With the nuclear crisis in Japan the worst since Chernobyl, many wonder what a meltdown at a nuclear reactor might mean. Just how dangerous is it? And, how dangerous is nuclear power over all?
In 1990, nuclear physicist Bernard L. Cohen sought to answer these questions and more in his book The Nuclear Energy Option. No longer in print, the book answers a wide away of questions about the safety of nuclear power and about how the technology functions overall.
A controversial but a well-informed subject matter expert, Professor Cohen served as group leader for cyclotron research at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1950 to 1958. Following his stint at Oak Ridge, Professor Cohen moved on to the University of Pittsburgh where he served as Professor of Physics as well as Adjunct Professor of Chemistry, Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Adjunct Professor of Radiation Health, and Adjunct Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health. He also served as Director of the Scaife Nuclear Laboratory from 1965 to 1978 and held temporary positions at such facilities and institutions as the Brookhaven National Laboratory, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Stanford University, the Electric Power Research Institute, and Argonne National Laboratory, among others. He is also the author of the textbook Concepts of Nuclear Physics, as well as several books on nuclear physics and nuclear power for the popular press and is the author of over 300 journal articles.