability of Nuclear Power.
This book goes a long way toward educating and increasing clarity around the issue.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By CHET YARBROUGH on 05-01-15


Listening to James Mahaffey’s "Atomic Accidents", the first thing that comes to mind is point-of-view, second is author’s qualification, and third is writing ability.

Doctor James Mahaffey’s professional career is founded on the nuclear industry. Educated at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Mahaffey holds a bachelor’s degree in physics, a master’s in science, and a doctoral in nuclear engineering. Mahaffey is well versed in the science, engineering, and mechanics of nuclear energy. Because of education, one presumes Mahaffey is a proponent of the nuclear power industry. After dissection of several atomic accidents, a listener becomes unsure of Mahaffey’s point of view. By the end, his point of view is clear. Mahaffey’s book is historically fascinating, and enlightening. Happily, Mahaffey writes well with erudite understanding and little obfuscating jargon.

Mahaffey explains that radiation is a naturally occurring phenomenon. He argues that shutting nuclear waste disposal facility like Yucca Mountain in Nevada is a mistake. Mahaffey’s point of view is that nuclear power generation accidents will happen but their consequences can be minimized with smaller plants and better planning for treatment of victims when accidents occur. He believes nuclear energy benefits far out way their risks.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Matt on 19-03-14

Fantastic balance of scientific + storytelling

Where does Atomic Accidents rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very highly.

What other book might you compare Atomic Accidents to and why?

"Command and Control". More about nuclear weapons and specifically an incident at a missile silo in Arkansas.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the several scenes describing the internal working of nuclear power plants and the details of accidents that occurred in them.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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