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Castro's Remarks at Power Station

Moscow in Spanish to Cuba 2330 GMT 2 Jul 72 L

[Statement by Cuban Premier Fidel Castro following his visit to
Novovoronezhkaya atomic power station--recorded]

[Text] We can say that in a few hours we obtained much information on the
transformation of atomic energy into electrical energy. In our view, this
is very important because the consumption of electricity and energy
consumption in general are increasing rapidly throughout the world and
reserves of hydrocarbons are being progressively used up. Mankind must
solve this problem of energy. There seems to be no doubt that the solution
will be to use nuclear energy to produce other forms of energy.

What we saw here today was not rapid is the advance of technology in the
use of atomic energy. It is possible to appreciate the tremendous
difference between the first and fourth atomic pile, which is already under
construction. For example, the size of the buildings, the number of
machines, the volume and the size of the equipment [words indistinct],
including the control systems, of the first pile are practically twice as
large as those of the third and fourth piles. This represents an
outstanding advance, reducing capital and operating costs and assembly work
and increasing efficiency in all fields.

They have four generating units ready. I mean they have built three and
think they will complete the fourth this year. The station's capacity is
already 1 million kilowatts, or 1,000 megawatts. This is equivalent, if I
remember right, to 40 percent of the capacity of the hydroelectric power
station at (?Stalingrad). It suffices to say that a 1,000 megawatt plant
would produce considerably more than the entire [word indistinct] capacity
of Cuba.

It is worth seeing the small quantity of uranium used compared with, say,
coal. We were given a figure. Today's electricity production would have
used up 12,000 tons of coal. In fact, only 2.5 kilograms is used (?on
average). This is truly amazing. Therefore, our opinion is that progress in
the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is very rapid. This
represents a great hope for all people struggling to develop, for all
mankind, and, above all, for future generations. The great successes of
Soviet science and technology [words indistinct].

This process is particularly interesting for our country since we do not
have oil, coal, or even hydraulic energy, there being no large rivers in
our country. For sometime we have been thinking that one day we must use
this process in Cuba. It is obvious that because ours is a small country
and its total electrical energy requirements are relatively small we cannot
yet build one of these units. The smallest produces 300 or 400 megawatts,
and we already have installations of 100 megawatts. This process cannot be
used until the generating requirements of Cuba increase since it would not
be economical to employ a smaller plant. The smallest economical size is
between 300 and 400 megawatts. But we think that between 1975 and 1980 we
will begin building the first plant of this type in our country.

We arrived yesterday and it was raining. In fact it had not rained for 2
months. There was a drought situation that was affecting agriculture. The
public were wet and yet hundreds of thousands of people turned out. We saw
men, women, children, young people, and old people who stayed practically
all day in the rain. Yesterday was Saturday, a day of rest. Yet I think the
citizens of Vononezh spent the whole day in the streets. We visited
factories, [words indistinct], and the (?fish products) factory. Despite
the fact it was not a working day, we were shown how the machinery
operated. We were highly impressed with the people and their sympathy for
the Cuban revolution and love for Cuba. This is obviously the result of the
volume of information received by the Soviet people about Cuba, the result
of education by the CPSU which has developed wonderful sentiments among the
people. From the human, cultural, and political points of view, we found
very deep feelings of solidarity, an extraordinary internationalist

I can only sum this up in one word. This people have the same spirit as the
people who staged the October Revolution, the people who developed the
5-year plans, the people who fought against foreign intervention, the
people who defended the first socialist state against rapacious Germany,
and the people who reconstructed the country and improved on the previous
achievements. The feeling that there is more to be done is very much alive.
I get the impression that this is a very united people, identifying itself
with the party and with its leadership. (?The result) of this is a
phenomenal strength. I feel a great optimism and a great hope whenever I
have contacts with the Soviet people.

It is clear that the future belongs to socialism and communism. We have
always believed this. But in this case, there is something more. It can be
seen. It is not just an idea but a reality that can be seen.

The Soviet Union had to fight alone, isolated and blockaded. It had to
advance along the path of science by itself, the path of science and
technology, and it advanced along this path, achieving great successes and
creating the basis for the future. The advances of this country in the
future are practically beyond the imagination. All bases have been created.
This country is at the same level as the most advanced countries and in
many fields it is even more advanced.

This is the impression I take with me--an objective picture of what my eyes
have seen during this visit to the USSR and in these contacts with the
Soviet people.