Resource Listing December 1953

On December 8, 1953, in his Atoms for Peace speech to the United Nations, President Eisenhower proposed joint international cooperation to develop peaceful applications of nuclear energy. He pledged the United States' determination "to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma--to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life." He suggested that all nuclear nations turn over weapons-grade uranium and other materials to a proposed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). It could then share the materials with other nations for use in agriculture, medicine, electrical energy, and other peaceful uses. When the IAEA finally was formed in 1957, the Atomic Energy Commission offered 5,000 kilograms of uranium to the IAEA.

Two months after his speech, President Eisenhower proposed an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act to permit the international cooperation he spoke of and to allow electric utilities to develop nuclear power plants.