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Philippines Congress Weighs Re-Opening The Never-Used Bataan Nuclear Plant

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This article appears in the October 31, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
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Philippines Congress Weighs Re-Opening The Never-Used Bataan Nuclear Plant

by Mike Billington

In 1986, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, orchestrated a coup against Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, to stop the momentum spearheaded by Marcos and backed by the remnants of the “Atoms for Peace” tradition in the United States, to transform the Philippines into a nuclear-power-driven agro-industrial state, based on modern industries and Green Revolution agricultural technologies. The destruction of that mission by the Shultz gang was total. The most devastating symbol of that imperial act is the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, a 620 megawatt nuclear facility built by Westinghouse during the Marcos years, completed in 1985, but never turned on, as the the new American anti-nuclear policy under Shultz and Wolfowitz, backed up by the international environmentalist hysteria, financed and steered by the British and Dutch royal families, was imposed upon the Philippines. Still today, the completed nuclear plant stands, unused, as a horrible example to the citizens of the Philippines and the developing sector generally, that the British imperial “globalization” era would not allow developing nations to escape their neo-colonial status.

Now, however, for the first time, both the House and the Senate of the Philippine Congress have legislation before them, “Mandating the Immediate Re-commissioning and Commercial Operation of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant.” The bills, sponsored by Rep. Mark Cojuangco in the House and Sen. Mariam Defensor-Santiago in the Senate, argue in almost identical terms that the citizens of the Philippines have been cheated and looted by the failure to open up the nuclear facility, and that, as Cojuanco puts it, “this asset is now a part of the patrimony of the nation. It can forever be a useless hulk, or it can be a savior of our energy situation and a tipping point in our national outlook as far as energy and prosperity are concerned.”

Although both bills opportunistically appeal to the fraudulent “global warming ” hoax as one motivation for the use of (carbon-free) nuclear power, they otherwise correctly point out that 1) nuclear power is the cheapest form of energy; nuclear plants are dramatically safer than any other form of energy generation; 2) nations such as France and South Korea, which depend on nuclear for significant portions of their energy, have had no safety problems; 3) solar, wind, and other energy fads are far more expensive, unreliable, and generally “unsuitable as a base load source” for a modern nation; and 4) the only feasible source for the electricity needed to produce the huge quantities of hydrogen for the future “hydrogen economies” is nuclear power.

Perhaps most importantly, the bills call for a crash nuclear science and engineering education program, to be centered at the University of the Philippines, such that within ten years, the Bataan plant, and others which should rapidly follow, can be staffed entirely by Filipinos.

While the authors of these bills believe that they have little chance of early passage, the reality of the global financial breakdown, together with the energy crisis, could well place them at the center of emergency legislation.
Atoms for Peace, Philippines, Inc.

Behind this positive shift in the perspective of significant layers of the political leadership regarding nuclear power, is a sustained campaign by the international LaRouche movement. This campaign began even before the 1986 coup against President Marcos, to expose both the coup plot, and the intention of the plotters—especially the anti-nuclear intention. Later, the LaRouche Society of the Philippines was founded, under the direction of former Undersecretary of Education Butch Valdes, followed by the founding of the Philippine LaRouche Youth Movement (PLYM). These institutions, through weekly radio broadcasts and political organizing efforts among the political elites and youth, presented the urgency of reversing the destruction of the Philippines’ historic leadership in science and technology in Southeast Asia, with the re-opening of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant a central policy demand.

The PLYM intervened in numerous public events in Manila, called to discuss the energy crisis, denouncing the Malthusian, genocidal nature of the anti-nuclear hysteria from the greenies and Al Gore’s global warming hoaxsters, countering with the need for a global nuclear renaissance to fuel great projects for national development. The PLYM gathered support and won the respect of many youth, scientists, and political leaders for its polemical fight to restore the idea of progress to the nation.

Valdes, by this time, had become recognized as the nation’s political expert on the nuclear issue, and through collaboration with the Philippines Chamber of Commerce Foundation, officials in the Department of Energy, and others, the government was won over to a serious plan to open the Bataan plant, after 22 years on ice. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was brought in to determine whether the plant were still operable—they ruled that it was, with only minor repairs and upgrading required.

Finally, in October, “Atoms for Peace, Philippines, Inc.” was formally established in Manila, as the nation’s first and only institution dedicated to renewing the country’s nuclear position in the world. Valdes is the president, while other members include Ramon Pedrosa, chairman of the Philippines Chamber of Commerce Foundation; Dr. Jose Juliano, a University of the Philippines physics professor and nuclear energy authority; former Undersecretary of Energy Jun Delfin; Bill Shaare, an engineer who worked with President Marcos in the 1980s, and others. The current Undersecretary of Energy, Mar Salazar, is an advisor to the institution.

In May of this year, the LaRouche Society, the PLYM, and several scientists toured the mothballed nuclear plant (see box), confirming the opinion of the IAEA.

The opening of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant would be far more than an immediate source of desperately needed electricity and water (through desalination facilities that could be added to the original construction). It would represent a process of overturning the globalization policies implemented during the 1980s and 1990s, and a fight to put the pressing needs of the populations of the underdeveloped nations back on the agenda.

Touring the Bataan Plant

The following is taken from a report by Ligaya Rebolos of the Philippines LaRouche Youth Movement; the full text is on the website of the Philippines LaRouche Society, http://larouchephil.com/content/prometheus-tries-again-philippines-nucle….

In May 2008, the Philippines LaRouche Society (PLS) had the rare opportunity to visit the first and only nuclear power plant in Southeast Asia, the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. This unique occasion resulted from the efforts of a small group of youth, who provoked society and government by challenging the pseudo-science and Malthusian genocidal philosophy of Al Gore’s anti-nuclear scare. It was these young people’s intervention at various conferences on global warming, which sparked audiences—including leading government officials—to question the value of “alternative energy,” by posing the necessity of the most advanced technological form of power generation: nuclear power.

The purpose of the tour, arranged by the Department of Energy, was to investigate the effects of 22 years in which the plant had not been used, and to determine whether it could become operational again. On the one hand, we found computers and control panels that were high-end technology during the late 1970s, but are now obsolete. A lack of proper temperature and humidity controls in the plant had accelerated the deterioration of some machinery. But the plant was fundamentally sound, and could be relatively easily reactivated.

