Epstein could be saying simply that the technology could not have been invented in an unfree society. This would put him in agreement with Rand and Robert Oppenheimer, who, according to BB, hit it off over their agreement that the Nazis could never have accomplished this.Accomplished what -- building a nuclear bomb? The Nazis were working on it, but the U.S.A. beat them to it.
"During the Second World War, [Werner] Heisenberg worked for Germany, researching atomic technology and heading their nuclear reactor program. After the war, his involvement with the Nazis earned him certain notoriety in the world of physicists, mainly due to the fact that he could have given Hitler the means to produce and use nuclear arms" (link).
By the way, I saw the play Copenhagen, and it was very good. The second half was a letdown, sinking into relativism, but the first half was superb.