Page 2


TEXAS UTILITIES FINANCE H-POWER RACE \(Continued from Page bers, for sale to the members’ customers.” In 1946, Secretary Stimson asked Enrico Fermi to consider peaceful uses of atomic energy; one power project was considered in Pennsylvania, “but under a legal mechanism through which the government would own the reactor and hold full control. of the project.” The Atomic Energy Act of 1954, Cunningham said, was “the beginning of that period in which non-governmental groups could, with reasonable but not complete freedom, participate in nuclear work.” The group of companies met late in 1956 and early in 1957 to examine “the costs and possible benefits of perhaps 20 programs.” They had engineers investigate every proposal. They believed that mechanical and electrical progress in the field will occur only when “sincere men are striving to apply scientific knowledge to their environment.” “We, therefore, decided to buy knowledge instead of hardware,” Cunningham told the banqueting physicists. He continued: “Let me be very careful to make clear that this position is not in opposition to other utilities now active in the fission field. We elected to pursue fusion as a parallel rather than as a competitive course. We recognized a longer time schedule, but we operate in an area of abundant conventional fuel. We recognized greater theoretical problems, but we hope for and believe in the eventual promises of direct conversion to electric energy, unlimited and inexpensive fuel, and the absence of dangerous by-products … “It would be unrealistic for me to claim that the Foundation is supporting this program for any principal purpose other than the eventual production of energy, by the members, for sale to the members’ customers. “On the other hand, we want the work to contribute to the general good, and to this end we right by filing a statement in the county clerk’s office, but until the statute is clarified, doubt of its effect will result in women continuing to apply to the District court for permission to sue alone when the husband refuses to do so. While the most important differences in the status of men and women are in property rights, there are other distinctions. One of these is in the field of labor. Protective labor laws, limiting hours of work and providing regulations in the conditions of labor, apply generally only to women rather than to both men and women. In certain occupations women are prohibited from working more than nine hours a day and fifty-four a week. In laundries they are permitted to work eleven hours a day, but not more than fifty-four in a week, and in factories manufacturing cotton, woolen, or worsted goods, they may work ten hours a day and not more than sixty hours a week. The statute does not apply to towns of 3,000 or less population. At the present time union contracts and federal statutes cover maximum hours and working conditions in. most industries and apply to both men and women. If there is also need for state legislation, it too should apply to both men and women, as unfair labor practices are not confined to either of the sexes. Another difference in the laws will not restrict the findings from others. We are, through this symposium, reporting on it to the educators of Texas in the hope that you may inspire and excite some of the younger scholars under your guidance to join the ranks of the scientists … “If the work of General Atomic contributes, in this field, no more than a reduction of one year in the schedule lof attainment of practical fusion energy release, we will have been economically compensated for the program; if this symposium should give you the interest and the information to create, out of the raw material of high school graduates, no more than one first class theoretician, we will have been well rewarded. “Our interest, as you can see, is selfishI hope it is enlightened selfishness,” Cunning ham concluded. “We just want to use the Gulf of Mexico as our fuel supply, and we want to have enough smart Texans around to tell us how to do it.” H. R. Drew, executive vice president of the Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation, which is a non-profit organization, also told the physics teachers what the companies are about. “There is, of course, no question about the ultimate usefulness of atomic power,” he said. “It is apparent, in the face of the world’s exploding population and even more rapidly rising energy needs, that world supplies of coal, oil, and gas will ultimately be inadequate to supply the demands for electrical energy. “But the day when atomic power will become economically competitive with conventional fuel,” he continued, “will come to pass at different times in different areas; here in Texas, where we have large supplies of all three fossil fuels, that day seems quite remote.” For this reason, he said, the Foundation chose to pursue “a long-range research program in the fusion process instead of the fission process which is being de affecting men and women, while not of much practical importance, indicates the difference in the moral standard prescribed for men and women. In the case of divorce, one of the grounds in favor of the husband is one act of adultery on the part of the wife, whereas for adultery to be a ground in favor of the wife, her husband must have abandoned her and live in. adultery with another woman. Since most divorces are secured on the ground of cruel treatment, which may be mental as well as physical, and applies alike to men and women, the difference in the ground based on adultery has little real effect. Women’s organizations in the past have tried diligently to remove these discriminations. For instance, bills have been sponsored to repeal the separate acknowledgement of a married woman and to give her full control of her separate property in every session of the legislature for more than 25 years. The bill relating to the separate acknowledgement has passed the House of Representatives several times, and on at least one occasion there were probably enough favorable votes in the Senate to have passed it, if it had been considered. A , filibuster on the motion to take it up and more urgent legislation prevented it from being considered. Women’s organizations, and particularly the Texas Federation’ of Business and Professional Worn veloped in other parts of the country.” In 1957, he said, “eleven investor-owned electric utility companies of Texas, aware of their responsibilities to investigate and thoroughly understand any possible new sources of power which might improve their service to their customers or tend to keep the Cost of their service as low as possible, made a thorough study of the rapidly expanding field of atomic power.” They discovered that the fusion process responsible for the tremendous energy of the sun and starshad fantastic possibilities for cheap power. “That it would take quantities of time, hard work, and \(as alof this dramatic new energy source was apparent, but the advantages to be gained from the realization of practical control of the fusion reaction were equally nucleus and a neutron. In the fudramatic,” Drew said. Then Drew hinted at the fear behind the companies’ program that unless they