This chapter stresses the uneasy relationship between the U.S. government and industry in developing the civilian uses of atomic energy. The partially public, partially private nature of nuclear industry in the 1940s and early 1950s reflected the contradiction of government policy that promoted “free enterprise” while stringently guarding materials and technologies related to national security, which the 1954 revision to the Atomic Energy Act aimed to redress. Over the 1950s, a retail industry of radiolabeled compounds and radiopharmaceuticals was established. Some radioisotope production began to shift to the private sector in the 1960s, though the AEC remained involved in regulating the distribution and handling of radioactive materials.
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