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Title: Three Problems: Nuclear Energy, National Defense and International Cooperation

Abstract

A little more than half a century into the Nuclear Age, we cannot look back on a peaceful period, but we can say that the second (nuclear) half of the century has seen much less violence than the first half with its two violent wars. Also the second half of the century has seen the fortunate ending of the Cold War. But as to the future, we are left with three great questions. (1) How can the world be provided with ample energy? (2) How can we avoid the potentially devastating sudden applications of new destructive technologies? And finally, (3) How can we preserve the development of the world's new potentialities without producing a continuation of violent conflicts? The development of nuclear reactors appears to provide a most interesting new initiative to make energy available to every one. The reality of this promise is at least indicated by progress in France where electricity now is 80% ''nuclear.'' Unfortunately, fear of radioactivity and fear of weapons proliferation has turned public opinion in many parts of the world against nuclear energy. The fear of radioactivity seems to be exaggerated, as indicated, for instance, in the recent international conference in Vienna on themore » consequences of Chernobyl. The conference concluded that most of the anticipated difficulties (cancer and congenital malformation) have been grossly exaggerated. In my opinion, both the worry about radioactivity and the worry about massive military use of reactor products can be solved. There remain further real difficulties connected with expense and the availability of expertise that may be needed to handle nuclear reactors that may be absent in many parts of the world. I believe that all these problems can be solved. The three major accidents, Windscale in England in 1957, Three-Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, and Chernobyl in Russia in 1986, could have been avoided by proper handling of reactors. The obvious answer seems to be more strict education of the reactor operators. In my opinion, however, human error, even major human error, cannot be sufficiently excluded.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Defense Programs (DP) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
791456
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JC-135608
TRN: US200302%%734
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-Eng-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Second International Symposium on the History of Atomic Projects, Laxenburg (AT), 10/04/1999--10/08/1999; Other Information: PBD: 6 Sep 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; ACCIDENTS; AVAILABILITY; CONGENITAL MALFORMATIONS; INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION; NATIONAL DEFENSE; NEOPLASMS; NUCLEAR ENERGY; PROLIFERATION; PUBLIC OPINION; RADIOACTIVITY; REACTORS; REACTOR OPERATORS; UNITED KINGDOM

Citation Formats

Teller, E. Three Problems: Nuclear Energy, National Defense and International Cooperation. United States: N. p., 1999. Web.
Teller, E. Three Problems: Nuclear Energy, National Defense and International Cooperation. United States.
Teller, E. Mon . "Three Problems: Nuclear Energy, National Defense and International Cooperation". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/791456.
@article{osti_791456,
title = {Three Problems: Nuclear Energy, National Defense and International Cooperation},
author = {Teller, E},
abstractNote = {A little more than half a century into the Nuclear Age, we cannot look back on a peaceful period, but we can say that the second (nuclear) half of the century has seen much less violence than the first half with its two violent wars. Also the second half of the century has seen the fortunate ending of the Cold War. But as to the future, we are left with three great questions. (1) How can the world be provided with ample energy? (2) How can we avoid the potentially devastating sudden applications of new destructive technologies? And finally, (3) How can we preserve the development of the world's new potentialities without producing a continuation of violent conflicts? The development of nuclear reactors appears to provide a most interesting new initiative to make energy available to every one. The reality of this promise is at least indicated by progress in France where electricity now is 80% ''nuclear.'' Unfortunately, fear of radioactivity and fear of weapons proliferation has turned public opinion in many parts of the world against nuclear energy. The fear of radioactivity seems to be exaggerated, as indicated, for instance, in the recent international conference in Vienna on the consequences of Chernobyl. The conference concluded that most of the anticipated difficulties (cancer and congenital malformation) have been grossly exaggerated. In my opinion, both the worry about radioactivity and the worry about massive military use of reactor products can be solved. There remain further real difficulties connected with expense and the availability of expertise that may be needed to handle nuclear reactors that may be absent in many parts of the world. I believe that all these problems can be solved. The three major accidents, Windscale in England in 1957, Three-Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979, and Chernobyl in Russia in 1986, could have been avoided by proper handling of reactors. The obvious answer seems to be more strict education of the reactor operators. In my opinion, however, human error, even major human error, cannot be sufficiently excluded.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {9}
}

Conference:
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