How is it that an advanced society like the United States can so badly mismanage the disposal of its spent-fuel nuclear waste that has accumulated since the 1960s? The answer shines from the pages of this masterly account by the former Chief of the Office of Groundwater of the U.S. Geological Survey and his spouse (Alley and Alley, 2013). Bill and Rosemarie Alley's tale of mismanagement documents how politics, litigation, and self interest can interfere with a technical task of the highest importance. Some geoscientists don't come out of this book as paragons of fair mindedness, but overall...

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