Peaceful Uses of the Atom

Fermi and Atoms for Peace · Understanding the Atom · Seaborg  · Teller 

Atoms for Peace
Atoms for Peace + 50 – Conference, October 22, 2003
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" speech to the UN General Assembly
Atoms for Peace (video 12:00 Minutes)

Atoms for Peace
Address given by Dwight D. Eisenhower before the General Assembly of the United Nations, New York City, December 8, 1953


Atomic Power in Space: A History
A history of the Space Isotope Power Program of the United States from the mid-1950s through 1982; interplanetary space exploration successes and achievements have been made possible by this technology.

Establishing Site X: Letter, Arthur H. Compton to Enrico Fermi, September 14, 1942
Includes the decision to locate, in the Tennessee Valley, the pilot plan buildings for production power plants.

Converting Energy to Medical Progress [Nuclear Medicine]
The DOE Office of Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Medical Sciences program fosters research that develops beneficial applications of nuclear technologies for medical diagnosis and treatment of many diseases.

The First Weighing of Plutonium; Seaborg, G.
The story of plutonium and its first weighing.

Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy; Seaborg, G.
A collection of speeches by Glenn T. Seaborg, then Chairman of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

Peaceful Uses of Fusion; Teller, E.
Applications of thermonuclear energy for peaceful and constructive purposes are surveyed, with a review of developments and problems in the release and control of fusion energy.

The Birth of Nuclear-Generated Electricity
Brief story of the Experimental Breeder Reactor-1 (EBR-1).

The Role of Atomic Energy in the Promotion of International Collaboration
International cooperation made a success of the First Geneva Conference and has initiated many international scientific meetings since.

Plowshare; Teller, E.
The main characteristic feature of Plowshare is its exceedingly wide applicability throughout fields of economic or scientific interest.

Contributions and Future of Radioisotopes in Medical, Industrial and Space Applications
There are 333 isotopes that have a half-life between 1 day and 100,000 years that have a wide variety of applications including public health, medicine, industrial technology, food technology and packaging, agriculture, energy supply, and national security.

Production of Medical Radioisotopes in the ORNL High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) for Cancer Treatment and Arterial Restenosis Therapy after PTCA
The High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been an important resource for the production of a wide variety of medical radioisotopes.

Atoms for Peace After 50 Years: The New Challenges and Opportunities
A series of international workshops was held to mark the fiftieth anniversary of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace address before the United Nations General Assembly.

Atoms for Peace after 50 Years
President Eisenhower's hopes for nuclear technology still resonate, but the challenges of fulfilling them are much different today.


Excerpts from the Understanding the Atom Series:

"A team of scientists led by Fermi achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear reaction on December 2, 1942, under the grandstand at the University of Chicago's athletic field.   This date is often referred to as the beginning of the Nuclear Age."

From Our Atomic World by C. Jackson Craven, 1964, p 22.

"Fermi's achievement in setting off the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction from his design of an atomic pile led to a new Age of the Atom.  The controlled release of nuclear energy was now a reality."

From Atomic Pioneers, Book 3:  From the Late 19th to the Mid-20th Century by Ray and Roselyn Hiebert, 1973, p 86.

"Nuclear reactors designed for the controlled production of useful energy multiplied in number and in efficiency since Fermi's first "pile". ...

In 1954 the first nuclear submarine the USS Nautilus was launched by the United States.  Its power was obtained entirely from a nuclear reactor, and it was not necessary for it to rise to the surface at short intervals in order to recharge its batteries.  ...[As of 1972, using nuclear power,] 130 ships, 95 submarines, one deep submergence research vehicle, and 4 surface ships [were] operating and [had] steamed over 19,000,000 miles.  Nuclear submarines [had] crossed the Arctic Ocean under the ice cover, and [had] circumnavigated the globe without surfacing.  ...

In the 1950s nuclear reactors began to be used as the source of power for the production of electricity for civilian use.  ... The first American nuclear reactor for civilian use began operation at Shippingport, Pennsylvania, in 1958.  It was the first really full-scale civilian nuclear power plant in the world."

From Worlds Within Worlds:  The Story of Nuclear Energy, Volume 3, Nuclear Fission, Nuclear Fusion, Beyond Fusion by Isaac Asimov, 1972, pp 141 – 142.

"In 1945 Enrico Fermi said, 'The country which first develops a breeder reactor will have a great competitive advantage in atomic energy.'  During the quarter century [after] Fermi's statement, there [were] significant developments in the technology of breeder reactors and a coordinated effort for future breeder development [was] underway.  A major part of this effort [was] defined and ... carried out under the direction of the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration through its Liquid Metal Fast Breeder Reactor Program."

From Worlds Within Worlds:  The Story of Nuclear Energy, Volume 3, Nuclear Fission, Nuclear Fusion, Beyond Fusion by Isaac Asimov, 1972, p 144.

Plutonium has the "peaceful potential as the fuel for the 'breeder' type nuclear power reactor."

From The First Weighing of Plutonium, 1967, Introduction.

"One of the great assists we [the Plutonium Project] got was with a nonchemical procedure devised by Fermi.  This was the so-called 'shotgun' method wherein a kilogram of uranium was extracted and the impurities were collected and measured in aggregate.  ... This was an extremely elegant method which Fermi improvised in one day, it seemed, just out of discussion of this problem of control analyses for the purity of uranium.  The problem of purity of uranium was solved.  ... The chain reaction did run, and the plutonium [was] made in very large quantities."

From The First Weighing of Plutonium, 1967, pp 14–15. 



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