Дата публикации: 20 ноября 2021
Автор(ы): Marina KHALIZEVA
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Рубрика: РАЗНОЕ
Источник: (c) Science in Russia, №4, 2014, C.36-40
Номер публикации: №1637423785

Marina KHALIZEVA, (c)

by Marina KHALIZEVA, observer of the Science in Russia magazine


The winners of the annual international prize Global Energy were announced at the ITAR-TASS press conference on March 27, 2014. They were represented by the Russian Academician and RAS adviser Ashot Sarkisov and member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences Lars Gunnar Larsson. This nomination signified their innovative contribution to the development of nuclear power engineering, improvement of its safety and handling radiation environment problems of the arctic zone.

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The British physicist and chairman of the International Award Committee Rodney John Allam highly appreciated the importance of the Global Energy Prize. He believes that for 12 years of its existence the award has become one of the most prestigious international scientific prizes and ranks rightfully alongside with the Nobel Prize, the Max Planck (Germany), Ricardo Wolf (Israel) and Eugenio Balzan (Italy) prizes. The expansion of its prestige is associated largely with unbiased selection of prize winners and also the fact that the mankind puts more and more emphasis on problems of energy efficiency, safety and search for environmentally sound methods of using conventional energy resources.


At different times prize winners of "the Russian Energy Nobel Award" represented such countries as Great Britain, Germany, Iceland, Canada, Russia, the USA, Ukraine, France, Sweden and Japan. A total of above 30 specialists engaged in power engineering industry got this prize since 2003. Last year the prize was shared by Acad. Vladimir Fortov (Russia), director of the Joint Institute of High Temperatures, who made a weighty contribution to studies of thermal physical properties of plasma and development of powerful pulse energy devices, and Akira Yoshino, Doctor of Engineering Sciences, general manager of the Yoshino Laboratory (Japan) who developed innovative lithium-ion batteries for information and communication devices, electrical and hybrid transport vehicles.


As Rodney Allam noted at the press conference, 2,710 candidates qualified for the award this year (by comparison, there were only 360 last year). In other words, the number of those who due to their achievements are eligible for selection increased substantially as well as the number of countries which proposed candidates. He said further: "In 2014 there were 60 countries, and it appears that it is not a limit. Among the subjects touched upon by the applicants there are problems of oil and gas production and processing, utilization of hydrogen as an energy source and many others. Each of the submitted research works deserves recognition." But only 7 nominees were included in a short list: Rakesh Agrawal (USA), Sergei Alexeenko (Russia), Eike Weber (Germany), Lars Larsson (Sweden), Jens Norskov (USA), Ashot Sarkisov (Russia), James Shpeck (USA). 25 competent experts from 10 countries selected by unanimous decision Sarkisov and Larsson for the award. As noted by the Chairman of the Award Supervisory Board Acad. Nikolai Laverov to the Rossiiskaya Gazeta, selection of these two candidates was highly symbolic. For the first time since foundation of the Global Energy award, the prize was conferred on the scientists whose main life-work involved problems of safe development of nuclear power engineering and radiation environment problems of the arctic zone.


Ashot Sarkisov is among outstanding scientists and military figures (he is a retired vice-admiral) engaged

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in the development of marine powerplants for the first atomic-power submarines and their reliable operation. As a developer of the theory of dynamic processes running in reactor plants under powerful external percussion actions, he carried out a number of researches which provided quality improvement of energy machines and upgrading of combat effectiveness of the ships of the Navy. In recent years Sarkisov's professional interests were concentrated in the field of nuclear and radiation safety of the Russian nuclear ships and submarines removed from service*. In 2007 within the limits of cooperation between the Russian Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences he in partnership with leading Russian and international experts completed working out of a strategic master-plan for utilization of worn out atomic-power submarines, nuclear-power surface ships and territory rehabilitation of the former coastal naval bases in the North-Western and Far-Eastern regions of the country. Sarkisov admitted in his interview: "As for myself, it is a strenuous, complex but unusually challenging and fruitful work on elimination of a grave legacy of the cold war. It continues even


See: A. Pimenov, "Submarines: Difficult Parting", Science in Russia, No. 3, 2009.--Ed.


today and will go on yet for many years. Besides it is not a passive participation in drawing up of the plan but scientific support and validation of its main items." The program is designed up until 2025 and provides for execution of 230 projects to the amount of ~2 bin Euro.


