From Volume 38, Issue 6 of EIR Online, Published Feb. 11, 2011
Russia and the CIS News Digest

Rothschild Agent Pimps for the BRIC in Moscow

Feb. 3 (EIRNS)—Mario Garnero, Rothschild's man in Brazil for decades and head of Brasilinvest, spoke at the Troika Dialog Russia Forum 2011 held in Moscow Feb. 2, a privatization fest featuring the twit Arkadi Dvorkovich and company on the Russian side, and bankers' boys Larry Summers and Joseph Stiglitz, from the U.S., in addition to Garnero.

Garnero told the audience that the BRIC was the best trick money can buy, "the dynamo of world economic growth for the next 10 years." China will remain an industrial powerhouse; India has a "competitive edge in low labor costs," PRNewswire reports Garnero saying; Russia has a large scientific community and lots of room for expanded trade and investment with Brazil; and Brazil is going to stay on course under Dilma Rousseff. Dilma "is quite convinced of the need for labor, social security, and fiscal updates in Brazil," Garnero promised. "She rolled up her sleeves and is working closely with society towards these much-needed reforms."

Brazil's great investment opportunities, according to Garnero, include a major real estate project in Campinas (once the center of the Brazilian aerospace industry and research), the huge pre-salt oil deposits, and upcoming mega-sports events (2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics). Garnero did not comment on the unconfirmed reports that Brazil will be adding a new Olympic sport in 2016: cross-dressing.

Vernadsky Institute Prepares Unmanned Mission to Mars Moon

Feb. 4 (EIRNS)—Among pictures taken by the European Space Agency's Mars Express spacecraft flying by the Mars moon Phobos at a distance of 100 kilometers on Jan. 9, there are several which feature proposed landing sites for Russia's Phobos-Grunt mission, scheduled for launch later in 2011.

The pictures show in new detail the previously and currently planned landing sites for the Russian Phobos-Grunt mission, which would be the first spacecraft to land on Phobos, notes Alexander Basilevsky, a member of the Phobos-Grunt team based at the Vernadsky Institute in Moscow. The Basilevsky team at the Vernadsky Institute also has selected potential landing sites on the Moon, for future Russian space missions there.

From the new images, scientists can construct a high-resolution topographic map of the landing sites, which should help determine where Phobos-Grunt will ultimately touch down. That decision won't happen until later this year, most likely after the craft has been launched, but the new images indicate that the old landing site may be as hospitable as the new one, says Basilevsky.

Russia Announces Nanosteel, To Extend Nuclear Reactor Life

Feb. 3 (EIRNS)—Russian metallurgists have claimed that the use of nanosteel would enhance a nuclear reactor's life to 60-80 years, and maybe even up to 100 years. Tests of the new material have reportedly confirmed its unique performance properties. Russia has been producing nanosteel in a 30-story blast furnace at the Novolipetsk Iron and Steel Plant (NLMK) for almost ten years.

One major concern of present-day reactors is the slow and steady corrosion they undergo. It was known at the time of the Pressurized Light Water Reactor (PLWR) design and construction, that the primary structural materials used in the fabrication of the nuclear steam-supply system—stainless steels and nickel-base alloys—were characterized by high general corrosion resistance in high-purity, high-temperature LWR-type environments. For example, the initiation time for primary water stress-corrosion cracking (PWSCC) of nickel-base alloys in PWRs can be as long as 25 years.

Previously in conventional alloy development, increasing hardness to improve wear performance made an alloy brittle (less tough or ductile), while increasing toughness (ductility) decreased hardness and reduced wear performance. But, when applied as metallic coatings, nanosteel alloys feature a microstructure with grain sizes refined to a nanoscale which results in increased hardness and toughness with improved wear performance. This reduces the rate of corrosion, the metallurgists say.

All rights reserved © 2011 EIRNS