A is for Atom

Here is a link to a 1992 programme by Adam Curtis called ‘A is for Atom’


What I found interesting was the interviews with some of the people involved in the very early days of the nuclear power industry including:

  • Alvin Weinberg, inventor of the PWR and BWR reactor
  • Glenn Seaborg, Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission
  • Greg Minor, one of three engineers who resigned from General Electric because “nuclear power presented a profound threat to mankind”

The interviews start at about 23:40 if you want to skip the introduction to nuclear power at the beginning


“We discovered that our theoretical calculations didn’t have a strong correlation with reality.”

Robert Pollard, AEC Engineer


“In 1938, the year that Rutherford died their disappeared for ever the happy days of free scientific work which gave such delight in our youth. Science has lost her freedom. Science has become a productive force. She has become rich but she has become enslaved and veiled in secrecy. I do not know if Rutherford would continue to laugh and joke nowdays as he used to.”

Pyotr Kapitsa (Russian Nobel Prize winner


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