AUTHORPerin, Constance
TITLEShouldering Risks: The Culture of Control in the Nuclear Power Industry
PUBLISHERPrinceton University Press
CITYPrinceton, NJ

This book investigates the risks and the culture associated with the operation of nuclear power plants in the United States. The author, a cultural anthropologist, uses interviews with ninety experts to investigate the nuclear power industry’s procedures and initiatives for improvement. The interviews analyze four unusual and potentially hazardous events that occurred in the operation of three plants, and were followed up with event reviews by teams at the plants. The final chapters address questions associated with reducing the risks of operating nuclear power plants. The author emphasizes the need for close coordination of both "hard" and "soft" knowledge among many specialists, including the usually low status maintenance specialists, and indicates that compartmentalization and overemphasis on "hard" knowledge are the norm. The book provides useful insights in the debate over the increased use of nuclear power plants to fulfill the current energy needs of the world. The book contains an extensive bibliography.

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