Nuclear Energy Security Issues in the Post-September 11 World: Physical Security, Safety, Reliability of Supply: Remarks of Chairman Richard A. Meserve, United States Regulatory Commission, before th Sociedad Nuclear Espanola (Spanish Nuclear Society), Valencia, Spain, 26 October 2001   [open pdf - 28KB]

Just last year, King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia visited Washington. The date was February 23 -- the anniversary of the day, now 20 years ago, when the King courageously and selflessly rescued Spanish democracy. As I am sure you know, he won the enduring gratitude and admiration not only of his own countrymen and women, but of people all over the world who cherish liberty. On the eve of the King's arrival in Washington, ETA terrorists ruthlessly murdered a member of the Basque regional parliament in the presence of his own son. They also murdered one of his escorts. Speaking in Washington the next day, the King denounced the crime, and he uttered a profound warning. He said "terrorism is a scourge that affects each and every one of us and, to fight against it, democratic societies must join efforts and necessarily strengthen the indispensable international cooperation." At the time, most people in my country probably did not fully appreciate just how urgent that message was. We surely do today. The King also commented that the terrorists, in murdering an elected parliament member, were really attacking the democratic process that chose him. Again, his remarks were prophetic. The September 11 terrorists, in ruthlessly attacking ordinary men and women, were really waging war on freedom itself, on the whole idea of a democratic, egalitarian, open society.

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