In This Review

Nuclear Inc.: The Men and Money Behind Nuclear Energy
Nuclear Inc.: The Men and Money Behind Nuclear Energy
By Mark Hertsgaard
Pantheon, 1983, 339 pp
Purchase

Although he dislikes nuclear power, big business, and past and present relations between government and industry, Mr. Hertsgaard gives the members of "the Atomic Brotherhood" a fair chance to speak for themselves, and shows a good bit of humanity in understanding them. The interviews, statistical compilations, and basic narrative make this a very useful book. Some of the weaknesses in analysis-or is it looseness of language?-stem from ideas about the power structure in the United States; ambivalence about competition, collusion and profits; and a failure to dig deeply enough into some complex issues. The author, a fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies, expects most of the companies to hang on, in spite of the long decline of the industry, and suggests that in the future there will be a need for more careful public and private planning, standardization, and government incentives to make the business profitable as well as relatively safe.