Infrastructure

  • Chemical facility security bills would limit local control

    Water industry insider says that a new bill, creating new chemical security requirements for drinking water utilities, would shift control over security and emergency measures in water treatment facilities from local authorities to the federal government; he is not sure this is a good idea.

  • Growing worries about unregulated chemicals in water

    Concern about pharmaceuticals showing up in drinking water in trace quantities has prompted a growing public awareness of the need to dispose of unneeded pharmaceuticals properly; changing disposal methods will not solve the problem of other organic waste contaminants, because most of them get into the wastewater stream through intended uses, such as bathing and laundering, and because wastewater treatment systems generally are not able to remove them

  • U.S. organize an international meeting on bolstering nuclear plant security

    The fluctuation in oil prices and concerns about climate change have renewed interest in building nuclear power plants; this fact, and the fact that more nuclear material may become available as a result of deep cuts in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, increase worries about the safety of nuclear materials

  • Florida Power and Light reacts sharply to reports of illegal intruders at nuclear power plant

    FP&L maintains that the Cuban migrants landing on its property did not pose a risk to the Turkey Point Nuclear Power Plant; still, the fact is that 30 Cubans landed in a secure area of the nuclear plant and spent six hours there without being detected by plant’s security personnel; FP&L became aware of the intruders only when they themselves called to control room to announce their arrival

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  • How vulnerable is the smart grid?

    The smart grid is a theoretically closed network, but one with an access point at every home, business, and other electrical power user where a smart-grid device is installed; those devices, which essentially put the smarts into the grid, are computers with access to the network; in the same way attackers have found vulnerabilities in every other computer and software system, they will find vulnerabilities in smart-grid devices

  • Appeals court rules dredging contractors not liable for Katrina flooding damage

    Private contractors involved in dredging the Mississippi River and outlet canals in and around New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina cannot be held liable for the storm’s damage; court rules that the dredging contractors qualify for government-contractor immunity

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  • INL develops safer, more efficient nuclear fuel for next-generation reactors

    The advanced nuclear fuel, which would be used in next-generation high-temperature gas reactors, has set a particle fuel record by consuming approximately 19 percent of its low-enriched uranium; this is more than double the previous record set by German scientists in the 1980s, and more than three times that achieved by current commercial light water reactor fuel

  • NICE acquires Orsus

    NICE, a leading provider of security solutions, acquires Orsus, a pioneer in situational awareness, for an all-cash $22 million; critical incidents have led organizations to make massive investments in a wide range of security technologies and in corresponding manpower; trouble is, these security tools often exist in different silos, which lead to information overload, making it difficult to get the complete picture and manage critical incidents effectively; the combined NICE-Orsus solution addresses this problem

  • Power glitch, natural radon caused TMI alarm

    Naturally occurring radon and a power glitch caused radiation monitors to sound false alarms at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant; still, more than five hours passed before state officials were made aware of the incident; the incident severity, however, did not approach the level that would have required Exelon, under federal rules, to notify state emergency officials within fifteen minutes

  • Security questions raised by Cuban migrants landing at Turkey Point nuclear plant

    Thirty Cubans fleeing Cuba landed near the off-limits cooling canals for the Turkey Point nuclear power plant; the migrants stayed — undetected — in the high-security area for about six hours; Florida Power & Light learned the Cubans had landed on its property only when a member of the group phoned the plant’s control room hours after the group’s arrival

  • Aussie telco says it is ready for the next Black Saturday

    The bushfires in Victoria, Australia on 7 February took 173 lives, ravaged thousands of hectares of land, and burned down hundreds of houses; providers Telstra and Optus were both hit hard by the fires too, with communications outages across fixed-line and mobile networks, Internet exchanges and power stations; Telstra says its systems are now more robust

  • Smart grid runs into trouble over powerline standard, I

    The U.S. government has awarded $4 billion in grants to build a smart electric grid; appliance makers need an easy, low cost way to plug into the grid; today they face as many as a dozen wired and wireless choices, most of them far too expensive and high bandwidth, focused on carrying digital music and video around the home rather than on helping save energy

  • World heading for a uranium crunch

    Nuclear power has become more attractive as a result of fluctuating oil prices and growing concerns about the environment; trouble is, the world is running out of uranium

  • Climate change threatens Canada North's infrastructure

    Climate change is felt more acutely in the arctic, and a Canadian government’s report says that winter roads melting earlier in the spring could force communities to airlift supplies, while increased snowfall and changing ice conditions can add stress to buildings as well as energy and communications infrastructure

  • Boeing, Edison awarded part of $620 million to build smart grid

    The Department of Energy the other day awarded $620 million in funding for building a more efficient and resilient power grid