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The following tape recorded program is a presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters. You'll be interested to know that the Italian Navigator has just landed in the New World that with the voice of author Compton first reported the birth of atomic energy the birth of a new world. This series has been called the New World. Its aim is to outline some of the great benefits that atomic energy is bringing to mankind. The program's up produced by the University of Alabama.
Program 10 atomic energy and the future. This is the final program in our series. In it we try to look ahead with a great hope in our minds of international cooperation in the peaceful applications of atomic energy and to see what the future may bring. We started off at our base of operations Oak Ridge Tennessee. And went back to the 30th of April 1955 when the first foreign students to come to this country under President Eisenhower as atoms for peace plan were welcomed to Oak Ridge. Dr. Alvin Weinberg has been heard before in these programs. He is research director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. On the 30th of April he spoke to these foreign students just before taking them on a tour to see the laboratory and its installations. Dr. Weinberg spoke to them in the high school auditorium in Oak Ridge. Here is a recording we made of a part of his speech.
The laboratory with respect to writing isotopes and then production and recovery bear made a comment which he made some years ago when all of this was still secret. I recall very distinctly a remark to the effect that in his opinion nuclear energy has been fulfilled then it will not leave power derived from the atom that will turn out to be of the highest importance. But rather the fact that for the first time mankind has at its disposal radioactive materials macroscopic rather than microscopic scale.
Ride spread use of radioisotopes which. Manifested by the fact that at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory we have produced over the last year and shipped something of the order of our thousand carries something like 50000 separate shipments of the widespread use of radioisotopes is of course something that all of you are very familiar with. I think also almost all of you are aware of the fact that all of the isotopes used in this country which are shipped by those come to the country. Almost all of the Western countries that all of these isotopes are either produced at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory or processed at the National Laboratory.
I should now like to say just a few words about the broader international implications of nuclear energy the fact that. World I have seems to have taken the idea of nuclear energy in its imagination. And. Sees in it a. Touchstone. For. Great international understanding. The. Most recent. Manifestation of this of course is the fact that you are all gathered here today that you will be here in Britain for about a month learning about isotopes. There is a similar group who are working at the argon laboratory in the reactor school. And much of the activity this year will be brought to a focus
at a large international meeting in Geneva to be held in August of this year and which will be devoted to a discussion of all of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The significant and most significant aspect of the meeting internet of us is the fact that there will be representatives from both the east and the West at the meeting. There will be representatives from. Soviet Union and there will be representatives from the United States and they will all these issues. Talk things over scientists the scientists and engineer to engineer. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory will play a. Role in this conference. Which. Has. Bearing on what you will see in your tour today.
We have been asked by the Commission to build and operate a so-called swimming pool type reactor at Geneva. Now the swimming pool reactor at Geneva will be exhibited to the world at large and will be I suppose the first reactor that people outside of the United States will see which is constructed along these lines and with fuses and rich material in fact material of the sort that will be made available in this international pool will be the first set reactor that will be on display. Today at the laboratory. As part of your tour. You will see the prototype of the swimming pool reactor. It is housed in a much larger pool than will the reactor at Geneva. In fact
it looks like a swimming hole and that's why the reactor is called the swimming pool reactor. And I believe that you actually will be able to see very clearly that eerie blue LOL which. Suffuses reactors of this type when they are run at hours of the order of a hundred kilowatts or thereabouts. So you see that. In each of the aspects of nuclear energy which we discern as being peaceful peaceful and the implication the isotopes power or. The international implications. In each of these aspects your tour this. Afternoon will have meaning and significance. To those of us who are engaged in nuclear energy the
possibility of peaceful implication has of course always had great significance and has always held our imagination. At times like this when we have groups visiting us from all over the world we have a very plays that once again we have hands of will prove that these aspirations have indeed the possibility of being fulfilled. It is therefore a satisfaction with the satisfaction borne out of this knowledge that I take pleasure in. Welcoming all of you to won't read. I'm hoping that you will find your visit to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. An interesting one this afternoon.
