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[en] On 2 December 1942 the first man-made nuclear reactor went critical. The nuclear age was born. In his recently completed 'political history of nuclear energy' M. Goldschmidt traces the whole story of the nuclear age from the discovery of fission to the present day. In the extract from his book printed below, M. Goldschmidt tells of his personal involvement in the US nuclear research programme and of his contact with the workers at the University of Chicago; he reminds us that Fermi's achievement, historic as it was, was not the first chain reaction to take place on earth
[en] 1 - Description of problem or function: ORSIM is an electric power generating system integration model which simulates the multi-year operation of a mixed power system consisting of fossil, nuclear, hydroelectric, and pumped-storage units. For any specified refueling schedule for nuclear units and future load forecast, the model determines a plan of operation for the system which attempts to minimize the total discounted operating cost over a specified study period. The analysis considers the effects of forced outages, spinning reserve operating constraints, and scheduled introduction and retirement of generating stations. The model determines a maintenance schedule for the non-nuclear stations (nuclear stations are maintained during refueling outages) and the optimum allocation of energy-fixed nuclear and hydroelectric resources. It calculates the expected energy generated by each station in the system, by period over the planning horizon, based on input or calculated incremental operating cost. It also calculates the expected loss-of- load probability and un-served energy demand for each period in the planning horizon. An optimum operating plan, designed to minimize the discounted total production cost, is then calculated, as are the costs of operating each station in the system and the discounted total production cost for the derived plan of operation. 2 - Method of solution: ORSIM searches for a particular mode of operation which, over a multi-year planning horizon, will minimize the total system operating cost of a particular electric power generation system discounted to the beginning of the planning horizon. It does this by: (a) calculating the planned maintenance outages for all units; (b) estimating the incremental discounted cost of energy produced by each station in the system for every subinterval of the planning horizon; (c) utilizing the incremental discounted costs of energy generation to calculate, via probabilistic simulation, the economic optimum energies generated by each station in the system in each subinterval of the planning horizon; (d) utilizing these expected energies in a feedback loop to calculate the total discounted operation cost and to produce a new set of incremental discounted costs, thereby setting the stage for the next iteration. 3 - Restrictions on the complexity of the problem: Maxima of: 90 nuclear stations, 90 must-run stations (i.e., stations which must operate at a specified capacity level when available), 90 two-piece stations (i.e., stations considered to be divided into two capacity blocks in the loading order calculation), 90 stations per system, 90 maintenance seasons
[en] Dr Eklund presented the Agency's annual report to the General Assembly of the United Nations at its thirty-fifth session on 6 November 1980. The Director General started with a brief examination of the prospects and outlook for nuclear power. OECD countries, Japan and the USA have significant nuclear power programmes. The Eastern European Socialist countries have recently embarked on major nuclear power programmes. The developing countries present a different picture, but work on economically feasible smaller plants progresses and electrical grids are expanding. It is forecast that not more than ten developing countries will be operating nuclear power plants by 1990, and at the most twenty by the turn of the century. However, the trend in orders for new nuclear plants is still declining, although at recent major conferences there was general agreement on the need to use nuclear energy, the environmental consequences of burning large quantities of coal and oil were stressed. The present stagnation in the nuclear industry has led to a decline in the availability of professional manpower
[en] The HTR was brought to technical maturity during the last 15 years: AVR-reactor plant is operating since 1968; coolant outlet-temperatures of 950 °C have been succesfully demonstrated for many years by AVR. Apart from little R+D-effort, HTRs for electrical power and process steam generation can be built. But the long term strategic importance of HTR will be the real high temperature area, the task to reduce Germany's dependency on imported primary energy, especially crude oil and natural gas by refining our own reserves of primary energy. Our resources of ''dirty'' primary energy, hard coal and lignite, have to be converted into clean secondary energy carriers, as synthetic natural gas (SNG), methanol and hydrogen. This conversion has to be done with minimum environmental pollution. Conventional autothermal technologies of coal conversion are polluting the atmosphere to a remarkable extent.
[en] The development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes has had a series of big international scientific and technical conferences as major milestones. The first was, of course, the United Nations Geneva Conference in 1955, which released a wealth of information which had hitherto been classified. This conference gave rise to a worldwide enthusiasm for the potential and possibilities of nuclear power. The three following Geneva Conferences in 1958, 1964, and 1971 showed a successive slow change in character reflecting the change in the nature of the information exchange which was taking place, the new role of smaller and more specialized meetings, and fast and extensive literature dissemination systems. Steadily, these conferences turned from the original role of international information exchange among scientists and technicians to one of summarizing a wealth of available information in order to present it to those who were to take planning and programming decisions in each nation, reflecting also the hopes and the great investments required in nuclear power. The IAEA, established in 1957, provided the UN with a scientific secretariat for the last two Geneva Conferences, and itself organized the Conference on Nuclear Power and its Fuel Cycle in Salzburg in 1977 at a time when the closing of the nuclear fuel cycle was a focal point of interest
[en] This project was initiated in response to expressed requirements by a number of utilities for a method to guide the scoping of a cost-effective preventive maintenance program for power plants. A guide was prepared and workshops were held to present the model reflected in the guide for developing a PM program. The model includes the identification of critical equipment items to be considered, the establishment of potential scope and frequency with which PM activities should be performed on this equipment, and the presentation of methods to perform cost/benefit and program optimization analyses consistent with the utility's level of resource commitment to PM. The guide also indicates the manpower requirements for developing a PM program using the model by skill level and number. (author)
[en] The author discusses the reasons for science transfer to developing countries. He mentions the impact of science on industrial and technological development in such countries. Furthermore he describes the activities of the IAEA and UNESCO in this field. (HSI).