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Conversation: 053-001

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Start Date: Tuesday, April 13, 1971 1:04 PM

End Date: Tuesday, April 13, 1971 2:07 PM

Participants:

Nixon, Richard M. (President)Agnew, Spiro T. (Vice President)Cabinet officersIrwin, John N., IIVolcker, Paul A.Laird, Melvin R.Kleindienst, Richard G.Blount, Winton M. ("Red"), Jr.Dole, Hollis M.Hardin, Clifford M.Stans, Maurice H.Hodgson, James D.Veneman, John G.Romney, George W.Volpe, John A.Kennedy, David M.Shultz, George P.Finch, Robert H.Rumsfeld, Donald H.Bush, George H. W.Ehrlichman, John D.MacGregor, ClarkZiegler, Ronald L.Price, Raymond K., Jr.David, Edward E., Jr. (Dr.)Flanigan, Peter M.Whitaker, John C.Kriegsman, William E.Sohmer, Arthur J.Brown, Robert J.McCracken, Paul W.Lincoln, George A. (Gen.)Freeman, S. DavidShaw, MiltonSeaborg, Glenn T. (Dr.)Weinberger, Caspar W. ("Cap")Holifield, ChetPastore, John O.Baker, Howard H., Jr.Anderson, John B.

Recording Device: Cabinet Room

053a.mp3

053b.mp3

053c.mp3

053d.mp3

NARA Description:

On April 13, 1971, President Richard M. Nixon, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, and members of the Cabinet, including John N. Irwin, II, Paul A. Volcker, Melvin R. Laird, Richard G. Kleindeinst, Winton M. ("Red") Blount, Hollis M. Dole, Clifford M. Hardin, Maurice H. Stans, James D. Hodgson, John G. Veneman, George W. Romney, John A. Volpe, David M. Kennedy, George P. Shultz, Robert H. Finch, Donald H. Rumsfeld, George H. W. Bush, John D. Ehrlichman, Clark MacGregor, Ronald L. Ziegler, Raymond K. Price, Jr., Dr. Edward E. David, Jr., Peter M. Flanigan, John C. Whitaker, William E. Kriegsman, Arthur J. Sohmer, Robert J. Brown, Paul W. McCracken, Gen. George A. Lincoln, S. David Freeman, Milton Shaw, Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, Caspar W. ("Cap") Weinberger, Chet Holifield, John O. Pastore, Howard H. Baker, Jr., and John B. Anderson, met in the Cabinet Room of the White House from 8:04 am to 9:07 am. The Cabinet Room taping system captured this recording, which is known as Conversation 053-001 of the White House Tapes.

Nixon Library Finding Aid:

Conversation No. 53-1

Date: April 13, 1971
Time: 8:04 am - 9:07 am
Location: Cabinet Room

The President met with Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, John N. Irwin, II, Paul A. Volcker,
Melvin R. Laird, Richard G. Kleindienst, Winton M. (“Red”) Blount, Hollis M. Dole, Clifford
M. Hardin, Maurice H. Stans, James D. Hodgson, John G. Veneman, George W. Romney, John
A. Volpe, David M. Kennedy, George P. Shultz, Robert H. Finch, Donald H. Rumsfeld, George
H. W. Bush, John D. Ehrlichman, Clark MacGregor, Ronald L. Ziegler, Raymond K. Price, Jr.,
Dr. Edward E. David, Jr., Peter M. Flanigan, John C. Whitaker, William E. Kriegsman, Arthur J.
Sohmer, Robert J. Brown, Paul W. McCracken, General George A. Lincoln, S. David Freeman,
Milton Shaw, Glenn T. Seaborg, Caspar W. (“Cap”) Weinberger, Chet Holifield, John O.
Pastore, Howard H. Baker, Jr., and John B. Anderson
[Recording begins while the conversation is in progress]

     Seaborg

     Joint Economic Committee
           -Study on energy needs
           -Coal
           -Pollution
           -Environment

     Nuclear power
          -Laurance S. Rockefeller
          -Seaborg
          -Fear by public
          -Southern California Edison Co.
          -Potentialities
          -President’s conversation with Holifield
                -Breeder reactor
                -Need for pollution-free energy source
                -Pastore and Anderson
          -Discussions in confidence
          -Baker
          -Cabinet
          -Ronald W. Reagan
          -Dwight D. Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program
                -Success
                -Aid to other countries
                                       2

                    NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                Tape Subject Log
                                  (rev. 10/08)



