In 1946, President Truman considered atomic energy to be “too important a development to be made the subject of profit seeking.” 1 This view, widely shared among the post-war political and scientific establishment, was a principal reason for the government’s retention under the original Atomic Energy Act of an historically unprecedented monopoly of nuclear science and technology. 1a At this time predictions of vast practical benefits easily to be realized from “the peaceful atom” were common. Commission policy during the first years of AEC operation, however, was squarely based upon the premise that scientific talent and resources had to be conserved for immediately essential activities such as weapon design and 124testing, improvements in production reactors (to manufacture plutonium for bombs), and development of the “Redox” process to re-process reactor fuel. 2