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The Next Catastrophe by Charles Perrow

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5 Are Terrorists as Dangerous as Management?The Nuclear Plant Threat

Nuclear plants in the United States present two sources of cataclysmic danger. One is stored nuclear waste products, planned for Yucca Flats in Nevada, which threaten to contaminate vital water supplies. Given the fearsome predictions associated with global warming, the area may be unsuitable for agriculture in one hundred years anyway. More fearsome in immediate terms is the release of radiation from one of our 103 operating plants because of natural disasters, industrial accidents, or terrorist attacks. Tens of thousands of people might die and land equivalent to half of Pennsylvania become uninhabitable. Terrorists could do this right now with simple weapons. An industrial ...

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