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TRANSCRIPT: JOHNSON: I would like to extend my best wishes to all the delegates at this Third International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. A great challenge confronts you. You can hasten the day when the atom will be harnessed to hard labor for ma's welfare. You can reduce the risk that the atom will be used for man's destruction.
We stand at the threshold of the age of nuclear power. But whether nuclear power will meet our needs tomorrow depends on our work and our wisdom today.
In the United States we have been working and learning. We have n ow learned how to build large-scale reactors whose electric power will be economically competitive in many parts our country and the world. Our utility companies now aim to build or purchase reactors producing electricity at between four and six miles per kilowatt hour.
This achievement has come from fifteen years of concentrated research and development. The U.S. Government has spent more than 1.6 billion dollars on these effort. American private enterprise has spent an additional half billion dollars.
These expenditures are an investment by our people in the future of all mankind. Through our government and through private enterprise, we are prepared to use this vast new technology to help other countries to meet their energy needs.
At present, the large-scale reactor offers the best hope of economic production of electricity. Not every country and not every community can use this large size. But our rapid rate of progress should soon lead to economic production in smaller reactors too.
A further application of nuclear will be large-scale desalting of water. The time is coming when a single desalting plant, powered by nuclear energy, will produce hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water--and large amounts of electricity--every day.
Our government is proceeding with an aggressive program of nuclear desalting. What we learn in this program will be shared with other nations. Already we have begun cooperative exchanges with Mexico, with Israel, and with the Soviet Union. Today I invite all of you to join with us in this enterprise.
As we move ahead, we look to the international Atomic Energy Agency to play an ever larger role in these peaceful efforts. Already it has set standards for the care and keeping of nuclear materials. This achievement has raised our hopes for a workable system of world law on nuclear energy.
For almost twenty years, we have known the atom's terror as a weapon of war. Today, we begin to know its hope as a powerhouse of peace. Today, at last, we have good reason for belief that the atom can be made the servant, not the scourge, of mankind.
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