After humankind discovered nuclear fission, the first applied use was the atomic bomb. The study of fission for electricity production came later.
In December 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his fateful Atoms for Peace speech, an impassioned plea to reconstitute the power of the atomic bombs dropped in World War II for a more noble cause.
“Against the dark background of the atomic bomb, the United States does not wish merely to present strength, but also the desire and the hope for peace,” Eisenhower told the United Nations.
Almost 70 years later, the tension between those end uses still underlies the space today.
From the 1950s through the 1970s, the United States dramatically…