Australia has been directly involved in the nuclear industry for more than a century, but our involvement has never been comprehensively documented. Long Half-life tells the social and political history of Australia’s role, from the first discovery of radioactive ores in 1906 to contemporary contentious questions. Should the next generation of submarines be nuclear powered? Can nuclear energy help to slow global climate change? Do we need nuclear weapons for defence? Should we store radioactive waste from nuclear power stations in our region?
Long Half-life is a timely and riveting account of the political, social and scientific complexities of the nuclear industry, revealing the power of vested interests, the subjectivities of scientists and the transformative force of community passion.
Ian Lowe AO is uniquely qualified to tell this story, following a long career in universities, research councils and advisory groups. Lowe is the author of several books, including Living in the Hothouse (Scribe, 2005), A Big Fix (Black Inc., 2005), A Voice of Reason (UQP, 2010), Bigger or Better? (UQP, 2102) and The Lucky Country? Reinventing Australia (UQP, 2016). He is also the author of a 2006 Quarterly Essay on the prospects for nuclear power in Australia and a ‘flip book’ with Professor Barry Brook, giving the two sides of the argument.