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Super BombOrganizational Conflict and the Development of the Hydrogen Bomb$
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Ken Young and Warner R. Chilling

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501745164

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501745164.001.0001

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Advising on the Super

Advising on the Super

(p.40) Chapter 2 Advising on the Super
Super Bomb

Ken Young

Warner R. Schilling

Cornell University Press

This chapter looks into the business of campaigning for or against nuclear development. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and its committees were at the epicenter of this debate. Here, the array of advice and potential pressure on the question of the Super as it existed in late 1949 offered no clear direction to the president. Powerful congressional opinion challenged the advice of the most powerfully placed scientists, but that had not yet been sufficient to swing Truman behind the Super's development. His views, however, began to take shape in mid-January after receiving a report on the military aspects. Furthermore, the scientific General Advisory Committee (GAC), chaired by the former Los Alamos laboratory director J. Robert Oppenheimer, enjoyed a privileged position that it used to block, as it seemed, further activity beyond the theoretical work already accomplished at Los Alamos.

Keywords:   Atomic Energy Commission, AEC, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Los Alamos laboratory, General Advisory Committee, GAC, Super debate, nuclear development

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