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Nuclear Power's History in the US: Miracle to Demon

Over its short lifetime, nuclear power has migrated from being the miracle of America's energy future to an at times unruly nuclear demon, says historian Patrick McCray.

Of all the miracle technologies of the 20th century — aircraft, computers, antibiotics — none held more promise than nuclear power.

In the middle of the 20th century, nuclear power held the potential for limitless, clean, and safe energy — something never before achieved in human history. How did a technology with so much potential end up being so hard to handle? Dr. Patrick McCray, a historian of science and a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, talks about the Cold War power politics that led to the creation — and to the downfall — of the nuclear power industry in the United States.


Audio used in ths edition of Curiouser & Curiouser includes Bring It On No Vox by Jamie Miller and David Matheson; and Atomic Energy as a Force for Good.

Also on, how an expert in nuclear power safety soured on the energy source and turned to solar.

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