The PLS also discovered excitement, not among one another, but among the engineers who had been employed these past 22 years in maintaining the plant as best they could. They had stretched each cent of the limited government funding to preserve the plant, without ever doubting that what they did would not be in vain. Some of the engineers admitted to being duped during the anti-Marcos campaigns, realizing only later that the political decision to mothball the nuclear plant was a tragic one and should be reversed.

Organizing the engineers around the limitless potential that technological growth would bring, by utilizing nuclear power to provide the energy for water desalination plants and magnetically levitated rail, and producing hydrogen for the hydrogen economy of the future, inspired them even further. Furthermore, the idea that these industrially vectored projects would be a means of achieving a sovereign nation-state republic, was a fundamental breakthrough which these engineers will cherish for a lifetime.

The Philippine LaRouche Society’s determination to bring about a nuclear renaissance means that, one day, this plant will become operational, and the construction of many more will become a reality.

LaRouche, FDR, and Nuclear Power in Southeast Asia

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This article appears in the December 14, 2007 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
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LaRouche, FDR, and Nuclear Power in Southeast Asia

by Mike Billington

Dec. 16, 2007 — Malaysia and the Philippines are experiencing nearly opposite socio-economic conditions. Malaysia is relatively stable, economically strong relative to the region, and generally optimistic about the future, while the Philippines is an economic disaster, with a population living in a state of fear, both economically and socially; the government is generally despised and subject to regular coup attempts and impeachment efforts. Yet, in both nations, leading elements of the governments and the private sectors are increasingly aware of the global economic catastrophe sweeping over them, and are opening up to the ideas of Lyndon LaRouche as the necessary means to radically transform their fate. Nuclear power is a focus for both, as a central means for leaping forward into an energy-independent, technology-driven economy, rather than continuing to serve as exporters of consumer goods and services for the West.

During a November tour of Malaysia and the Philippines, EIR Asia correspondents Mike and Gail Billington found people increasingly shell-shocked by the unfolding collapse of the international banking system, and anxious to discuss LaRouche’s call for returning to the Bretton Woods policies espoused by Franklin Roosevelt, unleashing great infrastructure projects as the physical economic foundation of a new financial system. In the case of the Philippines, the small, but increasingly influential Philippines LaRouche Society, and a core of young Filipinos who constitute a chapter of the worldwide LaRouche Youth Movement (LYM), are providing both political leaders and the nation’s youth with a universal perspective for dealing with the devastation afflicting their country.
Malaysia: The Legacy of Dr. Mahathir

The Billingtons held a series of meetings in Malaysia, both private and semi-public, with leaders in the Malaysian scientific community, government officials responsible for science and technology, and private entrepreneurs. Together with the LaRouche movement’s close collaborator Mohd Peter Davis, a visiting scientist at the leading research university, UPM (Universiti Putra Malaysia), the LaRouche representatives presented a perspective for Malaysia to play a leading role in reversing the current descent into a new dark age, and bringing about a new world economic order.

In a meeting with the director general and the top staff of the official Nuclear Malaysia Agency, Mike Billington warned that Malaysia must not abandon the global leadership it asserted during the 1997-98 “Asian Crisis.” At that time, then-Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad refused to allow the hedge funds to loot his nation, as they were doing to Malaysia’s Southeast Asian neighbors, through speculation against their national currencies. Instead, Mahathir imposed currency controls on the Malaysian ringgit, set a fixed exchange rate, and told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank that Malaysia would retain sovereign control over its domestic economy and financial policies. While this created a firewall around the national economy and the general welfare of the population, Mahathir also never failed to add that his ability to protect his nation against the international financial powers was limited, and that the world’s leading powers had the historical responsibility to end the speculative floating-exchange-rate financial system and return to a new Bretton Woods arrangement like that promoted by Lyndon LaRouche (see “Malaysia’s Mahathir: Back to Production, Dump Globalization,” by Gail G. Billington, EIR, Oct. 18, 2002, http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2002/2940_mahathir.html).

Today, LaRouche’s Four-Power perspective—for Russia, China, India, and the United States (under new leadership) to agree to a new global financial order based on the original Bretton Woods of Franklin Roosevelt, and on great infrastructure development projects as the physical economic base of such a system—has brought about the means to realize that goal. The Nuclear Malaysia officials were quite conscious of the importance of such a new international alliance of great powers, as a basis for directing their own nation’s policies toward large-scale infrastructure projects.

While the Nuclear Malaysia Agency is primarily dedicated to achieving a nuclear power program for the nation, it believes the means to that end must include convincing the government and the people that transforming the nation requires a broad package of new technologies. Agency officials explained their concept of development corridors, “a nuclear-hydrogen supergrid with liquid hydrogen-cooled electric power superconductors, alongside maglev trains to connect the nations of Asia,” along with new nuclear powered cities, or nuplexes constructed along the routes. In the same meeting, LaRouche ally Davis strongly encouraged the Agency directors to transform the Asian Railroad—the rail line connecting Singapore with Kunming, China, long championed by Dr. Mahathir—into a maglev line, on the theme that Malaysia and its neighbors “should not be the last nations to use an old technology.”

Davis also presented several ideas for new, indigenous Malaysian industries to foster the global infrastructure renaissance, including a housing concept known as honeycomb housing with thermal-comfort construction (see www.21st centurysciencetech.com/2006_articles/HoneycombHousing.pdf), and for Malaysia to become the tree nursery for the world, utilizing the ideal biological growth conditions in the country to produce literally billions of saplings for use in greening the deserts of the world.

A plan for cooperation in mobilizing the population behind such a scientific transformation was set in motion.
The Philippines: Revive the Marcos Industrial Plans

The physical and social dissolution of the Philippines is palpable to any visitor. Nearly every young person has some personal horror story which has afflicted his or her life in the past few years. Graduates with degrees in economics or engineering at leading universities are forced to take jobs at colonial “call centers,” servicing consumers in the United States on a midnight shift, as their talents are wasted, despite the desperate needs of the nation. Their fathers are being sent to the Mideast or elsewhere as “overseas workers” in order to earn foreign exchange with which to pay the (illegitimate) foreign debt, leaving broken families behind. One youth’s father was misdiagnosed at the public hospital for over a year—only to discover too late that he had a brain tumor—because he could not afford to see one of the few doctors on call. Thousands of doctors and nurses have been sent out of the country by the Overseas Filipino Workers program, leaving the hospitals understaffed, or even forced to close. Barefoot children line every traffic stop, pleading for a peso for food, when they belong in school.

