The history of nuclear power in the United States began with the controversial Manhattan Project, the secret World War II project that led to the creation of the first nuclear weapons. As fears grew of a Nazi-controlled super weapon, America began enlisting the greatest known physicists to develop a super weapon of their own.
Following World War II was the Dawning of the Nuclear Age. Despite being a zero-emission clean energy source, nuclear technology became a focus of political discourse as the environmental damage and effects of radiation from weaponization, accidents and waste products became increasingly evident. The United States established the Atomic Energy Commission, intended to control all aspects of nuclear energy, including the research, development, testing, and construction of nuclear warheads. Nuclear weapons also played a major role in the Cold War, as the United States and Soviet Union competed for nuclear superiority.
You can learn all about the nuclear age and much more on U.S. History (Gale in Context). This resource provides a variety of historical data from primary sources and reference documents. It also includes photographs, illustrations, and maps. Topics range from the arrival of Vikings in North America all to the way to the first stirrings of the American Revolution and on through the Civil Rights movement, 9/11, and the War on Terror.