Russia and Iran sign agreements to build nucelar reactors in Iran

Russia and Iran have signed an agreement to build two nuclear reactors in Iran, which will be followed with another six. The agreement was signed by CEO of Russia’s Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, Sergey Kirienko and head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi in Moscow, Russia.

Key facts of the agreement

  • Nuclear officials from the two countries signed the contract for building two reactors at Bushehr. Bushehr is the first nuclear plant built by Russia in Iran.
  • The construction of the new reactors will be monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as it was done in case of Busherhr’s first reactor, which became operational in 2013.
  • Russia will supply uranium fuel and then take it back for reprocessing and this provision is intended to prevent any possibility of Iran using the spent fuel to build atomic weapons.
  • Both nations will cooperate in the field of the nuclear fuel cycle and ecology.
  • The location of remaining four plants which are expected to be constructed elsewhere in Iran under this agreement has not been determined yet.

This deal comes less than two weeks before the 24 November deadline for Iran to sign an agreement on its nuclear programme with six world powers i.e. P-6 countries. P-6 countries include the five permanent members of the UN Security Council viz., USA, Russia, China, UK, France, and Germany.

As per the deadline, Iran has to agree to limit its uranium enrichment to a level that it could not be able to convert them to build nuclear weapons. It is expected that this deal would relax western sanctions against Iran.

Grapheme-based flexible screen developed; paves way for foldable electronic devices in future

Researchers at the Cavendish Laboratory of the Cambridge University for the very first time have developed a grapheme-based flexible screen. The advancement is important because it will lead to the development of next-generation high-tech wearable and foldable electronic devices in future. Professor Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre and Plastic Logic demonstrated a flexible display incorporating graphene in its pixels’ electronics.

Graphene-based flexible screen

The novel prototype is an effective matrix electrophoretic display, comparable to the screens used in today’s e-readers, excluding the fact that it is made of flexible plastic as an alternative of glass. The pixel electronics, or backplane of this display comprises a solution-processed graphene electrode, in contrast to conventional displays. It will substitute the sputtered metal electrode layer within Plastic Logic’s conventional devices, which will bring about the product and method benefits.

The newfangled 150 pixel per inch backplane was prepared at low temperatures (less than 100 degrees Celsius) by means of the Plastic Logic’s Organic Thin Film Transistor (OTFT) technology. The prototype will quicken the commercial development of grapheme and is being considered as the first step in the direction of broader application of graphene and graphene-like materials into flexible electronics. The ultra-flexible graphene layer will permit a extensive range of products, involving foldable electronics.

About Graphene

Graphene is a 2D (two-dimensional) material comprising of sheets of carbon atoms. It is amongst the strongest, most lightweight and flexible materials identified, and has the capacity to revolutionize industries from healthcare to electronics. Graphene is more elastic than usual ceramic substitutes like Indium-Tin oxide (ITO) and more transparent than metal films. Graphene can be processed from solution bringing characteristic benefits of using more effective printed and roll-to-roll manufacturing methods. Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov of Russia won the Nobel Prize 2010 for research on graphene.

“Favouritism” in govt judgments down; India betters its global rank

India’s global ranking in favouritism shown by government officials to powerful corporates has bettered sharply from 94th in the last year to 49th place this year. The Rank nevertheless, still remains far below other key economies. As per a yearly study by the World Economic Forum (WEF), India’s ranking has also bettered notably in terms of public trust in politicians.

Qatar ranked 1st and is followed by New Zealand, Singapore, Finland, UAE, the Netherlands, Japan, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland in top 10. 

The study says, moreover, India has bettered its position with respect to diversion of public funds and uneven payments and bribery at government institutions. In the BRICS block, India’s position is superior than that of Russia (87th), South Africa (104th) and Brazil (108th). But, it rests far below that of China (22nd).