One week before the Billington trip, a story flashed across the national press about an 11-year-old who hung herself, leaving a diary explaining that her parents could no longer afford to feed her and her siblings, so she decided to help her siblings by committing suicide. Virtually the same day, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced that the nation’s economic ills have been largely solved, because the debt was being paid on time, through regressive taxes and the export of their people as virtual commodities.

In this context, Butch Valdes, the head of the Philippine LaRouche Society, together with the Philippine LYM, intervened forcefully in the debate over the nation’s energy future. First, they attended numerous meetings on the Al Gore-spawned global warming hoax, exposing it as a racist, genocidal attack on the development of the third world, and against industrial progress generally.

Then, they intervened in a series of conferences called to discuss the potential of nuclear power, taking with them the material produced by the international LaRouche movement on the nuclear revival required to turn a global collapse into a global renaissance (see www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2007/2007_30-39/2007_30-39/2007-31/pdf/45…).

The nuclear issue is deeply political in the Philippines. The centerpiece of the Eleven Industrial Development Projects under the regime of President Ferdinand Marcos was the Westinghouse nuclear plant in Bata’an—the first commercial nuclear power facility in Southeast Asia. It was precisely this commitment to industrialization and nuclear power which motivated then-U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, and his Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz, to orchestrate the “People’s Power” coup which overthrew Marcos in 1986, placing a puppet of the Anglo-Dutch financial oligarchy in power. The first act of the new regime, under the direction of Shultz, was to mothball the totally completed nuclear power plant, which was ready to turn on at the time, while also assuring Washington that the Philippine people would pay every cent of the nuclear reactor’s cost of production, while receiving no benefit! The Philippines never recovered from this act of imperial depravity.

After 21 years, most Filipinos are now, finally, beginning to understand what they actually did to themselves in their “People’s Power” campaign against the “dictator” Ferdinand Marcos.

The response to the LaRouche Society intervention on the nuclear issue was extraordinary. Not only were the global warming hoaxters exposed, but several serious government and private sector leaders sought out collaboration with the LaRouche Society and the LYM. The Undersecretary of Energy, Mariano Salazar, who personally intervened against those who wanted to exclude the LaRouche Youth from a major nuclear conference, is now proudly presenting his budget proposal for the energy sector, which contains a provision for nuclear energy for the first time since the coup against Marcos. Salazar knows that the alternative energy programs demanded by the so-called international community can provide only a small fraction of the energy needed for a real industrial economy—a fact which exposes the actual intention of the green, “Gorey” fanatics.

With offers from the Koreans to refurbish the mothballed Bata’an plant, and/or to build a new nuclear facility, and with other options also under consideration, the Department of Energy is optimistic that the anti-nuclear brainwashing can now be overcome.

Perhaps the best proof of the potential for that breakthrough is the case of the chairman emeritus of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Foundation, Ramon Pedrosa. Pedrosa, who is now devoting much of his energy to the revival of nuclear power, is the first to admit that he was among the leaders of the anti-Marcos ferment in the 1980s, and against the nuclear power plant in particular—simply because it was tied to Marcos! Now, Pedrosa proclaims “Mea culpa”—an important self–
recognition of how the nation was fooled into destroying its own development under the guise of defeating a dictator.

Pedrosa has led the effort at the Chamber to prepare a nuclear-development perspective for the government and the Congress, drawing on the LaRouche Society’s Valdes for assistance. In meetings during the Billington visit, Pedrosa recognized that nuclear power, as important as it is, is only one part of the required program for the transformation of the Philippines, and has called for cooperation in developing a 50-year plan for the nation, reviving the Marcos Eleven Industrial Development projects, in the context of LaRouche’s proposal for a Four-Power agreement for a New Bretton Woods and great infrastructure projects internationally.
FDR and the Youth

The Franklin Roosevelt tradition represented by LaRouche and his collaborators today has a deep resonance in the Philippines. Roosevelt, as one of his first acts as President in the 1930s, asserted that the U.S. flirtation with imperialism would come to an end. In 1936, FDR granted the Philippines full independence, to take effect after a ten-year trusteeship. Had Roosevelt lived beyond 1945, his plan for using the Philippines model of trusteeships leading to independence, for all the former European colonies which had been occupied by the Japanese, would have been realized, and there would have been no Vietnam War, and no genocide in Cambodia.

LaRouche has always looked at the Philippines to play a central role in Asia, as the only nation which shares its Asian culture with the culture of the European Renaissance. The Philippines national hero, Jose Rizal, not only translated the revolutionary work of the European Northern Renaissance, Friedrich Schiller’s William Tell, into Tagalog, the native tongue of the Filipinos, but also quoted Schiller (from his Shakespeare’s Ghost) in the dedication of his own revolutionary novel, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not). The Philippines can, and must, lead the way in bridging the gap between European Renaissance culture and Asian culture.

In this light, the final two days of the Billington visit to the Philippines were most promising. A two-day conference was held in Manila, attended by about 100 students, friends of the LaRouche Society, and others who had heard of the conference on Valdes’s daily radio broadcast. On the first day, Billington presented an international economic and strategic briefing, a class on the fight between the American System and the British System in Asia after World War II, and a class on the basics of bel canto singing, including teaching the group two Classical vocal canons.

However, the highlight of the event came on the second day, when the Philippines LYM took over, demonstrating the emergence of the young leadership required to save the Philippines from its current horrific state of poverty and decay. One of the leading youth members, Ver Archivido, performed the “Chaconne” from Bach’s Partita No. 2 for unaccompanied violin, transcribed for guitar by the great Classical guitarist Andrés Segovia, with such clarity and transparency in the long lines of development, that the audience was riveted throughout the performance, despite the fact that most of them had never heard such complex music, nor perhaps any Classical music at all. Archivido and three other youth presented classes on Eratosthenes’ measurement of the circumference of the Earth; the hoax of global warming; the emerging nuclear renaissance; a workshop on sphaerics, including a demonstration of the primacy of physical geometry over Euclidian axiomatics; a Platonic dialogue on doubling the square; a physical geometric proof of the Pythagorean Theorem; and the generation of lines, points, and the Platonic solids through circular action. Above all, they conveyed to the youthful audience the urgency of joining the LaRouche movement, both for their own education, and as the only hope for creating a future for themselves and their nation.