discover the processes of nuclear energy first, the U. S. government will discover and control them: “Consider, if you will, the appeal of a source of fuel almost unlimited in quantity and easily obtained at moderate cost from the waters of the ocean by already proven processes, a fuel not subject to control by our ever-expanding federal bureaucracy. “Add to this the thought that a fusion reactor, as we conceive it today, would probably produce little or no radioactive wastes and would have little likelihood of presenting any explosion hazard. “Just for a teaser, throw in the exciting possibility that the process could be made to produce electricity directly, without the necessity of going through the conventional conversion from heat to electricity with the necessarily large additional investment in boilers, turbines, generators, and associated paraphernalia which that entails. “Here, then, was an important new energy resource deserving in en’s Clubs, have finally concluded that correcting discriminations one at a time is too long a process. For that reason they sponsored in the last legislature a resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution providing simpl y “Equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged because of sex.” The resolution was reported favorably from both the House and Senate committees on constitutional amendments but did not come up for a vote in either body. It is realized that in order to obtain submission by the legislature and eventual adoption by the people, a. favorable public opinion must be developed. With that obj ective legislative kits, for use of clubs have been prepared, numerous pamphlets have been circulated, and a speaker’s bureau organized. The program is designed to acquaint the people with the difference in the laws and the reasons for changes. Adoption of the amendment will not automatically result in equality. It will, however, require that the statutes be amended, so that the legal rights of men and women shall thereafter be equal. A long time has elapsed since women first began to ask for rights of citizenship. Much has been accomplished. It is hoped that the remaining legal discriminations will be swiftly removed in order that women may develop their full capacities as responsible citizens. SARAH T. HUGHES vestigation. It was then being studied only in government laboratories, and in secret \(fusion work ..” ‘Customers, Investors’ , The eleven companies which anted up the cash for the research in 1957and their presidents, whO are the eleven directors of the Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation are Central Power and Light, Corpus Christi, J. L. Bates, president; Community Public Service Company, Fort Worth, R. L. Bowen, president; Southwestern Public Service Company, Amarillo, J. E. Cunningham, president; El Paso Electric Company, El Paso, W. V. Holik, president; Texas Power and Light Company, Dallas, W. W. Lynch, president; Gulf States , Utilities Company, Dallas, C. A. Tatum, Jr., president; Texas Electric Service Company, Fort Worth, J. B. Thomas, president; Southwestern Electric Power Company, Shreveport, La., \(operating in Texas and Louisiton Lighting and Power Company, Houston, T. H. Wharton, president; and West Texas Utilities Company, Abilene, C. L. Young, president. These are the blue-ribbon private utility companies . in Texas. Cunningham is president of the foundation; , H. R. Drew is executive vice president; Bates, Lynch, Nelson, and Wharton are vice presidents. The Foundation includes a definitive statement of its intent to use fusion reactor power for private utility companies’ customers and profits in a booklet which was distributed to symposium participants this weekend. This important section, titled, “the role of free enterprise in atomic energy,” reads: “The business of providing the electric supply for our nation is built on vision, research, skill, and sound management. The investorowned electric utility industry of this nation has made an unequalled record among industries in offsetting, to a large extent, the ravages of inflation on its customers’ pocketbooks. “The companies believe much progress will be made towards the application of these same methods and talents to a rapidly expanding development of the art of generating electricity from the energy of the atom and that it is neither necessary nor is it expedient to have the Federal government construct large-sized atomic energy electric generating stations. “The eleven companies supporting the Texas Atomic Energy Research Foundation are cognizant of the challenge of the Atomic Age. Their goal is to aid in the development and use of atomic energy for generation of electric power and they intend to keep in the forefront of research and development in this field so that it can be used to benefit the people in their area whenever the interests of customers and investors justify doing so.” ‘No Breakthrough’ General Atomic Division is researching in both fission and fusion reactions as sources of power. The Texas-financed effort, however, concerns only fusion research. Atomic energy can be released from the nucleus of an atom by fission or by fusion. The atomic bomb is a fission reaction; the hydrogen bomb is a fusion reaction. The atomic particlesnucleimost easily fused are the two isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium and tritium: Deuterium is abundantly available in the waters of the oceans. Two deuterium nuclei can be fused, and a tritium nucleus formed; alternately, a helium-3 and .a hydrogen nucleus are sion, energy is released. Nuclei are fused by the application of heat to the gas, “the plasma,” in which they are whirling around. This is what happens in the explosion of a hydrogen bomb. The problems of “controlling” a fusion reaction are to fuse the nuclei under the proper conditions and then to “maintain” the reactionthat is, to keep it stable, and to prevent leakage of energy. I_n the words of one explanation of the scientific problems involved, “To make successful thermonuclear reactions, it is essential that the particles of the hot gas collide with each other many times without escaping from the region of containment of the magnetic field.” The particles are kept in the same area by the magnetic field. “In terms of building a thermonuclear reactor, there’s no breakthrough,” says Dr. Marshall , Rosenblwth, senior theoretical physicist in the General Atomic Division. “I think that this problem will be solved,” he said. “It depends a good deal on how heavily supported the effort is … I think the scientific problems will be cleaned up the next five or ten ‘years. That will still leave the major problem of building an economic thermonuclear reactor.” The major “news” at the symposium was Rosenbluth’s talk in which he said that a Russian presentation at Geneva in 1948 of a mechanism to reduce radiation loss in cyclotron radiation had involved errors. The implications in the press reports were that Rosenbluth was saying he had found a way to make a competitively economical reactor. These reports were exaggerated. The Russian discovery concerned the mechanism to prevent radiation loss, which is only a part of a thermonuclear reactor.