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World News

E&T's pick of engineering news from around the world.

  1. 11 July Australia revealed plans to tax the carbon emissions of its worst polluters, with 500 companies including steel and aluminium manufacturers to pay A$23 per tonne carbon tax. The country is heavily reliant on cheap coal for power making it one of the world’s worst per capita greenhouse gas emitters, and the government hopes the tax will cut about 160 million tonnes of emissions.
  2. 18 July BP reported a pipeline leak at its 30,000-barrel-per-day Liburne field in Alaska, the biggest setback for the company since the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. The ruptured pipeline spilled a mixture of methanol and oily water during testing, amounting to an estimated 2,100 to 4,200 gallons. Around 40 per cent of BP’s assets are based in the Alaskan pipelines.
  3. 19 July Iran confirmed it was installing new centrifuges used to refine uranium to speed up its nuclear programme. The uranium enrichment machines could significantly shorten the time needed to stockpile nuclear material. Iran denies it is trying to develop bombs and claims it needs nuclear technology to generate electricity for domestic demand.
  4. 21 July Nasa space shuttle Atlantis made its final touchdown at the Kennedy Space Center, bringing the spaceflight programme to an end. It was the 135th mission for the space shuttle fleet, which revitalised the Hubble Space Telescope, launched the building of the International Space Station, the world’s largest orbiting structure, and altogether flew 542 million miles.
  5. 26 July China ordered a railway safety campaign following a high-speed rail crash in which 40 people were killed and more than 190 injured. Rapid expansion of the high-speed rail project has resulted in safety concerns and there has been public anger and suspicion over the cause of the crash. The campaign will run for two months and research carried out on recurrent problems with rail equipment.
  6. 27 July The Aquatics Centre for the London 2012 Olympics has now been completed – the last of the six main permanent Olympic Park venues to finish construction. The £269m venue’s completion marks one year to go until the Games.
  7. 29 July Flawed analysis of the HS2 railway expansion proposal could result in the project producing more carbon dioxide rather than less, the IET said. The IET’s warning came as the Government’s consultation ended on its high-speed rail strategy and route recommendation for an initial high-speed line from London to the West Midlands.
  8. 29 July French investigators found that the crew of Air France’s Rio-Paris flight ignored warnings before it crashed. The BEA authority found that pilots failed to discuss ‘stall’ alarms as the Airbus plummeted into the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil’s north-eastern coast, killing 228 people.
  9. 2 August Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal unveiled plans to build the world’s tallest tower in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah. The proposed tower, which will replace Dubai’s 828-metre Burj Khalifa, will be more than 1,000m high, and take just over five years to complete.
  10. 4 August Japan announced it would replace three senior officials in charge of nuclear power policy as part of changes to the country’s trade ministry in the aftermath of the nuclear crisis. The three officials are the top bureaucrat at the trade ministry, the head of the nuclear safety watchdog, and the chief of the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, both of which are under the trade ministry.

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