Mike Billington
mobeir@aol.com

Nuclear Energy: The Beneficial Use of Fire

Nuclear Energy: The Beneficial Use of Fire
AUGUST 10TH, 2007

The mythical Greek god Zeus was known to have disdained the earthly human mortals and denied them knowledge and other divine gifts to keep them in a state of perpetual misery until they died off. He insisted that Prometheus, the rebel god, not intervene in his plan of imposing ignorance and suffering on the primitive inhabitants of the planet. Despite the warnings of Zeus, Prometheus took pity on the mortals and taught them many ways of improving their quality of life, foremost among which was the beneficial use of fire. As the story of Aeschylus goes, he was punished, tied to a rock to be eaten alive by vultures in perpetuity, until he was freed by Heracles twelve generations after.

In light of what is generally perceived as an on-going global financial system collapse, and the escalating threats of another global war, resulting from “Zeus’” policies, it is heartening to note that there are still leaders around the world, possessing Promethean virtues of compassion and courage, determined to do what is right, initiating programs for the good of all, and the vision of a better world for the coming generations. It is in this context that we propose to re-introduce you to nuclear power: the way towards world peace and prosperity.

After more than two decades of limited growth in construction of nuclear reactors, and realizing that fossil fuel as a principal source of energy will not sustain the growing demands of modern societies, developed and developing nations alike have had to reconsider their decision to shelve plans of utilizing nuclear energy as an efficient source of power. Technological advancement and ferreting out anti-nuclear propaganda to allow results of credible investigations to surface in regard to the Chernobyl and three-mile island incidents in the ‘80s convinced current and enlightened leaders of many nations of the necessity of this vital energy source.

On virtually every continent in the world, nations are making that determination that ‘the future is nuclear’. In an article with that title, Russian academician and renowned physicist Yevgeny Velikhov stated, “Nuclear power engineering is capable of assuring all those who are not certain of having sufficient energy today and tomorrow. There is no doubt it is the only source of energy that can ensure the world’s steady development in the foreseeable future.”

The dramatic shift in international energy policy that is under way is evident in nations that had planned nuclear power generation programs in the past, but abandoned them, or were not able to succeed, in operating them. In the Philippines, the mothballing of the Bataan nuclear power plant, a costly political decision made by two successive administrations after Marcos, may have set us back some 30 years of industrial development.
Increased Capacity

Increased nuclear capacity in some countries is resulting from the upgrading of existing plants. This is a highly cost-effective way of bringing on new capacity.

Numerous power reactors in USA, Belgium, Sweden and Germany, for example, have had their generating capacity increased. In Switzerland, the capacity of its five reactors has been increased by 12.3%. In the USA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved 110 uprates totaling 4700 MWe since 1977, a few of them “extended uprates” of up to 20%.

Spain has a program to add to its nuclear capacity through upgrading its nine reactors by up to 13%.

Finland has boosted the capacity of the Olkiluoto plant by 29% to 1700 MWe. It is now licensed to operate to 2018.

Sweden is uprating Forsmark plant by 13% over 2008-10 at a cost of EUR 225 million, and Oskarshamn-3 by 21% at a cost of EUR 180 million.
Nuclear Plant Construction

Most reactors currently planned are in the Asian region, with fast-growing economies and rapidly rising electricity demand.

At least twelve countries with existing nuclear power programs (Bulgaria, Canada, France Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Japan, Romania, Slovakia, South Korea, South Africa and USA) have plans to build new power reactors beyond those now under construction, or expand the capacities of those presently operating.

In all, over 70 power reactors with a total net capacity of over 80,000 MWe are planned and over 150 more are proposed. Rising gas and oil prices resulting from speculation in the Commodity Futures Market and greenhouse constraints on coal have combined to put nuclear power back on the agenda for projected new capacity in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

Questions have been raised about the potential rate of construction of new plants. However, half (218) the number of nuclear reactors operating today started up in the decade 1980 to 1989 — an average of one every 17 days. Under similar conditions two and a half decades ago, it is not hard to imagine a similar number being commissioned between now and 2015. The 1980s figures included 47 in USA, 42 in France and 18 in Japan. However, many other countries are now feverishly constructing plants, led by Russia, China, and India. Developing countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, have also started plans to construct nuclear power plants within the next couple of years. Some studies even boldly estimated that if financing and technological assistance were available to developing countries, the construction rate can reach as fast as five nuclear reactors a week.

In the USA, there are proposals for over 20 new reactors and the first combined construction and operating licenses for these will be applied for in 2007. All are for late third-generation plants, and a further proposal is for two ABWR units.

In Finland, construction is now under way on a fifth, very large reactor, which will come on line in 2011.

France is building a similar 1600 MWe unit at Flamanville, for operation from 2012.

Romania’s second power reactor started up in 2007, and two further units are expected to commence construction soon.

Bulgaria is about to start building two 1000 MWe Russian reactors at Belene.

In Russia, there are three reactors under active construction and due for completion by 2012, one being a large fast neutron reactor. Three further reactors are then planned to replace some existing plants, and 15 further reactors are planned to add new capacity by 2020. Several small floating power plants are expected to be completed by 2010.

Poland is planning some nuclear power capacity but initially is likely to join a joint project in Lithuania, with Estonia and Latvia.

Nuclear power will continue to play a major role in the future electricity supply mix in both South Korea and Japan.

South Korea plans to bring a further eight reactors into operation by the year 2015, giving total new capacity of 9200 MWe. Cost is expected to be US$ 1400 per kilowatt, falling to $1200/kW in later units with 48-month construction time.

Japan has one reactor under construction and another ready to start building. It also has plans and, in most cases, designated sites and announced timetables for a further 10 power reactors, totaling over 13,000 MWe which are expected to come on line 2012-17.

In China, now with eleven operating reactors on the mainland, CNNC is well into the next phase of its nuclear power program. The second of two Russian 1000 MWe Pressurized Water Reactors at Tianwan in Jiangsu province was grid connected in May 2007. China NNC and Guangdong NPC have four more indigenous reactors under construction at Lingdong and Qinshan, and four more large Western third-generation ones are due to start construction at Sanmen and Yangjiang. It aims to quadruple its nuclear capacity from that operating and under construction by 2020.

In Taiwan, Taipower is building two more advanced Boiling Water Reactors at Lungmen, which are part of the additional seven reactors planned for completion before 2020.

