The Prospects of Nuclear Power and Technology

The Prospects of Nuclear Power and Technology

The Prospects of Nuclear Power and Technology

The Prospects of Nuclear Power and Technology

Excerpt

At their inception the steam engine, the electric motor, and the internal combustion engine were all regarded as hapless toys of impractical dreamers that could be of little interest to businessmen or statesmen. Yet each transformed the world. They brought the industrial revolution, mass production, mass transportation, and incredible shrinkage of both space and time. The unbelievable became the foundation of a new world.

Today it is the energy within the atomic nucleus that promises an industrial, economic, and social revolution greater than any of the past. But atomic power too must face the skeptics. Its existence is convincing enough, thanks to the horrendous bombs. Yet fear of its great power and ignorance of its esoteric science reinforce the normal hesitation of the public to embrace the strange giant. So he waits at the gate, mistrusted and with a lingering bad name.

But time moves quickly nowadays. The world has such need of power that the giant will be put to work in this generation, not the next. The professors of science, who have full knowledge and no fear, are in authority and engineers today are financiers too. They lead us on, if not here, then in other lands where industrial power is more needed. A nuclear power plant has been operating in Russia for more than two years. The British Atomic Energy Authority put its first to work in 1956 and is planning a dozen more. The U.S. AtomicEnergy Commission . . .

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