In its 28 years of existence (January 1, 1947–December 31,1974), the Atomic Energy Commission could take credit for some outstanding accomplishments.1 In the military sphere, the agency’s main preoccupation in its early years, an array of sophisticated nuclear weapons was developed, tested, and produced. The AEC also supported the development of propulsion reactors that made possible the creation of a fleet of reliable nuclear submarines and surface ships. Together, these achievements provided a cornerstone of the nation’s military and foreign policy during the years of the Cold War and were instrumental in preventing an outbreak of hostilities between the superpowers. The knowledge of military realities obtained in this work also enabled the AEC to provide expert advice to American diplomats as they negotiated arms control treaties that helped to curb the nuclear arms race.
KeywordsAtomic Bomb Atomic Energy Commission Nuclear Plant Nuclear Regulatory Commission Exclusive Jurisdiction
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