AUTHORHamblin, Jacob Darwin
TITLEPoison in the Well
PUBLISHERRutgers University Press
CITYNew Brunswick, NJ

This book examines the scientific, political, and diplomatic controversies surrounding the history of both legal and illegal disposal of nuclear waste at sea, from the 1940s through the early 1970s, with some treatment of the 1990s. The author focuses on the policies regarding marine dumping done by the United States, Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, and how those nations’ policies evolved as negative environmental consequences became known. The book explains how the practice of oceanic dumping originated, why it was eventually banned, and conjectures as to what those actions reveal about the attitudes of nuclear countries toward the environment. The narrative explores issues such as how a nation's values influence its policies, the justification of such policies to the lay public, the struggle for scientific authority between health physicists and oceanographers, the role of radioactive waste in Cold War international relations, and the relationship between radioactive waste and environmental policy making.

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