The research director of the Oakridge National Laboratory Dr. Alvin Weinberg was speaking you know grids Tenn to the group of foreign students who had arrived there under the Atoms for Peace program. To get another view on the Geneva Conference of August one thousand fifty five we spoke to Professor LW Norheim. He was at one time the director of the physics division of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is now a professor of physics at Duke University. Advisor to the Los Alamos Laboratory an outstanding theoretical physicist. We ask him for his personal views on international cooperation in the field of building nuclear reactors for power. Professor Norheim pointed out that the steam engine was only about one hundred seventy years old. The internal combustion engine about 70 whereas atomic energy was demonstrated for the first time only in 1942. He told us about the development of nuclear reactors in Europe. And believe that both the United States and other countries would
benefit from cooperation in this field. Here is what Professor NOT HOME said. The present experience has shown that it is not difficult to build nuclear reactors. Instead they are generally safe to operate much more than one saw 10 years ago. The principles are they own or invent understood. However as a practical development of the reactor that can produce power involves immovable details so finding any real a pick of materials that can stand up and is expecting conditions in the reactor was also problems of chemical processing are quite different from conventional engineering. The steam engine is about a hundred seventy years or so until of combustion engine about 70. It took a long time to make sense of reliable and practical sources of power. The out of date and new improvements are still being made in the submarine reactor. We have already today a demonstrated nuclear power plant. Many of us are not development in this country.
It will however take time and effort to do the Gallup installations that can compete economically. So incentives for power reactors are much greater for countries liking the abundant resources of the United States. So US reactors are now being built or developed in practically all countries. Recent advanced industry England has announced plans to build 10 clear power stations within the next 10 years which may provide one fourth of all of the additional electric thought capacity over this time. Russia has declared that she has an experimental planned operation. Even small countries like Holland and Switzerland are getting into the act. The technology of nuclear power. Therefore develop other countries participate in it or not. However its advent will be speeded up if you do collaborate and share extensive experience. Such a participation would not mean to give of it. But the commission of the fictional situation
would stand to benefit greatly. President Eisenhower has expressed to the United Nations our readiness for such international cooperation. You have promised to make some materials available to other countries for experimental reactors and even participate extensively in an international conference on nuclear energy to be held to a summit in Geneva. Let us hope that this cooperation with other nations will come to food and that in this way atomic energy can be made to work for peace in the betterment of the world. That was what Professor LW not Heine of Duke University told us about his views on nuclear reactors for power and international cooperation. We had read in the press that Mr. John Jay Hopkins the chairman and president of General Dynamics corporation had suggested a long term program for the construction of atomic reactors in the underdeveloped parts of the world. Mr Frank pace Jr. the former secretary of the army and executive vice president of that
corporation has spoken before in the series about the atomic powered submarines his firm has built. We asked Mr. Pace to tell us something about the Hopkins plan and the ideas behind it. Mr. Pace. In the Sambre of 1954 John J. Hopkins chairman and president of General Dynamics Corp. proposed a 100 year program for the financing and construction of atomic reactors in areas of the world short of power water and food. The Hopkins plan in effect faces up to the problems which confront us as a result of our entry into the revolutionary new age of the app. Sense a key to the Hopkins plan is the provision of atomic reactors for the have not lands of the free world. There may be those who will point to the dubious wisdom of building the
most modern technological improvements in relatively primitive nations. But I would like to remind such doubters that the automobile was being mass produced in the United States before anything like a suitable highway system existed. The pioneers in the auto industry built the collars and very soon the roads of peace in the age of the atom I believe we must follow the very same coal provide atomic power for the underdeveloped areas of the world. And I am confident that it will speed up the development of a power complex and the local demand for power will appear as well as the way being paved for development of local industry. The Hopkins plan proposes four basic steps to be taken in the process of implanting industrial atomic reactors and have not NATION.
