This nonfiction narrative tells the story of the Vemork hydroelectric plant nestled on a precipice of a gorge in Nazi-occupied Norway and the daring commando raid by Norwegians and the British Special Operations Executive to destroy it.
Vemork was the sole supplier of the world’s heavy water, a key component of the Nazi’s proposed nuclear reactor, where it acts as a neutron moderator to slow down neutrons so that they are more likely to react with uranium-235. (Heavy water contains hydrogen atoms each having a neutron and proton [deuterium], whereas common hydrogen’s nucleus simply contains a single proton.)
Neal, who announced that he doesn’t read from his books, instead provided a fascinating account of what he learned, first-hand, from investigating the story through his travels, as well as accounts from the surviving children and grandchildren of the heroes.
Of course, we purchased a copy for our Atomic Tourism library.