At the beginning of the industrial atomic age, launched by President Dwight Eisenhower's speech on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy (“Atoms for Peace”, addressed to the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 8 December 1953), and after the birth of the first atomic agencies in France (Commissariat a l'Énergie Atomique, 1945) and the United States (the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, 1946), the Comitato Nazionale per le Ricerche Nucleari (National Committee for Nuclear Research–CNRN) was also established in Italy (1952). The new institution, in 1960 became a self-governing organization with a modified name, Comitato Nazionale per l'Energia Nucleare (National Committee for Nuclear Energy–CNEN). Its mission was to promote and develop Italian research in nuclear science and technology. Mining and mineral exploration were among the early activities that the National Committee undertook beginning in 1954, when the Divisione Geomineraria (Geology and Mining Division) was established. A regional-scale geochemical and geophysical prospecting survey for U-Th bearing ores involved different Italian regions both in northern and in southern Italy. Geological surveys, for instance, were systematically carried out in the Alps beginning in 1954. They were run by three main teams of geologists. The paper aims to analyze the key factors that contributed to fostering the emergence of a new field of research about uranium and nuclear geology in Italy during the years immediately after WWII.

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