Top minds to guide SA’s growth

first_imgSouth African Deputy President KgalemaMotlanthe, President Jacobd Zuma andTrevor Manuel, the chair of the newNational Planning Commission, at theappointment ceremony of commissionmembers in Pretoria on 30 April.(Image: The Presidency)MEDIA CONTACTS• Vincent MagwenyaPresidential spokesperson+27 72 715 0024RELATED ARTICLES• Zuma restructures SA cabinet• Full text of cabinet appointment• Team SA punts country at Davos• Government in South AfricaBongani NkosiSouth Africa’s new National Planning Commission, tasked with guiding government decisions on the country’s future growth, boasts leading experts from a range of diverse sectors, putting it in a better position “to change the way government works”, President Jacob Zuma said when announcing the panel.The commission is tasked with producing a long-term development plan and development vision strategy for the country, which would shape government’s policies.Zuma announced the appointment of the 25 commission members, who will work with Minister in the Presidency for National Planning Trevor Manuel, at a ceremony in Pretoria on 30 April. “Members of the commission represent various areas of expertise and reflect a diversity of experiences and perspectives,” he said. “These individuals bring a broad range of expertise to the work of the commission.”Manuel chairs the commission, with top businessman and politician Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy. The panel includes experts from sectors such as finance, telecommunications, biotechnology, rural development, governance, energy, education, health, food security and climate change.Other key members of the commission, appointed from a list of 1 280 candidates, include former government policy maker Joel Netshitendze, former chairperson of Eskom Bobby Godsell, vice-chancellor and principal of the University of KwaZulu-Natal Professor Malegapuru Makgoba and Jerry Vilakazi, CEO of Business Unity South Africa.The commission will work with a full-time secretariat, based in the Presidency, to lead research “on a range of issues that impact on our long term development”, Zuma said. It will produce “well-researched, evidence-based” reports on sectors such as water security, climate change, food security, energy security, infrastructure planning, human resource development, defence and security, structuring the economy, spatial planning and demographic trends.“The Commission is asked to take an independent, cross-cutting, critical and long term view of these issues,” said Zuma.Their research will focus on all three spheres of the country’s government – national and provincial government, and local municipalities.The secretariat, yet to be set up, will work with key think-tank institutions such as the Human Sciences Research Council, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, universities and other research institutions.“This exercise will enable us to make government’s policies and plans more coherent and focused on achieving the type of society that we all envisage,” the president said.Zuma’s administration first announced the National Planning Commission in 2009 when it named its cabinet. Manuel, the former treasury minister, was appointed to head it and will report the commission’s proposals to cabinet.The administration seeks to “do things differently and would work consistently to change the way government works, in order to improve service delivery”, Zuma said.The first meeting of the commission is set for 10 and 11 May.The planning commission is critical in helping South Africa achieve its Vision 2025, the government has said. The programme will be “an articulation of the type of society all South Africans would want to see in about 15 year’s time”, according to the commissions green paper, crafted by Manuel.Vision 2025 addresses pressing issues such as the reduction of poverty, unemployment rate, HIV/Aids infection rate and growth rate, among others. The aim is to achieve higher improvement of living conditions in South Africa by 2015.The 25 members of the National Planning Commission are:Trevor Manuel (chair)Cyril Ramaphosa (deputy chair)Bobby GodsellElias MasilelaJerry VilakaziNoluthando GosaJennifer MolwantwaMike MullerMariam AltmanChris MalikaneVivienne TaylorMarcus BalintuloVuyokazi MahlatiMalekgapuru MakgobaJoel NetshitenzheAnton EberhardBridgette GasaThandabantu GobaPhillip HarrisonIhron RensburgJerry CoovadiaKarl von HoldtMohammed KaraanTasneem EssopPascal MoloiVincent Maphailast_img read more

