Belgium rejects England

Nuclear Power HistoryOn September 6, 1954, President Eisenhower announces, as a side note, that USA will build a power reactor in Belgium. This is a body blow to the British, who are fostering nuclear connections throughout Europe and who have contributed their design to Belgium’s first small research reactor, currently under construction. I like this snippet (but consider it too detailed for my book) from John Dunworth, the next day, to his boss, John Cockcroft:

However, a very material factor, in all probability, is the very great activity of Monsieur Goena who has been attached to the Belgian Embassy in Washington for some years. He is extremely pro-U.S.A. (It should be noted that the Belgian Ambassador in Washington is married to the widow of the late Senator McMahon.) . . . It should be noted that the General Manager of the Belgian Project, Monsieur Louis De Heen is a very close friend of Mr. Walker L. Cisler, President of the Detroit-Edison Electrical Utility Company… [who] has just had an extensive holiday in Europe and stated when he visited us on Saturday, 4th September, that he spent a considerable fraction of his time on nuclear energy work.

In other words, the more one digs, the murkier historical decisions seem.


Dunworth, John V. 1954. Dunworth to Cockcroft, Sep. 7, 1954. AB 6/1092, National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.