Sixty Years Of Nuclear Power

on December 20, 2011 at 4:00 PM

It’s been sixty years since Argonne National Laboratory director Walter Zinn scribbled into his log book, “Electricity flows from atomic energy. Rough estimate indicates 45 kw.”

At 1:23pm on December 20, 1951 nuclear powered electricity worked for the first time, lighting four light bulbs in the lab.

Now, sixty years later, nuclear energy is the subject of fierce debate as the industry touts its clean emission-free technology and opponents cite Fukushima and other nuclear accidents as proof of its danger.

Though demand and construction of new reactors has remained relatively steady in the United States, nuclear power supply has shrunk globally in recent years as governments shut down old reactors and stalls construction of new ones.

In publishing this video, the US Department of Energy boasted on its website that it is not only keeping nuclear growth steady, but also investing in small modular reactor technology, which include additional safety measures and can be built smaller and more cheaply than bigger models.