India has six reactors under construction and expected to be completed by 2010. This includes two large Russian reactors and a large prototype fast breeder reactor (FBR) as part of its strategy to develop a fuel cycle that can utilize thorium. Further units are planned.

Pakistan has a second 300 MWe reactor under construction at Chasma, financed by China. There are plans for more Chinese power reactors.

In Kazakhstan, a joint venture with Russia’s Atomstroyexport envisages development and marketing of innovative small and medium-sized reactors, starting with a 300 MWe Russian design as baseline for Kazakh units.

In Iran, nuclear power plant construction was suspended in 1979, but in 1995, an agreement was signed with Russia to complete a 1000 MWe PWR at Bushehr. Construction is well advanced.

The Turkish government plans to have three nuclear power plants total 4500 MWe operating by 2012-15, a US$ 10.5 billion investment.

Indonesia plans to start constructing a 2000 MWe nuclear power station in 2010.

Vietnam is also considering its first nuclear power venture, to be commissioned by 2017.

Brazil has decided to construct two nuclear power reactors within this decade.

Bangladesh has just gotten the approval from IAEA to plan a construct their first nuclear power plant.
Nuclear Power in Brief

Nuclear technology uses the energy produced by splitting the atoms of certain elements. It was first developed in the 1940s and during World War II research initially focused on producing bombs. Their mass destructive effect was demonstrated by President Harry Truman in late 1945, the first and only instance that these weapons were used, killing half a million Japanese.

Subsequently, a wise President of the United States in the 50s, Dwight Eisenhower embarked on an Atoms For Peace program to make nuclear technology available to all countries. Only then did attention turn to peaceful purposes of nuclear fission, notable for power generation. Today, the world produces as much electricity from nuclear energy as it did from all sources combined in 1960. Civil nuclear power can now boast over 12,400 reactor years of experience and supplies 16% of global needs, in 30 countries.

Today, only eight countries are known to have a nuclear weapons capability. By contrast, 56 operate civil research reactors, and 30 have some 435 commercial nuclear power reactors with a total installed capacity of over 370,000 MWe. This is more than three times the total generating capacity of France or Germany from all sources. Some 30 further power reactors are under construction, equivalent to 6% of existing capacity, while over 60 are firmly planned, equivalent to 18% of capacity.

Sixteen countries depend on nuclear power for at least a quarter of their electricity. France and Lithuania get around three quarters of their power from nuclear energy, while Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovenia, and Ukraine get one third or more. Japan, Germany, and Finland get more than a quarter of their power from nuclear energy, while the USA with 104 functioning reactors, gets one-fifths.

Principally due to prohibitive financing for energy infrastructure and anti-nuclear ideologues, fewer nuclear plants have been built in the 90s up to 2006, than in the 60s, 70s and 80s. Yet, through technology developments in efficiency and safety concerns, those now operating are producing more electricity. In 2005, production was 2626 billion kWh. The increase over the last five years of only two reactors is equal to the output from 30 large new nuclear plants.
World Energy Needs

The World Energy Outlook 2006 from the OECD’s International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights the increasing importance of nuclear power in meeting energy needs and achieving security of supply.

If policies remain unchanged, world energy demand to 2030 is forecast to increase by 53%. Over 70% of the increased energy demand is from developing countries, led by China and India.

From 1980 to 2004, total world primary energy demand grew by 54% and it is projected to grow at much the same rate up to 2030. Electricity growth is stronger. Increased demand was most dramatic in developing countries and that is projected to increase.

With the UN predicting world population growth from 6.4 billion in 2004 to 8.1 billion in 2030, demand for energy must increase substantially over that period. Both population growth and increasing standards of living for many people in developing countries will cause strong growth in energy demand, expected to be 1.6% per year, or 53% from 2004 to 2030.

Electricity demand is increasing much more rapidly than overall energy use, and is projected to grow at 2.6% per year to 2030. Currently some 2 billion people have no access to electricity, and it is a high priority to address this lack.

Without nuclear power, the world would have to rely almost entirely on fossil fuels, especially coal, to meet the electricity demands.
Desalination

It is estimated that one fifth of the world’s population does not have access to safe drinking water, and that this proportion will increase due to population growth relative to water resources. The worst affected areas are the arid and semi-arid regions of Asia and North Africa.

Many leaders and economists in the South-West Asian region commonly known as the Middle East subscribe to the idea of world-famous statesman and physical economist Lyndon LaRouche, who has proposed that peace and development in the war-torn region will result from focusing on the kind of infrastructure which addresses the critical need of water for its populations, food production, and industrial development, these to be achieved only by immediate construction of nuclear-powered desalination plants strategically located in the region.

Most desalination today uses fossil fuels. Total world capacity is approaching 30 million cubic meters/day of potable water, in some 12,500 plants. Half of these are in the Middle East. The largest produces 454,000 cubic meters/day.

India has recently announced that its floating nuclear-powered desalination plant is fully operational. The plant is located about 40km east of Tamil Nadu coast. It is currently producing 100,000 gallons/day and will be upgraded to 1 million gallons/day by 2008. The plant is sitting on a 65 by 16 meter wide barge located in deep sea.

The features of this plant includes bringing in saturated hot steam generated in the nuclear power plant for flash heating the water in a vacuum chamber located on the barge. The freshly generated water vapor passes into an adjacent chamber where cold water drawn from 600 meter depth of Bay of Bengal, by pipe, and wrapped around the cooling chamber converts the water vapor to clean potable water.

The fresh water is then towed in specially developed 50,000-gallon containers by barges for pumping into the water distribution system on shore. The capital cost of the project so far has been $5 million. It is the first of its kind in history.

Other similar nuclear-powered projects are now being developed and built by Spain, the U.K., China, Russia, Pakistan, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, South Korea, and Argentina.
Myths About Nuclear Power

Myth #1: Nuclear Power is dangerous to your health

There has never been any accident in the US that has endangered the health or welfare of the public. The Three Mile Island nuclear plant accident in 1979 injured no one.

In the US, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission provides the standards for reactor design and plant operation, contributing to the excellent nuclear power plant public safety records.

The most famous is the case of Chernobyl plant in Russia in 1986. Investigations since have discovered that the fault lay in poor plant design and inadequate training of personnel.

The new generation of nuclear plant designs, already being built internationally, feature passive safety systems, which simply shut the plant down if there is an operator error or equipment failure.

