Download Full Text (64.9 MB)

Download Front Matter (28 KB)

Download Preface by E. Blythe Stason (147 KB)

Download Table of Contents (568 KB)

Download Part I, Chapter I: Origin and Types of Radiation Injuries (1.7 MB)

Download Part I, Chapter II: The General Impact of Atomic Energy on Tort Law (1.6 MB)

Download Part I, Chapter III: Negligence (23.7 MB)

Download Part I, Chapter IV: Strict Liability for Radiation Injuries (3.8 MB)

Download Part I, Chapter V: Enterprise Liability in Atomic Energy (2.4 MB)

Download Part II: Workmen's Compensation and Radiation Injuries (2.7 MB)

Download Part III, Chapter I: State Regulation of Atomic Energy, Introduction (89 KB)

Download Part III, Chapter II: Public Utility Regulation (1.2 MB)

Download Part III, Chapter III: Health and Safety Regulation (1.3 MB)

Download Part III, Chapter IV: Miscellaneous Regulation (1.5 MB)

Download Part III, Chapter V: Recent State Atomic Energy Legislation and Regulation (5.1 MB)

Download Part III, Chapter VI: Future State Regulation of Atomic Energy: A Suggested State Act (1.5 MB)

Download Part III, Appendix A (3.1 MB)

Download Part III, Appendix B (510 KB)

Download Part IV: Federal Regulatory and Administrative Limitations upon Atomic Activities (6.8 MB)

Download Part V, Chapter I: Atoms for Peace - the New International Atomic Agency (2.0 MB)

Download Part V, Chapter II: Soviet Russia's Role in International Cooperation for Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy (2.3 MB)

Download Part V, Appendix A (1.4 MB)

Download Part V, Appendix B (884 KB)


Early in 1951 a group of interested members of the faculty of The University of Michigan Law School conceived the idea of a research project, the purpose of which would be to investigate the principal unique legal problems being created and likely to be created in the future by peaceful uses of atomic energy. The group planned the preparation and publication of a series of manuscripts which might ultimately emerge as one or more printed volumes dealing with the legal problems affecting this new form of energy. Many phases of the subject were scrutinized, including the rule-making and licensing powers of the Atomic Energy Commission, the censoring of scientific information, liability for radiation injuries to persons and property, patent rights, state regulatory activities, imd other areas of possible interest.

In July 1951 the Michigan Memorial-Phoenix Project, the University's major program of research in all phases of peaceful uses of the atom, made a substantial grant in support of the proposed study of legal problems. The law faculty group, consisting at the outset of Professors Samuel D. Estep, William ]. Pierce, and the undersigned, organized and embarked upon the program. Later Professors Eric Stein and William W. Bishop were added. A small research staff was recruited and the studies were commenced, beginning with an intensive examination of the legislative history of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946.

In the summer of 1952, an Institute on Industrial and Legal Problems of Atomic Energy was organized and held in the Law Quadrangle in Ann Arbor. This proved to be one of the earliest of the many conferences held in this country resulting from the development of atomic enterprise, and it served to give very great stimulus to the research work being carried on within the staff of the Law School. The proceedings were published by the School and were widely distributed.

In 1956 a second summer conference was held, this time a "workshop," with a prepared agenda and working papers distributed in advance to the invited participants, who included not only lawyers but also engineers, A. E. C. staff members, scientists, health officials, and economists-a truly "inter-disciplinary" undertaking. The objective was to elicit concentrated thinking and interchange of ideas between knowledgeable people concerning atomic legal problems, and to precipitate these ideas in concrete form for the guidance of those responsible for current legal developments in the field. Again, proceedings were published and were widely distributed.

Throughout the years manuscripts on various phases of the subject have been prepared by the research staff or by the members of the faculty engaged in the project. Little by little the materials, which now emerge as this volume entitled Atoms and the Law, took shape in manuscript ·form. Principal interest finally centered on tort liability for radiation injuries, workmen's compensation for such injuries, federal statutory and administrative provisions regulating atomic activities, state regulation of atomic energy, and finally, in the later years, the international aspects of the subject. These became principal headings in the volume which is now being published.

As the project unfolded, those of us who were participating in it became increasingly impressed with the feeling that here was something unique in legal research, for we were engaging in a task that involved not only frontiers of the law but also one which was ever so closely interwoven with the science and technology of tomorrow. In carrying out the project, it became necessary for us to proceed as far as possible to master a new scientific field, one with a new vocabulary and a radically different set of concepts. This certainly enhanced interest in the task, not to mention increasing the difficulty of carrying it forward. In addition, it afforded us an even more fascinating prospect, namely, the possibility of creation of a center for legal studies related to the new technological world, with its great variety of new facets-automation, water resources problems, aviation, etc., thus to make our contribution in providing the legal framework to facilitate the adjustment of scientific advances to the social order of which we are a part.

Publication Date



University of Michigan Law School


Ann Arbor


Atomic energy, Radiation, Injuries, Regulation, Atomic Energy Act, Atomic Energy Commission, Workers' compensation, Liability, Negligence, Insurance, Damages, Remedies, Public utilities, Occupational safety, Russia, Soviet Union, Law reform


Administrative Law | Comparative and Foreign Law | Energy and Utilities Law | International Law | Legislation | Torts | Workers' Compensation Law


Published under the auspices of the University of Michigan Law School (which, however, assumes no responsibility for the views expressed) with the aid of funds derived from gifts to the University of Michigan by William W. Cook.

Atoms and the Law