1945 saw nuclear energy deployed as a devastating weapon of war. In peacetime its use would be very different. But despite the benefits, the risky business of harnessing the power of the atom would court controversy. Focusing on events in the USA and Europe, and featuring input from those who experienced it first-hand, THE ATOM AND US (Monday 6th, 7.35pm) examines the social and political fallout from the civil development of this scientific miracle. Generating public prestige and private profit, it initially seemed ideal for an energy-hungry planet.
But as sobering news of accidents emerged, along with concerns about radioactive waste and other dangers, its necessity was called into question. Yet talk of a ‘nuclear renaissance’ suggests the story is far from over.