Public utility deregulation, perhaps the most significant political and
 economic development of the decade, also has been one of the most under
 reported of such recent events. Now a timely new ebook published at the
 booklocker.com by Susan Peterson Gateley "The Great Atomic Lake" provides
 an overview  of the complex issues and problems posed by North America's
 ageing fleet of comercial nukes in a deregulated market place.

 Millions of Americans and Canadians live within 25 miles of a commercial
 nuclear plant. Many of these are beset by engineering problems such as
 embrittlement, core shroud cracks, and steam generator tube corrosion.
 Under deregulation staff cuts of up to 30% and competitive pressures are
 bringing renewed attention to these and other safety issues associated
 with nuclear plants across the country.

 "The Great Atomic Lake" begins its examination of these and other issues
 with a cruise around Lake Ontario the most "nuclearized" of the Great
 Lakes. (Large electric power plants need vast volumes of water, hence
 their intimate association with North America's lakes, rivers, and coastal
 waters.)

 The book then describes some of the lingering effects of Reagan era
 deregulation on the NRC and how more recent market place deregulation led
 to a sudden huge increase in profitability for many of the nation's nukes.

 As California is now discovering, deregulating a segment of the economy as
 large and complex as the power production and distribution business is a
 daunting task. Yet as book describes, the ultimate benefits of
 deregulation could be  great increases in efficiency through distributed
 generation and a bigger role for energy production from renewables.

 However, a race to the bottom is also possible depending on what happens
 in Congress as  federal legislation on energy policy and deregulation
 comes to the floor. Says author Susan Peterson Gateley "I'm discouraged
 about the path in energy policy we've followed so far, but I'm still
 optimistic enough to write this book because we could still turn around
 and take a greener road."

 Nuclear power has been a presence for the author for two thirds of her
 adult life. As a child in the early 1960s she watched the construction of
 a nuclear station about two miles from her home, and in later years she
 joined other activists in trying to bring attention to various nuclear
 safety issues. Gateley has focused most of her previous writing effort on
 Lake Ontario, a region she knows intimately from twenty years of cruising
 around it with various sailboats.  The book is now available as a pdf file
 at www.booklocker.com for $6.95 and an excerpt from it is posted as an
 html file at the author's website  at www.silverwaters.com.