The first step would be an atomic research reactor. This would cost from several hundred thousand dollars up to three million and would serve primarily for experimental and educational purposes in addition it would provide limited quantities of radioactive isotopes which would be valuable in industry medicine and agriculture. The second step would be the point of all our package reactor. This would cost from today eight million dollars and would be especially useful in bringing power to inaccessible locations. If conditions then warranted. The third step would be that a large stationary power reactor. This would have a power pole 10 chill ranging from 100000 to 600 thousand kilowatts are mown and asked him what of the cost would be approximately two hundred fifty dollars per kilowatt stuff.
Finally the fourth step would be the large scale breeder reactor. This would produce power and radioisotope it would breed its own replacement fuel as well as fuel for other reactors. Financing of this long range program of course would create real problems short of the cartel method. Such a broad program could not be supported wholly by private capital. Nor is money the solve problem. There would be others such as the training a person now in atomic matters reducing the danger potential of the commercial atom and the disposal of atomic weights. Since the hundred year atomic reactor program is economic political and humanitarian and its goals such a program rightfully should receive the participation of government funded.
The power we have at hand. This power of the atom can be vastly benevolent and the decisions as to its use are decisions to be made by nations not by individuals or groups of individuals. The dividends which will accrue from the long range program will more than repay our country's investment. In my opinion there will be dividends in improved standards of living for our friendly neighbors in new markets for our products and in better human relations. All leading to the strengthening of the free world and our mutual security. Last year President Eisenhower underlined the world Marra leader's role of the United States with his plan to share our atomic technology and resources with other nations. There is now it appears the opportunity an obligation for this nation to assert
by way of an instructive creative atomic energy program the world industrial leadership of the United States. I have no doubt that we shall succeed in this International Atomic Power Program and by our success we shall have helped improve mankind's lot all over the world both in the immediate future and for generations to come. Our success in this program of peaceful applications of the atom should bring us to a new era of world peace is a lasting era which will restore to man everywhere the dignity which is inherently here. Why are these objectives no price is too high. Mr Frank pace Jr. the General Dynamics Corp. was speaking about the Hopkins plan sponsored by Mr. John Jay Hopkins chairman and president of the corporation.
For a final word about the future of atomic energy. We went back to Oak Ridge and spoke to Dr. Marshall Brewster chairman of the medical division of Oak Ridge Institute of nuclear studies. We asked him to give us his personal views and to tell us informally about what seemed to him especially important in this whole vast field of the peacetime applications of atomic energy during the future of atomic energy. Dr. Bruce Lee himself thought that the greatest benefits to mankind might lie in the two fields of the development of electric power from reactors and the use of reactor products to sterilise food. He pointed out that there was an important relationship between these two fields and this is how he explained it. The uses of atomic energy in the field of medicine. Are not a separate and distinct study which has no relationship to all of the other uses of atomic energy but is very closely bound in with all of the other. Possible uses of atomic energy. The use of
atomic energy for the propulsion of motors for the propulsion of ships submarines is a field that demands the use of reactors actually its a part of the power development. The use of atomic energy in the production of power. And the advent of cheap power with atomic energy will improve the economic values of a community and with the improvement in the economic values of a community there will be naturally an improvement in the medical state of that community. Whenever. Power is produced by atomic energy there is automatically the production of fission products and these fission products. Are. Radioactive isotopes. These radioactive isotopes are produced in reactors in large volumes. Some of these fission products have been directly in medicine but again
in the fields bordering on medicine but not directly related to it. Are such things. AS. The use of vision products in food sterilization and in food pasteurisation. In the field of food sterilization. The use of. Reactor produced fission products has an enormous economic value. It is said that in this country the production of food is a four billion dollar industry. Such simple things that have already been demonstrated in the laboratory as the retardation of the sprouting of potatoes. Which may seem a small item in the entire business of producing food is of enormous importance. The sprouting of onions is a similar story. One of the biggest problems in the field of food sterilization for a long time especially in this