South Africa opens Port of Ngqura

first_img19 March 2012 South Africa has officially opened the multi-billion rand Port of Ngqura outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. The port is the deepest container terminal in sub-Saharan Africa, and will accommodate the new generation of giant container ships traversing Africa’s southern tip. Experts say the port and its mega container terminal offer a solution to South Africa’s long-time shortage of container capacity, resulting from the growth in container traffic globally. Speaking at Friday’s opening, President Jacob Zuma said the Ngqura Trade Port would boost South Africa’s trade with other countries in the region while supporting the country’s New Growth Path.Cutting shipping time and costs This included reduced the cost of doing business in South Africa, by cutting shipping time and costs, while promoting locally produced goods for both for the local market and for export. Zuma said the state’s mega-infrastructure plan cut across all nine provinces and was central to the government’s long-term economic development plan. “The planning of the Ngqura has been integrated with that of the Coega Industrial Development Zone, and this will ensure increased benefits for the province and business,” Zuma said. “It has also made it possible for the province to participate in the country’s minerals sector.”8 000 artisans trained State freight logistics group Transnet has been building the port, which forms part of the Coega Industrial Development Zone, for the past 12 years – in the process creating an 8 000-strong pool of South Africans with artisan skills. With further construction ongoing, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba believes the port will be even “greater” than it currently is by 2019, when additional structures are expected to be in place. Transnet chairperson Mafika Mkwanazi, also speaking at Friday’s opening, said it would ensure that the port became as economically viable as those in Richards Bay and Durban. The National Ports Authority is also drawing up plans for a R21.3-billion infrastructure upgrade programme of the country’s busiest harbour in Durban over the coming seven years. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

a month agoMan Utd target Declan Rice insists he’s happy at West Ham

first_imgMan Utd target Declan Rice insists he’s happy at West Hamby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveDeclan Rice insists he’s happy at West Ham.The midfielder continues to be linked with Manchester United.But he told the Mirror: “I’ve signed a long-term, five-year contract last season and if I didn’t want to sign it, I wouldn’t have done it.“It makes me a West Ham player for the next five years and I’ll be giving my best for the team and the supporters.“All I can do is to keep my head down, play my football and I’m not taking any notice of what’s going on outside.“The manager keeps emphasising to us that we are a top club with a big-team mentality and we’ve started the season that way.“We see how the boss works, and we know what he’s done at Manchester City , Real Madrid and Villarreal. He’s a top manager and all the lads respect him because we know he’ll take us in the right direction.“As a club, we want to get into Europe and his track record says he usually gets there. If we make it this season, that’s a bonus – but we need to keep pushing.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Russian service provider VimpelCom which operates

first_imgRussian service provider VimpelCom, which operates under the Beeline brand, has introduced an automatic top-up payment service for internet and digital TV subscribers.The move means that Beeline internet and TV customers will be able to pay for services used during the prior month via their Visa or Mastercard bank cards on a recurring basis via the Beeline customer care portal.last_img

