And yet, many benefits spring from the very heart of matter – the production of electricity by nuclear power plants, the uses of radioactivity and other nuclear phenomena in medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of a wide variety of ailments, and the technological exploitation of nuclear materials in industry. The applications of nuclear phenomena, harmful at one extreme and beneficial at the other, present us with a dilemma of risks and benefits. It is a double–edged sword of Damocles that hangs precariously over our heads.
Certainly the largest, and arguably the most controversial, non‐military application of nuclear energy is the generation of electricity by nuclear power plants. When it was first demonstrated that electricity could be obtained from the splitting of atoms, a new age appeared to be dawning. The first commercial nuclear power generating station was completed at 1957 at shipping port, Pennsylvania, along the Ohio River near Pittsburgh, USA. With great fanfare and a radioactive "magic wand", President Dwight Eisenhower launched this nation on a course of "atomic energy".