Fear of nuclear technology
Unhealthy emotional responses to atomic energy
Certain emotional responses provoked by the advent of atomic energy are in many instances pathological. These responses, due partly to the circumstances in which atomic power has been introduced and partly to its very nature, constitute a major mental health aspect of the peaceful uses of atomic energy. The unhealthy reactions stem from anxiety, and from attempts which human beings make to deal with anxiety. Thus they may be manifested in the forms of irrational fears, irrational hopes, or irrational tendencies to ignore or deny the extraordinary potentialities of atomic energy.
Special pseudo-psychological studies can be made of the resistance to new technologies of all types. Anxiety accompanied the introduction of the automobile, as it undoubtedly did the horse, and perhaps even the wheel. If there were a pathological fear of atomic energy, (on the grounds offered), there would have been pathological energy fears of other kinds; fear of a log fire, steam locomotives, electricity and the internal combustion engine. On the contrary, a thousand million people use modern forms of power, including nuclear generated energy, with gratitude, and atomic power has an important role to play in development.