Avrupa Minerals Ltd is a growthoriented prospect

first_imgAvrupa Minerals Ltd. is a growth-oriented prospect generator focused on aggressive exploration for valuable mineral deposits in politically stable and prospective regions of Europe with a growing pipeline of prospects in Portugal, Kosovo and Germany.Company highlights:Alvalade Project JV with Antofagasta Minerals SA – Copper and Zinc on 1000 km2 project area in the Portuguese Pyrite Belt – 2012 exploration budget of US$ 2.5 million, all provided by Antofagasta, including 6000 meters of core drillingGold exploration in the Erzgebirge Mining District, Germany – 307 km2 exploration license in 1000+ year producing region of tin, tungsten, silver, base metals, and uranium – Increasingly favorable permitting and mining regulations, long mining culture, widespread known gold panning locationsCovas Tungsten JV with Blackheath Resources Inc. – 922,900 mt @ 0.78% WO3 (non NI 43-101 compliant) historic resource – Potential to increase the tungsten resource – New gold target on the projectStrong management including Paul Kuhn, CEO, previously involved with several discoveries around the world, and Mark T. Brown, Director, founder of Rare Element Resources Ltd.Low risk exploration strategyShare structure and cash on hand (12/31/2011):16.1 million shares outstanding; 23.7 million shares outstanding, fully diluted40% of shares held by insiders, family, friends, and long-term investorsApprox. C$ 500,000 cash on hand (consolidated Canada and Europe)Antofagasta has provided US$ 350,000 for all anticipated Alvalade JV expenses for Q1 2012.Please visit our website for more information. Sponsor Advertisement The gold world is totally opaque…and the central banks of the world would love to keep it that way.After the obligatory sell-off during the first hour at the Sunday night open in New York, the gold price rebounded once trading began in Tokyo.After gaining back all the loss from New York, the gold price crawled higher for the rest of the Monday trading day everywhere on Planet Earth.Gold closed at $1,729.50 spot, up $9.00…almost on its high of the day…which was 1,730.90 spot…and that particular price was printed around 12:50 p.m. in New York.  Volume was close to 116,000 contracts, which was pretty light.It was much the same story in silver, although the high tick of the day [32.56 spot] came at the London p.m. gold fix at 3:05 p.m. BST…10:05 a.m. in New York.Both silver and gold rallied during the electronic trading session after the 1:30 p.m. Eastern time Comex close…and silver, too, almost finished on its high of the day at $32.45 spot…up 38 cents.  Volume, around 31,500 contracts, was light.The dollar index opened at 79.63…and then spent all of Monday chopping around between 79.65 and 79.50…and then closing at 79.56, virtually unchanged.  Nothing to see here.The gold stocks gapped up a percent at the open…and then flopped around in positive territory for the rest of the trading session, before rallying strongly into the close…with the HUI finishing virtually on its high tick of the day at 502.47…up 1.37%.The silver stocks did even better…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 2.21%.(Click on image to enlarge)Here’s a new chart that Nick has been working on…at my request.  It shows the intra-day price movement of the seven stocks that make up the SSI.  It’s not a ‘live’ chart…but a compilation that Nick will be doing at the end of each trading day.  This is his first effort…and it’s still a ‘work in progress’…but I doubt very much that the final product will look a lot different than what you see here…which is OK by me.(Click on image to enlarge)It’s interesting to compare it to the HUI.  As you can see, the silver stocks trade in a very similar pattern to the gold stocks.  The only difference is in the magnitude of the gains and losses, one vs. the other.  I don’t like to use the word ‘volatile’…because it’s my opinion that this volatility is mostly produced by JPMorgan et al.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report from Monday was a pretty quiet affair, as zero gold and 15 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Wednesday.I was somewhat surprised to see that an authorized participant added 87,226 troy ounces of gold to GLD yesterday…and there were no reported changes in SLV.The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday.  They sold 2,500 ounces of gold eagles…1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and a chunky 432,500 silver eagles.The Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 124,939 troy ounces of silver on Friday…and shipped 809,362 troy ounces out the door. The link to that activity is here.Just as a point of interest, here is an e-mail that I sent to Rick Waugh, the CEO of the Bank of Nova Scotia…or Scotiabank as it’s now called.  It had to do with the big change in the October Bank Participation Report.  As you can tell, I sent it yesterday…and I’ll let you know what answer I get, if any.22 October 2012 Scotiabank 44 King Street West Toronto, Ontario M5H 1H1Attention: Mr. Rick Waugh, CEODear Mr. Waugh,I’m a keen observer of the financial scene, both here in Canada and abroad…but my main area of expertise is in the precious metal markets.  