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OCR for page 224

OCR for page 224
TAMAKI IPPONMATSU 1901-1985 BY WALKER L. CISLER TAMAKI IPPONMATSU, internationally recognized and highly respected for his long-standing pioneering work in the field of nuclear energy for power production, diec! on January 24, 1985, at the age of eighty-three. At the time of his death, he was adviser general of the Japan Atomic Power Company. His contributions to the very successful use of nuclear energy in Japan are acknowleciged internationally. Tamaki {pponmatsu was born on April 29, 1901, in Hiro- shima-ken, Japan. He received a B.S. in electrical engineer- ing in 1925 from the Kyoto Imperial University and a Ph.D. in engineering from the Osaka Imperial University in 1945. Dr. {pponmatsu was one of the key leaclers in the clevel- opment of the electric power industry after WorIc3 War Il. In 1947 he became managing director of the second largest util- ity company in Japan, the Kansai Electric Power Company. Ten years later, as a result of recognition of his work in the nuclear energy fielct, he was appointed vice-presiclent of the Japan Atomic Power Company. He was promoted to presi- dent in 1962, and in 1970 he became chairman, a position he held for seven years. Dr. {pponmatsu then became executive councillor and finally advisor general from 1981 until his death in ~ 985. Although his main interest in later years was nuclear en- ergy, his broact contributions to the electrical engineering 225

OCR for page 224
226 MEMORIAL TRIBUTES field resulted in many prestigious appointments: president of the Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan; executive secretary and adviser to the Japan Committee for Economic Development; director of the Muto Institute of Structural Mechanics; and director of the Japan Motive Power Associa- tion. His special contributions to engineering were recognized in Japan when he was awarded the Blue Ribbon Medal of Japan (1959) ant! the Second Class Order of the Rising Sun (19771. He was also honoree! by Great Britain in 1977 when he was named Commander of the Order of the British Em- pire. He was elected! a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 1978. Dr. Ipponmatsu was a pioneer in the field of nuclear en- gineering because he was one of the first to recognize the importance of evaluating all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle: uranium procurement, uranium enrichment, spent fuel re- processing, ant! a very important area the problems of satisfactory waste disposal. Through his early emphasis on these aspects of the cycle, Dr. {pponmatsu was instrumental in focusing international attention on nuclear energy as a vi- able remedy for the worId's energy problems. A number of his achievements in the nuclear energy fielct are clearly documented in his numerous publications, which include "Problems on Nuclear Power," in the Journal of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (vol. 75, no. 647, Novem- ber 1972 [Tokyo]) and "IAEA Conference on Environmental Aspects of Nuclear Power Stations" (New York: August 19701. Dr. Ipponmatsu also authored two books: Overall En- ergy Planning of Power and Fuel (Kyoto: Denki Shoin, May 1948) end A Story of TokaiNuclear Power Station (Tokyo: Tokyo Keizai Press, September ~ 97 ~ ). Despite his active technical and engineering life, Tamaki {pponmatsu also found time to devote to cultural and civic matters. He was particularly active in promoting the use of nuclear power in Japan, and his efforts lee! to the wide public acceptance of its use. As a result of those efforts, to a consicl-

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TAMAKI IPPONMATSU 227 erable extent, nuclear power is now economically producing a significant part of the energy requirements of Japan. In a country such as Japan, which is deficient in energy resources, the acceptance of nuclear power has meant much to its phenomenal economic growth. Japan and the world of nuclear power will greatly miss Tamaki Ipponmatsu.