Atoms for Peace…60 Years Later

Earlier this week, I spoke at the Nuclear Energy Assembly to help commemorate their 60th anniversary. The multi-day event was hosted by the Nuclear Energy Institute. My speech focused on strategic leadership as exemplified by the Atoms for Peace initiative – and the need again for a view of energy that factors in the long-term perspective.

 Nuclear Energy Assembly
Atoms for Peace . . . 60 Years Later
Washington, D.C.
May 14, 2013

Mr. Chairman, Distinguished Guests,

Atoms For Peace Stamp

What a pleasure it is for me to address this Assembly today, to help mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Nuclear Energy Institute, originally the Atomic Industrial Forum.

Also sixty years ago this December 8, in a speech before the United Nations, President Dwight D. Eisenhower outlined a strategic vision for the United States and for the world. It changed the way we see the potential of atomic power and ushered in a new era of international cooperation and partnership in a security sensitive area—nuclear science−which until that time had threatened us all.

It was a vision for the future that would be long-term in nature and bold in its results. It placed the United States at the forefront of events, assuring that it would be through our guidance and our standards that the world would make a transition to the peaceful use of this mighty source of power and energy. It brought the Soviet Union back to the arms control bargaining table—leading to the declassification of an entire area of nuclear science, fusion—and it engaged former colonial countries in peaceful cooperation rather than in the pursuit of nuclear weapons.

To read the speech in its entirety, please visit the NEI’s website. 

4 thoughts on “Atoms for Peace…60 Years Later

  1. The Atoms For Peace program was started when people did not generally know that it is fairly easy for nations with civilian nuclear power reactors to develop nuclear weapons. It is an example of a well-intentioned program but based on an idealistic ideology. Participants in this program included scientists from Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, South Africa and Korea. They probably would have developed nuclear weapons eventually anyhow but some feel that it was too soon. I gave a lecture on “Heavy Element Nuclear Systematics” to participants in an Atoms For Peace program at Argonne National Laboratory in the early 1960’s. I was careful to cite only material from declassified sources. I hope the other speakers took similar precautions.

  2. Susan, spot on kudos as always! As a lifelong student of Manhattan Project & Trinity success of July 1945, Oppenheimer et al were NOT really surprised by Soviet nuclear test 1949. Some figured the more nuclear “parity”, the “SAFER” the world would be(ie USA as the ONLY nuclear power to ever use NUCLEAR POWER). But I digress. Ike Eisenhower WARNED of M-I complex 1960. NO ONE LISTENED!! The “tail”(defense contactors) is now clearly “wagging the DOG”!! And killing our precious sons & daughters in the process!!(to “keep us safe” OR fund Lockheed-Martin,etc payroll). F-35B fighter jet project(2001)now 70% overbudget, can’t fly at night OR in bright sunlight, BUT we ordered 2400 planes nonetheless x $170M=$385M defense contract, & we’re selling this “USA technology” to ANYONE & EVERYONE who can afford “IT”. My problem w/aged F-35B project is 1) $385B we don’t have & can’t afford,, 2) ALL of THIS $$$$ prevents/outsmarts NOT ONE terrorist ATTACK. It seems like we remain stuck in this 1946 “BIG DICK FIREPOWER” mentality w/o really dedicating $$$$ & resouces to outsmarting the real enemy. HELLO 9/11/2001!! IF U wish not to understand THIS ATTACK, or its political global reality, SHAME ON AMERICAN naivete!! This abject blindness to contemporary reality leaves me clueless, fearful, & ANGRY!! Susan your grandfather p-WWII was ridiculously PRESCIENT!!

  3. Susan,
    Another great presentation, helping some to remember and some to learn anew, the significance of President Eisenhower’s U.N. speech almost 60 years ago. As you stated, it was the opening of the peaceful uses of the many aspects of atomic energy, and the U.S. sharing with the world its knowledge for the betterment of all.
    For me personally, it inspired me to become a nuclear engineer and participate in a small way, to help achieve the President’s vision.
    Thank you.

  4. Such a Wonderful Blessing that you get to witness and still be a part of your Grandfather’s Historical strategic vision!!! Thanks as always for being who you are Susan. You are composed of “Atoms for Peace” within your heart and soul! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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