b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEhad committed the country to the devel- the fears of mankind. The Soviet Congresss major step toward a nuclearopment of a hydrogen bomb. He felt Union didnt agree to the scheme, and it power industry was to replace thethat the Soviet Union aspired to domi- never materialized. Nevertheless, Atomic Energy Act of 1946. The origi-nate the world and regarded the United Eisenhower affirmed Atoms for Peace nal act had emphasized secrecy andStates as an enemy to be destroyed. In as a banner for nuclear commerce. 4 government control of scientific infor-Trumans last three years, annual mation. It forbade the private owner-defense spending went from $13.5 bil- So the country had two urges, atoms for ship or use of nuclear fuel. Clearly, thislion to $50 billion. Eisenhower, assum- peace and atoms for war. Both helped did not encourage private enterprise.ing office in 1953, felt that such huge grow the NRTS. For the next thirty The governments monopoly on nucleardefense budgets would weaken the years, the question of whether nuclear power was once described as an islandeconomy. Long-term security required power would eventually produce elec- of socialism in the midst of a freea sound economy, he wrote in his tricity more cheaply than coal or oil enterprise economy. 5memoirs. His New Look fordefense emphasized a military The AEC needed a new legalcapability to inflict massive framework for the federalretaliatory damage on anyone licensing of power plants andinitiating an offensive strike on for promulgating safety stan-the United States. The policy dardsand for maintaining thelowered the total expenditure United States as a world leaderon defense but changed the in these areas. As a matter ofallocation of resources from prestige, it was important thatconventional to nuclear force. the nation maintain a techno-The shift fattened the budgets logical lead in peaceful arenasof the U.S. Air Force in partic- as well as military. The state ofular, because it was the service American technology wasthat would inflict the retaliato- believed to reflect the superi-ry damage. 3 ority of American democracyand capitalism over commu-Eisenhower did not wish to nism. The new Atomic Energyscare the country to death by Act of 1954 shifted Americansharing with the public the policy and the AEC in thisgruesome scenarios that would direction. 6come of a nuclear war. He wassensitive to growing business Courtesy of Oak Ridge National Laboratory 55-515 The NRTS already was on apressure and shared the hopes Delegates at the United Nations Conference on the growth trajectory partly drivenof scientists for the peaceful atom. The Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy (1955, Geneva) by creative impulses from within itsAEC recognized economic nuclear admire Cerenkov radiation from the small reactor work groups. At the Test Reactor Areapower as a national objective and dis- operated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (TRA), the MTR was an instant hit.cussed it with the JCAE in May 1953. Like Sun Valley, another Idaho land-Then in December, Eisenhower pro- mark with a global identity, the MTRposed that the United States and other became so essential and so famous thatnations surrender some of the uranium was rarely in doubt; the political nuclear literature in the 1950s andin their stockpiles to international con- debate, rather, was when it would hap- 1960s often didnt bother to mention itstrol, thus dedicating some of their pen and whether AEC policy was help- country or state. strength to serve the needs rather than ing or hindering the process. 1 0 8'