Nuclear energy can provide great benefits to society; in the form of nuclear weapons, however, it can cause death and destruction on an unparalleled scale. The challenge is how to deal with the catastrophic risk of the nuclear enterprise so as to preserve its positive elements and make economic sense. In this book, an expert group of contributors attempts to answer two key questions facing the nuclear enterprise: (1) What can and should be done to improve operations and public understanding of the risks and consequences of major incidents? (2) How can informed scientists, economists, and journalists interact more effectively in understanding and reporting to the public on the most important issues affecting risks, consequences, and costs?
Drawn from a conference held at Stanford University's Hoover Institution on October 3–4, 2011, the papers presented in The Nuclear Enterprise were prepared by specialists on various aspects of this challenging topic, including technical safety, management operations, regulatory measures, and the importance of accurate communication by the media. It is their hope that the findings of the conference will contribute to discussion and then actions to better contain and eliminate growing global dangers.