Publication Atoms in Slovakia

Atoms in Slovakia

On September 1st, 2006 the Slovak Nuclear Society (SNUS) published the book Atoms in Slovakia (in Slovak Atómy na Slovensku). The aim of the book is to preserve the memory of the period when the creation and development of nuclear physics, technology, nuclear medicine, radioecology and energetics in Slovakia occurred - as witnessed by people who experienced this period. and to adapt it to future generations.

The Editorial board of the SNUS collected the views of 60 contributors and distinguished

Slovakian experts in nuclear science, education and technology. Calling upon a wide spectrum of experts ensured an objective historical description of the period. A huge amount of subjective views on recent decades were collected and supported by a wealth of photographic documentation. This created a synthesised reflection on the history of the „atoms“in Slovakia.

This publication is dedicated to the memory of J. Suchomel, a former SNUS president and tireless promoter of Slovakian nuclear physics, technology and energy research who had taken the initiative to publish the book, but sadly did not live long enough to see it published.

The book is written in Slovakian has and has a format of 24,5x17 cm, 273 pages, 15 tables, and 192 black and white and 119 colour pictures from around the world and from places involved in the compilation of the study and with the study of atomic science in Slovakia.

The main chapters are as follows: Atoms in the world, Atoms in Slovakia, Atoms in the educational system, Atoms in health services (Radiology, Nuclear medicine, Radiation protection, the Cyclotron centre of the Slovak Republic), Radioecology, Other applications of irradiation, Nuclear energetics (Electric energy in the second half of the 20th century, NPP Bohunice, NPP Mochovce, the back-end of Nuclear energetics, Big names in Nuclear energetics in Slovakia), Chronology and an Appendix entitled “Slovak companies in nuclear energetics.”

The majority of Slovakian experts in the field was educated at the Faculty of Nuclear Physics and Technology in Prague, or at the Moscow Energy Institute. Challenging tasks they were assigned during the building and commissioning of the first Czecho-Slovak Nuclear Power Plant A-1, at Bohunice (heavy water, gas cooled reactor), and the IAEA grants they received for studying at nuclear establishments in Western Europe enabled young talented nuclear specialists to develop expertise, and many of them later achieved international recognition (by, e.g. the IAEA, WANO, etc.). This generation of nuclear experts, who experienced first-hand the turbulent years of the development of nuclear technologies and sciences in the 60s and 70s century, has now reached retirement age and their valuable knowledge and expertise is disappearing with them. We hope that this book Atoms in Slovakia will preserve at least some of their know-how for younger readers to put to good use.

Dr. M. T. Morovics, from the Slovak Society for the History of the Science and Technology said: Atoms in Slovakia is a historical work that is not written by historians. This has a natural impact on its character and thematic intent and illustrates its pro-and-cons. It records the views many experts on their professional activity developed. They are mainly direct or reported stories involving original members of that pioneering generation who helped to create a strong and broad base for the development of nuclear physics and its technical applications (in education as well as in nuclear energetics, medicine, environmental sciences, etc.

Slovak and Czech readers will maybe recognise themselves in this, or friends from Slovakia, theCzech Republic, or the former Soviet Union. They will find in it plenty of interesting facts about the genesis and evolution of their workstation, and about the story of the study of the atom in Slovakia and across the world. The book has helped keep the rich traditions of Austro-Hungarian and Czech science and technologies alive.

Prof. Vladimir Slugen
President of Slovak Nuclear Society

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