As far as ‘terrorist attacks’ are concerned, there is no public infrastructure that is as well protected as nuclear power plants. There is no scenario under which a release of radiation would significantly affect public health.

Myth #2: Radioactive waste from nuclear plants is a health hazard

There is no such thing as nuclear waste. This is a term used by anti-nuclear ideologues to frighten the public, and its elected representatives. More than 95% of the fission products created in commercial power plants can be reprocessed and recycled. The spent fuel from a typical 1000-megawatt nuclear plant, which has operated over 40 years, can produce energy equal to 130 million barrels of oil, 37 million tons of coal.

Today, Britain, France, Russia, India, Japan, and China reprocess spent nuclear fuel, and many other countries are beginning to do the same.

Myth #3: Building nuclear power plants will lead to nuclear weapons

No nation has ever developed a nuclear weapon from a civilian nuclear power plant. If a nation has the intention to develop nuclear weapons, it must obtain the specific technology to do so. Israel is an example of a nation that does not have a civilian nuclear power plant but has developed nuclear weapons.

Myth #4: Nuclear energy is more expensive than fossil or ‘alternative’ fuels

The radical escalation in the cost of building nuclear power plants in the late 1970s and 1980s was the result of political actions, not economics. Some plants projected to cost less than $1 billion ended up costing three to four times that amount, because of anti-nuclear ‘environmentalists’, and legal interveners were given free rein, using specious and ideological arguments to delay construction for years, sometimes for decades. Where there has been less political interference, new nuclear power plants have been built in 38 months, on schedule and on budget, such as in Japan, Taiwan, China and India.

While it does require less up-front capital investment to build a gas-fired power plant than a nuclear plant. The operational cost over the 30-or-more year lifetime of the gas plant swings heavily in favor of nuclear power. And compared to coal, the overall economy is not taxed to transport millions of tons of fuel.

Other renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, are not only inefficient because their energy is so dispersed, they are so unreliable that back up plants must be available for any time it is not sunny or windy. Not only will the public bear the expense of the inefficiency, the entire electric grid system pays the price of having to provide stand-by redundant power-generating capacity to ensure grid reliability.
LaRouche and the Nuclear Renaissance

American economist, physicist, and statesman Lyndon LaRouche has been a long-time supporter and advocate of nuclear power, as a means to empowering all nations to be self-sufficient in energy.

He has penned numerous documents, and commissioned several scientific and developmental works on reorganizing this failed monetary and financial system, and a return to the principles of American System of Political Economy as designed by Alexander Hamilton and, who championed technology and agro-industrialization as a means of promoting the principle of general welfare and achieving the common good.

In one of his works, The Eurasian Landbridge Project, LaRouche called for nuclear powered centers or hubs, to provide the energy requirements of industrialized sectors and magnetic levitation trains and other transit systems connecting the continent of Asia to Europe. These hubs would also serve as economic drivers for the cities built around them. Farms, educational institutions, research centers, and whole communities, would have access to efficient, reliable, and safe energy sources.

In recent weeks, momentum has gained on the Bering Strait 50 mile tunnel project, proposed by the government of Russia as an offshoot of the proposed Eurasian Landbridge project, which would connect Asia to North America to complete the vision of great thinkers Lyndon LaRouche of the U.S., Drs. Mendeleyev and Menshikov of the Federation of Russia.

Leaders of all nations must acknowledge the on going financial collapse as manifested by the dramatic deterioration of the global economy and the US Dollar itself. This realization and the increasing threats of nuclear war should precipitate a decision to collectively embark on major infrastructure projects benefiting all people of all nations. The tragedy of our times is not so much the suffering of whole populations as a result of evil minds conspiring, but the absence of courage and intellectual capacity on the part of decision makers in government, in business and the academe, to reject what is wrong and to do what is right.

This conference initiated by the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Foundation (CCPF) has far greater implications than just becoming an information gathering, roundtable discussion. It is our hope that our country’s forthcoming decision to join the rest of the world in nuclear power development programs, will necessarily lead our own leaders to reconsider our national economic policy to give the assurances that future generations of Filipinos be given the opportunity of a quality of life which all humans deserve.

Postscript:
The day after the CCPF initiated the historic conference to make known to the Philippine public, through relevant agencies of government, the private sector, and the academe, its determination to pursue a national program of nuclear energy development, an agreement and declaration made by the Presidents of the two superpowers, President Vladimir Putin of Russia and President George W. Bush, was made public. The joint declaration expressed their commitment to make nuclear technology available to developing countries around the world and to provide assistance in constructing the same to those who would want it, and help in the financing constraints to make such capability affordable. They further commit to support the IAEA objectives and abide by the Non-Proliferation Treaty in order that such technology shall not be used for the production of weapons of mass destruction.

It should be noted that this joint declaration not only has great historical significance, but unique in its substance and purpose. If indeed this commitment of the leaders of the two most powerful nations in the world is followed through, the attention of the world would inevitably focus in building and improving present civilization and not on its destruction. For the first time in four decades of continuous deterioration, the world’s developing countries are presented with the initial manifestations of a ray of hope. It is every citizen’s duty to acknowledge and endorse the full implementation of this Joint Declaration if we are to avoid political and economic disintegration.

Prepared August 2007

Book Review: The Philippines’ Fight For Nuclear Energy

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Book Review: The Philippines’ Fight For Nuclear Energy
by Mike Billington
This article appears in the May 12, 2006 issue of the Executive Intelligence Review.
PDF version of this article

Trailblazing: The Quest for Energy Self-Reliance
by Geronimo Z. Velasco
Manila: Anvil Publishing, 2006
209 pages, paperback, 350 pesos

Twenty years ago, the Philippines received the final approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to turn on the fully completed nuclear power plant in Bataan, which was to provide 16% of the energy needed in the island of Luzon, including the capital, Manila. This was to be the first commercial nuclear power plant in all of Southeast Asia, representing the scientific and industrial coming of age of the Philippines, and by implication its Southeast Asian partners, in the post-colonial era.

The plant was never opened. The father of that nuclear facility, Geronimo “Ronnie” Velasco, has finally, after these 20 long years, written a memoir of his work as Minister of Energy, and CEO of the Philippines National Oil Company (PNOC) between 1972 and February 1986, when then President Ferdinand Marcos was deposed in a military coup supported and directed from Washington, under the cover of a “people’s power” movement. Eliminated along with Marcos and Velasco were the nuclear power plant, the government control of the oil and energy utilities, and the 11 major industrial projects that were to be fueled by these national energy programs. The hysteria induced in the population at that time against the Marcos regime was to no small extent the result of an international campaign by synarchist banking circles in the West, now known as the neo-conservatives, against nuclear power, aimed at undermining the energy independence of sovereign nations.

