Atomic Energy Act of 1946 - Analysis

Analysis

Once the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 became law, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists released an analysis revealing the propositions contained within the scope of the legislation on September 1, 1946. The propositions explain the consequences of violating this legislation and the power held by the Atomic Energy Commission.

Among the ten propositions outlined in the analysis are the Commission's right to seize "any real property containing deposits of uranium or thorium, and with the consent of the President it may seize and take over, through condemnation proceedings, any real property containing any other material determined by the Commission to be peculiarly essential to the production of fissionable materials." And the fourth proposition stating, "It may be a crime for any American company to have a foreign affiliate, as for example in England, engage in the production of fissionable material."

One of the main clarifications provided by the analysis is the definition of "fissionable material" ("plutonium, enriched uranium, and any other material which the Commission determines to be capable of releasing substantial quantities of energy through nuclear chain reaction of the material, or any material artificially enriched by any of the foregoing; but does not include source materials.”

This analysis and propositions were designed to allow as much freedom as possible for citizens, scientists, and commercial industries while maintaining control. The Commission owned fissionable material and wanted to make it available for developmental work and private research.

Read more about this topic:  Atomic Energy Act Of 1946

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