I write a daily blog on this subject for Casey Research out of Stowe, Vermont…and here is the link to my webpage.Part of my reading material includes two reports that are issued by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission…the CFTC.  The most notable of those are the weekly Commitment of Traders Report and the monthly Bank Participation Report.If you click on the Bank Participation Report link, you’ll note that the CFTC has included a comment about its October figures that took quite a few people who follow this report, completely by surprise…including me.The comment states… “The October 2012 Bank Participation Report includes COMEX gold and COMEX silver futures and options positions for a newly classified non-U.S. bank, based upon the entity’s self-description on its latest CFTC Form 40. Given the methodology of the Bank Participation Report, the entity’s most recent Form 40 submission results in all of its futures and options positions now being included within the report. For more information on the methodology used for the Bank Participation Report, see Explanatory Notes” [Emphasis is mine. – Ed]Looking through the list of market-making members of the LBMA…my first thought was that the bank most likely to fit that description would be The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta.  So I called Andy Montano at your head office about a week ago.  We had a pleasant chat…and he said that he knew nothing about it.  I asked him who might know…and he had no suggestion.So I thought I would write directly to you, sir.All I need to know is if the “non-U.S. bank” that the CFTC is referring to in its comments above…and on its Bank Participation Report home page…is The Bank of Nova Scotia – Scotia Mocatta.A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will suffice.Thank you for your attention in this matter…and I remain,Yours truly,Edward Steer, EditorEd Steer’s Gold & Silver DailyHere’s a chart that I just didn’t have room for in Saturday’s column, so here it is now.  It’s Nick Laird’s “Transparent PM Holdings” graph, which I’ve posted on countless occasions over the years.  As you can see, it’s still progressing from “lower left, to upper right” as Dennis Gartman is wont to say.(Click on image to enlarge)This next chart is courtesy of Washington state reader S.A…which I just know he stole from somewhere…probably Zero Hedge…and it requires no further embellishment from me.(Click on image to enlarge)Since this is my Tuesday column, I have a lot of stories for your consideration today…and a lot of them are must reads/views, so I hope you have the time to do them all justice.If we get the resolution to the downside as appears likely at this point, many will cry manipulation. A sharp price drop will, of course, be manipulative, but the real manipulation has taken place all along as JPMorgan increased its concentrated short position beyond any legitimate level. At the core of the manipulation resides JPMorgan’s concentrated short position. That the regulators have allowed this to occur and put so many investors at risk is shameful beyond description. I don’t know how Gensler and Chilton look themselves in the mirror. Maybe the average investor has difficulty in fully comprehending the COTs, but not the agency itself. – Silver analyst Ted Butler…20 October 2012I wouldn’t read a thing into yesterday’s price action…although I was happy to see both gold and silver rally during the electronic market, something you don’t see too often.But where we go from here, is still up in the air.  The explosive story about Germany’s real or imaginary gold holdings, is still not fully told…but when it is, it will show that every central bank has nowhere near the amount of gold they say they have.  GATA’s guess many years ago was somewhere around 16,000 tonnes.  That figure has since been revised downwards.The truth of the matter is, that no one really knows.  The gold world is totally opaque…and the central banks of the world would love to keep it that way, but that can’t continue much longer.However, as explosive as the gold world is, the fuse is lit on silver as well.  Nowhere on Planet Earth does any central bank hold even one good delivery bar of silver…and when that silver thermonuclear device finally does reach critical mass…look out.  Ted Butler was hard at work on this 15 years before GATA showed up on the scene…and it’s an unknown which metal will explode first.  But one thing is for sure, the one that blows up first, will take the other with it…and when the smoke finally clears, the world on the other side of this event will be totally different than the one we live in today.I certainly hope you have your share, dear reader…as I’m still “all in”.Both gold and silver faded a bit during the Far East trading session on their Tuesday…and by the time that London opened at 8:00 a.m. BST, all the gains that occurred during the New York electronic market on Monday afternoon, had disappeared.Once London began to trade, both metals came under further selling pressure…and as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:20 a.m. Eastern time, silver is down 56 cents…and gold is down around thirteen bucks.  The dollar index is still pretty much chopping sideways, just like it did all of yesterday…and volumes are about average for this time of day.It beats me what’s going to happen during the New York session today, but we’ll find out soon enough.See you on Wednesday.last_img read more

