State of the Union Address, January 6, 1947, President Harry Truman on the mandate of the Atomic Energy Commission:
“…it is my fervent hope that the military significance of atomic energy will steadily decline. We look to the Commission to foster the development of atomic energy for industrial use and scientific and medical research. In the vigorous and effective development of peaceful uses of atomic energy rests our hope that this new force may ultimately be turned into a blessing for all nations.” Harry S Truman on Energy & Oil
For the record, I have a copy of the 1956 government book “Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy”, volume 1** taking the form of a commissioned report to the Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE)—though, current information about this history is much more illuminating than most of the Report. There is a volume 2 of this record, providing background and research materials, but unfortunately I don’t have it, however, on the main ‘peaceful use’ topics of atomic energy for medicine and agriculture, the trend of this forum –and Alison’s reading list @AMcD—is far surpassing this 1956 document. ‘Peaceful uses’ came first by a measure of many decades, and the evidence shows that the scientists themselves were advancing the technology toward weapons. Official history maintains that Harry Truman was not told about the Manhattan Project (MED) until after FDR’s death (Apr 12, 1945), and that the discovery of fission occurred in 1939—this late date for fission, at least, is false.
The theoretical basis for fission was described in 1875 by Englishman Samuel Tolver Preston and the first known public presentation on the use of nuclear energy was made by New Zealand’s Ernest Rutherford in 1916, then at the University of Manchester: “he was pressured into a public lecture in the London suburb of Islington. He told his audience, ‘A mere pound of uranium, on the scale we see possible, might liberate the same energy as burning 100 million pounds of coal. Scientists are trying hard to find a way to release this energy at will. Personally, I hope they do not succeed until man has learned how to live with his neighbors in peace,’…[but] his work was edging toward that achievement.”—p52, The Deadly Element: the Story of Uranium by Lennard Bickel, 1979
Note that the United Nations was chartered with a mission statement to oversee atomic energy and that the first known attempt to organize the making of an atomic bomb occurred in Algeria’s Sahara in 1939 under French and Belgian auspices. The project was cancelled and dispersed by the threat of war—a mass of African yellowcake from the Belgian Congo was shipped to the U.S., Staten Island NYC c1939 and sat unattended for more than two years on the loading dock of Archer Daniels Midland until the Manhattan Project purchased it.
“According to NIOSH (p. 183) the ore stored in this location “from 1939 through 1942” was ‘from the Belgian Congo’ and belonged initially to Union Minière du Haut Katanga …Unlike “the material stored at the Baker and Williams Warehouses”, the material stored in Staten Island was “was not government controlled or owned” until the MED bought it in 1942… In 1980 Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducted a preliminary radiological survey of the site… gamma radiation levels were found…indicating the presence of contamination” Former Archer Daniels Midland Company Warehouse, Remediation Under Consideration | International Disarmament Institute News
The UN charter documents were allegedly prepared in 1939 and secretly deliberated at two wartime meetings between FDR and Winston Churchill; the shipboard Quebec meeting of August 17, 1943, and the Hyde Park Agreement, signed 9-19-1944. The aim of these meetings was postwar global nuclear policing. The first ever United Nations meeting, following its charter of June 26 1945 was the preparatory conference held November 27, 1945 at Church House (Westminster) London . https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVA6ZSVP2JPWW5N067WW83WE5SI-UNITED-NATIONS-PREPARATORY-COMMISSION-HOLDS-ITS-FIRST-MEETING-AT/query/wildcard
“The Joint Committee on Atomic Energy was established by the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 and existed from 1946 to 1977. It was created to ‘make continuing studies of the activities of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and of problems relating to the development, use, and control of atomic energy.’ Through hearings and other public informational activities, the committee played a significant role in encouraging peaceful uses of atomic energy, dealing with subjects such as budget authorization bills for the Atomic Energy Commission, international agreements regarding atomic energy (stemming from President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Atoms-For-Peace” speech of December 1953), and various mutual defense agreements. Examples of other matters the Joint Committee covered include: developments at the national energy labs; health impacts of nuclear energy; nuclear waste management…” https://exhibits.stanford.edu/atomic-energy
“…For its broad powers, it is described as one of the most powerful congressional committees in U.S. history…[with] legislative powers [and] exclusive access to the [classified] information upon which its highly secretive deliberations were based. In particular its relations with the U.S. Department of Defense and the individual armed services…” [click the ‘Historical Membership” bar in the wikipedia link for the full list of members from 1946-1977; the list includes senators Lyndon B. Johnson, Clare Booth Luce, Prescott Bush, e.g.] United States Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy - Wikipedia
“In its July 22, 2004, final report, the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United
States (also known as the “9/11 Commission”) proposed a five-part plan to build unity of effort
across the U.S. government in fighting terrorism. The commission’s report includes specific
recommendations for “centralizing and strengthening congressional oversight of intelligence and
homeland security issues” including a recommendation that Congress consider creating a joint
committee for intelligence, using the Joint Atomic Energy Committee as its model… Congress gave the JCAE exclusive jurisdiction over “all bills, resolutions, and other matters” relating to civilian and military aspects of nuclear power, and made it the only permanent joint committee in modern times to have legislative authority. The panel coupled these legislative powers with exclusive access to the information… ” https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/RL/RL32538/2 ; the 1977 dissolution of the JCAE included a judicial ruling that its powers were unconstitutional.
The Atomic Energy Act of 1946 authorized the creation of the Atomic Energy Commission and designated the FBI, under J. Edgar Hoover, as the AEC’s supervising security and police force. Among other things, this empowered a vital expansion of FBI activities overseas in global operations, such as arms trafficking. Incidentally, I’ve read three recent vintage best-selling biographies of J. Edgar Hoover and not one of them mentions the FBI’s responsibility to AEC programs. Among FBI’s first “atomic agents” (1947-48 liaison to AEC) was William C. Sullivan, a legendary FBI executive who commanded the assassination investigations of JFK, MLK, and RFK and was himself murdered by ‘hunting accident’ on 11-9-1977 outside his home. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/1977/11/10/william-c-sullivan-once-high-fbi-aide-killed-by-hunter/9d6295ad-cf1b-461c-a110-4d1db4ef6613/
An amended Atomic Energy Act of 1954 opened the field of nuclear industry to private contractors and “made it possible for the government to allow private companies to gain technical information (Restricted Data) about nuclear energy production and the production of fissile materials, allowing for greater exchange of information with foreign nations as part of President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Atoms for Peace program, and reversed certain provisions in the 1946 law which had made it impossible to patent processes for generating nuclear energy or fissile materials.” Atomic Energy Act of 1954 - Wikipedia
**Book (cover text): “Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy” -Joint Committee Report, 84th Congress, 2d Session- “Report of the Panel on the Impact of the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy to the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, Volume 1, January 1956”