50 Years of "Atoms for Peace"

Berlin, 17.12.2003

On 8 December 1953, the then US President, Dwight D. Eisenhower, presented for the first time his ideas and plans for the peaceful utilisation of nuclear power to the United Nations General Assembly. The primary aim was to make use of nuclear power in the areas of agriculture, medicine and above all electricity generation. Regarding the latter, President Eisenhower suggested the creation of joint basic structures for co-operation under the umbrella of an international atomic energy agency.

Five decades on, essential elements of his visions have become reality: nuclear physics is applied in many aspects of everyday life, e. g. in industry or medicine. Also, nuclear power utilisation is one of the most profitable ways of electricity production. Nuclear power plants emit no CO2 (which is harmful to the climate) upon electricity generation, and they only need small amounts of "fuel" (uranium) to be highly productive. At present, about 17 % of the world`s electricity demand is covered by nuclear power. Around the globe, 438 reactors are in operation, another 31 are currently under construction. New reactor projects are about to be realised in particular in Asia, but also in Europe. The German Atomic Forum sees these projects as a clear sign that nuclear power will continue to play an important role as a source of electricity supply all over the world. The visions Dwight D. Eisenhower had in 1953 are therefore still forward-looking even today.

Note to editors:
President Eisenhower`s speech can be found on the following website:

World Nuclear University


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