The Atomic Energy Commission: A Brief History

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What is the Atomic Energy Commission?

The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) is a federal agency in the United States that was created in 1946 to manage the development, use, and control of nuclear energy for both military and civilian applications.

The AEC’s responsibilities include overseeing the operation of the nation’s nuclear power plants, conducting research into nuclear energy and its potential peaceful uses, and dispose of nuclear waste products.

The AEC also regulates the transportation of nuclear materials, and is responsible for safety and security at nuclear facilities.

In addition to its regulatory duties, the AEC also promotes the peaceful use of nuclear energy through its research and development programs.

The AEC’s headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices around the country.

The Atomic Energy Commission was created on August 11, 1971 in response to President Nixon’s energy message of June 4. The commission was tasked with researching and developing projects that would provide alternatives for meeting the Nation’s energy needs.

One of the first projects undertaken by the commission was the development of nuclear power plants. Nuclear power plants were seen as a potential solution to the energy crisis at the time. However, the commission’s research eventually determined that nuclear power was not a viable option for the long term.

The commission continued to research other options for meeting the Nation’s energy needs. Eventually, they settled on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. These sources of energy are more sustainable and do not produce the harmful emissions that come from fossil fuels.

The Atomic Energy Commission has played an important role in shaping our country’s energy policy. Their research has helped to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy system.

Who established Atomic Energy Commission?

The Atomic Energy Commission was established on 1st March 1948 by Homi Bhabha.

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The commission is responsible for the development and regulation of nuclear power in India.

Bhabha was a renowned scientist and is regarded as the father of the Indian nuclear programme.

Under his guidance, the commission made rapid progress in setting up nuclear reactors and infrastructure.

The commission has played a pivotal role in the growth of nuclear power in India.

Today, it is one of the leading nations in nuclear power generation.

Why was the Atomic Energy Commission established?

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) was setup on August 3, 1954 under the direct charge of the Prime Minister through a Presidential Order. Subsequently, in accordance with a Government Resolution dated March 1, 1958, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was established in the Department of Atomic Energy.

The mission of the AEC is to promote and accelerate the development and application of nuclear energy in all its peaceful aspects including human resource development with due consideration of environmental, health and safety aspects.

The Department of Atomic Energy is responsible for all matters relating to atomic energy and ionizing radiations except those concerning its medical applications and fabrication and operation of reactors for power generation.

  • The Department of Atomic Energy comprises five research institutes, three industrial organizations, five public sector undertakings and one service organization. These are:
  1. Nuclear Science Centre, New Delhi
  2. Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore
  3. Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam
  4. Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai
  5. Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre , Kolkata
  6. Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research , Hyderabad
  7. Nuclear Recycle Board , Mumbai
  8. Board of Radiation and Isotope Technology , Mumbai
  9. Heavy Water Board , Mumbai
  10. Nuclear Fuel Complex , Hyderabad
  • The Department also supports education and training in nuclear science and technology through various academic institutions. These institutions are:
  1. Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
  2. Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata
  3. Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad


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