country has been in the saving of the grain crop. Grains are well known to be infested with the grain Weevil and the grain weevil is known to eat approximately a fourth of the yearly production of grain in this country. If this Weevil infestation can be stopped with radiation then the effective production of grain will be increased by a fourth. One of the largest volume users of the fission products from nuclear reactors will be in the future. The sterilization of grain. The more direct. Uses of atomic energy in the field of medicine. Are well-known from many newspaper stories. With
the advent of the nuclear reactor during the early 1940s it became possible to produce very large volumes of iodine and phosphorus. And so did direct treatment of a patient with radioactive iodine with radioactive phosphorus became a possibility not just for a few individuals who could afford the exceedingly expensive cyclotron produced isotopes but now became available to the entire medical population during the early part of the 1950s and entirely unknown isotope came into prominence. And this was radioactive gold and it was used for types of cancer treatment that had not. Been considered with X-ray machines within the last few years other isotopes have come into prominence. One is radioactive
which was described in detail in one of the preceding programs of this series. One of the isotopes that is very prominent in today's news is Cesium 137 cesium 137 is produced whenever a nuclear reactor is made to produce power. The cesium 137 must be used in some way or it must be buried in storage cesium 137 will be produced in far larger quantities than can ever be used in radiotherapy and so this isotope becomes one of the important isotopes in the problem of food sterilization. In my own personal view of the future of atomic energy it appears that the peacetime uses of atomic energy together in one package. The most important is the production of cheap power. And this has its importance in the field of medicine as well as in the field of economics
because with the increase in the production of cheap power there will be an increase in the economic well-being of the community as a whole. And this always leads to a better medical situation in the community. Also with the increase in the production of power with reactors there will be an enormous increase in the production of certain radioactive isotopes. The largest volume use of these radioactive isotopes and certainly the most important economic use of these isotopes will be in such things as food sterilization. And so even though this may not be. A direct medical result. Of the peacetime use of atomic energy both of these fields the production of power and the increase in the potentialities of food sterilization are two of the direct medical advantages that will result from atomic energy.
Thank you Dr. Bruce for covering such a wide field in your comments and for pointing out the economic tie up between nuclear reactors and radio isotopes. You make it clear that all the uses of atomic energy we have covered your own field of medicine. The US is an agriculture industry. They reactors to produce electric power and to drive the engines of ships aircraft and locomotives are all closely connected. Many things seen and heard here at Oakridge have shown us the opening up. Of a new world. Contributors to this program. Dr. Marshall Booker chairman of the medical division of the Oak Ridge Institute of nuclear studies Mr. Frank pace Jr. executive vice president of General Dynamics Corp. professor nor time Professor of Physics at Duke University and Dr. Alvin M1 Bergh research director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
New world of atomic energy
Atomic energy and the future
Producing Organization
University of Alabama
Oak Ridge Institute
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program includes a portion of a speech by Dr. Alvin Weinberg of Oak Ridge National Laboratory on April 30, 1955; Frank Pace, Jr., of General Dynamics Corp. on Hundred Year Plan, Prof. L.W. Nordheim, Dr. M. Brucer are also heard.
Other Description
About peacetime uses of atomic energy, with experts from Oak Ridge and other atomic energy centers.
Broadcast Date
Nuclear energy--Military aspects--United States--History--20th century.
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Producer: Gouds, Moyra
Producing Organization: University of Alabama
Producing Organization: Oak Ridge Institute
Speaker: Weinberg, Alvin Martin, 1915-2006
Speaker: Brucer, Marshall
Speaker: Pace, Frank, Jr., 1912-1988
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-7-10 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:05
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Chicago: “New world of atomic energy; Atomic energy and the future,” 1956-03-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 13, 2022,
MLA: “New world of atomic energy; Atomic energy and the future.” 1956-03-04. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 13, 2022. <>.
APA: New world of atomic energy; Atomic energy and the future. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from