• Day of drinking recycled water nears

    Aussie researchers show that storm water collected from the aquifer into which urban water flows, after undergoing treatment, had dramatically lower levels of all hazards and contaminants; further supplemental treatment was needed to remove some hazards, though the process shows potential if improvements are made

  • Taiwan wants pigs potty-trained to curb pollution

    The Taiwanese government reports that experiments in potty-training pigs proved successful: a breeder of 10,000 pigs has established special pig “toilets” on the farm; the toilets were smeared with feces and urine to attract the pigs; within weeks, 95 percent of all pig waste was collected in the toilets, making the farm — as well as nearby rivers and fields — much cleaner; additional benefits: the cleaner farm helped reduce illness among the pigs and boosted their fertility by 20 percent

  • Securing the California Delta's levees before a major earthquake

    In the event of a major earthquake or flood and many levees failing simultaneously in California’s Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, as many as 515,000 residents and 520,000 acres of land would be in immediate danger; the long term effects could be even more widespread, as nearly 28 million residents depend on the Delta for water and irrigation; California lawmakers have increasingly turned their attention to securing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta’s levees, but experts say that only little progress has been made

  • California prepares for major seismic event

    Scientists are growing more wary about the potential for a major seismic event in California; earthquake trends show that intervals between such events have been as short as 45 years to as long as 145 years; considering that it has been 154 years since the last major quake, the San Francisco Bay Area, Delta Region, and Central Valley prepare for the worst

  • Shift of Earth's magnetic north pole affects Tampa airport

    Magnetic changes in the core of the planet shift the Earth’s magnetic pole at nearly 40 miles a year toward Russia; as a result, Tampa, Florida, International Airport has closed its primary runway so it could be redesignated 19R/1L on aviation charts; it has been 18R/36L, indicating its alignment along the 180-degree approach from the north and the 360-degree approach from the south; the FAA required the runway designation change to account for the shift in the Earth’s magnetic pole

  • Florida City to inject treated sewage directly into underground aquifer

    Florida’s Biscayne Aquifer has begun to run low and communities are exploring alternative sources of water as well as methods to stretch existing sources; the city of Pembroke Pines plans to inject treated sewage water 60 to 200 feet below ground directly into underground aquifers rather than use the existing practice of pumping treated water into nearby wetlands, lakes, or fields, where it will slowly trickle down into the aquifer over several months or years

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  • Recycled Haitian concrete safe, strong, cheap

    Nearly a year after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, most of the damaged areas of Haiti are still in ruins; researchers find that concrete and other debris in Port-au-Prince could be safely and inexpensively recycled into strong new construction material which meets or exceeds the minimum strength standards used in the United States

  • China Looks to Invest in California's High Speed Rail

    China looks to add California’s extensive high-speed rail project to its resume; with experience in rail projects both at home and throughout Asia, China can also bring financing to the table as well as project expertise

  • Groundbreaking for $1.2 billion NSA Utah center

    Today is groundbreaking day for the Utah Data Center, a $1.2 billion project which will employ more than 10,000 people for its construction, and is thus seen as the salvation for the state’s beleaguered construction industry; the National Security Agency (NSA) will use the climate-controlled environment of its computerized core as a repository for information gathered by different branches of the country’s intelligence apparatus, hence the facility’s nickname, “The Spy Center.”

  • China may need 300 years to reverse desertification

    Huge population pressures, scarce rainfall, and climate change have made China the world’s biggest victim of desertification, a problem that could take 300 years to reverse at the current rate of desertification reversing; 27 percent of China’s total land mass, or about 2.6 million square kilometers (1.04 million square miles), are considered desertified land, while another 18 percent of the nation’s land is eroded by sand

  • Plan for Massachusetts LNG site faces growing opposition

    The Weaver’s Cove energy project will see up to seventy liquefied natural gas (LNG) tankers a year travel up Narragansett Bay to berth in Mt. Hope Bay; from there, a sub-sea pipe would carry the liquefied gas more than four miles up the Taunton River to a storage facility at a former oil terminal; Massachusetts and Rhode Island politicians work to block the Fall River storage facility, saying a terrorist attack or accident would place thousands of people in peril in the densely populated city and harm fish habitat and tourism

  • Engineers develop more earthquake-resistant building designs

    Virginia Tech researchers are developing a next generation of design criteria for buildings located in geographic regions where earthquakes are known to occur, either rarely or frequently; in the future, structural engineers will base their designs on the concepts of Performance Based Earthquake Engineering (PBEE), where the objective is to control damage and provide life-safety for any size of earthquake that might occur

  • New technology speeds cleanup of nuclear contaminated sites

    Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on cleanup of some major sites contaminated by radioactivity, primarily from the historic production of nuclear weapons during and after the Second World War; Oregon State University researchers have invented a new type of radiation detection and measurement device that will be particularly useful for cleanup of sites with radioactive contamination, making the process faster, more accurate and less expensive

  • Al Qaeda aiming at soft targets in U.S.

    DHS has ramped up its efforts to protect soft targets in the United States from terrorist attack this year; the department has issued bulletins to state and local law enforcement warning of the possibility terrorists could target religious gatherings, sports matches, and parades; the al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen puts out an online magazine in English that encourages U.S. residents to plan attacks. Suggestions include driving a truck into a crowded place or shooting into a restaurant

  • China says it has mastered the process of reprocessing nuclear fuel

    One way to extend to energy productivity of nuclear fuel is to reprocess it after it has been used; reprocessing nuclear fuel costs significantly more than using it once and storing it as waste; it is also controversial because extracted plutonium can be used in nuclear weapons; China has just announced that it has mastered the technology for reprocessing fuel from nuclear power plants, potentially boosting the supplies of carbon-free electricity to keep the country’s economy booming