Containing the Atom: Nuclear Regulation in a Changing Environment, 1963-1971

Overview

The late 1960s saw an extraordinary growth in the American nuclear industry: dozens of plants of unprecedented size were ordered throughout the country. Yet at the same time, public concern about the natural environment and suspicion of both government and industry increased dramatically. Containing the Atom is the first scholarly history of nuclear power regulation during those tumultuous years.

J. Samuel Walker focuses on the activities of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, ...

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Overview

The late 1960s saw an extraordinary growth in the American nuclear industry: dozens of plants of unprecedented size were ordered throughout the country. Yet at the same time, public concern about the natural environment and suspicion of both government and industry increased dramatically. Containing the Atom is the first scholarly history of nuclear power regulation during those tumultuous years.

J. Samuel Walker focuses on the activities of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the agency entrusted with the primary responsibility for the safety of nuclear power, and shows that from the beginning the AEC faced a paradox: it was charged with both promoting and controlling the nuclear power industry. Out of this paradox grew severe tensions, which Walker discusses in detail. His balanced evaluation of the issues and the positions taken by the AEC and others makes this study an invaluable resource for all those interested in the continuing controversies that surround nuclear energy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520079137
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 10/8/1992
  • Pages: 548
  • Product dimensions: 6.33 (w) x 9.37 (h) x 1.52 (d)

Meet the Author

J. Samuel Walker is historian of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and co-author, with George T. Mazuzan, of Controlling the Atom: The Beginnings of Nuclear Regulation, 1946-1962 (California, 1984).

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
1 The Context of Nuclear Regulation, 1946-1962 1
2 The Nuclear Industry and the Bandwagon Market 18
3 The Regulatory Framework 37
4 Reactors Downtown? The Debate over Metropolitan Siting 57
5 Reactors at Faults: The Controversy over Seismic Siting 84
6 Dilemma over Disasters: The Extension of Indemnity Legislation 113
7 Reactor Safety: Growing Concern over Larger Reactors 139
8 Accident Prevention: The Emergency Cooling Imbroglio 169
9 The First Line of Defense - And Other Safety Measures 203
10 Regulating Mines and Mills: Health, Environmental, and Bureaucratic Hazards 233
11 The AEC and the Environment: The Thermal Pollution Controversy 267
12 Radiation Standards: Debate Within and Challenges from Without 297
13 Fallout over Radiation 331
14 Environmental Law and Litigation: From NEPA to the Calvert Cliffs Decision 363
15 The Public and Nuclear Power 387
16 The End of an Era 415
Appendix 1: Glossary of Acronyms 427
Appendix 2: Chronology of Regulatory History 429
Notes 433
Essay on Sources 509
Index 513
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