Book ID: CBB851930002

The Leak: Politics, Activists, and Loss of Trust at Brookhaven National Laboratory (2022)


Crease, Robert P. (Author)

MIT Press

Publication Date: 2022
Physical Details: 312
Language: English

In 1997, scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory found a small leak of radioactive water near their research reactor. Brookhaven was—and is—a world-class, Nobel Prize–winning lab, and its reactor was the cornerstone of US materials science and one of the world's finest research facilities. The leak, harmless to health, came from a storage pool rather than the reactor. But its discovery triggered a media and political firestorm that resulted in the reactor's shutdown, and even attempts to close the entire laboratory. A quarter century later, the episode reveals the dynamics of today's controversies in which fears and the dismissal of science disrupt serious discussion and research of vital issues such as vaccines, climate change, and toxic chemicals. This story has all the elements of a thriller, with vivid characters and dramatic twists and turns. Key players include congressmen and scientists; journalists and university presidents; actors, supermodels, and anti-nuclear activists, all interacting and teaming up in surprising ways. The authors, each with insider knowledge of and access to confidential documents and the key players, reveal how a fact of no health significance could be portrayed as a Chernobyl-like disaster. This compelling exposé reveals the gaps between scientists, politicians, media, and the public that have only gotten more dangerous since 1997.

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Authors & Contributors
Ji-Bum Chung
Rechard, Rob P.
Dong-Hyeon Im
Silva, Carol A.
Herron, Kerry G.
Elisabeth Roehrlich
Public Understanding of Science
Environmental History
The Bridge: Journal of the National Academy of Engineering
Science as Culture
Physics in Perspective
Minerva: A Review of Science, Learning and Policy
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
University of Chicago Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Disasters; catastrophes
Nuclear reactors
Nuclear power; atomic energy
Public opinion
Technology and politics
Public understanding of technology
Time Periods
21st century
20th century, late
Great Britain
Islands of the Pacific
United States. Department of Energy
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Brookhaven National Laboratory (United States)
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory

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