Science: Piles for Peace

Atom-powered ships might sail a million miles on a single fuel charge of uranium or plutonium; the prospect was most promising, said General Electric's Vice President Harry A. Winne last week. But atomic power for public utilities, he thought, was not quite so promising. To compete with soft coal at $4 a ton, "fissionable material" would have to sell at $6,000 a pound.

Nevertheless, giant General Electric Co. was brimming over with high hopes for the Atomic Age. Already G.E. had committed itself to an extensive program of basic atomic research. At the Knolls,...