Peaceful Atom in the CMEA Countries
In 1985, a black and white filmstrip called “Peaceful Atom in the CMEA Countries”, was released by the Diafilm Studio (USSR). It tells about the achievements in the area of atomic energy in the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance member-countries since the 1950s, and the grand plans for the future of the industry, including joint research programs, construction of new nuclear power plants, and the use of nuclear technology in medicine and agriculture. It concludes that cooperation of the CMEA member-countries in the peaceful use of atomic energy contributes to the progress of the economy and science in every respect, and promotes a better standard of living for workers.
Peaceful Atom in the CMEA countries
The CMEA member countries pay great attention to solving the fuel and energy problem, including the development of nuclear power
The main documents of joint activities in this area are defined in the most important documents of the CMEA: the Complex Program of 1971 and the Long-Term Targeted Program of Cooperation in the field of energy, fuel and raw materials (1978)
For 25 years, since 1960, the CMEA Standing Commission for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy has been in operation
The Intergovernmental Commission of the CMEA Member Countries and SFRY successfully solves the issues of improving the quality of equipment for NPPs
In 1973, the People’s Republic of Bolgaria, Hungarian People’s Republic, GDR, Polish People’s Republic, Socialist Republic of Romania, USSR, Czechoslovakia, and Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia established the international economic association Interatomenergo, whose purpose is, in particular, to organize work on the specialization of production of equipment for nuclear power plants
The international economic association Interatominstrument, founded in 1972, promotes the most comprehensive fulfillment of the needs of member countries for modern nuclear instruments and devices
During the first stage of cooperation in the 1950s and 60s, with technical assistance from the USSR, European CMEA member states created national nuclear research centers and trained personnel for the future nuclear power industry
An outstanding event was the establishment in March 1956 of the largest scientific center of the socialist countries, the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna
Today, scientists from Bulgaria, Hungary, Vietnam, the GDR, the People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Mongolia, Poland, Romania, the USSR, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic work here – about 7,000 specialists in all
The Joint Institute conducts theoretical and experimental work in the field of nuclear physics, promotes its development in member countries, and seeks new opportunities for peaceful applications of nuclear energy
Another international research group engaged in developments in the physics of water-water power reactors was created in 1972 in Budapest
The whole world is aware of the scientific achievements of the Nuclear Research Center in Rossendorf (GDR). The establishment of the Center was the result of implementation of the first intergovernmental agreement between the GDR and the USSR signed in 1955 on cooperation in the use of atomic energy in the national economy
The Kurchatov Institute of Atomic Energy made an enormous contribution to the formation of nuclear science and technology of the entire socialist commonwealth. Its international connections are remarkably broad
Global energy of the atom finds practical use primarily in the electric power industry of the CMEA countries. The installed capacity of nuclear power plants in Bulgaria, Hungary, GDR, Czechoslovakia and USSR has already exceeded 30 thousand megawatts.
In the next ten years, more than 30 more nuclear reactors will become operational in the European CMEA member states and in the Republic of Cuba
The general planner of all NPPs in the CMEA member countries, as well as the chief designer of VVER-type reactors and all primary equipment of primary circuits of the plants is the USSR
The Soviet Union’s energy program provides for a consistent course toward the creation of large-scale nuclear power. The main increase in electric power capacity in the European part of the country will come from the construction of nuclear power plants.
Nuclear energy is one of the most promising energy sources in Bulgaria. With the assistance of the USSR, the Kozloduy NPP, the most powerful power plant in the Balkans, was built here. After the commissioning of the fifth and sixth units with VVER-1000 reactors, its total capacity will be 3,760 megawatts.
In the next decade, the main share of Hungary’s electricity will come from the development of the Paks NPP, which is the country’s largest construction project.
The Rheinsberg and Bruno Leuschner nuclear power plants operate in the GDR, and the Stendel nuclear power plant is under construction. By 1990, Bruno Leuschner would become one of the most powerful nuclear power plants in Europe (3,520 megawatts) and would make a decisive contribution to a stable supply of electricity to the GDR.
Nuclear power will become an important factor in Cuba’s social and economic development. The first nuclear power plant is already being built in the republic with the assistance of fraternal countries, which will save hundreds of thousands of tons of fuel brought to the USSR every year. Cuban specialists undergo training at Novovoronezh NPP.
