ENERGY: Atomic Dilemma

Should the U.S. freely sell peaceful nuclear technology abroad? The question is so important that it is being more and more debated at the highest levels of the Federal Government. On the one hand, the nation's overseas sales of atomic power plants, equipment and services swell U.S. export earnings by a cool $1.5 billion a year. On the other, the proliferation of nuclear reactors can also lead to the spread of nuclear weapons—meaning atom bombs.

Last week the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission opened the debate to the public for the first time. Its concern was anything but academic, since it...

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