A conversation with Wolfango Platino.
Nowadays, nuclear energy is a popular topic and everyone wants to give opinions about its dangers and properties that can offer to society; However, experts are the best models to take into consideration for a deeper analyses of the matter.
GG students have had the possibility to know a fantastic guest that has made a brilliant presentation about the history and scientific explanations behind nuclear energy.His work mostly consists in: Measurement-Calculus-Simulation-Forecast. He is a Professor of Applied Physics at the Department of Mathematics and Physics at Roma Tre University and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Research Executive Agency. In 1991, he has graduated from La Sapienza University. He has been also an Associate Editor of the Journal of Frontiers in Physics (Interdisciplinary Physics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne-Switzerland).
The content of the conversation was linked to nuclear weapons, hazards and natural radioactivity with the comprehension of nuclear tests so useful for the future of science; “Atoms for peace”can be achievable.
From the very beginning the history of nuclear weapons has been a good start to understand better the use of this energy characterized by lots of facets.
The history of studies and practice on nuclear energy formally started in 1939, August 2ndwhen A. Einstein sent his famous letter to US President F.D. Roosvelt; as a consequence, in 1942 the secret Manhattan project started.
The Manhattan project was the code name for an American project to develop a functional atomic weapon during the Second World War. In 1942, the Army Corps of Engineers joined the OSRD (the Office of Scientific Research and Development) and the project officially became a military initiative. Thanks to the combination of two scientific studies, weaponizing nuclear energy turned into reality: Fermi and Szilard were engaged in the research on nuclear chain reactions and at the same time Glenn Seaborg and other scientists were producing microscopic samples of pure plutonium.
The first nuclear device was an implosion-type bomb at the Trinity Test conducted at the New Mexico’s Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range in 1945. After the war, the Manhattan Project conducted weapons testing at Bikini Atoll as part of Operation Crossroads.
In 1961, more than 304 tests were made on the planet. Respectively, 196 from United States, 21 from United Kingdom, 83 from China and 4 for France; one year after, tests became more than 551.
Nowadays, the emissions and contaminations of nuclear energy to the environment are the main themes for discussion among environmentalists and scientists. At the level of the troposphere it is visible the nuclear cloud and the nuclear test can modify this part and then also stratosphere is affected. Radioactivity can be spread all around the world; the environmental impact of nuclear power results from the nuclear fuel cycle. The 1986 Chernobyl disaster ended the rapid growth of global nuclear power capacity; the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is still in effect.
In the second part of the conversation, Mr. Wolfango Platino stressed one important aspect of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT): a verification regime designed to detect any nuclear explosion conducted on Earth-underground, underwater or in the atmosphere.
This system consists of several elements:
.International Monitoring System;
.International Data Centre;
.Global Communications Infrastructure;
.Consultation and Clarification;
The future application of fast reactors for the production of sustainable nuclear energy is given by the SNETP (The European Sustainable Nuclear Energy Technology Platform) and ESNII (European Sustainable Nuclear Industrial Initiative). The fundamental and generic nature of the SESAME project will also provide results for the latest light water reactors; there are 23 partners from 8 EU countries which have a long-standing experience in the field of nuclear technology and nuclear thermal-hydraulics.
The linkage between the use of nuclear energy and diplomacy can strengthen or weaken international relations among countries. When these two fields walk together there can be some difficulties and the need to set priorities for intervention is fundamental. “Scientific diplomacy” has different perspectives but its work in a sense goes in the same direction of the right use of science.