Timeline of Nuclear Energy

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2015 – The US Celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the USS Nautilus. The Nuclear Navy Has Logged More Than 6,600 Reactor Years of Accident-Free Operations While Traveling Over 155 Million Miles on Nuclear Power.

2015 – The US Celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the USS Nautilus. The Nuclear Navy Has Logged More Than 6,600 Reactor Years of Accident-Free Operations While Traveling Over 155 Million Miles on Nuclear Power.

2007 – Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Becomes the First U.S. Nuclear Reactor to Come Online in the 21st Century.

2007 – Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant Becomes the First U.S. Nuclear Reactor to Come Online in the 21st Century.

August 16, 2003 – The USS Virginia (SSN-774), the First Virginia Class Nuclear Submarine is Launched.

August 16, 2003 – The USS Virginia (SSN-774), the First Virginia Class Nuclear Submarine is Launched.

April 30, 2002 – The Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, the Oldest in the World, is Shut Down

April 30, 2002 – The Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, the Oldest in the World, is Shut Down

2000 – The NRC Issued the First-Ever License Renewal to Constellation Energy’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant

2000 – The NRC Issued the First-Ever License Renewal to Constellation Energy’s Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant

1996 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 1 Nuclear Power Plant is the Last Unit to be Licensed in the United States in the 20th Century.

1996 – Tennessee Valley Authority’s Watts Bar 1 Nuclear Power Plant is the Last Unit to be Licensed in the United States in the 20th Century.

1993 – The 109 Nuclear Power Plants Operating in the United States Provided About One-Fifth of the Nation’s Electricity.

1985 – The 100th Nuclear Power Plant in the US Comes Online in Ohio.

1985 – The 100th Nuclear Power Plant in the US Comes Online in Ohio.

1984 – Nuclear Surpasses Hydropower to Become the Second Largest Source of Electricity in the United States.

1983 – Nuclear Energy Generates More Electricity than Natural Gas.

1980 – For the First Time, Nuclear Energy Generates More Power Than Oil in the United States

August 20, 1977 – Voyager 2 is Launched Toward The Outer Solar System. For 38 years, It Has Been Powered By Plutonium Decay.

August 20, 1977 – Voyager 2 is Launched Toward The Outer Solar System. For 38 years, It Has Been Powered By Plutonium Decay.

August 4, 1977 – President Carter Signs the The Department of Energy Organization Act Combining Several Agencies Under the New Secretary of Energy.

August 4, 1977 – President Carter Signs the The Department of Energy Organization Act Combining Several Agencies Under the New Secretary of Energy.

June 1973 – The First 1,000-Megawatt Nuclear Plant Goes into Service (Commonwealth Edison’s Zion Nuclear Power Plant).

June 1973 – The First 1,000-Megawatt Nuclear Plant Goes into Service (Commonwealth Edison’s Zion Nuclear Power Plant).

December 22, 1972 – Surry Power Station is Commissioned in Surry County, Virginia

December 22, 1972 – Surry Power Station is Commissioned in Surry County, Virginia

May 13, 1972 – The USS Nimitz, the First Nimitz Class Supercarrier, is Launched by Newport News Shipbuilding.

May 13, 1972 – The USS Nimitz, the First Nimitz Class Supercarrier, is Launched by Newport News Shipbuilding.

February 19, 1971 – Construction Begins on the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station in Louisa County, Virginia

February 19, 1971 – Construction Begins on the North Anna Nuclear Generating Station in Louisa County, Virginia

May 27, 1967 – The USS John F. Kennedy Becomes the Last Conventionally Powered Carrier Built for the US Navy. Every Carrier Since has been Powered by Nuclear.

May 27, 1967 – The USS John F. Kennedy Becomes the Last Conventionally Powered Carrier Built for the US Navy. Every Carrier Since has been Powered by Nuclear.

September 24, 1960 – The USS Enterprise, the First Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier and the Longest Naval Vessel in the World, Is Launched. Beginning with the Construction of Enterprise, Every U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Has Been Nuclear-Powered and Built at Newport News Shipbuilding.

September 24, 1960 – The USS Enterprise, the First Nuclear-Powered Aircraft Carrier and the Longest Naval Vessel in the World, Is Launched. Beginning with the Construction of Enterprise, Every U.S. Navy Aircraft Carrier Has Been Nuclear-Powered and Built at Newport News Shipbuilding.

