Infrastructure

  • Massive earthquakes shake scientific thought

    Experts who dismissed notions that far-away quakes could be linked are beginning to think again after huge tremors rocked Samoa and Indonesia on the same day, followed by another major convulsion in Vanuatu

  • China ponders: Are a few big hydropower projects better than many small ones?

    China is moving aggressively to build dams along the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, in part to protect the Three Gorges Dam, but can such hydropower development be done better? “It’s not just dams versus no dams,” one expert says; “It’s about elegant dams”

  • NRC investigates crack at Crystal River nuclear plant

    The Crystal River containment structure is about 42 inches thick, contains steel support tendons, and is lined with steel plates; workers found a crack in the concrete about nine inches from the outer surface

  • It's the people, stupid

    People are still the weakest link in computer and Internet security, study finds

  • New Bay Bridge span designed to endure major quake

    Twenty years ago a 250-ton section of the Bay Bridge fell into the water as a result of a 6.9 magnitude earthquake; the new bridge design will be able to withstand the largest plausible earthquake to occur within a 1,500-year period

  • Asteroid collision: How to defend Earth, II

    Asteroid impacts are much rarer than hurricanes and earthquakes, but they have the potential to do much greater damage; moreover, what if an asteroid hits Earth in the Middle East or the Asian subcontinent? Such an event could be misinterpreted as a nuclear attack — both produce a bright flash, a blast wave, and raging winds; the result may be a nuclear war

  • Michigan airport turns off Web site over malware risk

    The Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids temporarily pulled its site in response to an unspecified malware threat

  • DHS's public Web sites vulnerable

    DHS’s Inspector General evaluated the nine most popular of the department’s 125 public-facing Web sites, and found that while the component agencies responsible for the Web sites followed DHS policies when setting them up, they left too much to chance afterward

  • Radioactive rabbit poo found at plutonium production site

    A clean-up survey at the Hanford site in Washington State, where military-grade plutonium was produced during the early years of the cold war, discovered radioactive jackrabbit droppings around the site; the rabbits burrowed in the area and discovered the tanks in which nuclear waste is stored; they liked the salty taste of the radioactive cesium and strontium salts, so they began drinking and licking them routinely

  • Oil production to peak before 2030

    New reports says that oil will become increasingly expensive and harder to find, extract, and produce; significant new discoveries, such as the one announced recently in the Gulf of Mexico, are only expected to delay the peak by a matter of days and weeks; to maintain global oil production at today’s level will require the equivalent of a new Saudi Arabia every three years

  • Home robots may be hackers' next target

    Home surveillance robots could be turned against their users, researchers say; few people have home robots now, but reliance on them grows for stay-at-home elderly and the sick

    By

  • Asteroid collision: How to defend Earth, I

    There are thousands of Near Earth Objects (NEOs) orbiting Earth; some of them are of a civilization-ending size, others are smaller — they will take out “only” a country or a city were they to collide with Earth; scientists say we should focus our minds on this danger

  • UN: Next world war may be in cyberspace

    Countries have become critically dependent on technology for commerce, finance, health care, emergency services, and food distribution; “Loss of vital networks would quickly cripple any nation, and none is immune to cyberattack,” expert says

  • Water scarcity will create global security concerns

    Up to 1.2 billion people in Asia, 250 million Africans and 81 million Latin Americans will be exposed to increased water stress by 2020; over 260 river basins are shared by two or more countries; as the resource is becoming scarce, tensions among different users may intensify, both at the national and international level

  • Large new dam construction moving ahead in California

    Environmental studies are due out today on a $409 million project to replace Calaveras Dam, a 210-foot-high structure east of Milpitas in the remote, oak-studded hills along the border between Santa Clara and Alameda counties