Atomic Power Race

February 27, 1957

Report Outline
Disputed Rate of American Progress
Crash Public Program Vs. Partnership Plan
International Nuclear Power Developments
Incentives to Leadership in Atomic Power
Special Focus

Disputed Rate of American Progress

Cheap nuclear power is the goal of an international technological race of increasing scope and intensity. Major development programs are being pressed in the United States, Great Britain, and Soviet Russia. Other industrial nations, faced with growing energy needs, are exploring the possibilities of nuclear power. Spirited commercial competition for reactor and nuclear fuel markets is expected to grow as technical and cost problems are brought nearer to solution. Gains in international prestige and political influence are foreseen for the nation which emerges as the leader in practical application of atom-generated power for peaceful purposes.

These circumstances have prompted members of Congress and others to question the adequacy of present American policy on civilian applications of nuclear energy. Hearings now in progress before the Joint Atomic Energy Committee of the House and Senate point up the fact that, although American scientific and technological effort is being exerted on a wide front, actual construction of full-scale nuclear power plants is farther advanced in Great Britain than in the United States. Fear that the Soviet Union may be moving even more rapidly has led some persons to urge that the government take forceful measures to bring large-scale power reactors into operation at the earliest possible date.

Status of United States Atom Power Projects

Experimental work on power reactors for civilian and military uses has been under way in the United States since 1947, shortly after the Atomic Energy Commission was given responsibility for the country's atomic energy program. In 1951, an experimental breeder reactor at Arco, Idaho, produced useful electric power for the first time. In 1955, the United States Navy launched the first atom-powered submarine, the Nautilus, which has logged more than 60,000 miles without refueling.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Nuclear Power
Jun. 10, 2011  Nuclear Power
Jan. 28, 2011  Managing Nuclear Waste
Jan. 2007  Nuclear Proliferation
Mar. 10, 2006  Nuclear Energy
Jun. 08, 2001  Nuclear Waste
Jan. 22, 1993  Nuclear Fusion
Feb. 22, 1991  Will Nuclear Power Get Another Chance?
Dec. 05, 1986  Nuclear Reactor Safety
Jul. 29, 1983  Nuclear Power's Future
Dec. 04, 1981  America's Nuclear Waste Backlog
Sep. 12, 1980  Nuclear Fusion Development
Aug. 10, 1979  Determining Radiation Dangers
Dec. 03, 1976  Nuclear Waste Disposal
Aug. 22, 1975  Nuclear Safety
Aug. 04, 1971  Nuclear Power Options
Jun. 10, 1964  Atomic Power Development
Feb. 12, 1958  Radiation Hazards
Feb. 27, 1957  Atomic Power Race
Mar. 29, 1955  Atomic Energy for Industry
Apr. 24, 1946  Control of Atomic Energy
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
Nuclear Energy