Plutonium, Politics and Policy: A New “Atoms for Peace”

Reis, Vic
July 2003
AIP Conference Proceedings;2003, Vol. 673 Issue 1, p35
Conference Proceeding
On December 8, 1953, before the first nuclear power reactor generated any electricity (and not too long after the Soviet Union exploded it first thermonuclear bomb,) President Eisenhower gave his famous 'Atoms for Peace' speech to the United Nations, expressing his vision for a future world in which nuclear technology could play a critical role in the peace and prosperity of the world. In this paper we will review the situation at the time of Eisenhower's speech, why he made it, and look at what ensued in the subsequent 50 years. Then we will suggest a vision for a new peaceful and prosperous global future and analyze what role nuclear technology, and in particular plutonium might play in such a world, consistent with current U.S. policy.


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