Российская наука и мир (дайджест) - Апрель 2015 г.
Дайджест за другие годы
2015 г.
Российская наука и мир
(по материалам зарубежной электронной прессы)

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    Какие шансы у Сколково повторить успех Кремниевой долины?

Silicon Valley. How did that happen? More importantly, can it be replicated?
In my opinion, no it cannot. Because it happened in Silicon Valley organically, almost by mistake instead of with intention. Does that serendipitous occurrence mean we shouldn't try to replicate the phenomenal growth of Silicon Valley? No, of course we should try.
But it won't be easy. Ever.
Many countries, states and cities are hard at work trying to duplicate this magical innovation development. Most will fail. Let us see what Russia is up to in this regard.
Russia's strong effort to re-create the "Silicon Valley Phenomena" is a great initiative for an oil and cash-rich nation to undertake - it is a necessary and wise investment of these always limited, windfall resources.
And any attempt to harness the prodigious intellect of Russian minds is admirable and requisite. But is Russia's Skolkovo Innovation Center off to the right start? Are all systems go?
From Amsterdam's innovation initiative to Hong Kong's "Cyberport" and from Singapore's great Economic Development Board to Malaysia's "Multimedia Super Corridor" (MSC), I've been privileged to visit and understand some of the world's top efforts at this kind of growth and creation of the right environment for technology/entrepreneurial development.
And there's one thing that's exceedingly clear about these kinds of well-intentioned, innovation activities: They are very difficult, very difficult indeed to pull off successfully; to recreate Silicon Valley. Because even Silicon Valley wasn't done with any intention at all. It just happened.
How could any country recreate something that happened by kismet? They could not. So it's very tricky, if not impossible to pull off these 'rabbit-out-of-a-hat' types of economic growth undertakings.
Some lessons learned from Silicon Valley, Amsterdam, Malaysia and Singapore:
1. Proximity to a top technical university or other center of excellence is crucial. Without this starting place, failure could be inevitable. Stanford's proximity made Silicon Valley happen. Ditto with NUS (National University of Singapore) along with the University of Amsterdam (and its "Brainport").
2. A central location is always better than a faraway one. Because of its absolutely central location in Western Europe and Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam was able to package up and sell their convenient location to tech giants such as Cisco Systems to locate their European headquarters there. This meant jobs for top graduate Dutch minds normally headed abroad to work and then causing a 'brain drain' at home.
3. Create a "money parade" for young companies to get funded, without going elsewhere to obtain those funds. Once you help them build it, if you let them go elsewhere to find funding, you've lost them forever. University of Amsterdam's Twinning Center did this beautifully. So does University of Helsinki's Biomedicum and Technomedicum in the Medical field.
4. Bring in leaders in different fields and disciplines to share their experiences, triumphs and most importantly, their bitter failures in detail with the candidates.
5. And overarchingly, create a strong, trusting relationship between the government and private enterprise sectors that works closely together in the process. Without the government's promise to ease regulation and taxation of small, developing business, this kind of innovation is hopeless.
So, with these points in mind, how do they relate to Russia and Skolkovo?
Well, let me begin with good news. Numbers three, four and five are all pretty well handled in Skolkovo.
The bad news is that numbers one and two above are both badly out of whack in Skolkovo. Instead of dovetailing with the already humming Moscow State University and Novosibirsk State University (Hello? Looking for some of the finest mathematical minds in the world? Hello Novo?), among many others, the powers that be for Skolkovo decided to build a gleaming, new university from the dirt up right outside Moscow. How do you suppose Russia's other centers of learning felt about this? They didn't like it one bit, that's how.
More significantly, Russia missed the opportunity to connect the dots between their unbelievably innovative RAS (Russian Academy of Sciences) and this momentous commitment to innovation. With no less than 18 Nobel Prize winners (Stanford only has 21 after a big advantage over the last five decades), the RAS was the natural place to connect all that Russkie brainpower and decades of research with the Russian' secret cities (Sarov, Dubna, Zheleznogorsk, Seversk, etc.) to create a neural network that would put Stanford and Silicon Valley to shame.
Number one, "proximity" connecting already existing intellectual property, rather than building a new center from scratch is, to me, a big mistake.
On number two, "central location," Russia also missed the boat. Moscow is located in the far western part of the eleven time-zone wide country. This is anything but centrally located. The rest of Russia, say everything east of Moscow has long felt like the red-headed step child of Moscow and St. Petersburg, when in fact, most all of the gas and oil and a good bit of the Russian technological and science thinking talent resides east of the capital. Siberia would've been a much more central location for Skolkovo.
The severe western location aspect of Skolkovo also does not connect in any meaningful way, the vast RAS and secret city resources mentioned above. This is a shame because Russia is again starting from the ground up, when they don't have to, and could marshal these key nodes in from the cold to build their center of excellence.
The Russian government has in a number of ways followed advice I gave them in my Moscow Times columns on Russian innovation development in 2005, here and here. But to make such fundamental mistakes on perhaps the easiest of principles more than ten years later is sad.
Russians sometimes won't listen to Americans unless they know us a bit better. It is because of this, that I don't feel insulted. I just keep going with my exhortations.
So pay no attention to me, Prime Minister Medvedev. I'm sure you're doing all that you can. If you should however, encounter any difficulties in the areas I discuss above, please do get in touch. I'd be happy to help in any way I can.

Copyright © 2015 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.
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    Mashable / Apr 10, 2015
    Canada and Russia beat tropical countries to top global deforestation list
    • By Andrew Freedman
    По данным Глобального мониторинга лесов (Global Forest Watch) в 2011-2013 гг. на долю России и Канады пришлось 34% потерь мирового лесного покрова, причем объем потерь в России почти в два раза превышает объемы потерь в Канаде. Основная причина в обеих странах - масштабные пожары.
    Global Forest Watch - совместный проект Института мировых ресурсов, Мэрилендского университета, компании Google и еще примерно 60 организаций. В рамках проекта снимки со спутников NASA и Геологической службы США обрабатываются с помощью специальных алгоритмов, чтобы детально оценить изменения в лесном покрове по всему миру.

