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Nuclear Implosions


  • Page extent: 304 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.55 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 333.793/209797
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: HD9685.U7 W3456 2008
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Washington Public Power Supply System
    • Nuclear power plants--Washington (State)--Design and construction--Finance
    • Electric utilities--Washington (State)--Finance
    • Energy development--United States

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521402538)

This book follows a small public agency in Washington State that undertook one of the most ambitious construction projects in the nation in the 1970s: the building of five large nuclear power plants. By 1983, delays and cost overruns, along with slowed growth of electricity demand, led to cancellation of two plants and a construction halt on two others. Moreover, the agency defaulted on $2.25 billion of municipal bonds, leading to a monumental court case that took nearly a decade to resolve fully. Daniel Pope sets this in the context of the postwar boom's ending, the energy shocks of the 1970s, a new restraint in forecasting demand, and shifting patterns of municipal finance. Nuclear Implosions also traces the entangling alliance between civilian nuclear energy and nuclear weapons and recounts a telling example of how the law has become a primary method of resolving disputes in a litigious society.

• Tells the story of the largest municipal bond default in US history • Emphasises the complex interrelationships between nuclear weaponry and the peaceful atom in the Cold War era • Balances attention to regional distinctiveness of Pacific Northwest with analysis of national and international ramifications


1. Background to fiasco; 2. WPPSS steps forward; 3. The next wave; 4. The construction morass; 5. Collapse; 6. Endgame; 7. Running toward an uncertain future.


Review of the hardback: 'In Nuclear Implosions: The Rise and Fall of the Washington Public Power Supply System, Daniel Pope provides a(n) … extensive and retrospective analysis of a previous push for the expansion of civil nuclear power in Washington State in the US.' St Antony's International Review

'Pope's important history might be relied upon to predict dubious prospects for nuclear power anywhere in the country, not just in the northwest.' Bruce Hevly, University of Washington

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