Science: Atoms for Horsepower?

"How long will it take to develop an atomic power plant of 100,000-kilowatt capacity which could compete with coal selling at $15 a ton?"

The fascinating question was put last week to eight experts by Harvard's President Scientist James B. Conant. The experts, gathered for an atomic-energy symposium at the National Association of Manufacturers Congress in Manhattan (see BUSINESS), had answers almost as varied as any eight men-in-the-street.

¶ Major General Leslie R. Groves, military boss of the Manhattan Project, was the most pessimistic: a matter of decades, rather than years.

¶Tennessee Eastman's James C. White: "Many Days."

¶ Carbide and Carbon Chemicals...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!