first_img – “Should we stash cash?” Multi-millionaire Bill Bonner answers… Recently on network television, multi-millionaire President of Agora Inc. was asked: Is it time for Americans to stash cash? His answer may surprise you. But he also gives SPECIFIC DETAILS on how he’s protecting his own wealth from increasingly hostile U.S. policies. With many states now trying to ban cash, his insights are more important than ever. Read more… Doug Casey Issues Warning to America From His Secluded 1,235 Acre Farm: “This is a very bad situation. The U.S. is digging itself in deeper and deeper.” Click here to learn more. Recommended Links You won’t hear talking heads on CNBC mention it, but professional investors look at this spread almost every day. It’s that important. And the spread is on track to widen for the second year in a row…for the first time since the last financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. The Wall Street Journal explains why this a bad sign. Wider spreads mean that investors want more yield relative to Treasurys to own bonds from U.S. companies. It can signal that investors are less confident about companies’ business prospects and financial health, though other factors likely also are at play… That would be the first time since the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 that spreads widened in two consecutive years. The previous times were in 1997 and 1998, as a financial crisis roiled Asian countries, and a few years before the dot-com bubble burst… •  There are other troubling signs coming out of the bond market… On Sunday, Bloomberg Business said the spread between “junk bonds” and Treasuries is at its widest level since 2012. Junk bonds are risky bonds that pay high yields. Companies that issue junk bonds are generally in poor financial condition…which is why they have to pay more to borrow money. The effects of an economic slowdown will generally show up in these companies before they show up in more stable companies. So trouble in junk bonds can serve as an early warning for the rest of the economy. Below you’ll see the price chart for the iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG), the junk bond ETF. HYG is down 6% in the past month. Regards, Justin Spittler Delray Beach, Florida September 29, 2015 We want to hear from you. If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful.center_img •  The bond market is reacting to seven years of easy money… Regular readers know the Federal Reserve cut its key interest rate to zero in December 2008. The Fed has kept its key rate at zero for almost seven years. The Fed’s key rate affects practically every other interest rate. Rates for mortgages, student loans, and corporate bonds are all near record lows. Even with the small recent increase in corporate borrowing costs, borrowing money is still historically cheap. Last week, The Washington Post wrote: Interest rates are lower today than they were when FDR or Napoleon or Henry VIII or Genghis Khan or Charlemagne or Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great or even Hammurabi were around. Or, if you want to put a year on it, lower than at any time since the ancient Sumerians made the first loans, payable in either silver or grain, back in 3000 B.C. •  With interest rates near 5,000 year lows… Millions of Americans no longer ask themselves, “Does it make sense to borrow this much money?” They only ask, “How much can I get?” For years, no business idea has been too dumb to fund…no $120,000 car has gone unsold to someone who couldn’t afford it…and no overpriced house has sat on the market for more than a month. We call this the  “Wonderland” economy. Seven years of near-zero interest rates have warped prices of nearly everything. But the recent bond market action is a sign that “Wonderland” is starting to crack. •  Like us, Bill Gross