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Atomic Age

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The Atomic Age was a phrase used for a time in the 1950s in which it was believed that all power sources in the future would be atomic in nature. After the atomic bomb rendered all conventional explosives redundant and nuclear power plants did the same for power sources such as coal and oil, there was a general feeling that everything would use a nuclear power source of some sort. This even included cars, leading Ford to display the Ford Nucleon concept car to the public in 1958.

Normally reputable experts predicted that thanks to the giant nuclear power stations of the near future electricity would soon become as cheap as water, or even cheaper, and that electrical meters would be removed.

Lew Kowarski, a former director of CERN, even recalled such references as Atomic cocktail waitresses.

The term was initially used in a positive, futuristic sense, but by the 1960s the threats posed by nuclear weapons had begun to edge out nuclear power as the dominant motif of the atom. In the late 1970s, nuclear power was faced with economic difficulties and widespread public unease, coming to a head in the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, which effectively killed the nuclear power industry for decades to come. As such, the label of the "Atomic Age" now connotates either a sense of nostalgia or na´vete, depending on whom you ask.

See also

External links

  • Ford Nucleon (http://www.velocityjrnl.com/jrnl/1958/vmd1210ov.html)
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