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Science & Technology > Nuclear Science
Introduction I Biotechnology | Environmental Technology I
Information Technology I Medicine | Nuclear Science I

What kind of information materials are available?
CD: Texts available on CD version.Texts available in multiple languages.


· NRC - Regulator of Nuclear Power
National Nuclear Security Administration
(Department of Energy)
· Nuclear Energy Information At A Glance
Nuclear Science and Technology (American Nuclear Society)
PBS: Meltdown at Three Mile Island
· The Atomic Century (Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments)
· The Manhattan Project
(Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments)

Background Reports & Documents
Nuclear Energy Policy (CRS Report, 2006) CD

Original Documents
· National Energy Policy
National Nuclear Security Administration's Strategic Plan (Department of Energy)

Nuclear Power 2010
U.S. Nuclear Reactors
Selected Papers of Great American Physicists (American Institute of Physics)

Exhibits - Digital Images
· Einstein - Image and Impact
The Discovery of the Electron


One of the most spectacular and controversial achievements of world science in the second half of the 20th century has been the harnessing of nuclear energy. The concepts that led to the splitting of the atom were developed by the scientists of many countries, but the conversion of these ideas into the reality of nuclear fission was the achievement of U.S. scientists in the early 1940s.

After German physicists split a uranium nucleus in 1938, Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard, all of whom had fled to the United States to escape persecution in National Socialist Germany and Italy, concluded that a nuclear chain reaction was feasible. In a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt, Einstein warned that the next step on the part of German scientists, would be the construction of "extremely powerful bombs." This warning led to the Manhattan Project - the United States' effort to build an atomic bomb before Germany. The development of the bomb and its use against Japan in August of 1945 initiated the Atomic Age.

After the war, the network of researchers, government and military officials, and physicians mobilized for the Manhattan Project began working on government programs to promote both peaceful uses of atomic energy and nuclear weapons development.

Nuclear power and nuclear medicine are two examples of peaceful uses of atomic energy. Nuclear energy to produce electricity commercially began in the U.S. in 1957. Today, over 100 nuclear power plants produce about 21 percent of all the electricity generated in the United States. A 1979 accident at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania made many Americans uncertain about the safety of nuclear power. Utilities must follow a lengthy series of licensing procedures before a nuclear power plant can be built and operated in the United States.

See also:
About the USA > Science & Technology > Medicine

For High School Students
· ABC's of Nuclear Science (Berkeley Lab)
· Alliant Energy PowerHouse Kids
· Fear of Physics
How Nuclear Power Works
Internet Plasma Physics Education Experience
· Nuclear Power Timeline (Department of Energy) 
· Nuclear Power (Department of Energy)
     Link Lists
· Archives of Women in Science and Engineering
· Science & Technology
FirstGov for Science
Librarians' Index to the Internet: Science
  Open Directory: Science Museums
· Science for Families
The Glossarist: Science Glossaries
  The Glossarist: Technology Glossaries 
Texts are abridged from U.S. State Department IIP publications and other U.S. government materials.
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Updated: May 2008