::Atomic Age


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An early nuclear power plant that used atomic energy to generate electricity.

The Atomic Age, also known as the Atomic Era, is the period of history following the detonation of the first nuclear ("atomic") bomb, Trinity, on July 16, 1945 during World War II. Although nuclear chain reactions had been hypothesized in 1933 and the first artificial self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction (Chicago Pile-1) had taken place in December 1942,<ref name="Holl">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> the Trinity test and the ensuing bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan that ended World War II represented the first large-scale use of nuclear technology and ushered in profound changes in sociopolitical thinking and the course of technology development. Atomic power was seen to be the epitome of progress and modernity.<ref name=bks2011/> Its architect is the Italian physicist Enrico Fermi.

However, the "nuclear dream" fell far short of what was promised because nuclear technology has produced a range of social problems, from the Nuclear arms race, to the Chernobyl disaster and Three Mile Island accident, and the unresolved difficulties of bomb plant cleanup and civilian plant waste disposal and decommissioning.<ref>John Byrne and Steven M. Hoffman (1996). Governing the Atom: The Politics of Risk, Transaction Publishers, p. 99.</ref>

Atomic Age sections
Intro   Early years    World War II    1950s    1960s    1970 to 2000    21st century    Chronology    The Atomic Age in pop culture    See also    References    Further reading    External links   

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