Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant, is currently flushing water to keep the reactors' temperature low enough in an effort to avoid radioactive releases. Radioactivity of the used water is reduced through a special treatment procedure, however current technology cannot remove a relatively harmless radioactive isotope called tritium. Tepco now wants to evaporate huge amounts of that water, raising concerns over the particular practice.
The City of Santa Barbara is turning its sights on an old seawater desalination plant to tackle California’s worsening drought and limited water supply. According to Mayor Helene Schneider, the city is willing to spend more than $40 million to reactivate a mothballed seawater desalination plant that opened in 1992 and shut down after just three months of operation. Desalination is the “very last resort,” says Schneider. "We know it's a very big decision to take—and yet at the same time we've done everything we could with our other water supply options."
A recently released study by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) National Bridge Inventory database, reveals that nearly 61,000 bridges across the nation are classified as structurally deficient requiring significant repairs. Based on the data analysis carried out by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) the 61,000 bridges are crossed by trucks, cars and other types of vehicles 215 million times every day, with the most heavily traveled ones being located along the Interstate Highway System.
According to project handlers the 1km-high Kingdom Tower, “has challenged mankind to outdo himself”! It is also the view of Dr. Hisham Jonah, chief development officer of Jeddah Economic City, whether it is really possible to build even higher in the future. The skyscraper will have 252 floors overall, 167 of which will be occupied. It will also have the world’s highest observation deck. The actual tower will start at 20 meters above the ground floor with the largest floor being an 85,000-m2 parking lot that will house 2,200 cars. At 6,700-m2, the footprint of the structure will be divided into three different entrances for the hotel, residences and offices.
“You hear from Qatar, Azerbaijan and the Emirates that there are plans for towers that are 1.3, 1.5 and 1.6 km high. I wonder how they will reach that,” asked Jomah.
One of the largest problems, according to Jomah, was how to reach 167 floors in 1.6 minutes through the elevators.
Having a time frame of ten years, an extensive levee improvement project is about to hit the ground in Sacramento, with a focus on the Sacramento River south of downtown. The $1.5 billion project comes as the answer to recent changes in flood-control policy.
The Dover Dam rehabilitation project was marked complete by local and federal agencies. The $60 million project aimed in increasing the dam safety and stabilizing the aging flood-control structure. During celebration, officials also stated the need for investments in renovating the aging infrastructure across the country.
Tuesday marked the 126th anniversary of public access to the Eiffel Tower, which opened on March 31, 1889. Throughout its construction it was marked with controversy and deemed a disaster by France’s best aesthetic minds. The hope was that the World’s Fair “gimmick” would be demolished as soon as possible. Today, however, the Eiffel Tower is an icon, a Paris landmark and surprisingly eco-friendly – sort of.