At the Generation IV International Forum (GIF) of 2001 the measures were approved which are necessary for the development of future generation nuclear reactors (NRs). Six best high-temperature NR technologies were selected, with the main criteria being the safe and economically profitable operation, long-term use, protection against the employment of nuclear material for military purposes and terroristic attacks as well as technologies of fuel close cycle in order to increase the amount of fission material and decrease the amount of highly radioactive waste. In four of the technologies, apart from electricity production also hydrogen is obtained. Part 1 presents a generalized description of the high-temperature NRs, their comparative characteristics and history, with the stopped and operational HTNRs outlined. The properties of different type nuclear fuels are described in detail
Part 2 of the overview gives emphasis to the projects of high-temperature NRs, whose development is an area of active engagement for the specialists from the USA, France, Japan, Russia, China, the Netherlands, and Germany. Projects of several powerful NRs of the HTGR type for commercial use had been worked out in the USA and Germany already by 1970 but not yet implemented.
Innovation Risk Management in the Rational Energy Use (Part 2)
The paper (written in two parts) is a continuation in the series of works devoted to the acute problems of risk management in various areas associated with energy and environment conservation. While in Part 1 the authors developed general conceptions of risk management as related to the rational energy use, Part 2 presents a closer examination of specific problems arising in this sphere when innovations are involved.
The relevant methodical approaches have mostly been elaborated at the International Center for Energy and Environmental Policy (ICEEP).
Energy Use and Related Risk Management Problems in CEE Countries
Nowadays, the efficiency of energy use in the Central and East-European (CEE) countries is insufficient, being much lower than in the "Old Europe". The problem becomes increasingly pressing due to non-stop increasing prices of energy carriers (especially of crude oil). The authors trace the development of research activities in this sphere, classifying the revealed changes in parameters of energy consumption processes in particular time intervals into deterministic, probabilistic, and fuzzy. The paper presents a thorough analysis of decision-making in the energy management at its different levels - normative, strategic, and operative. Particular attention is given to the management under uncertainty conditions - i.e. to the risk management. The most wanted research directions in this area proposed by the energy and environment policy (EEP) Center specially created for CEE countries concern management under risk connected with innovations, international activities, loss of reputation, etc. The authors consider in detail the risk management with insufficient knowledge (non-knowledge) and under chaos. Much consideration is given to the scenario management and the game theory principles as related to the sphere of energy use.
Thermal Characteristics of New Building Materials and their Effect upon the Energy Efficiency
The paper formulates the role of thermal inertia of the building materials in the energy supply of buildings and in solution of the energy efficiency problems. The evolution of construction entails the application of new building materials as well as of glazed surfaces in the envelopes of buildings. An analysis is made of the influence of the thermal resistance of building materials and their heat capacity on the thermal inertia indicators of buildings. An inertia scale of buildings has been developed for the choice of the heat supply capacities of buildings at low outdoor temperatures under extreme conditions of the Latvian climate. The ratio of the ventilation capacities has been analysed in the total heating balance at a low thermal inertia of buildings. The significance of innovative ventilation technologies for raising the energy efficiency has been considered.
Estimation of the Energy Security Level and Definition of the Criteria for Damage Forecasts
In the work, the energy security indicators in a region (a state) are considered, and two general directions are proposed for search among the criteria for estimation and forecast of the damage inflicted by power supply limitations: based on the differentiated calculations for each economic subject, and on the generalised indices of regional economy. Of especial interest is analysis of a recently introduced damage intensity factor and its dependence on the level of limitations and the type of energy carriers.
A number of international, European Union and Latvian legislative acts have been developed, which regulate the efficiency of gas combustion plants and greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. These legislative acts require the development of new scientifically efficient methods for gas optimal combustion with a minor impact on the environment. In order to achieve such a goal, different methods can be used, but the most efficient is an intensive electrostatic field application to control combustion and harmful emission formation in premixed flames. In the framework of the current study, the authors developed a hybrid burner, which allowed generating an intensive electrostatic field with intensity of more than 1000 kV/m. The study also investigated the impact of such a field on the formation of harmful emissions, including CO2 and flue gas temperature. The empirical results showed that an intensive DC electrostatic field generated inside of the burner had an impact on the flame shape, CO2, NOx emissions and flue gas temperature. In its turn, by applying an intensive pulsating electrostatic field (multivariable experiment) it was possible to achieve the reduction in NOx, CO emissions with a simultaneous increase in flue gas temperature, which was related to combustion process efficiency enhancement.
Although the natural gas and renewable energy sources are two significant elements of the Baltic primary energy mix both today and in foreseeable future, the competitive edge of their usage often prevails over possibilities of mutually beneficial coexistence. Universally both forms of energy are often described as key elements of a transition to a cleaner and more secure energy future (low-carbon economy), but regionally much of the current discourse considers each in isolation or concentrates on the competitive impacts of one on the other. The paper outlines several potential avenues and further research trends of synergies between the natural gas, a proven fast-reacting fossil fuel, and RES as seen from viewpoints of the Baltic energy sector sustainability and security of energy supply.
MANAGEMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT CONSERVATION: CURRENT METHODICAL PROBLEMS
The paper presents a continuation in the series of works devoted to the acute problems of energy use management in different periods of economic transition in the CEE countries. Research carried out by the team of scientists has resulted in creation of modern management methods. In particular, unitary indices were worked out which connect the consumption of energy carriers and environment pollutions in a definite time period and the values of production (services) realised in this period.
The cooperation of researchers from different countries has given rise to the ICEEP (International Center of Energy and Environment Policy), where under research are issues of the risk management in the conditions of informational uncertainty, non-knowledge, as well as dynamic and stochastic behaviour of systems (processes). The main emphasis in the methodical approaches is given to the complex (strategic) thinking, which would be necessary for establishment of global regulations in the scope of energy and environment conservation.
In the present research, the main critical points of gas transmission and storage system of Latvia have been determined to ensure secure and reliable gas supply among the Baltic States to fulfil the core objectives of the EU energy policies.
Technical data of critical points of the gas transmission and storage system of Latvia have been collected and analysed with the SWOT method and solutions have been provided to increase the reliability of the regional natural gas system.