Not very long ago, tropical countries like Indonesia and Brazil were cast as the main villains of global forest conservation efforts. These countries have been chopping down huge swaths of rainforests to make way for agriculture and palm oil plantations, among other uses.
By and large, they still are - but compared to other countries, there may be sufficient evidence now to pass the villain baton to other national actors. And these other nations aren't ones that you'd normally suspect.
According to new data from Global Forest Watch, the deforestation story is becoming more complicated, which could be good news for those who have worked with governments of tropical nations to slow their deforestation rates, but bad news for the stability of the planet's climate overall. Some of the new top players in deforestation are located thousands of miles north of the equator, in Russia, Canada and the U.S., Global Forest Watch found.
The Global Forest Watch effort is a joint project of about 60 groups convened by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in Washington, as well as the University of Maryland and Google. The program uses algorithms that are applied to satellite imagery from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey to estimate changes in tree cover.
The project's researchers analyzed about 400,000 satellite images for the study, James Anderson of the World Resources Institute said in an interview.
Russia and Canada accounted for 34% of global tree cover loss from 2011 through 2013, losing a combined average of 26,000 square miles, or about 6.8 million hectares of tree cover each year. Tree cover loss in Russia was much larger than in Canada, by nearly double. The tree cover loss in both these countries is linked to massive wildfires in boreal forests, which span the sub-Arctic region and are comprised of tall stands of spruce, fir and larch trees.
Boreal forests are burning at rates not seen for at least the past 10,000 years, according to a 2013 study, with climate change projections showing the likelihood of both more frequent and larger fires to come as the climate warms and these areas experience a longer and drier warm season.
The boreal zone, which is also known as taiga, contains more than 30% of the carbon stored on land, according to the 2013 research, which was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Increased burning of these forests releases carbon into the atmosphere, helping to warm the planet, which in turn ends up favoring more fires. A spike in forest fire activity, much of it manmade, has been seen in recent years in parts of Canada and especially in Siberia, and these fires account for much of the tree loss, as well as logging activities, said WRI's Anderson. "There's a big debate about the exact proportion of fires that are human caused versus natural" in Russia, said Anderson, who works with the forests program at WRI. Some say they're mostly human and related to infrastructure development, Anderson said.
Forests can grow back after fires, but boreal forest grows back at a far slower rate than tree cover does in the tropics.
Globally, the world lost more than 69,500 square miles, or 18 million hectares, of tree cover in 2013. This is about twice the size of Portugal, and is slightly lower than the loss seen in 2012.
However, it is still a 5.2% increase compared to the 2000 to 2012 average, Global Forest Watch reported.
What happens to forests is not just a concern for the plants and animals that call them home. Forests are one of the planet's main carbon savings banks, sequestering carbon dioxide from the air into the soils. When trees are chopped down or burned, the carbon they absorbed is released into the atmosphere, contributing to manmade global warming.
Russia and Canada topped the list of countries with the most tree cover loss, mainly due to forest fires, jointly accounting for 34% of total loss. (Tree cover loss is a measure of the total loss of all trees within a specific area regardless of the cause.) The data show that Russia, Canada, Brazil, the United States and Indonesia make up the top five countries for average annual tree cover loss from 2011 to 2013.
Surprise in Indonesia
When Global Forest Watch released its findings from 2012 data, the headline was that Indonesia had overtaken Brazil as the country with the largest amount of tree cover loss in the world.
Yet in 2013, Indonesia's annual tree cover loss dropped to the lowest point in almost a decade.
From 2011 to 2013, Indonesia's average tree cover loss was 1.6 million hectares per year, which shows that the country's forest loss rate may have plateaued, at least temporarily.
Regarding Indonesia, Anderson said it's not yet clear what is driving the slowdown in deforestation. "It's been seen as this place in real trouble for the last decade," he said. "The real question is what's driving that."
Palm oil prices and the price of other agricultural commodities have declined in the past year, which could be slowing new development of palm oil plantations in Indonesia, he added. In addition, the Indonesian government has pledged to halt the felling of pristine forest lands, while major Western companies, such as Unilever, have made zero deforestation commitments.
"We have watched Indonesia's primary forests rapidly disappear over the past 12 years, so it is good news that primary forest loss slowed to less than half a million of hectares in 2013," said Belinda Margono, researcher at the University of Maryland and Indonesia's Ministry of Environment and Forestry, in a press release.
"However, the clearing of degraded forests remains a serious issue - 98% of primary forest loss is occurring in areas that have already been logged or degraded in some way. These forests are still very important and contain significant carbon stores, and should be restored and conserved for future generations."

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    Popular Mechanics / APR 13, 2015
    This Molecule Could've Created the Backbone of DNA and Helped to Kick-Start Life
    Scientists discover that bombarding a simple molecule that's common on meteors can produce almost all the components of DNA.
    • By William Herkewitz
    Группа российских и итальянских ученых (Объединенный институт ядерных исследований, Тосканский университет, Римский университет Ла Сапиенца) выдвинули теорию, что необходимые для зарождения жизни молекулы на Землю занесли метеориты. Во время экспериментов по облучению молекул формамида и частиц метеоритов протонами высоких энергий наблюдался спонтанный процесс образования сложных химических соединений, которые принимают участие в формировании ДНК и РНК.
    Статья "Meteorite-catalyzed syntheses of nucleosides and of other prebiotic compounds from formamide under proton irradiation" опубликована в журнале Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a new study out today, scientists may have taken another key step toward explaining how genetic materials - and life - may have first formed on the Earth.
The molecule is question is called formamide. It's pretty simple; the molecular formula is NH2CHO. It's incredibly abundant in our universe, appearing in absurdly huge interstellar clouds, and is believed to be a vital component of almost all infantile, planet-forging star systems. And some researchers think formamide could have a key player in the origin of life. Last December, for example, a team of Czech researchers discovered that the energy you'd get form a comet or asteroid impact would be enough to instantaneously transform formamide into many of the molecular letters of our genetic alphabet.
That surprising discovery had pretty profound implications, leaving many to wonder if such impacts on our young Earth could have heralded the dawn of life. But the puzzle was incomplete: While the Czech researchers could account for the genesis of the letters inside DNA, they couldn't account for the spine of the molecule - the sugars and phosphate groups that hold everything together to form the iconic double helix.
In this new study, a team of Italian and Russian scientists has solved half that problem. In a science paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they found that simply bombarding formamide (alongside various ground-up meteorites) with solar wind - the stream of charged particles from the sun - could spawn a veritable alphabet soup of life's necessary molecules, including the sugary half of that missing genetic spine.
Easy to make
The experiments led by Raffaele Saladino, an astrochemist at Tuscia University, Italy, were relatively straightforward and designed to mimic chemical reactions that could naturally take place on a meteor's surface in the harsh environment of space. The scientists simply combined pure formamide with the ground-up powder of various meteorites in a vial kept at the cold temperature of space. They then blasted these cold vials with a proton laser beam to simulate the proton particle deluge of everyday solar wind. Finally, they painstakingly combed through the resultant slew for any organic compounds.
"The components we used - solar wind, [rock], and formamide - are very, very common. This tells us that the molecules required for origin of life are very easily synthesized," he says.
Taken together, different formamide-meteor combinations produced everything from sugary glucose to fatty glycerol - a wide-ranging list of more than 25 different molecules used by DNA and life in general. And most surprising of all was "the formation of nucleosides, which are really difficult to produce," Saladino says. Those nucleosides are the sugary chunks that form DNA's backbone. They have never been synthesized with such ease, he says.
"This is the first study to look into stimulating formamide with solar [wind], and provides a very strong support that formamide is a central molecule in [pre-life] chemistry," says Svatopluk Civiš, a chemist at the Central European Institute of Technology in the Czech Republic. Civiš lead the aforementioned study of formamide from last December, but was not involved in this new research.
Building blocks?
Now that scientists have shown that formamide can create the letters of DNA and these nucleosides, the part that's still missing are the phosphate chunks, which, alongside sugars, help form the spine of the double helix. However, phosphates are inorganic compounds that are commonly found in minerals on the surface of planetary bodies, including Earth and Mars's. Saladino has a hunch "that all that's required may be the presence of the planet surface," to produce the rest of the DNA molecule. He's currently working on including pulverized phosphate-containing minerals in future formamide experiments to see whether the whole picture comes together.
If Saladino and colleagues are correct, then it's possible that formamide reactions could have created some of the first building blocks for life on Earth, which were delivered via meteors and asteroids. But what does this say about the potential for life outside Earth?
Saladino and Civiš both say that given the widespread nature of formamide (a fairly stable molecule which appears to form under a wide range of conditions) this new research suggests that "these basic ingredients for life could be abundantly diffused throughout the universe," Saladino says.
"But just because the molecules required for the origin of life are very easily synthesized, that doesn't mean life is equally easy to create. Molecules are one thing. Life may require time, opportunity, and much more complexity."

© 2015 Hearst Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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    Российские и американские биологи опубликовали в журнале Biology Letters исследование самой длинной и долгой миграции среди млекопитающих. Самка серого кита из охотско-корейской популяции проплыла более 22 тысяч километров, от Сахалина до Мексики и обратно.

A team of scientists from the United States and Russia has documented the longest migration of a mammal ever recorded - a round-trip trek of nearly 14,000 miles by a whale identified as a critically endangered species that raises questions about its status. The researchers used satellite-monitored tags to track three western North Pacific gray whales from their primary feeding ground off Russia's Sakhalin Island across the Pacific Ocean and down the West Coast of the United States to Baja, Mexico. One of the tagged whales, dubbed Varvara (which is Russian for Barbara), visited the three major breeding areas for eastern gray whales, which are found off North America and are not endangered.
Results of their study are being published this week by the Royal Society in the journal Biology Letters.
"The fact that endangered western gray whales have such a long range and interact with eastern gray whales was a surprise and leaves a lot of questions up in the air," said Bruce Mate, director of the Marine Mammal Institute at Oregon State University and lead author on the study. "Past studies have indicated genetic differentiation between the species, but this suggests we may need to take a closer look."
Western gray whales were thought to have gone extinct by the 1970s before a small aggregation was discovered in Russia off Sakhalin Island - with a present estimated population of 150 individuals that has been monitored by scientists from Russia and the U.S. since the 1990s.
Like their western cousins, eastern gray whales were decimated by whaling and listed as endangered, but conservation efforts led to their recovery. They were delisted in 1996 and today have a population estimated at more than 18,000 animals.
Not all scientists believe that western gray whales are a separate, distinct species. Valentin Ilyashenko of the A.N. Severtsov Institute for Ecology and Evolution, who is the Russian representative to the International Whaling Commission, has proposed since 2009 that recent western and eastern gray whale populations are not isolated and that the gray whales found in Russian waters are a part of an eastern population that is restoring its former historical range. He is a co-author on the study.
"The ability of the whales to navigate across open water over tremendously long distances is impressive and suggests that some western gray whales might actually be eastern grays," Mate said. "But that doesn't mean that there may not be some true western gray whales remaining.
"If so, then the number of true western gray whales is even smaller than we previously thought."
Since the discovery that western and eastern gray whales interact, other researchers have compared photo catalogues of both groups and identified dozens of western gray whales from Russia matching whale photographs taken in British Columbia and San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja California, Mexico.
Protecting the endangered western gray whales has been difficult - five whales have died in Japanese fishing nets within the last decade. Their feeding areas off Japan and Russia include fishing areas, shipping lanes, and oil and gas production - as well as future sites oil sites. Their largely unknown migration routes may include additional hazards.
The study was coordinated by the International Whaling Commission, with funding provided by Exxon Neftegas Limited, the Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, the U.S. Office of Naval Research, and OSU's Marine Mammal Institute.

© 2015 (e) Science News.
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    Группа компаний РСК, которая занимается разработкой и интеграцией суперкомпьютерных решений, установила в Межведомственном суперкомпьютерном центре РАН дополнительную вычислительную систему МВС-10П МП с пиковой производительностью 77,33 терафлопс.

