NRC History References


Through the Commission History Program, the origins and evolution of NRC regulatory policies are documented. They are discussed in five volumes of nuclear regulatory history published by the University of California Press. These volumes are:

  1. Controlling the Atom: The Beginnings of Nuclear Regulation 1946-1962 (1984) (NUREG-1610).
  2. Containing the Atom: Nuclear Regulation in a Changing Environment, 1963-1971 (1992) (NUREG-1933).
  3. Permissible Dose: A History of Radiation Protection in the Twentieth Century (2000)
  4. Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective (2004)
  5. The Road to Yucca Mountain: The Development of Radioactive Waste Policy in the United States (2009)
  6. Safe Enough? A History of Nuclear Power and Accident Risk. (2021)

Controlling the Atom has been reprinted by the NRC and is available from the Government Printing Office as NUREG-1610. Containing the Atom has also been reprinted by the NRC and is available as NUREG-1933. Permissible Dose, Three Mile Island and The Road to Yucca Mountain are available from the University of California Press.


The NRC has published two booklets. A Short History of Nuclear Regulation, 1946-2009 (NUREG/BR-0175, Rev. 2) summarizes major issues in the NRC's history. No Undue Risk: Regulating the Safety of Operating Nuclear Power Plants (NUREG/BR-0518) is a history of important reactor safety improvements brought about by the NRC at operating nuclear power plants.

Photo of books on NRC history

Three Mile Island Book

Yucca Mountain Book

Safe Enough Book

NRC History Blogs

For more information on NRC History, contact Thomas Wellock, NRC Historian.

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