Velasco’s book, and private discussions with this author, demonstrate a clear understanding of the evil character of that attack on the Philippines by the Anglo-American financial and oil interests, even if he is not always clear on the reason for that subversion. The fact that it took 20 years to write this book reflects the fact that only now is there an audience for the truth. As Velasco told me: “We did not have the political space until now. Anything we said during or after that time [the 1980s], we were just dismissed as ‘Marcos’s boys.’ It took us all of these years in order to get the space for the public to even listen, to hear.”

This is true internationally, as the lies of the greenies and the neo-cons against the use of nuclear energy are finally being exposed, both scientifically and politically. Velasco’s book demonstrates that he is capable and willing to contribute to the necessary renaissance in nuclear energy, and also to debunking the fraud of “privatization” and “deregulation” of utilities as a cover for the foreign control of sovereign nations.
Roots of the Sabotage

There were two causal factors in the destruction of the use of nuclear power in the Philippines (as also worldwide) in the 1980s, but both trace to the same source. The 1986 coup which removed and vilified Velasco and President Marcos was controlled by then-Secretary of State George P. Shultz and his Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs, Paul D. Wolfowitz, who used the Philippines as one of their first exercises in neo-conservative subversion in the name of “democracy,” achieving “regime change” in favor of a puppet regime under the control of the International Monetary Fund and the London/New York banking houses. The native military manager of the coup, Gen. Fidel V. Ramos, was then and is still today a wholly owned asset of this synarchist banking cabal, which is now driving for fascist forms of dictatorship in Washington itself, under the direction of Shultz and Dick Cheney.

The U.S. participants in this treachery do not hide their role, only their purpose. Just as in the many “Orange Revolutions” of today in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and elsewhere, and in the overtly military cases such as Iraq, Wolfowitz, Shultz and their cohorts brag of their intention to make the United States the “only superpower” on Earth, while hiding behind the banner of “democracy.” Prof. Theodore Friend, a U.S. academic who writes on the Philippines, told a conference in Washington in February that Wolfowitz had called him and a few other Asia hands to his office at the State Department in 1983, and tasked them with overthrowing Marcos. “We concluded that Marcos was vulnerable. We didn’t use the term ‘regime change’ at that time, but we decided that if we unleashed indigenous forces, Marcos could be brought down, and we pointed ourselves in that direction. With George Shultz as Secretary of State,we did it just right, timing the intervention so as to make things happen.”

The things that these tyrants made happen are described in gruesome detail in Velasco’s book.

The second causal factor in the destruction of the Philippines nuclear program was the fear fostered in the population through a campaign of anti-nuclear lies and propaganda. While this anti-nuclear campaign is generally associated with the radical left environmentalist movement, EIR has recently demonstrated (March 24, 2006) that the driving force behind these lies were the same neo-cons we just met in the role of political subversives. Paul Wolfowitz and his mentor at the University of Chicago, Albert Wohlstetter, while leading the charge in favor of the use of nuclear weapons in preventive wars, even against non-nuclear nations, as is now the official policy of the Bush/Cheney regime, argued in the 1970s that nuclear power must not be allowed to be used for energy generation, especially in the Third World. Wohlstetter wrote that “every time a new country obtains a nuclear power reactor, it is moving significantly closer to a nuclear weapon development capability,” adding the lie that “nuclear power promises very limited economic benefits to less developed countries.”

In other words, the political subversion and the scientific subversion are two aspects of the same policy, as espoused by the synarchist banking circles—the end of the sovereign nation-state, fostering a global empire under the control of international financial institutions based on “globalized” control of intentionally restricted energy resources.
The Marcos Vision

Velasco, a prominent businessman in the post-war Philippines, was chosen by President Marcos to run the national oil company PNOC in 1973. In 1979 Marcos created a Department of Energy under Velasco’s direction, also making Velasco head of the National Power Company, Napocor. As CEO of PNOC, Velsaco was assigned the task of negotiating state-to-state oil contracts with oil-producing nations, to avoid the “free markets” which Marcos knew to be controlled by the energy cartels. While Velasco succeeded in signing such contracts with Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and others, it soon became apparent that actual energy independence depended on drastically reducing the nation’s dependence on imported oil altogether. Under Velasco’s direction, Napocor, which had been founded in the 1930s under the guidance of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, with the help of Col. Lucius Clay, launched an aggressive program of hydroelectric and geothermal development, while working with the IAEA to contract for a 620-megawatt nuclear plant, to be built by Westinghouse in Bataan. Between 1978 and 1985, the national program succeeded in providing electricity to all 56 provinces in the seven major islands, with 20 power plants, 90% using nonoil sources. Dependence on imported oil was reduced by 44%. Had the Bataan nuclear plant been turned on when it was completed in December 1985, the goal of the Marcos plan to fuel the 11 great industrial projects would have been fully met.

Velasco makes clear that every single step of the process in building the nuclear facility depended on approval from the U.S. government, and yet when it was completed and ready to be activated, U.S. Ambassador Stephen Bosworth suddenly “called on me and requested that the U.S. government be allowed to send a team that would help us evaluate the plant’s readiness for operation.” The resulting evaluation, Velasco notes, had nothing to do with the functioning or safety of the plant, but rather stated that the plant should not be opened because of a lack of escape routes and hospital beds in the vicinity.

Velasco recognized that this was a ruse; that in fact “the Americans had lost faith in President Marcos, and they could not trust him to have such a powerful weapon in his hands.” This is only partially true, as evidenced by the fact that the first act of the puppet government that replaced Marcos in February 1986 was to shut down the nuclear power plant— i.e., no government, no matter how subservient to U.S. demands, was to be allowed to have nuclear power. It is of note that EIR, six months before the February 1986 coup against Marcos (see EIR, Aug. 16, 1985) had warned that Ambassador Bosworth, on behalf of Secretary of State Shultz, was meeting “up to two hours every day with Acting Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Fidel Ramos, a West Point graduatewhomthe United States is attempting to groom as a leader of a new civilian-military junta.”