Today RSC Group announced the installation of a MVS-10P MP Petastream supercomputer at the Joint Supercomputer Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (JSCC RAS). As is the first project in the Commonwealth of Independent States based on the latest Intel Xeon Phi 7120D coprocessors, the supercomputer weighs in at #20 of the Top50 list of the most powerful computing systems in Russia and CIS.
With such solution as MVS-10P MP massively parallel system based on the latest RSC PetaStream architecture, employees and scientists of numerous RAS research institutes and organizations can develop and optimize applications for future systems with massively parallel architectures and new multi-core processors. This includes such priority areas as development of mathematical model and program algorithms for extra massively parallel systems and pilot scientific and technological tasks. Russian scientists will be able to perform large-scale research in numerous key fundamental and applied knowledge areas that was previously impossible.
"This will inevitably assist further active development of Russian scientific and economical potential," - said academician Gennady Savin, Director of JSCC RAS.
New MVS-10P MP computing system based on RSC PetaStream massively parallel architecture will enable RAS scientific teams to develop the latest applications for breakthrough R&D in such priority fields of Russian science as medicine, bioengineering, astrophysics, chemistry, radioelectronics, control systems and others.
The provided RSC solution based on Intel architecture enables users to run existing applications requiring high level of parallelism and create new applications without rewriting the code. All programs running on RSC PetaStream will be fully compatible with next-generation Intel Xeon Phi architecture code-named Knights Landing with over 3 TFLOPS computing power per socket, integrated support of new generation Intel Omni-Path interconnect network, increased memory size per core and a number of other revolutionary innovations.
"All these features will improve the efficiency of solving scientific, financial, engineering and other problems with better performance of each supercomputer node," - said Dmitry Konash, Intel Regional Sales Director in Russia and CIS.

Copyright © 2015.
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    PR Newswire / April 21, 2015
    The First University Chair in Russia for Big Data Starts its Mission with Teradata Aster
    Ural Federal University develops infrastructure for big data research in major industries on Teradata Aster.
    Первая в России кафедра "Аналитика больших данных и методы видеоанализа" открыта в Уральском федеральном университете при сотрудничестве с корпорацией Teradata. В декабре 2014 г. специалисты российского подразделения корпорации завершили поставку и развёртывание инновационной платформы для исследований "больших данных" Teradata Aster Big Analytics Appliance 3H.

AMSTERDAM /PRNewswire/ - Teradata Corporation (NYSE: TDC), the big data analytics and marketing applications company and the Ural Federal University (URFU) in Russia today announced that the delivery and deployment of the Teradata Aster Big Analytics Appliance 3H, an innovative platform for big data analytics and discovery, have been completed to enable the work of the Russian Federation's very first - and so far only - university chair in big data.
The successful implementation marks an important milestone of the ongoing cooperation between one of the largest Russian universities and the renowned leader in big data analytics. Damir Gainanov, Head of the Chair for Big Data Analysis and Methodology at URFU, said: "Establishing a university chair centered on big data research with federal government support was an important step for making analytics an integral part of the research for key branches of the Russian economy. With the analytics capabilities of Teradata Aster, we will be able to derive insights from data and come up with concepts to help advance the competitiveness of numerous key industries."
Established in 2013, the URFU Big Data Chair is mainly centered on data mining and big data analytics concepts in crucial economic sectors such as metallurgical engineering (optimization of technological production processes), and railroad transportation (innovative modeling and optimization of transportation processes). Scientists and academics of the chair have since been working on projects supporting targeted federal programs sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. Mathematical methods utilized in these projects include deep data mining, graph optimization algorithms, and video analytics, including digital image processing.
Teradata's technical ability to accommodate this wide variety of analytical requirements is what prompted URFU to select the Teradata Aster Discovery platform. The Teradata Aster Appliance solution includes the Aster Database, the Aster File Store, Hadoop modules and SQL-MapReduce® functionality. This makes it possible for URFU to run complex graph, machine learning, pattern or path analysis on all types of multi-structured raw data.
Teradata's Aster Discovery Platform is delivered as an out-of-the-box solution, set up and ready to use. With such an extensive and robust solution, the researchers of URFU are expected to achieve new levels of excellence for research in traditional fields and drive scientific progress together with their industrial partners.
Andrey Alekseenko, Country Manager, Teradata Russia adds, "We are honored to provide the technical platform and services to help the Big Data Chair of URFU successfully embark on its important mission. URFU's choice of Teradata Aster was a strong sign of trust in our capabilities, and we delivered."

Copyright © 2015 PR Newswire Association LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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    Уровень озера Байкал снизился до критической отметки - впервые за 60 лет. Среди причин называют засушливое лето 2014 г. и неграмотную работу водохозяйственников - в том числе устаревшую систему водозаборов на некоторых объектах, что ведет к чрезмерному потреблению воды.

Le lac Baïkal est au cœur d'une situation problématique tandis que son niveau a atteint un seuil critique jamais égalé depuis des décennies. Le plus important réservoir d'eau douce mondial est en proie à une utilisation intensive de ses ressources, mettant en péril la population vivant à proximité ainsi que son environnement, incarné par un des écosystèmes les plus riches du monde.
« Son niveau a baissé et se situe deux centimètres en dessous de 456 mètres » (au-dessus du niveau de la mer), son niveau minimum acceptable par le gouvernement russe, a expliqué à l'AFP Arkadi Ivanov, directeur du programme mené par Greenpeace.
Le lac Baïkal est situé en Sibérie à proximité de la ville d'Irkoutsk, près de la frontière avec la Mongolie, à environ 5000 km de Moscou. Surnommé la « Perle de Sibérie », le lac Baïkal n'est ni plus ni moins que la plus grande réserve d'eau douce (non gelée) du monde avec un volume de 23 500 km3 (soit 260 fois celui du lac Léman, ou autant que la mer Baltique), soit 14 % des réserves mondiales. Il est tout de même le sixième lac du monde par sa taille, puisqu'il a une superficie de 31 500 km2 (longueur : 638 km et largueur variant de 24 km à 79 km). Le lac Baïkal est également le plus profond lac du monde, jusqu'à 1637 m. Son bassin versant est de 560 000 km2 et concentre l'apport en eau douce de 336 rivières et ruisseaux permanents. De plus, sa transparence est unique : il est possible d'avoir une visibilité parfaite jusqu'à 40 m de profondeur?!
Malheureusement, le niveau du lac semble être à son plus bas niveau depuis 60 ans. Cette situation est la conséquence d'une combinaison de facteurs : le réchauffement planétaire global ainsi que l'augmentation de l'utilisation de l'énergie hydraulique dans la zone du lac. Les experts prédisent de futures tensions autour de l'eau de ce lac dont les ressources font vivre 50 000 personnes pour l'électricité, l'eau et les moyens de subsistance.
Le département local du ministère russe des « Situations d'urgence » avait indiqué « se mettre en état d'alerte » dans le but de garder un œil sur l'approvisionnement en eau des villages voisins qui risquent une pénurie. Le scientifique Guennadi Tchegassov, spécialiste du lac Baïkal, estime que la difficulté est d'ordre météorologique, car les pronostics ne permettent pas encore une optimisation de la réglementation des usages de l'eau par les entreprises bordant le lac.
« Je pense qu'un grand mal a été fait à l'écosystème. Parce que si le niveau d'eau change, l'ensemble de la végétation change déjà. La faune et la flore sont déjà en train de changer. On n'a jamais enregistré de telles données, l'ensemble de l'écosystème autour du lac subit en ce moment des changements structurels… », déclare une résidente de la zone du lac Baïkal interrogée par BFM TV.
Le lac Baïkal est inscrit au patrimoine de l'UNESCO depuis 1996. La richesse écologique du lac est exceptionnelle, car y sont présentes 1550 espèces animales et plus de 600 espèces végétales dont près de la moitié sont endémiques, c'est-à-dire qu'elles n'existent que dans cette zone de 88 000 km2 dont le lac Baïkal ne représente environ qu'un tiers de la superficie.
Les menaces environnementales se faisant plus importantes, le lac Baïkal pourrait être inscrit sur la « liste du patrimoine mondial en péril » de l'UNESCO, qui aurait été « conçue pour informer la communauté internationale des conditions menaçant les caractéristiques mêmes qui ont permis l'inscription d'un bien sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial et pour encourager des mesures correctives ».

