National Geographic : 1954 Jan
The National Geographic Magazine Even a Dog's Life Can Be Made Happier Through Atomic Energy's Healing Power Radiotherapy often clears up noncancerous eye tumors in humans as well as in animals. Here an applicator tipped with radioactive strontium treats an inflammatory tumor in Washington, D. C . A transparent plastic shield protects the veterinarian's hand from overexposure through frequent use. endangered by the radioactivity when the plane landed. One researcher told me, how ever, "We feel sure that we can solve the shielding problem." The first planes to use atomic power prob ably would be military aircraft, whose op erations today are limited by the fuel they can carry. Fission of one pound of uranium theo retically would supply as much heat as 1,700, 000 pounds of gasoline. A few pounds of ura nium would provide power for a plane almost indefinitely. For the same reason, atomic power also would be of great usefulness in many non military functions of aircraft. Planes carry ing on weather reconnaissance, searching for persons lost at sea, or mapping and patrolling inaccessible or uninhabited areas would be able to perform far more efficiently if they did not have to return to base for refueling at frequent intervals. Atoms Won't Tilt Islands For all its wonders, atomic energy cannot do everything, despite what some people seem to believe. Somehow a story got started that atomic scientists at Brookhaven National Lab oratory were going to change Long Island's climate by tilting it so that one end would be higher, and therefore cooler, and the other end lower, and hence warmer. A man telephoned the laboratory and said, "I just heard about your plan to tilt Long Island to change the climate. I own a lot of real estate there; confidentially, would you tell me which way you're going to tilt it?"