Combative, provocative, and searingly blunt, Admiral Hyman G. Rickover was a flamboyant maverick and a unique American hero. When few thought it possible, then-Captain Rickover harnessed the power of the atom to drive the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, whose trip under the polar ice pack was one of the great adventure stories of the 1950s. Later, Rickover built the world's first nuclear aircraft carrier and the first commercial nuclear power plant at Shippingport, PA. Rickover's achievements made him into a national celebrity, and he appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Today, questions about nuclear power have arisen again, in the wake of the disaster in Japan, yet nuclear power remains one of the main alternatives to fossil fuels. Many wonder whether America can maintain its technological pre-eminence and whether we can still build and manage large-scale projects. To understand these issues, RICKOVER considers the story of the man who created the Nuclear Navy as well as the civilian nuclear power industry: Hyman G. Rickover.
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