© Copyright Encelade Media Group. All rights reserved.
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    Билатеральной, т.е. двусторонней симметрией тела живые существа (и среди них - далекие предки человека) обзавелись не сразу. Случилось это в эдиакарском (вендском) периоде, более 500 млн лет назад, и по одной версии предок билатерально-симметричных животных был нецеломическим (не имевшим полости тела) червем с простой нервной системой.
    Российская зоологическая школа придерживается другой точки зрения, согласно которой наш общий предок был устроен гораздо сложнее, имел полость, щупальца и сложноорганизованную нервную систему. Это подтверждает изучение лингулы, одного из древнейших плеченогих - беззамковых брахиопод (Lingula anatina), проведенное российскими биологами.
    Статья "Modern Data on the Innervation of the Lophophore in Lingula anatina (Brachiopoda) Support the Monophyly of the Lophophorates" опубликована в журнале PLoS ONE.

The famous Vitruvian Man, which was drawn by Leonardo da Vinci, pictures the canon of human's proportions. However, humans have become bilaterally symmetric not at once. There are two main points of view on the last common bilaterian ancestor, its appearance and the course of evolution.
It is likely that the ancestor of Bilateria appeared at the end of the Vendian period which is the last geological period of the Neoproterozoic Era preceding the Cambrian Period. It lasted from approximately 635 to 541±1 million years ago. The organisms, which lived in the Vendian sea, were mostly radially symmetrical creatures. Some of them were floating in the water, while others were crawling along the bottom or leading sessile benthic life.
There first point of view on the last common bilaterian ancestor suggests that it was a worm without a coelom what means the second body cavity. Proponents of this theory are sure that in addition to the lack of the coelom the last common bilaterian ancestor was devoid of any appendages and had simple nervous system. According to the first view, which tends to researchers outside Russia, the coelom appeared independently in different groups of bilaterally symmetrical animals.
The second point of view, which adheres to the Russian zoological school, suggests that the last common bilaterian ancestor was a complicated coelomic creature and had both and appendages for movement and food collection and a complex nervous system. According to this view the coelom in different groups underwent reduction for various reasons related to the peculiarities of development, anatomy, and lifestyle. The hypothesis, proposing that the last common bilaterian ancestordescended from a common coelenterates ancestor, which had radial symmetry and multiple chambers in the gastric cavity related to formation of the coelom, was originally created by the British zoologist Adam Sedgwick (Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science, 1884, 24, 43-82).
This idea was later developed in the works of professor Vladimir Malakhov who is the head of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Faculty of Biology of the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. (Journal of Common Biology, 2004, 65, 5, 371-388; Nature, 2004, 6, 31-39).
Professor Elena Temereva who is the leading researcher at the of the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the Faculty of Biology of the Lomonosov Moscow State University succeeded in finding new evidence supporting the second point of view. Moreover, she become the become the lead author of a research paper co-authored by Eugeni Tsitrin from the Koltzov Institute of Developmental Biology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The article will be published in PLOS ONE.
She managed to do it during the studies of Lingula anatina which is a representative of inarticulate brachiopods. Lingula is one of the oldest brachiopods having survived survived to the present day. It is known from the Early Ordovician what means about 500 million years ago. The fossils of Lingula are found all over the world. Most of the were found in Europe, Southeast Asian and North America.
"Our study shows that there is a group of the Lophophore animals among the Bilateria - Lophotrochozoa taxon, which includes the largest variety of types of animals, - Elena Temereva says, - The lophophore is a special organ that carries tentacles. Phoronids, brachiopods and bryozoans (ectoprocts) have collectively been called lophophorate, because they have the lophophore.
However, multiple molecular phylogenetics data shows that there is no united group of the Lophophore animals".
Elena Temereva said that she has managed to prove otherwise through research conducted by immunocytochemistry techniques, laser confocal microscopy, 3D-reconstruction and transmission electron microscopy. It means that the group of the Lophophore animals does exist and that it descended from a common ancestor, which had both the lophophore and the tentacles. It was confirmed by the similar structure of the nervous system of the lophophore in different groups of the Lophophore animals. It was first shown in the works of Elena Temereva.
"By virtue of the fact that there are tentacles among the two main taxons of bilaterally symmetrical animals, it is logical to assume that the common ancestor also had them. It means that the common ancestor of chordate animals including people also had tentacles", - Elena Temereva explains.
Therefore, the common ancestor of bilaterally symmetrical animals had tentacular appendages, which is consistent with the ideas of the Russian zoological school. Elena Temereva is sure that the results of this work will help to construct a natural system of the animal kingdom, through which the classification of species will become more specific.

* * *
    Объявлены лауреаты премии Scopus Award Russia 2015, которая вручается за вклад в развитие науки на национальном и международном уровне самым цитируемым авторам научных статей.

Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, recognized the academic research achievements of 14 scientists at the 2015 Russian Scopus Awards ceremony.
The Scopus awards ceremony together with the "Applied Research: Drivers of Growth of Scientific Performance and Commercial Potential" Forum was held at the Skolkovo Innovation Center in Moscow on April 16. The event was attended by guests representingRussia's scientific and innovative business community.
Aleksey Medvedev, Deputy Director of the Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations, said while attending the Forum, "It's an honor to participate in this forum with representatives from the largest Russian universities and corporations, and to recognize outstanding Russian scientists during the award ceremony. These researchers are building their careers in academic research and this will support them to gain recognition of their work."
The Russian Scopus Awards program was first announced in 2004 with the aim to foster and encourage Russian research talent. The winners of this year's awards were selected by representatives from the Ministry of Education and Research, Russian Fund for Fundamental Research, Federal Agency for Scientific Organizations, Fund "Skolkovo" and Russian Venture Company. Their assessment was based on publication and citation data drawn from Elsevier's Scopus, the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature.
The awards recognize the contributions made by the Russian research community to the global scientific landscape, as well as research excellence of young scientists in Russia.
The 2015 Russian Scopus Award winners are:

  • Alla Lapidus, Algorithmic Biology Center, St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Elena Grigorenko, Moscow State University, Russia and Child Studies and Psychology, Yale University, USA
  • Yaroslav Kuzmin, V.S. Sobolev Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, Russian Academy of Science
  • Leonid Kustov, N.D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow State University
  • Sergey Tarasenko, Ioffe Institute, Russian Academy of Science; St. Petersburg State Politechnical University
  • Stanislav Yurchenko, Bauman Moscow State Technical University
  • Lev Dykman, Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants and Micro-organisms, Russian Academy of Science
  • Nikolay Khlebtsov, Institute of Biochemistry and Physiology of Plants and Micro-organisms, Russian Academy of Science
  • Alexander Kulikov, St. Petersburg Department of Steklov Institute of Mathematics, Russian Academy of Science
  • Konstantin Severinov, Rutgers University, USA, Institute of Molecular Genetics and Institute of Gene Biology, Russian Academy of Science, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology
  • Mikhail Maximov, St. Petersburg Academic University of Russian Academy of Sciences; Ioffe Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • Pavel Sorokin, Technological Institute for Superhard and Novel Carbon Materials, National University of Science and Technology MISiS
  • Alexey Katrukha, Moscow State University
  • Special nomination for academic institutions: National Research Nuclear University MEPhI.

  • Youngsuk "Y.S." Chi, Chairman of Elsevier, and presenter of the awards, said, "Congratulations to this year's Scopus award winners who continue to advance research in Russia and around the world. At Elsevier we're honored to support these award recipients and other stakeholders across the Russian scientific community with the highest quality content and cutting-edge digital solutions. We're thrilled to be part of this exciting time for Russian science, and the Forum has been a celebration of the country's commitment to drive innovation and growth forward through cross-sector dialogue and collaborative goodwill."
    Copyright © 2015 PR Newswire Association LLC. All Rights Reserved.
    * * *
      BarentsObserver / April 24, 2015
      Murmansk official: Norway is polluting Murmansk
      More than half of the pollution in Murmansk Oblast comes from Europe, and especially Norway, a representative from the regional ministry of ecology claims.
      • By Trude Pettersen
      Заместитель министра природных ресурсов и экологии Мурманской области Владимир Хруцкий во время круглого стола по оценке состояния окружающей среды заявил, что 52% загрязняющих веществ попадают в Мурманскую область из Западной Европы посредством трансграничного переноса. Экологическая организация "Беллона - Мурманск" это заявление опровергла, поскольку убедительных доказательств предоставлено не было, зато напомнила, что выбросы диоксида серы Кольской горно-металлургической компании в пять раз превышают выбросы всей Норвегии.

    "Nearly 52 percent of all substances that are polluting the environment in Murmansk Oblast come from cross boundary emissions from Europe," Deputy Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology in Murmansk Oblast Vladimir Khrutsky said at a round table discussion on ecology in Murmansk on Thursday.
    According to Khrutsky, his department has no claims against industrial companies on the Kola peninsula, on the contrary, he praised them for their long-time and successful environmental work:
    "Russian companies are often exposed to heavy criticism from foreign environmental organizations, despite the fact that the volumes of our emissions are constantly going down and disturbed eco systems are being restored," he said according to Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
    The claims that much of the pollution in Murmansk Oblast comes from the West, was first put forward by the Russian ecological organization Green Patrol in 2013. After a short survey in the borderland, the organization concluded that 45 percent of the volume of pollution in the Murmansk region is due to cross-boundary emissions. The organization said that Norway pollutes Russia with 2.4 times more nitrogen compounds than the other way around.
    The results of the report were spread widely in Russian media after the presentation, but were met with immediate skepticism from Norwegian scientists who claimed the report lacked any type of scientific documentation.
    Also Russian scientists dispute the results of the survey. According to Dmitry Makarov from the Institute of Industrial Ecology at the Kola Science Center, both nitrogen oxide and sulphur dioxide ends up in Russia because of cross-boundary emissions, but that there are no documentation of the volumes, Rossiyskaya Gazeta writes.
    Bellona made to answer for Norwegian pollution
    Bellona Murmansk, which in March 2015 was placed on the "Foreign Agent" list, was the only environmental NGO invited to the round table, and had to answer for not only environmental organizations' dissatisfaction with the slow tempo of reduction of emissions, but also for Norway's environmental problems.
    When pointing out that the numbers on cross-boundary pollution that Khrutsky was referring to, are seen as unreliable by both foreign and Russian scientists, Bellona's representative was called a non-constructive critic.
    Bellona's representative Anna Kireeva was also asked about Norwegian environmental issues, like the controversial dumping of waste from the mining industry into fjords. "Yet none of the organizers knew the name of the company they were discussing," Bellona writes:
    "I have never heard of a situation in which Murmansk's Environmental Ministry, having successfully dealt with all the Region's environmental issues, and as such are fretting about the condition of Norwegian fjords, have taken it upon themselves to make similar inquires of their own. For instance, the authorities and simple folk of Northern Norway are extremely concerned about sulfur dioxide emissions along the Norwegian-Russian border - and it seems a times that only the Norwegians are concerned about this - are trying to address the issue as they can," Kireeva says.
    For the past 20 years, Kola Mining Company's nickel plant in the town of Nikel on the border to Norway has repeatedly been the key subject of intensive, albeit resultless, negotiations between environmental authorities from the neighboring countries. The plant, a unit of the powerful Norilsk Nickel company, has annual sulphure dioxide emissions of about 90,000 tons, about five times the total Norwegian emissions.
    Emsissions from the plant often exeed maximum allowed levels of sulphur dioxide. On April 5 this year, the concentration of SO2 exeeded maximum allowed level 12,6 times, according to official measurements from Roshydromet.

