The modern nation state rarely intervenes in the economy or in technological development as extensively as it did with nuclear energy. Perhaps only a technology arising out of military research could gain such support, at every stage of its commercialization and in every facet of its operation-fřom uranium mining to fuel enrichment to electricity production to disposal of radioactive wastes. In the United States, in particular, such extensive and prolonged intervention is unique outside of war. Exceptional cases can nonetheless offer important lessons, highlighting aspects of policymaking otherwise overlooked. In this case, we can see policymakers’ elaborate predictions about the future, and their ability to make predictions — however unrealistic — come true.