Publisher: Instaread, Inc
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Binding: Kobo eBook
PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary of the book and NOT the original book.
Summary of Atomic Accidents by James Mahaffey | Includes Analysis
Inside this Instaread Summary:
• Overview of the entire book
• Introduction to the important people in the book
• Summary and analysis of all the chapters in the book
• Key Takeaways of the book
• A Reader's Perspective
Preview of this summary:
Water in the form of steam has always intrigued and terrified people. Steam locomotives were
fascinating in their heyday. They tended to explode, crash into each other and run off the rails. Some
people were so afraid of this technology, they would not ride trains. However, everyone seemed to
love watching staged train crashes. This entertainment was popular from the 1890s until the 1930s.
One impresario of the staged crash was William “Bill” Crush, an agent for a Texas railroad. Forty
thousand people witnessed his first crash staged near Waco in 1896. Crush knew little about the
mechanics of steam engines, but insisted his hundred-mile- an-hour crash would be safe. He was
wrong. The resulting boiler explosion killed three and injured six. Another promoter, “Head-On” Joe
Connelly, was more successful. He staged seventy-three crashes without killing anyone. Unlike Crush,
he knew he had to keep the train speed down and hold spectators back.
The last staged crash of this type was in 1935. The fear of steam explosions never left the public’s
mind. When engineers began developing nuclear power, they believed that steam explosions were the
major challenge to safety. Although other methods were investigated, boiling water was, and still is, the
cheapest and most reliable way to collect energy produced at a power plant.