In the very early days of nuclear power, the U.S. trade journal Nucleonics sparkled with rumors and scuttlebut (it also had much serious and valuable reportage). The December 1954 issue came out just after the passage of a new major piece of legislation opening up the nuclear power market, so the question on everybody’s lips was, “who will start making nuclear energy first?”. . .
One of the most valuable books on the history of nuclear stuff is the 1989 opus by AEC official historians, Richard Hewlett & Jack Holl: Atoms for Peace and War, 1953-1961: Eisenhower and the Atomic Energy Commission. (A History of the United States Atomic Energy Commission. Vol. III) (California Studies in the History of Science). You can now even buy it as an expensive Kindle ebook! A. . .
Commonwealth Edison (now buried within giant Exelon) was one of the largest utilities in the late 1940s and into the 1950s. When the United States opened up to nuclear energy, with new legislation in 1954, Com Ed was one of the first out of the starting gates; its Dresden 1 plant was the first private nuclear power station in the country. What intrigues me is how slow the “quick”. . .
Today I was combing a chapter for any permissions requirements. This is when I include a snappy quote and need to get approval (pay money?) from the publisher or sometimes the author. One engaging account of a dramatic episode in 1950s history, the 1955 lighting of a small Idahoan town Arco by a small boiling-water reactor experiment, is written by Ray Haroldsen, an engineer then at Argonne. . .
“The proposition that there were leaks in the Australian Department of External Affairs from the end of the war, dramatically revealed by the defection of Vladimir Petrov in April, 1954, has commanded great attention and has come to be generally accepted,” is stated (p. 92) by Wayne Reynolds in his 2000 book Australia’s Bid for the Atomic Bomb at the start of a chapter called. . .
The history of nuclear energy is littered with rumors and feints. At the tail end of 1957, the industry’s American trade journal offered up this snippet: The Argentine government is studying an offer to build an $80-million, 280-Mw nuclear power station for the city of Buenos Aires, Nucleonics has learned; Burns & Roe of New York would do the engineering on the project in cooperation. . .
At the 1955 Geneva conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy, one of the busiest luminaries was John Cockcroft. The British head of Harwell was collared by the Argentinean delegation, headed by a naval officer. The Argentineans had previously sought help via diplomatic channels but there was nothing in it for the United Kingdom, whose Cold War remit did not typically extend to South. . .
Those were the interesting days. Another Nucleonics article, in July 1950, says this about the other South American powerhouse: Argentina’s president Juan D. Peron, in a decree published last month, created a national atomic energy commission. The decree places the commission in charge of nuclear research in Argentina, with powers to supervise all public and private research. The commission also. . .
The October 1951 issue of Nucleonics contained a near-invisible snippet: Brazil has taken steps toward installing a pilot atomic power plant. Announcement of this development was made last month by Alberto da Motta, president of Brazil’s National Research Council and member of the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission since 1946. To be erected in Minas Gerais State, the plant, Admiral da Motta. . .
In Richard J. Samuels’s invaluable 1987 book, The Business of the Japanese State: Energy Markets in Comparative and Historical Perspective (Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York), he provides a table of the overseas firms that established linkages with Japanese heavy manufacturing companies, beginning in 1955 and 1956. What could be more useful for me, teasing out how Japan entered the. . .