This book follows a small public agency in Washington State that undertook one of the most ambitious construction projects in the nation in the 1970s: the building of five large nuclear power plants. By 1983, delays and cost overruns, along with slowed growth of electricity demand, led to cancellation of two plants and a construction halt on two others. Moreover, the agency defaulted on $2.25 billion of municipal bonds, leading to a monumental court case that took nearly a decade to resolve fully. Daniel Pope sets this in the context of the postwar boom's ending, the energy shocks of the 1970s, a new restraint in forecasting demand, and shifting patterns of municipal finance. Nuclear Implosions also traces the entangling alliance between civilian nuclear energy and nuclear weapons and recounts a telling example of how the law has become a primary method of resolving disputes in a litigious society.
Daniel Pope (b. 1946, Ph.D. Columbia University, 1973) is an American historian teaching at the University of Oregon since 1975. Pope is the author of The Making of Modern Advertising (1983), the editor of American Radicalism (2001) and many articles and reviews on the history of advertising, marketing, and consumer culture. Pope was the Harvard-Newcomen Postdoctoral Fellow in Business History at Harvard Business School (1980-1981), held two Fulbright Senior Lecturer positions (University of Rome, 1996, Copenhagen Business School, 2004) and received the University of Oregon's Burlington-Northern Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989.