Atomic energy policy has been confused, sometimes in its aims and always in the internal and international processes of its formulation. Nevertheless, for all its ambiguities, the policy which was handed down for execution was the production of fissile material at the earliest possible moment and, from January 1947, the fabrication and testing of an atomic bomb, also at the earliest possible moment: these commitments were presented, at the working level, as matters of supreme importance for the British nation. A subsidiary aim was the exploration of the potentialities of nuclear power: the shortage of fuel which bedevilled the whole economy emphasised the importance of this aim which could not, however, be achieved quickly.
KeywordsAtomic Energy Atomic Bomb Government Service Fissile Material Uranium Metal
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- 1.See ‘John Douglas Cockcroft’, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, vol. XIV (Nov 1968).Google Scholar
- 2.General Groves, Now it Can be Told (Deutsch, 1963) p. 343.Google Scholar
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- The attitude of the scientists at Montreal is consistent with the picture of scientists’ motivation and the emphasis on ‘disinterestedness’ given in W. O. Hagstrom, The Scientific Community (Basic Books, 1965) and N. W. Storer, The Social System of Science (Holt, 1966).Google Scholar
- 7.The motivations of these ‘applied’ scientists, taking part in the first stages of a new technology, were different from those suggested by Storer and Hagstrom, op. cit. (see Chapter 18, ref. 13).Google Scholar
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