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Safety in nuclear power stations.

Atomic power plants in Eastern Europe --hardly one of them is upto the latest state-of-the-art with regard to safey - are to be retrofittled the West to make them safer. The subject of safety in atomic power stations of Soviet deign, their retrofitting and the costs involved are on the agenda of the Munich summit 6-8 July 1992.

In order to enhance the safety of Russian nuclear power plants, the Energy Production Department (KWU) at Siemens AG, Germany, has supplied ten complete structure-borne sound, vibration and acoustic leakage monitoring systems. They provide early indication of irregularities in operational behaviour, thus increasing the safety factor-and availability - of the power stations. Russian scientists are now being familiarized with these diagnostic systems.

Electricity production in Germany is based on several pillars: nuclear energy, lignite and coal - as well as water power and alternative energy (sun and wind). In the case of thermal power stations, the most cost-advantageous current is supplied by ignite and nuclear power stations.

In 1992, nuclear energy accounts for about 40 per cent of public electricity production in the Federal Republic of Germany. Thus the Germans are located in the European midfield at about the same level as Spain. In other EC countries, such as Belgium or France, the proportion of nuclear energy is greater than in Germany. Experts stress the advantage of nuclear energy over all other conventional forms of power production is the high energy content of nuclear fuel.

"The uranium needed by nuclear power stations for the next five years is already available in the Federal Republic of Germany," Siemens announced at the Hanover Fair '92. Electricity suppliers are thus assured.
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Publication:Economic Review
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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