    © 2004-2015 BarentsObserver.
    * * *
      Российские астрономы (Государственный астрономический институт им. П.К.Штернберга, Смитсоновская астрофизическая обсерватория, Институт астрофизических и планетологических исследований) обнаружили, что в космическом пространстве встречаются не только звезды и планеты, не принадлежащие никаким системам, но и целые галактики-одиночки, не входящие ни в какие скопления. Изучив около 200 галактик, ученые пришли к выводу, что 11 из них дрейфуют совершенно самостоятельно, оторвавшись от своих кластеров из-за гравитационных возмущений.
      Статья "Isolated compact elliptical galaxies: Stellar systems that ran away" опубликована в журнале Science.

    A team of Russian astronomers has announced the discovery of eleven runaway galaxies that have been pushed away from their original clusters and are now floating adrift in what scientists describe as intercluster space.
    Dr. Igor Chilingarian, an astronomer working for Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and for the Moscow State University, and Dr. Ivan Zolotukhin, with France's l'Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie in Toulouse, are the two scientists who made the discovery almost by accident, while shuffling through public data made available through the Virtual Observatory. The results of their study were published on Thursday in the journal Science.
    The discovery of runaway space objects, such as moons, planets or stars, is not new for astronomers. However, drifting galaxies is something they only theorized about before Dr. Chilingarian and his colleague came up with the new data.
    The two researchers argue that the eleven runaway galaxies have been pushed away from their cluster as a result of great gravitational disturbances. The astronomers were initially planning to identify the remaining 195 unknown compact elliptical galaxies captured by NASA's GALEX satellite. Compact ellipticals are smaller than galaxies space objects, and only 30 of those have been analyzed before the two Russian scientists embarked on their task.
    Among the elliptical galaxies he monitored, Chilingarian found that eleven of them were far away from their homes, isolated from any other galaxy cluster. "These galaxies are facing a lonely future, exiled from the galaxy clusters they used to live in," explained their situation. "We asked ourselves, what else could explain them?"
    The answer resides in what Chilingarian and Zolotukhin, his partner in this investigation, call three-body interaction. When the gravity fields of three cosmic objects meet each other, normally the lightest of them gets thrown off its trajectory. For instance, when a duo of stars encounters a black hole, the star with the greater gravity force is captured by it, as the other gets propelled off its normal trajectory at a huge speed, and so ends up wandering alone in space.
    The Russian extended this theory to explain what happened to the runaway galaxies it discovered. "This is the same phenomenon, but working on a different scale," Zolotukhin detailed on the matter. In order to make a star cluster or an entire galaxy leave its orbit, it needs to be ejected with a speed of at least 6 million miles per hour (or 3,000 kilometers per second). The same phenomenon happens closer to Earth, in the Milky Way, although at a much smaller scale.

    Copyright © 2015 Capital OTC. All Rights Reserved.
    * * *
      Christian Science Monitor / April 28, 2015
      Russia to power Arctic drilling with floating nuclear reactors
      Arctic drilling is becoming increasingly appealing as sea ice melts, and Russia is planning to use nuclear power to help run ports, coastal infrastructure, and oil and gas extraction.
      • By Nick Cunningham
      Россия намеревается создать плавучую атомную электростанцию для обеспечения работы портов, промышленности и нефтяных платформ в Арктике. Строительство началось еще в 2007 г., предварительная дата окончания - осень 2016 г. Если станция докажет свою практическую ценность, ситуация с добычей нефти и газа в Арктике может сильно измениться.

    It would sit in the icy waters of the Arctic, and provide a constant supply of electricity to a massive rig drilling for oil. They could be mass produced, potentially cutting the cost of drilling projects. The twist? The electricity on these floating power plants would come from a nuclear reactor.
    Russia is looking to deploy a floating nuclear reactor that could help power ports, industries, and also offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic. In what sounds like a horrible nightmare for environmentalists, floating nuclear reactors could help produce more oil in the Arctic.
    Russia's reactor, called the Akademik Lomonosov, will be about the length of one and a half football fields, and will have the capacity to produce 70 megawatts of electricity. It is not self-propelled, but future mobile reactors will be. Russia plans on mass producing them once the Akademik Lomonosov proves itself. The small floating reactors will be on icebreakers, so they will be able to navigate icy Arctic waters.
    Construction began on the Akademik Lomonosov in 2007, but has suffered delays. But Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said during a recent trip to the Arctic that Russia hopes to have a floating nuclear reactor running by October 2016. It will provide power to the Arctic town of Pevek in the East Siberian Sea. "It is basically an atomic reactor that can be docked to coastal infrastructure, and it will provide energy through a cable to any Arctic city," Rogozin said.
    According to Russia's state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom, at least 15 countries, including China, Algeria, Indonesia, Malaysia and Argentina, are interested in deploying floating nuclear reactors as well. In fact, last year, during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Shanghai, Russia and China signed an agreement to cooperate on building a floating nuclear power plant.
    A Canadian company Dunedin Energy Systems is proposing something similar. The Ontario-based company wants to sell small floating nuclear reactors in Canada's far north that would provide a power source for remote mining projects. Dunedin's President points out that floating nuclear reactors are safe and have been around since the 1950's when the USS Nautilus, a nuclear-powered submarine, hit the high seas.
    Floating nuclear power plants would provide companies drilling for oil and gas or extracting minerals an energy source in faraway places. They would not need to be refueled for an extended period of time and the power supply would be constant. The floating reactors would be towed - or would self-propel - into place and then be easily removed when a drilling project is finished.
    Dunedin argues the cost would be much lower than diesel-powered generators. Until one is actually up and running, however, the economics are far from proven.
    Drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic is tremendously expensive and difficult. Floating reactors could theoretically make it easier. If Russia's Akademik Lomonosov demonstrates its usefulness, that could accelerate the pace of drilling.
    In American waters, however, it is hard to see how anything would change for the foreseeable future. Royal Dutch Shell is the only company with any realistic plans to drill in the near term. In large part due to its own mistakes, Shell has already been delayed by regulatory hurdles. But if it, or any other company, were to consider using floating nuclear power plants off the coast of Alaska, it would face a whole new set of regulatory challenges. That probably means floating nuclear power plants are not coming to the U.S. Arctic anytime soon, even if Russia starts ramping up production of them.
    On the other hand, if Russia starts drilling at a quicker pace in the Arctic due to these floating reactors, that would in turn put pressure on American lawmakers to make it more attractive for oil companies to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, out of a fear of falling behind. That could lead to Congress or the administration slashing regulations and/or selling off more offshore Arctic acreage.
    Much remains to be seen. Russia's floating nuclear power plant has been a struggle to complete, and it may not live up to the hype. But if it delivers, it could alter the course of Arctic drilling.

