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There are several risk-sensitive industries-like air traffic, nuclear power generation, dangerous chemical processes, etc. The technical solutions used are usually well approved and widely known; the occasional problems usually originate from the not-careful-enough design, the insufficient risk assessment, the unsatisfactory training and mismanagement. With proper operation and waste management the nuclear fission power is one of the clearest and cheapest energy sources: no gases are emitted during the energy generation and other related preparatory etc. processes. The upcoming nuclear-fusion-based power plants are even more promising; all contamination in these plants will be decayed practically to nil in less than 100 years. Renewable energy sources can play an important, but only a supplementary role, at least for the foreseeable future. Due to historical reasons, the public approval of the fission-based nuclear power is rather low in many countries. On the other hand, we still have to wait for the appearance of significant fusion power at least several decades; and closing this gap the construction of a new generation of NPPs (nuclear power plants) seems to be unavoidable. Construction on the large scale of carbon dioxide emitting conventional power plants operating on fossil fuel seems to be the worst solution, anyway. Even ignoring the CO2-related problems, the growing energy needs of the developing Asian countries cannot be satisfied alone with the oil or gas available on the markets. Therefore there are several NPPs already under construction and more contracts are to come. Meanwhile, all over in the USA and Europe the operation of old NPPs are going to be prolonged for another 20-30 years. Slowly, even in Europe the construction of new nuclear power plants are considered, too. The first such "Generation 3+" NPP is already under construction in Finland. In all cases, simulation studies and the use of simulators is essential. It is a well known fa- t and it is widely approved by many scientists and engineers that direct evaluation of different technical designs above a certain complexity level is unthinkable. Careful modelling, model integration, verification and validation is necessary to build the simulation tools and computer codes for the design and real-time simulators are even better for testing and validation of complex industrial processes. The average lifetime of a big nuclear or other power plant exceeds that of its instrumentation and control (I&C) systems several times. Computer based such systems are prone to even faster "moral" exhaustion.Without extensive simulation the replacement of such systems would cause long-lasting outages resulting in great financial losses. In the paper first I would like to give a survey on the present state of energy production and consumption in the world and after that I would like to summarize the results and practice we used at Paks NPP in Hungary: first in the evaluation of safety studies, then in the working-out of new state-of-art operational procedures, and finally, during reconstruction of the reactor safety system and other I&C Systems, the replacement of which-thanks to the extensive testing and tuning performed using the full-scope replica simulator-was completed during the regular re-fuelling outage of the NPP units.