The present nuclear era is marked by an increase in the number of nuclear security Issues. This has been acknowledged not only by the United States but also by several other countries that participated in the recently concluded nuclear security summit. The Japanese nuclear accident had once again reinforced the need to review the issues of nuclear security emerging out of civilian and military use of nuclear power. It is under this backdrop that one needs to study nuclear security issues and revaluate once again the lessons learnt from the past experiences. The present chapter is the part of a larger project that focuses on the US Nuclear Energy Policy and Issues for Security. The present chapter being an introductory one describes the evolution of the concept of the civilian nuclear programme in the US through the atoms for peace programme. The paper revolves around the evolution and further development of the US nuclear energy programme. Towards the end the paper attempts to present the findings on the US policy of peaceful nuclear energy that began in the early 1950’s.
The resurgence of nuclear power that is highlighted by the successful conclusion of the recent nuclear security summit, participated by forty seven nations have once again set the platform for the international community to deliberate newer issues related to nuclear security. The significance for addressing these newer issues has accentuated post the Fukushima incident. The option of nuclear power as a viable source of energy is indeed valid today. However, there are concerns that need to be addressed before; a country decides to depend mostly on the nuclear power as its route to social development.