103 K
7 pp.
 
View Document 
  
TitleAtoms for Peace after 50 Years
Author(s)Joeck, N.; Lehman, R. F.; Vergino, E. S.; Schock, R. N.
Publication DateMarch 20, 2004
Report NumberUCRL-JRNL-203590
Unique IdentifierACC0384
Other NumbersOSTI ID: 15009816
Research OrgLawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA (US)
Contract NoW-7405-ENG-48
Sponsoring OrgUS Department of Energy (DOE)
Subject11 Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Fuel Materials; 12 Management of Radioactive Wastes, and Non-Radioactive Wastes from Nuclear Facilities; 29 Energy Planning, Policy and Economy; 45 Military Technology, Weaponry, and National Defense; 98 Nuclear Disarmament, Safeguards, and Physical Protection; 22 General Studies of Nuclear Reactors; 99 General and Miscellaneous; Mathematics, Computing, and Information Science; Atoms; Economic Development; Fissile Materials; Non-Proliferation Treaty; Nuclear Energy; Nuclear Weapons; Recommendations; Security; Speech; United Nations
Related Web PagesPeaceful Uses of the Atom
AbstractPresident Eisenhower's hopes for nuclear technology still resonate, but the challenges to fulfilling them are much different today. On December 8, 1953, President Eisenhower, returning from his meeting with the leaders of Britain and France at the Bermuda Summit, flew directly to New York to address the United Nations General Assembly. His presentation, known afterwards as the "Atoms for Peace" speech, was bold, broad, and visionary. Eisenhower highlighted dangers associated with the further spread of nuclear weapons and the end of the thermonuclear monopoly, but the president also pointed to opportunities. Earlier that year, Stalin had died and the Korean War armistice was signed. Talks on reunification of Austria were about to begin. The speech sought East-West engagement and outlined a framework for reducing nuclear threats to security while enhancing the civilian benefits of nuclear technology. One specific proposal offered to place surplus military fissile material under the control of an "international atomic energy agency" to be used for peaceful purposes, especially economic development. Eisenhower clearly recognized the complex interrelationships between different nuclear technologies and the risks and the benefits that accrue from each. The widespread use of civilian nuclear technology and absence of any use of a nuclear weapon during the next half-century reflects success in his approach. Today, the world faces choices about nuclear technology that have their parallels in the Eisenhower calculus and its legacy. Although his specific fissile material proposal was never implemented, his broader themes gave impetus to agreements such as the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and institutions such as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The resulting governance process has promoted some and restricted other nuclear technology. Perhaps even more influential was Eisenhower's overarching recommendation that we try to reduce the risks and seek the benefits of nuclear technology. Whether seen as an effort to rebalance investment in a dual-use technology or as the foundation for a "bargain" between nuclear haves and have-nots, Eisenhower's speech brought together concepts that furnished the theoretical underpinnings of the nuclear technology control regime that has governed for nearly half a century. Some believe that Eisenhower's basic concepts remain sound and will provide the foundation for the future. Others believe they were never sound and promulgated dangerous dual-use technology around the world. Many are still debating exactly what Eisenhower meant to say.
103 K
7 pp.
 
View Document 
  


Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.