How to Drive a Nuclear Reactor

  • Book
  • © 2019


  • Shows you that Reactor Physics isn’t Rocket Science
  • Explains why Reactors are much Safer than you might think
  • Enables anyone to understand how a Nuclear Reactor works
  • The next best thing to driving one for real

Part of the book series: Springer Praxis Books (PRAXIS)

Part of the book sub series: Popular Science (POPS)

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About this book

Have you ever wondered how a nuclear power station works? This lively book will answer that question. It’ll take you on a journey from the science behind nuclear reactors, through their start-up, operation and shutdown. Along the way it covers a bit of the engineering, reactor history, different kinds of reactors and what can go wrong with them. Much of this is seen from the viewpoint of a trainee operator on a Pressurised Water Reactor - the most common type of nuclear reactor in the world.  Colin Tucker has spent the last thirty years kee** reactors safe. Join him on a tour that is the next best thing to driving a nuclear reactor yourself!

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Table of contents (25 chapters)


“The book is great with the perfect mid-point of useful technical detail and easily understandable explanations. An excellent read for anyone interested in something a bit more in-depth than most popular science books, just so long as you go in with your brain switched on.” (Popular Science,, September 7, 2020)

“It should be of interest to both general readers wanting to know how a nuclear reactor works, those new to the industry, and specialists wanting a broader overview. … The book is well produced, well written and the author’s enthusiasm and sense of humour come over.” (Nigel Buttery, Nuclear Future, May-June, 2020)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wickham Market, UK

    Colin Tucker

About the author

Colin Tucker has worked in the UK nuclear industry for 30 years, most of that time at Sizewell B power station. He specialises in ‘Nuclear Safety’: the safe running of the reactor, ensuring that the station is always ready to cope with anything that might happen. Over much of his career he has spent time visiting Schools, Clubs and other venues to talk about nuclear power stations – how they work, how they can be kept safe etc. In his spare time he is a bat enthusiast and a guard and signalman on the Ffestiniog Railway.

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