Silent Spring is a venerable and honourable classic and should be required reading in high school - even if it is somewhat outdated. I also think Avory Lovins' books on soft energy paths should be read and even Fred Knewlman's book (the titke escapes me at the moment) on the risks assocuated with nuclear power. There is also one called Unacceptable Risk (author I cannot recall) and I also recommend Rosalie Bertrell's book on radiation in which she notes that we are in world war 3 now - cpoing as we are daily with the problems of what we have done to our world in the name of (cough - as a scientist!) science!! I have it in my klibrary - just cannot recall the name - I introudece her once at an alternate energy fair and loved her, what a qwonderful woman - she and Ursula Franki n of UofT, great women!! Rosalie is now in Canada tho she used to be in NY.
There is also a neat little book called "We Almost Lost Detroit" that details a "minor" accident that occuered in the constructions of the Fermi (named for you know who) reactor - a breeder reactor (scary stuff, those!!) - in which a constructiion worker lost one of those snaps that you pop off a can of soda (soft drink, pop, whatever you call it) and lost it in the reaxtor, almost setting off a meltdown. The reactor was shutdown and breeder reactos (whew!!!) went by the watside. Still, we have heavy water and light water reactors that scare the blazes out of me!! (we are sadly saddled with Pointless LePreau in NB, sigh! - it only costs us money and pray some terrorists never finds it r half of New England and the maritimes and much if Quebec will be forever uninhabitable.
I also subscribe to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists which has some great articles - I bought a sub to that when I could barel;y afford it and have always done so since. I also read the drivel the pr ppl from the nuclear industry puts out - just to keep up with what they think, or want us to think they think.
I do get tired of treating the problems created by this new world though. I think Silent Spring may be outdated - in that we have managed to do so much worse but it is hardly irrelevant - in fact, it is more relevant that ever. Have you read Margaret Atwood's Onyx and Crake- realize it's literature but both her parents were biologists or scientists at any rate so she has consulted some good people in her work - she said in an interview she writes about what worries her - and that is one scary book!!!!
Another out of print and out of date but still relevant book is The Perils fof the Peaceful Atom (a prof I had at Harvard wanted to pay me big bucks for my copy but I was not parting with that gem, lol). Peaceful atom indeed -
anyway - I could go on but you get the idea.