Atomic Energy Act

Law
42 U.S.C. § 2011 et seq.  | (1946)

Legal Definition of Atomic Energy Act 

established the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and gave it authority over all aspects of atomic energy, including nuclear warhead research, development, testing, and production. The legislation grew out of the need many outside of government and the military, including scientists who had worked on the Manhattan Project, felt for establishing independent controls over nuclear technology. The Act also established a joint congressional committee on atomic energy. In 1954, amendments were added to allow greater participation by private nuclear-industry interests, and in 1974 the AEC and the joint committee were dissolved and their functions transferred to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Energy Research and Development Administration (disbanded in 1977 when the Department of Energy was created), and various congressional subcommittees.

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