By Wallace Edward BrandWallace Edward Brand practices law in his own firm in Washington, DC, where he represents small electric systems.
"Througout much of the
history of generation, technology
devolved at a very slow pace after
the construction of the first generation
of large central generation stations. With
the development of nuclear energy in the
1940s and 1950s, the government promoted an
alternative energy source that was expected to
provide a cheap source of power as well as
provide a source of plutonium for nuclear
weapons development. With the promulgation
of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 and its
amendment of 1954, The Atomic Energy Commission
was created and imbued with the dual task of
regulating and promoting nuclear energy. Contrary to the widespread
anecdotal quote that nuclear energy would be 'too cheap to meter,' contemporary
technical studies indicate that nuclear energy was expected to cost approximately
the same as conventional energy. A prime benefit was the plutonium production
capability, as it was envisioned that the utility would financially benefit from
the government demand for plutonium.
(em Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control, taken from
DPUC Investigation into the Restructuring of the
Electric Industry, Docket No. 94-12-13,
July 14, 1995, pp. 3, 4.
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