Dr. Fred

Meltdown: The Nuclear Disaster in Japan and Our Energy Future

by Dr. Fred Bortz

Front Cover

Author’s Note

I wrote this book in the spring and summer of 2011, only months after the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami. That means I had to rely on newspapers and magazines, mostly online, for information. I subscribe to New Scientist and Science News magazines. Both of those are known for excellent journalism that goes into greater science and engineering detail than most daily newspapers. They were valuable sources for understanding what happened during the earthquake and tsunami and what was happening at Fukushima.

I especially wanted information directly from Japan, but I do not speak Japanese. So I was delighted to discover the English-language Japan Times website. I scanned its daily headlines from March 12, 2011, forward. I read every article about the event and paid special attention to the news from Fukushima. Its news coverage was balanced, its editorials were thoughtful, and its letters from readers reflected a variety of viewpoints.

One of the Japan Times articles led me to a collection of personal experiences during the earthquake in an e-book called 2:46 Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake written by the Quakebook Community. It is now also available as a paperback.

I get a daily e-mail with links to science news stories from Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, plus occasional pointers to news articles from friends who know what I am writing. Many useful links arrived just in time to help me shape my thoughts.

Finally, the Wikipedia online encyclopedia is a useful place to look for information on developing news stories, but it is not completely trustworthy. I never used its information directly, but its footnotes and links helped me find sources that I could verify.

Just as I did not rely on only one source in writing this book, readers should go beyond this book to understand the events of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and tsunami and the meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi. And since news is always changing, I have created a page on my website where you can find the latest information, including links to news and information sites.

Fred Bortz, Monroeville, PA, August 2011

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Meltdown! will be featured at the 2012 USA Science and Engineering Festival Book Fair at the Washington DC Convention Center on Saturday, April 28, 2012. There's plenty to see, so please come!
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Text copyright 2011-12 by Alfred B. Bortz, all rights reserved

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