In a discussion, Velasco asked me, if Washington had no intention of allowing the plant to function in the first place, “Why did they grant us a permit to construct the nuclear plant?” This points to the real issue before us today: the progressive takeover of the United States by the anti-American, imperial-minded forces representing, not the self-interests of the United States, nor certainly the interests of other sovereign nations, but rather, the interests of the international financial houses, the “military-industrial complex” which President Dwight Eisenhower (who commissioned the Atoms For Peace program, which launched the nuclear program in the Philippines and dozens of other states) warned about at the close of his Administration in 1960.

Indeed, the last nuclear plant to be built in the United States itself was contracted in 1978. In neighboring Mexico, President Jose´ Lo´pez Portillo had commenced in 1978 on a track, with the full backing and cooperation of EIR founder Lyndon LaRouche (see EIR, Feb. 27, 2004), to use Mexico’s newly discovered oil resources in oil-for-technology deals designed to build 20 nuclear plants and achieve industrialization and full energy independence. Lo´pez Portillo’s plans were crushed and the Mexican banking system destroyed by the synarchists, in response. Instead of a modern industrial economy, Mexico’s population has been reduced by “free trade” to slave labor conditions in foreign-owned sweatshops, while drug lords dominate entire regions, as well as much of the government. The anti-nuclear paradigm-shift has cost the human race dearly, in wealth and in lives.
The Costs of Not Going Nuclear

One of the most valuable historical revelations of Velasco’s book is the total hypocrisy of the charge that Marcos and Velasco squandered the nation’s resources through corruption and overruns on the nuclear plant. In fact, shutting the plant cost the nation billions of dollars—still today, the Philippines pays over $155,000 every day in debt-service costs for the moth-balled nuclear facility, which never produced a single watt of electricity.

Velasco notes that the cost for uranium fuel for the facility would have been $20 million per year, compared to the $180 million to be saved in oil import costs (three times that amount at today’s prices). Instead, the inflated costs of imported oil were paid, in addition to $460 million in debt service alone between 1987 and 1989.

Even the exorbitant cost of the plant itself can be traced to the synarchist takeover in Washington. Following the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 (which showed that all the safeguards worked, but was nonetheless treated as a “disaster”), and, as Velasco notes, the Hollywood hype of Jane Fonda’s film The China Syndrome spreading ridiculous myths about the dangers of nuclear energy, the United States imposed a new set of safety conditions on nuclear construction. The Bataan construction was put on hold for 15 months, and new contracts for the additional safeguards were signed. However, this was taking place just as U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker was raising interest rates to 21%! Not only did the cost of the Bataan plant itself double to $2.1 billion, but the debt-servicing costs skyrocketed.

Velasco reports that the disaster of shutting down the nuclear plant was aggravated by the promise to pay for it anyway. In a speech given before the U.S. Congress by U.S.-installed President Cory Aquino in September 1986, she “promised that she would pay all the country’s debts down to the last cent. My heart fell when I heard her say that,” Velasco told me.
The Queen’s Role

Of course, there were also leading figures within the Philippines demanding the closure of the nuclear plant, but here, too, Velasco reveals a most interesting fact. Leading the assault was one Cesar Buenaventura, head of Anglo-Dutch Shell operations in the Philippines. When Aquino was placed in power, Buenaventura advised her to shut down the Ministry of Energy altogether, and close the nuclear facility permanently. “I have no doubt that he had Shell’s interest in mind when he recommended the ministry’s abolition,” writes Velasco, because the nationalist policies under Marcos “threatened to erode the oil companies’ position in the energy market.” He adds: “Incidentally, the Queen of England knighted Buenaventura thereafter. Did that have anything to do with the ministry’s fate?”

One year after his removal, Velasco was summoned by the Philippine Congress, where he warned that since nothing was being done to replace the power from the nuclear plant, Manila would run out of electricity within two years. Indeed, in 1989 the capital city began to experience outages of 10-12 hours per day, for the next four years. Worse, Fidel Ramos, when he maneuvered himself into the Presidency in 1992, used the blackouts to coerce the Congress to grant him emergency powers, without oversight, to negotiate contracts with foreign power companies. Unlike Marcos, who was condemned as a dictator for using martial law to launch projects under the auspices of state-owned entities in the national interest, Ramos won praise from Wall Street for using his dictatorial powers to sell the nation to Enron and other private interests. Ramos signed 40 independent power producer contracts, all on a “take or pay” basis, forcing the country to buy each plant’s total capacity, in dollar-denominated prices, whether or not the power was needed. When the Asian currencies were attacked in 1997-98 by international speculators, these contracts bankrupted the nation, virtually doubling the costs of energy in terms of the national currency, while all the electricity had to be purchased even though it was not needed.
A Renaissance Mission

Velasco, now 79 years old, understands the crime of globalization, and the urgency of returning to the American System of regulation and protection. Commenting on the privatization of Petron, the national oil company, by Ramos, and of the National Power Company by current President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Velasco writes: “Unlike in a private firm, where the CEO’s principal responsibility is to keep the shareholders happy, in a government corporation our job was ultimately to promote the national interest.”

It is not surprising to learn that Velasco was once a professional ’cellist. At 79, he has not lost the internal sense of the individual’s potential to affect history. The book itself is not just a defense of his career, and the nationalist vision of President Marcos, but a guide to future generations as well.

The Philippines has never recovered from the U.S. subversion of 1986. Velasco notes that the Philippines now consumes about 1.5 barrels of oil per year per capita, although “in my time we already estimated that each Filipino was consuming about two barrels a year, which seems to indicate that the quality of life of most Filipinos is even deteriorating.” The population also continues to suffer from the myth that “people’s power brought down a dictator,” that the theft of the nation’s sovereignty was a step forward rather than a partially self-inflicted wound.

Even Velasco has trouble seeing any solution, by focussing too much on the crisis with his nation’s borders, rather than looking to the systemic breakdown crisis centered in the United States, where developments in the Philippines are largely being determined, for better or for worse. He closes his book not by promoting the urgent necessity of a renaissance in nuclear energy, but rather sees little hope, due to a “host of constraints that were not present in my time,” naming the huge debt burden, and the pseudo-democracy of the current political system. True enough, but it is precisely by coming forth, 20 years after the fact, with the truth of the international roots of the coup of 1986, and the international subversion of the nation’s historic mission, that Velasco is joining his heart and voice to those around the world fighting to bring about the necessary global solution.