Julia DeWahl

Nuclear Reading List

My favorite content on the topic of nuclear energy:


Atomic Awakening – by James Mahaffey.  An excellent but dense history of the nuclear industry, including the scientific discoveries that led up to the development of the first nuclear reactor.

*Why Nuclear Power Has Been a Flop – by Jack Devanney. Focuses on the regulatory framework that has hamstrung the nuclear industry and why costs are as high as they are. Jason Crawford of Roots of Progress has an excellent summary here.

Atoms and Ashes – by Serhii Plokhy. Details the nuclear disasters of Fukushima, Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

*Apocalypse Never – by Michael Shellenberger. Ecomodernist take on the environmental challenges of our times, with a great chapter on nuclear. This book was the catalyst for my deeper dive into nuclear.

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future – by Gretchen Bakke. How our grid works, the trouble with renewables, and why we need stable baseload or an overhauled grid. For a shorter read on the grid, check out How Utilities Make Money by the Sightline Institute.

A Bright Future: How Some Countries Have Solved Climate Change and the Rest Can Follow – by Josh Goldstein and Staffan Qvist.

*After Fukushima: What We Now Know – by Andrew Daniels. Dense but has some of everything – history of accidents, deep dive into the value chain from uranium to the various reactor models, research on public opinion.


*Who Killed Nuclear Energy and How to Revive It – by Emmet Penney

Energy Superabundance – by Austin Vernon and Eli Dourado of The Center for Growth and Opportunity.

Nuclear Power Is Poised for a Comeback. The Problem Is Building the Reactors. – by WSJ reporter Matthew Dalton. A look at the hang-ups with current nuclear projects.

Why are nuclear power construction costs so high? – by Brian Potter. Check out Part II as well.

Nuclear Energy: An Overview of Congressional Issues – by Mark Holt at Congressional Research Service.

A 2006 NASA program shows how government can move at the speed of startups – by Eli Dourado. An interesting analogy for how the US gov’t could support the nuclear industry.

Podcasts / Video

Titans of Nuclear – by Bret Kugelmass, founder of Energy Impact Center and Last Energy.

Decouple – by Chris Keefer, a nuclear policy expert and advocate.

*The Energy of Tomorrow: The Promise, Failure, and Possible Rebirth of Nuclear Power — by Jason Crawford of Roots of Progress.

Note: There are some excellent work horse sources I frequently reference for stats and basic information. My favorites include the World Nuclear AssociationWhat is NuclearUS Energy Information Administration, and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Fave Twitter Follows

Madi Hilly, Isodope, Mark Nelson, Brian Gitt, Emmet Penney, Chris Keefer

*Most impactful / most bang-for-the-buck