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[en] World energy use is predicted to double in the next 40 years. Today, 80% is provided by burning fossil fuels, but this is not sustainable indefinitely because (i) it is driving climate change, and (ii) fossil fuels will eventually be exhausted (starting with oil). The resulting potential energy crisis requires increased investment in energy research and development (which is currently very small on the scale of the $3 trillion p.a. energy market, and falling). The wide portfolio of energy work that should be supported must include fusion, which is one of very few options that are capable in principle of supplying a large fraction of need in an environmentally responsible manner. The case for fusion has been strengthened by recent advances in plasma physics and fusion technology and by studies of fusion power plants that address safety and cost issues. The big questions are, 'How can we deliver fusion power as fast as possible?' and 'How long is it likely to take?' I will review progress in fusion, and argue for a focused fast-track program that could deliver a working prototype power station in less than 30 years.
[en] Advantages and problems connected with the solar energy utilization in Bulgaria are discussed. The possible applications mainly in households are described. Solar energy is considered to be an useful additional energy source both in ecological and economic aspects
[en] This paper presents a review of bio-diesel development and economic potentials. The basics of biodiesel and its production technology are described. Attention is given to development potential, challenges and prospests of bio-diesel in Nigeria with ground facts on bio-diesel production feasibility in Nigeria highlighted.
[en] A fusion power plant would rely on practically unlimited supplies of primary materials, and possess very favourable environmental and safety properties. Exploiting the nuclear fusion reaction for continuous power production requires, however, the solution of some of the most demanding physics and technology issues. At the same time the final proof of principle of a self-sustaining fusion reaction can only be delivered in a device with a thermal power rating in the 1 GW range, as the power production by fusion reactions increases much stronger with volume than the energy losses from a hot plasma. A range of well conceived tokamak devices have generated during the last couple of decades the experimental basis and the physics understanding for proceeding now to the construction of such a demonstration device: ITER. This device will also incorporate, partly in the form of test modules, nearly all the critical technologies required for the operation of a commercial power plant. A notable exception to this are materials, where the much lower neutron fluence of ITER allows to work with readily available, conventional steels, whereas power plants will have to use radiation resistant, low-activation materials now under development. The presentation summarizes briefly the development path that has led to the ITER design, and the physics criteria determining its layout. Seven technologies were identified by the international design team (constituted by engineers and scientists from Japan, the European Union, the Russian Federation, and the USA) as critical, and made subject to seven large R and D projects, successfully carried out with an investment of about 400 Million $. The roadmap for the development beyond ITER foresees as subsequent step a power plant (DEMO) that will already be largely identical to the first generation of commercial installations. The physics of this device will be completely verified by the beginning of its planning by the operating experience of ITER. Two, material related issues are, however, also on the critical path: development of heat and plasma particle flux resistant materials for contact with the plasma, and neutron fluence tolerant materials for structural functions and the breeding blanket. The further development of the former will proceed on ITER itself, as their performance tests require a plasma environment. ITER will, however, not have sufficient fluence to carry out conclusive nuclear tests, which require the availability of a dedicated test facility with a suitable neutron energy spectrum ( IFMIF). Based on these scenarios we should have the critical physics and technology information for a fusion power plant fully available in 2020
[en] The current state of financing and security issues which in the past have constrained the amount of foreign investment and project financing in the electric power market in the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) are reviewed. Past impediments to foreign investment and financing of power projects revolved around the rate of return on investment, the difficulties of obtaining project approvals, conflict of interest issues wherein the Chinese power bureau could act in its interest as a contracted party rather than for the joint venture as an equity investor, and currency convertibility. Recent developments such as the new security law, the new electricity law, and new project financing regulations represent major improvements, but foreign investment and financing is still much less than originally anticipated, the potential of the PRC power market for foreign investments notwithstanding. (For example, in 1997, 13,500 MW of new generation capacity was added to the Chinese grid system. This increased the total installed capacity to 250,000 MW, making China the second largest installed capacity in the world.) Recent trends in the market and the likely future of foreign investment in the PRC are also discussed, the conclusion being that although the size of the IPP and project finance market in China is probably smaller than originally hoped, a sufficient proportion of new generation capacity has been allocated to foreign investors to ensure a steady stream of investment opportunities
