Seeing the Light

Seeing the Light: the Case for Nuclear Power in the 21st Century (nuclear power and climate change)
by Scott L. Montgomery and Thomas Graham, Jr. (Cambridge University Press, 2017) ISBN: 

Graham--cover--Seeing the LightNuclear power is not an option for the future but an absolute necessity.  The global threats of climate change and lethal air pollution, killing millions each year, make it clear that nuclear and renewable energy must work together, as non-carbon sources of energy.  Fortunately, a new era of growth in this energy source is underway in developing nations, though not yet in the West.

This book addresses how, why, and where the new nuclear era is happening, when new technologies are involved, and what this means for preventing the proliferation of weapons.  In addition, the book offers a great deal more a social and political history of nuclear power and the fear of it; a detailed discussion of the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters and their meaning; an in-depth look at the myths about nuclear power; a simple and clear introduction on the basic science of nuclear energy, weapons, and reactors; and a pragmatic discussion of radiation and its effects.  There is also in the book a serious look at the science of climate change and the level of threat that it represents.


“This is an accessible and well-written book that could not be more timely. Much current campaigning gives the impression that renewable sources are the full answer to the world’s needs for climate safe energy.  The balanced discussion in this book shows us the great environmental benefits of today’s nuclear power and the potential for development and expanded use.  It merits broad reading by anyone interested in the future of energy generation, from the general public to students and scientists to policymakers.” — Hans Blix, Director General Emeritus of the International Atomic Energy Agency

“This vitally important book counters nuclear fear with deep knowledge and honest good will.  It is by far the best book on the subject yet written.  We need its authoritative perspective for the difficult transition we face today away from carbon energy.” — Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize recipient for The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

The Alternate Route

The Alternate Route: Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones

Eventual achievement of nuclear disarmament has been an objective and a dream of the world community since the dawn of the Nuclear Age. Considerable progress has been made over the decades, but this has always required close US-Russian cooperation. At present, further progress is likely blocked by the return of Vladimir Putin to the Russian presidency and the toxic US-Russia relationship.

The Alternate Route : Nuclear Weapon Free Zones

The classic road toward nuclear disarmament appears to be closed for the foreseeable future, but there may be another route. In the last fifty years, well-conceived regional treaties have been developed in Latin America, the South Pacific, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia.

These arrangements have developed for many and varied political and security reasons, but now virtually all of the Southern Hemisphere and important parts of the Northern Hemisphere are legally nuclear-weapon-free. These regional nuclear weapon disarmament treaties are formally respected by the five states recognized under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as nuclear weapon states: the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, and China—often referred to collectively as the P-5 states.

Variations of these regional treaties might eventually be negotiated in the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and South Asia, setting aside the P-5 states until the very end of the process.  With regional agreements in place around the globe, negotiation among the P-5 states would be all that stands between the world community and the banishment of nuclear weapons, verifiably and effectively worldwide. By the time this point is reached, Russia and the United States might be able to cooperate.

Essential reading for policy advisors, foreign service professionals, and scholars in political science, The Alternate Route examines the possibilities of nuclear-weapon-free zones as a pathway to worldwide nuclear disarmament.

Order this Book 

The Alternate Route: Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone by Thomas Graham, Jr. (Corvallis: Oregon State University, 2017) ISBN  ISBN: 978-0-87071-906-6