Controlling the Atom - Nuclear Regulation 1946-1962 by George T. Mazuzan

By George T. Mazuzan

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Industrial spokesmen quite naturally favored amending the 1946 law in order to foster a civilian atomic-power industry, although some had reservations about the draft bill. Walker L. Cisler, president of the Detroit Edison Company, stated that industry was eager to participate in the development of atomic power. Cisler bluntly put the responsibility on the legislators: "The question Congress must consider is whether at this critical period in the development, industry using its own funds, will be given the opportunity to perform its natural function of seeking out economic methods of utilizing this natural energy resource and making the resulting benefits available to all in a normal manner, or whether industry is to be restricted in its opportunities by a continuation of the existing law.

Most maintained that in order to bring about power-reactor development, government assistance was necessary, particularly in the areas of research and development, investment, public health and safety, and defense and security. Joint Committee chairman W. Sterling Cole suggested that the AEC should develop plans for “research and development in the field of atomic power components, pilot plants, and prototypes,’’ so that the private sector would have guidelines to follow in planning its own participation.

Trained in mechanical engineering at Yale, the younger Murray became an industrialist in his own right after moving into his family’s electrical-manufacturingbusiness. In his early career he acquired more than two hundred electrical and welding patents and became president of the Metropolitan Engineering Company. Furthermore, he was an influential director of its parent organization, the Murray Manufacturing Company, which made welding devices and electrical switches. A devout religious and family man, Murray exhibited strong character and moral convictions.

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