Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The possibility that controlled nuclear fission could produce useful energy was recognized early in 1939. During World War II developmental effort was focused on production of the bomb. Since the war, the U. S. atomic power program has grown to substantial proportions.By June 30, 1958, there were in operation in the United States one full scale civilian power reactor and seven civilian power reactor experiments, with a total rated electrical capacity of over 77,000 kw, as well as a number of military propulsion reactors and reactor experiments. There are currently planned fourteen power reactors in addition to the one now in operation. These present plans, if fully carried out,would result in a U. S. nuclear power capacity of over 1,300,000 electrical kilowatts by the end of 1963.