All nuclear power plants in Poland are projected to reach 10,000 megawatts by the year 2000
Romanian nuclear power plants will have an installed capacity of 4,500 megawatts by 1990, generating more than 20 per cent of the country’s electricity
In the energy system of Czechoslovakia, the share of nuclear power plants will be around 20 per cent by 1990, and 57-61 per cent by 2000
One form of cooperation among the CMEA member states in the field of nuclear energy is the construction of large NPPs in a joint effort. Thus, with the participation of Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia, the Khmelnytskyi NPP with a capacity of 4 million kilowatts is being built in the USSR.
For CMEA member countries, the Soviet Union produces uranium, provides isotopic enrichment, supplies nuclear fuel and takes back used fuel from nuclear power plants for regeneration
The safety and operational reliability of nuclear power plants is an important issue in the nuclear power industry. More than 50 enterprises and organizations from eight CMEA member countries are involved in joint research in this field.
As a result of the measures taken, the performance of NPPs in the CMEA countries is one of the best in the world: – Personnel exposure is 10 times lower than permissible norms – no emergencies posing a radiation hazard to the public have occurred – there is practically no impact of NPPs on the environment
The next stage in the development of nuclear power is the widespread use of fast neutron reactors, which allow a more efficient use of nuclear fuel. Uranium-238 here is converted into plutonium, which burns out almost fully. Such reactors not only produce energy but also ensure reproduction of nuclear fuel.
The first industrial NPP with a fast-neutron reactor with a capacity of 350,000 kilowatts was built in Shevchenko (Aqtau, Kazakhstan). The second, with a capacity of 600,000 kilowatts, is the Beloyarsk NPP.
Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, the GDR, Romania and the USSR are pursuing a programme of scientific and technical cooperation on controlled thermonuclear fusion, focusing on the development of the TOKAMAK thermonuclear system – as the most promising. Mastering thermonuclear fusion would open the door to a nearly unlimited source of energy.
A new direction in nuclear power is heat applications. At the Beloyarsk Nuclear Power Plant, for the first time in the world, heating units were introduced that made it possible to use unregulated steam extraction.
Currently, heat is being taken from Beloyarsk, Chernobyl, Kursk, Novovoronezh, Kola and a number of other nuclear power plants. The experience has confirmed the possibility of a reliable, economical and safe heat supply from nuclear power plants.
Сombined heat and power stations are already being built in the USSR.
Construction of district heating nuclear plants has started. The Gorki plant, with two 500 megawatt units, will produce around 5 million gigacalories annually and provide 80 percent of the heat consumption of the established heating system. 270 inefficient boilers will be closed.
Nuclear combined heat and power plants and nuclear heating plants will be established in other CMEA member countries. All existing NPPs and those under construction provide for heat extraction to supply heat to nearby cities.
The use of nuclear power in transport opened a new page in the history of the Soviet icebreaker fleet. The emergence of nuclear icebreakers made it possible for caravans of transport vessels to make voyages to Dudinka practically all year round, and the reliability of their sailing along the entire Northern Sea Route was improved.
Construction has begun on a nuclear-powered lighter carrier that will be able to accommodate 82 lighters of 380 tonnes each, or 1,480 international standard containers.
The creation and application in the national economies of the CMEA member countries of modern nuclear technology contributes to increasing the efficiency of production, saving fuel and raw materials
For example, radioisotope static electricity neutralizers are widely used in the polygraph, textile and plastics industries.
Radioactive indicators (the “tagged atom” method) help to determine the degree of deterioration of refractory masonry in blast furnaces, parts and components of machines and mechanisms.
Nuclear physics methods are invaluable in metallurgy, mining and the chemical industry – for various measurements, determining the quality of welds, detecting blockages in pipelines, etc. The gamma flaw detector captures the quality of a weld in a few seconds with high accuracy.
Nuclear devices and apparatus are widely used in medicine.
The MV-9100 gamma camera is a basic unit in many modern healthcare facilities and is used to diagnose a variety of diseases.
Isotope and radiation technology can play an important role in the development of agriculture, the food programmes of the USSR and other CMEA countries, and the provision of high-quality products for the population.
Radiation genetics and selection made it possible to create new, high-yielding crop varieties – wheat “Novosibirskaya – 67” (USSR), rice “Nukleorn-2a” (Hungary), barley ” Jutka” (GDR), pea “Usaty” (Poland) and so on.
Radiation treatment of food and agricultural products makes it possible to prolong their shelf life and protect them from insect pests and microbiological spoilage. The taste and nutritional qualities do not change.
The cooperation of the CMEA member states in the peaceful use of atomic energy contributes to the progress of the economy and science in every respect, and to raising the standard of living of workers.
The end. Author L. Perepletchikov Consultant A. Panasenkov Illustrator I. Bulatova Editor O. Pereturina Studio “Diafilm”, Goskino USSR, 1985.