thinks zero percent rates have created a huge mess… Bill Gross founded Pacific Investment Management Company (PIMCO) in 1971. PIMCO became the world’s biggest bond fund under his watch. Today, Gross runs his own bond fund at Janus Capital. His nickname is “The Bond King.” In his October Investment Outlook, Gross said zero percent rates have done more harm than good. Low or zero interest rates it seems do wonders for asset prices and for a time even stabilize real economies, but they come with baggage and as zero or near zero becomes the expected norm, the luggage increasingly grows heavier. •  Gross thinks zero percent rates have hurt insurance companies and pension funds the most… He went on to say: Zero destroys existing business models such as life insurance company balance sheets and pension funds, which in turn are expected to use the proceeds to pay benefits for an aging boomer society. Regular readers know that the public pension system is a slow-motion train wreck. State pensions have made trillions of dollars in promises they can’t possibly keep. Think tank State Budget Solutions estimates that state pensions are underfunded by $4.7 trillion. “Underfunding” is the difference between what they promise to pay and the amount of money they have on hand to actually pay it. Low investment returns are a big reason for this funding gap. The average U.S. public pension expects to earn 8% per year on average. That’s a lofty goal in a “normal” investing climate. In today’s zero-interest rate world, it’s nearly impossible. Last year, U.S. public pensions earned just 3.4%, on average. Gross continues: Now with corporate bonds at 2-3%, it is obvious that to pay for future health, retirement and insurance related benefits, stocks must appreciate by 10% a year to meet the targeted assumption. That, of course, is a stretch of some accountant’s or actuary’s imagination. BlackRock (BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, agrees. It expects 85% of U.S. public pensions to fail over the next three decades. Chart of the Day Big, stable companies are paying more to borrow money… Today’s chart shows the yield of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Corporate BBB Index. This index tracks the yield of investment-grade corporate debt issued by large U.S companies. As you can see, the average yield on corporate bonds has gone up from about 3.4% to about 4.1%. This tells us that investors are demanding higher interest rates to loan money to stable companies. This is a huge red flag for the Wonderland economy. The economics of Wonderland only work when borrowing money is ridiculously cheap. If rates continue to move up from zero, the Wonderland economy is in big trouble. — The bond market is flashing a warning… Many of the world’s best investors watch the bond market for clues about the stock market and the economy. The bond market – where companies and countries go to borrow money – is much bigger than the stock market. When the economic foundations of a country or an industry start to crack, it shows up in the bond market first. Right now, a widening “spread” in the bond market is pointing to trouble in the economy… Since July, yields on “investment grade” bonds have been rising…while yields on Treasury bonds issued by the U.S. government have been falling. Investment-grade bonds are issued by companies in a strong financial position. Typically, when the economy is strong and investors are confident that these companies will repay loans, yields on investment-grade bonds move in the same direction as Treasury yields. Treasuries are widely thought of as a safe haven because they’re backed by the U.S. government’s ability to tax 320 million Americans. But as you can see below, investment-grade yields are rising, while Treasury yields are falling. We call this a “widening spread.”last_img read more

