How to Drive a Nuclear Reactor by Colin Tucker [7/10]

How to Drive a Nuclear Reactor” sounds so specialized that I imagine most nonfiction readers will shy away from it. They would be missing out, for yes, nuclear expert Colin Tucker’s primer on control management of a modern nuclear power plant is technical, but it’s technical in a way that shines. Succinctly and clearly, the author walks the reader through the basics of how reactors work and how a reactor operator, sitting in her control room, can start up a reactor, smoothly keep it going, and take corrective action if something goes wrong. In the telling, the reader obtains a potted introduction to nuclear fission, reactor theory, reactor safety, and the varieties of reactors around the world. I must confess some of the intricacies of control overwhelmed me but I was able to retain a clear overview of the basics. Believe it or not, How to Drive a Nuclear Reactor is a fun read (defining fun as knowledge enhancing in a pleasant vein) and is worth checking out.

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