1960 – The Dresden and Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Stations Become the First Privately Funded, Commercial Reactors

1960 – The Dresden and Yankee Rowe Nuclear Power Stations Become the First Privately Funded, Commercial Reactors

July 21, 1959 – The First Nuclear-Powered Merchant Ship, the NS Savannah, is Launched

July 21, 1959 – The First Nuclear-Powered Merchant Ship, the NS Savannah, is Launched

December 2, 1957 – Shippingport Atomic Power Station Becomes the World’s First Atomic Electric Power Plant Devoted Exclusively to Peacetime Uses

December 2, 1957 – Shippingport Atomic Power Station Becomes the World’s First Atomic Electric Power Plant Devoted Exclusively to Peacetime Uses

July 29, 1957 – The International Atomic Energy Agency is Formed to Regulate and Promote Peaceful Use of Atomic Power.

July 29, 1957 – The International Atomic Energy Agency is Formed to Regulate and Promote Peaceful Use of Atomic Power.

June 1954 – Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant Becomes The World’s First Grid-Connected Nuclear Power Station

June 1954 – Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant Becomes The World’s First Grid-Connected Nuclear Power Station

January 21, 1954 – The USS Nautilus, the First Nuclear-Powered Submarine, is Launched

January 21, 1954 – The USS Nautilus, the First Nuclear-Powered Submarine, is Launched

December 8, 1953 – President Eisenhower Gives His “Atoms For Peace” Speech, Promoting Atomic Power for Peaceful Purposes

December 8, 1953 – President Eisenhower Gives His “Atoms For Peace” Speech, Promoting Atomic Power for Peaceful Purposes

"The more important responsibility of this Atomic Energy Agency would be to devise methods whereby this fissionable material would be allocated to serve the peaceful pursuits of mankind. Experts would be mobilized to apply atomic energy to the needs of agriculture, medicine, and other peaceful activities. A special purpose would be to provide abundant electrical energy in the power-starved areas of the world. Thus the contributing powers would be dedicating some of their strength to serve the needs rather than the fears of mankind." - President Dwight Eisenhower, December 8, 1953

March 30, 1953 – The Mark 1 Prototype Naval Reactor Starts Up

March 30, 1953 – The Mark 1 Prototype Naval Reactor Starts Up

December 1951 – Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR-1) at Argonne National Laboratory in Idaho Produces Electricity

December 1951 – Experimental Breeder Reactor (EBR-1) at Argonne National Laboratory in Idaho Produces Electricity

August 1, 1946 – President Trumen Signs the Atomic Energy Act, Creating the Atomic Energy Commission to Oversee Peacetime Development of Atomic Science and Technology

August 1, 1946 – President Trumen Signs the Atomic Energy Act, Creating the Atomic Energy Commission to Oversee Peacetime Development of Atomic Science and Technology

December 2, 1942 – The First Controlled, Self-Sustaining Nuclear Chain Reaction is Conducted. The First Nuclear Reactor, Chicago Pile-1, is built on a Squash Court at the University of Chicago

December 2, 1942 – The First Controlled, Self-Sustaining Nuclear Chain Reaction is Conducted. The First Nuclear Reactor, Chicago Pile-1, is built on a Squash Court at the University of Chicago

July 1941 – British MAUD Committee Releases ‘Use of Uranium as a Source of Power’ Report

December 14, 1940 – Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, Joseph W. Kennedy, Edwin M. McMillan, and Arthur C. Wahl Produce and Isolate Plutonium

1940s – Uranium is First Enriched in the United States as Part of The Manhattan Project

1940 – Soviet physicists Georgy Flyorov and Konstantin Petrzhak Demonstrate Spontaneous Fission

1940 – Soviet physicists Georgy Flyorov and Konstantin Petrzhak Demonstrate Spontaneous Fission

August 29, 1939 – Bohr and Wheeler Publish an Analysis of the Fission Process

August 29, 1939 – Bohr and Wheeler Publish an Analysis of the Fission Process

May 1939 – Francis Perrin Introduces the Concept of the Critical Mass of Uranium Required to Produce a Self-Sustaining Release of Energy

January 1939 – Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch, Working Under Niels Bohr, Calculate the Energy Release from Fission

January 1939 – Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch, Working Under Niels Bohr, Calculate the Energy Release from Fission

1938 – Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann Demonstrate Atomic Fission

1938 – Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann Demonstrate Atomic Fission

1932 – James Chadwick Discovers the Neutron

1932 – James Chadwick Discovers the Neutron

1905 – Albert Einstein Suggests The Equivalence Between Mass and Energy

1905 – Albert Einstein Suggests The Equivalence Between Mass and Energy

1898 – Pierre and Marie Curie Isolate Polonium and Radium from Pitchblende

1898 – Pierre and Marie Curie Isolate Polonium and Radium from Pitchblende

1896 – Pierre and Marie Curie Identify ‘Radioactivity’

1896 – Pierre and Marie Curie Identify ‘Radioactivity’

1789 – German Chemist Martin Klaproth Discovers Uranium