    © The Christian Science Monitor. All Rights Reserved.
    * * *
      Ученые из Института проблем безопасного развития атомной энергетики РАН составили карту распространения радионуклидов с двух затонувших (в 1982 и 2003 гг.) в Баренцевом море атомных подлодок, изоляция которых оказалось не столь надежной, как считалось ранее. При наихудшем варианте развития событий рыбный промысел придётся закрыть на несколько лет. Более того - радиоактивное заражение может распространяться не только в воде, но и в атмосфере, поскольку одна из лодок лежит на небольшой глубине.

    Russian scientists have made a worst-case scenario map for possible spreading of radionuclides from the wreck of the K-159 nuclear-powered submarine that sank twelve years ago in one of the best fishing areas of the Barents Sea.
    Mikhail Kobrinsky with the Nuclear Safety Institute of the Russian Academy of Science says the sunken November-class submarine can't stay at the seabed. The two reactors contain 800 kilos of spent uranium fuel.
    At a recent seminar in Murmansk organized jointly by Russia's nuclear agency Rosatom and the Norwegian environmental group Bellona, Kobrinsky presented the scenario map most fishermen in the Barents Sea would get nightmares by seeing.
    Some areas could be sealed off for commercial fisheries for up to two years, Mikhail Kobrinsky explained. Ocean currents would bring the radioactivity eastwards in the Barents Sea towards the inlet to the White Sea in the south and towards the Pechora Sea and Novaya Zemlya in the northeast.
    Important for fisheries
    The Barents Sea is one of the most important Oceans in the world in regards to fisheries. Especially cod fisheries are important for Norway and Russia. Last year, the cod quota shared between the two countries was 993,000 tonnes.
    The other submarine of great concern for the Russian scientists did not end up on the seabed by accident.
    The K-27, put into service for the Northern fleet in 1963, was dumped in the Stepovogo Bay east of Novaya Zemlya in 1982. The sub had then been laid up for more than 15 years after one of the two troublesome reactors suffered a severe leakage of radioactive gasses and inadequate cooling causing extensive fuel element failures.
    Dumping the entire submarine at sea was done in what the Soviet reactor engineers and scientist believed would be a safe way to avoid leakages of radionuclides to the marine environment. Not so any more. An uncontrolled chain reaction would be "quite serious, but not catastrophic," Kobrinsky explained.
    Isolation is not good enough
    "A study we have done indicates that only five to six litres of sea water into the reactor core are enough to trigger an uncontrolled chain reaction," says Mikhail Kobrinsky with the Nuclear Safety Institute of the Russian Academy of Science.
    Kobrinsky has, together with scientists from the Kurchatov Institute, studied how the isolating mixture of furfuryl and bitumen filled into the reactor before sinking now could dissolve much faster than originally thought.
    K-27 has liquid metal cooled reactors, unlike most other submarine reactors that are water cooled. The scientists make their conclusion after studying another liquid metal cooled reactor, from the Alfa class fabric number 900 that for years was stored at the Zvezdockha yard in Severodvinsk. That reactor was also prepared for dumping with the same isolating mixture as K-27, but dumping was stopped as the Soviet Union decided to adapt to the London Convention prohibiting dumping of high level radioactive waste in the Oceans.
    Dismantling the isolation on reactor 900 in Severodvinsk gave new insight suggesting a much more urgent condition for the K-27 than earlier believed.
    "The isolation material used in the reactor compartment does not isolate as much as we thought," he said.
    Radioactivity could be airborne
    "We have calculated that if an uncontrolled chain reaction happens, radioactivity could be releases to the air because the K-27 is dumped at a depth of only 30 metres," Mikhail Kobrinsky added. An uncontrolled chain reaction could trigger an explosion that might reach the surface.
    If airborne, radioactivity will be spread much faster and over much longer distances than in water. The damaged reactor contains highly enriched uranium.
    Earlier, Norwegian and Russian scientists making worst-case risk-assessments for K-27 have suggested that possible leakages would stay in the marine environment.
    An uncontrolled chain reaction would be "quite serious, but not catastrophic," Kobrinsky explained.
    Two years ago, a Norwegian-Russian joint study expedition to the dump site of K-27 concluded that it is feasible to lift the ill-fated submarine from the seabed. Although dumped 30 years ago, the hull of the submarine is intact.
    "No corrosion damage of the outer hull was visible, Hilde Elise Heldal with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research told BarentsObserver after the expedition.
    Nils Bøhmer with the Bellona Foundation in Oslo is deeply concerned by the new information.
    Urgent to prepare for lifting
    "This new information from the Russian scientists suggesting that a chain reaction in K-27 can lead to radioactive emission to air, and that emission from K-159 could lead to restrictions on fisheries in parts of the Barents Sea, is very worrisome, Bøhmer says to BarentsObserver.
    He urges Norwegian authorities to follow up this new information by contacting Russian authorities. "It is urgent to make preparation plans and risk assessments on how to raise these two submarines," Nils Bøhmer adds.
    At the seminar in Murmansk earlier in April, Andrey Kramorenko, expert with the Defence Ministry's Institute of Rescue and Undersea Technologies said there are several ways the K-27 could be lifted.
    "Russia has extensive experience in lifting sunken objects," Kramorenko said, showing slides of how the K-27 could be taken safely back to a yard by using cranes, underwater jack-ups, or lifting the sub to underneath a barge like was done when the Russian navy cooperated with the Dutch salvage company Mammoet-Smit on lifting the "Kursk" submarine that sank in the Barents Sea in August 2000.

    © 2004-2015 BarentsObserver.
    * * *
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