Enhancing the competitiveness of the railway sector

first_img Citation: Enhancing the competitiveness of the railway sector (2018, June 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-competitiveness-railway-sector.html Enhancing the competitiveness and attractiveness of the railway sector – the core ambition of the Shift2Rail joint undertaking – requires other projects to clear the way. The ROLL2RAIL project played this role by focusing on novel rolling stock technologies and methodologies. Future trains should be more energy-efficient, lighter, more reliable, have more capacity, cost less over their life cycle, be connected and be more comfortable and attractive. Only then will the railway sector be able to raise its market share. Of course, getting there won’t be easy: there are many obstacles to such radical innovation, and technologies with the potential to rise to this challenge are only in their infancy. This is the context that saw the launch of ROLL2RAIL (New Dependable Rolling Stock for a More Sustainable, Intelligent and Comfortable Rail Transport in Europe), an EU-funded project aiming to develop key technologies and remove blocking points for radical innovation in the field of rolling stock. Being part of a wider long-term strategy to shape the rolling stock of the future and ensure suitable results for integration in Shift2Rail, the project addressed several sub-systems including traction, TCMS, carbody, running gear, brakes, interiors, noise and energy.”Traction systems have reached their maximum possible efficiency with current power electronics technology (silicon). Our goal was to reap all the benefits of incipient silicon carbide semiconductor technology to create smaller, lighter, more efficient and more reliable railway traction systems, while at the same time addressing low-floor wheel-motor assemblies for high-speed trains,” Mr Andrea Demadonna, coordinator of the project on behalf of UNIFE (The European Rail Industry Association), explains. “We also studied key aspects of performance such as noise emission or reliability/availability, along with possible technical standardisation that will lead to cost reductions.”In 30 months, ROLL2RAIL achieved a substantial reduction in the weight and volume of traction converters and motors, and produced calculations for motor cooling noise and specifications for a semi-conductor based on environmental conditions.Besides traction, the project led to numerous breakthroughs. The first is a Train Control & Management System (TCMS) that uses wireless technologies for train control and monitoring functions, thereby removing the need for onboard communication cables and simplifying the train coupling procedure. The second is a study on adhesive joints as well as on the reduction in weight linked to composite materials; and the third is a market push for running gear technologies and maintenance – in the form of a Europe-wide cost modelling methodology that can quantify the global impact of running gear performance on the economics of the whole railway system.That’s only the tip of the iceberg, as the project also resulted in the following: a set of reduced and harmonised requirements for a braking system to be used in future authorisation processes; a study of publicly available passenger surveys on train comfort and a weighted flexible scoring metric including 24 comfort features; three new noise separation methods (advanced transfer path analysis, beamforming and wave signature extraction) which were tested in real conditions; and an energy norms and standards application guide for KPI generation as well as a calculation methodology. Finally, the consortium developed a KPI tool to assess the impact/improvements of new developments against a baseline.”ROLL2RAIL results have been designed for use by Shift2Rail as the ultimate end-user. Their benefits will impact not only Innovation Programme 1 (Rolling Stock for passengers) but also advanced traffic management and control systems, infrastructure, freight and cross-cutting activities (CCA) such as noise and energy,” Demadonna says. “Shift2Rail will now continue the work we started, in a process that is only natural when considering that more than half of the ROLL2RAIL partners are also members of Shift2Rail.” Explore further Provided by CORDIScenter_img Credit: Denis Belitsky, Shutterstock Designing the future of rail travel This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

