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The Nonnuclear Alvin Weinberg

Henry R. Linden

Nuclear Science and Engineering

Volume 90 / Number 4 / August 1985 / Pages 347-357


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To honor Alvin Weinberg for his role as one of the key architects of the nuclear age, it seems appropriate to include a brief account of his involvement in nonnuclear activities. The time span covered includes two critical periods for energy policy — 1973, immediately prior to the oil embargo, and 1974 to 1975, the most traumatic years of the period immediately following the embargo. The first period is illustrated by Weinberg's involvement with the Club of Rome and the second period by his service as head of the Energy Research and Development Office of the Federal Energy Administration. His far-sighted views on energy and natural resource policy at that time are contrasted with the perceptions of others who were seeking radical technological and institutional solutions for crises that, in the end, were solved by the interplay of market forces and evolutionary progress in energy supply and conservation, and the use of natural resources.

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