The development of nuclear power in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) was initiated immediately after the first Geneva conference in 1955 and has enjoyed continuing governmental support for research and development ever since. Government, industry, and the scientific community unanimously recognized the enormous potential of the peaceful application of nuclear energy to contribute to growing global energy needs. Nuclear energy was correctly considered to be one of the few viable energy alternatives to maintain levels of economic and social achievements at a time when global energy shortages were beginning. It appeared as an especially attractive substitute for oil, which was expected to reach its peak availability well before the end of the century.