• New device helps radiation mapping in nuclear power plants

    U.K. company develops radiation-mapping device which allows repairs to be carried out in small contaminated areas of nuclear power plants; device is based on technology used for radiation therapy delivery

  • Pac-Man-like molecule chews up uranium contamination

    Uranium leaches into groundwater from natural deposits of its ore, depleted uranium munitions, nuclear facilities, and the detritus of uranium mining; removing uranium from groundwater is very difficult: Not only does uranium bind very strongly to oxygen — it is also soluble, making dissolved uranium virtually impossible to remove; British scientists find an innovative solution

  • As nuclear power spreads, so do worries about safety

    Of the more than 100 nuclear reactors now being built, planned, or on order, about half are in China, India, and other developing nations; China has 11 nuclear plants and plans to bring more than 30 others on line by 2020; MIT report says China may need to add as many as 200 reactors by 2050; imagine China bringing to nuclear matters the same rigor and corruption-free approach it brings to inspection of food, children toys, and medicines

  • Hand-held near-infrared chemical detector developed

    Welsh company ZiNIR develops a hand-held near-infrared detector which can identify the chemical content of a substance within a few seconds on a “point, click, read” basis; company sees big opportunity in U.S. security market

  • Manchester University leads SPRIng project

    University to develop new tools for assessing the sustainability of nuclear power; among the tools to be developed: Methodology and decision-support system for assessing the sustainability of nuclear power and considering energy supply and demand

  • First commercial wave farm operates in Portugal

    Scottish company Pelamis has been operating the world’s first commercial wave energy farm, located off the coast line of Portugal, for a year now

  • First U.S. hydrokinetic wave energy license granted

    Federal regulator grants Canadian company Finavera conditional five-year license to build and operate wave energy farm off the shore of Washington State; wave energy buoy farm is first in the U.S.

  • Wireless sensors to monitor bridges' health

    There are about 597,000 bridges exceeding 20 feet in length on public roads in the United States; more than 50,000 of them were found to be deficient in load-bearing ratings; wireless sensors embedded in the bridge’s concrete will monitor structure’s health

  • Information technology to create more efficient power grid

    Creating a smarter grid through information technology could save $80 billion over 20 years nationally by offsetting costs of building new electric infrastructure; 300 Pacific Northwest volunteers take part in smart-appliance trial

  • Tiny sensors detect toxic gasses

    MIT researchers developed a small detector the size of a match box which will detect minute quantities of hazardous gases, including toxic industrial chemicals and chemical warfare agents, much more quickly than current devices

  • Towns overhauling infrastructure maps

    The GIS Consortium was established in 1999; it enables police, fire, and public works employees the ability to bring computer-based mapping applications onsite, and allows mapping and updating of towns’ infrastructure — everything from sewer and water lines to the location of valves, fire hydrants, street lights, trees and signs

  • Interim government review of U.K. summer flooding published

    Interim review addresses the issues of managing flood risk, groundwater monitoring, local and national planning and response, public information, and public preparedness; the Review draws seventy-two interim conclusions, awaiting further information and evidence before being put forward in firm recommendations next summer

  • CN expands rail holding, banking on increasing northern oil production

    As the price of oil increases, the attractiveness of extracting oil from oil sands in Canada’s northern regions increases apace; CN acquires yet more rail to ensure rail links to Alberta’s oil sands region

  • Weapon-grade plutonium shipped cross-country

    The Department of Energy plans to scale down U.S. nuclear weapons program by consolidating special nuclear materials — read: weapon-grade material — at five federal sites by the end of 2012 and reducing the square footage and staff within those sites by 2017; nuclear materials will have to be shipped from different labs around the country to these five sites

  • DOE IG offers details of 24 October Oak Ridge security breach

    Certain areas of the U.S. nuclear labs are designated “limited areas” by DOE; employees are prohibited from bringing into these secure areas any equipment capable of transmitting data wirelessly; at Oak Ridge, 38 laptops had been allowed into restricted areas, and IG finds that nine of these laptops had later been taken on foreign travel — two of them to countries on DOE’ sensitive countries list