Atoms and Ashes – Book Review

Plokhy, Serhii

Atoms and Ashes: From Bikini Atoll to Fukushima

Penguin Books – Paperback – 2023

ISBN 978-0141997179

This very readable book covers some of worst nukiller disasters which have taken place so far. That includes the windscale fire, Chernobyl, Fukushima, Kyshtym in Russia, and the fallout of the 1954 atomic bomb test at Bikini Atoll.

The author details just how they were all caused by negligence, bad designs, or the effects of nature such as the Fukushima Tsunami. Yet all of them have been subject to governmental or company cover-ups.

What is not covered in this book is the radioactive pollution from Uranium mining such as the Rum Jungle disaster in Australia, which is a major cause of climate change, or the ongoing problem of nukiller waste storage.

The last chapter of the book covers the military attacks which have taken place at various reactors.
For example: –

  • The Osiak nukiller facility in Iraq.
  • The Iranian Bushehr plant.
  • The Israeli Dimona reactor.

Or more recently the Russian attacks upon both the Chernobyl and Zaporizhia reactors.

As the author points out there is no international law to stop such attacks if they are classified as military facilities.

The last sentence in the book is well worth quoting: –
We can hardly afford to build new reactors before we find a way to protect existing ones.’

That is something which we all need to keep stating.