Cover image for The Nuclear weapons complex : management for health, safety, and the environment
The Nuclear weapons complex : management for health, safety, and the environment
National Research Council (U.S.). Committee to Provide Interim Oversight of the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex.
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Academy Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
x, 146 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
U264.3 .N83 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In this volume, the National Research Council examines problems arising throughout government-owned, contractor-operated facilities in the United States engaged in activities to build nuclear weapons. The book draws conclusions about and makes recommendations for the health and safety of the nuclear weapons complex and addresses pressing environmental concerns. In addition, the book examines the future of the complex and offers suggestions for its modernization. Several explanatory appendixes provide useful background information on the functioning of the complex, criticality safety, plutonium chemistry, and weapons physics.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This National Research Council study was concerned primarily with the management structure of the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex--contractors, field office responsibilities, lines of communication, as stated in Appendix F (The Committee Charge): ". . . an 18-month study to lay the groundwork for operation of the legislatively mandated, permanent independent board that will provide oversight of DOE's nuclear weapons complex." Four excellent appendixes (27 pages) are technical: overview of operations of the complex, nuclear criticality, plutonium chemistry, and physics of nuclear weapons design. Given the immense scope of the undertaking and the limited time available, it is not surprising that the report is superficial. Considering the recent alarming revelations and adverse publicity (for example, the lurid, anecdotal cover story in Time, October 31, 1988), one is astonished at the bureaucratic language and the utter lack of any sense of urgency. The report proper, only 84 pages long, is an extended summary; the technical basis for the conclusions and recommendations is not given. Those concerned with worker health and public safety will be frustrated; reading this report is like watching someone attempt automobile repairs using only a large rubber spatula. Recommended to general readers. -D. W. Larson, University of Regina