[en] In the year 2002 and 2003 the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology started the Priority Assistance for the Formation of Worldwide Renowned Centers of Research - The 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE) Program. A program proposed by Tokyo Institute of Technology Innovative Nuclear Energy Systems for Sustainable Development of the World was selected as only one program in nuclear engineering. In this program the system of nuclear energy park and small reactors will be intensively investigated. Here the small reactors are constructed in the nuclear energy park and transferred to the site and set there. The reactor vessel is sealed and can not be opened at the site. It is excellent from the nonproliferation point of view. It is also good from safety and easy maintenance, since refueling is not performed at the site. At the end of the reactor life it is replace by a new one. The old one will be shipped to the nuclear energy park. There is not radioactive wastes left at the site, the site is free from the waste problems. At the conference presented are the details of the considered nuclear energy park and a proposed design of the small reactor.(author)
[en] In the area of Energy Engineering, high education programs including nuclear activities are currently running in collaboration with the employment sector to provide skills oriented profiles; the available packages are thus characterized by a limited size and a low impact in enhancing power technology teaching and industrial partnerships. However, ongoing nuclear applications activities are undertaken through strong legal and institutional infrastructures as Morocco has joined a large number of international conventions and agreements trusted by the IAEA. The introduction of nuclear power is subject to a close attention today to investigate if it is an alternative solution to meet the increasing energy needs. For a country not much industrialized and characterized by a medium electricity grid, the decision on the recourse to nuclear power needs to carry up early a training, R and D federative program on behalf of the engineering sector and the international cooperation. As the challenges associated to develop a successful nuclear power program requires an important effort directed toward increasing capacity, new education and training programs in the field of Energy Sciences and Engineering are presently targeted in several high education institutions prior to the goals of the education and research national reform. The preparation of a new master and engineer diploma at ENIM 'Power Systems Engineering and Management' is in process: the curricula introduces innovative concepts bringing together academic teachers, researchers and stakeholders to establish new discipline-based teaching and learning tools: what is mainly focused is to increase competency profile in consultation with the industry sector and to attract high quality students to ensure availability of human resources at the right time in the field of power technology utilization including nuclear power. A coordinated approach joining national and international partnership to implement oriented R and D programs is in process; several kinds of scientific exchanges are engaged to provide a scientific network aiming to master a multidimensional learning: a capacity building strategy is targeted to study the means to face the NPP's relevant challenges and improve the labour sector standards in order to make nuclear power a viable option. (author)
[en] Financial information from EPCOR Utilities Inc. and a review of their 1998 operations was presented. EPCOR was incorporated in 1995 and established as parent of Edmonton Power, Aqualta and Eltec in 1996. The city of Edmonton is the sole shareholder. EPCOR showed strong financial results and operational achievements in 1998. Among the many achievements were the efforts to ensure that the electric power systems are ready for the year 2000. Reduction of CO2 emissions was another task pursued with good results. The electric power utility also invested in the re-powering of the Rossdale Generating Station and participated in the co-generation project at Joffre. The report provides details of these and other operational activities and presents consolidated financial statements. A new work management system to improve operational excellence and to better serve EPCOR customers during power disturbances was also launched during the year under review. tabs., figs
[en] The ranking of hydropower projects under the Norwegian Master Plan for Water Resources is used to derive implicit government preferences for a number of environmental attributes described by ordinal scores for each project. Higher negative scores are generally associated with greater implicit willingness to pay to avoid the environmental damage tied to the attribute, caused by hydropower development. The total (ordinary economic and implicit environmental) cost for each project are derived, and the environmental costs per capacity unit are found to be on the same order as the economic costs, lower for projects ranked for early exploitation, and higher for projects to be saved permanently. An implicit long-run marginal cost curve for Norwegian hydropower development is derived, which is generally upward sloping, but not uniformly so. This can be due to the model specification problems or ranking inconsistencies, both of which are likely to be present. 11 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab