An anonymous reader writes "In the first few days of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, no one outside the power station knew what the hell was happening. In the 9 months since, information has come out in confusing bits and pieces. Now, finally, we have an authoritative account of exactly what went wrong in the first 24 hours of the accident. It's a harrowing tale of creativity, heroism, and catastrophe. One thing I hadn't realized was just how close workers came to averting the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl."