There is no alternative to the development of nuclear energy as a way of meeting the needs of technological progress. Oil and gas — the natural fuel resources — are immense but not infinite, so one of the most urgent issues of the modern civilization is the search for alternative sources of energy such as the sun, wind, hydrogen, water, thermonuclear fusion and nuclear decay energy. However, it should be admitted that only the use of natural water flows is feasible, while hydropower engineering can only evolve in the regions of the planet possessing powerful river resources.

Similar limitations are inherent to the sun and wind energy sources.

In addition, according to the experience of their use, the performance factor seems to be extraordinary low given great material costs. The possibility of applying the hydrogen fuel is very tempting, but it requires considerable technological efforts. Even if successful, it is significantly restricted by the high explosive capacity of hydrogen. The use of thermonuclear energy seems most advantageous from any point of view, however, the management of the thermonuclear synthesis is yet at the stage of a long-term development.

Thus, nuclear energy is the only possible option today, but to be applied in practice radiation safety should be provided. As the experience of many countries (first of all, the USA, Japan and France) shows, this issue is resolved with the introduction of new types of nuclear power reactors which provide their guaranteed automatic switching off if the radiation background is increased beyond safety norms.

According to the responsible statements of Rosatom State Corporation CEO S.Kyryenko, such radiation-safe nuclear power reactors are used to equip all planned nuclear units of Russia. The Head of Rosatom, during his presentation at the plenary meeting of the 53rd session of the IAEA General Conference on September 14, 2009, said: "Russia still considers the development of nuclear energy (in close cooperation with IAEA) one of the priorities comprising the list of five areas of modernization and technological development of the country’s economy as part of a special commission under the guidance of the President of Russia."

There are some interesting facts about the prospects of nuclear energy in an analytical article in one of the New York Times October issues. The authors report that according to the forecast of the International Power Agency, in the nearest twenty years the growing energy consumption in the United States will demand (only due to the increase of power intensity of household appliances) constructing 230 new nuclear power plants.

Nevertheless, it is impossible to remove completely the human factor’s influence and the relevant complications, as the human contact with minimally low levels of radiation impact in certain professional fields is still inevitable. Therefore, it is extremely important to spread in society the knowledge (relevant to the modern academic achievements) of possible consequences of different forms and levels of the radiation influence. This is especially important in Russia and in all post-Soviet area in general given the widely spread primitive ideas of an allegedly existing extreme danger of low levels of radiation to human health and heredity, which have no correspondence to assessments by major international authorities (e.g. WHO, ICRP and UNSCEAR).

Starting from the current issue, in accordance with the decision of V. Uyba, Editor in Chief, there will be an additional heading «Of Assistance to the Practical Doctor». Materials will be contributed by competent experts in the fields of radiobiology, radiation medicine, radiation safety, oncocardiology and radiation diagnostics. This way it will be possible to inform both practicing radiologists and general medical public, both clearly and strictly on the scientific basis, of the likelihood, form and amount of possible consequences of various types of human contact with the ionizing radiation. Descriptions of certain cases of the radiation impact consequences and most interesting clinical observations will be also published under this heading.


V. Uyba

Editor in Chief