This book traces the evolution of civilian nuclear power in the United States between 1946 and 1974, describing and analyzing the commercialization of nuclear energy and surveying pivotal events in the dissension that has recently accompanied its large-scale application. Professor Del Sesto views these events in terms of three themes: federal regulation of advanced technology, the gradual entrance of more diverse interest groups into the political arena, and the problems created by the conflicting claims of experts. He concludes that the lessons of the nuclear debate are most important for their implications for the expanding use of scientific and theoretical knowledge in democratic social orders. More broadly, he writes of the confrontation between knowledge and power that lies at the heart of the growing number of technological controversies that mark late twentieth century industrialized societies throughout the world.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Science, Politics, and Controversy: Introduction and Statement of Purpose -- Government Control of the Atom: Defining the Political and Administrative Subsystem of Nuclear Energy Regulation -- The Government-Industry Partnership in the Development of Civilian Nuclear Power in the United States, 1946-1960 -- The Development and Commercialization of Civilian Nuclear Power in the United States, 1960-1974 -- The Evolution of Opposition to Nuclear Power in the United States (I): Reactor Licensing, Public Participation, and the Limits of Subsystem Procedures -- The Evolution of Opposition to Nuclear Power in the United States (II): Transcending Subsystem Politics -- The Evolution of Opposition to Nuclear Power in the United States (III): The Ideological Cleavage -- Summary and Conclusions
Steven L. Del Sesto