Engineering & Technology

Tůma, Jan & Frant Ouřada | Atomová Energie.

  •  Third edition, revised. A very nice example of this rare Soviet-era Czechoslovakian book on nuclear power. Published in 1957, it may have been produced in anticipation of the country’s first nuclear power plant, a Soviet-funded KS 150 heavy water reactor at Jaslovské Bohunice in western Slovakia, which would run on unenriched uranium mined locally. Agreed in 1956, construction unexpectedly took 16 years and the plant was activated in 1972 but decommissioned in 1979 after an accident.

    The guide begins with chapters on the atom, the discovery of atomic energy, and the history of nuclear reactors, followed by sections titled “From Heavy Water to the Reactor of Tomorrow” and “Atomic Reactors Serve Peace”. The chapters that follow describe different types of reactor (graphite, “uranium and heavy water”, “common water”, and “fast” reactors) and safety precautions. The text is heavily illustrated with evocative diagrams and photos that are loosely inserted and numbered to correspond to the printed descriptions. They include images of reactor employees at work as well as buildings, technology (including one shot of the interior of a reactor core), and equipment such as radiation-proof suits and Geiger counters. Many of the diagrams show cut-away views of reactors, as well as energy and work flows. One of the most interesting illustrations is an elaborate montage depicting what the Brussels Atomium (then under construction) might look like when it was completed. Also included is “The first photograph of atoms”, an image of rhenium atoms taken by Dr. Erwin Müller of Pennsylvania State, who was the first scientist to directly observe individual atoms, using the field ion microscope he invented. Much of the text is in two languages, Czech and a very similar one that is probably Slovak. The content is simple and straightforward, and the introduction advertises the book as suitable for schools and libraries. WorldCat locates no institutional copies of any edition of this book, though it lists other texts on nuclear energy by Jan Tůma, including a different one for schools. A fantastic and uncommon relic of the atomic age.

  • ...áklady technikého využiti. Třeti Přepracované Vydání. Obrazová Galerie Názorných Pomůcek ve Fotografii. Sbírka: Lidová Univ-rsita v Obrazech. Soubor č 39. Prague: Výtvar - Obrazová Služba Názorných Pomůcek, [1957].

    Perfect bound. 83 leaves of mimeographed typescript. Stiff card wrappers printed in black, blue cotton string ties. Complete with 25 photographs and 22 diagrams (of which 3 are folding), all loosely inserted adjacent to their accompanying text. Some spots and marks to the wrappers, mimeographed leaves faintly toned but the other contents in fresh condition. An excellent copy.