A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea

April 18th, 2011

The problems faced by the Fukashima reactor and the explosion last year of the Deep Water Horizon prove conclusively that industrial accidents will happen and that all the engineering and technology in the world can't always devise immediate solutions.

Last year in the Gulf, black plumes of oil poured out  for 87 days. On the surface people worked round the clock. Teams of engineers and scientist from industry and government did there best to vet and try solutions. It looked as if much was happening. In fact no one knew exactly what to do. A delicate dance had to take place between government and BP, and even the Noble Prize winning Secretary of Energy, didn't have the answers. One mile down, things moved a a truly glacial pace. No one covered this story better than Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post. He was the go to journalist throughout the story and now he's written the definitive account in A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea. My conversation with Joel Achenbach: