In-Store Book Launch: Higher Power with Casey Bukro
During the second half of the twentieth century, nuclear power was seen as first the solution to the world’s energy crisis and then—after a few high-profile accidents—a global disaster waiting to happen. Higher Power is a rigorously reported chronicle of the life and death of a nuclear power plant, and an examination of our aspirations for a healthy, safe, and livable future.
Casey Bukro spent two years in the early 1980s inside the nuclear power plant in Zion, Illinois, forty miles north of Chicago, getting to know its employees as they spent each day in the shadow of the gigantic reactor towers. Scandal plagued the Zion station before, during, and after Bukro’s time there, prompting the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to issue multiple warnings and threats to shut it down. In Higher Power, Bukro illuminates the ways in which a nuclear plant is only as safe as the people operating it. He also revisits the city of Zion today, examining the current state of its businesses and residents, and casting light on what happens when a nuclear power plant defines, and then leaves, a town.
Casey Bukro, the Chicago Tribune’s first environment reporter, became “the nuclear reporter” while covering the Zion Nuclear Power Station from the inside. A leader in journalism ethics, Bukro wrote the Code of Ethics adopted in 1973 by the Society of Professional Journalists and was awarded the Wells Memorial Key in 1983. He served as the society’s national ethics chairman and was the former president of the Chicago Headline Club, a professional chapter of SPJ. He lives in Evanston, Illinois.