ATOMIC ENERGY: Out of Power?

Is the U.S. falling behind other nations in the commercial development of atomic power? In Washington last week the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy opened its annual hearings on the state of the atom, and promptly heard diametrically opposite answers to the question. Said Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Lewis Strauss: "No." Said his fellow AEC commissioner, Thomas Murray: "Yes."

Chairman Strauss acknowledged that there have been some delays in the nuclear-power program, but insisted that on the whole progress has been excellent. Strauss predicted that "five, and perhaps six" reactors, using varied methods of converting atomic energy to electricity,...