A Sunken Soviet Sub Is Raising the Radioactivity of the Norwegian Sea

first_img In Photos: WWII-Era Shipwrecks Illegally Plundered in Java Sea A Cold War Soviet nuclear submarine met disaster 30 years ago when it sank in the Norwegian Sea, leading to the deaths of 42 sailors. But instead of lying peacefully at the bottom of the sea, that sub, called the Komsomolets, is leaking radioactive material deep beneath the waves. Several samples collected by an underwater robot from and around the sunken sub’s ventilation duct show that it’s leaking high levels of cesium, a radioactive element, according to the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research (IMR). Some of the cesium levels are 800,000 times higher than normal levels in the Norwegian Sea, according to the institute. However, this radiation does not pose a risk to people or fish, the IMR noted. [Photos: WWII Shipwrecks Found Off NC Coast]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65931-radioactive-soviet-submarine-leak.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  The Soviets launched the 400-foot-long (120 meters) Komsomolets, which means “member of the Young Communist League,” in May 1983, according to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. While the Komsomolets was on patrol in April 1989, a fire broke out on board, leading to the sub’s eventual demise. As the Komsomolets sank, its two nuclear reactors and at least two torpedoes with plutonium-containing nuclear warheads fell to the bottom of the sea. Since then, the Russians and Norwegians have monitored the wreck, noting its radioactive leaks. “We took water samples from inside this particular duct because the Russians had documented leaks here both in the 1990s and more recently in 2007,” Hilde Elise Heldal, the expedition leader, said in the IMR statement. “So we weren’t surprised to find high levels here.” An analysis showed that one sample had 100 becquerels per liter, compared with the usual 0.001 becquerels per liter normally found in the Norwegian Sea. (A becquerel (Bq) is a unit of radioactivity that represents decay per second.) But Heldal said it was important to put this number into perspective. For instance, following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, regulations were set for how much cesium would be allowed in foods. “After the Chernobyl accident in 1986, Norwegian authorities set this limit to 600 Bq/kilogram,” she said. So, even though the cesium levels from parts of the submarine “were clearly above what is normal in the oceans,” they still “weren’t alarmingly high,” Heldal said. Moreover, samples taken a few yards from the duct didn’t have any measurable levels of cesium in them. “We didn’t find any measurable levels of radioactive cesium there, unlike in the duct itself,” Justin Gwynn, a researcher at the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, said in the statement. Strange cloud But the remotely operated vehicle (ROV), called the Aegir 6000, did catch a strange sight on film: an eerie cloud emanating from the submarine’s duct. After detecting the cloud, the ROV took a sample, which was later found to contain high levels of cesium. Then, the ROV took another sample from a cloud seen rising from a nearby grille. This reading also had high radioactivity levels. Now, the researchers are wondering if this “cloud” is related to the high radioactivity levels in those areas. “It looks very dramatic on video, and it’s definitely interesting, but we don’t really know what we’re seeing and why this phenomenon occurs,” Gwynn said. “It’s something we want to find out more about.” [Photos: WWI-Era German Submarine Wreck Discovered Off Scotland Coast] The researchers plan to study the many samples the ROV collected from the submarine. In the meantime, Heldal stressed that seafood eaters have little to worry about. “What we have found during our survey has very little impact on Norwegian fish and seafood,” she said. “In general, cesium levels in the Norwegian Sea are very low, and as the wreck is so deep, the pollution from Komsomolets is quickly diluted.” Even so, scientists plan to monitor the vessel for years to come, especially since it’s the only known source of radioactive pollution in Norway’s waters. “We need good documentation of pollution levels in seawater, seabed sediments and, of course, fish and seafood,” Heldal said. “So, we’ll continue monitoring both Komsomolets in particular and Norwegian waters in general.” Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoCNETMeet the US Navy’s new $13 billion aircraftCNETUndo In Pictures: Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Image Gallery: Stunning Shots of the Titanic Shipwrecklast_img read more

Prasad asks Russia to leverage massive potential of Indias digital economy

first_imgPublished on October 05, 2018 India on Friday invited Russia to leverage the potential of its booming digital economy, with IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad saying that collaboration in areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and e-health would spur technology momentum of both the economies.Prasad said India is pushing its digital economy to touch USD one trillion mark in coming 3-4 years, leading to opportunities in areas like IT, e-commerce, communications and electronics manufacturing.Terming Indo-Russian relationship as one of “trust, understanding and reciprocity”, Prasad said the two sides had a common world view on a variety of matters and that ties have remained immune from the political changes and other differences.“Indeed, it has acquired a new momentum because of personal chemistry and understanding between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Prasad said addressing India Russia Business Summit organised by industry body CII.Highlighting India’s strength in skilled manpower and innovation and Russia’s technology prowess, Prasad said India too offers a vast potential in emerging areas like AI, e-healthcare and e-education and the booming start-up ecosystem.“When I talk of digital economy, it has already acquired a momentum of its own and is creating an opportunity for industrialists, IT experts, IT professionals and start-ups…India is a big start-up movement with over 5,000 start ups. All this presents a larger narrative….I request all of you to join in India’s digital economy,” Prasad said.He noted that the success of India’s IT industry is backed by skilled talent and low-cost inclusive technology. The mobile phone base in the country stands at 1.21 billion with 450 million smartphones, Prasad said, adding that 1.22 billion Aadhaar cards offered residents a verifiable digital identity.“Indo-Russian relationship offers a great opportunity to work together. Russia has outstanding people, innovators…India is also a land of innovators and human resource including young IT graduates…If we have this kind of collaboration and cooperation, Indo-Russian relationship will acquire a technology momentum of its own,” the minister said. SHARE SHARE EMAIL Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology PTI SHAREcenter_img COMMENT Russia artificial intelligence COMMENTSlast_img read more