In 1945, the world first experienced the immense and devastating power of the nuclear bomb. The ability to harness the atom gave rise to an abundance of opportunities to advance society and conserve the human environment but also unleashed certain anxieties about the potentially destructive nature of this newfound atomic power. American politicians and scholars, torn between both their own wishes and fears, became hampered by the dilemma of this atomic “genie”. Research of historical arguments in conjunction with contemporary dialogues reveals a confusing and often contradictory story of nuclear power’s fission and fusion as it faced multiple issues. This paper investigates the history of nuclear power in the United States from the point of view of those in charge, including top scientific experts and government officials, from 1945 to 1990. It will explore the promising start of nuclear energy and explain its uneasy descent into uncertainty while considering the contemporarily emerging “environmentalism” movement. By doing so, it hopes to prove the precarious and often fragmented place that nuclear technology has in human history.
"The Fission and Fusion of Nuclear Environmentalism: Nuclear Energy in the United States from 1945 to 1990,"
Locus: The Seton Hall Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 6, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarship.shu.edu/locus/vol6/iss1/6