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World News

A round-up of this month's engineering news from around the world.

  1. 23 April The UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change announced it would work with the US to develop 'floating' wind turbines. DECC said it would collaborate with the US in developing wind technology to generate power in deep waters that were currently off-limits to conventional turbines.
  2. 23 April Iran investigated a suspected cyber attack after a virus was detected inside the control systems of Kharg Island - the country's largest crude oil export facility. The virus hit the Internet and communications systems of Iran's Oil Ministry and its national oil company.
  3. 30 April Australian billionaire Clive Palmer announced plans to build an 'unsinkable' version of Titanic. Titanic II is expected to make its maiden voyage from England to North America in late 2016. Palmer's company Blue Star Line Pty Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the ship.
  4. 1 May BP reported falls in profit as production slowed after it was forced to sell fields to pay for the Gulf of Mexico disaster. BP announced a higher-than-expected 13 per cent drop in underlying quarterly profit, offsetting an increase in crude prices, and said that output would continue to decline in the second quarter as it unveiled plans to sell a number of mature fields in the Gulf. BP also said it would have to spend more than expected to clean up the spill.
  5. 3 May South Korea approved an emissions trading scheme, which would cap carbon pollution across the economy. The scheme, due to start January 2015, attracted opposition from the nation's top industry body, who said it would add unnecessary costs. However, the government said the scheme was crucial to reining in emissions.
  6. 4 May Japan shut down its last working nuclear power reactor, leaving the country without nuclear power for the first time since 1970. The shutdown took place just over a year after the earthquake and tsunami damaged the Tepco Daiichi plant in Fukushima, causing the worst civilian nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.
  7. 9 May A billion-dollar technology city in New Mexico will be created without residents to allow researchers to test new technologies. The unique research facility will see tests carried out on everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to self-driving cars.
  8. 9 May Engineers in California conducted a series of seismic tests on the world's largest outdoor 'shake table' to test a building's ability to function after earthquakes. The $5m project at the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center assessed earthquake and fire readiness of building equipment.
  9. 9 May The Queen's Speech set out the government's proposal for electricity market reform. The Energy Bill will introduce long-term contracts paying a steady rate of return for energy over the lifetime of new low-carbon generators, and the reforms will aim to overcome the high capital cost of building nuclear power plants or offshore wind.
  10. 14 May Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson left the company after claims he had exaggerated his CV. The former head of eBay's PayPal left just four months into his job after Yahoo appointed a special committee to investigate an allegedly fabricated computer science degree on his CV.

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