The current state of world power production and consumption is assessed. Prognoses made for the years 1980 to 2000 show that nuclear energy should replace the major part of fossil fuels not only in the production of power but also in the production of heat. In this respect high-temperature reactors are highly prospective. The question is discussed of the technical and economic parameters of dual-purpose heat and power plants. It is, however, necessary to solve problems arising from the safe siting of nuclear heat and power plants and their environmental impacts. The economic benefits of combined power and heat production by such nuclear plants is evident.