Lars Gunnar Larsson, another winner of the Global Energy Prize, is known to scientific community as a specialist in technogenic impacts of atomic-power stations on the environment. His awareness in this field proved to be of particular assistance in elimination of the accident at the Three Mile Island atomic-power station in Pennsylvania (USA) in 1979. Larsson worked in Russia in the beginning of the 2000s under an international project for an in-depth safety evaluation of reactors of the first and second stages of the Leningradskaya atomic-power station. As a result he and his colleagues suggested methods for extension of working capacity of the station power units. Larsson's works of the recent years are connected with a scale program of nuclear safety, risk reduction of radioactive contamination of the Kola Peninsula coast by the naval objects, which terminated their effective life but are still dangerous. By the way, many works of the Swedish physicist on this subject were prepared in a close cooperation with Acad. Sarkisov.

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The prize winners received the first congratulations by telephone from Acad. Nikolai Laverov, chairman of the Supervisory Board of the international prize. Here is Sarkisov's reply: "I have lived a long life in atomic-power engineering, devoted a major part of my work to this discipline, and I am very glad that my research was appreciated highly, therefore I am overflowed with emotions. I am especially pleased to share the award with such outstanding scientist as Lars Larsson, with whom I carried out a serious work on improvement of technologies of putting out atomic objects from operation."


Professor Larsson also expressed profound gratitude to the experts who took notice of his contribution to the problem of radiation rehabilitation of the Arctic seas and coastal bases. He said: "It is difficult to express my feelings just now. I can say definitely that my heart is overflowed with pride, happiness and gratitude. 1 consider it a special honor to be awarded in Russia, a country where I met so many wonderful and outstanding scientists and engineers."


In the course of communication with the prize winners the journalists raised the question which made the headlines and dealt with possible development models of Russian science. Sarkisov believes that despite the painful reforms science preserved the socially meaningful functions. He said: "Although it was not spoiled with the government attention, still it is at a well-deserved level thanks to its past potential. Unfortunately, the adopted reforms will hardly lead to a marked improvement in business. It is important to preserve the best ideas which were in the previous system of national science management. But all shortcomings of the several past decades should be eliminated."


One of the questions addressed to the Russian prize winner concerned the location of objects of the so-called small-scale power engineering, in particular, offshore nuclear power plants, in the Arctic regions and their effect on the environmental safety. According to Sarkisov, low-power atomic stations are the most promising power plants in this part of the planet. Along with other kinds of generation they are to become a basis for handling energy problems in the Arctic regions and creation of a regional power engineering system in the territory of Russia. He noted: "Their creation is one of the new and yet only planned trends of development of atomic technologies." Many countries are actively working in this field. But perhaps Russia appears to be the most advanced country here. In 2016 our country plans to bring to the market the first in the world offshore nuclear heat and power plant named Academician Lomonosov*, whose construction is in full swing now in St. Petersburg. The customer Rosenergoatom concern guarantees safety of such energy sources for the Arctic. In fact, low-power atomic power stations will be equipped with the same reactors as in case of combat ships and commercial vessels such as atomic icebreakers. Their reliable operation is proved by a long intensive service in severe ocean cruises and ice navigation.


See: M. Khalizeva, "Electricity and Heat: Delivery to the Consumer", Science in Russia, No. 4, 2013.--Ed.

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However, as noted by the journalists, the public at large is still watchful of atomic power engineering. How can the level of tension be decreased? The Swedish scientist has agreed that the citizens' concern in this case is well preserved indeed. He proceeded: "But despite the barriers between the population and atomic scientists, nuclear power engineering should develop. With adequate solutions and approaches to its utilization it is possible to provide the necessary level of safety, and there are enough lines for its improvement. Observance of compulsory operating procedures and consideration of emergency situations of the past will help avoiding mistakes in the future."


Vyacheslav Nikiforov, deputy director general of Sur-gutneftegaz company, announced to the press conference participants that the size of the money term of the award would make up, as in the previous year, 33 mln rubles. This sum will go fifty-fifty between two prize winners. The gold medals and diplomas of the Global Energy Prize will be given to the scientists by tradition at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Опубликовано на Порталусе 20 ноября 2021 года

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