     -Present situation
     -Need for nuclear power
     -Supplier of energy
     -Number of plants
           -Size
           -Efficiency
     -Federal Power Commission
           -Future projections
     -Uranium
           -Enrichment
     -Types of plants
           -Location
     -Reactors
           -England and France
     -Enriched uranium
     -Fossil fuels
     -Oil and gas use
     -Atomic Energy Commission’s [AEC] licensing process
           -Review
           -Public hearings
           -Safety
                 -Radioactivity
     -Safety issue
     -Radiation from nuclear power plants
           -Levels
           -Exposure

Breeder reactor
     -Consumption of uranium
     -Production of plutonium
     -Fuel
     -Costs
     -Environmental impact
     -Safety
     -Problems
           -Complexity
           -Costs
           -McCracken
     -Savings
     -Materials
     -Sodium use
     -Types
                                               3

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/08)



          -Development
               -Admiral Hyman G. Rickover
               -Fast breeder
               -Gas-cool version
               -Liquid metal fast breeder
                     -Use in other countries
               -Needs
          -Demonstration projects
               -Costs
               -Federal funds
          -Demonstration reactor
               -Federal government’s role
               -Utility companies
               -Builder
               -AEC’s role
               -Funding
               -Utility advisory committees
               -John L. Gordon, Southern California Edison Co.
               -Tom Caters [sp?], Commonwealth Edison
               -Jack Wagner [sp?], Commonwealth Edison
               -John M. Arthur, Duquesne Light
               -Proposals
               -Requirements
               -Shaw


******************************************************************************

     Great Britain

[To listen to the segment (1m15s) declassified on 02/28/2002, please refer to RC# E-515.]

******************************************************************************


     Briefing on nuclear power
           -Cabinet
           -Joint Committee on Atomic Energy
                 -Melvin Price

     Energy
          -Crisis
                                        4

                     NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                 Tape Subject Log
                                   (rev. 10/08)



     -Consolidated Edison Co.
     -Reduction of voltage
     -Need for innovation
     -Effect on industry
     -Population
     -Resources
     -Research and development

Demonstration reactor
    -Cost
    -Tangible benefits
    -Justification
    -Seaborg
    -Increase energy
    -President’s role
    -Impending energy shortage
    -Need for support
    -Federal government’s responsibility
          -Approach
    -Need for national commitment
    -Eisenhower’s “Atoms for Peace” program
    -Costs
          -Compared with other programs

Energy
     -Population growth
     -Need for national policy
     -Second energy source

Demonstration plants
    -Present capabilities
    -Timing
    -Training of personnel
    -Other nations’ programs
          -Comparison with United States’ program
    -Breeder reactor
          -Prototype
    -Commitment
    -Light-water reactors
    -Plutonium

Energy
                                              5

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/08)



          -Suez crisis
          -United States’ oil imports
          -Atomic energy
          -1961 report to Joint Atomic Energy Committee [JAEC]
               -John F. Kennedy
               -Saint Patrick
          -Need for national policy
          -Seaborg
          -Holifield
          -Historical importance of nuclear energy

     Nuclear energy


******************************************************************************

     Soviet Union

[To listen to the segment (1m17s) declassified on 02/28/2002, please refer to RC# E-515.]

******************************************************************************


          -Future
          -Pastore and JAEC
          -Baker
          -Bipartisan support
          -Green revolution
          -Impact
          -Energy revolution
          -Fears in scientific community
               -Rockefeller
               -Significance
               -Environmental impact
               -Safety
                      -Effluent
               -Major accident
               -JAEC opinion
          -Fusion
          -Safety
               -Geological accident
               -Pollution of atmosphere
                                               6

                          NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                      Tape Subject Log
                                        (rev. 10/08)



                -Record
          -Demonstration plant
          -Experience in Massachusetts
                -Opponents of nuclear energy
          -Safety
          -Discharge of cooling water
                -Illinois plant experience
                -Solutions
                -Breeder reactor
          -Scientists
                -Opinion
                -Fusion
          -Fusion
                -Pace of development
          -Location of breeder reactor
                -Baker
                -Holifield
                -Criteria
          -Cost
                -Competitive to fossil fuel
                -Breeder


******************************************************************************

     Middle East

[To listen to the segment (1m35s) declassified on 02/28/2002, please refer to RC# E-515.]

******************************************************************************


          -Desalinization
               -Potential development
               -Future
               -Southern California
          -Breeder reactor
               -Possible spinoffs
                     -Desalinization
                     -Recycling of resources
                     -Gasification of coal
          -Budget considerations
                                               7

                            NIXON PRESIDENTIAL MATERIALS STAFF

                                        Tape Subject Log
                                          (rev. 10/08)



           -JAEC

     [Laughter]

     [General conversation/Unintelligible]

The President, et al. left at 9:07 am