• Report finds poor management cause of San Bruno natural gas explosion

    An investigation into the cause of a natural gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed dozens of homes in San Bruno, California, placed the blame squarely on fifty-four years of bad management by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) and the failure of state and federal regulators to notice the problem

  • Automated flash-flood phone alert system developed

    A part of Texas is called Flash Flood Alley because of the frequency and ferocity of flash floods; it stretches from San Antonio through Austin and to Dallas, and includes the Fort Hood military base; researchers develop a system which uses cell phones to give real-time text alerts of flash floods in the area

  • Breakthrough in hydrogen fuel cells

    Hydrogen makes a great fuel because it can be converted easily to electricity in a fuel cell and because it is carbon free; the downside of hydrogen is that, because it is a gas, it can only be stored in high pressure or cryogenic tanks; a team of USC scientists has developed a robust, efficient method of using hydrogen as a fuel source

  • DRC wins DHS contract to help protect federal, state, and local agencies

    On Tuesday Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC) announced that it had won a new blanket purchase agreement with the General Services Administration and DHS to provide a range of support services to federal, state, and local government agencies

  • New York's older brick buildings vulnerable

    To get a better idea of just how much damage even a moderate earthquake would cause to unreinforced masonry buildings, earthquae-engineering researchers are reconstructing brick walls like those in New York City buildings that are approximately 100 years old

  • Wastewater recycling adds to greenhouse gas emissions

    New research shows that wastewater recycling processes may generate more greenhouse gases than traditional water-treatment processes; still, there are good reasons to continue keep wastewater recycling among the water-resource tools for urban areas

  • Uncovering mechanisms key to fusion reactor walls

    A new tool will be hitched to an experimental fusion reactor at Princeton University to learn precisely what happens when extremely hot plasmas touch and interact with the inner surface of the reactor; fusion powers the stars and could lead to a limitless supply of clean energy

  • DRC wins DHS contract to help protect federal, state, and local agencies

    On Tuesday Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC) announced that it had won a new blanket purchase agreement with the General Services Administration and DHS to provide a range of support services to federal, state, and local government agencies

  • Virginia quake highlights overlooked danger: decrepit dams

    Tuesday’s Virginia earthquake raised fears that a Fukushima scenario would unfold somewhere on the East Coast, but experts say that earthquake pose a much greater threat: breaching decrepit dams; of the 85,000 dams in the United States, 4,000 are seriously unsafe or deficient — and of those, 1,800 are located in areas where a breach would cause grave damage to life and property

  • U.S. makes nuclear fuel available to other countries

    The United States announced the availability of a reserve stockpile of low-enriched uranium (LEU) for use in nuclear fuel; the LEU is derived from down-blended surplus military material; the LEU will be made available to countries interested in nuclear power generation, thus making it unnecessary for these countries to develop their own uranium-enrichment technology

  • Thermopower waves advance a new energy future

    Thermopower waves in thermoelectric materials can convert heat from solid fuels into electrical energy, in research that advances the vision of “smartdust” and other truly autonomous micro and nanomachines; “smartdust” systems are micro-electromechanical systems that are networked wirelessly for sensing and receiving data, for example testing pH of soil in large agricultural fields or quality of water reserves

  • Water mist puts out fires at low pressure

    A new water mist system allows for fires to be extinguished from a distance of eight meters; the system’s special nozzles generate a fine mist of tiny water droplets; the water and the propellant nitrogen are non-hazardous, environmentally friendly, and leave no residues

  • Redirecting menacing asteroids

    Sometime between 2029 and 2036, the asteroid Apophis will come uncomfortably close to Earth; if the asteroid, which weighs forty-six million tons, were to strike Earth, it would cause damage for thousands of miles around the epicenter; scientists propose ways to nudge the menacing asteroid off its current course

  • Bacteria--Energy Producers of the Future?

    A lot of the water we use daily goes to waste — whether it goes down drains, sewers, or toilets, much of it ends up at a wastewater treatment plant where it undergoes rigorous cleaning before it flows back to the environment; researchers are looking at processes which would turn wastewater into energy