In a December 1953 speech to the United Nations, President Dwight D. Eisenhower launched the ‘Atoms for Peace’ programme, saying:
“The miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death but consecrated to his life.”
He claimed that “peaceful power from atomic energy is not a dream of the future. That capability, already proved, is here – now – today.” And the USA would help to ensure it could be used worldwide.
However, his advisors soon told him that it wasn’t viable. A classified internal State Department Intelligence Report, circulated in January 1954, ‘Economic Implications of Nuclear Power in Foreign Countries‘, warned that the introduction of nuclear power would "… not usher in a new era of plenty and rapid economic development as is commonly believed. Nuclear power plants may cost twice as much to operate and as much as 50 percent more to build and equip than conventional thermal plants.”