Atomic Energy Commission


Atomic Energy Commission
a former federal agency (1946-75) created to regulate the development of the U.S. atomic energy program: functions transferred to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Abbr.: AEC

* * *

▪ United States organization
(AEC),  

      U.S. federal civilian agency established by the Atomic Energy Act, which was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on Aug. 1, 1946, to control the development and production of nuclear weapons (nuclear weapon) and to direct the research and development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy. On Dec. 31, 1946, the AEC succeeded the Manhattan Engineer District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (which had developed the atomic bomb during World War II) and thus officially took control of the nation's nuclear program.

      The AEC was headed by a five-member board of commissioners, one of whom served as chairman. During the late 1940s and early '50s, the AEC devoted most of its resources to developing and producing nuclear weapons, though it also built several small-scale nuclear-power plants for research purposes. In 1954 the Atomic Energy Act was revised to permit private industry to build nuclear reactors (nuclear reactor) (for electric power), and in 1956 the AEC authorized construction of the world's first two large, privately owned atomic-power plants. Under the chairmanship (1961–71) of Glenn T. Seaborg (Seaborg, Glenn T.), the AEC worked with private industry to develop nuclear fission reactors that were economically competitive with thermal generating plants, and the 1970s witnessed an ever-increasing commercial utilization of nuclear power in the United States.

      Though it had virtually created the American nuclear-power industry, the AEC also had to regulate that industry to ensure public health and safety and to safeguard national security. Because these dual roles often conflicted with each other, the U.S. government under the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 disbanded the AEC and divided its functions between two new agencies: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (q.v.), which regulates the nuclear-power industry; and the Energy Research and Development Administration, which was disbanded in 1977 when the Department of Energy was created.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Atomic Energy Commission —   [ə tɔmɪk enədʒɪ kə mɪʃn], Abkürzung AEC [ eɪiː siː], auch USAEC [ juːes eɪiː siː], durch den »Atomic Energy Act« von 1946 von der Regierung der USA eingesetzte Einrichtung für Planung, Überwachung und Finanzierung aller kerntechnischen Vorhaben …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Atomic Energy Commission — Mit Atomic Energy Commission kann eine Organisation in verschiedenen Ländern bezeichnet werden, darunter die Atomic Energy Commission of India (seit 1948) Australian Atomic Energy Commission (1952–1987) Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (seit… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Atomic Energy Commission — Many countries have or have had an Atomic Energy Commission. These include: *flagicon|Australia Australian Atomic Energy Commission (1952 1987) *flagicon|France Commissariat à l Énergie Atomique (1945 present) *flagicon|India Atomic Energy… …   Wikipedia

  • Atomic Energy Commission — noun a former executive agency (from 1946 to 1974) that was responsible for research into atomic energy and its peacetime uses in the United States (Freq. 1) • Syn: ↑AEC • Hypernyms: ↑executive agency • Part Holonyms: ↑executive branch, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Atomic Energy Commission —    See Israel Atomic Energy Commission …   Historical Dictionary of Israel

  • Atomic Energy Commission —   The independent civilian agency of the federal government with statutory responsibility to supervise and promote use of nuclear energy. Functions were taken over in 1974 by the Energy Research and Development Administration (now part of the U.S …   Energy terms

  • Atomic Energy Commission — (AEC)    The AEC was a fiveman board established by Congress in 1946 under the Atomic Energy Act to oversee the development and control of atomic energy. The commission took over control from the military and supported research in universities… …   Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era

  • Atomic Energy Commission — The governmental agency established by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954 to administer and carry out the provisions of the statute. 42 USC §§ 2031, 2032 …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Atomic Energy Commission — n. former United States atomic research agency, AEC …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Atomic Energy Commission of India — The Atomic Energy Commission is a governing body functioning under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), Government of India. The DAE is under the direct charge of the Prime Minister. History The Indian Atomic Energy Commission was first set up… …   Wikipedia