Atomic City USA - radio documentary produced in 1950 to help promote the cause of Nuclear energy by looking at a community completely made up of workers employed by the Government, initially working on the Atomic Bomb in World War 2, but turning to other uses for Nuclear energy post-World War 2.
March 20, 2011

Bending over backwards to portray One Big Happy Family.

Smack in the middle of the Cold War, the Arms Race and threats of nuclear annihilation, the Public Relations war was in full swing in an attempt to assuage a nervous country that The Bomb was okay, Atomic power was fine and Nuclear Energy was going to be the wave of the future.

The Atomic Energy Commission heavily lobbied the radio (and TV) networks to try and put some positive spin on the subject of Nuclear Energy and in this documentary, produced for CBS Radio on February 25, 1950 they did their best to paint the rosiest picture possible about the Oak Ridge Tennessee Nuclear facility and town.

Alan Jackson (CBS News): “Shortly after the Atomic Energy story itself became known there circulated around the country, in fact around the world, frequently some stories that working anywhere near an Atomic project was bad for workers health. Is that true now? What is the situation here at Oak Ridge?”

Dr. Raymond Johnson (Oak Ridge medical Doctor): “I certainly don’t agree that there is any danger here. I think our safety departments at the plants leave no stones unturned in furnishing protection for all the people at the plant. And I think there is absolutely no danger either to the workers or to the people who live in the city.”

Since Oak Ridge was the location for the production of the first Atomic Bomb, and also had become the stuff of various UFO sightings throughout the 1950's and 1960's, it was a natural people were more than leery of what went on there. But this was Government by Public Relations at its best.

And in 1950 there were a lot of very apprehensive people.

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