When a Benevolent Servant
Becomes a Malevolent Dictator
A Dark Side of Nuclear Technology
Donna Macomber and Elena L. Grigorenko
Through the release of atomic energy, our generation has brought into the
world the most revolutionary force since prehistoric man’s discovery of fire.
This basic force of the universe cannot be fitted into the outmoded concept
of narrow nationalisms. For there is no secret and there is no defense; there
is no possibility of control except through the aroused understanding and
insistence of the peoples of the world. We scientists recognize our ines-
capable responsibility to carry to our fellow citizens an understanding of
atomic energy and its implication for society. In this lies our only security
and our only hope—we believe that an informed citizenry will act for life
and not for death.
Albert Einstein, 1947
Nuclear energy supplies over 16% of the world’s electricity. Simply stated, nuclear energy generates electricity by boiling water to make steam, which then drives turbine generators. There are currently 440 nuclear reactors operating in 31 countries worldwide, the majority of which are located in the United States (104), followed by France (59), Japan (53), Russia (30), and the United Kingdom (27) (World Nuclear Association). In theory, nuclear energy has a distinct environmental advantage over fossil fuels in that it does not